8 “To Kill a Mockingbird” Quotes that Exemplify Harper Lee’s Legacy

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As the sad news of Harper Lee‘s passing hit us and the rest of the literary crowd this morning, we’ve decided to compile some of the best lines from To Kill a Mockingbirdinarguably one of the most influential and important novels in our lifetime. These lines, in context and out, are simultaneously ethereal and grounded, simple and complex.

Lee’s legacy in TKAM will be continuing to show students and readers about the importance of love, tolerance, and friendship. Rest in peace, Harper Lee. Continue Reading ›

Just in Time for Valentine’s Day: Some of Our Favorite Literary Love Quotes

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It probably doesn’t surprise anyone that Valentine’s Day is nearly upon us. The media shows us two reactions to this little, commercial holiday: 1) the lovey dovey people feeding each other heart-shaped chocolates into their perfect, air-brushed mouths, and 2) single, bitter people, doubling down on the BOGO chocolate at the local grocery store. Many of us, however, do not adhere to that binary system and enjoy reading love stories, bundling up with chocolate and/or a significant other, and taking the holiday as basically an ordinary day with cheap chocolate. By the way, there are some good deals on boxed chocolate when V-Day finally rolls around.

In spirit of the holiday, enjoy the following collection of love-inspired quotes and the works from whence they came. Books don’t have to fall under the taboo heading of “romance” to have a little of the good stuff, otherwise known as love. Continue Reading ›

8 Hauntingly Beautiful J.M. Barrie Quotes

Happy birthday, Sir Barrie!

J.M. Barrie, famous for penning the original novel that inspired Peter Pan, was born on this day in 1860.

To commemorate, we’ve put together some of our favorite Barrie quotes (no, we didn’t just focus on Peter Pan… though we couldn’t omit it entirely). We chose some of our favorite spine-tingling and thought-provoking quotes commenting on life and death. We hope you enjoy!

Also, head over to eNotes to learn more about J.M. Barrie and his works: The Little Minister, The Admirable Crichton, and Peter Pan.

The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another; and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it. J.M. Barrie, The Little Minister

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Happy Birthday, Shakespeare! 4 Ways to Celebrate the Bard


Today is the anniversary of the Bard’s birth. Check out ways to commemorate the day below, complete with cakes, quizzes, quotes and more.

1. Bake a Shakespeare-inspired birthday cake

Introducing… Cakespeare! To celebrate Shakespeare’s b-day, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London invited bakers to design cakes inspired by the Bard’s prose. See a few below, or check out the full gallery here.


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Do It Now: Advice from Doris Lessing and Junie B. Jones

The world lost two influential literary voices this week. Nobel Prize-winning author Doris Lessing, best known for her novel The Golden Notebook passed away Sunday at age 94.  And Barbara Park, author of the beloved children’s books featuring her irascible character Junie B. Jones, died Friday after a long battle with ovarian cancer.  Park was 66.

While it may not seem that these two very different authors have a lot in common, what Park and Lessing shared was a love of vocal women as well as sense of appreciation for life and its transient nature. Park captured what few writers for children manage to do successfully: the energy and curiosity of a girl with a questioning mind.  For her part, Lessing was always adjusting the lens.  As we get older, the clarity of a Junie B. Jones is harder to maintain, but Lessing asks us to remember, and to seek the authentic in an often exhausting world.

I wonder what Junie B. and Lessing might have to say to each other:


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Feats of Greatness, Feet of Clay: Authors, Flaws, and the People Behind the Stories


(Orson Scott Card poses at Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, in 2008. Wikimedia Commons/ Nihonjoe)

“Just because someone’s a member of an ethnic minority doesn’t mean they’re not a nasty small-minded little jerk.” ~ Terry Pratchett, from Feet of Clay 

There is a reason I frequently shy away from reading biographies:  people suck.  Even the best people suck.  If you want to go on admiring someone, don’t know them personally.  The art, of course, speaks for itself.  It need not be burdened by the shortcomings of its creator.  But (at least for me) it is difficult to separate the two once you know.  You cannot, as the saying goes, unsee something.

Today, a lot of people, including myself, were surprised to learn that beloved science fiction writer Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Gameis an anti-gay activist, and has been for a very long time.  In 2008, he wrote that “marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down.”   Responding to the Supreme Court decision on the topic of gay marriage, Card told Entertainment Weekly  “it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.”

Hmmmm…. interesting that someone who is against tolerance wants to see how people with tolerance respond….

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