#BookmarkMonday: Unique Aussie Banksia bookmark


I couldn't stop clicking around in the Mods on Pods* Etsy Shop. Everything is made from the Banksia seed pods and look just how beautiful this bookmark is! Banksia grows in the bush of Australia -- so if you're looking for something distinctly Australian, I think you should pay this little shop a visit.

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What do you think of this bookmark? Aye or nay?



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#BookmarkMonday is a weekly meme that started in 2009. Link up your bookmark below! Don't forget to share your love for bookmarks, whether yours or you dream of making them yours
  • Post about it on your blog / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram and link up below.
  • If you're on Instagram please look me up: @guiltlessreader) tag me so I can comment!
  • Share your pic with the #BookmarkMonday hashtag on Twitter so I can go check it out! 
  • If you'd like to post on the #BookmarkMonday Pinterest Board, shoot me an email at readerrabbit22 at gmail.com and I'll add you as a contributor.

Link Up HERE!

#Friday56 &BookBeginnings: White Teeth


Early in the morning, late in the century, Cricklewood Broadway. At 06.27 hours on 1 January 195, Alfred Archibald Jones was dressed in corduroy and sat in a fume-filled Cavalier Musketeer Estate face down on the steering wheel, hoping the judgement would not be too heavy upon him.
- p. 3

For Friday 56:
Both women were momentarily embarrassed at what they were wearing, but, looking at each other gained confidence.
- p. 56


About White Teeth by Zadie Smith*:  On New Year's morning, 1975, Archie Jones sits in his car on a London road and waits for the exhaust fumes to fill his Cavalier Musketeer station wagon. Archie—working-class, ordinary, a failed marriage under his belt—is calling it quits, the deciding factor being the flip of a 20-pence coin. When the owner of a nearby halal butcher shop (annoyed that Archie's car is blocking his delivery area) comes out and bangs on the window, he gives Archie another chance at life and sets in motion this richly imagined, uproariously funny novel.

Epic and intimate, hilarious and poignant, White Teeth is the story of two North London families—one headed by Archie, the other by Archie's best friend, a Muslim Bengali named Samad Iqbal. Pals since they served together in World War II, Archie and Samad are a decidedly unlikely pair. Plodding Archie is typical in every way until he marries Clara, a beautiful, toothless Jamaican woman half his age, and the couple have a daughter named Irie (the Jamaican word for "no problem"). Samad —devoutly Muslim, hopelessly "foreign"— weds the feisty and always suspicious Alsana in a prearranged union. They have twin sons named Millat and Magid, one a pot-smoking punk-cum-militant Muslim and the other an insufferable science nerd. The riotous and tortured histories of the Joneses and the Iqbals are fundamentally intertwined, capturing an empire's worth of cultural identity, history, and hope.

Zadie Smith's dazzling first novel plays out its bounding, vibrant course in a Jamaican hair salon in North London, an Indian restaurant in Leicester Square, an Irish poolroom turned immigrant café, a liberal public school, a sleek science institute. A winning debut in every respect, White Teeth marks the arrival of a wondrously talented writer who takes on the big themes —faith, race, gender, history, and culture— and triumphs.

*** 

I'm a Zadie Smith noob. I've seen her books around and heard raves and of course, now I want in on the fun!

Have you read any Zadie Smith? Any book recommendations for me?


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#BookmarkMonday: Harry Potter in mere leather


I don't think I could every get tired of Harry Potter. Ukraine company Mere Leather* on Etsy preys upon Potterheads in the nicest possible way with these amazing handmade leather corner bookmarks that any Harry Potter fan would love to own. I couldn't choose from the three but have a special affinity for Harry's eyeglasses.

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Which design do you like most? Why?



Guiltless Reading

Generate your button code

#BookmarkMonday is a weekly meme that started in 2009. Link up your bookmark below! Don't forget to share your love for bookmarks, whether yours or you dream of making them yours
  • Post about it on your blog / Twitter / Pinterest / Instagram and link up below.
  • If you're on Instagram please look me up: @guiltlessreader) tag me so I can comment!
  • Share your pic with the #BookmarkMonday hashtag on Twitter so I can go check it out! 
  • If you'd like to post on the #BookmarkMonday Pinterest Board, shoot me an email at readerrabbit22 at gmail.com and I'll add you as a contributor.

Link Up HERE!

#Friday56 & #BookBeginnings: JRR Tolkien's Smith of Wootton Major


There was a village once, not very long ago for those with long memories, nor very far away for those with very long legs. Wootton Major it was called because it was larger than Wootton Minor, a few miles away deep in the trees; but it was not very large, though it was at the time prosperous, and a fair number of folk lived in it, good, bad, and mixed, as is usual.
- p. 7

For Friday 56:
"Yes Master. But do you really know what the star was made of? Don't trouble your mind about it. Someone swallowed it, I assure you."
- p. 56


About Smith of Wootton Major by J.R.R. Tolkien*:  A charming new pocket edition of one of Tolkien's major pieces of short fiction, and his only finished work dating from after publication of The Lord of the Rings. What began as a preface to The Golden Key by George MacDonald eventually grew into this charming short story, so named by Tolkien to suggest an early work by P.G. Wodehouse.

Composed almost a decade after The Lord of the Rings, and when his lifelong occupation with the `Silmarillion' was winding down, Smith of Wootton Major was the product of ripened experience and reflection. It was published in 1967 as a small hardback, complete with charming black and white illustrations by Pauline Baynes, and would be the last work of fiction to be published in Tolkien's own lifetime.

Now, almost 50 years on, this enchanting tale of a wanderer who finds his way into the perilous realm of Faery is being published once again as a pocket hardback. Contained here are many intriguing links to the world of Middle-earth, as well as to Tolkien's other tales, and this new edition is enhanced with a facsimile of the illustrated first edition, a manuscript of Tolkien's early draft of the story, notes and an alternate ending, and a lengthy essay on the nature of Faery.

*** 

So was at the thrift store agin (yes again!) and look what the daughter found! I saw the author -- JRR Tolkien -- and without hesitation said "Take it." Being a huge Tolkien fan, I was surprised not to have even heard of this title or even thought he would make an illustrated book. Did you know, this is his last published work after Lord of the Rings? This is a 1975 copy and I love the illustrations in this edition.

Are you familiar with this book by Tolkien?


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Rediscovering books through calligraphy and book quotes


I've been distracted lately. My book blogging isn't very consistent and I know some of you are probably curious what's keeping me busy. Aside from the usual humdrum of work, life, and all that in general, I have rediscovered calligraphy.

I sent out a quick message to Instagrammers for some favourite bookish quotes and got three replies. Here they are rolled up nicely in a post for you. By way of rediscovering calligraphy, I am rediscovering old reads as well as getting that reminder to read books ever on my TBR.

I am thinking of making this a regular feature where you name the quote, I'll write it! As long as I have a steady steam of requests, I'm happy to write!

Curious about my calligraphy journey? I will be posting some of my bookish efforts on @guiltlessreader. But I  have an Instagram account dedicated to calligraphy too - come follow me at @titik.at.tinta.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Here's my first request was from Nishita of Nishita's Rants and Raves for the well known line from Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale.* The book is one of Atwood's dystopian novels and with the recent release of the series on Hulu - proving to be quite popular! - there is naturally a revival of interest in the book.

I remember being scared half out of my wits reading this the first time (and I was not in a high school where this was required reading). If you haven't read this yet, I guarantee it is worth your time.

The line below, as per the book, translates to "Don't let the bastards grind on you." And no, this is not Latin but loosely based off it only.


The Sandman by Neil Gaiman

The second requester was from the Mama Reads Blog. Despite being a huge Neil Gaiman fan, I still haven't read his hugely popular fantasy comic The Sandman.*

The quote "Omnia mutantar nihil interit" translates to "Everything changes but nothing is truly lost." I looked that up, of course. and now I am double intrigued by the series.

In my books, Neil Gaiman never disappoints. Have you read this yet? Would you recommend it?

Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

Reading the last lines of the children's classic Charlotte's Web gave me all the warm fuzzies again. I want to reread it again and just relive the feeling of this heartwarming (and heartwrenching) tale of friendship.

“It is not often that someone comes along who is a true friend and a good writer. Charlotte was both."

{Insert sigh here}




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© guiltless readingMaira Gall