Sarai

  •  anne fashion

    One of literature’s most beloved heroines, Anne Shirley, can be an inspiration to all of us. Although she’s far from perfect, she can teach us a lot about wanting adventure, having a huge imagination, and loving with your whole heart.

    But wanting to emulate a character sometimes means we want to do more than act like her—we also want to dress like her. Or at the very least, dress in an aesthetic inspired by her stories. Since L.M. Montgomery’s classic tale is set in the late 1800s in Canada, it might be a bit difficult to cull inspiration directly from the books. Instead of wearing the classic 1880s fashion statement—the bustle—you can take inspiration from the style of ANNE OF GREEN GABLES that fits better with modern styles.

    Anne is both strong and romantic. While she loves to be in charge, and see the world, she is prone to loving the girlish and fanciful. Below are three outfits that I think encompass the romantic but adventurous spirit of Anne.

    Some starting points: Anne loves to go out and adventure, so she probably wouldn’t wear heels unless it was a special occasion, since we have so many other options that are better for having fun, but are just as cute. She loves to be girly, and she isn’t afraid to be a little (a lot) dramatic. She loves romance, especially flowers, so she’d probably wear florals even when it isn’t springtime. And never forget Anne’s classic wide-brimmed hat and braids—the girl loves accessories.

    Outfit 1Outfit #1:

    “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers”

    Anne’s world always makes me excited for fall—the crunchy leaves, the cups of tea, the curling up with a good book—so I thought Anne herself might wear an outfit that lets her enjoy the crisp air and the promise of a little autumn magic. While the outfit is practical enough to wear out and about, Anne’s romantic side is preserved through the addition of a scarf and a brooch. The field notes are so that Anne can write down all of her wild imaginings.

     
     

    Outfit 2Outfit #2:

    “Because when you are imagining, you might as well imagine something worthwhile.”

    Anne is a classic daydreamer—she sometimes lets her imagination run away with her a little bit too much. She sees the romantic everywhere, and conjures up names to match the passion in her heart for all the things around her. An outfit like this will let you curl up with a good book—or a blank notebook—and imagine all the worlds you want to. The comfy sweater and socks allow you to relax, while the locket and embroidered collar infuse it with a little of Anne’s classic romanticism.

     
     

    outfit 3Outfit #3:

    “It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable.”

    The reason Anne wants her name to be spelled with an E and not just plain ANN is that she longs for the fancy and fashionable. Plain Ann isn’t romantic enough—Anne dreams of a world where she has the most beautiful clothes and wishes to surround herself with lovely things. This outfit will let you traipse off to a museum, school, or a bookstore, so you can meet minds with all the best people—while looking your very best. Although this outfit doesn’t have puffed sleeves, a pinafore dress paired with a quirky printed button-down is sort of the modern equivalent.

     

    When trying to dress like Anne, the most important thing to remember is that you can make your life as romantic as you choose—so throw on your fancy hat, wear your grandma’s brooch, and carry a book with you everywhere you go.  

     

  •  Autumn

    The fall season is finally here, and just like you shove your sandals to the back of your closet for more appropriate footwear once temperatures start dropping, it’s time to make room for some books that will put you in a fall mood. Warm and cozy like a hot tea, or a little spooky and mysterious, these different reads match the crackly leaves and foggy mornings of fall.  

    9.30 The Wren HuntTHE WREN HUNT
    By Mary Watson
    (2018) 

    Hardened by years of being hunted each St. Stephen's Day in tiny Kilshamble, Ireland, seventeen-year-old Wren, an Augur, is sent as a spy to the home of the most powerful Judge to try to regain control of the ancient, powerful magic her people once held. 

     

    9.30 We Have Always Lived in the CastleWE HAVE ALWAYS LIVED IN THE CASTLE
    By Shirley Jackson
    (1962) 

    Delving deep into a labyrinth of dark neurosis, We Have Always Lived in the Castle is a deliciously unsettling novel about a perverse, isolated, and possibly murderous family and the struggle that ensues when outside forces disrupt their delicate balance of life. 

     

    9.30 Letters to the LostLETTERS TO THE LOST
    By Brigid Kemmerer
    (2017)

    Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world famous photojournalist--even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. When Declan finds a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist the urge to write back. Soon, he is sharing his pain with a perfect stranger. When real life interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. 

     

    9.30 The Rules of MagicTHE RULES OF MAGIC
    By Alice Hoffman
    (2017) 

    For the Owens family, love is a curse that began in 1620, when Maria Owens was charged with witchery for loving the wrong man. Hundreds of years later, in New York City at the cusp of the sixties, when the whole world is about to change, Susanna Owens knows that her three children are dangerously unique. Difficult Franny, with skin as pale as milk and blood red hair; shy and beautiful Jet, who can read other people's thoughts; and charismatic Vincent, who began looking for trouble on the day he could walk. From the start Susanna sets down rules for her children: No walking in the moonlight, no red shoes, no wearing black, no cats, no crows, no candles, no books about magic, and – most importantly – never, ever, fall in love. But when her children visit their Aunt Isabelle, in the small Massachusetts town where the Owens family has been blamed for everything that has ever gone wrong, they uncover family secrets and begin to understand the truth of who they are. Back in New York City each begins a risky journey as they try to escape the family curse. The Owens children cannot escape love even if they try, just as they cannot escape the pains of the human heart. 

     

    9.30 A Gentleman in MoscowA GENTLEMAN IN MOSCOW
    By Amor Towles
    (2016) 

    Sentenced to house arrest in Moscow's Metropol Hotel by a Bolshevik tribunal for writing a "revolutionist" poem, Count Alexander Rostov must adjust to life as a "former person". For the next 30 years, from his shabby attic room, he strives to maintain a daily routine, explores the nooks and crannies of the hotel, bonds with the staff, and forms a relationship with a spirited young girl named Nina, which deepens and strengthens throughout his sentence. His conduct, his resolve, and his commitment to his home and to the hotel guests and staff form a triumph of the human spirit. As Moscow undergoes vast political and countless social upheavals, Rostov remains, implacably and unceasingly, a gentleman. 

     

    9.30 Raven BoysTHE RAVEN BOYS
    By Maggie Stiefvater
    (2012) 

    For as long as she can remember, clairvoyant Blue Sargent has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys led by Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school, she's not so sure anymore. 

     

    9.30 In the House in the Dark of the WoodsIN THE HOUSE IN THE DARK OF THE WOODS
    By Laird Hunt
    (2018) 

    A Puritan woman goes missing deep in the woods of colonial New England, and soon must face the supernatural horrors that her people had only imagined up until then.

     
  • Sci Fi 

    Science-fiction is far from my favorite genre. In fact, for years, I didn’t bother picking it up. I love science but I’ve never been interested in stories about it. Nothing wrong with it, but my favorite books are about people—stories that deal with human vulnerability and the human condition, rather than technology or alien warfare.  

    But a few years ago I kept hearing about a new book that had come out that was blowing everybody away. It was listed as sci-fi, but I had heard so much about it that I gave it a shot anyway. To my surprise, it didn’t fit into the more traditional sci-fi genre, and was instead a meditation on how people handle cataclysmic events. Yes, it was technically sci-fi, but the author approached it in a different way, focusing far less on the science of the situation and more on the reactions of the people involved in them.  

    I’m still not interested in typical science-fiction, but reading different books in the genre has shown me that many of them sort of break the confines of the category and are more invested in the humanity of the stories than they are the technology. Ultimately, these books are asking bigger questions about our world and about humanity, with science-fiction as a frame. You won’t find yourself reading about the inside of an alien spaceship in any of these stories, but you will find books about survival, art, humanity, and hard questions.  

    11.04 Station ElevenSTATION ELEVEN
    By Emily St. John Mandel 
    (2014)

    Station Eleven is the book that first convinced me that just because a book is labelled science-fiction doesn’t mean it can’t also be about human stories. This book weaves narratives together to create a portrait of the world after a flu-like disease spreads and kills huge amounts of the human population. But that descriptor doesn’t even come close to the breadth and depth of this novel. Rather than focusing on the disease and the specifics of the medicine behind it, the author tells the stories of the people before, during, and after, and how humans will push for more than survival even in the darkest of times.  

     

    11.04 When the Sky Fell on SplendorWHEN THE SKY FELL ON SPLENDOR
    By Emily Henry 
    (2019)

    Billed as a mystery alien story, Emily Henry’s latest young adult novel is really more a story of grief, with a touch of magical realism. A group of teenage friends spend their summer nights filming videos for their YouTube channel when one night a mysterious incident makes them question their memories, and what they know of the world. From there, the story takes off and reveals that sometimes people are not who we expect them to be, and that grief makes us react in ways that we might not anticipate. 

     

    11.04 The DreamersTHE DREAMERS
    By Karen Thompson Walker 
    (2019)

    This book is probably the book on this list that feels least like science-fiction to me, and reads more like literary fiction with a science slant. People in a college town are falling asleep and then staying asleep, entrenched in dreams that are incredibly vivid, and nobody knows why. Worse, nobody knows how to wake them up. What sounds like a book that could veer heavily into medical discussions on what this means for our biology is instead a book that occasionally discusses the medical ramifications, but relies mostly on the experiences of both the people who are dreaming, and those who are awake. Karen Thompson Walker delves into the questions asked by the people left behind, trying to piece together the puzzle of why this is happening, how, and what to do about it; and into the minds of the dreamers who don’t know what is real and fake.  

     

    11.4 Dark MatterDARK MATTER
    By Blake Crouch 
    (2016)

    Blake Crouch’s thriller novel is by far the hardest read on this list. It follows a complicated story about a man who is kidnapped by a stranger in a mask before waking up on a gurney surrounded by people he doesn’t recognize, but who know him. The life he wakes up to is not his. He no longer has a wife or a son, and his career trajectory is vastly different. Although the story of “Dark Matter” is closer to a classic science-fiction novel than anything else on this list, at its root it is not about the complex science of the situation, but the harrowing philosophical questions that it raises—how do we know the life we’re living is real at all?