An English Major in England

Written by Kendall Talbot

My mother likes to say I was born in the wrong country. I prefer tea over coffee (with milk and sugar, please), and I talk about the royal family as if they were my own (my invitation to Harry and Meghan’s wedding must have gotten lost in the mail). I cherish my well-worn copies of Jane Austen’s novels, as well as the multitude of BBC products they inspired (the Mr. Darcy Lake Scene™ changed my life). I adore gloomy weather (especially when it’s raining), and I have been in love with Hugh Grant since the age of twelve (even though I now know he’s old enough to be my father). Above all, however, I have always dreamed of studying literature at Oxford. I used to think that was my way into England—going to school there.

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Brontë Society to Publish Two Lost Charlotte Brontë Manuscripts

Written by Kendall Talbot

I thought I had experienced everything there was to experience regarding the Brontës: I have read all their published work, studied their lives in a class dedicated solely to them, and even made a literary pilgrimage to their home in Haworth (yes, the moors are as bleak and melancholy as Emily Brontë makes them out to be). So you can imagine my delight upon learning that there would soon be more of the Brontës for me to devour. MobyLives recently reported that two lost Charlotte Brontë manuscripts, a seventy-seven-line poem and a seventy-four-line story, will be published by the Brontë Society later this year.

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Finding Time to Read in our Busy Lives

Written by Kendall Talbot

Winter break is, for most college students, a time to sleep, travel, and catch up with friends and family. While I did enjoy all of those activities this past winter break, I used the majority of my time to finally tackle the precarious stacks of unread books that have been slowly taking over my room over the last several years. For four weeks I sat curled up on a loveseat next to my family’s synthetic fireplace, drinking coffee in the early hours of the morning and multiple cups of hot chocolate thereafter, each with a layer of at least twelve marshmallows always coating the top to trap the heat. I wanted to feel warm and cozy while reading. I wrapped myself in fuzzy blankets and the musings of imagined characters for hours, and I managed to finish six sizable books, which is quite a feat considering how slowly I read. Looking back, I realize those four weeks spent doing nothing but reading were the most relaxing and rewarding weeks I’ve experienced in a long time. Because the truth of the matter is that I never have enough time to simply read a book anymore.

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Turtles All the Way Down: Let’s Talk About Mental Illness   

Written by Kendall Talbot

Six years ago, John Green brought millions of readers to tears with his tragic, yet oddly comical story of two teenage cancer patients who, in spite of their ailments, were determined to experience love and life and everything in between. While The Fault in Our Stars dealt with the horrible effects of physical illness, Green’s new novel, Turtles All the Way Down, addresses a different category of illness: mental. The story’s sixteen-year-old protagonist, Aza “Holmsey” Holmes, suffers from severe anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder, living in constant fear of the multitude of tiny microbes alive inside her body and the bodies of others. Her mental illness keeps Aza consistently and irrevocably stuck inside her own head, and for 286 beautifully written and heartbreakingly raw pages, we get to be stuck inside there with her.  

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The Annual Guadalajara International Book Fair (FIL) is Nearly Upon Us!

Written by Kendall Talbot

Running from November 25 through December 3 this year, FIL is the largest annual literary event in the Spanish-speaking world. Established and organized thirty-one years ago by the University of Guadalajara, FIL still takes place in Mexico where the school is located. This year, the fair expects to host over 2,000 publishers from 45 different countries, representing books written in 29 different languages.

How did FIL become so large and so far-reaching? There are a few unique key aspects of FIL that set the event apart from other book fairs. One of these elements is FIL Niños (FIL Kids). The fair caters specifically to families by scheduling almost 1,500 workshops that promote reading and writing for children. These activities allow kids to interact with the authors there, encouraging any future readers and writers.

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