Stack of books wrapped with twinkle lights, topped with a jute bow

A flood of recommendations

There’s a great Icelandic word that expresses the glut of books published in the last months of the year: Jólabókaflóðið. It roughly translates as ‘the Christmas book flood’ and speaks to the Icelandic tradition of gifting books to loved ones—probably highly relatable to anyone who loves the written word!

Our gift to and from The Literati community is a flood of recommendations of books and other literary loveliness. Group members highlighted the titles below as ones that lodged in their brains in 2021, in the best possible way!

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Faded white roses laying on loose pages from books

In nature, nothing is perfect and everything is perfect

Notes from the September Literati Meeting

We met to talk about ‘Nature’ as a theme in the glittering world of literature in a quiet corner of a sprawling urban garden. Against a leafy backdrop, our discussion flowed from science fiction with generations of environmental evolution to pastoral admirations of rural life and on to the natural (and inevitable) state of death. We inevitable brought up pandemic-related words and touched on the otherworldliness of the natural world.

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Woman wearing a pink t-shirt with white printed text: Du respect, du temps, de l'argent

Not-so-radical notions

Notes from the March Literati Meeting

This Zoom call didn’t get off to a particularly light-hearted start. The impact of COVID (both on the fight for equality and my own mental state), breaking news about a murderous man in Atlanta ‘having a really bad day,’ ongoing reports of abuse, hashtag NotAllMen still being a thing, and all the other horrors of the world had me in a pessimistic state of mind. Then, Margaret Atwood (a perennial favourite) came up… and my mood started to pick up.

By the end of our chat about ‘Feminism’ in the glittering world of literature, my optimism had returned. Laughing together and sharing some wonderful resources (listed below) definitely helped—and the ‘Beautiful Queens’ of the Grammys didn’t hurt either.

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Looking on the bright side

Notes from the January Literati meeting

Our January discussion about optimism throughout the glittering world of words was speckled with memoirs of hope in the shadows, expectations being exceeded, the poetry of promise, and some practical advice on making things better. 

There’s a full list of the pieces of work we shared with each other below… along with a quote to kick us off and a bonus list of authors we love! 

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Person walking along a railroad with blue sky behing

Walking the line

Notes from the December Literati meeting

During our last meeting of 2020, we found quick consensus that balance is not one-size fits all—and the materials we discussed show this range. The lists below spans scientific research and a guide for homemakers, to excellent storytelling and some much-needed feel-good watching. 

If you’re interested in getting together to talk about all things wordy in 2021, please answer our short survey to help plan the next meetings of The Literati.

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Stylized hands painted with vivid color-blocking

An ‘unguarded’ conversation

Notes from the October Literati meeting

The backdrop of COVID-19 brought a different perspective to our discussion about all things wordy on the theme of vulnerability. We delved into this broad topic from many angles—from sex and relationships to the survival of an entire species and the unprotectedness of immigrants, even touching on the far-too-relevant topic of ‘sheltering the vulnerable’—and came up with a great list of things to read and watch. 

There are strong characters who have very human vulnerabilities, behind-the-curtain observations about domestic life and inner thoughts, larger questions of flight or fight, and a few topical recommendations.

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Woman with backpack looking at books on jumbled shelves

Chronicling coming of age

Notes from the May Literati meeting

In our online Impromptue Literati discussion about all things literary related to ‘Coming of age,’ we talked a lot about what that phrase means. Do we only ‘come of age’ as we move from childhood to being an adult? What about the major shifts of becoming a parent, losing a parent, getting married, coming out or ending a relationship? Do we not grow into another version of ourselves when we move to a new place, start or complete an education, change careers?

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