28 Days of Literary Explorations

The 28 days of literary exploration is designed to take you down some literary paths that you might not have travelled before. To expand your horizons, to feed your mind and your soul, and to hopefully lift your spirits.

All below are free to read, listen to, or view on the internet (links provided) and movies are available through our Library partnership. This list was inspired by the “feed your soul” list of The Guardian newspaper.

Congratulations By the Way

28 Days of Literary Explorations

The 28 days of literary exploration is designed to take you down some literary paths that you might not have travelled before. To expand your horizons, to feed your mind and your soul, and to hopefully lift your spirits.

All below are free to read, listen to, or view on the internet (links provided) and movies are available through our Library partnership. This list was inspired by the “feed your soul” list of The Guardian newspaper.

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Day 1: Maya Angelo

Still I Rise

An inspirational poem by one of America’s foremost poets.

Poetry reading, 2 minutes

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Well acted, modern take on Shakespeare’s “The Taming of the Shrew.”

Movie, 97 minutes

Stream on Disney+ or Visit our catalog to place a hold.

Day 7: Dona Croll

Reading This Sceptr'd Isle

John of Gaunt's speech from Shakespeare's Richard III

Drama, 2 minutes.

An inspiring interdisciplinary daisy-chain of dialogues commissioned by Artangel

Conversations, 30 mins each.

Congratulations By the Way

A luminous speech which is a love long to kindness

Talk, 12 minutes

Day 16: Jay Bernard

Surge

A haunting and memorable reading

Poetry, 9 minutes

Mossbawn Sunlight

Hear the love in his voice as he talks about his Aunt, her wipe lap and floury apron

Poetry, 1 minutes

Day 22: Robert Burns

Tam O' Shanter, read by Brian Cox

A collection of poetry readings from Radio Scotland, this one is a classic for Burns Night

Poetry, 2 mins

Faithful and Virtuous Night

Listen to the "unmistakable poetic voice" of the American winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for Literature

Poetry, 5 mins.

Start Writing Fiction

12 Free Open University classes, broken down into different sections to help you write!

Classes, 12

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Day 2: Simon Mayo

Books of the Year

Simon Mayo does a Q&A with author Ian Rankin.

Podcasts, various lengths

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Day 5: T.S. Eliot

The Journey of the Magi

TS Eliot’s take on the festival of the three Kings: the Epiphany.

Poetry, 2 mins

How Literature Can Change Your Life

Literature is not some dusty, crusty, remote thing! The speaker invites you to incorporate it every day

TED talk, 19 minutes

A Portable Paradise

This poem could be adopted as an anthem to our courageous health workers

Poetry, 9 minues

Oops! Famously Scathing Reviews of Classic Books

Book reviews that were so wrong, they're funny

Article, 10 minutes

Day 17: Alice Oswald

Interview with Water

Oxford University professor's moving lecture on the relationship between water and grief

Lecture, 1 hour

Day 20: Dylan Thomas

Under Milk Wood

Richard Burton leads the reading of this classic made into a radio play

Radio Drama, 1.5 hours

Make Your Soul Grow

Possibly the sweetest letter ever written by a famous author to his fans

Letter, 1 minute

Day 26: The Brontës

Life in Haworth

From the British Library's collection: a short video on the home of the Bronte sisters

Documentary, 4 minutes

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NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert

From NPR’s concert series, this one is by hip-hop artist Saul Williams.

Poetry & music, 20 minutes

Day 6: Kate Bush

The Sensual World

Based on Molly Bloom’s soliloquy from “Ulysses”

Music, 4 minutes

Day 9: Clueless

A fun, modern take on Jane Austin's Emma

Movie, 1 hr and 37 mins.

Cooking with DH Lawrence

The Paris Review's Eat Your Worlds blog series, extracting recipes from literature

Day 15: Saki

The Storyteller

A tart tale about a smug little girl and her good behavior medals

Short story, 8 mins

Day 18: Jim Gaffigan

Books vs Movies

Comedian Jim Gaffigan discusses the virtues of reading vs watching

Comedy, 6 mins

Day 21: Amitav Ghosh

The Great Derangement

The novelist argues that we need to reinvent the novel to uncouple ourselves from the industrial revolution and move forward in the world

Essay, 2 hours

What's the Use of Reading? Literature and Empathy

Beth Ann Fennelly joins her two decades of experience in the classroom with new studies from the emerging field of literary neuroscience

TED Talk, 12 minutes

Free, classic film, from cartoons to feature length movies

Film, various lengths

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