19 Adorable Harry Potter-Themed Products For Pregnant Women

There are lots of awesome Harry Potter-themed products for babies ― from onesies to bibs to nursery decor. But if you’re pregnant, you don’t have to wait until your baby is born to get in on the action.

Moms-to-be can enjoy a variety of maternity shirts and baby shower products inspired by the wizarding world. 

In honor of the 20th anniversary of the first Harry Potter book, we rounded up some of the best options on Etsy. Keep scrolling for some magical gift ideas for pregnant women. 

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Alexis Bledel Is Signed On For Season 2 Of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’

Warning: spoilers ahead!

Because Season 1 of “The Handmaid’s Tale” ended in the same way as its source material ― with its heroic central handmaid Offred being escorted out of her assigned home, either by the corrupt government or by the burgeoning resistance group ― Season 2 seems shrouded in mystery.

We have a few predictions: Offred (Elisabeth Moss) will visit the environmentally toxic colonies; she’ll stray further from her husband, Luke, before they’re reunited.

On Thursday, Hollywood Reporter shared news that sheds light on next season’s plans: Alexis Bledel, who plays Offred’s confident Ofglen, will return for at least one more go-around.

At the end of last season, Ofglen was presumed dead ― at least by Offred, who witnessed her attempt to steal a car in the middle of a farmer’s market. Before that, Ofglen was mutilated by Gilead officials, punished for her sexual orientation.

So, what does the return of Ofglen mean for Season 2? It could be that Ofglen is actually a member of the resistance, an underground group that Offred will learn more about in coming episodes.

In Atwood’s 1985 novel, the story stays close in on Offred and her small attempts to find joy in language and the quiet details of the world, as well as her memories. It’s effective, but perhaps not enough fodder for a multi-season drama. So, showrunner Bruce Miller has said that he’ll deviate from the book, while staying true to its spirit and intentions.

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Book Cover

A Frenchman visits a backwoods Oregon bar.

When the French narrator of Montalbetti’s (Western, 2009)
latest novel arrives in Oregon, it isn’t clear what he’s doing there. Nor do
his purposes ever become clear. “What was I thinking back then? Nothing in
particular, I guess,” he tells us. “A chaotic mix of opposing sensations that I
surrendered to, waiting for them to subside and vanish.” He stays in a motel
and makes nightly visits to a run-down bar, where he meets a handful of men
whose stories he gradually gleans. There’s Colter, who lost his house, wife,
and family after losing his job. There’s Harry Dean, who works a farm where one
day a visitor arrives, retracing the steps of Louis and Clark’s expedition.
There’s Moses, who runs the bar and has hung behind the counter a photograph of
himself as a frightened child. Their stories precede an act of violence, at the
end, that the narrator theorizes was engendered by their surroundings: the
ocean, “a furious, uncontrollable presence, an endless display of unfathomable
anger” against which “they were powerless.” Montalbetti’s narrator rhapsodizes
at length, throughout the novel, about that ocean—but those rhapsodies never
quite convince. Nor do the characters. For a book about the sharing of stories,
this one is strangely silent: the only voice we hear is the narrator’s, and
though he talks a lot, we don’t learn much. His chatty asides (“So, as I was
saying,” “I’ll get to him in a minute,” and so on) are more annoying than they
are charming. Montalbetti’s intention might be, like de Tocqueville’s, to
elucidate American life, to provide a kind of gloss. If so, she doesn’t achieve
it. Neither her characters nor her setting are convincingly American. Nor does
her ocean bear the weight of this narrative.

Sacrificing clarity for a kind of lyricism, this meditation on
American life and culture fails to convince.


Book Cover

An elegant paean to love—and to “the least known of all European
capital cities,” Lisbon.

By Portuguese novelist Gersão’s
account, speaking through her many-flawed hero, Paulo Vaz, “for millions of
perfectly well-informed people across the globe, Portugal barely existed: at
most, it was a narrow strip of land tacked onto the side of Spain.” She does
much here to make the country and the city come into a life of specific detail:
how the sunlight glints, how spring arrives to the soft green trees on the Avenida
da Liberdade, how a crumpled-up T-shirt bearing the slogan “Lisbon is for
lovers” looks when covered with “salt and boat oil.” Gersão’s central theme,
though, is the impermanence of love. Though a sensitive artist, so sensitive
that he bears his supportive mother’s last name and not his indifferent
father’s, Paulo is a bit of a noodge: “Don’t expect too much from me, Cecília,”
he says, in an internal monologue addressed to a long-departed lover. “I’m a
free-spirit, or unreliable, if you prefer.” Cecília, African born, is a
colonial come back to help remake Portugal after the fall of the dictators
40-odd years ago; also an artist, she is the always present object of the
dejected Paulo’s obsession: “Having gone in search of Lisbon with you,” he
laments, “I must now go in search of us, look at us. From very close quarters.”
Like an unfunny refraction of Woody Allen’s Manhattan, with Paulo
as Isaac, Gersão’s novel is a celebration of setting; the story, a touch
tiresome owing to Paulo’s nonstop mope, gives way to the loveliness of place.
The quiet echoes of moments from The Odyssey, as when Paulo casts
Cecília in the role of Nausicaa, are just right, too.

Readers planning a trip to Portugal will find this a fine,
revealing complement to their guidebook—and on the evidence of this book,
Gersão deserves a wider audience in English.

24 Friday Finds & Reader Recommendations – June 23rd 2017

<— Happy Friday and happy reading weekend!!! Look what just went LIVE today… and that premise has me giggling. I’m finishing up and reviewing Riven tonight. So far it’s so good, and I’m delightfully nervous, ’cause of some of my book-buddies reactions – eeeep!! I still have NO clue where this is going and I’m almost […]

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Reader Question – The book about the girl that is “with” her boyfriend at his brother’s place and he walks in…

Ooooh I already love this reader so hard, ’cause she greets us in Māori, and boy do I LOVE (and crush hard on) the whole Haka ceremony (<— P.S. You’re welcome for that) Tee hee!!! Alas, this is not a book about the Māori or any of the super-hot Haka men, but I bet someone here […]

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