It was a slow month, book-wise. I reread a lot of stuff, but for some reason I didn’t feel like picking up any new books. So in the end I only read two new books. Both I appreciate, but I’m not crazy about either:
The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency by Alexander McCall Smith:
I’ve heard a lot of good things about this series as well as the TV show adapted from it, and given that I like a detective story with a twist, I decided to give this one a go. It’s about a woman who sets up a (what else) detective agency in Botswana, where she uses her skills to solve problems from missing husbands to rebellious daughters. The characters are engaging, but since I was expecting an actual detective story, I was kind of disappointed, because it’s not a mystery book at all. It’s simply a drama about a woman who overcomes personal tragedies and does everything she can to help people. Sweet and warm and charming, but not my kind of book. 3/5
The SEA is Ours, edited by Jaymee Goh and Joyce Chng:
I first heard about this collection of Southeast Asian steampunk short stories from their Kickstarter campaign. Being a Southeast Asian and a fan (and occasional writer) of steampunk myself, I contributed to it and received a copy of the book in return. The stories are certainly interesting; they incorporate the Southeast Asian culture and history that I don’t even know about, though some are more effective than others – but this is due to the stories themselves, not because I’m not familiar with the mythology. I’m also proud to see two Vietnamese writers in it, but I can totally tell that they haven’t lived in Vietnam for a while (they’re both US-based, I think) because some of Vietnamese words they drop in the dialogue are misused, which is a shame. But, if nothing else, it’s inspired me to get back to my writing. Who knows, maybe I can submit a story to the next collection, if there is one. 3/5
I’ve been so busy and the weather has been so nasty that I missed two major end-of-the-year book sales (*sobs*), but I do have a ton of ebooks on my Kindle, so here’s to a livelier review and discussion for February!
This is one of those outfits that is such a no-brainer that I can’t believe I haven’t worn it before. But I’ve checked, and I haven’t. So here we are.
It’s still freezing here, btw, so I’ll keep the post short. I still can’t believe just last week I was able to get away with just a shirt and a sweater, whereas now I’m sitting here shivering in two thermal tops, a thick sweater, and a scarf. Indoors.
Shirt: local shop, Sweater: Atmosphere, Jeans: Mango, Boots: Topshop, Brooch: vintage
I hope that all my East Coast readers are safe and sound. We’ve been having a pretty severe cold snap too (it was in the 40’s!!! There was snow in the mountains! That kind of temperature is probably nothing for you guys, but it’s positively arctic for our tropical climate), so stay warm everybody!
Anyway, this was taken last week, when it was still warm enough for me to take photos outside. It’s for SIA, inspired by Ansel Adams’ “Aspens, Northern New Mexico”. Since I already wore an outfit that would be perfect for SIA by accident, I had to scramble to find something that doesn’t look too similar. In the end, though, I took the same approach – gray sweater/sweatshirt, gray coat, black shoes. Sadly my black jeans are in the wash, but I think these dark navy jeans would do too. Add on top of that a black-and-white scarf, gray socks, and a silver leaf brooch, and we have a not-to-shabby interpretation of the photo, if I do say so myself.
Remember to drop by Jess’ blog to see more interpretations of this photo.
Sweatshirt: local shop, Jeans: Mango, Coat: Atmosphere, Oxfords: Vagabond, Scarf: gift, Brooch: Getty Center
I wasn’t going to post today, but as I looked through my photo folders, I found an outfit I haven’t posted yet. Surprise! To be honest, my brain was fried to a crisp after this crazy week, so the oversight is understandable.
Anyway, this outfit is quite appropriate because it fits the theme of Bri’s Third Thursday Thread link-up – Most Cherished Item (I’m a day late, but that’s OK – see “crazy week” above). For me there are actually two “cherished items” in this outfit. One is the tweed jacket I got from my mom – I’d been looking for a tweed blazer for a long time but could never find one, so when I found this in my mom’s old stuff, I had to ask her for it. The fit is a little boxier than I wanted, but I’ve come to love it.
The other item is this brooch. Actually I cherish all of my brooches, but this one is a little more special because it’s a gift from an actress in a short film I worked on. She’s really, really nice – one day I just mentioned randomly that I collected brooches, and the next day she showed up on set with this! It’s also a little different from what I usually wear (I tend to go for the enameled flowers/cameo type of brooches), but for the slightly equestrian feel of this outfit, it’s the perfect finishing touch.
Sweater: Atmosphere, Jacket: hand-me-down, Jeans: Mango, Boots: Hush Puppies, Brooch: gift
Ever since I moved home and started teaching, January has always been a slow month. We’ve just come out of the New Year and there’s the Lunar New Year around February, so everybody tends to take it easy. Not this year though. Already my two filmmaker workshops have started so my weekend is full again, then I have my usual classes, plus this year I’ve been added to the editing staff of our school’s magazine so there are articles to read, on top of my usual freelance job of script reading and book translating. Ugh, calm down 2016!
Anyway, two things about this outfit: one, there should be more contrast/match between the two grays, but honestly I’m too tired to care. And two, a slender silver long necklace is probably not the best choice with a gray cable-knit sweater, but I kinda like that subtle look. Next time though, I’ll wear it with something darker so it doesn’t get lost.
P/S: This would be a perfect interpretation for this week’s SIA, wouldn’t it?
Sweater: H&M, Jeans: Mango, Coat: Atmosphere, Boots: Din Sko, Necklace: local shop
This is pure Ansel Adams – high contrast, nature, the American West, and of course, I appreciate the black and white color scheme as well :) If you want to participate, simply send your outfit to Jess (email@example.com) by next Monday, January 25th. Enjoy!