Book Review: The Children’s Book

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OK, disclaimer: I never, ever skim any book. I may put a book down and pick it up a couple of weeks later, but I don’t skim – heck, I read Twilight cover to cover to see what the fuss was about (I did see what the fuss was about, and I disagreed.) This one, though, I had to skim, and it’s nowhere near the densest book I’ve read. It’s just… boring. In my defense, I’m going to translate it anyway, so when I got to the last 100 pages I just skimmed to see what happens to each character.

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Anyway, “The Children’s Book”, by A.S. Byatt, is about several families in Edwardian England who move in a circle of liberal artists and writers, and the many secrets and tragedies that connect them. The title refers to a book that the main character, a writer of children fantasy loosely based on E. Nesbitt, writes for each of her children.

Edwardian era is one of my favorites, the characters are fascinating, so what’s the problem? Mainly, I think the book is more to showcase the author’s intensive research of the period rather than to tell an actual story. There are chapters after chapters detailing social, political, and artistic movements of the time, and I found myself asking “What does this have to do with anything?” There is not enough time to get to know any of the characters. I feel like the author only remembered to check in with those characters from time to time before getting back to her historical research. The parts that I’m interested in, the parts about the damage that the main character’s children suffer because of her focus on her art (she’s not exactly a neglectful mother, but she’s too busy making up stories about her children to see what is really going on with them), are really rushed, and the ending is just… there.

It’s too bad that every time I try reading a literature book (as opposed to my usual genre fictions of sci-fi and fantasy), I always end up disappointed. Seriously, do you guys have any recommendation? I’d like to expand my literary horizon a bit, but I don’t know where to begin.

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I tried to recreate an Edwardian look with my outfit, though my skirt is too full to be Edwardian. Still, there are a lot of descriptions of Liberty gown and William Morris fabric in the book, so I think the skirt works too.

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Sweater: Gap (thrifted), Skirt: vintage, Tights: Target, Shoes: Payless, Coat: Modcloth


Avocado And Papaya

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I was going to title this post “Spring, You’re On” because it’s the first spring-like outfit I’ve worn. But then my sister made some avocado smoothie and I realized my shirt was almost that exact color (we usually eat it sweet rather than savory here. Avocado smoothie is just avocado blended with some sweetened condense milk, but it’s so good.) So it’s “avocado and papaya”, to keep with the whole tropical fruit theme. But then I guess the color of my jeans can be categorized as “salmon” too, and salmon and avocado would make a great sushi roll… OK, I’m hungry now.

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Shirt: Gap (thrifted), Jeans: Wet Seal (thrifted), Heels: Payless, Necklace: self-made, Belt: no idea


Neverwhere

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I’m not feeling this outfit. So please excuse me, I’m going to go listen to the Neverwhere radio play. They’ve got such an awesome cast – James McAvoy, Natalie Dormer, Christopher Lee, Anthony Head… And to top it off, Benedict Cumberbatch playing Islington! Now if they can just make a movie or mini-series out of it to replace the low-budget one from 1996, I’ll be a happy panda.

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wide-leg jeans heeled loafers by 14 shades of greypolka dot blouse wide-leg jeans by 14 shades of grey

Shirt: Target (thrifted), Jeans: Old Navy, Heels: Payless, Necklace: vintage

take one pass it on 14


Good Morning Joan

teal t-shirt floral pencil skirt heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

I’m not much of a pencil-skirt kind of girl. It always makes me feel like an office worker, which I’m not, and don’t want to be. So I tried pairing this skirt with a T-shirt to dress it down a little, but this skirt pretty much requires heel, so I ended up feeling a little bit like Joan from Mad Men in this outfit. Of course Joan rarely wears a print, and her outfits are much more impeccably matched than this, but the silhouette is similar. And since Season 6 is about to premiere soon (in 11 days! And 4 days until Game of Thrones!!! Gah, why must all of my shows return at the same time?), I figure it’s appropriate.

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T-shirt: Forever21, Skirt: hand-me-down, Heels: Payless, Necklace: Icing
Post title: song by The Cardigans

take one pass it on 13


To Chop Or Not To Chop

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This skirt is another one that I commandeered from my mom. The waist definitely needs to be taken in a bit, but I’m debating whether to shorten it or not. I like the flowing length (and the fact that I don’t need to shave my legs when I wear it :P) but it looks a little… sister wife, right? What do you guys think? Should I shorten it to the knees, or just take off a couple of inches to keep it a midi?

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striped shirt midi skirt heeled loafers by 14 shades of grey

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I got photo-bombed by Taco again…

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T-shirt & Belt: Forever21, Skirt: hand-me-down, Heels: Payless, Necklace: Icing