For some reason, I’ve been really neglecting my skirts this winter (you can just tell by how wrinkled this skirt is.) Since January, I’ve only had four skirt outfits. I guess I just got bored with skirts. They’re more difficult to style than dresses, especially in the winter – you have to figure out what top to go with it, what tights, what kind of shoes, belt or no belt… I spent nearly half an hour trying on different tights and sweaters before settling with these, but I wasn’t happy with the result. The tights are completely lazy, and the neckline of this sweater, I realize, does not look good on a broad-shouldered person like me. I need something more boat-necked than this. Oh well. The truth is that I just wanted to show off my new heeled oxfords. I know, I know, buying new things is not the best way to break out of a style rut, but when I saw these, I couldn’t pass them up. Besides, they’re real leather, which means they’re super soft and comfy, so expect to see them a lot more on the blog in the foreseeable future.
Sweater: Gap (thrifted), Skirt: hand-me-down, Shoes: local shop, Brooch: vintage, Tights: Target
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.
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.
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.
Sweater: Gap (thrifted), Skirt: vintage, Tights: Target, Shoes: Payless, Coat: Modcloth
It’s been about five or six years since I spent a proper winter at home, and I don’t remember it ever being this cold. Also, our house is built for coolness and airiness, not warmth, so it’s not that much better inside either. My solution? Wear all the warm colors in my closet – toned down with some black and grey, of course, I don’t want to look like a walking electric heater. Speaking of electric heater, here’s a story about the titular song: even though it’s one of my favorite Snow Patrol songs, for the longest time I thought it was called “Set Fire to the Third Bar” and thought it was about actual fire-starting (figuratively, like maybe their passion sets fire to the bar where they’re meeting or something.) It wasn’t until recently that I found out “the third bar” referred to a bar in an electric heater, not a pub. Yeah, some hardcore fan I am.
Sweater: Gap (thrifted), Jeans: Wet Seal (thrifted),
Coat: Forever21, Brooch: gift, Boots: Vietnamese shop
Scarf: I honestly don’t know. It’s not mine. I grabbed it from the hook in the front hall because it’s the right color and it wouldn’t shed all over my coat like my wool scarves
And… I’m done with NaNoWriMo! Ten short stories + a treatment for a new book = 50,125 words. Now I just need to light another fire under my own ass to edit those stories and submit them somewhere. As for that new book (which is a totally rip-off of American Gods, by the way, except with Vietnamese deities), I’ve written a chapter, but I have a feeling I won’t touch it again until next year’s NaNo.