Saturday, March 29, 2014

3 2 1 takeoff

This week is spring break, and I will, thank goodness, be traveling to warmer places in the country! A lot of bloggers do packing lists and how-to's, and though I thought about it, I'm really not very skilled at making everything fit. Instead, I'll tell you all about something I do know about: books!
Every journey or vacation needs time-fillers. I'm flying to my destination, but if you're able to read in the car as I am, this works for road trips as well. Books are the absolute first things I think about bringing on my trips, and I read not only in the traveling, but also while I am on vacation. Here are some of my save-for-vacation books!

1. Rose Under Fire, by Elizabeth Wein. This is the companion novel to Code Name Verity, which I wrote about here. Code Name Verity is one of my favorite books, and Rose Under Fire picks up close to where it ends. Though the protagonists of Code Name Verity are not the main characters of its companion, it looks as though some of the characters will appear again. I am incredibly, incredibly excited to read this novel, and its companion has certainly given me high expectations.

2. Rose: My Life in Service to Lady Astor, by Rosina Harrison. I'll admit it: I saw this nonfiction work on the "If You Like Downton Abbey" table at my local bookshop a few months ago. When I returned, Barnes & Noble gift card in hand, it had been moved. I then went on a quest to find it, eventually having to ask (horror of horrors!) for assistance. I have begun it, and the incredible tales of aristocracy are certainly worth any trouble the relocation might have caused.

3. The Tragedy Paper, by Elizabeth Laban. This novel is one of a prestigious boarding school, first love, and a story within a story. I have been told hints and glimpses by various reviews, and have been hearing things- good things- about it for months. I finally own it, and have splurged for hardback, as that was the only way to get the beautiful, earlier cover.

4. Mary Poppins, She Wrote: the Life of P. L. Travers, by Valerie Lawson. Mary Poppins was my favorite film for a number of years. It was, as people say, "my childhood"; I would watch it over and over, would dress up and dance along to the music. I knew all of the songs, and was enamored with each and every scene, be it the semi-animated fox hunt or the somber, more metaphoric "Feed the Birds". As soon as I saw Mary Poppins on the cover, I knew I had to own this gem of a biography. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

gimme gimme

It has been officially spring for a week now, and, much to my annoyance, the temperature hasn't reached sixty degrees (Fahrenheit) since. In a nice spurt of denial, I have planned one of my "wishlist" posts- spring style.

1. I have probably talked about these shoes from Topshop before. But they are absolutely perfect, and I want them in every color.
Photo 3 of MARGATE Double Buckle Geek Shoes
2. Also this pair, also from Topshop, which is similar in style and perfection.
Photo 3 of MARTIE Geek Shoes
3.And this Modcloth dress has tiny little zebras on it, yet still manages to be classy. I can't help but respect that.

4.This cute peter-pan collared shirt from Urban Outfitters is in baby blue, the most spring-y color of all (also, my favorite).

Coincidence & Chance Open-Back Collared Top

Hope you enjoyed my March wishlist- and hopefully, you all are in places warm enough to wear these lovelies!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

the eclectic authoress recommends...

44. The Saturdays, by Elizabeth Enright, is one of my favorite books from childhood. It's about a family of four children in twentieth century New York, and all of their wonderful adventures. I always feel very nostalgic about it, and find that rereading it every now and then is a wonderful pick-me-up. It also has beautiful, sporadic illustration.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

a new beginning

After finishing my first Tolstoy novel, Anna Karenina, I have decided to embark on a new, even longer journey. The Count of Monte Cristo, by Alexandre Dumas, is 1200+ pages to Anna Karenina's 800, so I'm certain it will take me a while to finish. I am incredibly looking forward to reading this, and to adventuring alongside the protagonist Edmond Dant├Ęs. If anyone has read The Count of Monte Cristo, please do let me know- I'd love to find out what you all think of it.

Friday, March 7, 2014

stuck in my head

"Neither Here Nor There", by Eleisha Eagle, is one of my new favorite songs. I have no idea how to pronounce her name, but finding her music was such a highlight. The lyrics are clever and the melodies are enthralling, and she certainly stands out- even on a Pandora radio station featuring incredible artists like Regina Spektor and Birdy.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

unhappy families

"All happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."

There are many unhappy families in Leo Tolstoy's Anna Karenina, a wonderful, wonderful novel with I have been reading for over a month now. Usually, I am a fast reader. There are many books I have sat down with, and have not stood up until I had finished reading it. Anna Karenina, however, is- as I've said before- a process. It is beautiful and a lengthy near eight hundred pages. It catalogs several groups of characters, all who intertwine.

For example, the novel does not begin with the title character. It begins with Stepan "Stiva" Oblonsky and his wife, Dolly. He is having an affair, and this is where the unhappiness begins. He is the brother of Anna, and she comes to fix the problem.

However, when Anna starts to have her own troubles, everyone around her begins to have troubles as well. By the end of the novel, Stiva and Dolly's marriage has completely fallen apart. Kitty, Dolly's sister, is rejected by Vronsky, who becomes Anna's paramour  instead. Anna's husband becomes controlled by a woman who tells his son that Anna is dead.

Tolstoy, I have found, is a genius of the written word. There is so much in Anna Karenina that at first caused me to wonder about it inclusion, but by the end, everything comes together. It is not neat or tied with a bow, and it is not happy.

But Tolstoy certainly shows his readers the differences in unhappy families.