I love contrasting prints. It's just so much fun to wear an all printed outfit. Not matching prints are even more playful and fashion forward. Leopard print looks pretty interesting paired with a Nordic print, I'd say. It's the kind of print combination that one doesn't expect and that is what makes it interesting I'd say. My outfit proposal of the day consists of: a pair of leopard leggings, a printed burgundy turtleneck, a burgundy mini bag and a pair of heels. All of these items I have had for a while. Now, to be completely honest I'm pretty sure I wore something over this when I went out. I did wear this combo (leopard leggings and a printed turtleneck) before, but usually with a striped mini skirt or an olive vest. It's a bit too much on its own, I'd say. I don't typically wear leggings on its own, not unless I'm going hiking somewhere where I know I won't meat a soul. The only outfit with a leggings and top I remember sharing on this blog was the one I wore to walk my late dog. However, if these leopard leggings were leopard skinny jeans, I would totally wear them like this. Taken they are actually leggings, I would probably wear a vest over them or something like that. I suppose there are leopard skinny jeans that are similar to these leopard leggings, but perhaps it's a psychological thing. We feel like we shouldn't wear leggings on their own, it's some kind of a rule. Is it a rule worth breaking? I think it depends on the type of leggings. Obviously we shouldn't wear see though ones on their own, but really it all depends on the cut and the materials leggings are made of.
CHRISTIAN MYTHOLOGY BY GEORGE EVERY 3/5
Is there such a thing as Christian mythology? Sure, there is. Christian Mythology by George Every is an interesting read, if this is the an area that interest you. It can be a good starting point, especially if you don't have anything better at hand. However, it is not a very detailed and/or elaborate take on Christian mythology. It will probably leave you hungry for more, if you're interested in this topic. I've always been fascinated by mythology. Generally speaking, I did find this book interesting but I also felt that it could have been better written. I would have liked to learn more about Judaism, and its mythology, because that's obviously the basis for Christian mythology. It would also be interesting to study how different pagan religions got reflected in Christian mythology. Christian mythology by George Every is not a particularly well written and/or researched book. The writing isn't very engaging, and the writer assumes you're already familiar with the topic. I was familiar and interested in the theme, but I found my attention drifting. I think that the information in this book could have been better organized. I do own a copy of this book, a hardcover Croatian edition and it's lovely. It's over one hundred pages long (not 24 pages as the English edition goodreads describes it) and it includes many famous classical Christian painting and art. That's perhaps the best part of the book for me, the illustrations. To conclude, I'm happy to own a copy, and I think I did learn a few things from it. I can recommend Christian Mythology, but it is a lukewarm recommendation, if you understand what I mean.
OLIVE KITTERIDGE BY ELIZABETH STROUT 5/5
Olive Kitteridge is a novel I absolutely adore. I often review classics but that doesn't mean that I don't keep my eyes on contemporary authors as well. Elizabeth Strout won a Pulitzer prize for this book. If you ask me, never has a book been more worthy of a Pulitzer prize. Olive Kitteridge is a book I love more and more with each reading. I'm not even sure how many times I've read it, probably at least four times. The copy I have is almost falling apart. The first time I read Olive Kitteridge, I loved it. I was certain that Elizabeth Strouth was a talented writer. However, I didn't really connect with the characters on a deeper level. Moreover, the narrative that resembles a group of short stories confused me a bit at start. Still I was a fan from the start, you could say. I could see that Strout has some definite reading talent. I'm so glad I decided to reread this one. The first time I read it, I was probably too young to grasp its full meaning. With time, I found myself connecting with the characters on a deeper level. This was especially the case with Olive. The way Strout portrayed her is nothing short of brilliant. Olive really gets under your skin. The intense loneliness and isolation that Olive feel is something very relevant for our times. Reading about her relationship with her son was hearth-breaking, especially as he got older and started blaming her for everything. Even if there was truth in his words, I felt the way he treated Olive was cruel. But that's the thing. Strout makes you see both sides of the stories and you can't help but feel for them both, feel for the tragedy that is human life. All of us living are bound to suffer. Unless we turn ourselves into robots, there will always be pain of the heart and loneliness of the soul. That's the nature of this world and Strout captures the life's tragedies so beautifully and subtly. I think I understand Olive even better now that I'm a bit older myself. The same goes for other characters as well. It makes all the difference really. I feel I'm able to enjoy this novel more fully now. The last time I read it, Olive Kitteridge moved me to tears- and more than once. Right now, it is one of my favourite novels. I would recommend everyone not just to read it, but to reread it as well.
Now I'm going to review a few of my March reads, mostly fantasy and dystopian with one classic novel that I couldn't resist including. Scroll down to read my book reviews, and if you're not that really into books, feel free to skip my reviews. I decided to include book reviews on my fashion blog because it takes too much energy to keep two separate blogs running: one devoted to book reviews and one to fashion. So, it seems to me the best thing is just to join them together. Those of you who enjoy books, feel free to leave me your reading recommendations and as for those readers who are not that into literature, feel free to recommend something else.
A STORM OF SWORDS, A NOVEL BY GEORGE R.R. MARTIN 4/5
How to describe A Storm of Swords? First of all, that it is very eventful and dynamic. Secondly, many of its characters are full of surprises. Not only are some of them relieved in a new light, but some of them show some interesting character development. There are also minor and major characters who end up dead sooner that most reader would wish for, but we know that Martin likes to kill 'em. Thirdly, the world of medieval politics is just as interesting in this one and in the rest of the series, so that makes for a good read as well. Having finished A Storm of Swords, I can see now why some people were disappointed with the A Feast for Crows. Personally, I loved it but I can see how it might have seemed slow following A Storm of Swords. I do like this world that Martin has created. Capturing the feeling and the atmosphere of medieval politics is something he does well. Paired with a very imaginative fantasy world and a good story, his books from A Song of Ice and Fire series do have a lot to offer. What I didn't like about A Storm of Swords? To start with, repetition. Martin's writing can be repetitive, especially in this series and sometimes I mind it more than other times. Another things that I don't like is that Martin tends to focus on the gross details, such as describing wounds. Including graphic scenes for the sake of the story is one thing, but porn is another. Martin crosses the line here quite a bit. There is no need for reader to read every horrible single details of every single wound. That's not harsh realism, that's overwriting. If Martin has included a few of those descriptions, I could have got it, but this way it is just a flaw in writing. Long story short? Very intelligent world building and fine character development, but too many needless and unnecessary graphic scenes.
What a disappointment The Subtle Knife proved to be! I really wanted to like this one, because I liked the first book in the series (titled Northern Lights in British English editions and The Golden Compass in North American editions as well as in the movie version). This novel stops where Northern Lights end, but it opens with another character- Will, a twelve year old boy. He belongs to 'our' world, not the one Lyra lives in, but soon the two children will meet, because they are destined to. Will is a troubled child. Unlike Lyra who is an emotional orphan (she has parents who care nothing for her), Will has a mother. Unfortunately, Will's mother happens to be mentally ill. Since he realized that, Will has been forced to grow up quickly and learn how to both take care of his mother and hide it before others, so that she wouldn't be put in an institution. I liked Will and I sympathized with him, but it is an understatement to say that he stole the spotlight from Lyra. This whole novel could have happened without her, that's how big the role she plays. For most part, Lyra turns into less than a sidekick. Alright, Lyra does make some research into Dust ( which in our world is known as dark matter), and this meets this scientist Mary, an ex nun, so there is a parallel plot but I can't tell yet how strong that one might be since it is all left hanging at the end. Witches also make another appearance, and this is what disappointed me the most. The author has had the chance to teach us more about them, but he totally missed it. I was happy when Serafina appeared again, but soon I was left wanting. She is supposed to be this wise and fierce witch queen, but she seems awfully indecisive. I rolled my eyes at her not being able to glance at Will's eyes for fear of him. Moreover, there is another witch queen Leta who is head over heels with Lyra's father. It seems that witches hate Mrs. Coutlier because of what she did to children in the first novel, but they don't hate the child murderer that is Lyra's father- why, is it because he is a guy? If they are so ready to stand on the side of everyone who is against the maker and the church, why haven't be told so before? All the female characters in this one seem to be portrayed as being very weak and needing the men to come to their rescue. The only exception being Lyra's wicked mother. But then again she is such a cardboard villain that she is of little interest to the reader. All in all, the writing felt sloppy.
PANDEMONIUM, A NOVEL BY LAUREN OLIVER 1/5
Here comes a book that was a complete and utter disappointment. The main issue I had with Pandemonium was that I didn't like anything about the novel. The characters, the plot, the world building- nothing really. This dystopian society is poorly imagined and doesn't make much sense. Even for a YA romance, I expected it to make some sense but it wasn't. The whole structure and organization of mainstream society is not exactly explained. Not in detail and not at all. There is so much inconsistency in the way characters behave, in the way the plot develops...in pretty much everything. So many illogical things, I don't even know where to start. I have a feeling that the society is there only as an afterthought. What about the characters? Cliche, cliche, cliche. The characters did nothing for me. Most of the time, I didn't feel for any of them. I didn't have a feeling that I was in their skin. There were a few descriptions I enjoyed, a few instances where characters were wonderfully human, but on overall they came off as flat to me. As far as the social fractions go, there is nothing morally ambiguous about this book. There are the good and the bad guys, that's about it. Nothing to make you think about. All the plot twists are beyond obvious, especially the love story. Pandemonium isn't the terrible book I read, but there are definitely better books, even in this genre. If this had been the first book of the sort that I read, I could even imagine enjoying it. However, seeing that I've read similar but better written stories, there was nothing for me in it. The premise (of people being forbidden to fall in love) could have been interesting, even if it has been done before. However, the writing wasn't good, and there is really no way to fix that and it ruined the perfectly good premise.
THE PORTRAIT OF A LADY, A NOVEL BY HENRY JAMES 5/5
Curiously though, I wasn't crazy about this book the first time I read it. So I can understand anyone who disliked or was frustrated with this book. If you like Henry James, you'd probably heard about this one. This is his great classic. To be honest, I don't know how I would go about recommending this one. That's probably no wonder, since I found it difficult myself the first time around. If I remember well, when I read The Portrait of a Lady, I was already set on becoming a Henry James fan but still the book was a slow read. As I said, it really grew on me with time but that first read was mighty frustrating. I can certainly see how this book can irritate or even bore someone, it is quite long and there are definitely some slow parts. However, The Portrait of a Lady is a very important novel and a very popular one. As the title says it portrays a lady (Isabel) and a fascinating lady she is. The novel is not just about Isabel, but it portrays an entire society, American and European, with much success I might add. This social portrayal is present in other James' work but here due to the length of the novel perhaps, the author really goes about it. The Portrait of a Lady is really a lovely book, very intelligent, often infused with atmosphere of sophisticated sadness- or at least that was what I’ve sensed more often than not. Isabel's quest for freedom is something we can all identify with. After all, isn't the elusive freedom something we all dream about but perhaps also something that we also don't quite understand. Even during my first (difficult) reading, I found many things in this novel that I liked, from fantastic psychological portrait of its characters to its social commentary. The story is coherent and even the minor characters are colorful and memorable. There is a lot of attention to detail in this book. Nevertheless, I have to admit that it was nerve-racking to read towards the end. As for the ending, the first time I read it, it just drove me crazy. Simply said, I found Isabel's choices frustrating. When the novel is interesting enough to make you feel really frustrated and even a bit angry, I guess that is a compliment to its writer. With time I learned to appreciate the ending a bit more. It is a tragic story, but a beautiful one. A story so much like life itself- and that is why it must remain a bit unsatisfying. In fact, I think the frustrating ending is the novel's main achievement- it shows us the fragility of life. Who among us hasn't made terrible mistakes?
We'll finish off with this classic and that would be all that I've prepared for you today. Tell me do you like leopard print for spring? Do you plan to wear it? Are you reading or watching any interesting? Do you have any blog, book, magazine, series, documentary or film recommendations to share?