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AN AUTUMN OUTFIT AND A BOOK REVIEW (EAST WEST BY SALMAN RUSHDIE)

Hello darlings! It's suddenly gotten a lot colder here, but I still have one warm autumn styling proposal to share with you. I wore this cute neutral outfit while the sun was still shining bright. On that lovely sunny day, I decided to pair my white (authentic) folklore shirt with a striped mini, dark leggings and a dark green vest. I finished this look with my brown boots and a tartan belt. Besides this outfit, I will share another book review on my blog today. East West by Salman Rushdie also happens to falls into category of magic realism. I'm no stranger to Salman Rushdie,  I read Midnight's children a while back and I started but never finished Satanic Verses. This is the first time I read his short stories, though.  I really liked this collection and I can't wait to tell you all about it.


THE STORY OF MY OUTFIT- HOW I WORE IT BEFORE
First, a few more words about my comfy but feminine styling. When you're looking for comfort, shoes are a good place to start. I wore this outfit for a stroll with a colleague after work and she was also kind enough to snap some photographs for me. I ended up really liking this outfit. I even got stopped by random people who asked me about my shirt and whether it was an authentic folklore shirt. That made me smile because I love this shirt and yes it is actually an authentic hand made linen Croatian folklore shirt.  What else to say about this styling? It proves my point that you can dress sustainable and still have fun. You know I'm a big believer in shopping one's closet. I'm the type that can live out of one's suitcase and still come up with fun things to wear. I move around a lot, so knowing how to re-wear and combine a limited amount of clothing items is a really important skill for me. Like with every skill, it is something developed with time! Everything in today's outfit is old and you already had the chance of seeing of all these items before. I'll link up my older posts featuring these items bellow. 

You can see how I styled this authentic Croatian folklore shirt before herehere here and here.
You can see how I styled this green vest hereherehere and here
You can see how I wore these boots before herehere here and here

EAST, WEST, A SHORT STORY COLLECTION BY SALMAN RUSHDIE 4/5

 I'm really looking forward to chatting about this book. This is a lovely collection of short stories, it really is. I think it can serve as a great introduction to Salman Rushdie's writing. If you are not sure you will like this writer, why not try his short stories first and then invest your time into his novels. I'm saying this mostly because his novels are lengthily so it might be a good idea to pick his short stories, especially if you're short on time. 

 Divided into three parts (East, West, East West), this book is written in a variety of styles. By that I mean that the stories themselves vary in style. Some are more realistic in style, while others are surreal. I read this collection of short stories in one sitting. On overall, I found it quite an endearing read. Salman Rushdie writes really well in the short form. I'm really glad I picked this one in the library today. I'm going to share  a short review of each story bellow. 
 



EAST
This book is divided into 3 parts. The first part of the book is East and it features three stories. The first two are realistic in style, while the last one is surreal. I quite liked all of them.


GOOD ADVICE IS RARER THAN RUBIES 4/5

An elderly con artist offers good advice to a young Indian lady. Charmed by her beauty, he actually means what he says and instead of tricking her, wants to help. However, will the young lady accept his advice? It seems she has a mind of her own. What is good advice anyway? Can any of us know what is good for another person? Surprisingly optimist and heart-warming ending was not what I expected, but it felt appropriate enough. I quite liked this one. In addition, this story features probably the only real heroine in this book.
THE FREE RADIO 4/5
This story is told by an elderly professor. I suppose this kind of framed narrative is supposed to give more credibility to the story. The protagonist of this story is a young man who falls in love with the wrong woman (a widow with five kids). At any rate, the narrator of the story (the old professor) wants us to think so for he paints the fatal woman in a very bad light. Besides the love story, this story also shows the disappointment of the young man represented by an imaginary radio he carries around. This story speaks about naivety of youth and perhaps in the wider sense of the naivety of the still young Indian nation. All in all, this is a successful short story, quite depressive and gloom in tone but it feels all the more authentic for it.
THE PROPHET'S HAIR 5/5
The Prophet's Hair might be a bit controversial to some. As the title indicates, it has something to do with prophet's hair. In this story, a money lander finds the prophet's hair and decided to keep it. What follows is a series of strange and bewildering events. It is written in what I would call Rushdie's own style of magic realism and thus quite delightful in its mix of subtle irony, dark humor and sincere tragedy. I found it very interesting and well written. 

WEST
The second part of this collection is as its name would indicate devoted to western characters and set in west. I quite liked this one as well, but I did find the first story to be a bit confusing. 
YORICK 3/5
This story that puts words into mouth of fictional characters like Hamlet and Ophelia is interestingly written. The experimental style of writing is a nice change, but quite frankly I found it a bit hard to follow. Still, this experimental style of writing was interesting to read.
AT THE AUCTION OF THE RUBY SLIPPERS 4/5
Set in a future world, this story talks of a man who attends an auction for legendary ruby slippers in hope of winning a lost love. I quite liked its clever commentary on consumerism and its fantastical elements. Could it be called a dystopian short story? Perhaps it could. Whatever it was, I liked it.
CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS AND THE QUEEN ISABELLA OF SPAIN CONSUMMATE THEIR RELATIONSHIP 4/5
One more story belonging to magic realism, this wonderfully imaginative tale will be hard to forget. It tells the tale of Columbus' relationship with queen Isabella who first mocks him and then suddenly decides to pay more attention to his plans. Great writing for sure!

EAST, WEST
The three stories that are to be found in the last part of the book are a mix of east and west. Mostly they feature eastern characters living in the western world and interacting with westerners. 
THE HARMONY OF THE SPHERES 4/5
Excellent portraying of characters and a fantastic ending make it stand out. This story tells a tale of a man who researches his friend's notes. His friend committed suicide so sorting his writing and notes is not the easiest task. However, our narrator will soon realize that what he is about to find out might be just as sinister as his friend's suicide. 
CHEKHOV AND ZULU 4/5
At times a bit hard to follow, maybe because the Star Trek references and metaphors took a life of their own. I was having a hard time figuring who among the Star Trek is supposed to represent who in the modern India (are Klingons supposed to be a metaphor for Sikhs?) Still, it is a wonderfully written story that speaks of two friends and their relationship. The ending was quite dramatic in a good way.
THE COURTIER 5/5
A touching tale that touches on many aspects of life of one Indian immigrant family. Moreover, the people they come in contact with have tales of their own to tell. Especially sweet was the unexpected romance between an elderly Indian Aya (nanny) and a Slavic porter who suffered a stroke that left him nearly incapable for speech, but he could still play chess as a master he used to be and teach it to Aya. That romance was definitely interesting. The relationship between the nanny and the boy was also touching to read. If I remember well, the nanny (aya) is often an important figure in Rushdie's writing. 




So, how has life been treating you? I'm alright. I moved again but to another apartment in Jelsa, so I'm still living in this small port settlement. I thank God every day for being able to live in such a beautiful place. I don't plan to stay here forever, though. I will probably go back to working/living in Mostar next year. We'll see. It all depends on my job, but I'm always trying to get the most out of every place I find myself in. I'm looking forward to reconnecting with my roots and learning more about island Hvar. You can expect more posts about island Hvar in the future. 


I've just realized that I haven't shared my review of Midnight's children on my blog before, so I'm going to share it as well. That's another work by this author that I would definitely recommend.

MIDNIGHT'S CHILDREN, A NOVEL  BY SALMAN RUSHDIE  4/5

 Midnight's Children is a brilliant and complex novel. Told by an unreliable, at times annoying, but endlessly fascinating narrator Saleem Sinai, it is a story in which reality meets myth, in which dreams turn into facts, in which countries live tormented and tragic lives, resembling closely those of human beings that inhabit them. This chaotic narrative of a child (and later on teenager/adult) born at midnight (and not any midnight but midnight in which India was born as an independent state) is immensely powerful- and in a want of a better world- magical.

“I am the sum total of everything that went before me, of all I have been seen done, of everything done-to-me. I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I'm gone which would not have happened if I had not come.”

“Who what am I? My answer: I am everyone everything whose being-in-the-world affected was affected by mine. I am anything that happens after I’ve gone which would not have happened if I had not come. Nor am I particularly exceptional in this matter; each ‘I’, every one of the now-six-hundred-million-plus of us, contains a similar multitude. I repeat for the last time: to understand me, you’ll have to swallow the world.”

There are so many splendid reviews of Midnight's Children here on goodreads that I'm not entirely sure that I can add anything substantial to them. What hasn't been said about this novel? I could cry: 'What imagination and writing talent!' but what would that really tell you? Instead of a very analytic review, perhaps better to share a few paragraphs about my personal experience of reading this book. So, I'll just say- Reading this one was an emotional roller-coaster. I went from forcing myself to continue reading this novel to reading it while I was preparing caramel (literally holding this novel in one arm and the pot in another). So, it is safe to say that this novel captured both my imagination and heart. Those of you who have prepared caramel know how complex this task is, how the difference between a good caramel and a burned one can depend on a fraction of a second- so you can imagine how interesting the novel must have been at that point.

“Memory's truth, because memory has its own special kind. It selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies, and vilifies also; but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version more than his own.”

Perhaps caramel is a good allegory for this novel. Midnight's Children reminds me of making caramel. It is burning something to a point that it is almost hideous, then saving it at a last minute so it turns into something delicious. In other words, while reading this novel, I had a feeling that Rushdie was deliberately trying to make things hard for the reader. He is burning history, myth, religion- until one can't tell them apart. He is turning language upside down- so that he could transform it into something new. He blends sacred with everyday, depth with vulgarity- and somehow it all makes sense. Somehow it all blends together perfectly, like a well prepared dished. In the end, Rushdie present its readers with something delicious.


“Reality is a question of perspective; the further you get from the past, the more concrete and plausible it seems - but as you approach the present, it inevitably seems more and more incredible.”

Rushie's style of writing took some adjusting to. I'm no stranger to magic realism, but his magic realism is truly one of a kind. Still, it would be a shame to label a novel of this complexity simply as a 'magic realism', for it is a truly unique and beautiful book. The way it takes history on is nothing short of courageous. Rushdie is a bold writer, cutting into the tissue of history with a earnestness of a surgeon. Unlike a surgeon, he doesn't heal by cutting- but rather by examining. He cuts not to remove or add something, but to see- to learn more. Midnight's Children is a novel that deserves to be examined on its own and not just like a representative work in a genre. With its fascinating cast of character, with its unique humour that is at times so dark it is borderline sickening---this is a family saga like no other.


“Unless, of course, there's no such thing as chance;...in which case, we should either-optimistically-get up and cheer, because if everything is planned in advance, then we all have a meaning and are spared the terror of knowing ourselves to be random, without a why; or else, of course, we might-as pessimists-give up right here and now, understanding the futility of thought decision action, since nothing we think makes any difference anyway, things will be as they will. Where, then, is optimism? In fate or in chaos?”

That all being said, for me, this was not an easy read. It took me a lot of hours to read this one- but also a lot of concentration. I felt like I had to really make an effort to read each line, like the book was written in a language I'm only partly fluent in. That's probably quite close to truth. English might be the language I think in (most of the time anyway), but Rushdie's (or better to say Midnight's Children) English is a special kind of English, English of India- in the sense that it tries to capture India's spirit, tradition and its distinct flavour.



Have you read or seen anything interesting lately. Thank you for reading and visiting. Have a lovely weekend!

Comments

  1. What a nice post 😊 thanks for your sharing 😊

    ReplyDelete
  2. Molto carino il gilet e tutto il look, quel libro sai che lo volevo proprio leggere? Grazie per la review!
    Don't Call Me Fashion Blogger
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  3. The books sound interesting! I think the short stories one would be best for the little amounts of time I have for reading lately, haha! Easier to pick up and read a little each day.

    I like your outfit too, the shirt looks great layered under the vest and I like it belted! I need to wear my vest more!

    Hope that you are having a good weekend! It's a really hot one here, and the smoke haze is back. We remain safe from the bushfires though.

    Away From Blue | Handbag Gift Guide

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  4. I really love this layered autumn outfit! The vest looks great layered over the skirt and white top. And I don't usually read short stories, but that sounds like a lovely collection of them. Thank you for the recommendation!

    x Kara | http://karascloset.net

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  5. I never get tired of seeing you in that traditional blouse, it's gorgeous and I'm not surprised random people comment when they see you wearing it. I love the way you've styled it with those chunky leather boots and belted waistcoat.
    I've read most of Salman Rushdie's books but not that selection of short stories. they're one of my favourite reads when I'm away as i can totally absorb myself in his magical story telling and wonderful descriptions.
    I actually travelled to Cochin in Kerala especially to see the tiles in the Jewtown synagogue that Rushdie described in The Moor's Last Sigh.
    The BBC recently showed the film adaptation of Midnight's Children. I found it every bit as magical as the book. x

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  6. I'm always impressed by the books you are reading and I like your reviews. Of course I know Salman Rushdie, but more in a political sense (that he had to flew to live in England because of the Satanic Verses). So I once tried to read the Satanic Verses, because I was curious, but I didn't even slightly finisg it... maybe the short stories are an option for me - thank you!
    I absolutely love the traditional blouse you're wearing. It's also so well combined with the vest, the skirt and the boots. Alltogether it suits you well - you look great in that outfit.
    I also love the place where you live, it looks absolutely stunning and very peaceful.
    Have a nice Sunday!

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  7. You look so cozy and cute! the vest is fantastic! I also absolutely love your book reviews

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  8. Such a wonderful photos my dear. Your outfit is perfect, I love your boots :-)

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  9. I'm loving your gorgeous outfit, Ivana. That folkloric blouse is a wonder, and looking especially cute with that long vest and those incredible boots. Like you I have read Midnight's Children and started but never finished the Satanic Verses. I will seek out a volume of his short stories, so thanks for your review. Hope you're having a great week, my friend! xxx

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  10. I've always been put off by Salmon Rushdie's books because of the size but I think I should give these short stories a go- I like your synopses! Your outfit is beautiful too- I love the folklore shirt and the jerkin over the top works really well! I hope your new apartment is ok. xx

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  11. Мне очень нравится, что в этом блоге ты показываешь не только образы, но и свои картины, красивые места, книги, рассказываешь о самых разных вещах.

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  12. I love your fun outfit, especially that you incorporated a traditional blouse. Very fun!

    I read "Midnight's Children" as one of our Book Club books many years ago. I was one of the only ones in our group of 8-9 people who actually finished it. I likened it to very dark chocolate (like a 99% cocoa chocolate), where you can't gobble it down quickly. It must be taken in small bits and really focused on to be truly enjoyed. It was a hard read, but worthwhile. I'd try his stories - that's a very good idea, to start with short stories with an unfamiliar author.

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  13. You are always so good at wearing what you already have Ivana. That's truly a gift and we can all learn from you. I just adore this vest with the shirt. It's so perfect together.
    And your reading is so impressive. I've been reading a little at night lately, and I'm glad to be back in the habit.
    And you've moved again? Wow. You must be a pro at it. And I considered it such crazy times.
    XOXO
    Jodie

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    Replies
    1. It is easier moving when it is temporary, I don't have that many things with me.

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  14. Такие красивые фото!

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  15. Yes it is definitely possible to have fun and be chic when dressing sustainably. The way you styled this outfit around your authentic folklore shirt really highlights it well. So you moved again! Well Jelsa look very beautiful. Glad to her it agrees with you and you're enjoying your time there.

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  16. You look so cozy and cute!
    xx- Nina
    http://www.stylingwithnina.com/

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  17. Post je sjajan. Autfit je jako neobičan, a knjige koje si preporučila mi djeluju zanimljivo.💖

    Sweet-dreams-14.blogspot.com - novi post

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  18. Oh l love this layered look! And yes comfortable shoes are key. I love where you shoot your photos and I must say where you live looks so peaceful and charming. I am currently reading a book on near death experiences, it is interesting.

    Allie of
    www.allienyc.com

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  19. Lovely outfit, in love with this pictures, this post

    Kisses
    www.pimentadeacucar.com

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  20. I love this look dear, such a beautiful and classic outfit. Also, cute snaps you have here.

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

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  21. gorgeous look, I love it!
    It is such a cute look for fall and winter :)

    Love,

    Angela
    https://www.angelavissers.com

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  22. Dear Ivana, I'm not surprised that people stopped you and asked you about where your shirt is from! The look is wonderful as well as your original Croation folklore shirt! Yes, I agree it is definitely possible to dress sustainable and nevertheless fashionable. You are the best proof!
    xx Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  23. Oh so cute photos, lovely outfit darling
    xx

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  24. Hey Ivana, glad to say hi! Hope everything is going well! Are you ready for the holidays? I hope so!

    First of all that top is amazing, I love folklore pieces and the coolest part is when you manage to mix them with your daily clothes, if not they are just a souvenir but you pulled off a really good outfit that actually can be worn in many situations :)

    I just adore the views in these pictures, I bet they can take your breath away if you are there in real life. Sometimes going to nature and be there for a while with a book or just seeing is the best therapy.

    Talking about books I think this is the best season to lay in the couch and discover. I've never read something from Salman Rushdie, but I just saved the author on my Good Reads app. Right now I am reading Margaret Atwood.

    I'll take a look at the other posts!

    Best,
    Pablo
    www.heyfungi.com

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    Replies
    1. Thank you Pablo. I love Margaret Atwood. What novel of hers are you reading at the moment?

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  25. Hello Ivana
    You really are an expert in mixing clothes. You have a lot of ideas and you can always surprise us. I already read Salman and I liked it a lot, I read Shalimar the Clown !! I found an amazing writing !! I was curious about this storybook I like short stories.

    xoxo

    marisasclosetblog.com

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  26. Sono sempre super interessanti i tuoi consigli di lettura, Ivana ( e quanto libri riesci a leggere, complimenti!!!): in realtà è da un pò di tempo che avevo in mente di leggere Salman Rushdie ma alla fine non l'ho ancora fatto, ora che ho anche qualche titolo di riferimento sarà senz'altro più facile iniziare!
    Per quanto riguarda iltuo look: mi piace moltissimo! E' femminile, comodo ed originale! Ela blusa tradizionale è deliziosa!
    Mi sono sempre piaciuti molto i mix di moderno e antico ed il tuo è riuscito benissimo!
    baci!
    S
    https://s-fashion-avenue.blogspot.com

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  27. Mi piacerebbe leggere il libro, mi intriga la tua review!
    Il gilet è bellissimo!!!
    Kisses, Paola.

    Expressyourself

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  28. What a lovely outfit, Ivana! Your layering are always great!!
    The book, East West, sounds interesting<3
    I can't read quickly books, so there are many books I haven't read yet, hahaha.

    akiko
    www.akikohiramatsu.com

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    Replies
    1. thank you Akiko. I can read quickly but sometimes I like to read slowly. It depends on the book.

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  29. Really interesting outfit. You look Great. The photos are fantastic :)

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  30. These stories sound quite interesting! I wish I had time to sit down and do some reading especially that I love it. However, I never get enough free time to get through the book. I tend to start one and then never finish.
    Love your look and a combination of modern and folklor! xx

    Elegant Duchess xx
    https://www.elegantduchess.com/

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  31. These are beautiful photos and I love your outfit, Ivana !
    Thank you for the book review too - I love that it's short stories as I never seem to find the time to finish a book.
    Julia x
    https://www.thevelvetrunway.com/

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  32. Odličan post i prelepe fotografije! <3


    http://www.couture-case.com/

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  33. Gorgeous pictures, love the outfits too and book review. It's always great to read about the books you've been reading :)) Hope you have a wonderful day x

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  34. Dear Ivana,
    your photos are beautiful! And I love your outfit - an interesting and successful mix! Unfortunately I don't like books of Salman Rushdie - I started reading his midnight children and another book (forgot the title). I put away both books after a few pages, I did not like the style...
    Hugs my dear, Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2019/12/von-adventsternen-wolkenfenstern-und.html

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    Replies
    1. Thank you dear. I can understand why you put his books away, they're not for everyone. It takes a while to get used to his style of writing and some perhaps never do.

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  35. Ooooh thanks for the neat book recommendation. I'm always looking for new books to read to broaden my perspective and fuel my imagination. I'll have to check this one out.

    BLOG | YOUTUBE | INSTAGRAM

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  36. What a beautiful outfit and I loved the photos, beautiful view! :)
    This book seems great, I haven't read anything cool in a while.

    https://www.heyimwiththeband.com.br/

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  37. I've not read the collection of short stories as these but love Rushdie's works. The traditional style elements of your outfit is fantastic. <3
    http://fashiontalesblog.com

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  38. Mi piace moltissimo questo outfit! Che posto stupendo quello delle foto! :)

    https://julesonthemoon.com/

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  39. I love how you took feminine styling and paired it with some comfortable wear. The last thing you want is to be uncomfortable under your own clothes. Glad you enjoyed the read by Rushdie! It is interesting that the stories are divided up, it makes the experience great if you want a little palette change. Thanks for sharing!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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  40. Your outfit is beautiful hun, I am intrigued by the book.

    xoxo
    Lovely
    www.mynameislovely.com

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  41. When you say the word Autumn, fashionistas immediately think of which outfit inspirations to have and wear.

    https://www.kaleslaw.com/

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  42. I really like the white blouse you've layered underneath this outfit; it has such a feminine feel about it! Also, once again I'm blown away by how beautiful your surrounding areas are - wow! :)

    aglassofice.com x

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  43. I really like vests, so I like this outfit very much.

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  44. I haven't heard of this author before, but his writing style sounds really interesting. I especially love more surrealistic stories and having those included is just so great <3 Thank you for the recommendation!

    LackaDaisy

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  45. Wonderful Post! I love the Images <3

    Happy Sunday, kisses

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  46. Very wise that you start with comfortable shoes when choosing your outfit ;-) Unfortunately, I'm not that intelligent :-)) I like your outfit very much, you look adorable in it.
    Midnight´s children sounds very interesting. Salman Rushdie is a remarkable author.
    xxxxx Nadine

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    Replies
    1. I like heels as much as the next girl but sometimes we need to be practical.

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  47. Dear Ivana, have a very happy 3rd week of Advent!
    xx Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  48. Todo se ve estupendo! Muchas gracias por tus visitas , es un placer verte por mi blog ! Que tengas Feliz Navidad ! 🎄🎄🎄 ( No se si me pasaré por aquí hasta entonces ) ☃️🦌🎅

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  49. Great post, Thanks for sharing, x

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  50. Gorgeous scenery and your outfit is fabulous! Beautifully styled. I read some Rushdie in college and really enjoyed his writing. I definitely need to revisit his work decades later!

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    Replies
    1. Thank you. He is a great writer, well worth a revisit.

      Delete

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All your comments mean a lot to me, even the criticism. Naravno da mi puno znači što ste uzeli vrijeme da nešto napišete, pa makar to bila i kritika. Per me le vostre parole sono sempre preziose anche quando si tratta di critiche.

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