Thursday, 29 May 2014

Review: The Scarecrow of Oz by L. Frank Baum


I've just read a book that combines adventure and a royal love story and involves the characters Tok, Cap'n Bill, Princess Gloria, Pon. a mermaid and Button-Bright. First published in 1915, it is The Scarecrow of Oz, the ninth in the 13 novel sequels to the infinitely more famous The Wizard of Oz. Involving Dorothy, witch Glinda, and posing the scarecrow as the hero, this epic ramble through Oz introduces a host of new characters and has existentialist and humanistic leanings. Who doesn't love ambling through a land where popcorn falls like snow?

The true reason I picked this one up and none of the baker's dozen of others, is that it was on the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge list, which I have just picked up again. This book takes my total to 34 (out of 339!) and is a welcome break from serious novellas. Finally, in Ozma's conclusive words "no one can go far astray in the land of Oz, and if Button-Bright isn't occasionally lost, he isn't happy".

Carpe Diem xx

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Review: Charlotte's Web by E.B. White

When I first saw this on the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge list my first thought was 'why haven't I read this?'. The short answer is probably that it's an American classic and not a British one. Fast-paced, imaginative and beautifully written, Charlotte's Web is a timeless American children's literature classic. Telling the story of main characters Wilbur and Charlotte, a pig and a spider respectively, who wouldn't want to follow where this one leads? The tale can be read on many levels and is education and entertainment in one. I read this in an afternoon and suggest you follow suit if you haven't already!

Carpe Diem xx

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Lazy Sunday: A Photo Vlog

Carpe Diem xx

Review: The Last Runaway by Tracy Chevalier

In the literary world there are some authors to whom you can turn for comfort. Some authors, some books are a pleasure to open. When you turn the first page of The Last Runaway, you get just that. The tale of the Underground Railroad in America in the mid-1800s is the warm bubble bath to the wet-fish-slapped-on-your-face shock of other tales. This story (the third Chevalier book I've read thus far) is that of Honor Bright. Using diary entries and various quilts we are guided through her adventure as she travels from England to another Quaker community  in America. She discovers oppression and racism and gets entangled in the Underground Railroad, which aims to move slaves from the south to the north across the Mason-Dixon line. Chevalier is a master of this style. Brilliant!

Chevalier has curated an exhibition on quilts, which is on at Danson House in Kent, England until 31st October 2014:

Carpe Diem xx

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Spring Favourites 2014

Beauty: I first tried La Roche-Posay a couple of years ago and have loved it ever since. Since it is quite pricey I haven't bought it regularly, but this month I treated myself to both the moisturiser (green to counteract redness) and the face wash. This French brand still doesn't disappoint!

Reads: This month I have been reading Neil MacGregor and absolutely adore his style. MacGregor is a historian who writes books based around historical objects. I'm currently reading Shakespeare's Restless World, which focuses on Shakespearean/Elizabethan London, and am looking forward to the epicly named A History of the World in 100 Objects.

Eats: In a vain attempt at eating a healthier, vegan-centered diet I have been trying different Nakd bars. They are compressed fruit/nut snack bars and are 100% vegan and additive free.

Entertainment: Who doesn't like a good 90's rom-com? Okay, so a fair few people, but I'm one to admit that I find them a great tonic to a difficult day. With a 90's soundtrack, 90's clothes, and an American high school romance based on Shakespeare's Taming of the Shrew (sticking with the Shakespearean theme here)starring HEATH LEDGER of course, 10 Things I Hate About You is on my Amazon wish list!

Carpe Diem xx