Spring is one month away.ONE MONTH! We can do it! Even though I was told today was going to be a preview of spring, it’s frigid and wet in Boston, so I’m hoping to see a little sunshine this weekend at least. Speaking of the weekend, I’ve got a friend coming to town, as well as my family visiting, so I’m looking forward to it! I’m also going to be meeting with my new writing group for the first time, which I’m really excited about.
What are your plans for this weekend?
Best of the Looks:
I love Monique of Tipa Tipa’s vintage dress. It’s so perfect for spring–and she’s standing in one of my very favorite spots in Brooklyn, the Promenade, so bonus.
I found these 31 clothing tips every woman should know very helpful.
Likewise, how to get a perfect blowout at home. I think I need to invest in a new blowdryer…
How adorable is this Marc Jacobs cosmetic case??
Best of the Books:
Loved this Ted Greenwald poem.
Kama Sutra for book lovers (not what you might think!)
I want a reading nook of my very own! Until then, I’ll just have to ogle these.
Action for Healthy Kids, a really awesome library initiative.
Happy weekending, everyone!
I read The Goldfinch for my last New York book club and looking back, it seems like a fitting book, or as fitting as any, to have read in my last weeks living in New York. For one thing, I was able to see the painting that inspired the novel (above) at the Frick, one of the last things Joe and I did together. Despite that less than ideal association, I’m glad I got to see the painting in person–if you’ve read the book, you know the impact the painting has on everyone who comes into contact with it, especially Theo Decker, the protagonist. Truth be told, I wasn’t blown away by the painting, but it was affecting nonetheless. Whether I would have given it a second look if I hadn’t read the book…that’s another story, but I’m no art historian.
It famously took Donna Tartt a decade to write The Goldfinch, her third novel in almost thirty years. Reading it, one can see why–it’s a behemoth of a book, over 800 pages of lavish descriptions and intricate plot points, meticulously researched and rendered. Theo’s New York is a very different New York from my own personal New York (we all have one), but it’s convincing. When Theo is just 12 years old, he loses his mother in an explosion at the Met, where they happen to be looking at the Goldfinch painting. Estranged from his father, Theo is sent to live with the family of a wealthy classmate until his deadbeat dad shows up with his girlfriend and drags him out to Las Vegas, where they live. The Las Vegas years of the novel are as sprawling as the desert and rowdy as the Strip. Theo befriends Boris, one of the most eccentric young characters I can recall in fiction, and they proceed to drink, do a LOT of drugs, drink more, and generally fuck shit up. But the thing is, Boris is extremely likable–you can see why Theo gravitates toward him, like a moth to the light.
Theo’s most treasured possession is the Goldfinch painting itself–thrust into his hands by a dying old man on the floor of the Met amidst the post-bombing chaos. Theo, confused and disoriented, sticks it in his backpack and leaves the scene, giving him an object to obsess over for years to come. It’s this interaction with the old man that leads him to Hobie, a furniture restorer who houses Theo when he returns to New York after an upsetting event in Las Vegas.
When Theo returns to New York, the novel got a little murky for me. I wanted to like Theo, but he made it harder and harder, descending into a kind of narcissistic quest to destroy himself. It gets a little…boring after awhile.
I won’t write anymore, for fear of spoilers, but there’s a great deal to this book, most of which I liked, some of which I didn’t.
For the Fashion Book, I wanted to think about Theo’s mother. In many ways, she’s the main character in the story, though she only appears for the first 50 pages or so. What would she wear, were she alive now?
Travel has been on my mind a lot recently, and I think it’s more than just the awful New England winter we’re having. It’s the sense that I want to see and experience and hear and taste other places. I want to expand my frame of reference. I want to challenge my pre-conceived notions. I want to create new memories.
Because I’m a list fanatic, I made myself a list of places I want to travel to most. This isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, but these are the places that call out to me, right now, that I would like to see sooner rather than later.
In no particular order, here are my travel dreams:
South America–specifically Brazil, Argentina, and Peru (photo of Rio de Janeiro)
Those are all places I’ve never been. Of course, there are places I’ve seen that I want to return to as well, Florence being at the top of that list, but I think that’s a different kind of wanderlust. It’s fueled by nostalgia more than a need to explore.
What are your top destinations?
It’s easy to be down today if you’re single or even if you’re not, given the nightmare this winter has proven to be. There’s ice and snow on the ground, it’s frigid, and the sun is nowhere in sight. On top of that, we have to hear about love all day. Gross.
But I think it’s important to remember that Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be about romantic love. It can be about love you have for your family, for your friends, for your pets, for yourself. With that in mind, I’m trying to keep a somewhat positive attitude today. I’m planning on treating myself to some pretty red lipstick (any suggestions?) and maybe a couple other things on a shopping trip after work. And I’m looking forward to a weekend packed full of yoga, coffee, food, friends, and more shopping. And a holiday!
What are you planning for the long weekend?
Best of the Looks:
Love the skirt. Love the jacket. Love the boots. JenLovesKev.
Wear your words on your legs. Alphabet tights!
I think we can agree that this shirt was pretty much made for me. And it will be mine.
A cute manicure idea, Valentine’s day or not.
Speaking of nail polish, here’s a fun guide to some great colors.
Best of the Books:
I really loved this conversation with a copyeditor. It made me feel validated in the work I do (even though technically I’m not a copyeditor!).
Are you a book polygamist?
I’m running out of steam. But I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. Stay warm!