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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Skirt for all seasons

An absolutely stunning skirt from Joy for just £39. I think it will be perfect for all seasons, how would you wear it? 

Want, want, want.

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Printed Trousers for Spring?

With prints and printed trousers all over the catwalks I’ve picked some of my favourite high street versions on sale now. Whether it’s enough to tempt me away from my statement jumper remains to be seen!

Left to right below is Spring/Summer 2012 Erdem, Stella McCartney and Prabal GurungImage

Topshop £40

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Topshop £40

ImageRiver Island for ASOS £30

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River Island £30Image

Forever 21 £16.25

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And my personal favourite Biba for House of Fraser £80.50

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Stella McCartney for GB

So if Stella McCartney has designed these lovely, simple, GB looking kits for the Olympics,

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WHY ON EARTH AM I EXPECTED TO WEAR THIS MONSTOSITY OF A UNIFORM AS A VOLUNTEER? I’m beginning to take this personally…

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Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters

I am an unashamed Jane Austen fan, Pride and Prejudice alone has brought me more joy, and Elizabeth Bennett more inspiration, than any novel seems to have a right to – though whether it has also ruined me for life romantically as I wait for Mr Darcy remains to be seen.

As a fan, I have watched with interest as various parody novels have appeared, unsure whether or not to  read them. Curiosity, inevitably, won out.

Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Ben H Winters has been my first foray into this world, and it has let me down. It has done the unthinkable, made me think less of the original.

The novel is a bizarrely exact copy of Sense and Sensibility,  with the obvious addition of sea monsters. Sea monsters themselves I have no problem with, in fact I think in fictional terms, I’m in favour. But such a close repetition of the original, less artfully constructed, just serves to exaggerate issues with the original for me. Have they really forgiven Willoughby so soon? Has Marianne really fallen in love with Brandon having not looked twice at him for more than three quarters of the novel? Are they really talking about food again?

I’ve decided to give them one more chance however, and Death Comes to Pemberly by PD James is next on the list…

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The 20 most amazing bookshops

So, all previous life goals have gone out of the window, to be replaced with one new life goal. To visit all 20 of the bookshops in the gallery, and not pass out from happiness. Portugal here I come!

20 coolest bookstores in the world

Crime and Punishment

See my review of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment on the stage for Frost Magazine here

Connecting Cultures

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie has long been a favourite author of mine, capturing my imagination with her first novel Purple Hibiscus and then creating one of my favourite books of all time, Half of a Yellow Sun (which I mentioned in a prior post on world book day).

She was asked to speak at the 15th Commonwealth Lecture held yesterday evening at the Guildhall in London on the subject of “Connecting Cultures”. She was an inspired choice, as was the venue, which caused me – a Londoner – much embarrassment for having never been there before!

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I am clearly not the only Adichie fan as she has been recently named one of the 20 most important fiction writers today under the age of 40 by the New Yorker.  Born in Nigeria in 1977 Adichie has won both the Commonwealth Writers prize for Purple Hibiscus and the Orange prize for fiction for Half of a Yellow Sun.

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 Adichie herself was inspirational, speaking with as much grace, poetry, intelligence and humour as she writes with.

 Adichie talked about the worth of books, and realist fiction in particular, to enlarge our imagination and “to turn fact into truth”. Newspapers give us facts and statistics but it is human stories that give truth, and truly have the power to change people’s minds and open their eyes.  

 “We should know how people die, but we should also know how they live”.

 And as a frivolous aside, but one I can’t resist, Adichie looked absolutely amazing, in a bright red and green peplum dress (excuse the quality of the photo)

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PS. A reading list of mentioned titles:

–          The Dark Child – Camera Laye

–           Reef – Romesh Gunesekera

–          Things Fall Apart – Chinua Achebe

–          Purple Hibiscus – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

–          Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie