Thursday, 23 October 2014

Spine Tingling

That old expression to never judge a book by it's cover is worth it's weight in gold as advice on life in general, but when it comes to actually judging the quality and appeal of a book... Heck no!

I mean don't get me wrong, the story itself, the ability for the writing style to carry you off to another time and place, poetic phrasing that makes you stop in your tracks and reassess your own little world, okay okay, that is what makes a great book. But there is no denying the pure attraction of a stunning cover.

One beaut of a crowning glory is that belonging to the UK edition of The Bone Clocks written by David Mitchell.

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Not only was this novel shortlisted for the Book Manner Prize 2014, with a story packed full of mystery and intrigue, just look at it's work of art front cover! This colourful paperback leapt off the shelf at me, as I was mindlessly browsing the WHSmith specials at Birmingham International Airport. The beautiful, bright pink detailing is textured against the smooth cover and the intricate illustrations popped against the depth of black background. For a summary of the tale and further details and reviews, head over here, where you can pick up a copy. Or, if you're even more of a go big or go home kind of chap, then you must check out the Special Edition blue edged pages just for Foyles!

Now, when talking of stand out covers with picturesque spines that sit beautifully a top your prized book shelf, then it would be silly to not mention this stunning collection of classics, with reworked covers all for the Penguin Drop Caps series! Each of the 26 much loved books, boasts a specifically commissioned cover with assigned letter, by type designer extraordinaire Jessica Hische.

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From penguins to puffins, allow me to introduce to you another bold display of sheer childhood dreams and whimsy; this delightful group of classic children's books in the Puffin Chalk collection, wonderfully designed by Dana Tanamachi - Williams of Tanamachi Studio, for Puffin Books. Using inspirations from the adventure driven stories, these playful covers really capture the essence of nostalgic tales of flight and fancy! Check out Tanamachi Studio website for more images of the covers, including the detailing that even makes the back of the book a sight to behold.

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What could be treasured more, than a favourite book wrapped up in a dreamy cover, singing sweetly from your shelved collection of beloved reads?!

What is your favourite out standing cover or eye catching spine? Do you know of any special editions or wonderfully designed collections that I should keep a look out for?

Thursday, 2 October 2014

From Gemma To Gemma

Being the nosey individual that I am, when I spotted a 'getting to know me' tag post on the beautiful wordsmith Gemma's blog The Perfectionist Pen, I settled in with a drink and obligatory sweet treat, to delve deeper into her world.  You can find the post here, and learn more about the literary dearheart or if you're new to the blog, well what a fantastic way to begin your journey!

I found myself nodding along to almost all of Gemma's facts, we are freakishly similar! And her answers to the 11 questions were really insightful. Much to my surprise and delight, I was tagged to complete Gem's provided questions and boy what a creative bunch they are! I was incredibly flattered to be considered for this, but since I have done the 'Liebster Award' bit before, I thought I would let the gorgeous blogs also mentioned in the post enjoy the full tag, and I would just bend the rules slightly and make it more of a general post ; ) So, to the questions!

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1. If you could invite any three writers, living or dead, to a dinner party, who would you choose?

I think I would have to say Anne Rice and Jane Austin, for being down right bad ass biatches in their own ways. However different, I love both of their work and hold them in high ranking as true legends. To shake this dinner party up a little I would give my third golden ticket to the naughty and somewhat disturbing Chuck Palahniuk. My oh my what conversations we would have!

2. If you could be transported into any book, which one would you pick and why?

I feel that I (and probably every sane brain) would go straight for the majestic Hogwarts, but trying to think outside the box a little, I will go for The Princess Bride, as I do love a bit of adventure!

3.What is your favourite book cover?

Now this is a tricky one! To name a couple; I have a beautiful, hard back copy of Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann that is pink with black flocking detail, I think it is the VMC Designer Collection. I'm not going to lie, I purchased the book purely on it's cover... I have no shame. I also love the stunning artwork for The Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, with it's moody, paint washed blue and luna phases allowing a glimpse of the painting underneath (I have been trying to find out what the painting beneath, actually is, alas to no avail. If anyone knows then please put me out of my google search based misery). This is also the next book I intend to read!

4. Who, or what, inspires you most?

Pretty much everything inspires me. People mostly. I love hearing peoples stories, or people watching and guessing their story! I find inspiration in the regular creative places like art, film, music, theatre, literature but also from fresh air and moments alone, getting a little lost in my tangled thoughts. So, a little of everything, if you are looking closely enough!

5. Do you mostly read books or ebooks?

Right now I am mostly reading on my kindle, due to a lack of space (I have been kindly given a shelf... that's right, A shelf), so for now I use my trusty ereader and treat myself to a real book if it's a special one. But once we're sorted with a place of our own I will be shipping over my treasures from England!

6. When it comes to film adaptations of books, do you like to read the book first or watch the film?

Book first, every time.

7. Is there a book that everyone seems to love but you dislike?

Well. John Green is incredibly popular right now, and although I really enjoyed The Fault In Our Stars, I couldn't get into Looking For Alaska. This book is often spoken about with high regard and seems to be a big favourite of many a book tuber, but I really didn't get what the hype was all about. Sorry Johno.

8. What is your favourite childhood book?

I love this question because my affinity with reading stems from childhood. Much like now, I just couldn't get enough! My all time loves are; all of the Peter Rabbit stories by Beatrix Potter, oh how I love those beautiful little illustrations that really bring the stories to life. I also adored Judy Blume and of course Roald Dahl! Which I still enjoy reading as an adult : )

9. What is your most treasured possession?

I'll let you in on a secret. I am ridiculously sentimental and overly emotional, meaning I get attached to things oh so easily! I'm the kind of crazy that could make a rock a pet... For this reason I treasure anything with a sentimental connection to family and friends. An old jumper I stole from my brother. Handwritten notes from Rich. Ticket stubs from a day out with my folks. Childhood teddy bears (obvs). I even still have sea shells I collected when I must have been about 5... These are all my treasures.

10. If money were no object, what country/ place would you like to visit and why?

Oh I enjoy travelling! Who doesn't like discovering the beauty in a new place?! If money were no object I'd go everywhere! I'm greedy like that. On my list currently stands Hawaii, Switzerland, Canada and North Europe (Norway, Sweden etc), but first up will be an epic road trip across the States where Rich and I will be eating our way through America, (hopefully next year!) and the glorious hillsides of Austria. Whilst further exploring more of the Netherlands and visiting my family in England.

11. What's your favourite part of blogging?

Since leaving the wardrobe department at Birmingham Royal Ballet, with all it's dramatic and theatrical whimsies, my life was lacking a certain creative element that I seem to be lost without, so having this wonderfully indulgent platform on which to share thoughts and ideas and crafty revelations is the perfect solution! I think I would still do this even if I was shouting into a void of readerless depths. I just enjoy the entire process of thinking up posts, creating content, editing etc. Also it is a fantastic keep sake for someone with the worst memory going! But, the most rewarding part is having a doorway to a whole community of like minded creatives. Through blogging I found not only oodles of fantastic reading material and an endless supply of inspiration but I've made some extraordinarily brilliant acquaintances!

Thank you sincerely for the questions Gemma, I hope my answers suffice! If anyone else would like to do this as a tag then I insist you go for it, use these questions, make up your own, or get in touch and I'll think up a few for you! Make sure to leave a link below so I can read your answers : )

Sunday, 28 September 2014

Southern Belle

"Oh hello.
Let's share our thoughts and hopes and dreams as well as our awkward faces and our silly moments and our tragically funny failures. In other words, let's be friends." The Blue Threshold.

With an invitation like that who can blame me for falling in love with the charming Sofia and her world of insightful content, stunning photography and majestic aura, sprinkled throughout each post on her blog The Blue Threshold?

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It was the dreamy yet concise imagery that led me to discovering this delightful blog, as I borrowed one of Sofia's original photographs for a book review here. Not only had I stumbled across one of my now most frequented blogs, I also made an acquaintance in the lovely lady herself. Friendly, honest and down right sassy, trust me when I say you'll want to add this to your Bloglovin feed!

Sofia writes about all that fuels her mind. This blog has a little of everything and I don't know about you but besides having quality as a constant, I love diversity in subject. This could be because of how down right nosey I am or my will to learn as much as possible, but The Blue Threshold keeps me coming back for more, just to see what new adventure is in store.

Covering topics such as style;

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Get Styled By Me On Keaton Row
Worn: Chanel Mary Jane Pumps


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Haul: Books (Summer 2014)
Booktube-a-thon TBR (and what I've read so far)

To everything in between such as moving back to her roots in Texas and even mentions of the most desirable lip shades.

Gone To Texas
Borrowed: Taking Stock
Blog Crush

Join the journey and breathe in that warm southern air! You can find Sofia on her blog and also hanging out over on twitter and even facebook.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

So Much To Say!

Hey there friends, what's going down? I feel somewhat out of the loop since getting back from my vacation of ultimate laziness (ahh twas heaven!), but am well and truly ready to jump back into the blogging pool, with both woolly sock clad feet (welcome back Autumn)!

I have posts a plenty lined up, more lists that I know what to do with and not enough hours in the day to complete the most basic of daily tasks, sorry wardrobe in need of reorganising and unfinished knitting project, you'll just have to wait!

For now I thought I would share with you a small update of things I've been enjoying lately:

- Penny Dreadful on Netflix; I can not get enough of this beautifully gothic drama, such clever entangled story lines full of classic characters and my oh my the costumes!

- Caramel cappuccino; need I say anymore?

- Thick ass socks;  Burrrrrr my tippie toes are shell shocked after returning from Spain!

- Hema!! This is my favourite shop here in the Netherlands (hitting the shores of Britain very soon I hear). Jammed full of stationary, home wear, cosmetics, baked goods, craft supplies. Yep, I could quite happily live inside the store itself!

- Getting my knit on; I have a ton of projects up my sleeve and I can't wait to crack on. If only I could step away from Pinterest for five minutes...

- Reading; whilst away I devoured some great literature and since catching up on my favourite book tubers, I am excited to get stuck into some autumnal fiction!

Do you guys have any 'new season' plans? Any tips on how to get started? Or any exciting news?

Thursday, 4 September 2014

The man who never reads lives only once

Upon reading and watching some super fascinating versions, I decided to go ahead and do the...

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... Because, why not!

If you are unfamiliar with this particular tag then here is a great example to check out (ps. If you don't already subscribe to Ariel's youtube channel, then go forth and do so, you'll thank me later!), it's basically a Q&A linking literature to our most used social media platforms. Let's jump on in!

What is your favourite short book?

This absolutely has to be The Twits by Roald Dahl. I'm well aware it's a child's book my friends, but this is 96 pages of sheer imagination and hilarity. I'm sure / hope most of you have read this treasure of a book, but if it escaped your childhood then treat yourself to this petite pleasure of a read!

What was a book that everyone pressured you to read?

So, being the most stubborn and pig headed human around, I resisted the PHENOMENAL tidal wave of love following release after release of the Harry Potter books, for some bizarre reason. Just hearing poor old Harry's name had me rolling my eyes, purlease! Now, if there's one thing I'm loyal to, it's my stubbornness; this abstinence from Hogwarts lasted right up until last year. That's right 2013! Of course I loved every page of the first magical instalment and felt a total moron for being so anti 'cool' that I missed out on reading these bad boys sooner! Fun times... On the flip side of the coin however, I gave into the hype behind John Green's the Fault In Our Stars, read it as soon as it came out and thought it was pretty good. I then tried my hand at Chasing Alaska, since everyone and their next door neighbours dog loved it, and what can I say? Boring as. Apologies to those that enjoyed it...

What was a book you read before it was cool?

As teen I devoured the Gossip Girl series by Cecily von Ziegesar, way before it became a fashion packed hit TV show. Also, worthy of a mention is the most gorgeous book Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak, which was a beloved possession of mine as a wee pipsqueak and is now referenced often amongst the idie hipster cool kids.

Name a book you can't remember if you liked it or not.

My memory in general is bloody awful as it goes, but usually books tend to sit longer in my musty old mind. That said, Jamrach's Menagerie by Carol Birch is long gone. Perhaps that is a sign that I didn't enjoy it as much as other literature? Maybe I'm just getting old.

Choose a book with a beautiful cover.

I knew my answer to this question immediately. Although there are some gorgeous covers and spines that deserve pride of place on a book shelf, for me The Fountain written by Darren Aronofsky and beautifully illustrated by Kent Williams wins hands down. The cover is a dreamy wonder and throughout this entire graphic novel, page after page is elaborately drawn, intricate with detail and packs such an emotional punch with each image.

Which book do you wish was made into a movie?

I never actually noticed before preparing my answers for this tag, that so many of the novels I've read of are also films. But I would choose Sister by Rosamund Lupton, The Handmaid's Tale a novel by Margaret Atwood, and rather hesitantly considering the damage done by the under budgeted TV verison, The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher. While we're on the subject of book to movie, I am SO excited to see Wild based on the book by Cheryl Strayed following her adventures into the unknown, Gone Girl from the best selling novel by Gillian Flynn, The Maze Runner despite struggling through the first few pages of the book by James Dashner and perhaps most of all the adaption of Oorlogsgeheimen written by Jacques Vriens, a captivating Dutch story set during the second world war.

And lastly, which book would you recommend to everyone?

My apologies for repetition here, but the books I would whole heartedly recommend are Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed- for adventure packed, sincerity and soul searching galore; The Handmaid's Tale by my latest author crush Margaret Atwood- for a delightful mixture of past, present and future rolled into one incredibly detailed alternate world; and the A Song Of Ice And Fire collection, all hail George R.R. Martin- for a weighty commitment to a mesmerising flourish of characters, sword fights and dragons... Whats not to love?!

Well that's that chaps, I hope to leave you with the taste of words and reaching for your favourite escape vehicles, perhaps with a warm drink and slice of sweetness in tow! If that wasn't enough to get you diving into your next book, then here are a handful of visual prompts to make it happen ; )

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If you happen to complete this book tag, then PLEASE leave your link below, as I'd love to have a nose!

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Facebook Follies

Bringing the joy to a computer screen near you! I have a mini post today, squashed to the max with edible images I have found floating around my Faded Windmills facebook page. Most of which are dug up from my overly worked and ever evolving Pinterest boards, but you my lovelies, need look no further- soft hues, whispering textures and words of wisdom are the gift I bestow upon you this evening!

For more snippets of inspiring visuals, feel free to head over to said page of faces, for a delightful feast for your pretty little eyeballs, where I also share fab posts from creative and intriguing sources a far, such as these insanely awesome items:

// Mollie Makes //

// Penguin Books //

// Bullett //

// Sew Magazine //

So there we have it chaps, a dose of pictorial pretties, on a relatively regular Thursday night, mine involving catching up on season 2 of Hannibal and knitting up a storm for an exciting project! I hope you're having a productive/ lazy/ food or craft filled evening. Be sure to stop by the fb page if you have any colourful and inspiring snaps and links you'd like to share!

Friday, 8 August 2014

Nostalgic Honesty // A Book Review- The Virgin Suicides by Jeffery Eugenides //

There is nothing that transports you better, to another time, another place, another world, than the compelling pull of a good book. Literature can whisk you away with the turn of a page, and for me, I've really got my reading game face on lately, devouring one novel after another. As I make my way through the depths of my 'to read' list, which is a weighty pile, may I say, I hope to share my thoughts with you on a regular basis, typing up a review or two and maybe even getting you chaps involved and share the book love all round!

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One of the latest books I decided to pick up was The Virgin Suicides written by Jeffery Eugenides. This is the debut novel from American author Eugenides, released in 1993, gaining such attention and accolade that a few years later the book was adapted to big screen by Sofia Coppola, (many of you will have seen this moody yet transcendent cinematic hit).

I don't think the scattering of lines on the back of my particular edition, really sell the story that well, and certainly give no indication to the nostalgic feeling when reading this or the particular writing style that lends itself so well but I'll go forth and share it for you, regardless;

The mysterious Lisbon sisters obsessed the entire neighbourhood long before the first suicide, of Celia, the youngest. Looking back over the strange and hazy year that followed, men recall the boys they once were, and try to impose order on a tragedy that defies explanation. For still, the question remains- why did all five of the Lisbon girls have to die?

I went into this story already well accustomed to the plot, having seen the film several times in my teenage years, but still held an anticipation of discovery and revelation, not having read anything by this particular writer before. I'm really glad to tell you that I was not disappointed. Yes, throughout the pages as I read, I couldn't help but envision the dreamy haze of Coppola's out look and the youthful air of Kirsten Dunst, but man is this one worth reading. I fell for Jeffery Eugenides fluid style of writing and felt he evoked wonderfully, that feeling of recalling an adolescent memory and the emotions that flood back with it. He captures the innocence of that unknowing age, the inexperience and naivety yet speaks with unashamed honesty for the voices of our narrators.

I didn't find myself particularly moved by the face of the suicides, it was more in the way the story unfolds for the girls, their yearning for something unknown to the simple creatures telling their account of the story, and it was those young men that caught most of my affection. Also, the almost indefinability of it all, leaving you with twisted emotions and not really a conclusion, lends itself to the more realistic nature of this subject. In reality, it is something unexplainable from one person to another, perhaps that is what is so intriguing about the sisters bond, even into death.

Over all, I would put this book in my 'favourites' list, as it struck a chord with me, and left a lasting impression once I'd returned it to it's shelf. I will certainly be hunting down more work from this author, and look forward to comparing the books and noting any progression or pattern.

This is one of those novels that splits the crowd into love it or hate, have you read this and if so, in which tribe do you reside? Do you remember watching the film when it came out, or have you recently discovered it? Let me know any thoughts you might have! Also, for another review of this book head over to the gorgeous blog The Blue Threshold (origin of above image), and for more bookish goodness check out my Goodreads lists and reviews!