My Latest Snag: The Loeffler Randall Birdie Slide.
Mentioned this a lot, but am so excited about these ruffled Loeffler Randall slides. I love the colors and the frivolity of the ruffle. They’ll go with just about everything in my closet this summer. Did I mention that they’re on sale for $118?! LR makes such great shoes; I find that they’re among my longest lasting pairs in the closet. (Another great option for a chic printed slide for summer from a great brand: these Ancient Greek Taygetes, on sale for $75!)
You’re Sooooo Popular: The Linen-Blend Cardigan.
The most popular items on the blog this week:
+This wear-with-everything linen-blend cardigan. I bought mine in the pretty sky blue color. I love sweaters like this that can be thrown on with skinnies as we move towards warmer weather.
+The prettiest pointelle pullover. J. Crew knows how to do a good color!
+Pearl-embellished slides (same as last week — these are very popular!)
+A wear-anywhere shirtdress. (Love a nursing-friendly dress like this…)
+An on-trend ribbed sweater with just the right proportions, on sale for under $50.
+The reviews on these affordable leggings are compelling.
#Turbothot: What Makes a Book “Good”?
“I thoroughly enjoyed the book and I think it’s the ‘shallow in some parts, starling deep in others’ that makes it a pleasurable, easy read for all.”
Her comment left me thinking critically about some of the unspoken assumptions that undergird my book-scoring rubric for our book club. I realized I place a heavier emphasis on the craft and artistry of a book than I do the pleasure or gratification of its reading. I tend to ask myself these questions as I read:
+Does everything “hang together”? Does the design of a character or a plot point or a stylistic decision jar or sit uncomfortably with me? Conversely, do I find myself thinking critically about elements of the book’s design only to come to a deeper, richer understanding of the text and its themes? (I love when this happens — when I’m tugging at why the author chose to include a specific character or detail and stumble through the lintels of deeper understanding.)
+What leaves me doubting the author’s decision-making? If ever I linger over something too long — say, the inclusion of poetry in a work — and question its utility within the overall book, a death knell sounds and my rating of the book dips precipitously. This is especially true when I find myself wondering whether an editor foisted an opinion onto the author — “I wonder if the author was cornered into adding this section to elaborate on xyz.”
+Do the formal elements of the book resonate with its thematic ones? (One aspect I liked, in theory, about Crawdads, was its nonlinearity: the many recursions, interruptions, and inversions in the structure of the book. The book unfolds by jumping forward and backward in time; the poetry interrupts the flow of the prose; there are many comings and goings of characters. These reverberated with the themes of abandonment and reunion, of movement and stasis, throughout the book, though the shoddiness and proportion of poetry — and its seeming primary intent of
simplistically communicating Kya’s emotional temperature — used throughout made me second guess the intentionality of these formal elements.)
+Do any passages of the book stop me in my tracks? The first line of Circe (and many others that followed) sent shivers down my spine — in a good way. When I read the opening line, I thought: “I am in the presence of greatness.”
But the best books, in my opinion, score highly on both the craft and pleasure axes: they grab my attention, keeping me up in bouts of feverish reading, and they astonish me with their depth and beauty. (All of the books listed here meet both criteria.)
However, my rubric is one of a trillion possible permutations. There are many reasons to read. There are many reasons to love a book.
What are yours?
(I shared more thoughts on this topic here, if you’re interested.)
Blast from the Past.
#Shopaholic: Le Fruit Bowl.
+Love this footed marble fruit bowl for bananas, citrus, etc on the kitchen counter.
+How chic are these leashes?!
+Loving this gingham maternity dress. I shouldn’t be buying any new maternity items…right? (I’m over 32 weeks.)
+Contemplating signing mini up for swim classes this summer, and the pool I’m looking at requires that children wear swim caps. How darling is this one!?
+Peel and stick grasscloth wallpaper for the renters (or non-commitals) among us. This would be so fun as a statement wall or in a designated “bar” space.
+Had to have this plaid carryall tote. I just love the colors and shape! The handles make it slightly impractical as a mother but EH. The heart wants what it wants.
+These painted dog bowl sets are incredible! Love the Hermes orange.