Sunday, September 27, 2015

Favorite Historical Fiction Reads


As you all may or many not know, I adore reading. My favorite genres of literature are Historical Fiction and the Classics, but my scope of reading is not limited to those. However, for this post I am going to focus on some of my favorite Historical Fiction pieces (sorry, Harry Potter). More specifically, I am going to look at pieces that are based primarily during World War 2.

The Book Thief: This novel is my favorite piece that I have read up to this point. They used to teach it in the Elementary and Middle School curriculum, but I don't believe that those ages are mature enough to understand what this book is about. Though the plot summary make make the book's plot seem simple and rather dry, this is one of the most sophisticated and emotionally-eliciting books that I have ever read. I could not stop crying for a good hour after I finished reading this novel; it was that impactful. Zusak's prose is beautiful, and the way he tells the story is unconventional but very poised and elegant at the same time. If you haven't read this book before, or if you read it when you were too young to fully understand it, go to the book store right away! Like the New York Times wrote, "It's the kind of book that can be LIFE CHANGING." I agree wholeheartedly.

All the Light We Cannot See: Where to start with this book? This work will leave a lasting impact on you; I guarantee it. Unlike The Book Thief, this novel has an extraordinarily complex plot. You have to read carefully, but that doesn't take away from the work at all. Doerr does a beautiful job developing his characters and settings. As a reader you are able to find yourself in the places that the characters are in; Doerr's descriptions are incredibly vivid. My favorite part about this book was the shortness of the chapters. Not only are they short to hold your attention, but the chapters also all end with some kind of cliffhanger. Thus, you are forced to continue reading in order to know what's to come. I came close to crying at the end of this novel, but I was more overwhelmed with thoughts. This is the kind of work that really leaves you thinking about what you have, and it will stick with you for a very long time. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this novel if you haven't read it before.

Those Who Save To begin, I have to give a disclaimer about this book. It is incredibly graphic. The sexual violence that takes place can be very uncomfortable to read, however I believe that is the point of this novel. I read this novel because I wanted to read something a little different. So many of the books I have read that take place during World War 2 have been from the perspective of the British or the Americans. The Book Thief was also from the perspective of a German family, but the plot was completely different. This novel focuses on a German woman who comes under the watchful eye of an Obersturmfuhrer. The German woman's daughter is trying to uncover what happened to her mother during that time in history (her mom won't speak about it). That portion of the novel takes place during the 90's. It's confusing to explain, but is a very good and important read. Often people overlook the German side of the story and assume that every German person during WW2 worshiped Hitler. NOT TRUE. Please give this book a go if you are looking for something to read, but remember, it is extremely graphic.

Slaughterhouse-Five: This read is extremely different from the other books I listed, and that is partly due to a science-fiction element weaved into the novel. Slaughterhouse-Five is usually a hit or miss with people. In my case, I loved this novel. The way that is written allows the reader to really see the detrimental effects of war on the human psyche. Often times people find this book to be confusing, but I think that this confusion allows for the reader to identify with the main character's mental state. If you still need some convincing, I would suggest reading it solely based on the fact that it is often regarded as Vonnegut's greatest work. It's not a very long book to finish; it only took me about a week (and that was with major breaks in between reading). I definitely recommend giving this book a chance, and try not to give up on it mid-way through when it gets complicated.

That's all I have for now! I will try to give monthly updates on recent books I have read and recommend. If you haven't read for pleasure in a long time, get back into it! Pleasure reading is one of the things that I enjoy most in life.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015


Good Morning!

I've been inspired a lot lately by photographs. Just looking through photo albums can take you on a journey back in time to a place that you may have never known and never will really know. Photographs tell a story, and that story is forever embedded in the moment that the picture was taken. Beautiful, right? For this post, let's take a look at some of my recent favorites.

As a quick side note before we begin, my Tumblr is completely devoted to vintage pictures. You can check it out here. Away we go!

Isn't this photo just lovely? Can you imagine how this couple must have been feeling in this moment? They had a moment, a beautiful moment away from war, away from the brutality of the world. And it was captured here in this photograph.
This picture really captures my attention because of the striking appearance of the man on the right. I wonder what he was thinking about when this photograph was being taken.
I love this photograph because of the lady's face on the right. We have all been there; it's the face you make when you're questioning what you're doing but go with it anyways. Isn't it fascinating how facial expressions have stayed the same over so many decades?
With college in full swing, I think that this photograph adequately depicts what a good portion of the gentlemen on my college campus look like (though these individuals are far better dressed and quite good looking I might add).
This photograph is marvelous. I can just imagine what the dance must have looked like leading up to this shot. I also can't help but wonder who took this picture. We may never know, but I am definitely grateful to be able to share in this moment probably over 70 years later.
Just look at his expression. Decide for yourself, what do you see in this picture?
I wanted to end on a thought-provoking note. With this ever-changing world, I believe that it is important that we remember that despite the many different backgrounds of the people on this planet, we are all still human. We can all experience pain and suffering (as evidenced by the young man's expression in the picture above), but together we can make this world better. We can all support and love each other, and maybe that's the best we can do. But that's all we really need to do.

Take some time out of your day for self reflection. Look back at pictures; look at history in general: the good, the bad, and the ugly. We've made it this far, so let's continue to press on and maybe take some pictures as we go along!

Hope you all are having a wonderful week, and don't forget to be grateful for everything you have in life!


Saturday, September 19, 2015

Fall Fashion Inspiration

Hello, everyone!

With colder weather quickly approaching, I decided to copy some of my companions and write about some of the pieces that I am inspired by for the upcoming season.

Wide-Leg Pants

I absolutely love how high-waist wide leg pants have come back into fashion. I have already purchased a pair of navy blue and a pair of red ones, but I would love a gray or khaki pair as well.

Here are the links to the ones I have purchased thus far: Red and Blue. Note that the blue ones are more in the style of Sailor Pants.

Long Peacoats

Talk about coat envy. One thing that I have always lacked in my wardrobe is a long, wool peacoat or trench coat. I have a black peacoat that is short, and I also own a brown clasp coat. However, neither coat is exactly what I am looking for in preparation for the upcoming season. I really like the plaid coats and the white coat in this picture. Currently I am eyeing something along these lines:

Oxford-Style Shoes

I will openly admit that I have a problem with buying shoes. Though they are expensive, sometimes I just cannot help myself. I own so, so many different styles and colors; you couldn't even begin to imagine. That being said, I am obsessed with the brown shoes on the top left of this picture. If anyone knows where I can find a pair in a similar design, please let me know! They are just so unique looking, as they don't have the typical oxford lace-up style. 

For now though, let's marvel at the leather craftsmanship of these Frye oxfords:


For years I have been trying to find pantyhose that won't rip. I have muscular thighs as a result of the sports I play, and as a result pantyhose tend to rip or get runs fairly easily. I haven't found a solution until the other day when it hit me; why not try thigh-highs? I recently found a pair that I am going to try off of Amazon:

I will be sure to review them as soon as it is cool enough to wear them!

I apologize for the sporadic posting as of late. With school in full swing, I am going to try and write more posts when I find gaps in my schedule (usually on the weekends).

What do you ladies (and gentlemen?) see yourselves wearing in the upcoming Autumn season?


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Annapolis Adventure

Hi dears,

Have I ever mentioned how much I love spontaneity? If I haven't before, now you lovely readers know a new piece of me that is a big part of my life.

Yesterday I went to Annapolis on a whim with my sister. We are originally from Annapolis, and it is a place near and dear to my heart! So, today I am going to talk about what I wore and what we saw.

A little bit about my look to start off. I had the perfect A-line black skirt that I was going to pair with this shirt, but I got gasoline all over it while filling my tank. Thus I was forced to change into this black pencil skirt. It changed my look from mid-40's to maybe more early 50's, but I have to admit that I think I like the pencil skirt pairing much more. I purchased the berry top from Charlotte Russe, the pencil skirt from Target, and the shoes are made by Clarks. My glasses are by Brooks Brothers.

Now, let us take a picture journey instead of hearing me go on and on about how much fun it was!

The Waterfront

Oxfords and a peak at my sister's tan booties

Hats in the Belfry! One of my favorite stores for timeless hats and accessories. I am absolutely obsessed with the selection of men's hats they offer!
Women's Hats
My lovely sister
A better look at the details of my shirt. P.S. the satchel is from Cambridge Satchel Company!
Downtown in the fading light
Sneak peak of the Maryland State House
The Capitol Building! Did you know that Annapolis was once the capital of the United States?
The Maryland State House Door

I was absolutely in love with this working typewriter! Unfortunately right now it is a little out of my price range.
Classic historic alley picture
As you can see, our short trip was a blast! I love going on random adventures, as I find that they can often make life more exciting and enjoyable.

How about you, ladies? Have you taken any spontaneous trips lately?


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Vogue Covers

Hi all,

Today I thought it would be fun to look at some of my favorite Vogue covers of all time. Let me know in the comments what some of your favorites are!

1920's. White clothing with a red lip is always a good choice.
1930's. I am a huge fan of holiday fashion, so I love everything about this look. The tiara in particular stands out to me here.
1940's.  I have always loved the way that navy, white, and red compliment each other. The gloves are my favorite part of this look.
1950's. I really appreciate the simplicity of this cover.
1960's. I am not the biggest fan of 60's fashion, but I do adore this woman's accessories, especially her hat.

Hope you all are having a great week! Cheers.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Wildest Dreams

Hi, everyone! I have found a small break in which I am going to talk about my opinion of Taylor Swift's new music video. Now I know that Taylor Swift herself isn't an Old Hollywood star, but the music video is set in the 1950's. I want to know what you guys think about it! 

Here is the video if you haven't seen it:

 I am going to focus on the fashion aspects of the video. There has been a lot of backlash against Ms. Swift for the lack of African people in the video, but that is another issue entirely. I'm going to keep the subject matter light for today as it has been a very tiring few days for me.

First off, I absolutely adore the yellow dress that she wears in the video. It is so Old Hollywood glam, and the way it floats in the breeze is breathtaking. 

My other favorite look in the video is this one:

I am a huge fan of head scarves and wraps, and the way she compliments it with her cat-eye sunglasses and red lips delivers a very classic vibe.

My one issue with the fashion in the video is what the main gentleman is wearing/how he is styled. Something about the way he is dressed and the way that he looks just doesn't scream 1950's to me.

I think that the stylists of the video may have been going for a James Dean-esque look, but in my opinion they fell short. He seems far too modern when Ms. Swift looks super 50's movie star. 

What do you guys think of the fashion in the video? What was your favorite look?

Hope everyone is having a great week! Cheers.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

My Favorite Old Hollywood Actors

Hi, everyone! With school in full swing, there is so much going on in my life. So today, I thought I'd keep it simple and talk about some of my favorite Golden Age actors.

Cary Grant

Perhaps the king of debonair, what's not to love? With his dashing looks and charm, Grant always manages to take me back to the long lost days of glamour and adventure. My favorite Cary Grant movies are North by Northwest, An Affair to Remember, and Charade. Swoon.

Gene Kelly

Where to even begin with this gentleman? Hands down, I think that Gene Kelly is my favorite Golden Age actor. He could do it all: sing, dance, act, everything. And that smile, chills down my spine. What I wouldn't give to spend an hour with this man, just watching him sing and dance. Or even and hour just to talk. For proof of how incredible he was, just watch this:

Or if you're still confused, this will do as well:

Favorite movies? Singin' in the Rain, Cover Girl, and Anchors Away.

Fred Astaire & Humphrey Bogart

Here's the deal, it would have been an injustice to pick one of these men over the other! Thus, I decided to include both. I think that although Gene Kelly was a phenomenal dancer, Fred Astaire takes the cake when it came to ballroom-style, graceful dancing. Like Kelly, Astaire could also sing and act. He was also incredibly classy. Therefore, he needed to be included on this list. My favorite Fred Astaire movies include Top Hat, Funny Face, and Holiday Inn

Mr. Bogart is very different from the other gentleman included on the list. He didn't really sing or dance, but he was a phenomenal actor. He also had an onscreen persona that allowed him to have a dynamic film career (his persona differing from that of Grant). I have to honestly admit that I haven't seen very many Bogart films, but my favorites so far are Casablanca, Sabrina, and The Big Sleep

Hope everyone enjoyed this read, and let me know who your favorite Old Hollywood actors are!