Friday, April 18, 2014

T3 - Plaid and Paisley

I'm struggling a bit to come up with something for Thoughtful Third Thursday. It's all about books, and although I've been reading almost constantly, I've only finished a couple of books in the past month. I ditched two books before I even got halfway through. Funny, they were both set in Washington State - my old stomping grounds. They were recommended by a colleague with whom I share lots of book and movie recommendations, but we don't actually have the same taste at all. Except I turned him and his wife on to Donna Tartt and Kate Atkinson, and they turned me on to Tana French and Gillian Flynn. Other than that we haven't been having much luck. I'll tell you more about the rejected books at the end of the post, for anyone who's interested in my sweeping and subjective opinion.

Right now I'm reading Kate Atkinson, One Good Turn. It's the second in her series of Jackson Brodie crime novels, and it's pretty good. I'm not a huge crime fiction fan, but I generally like her writing, although not always. She tends to throw in lots of characters and their musings and history while they're doing other things. It's easy to lose track sometimes.

The book is set in Edinburgh, so I decided to go with tartan for an outfit. Here's a quote from the book:

"The hotel was surprisingly cheap and unsurprisingly awful. Anything that could be decorated with tartan was, even the ceiling had been papered in a funereal Black Watch. On the walls were hung framed prints of Old Edinburgh and heraldic clan insignia mounted on wooden shields."

I mixed the tartan with paisley - another Scottish association. The design is Indian, but when it became popular in Great Britain quite a lot of paisley patterns were produced at mills in Paisley, Scotland.

The style of the book is kind of sardonic, wry, and self-deprecating. There's a bit too much death and blood for my taste, but I do like Jackson. The BBC has made a series of three Jackson Brodie books, and the character is played by Jason Isaacs - aka Lucius Malfoy of Harry Potter fame.

My shirt is a Michael Kors men's shirt, the scarf is Ray Strauss, which I bought from Bella at The Citizen Rosebud on Etsy. The yellow jeans are thrifted Shylo, and the suede leopard sneakers are Born.

Now, about the other books.

I started reading The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin, and I didn't like it at all. The style was very aloof and pseudo-poetic in a spare kind of way. Lots of sentences seemed very clunky and immature, and I just didn't get into the characters. Glad it was only a library book.

I read two books by Jonathan Evison, well, one and a bit. The first one I loved - The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving. It was a funny, sweet, heart-wrenching tale about a man's life being put back together (in spite of himself) after a tragedy. I definitely recommend this book, as well as another Evison book, All About Lulu. But the one I didn't finish is West of Here. I think it's more of a man's book, long descriptions about wild scenery and men moving through it. And mud. Just not enough human interaction to hold my attention.

Come on over to My Closet Catalogue or A Bibliophile's Style and see the other visual book reports!

Update April 30 - now linking up to 52 Pick-me-up for Yellow Fever.



  1. Oooh, thanks for linking up, Val! And you know, it's not all about books. We've expanded so you can really share an outfit inspired by anything you've read, be it book or article or blog post. The world is your oyster!

    That said, you know I'm a sucker for plaid so I automatically love this outfit. And I just recently got on a paisley jag too - great minds! Also, you have the best shoes evah. I covet your shoe repertoire. The books, though, are not really my cup of tea so I'll just have to take your word for them.

  2. Well, I did not know that...Paisley, Scotland producing paisley patterns that is. I do associate paisley with Liberty of London and I love your scarf! Love the colours in it! Book recommendations are probably one of the few 'recommendations' that I don't mind if they don't work out. I mean, if I go to an expensive restaurant on recommendation, and it's awful, I'm kind of bummed, or if I spend 2 hours in a recommended movie that bites, I'm not exactly happy...but, if I start reading a recommended book and I can't get into big deal. To clarify, I would be reading a library book, or a borrowed or gifted copy. I even try books, that I 'know' I won't like, because sometimes I do surprise myself. Boo!!! Hahaha!

  3. As a major paisley lover I am surprised that I knew nothing at all about it. Thank you for enlightening me. I send you a swirly hippie thank you! I just KNEW you'd be full of book info and chic ideas.

  4. I am mad about paisley. I would cover everything in paisley if I didn't have some wee little voice of common sense lurking somewhere in me. Your outfit is great and I love the yellow with that touch of black and white in the shirt. I am having fun imagining what you are looking at in that third picture.
    As I read your comment about the descriptions of scenery and men moving through it and mud I was nodding my head. I read a little bit of mystery-detective but like you, don't care for a lot of death and blood. Nice clean tidy murders please, the less said about them the better. I read the Peter Robinson novels featuring Inspector Banks. The very best one of then all is In a Dry Season.
    Have a great weekend, Val!

  5. Ah, Donna Tartt. I loved The Secret History but never made it through The Little Friend. I gave both books away when I moved but would have another go at the one I never finished. In. Bit 15 years, that is - right now all I can manage are New Yorker articles. :)

    I'm loving the checks and the paisley, and the fun colour combo! I just picked up an oblong paisley scarf from my local consignment shop. It brings me back to the 1980s, when paisley made a comeback (remember the paisley smoking jackets? They were probably vintage even then).

  6. It is funny how quickly I can get turned off on a book. Gone Girl I enjoyed. So many others since then have disappointed me and I've simply stopped reading. I suppose I need to give it another go.

    That scarf is gorgeous!


  7. I like the plaid/paisley mix. Very clever! Right now I'm still slogging my way through the biography of Eleanor of Aquitaine (at this point looks like I'll have to finish it up on the plane) and next up is The Goldfinch.

  8. I am fascinated by the history of paisley, the cross-cultural influences across continents in the 18th and 19th centuries, and then the pattern being picked up by hippies on the Indian trail in the 1960s. I love all that. And your outfit is a real tribute to Jackson Brodie and Scotland! I love Kate Atkinson (she's from York, so I consider her a local lass); Case Histories is fabulous, and I was itching to buy a half-price copy of Life After Life in a bookshop today, but refrained (it's on my birthday wish list though!) I do like crime writing, don't mind if it's blood thirsty and gory either. John Connolly's Charlie Parker books and Jo Nesbo's Harry Hole series make me a little queasy sometimes but I adore them! xxx


  9. HELLO

    my name is Antonio and I'm Italian

    You are so sweety and beautiful

    I hope you like PLAID / TARTAN / GINGHAM shirts.

    I have a great passion for plaid shirts since I was little .
    Just like some collect stamps or coins I like to collect pictures of people in plaid shirts .


    I have a private collection of WOMEN and people in PLAID SHIRTS on this website www.FLICKR.COM I also leave you the link if you want to browse .. ok ?

    Will be fine also photos with friends, family, etc.
    The importance it's wearing PLAIDS .. ok?

    PICTURES will never be published except for your ASKING

    That's the link below in wich you could see some photos related of my passion of PLAID: @ N00 /

    ANY way , thanks

    I hope that I have not caused any discomfort or inconvenience

    thank you very much

    my mail is:

    Antonio ;=)

    1. Antonio, thanks for your kind and interesting comment. That's the only plaid shirt I have - I'm not very mad about plaid! Also, I blog and take photos just for my own enjoyment, so I don't think I'll be sending you any photos. Glad you enjoyed this post, though!

  10. Thanks for linking up! That quote is pretty funny - just imagining a room decorated in multiple plaids makes me kind of dizzy. :)

  11. How is it I sneezed, ended up on Anne's blog and lost my comment!? ha! clearly I'm a gifted sneezer - I love this outfit Val, the yellow paisley and the black/white plaid shirt are a brilliant combination - I have read 1 book this year, dreadful stuff, me, not the book x x x

  12. This is SUCH a striking look. You look amazing in this combo of monochrome with yellow! And many, many thanks for your condolences- my blog friends have been amazing x

  13. Well I simply MUST get onto watching Case Histories pronto! Thanks for the recommendation, I do so LOVE a jolly good murder - book, tv or movie - I'm there. I would be rapt about staying in a hotel with Black Watch tartan on the ceiling, it's so far removed from anything here in humid Queensland that it would be an exotic change. I've been going nuts over mental print combos lately and your tartan and paisley is completely AMAZING!! xoxox

  14. Your outfit is fun and love how you pulled in the yellows with the scarf. Amazing match of tartan and plaid!
    I adore a great book and abhor a bad one. Usually I try to suffer through them, but like you, will usually give up! Donna Tartt's writing is beyond amazing and she'll hold me to the end! I recently read I am Livia and Still With Me - both were good and interesting points of view (although very different books!)
    xo ~kim & chloe

  15. Lovely lighting quality in these pictures. Mixing of patterns is so inspiring and fresh, really sassy Val! I like your jeans, inspires me to get out my light green ones again. Sounds like you have been doing some interesting reading.

    blue hue wondelrand

  16. Ah some new authors to check out!! I love the tartan with the yellow paisley!

  17. This is truly inspired, Val! Love everything here - colors, pattern mix, shapes... just all! Yellow jeans are on my wish list for a while. :)

  18. I tried to comment and it just disappeared so I may end up with two. This is such a cool outfit - love the shade of yellow in the scarf and pants!
    I'm an avid reader too, and the last book I really enjoyed was "The Sisters Brothers" by Patrick DeWitt - it's an homage to the classic western with a dark humour.

  19. I love love love this outfit! I really do!!

  20. Hi Val!

    I love it when you get adventurous and mix print!
    Well done! I use to be an avid reader, not these days i guess-

    Take care



  21. lovely plaid & paisley ensemble, love the colors!, and I'm noting down Kate Atkinson in my list!

  22. I keep thinking about that black watch ceiling! And didn't Elvis put paisley on his ceiling in the billiard room at Graceland?

    This makes an excellent Yellow contribution. The scarf!!!! Thanks for linking up!


Enough about me - let's talk about you!