Early July Bonuses

My brother is back home for the summer holidays! And with him came some gifts. Items in the top row I had requested, but he very thoughtfully bought me the coloring book without me asking.

Top Row: The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente, La Roche-Posay Toleriane Dermo-Cleanser, and NARS 413 BLKR Semi-Matte Lipstick

Bottom Row: Lost Ocean by Johanna Basford

The title of Catherynne M. Valente’s fantasy novel is a mouthful, isn’t it? I’ve been intrigued by Valente for a couple of years now. I even read the prologue of her novel Deathless on Tor’s website (which you can also read here). Whilst I really loved her lyrical writing style, I kept dithering. Not sure why now that I think about it. Then, I found out she has written a middle-grade fantasy series and decided I would rather read that even though I haven’t touched anything middle-grade in years. Moods are changeable and strange.

The plot of The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making sounds pretty standard. A bored young girl is whisked off into a magical place called Fairyland where she has her own quest and adventures. I’m here for the sensory prose, however – I’ve read small bits of the novel and was not disappointed by the writing.

(Funnily enough, this is one moody acquisition that logically ties into my life. My new job is demanding so it makes sense to stock up on easier reads).

This is not a beauty blog (she protests, for the hundredth time), so I’ll keep this brief. The La Roche-Posay is a facial cleanser that I kind of regret requesting, since my skin isn’t finicky. There really is no point in buying a more expensive cleanser. As for the lipstick – err, I own a truly shameful amount of lipsticks (sounds familiar?), but that plummy red-brown color! auxiliarybeauty has an excellent blog post about 413 BLKR, including swatches.

I had pooh-poohed the coloring for adults trend as a fad, but then someone suggested I try it to alleviate some of my anxiety. So I did. And I realized that I love it, although I think I demolish the entire point by taking it way too seriously. But I guess that’s my nature – I have a tendency to pour my heart and soul into projects (while simultaneously having a tendency to avoid projects but forget I wrote that). Here are some of my work:

As you can see, I love slapping on the bright colors. I’ve seen others utilize shading and gradation to beautiful effect and at first, I was envious of such skills. But in the spirit of being kind to myself, I tell myself that all that intense vividness doesn’t mean a less-skilled work. It’s just different.

Now that I’ve inundated you with shiny new things, it’s time to actually review a book. I finished Yoko Ogawa’s short story collection Revenge last week and really loved it. Its full-length review will be my next post.

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