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The Style Page reviews Idiot’s Guides: Everyday Makeup Secrets

Idiot's Guides: Everyday Makeup SecretsIdiot’s Guides: Everyday Makeup Secrets by Daniel Klingler

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Idiot’s Guides: Everyday Makeup Secrets devotes too much space on faking the perfect face shape (oval, with evenly proportioned features) and perfect eye shape (almond) through highlighting and contouring. It also recommends eyebrow shapes for different face shapes: I would think that the best approach is to follow the natural shape of the brow bone.

The best parts of Idiot’s Guide: Everyday Makeup Secrets are the call-out boxes, which feature many interesting hacks.

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The Style Page reviews The Blue Castle by Lucy Maud Montgomery

The Blue Castle The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was into Anne of Green Gables, even before the 1985 TV series starring Megan Follows. I was 17, and a copy of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm was lying around the house, a Christmas gift from my mother’s friend. I read Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and liked it. Mom suggested that I read Anne of Green Gables. I loved it. In 1980, soon after I graduated from college, I went on my “pilgrimage” to Prince Edward Island.

I discovered The Blue Castle through Susan L.M. Goldberg on PJ Media. She wrote: if you’ve never, you must read The Blue Castle now—quickly! I’ll wait. As a fan of Lucy Maud Montgomery‘s books, I had to read The Blue Castle.

Valancy Stirling fits the archetype of the lonely, sad person living in a home where others are cold to her (think Cinderella or Harry Potter). A medical diagnosis gives her one year to live. She casts off her inhibitions, scandalizes her family, and lives life to the fullest. She even proposes marriage! Then multiple revelations upend her life in a day (I won’t disclose them – read the book). The Blue Castle has a “happily ever after” ending.

I’ve decided that a cynic is a disillusioned romantic. In reading The Blue Castle, I can momentarily believe in romance again.

PS Read the introduction by Collett Tracey after you read The Blue Castle. It contains spoilers.

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Could vegetarianism negatively impact mood? from Science of Us

According to this article, preliminary studies have found a link between a meatless diet and mental problems like depression, anxiety, and self-harm. A nutrient-deficient plant-based diet might create problems that contribute to psychological disorders.

I quit eating red meat several years ago, mostly for health reasons. After reading an article about the benefits of vegetarianism for spiritual development (!), I quick eating poultry. I seldom eat eggs, but I still include dairy in my diet. On rare occasions, I eat fish.

Depression, anxiety, and fearfulness have ruled my life for as long as I can remember. I wonder if a mostly vegetarian diet has made things worse. Blood tests have revealed that I had severe deficiencies of Vitamins B12 and D in my diet. So much for spiritual development! (When I told my nephew why I had given up poultry, he said that that was ridiculous).

I don’t plan to give up my diet, but I’ll add nutritional supplements to my diet.

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The book The Vegetarian reminds me of Margaret Arwood’s proto-feminist The Edible Woman, in which the engaged-to-be-married heroine loses her appetite for food, to the point that she can only eat noodles. After she breaks off her engagement in dramatic fashion, she suddenly becomes ravenously hungry.

“If you’re going to be a vegetarian, you have to be more thoughtful about what you eat.”

Source: ‘The Vegetarian’ and the Puzzling Link Between Diet and Mood — Science of Us

White Heat: Britain in the 1960s

White Heat: A History of Britain in the Swinging SixtiesWhite Heat: A History of Britain in the Swinging Sixties by Dominic Sandbrook

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I was a kid, really a kid, in the 1960s, I was fascinated by British fashion (notably Mary Quant and the mini-skirt) and the British music invasion. That’s why I wanted to read White Heat.

But White Heat is so much more than the swinging sixties. It covers political history throughout the Wilson years, in-fighting among those in Wilson’s cabinet, and economic crises, including devaluation of the pound and deflation. It relates the beginning of Protestant-Catholic conflict in Northern Ireland. It covers other social upheaval, such as corralling people into tower blocks.

While White Heat covers the swinging sixties in detail, it notes that the swinging sixties influenced few people and puts it into the larger context of life in the UK. Would you believe that the soundtrack for The Sound of Music outsold The Beatles’ albums? British society and tastes still remained fairly conservative by the end of the sixties.

Dominick Sandbrook also wrote Never Had It So Good: A History of Britain from Suez to the Beatles, about the preceding years of recent British history. He has also written books about the UK in the seventies: I look forward to additional coverage of The Troubles. All are books that I plan to read.

If you would like to focus on the swinging sixties, then I recommend Ready, Steady, Go!: The Smashing Rise and Giddy Fall of Swinging London by Shawn Levy.