Tuesday, June 30, 2020

On "The Thirty-First of June": A Book Review

Title: The Thirty-First of June: A Tale of Love, Enterprise and Progress, in the Arthurian and Ad-Atomic Ages
Author: J. B. Priestley
Genre: Fiction, Comedy, Fantasy

About the Book...
Princess Melicent of Peradore has fallen in love with Sam who she has only ever seen in a magic mirror borrowed from an enchanter currently staying at the palace. The problem is that Sam isn't in real life, but in some other strange realm. Sam in his own real life works for an advertising agency working on an account for Damosel Stockings with the latest ad being inspired not by a model, but by a girl in medieval costume that appeared to him in a small illuminated frame when he thought about her. When Melicent sends the count dwarf to find him things begin to get a bit odd for Sam and his contemporaries and with two competing enchanters, a wicked lady's maid, and few futuristic business men soon involved, Sam and Melicent are about to have a very interesting 31st of June.
What I Think...
I've had this book for awhile and having recently watched the 2017 BBC adaption of Priestley's An Inspector Calls, I thought it time to give it a try since it tied together some of my favorite elements: fairy tales, the Atomic Age, and time travel.

Overall, this is a very silly book. It's fast-paced, but also broken down in a way that allows for reading it in short spurts since the story isn't overly complicated. It hops along from one situation to the next with seemingly random solutions and dialog that can't help but make you laugh, and with characters that often act more like children, get caught up in trivial matters, and frequently end up going off on tangents that add to the ridiculousness of everything going on around them. Most of the time, the characters take what is happening for granted which makes everything from being tossed in the deepest dungeon (and being offered a parcel of meat on the sly by the guards) to suddenly having to identify how to approach attacking specific types of dragons (there's a manual for that) to arguing over magical domestic arrangements (porridge for lunch whether you want it or not) even more amusing.  

As an added note, the story is dotted throughout with charming sketches like those seen on the cover!

To Sum It All Up...
A zany little story that will bring a smile to anyone who enjoys fairy tales in an Arthurian setting, magic, and advertising men.     

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

On a Pocket Sized Piglet

After years of intending to make the miniature Winnie-the-Pooh characters from the patterns in The Pooh Craft Book, I finally made Piglet this week.  

This was a pretty straight-forward project, though a little challenging at times due to the size of the pieces, the fuzzy nature of the felt, and the way the stuffing kept popping out as I tried to sew it in between the tiny pieces. For the suit, a rectangle sewn into a tube that is gathered at the top and bottom, I stitched some straight lines on the fabric before I seamed it to give it the ripply look of the illustrations. After finishing, I realized that in the illustrations Piglet's suit also has some buttons, so I made a few tiny stitches for those.

At the moment, I'm content with just having Piglet, but I think in terms of the other Hundred Acre Wood residents at least Winnie-the-Pooh will be making an appearance in the near future. ♥️

Tuesday, June 9, 2020

On Turtle Tuesday: A Photo Post

It all started with the green one and resulted in five 70's-esque turtles converging on a cupcake. 


Sunday, May 31, 2020

On "A Fantasy of Dr. Ox": A Book Review

Title: A Fantasy of Dr. Ox
Author: Jules Verne
Genre: Fiction, Novella

About the Book...
In the Flemish town of Quiquendone to say things are done by its citizens at a leisurely pace is an understatement. Decisions about making minor decisions carry out over a day if not longer, emergencies are treated with languid regard, and even discussions about having discussions drag out. Or at least that's how it is until Dr. Ox arrives to install gas lighting for the town. What the residents don't realize is that the new lighting is providing a means of experimentation and that courtesy of Dr. Ox their lives are going to suddenly speed up. 
Written in 1872, this is a satirical novella about science and the carrying out of experiments.

What I Think...
In the past I haven't been a huge fan of Verne, but finding this one among the Alma Classics 101 Page books and being intrigued by the description, I thought I'd give it a go.

I wouldn't put this book in the category of world's greatest classics, but it was interesting. It's fairly straightforward and simple in terms of plot, which makes somewhat predictable, although not in a bad way. As I had hoped the excessive droning on about scientific aspects, which is part of why I tend to avoid some of Verne's books, was lacking. Instead it was light and, at times, quite funny! In all its silliness, though, it definitely makes one think about the ethics behind experimentation on unsuspecting subjects that isn't that far off from many views held today. It also presents some interesting ideas about the functioning of a society and what happens when they're forced outside of the norm.

To Sum it All Up...
A quick and amusing read, which even over a hundred years after having been published still proves relevant in the message it presents to the reader.