When She Was 22: Bookmania & Suffering from TBR

by - February 19, 2017

When she was 22 the future looked bright
But she's nearly 30 now and she's out every night
I see that look in her face, she's got that look in her eye
She's thinking how did I get here and wondering why
It's sad but it's true how society says her life is already over
There's nothing to do and there's nothing to say
Til the man of her dreams comes a long picks her up and puts her over his shoulder
It seems so unlikely in this day and age
Lily Allen - 22

*coughs very loudly*

I just read somewhere on the internet that every birthday after 21 isn't worth celebrating because it means you're just another step closer to death. This has become my life motto. Because, as we all know, the internet is always right. Its function and morality can only be described as a more morbid and accurate representation of YOLO.

So here I am, closer to death than I ever was before (although it's safe to say that I've been 'nearly dead' for a few months already), and wondering about what my contribution will be to this world. Will it be my thesis on demusealisation of fashion within the exhibition space? I doubt it. Will it be these 'brilliant' blogposts staining the internet like a drop of tea that couldn't reach the mouth and therefore now perfectly marks my jumper which I've been wearing for two days straight and which smells faintly of last nights dinner? It's safe to say: probably not. So will it then, therefore (because we're running out of options) be the monstrosity I call the list of books I haven't read? Well... it still seems rather inlikely, but sure, whatever floats your boat.

Reaching for the sweet stuff
After reading Batsheva's (from Cynical Duchess) blogpost about her TBR list (although it took me the whole post to understand what TBR meant and before that point almost felt obliged to send her a 'get well soon' card) and my trip yesterday to the 'books festival' in Nieuwegein, it shouldn't come as a surprise to you that today I'm going to share my TBR list aka books I bought yesterday/books I bought recently/books I got gifted recently. A very striking and catchphrase-y name for a blogpost, I know. I promise, as you might've noticed (or not), I will try to make it sound a bit more catchier.

It's a sweetspot of 16 books I'll be sharing with you today. 16... Yet another reminder of my lost youth/life. But don't despair, I heard there's enough time playing with books when haunting an old mansion in the countryside somewhere in England...

The main bulk of this list was purchased yesterday during the infamous 'books festival'. This festival is generally held twice a year and offers us muggles misprinted or otherwise misfortuned books for a whoppingly good price. It's great. This month, however, in general, has become quite book-orientated. Not that I'm complaining, but as I commented beneath Batsheva's post, the chances of it becoming 'too much to handle' (say for instance being put off by the amount of books staring at you which makes you run away screaming, only to be hit and killed by a car) is becoming more and more part of reality. Although I'm not there yet (after doing some maths I calculated the risks and came to the conclusion that 6 more new books this month will do the trick; as it'll reach the number beyond life and apparent opens the gate to eternal nothingness. This naturally begs the question: do you feel lucky, punk?).

Passion for...
As a fashionista it shouldn't strike you as odd when I tell you that the 'fashion book' is best represented within this list. Don't you worry, it isn't only pretty faces on fine pictures that have sealed the deal. Take for instance Dit Boek Gaat Niet Over Mode [This Book Isn't About Fashion] by Cécile Narinx, Marije van Regenmortel and Merel Bem. Although I on the one hand strongly believe that thinking that fashion/clothing is equal to the creation of identity first of all limits your perception of what clothing can do or what 'you' as a personality contains and second of all has created -among many other things- a society that blindly follows and accepts that the fashion industry is responsible for the second largest amount of pollution in this world.[1] On the other hand however I just can't help or escape the thought that, indeed as this book is trying to illustrate, fashion/clothing is more than just a piece of cloth. And that it indeed, inescapably, is a way of communication and can represent a certain mood or 'stage of life' or be a comfort or just be fun.

  • Dit Boek Gaat Niet Over Mode [This Book Isn't About Fashion] by Cécile Narinx, Marije van Regenmortel and Merel Bem
  •  Coco Chanel: The illustrated world of a fashion icon by Megan Hess
  • Vogue on: Christian Dior by Charlotte Sinclair 
  • Stephen Jones & The Accent of Fashion by Hamish Bowles 
  • Coming into Fashion: A century of photography at Condé Nast by Nathalie Herschdorfer 
  • Moda: Made in Italy by Modemuseum Hasselt  
  • Fashion Makers Fashion Shapers by Anne-Celine Jaeger 
  • Helmut Newton: World Without Men by Helmut Newton 
  • Ingrid Bergman: A life in pictures by Isabella Rossellini and Lothar Schirmer (ed.)

Uncultured barbarian
This January my mind was in Russia. Starting naturally with the exhibition about Catherine the Great at the Hermitage and quickly followed by finally watching the 2016 BBC adaption of War & Piece. This was my first encounter with War and Peace and I'm ashamed to say that I haven't read Leo Tolstoy's apparent masterpiece. And I, in the near future, won't either be making acquaintance. As I'm, again, ashamed to say that the story just didn't catch my imagination and sometimes even uproared annoyance. Especially against the almost-name-twin-of-my-sister Natasha Rostova. Don't get me wrong, the BBC did a great job! The scenery, the way they captured it, the actors, all phenomenal! The story just... I don't know, was a bit of a let down. As I said: it mostly evoked annoyance towards almost-name-twin-of-my-sister. And at the end I didn't felt relieve or happiness or contempt towards the characters, their 'growth' and ultimately their ending. But hopefully these books will! (although we all know the bittersweet ending of the Romanovs).

  • Catherine the Greatest: Self-polished Diamond of the Hermitage by Hermitage Amsterdam 
  • The Diary of Olga Romanov: Royal Witness to the Russian Revolution by Helen Azar 
  • Servants: A downstairs view of twentieth-century Britain by Lucy Lethbridge

I'm very much looking forward reading Servants: A downstairs view of twentieth-century Britain by Lucy Lethbridge. From time to time I can be quite an anglomaniac, especially late 18th, 19th and 20th century England has a perminant grasp on my imagination (just to name a short time-frame). This book is apparently "the most authorative account yet of behind-the-scenes, twentieth-century Britain." And if those words doesn't excite you than maybe I can persuade you by saying it also got pictures! There's for instance a picture of the Duke of Bedford unloading dishes from the first Kenwood Automatically Fully Automated dishwasher at the Ideal Home Exhibition of 1959. I mean, if that doesn't do it for you, I don't know what will...

In other news
Are you familiar with those suspicious moments where you, for instance, just added a book to your digital lists of TBR only to find a physical copy of it moments later. Granted, the physical copy is in Dutch and not English, but who cares when the price is but a shadow of its original. In contrary it can also be very suspicious coming across a book you've been waiting for your whole life without you even knowing it. Don't you just hate it when that happens?

  • Art: A Beginner's Guide by Laurie Schneider Adams 
  • Incognito: The secret lives of the brain by David Eagleman 
  • The Princess Bride by William Goldman 
  • The Language of Flowers: A Miscellany by Mandy Kirkby

What book are you currently reading and what book do you wish you were currently reading? Not because of the poor quality of the book you're currently reading, but more in the sense of 'planning for the future', what's next in life? Although I don't believe in a five year adoration plan, guided step-by-step what your life is or should be looking like (I mean, honestly, for me, narrowing it down to one book for the near-future is already a momentarily oppression of the past lying on top of a sofa made out of flames, burning every bit of hope for a new and better tomorrow. But by all means, plan your future, sell your soul and comment below: what book are you reading in five years?).


[1] Vogue NL, "Waarom de mode-industrie de tweede grootste milieuvervuiler ter wereld is" (14 November 2016), http://www.vogue.nl/artikel/waarom-de-mode-industrie-de-tweede-grootste-milieuvervuiler-ter-wereld-is, 28 November 2016.

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  1. AWWWW, YOU MENTIONED ME. I'm sniffling.
    I HAVE READ THE PRINCESS BRIDE. IT IS ADORKABLE. As for a behind the scenes look at british servitude-- well, I kind of cheated and just watched Downton Abbey. Which I highly recommend. favorite show ever. And I don't say that lightly.
    Also, what is this you say of a book fair that sells cheap typo books???? FORGET ONE BOOK A YEAR. I AM COMING TO AMSTERDAM.

    as for that birthday blurb-- stuff and nonsense! 22 pretty much looks like 21. Or so I've heard. I'm not 22 yet.


    1. I LOVE DOWNTON ABBEY. Not even kidding, yesterday I was browsing on Etsy and found a Downton Abbey embroidered cushion and I'm very VERY tempted to get it... The first few chapters of the book [about the servants] is -as promised by the back flap- Downton Abbey style, however it'll take 'us' further into the 1970s (!). I never even thought about servants in the 70s so I'm very excited about that! I mean, can you imagine a hippie servant preading flyers in his master's name? It'll be so dubious yet fantastic (although I'm already preparing myself for a let down on a more conservative servant, standing tall next to the family he's served throughout the decades. Not that there's something wrong with that, in contrary! It's just that the hippie servant has taken over my mind and I can't wait to find him, point at him and say 'you're rather groovy, aren't ya!'. A girl can always dream... *sigh*)

  2. I loved this post so much. You shared some truly interesting books. Love the Lilly Allen lyrics as well. Such an interesting touch. At the moment I am reading a fun book about fashion and culture. I will share a review soon on it once I am finished :) http://www.bauchlefashion.com/2017/06/5-tips-for-applying-foundation.html

    1. Haha! Lilly Allen certainly makes this post! I can proudly say that I've read ONE book of the whole list (shame shame). But it was very good! So, you know, quality over quantity... Right? Can't wait to find out what book you've been reading! I love myself some fashion and culture! ;)