April 24, 2016

Darcy in Dunedin

These photographs are from last month's trip to Dunedin. Believe it or not, I drove there from Tampa just to take photographs and try out new settings on the camera I purchased last year (the Panasonic Lumix LX100). Downtown Dunedin is one of the most colorful and quaint little downtowns I've had the pleasure of exploring. I thought it was the perfect place for photography and the weather was stunning on this day!


In case you're wondering why I titled this post "Darcy in Dunedin",
it's because my camera's name is Darcy.

CHARLENE ZALE

April 23, 2016

Bookish Facts About Me


I purchase books much faster than I read them.

I have a library card, but I can't recall the last time I checked out a book. I check out documentaries.

I'm not fond of borrowing books, I prefer adopting them.

Till this day I still feel guilty about not reading enough books during my time in high school.

I've never been in a book club.

I have purchased books solely because they were beautiful and ended up hating the stories.

That said, I am not ashamed of judging books by their cover and illustration.

The book that's had the biggest impact on my life is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

I used to hate e-readers, but I have since evolved. I find them to be useful, portable, and convenient.

I still prefer physical books over e-books.

I regret not having read certain books during my childhood. Little Women, Nancy Drew, etc.

I have vivid memories of going to Scholastic book fairs while I was in elementary school.

I also have memories of roaming Borders and Barnes & Noble as a child: touching books, sniffing pages.

My favorite book series before my introduction to Harry Potter were Goosebumps and Baby-Sitters Club.

I try my best to avoid abridged classics unless they were translated from another language.

I can still pull up an image in my mind of all the libraries at every school I have physically attended.

I felt embarrassed that I owned the Twilight books, so I donated them to my local library a few years ago.

Sometimes I fear who I might have been had I never read the Harry Potter books during childhood.

I never go anywhere without a book or my Kindle.

I'm quite fond of book photography.

The local library is one of my favorite places to look for books at a bargain price.

I enjoy listening to instrumental music while reading, preferably a Harry Potter soundtrack.

I've never listened to an audio book.

I still enjoy children and middle grade books.

I don't like to lend out my books. I'm not sorry.

I view books in the same manner as most people view paintings at an art gallery.

My favorite thing to use as a bookmark is an old photograph.

CHARLENE ZALE

April 9, 2016

For My 26th Year

I just finished putting together my birthday wish list. This is what I came up with! As of right now I have no plans for my birthday which falls on May 15th. Now that I think about it I'll most likely spend the day just outside of town to explore different independent bookshops and indulge in local food. I'll drive home with adopted books on my lap and childlike joy in my heart. At home I'll wear comfortable clothes, eat fresh fruits, and watch some of my favorite films. The last few years have been low key and I intend for it to stay that way. I have found great comfort in simplicity.

birthday wish list.

01 · New portable makeup bag.

02 · Reusable glass water bottle.

03 · The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell.

04 · Becca blush in Wild Honey.

05 · Smashbox lipstick in Safe Word.

06 · Prescription sunglasses.


CHARLENE ZALE

February 7, 2016

Book Review · Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore


TITLE: MR. PENUMBRA'S 24-HOUR BOOKSTORE
AUTHOR: ROBIN SLOAN
NARRATOR: CLAY JANNON, FIRST PERSON
PUBLISHER: FARRAR, STRAUS, AND GIROUX, 2012
GENRE: FICTION, MYSTERY, BIBLIOPHILE
SOURCE: BARNES & NOBLE
REVIEW: 3.5 STARS OUT OF 5

"Your life must be an open city, with all sorts of ways to wonder in. After that, the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this: A man walking fast down a dark lonely street. Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time."

Prior to reading Robin Sloan's Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore, I expected to have much more to say about it than I do now having actually read it. I first discovered this book on the shelves at Barnes & Noble, nearly two years ago. It drew me in. For any bibliophile who sees a book with this title and description, sparked curiosity is only natural. I believe I was expecting a lot more from this book and perhaps it's because there's an untold bookshop story that lives inside of me that I have yet to find the the words for.

I can sum up this novel in a few oppositions: old versus young, traditional knowledge versus technological knowledge, paper versus pixels. You get the idea, but the story itself is complex. In the beginning we are introduced to Clay Jannon, a web designer, who finds employment at a strange local bookshop in San Francisco by the name of Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore. Once on the job, Jannon begins to notice the odd customers that enter the bookshop late at night. These odd folks are also the only customers who have access to certain books within the bookstore which are located in an area Jannon likes to call the "Waybacklist". He later learns that these books are written in code, neither him nor his friends are able to decipher its content. This is the mystery of the story. As the story progresses it is revealed that those odd customers, including the bookstore's owner Penumbra, belong to an ancient secret society going back five hundred years. The members of this secret society believe the secret to eternal life is found within the pages of these coded books left behind by their founder, Aldus Manutius. Jannon and his friends dive into the adventure of a lifetime. The objective: crack the code by any means necessary. Rule breaking and trouble is inevitable.

The story was interesting enough for me to continue to read, but it fell short of my expectations. As a matter of fact the ending was a complete let down. As I've mentioned already, in the story we are told that the secret to eternal life would be revealed to us after the ancient code is decoded. There was even talk about previous members of the secret society rising from the dead. This is the source of my disappointment. I don't want to say more except that if you're going to write a fictional book about an ancient code that garners the secret to immortality, you shouldn't let the readers down in the end with a ridiculous disclosure once the code is decrypted. It just didn't live up to its premise. In my opinion the vast majority of the story is in rising action. The falling action and resolution is weak. My main enjoyment in this story is found in its locations and atmospheres. I like this book, I just don't love it.

CHARLENE ZALE

September 29, 2015

Favorites · September 2015

BEAUTY · Young Living essential oils. My first package of these oils arrived in the mail in early September. I am very pleased with their quality and aroma.

MUSIC · This month I finally signed up for a Spotify account and it has become my number one source for listening to music. I have been listening to many old favorites. Among these are Lana Del Rey, Sara Bareilles, James Horner, and Harry Potter soundtracks.

BOOKS · Tat Woods and Dorothy Ail's World History in Minutes: 200 Key Concepts Explained in an Instant.

DRINK · Yogi Tea. Always.

FOOD · Ella's Kitchen fruit + veggie pouches. They are healthy, portable, and tasty.

TELEVISION · I enjoyed two separate marathons on Netflix in September. I watched two of my semi-old favorites: Hart of Dixie and Once Upon a Time.

DISCOVERY · My favorite discovery of September would have to be the bookshops of Etsy that sell classic, vintage, and used paperback books.


CHARLENE ZALE

September 28, 2015

Mood Board · A Rainy Autumn Day

I have decided to begin creating mood boards. A mood board is defined as an arrangement of images, materials, pieces of texts, etc., intended to evoke or project a particular style or concept. This is a brand new creative outlet for me. I think gathering photographers can put a great deal into perspective: ideas, feelings, passions, goals. I look forward to creating more. My first one here reflects an ideal rainy day in autumn.

Reading old books and writing letters in a cabin near the woods while enjoying my liberty and tea. 


The photographs in the entry are not my own, the sources are below.
1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · 6

CHARLENE ZALE

September 18, 2015

18 Brilliant Society6 iPhone Cases

The iPhone 6S is set to be released one week from today, but I plan to keep my iPhone 6 Plus for as long as possible. Regardless, I thought it would be a good time to share some of my favorite iPhone cases from Society6. No, I do not own any of these cases and I do not plan to purchase every single one. I will buy one, two tops, but I have yet to decide which one(s). I adore these cases because they reflect my interests, personality, and artistic tastes. I've owned my iPhone 6 Plus for five months and the only case it's ever had is a clear one. It's time to spice things up.


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10 · 11 · 12 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18

CHARLENE ZALE