This week, I read a book that’s grand. Not grand in the sense of large, epic, or sweeping, but grand in the sense of profound and deeply impressive. It’s Susanna Clarke’s PIRANESI, published in 2010. Susanna Clarke wrote JONATHAN STRANGE AND MR NORRELL, which IS a large book, set in a Victorian England where magic is real. PIRANESI is totally unlike that.
Here’s the back cover blurb:
From the New York Times bestselling author of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, an intoxicating, hypnotic new novel set in a dreamlike alternative reality.
Piranesi’s house is no ordinary building: its rooms are infinite, its corridors endless, its walls are lined with thousands upon thousands of statues, each one different from all the others. Within the labyrinth of halls an ocean is imprisoned; waves thunder up staircases, rooms are flooded in an instant. But Piranesi is not afraid; he understands the tides as he understands the pattern of the labyrinth itself. He lives to explore the house.
There is one other person in the house―a man called The Other, who visits Piranesi twice a week and asks for help with research into A Great and Secret Knowledge. But as Piranesi explores, evidence emerges of another person, and a terrible truth begins to unravel, revealing a world beyond the one Piranesi has always known.
I can’t tell you any more for fear of spoilers, but I CAN tell you that I can’t recommend this book highly enough. I borrowed Sara’s copy, but I just may have to buy my own so I can reread it, or bits of it, any time I want to.
I told Damyanti Biswas I’d give her a tutorial on nail stamping, so here goes:
First, clean your nails and push back your cuticles, then put on a base coat, then put on a base color. I painted the color on a piece of paper, just for demonstration purposes.
Choose the pattern you want to stamp. Sara and I have many plates, and each plate has several patterns. This plate happens to be all plaids.
Paint your chosen pattern with the color you want your pattern to be.
Scrape across the polish with a plastic scraper. A credit card would do, in a pinch.
Pick up the pattern with a silicone stamper.
Stamp the pattern onto your nail.
Wait until the pattern is dry, then cover it with a top coat. In the example below, I painted some nails with a glossy top coat and some with a matte top coat.
The base color is Maniology’s Fireside, the stamping polish is Maniology’s Straight Up Black, and the plate is Maniology M267.
Remember, if you buy from Maniology, be sure to use my code, MomGoth10, for a 10% discount on most items.
A WRITING PROMPT FROM ME TO YOU: Write about something plaid.