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text 2020-09-23 07:50
Three kinds of sofas combined with leather

Solid wood Nordic style nightstand and soft furniture are two different concepts and two different types of furniture. Solid wood is a popular trend in furniture, while soft furniture sells well.


Soft furniture mainly refers to two categories: sofas and soft beds. According to the material, sofas and soft beds are similar. Soft beds can be divided into fabric beds, leather beds and leather combined beds; sofas are also divided into fabric sofas and leather sofas. Three kinds of sofas combined with leather. There is a difference between leather and artificial leather in the leather of upholstered furniture. Genuine leather refers to animal leather, and artificial leather is synthetic leather. There are many kinds of fabrics for cloth art, and the commonly used ones are cotton, wool, hemp, chemical fiber, etc.


The advantages of upholstered furniture are good elasticity and rich fabrics. The whole is a kind of soft furniture, which allows us to fully relax in a comfortable environment. Moreover, the exterior decoration of soft furniture can be colorful, beautiful and gorgeous, and a variety of color effects can be arranged in a small space.

Health and environmental protection are the most important indicators for people to choose solid wood furniture. Natural, environmental, and healthy solid wood furniture reveal the beauty of nature and primitiveness. The advantage of solid wood furniture is that it can reflect nature: natural texture, changeable shape, and beautiful wood patterns can generally be seen on the surface of the furniture. The advantages of solid wood furniture: health and environmental protection, solid and durable, value preservation, appreciation, exquisite craftsmanship.


Solid wood furniture is natural and durable, and it can also bring a natural atmosphere to the home. It can provide ample storage space, and you can also put your small items on the countertop, which is very suitable for bedroom use. The natural texture of solid pine is precious and charming. IKEA has clear requirements for all wood used in its products, including prohibiting the use of illegally felled wood.

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review 2020-04-01 08:52
Beautiful writing, unusual subject, and a challenging read.
The Latecomers - Rich Marcello

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team (authors, if you are looking for reviews, check here), and I freely chose to review an ARC copy of this novel.

I have read and reviewed another novel by Marcello, The Beauty of the Fall (you can read my review here), was entranced by it, and I was eager to read this book, although worried that, at least for me, the previous novel would be a tough act to follow. This book has many of the qualities that made me love the previous one (beautiful language, gorgeous descriptions, a spiritual dimension, a search for personal truth, and many strange and wondrous events that sometimes are difficult to categorize [are they visions, hallucinations, visitations, a transcendental connection with the gods and the elders, enlightenment?], and little interest in following the standard rules of narrative. Yes, there is a beginning, a middle and an end, of sorts, but one sometimes feels as if there were many corridors the characters could choose, which might end up resulting in a variety of futures and of novels, and at times we get hints of those. Somehow, though, it didn’t move me in the same way the previous book did, and that is perhaps down to current circumstances. Reading this novel in the middle of a pandemic, while confined at home, made me feel uneasy about some of the characters’ decisions, their self-absorption, and the ease with which they make decisions that might potentially affect many people, with little regard for anybody else’s interests.

The book is divided into two distinct parts, the first one told, in the first-person, by the two main protagonists, Charlie and Maggie Latecomer, now in their second marriage, seemingly happy, who after successful careers are now pursuing their own artistic interests. Suddenly, despite their deep love for each other, Charlie, who’s been feeling restless, decides he has to go in pursuit of his own path. He tells his wife this and goes on a retreat. Not only that, but he asks a young woman to accompany him. The couple were completely enmeshed in each other, and although Maggie loves the idea of the MOAI, a Japanese concept that they define as a sort of extended family, she acknowledges that she’s resisted including others in theirs. She starts to question everything she had thought, makes new connections and renews some of the old ones, and when the retreat ends in quite a traumatic manner (I ‘ll avoid spoilers), there is a reconfiguration of their MOAI and new people join in. They also go through some life-changing experiences together. This part is more contemplative, more descriptive, and slower than the rest of the book, and I felt somewhat impatient with Charlie, whose behaviour and reasoning I found quite difficult to accept, in light of his protestations of love and of not wanting to hurt Maggie. I liked Maggie much better than Charlie, and although by the end of the book I was more reconciled with Charlie’s character, because he’d gone through quite a lot of change, I still felt more empathy for Maggie, even if I had little in common with any of them or the rest of the characters in the novel (even if I have visited Northampton and enjoyed the descriptions of the town and also of the island and the retreat).  There are more adventures in part two: we have a mystical book that the characters keep trying to decipher, they uncover a secret, they have to fight a big corporation, and they go through much heartache. The rhythm picks up in the second half, and I felt that was partly because we only get to see things from Maggie’s point of view, and she is more determined, action-driven, and even rushed at times.

There are quite a few themes in the novel, including relationships (love, extended families), growing old, health (what does it mean to be healthy and what price would we pay to live longer), pharmaceutical corporations, end of life care, spiritualism, identity, philosophy, religion, mysticism… There is a search for meaning and for finding one’s place in the world that is quite refreshing, especially because the protagonist are not youths trying to decide what to do with the rest of their lives, but older characters, who refuse to be settled and give up (and although I did not connect with some aspects of the book, I definitely connected with that). I do not know much about Nordic mythology and therefore I felt at times that I was missing much of the background that might have allowed me to understand the characters’ experiences better, and that made me feel somewhat detached. The novel is classed as literary fiction and magic realism. Both genres cover a great variety of styles, subjects and reading experiences, and readers who enjoy philosophical themes and like a challenge should give it a try.

I have mentioned the two main characters, and I have said that there are a few others: three that end up becoming a part of their extended family, two elders (both women), another female character who is the spiritual guide, some of the other people attending the retreat, and the baddie (who is never fully explained). I’m not that far of, by age, from many of the characters, but I can’t say I have much else in common with them, as they are all fairly well off, (one very rich), and in general seem untouched by the worries of everyday life. Although we spend time with some of the other characters, and I particularly like the two elders, I did not feel we got to know the rest of the MOAI well enough, considering the length of the novel and the amount of time we spend with them. Part of the problem might be that it’s all told from the first person point of view of the two protagonists, but the decisions of Joe, Ebba (she’s a total puzzle to me), and Rebecca (I liked her but I would have liked to know more) don’t always seem to fit in with what we know about them. But an important part of the novel deals with the fact that no matter how we feel about others, and how connected we are, that does not mean we are the same and we have to live by the same rules and share in all of our experiences. We all have to strive to be the best versions of ourselves.

I have mentioned the writing style at the beginning of my review. There is poetry and lyricism, and as I mentioned above, there are also many contemplative passages. This is not a fast book and there are many descriptions or landscapes, mystic experiences, and also philosophical wanderings. The characters have their own rituals and these are described in detail (and yes, there are descriptions of their art, their shared experiences, their memories, their sexual relationships, although not too explicit…), and I think that readers will either connect with the writing style or not. The quality of the writing is not in question, and the fact that Marcello writes poetry is amply evident, but it won’t suit every taste.

The ending resolves the main points of the plot, although not all mysteries are explained, and there are aspects left to readers’ imagination. I liked the ending, although I had been expecting it for quite a while and at some point worried that the characters wouldn’t do what seemed to be “the right thing”. It’s a difficult decision and not one many people would take in real life, but, at least for me, it made sense.

Would I recommend it? You’ve probably noticed that I’m conflicted about this novel. There is much I like about it and some aspects I don’t like as much, although I think I might have felt different if I had read it in other circumstances (and might come back to it later on). In summary, this is a book for those who like to savour a novel and who enjoy thinking deeply and exploring unusual avenues. It is not a book for those looking for a tightly-plotted story, a mystery, or a fast page-turner. There are mysteries, but not those of the kind we expect to read about in novels of the genre. The protagonists are privileged in many ways, older than the norm, and their search and struggles might not connect with everybody. I’d recommend readers to check a sample of the book, and to give the novel time, because it changes and grows in the second half, as do the main characters, Charlie in particular.  Ah, members of reading clubs have a set of very interesting questions at the end, and I agree this is a book that offers plenty of food for discussion.

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text 2019-12-20 22:03
24 Festive Tasks: Door 16 - St. Lucia's Day: Book
Krokodilwächter - Katrine Engberg,Dietmar Bär


Competent for a debut novel (in the final part more so than at the beginning) and very obviously written not for a domestic but for an international audience.  I'm not as taken with it as many others seem to be, and I doubt I'll continue the series.  (It's published as The Tenant in English.)  But obviously, it's a shoo-in for the book task for this square -- under several headers, in fact --, and in that, it's nicely served its purpose.


(Task: Read a book set in Scandinavia / Northern Europe, by a Northern European / Nordic author, with a predominantly white cover (or white with red lettering), newly released in November or December of this year, or set in the candle-lit world (i.e., before the discovery of electricity – roughly, that is, before the late 19th century).)

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photo 2019-10-12 17:22

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review 2019-05-30 19:19
Nordic Tales - Chronicle Books,Ulla Thynell

Disclaimer: ARC provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

This collection of stories from Denmark, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, and Finland draws from famous collections, but also lesser known collections. It is divided int three sections transformations, wit, and journeys. While East of the Sun, West of the Moon is included many of the stories are not as well known.

The collection starts with “The Forest Bride” about a young man who marries a mouse. It ends with the story of “Jack of Sjoholm and the Gan-Finn”. Between the two, we have some traditional stories that would be well know to any read of folktales – such as the story of the Doctor and Death – but there are stories such as “The Honest Penny” or “Hildur, Queen of the Elves”.

The illustrations are wonderful, quite beautiful. They remind one of the old fairy tale books with the classic illustrations. Thynell has the right combination of dark, light, and whimsey that makes a fairy tale picture a wonder to behold

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