Thursday, October 11, 2012

Literate & Stylish: Mandy of Oh Dizzle

The premise of Literate & Stylish is simple, and the post is short but sweet- every Thursday I'll be showcasing a lovely lady and her favorite book. She'll share a few pretty photos showing off her personal style, along with her book of choice, and tell us why she loves it. 

from Mandy of Oh Dizzle

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

During college, I studied abroad for a year in the United Kingdom. The UK was the place where I learned how to drink, how to speak "British" semi-fluently, how to write a 12 page research paper, and how to really step out on my own for the first time.

During the spring, I decided take a week long trip to Ireland on my own. Traveling alone for the first time was terrifying but exhilarating. I didn't have any restrictions on where I could go or how long I could stay. I loved the freedom it gave me, but it also meant that there were a few long stretches of time to fill.

As I faced a long bus ride from Dublin to Kilkenny, I decided to pick up a new novel to keep me company. Black Swan Green by David Mitchell had been on the featured table in bookstores for months, and I figured I'd give it a shot, as I'd enjoyed Mitchell's other book Cloud Atlas. Three pages in, and I was hooked. Black Swan Green details the life of Jason, a thirteen year old in 1980's rural England. He gets in and out of scrapes, meets extremely interesting characters, and, as is common in these sorts of books, comes of age. I held on tight to that book through the rest of my trip, reading it on buses, in hostels, in cafes and even in the ruins of old Irish forts. I couldn't escape the hold it had on me, even when the green hills of Ireland beckoned. I finished it waiting in the airport for my flight back to England, and got teary as I turned the last page. It was like leaving one of the best travel companions I ever had.

A few years later, I was lucky enough to meet David Mitchell at a book signing. As he signed my book, I told him about how Black Swan Green entranced me on my trip through Ireland. He apologized for causing me to be too involved with the book to properly see Ireland. I assured him that it was an absolute pleasure.

see previous Literate & Stylish posts here. 
I used Amazon Affiliate linking in this post. To visit Amazon without my link, click here.  


  1. Thanks for great information you write it very clean. I am very lucky to get this tips from you

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  2. It sounds like a great book! That's so amazing that she met him later and was able to get her book signed! So cool!

  3. I am swooning over that last photo. Such beautiful composition.
    It feels a lot like you were able to recreate some of your initial reading experience through these photos, but perhaps that's just the tall green grass talking! It's so lovely to associate a book to the time you first read it, and for the rest of your life that book and that trip will be intertwined memories.

  4. The book sounds great! I am adding it to my to-read list.

  5. I think this series is such a brilliant idea! Beautiful ladies with awesome books to read! =D
    Can't wait to get to this one! Added it to my list!

  6. what a great series! i really need to get back into book reading!!

    Sandy a la Mode

  7. Oh this sounds like such a lovely read, thanks for sharing. I just adore the story about the story.

  8. Just stopped by Amazon to purchase the book :)

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