OOTD :: of literary stylings, cheating just a bit and Leonard Peacock




Okay, so I cheated.

Gracie’s Literary Stylings came creeping on little cat feet and surprised the dickens out of me – Has it already been a month since my last official participation? – and like most surprises do, it caught me completely unprepared.

As I scrolled through my Goodreads entries, I realized that I’ve been primarily focused on fantasy/sword and sorcery novels in the month of March, and as much as it would’ve been fun cosplaying, I just don’t have the creative juices to tie in a Tolkein-esque outfit with any of my other linkup challenges. Maybe if you’d caught me pre-Spring Break Can’t Come Soon Enough, I could’ve done it. But as it stood, I couldn’t even muster the energy to entertain the thought.

So rather than ransacking my brain and/or my closet, I took the cheater’s way out, drove the 30 miles to my favorite public library and snatched some YA fiction off the New Releases shelves in the hopes that one of them would elicit some sort of inspiration. Of course, some would say my way isn’t cheating at all – is actually the harder road since it requires me to read something entirely new in the span of mere hours before March turns into April.

But I didn’t graduate CAL an English major for nothing.

Enter Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick, stage right.

The only reason I picked it up was because the book jacket mentioned that the author was the same one who’d penned Silver Linings Playbook. I’ve not read that book but I saw and enjoyed (?) – can one truly say they enjoy a movie about bipolar disorder? – the movie, so I decided to give Peacock a chance. The title was intriguing, at the very least.

I thought I found my quote pretty early on in the book – page 46 of 273, to be exact – and I’ll share it with you eventually. What I wasn’t prepared for was the roller coaster I’d ride for the remaining 200+ pages and the two and a half hours it took me to finish reading.

This book is gut-twisting, immensely disturbing, wickedly caustic, seemingly predictable then dizzyingly unpredictable, and deftly manipulative. I was repulsed and fascinated, sometimes alternately after chapters but often concurrently. I sped through this book simply because I had to know how it ended. If I may be granted a bit of presumption, I’d hazard an opinion that this could possibly be this generation’s Catcher in the Rye. Leonard Peacock can certainly hold his own against Holden Caulfield in terms of acerbic judgments of the world and the people who infest it.

Read it at your discretion. There’s a disaffected teen, a gun, a planned murder/suicide, and homosexual themes. Some critics say it’s got everything and the kitchen sink which makes it feel sensationalist and emotionally unscrupulous. I say it’s an unflinching narrative about what a lot of kids feel is their only recourse, especially after Columbine.

Dark themes indeed.

Before I turn you off entirely, however, I have to say that the last chapter, although definitely obscure, is ultimately redemptive if you think about it long enough. And now I share with you the quote on page 46.

Do something you love today. Ride a roller coaster. Swim in the ocean naked. Got to the airport and get on the next flight to anywhere just for the fun of it. Maybe stop a spinning globe with your finger and then plan a trip to that very spot…Eat some type of ethnic food you’ve never heard of. Stop a stranger and ask her to explain her greatest fears and her secret hopes and aspirations in detail and then tell her you care because she is a human being.Sit down on the sidewalk and make pictures with colorful chalk. Close your eyes and try to see the world with your nose…Catch up on your sleep. Call an old friend you haven’t seen in years. Roll up your pant legs and walk into the sea. See a foreging film. Feed squirrels. Do anything! Something! Because you start a revolution one decision at a time, with each breath you take.

And when I choose to throw on a houndstooth dress, a statement necklace and a dramatic hat just to teach English to a bunch of disinterested sixteen-year-olds, that’s my personal revolution.

:: Just the facts, ma’am ::
Dress – H&M
Hat – eBay
Necklace – eBay
Pumps – Janine @ Payless

:: Linking ::
Literary Stylings @ Fashion for Giants
Hat Attack @ Style Crone


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19 thoughts on “OOTD :: of literary stylings, cheating just a bit and Leonard Peacock

  1. Kezzie says:

    That is such a beautiful hat!!!! I’d love a really bright blue felt one- I have a more muted one and a straw one!
    I love hat attack- it’s so fun!

    • mtsedwards says:

      I have a blue straw one as well but when I received it in the mail, it was a bit too mannish for my tastes. Am debating whether to gift or resell it. But this one – this one is my pride and joy. I feel like Kate Middleton in this hat. Thanks for stopping by!

  2. stylecrone says:

    Your writing is beautiful, as is that spectacular blue hat. Love the pose in the first photo! Thank you for sharing with Hat Attack!

    • mtsedwards says:

      I do like to use my English major skills for something besides my chosen profession, so thank you for recognizing that. Someday, I WILL publish that novel. And yes, the hat is so fun! Too bad the brim is too wide for indoor public consumption. 🙂

  3. Val S says:

    Gorgeous outfit! Another fabulous shift dress, and I love the bright blue accessories.

    I think I’ll pass on the book. I actually didn’t particularly like The Catcher in the Rye when I read it last year. Am I allowed to say that? Good thing there are so many different types of books so we can all find something we love!

    • mtsedwards says:

      Yes, I have a definite “thing” for shift dresses. And the blue always makes me happy.

      Definitely pass on the book. I would’ve too, had I done more research and known what it was gonna entail. Don’t get me wrong – as I may have implied, it’s well done. But I’ve really been more in a fluffy/brain candy kind of mood recently and this book ain’t so.

  4. Thanks for a new book for me to add to my read list!

    (And the bold blue looks fab on you!)

    • mtsedwards says:

      You’re gonna be shattered, I tell ya! Have the Shopaholic series or The Devil Wears Prada available for an antidote afterwards. ;p

  5. jangrahammcmillen says:

    Lovely! Won’t be reading it, but thrilled you read, distilled and gave me a chance to see it through your eyes. (Difficult week, need to stay away from the unrelentingly grim, no matter how well written) You look fabulous in your response … what you might wear to meet the Doctor at your book signing before taking off in the Tardis. It could happen.


    Are you sure?

    • mtsedwards says:

      Yes, I hear you about unrelenting grim. I really didn’t know what I was getting into when I started this book. Silly me for judging a book by it cover – or, in this instance, by it’s title; sounds whimsical, no?

      Ahhhh! Can you imagine?! Too bad the Doctor seems to like his companions young-ish. ‘Tis why I love Donna so much – she breaks the mold. 😀

  6. I’m adding this to my list of books to read right away. I often actually prefer books that aren’t all sweetness and light; they often seem more authentic to me.

    I love this look on you; thanks so much for cramming that book in and joining in!

    • mtsedwards says:

      I’m always on the lookout for ways to combine my two loves and you provide the perfect vehicle for both. Sometimes, it’s infinitely better to be the participant than the host. I’d gladly cram more books for you, Gracie!

  7. dapperdolly says:

    I knew it didn’t make sense when you said you didn’t like horror yet you read fantasy and dystopian all the time which are filled with it!

    Gorgeous outfit and love that quote, it’s very me.

    So this Literary Stylings theme is much like your T3?

    • mtsedwards says:

      I guess I should qualify by saying I don’t like watching horror. Reading it is an entirely different matter altogether. Now, do I seek it out in books? Hardly. But when it pops up in a book, I’m less inclined to stop reading as I would switch the channel. I think it’s because I can filter the horror in a book whereas in a film, the horror is spelled out for me in excruciatingly visual detail.

      Does that make sense?

      And yes, Literary Stylings is very similar to T3. In fact, Selah and I worried that we were copying her (although Selah had come up with the idea independently; I was Gracie’s follower), but then I asked and she gave us permission and now we do practically the same only on different times of the month. 😀

      • dapperdolly says:

        I’d say reading fantasy (even a fair bit of comic fantasy) and dystopian is seeking it out – it’s always gonna be in there, plus you’ve probably read a ton of classic lit which often has psychological horror or torment. I do agree though that in films it’s a lot more graphic and less easy to ignore, though a lot of people do become desensitized to it that way.

        Eh – well literary fashion is a great idea, nice to be able to do it regularly 😀

  8. I have to read it, and thanks for the warnings! I really need to re-read Catcher too, it’s only been about 40 years since I did. Love your checked dress and the whole shebang.

    • mtsedwards says:

      I wouldn’t say you’ll enjoy it, because it’s not an “enjoyable” book per se. But I hope you’re as intrigued as I was. And thanks for the compliments. You’re too kind, as always. 🙂

  9. Houndstooth & TARDIS blue? Awesome! I edited yesterday’s post to expand on my THG trilogy outfit and linked up with Gracey. 😀

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