Thursday, April 27, 2017

Inspired by Reading: Tales of the City

This month's Inspired by Reading Book Club selection was Tales of the City by Armistead Maupin.  Originally published in 1976, this is the first of the author's books that chronicle the goings on at the apartment house at 29 Barbary Lane in San Francisco.  

For some reason that I cannot explain, I always thought that this book was a collection of short stories... it's so not.  The book follows a diverse cast of characters whose relationships are not all immediately clear.  Actually, some of the relationships and back stories aren't spelled out when this novel ends... I wonder if the other books in the series clear up some of the mysteries left behind.  I may have to keep reading to find out!

I also always thought that the stories must be scandalous... maybe not Cinemax After Dark scandalous, but naughty in some way.  And maybe they were viewed that way in 1976.  I mean there is plenty of adultery, plus drug use, and (GASP!) homosexuality!!  Oh my!  I can see why it was popular as a miniseries.  It has all the makings of a good soap opera and I guess that's part of what kept me reading.

While I enjoyed reading this book, I didn't initially have any light bulbs go off in the inspiration department.  (I find that this happens to me a lot, actually!  Maybe because I'm too involved in the story and forget to think about design inspiration as I read.)  Luckily, I remembered that I've been hoarding a pendant from The Classic Bead that features a cityscape.  I've been holding onto it waiting for just the right challenge and that time is now!

To echo the windows in all those buildings, I stuck to rectangular gemstone beads in Kyanite and Bronzite to match the pendant.  Overall, I kept things pretty simple this time to let the pendant stand out.  I love the variations in the blue glaze make it look a little like clouds and stars in the sky.

Want to see what the other members of the book club created?  Or join in on the fun yourself?  Check out our Facebook Group HERE.  Thanks for stopping by!


  1. That's such a cool focal!!!!
    You are so right though. In today's world, this book doesn't seem so scandalous. But back in the day, I guess it would have been.
    If you read further into the series, keep me posted. Not that I have time to read them myself, but you know, curious to see what you think!
    And as always- great piece!!!

  2. Very cool necklace Sarajo!!Love the blue beads echoing the windows in the building. I enjoyed the book too but am not ready yet with my inspiration although it is in the works. So much going on right now including some warm weather making me want to be outside. I always enjoy reading your posts.

  3. Love the necklace! The pendant is perfect, and I love the idea of rectangular beads to echo windows. Keep reading! Mysteries are cleared up, and it's lots of fun. Also, it does seem silly that it was scandalous back in the day, but even in the early '90s when this was a miniseries on PBS, I remember it being a scandal because of gay characters. Ellen didn't come out until the late '90s and THAT was a big deal. It's amazing to think how things were.

  4. Great pendant, and the blue and brown beads coordinate perfectly!