Favorite Friday #5

On a Saturday – I know. But it has been a rather crazy week. Very short COVID-update. My friend has tested positive and therefore I am currently in quarantine, dreading the moment I might start developing symptoms. I just had my appointment for the test, and will have to stay in quarantine until Monday regardless of the test result – providing I remain symptom free.

Favorite Friday is a bookish meme which was started a couple of weeks ago over at The Midnight Book blog. Since the prompts posed interesting questions I’ve decided to join. Today’s question is about a favorite book from my childhood.

I have a confession to make. I didn’t read that much as a child! I read much more nowadays. This is quite funny, because almost everyone I know claims they read much more as a child than they do now. Nevertheless, I of course read some books, and have warm feelings towards some of them.

I already discussed last week how I really enjoyed reading Thea Beckman and how it got me interested in history but also dystopian books. Another genre that I like to read is Time Travel, so I started wondering where that all started. And I think it was with this series, which strictly speaking is not real time travel, but close enough.

When I was in the final year of primary school (so around 12 years old) I had a friend who was so enthusiast about these books and said they would also be perfect for me. Like I said, I didn’t read that much around that time, but I was immediately taken in with the series. The first three books I thoroughly loved. Another trilogy was written later and I don’t know how I felt about that one. Maybe I had outgrown the series, maybe they weren’t so good. I mainly enjoyed spending time with my favorite characters there, but felt it was leaning too heavily on these nostalgic feelings.

(Although now that I looked the book up again – I realize just how ugly that cover is ๐Ÿ˜…. Those eyes!)

City of Masks (Stravaganza #1) – Mary Hoffman



Lucien is seriously ill but his life is transformed when an old Italian notebook gives him the power to become a stravagante, a time traveller with access to 16th century Italy. He wakes up in Bellezza (Venice) during carnival time and meets Arianna, a girl his own age who is disguised as a boy in the hope of being selected as one of the Duchessa’s mandoliers. Arianna gives Lucien her boy’s clothing and he is selected as a mandolier himself, becoming a friend of fellow-stravagante Rodolfo, the Duchessa’s lover, and saving the Duchessa’s life when she is threatened by an assassin hired by the powerful di Chimici family. For state occasions the Duchessa uses her maid Giuliana as a body-double but Guiliana commits the fatal mistake of revealing the secret to her fiance Enrico and a sequence of devastating consequences unravels. Meanwhile Lucien has met the original stravagante, the Elizabethan alchemist William Dethridge, and he begins to understand that he may be called to follow in his footsteps.

What are your childhood favorites? – Please let me know in the comments!

21 thoughts on “Favorite Friday #5

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      1. Ugh, sorry to hear that (about you) โ€” though glad to hear about your friend. Fingers crossed itโ€˜s โ€œjustโ€œ stress in your case … though thatโ€˜s not really a whole lot better, either, of course.:(

        Liked by 1 person

      2. If it’s stress that would probably mean it will get better from the moment I hear the results. Also, they are renovating my place – and I warned them about my quarantine, but they insisted to work in place, and they should continue tomorrow. No idea what would happen if I am in fact positive (so that’s quite a large part of the stress as well).

        Liked by 1 person

  1. The first book I properly remember reading again and again was The Fruit Bat by Mark Foreman. I think I must have been about 5ish? I also remember rereading What Katy Did lots.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t recognize any of these titles. When I was a kid a lot of the books were originally Dutch books I think. Except for some famous picture books like The Ever Hungry Caterpillar and such, but those were read to me, rather than me reading them myself.


    1. Sounds nice! I just realized with this post that most of the books I read as a kid were not in translation, so no one would now them except my generation of Dutch kids ๐Ÿ˜‰

      Same the other way round, I have hardly ever heard of other people’s childhood favorites.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Here’s a block editor question I was wondering if you could answer.

    I use the “spacer” block enough and I always put it down to the 20px size. Is there anyway to save it as a custom block at 20px?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope you don’t mind if I chime in here. You would add an additional CSS to your theme under Appearance -> Customize -> Additional CSS like so:

      .20px {
      height: 20px;

      If your theme doesn’t have this you may use the snippets plugin to achieve the same thing.

      Then when you add the block, click advanced ( when under block settings, not document settings ) and add “20px” to the Additional CSS Classes.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Thanks for chiming in.
        For that amount of work, it is easier to just manually adjust the size to 20px.

        It just boggles my mind why WP instituted this overly complicated editor. When you have to take tutorials just to write a simply post, you’d think someone higher up would have realized that was a bad idea. Oh well….

        Liked by 2 people

      2. so it turns out I had to add the spacer block, change it to 20px, then save it as a reusable block. So in essence I created yet another block to deal with. But no more regular spacer block and having to resize it each time. That should save me a couple of seconds every post.

        Thanks for letting me bounce ideas around…

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Glad you already figured it out!

        I also just gave it a try and could make the reusable 20px spacer block. I have a reusable template for my entire posts. So I just need to edit the information for the specific book, but layout is already taken care of.

        Liked by 2 people

      4. I would love to have a whole post template, but since I write everything in Openoffice first (been burned too many times trying to write online, plus copy\pasting to multiple sites), it just isn’t feasible. Little things like having a custom spacer is good, even if it does just reduce my workload by 5 seconds. It is one less step I have to take anyway.

        At this point, I’m trying to be positive in anyway I can about this bleeping editor…

        Liked by 2 people

      5. Yes, I see. I also write my reviews elsewhere, but there is limited formatting I do on the reviews itself. Paragraphs are maintained, as is italics/bold etc, and since I don’t need more spacing in my review it self it works for me.

        Liked by 1 person

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