My New Year’s Revolution

This is a poem I wrote some time ago. It’s still a bit rough around the edges but I decided I’d share it anyway.

Everyone is talking of resolutions, but I think
Next year I am going to have a revolution.
I don’t plan to overthrow the government
Or to demonstrate in discontent.
And I won’t consider what it meant
That Trump became a president.
Instead I am going to revolutionise my own heart
And bring myself a fresh new start.

Because instead of resolutions
I will have a revolution.

I will read all the books I bought
So long ago somewhere abroad.
Finally I’ll fight alongside Enjolras,
and Marius and Jean Valjean.
I’ll have a Russian winter with a doctor called Shivago
And I’ll hang with Harry Potter (like I did ten years ago).
I will read only what delights me
I will find joy in the pages that find me.

Because instead of resolutions
I will have a revolution.

I will work, I will give it all I’ve got
I will give my best and take a shot.
But I will not give more than that
This time I will not drive myself so mad.
Just this once, for one year only
I will be ME so wholly.
Just this once, I will lean back.
Just this once, I’ve got my back.

Because instead of resolutions
I will have a revolution.

My own greatest oppressor am I myself.
The dictator of me could be no one else.
But I want to overthrow this government
And demonstrate in discontent.
And I will not be afraid
Of life and love and the things I said.
I will do what makes me smile
I will leave what has made me cry.
I am going to revolutionise my own heart
And bring myself a fresh new start.

Because instead of resolutions
I will have a revolution.

 

 

 

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All The Things You May Say To A Book Lover

Lately I have stumbled upon a number of posts on blogs that listed phrases you should never ever under any circumstances say to a book lover. I’d say I’m a pretty huge fan of books, and have been since I was a child. But every single one of those posts just annoyed me a great deal. It’s a snobby attitude to pretend that reading is a better hobby than, say, doing ballet or watching football. So, as a book lover, I decided to list all the things you may say to me (yes, even WHILE I’m reading!)…

 «But you have got so many books already!»
I knooow, right? And aren’t they pretty! Thank you so much for noticing!

 «Wow, you’ve read that book in a single day?»
Thank you, I appreciate the admiring tone!

 «I liked the movie better.»
That’s okay. Maybe it was a hell of a movie then!

 «I’m not going to read the book – I’ve already seen the movie!»
Seriously, the only time I will judge you for this is when it comes to Harry Potter. But, hey, sometimes we’re just not in the mood to like something!

 «You read a lot. What’s the name of the author who wrote that book about those things?»
Aw, I probably don’t know. But thank you for believing that I might!

«I’ve read this brilliant book…!»
Tell me more, tell me more!

«I hate to interrupt you while you’re reading, but…»
The last time I was told that, someone wanted to discuss dinner plans with me. Books are food for thought, but they’re not pasta.

«How many books do you have?»
I don’t know. But I don’t mind telling you about my shelves anyway (since you showed a spark of interest.)

«Wanna go to the bookstore?»
Yes please! Let’s talk about books, baby! Let’s talk about you and me…!

«I don’t have time to read.»
And I don’t have time for football or Grey’s Anatomy. We only make time for the things we actually enjoy, and why shouldn’t we?

«You must have been such a nerd in school!»
O.M.G. YES! But I once was thrown out of the library for inapropriate behaviour (= holding hands with a boy). So, you see, I was also a rebel.

«Haven’t you already read that book?»
And it was so amazing I’m reading it again! Maybe you would enjoy it, too?

«What’s that book about?»
Your mistake if you ask me that question, because I will now not shut up until I finish telling you the ENTIRE FRIGGIN’ PLOT!

I realise that every society has this group of people who think reading is rubbish. But same goes for every hobby. Not everyone can enjoy the same things, and some people find this harder to accept than others. But we readers like to believe that we’re super smart (which we TOTALLY are!), and shaming others for asking a silly question just isn’t a very smart thing to do. Really, there is only one sentence that every book lover will truly hate from the bottom of their hearts, and that is

«The sequel will be out in 2047!»

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Wishing you all a wonderful autmn-y week and a happy Booktober!

xxx

The Harry Potter Book Tag

Everyone’s going wild because of Harry Potter again, and the world is as it should be! Potter and books, this tag is made for me!

I tagged myself. Thanks, me!

Important rule: You can’t use any of the HP books in the answer. (But who cares, eh?)

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A BOOK YOU FOUND THE THEME INTERESTING, BUT WOULD LIKE TO REWRITE.

On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher. The story, at least in the beginning, is set in an appartment building that serves as the waiting room for all the souls that aren’t ready to pass through their doors to heaven. Beautiful idea, beautiful cover, beautiful writer – unfortunately the writing style just really isn’t for me.

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THE FIRST BOOK IN A SERIES THAT GOT YOU HOOKED.

How can I answer this truthfully and not say Harry Potter? My dad read the books to me and my brother when we were very young; unless you count Where’s Waldo, we literally didn’t care about any sort of series before that.

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A BOOK YOU WISH YOU COULD HAVE RIGHT NOW.

The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon. I am really anxious to find out what’s going to happen to Paige, and how dare you end a book on SUCH a cliffhanger and then wait two years to give me the sequel!

If you don’t know who Samantha Shannon is, then you need to read The Bone Season RIGHT NOW!

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A KILLER BOOK. BOTH SENSES. TAKE IT AS YOU LIKE.

Fools Rush In by Bill Carter. Both senses. In this gem Bill Carter shares his story of when he went to Bosnia during the war in the 1990ies where he helped distribute food and other goods and wound up filming the documentary Miss Sarajevo. I promise, this will change your life.

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A BOOK THAT YOU FOUND REALLY CONFUSING.

Hades by Alexandra Adornetto. Maybe more disturbing than confusing. All those characters not knowing what they want and being all dramatic… ergh. Gave me a headache.

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YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL BOOK.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien. I can’t read this without picturing New-Zealandese landscapes, and it always makes me feel a bit nostalgic. That aside, the story discusses questions that I’ve always found challenging and worth thinking about. I am not kidding, I read the first book when I was ten and decided to go save the world and marry Legolas (you only throw that stupid ring into a fire, job done! Easy.) To this day I find encouragement in the idea that the smallest person can change the outcome of things. Most of what I’m doing now was at some point inspired by Sir Tolkien.

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A DARK AND TWISTED BOOK.

Of Love and Shadows by Isabel Allende. That book feels especially dark and twisted because it tells the truth. The story is set in Chile during Pinochet’s dictatorship. A young journalist discovers the mass grave of brutally murdered civilians. She spends a disturbing amount of time in that grave.

Definitely a book worth reading. Also, pro tip: Get the tissues ready!

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A BOOK THAT SURPRISED YOU IN A GREAT WAY BECAUSE IT REVEALS TO BE MORE THAN IT SEEMS.

Flat-Out Love by Jessica Parks. I assumed this would be a mere YA novel with the self-loathing teenage girl and the angsty, blond heart throb, but it turned out to be quite the opposite! Samantha and I ended up discussing this book in our book club of two more than once. (Samantha’s just this human who is obsessed with books as well)

I tag everyone who wants to do this tag! I’ll look forward to reading your answers!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Sexy Books: Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

Just read: Hades by Alexandra Adornetto

This book. It made me wince in disgust; so much in fact, that the guy next to me on the train asked whether I was in pain. And then I almost got up and told Carrie Fletcher to stop laughing so noisily. But that’s another story.
Hello me, Queen of awkward social encounters!

No, really. That book. There is so much wrong with it. So. Bloody.Much.

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Hades ist he sequel to Halo, and that I liked. It’s cute and innocent and it actually made my heart melt a little bit. But here we have a couple that is clingy beyond compare. It seems that the first five chapters or so of the book only try to prove why Beth and Xavier should not spend any time apart at all. As soon as they do terrible things happen. As in, the devil comes and drags Beth into Hell, and because she’s an angel this is sort of spectacular.

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So throughout the entire story Beth sits miserably in hell an misses her boyfriend.

Bethany Church is an angel sent to Earth to keep dark forces at bay. Falling in love was never part of her mission, but the bond between Beth and her mortal boyfriend, Xavier Woods, is undeniably strong. But even Xavier’s love, and the care of her archangel siblings, Gabriel and Ivy, can’t keep Beth from being tricked into a motorcycle ride that ends up in Hell. There, the demon Jake Thorn bargains for Beth’s release back to Earth. But what he asks of her will destroy her, and quite possibly, her loved ones, as well.

First of all, Beth is disturbingly obsessed with Xavier’s beauty and the fact that he is perfect in every way. He doesn’t drink or do drugs or drive too fast in a car, and he’s the smartest kid at school, and the list won’t ever end! I get that in YA novels the guy has to be hot and smart, that’s what we’re here for, right? But who finds that attractive? Geez, I actually started fancying Jake, because at least he goes to parties and is funny, and he has a motorcycle. Jake’s hot, okay? Sadly, he’s also incredibly stupid. To break Beth he tries to upset her by telling her that Xavier is now dating her best friend – really, Jake? Isn’t that, like, the easiest trick in the book? But hey, luckily enough, Beth is just as stupid. She bursts right out that she’s drunk some sort of water that enables her spirit to visit Earth. You had one secret to keep, woman! One! And you fell for a silly old trick!

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Then there is also the strong morale that is just too present on every page. I am religious, and I think I am fairly open minded to other people’s beliefs. But when you try to tell me that some teenage girl is going to hell because her ex-boyfriend was a hit-and-run driver, I am definitely not okay with that. What’s good and what’s bad is presented in black and white. There is no in between at all. The concept of hell is actually quite a cool concept for a story, whether you believe in it or not, there is so much potential! But nope. Beth just sits there sulking. Or stalking her boyfriend in her dreams.

And lastly, can we talk about the fact that Jake forces Beth to sleep with him, and not once is it mentioned that this is rape? We get pages of delirium from Beth why she doesn’t want to do it and how it’s a sacred ritual meant to conceive babies – we get it, woman! You don’t want to have sex with him, it’s non-consensual, and him calling it «making love» doesn’t stop it from being rape.

Ugh, I still cringe when I think back. Really, all I wanted was some snogging and a few cheesy lines. Is that too much to ask?!

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Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Sexy Books: After You by Jojo Moyes

Just read: After You by Jojo Moyes

Two words: Jojo Moyes!

Hasn’t she crushed everybody’s heart by creating Will Traynor! Seriously, have you ever fancied an arrogant quadriplegic so much?

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It took me a while but I finally got around to reading the sequel to Me Before YouAFTER YOU. I sort of had mixed feelings about that book before I started reading it, mainly because Me Before You has a really beautiful ending; it crushed my heart into tiny little pieces, but it ended very smoothly. And I worried that a sequel might just over do it. But then the last week of university happened and I failed miserably in an exam, so Corinne took me book shopping during our lunch break (you haven’t met Corinne – she loves books. And I’m pretty sure she won at the exam. She’s very smart. Anyway.) and I ended up with that book in my hand, and the blurb just had me:

Lou Clark has a lot of questions.

Like how it is she’s ended up working in an airport bar, spending every shift watching other people jet off to new places.

Or why the flat she’s owned for a year still doesn’t feel like home.

Whether her close-knit family can forgive her for what she did eighteen months ago.

And will she ever get over the love of her life.

What Lou does know for certain is that something hast o change.

Then, one night, it does.

But does the stranger on her doorsteps hold the answers Lou is searching for – or just more questions?

Close the door and life continues: simple, ordered, safe.

Open it and she risks everything.

But Lou once made a promise to live. And if she’s going to keep it, she hast o invite them in.

I spent two days in bed just swallowing this book up. I only cried once – from page 3 to 407! And I don’t mean I occasionally had to wipe away a tear or two, no – I was sobbing! Proper wailing! For hours!

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From what I’ve gathered by the comments on Goodreads, quite a few people are disappointed by After You because they feel it doesn’t do the prequel justice. The main problem, I think, is that the book doesn’t have a strong story line. There is not that much of an action filled plot, it’s the much more subtle story of how somebody might overcome grief. Grief is on every page, and it is reflected in so many different ways; and possibly if, like me, you’ve never experienced any grieving loss, it can get a little bit repetitive. But that didn’t make the story any less of a worthy sequel to me. I imagine grief would be quite repititive, too, so it felt like a very well developed scenario. The characters were all very 3-dimensional, they felt incredibly alive and real, and I fell in love with all of them.

And the beautiful thing is that, although the story is about loss and grief, it also has a very hopeful connotation. I mostly cried because there is so much love on these pages, so many reasons for the characters to want to stay alive. The Traynors, rich and cold and arrogant, loved their Will so much that they invite Lily, a wild, rude, chain-smoking sixteen-year old, into their lives with open arms and open hearts. Lily is such a key character. She basically takes the role Louisa had in Me Before You, whereas Lou is sort of stuck, just like Will used to be – except that she really has a choice of how to live her life. It’s the story of how Lou finds her real potential («Don’t say potential!») and starts living the life Will wanted her to live.

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I believe that this book is important also in the aspect of the topic it discusses. Assisted suicide is extremely controversial in almost every country, and it is one thing to talk about what makes a person opt for it and how they see it through, but it is equally important to talk about what happens next. What happens to the friends and familiy who were there, the ones that allowed it to happen? Do they feel like murderers? Are they treated as such?

In Switzerland, where I live, this really isn’t much of an issue. People decide to die with Dignitas or Exit all the time, and I’ve never heard anyone call their families murderers for being with them when they died. But it’s so important to note that in many places these are people’s sentiments exactly. And it’s so important to realise that Lou or the Traynors really had no say in this. What they are left with is intense grief and a sense of failure. Much like everyone else.

Get the tissues out, guys! You’re in for a snotty ride!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

BERLIN STORY (A Berlin Bookshop)

A couple of weeks ago ago I talked about a book called The Bookshop Book by Jen Campbell which, in my opinion, is a must-read for every book lover out there!
Some of my my favourite shops I’ve listed in the mentioned post, and everytime I go somewhere new I take this book with me hoping Jen knows a place for me to go. And she nearly always does. (Isn’t that very lovely of her!)

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In May my mum and I went to Berlin for a short holiday, and it was pure awesomeness! The weather was gorgeous, we went out for brunch everyday and I ate more chocolate than I could digest. The bookshop Jen Campbell mentioned in her book is called BERLIN STORY. It’s a store dedicated to books about or set in Berlin. It is located very close to the Brandenburger Tor, so it’s hard to miss if you’re going along the tourist route.

The store, however does not have a very bookish atmosphere to it; it also sells a big variety of souvenirs, so it’s really more of a tourist shopping attraction. However, it’s definitely a go-to place if you’re looking for literature on Berlin.

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Berlin is one of my favourite places on earth, mainly because so much has happened to and in this city, and it’s still standing strong. It has been the center of German social and political life for centuries now; every important person in history has visited at least once, every story told is unique. There used to be a wall separating families and friends and lovers, and in the end they didn’t tear it down – they used it as a gallery and they sell ist pieces to tourists. There is so much life to Berlin. Like a wallflower desperately blooming in the shade and growing through cement. I don’t know how anyone can not love it.

BERLIN STORY is a fine representation of what the city itself holds. There’s autobiographies from people who had breakfast with Prussian Emperors over Jewish women who tried to hold their families together during the Nazi regime, up to modern-day fathers who describe their everyday life putting up with sodding toddlers in the roaring city of Berlin. There’s crime, romance, YA novels, guide books, photography bibles, history books – it’s everything that makes Berlin. It’s the past and the present, it’s the drug-dealing children at the Bahnhof Zoo and the man who lives with a communist kanguruh – it’s everything, and there’s a lot of it.

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I could tell you endless stories about Berlin – Döner tours, attempting to drown a friend in a fountain and having ice cream at midnight with Anna… but for tonight I’ll leave you with this one. The BERlN STORY, if you so will.

What is your favourite city? And is there a favourite bookshop of yours?

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

Sexy Books: The White Goddess by Simon Gough

Just read: The White Goddess: An Encounter by Simon Gough

 Just to be clear, when I say «Just read» I really mean that I read this book over a period of seven months. Does this tell you enough?

I bought it at Blackwell’s in Oxford last summer, and if you don’t know Blackwell’s, it’s a gigantic book store and they had the BRILLIANT idea of offering their customers blind dates with books. They wrap the books up and write a little something about them on the paper, and you choose one that sounds appealing to you. That way you don’t judge the books by its cover. They also don’t give you the blurb but really just tell you why it is awesome. So I put total faith in the booksellers and ended up with Simon Goughs memoir.

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«When 10-year-old Simon Gough went to Majorca in 1953 he thought he had landed in paradise. Far from the misery of his English boarding school and his parent’s divorce, he fell in love – with the tiny village of Deya, with his wild cousin Juan and most of all with his beloved ”Grand-Uncle” Robert Graves.

When he returned in 1960, paradise had been overrun by beatniks and marijuana – and Simon liked it all the more. But soon he fell for the enchanting Margot Callas, Robert Graves’ muse. He found himself entangled in a web of lies and deceit and playing a game whose rules he didn’t understand. The repercussions would haunt him for the rest of his life.

The White Goddess: An Encounter is a mesmerising tale of sex, lies and divided loyalties. Set between the magic of a bohemian Majorca and the horror of Franco’s Madrid, it is a haunting evocation of a lost time and place, dominated by the extraordinary power of Robert Graves, one of the 20th century’s greatest writers.»

There were some very intriguing things about this book. First of all, it’s really a memoir but it is written in the style of a novel. It’s very captivating at first and fort he first 162 pages it’s impossible to put down. That is because the first part of the book (162 pages) describes Simon’s childhood when he visited his uncle in Majorca. It all feels very surreal and insane and beautiful. It takes you right to Spain and makes you crave the ocean and paella and crazy relatives. (and I don’t even like paella all that much. But after reading this I can’t stop thinking about it!)

The only thing wrong with the book is that the author didn’t finish the book there. Oh no, seven years later he’s back, an angst ridden teenager, filled to the brim with hormones and uncontrollable lust. AND OF COURSE HE FALLS IN LOVE! Oh, and not just with any girl, nope! His heart’s desire is his grand-uncle’s twenty-four year old lover! Feel disgusted yet?

As you can probably guess, Margot (the girl’s name) and Simon have a somewhat complicated relationship. They each start living in Madrid and they hang out from time to time, and whenever they don’t he turns into Bella Swan. You know, Spain was under dictatorship at the time, you’d think there were more things to worry about. Nah, Simon only cares about why Margot will not comply to his clinginess.

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It just got way too much for me and I had to pick up something else to read. I mean, seriously, at one point he rips a corpse’s head off and gives it to Margot as a symbol of his undying love for her. What… WHY?! Is this a guy thing? – Boys, never ever under any circumstances give me a human head! I’ll go out with you for chocolates, I swear!
Why I kept reading I’ll never know.

This incident aside, the most disturbing part for me, was the end. See, now I’m torn between bringing on the spoilers and letting people find out for themselves. I’ll cut it short: Margot runs off, Simon gets in a fight with his uncle, the end. ALL THAT DRAMA AND HE DOESN’T EVEN GET THE GIRL! Damn it, Simon!

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I have been holding all that in for quite some time, believe me! On the plus side, there are some characters that made it worth my time. For instance, Beryl, Simon’s aunt. She’s just so down to earth and sweet and kind, and geez, that woman is patient! She doesn’t mind the least that her husband is having an affair with this young bimbo. He calls Margot his «Muse» and she totally goes along with it. And then there’s also Stella, some girl who spends her holidays in Majorca, and she said what I kept thinking the entire time: «It’s better than moping around like a love-sick idiot,» she retorted. «You’re quite a pair, you and Robert, both pining after the same woman – sorry –goddess–!» Oooh, burnn!

Well, I think Simon should have gone after Stella. The two or three times she appeared she seemed very cool and grounded, and, man, I wish there was a book about her instead!

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I need to stop now because I could rant on forever and ever, and then I’d miss my lecture, and then I would not know enough about the exciting world of Slavic philology.

Have a good rest of the week everybody!
Lots of love from the roots of my heart,
xxx

The header image has nothing to do with the book. I just like Sangria (and it’s Spanish, that counts, right?)

Sunshine Blogger Award

Hey there fellow bloggers, how’s it going? I have been nominated by Faith from Sublime Reads for the Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you very much! 🙂 I got to answer a bunch of amazing questions, and I pray you don’t find the answers too disturbing (they may be a little. it’s what you want. let it happen).

Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer the 11 questions you were asked
  • Nominate 11 other bloggers
  • Ask the nominees 11 questions

Here we go:

1. Congratulations! Thanks to Voldemort, you now somehow permanently look exactly like him. You’re forced into writing him a Thank You card. What does it say?

To his excellency, The Man Who Let The Boy Live. The Dark Lord. Our Evil Master.

Thank you, good Sir, for giving me that precious face of yours. I will admit that it is indeed not what I have been dreaming of all throughout my teenage years when I desperately wanted to be a princess. But having your face and accepting it as my own has truly given my life a new significance and made me realise that you, evilest of evil, are not all that different from a princess. I found your tiara, and it‘s pretty. But, oh Lord, riddle me this: where do you buy your fabulous robes? And do you reckon they would have them in pink as well, as to match the tiara?

Cheers, Volders! I am indepted to you forevermore! xoxo

2. What does the air currently smell like where you are? Describe it while fitting in the word “hairy” somewhere along the way.

It smellls of English Breakfast Tea and my cat‘s body odour and the delicious shampoo I put on my hairy sculp this morning.

3. What are 3 things that make you laugh?

1: Recently my friend Nadine has been making me laugh by repeatedly telling me of her shopping experience at a clothing store called Ciolina (it was as magical as it was disturbing).
2: Princess Consuela Bananahammock. (Need I say more?)
3: My brothaa! We‘re really funny but I‘m starting to think that we‘re the only ones feeling it. Which, you know, is even more fun.

4. If you were a son/daughter of ___________ at Camp Half Blood, what kind of pranks would you pull? (If you’re somehow living under the Earth’s tectonic plates and you’re unfamiliar with Camp Half Blood, tell us your thoughts about the Percy Jackson books even if you haven’t read them.)

Yeah, look, sadly and much to my shame I have NEVER read or seen Percy Jackson. I‘ve been meaning to for the past five years, and I am getting really desperate to find out who Anabeth is (that‘s her name, right? There‘s a thing called Percybeth, am I right?!) and to dive into the depth of this fandom; maybe I‘ll start reading it when I‘m a hundred something and ready to say good-bye to life anyway. On second thought, maybe I‘ll start this summer.

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5. Type as much as you can about one of these topics: your life/your first impression of blobfish/the first thing that comes into your mind in 6 seconds. Keep in the grammar & spelling mistakes and show us what you’ve got!

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*do I literally type this slowly?! I had so many more thoughts to share on blobfish!*

6. Share your favourite joke.

What do you call a black person flying a plane? – A pilot, you racist!

7. What’s the first thing that comes into your mind right now? It can be anything! Here, I’ll give you 3 seconds… great! Whatever you thought of is now related to how your favourite villain or most despised character had died – write about it.

Grapefruit! Don‘t ask me why. And of course Dolores Umbridge loves a bitter old grapefruit with its pink interior matching her own pink costumes. She consumes all the bitterness of this fruit, and thrives on it. J.K. never talks about it in the books, but when whenever she‘s alone in her office she stuffs herself with grapefruits and it makes her evil and happy, and she even convinces Voldemort to try a grapefruit diet, and they live happily ever after (until he dies and she chokes on her own medicine). The End.

8. Try to fit in as many stereotypes about your own country as you can while talking about books.

One of my favourite books is The Lord of the Rings, and I especially love the part where they walk through the mountains and Legolas casually walks on the snow while everyone else is kinda stuck in it. And you know how all the way to Mordor those guys just keep yodelling? (I‘m sure that‘s what it sounded like!) My other fave is Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban where the kids are forced by the school nurse to eat chocolate! And not to mention Heidi! If you‘ve never read that book you have failed in your literary life because that story may be cheesy, but it will reduce you to tears and tear your soul apart!

9. Tell me, what did Shakespeare shake? Bonus: If you can, quote something from Shakespeare from the top of your head.

He shook some mad grapefruit juice for Umbridge to shut her up, and he shouted happily: «The rest is silence!»

10.  Are you left-handed or right-handed or ambidextrous or another breed of human? (An extraterrestrial, perhaps? )

I‘m right handed and absolutely incapable of doing anything with my left hand. I just have it for the looks.

11. Would you rather get free chocolate every time you get a paper cut or automatically get a free full-proof pass in making someone’s day whenever you read a not-so-great book?

YESSS!

Now I‘m allowed to make up my own questions! Brace yourselves!

  1. Would you rather drink wine with Lord Voldemort (aka Tom Riddle) in his Chamber of Secrets during the sexy ages, or paint mandalas with Professor Snape in a therapeutic session to cure passive-aggressive behaviour?
  2. Who is your bookish best friend?
  3. If you had a book quote tattoo which quote would you pick?
  4. Turn The Hobbit into a hardcore feminist version. What‘s the title? And what happens in the story?
  5. Who are your three dream dinner party guests?
  6. Do you think the seventh sentence on page 77 of the book you are currently reading describes your purpose of existence well?
  7. Imagine you just drank the love potion intended for someone else yourself, and now you‘re in love with your own face. Write yourself a love letter!
  8. Which is your favourite bookstore?
  9. What do you think (or rather, hope!) John Green‘s new book is about?
  10. What book was the cause for your last book hangover?
  11. Do you have a literary mug? If so, what does it say? And if not, what should it say?

An Award for the sexy noodles of the blogging sphere:

Anna from Tiny Trinket
Caitlin from Caitlin Versus Words
John from Storytime with John
Deliah and Lara from Halfway to Broadway
Jonathan and Aaron from Husband & Husband
The girl behind Stash Matters whose name I didn’t quite catch (sorry!)
Allie from Allie’s Life
Khloe Nicole from Domino Effect of Life
Juan-Paul from My Husband & I
Lily from The Lily Notepad
Kat from Book Box by Kat

At this point I’m just going to quote Faith because I was gonna say this anyway, and she already put this so nicely:
«If you feel sad because you don’t see yourself already tagged, just tell me if you want to do this and I’ll add you right onto this list! If you’re one of the “usuals” that we tag/you already have A TONNN on your shoulders, then please don’t feel obliged to answer these questions because SOMETIMES IT’S PRESSURING. And I get it. STRESS AND LAZINESS: I admire your ever-unrelenting persistence. (Maybe if I worked as hard as these guys, I’d actually BE SOMEWHERE. But then again, this is a super ironic statement.) So whatever it is you’re doing, here’s a smile, a hug, and some freshly baked internet cookies! Or better yet, ICE CREAM COOKIE SANDWICHES.»

All About Love by Bell Hooks

I am extremely excited about having finished the third book from Emma Watson‘s feminist book club «Our Shared Shelf» All About Love. New Visions by Bell Hooks; I mean I finished it, and it‘s still March! Yuss! I‘m on schedule!
Sorry. That‘s not why we‘re here.IMG_20160322_233624I never read the blurb because if Emma Watson gives you a book to read you don‘t go questioning it, all right? But I‘m not Emma, so I might as well give you the blurb:

«The word „love“ is most often defined as a noun, yet… we would all love better if we used it as a verb,» writes bell hooks as she comes out fighting and on fire in All About Love. Here, at her most provocative and intensely personal, the renowned scholar, cultural critic, and feminist skewers our view of love as romance. In its place she offers a proactive new ethic for a people and a society bereft with lovelessness.
As bell hooks uses her incisive mind and razor-sharp pen to explore the question „What is love?“ her answers strike at both the mind and heart. In thirteen concise chapters, hooks examines her own search for emotional connection and society‘s failure to provide a model for learning to love. Razing the cultural paradigm that the ideal love is infused with with sex and desire, she provides a new path to love that is sacred, redemptive, and healing for individuals and for a nation. The Utne Reader declared bell hooks one of the „100 Visionaries Who Could Change Your Life.“ All About Love is a powerful affirmation of just how profoundly she can.

To be honest, I had some trouble getting into the book, and at times also to keep reading. For one thing, the autho‘s big on generalisations. Right from the beginning she declares that love means something inherently different for men than it does for women. I generally disagree with feminists who claim that the difference between men and women is purely in the testicles because obviously testosterone does to a certain degree define how prone someone is to violence and other traits we claim as «manly.» Still, to say that «men» see love as such and such and that this would contradict any woman‘s point of view I found difficult to accept. She doesn‘t really leave any window open for cultural norms (I‘m sure that my male Honduran friends have a different idea of love than my male friends from New Zealand), nor does she really mention that her theories could apply to both genders.

Bell Hooks is also quite quick in drawing conclusions based on her own subjective opinion on the matter. For instance, in one chaper, she states without any lead-up:Bild 28I would have liked a little more information or reasoning as to how she came to this conclusion.

There were a number of other things that I‘m not going to go into detail about; such as the fact that she continuously contradicts herself or the beforementioned subjectivity. I still rated it four out of five stars, because from 20,000 ft viewpoint I agree with her overall message. In fact, many of the things she says can be life changing if applied in day to day life.

One of the things I‘m finding most inspiring is the notion that love is a choice. If we want to be able to love we have to let ourselves be loved. I feel she‘s sort of going into what we learned from Stephen Chbowski that «We accept the love we think we deserbe.» Well, actually, what we deserve and what we don‘t is our own decision. We can decide that we deserve the best ever treatment from our friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, teachers, parents, etc. Or we can accept abuse as a norm. What is important is that it might be a bad idea to value romantic love over friendship.Bild 29Abuse is not love, the author stresses. It‘s just that sometimes we confuse it for love, especially at a young age. But I completely agree on the fact that if somebody makes you unhappy in any way it is okay for you to leave the realms of this relationship.

Over all the book tries to lay the groundwork for a more loving society. And love appears in so many different aspects of our daily lives; honesty, justice, care, nurturing, forgiveness, selflessnes… the list goes on. Essentially, these are also the foundation of peace.

I hope the sun is shining where you are and I hope you have a lunch date, as I do right now, and I also hope that you know you‘re totally and completely worthy of love, you sexy noodle!

Lots of love from the roots of my heart!
xxx

An Evening with Aleksandar Hemon

On wednesday I was lucky enough to attend a reading with Aleksandar Hemon. Literally, the only reason I went was because one of my professors at uni fangirled all over the place the other day, and naturally I had to see this phenomenon of a writer!

fangirlAleksandar Hemon is a Bosnian-born American fiction writer (as Wikipedia puts it). His stories are largely influenced by Slavic literature and treat the issue of Bosnian immigrants in the United States. He pretty much got stuck in ‘Murrica when he was there holidaying and suddenly a war burst out in his home country. But he‘s still there now, some twenty years later, publishing what sound like incredible stories.

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Despite his native language being Bosnian he writes in English, and he writes a lot! When a member of the audience asked him how he deals with writer‘s block, he replied, «I don‘t get writer‘s block. I have a condition that I call writer‘s diarrhea!» He is currently working on three books simultaneously, while it‘s been taking me six months so far to hand in a 10-page thesis paper! I mean, WHAT?! He‘s so cool that he didn‘t even tell his agent he was writing a book called The Making Of Zombie Wars. Have you ever seen that book in a store? Well, it‘s pretty friggin‘ huge! And he kept it secret until it was finished and he could ask his agent, «So, when would you like something new?» And apparently she went, «Umm… how ‘bout June?» And he said, «Well, how ‘bout right now?» And he presented to her a brandnew manuscript. Look, all I‘m saying is that if an agent asked me to write a book until bloody June, no matter where we stand in the year, I‘d probably go, «Yeah, but you do mean June 2047, right?!» Right. And this is why I‘m not a bestselling author.

e8e6a3b40fa04ee32c1bc0d100bc1995As you can probably guess from all this, and if you don‘t already know Aleksandar Hemon, he has published quite a number of books and short stories and essays, and what have you. On wednesday he read a bit from his latest book, the cheekily written The Making Of Zombie Wars which sounded okayish, and then went on to read from his memoire, The Book of my Lives. And boy, was that a hit. It was beautiful, it was funny, it was smart – and then my fangirling professor went on to say this really nice thing about opening up a new book from Aleksandar Hemon: «It‘s like doing the Ice Bucket Challenge!» And, you know, I believed him. This man can make you feel so much, simply by rearranging 26 letters over and over again. Plus, the other thing my professor said made the books even more intriguing: «You must not read Aleksandar‘s stories to feel better, that‘s not what they are for. But his stories, they do not accept the world we live in as the most acceptable one. They offer us an alternative. Not an escape, but an alternative. And in my opinion, in this world we‘re living in, this is the best literature has to offer us.»

I can‘t wait to get my hands on one of his books. As always I‘m going to let you in on my oh-so sophisticated thoughts on the matter, but for now I just want to leave you a quote from The Book of my Lives which I thought was absolutely beautiful and deserved a mention here:

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