Move along

22 Feb

From now on you will find me blogging about literature, film and culture over at Heddy’s Library 🙂

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Happy Days!

21 Jun

Hello!! I know I haven’t updated in ages, but I actually have some very good reasons. I’ve been quite busy lately, but it’s been a good kind of busy. And one of the main reasons for that is that I’ve got a job!!! 😀

So yeah, this is pretty big for me. As I’ve written about earlier I’ve had a really crappy year, and lots of shitty things happening in my life, and it’s been made worse by me not having much to do, but then again not being able to do much either. So the vicious circle started! I’ve now gotten out of the circle though, and the last month has been sooo so good. There has been so many good news lately, I achieved a lot and I’m feeling great. And I love my job! It’s in a bookshop, so I’m surrounded by things I love, I know a lot about the products we sell, and the work environment is great. I even get free reading examples of books that aren’t published yet, how cool is that! Even makes up for the silly outfit and wig I had to wear on Thursday 😉

Work Clown

Work Clown

I’ll be working there from now through July, which brings me to some more good news. I’ve found a place to live in Oslo, where I’ll start studying in August, it’s a student home in a brand new building, where I even get my own bathroom. Not used to such luxury when studying 😉 I’ll have the room from July 1st so I’ll travel in to Oslo to start decorating and buying some cheap furniture. Can’t wait to see how it looks like, only seen the outside of it so far, which looks great. It can’t be to shabby, as it’s brand new, ey? I’m also really looking forward to starting studying again as well, it’s really exciting starting something new. For those of you who need a reminder, I was formerly studying to be a teacher, but I quit recently and am now starting a bachelor in Library- and Information Science.

Since last time I updated I’ve also been in Trondheim and Frosta for a few days, my mum, some family friends and I made a roadtrip out of it, so we travelled up the 6th of June, and back down again the 9th. The drive takes about 8-9 hours, depending on how many stops you have, but it’s a beautiful journey with some amazing nature, so it’s not as tiring as it could be. I had some really nice couple of days, visited my amazing friend Marit and also seeing lots of people I don’t see nearly enough anymore. Frosta was beautiful as always, and we were so lucky with the weather, constant sun throughout the trip. Unfortunately, I lost my camera, so I don’t have a lot of pictures to show, except the few I “stole” from my mum 😉

So yeah. I’ve been floating around on cloud 9 lately, and been keeping myself quite busy. And the last week I’ve also been watching the World Cup every day, so I kind of neglected my blog a bit 😉 No more though! I’ve read so many good books lately, and I have to review some of them here and reccomend them to others, so keep tuned for that in a few days. I hope you’re all feeling as elated as me, spread the happiness around ;D

2014 Reading Challenge and 5 Book Reviews!

29 May

My reading challenge for 2014 is to read 25 books, and I’m using GoodReads to keep track of my progress. I chose to for 25 as I haven’t been sure of how this year would be like for me, how much energy and time I’d have, so I thought it best not to set the bar too high. Right now I’m on 14 read books, and have 4 unread ones waiting for me, so I’m well on my way, 4 books ahead of schedule 😉

I thought I’d give a quick review on a few of the books I’ve read so far this year, there are definitely many I’d recommend, and some that were quite disappointing.  I do usually write a full review on the books I read on Goodreads, so if you want to read them a bit more detailed, just head over there, as I will keep it quite short in this post.

Metro 2033 – Dmitry Glukhovsky

Metro 2033 quickly became one of my favourite reads, I found the story really interesting and exciting. It takes place in a post-apocalyptic world, where the few survivors in Moscow has taken refuge in the city underground, forming small societies in the different stations, all based on different ideologies. Some are at war, some at peace, some are overrun with mutants and horrible creatures. Life in the Metro is never particularly safe. I’ll be the first to admit that Glukhovsky’s writing style at times can become a bit repetitive, but I feel that it fits the tone of the story, and the plot itself is so strong that I’m willing to overlook this fact. A recommended read for anyone who likes dystopia, post-apocalyptic, exciting and thrilling novels!

The Night Circus – Erin Morgenstern

I’m sorry to say that this book was such a disappointment to me! I’ve heard many people praise The Night Circus, so my expectations were high, but sadly they were just not met. A story about a mystical night circus being the arena of a fierce and dangerous competitions between two young magicians sounds incredibly promising and exciting, so I was actually quite sad to discover that there wasn’t really anything exciting about this novel at all. My main problem was with the characters, they were all so underdeveloped and none of them really memorable. If I were to describe any of their personalities I’d actually come up short for every single one. I was quite annoyed by how it seemed like the author spent too much time making everything seem very pretty, and not enough time moving the plot forward or developing the characters and their relationships. Everything in this book is described to  detail, and yes, that part is well done and I can imagine being there and seeing all the wonderful things, smelling, tasting and sensing, but it’s so frustrating that that’s pretty much the whole book. In conclusion The Night Circus is not a book I’d recommend, but I know I’m in a minority there, so I’d suggest if anyone’s curious about it you should look it up and read more reviews before you decide.

Me Before You – Jojo Moyes

Reading Me Before You was almost the opposite experience of reading The Night Circus. I had quite low expectations as the cover looked super cheesy, and it didn’t sound all that interesting. Still, a lot of my friends had good things to say, so I gave it a try, and I’m so glad I did! The story centers around Lou Clark who finds herself in the need of a new job, and therefore becomes the personal assistant for former daredevil, now wheelchair-bound Will Traynor, and how their relationship develops and affects other aspects of their lives. What I really liked about Me Before You was that the characters were believable and dynamic, although not necessarily sympathetic all the time. Jojo Meyes also does a fine job using clichés in a good way, they are present, but they don’t take away from the story and it’s not over the top. A recommended read for anyone who likes reading about human relations, and doesn’t mind a bit of crying 😉

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West – Gregory Maguire

Aah, what can I say. I REALLY wanted to like this, but I just couldn’t. It was so frustrating how the writing style changed throughout the entire book, and not in a natural dynamic way, it was just chaotic. The characters had no consistency, and Maguire keeps pushing symbolism and metaphors in the readers face in almost every single paragraph. I like when stories are meant to represent something from our world, but gosh, be more subtle about it. I did actually like the first few chapters, and I think the story would be so much better if it was more about life at Shiz and Elphaba’s (the wicked witch) relationships with her fellow students. I think this might be the only occasion where I’ve liked an adaption of a book more than the book itself, so instead of recommending this read to anyone, I’ll rather go with: Watch the musical instead!

On Beauty – Zadie Smith

Howard Belsey is an Englishman abroad, an academic teaching in Wellington, a college town in New England. Married young, thirty years later he is struggling to revive his love for his African American wife Kiki. Meanwhile, his three teenage children— Jerome, Zora and Levi—are each seeking the passions, ideals and commitments that will guide them through their own lives. (From Goodreads). Zadie Smith is the queen of characterization, there’s no other way to put it. She creates characters that are so real, so versatile, so believable, and they all have their own distinct narrative styles and way of describing the world and others around them. I love how in On Beauty we start forming a picture and opinion on a person based on the point of view from one person, but then it completely changes (or develops would be a more correct term, as she’s not inconsistent) throughout the book, through the eyes of a different character. The people are all like an intricate puzzle, and each chapter provides a crucial piece to putting the puzzle together. A book I would recommend to everyone, but be aware that you shouldn’t expect to sympathise with the people you read about all the time!

 

Redhead

18 May

Aah, what a sunny and lazy Sunday. Not done much today, but it’s been super nice and sunny so I’ve made sure to enjoy it a bit while it lasts. It’s just starting to get a bit cloudy at the moment, and the weather report says we could have some thunder tonight. I can’t be the only one who loves thunder storms? I just really enjoy that feeling you get when it’s raining and thunders outside, and you can sit in the sofa wrapped in a blanket with a warm cup of tea. So, sunny days followed by stormy nights = my favourite!

New hair colour!

New hair colour!

I dyed my hair again last night! I first dyed it a bit over a month ago to bring out the red in my hair a bit more, but I decided I wanted a bit more intensity this time, and left the formula in for longer to get that proper red colour. I’m super happy with the result, but it’s a bitch to photograph, the proper colour just won’t show up. It’s actually a lot more vibrant in real life, but I guess these pictures will have to do. It also looks a bit uneven, which is mostly the lighting 🙂

I finished all the new books I bought a while ago, so of course I had to order some new online yesterday. I’m currently waiting for Silver Lining’s Playbook and Jane Eyre to arrive in my mailbox, meanwhile I’m going through all our bookshelves to find something that will catch my interest. I’m also always open to suggestions, so if anyone have any book recommendations I hope you leave a comment 🙂 I always try to give most genres a go, so it doesn’t have to be something similar to what I’ve read in the past. Quick reminder that this is my Goodreads-account, where a new friend is always welcomed.

I thought I’d do a post about my Reading Challenge for 2014, where I think it’s fitting that I add some of my reviews for my latest reads, which I said earlier I would post here. It’s coming soon, just need to gather all my thoughts and write it down. Until then, have a nice Sunday, and a good following week 🙂

A kingdom of isolation

10 May

I might not have a kingdom to myself (thank goodness), but I do have a house! I’m cat-sitting my dad’s three cats while he’s away ’till Wednesday, and I really appreciate being able to have some time just completely to myself. Well, myself and the cats. I am quite a social person and I love hanging out with friends and meeting people, but I also need to be alone once in a while. I don’t get easily bored, and I find great pleasure in solitude, often with a book, scrapping, cooking or just watching TV. When I’m completely alone, with no close neighbours I can stop worrying about making too much noise, and play loud music all night or sing ’till my lungs almost explode. Which I do quite a lot. Some of the most common activities I do while alone includes:

  • Singing  and acting out One Day More, doing all the voices and the marching.
  • Belting out Let It Go, On My Own and Defying Gravity over and over again.
  • Pretending I’m in a musical featuring myself and my life.
  • Finding the scripts of various films and voice-acting them. All by myself.
  • Give one of my favourite songs the Google Translate-treatment (send it through 10 languages,and then back to the original) and then sing it out loud. (Yes, very much inspired by the amazing Malinda Kathleen Reese).
  • Practice the dance routines from Cats. Even though I’m a shitty dancer.

Oh god, these poor cats..

The only thing I’m not too happy about in my isolated state is the fact that I have to watch Eurovision alone tonight! Noooo! I love watching Eurovision with other people, having a laugh about how absolutely ridiculous most of the entries are, trying to guess the scores, and just making a really fun evening out of it. I’ll be watching it on my own tonight, but at least I’ve planned some “Skype dates” with some friends, so we’ll have an active commentary session throughout the show. Yey!

I’d love to hear your thoughts about spending some time on your own, and what you usually do when there’s no one around. Feel free to leave a comment! Hope everyone is having a great weekend 🙂

Hedvig April

Game of Thrones Exhibition in Oslo

29 Apr

Warning: Some of the pictures contains spoilers for season 3!

Good evening! Today I woke up super early to get on the train to Oslo, to visit the official Game of Thrones exhibition. The exhibit started on Saturday and ends on Wednesday, and has been a huge hit. The queue on Saturday was insane, people who showed up early still had to wait around five hours, and it wasn’t much better on Sunday. I figured some of the insanity would have settled down on Tuesday though, especially if showing up early when most people are at school or work.

Turns out I was correct, my friend and I showed up at about 9:30, they started letting people in at 10 and we went inside about 10:30. That’s an acceptable waiting time, especially considering everything was free.

One of the first objects we saw when entering the building was Daenerys’ costumes, which were even more beautiful up close than on the screen. And how tiny must Emilia Clarke be? Those outfits and mannequins were so small! All of the costumes in the show interest me greatly, I find it so fascinating how much details there is, and everything looks so authentic. I think my favourite piece in the exhibit is Cersei’s costume, it’s absolutely beautiful.

The coolest thing in the exhibit by far was the “Ascend the Wall”, a virtual reality experience using Oculus Rift technology. I was stood in a small cage of sorts, got my glasses and headphones on, and suddenly I was in the north of Westeros, wind blowing in my hair, and I was rapidly approaching the top of the wall in a wooden lift that seemed quite unstable. As I reached the top I turned around as instructed, and slowly “walked” nearer the edge where I stopped and looked around me. The feeling was intense and so realistic! Not recommended for those with fear of heights though. Suddenly my body jerked (someone grabbed and shook me) and I fell over the edge, the ground came closer and then everything turned white. Scary! But super fun.

Ascend The Wall

The whole room was filled with large photos from the show, concept art, miniatures and props, and there were also TV-screens here and there showing behind-the-scenes-footage and clips of every single character on the show has died. There was also an In Memoriam picture wall with pictures and names.

And of course, one can’t go to a Game of Thrones exhibit and not go on the Iron Throne! The queue for taking a picture on the desired seat went surprisingly quick, and I suddenly found myself sitting on what is supposedly the most uncomfortable royal throne there is. I must say I felt right at home, and doesn’t “Hedvig, Queen of Westeros, first of her name” have a nice ring to it?

Bow down, peasants.

Bow down, peasants.

All in all, a great experience!

Top 10 Influential Books

24 Apr

I got this idea from the blog Photographs Make Memories, and thought it was a really nice idea, and decided to do one for myself. Yesterday was the International Day of the Book, so ideally I would have posted this then, but being true to my self I’m always a bit late to the party 😉

1. The Harry Potter-series – J.K Rowling

Might be a bit cheating to put a whole series in first place, but hopefully no one will arrest me. I was so lucky to grow up with Harry Potter, I think I was just the right age when the series started, so as new books came out I would roughly be about the same age. As I grew older and taste in books changed, the HP-books changed as well, so I never grew out of loving reading them. When The Deathly Hallows came out it was really the end of an era, and I almost didn’t want to finish it, knowing I’d never wait for the next one to be released. I spent so much time completely engaged in the Hogwarts-world, that it almost feels like a second home, and it’s one that I keep coming back to. I will never ever tire of picking up the books and giving them a good re-read.

2. The Little Prince – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The book I remember most from my early childhood. This was the first book with a proper story that my mum would read to me, repeatedly, and one of the books that made me learn to read myself. After a while with my mum having to read it for me, I became determined (so I’ve been told) to learn to do it by myself, so I could read it anytime I wanted, without depending on an adult to do it for me. Good motivation! Such a wonderful little book, and I hope any future kid of mine will feel the same.

3. Animorphs-series – K.A. Applegate

Another series that stayed with me quite a time. There were 54+ books after all! This was before Harry Potter my favourite books at the time. I guess they aren’t literary masterpieces, but who cares about that when you’re 8-12? And I still love them in that nostalgic way, the story was so exciting, and I came to really love the characters. I think the characters themselves are what makes these books so important to me, I felt I could identify a little bit with all of them, and also learn quite a bit. Animorphs is actually one of the book-series I really wish would be made into films, that would be brilliant! (We don’t talk about that horrible TV-show).

4. Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

I’m pretty sure Gone With The Wind was the first proper book I read that was not children’s literature, at least that was not for school. We owned a really old copy of it at home, which was in a very old-fashioned language (Norwegian language has changed A LOT through the years), and at first I though all adult books were written in that strange way. It must have taken me ages to get through the first time, I was probably around 9, and even though I didn’t really understand most of the themes, I still loved it. Perhaps because I felt it was such an achievement at the time. I still pick up my copy now and then and give it a re-read, as I do with all my favourite books. Scarlett O’Hara is in my opinion one of the most interesting characters I’ve ever read, and taught my that the main character does not always have to be very sympathetic for us to like reading about them.

5. The Bone Collector – Jeffery Deaver

There was a period of time I was really into crime fiction, where I would read it ALL THE TIME! I still do from time to time, but not as much as before. My obsession lasted quite a while though, from when I was about 13-18! I think crime fiction often gets a bad rep, as “cheap” and poorly written, which I strongly disagree with! There are many fantastic crime novels out there, and Jeffery Deaver is one of my favourite authors in the genre. His series of books with Lincoln Rhyme as the main character is one of my favourites, they are well written and Deaver always keeps the reader at their toes to the final page. I’ve spent so many hours of my life engaged in these thrilling stories, and it all started with The Bone Collector. Great book!

6. Lord of the Rings – J.R.R. Tolkien

There’s no way I couldn’t have Lord of the Rings here, the Tolkien-universe is such a big part of my life. I’m a fanatic! I love the books and movies, and I completely lost count on how many times I’ve re-read them! I watched the first LotR-film when I was 11, and at that point I hadn’t read the books at all. Luckily we had a copy at home, and I think I actually sat down and started reading right after coming home from the movie, I had to find out how it all ended. I did,and I completely fell in love with Middle-Earth and its characters. And through the following obsession I discovered communities online consisting of other fans, and I guess it introduced me to the “fandom life”.

7. Les Misérables – Victor Hugo

My first introduction to Les Mis was not the novel, but the musical. I first watched it on DVD when I was five years old and loved it. Of course there was no way I could read the book at such a young age, but I knew that someday I’d be old enough, and it was something I actually looked forward to for years! I first gave it a go when I was around 10/11 I think, and I got through it on pure stubbornness. It was an extremely tough read, but an enjoyable one. I waited a few years before reading it again, and probably got a lot more out of it second time around now!

8. David Copperfield – Charles Dickens

I’m really fond of Victorian literature, and especially Dickens, so he deserves taking one of the spots on my list. My favourite book of his is no doubt David Copperfield, mainly because of the characters and their journey. I mean, it’s basically a coming-of-age story, just set in Victorian times!  I’ve decided that in the future, when I hope to be surrounded by dogs, they will all be named after Dickens-characters.

9. High Fidelity – Nick Hornby

High Fidelity is one of my favourite contemporary novels! It was the one that introduced me to Nick Hornby, and he has become one of my most beloved authors. I love his writing style, it’s so straightforward, a bit quirky, very funny and heartwarming. I loved almost every Hornby-novel I read (only exception is “How To Be Good), and I always recommend them to anyone who wants a good read that’s not too heavy.

10. A Song of Ice and Fire-series – George R.R. Martin

A Song of Ice and Fire is my newest obsession, and even though I only started reading the books about two years ago, I’ve actually read them all 3 times now! I, like many others, started because of the TV-show, but it quickly become much more than just a book series to me. Like with Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, it has introduced me to a wonderful community of fans, earning it a spot on my list. It is truly one of the most complex stories I have ever read, and I find myself completely lost in its universe at times. I won’t stay for too long though, as the mortally rate is high 😉