Showing posts from January, 2016

Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy

This is the first book I finished in 2016. It is a classic and I read it for the Brontë Reading Group. This is a wonderful group of people, totally dedicated to the Brontës and 19th century English literature. The discussions are always lively, but never so lively as when we disagree on a book. Some people loved it and some did not. I belong to the latter category. I love Thomas Hardy and I visited Dorchester last year. He  grew up there and stay there most of his life, except for some years in London. It is a lovely place and he has managed to introduce it, as a fictional area, in almost all of his books. Jude the Obscure is the last book he wrote. Actually, the critics were so harsh that he decided to write no more books. Instead he continued with his poetry and for this we have to be greatful. He managed to write himself into being one of the best English poets of all times. My favourite books by him are The Mayor of Casterbridge and Far From the Madding Crowd.  I did not like so m

Brussels Bookswapper's Club

If you are living in Brussels you might like to come to the monthly Bookswap organised by Karen. It takes place on Wednesday 27 January, at 19.30. JANUARY 19, 2016 January 2016 Bookswap special The Club’s first Bookswap of 2016 will feature a Literary Showcase (first launched last year) with a new Belgian author, Françoise Knockaert, as special guest. Françoise will be presenting her début novel “Quand la solidarité change les couleurs de la vie. Du SEL sur le feu” – published last year. This is more than just an autobiography. It traces a journey of self-discovery, of change, of spiritual growth, greater awareness of the power of life fuelled by community spirit and the generosity of human beings, total strangers. It tells a tale of positive transformation sparked by a near catastrophic event (see FB page for more details.) Come and hear Françoise’s inspiring story! As usual, the doors open as of 18h30 for our monthly exchange of books, DVDs, CDs and audio cassettes in a mult

the life-changing magic of tidying by Marie Kondo

I got hold of this popular book the other week. Many of you have read it and it has got good reviews. I am always in for good advice how to tidy up at home, so I did not think twice when I saw it in the book store. Of course, thinking of my TBR shelves and her advice to get rid of most of your books, maybe it was not such a good idea to buy it? And, when she starts talking about throwing out books...hmm! Well, her philosophy is not that bad. She means that we should enjoy the things we have, and, if we have too many things, we don't have time to enjoy them all. Furthermore, you don't always know what you have in all your cupboards and drawers. Her motto is; just have the necessary things that give you joy and give them a place of their own in your home. Thank them for what they are doing for you and you will have a harmonious home. Very good indeed. There seemed a little bit of repetition through the book, but I think it gives you the idea what she really means and how sh


I felt like being creative today and make some book marks. Recently, when I emptied an old handbag I found these old boarding cards, you know the small end that you got to keep when entering a plane. I have used them as bookmarks in the past and now I thought I could use some of my scrap booking paper and make them look a little bit nicer. Well, here is the result Before After 12 new bookmarks that I can keep or give away. Considering how many books I read at the same time I might need them all!

Ketchup reading!

If you have looked at my reading for January you will discover that there are no books on the list so far! Having read 16 books in December it does stress me a little bit. In moments like this I go for ’ketchup reading’. You know the ketchup glass bottles. You can’t squees them so you have to hit the bottom to get the ketchup out. You hit and hit and nothing comes. And…oops! There it comes all at once! That is why I call my present state for ketchup reading. I am reading, not only one book at the time (as usual), both several. I guess that mean that all of a sudden I will have finished not one book but several. Let’s see what I am reading for the moment. Jude the Obscure by Thomas Hardy (for Brontë Reading Group and we meet on Monday so have to finish soon) Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut (for another reading group who meet on Wednesday, but I will probably not be able to finish it so might not go) The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco (Eco is not an easy read and I can only read sm

Monthly reading in 2015

Enjoying a good book on the beach in Es Trenc, Mallorca End of the year and looking on the reading statistics for 2015. As already mentioned I read 121 books this year, which is more than I have read during a year, since I started to blog. Looking at the number of books per month, it looks like this: January: 7 February: 7 March: 8 April: 13 May: 14 June: 6 July: 9 August: 4 September: 9 October: 14 November: 14 December: 16 That shows that the autumn and winter months, at least in the end of the year, see more reading. Maybe because of bad weather and the fact that it is nice to cuddle up in the sofa corner and read a book. However, this should also have been the case for the first three months, but is not. Probably had other more pressing things to do. March and April saw a burst in reading, maybe me sitting outside in the sun and enjoying a good bok? Summer is always busy with different things. My son being home from his studies in Sweden and then preparations

Challenges in 2016

I will not join a lot of challenges for this year. It seems I am not able to keep up with other reading obligations. And as one fellow blogger said: as soon as you promise to read a book, it seems it is not that attractive! It is better to go to the shelves and grab a book depending on your present mood. The main challenge as always is my TBR shelves. The aim is to lover them. However, I get tempted by the various challenges and they are great fun. I will therefore join one if it is compatible with my overall aim to lower the number of books on my TBR shelves. Paris in July is a must of course. Hosted by Tea and Thyme, it is my favourite challenge of the year. You get to know so much about Paris from participants, finding new reads, places to visit, things to eat etc. Really looking forward to this one. Well, that is in principal all there is to my challenges this year. I anticipate a lot of reading though being part of two book clubs. Furthermore, I am now writing reviews and ar

Forget Me Not by Marjorie Bowen

I downloaded this book of historical fiction since I liked the summary of the story. I see now, when I am about to write a review, that it was first published in 1932! This is quite a surprise since it feels very fresh and I was sure it was a new book. I finished it some weeks ago, and it gave me a very mixed impression so I really had to think about it for a while. It is not the quite easy, half romantic historical fiction I thought it was. It was quite something else. It starts when Mary Showler elopes with a young noble man to get married. However, somehow, when they end up in an inn for the night, she realises that he never intended to marry her at all. She is a girl from a French noble family which was impoverished when Napoleon fell from power, and she is now working as a teacher in a school in England. Once she realises that he does not want to marry her she leaves him to go back to the school. Too late to have her job back she supports herself as a governess. She changes wo

Best books read in 2015

Time to have a look at what I have read in 2015 and what turned out to be my favourite books. It is always difficult to name just one, but I will do my best within the different book categories. Outlander poster Series: I have read books from six series; Outlander (Diana Gabaldon), Poldark (Winston Graham), Lucy Kincaid and Maxime Revere (Allison Brennan), The Nell Sweeny Mysteries (P.B. Ryan) and the family saga by Swedish writer Jan Guillou. The Nell Sweeny Mysteries was a new acquaintance to me, historical fiction on top of it and the books were so good that I had to download all six books and read them in one go! I thoroughly enjoyed them. I must say though, I love all the series so it is really difficult to choose one! Fiction: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr - a wonderful tale from World War II, seen from the two teenager’s point of view. I would also like to mention Jan-Philipp Sendker’s The Art of Hearing Heartbeats , a lovely story on a daughter’s s

End of the year summary

I would like to start by thanking you all for visiting my blog in 2015. It is always a pleasure and interesting to ’talk’ to fellow bloggers out there. To read your blogs and get inspired. I hope you will continue to visit my blog in the coming year, and I hope to develop it further in 2016. The end of the year was spent in lovely Mallorca. The weather was fantastic, with sunshine and around 20 degrees Celsius. Already George Sand and Frédéric Chopin enjoyed ”A Winter in Mallorca”, and I really love the winter here. The climate is fantastic, off tourist season so everything is quiet and peaceful. The sunsets have been amazing in all it colours. Sunset from our balcony ...and the sky a little bit later Reading in 2015 I have read quite a lot of books in December, although it has been a rather busy month. The last days I have spent on the latest book in the Outlander series. I have kept it on hold, because I know that it will take some time before book number nine is o