...from a BookLover

Tuesday, 31 July 2012

This is me

My mum took this picture a couple of weeks ago. I was sitting on the floor of my library, showing her a new children's book I had found, when she all of a sudden jumped up, told me to stay put - and ran off! No need to say I got quite puzzled. In a couple of moments she returned with my new IPad, wanting to take my picture. She said this posture was so typically me. Me in my beloved library, showing off books - in my right element, so to speak. I must say I am quite pleased with the outcome. The picture turned out well. You can even get a few hints of my collection! The shelves behind me are mostly reserved for crime and children. The book I am holding is called "The Butterfly Ball and the Grasshopper's Feast" and is written by William Plomer and Alan Aldridge. It is entirely in rhyme. It is really funny.

I love showing my new finds to my mum!

I also thought I would add a picture of me and my love - this patient and wonderful man who just about manages to live with me and all my books. I can assure you, it is no easy task! My books are about to outgrow the library, so I am currently trying to find a solution to that. One that still allows him some space in the house...

Still having fun together

Monday, 30 July 2012

A dictionary

A friend of mine shared this picture a few days ago. I have never heard this saying before, but it is so true! I also love the bits and pieces in the picture. Such an adorable "still-life" collection.


Now, quite a different thing which strikes me as funny, is the book behind the tidbits...namely a dictionary! I love dictionaries and I have a lot of them. Old, new, different topics and languages... I like them all. I am a bit of a lexophile, you may say. I love crosswords and scrabble and similar games. One of my favourite activities is solving crosswords with my gran or my mum. I love hearing the surprise in my gran's voice when I find a word she has not yet found, or the little smile of satisfaction when she solves a particularly troublesome word. Even seeing her struggle with her huge crossword dictionary, which we got her some time ago, is a treat. It is almost too heavy for her, but she loves the book dearly. She is still mesmerized by all the words she can find in it which she has never heard of before! Being 95 and all, she has heard quite a few. I only wish I will be capable of such feats when I get old. I have all these memories of her solving crosswords from when I was a little girl, and the singular most forthcoming impression in all of them is peace. Peaceful moments spent together, creating happiness and a sense of achievement. I remember stocking up on crosswords when the holidays were over, as inspired as only a little girl can be, but it was never quite the same without my gran to help me. Luckily, my mum shares the same passion for it, although she does not always find the time on a regular basis. That is all right, though, as I am certain she will at one point.

To have the two of them as my rolemodels has shaped my life - and made it a better one at that. I owe them everything ♥ 

Saturday, 28 July 2012


Recently a friend came around for dinner and a cup of tea. After chatting for a while about books, travels and all sorts of things and generally enjoying ourselves, we came upon the subject of movies. We figured we could watch one with some snacks and - yep, you guessed it - another cup of tea, as we had no particular plans for the next day. After looking through my collection, we found "The Last Airbender". Upon seeing this, she remarked that she had the whole animated series on her laptop, and that we could watch this if I wanted to. Sure I did!!! We had a blast. We sat there for hours laughing and having fun. I love the series.

Now, my sis and my youngest brother have been reading Manga online for some time - I was not even aware you could do that before they showed me. I have never thought about it. It seems like there is a lot of nice stuff in the "Manga"-world worth reading. This is definitely something I have to look into - or perhaps just take the easiest way and pop by a secondhand bookstore...! Just another excuse to do so, right?

Anyway, I came upon this picture today - and I really wanted to share it with you (which is what inspired this post in the first place). I think it is really pretty.


Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Amazing covers

Wow, I was so impressed by these covers:

The image is made up out of six separate books that combines into one big picture when you put them together. What a marvellous idea!

Here is another one:


I really want to read this trilogy from Robin Wasserman - they are truly beautiful.

Monday, 23 July 2012

A little teaser

This might be one of the most intriguing beginnings of a book I have ever read:
"The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices on downtown posts and billboards, no mentions or advertisements in local newspapers. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. The towering tents are striped in white and black, no golds or crimsons to be seen. No color at all, save for the neighboring trees and the grass of the surrounding fields. Black-and-white stripes on grey sky; countless tents of varying shapes and sizes, with an elaborate wrought-iron fence encasing them in a colorless world. Even what little ground is visible from outside is black or white, painted or powdered, or treated with some other circus trick. But it is not open for business. Not just yet."
Is it not amazing? I cannot wait to see how this story unfolds! Not to mention the wonderful cover of the book, too. The first word that comes to mind to describe this book is simply "Magical".

"The Night Circus" by Erin Morgenstern

To find more teasers, check out these blogs
Flukten fra virkeligheten
Should be reading

Sunday, 22 July 2012

The Elephant Whisperer

I picked up this book by Lawrence Anthony and Graham Spence in South Africa during our stay at Cheetah Experience last year. It is a wonderful book about a herd of elephants and the effort and love it took to save their lives and give them a new beginning. 

"The Elephant Whisperer" by Lawrence Anthony
and Graham Spence
The herd members were masters of escape and destruction, considered highly dangerous and on their way to be put down when Anthony agreed to take them into his reserve as a last attempt to rescue them. He did everything in his power to make them feel at home - including moving out into the bush with them. His persistance and success changed a lot of lives - both animal and people. Especially his own family - imagine all of a sudden living amongst unpredictable elephants!

Sadly, Lawrence Anthony died this spring, only 61 years old. He was a true conservationist who did amazing things, all against the odds. I also recommend reading about the time he saved the animals in a zoo in a war zone or his quest to save the white rhinos. He did so much and inspired so many. I wish I could have met him.

The book made me want to visit "Thula Thula". The animals, the people, the landscape - everything is described with such detail and care, you cannot help but share their ups and downs. Some moments are incredibly funny and leaves you laughing out loud, whilst others are unbelievably and devastatingly sad. This book is beautifully written, and leaves you with a sense of bereavement - a longing to dive back into the culture and those vast views. There is something special about the athmosphere of South Africa - it creeps under your skin somehow. This book will persuade you to travel there - and to perhaps seek out an elephant or two.

Friday, 20 July 2012

A little quote for the day

“I often say that I don't worry about the meaning of life--I can't handle that big stuff. What concerns me is the meaning in life--day by day, hour by hour, while I'm doing whatever it is that I do. What counts is not what I do, but how I think about myself while I'm doing it.”
                          ― Robert Fulghum, It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It

Sunday, 15 July 2012

A winding staircase...

In my perfect library there is a staircase. Like some winding or spiraling stairs up to a gallery. How lovely that would be! Downstairs there would be a fireplace on one wall or in a corner. In front of it there would be two antique wing chairs (a bit like the one Sherlock Holmes has) with big seats one can curl ones legs up in, and a table for bigger books or some snacks. The table should preferably be round and worn. All walls should have bookcases fitted on them. The shelves would have some areas assigned for paintings and pictures, all my bits and pieces would be displayed amongst the books and there would have to be several windows to let the light in. In another corner there could be a pretty desk with all my scientific books surrounding it for easy access. Up those winding stairs one could find a perfect place to curl up and read a book for kids or to enjoy the view of the garden outside. Imagine sitting downstairs an evening, reading in front of a sparkling fireplace, with kids looking down from up on the gallery where they have made a little den for themselves? Pure bliss.  

I found some rather fantastic examples of such a staircase:

Imagine having an entire tree inside your home! It does look fantastic.

I love the simplicity of these. Reminds me of  a spine.

Looking down these can easily mind-boggle you!

These look perfect for my idea of a library. I love the narrowness and the contrast between the firmness of the steps and the slimness of the handrail. I also like that they are made of wood. I have to keep these in mind...

Friday, 13 July 2012

Reading on the bed

Well... I have to admit I have tried most of these reading positions. I can honestly say that I have never tried to read a book underneath the bed, though...! That is a bit far off (even for me).

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

The Legend of the Ice People


Another collection of mine is "Isfolket" ("The Legend of the Ice People") written by Margit Sandemo. Now, I have never read these in English (and sadly only about 5 books are published in English to my knowledge), but I absolutely love the Norwegian version. The series follow a special family through centuries. It has it all; love, tragedy, supernatural powers and events, good vs evil, mythological creatures and historical facts. The characters are lovable or terrible, and the story keeps surprising you.

The first books of the series were published in paperback a couple of years before I was born, and the last in 1989. My mum began reading the series a couple of years after the first books came out, and I used to borrow her books when I was young. After moving away from home I realised it would be difficult for me to be able to read the series again - it is a 47-volume series, so even a two-week vacation left me struggling with enough time. I figured I had to buy the series myself. I am a stubborn collector, so, obviously, I could not be satisfied with later editions - it had to be the first one. I have therefore spent a few years trying to find the entire series in this first edition, and last year my sister came upon the last book I needed to complete the series - I could not at first believe it when she called, saying she had found it. I cannot tell you how many hours I have spent in search of these treasured books. Ah, that shear joy of finally having them all on the shelf!

Sandemo has also written two other series that connects to "The Legend of the Ice People". The first, "Heksemesteren" ("The Warlock" - not yet published in English), is about another family that links up to the Ice People from time to time. The two series merge into the third, "Legenden om Lysets Rike" ("The Legend of the Realm of Light" - also not published in English).

How I wish someone would publish all these books in English for you to read! "The Ice People" has been published in several other languages and is immensely popular. For now I can only suggest you all refresh your memories on whichever available language...or simply learn Norwegian.
The books are a rare treat!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Cosy, right?

This is how I enjoyed last week: A burning fire, a rocking chair, the summer book of my choice ("One Day" by David Nicholls - which I so far love, by the way) and a glass of banana liqueur (yes, I do actually drink the stuff..).

Does anything more cosy or comfy come to your mind?
My gran, my mum and I spent a few days in my gran's old cabin which is where the picture is taken. Now, would you believe the cabin is over a hundred years old?! Imagine all the stories that has taken place within these four walls - it may very well blow your mind.

I love this cabin dearly - this is where my childhood summer vacations took place. I remember sleeping in the attic listening to the rain drumming on the tin roof, watching the goings-on downstairs in the living room in the mornings before climbing down and sitting outside on the rocks in the sun. The cabin is built on top of a cliff overlooking the sea, so the view is absolutely fantastic. My gran can sit outside on a chair propped up against the wall for hours with her coffee cup. This is her "home" - it is the place she cherishes above all others. She turns into a young girl as soon as she sees the familiar surroundings when you drive towards the cabin - which is impressive considering her age of 95. Its all "oh, this is where we drove our horse and wagon to visit my grans" or "that is where we cut grass and hung it up on the haydrying racks". She has so much to tell of times gone by - things that are almost forgotten nowadays. Tools they used look almost alien to me. The places they ran barefoot are now hidden beneath full-grown trees. The people she tells about are black and white pictures in old frames. Little bits of our ancestry and history lost. No wonder I love listening to her and try to remember as much as possible!

There is something so calming about this old cabin and all the things inside it, though. It is a place to slow down. To recover. To enjoy life. And, needless to say - it is perfect for bringing a book or two!

Saturday, 7 July 2012

Being an optimist

"OPTIMISM: Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
PESSIMISM: Where there’s a will, someone died."
I definitely belong in the first group. I always want to think the best about other people I meet on my way. I guess I can be a little naive sometimes, but I still find that better than always thinking the worst. I prefer to think someone did something bad by accident, rather than will, or that someone is doing something nice due to them simply being nice, rather than because they want something. How infinitely sad it must be to always think the worst scenario possible? Obviously, I do sometimes get let down, but that is the rare case. I choose to stay positive. There is so much more happiness to find then - and so many great people to get to know ♥

A lovely sunbeam brightens the day

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bookshelves - not only for books

Found a couple of cute pictures of bookshelves I had to share with you.

In my own bookshelves I try to keep a little space for small bits and pieces I care about which do not fit into the rest of the house. Odd things like small memories from our childhoods, gifts from friends and family, minerals and fossils, antiques, travel memorabilia and so on and so forth. It is always fun walking around snooping in amongst the books - as happy things trigger happy memories.

One of my friends uses her bookshelves for fabrics, though! She loves making clothes for her little kids, so she has a huge amount of different fabrics in her home. They are brightly coloured with funny prints and really do make her bookshelf look so much fun! A terrific idea.
So many wonderful colours!
Birkis' bookshelf 
I would like to have something like this - a bit of an eclectic collection. Perhaps my shelves will look like this one day...
How lovely and intriguing!
The Selby

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