...from a BookLover

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Winnie the Pooh

I love Winnie the Pooh. Such a simple way of living. All that matters are his friends and enough honey - being content with little things. This particular phrase summs it up nicely:

If I get children one day, I will make sure to read them some books with Winnie the Pooh and his friends! They are utterly adorable.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A scary teaser!

Now, the first line in a book is very important. It sets the plot, so to speak. This is not the first time I have shared an opening line as a teaser, but I do beg your pardon - I simply had to, yet again.

The teaser is from the book "Out of the Depths" by Cathy MacPhail.
"I saw my teacher in the queue at the supermarket last Christmas. Miss Baxter. I was surprised to see her. She'd been dead for six months." 

I quite liked this book. It is a short teenage read (I read it in a few hours), but the story was captivating. I really felt so sorry for Tyler! I could not put the book down until I knew the entire story to the end. I am looking forward to reading more about her in future novels, and I think I might have a snoop around to see what other books by this author I can get my hands on. My imagination tells me there must be other good ones out there, too...!

More teaser's
"Flukten fra virkeligheten"
"Should Be Reading"

Friday, 24 August 2012

A thought for the day

Samuel Johnson wrote:
“It is by studying little things that we attain the great art of having as little misery and as much happiness as possible.”
This got me thinking today. The line really touches my heart.

Now, let me share a little story with you.
Some time ago now, my boyfriend and I was working on repaneling one of the outer house walls. We had been doing this for a few days, but still had not gotten the hang of it. This particular day we had to re-do some of the work we already thought we were finished with, which is never fun. No need to say we were both feeling rather down and miserable. I was even pretty mad, to be honest. As often happens when there are two miserable people in one tiny space, we grew quite grumpy and irritated. I was so fed up with bickering and arguing in the end that I was already calling it the day, when suddenly my boyfriend called me over. I was reluctant to climb up on that scaffold yet another time, but as he would not take no for an answer, I finally relented. 
I never regretted it. It changed the course of the day. He had seen a huge beetle, the biggest one he had ever seen, land up there on the walking boards. He knew me well enough to know that I would love to see it (I know, it is not exactly the most romantic thing, but still...), and so decided to forget the arguement and show it to me. The beetle was colourful, had beautiful wings and gracefully greeted us with its presence for several minutes. That small act of kindness and the fun that came with it, lifted our spirits so much so, that after a cup of tea and coffee we figured out the problem and ended up working throughout the day until it was too dark to see. It became a good day. A nice memory.
Focusing on small things really does make a huge difference in my life. This story is just one of many.

I am leaving you with a picture of a grasshopper I saw yesterday. I love the sound of them - it is my proper summer sound and I always feel happy when I hear them. There is something about that joyful sound, filling the evening air...plus they are truly funny-looking creatures!

So cute!

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

A teaser on the subject of fairies

Today's teaser is from the story "Tom Brightwind" in the book "The Ladies of Grace Adieu" by Susanna Clarke:
"By two o'clock Tom and David had reached Nottinghamshire, a county which is famous for the greenwood which once was spread over it. Of course at this late date the forest was no longer a hundredth part of what it had once been, but there were still a number of very ancient trees and Tom was determined to pay his respects to those he considered his particular friends and to shew his disdain of those who had not behaved well towards him." 

I find Susanna Clarke's writing remarkable. Her language is flawless (I absolutely love the old school words and sentences), the characters charming (and quite mischievous) and you really sense the ancient English countryside surrounding you. She creates a magical, yet so familiar, world, as she mixes her fictional characters with famous historical ones and uses known landmarks mingled with Faerie references. She even includes footnotes and stories within stories! It almost feels like reading a historical novel, even though the stories are fairytales.

If you have not yet read anything by this author, I urge you to pick up this book or the great "Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell" as soon as possible! Enjoy!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Minutes, perhaps hours...

Another favourite poem of mine is "Minutes" by Tor Ulven, a Norwegian poet:

Minutes, perhaps hours
of your own existence

that you have forgotten,
but that I

remember. You are living
a secret life

in another's memory.
-Tor Ulven-
(translated by me)

I could not find an official translation, so I gave it a try myself. The last sentence is up for debating, so here is another translation, which is slightly different:

In addition, I am including the original Norwegian version:

Minutter, kanskje timer
av din egen eksistens

som du har glemt,
men som jeg

husker. Du lever
et hemmelig liv

i en annens minne.

-Tor Ulven-
fra "Som fossile bølgeslag" 1984

This poem says a lot about the way we ought to live our lives - at least I find it does. It reminds me of staying true to myself, so other people might get to know the real me. It scares me to think about all the different impressions people have of me, all the different perseptions of who I really am that floats around in the world within my friends, family and others. 

It also reminds me of living in the moment. And of creating happy memories. 


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

The Tomorrowland Festival

I happened to come across this picture today, and got super excited!

The most amazing stage I have ever seen.

Just look at these pictures from this blog! I would have loved being there. It must have seemed magical with the book opening up, the details, the people and the fireworks. Imagine having these books in my own shelves! They are really pretty. Noticed the title on the first book, by the way...? So clever!

What an atmosphere!

Enter the story, if you please...!

All pictures borrowed from
Check out the rest of the blog post, too.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

It does not take much.

It does not take much to make someone’s day a little brighter. Just give it a try!

A little token of affection
I love the Disney stories and all the small acts of kindness that is so common in them. The characters always manage to put a smile on my face.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

A teaser on a Sunday

As I am still reading "The Weed that Strings the Hangman's Bag" by Alan Bradley, I thought I would share a little teaser with you.
"There's something about pottering with poisons that clarifies the mind. When the slightest slip of the hand could prove fatal, one's attention is forced to focus like a burning-glass upon the experiment, and it is then that the answers to half-formed questions so often come swarming to mind as readily as bees coming home to the hive."
 Have a great day, everyone!

To find more teasers, check out these blogs:
Flukten fra virkeligheten
Should Be Reading

Time is relative

I loved this photo when I saw it. I have never thought of time turned into figures of nine before. Quite an achievement. It got me thinking about the relativeness of time. How different it feels in different cultures and activities (even though it really stays the same).

Something happens when I read a good book, for instance. Time fades. It seems like the clock stops ticking. I have spent countless hours reading - in hammocks in the shade of palm trees in asian villages, in a comfortable chair in front of a fireplace, in window sills with amazing views or in cafees in different cities around the world in the easy company of a cup of hot chocolate or tea. Perhaps even a cupcake or a cookie, too. Sometimes I find myself utterly surprised to find that the world I left is still there when I finally emerge from the book! And, more often than not, I also find that quite a few hours simply have vanished...


Thursday, 9 August 2012

The Road Not Taken

One of my favourite poems:

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
 -Robert Frost-
 from "Mountain Interval" (1920)

I love this poem! It always makes me want to try out something new, something I have not done before. Travel somewhere unexpected or taking the odd turn. Do something different with my life.

It is one of the most inspiring poems I have ever read - and perhaps ever will read.

A winding river

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Miss Flavia de Luce

Flavia de Luce is an intelligent, chemistry loving and somewhat strange eleven-year old girl. She specialises in extracting poisons from various plants and other materials, and loves trying out different concoctions on her older sisters...none of them nice. Needless to say, she is nothing like your average detective, although she might have a couple of things in common with the great Sherlock Holmes.

Flavia has a magnificent old chemistry lab which she uses as her sanctuary - and it is this, combined with some uncanning deducing skills and her faithful old bicycle "Gladys", that allows her to solve the crimes she discovers. Not always quite remembering to keep a safe distance from dangers, that is.

My current read - and a rose from the garden in my brother's best vase...!

This is the second book about Flavia, and I really enjoy getting to know her better. The first one was called "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie":
I adore the titles and the covers on the books, too! They are what drew me in in the first place, as they really piqued my curiosity. Do they pique yours?

Sunday, 5 August 2012

Do not linger on the problem - find the solution!

My dad is a true optimist. Whenever I or my siblings have a problem and complains about it he will chant on his neverending
"Do not see the problem - Find the solution instead!"-anthem.
I cannot tell you how annoying that can be. However, it is also true. As the years have passed by, I have started using the same phrase whenever someone has a problem - sometimes without even realising it until afterwards! By now it is so deeply integrated in my own way of thinking that it comes naturally. The saying is a simple idea that can change the way you view a problem or something that at the time seems utterly impossible. It really does help turning the problem up-side-down or flipping it around - all of a sudden you can figure out what to do.

Although this is not my cat, it seemed somehow fitting...

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