New Books on the Shelf, #2

BookHaul2

BookHaul1

I read about one book a week, so I have this rule about only buying one book a week. As you can see from the pictures, I broke the rules this month. I blame London! There are the most wonderfully inspiring book shops. Particularly Waterstones. They really make an effort displaying the books, dividing them into themes, playing with the words and subjects. And they have such gorgeous collections of classics.

I went a bit crazy in Penguin’s Little Black Classics: they published 80 classics for 80p each on the 80th anniversary of the first Penguins. Such a brilliant idea! They are temptingly pretty and cheap, and their size make them perfect to fit in your bag. I bought 9:

Edith Wharton: The Reckoning
Oscar Wilde: Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime
H. G. Wells: A Slip Under the Microscope
Katherine Mansfield: Miss Brill
Brothers Grimm: The Robber Bridegroom
Kate Chopin: A Pair of Silk Stockings
Henry James: The Figure in the Carpet
Jane Austen: The Beautiful Cassandra
Robert Louis Stevensen: Olalla

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I was in a classic mood so stocked up on some lovely editions of old favorites and books I haven’t read yet:

Oscar Wilde: Best Plays
I’ve read them all before, but couldn’t resist this beautiful little pocket sized book with golden edges.

Herman Melville: Bartleby The Scrivener
I read it years ago at university, but have never had an actual copy.

Henry James: Daisy Miller
The same reason as the one above!

H. G. Wells: The Time Machine
A classic I’ve always wanted to read.

Loren D. Estleman: Sherlock Holmes vs. Dracula
This idea seemed so fun and silly and utterly brilliant I had to check it out!

Daphne Du Maurier: Rebecca
I’ve wanted to read this one for ages but couldn’t find a copy I liked. Now this pretty thing is mine!

Charlotte Perkins Gilman: Herland & The Yellow Wallpaper
I’ve read Yellow a couple of times, but never Herland! I’m intrigued …

Monica Dickens: Mariana
This one was praised over at Paperback Castles, so I decided to give it a go. I’ve looked for it online, but didn’t like the cover (looks like a 50s YA romance novel) so I found a used Penguin for next to nothing. But its smell was awful! Whenever I touch it, I feel like I need to be disinfected. I would have to wear gloves if I ever were to read this copy. Luckily I found this clean and straight copy at Hatchards.

Frances Burney: Evaline
I wanted one of the many pretty Penguin classics, but I’d already read most of them, and the ones I hadn’t read, didn’t interest me. Then I found this little pretty darling of a book that I’d never heard of before, and decided to try my luck.

BookHaul4

Knowing that I was going to London for some serious book shopping didn’t stop me from ordering my one-book-a-week books … and then some …

Monica Dickens: Mariana
And here it is: the smelly edition I can’t bare to touch … I feel like I need a shower just talking about it!

Nick Hornby: Funny Girl
A new Nick Hornby novel!!! And about a girl in the 60s who becomes an actress on a sitcom! I think I’ll have a good time with this one.

Betty Smith: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Another book I’ve heard so many good things about and been meaning to read for ages.

Daphne du Maurier: The Doll, the lost short stories
I need it for a group read over at Goodreads in October – but I don’t know what to expect from it.

Josh Malerman: Bird Box
I scary read that was recommended to me … I think it’ll be my Halloween read this year.

Paula Hawkins: The Girl on the Train
Everybody’s talking about it, so now I have to see what all the fuss is about.

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Looking back on the pictures from the book stores, I’m actually proud I didn’t buy any more books …

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My Week in London: Book Shopping & Food Poisoning

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My week in London started out pretty great. We (my father and I) arrived early Sunday to a beautiful sunny London. We took a long walk down the River Thames and had a classic pub lunch: Stake & Ale pie – yum! Afterwards we checked out the area around our hotel (Notting Hill) and relaxed at Starbucks for coffee and a bit of reading (I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland). We had Thai food for dinner and went back to the hotel for an early night (we had been up very early).

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On Monday we had breakfast at a café called Diana, which was decorated with pictures of Princess Diana. They served traditional English breakfast, good coffee and freshly squeezed OJ. The weather was really bad, so we decided to go book shopping. I went a little crazy and bought a ton of books – I’ll show them off later. We went to Waterstones, Hatchards, Foyles and some independent book shops. We had another pub lunch – this time at The Sherlock Holmes Pub. We had dinner at an Italian restaurant near our hotel, which wasn’t very good. I ended up regretting that later!

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On Tuesday I woke up feeling like shit. I was tired, had no appetite whatsoever and my stomach was doing somersaults. So I spent the day sleeping and running to the bathroom. I was completely dehydrated and exhausted by the end of the day. And then my mother and Mr. Boyfriend arrived – quite a welcome they got! The next day I felt a bit better but still had no appetite to speak of. I dragged myself out of bed for a bit of shopping. At night we had dinner at Rules (London’s oldest restaurant) where I managed to enjoy my first real meal in almost two days.

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On Thursday I felt like my old self again. We had breakfast with my parents, and then went our separate ways. The weather was warm and sunny, so Mr. Boyfriend and I took a long walk through Hyde Park, Mayfair and Soho, where we had lunch at an amazing Japanese restaurant. I had salmon teriyaki which is one of my favorite dishes. We took a coffee and reading break at a café before heading back to the hotel. Later we had dinner at Jamie Oliver’s Italian in Covent Garden. It had a great atmosphere and delicious food.

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On our last day, we went to Camden Town to look at all the shops and markets before heading home to Copenhagen.

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Persuasion

I hate to hear you talk about all women as if they were fine ladies instead of rational creatures. None of us want to be in calm waters all our lives.

persuasion penguin hardback classics

Scheduled post – I’m in London reading and buying more books to review …

Title: Persuasion
Author: Jane Austen
First Published: 1818
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 4.12)
I would recommend this book to: Jane Austen fans

Persuasion is perhaps Jane Austen’s most unadventurous novel. It’s a novel where most of the action / love story has taken part in the past. Anne Elliot has been persuaded by a manipulative relative to break off the engagement with the man she loves because he is not successful enough. Years have passed, Anne has lost the beauty of her youth, and the man is back in town – and now he has success and is sought after by the unmarried women of the town. That’s where our story starts.

You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope.

I loved how different this book was from Jane Austen’s other novels. This book is about old love as opposed to new love, which is much more depicted in literature. She cleverly not only describes but also makes you feel the awkwardness when the two ex-lovers meet again. I could almost feel me own heartbeat rising in tact with Anne’s when she first enters a room knowing that HE will be there. And I cringed with embarrassment when she overheard him talking about her, saying how she’s changed to the unrecognizable over the years they’ve been apart.

How quick come the reasons for approving what we like.

I really liked this part of the story, even though I’ve always wondered why Jane Austen chose to tell the story this way. I guess we’re just used to love stories that start with the first meeting. And if not, at least it’s told in flashbacks. Jane Austen merely hints at their past, but never tells their full story. And I guess that’s one of the strengths of Persuasion.

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What to read on Vacation?

Scheduled post – I’m in London buying more books right now :-)

books for holiday

The best part of packing for a vacation is for me choosing which books to bring. Over the years I’ve developed a system, or a set of rules if you will:

1) Always bring more books that you can read. What if you don’t like one of the books you’ve brought? You don’t want to be stuck on a bad read on your holiday! For this holiday, I’ll be gone for 6 days, I plan to read 2 books, but I brought 4 books – just in case.

2) Bring very different books. If you crave variety like me, you may not be in the same reading mood at the end of your vacation as in the beginning, so it’s important to pack for different moods. Unless you’re into a series that you know you’ll never tire of. If you’re reading Harry Potter for the first time, then don’t bring anything else! In fact, don’t leave the hotel. For this vacation I’ve brought two newer books, one by the weird Murakami and one by the excellent story teller Emily St. John Mandel. And then I brought two classics: A novel by FItzgerald’s wife, and a classic children’s book. I think I’m covered.

3) Pack lightly. This might contradict point 1), but what I mean is that the books you choose shouldn’t be huge chunksters. I always go for small thin editions you can easily slip into your bag. That way you can bring it wherever you go and pick it up if you need a break during the day.

What about you, how do you decide which books to bring on vacation?

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My Week: Sushi Embarrassment

Scheduled post – I’m on my way to London right now :-)

cat

My week has been more social than usual. I have these rules about not having too many plans during the week – I love having a free schedule after work for reading and blogging. This week, however, was a bit busy. Monday and Friday, Mr. Boyfriend’s cousin stayed with us because he had a conference here in Copenhagen. It was nice having him over – I don’t think I’ve seen him since his wedding last summer. The boys cooked while I worked on some book reviews (I have my duties!). On Monday they made Italian food, and a lovely Indian veggie dish on Tuesday.

italiensk

On Wednesday, I did something very embarrassing: I was planning a running sushi event for some people at work, and wrote a very jocular e-mail inviting them. I sushi’ed up my name and added a picture of cats dressed up as sushi. And then I sent the e-mail to a client. The horror! The client politely replied that it sounded nice but she thought there might have been a mistake. And please don’t eat the cat. SO embarrassing!

sushi cats

After work I comforted myself with movie night at one of my friend’s. We had take away, a huge amount of snacks and candy, and watched the last 4 episodes of ALIAS. We’ve been watching that show for about 5 years, so it’s quite the end of an era having finally finished the show.

ostepops og kaffe

Thursday was a bank holiday, which I’ve already told you about in another post. In the evening we went to dinner with some of Mr. Boyfriend’s family. Friday I had to go to work again, which was really hard when so many had the day off. When I got home, I was exhausted and went to sleep. I woke up when Mr. Boyfriend got home, we had a bit of dinner and watched two episodes of Mad Men (the last season!).

I spent most of Saturday doing laundry, blogging and packing for my trip to London – a much needed vacation! In the evening, we had dinner with one of my friends, her husband and their two kids.

All in all, it’s been a good week. A bit too social perhaps for an old introvert like me, but I always get extra energy when I know I’m going on vacation a few days later.

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Mint & Brown

vintage outfit

vintage outfit

Last Thursday was a sunny bank holiday. Mr. Boyfriend and I went for a long walk around Østerbro, looking for plants. It’s very difficult for us to have plants in our home because our cats keep eating them. So we want to find some alternative ways to have plants and herbs indoors where the stupid cats can’t reach them. We still haven’t decided how to solve the problem, but I’ve found a lot of fun and creative solutions on Pinterest – I’ve created a board for my favorite ideas here. Pinterest is becoming one of my favorite tools for searching and sorting inspiration.

But I’m digressing – here’s what I wore on our walk:

Top: from Baan Suan
Skirt: Second hand from Twenty
Bag: Second hand from Twenty
Shoes: Irregular Choice

vintage outfit

holmens kirkegaard

On our way home, we walked through Holmens Kirkegaard which is so pretty during the spring and summer. A few years back, I did another outfit post at this spot.

holmens kirkegaard

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I Capture the Castle

I only want to write. And there’s no college for that except life.

I Capture the castle

Title: I Capture the Castle
Author: Dodie Smith
First Published: 1948
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 3.99)
I would recommend this book to: Readers who like Jane Austen and Anne of Green Gables.
The Beginning: I write this sitting in the kitchen sink.

What a beautiful little treasure this book turned out to be. Cassandra, a young, romantic dreamer, lives in an old castle with her beautiful older sister, her little brother, her father who has given up making money for the family, and her stepmother. She writes in her diary of their lives where nothing really happens and where money is always an issue. Then the owners of the castle arrives and their lives are completely changed.

How I wish I lived in a Jane Austen novel!

Anne of Green Gables meets Jane Austen. That’s how I would describe the atmosphere and pace of this adorable coming-of-age story. I enjoyed every single page, felt like reading all the time, and had an awful bookish hangover after turning the last page. I missed the book with a kind of longing that only Jane Austen could cure.

It seemed an awful waste that we weren’t in love with each other.

The writing was beautiful and amazingly atmospheric. I completely fell for Cassandra’s diary form – and believed in her as a young romantic girl striving to become a writer. I’m so glad I’ve finally read this book and I’ll look forward to rereading it again – which I know I will.

When I read a book, I put in all the imagination I can, so that it is almost like writing the book as well as reading it – or rather, it is like living it.

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My Week

reading with cat

I’ve meant to personalize this blog a bit more, to talk a bit about what I’ve been up to during the week. Halfway through this week though, I discovered a slight problem; my life is totally boring and trivial when you put it into words. All I do is work, read, blog, eat, sleep and hang out with friends. I don’t do anything exciting, different or inspiring. And to tell you the truth, I like it this way. So here it is, my week:

I went to the cinema and watched Far From the Madding Crowd with my dad on Monday. I read the book last month and thought it alright. But I had a feeling it would do better on the big screen. It did. I don’t care for looong nature descriptions in books, but find them quite atmospheric in movies.

On Tuesday, I had the apartment to myself as Mr. Boyfriend was busy with a work thing. I have this ritual when I’ve got an evening to myself: I order sushi and watch Netflix. I love these nights. I’m currently watching Daredevil. It’s not amazing, but I enjoy it. It’s thrilling and I like the characters.

sushi

On Wednesday, I had an awful headache and didn’t do much after work. On Thursday, I got up early for my yoga class only to discover that the class was cancelled :-( So I did some yoga at home instead. After work I met up with a friend. We wanted to go to sliders for Burgers, but found that they had closed (quite the theme of my day!). We went to Grillen instead and had burgers and shakes. I had the Ben & Jerry’s Chunky Monkey shake, which was sooo good!

On Friday, we had a small cider-party at work. Our new co-worker (who’s an old friend of mine) makes his own cider and gave us a taste. Afterwards I hung out with Mr. Boyfriend. He cooked us dinner while I blogged. When it got dark, we listened to Dracula while I knitted and he drew. All in company of Mr. Wilcox, of course :-)

knitting with cat

This weekend has been very relaxing: Saturday night we visited some friends, had burgers and watched Fargo. Other than that, I’ve spent every waking moment reading. I’ve read so much that I got a slight reading injury in my left hand. But I finished Mansfield Park – and it was totally worth it!

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Mod Dresses from Mondo Kaos

mondo kaos marmalade 60s dresses

Mondo Kaos is one of my favorite shops, and I’m so excited that they’ve started having 60s dresses in their assortment. They’ve got three adorable dresses from Marmalade – from the left: 60s Tartan Dress, Green 60s Mod Dress and 60’s Black & White Mod Dress. My favorite is the one to the left – but I would love to have all three in my closet.

Which one do you like best?

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Currently Reading #3

Currently Reading

It’s been difficult for me lately to find the time to sit down and really concentrate on a book. I’ve been focusing on other things lately – like writing book reviews, which I haven’t done a lot for the past month or so. I’ve written two book reviews this past week (here and here) and I still got three books waiting to be reviewed. I’m currently reading Jane Austen’s Mansfield Park – a leftover from the Readathon. I’m enjoying it and don’t mind taking my time with this one. But I’m going to London in about a week and a half, and would like to have finished it by then as it’s too heavy to take with me. At my current reading pace, I’m not going to make it, though. I could really do with another readathon 😀

I’ve been very preoccupied with audio books lately. I’m listening to Dracula with Mr. Boyfriend. It’s my second time and his first, and we both LOVE it! We had three nights in a row where we listened for hours. It’s SO good! We take the duvet into the kitchen (yes, we have a couch in the kitchen) and our cat, Wilcox, comes running immediately to curl up with us. Mr. Boyfriend draws while listening to the story and I knit. This has been one of my favorite activities lately.

I’m also listening to an audio book by myself: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory. It’s very entertaining … but also a bit silly … Still, I got a thing for Tudor Court novels. I reviewed the first in the series here and a modern version of Anne Boleyn here.

What are you currently reading?

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