Keep Calm and Buy a Book

Today I left work excited about the weekend, only to discover that our street was closed off and full of police men because they’d found some sort of unattended bag. I couldn’t get home and had no idea how serious it was. I went from reassuring myself that it was probably nothing to thinking how I might sneak in and get my cats. I felt horrible knowing they were in there – I know I’m an overprotective crazy cat lady, but I can’t help it.

Another thing that terrified me was the fact that I didn’t have any books with me (apart from e-books and audios, but that’s just not enough). So I hurried to Politikens Boghal, which has a very nice selection of English paperbacks. Unfortunately Jussi Adler Olsen was there signing books and the place was filled with middle-aged, cake-eating ladies. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a middle-aged, cake-eating lady – I look forward to becoming one myself some day). Instead I went to The Book Trader where I could snoop around the shelves on my own, kick off my shoes (high heels in book stores can be such a pain) and sit down on the floor if I felt like a break.

samsø samsø red boots

Here’s what I bought: Colette’s My Mother’s House & Sido and Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You – I’ve heard so much about this author and I thought it was about time I tried one myself.

books

I never found out what happened with the bag – only that it was on the other side of our street, almost right across from where we live. I hope there’ll be no more drama this weekend as it’s Mr Boyfriend’s birthday tomorrow. I hope you’ll have a lovely weekend!

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Wuthering Heights

All sinners would be miserable in heaven.

wuthering heights book review

Title: Wuthering Heights
Author: Emily Brontë
First Published: 1847
My Rating: 2 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 3.79)
I would recommend this book to: The reader who enjoys his/her classics with a dash of melodrama.
The Beginning: 1801 – I have just returned from a visit to my landlord – the solitary neighbour that I shall be troubled with.

I was forced to read this for my English literature class back in 2002. I remember detesting it. I found it gloomy, melancholic and utterly boring. It took me forever to finish it as my mind kept wandering whenever I opened it. Some chapters were read without truly understanding what had actually happened.

More than ten years have passed and several other Brontë novels devoured and adored, and I decided I’d matured enough to give this a second chance, only this time I would kick back and try the audio book. I found it had somewhat improved. I particularly enjoyed the parts where we follow the upbringing of Catherine and Heathcliff. I felt this should have been a much more dominant part as it’s so vital to the rest of the story. And much more interesting than the rest of the story.

He’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.

But still, I think I got it right the first time around: this story just isn’t for me. It’s freakin boring! The characters are greedy, vindictive and downright stupid. It’s 13 hours/300 pages of people making bad decisions and punishing each other for the past. What a waste of life and love! I guess my instincts were spot on the first time around, and I’m going to stick with my 2-star rating.

Catherine Earnshaw, may you not rest as long as I am living. You said I killed you–haunt me then. The murdered do haunt their murderers. I believe–I know that ghosts have wandered the earth. Be with me always–take any form–drive me mad. Only do not leave me in this abyss, where I cannot find you! Oh, God! It is unutterable! I cannot live without my life! I cannot live without my soul!

So many have read and loved Wuthering Height, but what about you, have you read this one? What do you think of it?

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Reading in Berlin

the diamond as big as the ritz

As I mentioned yesterday, there’s nothing I love better that taking a break from shopping and do a bit of café-reading. When packing for Berlin, I made sure to bring only light books so it wouldn’t be a problem to carry them around all day. I brought 5 books and managed to read 3 of them during my 5 days in Berlin. The first day I read the graphic adaption of Paul Auster’s ‘City of Glass’. I’ve read the real novel years ago, and it was fun revisiting the story. Next up was Fitzgerald’s novella ‘The Diamond as big as the Ritz’, which was a weird and fun read.

paul auster graphic novel

The last book was Colette’s ‘Gigi and The Cat’. I enjoyed ‘Gigi’, but was pleasantly surprised by ‘The Cat’ – I adored this story! Here I’m reading with some mango lassi while waiting for Thai food for lunch.

gigi and the cat

I love these book trees where people can leave books they no longer want and/or get some free books. There were a few Danish titles, but nothing to tempt me.

book tree

Walking around an amazing city in beautiful Autumn naturally calls for outfit pictures. I love this pencil skirt, which you can also see here.

vintage outfit

Top: Collectif
Skirt: Second hand from Twenty
Shoes: Lola Ramona

lola ramona

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Vintage Shopping in Berlin

berlin vintage

Came home late last night from a super cool and long needed trip to Berlin with Mr. Boyfriend. We had such a great time thrifting, reading and eating. Over the years, we’ve gotten better and better at traveling together. It’s amazing to think back to our first holiday together 7 years ago (which was actually also a trip to Berlin!) and compare it to now. Not that we had a bad time, it’s just so much better now! I make sure to check out the neighborhoods and vintage shops beforehand. We usually start the day by searching for one of the vintage shops on my list. It happens quite often that the shop is closed or isn’t anything for us, but that doesn’t really matter. The thing is that the streets with vintage shops are almost always really great streets with cozy cafés and restaurants. After thrifting and walking around various neighborhoods, we usually find a nice café with comfy chairs to read, drink coffee and eat cake – that way, we’ve relaxed before going out for dinner and cocktails at night.

The good store vintage berlin

One of the first shops we visited was The Good Store, a second hand store with newer items. I purchased the red Samsø Samsø boots in the pic below. The vanity case is from a flea market – I’m becoming more and more obsessed with vanity cases!

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I also found the Autumn coat in the pic below – and Mr. Boyfriend bought a very nice Hugo Boss jacket.

vintage jacket for autumn from the good store in berlin

A truly great vintage shop was Sing Blackbird, where you can find older items things than in The Good Store.

sing blackbird vintage berlin

My heart nearly dropped when I saw the shoes in the pic below – I’ve been looking for a pair like these for a long time. I’ve seen them in some shops in Copenhagen but the size has never been right. This time I was lucky! I also couldn’t resist the white skirt – perhaps it’ll go well with the shoes for an outfit post one day.

vintage brogues and white skirt from blackbird vintage in berlin

The weather was wonderful that day – a perfect sunny autumn day, and I grabbed the opportunity to shoot some outfit pics.

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Shirt: Tolsing
Skirt: Monki
Shoes: Office (purchased in London last spring)

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Ham on Rye

What a weary time those years were – to have the desire and the need to live but not the ability.

Charles Bukowski Ham on Rye

charles Bukowski Ham on Rye

Title: Ham on Rye
Author: Charles Bukowski
First Published: 1982
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 4.16)
I would recommend this book to: Anyone interested in American literature.
The Beginning: The first thing I remember is being under something.

Bukowski is one of those writers who aren’t usually my thing, but every once in a while I get the urge to dive into his universe. I think it’s his screw-it-all attitude, drifting through life taking whatever comes your way, not knowing what tomorrow will bring. That is very far from my usual taste in literature. I like direction, development, goals, and relationships.

Ham on Rye is a semi-autobiographical novel where we follow Henry Chinaski in his youth and childhood during the Great Depression. It’s a story about a talented boy growing up in a cruel and stupid family: An evil dominating father and a passive mother. I was fascinated by Chinaski’s discovery of his talent for writing, his desire to put pen to paper in spite of being in an environment that doesn’t support a talent like that.

We were the way we were, and we didn’t want to be anything else. We all came from Depression families and most were ill-fed, yet we had grown up to be huge and strong. Most of us, I think, got little love from our families, and we didn’t ask for love or kindness from anybody. We were a joke but people were careful not to laugh in front of us.

One of my favourite scenes is the one where our young hero’s father wont allow Henry to attend an event where the President is speaking. He’s meant to write an essay about the event for school, and instead of just not turning in the paper, he imagines what the event and speech was like and writes a beautiful essay that is praised by his teacher and read aloud to the rest of the class:

The words sounded good to me. Everybody was listening. My words filled the room, from blackboard to blackboard, they hit the ceiling and bounced off, the covered Mrs. Fretag’s shoes and piled up on the floor. Some of the prettiest girls in the class began to sneak glances at me. All the tough guys were pissed. Their essays hadn’t been worth shit. I drank in my words like a thirsty man. I even began to believe them.

I think that was what I enjoyed most about this novel: an untraditional writer who can’t help writing even though nothing in his life supports his talent. I love that passion that demands to be heard. And I adored reading about these ugly characters created by incredible beautiful writing.

It made me feel good to write about the Baron. A man needed somebody. There wasn’t anybody around, so you had to make up somebody, make him up to be like a man should be.

I lost interest towards the end, however. It seemed that the Great Depression finally got to our hero – not just to his hard surface, but to his very bones. There was no more passion, no more ambition, only hopelessness. Hopelessness and alcohol.

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Houndstooth

Houndstooth2
Here’s what I’m wearing on this sunny Saturday in Copenhagen: a vintage 60s dress from Beyond Retro, which I purchased last spring in London. The purse is from Rude on Istedgade and the shoes are of course by Lola Ramona. I wouldn’t usually wear houndstooth print twice in one outfit, but I thought it made sense in this one, as the purse is so different from the dress in color and texture.

I couldn’t resist the combination below – goody two shoes vs. pouting bitch :-D
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The Lola Ramonas are a favorite pair of mine – I’m a sucker for the black/white combination. There used to be white bows on them as well, but I removed them to make the look more clean cut 60s. The wooden heel is a brilliant touch – which I just noticed matches the knobs on the purse.

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Have a nice weekend!

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Glimpses of September

With only a few hours left of September, I thought I’d do my usual little post with some of my pictures from Instagram. I’ve had a nice September. Work’s been busy but fun and I’ve had time to enjoy and gush over Autumn. I spend last weekend in London, and I returned with the knowledge that it’ll only be a week and a half until I go on vacation again – this time to Berlin with Mr. Boyfriend.

lola ramona topshop books

I took my bike to the repairs (it was badly needed!) and grabbed the opportunity to walk to work. I love it when I’ve got time for that. It’s a 45 minute walk (including stopping for some coffee) and I enjoy it immensely. I listen to music or an audio book and feel so much more relaxed when I get to work. Comfy shoes are a must for these walks, and my favorites are my vintage inspired brogues from Lola Ramona:

lola ramona

I never get tired of this other pair of Lola’s – they’re not for long walks but they sure brighten up one’s outfit. I think they’re my most girlish pair of shoes. I remember trying them on for fun at a sale, but the minute they touched my feet I knew I had to take them home with me. I couldn’t stop smiling while wearing red shoes with a pink bow and a pink heel. Girlish heaven!

lola ramona

The Swedish department at work invited the rest of the company for a party, and of course I couldn’t resist the opportunity to dress up in Swedish colors.

topshop

I wore the lovely Anna Sui shoes for the occasion – check out the details on the heel! I wish I could wear them everyday, but they hurt too much :-/

anna sui

I’ve discovered a new favorite candy! M&Ms started producing these smaller bags with different flavors. I’ve grown addicted to dark mint and peanut butter – YUM!

reading

More candy …

candy

See you in October!

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London Shopping Spree

This weekend I went to London on an intense shopping spree with a friend. Armed with credit cards and comfy shoes, we went through Soho and down Oxford Street in search of anything fabulous and edgy to take home with us.

I discovered these incredible retro brogues from Irregular Choice about a week ago and was excited to see them in real life, to try them on and decide whether or not they were for me. They definitely are. And they seem to have been made with the camera bag I’d just purchased in Accessorize in mind. It doesn’t get more retro than this!

irregular choice

I found no less than three dresses that I knew I couldn’t live without. The mustard 60s dress with the black leather collar is from Oasis, the dark blue one with the shirt is from Topshop, and the blue to the right is second hand from Beyond Retro in Soho. This brings my dress collection up to a total of 72 dresses! I know, it’s way too many – I’m running out of hangers if I reach the bottom of my laundry basket and there’s hardly room left in my closet. I really need to start selling some of them soon – and perhaps do a little giveaway here on the blog?

beyond retro topshop oasis

This trip was all about shopping, so I didn’t explore my usual book stores, but this cool bookish table in Oasis made up for it:

books and fashion

Today I’ve got the day off to rest before starting work. It’s lovely to have a day to myself. So far I’ve relaxed with a book and a lot of coffee, and I’ve been through the many many blogs I follow, which I’ve neglected during the past week. I follow a lovely combination of blogs about vintage fashion, books and knitting, so it’s been a cozy and inspiring day so far.

Now I’m going to relax with a knitting project, some bookish videos and perhaps a bit of Netflix.
Have a lovely Monday – see you soon!

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Tell The Wolves I’m Home

If my life was a film, I’d have walked out by now.

Tell The Wolves I'm Home

Title: Tell The Wolves I’m home
Author: Carol Rifka Brunt
First Published: 2012
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 4.04)

Tell The Wolves I’m Home is a cute story, verging on the sickly sweet. I actually caught myself rolling my eyes more than once. Perhaps that was partly due to the narrator who read aloud in this sugar coated cutesy voice that made me want to hurl. And then I felt shameful, because the book was about a serious subject: A young shy and insecure teenage girl feels alienated from her family. Her only real friend is her uncle whom she has a shameful crush on and who dies of AIDS. Grief-stricken she befriends her uncle’s secret gay lover and projects her feelings for her uncle on to him.

I know all about love that’s too big to stay in a tiny bucket. Splashing out all over the place in the most embarrassing way possible.

This could be a kind of cool and twisted plot. I mean, we have weird and shameful desires of an awkward teenage girl who falls in love with gay family members. That’s a brave subject to write about. But it was merely touched upon. Most of the novel was about sisters fighting and a protagonist headshakingly blind towards what’s going on right under her nose. I wanted to shake her. And by shake her I mean slap her hard across the face.

On top of that, it was one of those novels where you’re always four steps ahead of the story – and I’m slow at figuring these things out, so that says a lot. But it was OK for entertainment and there were some touching scenes that didn’t make me lose my lunch.

Watching people is a good hobby, but you have to be careful about it. You can’t let people catch you staring at them. If people catch you, they treat you like a first-class criminal. And maybe they’re right to do that. Maybe it should be a crime to try to see things about people they don’t want you to see.

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Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

You can’t erase history, or change it. It would be like destroying yourself.


Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

Title: Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
Author: Haruki Murakami
First Published: 2014
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 3.84)
The Beginning: From July of his sophomore year in college until the following January, all Tsukuru Tazaki could think about was dying.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki was a beautiful and twisted story. To me, it was about loneliness and about how people have the power to change other people’s lives for better and for worse. And then it was about a billion other things that I can’t explain even to myself, as is always the case in Murakami’s twisted worlds. When reading Murakami, I always see these little dots that I just can’t connect. There are so many amazing parallels in his stories, but try as I might, I can’t break the code. I sense that there’s something larger at hand, but I can’t see it. That’s an amazing feeling.

Tsukuru Tazaki is part of a group of friends who one day out of the blue declares that they won’t have anything to do with him anymore. This almost kills him. It affects his relationships in the years to come, but he never tells anyone about what happened and he never asks for an explanation. Then he starts dating Sara who makes him spill the beans. She asks him to confront his old friends, makes him see that it’s necessary if he ever wants to be able to have a close relationship – with her at least.

Maybe I am fated to always be alone, Tsukuru found himself thinking. People came to him, but in the end they always left. They came, seeking something, but either they couldn’t find it, or were unhappy with what they found (or else they were disappointed or angry), and then they left. One day, without warning, they vanished, with no explanation, no word of farewell. Like a silent hatchet had sliced the ties between them, ties through which warm blood still flowed, along with a quiet pulse.

The story touched me deeply and the plot line broke my heart before I had even started reading the book. It was an amazing story, but brutally short. Murakami’s last novel, 1Q84, was freakishly long, so a mere 298 pages was a bit of a shock. And I felt it should have been longer. I wasn’t at all done with the story after turning the last page.

It was almost a 5-star read. Most of the time it felt like a 5-star read. But some teeny tiny details made it a 4.8, and that makes all the difference. There were small parts I didn’t find interesting. There were too many details about other characters’ jobs. Some of them were interesting and relevant to the plot, but some of them weren’t (or I just couldn’t see it … that may very well be the case). It was only a couple of pages here and there, perhaps 10-12 pages in total, but it was enough to ruin the feel of a 5-star read.

Another thing that really bothered me was the sloppy translation. There were several mistakes in the translation and that pissed me off. This is Murakami’s new novel for Christ’s sake, you don’t rush the translation! It’s unforgivable. I know it’s not Murakami’s fault, but it ruined my reading flow. I could be completely engrossed in the story line only to have an error yank me out of it. The beauty of reading is to forget about the world and succumb to another. Mistakes in grammar pull you back into the real world.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

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