Boys Don’t Knit (In Public)

I’m starting to think that maybe knitting has healing powers greater than I ever imagined.

book review of boys don't knit (in public)

Title: Boys Don’t Knit (in public)
Author: T.S. Easton
First Published: 2013
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 3.92)
I would recommend this book to: Knitters and just about anyone looking for a fun and easy read.
The Beginning: Mum and dad are at it again.

17-year-old Ben Fletcher becomes a criminal by accident, and has to join a programme to “Give Something Back”. One of the things he has to do is join an evening class. He accidently ends up in a knitting class – and finds that he loves it! Knitting is the only activity that helps him relax and forget about his problems. And he’s darn good at it. But knitting isn’t cool. So Ben desperately hides his new hobby/life style from his friends, his dad and the girl he likes (which is difficult as her mother is his knitting teacher).

I was trying to avoid staring at her top. I was fascinated to know what yarn it was, but I was worried if I had a good old stare she might think I was looking at her boobs.

I’ve been looking forward to reading this one for ages. I thought this concept was hilarious! And it didn’t disappoint. I loved Ben and his passion for knitting and attempt to gain acceptance from his friends. I was kind of worried that the novel wouldn’t live up to my expectations, but it did: it was cute, funny and made me love knitting even more. The next couple of days after I’d finished it, I knitted so much that my arms started to hurt and I had to force myself to take a long break from knitting.

To me knitting is many things. A creative outlet, a mental challenge. I can knit on my own, losing myself in the work, in the pattern. Or I can knit with friends, chatting and putting the world to rights. I don’t think it makes me less of a man. It’s no different to carpentry or being a painter or an architect or a chef. It’s using your hands with skill and creativity. It just needs some better PR.

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Station Eleven

Hell is the absence of the people you long for.

Station Eleven

Title: Station Eleven
Author: Emily St. John Mandel
First Published: 2014
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 4.05)
I would recommend this book to: Anyone looking for a different dystopia.
The Beginning: The king stood in a pool of blue light, unmoored.

This was unlike any other dystopia novel I’ve ever read. And I welcomed the change. An influenca pandemic has spread throughout the world and has wiped out civilization. Only a small percentage survives. We follow a handful of characters 15-20 years before the flu and 15-20 years after.

Station Eleven was untraditional in that it didn’t focus on the apocalypse and the time right after where people struggle to survive. I was at first disappointed because I usually love that part. But quickly pleasantly surprised. Station Eleven isn’t that much about how you survive, but more about how you live your life after surviving.

We follow a traveling symphony orchestra that plays music and performs Shakespeare in towns they encounter on their way. I loved that music and storytelling had found a way to exist in a terrible situation; that art survived even though society has collapsed.

What was lost in the collapse: almost everything, almost everyone, but there is still such beauty. Twilight in the altered world, a performance of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in a parking lot.

I recently posted a picture of Station Eleven on Instagram, and someone commented that this was one of the rare books that were thoughtful, well-written and still a page-turner. And I have to agree: it is all those things. I read it very quickly over the weekend because I had to get ready for a Google Hangout with the author, and it was an amazing reading experience. I was completely lost in this world and I couldn’t shake it of again after I’d finished the book.

So there it is: my first 5-starred read of 2015.

Sometimes the traveling symphony thought that what they were doing was noble. There were moments around campfires when someone would say something invigorating about the importance of art, and everyone would find it easier to sleep that night.

I was lucky enough to participate in a Google Hangout with the author, Emily St. John Mandel, hosted by Mashable. It was such an amazing experience! She was so sweet and smart to talk to. I was really nervous and I think it shows a bit in the video. It’s absolutely horrible to watch and hear yourself in a video. Do I really talk like that??? Apparently I’ve got this awful fake wanna-be British accent! I have no idea where it came from!

But it was a fun experience! I mean, how often do you get to chat with the author of a book you love? Here’s the video – enjoy!

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The Uninvited Guests

The Uninvited Guests book review

Title: The Uninvited Guests
Author: Sadie Jones
First Published: 2012
My Rating: 2 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 2.98)

A weird read. And not in a good way. It seemed Sadie Jones couldn’t decide whether to write a mysterious and unique novel or a more traditional story. It somehow failed both: too traditional to be interesting and too weird to be really good. I found my attention drifting and I was bored throughout. It was absolutely forgettable. Literally; I finished it two weeks ago, and I have a hard time remembering exactly how it ended. And what’s worse: whilst reading, I didn’t care how it ended. The characters were so unlikeable and the story completely failed to move me.

I could see that there were parts that were meant to surprise and shock the reader. It just didn’t really work. It was merely unbelievable and strange. And a bit of a mess. I really don’t have much else to say about this book.

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Currently Reading and Wearing

books and fashion

There’s a storm raging in Denmark. The perfect excuse to stay indoors the entire day – but no excuse not to dress up a bit. I’m wearing a Miss Patina dress from Top Shop and my second hand Samsøe Samsøe boots from The Good Store in Berlin.

This weekend I’ll be doing almost nothing but reading and thinking about reading. I’m participating in a Google Hangout with Mashable and Emily St. John Mandel, author of Station Eleven, which I’m currently reading. The folks at Mashable were kind enough to send me a free copy to make up for the Hangout with Margaret Atwood that went horribly wrong, and on Tuesday we’ll talk to Emily St. John Mandel about the book. I’m about one third through the book and absolutely adore it. So far it smells like 5 stars.

books and fashion

books and fashion

books and fashion

books and fashion

books and fashion

I’m also ‘reading’ Gillespie and I, i.e. I’m listening to the audio, which is very amusing. I just started it and am curious to see where it goes. A friend gave it to me for my birthday about two years ago. I don’t know why I haven’t started this one sooner.

As usual, I’m way behind on my book reviews … I would really like to review these four books next week, but I don’t think I’ll make it …

currently reading

What are you currently reading?

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Invitation to the Waltz

Living is going on on the other side of the wall, but I’ve left it. I don’t want it. I hate it; it hates and rejects me. I forget and am forgotten. I’m nothing.

Book review of Invitation to the waltz by Rosamond Lehamnn

Title: Invitation to the Waltz
Author: Rosamond Lehmann
First Published: 1932
My Rating: 3 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 3.86)
The Beginning: The village, in the hollow below the house, is picturesque, unhygienic.

Olivia Curtis is shy and sensitive; her sister Kate is beautiful and popular. Olivia reads books and writes poetry, Kate is social and outgoing. They’re both invited to a ball and we follow their expectations and feelings towards their peers – potential dancing partners in particular. I’ve always been drawn to this type of story. Over the years, I’ve learned to act like a Kate, but deep down inside I have an Olivia – and I treasure her.

It was the beginning of the mood that led to wanting to write poetry. Veils of illusion seemed to float over the familiar scene, half-hiding, half-revealing it under an eternal aspect. It looked like the picture of the village, not like itself.

I was, however, slightly disappointed by this one. I kept thinking ‘If only this story was written by Tove Ditlevsen’. She would have let us under the characters’ skin in ways Rosamond Lehmann only tries to do. Even though her writing is beautiful, she never really takes us there, right to the centre of our heroine’s soul.

Some time later, I’ll think about this. It will seem important, extraordinary, upsetting. No time now. I’m going to a dance. Let’s forget it.

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Amsterdam

There wasn’t really much else to do. Make something, and die.

Ian McEwan Amsterdam
Title: Amsterdam
Author: Ian McEwan (author of Atonement)
First Published: 1998
My Rating: 4 of 5 stars (average rating on Goodreads: 3.38)
I would recommend this book to: Readers who like brilliant and twisted novels.
The Beginning: Two former lovers of Molly Lane stood waiting outside the crematorium chapel with their backs to the February chill.

What a story! We have two friends. They have a disagreement. And it goes too far (to put it mildly). This story was insane! While reading, I kept thinking ‘this isn’t happening!’ but Ian McEwan’s writing made it seem like the most natural thing in the world. It was a superb farce.

He knows his characters, every single dark corner of their rotten souls, all their insecurity and selfishness. He knows them better than they know themselves. Not many authors can brag of this (Graham Greene and Henrik Pontoppidan could though.)

This was very close to being a 5-star read. It became more and more silly, which I enjoyed, but the end was to me a bit over the top. But then again, I think it’s because of the end that I’ll never forget this story. Pure madness!

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Best Books of 2014

best books of 2014

2014 wasn’t as good a reading year as I’d hoped it would be. I completed my challenge to read 50 books, but I didn’t complete my genre challenge – by the end of the day, I just read whatever I feel like. But that’s not what’s bothering me as these challenges are just for fun. I don’t think I’ve been so lucky with the books I chose to read this year. Here’s an overview of how I’ve rated them:

1 star: 0 books
2 stars: 10 books
3 stars: 9 books
4 stars: 27 books
5 stars: 4 books

I’ve read many good or OK books, but not that many great books, the books that amaze me and remind me why I read books in the first place. You know, books that stay with you forever. And I’ve longed for them, the stories that really matter and make a difference to me. There were only 4 books that left me with that feeling:

Specimen Days
The first one was actually the first book I read in 2014, namely Michael Cunningham’s Specimen Days. This was creativity and story telling that completely blew me away. A great and rare reading experience.

Lykke Per
The next one was my re-read of the Danish classic Lykke Per. A beautiful, well-crafted story about ambition and not fitting in, not being allowed happiness. For the last 10 years or so, this book has been my favorite and I hope to reread it again some day. It’s being turned into a movie in the near future and I’m very excited (and a bit worried) about this.

The End of the Affair
The End of the Affair by Graham Greene is one of those stories that has it all. Beautiful writing that lets you into the dark corners of the protagonist’s soul. A sad, sad story with unlikable characters you can’t help feeling sorry for. I would love to see the movie one day.

The Blazing World
Siri Hustvedt to the rescue: The Blazing World is an amazing and clever novel. This was so well crafted, carefully planned and incredibly clever. It was funny, entertaining and thought-provoking. Absolutely brilliant!

Now, there is one more book that I have to point out, even though it didn’t get 5 stars. That book is Murakami’s new novel:

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
This was an amazing story that touched me deeply. It’s one of those stories that I can’t let go because of its beauty and strangeness. And it’s one of the few Murakami books that I actually wish was longer. The only reason this book didn’t get 5 stars was because of the sloppy translation.

What was your best read of 2014?

books of 2014

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Happy New Year!

new year outfit

new year outfit

new year outfit

new year outfit

Happy New Year everybody! Here’s what I wore jumping into the new year:

Dress: From Rude
Shoes: Irregular Choice
Bag: Second hand from Twenty

Posted in Look of the Day | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Looking back on the Looks of 2014

There are only a few hours left of 2014. We’re having some friends over for dinner and cocktails tonight, so Mr. Boyfriend and I have been busy in the kitchen getting everything ready. But that shouldn’t hold me back from stopping by the blog and say hi. I’m preparing a post about my favorite books from 2014, but thought today called for something a bit more festive. So I’ve made a cavalcade of my posted outfits from 2014 – in chronological order so you can see the seasons change.

What are you doing to celebrate the New Year? And do you know what to wear?

the bookworm's Closet Looks of 2014

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Looks I Liked in December

I know there’s still one day left of December, but I think it’s safe to say that I won’t have the time to search more blogs around the world in the quest for looks I like. So here they are: the top 5 looks I liked in December (for more Looks I Like, check out this board on Pinterest):

From one of my favorite vintage bloggers: Miss Green:

Looks I Like

From A Fashion Nerd (I would kill to have that skirt for New Year’s Eve!):

Looks I Like

From Kitsune Kun:

Looks I Like

From The Life and Times of Erin Smith:

Looks I Like

From Carla T:

Looks I Like

Any favorites?

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