30 April 2015

April wrap up!

Another month has come and gone and time is passing by so quickly! I only have 2 months left of school and then I'm going to UNI in September - it's unbelievable! 
April hasn't been that great for me reading wise, I've been in a long reading slump and I've read the majority of the books in this last week or so - hopefully I've kicked my reading slump out the door. This month I read a total of 6 books and listened to 1 audiobook so I've read a total of 45 books this year so far! 
  1. The Last Letter From Your Lover by Jojo Moyes ★★★★☆
  2. A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby ★★★☆☆
  3. The Circle by Dave Eggers ★★★☆☆
  4. The Rosie Project (Don Tillman #1) by Graeme Simsion ★★★★★
  5. Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss #1) by Stephanie Perkins ★★★★★
  6. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven ★★★★☆
  7. The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith ★★★☆☆

I started doing a lot of new things this month and I also picked up some things I used to do - a lot! 
  • I started colouring again! I've bought a couple of coloring in books and I'm loving it!
  • I started making lists of everything bookish; favorite dedications, first lines/sentences, quotes, all the books I've received for review from different publishers, authors and websites and so on. I like having everything so organized
  • I only read physical books! I've not been in the mood to read digital books for a while now and it was so freeing to read a bunch of physical books this month
  • I participated in the World Book Day event here in Denmark! I was chosen to be one of the 4000 people who had to give out the books and it was great! 
I didn't really buy any books this month, I received (or rather kept) a couple from the World Book Day event, my mother gave me a few she have read and I've preordered 99 Days by Katie Cotugno but except from that, nothing. I'm quite proud actually. 

As I mentioned last month I've quite bad at sticking to TBR's - I've only read 1 from my April TBR so.. I have a few I have to get to in May so maybe I can actually stick to it this month
  • After We Fall by Emma Kavanaugh
  • 99 Days by Katie Cotugno
  • Liberty's Fire by Lydia Syson
  • The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed #1) by Page Morgan
  • Wild Reckless by Ginger Scott (which I'm currently reading) 
  • The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith (which I'm also currently reading)

Has April been a good month for you?

26 April 2015

Dewey's 24-hour read-a-thon: Progress and in conclusion

15.18: Oficially beginning. Had to talk to a couple about a babysitting job and just got home. Going to start with All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven from page 134

18.00: Just finished reading All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. Number of pages read so far: 244. Going to start reading The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith

19.47: Currently reading The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith. About halfway through. Number of pages read so far: 382

22.03: Just finished reading The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith. Number of pages read so far: 581. Going to start reading The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith

23.17: Taking a break and resting my eyes for a bit

8.50: Ended up sleeping for 10 hours.. Oops. Now back to reading The Cuckoo's Calling

14.00: Turns out I couldn't get back into reading so I just stopped for a couple of hours.

In conclussion

  • I ended up finishing 2 books: All the Bright Places and  The Geography of You and Me 
  • I read a total of 665 pages
  • I read for about 9-10 hours in total

24 April 2015

My TBR for Dewey's 24-hour read-a-thon

So I've participated in Dewey's 24-hour read-a-thon 3 times so far and I've failed miserably the last two.. The first time I participated it was great, I read a bunch of books and a couple of graphic novels and I was awake for the majority of the 24 hours. The last time I participated I was sick and therefore fell asleep after an hour. Quite a contrast between those two, don't you think?

I decided, like yesterday, that I would give it a go this time. I don't have any assignments, I don't have to think about work and I really don't have that much homework at the moment so it couldn't be more perfect!

Since I've participated a few times I know that a couple of 'regular'-sized books are the way to go for me - and probably an audiobook when my eyes need a break. I've tried big books, short books, regular-sized books, anthologies and graphic novels - and I've read both physical and digital books.

My physical TBR for the read-a-thon is;

  • Fifty Shades Freed (Fifty Shades #3) by E.L. James
  • Siege and Storm (Grisha #2) by Leigh Bardugo
  • Confessions of a Shopaholic (Shopaholic #1) by Sophie Kinsella
  • The Geography of You and Me by Jennifer E. Smith
  • Rush (Breathless #1) by Maya Banks
  • The Cuckoo's Calling (Cormoran Strike #1) by Robert Galbraith
  • All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

I also have some other books I can read if I'm not in the mood for any of these;
  • After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh
  • Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn - as an audiobook
  • We Are All Made of Stars by Rowan Coleman
  • Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I know it's quite a big TBR but I have difficulty choosing a book when I'm done so this is just a bunch of books I want to read and then I can choose to read whatever I want from the pile. 

13 April 2015

How I unwind and relax

So, I've been figuring out different ways to relax these past few weeks and I figured that I might as well share my ways of unwinding and relaxing with you guys!
Before we begin I should probably tell you that I've been in a reading slump for a couple of weeks so some of the methods have to do with audiobooks. Mainly because I relax and unwind when I read - so reading is a great way, if not the best way, to unwind and relax.

Stop procrastinating 
This is probably one of the most important factors in relaxing (at least for me), if I know I have an assignment due in a few days I haven't done yet or if I have homework for the next day that I haven't looked at yet I simply can't relax. So why not do what you have to do - or if it's bigger 'chores' say 'today I'll work on the assignment for an hour or two and then I can relax'.
Just stop procrastinating! If you've done everything you have to do you can relax with a clean conscience instead of just trying to relax even though you have a ton of stuff to do.

Colouring and audiobooks
I don't know about you but before I discovered adult coloring books I've always thought about coloring books as something for kids. I used to love coloring in, it's so relaxing and quite fun if you challenge yourself a bit but as I got older I stopped drawing and I stopped coloring. Then I discovered this new trend with adult coloring books, the drawings are more intricate and I've fallen in love! I've already bought a two and my favorite so far is the Mindfullness Coloringbook (the one in the picture).

Listening to audiobooks while I color is probably one of the best things I've ever come across. I tend to zone out and not really listen when I listen to audiobooks but coloring while listening definitely helps me with keeping my focus on the story. It's also a great way to read even though you're in a reading slump!

If you want to see some of the illustrations you can do so hereYou can actually get a free pattern from Emma Farrarons to color yourself here.
Some other coloring books I really want are Enchanted ForestSecret Garden and Animal Kingdom.

But to summarize; colouring in a coloring books while listening to audiobooks is one of the best methods, at least for me, to unwind and relax. It doesn't have to be a mindfullness one or even an expensive one - just a coloring book. If you don't want to spend a lot of money before you've even tried it you can find a lot of free patterns on the internet or pinterest.

Walking and listening to audiobooks
Even though I haven't tried this method yet I'm sure it works and I'm going to try it as soon as the weather is better here in Denmark.
Just try to image it; you have your headphones on, listening to a great book and enjoying the nature. It's healthy, it's great exercise and it's good for your brain!

Get in your PJ's!
When I want to relax I usually put on some comfortable clothes or just my PJ's, I always feel like I can relax when I'm 'ready for bed' - even though it's in the middle of the day. For me it's impossible not to relax when I'm wearing my PJ - it's even better with a cup of tea and a good book. Simple things are probably the best way to relax.

Other ideas

  • Take a nice warm bath, maybe even listen to some musicure or relaxing music while you're at it
  • Just lie in your bed with your eyes closed and think about how you breathe - maybe listen to an audiobook if this is to cheesy for you
  • Pamper yourself; manicure, pedicure, mask etc. It doesn't have to be expensive to work
  • Clean your room - it's easier to relax and unwind in a clean space
  • I know some people who relax when they write, maybe you're one of them.

Do you know other ways to unwind and relax? Tell me in the comments! 

7 April 2015

Translating literature

I don't know if translations are that big a deal for any of you, but for me it definitely is and I practically struggle with it every time I go into a bookstore or a store with books. I somehow came across Smartling, which is a translation software and I felt quite inspired to write a post about translating literature;

I'm a Dane, so the majority of the books in my country is written in Danish - which for me is a big problem. The majority of the books that are published, are published in English, and I for one do not like reading translated novels; because I find that when you translate literature something gets lost; whether it's the writing style, a character quirk or something else.
For example, the first time I read Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen it was in Danish and I didn't really like it. A couple of years passed, I read it in English and it's still one of my favorite books to this day. The famous quotes and Darcy's pride do not translate well, at least not to Danish.

The writing style is quite important for the book and you can't translate that directly - so that tends to get lost. For newer works I find that it's not that big a deal; I read The Hunger Games in both English and Danish and it was translated beautifully; but when it comes to classics I can't read them in Danish. Somehow the old-English is wonderful but I don't enjoy a novel in old-Danish.

I know that translating works is vital if the rest of the world is to have an opportunity to read said book but you have to be quite careful with the translation. I find that the most important aspect to consider when translating is literally the language; use the words that are closest to the ones you're translating and the ones that explain the meaning of the word(s) the best.

My biggest pet-peeve when it comes to reading translated books is probably the conversations and how they're portrayed in the translated version

Literature is a big part of my life and I hope to get a job in the publishing business once I'm older. For me the value of the written word is practically everything; I use most of my freetime to read and when I'm not reading I'm either talking to other book lovers or writing posts about books.
The written word is also essential to the world we live in, except from talking it's one of the only ways to communicate.

The moral of this post is to be careful when translating and that translations are quite important in our world - even if I don't approve.