Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.

“I am not pretty. I am not beautiful. I am as radiant as the sun.”
― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

The nation of Panem is formed from a post-apocalyptic North America. It consists of a wealthy Capitol region surrounded by 12 poorer districts. Early in its history, a rebellion led by a 13th district against the Capitol resulted in its destruction and the creation of an annual televised event known as the Hunger Games. In punishment, and as a reminder of superiority of the Capitol, each district must yield one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 through a lottery system to participate in the games. The ‘tributes’ are chosen during the annual Reaping and are forced to fight to the death, leaving only one survivor to claim victory.

“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”
― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

“Deep in the meadow, hidden far away
A cloak of leaves, a moonbeam ray
Forget your woes and let your troubles lay
And when it’s morning again, they’ll wash away
Here it’s safe, here it’s warm
Here the daisies guard you from every harm
Here your dreams are sweet and tomorrow brings them true
Here is the place where I love you.”
― Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games

There were many things about Hunger Games that I didn’t like.  I wasn’t fond of the characters though I don’t think they were that bad either. I often put myself in their situation, if I would be 16 years old girl living in Panem what would I be doing… so Katniss was great female protagonist! I didn’t like the romance in the books, I think there should have been more or less of it, now it was slightly confusing and that love triangle didn’t make any sense. Catching Fire seemed to suffer of sequel-ism meaning the first book in the trilogy was really good, Catching Fire was just about okay and Mockingjay was good again.

“That if desperate times call for desperate measures, then I’m free to act as desperately as I wish.”
― Suzanne Collins, Catching

There were more things I liked about Hunger Games than disliked though. Hunger Games was basically like a reality television gone really wrong. Technology and the way citizens of Capitol acted has been evolving completely around this televised event. And the same applies to the poor districts, after apocalypse. Trilogy has a good, entertaining and fast-paced plot and the setting of post-apocalyptic America is great. The books don’t tell us what exactly has happened and when but it must have been something terrible to turn the world into Panem. I also liked how you could see the works and books influencing this trilogy.  I would rate the trilogy 4/5.

How- To Read Hunger Games
Hunger Games is for you if you like dystopian novels, adventure and if you are a fan of Divergent trilogy, Rick Riordan and YA books in general. If you don’t like these books, Hunger Games isn’t for you. Or if you don’t like reading hyped books or if you generally stick with classics or nonfiction.
Hunger Games is, in my opinion, suitable for ages 12+, for younger readers Collins has written ‘Gregor the Overlander’. Somehow I also feel  like Hunger Games is more for girls and other series are more for boys. I mean with the bugs and all that…
Pretty easy and fast to read, some violence but not too bad, it’s targeted for teens after all.
It’s kind of like reality tv :) but better because it’s a book.
Please read a short story named “The Lottery” written by Shirley Jackson. It obviously inspired Suzanne Collins greatly and it’s probably the best short story I have ever read.

Have you read The Hunger Games trilogy? What are your thoughts? Is it just me who didn’t like the ending?

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How the Lion Fell in Love with the Lamb

“And so the lion fell in love with the lamb…” he murmured. I looked away, hiding my eyes as I thrilled to the word. “What a stupid lamb,” I sighed. “What a sick, masochistic lion.” ― Stephenie Meyer, Twilight

Any book series that has sold over 120 million copies deserves respect. Also, books that changed how people see vampires deserve lots of respect. Books that make people read are great. First part in Twilight series is very fast-paced, Twilight is like roller coaster. One event after another. I like that. So there is a girl named Bella, she moves to small city called Forks and falls in love with Edward, who (surprise!) is a vampire. It’s genius idea! When Twilight was first published, humans didn’t fall in love with the vampires, they were terrified of vampires and Meyer turned it upside down. I do prefer my vampires scary though and what I didn’t like about Twilight was the same thing that I liked, the fast pace. I don’t usually like romance in literature and it seemed like Edward and Bella fell in love with each others in what…nanoseconds? It lacked depth.

“Time passes. Even when it seems impossible. Even when each tick of the second-hand aches like the pulse of blood behind a bruise. It passes unevenly, in strange lurches and dragging lulls, but pass it does. Even for me.” ― Stephenie Meyer, New Moon

Next part was the New Moon. “For Bella Swan, there is one thing more important than life itself: Edward Cullen”. Obviously! And when Edward moves away to protect Bella, I wish the Bella was less depressive. Luckily, then she finds out something new about Jacob. In general, I don’t get Bella and Edwards at all in the series. You’ll maybe like Bella because she is so normal. But I just don’t get how girl who reads  is that normal? And that stupid…and she sure complains a lot. Maybe it was all that first person narration that I didn’t enjoy. And Edward…  I just ask myself, if I would be 100 years old vampire, would I hang out in school all day long?  And vampires don’t sleep so hey I will go and watch Bella while she sleeps is creepy, not sweet o.O  My favorite character was maybe Jasper, he at least didn’t pretend to be anything else that what he was.

“Forbidden to remember, terrified to forget; it was a hard line to walk.” ― Stephenie Meyer, New Moon

In the third book, Eclipse, “newborn” vampires have been created to battle the Cullen family and murder Bella, meanwhile Bella is compelled to choose between her relationship with Edward and her friendship with Jacob.  I don’t get love triangles and Eclipse seemed to be concentrated on that and it was really long read compared to two previous books.  In Breaking Dawn Bella and Edward are happily together and then BAM! Plot twists were crazy and especially Renesmee…I did not see that coming. I was disappointed with the ending as well, I was expecting something more and something more dramatic.

“Now you know,” I said lightly, and shrugged. “No one’s ever loved anyone as much as I love you.” ―Stephenie Meyer, Breaking Dawn

What I like in Twilight series is how original it is (whole sparkling vampires concept and vampire and human falling in love) and plot twists were good and unexpected I think Eclipse and Breaking Dawn could have been divided into two books because both books were over 600 pages.   I never have been a big fan of Twilight series (characters + romance) and I don’t like books that become so hyped, so 2,5-3/5.

How-To Read Twilight Series
If you like romance genre, you’ll like this way more than if you don’t. And if you like more YA.  Also, it’s “a vampire story for people who don’t like vampire stories”. I think if you love Dracula, you better not read this.
2. Kind of similar to Vampire Diaries.
3. First two books in the series are quite short and fast to read, next two books are longer.
4. If you don’t like first person narratives, better not read this. Or if you need interesting and complex characters in your books.

Have you read the Twilight Series? What do you think of the Twilight Series? 

Top 3 Books on Open Innovation

I recently  attended Open Innovation 2.0 Conference in Espoo, Finland (on June 8-9). It was organised by the European Commission DG CONNECT, Open Innovation Strategy and Policy Group (OISPG), Intel Labs Europe, Aalto University and the City of Espoo and supported by Dublin City Council. This conference inspired me to write a blog post about open innovation and books you could read on this topic. Below I have listed three books on open innovation I think everyone should read.
Open Innovation 2.0 Conference. Photo: Kim Ekman

Open Innovation 2.0 Conference. Photo: Kim Ekman

The Crowdfunding Revolution: How to Raise Venture Capital Using Social Media

The Crowdfunding Revolution. Published in 2012. Image: Goodreads

The Crowdfunding Revolution by Dan Marom and Kevin Lawton
The Crowdfunding Revolution is a guide on crowdfunding and how it can be used to tap into a “collective intelligence”. Moreover,  it shows how to get to the forefront of  the new world of venture financing. Book was divided in three parts: The Road here, The Crowdfunding Campaign and The Road Ahead. I was not too familiar with crowdfunding  before so it was good to have thorough explanation of it in the first part and I enjoyed the insights on the future of crowdfunding and social media. I had an opportunity to talk with the authors, Dan Marom, shortly during the OI2 Conference in Espoo.  He said that his third book Crowdfunding: The Corporate Era will be published soon. I’m looking forward to reading it!


Democratizing Innovation

Democratizing Innovation. Published in 2006. Image: Goodreads.

Democratizing Innovation by Eric von Hippel

Innovation is rapidly becoming democratized. Users, aided by improvements in computer and communications technology, increasingly can develop their own new products and services. Eric von Hippel looks closely at this emerging system of user-centred innovation.” Professor Eric von Hippel was awarded during the Innovation Luminary Awards Ceremony (centerpiece of Open Innovation 2.0 Conference) for Democratizing Innovation. Von Hippel has graduated from distinguished Harvard University, he is innovation professor at MIT Sloan and he has developed numerous crucial theories in innovation. You can read ‘Democratizing Innovation’ here: http://evhippel.mit.edu/books/

Orchestrating Regional Innovation EcosystemsOrchestrating Regional Innovation Ecosystems. Espoo Innovation Garden. Editors: Pia Lappalainen, Markku Markkula and Hank Kune
This book tells about innovation ecosystem and it describes area called Espoo Innovation Garden in Finland. This region ( Helsinki-Uusimaa) is among the most prosperous metropolitan areas in Northern Europe. It’s the centre of Finland’s economic activity. There is a high concentration of large companies and small- and medium-sized enterprises in the area—both Finnish and international ones. Also, the headquarters of companies like Kone (elevators) Fortum (energy), Neste Oil (oil refining and marketing), Rovio (Angry Birds) and Nixu (cybersecurity), among many others are located in Espoo Innovation Garden. If you’d like to read ‘Orchestrating Regional Innovation Ecosystems’ click here: http://bit.ly/1FyZyJW

Would you be interested to read these books? Have you read good books about open innovation?

How- To Be a Sophisticated Psychopath

“I’m into, oh murders and executions mostly. It depends.” ― Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis is a brutal satire of the American upper class in New York in 1980’s. Anti-hero Patrick Bateman is the main character and narrator who works in Wall Street and earns six-figure salaries a year. Bateman is narcissistic, vain and materialistic. Also, he is a serial killer.

“I had all the characteristics of a human being—flesh, blood, skin, hair—but my depersonalization was so intense, had gone so deep, that my normal ability to feel compassion had been eradicated, the victim of a slow, purposeful erasure. I was simply imitating reality, a rough resemblance of a human being, with only a dim corner of my mind functioning” ― Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

I read this book for the first time some years ago when was in high school. I put this book in same category with Clockwork Orange. I acknowledge that Easton Ellis writes very well and this is very powerful book (in many disturbing levels). I liked this book as in my opinion there’s too much violence and it is written in a way that I find grotesque but no special or original. Also,  there was too much psychopath-ism, I missed creativity. Title fits the book well.

My rating for this book: 1,5/5. It’s best terrible book I know though (along with Clockwork Orange)

How-To Read American Psycho

1. Very powerful book, satire-part  is highly entertaining if you’re looking for good satire. Unique style and content. 2. Talented book (?) as Norman Mailer said: “How one wishes this writer was without talent!” 3. If yo enjoyed Clockwork Orange, you might like this too. If you didn’t like CO, you should skip this. 4. I never have thought of it, but some interpreted that everything happened in Patrick’s head. I don’t know which point of view is more disturbing. Half way through the book I felt like it had nothing new to offer anymore. 5. American Psycho is very graphic and violent book. If you don’t like long descriptions of women being chopped up, you probably shouldn’t read this.

“All it comes down to is this: I feel like shit but look great.” ― Bret Easton Ellis, American Psycho

Have you read American Psycho? What did you think of it? They tell me movie is much better and not nearly as disturbing, should  I watch it?

A Tale of Two Cities

“A wonderful fact to reflect upon, that every human creature is constituted to be that profound secret and mystery to every other.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

A Tale of Two Cities  is 16th novel of Charles Dickens published in 1859. It’s set (as title tells) in two cities: London and Paris and it tells the strory through two families, English one and French once.  It’s a tale of chaos, espionage and adventure before and during the French Revolution.

I love how many characters this book has compared to its length.  There are gravediggers, puppet lawyer, kind hearted banker and great main characters: mysterious Charles Darnay, Sydney Carton and woman Lucie Manette whom both of the main characters love. I also like the language and how characters use French idioms: “What the devil you do in that galley there?

“You have been the last dream of my soul.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

“Sadly, sadly, the sun rose; it rose upon no sadder sight than the man of good abilities and good emotions, incapable of their directed exercise, incapable of his own help and his own happiness, sensible of the blight on him, and resigning himself to let it eat him away.”
― Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

I really enjoyed reading this book. I love both cities London and Paris and books around French revolution have always been my favorite ones. Also, I tried not to mention it but somehow I thought of Les Misérables when re-reading this.

I’d give this book 4/5 stars.

How-To Read A Tale of Two Cities

1. You can find it for free in most languages in Public Domain or Project Gutenberg. You can also listen audio version of the novel. Moreover, you can have a look at original manuscript of the novel, not that it is readable.. As for hard copy, find one with pictures, it makes reading more entertaining.
2. It’s descriptive, dramatic theatrical, ironic. If you have thing for French Revolution, go for it. It takes quite much concentration to focus on this book.
3. It has nice length, about 500 pages. It’s one of the shorter books of Dickens.
4. If you are not native English speaker,  and planning to read it in English, you might want to read this in electronic form and with device that has dictionary so you can look up the words.
5. Ladies, this book might have one of your favorite male characters ever. Sydney Carton.
6. If you don’t like Dickens or find his novels hard to approach, try reading at least 100 pages of Tale of Two Cities before you quit. Same goes if you are required to read this book in school. Don’t give up. People say it’s single book they have enjoyed reading in high school.

How- To Give Children Dreams

“The witching hour, somebody had once whispered to her, was a special moment in the middle of the night when every child and every grown-up was in a deep deep sleep, and all the dark things came out from hiding and had the world all to themselves.”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

The BFG is a children’s book written by Roald Dahl. It’s one of my favorite Dahl books together with Matilda. This book was read to us in my second grade by our Finnish language teacher, those few Tuesday mornings were fantastic. The story follows a little girl, Sophie who is orphan girl living in the orphanage. One night, Sophie sees a  giant blowing something through a blowpipe into a bedroom window of opposite street and when giant sees that Sophie is awake, he carries her to his homeland of Giant Country. Giant introduces himself to Sophie as the Big Friendly Giant, “BFG”. BFG is different from other giants, friendlier, he catches dreams and blows them into the bedrooms of children, while other giants eat the children.

“Two rights don’t equal a left.”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

I love BFG. It and Matilda are my favorites of Roald Dahl. Dahls sense-nosense language is highly entertaining. BFG calls Sophie norphan. We kow the meaning of orphan, however prefix no- is interesting. There is clearly something missing in Sophie’s life or perhaps it’s a hint of the future. Moreover, BFG and the other giants call human beings, human beans which makes a lot of sense considering their height and their diet.

“A whizzpopper!” cried the BFG, beaming at her. “Us giants is making whizzpoppers all the time! Whizzpopping is a sign of happiness. It is music in our ears! You surely is not telling me that a little whizzpopping if forbidden among human beans?”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

BFG has great humor. I think there is something that satisfies all tastes of different humor. Language is very humorous and then there are explanations how Turkish people taste like Turkey…and how giants go to Wellington for booty flavour and Panama for the hatty taste.

First I didn’t really like the main character Sophie. She was a bit too know-it-all but I think her character gave nice contrast to BFG. And she told that BFG spoke beautifully and she was very heroic in the end so no complains. It is also more scarier to re-read this book as adult… I mean giants snatch children from their beds and eat them o.O and Sophie ends up in very scary land where she probably is close to starvation and there is no even water (just frobscottle). (In Finnish translation of BFG, I love how they replaced the queen with lady president (after all Finland has never been a monarchy and we had female president too). Maybe this applies to other countries as well? It was nice how translator made it so that you could relate more to the story.)

I’d give this boook 5/5 stars.

“Do you like vegetables?” Sophie asked, hoping to steer the conversation towards a slightly less dangerous kind of food.
“You is trying to change the subject,” the Giant said sternly. “We is having an interesting babblement about the taste of the human bean. The human bean is not a vegetable.”
― Roald Dahl, The BFG

How- To Read The BFG
Dear parents, dear teachers please read this book aloud to children!  It’s DEFINITELY a book that all children from ages 6-10 will…should love. Perhaps, it’s not suitable for mostyoungest and sensitive ones because beginning might be a bit scary and the fact that giants are eating children.
Dahl fanatics like me should buy this. Otherwise you might want to borrow it first and see if you like it.
I really hope there is no editions without Quentin Blaks illustrations. If so, don’t read it.
It has lot of nice educational messages like human beans are the only species that kill each other, how monsters can be beaten, how different is good, how reading is good :D
If you don’t like childrens books at all but want to get Dahl experience, try ‘The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More‘ or ‘Over to You’.
There’s interesting new movie coming up in 2016…book before movie :)

Happy Easter! :)

Finland’s Literary Treasure

“A strong desire derives a person straight through the hardest rock.”
― Aleksis Kivi, Seven Brothers

Aleksis Kivi’s Seven Brothers is Finland’s most celebrated literary treasure.  It was published in 1870 and  it’s one of the first novels written in Finnish language. I am not a fan of Finnish classics but I do see why it’s loved.

Title of the books tells it all, Seven Brothers is a story of Jukola Brothers: Juhani, Aapo, Tuomas, Simeoni, Timo, Lauri and Eero. The brothers live in Finnish countryside, they quarrel with other people and also have other problems (for example, they must learn how to read)  that make them escape their responsibilitiesinto woods. Plot is mainly about how brothers spend ten next years living in distant Impivaara trying to make a life for themselves (and succeeding poorly in that).

Their flight was like the moon’s course through the blue fields of the sky. She does not turn aside for a flimsy cloud that tries to block her path, but sails through it serenely and emerges on the other side brighter than before.”
― Aleksis Kivi, Seven Brothers

I didn’t enjoy reading this book mostly because it was written in from of the play. All of the problems the brothers encountered were funny, history was fascinating and this story had good moral, yet this wasn’t my piece of cake. For me it’s OK to read but I would give Seven Brothers only 2/5 stars.

How-To Read Seven Brothers
If you’re Finn, you must read it (probably will be forced to read it in school). If you are interested in reading classics from another countries, here’s your book. Translations are not that good but some books are impossible to be translated well.
2. You know Dudesons show? It’s kind of like Seven Brothers. Some of their stunts are ridiculous and will make you laugh.
3. If you don’t like plays, do not read this. Or dialogues. Discussions between the characters are written as if it was a play.
4. The literary circles of author’s time hated this novel. They disliked the image this book gave about rural life in Finland during 19th century but it’s really good and very realistic. I think it also helps you to understand Finns and Finland today: stubborness, sisu, use of alcohol, nature.
5. You could have a look at the book here.

 Are there classics from your country that you don’t like?

How-To Let the Right One In

“Keep your relationships brief. Don’t let them in. Once they’re inside they have more potential to hurt you. Comfort yourself. You can live with the anguish as long as it only involves yourself. As long as there is no hope.”
― John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In

In Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in), it’s year 1981 in Stockholm, Sweden. Oskar is 12- years old boy who lives with his single mother, his father is alcoholic whom he visits from time to time and he is relentlessly bullied at school.  He likes to read about serial killers. Soon, Oskar meets the girl next door.  But she’s odd. She’s never seen a Rubik’s Cube before. She wears dirty clothes. She only comes out at nights.

“-there was something in her, something that was…pure horror. Everything you were supposed to watch out for. Heights, fire, shards of glass, snakes, Everything that his mom tried so hard to keep him safe from.”
― John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In

I was fond of the main characters, Oskar and Eli. They are not too heroic and they don’t have characteristics that you would like but the friendship they develop is beautiful. Also, even if Eli is far from being sparkling one…Human behaviour compared to Elis, I have hard time choosing which one is more terrifying.  I also found the themes very well thought. Yes Let the Right One In is a vampire story ..but it is also about bullying, child abuse, problems within family.

What I liked the most about this novel was how much it surprised me. Of course, in all books, you make some predictions (like about Eli) but in this one especially the ending was really “lovely”. I would recommend this book for adults who like this genre(horror).

I’d give this book 4,5/5 stars

How-To Read Let the Right One In
If you like the atmosphere of Scandinavian noir and you crave for even darker twist, this book is perfect for you. If you don’t like dark books or books that give  I would not recommend you any of the Ajvide books.
2. There are many genres to this book: Scandinavian noir, horror, thriller, mystery…And it’s a love story. You might read that (and you might guess it pretty fast in the book) that it is vampire story. It’s more Dracula than Twilight.
3. It’s creative and quality of writing is stunning.
It’s pretty long, almost 500 pages. It has great levels of suspense but it isn’t the most suspenseful book I have read. Warning there is quite much violence & violence against children(pedophilia) in this book.
If you have difficulties to decide what Ajvide book to read next, read Little Star (Lilla stjärna).
Movie (Swedish movie) was (clearly) not as good as the book and I didn’t especially like it but I was hooked to finish watching it when I saw it on TV.

“Which monster do you choose?”
― John Ajvide Lindqvist, Let the Right One In

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book Related Problems I Have

Top Ten Tuesday!! Yaaaay! I didn’t miss it! HA!
As always, this meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Ten Book Related Problems I Have.

b4597-toptentuesday1. Adopting books
This is my biggest problem. Especially in second-hand stores the books look at me..and what if no one will buy them and they’ll be thrown away? o.O I am defenseless!

2. Cover changes
It’s pretty covers, then they change it to ugly covers in the middle of the series… Or they just publish some parts. Sometimes I send angry emails to publishers because of this…

3. Space…too less of it
First my books were horizontally in my book shelf, now they are also vertically on top of the book shelf and I can’t fit my new books anywhere!

4. When character I like gets killed
Traumatizing, highly traumatizing!

5. They stop translating the books in the middle of series!
This also means they don’t publish them! I live in Finland and this has happened a couple of times. Especially when you have bought the series and last books are in English not Finnish…Of course, thanks to this, I started to read more books in English. Safer. Much safer.

6. TBR
My list is endless. And it’s too big. It’s impossible…I want to read so many good books.

7. Libraries
Amount of the books I borrow…makes me arms hurt when I carry them home. I pretend the library books are mine…and then never return them on time and it costs me quite much. I spend sometimes way too much time in library/ies.

8. Window shopping
When I don’t have money and when I have too much time (lies) Or real shopping…when I have extra money (lies).

9. TIME!
Time to read, time to review the books I love or hate or review them at all, tbr, reading too less, time to go through all the books I’ve read on Goodreads, time to blog about books, time to find new books, time to buy books, time to dream about books, time to find the edition of the book I like…BIG PROBLEM.

10. Don’t you ever interrupt while I’m reading a book
I can be a bit mean or grumpy.

Did you participate? What are your book related problems? :D

My Love-Hate Relationship with War and Peace

“We can know only that we know nothing. And that is the highest degree of human wisdom.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

War and Peace is a great Russian masterpiece by Leo Tolstoi. I disliked it before it even began. In the edition I read, there were some forewords from Leo Tolstoy himself. In foreword, he tells how War & Peace concentrates on the life of aristocrats. He says that he knows that merchants, peasants and musicians exist but that he thinks that their lives are too monotonous to describe. All what these people can think of is how upper classes are better and be envious and greedy about it. Their lives are not beautiful nor does telling their story represent the era. Moreover, he says how he could never understand what baker thinks of when he sells the bread neither he wants to understand what cow thinks of when it’s milked.

“Everything depends on upbringing. ”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace


Of course, he says biggest reason to think like this is because he is aristocrat himself. He loves beautiful art and beautiful clothes. He concludes that he doesn’t believe that anyone but aristocrats would have higher intellect, acquired taste in art and even a bit of honesty in them. After saying all this, Tolstoy apologizes, he says that now you know and you might see him as reactionary idiot before you even read the book.

Of course when you get to the novel itself, it’s stunning. Tolstoy has appealing views on humanity. For example Nikolai Rostov realizes in the battle how his enemy is another human being, just like him. The author said himself that War and Peace is “not a novel, even less is it a poem, and still less a historical chronicle”. War and Peace is everything. It is very (,very, very) long (which makes it hard to read sometimes) and at times it is difficult to grasp, yet it’s really beautifully written book and it has beautiful and deep set of answers to life’s every situation. I love how the author writes the history of  the Russian nobility dvoryane, the historical details and simply how he writes about war. If you’re unfamiliar with Russian history, reading this book is a great way to start.

“Man cannot possess anything as long as he fears death. But to him who does not fear it, everything belongs. If there was no suffering, man would not know his limits, would not know himself. ”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

War and Peace circles the life of five aristocratic families but there are hundreds of characters in this book. From all walks of life. What makes it so difficult to review this book is that it can’t be put to any genre or even be compared with any other novel.

Finally, (after years of reflecting on this great classic) when I think back to forewords of the book, I think Tolstoy knew exactly what he was doing to me. I am pretty sure he wanted me to be a bit frustrated about his views.  After all, Tolstoy had read Les Misérables and he praised Victor Hugo after reading it. These two novels are written for different point of views, however in many ways they are highly similar. Do I even hate War and Peace…No,

I’d give War & Peace 4/5 stars.

How-To Read War and Peace
1. You can find it for free in eform, for example on Project Gutenberg. It’s really a massive book with nearly 1500 pages so take your time with it. It might seem dragged at some points but Tolstoy explains the characters, surroundings and events in depth.
2. Prepare to encounter great amount of different characters and in case you like deep characters and characters who constantly develop during the book, this book is for you.
3. If your edition has forewords from the author, don’t read them before you have read the whole book and reflected on it.
4. If you did not enjoy reading War & Peace, do read Anna Karenina if you haven’t. Anna Karenina is amazing and my favorite book of Leo Tolstoy.
5. Read it because you’ll be so happy to have finished it whether you liked i t or not, now you always have something to talk about in all the book clubs.
6. If you love this book, do read Les Misérables as well. You will love it!

“It’s not given to people to judge what’s right or wrong. People have eternally been mistaken and will be mistaken, and in nothing more than in what they consider right and wrong.”
― Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace

Have you read War and Peace? What did yout think of it?

One Year Blogging Anniversary

So exactly one year ago I made my first ever post on this blog. Yay! ^^


I’ve always wanted to blog and I had a couple of unfortunate attempts in Blogger in 2012. In the beginning of 2014, I decided to take blogging course offered to us as free-choice course on our Campus.

Our teacher (and great blogger) introduced us to blogging platform called WordPress and I instantly liked it’s variety of free themes and how user-friendly it was. Our first assignment on this course was to come up with a good name for the blog and also to plan what would our blog be about. I knew that I wanted to write about books but to come up with a good, catchy name? Somehow, after long brainstorming session with myself, I ended up with Read & Survive.

On this course, I learned many things about blogging. How you should use tags in your posts so people can find your posts, to use categories to make it look more organized, to at least have home page, about page and contact page, to keep posting every week (yes…okay I have minor problems keeping up with this) and how important it is also to check what others are blogging about. My course ended in May 2014 but my passion for blogging was born and here I am year later.

There have been some challenges, at times I am stressed and I feel like there is no point in continuing with this blog. And at times, I also suffer of  terrible reading slumps and it makes reviewing books harder. However, blogging has given me so much and I’m very happy I took that course! I have improved my skills in writing in general and in writing in English. It has also given me all of you who follow me and read my posts!! :)  (And whose posts I enjoy reading!) For that I am very grateful! I’m happy we like same books. I’m happy we don’t like same books. I’m happy when I see you guys reading some new book and like it because then I know I’ll like it too.  I like when you agree with me and I like when you disagree with me.

Thank you all! :)

Future plans

Aaa, so future plans. (Because one must always make future plans, right?) Definitely more reviews,  more how-to, more opinions, more lovely bookish memes like TTT and maybe some other ones as well. I am also planning to host a giveaway here at some point…once I figure out how to do it.

What about you? Why and when did you start blogging? Did you have difficulties to come up with a name for your blog? How did you come up with it?

Versatile Blogger Award

Versatile Blogger Award- yay! I was nominated by Nathalia from an outsider review (go check out her blog!) Thank you for nomination!

versatile-blogger-award versatile-blogger-award-pic

So…the rules:

1. Show the award on your blog (twice?)
2. Thank the person that has nominated you.
3. Share 7 different facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 blogs of your choice
5. Link your nominees and let them know of your nomination.

7 Facts about me:
I like fixing stuff though often the result is not that close to “fixed”.
I have white Sony Vaio laptop. Then I have my HP school laptop. I’ve never had a “real computer”.
I’m kind of like all or nothing person. If I can’t have something the way I want it, I don’t want it at all. In my studies this is a bit of a problem.
If all goes well, I will graduate this year ^^
I am social but I always rather be alone with my books or watch animation movies.
For a long time, my favorite movie as kid was Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.
7. I have a TV but it has no signal so it doesn’t work o.O

My Nominees:

Books with Ems

Anastasia Adamov

Lumentide (kjeh kjeh kjeh)

Em does book reviews


Two Sugar’s Fairly Strong




Cooks Reviews

Little Book Dragonfly

Lena’s Inkcage

A  Voluptous Mind

Reading & Snobbism

I hate snobbism. I think it is the destroyer of the culture.

Every once in a while, I encounter a person who says:
“You could never understand the greatness of classics because you only read fantasy and science fiction”
“You’re just too young (and dumb) to understand War and Peace”
I don’t understand adults who read YA. You’re a grown-up, read something more suitable for your own age.”
“I don’t see what is the point in reading fiction, after all, you can only learn by reading nonfiction.”
“I only read Nobel laureates.”
“E-reading isn’t REAL reading.”
“Your view of Raskolnikov is really childish.”
“Oh, you only read those kinds of books.”
“I NEVER dog ear pages, crease a spine, or eat food while reading.”

I think reading is always good. I am a person who reads all possible genres and I don’t care about what people do or do not read.  It drives me mad when people do this. You can always defend yourself against some of the comments. For example, you can say that you value classics, especially French ones greatly but that you still prefer reading fantasy and scifi. But what to reply, when someone says your too young to understand some book? Perhaps you answer that they are definitely right and that you’ll immediately go back to reading Roald Dahl.

It’s okay if you only like The Tale of Peter Rabbit and Rover Saves Christmas. It’s okay if you only like classics or if you only read books related to your profession or education. It’s okay if you only read fantasy or  books for young adults.  Some people say that only books that have received a Nobel are good and worth reading. It’s okay as well but it does surprise me as  that genre is,eventually, very narrow. There are stunning and beautiful books that Nobel laureates have written. Books that I remember years after reading them and that I’m always ready to praise. There are some authors though who were awarded for reasons I don’t see because obviously I have too few brain cells. It is not okay to make someone feel bad about what they read. Ray Bradbury said “You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” If you are book snob, you are as bad as person who would burn books. You make people ashamed about what they read. What do people even mean by “those kind of books”? Hearing that comment almost always makes me say “well they’re not so bad really…” as if they were worst thing I could ever read and how dare I even say I read those kinds of books.

Those kinds of books… yes I’ve often said that J.K Rowling doesn’t have best writing style. It is even clumsy sometimes. And what’s with the plot?  You’d think any child could write about wizards in school? But no. Potters are great because of the unique imagination in the series. Stephen King said that books are portable magic. Rowling used her imagination and it reached millions, not only some narrow audiences. I’ve enjoyed many books but only one made me wish I was in Hogwarts. That’s why I will always ready fantasy and YA. I need that magic in my life.

I know people who would never mark the book pages, never crease the spine, never eat food or drink while reading. I was that person. I would never borrow my books to anyone because they had lovely covers and surely my friends wouldn’t be as careful with them. Books are meant to be read, they are not meant to lie in the shelves collecting dust. Besides one can always buy new books. Finally, I admit that sometimes I might come off as terrible book snob.  Sometimes I might say something like “can you believe the people who think Twilight Saga is good?” :D  But by that I really mean that I can’t believe they haven’t read other vampire stories or other fantasy/young adult books. I want to lock them up in a room with other good books and help them to discover more books like Twilight. (Okay and also maybe to make them like some other books that are my personal favorites…I swear my intentions were almost good!)  And I try to say it in company where I know people know what I am referring to. I don’t talk about The Prince by Machiavelli with people who read Hunger Games. In stead I ask if they have read Divergent series too? So if you are a book snob, please cut it out. I know all of us might have a little book snob inside of us, so if you notice someone has it, please tell.

Have you had experiences with book snobs? Are you a book snob? Would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


A Tale of a Wolf

“White Fang knew the law well: to oppress the weak and obey the strong.”
― Jack London, White Fang

I only first read this book on day before yesterday. For many years, I have wanted to read this classic and I have wondered what kind of novel this is. Somehow I imagined that it would be a book about a friendship between man and a wolf. White Fang by Jack London was not even close to what I had expected it to be.  Still when I read the foreword by Jim Murphy, in which he wrote that friendship and love are as hard to find as Klondike gold, I believed it. However, the book wasn’t concentrated on love or friendship. It was a tale of a journey of half-wolf, half-dog named White Fang.

“The Wild still lingered in him and the wolf in him merely slept.”
― Jack London, White Fang

I believe White Fang is more wolf than dog though. He thinks and acts like a wolf. I love wolves in literature and I believe if you are a big animal lover, sometimes you might have a hard time reading this timeless masterpiece.  I’d give this book 4/5. I will be changing my rating system smaller scale as I believe no book could be less than 5/10.

“They were firemakers! They were gods!”
― Jack London, White Fang

How-To Read White Fang
You can find it for free on Project Gutenberg.
2. You’ll love how London descriptions, opening scene of the book is also hooking.
3. Most of the book centers thought stream of White Fang (who is not human). It’s not a character book and there are no characters to like. If you don’t like thought streams or descriptive books, this is not for you. I thought of Black Beauty by Anna Sewell when I read this, the two books have many similarities.
4. The language is very  descriptive and philosophical. It was beautiful and I really enjoyed reading it. You could imagine animal thinking like this. I wouldn’t perhaps recommend this book to all ages, only from teens up.
5. This novel is quite realistic. Similar scenario could easily take place. Being so realistic, it’s also unfair and a bit depressing.
6. If you want to learn more about differences between dogs and wolves, I think White Fang presents some great examples. Finally, this is very excellent winter read.

Have you read other books by Jack London if not this one? Do you like wolves in fiction? In what books? Do you have a favorite animal/mythological creature in fiction/nonfiction?

And! Now that I remember :) you’re very welcome to follow my blog on other social media channels: Twitter, Facebook & Instagram. All the pictures on this blog are also on my Flickr account unless they aren’t mine.

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

I was nominated by A House of Books ! Thank you!

sisterhood1The rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site
  • Put the award logo on your blog
  • Answer the ten questions they’ve set you
  • Make up ten new questions for your nominees to answer
  • Nominate ten people

Check out the lovely Sibterhood of the World Bloggers Award by Reckless Indulgence!

Here are my questions and my answers:

1. Did you make any New Year Resolutions, and if so what were they?
I did not make any resolutions as I can’t really keep them and afterwards they make me sad. I decided though that in 2015 I will leave nothing hanging for the next year. No courses, no assignments, no tasks, no bills, nothing undone :) I also decided to find more time to be with my friends. And to read more books!

2. If you could only read one book in 2015, what would it be?
I could never choose just one! It’s like eating one potato chip. If I had to choose only one book, I would probably not read the whole year TT__TT (did I just write that?)

3. What book do you hate, that everyone else seems to like?
I’ve never quite liked Crime and Punishment (as much as Idiot), Lord of the Flies, Brave New World, Finnish literature except Waltari. Then Clocwork Orange and American Psycho, which I don’t hate but they are not ones I’d read again.

4. What is the one genre of book you least like?
I love fantasy, YA, dystopians and science fiction. I enjoy reading French classics over all the classics. Then political and historical nonfiction.

5. If you could go anywhere in the world with one book, where would you go and what book would you take with you? Aaa. This is very difficult one. I’d love to go to France with a book. Errr…does it count if I want my ereader…it’s basically a book.

6. Where is your favourite place to read? Close to the fireplace or anywhere warm (maybe I have different answer if asked summertime).

7. What is the one book you have never read, but really feel you should?
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. I really really feel like I have to read it. Then also other English classics by woman athors I have never touched.

8. Where do you get your books from – your local bookshop, online, charity shop, library?  Usually library, often also online. I only buy books if I feel like I need to adopt them because otherwise they’ll be thrown away (or if I see crazy discounts…) or which I have read tons of times.

9. If you had to have a week without books, what would you fill that time with? If I had unfinished books and that bookless week was to start, I’d probably spend much of time imagining how the books could end, reading about the books I haven’t read, adding those books to tbr lists, binge watching tv series

10. What book are you reading right now? White Fang by Jack London.

My questions
1. If you were a character in a book, what kind of a book would it be? Who are you? How would the book end?
2. Do you only read books or do you also read comics, manga, magazines, newspapers? Which ones?
3. What was most memorable experience for you in 2014?
4. What are your hobbies?
5. What’s your favorite animal (mythological creatures are absolutely counted in)? Why?
6. What country are you from?
7. What do you want to do in 2015?
8. Your book boyfriends/girlfriends? Crushes? Why them?
9. Do you have some songs you listen to when you read? What about songs that match that book?
10. Who’s your favorite villain?

My nominees:
Lena’s Inkcage

How-To Be World’s Greatest Detective

”My name is Sherlock Holmes.  It is my business to know what other people don’t know.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created the character of Sherlock Holmes -the greatest detective of all time. If you haven’t read even one story of these adventures, you should at least read the novels: A Study in Scarlet,  The Sign of the Four, The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Valley of Fear.

The main characters in the book, Sherlock Holmes & Dr. John Watson are pretty interesting. They are deep  (well at least Sherlock is) and I enjoy how they can work together despite Sherlock being bored vigilante, drug addict and misanthrope. One other interesting character for me is also Irene Adler. She basically appears in only one of the stories and you never quite know who she is.

“I never make exceptions.  An exception disproves the rule.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes

Probably some of the stories might seem a bit boring but you’ll find ones that will be your favorite ones too. I think towards the end the stories got a bit more dull than the ones in the beginning. For me, it was quite long read because even if you are fast reader, the story (and Sherlock) are building up slower.

“I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.”
― Arthur Conan Doyle, The Complete Sherlock Holmes

I’d give this book 8/10

How-To Read Sherlock Holmes
1. Start by finding edition that has all of the stories. It might be painful to find all books if you want to find all the stories in separate books.
2.Depends on the amount you read but I would recommend this book for above 12 years old. Also, editions that have all of the stories are also quite lengthy, over 1000 pages. If you prefer reading ebooks,  they are all  in project Gutenberg.
3. Sherlock Holmes does not once use the sentence elementary, my dear Watson. He also doesn’t call himself a psychopath, but a highly functioning sociopath. Not in the book.
4. You will like this a lot if you enjoy mystery novels and detective stories. You might be annoyed by the fact how seemingly superior skills Sherlock Holmes has. Also if you are used to American English, then  British English might make you think of some sentences and words.
5. Look into the multiple great movie and television adaptations, you will definitely find one or two that you will enjoy watching. (Newest Sherlock series (2010-) is definitely my #1 at the moment.)
6. It’s very nice to be a fan of Sherlock Holmes,  at least there’s always enough of different adaptations. However, it’s important not to expect this book to be similar to those.

What Sherlock Holmes story is your favorite? What adaptation of a movie is your favorite one?

As this is my last post in 2014, I want to wish you all HAPPY NEW YEAR 2015! Keep writing and reading great blogs! See you next year!

How-To Tame

“But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world. To you, I shall be unique in all the world.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

The Little Prince is French masterpiece written by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. Maybe you have read it as a child and probably your experience about this classic is different than if you read it first time as adult. As child you might look more at the pictures in the book (and how adults never get you and your drawings) and think how odd things the prince encounters. How strange indeed adults are. Story seems funny to you. There are some thoughts that are difficult, but those you skip. Perhaps, you learn something about friendship and how you should look after your friends.

“All grown-ups were once children… but only few of them remember it.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

As adult, this book is different. It’s suddenly stuffed with metaphors and allegories. As child, places that the prince visited were planets but now they are asteroids with a letter and three digit number. All the things that then seemed odd make sense.

I love The Little Prince. It’s beautiful book full of wonderful quotes. Writing style is figurative. Maybe it’s not the most logical plot but you don’t always have to overthink everything like adults do.

I’d give this book 10/10.

“You see, one loves the sunset when one is so sad.”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

How-To Read the Little Prince
You should understand that adults are very strange.
Don’t overthink allegories in this novel. The prince is not so little for example.
Barely 100 pages long and you can find it in for free though I think everyone should own hard copy of The Little Prince.
For children and not really for children. “A book for children written for grown-ups.” Good book to read to your children but then you might wonder yourself how for children it really is.
Ending is sad in the book. And wait until you read about life of the author.

“You become responsible for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose. . . .”
― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Once Upon a Time, There was a prostitute

“No one loses anyone, because no one owns anyone. That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it”
― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

I’m huge fan of Coelho’s books. Coelho writes very well and he has great amount of  life philosophies to share with his readers. He also shares his advices using very simple and universal language that everyone understands.  Eleven Minutes has great be opening line. Once upon a time, there was a prostitute called Maria… is interesting and catchy way to start any book. Maria, Brazilian prostitute is main character of the book. liked her, she was constantly trying to learn something new and develop herself as person. Yes, she’s a prostitute but she’s not just prostitute. Moreover,  it’s something new & different& rare, I don’t think I have read many other books with prostitute as main character (only thing that comes to my mind are books by Belle de Jour).

I like the way Coelho mixes fairytale into this. In theme that is far from fairytales, we have the fairytale beginning & fairytale way of telling the story. For example, Once upon a time, there was a bird. He was adorned with …. It’s definitely interesting mix. Moreover, I also  like the concept of love in Eleven Minutes (+huge amount of very quotable lines about love.) Love is beautiful and love is horrible. Love can end very soon or it can last forever. Love is free.

“When we meet someone and fall in love, we have a sense that the whole universe is on our side. And yet if something goes wrong, there is nothing left! How is it possible for the beauty that was there only minutes before to vanish so quickly? Life moves very fast. It rushes from heaven to hell in a matter of seconds.”
― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

What you might not like about the book is the level of cheesiness. Seriously, Paris? However, knowing Coelho’s style, he has a certain way to finish his books.What might also cross your mind is that Paulo Coelho enters the womans mindset. Does he know how woman thinks? Most part of his books concentrate on women.

I’d give this book 8/10

“In love, no one can harm anyone else; we are each responsible for our own feelings and cannot blame someone else for what we feel.”
― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

How- To Read Eleven Minutes
Paulo Coelho supports the ebook piracy so it’s very easy to find electronic copies of the book online. (You did not hear this from me…)
2. If you don’t consider yourself a reader, I would not recommend this one. Neither if you didn’t enjoy reading other books by this author (The Alchemist for example). I would warmly recommend this to fans of Coelho.
3. It’s short book (approx.300 p.) however prepare yourself for deep philosophy of different matters.
4. Novel deals among other with prostitution, sex, sado-masochism.
5. Clichéiness..Cheesiness…but we need that right?
You won’t completely get Marias character.
Some same elements but not really similar to 50 Shades of Grey in case you were wondering.

“…and that, in the end, the most interesting people always leave.”
― Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

Have you read Coelho’s books? Which one is your favorite/least favorite?

How-To Go There & Back Again

“Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not Today. Good morning! But please come to tea -any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Good bye!”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Hobbit is classic you must read at least once. It is highly charming story of adventure.  It teases and gives you a hint that something greater is ahead. It also instructs and lectures without it being too obvious. Tolkien tells the story well. Hobbit is fantastic mix of humor and adventure. You’ll also notice that writing is of high quality and that author knows how to pull you in new world.

Characters in Hobbit are  attractive. Bilbo Baggins is not the hero you’d expect…He is very simple and doesn’t possess any magical powers. Adventure might be in his blood, but it’s not really his thing. He’d much rather stay in his home. Thorin Oakenshield is stubborn occasionally brave and occasionally greedy but my most favorite character after Bilbo. Fíli and Kíli are are humorous and loyal to their uncle Thorin. Gandalf mostly protects the company being the wizard and Gandalf also has his own kind of gentle humour.

“Voiceless it cries,
Wingless flutters,
Toothless bites,
Mouthless mutters.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Great book, yet sometimes you might find it difficult to read long chapters in the forest. I suppose it’s Tolkiens way to even the pace of the story and make the enjoyment of reading last longer. Ending of Hobbit was sad.

“Go back?” he thought. “No good at all! Go sideways? Impossible! Go forward? Only thing to do! On we go!” So up he got, and trotted along with his little sword held in front of him and one hand feeling the wall, and his heart all of a patter and a pitter.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

I’d give this book 9/10

How-To Read Hobbit or There and Back Again
Go with low expectations, this book is very hypedFind the one with illustrations. Book in the pictures is illustrated by  Alan Lee.
2. Don’t miss this if you really enjoyed reading Lord of the Rings. You might not like Hobbit but it gives a lot of background to LoTR.
3. Gollum’s riddles are cool. Try to solve them yourself.
4. Bilbo might be a bit frustrating sometimes. It’s also nice book to read out loud.
5. Hobbits, Elves, Trolls, Goblins, Dwarves, Wargs…
6. Movies are definitely worth watching but they are really stretching the events that take place in the book. Ed Sheeran’s I See Fire is just perfect to listen to when you read this book.

What is your favorite Tolkien book? What did you think of the movies?

How-To Bite

“Once again…welcome to my house. Come freely. Go safely; and leave something of the happiness you bring.”
― Bram Stoker, Dracula

Dracula is an Gothic horror novel written by Irish Bram Stoker. If you know all about this Transylvanian monster through  various adaptations but you haven’t read the book, I warmly recommend you do read it now.

I  really like Dracula because it was among the first vampire books ever to be written and you can see effect of it in all the ‘vampire-themed’ books. I found it to be entertaining how the story was told through various diary entries/ letters by different characters. Dracula is nicely written and it very quotable.

What I found odd was how the characters had time to write their journals and letters in the middle of it all.  Then, I was slightly disappointed with the character of Dr. Van Helsing when I first read Dracula. I think all the adaptations made him seem more heroic and like he had some super powers which he doesn’t. Other characters were not developing during the storyline either. Furthermore, I expected to learn more about the background of Count Dracula himself.

“Oh, the terrible struggle that I have had against sleep so often of late; the pain of the sleeplessness, or the pain of the fear of sleep, and with such unknown horror as it has for me! How blessed are some people, whose lives have no fears, no dreads; to whom sleep is a blessing that comes nightly, and brings nothing but sweet dreams.”
― Bram Stoker, Dracula

I’d give this book 8/10

How-To Read Dracula by Bram Stoker
Don’t even dare to expect anything Twilight-ish or Vampire Diaries-ish or Sookie Stockhouse-ish. Bloodsuckers are bad. This is must read.
You won’t hear much about “vampires”.  You know whom they are, I know whom they are but characters in this novel have no clue.
3. Look for references to other great books.
4. About 500 pages. Enough to chill and thrill. 
5. Dracula is written in form of diary entries which adds very many levels to this novel. Characters are maybe not quite what you expect them to be.
6. You can find this book free in Project Gutenberg.

Happy Halloween! What do you think is the best book to read on Halloween?

Dickens’ Favourite Child

“Whether I shall turn out to be the hero of my own life, or whether that station will be held by anybody else, these pages must show. To begin my life with the beginning of my life, I record that I was born (as I have been informed and believe) on a Friday, at twelve o’clock at night. It was remarked that the clock began to strike, and I began to cry, simultaneously.”
― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

If you have forgotten how much you love Dickens and how long it has been since you read the famous Oliver Twist, Christmas Carol & Tale of Two Cities, it is time to open gorgeously written David Copperfield.  The story traces life of David Copperfield from childhood to maturity.

In this novel, I loved how vividly the characters were described. In case, you aren’t too  fond of David (who is sometimes a bit senseless), you will find some character whom you will like or love. Additionally, there are some characters you won’t like or whom you will even hate. Personally, I enjoy a bit more reading a book that has various memorable characters.

“Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pound ought and six, result misery.”
― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

The narrator of the book is  David as his older self. Novel is written as if it was diary where David remembers his boyhood. Sometimes the titles of the chapters  portray the chapter and what happens to David: I am born, I fall into Disgrace, I make another Beginning, I fall into Captivity, another times the titles can also consist of one word: Depression, Intelligence, Tempest, Absence remaining just as expressive.

I found David Copperfield to be quite sad book though at same time it was still full with adventure and had it’s attempts of humour every once in a while.

I’d give this book 9½/10

How-To Read David Copperfield or The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (which he never meant to publish on any account)

1. You can download this book for free on Project Gutenberg, GoodReads, Smashwords (and various other pages). You can also find in audio form on many pages.
2. Find the one with pictures, it makes reading more enjoyable.
3. Another (lovely) brick of a book. If you don’t like long books and this is your first Charles Dickens, read slightly shorter Oliver Twist.
4. I would recommend to read this book slowly, for example 30-50 pages every day, then pause for a week. This gives you time to be drawn into the story and the characters (and the enjoyment  lasts longer) and not to discard it off as dull.
5. If you like books that are written like they were diaries of that character, you will love David Copperfield.
6. If you love Charles Dickens, Victorians & descriptive novels, don’t miss this!
7. There are several movie adaptations you might want to see.

“I know enough of the world now to have almost lost the capacity of being much surprised by anything”
― Charles Dickens, David Copperfield

What Charles Dickens book is your favorite and why?

How-To Live Counterclockwise

“You died around twenty years ago. While you were  dead something happened to the time: it reversed itself. So you’re back. How do you like it?” ― Philip K. Dick, Counter-Clock World

Philip K. Dick is my favorite science fiction authors. I can not understand why in his times he was more or less underrated author. I think if I could be any author in this genre, I would choose PKD as I often think of the same ideas he put into paper.

“…we all lie to ourselves; we tell our own selves more lies than we ever do other people.”
― Philip K. Dick, Counter-Clock World

In Counter-Clock World, as revealed on the title of the book, the time is reversed.  In fictional 1998, the dead are re-born in their own graves and dug out. Old-born live their lives in reverse and eventually end back to the womb. From Tomb to Womb (as book was translated in Finnish).  I like the book because it is original and  I don’t think anyone wrote about this before PKD.  There are some inconsistencies, however, I wasn’t too troubled by them.  For example, sdrawkcab klat ro klaw t’nod nrob-dlo eht , although I think it would have made the book genuinely confusing. Of course, we know it’s counter-clock world,so I do understand why not everything, for the sake of the book and the reader, is happening backwards (goodbye is hello though) . Or maybe it is not inconsistency because it’s not counter-clock world as there are people who are still… ‘new-born’?

I didn’t like any of the characters in the novel as they weren’t made too likeable. I believe that CCW concentrates more on the plot and ‘from tomb to womb’ concept so characters were basically just created in purpose of telling a great story.

“Could I come along? Ann Fisher asked. ‘I’ve never seen old-born in his first hours back…I understand they have a certain, special expression, on their faces. From what they’ve seen.”
― Philip K. Dick, Counter-Clock World

I would give this book 7/10.

How-To Read Counter- Clock World
1. Book is short, a bit over 220 pages, fast read if you read much.
2. It’s kind of weird. How everything is reversed (eating, smoking).  Yet not quite everything.
3. As the author does not go too deep in explaining how everything reverses, you can stop before the next chapter and use your imagination. How the everyday habits change?
4. The idea of the book of is very entertaining, however, if this is the first of PKD for you I would not recommend it. You should rather read Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (So very known movie was made of this book…) or The Man in the High Castle (my first PKD book).
5.  If you are a fan of PKD/this book/this genre then you might want to look into  the short story called Your Appointment Will Be Yesterday.

Post Scriptum.
Is Counterclockwise actual word?

How-To Be A Good Fireman

Fahrenheit 451: the temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

 I have wanted to review this book on my blog for quite some time but it meant that I would have to come back to it once more. Fahrenheit 451 causes very mixed feelings in me. I hate it because it’s so twisted that in this dystopian, the  job of the firemen is to burn books. Burn books. Because they are forbidden as they are the source of discord and unhappiness.

Yes, and at same time I love F451. Yes, they burn the books but why do they burn them. What is the message it delivers. Do we have any hope left in the world we live in now?

When I first read this novel, I lived in my happy-pink-book-reading-bubble where I did not check what is the book all about on internet and was too young to hear of these great classics in school…which was good. I had just discovered the whole sci-fi genre and I  thought Fahrenheit 451 would be something closer to Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles or ‘The Illustrated Man’, maybe in some sense, I even expected something more similar to the style of Philip K. Dick. It wasn’t.

“If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.”  ― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

I’d give this book 9/10

How-To Read Fahrenheit 451

1. It’s so very short. Reading this novel will hardly take you any time at all.  Like less than 200 pages and yet this book makes you feel much more and express yourself  much more than so many other (longer) books.
2. Maybe you’ll think twice when you have a conflict whether to read a book or to watch tv after reading F451.
3. Not suitable for pyromans.
4. How Western civilization is enslaved by the media, drugs and conformity… is this is so far from reality?
5. Oh, did I mention that they burn books? Because they supposedly make folks unhappy?  It’s heart-breaking. I do not recommend this book for bookishly over sensitive bookworms.

“There must be something in books, something we can’t imagine, to make a woman stay in a burning house; there must be something there. You don’t stay for nothing.”
― Ray Bradbury, Fahrenheit 451

Post Scriptum
No books were harmed in making this blog post.

Teen Smart Enough?

“Trust me. I’m a genius.”
― Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl

Hey book cover freaks ;) pure gold are they not

Artemis Fowl written by Eoin Colfer is one of the series I grew up with. First book was published in 2001 when I just about learned to read and there was a new book nearly every year and the last one was published two years ago.  I begged my parents to buy these books for me for Christmas present every year and I kind of made them spend long time to get the hardcovers of the books (thank you  for getting me the hardcovers  ^^)
… At some point I was worried that they would not interest me anymore but I think Artemis Fowl series are suitable for anyone’s interest. It has the  perfect amount of fantasy combined with science fiction and imagination and you also grow to like characters a lot.

“Who or what inspires you?”
“I must admit that I often read my own articles in scientific journals and inspire myself.”
― Eoin Colfer, The Artemis Fowl Files

What I enjoyed about Artemis Fowl (when I was young) is that he is not too much of good kid…he is more like…tech-geek antihero, rebellious teen sort of person. Yet at the same time he is this criminal mastermind who doesn’t have a choice to do anything different than he does (krrhm) as his father is missing or not there and his mother is not well. I also enjoyed a lot seeing him grow as character during this series, and he actually starts caring more at some point. My favorite characters included also Butler (the fictional bodyguard everyone wants to have) and Holly Short (the strong female).

What else…fairies, centaurs,  trolls, dwarves all presented from original point of view.
I would give this series 8+++/10

Why they can’t keep the same design through the whole series?

How-To Read Artemis Fowl

1. The Code is quite fun. You should definitely pick the first book and start translating the string of Gnommish symbols. It’s best to use The ‘Artemis Fowl Files’ guidebook for that. A bit time consuming but totally worth it.
2. Prepare to be excited about learning Latin…or maybe it was just me.  I actually learned my first phrases in Latin from the first book of this series… “Aurum Potestas Est”. And I also learned (somewhat) much about Greek mythology.
3. I would say Artemis Fowl is more for the young readers because they are more easy to read and plot is more simple (+ maybe a bit repetitive at some points)  but for me it never mattered whether the book said it’s for children or not. I would say that these series is also for both boys and girls. If you don’t read these, don’t let your kids to grow old without Artemis Fowl!
4.  Artemis Fowl has it’s own humour. Sarcasm. Wittiness.  I loved the sarcasm Artemis always had. It wasn’t too dark but you won’t like this if you don’t like or don’t understand sarcasm.
5. This series consists of eight novels, I don’t find them to be especially long to read…fast-paced!
6. Great books always make you go through rollercoaster of different emotions and that is what this will do to you.
7. Skip the comic books you might encounter.

“Stay back, human. You don’t know what you’re dealing with.”
― Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl

One Lovely Blog Award

I have been nominated for the One Lovely Blog Award by amomentsilence from  Reckless IndulgenceThanks again! ^^


The Rules

You must thank the person who nominated you and include a link to their blog.
You must list the rules and display the award.
You must add 7 facts about yourself.
You must nominate 5-15 other bloggers and comment on one of their posts to let them know they have been nominated.
You must display the award logo and follow the blogger who nominated you.

Facts about me
I must read more. Lately I have become victim of easy entertainment
I must start reading more newspapers again as well.
I must stop drinking espresso in same amounts as I would drink normal coffee.
I must probably catch up on my uni assignments. Probably. Very probably. Highly probably.
I must update my phone. Butt things stop working the way they used to before.
I must also return some books to the library (again) always tend to forget they were not in fact mine.
I must stop writing things in “I must” form. The form used in rules was just infectious.

My nominations
Amanda from amandanerd
Irene from Gorgeous Books
Amy from It’s Only Three
Mariska from Mariska’s Journey
Clare from GoodBookScents

How-To Read Finnish Dystopian

“Water walks with the moon and embraces the earth, and it isn’t afraid to die in fire or live in air. When you step into it, it will be as close as your own skin, but if you hit it too hard, it will shatter you .”
― Emmi Itäranta, Memory of Water

Nowadays I never read or especially like Finnish literature (except few books), because I often find that books of Finnish authors miss something. Sometimes it’s the plot, sometimes it’s the language. Often I read a book through and I end up thinking that I didn’t  really get what it missed but something it lacked. . This is why I was really surprised to find myself reading Emmi Itäranta’s debut Memory of Water (Finnish: Teemestarin kirja = The Tea Master’s Book).

What I liked about this book was that the setting was in Finland and plot and characters were original. I liked Noria as not so many dystopian main characters live very privileged life. I also liked the fact that in this dystopian world, somehow there was strong tea drinking culture (poor coffee drinkers) and tea ceremony.The writing was beautiful, use of words was excellent in this book and the fact that Itäranta translated the book herself (I think?) makes the English kind of nicely different.

What I really  did not like about this book was how the plot was built very well  and then the ending was rushed. I waited for the next level for the whole book and there never was one. And the ending seemed a bit fake. There could have been much potential to take things slower and turn this book into trilogy.

I would rate this book 6½ – 7/10.

Death is water’s close companion, and neither of them can be separated from us, for we are made of the versatilitiy of water and the closeness of death. Water doesn’t belong to us, be we belong to water: when it has passed through our fingers and pores and bodies, nothing separates us from earth.”
― Emmi Itäranta, Memory of Water

How-To Read Memory of Water
I think you will find the setting to be interesting: Finland! Also the book has common and less common Finnish names that make reading interesting. At same time if you are Finn, names aren’t so typical that they would annoy you.
2. 260 pages and ending seemed a bit rushed to me and I hoped there could be a sequel but I doubt that there will be. I was disappointed as I was expecting something much more from this book and Finnish literature in general but I don’t regret reading this book.
3. I liked how it was realistic: China is the most influential country, there is plastic and junk everywhere and something has gone wrong with the weather so that Noria, the main character, has never really seen what snow looks like.
4. Philosophical, I liked how Itäranta described the water as element (as you can see in the quotes and pictures)
5. Book has been translated well into English but of course you could always try learn Finnish ;) Personally, I think both titles match the book well. Finnish: Teemestarin tytär and English: Memory of Water.

And Then There Were None

“Oh, yes. I’ve no doubt in my own mind that we have been invited here by a madman-probably a dangerous homicidal lunatic.”
― Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None is a masterpiece written by the Queen of Crime Agatha Christie. I won’t probably spoil the book by telling that there are ten people (of whom 8 were invited) on an isolated island…and then there were none. I really like how Christie develops the plot because basically  you know what will happen because of the nursery rhyme. You know that there are ten persons on the island and they all die. Yet it doesn’t turn boring in any point because you are wondering about “how will it happen” and “when will it happen” and “who is the killer” (!!) and those questions kind of keep you up all night reading this novel.

“One of us in this very room is in fact the murderer.”
― Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

I liked the development of characters also. First they seemed a bit random and -BAM- they all  have some dark secret in common.Why I like this book and Agatha Christie, and why I think she is very rightfully called the queen of crime is because she writes as if she was forming this big puzzle you no one has ever seen before. Piece by piece, corners first.

“It had come about ex­act­ly in the way things hap­pened in books.”
― Agatha Christie, And Then There Were None

I would rate this book 9½/10

How-To Read And Then There Were None

1. When I read this book first time, I read it by it’s original name ‘Ten Little Niggers’ and with the original nursery rhyme and name of the island! You will discover that there are plenty of re-titled and re-edited and re-whoknowswhat versions of this book. I kind of don’t get it at all  so not to be rude (and not to be racist)  but find the original one somewhere.
2. This book is just perfect for autumn! Read it!  If you liked this/ didn’t like this, you should try reading adventures of Miss Marple or of  Poirot.
3. I was quite young when I first read this novel and I liked it a lot (=read it without putting it down).  But I think you should be more mature as reader to truly get what is it that makes this book so good.
4. This book is quite short and fast read but the plot and element of mystery build up really nicely during the book.
5. You will love the ending! Seriously, there is no way you can guess who the murderer is. You should guess though, it makes it all a lot better. Christie is called Queen of Crime for a reason.

(Sorry for using N word) I do think the version with the rhyme that has ten little niggers is better. Does it really matter whether they are little niggers,  little Indian boys or little soldiers? …What do you think?

Liebster Award

I was nominated for Liebster Award by Clare from GoodBookScents. Yay. Love also this particular picture of Liebster Award as it has flowers ^^Rules for this award are (apparently there are variations?)

(1) answer 11 questions about yourself
(2) ask 11 more questions to your nominations and
(3) nominate 11 blogs to pass on the award by linking to their blog and then letting them know about the nomination (with under 200 followers?)


Questions For  Me
  1. If you could travel anywhere on your next vacation where would you go?
    Paris!! :) I don’t know what has happened here but I have this crazy mad ridiculous urge to see Paris again! (Don’t get it, it’s not even springtime…) I want to go to museums and see the Eiffel tower (and pretend I hate seeing it like all the intellectuals said they did when it was build)  and eat baquette like and walk Parisian streets like never before.
  2. Why do you blog?
    Errm. To recommend people books and to help them to approach reading those book…Right,  moving on to more selfish reasons, I really like reading&writing so this has helped me to combine those two. Blogging also gives me some purpose and this lovely adrenaline rush when someone likes or comments or even recommend my blog to others.
  3. What is your favorite thing to do in the summer?
    Work haha. JK, reading books of my favorite authors is the best. Especially the books I haven’t read yet.
  4. What is your favorite type of book to read?
    Fantasy and science fiction are my favorite genres, as I am a bit escapist and those take me far away to wonderful and exciting new worlds.
  5. What is your favorite movie?
    Hmm I like newest Narnia films, many many more :D
  6. What TV shows do you binge watch?
    Ah …so many ^^ Doctor Who, Desperate Housewives, Criminal Minds and if there’s some good tv series that I haven’t seen yet but is completed…here I come.
  7. Who is your favorite fictional character and why?
  8. Do you cry easily with books/movies? What book or movie made you cry?
    YES! Oh but that tells that movie or book is really worth reading. Hmm or. Books: The Fault In Our Stars, The Book Thief, His Dark Materials,Bridge to Terabithia (is this for kids? Really?) The Last Battle (Narnia), The Boy in the Stripped Pajamas, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things (stay the hell away from this book), Million Little Pieces, Black Beauty, Life of Pi, A Swift Pure Cry…hmm I start to get why it was books OR movies.
  9. Are you an extrovert or an introvert
    Introvert…proven by question #3. Extrovert would spend time with friends who are not books? :D
  10. Who was your favorite high school teacher, college professor, or mentor that you have had?
    Have and have had many great teachers by now. My favorite teacher was my civics teacher in high-school. He opened my eyes for many things and he made sure I wasn’t guessing things and that there was always much more to learn about a topic I thought I knew well.
  11. If you could meet anyone in the world (dead or alive) who would it be?
    Hmm hey some big huge mad worldwide blogger meeting would be so cool. “Hello, I am (blogger name) from (blog name). Nice to meet you” Would be so much fun.

The Questions II

  1. Why is your blog called the way it’s called?
  2. Why do you blog?
  3. What is your favorite color. Why?
  4. What is your favorite type of book to read?
  5. Coffee or tea?
  6. Do you have a lucky number?
  7. Who is your favorite fictional character? Why?
  8. If only you had time to blog about all topic you like, what are those topics?
  9. Do you have a fictional crush? Who?
  10. Your idols? Role models?
  11. Favorite season of the year?

The Nominees 

I love this part!  The nominees are:

  1. All Things Big and Small
  2. Lightlit
  3. Pre-Loved Books Blog
  4. The Law and the Reader
  5. Ristea’s Reads
  6. Read Rant Review
  7. Full of Fiction
  8. Reading Good Books
  9. Geekritiqued
  10. From Couch To Moon
  11. Girly Goat

Beautiful Child

Safety is the most basic task of all. Without sense of safety, no growth can take place. Without safety, all energy goes to defense”
― Torey L. Hayden

 Beautiful Child written by Torey Hayden is a true story about a girl called Venus who is highly unresponsive seven-year old. Hayden, the author of this book, is an educational psychologist and a special education teacher. The setting of the book is in her classroom where she teaches five students: an aggressive and loud 9-year-old Billy, 8 year old Jesse who has Tourette’s, six year old twins who had suffered FAS and Venus who is so unresponsive that Hayden assumes she is deaf. However, Venus does talk to her older sister Wanda (actually her mother) and after getting unintentional bump on the school playground, Venus starts crying and screaming and reacts this way every time someone touches her.

“Yeah, it’s hard. It’s really, really hard. But ‘hard’ is not ‘impossible’.”
― Torey L. Hayden

I found this book (and all of Hayden’s books) to be highly inspiring and touching. It was interesting to follow how all the students advanced in their studies and how they changed during the time when Hayden was their teacher. I still don’t get how Hayden could be so patient with the children and how she gives so much of support to these children. I also like that she tells that it’s not easy, and she is also frustrated about a lot of things mentioned in the book. Still, if I would have her job, I would probably  have some serious mental breakdown during the first days so the work she does is admirable (which makes her writing admirable).

I’d give this book 8½/10

How-To Read Beautiful Child

1. At least for me reading nonfiction is a lot harder than reading fiction. That is especially the case with books like this. Children are so sweet and innocent and they should be protected. And then some have just really bad parents. This is why I wouldn’t recommend this book for too young readers (would recommend to 13+).
2. What I like about Hayden’s books, including Beautiful Child is that they have a happy ending. Hayden discovers what the problem is and how to help the children.
3. Hayden has great story-telling skills, so you get pulled into her memoir very easily. The events  take place during one school year, so the pace of the book is very fast and it keeps your interest. It’s not very long book  either, nearly 400 pages.
4. Even if it is very serious book, it is quite funny at times as the students of hers get in funny situations.
5. If you like this book and you haven’t read other books by Torey Hayden, I recommend you do. Other as powerful book is David Pelzer’s A Child Called ‘It’.

“Perhaps the greatest magic of the human spirit is the ability to laugh, at ourselves, at each other, and at our sometimes hopeless situation. Laughter normalized our lives”
― Torey L. Hayden

How-To Travel & Read

You might wonder, how can one have time to read when traveling. But at least I have noticed that during two weeks long vacation I am getting pretty desperate to read something. And even if I am not actually traveling, I use different ways of transport every day. Here’s how to get most out of reading when you are traveling:

Books& Coffee is my favorite combination. This pretty white travel mug for hot and cold drinks is  from Wayne’s Coffee Forum

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpufV

Reading on the Road

traveling and reading

Reading in Paris. Credit: malias

There are countless opportunities to be traveling and reading: on buses, beaches, planes, in airports or just enjoying a spring day sitting by the Seine. Especially if you’re going solo, you’ll likely be flipping pages over and over again.

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

Reading on the Road

traveling and reading

Reading in Paris. Credit: malias

There are countless opportunities to be traveling and reading: on buses, beaches, planes, in airports or just enjoying a spring day sitting by the Seine. Especially if you’re going solo, you’ll likely be flipping pages over and over again.

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

Reading on the Road

traveling and reading

Reading in Paris. Credit: malias

There are countless opportunities to be traveling and reading: on buses, beaches, planes, in airports or just enjoying a spring day sitting by the Seine. Especially if you’re going solo, you’ll likely be flipping pages over and over again.

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

Reading on the Road

traveling and reading

Reading in Paris. Credit: malias

There are countless opportunities to be traveling and reading: on buses, beaches, planes, in airports or just enjoying a spring day sitting by the Seine. Especially if you’re going solo, you’ll likely be flipping pages over and over again.

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

Reading on the Road

traveling and reading

Reading in Paris. Credit: malias

There are countless opportunities to be traveling and reading: on buses, beaches, planes, in airports or just enjoying a spring day sitting by the Seine. Especially if you’re going solo, you’ll likely be flipping pages over and over again.

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

Reading on the Road

traveling and reading

Reading in Paris. Credit: malias

There are countless opportunities to be traveling and reading: on buses, beaches, planes, in airports or just enjoying a spring day sitting by the Seine. Especially if you’re going solo, you’ll likely be flipping pages over and over again.

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

Reading on the Road

traveling and reading

Reading in Paris. Credit: malias

There are countless opportunities to be traveling and reading: on buses, beaches, planes, in airports or just enjoying a spring day sitting by the Seine. Especially if you’re going solo, you’ll likely be flipping pages over and over again.

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

Reading on the Road

traveling and reading

Reading in Paris. Credit: malias

There are countless opportunities to be traveling and reading: on buses, beaches, planes, in airports or just enjoying a spring day sitting by the Seine. Especially if you’re going solo, you’ll likely be flipping pages over and over again.

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

Reading on the Road

traveling and reading

Reading in Paris. Credit: malias

There are countless opportunities to be traveling and reading: on buses, beaches, planes, in airports or just enjoying a spring day sitting by the Seine. Especially if you’re going solo, you’ll likely be flipping pages over and over again.

But you don’t need to carry around a stack of books to do it!

Here are some tips on how to to handle your bibliophile habits while on the road without having to take your library:

– See more at: http://www.airtreks.com/ready/packing-and-gear/reading/#sthash.NZCMA4Tj.dpuf

Paperbacks! I like paperbacks because they are light and you can fit them better in the back and you don’t regret as much if something happens to them while you are traveling or commuting. You might also borrow it to your friend or just leave book in your own language in some place as “I was here” tag.

“I think of my pile of old paperbacks, their pages gone wobbly, like they’d once belonged to the sea.”
― Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go

Still cold Frappé when I started re-reading Egyptian.

Electronic readers: I adore my e-reader because it has now 134 books and they all fit to nicely to my bag. I also like it even more because when it gets dark because it has this comfortable small light! Do books have that? No: you have to find a flashlight.

BOOKSELLER: Hi there, how can I help?
CUSTOMER: Could you please explain Kindle to me.
BOOKSELLER: Sure. It’s an e-reader, which means you download books and read them on a small hand-held computer.
CUSTOMER: Oh OK, I see. So . . . this Kindle. Are the books on that paperback or hardback?”
― Jen Campbell, Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops

PowerKiss Your Phone @ Wayne’s and continue with your favorite book!

Apps: My personal favorite is Fiction Book Reader. Don’t use Abode Reader to read books, you will still spoil your eyes. Adobe is good for other files and different documents.

How-To Travel & Read

1. See that you have book with you or space to buy a book! For bookworms, I would highly recommend to get that e-reader and also have app in your phone that supports reading books. Such as Fiction Book Reader.
2. Be sure that you take the chargers for your gadgets. Or that you know places like Wayne’s Coffee where you can stop for a cup of  coffee and read a book AND give your phone a PowerKiss!
3. Leave that brick home. You don’t seriously need a 1000 pages long book when you are on road all day. Moreover, buy/borrow only the books you can carry= 1-3 (unless you are like me and like to carry heavy book bags in stead of going to the gym…)
4. Bookcrossing is wonderful idea, basically it means  if you know where to look, you can find a book anywhere anytime.
5. If you are true reader, always have a book with you, don’t get so desperate that you start to look whether or not your hotel room has a bible…because seriously no good :D

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”
― Anna Quindlen, How Reading Changed My Life

Love Story King Style

“She nods. You’re good for the ones you love. You WANT to be good for the ones you love, because you know that your time with them will end up being too short, no matter how long it is.”
― Stephen King, Lisey’s Story

I am huge Stephen King fan! Whenever I pick his book it’s something very good and very special. When I started reading King (…12 years old) I never got what was the big deal about  him. Another main-stream author. After  two years, after reading massive amount of his books,  I got however that he’s the best just because no one writes like horror like he does. Often when author writes much, books start repeating themselves, King’s every book is different and has new elements.

“And she sees that the moonlight is losing its orange glow. It has become buttery, and will soon turn to silver.”
― Stephen King, Lisey’s Story

Some years have passed since I first read this (need to reread).  Lisey’s Story is a love story with creepy King undertone. The book is about Lisey Landon, a widow of best-selling author Scott Landon. Main character/Powerful character (?) Scott Landon has been dead  for two years and Lisey decides to finally clean his office. Lisey’s Story consists mostly of flashbacks and Lisey figuring out her husband’s manuscript.

“Ninety-eight percent of what goes on in people’s heads is none of their smucking business.”
― Stephen King, Lisey’s Story

I like how it was love story, I kind of never expected for King to write this. I also liked that you couldn’t fully guess what it was (not to spoil the book too much) was it psychological or supernatural or both until the very end.  I’d give this book 8/10. I loved the covers. Like seriously, these are perfect ones for this book. And when I unwrapped the book it was even better.

Finnish covers of Lisey’s Story

How-To Read Lisey’s Story

1. If you have never read Stephen King before, I don’t think you should start with this book. You won’t get it and you won’t get the thrill. I think you’ll think it’s odd book. You only get it after you’ve read many other books of Stephen King, maybe you even have to be hardcore Stephen King fan to like this. (Who doesn’t like the king of horror?)
2. If you are a big fan: it’s not as good as The Shining, IT, Pet Cemetary but it certainly beautiful and  I think it’s also more personal for the author. I mean one of the characters is also author. Nothing like Misery, in case you wonder.
3. Read in English of possible, I think translations never catch up with all the word play too well. Secret language: Boo’ya Moon, babyluv,  smucking,  the bad-gunky, rah-cheer, strap it on, SOWISA,  bool. It’s not too long book, about 500 pages.
3. “Smucking”… …
4. I’ve never lost my good night’s sleep over anything I have read. Lisey’s Story isn’t exactly scary either (I was more “scared” reading Duma Key), it’s just a bit creepy.  Creepy, not freaky .And a bit sad because Lisey is widow and love was lost.
5. All the flashbacks (that last for 60 pages) and time jumps might annoy you.
6. There’s this song…The Supremes Baby Love… It kind of suits this book? Don’t you think?

“Bool! The end.”
― Stephen King, Lisey’s Story

How-To Stop Evil Malchiks

“There was me, that is Alex, and my three droogs, that is Pete, Georgie, and Dim, Dim being really dim, and we sat in the Korova Milkbar making up rassoodocks what to do with the evening, a flip dark chill winter bastard though dry. The Korova Milkbar was a milk-plus mesto, and you may, O my brothers, have forgotten what these mestos were like, things changing so skorry these days, and everybody very quick to forget, newspapers not being read much neither.”
― Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

There are some books that you really strongly dislike. For me A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess is one of those few I have on my list. I found it to be so…disturbing. I get why it’s called masterpiece and I partly get why some lewdies give it 5/5 starts but I didn’t like it. I also think there should be age limits to books like this.

“But what I do I do because I like to do.”
― Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Clockwork Orange is raskazz about malchik named Alex who likes classical music, especially Beethoven. He lives in dystopian world and leads a gang that loves mindless violence and thinks there is nothing wrong with it. As you might guess, Alex’s road as prestoopnik leads him to jail. There he volunteers for experimental treatment called Ludovico’s Technique.

I didn’t like it because of Nadsat language. It was imaginative and well-invented byt it freaked me out. As native speaker of Russian, I got almost all of Nadsat language but it was like reading very highly bolnoy and oozhassny Russian.

I didn’t like Alex at all and I should have thought he deserved that all yet I somehow felt pitty for him. I have read book both in English and Finnish. The Finnish translator did way too good work with the translation…

I’d give this bok 4/10

How-To Read A Clockwork Orange

1. Definitely read it but I would not want to read it twice (krrrhmm).
2. Can’t give any tips on how to get Nadsat language without looking all the time the words up in the glossary but they say you start to get them and replace them with English ones. When beginning reading, you should look what the words mean to get the context. Helps a lot if you know some Russian.
3. Prepare to think about questions like “how far is too far”, “can evilness be cured” , “what’s wrong with the society”.
4. Ending was disappointing. Some say never to read chapter 21. Freedom of choice.
5. The book was much worse than the movie. Movie was quite watchable, artistic. In book the malchik is 15 and does much more oozhassny crimes. Movie is tame.

“So what is it going to be then, eh?”
― Anthony Burgess, A Clockwork Orange

Very Inspiring Blogger Award

On past Sunday I was nominated for Very Inspiring Blogger Award :) I am very excited about this. I was nominated by A Voluptous Mind. Thank you!! :)

Here are the rules of the award:

  • Thank and link to the person who nominated you
  • List the rules and display the award
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated
  • Optional: display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you

Seven things about me

1. I love to read and I have read over 1000 books. I like “escapism” whether it’s through books or movies or by listening music :) I think they are best things in life.
2. For few days now I have been listening Celtic music. I discovered Adrian Von Ziegler and now have all his songs in my iPod…maybe this will pass.
3. I hate when people try to put me into some box when they ask what do I read. I read both fiction and non-fiction and fantasy, scifi, YA, children’s books…I don’t think it matters, don’t put me into box genre box :)
4. If there would be a possibility, I would love to meet with Victor Hugo or Guy de Maupassant. Victor Hugo because I love every book he has written (well pretty much) and Maupassant thought like I did in some book. So I think I would like to just ask  him “yo, where did you get this idea from?”
5. I want to be writer in the future, but I find it really hard to get characters out of my head into Word document.
6. I love coffee :3 especially dark roast and Mövenpick is the best but hard to find.
7.  I am  a bit of a nerd. I love Doctor Who, Supernatural and all the similar shows, love to read, I like linguistics, love history and playing video games :D


There are so great bloggers and I would nominate everyone if it was up to me :) I nominate:

1. The Spice of Variety is blog of my friend for many many years now :) She lives in Hong Kong and blogs about various interesting topics.
2. Ewok Life is travel blog my classmate Anne. As you can see, she is passionate about the topic. She gives good tips for traveling and shares her experiences.
3. EdgarAllanPug is blog by my friend Hanna. She blogs about her everyday life, fashion, movies and other things she likes.
4. Adventures In Wonderland- Not just a travel blog… is blog by Alison and Don with absolutely wonderful pictures of their travels :)
5. is blog by Andrew Lockhart. He writes excellent and deep book reviews and he is also writer and publisher.
6. Eye of Lynx is book blog with beautiful reviews, thoughts and quotes about the books.
7. IaminFinland is blog by my classmate Kit. She blogs about her  international experiences. life stories and what she has learned when living in Finland.
8.honyasbookshelf is book blog by Honya :) I like how she doesn’t limit the book reviews just to “books”
9. Alex Raphael is a blog of a bit all. There’s nature, art, photography, literature, television, movies, lifestyle, food… :)
10.Food Dude: Urban Safari is food blog by John where he  shares recipes and tips how to make delicious and healthy food.
11.50 Pound Monkey on My Back… and ass… and  :D Great and inspiring blog and always makes me laugh
12. Dawn of books is fellow book blogger from Finland :) In this blog you can also find great Finnish books to read (if they are translated).
13.Anatomy of Reading and Other Demented Things has book reviews and other also any other topics. Love the name of this blog, haha :D
14.Cracking the Book’s Spine
15.Book Reviews 1966 is very new blog by Jackie Paulson. She writes book reviews and much more :)

How-To Use the Power of the Books

― Roald Dahl, Matilda

Matilda written by Roald Dahl should be favorite book of every little girl who is  loves to read. reader. In fact it should be on favorite-list of all those who love to read as it is story about reading and (voracious) reader. I read Matilda soon after I learned to read and I think my childhood would be emptier without it.

“Matilda said, “Never do anything by halves if you want to get away with it. Be outrageous. Go the whole hog. Make sure everything you do is so completely crazy it’s unbelievable…”
― Roald Dahl, Matilda

One of my favorite parts in the book :D

Why I love Matilda is because it’s very creative and story is simple. And I can relate to her love for books.  Matilda discovers her love of books and learns to read by the age of three. At four years and three months, she has read all the children’s stories in the library and ask the librarian what to read.

“The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives. She went on olden-day sailing ships with Joseph Conrad. She went to Africa with Ernest Hemingway and to India with Rudyard Kipling. She travelled all over the world while sitting in her little room in an English village.”
― Roald Dahl, Matilda

During this process, I can’t understand rest of her family at all.  My parents were always happy that I read whereas Matilda’s parents are really discouraging. Matilda’s father: ““What’s wrong with the telly, for heaven’s sake?” and Matilda’s mother thinks looks are more important than looks and spends all her days playing bingo. Matilda also has a brother, which is quite hard to remember because he isn’t really there in the book. I think it’s interesting question though why is Michael treated normal while Matilda is neglected?

I also like Matilda because even if she is smart in all the subjects at school (and + telekinesis), she is still kind of… mean like kids often are. For example she lines  her father’s hat with super glue. No one is perfect, although of course his father deserved it.

I would easily give this book 9,5/10

How-To Read Matilda
No matter of what age you are, you should read it. If book seems too long, it’s just because of the big font and lots of funny pictures :)
It is highly nescessary to pick Matilda with illustrations, like by Quentin Blake (I think his are simple so they don’t spoil your imagination), because it adds the enjoyoment.
The names are funny and nice as they tend to be in children’s books, and it’s easy to tell who’s good and who’s not so good… Miss Honey…Miss Trunchbull. All the name-calling was also so talented.
If you read a lot, you can compare your books with ones Matilda has read :D don’t worry too much for Matilda, all will be good.
The movie version is good but not that good, try other books by Roald Dahl in stead.

How- To Become a Narnian

“I’m on Aslan’s side even if there isn’t any Aslan to lead it. I’m going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn’t any Narnia.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair

Illustrations by Pauline Baynes

The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis  is something you must read. I first read these books when I was  eight years old, after that I have (naturally) re-read them countless times. Narnia consist of 7 books: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew & The Last Battle. The books are well-written,enjoyable to read and they open you a whole new world.  I think the chronicles turn a bit nostalgic and bittersweet, especially towards the end.

“Things never happen the same way twice.”
― C.S. Lewis, Prince Caspian

Illustrated map by Pauline Baynes

I love when writers talk to readers and Lewis does that in the  storyteller voice “I hope you won’t lose all interest in Jill for the rest of the book if I tell you that at this moment she began to cry. ” One thing that really bothers me about Narnia is what happens to Susan. Nylons, lipstick, and party invitations… Actually, I won’t even go there, I still don’t get it.

I would give these chronicles 9,5/10

“Once a king or queen of Narnia, always a king or queen of Narnia.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

How-To Read The Chronicles of Narnia

1. It’s long, doesn’t matter, just read it. I think this book is perfect for anyone who is imaginative.  I would recommend to read the one with all books, they are good invidually but compact form makes it better.  I love the ones with illustrations.
2. You will love the characters (yes,they have their flaws),  especially Aslan,
3. Beware.  It might seem like there are Christian symbols, references to bible everywhere (oh and Greek Mythology). You can ignore this if you want to.
4. Don’t try to hide in every wardrobe you see. Only the most convincing ones.
5. I think the movies of the first and second part are (more than) good. Books are always better than movies but in this case movies (by director Andrew Adamson draw close). Watch them.

Puzzle. Pauline Baynes

“One day, you will be old enough to start reading fairytales again.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia

How-To Book and Breakfast

“Why are breakfast foods breakfast foods? Like why don’t we have curry for breakfast”?
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Book and freshly ground coffee at Wayne’s Coffee Forum, great combination!  Photo by Chryssa Skodra

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And why not to recharge mentally at the same time?  If I have the time and I don’t have to go anywhere, I love to read books in the morning with coffee. When I have the time, I love to go to some small coffee shop. I started to read The Fault In Our Stars by John Green. Now, I have reached the halfway of the book and I am not sure what to think of it but I am really happy it’s fictional.

“But it is the nature of stars to cross, and never was Shakespeare more wrong than when he has Cassius note, ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars / But in ourselves.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault In Our Stars  tells a story of 16 year old cancer patient Hazel who attends a support group where she meets and falls in love with 17 year old Augustus. So far I have enjoyed the plot but I wonder if the book is that kind of one that it makes you like it because it has lots of super nice quotable lines,  and melancholic plot but fascinating and funny teenagers? Well I guess I will find out when I finish the book.

How- To Book & Breakfast (read while having breakfast )

1. Pick a great place that you like, preferably some cozy corner by the window, like one at Wayne’s Coffee Forum  (I chose this place because it has lovely atmosphere and friendly service. In case you want to visit the address is:  Simonkatu 8, 00100 Helsinki, Finland) Pick a book you know is good , or the one being  currently being discussed everywhere, or one of your favorite ones.
2. As coffee person, check that in case you  go to a coffee shop, see that it offers good quality coffee like Wayne’s  (and mugs that are the right size! ). Applies to tea drinkers.
3. If you eat, eat first and then have another coffee mug with the book. Careful, you don’t want to damage the book (or worse e-reader).
4. Morning with a book has a tendency to turn into an afternoon with a book…
5. Don’t pick anything too difficult to read, it’s morning after all.

“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.”
― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

How-To Admire That Hacker

“Don’t ever fight with Lisbeth Salander. Her attitude towards the rest of the world is that if someone threatens her with a gun, she’ll get a bigger gun.”
― Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire

I love reading detective stories and crime fiction, I like this genre and all countries usually have at least few authors to have written some excellent books. But…there is something special about crime fiction and detective stories written in Scandinavia, especially Sweden. I think the reason for this be that Sweden is often portrayed as safe country but yet in all Northern countries, it’s dark most of the year, we have woods…and then there are the crimes. And of course the authors are talented.

“There are no innocents. There are, however, different degrees of responsibility.”
― Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire

Millenium is Swedish phenomenon, I enjoyed reading it a lot. The books are highly engaging and characters (…Lisbeth Salander in particular) are fantastic. Even if often in books, the main character can have some issues and something “special” about them, “Wasp”  is uniquely heroic in her flawed life. Story is addictive, first book investigates the murder in the family of Vanger, second one is about Millenium magazine tries to expose sex-trafficking industry in Sweden and is at same time creating the plot for the third book that circles around  problematic and rotten  Säpo – the intelligence agency of Sweden.

I’d give Millenium 9/10

“Dear Government… I’m going to have a serious talk with you if I ever find anyone to talk to.”
― Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Played with Fire

How-To Read Millenium

1. I have borrowed pocketbooks of Millenium trilogy from library (for photographing session ;)) and each book was about 700 pages so reserve some time for this reading experience.
2. Ignore the mass popularity of these books, they are worth it. You might not straightly get Lisbeth Salander and what is so special about her but you will be on her side eventually.
3. There are three Swedish movies based on Millenium and one American adaptation. I didn’t really enjoy watching the Swedish movies, so I would skip them. American one I haven’t seen.
4. The original titles are a bit different than English ones, I think that’s something to think about while reading. Maybe also Swedish legislation system and politics…
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo = Män som hatar kvinnor = men who hate women
The Girl Who Played With Fire= Flickan som lekte med elden (translation is the same)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest = Luftslottet som sprängdes = the aircastle that blew up
5. As author Stieg Larsson died of heart attack in 2004 and Millenium was published only after his death, the ending might seem like there’s more. However, I did some googling, there is fourth book of Millenium being published in 2015…Let’s remember to read that one too

“Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.”
― Stieg Larsson, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest


How-To Howl

“I am in truth the Steppenwolf that I often call myself; that beast astray that finds neither home nor joy nor nourishment in a world that is strange and incomprehensible to him.”
― Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf written by German author Herman Hesse is beautiful self-portrait of a man. Henry Haller finds himself torn between his two selves: man and wolf. He sees himself as a wolf because  he’s a loner, he rather reads his books and listens to classical music and pursues knowledge. He sees himself as man because he likes wealthier living and comfort that comes with it in stead of finding true purpose of life.

Harry is having hard time  with his multiple personalities and one night he is walking in the old part of the city he lives in. He sees sign over door he has never noticed before: “MAGIC THEATER—ENTRANCE NOT FOR EVERYBODY.”…  “FOR MADMEN ONLY!” He soon meets a woman called Hermione at jazz club and it changes Harry’s  life.

“How foolish it is to wear oneself out in vain longing for warmth! Solitude is independence.”
― Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

I liked this book. I think it was nicely structured. In preface of the novel you are presented to Harry of the editors point of view who despises him.  Later it focuses on Harry being the Steppenwolf . I somehow connected with Harry, maybe it was because he reads books, maybe because he is confused about himself and feels isolated.  Maybe at times there’s bits of Steppenwolf in all of us at times.

I did not spend too much time with this book and I didn’t especially think about it in more depth. Like did the magical theater exist somewhere else than in Harry’s mind? Who is Hermione? Why was it those immortals that were talking to Harry and why? I think it might be something to to return to.

I would give this book 8½

How-To Read Steppenwolf

1. Steppenwolf is quite short book, about 200 pages, but it takes you longer to read it  if you really think of all the elements of it. f you are familiar with works of Plato, Mozart, Goethe, Spinoza, Nietzsche you could reflect those to this book.
2. Layers, layers, layers after layers.
3.  Is it for madmen only? Give this book a chance, don’t at least say it was just rambling that didn’t make any sense to you.
4. I think you should try reading this many times in your life and see if it changes something.
If you have liked other novels by Herman Hesse, I am pretty sure you will like this one too.

“You are willing to die, you coward, but not to live.”
― Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf

The Egyptian

“I, SINUHE, the son of Senmut and of his wife Kipa, write this. I do not write it to the glory of the gods in the land of Kem, for I am weary of gods, nor to the glory of the Pharaohs, for I am weary of their deeds. I write neither from fear nor from any hope of the future but for myself alone. During my life I have seen, known, and lost too much to be the prey of vain dread; and, as for the hope of immortality, I am as weary of that as I am of gods and kings. For my own sake only I write this; and herein I differ from all other writers, past and to come.”
-The Egyptian, Mika Waltari

The Egyptian (Sinuhe, egyptiläinen, Sinuhe the egyptian) is a historical novel written by Finnish author Mika Waltari. Personally, I think it’s the best Finnish book ever to be written. It has been translated to over 40 languages and it is by far the only Finnish to be adapted into a Hollywood film.

The Egyptian (Sinuhe, egyptiläinen, Sinuhe the egyptian) is a historical novel written by Finnish author Mika Waltari. Personally, I think it’s the best Finnish book ever to be written. It has been translated to over 40 languages and it is by far the only Finnish to be adapted into a Hollywood film. (I have seen the film, I think it’s very shallow compared to book.)

The book is set in Ancient Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Akhenaten of the 18th dynasty.  The plot circles around Sinuhe who is found in the Nile and adopted to family of a poor doctor. Sinuhe grows up and learns his father’s profession and eventually becomes a royal physician. I love this book but it’s quite sad/pessimistic. During the book Sinuhe – he who is alone, feels lost because he doesn’t know of his origins. He falls in love with three different women and none of these relationships work out.  Nefernefernefer whom Sinuhe thinks is the most beautiful woman he’s seen is traitorous courtesan, Crete Minea happens to belong to wrong religion and Sinuhe’s last love bar singer Merit is perfect but they are separated by civil war. Also, every situation Sinuhe encounters seems to have the worst outcome.

There are many themes in this book. Sinuhe rises from humble beginnings, makes some wrong choices and is forced to go out to the world and seek his fortune (have we heard this somewhere before?) Novel describes well the power structure and changes in it and also the underdevelopment of the society in the Ancient Egypt.  The book also observes war (the novel was published in 1945, during/ shortly after the Second World War. Sinuhe goes to see it as he has never seen it before. One of the very important themes are also the religions. In the beginning of the book, in Thebes, they worship Amon as only right god. Later Pharaoh changes and he forces people to worship Aton.

I would rate this book 9+/10.

How-To Read The Egyptian

1. It’s the best book by Finnish author I have ever read. Translation can be hard! to find but it is definitely worth of it! You’ll thank me later. I would recommend the English translation of Naomi Walford.
2. Language is very beautiful and poetic and the  story pulls you in from the first page.
3. It’s hard to believe Mika Waltari never was to Egypt after reading this book, sometimes I forgot it was fiction. There have been some arguments of how historically accurate the book is but I think there are only some points that are non-accurate.
4. The main character and narrator Sinuhe is pessimistic, he has his reasons though. The novel is quite long, about 800 pages.
5. If you like historical novels, I would also recommend other historical novels of Mika Waltari such as The Etruscan and The Dark Angel.

“Sinuhe, my friend, we have been born into strange times. Everything is melting – changing its shape – like clay on a potter’s wheel. Dress is changing, words, customs are changing, and people no longer believe in the gods – though they may fear them. Sinuhe, my friend, perhaps we were born to see the sunset of the world, for the world is already old, and twelve hundred years have passed since the building of the pyramids. When I think of this, I want to bury my head in my hands and cry like a child.”
-The Egyptian, Mika Waltari

How-To Be Unhappy Social Butterfly

Let’s play a game. Take guess in what book I am reviewing. What is it? Was it easy guess? Comment your guess and also comment if this would fit some other book you know.

“If you look for perfection, you’ll never be content.”

There are multiple adaptations of this book. One of the characters was played by this beautiful Swedish actress in 1935.

I am not the biggest fan of this specific genre, maybe it has something to do with the fact that I read most of the books in this genre at once. At once…yeah I know what you think. I think books in this specific  genre all end a bit too dramatic. (hint!) I did like this more than the other “brick” by this same author.

The title of this novel might fool you a bit as the book is not about one person but it does describe the one person through the lives of three different families or couples that are linked to each other. Each one of this couples have their problems as goes the famous quote of this novel:

“All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

I liked the main character, I can’t not like a person who reads and writes books (oh the amount of whining…) This individual is  just pursuing love because of being married to cold and passionless personage and is just too honest with one’s feelings. This eventually leads that this character  is in social exile and lives in plain misery. I ended up feeling really sorry for the main character. After all, the only flaws of the poor creature wasto fall in love with the wrong people. Though, no, some part of me kept asking “why?”

I think this book described in a very talented way the life of the Russian aristocrats (hint hint!) and their feelings and the daily life and also you  learn a lot of the military, war, agriculture! family life, local elections…

I’d give this book 9/10

 Your Guide How-To Read ?

1. This is one of the books that you probably have ready image in your head because of it’s reputation so be careful with that.The plot is somewhat revealed when the two main characters talk about Plato in the beginning of the book (hint!)
2. Pay attention to the meaning of the trains in this novel. (hint)
3. For me, it was long read. And it takes you lot of hours to read it. It is quite lengthy and the author takes you deep in to the feelings (+ complaining…) of the characters and many surrounding happenings are thoroughly explained.
4. Full names of the characters and all the variations and “nicknames” can be a bit difficult and confusing.
5. Remember to look into all the adaptations!

“Love. The reason I dislike that word is that it means too much for me, far more than you can understand.”

How-To Endure Life of a Slave

“Really, it was difficult to determine which I had most reason to fear—dogs, alligators or men!”
― Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave

I have to admit that I did not even know about this book before the movie and it took me a long time to realize that there was actually a book too It is kind of embarrassing for me because I usually know the old books (as they are free to read so it leaves no excuse not to read them) and memoirs in particular. I think everyone should read these memoirs and history not to let the same happen ever again. I’d also like to hear book recommendations on this in case you have ones?

12 Years a Slave is memoir of Solomon Northup published in 1853  It is really touching book because it has the  most unique approach.  Northup was a free man born in New York, skilled carpenter and violinist and family man: married to black woman and father of three.  I honestly did not quite understand how this could happen in the first place. Humanity shows it’s  rotten side as two men basically kidnap Northup and sell him into slavery where he is brutalized and close to death on many occasions. It’s very heart wrenching book.

“Life is dear to every living thing; the worm that crawls upon the ground will struggle for it.”
― Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave

At the same time, I liked the hope element in the book. Already the title of this book gives you a hint of the happy ending. By that I mean that he was slave for 12 years. Then again, there was only hope for Northup. What about all those who were born into slavery and died in the slavery? And, I of course knew that slavery existed (we all do)  100 years ago and there is still human trafficking all around the world but even though when you are reading books like 12 Years a Slave, you just find it hard to believe that this happened only about 100 years ago…I’d give this book 8/10.

“What difference is there in the color of the soul?”
― Solomon Northup, 12 Years A Slave

Your Guide On How-To Read 12 Years a Slave

1. It is memoir, it is free, it tells a lot of history. No reason not to read it.
2. It is quite short, approximately 200 pages but the ending is very rushed, I didn’t like it and you won’t like it. Is it because of David Wilson, his editor?
3. If you like “slave-narratives”, this is the one you can’t skip. Solomon Northup describes life of the slave, the fear and all depressingly well. The stories of other slaves are heart-breaking.
4. I liked the language, so if you like to read comprehensible old language, you should take a look at this.
5. 12 Years a Slave is quite neutral book. It’s just memoir, in the end he says that he does have no comments concerning slavery, this peculiar institution. Reader can think for oneself what they think of it.

Post Scriptum,

Did you like the Vine? (The video in the beginning) This is how I often like to read classics especially if I am traveling because it is very light. Most people might have book in their bags but why, it’s so heavy! This particular reader is Sony Reader PRS-T1. It is my favorite one because battery lasts for months! , I have currently 102 books there and I think one can download even more + there is also room for MicroSD, the  screen is not illuminated but it does have nice little reading lamp. It’s just like a book :)

How-To Stop Falling Apart

A Million Little Pieces written by author James Frey is a book that you either will want to have in your bookshelf or you will want to keep it far away from there (as it seems to be the case with most).  For me, it was very gripping from the beginning of it and I am so happy for Frey who through this book has become great and popular writer.

“There is no fear. Absolutely no fear. When one lives without fear, one cannot be broken. When one lives with fear one is broken before one begins to live.”
― James Frey, A Million Little Pieces

The book was originally published as memoir. The back cover said:

This is actually not memoir but semi-fictional work, and after it was published,  there has been a lot of talk about man who conned Oprah and A Million Little Lies.  Despite this, I thought  this was still really good book. To me it was obvious  that Frey had colored some bits of it and  I don’t think it really mattered to me in the end that it wasn’t all true.  A Million Little Pieces was after all half-true and also all of it could have happened to someone else. Easily.

I liked the plot, the element of survival and pushing through all the hardships. We all have been through some situation when we feel like we can’t go on, we want to give up or we are too scared to keep doing something. Our inner voices are telling us how weak and hopeless we are. And in Million Little Pieces it’s the addiction to drugs and alcohol and he says no to it.  Other thing that drew me in was the love story. In the treatment facility, James meets Lilly. Woman with cheap plastic watch, black hair and blue eyes.

I loved the characters. And I respect all the people working in the facility center. The clinic where Frey was in, had highest success rate with the clients and it was not much, something about 11%. My favorite characters Especially Lilly, Miles & Leonard .  Leonard, again, is not the person you should like. He runs “small” Italian family business…But he has a big role in the book and he is father character to James.
“The secret to kicking ass in dumbshit Hollywood… Every time you meet someone, make a fucking impression. Make them think you’re the hottest shit in the world. Make them think they’re gonna lose their job if they don’t give you one. Look ’em in the eye, and never look away. Be confident and calm, be fucking bold.That sounds more like the secret to kicking ass in life.
It is, but I was gonna wait and tell you that some other time. “— James Frey (My Friend Leonard)

I’d give this book 8 (with huge) + /10

Your Guide On How-To Read A Million Little Pieces
1. I’d recommend edition that doesn’t say it is memoir! Because then, it is slightly disappointing to read that it is semi-fictional…
2. Read “A Million Little Lies” and “Man who conned Oprah“, and think how big role it has for you and your reading experience. What if you didn’t know of this?
3. James Frey  has distinctive style in writing… It’s raw and I am not big fan of stream of consciousness (what was the person who invented it thinking?)  but it really opens the mind of that person who is writing.  You get into their minds whether you want it or not. Frey also  keeps repeating same words and often the sentence can consist of one or two words. Sometimes nouns are written with capital letters. So it is very different reading experience.
4. It has too much !!  of good sentences to quote, plot is great, characters are great.
5. It’s sad…sometimes grey humor.
6. The story continues in My Friend Leonard. I think if you love this one  you can not not read it.

How-To Hear the People Sing

indexLes Misérables by Victor Hugo is probably the few books that have so many adaptations. Personally, I think it is the best books ever to be written. Why? Just because.

Because.It has amazing characters.  I think they are very human, none of them are perfect. We always fall for the “good bad Robin Hood like guys” and Les Mis has Jean Valjean. Ex-convict who has just been released after 19 years of imprisonment in the galleys, five years for stealing bread for his starving sister and her children and fourteen more for trying to escape. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it? He can’t get a place to stay because of his yellow passport that marks him as criminal. I like how Valjean constantly pulls out Houdini like tricks in the book.

Then there’s Javert. The bad cop. Who’s just really doing his job. Fantine (now I have Anne Hathaway picture of her in my head), Parisian grisette, falls in love, finds out that she is pregnant, is left alone to take care of her illegitimate child and eventually becomes prostitute. Cosette. Fantine’s  daughter, the  Cinderella story of Les Misérables, the Lark who becomes the princess like creature. And dear Eponiné. The girl in the shadows of Cosette. I really liked her. She fell for guy who already was in love with another girl but still sacrificed all. It is full of people and happenings.

“Promise to give me a kiss on my brow when I am dead. I shall feel it.”
She dropped her head again on Marius’ knees, and her eyelids closed. He thought the poor soul had departed. Éponine remained motionless. All at once, at the very moment when Marius fancied her asleep forever, she slowly opened her eyes in which appeared the sombre profundity of death, and said to him in a tone whose sweetness seemed already to proceed from another world:
“And by the way, Monsieur Marius, I believe that I was a little bit in love with you.”

It has most beautiful plot and language. I also liked how emotional the book it was, this one made me laugh and cry. Or both at same time. Truly beautiful.Éponine_e_Marius

I love the themes in the book. There’s lot of love and compassion in the book and I think there’s a lot on what does it mean to be human. I like how Hugo had lots of criticism towards French society, social injustice and politics during the 19th century. For example, Valjean stole piece of bread and attempted to escape from galleys few times…and that made him Most Wanted man in France? There was Patron-Minette…and nobody was after them?

Les Misérables has my heart so definitely 10/10.

Your Guide On How-To Read Les Misérables
1. You can read it for free! Yay! For example on Project Gutenberg. Find the one with as many pages as possible. Also, if you have seen the movies and theater adaptations…definitely read the book! It has SO much more! And the other way around ;)
2. Warning: it is huge but has lot to give.
3. Victor Hugo loves you as reader. He talks to you all the time, imagine this and imagine that. It’s really nice. Kind of like someone would read it to you. Once, he does even apologize if something is not accurate.
4. Hugo puts much of time into description. Very wordy book. He describes you Paris, Battle of Waterloo (many many pages in the beginning of the book), sewers of the Paris and slang among other. He seems to have a lot to say about everything.
5. If you want to have inspiration to read about France’s history, you can as well start from Les Misérables.
6. You should have a soundtrack of the Les Misérables prepared on your iPod :p

“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live.”
― Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

How-To Discover New Worlds Pullman Style

His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman is my favorite fantasy trilogy of all time. It consists of three books: Northern Lights/The Golden Compass, The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass. Northern Lights was first published 1995 and trilogy was finished in 2000.


In first book, we meet Lyra and her dæmon Pantalaimon. We are introduced to a whole new world: one that has been stuck in England’s Victorian era, one that is dominated by Magisterium and most importantly one with dæmons, people’s souls in animal companions. The book is thrilling. It has so many elements that are completely new in fantasy & also characters from around the world. Personally, I was fascinated by the witch with Finnish family name: Serafina Pekkala.
What I disliked was
Lyra. And is not too good if you dislike the main character? She keeps poking her nose into stuff that is none of her business and she also is super irresponsible. Yet she has the talent to read the compass of truth: alethiometer and everyone seems to like her….Alright then. Sure she has her moments.

In the second book, we meet Will.  Who is from our world. Who’s father has left long time ago and who’s mother is lunatic. Will is (among) my favorite protagonist in His Dark Materials. He is everything Lyra is not. When they meet, I hoped that she will learn something from him.
WP_20140306_16_09_19_Pro20140306161402 Will meets two rebellious angels. What sort of surprised me was that book had so fast pace in comparison with the previous book. It was also quite short.In the final third book, what is unexpected maybe that it is the size of first two books combined. I liked how it was mostly focused on Iorek Byrnison, Will and angel Balthamos. I liked how Pullman described the underworld, the land of the death, where Lyra and Will go to find Lyra’s friend. In many movies that I know the place where the dead are is often quite scary. In Pullman’s work, yes it was of course frightening but all they wanted was to touch and hear stories of the sun and wind. I think The Amber Spyglass closed nicely the trilogy even though the ending, in my opinion, was not quite what I expected.
The Mulefa are adorable!
Yay, we meet Kirjava! Mottled in Finnish ;)

I’d give this trilogy 9/10

Your guide on How- To Read His Dark Materials

1. It is a beautiful trilogy but every book can also be read as stand-alone. You should get ones with the drawings in the beginning of the chapters and “Lantern Slides”.
2. You will want your own dæmon (not demon!) If not, you can ask yourself “what is wrong with me” until you will want one.
3. The writer Philip Pullman has been called most unspoken atheist of all time, so be prepared for that if you are more religious or have strong beliefs. It is kind of weird that the series also carry message to adults even if ment for children.
4. It’s better to read His Dark Materials the younger you are. So if you are parent, make your children read this. The awards and nominations this series has is big.
5. It is a bit confusing at times if you don’t read it with passion.
6. Pullman was inspired by John Milton’s Paradise Lost. You may find it interesting.
7. Do not be fooled by thinking “oh what a great book, I’ll watch the movie too”. The movie is inaccurate (and it sucks).

If someone remembers, in 2007, there was this beautiful test where you could find you own daemon on Golden Compass’ website. Sadly closed now. Those who took the test, or take it now, what was/is your daemon?


How-To Not-Survive Isolated Island with Bunch of Boys

Lord of the the Flies  was the first book written by William Golding. It tells how bunch of British boys plane-crash on inhabited island and how they try to survive. It wasn’t too popular when it was first published but it has gained much attention and popularity on latter years.


I think I’d recommend this novel only if you are fond of dystopian novels. Because it is entertaining and Golding describes surroundings and what happens on island very well. And I think it is also a book you have to read at least once in your life. Though, I think most of us have read the book in school in some point.

Now, I didn’t like this book at all.  I don’t know if it was World War 2 that made Golding to write such pessimistic book that focuses on how they basically want to maintain level of civilization but turn into savagery. Golding said once that “Wouldn’t it be a good idea
to write a story about some boys…showing how they really would behave”
Let me explain my dislike:
First of all, I didn’t like the characters.
There is Ralph, Simon and Piggy who create order and come up with intellectual ideas. Boys vote Ralph to be their leader. As if. Because here comes Jack , the opponent, who wants to dominate. Not like Jack does have any good ideas…oh wait yeah….the beast whom Jack turns into tribe’s common enemy and common idol. Then Ralph whom we liked in the beginning. Who was good leader. And kind person. Well…he happily goes to bloody pig-hunt and even bloodier dance  afterwards and it turns out he is only behaving civilized because that was
what he was taught to do. What? Whereas, Simon, who is actually kind and who has civilization in some inner part of him  recognizes the truth—that the beast does not exist in physical form on the island but rather it exists within each boy on the island. When Simon tries to approach the other boys to tell them about this, they attack him and kill him. Piggy…let’s not even talk about him. Somehow first you have hope in these boys and then you lose it. Would it really all turn to be so bad?

Then, I wasn’t also too fond of the themes. Basically it tells how cruel people are. Loss of innocence. Constant battle for power. Fear. Twisted wisdom. Religion. Weak versus Strong.

I’d give this book 5/10.

Your guide on How- To Read Lord of the Flies
It’s pretty short, doesn’t take long to read. It will keep your interest and it is entertaining. Something that “blows you away”.
2. It gets very disturbing, depressing, dark and violent, so be prepared for that. It describes how humanity crumbles down, school boys turn to brutes and whole “loss of innocence” concept.
3. Amaze yourself by how well Golding describes fire! Beard! Best ones!
4. I suppose if you want to, then book provides lots of symbolic meanings, psychology and other hidden agendas to think of.
5. You will be annoyed with ending. It was pretty ironic too.

“Maybe there is a beast… maybe it’s only us.”
― William Golding, Lord of the Flies

How-To Grasp the Ring’s Power

WP_20140212_11_49_15_ProThe Lord of the Rings by J. R. R.Tolkien is a legend among the books.
I read it the first time when I was 12 years old. I liked these books very much and of course I always appreciate any author who puts so much effort into creating a whole world for the reader. By the way, if you haven’t read these books, don’t even dare to tell you are reader.

Tolkien describes the characters very well, he also does his best to introduce the reader this new race called hobbits, especially in the first book: The Fellowship of the Ring. I think that through whole series, there a lot of philosophical questions like for example:  who should have the power over One Ring and what/who is good or bad.

I’d give 9/10 to whole depth of the Middle-earth stories, maybe only 8½/10 to LotR alone. I don’t think there really are people who would even dislike this epic story. There’s only people who haven’t read it or put that much effort into reading it.

Your guide on How- To Read The Lord of the Rings

1. It takes time. You can either read the three parts combined or separately. In either case, it is still over 1000 pages.
2. Welcome to Middle-earth. You should start with Hobbit before LotR because it is easier to read and it happens 60 years before LotR. Also it introduces Gandalf and Bilbo to the reader. Afterwards…there is Silmarillion, Children of Hurin…

3. I know there are movies. And most of us have seen the movie before the books. But hey, you can spot all the differences in the book.
4. You can skip the introduction and return to it later if you want to. It’s all about Hobbits to explain LotR if you haven’t read Hobbit (yes, you can skip it)
5. Embrace all the bonus material. There are poems and songs (that some of have really have nothing to do with the story itself), runes. In all together 100 pages of appendix (explaining history, languages…).
6. Don’t think too feminist (if you are female reader), the Middle-earth doesn’t have too many women but the few ones are very powerful.
7. Yay! Bunch of names you play tongue twister with.


“I will take the Ring,’ he said, ‘though I do not know the way.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

How-To Handle Raskolnikov


(Spoilers!!) Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoyevsky is perhaps one of the most praised books in the history. It is also the book that many turn away thinking that it is long and somewhat depressing.

All that is true. Honestly, you will either hate this book, love this book or to be unsure what to think of it  for the rest of your life.
C&P  is basically  fascinating book with deep talented description of psychological drama. It is well-written, it has good structure and fascinating characters.

Personally, it took me about half year to read this book. The first 5 months I was struggling to get past the point where Raskolnikov goes to the bar. To make it clear, that happens somewhere in the first 10 pages. Afterwards, I remember that I just kept turning the pages thinking “No-no-no, don’t do that.Why? C’mon now…”

Fyodor…seriously, what’s with all this?

During the most of the book you are dealing with the inner turmoils of the characters, especially one of Raskolnikov. With him, you can ask yourself where the crime ends and where the punishment begins. Because it is one HUGE mind game. Raskolnikov is feeling awful about what he has done: murdered two old hags women with stolen axe (points to writer for using creative murder weapon) but apparently not guilty enough to turn himself in. Other important conflicts you will fgo trough will include questions like: why do girls always fall for bad guys? (classic one, huh?) or why didn’t attorney who had the evidence to bring Raskolnikov to justice not do it?

Surviving trough this, I would give this book 7/10. It  is definitely worth reading! And it is definitely a book that you can brag about having read. Remember to congratulate yourself once you have finished it.

Your guide on How- To Read Crime and Punishment
1. When you start reading, read past the bar point before using bookmark.2. Don’t be prepared for happy endings. They are not common in classics.
3. Be prepared to face criminal madness, poverty, prostitution, love, history, lots of Russians and lots of psychology.
4. Don’t give up! If you have started reading, it is totally worth finishing. It takes a lot of digesting but it is rewarding.
5. Don’t wonder why all the women in the book are either saints or sinners.
6. In the end, don’t wonder too much about :”Why, Sonya? Why did you follow him to Siberia?” No really knows. We can only speculate.
Moreover, you can find the book for free in Project Gutenberg, which is perfect if you like to read books online or in e-form.  In case you absolutely loved the book, you should definitely learn Russian to read it in original.

Top Ten Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

Top Ten Tuesday is meme is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Today’s topic is Top Ten Characters I Just Didn’t Click With.


1.Bella Swan/ Twilight series

2. Scarlett O’Hara / Gone With the Wind

3. Patrick Bateman /American Psycho

Though I guess it would be scary if anyone clicked with him.

4. Anastasia Steele / 50 Shades of Grey

5. Romeo and Juliet

6. Professor Umbridge / Harry Potter

Let’s say there’s one more reason to dislike pink color.

7. Hazel and Augustus / The Fault in Our Stars

They weren’t that annoying but more I think about it the less I want to think about it.

8. Edmund Pevensie /Chronicles of Narnia

He wasn’t that annoying in the end though…

9. Joffrey Baratheon/ A Song of Ice and Fire

10. Victor Frankenstein/ Frankenstein

Blogger Recognition Award

Long time since I’ve been doing these and I just love these awards. It’s been a while haha,  I was nominated by Rae @ Bookmark Chronicles and  Aimal @ Bookshelves & Paperbacks Thank you! This award was originally created by Eve @ Edge of Night.

~ Select 15 other blogs you want to give the award to. Do some digging if you must! Find those blogs. You cannot nominate yourself or the person who has nominated you.

Write a post to show off your award! Give a brief story of how your blog got started, and give a piece or two of advice to new bloggers. Thank whoever nominated you, and provide a link to their blog. List who you’ve nominated in the post.

~ Comment on each blog and let them know you’ve nominated them. Provide a link to the award post you created.

~ Provide a link to the original post on Edge of Night. That way, anyone can find the original guidelines and post if needed, and we can keep it from mutating and becoming confusing!

I’ve been blogging for 1½ years.  I participated in blogging course in my uni  in the beginning of 2014 and so  Read & Survive was born. My course ended long ago, May 2014 but my passion for blogging remained.  I love reading and talking about books and it’s great just to see people who love books as much as me :)

Hmm…some advice :D

~ In your blog, about you page would be nice :) Also search button (and list of all the books you have reviewed so far (if it’s not too many). It makes it easier to read your blog and easier for you to find your reviews.

~ You can review books (just review the book you last read, your childhood favorite, book you want to read next), you can write tips how to read some book, your bookish opinions, questions, feelings, memes, quotes. Do what you want and what interests you :) otherwise blogging will become boring and you’ll feel like it’s must do not what you like to do.

~ Use same browser, and keep your browser up to date with all the Java, flash stuff. Also it’s good idea to clean your blog every once in a while. Create new pages, sub pages, categories they are helpful for you and for others.

~ Use tags. How do you think we’ll ever find you on here? Use long tags, short tags, unique tags.

Take your own pictures or use commons, use free pictures. Of course sometimes you have no choice but to steal someone else’s picture or gif image because they rock and I’ve done it and I think everyone here has but fair warning haha.

~ It depends of a book blogger but if you want followers, comments, likes and shares on your blog, go check out what others are doing. You’ll make new friends too! Also, there are many fun awards, participate in those! :)

~Don’t give up and don’t whine. Blogging is hard. It takes lots of time writing blog posts, taking pictures, reading other blogs, commenting on other posts and between all the reading and blogging, you still have to have a real life. We are all in the same boat and if you don’t feel like blogging anymore, go to Goodreads or Instagram or use twitter to express your bookish thoughts :)



Alex Raphael