scattered thoughts #3

The months seem to pass slow and fast at the same time. Ah, the human perception of time! Such a wonder.

I took a whole week for myself, but it turned into a week and a half because my bf’s parents went away and I staued at his house, playing the married couple as we usually do. We had strawberries dipped in chocolate, irish coffe, cozy cuddles, spent the nights embracing one another and had a great fun generally speaking. I like our equilibrium, during these periods in which we are alone and living like we actually are married and on our own. Oh, if only.

So it was a whole week and a half of vacation and even if exams are approaching I’m happy I took it. I knew that I wouldn’t have had a lot of time from now on, because my boss would have probably contacted me soon and he did. It was a collegue, actually, and I still haven’t answered her because I really, really do not want to go back to work.
Not that being a waitress is that bad, the work in itself is average and I’m still less under-paid than most. However, I hate the place and when I read the message on Sunday evening my whole-relax week off was screwed. I had this tiny thing in the back of my head and I know that it’ll be there until I stop working for that people. They make you feel anxious with all their absurd behavious and I promised myself that I wouldn’t take on anything that has the chance to push me down and make me feel that bad. Unfortunately, I need money as every college kid this part of the neighborhood and so tomorrow morning I’ll send a message and pray they’ll let me stay home til mid-May.

It may sound crazy, but I’m so afraid of failing my exams and I’m afraid that working will leave me so exhausted that I won’t pass any one of them. This freaks me out and I understand is supersticious of me and everything, but I’m really *really* scared. I need to pass. I have to graduate, sooner or later. And it’s already a bit late, so I’d just like to do it and then go on with my life.

And I’d love to write more here, but I’m always so buy and so tired at the end of the day. Ugh. Never mind my ramblings, tomorrow will be better!

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T5W – favourite mothers/maternal figures

Here I come, after an idle week, to talk about my favourite mother figures in literature!

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Catelyn Stark, Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
It took me a lot to appreciate Catelyn, because I’m more the Brienne/Arya type of person. However, Martin pictures such vivid characters that I inevitably fell for almost every single one of them, the Lady of Winterfell included. She married Ned because she had to, which I found horrible, but the way she learned to love him and take care of him…I don’t think she could fake it at that point, not even to be the proper lady she was taught to be. And I admire her courage and what she did to protect her family, her children, everyone. She did what was right to do (duty!) and what was in her power to do. And the point in which she dies was one of the most creepy, horrific and yet best-written lines I ever read.

Molly Weasley, Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling
I know that mentioning Mrs. Weasley is cheating: who wouldn’t love her? But she is lovely, strong-willed, and ultimately a great mother. She isn’t even that severe or annoying, in the end. What I love the most about her is the fact that she goes through a lot, but find courage to go on and be herself anyway. She never stops to be caring and gentle even in the darkest times. She never refuses her hospitality and care even with the meager income her family lives on. She loves everyone of her chidlren dearly and for what they are. She gives me a warm sensetion here, in the chest. And I think that she is amazing, period.

Clara, The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende
Clara maybe be the least-loved out of this list. I wanted to include her, howwver, because she is a free spirit, a creature that seem to pop up from another dimension. A spiritist who married a man who soon became rich and more interested in his money than anything else, Clara is quiet and gentle and yet her world is full of colours and images. She let herself be loved and sometimes forget to show the love back, many times it seems she’s too busy doing things to show her affection, but she has a gentle heart and is very sensitive. Unfortunately, she also is passive most of the time (at least, from my point of view) especially concerning her husband who is an idiot even if it should be remembered that there is one point in the story in which she rebels against Esteban in some way and he slaps her. That is also the moment he loose her, her mind, his place in her life, forever and honestly? I rejoyced, yes.

Ava’s grandmother, The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton
I continue saying that I should re-read this book and for a reason. Ava’s grandmother is probably the character I like the most in the book, because of her spirit: she never surrenders. Not when her father dies, not when her brothers and sisters dies. Not when her husband dies and she’s left alone with a little baby and she opens a bakery, aided by a native woman. Oh, no. She never surrenders and keeps going until things get better. Even with the ghost of her loved ones around the corners

The Other Mother, Coraline by Neil Gaiman
“What’s this awful creature doing in this list?!” will you ask, disgusted. Well, the point is I wanted to mention this monster because she happens to be one of my favourite villains and she also sets in motion the whole story. A story that exist only because she does. And Coraline’s story tells more than the adventure of a kid who has to save her parents. She is a child whose mother and father are too busy to look after and sometimes it doesn’t even seem they understand her. So here it comes, this Other Mother, who is somewhat like an inner demon: “I’ll love you, if you’ll love me”. The same inner black demon that hunts everyone of us, that wants us to love him and take care of him, who thrives in our fears and will leave us emptied. The story of Coraline is a story of courage lost and found, the courage of doing what’s right for us. The story of how we can save ourselves. I don’t like this figure of mother because of what she represents, but because her existance allowed a little girl (the one inside everyone of us) to learn how to be brave. I love the fact that you can fuck this monster up and send it back to the hell it came from. And yes, you’re allowed to think I’m crazy

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AuthorAThon: TBR + first day wrap up

AuthorATon is a readathon created by Joana and co-hosted by Sam. It started yesterday and will go on until April 24th and as I’ve always wanted to participate in a readathon…I did it! I put together a TBR as soon as I knew of its existence (yesterday morning) and now it’s time to share with you my excitement.

The AuthorAThon focuses on authors (who could tell?) and so that’s the theme of the six challenges.

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  1. Read a book by a favorite author – for the first challenge I chose Tales from Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. She has a beautiful way with words and I missed Earthsea (and Ged. Oh, Ged!) so I thought this was the perfect time o start this book.
  2. Read a new-to-you author – The Human Stain by Philip Roth. I never heard of it before the assigned it as a reading for a course I’m taking at uni. I should’ve read this book a looong time ago, so this is the perfect time to get through it. As soon as possible.
  3. Give an author a second chance – The author is Suzanne Collins and the book is Catching Fire, in the Hunger Games series. The name popped into my mind immediately because I haven’t loved the first book, but I thought the story was interesting and so decided to give it a try. Again.
  4. Read a debut author (2015 or 2016) – I still don’t know what book I’ll read for this one. I’m 75% sure it will be Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley, though.
  5. Read a book written by more than one author – this is the perfect moment to start the Dragonlance series that has been seeting on my shelf for over a year. It smells like the 80s, it probably is a first edition, I’ve been repeatedly told to read it and I still havent. I need to make up for this. Ah, yes: it was written by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman.
  6. Read a book from an author who is from a different continent than you are – I’m going to read Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children for this challenge, as Ransom Riggs is from the US and I am born and currently reside in Italy. I know that Philip Roth and the other authors are from a different continent than me but I want to read this book so much.

 

day1I spent most of my Monday studying and when I wasn’t studying, I was reading. Not that I usually do anything else in my life, really. Nonetheless, I was so excited I read something like 250 pages of Catching Fire before the clock hit midnight. I havent’ read this fast in ages. AGES. And I’m so happy and pumped I don’t want to stop reading! 🙂

You can follow the #authoraton tag on twitter to keep up with our efforts to stay bookish!

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T5W – 5 Books with Hard Topics

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This week’s topic is “hard” topics and books talking about them. As the hard topics were defined as mental health, health issues and such I will stick with them. Let’s get started!

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky
I feel this book is important to me because I read it in a moment of recovery. It helped me. It is beautiful and I loved almost everything in it: the characters, the writing style, the story. I would say it’s full of love and it’s how much the main character is able to love others amazed me. He’s not naive as probably many would think, he’s truly candid and genuinely in awe with what he sees. Topics are dealing with homosexuality, sexual harassment, growing up as different from most people and the list goes on. Everything is hinted, but you see what happens through the eyes of Charlie and this gives a strange contrast between how he feels – and he is always calm and accepting – and how you feel. And, personally, I felt like someone

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaira
I’m not even halfway through this book I finished this book this morning. I still don’t know what to say exactly, because there are so many things about it. Laurels’s sister died, her family broke apart and she’s starting high school. Plus, there are some things she can’t say: about herself, about May, about her life. She can’t say it all to her dad, her mom and not even herself. So she writes letters to famous people that died. Kurt Cobain was one of my idols at the age of 15 and not only I understand wht she wrote to him, I loved that she did. And even if I’m not 15 anymore (I’m not even a teen anymore! OMG) I found a lot of what she said so true, so deep and moving. If only I had this book back when I was 15, when I wanted to be like May, when I singed Kurt’s song and thought he understood me…

Blue is the Warmest Colour by Julie Maroh
I loved this graphic novel. I read it three times in two days. It made me cry I think three or four times and I think that everyone should read it for this. The story is about a girl discovering her homosexuality, falling in love with a woman, trying to be “right” and dating boys. It’s deep, filled with love, but I found it a crude depiction. It’s true. It feels true. It probably felt so true because, although not lesbian, I’m bisexual and thus I dealt with some things the main character experienced. I truly believe, though, that no one can go through this story and come out unchanged. I also love the drawings, but mostly the colours.

Why be happy when you could be normal? by Jeanette Winterson
I never read a book that was so clearly talking about me like this one did. It’s mostly a memorial of the author, talking about herself at various points of her life, but as far as I’m concerned she could have been talking about me. I never saw myself this much into a book. It was strange, but also liberatory, to read it. To go through me as the author was going throug herself. Fear, anxiety, loss, pain, dealing with a family who seem not to love you, dealing with yourself. I don’t know if it really counts as a book with “hard” topics, but it felt good. It felt good when I felt alone, when I felt there was nothing else and I didn’t knew who I was or how to deal with life. And that was hard, so that’s why it’s in the list.

For the last book I’m going with something that I want to read in the future. As I mostly read fantasy, I haven’t found that many books dealing with hard topics, so I thought to close the list with a book I want to read. And the book in my TBR is:
George by Alex Gino
When people look at George, they think they see a boy. But she knows she’s not a boy. She knows she’s a girl. George thinks she’ll have to keep this a secret forever. Then her teacher announces that their class play is going to be Charlotte’s Web. George really, really, REALLY wants to play Charlotte. But the teacher says she can’t even try out for the part . . . because she’s a boy. With the help of her best friend, Kelly, George comes up with a plan. Not just so she can be Charlotte — but so everyone can know who she is, once and for all.
– I never read a book with trans issue in it, but I would want to. Even if the tone of the book seem light, I believe this isn’t an easy topic to talk about. Since my  And this little volume popped up in my Goodreads feed and grabbed my interest. So it’s definetly something I’ll read.

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3 words, one year – first quarter

If you read my post about words for the new year, you know that I’m focusing on being more mindful, more brave and overall, to grow. The first three months of the year passed and I want to look back and see what I’ve done and what I should bring in my life.

Have I been brave? I think so. I’m mostly thinking about university, how I aced my exams. There was one in particular for which I studied so much and I passed it with a good mark, not the best, but one of the best. Which is absolutely unbelievable. I wanted to give up, but I didn’t. I was brave and kept on trying and finally, I did it.
I also decided to switch courses. Nu jag studerar inte ryska, men svenska. It was a choice I made in March after months thinking about it. Russian is a beautiful language, but I didn’t like it that much and I want to graduate in something that is both interesting to me, something I know will bring me happiness and not disappointment. I have to study the entire first year course by my own and I fear I won’t pass the exam in May, but even if it is weary I like it.
Did I grow? I think so, although I’m feeling a stupid adolescent in this particular moment. It may be being sitted in the park (I’m waiting for the library to be opened and start studying). It may be that I feel there is something of my paste experiences I should understand better, but that I cannot fully comprehend.

The part i failed was probably being more mindful. I haven’t meditated much, I haven’t lost myself in nature. I mostly kept my five senses busy with things and thoughts, which is exactly what I don’t want to do. Not this much.

So the next three months will be focused more on this aspect. I want to start with a short meditation every day and mindful excerices during the day. I want to attune myself more to the world as it is and the beautiful things that are in it

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March Wrap Up

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Just three books for this month that, again, saw me very busy studying (plus some life changes on the side)

Plugged by Eoin Colfer
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This book was suggested to me by someone on tumblr, with whom I chatted for a while. I had it around and decided to give it a go and wow. First, I never read anything by Eoin Colfer, not even the Artemis Fowl series that was everywhere in the bookshop when I was young. It never picked my interest. Now I regret it, because the writing was…mindblowing. I honestly enjoyed more how things were written than the story itself – who was good, but military guy with life problems™, dead casino hostess, rich drug addicts, irish gangs and corrupted police isn’t usual my kind of book. Apart from that, it is also a bit of a thriller and it has an insane dose of that witty/quirky humor I love.

Little Girls: Social Conditioning And Its Effects On The Stereotyped Role Of Women During Infancy by Elena Gianini Belotti
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This actually is an Italin book, the original title being “Dalla parte delle bambine”. Written in the 70s this books analyses the pressure women have to face in society since early age, showing that the idea of an intrinsic feminine behaviouris a product of education. The writer works with kids and uses various examples taken from her experience, as well as reaserches, to show how detrimental the attitude toward female kids is. It was an easy read despire the topics – no technical language used and vary clear description of psychological facts – although in many point it made me cringe. Many parents and teachers do the unbelievable to let people adhere to their specific mental image. Despite being old the information are still 100% relatable. And it is also a very small book, something like 190 pages. Definetely worth it.

Purifying Crystals by Micheal Gienger
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A short, but useful, handbook about the cleansing and purifcation (both phisycal and energetic) of stones and crystals. I found it very useful because I never had any reference for crystals beside what I caught here and there (forums, friends, general books) and it was fine to see all that scattered information organised at last. It’s very short and can be read in a couple of hourse, but definetly useful if you’re interested in energetic work with crystals.

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Top 5 Wednesday – Rainy Reads

Top 5 Wednesday is a weekly meme created by Lainey and now hosted by Sam (clik on their names to go to their youtube). I’ve been watching their videos for a while and finally decided to jump on this wagon hoping that this will make me talk more about books.

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Today’s topic is top 5 rainy day reads. I like rainy days, especially in Spring or Autumn, when it’s not cold nor too hot and you can still enjoy a comfy sweater and a cup of tea. Rain also makes me extremely dreamy and melancholic, yet inspired so I kept this in mind while choosing the books:

1 – The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslie Walton
I loved this book and it’s one of the titles I want to re-read in the near future. The story focuses on three generations of women dealing with love and loss. Despite this it has an heartwarming feeling, even though its filled with melancholy. I clung to every word of it, feeling and wishing with the characters while their stories unravelled page after page.

2 – Coraline by Neil Gaiman
If you think about the movie, maybe you’ll understand fully why this story visually reconnects with rainy days for me. However, Coraline is about adventure and courage, facing hard times and going on despite the obstacles. To me it symbolize that no matter how hard the storm hits, one can always find the courage in oneself to keep walking under the rain.

 3 – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
When outisde there’s an “English” weather, one of the best thing I can do is make a cup of tea and pick a Jane’s book. Pride & Prejudice makes me feel at home – I read it so many times I know it by heart, and it’s like coming back to old friends. I love Austen’s wit, I love how she made everyone believe she talked about love when she’s making a critic about the society of her time. I love how I can still spot new meanings and new things in her story, despite having read it more than a dozen times. I love that it has a soothing and relaxing effect on my poor nerves!

4 – Fairytales by Hans Christian Handersen
Or any other fairytale collection really, but this is the first one I fell in love with when I was young. I never read it from start to end, usually opened it randomly and started reading from there. Fairies live in that place between the worlds that sometimes seem to open up during rain. Water drops are like a curtain and sometimes it seem you see something behind, but it’s just an illusion. Or is it?

5 – The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
A rainy afternoon is the perfect time to immerse yourself in a different world and start a new adventure. This is another book that smells a bit like home: it’s comforting, in some way, even as the unexpected journey that it is. And rain is a bit comforting although it distresses you a bit, right?

What are your picks for a rainy day reading session? 🙂

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