Top 5 Wednesday: Books to Get You Out of a Reading Slump

top-wed-gothTop 5 Wendesday is hosted by Samatha. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


The topic of this week’s Top 5 Wednesday are the books that help you get out of a reading slump. Now, I don’t have a big problem with reading slumps. Sometimes I read for many hours a day, sometimes just a little bit before I go to bed, but I don’t think I’ve ever had a really long rading slump. (except in high school, when we had many exams, and I was stressed – I’m looking at you Croatian education system!) Anyway, this is the closest I can get to writing this post.

1. A book I’m really excited to read

Yes, this may be a cheat. But sometimes, there are some great books that you feel you should read, but you’re not really in the mood for – and those can lead to a reading slump. It’s fine to leave a book for another time and read something you really want to at the moment.

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2. A superhero comic

Or any fun comic that I will rush though, and that doesn’t make me think too much, but instead just helps me remember how fun reading is.

3. Romantic poetry

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I love romantic poetry! Especially Keats and Percy Shelley. It’s very easy to find a lot of their poem on the internet, so I sometimes just google them and enjoy. They also always make me want to write my own poetry. 🙂

4. The all-time-favourite

Frankenstein, in my case. ❤ I don’t necessarily read the entire book, I just like to read some parts of it from time to time. It also always gets me in the mood to read some classics.

5. The collected works of Oscar Wilde

I think short stories are great for getting you out of a reading slump. And since I love Oscar Wilde, it’s nice to revisit some of his stories from time to time. He’s the king of wit, after all, and I’ll end this post with a few of his quotes. 😉

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The Blogger Aesthetic Award

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Nicole at Sorry, I’m Booked tagged me for the The Blogger Aesthetic Award. Thankk you so much, I loved this! ❤ Please, guys, check out Nicole’s post HERE. Now, let’s start from the rules and some guidelines for the award.

The Rules:

  • Collect any number of images that you feel represent you as a person—your personality, aspirations, favourite things, anything at all that makes you you.
  • Put your chosen images together into a collage of whatever size and shape you find pleasing.
  • Share your masterpiece with everyone, in all the places.
  • Maybe nominate other bloggers as a way to tell them, “Hey, you, I think you’re awesome, and we should celebrate that awesomeness.”
  • Share these rules (and maybe the below tips, if you’re feeling helpful).

The Tips:

(Now you need to make an account on PicMonkey, but it is still free.)

My Aesthetic:

I knew I needed to include something gothic and vampire-ish, something medieval, something bookish, some cute animals, some tea, and the hair goals pic – I dye my hair red, but it’s not that pretty or long or wavy… And there were to many photos to chose from so I made two collages. Here’s how it turned out in the end:

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I won’t tag anyone, but please do this if you want to! I would love to see the photos you choose! 🙂

Twittering Tales #17: A Warm Welcome

twittering tales.pngTwittering Tales challenge is hosted by Kat Myrman at like mercury colliding… The goal is to write a twitter-length story, in 140 characters or less. You can see the challenge HERE. 🙂 I know it took me a lot of time to post, but here’s my story for this week’s prompt:

A Warm Welcome

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They were coming. He knew it meant guns, bombs and destruction. But he’ll try to welcome the aliens, show them there’s some good in humans.

(139 characters)

“This Is My Genre, Tell Me Yours” Book Tag

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Today is a perfect day for a fun tag! Ellie at Blogging for Dopamine tagged me fo the This Is My Genre, Tell Me Yours book tag and she really made me think… I wasn’t even sure what my favourite genre was! 😄 Thank you, Ellie, so much for the tag! ❤

First things first, here are the rules:

  • Credit  Drew @ TheTattooedBookGeek as the creator of the tag, use the created tag name graphic and link back to his blog. (Also, if you want to learn more about the tag you can see Drew’s post HERE.)
  • Answer the questions.
  • Tag as many people as you want.

And now, let’s get to the questions!

1. What is your favourite genre?

So, in the end, I decided that my favourite genre is Gothic fiction, in all of its different shapes and forms. From the Castle of Otranto by Horace Walpole, published in 1764, the classics such as Samuel Talylor Coleridge, Mary Shelley, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allan Poe and many others, through books that are only slightly gothic (like my beloved Wuthering Heights or most of Daphne du Maurier’s books) to some modern takes on the genre. This is the genre from which some amazing characters were born, characters we never stop talking about – Dracula, The Phantom of the Opera, Carmilla, Dorian Gray, Jekyll and Hyde… It’s characterised by creepy atmosphere, old castles, dark woods, and often with some paranormal occurences (though not always). It is also the genre that gave us horror fiction. What’s not to love?

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2. Who is your favourite author from the genre?

Another hard decision! 😄 When it comes to Gothic classics, then it has to be Mary Shelley. I’ve talked so many times about my love for her and her writing, so I don’t want to repeat myself, but she is my queen! And my other, modern, queen is Anne Rice. She introduced me to the vampire lore and I’ve never stopped being intrigued by it.

3. What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

Mostly, it’s the atmosphere. I think Gothic fiction is the most atmospheric of all fiction. It’s dark and mysterious, beautiful and desciptive, but also creepy and un-put-downable. (Is that a word? Now it is.) And there are just so many possibilities! Many Gothic stories use some folkloric elements and make them their own, which is very interesting to me. I like seeing how different authors interpret similar ideas.

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4. What is the book that started your love for the genre?

Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles – the first three in the series are soooo amazing and I love them to death. Lestat is one of my favourite fictional characters. After reading Anne Rice’s books when I was about 14, I just had to read Dracula and that’s how my little obsession started.

5. If you had to recommend at least one book from your favourite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

If that person wants to start with Gothic classics, then I’d recommed Carmilla by Sheridan Le Fanu and Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. Those are my favourites. (I think everyone should read Frankenstein, even if they’re not interested in Gothic fiction, to be honest;)) If the person wants to start with something modern, then Anne Rice, of course. Or Carlos Ruiz Zafon. I think his books are approachable to (and loved by) the people who are not fans of the Gothic genre as well as those who are.

6. Why do you read?

Because that’s how I have fun! 🙂 I’ve always loved stories, and even before I could read, my parents read to me. My father sometimes even made up stories. I learned to love reading from an early age and my love for books only grew from there. I read to have fun, yes, but I also read to learn, to feel, to be intrigued, to have my thoughts provoked, and even to cry. 🙂

And in the end, I tag these lovely people: Misty@mistysbookspaceMatxi@matxibooks, Sophie@blameitonchocolate, Anna@itsmybirthwriteCaffeinated Bibliophile and Elena@elenasquareeyes.

Happy blogging! 🙂


First two pictures are from pixabay.com, the other two are mine.

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite “Non-Written” Books

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Top 5 Wendesday is hosted by Samatha. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


Another Wednesday is here! This week is about all books that are not ‘written’ novels – graphic novels, comics, manga, audiobooks, etc. And here are my favourites!

1. Watchmen by Alan Moore (Author), Dave Gibbons (Illustrator), John Higgins (Colorist)

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I feel like I’ve been talking about Watchmen too much lately, but it’s amazing, so it’s well-deserved. This graphic novel is gritty, dark, and quite realistic compared to other superhero comics. It opens many questions about the very notion of a superhero, and about humanity as a whole.

2. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

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Another graphic novel I already talked about, but this list would not be complete without it. Persepolis a memoir in which Marjane Satrapi talks about her childhood and adolescence in Tehran, and later on in Vienna, and her story is intertwined with the history of her country, Iran. This graphic novel truly taught me a lot.

3. Paradise Kiss by Ai Yazawa

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Paradise Kiss has only 5 volumes (and there’s also a 3-volume edition). It’s about a girl who becomes a part of the fashion world after meeting a group of designers. But most of all, it’s about growing up and finding yourself. And it was very fun, though heartbreaking at times. Ai Yazawa’s manga are always heartbreaking…

4. Nana by Ai Yazawa

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Which leads us to Nana, Ai Yazawa’s best-known manga. The manga has 21 volume, but is not finished due to the author’s illness. Ai Yazawa gave an interview recently, though, and said that she’s intending to continue with the manga. I liked Paradise Kiss more than Nana, but this one is also very good. The story follows two girls, both named Nana, but completely different in character, whose lives get intertwined.

5. Spider-Man/Deadpool Vol. 0: Don’t Call It A Team-Up

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This is a collection of Marvel comics in which Spider-man and Deadpool appear together, and it was such a joy to read! The first comic in the collection is from 1997, when Deadpool still had the red-and-blue suit, and others follow chronologically.This was published before Marvel released the first issue of Spider-man/Deadpool series last year. I haven’t read those yet, but I’ve read some great reviews and now I really, really want to! Spider-man is my favourite superhero, and Deadpool is my favourite kind-of superhero, and together they are my favourite (b)romance ever! 😉

Bonus:

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I’m not sure if this goes in this category, because the graphic novel uses original text from Frankenstein, but the illustrations are sooooo amazing!

And that’s it! Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Quote(s) for Thought: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer

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As told by Kafka’s close friend Max Brod:

“Suddenly he began to speak to the fish in their illuminated tanks. ‘Now at least I can look at you in peace, I don’t eat you anymore.’ It was the time he turned strictly vegetarian.”

To be honest, I’m writing this post for myself. Because I want to put some of Foer’s thoughts on paper. Because I don’t want to forget.

I’m in a similar position as Jonathan Safran Foer was before he completely gave up meat. I wanted to become a vagaterian, and I did, several times, and then always somehow stopped. Now, I don’t want to promote anything here. And I don’t think that is the intention of the book, either. I just gives you facts, facts I think everyone should be aware of. Even if you eat meat, don’t you deserve to know where it comes from?

Let me just start by saying that I think Jonathan Safran Foer is an amazing author. I’ve read Eveything is Illuminated and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, and loved both of them. I love his writing style and I think it also shows in this non-fiction book. It is well-researched and it gives a great amount of information, but it is also very interesting. The author talks about himself, his family, his experiiences, as well as about his research. And research he did! He even spent time with both farmers and activists.

Some of these facts have become more videly known – for example the fact that the meat industry is responsible for about 40 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than all the cars, trucks, planes, trains, and ships in the world combined. We are aware of the dangers of factory farming, I thin, but no just how deep these problems go. And then, some things most people are not aware at all.

Foer deconstructs some ideas people use to ease their shame. One of the notions he deconstructs is that vegetarianism is a form of sentimentality – which would basically mean valuing emotions over reality.

Two friends are ordering lunch. One says, “I’m in the mood for a burger,” and orders it. The other says, “I’m in the mood for a burger,” but remembers that there are things more important to him than what he is in the mood for at any given moment, and orders something else. Who is the sentimentalist?

And, yet, he asks himself if vegetarians actually are sentimentalists (idealists) if they believe everyone would follow their path. People are obviously not willing to do that. Yet, we know that eating is a group activity. We mostly eat with someone. We can influence some people, or at least contribute to the small progress that is being made. Big changes often come from small actions.

Another thing Foer touches on is the fact that most people don’t care for birds as much as they do for mammals. And even if we do, most of us don’t really care for fish. We tell ourselves that those animals are not as intelligent, which has lately proven to be false. And fishing is basically destroying fish:

For every ten tuna, shars, and other large predatory fish that were in our oceans fifty to a hundred years ago, only one is left. Many scientist predict the total collapse of all fished species in less than fiftly years – and intense efforts are under way to catch, kill, and eat even more sea animals.

The average trawling operation throws 80 to 90 percent of the sea animals it captures as bycatch overboard.

…sea horses are one of more than one hundred sea animal species killed as ‘bycatch’ in the modern tuna industry.

Even if some animals do get a “clean” death, fish never do. All fish suffer since there are no regulations as to how they should die. However, slughterhouses often neglect all the regulations, or the regulations just get changed. I won’t go into detail about what happens at slaughterhauses. I guess most of people are aware of that, and if you’re not, then let me just say it’s much worse than you think it is. I really don’t want to talk about it, because it makes me sick, so I’ll move on to farming. This is, actually, one of the most important issues this book speaks about.

Jonathan Safran Foer really looks at farming from different perspectives and leaves it to the readers to come to their own conclusions. He gives his own opinion, talks about his lifestyle and the reasons behind his decision to give up meat completely, but he lets other people speak, too, and share their worldviews. He also gives an example of a man who is a vegan but constructs slaughterhouses. How is that possible? Because there seem to be no more slaughterhouses that provide a “clean” death. The farmers that take care of their animals cannot find a slughterhouse that would’t make their animals die a horrible death. And that’s why good slaughterhouses seemed important even to someone who refuses to eat animals.

This book doesn’t really speak against eating animals as much as it speaks against factory farming, overfishing, hormone and antibiotics fed, mutated and deformed animals. Many animals are left to suffer and die, because it would cost more to heal than to lose some of them (and there are much more animals that die before it’s the time for them to be illed than you could imagine). Many are born deformed.

In the world of factory farming, expectations are turned upside down. Veterinarians don’t work toward optimal health, but optimal profitability. Drugs are not for curing diseases but substitutes for destroyed immune systems. Farmers do not aim to produce healthy animals.

Modern factory farming is destroying our environment in more way than you think. Fighting this kind of farms is crucial for the environmental sustainability. Crucial for our planet. Factory farms are nothing more than the product of human insatiable greed – it’s exclusively about money, not about feeding people. And family farms cannot fight them. Bill Niman, the owner of a family farm who cares about the treatment of his animals, was driven out of his company because the board wanted to do things more profitably and less ethically. Though his ranch is an example of good (or at least much better) treatment of animals, he said that he would no longer eat Niman Ranch beef. Not under the new conditions.

Factory farming hurts humas as well:

People who live near factory farms are rarely wealthy and are treated by the industry as dispensable. The fecal mists they are forced to breathe usually don’t kill humans, but sore throats, headaches, coughing, runny noses, diarrhea, and even psychological illness including abnormally high levels of tension, depression, anger, and fatigue, are common. According to a report by the California state senat, “Studies have shown that {animal waste} lagoons emit toxic airbornee chemicals that can cause inflammatory, immune, irritation and neurochemical problems in humans.”

The meat from factory farms hurts us and is responsible for many disesases from more people suffering from asthma and allergies, to flu. Factory farms are also known for horrible working conditions of their employees.

And factory farms hurts other animals besides those confined inside of them and unable to move of their entire lives (again, I don’t want to go too much into the cruelty that happens there) :

In only three years, two hundred fish kills – incidents where the entire fish population in a given area is killed at once – have resulted from factory famrs’ failures to kkeep their shit out of the waterways.

All of this also deconstructs the idea that animals have better lives on farms than they would have in the wild, where many would be killed anyway. These animals do not live happy lives before their slaughter.

This is becoming a more and more talked-about topic, which is definitely a good start. Some laws are being changed, though not as much as they should. Newspapers are writing about it (The New York Times was the first to do so), and Whole Foods was the first supermarket chain that committed to a systematic program of animal welfare labeling. There’s hope (dare I say it…) and everyone should contribute.

Yes, this is a long post and I don’t now if anyone’s going to read it, but it is very important to me, and I think it should be important to everyone. Eating Animals is a must-read. We must act – for animals, for our planet, and for ourselves.

If we are at all serious about ending factory farming, then the absolute least we can do is stop sending checkks to the absolute worst abusers. (…) We know, at least, that this decision will help prevent deforestation, curb global warming, reduce pollution, save oil reserves, lessen the burden on rural America, decrease human rights abuses, improve public health, and helo eliminate the most systematic animal abuse in world history.

 

 

Do Not Be Fooled

writingThis is an older poem, already published on this blog, but I changed word order in one sentence, then decided to post it again. 😄


Do not be fooled so easily
With odour and colours of flowers.
(A rose is just a ruse
Leading you to thorns.)

Do not be dazzled blind
By the charming candlelight.
(A candle without fire
Leaves you in the dark.)

Do not let yourself believe
That warmth never ceases.
(Because winter always comes
But loss hurts less once it freezes.)