Infinite Loop (A Short Story from the Underword)

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I died.

It just happened. And in such a stupid way. If I weren’t dead, I’d be angry with myself. To fall off a cliff… Who does that?

On the positive side, once you’re dead nothing matters anymore. Some feelings are left, some memories from the past, some emotions that were strong while you were alive. I’m a spirit now, a shadow of myself, but I am still me. It’s hard to explain it to the living, so I’ll leave it at that.

It all happened just like they said it would. I appeared next to a wide river, a river so long I could not see its end. I was greeted by a boatman. Well, actually, he just gave me a small nod. He didn’t welcome me or call out my name. I realized I had a golden coin in my hand, and I handed it to him. He then helped me climb into the boat.

“It’s strange,” I said.

“What’s strange?” I was surprised that the boatman actually replied.

“It’s all happening just the way I though it would.”

“Well, I don’t see why it’s strange then.”

“I didn’t expect it to happen the way I expected it to happen,” I tried to explain. I guess I’m quite bad at explaining things.

The boatman said nothing. He must’ve thought I was a complete fool. Before I had the time to feel embarrassed, the ride was over. It was impossible we’d already reached the other side, but this was the Underworld. You can expect everything. I had passed to the other side, and I wasn’t bothered by such questions anymore. My only desire was to be given a place to live, my own little piece of eternity.

“Oh, not again!” the boatman suddenly gave a loud sigh. In that moment, he almost looked like your average mortal.

I looked ahead and saw a young woman approaching the river bank.

“I will come for you, my love!” she shouted into the void.

“I know, my love!” even I, being dead and all, was surprised to hear a voice respond to her from the mist.

“Stupid young people,” the boatman grumbled.

“What is going on?” I asked.

“These two stupid lovebirds are really making a mess here. I don’t know why the Mistress allows it. I think she finds it funny. Well, it stopped being funny after the first forty-two times!” he screamed into the mist.

“What are they doing?” I wanted to know.

“Well, he promised her that, if she died before him, he would go to the Underworld and beg the Master and the Mistress to let her live. He would take her place. And she promised she would do the same. Stupid young people. They swore an oath to each other. They never realized it lead to an infinite loop.”

“Infinite loop?”

“You aren’t too bright yourself, are you? Well, he was the first to die. Killed in a war. And she did what she’d promised. She pleaded the gods to let him live and take her instead. They had better things to do than deal with their nonsense, so they accepted. They cared only for the number of souls, not who those souls belonged to. But, you see, now she was dead, and he was alive. So, to honour his oath, he had to come back and take her place. And then he was dead and she came here again… You understand?”

“That’s quite stupid,” I had to admit.

“Well, at least we see each other in passing,” the girl hissed at me and took her place in the boat.

The boatman shrugged in resignation and went to do his job.

I felt like laughing, but I didn’t. Everything was paler now, even my amusement. Still, I knew, I would like my new home.


A silly story. Hope you like it anyway. XD

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Currently Reading: The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

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I said in one of my previous posts that I wanted to talk more about my current reads. So, I decided to start writing short posts such as this one in which I’m going to tell you a little bit about the book I’m reading, share some of my thoughts on it, and maybe share an interesting quote. Hope you’ll like them!

The book I’m currently reading is The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. It’s a well-known book, I think, so most of you probably know what it’s about.

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In this novella (I’d say it’s a novella since it’s only 198 pages long), Atwood allows Penelope, Odysseus’s wife, to tell her own story. Penelope talks about the events from The Illiad and The Oddysey from her own point of view. She shares her thoughts and feelings in a manner which seems very sincere. This Penelope is not just a loyal wife who waits her her husband – she actually hates that this is how she is remembered. The prose is raw, clever, and ruthless.

The very first paragraph really caught my attention, and I think it really shows what this book is about. So, I’ll leave you with this paragraph, and hopefully it will make you want to read the book. 🙂

Now that I’m dead I know everything. This is what I wished would happen, but like so many of my wishes it failed to come true. I know only a few factoids that I didn’t know before. Death is much too high a price to pay for the satisfaction of curiosity, needless to say.

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Unlikable Protagonists

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Top 5 Wednesday is hosted by Samatha at Thoughts on Tomes. The guidelines and topics can be found on the Goodreads group.


“People always tear down “unlikeable” protagonists. But tell us the ones you pulled for!”

When I saw this topic I was very excited. I love talking about flawed characters. But, then, I realized it’s actually hard to find 5 unlikeable protagonists that I love. :O This is what I came up with in the end:

1. Catherine Earnshaw (Wuthering Heights)

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I don’t think Cathy is unlikeable, but many people hate her, and I can understand why. Well, not completely… Did she make mistakes? Yes. Is she a horrible human being? No, I don’t think so. I think she was just very unhappy, and I felt sorry for her. And I liked her very much.

2. Rorschach (Watchmen)

Is Rorcharch a bad person? Absolutely. And yet, I found him very interesting and I felt really sorry for him. Having a horrible life doesn’t justify being horrible to other people, but despite being brutal, Rorschach did possess certain (questionable) ideals, and he followed them no matter what.

3. Carmilla (Carmilla)

She’s a vampire, a blood-sucking monster. But what can I say, I love vampires. XD And I actually think Carmilla kind of liked Laura. Who knows? We never heard her side of the story.

4. Lestat (The Vampire Chronicles)

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This is a cheat, because everyone likes Lestat. He did some bad things though, and you couldn’t call him a likeable person, um, I mean vampire. XD But I love him, and I love whiny Louis as well.

5. Severus Snape (Harry Potter Series)

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Snape is not exactly a protagonist, but I think he fits the theme well. Though many people love him, he’s not a really nice person. I completely understand people who hate Snape, and I agree with them. Yes, some bad things happened too him, but that doesn’t justify the way he acted towards Harry, Neville, and other students. Also, he was a Deatheater. However, I found him intriguing, and I have to admit I was happy that in the end he did something heroic. At that point, I kind of rooted for him, though I hate to admit it…

That’s it! Now, are there any character you like, though you feel that you should hate them? XD

 

This or That Book Tag

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Lovely Chelsea @spotlightonstories tagged me to do this fun tag – thank you so much! ❤ You can read her post HERE. Now, let’s begin!

Rules:

  • Mention the creator of the tag (Ayunda @ Tea and Paperbacks)
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Choose one of the options, you don’t have to tell the reasons why you chose that but you can also do them if you want to.
  • Tag other people to do this tag to spread the love!

This or That?

Reading on the couch or on the bed?
On the bed. I usually read on my bed, in my room. It’s peaceful and cozy. 🙂

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Male main character or female main character?

I don’t really care, as long as the character is interesting. Both work fine for me.

Sweet snacks or salty snacks?
Definitely sweet snacks! Cookies are my favourite kind of snack.

Trilogies or quartets?
To be completely honest – stand alones! When it comes to series, I don’t have a preference, but I’ve never liked a series with too many books so far. It usually gets repetitive, with unnecessary twists.

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First person POV or third POV?
Again, I have to say I like both. It really depends on the writing style.

Reading at night or in the morning?
I mostly read at night, before going to bed. However, any time of the day is great if I have the time. 🙂

Libraries or bookstores?
I have a big problem with both here, in Croatia. OK, maybe the capital of the country, Zagreb, has better bookstores and libraries, but here in Split they are pretty horrible. Especially since I don’t like reading the Croatian translations of books that are originally written in English. But in an ideal world, I still wouldn’t be able to choose… I’d love both!

Books that make you laugh or books that make you cry?
Books that make me cry. Definitely. Yeah, I’m not a very fun person… XD

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Black book covers or white covers?
Black everything! 😉

Character driven or plot driven?
Character driven. If characters are flat and boring, I won’t enjoy the book and not even the most interesting plot would save it. Also, I don’t like very fast paced books. In my opinion, those books lack depth, and I really want to feel something while I’m reading.

I guess that’s it! If anyone wants to do the tag, just say so, because I really don’t know who to tag. I feel like I’ve been tagging the same people all the time…

Mid-Year Bookish Freak Out!

I really, really wanted to do this tag. It’s always nice to look back on the books you’ve read. So, though I wasn’t tagged, I decided to share with you some thoughts about the books I’ve read so far. Here go the questions:

1. Best book you’ve read in 2017 so far

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The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. I can’t believe I’ve waited so long to read it… And now I really want to watch the series, too.

Another both wonderful (though also horrifying) book I want to mention is Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer. Even if you’re not a vegetarian/vegan and you don’t even want to be one, I think you’d appreciate reading this book. It reveals all the horrors of factory farms – and they go beyong animal cruelty (as if that’s not horrible enough). I wrote a big post about this book, a sort-of summary, so you can read that if you want to know more about it.

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2017

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I’ve read the last two books in Tales of the Ketty Jay series this year, and they’re just as good as the first two. So much fun! And I don’t really like fast-paced books, but this series manages to be both fun and action-packed and feature some interesting, fleshed-out characters. Every single character has his/her own story and personality, and I fell in love with them, despite all of their flaws.

3. New release that you haven’t read but want to

Definitely A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab. I can’t wait to read it!

4. Most anticipated releases for the other half of the year

I’m actually not expecting a new release… I mostly read old books. XD

5. Biggest disappointment

Verland: The Transformation by B.E. Scully. It’s a vampire novel, and I’ve been searching for a while for a good vampire novel. This one, sadly, didn’t meet my expectations, though I really thought I would like it. It even has some good reviews on Goodreads.

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6. Biggest surprise

I did manage to find a good vampire novel! Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin is really great! It’s set in the 1850s, in the American South, and it’s quite different from other vampire novels I’ve read. However, it’s innovative in a way that doesn’s entirely turn its back on old, well-known vampire fiction. It’s my first novel by Martin, so I didn’t know what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised.

7. Favourite new author (debute or new to you)

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Maaaybe Marie Brennan. I’ve just finished Memoirs of Lady Trent series today, and I immediately googled the author to find out what else she’s written. I was actually thinking about puttting this series as the answer to the 2nd question, but I liked the first few books a bit more than the last two so I decided not to. Despite that, this series is amazing and I would recommed it to everyone who would like to study dragons. I sure would! 😉

8. Newest fictional crush

I don’t have one…

9. Newest favourite character

Lady Isabella Trent and Natalie Oscott from the Memoirs of Lady Trent. They are both smart and brave women who oppose the patriarchal society they live in and follow their dreams.

10. Book that made you cry

I rarely cry, but The Princes Diarist by Carrie Fisher really made me sad… And it was also funny at times. Carrie Fisher was such an amazing person.

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11. Book that made you happy

Reading a good book always makes me happy, though I don’t read very happy books. XD

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far (or received)

Just look at those books in the answer to the 7th question. They are gorgeous and I love them! Those dragons! ❤

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

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I don’t need to do anything! XD Jokes aside, I want to read The First Law Trilogy by Joe Abercrombie and The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood. Probably some other books by Atwood, too.

And that’s it. So, what are your favourites of this year so far? 🙂

The Blogger Aesthetic Award

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First of all, I have to then the lovely Rachel @paceamorelibri for this fun tag! ❤ You can see her post HERE. I have already done this tag some time ago, and you can see that post if you want to, so I decided to do something different this time – I decided to use just my own photos. I chose some which I think reflect my aesthetic the best. Hope you’ll like them! 🙂

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:

My Aesthetic:

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Since I already tagged some people last time, I won’t do it again, but if you want to do this fun tag consider yourself tagged! 🙂

Happy blogging, people!

In First Person: Update

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In First Person is a monthly meme here on Books and Hot Tea. Every first of the month I talk about a certain lifestyle topic I’m passionate about. Feel free to leave comments and chat with me!


Yes, I know the first day of June was yesterday, but I’m not too late. XD Anyway, I wanted to write this In First Person post as a little update on the last few weeks of my life. As you may have noticed, I wasn’t very active lately, so first I’ll explain why.

The Teacher’s Exam

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That’s how I decided to call it anyway, since I don’t think there is a correct translation – the literal one would be “professional exam” but it sounds silly. Let me explain, or skip if you don’t care. Here, in Croatia, we are actually being prepared for working in schools in college, if we choose to. After graduating college, we’re supposed to have an apprenticeship in school. And after that we have this horrible, stressful exam. Not easy to become a teacher, ha?

Anyway I passed the exam! Yaaay! I cannot even explain how stressful it was. It’s a three-part exam: the written essay, one lesson in front of a class you’ve never seen before, and an oral exam. I spent two months studying for it, and now it is all done! After I finally passed the exam, I felt happy but quite drained. And that’s why I took a little break from this blog. Hopefully, I’ll be back now. 🙂

What I’ve Been Reading

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Yes, this is me. XD

This is a book blog, after all, so let’s talk about books! Of course, I didn’t have a lot of time to read, but I managed to squeeze some reading into my schedule. The most important news is that I’ve finally read The Handmaid’s Tale, and I even wrote a little post about it. It’s such an amazing book, and I’m definitely going to watch the series.

After that, I read Verland: The Transformation by B.E. Scully, and, sadly, I was very disappointed… I had really high expectations for this vampire novel, but it was not atmospheric at all, and I expect vampire novels to have a nice, gothic atmosphere. Also, there was this cringeworthy romance that I just couldn’t stand… Earlier this year I’ve read Fevre Dream by George R.R. Martin, and if you want to read a vampire novel, I’d go with that one. This was my first book by Martin (no, I haven’t read ASOIAF, sorry) and I loved his writing. A different vampire novel, but not in a way that it goes too far away from the source (though what the source really is could be discussed).

And then, I read The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller. I liked this book, but for some reason I expected more… The ending was really, really good, though. And I loved this quote:

Chiron had said once that nations were the most foolish of mortal inventions. ‘No man is worth more than another, wherever he is from.’

And now I’m continuing with The Memoirs of Lady Trent by Marie Brennan. I’ve mentioned many times before that I love A Natural History of Dragons, so it was high time for me to finish the series. I’m so happy to return to this world! And all the dragons! 🙂

Future Plans

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First of all, I want to write more posts on this blog. I plan to write more about the books I’m reading, which I didn’t really do so often before. I don’t usually write reviews, I prefer to concentrate on one point I found interesting, but maybe I should try to write some reviews, too. Mostly, I think I’ll stick to the Quote for Thought posts.

I also want to get back to writing fiction. I’ve neglected it a bit lately… And I want to keep my Instagram (or should I say bookstagram) account alive, and to make more use of Goodreads. I’ve been using Goodreads mostly as a list of books read and to-be-read, but now I decided to connect with some people and even write reviews from time to time. It’s also a great place to write down interesting quotes as I read. And last, but definitely not least, I hope I’ll find a job soon. XD

And that’s all from me for now, hope you’re having a great Friday! Read you soon! 🙂