One Lovely Blog Award

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I was nominated by the lovely Rachel @paceamorelibri for this award – Thank you so much! ❤ People, go check out her blog if you haven’t already! She’s great!

The Rules:

  • Thank the person that nominated you and leave a link to their blog.
  • Post about the award.
  • Share seven facts about yourself.
  • Nominate at most 15 people.
  • Tell your nominees they’ve been nominated for one lovely award.

Facts about me: 

Is it just me, or is it very hard to talk about yourself? 😄 Well, these are some facts I came up with:

1. I recently adopted two chinchillas! It’s the most important thing that has happpened to me lately and I’m so happy! 🙂 My country, Croatia, recently passed a law that forbids farming animals for fur (finally!) Our animal rights group, Animal Friends Croatia, helped the chinchillas find their new homes. Sadly, only one farmer actually gave his chinchillas for adoption. 😦 I hope others will follow. Anyway, I adopted two girls – Kira (Valkira = Valkyrie in Croatian) and Seffi (Persephone). Here’s a picture of Kira, on the day I adopted her:

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2. I LOVE to travel! I wish I had the means to travel even more. I also collect postcards.

3. And yet, I love being home. I’m not a very outgoing person, and I don’t like crowded places. I like spending time with the people closest to me. Or alone. Alone is also fine. I have my chinchillas and my books for company, so I’m never really alone. 😛

4. I’m a pacifist, and yet I’m strangely obsessed with swords. I actually own a replica of a medieval sword, my parents brought it to me from Spain. I just adore it, it’s one of my most prised possessions!

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5. Actually, I’m obsessed with all things medieval, from the very early middle ages to the Rennaisance. My MA thesis was on medieval literature and my professor was a bit confused by my choice. 😄

6. I also love all things Gothic. This includes not only the literature, but also the subculture and music. I don’t consider myself a goth, I’m a blend of few things actually. 😄 But I do mostly wear black.

7. I have a poster of John William Waterhouse’s “The Lady of Shalott” in my room. I love the painting and the poem.

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And that’s it! I’ll nominate a few people now, but no pressure to actually do it. :*

Sophie @blameitonchocolate

Stuart @alwaystrustinbooks

@thequirkybooknerd

Chelsea @spotlightonstories

Azia @amwillisjournal

 

 

 

Get to Know Me Tag

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First of all, I have to thank dear Chris @readbychris for tagging me to do this! It’s always nice to get to know people better, and these posts are fun to do. So, let’s start, shall we?

Name: Irena

Nicknames: I don’t have a nickname… Irena is not that common name so I guess there was no need for one. It really bothered me as a kid, but I’m fine with it now.

Birthday: April 24th

Star Sign: Taurus

Occupation: Currently, trying to pass my teacher’s exam. 😄 I’m an English and Croatian teacher.


APPEARANCE:

Hair colour: It’s red now, but naturally I have that weird colour that’s not blonde or brown, but mostly grey. Mousy. 😄

Hair length: About 10cm below my collarbones.

Eye colour: Grey-blue. Sometimes even a little bit green. It changes.

Best feature: Ummm… I’ll go with my eyes, I guess…

Braces: Oh, I had them for YEARS!

Piercings: None. I don’t even have my ears pierced. I pierced them when I was a child and there were some complications so now I’m scared of it and everything similar, such as tattoos! The holes are completely closed now.

Tattoos: I’d really like to have one! I think tattoos can be gorgeous. But, as I said earlier, I’m very scared of it. Maybe I’ll be brave enough someday… Now, I’d never get anything this huge, but I think this looks soooo lovely (link):

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Right or left: Is this a political question? 😛 Yeah, bad joke, anyway I write with my right hand (if that’s what I’m supposed to answer).


FIRSTS:

Holiday: I used to go on summer vacation every year with my parents, and I was very small on the first one so I don’t really remember it. 😄 We are lucky to live in a coastal town, and several beautiful islands are very close so it was easy to travel there and enjoy.

Best Friend: My brother was my first best friend. I was very sucky at making friends (and still am).

Award: Well, we had those “commendations” in primary school. Everyone who had As in all subjects got one at the end of the school year. Does this count? 😄

Sport: I’m horrible at sports. Always have been. For a year I went to this kid’s club where we played all kinds of sports but I didn’t really like it so I gave up. In my defence, I’m doing yoga now. 😄

Concert: I didn’t really go to concerts as a child. The only concert worth mentioning was the Iron Maiden concert, in 2008. It was so surprising that they came to our town (Split is not a really well-known location, if a band comes to Croatia, they usually hold the concert in the capital, Zagreb). Last summer they came back and it was as great as the first time. 😀

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FAVORITES:

TV shows: Unpopular opinion time: I don’t like to watch a lot of TV shows. Yeah, I’m weird. The thing is, they usually last too long and start to drag, and then I get disappointed… I do watch some, of course. My all-time favourite is Black Sails. Love that one to pieces! Nowadays I like Gotham. I liked Arrow but it’s not that good anymore. The one I really can’t wait to come back is Jessica Jones. 🙂

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Colour: Black. I know it’s not really a colour, but I don’t care. 😉

Song: Anything by Emilie Autumn. She’s the best. Then: White Flag by The Romanovs, Pain Looks Good on You by London After Midnight, Sleepwalking by The Crüxshadows, The First by Pink Turns Blue and many others. Oh, and the entire Queen of the Damned soundtrack! So vampire-ish! 😀

Emilie Autumn by Sopranino on DeviantArt

Restaurant: I don’t think I have a favourite…

Shop: Any nice bookshop. 😉 I don’t have a favourite clothing shop, I usually hate most of the stuff in the stores. 😄

Books: I usually name Frankenstein as my favourite, but really, there are so many great books…

Shoes: I feel the best in a pair of black boots.


CURRENTLY:

Feeling: Eh… Fine. 😛

Single or Taken: Taken. My boyfriend is my best friend. ❤

Eating: Nothing. I’m thinking about going to the kitchen and having an apple. Actually, I’ll do it. Just wait for a moment, I’ll be back straight away….

Thinking About: Maybe I should’ve cut this apple in smaller pieces.

Watching: Nothing. I’m writing a post. 😄

Wearing: Sweatpants and a shirt. Just regular “home” clothes. 😄


FUTURE:

Want Children: Not really…

Want to be married: I want to be with my boyfriend, marriage doesn’t mean much to me.

Careers in mind: I would love to do something in publishing, but that’s almost impossible here. I would also like to study more, get an phD.

Where you want to live: Travel everywhere, live… Well, I don’t know. There are several places, but sometimes I also want to stay here.


DO YOU BELIEVE IN:

God: No…

Miracles: I believe in happy coincidences.

Love at first sight: No. You can’t love someone based on how that person looks, which is the only thing you know about them at first sight. Someone can draw your attention, and that can later turn into love, but only after you really get to know each other.

Ghosts: No. I will get scared if you tell me ghost stories, though. 😄

Aliens: Yes. The universe is sooo big, I think there must be some other living beings out there.

Soul Mates: Depends how you define it… If you call someone you’re really close to your soul mate, that’s fine. I don’t believe in “predestined to find each other” kind of soul mates.

Heaven: No… I wish there was something after death, but I can’t make myself believe in it.

Hell: No.

Kissing on the first date: Well, it does exist, doesn’t it? 😄

Yourself: Oh, I really wish I believed in myself more… I’m not a very confident person.


And in the end, I tag these wonderful people (and everyone else who want to do the tag!)

Ignitedmoth

Ellen@alittlebooklife

Ellie@bloggingfordopamine

Jackie@toomuchofabooknerd

Swetlana@readingthroughthenights

Top 5 Wednesday: Authors I Want to Read More from

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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.


This week’s title is quite self-explanatory. We all have those authors that we really, really want to read more from. So, let’s start with the list! These are listed in no particular order:

1. Terry Pratchett

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Terry Pratchett is an amazing author, and a very productive one. His books are fun and clever, they make you laugh, but they also make you appreciate Pratchett’s wit. Some also carry messages that I find very true and important. I love his books, and, luckily for me, there are many more for me to read. 🙂

2. Margaret Atwood

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The only Margaret Atwood book I’ve read is The Handmaid’s Tale. I know, that’s horrible and needs to be rectified! I recently bought a copy of Penelopiad, and I can’t wait to read it! The Odyssey from Penelope’s point of view? This has to be amazing!

3. Daphne du Maurier

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I’ve read four of her books, and loved all of them. Du Maurier creates such an amazing atmosphere, and manages to be both descriptive and exciting. That’s something I can’t help but admire.

4. Edith Wharton

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I loved The Agnocence and The House of Mirth. Of course I want to read more!

5. Elif Shafak

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Elif Shafak’s Honour is one of my favourite books ever. Her writing is just beautiful, and she portrays the characters and their feelings very vividly, making them seem real. The themes of Honour are not happy ones. It speaks about immigration, the clash of cultures, and honour murders. I think this is an important read, which manages to present different points of view without any kind of judgement. I absolutey want to see what else this amazing author has written!


All of the photos are from Goodreads.

Inside & Out Book Tag

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First of all, thanks to Anna@mybookishdream for tagging me to do this. It was really fun! 🙂 Anna has an amazing blog, I truly recommend you all to check it out!

I know I wasn’t as active lately, but I just had so many things to do… I also adopted two chinchillas a few days ago and they have to adapt so I’ve been very focused on them. I don’t want the introduction to be too long, but I’ll explain a bit more at the end of the post, if anyone’s interested.* So, let’s get to my answers:

1. Inside flap/Back of the book summaries: Too much info? Or not enough?

Well, it really depends, there are all kinds of summaries. I don’t think they give up too much information, but sometimes they can be misleading, which I find annoying. There are also some books with no information about the story whatsoever, and that’s really horrible. How am I supposed to know if I want the book or not? 😄 Solution: Google. But it’s still annoying. Why not put at least a teeny-tiny description?

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2. New book: What form do you want it in? Be honest: Audiobook, E-Book, Paperback, or Hardcover?

A nice paperback. I prefer paperbacks to hardcovers, but I don’t like the really small ones, with tiny letters. I have nothing against e-books, but if I really like a book I want to have a physical copy. And audiobooks are just not for me, sadly. I cannot concentrate on them at all, my mind just wanders off. Physical copies are just the best. 🙂

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3. Scribble while you read? Do you like to write in your books, taking notes, making comments, or do you keep your books clean clean clean?

I do sometimes underline a quote I like, but that’s mostly it. Lately, I decided to start writing down my thoughts on Goodreads, so we’ll see how that goes.

4. Does it matter to you whether the author is male or female when you’re deciding on a book? What if you’re unsure of the author’s gender?

I don’t care about the gender of the author. Why would I? And wouldn’t that be a bit sexist? I read the books I think I would enjoy, that’s the only criteria.

5. Ever read ahead? or have you ever read the last page way before you got there?

Oooo, reading the last page… I used to do that a lot when I was a kid, though it’s not really a logical thing to do. 😄 Sometimes I would get nervous something would not go the way I wanted it to, so I’d read the last page in hopes it will console me. I’m sure you know thet feeling. When you read something and it makes you anxious…

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6. Organised bookshelves, or Outrageous bookshelves?

Organised bookshelves. I’m running out of space so they’re not as organised as I would like them to be. The way I arrange my books may seem random, but it makes sense in my mind.

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7. Have you ever bought a book based on the cover (alone)?

I haven’t. I can be drawn by the cover, but I would never buy a book without checking what it’s about. I’m not that rich. 😄

8. Take it outside to read, or stay in?

Stay in, definitely. I rarely read outside. I like to spend time in nature, but I’m not the kind of person who takes a book, sits on a bench, and reads. I like to be at home, preferably in bed.

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And that’s it! I will tag some people, but of course, don’t feel obligated to do the tag. 😉

Sarah @betweenthepages

Marie @marieslibrary

Shanah @bionicbookwormblog

@ignitedmoth

@ardentattachments


* My country, Croatia, recently passed a law that forbids farming animals for fur (finally!) Little, fluffy chinchillas are safe now. A local animal righs group is now trying to find people to adopt the chinchillas. Sadly, only one farmer actually gave his chinchillas for adoption. 😦 I hope others will follow. Anyway, I adopted two girls – Kira (Valkira = Valkyrie in Croatian) and Seffi (Persephone). They are beyond adorable, but still very scared, poor babies…

Top 5 Wednesday: Books that Would Make Good Video Games

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I wasn’t sure what to do with this topic… I like to play video games, but most of the books I read are not very action packed. And, yes, not all video games are action games, but it was still hard to find the books that would fit this topic. Here’s what I came up with:

1. Tales of the Ketty Jay series by Chris Wooding

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This was the first series that came to mind. It would be a fun adventure, and yes, there would be lots of different action missions. It would be amazing to step into the role of an airship pirate!

2. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

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Several Neil Gaiman books would be really fun as video games, but, in my humble opinion, this is the most game-like one. The world of London Below hides a lot of traps, and you also have to escape the creepy thugs Croup and Vandemar… A lot is going on in this book!

3. Vicious by V. E. Schwab

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Victor and Eli have superpowers, and that is a great start for a game. I also think it would be interesting to be able to choose to play either as Victor or as Eli. The game could add a bit more of what they did in the meantime – especially with Eli hunting all the people with powers – before the final conflict between the two.

4. Alice by Christina Henry

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This would be a great horror game, with a lot of puzzles and dialogue. Not for kids at all, though. 😄 This retelling of Alice in Wonderland is very creepy and violent, but I think it would look great as a game.

5. Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Yes, I know Harry Potter games already exist, but I would like a game where you create your own character, and go to Hogwarts. It would be so amazing, like a combination of Pottermore and The Sims, I don’t know… 😄 But if we can’t go to Hogwarts we can at least play a game where we do. 😉

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So, would you want to play these games?

Top 5 Wednesday: Top SFF Books on My TBR

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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.


This week’s topic are fantasy and science fiction books, but the ones you haven’t read yet, but want to read SOON! There are much more than five SFF books I really want to read, but here are the six books that first came to mind so I guess I want to read them most. Yes, I said six. Five is not enough this time. 😉

1. Tropic of Serpents by Marie Brennan

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I ordered this book recently and I can’t wait for it to arrive! I loved the first book in the series, A Natural History of Dragons, which you probably know since I’ve talked about it a lot. Lady Trent is a dragon naturalist, and that is basically my dream job. I have to read this, soon! Actually, I have to read all of these books. The last one comes out in a month or so. 🙂

2. Royal Assasin by Robin Hobb

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I’ve recently read the first book in the Farseer Trilogy, Assasin’s Apprentice and I can’t wait to continue with the series. I really like the main character, Fitz, the world, and I want to learn more about the Fool!

3. The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers

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I’ve heard great things about this book. It’s supposed to be a very character driven science fiction/ space opera with aliens – which sounds amazing. My boyfriend actually bought a copy recently, so I’ll borrow it from him. Soon, of course. 😉

4. Company of Liars by Karen Maitland

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I don’t know much about this book, but it is set in the Middle Ages and has some magical elements, so it’s a combination of historical fiction and fantasy. I’m a bit obsessed with the Middle Ages, so this is a must-read for me.

5. The Winter King by Bernard Cornwell

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This is the first book in Bernard Cornwell’s series about King Arthur, and as a huge fan of Arthurian legends I need to read it! Also, I kind of want these covers… They are so pretty. (Yes, you shouldn’t judge the book by the cover, but just look at them!)

6. Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence

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This is an epic fantasy book, also a first in the series which is often classified as dark fantasy. It’s supposed to be very, very violent and gritty, and that kind of draws me to it… I’m probably crazy. 😄 But I think dark and violent books can be great if done well. That’s why I can’t help being intrigued by this one.

Have you read any of these? Did you like them?

Quote for Thought: The Handmaid’s Tale

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“We lived, as usual, by ignoring. Ignoring isn’t the same as ignorance, you have to work at it.”

– Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

This quote really rings true to me. Most people see the bad things that are going on, but choose to ignore it. Especially if it’s something that’s happening to someone else. While I was reading The Handmaid’s Tale, some parts reminded me of the famous WWII-related poem by Martin Niemöller:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

And, in the end, what can one little voice do? How can I stop something that is so much larger than me? That’s a question no one really has an answer to. Turning the head away is the easy way. It gives us the comfort of not being seen, the freedom to live on, without danger.

We were the people who were not in the papers. We were the blank white spaces at the edges of print. It gave us more freedom.

– Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid’s Tale

I’m not an optimist, or an idealist, so I can’t really find a good answer to all of this. To be honest, sometimes I don’t have faith in people, at all. But, hopefully, everything that’s going on in the world right now is not leading to another horrible period in history. And hopefully, we will always be able to speak up when we feel the need to.