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: Favourite Angsty Romances

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


Talk about your favorite ships that have a healthy side of angst. (definition: adj.: describes a situation or literary piece which contains dark, depressing, angry, and/or brooding emotions from the participating characters.)

I’m not a fan of romances, but it turns out there are some I can’t help but adore. Romanticism and the Victorians take the stage this time! (Tbh, most of these are not healthy at all.)

1. Catherine and Heatcliff (Wuthering Heights)

So much angst in this one! Both Cathy and Heathcliff have their issues, and they are not exactly likable (especially Heatcliff). However, they are well-rounded, complex characters and they have reasons for their actions, though that doesn’t necessarily justify them. This love story is more than a love story, and that’s what made it a classic.

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2. Lestat and Louis (The Vampire Chronicles)

Don’t you dare tell me theirs is not a love story! And it’s angsty as hell. Louis is angsty in general, actually. 😄

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3. Batsheba Everdene and Gabriel Oak (Far From the Madding Crowd)

This is the only positive one on this list, I think. 😄 The relationship between these characters develops slowly, and unlike most Victorian male characters, Gabriel is actually a nice guy.

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4. Anna Karenina and Count Vronsky (Anna Karenina)

There is so much pain, misfortune and angst in this love story… Most of you probably know what happens but I’m still not going to say much, because I don’t want to spoil anything to anyone. This book is wonderful, and it rings very true even today. I do have some problems with Tolstoy’s portrayal of an “ideal” love – Kitty and Levin – but I’ll leave that discussion for another time.

P.S. I actually really liked the 2012 film with Keira Knightley, though most people seem to disagree. The fact that it was filmed in a theatre is a nice way to express how people wear masks and play the roles they are supposed to (actually the roles the society expects of them). It was very artistic.

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5. Werther and Lotte (The Sorrows of Young Werther)

Werther’s one-sided love for Lotte was the one that started (or at least made popular) a lot of literary tropes, so I had to include it. Readers identified with Werther so much that many young men comitted suicides just like he did – yes, a wave of suicides happened after the publication of this book. Sometimes the influence of books can be horrible. And even though Goethe strongly criticized the Romantic movement later on, he still said:

It must be bad, if not everybody was to have a time in his life, when he felt as though Werther had been written exclusively for him.

I’ll leave it to you to decide if you agree with this. 😉

Honourable mention: Countess Ellen Olenska and Newland Archer (The Age of Innocence)

Apparently, I don’t like romance at all! I wouldn’t call this relationship romantic, but it is very angsty – and I really wanted to include it so I’m putting it as an honourable mention. Newland falls for Countess Olenska, or to be more precise he becomes obssesed with her. She knows their relationship is doomed, but cannot help falling for him, too. Tragedy ensues…

What did you think of these books? Do you find these angsty couples as influential as I do?

 

 

 

Top 5 Wednesday: Fictional Jobs I’d Want to Have

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


This week’s topic, as the title says, is to choose five fictional careers you’d want to have. This one was a bit hard for me, since there are not many truly fictional careers in the books I’ve read. In the end, this is what I came up with:

1. Magizoologist (Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them)

Do I even have to explain this? Studying magical creatures is the best! Also, this means I’d be a witch, and that’s something I really want to be. 😉

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2. Dragon naturalist (A Natural History of Dragons)

This career is similar to the previous one. In the book, Lady Trent goes on an expedition to study dragons. I love dragons, and I would love to do the same!

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3. A member of the Ketty Jay crew (Tales of the Ketty Jay series)

An airship pirate? Count me in! Yes, the characters of this series get in a lot of trouble, and the captain doesn’t always know what he’s doing, but as the story progresses they really become one big family. And everyone is crazy in their own way. 😄

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4. Digidestined (Digimon)

I’m not sure if this can be considered a job, but Digidestined are children chosen to travel to the Digital World and raise their Digimon. Together, they fight the evil Digimon that threaten the Digital World. I loved Digimon when I was a kid, more than Pokemon. It had a better and more complex story, and I was never really comfortable with the idea of Pokemon fighting one another for no apparent reason… Anyway, I’d love to have a Digimon friend. 🙂

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5. Antari (Shades of Magic series)

Not really a career either, but Antaris who have the rare ability to travel between different worlds are often “employed” by the rulers of Londons to carry their messages. Now, I have to be careful with this one, because it’s dangerous. I have to admit I’m not quite sure if I really want this, but I do love magic and the idea of travelling between worlds is a very appealing one. To be honest, I didn’t know what to put as my last pick, it was between this and being a superhero but “with great power comes great responsibility” and I’m not sure if I want that kind of pressure. 😄

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So, those are my picks. What do you think, would you like to have one of these jobs?

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

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I was tagged by Anna at itsmybirthwrite to do this tag, and you can see her post HERE. I’m actually very exited to do this, thanks Anna!

Here go the questions. Just please don’t hate me after this! 😄

1. A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT YOU DIDN’T LIKE

Well, I have to be honest with you, I haven’t read most of the popular book series that people talk about on book blogs, bookstagram and booktube. I just don’t really like YA (sorry!) Now, the series I’m going to mention is not that popular, but I’ve seen it around, and it’s the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I’ve read the first book, and it started fine but then it turned into a cheesy forbidden love story and I lost interest. I tried reading the second book in the series but I gave up. Also, when it comes to classics, I really, really dislike On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Sorry, I understand this is a classic, and I think I can see why, but I barely finished it.

2. A POPULAR BOOK OR BOOK SERIES THAT EVERYONE ELSE SEEMS TO HATE BUT YOU LOVE.

I wrote about a similar topic for Top 5 Wednesday (shameless link), but I decided to choose a book I haven’t mentioned before – The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton. This was a four-star book for me, and I can see where some criticism is coming from, but I really enjoyed it. The atmosphere was great.

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3. AN OTP THAT I DON’T LIKE.

Harry and Hermione. I just like them as friends, and I don’t like that so many people are hating on Ron. Ron is great!

4. A POPULAR BOOK GENRE THAT YOU HARDLY REACH FOR.

I think I said this a few times before, but I don’t read romance. If a love story is the only plot of the book, I will not read it. It just doesn’t interest me.

5. A POPULAR/BELOVED CHARACTER THAT YOU DO NOT LIKE.

Draco Malfoy. And, yes, he goes into this category because so many people seem to romanticize him and ship him with Hermione – oh, this is even worse than Harry-Hermione, I totally failed at that question, probably because I just refuse to admit this ship exists. 😄 I’m not saying he can never redeem himself, but still, Hermione deserves better. Also, he wanted Buckbeak dead. Sweet Buckbeak! That I cannot forgive. (Tom Felton is great, though. Love him! Just read this article, he addressed this very issue himself.)

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6. A POPULAR AUTHOR THAT YOU CAN’T SEEM TO GET INTO.

I tend to stay away from books I think won’t suit me, and I’ve gotten quite good at choosing what to read. So, let’s say Deborah Harkness again…

7. A POPULAR BOOK TROPE THAT YOU’RE TIRED OF SEEING.

This was also a topic for Top 5 Wednesday but I forgot to mention an important one in that post. Girl-hate. When two women or girls hate each other just because they’re both female, for no other apparent reason. Or because of a guy. It basically means girls are taught they should see each other as competition, which is horrible.

8. A POPULAR SERIES THAT YOU HAVE NO INTEREST IN READING.

There are a few, but I’d say The Selection series. Those sound quite horrible. Maybe I’m wrong, but I doubt it…

9. THE SAYING GOES “THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER THAN THE MOVIE”, BUT WHAT MOVIE OR TV SHOW ADAPTATION DO YOU PREFER MORE THAN THE BOOK?

Well, I don’t think I have an answer for this one… The closest I can get is the adaptation of A Monster Calls. They added some things in the movie and I loved how it was done, but they also left out a character I liked so I’d say the book and the movie are equally good.

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And that’s it! Now, let me tag some people, if they wish to do the it:

Luna @bookishluna

Azia @amwillisjournal

Sophie @blameitonchocolate

Deanna @deannawritesabout

Ellie @bloggingfordopamine

Flexie @flexiereads

Ali @devouringbookksandlattes