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. XD 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. XD

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. XD 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? XD

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. XD

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! 😀

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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. XD

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. XD

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


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. XD

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? XD

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: 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. XD

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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. XD

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

The Sunshine Blogger Award

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Katy from Ardent Attachments nominated me for The Sunshine Blogger Award! Thank you so much for this! :* If you want to see her post, click HERE.

Now let me start from the beginning. Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions set by the person who nominated you.
  • Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and then write 11 new questions.
  • List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger award logo in a post/on your site.

And here are my answers to the questions:

1. Favourite book-to-film adaptation?

I usually don’t like the film adaptations… But I’ve seen A Monster Calls recently, and I think the film was amazing! There were some changes but they were done great. I also like the Interview with the Vampire film.

2. Following on – what book do you want to be made into a TV show/film?

None. Just let books be books. 😉 Maaaaybe The Vampire Chronicles series? But one-season series, I don’t want it to go to far from the books.

3. Lastly – now dreamcast that film/tv show, only a few characters.

I think Jared Leto would be a great Lestat. And someone nice for Louis, maybe Tom Hiddleston since he already played a brooding vampire in Only Lovers Left Alive and he was great. Natalie Dormer would definitely be a great Gabrielle! And when you say Akasha, I think Aaliyah… She was so perfect, I don’t think anyone would be able to compare to her… Just look at her! It’s so sad and unfair that she’s gone…

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4. If you were to write a book, what do you think your main character would be called?

Well, the main character of my WIP is called Evelyn.

5. What are three songs you adore and why?

This is soooo hard! *spends an hour thinking* OK, I’ll just say these three before I change my mind: “White Flag” by The Romanovs, “Deception” by The Crüxshadows, and “Pain Looks Good on You” by London After Midnight.

6. Do you play video games? What are a couple of your favourites?

I don’t play as much as I used to. My all time favourite game is Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines. (Vampires seem to be the theme of this post. XD) And I love The Sims, I have to admit. They are my on-and-off obsession.

7. What book would you like to play through as a video game?

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I think that would be very fun!

8. What is your favourite Disney film?

Just one? Oh, I can’t pick one, so here’s a few: The Emperor’s New Groove, Tangled, Mulan, The Huchback of Notre Dame, Lilo and Stitch

9. What three book characters would you like to have lunch with?

Hermione Granger, because she’s great and bookish and I think we would get along quite well. Lady Trent from A Natural History of Dragons by Marie Brennan – we would talk about dragons and she would teach me a lot. And Newt Scamander, because we could talk about magical creatures. I think Newt, Lady Trent and Hermione would all get along perfectly so if we all had luch together, that would be great. 🙂

10. If you were to get a book related tattoo, what would you get?

A quote, definitely. I love quote tattoos! I’d pick one from Fankenstein because that’s my favourite book, but there are a few I like so I’m not sure which one… Or, since we’re talking so much about The Vampire Chronicles, this one from The Vampire Lestat: “Who cares? Kingdoms rise and fall. Just don’t burn the paintings in the Louvre, that’s all.”

11. What’s your favourite breakfast food?

Oatmeal, either with grated apple and cinnamon, or with cocoa and coconut crumbs. Mmmmmm…

I tag: Blogging for DopamineSlamah’s Bookshelf, Nicolellady literaryMistyAzia, RegbookowlyThe Storyteller’s AbodeCat’s Shelf, Birdie Bookworm, Silvia.

And here are my questions, if you want to answer them (no pressure, of course!)

1. What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it?
2. If you had a theme song, which song would it be?
3. What is the last movie you’ve seen? Would you recommend it?
4. Besides reading, what are some of your other passions?
5. What fictional world would you like to visit?
6. Now, let’s get back to real life – what is the place in real world you want to visit most?
7. What’s your favourite mythological creature?
8. Which is the last book, film or series that made you cry (or really sad).
9. Do you have a favourite superhero? Who is it?
10. What superpowers would you like to have?
11. Share one of your favourite quotes!

Happy blogging! 🙂

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Underrated Books

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Another Wednesday, another Top 5! 🙂 I found out about Top 5 Wednesday on Goodreads, so click HERE if you want to join the fun!

This time, we were supposed to pick some underrated books –  books that aren’t as widely talked about. Now, I’m not sure if the books I picked fall into that category, but I think they do. Also, I think there are some underrated books mentioned in My Top 10 Books of 2016 post, for example Alice, but I decided not to mention it again.

Let’s begin!

1. Tooth and Claw by Jo Walton

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A Victorian drama meets dragons. And not in a way you’d expect. All the characters are dragons! But they act like people, they have the aristocrats and the poor, they ride in carriages but sleep on their pile of treasure. XD This book is so fun, and I recommend it to everyone who can look past a little bit of silliness.

2. The Unusual Possession of Alastair Stubb

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This book is crazy, but in a good way. I loved the strange atmosphere, dark family secrets, and deranged characters. It’s creepy, but not too much. And it’s very, very fun.

3. The Last Man by Mary Shelley

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People know Mary Shelley as the writer of Frankenstein, and forget that she wrote some other books, too. Though I liked Frankenstein more, The Last Man is also very interesting, mostly because Shelley used the people she knew (Pery Shelley and Lord Byron) to create her characters. She took some of their ideas and put them in a pre-apocalyptic world. As everything falls apart in the novel, we can also perceive some of Mary Shelley’s feelings once she was left alone, the last of the Romantics. I wrote a post about this book quite some time ago, so CLICK HERE if you’re interested.

4. Evelina by Frances (Fanny) Bourney

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This epistolary novel from the 18th century has a lot in common with the works of Jane Austen, but since it was written before it deals with a different society with different manners. Now, I’m not a big fan of Austen (sorry!) but I really did enjoy this novel.

5. The druid books by Ellen Evert Hopman

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I don’t think this trilogy has a name, probably because each book has its own story (the third one could almost be read on its own but it would be better to start from the beginning). If you’re interested in the life of the Celts, you just have to read these! Besides enjoying the stories, I also learned a lot.

Aaaand, an honourable mention: The Vampyre by John William Polidori. The first aristocratic vampire tale, before Dracula and even before Carmilla. If you are a vampire afficionado (as I am) this is a must-read. This is where it all started! Not the best book ever, but still. 😉

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

Top 5 Wednesday: Favourite Polarizing Books

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There are certain books that people seem to either love or hate, with no in between. For this Top 5 Wednesday, I was supposed to chose 5 of those books that I like. Honesty, I’m not completely sure if these fall into this category, but from what I’ve heard I think they do. Also, some of these are not really favourites of mine, but I don’t hate them as some people do.

Let’s start!

1. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

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I love this book and it’s one of my absolute favourites. I know a lot of people who share these feeling, but I’ve also come across a lot of people who kind of hate it… Which makes me a bit sad… Those people often say that characters are unlikeable, but I think the part of what makes this book great is the flawed characters. I did come to care for them, in spite of their flaws.

2. American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis

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I can understand why some people don’t like this book. It’s not a pleasant one to read. But I still loved it! I already mentioned it in a post about my favourite villains – the way it’s written is just amazing!

3. Medieval sagas

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I don’t think this is a case of love-or-hate, it’s more like: some people enjoy these sagas and others don’t read them at all. I loved The Song of the Nibelungs (or the Nibelungenlied), The Saga of the Volsungs (Völsunga saga) and I loved Beowulf. There’s just something about these stories that fascinates me. I’m kind of a medieval geek. XD

4. The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown

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You don’t read books like this for the wonderful prose, you read them for the fun and mystery. I was still in high school when I read it and I found it very interesting then. I also liked Angels and Demons. It was a perfect fast-paced summer read.

5. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

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I didn’t know which book to choose next, so here’s one I don’t actually like, but I don’t hate it as much as some do. Twilight is a book that really gets a lot of hate and a lot of love at the same time. And yes, it’s not a book I love, but I did like it when I first read it (this was also in high school) and I wanted to know what would happen next. The books get worse and worse as the series progresses, that I have to admit, but the first one wasn’t that bad.

So, do you have any thoughts about these books? I’d like to hear from you! 🙂

 

My Top 10 Books of 2016

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Hi people, and I wish you all the best in the new year! ❤ I came back from my trip to Austria and I’m planning to share some photos with you, but I took so many so I need some time to pick and choose. Until then, let’s get back to talking about books!

The start of a new year usually means making new plans for some new beginnings, but it is also the time when we reflect on the year that has passed. I’m not really the new-years-resolutions kind of person, but I do like to reflect on the books I’ve read. XD I was really looking forward to this post, since I had no idea which books I would choose before checking my Goodreads account. Yes, I was certain I would include a few books that immediately came to my mind when thinking about this post, but there are also some I read early in the year and almost forgot they were actually read in 2016. Let’s get to the list (in no particular order):

1. The Color Purple by Alice Walker

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I read this one in January. I should’ve done it a long time ago. This is an epistolary novel told through the eyes of Celie,in her own words and broken language, but it also speaks about the lives of African-American women. It’s very sad, raw and real.

2. The Vegetarian by Han Kang 

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A strange book, in the most wonderful sense of the word. Yeong-hye decides to purge her mind and renounce eating meat. That’s how the book starts. What follows is much bigger then anyone would expect. The book tackles so many issues, and all of them are hidden inside of a short, but amazingly captivating narrative.

3. Alice by Christina Henry

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Speaking of strange… This adaptation of Alice in Wonderland is extremely dark and violent, but I loved it so, so much. The way in which Henrry uses the well-know characters to make something completely new is done very well!

4. The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

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Another book I should’ve read a long , long time ago… I’ve read some of Plath’s poetry, but this book always somehow remained one of those I wantd to read, but never actually did. I’m so glad I finally read it. Plath’s prose reads almost like poetry, and the emotions this book evokes feel very, very real.

5. A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

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“Like a compass facing north, a man’s accusing finger always finds a woman. Always.”

Hosseini’s writing is beautiful, and his stories are very emotional. It hurt to read this. I cried. And I loved it. And amazing tribute to the suffering of Afghan women, and an interesting story as well.

6. Deathless by Catherynne M. Valente

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I’m not going to pretend I know a lot about Russian folklore, but I have read some Russian fairy tales. This novel takes them all, and mixes them into an interesting, strange, dark and often confusing story. Confusing in a good way. I loved this book! It was unusual, which is always good, unpredictable, and magical.

7. Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman

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This is now my favourite Gaiman novel. The world he creates in Neverwhere is wonderfully dark and fun at the same time, and the characters are intriguing. And the ending was great! Escapism at its best. XD

8. Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

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Next two books on the list are graphic novels. I don’t read these as much as I should, especially since the two I’m going to mention were more than amazing. Persepolis is not only interesting, it taught me a lot about Iran, its history and present.

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

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Yes, I should’ve read this a long time ago, too. Watchmen is an amazing graphic novel! It poses so many questions other superhero graphic novels don’t. Don’t get me wrong, I like superheroes, but this is so much more than a superhero story. It’s gritty, dark, and very realistic.

10. Tales of the Ketty Jay by Chris Wooding

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Now, something completely fun! I’ve read the first two books in the series this year, Retribution Falls and The Black Lung Captain, and I’m definitely going to read the next two soon. If you want a fun steampunk adventure with interesting characters you’ll love despite all of their faults – this is a perfect series for you! I mean – airship pirates! Who doesn’t want to read about airship pirates? 😉

Have you read any of these book? Did you like them, too?

Top 5 Wednesday: Fictional Items I’d Give as Gifts

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This Top 5 Wednesday topic really made me think… Most of really interesting (and helpful) fictional items that I know of come from the Harry Potter universe. But it would be silly to just name those when there are so many books out there! So I decided to choose just one item from Harry Potter. Here’s what I came up with in the end:

1. A Time-Turner (Harry Potter Series)

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My first choice from Harry Potter would definitely be a Time-Turner. Everyone needs more time! 24 hours a day is sometimes just not enough to do everything yoou need to do. But I would have to be very careful, and give this to a person who would not use it to change the past and make a total mess. (I’m looking at you, Barry Allen!)

2. A flying carpet (One Thousand and One Nights)

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Why not a magic lamp, you ask. Well, people always wish for the wrong things, and they often get tricked… So a flying carpet is a much better gift. And if it’s as cute as in the Disney Aladdin movie, even better. 🙂

3. Dorothy’s silver/ ruby slippers shoes (The Wizard of Oz)

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With these, you could basically teleport yourself wherever you want to go. Do I need any more explaining to do? Free travel!

4. Hoverboard (Back to the Future)

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Not from a book, but still fictional. I know some people who would be really happy to have one. 🙂

5. Mary Poppins’ bag

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A bag that fits everything! Very, very practical for the people who like to travel. (I don’t know if she has one in the book though, I only watched the film, sorry…)

So, would you be happy to get some of these as a gift? Or is it just me? XD