månadsarkiv: april 2012

Goodnight Sweet Prince …

My computer decided to make a revolt and shut it self down, and by doing that also making my VPN not working anymore (again!). So from now on I can’t reach any blogspot or wordpress blogs, not twitter or facebook or goodreads. I will take this as a sign that it is time for me to give up and say goodnight. Also I’m angsting over my mid-terms which I will have next week and know nothing about, so that will be super fantastic [irony].

I’ve been awake for more than 24 hours now (I don’t count falling asleep on a chair for half an hour as sleep), so I really deserve to take a rest. This is my final post for the readathon and then I will be hitting my bed. This is what I achived during this readathon:

Finished 2 books I had began earlier.
Finished 1 whole book.
Began, but did not finish, 1 book (page 72).

Total amount of pages read: 611

I will make a wrap up about the thon, and also write reviews for all my reads, but right now I want nothing more than closing my eyes and pull the quilt over my head and sleep.

… And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

The End is Near

Not too close though, but close enough for me who finished the small quickread on 112 pages (The Book Boy) to go pick out a new book.

So far in this readathon:

Books finished: 3
Books started: 2
Pages read: 539
Total amout of books opened: 4

The fourth book that I’m now opening is Deception Point by Dan Brown. As I easily got stuck in almost all of his other books, and this is the only one I haven’t read I think it is perfect for the end of the readathon.

My Favourite Rereads

Well, I made it so far, and now I’ve just finished Un Lun Dun. That means: 2 halves of books down and a total of 427 pages. Wow. Now I was planning on joining the mini challenge at The Bluestocking Society called Rereads. As I am not doing any rereads today I will instead tell you about my top 4 rereads of all time, those books I can’t help but read over and over and over again.

1. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J K Rowling

Everytime I start reading this book I am caught within it. It is my over all favourite Harry Potter book for that reason, and also the only reread book that came to mind instantly and without any thinking. As soon as I get to that part where Harry hear the voice of the basilisk I can’t put the book down until I’ve finished it. It is almost as if I’m afraid that something else is going to happen this time I read it, that Harry and Ron won’t figure it out or that Hermione will forget carrying that mirror.

2. Sejtes skatt av Moni Nilsson-Brännström (Goodreads)

This is a Swedish fantasy book for kids, and I don’t know how many times I reread it. I just loved it. It originally belonged to my little sister, but I think she was too small when she got it and thought it was scary. I read it instead and I have reread it many times during my teen years. Now it was a long time since I reread it, maybe it is time for me to pick it up again?

3. The Beast is Watching You by Francine Pascal (Goodreads)

This is a book from the Sweet Valley Twins series, and as the previous two a book I have no clue how many times I’ve reread it (and the four following books that completes the story). It is one of few exiting horror books (for kids) that I have ever enjoyed reading, and the fact that the book still scares the shit out of me just tell me that either I just remember what I felt the first times I read it, or it is actually scary for a 23 year old as well.

4. Angels and Demons by Dan Brown

I might be able to count the times I’ve read this book on one hand. Maybe I might have to borrow a finger from the other hand, but well, it is still one of my most reread books. Right now (not as in during the readathon, but as in my life) I listen to the audiobook in English. I’ve only ever read it in Swedish before, so it is nice to hear it in its original language. I remember the first time I read this book. I was on a skiing vacation with my family and crashed in the top bunk. I didn’t have any watch, but read the second half of the book during that night because it was too exciting for me to put down. I guess it must have been at least 5 am when I fell asleep, and I was up and skiing before 9 that same morning. Anyone who knows me AFK probably won’t believe this story.


Oops, I fell asleep

So I’ve been searching for more comfortable ways to sit. That ended up with me half laying down on two chairs, and falling asleep for almost half an hour. Woke up when the cleaning lady got in here and told me I could not move the comfy chairs to the computer room. I asked if I could keep it for now as long as I put it back afterwards, and that was OK …

I’m so tired I’m not sure what to think of anything. And I’m scared that if I take a two hour nap, I’ll wake up in 12 hours, only having finished one book during the readathon. No, I’ll have to keep going. More coke!

Halfway Through

Yes, I am! Though the upcoming hours feels like they will take forever, but the past one just disappeared into nowhere, or into book pages.  Now it is time for me to eat som breakfast, but first I’m going to make the Mid-Event Survey.

1) How are you doing? Sleepy? Are your eyes tired?

Right now, I’m OK. Though once in a while, and especially right after I just said I’m not tired, I get deadly tired and have to force feed myself with coke (that being coca cola, and not the other thing).

2) What have you finished reading?

Slow reader as I am I have finished reading one book, or only half of it as I started reding it before this event. That is A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, with 188 pages. Also I only have around 120 pages left on Un Lun Dun, which is more interesting now than it has been before. Not sure why.

3) What is your favorite read so far?

Well, I have to go with the first book I read, so A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers.

4) What about your favorite snacks?

Haven’t been snacking that much, just coke and a nice dinner ordered from an american diner. Turkey Sandwich with graving and mashed potatos and cranberry jam. Om nom nom. Looking forward to my breakfast though, a BLT sandwich.

5) Have you found any new blogs through the readathon? If so, give them some love!

Well, I have found some interesting blogs so far, but I always forget which is which as I go on different once. I will be cheering again an lunch time (chinese time)… Hour 17 I think that is, and then I might write down which blog is which.

Now I’m going to eat that breakfast, I’m starving!

Edit (like 5 seconds later): OMG! This BLT sandwich is like the best thing I’ve ever eaten in my entire life!

Mini-Challenge Update

So, I’m trying to join in some of the mini-challenges that are hosted, but I’ve been reading a lot (which is the main point of this event) and missed out on some of them. That’s why I thought I’d collect some of the mini challenges I’m entering now.

First out is The Hungry Readers challenge: Find a Poem! which is more or less, take some sentences out of the book you’re reading and make a poem out of those. This was my entry (with sentences from Un Lun Dun):

The bird stared at the money
hurried into the dark interior
into the forest
the door closed behind her.

It was warm,
a cross between forest and jungle
a jorest
a fungle
This place isn’t safe.

A new chorus of night began.

To keep money fresh
the bird fluttered away
and as it went, it sang.

The second challenge I thought I’d participate in is Book Journey’s Book Appetit. The challenge is: You invite your friends over to discuss a specific book, and you should serve food to go with that book. I chosed to go with the book I finished earlier, A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers.

I would in Chinese style and serve a lot of dishes to choose from, but as the book take place in England I would go for both some traditional Chinese and vegetarian English cooking (as the British man she falls in love with is vegeratian). I’d go with one or two of the noodle recipies she tells us about in the book, and also some wonton (a kind of dumplings). For the English dishes I would serve vegetarian Shepards Pie, and as a dessert a typical British pie or pudding. I’d make sure I have some of the flowers mentioned in the book, and also decorate with a white table cloth made of paper on which I write some of the English words that she learns, and maybe some of the Chinese ones she mentions.

I also want to join the Book Staging and the Book Sentences challenges, but lack of books and other props might make this very difficult. I’ll see later if I can make them happen. Now I’m of to cheer for half-an-hour or so!

Hour 7 and One Book Down

Now I have read for 6 hours, or well, kind of read for 6 hours… mixed with some mini challenging and other stuff. It feels pretty OK, I ordered some food right before hour 5 and sneaked back in to the computer room after closing time. Here in my dorm, they close and lock the computer room at midnight so to be able to spend the night here reading, I had to secretly unlock one door and get back in. I felt so badass, and excited, doing that.

One book down, or well, the second half of it, but it feels nice. Though I decided to save writing the review for later. Now I’m planning on continue my struggle with Un Lun Dun, which I don’t look forward too, but even though it is almost 3 o’clock in the morning I have a lot of energy, so now might be the best time to try it. I bought a lote of coke to keep me awake through this night.

Pages read so far: 188.

Start of Hour 3

I’ve already read over a hundred pages which is impressive for being me, expecially not reading in my native language. Yes, I imagine all my friends snearing, but no English is not my native language and I DO read faster in Swedish. Right now I’m reading A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, and Z is travelling through Europe, just leaving Berlin for Venice. What I love most about this book is how direct Z is in her language, also that her English is very very lacking, both in grammar and vocabularity. At first this was annoying, but now I appriciate it. It makes the book special.

I was planning on joining the first Mini-Challange for today, which is hosted by Reading Through Life. The  challenge is about translated books, which is something I try to avoid as much as possible. Why I read English books in English and not in Swedish translation. Though, I do not speak all the languages of the world, and one of the books I really appriciated reading was The Story of the Stone: The Golden Days (as it is called in English) by Cao Xueqin. I read it translated to Swedish, it is originally written in Chinese, and yes I would love to read this in its original language. To do that I would have to really understand the Chinese culture, so I think I don’t stand a chance.

When I read this book, I never finished it. It is a very thick book, and I had a lot of schoolwork going on, and all of a sudden I had to give it back to the library. My goal about this book at the moment is to finish reading it in the Swedish translation, hopefully the whole series. But that will be when I come home to Sweden again.

The original title of this book is 红楼梦 (Hong Lou Meng), which is translated Dreams of Red Chambers, which is also the title of the Swedish translation. As this is one of China’s classical books it has a lot of covers. Instead I decided to give you this picture, which is a scene from the book. The following two is the cover of the English translation and the cover of the Swedish translation.


The Pre-Read-A-Thon Post

I tried to sleep until at least four in the afternoon today as I knew I would be up for at least 24 hours reading reading and reading. I woke up at half past three and couldn’t sleep any longer. I was too excited. So I did the only thing I felt like I had to do. Reinstalling my VPN and hope for it to start working, and YES it did. Now I can read the updates from all the blogs hosted at wordpress and blogspot and also all the twitter updates.

So what is my plan for the read-a-thon?

Well, obviously to read books. I know I’m a slow reader, so for now I only have three books that I will decide to read. Two of them I’m already half way through. This is the books I’m planning to read:

  A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for lovers by Xiaolu Guo

About the book: Twenty-three-year-old Zhuang, the daughter of shoe factory owners in rural China, has come to London to study English. She calls herself Z because English people can’t pronounce her name, but she’s no better at their language. Set loose to find her way through a confusion of cultural gaffes and grammatical mishaps, she winds up lodging with a Chinese family and thinks she might as well not have left home. But then she meets an English man who changes everything. From the moment he smiles at her, she enters a new world of sex, freedom, and self-discovery. But she also realizes that, in the West, “love” does not always mean the same as in China, and that you can learn all the words in the English language and still not understand your lover.

Why I choosed it: I already started reading this book and I’m almost halfway through it, so I thought it’d be easy to just continue this journey with Zhuang I already began.

  Un Lun Dun by China Miéville

About the book: What is Un Lun Dun? It is London through the looking glass, an urban Wonderland of strange delights where all the lost and broken things of London end up . . . and some of its lost and broken people, too–including Brokkenbroll, boss of the broken umbrellas; Obaday Fing, a tailor whose head is an enormous pin-cushion, and an empty milk carton called Curdle. Un Lun Dun is a place where words are alive, a jungle lurks behind the door of an ordinary house, carnivorous giraffes stalk the streets, and a dark cloud dreams of burning the world. It is a city awaiting its hero, whose coming was prophesied long ago, set down for all time in the pages of a talking book.

Why I choosed it: As the previous book, I already started reading this a while ago, and as I’m half way through it I might be able to finish it. I like the idea, but the story has so far been somewhat disappointing, so I hope it won’t kill my reading spirit.

The Book Boy by Joanna Trollope

About the book: Alice is thirty-eight. She has a house, a husband, two teenage children and a part-time job. She thinks she ought to be happy. But she isn’t. Instead, she feels she has vanished, that she is like something lost down the back of the sofa. Because Alice has a secret which is never spoken of in the family as they are all ashamed, Alice most of all. Alice can’t read. Then two things happen. Her son, Craig, brings home his school’s leather-clad bad boy, a terrible influence. And Alice ‘s friend Liz tells her she’s tired of feeling sorry for her and trying to help. Alice – timid, quiet Alice – must start out on her own brave journey and for it she chooses the strangest companion. For the first time in her life, she knows what she wants and she is going to get it. With the help of the book boy.

Why I choosed it: This is supposed to be an easy quick read, and it is a very thin book. I was told that I should choose easier reads to feel like I’m compleating something in this read-a-thon, so that is why I choosed it.

After I finished these book I will chose more books from my TBR pile, which can be viewed here.

Other plans?

Well, to be awake for 24 hours you need food. That is what I’ve seen other participants blog about. Luckily for me I live in China, where food delivery is a service offered by almost all restaurants. During the night it’ll probably be a lot of McDonalds as it is the only resturant I know that delivers food 24/7. I’m now trying to decide if I should go for some fried noodles or start by ordering some food from one of the other restaurants.

Wish me good luck!


Doubt (2008)Jag såg just en jättebra film. Pappa rekommenderade den då han hade sett den på flyget hit. Anledningen till att jag bestämde mig för att ge den en chans var för att Meryl Streep spelar en av huvudrollerna, annars hade det varit väldigt meningslöst eftersom pappa redan hade spoilat hela filmen.

Filmen är från 2008 och heter Doubt. Det handlar om en katolsk skola på 60-talet. Den stränga rektorn på skolan, Sister Beauvier (Meryl Streep), får höra av en annan syster att en av pojkarna i hennes klass agerade konstigt efter att ha kommit tillbaka från ett möte med prästen. Rektorn blir genast misstänksam, och en kamp påbörjas för att försöka bevisa och göra sig av med prästen som hon är övertygad har utnyttjat pojken sexuellt.

Nu vill man sluta läsa om man inte vill bli spoilad av mig.

Filmen i sin helhet var bra, och det fanns en hel del intensiva scener. Däremot så upprörde den mig inte så mycket som jag på förhand trodde att den skulle göra. Det som faktiskt fick mig mest upprörd var slutet av filmen, där rektorn har kämpat och kämpat trots sin roll som underordnad i den mansstyrda katolska kyrkan[1], och tillsist lyckas få prästen att säga upp sin tjänst. Det som händer är då, inom systemet, att prästen blir befordrad. I den här scenen bryter den annars starka, och något ilskna, rektorn ihop framför en annan syster och erkänner att hon tvivlar. Den scenen fick mig att börja gråta. Det var så starkt, och jag kan verkligen se hur svårt det är att behålla sin tro på en god gud där personer som gör någonting så fel som att utnyttja ett barn istället för att straffas blir belönad, och får klättra uppåt i hierarkin.

[1] OBS! Säger inget ont om män här, men det porträtteras till och från en riktigt pissig kvinnosyn och hur lite makt hon som kvinna/nunna har inom organisationen