Happy Favourites of the Week – Books and New Year

Alias Grace – Not the Netflix show but the book. The show looks so enticing I had to have and read the book before watching it. Santa obliged and I am almost halfway through the book already and can’t stop reading it is so interesting!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Books and New Year - byLiiL

Exploding Kittens – My sister introduced me to this game a while back when she last visited me and since then I’ve had the feeling that it would be a nice addition to our slowly growing board and card game collection. Finally, during the Christmas break, I just had to have it and I ordered one and we’ve been playing it a lot ever since. Funnily, the game is so quick, even with my very competitive nature I don’t mind losing the game as new one will be played soon.

Lovely Holiday Time – As the last happy favourites were before Christmas and this one is long overdue it might as well include the lovely time I had while on break. Christmas and New Years were both lovely, quiet and relaxed. We played a lot of board games, saw some of our friends and I completely lost my sleeping rhythm having to painfully try to get back to it now. I enjoyed long mornings with a book and a coffee and delicious food with cheese nearly every day. I rarely let myself relax quite this much, and managed to finish two books, which I had prolonged for way too long, by the end of the first week of January.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Books and New Year - byLiiL

The next set of reading – As I finally finished three books that I had been reading for ages I started a whole new selection of books. I didn’t use to read so many at the same time but find it helpful for different situations. I don’t like to read anything too exciting in the evening as then I won’t sleep, but the Sex and World Peace is a course book for international relations, which doesn’t leave me imagining what will happen next when I am trying to sleep. And I don’t often want to carry a heavy or thick book with me when I am travelling so I am always reading some ebook on my phone. At the moment it is A Gentleman in Moscow.

New plant book – I’ve been wanting a book about plants for so long and as you might’ve read in the goals post I finally received one. Now I should have a better understanding of how to take care of my succulents!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Books and New Year - byLiiL

Delicious Food at Nan Tuk – Our newest favourite place to eat in Glasgow is Nan Tuk which offers tapas style Asian food. The food is delicious and the “tapas” style portions are quite big. Two portions are enough to get you full and satisfied.

Finally back to yoga again – It is one of my goals to get back and used to yoga. I almost went earlier on but my cold came back right on the day when I was planning it. This time it was no stopping me and the feeling afterwards and during was great! Now my muscles are sore but happy!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Books and New Year - byLiiL

How was your week?

With love,

Lii

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017

I’ve been really good with reading this year and already finished my 24 book goal that I had set for myself for this year. If you missed the review on the first 12 you can read it here. Here’s to fishing I will manage to write a third one before the end of this year as well!

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Good Girls RevoltLynn Povich

A story about how the women of the Newsweek sued their bosses, because of the discrimination towards women in pay and title. The book observes the lawsuit and what led to it in the 70’s, in addition to what are the women’s rights and conditions at the newspaper now.  The book is not told in a story telling way but is rather a report of the events. However, it is very interesting to read about what the conditions were then and now and to acknowledge how long it still is to be truly equal, even though the book only considers journalism. I really enjoyed it, although felt spurts of anger every now and again. 4/5

An Artist of the Floating WorldKazuo Ishiguro

This is a second book I read by Kazuo Ishiguro and I instantly recognised his style. The writing flowed smoothly and it was enjoyable to read. I am not usually interested in reading when travelling, especially when flying, but this book didn’t leave my hands when I was travelling. However, as in his other book, the main character in this book as well was oblivious of what was going on around him and was wondering it through out the book. Unlike the other book, in this one what the main character was oblivious about wasn’t really explained and I felt the books ending was abrupt and confusing, which is a shame as I enjoyed reading it.

The story itself is about a Japanese old man who used to be an artist before and during the Japanese revolution and the second world war. At his older age, he wonders how Japan has changed since the war. How women are more outspoken, people don’t respect quite the same values and Japan isn’t the glorious country it once was. It was interesting learning about the Japanese history from this point of view, but the ending kind of ruined it for me. 3/5

A Girl In ExileIsmail Kadare

I chose to read this book because it was easy to carry with me on a flight, but the impulse buy wasn’t quite worth it. The story is about a famous author in an eastern European country where after a revolution the Royals have been shunned from the public eye and locked/controlled in small towns from where they are not allowed to leave. A young royal girl is in love with the author and when she dies he gets entwined into the investigation. This all sounds more fascinating than it is. Most of the book tells of what is going in the author’s head and his struggles with the situation. 2/5

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

CosmopolisDon DeLillo

Is a story about a rich business owner who drives on his limousine through a day, has sex with multiple people and is paranoid for his life. He gets into weird situations and seems to have lost his interest in life. Ir is an odd story and I found it really hard to relate tot eh protagonist. For being such a thin book it was surprisingly hard to read. 2/5

Big MagicElizabeth Gilbert

I read this book because I was interested of the praise it’s gained in the social media. I really liked Gilbert’s ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ and thought I might like this one as well. I was right. This one is more of a self-help book than a novel, but it is full of the positivity with which Gilbert wrote ‘Eat, Pray, Love’. The book was full of positive affirmations and offered ways of thinking about creativity which lets creativity flow and reduces the pressure from it all. Truly uplifting and motivating book! 4/5

Cabaret of PlantsRichard Mabey

I got this book as a birthday present and read it through a couple of months before bed time enjoying the world of plants. The book was fascinating with the history of discovery and research of plants accompanied by illustrations and beautiful photography. It was too exciting so that I got good nights sleep, but exciting enough that I wanted to reach for it every night before bed. The book was very well written. I don’t really know much about plants and I wanted to keep reading this beautiful book. I loved to learn about the rare plants, the oldest trees and the plant weirdoes. I would definitely recommend reading this one! 4/5

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Orphan Master’s SonAdam Johnson

Not a book for the light hearted. Although it was easy to read due to the easy flow of the writing, it tells a story about North-Korea and the most horrible things the people are faced with there from torture to slavery. The story is about a man who grew up as an orphan and how he went through his life through a series of obstacles that should’ve left him dead, but somehow he lived. I thought the book was very interesting, but it left me shaken. The book was well researched and believable, although not relatable and felt more of a dystopian novel. 4/5

A Box Of Stars Beneath the Bed

This was another book that I was reading before going to sleep. It is a perfect for it with so many different and beautiful short stories written by different authors. Even if you don’t like all of the stories there will be several that will stay with you! 4/5

I Am MalalaMalala Yousafzai

I’ve already written about this book a couple of times when being inspired by tit. It is an autobiography by Malala Yousafzai who grew up in Pakistan, fought for girls right for education and got shot by the Taliban. It was interesting to read about her growing up in a Muslim country where people just want to live in peace but are int eh mids of Talibanisation. Really open your eyes to what Muslim is about and how terrorism affects us all. 4/5

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

The Architect’s ApprenticeElif Shafak

A story is about a young boy’s (Jahan) growth into manhood as an elephant mahout and an architects apprentice in Istanbul. Strange, unexplainable things are happening to Jahan and their building sites, whilst Istanbul’s population keeps growing and it is hit with one after another problem. The book is about Istanbul, love, bureaucracy, friendship with people and animals and perseverance.

I found this book a bit tough to read and felt that many parts of the book didn’t make sense. There were many story buildings which just unravelled or dropped out without explanation. In addition, the protagonist, Jahan, seemed to be very lucky through out the book that made it quite unrelatable. It was still interesting, but not the best book in the world. 2/5

The Heart Goes LastMargaret Atwood

A second book I’ve read by Atwood. In this book, compared to Handmaid’s Tale there was less remembering old times and the story builds on a straight timeline. It was about a couple who live in the USA during a time when 50% of the population is unemployed. A businessman comes up with a solution for the anarchy and offers people a twin city to live in. One month they live in beautiful houses, having jobs and security, and the second month they live in prison. It is a self-sustaining city and everything looks perfect. But it feels as though something else is brewing behind the closed doors. Although the book sounds like another dystopian story, the dystopia is within the love relationships, which it follows much more intently.

The book was easy to read and interesting, but not quite as good as Handmaid’s tale. 3/5

InfernoDante Alighieri

The first book from the Divine Comedy trilogy by Dante. I was afraid to start the book if it was too hard to read, but it wasn’t really. It is written as though it is one continues song and to make sense of what is happening you do need to concentrate on it. The harder part is the people discussed in the book who are from the 1700’s or before from history and other tales that the story slightly builds on. There is an accompanying explanation for each canto (chapter) at the end of the book though.

The story is about a man who is taken on a tour through the different levels of hell. It is interesting to read what was considered the worst sin at that time! 3/5

The 2nd 12 Books of 2017 - byLiiL

What have you been reading lately? Can you recommend any books for me?

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of the Week – Trivia and Books

The Game of Trivia – Quite frankly I like almost any kind of trivia game or a quiz, although I only have two on my phone. In addition to having Trivial Pursuit and two extra packs for it, lately, we have been playing ‘name the artist and the song name’ while playing songs from Spotify and doing a bunch of movie quizzes. We also went to do a pub quiz at a local pub. We didn’t do too well, but had fun! Although, when you are used to going to bed early, sitting in a pub, in the middle of the week, till late was quite tiring!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Trivia and Books - byLiiL

Midday Walks – As I work from home I am cooped up inside sometimes for days, without realising it. So I decided to do midday walks to break up my working day, to get some blood flowing through my veins and get some fresh air. So far so good. I am more focused when I work and my back doesn’t heart from sitting all day long! Thankfully the weather has been great!

Anthony Day – After writing about his podcast he commented on it and I got starstruck, smiling for the rest of the day! I also listened to more of his podcasts and realised he does do occasional interviews as well, which diversify the sustainable podcasts he makes. He told me about some future plans for the podcast which I cannot wait to listen to! If you missed the previous post about his podcast you can find it here.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Trivia and Books - byLiiL

Lunching – I really love to have the occasional lunch with a friend in the middle of the day and last week I had two, one at Kothel and one at Hyndland Fox. Both great lunch and brunch places with delicious food. Lunch with a friend is an amazing way to get out of your head, discuss what is brewing in your head and just have fun. It definitely freshened my days and got new excitement into my work. And if you are in Glasgow, I recommend visiting both places!

The Heart Goes Last – I really like the way Margaret Atwood writes and I love reading dystopian novels. This was not an exception. I enjoyed reading this book and finished it in no time.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Trivia and Books - byLiiL

Inferno – And because the previous book was so quick and pleasurable to read I finally was brave enough to start reading Dante, which has been standing in my bookshelf for at least two years. Although the book is written in prose, it is not quite as hard to read as I imagined. I guess after I read Silmarillion nothing else can come close to the difficulty level.

Crown – I finally finished watching the first season of the show about the Queen – Crown. It really was well made and I enjoyed following the story. I enjoy tv shows about history and Royals, and although this was not too far back in the history, it was still a time when I wasn’t alive and didn’t know much about. Very fascinating!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Trivia and Books - byLiiL

How was your week?

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of the Week – Midsummers Night

Fine Deodorant – My friend gave me a sample of this brands vetiver and geranium natural deodorant and it is the best that I have tried! The scent is nice, it lasted me with one application to the next shower (except for a tough and sweaty yoga class but I didn’t expect it to) and the best thing, it is aluminium free! Now I just need to acquire the full sized one, unfortunately, they are pretty pricey.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Midsummers Night - byLiiL

Wonder Woman – We finally went to see wonder woman to the cinema, after planning for it for about two weeks. I liked the “girl power” message of the movie and how real and awful they made the war seem, although it also made me very sad. This movie made me consider whether I should change blogging about feminism solely! There is a wonder woman in every one of us!

Maisoap Scrub – This is a bunch of lovely soap in an organdie type bag, which when used under water cleans and scrubs gently. I thought the idea was genius although doesn’t provide a harsh scrub, just a gentle one. The company and product information are in German and this is not one of their usual products, so I am not sure if it is supposed to be a scrub or just a way of using all the rest of the soap bits, but still genius!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Midsummers Night - byLiiL

Earth 911 – I stumbled onto this website when I was researching the recycling of disposable straws and I can’t believe I never knew about it! It is a website where you can enter the item that you want to recycle and where you live and it will tell you whether it can be recycled and where! (and learned that where I live I cannot recycle disposable straws) In addition, it has a lot of tips for sustainable living and information on the development within sustainability with articles and videos.

Midsummer night fun with friends – Midsummer night does not seem to be a big thing in the UK or the USA, but it is big in the Nordic countries. So to keep up with the traditions we came together with some of our friends, made way too much food and had fun drinking and playing trivia. I came up with a new potato salad recipe, which was delicious! And thankfully all the food was consumed in the following days, so there was no waste. It was a fun night full of laughter and we stayed up way too late so waking up the next morning was a challenge, but definitely worth it!

Happy Favourites of the Week - Midsummers Night - byLiiL

The Heart Goes Last – After reading a book that I had been waiting for ages to read and realising that it wasn’t quite as interesting to me I decided next to read something that I know I’ll enjoy. Well, when reading Margaret Atwood enjoy is not the right word, being intrigued, inspired and shaken would be closer to the truth. I have not finished this book yet, but can’t seem to be able to put the book down.

Dharma and Greg – This late 90s early 00s show is one of my favourites to watch again and again and every time I seem to get something new out of it. This time I am so inspired by how open and herself Dharma is and how she is not afraid to be a complete opposite from her husband and the in-laws and stays true to herself. The show introduces sustainability, oppression and what would be called weird to the Western culture, although in a comical way.

Happy Favourites of the Week - Midsummers Night - byLiiL

Laugh of the week – It was a cold and wet day (yes I know it is June) and I was walking home, thankfully during a break in the rain showers. A woman was hurrying towards my direction with her daughter. Suddenly the little girl saw a small puddle, decided to stop and started playing with her white and shiny little pony in it. The mother had walked way past me when she noticed that her daughter wasn’t next to her and started shouting something. But the joy in the little girl’s eyes when she got to play in that puddle reminded me of my childhood. It definitely put a smile on my face for the rest of the day!

 

How was your week? Let me know in the comment box below!

With love,

Lii

2016 Favourite Books

As I mentioned in my goals post I managed to finish 21 books in the year 2016. Although, there were a couple which I found a drag to read in general the books were interesting and they brought enjoyment into my daily life. I thought, I should mention my favourite ones to you if any of them would inspire you to read as well.

Favourite books of 2016 - byLiiL

I know Why The Caged Birds Fly – Maya Angelou

The first autobiography by Maya Angelou, where she tells the story of her childhood from a southern American state. How she was raised by her grandmother, how she missed and adored her mother, her relationship with her brother and how she found the world around her. Although, depressing at times, mostly I found the book intriguing and easy to read. It definitely made me want to read more of her books.

#Girlboss – Sophia Amoruso

I am sure everybody knows what this book is about. Half-motivation half autobiography I loved reading about Sophia’s life and how she came about creating such a successful fashion company. I was so motivated to do and work for my goals that I had problems sleeping. I am sure this won’t happen to many people, so those of you who are looking to be inspired with their goals I recommend this book.

Favourite books of 2016 - byLiiL

Silkworm – Robert Galbraith

Is the second book in the Cormoran Strike crime novels by J.K. Rowling pseudonym Robert Galbraith. I loved the first book, mainly because I love a good crime novel and because I love the way J.K. Rowling writes. She can really hold the reader in suspense and make a great twist in the end. Cormoran Strike novels are long, but they don’t feel that way. I read it in just a couple of days. Gruesome murder and a mystery to solve. So if you like J.K. Rowlings writing and crime novels I definitely recommend this one!

How To Make Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie

This book was recommended by one of my favourite bloggers so I decided to try it out. It is a self-help book, but the reason I liked it was the stories behind every ‘lesson’. Where Dale writes about what rules you should follow when conducting yourself with new people who you would like to make a good impression on, he writes with examples set by real people, mostly great previous leaders. While reading you think how each rule is kind of obvious, but it is he examples and the stories that really make you remember how you should conduct yourself in public. Definitely a good read!  I think this book would be of assistance to everybody. It is not a book about making close friendships, but really about how you should be thinking when communicating with other people so that they will want to hear more from you.

Favourite books of 2016 - byLiiL

Overdressed – Elizabeth L. Cline

I’ve told you about this book. It tells about the problems of fast-fashion to this world and especially to the people. If you want to read more of my thoughts on it, check out this post. Again, I think everybody should read this book. Not, because it is enjoyable, I mean it really is not, but because you will understand more about what you are buying.

Schoking Life Of Elsa Schiaparelli

This I have told you about as well. The autobiography of Elsa Schiaparelli is not for fashion lovers only, but for those who want to read about a strong woman, who made a business success, who lived through the war and who seems to be in her own world. She has a unique view on how to do business and really, she is quite an inspiration to read as well!

Favourite books of 2016 - byLiiL

The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

I do not understand how it took me such a long time to read this book. It could be that I wouldn’t have understood the message before, or maybe it would have opened my eyes much earlier. I don’t know. However, I think this was my favourite book of the year. It seemed absolutely surreal, it kept me guessing and wanting to read more and in the end, I was completely surprised. If I only remember one book from the year 2016, it is this. And it has inspired me to read more of Atwood’s books! Now I can’t wait until the tv-show will come out!

 

What books where your favourite last year?

With love,

Lii

Happy Favourites of the Week – mint green phone and feminism

My new phone cover

I know my phone is new and to keep it in good condition I like to use a phone cover. I didn’t realise I would like using one, but actually I prefer using it this way. It feels more sturdy and secure, as well as good in my hand. I love how cheerful the colour makes me as well!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Finished book

I just finished the book Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood. It was brilliant! It made me think and read it much quicker than I could have imagined. The world seemed so ubiquitous and absurd.

Suffragette

Well until I watched Suffragette and realised the world has actually been close to that before and probably still is in some parts of the world. Suffragette wasn’t the most brilliant movie ever, but it was important. I am ashamed at how oblivious I’ve been to women’s rights and conditions at that time. It makes me so much more thankful for how far along we have come!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I can start a new book!

After finishing the book I can now start reading How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, so exciting!

New greenery

We had a visit to Ikea to get some plants and frames, and I couldn’t be happier! A new succulent just makes the house look so much greener!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Chocolate

This sea salted dark chocolate is heaven! I’m totally in love ❤

 

What have you been liking this week?

With love,

Lii