The Classics Spin #7

Okay, so I failed miserably with my last Spin (I’ve read about 50 pages of The Pilgrim’s Progress so far); I haven’t blogged for over a month (I was out of the country for work!); I have several reviews to write; I haven’t been reading much (busy, busy, busy); and I’m even starting university again next week… but none of these shall keep me from giving the Classics Spin yet another try! Hopefully, I’ll do better this time around.

Here goes my Spin List:
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30 Before 30 — First Month Recap

Today marks the end of the first month for my 30 Before 30 project. For those who don’t want to click through, this project is a list of 30 books that I would like to read before my 30th birthday, which will be on the 13th of November this year. I made the list based on various “Must-Read Before You Turn 30” and “To Read in Your 20s” lists. It’s really quite a massive undertaking, and I’m probably not going to make it through, but there’s no harm in trying, right?

I figured it would be nice to have a monthly progress report of the books I read/am reading, so here goes. Read more

Bout of Books 10 Challenge: Books You’re Looking Forward To

As part of Bout of Books, every day there are different challenges hosted by several book bloggers. Today there are two challenges. This one, hosted by River City Reading, is Books You’re Looking Forward To. As explained by the host:

Your challenge is simple: create a list of titles you’re looking forward to reading. They can be upcoming titles in a specific season, titles that have been on your shelves, it’s up to you!

Well, since I’m not at all well-acquainted with upcoming titles, I’m going to go instead for books on my shelves… that are NOT on my 30 Before 30 nor my Classics Club list. Long live the TBR pile! I’ll read you soon, books, I promise I will!

  • Wicked (Gregory Maguire) — I actually bought this book a few years ago after watching the musical, and somehow stopped reading. Now that I just finished The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, my thoughts go back to Wicked, and I really want to read it!
  • Cloud Atlas (David Mitchell) — Believe it or not, I looked this book up and bought it after watching the movie’s trailer! And yet, I haven’t seen the movie, and I haven’t read the book! I think it’s about time.
  • 1Q84 (Haruki Murakami) — I got this book when it first came out because my boss at that time, who was an avid reader, told me he was reading it and he’s enjoying it very much. I have yet to read it, but now that I’m reading 1984 (George Orwell), I want to read this as well… but it is… very long, I heard…
  • The Year Without Pants (Scott Berkun) — I actually read about a third of this book but stopped reading for a while, and I don’t even remember why I stopped, as I was enjoying the read!
  • Allegiant (Veronika Roth)¬†— I did say I want to read this as part of Bout of Books as well since I’m currently reading Insurgent, but I look at the rest of the books on my Bout of Books pile and figured this will have to wait. It might have precedence over books from my other lists though.

BONUS While I’m at it, here are the books I most look forward to reading from my 30 Before 30 list:

  • Tiny Beautiful Things (Cheryl Strayed) — This book as it is a collection of letters and answers about life’s predicaments, and I’ve read the first two. I cried tears of joy and hope reading the second one. I can’t wait to read the rest.
  • The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger) — Not only is this one of the most frequently mentioned books that everyone seems to need to have read, but I saw John Green’s Crash Course on it (just half of the first part, I didn’t want too many spoilers) and I feel like I need to read it even more.
  • The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini) — I have this book in Indonesian, German, English audio book read by the author, and I just ordered an English paperback as well. I’ve read A Thousand Splendid Suns as well as And The Mountains Echoed, and loved them both. I wish I knew why I still haven’t read it. It’s about time.

Have you read any of the books I mentioned? Should I be looking forward to them?

Classics Club Spin #6

Nothing like adding a little more challenge to what already seems like a ridiculous stream of challenges I’ve set ahead of me. Ah, but perhaps this will actually make the tasks at hand a little easier.

The Classics Club Spin is where people in the Classics Club post a list of 20 books they haven’t read, and wait anxiously for a random number to be revealed. This then, will be the book to read for a certain period of time. In this case, May – June.

Well, I decided to give the Classics Club Spin a spin to kick-off my participation in the Classics Club. Incidentally, the date of the spin is also the start date of Bout of Books, so hey, everything falls into place!

Here’s my Spin list:
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30 Books to Read Before I Turn 30: Intro

As I was busy preparing my Classics Club list as well as thinking about my bookish bucket list, I realized that I am turning 30 this year (don’t ask me how these are related, that’s just how my mind works). A certain feeling of crisis ensued, one that goes along the line of a quarter-life crisis (though perhaps a little late, or maybe I’m poised to live until I’m 120). “What have I done with my life so far?” was immediately followed with “There are so many great books I haven’t read!” and that’s when I knew I had to undertake this massive, almost insane project: to read 30 books before I turn 30. Read more

The Classics Club: Intro

I have a slight obsession with the classics. I just can’t get enough of them… on my bookshelf! The problem is, I never seem to get around to reading them. Which is horrible really. I tell myself that at least I know the titles, who wrote them, and I could probably tell you what most of them are about… after all, I’ve read (and seen) tons of synopsis, abridged versions, and adaptions! But really that’s not enough. ¬†These classics demand to be read in their glorious, original, complete and unabridged version — or so I heard. Well, okay, to be fair, I have read some (one or two, perhaps three), and I agree that it is about time I read more of them.

Enter The Classics Club. As stated on their website:

The Classics Club hopes to unite readers who blog about classic literature and inspire people to make the classics an integral part of life!

How? by asking people to create a list of at least 50 classic books to read in the next 5 years, and blogging about them. There are also extra challenges and events for those inclined to participate. From the looks of it, the community is fun and vibrant, and I would love to be part of it. That being decided, now comes the list.

See my book list or
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Comfort Food

Yes, yes, I’m failing miserably in this NaBloPoMo. But then again, it’s only the 6th. I might be able to catch up. Or maybe not. Either way, one day at a time. Here’s todays’s prompt: What is your biggest comfort food? Share the recipe if you have one.

Back in Geneva, I’m a well known advocate of Holy Cow burgers. They are a Swiss chain that promises all their ingredients are local, they have fun, quirky and super delicious flavours, and their burger menus are my ultimate comfort food.


To be taken when you had a terrible, terrible day at work and you feel tired and sad and lonely.

1. Go to the nearest Holy Cow burger restaurant and order a menu — preferably your favourite flavor, but if you don’t have one yet, pick one at random.
2. Make sure you order the sirop fountain for your drink. Have a few gulps as you wait for your meal to arrive.
3. Once your meal is there, start with the fries. They are big, hot, salty, crispy in the outside, mushy in the inside.
4. Take one bite and realize the world is already a better place. Have a few more fries if you’d like.
5. Next, take the burger in your hand and bite into it. Make sure it is a sizable chunk but not too big so as to keep you from being able to properly chew and taste it.
6. While you are savouring the flavours, notice how the world has become beautiful and everything seems right again.

Note: The burger restaurant did not pay me to write this. I seriously love them THAT much.

PS: In case of lack of Holy Cow burger counters (they’re only available in Switzerland after all) find something that is warm, salty and rich. It usually works well as comfort food.


NaBloPoMo May 2013 — Day 1

So it’s the first of May and to kickstart this blog (well, it’s about time to get it going even though I’m still tweaking around some stuff) I decided to join BlogHer’s NaBloPoMo for May. The theme is COMFORT, and today’s prompt is this: “Did you have a favourite stuffed animal or lovey as a child? Tell us about it.

My first thought: Hawe and Teddy, the two stuffed animals that were there even before I was born. Hawe, the bunny rabbit, plays a lullaby when you pull its string, and teddy is a Steiff bear.


Looking at how well preserved they are though, it’s quite obvious I did not spend my childhood cuddling them.

My next thought: this little fellow who probably has a name that I can’t remember, lovingly handmade by my mom.


Thoughts then went on to another toy mom made, which was probably an octopus, and a blue Steiff elephant whose trunk is about 2,5cm longer due to being bitten all the time. Sadly, I couldn’t find these two creatures. I’m sure they’re still around somewhere though, so I’ll add a picture if I find them.

Further discussion with my mom reveals I also had a favorite blanket. It was white with brown flowery pattern and it was old and soft. She said I would cry and refuse to sleep if that blanket wasn’t there. I have absolutely no memory of this blanket whatsoever. Oh well.

What about you? What stuffed toy or lovey did you have as a kid?