Want to Read: Non-Fiction

zEk8RJdmQrqja2XwbjgJ_DSC_2368

If you saw this post from earlier in the year then you probably know that one of my reading goals for 2015 is to read more non-fiction. Now that we are 3 months into the year (I cannot believe it is already March!) I have realized that I am sorely lacking in this department having read exactly 0 non-fiction books so far this year. Recently, I have become (re)fascinated (This should be a word…)  with history thanks to Crash Course History and Kahn academy, which fueled my interest so much that now I am searching for every book history related that I can find. Specifically those to do with ancient civilization and biographies of great people, with a few other things mixed in there as well. So without further ado, here is my non-fiction want to read list:

Color: A Natural History of the Palette by Victoria Finlay

Being an art history major, this book immediately caught my attention. This one is all about where certain colors come from and what famous people of the past used them. I feel as though there should be a class on practical things like this for art history majors. To me it seems useful for understanding ancient art better, but who knows, maybe its just me.

Catherine The Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie

There is something about Catherine the Great (And Russia) that has always kept me slightly fascinated. In elementary school I was obsessed with reading royal diaries, a fictional series that takes real queens/princesses and makes a story out of their teenage years. And in that series was one about Catherine the Great, so there started my interest. Now though, I would love to take an in depth look at her life and accomplishments.

The Longest Day by Cornelius Ryan

I am not a huge WWII buff like some people I know, but I don’t think it is possible to not be at least a little interested in the subject. The Longest Day recounts the invasion of Normandy both before and after it occurred. I am looking forward to understanding WWII better, specifically how the soldiers really felt during those times.

Zelda by Nancy Milford

After reading Z: A Novel of Zelda Fitzgerald I wanted to know more about her. Z was a good book, but since it was fiction based on a real person you can’t really know what to trust and not trust. Zelda is one of those people that you can’t help but be fascinated with, especially since she was married to one of the best authors of the 20th century.

So what are some non-fiction books that you loved and would recommend?

Until next time x

The Sunday Currently | Vol. 6

DSC_0815C U R R E N T L Y . . .
R E A D I N G All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. I am still on a binge of novels that take place in Europe even though I am actually in Europe now. Might as well fill every part of my day with something European while I am here so that I know I spent my time wisely!

W R I T I N G a journal/diary of my days in Amsterdam and am so far loving it! It feels really good to write with pen and paper instead of with a keyboard. I am mostly doing this so that I can look back on my thoughts and feelings when I leave this beautiful city. -cue tears-

L I S T E N I N G to Ariana Grande. I can’t believe I just admitted that. Every time one of my room mates plays music in the kitchen Break Free is bound to come on, and I secretly love it. Its my guilty pleasure music.

T H I N K I N G about home and summer and friends and endless days and nights. Can you tell I am still feeling a little homesick?

S M E L L I N G cooked mushrooms and eggs. I looove the smell of mushrooms cooking.

W I S H I N G that my homesickness would go away. The struggle is real.

H O P I N G that I meet some more people here. The people I have met so far are great, but I am still feeling rather lonely. So I am hoping to fill the void with more people.

W E A R I N G  tights and a shirt with a cat on it. Oh yeah.

L O V I N G fries with Belgium mayonnaise. I want some right now… It is unfortunate that I am trying to lose weight at the moment.

W A N T I N G more people to come and visit me. So far Christine is coming in a week, Sean is coming in April, Kimberly is coming in June, and my parents might be coming in May or June as well. March is completely open people. Come visit me!

N E E D I N G a hug. A hug from Sean to be more specific.

F E E L I N G refreshed after going for a walk under the sun.

C L I C K I N G on reviews of places to see and visit in Amsterdam. I am still so lost in this city. Any recommendations of things to do would be highly appreciated :)

I hope that everyone, wherever you are, has a most fabulous Sunday. I will be spending mine partying with my room mates as it is one of their birthdays.

The Sunday Currently originator: Siddathornton.

The Sunday Currently | Vol. 5

DSC_0662C U R R E N T L Y . . .
R E A D I N G The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway. I decided on this novel because after I read A Farewell to Arms it made me desperately want to travel Europe, so I figured Hemingway’s other novels might have the same effect. I am happy to say that I was right and now I am aching to walk the streets of Paris.

W R I T I N G lists. An exorbitant amount of lists! I thought that since this isn’t some small vacation and I am going to be living in Amsterdam for 5 months I should probably prepare (at least a little bit) instead of doing some last-minute packing the night before.

L I S T E N I N G to nothing much at the moment. Haven’t been in any sort of mood where I want to listen to music.

T H I N K I N G about all the last-minute things I need to prepare before I set off next week. This is where I chastise myself for being the best procrastinator in the world.

S M E L L I N G shea body butter. So delicious! You can say that about a scent, right?

W I S H I N G That I knew everything that is going to happen when I arrive in Amsterdam. I don’t like surprises, at least not the kind of surprises I am currently thinking about. Even thought exchange is a positive thing, I always sort of expect the worst. Damn my negative thinking!

H O P I N G that exchange will be a great experience.

W E A R I N G  my PJs. My favorite outfit recently.

L O V I N G All of the home cooked meals that my dad makes. I didn’t realize till the other day how much I will miss his cooking when I’m away. I am savouring every last bite while I can.

W A N T I N G to go on a shopping spree. But alas, I need to save money for important things like tuition and dorm feels.

N E E D I N G More money so I can successfully travel every place that I want to while I am in Europe.

F E E L I N G nervous and excited and apprehensive and sad annnd. I should probably stop there.

C L I C K I N G on all of my favorite blogs in bloglovin. Seriously my new favorite site.

I hope everyone had an amazing Sunday! I spent mine playing The Old Republic with Sean.

Join the blog link up by Siddathornton.

2015 Reading Goals

DSC_0648Every year I challenge myself by creating a reading goal, and 2015 is no different! Usually, I base my goals on how many books I think I can actually finish rather than how many I want to read. I like to have my reading goal all about feeling good at the end of the year by how much I accomplished. I don’t want to feel that I should have read more. Although let’s be honest, I think we all feel that, at least a little bit.

This year I set my goal at 20 books. Last year I also set my goal at 20, but only managed to read 19. Close, but no cigar! I made it the same again because I really want to complete that goal and I know that I can. This year I was a little lazy in keeping up on my reading. I always start and end strong, but slag off in the middle.

Sadly, I have only actually finished one of these reading challenges after doing it since 2011. Hoping I can change that this year! The first time I did it I vastly overestimated how much I can read in a year by making my goal 52 books. I won’t be making that mistake again!

Some other readings goals I have is to read more nonfiction this year. I started last year and surprisingly really enjoyed it. I really want to jam as much knowledge as possible into this brain of mine!

What are some reading goals you have for 2015?

Until next time x

The Works of Jane Austen: Completed

I have been putting off this post for some time as I actually finished my last Jane Austen novel about two months ago. I have just been feeling so sad that I don’t have any left to read (And I hate re-reading books).

Jane Austen has been one of my favorite authors for a long time. Ever since first reading Pride and Prejudice I have been in love with her works. Over the course of the last few years whenever I was in a particular Jane Austen kind of mood I would run to the bookstore to pickup whichever novel I had yet to complete. Now my only hope for a Jane Austen fix is if someone makes some more updated films of her books (More like the 2007 P&P please!).

Jane Austen is one of those things where you either love it or hate it. I know that a lot of people find her stories very boring, especially the writing style. Back in high school I was talking to my English teacher about books and he mentioned how he hates Jane Austen’s novels because its about rich peoples petty problems. I can see where he’s going there. I just can’t help but find them fascinating though. I think my problem is that I am in love with elegance and Jane Austen just screams elegance to me, or at least the time period does.

My favorite Jane Austen novel is definitely Pride and Prejudice. My love for it started with watching the 2007 film adaption and went from there. I think that I really connected with these characters in particular because they come from a family of girls and I can relate to that (even though I do have one brother). When I decided to read the book I found it even more enthralling than the movie, and then I read more of her books and the movie adaptions of them.

Some of them are definitely better than others. Emma and Northanger Abbey I think are her weaker works. The storyline was less interesting and in Northanger Abbey the writing was not quite like her other novels. I heartily recommend trying at least one of her books though! I find them very comforting, especially when I am feeling down. I almost feel jealous that there are people out there who have not yet had the chance to discover Jane Austen and her works. /sigh I am just being butthurt.

I am sorry this turned out to be a rant about my love for Jane Austen. I just couldn’t help it :3

Until next time x

 

A Romantic Notion

DSC_0315One thing that I am overly happy about that comes with the end of the school year is reading. I used to always find time to read while in school but more recently I was too stressed to do anything but stress over stressful school things. Yeah. Can you tell that last semester was a testament to my strength as a student? Now I can just relax with a cup of tea and a book, the perfect day if you ask me. The latest book that I have completed is Love Letters of Great Men and Women.

Don’t let that title fool you though. A lot of the letters in this book were not from who I would consider ‘great’ people. Half of them I had never even heard of. A lot of the men, in fact, were magazine editors and the likes. I am sure that for their time they were great and very influential in society, but I expected this book to mostly include people whos names are still mentioned today. Such as Mark Twain and Queen Victoria. To put it in simple terms, I was deceived by the title. Perhaps I was the only one, who knows.

Now onto the letters. Some I could not understand at all (theres 15th century English for you), while others were extremely sad and the rest what you’d usually expect from a love letter. This book was an eye opener to the amount of affairs that have taken place over the last few centuries. Holy. I think about half of the letters in this book were addressed to not so significant others.  It makes sense when thinking about the fact that a lot of marriages were arranged in the past, but I still felt quite sick at the thought. I suppose it is considered romantic to run off with your lover and leave your not so lovely husband/wife behind, which is probably why those letters were included.

My favorite letters I have to say were definitely from Mozart to his wife. The way he wrote them was so playful and childish, it made me overjoyed to think he would write to his wife in such a manner. I probably enjoyed his letters the most due to the fact that they were refreshing to read compared to the others. They were far more care free and less traditional.

I have to say that I did enjoy this book immensely, but not for the letters themselves. I found out that I love learning about peoples lives, especially in other time periods. For each ‘great’ person thats letters are contained in this book there was an introduction in order to learn about there life and the context of the letters. These introductions were my favorite part of the entire book. Plus, to my surprise, these letters did not actually make me want to receive a love letter. Shocking, I know. Letters seem to be the greatest romantic notion these days, especially with instant communication. But after reading so many, it doesn’t appeal to me as much. Not that I wouldn’t be glad to receive one, but they have lost their romantic luster. I certainly did not expect that by reading this book I would lose interest in love letters. Strange to say the least.