Stone walls

I think, since I quit school, I’ve had this desire to challenge myself intellectually, which has manifested itself in different ways through out the year. I don’t think I realized this when I was in school, rather its something I had to discover in its absence. Though, I’m still a lazy piece of shit that procrastinate. Some things don’t change I suppose. Or not just very fast.

The point is that my distance courses has begun. They’re lovely, all of them, especially since they’re subjects of my choice. I haven’t figured out what I want to become (isn’t it strange how we decide what people are based on their profession) as of yet, but I don’t feel the rush. Just a slight jealousy of those who have found their path.


Today is the election day. I’m not really interested in politics, but I enjoy the occassional discussion once in a while. Though I’m very intrigued of what the results will be, it being my first election I’m participating in, and the recent talk of a change of power between the blocs.

Once again

Autumn is here. Everyone’s starting something new, recreating themselves once and for all. Their final ascension into adulthood, until their very being is carved into stone. I wonder faintly if people stop changing, eventually. If they find so much comfort in what they’ve become that they won’t, can’t, move on.

I wonder why change is such a scary and thrilling thing.

I can’t say if I’ve changed or not. Surely, I would like to think so, but truth and self-perception has never been the minds strongest quality. I’ve finished school and only have higher education left to pursue, although that time has yet to come. I stopped reading almost entirely after the book challenge, sadly enough. It took a while, but I found my way back to the pages in February. I’ve been reading almost continously since then. Turns out that when it’s not as much as a “chore”, it is easier to lose yourself between the letters. And I’ve never been more thankful for the existence of libraries.

Honestly, I’m not much of a writer. I’m happy I managed to scratch down these sentences, the first ones in a year or so. We’ll see what might find it’s way here later.

Hey, hello, books & goodbye

Long time no see! As ever, I’m a lousy blogger. Sorry to say, that doesn’t seem to change at all…
Anyhoo, I’ve been reading this book for a school assignment, and since I’ve pestered most of my friends about it I thought why not pester my blog with it too. I’ve had my eye on it for a while but the 600 pages was enough to make me reconsider. When my teacher then said we had to read memoirs, I saw my chance an instantly grabbed this one. Normally, I’m a little hesitant to memoirs, since I’ve thought they are quite boring…? I prefer a completely made-up story, thank you very much. 
What caught my interest is that it’s not the story of a famous person or something alike, rather history through the eyes of witness. The book is about the cultural revolution in China during the 1966 and continuing for the following 10 years, i. e China when Mao Zedong and his Communist Party ruled. Sadly to say, I knew nothing of this until I read this. Absolutely nothing, except that there was something called the Cultural Revolution (and we like to think of ourselves as globalized youths, haha. It’s ridiculous when I think of the half-year I spent in ninth grade reading about WW2 and the holocaust to the extent that I can’t stand reading about it now, and the teacher didn’t even manage to mention “Oh yeah, a great deal of Chinese people died during the 1960’s. Just thought you should know.” What even??). 
This book is so horrible. I feel so ignorant and stupid for having missed something as terrible as this. It’s horrible because the author lines up event after event of assaults, public humiliation, oppression, beatings and murders. There’s no end to them, they just keep coming. It truly is frightening when you realize that this was the reality for some, a reality that was their only life. Therefore, this book is painful to go through, but it’s so worth it. I’ve barely made it halfway and I can’t stop reading it because it’s so revolting, illuminating intriguing at the same time, that you can’t let it go. 

…and I realized I haven’t even mentioned the name of it yet. It’s called “Rött Land, Röd Jord – En flickas uppväxt i Maos Kina” by Ming Wang-Sonnerup (basically “Red Land, Red Earth – A girls upbringing in Mao’s China”. Sadly, I don’t think it’s translated to English.
I don’t know if I should write a full review of it when I’m finished? Oh well, we’ll see about that.

“The 3 July and 24 July proclamations are Chairman Mao’s great strategic plans! Unite with forces that can be united with to strike surely, accurately and relentlessly at the handful of class enemies”

 

Bread, to put it simply

I’m a horrible blogger. This post has been in the making for more than I month, but I haven’t been able to get my ass in gear and finally write it. So, here you go – this is what I’ve spent some of my time doing recently.

This is really out of nowhere. I’ve started to bake bread like a madman. And this is coming from the girl who has spent her teenage life eating the same dry and extremely dull piece of toast, that hardly contribute to my life in general. I’m not sure how this whole thing started but I can subtly recall myself  having a tantrum to why I subject myself to this. I have never had the energy to spend time when I’m eating my breakfast, and has therefore hardly enjoyed my first meal in the morning. I got so tired of eating that damn slice of bread, day after day, and I didn’t even enjoy it. So I kinda got mad at myself and, luckily, did something about it.

I think a started out with a recipe I ate on a restaurant that my father came upon by pulling some strings of his. It was a greater batch than I had imagined – we ate that bread  for weeks. Still, it was the best breakfast I’d had in long time.
From there on, it kinda continued. Now, I have a hard time eating normal bread from markets. It feels that if I do, it’s like I’ve admitted defeat. I did it once though, when I hadn’t had time to make something with school and everything. It tasted like rubber, or a sponge deprived of its taste. To put it straight, it was horrible. I only devoured it so I wouldn’t die of starvation in school (though that perhaps would’ve been a more pleasant turn of events), and the first thing I did when I got home was to prepare a dough. And there you have my story.

I don’t have pictures of every bread I’ve made so far (simply because the thought to actually record my creation hasn’t been able to keep up with the need of devouring it first), but here are some just to tempt you guys~

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This is how a dough can look the night before being baked…

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…and even something as untempting as this…

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…can become perfectly enjoyable in the end. Freshly baked apricot bread!

People often say that I’m so impressive and good because I actually make my own bread. However, I think this is a great overestimation – it’s not as hard as people believe. It’s quite simple, and if you’re a beginner like me, you’ll probably start out with the easy recipes anyway. It’s not time-consuming either. There are plenty of breads out there that take 8-12 hours to ferment, but the actual effort you put in is that of a quarter. Some of these breads are the best I’ve made, and one of them is the apricot bread in display above. Also, the joy of eating something you’ve made by yourself from scratch is exceptional.

(It’s also great for those who’re afraid of e-numbers and other things you have no idea of what they are and like to know what you’re eating)

I do think that it’s important to find a book to start with. I mainly use this one, but I’m pretty sure it hasn’t been translated to english, and that is such a shame. It’s an incredible book for a beginner, and teaches you to understand what went wrong if you failed and to not  follow the instructions to the letter.

Finally, I would like to ask: is there still anyone out there? Or have you all abandoned me after the book challenge ended? I haven’t given up on books yet, so it will in all likelihood appear something book-related sooner or later! Until then!

Post book challenge thoughts

Unlike many of you might have thought, it’s not a relief to have finished this challenge. Not at all. I’ve been angst-ing more than usual this last week, knowing that I won’t read a book a week no more. I mean, there’s so much time I’ve put into reading this last year. What will I do with that time now? I’m sure it’s something useless and non-productive. The amount of time I’ve already spend reading though, I can’t even begin to imagine. Kinda proud of myself right now.

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I can’t believe I’ve already done this for an entire year. Even so, it feels like I didn’t get to read the books I wantedto read at all. Rather, it feels like my  “books I want to read list” has grown instead of shrunk. I mean, what the heck? That’s not fair. I guess when you really get into books you start to find new ones you want to read continuously.

Though, I do think the timing of the challenge end is great. I’m in my last year of school, no, not even that, way into the last semester of school, and I suspect I’ll need to time to finish all work that probably going to be coming my way in spring. Still, I will miss reading and rejoice. It could be such a pain if it wasn’t a book I necessarily wanted to read but had to since I had to choose something for this week, and/or it was short enough so I would’ve been able to finish on time (monday) even if I had school work to do. However, I got to read so many great books this year. Even those I didn’t like was worth reading, just for the experience. And let’s not forget, the ones the that completely blew your expectations away and stunned you. There’s not a single read I regret.
Well, the exception might be this one…

I can’t help but to feel a bit angsty though. I get stressed out when I think about not having finished a book until tomorrow. Really, it’s almost like I’ll burst into panic mode and crash my library now even if it’s long since closed. But, it seems I can’t get away from reading for a while. Just a few days ago, a friend practically threw a book at me and said “read this.” Apparently, I don’t have a choice in the matter? Youths today.

I might have complained so far, but in the end, it’s worth it. It was incredibly fun and enjoyable, and I wouldn’t hesitate into trying to make someone else do it. It’s loads of fun, and I can’t help but to wonder what I’ll spend my time doing instead of reading. Maybe I’ll find a new challenge in time, or I’ll take up this one again. Who knows.

 

Week 52 – Book 52 – “The Time Machine” by H.G. Wells

Oh my gosh, last book! Last book! I am finally finished!

Well, this was quite an interesting read. Amusing and eye-opening. Not amazed though. It sort of reminds me of “A Journey to the Center of the Earth” in parts, and I despise that book. This is because it has several segments where he describes the things from natural scientific perspective, which seriously bores me. There’s a significant difference in writing literature and painting up an image and simply describe how something looks. If you just stay to the materials physical properties, it’ll end up like a fact book, with its only contents being pure knowledge. I detest when people write a novel and do this. It’s horrible to read, kills your interest and makes the book an immense flatness, no depth at all.

This was only in some parts though. I first though the book was going to be made out of segments though history and not share any similarities at all. I was wrong. It was basically one journey, one that stirs up trouble for him though. While not being incredibly intriguing, it do describe a potential path of human mankind. I don’t think it’s a path many would’ve image, which I think is kinda interesting. However, this certain path isn’t really…that interesting. It’s somewhat cool that he manage to come up with it and so, but it lacks something vital to make it really great.

Also, the last time travel part I’ve had trouble seeing the need of. Except him being in a rush of escaping, I do not see it’s purpose at all. Either that or showing how the world will end up eventually. I wouldn’t say that the book is bad though, mediocre would be a better word. I’m not amazed or anything like that. It’s just another read that I’ll remember for a short while and in time forget. Though, I’m think that this kind of read is needed at times. Everything can’t be exceptional and mind-blowing.

 

 

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Week 51 – Book 51 – “the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams

Originally planned to read “the Two Towers” and then realized the mountain of homework piling up wasn’t going to disappear by itself. A little magic to help it do so though, would’ve been appreciated.

So yeah, I read “the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” instead.

The hardest question to this book is “what is it about?”, to which I snickered in response and said “I have absolutely no idea”. Because it’s true. This book is so random and all over the place, that trying to explain in words what it’s about becomes extremely difficult. I could for short say that it’s about a guy lost in space, or the story of Arthur Dent who becomes victim of some unfortunate events regarding his native planet. Either explanation does not actually tell what the story’s about, since the content  is so rapid and happens by chance that it’s hard to keep up with it. You read it, you enjoy it, but you will probably be confused as hell. In a positive way. The kind of confusion where you simply laugh and feel more wacky than usual, and is the most pleasurable.

I do not find it as hilarious as others seem though. I mean, there were parts where I laughed out loud (for instance, the part with the mattress being dead…most of the time), but not quite what I expected. Don’t misinterpret: it is funny, no doubt about it. I would rank it on par with Terry Pratchett (whom I seem to compare with everything nowadays?), though their individual style is slightly different. I think I had really high expectations of it since everyone seems to like it so much.

 

And my head currently feels like it’s stuffed with cotton, so I’ll just stop now before going out of context. Over and out.

 

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