Sunday Post: Glasses & ALL THE FOOD

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What’s new?

It only took 3 weeks of being back home for me to start missing Asian food. Literally any authentic Asian food.

About a week ago I ordered a meal from the local Indian restaurant and was horribly disappointed. It was so bland and tasteless and ergh. A few days later, I asked my brother to pick me up a crispy seaweed dish from the local Chinese. This time I was horrified to receive a lump of seaweed that had been frazzled and mixed with sugar.

Now I keep dreaming of kimchi. And gimbap. And tteokbokki. And sushi. And miso. And bibimbap. And chapatati. And mutter paneer. And samosas. And seaweed. And ramen. Mostly ramen. All the ramen.

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WWW Wednesday – 13/06/18

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

~*~

Currently Reading

I’m still working my way through Ronan Farrow’s War on Peace. That isn’t a reflection of the content or the writing though. As I’ve said before, it’s all about American politics and, as I’m not American and have spent the last 4 years in the east, a lot of the content is new to me.

I’m also half way through Little Women and loving every single page. ❤ This is my first time reading it (even though I've watched the 1994 film adaptation hundreds of times) and, so far, I adore it. I knew I would.

Recently Finished:

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I finally finished this craziness and wrote a review about it. That’s my first book completed for my 20 books of summer challenge. I’m so behind on that. I really need to get a move on.

Reading next:

I recently joined my town library and I knew that the first few reads from there had to be some Welsh literature.

I don’t think I’ve read any Welsh literature since I was in school and, while I like to think I read diversely, the truth is that most of the authors I read are American, Canadian, or English. I want to try reading something from my own country. I’ve never read anything by Dylan Thomas before (which, for a Welsh bookworm, is ridiculous) so I thought I’d start with this collection of short stories.

My People was extremely controversial when it was published in 1915. English critics loved it but Welsh people wanted it banned. It apparently doesn’t paint west Wales in the most favourable light and uses a raw, grittiness that attacks what Evans saw as a corrupt Liberal Non-conformist hierarchy.

Looking forward to that.

Review: Orlando by Virginia Woolf

Title: Orlando

Author: Virginia Woolf

Year: 1928

Rating: 3/5

How does one go about describing the plot of this book? It’s certainly an adventure for the mind. I first heard about it a few months ago while reading the letters between Woolf and Vita Sackville-West. Orlando was Virginia’s love letter to Vita. All of her lover’s traits and characteristics were forever locked into the story of a young nobleman’s life in the Elizabethan court and the centuries that follow. That’s right – centuries. Orlando’s life spans centuries though he seemingly never ages. Midway through the book, after experiencing first love during the Thames frost fairs, and then moving to Turkey after being promoted to ambassador, Orlando wakes up one morning to find himself transformed into a woman. The rest of the novel follows Orlando’s journey into self-identity, exploring gender identity through the ages.

This book is as strange as it sounds. This is my first Virginia Woolf novel and I certainly wasn’t expecting some Lewis Caroll-style weirdness – though I am glad I read it.

Orlando spends a lot of time inside their own head, paying particular attention to tiny details of the people and world that surround them. As a result, the writing often has a dreamlike quality to it, though there are some gems that I couldn’t help but make a note of.

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Sunday Post: Two Weeks In

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What’s new?

I’ve been back in Wales for just over two weeks now. In the last four years I haven’t spent longer than 3 weeks here so it’s going to be interesting to see if that itch to leave returns. So far, I’m loving every moment of being back. I don’t regret leaving my life abroad at all – though I do miss my kids (students) to death. I’m exactly where I want to be right now and this is the first time in years that I’ve been living right here, in the present, rather than dreaming of what will happen in the future or planning my next move.

I went for a job interview for a teaching position last week but, as good as it seemed, I quickly realised that teaching EFL here in Wales isn’t going to be the best choice, financially speaking. As much as I’m enjoying staying with my parents right now, I obviously want to move out as soon as I start working again. Teaching EFL here isn’t going to make that happen so it’s time to start looking at other sectors.

I’m not stressing over it too much for now though. The right job will come along in time.

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WWW Wednesday – 06/06/18

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The Three Ws are:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

~*~

Currently reading:

I’m almost halfway through Orlando and still feeling it out. I really don’t know what to make of it. I’m not struggling with the language the way I did 10 years ago, which is a positive, and the story’s just taken an unexpected turn which is keeping me (mildly) interested. I think it’s one I’ll definitely finish.

I’m also listening to War on Peace on audio. Ronan Farrow is a terrific narrator and I’m learning a lot but I’m having to listen to this at half speed because there’s so much information, I really do want to make sure I’m taking it all in.

Recently finished:

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As I said in my May wrap-up, I recently finished this poetry collection by the Bronte sisters. This really got me in the mood to read more classics and I’m glad there are a few on my 20 Books of Summer.

I also want to finally re-read Jane Eyre. It’s been more than 10 years since I last read it and it immediately became one of my all-time favourites. I’d like to see if I still enjoy it as much as I did back then.

Reading next:

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I’ve been wanting to read Little Women for years and I was so happy when it was chosen as one of my 20 Books of Summer. I think this’ll finally be the perfect time. ❤

20 Books of Summer

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I’ve finally found a readalong I want to join. 😀 20 Books of Summer is a reading challenge hosted by Cathy at 746 Books. These are the rules:

Choose a list of 20 (or 15 or 10) books, and then read and review them between 1st June and 3rd of September.

That’s it. That’s all you have to do.

This couldn’t have come at a better time. I’ve been wanting to knock down the number of books on my ever-growing Kindle TBR and this is the perfect challenge to spur me on.

And, as I’m not usually one for choosing books a few months in advance, I’m actually going to number the books on my Kindle from 1-43 and let twelve of my family and friends pick a random number. Whatever they choose will be what I read. 😀

The remaining eight will be other books I’m eager to get to.

Family and friends choices:

  1. The Break by Katherena Vermette (#23 My Mum)
  2. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott (#7 My Dad)  
  3. Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf (#7 Little Brother)
  4. Fairyland by Alysia Abbott (#8 Baby Brother)
  5. Lucky Boy by Shanthi Sekaran (#32 Archivist Friend)
  6. War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells (#17 Bellydancer Friend)
  7. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (#27 Kitten Nurse Friend)
  8. My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem (#23 Mexico City Friend)
  9. Imagine This: Growing Up With my Brother John Lennon by Julia Baird (#30 Dubai Friend)
  10. Rest in Power by Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin (#33 London Friend)
  11. Leaves of the Banyan Tree by Albert Wendt (#19 Vietnam Friend)
  12. A Century of Dishonor by Helen Jackson (#21 Singapore Friend)

My choices (which could end up changing):

  1. Orlando by Virginia Woolf  
  2. War on Peace by Ronan Farrow
  3. My People by Caradoc Evans  
  4. Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog by Dylan Thomas
  5. Almanac of the Dead by Leslie Marmon Silko
  6. What Falls Away by Mia Farrow
  7. Seven Fallen Feathers by Tanya Talaga
  8. Once Were Warriors by Alan Duff

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I’ve recently moved back home and am not working right now so that should give me plenty of time to get these read. That is, if youtube doesn’t distract me too much.

I think my biggest challenge will be to write up reviews. Especially if I don’t have much to say about what I’ve read.

Oh, well. I guess that’s the challenge.

Wish me luck!

May Reading Wrap-Up & June Reading Plans

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June is here. The days are long in Wales and I’m loving every moment of it.

It’s been about five years since I last experienced a Welsh summer and, while it still feels too chilly to be throwing my shorts and flip flops on, I like being able to look up from my back garden and see the green, green grass of home under a lovely blue sky.

Having said that, I’d be lying if I said a majority of my time was spent outdoors. My sleep patterns are still a little all over the place so I’ve been falling asleep during the day at odd times and spending most nights lying awake reading.

The good thing about that is that I’ve finally got my reading mojo back. May has been one of the best reading months for me so far and, even though I only read a total of five books, that’s much better than I did in April and May.

So, let’s get on to the books I read:

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