The Book of Tea by Kakuzo Okakura

29th May 2017 Ann-Cathrine 0

Much has been said and written about the differences between the East and the West, but perhaps none really boils down to the essence of it as this little book about the philosophies surrounding tea. Written in 1906 and published recently in the popular Little Black Classics series by Penguin, Kakuzo Okakura’s The Book of Tea guides the reader through the history of tea and the rules of the ceremony surrounding it. I have been a tea drinker for 10+ years but in the British style with black teas and cream or drinking infusions of herbs and flowers. Never the […]

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My Year with Proust: The Guermantes Way

31st March 2017 Ann-Cathrine 0

After a long summer retreat at Balbec by the sea, we return to Paris with Proust and are thrown into the heart of Parisian high society. At the centre of it all shines the Duchess of Guermantes, Oriane, supposedly based on the real Countess Elizabeth Greffulhe. Oriane is known for her style and her intellect, manifesting itself in her so-called wit which to a modern reader is nothing more than bullying remarks driven by boredom to keep people talking about her and being slightly scared of whether they will fall victim of her ‘latest’ change of heart or fancy. No one […]

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My Year With Proust #2: In the Shadow of Young Girls in Bloom

4th October 2016 Ann-Cathrine 0

Teenage hormones galore! Be warned! In this second instalment of Marcel Proust’s trip down memory lane, we follow his various endeavours to be with his two loves, first Gilberte Swann and later Albertine Simonet. Not being too proud to avoid being pathetic at times, Proust manages despite Charles Swann’s reluctance to become one of Gilberte’s best friends and a favourite of her mother’s. Through endless tea parties with him as the only boy among girls and women, he pines and yearns for Gilberte to confess her love for him. He builds thousands of imaginary castles in the sky and forgets […]

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The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

30th August 2016 Ann-Cathrine 0

One of my favourite literary genres is fairy tales and I am especially happy with all the retellings of classic tales available in recent years. I am always curious about what spin other people can take with a well-known and much loved story and the popularity of them says something about our society I think. A nostalgic look at our cultural history but with our modern culture’s virtues and vices at the forefront regardless whether the stories take place in the past, present, or future. Last year, I found the first book in the hugely popular series of The Lunar […]

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When Sequels Disappoint + Mini-review of Queen of Shadows

22nd June 2016 Ann-Cathrine 0

Earlier this year, I started the popular book series Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and I was really excited about it because it had an awesome heroine, cool secondary characters, interesting world building, and a plot to make you speed-turn every page. So I did speed-read the first books, Throne of Glass and Crown of Midnight, but then the third, Heir of Fire, started to be a bit off. However, I just thought of that as being because the awesome characters were apart and that it would heat back up in the fourth book, Queen of Shadows (QoS). […]

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The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

15th June 2016 Ann-Cathrine 0

What more can possibly be said about the Greek classics? How many more versions can we endure? Why can’t we just stay with Homer’s version? One answer to some of these questions is undoubtedly because the Illiad is at the foundation of the Western culture. We cannot avoid it even if we tried. The story of Helen’s elopement with Paris and the long siege of Troy speaks to everyone of us. We all identify with one or another of the heroes and heroines, and feel the otherworldly and larger-than-life lives they led. The passion, the thirst for glory and divinity, […]

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The Martian by Andy Weir

7th June 2016 Ann-Cathrine 0

When I was a child, before school or anything, the only thing I wanted to be when I grew up was an astronaut. I could spent hours upon hours looking at television specials about the Universe and when I learnt how to read I read everything about the stars and planets. My mother has her favourite childhood (horror) story about me: on a Sunday morning, very early, I jumped into my parents’ bed asking, ‘What’s the fourth planet from the Sun?’ My mother had often stated that it was the moment she sort of gave up on me. Since then […]

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Inspired by Marilyn Monroe – Fragments

1st June 2016 Ann-Cathrine 0

  Some years ago, a collection of Marilyn Monroe‘s letters and papers was published in a lovely book called Fragments and since I have always had a soft spot for her, I of course needed it. My favourite part of it was seeing her handwriting; a bit weird perhaps but I love handwriting and lament the loss of it. So much personality goes into it and you can make up stories just by the subtle and not so subtle changes in it. My second favourite part of the book was the small appendix featuring some of the books she owned […]

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Submission by Michel Houellebecq

24th May 2016 Ann-Cathrine 0

One of 2015’s most controversial books was undoubtedly Michel Houellebecq’s Submission. The year is 2022 and our protagonist is a middle-aged university professor with little regard for anything besides sex with female students and his work on Huysmans. Nevertheless, from his position as a renowned literature professor in Paris, he is drawn into the events surrounding the presidential election and the political discussions of religion and the consequences an Islamic government could have for France and abroad. This book sparked a hefty debate following its release which coincidently was the same day as the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris.

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My Year with Proust – Swann’s Way

3rd May 2016 Ann-Cathrine 0

I have a reading goal this year and not just a number to reach like at Goodreads, but rather like an accomplishment in refining my world literature knowledge. That is a general goal for me and why I usually gravitate toward classics and philosophical books. This year I am attempting to read all of Marcel Proust’s In Search of Time Lost and I have recently finished the first of seven(!) instalments, Swann’s Way. (Note: I am reading the newly translated version in Danish by publisher Multivers who has also broken up most instalments into two volumes, so here I have […]

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