December 2019 📚 Wrap Up

Where I talk about the books I read in December 2019📚

Where I talk about the books I read in December 2019📚

Links to all the books:

The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher

Full Throttle by Joe Hill

Locke & Key vol. 2 by Joe Hill

The Christmas Wish List by Heidi Swain

A Boy Called Christmas by Matt Haig

Dreadmyre, Emberwall book 1 by J.A. Raikes

Want to try Audible for FREE with 2 audiobooks of your own choice? Here’s your chance!

❤️If you want to support my channel, you can do so through my Patreon page. I would be eternally grateful! Every little bit helps!❤️

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I Fell in Love With a Couple of Indie Movies!

Sharing a couple of movies I’ve watched and loved recently🎥

After I had two of my wisdom teeth removed a little over a week ago, I had a couple of days where I just didn’t have the energy to do much other than lie on the couch and watch Netflix.

It’s been a while since I’ve explored the indie movie selection on Netflix, even though I love stumbling across quirky, weird films that stand out. This time though, I stumbled across two that I loved, and I thought I’d share them with you!

Unicorn Store (2017)

Unicorns, lots of colors, and a dash of magic in the world of a grown up?!
I was sold by the idea as soon as I came across it, and jumped right in!

I absolutely loved Brie Larson and her character in this movie. It’s so filled with color and magic, and a quite a lot of anxiety and fear about the whole concept of growing up and making the right choices as an adult.

I can definitely relate!

The Incredible
Jessica James (2017)

Woman struggling as an artist and as a single woman… Well, that sounds familiar! Press play!

Jessica Williams plays the character Jessica James so well, and I just loved how funny and strong of a female lead she is! Not every movie about being single has to have a damsel in distress feel to it, even if they are showing the hard parts about getting over someone and trying to move on.

We need more strong leads as Jessica who are outspoken, confident, and not afraid to be sex positive!

So, there you have it! Just a couple of movie recommendations for you!

Let me know in the comments if you’ve seen any of these two movies, and what you thought of them😁And/or if you have some good recommendations for quirky movies then let me know!

How Many Plastic Phone Cases Are Sold in a Year?

Here’s how you can do something about that by being a more conscious consumer🌍

Do you know? Want to take a guess?

OVER 1 BILLION!

That’s a whole lot of vanity plastic! And with people using their phone as an accessory, as well as changing their phones way more often than they used to, there’s a whole lot of phone cases that end up polluting our beautiful home.

When I decided to be a way more conscious consumer, I decided to look at the products that I had quite a few of or changed quite often, and my phone cases got my attention. So I started looking for a better option.

That’s when I discovered Pela!

Pela Cases are 100% COMPOSTABLE and free of lead, cadmium, BPA, and phthalates. Their cases are made of a proprietary blend of biopolymers and Canadian Prairie flax shives.

How awesome is that?!

I ordered my first case last year, and then another this year so that I have a couple of different looks to choose from.
I love how durable they are, and how soft to the touch they feel!

Pela makes it easy for us consumers to make a more conscious choice when it comes to our phone accessories! They have a range of different designs and colors for both iPhone and Android, and they also have special editions made in collaboration with designers or charity partners.

I’m absolutely in love with their products and everything that Pela as a company stands for, and I want to give you the chance to fall in love with them too!

When I bought my last case, I got a referral code that will give my friends (that’s you! 💖) $10 off!!

All you have to do is to go to Pela’s website by clicking the logo below:

Or press this link: http://pelacase.refr.cc/devries

There is no planet B my dear lovelies, and we all have to do what we can to try to save it for our future generations!

Every little bit helps!

💛If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission 💛

Step Into My New Office

My creative corner💖

You know how getting yourself some new workout clothes boosts your workout motivation?

Getting a new office does the same for me when it comes to my creative work!

Now, the workspace I have at home is still the same as it’s been for the last (almost) 4 years, but after my cray-cray boyfriend went on the hunt for a used iMac and surprised me with it for Christmas (Thank you love 💖I know you blame Santa, but we both know that’s not true!), I felt a need to redecorate my home office.

Here’s what I got:

I got these two on sale from Paperchase
I’ve been in love with Paperchase and their stationary since Leander and I stumbled upon one of their stores in London when we went there in 2018.

Who doesn’t need a cup of positivitea in the middle of a writing/editing project?!
Unfortunately, this tea set was out of stock from the Sass & Belle website, but I found one on eBay!

I also got myself a new pen holder, after using a jam jar for the last 3 years, and it’s this cute cactus, and I regret nothing!
I bought mine from Amazon 🌵

And last, but not least:

Unicorns AND yoga?! Of course I needed this in my life!
Maybe you do too?🦄

So, here it is! My new office and I’m ready to get to work!

💛If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission 💛

Hard to Read

About some of the books I’ve been reading lately.

As readers there are some books we instantly fall in love with, some we fall out of love with, some are slow at the beginning, some fades into nothing, some we power through, and others we give up on. 

There are also those books that are just hard to read, be that because of the language, the story building, our own interest, or something completely different. 

I’ve read books that are 500+ pages in no time at all, and then there are books that I use weeks on even though they’re just a couple of hundred pages. 

But lately, I’ve been reading some books that really take their toll on me. 

For those of you who’s been around for a while, you know that I love historical fiction and non-fiction based on World War II. I usually get through at least 2-3 every year, but for the last 6 months or so I’ve read a lot more of it. And even though I find the stories super interesting and I still enjoy diving into them, the stories of the Holocaust are so horrific and (often) graphic that it completely drains me. Some days I get completely engulfed in the story and can’t put the book down, other days I just need to read something completely different to have a little break. 

Why I need a break? Because reading about the cruelty and hardship of the Second World War tends to send my mind spiraling into a pretty dark place where I wouldn’t like to be stuck. 

It’s hard to place oneself in the minds of those who suffered, and in the minds of the people who were the cause of the suffering.

I think my interest when it comes to reading historical fiction and non-fiction about the war is the same as why I find True Crime so interesting. It’s something about trying to understand how people can get to a place and a mindset where they are overtaken by evil. A way of trying to understand how a mind like that works. 

Maybe it’s macabre, or just human curiosity, I’m not even sure. But the truth is that I’ve had to take breaks more often lately to read lighter fiction like children’s books or comics, just to get the darkness at a distance for a little while. 

That being said, I think that it’s extremely important that we read the stories that are hard to swallow. We learn from the echos of our history.

And even though some of the stories are extremely hard to read, they are amazing reads and I can’t wait to share some of them with you soon.

The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil, a Run by Nagabe 📚 BOOK REVIEW

My review of The Girl from the Other Side.

Nagabe

I read a paperback edition of The Girl from the Other Side

Genre: Manga, Graphic novel

Publisher: Seven Seas Entertainment, LLC

Originally published: March 10th, 2016

Pages: 180 (paperback)

Synopsis by the publisher:

In a land far away, there were two kingdoms: the Outside, where twisted beasts roamed that could curse with a touch, and the Inside, where humans lived in safety and peace. The girl and the beast should never have met, but when they do, a quiet fairytale begins.

This is a story of two people–one human, one inhuman–who linger in the hazy twilight that separates night from day.

My thoughts:

In my current exploration of Manga, I came across The Girl from the Other Side: Siuil. What drew me to it was the covers. There was just something about the art style that I instantly fell in love with. And it also gave off a very fairytale, but yet dark and eerie vibe. 

As soon as I picked it up, my expectations were already pretty high, even though I’d heard nothing about it before suddenly stumbling across the series. 

It turned out that The Girl from the Other Side was everything I had hoped it would be, and even more. 

The story has a wonderful balance between being dark and sweet. There’s a lightheartedness that shines through the eeriness, and that’s one of the things that made me fall absolutely in love with it. 

The worldbuilding is very interesting, the artwork is beautiful, and the characters are so interesting. Especially this creature from the Other Side. 

But there’s also a sadness to the story. This little girl who is left behind in the village, desperately hoping, and impatiently waiting for her aunt to come back is heartbreaking, but also a wonderful example of the naivety most children have. 

The Girl from the Other Side is also incredibly atmospheric and easy as a reader to fall into the story and fly through it in one sitting. 

To me, this story was the perfect start to a series, and I can’t wait to continue on with it. I already have vol. 2 and 3 on its way to me.

Highly recommend!

💛If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission 💛

Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy by SANZO 📚 BOOK REVIEW

My review of Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy by SANZO 🐛

I read a paperback edition of the manga Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy.

Genre: Manga, Romance, Fantasy

Publisher: Yen Press

Originally published: June 26th 2018

Pages: 192 (paperback)

Synopsis by the publisher:

When a beautiful girl asks her childhood friend out, his response is a shocker: “You’re too perfect.”

What’s a girl to do, except transform into a giant caterpillar and try, try again?

My thoughts:

While my good friend Alex was visiting from the States here in December, we did what fellow booklover often find themselves doing when they come together; we went book hunting in bookstores here in Oslo. While we were at Outland (which is my favorite bookstore in Oslo) Alex wanted to look for a couple of mangas, and that’s how I ended up feeling like Alice falling through the rabbit hole and discover something truly new and wonderful. I’ve always loved how the manga art style looks like, but I’ve never really given manga a chance, even though I’ve read quite a few comics and graphic novels over the last few years.
But going down into the manga section at Outland had me more curious than ever, and I ended up picking up a few mangas that I stumbled across that looked interesting.

“Caterpillar Girl and Bad Texter Boy” was one of them.
What drew me to this particular manga was the absolutely weird and intriguing title. And when I read the short synopsis, I was sold!
This story has an eerie and dark weirdness to it. I really liked the art style, and especially the way that the Suzume is drawn as a caterpillar. Who knew a caterpillar could show so many emotions?

That being said, I have conflicting thoughts about the story.
Akane is a character that’s extremely hard to like. He’s the guy that refused to see what he had before it was gone, and when it comes back as something different, he doesn’t really learn to appreciate it as love before Suzume is absolutely miserable and became his “property”. But Akane also struggles with anxiety and his self-worth, which makes him more relatable as the story progresses.

Suzume is easier to like because of the cute weirdness of her caterpillar appearance, and it is easy to relate to the struggle of wanting so desperately to be loved by someone that you would do almost anything to get there.
It’s a story that reminds us to be careful what one wishes for, and also be aware of other people’s feelings. One about acceptance and mental health, and how self-loathing and events from one’s past can destroy the good things in one’s life.

I thought the book touched on some rather deep and interesting subjects but could’ve dived even deeper into them.
It’s different and it’s creepily cute. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t fall in love with it.

But if you’re looking for something that stands out (both as a story and as a standalone in the manga world of series) then this might be something for you!

💛If you buy via my affiliate links, I get a small commission 💛

Thanatophobia

Some thoughts about a fear that I have.

I haven’t been feeling well for the last couple of days, and whenever my body is “out of balance” it seems that a little bit of my sanity goes with it. There’s just something about illness that makes me hyper-aware of my own mortality.

I am very much aware of the fact that we are all going to die at some point, and it is not the actual dying part that gives me anxiety (although I’m not particularly keen on that idea either), but it is knowing that one day I just won’t be here anymore. All that’s left will be whatever I leave behind, and the memories of the people around me that are still alive.

And when I think about that, I also start to think about what it is that I would be leaving behind, and the goals and dreams I want to achieve before the day that I leave.

This can either go two ways. The best-case scenario is that it makes me extremely motivated to get shit done, but the other scenario (which is the one I find myself in too often) is an overwhelming fear of not being able to get to it all. Fear of being at the end of the road full of regrets.

And then trying to wrap my head around that someday my thoughts and feelings will just turn into nothing, it turns into deep thoughts that I can easily find myself lost in.

Another aspect of death that scares me is the lives of all the people I love and myself to be taken away by someone else’s hands. We look at how the climate is changing, how the earth is getting fevers and getting angry, and most of all there are leaders with access to atomic weapons who shouldn’t be at a position of power what so ever. Looking at the state of the world when I’m already in a bit of a fragile place mentally, it can easily send me into a dark spiral of fear and sadness.

If I sit around and think about it for too long, I will eventually end up with a full-blown panic attack, and then end up isolating myself for a day or two to kind of reset my own brain. This is why I’m unable to watch movies about the end of the world. The sci-fi versions with aliens and so on are totally fine, but the ones that focus on plagues, the death of the earth or atomic war, it sends my mind into a very dark place where I don’t want to be.

The world is a strange, wonderful, and utterly scary place. I fear it at times, but I fear losing it so much more. I fear leaving it because I fear the ceasing to be because that is all I’ve ever known.

What I’m trying to say is that I often find myself scared, and embarrassed to admit it. So here I am, facing a personal fear by admitting one of my biggest fears.

Thank you for taking the time to read through my rambling of dark thoughts🖤

Mila 18 by Leon Uris 📚 BOOK REVIEW

My review of Mila 18 by Leon Uris 📚

I listened to an audiobook edition of Mila 18 on Audible.

Genre: Historical fiction, WWII fiction.

Publisher: Brilliance Audio

Originally published: 1961 by Doubleday

Pages: 563 (paperback)

Audiobook length: 22 hrs and 58 mins

Narrated by: David deVries

Synopsis by the publisher:

It was a time of crisis, a time of tragedy – and a time of transcendent courage and determination. Leon Uris’s blazing novel is set in the midst of the ghetto uprising that defied Nazi tyranny, as the Jews of Warsaw boldly met Wehrmacht tanks with homemade weapons and bare fists. Here, painted on a canvas as broad as its subject matter, is the compelling story of one of the most heroic struggles of modern times.

My thoughts:

Mila 18 is one of those books that my dad has recommended to me over and over again. I’ve had it on my shelf for what feels like forever, but for some reason, I just never got around to reading it. But on the hunt for some new audiobooks on Audible it came up as a recommended book there as well (not surprising since I have listened and read my share of books about World War 2), so I decided it was time to finally read/listen to it. 

It took me a little while to get all the characters in order, but as soon as I did, I was very invested in their stories. 

Mila 18 is a slow burner, but the flame burns bright through the whole book. The audiobook is almost 22 hours long, but during these hours I never felt bored. 

The story of the Warsaw ghetto tells how war and despair bring out the very best in people, and the absolute worst. 

We follow struggling marriages, young couples in love, a resistance coming to life, German officers and families just trying to survive.

It is a heartbreaking story as much as it is one that makes you want to go utterly mad with anger. One of the things that always made WWII stories so fascinating to me, was trying to get into the minds of the people who drove the war forward and trying to understand how someone could be so cruel and act so cruel. But I have to say that for the most part, the more I read, the less I feel like I understand. I still can’t fathom how the Nazis could justify their acts, and I don’t think I ever will. 

But no matter how difficult it is to try to understand why people sometimes do the things that they do, books like Mila 18, and so many others, are so important. We need to remember. We have to remember. 

This book tells a story of immense bravery, love, and endurance. We get to follow the people in the ghetto as well as outside of it and see how they process the war and how it changes the city that they call home, as well as the people around them. 

The uprising in the Warsaw ghetto is a symbol of freedom. 

It is a powerful story, an important story, but not one for the faint of heart. It had me feeling angry, unwell and moved to tears. 

If you like historical fiction and especially historical fiction set during WWII, then I would definitely recommend Mila 18.

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