Promises Made | Books

Les chaussures italiennes, par Henning Mankell

This past Christmas, instead of giving things, I made promises. I still haven’t finished my list of new year’s resolutions, but I already have this one entry: keep them — and I’m looking forward to a little bit of reading, sewing, knitting, walking and picture taking every month for the year to come.

My dad and I are going to read a book of his choosing every month and share our impressions. As a warm-up, he lent me his copy of Italian Shoes by Henning Mankell. I read the first half on a train journey across France during the holidays, and after a short interruption to devour a delightful essay in praise of home lovers, I finished it yesterday.

I liked the first half best, because it made me curious to see where the story would go, while I thought the second half was a bit more predictable. My favorite thing was the setting – did I mention already that am a sucker for the forests of North Sweden and islands in the Baltic sea? – and I also quite liked the main character.

What about you? Do you have any books to recommend?
Where do you get ideas of books to read? I spotted many novels I’d like to read in Ida’s reading lists recently.
Also, I really liked this post today.


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Some Things

Chez Soi, Une odyssée de l'espace domestique, by Mona Chollet

Something I’ve just finished reading. A good friend recommended it (thank you!), and I spent the first days of the year devouring it, shouting with enthusiasm at pretty much every page.

Something – plenty of things – to please the eyes, the hearts and the stomachs, on a beautiful blog I recently discovered through the Weekly Photo Challenge.

Something simple, but worth saying.

Something you can perhaps help me with: its seems that the image galleries on my illustration page don’t appear on some browsers/devices. If you’re unable to see them, I’d be very grateful if you could tell me.

Have a lovely weekend!


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Reading Matters

reading matters // by marion // detail

reading matters // by marion

If you’ve been around these pages for a while, you’ve seen this little man before. A lot. I know! Cut from cereal boxes. Clumsily turned into greeting cards. Looking somewhat better on cheap watercolor paper.

What a process it’s been for me, slowly getting there. So many changes, so many things to learn, many more yet to learn.

I often think about how important reading has been in getting me where I am today. It was the words of Virginia Woolf, that took my breath away. It was the hundreds of pages I read a when I took a course in philosophy of science, that gave me attacks of palpitations. It was in books that I found the reassurance that I could safely leave the lab — that I would still experience the intellectual excitement that had brought me toward physics.

So, here is my bookworm again. And here I am, ready to let it go away. I made two different versions. I hope you like them.

reading matters // by marion // detail 02

On Library Cards and Things That Really Matter

library-books

Last Saturday, we came home from a drive to the nearest city with a pile of library books. Along with a bottle of white wine, an improvised but delicious orange cake, cozy pillows on the couch and a good fire in the wood stove, they were a perfect for a gray January weekend.

But they were actually more than that. They were a way to celebrate the arrival in the mail of our so-called id-numbers earlier that week. Whoopee! There are tons of things to sort out now that these precious digits are here, opening the door to endless administrative joys, but somehow the first thing we actually did was to go and get ourselves a library card each.

When I think about it, it was a pretty nice way of thumbing our noses at administrative loopholes and reaffirming what really matters. Reading matters, for example.

As an academic researcher, I used to spend quite some time reading papers and textbooks. It was part of my job, and therefore I was even paid to do so. This, in turn, entitled be to move to a new country quite easily. Strangely enough, when I decided that I’d be happier and more useful spending an equally significant part of my time reading piles of library books covering a broad range of important subjects, from philosophy of science to writer’s biographies, local history, renovating houses and growing vegetables (among other things), it went a little less smoothly.

Finally, things are falling into place. We don’t live (yet!) in a world in which doing something useful is sufficient to be able to blossom in peace, but we fixed up our own little space in which we’re hoping to make a living doing things we’re interested in. A tiny red house, a little studio of our own, and library cards. Plus 10 precious digits that mean we can start for good.

unwrappin’

birthday_presents{this moment}
A Friday ritual. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.
{Inspired by SouleMama}