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2017 Must Read Books

“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” – C.S. Lewis
I don’t like to make plans when books are concerned. I like to have the choice of picking whatever I want, whenever I want.
Yet, there are a few books I keep for those moments when everything in the universe is perfect. Believe it or not, those moments do come, even if once in a blue moon.

A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron

A Dog's Purpose
This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, this touches on the universal quest for an answer to life’s most basic question: Why are we here?

This one is a pretty obvious choice for someone like me. Most likely, I will be reading it in bed with Marlanu’ and Pluto sleeping beside me.

A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
A long way home
I’ve been thinking about this day for twenty-five years. Growing up half a world away, with a new name and a new family, wondering whether I would ever see my mother and brothers and sister again. And now here I am, standing at a door near the corner of a run-down building in a poor district of a small, dusty town in central India – the place I grew up – and no-one lives there.

Another book that got itself a movie. I don’t know what to expect from this one. I really hope it isn’t a “feel good” book as Slumdog Millionaire.

A Passage to India by E.M. Forster
A passage to India
When Adela Quested and her elderly companion Mrs Moore arrive in the Indian town of Chandrapore, they quickly feel trapped by its insular and prejudiced ‘Anglo-Indian’ community. Determined to escape the parochial English enclave and explore the ‘real India’, they seek the guidance of the charming and mercurial Dr Aziz, a cultivated Indian Muslim.”

I am a big fan of slow paced novels.

A Bride’s Story series by Kaoru Mori
A Brides story
Acclaimed creator Kaoru Mori (Emma, Shirley) brings the nineteenth-century Silk Road to lavish life, chronicling the story of Amir Halgal, a young woman from a nomadic tribe betrothed to a twelve-year-old boy eight years her junior. Coping with cultural differences, blossoming feelings for her new husband, and expectations from both her adoptive and birth families, Amir strives to find her role as she settles into a new life and a new home in a society quick to define that role for her.

This is a manga or a graphic novel (as many like to call them). The author is one of my favorite just for bringing to life the “Emma” series.

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Me before you
Louisa Clark is an ordinary girl living an exceedingly ordinary life—steady boyfriend, close family—who has barely been farther afield than their tiny village. She takes a badly needed job working for ex–Master of the Universe Will Traynor, who is wheelchair bound after an accident.

What is life without a bit of romance?

Poirot and Me by David Suchet, Geoffrey Wansell
Poirot and Me
Through his television performance in ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot, David Suchet has become inextricably linked with the ‘little Belgian’, a man whom he has grown to love dearly through an intimate relationship lasting more than twenty years.

One of the few books that I own (not as a ebook or audio book).

An Autobiography by Agatha Christie, Robert Herrick
An Autobiography
Fans of Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple and readers of John Curran’s fascinating biographies Agatha Christie’s Secret Notebooks and Murder in the Making will be spellbound by the compelling, authoritative account of one of the world’s most influential and fascinating novelists, told in her own words and inimitable style.

North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell
North and South
When her father leaves the Church in a crisis of conscience, Margaret Hale is uprooted from her comfortable home in Hampshire to move with her family to the north of England. Initially repulsed by the ugliness of her new surroundings in the industrial town of Milton, Margaret becomes aware of the poverty and suffering of the local mill workers and develops a passionate sense of social justice.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
Little Women
Following the lives of four sisters on a journey out of adolescence, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women explores the difficulties associated with gender roles in a Post-Civil War America.

My reading list is pretty big. I am sure that if I read about 50 books per year, it will take me a lifetime to read at least half of my list.

Much ado about nothing

It’s not even the end of January and I already feel myself stuck in a rut. But then again, January has always been a “dead” month for me.

Well, I can’t actually say it was a dead month since I did went on vacation, read books, worked my ass off (at work and at home). But, I just feel unfulfilled like all that I did so far is insignificant. And its a real unfair feeling since I know I had fun even when things didn’t went as planned.

I don’t know, I’m being weird today.

I feel unfulfilled yet when I try to make a list with things to do (for end of January-February), this is what comes out of my head:

  • use the photo camera and actually take photographs
  • take lots of photos of Marlanu’
  • macro photography
  • find online programs to edit photos besides Photoshop
  • select photos to print out
  • make a Bibliophile list to ease things when picking new books to read
  • clean my bookcase
  • clean my portable hard drive
  • clean my netbook drive
  • update my MP3 player list
  • find new music and artists
  • watch “Lie to me” till the finish
  • start watching “I miss you
  • make a list with all Korean drama’s that I want to watch this year (a realistic list)
  • get all the Korean dramas that I want to watch this year
  • renew my subscription at the library
  • try not to fail to many exams this semester (update: 4 exams down, 2 to go)
  • a post with all my stitching projects that I’m working at
  • get a haircut
  • go to the gym more (we have a new gym at work but all places are filled up for the next 2 weeks T_T  actually managed to sign my name twice next week and once for the week after)
  • shave my legs (brace yourself.. it’s still Winter)
  • make lots of quality posts on the blog (about what I have no idea)
  • throw away stuff that I no longer use from my room
  • visit a memorial house during the weekend
  • re-start the Japanese lessons (and as promised post the lessons)
  • use my free time more wisely

See, it’s only silly stuff. I’m such a weird cookie today. I even stayed 10 minutes figuring out what to name this post and nothing came out.

Somehow, I think I should just get some rest.



End of February

February is almost done.  It’s actually sad, I was hoping of getting more things done this month, but then again it could’ve been worse. I did had a lot of fun during the weekends and made a lot of memories with Johnny and close friends. By the way, I think I just made a few new friends. Should I cross this resolution or wait till the end of the year? I think I shall wait.

One of my Resolutions (number 14) was “Have photos with Alexandra and me in all the seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn)“. Alexandra is my best friend, and because we have such different lives we don’t get to hang out pretty often. So, this week we went to the park, had some fun at the kids playground and we took pictures. I won’t post a decent picture because I have this ban on posting pictures with my friends.

I am thinking we should repeat the outing.

I can also cross off number 83 “See a 3D movie“. I’ve seen Underworld (awesome movie, lots of blood and packed with action) at IMax with Johnny and a few friends of his. After the movie ended we decided Happy Feet 2 must be seen in 3D no matter what.

Number 57 is also crossed of, since this weekend we visited “The Hard Rock Caffe” in Herastrau Park. It was really awesome. The music was amazing (classic rock); it made me think of those awesome moments as a kid when MTV was actually airing good music. Such good times…

Hmm, I think I did more things than I originally thought.

I still haven’t seen the last 3 Harry Potter movies; I kept myself busy with “Lie to me” and season 1 of “Hercule Poirot” (with David Suchet). I just wasn’t in a Harry Potter mood and truthfully there’s no hurry. Also, I couldn’t bring myself to see a Bollywood movie.  Those kind of movies last at least 2 hours and truthfully I didn’t had that much free time on my hands.

I did read a novel Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption and I started reading the second novel “The Apt Pupil” (from the “Different seasons” book by Stephen King). 48 more books to go and my 2012 reading challenge shall be complete. No stress…

About the kniting, well I took a break from it and made the mistake to start a cross stitch project and that’s the end of my kniting. Hopefully, after my stitching fever subsides I will pick up kniting once again. As I said, I’m really happy that the day is getting longer because I could really use more sunlight.

There are two things that I failed miserably: learning my Hiragana (I still have a few characters that just won’t stick with me) and gettinga  great gift for Johnny for Valentine’s day. The Hiragana issue I can live with, but the gift thing, well we didn’t celebrate Valentine’s day. We just went to a club and left things as they were. But Johnny’s birthday is coming up and I am determined to make a great gift.

March goals:

  • Hiragana serious practice. Every week photos with progress made.
  • Great gift for Johnny.
  • The last 3 Harry Potter movies.
  • Finish my current cross stitch project.
  • Pick a cross stitch bookmark.
  • 10 good photographs.
  • DragonBall T-shirt.
  • Read 2 books.
  • Go out with my new friends

I’m starting to like this monthly check of my Resolution list. It feels fulfilling and I realize that I actually had a good time. And just to end this on a very much random note, here’s a picture of how nice the weather is:

Where has Winter gone?

The weather is really weird. I should be complaining about the cold, the heavy traffic because of the snowy roads and the fact I froze my butt off because I haven’t dressed properly.

Instead I get a very nice bus ride to work (I got a seat on a pretty empty bus), the traffic is OK and I’m dressed like its spring.

It’s such a shame not having a real winter.


I’m currently enjoying a really nice black coffee. I made a habit of making my own coffee at work, rather than buying it from the vending machine. Not only does it smell really good but the taste is amazing (Lavazza isn’t cheap but a pack for two weeks isn’t much).

I know I should not be writing, but I really cannot write here. It became a habit of mine and it’s pretty hard to break.

I am pretty happy to say that I managed to cross off some things off my resolution list. It’s as Lina  said, almost half of the things on my list can be accomplished in a month or so. But I don’t want to turn this into a race; I want to enjoy each and every one of them.

So, I went to a club without whining and I actually enjoyed myself. First it was a special outing since it was Johnny’s name’s day (Ro: Sf. Ioan Botezatorul; En: Saint John the Baptist). Second we actually went with people that I like. And third, the club we went to was really cool, small but cool.

It was really awesome: good music, good people, and great atmosphere. What more could’ve I asked for? Well, I didn’t ask for anything more. I was enjoying myself so much I danced my poor legs till they were hurting so bad I couldn’t walk normally.

The only thing I didn’t like was the second club they decided we should visit. Yup, at 3AM they decided to change clubs. So we went from the cool little Club Maya to the very big Club Player.

I must admit that the music in Player was better than the one in Maya. But, truthfully I didn’t enjoy myself there. It was the people that were there and the entertainment (porno midget should clear things up) that really wasn’t on my taste.

Even so, the outing was awesome.

I also crossed out the “wear a dress/skirt” resolution.

This weekend I also managed to squeeze in a Bollywood movie: 7 Khoon Maaf. 1 down, 9 more to go.

Did I mention I bought needles for knitting and I’ve been studying really closely on how to knit? Well I did my basic research and I don’t find it so hard. I wonder if I’ll keep my opinion once I actually get started.

So, all I can say is that I had a very busy weekend. For once it actually felt long. I also wanted to mention that I will be keeping “My week in photos” project; I’ll just post the pictures in the evening. I think that makes more sense.

My 2012 list

As you know people make a lot of resolutions around this time of the year. Well I’ve been working on my resolution list for two months now.

No! I haven’t gone mad.

You see I’ve been working on it and I managed to separate the wants from the needs and prioritize them. And that’s how I ended up with 3 resolution lists.

I’m still sane. Seriously!

Besides the fact that I actually managed to cross some things off the list (meaning that I completed them) I actually felt good and happy. It gave me hope that 2012 will not be the same. It will be different!

I will make it different.

  • The first list contains all my aspirations for this blog. Basically all the things that I wanted to do for such a long time but never got to I was too lazy, and some new things as well. This list is actually saved in my blog drafts so I can access it every time I log on.
  • The second list is my personal list with all the MUST do things. There are only 3 things written on this list and it’s basically the hardest list to complete.
  • The third and the last list is the list of things I wish to do over the next year and this is the list that I shall post.

Basically, it’s a feel good list. Ever since I started working I really lost track of time and I gave up on enjoying life. I mean, there’s more to life than the weekends. I can do so much more with my afternoons. I actually can’t wait to cross things out after I complete them. So here it is:

~~~~2012 wish list~~~~

  1. Go to the theater.
  2. See 10 movies at the cinema. (1, 2, 3- MIB 3, )
  3. See a live circus act.
  4. Visit new parks.
  5. Plan a summer vacation.
  6. See all the Harry Potter movies.
  7. Finish the cat needlepoint.
  8. Finish the black and white cross stitch.
  9. Read 50 books (audio books included). (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 , 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20- The Princess Bride, )
  10. Go out more with friends.
  11. Make new friends.
  12. Throw/give away all the stuff that I don’t use.
  13. Go to the art museum by myself.
  14. Have photos with Johnny and me in all the seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn).
  15. Have photos with Alexandra and me in all the seasons (Winter, Spring, Summer, Autumn).
  16. Print said photos.
  17. Start a new photo album.
  18. Start an exercise routine. (24.06.2012 – 58 kg; 27.08.12 – 54kg; 14.09.2012 – 54 kg)
  19. Stick to the exercise routine. (for at least a month).
  20. Go for a run on the Olympia Stadium by myself.
  21. Wear a dress/skirt.
  22. Learn to apply make-up like a pro. Thank you Michelle Phan
  23. Learn to dance on “Tell me” by the Wonder Girls.
  24. Learn to dance in general.
  25. Learn all the Hiragana and Katakana characters.
  26. Start my German lessons.
  27. Start my French lessons.
  28. Improve my spoken English.
  29. Watch 10 Bollywood movies. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 )
  30. Watch Dream High and Dream High 2.
  31. Watch Hayao Miyazaki’s new movies. (1, 2)
  32. During summer, in one of those lonely weekends watch “My Neighbor Totoro” and “Spirited Away”.
  33. Visit a tea house.
  34. Go to a party/club without whining.
  35. Draw.
  36. Learn to knit.
  37. Make a sweater.
  38. Make a scarf.
  39. Make a sweater for Johnny.
  40. Walk more.
  41. Street photography.
  42. Enter an online contest.
  43. Take on yoga lessons.
  44. Take better care of Marlanu’.
  45. Put money away for a new photo camera.
  46. Laugh more.
  47. See a sunrise. (On my vacation, I saw a sunrise and a sunset at the beach)
  48. Cook a decent meal.
  49. Start my own cooking journal.
  50. Whine less.
  51. Be more assertive in general.
  52. Stop gossiping about the annoying co-worker. It’s a waste of precious time and brain matter.
  53. Stand straight, no more slouching.
  54. Wake up at the same time as my alarm clock.
  55. Do great at university. (Do great at university in the second year)
  56. Be more outgoing and actually go out more.
  57. Visit a new place. (The Hard Rock Caffe in Herastrau Park)
  58. Put money away for a new pair of (Sony) headphones. (Already bought a new pair of headphones… okay there were 6 pairs)
  59. Buy a great gift for Johnny.
  60. See a Korean/Japanese love movie.
  61. Start my “Trip to Japan” fund.
  62. Learn to make gifs.
  63. Write a letter to my future old self and put it safe in my old journal.
  64. Get a nice tan.
  65. Visit my friends that live far away.
  66. Go to a concert.
  67. Eat less junk food.
  68. Eat more fruits and vegetables.
  69. Do not buy manga, stitching materials, figurines, drawing materials for an entire year.
  70. Learn to say “I love you” in as many languages as possible.
  71. Make a cross stitch bookmark.
  72. Have 100 great photographs by the end of the year.
  73. Start a photographer portfolio.
  74. Learn a random skill.
  75. Climb a tree.
  76. Have a photo with me up in a tree.
  77. Outdoor drawing/reading (summer here I come!).
  78. Buy flowers for myself.
  79. Have an office plant.
  80. Think about what kind of plant I should buy.
  81. Frame my stitch work.
  82. Have 10 couple photos with Johnny.
  83. See a 3D movie. (Underworld – I have the tickets to prove it)
  84. Do something completely stupid and enjoy it.
  85. Cross as many things possible off this list.
  86. Learn the Spongebob intro by heart.
  87. Sing the Spongebob intro to Johnny, on the phone, early in the morning.
  88. Write a short story.
  89. Make a DragonBall t-shirt (make this childhood wish come true!).

And that’s about all I could think off. I didn’t think of things that are out of my reach therefore everything on this list should be crossed off by the end of the year.

I actually enjoyed myself writing this list and I’m sure I’ll be having fun crossing them off as well. 2012 you shall be my most excellent year ever!

P.S. I don’t know who made that gif. I know I found it with Google and I kept it’s original name. 

Aditional goals:

  • Stitch a cute cat for my cooking journal.
  • Buy a red scarf.
  • Buy a new photos album.
  • Have a photo with a big smile on.