Dublin: 8 and 9 October 2015

I left home early Thusday morning, to catch the 8:30 flight to Oslo, where I would have a connecting flight to Dublin. After having run away from my coffee because I was booked into an earlier flight due to my original flight being cancelled, I had a centre seat at the flight making me feel a bit squeezed. I then had some time at ardermoen, before I continued to Dublin. The flight was good, having lots of room, up until some person thought it was a good idea to spray perfume inside the plane. Needless to say, I got an allergy attack, but was thankfully moved to the front. The rest of the flight was spent trying to get back to normal.

I was met by corriganjc at the airport, and after a long and tedious journey to the hotel, I checked in, and got to relax a bit before we headed for food. We had lovely pizza at an Italian restaurant called Little Caesars, which according to corriganjc has the best Italian pizza in Dublin.

When in Dublin, do as Dubliners: Visit the pub! The pub called Against the Grain had been reccomended to me on Twitter, and it being fairly close to the hotel, we went there after dinner. It was a very friendly pub, with a smiling and helpful staff. It had an excellent atmpsphere, and a wide range of good beer. I enjoyed the pub very much!

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
At Against the Grain.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

I woke up too early Friday morning, and after trying to go back to sleep, I gave up and got fed breakfast. I headed out for a walk after breakfast, and pretty much stumbled over a small park with some church ruins. It was very lovely. Turns out St Kevin’s Park is listed as an area of historical and archaeological importance by Duchas. So that was a fairly nice start of the day.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
St Kevin’s Park and church ruins.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

I had a nice rest after my walk, and dozed a bit before corrigan arrived, and we headed to get coffee at the Bald Barista. To be honest, I found it a bit disappointing, so I was very happy when we had hot chocolate at Butler’s Chocolate Café later on. I had a yummy hot white chocolate, which came with a complimentary praline. Yummy!

We did a bit of walking after being full of hot drinks, and all of a sudden it was lunch time, and we ate at the vegetarian restaurant Cornucopia, which had some really lovely food. Well fed we headed to Dublin Barista School, which has the best coffee I’ve had in Dublin so far.

To get back to the hotel, we walked through St Stephen’s Green, which is a lovely park. After a rest and some reading, it was time to register and get badges for Octocon, which will be given a post of its own.

BookCrossing Convention: Oxford 2015

It has been a while since I attended the bookcrossing convention in Oxford. Having arrived on Wednesday, and the convention starting friday afternoon, I had time to go down to the city centre of Oxford before the convention actually started, to have a look around, as well as having lunch at the Eagle and Child.

The Eagle and Child was the pub the Inklings used to meet up, so of course I had to make a stop here. Though the ale was excellent, I didn’t care much for the sandwhich. It had some sort of raising like chutney and cheese, and I really didn’t like the chutney…

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
The Eagle and Child, Oxford.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

The convention took place Friday 10 – 12 April, and St Hilda’s College was the venue. This was also where several of us were staying, and even though the accomondation was pretty spartan, it was cheap and worked fine. If there was one thing I wasn’t too happy about, it was the Internet access – having two devices needing Internet, the system used didn’t handle this at all, which was quite frustrating.

The convention’s registration opened at 16:30 on Friday 10 April, and after receiving the goodiebag and out name tag, there was plenty of time before we headed to the buffet meal, which was pretty much afternoon tea. Very English! Being a vegetarian, the fruits were my favourites…

After having stuffed ourselves with food, we headed to the Jacquline Du Pre music building, where MissMarkey welcomed us all to the convention: It was now officially open!

At the convention there was a huge book buffet. I added some books myself, and had planned on not bringing many books home. Now, that didn’t ho as planned. I found out I was able to bring an extra suitcase on my flight home, without extra costs, so I ended up buying an extra suitcase, so that I could bring more books home. As if I needed more books…

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
People browsing the book buffet.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Friday night I went out with a group of Scandinavians. We have our own forum group over at the bookcrossing website, and most of us have been active there for years. It was good to chat with the people I’ve “known” online for years!

I had a rather slow morning on Saturday, and headed down to the city centre again. This was when I bought the extra suitcase, as well as having tea and reading my book. I even stopped by the library. It would have felt wrong to visit Oxford and not stopping buy the city library.

After lunch one of the (for me) convention’s high lights took plave: Morris Men were dancing on the lawn at St Hilda’s. It was so much fun! The audience even got to participate at the end, and I was among the lucky ones who got to dance along. I loved it, and was sad to see it end so quickly…

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
The merry Morris Men at the lawn.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

After sitting (and dancing) in the sun, we headed inside to listen to Ann Granger speak. I must admit I haven’t read any of her books, but it was quite nice to listen to anyhow. And when she was done, they drew the raffle prizes, and then the next year’s Athen’s Convention was presented. The last scheduled event before we all headed out for a meal (I had Indian – yum) was the bid for the 2017 convention, and Oslo won! I’m very excited about a bookcrossing convention in my own country!

Even though Sunday was the last convention day, I left the college when we had to check out, and headed off. I had had a lovely time, but was tired after being social for such a long time (EasterCon + BC con = 10 days of socialising!)

See you all in Oslo in 2017!

The greatest gift

So, the other day my friend Øystein texted me asking me if he could e-mail me a song he had made. I said “of course”, and that I wasn’t afraid of telling him my opinion. Which he already knows, of course, he knows me well enough. After a bit I found time to sit down and listen, so I opened up my inbox, and downloaded the song, called “Flowing”.

I was listening to the song carefully, and not only did it give me goosebumps, but it also made me cry. I found it so sad… Songs hardly ever have that effect on me. I then texted Øystein, and I told him about my reaction to the song, and the he said “I wrote it to you”. Needless to say, I was speachless. It made me cry even more, though not of sadness. What a beautiful gift to get from one of your best friends! The song is online, and can be listened to for free on Soundcloud.

This is probably, by far, the greatest gifts I have ever been given. It might not have much value money wise, but to me, it’s worth everything. So, what’s the greates gift you have been given?

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
Øystein playing with Tønes at Rockefeller in Oslo, 14 March 2015.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Pre Bookcrossing Convention: The Cotswold Coach Tour

For the ones of us who arrived early to the bookcrossing convention in Oxford this year, they had arranged a Cotswold Coach Tour. The tour was simply wonderful, and the organizer MissMarkey had done an excellent job putting it together. Often on coach tours there’s not enough time to really look around at the stops, but this time we had plenty of time each stop, and we didn’t even have to stress when we had our lunch stop.

We set out from St Hilda’s college in Oxford in the morning, and after managing to get everyone on the coach, we headed for our first stop, Burford. Burford was a lovely small and cute town. I stopped by the library first, which was really small, but considering the size it was really good. I even had a chat with the librarian, and got some information on the building, fundings and such. There was also a fun book/hat shop in Burford. It’s the only combined hat and book shop I’ve been in, and it was called The Madhatter Bookshop.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
Burford
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
The Madhatter Bookshop
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
Burford Church
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Our next stop was the small village Little Rissington, where you can find one of England’s telephone box libraries. Here you could pick up a book, or leave one. I neither brought any book or took any.


Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
The phone box library in Little Rissington.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

When we got to Bourton-on-the-Water, it was lunch time. I decided on doing this town on my own, and fist I did a bit of walking around. I found a nice pub called Kingsbridge, where I had a veggie burger. After lunch there was still time to walk around, before heading back to the coach.


Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
Buorton-on-the-Water
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

At Snowshill Manor and Garden we got to see the collection of Charles Wade. He had bought a house for all the odd bits he collected through his life. While his collection had its own house, he himself lived in a small cottage. The gardens were quite large too, and since it was such a beautiful sunny day, it was a nice stop, and I ended it with coffee and cake at the tea room.


Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
Snowshill Manor
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
Sheep in the gardens of Snowshill Manor
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Our very last stop of the tour before heading back to Oxford was The Rollright Stones. The stones are megalithic monuments from the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. There were several bookcrossing books released, but yet again, I didn’t release any.


Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
The King Stone
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
The King’s Men
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

We got back to Oxford just before 20, and it had been a great tour!

EasterCon 2015: Dysprosium

I signed up for this year’s EasterCon at last year’s EasterCon, and was very excited to go. Dysprosium was held at ParkInn by Raddison at Heathrow, so getting there would be the easiest convention for me to get to, with a lot of flights to choose from.

This year’s guests of honour were Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Herr Döktor, and Caroline Mullan. The only guest of honour I had heard of was Seanan McGuire, simply because she was also a guest of honour at last year’s EuroCon in Dublin. To me, it’s not the guests of honour that are the important thing, though, but the fact that EasterCon gather a lot of fans from pretty much all over Europe. That’s pretty fun, in my opinion.

There were a lot of interesting panels and talks this year, but one can’t go to them all. I chose to attend a handfull, as well as being a lot more social than I have been previous years. All good. The panels I attended were all good, even though I had to leave The Unseen London panel halfway through, as I had a splitting headache, and needed painkillers, water and a nap. I siply couldn’t focus, and was sad not to being able to listen to such an interesting topic.

I find it hard to pick a favourite panel or talk this year. I really enjoyed the Guest of Honour interview with Herr Dötor. I am incredible fascinated by how he’s able to make the cool art. He had some pieces exhibited at the art show, and they were magnificent.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
Herr Döktor was inerviewed by Lady Elsie.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Other than a lot of geeky stuff, there were lots of geeky people. This being my third EasterCon meant I knew more people this time around than two years ago, when I attended my first EasterCon, and Twitter helps too. I have probably been more social over the EasterCon week end than I have been in years. All good, though. There were great chats. Great company. And I had in general an excellent time.

The 2015 Hugo Awards – The Short List

So, the shortlist of the 2015 Hugo Awards was just announced, and I am, for the first time ever, eligible to vote. I forgot about nominating, but I have every intention to give my vote.

I am very much looking forward to read Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie, as I loved Ancillary Justice. However, there are books I will not read and not vote for, and that are the sad/rabid puppy selection. The reason for this? Well, the explanation I was given on Twitter says it all:

2015-04-04-twitter

Correction from @ClaireRousseau
Claire Rousseau has in the comments asked me to add the following correction:
Vox Day put up a post on his site in which he called NK Jemisin, who is a woman of colour, a “half-savage”. Because his blog was syndicated to SFWA social media, the post was tweeted from the official SFWA twitter. NK Jemisin put in an official complaint in accordance to the SFWA harassment policy that ultimately resulted in Vox Day’s SFWA membership being revoked.

Here is wikipedia for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Beale#Conflict_with_the_SFWA

So, I will read the following novels:
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)

As for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, I have already seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and really should watch Edge of Tomorrow as well.

I think it’s really sad when some people think things like the sad/rabid puppies thing is all right. After all, it will backfire on the works listed, no matter how great they are.

All shortlisted nominations can be found HERE.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
The 2014 Hugo Awards winner, Ancilliary Justice by Ann Leckie.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

EDIT 05 April 2015:
I edited this post after The Puppy-Free Hugo Award Voter’s Guide was brought to my attention. I will not read any of the short stories, and have therefore deleted the section of short stories to read.

It’s Monday, what are you reading?

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015
They say it’s the golden age for Norwegian fantasy. I’m not sure it’s true, but more Norwegian fantasy has been published the last few years. I’m currently reading Bian Shen by Torbjørn Øverland Amundsen that was published a couple of years ago, and I’m enjoying it so far. It’s concept is different from anything I have read before, and I am curious on how it continues…

So, what are you currently reading?

It’s Monday, what are you reading?

I can’t even remember where or when I first heard of “It’s Monday, what are you reading?”, but after doing a search on Google, I found out it’s hosted by a blog called Book Journey.

As I work late on Mondays, I have had a quiet morning. I started the day with a cup of coffee, and reading a graphic novel called The Veil, written by El Torres and Gabriel Hernandez. It’s a horror story, and one of the comic books I grabbed at the comic book library in Oslo when I visited yesterday. (I’m back home now).

The Veil is a story about a young woman called Chris Luna, and she’s a kind of private detective. Only, she’s not your typical private detective – she works for the dead! Now, I haven’t gotten very far, but I’m really enjoying it so far.

So – what are YOU reading?

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014

And the winner of All Hallows Read 2014 is…

I was supposed to do this yesterday, but I was reading this Norwegian fantasy book that I couldn’t put down, so I didn’t get around to it. I have given the comments the numbers 1 (first comment) to 9 (last comment). Then I ran the Random Number Generator, and the winner is…

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Kate Mack!

Please e-mail me your address, and the book will be on its way soon.

All Hallows Read 2014

OK, so it’s that time of year again. It’s All Hallows Read time of year. That means giving away a scary read. We first started this back in 2011, and I’m going to do it again this year. As I turn 40 this year, right before Halloween, I’ve decided to give away Carrie by Stephen King. This horror novel was published in 1974, the year I was born.

What do you do?
Just comment down below in the comment field, and make sure to use the correct e-mail in the e-mail field. Let me know you’d like to join. That’s all!

When do you do it?
You do it anytime from the time this entry is posted until midnight 24 October 2014, Norwegian time (GMT+1). I will draw and announce the winner on 25 October 2014, my 40th birthday!

Who can join?
Everyone from a country on THIS LIST can join.