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…

IMG_20141026_085701

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.

Book Bench Hunting in London

The British National Literacy Trust and Wild in Art have the summer of 2014 been working together to bring Books About Town to London. 2 july to 15 September you can find 50 unique BookBench sculptures all over London, but at the end of summer, they will all be auctioned to raise funds for the National Literacy Trust’s work to raise literacy levels in the UK.

They have made four different trails, so that you can go book bench hunting. On the webpage you can find maps and descriptions, that you can download for free.

When I visited London in August, one of my goals were to go book hunting. Schedule wise, I found out the best trail for me were the Bloomsbury Trail, as it wasn’t very far from the British Library, where I had been spending the morning at a comic book exhibition.

I pretty much stumbled over the first bench, Jeeves and Wooster, inside the Brunswich Centre where I had gone to have some lunch and visit Skoob Books. Right smack in the middle of the centre, it was easy to find, and I thought it was a good start to my hunt.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014
Jeeves and Wooster kicked off my book bench hunt
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014

The Blooomsbury trail has 12 benches, but I only found 8 of them. That being said, I must admit I didn’t put a lot of work in finding the other four. I was a tad bit tired, and I mainly did it for fun, so I was quite pleased with what I found.

It was fun to look for these beatiful book benches, which book lover can’t find it so? It was also nice to run into other book bench hunters (I even had a chat by the Pride and Prejudice bench with a lady from kent). It’s a bit sad they’ll only be around for 10 more days, and that I will not be able to do another hunt next time I’m in London.

If you do visit London before 15 September, and you think books are awesome, I’ll highly recommend to hunt down some book benches yourself! And, of course, I would love to hear about other people’s book bench hunting stories! Do you have one?

Some of my favourite benches:

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014
Pride and Prejudice
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2014

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

Bucket List

bucketlistLike a gazillion of others, I too have a bucket list. It is not static, and it keeps chaning. I was thinking that the easiest way for me to keep track on what I have done, and can cross off, would be to put it on here. Which I will. I will make a page with the list, which right now looks like this:

01. Visit Svalbard
02. Visit India
03. See the Taj Mahal in India
04. Get Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman signed by Neil Gaiman
05. Visit New Zealand
06. Run (or partly walk) a half marathon
07. Attend a yoga retreat
08. Make my own hand bag
09. Make my own coat
10. See the Nutckracker ballet
11. Walk on the Great Wall of China
12. Visit China
13. Rent a flat in London for a period of 3-4 weeks
14. Swim in the Blue Lagoon, Iceland, during winter
15. Celebrate New Years Eve in Edinburgh, UK
16. Get a third tattoo
17. Visit every continent: Europe, Northern America, Asia, Oceania, South America.
18. Visit Japan
19. Go interrailing in Ireland
20. Make my own nut milk
21. Visit Bali
22. Go for a walking holiday in Scotland
23. Visit the Faroe Islands
24. Visit Peru
25. See Machu Picchu
26. See the Cliffs of Moher, Ireland