Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (January 27th)

thisweekinbooks

I came across Lipsyy Lost & Found ‘s This Week In Books weekly post and thought it was a great idea to keep track of what is in my bag every week.

Another very very busy week. As a result, I am cranky because I don’t get much time to read.

NOW: Royal Wedding, Meg Cabot. I need a break from classics and compulsory reads, so I picked Mia’s latest adventures. I started this series the summer before I turned 16 (almost ten years, wow) and it feels like meeting up with an old friend after losing touch for too many years. I missed a couple of the previous books, they weren’t at the store but they’re on my Summer To-Buy list.
Also, I need to work on Britain since 1945 for my history class but I always get sleepy after three pages. I have no idea how I’m gonna make it through its 578 pages.

THEN: Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë. Finally a classic I loved reading.

NEXT: I was supposed to read The Scarlet Letter already last week, but couldn’t find the time. My week is made up of classes and work keeps me busy all weekend (from 7:30am to 1.30am, I am never gonna survive this) so I probably won’t start it before next Monday.

Posted in Book Reviews

Review: Atonement, Ian McEwan

atonement

Title: Atonement
Author: Ian McEwan
Finished reading: January 16th, 2016
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️

What I thought about it:
Briony is little girl with a very fertile imagination. One day, she witnesses a strange scene between her sister and the son of one of the family’s servants. This triggers a series of events that will change all of them forever.
I loved how McEwan played with the notion of appearances. Briony’s innocence and lack of understanding of the grown-up world leads her to create a story around what she saw. She doesn’t have the full story so she fills in the blanks, as people often do, although this time, the consequences are huge. I really enjoyed the different point of views on what had happened, and even if I guessed how it would turn out rather quickly. The first part ended quite abruptly, I wish I’d seen more about the aftermath of Robbie’s “departure”.
The writing gives a vivid image of everything, which is perfect to imagine the beautiful scenery of the first part, but my faint-hearted self was not as glad about the detailed and powerful images when it came to the many descriptions in the last two parts. This explains why I enjoyed much less reading them.
Still, I had a great time reading this book, especially because of the powerful and beautiful writing. I will definitely check out other books from McEwan.

Posted in Wrap-up

Who Are You, 2016?

I won’t pressure you, dear 2016. No lengthy list of unachievable things. No miracles needed. No prayers sent to an almighty God about life-changing events (although I wouldn’t mind coming across the right numbers for the lottery…).

After all, what the year is made of is mostly up to me and how I look at things. 2016, I’ll take whatever you bring my way the best I can.

Here is a little list of what I expect to do/change/try/whatever during the next twelve months because 1) I love lists and 2) goals are the best way to move on with your life if you let the pressure go.

  • Resume a real yoga practice. I am still mourning the departure of my beloved yoga teacher… It’s been 2 years. It can be so hard to change when you’ve had the best of times in the right place with the right people. But eh, yoga is also about adaptation and change. No more excuses, I need a new studio! Plus my body is so stiff I feel like I’m 70.
  • Go to the hairdresser. I’m cheating, it’s quite easy to have this one achieved. I have been wanting to change my hair color for months. Due to a wrong combination of genes, I was born a brunette. Still, I can feel it inside, I am a redhead! 2016 is the year I fix this genetic mistake.
  • Take a step back. I am oversensitive. I feel every emotion, good or bad, 500%. I pound over things too much. I worry too much (although I have made huge progress in this area during the last months of 2015). I hope to learn how to get enough hindsight not to let everything get to me.
  • Dare more. Eat at the restaurant, go see a concert or movie at least once a month, meet someone for a tea at this little shop you walk by every week, speak your mind.
  • Stop biting my nails. Nasty, nasty habit.
  • Change major. It took me five years to figure out my love for English could lead me to a job. Yes, the process was slow, mostly due to the strong belief held in France that English studies lead nowhere and the constant reminder from family that I would never make it anyway. Now, everything is clear, English is my passion, and nothing stands in my way any more. In order to become an English teacher, I need to change major because I am currently majoring in English and Japanese applied to management, and it doesn’t allow me to enroll in the right Master.
  • Stay positive. I have always been the pessimist one, I can’t help it. I remember vividly all the bad things that happen and barely recall a few good memories. Well, that was true until a few weeks ago. I am slowly starting to see things differently, and it feels so good I want to keep it up.
  • Keep this blog alive for an entire year.

I can’t think of anything else right now. Of course, I want everyone to be healthy and happy, that goes without saying. {insert here the usual good wishes for family and friends}.

I wish you all a nice year filled with great days, a few rainy nights, good summer music hits and warm fires for the winter.

IMG_0776

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (20th January)

 

thisweekinbooks

 

I came across Lipsyy Lost & Found ‘s This Week In Books weekly post and thought it was a great idea to keep track of what is in my bag every week.

 

NOW: Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
It’s been on my reading list for ages so I’m glad to finally get to it.

THEN: Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov
Next time, I’ll think twice before taking out a book from the library just because it was mentioned on TV. I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. It’s the second book I couldn’t finish this month, it makes me kind of sad.

NEXT: The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne
A new semester means compulsory reads, this was on top of the list, another classic I have never read.

The next weeks will be filled with compulsory reads, although I’ll do my best to wedge in a few books of my choice.

Posted in The bookcase

Working Girl

working girl picture copy

I love being busy. I am not the type of girl hanging around the house all day wondering what to do with her time. That’s why I am happy to have a job. Well, two.

No, really, it is a great thing. Money doesn’t grow on trees and those books don’t come for free. Also, Yuki (my darling baby dog) and me could use some food every week.

In September, I applied for a tutoring job. It’s all about pampering the freshmen whose major is the same as yours. It was an amazing opportunity as I want to become a teacher. Also, it was a big step for me as I was just starting to get better. The beginning was a little scary, both because I wasn’t sure I was qualified for it (still not sure I am!) and because I had only been back at university for a couple of weeks. But it was worth it. It still is.
Once or twice a week (depending on the subsidies we get for the semester) I sit in a room and do my best to explain what’s expecting of first-year students in English studies. I usually write dozens of exercise sheets and lose the babies in the Big Frightening Grammar Labyrinth. I am thoroughly enjoying this. There is no better feeling that when you explain something step by step and see a light of understanding in the student’s eyes.

But an hour a week doesn’t pay the hairdresser bills so I decided to look for another job. I was pretty sure I wouldn’t find anything. I didn’t want to go back to being a cashier (worst two years of my life) so I checked daily for any kind of job, secretly wishing I could find one that did not require me smiling all day to very impolite people.

I am now a proud data input clerk in charge of all the drugstores in my area. Equipped with a bar code scanner, I move from shelf to shelf to count every medicine tablet, every medical equipment, every wheelchair, every feet cream and sore throat sweets until I can no longer read what’s on them. Basically, it takes forever. You never see the end of it. But the real downside to this job is the hours. I am aware the hours make it a very convenient position for students, but working from 6pm to 1.30am is unnatural for me. My body doesn’t like it when I change our schedule. I haven’t had a good night of sleep since I started. Exhausted doesn’t even cover it. I look like a zombie.  Thankfully, I only work at the beginning and the end of each month, which means I have 2 or 3 weeks in between to get back into my routine (I am more of a “in bed at 10pm, up at 7am” kind of girl) before it gets crushed again.

Still, I love my jobs. Not so long ago, I thought I would never be able to work again like anybody else due to my health issues and anxiety, so I’m treasuring the time spent there, even when I’m only half awake. This was my big step of 2015 and I intend to keep it going this year. Yay for being a working girl!

This was a “Thank You Life” post from a girl who’s still recovering.

Posted in This week in books

This Week In Books (Jan13th 2016)

thisweekinbooks

I came across Lipsyy Lost & Found ‘s This Week In Books weekly post and thought it was a great idea to keep track of what is in my bag every week.

CURRENTLY READING: Atonement, Ian McEwan. I am tremendously enjoying this one, which is a relief after two disappointing books.

THEN: I finished Les Hommes Sont Des Maîtresses Comme Les Autres (Men Are Like Any Other Mistresses), Guillaume Chérel. The review should be online before the weekend.

NEXT: Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov. I had never heard of it before it came up during a few episodes of Pretty Little Liars (everyone has a guilty pleasure, right?). I was intrigued so I put it on my reading list but I had to wait until it reappeared on the library shelves (please people, return the books, even late. I hate it when they disappear).

Have you read those books? What is everyone reading this week?

Posted in Uncategorized

2016 Book Goals

2016 book goals picture

I can’t recall when I stopped being the nerd girl who always carried a book with her. Growing up, I would always choose the company of all those amazing characters  over my fellow human beings.

Then university and work happened and I lost control of my schedule, and my life basically. But there are no excuses and it’s time for a change. I need pages and characters and tears and laughs and an outpouring of emotions. Most of all, I need to dream awake again.

In order to avoid pressure, I am going to aim low, I don’t want my reading kick to wear off because of ‘too much too soon’. I have set my Goodreads reading challenge to 30. I love this number. Women are supposed to be at their best at 30, to understand life better, to be at the top of the world and all the great things you can read about this big milestone. I figured it would also work on books. This is an awesome goal for an awesome girl, haha.

I love reading book reviews and the great ones I have read gave me the momentum to start blogging too, but I have never done it before (except for school and junior high a lifetime ago). This makes me a little nervous about writing them, especially when I see so many posts with inspirational reviews (and a natural and beautiful English #justabitjealous). That’s why I am setting a goal for reviews too. I will try and review at least 75% of the books I read. If you have any tips for me, feel free to share! I am gonna need all the help I can get.

Time to start! this month’s nominees books are:

Today’s the 6th and I have already finished You Must Remember This and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close, oops. I need more books!

I wish everyone luck with their challenges and a great time with books!

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

First post of the year: how original.

I have spent quite some time thinking about what that first post should be about. An Introduction? It would not fit in one post. I am a firm believer no one can introduce oneself with only a few words. Still, I’m willing to try.

Who am I?

tumblr_inline_ny8pni3NQM1scq4k2_500

I could say I’m an English student, but that would not be true. In fact, I’m studying English and Japanese applied to Economy, Law and other boring interesting subjects. It is the French way to say I’m studying many things for no purpose at all. In the end, I’ll be a beginner in all those minors and barely able to wade my way through an entire conversation in Japanese or English. That’s the main reason behind this blog. I need a place where I can practice writing English. I’m not expecting a class to take me to fluency, either in speaking or writing. Plus, it’s easier and funnier to talk  about how hard it is to find the right skincare routine or discuss how much Rhum to use in all cake recipes on a blog rather than on an essay. Also, I was reminded that many native speakers write like ****. Yes, mistakes will be made, grammatically wrong sentences will be typed, and so what? Let’s type away!

I could tell you I am French. At this very moment, you might start thinking I eat cheese every day, cannot live without baguette, have a high sense of fashion and shower only once a week, because that is how foreigners picture French women. Let me get one thing straight, I shower on a daily basis! (It has been a year since that French cliché was revealed to me by American friends during my stay in Japan and I am still not over it.)

Did I mention the fact I am a girl?

What else can I say? My dog is the love of my life, I am (sometimes) funny, always working (what’s a day off?), awesome and crazy. You’ll figure the rest out if you keep reading.

Can we pretend this introduction and this useless post are over now?