Tag Archive for books

My Love Of Reading

A few days ago a fellow BookCrosser asked for children’s books. I had a few so I send her a box. There were a few books I had read as a child.

Lotje

These books were used for learning to read. Nowadays this happens in small groups I’ve been told. Groups of children that are on the same level. In my time we had to read with the whole class. It didn’t matter if you were ahead or behind on your reading skills. This is what we read and you have to do it.

Now I’ve always been an avid reader. Ever since I started to read I’ve been reading everything that I could get my hands on. My mom took me to the library when I was very little and when I was 4 I got my own library card. In these days (and it’s not that long ago) a child couldn’t get a library card if they were younger than 4. It’s quite different now, thankfully.

So these books triggered a few happy memories and quite a few bad ones as well.

“Frouk, would you read the next paragraph?” Well, I would, but I had no idea where in heaven’s name we were. Being ahead of my class in reading I silently read more than I should have and lost where the rest of the class was in the book. This, of course, got me into trouble quite a few times.

“Frouk, you can’t read that book, it’s too advanced for you.” No, it wasn’t. I had read that particular book from the library and enjoyed it so much I wanted to read it again. It was supposed to be for the class ahead of ours and me reading it got me into trouble again.
This happened a lot and after a while I didn’t want to read books from the library anymore. When my mom heard why not she went to our teacher and I got moved ahead (as the only one in my class) just for reading. I know soon after that they’ve changed the way they taught children how to read, but I’m not sure if my case had anything to do with that.

“You can’t borrow book from that section.” Our library had three children’s sections; 6-9, 9-12, 12-16. And in these days you weren’t even allowed to wander into a different section of you were choosing your own books. Now I started reading books for the ages 9-12 when I was 7. My mom and dad applauded this and always encouraged me to read whatever I wanted (within limits of course). But the library wasn’t that encouraging and it got me into trouble a few times.

“You can’t come in here 3 times a week and constantly borrowing books.” Yes, this was actually said to me by a librarian. Our library was open three afternoons a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. And every single one of these days I was there, borrowing more books. By this time the limit was only 3 books and I read them all in two days. Kids books just aren’t as thick as adult books. Luckily my mom was there and told them I could come in as many times as I’d like, provided I brought back the books I’d previously borrowed.

“You can’t borrow boys books.” My favourite book series are ‘boys’ books. But apparently girls can’t read those books. I’m still not sure why. In the following years I’ve heard this many times (never by my family) and never stopped reading those books. On the contrary, my love for ‘boys’ books has grown and I’m buying them whenever I find them in charity shops.

“Your mom needs to borrow her own books.” By the time I was 14 I’d pretty much read the entire children’s section. My mom gave me permission to borrow ‘adult’ books. Of course the library did not agree with me borrowing adult books and my mom had to come with me every time I wanted to borrow books. By this time I was in high school and had homework, friends and sport, so my reading time was reduced quite a bit. The maximum amount of books was upped from 3 to 5, so this meant I was only in there about once a week. It took quite a bit of persuasion before I was actually allowed to take adult books and sometimes still got into trouble with it.

“Why are you always reading?” Again, said by a librarian. And still, I have no idea why she said this. You are in a library, what do you expect people to do? Maybe it was because I was in the check out line and many times I started reading while waiting. I don’t know.

“Why have you chosen the hardest books?” We had to read 10 books for our exams in high school. And I did not choose the thinnest, easiest books, like my classmates did. And of course this triggered a lot of abuse from them. They thought me reading thicker books would have an impact on their grade. I don’t think it had any effect. Only their own actions had an effect on their grades.

“Why would you even read such a thick book?” Said to me by a teacher. Yes, a teacher… I was reading The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough at the time. And, as you might know, this books is almost 700 pages. So why? Because I’d seen the mini series and I enjoyed them and I enjoyed reading the book as well.

Luckily, all these snarky comments have never stopped me from reading. I’m very grateful to my dad, who let me borrow his Kameleon books when I was just 7 years old, and to my mom, who always encouraged my love of reading.

old cover (1955)

Things I did in June and July

I’m not sure how exactly this happened. One day it was the middle of June and now, somehow, it’s the end of July…
Which means I haven’t done my monthly round-up post and I haven’t been updating about the veggie garden…

Books I’ve read:

Fataal weekend(Post Mortem)
1974 (partially read this one)
Undercover in de ouderenzorg
Geluksvogel
Gently By the Shore
Gently Down the Stream

I’ve released 150 books and there’s more to follow, as July isn’t over yet. The high number is due to the annual BookCrossing meeting on the beach in Castricum on July 6. This has put my 52/52 challenge up to 42 places sofar. Another 10 and I’ve made it. For the 365 challenge I’m up to 336 books. I’ve reset my goal to 500 this year. It might make a small dent in my BC collection…

In the garden everything is growing like made. The lettuce is about 150 cm high, if not higher. I ate loads of raspberries, they never even made it indoors. The tayberries are blooming for the second time and the blackberries are waiting for their tan.
I’ll do a post on that later this week.

Cat Candy has got another bladder infection (again) and is on antibiotics for the umptieth time. She seems to be feeling fine, though she’s not going out as much nowadays. Not sure if that’s due to the weather (hot hot hot), the infection or old age.

The weather, ah yes, the weather. Well, what can I say? It’s really hot. It was 33C on saturday which is ridiculously high for our part of the world. Yesterday was a bit coller and today the temp is rising again. We’re up to 25C now.
The solar panels are doing a bit less well in the heat. But we’re still managing a good few kWh. With 30 days to go to make it a full year we’ve used 58% of our normal annual consumption off our own panels. Which is already 8% more than we hoped for.

Next month I’ll be having my holiday and hoping the weather is still good. Just one more month…

Oh, I almost forgot the biggest news! On my birthday we bought a new car. A brandnew car that is. Our Kaatje was almost 18 years old and the cost of the repairs were beginning to mount up. We had to get at least another 800 euro into it to get her through the (Dutch equivalent of the) MOT. So we decided enough was enough. Everyone, meet Kate:

Kate1

Kate is a 2014 Ka Style, in the new colour red, called flame red. We love her, though I do miss Kaatje…

Things I did in May

Books I’ve read:

Robbert Jan en het geheim van Berg en Dal (Barney, The Rockingdown Mystery)
De vier speurneuzen – de geheimzinnige bewaker
De 4 Speurneuzen, de vreemde dokter
Rebuilding Coventry

Books I’m currently reading:

P Is for Peril (A Kinsey Millhone Mystery)
Robbert Jan en het geheim aan de kust  (Barney, The Rilloby Fair Mystery)

I’ve released 47 books, which brings the total amount of released books so far this year up to 185. This means I’ve crossed the half way point!
Also, I’m on 29 places with the 52/52 challenge.

Elderly neighbour complained to her friend two weeks ago, while I was lounging outside (she knew that), that we ruined her garden and her garden path. And that she should never have given us permission to go around her house with garden supplies. She also told her friend we crossed her garden at least a hundred times. Mind you, we did no such thing. We clipped back the bushes around the part where we went through her garden to avoid damaging them. We only went through her garden 4 times the first time, now 2 years ago. Earlier this year she gave our other neighbour permission to go through her garden again. This time it was about 10 times and again we clipped back the bushes to avoid damaging them. I’m now done with her. We’ve always been kind to her and this is how she pays us back. Well, she’ll find out what she’s lost!

Water garden

this happened to the garden earlier this week. I did a blog post about it in the morning. But it kept raining and raining. By the end of the afternoon this is how the garden looked…
We had more than 60 MM in 60 hours, which the garden simply couldn’t get rid of. Part of the problem is that both our neighbours have had their garden paved completely. This means all excess water comes right into our garden. Normally this isn’t much of a problem, but with these amounts of water it was a problem. Luckily everything dried up nicely and it looks like almost everything survived. Haven’t seen the pumpkins I’ve sowed, but I’m not sure if that’s due to the water or not…

Both our cats are doing fine. Candy seems to react good to her new medication, so I’m very happy with that. Due to the warm weather both of them haven’t been eating as much as they usually do, but who can blame them for that? We’re not eating as much as usual too.

Things I did in April

It’s been May for quite some time now and I still haven’t done my April round-up post. So here it goes.

The books I’ve read in April are the following:

De vloek van de Pelgrims (Pilgrim’s Rest)
Trixie Belden Mysterie, De Verdwijning
Vakantie op het water

I haven’t released a large amount of books, but I’m still ahead of my target, so that’s going well.

The lawn looks great now that the grass has started to grow back. For a while I thought my best bet was to dig it up (something I really wasn’t looking forward to) and start again, but time has healed it well.
We’re still very content with our new fence. Our elderly neighbour told me a few weeks back that she wished we had done the entire fence, not just the back part. But had I asked her that before we started she would’ve said no. I’m sure of that.

Both cats have had one or more trips to the vet in April. It started with Candy’s check up on her kidneys. Urine testing has shown her kidneys have deteriorated so she’s on different meds. Cat Dipsy decided she didn’t want to eat barely a week later, so another trip to the vet was issued. After some meds and laxatives she started eating very well again.

And about 2 weeks later we noticed cat Candy started falling over. Turns out she’s had a TIA. The vet wanted to keep her to see if her bloodpressure was too high, but Candy decided she didn’t like the vet anymore and started behaving badly. So we picked her up and monitored her closely. After a few days we noticed she wasn’t interested in her food anymore and called the vet again. She prescribed different meds to go with the kidney medication. Our kitchen cabinet is starting to look like a vet’s pharmacy…

The end of April we spent putting up the coat rack. It’s only been 2 and a half years since we moved, so we weren’t in a hurry… 😛
Jokes aside, I’m very happy with the result!

Coat rack

Things I did in March

I’ve been doing quite a lot in March. Mainly because the weather was gorgeous and we had a week off.

I’ve been reading quite a lot of children’s books. Easy, quick and it sure makes a dent in my TBR pile.

The Delicate Storm
Commissaris Achterberg en de verdwenen radiowagen
Hotel Rozebottel, vlam in de pan
Hotel Rozebottel, gasten op de vlucht

And I’m currently reading De vloek van de Pelgrims which hasn’t grabbed me so far.

I’ve released quite a number of books in March, mainly due to opening an OBCZ in my hometown. I’m now up to 131 books released in 20 different places. I’m trying to keep this momentum going, as I have far too much BookCrossing books lying around…

I’ve been working with the dethatcher which has worked magic on the lawn. The back lawn actually looks good, the front looks like a barren landscape at the moment. I’ve sowed new grass, so I hope it’ll get better over time. I can’t really be arsed by the front lawn. It doesn’t really look any worse than it already did.

And our new fence is up. It looks lovely. I bought 2 different types of clematis, the Joe and the Ville de Lyon. The latter mainly because it produces pink flowers and the girls next door love everything pink. They are growing very quickly and I’m hoping they’ll give lots of privacy this summer.

new fence

new fence 2

Things I did in February

Well, the short answer is: not much…

Books I’ve read:

Bandieten op Bali
De discus valt aan

Currently reading:

The Delicate Storm

You see, my TBR pile has grown quite a bit again. A friend of mine asked me to pick up 3 boxes of books, which we split evenly amongst us. But they are all children’s books and I love reading children’s books. Many of the books in the boxes I have read as a child.

I’ve had problems with my thyroid levels due to working a few night shifts. This meant that I haven’t been reading as much as I wanted. Luckily my boss and I have decided that it’s not advisable with my health issues to work anymore night shifts. I am so relieved about this decision.

The 365/365 challenge is going well. I haven’t released many books in Feb, but I’m currently on 82 released books. As for the 52 books in 52 towns challenge I’m up to 18 towns/villages/hamlets. A pretty good score if I may say so myself.

I’ve started working on the vegetable patch. I’ve been digging and removing lots of grass. I’ve also cleared the tiles in the garden from grass. My sis in law has a dethatcher which we can borrow. This is very necessary, as the front lawn contains more moss than actual grass. And in the lawn at the back there’s a large patch of moss that keeps growing bigger and bigger.As for making the vegetable patch bigger, I’ve still got to remove 3 square meters of grass. Which I believe I can do in about 3 hours. But I won’t do it all in one go and it has to be a bit dry. The grass is very heavy and I don’t have much room for it in the green wheelie bin. The bin can’t weigh more than 80 KG and you will be surprised how quickly it’s up to that level.

I’ve made a chart of what seeds I have and when I need to plant them out. Of course, after I made it I bought and been given more seeds, so it’s completely out of date again.
I did sow some bell pepper seeds about 3 weeks ago and yesterday I saw there’s already 3 showing the first leaves. Which makes me very happy.
The cement bucket and pots still haven’t been bought. This I will (try to) do later this week or next week.

As for the fencing that blew down last October, our neighbours have bought a fence online and it’s been delivered last week. In the last weekend of March it’s supposed to go up.

I am hoping to do a few more blog posts next month.

What have I been doing in January

As I posted in the beginning of January I wanted to get on with my TBR pile of BookCrossing books. So far it’s been going well. I’ve read 8 books and am reading 2 at the moment. (un)Fortunately my TBR pile grew with 9 books, so basically I’ve gotten nowhere with that…

Books I’ve read:

I’ve made a beginning with reading at least 4 books, which weren’t to my taste. So they’ve gone from my TBR pile to my AVL pile.

I’ve started with the 365/365 challenge, which is in the Dutch forum of BookCrossing and started by Aaltsje. So far I’ve managed to release 66 books. I’ve also found out the stats on Bookcrossing.com are broken. A week ago they’ve displayed a total of 63 released so far this year. Then, a couple of days ago, I found out the stats have gone done to 61. I’ve been through the whole of my bookshelf, even when I kept score all the way through this month, and I know I’ve released 66 books, not 61. This is a bit odd, but I’ll keep counting and looking at what my BC stats say throughout the year.

Two weeks into this year I’ve managed to get myself into a 52 books in 52 towns challenge as well. Not entirely sure how that happened, it must have been something to do with my night shifts… So far, with help of my lovely colleagues, I’m up to 10 towns. I’ve been searching around on the map for hamlets and villages nearby where I can release books. I think I can get up to 52 in a day. But I’m not going to do that. I do keep a list of places I want to leave a book in though. At the top of that list is a tiny hamlet called “De Hel” (Hell)!

And that’s more than enough about books. On to the next topic, the garden.

In January the weather, the cold and the short days meant I simply wasn’t interested in the garden at all. But now that the days are getting longer I’ve become more interested in the garden again.

I’ve thought about making the veggie patch bigger. This will mean I have to get something to make a clear line between the grass and the vegetable garden. I’ve thought of those wood rolls that you can get, but they are more expensive than the concrete band. So I’m going with that. I’ve also made a list of things I want to buy, mainly big pots for aubergines and bell peppers and a few more potato tubs. The latter have been purchased online and I’m waiting on delivery within the next week. We also need to talk to the neighbours about the fencing that’s been blown down last October. I’ve sent them a text and they’ll get back to us shortly. I’m just hoping it won’t be too expensive…

I’m going to make a sowing schedule and have decided to buy a few seedlings to make my life easier. But I haven’t bought those Samla boxes for nothing, so I am going to sow most of my seeds. Yes, I use Ikeas Samla boxes as greenhouses. Much cheaper than the dedicated ones and they work just as good. I think I’ve got 6 of those.

Right now I’m waiting on a few item to go on sale. I want a tiny garden greenhouse. They were on sale last year in Aldi, but I didn’t get them. A few weeks after, when I did want them, they were sold out. I also want a few more seeds. And I’ve got my mind set on a mini garden pond. I decided to buy a cement bucket (65 Liter) for this purpose.

The next few weeks I will get busy with everything.

So much to do

I planned to blog more often, but failed miserably already…It’s been almost a month since my last post.

We had a week off at the beginning of January. Which we used to install LED lighting in the kitchen. I had been complaining of the lack of light on the workspaces for ages and we finally got around to install a LED strip. Which gives a huge amount of light. Works great!
This meant we haven’t gotten around to sort out the hallway yet. This will have to wait just a little bit longer.

I’ve been very busy with BookCrossing. As I blogged earlier, I’ve committed myself to a 365/365 challenge. I’ve also managed to commit myself to the 52/52 challenge. Which basically means I have to release 52 books in 52 different towns. Not sure how that happened. I think it had something to do with night shifts and the inability to cope with the severe lack of sleep…
So far I’ve released 52 books and 4 more to come on a set time. I’ve also managed to rope in my coworkers to help with the 52/52 challenge. This means I’m now up to 9 different towns all over the Netherlands.

So much to do

So, still to do is the hallway, which won’t happen quickly. My parents in law agreed to help, but my father in law has a suspected hernia, which prevents him from even moving around. His backpains are currently controlled a bit by Morphine.
Jay and I have agreed on asking a painter to do the window and door frames inside. This would take us forever and since we have a few broken doors this is quite vital. My dad has agreed to help us place new doors once the door frames are painted.

We also had a minor problem with our washing machine. The morning after my night shifts I sat watching Homes Under The Hammer when I suddenly thought I heard a tank coming through the street. This would have been unusual, so I walked up to the kitchen window to look out. I then realised the incredible amount of noise was actually coming from somewhere above me. Turned out the washing machine had decided it was time to find a better spot. It was literally jumping up and down. I tried holding it down (silly, i know) when I noticed a burning smell and some smoke coming from the machine. I figured it was time to pull the plug. Thankfully in time to save the laundry, which contained my favourite sweater and jeans. My neighbours across the street were kind enough to lend me their washing machine for a bit so I could at least get the washing done.
So now we have a brand spanking new washing machine! Which, somehow, takes way longer to wash than the old one did…

This post has been inspired by the Daily Prompt.

Desert Island Books

So, I’ve never been tagged before. So this is a first. And a very good one, so thanks Tattooed Mummy!

As you might know I love books. I’ve always loved books, as long as I can remember I’ve been reading. I’m a member of BookCrossing which gives me even more to read. And as I posted just two days ago, My To Be Read pile is massive.

So which books would I take to a desert island?

1. Lost Nation by Jeffrey Lent. A book that grabbed me from the start. The plot twists and turns like a bendy country lane. Absolutely loved it. I bought it for very little in a clearance sale quite a number of years ago and I still think it’s one of the best books I’ve ever bought.

2. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I’m so glad I’ve decided to buy this book. I’ve read Niffenegger’s Her Fearful Symmetry before and up to the third part I’ve enjoyed that book. The third part let it down for me. So I wasn’t too sure about this book, but when I started reading I couldn’t put it down. I read it every available minute. the end of the book becomes clear about half way through, but I didn’t care. Needless to say, I cried after reading this.

3. The Unburied by Charles Palliser. After reading it at least ten times, I’m still no closer to solving the riddle that is this book. The description says it’s situated in the late 1800′s, but it could so easily be somewhere between 1700 and 2020. There’s no clue to what era this book is situated in. It gives me an uneasy feeling every time I read it and yet, I love it. This is a book I picked up in a clearance shop, years and years ago. I’ve been asked to lend it out a couple of times, but I’m so afraid to lose that it stays on my shelves.

4. The Lost Book of Salem by Katherine Howe. Want a great story about witchcraft? This is it. It gets better every time you read it. I’ve been on the lookout for this book for quite some time after I saw a description of it somewhere. But it was never for sale, until I found it in a store that sells remainded books. I picked it up for much less money than I would’ve spend if I bought it second-hand.

5. Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay. This book was given to me by a friend as a BookCrossing book. I’ve since given it to the next reader and I can’t help but think that was a mistake. I so want to read it again. The wonderful writing really sucks you in, makes you feel like you are part of the book. Part of the lives of little Sarah that’s so desperately wants to go back to her little brother. I was so mad when I found out the truth. I remember throwing the book through the room whilst tears streamed down my face. I’ve had lots of nightmares about this book. I have picked it up as yet another Bookcrossing book. And this one might go onto my permanent collection.

6. The Lake of Dead Languages by Carol Goodman. Great story. Bone chilling, in fact. I read and reread this story so many times, the book almost falls apart. I can’t put it down when I start reading this. Never in a million years I thought this story would still grab me after reading it so many times. The story is sinister, the ending is a bit dodgy, but still good enough.

7. Birdman by Mo Hayder. This is the most chilling story I have ever read. Yet I couldn’t stop reading. I had to know why and how. I’m not going to say any more about it, as I’m afraid I’ll reveal the plot. From The Guardian: I’d read to the end what I wished I hadn’t begun.

8. The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf. This book came to me as a Ring-book. Which basically means it gets send from one person to the next until it reaches the person who send it on its way in the first place. The story is about two missing 7-year-olda. The setting is very eery. You know something bad must have happened, just not what. It kept me involved throughout the story. At the end I almost wished it was a few centimeters thicker.

9. Sacrifice by S.J. Bolton. Again, a book that’s been given to me by a BookCrossing friend. And again, one that I couldn’t stop reading. Very moving, very chilly story. The only thing that let it down for me was the incorrect use of a medicin in the book. But if you don’t know about those things, you wouldn’t know. This book will grab you and won’t let go. The time I had when reading this was just too short. I wanted to read it without stopping.

10. This is a whole series of books, de Kameleon by Hotze de Roos. My mom and dad both had books from their childhood which I read. I liked my moms books, but they were a bit too girly for me. I was more of a tomboy. I climbed trees, I built huts, I helped my dad with his carpentry. So his books appealed more to me. When I was about 7 or 8 I started reading the Kameleon books. The books are about twins who go on all kinds of adventures with their boat which is called “De Kameleon”. I loved those books. I could spend hours with them, in their boat. I was there, every step of the way. I have all 60 books and I wouldn’t go without them!

What are your 10 Desert Island Books?

I’m tagging:

Mrs Flams
Motherhoodjourneys
Northernmum
Chickenruby
Kateonthinice
adadcalledspen

All of them blog I follow and enjoy very much.

To play just list your 10 desert island books and tag some friends and we can see what are the ‘must read’ books of 2014.

Grab the badge below (just copy and paste the code provided)  and display it with your post!

Desert Island Books

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My hopes, dreams and wishes for 2014

I’m not one for New Years resolutions. I joked on Twitter about it.

But there are some things I’d like to do.

Life, home and garden:

Lettuce and strawberries

  • I would like to visit the nearby Zoo a little more often. We went to a different, bigger Zoo last year and it really was a disappointment. We still have enough tickets to go at least 4 times this year, so I would like to do that.
  • I’d love to get the hallway done. Right now, we (still) don’t have a coat rack. We haven’t had one since we moved here 2 years ago. I’d like to try and finish that next week.
  • I hope my dad can get a Velux window for the attic. There’s a really old Velux and it’s drafty and leaky. We have talked about glueing it shut, but I like to have a new Velux, so I can get it open in Summer. My dad knows a few homes that are being demolished and they’ve had new Velux windows installed about 3 years ago. So he’s going to ask them if he can buy one or two for a reasonable price.
  • I haven’t yet made plans for my veggie patch. I have learned a few things from last year and I’d quite like to try to get more out of it. I think I can do that quite easily.

Books and Bookcrossing:

Books from the summer lottery

  • I have signed myself up for the 365/365 Challenge. It’s in the Dutch forum of BookCrossing and it’s started by Aaltsje. It’s nothing much, just release at least 365 books this year. Now, with lots and lots of books already registered and more to go I think I need something like this to get books out of the attic. I’m quite the hoarder…
  • I think I’ve said this last year as well, but I’d like to get on with my TBR pile. Right now, there’s more coming in than there’s going out. There’s at least 135 books on the pile, but I think it’s actually more. Sometimes I move books from the Release boxes onto the TBR box, but forget to update their status on BookCrossing. And yes, the “onto” was deliberate…
  • I’m going to try to make a list of which books I’ve read and am reading every month. Just to keep the books flowing. There’s so many books I’ve had for years now and I think it’s time to see them go.
  • I should go through my TBR pile to see if there’s books that can travel further without reading them first. With so many books on there I think I should be more picky about what goes on there.

Crafting and Hobbies:

  • I have to find a way to get googly eyes and coloured paper without paying too much for them. I have agreed to make lots and lots of little owls and other cute paper crafty things for a charity in our town. They give out boxes of toys to people who don’t have money to buy toys themselves. I might have to contact them and ask for sponsors. Not sure how I can do that…
  • I want to do more sewing. Sis in laws baby is having her birthday in May and I’d like to sew a slip dress for her. No idea what size it should be as I have no idea about babies… Might have to get help from mom in law to get the right size.
  • I want to do more cooking and baking. I have been doing a lot of it last year, but I love it, so I’d like to do more. Main problem is that I’m picky with food… Oh well, we’ll see what happens.

 

I think that’s about it. What are the things you’d like to do?