Advent calendar: Harry Potter

I am currently rereading my way through Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I got the book for my 18th birthday, so I have had it for quite some time.

After hearing all the hype around it, I wasn’t going to read it. But then I was working in the children’s department of the library the summer I turned 18, and the book was put on hold for someone. I started reading it, and immediately put it on my wish list for my birthday.

It has been a while since I have read it, and I am discovering that it doesn’t fade in rereads. It is still as magical as it was back then.

Advent calendar: We should all be feminists

I just finished reading this, and immediately thought of about several people I know who would love it. Everyone from colleagues to friends. It is such a simple text, yet it fully describes how I think the world should be.

(How the world, fortunately is for me, growing up and living in Norway, but, should be for everyone.)

We Should All Be Feminists

“If we do something over and over, it becomes normal. If we see the same thing over and over, it becomes normal. If only boys are made class monitor, then at some point we will all think, even if unconsciously, that the class monitor has to be a boy. If we keep seeing only men as heads of corporations, it starts to seem “natural” that only men should be heads of corporations.”

Advent calendar: Anne of Green Gables

Whenever someone asks me to name my favourite books, Anne of Green Gables always is on top of the list.

Mainly because it is one of the first non-picture books I remember reading by myself, and not being read by my parents. But also because the story is riveting. Anne is a great character to grow along with, and the friends she makes is wonderfully described.

I recommend the whole series, but it is really the first book in the series that captivated me into the universe of Anne and Gilbert.

Advent calendar: Colour away

I know colouring books for grown-ups are everywhere. I have a lot of them myself – and the more I have, the less patience I have for doing it.

But, for me, what is fun, is having a bunch of colouring books, drawing pencils and markers and having my sisters over for a colouring session. It is so much better when you can look at what the others are doing. Even though the point of colouring books for adults might be the mindfullness aspect of it, I find that that is one of the things I don’t have interest in.*

This one looks nifty for adding to the collection and bringing out for the holiday parties: The Magical Christmas: A Colouring Book

* This might explain why my mother is showing no hesitation in throwing away my old colouring books as I had a tendency to scribble all over them with one or two colours. For far longer than my age would dictate normal.

Advent calendar: The Christmas Mystery

Today’s book is not one of the new ones out there, but rather a comfortable old friend from the late 90s. The Christmas Mystery – Jostein Gaarder

It is two separate stories in one – one of a boy opening an advent calendar. Another one of a girl and an angel making their way to the birth of Christ.

I read it and loved it. My mother read it, and continues to re-read it every December as an advent calendar.

Advent calendar: Fika – the art of the Swedish coffee break

Today’s fun read was Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, with Recipes for Pastries, Breads, and Other Treats.

Fika is to Sweden what kaffe is to Norwegians – only even more so. It’s coffee, but it is not just grabbing a cup to go at a Starbucks. And it is not just covered by the Norwegian meal that somehow comes after dessert when you’ve visited your grandmother. It is sitting down, and taking a break from your day to enjoy the coffee, and something to bite in alongside it.

It is going on a train ride and bringing pastry and a coffee cup (or tea) to enjoy.

The book is fun and sweet and nicely illustrated.

Advent calendar: Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman

Catherine the Great: Portrait of a WomanOne of the royal biographies I read this year was Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman by Robert K. Massie.

If you are into history, women in history or royalty, I heartily recommend it. It took me some time to get through after the initial first pages, but that was more due to personal lack of time than the book itself.

I actually think the first parts of the book is the best – when Catherine leaves her home and family to travel to Russia to marry a young man she hasn’t seen. Adopting a country that she has never been to, a religion that is foreign to her and also a language that is far beyond what she is used to.

Catherine, and the ups and downs of her life at court, have been, in my opinion, well portrayed by Massie. If you haven’t read it yet, do.

Advent calendar: Seriously delish

The twee title aside – I just finished leafing through Seriously Delish, and think it may be one of my favourite cookbooks of the year in terms of entertainment value, and interesting recipes.

It can get a bit too chatty at times, but as I leafed through the version bookmarking about every other recipe (Must try this, must try that. Ohh, when I have time for Christmas cooking. Maybe New Year’s eve.)

What I liked was the experimentation involved in the recipes making it fun to read.

Advent calendar: Icons of England

Icons of England

I am an anglophile. I studied in Newcastle Upon Tyne, albeit only for a semester. During that semester, (as well as both before and after it) I travelled around a bit in the UK.

Another admission: I love Bill Bryson’s writing. Sadly, although this was edited by him, he is not the author of it. (Just as the Prince of Wales wrote the foreword, but didn’t write the whole thing.)

Reading through this is like watching a quintessential English show or movie taking place in the countryside. Heartbeat. (Which my Mum has been addicted to,) or Hot Fuzz. (Before the shootings.)


Advent calendar: Dear girls above me

Day 4 – and I’m bringing out a quick and easy and fun read I did this year. I like the quirky stories. The fun stories. And this is that.

Dear Girls above me is the story of the Twitter feed, where two girls move into the apartment above the author. He discovers that the soundproofing between the apartments is non-existent, and starts to share the stories on Twitter.

It’s the type of book that makes you grateful for your own space. But if you’ve ever lived in dorms or any place with paper thin walls, you can recognise it. (My downstairs neighbour liked to play jazz at the same time as the neighbour to the side of me played hip-hop… and this was a place with concrete walls.)