God of the Book club

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

Yes, we had Neil on the list already. And yes, I’ve read this book as well. That is why I was so extremely pleased to read it again. It was a great opportunity to experience the story with fresh eyes as I did not remember it as well as I thought I did.

I consider this book the best Neil Gaiman has written. However, it wouldn’t be the book I would recommend reading first. Maybe try Neverwhere or Stardust to ease yourself into Gaiman’s world as my book club accomplice Eva (who has just started her own blog with film reviews) has pointed out the ‘Gods’ can get bit overwhelming.

But for me, I was back in Neil Gaiman’s heaven. I loved the main characters – Shadow and Wednesday, I loved the story and the way different myths were wowen in, the ‘good vs evil’ fight that was something entirely different. This is a road trip of your life but you are not sure if you dream or are awake.

A to Z challenge is coming soon!

So, last year’s A to Z was quite a thing.

a/ I had no idea what I signed up to

b/ I wasn’t exactly organised so my posts were scattered and most of the time I ended up working on them last minute and sometime I was so out of wits that I cheated a little (prime example is W)

c/ But I did kind of enjoy the madness of it 🙂

 

This year, after gathering some knowledge of this challenge, I have started few weeks in advance and I am using this wonderful functionality that wordpress is offering – scheduling the posts! It took me only a year or so to learn about it. I have been using it quite heavily recently. I try to sit down and prep lots of drafts and posts in one go at least once a week (although it is more a bi-weekly process at the moment). I find it works better for me, I have time to stay ‘in the zone’ for longer, to be more productive, let the ideas brew and grow. It also works much better with my running schedule.

This brings us to the topic or the theme (I have a theme for this year! Yay!) for the April challenge. It is…surprise, surprise…running. Well, not only running – that would be rather boring, but running related A to Z snippets. I will draw from my own experience and share my opinions. I will in no way try to persuade you that my way is the best or the only one correct though and I will not go in too much details or technicalities – there are qualified professionals who know way more than me. So I will keep the posts brief and personal as there is lot of other opinions and advice out there.

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If you would like to check out some of my A to Z creations from last year, I have set up a separate page so they are easily accessible. My personal favourites are:

D – just because that is soooo me + I actually love my attempt of poetry

F – because it was so true

H – because it was so much fun to play with alphabet within A to Z challenge

J + K – because it was my mom’s 60th birthday + day after 🙂

P – because playing with words is amazing

U – because I’ve been there, I’ve done that and I’m grateful

W – because I think it was actually quite a smart safe

Z – because it was a new start

Oh, and I’m really rubbish at shortlisting.

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Pics are from my January holiday on the very windy island of Fuerteventura 🙂

Fact of the Day

Staying awake for two weeks can kill you.

Zero Tolerance to Plastic Knives

Do I have to explain this one? I’m also not very keen on plastic forks. Especially the little ones packaged within the ready-to-eat salads. This is how it goes.

Imagine a plastic bowl.

Find the tiniest, most awkward to use plastic fork and place it at the bottom of the plastic bowl.

Add a sachet with bunch of croutons and a pouch with sauce (whatever flavour that rocks your taste buds).

Fill the bowl with green leaves, tomatoes, cucumbers and whatnots.

Anyone else sees the problem here?

Not only this whole arrangement doesn’t make any sense, it is also promoting and contributing towards pollution. Plastic is bad! Though I do kinda love it….the contradictions of the modern world…

Friends of the Earth

Fact of the Day

Napoleon was terrified of cats.          

Zero Tolerance to Overcrowded Places

I like my personal space. I am a human being not a cattle or a canned sardine. Everyone has a right and deserves to freely fill their lungs to the full. And everyone needs to respect this right.

No tolerance to oppression – physical, mental, political or any other kind.

Amnesty International UK

How to Build a Book

How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran

 

I finished it in two goes, while on a plane. It was very readable however towards the end I was reading carelessly as I found the book, well, boring which may be surprising as there was quite a lot of action at all times.

The main character, Joanna, was very rich, ripe and detailed. She created this new personality for herself that was presented to the outside world and took this ‘new’ her on  wild adventures. In a way the writer presented the main character in the same way. I’m not sure if I’m making sense here but reading the book felt as if there were two layers of artificially created personality and we actually never met the real girl.

It was very diary-like, but not describing real events but events that were perhaps based in reality but ended up ballooned up out of proportions. Everyone went through the crazy hormonal phase as a teenager, trying to find who they are, doing stupid things etc but this felt unrealistic.

I found it also very predictable not maybe in a way of what will happen next but that something will happen – the story started on a real high and it just continued to create more and more unbelievable situations. You could basically expect another ‘disaster’ coming up in the next paragraph.

I admit that I knew nothing about the author but if this story is autobiographical it makes sense why I felt about the character that way. If Caitlin Moran indeed was writing about herself, she basically transformed herself into this character and then the character again created a new ‘improved’ over the top version of herself.

I’m not saying it couldn’t happen – truth is sometimes stranger than fiction – but it just felt too elaborate to be realistic. There was too much of thinking events through and highlighting the most fantastical bits. It’s like when you tell a story and it becomes better with time because you have time to perfect it? This book had double doses of this and then extra.

Also, every other character in this book would fit in IKEA flat-packed box.

I still plan to read Caitlin Moran’s other book How to be a Woman which is meant to be amazing. How to Build a Girl wasn’t my cup of tea though.

Fact of the Day

Humans have the same number of neck bones as giraffes.

Zero Tolerance to Nipples on Mannequins

I don’t see the point. Are they trying to make the window dolls more realistic? If so, why not actually make them proportionate to real people instead of making life size Barbies? The mannequins can be so much more than just clothes hangers – like in this video.

We are distorting and destroying the image and perception of how a human body should look like and we are doing the same to nature. Creating something that is unrealistic by destroying the true beauty.

RSPB

Fact of the Day

The slowest fish is a seahorse.

 

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