Top Ten Tuesday: Top 10 Non-Bookish Websites

Top Ten Tuesday is the brainchild of The Broke & the Bookish. Every Tuesday, we compile a list of our literary Top 10, and then add it to the blog hop.

This week is all about our Top 10 Non-Bookish Websites.

1.) Travelettes

Travelettes Homepage

The Travelettes are awesome! Love their tips and features, and for a trained travel journalist like me, this is one site to give me Fernweh – guaranteed.

 

2.) Londonist

Londonist

It is no secret that I love London. Although I spent my 6 years in the United Kingdom in the North West of England, London is my spiritual home. “If you feel like a Londoner, than that’s what you are.” The Londonist lets me keep up with everything that’s going on in town during my absence.

 

3.) A Backpacker’s Tale

Backpackers Tale

A Backpacker’s Tale is one man’s impressive journey around the world. Very inspiring!  

4.) Roads & Kingdoms

Roads and Kingdoms

Roads & Kingdoms is an amazing travel site. I urge you to check it out!  

5.) Amanda Palmer on Patreon

Afp

Amanda Fucking Palmer is the singer of the Dresden Dolls. She’s also the wife of author Neil Gaiman and has written The Art of Asking. On her Patreon blog she writes about her life and music and gives a very personal account of what is going on in her life.  

6.) The Culture Map

Culture Map

This is another brilliant travel blog. I’m actually using their suggestions right now to plan a roadtrip across Iceland.  

7.) National Theatre Live

NTlive

While not a blog, I do love to keep up with productions at the National Theatre in London, and check regularly for NTLive and NTEncore screening dates so I get to see amazing productions even though I’m not in London.

 

8.) Sherlock’s Home

Sherlock's Home

Yes, I’m an unapologetic Sherlockian. I grew up with the Sherlock Holmes canon, and now that my absolute favourite actor plays my favourite literary sidekick – Martin Freeman as Dr John Watson – I can’t stay away. I do check Sherlock’s Home for several reasons, though. Not just to read about theories, reviews and what’s going on with all current and past Sherlocks, no. I also write for them. Yes, I’ve made myself a home at 221b Baker Street.

9.) Creative Tourist

creativetourist

Creative Tourist is everything I love: the UK and the Arts. Especially my old home in North West England. It helps me keep up with what’s going on in the place I consider home.  

10.) Coffitivity

coffitivity

Have you heard of Coffitivity? No? Hm. If you’re anything like me and need a certain level of background noise to function, then this is your site! There are three free and three paid-for soundtracks, continuous loops of coffee shop or university canteen murmurs. Loud enough to hear, but too indistinct to make out conversations. It’s really helped me concentrate on my grad school assignments and while reading as there is that little bit of chatter to break the silence. It’s scientifically proven to help!

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Braving It: a father, a daughter, and an unforgettable journey into the Alaskan Wild by James Campbell #FirstToRead

James Campbell’s father-daughter adventure Braving It is perfect for everybody looking to escape a city and trade it for the open wild.

James and his 15-year-old daughter Aidan Campbell’s story starts one summer with James’ cousin Heimo asking them to help build a cabin in the interior of the Alaskan Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Aidan embraces the wild North. Together with her relatives, she hauls logs and builds a cabin, yes, but she also becomes more confident and at home so far away from civilisation.

This book is marvellous at invoking wanderlust and a sense of adventure. Together with Heimo’s Yupik Eskimo wife, Aidan learns how to track, trap and hunt, and meets caribou, moose. She even returns North with her father in the winter after their initial trip, to help her relatives work the traplines and learn more about surviving in Alaska’s Wild. Together, they encounter everything such a remote place has to offer. Freezing-cold rivers, wolves, snow, grizzlies and remoteness.

Their third and final Alaskan adventure sees the father-daughter team head back North in the autumn for a rite-of-passage for the both of them. According to Eskimo tradition, some women may go through the same rites as young men if they are deemed worthy. And after Aidan had previously demonstrated how at home she is in the woods up there, they decide to undertake an ambitious trip together. Armed only with what they can carry on their backs, the two set out to cross Alaska’s Brooks Range on foot until they reach the Hulahula river, before they assemble a canoe to take them all the way to the Arctic Ocean. Along the way, father and daughter have time to bond, and have an adventure like no other.

Braving It is a striking story about a father, a daughter, and the beautiful power of the Alaskan wilderness.

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥

Title: Braving It: A father, a daughter, and an unforgettable journey into the Alaskan Wild
Author: James Campbell
Publisher: Crown
Release Date: May 10, 2016
Pages: 384
ISBN: 978-0307461247

 

Braving It by James Campbell was provided to me as an
Advance Review Copy in eBook format by
Penguin Random House’s FirstToRead

#WeekendCoffeeShare: If We Were Having Coffee… On May 7

Hello, book lovers!

How are you? Welcome to the Weekend Coffee Share, a blog hop by the lovely Diana over at Part Time Monster. Every weekend we get together for virtual coffees and a little casual chat. How has this past week been for you?

If we were having coffee today, we’d meet up at a café in Hamm and I’d invite you to join me and my cousin Fabian at our table outdoors. We’ve got glorious sunshine here today, clear blue skies and temperatures around 25°C.

We’ve had a great day, chatting for six hours straight about books, blogs, British TV and everything in between. Could you keep up with us? We’d not seen each other in over a year, but we’ve been chatting nearly every day. I love having a cousin who is as enthusiastic about literature, the English language, and multiple fandoms as I am. I’m hoping Fabian will join us in a few weeks for his own Weekend Coffee Share as we’ve been discussing him setting up his own blog.

If we were having coffee today, I’d tell you that my bestie has had a baby girl this week! Now I just have to book a trip to the UK to meet the little munchkin. Anotehr friend also had a baby girl – on the same day. It’s been a week for birthdays, apparently.

Reading-wise, I’ve managed to get through a few NetGalley books I’ll be reviewing. I’ve made a start with Last Tango in Buenos Aires and a teen poetry collection called Leave This Song Behind.

I’ve also managed to come up with a proper blog plan. It has taken quite a while, but I do believe I now have a system. Over the next few days and weeks you’ll notice a few more changes to this blog, more blog hops and features and a somewhat regular schedule concerning upcoming reviews.

Blogging Schedule ©Literati Girl

Blogging Schedule ©Literati Girl

If we were having coffee today, we’d still be enjoying the sunshine. It’s the first time this year I actually got a full day’s worth of sunshine and summer weather. Maybe a cool drink might be a better idea than coffee today. Check out the other Weekend Coffee Sharers, I’m sure they’d love to see you too!

Thank you for having coffee with me. Same time, next week?

 

Friday 56 Vol. 1: Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

The Friday 56 is a blog hop by Freda’s Voice and the rules are simple:

  • Turn to the nearest book.
  • Open it on page 56.
  • Post a sentence or two.
  • Join the linky.
  • Go crazy on the linky.

“He had thumbed through the magazine more than once, put it down and picked it up again, and he kept returning to a full-page, dramatically lighted fashion photograph whose caption began ‘A frankly flattering, definitely feminine dress to go happily wherever you go…’ and whose subject was a tall, proud girl with deeper breasts athan he’d thought fashion models were supposed to have.”                                – Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates

Leave This Song Behind – Teen Ink Poetry Collection

Poetry is not just for grown-ups or those trying to woo a lover. The Leave This Song Behind collection of teen poetry by Teen Ink is proof that poetry can be found everywhere in life.

The collection features some of the best teen poetry of today. Reflecting teen culture, many of the poems adhere to a more free-verse style as is evident in modern slams.

This collection contains some real gems of poetry, like Bluebells, Dear Michaelangelo, Don’t Fall In Love, and A Letter To The Past, Present, and Future Selves.

What really becomes evident is that this generation deals with some real and uly problems, deeply human flaws and raw emotions – and sometimes the best way to express all of these feelings is through poetry. With a collection of poems by several different authors, it is only natural that not all poems are to a reader’s individual tastes.

Because while there are some really beautiful and touching works in this collection, there are also a few which come across as overly pretentious. One run-on sentence in a weird format – like every wors in a new line – does not necessarily make a poem. And even though many of the poems deal with depression, selfworth issues, and unrequited love, the teen angst seems to be a red thread throughout the whole book.

It is a nicely edited book. The poems are split into different sections, which makes it easy to find a poem you are in the mood for. There are even notes by the poets, but unfortunately, these are at the very end of the book. Personally, I would have prefered to have the notes close to the poems they relate to, as the flipping back and forth does get tiresome. Another issue is that the best poems are towards the middle of the book, and the beginning of the collection is not as powerful as it should by rights be in order to draw the reader in.

Leave This Song Behind is a nice poetry collection which gives a unique insight into the problems teenagers of today have to deal with, but it could have made even more of an impact than it does.

 

Leave This Song Behind  was provided to me as an
Advance Review Copy in eBook format by NetGalley

My Rating: ♥♥♥

Title: Leave This Song Behind
Author: Stephanie & John Meyer (Editors)
Publisher: HCI Books
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Pages: 216
ISBN:  978-0757318962

Last Tango in Buenos Aires by David Marsh

Last Tango in Buenos Aires – Sketches from the Argentine by David Marsh is a raw and honest account of one man’s travel through small-town Argentina. From the very north of the country, the author travels by foot, bus and train to the End of the World

From the very north of the country, the author travels by foot, bus and train to the End of the World and meets the local residents along the way.

This book goes beyond a simple travelogue – it brings the South American country to life. With added facts about Argentinian history and how those periods affected and continue to affect the population, the story becomes thought-provoking.

Luscious descriptions of the landscapes, and honest encounters with the people along the way, from road-side acquaintances to those he meets in city centres, make Last Tango in Buenos Aires incredibly real.

This is a book that shows Argentina from all its angles, highlights the cultural and geographical diversity of the country, and emphasises Argentina’s beauty. It’s the people David meets, however, who are the soul of the book. Their anecdotes and opinions provide a lesson in Argentinian history, politics and culture that has not been glossed over by newspaper or textbook editors, and showcases lived history and the opinions of the people instead.

Last Tango in Buenos Aires by David Marsh was provided to me as an
Advance Review Copy in eBook format by NetGalley

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥

Title: Last Tango in Buenos Aires
Author: David Marsh
Publisher: Matador  / Troubador Publishing
Release Date: January 28, 2016
Pages: 192
ISBN:  978-1784625221

Doctor Who: The Angel’s Kiss by Justin Richards & “Melody Malone” (Audiobook) #60Books

Read as part of my 60 Books Challenge: A sci-fi novel.

Doctor Who – The Angel’s Kiss was written by Justin Richards, but – to tie in with the show – Melody Malone is listed as the author.

Contrary to popular belief, this is NOT the same book as the one River Song reads from in the episode The Angels Take Manhattan.

The story follows Melody Malone, private detective. She gets a visit from a film star called Rock Railton, who believes he is to be killed. Melody gets on the case after he mentions “the kiss of an angel,” and puts herself in danger during her investigations.

Even though this is a Doctor Who tie-in story, the Doctor does not feature in this story. This is one of Melody’s cases, told from Melody’s point of view.

It’s a nice enough story, and the audiobook version read by Alex Kingston – who plays River Song aka Melody Malone on the show – is very intriguing. Alex Kingston uses her sultry River Song voice with a bit of an American twang – the story is set in the US after all – and it fits very well with that old-time Hollywood period and charm the story is based in. That being said, this is NOT a story featuring River Song – this story is all about Melody Malone, the female no-nonsense private detective with killer heels and drop-dead gorgeous red lipstick.

It’s a cool detective story as a standalone. It’s got girl power, 1930’s charm, and a supernatural mystery (the only thing that really ties it into the show). Unfortunately though, the supposedly bad-ass protagonist is limited by 1930’s gender roles and perceptions. It’s a good story, but could have been better.

My Rating: ♥♥♥

Title: Doctor Who: The Angel’s Kiss
Author: Justin Richards & “Melody Malone”
Publisher: BBC
Release Date: February 7, 2013
Pages: 80 (eBook version)
ISBN:  978-1471324055

Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Childhood Characters I’d Love To Meet Up With

Top Ten Tuesday is the brainchild of The Broke & the Bookish. Every Tuesday, we compile a list of our literary Top 10, and then add it to the blog hop.

This week is all about our Top 10 Childhood Characters We’d Love To Meet Up With Again.

I spent my childhood in Germany, and read exclusively in German until I was around 11 years old. So below you’ll find the names with which these characters introduced themselves to me, and then the English translation if applicable. You’ll notice straight away, that my childhood was dominated by Swedish literary characters and the works of Astrid Lindgren. I could have filled all ten spots with Lindgren characters, but decided to limit myself.

 

1.) Pippilotta Viktualia Rollgardina Pfefferminz Efraimstochter Langstrumpf (Pippi Longstockings)

What is Pippi up to now? Is she still in Villa Kunterbunt? I’d love to see her now and see what growing up wild and free did for her. I’ve always loved Pippi for being so independent, adventurous and strong. I’d love to find out what happened to her meerkat Herr Nilsson, and her horse. Ha! You thought it was a horse and a monkey, right? Well, in that case, you’ll only know the TV show.

Pippi Longstockings by Astrid Lindgren

2.) Ronja Räubertochter (Ronia the Robber’s Daughter)

Ronja is one of the Astrid Lindgren characters I admire most because she stood up for what she believed in, did not see the sense in conflict and went against her parents wishes to follow her own path. I’d love to find out how Ronja and Birk managed a lawful life away from their robber past and parents.

Ronia, the Robber’s Daughter by Astrid Lindgren

3.) Mowgli

I’d love to find out whether Mowgli ever really found a place where he belonged. Did he stay in the jungle with his wolf brothers after he left the human village? Maybe he returned to a village once more and had a family.

The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling

4.) Bilbo Beutlin (Bilbo Baggins)

I’d love to meet Bilbo after the events of The Hobbit and raid his pantry. Around the time he adopts his little nephew Frodo. What’s he like as a father-figure to a young, curious, orphaned lad? I’d love to find out whether he told Frodo stories of his adventure, even if young Frodo just thought they were bedtime stories of lonely mountains and brave dwarves.

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

5.) Harry Potter, Hermine Granger & Ronald Weasley

We know Harry and Ginny ended up together, as did Ron and Hermione (Hermine in German). We know they had kids. But I’d love to meet them all ten years after the Battle of Hogwarts, early in their careers and becoming parents for the first time. Where and how do they live? I bet The Burrow is still a hive of activity.

Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

6.) Lasse, Inga, Bosse, Lisa, Britta, Kerstin, Olle- Kinder aus Bullerbü (The Bullerby Children)

Growing up on the three neighbouring homesteads at Bullerbü must have been very grounding for the seven children. I’d love to see them all as young adults celebrating midsummer together with sleepovers in the barn. Did they all stay in Bullerbü? Did they consider moving away and why? Did any of the friends end up together?

The Bullerby Children by Astrid Lindgren

7.) Huckleberry Finn

I’d love to catch up with Huck between the books of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer Abroad. What made Huck return to St Petersburg even though he wanted to flee to Indian territory? And how did he feel about his father’s death, despite having grown up a physically abused vagabond?

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain

8.) Pünktchen & Anton (Anna Louise & Anton)

Pünktchen and Anton were always thick as thieves despite being from different social classes. I wonder whether their friendship survived until they were adults, and whether or not it eventually turned into something more. What careers did they eventually choose?

Pünktchen und Anton by Erich Kästner

9.) George, Julius, Dick, Anne & Timotheus – Fünf Freunde (George, Julian, Dick, Anne & Timmy – Famous Five)

I’d love to catch up with the Kirrin kids and their dog. What other adventures have they got into? I’d also love to see them grown up rather than have them stay eternally pre-pubescent like they are throughout the series. Sometimes I wonder whether an 18-year-old George would still be a tomboy.

Famous Five by Enid Blyton

10.) Samweis Gamdschie (Samwise Gamgee)

Sam is my favourite character from The Lord of the Rings. We know he became mayor, married Rosie and had children, but I’d love to meet him as a young father teaching his children about flowers and gardens and Old Gaffer’s stories. How he’d tell the story of Frodo and the ring and all the people and friends he met along the way. I picture him a kind and understanding dad, who teaches his kids that friendship and loyalty are what’s really important.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

Literary Anniversary: The Battle of Hogwarts

On this day: 02. May 1998

According to J.K. Rowling, today is the 18th anniversary of the Battle of Hogwarts. So let’s have a moment’s silence for Fred Weasley, Professor Remus Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks, Professor Severus Snape, Colin Creevey and the unidentified Fallen Fifty of Hogwarts students, professors, Order of the Phoenix members, and Hogsmeade residents.

It’s been 18 years – and I still haven’t forgiven J.K. Rowling for Fred, Remus & Tonks.

Remembering the Battle of Hogwarts ©Literati Girl

Remembering the Battle of Hogwarts ©Literati Girl

Bibliographies

I’ve spent the weekend doing a different kind of reading: academic.

Yes, the research books are (almost all) here, and my M.A. thesis research can start. Whenever I have to write a long course paper or dissertation, I start at the end. The very first thing I write is my bibliography.

I have several reasons for working my way through from the back. First of all, I may not own copies of all the books and library books will be time-limited. By adding those books to the reference list right away, I’m sure not to forget one. As long as I keep photocopies of the pages I need stapled together, and hand-write a note which book they’re from, I can return the book on time.

By adding every book, journal or chapter as I get it – in alphabetical order and listed according to APA style – I will have a complete list from the start, because print-outs can be misplaced.

But most importantly, once I’m all done with the writing and everything has been proofread, I just need to go through the citations and simply delete the ones I didn’t end up using. That way, everything is already in the right order and formatted to university standard. A simple  Ctrl + F8 search will show whether I cited an author or not. I find this saves a lot of time, as the end of a project can be on a tight deadline and references can be overlooked or simply forgotten in the scramble to submit the project on time.

Is anyone else doing this?

It may be just me and my obsession with books and lists, but I like to have them all in one place so I know what I’ve got to work with and I’ll have all the doi addresses and URLs handy as I go along (if I don’t have hard copies to hand).

As of right now, my list is 7 pages and 1,400 words long in Arial, 12pt, double-spaced (as per university guidelines).

MA Bibliography

First draft of my M.A. thesis bibliography ©Literati Girl