Category Archives: Community/Weekly Events

Announcing: Advent with Alcott

adventwithalcottReturning for the third time… Advent with [Enter author name with an A here].. We’ve done Austen and we’ve tackled Margaret Atwood, now we felt it was time to focus on Louisa May Alcott.

Perhaps you have always wanted to (re)read Little Women? Or to read the other books about Jo and her sisters? Or maybe you’d like to try a selection of Alcott’s other writings? You could also read about her life and times. Anything! (There is quite a list of titles to choose from according to Gutenberg).

Join us by reading and/or engaging with any media related to Louisa May Alcott during Advent (Nov 30 — Dec 24). Post your thoughts on your blog, or join the conversation on twitter (#AWAlcott)

I am particularly tempted by the pretty Penguin edition of her Christmas stories.

Oh, and we are planning to do another group watch. I cannot wait to revisit the 1994 Little Women movie. (The date of the watch-along will be announced shortly).

As was the case during previous years, I am co-hosting Advent with Alcott with Yvann, Ana, Alexandra, and Lyndsey.

Will you join us? Are you planning to read anything in particular? 

Library Loot: A Visit to my Local Library

Visiting my local library has been on my to do list ever since moving. I figured maternity leave would be the perfect time to explore. However, I only found time for it last week, two weeks before maternity leave ends.

Library loot, 6/11/2014. I can’t believe how bad the lighting has been this past week, so excuse the bad picture.

The local library is.. well.. not as big as I am used to, but that was hardly to be expected. I feel it is important to support these smaller branches so I was always going to become a member. They did have the Goldfinch, but that was the most recent book on the English language books shelf. (I did not pick it up because I felt reading it right now would be a bit too ambitious). They do have the possibility of putting any title available in one of the other libraries in the province on hold for free, so after I picked up these books I went home and did just that. As for the Dutch language shelves, there is quite a bit of YA (they had two copies of the Dutch translation of A Monster Calls!!) and I have some exploring left to do of the Children’s and General Fiction section.

As for the books I picked up last Thursday:

The Girl who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen: I had this on loan from the library in my former place of residence a long while back.. I picked it up back then because this is one of those titles that kept being mentioned when I first started blogging. I never got around to it. I wonder if I will this time? Somehow I keep meaning to read this but once I have it at home I lose my excitement?

Gifts by Ursula le Guin: I think I remember Ana mentioning this as the go-to book by Le Guin if you first read her. I have read A Wizard of Earthsea in January before this one, but am very curious about Gifts. Let’s hope it is a good translation.

A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett: I have only ever read one of Pratchett’s titles and always mean to read more. I thought this might be a good one to begin with as it is one of his more well known titles? I have Nation (in English, woohoo!) on hold.

Aya : Life in Yop City by Marguerite Abouet: I came across this title while browsing the YA section. Again, this is one of those “I always mean to read more..” books, this time in the category graphic novels. I had never heard of this one, but it is about a girl who grows up in Yop City, a neighbourhood of Abidjan, Ivory Coast. This is the first in a series (which my library also owns, I found out at home), so if I like it I might pick up the other titles too.

Have you read any of these titles? Which do you recommend I read first? And did you pick up anything from the library recently?

librarylootbadgeLibrary Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library. If you’d like to participate, just write up your post-feel free to steal the button-and link it using the Mr. Linky any time during the week. And of course check out what other participants are getting from their libraries.

Nonfiction November: My Year in Nonfiction

I signed on here to finish my post about Austenland and Midnight in Austenland when I came across Lu’s post about Nonfiction November. Clicking around her site led me to her initial announcement of this themed month. Since my first read of November was actually a nonfiction book, namely Tea by the Nursery Fire, and because in preparation for the end of maternity leave I am currently reading some work related books, I thought this themed month might be just the thing for me. As an incentive to actually get involved I decided to participate in this first of their weekly posts, even though I really do not think there is much to tell about my year in nonfiction thus far.

nonfiction novemberThis week’s themed post is about your year in nonfiction and is hosted by Kim of Sophisticated Dorkiness:

What was your favourite nonfiction read of the year?

I had to go back through my goodreads account because I didn’t believe I had read any nonfiction before this month, but I was wrong! Total count of nonfiction titles (apart from the ones I read for work pre-maternity leave, which I never log): 3! That is more than I generally achieve in a year (and yes, this makes me sad). I have enjoyed all three titled, really, for very different reasons: Delusions of Gender by Cordelia Fine because it was the perfect read on gender in so many ways and felt so accurate with respect to frustrations that were work and pregnancy-related; Missionary Families by Emily Manktelow was my “ease back into thinking about work” book and it was wonderful to read so many observations articulated intelligently that have informed my PhD from the outset; and, lastly, Tea by the Nursery Fire by Noel Streatfeild was a lovely book, that almost felt like a novel.

What nonfiction book have you recommended the most?

Actually, I do not think I generally recommend nonfiction. But I do know that I would wish everyone would pick up Delusions of Gender because it would mean a lot less faux arguments every time the word gender or feminism comes up in conversation.

What is one topic or type of nonfiction you haven’t read enough of yet?

Everything? But I definitely want to read more about feminism and gender, diversity, colonialism and empire, and mission. Or history tackling any or more of these topics. Or biographies/reflections on biographies, also on any of these topics. I do not think I will ever feel as if I have read enough on these things. In a perfect world, I’d also like to read more on world politics and food.

What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November?

Honestly, I simply hope that I will up my nonfiction reads this year, and hopefully in the years to come. It might be a bit unambitious, but I’d love to read at least 2 more nonfiction titles before the end of 2014.

I am so excited about this month! Even if my participation might be very minimal, I am very glad I came across this event.

Four Weeks Later…

Pim is one month old today. I cannot believe that it has been four weeks already!

Meanwhile, Pim, Bas and I are semi-quietly enjoying our time together. Bas has began working again, I am still on maternity leave (thank god, because I wouldn’t survive nursing every 3 hours while going back to work yet). We are happy and healthy, even if our new schedule takes some getting used to at times. It is weird how on the one hand it feels completely natural that Pim is here, as if it has never been otherwise, but how on the other hand you realise that your life has changed so much. I wouldn’t have it any other way though, even with the minor difficulties of colic and breastfeeding issues that play up from time to time. I would never have expected to feel so much a mother from the outset, never having been the type to want to hold babies or anything, but it is all surprisingly easy and just sort of happened overnight. Just like Pim’s arrival sort of happened with a very fast delivery.

We’re at this stage where we feel Pim is growing so fast, while everyone who visits tells us how small he still is. And he is, if you think of babies of 6 months, or even of one month older. But he has changed so much already! I am constantly divided over wanting to hold on to this small baby and wishing to see how he will develop further, and dreaming about all the things we will do in a few weeks to a few months time. I guess that’s all part of being a parent, right?

I could write a thousand more words, but I still feel a little awkward talking about my child (and posting pictures of him) in such a public setting. On the other hand, I desperately want to share and discuss. I haven’t quite decided how I feel about that yet, or how I want to handle these questions. Perhaps one day? Or perhaps next week, when and if my laptop finally gets repaired.


On Sunday, at 8:13 am, our son Pim was born. We are happy and proud and doing well.

More to follow…