a calm summer bookish update

I made a summer 2019 TBR & a summer goals post, so let’s see how badly things have gone there now that my vacation ends in under a week.

Goals update

What I was afraid of didn’t happen; I was (kind of) healthy throughout the summer! What I didn’t expect was last year’s summer of nearly dying haunting me this much; every time I go in the shower I remember not being able to twist my body or raise my arms above my head because it feel like my chest would burst with pain, every time I go into the ocean I remember how cold the water felt last year and how I had to use minutes to go slowly into the water, because the cold naturally makes you breath deeper and shiver, which set of incredible amounts of pain, even on heavy pain medications. I was too proud when I was eventually back to jumping straight into the ocean.

  • Redesign graphics: no progress made, hehehe. I’ve tried, but when I’ve had the most free-time I didn’t have a computer because 1) first I didn’t have internet and 2) my last computer broke down. It’s still just excuses though, I just haven’t gotten around to it.
  • Get a routine to my writing: I’ve thought a lot about writing, but gotten no actual writing done. Which I feel surprisingly not bad for, it might’ve helped to talk to a published author a few years older than me that was like “I’ve gotten money to write this book already, and I’ve written a total of 5000 words this whole summer”. Aaahh, the stress that must be.
  • Get a routine to my day (because otherwise I fall apart): yes and no. At the start of summer I was really struggling because I’m that much of a distracted person who forgot to eat. Like honestly forgot, until the evening. I’ve gotten better with the eating and in general, I guess.
  • Pack for vacation and then moving: finally something I managed to do. It took more work than I would’ve guessed, but I managed to sort out all my belongings and am going to pack my final two bags for the move one of these days.
  • Start training: yes!!! although not how I expected. I thought I would sign up for a gym or a yoga class, but I’ve been very physically active outside and with family. I’ve got some football-loving-nearly-went-professional freaks of some brothers and cousins, mainly everyone but me, and I’m better than I expected?? for not playing for two years?? Trying to keep up with them was all I did during summers growing up though.

Summer TBR update

I’ve ordered the books, so I’ve been staring at them all summer, but I’ve barely read any of them it feels like. There was 11 books on my TBR and I’ve started two of them…

This was a small selection, believe me

Currently kind of reading:

The best book of the summer: Lab Girl by Hope Jahren

Looking back

Sometimes the summers aren’t as productive as I would like, but why the hell would I beat myself up for it, instead I’ve tried to look at the factors that contributed to that. In this case, I think I needed to relax way more than I thought, and I wasn’t aware how long it would take to get to that point of “I’m safe, I can let my guard down, I can take care of myself while not stressing about this and that”. But I did, so it’s been a great summer even if I wished I got to see more of my friends or catch up on more projects. It hasn’t by any means been a picture-perfect time with a bunch of exciting stories to share, but that’s okay. Hope your summer has been great too, and if not, that you’re at least not beating yourself up over it.

Denmark, you were windy as always, but at least I got (0.002 of) a ton of tea – yes, i’m hugging it. Everything has been smelling of tea since.

books, life, uni & stuff | Bi-Weekly Update

I’ve read exactly 0 of these books I brought with me

New book posts:

Other books I’ve been reading:

  • Alex’s Adventures in Numberland by Alex Bellos (currently reading)
  • Karamo Brown’s memoir (currently reading)
  • Lab Girl by Anne Hope Jahren
  • Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Added to TBR:

  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (lgbt fiction/poetry)
  • Teen Titans: Raven by Kami Garcia (graphic novel)
  • Season of the Witch by Sarah Rees Brennan

Posts I’ve loved by other bloggers:

I’ve just returned from nearly two weeks on an island with limited internet connection and a laptop that had its final breakdown (it was bound to happen, I had to get a new one) – sooo I haven’t been able to see through all your great posts!

Three things on my mind:

  • I got into my first choice at university, a physics bachelor programme! I don’t know if I’ve said it here before, probably I have on the twitter I just randomly changed from reposting animal videos from scientists to bookish things. It’s still a lot of cute animals. Anyways, news spread fast that I was moving for uni and I went from having researched physics programmes for years in secret, to having secretly applied, gotten in and is now suddenly forced to proclaim it to everyone who knows me?? It’s a weird feeling. I’m also very excited and nervous, but that feels obvious. In less than two weeks I’m going to be hauling all of my belongings that I can fit in two suitcases to a new city.
  • I started to write something else here; it was about this summer compared to last year’s summer. I think I need to write its own little post on that because the tears started to fall as I remembered how I – still occassionally needing those heavy pain killers after surgery – forced myself to get through Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson, and loved (mostly) every part of those 1248 pages.
  • Currently watching Queer Eye s4 and both the “disabled, but not really” episode and the girl figure-skating was really good and brought tears to my eyes – for different reasons. I also downloaded and watched Tales of the City, which had its weird moments, but I really liked overall. It’s such a story about queer people coming together and forming a family through being in the same neighbourhood, without steering away from heavier sides of being queer. It was fun, queer and filled with drama and love. Euphoria is such a good, queer, mature series as well from what I’ve seen! I first heard of it from the “scandals” of amount of dicks and drugs visible, but oh this series doesn’t disappoint in showing darker teens’ lives with heartbreak, addiction and trauma.

The Start of Summer | Book Bi-Weekly Update

I started this past week with spending the whole day celebrating a family birthday and exhausting myself completely, for then to meet up with an old best friend among a lot of strangers. It was definitely worth it in the end, but I was honestly strangely (for me) anxious before getting there and it could’ve gone a lot better. It’s worrying how I go back to being a more uncomfortable and more socially anxious person when I’m back in my old hometown. Hopefully I’ll be able to work some on that this summer.

A summer night spent grilling with (new) friends

New book posts:

Other books I’ve been reading:

I reread of the first three books of the Shatter Me series by Tahereh Mafi: Shatter Me, Unravel Me, Ignite Me, as well as Restore Me

When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore (currently reading)

Lab Girl by Hope Jahren (currently reading)

Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde (DNF at 25%. It’s just not for me? I really tried. Also I found out that fictional fanbases are some of my worst pet peeves.)

Added to TBR:

  • Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley (YA contemporary, lgbt, mental illness)
  • Furyborn by Claire Legrand (YA fantasy, bi/pan mc)
  • Soft on Soft by Mina Waheed (f/f romance, contemporary)
  • Nation of Rebels by Joseph Heath and Andrew Potter (nonfic, politics)
  • Find Me by Tahereh Mafi (novella)
  • Defy Me by Tahereh Mafi (Shatter Me #5)
  • Space Boy by Stephen McCranie (graphic novel)
  • As Many Nows as I Can Get by Shana Youngdahl (YA contemporary romance)

“In one impulsive moment the summer before they leave for college, overachievers Scarlett and David plunge into an irresistible swirl of romance, particle physics, and questionable decisions.” ‘Particle physics’ is in the synopsis so here I am, wanting to give it a try, haha.

  • Every Heart a Doorway (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire (YA fantasy, mystery, lgbt w/ asexual mc & trans boy) – it’s compared to Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children and I’ve read reviews describing it as ‘disturbing’ so that sounds promising!
  • Song of the Crimson Flower by Julie C. Dao (YA fantasy) – I still got to read Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, but I’ve got time as this is released this upcoming fall.

Posts I’ve loved by other bloggers:

  • Andy Winder gave great recommendations for 12 LGBT YA books with transgender protagonists.
  • Library Looter wrote a list of bi/pan MC book recommendations, which is where I found both Soft on Soft and Furyborn.
  • Cotton Candy Book Witch wrote a june rewind which was where I found Space Boy, Every Heart Is a Doorway, Song of the Crimson Flower and As Many Nows As I Can Get. My TBR is never going to decrease, is it? It’s good I’ve upped the pace I read, at least the last two months.

Three things on my mind:

  • I watched Rocketman (the Elton John movie) with my brother & dad and it’s sooo good and unexpected. So different from Bohemian Rhapsody, which I also loved, but it was quite another type of story. Personally I felt this focused more on trauma and dependency, drugs & dissociation as bad coping tactics. Like when Elton John felt like his life had gone too much into drugs and crazy, his idea of normalcy was to become like his more A4 parents and marry a woman, and then gradually you see his idea of normal change through his life until he gets the happier ending and accept himself as gay and ‘weird’. The portrayal of the suicide attempt was so well done. I also really liked the surrealism used to show how Elton was out of it at times because his life was such a grand chaos and also the amazing pacing, with putting a lot of images into a short amount of time. Will definitely have to watch this movie, or at least parts of it, over and over. I might also have been very enthusiastic when my 15 year old brother suggested the movie, because he’s lately shown tendencies to change himself to become more accepted and is about to start a new school. I hope watching media where people are different & accept themselves no matter what is a good counterweight to outside pressure. Also Elton John songs might’ve been playing the last four days straight, which I take as a good sign of it working.

  • I succeeded in packing up all my belongings before going on vacation to the other side of Norway. I both hated & loved it – I really like to be organized and I got to try out Marie Kondo’s Decluttering tactics for real. It was also kind of meditative, but at the other side it was too many memories and choices to be made. Also it took a goddamn long time.

  • I know I made summer goals, but I’m not going to even look at them before next week – when I’m in the countryside of Denmark with all the time in the world to read and study for the upcoming year. The only goal I currently remember is buying a year worth of tea in Aalborg! Also I’m currently walking/cycling everywhere and playing a lot of Wizards Unite and Pokemon Go like the nerd I am. Add me – Wizards Unite 2758 0361 7116 and Pokemon Go 9460 5606 5208.

Summer 2019 TBR | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week.

My Summer TBR doesn’t have a lot of summer books this year? So I’m going to write another post with summer recommendations to give you all the fun & warm vibes of it, and not the university-preparing, trying-to-get-better-at-writing, learn-to-cook reality that this TBR turned out to be, haha! Some of the science books, like “physics of the impossible” and “alex’s adventures in numberland” was recommended by physics youtuber Simon Clark (here’s the link to the other books he recommended as well!)

Science books

A brief history of time by Stephen Hawking

  • Yes, I’ve read other books by Hawking like “The grand design“, no I’ve never gotten to read this one. Why? Don’t know, it’s a disgrace that I have to change quickly.

The body in pain by Elaine Scarry

Alex’s adventures in numberland by Alex Bellos

Physics of the impossible by Michio Kaku

Six not so easy pieces by Richard Feynman

  • I read and absolutely loved how “Six easy pieces” (review here), the easier first book of this type, explained concepts and hoping to watch a lot of Feynman’s lectures this summer as well.

Food

Frida’s fiesta by Marie-Pierre Colle and Guadalupe Rivera

  • Guadalupe Rivera was Diego Rivera’s daughter and because of that has a close connection to Frida Kahlo, so I’m so excited to see what kind of cookbook this is.

Salt fat acid heat by Samin Nosrat

  • Ilustrated cookbook! I need it! Also heard a lot of great things about it and Nosrat seems like a person that knows her stuff when I heard from her at the Reply All podcast, hosting another very limited podcast. Ah I love how much effort went into that joke and episode.
  • It’s also a Netflix show by the same/similar name, which I have yet to watch.
  • I love how Nosrat love salt. That speaks to my heart. I’ve read a couple pages of this book, all of the different types of salt there are, beautifully illustrated. SALT! Ok, let’s move on now –

Fiction

The vanishing stair by Maureen Johnson

  • The sequel to Truly Devious (review here), which I loved.
  • A part of my 5 star predictions post, so I’ll have to read it to find out, don’t I?

The serpent king by Jeff Zentner

  • Another of the 5 star predictions post

Writing

A poetry handbook by Mary Oliver

  • I don’t write poetry. I’m going to read it anyway, she’s my fav poet and I’ve got a feeling it could help me write and compose stories in general.

On writing by Stephen King

  • Here’s a secret – I’ve never read a Stephen King book. I don’t know why! I have no explanation. I started reading this one more than a year ago and found the perspective very helpful, but I didn’t have time for doing the writing practices he proposes so I’ll go back now this summer when I have time to really delve into it and commit.

Summer Goals; chronic illness, training, travelling, change

I’ve briefly talked about having mixed feelings about this summer. I don’t know how interesting this post is really, because it’s kind of a mix of bookish goals, survival plans and the fact that I view summer as my new year with resolutions and all. Share any thoughts or questions you might have, I rarely get offended.

I’m the person you want to have with you in a crisis. Since I was a kid, I just act super rationally and deal with it. But what I’m scared of happening this summer is me 1) feeling stuck in a place or around people that I feel is harming (see escape plans) 2) being away from all support through friends and daily routine, making me less equipped to handle bad things 3) dissociating completely because of family/pain/past trauma 4) ending up in the hospital like last year unprepared and completely losing my shit at my unfortune. So this post is mostly for me just having something to refer to solutions if these things do come true.

About summer

I live for the summer. I love the ocean, as you might’ve guessed by the strange name of this blog, and I just feel at peace getting to spend my time like I want, which is mostly swimming, recovering and reading. I’m in and out of hospitals and constantly catching up on school during the rest of the year, but summer has always been my time to breathe. I should be excited about this summer, but the things that has kept me going these past months is in comparison routine, stability and friends. Of not looking too far into the future and the worries that lies ahead. I’m going to need goals to not let everything I’ve got going slip out of my hands.

My goals

Redesign graphics on this blog. I started it with clear ideas and just never had the time to make it as aesthetically pleasing as I wanted. Just make a cohesive thing, how hard can it be. And better quality, because look at the image of this post.

Get a routine to my writing. I’m not claiming I can finish the first draft of my somewhat resembling a novel, but I want to go from writing a lot in a couple weeks and then taking break over the next month to a more healthy routine. I’m very all or nothing kind of person, but I can’t continue writing if it’s going to occupy all my mind and become so obsessive over it at the most annoying times. A weekend of that is fine, two weeks is too draining in addition to school. How do people freaking write?!

Actually get a routine and structure to my day in general. I love being spontaneous, and my summer is based on that, with little plans. The problem is that I fall apart all of a sudden without some kind of base routine. It’s connected with having chronic pain, where with a base routine I know how much energy daily things take. Also I shouldn’t eat X hours before doing a really fun thing, or I’ll be in more pain.

Pack for vacation and then moving. This will be a thing in late june and then again in august. I’m very excited and terrified at once. I currently live in my late grandparents house and my grandma was a light hoarder, meanign we’ve been throwing out things for the past five years, but there’s still more things to get rid of before we’re renting it out. And then my stuff has to be sorted to “going to uni”, “going to loft” and “going on vacay” as well.

Start training. Have I said that summer is like my new years? But honestly, I need to start training in some sense to recover. I’ve been in bad shape since being so ill last summer and I’m just starting to regain muscle. I need training as a stress-releaser for the fall, and starting to build that foundation from scratch is going to require a lot of work. Here’s my prediction: I’ll start with yoga just because it’s softer on the body, grow so bored of it in max the 2nd week, start scouting for martial arts gyms which will all be closed and start swimming a lot instead. My lungs are still too fucked up for straight up running, I think.

Catch up with my reading: both physics science books, writing advice and others. I know I add a lot of books on my TBR every bi-weekly update. Please know that they will not be read in the near future. My TBR is currently 434 books! Another goal is definitely to shorten my TBR, which I have a few methods I want to try through blog posts, but if you have any advice throw it my way. I’ll post a summer TBR soon, because there’s some books I just have to get through.

Etc: spend time with friends (who’s understandably working a lot), spending as much time in the ocean as possible, start learning Python programming (how? I don’t know yet).

Where am I going?

Summer town on the coast of Norway: It’s the place I grew up and then decided to move from, with good reasons.

  • The positives: constantly surrounded by water, lots of places to go out with a boat, a family cabin and lots of bathing spots, a couple friends.
  • The problems: my family there, who have always refused to accept that I’m chronically ill in any way (even as I came out of surgery last year) and I feel the need to confront them all for the sake of my also chronically ill little brother. It’s something that is a big goal this summer, just because I’m 20 years old and it’s the first time I don’t rely on them anymore. I just feel like sometimes you got to make decisions and mark what the criteria for continuing a good relationship with people need to be. I learned that when I was 16 years old refusing to pick up the phone out of a, now looking back, scarily mature moral decision. It sparked a little change in treatment. It’s time for a bigger one.

Denmark: the first escape plan (also will be there at least a week in july).

  • The positives: extremely nice aunt who lives there, extremely good food, quiet enough for lots of reading, baking and recovering. I’m going to buy a year’s worth of tea.
  • The negatives: the countryside, so no people around. Can’t spend the whole summer there, or I’ll permanently become a hermit, which is only bad because I won’t be able to go back into regularly society for a while and that clashes with plans to go to uni.

Amsterdam? My second escape plan. My third escape plan is tenting at the beach. I know where I’ll get the equipment already. It might seem like I’ve put too much thought into this, but at the same time it’s been very necessary before.

Relate to any of this? Are you doing something special this summer? (I have more free time than most, I know)