Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Books... You Are What You [Read]

So I was looking at the Book List Challenges app on Facebook tonight and I was looking through some of the lists and one thought kept repeating. Seriously? Those book are really favourites or a must reads for that many people?

It's not the first time I have had thoughts like this either. I love to read, but whenever I look at these lists of top 100 books I have to wonder how many people actually have read the books they say they have read and how many just say they have read the books because they are ashamed that they haven't read said book. Or maybe a better question is how many people say they have read a book when they read three chapters and put it down never to even dream of touching the book again?

Last year I did a list in two parts of books I think people should read. I will probably post it here at some stage, but I just had a look at it now and I think I may even revise, the list and expand it to add more books onto it.

But I guess a big part of this post is the fact that I absolutely love to read. If I get free time then a good portion of that free time is spent reading. I am a member of about 6 different libraries across two countries and I don't think I am a snobby reader either as I will read most genres. What I resent though is people who sneer or stare at me in disbelief when I say I haven't some novel that some people say is one of the greatest novels of all time. It annoys me. Do I look at you and sneer when you tell me you haven't read any Star Wars novels or John Marsden? What gives them the right to think they are better than me because of their apparent reading choices.

Another part is that I really wish I could find a list on one of these book list challenges or some such that is full of books that people like me read and not just books that fall onto some top 100 list, because I'm pretty sure that even if I had read all of the books on the BBC top 100 list that I probably wouldn't list even half of them in my favourites and as books that I think others should read.

Does anyone else feel this way? Or am I just some strange anomaly in the realm of book lovers and readers?

~~ Random Logic ~~

Monday, August 27, 2012

Out and About in Finland.

This weekend, as I mentioned in my last post, my cousin came to visit Finland from London where she has been living. It was fantastic!

She arrived Saturday and after a picnic lunch next to the river we started the touristy stuff with the Aboa Vetus and Ars Nova Museum which is a museum of history and contemporary art. The history side is the main part that I love and I visited several times when I was last in Finland. It has changed a little since then though. You are able to walk through the streets and remains of buildings of medieval Turku which is all enclosed within the building itself and maintained in the condition in which it was found. In addition they do continuing archaeological excavations on the buildings and area and are actually currently in the process or removing all the built up dirt and soil from within one of the 6 buildings within the museum.

After that we wandered down along the river to Turun Linna (Turku Castle) which is another of my favourite place to visit. It dates back to 1280 when construction started on the castle. It was in use for a long time before it fell into ruins. Since World War Two, it has been fully restored and is now used as a museum.

Dinner yesterday was reindeer steak with a lingonberry-red wine sauce and we followed it with some sampling of cider including a blueberry cider... Om nom nom nom!

Today we went for a drive with one of my friends to the archipelago near Turku. We briefly visited the ruins of a castle on one of the islands first off then we went to a town called Nauvo which is not very big. There are lots of summer cottages in that area and it's pretty tourist oriented feeling but they whole area is gorgeous. It was nice and even the wait for the ferry to get back from the island wasn't any issue.

I think the highlight of today was probably our very Finnish dinner. We had smoked salmon we bought on one of the islands on the way back, as well as makkara(Finnish sausage), potato(can't go without potoato!), and karjalanpiirakka. It was delicious.

So all in all an awesome weekend. I loved seeing my cousin. I loved showing off the country I love and I just had an all around good time.

~~Random Logic~~

Saturday, August 25, 2012


My cousin is coming to visit me from where she has been living in the UK this weekend. I am excited. It is her first trip to Finland and I get to show her around some of the stuff I love here. Also I haven't seen her in over a year. YAY! I hope to take a decent amount of photos this weekend, hopefully I will get a chance to upload them as well.

Friday, August 17, 2012

The Joys of Reading!

If you know me, then chances are you know that I love to read. It doesn't even really take you knowing me well to know that fact. It isn't something that I even try to hide.

I recently started working here in Finland. I am working as an au pair for a family with three children. The oldest two are girls(ages twelve and eight) and the youngest is a boy(aged four). One of the first things they discovered about me was that I love to read. When I moved in with the family I had with me a bag of library books which I then proceeded to finish reading over the next week at a rate of about one book every two days.

Now the parents love the fact that I read. I am setting a good example for their children with the reading and the fact that I clearly enjoy it. The girls however are not so enthusiastic about it, and I think they don't really understand how someone can love reading so much because they are always asking me why I like reading.

The eight year old doesn't mind reading too much though, and she has even read some of english books to me and she is pretty good at reading them. The oldest however really dislikes reading. To me this is a challenge, and it is a challenge I intend to take on and hopefully she will eventually want to read the books she has to read or at least she will read ones she wants when she wants and read the ones for school without too much complaining.

So far I have started with getting her to read one chapter of a book at a time. I sit there reading my own book next to her and she gets a chance to play with my Nintendo DS when she has read at least a chapter, and this has been working. But I don't think this solves the issue with why she doesn't want to read. So today I went to the library with her and got her to borrow two books- one in Finnish and one in English. I will read at least a chapter of the English book to her each day and hopefully she will enjoy it. And I think we hit on a winner. She got home today and read a chapter of the Finnish book (Hannah Montanta) without complaining. Her mum was extremely happy. Then when she went to bed I read her a chapter of the English book (Sabrina the Teenage Witch). The best thing about ti is she enjoyed it! She wanted me to keep reading but she was almost asleep already so I will read more on another night.

But I am so happy. Already I am making a change in her reading habits. She complains less and hopefully with some better chosen books, then she will choose to read without being told to read her book. Fingers crossed that this reading continues. I know I will continue to read as much as I can and maybe one day she will enjoy reading even half as much as I do.

In the meantime I need to think up more variety of rewards for reading than just playing with my Nintendo DS. Maybe some kind of reading sticker chart or something with a bigger reward once she gets so many stickers.

Anyone got any other thoughts on ideas to encourage reading or ways to encourage reading?

Also I have been slack in updating since I got to Finland(something pointed out by a friend), but I haven't been online so much and have been pretty busy. I do have a half written post about Estonia that I need to finish and put up and will try to make more regular posts now I am getting a bit more settled. Maybe I will do another one this weekend.

~~ Random Logic ~~