February 2016 through my instagram

I saw a post like this at etdrysskanel.com, and the main concept is that it is basically a patchwork of the previous month shown trough pictures from my instagram. In my opinion this is a really neat idea, so I decided to borrow it!

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A throwback picture from my time back home in Norway during Christmas // The first of February started with me moving on to the next month on my calendar which features the illustrations that Tove Jansson did for one of the earlier Swedish editions of the Hobbit (one day I’ll manage to get a hold of that edition, one day…) // A sunny day in York

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A decent glass of wine at a very decent queer poetry slam // Some of my university related reading // A old slightly awkwardly posed picture of me in one of my favourite dresses

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Obligatory birthday selfie // Afternoon tea // One of my birthday presents, knitted Slytherin socks and Hamlet pins

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An Instagram worthy picture of Nimona, if I may say so myself // The result of my decision to try and cut my own hair // The university lake

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My ticket from the Marina and the Diamonds concert, featuring one of my all time favourite typos // Decorative ravens in York’s most haunted pub // My attempt on being artistic on an early walk

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York looking very… York // A picture accidentally taken when looking up directions on google maps // The most relatable item in the Bradford media museum

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A nice sunset // My signed issue of The Wicked + The Devine // The Tara artprint currently hanging over my bed

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Pretty light during a late night walk // Sadly this picture wasn’t able to properly capture the sunset, it was so pretty! // The York Minister

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I haven’t been able to read as much as I would have liked this February, but I read and really enjoyed this collection of gothic short-stories // Another attempt at artsy-ness // Afternoon tea

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Technically the first instagram picture I took in March, but I included it for the sake of the Aesthetic TM // Some of the pretty decor at the Fossgate Social // I did a reading of my of poetry and it went surprisingly well

You can follow me on instagram @ pastelmoony (I feel like this post is just one gigantic act of self-promotion, so you are highly encouraged to follow me so that I feel that my effort has been payed off)

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Review/Recommendation: The Wicked + the Divine

An alternative title for this post could have been: Review/Recommendation: The Wicked + the Divine; or – my all time favourite comic (?) and the day I got it signed and couldn’t stop myself from telling everyone about it, but I figured that it would be a tad too long and not particularly aesthetically pleasing, which after all is the one thing everything should aspire to be.

Sadly I left my other issues of wicdiv back home in Norway (and my collected editions of Journey Into Mystery, also by Kieron Gillen), but I bought a variant cover edition and got it signed by Kieron Gillen, Jamie McKelvie, and Tula Lotay, so I can’t find it in me too complain. I was also able to get a oh so fancy limited edition art-print (for free, my favourite two word combination), which is currently hanging all nicely above my bed (above my equally wonderful but slightly less limited edition map of the Shire).

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Pictures from my instagram: @pastelmoony

As I currently can’t stop myself from talking (or in this case: writing) about wicdiv right now, I figured that it is fitting for me to do a review/recommendation of it!

The Wicked + the Divine is an ongoing series written by Kieron Gillen, with the majority of the art in the first couple of issues having been done by James McKelvie. It is one of those stories where the plot is nearly impossible to summarise in a coherent manner, but the main premise can be summarised as this:

Every ninety years, twelve gods incarnate as humans. They are loved. They are hated. In two years, they are dead.” (x)

That sounds like the perfect recipe for angst and misery doesn’t it? – I am not going to lie, it is, but it incredibly well-developed and not done for shock value. One actually grows fond of the characters (something I often find hard in this format), and while they easily could have become so, the characters feel like actual people and avoid becoming caricatures.

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One of the major complains I’ve seen among the less favourable reviews is that the plot is convoluted/confusing, however I did not find this to be the case at all. While one does not get a lot of mythological background/trivia, a quick bit of research (and by quick I mean ‘read an wikipedia article or two’ quick) is sufficient. I have always been interested in mythology and thus know the myths surrounding a lot of the characters quite well, but for the ones I was less familiar with gaining the information needed in order to fully appreciate the references/plot points did not prove challenging.

 

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Additionally, it is worth mentioning that the humour in this series is spot on (at least in my humble opinion), and the plot itself is incredibly interesting and refreshing, I’ve found it nearly impossible to guess where the plot is heading, something that rarely the case.

Lastly, the artwork in this series is absolutely stunning, and the introduction of various styles  in the later issues only adds to this.

The Wicked + the Divine has become one of my all time favourite comics (if not the favourite), and  I can’t wait to read more and become more familiar with it’s characters and universe. I would definitely recommend that you give it a try, even if you are normally not an avid reader of comics.

Let me know if you’re planning to read it, and if you have – what did you think about it? 

Three quick book reviews

Ever since I started studying English literature I have been making an effort to read non-course related novels in order to have reading experiences that are just simply for fun/pleasure. Don’t get me wrong, I do really enjoy a lot of the course material, but I feel like it is a different reading experience as there is this looming sense of purpose and pressure on it. I did quite well with this last term, but sadly I haven’t been able to read as much as I’d like this year, but I have still been able to read a couple of novels that aren’t on my set reading list. Hopefully I’ll get around to writing proper reviews of some of them later, but I thought that I’d do three rather quick/short ones now of three of my latest short/easier reads!

1. Nimona

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image source for the image on the right: x

Nimona is a graphic novel written by Noelle Stevenson, and it is neatly summarised on goodreads as follows:

“Nimona is an impulsive young shapeshifter with a knack for villainy. Lord Ballister Blackheart is a villain with a vendetta. As sidekick and supervillain, Nimona and Lord Blackheart are about to wreak some serious havoc. Their mission: prove to the kingdom that Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin and his buddies at the Institution of Law Enforcement and Heroics aren’t the heroes everyone thinks they are.”

This is a very quick read (as most graphic novels), and I read it in one sitting. This graphic novel has gotten a lot of hype so I was expecting to be rather disappointed/underwhelmed by it, but I decided to pick it up anyway simply because it focuses on villainous/ morally grey characters, something that is one of my weak spots when it comes to literature (and media in general if I’m going to be honest). However, I found that Nimona really lives up to all the hype it has received – I absolutely loved it!

The dialogue is well written and witty, and despite not having much room for world-building, it worked very well as an urbanesque fantasy. Nimona also managed to be rather silly while still dealing with interesting and complex themes, and while it is a very comedy heavy graphic novel, it managed to get me really emotionally invested! Additionally, as an avid reader of fantasy novels/comics I really enjoyed how it poked fun of and used some of the common tropes within the genre. It is also worth mentioning that the artwork is fabulous, while the style is very simple it has a certain uniqueness to it, and the character designs and colouring are both fabulous! – So, I would definitely recommend it if you’re looking for a fun and quick read!

2. The Neva Star

When I bought this at Waterstones I did not know what to expect, as I decided to buy it at a whim because the description sounded interesting and the cover was pretty (I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but I simply can’t help it, I have an AestheticTM to maintain after all). The premise of The Neva Star, which is a novel (or maybe short story is more fitting? After all it is really short) written by C.D. Rose, is summarised by goodreads like this:

“Of the crew of seventy, sixty-seven have disappeared. There are three sailors left on board. They are all called Sergei.

A boat is moored in Naples. It’s been there for three years. Three sailors remain on board. If they disembark, they’ll lose their pay. To pass the time they play chess, drink vodka, and daydream about home. But as the years pass, it becomes difficult to distinguish whose home was whose, whose memories belong to whom, and whose wife is Sergei’s wife.” 

I don’t want to go into a lot of detail with this one, because as I previously mentioned it is very short (27 (tiny) pages, I placed it next to my glasses in the picture below for reference), but I can definitely recommend it! I decided to read this when I had half an hour to kill between lectures, so I made a cup of tea and sat down in my bed covered in blankets, and it was the perfect break! Personally I adored the writing style, and despite its length I became engaged with the story and wanted more of it when it was over, while still feeling that the manner in which it was told was very fitting!

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3. Star Wars: the Force Awakens (the novelisation)

The third book that I will be reviewing in this post is the novelisation of Star Wars: the Force Awakens (something that I suppose has been spoiled by both the picture above and the heading). I have been a huge Star Wars fan ever since I was too young to even be able to read the subtitles of the movies (luckily I have never let that stop me from enjoying something, and I also used to love the animated series), so I was very nervous before watching episode VII as I didn’t want to be too disappointed if I didn’t like it. However, I absolutely adored it (don’t get me wrong, I could have written a whole dissertation about the things I disliked/would have changed, but that is the case with most things I enjoy – and is one of the major reasons why I decided to start blogging in the first place), something that lead me to pre-order the novelisation.

The main reason why I wanted to read it was to get a more in-depth view of the story, as well as being able to read things that the movie decided to cut/change, thus making me able to try and analyse the overall implications of these changes. The novel did this, so I feel like I really can’t say that I was disappointed with it, but I was. It works fine as a companion piece to the movie, but it would not be able to stand by itself and be an enjoyable read independently. Sadly I found both the writing style and characterisations rather dull/lifeless, something that made it very difficult to become engaged with the story, and I highly doubt that I would have finished it if I hadn’t loved the movie so much. However, as previously mentioned it works well as a companion to the movie, so if you’re a fan of the movie I would still recommend that you read it!

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So, these are some easy reads that I recommend (to varying levels) if you want a quick read. Also, I’m sorry that the picture quality is so poor, but alas I left my fancy camera at home so I have to settle with my Iphone camera at the moment. Hopefully I’ll remember to tell my mum to bring my camera over during Easter though!

Let me know if you’re planning to read any of these, and if you have – what did you think about them?

Get to know me: question tag

Hello to all of you inhabitants of the dark, wonderful and scary place known as the internet! Making a blog is something I decided that i wanted to do years ago, mostly because i really need a place to collect my writing and thoughts, but I’ve never really gotten around to it… *drumroll* until now. As I have no idea about how to break the ice (and love to talk about myself), I decided to do this generic question thingy- enjoy!

What is your middle name?: I don’t have one

What was favourite subject at school?: English and Norwegian Literature, History, Political Science, and Psychology (Imagine the hard time I had picking a subject for university…)

What is your favourite drink?: Everything with ginger in it

What is your favourite song at the moment?: I can’t decide on one (surprise), but some of my current faves are:

Turn To Dust // Wolf Alice

About a Straight Girl // Jesus and his Judgemental Father

Mary Celeste // Keaton Henson

Don’t Ask // Blood Red Shoes

Zon // Silvana Iman

What is your favourite food?: Aubergine and mushroom moussaka, pumpkin soup, my stepdad’s vegetarian pizza, and everything with beetroot and spinach in it

What is the last thing you bought?: I pair of vintage high-waisted Levi’s jeans (it is the first pair of jeans I’ve bought in years, I mostly wear skirts/dresses)

Favourite book of all time?: I change the answer to this question every time someone asks, but this time I’ll go with the Harry Potter series and The Secret History

Favourite Colour?: A tie between purple and yellow

Do you have any pets?: Yes, two cats and a dog (I miss them a lot)

Favourite Perfume?: I rarely wear it so I don’t know

Favourite Holiday?: Hiking or exploring big cities

Are you married?: No

Have you ever been out of the country, if so how many times?: Yes, more than I can count

Do you speak any other language?: Well I speak Norwegian and English as well as Swedish and Danish (but I feel like those two really don’t count), i also like to think that I can speak German and some Latin

How many siblings do you have?: Two half-sisters and a stepbrother

What is your favourite shop?: I don’t really have one, but I have a genral fondness for independent bookshops

Favourite restaurant?: In York it has to be El Piano, in Fredrikstad Bare Grønt

When was the last time you cried?: On the weekend

Favourite Blog?: Sadly I don’t really read that many blogs, if you have any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments!

Favourite Movie?: This is another one of those questions that I find it impossible to answer, but I love all of Wes Anderson’s movies, and I also really like Coraline and Persepolis

Favourite TV show?: (^ see the above, I can’t answer this) Twin peaks, In the Flesh, Pushing Daisies, Orphan Black, Over the Garden Wall, Sense8

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PC or Mac?: Mac

What phone do you have?: An Iphone (I don’t know which one…)

How tall are you?: 1.61 m (shorty)

Can you cook?: I occasionally like to think so

I hope that this wasn’t a too poor excuse for a first post, feel free to leave a comment if you have any questions or requests for anything you would like me to write about