2019 New Year’s Resolutions?

Hey, you!

New Year’s Resolutions; a lot of people swear to them, a lot of people really don’t.
I like to think of New Year’s resolutions as Valentines kisses. There is nothing stopping you from telling people you love them 365 days a year, but it is nice to have a special day where it’s a little bit more focus on it; if you want to change anything with the way you live your life you should do that whenever you want to, but it is nice to have a day like January 1st where you contemplate what you want to change and why, a bit more in-depth than usual.

However, resolutions sound so strict, I like thinking about them as plans for the new year. Not things you can fail at, but small things you can have a go at instead. These are plans I’d like to shape my 2019 after:

Try again and finish all the Jane Austen novels

I made this a bit of a delayed resolution last year, as I visited the Jane Austen house in Chawton three times in three months, this year. However, I’ve not really gotten through a single one as I keep restarting Pride and Prejudice. I do really like it however, and want to get through them all, because I love how witty and fun the language and the characters are. I guess you could say that bringing an old resolution into the new year is a surefire way to fail, but here’s to trying again and seeing what happens!

Read for “cosy” and for pleasure + read more Norwegian books

Yes, I’ve already gotten better at that this year, but in 2019 I want to get even better at reading just because I want to! I’ve also generally been reading mostly English books for a very long time, and I’d love to get more into the contemporary Norwegian literary scene this year. There are so many wonderful books waiting!

Make a savings account for travelling and adventure planning

I’ve been thinking about this for a long time; I miss travelling. I miss booking plane tickets and getting all excited, planning adventures months in advance and being able to dream up the most impossible plans. This year I really hope to be able to go visit Lucie in Czech Republic and Ana in Portugal, and therefore, another goal for 2019 is to start a savings account specifically coined at travelling. Saving on a student budget is never fun, but with some heavy budgeting I’m sure it’ll work out.

-Create a softer everyday

Kiss your everyday, there are more Mondays to Fridays than Saturdays. I started trying to focus on this in 2018, but I’ll try even harder in 2019! Breaks with tea and blankets, candles and soft music shouldn’t just be a thing for the weekends, but also for small moments in between rushing to and from, throughout the week. I’m excited about this one!

There is already so much stress in the world, but we 100% choose how we want to live our life from day to day. Therefore, this year, I’ll try to stop worrying so much about the small stuff. I’ll also remind myself about the importance of jumping at exciting opportunities even if they present themselves as a little bit scary, and to give both myself and the people around me a few more pats on the back every once in a while.
What are your thoughts about New Years Resolutions? Have you got any this year?
Here’s to 2019 becoming exactly the year we make it. Let’s create the best year yet!

I hope you have a wonderful day,
Andrea x

images from pixabay

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WWW Wednesday June 27

Time for another WWW Wednesday, this wonderful challenge hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of Words!
I’m still really enjoying these, and I hope you are too, so let’s get started:

I just finished
Longbourn by Jo Baker

I know you’ve seen this picture before, as I wrote about this book a couple of WWWs before. On the original post, a couple of people left some curious comments about this book, and so instead of the blurb, I thought I’d put in a little mini-review here! If you do want to read the blurb, though, it can be found here.

The pacing of the book feels a bit slow and from time to time I was so infuriated with the various characters the reader gets to follow, but as a whole I really, really enjoyed this book. It didn’t have that “stiff-ness” that I’m struggling a bit with in Austen’s books (a time-thing, I know, I’m aware people wrote very differently in the 1800s than they do now writing about the 1800s), and I enjoyed the descriptive language and how Baker uses dialogue to show the character’s relationships and social statuses. Also great to get the Bennet family’s situation put into perspective by seeing the story from the servants’ perspective. On my many attempts of getting through Pride and Prejudice I’ve always enjoyed Lizzie’s character and how she doesn’t care about what people think of her, but while reading from Sarah’s point of view, I get how Lizzie’s free-spiritedness caused the servants a lot of extra work (i.e impossible-to-clean muddy underskirts and torn boots after the walk to Netherfield). Great book; a good historical read that can be enjoyed by anoyone, avid Pride and Prejudice fan or curious beginner.

I’m currently reading
TimeKeeper by Tara Sim

I may have been a little bit snobby about ebooks a couple of years ago, but this year I’ve really started using them. I one hundred precent retract and apologise for my snobbiness. Ebooks are wonderful! The reason why I’ve started using them are because my bookshelves are so full it’s not even funny, ebooks are a bit cheeper than physucal books, and a lot of the books I’d like to read aren’t as easily available here in Norway as they were in the uk. I’m of course not ever just gonna stop buying and reading physical books, but I’m excited to start using ebooks as an alternative to always getting the physical book.
When it comes to this specific book, I stumbled upon it and was completely captivated by the promise of a steampunk clocktower romance. I’m here for it.

Blurb:
An alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, where a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.
A prodigy mechanic who can repair not only clockwork but time itself, determined to rescue his father from a Stopped town.
A series of mysterious bombings that could jeopardize all of England.
A boy who would give anything to relive his past, and one who would give anything to live at all.
A romance that will shake the very foundations of time.

Next on the list is
Dammyr by Victoria Kielland

I have no clue what this book is about, but it’s  set in my hometown, in a “part” of town (Dammyr) I used to walk through almost daily. I’m intrigued to read about my home from the point of view of someone else, to see the town I know so well described and fit into the plot of a novel. Plus, the book looks really pretty.

Blurb:
It doesn’t have one, the cover’s really minimalist with only the title and the author’s name, plus a little embossed rose, I think? The back is empty.

So that was this week’s WWW! Sorry this post was a bit wordy, but I hope you either found some books you’ve read or some covers that peeked your interest. As always, please feel free to leave your WWW posts in the comments below, or fire any sort of book related comment at me. I love talking about books, and last week’s WWW post initiated a lot of great book conversations with lots of lovely people, which I absolutely loved!

Hope you have a wonderful day!
-Andrea

WWW Wednesday June 13

Wednesday again already? Where did this week go?
Work, really. That’s where this week’s gone. But work I thoroughly enjoy, though, so no complaining here!

But yes, time for another WWW Wednesday; this wonderful thing hosted by Taking on a World of Words.
Anyone can join the WWW Wednesday! All you need to do is answer three simple questions:

What are you currently reading?
What did you recently finish reading?
What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m currently reading
Longbourn by Jo Baker

Even though I’m not doing all too well with it, I’m still attempting to finish all of Jane Austen’s novels in 2018. Maybe reading this could be the push I need to get started again!

Blurb:
“If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d more likely be a sight more careful with them.” In this irresistibly imagined belowstairs answer to Pride and Prejudice, the servants take center stage. Sarah, orphaned housemaid, spends her days scrubbing the laundry, polishing the floors and emptying the chamber pots for the Bennet household. But there is just as much romance, heartbreak and intrigue downstairs at Longbourn as there is upstairs.

I just finished
Nærmere kommer vi ikke by Monika Steinholm

Last summer I started working shifts at a library, and this year I’m doing full weeks of shifts, enabling me to really get into the routines and the work. I enjoy it a lot, and one of the (many) reasons why I love it so much is that it gets me into reading Norwegian books again. As much as I love English literature and the English language, there is a certain kind of charm and comfort in a really good Norwegian novel; a novel such as this one.

Blurb: (translated)

Jens is scared of making a fool of himself, scared of water and scared of blood. Edor is dating Beate and he’s practicing new skateboard moves, skinny dipping with Celia and swimming further from shore than he ought to.
The only thing Edor is scared of, is how Jens makes his stomach flutter.
A novel about all-consuming love, painful and wonderful all at the same time. A love everyone can recognise, whether they’re gay, straight, bi or just a little bit queer.

Next book on the list
Sunshine by Melissa Lee-Houghton



A poetry book I’ve had on my shelf since my first semester-third year poetry module, and keep telling myself I have to get on reading. There idea of the pink ice cream front contrasting the heavy subject matter fascinates me, and I’m excited to put it on this list to keep myself a bit more accountable and actually read it this time!

Blurb:

Sunshine is the new collection from Next Generation Poet Melissa Lee-Houghton. A writer of startling confession, her poems inhabit the lonely hotel rooms, psych wards and deserted lanes of austerity Britain.
Sunshine combines acute social observation with a dark, surreal humor, born of first-hand experience. Abuse, addiction and mental health are all subject to Lee-Houghton’s poetic eye. But these are also poems of extravagance, hope and desire, that stake new ground for the Romantic lyric in an age of social media and internet porn. In this new book of poems, Melissa Lee-Houghton shines a light on human ecstasy and sadness with blinding precision.


I really like doing these WWW Wednesdays and would love to read more of other people’s WWWs! If you’re doing a WWW this week or has done some before, please feel free to leave the link below, I’d love to have a look!
Also, I hope you don’t mind that some of the books won’t be in English from now on! My bookshelf is a mess not organized by language, and some days just call for a Norwegian book, as other days need an English one.
Once again, would love to hear from you about your WWWs!

Have a wonderful day,
-Andrea

Written “By a Lady”

Andrea Wold Johansen JA 001When I was younger I remember my sister reading Pride and Prejudice again and again, every time falling deeper in love with the world, the characters and the language. As the younger of us, I always wanted to be like her, and so I repeatedly tried to get into Jane Austen’s novels, but I could never get past the first ten pages. I could never understand why I was struggling so much with these novels, but now I’m starting to see why I couldn’t get properly in to Austen at the age of sixteen. I think I was just too young. I didn’t really recognise how cool Lizzie Bennet was or how groundbreaking her witty remarks were for herr time, didn’t realise the urgency of why Mrs Bennet wanted to see her daughters married so badly, and I didn’t get how insulting and petty Mister Darcy’s comments about the women of Longbourne were and thus, how interesting the shift in his character when he falls for Lizzie actually is. Now, however, it’s been five years since I tried my hand at Pride and Prejudice for the first time, and finally, I’ve gotten through almost the entire book in just a couple of days. Goodness me, what a story it is.

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One of the things that spurred this change of heart and nudged me into suddenly wanting to try my hand at Jane Austen novels again, was a trip I went on a couple of Saturdays ago with some friends of mine.

“Let’s go to the Jane Austen House Museum,” fellow Norwegian Creative Writing student Marianne said, and the following weekend, Christine, Eirunn, Marianne and I found ourselves on the bus to Chawton.

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What an experience.
As we explored the houses that come together to make the museum, we got to try writing with quill and ink, make small pouches filled with lavender and try on period specific costumes. Let me tell you, I’ve never felt fancier than waltzing around in a Mr Darcy coat and a top hat. The floral 1800s dresses were also a hit, with their long skirts and slim upper body fits, and to be fair, I just really want to bring bonnets back into fashion again, Or capes. Capes are cool, too.

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The true magic, however, came from wandering through the narrow hallways of the Austen family’s house. The museum is laid out as similar as possible to how the house would have looked like at Jane’s time, and the feeling of walking on creaky floorboards and looking out at the view from her writing nook, felt like a privilege, something to be appreciated. To top everything off, as we made our way down a winding staircase I’m sure both Jane and Cassandra Austen has run down many times, to the dining room and furthermore into the drawing room, we were met with a piano playing cheerful tunes, a melody we soon recognised as the score from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film adaption. We followed the sound, as one would do, and found that the pianist was one of the ladies working at the museum. She even asked us if we wanted to play, but we politely declined, opting to just listen as we looked around, feeling truly transported back to the early 1800s. Cliche, I know, but it was great.

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On the way home we stopped by the gift shop, as you do, and I ended up getting a boxset of all of Austen’s novels. February 3rd was the perfect day to make myself a goal for 2018; before the year is done, I will have read all of them. Wish me luck.

Even though I had to turn 21 before I actually (almost) finished a Jane Austen book, I’ve found her to be a very inspiring and interesting woman for a long time. The fact that she originally published her first novel anonymously, but had the title page point out that it was written “by a woman”, speaks volumes of what kind of person she was, way back in 1811. I also enjoyed hearing about her works before reading any of them, and from what I gathered from film adaptions, museum exhibits and my sister’s amazed rambles, she wrote women as characters with personalities and agencies, in a time where a lot of said characters were just seen as passive observers. As I’m reading Pride and Prejudice now, I can absolutely confirm this.

I would highly recommend stopping by Jane Austen’s Chawton home if you’re ever in the area, whether you’re an avid Austen fan, or just interested in exploring the “world” that helped form English fiction like we know it today.

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I had a wonderful time, and I’m sure you will too!

-Andrea