A little bit of English, a little bit of Czech...
A lot of everything!
THURSDAY, MAY 17, 2018
Back to Books
All the stories I read in last three and half months
It has been some time since I posted here. As the end of my studies at the University of Aberdeen was approaching, I decided to fully focus on my dissertation, essays and exams rather than writing articles for this blog. Since I finally managed to hand in everything and sit through all of my exams, it is time to get back on track with reading (do not even ask me about my endless reading list as so many great books have been recently published and I do not know where to begin!) and sharing this passion with you. But firstly, let's catch up on February, March, April and a half of May. Here are reviews of the books I read in last three and 1/2 months.
SUNDAY, MARCH 25, 2018
A Bookish Update
I am not happy to admit that recently I have been posting less and less on this blog! And although till the mid-May this probably will not change, here is at least a little explanation for my absence. I am in my final year at the University in Scotland, working on my dissertation and two other essays, having deadlines in less than a month and exams right after. Which means that although I have been trying to read books just for fun and not only as a part of my studies, I simply do not have time to be also preparing articles on a regular basis and put them up here (I can't wait to finally share with you my love for Dolly Alderton's Everything I Know About Love or Julian Barnes's The Only Story, among others). I try to post at least on my Instagram, but still, I would like to do more (notably some interviews with interesting people!). So please, have a bit of patience with me and I promise that after the 10th May I will spam you with tons of reading lists, reviews and photos!
With love from sunny (although it should be snowing on Tuesday!!) Aberdeen. xxx
TUESDAY, MARCH 6, 2018
Belfast, You Beauty!
I studied Northern Irish literature at the university last term, so I was already obsessed with its culture. And when my lovely friend Anna invited me to come over, words could not describe my excitement. I spent there three days and here are some tips on where to go...
(Keep your eyes open because you get to see so much beautiful street art that in the end your heart will beat for this city!)
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 15, 2018
January + ½ February Atelier (3 Books)
A little catch-up
Recently I have been overwhelmed with Uni work, part-timing, getting ready for my brother's visit, being ill and getting back to normal. In other words, I am trying to give you some excuses for why I have not been posting here for a while. But today I am finally adding a little summary of books I read in January (and February) and hopefully I will soon be back to my regular posting schedule (I cannot wait to share with you my article about Belfast!!!).
SUNDAY, JANUARY 7, 2018
The Best of 2017
I have never been a fan of the lists published at the end of each year, announcing 'the best (...)'. But then I realized it might be nice just to go through all the books I read in 2017 and share with you those which still have effect on me. And I am not talking about books published this year, but rather the stories I read and enjoyed so much, that I cannot help myself but share them with you once again!
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 3, 2018
Happy New Year and welcome to 2018! When I finally finished all my university work in the beginning of December, I dedicated most of my free time to read as much as possible, because I have known that once I get back to the university in ten days I will not be able to read books just for pleasure for next four months. So today I have for you a book dealing with alcoholism, the SS occupation of Ukraine in 1941, two psychological novels about race and our society, and Ali Smith's political and mainly human narrative of the current British and world situation.
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2017
I love buying books, and it does not matter if they are for me or my relatives and friends. So when it comes to Christmas, you can find me in a bookshop, just casually checking (for five hours!) each department and choosing what would please my brother, sisters, parents and stepmom, grandparents, friends. Today I am adding a booklist based on who you are buying a book for with 26 tips. Hope you will find some inspiration.
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10, 2017
With a little delay, I finally put together the November Atelier! Despite the fact I was rather busy with Uni work, trying to find a balance between essay writing and part-timing, I managed to read (alongside like 28741047 secondary sources for my essays) four books, enjoying all of them. Tom Hanks published a collection of short stories, and it is divine, just like his acting. Nigel Slater, an English food writer, released a book combining recipes and meditations on the beauty of winter. Which one of Hanks' stories is my favourite one? And which British classic have I finally managed to finish?
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 5, 2017
Atelier October (4 + ½ Books)
Another month is over and give it one more and half and Christmas is here (well, I have been seeing Christmas cards in grocery shops since mid-September! That is really too far!). A good thing is that during October I managed to read significantly more books. So here is my wrap-up. Ready for a modern classic, unusually interesting thriller, a story following the ghosts' thoughts, or a novel about a search for missing relatives?
MONDAY, OCTOBER 30, 2017
What a Classic
The idea for this article came after following #Victober, an online reading event running through the whole October, celebrating famous or even barely known Victorian authors and their books. For me, a lot of the Victorian writers, such as Oscar Wilde, Thomas Hardy or the Brontë sisters, belong to my personal category of 'classics'. Yet, there are so many more that I am going to talk about today. Obviously, I will mention some pretty familiar novels which I believe every booklover should read. But I also have some less known titles up my sleeves. So get a cup of tea and we can begin.
TUESDAY, OCTOBER 24, 2017
When You're Feeling...
Autumn has hit my university town in Scotland hard, which means that all I want to do right now is to cuddle up with a book and a cup of hot beverage in a coffee shop and do not leave it until spring. Unfortunately, this is not possible so instead I made a booklist with reading tips based on your current mood and needs. Feeling like reading something unconventional, a crime fiction, or something for autumn blues? No problem, this list has it (almost) all!
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 8, 2017
Book or YouTube?
One of the reasons why I have recently minimized my activity on both this blog and my Instagram is the combination of uni and part-timing. When I am not thinking about the structure of my essay on Brian Friel's play, I am at work in a small cafe. Get Out Again is based on the books I read. But in these days it seems like I cannot spare an hour to read just for pleasure, and not going through articles and other secondary sources for my studies. Or am I wrong?
SUNDAY, OCTOBER 1, 2017
Atelier September - 4 Books
My first reaction after I had realised that it was the end of September 2017 was literally: Damn, already?! I have no idea how it passed so quickly, but here we are, in October. I feel slightly awkward, because all I have been recently reading have been books for my uni courses. So get ready for some good reading tips for Irish and French literature, plus my opinion on the famous book Vinegar Girl...
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 24, 2017
Autumn's Most Wanted
For me, autumn does not only mean the end of summer, but mainly the end of reading books I choose to read and instead reaching for (me) unknown authors and titles as a part of my English university courses. But today I have for you a list of books that will be published (or republished) this autumn, so you have, just like me, something to be looking forward to. My no. 1 most expected is definitely the book written by Tom Hanks... How about you?
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2017
I have never been a massive fan of Agatha Christie, the famous crime novelist. But that does not mean I do not enjoy a good crime fiction. Here is my personal list of thrillers I read when I am in the mood for something slightly different. Everyone knows Gone Girl, but have you read The Murders in the Rue Morgue, Snowman or Giovanni's Room.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 3, 2017
Atelier August - 8+2 Books
I am back in Aberdee, my university town in Scotland. It took me some time to find a part-time job, which meant that I had time to do a lot of reading. In August Atelier you can find reviews of The Underground Railway, The Couple Next Door, The Girls, Reservoir 13 and four other books in English as well as two in Czech. Have you read any of them?
TUESDAY, AUGUST 29, 2017
Lecture with Writers
You Have to Feel Safe to Read Crime Fiction
What do Arne Dahl and Michel Bussi, Swedish and French writers of crime fiction, have to say about their dark novels? Is it normal that in their stories they create psychopaths and in detail describe murders? After attending their lecture as a part of the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2017, I would like to share with you some of their answers.
TUESDAY, AUGUST 22, 2017
Books of Summer '17
And here we go again. The summer is almost over and it is time to go back to school (or start a new job, hello my freshly graduated friends!). In last three months I read eighteen books and I still have at least ten more I would like to go through. But my university reading list has been released and I really should start with that! However, today I am sharing my favourite books of this summer and also some titles which I believe deserve to be called "Books of Summer '17".
TUESDAY, AUGUST 15, 2017
It is a shame to admit that I have been to only one literary festival (in Brussels). ONE! That is basically none, regarding the fact that I study literature and write a blog about books! I finally realised what I have been missing when I read that the author of the Pulitzer award winning book The Underground Railway, Colson Whitehead, is coming to the Edinburgh International Book Festival and obviously, the lecture is already sold out! I guess it is time to change my attitude towards the literary festivals! So today I am bringing you the most interesting literary festivals with dates and places, so next time you can avoid my mistake!
THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2017
Summer time is the best time for reading - unless you live at the North Pole where summers have a slightly different form. Anyhow, a lot of the books I read in July are focused on family, its influence and the impact on your life both in the past and in the present. Regarding the settings of the books, I travelled with the narrators to hot Spain, ancient Greece, rainy Scotland and even to space. Ready to dive in?
FRIDAY, JULY 21, 2017
A booklist based on literary prizes
When you run out of books, how do you decide on what to read next? In my case, I often check the little signs on the covers of the books, saying: "Shortlisted for the xyz Prize" or " Winner of the zyx Prize". But recently it occurred to me that although I have some rough idea about the prestigious literary awards, I am still missing some key information. So today I am bringing you a little bit of the history and also a reading list based on some of the most recognised literary awards.
WEDNESDAY, JULY 12, 2017
It all started here. Literature, Julian calendar, aqueducts, roads and much more. And although it is almost impossible to fully enjoy the beauty of the ancient monuments spread across the capital of Italy as wherever you go, there are always crowds of tourists, I learned some tips on how to get most out of the visit. Plus I am adding my favourite pizza and tiramisu places...
SUNDAY, JULY 9, 2017
Atelier - 6 books of June
June was amazing! I travelled (visiting beatiful Rome, about which I am planning to write an article very soon...), went for coffees with my friends, enjoyed the last weeks in Brussels, moved back to Prague, visited my relatives. And I read, read and read! Six books are waiting for you in my June Atelier. Have you come across any of them?
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 28, 2017
Book by City
When I told my stepmom about my trip to Rome,
her first reaction was that I should get some new novel and read it while
spending four days in the beautiful capital of Italy. Whenever someone tells me
that I should buy a book, I always listen to him. But that is another story. The conversation with my stepmom gave me the idea of creating a list based on the setting of the books - London, Paris, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, New York,
Cairo and Tripoli, Tokyo or Rome.
SATURDAY, JUNE 17, 2017
Hot Summer Reading List
THURSDAY, JUNE 15, 2017
Reason and Form
So you think you know the history of English literature? Well, let's quiz it!
Although I admire Shakespeare's and Milton's masterpieces, my favourite books start dating from the Age of Reason (1700-1740), also known as the Age of Classicism. In other words, this is when a novel was born, the literary form which has been popular ever since. So sit back, and get ready to explore the time when the prose took over from poetry. And by the way, have you read any gothic novels? Because the origins of the Gothic fiction (1760's - 1820's) will be also put to the test. Shall we begin?
SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2017
What I love about Brussels is its location. It takes you no more than three hours to get to Paris, Amsterdam or London. So after finishing all of my exams relatively early, I decided to head to Amsterdam for a one-day trip with my friend Emily. Here are some of my tips on how to enjoy it as much as I did.
TUESDAY, MAY 30, 2017
Atelier - 2 books of May
I have to admit that I read considerably less throughout May than I had in April. On the other hand, the two books I am about to name have become my ultimate favourite novels (which brings me to the idea that I could come up with a list of my, let's say, top ten books I have read in my life. As I've been finishing the sentence I realized that this will not be as easy as I had been thinking it could be. Anyhow...). Time to explore what I came across in May.
SATURDAY, MAY 20, 2017
A cup of...
The Beautiful History
So you think you know the history of English literature? Well, let's quiz it!
As I am getting ready for my literature exam, it occurred to me that I could share with you some of my newly acquired knowledge. Yes, I know, the history and dates might seem boring, but what I love about English literature is that Shakespeare's work influenced dystopian writers in the 20th century, romantic poetry became an important part of the gothic story about Frankenstein and his Monster, and one of the writers during the Age of Reason laid the basis for the modernist writers. In other words, everything is connected. So take a deep breath and join me and some of the greatest writers in the world.
THURSDAY, MAY 4, 2017
Atelier - 4 Books of April
I decided to start a new project, if I can call it like that. At the end of each month (or at the beginning of the following one, like in this case) I will write an article about books I have read in previous 30 days, which one I would recommend and which have been rather disappointing. And what is about the name of the project? Atelier as a place for inspiration. Here you will find a book which you should not miss, a book which can inspire you, or on the other hand, a book that you should (in my opinion) avoid. So let's begin with April!
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 19, 2017
Would you choose to spend your two-week long spring holiday with your family or do an internship in a publishing house in London? Well, it took me only a couple of seconds to decide (sorry my family members and especially my little brother, but I had to). Looking back on the last two weeks of my adventure in London, I can say that it was the right decision. Now, some tips on how to get an internship, and also, where to find a lovely avocado toast. Let's begin, shall we?
Behind the Filter
10 women, 7 nationalities, 1 passion - books. When I decided to create this interview, I had no idea that all of these wonderful bookstagrammers would find time to answer all of my questions and share their secrets of taking and editing photos for their Instagram profiles. The idea of this interview is to share love for books, give some good reading tips, reveal what influences getting likes on Instagram, but mainly, to bring together people from all around the world and learn a little bit more about their lives behind the filter. So let's begin!
By the way, try to guess who reads the most books per year (the number is 200!!), plus to whom the book The Little Prince helped to get together with her boyfriend...
Book Review - Michael Cunningham
It has been a while since I fell in love with some book like this! The Hours is a story of three women, set in three different times (1920's, 1950's, 1990's) and places (England, Los Angeles, New York). Virginia Woolf starts writing her famous book Mrs. Dalloway, the book which Laura Brown reads thirty years later, while forty years after that, Clarissa Vaughan leaves her house to buy the flowers for a party. And so, one ordinary day in the lives of these extraordinary women can begin.
Interview (with a designer of book covers)
Craving for a flawless cover
Lucie Zajíčková is one of the major graphic designers in the Czech Republic, creating covers for Czech and international novels, children's books and scientific literature. How did she get to her profession? What the process of designing a book cover looks like and how long does it take? And why would not she publish some of her older covers again?
Essential Reading List with Avocado
My reading list for 2017 is actually not that
long. But I want to stay rather realistic and mention less books and read them
all, than giving you a list with 30 book titles and finishing not even half of
them. I have already started reading some of these
books back in 2016, however, I never reached their ends. The Bricks that Built
the Houses is supposed to be a book of the new generation, openly talking about
drugs, money, sex and the dark side of London.
Greetings from Brussels
I know that I promised to post more stuff here. Well, not that I haven't tried. But finishing my internship back in Prague, packing one day before leaving for Erasmus, and finally arriving to Brussels consumed pretty much all of my time in last four weeks. But enough of excuses and back to the sharing - my impression of Brussels and the first shortlist of what to do in the capital of bande dessinée (comic books). This time about coffee shops, bookshops, street art and architecture!
Firstly, I must admit that it was weird to travel somewhere and actually come back only after four days. In the last two and half years, whenever I had travelled out of my homeland, it had been because of my Uni in Aberdeen and usually for at least three months. But voilà, last weekend I met my friend in London to enjoy a lovely weekend and explore the city of thousand faces. And when I say thousand, I really mean it. What was so electrifying about London was that you can get on tube and within 15 minutes you appear in a completely different part of the city that you were 20 mins ago. From Soho to Westminster, from Brick Lane to Notting Hill, from Chinatown to Camden. So I think that everyone can find his favourite place there, but on the other hand, it can also sometimes feel really lonely.
Because Cathy, my friend, was in London before
(six times!!!), she knew where to go and what to do, avoiding all the well-known
tourist attractions. Obviously we went to see the Buckingham Palace and Big
Ben, but she also showed me places such as Camden Market or the best London Gin
Club, something I believe I would not have found on my own. So one big thanks
to her, as basically all the places I am going to mention here I visited
because of her.
But now let's move to some tips on how to see London in completely new light!
1. Simply walk everywhere (or at least mostly)! Because that is the best way how to truly explore London. Also you don't need to necessarily plan your trip to every single little detail. Leave some space for a bit of adventure - that is how you can find the cutest streets or shops!
2. I am not saying that going out in London is cheap, but it is worth it. Plus, you can find a super nice breakfast for just around eight pounds and lunch or dinner for 15 quid! But you can also google some nice and slightly more expensive restaurant/bar and simply go for it. That's what Cathy did for us by finding Barrafina and although we spent more than we usually did during our visit, we did not regret it. Also, do not forget to try some street food from local markets!
P.S. The London Gin Club is the best place in the world for all gin lovers!!!!!!!!
3. Art Arrrt Arttttt! Do not forget! Art has been a big part of London! Visit some galleries (known or even less known), but keep your eyes open even in the streets as London is full of street art that will take your breath away (in some cases I had literally no idea how they had managed to access a certain part of building).
4. One of the main reasons I already want to go back (except getting more gin in the best bar in Soho) are the street markets. The first one we visited was Camden Market. I think that even if you spend there the entire day, you won't manage to see everything! The other one, my favourite, is the entire Brick Lane with markets of all sizes and types, including two huge vintage markets! But you can also find lovely street food, coffee shops and book shops. Can't wait to be back!
P.S. These two are my favs although I believe that you can definitely find more than these two markets. After all it is London!
So now it is time to save enough money and return to the city of many faces and places, London.
In the link over here I wrote down all the places I visited in London.
But one of the best things about writing the book was immersing myself in Czech culture. Richard Askwith about his book Today We Die a Little
Book Review - Colm Tóibín
Brooklyn, the story about an Irish emigrant to America reminds to its reader painful past of diaspora (the movement of a population from its original homeland).
Eilis, young girl living in a small Irish village, where everyone knows everyone and everything, is given a chance to leave her homeland and set off on a journey to New York. Saying bye to her family for the first time is accompanied with dangerous homesickness in her new home, despite the fact Eilis has a good job and bearable house to live in. Yet, it is love that causes that Eilis finally leaves her past behind and embraces her new life in Brooklyn. But the death in her family brings her back to Ireland where she must make a decision - if she erases her American past and stays in the familiar country.
Back on track
So, as I have not posted anything
for almost a month I believe it's time to start putting new articles here once
again! I mean seriously, there is nothing in my way. Uni for this term is
officially done. Working just one more shift on Monday and then leaving my job
as a part-time waitress (with a lot of experience and lovely memories, cannot
complain about that!). And going home for 40 days, starting my very first
internship in January. Therefore, technically, I should have time and definitely
something to write about. I will probably mention how the internship is going,
but as I am also visiting London with my friend, you can expect some lovely Instagram-quality,
hipster, cliché photos from there! And then, in February, I'm moving to
Brussels for five months to finally start using my French - aka - more annoying
Instagram photos! In other words, I am back and cannot wait to keep writing and
sharing on this blog! Lots of love (still from Aberdeen, but not for long).
The book does not exhaust the possibilities of figurative meaning. What I hope that it does instead is give readers the confidence to attack new situations they may encounter in their readings.
Is It Trauma?
When a book does not make sense
Have you ever read a book without having a clue what its author is trying to say to you? Sometimes it's really useful to find some background information about the writer, and bout the period of time when he/she was writing as it can really help you to grasp the full meaning of the book. This basic fact (which we have been taught since the high school, right!) was reminded to me as I was trying to make sense out of the book The Kaddish for an Unborn Child.
It's been secret for so long that I feel like I don't really have a vocabulary for it any more. The Perfect Girl, page 258
Atrocity in Literature
How can you write about Holocaust, slavery, wars? And can you?
Hey guys. The last week has been super busy as the uni started on Monday and I've been trying to combine studying and working at the same time. So my apology for not adding anythig for such a long time! However, as I was getting ready for the beginning of Uni I did a lot of reading and today I would like to share some books I have recently read and which are (in my opinion) definitely worth of your attention!
As I already mentioned in my previous article, this year I'm studying a course called American Innovation (discussing American literature in 19th and 20th century) and then Art and Atrocity (dealing with the process of facing trauma and the way of putting it on paper). And so I have to admit that this year is definitely not going to be funny, but rather gloomy as I am about to read about the oppression of black people in America, and the atrocity of Holocaust and another devastating events in human history.
Brooklyn changes every day . Brooklyn by Colm Tóibís
The Beauty of Reading
The Reading Lists at University
Hey guys! Have you ever wondered what a reading list at university would look like? Today I decided to put together books I have read so far for my English courses at Uni. I have to admit that as I was going through all of them, I was mostly surprised about the reading list from the first semester at the Uni. I absolutely don't remember reading Thomas More's Utopia or Hogg's The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner!Shame on me! I also highlighted some of my favourite books which, in my opinion, are definitely worth of reading.
Thomas C. Foster
"Reading is an act of the imagination"
I would say that it is essential for every bookworm to read Thomas C. Foster's entertaining guide How to Read Literature Like a Professor. As I study English literature at my university this book has been an insightful guide to the hidden meanings between the lines of all my favourite books. And therefore I felt that I need to ask Thomas Foster some questions both about the book and the process of writing it, as well as about his new upcoming book Reading the Silver Screen.
After those dark days of the war, the bombing, the killing and the starvation, the revival of the Olympics was as if the sun had come out. Today We Die a Little (page 81)
Learning Czech in the country of Zátopek
When I read the book about Emil Zátopek, the celebrated Olympic distance-runner of the 1940s and 1950s, I simply wanted to contact its author, Richard Askwith, and ask him a couple of questions about the whole process of writing it. And when he actually replied, I decided (with his permission) to share his amazing and interesting answers with you
How to Read Literature Like a Professor
Thomas Foster, a professor of English at the University of Michigan-Flint, offers in his New York Times bestseller How to Read Literature Like a Professor a gripping guidance throw the complex world of literature. As the subtitle of the book suggests, Foster writes 'a lively and entertaining guide to reading between lines'.
The Red Notebook
Bookseller Laurent Letellier finds an abandoned handbag on a Parisian street. The stolen bag contains no wallet or a mobile phone which could help Laurent to track down its owner. The only connection with the mysterious woman becomes a red Moleskine notebook full of personal notes which reveal that she and Laurent have a lot in common. And so Laurent decides to undertake the journey of finding the enigmatic woman in the city of millions.
Get out when it's sunny
Time for a cup of coffee...
It has been sunny in Aberdeen for last 5 hours which has given me so much positive energy (compare to gloomy yesterday)! What else to do than go out with your friends to grab a lunch after work! We went to probably one of the most hipster coffee shops in Aberdeen, in Scotland, even in Europe when I think of it. Everything is cooked right in the café, from all kinds of wraps to the best potato salad with pesto and sun dried tomatoes. You can also buy some bio eggs and hummus chips over there! The design of the entire place is a mix of everything. Different types of tables and chairs are randomly placed in the big bright room. And, of course, it has its own piano for music nights and a plenty of nice and soft sofas where you can nestle down and just enjoy your life. You actually want to spend there the rest of your day, no, the rest of your week. So if you ever come to Aberdeen, do not forget to visit The FoodStory Café. It is the place of pure happiness!
Have a great and sunny day!