Musings over coffee part I.

23 Feb
Musings over coffee part I.

In witch I contemplate my current reading process, future reading plans, books and book orders, a TV series and generally go off on a tangent… But there is method to this madness somewhere in here, mostly in the coffee. 😀

Hello dear reader(s) and welcome back to the blog! As mentioned above this is going to be one of those (most likely) lengthy texts, so go ahead grab a cup of coffee or tea, or your preferred drink and some snacks if you want to and let’s get this show on the road 😀

The first thing I wanted to chat about, or to be more precise to update you about were the books I’m currently reading. Which is always exciting 😀 because you can predict what I’m about to review next, or in the next few months 😀 On January 3rd, after 20 years, I started to reread Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings! I cannot believe it has been that long since I first read that book! The experience of rereading something very dear from my adolescence is quite strange. I’m really enjoying reading The Lord of the Rings again, it’s pleasant, safe and comfortable, like a favourite T-shirt. On the other hand, after 5 years of reading English language and literature at the university, it’s easier for me to see the imperfections and issues you usually gloss over when you’re 14 and reading epic fantasy for the first time. Moreover, nowadays it’s impossible to read or reread LotR without thinking about Peter Jackson’s movie trilogy and comparing the two. Honestly it’s a sublime process – juggling everything in my head, reflecting on what I’ve just read, trying to remember how I felt when I first read it, trying to separate those first ttt-ch1impressions and feelings from the layers of impressions, knowledge and feelings that have accumulated over the years… I frequently comment my reading process, with accompanying gifs, on Twitter so if you want to follow along you can find me @NarratriceNessa. I’ve finished reading The Fellowship of the Ring and the first part of The Two Towers (Book 3). Currently I’m on Book 4, Chapter 3 The Black Gate is Closed. Frodo and Sam just got out of the Dead Marshes and I’ve got potatoes and Faramir to look forward to. 😀

Speaking of soldiering on through books 😀 at the end of January I’ve started reading The Great Arab Conquests by Hugh Kennedy. There was no particular rhyme or reason for picking this one up from my bookshelf. My friend let this to me a few years ago and it has been sitting on my bookshelf ever since waiting for me to pick it up. I picked it up one day when I was putting my newly arrived books on the shelf and said to myself

Nessa if you don’t start reading this now, you’re never going to! So you can either start reading, or give it back!

Naturally I started reading, 😀 but so far I’ve only read about 50 pages. It’s a history book with footnotes, and I typically read those types of books slower than fiction books. However, this is the first history book in which I’m not reading the references! It’s a miracle I tell you! The author did say in the introduction that the book was meant for the general audience and that you don’t have to read the reference notes, so I decided to listen to his words of wisdom 😀 and skip them. Regardless of that the reading has been going slow, mainly because I’ve prioritised The Lord of the Rings, then I had an exam from Arabic along with a large amount of homework, work and life obligations. I have to work on my schedule in order to find more time to read this.

Since we’re on the subject of time management and planning, let’s segue into my recent book orders, book deliveries and reading plans in general. Although my bookshelf are once again getting to the point where empty space can be described with the quote “history became legend, legend became myth” and I’ve naturally ignored the state of my bookshelves and went on to order more books. As you do. 😀 Some have arrived, and some are on the way and some I have no idea when they will arrive because I preordered a lot of things. 😀 Honestly, I’m like that Gandalf meme, you know the “I have no memory of this place one”! 😀


On the other hand it’s always a very lovely surprise when you get an e-mail that your preordered book (that you completely forgot about) is on its way. Truly, it’s like a surprise present from you to you, so you should definitely try that someday. 🙂 Anyway, to get back to the topic at hand… Way back in September of last year I made a book order, and with a few other books I preordered S.A. Chakraborty’s The Kingdom of Copper. It’s the second book in her series, and I already have the first book – The City of Brass. The UK edition of The Kingdom of Copper (which I ordered because I liked the cover more than the US edition) was published in February and after 5 months of waiting it’s on its way to Split. When it arrives I’m going to reread The City of Brass, write a review and read and review the sequel. Thus you have those 2 reviews to look forward too.

January brought another book order inspired by my rereading of The Lord of the Rings. I’ve never read The Hobbit in English, only the Croatian translation. So one day I was window shopping the books and I decided to order Alan Lee’s stunningly illustrated silm-and-hobbitHobbit, and I topped that off with the hardcover Silmarillion illustrated by Ted Nasmith. I had the English copy of The Silmarillion that I got as a present for my 17th birthday, but I lent the book to someone and now it’s gone. So of course I had to get a proper copy of The Silmarillion. Yes, it’s going to be a very Tolkien year. I apologise in advance. 😀 Moreover, I also got Junji Ito’s Uzumaki manga and P. Djélí Clark’s The Haunting of Tram Car 015. The last book was preordered and it arrived this week! I’m really excited about this one, because it’s a return to the alternate, steampunk, alchemy filled Cairo from A Dead Djinn in Cairo novelette! And now I just have to slot it into my reading schedule somehow, but by the looks of things it’s going to be read and reviewed in March. 😀


Apparently the fact that empty space on my bookshelf is a myth from a distant past does not deter me from buying more books. Or comic books. Honestly, this was the whole point of buying an e-reader, but the heart wants what the heart wants. That’s a hill I’m willing to die on! 😀 So in my book shopping mania I got myself all of the Rivers of London comic books and while I was at it, doctor Hanley will publish a book about Empress Matilda so I jumped on that train too. To all the history books sitting on the “I’m going to read this for sure” shelf that are looking at me with judgement I can only leave you with this gif.


Lastly, I wanted to talk about a favourite TV series. I don’t watch a lot of TV or TV series in general and I’m quite particular about them. I always feel like spending hours in front of a screen is such a waste of time… Well that might be a strong phrase, but somehow while watching movies or series on the telly I always catch myself thinking like I’m spending too much time doing nothing and I could be reading, or writing… The older I get, the more that feeling increases. It’s not to say all content on the telly is stupid, or useless; there’s a lot of good series on the telly right now, I just don’t have the patience to watch many. I prefer to watch the series that have 6 to maximum 10 hour or 50 minute long episodes. Any more than that is just filler. 6 is great, and most of the British TV series that I enjoy and love have that format. However, if the plot and acting are good I’ll happily watch 10 episodes per season.

Counterpart is one of those 10 hour episodes per season series that I truly loved to watch. Unfortunately Starz (the network where the series aired) cancelled the show after only 2 seasons. And right smack before the season 2 finale! I was devastated! I know this sound totally silly, there are a million and one important issues in the world and real life problems one should be devastated about, but Counterpart was a brilliant series and watching it made me happy and it brightened my day considerably. The series is a science fiction thriller starring J. K. Simmons as the main character Howard Silk and his counterpart. The series follows the workings of a United Nation agency based in Berlin, which oversees a crossing point to a parallel Earth (Prime World). Although the show has science fiction elements (the crossing point being the main one, parallel worlds and so on), as you watch it and get immersed into the world it starts to feel more like a Cold War spy thriller that le Carré wrote, than a science fiction series.

Counterpart’s brilliance lies in a combination of a well-crafted and thought of plot, an amazingly talented group of actors who give life to their respective characters and can show their acting skills. I love how the writers managed to seamlessly incorporate diverse characters into to the story and how the inclusion of every character benefits the story and the world building. I cannot find enough words to praise the cast and crew for their efforts in making this series such a pleasure and joy to watch and they deserve every award and career opportunity they can get. I don’t know if the series will be picked up by Amazon or Netflix or another network, but if there was ever a quality content worth of being on the telly this is it. If you haven’t watched the series please do so, it’s magnificent and you won’t be disappointed – trust me.

Finally, thank you so much for reading my musings and ramblings. Let me know in the comments or on Twitter what are you reading/watching/listening or planning to do? What do you think about rereading books you’ve read as a child/teen? And if you have reread some of them what was your experience like? Did you still like them? Hated them? Wondering WTF were you on when you were reading them?! 😀 Do tell, I’m curious. Until next time dear reader(s).


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