Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Reading in 2017 and 2018

Hey everyone! Remember how last summer I made a little effort to try to start writing about more every-day topics? No? Yea, well, that was kind of a fail. Every time I think of something to write about, I immediately get second thoughts and literally can not decide what I should share and what not. Anyway, like last time, reading seemed to be a safe enough topic to break some ice over here.

I actually don't think of myself as much of a bookworm, since I know so many people read so much more than I do. I also don't really want to say the usual "oh, I just don't have time to read more", because there is always time. I love reading, but then again, I love doing so many things. Anyway, I try to squeeze in some reading time here and there and always enjoy a good book talk. I always wanted to join a book club, but never actually encountered one in real life... hmm.

I'm not big on New Year's resolutions (even though I do have a couple of small goals in mind for 2018 and it's looking good so far!), so I didn't plan on reading a specific number of books in 2017. I did, however, make a concious effort to read books in all three languages I speak. That has actually been quite interesting, since I generally avoid reading translated books if I can understand the original version. In other cases, I just go for the English translation, because they tend to be the most neutral, and let's be honest, cheapest to buy. Is it just me, or do German translations always give a book a different vibe? I once attempted to read Jack Kerouac in German and just had to quit halfway through, because I just couldn't picture America if it was described to me in German?! This principle also pushes me to read at least a few books by Estonian authors as well, which I might otherwise forget. Every time I go home or have my Mom visiting, I pick a couple good ones out. Any recommendations for next time?

It might just be too late for end-of-the-year summaries, but if you want to see what I read last year, Goodreads puts together a cool little summary for you. If I had to name three favorites, I'd say (in order I read them):
1. "East of Eden" by John Steinbeck. Total classic and I loved the twisted story.
2. "Nimed Marmortahvlil" ("Names in Marble") by Albert Kivikas. I really think this is one of the best Estonian books and it gives unbelievably real human perspective to an exciting yet difficult time in Estonian history. I'm not sure if this has been translated into English, but it was also made into a movie that's also really good.
3. "Praktikaaruanne" by Daniel Vaarik just because it made me laugh in tears while waiting in line at the town administration office.

In 2018, I want to:
1. Continue with my tradition of reading books in Estonian, English and German while avoiding translations as much as possible.
2. Do more easy reading. Seriously? Yes. I tend to get really excited about reading classics and "big books" that, when they don't turn out to be so enjoyable, I just don't want to read anything anymore. Even though it's still worth the few ones I really liked, I also want to master the art of just kicking back and reading a random adventure story (I don't think I'm quite there yet for romantic novels, haha).


3. See how I do in this little challenge I found on the internet:

Saturday, January 20, 2018

California & Oregon travel vlog

Finally! Here's our little travel video from the trip last fall - one month in 15 minutes. Being busy with school and work, it took me three months to put it together, but I think it'll be fun to watch in 5, 10, 15 years time. We kind of started to forget about the filming towards the end of the trip, which is why there is so little footage of Portland, where we actually spent quite a bit of time. But all in all, I'm quite happy with how it turned out and excited to improve my skills in talking to the camera as well as editing, haha. Let me know what you think!