✈ Travel Tuesday ✈

“Have you seen her dressed for winter?”


Powered sugary dust covered the city

Giving Paris an otherworldly glow.

When they boast about seeing Paris in full bloom in Spring,

I shrug and go, “Have you seen her dressed for winter?”


Beautiful photos via @beautiful destinations (Instagram).

Follow this account for beautiful travel destinations!

Click on the link to view the other photos from this ethereal set!

#parisinwinter


Books & Reviews 📚

10 books with long titles 📚

Ciao! I hope everyone is doing good. I had a different post planned altogether as I’m behind schedule with new material, but I couldn’t resist doing this fun post after seeing areadingwritr do it this week. It’s not going to be an every Tuesday thing, but I’ll love to do a few more at some point.

The Artsy Reader’s Top Ten Tuesdays theme for the week is all about Super Long Book Titles. Over the years, I’ve had my fair share of loooonngggg book titles, but most of them are probably forgotten by now. I’m going to share 10 long titles that are on my TBR (most of them are Paris-based). 

1. Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser

Love and Louis XIV: The Women in the Life of the Sun King by Antonia Fraser

Every year, I keep saying that I’ll get to this book, but I’m yet to pick it up… sadly. 

2. The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out The Window And Disappeared: Jonasson,  Jonas: 9781443419109: Books - Amazon.ca

Another book that’s been collecting dust on the TBR.

3. We’ll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to Be French by Emma Beddington

We'll Always Have Paris: Trying and Failing to Be French by Emma Beddington

I’m actually close to reading this memoir!

4. Eiffel’s Tower and the World’s Fair: Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes

Eiffel's Tower and the World's Fair: Where Buffalo Bill Beguiled Paris, the Artists  Quarreled, and Thomas Edison Became a Count by Jill Jonnes

This is probably the longest title I own! 

5. The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino

The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino

Can’t wait to read about this iconic street!

6. The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette by Deborah Cadbury

The Lost King of France: How DNA Solved the Mystery of the Murdered Son of Louis  XVI and Marie Antoinette by Deborah Cadbury

I was going to add this book to the wishlist when I realized that I already have it in my TBR!

7. Bright Lights Paris: Shop, Dine & Live…Parisian Style by Angie Niles

Bright Lights Paris: Shop, Dine & Live...Parisian Style: Niles, Angie:  9780425280706: Amazon.com: Books

Ah, Paris, the capital of everything! I look forward to probably breezing through this book soon.

8. The knowledge of the holy: The attributes of God, their meaning in the Christian life by A.W. Tozer

20332223. sx318

I can’t wait to read this book, but I have to be in a good headspace to start.

9. Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas J. McBride

Letters to a Law Student: A Guide to Studying Law at University by Nicholas  J. McBride

I got this book during my law phase and although it’s cooled now, I still look forward to reading this book.

10. Learn Japanese: Discover the right approach to Japanese, forget phrases learn how to form your own sentences by Languages World

Learn Japanese: Discover the right approach to Japanese, forget phrases  learn how to form your own sentences.: World, Languages: 9781095362976:  Amazon.com: Books

This book – and several other language books – is for special hoarding purposes.

Well, that was fun! How about you? Do you have a book with a super long title to share? Let me know in the comments.

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Football ⚽

Congrats Giroud and all the best Cavani!

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Today was a good day for Olivier Giroud! He played his 100th game for France becoming only the 8th player to do so for Les Bleus joining the likes of Hugo Lloris, Lilian Thuram, Thierry Henry, Marcel Desailly, Zinedine Zidane, Patrick Vieira, and current Les Bleus manager, Didier Deschamps. It was only a friendly against Ukraine in which Les Bleus won 7-1, but it was brilliant!

Welcome to the 100th club, Giroud.

Ollie is a World Cup winner and France’s second-highest goalscorer at 42 goals. Only Henry stands in his way with 51 goals. I’ll love to see Ollie beat that. Only today I was reading an interview about Ollie talking about his new book, ‘Always Believe It’ and he said something that stuck with me, so I’ll share that here: 

“I am a very religious person who asserts his Christian faith more and more in recent years. It allowed me to overcome trials, to put things into perspective and to always believe in my chances, in his destiny and in Jesus, who is there, at all times, to watch over me.” 

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And Edinson Cavani is a new-mint Manchester United player. I’m no fan of anything Man U, but all the best, Cavani… even though that red shirt is going to hurt mi eyes. Show the English why we call you ‘El Matador’! I’ll also leave something from Cavani’s interview that resonated with me:

“I believe that in life things come when they are meant to and sometimes, no matter how much you want something, if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”

The 33-year-old put pen to paper on a two-year deal on around £210,000 per week after tax

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Books & Reviews 📚

The Dark Academia Book Tag

Okay, so here’s what I know about dark academia: It’s the latest aesthetic to sweep social media after taking off on platforms such as Tumblr and TikTok. It draws inspiration from the classic Greek writing, architecture, and arts. Good Reads couldn’t have said it better:

Dark Academia is an aesthetic that revolves around classic literature, the pursuit of self-discovery, and a general passion for knowledge and learning.

And the inspired fashion ain’t bad either.

Dark academia | Lookbook

I’m not really into dark academia, but I was looking for a book tag to do, for it’s been a while and when I came across this tag over at Madame Writer, I decided that this tag was going to be the one as there were some pretty interesting questions in-between that caught my attention, so let’s do this!

1. What is your favourite “academia” or “dark” book + movie?

Book: I’ve had my fair share of books in this category including Dorian Gray and Secret History, but I’ll have to go with To Kill A Mockingbird. I’ve read the book twice and up to this day, I still like the book.

Movie: If I were still into movies, I’ll go with Good Will Hunting. When it comes to movies, Dead Poets Society reign supreme for DA enthusiasts.

Good Will Hunting GIFs - Get the best GIF on GIPHY

2. What dead poet would you like to have a drink with?

The one, the only, King Solomon! His poems are beautifully crafted, timeless, and full of passion. 

3. What is your favourite painting and/or sculpture?

Painting: Claude Monet is my all-time favorite painter and one of my favorite paintings of his is the Garden at Sainte-Adresse. An art category is in the works, so I’ll talk more in depth about him at a later date.

File:Claude Monet - Jardin à Sainte-Adresse.jpg - Wikipedia

Sculpture: My all-time favorite is Auguste Rodin’s Le Penseur (The Thinker). This thinking man is often used as an image to represent philosophy.

4. What is your favourite architectural marvel?

Here’s the thing, I marvel at many structures from both the ancient and modern world. Back then, I really marveled at the Lighthouse of Alexandria, the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, and yes, the GIGANTIC Colossus of Rhodes. Right now, I’m awed at the Château de Peyrepertuse in Aude, France. I mean, look at it!:

Château de Peyrepertuse - 39 images de qualité en haute définition

5. What Shakespeare play would you want to be the lead in?

Certainly not Juliet! But on a serious note, I have never gotten into Shakespeare, so I can’t answer this question. And I’m just not into plays.

6. How many languages do you speak and which language would you most like to learn?

One, and that is English. I speak little French, but I’m not serious about it. It’s the language I’ll love to learn the most, but I just can’t seem to commit.

writing skills – The Write Nook

7. What is your favourite quote (from poetry, prose, plays, etc.)?

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth—for your love is more delightful than wine.

This is single-handedly the greatest opening line of a poem. It’s taken from Song of Solomon 1:1. I could quote other favorite lines, but I’ll just end up quoting the entire book. 

Song of Solomon Quotes from the Bible - AllGreatQuotes

8. Which fictional character’s death is your ideal way to go?

However, the Lord sees fit to take me is the ideal way to go. I’m never shy about death, for its inevitable and when I was younger, I used to say the ideal way to go was in my sleep.

9. What university/college would you most like to attend?

I tend to bore easily in classrooms, but I don’t mind studying at the heritage-rich Université de Paris. Just the building alone is an architectural wonder by itself.

File:Universite de Paris Faculte de droit DSC 1945w.jpg - Wikimedia Commons

10. What is your murder weapon or murder method of choice?

I’ll skip this question for murdering someone should never be on the mind.

11. What mythology would you most like to a part of?

I remember being into Greek mythology and feeling out Norse mythology, but I find Egyptian mythology to be the most interesting.

Ancient Egyptian Creation Myth - GIFs - Imgur

12. If you had to do a PhD what would you choose to do it on?

I’m a history fanatic, so anything to do with history. 

13. Which fictional character would you die for?

No one. I rather die for my loved ones (John 15:13).

John 15:13 | My love, Encouragement, Words

Rapid-Fire: Pick One

1. Leather bound or cloth bound books?

Neither.

2. Dog-earing pages or highlighting pages?

Neither.

3. Sculptures or paintings?

I prefer paintings.

4. Piano or violin?

I’ve always been drawn to piano music, but the violin is wonderful too. So, both. Sides, they make beautiful music together.

Anime Piano GIF - Anime Piano Violin - Discover & Share GIFs

5. Films or theatre?

I wouldn’t have seen TC at a theatre, so films.

6. Poetry or prose?

Both.

7. Museums or bookshops?

Actually, lately, I prefer stationery shops. If I have to choose, I’ll go with bookshops… and I’ve always wanted to work in one.

8. Smell of books or smell of coffee/tea?

I love the smell of new books and strong coffee.

35 new quotes about books, libraries, and reading

9. Fountain pen or typewriter ?

Fountain pens! I used to enjoy using them to improve my writing when I was younger. Mom was actually the one that got me into those pens. 

10. New or used books?

New. Most of the time when I’m done with them, I pass them on that’s why I’m careful not to dog-ear or highlight a book.

Animated gif about gif in Rain by Isadora Almeida

Well, that was something! As I’m snail-likely working on new material, I may as well publish a few filler posts and this one was definitely worth it.

If you’re up to do this challenge, feel free to and don’t forget to check out Madame Writer’s entry here: 

The Dark Academia Book Tag

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✈ Travel Tuesday ✈

We breathe love 💙

At first glance, this shot could be easily mistaken for the shoreline of Maracas or anywhere in the beachy Caribbean, but lo and behold, this mesmerizing shot comes from Lac De Maguide, France. 

Via @hello_france (Instagram). Follow this account for beautiful wanderlust photos of France, the place that has something for everyone.

Also, credit to Yohan Espiaube for this exceptional shot! He’s an amazing photographer, and he captures the essence, beauty, and poetry that is France splendidly.

Books & Reviews 📚

Books #165 – #167: French classics hit a high mark!

Hello Spring Animated on Behance

I live for Spring! 🌞🌞

Classic Books Total: 15

Finally, I am getting somewhere with the classics! 

Book #165: Le Petit Prince by ‎Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

The Little Prince eBook by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry ...

This book is said to be the world’s most beloved children’s book. It was written in 1943 and has since sold about 140 million hard copies… 20 million more than Harry Potter and the Something Stone making it the bestselling story. But does it live up to its standards?

I love the illustrations in this book by the author! This children’s book was written for adults with the main protagonist being a beautiful golden-haired child. It’s like anime for most anime are actually for adults. Anyways, this book was meant for adults to dig up nostalgia for the comforts of childhood that they know they can never go back to. It’s a salute to childhood. 

Yugioh Am IRight GIF - Yugioh AmIRight ThumbsUp - Discover & Share ...

French literature are hitting all the right spots at the moment even more so than the British and Russian ones I’ve attempted. Had I not given up French for the 1,994th time, I would’ve appreciated the deliciousness of the sweet language even more when it came to reading this book.

However, I cannot give this book five cups of steaming coffee. I find it to drag in some areas. I’ll like to think that the story actually revolved around a pilot that crashed his plane in the desert and hallucinated about the alien prince. That’s why the prince had to “die” for when the pilot finally finds a well and hydrates, the royal hallucination fades away. On the other hand, we spend too much time focusing on the wrong things and not enough time enjoying life, the little things… and I appreciate this message. And I do like that scarf. It’s as golden as the little prince’s hair and I’ll like to have one.

O Pequeno Príncipe e Eu : Março 2016

As an adult, if we don’t “get it”, it’s our own fault for children are the only ones that sees what matters seem to be the overall attitude of this book. But growing up is good. We’re even told to put away childish things (1 Corinthians 13:11) so the romantic obsession with being a child never sits well with me. 

On ne voit bien qu’avec le cœur.

Final Verdict:

love coffee

love coffee

love coffee

Book #166: Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Around the World in Eighty Days Complete Text [with Free AudioBook ...

This book read as if someone sat at home and researched all geographical locations for the various settings without actually leaving home. And what do you know? Mr. Verne is actually THAT guy! In the story, Victorian gentleman Phileas Fogg wagers half of his fortune on a proposition that he can travel around the world in 80 days. His French valet, Jean Passepartout accompanies him and to be honest, Passepartout is the only character that made me want to see this adventure to the end. The Frenchman was full of character, pumped with personality, filled with excitement, came with a great background (he was a firefighter, a singer, a gymnast, a circus performer etc.), and was the real hero of this story. He isn’t afraid to try new things, and he apologizes whenever he is in the wrong. He is kind, fun and brave. I love everything about him!

Gif Je T Aime Flamme en 2020 | Gif amour, Gif, Images amour

He is the true MVP. I mean, he rescued a woman from her deathly demise and helped saved people on a train. What did Fogg do? As for Aouda, she spends the entire story doing what any damsel does best: crying at every womanly opportunity. *sighs*

Vehicles used to travel the world in this story were steamers, railways, carriages, yachts, trading vessels, sledges, and elephants. It was a good story and a wonderful adventure although at times it was a bit boring, yet somehow managed to pick up speed at the end. 

This book was written in 1873. I actually read this book to my youngest sister, and she thought it dragged in some areas and was a bit boring as well. Overall, her favorite character was Passepartout, and she rates it a 3. She’s too kind. Well, actually, she’s not.

Final Verdict:

love coffee

love coffee

love coffee

Book #167: Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White

Charlotte's Web | Summary, Characters, & Facts | Britannica

Fern lives on a farm and wanted to do something noble by trying to save the runt of a litter of newborn piglets. She stopped her father from killing Wilbur, but she’s a hypocrite for she eats bacon for breakfast. Why didn’t she try to save the other pigs from becoming bacon? What was so special about Wilbur that he was to be saved from turning into bacon? Apparently, Fern has special Doolittle powers as she can hear the animals talk. But I want to make this about the web spinner because I still love her.

Charlotte My Name Is Charlotte GIF - Charlotte MyNameIsCharlotte ...

Charlotte was my favorite character overall. Where Wilbur was whiny and self-absorbed, Charlotte was selfless, humble, willing, friendly, and outgoing. I always thought spiders to be fascinating, but their short lifespan is also a reminder to us: life is fleeting (Psalm 39:4-5). The gray spider died alone on deserted Fair Grounds after Wilbur got a special prize at the Fair and the author couldn’t have said it better: 

She never moved again.

The Fair Grounds were soon deserted. The sheds and buildings were empty and forlorn. The infield was littered with bottles and trash. Nobody, of the hundreds of people that had visited the Fair, knew that a grey spider had played the most important of all. No one was with her when she died.

Skeletampire — A summary of the 2016 deaths, as foretold...

Keep in mind that this is a children’s book, but this was some of the best writing in this book!

michael jackson mature era | Tumblr

When I was younger, I didn’t get why Charlotte had to die. However, she dies because her short life-cycle as a spider is completed. Had it not been for Charlotte’s intervention, Wilbur the Runt’s life would’ve been shortened. Just as many classics, this story paints a biblical portrait. Charlotte A. Cavatica paints a picture of Christ. Yes, you heard right. Wilbur was born a pig (sinner) and he is destined to die. Charlotte comes on the scene and promises to save Wilbur’s life despite the fact that she’s expecting 514 babies! Whiny Wilbur can’t do anything for her, but she spends her short life here on earth saving the pig.

Wilbur’s like…

Be There GIF | Gfycat

And Charlotte’s like…

GIF michael joseph jackson - animated GIF on GIFER - by Akimuro

Charlotte is intelligent and very skillful at writing words in her web. The girl’s vocabulary is also off the chain. However, she uses the lowlife Templeton (a rat) to bring her words that’ll save Whiny. Charlotte wrote “terrific” and “radiant”, but it was the word “humble” that’ll eventually bring salvation to Whiny. Charlotte is also above everyone else meaning that she spins her webs in high places so it’s safe to say that help certainly came from above.

When Christ was here on earth for a short time, He did not spend it selfishly. He humbly served others. Even while He was nailed to the cross for us, He could’ve said “Forget it, I’m out”, but He loved us too much to even go back hence why we have beautiful salvation. It’s because of this allegory, the story gets the rating below. By making friends with Jesus, we can enjoy a beautiful relationship with Him and banish our fears. 

Final Verdict:

love coffee

love coffee

love coffee

Other classics I’ve read, but didn’t bother to review were:

Siddhartha: A Novel: Hermann Hesse, Hilda Rosner: 9780553208849 ... The Old Man and the Sea: Amazon.co.uk: Hemingway, Ernest ... THE ADVENTURES OF PINOCCHIO, a novel by Carlo Collodi, reviewed by ...

The Railway Children on Behance

I found “The Old Man and the Sea” to be quite boring. Like, just throw the fish back in! I did not find anything sensible or interesting in this book. He kept saying “I wish the boy were here” and that alone made me want to set the book on fire. 

“Siddhartha” was simply pretentious babble. 

I hated the “Pinocchio”! He’s a heartless, lying ungrateful bastard, but what else do I expect from a wooden “boy”? This book was too cruel and violent and certainly not for children.

As for “The Railway Children”, let’s just say that it was meh!

 

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✈ Travel Tuesday ✈

Travel Thoughts: The Airport ✈️

I watch people lugging bags or rolling suitcases. And I wonder what kind of adventure awaits them on their arrival destination?

Is it Egypt to visit the Pyramids, a feat of architectural genius?

India to experience the best of both worlds?

France to learn why the French are so intellectual? Or to understand high culture?

Or are they seeking enlightenment, humility, discernment, peace, God’s face?

Books & Reviews 📚

My reading so far…

And the TBR continues to go down, down, down! YAY! This calls for a confetti celebration!

Image result for gif yay confetti

Expectation vs…

But there’s still so MANY books to go! 🙄

Image result for gif yay confetti

…reality.

I’m currently on my 38th book of the year as I write this, and I’ve realized that books are becoming even more meaningless and distasteful, so much, that I’ve been lowering my expectations with every book I choose to read. In this way, I won’t be totally disappointed if the book turns out to be boring or just didn’t quite live up to its gloating standards.

As for the classic challenge that I’m currently doing, well, let’s just say that I haven’t read as many classics as I would’ve liked to (as yet), but I’ll devote a month or two for that sometime just to get them out of the way and out of my life.

So far…

Books I enjoyed:

Image result for Michael jackson moonwalk book Image result for michael jackson conspiracy aphrodite jones

Books I didn’t enjoy:

Murder, Handcrafted (Amish Quilt Shop Mystery Book 5) by Isabella Alan

Image result for Murder, Handcrafted

Amish quilt shop owner Angie Braddock solves mysteries and whines a lot! She’s not Amish, but her best friend is, and almost every chapter, she reminds readers about this and seems to subtly poke fun at Amish clothes and culture. I’m glad to get rid of this cozy mystery from my TBR. 

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Image result for The Wife Between Us

Reviewers RAVED about the cleverness of this book, but it was all over-hyped, for there was nothing clever, new, or original about this story. I unraveled the so-call “you won’t see it coming twist” from the very first page and the other one as soon as Emma stepped into the picture, so I don’t understand the glowing and high-as-the-mountain reviews for this book. The entire book is a joke.

All of This Is True by Lygia Day Peñaflor

Image result for all of this is true

All of this is stupid, irrelevant, pretentious, poorly executed, bland, and downright boring. 

I CAN’T

Books I revisited:

Image result for madeline ludwig bemelmans Image result for curious george

Books I DNF’ed:

#Prettyboy Must Die by Kimberly Reid

Image result for #prettyboy must die

This so-call pretty boy CIA agent didn’t do it for me. He spends the majority of the story being sexist, and he’s a proper right arrogant jerk that looks down on everyone. He spends almost every chapter talking about his so-call good looks and whining. I have a strong dislike for whiny protagonists. I had to put this book down for many reasons that if I were to go into them, it’ll end up being a full review and I don’t want a reminder of why I STRONGLY disliked this drivel.

When it comes to saving the world, I’d rather leave my life in another pretty boy’s hands: Ethan Hunt’s. 

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