Book Exchange

Book exchange, CultureWANTED: Participants for a book-loving social experiment. Comment if you want to participate and I’ll send you details.

What do you have to do? Buy your favorite book and send it to a stranger (I’ll send you a name and address). I used Book Depository to send a book to someone and I didn’t even pay shipping charges.

You will only be sending one book to one person. The number of books you will receive depends on how many participants there are. The books that will show up at your door are other people’s much loved stories #SaveTheCulture #BookExchange. Read more

Jen Campbell and Marie Phillips visit Stockholm

The Bookshop BookOn Thursday, September 10th and Friday, September 11th the English Bookshop in Stockholm hosted two visiting authors, Jen Campbell, author of the hilarious Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops and Marie Phillips, author of The Table of Less Valued Knights. Stockholm Writers Group member Karen Hagersten reached out to the bookshop and organized a wonderful evening for the group, and hopefully the authors.

For Jen’s talk, the bookshop was packed! Some folks were even sitting on the floor. But it was all worth it. I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy a glass of wine, a great interview, and a chance to not only get a book signed, but also to chat for a moment with the authors? After Jen’s talk, we took both ladies out to dinner and a number of us returned the following morning for the breakfast talk with Marie Phillips. (Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to make it to the breakfast talk. I’m bummed, too, because Marie was so funny and I really wanted to hear more about her book. The way she described it at dinner was–and I’m paraphrasing here–‘You know how King Arthur had the round table knights? This book is about the other knights–the ones who didn’t make it to the round table.’ My kind of book.) Read more

Words I Like

calendarWords are funny little critters. Maybe my fascination with them began during college when I worked at the local bookstore. The part-time job supplied me with access to unlimited books, just enough social engagement to make me happy, and a little pocket money to buy things any college student needs, like beer and pizza. Every year, just before Christmas, the bookstore ran a calendar kiosk in the center of the mall and every time I pulled kiosk duty, I’d pass the time by opening the 365 Words block calendar. I peeked at the pages without trying to ruin the calendar and tried to pronounce the strange-looking words. I’d read the definition and wonder if I could ever find a way to slip pervicacious into my daily conversation. I never did. I don’t even think I ever remembered the words years after I had left the bookstore, but they were fun to say out loud. I must have gotten a semi-education along the way, too, because now I look at the words and think, ‘Pfft! I know these words. I could use them if I wanted to.’ 

I still love new words and I still fail to incorporate them into my daily vocabulary, unless they make an impression on me. But my vocabulary is already rich with fun words. I have so many, I end up categorizing them.  Read more

A Day at the Vasa

Model of the Vasa, copyright Cas Blomberg
Model of the Vasa, copyright Cas Blomberg

On August 10, 1628, the Vasa, the crown jewel of the Swedish Navy, made her maiden voyage. She got a grand total of about 1300 meters before she keeled over. For those of you who like comparisons, that’s about the same distance as four and a half Eiffel Towers or five New York City blocks. In other words, not very far. The problem? Not enough ballast. Which would ultimately be a construction issue in my book, though some say the disaster was the captain’s fault because he sailed anyway. I guess that’s true, but I still think the designer should be held accountable, you know?

Despite her tragic end, Sweden is quite proud of this ship. They rose her from the depths of the sea and turned her into a museum. My husband and I spent Saturday walking around and learning all about her.  Read more

Good Things Jar Celebrates Happy Moments

photo copyright: Cas Blomberg

It feels like yesterday the sun lit up the entire day and we were wondering whether to hit the beach or not. Then BAM! A few grey months drifted past, Christmas came and now I’m looking outside the window at a brand new year.

Like most humans on the planet, I do look back at the good things, but I tend to remember the disappointments. For some reason the things that didn’t happen, or the things that hurt, become more powerful than all the small things that didn’t. Or, I look forward to the fantastic things that are going to happen. It’s like I WANT to focus on the positive, so I look forward, where nothing negative lives yet. The future is full of positivity :). I found as a family, we skipped over the small, but enjoyable moments that happened throughout the year. Maybe the daily grind presses in around us and that fun lunch date we had gets lost amid the bill payments and tire changes.

So two years ago, I got an idea. Read more