Thursday, June 30, 2016

Game of Thrones season 6 review

My initial excitement about GoT has long faded, mostly because my favorite characters have had less screen time or died and characters I don't care for so much get bigger and bigger storylines. Despite that I can't deny that Game of Thrones is an excellent tv show and HBO has really made a good job with it.

My problem is that from the start I have sensed that Tyrion, Daenerys and Jon are Martin's favorites and they will not die but have this great destiny. In otherwise so unpredictable series this has deflated my enjoyment. At the same time my absolute favorite Arya gets less and less scenes and her story is completely pushed to the side and overall Starks, who I root for, suffer a loss after another.

What is interesting to me is all the politics and plotting and that was very much present this season also. King's Landing is one big hornets' nest where everybody is trying to get the upper hand. Even the High Sparrow got involved but he didn't know who he was up against.

The last two episodes were epic but the best moment of the season for me was the reunion of Sansa and Jon. The looks, the setting, it was all perfect and it summed up what the Starks have been through. This was a season where they finally start to get back what they have lost. Another heartfelt reunion was when Jaime and Brienne met at Riverrun. Their relationship is one of the most interesting, complicated but somehow still deep. It's hard to say how they are going to end up, especially because Jaime at least until the last episode has proclaimed his love for Cersei but that may have changed now due to Cersei's actions and the last of their children dying. Man, I'm sad for Tommen, he should have never become a king, he was too sweet for the job.

Before the season was halfway through I made a guess that by the end of the season or at the beginning of the next Daenerys and Arya would return to Westeros and look what happened. I think Daenerys is getting Dorne to her side and she will wipe out the Lannisters and take the Iron Throne. Starks may help her but they might be more concerned with the White Walkers. In the very end of the series Daenerys will go north and defeat the White Walkers with her dragons, since fire is deadly to them.

I don't know if I like Jon being the King in the North. It was a powerful moment, sure, and Lyanna Mormont is certainly a badass. As said I knew that Jon had a great destiny on his shoulders and now L+R=J theory was also confirmed so nothing can stop him. I wonder how fast Bran will get back to his siblings and if Arya will also return to Winterfell. Her killing Walder Frey felt good, a little payback for Robb and Catelyn. If the three living Stark children and Jon team up, nothing can stop them.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Top5 Hottest UEFA EURO 2016 Players

European Football Championship has been going on for a couple of weeks now and I've had time to see every player's face more than once so I thought I'd share my top5 hottest players. Usually this list has been dominated by my teenage crush Fernando Torres but for some reason he did not make to the Spanish squad this year so I needed to find someone else for the #1 slot.

5. Manuel Neuer - Germany
There are a lot of OK looking guys and I actually had a bit of trouble finding someone to fill the fifth place. I chose Neuer because he is the boy next door kind of guy, not devilishly handsome but pleasant-looking and fairly cute. And he's tall! *swoons*

4. Antoine Griezmann - France
Griezmann is not the hot hunk type either but he's cute, especially when he smiles. A bit short but what can you do, he still warms my heart. Additional plus, he plays for Athletico Madrid, where a certain Fernando Torres also earns his living these days.

3. Gareth Bale - Wales
I was not aware of Bale's existence before the Championship because I don't follow football that much outside international competitions. But he is actually hot with his man bun and scruffy beard and he scores in every game so what's not to love.

2. Sergio Ramos - Spain
I used think of Ramos as a not as handsome Torres knockout when he still had long hair. Now that he has gotten rid of that he is one huge piece of man candy. His beard doesn't hurt, either.

1. Gerard Piquet - Spain
Top 2 seems to be Spanish even without Torres and I seem to have a weakness for Spanish footballers. I had to think for a moment at what order I will put Piquet and Ramos but ended with Piquet as #1 because he is taller and cute and hot at the same time, no wonder Shakira snatched him.

No Cristiano Ronaldo on my list? Yeah, I despise him, his personality seems to be rubbish and his attitude garbage and ego bigger than any football stadion in the world. I have always thought he is slimy and too pretty and thinks too much of his looks, I prefer a little more manly men in that sense as you can see from my list.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

How I became a reader

It's always interesting to hear how someone's love for reading was awoken. I have my mother to thank for my appreciation for books and reading. My parents always read me a bedtime story before I went to sleep and my mother took me and my sister to the library weekly when we were little. We sat there looking at wonderful books (before we knew how to read) and we always left with a bag full on books. I loved it.

I didn't learn to read before going to school but my parents say that it took me like two seconds to learn at school. After that I read by myself but my deep passion to reading began when I was in second grade and got the first Harry Potter book as a Christmas present. It was love at first reading and there was no going back. Since then I have read my ass off and I am never going to stop reading.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Monthly Recommendations | Around the World

The Goodreads group Monthly Recommendations gives a topic for every month along which you can recommend books. This month's topic is Around the World and I tried to find books about different cultures, not just stories about modern western people traveling the globe. Also when I give recommendations I recommend books that are not the most popular or famous but books that perhaps not so many have read. Isn't that the idea of a recommendation, to recommend a book the other person hasn't read yet?

First I will recommend one of my favorite books of all time, Q&A by Vikas Swarup (also known as Slumdog Millionaire but the book blows the movie out of the water). The idea is basically the same as in the movie but the story has so much more nuances and the Indian culture is explored from many different angles.

Next recommendation is The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke, who is more famous for her Inkheart trilogy. The book follows two orphan brothers who run away to Venice and join a child gang that lives in an old movie theater. Funke's writing is beautiful and the whole story is like a fairytale where Venice is mysterious and full of adventures.

Then I'll give you another Khaled Hosseini recommendation, his book called A Thousand Splendid Suns. It follows two Middle Eastern women who are married to the same man. Hosseini gives honest insight to living in Middle East and their culture, which at times is hard and cruel but at times brings great joy.

My last recommendation is bending the rules a bit since it's technically about an alternative universe but I'm going to count it in because it could very well belong to this world. Terry Pratchett's Nation is a story about a Pacific tribal boy who is in the middle of his rite of passage when a tsunami hits his island. His whole tribe is wiped away but survivors from other islands and from a ship appear, causing conflicts.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

May Wrap Up

I know I said I'd probably do only a couple of "Recent Reads" type of posts in a year, but this May was such a good reading month for me that I decided to do one just about it. Especially considering that I was supposed to read for my university entrance exam. Fingers crossed that it didn't cost me my education.

First book I read in the month of May was the Green Mile by Stephen King. I've heard much about the movie but wanted to read the book first and I'm glad I did. This was also my first Stephen King book and damn it was good. He really knows what he's doing and I was on the edge of my seat, so to say, the whole time reading this. The mystery aspect was perfectly crafted and the characters held my heartstrings right til the end. Can't wait to see the movie.

Then I read Trinity by Conn Iggulden, the second book in his the War of Roses series. This is my kind of historical fiction. It has political conspiring and royals and battles. The characters are all fleshed out quite nicely and multiple point of views make it hard to hate any of them (though I still who I'm rooting for which a bit absurd since the result can be already read from Wikipedia). The amount of characters with similar names make it sometimes difficult to know who is who but other than that I enjoyed this book completely. This has very similar aspects as the Song of Ice and fire without dragons or magic.

During May I also read the first book in Rick Riordan's new series about Norse gods, Magnus Chase: the Sword of Summer. I wrote a full review, check it out if you are interested to hear my thoughts.

Then I read the Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater which is the first book in the Raven Cycle series. I have heard mixed things about this series, a lot of people have given up on it during the first 100 pages. My friend recommended this for me and I didn't find it difficult to get into. Only thing I felt a bit confusing was the amount of characters that are introduced almost right off the bat. The books is about a girl called Blue and four private school boys who are trying to find a long lost Welsh King that is sleeping under a ley line according to legends. I will be reading the rest of this series during the summer and will do a full series review once I'm finished.

The last book I read during May was Passenger by Alexandra Bracken. I had pretty high expectations and hoped for this and some of them were met, some were not. The premise of the book is that the main character Etta comes from a family of time travelers who are rivals of another traveler family. Their descendant Nicholas is told to bring Etta to them and she is blackmailed to search for an old time traveling artifact. The idea of this book and the time traveling aspect is the best I've ever seen but every once in a while the characters made me cringe. 4/5, I will read the rest of this series when it comes out.