A missing page

Finding alternative worlds in books - I have plenty of them on my shelf, a lot still waiting to be discovered. 

I work and write at BookLikes.com. Any questions? Drop me a line: kate@booklikes.com 

MBM #1 - My Bookish Moment - Early Love and Hate with Adam Mickiewicz


I haven't always been a book lovers. Uff, I said it. As a child I didn't hide under the blanket with a book and a flashlight, I didn't invent stories, drew imaginary friends. I was quite shy and calm and fell into a stereotype, played with dolls and teddy bears. 


The passion for words was born steadily and gradually and bloomed in my adolescence, as many other things. Although my early childhood wasn't full of books and written words (times were different, as was Poland then), I do have a bookish moment from that time.


One of the earliest memory related to books is my grandma. Well, not the granny grandma in a standard way. My grandma was quite young, 43, when I was born, she has always been busy, energetic smart woman. And she had a great memory and I mean really incredible. She still has. She was able to memorize whole pages, every song or poem, it didn't matter how long it was, she could recite it with a proper intonation, tenderness and build such a dramatic atmosphere that the listeners could nearly see and touch the fictional world. 


When I visited my grandparents, usually during weekends or when I overnighted, my grandma used to teach me one of Adam Mickiewicz's ballads - Świtezianka (The Nymph of The Lake Switez).


Mickiewicz was a Polish national poet, dramatist, essayist and a representative of Polish Romanticism in the XIX century (with two other poets, Juliusz Słowacki and Zygmunt Krasiński, they were called The Three Bards). Mickiewicz was a leading Romantic dramatist, compared to Byron and Goethe in Poland and Europe. 


Mickiewicz's Świtezianka (The Nymph of The Lake Switez) is a beautiful poem about a young couple, two love birds who wish to spend the rest of their lives together. As always in the love stories (and XIX century wasn't different in this respect) there's a catch. The youth's faithfulness is put to the test, the girl plays tricks on him and in a disguise tries to seduce. Unfortunately he doesn't "hold to his oath" and is tempted by a mysterious nymph (the girl herself who turns out to be a real nymph). The youth fails and the punishment if harsh both for his spirit and his body. There's no happy ending. 


BTW: You can read the poem here and feel the tension thanks to the music written by Chopin to this work. 


One would think that neither the theme nor the language (XIX c) is the best pick for a child of 5 or 6. But I loved it. Of course I didn't get the poem but I loved how the words floated, the rhymes, their sound and rhythm. And the graphics were stunning, dramatic but stunning. 




This was the first moment when I appreciated the words.


The moment, however, didn't stop me from hating Mickiewicz in the high school. I didn't like the pompous interpretations of his dramas, "the most important and patriotic texts in Polish literature" as they repeated again and again. I just couldn't relate to them and my Polish language teacher didn't offer us any book discussions or let for individualized opinions. The interpretation could be only one. 


No one has ever recited Mickiewicz's works to me as my grandma did. 




cover painting "Świtezianka" Kazimierz Alchimowicz, via Museum of Romanticism

book illustrations via

40 Weeks on 40 Pages - A Book With a Pregnancy Belly


No, I am not pregnant but this is very first time I see something like this and had to share. 


This is the "Bell-Net Mother Book" created by Japanese (boy, they are creative) medical service network presenting 40 weeks of pregnancy on 40 pages printed in 3D.


The book grows (literally) with future mother's belly and is a sort of pregnancy diary: the left side is empty and ready for mum's notes and the right side shows what's happening to woman's body from week to week. 


I must say that this publication looks very neat and elegant. Graphics are subtle and delicate with nice design. I can imagine that this is just different representation of mum-to be, see-what-to-expect-while-expecting books. 


I'm not mum so it's hard for me to evaluate. Dear mums out there, would you like to have Mother Book like this? 


Some of the weeks look like this:


read more
Source: http://theinspirationroom.com/daily/2014/bell-net-mother-book-design-for-growing-babies

Yep, it really looks like that


But it's OK. I adore my cat, anyway. I call her "little bubble" because she's so soft and furry (she's The Siberian), and ... round. Well, it's probably because of her appetite too ;-)

Angelfall (Penryn & the End of Days, Book 1) - Susan Ee
"But the thing that really convinces me that the apocalypse is here is the crunching of smartphones under my feet."

The truth about choosing book titles

Book Title


Reading starts from the book title.

Book-kiss :*

Read, and let read.

Reblogged from Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile:

Warning: Ranting post ahead. I need to get this down.



The world of books is an interesting place. There's something for everyone around here. Love robots? There's a book for that. Need some sizzling sex scenes? There's a lot of books for that. Simply want to learn how to use your microwave? Guess what? There's a book for that too! That's the beauty of being a reader. No matter what you love, no matter what makes you tick, there's a book for you.


Which is why I cannot stand people who judge other people by what they read. People who spout things like "Oh, that's so low brow" or "REALLY? That's what you're reading?" and then walk away feeling superior about it. Obviously I can't do anything about how you feel inside. But when those words come out? When you make someone else feel bad for picking up a book? Oh, it's on. It's ON.


I taught kids for a long time, and I constantly fought a battle with my managers to let them read what they wanted. People kept telling me that reading a magazine just "wasn't real literature" and that comic books didn't count. I fought tooth and nail for those kids. I'd a hundred times rather a kid pick up a magazine and read an article about their favorite baseball player, or the newest shoes, than not read at all. If their face is in a book and not stuck to a television screen? I consider that a win.


Now I find myself fighting that same battle for adults I know. For those people out there who are shamed for what they read. It's makes me so angry inside.


Do I want to read 50 Shades of Gray? Nope. 

Will I shame someone else for wanting to read it? HELL no.


Again, the fact that they're picking up a book is what matters to me. And hell, I'll recommend them a million more books like that if it keeps them reading. What I like doesn't matter in their lives. What I read plays no part in what they read. Unless they ask for suggestions. Which I'll gladly give.


What I'm trying to say? READ, AND LET READ. 


No book shaming. No hate. Just read.


/end rant

9 everyday things that help me read


1. Bag

I always have a book by my side. My bag doesn't need to be huge to fit in my Kindle. But telling the truth, book size doesn't matter, I can even take extra bag to carry a book with me. Sometimes I carry a book but have no occasion to open it. However, I feel comfortable that I can. Every time I left book at home, some reading-occasion happened so now I'm not moving without it.


2. Ads

I like watching movies and series but the commercial time is ridiculous!  Ads tend to be 15-20 minutes long in the prime time. Then I end up with a book in my hand. Sometimes, though, the book is so gripping that I cannot go back to the movie.


3. Traffic jam

There's always time for a chapter or two in a car. Traffic jam, red light, parking lot, when collecting somebody from the station. Not to mention travelling as a passenger. But that's kind of obvious. 


4. Plane and train

This collocates with the point above but it's really important for me to have a read when I'm travelling by plane or train. I cannot imagine going anywhere without at least one book.


5. Washing machine

This may sounds silly but sometimes I read next to my washing machine waiting for the program to end.


6. Kettle 

I hate waiting, even if it's for boiling water. Then I grab a book and wait until I hear  a whistle. 


7. Saturday morning

I read on Saturday mornings when my partner is at work. The afternoons belong to him.


8. Computer games and PS3 

My partner is a gamer. When he's in the virtual world, I'm in the literary. Everyone's happy. 


9. Queue

I don't mind standing in the queue while shopping or waiting in the clinic. The only con is that sometimes I don't hear or notice that it's my turn.

It's a disaster!

In my current condition no reading is possible :( Defeated by sinusitis. Tears and tissues are just e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Bloody runny nose and headache is killing me and definitely ruining my nose - it looks like in the middle of bizarre peeling process! Oooh, just make it stop and let me breath normally...

4D Reading. It's called sensory fiction. For me, kind of science fiction!


Oooooo. That's so strange.  


"Sensory fiction is about new ways of experiencing and creating stories.

Traditionally, fiction creates and induces emotions and empathy through words and images. By using a combination of networked sensors and actuators, the Sensory Fiction author is provided with new means of conveying plot, mood, and emotion while still allowing space for the reader’s imagination.
While the project explores new ways of reading with digital augmentations, this is not a product idea but rather an exploration in the context of Science Fiction stories. It is an artifact meant to provoke discussions."

Source: http://vimeo.com/84412874

passion is everything


via Blinking City

Celebration Giveaway!

Reblogged from Sharon E. Cathcart:
In the Eye of the Beholder - Sharon E. Cathcart, James Courtney (Illustrator)

From my Facebook Fan Page:

Okay, I promised a give-away in celebration of reaching 1,000+ fans, so here it is. Through midnight on January 31, you can get my debut novel, "In The Eye of The Beholder," free of charge with coupon code PE84U at checkout. Here's the link: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/2163


If you'd like to join in the fun on the fan page, I'd love to have you: https://www.facebook.com/sharon.e.cathcart.  We have regular features and all kinds of good stuff going on.

Book Bloggers Connect! What are your plans for May? :-)

Reblogged from BookLikes:


BookExpo America (BEA) is the largest annual book trade fair in the United States. One of the most important events on BEA is Bloggers Conference. This year BEA is held in New York in late May (May 29- 31). And we hope to be in NYC during that time.  We'd love to meet you, chat and hang out :-)


This year's BEA Bloggers Conference topics aren't set yet but we have some ideas for discussion panels. Our session proposal is about creating book blogging communities and supporting mutual relationships, i.e.: Book Bloggers Connect! 


What do you think? Let us know about your ideas and topic suggestions in comments below or send them directly to BEA Bloggers Conference Team here: 2014 Call For Ideas — Now Open!


Let's connect on BEA Bloggers Conference :-) There's no better place to make it happen!

winter reading

pic via


Eleven False Assumptions about Frankenstein

Frankenstein: Complete, Original Text (Forgotten Books) - Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Everyone knows the story of Frankenstein. Or at least one thinks so. Book adaptations very often present Frankenstein's story in a superficial way. After accepting the pop-cultural version of it we may understood it all the way around. So I've selected eleven false assumptions that many make about Frankenstein. 


1. Frankenstein is the Monster. Nope. Frankenstein is a doctor who creates the Monster.


2. The Monster is dangerous. Not at the beginning of his life. He's vulnerable and all he wants is acceptance and a friend. 


3. Victor Frankenstein abandons the Monster because of its evil soul. Nope. It seems that he abandons the Monster because he is scared of it. He's different, much uglier than he thought, huge. He named the creature "the Monster" before it acquired any monster-like features. When the Monster wakes up doctor Frankenstein realizes what he has done and what the outcome of his crazy work looks like. 


4. The Monster is rotten to the core. Nope. Abandoned by his creator the Monster is ugly but innocent and naive as a child. He was rejected many times and experienced nothing more than hate from other human beings. His good deeds didn't bring him  any good.


5. The Monster is stupid and primitive. No. After many nights in the forest and by the fireplace, he found a spot in a household situated in the remote area. From the hidden room, he overlooks and overhears the family. By observation (like a child) he learned to read, write and speak. He also got the knowledge of literature, geography, humane nature and culture. He became thoughtful and sensitive creature. 


6. The Monster becomes a murderer and kills everyone on his way. No. He sough revenge and killed only those in relationship with Frankenstein's family. 


7. The Monster wants to kill Frankenstein. No. He wanted to make his life lonely and miserable. 


8. The Monster doesn't have any feelings. No. He knew he's appearance is very unusual and that people are scared of him but he didn't want to be alone. The Monster wanted to be loved that's why he asked Frankenstein to create a second Monster, a female. Then they would live happily ever after in Amazon's rain forests and would not hurt anyone. 


9. Frankenstein creates a female for the Monster. Yes and No. He nearly finished her, however, he never revived her. What's more, he tore her apart. 


10. The Monster kidnaps Frankenstein's wife to create a family with her. No. He killed her as he promised, during wedding night. 


11. Frankenstein kills the Monster. No. We don't know what happened to the Monster. We know he was left alone on ice floe on freezing rough waters. It was Frankenstein who ended dead in the story.


The Shelley's descriptions were so vivid and, yes, very depressing. The language is stunning, modern writers write differently. The book made me think about many difficult and complex issues, such as medicine, experiments, responsibility, human body, complicated relationships, guilt and punishment, life and death. Frankenstein was published in early XIX but the issues brought up in the book are universal and definitely up-to-date. Good piece of classics. 

Will #readwomen2014 change our sexist reading habits?

It's a truth universally acknowledged that, although women read more than men, and books by female authors are published in roughly the same numbers, they are more easily overlooked. Their marginalisation by top literary journals, both as reviewers and the reviewed, is confirmed in a yearly count by the organisation Vida: Women in Literary Arts. Perhaps the problem lies not with whether women are published, but how. Read more (via The Guardian)


Even if you don't agree, I think it's a great initiative and a way of discovering and experiencing new literary personalities.