The art of giving

The past few months have literally been all about acing exams. Yesterday, I finished my last exam of the year, so it’s finally high time to give some love to the dearest people in my life, who haven’t been anything but extremely supportive and good to me all the way long. And with Christmas just around the corner, the timing couldn’t have been better! Needless to say, I am, just like any other year, far behind when it comes to buying gifts as I’ve been involuntarily locked up in my room for months now. Anyhow, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been pondering over what to give this year. As for what I want for Christmas? Well, I am the kind of person who loves to give more than to receive, so I don’t have a Christmas wishlist as usual – unless you count world peace, willpower and other abstract things….

For those who are in the same boat as me, here are some last-minute nondisposable Christmas gifts ideas. If you are my friend, please don’t read!

For the music lover: AiAiAi “Capital” headphones. Top-notch sound quality, bass, not to mention the design. They’re also a good alternative to earmuffs.

For the tech geek: A pair Etre FIVEPOINT gloves with special “contactwoven” fingertips that make touchscreens easier to handle during winter months.

For the writer or the poet: Notebook from Leuchtturm1917. A book that’s small enough to carry anywhere with plenty of blank pages to fill with words.

For the reader: Books are generally hard to gift unless you know the person very well. However, you can’t go wrong with classics or popular science. Some of the books I’m gifting this year are “Thinking Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman, “The Year of Magical Thinking” by Joan Didion, and “Les Enfants Terribles” by Jean Cocteau. Additionally, “Stuff White People Like” and “Whiter Shades of Pale” by Christian Lander are witty reads that inevitably hit close to home, perfect for the not too touchy souls out there.

For the tea drinker: Teapot from Marimekko.

For the twosome: Cute and timeless porcelain Moomin mugs. I don’t know with you guys, but everyone loves them here in Scandinavia. And most people collect these mugs too, so the limited editions or the seasonal ones are good options.

For the tomboy: Breton sweater or a cable-knit sweater from A.P.C.

For the food lover: The Rose Bakery book “Breakfast, Lunch, Tea”. It’s my favorite!

PS: A gift to dad is a biannual struggle. Any ideas?

Resolution: Catching up on reading

In spite of being acutely inundated with a flurry of inescapable work and duties, catching up on reading is one of my few resolutions this year. Alas, 2010 did not provide much time to be completely immersed in enjoyable literature, but I believe it is a matter of prioritization. Realistically, I can make time to devour twenty-six non-school related books parallel to required reading.

Candidly, 2010 was such a destructive year, both metaphorically and literally. I suppose the missing ingredient was reading. Having read, since the beginning of 2011, novels by Salinger and Camus – I feel a lot more vital, happy and inspired. It is as though I have thoroughly forgotten that reading is the most amazing form of meditation. I must never forget that reading also equals gaining courage to face every aspect of life, whether it is misery or malady.

Nonetheless, a lot of marvelous novels are waiting for my perusal. I also want to re-read some of my favorite novels. Franny and Zooey by Salinger, for instance.

Books

(via leschroniquesdeblake)

Q:  Do you read? If so, what is your favourite book?
A: Oui, of course I read! My favorite books are:

Lolita (Vladimir Nabokov)
The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
Franny and Zooey (J.D. Salinger)
The Other Hand (Chris Cleave)
Post Office (Charles Bukowski)
Les Enfants Terribles (Jean Cocteau)

Q: A book you’re currently reading?
A: 
Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan