Book love 2013

IMG_3714My love for reading began in early age, it coincides with the time I discovered art. Both are to be blamed on my mum, who is the sole person responsible for a huge chunk of my vivid imagination and dreamer’s tendencies. Made-up bed stories and the smell of oil paints are things that always bring back memories from my childhood, which I recall with deep fondness.

Although I’ve always liked my share of ‘reality-escape-via-books’, it’s in the past couple of years that I became what you’d call a dedicated bookworm. Maybe it was my decision to major in English language that brought me closer to my book-lover self or my work as a bookcover designer – I don’t know, but I’m glad I’ve come to appreciate literature and writing in a whole new way. It undoubtedly broadens one’s mind and adds extra color, and gist to your life. I hope I always find enough time to indulge in this precious pastime.

My reader’s tastes cover a wide range. I’m not partial to just one literature genre. I’ve got many favorites and my reading flavors keep expanding as I get more settled into adulthood. I like variety, which means I’ll read anything as long as it has an engaging story and stirs something inside.

This post is dedicated to some of my favorite reads from last year (plus my fav quotes featured in said books). I’ve listed them in no particular order. Enjoy!

P.S. I won’t be reviewing any of the books as this post will end up being pages long.

1.the-sea-of-tranquility12

“I like finding things no one else is looking for. Things that got lost or forgotten, shoved in a corner. Stuff I never knew existed. I don’t even need to buy it. I just like to find it and know that it’s there. That’s the part I like.”

“It’s a little bit devastating being surrounded by people who can do what you can’t anymore. People who create. People whose souls don’t live in their bodies anymore because they’ve leached so much of themselves into their work.”

“I don’t know anything about art so I can’t tell you that it’s watercolor or acrylic or that it’s on canvas or anything art related at all. I can tell you that it’s a painting of a hand, my hand, turned up and opened to the world and that it reaches into my body and rips out everything that’s left. Because in the palm, right in the center, is the pearl button I never reached.”

2.9780525478812_custom-7eb6cc16a8a3f2266865895e1718ac9e9d6232e0-s6-c30“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.”

“What a slut time is. She screws everybody.”

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.”

“You are so busy being YOU that you have no idea how utterly unprecedented you are.”

3.9781476743554_p0_v2_s260x420“All marriages have a time limit if you enter them for the wrong reasons. Marriage doesn’t get easier…it only gets harder. If you marry someone hoping it will improve things, you might as well set your timer the second you say, ‘I do.”

“Sometimes you have to choose between a bunch of wrong choices and no right ones. You just have to choose which wrong choices feels the least wrong.”

“I’m not a sucker for happily ever afters, but if these two characters don’t get theirs I might climb inside this e-reader and lock them both inside that damn garage forever.”

“My lack of access to the real world has been replaced completely by books, and it can’t be healthy to live in a land of happily ever afters.”

“Its real, Six. You can’t get mad at a real ending. Some of them are ugly. Its the fake happily ever afters that should piss you off.”

“F#%k all the firsts, Sky. The only thing that matters to me with you are the forevers.”

“One of the things I love about books is being able to define & condense certain portions of a character’s life into chapters. It’s intriguing, because you can’t do this with real life. You can’t just end a chapter, then skip the things you don’t want to live through, only to open it up to a chapter that better suits your mood. Life can’t be divided into chapters…only minutes. The events of your life are all crammed together one minute right after the other without any time lapses or blank pages or chapter breaks because no matter what happens life just keeps going and moving forward and words keep flowing & truths keep spewing whether you like it or not and life never lets you pause and just catch your fucking breath.
I need one of those chapter breaks. I just want to catch my breath, but I have no idea how.”

“The things that knock you down in life are tests, forcing you to make a choice between giving in and remaining on the ground or wiping the dirt off and standing up even taller than you did before you were knocked down. ”

4.818tMZ3aozL._SL1500_

“You only get one life. It’s actually your duty to live it as fully as possible.”

“Push yourself. Don’t Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”

“Some mistakes… Just have greater consequences than others. But you don’t have to let the result of one mistake be the thing that defines you. You, Clark, have the choice not to let that happen.”

“I hadn’t realized that music could unlock things in you, could transport you to somewhere even the composer hadn’t predicted. It left an imprint in the air around you, as if you carried its remnants with you when you went.”

“I will never, ever regret the things I’ve done. Because most days, all you have are places in your memory that you can go to.”

“The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life–or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window–is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.”

“I see all this talent, all this…this energy and brightness and…potential. Yes. Potential. And I cannot for the life of me see how you can be content to live this tiny life. This life that will take place almost entirely within a five mile radius and contain nobody who will ever surprise you or push you or show you things that will leave your head spinning and unable to sleep at night.”

5.

18331807“No one can know sincere happiness, Sophie, without first having known sorrow. One can never appreciate the enormity and rareness of such a fiery bliss without seeing misery, however unfair that may be.”

“And what is there to be joyful about?” I asked honestly, thinking on the images of dead children curled into themselves at the village. Another burst of silent tears streamed down.

“Life, Sophie. They still live. They breathe, they love each other, they find joy in the world around them for no other reason than because they are children. They are resilient. They will always rise above. Always. It is a curious facet of the innocent young.”

“You are so gosh damn beautiful in here,” he said, tapping my chest, “that what’s here,” he spoke, running the side of his hand down my face, “is magnified tenfold and that is a sight to be hold.”

6.41O9lZASsjL._SL500_“You can play it safe, and I wouldn’t blame you for it. You can continue as you’ve been doing, and you’ll survive, but is that what you want? Is that enough?”

“Some things in life only happen once, the memories of them lasting forever. They’re moments that alter you, turning you into a person you never thought you’d become, but someone you were always destined to be. There’s no magical rewind button in life, no take backs or do-over’s to fix things you wish you could change.”

“They’re titles other people give us. They don’t make us who we are. We make us who are are.”

7.17443673“I keep wishing you had had a better life…a different life. But a different life would have made you a different Blue.” He looked at me then. “And that would be the biggest tragedy of all.”

“Someone told me once that to create true art you must be willing to bleed and let others watch.”

“But there’s no way to avoid regret. Don’t let anybody tell you different. Regret is just life’s aftertaste. No matter what you choose, you’re gonna wonder if you shoulda done things different. I didn’t necessarily choose wrong. I just chose. And I lived with my choice, aftertaste and all.”

“Why don’t you focus on where you’re going and less on where you came from?”

“The beauty of that poem is that everybody can relate, because we all feel like nobody. We all feel like we are on the outside, looking in. We all feel scattered. But I think it’s that self-awareness that actually makes us somebody. And you are definitely somebody, Blue. You may not be a work of art, but you are definitely a piece of work.”

8. Print“Everybody is a main character to someone”

“You loved ferris wheels more than roller coasters because life shouldn’t be lived at full speed, but in anticipation and appreciation.”

“Victory is in the battle.”

“She decided she would just be a fairy because she liked the option of flying without the responsibility of saving the world.”

“I used to be afraid of going to hell. But now that I’m here, hell doesn’t seem so bad.”

“The real thing, when done right , is always better than a daydream”

“Because terrible things happen to everyone, Brosey. We’re all just so caught up in our own crap that we don’t see the shit everyone else is wading through”

9.17727279“You don’t need to be perfect in your life, but always be present in it. The present is the most perfect gift you can have.”

“…perfection is an illusion nurtured by insecurities.”

“The only thing perfect is our present because we’re breathing, moving, loving, feeling. And we’re able to let the people in our lives know how much they mean to us.”

“Expand your mind. Read something every day whether it’s a book or an article.”

“Friends: It’s not the quantity, but the quality that matters. You will meet a lot of people throughout your life, not everyone will be your friend. That’s ok. You’ll know when you meet a true friend. True friends are trusting and loyal. They are there for you during good and bad times. They come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. It doesn’t matter what they look like on the outside. The inside is where you find their quality.”

“Travel to other towns, states, and countries. Realize that your way is not the only way. Different doesn’t equal bad or wrong. Be open minded and informed before making a decision.”

“Don’t let society’s labels hold you back. If you have a true passion for something whether its sports, art, science, etc…don’t believe anyone who says you can’t do it because you’re a girl. If you want to play baseball, hockey, or football, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t. If you want to play with Hot Wheel cars and Legos, then do it. Only you are the boss of you”

10.Untitled-1

 “Need covers itself with love, but need… need is never love. Always beware of the one who needs you. There is always a want behind a need, you see.”

“Do you know why a heart lays claim? Survival. That heart lays its claim to ensure survival of its kind.”

“Don’t look at me like I’ve kicked a baby pegasus into the street.”

“Gods, it was a messed up day when I was the voice of reason.”

“No matter how convoluted my life got, one thing remained consistent- my hair looked like a baby opossum had taken refuge in it, invited some friends over, and thrown a party.”

“Oh, that flipped my bitch switch from meh to pure ‘I’m going to cut a bitch’ rage.”

11.

h

“Nope, it wasn’t an oh shit moment. It was an oh fuck moment.”

“What has been has been but what will be is what we make of it.”

12. gf“Sarcasm is such an unattractive quality in anyone but me.”

“I feel like a crumpled up piece of paper that has something really important written on it. But no one will ever know what that is because all they see is something that’s been discarded.”

13.jj“I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.”

“My life is four walls of missed opportunities poured in concrete molds.”

“Every butterfly in the world has migrated to my stomach.”

“I’ve come to believe that the most dangerous man in the world is the one who feels no remorse. The one who never apologizes and therefore seeks no forgiveness. Because in the end it is our emotions that make us week, not our actions.”

“Books are easily destroyed. But words will live as long as people can remember them.”

14.ggg“Sometimes, I think I have made you up just to torture myself- and there are other times that I know you must be real because I couldn’t have dreamed such perfection.”

“Instead of asking youself how you can change that aspect of you, maybe you should be asking yourself why you were created that way. For what purpose do you exist the way that you are?”

“The evil you know is better than the evil you don’t.”

15.

13335037

“Becoming fearless isn’t the point. That’s impossible. It’s learning how to control your fear, and how to be free from it.”

“We believe in ordinary acts of bravery, in the courage that drives one person to stand up for another.”

“A brave man acknowledges the strength of others.”

“Fear doesn’t shut you down; it wakes you up”

“Who cares about pretty? I’m going for noticeable.”

Other books I read and loved in 2013:

  • The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare
  • A kingdom of dreams by Judith McNaught
  • The tale of Lunamorte by Samantha Young
  • The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
  • The edge of never by J.A. Redmerski
  • Thoughtless series by S.C. Stephens
  • Slammed series by Colleen Hoover
  • Beautiful disaster by Jamie McGuire
  • Fifty Shade trilogy by E.L. James
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Bully by Penelope Douglas
  • Tangled by Emma Chase
  • Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
  • Lick by  Kylie Scott
  • Rule by Jay Crownover
  • Annie’s Song by Catherine Anderson
  • Lux series by Jennifer L. Armentrout
  • Sweet Thing by Renée Carlino
  • Shine not Burn by Elle Casey
  • Beauty series by Georgia Cates
  • Breathing series by Rebecca Donovan
  • Willing Captiveby Belle Aurora
  • The coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen
  • Rock Chicks series by Kristen Ashley
  • Dream Man series by Kristen Ashley
  • Colorado mountain series by Kristen Ashley
  • Unfinished Hero series by Kristen Ashley
  • The ‘Burg series by Kristen Ashley
  • Ghosts and Reincarnation series by Kristen Ashley
  • The Three series by Kristen Ashley
  • Heaven and Hell by Kristen Ashley
  • Play it Safe by Kristen Ashley
  • Falling into you by Jasinda Wilder
  • Lost and found by Nicole Williams
  • Reaper’s property by Joanna Wylde
  • The tale of Lunamorte by Samantha Young
  • Wait for you by J. Lynn
  • Going under by S. Walden
  • Black dagger brotherhood by J.R. Ward
  • Find you in the dark by A. Meredith Walters
  • Neighbor from hell series by R.L. Mathewson
  • Crash series by Nicole Williams
  • Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker
  • Collide & Pulse by Gail McHugh
  • Surving Raine by Shay Savage
  • The Bride by Julie Garwood
  • The Secret by Julie Garwood
  • The Sweet Trilogy by Wendy Higgins
  • The Montgomerys and Armstrongs series by Maya Banks
  • McCabe Trilogy series by Maya Banks
  • Off series by Sawyer Bennett
  • Crossfire series by Sylvia Day
  • A song for Julia by Charles Sheehan-Miles
  • Leo by Mia Sheridan
  • Corp security series by Harper Sloan

January hike

IMG_3629

A collection of photos taken for no apparent reason. A quick way to clear my mind and make space for something better. January and I don’t get along, never have. Although I prefer to stay home where I can keep warm, I still venture out, now and then, in order to get my nature fix.

IMG_3656 IMG_3669 IMG_3689 IMG_3698 IMG_3841IMG_3699 IMG_3709 IMG_3772 IMG_3778 IMG_3848

*2014*

IMG_3527 Last post of the year and I find it hard to believe 2014 has come knocking so quickly. I’m not yet ready to let go of the old year, as I’m behind on a few blog posts and still have a couple of projects that need to be finished, but…such is life. For me 2013 was a year of significant changes, new discoveries and skills acquired. Although a bit reluctantly it’s now time to get myself a brand new white sheet and start coloring it in. My new year’s resolution would be to keep my focus on the things that truly matter and bring me joy, thus not sweat over the rest. Enjoy the last hours of the old year everyone and let the new year bring you everything you truly desire. Hurrah to new adventures! IMG_2452

Best way to learn and grow is through adventure…

IMG_0122 Whenever I visit my hometown to see family, I always make sure to set enough spare time aside for forest exploring and hiking. It’s a well-known fact that I love nature and I rarely miss an opportunity to go out and venture into the wild. And sometimes (like this week), if I am lucky, I get to be accompanied by cute and adorably hilarious little girls to make the experience more memorable and exciting.

Yani is my youngest cousin, she is only 3 1/2 and as logic would dictate very curious about the world. Which means I answered bazillion question regarding every little thing that caught her attention. Frankly, I enjoyed seeing the world through her eyes and being reminded what a wild and genuine imagination kids have. It’s quite awesome to witness excitement in its purest form again. I managed to take some photos of her in-between breaks from shooting her bigger sister and autumn landscapes…oh, and of course from answering questions.

IMG_0027 IMG_0077 IMG_0048 IMG_0189  IMG_0205 IMG_0214 IMG_0132 IMG_9966 IMG_9998IMG_9880Behind the scenes – my little assistant eager to help me with the equipment. She charges me in candy.ddd

Summer nostalgia

Summer is definitely over. What a difference a couple of weeks make. The season of semi-moody weather is confidently approaching, along with the gray blanket that will often cover the sky. Trees in fiery tones, warmer clothes and more time spend indoors. Cool misted mornings, rosy cheeks and vanilla scented tea. Soon autumn’s might will soak everything around. A time during which my bookworm self is able to overshadow my picture-taking one.

So long summer goodness, see you next year! x

asa

Thessaloniki (Greece pt 5)

IMG_7806

On a cloudy morning we thought it would do us good to leave our little holiday village and do some sightseeing in Thessaloniki. During our two hour drive there the sun made an appearance and decided to stick around for the day, which made for a hot time spent wandering about the historic sites of the second largest city in Greece.

IMG_7815 IMG_7844IMG_7882 IMG_7888 IMG_7915 IMG_7941 IMG_7952 IMG_7983 IMG_7991IMG_8044 IMG_8073 IMG_8098 IMG_8132

Quiet Wilderness

20080719-IMG_0093

I was looking through old photos recently and came upon some snaps from almost five years ago when I spent a couple of weeks high in the mountains relaxing and exploring beautiful wild places. All these photos were taken with my trusty old point-and-shoot camera (that I no longer have). This reminded me that photography is rarely about the pro qualities of the equipment you use, but rather about the essence of what’s captured and what the person behind the viewfinder is capable of seeing.

20050611-picture-2865 20090711-IMG_0530Untitled-120080720-IMG_0240 20080719-IMG_0167 Untitled-720090712-IMG_0008 Untitled-520090709-IMG_0284Untitled-6Untitled-78jpg

Olive trees and mosquito bites (Greece pt 4)

IMG_9293 Starting my second year of blogging, I thought a new look was due. So as you can see I changed the design of the blog. For some reason I decided on less color this time around and a more simplistic layout. I like it, hope you do too.

This is not yet my last post featuring photos from Greece, the final post is coming soon and in it I will be sharing my day spent in Thessaloniki. IMG_8213IMG_7701IMG_8211IMG_9218 IMG_9216IMG_9256IMG_7613 IMG_9167 IMG_9319 

Happy First Birthday to ‘Adventures in Wonderburg’ + Free PS Curves

When I was first contemplating the idea of starting my own blog, I envisioned it going in many different directions: a photography blog, a book reviewing blog, a culinary blog, a DIY blog, a digital and graphic design blog, political analyses blog … see, I am a person of many interests and I am usually fairly indecisive. Furthermore I wasn’t very sure if I was going to be able to post new and interesting content regularly. In addition to that I was also worried that maybe what I was planning to post wasn’t going to be good enough or blog-worthy material. But then a simple thought dawn on me, after all this is supposed to be MY blog and I should feel free and comfortable to share whatever I see fitting and whatever I fancy. Fast forward one year to now and here is my blog today, turning one. I’m somewhat proud that I haven’t yet given up on this little endeavor and have kept the content steadily growing for a whole calendar year.  It’s not blog number ONE in readership (thank God, cause that would be scary), but it’s my little corner on the internet where I can post photos, share the things I like and bore you with a thought or two. Thank you to everyone who has ever read, commented on, liked or shared any of my posts, you are all pretty awesome! :-) Now without further ado, below you can download three of my favorite PS curves, as my humble gesture of gratitude to you. xxx

P.S. Just click on the photos and they will lead you to the download links.

IMG_6217 IMG_2637IMG_6730

THANK YOU ALL!!!