Back to the Classics Challenge 2019

I don’t like to stress myself too much when it comes to reading but I enjoyed catching up and discovering new classics throughout 2018; therefore, I’ve decided to sign up for another round.  So, I’m joining the ‘Back to the Classics Challenge 2019’ organized by

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My year in books: 2018

Well, 2018 has been safely over for two days and it’s about time I summed up my reading successes and failures of the last year. Again, I missed only one book club meeting (I went on a sailing trip… once in a lifetime thing, you know), I expanded my reading horizons genre-wise, I finished my Goodreads challenge and I participated in the ‘Back to the Classics Challenge 2018‘. I also tried to do the reading Bingo with my book club buddies, but I failed miserably so I won’t say no more. In total, I read 30 books or 8622 pages (it’s about 800 pages less than in 2017 but still fairly good). 9 of the books I read in 2018 were in Latvian (my mother tongue), mostly translations (only one by a Latvian author… a bit disappointing).


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Back to the Classics Challenge 2018: Final Wrap-Up

Well, let’s face it! I really thought I’m not gonna make it. I already knew that I won’t manage to read something in all 12 categories (please see the first post for more details), but as long as I can squeeze in 6 classic reads, I should be happy. As always, deadlines are the best motivators (or the end of the year holidays give you that little bit of extra time to catch up with unfinished reading). So I finished six books in ‘Back to the Classics Challenge 2018’ organized by Karen K. on her Books and Chocolate blog; therefore, I’m eligible for one entry in the drawing of the winner. I have posted my full reviews on Goodreads that I have linked to each title below.

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My Sailing Adventure: Gothenburg (SE) – Sunderland (UK)

There are those opportunities in life that just drop on your head out of nowhere and you know that you have to take them. So in summer 2018, I got the chance to go on a sailing trip on board of a tall ship, a brig called Fryderyk Chopin. The whole adventure lasted seven days – from 4 July until 11 July 2018. It started in a Swedish city of Gothenburg that we left on 5th July 2018. We took a straight course to Aberdeen in Scotland and reached the shore on 8 July 2018. After staying in Aberdeen for 24 h, we sailed forward to our final destination – Sunderland in England and finished right on time on 11 July 2018. It might seem like a short trip, but time passes differently when you are at sea. For me, it was probably the most challenging and enjoyable adventure of this summer. I cannot put everything in words, but I will try my best to paint a picture of what it means to be a novice sailor on a sailing ship crossing the North Sea.


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My Berlinale 2018 experience: part II

I’m the kind of person who likes to be prepared and who likes to know how things are going to happen (as far as that is reasonably possible). So going to Berlinale was a bit of a challenge for me because I had no way of knowing how everything is going to work out, what am I supposed to do (besides trying to watch as many movies as possible), and whether I will manage to spend 8 days in Berlin and still enjoy it. Prior my departure I did my homework and hoped for the best. Looking back now, I have to admit that the whole trip came together as a surprisingly good adventure. And it wasn’t just that I got to watch a lot of good movies (check out part I), but it was the festival atmosphere throughout the city that made the experience pretty special.


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My Berlinale 2018 experience: part I

Some people may know, but most people don’t know that I got the unique opportunity to attend Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival this year. I’m not from the film industry, I’m just a normal person who won the European Film Challenge and ended up in Berlin with a festival accreditation and all the advantages and challenges that come with it. It was an experience that I never knew I would get, and it was completely different from what I had imagined. So, I have decided to write not one, but two blog post about my highlights – the first one about the movies and the second one about how it is to experience such a festival for the first time. Let’s start with the movies!


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My European Film Challenge: Winter 2017/2018

Another season, another 10 great European movies – that’s all it took for me to win a chance to go to Berlinale – Berlin International Film Festival. I know that the festival will be amazing (and I promise to write a short overview of my highlights afterward), but winner or not – the best thing about this challenge is the additional motivation to watch good movies from different European countries. I think everyone should do it, and I hope the challenge will include new participating countries with each season! In this post, I just want to briefly reflect on my 10 winning movies, so read on if you’re interested.


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