Meet your heroes

jg215th of December 2016 was the day I met a person I look up to and whom I have mentioned before in one of my previous posts. Dr. Jane Goodall’s European tour included our country and when I found out she would give a speech in Athens, I could not believe it. Literally, I thought that her speech was going to be broadcast live and shown at a hall, at Megaron -Athens Concert Hall- so I remained calm and tried to decide whether I should go to watch it there or just watch it from the comfort of my couch. Τhe calmness lasted about three days, because that is how long it took me to realise that dr. Goodall would indeed visit Megaron. And that’s when I lost it.

I counted the days, planned my moves carefully and thought of every possible outcome of this dreamy encounter. The speech would start at 7 p.m. and the tickets would be dealt free of charge at 5.30 p.m. I left work early and headed home to grab a bite, pack my books in case there was even the slightest chance of her signing them, and with butterflies in my stomach, I headed to Megaron. I was there at 4 p.m. along with three other people who must have had the same excitement as me, and as we waited for one and a half hour for the tickets, the line got so long, people had to wait outside the building. When I got the precious piece of paper that would bring me one step closer to Jane, I found myself standing in a second line to enter the hall. Its entrance would open at 6.30 so I waited another hour and found a seat quite close to the stage. At last, at 7.30, dr. Goodall appeared on stage and for the next hour, I was hanging on her every word, even though I had already read and known everything she spoke about.

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After the speech was over, she announced that she would sign books, so there I was, at yet another line, holding my books in my arms, my heart racing, with every step I took towards her. “Will she sign both my books?”, “Should I talk to her?” “Can I shake her hand?” “What should I say to her?” And then, there was no more time to think about anything, cause there she was, sitting on a little table waiting for me to hand her my books. My face must have turned red, and my hands were shaking, and my voice could not leave my mouth but I managed to shake her hand, and give her my books and exchange a few words. I also gave her a letter I had written the night before, hoping see would someday read it. And then I left. With my heart still racing, with my hands still shaking and with my face still red, but with the content and fulfillment of a life dream.

15628888_10154432721661107_1674544313_oP.S. Visit http://www.janegoodall.org/ to find out how you can make a change

Harry Potter and the Deathly Review (no spoilers)

Lumos!

As every addicted muggle in the world, within the very first days of August, I held “Harry Potter and the Cursed Child” which I had preordered in May and was really, really, really looking forward to reading. And the day came that I finally did. And then I wished I hadn’t.

Ok, to be honest I liked it but not as much as I was hoping to. The book starts where the “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” leaves us, on platform 9 and 3/4, 19 years after the battle of Hogwarts. It’s Albus’s first year and he expresses his fear to Harry that he might be sorted into Slytherin and his father comforts him saying that Slytherin would be lucky to have him since he got his middle name -Severus- from one of the bravest men he ever knew, and he was a Slytherin. And that’s where the story starts, as we follow Albus on Hogwarts Express and through his school years.

The fact that it was the script of the play and not a novel did not bother me at all. On the contrary, it was quite easy to read. But there are so many things going on in this book that at some point I felt like it was fanfiction at its finest. The truth is that Rowling did not write it by herself but I assume she had the final saying in it, so it was a bit dissapointing that she would approve this result as a sequel to the series. I give it 2,5 stars out of 5 because I expected more.

And now let me rumble on about the one thing – or should I say things – I did not know was missing from my life but Netflix did. “Stranger Things” is the best series I have watched in a looooong time! It is set in the ’80s and it is about a boy’s disappearance which is followed by strange events. The first season consists of 8 episodes that one can’t help but watch in a day. It’s like the “Goonies”meets “E.T.” and “Elfen Lied” in a Clash concert and the result is divine!

The cast is perfect, with a “forgotten” Winona Ryder in a role no one will forget, and little Millie Bobby Brown stealing everyone’s thunder with her flawless appearance and impeccable acting skills! I give it 6 out of 5 stars and can’t wait for the second season!

In other news, I am currently reading the “Hunger Games” trilogy so I will be posting my review soon along with something bookish that I am trying for the first time, so stay tuned!

Till next time,

Nox!

A taste of my June

Lumos!

The past few months were not very book-related. Being at work most of the day and trying to cope with the heat the rest of it, I decided it was high time I watched something new. So after postponing it for 7 years, a hot day of June, I watched the first episode of “How I met you mother“. I have to say I was a big hater of the series, as I stood by the opinion that it was just an inferior, badly made copy of “Friends”. Although it is a bit similar to “Friends”, it is quite fun and pleasant to watch. My favourite character is Marshall and my least favourite is Robin.

June also brought some packages at my door. The first one, which I’m currently reading, is “Monkey Mind: A Memoir of Anxiety” by Daniel Smith. As its name states, it is a memoir of a person with anxiety disorder and it lets the reader take a peek inside his mind. It’s funny, tragic and most of all, very real. Daniel Smith is not afraid to stand “nude” in front of you and show you what living with a disorder is really like. You will think twice before you call your uneasiness a”panick attack”.
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The second package was a box set of an author I just discovered. It took me long enough and I am really ashamed of that, but a whole new world was revealed to me. I’m talking about William Joyce and “The Guardians” series. What do you get when you combine a pirate-like Santa Claus, a fierce Tooth Fairy and the easter bunny with a villain called Nightmare King? Pure magic! And let’s not forget about the illustration and general presentation of the books which is divine! I have a feeling that William Joyce just reserved a pretty big space on my bookcase!
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DSC_0878DSC_0879DSC_0880Two books that also keep me company these days are the BFG by my beloved Roald Dahl -which made its appearance to the big screen– and “Les vanaces de Rosalie” -Rosalie’s vacation- by Ginette Anfousse, a book that I own since I was seven and it is summer itself for me.
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So, what are YOU currently reading?

Till next time,

Nox!

P.S. While most people hit the beaches, I prefer to spend my time in more alternative ways. So how about a night game of chess at the garden?
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Welcome to the jungle

Lumos!

I assume you already know of my obession with animals and Africa, and in case you didn’t, now you do -or at least you will after today’s post-.

Ever since I discovered how beneficial -for both my wallet and my reading- ordering second hand books from Amazon is, packages keep showing up at my doorstep, filling me with a feeling of content and satisfaction everytime I tear the wrapping apart! So if you haven’t guessed already, I am about to show you my recent Amazon book haul, which I am very proud of.

Jane Goodall
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Jane Goodall is one of the few people I trully admire and look up to, as she is the first person to study the chimpanzees in their natural habitat. Having been passionate about animals all of her life, 23-year-old Jane, was recruited by the famous paleoanthropologist and archaelogist Louis Leaky to do extensive studies on chimpanzee behaviour. After having raised funds for the expedition, Leaky sent Jane to Gombe in Kigoma, Tanzania where she started her 55-year study of wild chimpanzees. In 1962, Goodall obtained a PhD degree in Ethology from the University Of Cambridge, being the eighth person to be allowed to study for a PhD without having a BA or a BSc. Nowadays she gives lectures to Universities across the world and she is mainly involved in activism and Wildlife Conservation.
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I am currently reading “In the shadow of man” which is about how it all began and I am so jealous but in the same time so blown away by the fact that a girl my age left all comforts of modern -or in that case, the fifties’ – civilization to live among  wild chimps in the Tanzanian forests. Her writing is lucid and I learn a ton of her experience with those previously unknown primates. Also I love the dedication on the first page.
Through a window” is to be read next as a sequel.
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Dian Fossey
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Dian Fossey was also a pioneer in primate behaviour studies. A few years after Goodall’s arrival in Gombe, Fossey took a trip in Africa where she met Louis Leaky, who was at that time searching for the perfect candidate to study the gorillas. His search ended as soon as he realised Fossey was the one who would live up to his expectations and in 1967 she was able to start her studies in the Congo. Due to political turbulences in Congo, she was relocated to Rwanda, where she remained for the rest of her studies. She was also known for her important anti-poacher activity and gorilla habitat conservation  efforts. On December 27, 1985 she was found murdered in her cabin. The last entry in her diary read:
“When you realize the value of all life, you dwell less on what is past and concentrate more on the preservation of the future”.
She was buried next to Digit, one of her favourite gorillas who was killed by poachers.
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Gorillas in the mist” is the book I carry in my bag nowadays and I can tell it overflows with Fossey’s love and passion for the gorillas. Her bravery while opposing to poachers was remarkable and her willing to preserve the natural habitat of her beloved gorillas seemed to defy everything. In case you haven’t watched “Gorillas in the mist” starring Sigourney Weaver, I strongly suggest that you do! I also got “No one loved gorillas more” which is a collection of Fossey’s letters combined with amazing photographs of her life in Rwanda.

Birute Galdikas
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Galdikas was the third of the Trimates –a name chosen from Leaky for Goodall, Fossey and Galdikas who where the first to study primate behaviour in the wild-. Having a BA in psychology and zoology, she contacted Leaky to express her interest in the study of urangutans and in 1971, at the age of 25, Galdikas arrived in Borneo, South-East Asia, where she began her 30-year study on those primates who scientist knew very little about. She is also a conservationist and she is focused on rehabilitation of many orphaned urangutans, many of them coming from illegal pet trade.

Primates” by Jim Ottaviani and Maris Wicks is a genuine treasure for anyone who wants to catch a glimpse of the Trimates! So simple, yet funny and  delightful, this graphic novel will give you a taste of what Goodall’s, Fossey’s and Galdikas’s routine while studying, was all about!
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Till next time,
Nox!

Something bookish

Lumos!
Lately I’ve been spending a little too much time on Amazon and consequently several packages arrive at my door step every now and then! I recently read an article about the 30 best fantasy series of all time -according to the author- and as I was scrolling down, I came across “The Chronicles of Prydain” by Lloyd Alexander. When I read the description and saw that it’s the series that Disney’s “The Black Cauldron” is based on -not one of my favorites but it’s Disney nevertheless-, I didn’t even think twice before ordering it. Actually the series consists of five books, so I got two volumes which include the first three and last two books.

The plot is about Hen Wen, a pig that can foresee things, in a land that evil kings and mischievous witches long for power. When Hen Wen vanishes, Taran, a pig-keeper assistant will embark on a dangerous journey to find her, as she is the only one who can keep the land safe. I have only read about fifty pages and I quite like it- I’m sure my 14-year-old self would have loved it!

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One thing you should know about me is that I have an obsession with Ancient Egypt -as a genuine cat that I am- and I am interested in learning as much as I can about that magical era in history! Thus I thought I should start from the beginning and get to really know  about people’s lives from a book that I can understand. I’m talking about “The Ancient Egyptians for Dummies”- I do not consider myself a dummy but I think it is best to perfect the basics and put all those things about Egypt that are scattered in my head, in an order-.

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What are you currently reading?
Till next time,
Nox!

P.S. Did you know that despite the belief that slaves built the pyramids, the truth is that  egyptian farmers did? For several months through the year, Nile overflowed and covered the land with water, so farmers were employed by the state to take part in the momuments’ building, as they had no land to work on for that time.

Little women

Lumos!
Today was a day dedicated to literature, or so we thought when we decided to have a meet-up with my fellow book-bloggers from Athens! Yes, I finally met the people with whom I share my reading passion and exchange thoughts through my computer screen- and they were even more wonderful than I thought!
So Eleni, Panagiota, Georgia, Sofia, Katerina and me got together and talked about anything and everything over coffee, tea and sweets in a petite, french cafe in the heart of the city. I won’t say more but I shall let you take a glimpse of our first ever gathering!

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From the top left it’s me, Eleni, Georgia and from the bottom left Katerina, Sofia and Panagiota!

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Till next time,
Nox!

There and back again

Lumos!
DSC_0622So February turned out to be quite fun because I had the chance to embark on an adventure to reach Mordor -or most likely- take a trip to Komotini, a city located in the region of East Macedonia, Greece. Although I spent only a few days there, I really enjoyed myself and had the chance to excercise my photography skills.
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DSC_0671DSC_0683Komotini is a city full of students and thus very much alive! Coffeshops and bars are always crowded, no matter what time you decide to head out for a coffee or a drink, the clubs are full even on weekdays, and if you feel hungry at 5 am -after having been hammered- most fast food restaurants make deliveries!
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DSC_0966Another great fact about the city is that it has a wide network of bike lanes, which people actually use, and there are also traffic lights for the bikers! The streets are filled with strays which saddened me, but the locals express a positive attitude towards them. One more thing that you can easily find while wandering in the city, is the street art which is abundant in the allies! DSC_0682
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image source: toratora.gr

In other news, I got my hands on Auguste Corteau’s book -which I talked about winning here– and I can say that it is the most genuine and funniest book that I’ve read in a long time! It consists of short chapters in which the author satirizes himself and some of his life incidents so sincerely and hilariously that I caught myself laughing through most of it! After having read it all, I went straight to the bookstore and purchased his most well-known book which I already started devouring.

image source: npr.org

“Deadpool” hit the theaters and it was time for me to see for myself what the fuzz was all about. And I saw. After a queue at the box office so long that when I arrived I had to stand outside the cinema -by the road-, an even longer queue at the lobby for popcorn and beverages which I never got because the movie was about to start and it was an eat-popcorn-or-watch-the-movie situation and after some strangers took my seat -because although the seats were numbered, it was an unspoken rule that anyone could sit anywhere if they got there first- I FINALLY saw it! And thank God it was funny, otherwise I would have gone Deadpool on everyone at the cinema that night! You should definitely watch it, especially if you are into splatter/sexual references/impossible things happening/antihero comedies (if there’s in fact such thing).

Till next time,
Nox!