…to do some book shopping tonight, or tomorrow. I buy books all the time but this time, for a change, they’re not going to be for me, and they’re going to be actual, physical books rather than ebooks or audiobooks. Christmas is slowly approaching, and my family have a problem with presents every year. I mean, we never know what to give each other, because we’re very self-sufficient folks, maybe except for Sofi who LOVES getting presents, and if someone needs or wants something, they simply buy it for themselves rather than wait for the next Christmas or birthday or what not when someone else will be able to buy it for them as a present. After all, it is yourself who knows best what sort of things you like, and for me personally the whole present business feels a little awkward. So we never know what to get for each other, and we never know what we could want from each other. 😀 And Christmas shopping is stressful. I guess it’s my Mum who finds it especially stressful because she’s a bit of a perfectionist where family is concerned, but I think it’s stressful for everyone else too, again except for Sofi who absolutely loves shopping for presents just as much as receiving them herself, both because of all the joy of giving and because she loves visiting huge shopping centres which she isn’t allowed to do often. If it wasn’t for Sofi, we could do totally without presents, but Sofi would be disconsolate. So when we were talking with each other recently, Mum and me decided that this year, everyone will be getting each other books. I’m particularly happy about that because for a long time I’ve been wanting my Mum to read the Kristin Lavransdatter trilogy by Sigrid Undset, and generally make friends with Sigrid Undset’s books, because I think my Mum and Sigrid Undset’s books are a really, really, really good match for each other. I first heard of Kristin Lavransdatter in the Jeżycjada series by my favourite Polish author Małgorzata Musierowicz, whose character Mila Borejko really loves Kristin and reads it numerous times in the series, and I think I read it there, or perhaps it was Musierowicz herself who said it, that every woman should read Kristin. I have read Kristin Lavransdatter twice, and then also The Master of Hestviken once and I loved them both for so many different reasons, though if I had to say what specifically, I’d have a hard time naming all those reasons because while I enjoyed the plot and all the Nordic vibes, it was something else that I can’t quite put my finger on that made me love these books so much. Sadly I have not been able to read more Undset’s books so far but I really hope I still will, maybe even will be able in the original at some point, who knows, although right now I feel like this is a super bold dream. Anyways, I’ve been drilling it into my Mum’s brain for years that she should read Kristin Lavransdatter, that she would LOVE it, probably even more than I do, but she still hasn’t so far. My Mum loves to read and always says how she would like to read more, she values literature very much and always encouraged Olek and me to read a lot when we were children, but she has not very much time for it, and when she does read, she has a real problem that she starts feeling sleepy real soon. Also she usually does it so that she is reading multiple books at once, which in the end means that she reads each book for a really long time. And these days she has a strong preference for non-fiction as it seems, she mostly reads biographies/autobiographies, books in the form of an interview, or some Christian books or from fiction she mostly reads old, Polish classics at the moment, most of which I had to read not so long ago as school compulsory reads so they haven’t gained much appeal for me yet. 😀 So maybe Norwegian fiction is a little bit outside of her comfort zone. Still, I know that if she makes this step out, she WILL love it. My Mum loves Scandinavian movies, used to read more Scandinavian literature too, like Mika Valtari whom we both love, loves Scandinavian landscapes and there are plenty of nature descriptions in these books by Sigrid Undset, basically she likes quite a lot of things Scandinavian. Besides, Undset was Catholic and her books are very Catholic. And they just have this kind of quality that makes me think it’s something for my Mum. So I’m going to buy her both Kristin Lavransdatter and Master of Hestviken.
And then there’s Sofi, who, as I wrote a while ago, has started to properly develop her passion for horses. Sofi isn’t the most passionate reader and is easily bored by books, but she already has a few books about horses from Mum and likes to read a bit from them once in a while and seems to be very fond of them even though I’m not sure if she has read any of them in its entirety. So I thought I could buy her at least a few books from the Heartland series for starters. Heartland is a series by Lauren Brooke about a girl called Amy Flemming who lives on a ranch called Heartland with her family where they take in all kinds of traumatised horses that they work with in a rather unconventional way. I was introduced to Heartland at school, where one of our boarding school staff read it to us in the evenings, there was one girl who was madly into horses and I guess the idea came from her. From what I remember we haven’t read much of that or not very regularly, but then some years later when I was already out of there, a Polish website which is kind of like an equivalent of GoodReads recommended Heartland to me and I was able to get all the 26 books that are in this series and read them. They are short and not very demanding really. Actually when I read them I was like 16-17 so to me they seemed rather infantile in some aspects and the characters were not the most multi-dimensional I’ve ever seen and either black or white and very wishy-washy, I remember that generally something about the writing style was a little grating to me or maybe it was due to the Polish translation, but all the stuff that concerned horses rather than people was very interesting, especially that I myself have gone to a stud where there are only horses who have been through a lot of yucky stuff before they ended up where they are now. I thought it could be a really good and not too challenging read for Sofi and Mum agrees with me so that’s what I’m gonna get her.
I have still no idea what I could get my Dad and Olek, my Dad likes historical books, especially things like albums, like books with photos of what some places used to look like, or other historical non-fiction, especially regarding WWII. I like historical books too, but they’re vastly different from what my Dad likes and our tastes are 100% incompatible so I just have no idea, maybe Mum will give me some suggestions. Olek also likes similar historical books to Dad plus a lot of adventure/mystery, crime novels etc. so mostly also not my thing and here I’m not even sure if Mum will be able to help. So I’m going to order the books for them later on when I have some ideas.
How about you? What is it that you want at the moment? 🙂