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See. Think. Write.

Moving mountains

Words of the Day

misconstrue (verb) – interpret (a person’s words or actions) wrongly; misunderstand

Example: Many readers misconstrued the advertisement to mean that they would get something for nothing, but they were disappointed when the salesman pointed out the fine print.

dither (verb) – be indecisive; hesitant

Example: Terry tends to dither when someone asks him where to have lunch, as he is never able to decide on a restaurant.

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Blog Collaboration With Taleoftwobloggers – Part 2

And here, ladies and gents, is the second part of my blog-interview collaboration with the talented pair at Taleoftwobloggers!

 

1. What would be your pro-travel tip?

My pro travel trip is to plan ahead, it’s better to spend a bit more money on
central accommodation rather than having a cheaper stay and you’d have lots
of travel, especially if time is of the essence. Whilst an itinerary is good, don’t
restrict yourself. (S)

Always try to pack light; I know that I am no one to judge, but this one is very true. I
like to have everything organized before I travel abroad because I find myself getting
slightly flustered when it comes to the unknown. Although, with that being
said, I do like having a spontaneous adventure every once in a while. I also prefer to
find an accommodation which is central so that I wouldn’t have to waste too much
time and money to get to the attractions. (A)

2. Where’s your favourite place in Malta?

My favourite place is Top of the World in Gharghur! It’s got the most beautiful
views, it’s quiet, and there’s quite a nice walk to do. (S)

Even though I haven’t really explored most of Malta (since I don’t drive), I’d have to
admit that my favourite place is in fact Marsascala because of the number of
restaurants, and of course, the relaxing breeze. I remember my mother used to take
me to playground quite often back when I was about six years old, and I grew up
loving the place too much. (A)

3. Favourite country?

I’ve been to quite a number of countries, my favourite country is England
specifically the city of London. Any other favourite city/country will have to
come second place to London. So as not to cheat I would say either Holland
(Amsterdam), Poland (Krakow), Czech Republic (Prague), Norway (Oslo) or
Germany (Berlin). (S)

To be honest with you, I have only travelled to a handful of countries so far, so I can’t
really say that I have experienced a lot. However, London has a very special place in
my heart; no thanks to Sarah for getting me addicted! It is honestly one of those
places that I never really get bored of visiting – like it’s the first time I’m travelling there
every time I visit. (A)

4. Favourite YouTube Channel?

Sophdoesnails definitely! (S)

I enjoy watching Sophdoesnails, Glam&Gore, and Katrin Berndt. The first one is a
beauty channel, second one is an SFX makeup channel (mostly), and the last one is
about life and beauty. (A)

5. What’s the biggest societal pressure you find yourself facing?

That just because I’m a certain age I should be doing certain things. (S)

Well, to be quite honest with you, the thing that’s pressuring me the most at the
moment is the fact that I’m soon going to reach the end of my course and so the
pressure to find a full-time job is super high at the moment. I have said to myself that
since I finish in May, that I would first take a break and actually allow myself to enjoy
summer (because I deserve it), then look for a full-time job, but I guess that without
knowing, I’m already panicking about the fact that most of my course mates would
already probably be working by then. Again, such irrational worries. (A)

6. What’s your ideal type of date?

Food. Any food. Followed by some chill time, maybe a walk, or a bottle of wine
and some gossip. Depends really if it’s a “first date” type of date, or if you’re in
a relationship. (S)

If there is food involved, then I am definitely going to like the idea. I don’t go on too
many dates but if there’s anything that really wins me over, it is simplicity. It’s the
thought that counts, I think. Of course, if you feel like taking me out to a fancy sushi
restaurant, then I’m surely not complaining! (A)

7. What are your plans this Valentine’s Day?

I had plans but University of Malta thought otherwise, so back to the drawing
bench! (S)

I’m single, so umm… no plans, obviously, right? (A)

 

A big thank you goes to Abigail and Sarah, once again, for taking a keen interest and agreeing to do this collaboration with me!

I found this to be a very interesting exercise, and it was a pleasure to get to know the two of you more! I certainly look forward to the possibility of having further blog collaborations in the future. Write on, ladies!

Dear readers and fellow followers, be sure to check out my answers to their first set of questions by clicking on this link. Part two will be uploaded soon.

– Preston

Blog Collaboration With Taleoftwobloggers – Part 1

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve been in touch with Abigail, one of the minds behind Taleoftwobloggers.

Abigail and her best friend Sarah first started blogging about beauty products, but, over the months, have expanded to write about more than just make-up. They write about anything, from well-being topics, mental health, to humorous posts such as “Things Single People Hate Hearing on Valentine’s Day”.

So, being a fan of their writing style, I wanted to do a blog-interview collaboration with them, to which they both kindly agreed.

Here are the first set of questions, and their individual replies for each one.

Note: (S) – Sarah , (A) – Abigail

1. What made you want to start your blog?

Sarah originally came up with the idea of starting a beauty blog, and asked me if I would like to be her partner in crime, so of course, I said YES! We’re very big makeup lovers so it only made sense to actually start posting impressions and reviews of the products we came across. (A)

After falling in love with the beauty community on YouTube, I wanted to become part of it. Knowing that I would never have the balls to actually post videos of myself on the internet, and being quite a keen writer I thought that a blog would be a good place to start. Since Abigail had introduced me to the wonders of makeup (I thank her, my bank balance does not), and way back I knew she had a mini blog herself, I thought she would be the perfect person to do this with. Also, her being my best friend helped! (S)

2. How long have you known Sarah?

We had been in the same school in both primary and secondary however, we became close back in Form 5 (so about 7 years ago), then were separated when I chose Higher and she went off to Junior College, but our friendship did not stop there. We’ve been best friends ever since and it’s safe to say that she has had my back in many things and has looked out for me whenever I least expected it. This blog is something that we decided to share to represent our love for makeup. (A)

I’ve known of Abigail since I was about 4/5 since we both attended the same school. However, whilst we both knew each other, and acknowledged each other, I wouldn’t have necessarily called her my friend. However, near the end of Form 5 we became very close. So close in fact that even though we went to different Sixth forms we still saw each other often. We’re best friends, and we find comfort and solace in each other, and we also know each other’s deepest, darkest secrets. We’re bonded for life. (S)

3. What makes it different from others that are out there?

It started off as just a simple beauty blog where we would hold makeup hauls, and write reviews about new products, however, we have very recently added an ‘SFX makeup’ which is perfect for any of you looking for sfx makeup inspiration, ‘Wellbeing’ currently exploring the topic of mental health and direction in life, and ‘Aliexpress/Ebay buys’ for some affordable finds, sections. (A)

We’re a beauty blog, but we don’t limit ourselves. We connect with our followers by posting personal posts, be it about how we’re feeling about the blog itself, and mental health. Since both of us are studying about mental health, and the effects of it, we’re both very passionate about that subject. (S)

4. You’ve recently also taken to YouTube and started creating videos. How come?

I already had a YouTube channel up; one that was not beauty related so of course I wanted to launch one that was specifically dedicated to our blog since that, a lot of what I have learned in makeup was learned through watching beauty bloggers’ tutorials on YouTube. Plus, it’s much easier to follow a video than it is to follow a post about a makeup look. (A)

I’m just a loyal subscriber in this venture! And I wish Abbey all the luck in the world! (S)

5. What is your opinion on social media? Is it a luxury, a waste of time, a need/important part of our lives?

With regards to keeping contact with people and accessing tutorials about makeup and beauty, social media has been a complete blessing, however I would be lying if I said that I have never wasted countless hours watching videos when I had other responsibilities. You just need to learn how to maintain a balance. Apart from that, we need to keep in mind that when we post things, we are in the public eye, so I like to double check stuff before actually posting to make sure that it’s appropriate, helpful and respectful. (A)

It’s an important luxurious waste of time we need. We know that in the good old days of my nanna it was so much more difficult to communicate with each other, to know about current events, however they still managed not only to communicate, and communicate about current events, they also managed to gossip just as good as we can! However, for me, social media is very important. It keeps me close to my friends, and my dad who works abroad, and of course, to our followers! Had it not been for social media, we wouldn’t be here right now. But, we also have to take into consideration that a big percentage of us waste so much time on social media that it takes over our life. We can’t go out without posting a status, we can’t go out to eat without instagramming our food, and whilst I’m guilty (especially of the second part) and I’m not in any way, shape, or form, judging anyone, I do sometimes think we should get off our phones, smell the pizza, and just enjoy the company of the people who are sitting next to us, not in front of another screen. (S)

6. Where do you see your blog in a couple of years’ time?

To be completely honest, I’m a bit worried that as soon as I start my placement in February, the blog will die down a bit since I would be too busy to continue, however, I would love to keep this blog alive until I actually become a licensed makeup artist. That’s my dream, I guess.  (A)

I hope that by that time, we will have more followers who engage with us, so that we can provide the content that our followers want. (S)

7. What don’t you like about your blog?

That sometimes it feels like I have to spend money on adverts to get a significant number of engagements on some posts, and I can’t afford to do that frequently. Getting a bigger audience for the blog isn’t easy. (A)

I wrote a post about this a few months ago, and whilst it’s gotten better I do think that it’s still there. The lack of response, and engagement on our posts demotivate me so much. It’s not because I’m a like-whore or anything, however, the whole premise of starting this blog was to start a conversation about makeup with others, and most of the time I feel that the conversation is a monologue. I do admit, there’s a vicious cycle, however, I find it very hard to write when no one is reading. (S)

8. When did you first try on makeup?

I believe I was about 15 years old at the time, when I tried my first ever eye pencil (it was horrendous) but I loved to convince myself that it made my eyes pop. I remember putting so much on my waterline that I would look like an emo however, nowadays I prefer marker and gel eye liners and avoid putting it on my waterline. (A)

I remember when I was about 11, I dabbled a bit with eyeshadow. But that didn’t last long. Between the ages of about 14/15 to 18 my full face of makeup consisted of: Mascara and lip gloss and if it was a special event I’d put on some eye pencil in my waterline. I didn’t even have foundation! However, at around 18/19 I started getting more into makeup. I bought my first foundation, concealer, and contour palette, and then I went to London with Abigail and our friend Francesca, and Abigail got me into pretty much everything else, and the rest is history! (S)

9. What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Hah, when I was 5 years old, I would just put on my favourite movie of that time (the princess and the pauper) and sing along so many times. I really wanted to become a famous singer and actress at that time. Now that I have ‘grown up’, I still haven’t lost the passion for singing, however I have too many hobbies to even know what I want to be just yet. I’m at the end of my Social Work course and I honestly cannot wait to start working full-time but I won’t let the makeup dream go, ever. (A)

Growing up I wanted to be a pilot. However, when career’s day came at school and realised that you needed €50k to get your license, my dreams were dashed. Then I wanted to become a nurse, however, my mum discouraged me from following biology at an A-Level. Then I started and for 3 years was following a speech therapy course, but I never felt happy there. So last year I dropped out, with one year away from graduation, and I am very happily following a psychology course. (S)

10. What do you plan to do after you graduate?

Start working full-time and get my warrant, as well as save up for my dream makeup artistry course that’s offered full time. After that’s done, I’d love to start freelancing in makeup as part-time thing. Somehow in all of that, I also would like to do my masters in Counselling later on so that I can expand more in my future profession. A PhD is also a possibility- someday! A bit ambitious I admit. (A)

I plan to start working and earning some money for myself! And hopefully have the courage and the strength to put myself through 2 years of masters to get warranted as a psychologist. I don’t yet know what I’ll specialise in, but that’s the plan (S)

11. What are your fears?

Mine are quite irrational…. I fear rejection and embarrassment the most. I also fear that I won’t have enough free time left to dedicate to my hobbies once I start working full time. (A)

On an existential level I fear that when I die I’ll still be conscious and therefore I would know that I’m dead, and I know I’d be away from the people I love the most, and I fear disappointing people. On an earthly level I’m TERRIFIED of grasshoppers (to the point I ran out of a lecture hall in front of about 150 students because a grasshopper got in), and I’m also very scared of big things. This last one is very specific. I’m not scared of tall people. I’m scared of giant things, like statues (The Sette Gunio memorial was made by Satan himself for sure), or a giant vessel. When I was watching the Titanic, and they showed the iceberg, I wanted to jump overboard! (S)

12. What are your hobbies?

I enjoy anything related to the performing arts; singing, acting, dancing, and anything related to the arts in general; drawing, painting, makeup artistry, special effects makeup, and so on. I also love gaming! (A)

I like sleeping, travelling, eating pizza and then lamenting about my weight, taking an hour to get my face done, eating, sleeping, and doing things with my boyfriend. (S)

13. What’s your preferred style of clothing?

I tend to go for preppy, elegant, 60s, artsy, and girly clothing, however, with that being said, I still have days where I’m happy enough to just go with whatever looks flattering on me. I tend to ditch revealing clothes because they make me feel self-conscious. (A)

Give me my PJs, and I’m a happy bunny! But joking aside, I prefer relaxed clothes. Some jeggings, a hoodie, and my Adidas Superstars are my go to outfit. If I have to make an effort, I prefer understated. My most daring dress colour is a dark red! You won’t ever catch me wearing bright clothes! (S)

14. What clothes do you like on people of the opposite sex?

Doesn’t really matter, as long as it flatters them and doesn’t make them look cheap or just plain trash. (A)

I absolutely LOVE it when my boyfriend wears suits! He also goes for the bonus of properly tying his tie, and not a clip on! Just hand me the popcorn! (S)

15. Favourite book and book genres?

I am very much into fantasy, horror, science fiction, supernatural, gothic, post-apocalyptic fiction, crime, and thrillers. Of course, my favourite book of all time is ‘Carrie’ (a horror fiction) by Stephen King. A close second and third would be the Harry Potter series and the Lord of the Rings series! (A)

I love biographies! My favourite book (obviously after the Harry Potter series, that’s taken for granted) is called Dear Fatty by the comedian Dawn French. It’s a unique autobiography in the sense that instead of writing about her life, she writes about her life through a series of letters to her loved ones. Unfortunately it’s been a while since I found the time to read properly, but, I will make it my mission to make room for reading. (S)

16. Favourite movie?

This a tough one because there are many movies that I like however my top favourites have to be Schindler’s List, Harry Potter movies, Lord of the Rings movies, The Grey Zone, Gladiator, Jaws, The Devil’s Double, Thor, Pirates of the Caribbean movies, X-MEN movies (I LIVE FOR THEM), Sherlock Holmes. (A)

Again after the Harry Potter movies my all time favourite movie (and guilty pleasure is Mamma Mia! and I can’t wait for the sequel to come out in July!) (S)

 17. What are some of your pet peeves?

I think the only ‘annoying’ thing about me is that I look into every mirror in the house to make sure that I look ‘decent’ before heading out. (A)

My pet peeve is when someone makes me repeat myself. I make others repeat themselves constantly, but if I have to do it, it’s murder! (S)

18. What’s one of your best childhood memories?

Singing all day at home, playing with my toy cars with dad, and not worrying about anything, and being an only child- those were the days!  (A)

All my visits to London with my family. It’s where my lifelong passion for London started. (S)

19. What’s your motto/quote in life?

Do things with the biggest amount of love. (A)

Never let the bastards grind you down (S)

20. Which country (that you haven’t been to yet) would you like to visit, next?

I would definitely love to visit Scotland and Wales, as well as Poland, Austria, Germany and China. (A)

I’m going to visit Spain next which I’ve been wanting to do for ages but never have (well before I’m going to Liverpool which I’ve also never been to, but I’ve been to England plenty of times!).  (S)

21. Last but not least: where can users follow you?

You can follow our blog’s Facebook page by following this link; https://www.facebook.com/TaleofTwoBloggers/

Follow our blog website by clicking here; https://taleoftwobloggers.weebly.com/

Follow my personal Facebook account (Please don’t send a friend request- it’s personal for a reason) by clicking here; https://www.facebook.com/abigail.mifsud

Follow our blog’s Instagram by clicking here; https://www.instagram.com/taleoftwobloggers/?hl=en

You can follow my instagram: @5arahxo https://www.instagram.com/5arahxo/

Or you can also follow me on snapchat: @sarkeisha

 

Be sure to check out my answers to their questions on the Taleoftwobloggers website, in the coming days!

And stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon!

– Preston

Hitting Birds With Stones

It’s been just over 24 hours since my return to Malta, and I’ve already begun “playing policeman” (and I haven’t even started refereeing again, yet!).

I can’t believe that I just had to give two selfless bastards a good talking to, after I spotted them firing stones at birds with their slingshots!

As if hunting itself isn’t bad enough, these two guys – a teenage boy and an older man – had been doing this on the jogging track just opposite where I live; sneaking up to the trees in the area, picking up pebbles and stones, and then firing them at the trees in the hopes of hitting a poor bird. An innocent, living creature, which has done absolutely no harm to them.

I was greeted with dirty looks and angry frowns as soon as I approached the pair. They probably knew what was coming.

The so-called conversation went something like this:

“Excuse me sir, do you know that you guys are not supposed to be doing this? And what have the birds done in order to receive such heartless treatment from you? Does what you’re doing sound fair to you?”, I asked.

The older man said, “And shooting a person in the head is fair? Believe me, if we were to do things which we “aren’t supposed to”, then you can’t do anything in this country.”

I replied, “What a ridiculous and irrelevant argument that is. Besides, don’t you know how dangerous that is?! You could easily hit and seriously injure a person, or damage a car, with one of those stones! Who do you think you are?!”

“You don’t need to worry, we’re not shooting at people or cars”, the older man said.

“After all, if you’re against us doing these things, then you might as well stop hunting in general, because that’s killing birds, too”, the cocky, self-righteous teenager retorted.

“Yeah, exactly. So let us be, and mind your own business. We’ll be off now”, said the pathetic excuse of a man.

And with one of those annoying, sarcastic, arrogant waves…

Kristen-Dunst-Buh-Bye-Wave-By-The-Door

 

… they turned their backs and walked off, chuckling and passing comments.

What I felt like doing:

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What I actually did:

For a few seconds, I stood rooted to the spot in utter disbelief (although I wasn’t very surprised) at the state and sheer stupid mentality of some people on this island. It’s not even funny. The lack of respect towards humans, animals, and nature in general. The feeling that nowadays, anything goes. The shoulder-shrugging. The air of nonchalance and hostility. That look in people’s eyes of: “How dare you tell me what to do! Even if what we’re dong is wrong. Screw you, buddy!”

Now, by all means, I did not write this post to sound like I’m some kind of “hero”, or to boast about what I did. I mean, for all I know, these two idiots could’ve carried on doing the same thing after I started walking back home. But, the fact that I actually stood up and confronted these guys gave me a feeling of personal satisfaction. That I at least tried my best; preaching what is right, in a calm, polite, but assertive manner.

And I aim to do this more often. Again, in the hopes of maybe putting some sense into some people’s minds out there.

– Preston Carbonaro

 

 

Breaking Bread

My last weekend here in Canada couldn’t have been any better. They were two days filled with fun, joy, and laughter, spent with some of the best people in my life.

Here’s a look at what happened over the weekend…

 

Attention! Foodie talk ahead (including some pictures), so please make sure that you’re not famished before you continue reading!

 

On Saturday afternoon, my dad’s partner prepared some salad and rice for lunch, and I also got to try out a north Indian dish called dal. It is a healthy, high-protein, slightly spicy soup consisting mainly of various different lentils, ginger, garlic, and a mix of ground spices. Coriander leaves, which can be used as garnish, also give it that extra flavour.

Foodie fun fact: The word dal derives from the Sanskrit verbal root dal- “to split”.

 

Whilst relaxing and waiting for the meal to digest, we sat on the couch and watched Mamma Mia together, sipping on some chai green tea. I also had the opportunity to sample a traditional Indian dessert called barfi (pronounced as bar-fee). Although the name doesn’t sound appetising, believe me they taste great. These are a dense milk-based sweet, mainly made from condensed milk and sugar. The flavour of barfi is often enhanced with fruits (such as mango or coconut) or nuts (such as cashew, peanut, or pistachio).

Foodie fun fact: Originally from India, the name is a derivative of the word barf, which means snow. The sweets were probably given this name due to their crumbly texture, which is similar to that of snow.

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Barfi (image taken from Google)

 

In the evening we took to an authentic Italian cuisine restaurant named Grano Ristorante, in downtown Mississauga, to celebrate my dad’s cousin’s birthday. Albeit a rather small place, the slightly dimmed lighting and classic ambience certainly gives it that cosy and intimate feel. For starters we ordered bruschetta to share, and some also had a bowl of minestrone. Then, I had spaghettini alle vongole for my main course, and other members of the family had lasagne, spaghettini carbonara, pasta al forno, penne alla vodka, and cozze alle marinara. For dessert we ordered slices of Kahlua cheesecake and tiramisu.

 

 

It was a snowy Sunday morning. An endless shower of white fluff, blanketing the surroundings, as if some divine pillow fight was underway in the skies above.

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After a simple yet healthy breakfast, my dad, his partner, and myself helped out with preparing for lunch as we had some guests coming over later on. We made a whole variety of stuff; from your standard appetisers like a cheese platter with crackers and stuffed olives, to horse radish-sour cream dip and guacamole dips.

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We also made “Mexican pies”, and a hearty Indian chili as the two main courses.

 

I may not be a big eater, but I love food, and I’ve always found cooking with other people to be very interesting. You get to learn how others cook, what their recipes are, and the types of ingredients they use (maybe they’ll even let you in on a few secrets, too!). Preparing meals together is a very special bonding exercise. It is a great conversation prompter, and it gives each person their time to shine – whether it’s chopping the ingredients, stirring the pot, or preparing the table.

For dessert, we all had a slice of scrumptious apple pie à la mode, made by Ryan, one of the family members who was with us that afternoon.

All this in the company of a bunch of wonderful people!

Thank you for making this such a memorable end to the week!

– Preston Carbonaro

Words of the Day

It’s been a while since my last Words of the Day post.

So, I thought I’d make this a special comeback.

Today’s words are actually new additions to the Oxford English Dictionary following their latest update, last month.

Here are the ones I’ve chosen to share:

hangry (adjective) – Bad-tempered or irritable as a result of hunger

ransomware (noun) – A type of malware designed to block access to applications or files on a computer system until a sum of money is paid.

mansplain (verb) – Of a man: to explain (something) needlessly, overbearingly, or condescendingly, especially (typically when addressing a woman) in a manner thought to reveal a patronizing or chauvinistic attitude.

frugivore (noun) – An animal that feeds on fruit

 

For those interested, click here to view the full list of newly-added words to the OED.

Chasing Waterfalls

As my last weekend in Canada approaches, my aunt and uncle decided to take me to visit one of the country’s most iconic natural landmarks.

Niagara Falls.

Whichever season, whatever the weather, this will always be a gem of a place. The breathtaking view of the Falls, the refreshing misty air. And whenever you stop and just take in the spectacular scenery, only then will you realise the true beauty and sheer power of one of nature’s elements – water. A monstrous, never-ending cascade of H2O, roaring over the edges and hitting the rocks below.

 

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One of the bridges connecting Canada to the United States. Yes, they’re that close to each other!
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A close-up of the American side of Niagara Falls, a.k.a. Bridal Veil Falls, featuring a beautiful rainbow!
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Now we’re in home territory! The Canadian part of Niagara Falls. Quite the view, isn’t it?
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A close-up of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls, in all its aquatic majesty!

 

Before going out to see the mighty Falls, however, I should mention that we had a delicious lunch at Canyon Creek. It is a restaurant located within the Fallsview Casino Resort, the largest and most elegant gaming resort facility in Canada.

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The view from our window seat in Canyon Creek

 

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The Skylon Tower

 

And after the scenic walk, and following our calorie-burning ascent up the steep road back to Fallsview, we stopped for coffee and tea at another one of the place’s dining spots, The Famous, a 24-hour, Art-Deco-themed upscale diner.

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Fun fact: I drew inspiration from the song lyrics of Waterfalls, by American girl group TLC, for my blog post title. Rather befitting, I thought.

– Preston Carbonaro

Book Review – “Midnight Sun” by Jo Nesbø

Jon is on the run. He has betrayed Oslo’s biggest crime lord: The Fisherman.

Fleeing to a mountain town so far North that the sun never sets, Jon hopes to find sanctuary.

Hiding out in the wilderness, all that stands between him and his fate are Lea, a bereaved mother, and her young son, Knut.

But the midnight sun is slowly driving Jon to insanity.

And then he discovers that The Fisherman’s men are getting closer…

———-

An abstract approach to the title…

This novel is set in one of the countries where the population experiences the midnight sun, and I also liken the pace of the book itself to this same natural phenomenon.

By this I mean that I felt there was no sense of a timeline, no sense of a morning or night. There’s a sort of continuation and flow to the story itself, leaving the reader to think that everything is happening within just one whole, very long day.

In fact, at one point towards the beginning of the book, the main protagonist also loses track of time after waking up from a long slumber.

 

On the main characters…

In this fast-paced noir thriller – the follow-up to Blood on Snow – Jo Nesbø manages to create a world filled with a few, but very interesting and intriguing characters in it, yet again.

Midnight Sun examines the life of Jon Hanson, who sold hash for a living in Oslo before becoming an employee of the most notorious crime kingpin in Norway. He stole money from The Fisherman because he was desperate to maintain his family, and this leaves him with no choice but to flee Oslo in the hopes of escaping from his clutches. Just like in Blood on Snow, we see a man who, albeit a gang member, has a good streak and a conscience.

While living in the remote village of Kåsund, he meets Lea, a religious, hard-working woman; a mother who strives to be the best example for her son. She’s reserved, humble, and leads a very traditional lifestyle.

Knut is Lea’s young, energetic son. A boy who’s already quite mature for his age, probably because of his rather rough upbringing. From the first moment that him and Jon meet, one can notice that there’s an instant connection between the two. Knut also sees Jon as a father figure.

The setting and environment…

The author’s excellent description of the village and the snowy landscape further creates a sense of otherworldly isolation, which mirrors what the main protagonist is feeling.

Themes and topics…

The novel’s major theme is redemption, and it plays a part in more than one character’s life.

Sami culture and the Laestadian religion are also woven into the story.

In conclusion…

Jo Nesbø and fellow translator Neil Smith do a great job once again. I thought that the ending of this book was a bit too quick to wrap things up nicely, however, it still doesn’t change the fact that it’s a very well-written (and well-translated) short tale.

My rating:

4-out-of-5-stars-rating

Did You Know?

The midnight sun is a spectacular natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle, when the sun remains visible at the local midnight.

Around the summer solstice (approximately 21st June in the Northern Hemisphere and 22nd December in the Southern Hemisphere), the sun is visible for the full 24 hours, given the weather is fair.

Countries and territories whose populations experience the midnight sun include: Canadian Yukon, Nunavut, and Northwest Territories, and the nations of Iceland, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark (Greenland), Russia, and the State of Alaska in the United States.

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