Wednesday, December 23, 2015

2015 | Favourite Albums

I pulled my album favourites from nearly all corners of the music market this year, from mainstream pop and electronic to jazz and soul. The ladies consistently killed it this year with long-awaited arrivals - Adele - and new twists on old sounds - Florence.


25 by Adele
Adele's third, highly highly anticipated, record-breaking album is everything I hoped for and more. From the opening melancholy-tinged "Hello" to the midtempo hopefulness of "Sweetest Devotion," 25 is an delightful, emotional rollercoaster. 25 features Adele experimenting with different contemporary styles but mainly showcasing her much-missed powerhouse vocals, particularly on tracks like "When We Were Young" and "All I Ask." 
Favourite tracks: When We Were Young, Water Under the Bridge, Love in the Dark

Monday, December 21, 2015

2015 | Favourite Books & TV Shows

Last year I put all of my favourites into one post, but with the sheer number of music-related things I loved this year I thought it better to separate books and television into one post and music into another (coming later this week). To make it easier on myself I narrowed everything down to pieces released this calendar year (except for All the Light We Cannot See).

Literature



All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
I included Anthony Doerr's most recent novel even though it wasn't published this year because it was not only the best book I read this year, but one of my favourite books I have ever read. Set in World War II, All the Light We Cannot See follows two characters - a blind French girl and a curious German boy - and two timelines - their childhoods and their lives' convergence and subsequent consequences in 1944. Doerr won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for this novel, and there's no question that he absolutely deserved it.

Monday, November 30, 2015

Life Lately | November

Friday, November 6, 2015

Autumn/Winter Reads


Books, just like every other medium of entertainment, often fit a mood or a season. Late autumn and early winter has a dark, secretive feeling to me, and during the end of the calendar year I gravitate toward books that evoke mystery or a sense of things that are not as they seem. Below I've listed 10 books - some of them my absolute favourite pieces of literature - that I have enjoyed in the past or that I intend to re-read in the coming months, preferably curled up with a coffee and cozy blanket.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Life Lately | September


September was the month of finally, finally settling into a routine - the constant, familiar chaos interspersed by moments of calm, both accompanied by numerous cups of coffee. Autumn came a bit earlier than I remembered which has eased my frame of mind. With the start of exams it's nice to have some crisp air in the mornings and the excuse to wear my favourite Banks sweatshirt every evening. As with every September, a number of good bands put on shows in my area and I attended each with a few good friends. I finally felt like myself again, surrounded and slightly deafened by the glorious imperfection of live music. I did a bit of traveling as well, driving up to Virginia to enjoy Busch Gardens during their first weekend of Howl-O-Scream.

In the middle of the month I succumbed to the ever-present quarter life crisis - what am I doing with my life? what I am doing in this degree? can I get a job with this? - and when I had managed to talk myself out of my mental slump, an internship with an environmental nonprofit emerged.  My first week started the last week of September so there isn't much to say about it yet, but I'm excited to acquire some experience in a field within my major. September was, as always, a transitional month, and I'm excited for the adventures October will bring.


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Saturday, September 19, 2015

The Shindig

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Carolina Beach


Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Returning to the Known


It's a strange feeling returning to ordinary university life after eight months away. Everything is the same yet different; I'm living on campus again on the same side of campus but in a single dorm with new suitemates, my friend group has remained the same but each person has changed in their own ways, and my classes have familiar subject material but are more challenging. Though I've seamlessly slipped back into campus life, I feel like I have irreversibly changed. Not that I have really changed - in the words of a good friend, "you still wear black and your hair's always in a bun so you're still the same Kate" - but I feel as though I've grown more into myself, if that makes any sense. Living on my own in a foreign country, far out of my comfort zone, constantly experiencing new, unexpected things - both good and bad - made me realise my boundaries and what I must learn to adapt to. My time spent back in the States has not so much been "where do I fit now" but rather a re-exploration of what I already know. I can say it no better than T.S. Eliot; I am knowing my home, my starting point for the first time, and I cannot wait to see what the new semester brings.

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Tuesday, August 4, 2015

A Day in New York City

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Amherst, MA

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Auf Wiedersehen Deutschland // Goodbye, Germany

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Schwetzingen


Friday, June 12, 2015

Maifeld Derby

East India Youth

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Leben in Berlin // Life in Berlin

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Berlin Berlin

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Recent Reads | May



During the month of May I read 11 books, far more than I've managed to finish in a month in a very long time. I picked a few of the most noteworthy ones to talk about here, but a complete list of what I've read can be found on my bookshelf.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Prag // Prague: A Tour With an 80s Punk Rocker

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Life Lately | May

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Prag // Prague: Got Love? Czech.


Friday, May 22, 2015

Brüssel: 10 Stunden in einer Weltstadt // Brussels: 10 Hours in a Cosmopolitian City


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Brugge: Ein Märchenstadt // Bruges: A Fairytale City

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Ostersonntag in Pisa und Mailand // Easter Sunday in Pisa & Milan | Italy, Part 3

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ein regnerischen Tag in Florence // A Rainy Day in Florence | Italy, Part 2

Friday, May 1, 2015

Life Lately | April

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Venedig: die erdfrei Stadt // Venice: The Floating City | Italy, Part 1

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Marseille und das Meer // Marseille and the Sea | France, Pt. 4

Friday, April 24, 2015

Recent Reads | April

With the lower amount of homework required for my classes in Germany, I have loads of free time during the week. Those who know me well know I adore reading but it's hard to make time for it during the school year. I discovered at the beginning of my trip that I can still check out books from my home county's e-library on my Kindle while out of the country and I've been renting books like crazy. These are a few of my recent favourites from the past month or two. Additionally, if anyone has any book recommendations, fiction or nonfiction, I am always looking for new things to read!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Montmartre, Bücher, und Tee // Montmartre, Books, and Tea | France, Pt. 3


Monday, April 13, 2015

Ein Tag in Paris Museen // A Day in Paris's Museums | France, Pt. 2

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Wandern rund um Paris // Wandering Around Paris | France, Pt. 1


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Bratislava: ein einzigartiger Halt // A Unique Stop

Budapest: ein bescheidener Schatz // A Modest Treasure

Wein: ein kultureller Brennpunkt // Vienna: A Cultural Hotspot

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Baden Baden: eine "undeutsche" Stadt // An "Ungerman" City

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

München und ein berühmtes Schloss // Munich and a Famous Castle

Monday, March 23, 2015

Fulda & Familie // Fulda & Family

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Wissembourg: ein Nachmittag in Frankreich // An Afternoon in France

Monday, March 2, 2015

Mannheimer Leben // Mannheim Life

Photo credit: Emma

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Köln: Karneval // Cologne: Carnival

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Luxemburg: das Land der Treppe // Luxembourg: The Country of Stairs

Photo credit: Deanna
February 7-8, 2015

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Frankfurt: eine lebindige Stadt // A Lively City

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weinprobe in der Pfalz und Rothenburg ob der Tauber

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Heidelberg und Tour de Müll


Sunday, January 18, 2015

Mannheim: die erste Woche // The First Week



I've now been in Mannheim for 11 days and Friday marked the end of my first week of Winter Academy classes. The first few days were rough, but I'm starting to understand German culture and the Mannheim way of life. I now understand the way the city is mapped out, the timetables and directions of the bus and tram systems, the location of some good (and cheap) places to eat, and the location of multiple grocery stores. I've made some more friends and improved my German this past week. This week I have four fun trips plans with room in my schedule for some spontaneous adventures as well. Overall I've been doing well now that I know more of what I'm doing.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Mannheim: die ersten Tage // The First Days

Das Schloss that houses the Universität Mannheim
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