Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Can't Let Go by Jane Hill

Jane Hill is an English writer I sort of "discovered" earlier this year. I am fairly sure she is not read by a North American audience, as I can only find reviews on the British And not that many by the way. I kinda liked her two previous "crime" novels Grievous Angel and The Murder Ballad and reviewed them here and here. So if you go check those reviews out, I don't have to say again, that I really don't think they are crime novels as much as I think they are chick lit. Nothing wrong in that at all. They are probably a combination between the two.

Can't Let Go is build slightly different than Ms. Hill's previous novels. But they share at least one thing in common: they all have a somewhat bitter slash frustrated heroine in her mid 30'es. In this one, her name is Beth Stephens and she is a mousy teacher at a girl's school. Mousy she is and also an expert of blending in and not making any fuss about her own person. She is also paranoid and has been running away from her demons for the past 17 years. Because when she was 18, she killed a man and got away with it (not a spoiler, this is revealed on the front flap of the book). So Beth has spent her life since then hiding from.....? Thing is, she really doesn't know shy she is hiding. No one has ever come for her, nothing has ever happened since she killed a man and got away with it. We enter her life as she is on the verge of trying to get into a normal kind of life instead of a life filled with paranoia.

By sheer coincidence, she befriends the feisty stand up comedian Zoey and then the book begins to drag on and on and on. Beth begins receiving threatening notes and it looks like someone has finally figured out that Beth Stephens is not exactly the mousy teacher she has made herself into. But instead of taking up pace, the reader is dragged from one stand up joint to another with Zoey and Beth and are learning about how to do stand up while their friendship develops. Booooring.

The final pages are marginally interesting and I also liked the way things wrapped up, now that they sort of had to be wrapped up, but in conclusion, I really do not think that there was much of a story! I wasn't nearly as entertained as I had been with Jane Hill's previous novels. But I may still try her next one.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

I have always read cartoons. Tintin, Lucky Luke, Asterix, Donald Duck etc. Not too many of the more "fancy" cartoons, where the storyline was aimed at the mature reader, but more likely the fun stuff which some may claim is drawn and written for kids (I know many who will agree they are also for grown ups though). As the graphic novel has gained more and more popularity, I became interested in seeing what it was all about, and heard from my brother that Maus by Art Spiegelman was a fantastic graphic novel, which had even won the Pullitzer Prize (in 1992). So I put it on my wishlist for Christmas and got it.

I began reading this chilling story on the eve of the 24th and finished it 4 days later. What a great read - a read I haven't been able to get out of my mind since then. I am relatively familiar with the history of World War II, The Holocaust, the KZ-camps etc, but not on a level where I am able to discuss the manueverings of politics and such things. But that wasn't a problem "understanding" Maus!

In short, Maus is about Vladek and Anja, Polish Jews. Vladek and Anja lives in Poland when the Second World War breaks out and we follow them, first as members of wealthy Jewish families, then living in a Jewish ghetto in Poland, their deportation to Auschwitz and at last their life in Queens, NYC. It is Art, their son born after the war in Stockholm, Sweden, who tells (draws) the story of his parents and their lives during WW II. Half of the story is also about Art's own life in our day and age and his problems with his ageing, nagging father Vladek, survivor of Holocaust, whom Art finds unbearable to be around for too long. Guilt is an underlying (and at places not underlying at all) theme through the whole story: Vladek's guilt of being a survivor, Art's guilt of not being able to stand his father and the guilt both Art and Vladek carries around because of Anja's suicide (this is not a spoiler, we know this from the beginning of the book). But Maus is also about love, it is not just about despair and horrendous things.

Is it wrong to say that I loved this story? It's rawness, the somewhat rough drawings, the absolute horror of the story and the humorous streak running through a lot of the pages? I don't know, but I did. I really loved it. Has also given me much to think about although what was describes wasn't news for me at all and despite the fact that the book has been out for 20 years or so. But if you haven't read it already, you should.

Read much more about Art Spiegelman here where I have also taken the image of Art Spiegelman as a Maus (Jew). The other Spiegelman image is from The Harvard Gazette.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Books

I am back home from my Christmas vacation and have been unpacking, checking mails, blogs and so on. As nice as it is to be away, it is also nice to be back home and put all the new things in their right place. I got wonderful gifts and was also lucky enough to receive three books for Christmas:

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

Kitchen Heaven by Gordon Ramsay

Fast Food by Gordon Ramsay

I began reading Maus on the evening of the 24th and finished it last night. Will reveiew it later. And I have been leafing through the Gordon Ramsay books and am looking much forward to cook some of the wonderful recipes I have already seen in those books.

Did you get any books for Christmas?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Going on Christmas Holiday

I am about to head out the door and go to my parent's place. I am going to stay there over Christmas and am going down there today to help out with the last preparations. They do have an internet connection and I hope I will be able to check in, because there are several days now where I have missed reading the Blog Advent posts plus checking out the bloggers in my blogroll. But IF I do not find the time to check in, I want to wish you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS here from Denmark.

The image was shot today in the New Carlsberg Glyptotek, which is a museum in Copenhagen where they have had fun this December putting red Christmas-hats on some of the sculptures ;-)

A Christmas Spirit Award

I have gotten a Christmas Spirit Award from Kailana. Kailana is co-hosting this year's Blog Advent Tour, which have brought me much joy and Christmas-spirit all month. I am going to list 5 things I love about Christmas, but will have to return later, as I am on my way out the door in half an hour. But I will be back.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A little change

I just had to change the look of the blog. Not sure it is going to stay like this, but I got fed up with the narrow post-column which made my posts look strange. I was not happy with that. I did like the colors though, but for now I will go with this minimal look. I did try Wordpress once (I had my Danish blog there for half a year) and I never got used to that. When I begin the Blog Improvement Project I hope to get some new ideas as to how the blog is going to look.

The image is from the photostream of flickr-user joannebk. Joanne also has a blog.

Books for Christmas

This year I have bought quite a lot of books as gifts for Christmas. Not all the books are gifts from myself. I also help out my parents with their gifts. Hopefully none of the people who will receive those books will read here. At least not until after Christmas ;o)

For my mother's two god-sons (they are 20 and 23) I bought:

Nordkraft by Jacob Ejersbo. That is Danish modern classic and bestseller and it has not been translated into English. Some years ago it was turned into a movie, which is one of the best movies made in my opinion. Very strong. The author passed away a this summer at the age of 40. The image of Jacob Ejersbo is from the Danish Facebook group made in his honor after his death.
For my brother I got a book by the German historian Joachim C. Fest. He writes about Nazi Germany. I got the book in Danish, much of his work is translated into English though.

My brother is also getting the two volume work about one of Denmark's most notorious criminal gangs, who operated in the mid 1980'es. They were called Blekingegade Banden (The Blekinge Street Gang) and one of the reasons they have become so (in)famous is that they killed a young police officer during a robbery and while they were caught, no one in the gang has ever admitted who it was who actually killed the young policeman. There were a lot of politics involved in their case as well and the books about this gang are huge bestsellers here in Denmark. The volumes are written by Danish author Peter Oevig Knudsen.

My sister is getting yet another Danish book called Submarino written by the Danish author Jonas T. Bengtsson. That book, which I haven't read myself, is about two brothers and their not so fantastic lives. It is supposed to be rather tough reading.

Well, that was a little about the books I bought as gifts. Did you buy any?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blog Improvement Project

Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness is hosting a great project for the coming year. A blog improvement project. Now I am not a professional blogger in any way. I am not in it for the money, for the free books or anything "serious" at all. I enjoy reading and I enjoy jotting down a few thoughts about books and book-related things. I don't know a thing professionally about literature - or blogging. Nor do I aspire to become a pro.
But I am still intrigued about Kim's project and would love to explore what else can be done with a blog. As I was getting some Christmas gifts online, I also glanced at a couple of blogging-books and was just about to buy one or two. But I didn't, but I did feel the interest tugging at me and my wallet ;o)
So I have signed up and hopefully will be able to participate in as many weeks as possible. I am going to have a rather busy winter and early spring, but around late April - beginning of May my schedule should be more or less free. I am looking forward to this, which is going to be both interesting and fun.
Have a look at the post about how it is going to work if you think you could be interested as well.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Books for the Dewey Reading Challenge

I spent a lot of time yesterday browsing Dewey's archives. What a lot of good books and good thoughts to be found there. Just another reminder of how much Dewey will be missed. She really managed to write a lot of great posts not to mention reading a lot of books. For the challenge in her honor (read more about it here) I have decided to go with option # 1, which is about finding a book Dewey mentioned or reviewed since she began her blog, meaning that I have picked a book from the years 2003-2008.
2003: The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
2005: Property by Valerie Martin
2006: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
2007: Tintin and the Secret of the Unicorn (actually, this will be two books, as Secret of the Unicorn is part one of two. The second one is called Red Rackham's Treasure)
2008: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
I can't wait to get started. What about you? Have you decided which books to read yet?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Dewey's Books

Dewey, who was the mastermind behind The Hidden Side of a Leaf and things like Weekly Geeks, sadly passed away shortly before Thanksgiving. In her honor and memory Chris from Stuff as Dreams are Made on and Robin from A Fondness of Reading has set up a reading challenge, which they are inviting bloggers to join. I didn't get to know Dewey as well as I would have liked, because I only participated in a few Weekly Geek-challenges, but I enjoyed them a lot and found Dewey's blog to be very interesting. I am sad she has passed away and I will join this challenge, even though I am trying not to sign up for too much. But the rules are quite easy and if you are interested in joining or learning more, I suggest you check it out here on the blog set up for the challenge: Dewey's Books. There are two ways to join the challenge:
1. Pick one book from each of the 6 years that Dewey has archives of. You can access her archives by clicking on the archive link in the sidebar of her website. It’s a dropdown menu. For instance, you would read one book that she reviewed in 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008 for a total of six books.
2. The other option is to read 5 books that Dewey reviewed. These can be from any year and I’m guessing that each of us has at least 5 books on our TBR list because of Dewey!
I will return shortly with a new post explaining which way I will join the challenge. I hope you will join as well in honor of Dewey.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Life Support by Tess Gerritsen

Just finished Life Support by Tess Gerritsen this evening. I read my first Tess Gerritsen 4 years back and reviewed it on Amazon. It was book # 2 in her Jane Rizzoli-series and it was called The Apprentice. I wasn't impressed. Later on I picked up a couple of other Gerritsen-books and found that I enjoyed them. So it didn't take long to pick up Life Support and get reading. The story is about ER doc Toby Harper and about how a normal and perhaps a little boring life can deteriorate in a matter of weeks, which is was happens to Toby when she stumbles across a conspiracy involving a luxurious retirement home, young prostitutes and her own mother, suffering from Alzherimer's. One slow night in the ER, Toby receives an elderly man who is naked and confused and found wandering the streets of Boston. Before Toby can diagnose him, he has disappeared into thin air and no matter what Toby and her staff do, he remains missing. Toby cannot get him out of her head and finds out that he was a resident in the luxurious retirement home Brant Hill. Soon she smells something fishy going on in the Brant Hill retirement home and she begins her own investigations, going against the wish of several colleagues and doctors from Brant Hill. Then unpleasant things begin to happen to Toby herself, and in a matter of a few weeks, she doesn't know whom to trust and whom not to trust. All in all this is a pretty good plot and the book is also relatively well written. BUT! I like a medical thriller as much as the next girl, but this one wasn't fast paced at all. It was also too easy to guess the plot and the character development was lacking. It was hard to find any sympathy with the main characters who just felt one-dimensional and slightly annoying. Still, Life Support is an easily read and entertaining little medical thriller, but I am sure Tess Gerritsen can do much better than this.

Sunday Salon December 7.

I haven't really been finishing any books for a while now. I am reading a lot of non-fiction which has to do with my thesis, but I already blogged about some of those books in an earlier Sunday Salon. I am still not done with the thriller I mentioned in this Sunday Salon, and while I quite like it, I just can't seem to get into it. Now it is just a matter of finishing it. Last weekend I visited my parents. They live way out in the country-side and my sister and I went there for some pre-Christmas joy and to relax a bit. I was supposed to study while there, but as both my parents are avid readers and because I could not get into the real study-mood, I found one of my mother's old paperbacks, Life Support by Tess Gerritsen. I have read several of Tess Gerritsen's books, and some I liked, some were not very good. This one is an okay read, but just like the other book I am reading, I have a hard time really getting into it. I only have a few pages left, so I think I will be done reading it tonight. To conclude it all, I do not think I have had the most interesting reading-week this past week ;o)

Monday, December 01, 2008

Blog Advent Tour 2008: December 2.

I have the great honor of being one of the bloggers posting for the Blog Advent Tour on December 2. The complete list of posters can be found with Marg from Reading Adventures and Kailana from The Written World and I definitely think you should check it out.

Some of you will know that I am a Dane living in Copenhagen, and while there are some non-speaking English or non-European bloggers out there I thought I'd post about a typical Danish Christmas. But before I do that I will post a little about our Advent-tradition. In Denmark (as well as other countries) we have a special Advent-wreath. It can be made of metal, straw, dough, clay and many other materials, but traditionally it is made of the same kind of tree as a Christmas tree (and I cannot remember the English name for that kinda tree on top of my head right now. HELP). The wreath has 4 candles and the first Sunday in Advent (which was this past Sunday), you light one candle. Next Sunday you light two and so forth. I do not have an Advent-wreath myself, but my parents always have one. The image is from a Dutch site, so I guess they also have this tradition i Holland at least.
In Denmark we celebrate Christmas on the evening of the 24th. We live in a dark place when it is winter, but a few days before Christmas, the almanac shows that it is the Winter Solstice and from that day on, the days are getting longer again. So, Christmas used to be a pagan Winter Solstice Celebration. The image below is from my own photo-collection and is shot last year on the morning after Winter Solstice the 23rd of December outside my parent's place. They do not live in Copenhagen.
Being from a family of non-practising Protestants, we do not go to church for Christmas, but there are always at least one Christmas mass in almost each and every church in Denmark. Everybody seems to think that even though they don't go to church the rest of the year, they go for Christmas (personally I think it is a wee bit hypocritical, but that is something for another post and I myself is probably also a hypocrite in many other ways regarding Christmas). The image below of the village church at my parent's place was shot some years ago a few days after Christmas. Unfortunately, we never really have a white Christmas in Denmark. We rarely have snow until January. But that year it did snow heavily a few days after the 24th. At the point where I shot the image, the blizzard hadn't hit yet. The little church is almost (but not quite) Medieval.
Chrismas dinner in Denmark is traditionally roast duck, roast goose or pork-roast. Some families serve two of the dishes, for instance both a roast duck and a pork-roast. The roast/bird is served with apples and plums, which has been used as stuffing (in the bird), potatoes and gravy and pickled red cabbage. After dinner we have a special almond and rice pudding, wherein there is one whole almond hidden. The person who finds the whole almond wins a little present, which is often chocolate, a marcipane-pig or a trinket. In families with kids, it is tradition to make sure that there are as many whole almonds as there are small kids and then making sure that the kids each get a whole almond so no kids end up crying. Last year we decided to skip the whole bird and served roasted duck-breasts instead. And we made the stuffing with onion, apple and bacon which we placed underneath the breasts when they were put in the oven. That is what is on my plate below.
After dinner we sing carols and psalms while walking around the tree and then it is time for presents. We put the presents either underneath the tree or beside the tree. In our family we always put the presents beside the tree. The look of the traditional Danish Christmas tree is a look we got from Germany little more than 100 years ago. Many families add their own touch of course and over the years the traditional things to hang on the tree has changed and developed. We used to have real candles on our tree, but after my mother sort of got allergic to the smoke from candles, we switched to artificial lights. I still think that real candles on the tree is how it should be though.
The tree has a star on top, which I hope you can see, symbolizing the leading star of the Three Wise Men.
We decorate the tree with birds, glass balls, paper drums, stars, lights, flags and many other kinds of decorations. The kid in the picture is my nephew August searching for candy, which is traditonally hidden in some of the decoration. You hide (guess it is not really hidden, as everyone knows where to find it from about age 1) the candy in small pouches which can be shaped like hearts among other things.
Last image is our nativity-scene (I think that is what it is called in English) which is at least 40 years old and lots of things has gone missing over the years. There used to be some more animals and also, the angels surrounding the scene are not originally from the set. But I guess we have the most important persons as we still have Baby Jesus, Virgin Mary, Joseph and the Three Wise Men.

Blog Advent Tour 2008 - check it out

Marg from Reading Adventures and Kailana from The Written World are hosting this great Advent Tour. I am to post tomorrow and really can't wait, so I just wanted to post this note and urge you to check it out. It is a great way to travel around the blogosphere, find new blogs and people and to get into the Holiday-spirit, no matter what way you celebrate. The first posts are already up and they were all very inspiring and putting me in the mood for the upcoming Holidays.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 30: I did it

So, today is the day where I post my post # 30 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. I have now posted every day for a whole month. Some days more than one post, but usually just one post. Not everything has been equally interesting. I would have liked each and every post to have been interesting and thought about and thought provoking. But I simply did not have time to do that. One of the reasons is of course that I have nothing interesting to say. Another factor is that I decided only to blog about books and book related things. That did not happen 100% unfortunately. I was lucky that I had a backcatalogue of reviews I had not yet blogged so that I could use some of them on days where I felt I had nothing to say. All in all I think it has been a fun challenge and I have been "forced" to move around the blogosphere every day for a month, which has been fun. I am happy now though that I do not "have" to post every day. Perhaps I will post every day anyway, but at least I am not comitted to a challenge. But its been good fun.

This is my last post (# 30) in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 29: flickr

Today is the day before the last day in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. So I'll just blog a single image from my flickr photostream. The image, which is of a pharaoh receiving ankh, life, is shot in the large Karnak-temple complex in Luxor in Southern Egypt. The image is my most viewed image in my photostream, and I am blogging it today even though it has nothing to do with reading, books or other book related stuff :o)

This is post # 29 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.

Friday, November 28, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 28: Keeping track

How do you keep track of your read books? I used to note down every single book I read in my beloved A Booklover's Diary. I always found spreadsheets to be boring, so I have been happy with my diary. Then I began blogging and already at the beginning, I decided to review every book I read and thus keeping track on my blogs. But that soon became too difficult. I blog about books in both Danish and English, and many of the Danish books I read are not available in English. Then I quit my English blog for a while and forgot all about keeping track. I also quit my Danish blog (for a shorter period though) and after a while I had to do some detective work to reconstruct everything I had read during those periods. Anyway, pretty soon after I began blogging I also got to know Library Thing, Shelfari and GoodReads and I have managed to keep both my Shelfari and my GoodReads pretty much up to date with books and reading. So that is how I keep track. Next year I am thinking of making a list on my blogs about books read in 2009. What about you?

This is my post # 28 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 27: Pompeii by Rober Harris

I liked Robert Harris' Pompeii. I read it in a few days, enjoyed it, and found the story to be well written. But - there is a but - it could be boring at times. It was definitely not the 5* read I had expected it to be. Anyway, I loved the ancient setting in the Roman city of Pompeii with all it's hustlers, decadent senators, prostitutes, slaves and gladiators. The main character is the young engineer Marcus, who has travelled from Rome to take over the job as water-engineer in the area around Pompeii. He soon discovers that something is wrong, and the story takes place on those the last days of Pompeii. Will Marcus get out of the city before the volcano erupts? Will he be able to save the girl he can't stop thinking about? Will he find out what happened to the missing water-engineer of Pompeii? The novel is full of interesting questions plus a good deal of 'lessons' about volcanoes, earthquakes and so on. A fairly good read, entertaining.
This wonderful image of a street in the ruins of ancient Pompeii is by the flickr user Senex Prime.

This is my post # 27 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 26: Chick lit

Did you ever jump on the chick lit bandwagon? I know I did. I don't remember the first one I read, but it was around 1998-1999. I did not read the Bridget Jones-diaries until a couple of years later. Since January 2003 I have kept track of my reading and been pretty good at it too. So I have a good idea about exactly what books I have read in different genres. So for today's post in the NaBloPoMo-challenge I am going to post a list of all the chick lit I have read between 2003 and 2006 (where I more or less dropped the genre). I know that I have read books during that period which others will classify as chick lit, like the YaYa-books etc., so this is just a list of what I think are chick lit books. And of course I know that there are a lot of authors out there that I haven't read. But bottomline is that with the last Kinsella-book I read, I was so done with chick lit. Maybe I'll take it up again as it has been awhile since I read a real chick lit book.

Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
Bookends by Jane Green
The Nanny Diaries by Emma McLaughlin
Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes
In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner
Jemima J by Jane Green
Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella
Confessions of a Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic Takes Manhattan by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic Ties the Knot by Sophie Kinsella
Shopaholic & Sister by Sophie Kinsella
Spellbound by Jane Green
Little Earthquakes by Jennifer Weiner
Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner
The Undomestic Goddess by Sophie Kinsella

This is post # 26 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 25

I do not have much to say today, so this post is very short ;o) Just want to say that now there are only five more days left in the NaBloPoMo-challenge where I have comitted to write (at least) one post per day for 30 days. Today I am empty.

But this is still my post # 25 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.

Monday, November 24, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 24: Goodnight Nobody by Jennifer Weiner

Goodnight Nobody was definitely not one of Jennifer Weiner's best books. I have never been a total fan, but have enjoyed her previous well written and witty novels. This murder mystery meets chick lit meets love story was kind of boring, and Weiner did not succeed. The whole story feels half hearted, and it took me ages to get through it. Kate is a bored housewife who suddenly finds herself in suburban New York with 3 small kids and an almost non-existent husband. A husband, we learn, that she cannot be that crazy about. She still dreams about a friend from New York whom she had a secret crush on. Her boring life get spiced up a bit when one of the 'super-moms' of Suburbia gets killed, and Kate takes it upon herself to solve the murder. The grounds are then laid to develop a fun and exciting mystery, but we never really get to the bottom of things, and at last, when things are wrapped up, you are left with a feeling of "was that it?". The book is still well written, and Weiner has a knack for fun dialogues, and should this be about stars this book would earn two stars and not just one because it is well written.
This is my post # 24 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Sunday Salon November 23, 2008

During the past week I have finished Phantom Prey by John Sandford, which was an okay read. Not as good as some of the previous Prey-novels I've read. But not so bad that I was very disappointed. Not at all. I have also begun reading Aldrig Mere Fri by Sara Blaedel. Sara Blaedel is a Danish crime-writer and her books are huge bestsellers in Denmark. The book I am currently reading is # 4 in her series about police-woman Louise Rick, who works homicide in Copenhagen. They are not translated into English, so I cannot provide any English links to her works. This particular book called Aldrig Mere Fri is taking place in my own immediate neighborhood here in Copenhagen, and that makes it even more enjoyable. I live in what used to be the city's largest red light / porn district. Nowadays the street-girls and the porn stores are becoming less and less and the hood has been taken over by students, young families, artists, fashion designers and trendy cafes. But we still have the odd porn shop and there are still prostitutes working the streets. While a lot of those girls live some horrible lives and while I hate the way some of them are in the hands of merciless human merchants, I have to say that the porn stores, the old booze-bars where you can still smoke cigs and get a cheap beer mixed with trendy cafes and fashionistas and families with strollers give my neighborhood a ver distinct flavor that I would not miss for the world. I think author Sara Blaedel manages to paint a fair image of my neighborhood in that book, Aldrig Mere Fri. The title is somewhat not really translateable, but it means something along the lines of: Freedom - Never Again. I think I'll finish that read during the week and then hopefully manage to continue with my serious reading for my thesis and also be able to read another mystery/crime that I have waiting on my shelf.

The image is of the street Istedgade, which is the main drag in my immediate neighborhood. The image is from my own photostream at flickr.

Weekly Geeks # 26

This week's Weekly Geek is this (by now I am seriously hooked on this weekly feature!):
It’s been awhile since we’ve done some serious WG bloghopping. So this week, let’s visit five other Weekly Geeks.
How to:
Visit each of your 5 new blogpals and snoop around their blogs to find at least one thing you have in common.
In your blog, write a post, linking to your 5 new blogpals, about what you have in common with them.
Come back and sign Mr Linky.
As you run across other Weekly Geek posts (or deliberately seek them out) if you see anyone mentioned who has something in common with you, pay them a visit.

This is a really great idea. Check out Dewey's page The Hidden Side of a Leaf for more info on the Weekly Geek-feature. I have been visiting the same couple of handfuls of blogs the past month or so and it is definitely on time that I go check some of the other great blogs out. I clicked around and looked at bloggers labels and tags and images to find something we had in common. Here are my 5 visits to blogs I had never visited or rarely visit (which will change now) and what we had in common:

1. First I went to Bernadette at Reactions to Reading. Bernadette is in Australia - a mighty long way from Denmark where I am, but I found out that we both like Swedish author Henning Mankell and his series about policeman Kurt Wallander. I mean, that is amazing. I can understand that I like that series. After all, Sweden is about 15 minutes away from my place here in Copenhagen and the town where the series takes place, Ystad, is about a few hours from Copenhagen. There is actually a bus from Copenhagen to Ystad. But a reader in Oz. Wow!

2. Wendy from Musings of a Bookish Kitty lists some books on her TBR-challenge list that I have already read. I tried to figure out if Wendy already read them, but not sure. However, the books we have in common, whether we have read them or not are: The Red Tent by Anita Diamant, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer and History of Love by Nicole Krauss. I've read them all. Would be fun to hear if Wendy also read them or if they are coming up.

3. Icedream from Reading in Appalachia and I are both participating in the Read Your Own Books-challenge next year. I am personally looking very much forward to join that challenge as I have so many books at home where I never even cracked the spine to have a peak. That is embarassing and I am sure there are some very good books waiting for me. I made a post about it earlier. See here.

4. Alessandra from Out of the Blue and I are both European bloggers blogging about books in a different language than our mother tongue. Alessandra is from Italy and I am from Denmark. I do have a Danish book blog though which I keep up to date with more or less the same posts that I do in the English version. Exceptions are Sunday Salon and Weekly Geek which I usually only blog on my English book blog.

5. I went to see what Terri from Reading, Writing and Retirement had on her blog, and there I noticed that she had also written about me and my blog. Cool and thanks for that. So Terri already mentions some stuff we have in common. I'll add to that, that if I had had any vote in the recent American elections, I would have voted for Obama (along with 85% of the Danes asked - yes, one of the large papers DID make a poll before the US elections) as I guess Terri did, judging from the image on her sidebar.
So far I have been mentioned in the following blogs: by Terri from Reading, Writing and Retirement, by softdrink from Fizzy Thoughts and by Debi from nothing of importance. Huge thanks to all!
I just had a Weekly Geek visit from Serena from Savvy Verse & Wit. Thanks so much for stopping by.

National Blog Posting Month # 23: e by Matt Beaumont

Have you ever worked in an office? If so, you will recognize a lot of the stuff going on in the Miller-Shanks Advertising Firm. The story, e by Matt Beaumont, takes place during a few weeks in January 2000, where everybody is supposed to be busy with a new campaing for Coke. But of course, a lot of other things goes on, and we get to know a whole lot of funny, annoying, loveable and crazy persons in the firm. The whole story is told through the e-mails the different people send to each other, and it is a very funny read. Some may argue that this 'e-mail-form' has been done before, but this book was written some years ago, and I think the idea was new back then. A very quick read that makes you want to read more about those idiotic but likeable (some of them) persons.

This is post # 23 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 22: Phantom Prey by John Sandford

This latest John Sandford Prey mystery is a fine enough read. Speaking in stars, where 5 is the most, this is a small 3 star read. I have read previous Prey mysteries which were way better, but this is not to say that Phantom Prey is bad. Not at all. But seems to me like Sandford is getting just a little tired of writing about Lucas Davenport and the BCA and the Minneapolis police. I don't know.

A wealthy, young Goth-girl has disappeared, leaving only a splatter of blood behind her in her mother's house. There is no body and no sign of forced entry and her mother, the very wealthy health-club owner and widow Alyssa Austin seeks out the help of Lucas Davenport after the regular police has given up finding her daughter (the daughter's body, should she be dead). Lucas is not crazy about taking on this case, but his wife Weather, who is friends with Alyssa Austin, has manages to convince him to give the case a look. Lucas discovers that the young girl was hanging out with a Goth-crowd and when the members of this crowd begin mentioning a mysterious fairy-girl who keeps disappearing, he gets seriously interested in the case, and pretty soon he is in serious danger himself. When more dead Goths begin turning up, Lucas has to speed up his investigations and look into clues that keeps pointing him in different directions.

The reader is told who the killer is halfway through the book and that did bother me a bit. Usually I do not mind being told this, some books tell you who the killer is from page one and still it can be a great mystery. But in this case I don't think it really was an advantage to know that much. All in all I can recommend this one as a light and entertaining read, but if you haven't read any of the Prey-series yet, begin with the first ones. They are better. This one can easily stand alone though.

This is my post # 22 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

National Blog Posting Month # 21: Women of Troy by Euripides

A few days ago Rebecca Reid from Rebecca Reads wrote an interesting post about Homer's Odyssey and Iliad. Her post has made for some interesting remarks which I recommend all to go read if you are interested in the Classic classics.The above image of Homer is from my own flickr photostream. It was taken at The New Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen.

The post about Homer and his epics made me think about The Women of Troy which is an ancient play, a tragedy, by the writer Euripides.
It has been a while since I read The Women of Troy myself, but I remember being completely taken with the story and I actually want to recommend it to anyone interested in the Classic classics. It is an engrossing story and it is short but extremely intense. Yes, the centuries has passed since it was written, but I still feel that it is worth reading in 2008 and that it is still able to make an impact on a modern reader.

Above is the Greek theatre in Alexandria, Egypt. I wonder if Women of Troy was ever played there. The image is from my own flickr photostream.

This is my post # 21 in the NaBloPoMo-challenge. See my page here.