Wednesday, February 25, 2009

See you in a couple of weeks

I am leaving for Egypt tomorrow, Thuesday 26th of February and I return March 12.

Not sure I will be able to get online much but look forward to return to Blogland when I am back home!

I haven't been as active the past weeks as I have wanted to, but life has gotten in the way.
Thanks for all your comments on my blog and thanks for writing such enjoyable blogs all over the world!

See you :o)

River Nile and western mountains of Luxor in Egypt (ancient Thebes)

Wordless Wednesday

Coffins in St. Petri Church in Copenhagen, Denmark
For more Wordless Wednesday participants click here.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Egyptology Weekend: Temple of Karnak

This weekend my topic is the huge Temple of Karnak. The temple, which is actually a whole complex of temples, is one of the largests temple-complexes in the world. It is about 1.5 kilometers long and almost one kilometer broad. It is located in the modern town of Luxor in Southern Egypt on the Easterne bank of the Nile. In ancient times, the main part of the temple was dedicated to the god Amun and his family: his wife Mut and son Khonsu. Amun was one of the most important gods of ancient Egypt, so it is not wonder that this temple is so huge. Below is an image of the ground-plan of the temple.

The temple was founded around 2000 BCE and for the next 2000 years, almost every pharaoh build, demolished, extended and maintained this temple. Today, the ruin is by far one of the most magnificent ruins of the world. Below you see the facade of the temple. Upon entering, you walk down a long avenue of sphinxes and enter through a large pylon which is the gateway into the temple.This image is from flickr and is shot by the user Yi-Chen.

Most Egyptian temples are build from the same "master-plan". There is a row of features, that you'll find in most temples. One of those features is the pylon, fronting every temple. This one in Karnak is huge. You can see niches as well as windows in the pylon. Long, thin flagpoles were placed in the niches and they were tied up from the windows so that they would not break. Usually, a pylon is decorated with reliefs of various gods and goddesses and pharaoh smiting enemies in front of the gods. But the pylon in the Karnak Temple was never finished, so it has no decorations. Below is an image of one of the most famous features in the Karnak Temple: The great columned hall.
The hall was build by the pharaohs Sety I and his son Ramesses II. It is impossible to show an image or to describe just how enormous this hall actually is. It is a virtual forest of columns, more than 100, some of them more than 20 meters high. In ancient times, the hall had a roof and it symbolised the plants, the fertility, along the Nile. Some of the relief on the columns are very pretty, like you can see on the image below.

The duck and the sun disc spells Sa Ra, meaning Son of the Sun God Re. Immediately in front and behind the Sa Ra-glyphs, you can see the cartocuhes (name-rings) of pharaoh Ramesses II. The glyphs then means: Ramesses II is the Son of Re (but then again all pharaohs were sons of Re anyway).

The temple, like every other temple, also had a Sacred Lake, where priests could purify themselves before attending to rituals. You also needed obelisks, long, thin stone-poles pointing towards the sun and inscribed with whatever name of the pharaoh who gave the obelisk to the temple.

Karnak Temple was called Ipet-Isut in ancient times. That means "Most Select of Places". Today, this ancient holy ground is still a very select place, visited by thousands and thousands of tourists every day. But it is so huge that it rarely feels crowded. Or at least you can always find a spot where, if you really strain your ears, you can still hear the footsteps of priests and workers echoing down through the millenia ;o) And there is so much more to be said about this temple, that it will end up being a very, very long post if I do not stop now.
Wikipedia has a decent article here and the Tour Egypt website describe the temple here. You can see my flickr images from the temple here.
For the coming two weekends I'll actually be in Egypt, so no Egyptology Weekend, as I will not be able to be online every day.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Five Questions Interview

About a week ago, I read a post @ Sophisticated Dorkiness, where Kim was "being interviewed" by a fellow blogger, who had mailed five different questions. Kim offered to "interview" those of us who wanted it, and I signed up at once. I just got my set of questions for the interview - thanks Kim - and below I will do my best to answer them.

1. If you could go to visit time in history, what time would you want to go to?

This is actually hard. Of course it would be fun and interesting to visit Egypt sometime around 1200 BCE, but I have also often wanted to visit Ancient Rome and Medieval Europe. For Ancient Rome I would wish to be transported back to around year 0. Augustus was the emperor and things were definitely happening in many places around that time. That would be interesting to see. I have always had a thing for "Medievalness". I just adore that dark, dank, plague-ridden period and would really like to see Copenhagen - my home city - through a Medieval person's eyes. We still have ruins and "leftovers" in the inner city from the late Medieval period, and it is so interesting!

2. Do you do anything differently when you blog in Danish as opposed to when you blog in English?

In the beginning, I did the same at both blogs. I could review a Danish book only at the Danish blog if that book was not translated to English, but other than that, they blogs were the same. There are not that many serious book-bloggers having Danish book-blogs and after a few months, I sort of got annoyed with the lack of comments and interaction on the Danish blog, so I have skipped doing any memes, Egyptology Weekends and so on in Danish. The book reviews I do both places. I feel okay comfortable blogging in English, although there are things which are much easier to express in Danish, but I would wish for more active Danish book-bloggers. I am down to visiting a few Danish book-blogs myself, but fortunately they are all of a high quality and run by interesting people, whom I have enjoyed meeting in "blog-land".

3. What is one book on Egyptology that you think every person should read?

Ack. That is a tough one. First of all, it really depends what the person's interests are. Are they about general history? Pharaonic art? Burial customs? Perhaps a certain period? Let me turn the question around and ask: what is one book I think every person who wish to become an egyptologist should read? That makes it a little easier, as the one thing every egyptologist must learn is how to read the hieroglyphs. Without the knowledge of reading what them old folks actually wrote, we are not able to understand anything at all. So learning to read is the basic of all Egyptology-studies. In recent years, there has been made quite an amount of new textbooks, but the textbook every student comes across is a classic and a standard work. First edition was published in 1924 and it is still being re-published. It called: Egyptian Grammar and it is by Sir Alan Gardiner (long dead). That book is the base. And I've cried many salty tears getting through it. Its not that much fun, but the reward is, that after finishing it, you can read hieroglyhps! Click on the link to see the book on Amazon.

4. If you could only read one author for the next year, what author would you choose? Why?

This is also a tough one. I am tempted to say something like Stephen King, because he has written so many books that I haven't read, so there would be enough to keep me occupied for some months. It has been sometime since I was a King-fan and I haven't read any of his newer works. Many of the authors I read these days has only written a couple of books, and that is not enough for a whole year! But I still haven't read all of Paul Auster's books either, and as he is definitely one of my fave authors, I think it would be him I would choose.

5. What is your favorite thing about keeping a books blog?

Definitely meeting other (book-) bloggers, reading their blogs, sharing ideas, writing posts which people are actually commenting on, messing around with blog-designs, finding new "assingments" and much more. And it is always fun to review a book and then have people coming by saying how they liked/disliked the same work. I really think it is great fun. It is also a way for me to write, since I am interested in journalism and writing myself.

Thanks again to Kim for this interview!

The image is from the flickr-user svenwerk and it is called 5.

Wordless Wednesday

Auguste Rodin: The Thinker. Image taken in the back garden of Copenhagen museum New Carlsberg Glyptotek.

For more Wordless Wednesday, click here.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays are hosted by MizB at Should be Reading, where you can also check out other blogger's links to their Teaser Tuesdays-posts.

The rules are simple:
Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!

Please avoid spoilers!
Here is my teaser:

"She didn't bother talking to me unless it was to make death threats."

The teaser is from p. 61 of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz, and it is by far the best book I have read in a very long time. I am not finished yet, though, but am sitting here wondering why the heck I haven't gotten around to read it before now, since I have owned it for more than a year.....

Monday, February 16, 2009

Egyptology Weekend: Anubis - God of Embalming

Welcome to yet another Egyptology Weekend-post, although today is Monday.

This time a little info about the jackal-headed god Anubis.

"The spiritual world created by the ancient Egyptians was a richly fascinating one which remains unique in the history of human religion. The character of that spiritual world was both mysterious and manifest, at once accesible and hidden, for although Egyptian religion was often shrouded in layers of myth at ritual it nevertheless permeated the ancient civilization of the Nile and ultimately shaped, sustained and directed Egyptian culture in almost every imaginable way."

Anubis, the jackal-headed god who is found in numerous cartoons, computer-games and horror movies as one of the "bad guys" is actually the complete opposite. Despite his somewhat demonic looks, he was one of the "good guys" in the ancient Egyptian pantheon.

The image above is taken at the New Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen. It is the head of a life-size (human size) statue of Anubis. His head is a jackal and his body is human.

One of his main "areas" was, that he was "foremost of the westerners". Most cemetaries and other cultic buildings associated with death, burial and the afterlife was placed on the western side of the Nile, and thus the westerne side was understood as "the dead's side". Anubis, as "foremost of the westerners" refers to his "job" as the one who lead the deceased on their way into the netherworld.

Above you see Anubis leading a deceased lady. She is dressed in fine, transparent linen and wears an elaborate wig and a perfume-cone on her head. The image is from Metropolitan in New York and has been taken by flickr-user ggnyc.

Anubis was also God of Embalming. He was master of the per wabet, which was the ritual tent or pavillion, where the deceased were embalmed. According to myth, it was Anubis who made the mummy - the first mummy - which was that of Osiris who then became ruler of the netherworld and thus he became God of Embalming.

The image above shows Anubis preparing a mummy. The image is a tomb-painting and has been photographed by flickr-user pjwar.

Anubis was also guardian of the Necropolis and had a number of other "jobs" that he had to take care of.
Anubis is usually depicted as a man with a jackal's head or as a jackal resting on top of a shrine.

If you want to read more about Egyptian gods and goddesses, I recommend: The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt by Richard H. Wilkinson, from where I have also taken the long quote in the beginning of this post.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Oracle Night by Paul Auster

I personally think that Paul Auster writes like a dream. And Oracle Night is no exception. The writing is really good. And for the first 100 pages (the book is less than 200 pages in total) or more, I also enjoyed the story and was looking forward to see where it would lead. But I can't say that I feel much about the ending, which, unfortunately, ruined the whole book for me. So while I am a big Auster-fan, in my book Oracle Night is no match for some of his other works.

Oracle Night takes place in New York as so many of Auster's books. The main character in the inital story is Sid Orr, a recovering author, who just got back to life after month's of severe illness. His story is the frame. Within this frame there are at least two other stories, where the second story acts as a frame for the third. I did have to keep very concentrated because of all those different stories, and it was not as elegantly executed as I have seen before. There are other layers inside the other frames as well, making this read a bit too convoluted for my likings.

Sid Orr's story is about him recovering and trying to get back into the swing of writing. He thinks about his wife, Grace, they go visiting their friend, the well-known write John Trause and he walks around Brooklyn, visiting paper-stores and other places he accidentially fall into during his walks.

The other "main" story is the story Sid begins writing. That is a story about a man who, with no real reason, leaves his wife and goes hiding in Kansas City. And the third story is inside this second story. The man leaving his wife has gotten hold of a book about a blind mand surviving World War II.

All the way through the book Sid leaves footnotes explaining things about his life, about his work, his wife etc. I found the writing good, but it felt too silly with the footnotes which often read over 3-4 pages, and you had to go back and forth.

After all those stories has been put out there, the ending fell very flat in my opinion. I don't expect every book to have a nice and clean cut ending, and specially not in books and stories of this nature, but it still annoyed me pretty much that the ending was so lame.

This book is read as part of the RYOB-challenge and the Read and Review-challenge.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Poll results

As part of the Blog Improvement Project, I made a little poll. My question was: Do you like Paul Auster's books?

One person replied they really liked his works
Two persons replied they liked some of his works

And a staggering 14 persons replied Paul who?

Kim from Sophisticated Dorkiness suggested that I made a post about Paul Auster since so many don't know him, and that is something I plan to do very soon. He is one of my favorite authors and an important one at that as well, and while I certainly agree that he is not for all, I still think he has written a couple of works which, in time, will be considered modern classics. Anyway, more about that later!

Thanks for joining my little experiment. I will definitely make more polls. Its fun.

The image is from flickr, taken by Jef Aérosol and the title is "Paul Auster".

Blog Improvement Project # 3. Wrap Up.

I managed to do 4 post out of 10 for this round of BIP. I can't say that I am satisfied and normally I would have put more work into it that I feel I have done. This round of BIP just fell at the same time where I have had little time to be online. To add to that, I have been in a real-life-is-taking-over rut and really haven't felt inspired, despite feeling inspired initially by Kim's original post about this round.

I guess that it how it goes sometime and I don't plan on dwelling on it too much.

Generally I am feeling very inspired by the whole project, so if I do not manage to fulfill a couple of rounds, I guess that is not something I should worry about at all.

Anyway, here are the links to the posts I made for Round 3 of the BIP:

Thanks Kim for giving this a lot of thought, for being an inspiration and for taking the time to put together the different "tasks".

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Blog Improvement Project 3.4: A poll

A poll. Haven't got anything I need to know. Not right now anyway. I am feeling a bit un-inspired these days, but am determined to make as many posts in the Blog Improvement Project # 3. And one of the suggestions is to make a poll. Now I have done that. I don't know how I can get it into the middle of the page so that it is on top all the time, so you can see it in the side-bar. Please take a vote and when the poll is over, I'll return with the results ;o) I know it is not the most exciting poll ever......

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Blog Improvement Project 3.3: A list post

Perhaps this list should've been written up around New Year, which is mostly the time for looking back. But I am going to make it now as a part of the Blog Improvement Project. One of the "tasks" this time is to make several kind of blogposts. The first two were easy enough for me (a link-post and a short post) and I did them in two days. And one should think that making a list-post would be even easier. There are so many things to list. But for some reason, I haven't been able to come up with anything at all. So now I have grabbed my old "A Book Lover's Diary" where I used to list all my read books. And I am jumping back to 2004 and am making a list here of all the books I read in 2004:

Silent Prey by John Sandford 1/4/04
Secret Prey by John Sandford 1/8/04
Blessings by Anna Quindlen 1/12/04
The Beach House by James Patterson 1/15/04
Spellbound by Jane Green 1/23/04
Mind Prey by John Sandford 2/3/04
Naked Prey by John Sandford 2/13/04
Angels and Demons by Dan Brown 2/27/04
Crow Lake by Mary Lawson 3/12/04
Circus of the Damned by Laurell K. Hamilton 3/16/04
Disordered Minds by Minette Walters 3/20/04
Cry the Darkness by Donna L. Friess 3/22/04
Portrait in Sepia by Isabel Allende 3/25/04
Fall on Your Knees by AnnMarie MacDonald 3/31/04
The Lunatic Cafe by Laurell K. Hamilton 4/12/04
Shopaholic ties the knot by Sophie Kinsella 4/20/04
Winter Prey by John Sandford 5/4/04
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane 5/10/04
Certain Prey by John Sandford 5/15/04
Pompeii by Robert Harris 5/20/04
Mortal Prey by John Sandfor 5/25/04
The Apprentice by Tess Gerritsen 5/29/04
A Kiss of Darkness by Laurell K. Hamilton 6/10/04
Bloody Bones by Laurell K. Hamilton 6/25/04
e by Matt Beaumont 6/26/04
Distant Shores by Kristin Hannah 7/1/04
Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married by Marian Keyes 7/30/04
Spelling Mississippi 8/12/04
Monday Mourning by Kathy Reichs 8/14/04
What Look Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day by Pearl Cleage 8/21/04
Easy Prey by John Sandford 9/4/04
Dead until Dark by Charlaine Harris 9/15/04
The Killing Hour by Lisa Gardner 9/20/04
Rules of Prey by John Sandford 9/23/04
The Killing Dance by Laurell K. Hamilton 10/1/04
Burnt Offering by Laurell K. Hamilton 10/4/04
Indelible by Karin Slaughter 11/4/04
The 5 People you Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom 11/7/04
Fried Green Tomatoes by Fannie Flagg 11/15/04
Cat & Mouse by James Patterson 11/23/04
A Caress of Twilight by Laurell K. Hamilton 11/26/04
Shopaholic and Sister 11/28/04
Blow Fly by Patricia Cornwell 12/12/04
Wifey by Judy Blume 12/14/04
What does this list tell me? First of all, it is clear, that I was mostly into thrillers in 2004 with a lot of vampire and fantasy in between plus the odd chick lit thrown in. Not so much contemporary fiction on this list. It was also the year where I was really into John Sandford and Laurell K. Hamilton. I also read more than I do now. And I can also see that I didn't have time for reading much in July 2004, as that was the year where we went to USA for a month and did so many things and saw so many people that I barely had time for reading. In March 2004, where I read many books, I was working abroad for a month, which explains why I had time for reading. I've also reviewed most of the books I read in 2004 on Amazon (and here) and there are several pretty bad reads among all those listed above. I have given two stars to the following books: Spellbound, Cry the Darkness, The Apprentice, Lucy Sullivan is Getting Married and Shopaholic and Sister. On the other hand, some of the books which were to become some of my all time faves were also 2004-reads: Fall on your Knees and Fried Green Tomatoes. I also gave a 5 star rating to What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day and Burnt Offerings. But I haven't re-read those books, so that was probably just a spur of the moment thing.

One of my not-so-good-reads from 2004: Lucy Sullivan is getting married by Marian Keyes.


This is the 3rd post in the Blog Improvement Project # 3. You can read more about the project on Kim's page by clicking here or on the image in the sidebar.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Egyptology Weekend

Welcome to the first post in Egyptology Weekend @ Lou's Pages. Every weekend I will write a shorter or longer post about something Egyptological. It can be a certain period, a certain piece of architecture, a certain ritual, a certain person, a certain collection or museum etc. I will also recommend books for the interested reader. The books can be anything from a museum catalogue over a guidebook to an academic paper or work. If possible I will also recommend links further reading. I hope you will enjoy reading this weekly feature here at Lou's Pages. This feature is not meant to be an academic tour de force through Egyptology. Its for fun!

This weekend I have decided to write a bit about the vizier Ramose.

Ramose was a courtier and a nobleman during the reigns of pharaohs Amenhotep III and his son, the heretic Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten (whom I will feature in a future Egyptology Weekend). His large, rock cut tomb is located in the hills of the village Sheikh abd-el Qurna in Luxor, Egypt (ancient Thebes). Below you see an image of his (much restored) tomb as it looks today. It was cleared in the 1920's and is famous for its magnificent wall carvings, which were never finished. Ramose probably died before the workers were able to paint all the carvings in the traditional, bright colors.

Some of the scenes painted on the walls in his tomb has been painted though. Those are the paintings showing the funeral procession of Ramose. On the first image below, in the middle you can see men carrying chests on their shoulders. In them, all the things Ramoses needed for his afterlife were stocked. And also notice the man with a chair on his shoulders. He is holding a scribe's palette in his hand. Basically, Egyptians believed that they would be born again in a netherworld which had many similarities to the earthly life. And in this netherworld, they would need the same items, not to mention food and drink, in order to survive in the netherworld and not "die the second death". One way of getting what you wanted in the netherworld was to have your family offer those things on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, another way was to bring a lot of stuff with you in your tomb and a third way was to have those items painted on the walls of your tomb. Magically, those things painted or carved on the walls would come "alive" in the netherworld, should your family forget their duties (and they probably did, at least over time), and thus grant you whatever you needed for all eternity.

Naturally, a person as important as Ramose, he would also have professional mourners at his funeral procession which you can see on the two images below.

Looking at the timeline, we are in what Egyptologists, Archaeologists and Historians call The New Kingdom, Dynasty 18. The New Kingdom is the period which spans from circa 1539 - 1075 BCE. 18th Dynasty (circa 1539 - 1292 BCE) is the first dynasty (a dynasty usually covers an unbroken line of a single ruling family, but there are loads of exceptions to that rule) of The New Kingdom.
Ramose was in office between circa 1390 - 1336 BCE
If you want to search the net for more about Ramose, then his tomb has number TT 55. TT stands for Theban Tomb.
For an outline of Egyptian history, I recommend The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt by Ian Shaw (ed.). It can be purchased in a cheap paperback version and can also be found used many places.
All images are from my own flickr-photostream and the set called Tomb of Ramose. To see all my images from that tomb, click on the link.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Teaser Tuesdays

Teaser Tuesdays are hosted by MizB at Should be Reading, where you can also check out other blogger's links to their Teaser Tuesdays-posts.
The rules are simple:

Grab your current read.
Let the book fall open to a random page.Share with us two (2) “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.
You also need to share the title of the book that you’re getting your “teaser” from … that way people can have some great book recommendations if they like the teaser you’ve given!
Please avoid spoilers!
Here is my teaser:

I gathered that it hadn't been there long, but in spite of its newness, and in spite of its clever display in the windows (towers of ballpoints, pencils, and rulers arranged to suggest the New York skyline) the Paper Palace looked to small to contain much of interest.

The teaser is from p. 3 of Oracle Night by Paul Auster.

Blog Improvement Project 3.2: A short post

Speed-Lit? According to (website of large, Danish daily paper) a library in the city of Odense (larger city in Denmark) will be hosting a speed-lit party on February 26.

Speed-lit is a variation over the well-known concept of speed-dating where you need to impress the other person in a few minutes. Speed-lit is the same, but here you bring a book with you and if the person you speed-date likes you, then the ground has been laid for something more. If not, perhaps they like the book you brought, so if nothing else, speed-lit may be a place to go for book recommendations?!

I'm not single, so I am not going to try it (and Odense is too far away), but the article says that the concept of dating and literature has been a succes in Australia and Belgium. And why not? I think it is a good idea, but apart from the book, its not much different from "regular" speed dating, is it?


This is the second post in the Blog Improvement Project which will run for the next 14 days. Image is by photographer Ragnar Schmuck and is from's website.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Blog Improvement Project 3.1: Links

For this round of Kim's Blog Improvement Project we are looking into different sorts of posts and how to find some tricks and tips which may (or may not?) make our posts better. For the next 14 days I am going to try and make a post in the ten categories that Kim suggests. One of the post-types, which is also an easy one to do, is to post a link list. So that is what I am going to do today.

There are some tips as how to make a good link-post. It should not look like it was put together in haste. The links should not be directing the reader to pages or blogs where they have already been many times. The links should somehow reflect who you are as a blogger. Hmmm. I am mainly a book-blogger, but so many of us are, so instead of making a list of only book-links, I am going to make a list that may reflect a bit upon some of the things I find interesting one way or the other. The list is made in random order.

1. Magnum Photos. I am absolutely crazy about the Magnum Photo website. Magnum Photography is a world-wide exclusive club of professional photographers and as far as I know, you have to be invited to become a member. Some of the iconic images we all know from the 20th Century are most likely by a Magnum photographer. The founder was Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David Seymour, George Rodger and William Vandivert. There are some amazing photos there from the recent inauguration in Washington DC.

2. Freedom for Egyptians. This is just one of many blogs written these years by young Egyptians who has had enough. And they are unstopable. Which I think is great. I sit here safe and sound writing my blog, but in other countries around the world, there is censorships, bans and whatnot. Not only in Egypt and not only in the Middle East. The Freedom for Egyptians blog is not the most hard-core of them, but if interested, you can find links there to some of the hard-core blogs. Bloggers has been imprisoned in Egypt for expressing critique with the government and blogger are denied freedom of speech. But the blogmovement is growing in Egypt no matter how many bloggers are sent to jail.

3. Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archeology. Sir W. M. F. Petrie is one of the giants of Egyptian Archaeology. He worked in Egypt in the late 1800's and in the beginning of the 1900's and he was one of the first "real" archaeologists. He wasn't just into finding "treasures" for himself, he also provided museums around the world with first class items. He was sponsored by funds and foundations and back then, the law was, that the funder or the foundation got whatever was dug up. This is not possible today, where everything found in Egypts stays in Egypt (and rightly so), but back then the laws were different. The Petrie Museum is located in London.

4. Go Fug Yourself. Celebrity Fashion Diss and I love it.
This is the first post in the Blog Improvement Project which will run for the next 14 days.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

The Summer That Never Was by Peter Robinson

I am fast becoming a fan of Peter Robinson and his Inspector Banks-series. I have read a couple of them in random order and The Summer That Never Was is book number 13 in the series. If you don't know the series and want to read it, I suggest you begin with the beginning. They can be read individually, but the characters go through different things which may be good to know. But that said, they can easily stand alone.

A young boy, son of a celebrity-couple, goes missing at the same time a skeleton is dug up in another part of the country (England). The skeleton turns out to be that of Bank's friend Graham Marshall who went missing in the summer of 1965. Banks heads home after a long vacation in Greece even though he still has some weeks of vacation left. He is going to help Annie Cabbott, his ex-girlfriend who is also a detective, solving the mystery of the missing boy. On the surface it looks like a "simple" kidnapping case, and even more so as the parents of the missing boy are being told by a mysterious caller that the boy, Luke, will return home the day after he went missing. Things doesn't add up though and pretty soon it becomes a very confusing case involving more people than anticipated at first.

At the same time, Banks is also getting involved in the Graham Marshall-case. Graham disappeared in 1965 when he was 15 years old and now that his skeleton has been found, there is no doubt that he was murdered back then. It is officer Michelle Hart who is leading the investigations and she finds out that not everyone are interested in her getting to the bottom of things and solving the mystery. Banks is drawn to the case and goes back to his childhood-town. It makes Banks remember things from his adolescent youth he had long forgotten. Things that may or may not help the investigation.

The two cases are not connected as such, but there are many resemblances, specially concerning adolescence, boys, coming of age and remembering the past and all the summers that never was.

The book is long, more than 400 pages, but it moves well along and is very well written and just the kind of mystery/thriller I like. This is either 4½ or 5 stars out of 5.

This is part of the Read and Review challenge.

Weekly Geeks # 4: Other passions

The great team behind Weekly Geeks are enquiring about passions this week. Read the full post here.

Image of man and wife on an ushabti-box from a tomb.

What are our passions outside of books and blogging? First of all, I am questioning myself, do I even feel passionate about anything at all...? Passionate is such a big word. But then again, I do know that I do not have to take the meaning literally and that if I translate it to something like "what are your other interests" it applies (and appeals) more to me. I can see the gap between being passionate about something and having an interest in something. But taken literally, I am not red-hot with passion over anything. But I am interested in a lot of things, and definitely, I feel more interested in some things over others. And there are of course things which I am very interested in and spend a lot of time doing or thinking about. Surely.

So okay, here goes!

Travel is one of my great interests as well as travel-writing. I feel at home in many places around the world and have travelled since I was 6 years old, where my parents took me and my two siblings on a month long journey to Italy and Greece. I have spent a year of my life living in USA and about a year (totalt) living in Egypt. And USA and Egypt are my fave places to travel. I have written two guidebooks on Egypt (in Danish) and several travel-related articles both online and in "real" papers and magazines. I am very passionate (oops, there it was, the word...) about that. Some of my fave destinations are (in random order): San Francisco, New Orleans, Luxor (Egypt), Cairo (Egypt), Berlin (Germany) and Chora Sfakion (Crete). Blue door in Chora Sfakion

San Francisco seen from Alcatraz

I spend a lot of time on where you can find all sorts of travel-related stuff.

Photography is another interest I have. I am by all means a complete amateur. I am NOT saying this in order to have all of you claim the opposite. I truly am. I have no idea whatsoever about the right lightening, white-balance, ISO or any other technicalities, I am a point and shoot-kind of photographer. I do want to become a better amateur though and have contemplated taking some serious lessons. I am quite sure I would learn a great deal and also learn to take better pics. I am also the proud owner of a fancy Canon-camera, and many of it's features are wasted on me. Oh....I am passionate about NOT photoshopping my images. I may twist an image so that the horizon is in sync or remove red eyes. I may also crop an image or do other minor stuff with the images. But the extreme photoshopping I see around some online photography-pages, well, that doesn't do it for me. As far as photography goes, that is cheating.

I post a variety of my photos on flickr. There are some tremendously good photographers also posting images there, but basically it is amateur heaven.

Egyptian man Ahmose. Part of statue with his mother

Egyptology. Actually, I am about to receive my MA in Egyptology with a thesis, which I will deliver during the late spring this year. I have studied for many years, but took a lot of years "off " after my Bachelors in order to work. Last summer I stopped working at the art museum where I had worked for 5 years in their Dept. of Egyptian Antiquities to finish the MA-degree. But I am still doing guided tours at the museum though. And I also got myself another job as I found it difficult just to sit at home writing the thesis. This has meant that instead of completing in 6 months it will take me 12 months, but the end is near, and I am looking forward to that and to receive the degree. Anyway, I have lived in Egypt as well while studying and worked there as a guide, but that is some years back now. I go there at least once a year, sometimes more. I am mostly interested in the old stuff, but over the years I have also gained an interest in the modern life and world. There are literally tens of thousands of websites out there about Ancient Egypt and all but perhaps a couple of hundred (maybe even less) are worth your while. The rest are....well, crap.

Boy on donkey in front of Pyramid of Chephren, Giza, Cairo

A couple of good sites are this one about the pyramids of Giza and this one about the royal burials in Valley of the Kings.

Softdrink from Fizzy Thoughts and I share a great interest in travel.

I guess that is it ;o) I also like fashion, pop-culture, art, urban/street art, American History and food! All images above are from my own flickr-photostream.