Friday, October 30, 2009

Women Unbound - a reading challenge

A great new reading challenge is set to begin on Sunday November 1. It is hosted by Aarti of Booklust, Care of Care's Online Book Club and Eva of A Striped Armchair. Aarti, Care and Eva mentions that they had a lot of help from fellow book bloggers and you can see them all by clicking here and look for the Community Credit-column.

The link will also take you to the main page of the challenge, which is called Women Unbound. All the details are also explained on the beautifully set up blog, which just makes you want to get started on this challenge right away. I am trying to limit challenges since I pretty much fail in them all, but I hope to be able to pile together a list and a stack of great books to read. There are also lists of books for inspiration, lovely buttons and much more on the blog. So hurry over and check it out!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Giver by Lois Lowry

This is the first book that I've read in Bart of Bart's Bookshelf YA Dystopian Reading Challenge. It is also one out of three books I got in a set written by Lois Lowry. How they are connected, I don't know yet. In fact, I hesitated at first calling this one dystopian, since Jonas, main protagonist of The Giver, doesn't live in a dystopian world. He lives in a utopian world.

In Jonas' world everything is in complete order. You know exactly how to speak correct language, rudeness is forbidden by law, lying is forbidden, families are put together through careful planning and matchmaking, work is put into a system where all know how, when and where to work and there are no outsiders. All are equal, all are same. They share sameness. At the age of 12 you are an adult and this is where you begin your training to become a scientist, nurse, speaker, lawyer, garderner, laborer or whatever your assigned field of work is going to be.

We meet Jonas and his friends of the 11-group shortly before their year 12 year (everyone has a birthday on the same day, although after 12, this is no longer celebrated) Jonas is looking forward to reach the group of 12 and become and adult, and he wonders what his assignment is going to be. He is in for a surprise, when he is singled out as the new Receiver of Memory for the community he lives in. And this is where the dystopian element enters the story. Jonas discovers that everything and everyone does not have to share sameness, and the consequences of this are huge when he realises that there used to be another world. Question is, will he be able to continue his life is this "Utopia" of his or must he move towards a truer world?

I have read that another of Lois Lowry books deal with the opposite of Jonas' world, where a new protagonist (this time a girl) grows up in Dystopia as opposed to Jonas' Utopia. I am looking forward to read that one, although I wasn't quite as taken with The Giver as I have been with some of the other YA dystopian I've read recently. Sure it was thought provoking, but it did not really get to me. I didn't hate it though, and will definitely read more by Lois Lowry.

Don't forget to check out Bart's Bookshelf using the link above.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Readathon Wrap Up Post

The October Read-a-Thon has been over for about 45 minutes, and I bet a lot of you are now soundly sleeping or at least taking a serious reading and/or computer break. I have been having hours of sleep in the middle of it all, so I am online still and not feeling tired. I will take a break in less than 40 minutes though where I will be watching some of the TV I missed last night.

First of all I want to thank all the organizers of this major event. Without your skills and encouragement the Read-a-Thon would not run as smoothly as it has done these past 24 hours. You deserve a big HOORAAAAAY (and a ton of exclamationpoints after that as well)!!!!!!!!!!

There are so many people working behind the scenes for a Read-a-Thon, and I am not even sure I know them all. I've been cheerleading for the Read-a-Thon and have therefore had most contact with Eva. I know that many  more are behind it all, so my thanks go out to all of you and not just Eva. THANKS!!!!

I was cheering from the very first minutes of the Read-a-Thon and was happy to have a system to work from. Otherwise it would have been hard with almost 400 readers participating (although I did happen upon blogs which were clearly not updated for a long time now and then). But it all went like a dream, and I must have left close to 500 cheering comments during my 12 hours of cheering. I found that the first 4-5 hours went by very fast without me getting to all the blogs I wanted, but the next couple of hours were equally fast and I was now into the whole cheering thing and managed to work my way through all those fantastic blogs faster than during the first couple of hours.

I was on Twitter on and off. When #readathon began trending it attracted a lot of idiotic haters and trolls and they sort of got to me. I was in no mood whatsoever to read that "reading is for morons" and stuff that was worse than that, so I had to stay off Twitter for most of the time. When #readathon was no longer trending, the haters also disappeared, though, and things became way cosier there. That was the only thing I did not like about the event (and I am not normally taking any notice of internet trolls whatsoever).

The other thing I was not quite so fond of (but which had nothing to do with the Read-a-Thon as such) was that we went from Summer Daylight Saving Times to Winter Daylight Saving Times during the night. That sort of threw me off balance, and I didn't get back online again after my rest until 3 hours before it was over. I would have liked to be there more.

Next time there is a Read-a-Thon I am signing up again. I don't know if I will sign up as a reader or a cheerleader, but I know that no matter what, I will only sign up for one thing. I cannot do both and am in awe of those who can!

Thanks to all for participating. Its been so much fun.

Sunday Mini Reviews: Moon Palace by Paul Auster

Sunday Mini Reviews is a weekly feature where I highlight a book or a series that I've read pre-blogging or pre-reviewing on Amazon. Highlighting the book or series is done in various ways depending on my mood and energy on the given Sunday. It can be everything from a single line or link to a fuller review or a quote from another blogger or reviewer who read the same book or series. But no matter the way it is being done, you can be sure that it is a recommendation and that I've read the book or series myself.

This Sunday I am highlighting the first Paul Auster novel I read: Moon Palace.

This is from Publishers Weekly via

Marco Fogg, loner and dreamer, is forced from his Manhattan apartment and roams Central Park as a vagrant until he is rescued by gentle Kitty Wu. "The moon as a poetic and planetary influence over earthly affairs runs as a theme, wittily ransacked, throughout this elegant fiction.

Its not the best Paul Auster I've read, but it did get me sort of hooked on him, and I've read quite a few of his works since then. I read Moon Palace in 1993, where my cousin gave it to me for my birthday. I didn't know Paul Auster before, and neither did she, but she stumbled upon it during a vacation in the UK where she visited a friend of hers. This friend of hers apparently recommended Moon Palace, and my cousin found that I needed to snap out of reading only Jackie Collins-novels - which I certainly did a lot back then ;o)

Readathon Last Hour Approaching

How are you all doing out there? Still reading? Sleeping? Or just resting until the last hour arrives in less than 4 minutes? I am around for some last-hour cheering, although someone here is preparing lunch (yes, its 12 noon here in Denmark) AND expecting me to join lunch. I will be checking in here again soon.


Readathon Twentysecond Hour

After a good rest, I have spent the 22nd hour cheering those who are still around. Now its time for a very quick shower (yes, it is. You would say so if you sat beside me!) and then back to cheering. I know that I cheated and had a good long rest during all this, but being around for at least half of the Read-a-Thon has been much fun and I can't wait to re-visit some of those blogs I've encountered on my way. I already knew some of them, but also found MANY great new-to-me-blogs. That is one of the great rewards of this, I think.

Readathon - and daylight saving changes

Hello all Read-a-thonnners. I am back online, have been cheering some of you who are still awake and am going to hang in here to the end. I should not brag though. I have napped way longer than anticipated ;o) I got up one hour later than I thought because we have changed back the daylight saving times, which I had completely forgotten all about. But here I am, ready for the last two and a half hours. I am amazed at how many of you are still up and running. You are great! Next time there is a Read-a-Thon, I will sign up for 24 hours, I think :o) But now off for cheerleading, so I can meet my goal of cheering for 12 hours.


Saturday, October 24, 2009

Readathon Eleventh Hour

Its about the time where I am needing some rest. Eyes itching, head aching (and yes, I already took some Aspirin, better not overdose on them) and bones tired...So if I am not around cheering for some hours, its because I am snoozing. Its 1AM here in Copenhagen and my better half has been snoring for at least half an hour. I think I'll go brush those teeth and grab my book and read a bit and get some sleep.


Readathon Tenth Hour

Not much of an update from me during the tenth hour of Read-a-Thon. I actually just read and watched a bit of tv. Still reading The Giver, mentioned in update 8. It is a few minutes before midnight here in Denmark, but I think I still have it in me to continue cheerleading for an hour more at least. So off I am cheerleading all of you brave bloggers out there.

Readathon Ninth Hour

I have been cheering almost non stop since the beginning of the Read-a-Thon, although I did take breaks for bathroom, a telephone call, dinner and a bit of reading. I have had a ton of good fun, but I can definitely feel my eyes being a bit tired now from looking at the screen for so many hours. I am not overly tired as such yet, but will probably be in an hour or so when we pass midnight here in Denmark.

For the next hours, when you need to relax a bit, I want to direct you to the fun mini-challenge which Nicole from Linus's Blanket is hosting beginning now! I think I may join that one myself :-)

Happy reading all.

Readathon Eighth Hour

Can't believe its already been eight hours and that we are heading into hour nine now. Will be cheerleading some more in a minute, but have also been off for a bit of reading (I thought I was going to watch some TV but skipped that). I am currently reading The Giver by Lois Lowry.

Here is a small excerpt from

In a world with no poverty, no crime, no sickness and no unemployment, and where every family is happy, 12-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the community's Receiver of Memories. Under the tutelage of the Elders and an old man known as the Giver, he discovers the disturbing truth about his utopian world and struggles against the weight of its hypocrisy. With echoes of Brave New World, in this 1994 Newbery Medal winner, Lowry examines the idea that people might freely choose to give up their humanity in order to create a more stable society. Gradually Jonas learns just how costly this ordered and pain-free society can be, and boldly decides he cannot pay the price.


Readathon Seventh Hour

Seventh Hour of this magnificent Read-a-Ton was short for me. I had dinner and got a late start on a new round of cheerleading. The eighth hour beginning NOW will perhaps also be a bit short, since I am thinking of taking a TV break. But we'll see. I have signed up for at least 12 hours of cheerleading, and am determined to keep that!

Readathon Sixth Hour

In which I had to take a break to have dinner, and that is why this post is up about half an hour late. I am now heading into a new, great round of cheerleading and am looking forward to read new blogs and new posts. Also time to check back into Twitter and see how the readathonners are holding up there.


Readathon Fifth Hour

Got sidetracked for exactly 13 minutes when my mother called, but other than that, only a few of nature's calls has kept me from cheering all of you brave readers out there. I have signed up for 12 hours of cheering, and am definitely not about to stop now, since I am having too much fun. As we enter into the 6th hour I am hoping to get to "my" blogs for a second round of cheering. After the 6th hour I am going to have dinner, but will hopefully be back again after that.


Oh - and most of the #read-a-thon haters seem to have vanished from Twitter by now. But we are down at the last spot of the trending topics, so I am going back to Twitter again now and get us up there again.

Don't forget to check out all the fun mini-challenges here.

Readathon Fourth Hour

Amazed at how great everyone is doing! Keep up the good work and keep rocking!

Here is a little something taken from the main page:

Let’s keep up the energy with the next mini-challenge. Our host is Bart from Bart’s Bookshelf, and he’s asking you to grab 3-4 books and make a sentence out of the title. You’ll take a picture of the spines, and the best sentence will win! This mini-challenge will stay open for three hours.

Click here to get to the main page and join Bart's fun mini-challenge.

Readathon Third Hour

Still cheerleading and still finding great blogs all over the world. And speaking of All Over The World, then you should head over to Trish at Hey Lady! Whatcha Readin'? where she is hosting a fun mini-challenge called Where in the World is the Read-a-Thon? When I plugged in my exact place I noticed that I was, until then at least, the only blogger and reader joining from Denmark. But check it out yourself by clicking the link to Trish's blog above.

Have great fun as we enter into the fourth hour of the Read-a-Thon

Readathon Second Hour

Second hour of the 24 hour Read-a-Thon is about to run out. I am still cheering my way around the blogospehere and am finding loads of new-to-me blogs. The list of participants which can be found on the Dewey's Read-a-Thon page (click here) is like a goldmine of wonderful and wonderfully interesting book blogs. I have a suspicion that my blog roll will grow in large numbers when the Read-a-Thon is over.


Readathon First Hour

I am a cheerleader for the readathon. It is the first time I join a readathon and wasn't completely sure I could manage just to read, read, read. So I decided to be a cheerleader instead. Eva of A Striped Armchair has been my mentor, putting it all into a system even I can work out. Thanks Eva.

I was here from the beginning, 5 AM Pacific Time (which means 2 PM Copenhagen, Denmark), logging in to Twitter and the Dewey's Readathon Page where the list of all the bloggers participating is.

This first hour, I have visited a total of 11 blogs participating. One blog did not exist anymore, another looked like they were doing something else this weekend and a few had not put up any Readathon-posts yet. But I did find some new-to-me-blogs which I am loooking forward to check out more throughly over the next weeks when the readathon-hangover wears off. Those new-to-me blogs are: Books, Movies, and Chinese Food and  Jenn's Bookshelves and Capricious Reader. I also thought that The Zen Leaf was a new-to-me-blog, but realize that I have visited Amanda's Blog before :-)

I am taking a break off Twitter, because 1) #readathon is trending so a lot of non-readers are checking in and being snide and I am just not in the mood for them this hour and 2) in the roughly 10 minutes it has taken me to write this post, there are 308 new tweets with the # readathon tag...


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is Carrie Ryan's debut novel, its new and I've seen it mentioned quite a lot around various book blogs. Being caught up in reading dystopic and/or post apocalyptic YA, I decided to give this one a try. It is a very fitting book for the upcoming Halloween, since it is full of The Unconsecrated, which are basically zombies.

The story takes place in a village many, many, many years after The Return (= The Apocalypse) where The Unconsecrated took over the world. The human survivors of The Return settled in a village, surrounded by a metal fence, which The Unconcecrated are constantly trying to breach. A bite from an Unconcecrated means almost immediate infection, and the bitten one turns either Unconcecrated or dead - if the family have the heart to kill the bitten one, that is.

Mary, our young heroine, has been born into the village and knows nothing of the world outside the village. Only that the village is surrounded by The Forest of Hands and Teeth, where The Unconcecrated roam in large numbers. But Mary has been told tales by her mother - tales about The Ocean and a world outside the village.

Just before Mary is going to be engaged, things begin to happen and she ends up living with The Sisterhood, a sort of an order of Nuns, who run the village and who lives in the village Cathedral. Here she finds out that maybe, just maybe, there is another world outside the fenced in village, another world where The Unconcecrated cannot live, where the humans cannot hear the constant moaning from The Unconcecrated. Mary is not going to sit still and be forced into an arranged marriage, and pretty soon she is on edge with The Sisterhood and the head nun, Sister Tabitha.

What happens then, I will not disclose here, you'll have to read the book yourself. This book came hot on the heels of the Twilight craze (one reviewer actually say that "Zombies may be the new vampires"), and it is not too far fetched to think, that the author has wanted to ride that wave. Understandably so. I haven't read The Twilight Series, so I cannot compare, but there is a lot (sigh) of "young love" and the problems connected with that in this book, and frankly, I am way too old to find that interesting at all. The whole Zombie-thing and the world, which has been thought up by the author for this book is brilliant and brilliantly described. Mary as the protagonist develops during the course of the book, although again, all the he-loves-me/he-loves-me-not wore me down and I wanted to shout: Get it over with, darn it and decide what you wanna do! But I guess that is one of the premises of some YA. I am going to read the next one about Mary (set to be published in 2010), and can also recommend The Forest of Hands and Teeth. A younger audience will probably like the lovestory which runs along the main story a lot.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Can you see them? The widgets?

I have a short question. I need to find out if it is my computer or a general problem. Where my Good Reads widgets (and others) are supposed to be, I can only see empty boxes. If someone posts a video on their blog, I am unable to see it. Just see an empty box. I need to log on from work and see if its general or just my computer. Can you see my widgets?

Sunday Mini Reviews: The Tempe Brennan series by Kathy Reichs

Searching Kathy Reichs on this blog will show two reviews: Devil Bones and Bones to Ashes. I have however read all books in the Tempe Brennan series (except the latest one 206 Bones, which is on my TBR). A complete list (except the latest one) can be seen here. Since I've been reading the series before I began blogging, I think that a couple of Sunday Mini Reviews are in order. I have to admit, though, that I cannot remember the exact plot of each and every book in the series, but I remember if I liked the book or not (mainly because I liked almost all of them).

The first book in the series is Deja Dead. At this point I was a huge fan of Patricia Cornwell's Kay Scarpetta series, and wasn't really sure that another forensic-examiner-woman-sleuth would be nearly as good. But what a debute! I simply loved it and was chilled to the bone(!), even though I read it while I was living in Cairo and it was hot, hot, hot summertime. I found both plotline and character development to be bulls eye. Here is what says:

Actress Amy Irving's low-key approach fits first novelist Reichs's on-the-edge-of- your-seat thriller  perfectly. Montreal forensic anthropologist Temperance Brennan is called upon when seemingly old bones are unearthed. She unwittingly stumbles upon a headless?and fresh?corpse. Research into other murders convinces her that a pattern is emerging and perhaps a serial killer is on the loose.

Loving forensics and loving serial killer mysteries, there wasn't anything not to be thrilled about in this first book. If you haven't read it and like a good mystery, then it is highly recommendable.

The followed number 2 which was almost as good as number 1. Number 3 was the one with the bikers, and that didn't really interest me, so wasn't completely taken with that one. Number 4 was about the plane crash and I remember it had a surprising ending. 5 in the series took place in Guatemala and was an okay read, and the next one, 6, I don't remember at all. I had to look it up at Amazon, and by reading their summary, I remember that this was the first one where I was a bit disappointed. Tempe's feistyness began to annoy me. Tempe's lecturing about forensic science (in what I found a patronizing way) also bega to annoy me, and this annoyance has stayed with me during all the remaining books. So reading number 7, I was already a bit annoyed, but remember an okay read. And then comes number 8. One of the most irritating books I've ever read. It came hot on the heels of the whole Da Vinci Code-frenzy, and it was definitely too thick. Its about the bones of Jesus and Tempe working in Israel and such. Boring and unneccessary. To be avoided.

As you can imagine, I wasn't thrilled and I didn't get to a Tempe Brennan book in a long time. But when I did pick up the next one, 9, I was very pleasantly surprised, because it was very good. And for 10 and 11, you can click the links above to see what I thought of them. But since I've purchased number 12, I guess you already have detected that I like them. Really, number 8 is the only one which really stinks. There are a couple I didn't really care for, but not in such a way that I was very disappointed or overly annoyed.

The conclusion is that number 1 was the best! And if you are only going to read one Kathy Reichs novel, then that has got to be the one! But the whole series is recommendable.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Tomorrow Series # 1: Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden

Beth of Beth Fish Reads recommended John Marsden's Tomorrow-series to me a few months ago. There are several books in the series (seven or eight I think), but I wanted to see if I liked it before getting them all. So I went ahead and bought number one in the series: Tomorrow, When the War Began. Thanks Beth! That was one great read, and I have just ordered the next two in the series.

Tomorrow, When the War Began takes place in Australia in the 1990'es. It was first published in 1995, so there is a lack of internet, cell phones etc which there would've been if the book had been written more recently. But that doesn't make it a less great read.

Ellie and six of her high school friends are camping in the Australian outback for a few days after Christmas. They are four girls and three boys: Ellie, Corrie, Fi and Robyn and Kevin, Homer and Lee. They find this wonderful place to camp and hang out there for the next days, doing nothing but flirting, talking and relaxing. One night some of them wake up when a lot of jets are flying over their campsite, and when they talk about it the next morning, they joke about that it was like a war has begun. A few days later they break up camp and return home - only to find that their joking has come true. Their homes are deserted, their pets and husbandry left dead or dying and no parents or siblings are anywhere.

A war has indeed begun and the seven friends are seemingly the only ones left not caught by the enemy. Now a very intense time for the seven friends begin, and I found this book and its premise extremely suspenseful. There were times where I feared I could not read more, because the suspense was almost killing me. How their group develops, how new relationships are formed and how the group's dynamics can change in a heartbeat is explained through those seven friends in a very fresh and modern way, which should be appealing to all young adult readers, which are the target audience for this series. While the story is not about sexual relations at all, it is more than hinted at, and that may put off some readers or parents. I know I didn't mind, but neither did I find it overly interesting. The YA audience will definitely find it more interesting. I liked the war-stuff better! The book is dystopian, but we are in our own world, in our own time and the end has not (yet) arrived.

Can't wait to read the next book in the series (seems like I have a lot of YA series going). Highly recommendable.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Chaos Walking: The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

Wow. I read this book in a few days, not wanting to put it away at any time. Left me breathless and a bit speechless as well. The language is so fast paced that it sometimes become too much, but all in all: WOW!

Todd and his dog Manchee lives in Prentisstown in New World. New World looks in many ways like Old World (which, I guess, is our world), there are trees, forests, mountains, valleys and animals (although some of them are rather different from the animals you know). But in Prentisstown in New World men can hear each other's thoughts - called Noise - and animals also talk! Sounds stupid? It isn't. There are no women in Prentisstown, and something is brewing underneath all the Noise.

Todd is only a month away from being 13, and when he is 13, he is a man. He lives with Ben and Cillian on a farm, and he is grudgingly going about his usual business when he stumbles upon a spot in the nearby swamp, where Noise can't be heard. Where there is Quiet. Realizing this, Todd also realizes that something has been kept from him - somthing he will not learn about until he is a man - in only a month. He agonizes over the constant Noise ("Men are just chaos walking" Todd notes at one point), he agonizes over his dog, who just chatter about pooping, and he doesn't really want to do farmwork.

Soon enough he has reason to wish that he was just doing farmwork and minding his own business. Because after finding the spot of Quiet in the swamp, he is being sent onto a quest that he constantly doubts he will be able to fulfill. But with the aid of his trusted dog Manchee he is sent on his way, and the surprises keep flying off the pages of this book, making it one of the most interesting and suspenseful reads I've had during my recent YA-dystopian reading bing. Its been a very long while since I was a YA myself, but I was so scared and horrfied at times that I had to put the book down! An awesome read! Its definitely dystopian, although it is neither End-of-the-world nor Post Apocalyptic. I highly recommend it.

The Knife of Never Letting Go is the first in the Chaos Walking Trilogy. The next one, The Ask and the Answer is already out, and yes, I have ordered it. Can't wait to read it.

Jackie of Farm Lane Books Blog reviews The Knife of Never Letting Go here.

Monday, October 12, 2009

the dead & the gone by Susan Pfeffer

the dead and the gone  by Beth Pfeffer is Book # 2 in what I have understood is now called "Moon Trilogy", and that there will be a third one out next year.

I recently read - and loved - Book # 1, Life as we knew it, and was not disappointed with this one either. In the first book we followed 16 year old Miranda, living with her family in a rural Pennsylvanian town, but in this book we are with 17 year old Puerto Rican Alex in New York. Since we are expected to know the background from Book 1 (that an asteroid knocks the moon of its base and creates, among other things, tidal waves, tsunamis, earthquakes and erupting volcanos), there is not so much description of those things in this book. Which is fine. The story of Miranda was centered around her and her family, and that is also what is forming the backbone of this book - family and what happens to the dynamics inside a family when disaster hits. But other than that, we are dealing with a whole new set of problems in this book.

The main thing is that religion plays a big role in the dead and the gone. Religion wasn't present at all in the first book. Alex and his family are Catholics,  and thus faith, prayers, Mass, sin, saints and other religious means are used as tools to get the story moving. It never becomes preaching though.

Another main thing is that the protagonist, Alex, and his two younger sisters are enduring their more or less post-apocalyptic world on their own. That is, without any parents. Their parents and older brother goes missing - maybe - from almost page one in the book, so Alex, Bri and Julie are on their own.

the dead and the gone also has The Big City (New York) as its scene, not a rural town. A big city naturally face a whole other set of problems than a small town during a disaster of this kind. But both books does center around family and coming of age in a world where nothing is as it used to be.

Other bloggers has mentioned this as well, but I also found Alex' macho-latino ways to be a bit tiring and stereo-typical. I did like Alex though, but sometimes it was laid on too thick. Like when he orders his sisters to clean and cook, because that is what women do. Other than that, I loved this book and am now eagerly waiting for Book 3. Now we need to see how - or if - the world continues or if all hope is lost.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Mini Review: Prince of Tides by Pat Conroy

How I absolutely loved this book. I was living a year abroad, and when my sister and her friend came to visit, they brought this one to me. I didn't know the author at all, and was at this time of my life reading either Stephen King or Jackie Collins and preferably nothing else.

Prince of Tides is about a dysfunctional and poor Southern family. About violence and rape. And supressed childhood memories. Doesn't sound like a wonderful book, does it? I guarantee that it is, because it is also about love, friendship and family. In fact, I think I am going to re-read soon.

Cold is the Grave by Peter Robinson

This is book 11 in the Inspector Banks series of which I have read quite a few by now. They are all well written, although my personal interest in the plots differ a lot from book to book. Cold is the Grave sort of falls middle of the road. Its a long read, and the first third didn't really interest me, although I could see once the story got moving, why the first third had to be there in the first place. I also found the book to be about 50 pages too long, but that is a minor detail, since it is indeed well written.
Banks is being sent to London from his Yorkshire turf to help finding Emily, the runaway daughter of his boss, chief of police Jerry Riddle. Riddle has political ambitions, and he asks Banks to do this investigation at most discreet. Riddle and his cool wife Rosalind, the lawyer, are not interested in having their wild daughter tarnish the Riddle family's reputation. Banks unwillingly travels to London, manages to find Emily and delivers her relatively safe and sound to her family again.

Later a couple of lowlife criminals are found murdered, and as the investigations into those murders begin, Emily shows up again, asking Banks to meet with her. Soon it becomes clear that some of Emily's aquaintances in London could be involved in the murders of the low life criminals. Before Banks and his team manages to crack open the case completely, dramatic things happen, and the investigation takes on a whole other direction.

And this is where the story becomes a real mystery, with twists and turns, one more surprising than the other. In the end it is all being wrapped up - even Banks' love life which has been unsteady since his wife Sandra left him in an earlier book. The last part of the book was definitely the best, and I am already looking forward to the next one in the series, Aftermath.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Should I get one? Kindle experiences.

Until now, I haven't had to think about this. Kindle and other readers were not available in Denmark (or Europe for that matter). Yes, I guess there has been some readers available, but none has really been advertized - and if they have been available and/or advertized, people have had bad experiences with them. So, last night I get an e-mail from telling me, that Kindle is now available in Europe. I am immediately tempted. I will never stop buying books (I think), but the thought of being able to take a ton of books with me when I travel instead of just two or three is appealing. Very appealing. The fact that I also love gadgets (but don't necessarily know how to use them) is also a huge factor here. A Kindle is quite expensive (at least to me) though, so I am not rushing out there to get it. I want to think more about it.

So I am asking you, do you own one/have tried one, and how do you like it? No doubt we all like the feel and smell of new books and the look of a towering TBR-pile. So this is not so much a question of whether "the book is dead or not" as it is a question of how you like Kindle. Also, if you haven't got one, would you consider it? The look of the new Kindle is lovely ;-) although the image is of the first generation Kindle. The new one is slimmer, but I could not find an image of it, perhaps because it is not being released until October 19.

The image is from The Same Rowdy Crowd.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Should I feel bad or am I just like you? Book Buying Binge!

I have always bought books - as well as using the library. No news in that. I also like to browse used books at irl-sales and on eBay (among other places). Still no news in that.

Due to various things (economy, room, studying fees, having to buy books for studies etc) over the past years, I haven't bought as many as I used to. I know I don't have to say again that books are rather expensive in Denmark (although it is better now than it was some years back), and that we have special taxes on books here.

Anyway, I am lucky these days that things has changed. I finally have a full time job again after years of studying and only working part time, and I also got some GC's for books recently. So I have been buying books like there was no tomorrow (and books about there being no tomorrow by the way). For a couple of months now.
And I am buying the books faster than I can read them, and I am thinking: Am I just BAD and a sorry slow reader?! What about you? I am aware that most of us have TBR-mountains, so I guess some of you are bad like me. LOL. But seriously. I am starting to actually feel bad about it when yet another package landed today from Amazon. Easy solution, you think, why doesn't she just stop buying those dang books? I don't know. I love to be able to browse and actually be able to buy a few here and there. Its not so much that the TBR is growing, because that is fine. Its more like all those wonderful new books are putting me into a situation where I have so many up-coming reads to choose from, that I really can't decide.
Do you know what I mean? Or do you never have this "problem" as well (which, granted, is a luxury problem compared to world hunger, war, illness and death. Kinda up the same alley as "I have nothing to wear").

Have a look at some of the books I have gotten the past week or so:

206 Bones by Kathy Reichs
One Day by David Nicholls
A Quiet Belief in Angelse by R.J. Ellory (recommended by Cathy at Kittling: Books)
The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (recommended by Vivienne at Serendipity, but have seen it around other blogs as well after I began noticing)
The Forest of Hands & Teeth by Carrie Ryan (recommended by Beth F at Beth Fish Reads)
Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden (recommended by Beth F at Beth Fish Reads)
Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
The Life of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski
The Dead and the Gone by Susan Pfeffer
Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris
Definitely Dead by Charlaine Harris
The Audacity of Hope by Barack Obama

Right now I am reading one of my recently bought Inspector Banks-series books, and I like it. Having just made this list is making me think of what should be up next, although I am still not through another batch of books I bought earlier with highlights such as that Guernsey Potato-book, an Anne Rivers Siddons novel, Property by Valerie Martin, Tender Graces by Kathryn Magendie, The Road by Cormac McCarthy etc etc. Well, I certainly have enough newly purchased books to last me a few months!

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Sunday Mini Reviews: Five Go To Smuggler's Top by Enid Blyton

The Famous Five is just one of the many series British writer Enid Blyton wrote, but this is the most famous one. Blyton died before I was born, but I read all the books in the Famous Five series, and I loved them dearly.

My favorite one was Five Go To Smuggler's Top in which Julian, Dick, Anne, George and the dog Tim are spending the Easter holidays in a large, old house used to be a smuggler's nest. When they discover signalling at night and underground tunnels, the suspense is almost unbearable!

Does kids today enjoy The Famous Five series? I know it is still published.