Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Day by David Nicholls

One Day by David Nicholls is a saga spanning 20 years. We follow Emma Morley and Dexter Mayhew from the day they graduate from university and the next 20 years. Each year we meet them on July 15, where the author takes us through both the current day's happenings and the things which has happened over the past year for Emma and Dexter respectively.

On the night of their graduation, Emma and Dexter fool around a bit, make out even, and the night has the promise of something great and romantic, but priviledged Dexter is all set to spend some years travelling the world, while the lesser priviledged Emma is going to find a job - any job - and make a bit of a living. So the morning after graduation, they go their separate ways, and we - the readers - go inside Emma and Dexter's minds, lives, failures and successes.

This book is a long one. And it wasn't really for me. I couldn't really connect with either Emma nor Dexter, even though they have almost the same age as myself and even though we grew up during roughly the same periodes. There should have been plenty to identify with, but instead I got tired with them and their personalities. David Nicholls writes well and the book is well written, but the story didn't grab me at all. Neither was I touched by the story. I was actually a bit disappointed with the whole thing. I failed to see how the Emma and Dexter personalities developed through the years, to me it felt like they remained pretty much the same. Of course, this may be on purpose to show us that whether we are 22 or 42, we remain the same. That said, I did finish the book, and the last third of the book where Emma and Dex are grown ups was quite good.

This book is read as part of the 2010 Global Reading Challenge where I am reading for the Easy Challenge with one book pr. part of the world. This one is read for the Europe-part. Read more about the challenge here.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blog Improvement Project is back

Great news which I just found out. Kim's (Sophisticated Dorkiness) Blog Improvement Project which ran through 2009 is back, and this year Kim will continue the project with Jackie (Farm Lane Books Blog). I have signed up and am looking forward to yet another year of Blog Improvement. I didn't do all assignments last year, but those I did manage to do were great, and I actually learned a bit along the way. Whether the blog has improved or not I am not to say, but I like to think that it has. Just a little bit. But there are many other things which can be improved, and since I've been blogging more or less the same way since July 2006 where I began, I hope that 2010 will bring me ideas to improve whatever I feel needs improvement.

Visit Kim and Jackie through the links above. You can also go straight to the Blog Improvement Project Blog and check that out. I look so much forward to begin this.

Guest Posting at BOOKLUST - Rosie's Riveters

I know I have been MIA for a few weeks. I am seriously swamped at work, but there is light at the end of the tunnel now, and a few days ago I had the great pleasure of writing a short Rosie's Riveters post over at Aarti's blog BOOKLUST. The post is online today, and I think you should follow the link to read the post - and check out the rest of Aarti's great blog as well.

Aarti says:

Rosie's Riveters is a weekly posting written by Booklust readers about riveting females in literature. Many readers have strong reactions to the women in the books they read- either very positive or very negative. These are the characters we find riveting, for good reasons or bad ones, and they form the population of Rosie's Riveters. Through this weekly post, we can discuss females we love to hate, or love to love. And maybe, just maybe- we can determine why we react so strongly to them.

However Rosie's Riveters will end next week with the last guest posting. Aarti already have another exciting posting project up her sleeve called With Reverent Hands, and by clicking the link you can learn more about that.

Thanks to Aarti for letting me post on your blog.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

WWW Wednesdays

WWW Wednesdays is hosted by MizB at Should Be Reading and the rules are simple:

To play along, just answer the following three (3) questions!
  •  What are you currently reading?
  •  What did you recently finish reading?
  •  What do you think you’ll read next?

I am currently reading a Swedish thriller by author Arne Dahl, which is a pen name for Jan Arnald. His famous books about the fictious A-group (a special force with the police in Stockholm) has been translated into Danish, German, Norwegian, Dutch and Italian but alas, not into English. The one I am reading is Book 5 in the series of 11, and loosely translated into English, its title is: Huge Bodies of Water.

I recently finished reading John Marsdens Burning for Revenge, which is Book 5 in the Tomorrow Series of 7 books in total about a group of Australian teenagers who find their country invaded by the enemy after they've been on a camping trip, isolated in the Australian bush. You can see my review directly beneath this post.

I am not quite sure what I'll read next, but since I am going to try and finish all the challenges I am signing up to these days, it will most likely be one of the books from one of my challenges. You can see the books I've already selected in the sidebar to the right under Challenges & Progress. Right now I am thinking about reading One Day by David Nichols, which will be read for the 2010 Global Reading Challenge.

What about you?

Saturday, January 02, 2010

Burning for Revenge by John Marsden

Spoiler Alert: If you haven't read this series and plan to do so, then you may find minor spoilers in this reviews revealing things which happen in previous books.

This is the 5th book in John Marsden's Tomorrow-series. You can do a search through my labels for Tomorrow Series or John Marsden and find my reviews for the previous four books in the series. Ellie and her four remaining friends Fi, Kevin, Lee and Homer are once again hiding out in Hell, their special place in the Australian bush where they were first camping out the previous year when their country was invaded by the enemy. After several sabotage-events - and a rescue to New Zealand just to go back to Australia again for a new attack - all the teens have sort of grown into themselves. They cannot sleep properly, they have nightmares, they feel bad. War and the things they have done during the year the war has been raging, is taking a huge toll on them and they may be lingering on several nervous breakdowns. So when the idea of going to the larger city of Stratton is proposed, most of them agree that they will go. Maybe they will even come up with a new idea for a sabotage on their way.
Without even knowing it, they end in a place where there is absolutely no way out unless they stage their biggest, boldest and most dangerous guerilla attack yet. The group of war-weary and shell shocked friends are not even sure they will survive, but they put everything into dealing the enemy an enormous blow.

The masterly description of the development of the characters has been ongoing through all the books in the series, and Marsden delivers again in this book. Everything is well thought out, and there are some magnificent scenes in the book which lends to the credibility of the characters and their difficulties, different personalities and much more. Having grown to know their modus operandi I wasn't that much on the edge of my chair while reading this one, but the ending make for a great continuation of the 6th book, The Night is for Hunting, which I managed to track down second hand from a seller in US. Now I am just waiting for it to arrive.

Friday, January 01, 2010

Happy New Year & Welcome to 2010

Happy New Year to all and a big welcome to 2010.

I am looking forward to begin a new year and happy to put the old one behind me. The last half of 2009 wasn't that great. Among other things I lost a close friend, who died of cancer, and shortly before Christmas my father died totally unexpectedly. Added to that, it was a hell of time at work during those last weeks of December, and now I am sitting here looking at the dreary January sky with a massive cold making me feel stuffed and slightly depressed. So GOODBYE 2009 and a warm welcome to 2010. It can only get better.

Don't want to make this a too depressed post, so I hasten to add that the first part of 2009 was great. I finished my Master's Degree at university, got a good job (and a new job description later), I went travelling with family and I read a lot of good books! I also met so many new friends in the book blogging community and I am grateful for all your well wishes and messages. Thanks again. It means a lot.

My father's death meant that I haven't really had the time or energy to blog or be much online. I had a lot of things planned for the last week's of the year, but I guess I will have to plan and make those things happen in January instead. I am sorry I haven't been round visiting and commenting. That will improve over the next weeks as well.

Until then, I wish you all a very Happy New Year and I look forward to see you all :-D

The photo is from flickr and is taken by zeropro.