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Book reviews, photos (unless otherwise stated) and blog content by Iben Jakobsen.
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I can be contacted at boroughofbooks at gmail dot com

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18/12/2014

Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland—Harvard professor, gifted researcher, and lecturer, wife, and mother of three grown children—sets out for a run and soon realizes she has no idea how to find her way home. She has taken the route for years, but nothing looks familiar. She is utterly lost. Medical consults reveal early-onset Alzheimer's.
Alice slowly but inevitably loses memory and connection with reality, as told from her perspective. She gradually loses the ability to follow a conversational thread, the story line of a book, or to recall information she heard just moments before. Genova's debut shows the disease progression through the reactions of others, as Alice does, so readers feel what she feels: a slowly building terror.

I read Still Alice during this fall's readathon and holy wow that's a good book. I've just recently also read Left Neglected by Genova and it seems to be a common denominator for her to write excellently about brain damage.
Still Alice is the story of a woman whose brain betrays her and slowly crumbles thanks to Alzheimer's. Alice had it all before; the busy life of a brilliant professor, researcher and lecturer, the busy life of a mother to 3 grown children and the busy life of a similarly busy husband who also works at Harvard - it was a life she loved and a life she could in no way continue having once the disease hit.

What's so brilliant about this book besides the whole extremely well written and engaging part, is the fact that it teaches the reader a lot about life, about coping with a life-altering disease such as Alzheimer's and about Alzheimer's in general. About how you're still you deep down, even if your body and your brain don't allow you to express that anymore. About how Alice was Still Alice.
The book also beautifully portrays how the world around an Alzheimer's patient reacts. How even though it's only in the early onset stages people start to withdraw, because they don't understand or aren't willing to. Friends and co-workers unable to handle the changes. How the family reacts. The children worrying they'll get it too through genetics. The husband suddenly faced with being married to an entirely different person than the intelligent career woman he fell in love with. But Alice is still Alice, deep down, and she's just as frustrated as every body else.

Read this book before you forget.


STILL ALICE
by Lisa Genova
ISBN13: 9781847375230
293 pages / Published in 2009

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

16/12/2014

Livet af Alice Munro

“Livet” er en novellesamling af mesterforfatteren Alice Munro, der er kendt som en af vor tids største novellister. Den indeholder fjorten historier, hvoraf en del handler om Munros egen barndom. Historierne byder på menneskeskæbner og utrolige perspektiver på det at leve, der alle sætter tanker i gang.

Jeg havde aldrig før læst noget af Munro, men fik hende anbefalet af min teamleder. Jeg fik fornemmelsen af at det var en rigtig voksen bog. Måske lidt finkulturelt. Dannet.

Om Livet er de ting, kommer nok an på læseren. Personligt syntes jeg meget godt om den. Munro er meget dygtig og jeg tror det var meget fortjent bogen fik Nobelprisen i 2013. Den danske udgave er utroligt godt oversat af Ida Jessen; det har også meget at sige.

Pjuske nyder livet Pjuske nyder livet Pjuske nyder livet

Bogen består af 14 noveller, der i og for sig er helt forskellige, men de har alle en rød tråd - og det er simpelthen titlen på bogen - livet. Livet i alle dens afskygninger portrætteres. Den engelske originaltitel er Dear Life, der også rammer plet. Bogens forside indrammer dens indhold godt med tog og efterårsfarver - temaer der går igennem en del af novellerne.
Det er noveller, der kredser om mennesker, deres følelser og relationer til hinanden. Om det almindelige hverdagsliv, hvor en skelsættende begivenhed præger personernes livsforløb eller selvopfattelse.

Nogle af novellerne havde jeg gerne set der var fortsættelser til, men næsten hver og en fungerede rigtig godt som den var. Med få ord eller afsnit formår Munro at skabe en stemning og hive læseren ind i hver enkelt novelle, og hver og en er interessante. Jeg tog gerne en lille pause efter hver novelle for at lade den stå lidt for sig og gøre sit indtryk, inden jeg kastede mig ud i den næste. Det har altid været det sværeste for mig hvad angår novellesamlinger. Læser man dem alle på én gang risikerer man de flyder sammen til en broget masse og man kan ikke skelne dem fra hinanden - og når de intet har med hinanden at gøre (vidt forskellige personer, fortællinger, steder, osv.) så skal det holdes separat.

Jeg syntes ikke man skal lade sig skræmme og tro Munro kun er for det ældre dannede segment. Man kan helt sikker godt være for ung til bogen, men allerede en moden YA'er vil kunne finde meget i dens historier. Livet portrætteres på godt og ondt i Livet. Bogen er på ingen måde tung eller svær at have med at gøre. Den kræver selvfølgelig man gider læse noveller, men ellers er den en rigtig velskrevet. Det er ikke ikke så meget skæve eksistenser som bare glimt at folks liv, der byder på lidt af hvert. Det bliver aldrig trivielt. Den kan anbefales.

LIVET
af Alice Munro
ISBN13: 9788702150735
308 sider / Udgivet den 23. maj 2014

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014
*Vær søde lige at se bort fra min sygt udseende hånd i det sidste billede, ved ikke lige hvad der sker for den, eugh!*

Bøger til unge på voksenbiblioteket

Jeg sidder på mit arbejde pt og arbejder på en inspirationsliste til unge - Unge, der efterhånden har læst alt på børne/ungdomsbiblioteket og nu gerne vil rykke ind på voksenbiblioteket, men finder det lidt overvældende - for hvor skal de starte?

Hidtil er jeg kommet frem til listen nedenfor, primært baseret på hvad jeg selv har læst de seneste år. Det er en sværere liste end forventet at lave for en ikke alle bøger står som forventet. Nogle på ungdomsbiblioteket hører ligeså meget til på voksenbiblioteket og omvendt. Voksen- og ungdomsafdelingen ligger desuden fysisk ret langt fra hinanden på vores bibliotek, og hele pointen er jo netop også at introducere de unge for de "voksne" bøger. Listen er langt fra komplet, specielt krimierne og spændingsbøgerne er jeg ikke så belæst indenfor.


Forslag til unge på voksenbiblioteket:

Lidt af hvert:
  • Sandheden om Amelia af Kimberly McCreight
  • Eleanor & Park af Rainbow Rowell
  • Gåden om Alaska af John Green
  • Alle mine venner er superhelte af Andrew Kaufmann
  • Glasklokken af Sylvia Plath
  • Projekt Rosie af Graeme Simsion
  • Den hundredeårige der kravlede ud af vinduet og forsvandt af Jonas Jonasson
  • Den mystiske sag om hunden i natten af Mark Haddon
  • Den danske borgerkrig 2018-24 af Kaspar Colling Nielsen
  • Du ser træt ud, skal jeg holde dine bryster? af Maise Njor (biografi)
  • Han er tilbage af Timur Vermes
  • Stjernestøv af Neil Gaiman (fantasy)
  • Læserne i Broken Wheel anbefaler af Katarina Bivald
  • Bibliotekarens virkelige eventyr af Lynn Austin
  • Minna mangler et øvelokale af Dorthe Nors
  • Aber Dabei af Julia Butschkow
  • Bogtyven af Markus Zusak
  • Matched serien af Ally Condie (fantasy)
  • Pi's liv af Yann Martel
  • 1984 af George Orwell
  • Kammerat Napoleon af George Orwell
  • Niceville af Kathryn Stockett
  • Nattens cirkus af Erin Morgenstern
  • Vand til elefanterne af Sara Gruen
  • Djævlen går i Prada af Lauren Weisberger

Lidt på engelsk:
  • The unbecoming af Mara Dyer af Michelle Hodkin
  • We were liars af E. Lockhart
  • Asking for Trouble af Elizabeth Young
  • Neverwhere af Neil Gaiman
  • The book of lost things af John Connolly
  • Warm bodies af Isaac Marion
  • The Painted Man af Peter V Brett
  • Grave Sight af Charlaine Harris


De hyggelige:
  • Bøger af Cecelia Ahern
  • Bøger af Marian Keyes
  • Bøger af Jojo Moyes
  • Bridget Jones bøgerne af Helen Fielding
  • Sex and the city bøgerne af Candace Bushnell
  • Shopaholic serien af Sophie Kinsella

De knapt så hyggelige:
  • Bøger af Stephen King
  • Rosemarys baby af Ira Levin
  • Du må aldrig af Koethi Zan
  • Hannibal Lecter bøgerne af Thomas Harris
  • Kadaverdoktoren af Lene Kaaberbøl


Har i nogle forslag?
Så vil jeg meget gerne høre dem :)



14/12/2014

London Book Haul #1

I'm back from London!

I went to London with my parents on Sunday the 7th of December for a nice little seasonal holiday (of 5 days) and we had a great time. We're a family of walkers so we walked every where. Our tiny but clean hotel was near King's Cross Station and from there we walked to every single museum, shop and old building we could possibly think off - and back again. I tried using my endomondo app to keep track of our walking, but the gps kept acting up. But I estimate we walked up to 20 km on some days - seriously. My feet still hurt.

We were insanely lucky with the weather, the sky was a clear bright blue every day and though it was cold it wasn't freezing - and it never rained during the day!

This must have been something like my 10th visit to London, so there was a lot of re-seeing things, but I love London, so that's alright. I learn something new about the White Tower every time I go, the history of London and the English royalty is massive and very interesting.

Besides all the cultural stuff we, of course, also went shopping. I meant to buy some Christmas presents but kept having the doubts - what if they already have this film, what if they don't like this shirt, what if this dress is too small? It can't be exchanged after all.. So in the end I just bought a lot of stuff for myself and spent a crazy amount of money. My 3 fav stores are Boots (makeup!), Primark (awesome cheap clothes!) and, naturally, Waterstones (BOOOOOOKS!)

I visited Waterstones many many times - So here is ... My London Book Haul #1:

In the bag from my first shopping spree we find the following 4 books;


I bought
  • A Street Cat Named Bob by James Bowen - I've seen this one around online and thought it looked cool :)
  • Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami - Having read one other book by Murakami, I decided to try another by him - having him on my book shelf will also make me look cooler ;)
  • Cat Out of Hell by Lynne Truss - Missing my cat Sofie (my sister took care of her while I was away), I was drawn to books with cats on the cover. I have no idea what this book actually is or if it's any good. I had no access to internet when away from the hotel and no way to look it up on Goodreads.
  • Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson - I've been wanting to read this since like forever and I just couldn't not buy it.
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