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Book reviews and blog content by Iben Jakobsen.
I can be contacted at boroughofbooks at gmail dot com

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23/04/2014

Library Haul #7

Library Haul - the audio book edition 


I've become a huge fan of audio books over the last few months and for some reason, crime novels in particular suit my long hours driving to and fro. I reserved a fair number at the library and then suddenly one day they all arrived at once (I usually only have 1 or 2 lying in my car waiting to be heard).

I've in just under 5 month heard 6 out of 8 books by Danish writer Sara Blædel, whom I think writes some decent books with very well researched material. I'm not actually a huge fan of her protagonist Louise Rick, but the books are still good.

I've also heard 3 books by Camilla Läckberg, a great Swedish crime novelists who writes books filled to the brim with some of the most fleshed out characters I've ever encountered - and man, a lot of them are fucking annoying! She portrays some of the more undesirable traits in humans and she does it well. I've just started on the 4th book by her now, called Ulykkesfuglen/The Stranger.

Besides these two I've had a go at the older books by Thomas Harris. First I heard Red Dragon and today I finished The Silence of the Lambs. Initially I wanted to read them because I'm a huge fan of the TV series Hannibal, but quickly discovered that the books and the show have little in common. The books are definitely still worth reading though, and while I didn't find them to my taste (the characters annoy me, the dialogue is lengthy and Lecter really isn't all that smart or scary) I'm glad to be able to cross them off my bucket list.

Once I'm ready, I'll be checking out another Danish author, Jussi Adler-Olsen. He's a big name here in Denmark, but I've never read anything by him myself. I've been recommended this particular book by my dad who describes it as something you can't stop reading once you've begun.

21/04/2014

15/04/2014

Danish Books #4 - Ikk' for sjov - om kemo og comedy by Geo

Komikeren Geo fik sidste efterår konstateret testikelkræft. Han blev opereret, erklæret rask, og optrådte i julen som vært på Kræftens Bekæmpelses store indsamlingsshow Comedy Aid.
Til Geos halvårlige rutinekontrol fandt lægerne en spredning til lungerne, hvilket resulterede i endnu en operation fulgt op af ni uger med den hårdeste kemobehandling. Det blev ni uger med smerte, mistet hår, tunge tanker og grin. For ja, humoren blev Geos våben i kampen mod kræften.
Geo fortæller tragikomisk om pinlige sædprøver, om portører, som vil have jokes på operationsgangen, om kønsbehåring som falder af (det er der da ingen, der har fortalt?) og om kun at ville have frosne ærter til morgen-, middag- og aftensmad.

Ikk’ for sjov var en bog jeg ikke forventede det store af, da jeg aldrig har været specielt stor fan af Geos stil på en scene, men jeg måtte allerede efter 50 sider indse, at det her var noget helt andet. Bogen blev læst på en eftermiddag/aften, jeg formåede aldrig at lægge den fra mig.

Det er en dybt personlig og særdeles velskrevet skildring af Geos cancerforløb - den første diagnose, operation og raskerklæring til erfaringen af en spredning, endnu en operation og et frygteligt energi-tærende kemoforløb.

Siderne bringer både latter og tårer, flere steder på én gang. Det er en barsk omgang komikeren er igennem, både fysisk og mentalt. Han rammer bunden, men kommer heldigvis op igen. Bogen skildrer så flot, hvordan et kræft- og kemoforløb ikke kun handler om den syge - også de nærmeste pårørende er dybt berørte. Geo’s kone er til stede i bogen med adskillige dagbogsindlæg, der viser hendes side af sagen, hendes frygter, frustration og afmagten. Nok allermest rørende er da hvordan parrets 3-årige datter takler situationen med en meget syg far.

Alt i alt er det en bog jeg kun varmt og hjerteligt kan anbefale alle.

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Danish stand-up comedian Geo's book about his battle with cancer and chemotherapy is an incredibly heart-warming book that had me hooked throughout making me both laugh and cry. Its' very well written and shows how not just the cancer patient but also friends and relatives are affected.
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Ikk' for sjov - om kemo og comedy
by Geo
ISBN13: 9788771373929
240 pages / published in 2013




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

11/04/2014

Read-a-thon Warm Up

It's almost time for the Spring Read-a-thon on the 26-27th of April 2014!

For the third time running (I participated last April and October) I'm spending a weekend reading non-stop - I am of course talking about Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon. It kicks off at 2 PM in Denmark (noon in London, 5 AM in LA, 11 PM in Sydney, etc) and lasts for precisely 24 hours.

If you want to spend your weekend reading but also incredibly socially through your blog/twitter/etc. then join up here! (Note that there are 2 sign ups - 1 for you in general and 1 for where you want the cheerleaders to aim their cheers).

You can also sign up to be a cheerleader, donate prizes or host Hourly Challenges :) Personally I'd love to cheer but I just know I'll be so busy reading I can't promise to devote time. I will instead do my very best to have an occasional look at the tag on twitter and give some cheering response to other readers.

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So far throughout the read-a-thons I've read 7 books pr 24 hours.

I've got a few ideas what to read for this one, but nothing is certain yet. I like to have a nice little pile of books lined up in all sorts of genres and lengths so I have something to chose between. I do strive for them all to be easy reads though. I'm gonna go with library books again this year and it's just about time to start ordering them home.

I usually read from the starting time till around 2 AM and then crash for my needed 8 hours of sleep and then carry on reading till the finish time at 2 PM Sunday the 27th. I applause those who manage to read for the full 24 hours, but I know from personal experiences that my body takes a very long time to get back on schedule if I do that and Monday is a work day, so that's a no can do.




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