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Få inspiration til din næste læseoplevelse og læs mere om alt lige fra kærlighed, krimi, YA og historiske romaner til fantasy, science fiction og gys. Alt er på dansk - på nær de anmeldelser, jeg har lyst til at skrive på engelsk. Occasional posts/reviews in English.
~ Iben
Bibliotekar, bogblogger & boganmelder

29/04/2013

Read-a-thon Wrap Up

I got an incredible 7 books read and a total of 951 pages, way more than I had ever anticipated. I had such a blast participating and loved how social an activity reading became during it. I'll most definitely be joining in again in October.

I really enjoyed reading every single book and liked my chosen format of reviewing each after I'd read the final page, giving you my immediate opinion of them. Below are my read books and links to their reviews.

  1. The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman
  2. Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
  3. Coraline by Neil Gaiman
  4. A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #2) by Charlaine Harris
  5. The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
  6. Free Four (Divergent #1.1) by Veronica Roth
  7. Assassin Study (Study #1.5) by Maria V. Snyder

28/04/2013

Read-a-thon 2013 #6

I've just finished "books" 6 and 7. They hardly count as books as one is a single chapter rewritten by the author from another character's point of view and the second is a tiny short story set between a couple of books from the series.

I think this will be my final post about the readathon for now. There's less than 30 minutes to go of the 24 hours and I'm ready to take a shower and relax my eyes a little. It's been really fun participating again and I've had the honour and pleasure being cheered on by some amazing people. To my great surprise I've even won a prize (unsure what yet, will let you know when I know), as I was one of the lucky winners of hour 15! :)

And now to the mini-reviews:

First up was Free Four (Divergent #1.1) by Veronica Roth. I wish I'd known about this one back when I'd just read Divergent, as it gives a better idea about Four's motives and feelings. It's just a single chapter and depicts the knife-throwing scene from the book, but this time from his perspective accompanied by his thoughts and his past. It can be read free of charge - Goodreads links to Roth's Facebook page, but I got an error message from that link and found the story instead here.


Free Four
(Divergent #1.1)
by Veronica Roth

13 pages / published in 2012
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013


Next up was Assassin Study (Study #1.5) by Maria V. Snyder in which we follow Valek on a mission to save Yelena - and she has no idea. It takes place in between book 1 and 2 of the Studies series and it's basically just fan fodder. The events were even voted upon and picked by the readers as it was written. I've given it such a low rating, not because it was bad, it was alright, but because it was unnecessary. It doesn't add anything, it doesn't change how you see Valek (he's still a one dimensional super assassin ~ except now he has love in his heart wohoo). The book can be read for free at Snyder's website here.

Assassin Study (Study #1.5)by Maria V. Snyder
15 pages / published in 2008
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

Read-a-thon 2013 #5

I've finished reading my 5th book now. I started reading it this morning around 9 AM when I got out of bed and it's taken me roughly 3 hours to read.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman was a reread, I bought and read it sometime back in 2009 or 2010 and I think I understood it better this time round. Many of the early chapters are small stories in themselves, independent adventures the boy has throughout his childhood, but it starts and ends with the main story and it's a great read. Gaiman is such a talented and creative writer and I love his flow and style. All in all the tale of Nobody, a boy who grows up in graveyard raised by ghosts, is something else and definitely worth it.


The Graveyard Bookby Neil Gaiman
ISBN13: 9780747598626
307 pages / published in 2008
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

Read-a-thon 2013 #4

It's 00:39 and I've just finished reading my 4th book of the read-a-thon so far. I'm calling it a night and going to sleep and will pick up again tomorrow morning :)

A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #2) by Charlaine Harris is a decent read. Like most of what Harris have written it's sort of a guilty pleasure of mine. It's easy and quick to read and it's not overly heavy or dark. The crime(s) in this book are not huge or particularly groundbreaking - it's just a sort of mystery that happens alongside some other stuff. The book is pretty much an uneventful episode of an ongoing series. I've warmed a bit more to the main character, Roe, and will despite it all, be reading the next in the series once I get my hands on it (8 books in total). I only just realised now that it was published in 1992 which explains a lot concerning the characters' actions, behaviour and utter lack of technology.


A Bone to Pick 
(Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #2)
by Charlaine Harris 
ISBN13: 9780425219799
262 pages / published in 1992
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

27/04/2013

Read-a-thon 2013 #3

Going strong, I've just finished my third book :) We're halfway through hour 6 now, and I've been reading for approximately 4.

Yet another Gaiman book has been read, this time Coraline. I love love LOVE the animated stop-motion film they made of it and really looked forward to reading the original story. Like most film adaptations the stories differ, but whilst I think I like the film better, the book was still really good. Coraline's strength and courage is so powerful and yet so innocent. The characters were possibly even more creepy than in  the film (but the showdown less of a battle than in the film). All in all I'm thrilled I've finally read it and can only encourage others to do the same.



Coraline
by Neil Gaiman 
ISBN13: 9780747562108
185 pages / published in 2002
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

Read-a-thon 2013 #2

I've finished my second read :)

I'm sort of on a mini-Neil Gaiman marathon during this readathon, and have 4 of his books lined up, 2 of which I've now read.

I loved Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman. I've grown up hearing and reading about the Norse Mythology (particular the books by Lars Henrik-Olsen and the Danish comics Valhalla  have shaped how I perceive and think about the Norse Gods) and Gaiman nails it. Odd is such a clever little character and the story very much reads like the old sagas.


Odd and the Frost Giants
by Neil Gaiman
ISBN13: 9780061671739
117 pages / published in 2008
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

Read-a-thon 2013 #1

Dewey's annual read-a-thon started 2.5 hours ago, but work and some grocery shopping (snacks!) kept me from getting started till now.

I've kickstarted it with the very quick delightful read that is The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman.  I didn't care much for the style of the illustrations (a bit grim, a bit too stylistic), but what a brilliant story :) Obviously intended for children, but anything by Gaiman is usually worth a read.


The Wolves in the Walls
by Neil Gaiman 
ISBN13: 9780060530877
52 pages / published in 2003
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

22/04/2013

Read-a-Thon Preparation

I'm participating in Dewey’s Read-a-Thon the 27th of April. You can read all about it (and sign up if you'd like) right here: 24hourreadathon.com.

In Denmark it kicks off on Saturday the 27th at 2 PM. I'll be at work till 3 PM, so I won't quite be able to participate from the beginning but I'll do my best to read for as many of the 24 hours as I can :)

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I've been making a list of potential reads for the read-a-thon. My experiences from last year's read-a-thon are that I should focus on shorter books. It's more fun racing to finish several books rather than just one brick of a book.

Among the potential reads are: 
  • Coraline by Neil Gaiman, 192 pages 
  • Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick, 192 pages 
  • A Bone to Pick (Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #2) by Charlaine Harris, 262 pages (library-book) 
  • The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, 312 pages (reread)
  • A Dance Of Death (Shadowdance #3) by David Dalglish, 330 pages
  • Precious by Sapphire, 139 pages

14/04/2013

Book Haul #4

My mailbox has been working overtime the past few weeks and I figured it was about time I share my latest purchases.

Virtually You by Elias Aboujaoude is for my thesis and I'm very excited to get started on it.

The other three are books I'd never thought I'd buy - they're used. I decided to give it a shot when I first discovered Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen for just €2.86 and it arrived in great condition.

Wicked by Gregory Maguire and The Lady of the Rivers by Philippa Gregory (a pristine hardback) each cost me €4. While Water for Elephants will be a reread I haven't read these two before and I'm really looking forward to it.

I've been buying the used books at play.com (who ship to Denmark free of charge) and so far the cheapest used books in the best condition have been sold by WorldofBooks and AwesomeBooks, who's also got gret ratings. I'm definitely not done buying used books (and saving money) and you can expect a similar post soon again as I'm waiting for the arrival of 4 more books :)

11/04/2013

Real Murders by Charlaine Harris

Aurora Teagarden Mysteries #1 

Lawrenceton, Georgia, may be a growing suburb of Atlanta, but it's still a small town at heart. Librarian Aurora "Roe" Teagarden grew up there and knows more than enough about her fellow townsfolk, including which ones share her interest in the darker side of human nature.
With those fellow crime buffs, Roe belongs to a club called Real Murders, which meets once a month to analyze famous cases. It's harmless pastime - until the night she finds a member dead, killed in a manner that eerily resembles the crime the club was about to discuss. And as other brutal "copycat" killings follow, Row will have to uncover the person behind the terrifying game, one that casts all the members of Real Murders, herself included, as prime suspects - or potential victims...

Real Murders is a sort of decent book. It's well written in the way where you can read it in no time and it passes time in a fairly entertaining manner. Charlaine Harris' books have turned out to be guilty pleasures of mine - they are in no way amazing nor do I put them down with the feeling of having expanded my horizon or what not, but something about them just draws me in and I'll most likely read everything she ever writes, just because.

Main character Aurora is boring, plain and I resent her being a librarian - it's just too easy a stereotype to cast her in, even more so when she despite being plain as a mouse wearing a drab wardrobe still suddenly gets not one but two acceptable suitors - you know, in addition to all the unacceptable ones.

The crime/murders aren't very suspenseful and the people don't seem all that affected by it (but then again I've never discovered the victim of a gruesome murder, so what do I know). I didn't care much for the ending, it wasn't really wrapped up, but given the style of the book I don't care. Just like I'm not very invested in some tv show I'll watch on a lazy afternoon I'm not particular invested in this sort of book either. But I still somehow, obscurely, enjoy reading it. It takes my mind off things and thus serves it purpose.

This is probably one of the weirder reviews I've written, but don't you too have books that you read but don't really a strong opinion about be it negative or positive?


Real Murders
ISBN13: 9780425218716
290 pages / published in 2007
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

05/04/2013

Thesis Literature

Seeing as I'm in up over my head in this, I might as well pass along my thoughts about these books :)
Below are the 4 four books I've read so far specifically for my thesis and I'm currently (and slowly) working my way through Luke Tredinnick's Digital Information Culture: the individual and society in the digital age. Also planned reads are Don Tapscott's Grown up digital, Andrew Keen's The Cult of the Amateur and Elias Aboujaoude's Virtually You.



Book #1 - Read from March 25 to April 02, 2013

Digital Vertigo is good book with a lot of good points and it manages to put a lot of things regarding our use of the internet into perspective. I do think Keen got a bit carried off by the sound of his own voice once in a while, going on and on about some historical events or paintings that are somewhat obscurely related to the point of it all. At other times though he's spot on comparing the past with the future and indeed, by looking back we are shown that history is prone to repeat itself and maybe we'll even be able to predict the future. His many comparisons to and mentions of a variety of films, including Hitchcock's Vertigo, threw me off track, but seeing as I was reading scanning for particular topics that will have influenced my opinion.

Digital Vertigo: How Today's Online Social Revolution Is Dividing, Diminishing, and Disorienting Us
by Andrew Keen
ISBN13: 9781780338408
246 pages / published in 2012
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013



Book #2 - Read from February 05 to March 25, 2013

The Shallows is a really fascinating read. It gives you great background knowledge on the evolution of both the computer and the internet and it has so many excellent points on how the brain works - points I found myself nodding to, as I realized these were things I'm guilty of doing myself. However I also often found it too generalising. Just because some people can't read deeply anymore doesn't mean none of us can. But I also realise I'm heavily prejudices by the book/reading community - a big part of my world consists of librarian-to-bees (lol), goodreaders and bookbloggers.


The Shallows: How the Internet Is Changing the Way We Think, Read and Remember
by Nicholas G Carr
ISBN13: 9781848872271
276 pages / published in 2010
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013



Book #3 - Read from March 06 to 11, 2013

Alone Together was a very interesting read. Turkle draws on her vast sociological and physocological knowledge and provides the reader with a lot of strong points and food for thought. I skipped part of the book about robots and AI as that's not relevant to my thesis, but again it also provides some good broad background information.


Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other
by Sherry Turkle
ISBN13: 9780465010219
360 pages / published in 2011
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013



Book #4 - Read from February 25 to 26, 2013

 By far the oldest of my books read so far, Life on the Screen can be argued to be vastly outdated. However it put Turkle's other book in perspective and she still had a lot of good points that still apply. Like in The Shallows there's a broad chapter on the technological evolution of the computer and the internet but with more focus on how using both has an effect on us. She also spent a lot of time on MUDS and I skipped a fair few chapters as they were irrelevant to me.


Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet
by Sherry Turkle
ISBN13: 9780684833484
352 pages / published in 1995
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

01/04/2013

The Innocent Mage by Karen Miller

Kingmaker Kingbreaker #1

Enter the kingdom of Lur, where to use magic unlawfully means death. The Doranen have ruled Lur with magic since arriving as refugees centuries ago. Theirs was a desperate flight to escape the wrath of a powerful mage who started a bitter war in their homeland. To keep Lur safe, the native Olken inhabitants agreed to abandon their own magic. Magic is now forbidden them, and any who break this law are executed.
Asher left his coastal village to make his fortune. Employed in the royal stables, he soon finds himself befriended by Prince Gar and given more money and power than he'd ever dreamed possible. But the Olken have a secret; a prophecy. The Innocent Mage will save Lur from destruction and members of The Circle have dedicated themselves to preserving Olken magic until this day arrives. Unbeknownst to Asher, he has been watched closely. As the Final Days approach, his life takes a new and unexpected turn ...

The Innocent Mage was one of those books I'd heard a bit about over a long space of time, but never anything specific or anything that would make me move it to the top of my TBR list. Eventually though, while glancing through the list and ordering books home through the library web page  (that'd be bibliotek.dk if there's any Dane reading this, who doesn't know that) I decided to give the books a go.

It's not half bad. It didn't catch me and hold me tight (ever) but it was well written and the characters  fleshed out and sympathetic. It took me over half a book to realise that not much actually happens for over half a book other than relationship and character building. The big overshadowing plot  has barely kicked off when the book ends - and with quite the cliffhanger. However rather than being a usual fantasy trilogy, the Kingmaker Kingbreaker series only holds two books and the second book The Awakened Mage was published in 2006, so you don't have to wait long to read on.

Main character Asher is an atypical main. He's no hero, nothing special in particular, just a plain man who does what's right. And who happens to befriend a prince, which would change any man's life. Even more atypically - the overshadowing plot, which I won't reveal here - some characters know about it, but Asher isn't one of them.

All in all it's a good read and I will definitely read the next, but I'm in no hurry. I'm not at the edge of my seat in anticipation, but I enjoy being well entertained by something that's obviously been thought through.


The Innocent Mage
ISBN13: 9781841496047
613 pages / published in 2005
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013