På bloggen her kan du finde anmeldelser af alt fra fantasy, science fiction, kærlighed, chicklit, YA og NA til historiske romaner, krimier, spændingsbøger, og hvad jeg ellers lige falder over, der ser spændende ud. Herudover er der bl.a. Book Hauls og Kommende Udgivelser, samt Månedlige Opsummeringer. Occasional posts/reviews in English.
~ Iben
Bibliotekar, bogblogger & boganmelder


Life of Pi by Yann Martel

One boy - one boat - one tiger...
After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra with a broken leg, a female orang-utan - and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary works of fiction in recent years.

This is the book of the year, so far, for me.

I loved this book. It touched something inside me and I loved every moment of it.
I watched the film a while after reading it and while I can admit that it's a pretty film with lovely colours - I was so disappointed. For me it warps the core of the story and what Pi is trying to say. I understand it's a very difficult book to filmatize, but it really let me down. The actor, Suraj Sharma, did brilliantly and the CGI tiger was gorgeous, but it lacked the essence of the book, the feelings it woke in me. To anyone who watched the film and loved it, but haven't read the book; I urge you to read it and invite in an even bigger experience.

I struggle to describe my thoughts on the book, some of them are very primal - Pi's story of survival is so wild and so amazing, but it's also so real that I couldn't help but wonder if it could have really happened. The third part of the book with its final few chapters add such a bitter-sweet twist it almost brought tears to my eyes. Pi, be he real or not, was put through endless horrific events and yet he came out the other end stronger than ever.

Life of Pi is amazingly well written. As you read you are drawn in so completely you can feel the sun burning overhead as the salt water soaks the rags your clothes have been reduced to.
I've categorized it as fiction as I reckon it is believable, fantasy because it's fantastic and humour because it made me laugh out loud. Particular the passages where Pi starts coming to grip with the presence of Richard Parker were particular hilarious to me.

It contains both religion and spirituality in such a way that it made me think about the bigger picture and enabled me to understand Pi's feelings and thoughts. Food for thought. It's one of those stunning books that don't end as you finish the final chapter; there are many things and issues to contemplate and consider. Rather than being a horror story about the sinking of a ship (something I dreaded, it's one of my bigger fears in life, being stuck on a sinking boat) it's a story about survival. How to survive a ship wreck in a life boat when you have to share it with a bengal tiger.

Life of Pi
ISBN13: 9781847676016
325 pages / published in 2001
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013


Preparation for the Read-a-Thon

The October Read-a-Thon is almost upon us! In just about 20 days from October the 12th to the 13th a weekend of fun kicks off.

Check out this post if you’d like to participate one way or anothe.

During the last Read-a-Thon in April I read 7 books – a total of 951 pages – and I had so much fun. I can’t wait to read for 24 hours again and participate in one of the most social book-events I know off. I love the interaction that takes place on Twitter and being a part of something bigger.

Official website: Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-Thon

I've started preparing for the event. I've cleared my calendar for the weekend and have ordered a big pile of books home from the library today. I also have a good stack of to-be-reads standing on my bookshelves. I'll show you which I plan to read when the Read-a-Thon begins.

I'll be doing my usual small reviews immediately after finishing a book and will post it on my twitter account Gemmanebi. Borough of Books twitter account will retweet the posts.

I hope you'll join in on the fun!


JK Rowling's new film!

On September 12th JK Rowling announced on her Facebook page that she's teaming up with Warner Bros. and making a series of films out of her book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them and I'm super excited!

The films will be inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook of the same name, and will feature the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander.

Rowlings writes:
The films will be inspired by Harry Potter’s Hogwarts textbook of the same name, and will feature the book’s fictitious author, Newt Scamander.

Although it will be set in the worldwide community of witches and wizards where I was so happy for seventeen years, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' is neither a prequel nor a sequel to the Harry Potter series, but an extension of the wizarding world. The laws and customs of the hidden magical society will be familiar to anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or seen the films, but Newt’s story will start in New York, seventy years before Harry’s gets underway.


The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Blue has spent the majority of her sixteen years being told that if she kisses her true love, he will die. When Blue meets Gansey’s spirit on the corpse road she knows there is only one reason why – either he is her true love or she has killed him.
Determined to find out the truth, Blue becomes involved with the Raven Boys, four boys from the local private school (led by Gansey) who are on a quest to discover Glendower – a lost ancient Welsh King who is buried somewhere along the Virginia ley line. Whoever finds him will be granted a supernatural favour.
Never before has Blue felt such magic around her. But is Gansey her true love? She can’t imagine a time she would feel like that, and she is adamant not to be the reason for his death. Where will fate lead them?

Stiefvater creates and writes about impossible boys. Just 17 years old and all the maturity of a guy who's 10-20 years older along with the wisdom. So sensible, so sensitive and oh so sweet - you can't help but fall in love with them. And then you remember how old they supposedly are and realize the fraud. I at least have never met any person that age with such a personality. But that is I suppose the illusion of YA. Impossible boys and quirky girls who somehow draw in anyone who'd ignore them in the real world. Stiefvater is  a repeat offender of this sort of character, but definitely not the only author who does it.

My negativity aside, I loved reading The Raven Boys. It was engaging, well written and the characters, despite my complaints which I stand by, were very likable and full of life.

The ending however baffled me. I honestly don't understand what exactly happened and I have many unanswered questions*. I in fact have so many questions I can't help but think that Stiefvater got in way over her head, there are too many unfinished story lines, too many characters of importance. Also, the closing words made no sense to me. I didn't know at the time, but a second book is to be published in just a week, The Dream Thieves, and while I now look forward to it and hope that it will answer some questions, I have a feeling a fair few won't be. I reread the offending chapter and still didn't get it. I don't know if I just didn't get the magic or mood or whatever, but bottomline is I closed the book feeling disappointed.

With that weighing down on an otherwise great read, the final score is only 3 stars.

The Raven Boys
The Raven Cycle #1
ISBN13: 9781407134611
454 pages / published in 2012
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

*My unanswered spoiler filled questions you can see/hear here:

If you've read the book, maybe you can help me understand!?


A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar by Suzanne Joinson

It is 1923 and Evangeline English, keen lady cyclist, arrives with her sister Lizzie at the ancient Silk Route city of Kashgar to help establish a Christian mission. Lizzie is in thrall to their forceful and unyielding leader Millicent, but Eva's motivations for leaving her bourgeois life back at home are less clear-cut. As they attempt to navigate their new home and are met with resistance and calamity, Eva commences work on her book, A Lady Cyclist's Guide to Kashgar...
In present-day London another story is beginning. Frieda, a young woman adrift in her own life, opens her front door one night to find a man sleeping on the landing. In the morning he is gone, leaving on the wall an exquisite drawing of a long-tailed bird and a line of Arabic script. Tayeb, who has fled to England from Yemen, has arrived on Frieda's doorstep just as she learns that she is the next-of-kin to a dead woman she has never heard of: a woman whose abandoned flat contains many surprises - among them an ill-tempered owl. The two wanderers begin an unlikely friendship as their worlds collide, and they embark on a journey that is as great, and as unexpected, as Eva's.

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar was never really what I expected it to be. It took over half the book for me to be drawn in and still then I didn’t downright love it – but I was at least curious as to what would happen next.

The story takes place in two separate timelines with respectively Evangeline English in 1923 and Frieda Blakeman as well as Tayeb Yafai in the present. Both are good stories with good fleshed out characters (though it took far longer for me to like Eva than it took to feel for Frieda and Tayeb). Obviously with such a book the two timelines are indeed somehow connected, but you aren’t told how till very late in the book (and you can’t guess and know for certain) – for me until it was revealed I was annoyed with the book, finding the stories fragmented and wishing I could just be one timelines entire story at a time. Once it had been revealed though I could better accept the shifts and enjoy how it now fit together.

All in all it turned out to be a good read with a pleasant closure. I would have liked it to be more engaging from the get-go, but at least it picked up the slack later on.

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar
read in Danish:  En cyklende dame i Kashgar
ISBN13: 9788792910622
346 pages / published in 2012
Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

This book was given to me for free to review by