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


Library Haul #4

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It's a little bit late now, but I got a final haul of books from the library before Christmas! (I would do a vlog, but where would I find the time?)

First up is The Fault in Our Stars by John Green! I've been waiting for this one for ages, I've heard so much about it but have managed to avoid most spoilers. Am prepared for a very sad story though.
[EDIT - I read it and absolutely loved it. Will try and review it soon. Need to find the right words first though.]

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion I've decided to read after seeing the trailer for the film and realizing I adored what I was watching. A YA romance zombie story? A must read.
[EDIT - I've started reading this and I'm quite liking it. But it is pretty weird.]

(In additional news I watched Beautiful Creatures and while the film was decent and pretty, I don't think I'll ever be tempted to read the book.)

The final book, hiding there in the background is not actually a book. It's a comic book, a classic Jumbobog in fact. Jumbo-books are Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse stories. I haven't read them in ages, but I recently remembered that 15 or so years ago I read #117 and for the first time ever it had a cliffhanger along with a - to be continued -. And I never got #118. Well I have it now! I didn't even know libraries stock jumbobøger until I started working in one :)
[EDIT - read it and was so disappointed in how the story arch ends. I can't believed I waited so many years on such a poorly executed story and end :( ]


PT - Merry Christmas

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The year is coming to an end, the days have flown by and Christmas finally came.

In Denmark we celebrate Christmas on the eve of the 24th. We sit down to enjoy a festive meal usually pork roast, turkey or duck along with white potatoes, sugary brown potatoes, gravy etcetera. For dessert it's usually rice pudding or porridge wherein a whole almond has been hid. Whoever finds it gets a small present. Because we're not overly fond of the traditional dessert in my family we have a tradition of lighting a little candle by each plate and the one whose candle burns the shortest and the one whose burns the longest gets the token presents.

Once we can't drag it out any longer we'll all leave the room and dad will light the candles on the tree. We'll then gather round and go "oooh" before (reluctantly) singing psalms while dancing around the tree and by dancing I mean walking around in a circle holding hands. Once we deem the awkwardness and bad singing has gone on long enough we'll retreat to the couches and start handing out the presents.

Christmas Eve came and went and with a 5-year-old (my nephew) running the show there was never a quiet moment. He behaved pretty well all in all though and it was a nice evening. The food was great and the presents held many surprises and happy faces all around.

I got a lovely pile of good stuff and while I obviously love getting presents, I love giving them even more - particularly when I've managed to find something the other person is genuinely overjoyed receiving.

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas (or if you don't celebrate it in some form or another had a lovely evening nonetheless).

For now I can't wait to see the latest Doctor Who episode (which aired last night on BBC) and tonight we'll be going to yet another party as my uncle turns 48 today :)


A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens

Cruel miser Ebeneezer Scrooge has never met a shilling he doesn’t like... and hardly a man he does. And he hates Christmas most of all. When Scrooge is visited by his old partner, Jacob Marley, and the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet to Come, he learns eternal lessons of charity, kindness, and goodwill. Experience a true Victorian Christmas!

We all (I assume) know the story and so I won't go into detail with that. It's almost impossible to not at least at some point in your life see one of the many films that's been made based on the Dickens' classic tale of Christmas. I've seen a lot and my particular favourite is the film "A Christmas Carol" from 1999 starring Patrick Stewart as Scrooge.

I have never in my life before read the original book and the book club I recently joined had decided on this book as our December read. The book I read was a very old thing from 1942 and prettily illustrated by Arthur Rackam.

I must admit I was not impressed. Or rather, I just didn't get it. The book is the original old English Dickens-y language and it was so heavy to read. There are so many long descriptive sentences that are probably lovely, but to me they were noise. What's usually a lovely story became an annoyance to read and I'm really sad about that. I'd like one day to reread it, but this time in Danish or possibly in an easy-reader version in English, because I'm just good enough to understand the flowery lengthy wordings of Victorian English.

A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens
published in 1843

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013


Under the Duvet by Marian Keyes

From the acclaimed bestselling author of "Sushi for Beginners" and "Angels" comes a collection of personal essays on shopping, writing, moviemaking, motherhood and all the assorted calamities involved in being a savvy woman in the new millennium.
Her novels are read and adored by millions around the world, and with "Under the Duvet," Marian Keyes tackles the world of nonfiction. These are her collected pieces: regular bulletins from the woman writing under the covers. Marian loves shoes and her LTFs (Long-Term Friends), hates realtors and lost luggage, and she once had a Christmas office party that involved roasting two sheep on a spit, Moroccan-style. She's just like you and me ...
Featuring a wide compilation of Marian's journalism from magazines and newspapers, plus some exclusive, previously unpublished material, "Under the Duvet" is bursting with funny stories: observations on life, in-laws, weight loss, parties and driving lessons that will keep you utterly gripped -- either wincing with recognition or roaring with laughter

I have never read any of Keyes books before but have had her recommended to me many times. The other week at the library things were very slow and while cleaning discs (they have an amazing machine the size of a cd player that polishes away the worst scratches; you basically just have to sit there and change the discs every 2-4 minute) I gave her biography a go. Well, I say biography; it's a collection of essays, where of most have been published before in various magazines and the like.

Much to my co-worker's amusement I giggled my way through the book. I really enjoyed her style and her honesty. She reminded me a fair bit of Helen Fielding's Bridget Jones character - but Irish. I loved reading about her tours, her parties, her family and her house. But maybe most of all I appreciated her very honest depiction of her alcoholism. For someone who's been fortunate enough to never experience such a thing even by proxy it gave me a far better insight into how it effects people.

All in all I don't think this was a bad start to Keyes, I'm definitely very much tempted to read something else by her now and more like to do so sooner than later.

Under the Duvet
by Marian Keyes
ISBN13: 9788777148262
240 pages / published in 2007
(read in Danish)

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013


PT - Job & Car

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For today’s Personal Thursday post, I meant to write you a nice little thing about how we do Christmas in Denmark / at our place, but today have been insane. Utterly mental.

How I’d thought it go:
  • Sleep at mom and dad’s place Wednesday night as carpenters would arrive very early Thursday morning to install new window in my apartment
  • Job interview at 11:30
  • Spend until Friday chewing my lip waiting to hear their decision
  • Go home sometime in the afternoon with cat and enjoy new window in apartment

This is how it actually went:
  • Dad (who was at my apartment to take care of things while I was at the interview) called at 8:50 informing me that the master carpenter had royally f’ed up and measured wrong – meaning the window that they had didn’t work. It takes 6 weeks for a new to turn up. Add in Christmas and New Year and make that 8 weeks
  • Generally a bad start to the day, made even worse when an hour later it became clear that the carpenter boss couldn’t care less. 
  • Window was cancelled. Not interested in spending so much money on something I need now and not when winter is almost over. Also, you lose my will to give you money when you treat me bad. This is one of many strikes from his side
  • Off to the interview I went and drove everything else out of my mind
  • Interview went well I think
  • Dad noted I’d need a car – we’ve talked about this before. New work (omg work) is 100 km from where I live. Public transport is possible but ugh
  • We found a car online
  • We drove to town to look at said car at a dealership my dad trusts
  • About 45 min later we left again
  • I now also own a car

Like I said insane.

Merry Christmas


Darth Vader and Son by Jeffrey Brown

What if Darth Vader took an active role in raising his son? What if "Luke, I am your father" was just a stern admonishment from an annoyed dad? In this hilarious and sweet comic reimagining, Darth Vader is a dad like any other except with all the baggage of being the Dark Lord of the Sith.
Celebrated artist Jeffrey Brown's delightful illustrations give classic Star Wars moments a fresh twist, presenting the trials and joys of parenting through the lens of a galaxy far, far away. Life lessons include lightsaber batting practice, using the Force to raid the cookie jar, Take Your Child to Work Day on the Death Star ("Er, he looks just like you, Lord Vader!"), and the special bond shared between any father and son.

2 stars seems harsh but by Goodreads' defintion it "it was okay" and by my own It was ok, but could have been better and I guess it was. The pictures are nicely drawn and sort of sweet, but single frame comics have never really worked for me. I need stories. If you're a big Star Wars fan you might really like this book - or you may hate it for "twisting the story". All in all I only finished it because it barely takes 10 minutes to glance through, I'm sure if you're a fan you might take longer and even reread once in a while.

Darth Vader and Son
by Jeffrey Brown
ISBN13: 9781452106557
64 pages / published in 2012

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013


PT - The Basics

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I've set a challenge for myself the upcoming year and made a posting schedule for BoB. Every second Monday in a month I plan on doing the Childhood Favourite thing/meme/tag/? and every single Thursday I'll try to make a personal post - a blog entry telling you a bit more about me. I'm not sure what the form will be yet; maybe there won't be one. One Thursday I may present to you a list over why I'm possibly related to Bridget Jones, another I might tell you everything you didn't really need to know about my cat Sofie. I have a cat, did you know that? Well now you do. See? isn't this fun? We're getting to know each other! Well, you're getting to know me at least, maybe if you've commented I'd be able to get to know you back.

Note: I'll maintain my review schedule of whenever I've got one ready for you.

To kick off this awkward first Thursday I'll tell you a few things about me. The basics.

I'm 25 years old and I live on my own in what's considered a fairly big city here in Denmark - nearly 107.000 people! I'm single and live in a tiny flat with my cat Sofie, whom I've had since May. I got her from a shelter; her previous owner hadn't anticipated how full of energy a young cat is. The size of the space she's set her claws in in my heart is enormous.

I've studied library and information science at university for 5 years and this August 2013 I got my Master's degree. My thesis was about digital identity - how we create a separate identity online, but how it also affects us offline. It is pretty interesting.

For the past 4 months I've been looking for work as a librarian and on November 18th I was so freaking lucky to get a sort of a internship at a Northern library for 3 months. I'm working there now and absolutely loving it. Being a librarian is my calling. The internship is unpaid unfortunately so while I'm working almost full-time I'm stuck on unemployment benefits, so I am also searching for "proper" (=paid) work. I am however, incredibly thankful for living in a country that enables me do this. It's through the Job Center and the Job Fund that I got the internship which gets me lots of experience to put on my resume.

I've read books all my life and I've had Borough of Books to document my addiction since the 17th of August 2010. So basically I got my Master's degree the day before BoB's 3rd birthday. That's my excuse for forgetting such a milestone - maybe I'll do something fun to celebrate next year?

Extra info about me today is the fact that I'm currently suffering from the worst cold I've had in years. They had to send me home from work today and I'm now stuck in bed with a massive head ache and a blocked nose.. *ACHOO*


Shakespeare's Landlord by Charlaine Harris

Lily Bard Mysteries #1

Disguising herself with short hair and baggy clothes, Lily Bard has started a new life; she's becoming a cleaning lady in the sleepy town of Shakespeare, where she can sweep away the secrets of her dark and violent past.
However her plan to live a quiet, unobserved life begins to crumble when she discovers the dead body of her nosy landlord. Lily doesn't care who did it, but when the suspicion of the police and local community falls on her she realises if she doesn't unmask the murderer, her life might not just crumble; it might also end.

Charlaine Harris' books have always been guilty pleasures of mine. I genuinely liked the Southern Vampire series (aka True Blood, if you want to call it that) and I loved parts of the Aurora Teagarden Mysteries and Harper Connelly series. Though the series might always drag on a bit, be a bit silly or (very) unrealistic, there's was always something that kept me reading. They were well written enough, engaging, entertaining and good company.

The Lily Bard Mysteries though I don't think I'll bother reading more of. The main character irritated me from the start, she's just not my kind of person and her decisions were often downright stupid. Furthermore she was lusted after way too obviously to the point of ridiculous plot pushing. The guy she ends up screwing around with is *gasp* not white (nor is he black 'cause that would have been pushing it) and many remarks are spent pointing out how non-racist she is (and how exotic he is). Meanwhile other characters make such racist remarks it made me cringe and side-eye the whole damn book.

All in all the mystery was pretty boring and the general plot a let down. But for some reason I still gave it 3 stars back when I finished reading it.

Shakespeare's Landlord
Lily Bard Mysteries #1
by Charlaine Harris
ISBN13: 9780425206867
216 pages / published in 2005

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013


To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

'Shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird.'
Atticus Finch gives this advice to his children as he defends the real mockingbird of this classic novel - a black man charged with attacking a white girl. Through the eyes of Scout and Jem Finch, Harper Lee explores the issues of race and class in the Deep South of the 1930s with compassion and humour. She also creates one of the great heroes of literature in their father, whose lone struggle for justice pricks the conscience of a town steeped in prejudice and hypocrisy.

To Kill A Mockingbird was not what I thought it'd be. I had never read it before but knew of it as this big American Classic and I always wanted to read it sometime. I'd never properly read the description of it so in my head I expected a book detailing the life of a black man's struggle against the white man's reign. As such it took me aback to discover the book is from the point of view of a young girl who's attorney dad tries to teach her and her brother a valuable lesson in life.

It is quite a good book, once you get into it (and accept the way it vastly differs from what you might have thought it'd be about), but it's also very long and heavy in my opinion. I was quite often bored despite it being well written and the main characters being fairly evolved.

I feel like I should probably give it 5 stars for painting a very accurate picture of the culture and mindset of the South in that era. But I was so very bored for the first 100 pages at least, having expected something entirely different and I'm honestly a bit unsure of what the ending meant. I'm glad I've read it, but not in love with the book at all.

To Kill A Mockingbird
by Harper Lee
ISBN13: 9780434020485
309 pages / published in 1960

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier,
Liesel, a nine-year-old girl, is living with a foster family on Himmel Street. Her parents have been taken away to a concentration camp. Liesel steals books. This is her story and the story of the inhabitants of her street when the bombs begin to fall.
It's a small story, about: a girl, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist fighter, and quite a lot of thievery.

It took me a long time to get into this book as to be honest, it was exceedingly dull.
I'm not quite sure what I had expected but Death narrating a book as he looked back at some events that played out in Germany during World War II wasn't it.

Eventually though, the main character, nine-year-old Liesel grew on me as did her story, her mindset and the people surrounding her. The book even ended up being difficult to put down towards the end. It was also a very interesting look at how the typical German population experienced the war a madman forced upon them.

I read the book in English and loved the many German words and phrases that infiltrated the lines. I learned German for about 5 years throughout school and reading this book made me want to revisit that gorgeous language.
The book is all in all well written but it is also quite heavy to read; at times it's very descriptive as in almost poetic - a genre that's never appealed to me.

I'm not sure I ever want to see the film they've turned the book into as I'm doubtful a child can carry the film and convey all the feelings that Liesel conveys both directly and indirectly on the pages. Furthermore I'm afraid Death will look comical and the characters stereotypical. 

The Book Thief
by Marcus Zusak
ISBN13: 9780552773898
554 pages / published in 2007

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013