Velkommen

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

30/01/2014

Inferno by Dan Brown

‘Seek and ye shall find.’
With these words echoing in his head, eminent Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings.
A threat to his life will propel him and a young doctor, Sienna Brooks, into a breakneck chase across the city of Florence. Only Langdon’s knowledge of hidden passageways and ancient secrets that lie behind its historic facade can save them from the clutches of their unknown pursuers.
With only a few lines from Dante’s dark and epic masterpiece, The Inferno, to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes buried deep within some of the most celebrated artefacts of the Renaissance – sculptures, paintings, buildings – to find the answers to a puzzle which may, or may not, help them save the world from a terrifying threat…

I was disappointed. A lot. I had hoped that Brown would return to the easy going fun and thrilling read that to me describes both Angels and Demons and The Da Vinci Code. The Lost Symbol always seemed like a rushed and forced book to me and I never enjoyed it.

Inferno held a lot of promise to me. It'd been years and years since the last book so he had had plenty of time to write something good. Unfortunately.. it flunked completely.

First of all, it takes bloody ages to get going and thanks to Langdon suffering amnesia he never has any clue as to what's going on and why and he's basically being chased around various Italian locations whilst having no clue. I've never liked those sort of plot setups and this was no exception. I think it's incredibly frustration trying to piece together past events like that and even more annoying is SPOILER ALERT SPOILER ALERT the fact that it's all a gigantic plot twist and who can you trust anyway and oh let's just turn this thing into a sci-fi novel because why not.

Frankly I hated the ending. I loved books 1 and 2 as they could (in some theoretical sense) take place. It's not all that far out. Book 3 could even happen. Book 4? No. It's stupid.

Also, I found an old article that lists a number of flaws - as in Langdon's knowledge being wrong, flaws that could easily have been corrected had they been researched better. Reading that just further annoyed me about this book.

3 stars for being occasionally interesting. 2 stars for sounding like a dull tourist guide half the time. 1 stars for the sci-fi-ish end. Blegh.





Inferno
Robert Langdon #4
by Dan Brown
ISBN13: 9780593072493
463 pages / published in 2013




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

26/01/2014

PT - Winter Came

Oops. 3 days late. And even had this all written and ready for publishing. Oh well, it still applies, none of the snow has melted and another snowstorm hits us tomorrow.

Personal Thursday banner

So winter so far in Denmark had been pretty uneventful. It'd barely even been cold. Then one Monday suddenly there was snow. A lot of snow. It pretty much caught the whole country unaware and for a single day there was a bit of chaos. The next day though it was almost gone again and instead left a thick thick fog blanketing the land.

Then suddenly they started saying that a blizzard - an actual massive blizzard - was coming our way. Particularly Northern Jutland (where I live) would be hit. We all scoffed. Yeah right.

But they kept warning us. We started wondering if they were right. All sorts of weather prophets said the same. Lots of snow in the North!

I warned my boss, half in joke, that if as much snow came as they said, I might struggle getting to work Friday.

Thursday it rained. Thursday night it rained.

Friday - there was snow. Lots of snow. And it kept coming. Together with winds up to 14 metres a second I was effectively snowed in. The roads were chaos with no one able to clear them as fast as they were covered, and the high way (free way?) was effectively closed for almost 4 hours in the South-going direction because of accidents.





It snowed the entire day and it kept on snowing a good part of Saturday too. It was bloody freezing (still is) and absolutely gorgeous.

Sunday I finally got my car free (had to dig and shovel for 45 minutes) and Monday there were no problems driving to work. Thank God.

20/01/2014

Danish Books #2 - Minna mangler et øvelokale by Dorthe Nors

Minna er komponist og ikke en dag over fyrre. Minna skriver på en sonate. Minna har svært ved at få lyd på sonaten, for Minna mangler et øvelokale. Faktisk er der en hel del, Minna mangler. For eksempel et barn, en eksistensberettigelse og sin stemme. Minna er forelsket i netværksmennesket Lars, men Lars har andre planer.
Omkring Minna huserer en række kvinder. Den erotiske harpenist Jette. Karin der bruger Minna som dagbog for sit jyske vellevned. Mor som blogger om pelargonier. Alle har deres behov, og Minna er lidt af et værtsdyr. I en sådan grad, at der efterhånden er meget lidt tilbage af hende. Men nu tager Minna en beslutning: Minna vil lære at sortere. Minna vil have sig et røvhulsfilter. Minna vil ud på et skær og synge.

Minna mangler et øvelokale er en kort bog, der udelukkende består af hovedsætninger. En pr linje. Da jeg først hørte det, tænkte jeg no way. Men så læste foredragsholderen på Hjørring bibliotek op fra et kapitel og min skepsisme gled lige så langsomt væk. Man skal lige vende sig til at læse historien på denne måde, men den er faktisk meget fængende, og Minna er en kær, kær personlighed. Hun er single, hun er ensom og alt det hun gerne ville have, har hun ikke. Hun er en stille eksistens, der har ladet hendes omgivelser træde på hende i alt for mange år - men nu har Minna endelig fået nok. Der er intet kæmpe oprør, ingen voldsomme handlinger; bare en person der lige så langsomt lærer at sige fra. Minna er meget ægte, og meget nem at nikke genkendende til.

Skrivestilen fungerer fint her, men jeg vil dog ikke anbefale andre forfattere at gøre Nors nummeret efter. Den fungerer til den lille bog, om den lille fortælling, om den meget personlige genkendelige forandring. Den formår at fortælle en masse på meget simpel vis.

s. 6 og 7 i Minna mangler et øvelokale af Dorthe Nors

 Jeg slugte bogen på under en time og kan berette, den er er det værd, og slutningen er sød, kan jeg røbe.

---
Minna needs a practice/rehearsal room is a sweet little book about Minna; a quiet thing of a woman whose life is not what she wanted. She's 40, single and childless. She's oppressed by her family, her surroundings, her friends and herself. When Minna finally decides to stand up for herself it's glorious. The book is very well written, but also very weirdly. It consists only of main clauses, one per line. At first it's weird to read, but quite soon you give in to it and it works very well in conveying Minna's thoughts and emotions, which are very recognizable and quite charming.
---




Minna mangler et øvelokale
by Dorthe Nors
ISBN13: 9788763827058
92 pages / published in 2013




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

16/01/2014

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

You know what it’s like when your mum goes away on a business trip and Dad’s in charge. She leaves a really, really long list of what he’s got to do. And the most important thing is DON’T FORGET TO GET THE MILK. Unfortunately, Dad forgets. So the next morning, before breakfast, he has to go to the corner shop, and this is the story of why it takes him a very, very long time to get back.
Featuring: Professor Steg (a time-travelling dinosaur), some green globby things, the Queen of the Pirates, the famed jewel that is the Eye of Splod, some wumpires, and a perfectly normal but very important carton of milk

Fortunately, the milk is a very cute book containing a great story full of the magic and wonders and weirdness that is Neil Gaiman. Furthermore it's wonderfully illustrated by Chris Riddell who brings Gaiman's bizarre stories to life with lovely pictures that fully captivate it all.

It's obviously a children's book, but any fan of Gaiman, will love it for it's very Gaiman-ish way (and the fact that the Dad is drawn in the semblance of Gaiman himself. Children, I think, will enjoy it for the story and pictures themselves.




Fortunately, the Mil
by Neil Gaiman
ISBN13: 9781408841761
160 pages / published in 2013




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2013

13/01/2014

Little House in the Big Woods

Laura Ingalls's story begins in 1871 in a little log cabin on the edge of the Big Woods of Wisconsin. Four-year-old Laura lives in the little house with her Pa, her Ma, her sisters Mary and Carrie, and their trusty dog, Jack.
Pioneer life is sometimes hard, since the family must grow or catch all their own food as they get ready for the cold winter. But it is also exciting as Laura and her folks celebrate Christmas with homemade toys and treats, do the spring planting, bring in the harvest, and make their first trip into town. And every night they are safe and warm in their little house, with the happy sound of Pa's fiddle sending Laura and her sisters off to sleep.
And so begins Laura Ingalls Wilder's beloved story of a pioneer girl and her family. The nine Little House books have been cherished by generations of readers as both a unique glimpse into America's frontier past and a heartwarming, unforgettable story. 

Little House in the Big Woods is a book about home and family. The family we almost all know through not just the amazing book series but also the beloved TV series Little House on the Prairie (1974–1983).

The main character through whom we see the story unfold is the author herself, Laura, a small child at first who depicts her upbringing in this first book. A primitive but rich life in a little house quite isolated far out in a vast forest. Laura observes (and occasionally helps) as her parents do all the things we today take for granted being able to buy. He hunts and farms and builds and crafts as she cooks and cleans and so on.

I read the series as a kid and always loved it, no matter how often I reread the books. Rereading the first again, it was hard not to go straight to the library and borrow the rest of the books. They are simple in writing I suppose, but the detail of the life is stunning. It pulls me in every time and makes me want to try this simple but rich life in so many ways we cannot imagine today. Imagine making everything simple thing you eat or wear or live in yourself. In a world spinning out of control filled with digital devices it's not hard to be attracted to simpler times.

The book is short and sweet and a never fading classic that children (and adults!) today can still enjoy.




Little House in the Big Woods
Little House #1
by Laura Ingalls Wilder
ISBN13: 97887044805
238 pages / published in 1901




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

09/01/2014

PT - Library Haul #5

Personal Thursday banner

It's a double tag post!

As you may have noticed, I didn't do a Personal Thursday post last Thursday - the reason for this is that I thought there were way too many of them. So for now I'll try doing it every other Thursday instead.

My latest library haul has been heavily influenced by the presence of an actual car of my own in my life as well as a daily commute of two hours in total. After just two days I realized I needed audio books in my life. Radio, talk-show hosts and endless repetitions of the same 7 "great" songs were driving me up the wall.

Very uncertain about what I'd like to listen to, as I've next to no experience with audio books, particularly for when driving, I picked up a pile of randomness as you can see below.


There is Danish crime writer Sara Blædel's De Glemte Piger (~The Forgotten Girls) - I've never read anything by her and don't really read crime which is actually a huge problem when you're a librarian in Denmark - crime literature, particularly by Scandinavian authors, is HUGE!

Second up is Ken Follett's Fall of Giants, the Danish translated version, which will take over 40 hours to listen to. I've only read Follett's Pillars of the Earth books before and have always meant to read more of his work, but have never gotten around to it. Very curious as to how it will be listening to something that long.

Number 3 in the pile is Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility. I've attempted to read this, but never got very far, as there were simply too many other things calling for my attention. I'm not sure if I'll actually listen to this one, but saw it on the shelf and thought I'd bring it along.

Second to last is Olivia Joules and the Overactive Imagination by Helen Fielding. A book I didn't actually know about till I had it in my hand. It sounds, to be honest, like a sort of Bridget Jones repeat - but with action ... Am not quite sure if I liked or disliked the description of it, but I thought I might as well give it a go.

Final in my pile is The Fellowship of the Ring by JRR Tolkien. A book I've wanted to reread for years, but have failed to do so. It's just so.. boring. ish. I don't know. I read and reread the books several times both in English and Danish back when film #1 had been in the cinema, but since then I haven't had the energy.

---

So all well and good, right? Not quite.

The day after visiting the library I went to my car, audio book in hand, to set it all up so I'd be ready for Monday's drive - and that's when I discovered the cd player doesn't work >:( despite having had the car for a few weeks I hadn't used that yet and had no idea. After a few moments of frustration and agitation I ended up calling my dad, who called the mechanic from which I bought the car and TL;DR - I'm at the garage right now and they''re installing a new radio/cd player :D

I cannot wait to be able to listen to books the minute I leave the garage again, it will be so nice to not having to listen to music all the time! - and be able to read even more books :D

~ Iben (I forgot uploading the signature picture and am posting this from my phone)



05/01/2014

The House of Hades by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Olympians
The Lightning Thief #1
The Sea of Monsters #2
The Titan's Curse #3
The Battle of the Labyrinth #4
The Last Olympian #5
            Heroes of Olympus
The Lost Hero #1
The Son of Neptune #2
Mark of Athena #3 (not reviewed)
The House of Hades #4
The Blood of Olympus #5 (2014)

~~ may contain spoilers for the previous books ~~

At the conclusion of The Mark of Athena, Annabeth and Percy tumble into a pit leading straight to the Underworld. The other five demigods have to put aside their grief and follow Percy’s instructions to find the mortal side of the Doors of Death. If they can fight their way through the Gaea’s forces, and Percy and Annabeth can survive the House of Hades, then the Seven will be able to seal the Doors both sides and prevent the giants from raising Gaea. But, Leo wonders, if the Doors are sealed, how will Percy and Annabeth be able to escape?
They have no choice. If the demigods don’t succeed, Gaea’s armies will never die. They have no time. In about a month, the Romans will march on Camp Half-Blood. The stakes are higher than ever in this adventure that dives into the depths of Tartarus.

The House of Hades won Goodreads Choice Awards 2013 in the category "Middle Grade & Children's" and oh boy was it well deserved.

Like all Riordan's books it pulled me straight back into the story and kept me hooked. It's very well written, the characters are everything I want them to be (and mostly busy being heroes rather than being teenagers and all the drama that usually brings in books) and the plot kept on moving. All the characters get their time to shine and work together to fight all the bad guys and I just loved it all.

For me it's incredibly hard to review books this deep into a series (I have no clue why I didn't review the one before this (it got 4 stars)). House of Hades is effectively book 9 of the Greek/Roman series and Riordan has created such a universe, such a magnitude of characters and stories and backgrounds and I cannot sum it up and do it justice. I love these books, some are of course better than others, but all in all it's a new classic and something I'd want my own brood to read.




The House of Hades
The Heroes of Olympus #4
by Rick Riordan
ISBN13: 9781423146728
597 pages / published in 2013




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014