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


Holiday Reads

I brought a whole stack of books to Rhodes and can happily report back that every single one of them was a good read. One even blew me away, in ways that seldom happen.

On top of the pile is the second instalment in George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series, A Clash of Kings. I started reading it on the plane and read it sporadically over the week, but am (obviously) not done yet.

Beneath that purple brick is Jojo Moyes' The last letter from your lover which was very very lovely. I didn't quite cry, but it definitely moved me and is a very good romantic novel. Full review to come.

Then we have the wild card - Sylvia Plath's The bell jar. I had very little knowledge prior as to what it was really about I just knew it's a book you're supposed to read. And damn. It blew my mind, a full review is to come, obviously, but it was just amazing. It's incredibly well written and actually paused my reading often to think about the phrasing, the words, the immaculate descriptions of feelings and dilemmas of young women, or any women.

Then we have the Danish book Børnene by Ida Jessen. The title translates to the Children and the book is a classic realism novel which focuses on the drama of human life and interaction, following the narrative stories of several characters, but focusing on their stories one by one. It's the third in a series, but can be read without reading the first two (I haven't). I'd been told it is an amazing book, and while I think it's good, it's not that good. Review to come.

Last but not least I read the second book in the series by Lene Kaaberbøl, Det Levende Kød (The Living Flesh) which is another crime novel about the young coroner assistant Madeleine Karno getting involved in some sticky business. The plot was just as simple as the first book and you can still feel very clearly that Kaaberbøl started her career as a (very successful) children's book author. Full review to come.

All in all, I think these were all very well suited as holiday books. The bell jar is so desperately good it manages to demand the attention it must have and the rest are good easily read books.


Holiday on Rhodes

As I mentioned in my previous post I've just come home from a lovely holiday in Rhodes.

We stayed at a nice hotel on the Western side of the island which turned out to be the very windy side, whereas on the Eastern side it's far more calm weather and where the nice sandy beaches are. Neither me nor my dad are beach people though, so that didn't bother us, we barely even spent time by the pool.

Monday we walked around getting to know the place, Tuesday we took a guided trip first to the town Lindos. Lindos consists solely of white buildings all the way up a mountain/hill where you find the ancient acropolis consisting of among other things the ruins of a temple to Athena.
Afterwards we went to the city of Rhodes and spent the remainder of the day visiting the Old City, which is a massive fort/wall structure surrounding a big part of the city with old beautiful buildings and the Grand Master's Palace.

Wednesday we decided to walk up an actual mountain nearby to have a look at the acropolis of Ialyssos where we found the most gorgeous convent dating back to the Knights! it was so well preserved it looked like a movie set.

Thursday was boattrip day (you fill a big boat with turists and then sail them up and down the Eastern coast and let them jump in the water 4 times and feed them BBQ).

Friday we rented an ATV/quad and drove around the island ourselves, some 90 km in total up and down and around mountains. We visisted the Butterfly Valley, the rather underwhelming 7 Springs and the very ancient city of Kamiros (or as my dad put it, more old rocks - he jokes, we like ruins).

Saturday we once again spent the day wandering around the City of Rhodes and Sunday it was pool day before being picked up and driven to the airport at 10 PM.
We landed in Denmark at 3 AM and arrived home deadtired at 5:30 AM.

All in all it was a brilliant holiday, but now I seriously need to spend a few days relaxing, I've barely had time to relax all week!


Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh

I'm back from holiday! I've spent a week on the very lovely Greek island, Rhodes and it was a great week.Now back to the regular book schedule:

This is a book I wrote. Because I wrote it, I had to figure out what to put on the back cover to explain what it is. I tried to write a long, third-person summary that would imply how great the book is and also sound vaguely authoritative--like maybe someone who isn’t me wrote it--but I soon discovered that I’m not sneaky enough to pull it off convincingly. So I decided to just make a list of things that are in the book:

          - Pictures
          - Words
          - Stories about things that happened to me
          - Stories about things that happened to other people because of me
          - Eight billion dollars*
          - Stories about dogs
          - The secret to eternal happiness*

*These are lies. Perhaps I have underestimated my sneakiness!

You may already know Hyperbole and a Half - an extremely successful blog with a style that cannot really be compared to anyone else's (if you don't know it, I urge you to go there and check it out. It's hilarious - also, it'll give you a better idea of what this book contains. Words can't really describe this sort of stuff.).

I've been a fan of Allie Brosh's style for years and have followed her blog forever. The updates are few and far between these days, but the old posts are still gold - and this book is just as brilliant. Containing half new material and half posts from the blog, it's a great book (and incredibly heavy! who knew coloured paper and drawings weigh so much?).

I was a bit reluctant to start reading, worrying it'd be a watered-down version of posts already online, but just 3 pages into the first (and new story) I was laughing out loud. Brosh's wonderful poorly drawn simple cartoons are the best illustrations you could ever want and her stories vary between dark/touching and incredibly funny.

Despite the almost 400 pages it's very quickly read and leaves you with a fond smile on your face - or completely confused as to what you've just read.

»Unfortunate Situations, Flawed Coping Mechanisms, Mayhem, and Other Things That Happened«
by Allie Brosh
ISBN13: 9781451666175
371 pages / Published in 2013

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


Læserne i Broken Wheel anbefaler af Katarina Bivald

Svenske Sara skriver sammen med 75-årige Amy fra Iowa, USA. I to år har de udvekslet tips om bøger og livet, og en dag takker Sara ja til Amys tilbud om at besøge hende. Da hun når frem til den lille flække Broken Wheel, er Amy imidlertid pludselig død. Byens indbyggere tager sig godt af den forvirrede, unge tursit, og Sara beslutter sig for at blive som planlagt. Da hun åbner en lille boghandel med alle Amys bøger, liver den lille søvnige by langsomt op, og Sara oplever for første gang at knytte relationer og venskaber - udover dem i litteraturens verden. Ingen tør tænke på, at Sara snart skal hjem igen, så byens indbyggere går sammen om en aldeles skør, men genial plan.

Læserne i Broken Wheel anbefaler er en sød bog, ingen tvivl om det. Desværre er den også ret så naiv i sin tilgang til virkeligheden.

Svenske Sara på 28 har et trist liv uden indhold - hvis man vel og mærke ikke tæller alle bøgerne i hendes liv med. Hun tager til the middle of nowhere, Iowa, USA for at besøge sin penneveninde Amy på 75. Desværre når Amy at dø inden hun når frem, og så står Sara jo der. Og er totalt håbløs.

Byen Broken Wheel er imidlertig beboet af en håndfuld personer med et eneste anseeligt personlighedstræk - "Sara er vores ven og vi skal blande os i hendes liv". Nok kan folk i små lokalsamfund være nogle spøjse typer, der blander sig i alt, men historien her tager en skarp drejning fra hvordan en fremmed turist egentlig vil have befundet sig ind i lala-land hvor alt er godt og de rare spøjse ting sker som perler på en snor. Selvom jeg syntes det var vældig hyggelig læsning var stereotyperne enerverende og tilgangen for naiv. Saras boghandel/bibliotek var en sød lille ting, men selv derude, hvor kragerne vender ville en eller anden form for myndighed formentlig tage affære, når et turistvisum misbruges.

Alle disse fadæser kan dog ignoreres mens man læser. Det er forholdsvist harmløst og historien er som sagt sød. Men så kommer man til kærlighedsdelen af plottet. Og så mistede jeg tålmodigheden. Vi lærer om Amy og hendes liv via de virkeligt korte papirsbreve - (hallo til den porto, der skriver man længere breve!) som hende og Sara har udvekslet og man lærer om nogle af de andre personer i byen. Inkl. den gnavne Tom - det oplagte match til Sara. Hvordan deres egentlige forhold udvikler sig er mig en gåde. Men jaja jeg kan gå med til det.

Hvad jeg dog ikke kan gå med til er Sara selv. Hun starter historien ud med at være en grå mus, der står på en gade og gemmer sig bag en bog af skræk for at skulle i kontakt med andre mennesker, men lige så hurtigt kan hun efterfølgende vende på en tallerken og være den bedstestebedste bogsælger. Jeg tror måske hovedsageligt mit problem med Sara er hendes tilgang til livet. Jeg elsker bøger, det gør jeg. Men at have en bog med i lommen, så man kan læse frem for at snakke med den person der giver en et kort lift ind til byen, det er sgu for groft. Gang på gang formåede sådanne små detaljer om Saras ligegyldighed eller totale mangel på respekt over for andre at pisse mig af. Hvordan ind i hulen hun formår på en halv dag at få en hel by til at elske hende er mig en gåde. Suk. Herudover er bogen så afsindigt forudseelig, at det gør helt ondt.

Men alt er dog ikke tabt. Bogen er nemlig fuld af gode boghenvisninger; mange, jeg kendte og mange, jeg skrev mig bag øret. Herudover kan man ikke være negativ over den rene bog- og læseglæde bogen som helhed udstråler. Sara får på eventyrlig vis selv den mindst ventede til at læse og det er en fornøjelse, hvordan de forskellige bøger passer til forskellige personer.

Trods mine lettere hårde ord, anbefaler jeg alligevel denne bog med ordene sød men simpel og hurtigt læst. Så en nem sommerbog til stranden, skoven eller poolen, det kan den snildt bruges til.

[Läserne i Broken Wheel rekommenderar]
af Katarina Bivald
ISBN13: 9788711346143
396 sider / Udgivet i 2014

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


A Reckless Witch by Debora Geary

With great power comes great responsibility. So says the tradition of witching. One teenage witch missed that lesson…
As a child, Sierra Brighton traveled the world. She swam with the baby whales, danced in storm funnels, and lived in complete magical freedom. And then Momma died and Sierra ended up in foster care, an unhappy and very secret witch.
Fetched by Nell's spell, she'll no longer need to do magic on lonely beaches - but can Sierra learn to use her power safely? Or will her reckless blood put Witch Central at risk?

Having finished my other go-to feel-good series I'm now relying heavily on Debora Geary to fill that void and boy is she doing a good job. Every single book I read by her is no shorter than a regular book, but I read them in less than half the time - I cannot. put. them. down.

Despite my promise to myself not to speed through them and only read one pr. month I'm currently 3 books behind on reviews with this series ... I kind of broke my promise one day.

A Reckless Witch introduces new girl Sierra, who's lived alone and cut off from the witch community and the rules of safety all her life, but thanks to the fetching spell she's now in safe hands, but with lots to learn. The story is well written and basically oozing warmth and love and though it's not a literary piece of art it's sooo good. Feel-good.

As usual an immense amount of things happen all concluding with a BIG event that requires BIG magic/love, but you never really worry as a reader. You know right from previous books that this is feel-good literature and that nothing truly bad will happen. You might shed a tear once or twice, but that's more because of sad back-stories or something incredibly moving. I think if Geary ever did something shockingly brutal in these books I'd go into shock.

So, once again, the A Modern Witch series get my seal of approval. Great stuff, be prepared to get addicted.

A Modern Witch #3
by Debora Geary
304 pages / Published in 2011

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


Cujo by Stephen King

A big, friendly dog chases a rabbit into a hidden underground cave--and stirs a sleeping evil crueler than death itself. A terrified four-year-old boy sees his bedroom closet door swing open untouched by human hands, and screams at the unholy red eyes gleaming in the darkness. The little Maine town of Castle Rock is about to be invaded by the most hideous menace ever to savage the flesh and devour the mind ...

While I really want to say this book scared the living daylights out of me, it didn't. It was scary at times when tension ran high and I certainly side-eyed my parents' Golden Retriever while reading - just in case. Mostly though just as things were getting tense there was a line skip and the story changed point of view to something completely different. This made it quite hard to feel very engaged and even made the book a bit hard to read as I almost lost interest in it a few times.

Overall it was a pretty good book with well written characters and interesting stories of their own, but all I really cared about after all was the main plot about the dog turned monster.

As you can see above the story starts out talking about the monster of a man Frank Dodd. Why, I never really figured out. You see he has no actual role in this. This book, I can say without spoiling anyone I hope, is all about the dog.

Poor poor dog.

by Stephen King
ISBN: 0451161351
304 pages / Published in 1981

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Meet Ove. He's a the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him;the bitter neighbor from hell. But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

You might not immediately think so when you read the description of the book but this contains one of the most real and heart warming stories I've ever had the immense pleasure to hold in my hands. This book is in short amazing.

Ove is a bitter old man, or is he? It's very hard to tell you anything beyond what it says above in the description without saying too much and spoiling key points and great moments, but I can tell you this. No man is as he is without reason. There is a background story, there are reasons. In this book Ove's story unfolds and it will touch your heart. It certainly touched mine.

I've laughed, giggled and hiccuped my way through it. I've cried, gone awww and sniffled. It's not necessarily filled with action and excitement, but there is never a dull moment. I heartily recommend it to just about anyone who are looking for something real. It is very very good.

A Man Called Ove
Original title: En man som heter Ove [Swedish]
Read in Danish: En mand der hedder Ove
by Fredrik Backman
ISBN13: 9788771373349
357 pages / published in 2012

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014


Supernatural #1 & #2

Twenty-two years ago, Sam and Dean Winchester lost their mother to a mysterious and demonic supernatural force. In the years after, their father, John, taught them about the paranormal evil that lives in the dark corners and on the back roads of America...and he taught them how to kill it.

I am a very big fan of the TV series Supernatural and have been ever since I discovered the series on Netflix earlier this year while writing my thesis. I've watched every single episode and many more than once. A little while back I quite suddenly discovered that books had been written based on the show.

The first book Nevermore takes place in New York City where Sam and Dean are checking out a friend of a friend's haunted house. While there though a macabre crime catches their attention with murders bizarrely linked to the writings of Edgar Allan Poe.

In the second Witch's Canyon book the brothers are checking out the Grand Canyon for recreational reasons, but soon find themselves deeply involved in a mysterious murder spree that occurs every 40 years.

Both books take place in between TV episodes and reads just like an episode themselves. Having such an intimate knowledge of the guys from watching them through 9 series, you the reader and watcher, don't need much information on how they look, you know exactly how they react and behave. They are easy, interesting and fun reads if you're a fan.

Both books have been well written and closely follows the show, there are no sudden surprises in how the characters act. I am very much looking forward to reading more of them and immerse myself deeper into the wonderfully good-looking Supernatural show.

Supernatural #1
by Keith R.A. DeCandido
ISBN13: 9780061729171
336 pages / published in 2007

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

Witch's Canyon
Supernatural #2
by Jeff Mariotte
ISBN13: 9780061876134
368 pages / published in 2007

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014