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

27/04/2014

Readathon Wrap-up

In total I've read 6 books and 1007 pages (I read 24 pages of Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes before giving up on that one again).

  • Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx
  • Mrs Dalloway's Party by Virginia Woolf
  • Shakespeare's Champion by Charlaine Harris
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-time by Mark Haddon
  • Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, Ray Cruz (Illustrator)
  • A Hidden Witch (A Modern Witch #2) by Debora Geary
I read for approximately 13 hours out of the 24, 8 were spent on sleeping and the rest were spent on twitter, blogging etc and I also left the readathon one hour early to go out for a bike ride (27 km - I'm absolutely dead now).

While I did manage to read some very good books and enjoyed the readathon I struggled to get into the mood. I also don't feel like I managed to be very social. Initially I struggled to get into the books I was reading and kept getting distracted, and later on I felt twitter was so overflowing with #readathon tweets I barely knew where to start. I basically got overwhelmed and pulled out.

However, over 800 readers participated in the readathon and that's an amazing number. I hope I'll be more up for it come fall and the next readathon.

Readathon Status #5 + mini-reviews

There's 1½ hours to go of the spring readathon and I've finished my 6th book.

Last night after writing the last blog post I read the children's book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst. I really don't know why, I recall someone online mentioning it as being really sweet, but honestly? It's just a cranky kid having a slightly miserable day.



 Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
by Judith Viorst, Ray Cruz (Illustrator) ISBN13: 9780689711732
32 pages / published in 1987




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014



I started reading A Hidden Witch (A Modern Witch #2) by Debora Geary shortly after, but quickly fell asleep with my iPad propped up against the spare pillow. This morning I had a quick look at Twitter and then went straight back to work, and now, some 4 hours later, I've finished it and immensely enjoyed it. It's even more geeky and computer/internet-fixated than the first book (which I won in a mini-challenge in the last readathon!) but this completely bizarre twist on magic and witches makes it all the more enjoyable. Furthermore the warmth and love that this community has for each other actually made my eyes water on several occasions. I can't wait to read more in this series.



A Hidden Witch
A Modern Witch #2
by Debora Geary
ISBN13: 9781937041052
369 pages / published in 2011


Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

Readathon Status #4 + mini-review

It's five minutes past midnight and I've just finished my 4th book. I started reading Silver Bay by Jojo Moyes, but found it way too slow and put it back down again. Instead I got started on Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time which sucked me right in and turned out to be an enjoyable fast paced read. It's incredibly fascinating and very well written and from the point of view of an autistic boy - and he's very smart. Not only did I learn and finally understand some mathematical problems I've never been able to wrap my mind around before, but I also think I've learned a fair bit about how life works when you're autistic like Christopher and what you need from the surrounding world.

I'm pretty tired and think I'll just call it a night as I'm rather unsure what to read next anyway, so I'll probably be back in 8 hours time :) Happy reading!


The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night Time
by Mark Haddon
ISBN13: 9780224063784
272 pages / published in 2003

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

26/04/2014

Readathon Status #3 + mini-review

It's half past eight and I've finished my third book Shakespeare's Champion which is the second Lily Bard book by Charlaine Harris. I'm a bit surprised to be honest that I've only read 342 pages so far after 6½ hours, but I've just gotta keep on truckin'.

I ended up going out for pizza for dinner and brought the book along, reading as I walked (I live just 5 minutes from a pizza joint). It was incredibly nice to be outside in the sun for a bit both the walks to and from but also during the wait.

I'm feeling a bit tired right now, but I hope to read one more book before calling it a day (I won't be staying up all night reading). Next book is either by Jojo Moyes or Mark Haddon.


Harris' books are always somewhat guilty pleasures of mine and while I wasn't terribly impressed with the first in this series, this one didn't let me down. It's an easily read crime/mystery novel with a sort of complex main character who at least isn't your regular female heroine. Also, the descriptions of the new guy in town was basically everything I like and look for in a guy ;)
If I were to point out an annoying aspect of this book is that far too many guys want the main character and aren't shy about admitting it. I know it's just a female fantasy, but it annoys me every time I encounter it. The character is in no way described as your typical attractive woman and despite this - because of this - everybody wants to shag her. Luckily though it's mostly just annoying for a paragraph or two and then the plot moves on.




Shakespeare's Champion
by Charlaine Harris
Lily Bard #2
ISBN13: 9780425213100
214 pages / published in 1997



Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

Readathon Statys #2 + mini-review

It's 16:09 and I've finished my second book. This one was equally short as my first read, but much much heavier to get through. I read Mrs Dalloway's Party by Virginia Woolf and I'll be honest with you, I didn't get it.

I've never read anything by Woolf before but obviously know her by name and have a vague idea of how she's one of the big ones. And while I really enjoyed the overall style of the writing and the descriptiveness I just did not understand what was actually going on. Maybe nothing was going on. Maybe it is just a bunch of people at a party having a miserable time because they hate their lives, their insecurities, everybody else, etc.

I have a strong feeling that I'm not highly enough cultured to read books like this properly. I'm not deep enough.



Mrs Dalloway's Party
by Virginia Woolf
ISBN10: 0701203781
70 pages / published in 1925



Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

Readathon Status #1 + mini-review

We're 40 minutes into the #readathon and I've just finished my first book!

I started out with an easy quick read - Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx. I never liked the film much (way too loooong), and while the book was a bit... weird, it was far better. At only 58 pages it manages to convey a whole lot of (suppressed) emotions and portray forbidden lust/love in a land and time that would kill you for such things. The book could easily have been longer, the whole story, particular the start, is very rushed, but overall it's a decent book and a quick read.




Brokeback Mountain
by Annie Proulx
ISBN10: 1857029402
58 pages / published in 1997



Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

Let the 24 hour Readathon BEGIN!

It's 14:00 here in Denmark and the Readathon has begun! Over 700 readers across the world has signed up to participate in this weekend's event and besides reading we'll all be sharing our experiences, feelings, updates and advances on every social media imaginable.

Personally I'll be spamming my Twitter followers (I apologize for the inconvenience in advance) -  I can be found at @Gemmanebi and you can also check out the official #Readathon (last time it trended worldwide).

I'll also be posting updates and mini-reviews after every finished read here on Borough of Books as per usual and I'll be using Goodreads as well.

Happy reading everybody, I hope you have a great time and do remember, this really isn't about how much you read or how "well" you do. This is about joining in and being a part of something bigger whilst reading whatever you fancy - enjoy :)

23/04/2014

Library Haul #7

Library Haul - the audio book edition 


I've become a huge fan of audio books over the last few months and for some reason, crime novels in particular suit my long hours driving to and fro. I reserved a fair number at the library and then suddenly one day they all arrived at once (I usually only have 1 or 2 lying in my car waiting to be heard).

I've in just under 5 month heard 6 out of 8 books by Danish writer Sara Blædel, whom I think writes some decent books with very well researched material. I'm not actually a huge fan of her protagonist Louise Rick, but the books are still good.

I've also heard 3 books by Camilla Läckberg, a great Swedish crime novelists who writes books filled to the brim with some of the most fleshed out characters I've ever encountered - and man, a lot of them are fucking annoying! She portrays some of the more undesirable traits in humans and she does it well. I've just started on the 4th book by her now, called Ulykkesfuglen/The Stranger.

Besides these two I've had a go at the older books by Thomas Harris. First I heard Red Dragon and today I finished The Silence of the Lambs. Initially I wanted to read them because I'm a huge fan of the TV series Hannibal, but quickly discovered that the books and the show have little in common. The books are definitely still worth reading though, and while I didn't find them to my taste (the characters annoy me, the dialogue is lengthy and Lecter really isn't all that smart or scary) I'm glad to be able to cross them off my bucket list.

Once I'm ready, I'll be checking out another Danish author, Jussi Adler-Olsen. He's a big name here in Denmark, but I've never read anything by him myself. I've been recommended this particular book by my dad who describes it as something you can't stop reading once you've begun.

21/04/2014

Readathon ready


My book pile for the readathon this weekend is growing taller :)

Check out 24hourreadathon.com for more information.

15/04/2014

Danish Books #4 - Ikk' for sjov - om kemo og comedy by Geo

Komikeren Geo fik sidste efterår konstateret testikelkræft. Han blev opereret, erklæret rask, og optrådte i julen som vært på Kræftens Bekæmpelses store indsamlingsshow Comedy Aid.
Til Geos halvårlige rutinekontrol fandt lægerne en spredning til lungerne, hvilket resulterede i endnu en operation fulgt op af ni uger med den hårdeste kemobehandling. Det blev ni uger med smerte, mistet hår, tunge tanker og grin. For ja, humoren blev Geos våben i kampen mod kræften.
Geo fortæller tragikomisk om pinlige sædprøver, om portører, som vil have jokes på operationsgangen, om kønsbehåring som falder af (det er der da ingen, der har fortalt?) og om kun at ville have frosne ærter til morgen-, middag- og aftensmad.

Ikk’ for sjov var en bog jeg ikke forventede det store af, da jeg aldrig har været specielt stor fan af Geos stil på en scene, men jeg måtte allerede efter 50 sider indse, at det her var noget helt andet. Bogen blev læst på en eftermiddag/aften, jeg formåede aldrig at lægge den fra mig.

Det er en dybt personlig og særdeles velskrevet skildring af Geos cancerforløb - den første diagnose, operation og raskerklæring til erfaringen af en spredning, endnu en operation og et frygteligt energi-tærende kemoforløb.

Siderne bringer både latter og tårer, flere steder på én gang. Det er en barsk omgang komikeren er igennem, både fysisk og mentalt. Han rammer bunden, men kommer heldigvis op igen. Bogen skildrer så flot, hvordan et kræft- og kemoforløb ikke kun handler om den syge - også de nærmeste pårørende er dybt berørte. Geo’s kone er til stede i bogen med adskillige dagbogsindlæg, der viser hendes side af sagen, hendes frygter, frustration og afmagten. Nok allermest rørende er da hvordan parrets 3-årige datter takler situationen med en meget syg far.

Alt i alt er det en bog jeg kun varmt og hjerteligt kan anbefale alle.

---
Danish stand-up comedian Geo's book about his battle with cancer and chemotherapy is an incredibly heart-warming book that had me hooked throughout making me both laugh and cry. Its' very well written and shows how not just the cancer patient but also friends and relatives are affected.
---




Ikk' for sjov - om kemo og comedy
by Geo
ISBN13: 9788771373929
240 pages / published in 2013




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

11/04/2014

Read-a-thon Warm Up

It's almost time for the Spring Read-a-thon on the 26-27th of April 2014!

For the third time running (I participated last April and October) I'm spending a weekend reading non-stop - I am of course talking about Dewey's 24 Hour Read-a-thon. It kicks off at 2 PM in Denmark (noon in London, 5 AM in LA, 11 PM in Sydney, etc) and lasts for precisely 24 hours.

If you want to spend your weekend reading but also incredibly socially through your blog/twitter/etc. then join up here! (Note that there are 2 sign ups - 1 for you in general and 1 for where you want the cheerleaders to aim their cheers).

You can also sign up to be a cheerleader, donate prizes or host Hourly Challenges :) Personally I'd love to cheer but I just know I'll be so busy reading I can't promise to devote time. I will instead do my very best to have an occasional look at the tag on twitter and give some cheering response to other readers.

--- --- ---

So far throughout the read-a-thons I've read 7 books pr 24 hours.

I've got a few ideas what to read for this one, but nothing is certain yet. I like to have a nice little pile of books lined up in all sorts of genres and lengths so I have something to chose between. I do strive for them all to be easy reads though. I'm gonna go with library books again this year and it's just about time to start ordering them home.

I usually read from the starting time till around 2 AM and then crash for my needed 8 hours of sleep and then carry on reading till the finish time at 2 PM Sunday the 27th. I applause those who manage to read for the full 24 hours, but I know from personal experiences that my body takes a very long time to get back on schedule if I do that and Monday is a work day, so that's a no can do.




08/04/2014

Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes

Summer 2011. Berlin. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of ground, alive and well. Things have changed – no Eva Braun, no Nazi party, no war. Hitler barely recognises his beloved Fatherland, filled with immigrants and run by a woman. People certainly recognise him, though – as a brilliant, satirical impersonator who refuses to break character. The unthinkable, the inevitable, happens, and the ranting Hitler takes off, goes viral, becomes a YouTube star, gets his own TV show, becomes someone who people listen to. All while he’s still trying to convince people that yes, it really is him, and yes, he really means it.
Look Who’s Back is a black and brilliant satire of modern media-bloated society, seen through the eyes of the Führer himself. Adolf is by turns repellent, sympathetic and hilarious, but always fascinating. Look Who’s Back is outrageously clever, outrageously funny – and outrageously plausible.

I personally loved this book, but it's definitely not for everybody. I read it for a book group with two friends of mine from Library School and they were less impressed with it than me, one outright hating it.

To me it's the kind of book that makes you think - a lot - afterwards. Obviously Hitler was a mass-murdering dickhead, but as is pointed out in the book a lot of the things we want politically today he wanted back then.

You can't help but sort of like Hitler in this book, what he experiences in this modern confusing age and how he reacts to it all, and while obviously this has a lot to do with how Vermes portrays him, I think it's pretty brilliant. It's all written excellently and I can just hear him speak during his long ranting speeches. I often found myself laughing out loud and then stopping quite suddenly wondering if it's okay to laugh with Hitler.

It's also just so very easy to forget. And I think the portrait painted by Vermes here, makes it clear, just how clever and well spoken Hitler was, and how dreadfully easy it was for him to sway the masses.

My only real issue with the book was my own lack of knowledge concerning the current German government. People and political subjects and debates are heavily mentioned, referenced to or made fun of and when you  barely know anything about how Germany is run today other than it's led by Angela Merkel, I think a lot of stuff goes by unfruitful.

Like I said though, it's food for thought and if you can handle some very black humour and satire, you might just enjoy this.




Look Who's Back
by Timur Vermes
Original title: Er ist wieder da
ISBN13: 9788779735859369 pages / published in 2012



Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

01/04/2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

I really enjoyed reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, but it didn't quite do for me what I thought it would.

It is as a work of Gaiman, incredibly well written, full of amazing characters and creatures and the oddest imaginations, fantastic prose etc etc. As expected,with the exception of Stardust, every single thing I've read that he's written has been brilliant, and so is this.

And yet, I just don't love it. Not quite.

It's hard to review a book when your feelings are this mixed up. I just cannot put a finger on what exactly bothers me which is why it's taken me 2 months to even write this sorry excuse of a review. Peace out.




The Ocean at the End of the Lane 
by Neil Gaiman

ISBN13: 9781472200327
248 pages / published in 2013




Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014