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

30/10/2014

The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, Mrs. Quine just thinks her husband has gone off by himself for a few days—as he has done before—and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.
But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine's disappearance than his wife realizes. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel were to be published, it would ruin lives—meaning that there are a lot of people who might want him silenced.
When Quine is found brutally murdered under bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before...

I loved this book, truly. Galbraith Rowling is a fantastic writer and I will read every single word she publishes. I love the gritty reality in it, I love how each sentence is crafted and how every word paints a picture in my head. It is, in short just really really great.


But this book, like it's predecessor, The Cuckoo's Calling, is incredibly heavy. It's not a  book you fly through, heart throbbing eyes wide open, whilst trying to figure out who done it. Instead you walk slowly through it, sometimes even crawling, trying to keep up with the minute clues scattered around the pages. I did find this book a bit easier to keep abreast with than The Cuckoo's Calling, but it's still a heavy read. There are so many people and stories to keep track to try and figure out who's lying and whatnot and who's implying something else and it's just all so massive, but the author here manages to keep every single string in play without ever tangling it.

In the first book I wasn't actually every terribly bothered about the crime plot because I found the main characters far more fascinating, and while this time around the crime also got a better hold on me, I still remain big fan of Strike and Robin and all the sub-characters, for in this book, they are all equally interesting and well written. No character is thrown in there just to serve a plot purpose and then never seen or heard of again; all play a decent part. Also, I really loved the many jibes at the whole book publishing industry, both at authors and editors, etcetera alike.

If you can handle it's volume it's definitely a worthwhile read. I loved it and can't wait for more.

THE SILKWORM
Cormoran Strike #2
by Robert Galbraith
[ Pseudonym = J.K. Rowling ]
ISBN13: 9780316206877
455 pages / Published in 2014

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

29/10/2014

Mofibo tilbud

Hej alle,

Lige et brud fra normalen her, har nemlig spændende nyt :)

Som nogen måske ved/husker så fik vi nogle fantastiske flotte sponsorerede gaver til bogbloggertræffet i september, heriblandt abonnementer til Mofibo.

Nu har jeg brugt tjenesten i en måneds tid og er super begejstret over deres store udvalg af bøger, nye som gamle både engelske og danske. En sød Mofibo-medarbejder skrev så for nyligt for at høre om jeg var interesseret i at kunne tilbyde mine læsere en god deal. Nu er jeg jo nordjyde og elsker at spare penge, så jeg sagde selvfølgelig ja!

Så her er det så, til de der har lyst:

Gå ind på Mofibo og opret dig inden d. 1/1-2015 og få en gratis prøveperiode og de 2 første mdr. til kun 79 kr./md. Herefter alm. abonnementspris (99 kr./md.). Alt hvad du skal gøre er at indtaste min unikke kode, når du opretter dig: borough

Et abonnement til Mofibo er lig med ubegrænset læsning når du vil og hvor du vil, direkte på din smartphone og tablet - der er ingen begrænsninger på lån som på bibliotekernes tjenester og udvalget af bøger er enormt (det må selv jeg, en bibliotekar, anerkende) - og her næsten det fedeste: der er lydbøger på vej!


Jeg vil lige understrege, jeg får ingen penge for det her indlæg, og jeg får ikke procenter eller noget lignende overhovedet, hvis nogen vælger at oprette sig med min kode. Jeg er vitterligt bare glad for Mofibo's service og syntes det er værd at dele et godt tilbud.

28/10/2014

Det Levende Kød af Lene Kaaberbøl

Det er en kaotisk og kvælende hed sommernat i Varbourg i 1894. En italiensk anarkist har dræbt den franske præsident, og folkemængdens vrede rammer byens italienske borgere i flæng. Midt i postyret gøres et uhyggeligt fund i en kulhandlers baggård. Rosalba Lombardi, en ung prostitueret, er blevet myrdet og maltrakteret på en måde der får boulevardpressen til at skrive om “Varbourgs egen Jack the Ripper”, men Madeleine Karno får snart en fornemmelse af at sandheden er endnu mere skræmmende.
 Madeleine er langt om længe startet på universitetet, hvor hendes kærlighed til videnskaben skal stå sin prøve, og det burde være udfordring nok. Ikke alle er begejstrede for at se unge kvinder i lærdommens hellige haller. Hun kan imidlertid ikke lade være med samtidig at jage sandheden om Rosalbas død – til trods for at det bliver en jagt og en sandhed der sætter mærker på både krop og sjæl.
DET LEVENDE KØD er anden bog i serien om Madeleine Karno, Kadaverdoktorens datter og ambitiøse assistent, der ikke har i sinde at lade sit køn stå i vejen for sin fremtid.

Det Levende Kød var endnu en af de bøger jeg læste mens jeg var på Rhodos og lå og stegte ved poolen. Lad mig først og fremmest sige at som ferielæsning er den perfekt. Den er fint skrevet, historien er let at følge med i og interessant, men ikke så fængende at man ikke kan lægge den fra dig og nyde alt det man nu laver når man er på ferie.

Vi følger akkurat som i bog 1, Kadaverdoktoren, Madeleine, der er lysår foran resten af samfundet når det kommer til kvinderettigheder. Det bliver igen lidt fjollet og naivt, og jeg savner stadig en mere realistisk afspejling af datidens samfund.

Det Levende Kød af Lene Kaaberbøl//Iben Jakobsen

Selve krimiplottet har dog oppet sig efter den første bog. Hvor jeg der fandt det hele lidt for nært tangerende til Kaaberbøls børnebøger, så er der her noget langt mere bistert under overfladen. Ret gyseligt faktisk.

Den eneste person i bogen vi egentlig nogensinde hører noget i dybden om er Madeleine selv og selve skurken som jeg ikke vil røbe her (selvom bogen nærmest har sagt who done it, inden det overhovedet er sket). Resten af persongalleriet er i bund og grund meget overfladisk beskrevet, og eksisterer udelukkende for historiens skyld. Eksempelvis Madeleines far, der ellers er forsøgt at tyngdegøres med et baghistorie om en død hustru, er belejligt aldrig til rådighed så Madeline må træde til i stedet. Den mest interessante personlighed i bogen er vitterligt skurken, hvor der bliver forklaret, hvorfor personen udviklede sig i lige den retning.

Jeg irriteres til stadighed af Madeleines forlovede og hans "dramatiske" baggrundshistorie og det lille subplot der bliver ved med at presse sig på, men overall syntes jeg bogen fik præsenteret en god historie med atter en skurk, der er skingrende skør dybt inde. Bogen er fin afslappende læsning, men ikke noget der gør et større indtryk.

Det Levende Kød af Lene Kaaberbøl//Iben Jakobsen

DET LEVENDE KØD
Madeleine Karno #2
by Lene Kaaberbøl
ISBN13: 9788770539449
309 pages / Published in 2013

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

25/10/2014

A Nomadic Witch by Debora Geary

Spring brings a traveller to Nova Scotia - a tiny babe who will turn Marcus's life upside down and reincarnate the horrifying events of his past.
Can Marcus find his way through the pain to love and healing? And can the witching community finally learn to keep their astral travellers safe?
A Nomadic Witch is book four of the top-rated A Modern Witch series. Light contemporary fantasy with a good dose of humour, a little romance, and characters you won't want to leave.

And so I return to my newest feel-good / guilty pleasure series - except I don't feel the least bit guilty!

In this 4th book it's grouchy Marcus' time to shine and we learn why he is the old grouchy bear of the witch community. Being charged with keeping safe an infant girl is one thing, but can he handle the parental duties as well? The answer you're going to have to find yourself in the book, but I will tell you this; it's so sweet <3

I am quite confused about the net-power / living online sort of thing that's going on as my brain is trying to be all logical and figure out stuff like oxygen and food, but mostly I just go with the flow and enjoy. The astral power was nice to get clarified as it's only been hinted at so far in the previous books and it brought an actual element of danger to the books. Something, as I mention in my previous review of the third book, that's been lacking so far. However it's safe to say that the feel-good factor remains and I found this 4th book as brilliant as the first and very moving.

A Nomadic Witch by Debora Geary//Iben Jakobsen
A NOMADIC WITCH
A Modern Witch #4
by Debora Geary
ASIN: B008DMGD0S
263 pages / Published in 2012

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

Previous books in the series read and reviewed:


23/10/2014

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Two misfits. One extraordinary love.
Eleanor... Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough...Eleanor.
Park... He knows she'll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There's a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises...Park.
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I picked up Eleanor & Park. Something YA-ish. Probably something hipster and obnoxious. Kids using far too big words and being too cool for school. Something like that.

This book is nothing like that.

It very quickly grabbed my attention and refused to let it go again and I read and read and read. Both characters are so perfect to me and so flawed. They come from two very different backgrounds and both struggle to understand the other's.

Unlike many other YA-books I felt that the love in this felt real. Real teenage love, first crush, first whirlwind of emotion drama, it was all there and it was just so palpable. I never doubted it for a second and I loved how they did. How they both struggle. It's not just all sorted and packed and ready to go, there are obstacles to overcome and after those, there are even more; it's never easy. And whilst dealing with all that they've also got all those other teenagery-feelings and thoughts going on. The book is so very cleverly written that I could just so easily remember how it was to be that young and feel like you know everything, but at the mean time also feeling so very lost.
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell//Iben Jakobsen
The plot changes direction as the book goes on and I know not all enjoy the way it goes down. Some say it felt rushed or too out there. Personally I liked it. In life, when things like that happen as happens here, they do happen quite fast, or so I imagine anyway. My only complaint was how the ending leaves me hanging. It's unsatisfying, but I've never been a fan of more open endings. I need more of a hint of what happened then.

I definitely recommend this book for both the old and the younger, as a nice change of scenery from the usual YA drama.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell//Iben Jakobsen

ELEANOR & PARK
by Rainbow Rowell
ISBN13: 9781250012579
328 pages / Published in 2013

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

21/10/2014

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

When Esther Greenwood wins an internship on a New York fashion magazine in 1953, she is elated, believing she will finally realize her dream to become a writer. But in between the cocktail parties and piles of manuscripts, Esther's life begins to slide out of control. She finds herself spiraling into suicidal depression as she grapples with difficult relationships and a society which refuses to take women's aspirations seriously.
We follow Esther life from her summer job in New York with Ladies' Day magazine, back through her days at New England's largest school for women, and forward through her attempted suicide, her bad treatment at one asylum and her good treatment at another, to her final re-entry into the world like a used tyre: "patched, retreaded, and approved for the road" ... 
Esther Greenwood's account of her year in the bell jar is as clear and readable as it is witty and disturbing. The novel is partially based on Plath's own life and has become a modern classic.

The page you see on the picture below is my most favourite book quote ever. Never before have I come across something that so elegantly and so pointedly describes exactly this feeling - a feeling, a thought, a problem I have myself. That blazing insecurity that threatens to take over. The want of everything and the inability to chose just one path. Obviously today we are less restrained, we can have several of the life goals which Plath describes all at once or one after the other, but then again can we really? How do we find the time for it all, the strength?

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig-tree in the story. From the tip of every branch, like a fat purple fig, a wonderful future beckoned and winked. One fig was a husband and a happy home and children, and another fig was a famout poet and another fig was a brilliant professor, and another fig was Ee Gee, the amazing editor, and another fig was Constantin and Socrates and Attila and a pack of other lovers with queer names and off-beat professions, and another fig was an Olympic lady crew champion, and beyonf and above these figs were many many more figs I couldn't quite make out. I saw myself sitting in the crotch of this fig-tree, starving to death, just because I couldn't make up my mind which of the figs I would chose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest, and, as I sat there, unable to decide, the figs began to wrinkle and go black, and, one by one, they plopped to the ground at my feet.

The book follows Esther's life and feelings from her summer job in NY, back to her school days, forward to her attempted suicide and then throughout the various treatments at good and bad asylums. Unsatisfied by the rather open ending I googled the book and the woman behind it and was in for rather a shock. I've never encountered the book during my school years nor her, so I didn't know anything about either and was rather appalled to discover that Plath's crippling depressions drove her to suicide barely a month after the book was published (under the pen name Victoria Lucas). It does make certain parts in the book click though. I'm not sure anyone who hadn't experienced those feelings would be able to write about them like that [note; I've never been suicidal nor properly depressed, just occasionally rather sad]. Esther's feelings and breakdown are so palpable, at times even almost rational; it's all explained so well.

The Bell Jar took my breath away and it's a book that demands to be read and reread and reread again to get it all. I never before encountered a book quite like it, a book that made me pause and actually properly appreciate the writing, the word structure, the deeper meanings behind it all. Plath was an amazing writer, whom driven by her own black thoughts and feelings managed to portray the darker emotions of a young woman despairing. I'm rather sad that this book in Denmark at least seems so relatively unknown. It's dark and it's scary, yes, and obviously not for a younger audience, but it's just so ... important. I think particular in lieu of how more and more people nowadays struggle with depressions and loneliness and so on and so forth - this book has something to tell. It can put some perspective on matters, like, you're not alone. It's okay to be feeling like that. Let someone help you. Don't give up, there are people loving you.

THE BELL JAR
by Sylvia Plath
ISBN13: 9780571081783
234 pages / Published in 1963

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

18/10/2014

Readathon October 2014 MASTER POST - running updates, scroll down for news, will also include usual mini-reviews

9 AM - woke up; slept in to be able to handle all todays taxing reading
9:30-13:00 - showered, cleaned the apartment, did the grocery shopping, cooked lunch: nothing can disturb the force now.

As per usual you can follow my updates here and on my twitter @Gemmanebi, (you might even see a little update or two on my instagram @gemmanebi if I remember to)


13:45 - For any newcomers, I've gone ahead and filled out the Opening Meme for a little info about me:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Middle of Nowhere, Jutland, Denmark.
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
The third Supernatural book which I have on my ipad.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
The bottle of coca cola in my fridge. I'm usually not allowed to drink anything but water (I get crazy addicted to the sugar), so this is really a treat!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I'm 26, I have a cat called Sofie, I live on my own, I'm a librarian with a Master of Arts (MA) in Information Science and Cultural Communication (5 years at uni).
5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
The big difference for me this time is doing a single master post rather than a thousand of small ones. I hope it'll be easier for newcomers especially to get a better idea of what I'm doing.

14:00 // 2 PM - ready -- set -- go!
Iiiiit's READATHON tiiiiime!

15:05
First book have been finished! I've read the comedian Bo Burnham's book Egghead: Or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone (an illustrated collection of absurd poetry and writings). Rewatched his show What. yesterday and had his voice in my head as I read. Amazing stuff.

15:52
I've given up reading Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger. The Danish translation I have is simply terrible. The language and the wording is all off and it just doesn't feel right. I don't want to ruin a good book with a bad impression, so putting this down and starting on another book.

16:43
Finally found the right book for me :) Unfortunately I'm leaving home in less than an hour's time to go have dinner with a bunch of friends I haven't seen since forever, so will have a fair few hours without any reading at all! (Though I'll be listening to my audiobook whilst driving to and from)

23:10
I'm home again from a very good night in great company. Unfortunately it's also quite drained my batteries and I'm not really feeling up for a whole lot of activity now. Will try and see if I can read a bit before going to sleep.

00:44
It's late and I'm all caught up in a good book. I'm just over halfway through Still Alice by Lisa Genova and really enjoying it, though it's also very scary. The book is about a woman who is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimers and how her reality is slipping between her fingers as her brain cells deteriorates and her memory fades and gets muddled.
Have been sitting on my couch so far, will now retreat to the bedroom for some final pages before sleep overpowers me as it has someone else :)

02:26
I couldn't stop reading. I've just finished my second book of the readathon and it was a fantastic 5 star book. I'm a big fan of realistic novels like this one that accurately portrays different sides of life and possible leaves you wiser on a subject. Before this I've loved books like The Rosie Project, The Bell Jar and The unfortunate incident of the dog in the night-time.
Now, it's time to sleep!

09:42
Good morning every body!
 I'm back awake after some 6 hours sleep and have gone straight to the couch in my pyjamas and cuddled up with a blanket and pillows I've started reading All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque; so far, it's very engaging :) How's everybody's night been? Any body manage to read with no stop?

11:44
Though it's a bit heavy to read and very gory, I'm really enjoying All quiet on the Western front, a  halfway through it now, if I keep the pace I should be able to finish it just before the end of the readathon in 2 hours time.

13:51
With just 10 minutes to go of the 24 hours I finished my 3rd book. I really enjoyed All quiet on the Western front, despite it's age (86 years old, published in 1928!) it's as accurate and on point as it ever was. It depicts the horrors of modern warfare in the war they thought would end all wars (sadly, it didn't - it just ended lives). It'll definitely be a book I recommend others to read. Although it's a novel and not a straight documentation, it's a lesson in history and a lesson in human nature.


14:11 - End of Event Meme:
1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
I think around hours 20 and 21 were the toughest for me. That was at 9-10 AM and shortly after I'd woken up after just 6 hours of sleep and I was just getting to comfy on the couch :)
2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
It's hard to say what works for different people, but I think rereading a previous favourite like harry potter books or reading something by an author you know you like, is a good safe bet.
3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
Not really. I'm never very engaged in the process after the first few hours. Right when it starts I scramble to read some and then stress over not being social and stress even more trying to follow a hundred different people's progress and after a while my brain just blocks it all out and I get selfish and just read on my own. I do occasionally pop in to see what others are doing, but I'm no good at juggling it all. I was a bit let down by the mini-challenges this time around though, not many of them were of any interest to me at all (and the one that looked really good I wasn't home to do ofc :/ )
4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
Again, seeing as I'm a bit out of the loop I can't really say, but it seems like everybody had their cheer on and were in high spirits throughout.
5. How many books did you read?
I finished 3 and read 40 pages of a 4th (and heard an hours worth of 5th)
6. What were the names of the books you read?
I finished Egghead: or, You Can't Survive on Ideas Alone by Bo Burnham, Still Alice by Lisa Genova and All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque.
7. Which book did you enjoy most?
Still Alice blew me away, but AQotWF was very good too.
8. Which did you enjoy least?
I gave up on Catcher in the Rye, hoping it's just the Danish translation that's poor.
9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
I'm definitely joining in again, no doubt about it. I'll probably just be a reader again. I always toy with the thought of being a cheerleader, but can never commit.

All in all I read 741 pages (+40 from the unfinished book) and I read from 2 PM till 5 PM, 11 PM to 2:30 AM and 9:30 AM till 2 PM; so that's roughly 11 hours [71 pages an hour].
I hadn't expected to read half as much as the last few times I've participated seeing as I usually read the most in the early evening and this time around I wasn't at home for that having been invited to dinner with friends. I've pleased with the end result and very happy with the books I read, which were very good.

16/10/2014

Readathon Ready

I am yet again participating in the semi-annual Readathon, this will be my 5th time.

[ You can read all my previous posts about the events here and you can find the wrap-up posts for the previous 4 readathons here: 13-14/10 201227-28/04 201312-13/10 2013 and 26-27/04 2014 ]

24 hour readathon

For those unaware, the 24 Hour Readathon is an amazingly social event where people from all over the world - more than 800 last time - come together and read. We sit on our own yet keep connected through various online social sites. I mainly stick to twitter and my blog throughout the event and I usually have such a good time; reading, chatting with others and cheering on their progress.

If you want to spend your weekend reading but also being social 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). It's never to late to join, there are no rules as to how much you should read, what you should read (anything goes!) or for how long you should be reading. The whole point is just having a good time.

I've been invited over to a friend's house for a big meetup of friends I haven't seen in months on end, so there will be quite a few hours between 5 PM and midnight probably where I won't be reading, so I'll have to cram in as many pages as possible beforehand and afterwards. I usually try and keep my schedule clear, but some things just overrule others.

Now, usually I post several blog posts throughout the readathon. I spam twitter with hourly/minutely details on how it's going, but post a post here every time I've finished a book, alongside with a mini-review of the book. I'm considering this time around to just do one master-post that'll be updated as I go along, but am unsure as there are pro and cons to both ways. On one hand it'll be far easier for others to keep track of my progress (I guess?), but on the other I'm worried people will either not realize when it's updated and won't scroll down and see the news or it might drown in the sea of other posts (I usually have more than 8 posts pr readathon!)


I would usually show you a big pile of books right about now; the pile of potential reads, but thanks to being so busy at work and unpacking the hundreds of boxes (or so it feels) in my apartment, I simply haven't gotten around to that as of yet. I have a mental list of possible books, and quite a few lined up on my ipad, so I'm certain I won't go lacking.

[lies, after writing this post but before posting it I showed off my pile on instagram]

But enough chatter, I look forward to seeing you all (hopefully) on Saturday at 14:00 / 2 PM Danish time!

14/10/2014

Bibliotekarens Virkelige Eventyr by Lynn Austin

Alice Grace Ripley lives in a dream world, her nose stuck in a book. But the happily-ever-after life she's planned on suddenly falls apart when her boyfriend breaks up with her, accusing her of living in a world of fiction instead of the real one. To top it off, Alice loses her beloved library job because of cutbacks due to the Great Depression.
Longing to run from small-town gossip, Alice flees to the mountains of eastern Kentucky to deliver five boxes of donated books to the tiny coal-mining town of Acorn, a place with no running water, no electricity, and where the librarians ride horses up steep mountain passes to deliver books. When Alice is forced to stay in Acorn far longer than she planned, she discovers that real-life adventure, mystery--and especially romance--may be far better than her humble dreams could have imagined.

Jeg bliver ved med at blande Bibliotekarens Virkelige Eventyr sammen med Læserne i Broken Wheel anbefaler af Katarina Bivald. Begge handler om en bogfikseret ung kvinde, der drager ud i verden (I'm going on an adventure!) og tvinges ud i nogen omstændigheder, der "danner" hende, åbner hendes øjne både for liv og kærlighed og gør hende stærkere.

Bogen her er sød og ikke helt så naiv som Læserne [...], men så absolut heller ikke voldsomt realistisk - ikke efter mine standarder in any case.

Bibliotekarens Virkelige Eventyr by Lynn Austin//Iben Jakobsen

Hovedpersonen Alice irriterede mig i begyndelsen; jeg dur bare ikke til at læse om håbløse personligheder, og den mangler de fine boganbefalinger som tit holdt mig kørende i Læserne [...], men efter en lidt træg start var den lige pludselig ret så god og engagerende. Jeg syntes den skøjter lidt let hen over tidens gang, men det var alligevel hyggeligt at følge hende i det daglige hårde arbejde; lidt Lille hus på prærien-agtigt.

Persongalleriet ud over Alice er lidt spraglet. Der er Lillie og Mack, som hun kommer til at bo hos, de andre bogudbringere og så naturligvis de mennesker som Alice møder på sin rute. Nogle får man en god baggrundshistorie om, der også viser sig relevant i Alice's historie, men andre virker totalt ligegyldige - som for eksempel samtlige medlemmer af Alice's familie og (lille) vennekreds. Når man tænker på hvor centrale Lillie og Mack egentlig er for historien, syntes jeg man får alt for lidt kendskab til dem. Men samtidigt har jeg lært nok til at være meget imod Lillie. Jeg følte, at man konstant fik hendes tro presset ned i halsen (der var mange MANGE gentagelser), og damen gjorde utallige gange nogle ting, der bare ikke er okay. Luskede ting, jeg ikke kunne se det sjove i. Alice var alt for hurtig til at tilgive det, hun blev udsat for, havde det været mig i hendes situation, havde Lille helt ærligt fået et slag eller to (på en hidsig dag).

Man får tit at vide at Alice har fået et nært forhold til den ene eller den anden, men på grund af springene i tid, oplever man som læser aldrig den udvikling. Det ene øjeblik er det ikke så godt, og i det næste passer det modsatte tilsyneladende forfatteren bedre, og så er der lige en linje om, at hun er kommet til at holde af personen med tiden, og bum så er det sådan. Lidt for nemt. Den uvilkårlige kærlighedshistorie er meget forudsigelig, men det gør egentlig ikke så meget, for trods mine småbrokkerier så lykkedes det Austin ganske godt at få historiens mange tråde bundet sammen til en halvfin sløjfe, der alligevel gør, at man sidder ganske tilfreds tilbage, når bogen er slut.

Det er ikke en bog jeg vil genlæse, men har man lyst til noget nemt og ganske rart, så er det udmærket læsning.

----
Wondering why I wrote this review in Danish? Me too. I usually just review Danish books in Danish, but this one slipped. Oh well. If you're curious, I can briefly summarize, that it's a decent book. I wasn't too fond of all the characters, but overall the story held water and was worth reading.

Bibliotekarens Virkelige Eventyr by Lynn Austin//Iben Jakobsen
BIBLIOTEKARENS VIRKELIGE EVENTYR
(Wonderland Creek)
by Lynn Austin
ISBN13: 9788771325287
463 pages / Published in 2011

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

09/10/2014

The Island by Victoria Hislop

On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding longs to find out about her mother's past. But Sofia has never spoken of it. All she admits to is growing up in a small Cretan village before moving to London. When Alexis decides to visit Crete, however, Sofia gives her daughter a letter to take to an old friend, and promises that through her she will learn more.
Arriving in Plaka, Alexis is astonished to see that it lies a stone's throw from the tiny, deserted island of Spinalonga - Greece's former leper colony. Then she finds Fotini, and at last hears the story that Sofia has buried all her life: the tale of her great-grandmother Eleni and her daughters and a family rent by tragedy, war and passion. She discovers how intimately she is connected with the island, and how secrecy holds them all in its powerful grip...

I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about The Island. It’s one of the longer audiobooks, taking just over 14 hours to listen to from start to finish (monster audiobooks like Game of Thrones take 30+ hours) and the story was also very long - but I hesitate to say it was drawn out.

We start off with 25 year old Alexis in somewhat present day time who’s in two minds about her life and her boyfriend etcetera, and who wants to know more about her mother’s past. Her mother is from a small village on Crete, Greece and that’s where the story takes us. I never cared much for Alexis who both opens and closes the book, I just didn’t find her part in the overall story very interesting or endearing. However once it got properly going telling the more or less chronological story of Alexis mother’s mother’s mother (yeah) back before WW2 things got very interesting.

I’ve been to Crete, but in the opposite end of the island, so I’ve never seen Plaka or the leprosy island Spinalonga, but Hislop did a very good job painting a living picture of the past and how life was lived. Time flies throughout the book as we jump past several uneventful years, even decades and focus on the interesting bits and pieces throughout. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book quite like it; mainly character driven it tells the life story of a whole community. We don’t get full insight in every little detail or decision, but we get the broad strokes with particular interest in the central characters.

After finishing it though, I was and still am not quite sure how to really rate it. It’s perhaps overly long, but well written, it’s curious, but not a page turner, the characters are interesting, but never grew on me enough to be sad to see them leave - but when you follow someone throughout their life maybe the end just comes natural? I’ve landed on 3 stars, which may be a bit less than it deserves, because it is very well written, but I feel like it didn’t quite grab hold of me enough to validate more. I definitely recommend it far and wide to all who enjoys this kind of semi-historical fiction with such a focus on characters, life and development.

The Island by Victoria Hislop//Iben Jakobsen
THE ISLAND
by Victoria Hislop
ISBN13: 9788764468359
Audiobook - 14h 18m / Published in 2005

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

07/10/2014

Børnene af Ida Jessen

Vi er tilbage i Hvium, den lille fiktive by ved Limfjorden, der også var det geografiske centrum i Den der lyver og Det første jeg tænker på. Visse personer går igen, andre er helt nye, tiden er delvis sammenfaldende (1992-2008) og handlingen dermed parallel, men bogen kan uden problemer læses selvstændigt.
Den handler om sundhedsplejersken Solvej, der ødelægger sit ægteskab for en flirt, om Ragna, der lever lidenskabsløst sammen med Pauli på byens største gård, og om den unge kvinde Manne, der for altid er dømt til en skyggetilværelse. Det er hverdagsskæbner, portrætter af ensomme, længselsfulde mennesker, gennemlyst af stor psykologisk indsigt og fremskrevet med sproglig prægnans.

Lad mig starte ud med at sige, at jeg ikke har læst de to foregående bøger Den der lyver og Det første jeg tænker på. Bogen kan uden problemer læses alligevel - jeg oplevede i hvert fald ingen problemer der. En læser der har læst de to andre vil givetvis have lidt mere baggrundsviden om visse personer og hændelser (blandt andet har jeg kunnet læse mig til andetsteds at en begivenhed i denne bog afspejler en begivenhed i en tidligere bog, blot fra en anden persons synspunkt).

Jeg har det lidt både og med Børnene. Den er velskrevet, ingen tvivl om det, og den fremstiller de mennesker, den omhandler meget realistisk på både godt og skidt. Men jeg savnede nok lidt noget mere plot-driven frem for at man bare sprang fra person til person og hvad de lige gik og lavede.
Den starter ret godt ud med Solvejs historie, der så tager sig en drejning og pludselig mens man ellers var så godt i gang, springer den et årti eller mere frem i tiden for så at have fokus på netop børnene. Og ikke bare Solvejs, men børn fra hele egnen. Nogle får man en introduktion til andre får man bare kastet i nakken (figuratively speaking obviously). Nogen gange virker det, andre gange knap så meget.

Børnene af Ida Jessen//Iben Jakobsen

Jeg fik anbefalet bogen af utallige af mine kollegaer på biblioteket, der beskrev den som en sindssygt god bog, og der er jeg nok ikke helt så begejstret som dem. Men den var så absolut værd at læse og såmænd nok også en vigtig del i min "dannelse". Jeg har bemærket jeg mere og mere læser "voksne" bøger med "voksne" emner (såsom livet og alle dets problemer) fremfor fantasy [jeg tror faktisk ikke jeg har læst en rigtig fantasy bog meget længe [Game of Thrones bøgerne tæller ikke, de er noget for sig]].

Jeg læste bogen på ganske kort tid; den sidste dag på Rhodos, der blev brugt ved Poolen. Bogen var færdig før vi steg om bord flyveren sidst på aftenen, og jeg sad lidt med en hmmpf følelse da sidste side var læst. Personerne blev ikke rigtig hos mig, men historierne gjorde alligevel, for mange af dem er så virkelighedstro, at man alligevel bliver godt og grundigt nysgerrig og gerne vil stikke næsen i alle deres hemmeligheder.

Børnene af Ida Jessen//Iben Jakobsen

BØRNENE
af Ida Jessen
ISBN13: 9788702079173
319 pages / Published in 2009

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014

04/10/2014

The Go-To Read

After listening to the first book in the series of A Song of Ice and Fire, Game of Thrones, (for 30+ hours) in my car narrated by the fantastic Roy Dotrice (seriously, his amount of voices and personalities are amazing), I started rereading the second book, A Clash of Kings on the plane to Rhodes back in the middle of August.

Since Rhodes I haven't touched the book often as there are so many other library books waiting for my attention, and curiously enough among these also the audiobook of A Clash of Kings narrated by Dotrice (and I'm kind of tempted to listen to it again rather than read - but it takes 37 hours!!).

The brilliant part about reading it though, is being able to jump back into it between every other book I read and just read a chapter or two. I've read it before and remember just enough to keep the plot going and this way, if I suffer from reader's remorse (bad book) or high (brilliant book) this can get me back in the game.

Do you have any books that you can keep reading for ages without hating it?

02/10/2014

A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley

Sophy Winter is not your typical Lady of the Manor... When she unexpectedly inherits Winter's End - a crumbling mansion in the beautiful Lancashire countryside - it seems like all Sophy's prayers have been answered. She eagerly swaps life as an impoverished housekeeper in favour of her own team of staff.
But Sophy quickly realises the challenge on her hands - the house is decrepit and its eccentric inhabitants are a nightmare. And once it is discovered that Winter's End played host to a young Shakespeare, the entire village of Sticklepond becomes curious about Sophy's plans, especially charming Jack Lewis. But is he really smitten by Sophy or is it her newly-acquired cash that he likes? Meanwhile, Sophy’s gorgeous head gardener Seth is the strong and silent type. But does his passion bloom for anything beyond the horticultural?
As Sophy gets to grips with squabbling relatives, collapsing buildings and the ghostly presence of one of her ancestors, she wonders if Winter's End is not so much a gift from the gods as a mixed blessing… 

After having read Jojo Moyes' Me before You and realizing I had a new-found deep craving for all things romance and sob-storiesI perused Goodreads for similar books trying to figure out what others have read. That search lead me to Trisha Ashley and boy did she not let me down. I ordered A Winter's Tale from the library and after completely losing myself in it I also bought it and many others by her from my favourite online bookstore.

A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley//Iben Jakobsen

What I really like about this book is that while there is a love story involved it's not overshadowing. The main focus point here is the restoration of the house and surrounding grounds and it was so well written. I'm in no way a cleaning-freak (but do prefer neatness) but reading about Sophy, I actually felt her enjoyment in cleaning, polishing and tidying up. Sophy is a very lovable character and so were all the supporting characters - every single one, but the villain who was so efficiently annoying and punchable.

All in all it was a brilliant read, really well written and very engaging. I'm already half-itching to reread it!

A Winter's Tale by Trisha Ashley//Iben Jakobsen
A WINTER'S TALE
by Trisha Ashley
ISBN13: 9781847560148
405 pages / Published in 2008

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2014