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

30/05/2015

Malebøger for voksne #2

Tilbage i marts bestilte jeg Secret Garden af Johanna Basford, og mens jeg ventede på, den holdt op med at være i restordre, købte jeg Tankesports Malebog for voksne som du kan læse om her.

Sidenhen fik jeg endelig min smukke malebog og har fået farvet en del i den, og den er så fin!!
Der er 96 siders naturinspirerede/havemotiver, og de er så lækre at sidde og farvelægge.

Papirkvaliteten er god, men meget anderledes fra den første malebog, der sugede meget mere. Her, når jeg bruger mit Staedtler tuscher, ligger farven ligesom oven på papiret i et sekund eller to før det tørrer. Det betyder, man skal passe på ikke at gnide i det, man lige har malet, og så bliver farven også lidt anderledes. Hvor det blev meget jævnt i den ovennævnte malebog, så minder det her lidt mere om de resultater, man fik som barn, hvor man rigtigt kan se, når stregerne overlapper hinanden. Jeg kan nok lidt bedre lide det farvemættede resultat, men selve illustrationerne i den her malebog er bare så fantastisk fine og detaljerede, det alligevel vinder mit hjerte. Jeg skal lige huske at sige, at farven slet ikke bløder igennem papiret og derved spolerer illustrationen på den anden side.

Udover tuscher fungerer almindelige farveblyanter også ganske fint. Jeg har også prøvet mig ad med vandfarver (akvarelsæt fra Windsor & Newton for at være helt nøjagtig), men det duer slet ikke. Papiret kan slet ikke suge vand til sig, fordi det er så blankt. Det var jeg ret træt af, for ville rigtigt gerne have leget lidt mere med pensel. En anden ting, der rent ud sagt, er pisseirriterende er de illustrationer, der fylder to sider - for det er på det nærmeste umuligt at åbne bogen så meget at man kan få lov at farvelægge den inderste cm - i hvert fald ikke uden man enten knækker ryggen på den fuldstændig eller bare hiver tuschen frem og tilbage og håber på det bedste.

En finurlig detalje i malebogen her er, at der på mange sider opfordres til, at man selv tegner videre. Det er ikke noget jeg selv har lyst til (er overbevist om at jeg bare vil fucke det op), men det er da en fed ekstra mulighed for de kreative.

Politikens Forlag har oversat bogen til dansk, den udkom den 22. maj i år, men ellers har blandt andet Saxo vist også fået den engelske udgave på lager igen.





28/05/2015

A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess

In Burgess's infamous nightmare vision of youth culture in revolt, 15-year-old Alex, a charismatic, psychopathic delinquent whose pleasures are classical music (especially Beethoven), rape, and so-called 'ultra-violence', leads a small gang of thugs (Pete, Georgie, and Dim), whom he calls his droogs (from the Russian друг, "friend", "buddy") on a diabolical orgy of robbery, rape, torture and murder.

This is another cult classic, this one dating back to 1962, perhaps made most famous (?) by Stanley Kubricks film adaption from 1971. I've once attempted to watch the film and had to give up as it was just too damn bizarre.

The book is set in a near future English society that has a subculture of extreme youth violence, and tells the horrific crime spree of young Alex and his gang, Alex's jailing for his teenage delinquency, and attempted rehabilitation via a controversial psychological conditioning technique.

Alex features as the book's narrator and tells most of the tale in Nadsat, a fractured, contemporary adolescent slang comprising Slavic (especially Russian), English, and Cockney rhyming slang. - and let me just say, that sh*t is hard to read! I honestly only made it through this book because it was the readathon and I vowed to myself to just keep reading. The first few pages were complete gibberish, but slowly I started to grasp some meaning of the words and recognize what he meant. This paperback novel is thankfully only 149 pages long so you can, if determined, read it in just one sitting (and frankly, I think it's easier to read it in one go, while you can remember what all the outlandish words means).

I'll admit I had the wikipedia entry on hand as I read the book. It's split into 3 parts and I read those and the wikipedia entry simultaneously just to make sure I actually did understand what the book was saying. Sometimes it was mere lucky guesswork.

[also I strongly encourage people to read this in English as I refuse to believe any translator can possibly translate this book and keep the spirit of it in tact.]

While the book is in part complete and utter madness there's also something strangely fascinating and satisfying about it. Alex tells his story in a first person singular perspective. He never apologizes or justifies his actions, he stands by who he is and feels sorry for himself when he feels wronged - and you sort of end up feeling sorry for him as well, even though he's a total psycho-/sociopath. It is, of sorts, a coming of age story, but it's also a look into a twisted dark mind and whether fighting fire with fire is an acceptable solution.

I'm not sure if I'd say this book is good or bad, but I think it's worth reading, once you're ready. There's quite a lot of food for thought.

A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
by Anthony Burgess
ISBN13: 9780140274097
149 pages / Published in 1962

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015

26/05/2015

The Skull Throne by Peter V. Brett

The Skull Throne is the 4th book in the Demon Cycle series.
The review below contains no spoilers for this book and only very slight ones for the series.

The Skull Throne of Krasia stands empty. Built from the skulls of fallen generals and demon princes, it is a seat of honour and ancient, powerful magic, keeping the demon corelings at bay. From atop the throne, Ahmann Jardir was meant to conquer the known world, forging its isolated peoples into a unified army to rise up and end the demon war once and for all.
But Arlen Bales, the Painted Man, stood against this course, challenging Jardir to a duel he could not in honour refuse. Rather than risk defeat, Arlen cast them both from a precipice, leaving the world without a saviour, and opening a struggle for succession that threatens to tear the Free Cities of Thesa apart.
In the south, Inevera, Jardir's first wife, must find a way to keep their sons from killing one another and plunging their people into civil war as they strive for enough glory to make a claim on the throne. In the north, Leesha Paper and Rojer Inn struggle to forge an alliance between the duchies of Angiers and Miln against the Krasians before it is too late. Caught in the crossfire is the duchy of Lakton – rich and unprotected, ripe for conquest.
All the while, the corelings have been growing stronger, and without Arlen and Jardir there may be none strong enough to stop them. Only Renna Bales may know more about the fate of the missing men, but she, too, has disappeared…

I struggled a bit getting back into the story with this book. Unlike previous times I didn't reread the entire series just before starting on this one, so my memory was a bit foggy, particularly on all the many Krasian names and relations.

It's a book that's very much about power. Both political and brute force. It's also a book which doesn't focus much on what I'd otherwise perceive as the main character. This book is not really about Arlen Bales (nor his wife nor Jardir). This book is about what goes on with Leesha and Rojer, Inevra and Abban while the others are away.

Once I got back into it and defeated the nearly month-long reading-block (akin to writer's block) I couldn't stop reading. And at the same time I was terrified to read on. While these books have never been a picnic in the sun, this time it's a much much darker tale - and people get hurt. VIP people. The people you thought were surely safe. While I'm totally cool with an author doing whatever he does, certain passages did cause me to hyperventilate or in fact had me shouting at the book and the cursed heavy pages, spluttering with fury, with rage, with tears in my eyes, with eternal loss. Just writing this, recalling how it felt, made me cry. This book hits hard.

I present to you no spoilers, but a book that's every bit as worthy as it's predecessors (and almost twice as long). You might not like what happens, you might not agree with it, I certainly didn't, but I can't wait for the 5th book to come into my possession. This remains the best damn fantasy series I've ever read and I need more.

This is no fluffy story, make no mistake. We're venturing into the night and with men being men they are stupid enough to fight each other rather than just the demons that lurk in the dark.

Curse them all.

Darkness will rise
As heroes fall

THE SKULL THRONE
Demon Cycle #4
by Peter V Brett
ISBN13: 9780007425686
768 pages / Published on March 31st 2015

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015

21/05/2015

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K Dick

Through the mean streets of a grim 21st Century megalopolis, bounty hunter Rick Deckard stalked, searching out the renegade replicants who were his prey. But this assignment involved Nexus-6 targets and as a result Deckard quickly found himself involved in a nightmare kaleidoscope of violence and subterfuge - and the threat of death for the hunter rather than the hunted... 

I was so excited to finally take my time and read the original book behind the cult movie Blade Runner - Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick.

It's not a large book, just 183 pages long in paperback, but it holds quite a big story. Though I've seen it at least once or twice, I was never a big fan of the film which I just vaguely remembered as being about a police man chasing down robots (i.e. androids) so human-like that only a test on empathy could reveal them. This is essentially what the book is about too, but there's another level of human emotions in play too (and I honestly don't know if that was there in the film). In the book here, earth is scorched and broken and the only people left on it are those deemed unfit to move to Mars or wherever the rest of mankind has gone. Mostly people with some disease that doesn't allow them to procreate. These humans left behind still try to keep up appearances and keep society going, but they know it's a sham and they aren't doing too well mentally, relying on machines to fix their mood and buying robot animals to fool the neighbours and themselves. Having a pet is both status and gives your life more value.

Meanwhile you've got these androids running around, so excellent built and designed that they are virtually impossible to tell from actual human beings - except they don't quite react right when asked certain questions. It's an incredibly interesting thought concerning artificial intelligence and what happens when AI becomes sentient. Even more so it is incredible because this book was written in 1968, back when even the simplest computer was the size of a house.

It is of course very much a philosophical book, and while the overall story and plot was very intriguing, I found the ending a bit too heavy with existentialism and despair. Obviously for this story that works very well, but I just found it a bit heavy handed.

However this is definitely a science fiction classic and any geek or fan worth their salt should read it.

DO ANDROIDS DREAM OF ELECTRONIC SHEEP?
by Philip K. Dick
ISBN13: 9780586036051
186 pages / Published in 1968

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015

19/05/2015

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children af Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography.

Jeg har tidligere læst et par anmeldelser af Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children og fået det indtryk at det var lidt en blandet landhandel. Jeg havde derfor også lidt svært ved at tage mig sammen til at komme i gang med den, da biblioteket sendte mig besked om, at den var kommet hjem, og det var faktisk først aftenen, inden den skulle afleveres igen, at jeg lige pludselig kiggede på den og tænkte, nu skulle det være.



Jeg blev overrasket over, at den tryllebandt mig efter bare få sider, og jeg slugte størstedelen af den selv samme aften og læste den færdig formiddagen efter. Den har sine svage punkter, og jeg kunne godt have brugt en mere afrundende slutning, men hovedsageligt syntes jeg den var virkelig god og meget medrivende. Sproget er nemt og plottet interessant. En god blanding af ungdomsroman, historiske begivenheder, fiktion, fantasy og endda horror.

Jacob er en meget behagelig hovedperson, og han var rart fornuftig i sin tilgang til de opdagelser, han gør sig. Jeg vil ikke afsløre for meget, men det er ret så magisk, hvad han opdager på en lille engelsk ø efter en frygtelig oplevelse i hans hjemby i USA.

Man kan debattere om, man kan lide illustrationer og fotografier i bøger, men jeg syntes de heri er superfine. Der er en grund til, de er der, og for mit vedkommende var de med til at skabe en uhyggelig stemning. De mindede mig en del om karaktererne fra American Horror Story: Freak Show, men det er også lidt inden for samme genre.

Jeg har ikke super travlt med at læse bog 2 fra 2014, Hollow City (bog 3, Library of Souls kommer desuden engang i 2015), men jeg tror da nok, jeg får den læst engang. Jeg er dog lidt småskeptisk om den helt specielle følelse jeg syntes, der er i den her bog, kan bevares i den næste.

MISS PEREGRINE'S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN
Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1
by Ransom Riggs
ISBN13: 9781594744761
352 pages / Published in 2011

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015

14/05/2015

Cat Out Of Hell by Lynne Truss

A cottage on the coast on a windy evening. Under a pool of yellow light, two figures face each other across a kitchen table. A man and a cat. The story about to be related is so unusual yet so terrifyingly plausible that it demands to be told in a single sitting. The man clears his throat, and leans forward, expectant. 'Shall we begin?' says the cat....

I bought this book purely because of the cover and title while visiting London last December. I had never heard of it before, hadn't seen it on Goodreads and had no idea what I was about to get myself into.

In short, this book is fantastic. Combining humour and horror we follow the recently widowed librarian Alec as he's unwillingly drawn into an adventure he never in his life imagined could be possible or even plausible. We're talking talking cats, pacts with the devil, mysteries that needs unravelling and broken hearts. Like I said, fantastic.

I read it for the spring readathon and swallowed it in one sitting. The writing is excellent, the humour is on point and I kept glancing at my own cat just to be sure she wasn't secretly plotting to murder me as I read.

If you're in the mood for something dark yet funny that has to do with black magic / cats / librarians / mysteries or if you just fancy something completely different then this is the book for you. Danish publishers - get to work with this one.

CAT OUT OF HELL
by Lynne Truss
ISBN13: 9780099585343
256 pages / Published in 2014

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015

12/05/2015

Artemis Fowl - The Graphic Novel

Jeg er rimelig stor fan af Artemis Fowl serien af Eoin Colfer. Det er nogle herlige (børne)bøger om en irsk teenagedreng, der er uhyre klog og lidt af en skurk. I bog 1 kidnapper han en fe for at stjæle fra Folket, og herfra udvikler historien sig i løbet af i alt 8 bøger. Der er dog meget mere bag facaden, og man bliver hurtigt meget glad både for Artemis og hans entourage, samt feen Holly Short og hendes magiske fæller.

Tegneserien her er baseret på bog 1 og tilpasset til den grafiske dimension af Eoin Colfer selv og Andrew Dorkin. Tegneserien er vældig fin i selve sin historiefortælling. Det er en kort og lettilgængelig udgave af en (ligeså lettilgængelig velskrevet) bog, og den formår at have alle detaljerne med via de fine billeder og teksten. Det er kort og lige til benet, men uden at miste den glød, den oprindelige bog har.

Selve stilarten er rigtig fin og flot, men portrætteringen af de forskellige personer huer mig ikke. De ligner slet ikke, hvad jeg havde forestillet mig! "Min" Butler blandt andet er en tro kopi af FBI fyren fra Lilo & Stitch, og jeg forestiller mig en langt mere chill Foaley end den professortype, han afbildes som heri. Jeg tror overordnet, jeg har en mere komisk tegnestil tiltænkt historien end den lidt japansk inspirerede stil, der bruges her.

Bogen/hæftet er super hurtig læst og var en lækker genopfriskning af min hukommelse. Jeg tror nu ikke rigtig, jeg kommer til at læse videre i tegneserierne i denne serie, simpelthen fordi jeg ikke kan komme overens med deres billeder af personerne - så vil jeg hellere holde mig til mine egne tankekreationer.




ARTEMIS FOWL - THE GRAPHIC NOVEL
Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novels #1
af  Eion Colfer og Andrew Dorkin, kunst af Giovanni Rigano
ISBN13: 9780786848812
125 sider / Udgivet i 2007

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015

10/05/2015

Bøger jeg glæder mig til at læse #1


Trods ihærdig forsøgen lykkedes det bare aldrig at få fat på alle de bøger, man gerne vil. Eller få tid til at læse dem for den sags skyld. Men der er altid nogle særlige bøger, man glæder sig mere til end andre. Det er måske dem, man husker først, når man overvejer, hvad man skal læse næste gang. Eller måske dem, man savler mest over i bogbutikken. Herunder kan du se hvilke 5 bøger jeg glæder mig meget til at læse - så snart jeg får tid.



Endnu en Katherine af John Green (udkom på dansk den 30. april 2015). Jeg svor på et tidspunkt, at jeg absolut ikke var en fangirl af Green, men så lige pludselig sidder jeg alligevel her og vil så åndssvagt gerne læse alt, hvad manden har skrevet [men jeg er p.t. for fattig til at købe bogen, forlaget svarede aldrig, og biblioteket har venteliste *piv*]

The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend af Kody Keplinger (udkom i 2010). Efter jeg så filmtraileren og efterfølgende boganmeldelsen på Rikke S.' blog, så vidste jeg, det var noget jeg måtte læse!

Revival af Stephen King (udkom i november 2014). Jeg så bogen her i London i december og var så tæt på at tage den med hjem, men gjorde det desværre ikke. Øv.

The Martian af Andy Weird (udkom i 2014). Denne sci-fi bog vandt Goodreads Choice Awards for bedste bog i sin kategori og jeg glæder mig så meget til at læse den. Jeg købte den for nogle måneder siden men har af uransagelige årsager ikke fået den læst endnu.

Day Shift (Midnight, Texas #2) af Charlaine Harris (udkom den 5. maj 2015). Selvom den første bog i Harris' nye serie ikke var sådan helt fantastisk, så glæder jeg mig så meget til at læse den næste i rækken.


Hvilke bøger, nye som gamle, glæder i jer til at læse?

07/05/2015

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

In the year 2044, reality is an ugly place. The only time teenage Wade Watts really feels alive is when he's jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. Wade's devoted his life to studying the puzzles hidden within this world's digital confines—puzzles that are based on their creator's obsession with the pop culture of decades past and that promise massive power and fortune to whoever can unlock them.
But when Wade stumbles upon the first clue, he finds himself beset by players willing to kill to take this ultimate prize. The race is on, and if Wade's going to survive, he'll have to win—and confront the real world he's always been so desperate to escape.

This book is the ultimate nerd tome and I loved it! It takes the gaming aspect of a massive multiplayer online game/world  and couples it with social media run amok and a future world that's falling to pieces. It furthermore brings some solid 80's gaming and pop culture knowledge to the table and mixes it all up with a deadly treasure hunt for the power to rule it all. I'm not a huge gamer or anything, and born in 1988, it's not like I have a firm grip of that era either, but I knew enough through pop culture references and what I didn't know, this book taught me.

I loved the main character Wade and all his faults and flaws, I love the other characters, I love the general design/concept of the game, I love the absolute nerdiness, I love how thorough the back story is and how well put together the book is. It's funny, it's captivating and I couldn't put it down. It's all made even better in the audio book which is narrated by Wil Freaking Wheaton! (you may remember him from his reoccurring role as himself in the Big Bang Theory). I literally listened to this book for hours on end instead of doing anything else, because I just couldn't stop myself.

In short: this is really good. If you even have the slightest inner nerd or interest in anything from the 80's you should read this - or better yet, listen to it.

P.S. They're making a movie out of it and Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct!

READY PLAYER ONE
by Ernest Cline
Narrated by Wil Wheaton
ISBN13: 9781448149582
Audiobook, approx. 15 hours 41 minutes / Published in 2011

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015

05/05/2015

Hende du forlod af Jojo Moyes

Året er 1916. Landet er Frankrig. Sophie sætter alt på spil for at blive genforenet med sin elskede mand Édouard, og det kommer til at ende skæbnesvangert. Hundrede år senere finder Liv et portræt frem af Sophie, som hendes elskede mand David har givet hende. Billedet kommer til at få stor betydning - ikke kun for Liv, men også for andre.


Hende du forlod er en rigtig god bog og solidt skrevet, men den rørte mig ikke helt så meget som Mig før dig og En plus en.

Ligesom i Det sidste brev fra din elsker, har vi en tidslinje, der hopper imellem en nutidskvinde og en fortids. 2006 og 1916. Man er i den første solide del af bogen hos Sophie i Frankrig under første verdenskrig, og ligesom det bliver allermest skræmmende, og man umuligt kan slippe det - så skifter bogen spor, og man er hos Liv i London i moderne tid. Jeg skulle lige vænne mig til dette sceneskift, men ret hurtigt var jeg lige så opslugt af Livs historie. Efterfølgende skifter man lidt i mellem de to, og jeg syntes nok Livs historie i sidste ende er stærkest. Sophies starter virkelig hårdt ud, men taber lidt pusten og bliver til sidst næsten lidt bare en anekdote, men det er der jo alligevel en grund til (og hvorfor siger jeg ikke her ;). Livs historie derimod ramte rent ind hos mig. Hun havde alt og så mistede hun det og sammen med det forsvandt hendes håb om en happy ending. Men gjorde den nu også det? Hendes historie er så rørende og fin, og jeg blev selv ret forelsket. Hendes liv er på ingen måde en dans på roser og jeg satte pris på en mere realistisk skildring af hvordan livet bare ikke altid arter sig, som vi kunne have ønsket.

Kort sagt, så er det en ganske god bog og absolut værd at læse - men den er ikke helt på højde med visse andre af Moyes' bøger.


P.S.
Jeg brokkede mig over den, da jeg læste den, fordi jeg ikke før læsningen var klar over, at den bare var en lille appetizer til den næste store roman. I dag forstår jeg så ikke, hvorfor man overhovedet har valgt at udgive Honeymoon i Paris - og specielt ikke som en prequel. Det er en sød lille bog, men den hænger ikke sammen med Hende du forlod. I sidstnævnte får vi at vide, at de bliver gift i 1998, og at han køber maleriet i Barcelona på deres bryllupsrejse. I Honeymoon kigger de på maleriet på Louvre - på deres bryllupsrejse i 2002 lige efter at være blevet gift. Det hænger ikke sammen og kan ikke hænge sammen, og det irriterer mig. Historien er stadigt sød og opbygger personerne flot, men det kunne lige så nemt være blevet gjort i Hende du forlod i stedet.

HENDE DU FORLOD
af Jojo Moyes
ISBN13: 9780718157845
529 sider / Udgivet på dansk den 13. februar 2015
Original titel: The Girl You Left Behind [2012]

Review by Iben Jakobsen, BoB, 2015

04/05/2015

Tegneserier!



Jeg er gået hen og blevet ret glad for tegneserier / graphic novels - specielt når jeg er syg, er de rare at krybe sammen under dynen med. I (snot)vloggen her snakker jeg lidt om Neil Gaiman's Sandman serie og Batman. Jeg kunne godt gå hen og blive fan af begge.