28 Apr 2018

Dewey's 24-hr readathon - April 2018

T-2: (Noon) Time to set up my post for the progress report. You've all been down this particular road with me before, so know how it all works out. I'll combine all my updates for Dewey's 24 hour readathon into this one post, in order not to spam you all too much during the day. Are you reading along? Let me know, so I can come cheer you on!

I've done my shopping and spent some time in the garden (it's absolutely gorgeous weather... totally wrong for the readathon, of course, but I enjoyed getting some sun AND being active at the same time, and once this post is up, I'll go get dinner sorted. Long live the crockpot! The others should arrive in about an hour.

I'll be back at Hour 0 with the opening meme.

Hour 1 (almost): We're all here and ready to start - with twenty minutes to go! So what better time to do the Opening Meme :-D

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
Lyngby, Denmark. My library, as per usual :-D

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Rebekka: "The Witness" by Nora Roberts.
Mum: "The Obsession" - also by Nora Roberts
Dad: "My Folks Don't Want Me To Talk About Slavery" collected by Belinda Hurmence
Maria: All of them? Probably "Moskitoland" by David Arnold

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Rebekka: My cookies!
Mum: Rebekka's cookies! Oatmeal cookies with raspberry and caramelized white chocolate.
Me: Chips and cookies and everything.
Dad: Grapes.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
As always we're doing the readathon as a family. This is our 8th time reading together. Dad's joining us this time for the first time ever, which is awesome! But unfortunately Mixi couldn't make it :( Next time, sweetie!

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?
Rebekka: I will try to eat less snacks, but I will fail miserably.
Mum: I'm gonna use a bookmark this time!
Maria: Nothing new... this is my.... fourteenth time or so? (Forgot to count) I've pretty much gotten it sorted by now.
Dad: Finding out if this is also my last readathon, or if it's a new tradition for me too.

6) Which book are you going to start out with?
Rebekka: The Witness.
Mum: The Obsession
Dad: "As You Like It" by Shakespeare.
Maria: Haven't quite decided yet - either "Changing Gears" or "The Lightning-Struck Heart" - I want to start out with a reread... but I NEVER make up my mind until right before.

Hour 2 (3pm): The first hour has passed, and we're all happily reading (and snacking! Always snacking. Rebekka's cookies are goooooood!!!!) I decided to start with "Changing Gears" and am about 74 pages into it. It's just as good as last time I read it, but at this pace will take a few hours to finish.

Hour 3 (4pm): None of us have finished a book yet, but dad switched to "My Folks..." earlier this hour... after reading the first two acts of "As You Like It" he needed a change (I don't blame him - Shakespeare is HEAVY!)

The mini-challenge is hosted at Just One More Thing where Tami wants to know:
"I am a big fan of old fashioned letter writing and I love having pen pals. There's nothing like a hand-written letter for really getting to know someone. So, my question for you is - what fictional character would you like to have as a pen pal, and why?"

Rebekka: Hermione Granger... I don't believe neither Harry nor Ron would ever actually sit down and write!
Mum: Laura Ingalls Wilder - wait! She isn't fictional.... Hmmm... Elizabeth Bennet then :) (we saw "Pride and Prejudice" on stage yesterday and it was AWESOME!)
Dad: Does Aslan count?
Maria: Anne Shirley. I know from "Anne of Windy Willows" that she's an excellent letter-writer.

Hour 4: Another hour gone, and another 70 pages read. At this rate I should (just) finish by dinner time. I love travelogues! It's great fun to live vicariously through others, and this one is one of my favourites as it's a happiness project and a travelogue rolled up into on book :) Definitely a good plan to start with a reread.

Hour 5 (6pm): I almost forgot to stop to update - I was so engrossed in my book! I have another 30 pages to go, so can start thinking about what I want my next book to be. Dad's returned to "As You Like It" and is quietly chuckling to himself from time to time. Apparently they could write jokes in the 16th Century as well - who knew! ;-) :-P

Hour 7 (8pm): We took a break for dinner since I updated last, but are back at reading now. I finished "Changing Gears" with about 15 minutes to spare before dinner, and decided to pick up the first "Animorphs" book for something completely different. I know they're childrens books, but I've always been fond of them as they were introduced to me by my hostbrother waaaaay back when, so they'll always remind me of him and of New Zealand. I'd forgotten how entertaining they are in their own right though. May end up continuing with more of those after this one. They are REALLY quick reads - I'm already 2/3 through.

Hour 8 (9pm): I've finished book two! But considering it was a 184p childrens book, that's not all that impressive ;-) Still counts though! I really liked it, and am definitely considering picking up more of that series. For now, I turned to a Danish book though - one I bought with Isabella in mind, but which I haven't read yet myself. It's a YA fantasy trilogy and seems quite good so far. I'm only 70 pages into the first one though, so possibly a bit too early to tell. It's very easily read though - but I've read other books by the same author, and expected nothing less.

Hour 9 (10pm): I literally just finished book 3 - but again, it was a short YA, so I pretty much expected to finish it fairly quickly assuming it could keep my interest. Fortunately it could, and while I don't think I'll go straight on to the next book in the series, I may pick it up later in the readathon. It's definitely worth reading though, and I'll have to renew my recommendation to Isabella :-)

Now I just have to figure out what to read next!

Hour 10 (11pm): I decided to pick up "The Loose Ends List" by Carrie Firestone which I borrowed off Mixi specifically for the readathon. I'm 70 pages into it and really liking it so far. It's YA but has potential to be fluff with a substance. Always a good combination for the readathon. Mum and Dad left about half an hour ago, but Rebekka and I are still going strong :-)

Hour 11 (midnight): Rebekka left not too long ago, and I'm probably going to call it a night soon too. I'm either getting old or I just value my sleep more than I used to :-P But 3.5 books isn't too shabby for the first half of the readathon :-D Even if most of the second half will be spent sleeping.

Hour 21 (10am): I've been up and reading since 8am but couldn't put my book down long enough to update. I've just finished "The Loose Ends List", and oh my goodness, it was amazing! Best YA I've read in several years - even if I did sob my way through the last 100 pages. Fluff with a substance indeed. Beautiful, heartbreaking, poignant and life-affirming all rolled up into one. It's going to be VERY hard to find a book that won't suffer from being read next. I may have to return to an old favourite (and a completely different genre) to give it even a fighting chance.

Wow. I had NOT expected that, when I first picked it up. Thanks for letting me borrow it, Mixi!

Hour 22 (11am): After a few false starts I've finally settled on "Death and the Penguin" by Andrey Kurkov. Not an old favourite - in fact, I've never read it before - but a short book that sounded just quirky enough to work. And certainly completely different from my last book. I'm only 30 pages into it so far, so way too early to say what I think of it, but I haven't been tempted to put it down at least.

Hour 23 (noon): Managed to read another 90 pages this past hour so should finish before my next update. That'll leave me with less than an hour for the final book though, so I'll have to either plan carefully or just accept that I won't finish the last one. I still can't quite make up my mind what I think of "Death and the Penguin". It's very slow-moving, but in no way boring. I own the sequel as well, but whether or not I'll bother with that one will depend a lot on what happens in the last 100 pages. Still, it's holding my interest.

Hour 24 (1:20pm): I suddenly realized I hadn't had anything to eat all morning, so got sidetracked getting that sorted, meaning I've only just finished "Death and the Penguin". With so little time left, I think I'll just call it a wrap and not start another book. It was a weird book, but part of that I think is due to cultural differences (the author's Ukranian). Still haven't decided whether or not I want to read the next one, but definitely not just now.

So that's it for this time around! With 5 books and 1380 pages read, I think that might be a personal record. And as always it was great to have company for so much of yesterday. It really is an awesome family tradition we've managed to establish :-D

Till October!

Currently reading:
Books read: Changing Gears - Nancy Sathre-Vogel (298), Animorphs #1: The Invasion - K.A. Applegate (184), Den sidste vindrytter: Udvalgt - Nick Clausen (195), The Loose Ends List - Carrie Firestone (375), Death and the Penguin - Andrey Kurkov (228)
Pages read: 1380

2 Apr 2018

Dewey Signups

The signups for the April edition of Dewey's 24-hr readathon have just opened, and of course I'll be signing up again! Mum and Rebekka are joining me for sure, and Mixi is still trying to coordinate plans so she'll be able to participate for at least some of it.

April 28th - can't wait!

I've been thinking of books to read for a few months now, and have been putting contenders aside, so I didn't "accidentally" read them too soon... with the expected result that I now have FAR too many books I want to read :-D But of course, that is exactly as it should be!

The books currently on my "to consider" list.
  • "The Yarn Whisperer" and "A Stash of One's Own" by Clara Parkes
  • "Flexible" and "Unbreakable" by Ruth Buchanan
  • Whatever book I've reached in the "Chronicles of St. Mary" series by Jodi Taylor at that point.
  • "Moskitoland" by David Arnold
  • "Den sidste vindrytter" by Nick Clausen (Danish YA series)
"Only" 9 books so far. Of course, it is very likely that I may (WILL) add to this between now and the 28th. We'll see what happens.

30 Dec 2017

Top Ten Books of 2017

Only 30 hours left of 2017, and as I'm not expecting to finish any more new books by the end of the year, I think it's time to call my Top Ten.

Readingwise it's been a much better year than 2016, and I actually had a hard time limiting myself to ten.

In no particular order...
Top Ten Novels of 2017

The Chemist - Stephenie Meyer
I dove into this book headfirst a Friday evening, and didn't come back up for breath again until I'd read the last page. So good!

The Lightning-Struck Heart - T.J. Klune
Loved this book so much! It made me laugh out loud on several occasions and I fell deeply in love with all the characters. A close contender to the best book of the year.

The Obsession - Nora Roberts
Totally unputdownable! :-) It reminded me that I actually do like Nora Roberts' books as long as I stay away from her romances.

A Soft Breath of Wind - Roseanne M. White
While I really enjoyed the first book too ("A Stray Drop of Blood") it was this sequel that really blew me away. Possibly the best book I've read all year.

Until the End of the World - Sarah Lyons Fleming
I only finished this just before Christmas, but wow - so good! Very similar to the Newsflesh trilogy in many ways, but as that's one of my favourite series, I really don't mind.

Sleeping Giants - Sylvain Neuvel
Also wins "Most Unusual Writing Style" award, which is possibly one of the reasons why I liked it so much. I've always been a huge fan of epostilary novels, and this comes close enough to count.

The Sister Circle - Vonette Bright & Nancy Moser
Delightful book with many of the same characteristics as the Yada-Yada series. I found it charming and thought-provoking... and highlighted quotes all over the place.

Every Heart a Doorway - Seanan McGuire
Delightfully quirky and right up my aisle. I loved it!

Throne of Glass - Sarah J. Maas
I so enjoyed the first book in this series... which just makes it all the more disappointing that the third one ended up being a DNF.

Mr. Mercedes - Stephen King
I like that Stephen King doesn't just stick with one genre, but branches out a bit. This is the first crime novel of his that I have read, and it did not disappoint. The last few chapters especially had me on the edge of my seat and turning the pages as fast as I could.

Top 7 Non-Fiction of 2017
(Yes, I'm cheating... but also not, as it seems slightly unfair to compare fiction and non-fiction. Besides, it's my blog, so I make the rules :-P )

Hva' så nu? - Geo
Every bit as good as his first book. And both of them books I'd recommend to anybody who's experienced cancer "up close and personal" - whether as a patient or a relative.

If Your Dream Doesn't Scare You - Kristine K- Stevens
Of course my list has to include at least one travelogue, and this is one of the best ones I've read in quite awhile. Kristine's way of writing really appealed to me, and her adventures were fascinating to read about.

Under bjælken - Jens Andersen
Fascinating portrait of our crown prince.

Something New - Lucy Knisley
Totally lived up to my expectations, and I found myself tearing up on more than one occasion.

Hamilton - the Revolution - Lin-Manuel Miranda
I so want to be in the room where it happens and eventually get to see this on stage!

Love and Laughter in the Time of Chemotherapy - Manjusha Pawagi
A very poignant memoir. It's purely by coincidence that I read both this and "Hva' så nu?" the same year, but both of them tackle the dealing with cancer in a very real and honest way.

Lighter Than My Shadow
Once again proving that graphic novels are an excellent way to tackle heavy subjects - including depression, eating disorders and sexual abuse.

26 Dec 2017

2017 Playlist

My playlist for this year.

1. Stars - Demi Lovato
Brenda had this as part of her 2016 soundtrack, and I immediately loved it. I love the energy of it - it's one of those can't-sit-still numbers for me :-)

2. Stressed Out - Twenty One Pilots
Sometimes a certain smell will take me back to when I was young
How come I'm never able to identify where it's coming from
I'd make a candle out of it if I ever found it

Another recommendation from Brenda and the lyrics immediately stuck with me. So well-written and relatable.

3. Not Today - Hillsong United
Fear must have thought I was faithless
When it came for my heart.
I’ll sing the night into the morning
I’ll sing the fear into Your praise
I’ll sing my soul into Your presence
Whenever I say Your Name
Let the devil know not today

No soundtrack of mine would be complete without at least one number by Hillsong. "Let the devil know not today" has been my recurring refrain whenever I've felt overwhelmed, and this song reminds me that "Fear is just a liar, running out of breath."

4. I'm an Albatraoz - AronChupa
Probably one of the songs Lars has heard the most this past year. Fortunately I quickly came to like it as well. It's definitely not my usual fare, but something about it just appeals to me. I'm also amused by the fact that the music video includes obvious mistakes by the back-stage dancers :D

5. It's Quiet Uptown - Hamilton
There are moments that the words don’t reach
There is a grace too powerful to name
We push away what we can never understand
We push away the unimaginable.
Forgiveness. Can you imagine.

As I will mention in my yearly wrap-up post, this has been my year of Hamilton. I desperately hope I'll get to see it in London next year. Michala gave me the soundtrack for Christmas last year, and I've been listening to it pretty much non-stop all year (no pun intended, but very appropriate). My favourite song is still "Alexander Hamilton", but as I used that for my soundtrack last year, I thought I'd add a different one this time, and the lyrics to "It's Quiet Uptown" never fail to move me - how you can go through the worst and darkest period of your life, and through God's grace still come out in one piece on the other side.

6. Rockabye - Clean Bandit feat. Sean Paul & Anne-Marie
A random discovery that immediately had me reaching for Soundhound to figure out what on earth that song was. A very different lullaby, that's for sure! The lyrics have no special meaning to me, but I love the music.

7. Galway Girl - Ed Sheeran
Possibly my one favourite song this year (not counting Hamilton). From the very first time Lars played it I was instantly hooked, and it's another of those songs that I can't sit still when hearing.

8. Stay the Night - Alcazar
If I was one to go out dancing, this would be my anthem :-D

9. Believer - Audio Adrenaline
Oh I believe I can walk on water with You, Lord
When I walk through the valley of the shadows
When I’m trapped in the middle of the battle
I will trust in You
‘Cause trouble comes, but you never let it take me
I hold fast ‘cause I know that You will save me
I will trust in You, I will trust in You

2017 saw a distinct change in my walk with God. Very much inspired by what I saw happening in Nina and Christian's lives. They went all out for God, and I wanted to have the same trust in Him that they do. I'm still learning, and it's definitely a work in progress, but this song is a perfect example of how I'm trying to grow. I worry too much about everything. I need to relax, and trust in God.

10. Perfect Life - Levina
Finding I bend but I don't break
I'm almost a sinner, nearly a saint
Finding with every breath I take
I'm not afraid of making mistakes
Sometimes it's wrong before it's right
That's what you call a perfect life

This year's Eurovision Song Contest was full of songs that have been added to our regular rotation ever since. The lyrics of this one resonated with me more than the music, and it's one I'll probably keep returning to.

11. Hey Mamma - Sunstroke Project
This was Sunstroke Project's second time at the ESC and both times they've brought Epic Sax Guy along. Just wait until you hear him. ... better yet, check out the actual stage show for "Hey Mamma" here or their 2010 entry "Run Away" here.

12. I Can't Go On - Robin Bengtsson
My favourite entry from the 2017 ESC. I know it's the kind of song that's a dime a dozen, but I don't care - I love it :-D

13. When God Closes a Door - Larkin Poe
When God closes a door, God leads you up the stairs
Leave your earthly cares, On the second floor
When God cracks a couple skulls, God cracks a couple more
His plate is full, On the second floor

I love the imagery of God as a bad-a** biker :-D I definitely don't agree with all the lyrics, but this imagery amuses me. Sometimes I just need to know I have a God who can "kick ass and take names".

14. Llama In My Living Room - AronChupa
I was a bit slow to really fall for this song, but fortunately Lars made sure to subject me to constant exposure... which can work either way, and this time it slowly but surely grew on me. Mostly because of the absolute INSANITY of the lyrics. I definitely have a soft spot for absurdity in lyrics.

15. Can't Sleep Love - Pentatonix
Pentatonix is one of Liz' favourite groups, so during my visits I've come to hear a lot of their music, and really enjoy them too. This is definitely one of my favourites.

16. Lady Madonna - The Swingle Singers
Man, I would LOVE to sing this in a choir. The harmonies are just perfect and - more importantly - sound like they'd be all sorts of fun to sing!

17. Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy - Pentatonix
Actually I wanted the version that's sung in "Outlander", but couldn't find that one on Spotify :-P.

19. So Will I - Hillsong United
If the stars are made to worship so will I
A bit slower than what I usually go for, but somehow it's come to be one of my very favourite songs of worship.

19. Hold håbet op - Marianne Søgaard
A new Christmas song I was introduced to at church earlier this month. I immediately fell in love with it. The music is very reminiscent of various musicals and the chorus is suitably haunting, and is easily a song I could see myself listening to all year around.

... and that seems like a good note(!) to end on :-)

19 Dec 2017

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

With Christmas coming up in less than a week, The Broke and the Bookish thought it about time for us to list which books we hope to find under the Christmas tree this year.

In no particular order...

The Obsession - Nora Roberts
I read "The Obsession" earlier this year, and it immediately moved to the top of my "Top Ten Books of 2017" list (which I have yet to post). I own it as an e-book, but would love the physical copy as well.

Wish Upon a Star - Trisha Ashley
Though presented as a Christmas novel, it's really not. But it IS one of the most delightfully charming and feel-good novels I've read in a long time. Unfortunately it seems to be out of print almost everywhere, but I still hope Santa can find it :-)

Hamilton: the Revolution - Lin-Manuel Miranda
Another book I read earlier this year. I got it out of the library, thinking it'd be the sort of book I'd want to read once and then that was it. I was wrong. Not only do I want to read it again, but I also want to have it to lend out to others, once they "discover" Hamilton for themselves (which may actually happen, now that it has opened in London. I so want to go over and see it!)

A Stray Drop of Blood / A Soft Breath of Wind - Roseanna M. White
Possibly the two best books I read this year. Again, I own them as e-books, but really want them for my library as well.

In Arcadia - Andrea K. Höst
Probably the last book of the Touchstone series. As I own all the others as physical copies, I'd love this one as well to complete my collection.

Under bjælken - Jens Andersen
The newly published official portrait of Crown Prince Frederik. It's been touted as being the most in-depth biography of our crown prince ever, and the few chapters that were released to promote it were really interesting. I know I could just get this from the library, but still wouldn't mind at all if Santa brought it :-)

Worsted for War - Rachael B. Anderson
One of my favourite webcomics in graphic novel form? Oh, yes please! :-D

Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters - Ann Budd
Not so much a book of patterns as a book of numbers :) Ann Budd takes five basic sweater designs and provides stitch numbers for multiple different sizes and gauges. It's a book I would've been utterly uninterested in just a few years ago, but now that I'm more inclined to use sweater patterns as inspiration rather than a recipe to follow exactly, I thought it would be fun to have.

The Rabbit Hunter - Lars Kepler
The 6th book in a series where I've read and greatly enjoyed the first five. I definitely want to finish this series.

A Wish Upon the Stars - T.J. Klune
Cheating a little bit here, as this 4th book in the series won't actually be published until March of next year (which is also why the cover is from the 3rd book), and the audiobook will probably be even later than that, but I can't wait! So thought I'd add it here anyway.

21 Oct 2017

Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon - October, 2017

T-1, 13:00 I've got almost everything ready and am just waiting for my partners in crime :-) A soup's simmering on the stove, I've got our snacks and most importantly - I've got our books. Haven't had quite as much time to prepare for this readathon as usual, as I started this morning helping Mum, Dad, Rebekka and her family close up the summerhouse we've been spending the past few days in. I arrived home at 10am and have been busy ever since, getting ready for everybody to show up... which they just did, so I better get the last things ready so we prepared for 2pm to roll around :-)

Hour 1: Mum, Rebekka and Michala have all arrived, and we're getting ready to start :-D

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Copenhagen, Denmark. Back in my library after having held the spring readathon at Rebekka's place.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Mixi: I never know ahead of time.
Rebekka: The last book of the trilogy I've been putting off reading for 1.5 months in order to have it available for today.
Maria: The Distance From Me to You which I got for my birthday and have been saving for today.
Mum: No clue!

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Mum: Macaroons!
Rebekka: Macaroons.
Mixi: I've already eaten my macaroons.
Maria: A little bit of everything. Chips, chocolate, grapes and of course macaroons.

4) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
Mixi: Wanna make a guess? I'm NOT going to give birth this time around.
The rest of us: Read a bit more than last time, perhaps? Having Mixi's water break 10 minutes after it started, made for a rather confusing start.

5) Which book are you going to start off with.
Mum: A Danish classic: Amiks Spanske eventyr - always good to start off with a short book.
Mixi: Wish Upon a Star - a feel good book :-D
Rebekka: Marrying Christopher - the book mentioned above.
Maria: Probably "The Crucifix Killer" which I've wanted to read for almost a year, but never got around to. I bought it at last years' book fair and as it's the first in a series and this year's book fair is in a few weeks' time, I wanted to see if I should buy the next one ;-)

Hour 2: The last few days at the summer house has set its marks on all of us - we're a LOT more tired than usual, but no way I'm going to admit defeat and take a nap already! We're all enjoying our books (well, Mixi's and Mum's are both rereads, so they knew they would). "The Crucifix Killer" is very similar in style to the other crime novels I've been reading recently, so it's moving at a good pace. It's fairly long though, so may still be the only book I read before dinner.

10 Years in 10 Books
As this is the 10-year anniversary of the Readathon, the challenge of this hour is to come up with recommendations of books from the last ten years. So with no further ado, here goes (a collaborative effort between all of us)...
2007: Garden Spells - Sarah Addison Allen
2008: The Host - Stephenie Meyer
2009: Library of the Dead - Glenn Cooper
2010: Room - Emma Donoghue
2011: A Modern Witch - Debora Geary
2012: Wonder - R.J. Palacio
2013: Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell
2014: A Soft Breath of Wind - Roseanna M. White
2015: Every Last Word - Tamara Ireland Stone
2016: The Chemist - Stephenie Meyer
2017: Waking Gods - Sylvain Neuvel

Hour 3: My book definitely took a turn for the more thrilling, so it hasn't been at all difficult to stay awake this past hour! I'm not even half-way through yet, so am eager to see what happens next.

The others are also all still working on their first books, although Mixi has changed to audio.

Hour 4: Still working on the same book. It's turning out REALLY good, so assuming it also has a satisfying ending, I'll probably end up buying the next one after all. I have another 120 pages to go, so might just finish in time for dinner.

Mum finished her first book, and moved on to "Every Last Word" by Tamara Ireland Stone on Mixi's and my recommendation.

Readathon Memories
Every reader knows how difficult it is to pick a favourite book, but fortunately this challenge is to pick a favourite book you've read in a readathon! According to my tags this is my 14th readathon, so I've listed a favourite from each:
April 2017: Where are the Lions - Claus Tondering
October 2016: Britt-Marie Was Here - Fredrik Backman
April 2016: Attachments - Rainbow Rowell
October 2015: Cancer Vixen - Marisa Acocella Marchetto
April 2015: A Dip in the Ocean - Sarah Outen
October 2014: Reden - Estrid Ott
October 2013: Guilt By Association - Gilbert Morris
April 2013: Catching Fire - Suzanne Collins
April 2012: Before I Go To Sleep - S.J. Watson
October 2011: Dragonsinger - Anne McCaffrey
April 2011: Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
October 2010: Page - Tamora Pierce
October 2009: Who Do I Talk To - Neta Jackson

Hour 7
I finished "The Crucifix Killer" with 15 minutes to spare before dinner :-) I really liked it and while a tad longer than I usually choose for my readathon books, it still fit the bill perfectly as it was both a page-turner and an easy read. I've now turned to "The Distance From Me To You" which I've wanted to read for ages, and finally got my hands on specifically with this readathon in mind. I'm only two chapters into it so far, but am enjoying it.

Dad came over to join us for dinner, but he's left again now, and we're getting back to reading :-)

Hour 9
All my reading companions have left me now. Michala and Rebekka half an hour ago (one of these years, Rebekka's gonna stay the night, so she can stay up late reading) and Mum just now (20 pages before finishing her second book! Fortunately she seems to be enjoying "Every Last Word" just as much as Mixi and I did), so now I'm back to reading by myself for the rest of the readathon. I'm just over half-way through "The Distance..." and am really enjoying it. Yes, it's very obviously YA, but with just enough travelogue (even if a fictional one) to make it just my cup of tea! I should have no problems finishing this one before heading off to bed.

Hour 10
This is a much faster read than my last book! I'm on page 250 already and should easily be able to finish within the next hour... assuming I don't get too sidetracked! Then I have to decide if that's it for today, or if I want to get just a few chapters in of a new book before heading off to bed. Rebekka texted me earlier that she wants to finish her book too, so she's reading with me from afar for awhile yet too :)

Hour 11:
Finished "The Distance From Me To You" 5 minutes ago. Unfortunately around 100 pages from the end it had a twist that I thought rather pointless... or rather, I guess it just proved that it was a novel rather than a travelogue. Still a shame though, as it had potential to be a new favourite, but ended up being just alright.

Ah well. C'est la vie. Right now I need to decide what my next book should be... whether I want to go for another new read, or if I should turn to something tested and true. At this hour (midnight) I need something light and engaging, so this is when I usually turn to graphic novels, but didn't have time to get any out of the library this time. I'll have to see what else I have on my shelves that might tempt me.

Hour 20:
Aaaand I'm back at reading again :-) Before going to bed last night I started on an old favourite ("Karen Kurér" by Estrid Ott), but only got 38 pages into it before I had to give up and call it a night. This morning I needed something I could read in bed without turning on the lights, so I picked up "Every Heart a Doorway" by Seanan McGuire which I'd loaded onto my iPad for just this reason. I'm on page 62 of that and LOVING it! It's just the right mix of whimsy and crazy for me, so I'll definitely finish this before returning to Karen-Kurér again.

Hour 21:
Well! That certainly took a turn for the twisted. I only have another 18 pages left of "Every Heart a Doorway" and am insanely curious to see how everything will get wrapped up in those 18 pages. Goodreads' telling me that it's the first in a series, which makes me worried that it won't - I just might have to check out the others after the readathon.

Hour 22:
I finished "Every Heart..." not long after my last update, and fortunately it did have a proper ending. I still really want to read the next one though. I'm now back at "Karen Kurér" - one of my favourite novels about WW2 in Denmark. I only have another 22 pages to go though, so I'll have to decide on another book soon. With 3 hours to go I should be able to finish another 200-250 pages.

Hour 23:
As expected, I finished "Karen Kurér" just 15 minutes after my last update, and as my next (and probably final) book, I decided to pick up "A Mango-Shaped Space" by Wendy Mass. I "read" it as an audiobook several years ago, and have wanted to reread it pretty much ever since. It's one of the most fascinating books about synesthesia I've ever read, and as I have it myself (although a very mild 'case'), I find it very interesting. At 270 short pages I should just be able to finish it in time.

Hour 24:
The last hour has just started! I managed 100 pages in the last hour and need to read another 102 to finish the book, so I should manage fine, as long as I don't allow myself to get sidetracked ;-)

Hour 25:
And that's it - my 13th readathon is all over. I finished the last book with just 15 minutes to spare, so decided that was it. I ended up with a very respectable 5 books finished and a total of 1274 pages read.

Books Read: "The Crucifix Killer" - Chris Carter (365), "The Distance From Me To You" - Marina Gessner (339), "Every Heart a Doorway" - Seanan McGuire (172), "Karen Kurér" - Estrid Ott (128), "A Mango-Shaped Space" - Wendy Mass (270)
Pages Read: 1274
Currently Reading: Nothing

29 Apr 2017

Dewey's 24-Hour Progress Report - April 2017

T-3 (11am): It'll be rather interesting to see how this crossposting goes when I keep updating the same post over and over again! So if you're reading this on LJ and it doesn't seem to update on a fairly regular basis (at least for the next 12 hours) - head over to DW and catch up with me there :-)

In two hours Mum will come and pick me up and we'll head to Rebekka's place. It'll be really weird not to have readathon in my library, but anything to allow my sisters to attend :-) We're going to try to FaceTime with Isabella in Thailand as well, so she can join us at least for a little while. Hope it works!

But not having it at my place means that I haven't really done many of my usual preparations... I have a huge box of books to bring with me, and my fair share of snacks, but the library hasn't been made ready, and I don't have dinner cooking in the crock-pot... like I said - weird. But I'm sure I'll live ;-)

See you in a bit for the opening questionnaire. I expect it's going to be exactly the same as always, but it's part of the tradition :-)

T-0 (13:30) We're getting ready to start. As always the table is groaning with books and snacks and we're all exchanging information about the books we've brought along and finding others we want to read too ;-)

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Copenhagen, Denmark. Although from Rebekka's house this time.

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Mum: "Ravnenes hvisken" - a new Danish book that's been nominated for an award.
Rebekka: "Probably The Chemist."
Mixi: "Don't really know... I probably won't be able to concentrate all that much on reading.
Maria: "Rosemary and Rue... although I have a TON of books I really, really, really want to read :-)

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Rebekka: The flødeboller Mixi brought.
Mum: Rebekka's pistachio cake.
Mixi: Yes, me too.
Maria: The strawberries with chocolate I brought.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
As always we're turning the readathon into a family event. This will be our fourth or fifth time reading together. Mum and my sisters had read my updates for years and thought it sounded like lots of fun, and after I moved they were finally able to join us!

Mixi really hoped she could come today, but now that she's here, she'd actually rather just have given birth already! :-P

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
Maria: Everything will be different! First time ever we're not at my place.
Mixi: Go into labour!
Rebekka and Mum: Yes!

Hour 1 (15:00): Well! After the first hour I've read all of 49 pages! No, that's definitely not usual for me, but after just 10 minutes Mixi jumped up from her seat, "My water just broke!" Cue general befuddlement and confusion. So I guess she was more correct in her wishes for this readathon than she'd even expected herself! She'd rather just be at home while waiting for it to be time to go to the hospital (understandable), so Morten arrived 15 minutes ago to pick her up, and Rebekka, Mum and I agreed that this will probably be the most memorable readathon ever... and probably also the one where I read the least ;-)

Hour 2 (16:00): Managed another 90 pages this past hour :) Still not quite as much as usual, but as Rebekka commented, with all that happened the first hour, it's a bit hard to get into the zone. Still, I'm enjoying myself, and that's really all that matters.

Isabella has been FaceTiming us every hour on the hour which has been lovely :-) It's nice to be able to share the readathon with her, even just a little bit.

Hour 3 (17:00): Isabella was heading off to bed when we spoke to her last (they're 5 hours ahead of us), but Mum, Rebekka and I are still going strong. I've finished "Sue Barton, Student Nurse" (love that series! :-) ) and have now picked up "Rosemary and Rue", which the always awesome so kindly sent me for the readathon! Have only read 30 pages so far, but I'm liking it!

Both Mum and Rebekka are reading much longer books (500+pages), so they've still got quite a way to go before finishing. Mum keeps giggling though - I think I'll have to add "Ravnenes hvisken" (The Whispering of Ravens) to my to-read list too!

Hour 4 (18:30): We paused for dinner, Mum left to take Nora home (she'll be staying with Mum and Dad while Mixi and Morten are going to the hospital) and Rebekka's kids just arrived home, so it'll be very interesting to see how much more reading we'll get done ;-) Mum was my lift home, but I'm DEFINITELY not ready to call it a night just now (waaaay too early for that), so I'll probably get a cab or something once it's time.

Hour 6 (20:00): Only got another 70 pages read since I updated last. This will definitely be the readathon where I get the least number of pages read, but instead I get lots of hugs from my nieblings, so I don't mind too much :) I'm rather liking "Rosemary and Rue". It's not my usual fare (I generally stay away from anything Fae-related), but it's growing on me. I'm only a third of the way though, so it'll probably be part of my updates for awhile yet. Rebekka's working her way through "The Chemist" by Stephenie Meyer and seems to be enjoying it.

Hour 7 (21:00) The kids have been tucked in, so perhaps we'll get some more reading done now :) On the other hand, Lars is also on his way home now, so I'm tempted to go home to him. We'll see how much longer I last ;)

Hour 9 (23:00) Left Rebekka's place shortly after 10pm and arrived home not too long ago. It was VERY good to see Lars again :-) I'm back at reading now, as I would reeeeally
like to finish my current book before calling it a night. So far I'm only at 415 pages - probably the lowest number EVER at this point in a readathon. But for a very good reason :-D

Hour 21 (11:00) I did indeed finish "Rosemary and Rue" before heading off to bed last night. I woke up at 8:30 this morning, and have already finished two more books! "An Age of License" by Lucy Knisley and "Sue Barton, Senior Nurse" by Helen Dore Boylston - both rereads. Now I'm trying to figure out if I want to continue with another Sue Barton book, or if I should pick up something completely different. There are still 3 hours left of the readathon, so definitely enough time to finish another book, if I pick one that isn't too long.

I also had a lovely follow-up chat with Isabella this morning :) She FaceTimed me about half an hour ago, so we got to talk about her reading as well. She's reading "Throne of Glass" by Sarah Maas and is really liking it, so I may have to pick that one up myself at some point :)

Hour 24 (14:00): And done! The readathon is over for this time. I managed another book and a half since my last update, putting me at a very respectable total of 5.5 books and 1131 pages! It's been lots of fun as always, and certainly the most memorable readathon ever... I don't think I'd mind if the next one was slightly less eventful though ;-)

(Oh, and still no news from Mixi. She said it was okay to post about her water breaking here, as it wasn't likely to get back to any of her friends, so I thought I'd just update you on that as well.)

Books Read: "Sue Barton, Student Nurse" - Helen Dore Boylston (169), "Rosemary and Rue" - Seanan McGuire (346), "An Age of License" - Lucy Knisley (195), "Sue Barton, Senior Nurse" - Helen Dore Boylston (143), "Where Are the Lions?" - Claus Tondering (228)
Currently Reading: "Sue Barton, Visiting Nurse" - Helen Dore Boylston
Pages Read: 1131

29 Jan 2017

Bøger gives væk til kærligt hjem

Jeg har været mit bibliotek igennem og fundet en række bøger, som det er på tide at sende videre til nye læsere.

Bøgerne er gratis ved afhentning, og koster ellers blot porto.

    Danske bøger
  • Ulvens folk / Ildens folk / Jordens folk - Michael Gear
  • Maleren fra Shanghai - Jennifer Cody Epstein
  • Kirstens breve - Susan Moody
  • En lang forlovelse - Sebastien Japrisot
  • Postkort til Annie - Ida Jessen
  • Sult - Knut Hansum
  • De magiske kapper - Diana Wynne Jones
  • Ensomme hjerters klub - Lotte Hammer
  • De strejfede - Sandro Veronesi (gammel biblioteksbog)
  • High Fidelity - Nick Hornby
  • Alle var der - Laura Weisenberger
  • Vampire Diaries 1-6 - L.J. Smith
  • Vampire Diaries: Stefans fortælling - L.J. Smith
  • Den løbende mand - Stephen King
  • En kvindes kærlighed - Alja Rachmanowa
  • Robin Hood - Gyldendals udødelige
  • Ridderne om det runde bord - Elizabeth Chadwick (roman baseret på filmen)

    Engelske bøger
  • Magyk - Angie Sage
  • Green Darkness - Anya Seton
  • The Devil Wears Prada - Laura Weisenberger
  • Idlewild - Nick Sagan
  • Mr. Allbones' Ferrets - Fiona Farrell
  • Monday's Child - Louise Bagshawe
  • If You Could See Me Now - Cecelia Ahern
  • Atonement - Ian McEwan
  • All the Rivers Run - Nancy Cato
  • Sacred Marriage - Gary L. Thomas (non-fiction)
  • The Reader's Companion to World Literature (non-fiction)
  • Saving Faith - Patrick Garry
  • Butcher of Dreams - Kay Williams
  • Deadly Design - Marion Moore Hill
  • Xenocide - Orson Scott Card (gammel biblioteksbog)
  • Skylark - Suzanna Roberts
  • Jessica Z - Shawn Klomparens
  • A Knight in Shining Armor - Jude Devareaux
  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry - Rachel Joyce
  • Afterworlds - Scott Westerfeld
  • Evermore - Alyson Noel
  • The Lost Diary of Don Juan - Douglas Carlton Abrams (ARC)
  • Good Things I Wish You - A. Manette Ansay (ARC)
  • Stepford Wives - Ira Levin
  • The Nanny Diaries - Emma McLaughin

Fuglane - Tarjei Vesaas (norsk)

28 Dec 2016

Top Ten Books of 2016

It's that time of year again :-) I know we still have three days left of the year, but I'm going to call it now.

I haven't been quite as lucky with my book picks this year, for some strange reason, so the 5-star books (non-rereads anyway) have been sparser than usual, and there's been no one book that has blown me away.... which actually made it harder to pick a top 10, because once I was through the 5 star books, there were SO MANY 4 star books left to chose from! #firstworldproblems, I know ;)

In no particular order...
The Girl With All the Gifts - M.R. Carey Fascinating book that once again made me review my "I don't like zombie-novel" stance. Apparently I just don't like 'traditional' zombie novels. This was extremely clever and had me eagerly turning pages.
Britt-Marie Was Here - Fredrik Backman After having been somewhat disappointed by the first book I read by Fredrik Backman ("A Man Called Ove"), I absolutely LOVED this one! I laughed, I cried and I fell in love. Wonderful comfort read.
Caszandra - Andrea Höst The third book in the Touchstone Trilogy, but I read the first one (Stray) in 2015, so that one doesn't count. Possibly the best new series I read this year.
Wrong Way Round - Lorna Hendry No top ten list of mine is complete without at least one travelogue, apparently ;) This year it was a toss between this one and David Cohen's "One Year Off", but at the end of the day, I liked this one a tiiiny bit more... besides, I always love reading about Australia.
The Book of Life - Deborah Harkness The very suitable end to the All Souls trilogy. I felt positively book-hungover when I finished this one, and most of all wanted to turn to the very first one and read them through all over again :-) If there was a contender to "best book of the year", I think it would be this one. They just worked for me.
Time and Time Again - Ben Elton VERY different from the other books I've read by Ben Elton, and probably his best. But then, I love time travel stories, even when they sometimes take some suspension of disbelief. This had definite shades of Stephen King's "11/22/63" but with enough of a twist to not seem derivative. I loved it.
Wish Upon a Star - Trisha Ashley Don't let the cover fool you - this is not a Christmas story, it is just a very cozy comfort-read where the last few chapters happen to take place over Christmas. But what an awesome comfort-read! I have a feeling this will be a regular reread.
Delicious! - Ruth Reichl Not quite as much a foodie book as I had expected, but I still loved it, and wish we could have read more about the magazine.
The Woman in Cabin 10 - Ruth Ware My favourite kind of thriller - no leaps of logic, no supernatural events, no (or little) gore and a good explanation for everything! Together with "The Couple Next Door" by Shari Lapena these were the best thrillers I've read all year.
You Were Here - Cori McCarthy NOT your run-of-the mill YA. Partly because it was written in part prose, part graphic novel and part art poetry. I didn't think it would work, but it totally did, and ended up being one of the most 'true' coming-of-age stories I've read in a long time.

Honorable Mention: Take It as a Compliment - Maria Stoian. I found this graphic memoir deeply disturbing, so couldn't in good faith call it one of the best books I read in 2016... but it's without a doubt one of the most important books I read. This should be made mandatory reading in high schools.

22 Oct 2016

Dewey's Progress Report 2016-2

T-3 (11am): Only three more hours to go! Isabella and I are getting very excited :) As always I'll combine all my updates into one entry so as not to spam you too much. Ignore at will ;)

Isabella arrived last night, so she could spend the night with me and help prepare for the readathon. We've had a lovely time knitting, talking and picking out books, and this morning we went for a loooong walk in the rain (my legs are feeling that now!), so we can play couch potatoes with a clear conscience for the rest of the day.

All that's left now is to get some lunch and get the crockpot started. Mum and Mixi will arrive around 1pm, so we have an hour to get the last things ready before it all kicks off at 2pm DK time :-)

Hour 1 (14:00): We're all here, and the table is groaning just as much as usual. I should really take a photo, but we've been too busy talking - I'll get right on that ;)

Opening Meme:
1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today? Copenhagen, Denmark
2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Mixi: That would require me knowing which books I'm going to read! I never make up my mind ahead of time.
Isabella: The one I'm going to start with - "Urchin and the Heartstone".
Mum: "Across the Universe" by Beth Revis - Maria received it for her birthday and I've been wanting to read it ever since.
Maria: I'm like Mixi - no clue yet which books I'm going to read. I'm going to start with "Britt-Marie was here" though.

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?:
Isabella: The chocolate with liquorice that Maria has.
Mixi: The marzipan Mum brought.
Mum: The cookies Isabella and I made
Maria: Yeah, same here - although the nuts are good too.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself! The last several years we've been doing readathon together as a family - three generations. This is Isabella's second, Mixi's third (and a half), Mum's fifth and Maria's.... I can't even count any longer. 14th, I think? I (Maria) had a blast doing it by myself, but it's even more fun with family... even if it is a bit less reading and more talking. It's heaps cozier this way :-)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
Isabella: Read more than I did last time.
Mum: Try to eat less snacks, perhaps?
Mixi: Try not to fall asleep.
Maria: Nothing, I think - I've pretty much got it sorted by now.

6) Which book are you going to start with?
Isabella: The same book I mentioned before.
Mixi: "Everything Everything" which Maria recommended.
Mum: "Poison Study" - I need to reread the series to get to "Shadow Study".
Maria: "Britt Marie was Here" - a good friend of mine loaned it to me just earlier this week :)

Hour 2 (15:00): As always the first hour flew. I've read the first 98 pages of "Britt-Marie Was Here", and have laughed out loud on several occasions. So far it's a LOT better than "A Man Called Ove" - I'm really enjoying it. A bit of a slow read, so I probably won't finish this side of dinner, but that's fine... it's not like it's a race anyway :)

Hour 3 (16:00): Still hugely enjoying "Britt-Marie Was Here". It's funny and sweet and all the things everybody told me that "A Man Called Ove" was, but I just didn't see. I'm loving every minute of it :-)

Mixi has switched to an audiobook in order not to fall asleep, but Mum and Isabella are still going strong on their books.

Hour 4 (17:00): 266 pages down, another 110 to go. I love starting the readathon with a really brilliant book! As expected, I probably won't finish before dinner, but I don't care - it's awesome!

Hour 5 (18:00): 30 pages left to go. It suddenly took a change for the... neither better nor worse, just more serious. I think I might HAVE to finish it before dinner. I highly recommend "Britt-Marie Was Here" - it's blowing my mind.

Hour 7 (20:00): Finished two books since my last update. I loved, loved, LOVED "Britt-Marie Was Here". It was everything I'd hoped "A Man Called Ove" would be, but wasn't - this one delivered. SO good. Funny and poignant - a 5 star read.

The second book was different - at just 58 pages "Wool" was very quickly read, but I really don't know what I thought of it. Not at all what I had expected, and a very weird reading experience indeed. I can't figure out where Hugh Howey will go from here, and am still making up my mind if I want to continue with the next one in the series or move on to something else entirely.

Hour 8 (21:00): Finally decided to pick up "Magic Steps" by Tamora Pierce. A reread, but between saying goodbye to Mixi, being distracted by social media and two false starts (turns out I have very little patience for straight-forward chick-lit any longer), I got very little reading done this past hour, and needed something to kickstart my reading again. Ah well, 31 pages is still better than nothing! :)

This hour's Mini-challenge is a fun one:
This challenge seems simple: if money and time were no object (you’ve won the biggest lottery jackpot ever, and your boss is totally fine with you taking all of the time off work you need), where would you go to experience your favorite book(s) or series? Fictional places count too, of course.

Isabella: I would want to visit Mistmantle - the universe of "Urchin".
Mum: I want to go to Narnia - and stay long enough to explore the country - meeting walking trees and talking animals.
Maria: For once, I didn't even have to think about it. I want to go to Narnia. It's always been the "country" that fascinated me the most. I want to meet the fauns and the dryads, see the wonders of Cair Paravel and even - if I'm lucky enough - talk to Aslan, and ask to touch his mane.

Hour 9 (22:00): Mum just finished her first book ("Poison Study" by Maria V. Snyder) and she and Isabella left shortly after, as it's getting quite far past Isa's bedtime ;) So now I'm back to reading on my own again. As always, it has been a delight to have company :). I'm enjoying "Magic Steps"... Tamora Pierce has always been a good author for a readathon. Don't know if I'll continue through the entire quartet, but I still have 150'ish pages to go of this one, so there's still plenty of time (okay, an hour or two) before I have to decide.

Hour 10 (23:00): I woke up at 6:45 this morning, and am starting to feel that now. I probably won't last much longer, but at least want to finish the book I'm currently reading. That's another 70 pages, so a little under an hour at my current speed. We'll see.

Hour 11 (00:15): I got kinda distracted over the last hour as I discovered I'd won a door prize! How awesome! :-) Any book up to $15 from bookdepository.com - don't mind if I do ;-) But I've finished "Magic Steps" now, and actually got my second wind as well, so I may stay up a bit longer after all. Just need to figure out what to read next... I'm thinking it might be time to pick up "French Milk" by Lucy Knisley. The witching hour seems a suitable time for a graphic memoir.

Hour 21 (10:00): I slept in much later than I had expected to this morning - must be getting old! But since my last update I finished "French Milk" and started "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry". I've had the latter recommended to me several times, but just never got around to reading it before now. I'm only 57 pages into it, but so far it seems like a pleasant read. At 357 pages, it might be the last one for this readathon though... we'll see - all depends on how quick a read it turns out to be... and how sidetracked I get by shiny things on the internet, now that my partners in crime are no longer here ;)

Hour 22 (11:00): Can't quite make up my mind what I think of "The Unlike Pilgrimage..." It's slow-moving and charming and very British. I'm on page 127 now, so managed 70 pages within the past hour (not counting the time I messed around online ;) ), meaning I shouldn't have any problems finishing before the end of the readathon. Three more hours to go!

Hour 23 (12:00): Another 80 pages since my last update, so I'm moving at a good pace. The book is very different from what I had expected though. I'd heard it compared to "The 100-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared", but I don't see that at all. That's not to say I don't like it - it's just not what I had thought.

Hour 24 (13:00): The last hour! As always, the readathon has sped past in no time at all! I have another 70 pages to go, so should finish my final book with time to spare :) I've spent most of the last hour snuggled up in bed next to Lars, which is always a cozy place to read :)

Hour 25 (14:00): THE END! Finished my last book with 10 minutes to spare. Unfortunately I must conclude that I really didn't care for it. It was well-written, but kinda depressing. Oh well...

But as always, I've had an awesome time with the readathon. I love sharing it with my family, and I love the way it takes a solitary event and makes it social.

'Till next time :)

End of Event Survey
Which hour was most daunting for you? 11/12 - I'm not a night-owl and usually have to give up around that time. Even more so this year, as I woke up annoyingly early Saturday morning, and was already pretty tired.

Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Anything by Tamora Pierce, the graphic memoirs by Lucy Knisley.

Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season?
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? Easiest to answer these two together. I liked that all the participants were listed on the website, with where to find them - however, I would have liked for them to be listed alphabetically, and possibly in a way that didn't require quite so much scrolling (looks like the lists were imbedded in iFrames that were slightly too small for the page). Both minor details though.

How many books did you read? 5

What were the names of the books you read? See below.

Which book did you enjoy most? "Britt-Marie Was here" - SO good!

Which did you enjoy least? "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" - can't really explain why, but I didn't care for it much.

How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? About 110% likely! I plan to enter the date into my diary as soon as it's made public. I love participating in the readathon and would need a VERY good reason to miss it. I'll participate as a reader, and perhaps volunteer for writing a warm-up post, if they'll have me :)

Books read: "Britt-Marie Was Here" - Fredrik Backman (377), "Wool" - Hugh Howey (58), "Magic Steps" - Tamora Pierce (263), "French Milk" - Lucy Knisley (194), "The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry" - Rachel Joyce
Pages read: 1249
Currently reading: -

18 Oct 2016

Suggested Reading - Readathon Edition

It's almost heeeeere!!! Just a few more days left to go. This year I'll be joined by my mum, my youngest sister and my oldest niece. Not as many as last year, but a small and cozy group :-)

I like having a large group of books picked out for the readathon - far more than I'll EVER have time to read, but enough for a decent selection so I won't feel limited by my choices, while still having made some of the decisions ahead of time, so I don't get overwhelmed from quickly having to choose between the thousands of books in my physical and digital libraries.

All this to say that I KNOW the list below is ridiculously long (I usually read 4-5 books for a readathon), but I think it'll give me a nice selection to choose from on the 22nd :)

Maria V. Snyder - If it wasn't for the fact that I've just finished my recent reread of her books in the Ixia/Sitia series, I'd definitely consider these books as they are the perfect readathon material. As it is, I'll be recommending them to my mum :) I might give "Inside Out" a try though, even though I know it's a completely different genre.

Tamora Pierce - I've read all but "Battle Magic", so this might be a good opportunity to reread some of my favourites in the Circle universe, and perhaps make my way up to that one. I know from some of the earliest years, that Tamora Pierce makes for wonderful readathon reading, as her books are ridiculously readable, usually quick to get through, and always leave me wanting more.

Britt-Marie Was Here - Fredrik Backman - I read "A Man Called Ove" at the last readathon, and a friend of mine was kind enough to make sure I could get my hands on one of his other books for this one :)

Wool - Hugh Howey - I've had Hugh Howey's books recommended to me so many times that it's almost getting ridiculous that I haven't read them yet, and as each of the five individual novels that makes up the omnibus is only 50-70 pages long, a few of those seem perfect for the readathon. Especially as it isn't much of a commitment if I discover they aren't my cup of tea.

Love & Gelato - Jenna Evans Welch At 400 pages it's a bit longer than what I usually prefer for a readathon, but it looks to be a quick read, and YA often makes for good readathon material :)

Nerve - Jeanne Ryan I've been wanting to read this ever since I saw the trailer for the movie. If it's as fast-moving as the movie trailer makes it out to be, it'll be perfect for the late hours when I'm fighting to stay awake.

Pivot Point - Kasie West. YA - check. Dystopian - check. Intriguing worldbuilding - check. Again a bit longer than I usually go for, but I skimmed the first two pages and am already hooked!

French Milk - Lucy Knisley. Graphic novels / memoirs are perfect for readathons :) So far I've loved everything I've read by Lucy Knisley, so I have high hopes for this one.

Dark Matter - Blake Crouch. Don't actually have my hands on this one yet, but it's on its way in the mail, and I'm HOPING it'll arrive in time. True, it might not be readathon material at all, but I've heard so many good things about it, that I'm really eager to get started on it.

The Lost Art of Mixing - Erica Bauermeister. The two other books I've read by Erica Bauermeister have been quick and enjoyable reads, that I read in a day each, even without the lure of a readathon. I finally got my hands on this sequel to "The School of Essential Ingredients", and am eager to read it (although I may decide to reread TSoEI first, as it's been a few years, and I don't remember many details).

Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris In theory I like essay collections for readathons, as I can just pick an essay or two as the mood strikes me. In practice I tend to get caught up in the author's writing and end up reading all of it! Still, it's going on my list.

5 Jul 2016

Top Ten Books That Just Aren't Appreciated Enough

Some books disappear into obscurity through no fault of their own. In order to do a bit of signal boosting on their behalf, here are my top ten books that have under 2000 reviews on Goodreads.

I'm going to exclude Danish books (as that wouldn't be a fair fight) and new releases (as they haven't had a chance to prove themselves yet).

This was difficult! On first look-through I ended up with 20 books I'd like to give a signal boost. All taken from my 5-star shelf on Goodreads. In order to keep myself from going nuts with indecision, I decided to limit myself further to only choosing books I've read more than once, under the theory that I know these will pass the test of time or something ;)

In no particular order...
The Wild Swans - Peg Kerr
Part 17 century England, part 20th century America. seamlessly weaves together the stories of Eliza, who has to save her 11 brothers who've been turned into swans and of Elias, who battles with AIDS in 1981 New York. It's been far too long since I read this last. I absolutely adore it.

Leaning on a Spider's Web - Jennifer Rees Larcombe
(Sorry, the Danish cover is so much prettier than the English! ;) )
I can't believe this book only has 3 reviews and 12 ratings! Granted, it's not a book I'd recommend to a non-Christian, but it is one of my very favourite Christian books. I discovered it first as a teen and have reread it several times since then.

Library of the Dead - Glenn Cooper
(a.k.a. Secret of the Seventh Son)
One of the best thrillers I've ever read. Tying together events in Las Vegas and New York of 2009, Area 51 of 1947 and Isle of Wright of 777 this made for fascinating reading! It's the first book in a trilogy but is nicely contained with no real cliffhangers.

Guilt By Association - Gilbert Morris
(a.k.a. "One By One")
A Christian suspense/mystery that's fascinated me from the very first time I read it. I enjoy mysteries where the clues are out there for the reader to see... not that I came even close to guessing the first time I read it, but on subsequent read-throughs, it's fun to pay attention to them.

The Rosary - Florence L. Barclay
An underrated classic. While definitely predictable in plot (at least in places), the writing is so incredibly beautiful that it's well worth reading.

A Modern Witch - Debora Geary
Are y'all really surprised that this made the list? But with less than 1000 reviews it has definitely been overlooked by the general public. I am so grateful to for recommending it to me - it's become a fast favourite of not just me, but my entire family. Comfort reading of the best kind!

Singularity - William Sleator
More people need to read this book! This was my introduction to sci-fi as a young teen and I still love it every bit as much as I did back then - even if I do know it practically off by heart ;) At 176 pages it's short enough that it can easily be read in a single sitting - and I usually do :)

Dragonsinger - Anne McCaffrey
It really surprised me that book two in the Harper Hall trilogy had less than 500 reviews! This is without comparison my favourite Anne McCaffrey book. I love reading about Menolly's life at Harper's Hall, and wish it had been much, much longer.

And All the Stars - Andrea K. Höst
Something as rare as a stand-alone science fiction novel! I was fortunate enough to receive it as an ARC in 2012 and immediately fell in love. It's "Tomorrow When the War Began" meets "The Host". Amazing.

The Yada-Yada Prayer Group - Neta Jackson
Ending up with another huge favourite of mine. This first book in the Yada Yada series is overlooked by far too many. Granted, some may think it's too saccharine in places, but it remains by far the best Christian fiction I've ever read. I first came across this series in 2008 and have read it through 4 times already in the years since.