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.

3 May 2016

Top Ten Childhood Characters We'd Like to Revisit as Adults

Today's Top Ten is to pick ten childhood characters we'd like to read about as adults (like a novella or something to see what they grew up to be). I thought that was a fun and unusual topic, so here goes :)

The girls from the Baby-Sitters' Club by Ann M. Martin - from about age 10-13 this was my all-time favourite series, and I still reread the best books on a regular basis as guilty pleasure reading. I'd love to know how the girls (at least the original bunch - I never got to care much for Abby) grew up.

Charlie Bucket from Roald Dahl's "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - what happened to Charlie and his family after they moved to the Chocolate Factory? Did he stay as sweet and innocent as he was as a child?

Julian, Dick, George and Anne from Enid Blyton's Famous Five - this was my very first favourite series. I think this must have been some of the first chapter books I read, and I devoured the entire series - I prefered the originals of course, but quite liked some of the ones written by ghost-writers as well. Did they continue to get into as many scapes when they grew up? Did George finally resign herself to being a girl?

Ronja from Ronja Robber's Daughter by Astrid Lindgren - did she and Birk manage to break away from their parents' expectations and become honest citizens?

Menolly from Anne McCaffrey's Harpers Hall trilogy - I've always found it hugely unfair that the third book wasn't really about Menolly at all. I wanted to read more about HER! I want to know more about her life as a harper, and if she ever made peace with her family (or at least her brother).

Alanna from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness Quartet - I know that we get to see glimpses of her in the other books set in Tortall, but I'd love another book where she is the main character. She's always been my favourite, and I'd love to read more about what she's up to, balancing being a mother, a wife and a lady knight.

Melanie from Stephenie Meyer's The Host - okay, so I know this wasn't a childhood read, but seriously - what happens next?! Goodreads has been teasing me with sequels 'in the works' for YEARS now, and I'm starting to fear it just won't happen.

Gregor from Suzanne Collins' Gregor the Overlander - what happens next? Does he ever return to the Underworld? Does Boots remember any of her wild adventures as she gores up?

Cirena and Karano from Dennis Jürgensen's Dystopia - I've always been both relieved and sad that this is a stand-alone novel. Relieved, because it's so rare in the fantasy genre. Sad, because it is so amazingly brilliant! One of my top ten favourite books EVER. I reread it on a regular basis, even though I practically know it by heart by now. I'd love to hear what happens to both Dystopia and Frir/Lumber next.

... Can't think of the last one, so I'll just leave it here. Besides, if you count individual characters instead of series/books, I'm long past 10 anyway ;)

Until a few years ago, I'd have added Elizabeth and Jessica from Sweet Valley High to this list as well, but thanks to Sweet Valley Confidential, now I know!

23 Apr 2016

Dewey's Read-a-thon - Progress Report

T-4 hours: Not much longer to go now, so I figured it was time to get the placeholder for my progress report down :) I've picked out all the books, tidied the house so it's ready for the invasion, and just need to get dinner underway before the rest arrive. My niece, Isabella came over yesterday and has spent the night here, so she's kindly offered me to chop vegetables for dinner once she's finished the mouse she's currently crocheting :) We've had an awesome time getting our crafty geek on, watching movies, talking, putting on nail wraps (link goes to photo of our hands... even though hers keep falling off :-P Not sure if her nails aren't long enough, or if there's something weird going on with the chemistry of her nails, or if it's just because it doesn't work as well with a hair dryer as with a hot plate - ah well, she doesn't seem to mind terribly) and just generally having a lovely time together :) And now she's really eager for the readathon to start (so am I, mind you), so she can start both the book she brought along with her, and one of the ones I picked out for her.

Since she's here, I won't be following my usual tradition of going on the treadmill this morning, but I went both swimming and biking yesterday, so I'm going to count that!

Isabella has finished her mouse - time to go start dinner :) As usual, I'll just keep updating this post with my progress reports so I don't spam you too much... I'm so considerate that way... and modest too ;)

Let me know if you're reading along too - would love to come cheer you on :)

Hour 0: The house is full with people excited to read :D Love hearing all the chatter :)
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?
Rebekka: If I knew, I would start with that one! I want to read Fangirl, Paper Town, WitchLight, Undomestic Goddess, Casting Spells, Joy for Beginners, and Looking for Alaska!
Nina: Casting Spells
Michala: Aaaah!! I don't know either!
Isabella: Dark Tide
Mum: A Man Called Ove
Me: I don't know either - I never make up my mind until 3 seconds before we actually start.
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Rebekka baked some awesome cookies as always. Mum brought along strawberries which is all kinds of excellent!
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
As usual, we're turning this into a family event. I'll be my 12th time, Mum's and Rebekka's fourth time, Mixi's second time and Isabella and Nina's first time!
5) What are you most looking forward to about the readathon
Nina: Reading together with you guys.
Isabella: Because I get to read for hours of end without Mum telling me to do something else.
Rebekka: The reading experience.
Michala: The 'hygge'... and Rebekka's cookies.
Mum: Being together with you all.
Maria: Yup, me too... and then the reading of course :)

Rebekka, Michala and I still need to make up our minds which books to start with - I always change my mind 309 times within the last five minutes... that's part of the fun! ;)

Hour 1: As usual, we kept chatting until the very last minute, until Mixi suddenly called out "It's time!" and we all immediately stopped talking, and picked up our books. Nina looked around bemused, "This suddenly got silly!", but then picked up her book as well, and we've all been quietly reading ever since, with only a "please pass the M&Ms" to be heard. I ended up picking up "A Man Called Ove" as my first books, and am about 100 pages into it. I'm really enjoying it so far - much the same type of humour as "The Hundred-Year-Old Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared". Should take me another 2-3 hours to finish though, so I'll probably only have time for that one before dinner.

Mum is reading an old YA, Rebekka and Mixi are reading "If I Stay" and "Where She Went" respectively, and Nina is reading a book by Janet Evanovich. Isabella is reading "Dark Tide" as expected :)

Hour 2: Nina has finished her first book, and was very unimpressed when she heard there was no prize for doing so ;) Mixi took a small nap... having a 16-month-old daughter around takes its toll. And we've determined that Isabella reads almost as quickly as I do. Good girl!

Hour 3: Just a quick update before I get up to put the potatoes in the oven for dinner. I've another 80 or so pages to go of my book, so should finish before dinner. I can't quite make up my mind what I think of the book... It's fairly similar to "The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed out the Window and Disappeared" in genre, but without the same vitality that made that book so incredibly charming. I think the last quarter will make it or break it.

Last hour's Mini-Challenge was to write a five-word book story. I came up with "A full library - happiness achieved". Rebekka's was "She read it, and died."

Mum's finished her first book as well, and is trying to figure out what to read next :)

Hour 6: Took a break for dinner, but now we're back :) I finished "A Man Called Ove" just before dinner as expected. It was good, but not as amazing as I'd expected from other people's recommendations. Ah well. Haven't yet decided what to pick up next, which is why I figured I'd update here first.

Lars arrived home just in time for dinner :) Perfect timing.

Hour 8: I decided to pick up "Wrong Way Round" - an Australian travelogue, which is so far charming me completely. Mum finished her second book (another Danish YA), and has picked up "If I Stay" which Rebekka finished earlier this hour. She's picked up "Seeing Me Naked" which I remember hardly anything about, other than that it was one of the most charming chick-lit books I read in 2007.

And may I just take this moment to recount how much I LOVE that this is now a family event!!! Three generations this time, sitting around, having an awesome time with each our books. I love it :)
Nina left shortly after dinner though, and Mum and Isabella are leaving now... it's already long past a small girl's bedtime, but fortunately her mother has always been of the opinion that a good experience is worth staying up late for ;)

Hour 9: Only managed 30 pages this past hour, due to taking time to see Mum and Isabella off, as well as discussing new book ideas with Mixi who's finished "Where She Went", and after a lot of debating turned on to an audiobook as her next read. I am absolutely LOVING "Wrong Way Round" though - definitely awesome readathon material!

Hour 10: I'm starting to feel the effects of a long few days. It's 11pm and I'm getting decidedly tired. Fortunately the book is still fascinating enough to keep me captivated though - AND it's making me want to go back to Australia and see some of the sights mentioned here! Highly recommend this book if you want to live vicariously through others.

Hour 11: Rebekka and Michala left shortly after my last update, so now I'm reading on my own again (although it's nice to have Lars back :) ) and am wondering how much longer I'll last. My book is still really amazing, but surprisingly slow reading. Not quite sure what that is... the type isn't that small... perhaps it's just that I keep flipping back and forth to follow their trip on the map... or perhaps it's just that I'm getting tired ;) I have another 70 pages to go, and would like to finish that before I head off to bed, but am not quite sure I'll manage.

Hour 11.5: I'm throwing in the towel. I'm going to call it a night and read on in the morning. Totally weird to only have made it to 543 pages on the first day, but I'm just not reading this book at anywhere near the speed I usually do. No matter - I'm enjoying it hugely, and that's the important part :) However, just this once I'm going to give up before the mid-event survey... the questions all tend to be the same each year anyway ;)

See you when I wake up again.

Hour 20: Hi again :) I've been awake for an hour, and just finished "Wrong Way Round". SUCH a good book! One of the best travelogues I've read, I think. So even if it was slow reading, it made for perfect readathon material :)

Next up is "Attachments" by Rainbow Rowell. I've loved almost everything else I've read by her, so I have high hopes :)

Hour 22: Definitely a good book for a readathon! I'm flying through it, and am on page 120 already. Now that's more like it! Apparently "Wrong Way Round" was just a book one had to read slowly to savour. No matter - I'm happier having savoured it, than rushing through it, not remembering half of what I read.

But anyways, "Attachments" - light and engaging, just as I've come to expect from Rainbow Rowell. I'm about a third through, and while I don't like it quite as much as neither "Landline" nor "Fangirl", so far I'm enjoying it a lot more than "Eleanor and Park".

This hour's challenge is to describe the perfect reading day. I'm not sure I have one - any weather is perfect for reading. If it's rainy and windy outside, I curl up on the couch in our den with a blanket (can't wait for my hand-knit one to be finished! Isabella and I took it for a test snuggle yesterday, and it'll be perfect!) and a cuppa. If it's sunny but cold outside, I curl up on the couch in my library where I can enjoy the sun's rays from the warmth and comfort of inside. And if it's sunny and warm outside, I can bring out the hammock stand, and curl up there!

So obviously, "curling up" is the important thing ;)

Hour 23: Another 80 pages read since my last update, so I should easily finish this book before the end of the readathon :)

Hour 24: Final hour! The end is coming far too quickly - just as always. Lars saw me pottering around on the computer earlier and commented "It's the readathon and you're not reading. This is embarrassing!" Hehe ;) I only have another 50 pages to go of "Attachments" though, so should easily finish before 14:00. It'll be the first time I've only read 3 books, but I don't care - they've been good ones :) (And all physical books that I can now take off my TBR-shelf! Woohoo! That totally counts for something too!)

The End Finished with 10 minutes to spare. That was an utterly adorable book, and I'm glad to have read it :) Thus concludes yet another readathon. 6 people, 24 hours, 3 books and 951 pages. First time in awhile I didn't reach 1000 pages, but also the first time in awhile I read absolutely no graphic novels/memoirs as part of the readathon.

End of Event Survey
Which hour was most daunting for you? Hour 11 or 12. I'm really not good at staying up much past midnight!
Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year? Pretty much anything by Rainbow Rowell or Tamara Ireland Stone, "Wonder", "The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight".
Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next season? Not really.
What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon? The cheerleaders were more visible than last year, which was nice :)
How many books did you read? 3
What were the names of the books you read? "A Man Called Ove", "Wrong Way Round" and "Attachments".
Which book did you enjoy most? "Wrong Way Round". Utterly charming and an awesome book to live vicariously through.
Which did you enjoy least? "A Man Called Ove". Not that I disliked it - not at all - it just wasn't as amazing as I had expected it to be, so I felt kinda let down.
How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time? VERY likely! It's a tradition I've come to love, and which would take a VERY good reason to skip. Especially after I've started sharing it with my family :)

Books read: "En mand der hedder Ove" (358), "Wrong Way Round" (236), "Attachments" (357)
Pages read: 951
Currently reading: ---

19 Apr 2016

Top Ten Books That Made Me Laugh Out Loud

What If? - Randall Munroe
This book of scientific answers to wacky questions had me laughing out loud repeatedly - slightly embarrassing, as I read most of it on the train to and from work ;) But it was just my type of humour.

The Hundred-Year-Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared - Jonas Jonasson
Aside from absolutely adoring the title, the book has to be one of the funniest and quirkiest books I've read in a long time.

Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
'Nuff said :)

The Martian - Andy Weir
You wouldn't expect a survival story to be laugh-out-loud funny, but Mark's dark humour just gets to me.

Hyperbole and a Half - Allie Brosh
Not all the essays, obviously, but the one with Allie's letters to her childhood self had me giggling frequently.

The City of Dreaming Books - Walter Moers
I've loved everything I've read by Walter Moers so far, but this has definitely been the funniest of the lot. I need to reread this one soon!

Ella Minnow Pea - Mark Dunn
Brilliantly clever book!

Me Talk Pretty One Day - David Sedaris
My first introduction to David Sedaris, and still my favourite essay collection by him.

All by My Selves - Jeff Dunham
I was very pleased to discover that Jeff Dunham is every bit as funny on paper as on stage. I listened to this while biking to and from work, and more than one fellow cyclist looked weirdly at me, as I'd suddenly burst into laughter.

WitchLight trilogy - Debora Geary
Although I'll have to admit this would just as often cause me to laugh with joy as because it was funny, but this trilogy is some of her best work - under both pen names!

8 Apr 2016

April 23-24th

The signups for Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon are open for both readers and cheerleaders. I've signed up again - obviously :) - for what will be my 11th readathon :) My Mum and sisters are coming over again, and my niece might even be joining us this time, which would be awesome! I'm already thinking up books for all of us, and am preparing to have as large a stack of suggestions as always :)

This blog is already filled with posts about how to prepare for the readathon, dos and don'ts etc., so I won't bore you by repeating myself there, but just say, "I can't wait!" :-) It's been an awesome tradition for years, and has only gotten better, after my family decided to join me.

I'm always more than happy to come up with recommendations for good readathon books, so you'd like some - just let me know!

27 Dec 2015

Best Books of 2015

I know we're not quite at the end of the year yet, so there's still time to be proven wrong, but here are what I'm assuming will be the best books of 2015! It's been more difficult to chose than normal (fortunately!) so rather than limit myself to 10, I'm going to do categories. Why? Because I can! :-D And even so I still had a hard time deciding on some of the categories, as I didn't want to make them too narrow. "Best historical graphic memoir" seemed a tad too specific to be entirely fair ;) (BTW, it's "The Complete Persepolis" by Marjane Satrapi, in case you were wondering ;) )

Best books of 2015

Best YA
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. I've raved so much about this book so that can hardly come as a surprise to anybody. I found this as a random netgalley pick - I knew nothing about it, but liked the cover - so came to it completely without expectations and it just blew me away. This is definitely one of the books I want to own as a physical book as well as an ebook - it belongs in my library! So I was thrilled when I found it under the Christmas tree. Thank you, Rebekka + family! :)

Best Christian Fiction
Where Are the Lions? by Claus Tondering. Some might claim I'm slightly biased, but I don't care ;) I really, really love this book, and am fascinated by the ideas set forth in it about Heaven. Some of them seem so blatantly obvious to me now that I can't understand why I'd never thought of it before. God gave us our hopes, dreams, interests and passions for a reason - why assume we won't use them in Heaven as well? Fascinating book that I've read three times already :)

Best Sci-Fi
The Martian by Andy Weir. One of the first books I read this year. I immediately claimed it the best book of the year... and I still think I might have been right. I love when I can dive right into a book, and feel absolutely delighted by each turning of the page, and "The Martian" was such a book to me. The kind of book I'd love to read more of.

Fortunately the movie didn't disappoint either :)

Best Childrens Book
Wonder by R.J. Palacio. This is either old children or young young adult, so by claiming it as the former I could add a new category and include it on the list! ;) Another semi-random discover. It suddenly turned up on podcasts everywhere, so when I found it at a library on our roadtrip, I thought I'd give it a shot. I couldn't put it down and found it incredibly moving and poignant.

Best Christian Non-Fiction
Cupid is a Procrastinator by Kate Hurley. I was surprised by how much I liked this book, and especially by how relateable I found it. As an "old married woman" one could perhaps claim that I am not the intended target audience of this book, but even so I discovered that Kate Hurley had words of wisdom for me as well, and I found myself highlighting passages all over the place. Because in the end, Kate Hurley's book is about "hope deferred" (Proverbs 13:12). For Kate Hurley, Cupid turned out to be a procrastinator. Others may be waiting on the stork, better health, a house, a job or any other milestone event. The "hopes" are different, but the way we can chose to respond and react really isn't, in the end.

Best Book in Retrospect
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. I wasn't entirely sure what I thought of it while I read it, and parts of it were a real slog to get through, but when I thought back on it afterwards, I realized how brilliant it actually was, and that I'd probably want to reread it. It's not often that I like a book better in retrospect than when I actually read it (usually it's the other way around), and that charmed me.

Best Travelogue
A Dip in the Ocean by Sarah Outen. And thus began my love affair/fascination with Sarah Outen. I can't remember how I first heard about her, but this book has been standing on my shelves for ages. At the spring read-a-thon I finally got around to reading it, and I immediately found myself wanting to know more, more, more! Fortunately she has a strong presence online, so I was able to find her blog, and follow her then-current attempt at travelling around the world under her own steam -- another book in the making, I am sure, and one I know I'll buy as soon as it's published. She's an amazing and inspiring woman.

Best Graphic Memoir
Cancer Vixen by Marisa Acocella Marchetto. I had three possible contenders for this category, but at the end of the day, I think Cancer Vixen wins. It's a touching account of the author's fight with cancer. I was very moved by it, and would recommend it to anybody who's been affected by cancer - either directly or by proxy.

Best Surprise
S. by J.J. Abrams. This is one of those books I'd never have picked up if it hadn't been for a) it being recommended in one of my favourite podcasts. b) the bookstore having a store example to browse through. It was absolutely fascinating and I loved how the story was told through all sorts of different medias. It did have some unanswered questions near the end, but was definitely an instant love affair and a great surprise.

Best Fanfic
Nothing Lost by Drayton. A "Blackout / All Clear" fanfic. I love "Blackout" and "All Clear" by Connie Willis, but it has always frustrated me a bit by the things that are only hinted at, but never explained. I'm simply just not good enough at reading between the lines, and besides - I want to know! Not just guess.

This fanfic is the story of Colin during the events of those two books and did a great job at both catching Connie Willis' writing style, as well as answering pretty much all the questions those two books left me with. A great read that I'd highly recommend :)

Best Memoir/Autobiography
Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I've wanted to read this ever since I first heard of it. Ive always known that the "Little House" series wasn't 100% accurate, and have been intrigued by what actually happened. This provided me with just that, and included heaps of extra details to boot. Funny to see how some parts of Laura's story were described exactly as they happened, and others were changed beyond recognition.

10 Dec 2015

Booking Through Thursday

This week's question from Booking Through Thursday is about audiobooks:
For me, “reading” means using my eyes, not my ears. As much as I acknowledge their usefulness while doing chores or using your hands, I only ever use audiobooks for the rare long drive–listening, no matter how pleasant, is not READING, yet people persist in telling me they like to read and that audio books are their favorites. Am I the only one to feel that’s just not the same thing?

For once I disagree vehemently with the author, but I think part of this may be semantics.

To me, "reading" means two things. There's the physical act of moving your eyes (or fingers, in the case of Braille) along the markings on a page and translating these markings into letters and words. With that definition, no, you obviously can't "read" audiobooks.

However, the more common meaning of "reading" is to take in the written word and gain a meaning from it. Whether that be from reading it yourself, or hearing it either in the form of audiobooks or having somebody present read it aloud to you, makes no difference. It's all reading.

And it sits wrong with me to deny one meaning of the word in favour of the other.

8 Dec 2015

Ten Bookish Gifts to Give for Christmas

Not sure what to buy a friend for Christmas? Or want an idea of what to stuff in your own stocking? Here are Ten Books to Give For Christmas. Links go to Goodreads.

For the Man Who Knows Everything
What If? or Thing Explainer by Randall Munroe. The author of the xkcd web-comic has written two books. I actually haven't read TE myself yet, but I read "What If" earlier this year and absolutely loved it! It's laugh out loud funny and educational at the same time.

For the Self-Acclaimed Science Geek
The Martian by Andy Weir. A book where the main character's survival depends on him being able to "science the shit out of things". Non-science geeks are likely to enjoy this as well though.

For the Tender-Hearted
Wonder by R.J. Palacio. While probably too twee for some, this will touch the heart-strings of most people who read it.

For Fans of YA
Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone. Without a doubt the best YA I've read in a long time. Not the least because it handles an unusual topic seldom seen in YA.

For Fanfic Readers
Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Even as somebody just peripherally involved with the Harry Potter fandom, I recognized a lot of aspects of that fandom in this book. Fun and relatable.

For the Christian Reader
Where Are the Lions? by Claus Tondering. Best thing - this one is free (donwnload link on goodreads)! A thought-provoking account of what life in the New Jerusalem might be like. Really served to make me look forward to eternal life in a way I never have before.

For the LIW Expert
Pioneer Girl by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Filled with footnotes, drawings and photographs, this is one of the most comprehensive accounts of LIW's life I've ever read - all based around her own original memoir that later spawned(sp?) the Little House series.

For the 80s Child/Teen
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Chockablock full of 80s movies, music, and games references. Pure nostalgia for any kid who spent hours after school at the local arcade.

For the Knitter in Your Life
The Knit Princess by Allison Sarnoff. A web-comic-turned-book that knitters will find only too relateable. I haven't read the book yet, but loved the web-comic!

For the Reluctant Pack-Rat / Fledgling Fly-Baby
The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. Please note the 'reluctant' - I don't think you'd want to give this to a self-acclaimed hoarder. While I don't agree with every part of the KonMari method (and actually found myself smirking at some), I do think she makes enough good points to make this book very worth while.

19 Oct 2015

Readathon wrapup

Books read:
"Auggie & Me" - R.J. Palacio
"Destiny's Song" - Audrey Faye
"Veronica Decides to Die" - Paulo Coelho
"Cancer Vixen"
most of "Stray" - Andrea K. Höst

17 Oct 2015

Dewey's Read-a-thon 2015-2

Noon (T - 2 hrs) Mum and my sisters will arrive in about an hour, so I figured it was time to get this progress report started. As per usual, I'll keep all my updates in one post in order not to spam you more than necessary :)

I've gotten my pre-readathon workout sorted, and will go get dinner started as soon as I finish writing this post (gotta love my crock-pot!) so everything is ready by the time the others arrive. I've even picked out all the books, and as usual the table is groaning:

I usually get somewhere between 4-6 books read, but like having a selection to choose from rather than decide on all my reading in advance, so I'm still making up my mind which book to pick first, but I've just received a new ARC from one of my favourite authors (Audrey Faye), so I'm thinking that may feature high on my list.

See you on the flip side!

Semi-hourly progress
T-10 minutes: People have arrived, and the table is groaning even more than before! Candy, fruit, chips and BOOKS!!! We've mostly chosen our first books, and are ready to start!

Pre-Readathon Survey
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?
Maria: "Auggie & Me" by R.J. Palacio. The companion novel to "Wonder" which I was just given as a birthday present and absolutely can't wait to read.
Mum: "Don't Hex With Tex" - the fourth book in a series Mum really enjoys.
Mixi: Don't know if I'll get through more than "Enchanted Inc."
Rebekka: Oh I don't know!!! Too many to choose between! Artemis Fowl perhaps?
3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Maria: Rebekka made some awesome cakes (Napoleons hatte to my fellow Danes).
Mixi: Napoleons Hatte!
Mum: YES!
Rebekka: Yes, me too.
4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
It's become a family tradition to do the read-a-thon together. As Rebekka stated last year, it's become a tradition we need a really good reason to break! This is our third time reading together in some capacity.
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?
Maria: This is my 10th - I've much got it down. But I do love reading with my family instead of alone.
Rebekka: Nothing different. This seems to work :)
Mixi: Actually being here from the start, as I only halfway participated last time.
Mum: Sit closer to the goodies? Although perhaps it's just as well...

Hour 2: "Auggie and Me" is turning out to be a superquick read - I'm halfway already, and loving it. It totally lives up to my expectations :) Mixi and I convinced Rebekka she should pick "Wonder" as her first book, so I hope she'll like it as much as we do.

This hour's challenge is Cover Escape - pick a cover you'd like to disappear into. Genre, plot etc. doesn't matter, this is purely judging a book by its cover.

Well, I know I'm outing myself here, but this is my choice:
At this time of year, a nice, warm, sunny beach sounds like just the thing to me!

Hour 3: Still reading "Auggie and Me", but I only have 70 pages to go, so should finish within half an hour or so. It's three short stories from people in the Wonder-universe, so not as much about Auggie as about his friends. I'm really enjoying it :) The difficult thing will be to make up my mind what to read next!
The others are still reading their first books as well. Mum keeps laughing on a regular basis, so I'm glad I've started reading that series as well - sounds like it's a good one.

Hour 4: Finished A&M half an hour ago - loved it! Awesome first book for the readathon :) I picked up "The Ocean at the end of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman as my second book, but just wasn't feeling it at all, so after a mere 10 pages, I decided it wasn't readathon material and put it aside. I've never been a Neil Gaiman fan, but was told this was "Neil Gaiman for people who don't like Neil Gaiman", so was hoping I'd like it. I still may - just not right now.

Instead I picked up "Destiny's Song" by Audrey Faye, which is the ARC I mentioned earlier. I'm only 23 pages into it so far, but it seems intriguing. Definitely shades of "Crystal Singer" by Anne McCaffrey.

Mixi hogged A&M almost as soon as I finished it. She's read and loved "Wonder" as well, so wanted to read more... obviously don't blame her, considering I was exactly the same.

Hour 5: "Destiny's Song" is completely different from all of Audrey Faye​'s other books, but I'm loving it! Not quite half way yet, so it doesn't look like I'll finish before dinner.

The challenge for this hour is the "Ugly Cover Challenge" - pick the book with the ugliest cover ever, and explain why one should look past the cover and read it anyway.

My pick is "Seeing Me Naked" by Liza Palmer. The published cover isn't too bad, but the cover of the ebook as well as of the ARC that I was sent? Oh my... I actually found myself NOT wanting to read that in public.

However, it is one of the most delightful chick-lits I've read in a long time, as it combines the usual romance which the intriguing insights into the life of a pastry chef. I LOVE books that take place in the kitchens of restaurants, bakeries etc., so this book was a true gem.... once I got past the cover, that is :)

Hour 7: I'm back! After an hour long break for dinner, talking and a Bailey for dessert. Yum :) I still have 30 pages to go of "Destiny's Song" and am absolutely loving it! It's probably the best (most polished anyway) think she's written under that pseudonym :-)

The challenge for this hour is one of my favourite - Top Ten Things About Dewey's Read-a-thon!
In no specific order...
1. Uninterrupted reading time
2. Guilt-free snacking
3. Company while reading - taking a solitary act and making it social.
4. "Hygge" - the wonderful Danish word that is untranslatable but can be googled ;)
5. 'Permission' to turn down other invitations for reading.
6. Reading books I had never thought of. (Rebekka)
7. Reading for a longer period of time than I had ever thought of. (Mixi)
8. A new family tradition.
9. A twice-a-year event to look forward to.
10. Having somebody to discuss books with and get book recommendations from.

Hour 9: Finished "Destiny's Song" shortly after 9pm. Such a good book! I'm already looking forward to the next book in the series. I wasn't really feeling any of the other books I'd been considering, so picked up "Veronika Decides to Die" which Rebekka had brought along. Can't really make up my mind what I think about it yet - probably too early to say.

Mum and Rebekka have finished their books as well, so Rebekka has picked up "The Giver" and Mum's reading "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?". I believe Mixi has fallen asleep... the perils of silence and reading when one has a small child who doesn't sleep through the night ;)

Hour 10: 11pm, and all my partners in crime have left. On the other hand, Lars has just returned home, so I'm not completely alone :) I'm still reading "Veronika Decides to Die" - have another 75 pages to go I think. Still can't figure out what I think of it, but then I had much the same reaction when I read "The Alchemist", so perhaps it's just the way Paulo Coelho's books are.

Hour 11: Finished "Veronika..." 2 minutes ago. Rebekka did say the end would make or break it for me, and I think she's right. I don't yet know exactly what I think of it, but I'm glad I've read it.

It's almost midnight now though, and I'm beginning to feel the struggle ;) I'll have to pick something really good for my next book, or I'll have to admit defeat and head off to bed soon.

Hour 12: I had a text conversation with Rebekka shortly after my last update, and she told me she was powering through to finish her book, so I figured I'd attempt to stay awake with her. Taking the later hour into consideration (I'm such a party animal :-P ) I decided to pick up "Cancer Vixen" which I'd bought earlier this week specifically for the readathon. I'm just over half-way through and can't put it down! So while I may head off and finish it in bed, I'll definitely finish it before I throw in the towel for tonight.

And - as per usual in hour 12 - the mid-event survey
1. What are you reading right now? "Cancer Vixen" - a graphic memoir.
2. How many books have you read so far? I've finished 3.
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? No clue... I haven't decided past my current book.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? No, just those of my own making, dinner and seeing my family off.
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? Not much any longer. It's exactly as I expect it to be, and I love it!

Hour 24: Yet another readathon is over. It's been a good one, with some amazing books read. None that I'd rate below 3 stars, and three 4.5-5 star books! Awesome! I sat up reading until 2am finishing "Cancer Vixen" (so good!) then slept for 7 hours and was back at reading shortly after 9am. Didn't feel like booting up my computer before now though, which explains the lack of updates from me. I'm currently reading "Stray" by Andrea K. Höst, and enjoying it a lot, but unfortunately I'm only about 75% through. Should finish it later today though, and then I can get started on all my reviews! I've had a terrific time, and as always, turning it into a family tradition has just made it so much more awesome!

Currently Reading: "Stray"
Books Read: "Auggie and Me" - R.J. Palacio (380), "Destiny's Song" by Audrey Faye (223), "Veronika Decides to Die" - Paulo Coelho (210), "Cancer Vixen" by Marisa Acocella Marchetto (224)
Pages Read: 1234

18 Sep 2015

October 17th-18th

Yes, it's that time of year again :) Dewey's 24 hour read-a-thon is just around the corner! October 17th-18th to be exact. Can't remember if the starting time has been announced yet, but it's usually noon UTC, so that's what I'm going with.

Of course I will be participating again - it's one of my favourite events :)

Once again, I will be joined by my Mum and two sisters. This year Rebekka's sister-in-law will be coming along as well. It's her first time participating in the read-a-thon, so I hope it'll be as good an experience for her as it has been for the rest of us. It'll be the tenth (I think) time I participate at all, and the third time I'll be reading with company - it's a LOT cozier with company :)

So I'll be spending the next almost-month brainstorming ideas for books to read (not sure what it says about me that I already have about 20 possibilities) and snacks to buy/bake. As per usual I'll spend the morning doing something active (to counteract all the sitting and eating I'll be doing for the rest of the day) and getting the crock-pot ready with something delicious for dinner, so we won't have to spend time preparing that once the reading has started.

It'll be awesome!

If you have suggestions of short'ish books / quick reads you'd recommend, I'm always very interested :)

25 Apr 2015

Dewey's Read-a-thon - April 2015 edition (#9)

T-2 I'm all set and ready to go :) I have spent the morning being active (always good when you intend to be stationary for the rest of the day), getting dinner ready in the crockpot, picking out books, and shopping for the last snacks. Everything is now ready, so I'm just waiting for the clock to turn 14:00 so I can start reading :)

A lot of these books are suggestions for Mum and Rebekka. I've made a vidcast about the books I'll be reading here.

As always, I'll keep my updates in just one post, so you can skip at will. Leave me a comment if you're reading along too, and a link if you have a progress post. I'd love to come cheer you on :)

Hour 0: Mum and Bekka arrived half an hour ago and we've been busy getting snacks ready and talking about all the books we want to read :) As always, we have faar to many books and far too many snacks - it's all good :)

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?
Maria: Probably "An Age of License" by Lucy Knisley I think, as I've wanted to read this for quite awhile.
Rebekka: None of those in my stack, but I have found a BUNCH of Maria's books that I need to borrow.
Mum: "Beauty Queens" by Libba Bray

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
Mum: Rebekka's homemade raspberry cookies!
Maria: YES!
Rebekka: Yes, me too :)

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
This is the second time the three of us will be reading together - it's an awesome way to take a solitary event and make it social.

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today?
Maria: Nothing - this is my 9th read-a-thon, I've pretty much got it sorted.
Rebekka: Shorter books! I'm a slow reader and want to finish more books.
Mum: Nothing.

Hour 2: Rebekka finished a book after 40 minutes! Granted, it was "The Strange Library" by Murakami which is only 77 pages long, but still :)
I'm reading "A Dip in the Ocean" and am 132 pages into. It is really, really, REALLY good so far, so I'm pleased I chose that as my first book.
Mum is reading an old favourite childrens book, and looks to be about halfway

Hour 4: Not much new has happened, which is why I didn't update at hour 3. I'm still reading "A Dip in the Ocean" and really enjoy it! Have another 50 pages to go now, so should finish soon.
Rebekka's reading "Singularity" by William Sleator and Mum's reading "Beauty Queens" by Libba Bray - both my recommendations, so I hope they like them. But Mum's giggled a couple of times already, so I take that as a good sign.

Hour 5: I finished my book right as the clock struck 6pm! It was really, really good so I'm glad to chose that as my first book. However, it also took almost 4 hours to read, so I'm ready for something fast now. Possibly the graphic novel of "Coraline" that I loaded onto my iPad yesterday :)

We've also sent DH off to pick up my youngest sister, so further company will be arriving shortly :)

Hour 7: Mixi arrived about 6:30pm with my 4-month-old niece, so obviously that proved a bit of a happy distraction ;) We've also had a break for dinner, but I've still managed to finish "Coraline" since my last update. It doesn't take long when it's a graphic novel :) I've now started "The Strange Library" as Rebekka's main comment was "That's really, really weird!" -- and I got curious! Besides, it's only 77 pages - will be a quick read.

Hour 8: Really, really weird indeed! And not in a good way - mostly just as if it was weird for the sake of being weird. I didn't care much for it at all. At least it was short.

So now I've started an old teenhood favourite, "The Shadow of a Cloud". It's been 15-20 years since I read it last, so I remember next to nothing of it but I loved it back then, so I'm hoping it'll stand the test of time.

Hour 10: Everybody's left within the last hour, so I'm all alone with my books now. I've always enjoyed participating in the read-a-thons, but I absolutely LOVE it now that Mum and Bekka are part of it too (and Mixi for the last few hours :) ). I'm glad they want to and love sharing it with them. I do tend to be less active with the mini-challenges when they're here though... perhaps because I no longer feel the same need for online interaction during the read-a-thon, because I have the interaction IRL instead?

Anyway, I've just finished book #4. It wasn't quite as good as I seemed to remember, but good enough. It had an interesting development that I'd mostly forgotten, but which slowly came back to me as I got further through the book.

Now to decide what to read next. I'm not sure how much longer I'll last, so it should probably either be a reread or a read by an author I know can keep me captivated... or I may just decide to head off to bed soon, as I know Lars will wake me early tomorrow morning, so I can continue reading then instead.

Hour 11: Picked up "The Book of You" which I bought in London. It's about a woman being stalked and is utterly horrifying and unputdownable. Bed will have to wait awhile yet. Not entirely sure it's a good thing to be reading this while home alone...

The minichallenge this hour is a fun one, so I have to do it :) It's from The Girl Who Loved To Read where "the girl" asks which 3 books, published since 1990, will be considered classics in 2100 and why.

My three choices:
The Book Thief by Mark Zusak. Full disclosure - I didn't care much for this book myself, but I am so very obviously in the minority here. Everybody else seems to adore it, and find it very well written. Besides, it focuses on a different aspect of World War 2 than most books (and approaches it from a different angle) which will keep it relevant.

The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. This book - or series in fact - already reminds me a lot in style of the old classics like "The Count of Monte Cristo". I think it will stand the test of time well, and continue to fascinate readers.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Schaffer. Again it reminds me of a book that is a classic already - "84 Charing Cross Road" by Helene Hanff - which just strengthens my view that this will become a classic too. An epistolary novel about World War 2? It's a shoe-in.

Hour 12: Uhm... not entirely sure "The Book of You" was a good choice for this time of night. It's keeping me awake to be sure - but the problem is that it's so scary that it's keeping me TOO awake! However, I'm still only 1/3 of the way through, and as I stand a very good chance of being woken up at 7am I'd better start seeing about getting some shut-eye.

So the Mid-Event Survey... and then to bed!
Mid-Event Survey:
1. What are you reading right now? "The Book of You" by Claire Kendal. A total nail-biter.
2. How many books have you read so far? 4 where one was a graphic novel
3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon? One of Lucy Knisley's graphic memoirs.
4. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those? We had an unexpected visit from my youngest sister and her 4-month-old daughter. A very welcome distraction :)
5. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far? How much MORE fun it is when I have people over to read with me :)

Hour 20: Fortunately sleep wasn't a problem :) And fortunately, I'd misremembered when Lars was coming home, so he didn't wake me up until 7:40! Woohoo :) Of course I got right back into reading, and am now half-way with "The Book of You". BTW, Claire Kendal responded to my tweet about her book last night!!! Woooo :D She was happy I liked her book, and sorry to scare me ;) Worth it!

Hour 21: A book is less scary when read at 10am instead of at 1pm, that's for sure! Still, "The Book of You" is a hard read, especially as I don't even think it's all that exaggerated an account of a stalker. I still have another 150 pages to go, so a lot can happen yet.

The mini-challenge this hour is to tell of that moment when you fall in love with a book.
It's happened twice to me this year that I read a book that just blew me away, and that I wanted everybody to know about.

The first time was "The Martian" by Andy Weir. I'd expected pretty run-of-the-mill sci-fi, and instead discovered a book I just couldn't put down and that left me speechless. I'd read it as an e-book and immediately went out to buy a physical copy, as I knew I wanted this standing on my shelves. Sure, it has its weaknesses, but as a whole, it is an amazing book.

The second time it happened was just earlier this month, when I fell over a random Netgalley. The cover intrigued me, so I sent in a request and was happy to have it approved. This was "Every Last Word" by Tamara Ireland Stone. I started it the following day, and pretty much didn't come up for air until I'd finished it. One of the best YA books I've read - very true and poignant, and the end had tears - good tears - running down my cheeks. It hasn't been published yet, but I can't wait for everybody to read it once it is. I'll absolutely be purchasing a physical copy of this as well!

Hour 23: Just two hours left to go now! And I just finished "The Book of You" a couple of minutes ago. I don't know... I loved it up until the last 30 pages, and now I don't know any longer. What I DO know is that I definitely have to find a happier book for my next read! Probably my last one, unless I find a really short one.

Hour 25: And done! My final book was "An Age of License" by Lucy Knisley which I finished with time to spare, putting my total at 6 books and 1327 pages! Slightly less impressive when you know that two of those were graphic works ;) I had an awesome time as always - made even better by having company yesterday! I'm going to be totally book-hungover for the rest of the day though!

Currently Reading: None
Pages read: 1327
Books read: "A Dip in the Ocean" - Sarah Outen (310), "Coraline" - Neil Gaiman (186), "The Strange Library" - Haruki Murakami (77), "Skyggen af en Sky" - Taru Väyrynen (207), "The Book of You" - Claire Kendal, "An Age of License" by Lucy Knisley (186)