Posts

Showing posts from June, 2016

The Night Manager - tv-series

Image
I have just finished watching The Night Manager . It is based on John Le Carré's spy thriller from 1993. Fantastically adapted for television with great acting by Tom Hiddleston and Hugh Laurie in a different role from what we are used to. Jonathan Pine is a former British soldier, turned night manager in luxury hotels around the world. At one point he gets involved with a woman, the mistress to a wealthy Egyptian. She hands over documents showing that her lover is working with a famous international businessman who deals in arms and drugs under the auspices of selling legal products. The woman is killed for handing over the documents and that changes the path for Pine. He is contacted by a branch of the British intelligence service and enrolled to go undercover to frame Roper. It is partly filmed in Mallorca which I know rather well. Other film locations are Cairo, Zermatt and Turkey, where I have been as well. It is always nice to see places where you have been on film.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Image
A modern classic is this tale from a future where earth is destroyed by a catastrophe of some kind. A father taking his son on the road to a warmer and better place, where you don’t have to fight for your life. Where people are good people. Where you don’t have to be afraid of the people you meet and take for granted that they will kill you to get something to eat. Their odyssey takes them through a post-apocalyptic America, where nothing much has survived, but a few people. All are looking for food and other things that can help them survive. It is so well written and described in such a way that you are there with the father and the son. Feeling their longing for a place that is no more, living on memories of their wife and mother, trying to find a place they can call home and settle down. Where there will be food for the day, warmth enough to be comfortable, and they do not have to suspect everyone they meet for going to kill them to get the meagre raisons of food they have. McC

The hand that first held mine by Maggie O’Farrell

Image
Strangely enough, this is the second book in a short time, that I read, loved the story but not the way it is written.  But, misunderstand me right; the writing itself if wonderful, it is just the parts that takes you out of the story (see below). The story is told from two different time frames and in the end the two stories merge. I must say in quite a surprising and extraordinary way. You are in for some surprises at the end. The story starts in the 1950s with Lexie Sinclair who is longing for another life. By chance she runs into a charming artist and journalist, Innes Kent, in her remote village. That is the chance meeting she needs to take the big step to go to work in London. Inevitably she runs into Innes Kent and from there her life is never the same. In present time we meet Ted and Elina, as they have got their first child. The birth was very dramatic, both for Elina and for Ted and it takes time for both of them to settle in as parents and their new life. From the beginn

Challenge update on the Classics!

Image
Another short update on my Challenges. It regards Back to the Classics Challenge is hosted by Books and Chocolate . The rule is to choose between 3, 6 or 9 categories; I choose six: still from my TBR shelves. 19th Century Classic - Austen, Jane - Sense and Sensibility I don't know why I have not come around to read this classic novel by Jane Austen. I loved her Pride and Prejudice  and have read that one several times. I have also read Persuasion  which I liked. But this novel, which many says is her best, has not been taken out of my book case. The same goes for Northanger Abbey and Mansfield Park . Just means that I still have time to enjoy new books by her.  20th Century Classic - Greene, Graham - Our Man in Havanna (Read) I read this earlier this year, and together with his novels The Human Factor and Travels With My Aunt , Graham Greene has popped up as one of my favourite authors. Wonderful style and a humour, hard to beat.  Classic by a Woman Autho

Challenge update - Shelf Love Challenge and Mount TBR Reading Challenge

Image
'Shelf Love Challenge' is hosted by Second Run Reviews : Choose the amount of books you want to deduct from your TBR shelves. Since all my challenges are aimed at lowering the number of books, I have opted for 51+ books. So far I have read 25 books, so it is looking good for the 51+ I have opted for. The next challenge goes hand in hand with the above. The aim is to lower the number of books on your TBR shelves. 'Mount TBR Reading Challenge' is hosted by My Reader's Block in order to reduce your TBR shelves. Always a great challenge for me. I opt for 100 books! So far I have read 25 books, so it does not look that great! I have also opted for 100 books at Goodreads so definitely have to speed up my reading. Here are the books read so far: 1.  The life-changing magic of tidying by Marie Kondo 2. Our Man in Havanna by Graham Greene 3. Jailbird by Kurt Vonnegut 4. The German Woman by Paul Griner 5. Under jorden i Vilette by Ingrid Hedström  6. T

Challenge update - What’s in a Name

Image
This challenge is hosted by Wormhole , with six different criteria to fullfil. A country - The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Mantel ( Read ) An item of clothing - The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins ( Read ) An item of furniture -  The Binding Chair by Kathy Harrison A profession - Alkemistens dotter (The Alchemist's Daughter) by Carl-Michael Edenborg ( Read ) A month of the year - Light in August by William Faulkner A title with the word 'tree' in it - Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy The titles are the one I have chosen for each criteria.  As mentioned earlier, I try to use books from my TBR shelves to fulfil the challenges. These books all come from there, except The Woman in White which I read electronically. Half away through the year I have finished three of the six books. I am reading Under the Greenwood Tree , and I do love Hardy, but find this book somewhat difficult. Mostly because it is written in dialect and it is difficult t

A visit to the Museum of Comics Art in Brussels

Image
A while ago, me and a friend went downtown to check out a small exhibition of Brontës’ memorabilia. It was a very small exhibition, hosted in a book shop. Since it was a very small exhibition, we went through it quickly, and since it was raining, (what else?) we decided to go to the near by Museé de la Bande dessinée or the Museum of Comics Art. It is situated in a wonderful house designed by Victor Horta, the famous architect of Art Nouveau. It was built as a departement store for Magasins Waucquez . After Waucquez’ death in 1920, the building began to languish away and in 1970 the magasin closed its doors. It was only due to Jean Delhaye, a former aid to Horta, that the building was saved, and in 1975 it was acknowledged as a protected building. The entrance hall to the Museum

Travels With my Aunt by Graham Greene

Image
Another lovely, low key book by Graham Greene. Travels With My Aunt is not what it seems to be. First I thought it was a sort of travel book, but it is not. As usual with Greene, we meet people who are not what they seem to be. Henry Pulling is a bachelor a former bank manager, now in retirement. His life is simple; to care for his dahlias. His retirement is a slow as his working life. That is, until his mother dies and he meets his aunt at her funeral. Without knowing it his life will never again be the same. His aunt, in her mid seventies, is still full of life and invites him to accompany her on her travels. Starting with a short one, to Brighton, he starts to get an idea that his aunt is not what he thought. She reveals an anecdote here and an anecdote there giving him a small insight into her past life. When she persuades him to join him for a trip to Istanbul with the Orient Express, there is no way back. Being Graham Greene, everything is not what it seems to be and the li

Analfabeten som kunde räkna (The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden) by Jonas Jonasson

Image
Jonas Jonasson is mostly famous for his debut  The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared . This is his second book and it is written in the same, rather hilarious fashion. This time his main character is Nombeko Mayeki, who grows up in Soweto in South Africa. Among her many talents is the possibility to count, and I am not talking about 1+1 = 2! She manages much more complicated calculations. This talent takes her from the very poor surroundings, through a high security scientific research centre in South Africa to Sweden and the immigration facilities. Here starts a series of random events that involves security services, police, outcasts of the society, well-known people and even the king of Sweden. A totally unbelievable story, that after all could be true in theory! What I like about his books is the way he approaches his characters; the description of people outside the society, not really fitting in, but they find their niche in life and make some

The Classic Club spin

Image
Having failed almost completely to finish any of the books on my list (I only finished   La Nausée  by Jean-Paul Sartre), I am still hopeful. Maybe this time. The spin is #15 and here is my list: 1. Sense and Sensibility by Jane Austen 2.  The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins 3. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens 4. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot 5. Light in August by William Faulkner 6. Karin Lavransdotter by Sigrid Undset 7. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann 8.  A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce 9. Women in Love by D.H. Lawrence 10. A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams 11. Richard III by William Shakespeare 12. Travels With My Aunt by Graham Green 13. The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck 14. The Overcoat and Other Stories by Nikolaj Gogol 15. Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh 16. Sweet Bird of Youth by Tennessee Williams 17. The Taming of a Screw by William Shakespeare 18. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen  19. To the Lighthouse by V

Bookmark Monday

Image
It is Monday and I am joining Guiltless Reading  in our love for bookmarks. Recently I found this bookmark. Lovely! Although I am not entirely sure how to attach it to the book. Like this? There are two more shoes, in different colours, that I can attach. Almost like a bracelet where you can add various pendants! Maybe it will help me read this book, that was my last spin in The Classics Club . Waiting for todays' spin to see where I end up.   Happy reading!

De gömda rummen (Habitaciones cerradas) by Care Santos

Image
Care Santos is a new writer to me. I read several, very good reviews on this book, so when I found it in the library, while in Sweden, I took the opportunity to borrow it.  As always, when I start a book which has got raving reviews, I am a little bit vary that I might be disappointed. You just expect too much...maybe! The novel was a little bit difficult to get into. I started and then put it down for a few days, before starting again. Mainly because I had limited time to read it, otherwise I might have delayed it further. Once into the book though, it was difficult to put it down. At the same time I did not like so much the way it was written, although the story is fascinating. There you are - a lot of opposites.  Violeta Lax is the grand daughter of the famous, Spanish artist Amadeo Lax. She is an art curator, living in Chicago, and a specialist on the art of her grand father. The artist left his house and art to the Catalonian state, with the wish that it should be made

Month in Review - May 2016

Image
Bookdate   is rounding up our reading for May, so I take the opportunity to summarise my month. May was a very busy month, with holidays and travels. I still read eight books, which I think is fine, considering the lack of time. I also read some 200 pages in a very thick book with small text; the excellent The Sleepwalkers by Christopher Clark. One of these thick books, good to grab for a trip. You don't really run the risk of finishing it half way through your trip! At least not on a short one. Here are the books I read: The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco Tulip Fever by Deborah Moggach The Other Rembrandt by Alex Connor Stormaktens sista krig by Olle Larsson Mad Women   by Jane Maas Analfabeten som kunde räkna (The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden) by Jonas Jonasson The Dinner by Herman Koch De gömda rummen (Habitaciones cerradas) by Care Santos Best book(s) It is almost impossible to choose the best story from these eight novels. I really loved all th

The Dinner by Herman Koch

Image
I have read several reviews on this book, from various blogs, and all of them positive. It is always with a little bit of anticipation you start a book like that. You are afraid that you will not like is as much as you might think. Well, with this book, I did not need to have any worries. The Dinner is a family drama, although you don't know exactly what kind of drama from the beginning. The story is told from the point of view of one brother. A brother that has a somewhat minority complex towards his older brother, who is a successful and famous politician. Even the possible new prime minister of the country. You understand that the younger brother is envious of his older brother, although in his own mind, he is not. The two brothers meet for dinner with their wives. Arranged by the older brother, they go to one of the most famous and excellent restaurant in the city. Only the possibility for his brother to get a table at this top restaurant, makes the younger one squirm. As