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Showing posts from January, 2017

The First Murder by The Medieval Murderers

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The pen name of "The Medieval Murderers" hides five historical mystery writers, all members of the Crime Writers Association (Bernard Knight, Ian Morson, Philip Gooden, Susanna Gregory and Karen Maitland). It seems this is not the first book they write. I find information on another seven books they have written together. This book is not exactly what I expected (more of real time medieval murders), but turned out to be quite interesting and enjoyable. The more you get into it, the more difficult it is to put down. The story covers the period from 1154 to 1944 and the theme is the same. Can a play possibly be cursed? It definitely seems like it. Every time  The Play of Adam  is enacted, somebody dies. The drama is divided into a Prologue and Epilogue with Four acts in between. The programme reads as follows: Prologue - In which Ian Morson tells of Prior Wigod of Oseney Priory writing The Play of Adam , and how the world's first murder - of Abel by his brother C

Dr Luther and Mr Hyde by Per Svensson

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This year, on the 31 October, it will be 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses on the door of All Saints' Church in Wittenberg. He probably did not actually nail them on the door, but this is how the story goes. Martin Luther was influenced by earlier reformist but it was Luther who sparked the Protestant Reformation. It was not supposed to be a reformist movement, but started out as a protest. In 1516 a papal commissioner was sent to Germany to raise money to rebuild St. Peter's Basilica in Rome. It would be sponsored by selling indulgences, and it was this tradition that Luther objected against. He wrote to his bishop, Albert of Mainz, protesting the sale of indulgences and enclosed a copy of his " Disputation of Martin Luther on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences " which came to be known as the Ninety-five Theses. It was initially not a rebellious act, but more a scholarly objection. However, once the dice was rolling it went rather fast

A visit to the furniture fair in Cologne

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On Saturday morning we took the car to drive just over two hours to Köln (Cologne). The last week saw the yearly furniture fair there, and this was the first time we went there. Great fun, as always, visiting fairs, where the theme is interesting to you. We have earlier visited the Boat fair in Düsseldorf, the Book Fair in Frankfurt and now it was time to look as some furniture and be inspired. Hugh halls that displayed furniture from all over the world. It was just to walk around, trying out and be inspired by the variety of designs. Some really great furniture to go into the future. The theme this year was kitchens and this was really interesting. So many new gadgets that you don't need! But great to have. I got quite interested in a fan that is built in, in the ceramic stove and makes the fumes go downwards rather than upwards. A burner in the shape of a wok rather than flat. Just to place you wok there and the heat will go up along the sides. Here are some ideas to consider

Best books read in 2016

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My reading in 2016 was slightly interrupted due to unexpected, but nice circumstances. Therefore I Light in August by William Faulkner and Vile Bodies by Evelyn Waugh). I somehow have a feeling that I just haphazardly read books, without much thought behind. Might not be wrong, but I felt a little bit "wobbly" with my reading. For 2017 I will be more disciplined and try to approach books in a more consolidated way. Best book of the year! did not read as much as anticipated. As usual I more or less liked the books I read. Those I really disliked I did not read. I think it was two ( However, there are, as always, some books that stand out more than others. Here are my favourite reads for 2016 in no specific order. Bess: the Life of Lady Ralegh, Wife to Sir Walter by Anna Beer The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins The Sage of Waterloo by Leona Francombe The Prague Cemetery by Umberto Eco The Other Rembrandt by Alex Connor De gömda rummen (Habitaciones cerrada

The Pleasure of an Ending!

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Is it not wonderful to have an ending from time to time? When you read books you normally have an ending. But what happens when you read a series? Is there an ending in sight? It depends on if you know that there are three, four, five or whatever number of books in the series. But if it only goes on and on? It is ok, when each book in a series is also a finished story. To be frank it is not so common within the literary world, I am thinking more of the world of TV-series. There seems to be a never ending number of series that just go on and on an on! Yes, I know, it does depend on how many people watch it, if there will be a continuation or not. Even worse if you ask me. I also love to follow series with several seasons. However, unless you base your series on books, they write them as they come. I find that when you come to season 3 or 4, or around there, the stories tend to thin out. It sometimes becomes more and more crazy and the wonderful storyline you had from the beginning i

To be a lady: Story of Catherine Cookson by Cliff Goodwin

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I love reading biographies, especially about writers. It gives another dimension to their work, you can see what has inspired them and how they use their own experiences in life to give us wonderful stories. One of the most interesting writers in this regard must be Catherine Cookson. I remember reading and loving her books when I was young, but have not read any for ages. It was with great interest I started Cliff Goodwin's account on her life, of which I must admit, I did not know anything. What a fantastic surprise! You sometimes say that reality exceeds any fiction, and here you have the proof. To read Goodwin's biography of Catherine Cookson is like reading one of her books. It is interesting, exciting, thrilling and amazing. What a life, what a deed. I am full of admiration for this wonderful lady. One of the most important happenings in her life is actually her birth. She was born out of wedlock and it was a matter that affected her whole life. She kept it secret f

Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017

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I will join again this year, the Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2017, hosted by My Reader's Block . I love how it lowers my TBR shelves, and I love the wrap ups every three months. A great challenge which saw me reading 51 books from these shelves last year. My ambition is to read more this year. Somehow I think I will have more time to read this year! Here are the rules in short. Head over to Bev's webpage (link above) for more details. ______________________________________________________________________________ Challenge Levels: Pike's Peak: Read 12 books from your TBR pile/s Mount Blanc: Read 24 books from your TBR pile/s Mt. Vancouver: Read 36 books from your TBR pile/s Mt. Ararat: Read 48 books from your TBR piles/s Mt. Kilimanjaro: Read 60 books from your TBR pile/s El Toro: Read 75 books from your TBR pile/s Mt. Everest: Read 100 books from your TBR pile/s Mount Olympus (Mars): Read 150+ books from your TBR pile/s And the rules: *Once you choose you

6 Degrees of Separation

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Beginning of the month, so time for 6 Degrees of Separation hosted by Books Are My Favourite And Best . This month's chain begins with Stieg Larsson's thriller The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo . I have this book on my shelves and read it several years ago. I really like it and the following two books. I have not read the new one, which is a sequel written by David Lagercrantz'. I have read another book by Lagercrantz though. That is I am Zlatan Ibrahimovic , which is a biography of our great football player Zlatan. I really enjoyed the book and got a totally different opinion about Zlatan as well. Towards the positive side, and I am now a big fan of his (almost all the time!). Talking about biographies, a genre I love, I continue with a book I just finished (review will come). That is Cliff Goodwin's To Be a Lady: Story of Catherine Cookson . Fascinating biography of a fascinating author that has spellbound us for so many years. An amazing storyteller she is.

What's in a Name 2017

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Loved the What's in a name 2016 challenge during 2016 and if it hadn't been for William Faulkner, I would have finished it properly. I am full of confidence for the 2017 challenge, as usual hosted by The Worm Hole . Here are the criteria: The challenge runs from January to December. During this time you choose a book to read from each of the following categories. (Examples of books you could choose are in brackets – translations and other languages most definitely count!): A number in numbers (84, Charing Cross Road; 12 Years A Slave; 31 Dream Street) - The World Around in 80 Days by Jules Verne A building (The Old Curiosity Shop; I Capture The Castle; House Of Shadows; The Invisible Library; Jamaica Inn) To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf A title which has an ‘X’ somewhere in it (The Girl Next Door; The Running Vixen) - Kansler Axel Oxenstierna 1 & 2 by Gunnar Wetterberg A compass direction (North and South; Guardians Of The West; The Shadow In The North; NW

What's in a Name - wrap up post 2016

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I really enjoyed this challenge hosted by Wormhole .  I almost made it, but I just could not finish the last book,  Light in August by William Faulkner. I have to admit, that I don't really like his books. This was the second book I tried by him. I finished Sanctuary , but did not really like it. Otherwise I finished the challenge and read the following books. A country - The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Mantel  An item of clothing - The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins   An item of furniture -   The Binding Chair by Kathy Harrison  A profession - Alkemistens dotter (The Alchemist's Daughter) by Carl-Michael Edenborg  A month of the year - Light in August by William Faulkner ( not finished ) A title with the word 'tree' in it - Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy  I enjoyed all books except Faulkner. Hardy's book was a little bit more tricky.  I am a big fan of Hardy, but here he writes in dialect, and I always find it hard to read. It

Summary reviews of December reads

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I did read a few books during December, but it was so busy, so I did not have time to do any reviews. Here is a short summary of the books. The Four Swans by Winston Graham: No 6 in the Poldark saga and we are entering into the second generation of Poldarks. Ross and Demelza, Elizabeth and Warleggan are still there, but other family members enters the story. Well told as usual. Interesting insight into the politics and wars at the time, mixed with unexpected family drama. Time for the 7th book which is The Angry Tide. Under the Greenwood Tree by Thomas Hardy: I bough this book visiting his childhood house in Dorset. I love the writing of Hardy, but had some difficulties with this one. Partly because it was written in dialect, and I find it difficult to read. The first half was rather uninteresting, but the latter part picked up and I enjoyed this local story of young love and countryside traditions. Five Great Short Stories by Anton Chekhov: I have had this for years,

Two TBR challenges fulfilled!

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I enrolled in two challenges to lower my TBR shelves for 2016. I am happy to say that I have fulfilled both of them, although I had to skip a couple of mountains for one of them. There is the Shelf Love Challenge hosted by Second Run Reviews . I opted for 51+ and that is exactly what I have read, 51 books (list below). The other challenge is the Mount TBR Reading Challenge , hosted by My Reader's Block . I opted for 100 books, but due to a very busy year with unexpected happenings, I have only read 51 (list below). But that is good enough. So how far up the mountain does that bring me? I opted for Mt. Everest with my 100 books, but only made it 5.010 m up the Mt. Kilimanjaro, which is 5,895 m high. Well, being a fan of Hemingway, I am happy I made it a bit up this mountain at least. Here is the list which covers both Challenges! 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 Wo