Friday, 18 May 2018

Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

Difficult week to find a book for this meme since most of the books are packed. Yes, in the latter process of moving and most books are already in Sweden, and I am here in Brussels finalising the rest. I did find one by my bedside, which I am also reading for the time being, and that is Elisabeth Luard's My Life as a Wife - Love, Liquor and What to Do About Other Women. It is a humorous book as she looks back on her life.

Book beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader

"This is the story of my life as a wife. Or how to stay married for forty years without actually murdering your husband. A love story.

The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

"'Your mother,' said Nanny, 'doesn't think much of your young man.'"

Tuesday, 15 May 2018

Recently read books

My reviews have been rare recently, mainly due to lack of time. I hope to have more time soon, but in the meantime, here are a few mini reviews of books I have read recently.

Kate Hannigan's Girl by Catherine Cookson

One of my favourite authors when I was younger, but I have not read any of her books lately. When I read Cliff Goodwin's biography of her, To be a Lady: Story of Catherine Cookson, I was curious to read one again. I got hold of this book on a book fair. It is a continuation of the book Kate Hannigan, but you can easily read this one without first having read the previous. It is about Annie, illegitimate daughter of Kate, and her coming of age, falling in love, finding her way in life, and being harassed by evil Catherine. It is an easy enough read, and Cookson manages to balance the romance with the harsh realities of life at the time. You can feel with the characters. That is probably why she was so popular.

The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht

It was the text on the back cover that draw me to this novel. "A young doctor, Natalia, struggles to make sens of her grandfather's death in a Balkan country still scarred by war. From fragments of stories her grandfather told her as a child, Natalia realises he may have died searching for 'the deathless man', a vagabond who was said to be immortal." 

Monday, 14 May 2018

Bookmark Monday

This meme is hosted by Guiltless Reading. Being in Sweden we popped over to Denmark for some sightseeing and museums last week. We visited Kronborg, Hamlet's castle. It was a nice surprise and not at all what I had expected. There was an exhibition on the people having played Hamlet and Ophelia in the past. I took the opportunity to purchase a very nice bookmark.

We also visited Karen Blixen's home which is now a beautiful museum. Close by is also the modern art museum Louisiana, where we saw an exhibition of Picasso's ceramic. A full day full of culture, history and books. What more can we ask?

Friday, 11 May 2018

Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

Another Friday and another meme. This week I have chosen Paulo Coelho's Adultery for the beginning and page 56.

Book beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader

"Every morning, when I open my eyes to the so-called "new day," I feel like closing them again, staying in bed, and not getting up. But I can't do that."

The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

"I am once again the mistress of my thoughts and my actions. What seemed impossible this morning has become reality this afternoon."

Coelho being one of my favourite authors, I am looking forward reading this book. Have you read it?

I Spy Book Challenge

Been so busy lately and did not have so much time to write reviews and blog. I have saved to pocket interesting post from blogs I am following. Here is one I saw on Booksplease. I love lists and especially if they have something to do with your book shelves. It tends to remind you of what you have. Here the rules.

Find a book on your shelves that contains (either on the cover or in the title) an example for each category. You must have a separate book for all 20, get as creative as you want and do it within five minutes!! (or longer if you have way too many books on way too many overcrowded shelves!).

I add a link to those books I have posted on.

1. Food - Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux

2. Transportation -  Trains & Boats & Planers by Killen McNeill

3. Weapon - In Search of the Trojan War by Michael Wood (cover: spears)

4. Animal - The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht

5. Number - 365 dagar (365 days) by Anders Bergman and Emelie Perland

6. Something you read - Brontë in Love by Sarah Freeman

7. Body of Water - The Edge of the World - How the North Sea Made Us Who We Are by Michael Pye

8. Product of Fire - Eld (Fire) by Mats Strandberg och Sara Bergmark

9. Royalty - Eleanor, The Secret Queen by John Ashdown-Hill

10 Architecture - The Story of San Michele by Axel Munthe

11. Item of Clothing - The Spy Wore Red by Aline, Countess of Romanones

12. Family Member - Moderspassion (Mother Passion) by Majgull Axelsson

13. Time of Day - Morgon i Jenin (Morning in Jenin) by Susan Albuhawa)

14. Music - Drömmarnas vals (The Walz of the Dreams) by Peter Prang

15. Paranormal Being - The Host by Stephanie Meyer

16. Occupation - Doctor Copernicus by John Banville

17. Season - Hunting Season by Andrea Camilleri

18. Colour - The Red and the Black by Stendhal

19. Celestial Body - Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

20. Something that Grows - The Heather Lazing by Colm Toíbin

Well, that took quite more than five minutes. All of them are titles, except for Weapons, where I had to find a cover. Interesting exercise.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

The Content Reader's Block in Books

I found this meme at My Reader's Block and thought it would be an interesting exercise to do. Here are the rules:

  • Spell out your blog's name
  • Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter. (Note you cannot ADD to your TBR to complete this challenge - the books must already be on your TBR.) Let's see if I can make it through my name.

Two of John Banville's books made it to the list

T - The Newton Letter by John Banville
H - Huset von Fersens uppgång och fall by Göran Norrby
E -  Eleanor, The Secret Queen by John Ashdown-Hill

C - Columbus, The Four Voyages by Laurence Berggren
O - On Canaan's Side by Barry Sebastian
N - Nine Parts of Desire by Geraldine Brooks
T - Trace by Patricia Cornwell
E - Emily's Journal by Sarah Fermi
N - Nåden har ingen lag by Torgny Lindgren
T - Tears of Gold by Lauri McBain

R - Russka by Edward Rutherford
E - En ung naken kvinna - mötet med Mikis Theodorakis by Arja Saijonmaa
A - A Fortune Teller Told Me by Tiziano Terzani
D - Doctor Copernicus by John Banville
E - Edith Wharton by Hermione Lee
R - Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux

Well, I made it! Even without using the possible solution to take out a and the. Maybe I should try to read them in this order as well!

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

6 Degrees of Separation

Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best, hosting this interesting meme. This month we start with Barbara Kingsolver's The Poisonwood Bible. I read it many years ago and really loved it. A man's passion to work as a missionary in Africa and how it effects his family and the people around him. A marvellous story.

The story takes place in Congo and that takes me to Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness. A dark tale on the exploration of Africa. A short book, but a gruesome story of how the colonialists treated the local people.

Staying on with explorers, I come to think about Tim Jeal's biography of Stanley - The Impossible Life of Africa's Greatest Explorer. A totally intriguing biography of a very famous person, of whom we think we know a lot. That is not the case, at least not for me. His somewhat bad reputation is just a tiny part of what this man achieved in this lifetime. Not to talk about all the hardship he went through on his explorations.

Friday, 4 May 2018

Book beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

For this Friday's beginning and page 56 and I using The Tiger's Wife by Téa Obreht, which I am reading now. I have had it for quite a while, and bought it because the blurb sounds intriguing.
"A young doctor, Natalia, struggles to make sense of her grandfather's death in a Balkan country still scarred by war. From fragments of stories her grandfather told her as a child, Natalia realises he may have died searching for 'The deathless man', a vagabond who was said to be immortal.
Struggling to understand why a man of science would undertake such a quest, she stumbles upon a clue that will lead her to a tattered copy of The Jungle Book, and then to the extraordinary story of the tiger's wife." So far so good!

Book beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader
"In my earliest memory, my grandfather is bald as a stone and he takes me to see the tigers."

The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice
"Apparently, this is how it stands: a man has died, and there has been a funeral. At the funeral, the man, who is called Gavo, sits up in his coffin and asks for water. It is an immense surprise."

Well, what do you think? Does it sound like something you would like to read?

Tuesday, 1 May 2018

New purchases

At the recent Book Fair I tried to be very selective and not buy too many books, considering I am moving, and my shelves are already overburdened! I did come out with four books, which is far less than usual. Apart from one author, Karin Fossum, they are all new to me. Here they are with blurbs from the back cover.

A Gathering Light by Jennifer Donnelly

The short review from Sunday Telegraph on the back cover, made me buy this book: "If George Clooney had walked into the room I would have told him to come back later when I'd finished". Must be a good read I would say!
"Based on a real murder at the turn of the century, this outstanding debut novel is a powerful and moving coming-of-age book. Mattie is torn between her familial responsibilities, her desire to be a writer, and the excitement of a first romance. Her dilemmas and choices are quietly reflected in the life of a young woman found drowned in a lake, a woman that Mattie only gets to know through reading her letter."
Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum
"At the foot of the Kollen mountain lies a small village where the children play unafraid in the streets. But this tranquility is irrecoverably shattered when a young woman's naked body is found lying by the lake during a search for another missing girl. Inspector Sejer - smart, tough, and enigmatic - is called in to investigate. Only he can uncover the dark secrets of this quiet community, hidden by deep family ties."
The Book of Secrets by Tom Harper
"In a snowbound village in the German mountains, a young woman discovers an extraordinary secret. Before she can reveal it, she disappears. All that survives is a picture of a mysterious medieval playing card that has perplexed scholars for centuries."
Trains & Boats & Planes by Killen McNeill
"'It's just something else in disguise. Sex or loneliness or ambition or boredom...' Love for Harry Moore will be forever linked with Marie, the beautiful girl from Alsace. Ever since his magical teenage encounter with her in a tiny holiday resort in Donegal, it has never lived up to his expectations. Thirty years later, Harry, middle-aged but not quite disillusioned, travels to Strasbourg to take up the search for Marie and the innocence and longings of his youth. Trains and Boats and Planes is a haunting an evocative debut novel grappling with memory, conflict and tragedy and coming of age issues that may, in Harry's case, never be resolved."

 What do you think? Have you read any of them? Or something else by the same authors?