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Showing posts from January, 2019

Kristin Lavransdotter by Sigrid Undset

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In November  Classic Spin #19  we were encouraged to read a chunkster book, and were given a deadline for 31 January 2019. I had not adjusted my list to chunksters only, so my no. 1 was Henry James' Washington Square   which I finished rather quickly , since it is not really a thick book at all.  I decided to choose another, thicker book, from my list. I wanted to read Kristin Lavransdotter by Sigrid Undset for a long time.  My version compiles all the three books ( The Wreath, The Wife and The Cross ) of this Norwegian family saga, set during the Medieval Ages, mid 14th century. Sigrid Undset was born in Denmark in 1882 and died in Norway in 1949. She wrote the book in Norwegian. The prize motivation was: "principally for her powerful description of Northern life during the Middle Ages." On this I can agree. It is a fantastic family saga, a strong female 'heroine', traditions, life at the countryside, or mountains, religion and superstition. "No on

New purchases

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At Christmas I received a book voucher, so the other week I went over to the bookshop to see what was on offer. Since I try to read from my TBR shelves, and download to my ipad, I don't often go an buy a book in the bookshop. I have found though, since I am back in Sweden, that I go there a little bit more often than before. Still, I like to read English books in the original language, but it is a pleasure to find book in Swedish these days. My voucher, plus an offer of three books for 10€, gave me ten books, to the price of 17€! Yes, a good deal indeed, since books are quite expensive in Sweden. Plus I ordered one from Amazon (Prisoners of Geography). Here is a short summary of the books. Some of them are translated in English and some are not. Prisoners of Geography (Ten maps that tell you everything you need to know about global politics) by Tim Marshall. I ordered this via Amazon, since I wanted it in English. From the back cover: "All leaders are constrained by

Metropolis by Philip Kerr

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Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Son's (Penguin Publishing Group The book will be on sale on April 9, 2019 Hardcover - 384 pages I received a copy of this book (via Edelweiss) for a fair & impartial review Ever since I read my first book about Bernie Gunther some years ago, I was hooked. With Bernie Gunther, Philip Kerr has created a different hero, in a different time. Bernie Gunther is a homicide detective in Berlin's Kriminalpolizei (Kripo) during the Nazi time. Not an easy task under normal circumstances, and even more so during these turbulent times. That could be why Bernie Gunther is tough, rough and cynical, but with a very special sense of humor. "He's sardonic, tough-talking, and cynical, but he does have a rough sense of humor and a rougher sense of right and wrong. Partly that's because he is a true Berliner." (Philip Kerr) In his latest book, Metropolis,  Kerr takes us back to the very beginning; that is, to tell the story how Gunt

The Secret Wife by Gill Paul

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When I read the text on the back cover of this book I was a little bit hesitant to read this book. I have read quite a lot about the Romanovs, especially the last family, and felt that I did not need another story about them. Especially, since modern discoveries and science have put an end to the discussions whether one, or more, of the siblings survived their ordeal. I did start it though and I could not put it down until it was finished. From the web-site of Gill Paul a short introduction. "Two stories.
 Two very different women, linked by the secrets of history.   2016. After a devastating revelation, Kitty flees to her great-grandfather’s cabin on the shore of Lake Akanabee, New York State. There she discovers the spectacular jewelled pendant that will lead her to an extraordinary, long-buried family secret…   1914. Russia is on the brink of collapse, and the Romanov family faces a terrifyingly uncertain future. Grand Duchess Tatiana has fallen in love with injured

Snow White Must Die by Nele Neuhaus

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Nele Neuhaus is a German writer and new to me. I found the book (original title: Schneewittchen muss sterben) while using my Christmas gift card.  I was intrigued by the story on the back cover, and when I found the front cover with a snowy landscape, I knew I had to take this one. I needed a snowy motive for the Calendar of Crime 2019 challenge hosted by Bev at My Reader's Block . The criteria for January was themes connected to this month or the season. A snowy landscape was therefore perfect. And what a hit this crime novel was. I have to admit that I started the book in the afternoon, could not put it down and finished it at 3 a.m.! Yep. One of those 'unputdownable' crime stories, where you just need to know 'whodunnit'. Tobias is coming out of prison after a ten years sentence for killing two teenage girls. The bodies were never found, so the verdict was based on circumstantial evidence only. Coming back to the small village where he grew up and where

Trains & Boats & Planes by Killen McNeill

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"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 tine 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." McNeill's book is a coming of age story. Events of his early youth affects Harry Moore his whole life. He is not able to forget Maria, the girl he met during an enchanting summer, at a time when he is going from being a teenager to become a man. Good and bad things happened during this last summer of childhood, and it affected all of the people involved. The story starts in the present time when Harry Moore is visiting Strasbourg on a business trip. Having never forgotten Maria, he intends to look her up. Thirty years is a long time and people change. He is hesitant, but in the end h

2019 - Year of Shakespeare Challenge

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The Classic Club and Rachel @ Hibernators Library have joined forces in order to read Shakespeare. There are two options here; to read all his plays over a three year period or read one comedy, one tragedy and one history play over the course of a 3-4 month period. A short survey from the Classic Club showed that Rachel's idea is very popular. Rachel will host the first trimester - the comedies. She is aiming for 4 of them, but I think I will have enough struggle to read one.  Erica @ The Broken Spine has offered to co-host the tragedies with Rachel which are planned for September - December. Histories for May - August will also be hosted by Rachel, who is on a look-out for a co-host. You will find all the information under the links above. If this is turning out well, the Classic Club might extent the challenge into 2020 and beyond. My own choices for one of his plays in each category are: Comedy - The Taming of the Shrew History - King John Tragedy - Hamlet Sli

Challenge performance for 2018

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Another year is gone and it is time to look how I fared with the Challenges I enrolled in for 2018. I did pretty well, I think, although I did not totally finish some of them. For info on which books I read for each challenge go to Challenges 2019 and scroll down to link 2018. The Full House Reading Challenge Hosted by Kathryn at Book Date . The challenge is to read books that match the criteria in the grid. I proudly managed to finalise this challenge . Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2018 Hosted by Bev at My Reader's Block. Read as much as you can from your TBR piles and try to climb a mountain. I set my aim for Mt. Ararat which is 48 books. Unfortunately, I only made it up to 4, 602 meters which is 535 meters below the top and 5 books down . Well, well, the air is thin up here. Not giving up thought, trying again for 2019! European Reading Challenge 2018 Hosted by Rose at the Rose City Reader , the idea is to read books by European authors or books set in Europe

Mount TBR Final Checkpoint 2018

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Bev at My Reader's Block  has posted the final checkpoint for this year's challenge. One of my favourite challenges, not only because it has as its aim to lower our TBR piles, that are lying around our houses. It also reminds us that we should be out climbing, walking or whatever we enjoy doing to keep our health up. Climbing is not my cup of tea, but with this challenge I am doing my best. I tried to be realistic and aim at 48 books and an ascent to Mt. Ararat. I almost made it but not quite. By 4.602 meters, or 43 books, the air got a little bit thin and I had to stop. The last 535 meters, or 5 books, alas, had to be abandoned. I will try to do better this year. Still, I had a few interesting adventure along the way. It was not really Hundred Years of Solitude  but I can understand the feeling. The Hunting Season was on, but I did not manage to shoot anything. However, The Mysteries of Beethoven's Hair  followed me along the path, and I looked out for it, without fi

Stuck with reading!

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Sitting in Munich airport since our flight this morning was cancelled. We have been re-booked to another flight later this afternoon. Luckily, I have my computer with me and can take this opportunity to update my blog for 2019. Look over my challenges, read your blogs and enter into a little bit of meditation for the reading year to come. For the most time though, I will open my chunkster book for the last Classic Club spin. It is Kristin Lavransdatter  by Sigrid Undset, and I expect to come a lot further into the book. I have finished the first part of the first book. The version I have contains all three books. Next week will see a few more reviews here. The holidays are over, time to go back to serious reading and blogging!

Reading statistics 2018

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A new year means statistics from the old year. It is quite interesting to go through what you have read last year. Some books you tend to forget you have read, but when you see the titles they come up to the surface again. I don't have any one book that stands out this year. It probably means that I have been on a good, even level in my reading. I have read 83 fiction (78%) and 23 non fiction (22 %) books. They are divided into: Historical fiction 8, Classics 20, Mystery 28, Other fiction 27; Biographies 6, History 5 and other non fiction 12. Top individual categories turn out to be Mystery and Classics. The division between fiction and non fiction is quite good. Although I might try to read some more non fiction this year. I listened to five audio books, and I am at the end of another, rather long one. It takes a long time for me to go through the audio books, since I listen mostly when out walking. I read both paper books and e-books and enjoy both ways of reading. Overvi

HAPPY NEW YEAR 2019!

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A new year is upon us, and how fast the old year disappeared! From a reading point of view it was a good year for me, managed to read over 100 books. More on my reading and statistics in another post. Just wanted to check in and wish you a new good blogging year, with lots of reviews and posts about what we like to do. I feel privileged to share your blogging events from all over the world. What books you are reading, which trips you do, the challenges and memes. You are a great community and I am happy to be part of it. I celebrated new year in Innsbruck, Austria with a firework in the city. On New Year's Day we attended the New Year's Concert (Neujahrskonzert) in the Congress hall. It was a fantastic concert. The theme was Maximiliam Ist. 2019 it celebrating the 500 years since his death, and events will unfold through the year. The music chosen was from his time and forward towards the famous Strauss, father and son. Beautiful music all through. It was managed by the