Friday, 24 April 2020

Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

A long time since I posted something under this banner, but now I am back with a wonderful book.
It is Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman. I bought it because many of you put up excellent reviews. They were well deserved. A review will come soon.    

Book Beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader

"When people ask me what I do - taxi drivers, dental hygienists - I tell them I work in an office. In almost nine years, no one's ever asked what kind of office, or what sort of job I do there."

The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice

"She came with me from my childhood bedroom, survived the foster placements and children's homes and, like me, she's still here."

Friday, 10 April 2020

My Life in Books 2019

The Content Reader

I found this tag from Deb Nance at Readerbuzz, who in her turn found it from Jane at Howling Library. It sounds like great fun and it seems to be as much as I can do these days. Deb Nance started from 415 books(! wow). I have to start with 98 books, so maybe a little bit trickier. Let's see.

‘My Life in Books 2019’

1. In high school, I was a  - Flaubert's Parrot (Julian Barnes)
2. People might be surprised by - A Man of Some Repute (Elizabeth Edmondson)
3. I will never be - The Golden Hour (Beatriz Williams)
4. My fantasy job is - The Kimberley Secret (Gabriel Farago)
5. At the end of a long day I need - Orlando (Virginia Woolf)
6. I hate - Ordinary Thunderstorms (William Boyd)
7. Wish I had -  The Hiding Places (Katherine Webb)
8. My family reunions are - The Clockmakers Daughter (Kate Morton)
9. At a party, you’d find me with -  The Silent Patient (Alex Michaelides)
10. I’ve never been to - The Muse (Jessie Burton)
11. A happy day includes - A Gentleman in Moscow (Amor Towles) 
12. Mottos I live by:  - Gloved Heart (Charlotte Brentwood)
13. On my bucket list are  - The Final Painting (Gabriel Farago) 
14. In my next life, I want to have - Saratoga Trunk (Edna Ferber)

There you go!

Thursday, 9 April 2020

Mount TBR 2019 Final Checkpoint

I guess we are now up to the first checkpoint of 2020. Since I ended the year with a long trip, I was not really up to blogging about the end of the year versus the beginning of the year administration. Going through all the posts I meant to read later, I am finally catching up. Since My Reader's Block challenge Mount TBR is one of my favourite challenges, I cannot help filling in The Words to the Wise According to Mount TBR. Better late than never.

First of all, congratulations to Bev for reaching Mount Everest! A real effort. I aimed for Mount Ararat, but only made it a short way up Mt Vancouver. Managed Mont Blanc at least. 28 books all in all. I blame it all on the library books!

"The Words to the Wise According to Mount TBR: Using the titles of the books you read this year, see how many of the familiar proverbs and sayings below you can complete with a book read on your journey up the Mountain. Feel free to add/subtract a word or two to help them make sense."

A stitch in time...(with) Trains & Boats & Planes / Killen McNeill
Don't count your chickens...(in the) Saratoga Trunk / Edna Ferber
A penny saved is...Five Great Short Stories / Anton Chekov
All good things must come... Of Love and Shadows / Isabel Allende
When in Rome... (beware of) Ordinary Thunderstorms / William Boyd
All that glitters is not... The Newton Letter / John Banville
A picture is worth... The Greek Treasure / Irving Stone
When the going gets tough, the tough get...(into) Wedlock /Wendy Moore
Two wrongs don't make...Den store utställningen (The Great Exhibition) / Marie Hermansson
The pen is mightier than...The Third Man / Graham Greene
The squeaky wheel gets... Terror / Håkan Östlundh
Hope for the best, but prepare for... Revolutionary Road / Richard Yates
Birds of a feather flock...On Canaan's Side /Sebastian Barry

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Life According to Literature Tag

The Content Reader

I usually read other blogs on Feedly. Since I am not too keen on making comments with my iPad, I save the posts to look them up later. Well, sometimes much later. This meme on books you read last year was posted by Brona at Brona's Books on 14 January 2020. Let's see what I can make of it with the books I read in 2019.

THE RULES: Using only books you have read during the year (2019), answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title.

  • Describe yourself: The Secret Wife / Gil Paul
  • How do you feel: The Silent Patient / Alex Michaelides
  • Describe where you currently live: Saratoga Trunk / Edna Ferber
  • If you could go anywhere, where would you go: The Hiding Places / Katherine Webb
  • Your favourite form of transportation: Trains & Boats & Planes / Kille NcNeill
  • Your best friend is: Kristin Lavransdattir / Sigrid Undset
  • You and your friends are: The Noise of Time / Julian Barnes
  • What's the weather like: Ett jävla solsken (A Bloody Sunshine) / Fatima Bremmer
  • You fear: Snow White Must Die / Nele Neuhaus
  • What is the best advice you have to give: Aldrig glömma (Never Forget) /Britt Peruzzi
  • Thought for the day: The Golden Hour / Beatriz Williams
  • How would I like to die: Of Love and Shadows / Isabel Allende
  • My soul's present condition: Falls the Shadow / Gemma O'Connor

Interesting exercise.  Keep safe and take care.

Monday, 6 April 2020

Easy reading in times of distress

When you want an easy read, something exciting and thrilling, then a thriller or mystery book comes in handy. I have already read six such books this year and two during the present worrying times. Reading all the gruesome news in the papers is enough for the time being. Not that thrillers are less gruesome reading, but at least it is in a book. Here a few short notes on good mysteries, easy to read and they keep up the thrill until the very end.

Byron's Shadow by Jason Foss - a different story set at an archeological site in Greece. A golden pen found at the dig, with the name 'Byron' on it, sets a chain of events in motion. Archeologist, Dr. Jeffrey Flint is in the middle of the action when his boss suddenly is murdered and he is accused of the deed. With the help of his ex-girlfriend, he is in for more than he asked for. Thrilling and hiding the culprit until the very end.

The Dry by Jane Harper - a favourite author and this is the first book about her detective, Aaron Falk. "After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets." The past is catching up with Aaron as he stays on to try to solve the murder. The story keeps you glued to the pages. Jane Harper takes you out in the wilderness and the heat. There is no getting away. A superb author of thrillers where human actions take us beyond belief.

Don't Look Back by Karin Fossum -  a young girl is found murdered, and it takes time before detective Sejer sees the reason behind the murder. "At the foot of the imposing Kollen Mountain lies a small, idyllic village, where neighbors know neighbors and children play happily in the streets. But when the body of a teenage girl is found by the lake at the mountaintop, the town's tranquility is shattered forever. Annie was strong, intelligent, and loved by everyone. What went so terribly wrong? Doggedly, yet subtly, Inspector Sejer uncovers layer upon layer of distrust and lies beneath the town's seemingly perfect façade." A slower-moving mystery, but no less intriguing.

Kyldygnet by Philip Birk - the first book about international art thief Tom Grip. It is Copenhagen in June 2016, and the most expensive painting ever is stolen from the National Museum. The theft is very well planned, but also violent. The tracks are leading over the water to Malmö in Sweden. Tom Grip, on the run for several years, is asked to investigate, knowing that very few people would be able to go through with such an affair. The story of the theft is mixed with the story of his earlier life, as he started stealing paintings. The ending comes as a surprise. The third book in the series are soon out. They have been translated into German, and a German production company has bought the rights to film it.

Presumption of Death by Perri O'Shaughnessy - it is book no. 9 in the Nina Reilly series. My first account with lawyer Nina and her private detective boyfriend, Paul van Wagoner, is a pleasant one. "After a tumultuous year, attorney Nina Reilly heads home to put her life in order and move in with her long-time, part-time love, Paul van Wagoner. Carmel Valley, however, is not quite the sleepy town Nina remembers.
In a place where the locals clash with the rich newcomers, conflicts have always been an inevitable part of life, but lately, the hostilities have turned ugly: someone has been setting seemingly random forest fires. Just as Nina is re-establishing her family ties and beginning her new life with Paul, she is called upon again. The last fire proved fatal, and the son of her faithful ex-assistant, Sandy Whitefeather, stands accused of murder. Nina is certain that the fires are not random at all. Against her better judgement, she must work with Paul in order to gain the locals' trust in a race against time to find the truth before the real killer's motives become all too shockingly apparent." An interesting psychological drama, showing the interaction of people and their behaviour in a time of crisis. 

The Leopard by Jo Nesbo - It is the book no. 8 about detective Harry Hole. Two women have been found murdered in Oslo, both have drowned in their own blood. There are no clues, and the expert police, Harry Hole, has disappeared into the underworld of Hongkong, still suffering from his last case. Reluctantly, he comes back and gets involved in the case. There are more murders to come. This is my first book about Harry Hole, and it is terribly exciting. As more murders are detected, more clues come into the light. A complicated story that keeps you guessing. 

Do you also tend to read thrillers, when you want to read something easy? The other option I have is historical fiction. What about you? What kind of genre do you read when you just want something light to read?

Wednesday, 1 April 2020

In splendid isolation, or...?

These are difficult times, as the coronavirus spreads over the world and affects more and more people. I hope that you are all right out there? How are you keeping up with restrictions in moving around society?

In Sweden, we are allowed to move around outside, although should refrain from it when not necessary. For me and my husband, it is not a big problem. He came back from Nepal just over two weeks ago. Coming home early, due to the spreading of the virus. He landed in Vienna and re-directed his trip to come to Sweden. It is good that we can be here together in times like these. It would not be so nice to be in two different countries for a time where we don't know when it will end.

Walking close to home

We spend our days mostly at home. We go for weekly shopping and errands. We try to go for a walk most days. We are lucky to be able to start walking directly from our home, going to the beach, or around the nearby limestone quarry. Otherwise, we take the car and go to national parks, not far away from where we live. We see very few people, and when we meet someone, we all make sure to keep the distance. It is nice to be able to take these walks and get a bit of fresh air. The weather has been wonderful, so that is an extra plus. It must be very difficult for those of you who cannot leave your home. Please let me know how you are keeping up.

An excursion to Lake Pulken to watch the cranes, and
a walk on the beach at Åhus, picnic in the harbour

Since nothing much is happening due to the standstill, I take this opportunity to catch up with various projects that are lagging behind. I have picked up my journaling for 2019. I am now done with March, so still, a few months to go. Other journaling projects are also in the pipeline. Further projects that are trying to get some attention are a photographing course, getting used to being creative with my iPad pro, blogging, writing, studying, and reading.  Furthermore, projects around the house like spring cleaning, fixing broken things, organising whatever there is to organise. There is an endless list of things to do.

Walking in national parks

If you like reading you always have something to do. Especially, if your bookcases are full of non-read books. I have only read three books from my shelves this year. I tend to borrow books at the library now that I am living in Sweden. Now is the time to start with my own books.

I will make a challenge of my own, to read at least seven books per month from my shelves. And,... it is not an April Fool's Day joke! For now, I am reading The Leopard by Jo Nesbo. I find that it is easier to pick a detective story or a light storybook these days, rather than more serious and thoughtfully books. I am still dedicated to reading nonfiction books.

Please let me know how you are getting through your days. Keep up the spirit, take care and keep safe.