Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from December, 2016

My November and December book haul, pt. 1

Here are the books I bought in the last week of November and the first three weeks of December. 
I've already posted the books I got for Christmas, but here are the rest - well, part of them anyway. I decided to break this up into two posts because there are so many books.

First photo:
Johannes Cabal the Necromancer is one I decided I wanted to read when I first heard of it, but then  never got round to doing it. The Love Child and Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter both looked intriguing, for vastly different reasons. The Second Book of General Ignorance I got because I have the first and I'm a fan of QI. Seaworthy I got because I love Linda Greenlaw's writing, and The Complete Stories of Dorothy L. Sayers because I love her writing as well.  Only Greenlaw's book is new. The rest are second hand, although some of them look like they have never been read.



Second photo:
The books in both photos below are all second hand, although I suspect at least a couple of them have neve…

The books I got for Christmas

I usually get at least one book for Christmas, and this year I got four, so it was a good book Christmas.

My brother got me the Terry Pratchett Diary and The Turnip Princess.  I am reading the latter and enjoying it very much. The man who collected these tales, Franz Xavier von Schönwerth, was a contemporary of the Grimm brothers, but unlike them, he seems to have only given the tales he collected a minimal editing. They are therefore raw and feel much more "real" than the tales the Grimms published, which were refined and polished before publication. They therefore remind me very much of the Icelandic "ævintýri" (märchen) collected by my favourite folk-tale collectors, Ólafur Davíðsson and Jón Árnason.

Der schönster Ort der Welt is a book of essays by German-speaking booksellers. The title translates as "The most beautiful place in the world". It was a Christmas resent from myself to myself. It remains to be seen how do at reading it, since the only Germa…

Review: Never the Bride by Paul Magrs

Genre: Urban fantasy, alternative reality, pastiche.

I'm not going to give any plot summary here, since the plot hinges on so many secrets that I might give one away by accident.

Never the Bride builds on an interesting, if not exactly original premise: the old Gothic horror stories describe real historical events and there really are more things in Heaven and Earth (and Hell) than Horatio could have dreamt.

The Bride of Frankenstein is real and lives in Whitby; the Invasion from Mars really happened; vampires walk the earth; and there are more spooky goings-on in the Goth capital of Britain than you can shake a stick at.

Oh, and the book is full of cliches, just like the last two paragraphs. That's not to say it isn't entertaining, but there is something missing. The narrative is episodic rather than linear and while the stories that make up each episode do connect into a plot of sorts, there are so many loose ends flapping in the breeze that you can see not one, but sever…

Reading report,19 December 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date and is "a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week."

Visit the Book Date to see what various other book bloggers have been up to in the past week.
--



I was in Germany last Monday and didn't have time to finish a reading report before I left, so here's a double doze:

The week before last I finished listening to Five Little Pigs by Agatha Christie, audiobook read by Hugh Fraser. I'm quite sure I have not read this one before, and I think it's just become one of my favourite Poirots. Fortunately there were no foreign accents in this one, other than Poirot's (refer to my previous comments on the subject in my last reading report if you don't know what I'm talking about).






This week I read quite a lot, but only finished two books.

The first was Never the Bride by Paul Magrs. This is the first book in an alternative reality urba…

Friday links, 16 December, 2016

I didn't do much web-surfing last week. However, I did come across these links:

In fantasy literature it looks like Norse mythology is on the menu.And here's a powerful article about what reading the right book can do: The sin I couldn’t give up..

Not directly (or at all) related to books and reading:
A website: Hours of fun for someone interested in mechanics: The Museum of Unworkable Devices.Words: When a place name isn't just a name, but a symbol for something unpleasant or unwanted: The politics of geographical names.

Back to books: 
Today's book list is one of those inevitable end-of-year lists of the best novels of the year.
25 of them, to be exact.

Why did I chose this particular list? Because it's the first one I came across, that's why. In any case, these lists usually contain more or less the same collection of the year's bestsellers, and only the future will tell us which ones will be considered to be really good in the long run.

Finally, a book I mig…

Friday links, 9 December 2016

When this list posts, at 8. a.m., my flight to Germany will be taking off from Keflavík Airport. I hope someone will find something to entertain, inform or educate them in this list:

Firstly, I came across this interesting Infographic about how the world reads and thought I'd share it.

Secondly, I have never been a member of a book club, and after reading this, I'm glad: Top 10 Book Club Faux Fas.

Thirdly, here is an interesting article about Arthur Conan Doyle and how he was taken in by a simple hoax: Arthur Conan Doyle, Spiritualism, and Fairies.
Fourthly, the stories that inspired famous books are often just as fascinating as the books themselves. Here is an article on The True Story of Jaws.
Fifthly, here is a fascinating animated article about discovery: How Delivering Meals To Seniors Showed Me The Real New York. For once, a Buzzfeed article that is not full of annoying gifs from movies and TV shows I haven't seen.

Then there was the time an American gentleman wanted…

Drowning in books

I may have mentioned before that many Icelanders LOVE books. Not only do we buy them for ourselves, but we also love to give them as gifts. The market is small and therefore the one time it really pays to advertise books is the time of the year when you can give books to lots of people. In other words: Christmas.

Don‘t get me wrong: Books do get advertised at other times, like in March/April/May when the 14-year olds go through their confirmations and in May/June when school graduations take place. The market at those times is however mostly for reference books, classic literature in fine bindings and expensive non-fiction books about subjects like photography, natural history or cooking, and the advertising is likewise mostly limited to these subjects.

Books that are likely to sell well and are published in paperback at various times of the year, such as the latest by authors like Jo Nesbø or Lee Child, also get advertised, while some, especially translations of Harlequin romances, …

Enter this great Giveaway!

Who would like 250$ to buy books with?  I know I would.
 This Christmas giveaway is run by I Am a Reader, it runs from December 5th to 22, and the prize is a 250$ Amazon Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash! Good not just for buying books (although that's what I would use it on).

What would you buy if you won? Thanks to this awesome group of bloggers and authors who have joined with me to bring you one fabulous prize!!

Click on the image to read all about and enter the contest!

Reading report, Monday 5 December 2016

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date and is "a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week."

Visit the Book Date to see what various other book bloggers have been up to in the past week.
--
I can hardly believe it's December already. It feels like summer was only yesterday, and now Christmas season is here. I'm caught in a time phenomenon where days pass very slowly, but weeks zip by. Before I know it, it will be April and I'll start preparing my VW mini-motorhome for my trip to Germany. 
Plans for the trip itself are ongoing, although I am taking a short break from planning that trip and am instead getting ready to fly to Frankfurt with my mother to visit Christmas markets in Hessen and Baden-Württemberg later this week. We will be staying in Heidelberg. Last week the long-term weather forecast was for rain, but the forecast has changed and now it looks like it will be…

Friday links for December 2, 2016

Today's collection of links is mostly stuff I have found over the last several weeks and months:
Food: 
Here's a scrumptious literary food blog:The Little Library Café, where blogger Kate Young cooks and bakes food inspired by her favourite works of fiction.

Famous people: I've been reading Casanova by Ian Kelly in stops and starts since the summer and found this article on him and his writings interesting: How Casanova's X-rated Memoir Created a Legend.
The book is dead. Long live the book!  Once again, the book's demise has been announced and  yet the book lives on: The myth of the disappearing book: Misplaced hype overebooks dates back to the phonograph in 1894.
Book porn: 
16 Beautiful Jane Eyre Book Covers.

Art:
On my tour of Colorado, Wyoming and Utah's national parks this summer I bought a number of lovely retro-style fridge magnets with artwork related to each of the parks I visited, and I also bought a handful of stickers with similar art to use in and …