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Showing posts from February, 2017

Reading report, Monday February 27, 2017

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 last week.
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I finished three books last week, a travelogue and two novels.

While the first two books could hardly be more different in terms of content, they do have two things in common: a poetic quality and a melancholy tone.


Shadow of the Silk Road by Colin Thubron. The author revisited his old haunts from two previous books and followed one of the many trade routes that are collectively referred to as the Silk Road, following it from Xian in China to Antakya in Turkey. He blends in snippets of history, and imagines conversations with a long-dead Silk Road trader who points out to him the futility of his quest - if he indeed has one, because it is never explicitly stated why he set out to trace this journey*.

Friday links, 24 February 2017

Today's first link will lead you straight down a rabbit hole, or possibly a black hole. Whenever I go to the TV Tropes website, I generally emerge an hour or so later, out of breath and disoriented, and sated with information. It may be called TV Tropes, but trust me, it's actually about tropes in various different kinds of media, books included. The link will take you to the information page. Have fun!
An interesting article about Stefan Zweig: The Escape Artist. I have been planning to read The World of Yesterday, but I need to be in the right frame of mind to start.
An insight into literary criticism: Why Great Critics Make Disastrous Judgments. Ever heard about bibliomania? Here's an interesting article: Bibliomania, the Dark Desire For Books That Infected Europein the 1800s.

Book Designs Booksellers Hate! I hate some of these too, for much the same reasons.
Today's list is 10 German books you have to read before you die. Actually, you don't have to, but with a tit…

Meme: Cover Characteristic: Teapots

Reading Report, 20 February 2017

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 last week.
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I have only finished one book in the last week: Moon Over Soho by Ben Aaronovitch.
 I began reading it weeks ago, but something interfered and I set it aside. Then I had a hankering after something funny and fantastical, and so I sat down and finished this humorous urban fantasy. There wasn't nearly as much mayhem and destruction as in the first book in the series, Rivers of London, but the author continues to develop characters from the previous book. The author left one part of the plot unresolved and it looks like it will continue on into the next book. I only hope this doesn't become an endless series in which the villain is always the same Moriarty-like mastermind.


I expect to finish Shado…

Friday links, 17 February 2017

Friday links is back after a short break (i.e. I was too lazy to gather up some links for last Friday). It's a mixture of older and newer links.

Let's start with a feast for the eyes: The 20 Most Beautiful Libraries on Film and TV.
The Icelandic version of Bram Stoker's Dracula has been translated into English: New Life for Dracula. Apparently the translation/rewrite, titled Makt myrkranna and back-translated into English as Powers of Darkness is based on a different version of Stoker's story than the one that was eventually published in English and also contains material apparently written by the translator/co-author. I came across this List of Fictional Books while looking up titles for my own Invisible Library. The Smart Bitches' Cover Snark is always good for a few snickers and the occasional incredulous guffaw. The latest installation is no exception. This is interesting, but doesn't make an ounce of difference for my perception of Mr. Darcy: Here's wha…

Top Ten Tuesday, 14 February 2017: My Top Ten Romance Pet Peeves, 2nd edition

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Visit the hosting blog to see lots of other lists.

Today's topic is a romance freebie (what else), to celebrate Valentine's Day. Since I love freebies, I decided to participate this week. Please visit the originating blog to see some of the other lists.
I posted a list of 10 romance pet peeves of mine in 2011, and decided to revisit that theme in today‘s Top 10 Tuesdays. Some things have changed, while others haven't.  Here is the original for comparison.
The list:

Weak heroines who need rescuing by the hero or others – All. The. Fucking. Time. Understandable to a point in historical novels, since most of those are about the aristocratic classes, whose women were often quite sheltered, but I prefer to read about women who are strong and capable.Alpha jerk heroes who remain jerks at the end of the story. If he doesn‘t change, he‘s not interesting. He don't have to stop be…

Reading report, February 13, 2017

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 last week.
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I didn't read much last week - didn't feel like making a push to finish any of the books I have been reading - but did finish one I have been steadily reading over the last couple of years:

1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. This monster of a book is more than 900 pages long and I have been reading it bit by bit in the loo. It's funny (or perhaps not) that when I started it I was going "I've read that!" almost every time I turned a page, but after the 1920s these silent exclamations got fewer and fewer as I got closer to my own time, and I had only read a handful of the books published after 1990, although I own copies of several more that I plan to read when that mythica…

List Love: A Dozen small islands I have enjoyed visiting in the pages of books

Authors use islands for various purposes. Small islands with only a few inhabitants are often utilised in fiction for their isolation in order to create suspense or horror, often in combination with bad weather so that no-one can get on or off. Desert islands are often a source of adventure, either for people stranded there by shipwreck, for treasure seekers, or as the bases for nefarious goings-on like smuggling and espionage, while larger, inhabited islands serve as miniaturised cosmoses, often full of eccentrics. Below are some dozen books I have enjoyed in which it is important that the stories told in them take place on islands:
Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe. Full title: The Life and Strange Surprizing Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, of York, Mariner: Who lived Eight and Twenty Years, all alone in an un‐inhabited Island on the Coast of America, near the Mouth of the Great River of Oroonoque; Having been cast on Shore by Shipwreck, wherein all the Men perished but himself. With An…

Reading report, 6 february 2017

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 last week.
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The weather in Reykjavik has been annoying lately. There have been such temperature swings that I never know how to dress for my walk to work in the mornings. At the beginning of last week it was balmy and sweet for a couple of days, with mildly frosty nights and calm, clear days and warm for the time of year. I could swear I smelled spring in the air on Monday.
Then it snowed.
And then it rained.
Last night it snowed again, but the rain is already washing the snow away and we are expecting three storms to hit during the week, one after the other.
I'm getting ready to curl up on the sofa with a good book.

I finished three books last week, two new reads and one partial reread. My luck in pic…