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Showing posts from September, 2016

5 links on a Friday #7

Don't read this if you have an obsessive need to keep your books pristine: We Need To Talk About Beating Up Your Books . I am a spine-cracker. What do you do to your books?   Glorious bindings : 365 Bindings . This bookbinder set out on a challenge to make 365 books.   Humorous "scientific" article about National Geographic magazine:   National Geographic, the Doomsday Machine (in The Journal of Irreproducible Results). Not just an article, in fact, but a rebuttal and commentary as well. Reader are more empathetic, according to science: Science Shows Something Surprising About People Who StillRead Fiction .  That title needs some work, I think, but the studies discussed are interesting.   Book list:   10 Fascinating Books About Living In A Foreign Country . I've only read two of these, so I have something to look forward to.

What's in a Name challenge 2016 Wrap-Up

It's time to wrap up my first challenge of the year. I signed up for the What's in a Name challenge on August 12, so I was late to the game, but not as late as in 2012, when I started at the end of August. I posted my first review on August 18, and the last on September 27, so it took me 6 weeks, give or take, to finish it - counted in reading time, not by reviewing dates. The challenge got me back in the groove of reading, as I had been in the kind of slump where I wanted desperately to read but couldn't decide which TBR book to pick up next, so I usually ended up with rereads or loan books I needed to return soon. The challenge gave me something solid to base my choices on, and as a matter of fact I think I may continue letting my book choices be guided in a similar way. One coffee break at work when I had nothing better to do I decided it might be fun to see what categories had been used in previous What's in a Name challenges that I had not participated i

Last Week's Book Haul (September 19-25 2016)

I already posted a photo of the books I acquired last week, but here I discuss them in more detail. Here is the stack: Nearly half of these are rescue books, i.e. books gleaned from the freebie bin at one of the charity shops I regularly visit. From the bottom they are no. 1, 2, 3, 6 and 12. The rest I got second-hand from two other charity shops. From the top down the books are: Fairies at Work and Play by Geoffrey Hodson. I thought I was picking up a book of fairy tales, but this turned out to be something more remarkable: Descriptions of beings, classed for convenience under the heading of "fairies", observed by the author and published by the Theosophical Publishing House. Wikipedia reveals that the author was a Theosophist who wrote extensively about Theosophy and clairvoyance. Depending on whether you believe in fairies or not, this is either a natural history of fairies and other nature spirits, or a marvellous fantasy. Hope Is the Last to Die: A Coming

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  Today‘s challenge is to list Books On My Fall TBR List. Visit the originating blog to see what other members of the book blogging community are planning to read in the fall , and maybe add your own list. Now, I don‘t like making reading lists unless I‘m listing potential challenge reads, but here goes: First, 3 books I have started reading and plan to finish soon:   The Confession of Brother Haluin by Ellis Peters. Mystery. What The Butler Saw: Two Hundred and Fifty Years of the Servant Problem by E.S. Turner. Social history. Finishing this will bring me one book closer to fulfilling my goal for the Nonfiction 2016 Challenge . Deadly Slipper by Michelle Wan. Mystery with a botanical twist. Other books I plan to read: Eothen by Alexander William Kinglake. Travelogue that appears on some lists of the best travel books ever.   Finishing th

Struck speechless!

I read a thoughtful piece by Elyse over on Smart Bitches, Trashy Books today, titled Reading, Self-Care and Guilt , about how she copes with fibromyalgia through reading. Then I turned to the comments section and was struck speechless by Ashley McConnell's comment (no. 13). Really, there are no adequate words to describe how I feel about ignoramuses like the one she describes.

Review: The Hermit of Eyton Forest by Ellis Peters

Genre : Historical mystery. Themes : Deception, escape, forced marriage, murder. Reading challenge : What's in a Name , the book with a profession in the title, and my final book for this challenge. I was planning to read a piece of social history, What the Butler Saw: Two hundred and fifty years of the servant problem , for this challenge, but looking over my bookshelves I spotted the 8 books I had left to read in the Brother Cadfael historical mystery series, and couldn't resist picking the next one as the final book in the challenge: The Hermit of Eyton Forest . Now, some might say that being a hermit is a religious vocation rather than a profession, but in fact there once existed a professional class of ornamental or garden hermits . They were men who were specifically hired and paid to live in hermitages or other suitable structures on great estates and to be full-time hermits for a given length of time, generally seven years. I read the previous book in the serie

Weekly Monday Round-up (September 26, 2016)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading ? is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Dat 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 . Non challenge books I finished last week: It's All About Treo: Life, Love and War with the World's Bravest Dog by Dave Heyhoe and Damien Lewis. Non-fiction, memoir. Mini review : The true story of the 6 months explosives search dog Treo and his handler, Dave, spent in Helmand Province in Afghanistan in 2008. Treo sniffed out some very dangerous IEDs, saving the lives of soldiers and civilians, and was awarded the Dickin Medal for his efforts in 2010. The book is at times heart-warming, but there are also gruesome scenes of death and destruction. Heyhoe (or his collaborator (ghostwriter?), Damien Lewis), has an annoying fondness for the word "whilst" that manages t

5 links on a Friday #6

Verbed nouns: Why ‘medalling’ and ‘summering’ are so annoying .   People have been turning nouns into verbs for centuries – so why does it grate so much? Brandon Ambrosino takes a look. On trashy novels : In Defense of Trash . Why Pleasures Should Never Be Guilty, From Valley of the Dolls to Bonkbusters.   Book list: 11 Books Inspired by Shakespeare . I have only read one of these ( The Daughter of Time ), but The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and A Thousand Acres are on my "read when I have the time" list. The art of illustrating your own books: The Lost Art of Custom-Illustrating Your Favorite Books . On Grangerizing, the 19th-Century DIY Craze.   And, finally, a video:  8 Writers on Facing the Blank Page from Louisiana Channel on Vimeo .  

Review: Dead Man's Folly

Status: Rearead. Permanent collection. Genre: Murder mystery; detective fiction. Did I mention I'm on an Agatha Christie kick? When I picked up Cards on the Table for the What's in a Name reading challenge it had been ages since I had read any Christie and I had forgotten how delightful her books are. So I decided to read some more Christie. Since I own three Avenel omnibus volumes of Christie's books, each with 5 novels in it, plus several single books, I have plenty to choose from and began with one I don't recall reading before: Thirteen at Dinner (aka Lord Edgware Dies ). One of the Avenel volumes contains Poirot stories, another Miss Marple stories, and the third is called Agatha Christie's Detectives, and that's what I'm making my way through right now. It contains one Miss Marple story, two Poirots, one Tommy and Tuppence story and one Superintendent Battle story. I have already finished two of the books, and have three left, all of them ones

Weekly Monday Round-up (September 19, 2016)

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Kathryn at the Book Date. Visit the Book Date to see what various other book bloggers have been up to in the past week. Reading challenge book I finished last week: None. Non challenge book I finished last week: Death in the Clouds by Agatha Christie. (Another first-time read). A Hercule Poirot mystery. I have no plans to review it in full. Micro-review: This is far from being Christie's best, but the final twist was interesting and goes against certain narrative conventions. This is possibly not the best book to take as a reading material on a flight, as I did. Currently reading:   Death Comes As The End by Agatha Christie. Standalone historical mystery. Reading challenge progress: I still have 1 book left in What's in a Name, 2 to go in Nonfiction 2016 before I can level up or finish. Last week's book haul: I came across a small second-hand bookshop in Aarhus (more of that below) that was having

(a kinda, sorta) Review: Room by Emma Donoghue, and the struggle to escape a reading slump

I was already familiar with Emma Donoghue's writing through her thoroughly wicked, twisted and delightful take on fairy tales, Kissing the Witch . (As a matter of fact, I think I should reread it and write a review.) It was with some trepidation that I approached this book, k nowing Donoghue can write well, and write well about dark subject matter , and the concept of this book is nothing if not dark, and unlike the fantasy of fairy tales in Kissing the Witch, Room is grounded in realism, which I have always found much chillier and more frightening than any fantasy. I had heard it variously described as horrible, fascinating, harrowing but inspirational, and several reviewers called it exploitative of the suffering of real world victims of crimes such as the one that forms the background of the story. I knew, almost from the moment I heard of Room , that I would want to read it - not quite enough to go out and buy it, but if I came across it cheaply or for free I wo

5 links on a Friday #5

Hidden libraries: The Secret Libraries of History . About four historically important collection of written texts that have been secret or hidden. The world's oldest books : 10 of the Oldest Books in the World and Where to See Them . Photographer Charles Roux recreates and photographs meals from novels: Fictitious Feasts . Gorgeous, mouth-watering photography. A review that made me want to read the book: Fom Childhood to Chefhood in Eric Ripert’s 32 Yolks . Sounds yummy! Book list: The 30 Best Fantasy Book Series of All Time according to Paste . I have read one or more book from the Dragonriders of Pern series (I still own all the books that are more fantasy than science-fiction), Temeraire and Discworld (I have 2 of the novels left to read and most of the map books, picture books and extra material). I have read every book in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Chronicles of Narnia, His Dark Materials and Harry Potter (the novels). I have the rest to lo

Book haul for the week 5-12 September 2016

Note: I did not intend to buy any books last week, but I came across so many interesting ones that I broke the promise and as a result my TBR stack has once again swelled to over 800 books. Oh, well, at least they were cheap. I had read two, or possibly three, of them before. I read a lot af Agatha Christie novels in my teens and I can't be sure if I have read some of them until I reread them, and sometimes not even then. They are Hickory Dickory Dock, The Body in the Library and Postern of Fate . I bought them because it suddenly occurred to me that I would quite like to own all of her mystery novels. I'm pretty sure I haven't read Death in the Clouds before, and I know I haven't read Death Comes as the End , which I intend to remedy soon, since it seems to be on a number of lists of Christie's best novels. As for the rest: I am just about ready to forgive Peter Ackroyd for the bloated mess that was the second half of London: The Biography , and The Cle