Classic/Historical · Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime

Sixteen trees of the Somme – Lars Mytting

42102301._SY475_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Edvard grows up on a remote mountain farmstead in Norway with his taciturn grandfather, Sverre. The death of his parents, when he was three years old, has always been shrouded in mystery – he has never been told how or where it took place and has only a distant memory of his mother.

But he knows that the fate of his grandfather’s brother, Einar, is somehow bound up with this mystery. One day a coffin is delivered for his grandfather long before his death – a meticulous, beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Perhaps Einar is not dead after all.

Edvard’s desperate quest to unlock the family’s tragic secrets takes him on a long journey – from Norway to the Shetlands, and to the battlefields of France – to the discovery of a very unusual inheritance. The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is about the love of wood and finding your own self, a beautifully intricate and moving tale that spans an entire century.

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My thoughts:

I wish Goodreads had the ability to let us readers give half stars in rating. I would really need that function right now because I can’t decide if I want to give it a two star or a three star rating. Don’t get me wrong, I kind of liked the book. It was just so damn slow and that (in the end, no spoiler) mostly evolved around some threes just made it unbelievable. I could not connect with it and even though it was an interesting and kind of fun puzzle game regarding the family history, it was just not enough. I didn’t even like the main character that much.

I believe that if I hadn’t had the audiobook, I would have struggled to finish. It was just so tedious, I didn’t like the main character, who apparently cannot have a non-sexual relationship with women and the ending was quite unclear. Much better to listen, but the book itself was not as good as I had expected.

Gold star for the nice writing. I thought that was really good and Mytting did a great job with it.

 

children · Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Young, New adult/College

The islands of Chaldea – Diana Wynne Jones

18107099| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Aileen was supposed to grow up magical – just like the other women in her family. Unfortunately, she’s just found out that the magic seems to have skipped a generation… but that’s not her biggest problem right now.

In her world, there are four Islands of Chaldea. The largest and most magical island has been cut off from the other three for decades – and is slowly draining the magic from them.

But now a prophecy has come to light. Someone from Aileen’s island will gather a man from each of the three islands, bring down the magical barrier, and unite them with the fourth island again. And according to the king, that someone is Aileen’s Aunt – who insists on dragging Aileen along. AND the boy Aileen is sure she’ll marry (one day); the local boy with more brawn then brain. Someone seems to want to stop them too… someone with an interest in keeping the Islands apart. But still, with magic on their side, nothing can go wrong. Right?

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My thoughts:

Okay, so I needed a book that was published posthumously so I could tick that prompt off in the 2019 PopSugar challenge. I had some trouble finding anything I wanted to read, but after some googling I eventually settled on this one. Written by Diana Wynne Jones and finished by her sister Ursula Jones after Diana’s death. Apparently Diana was and probably still is, a famous and loved author all over the world. She wrote children’s/YA books often with a Sci-fi and fantasy theme. I personally never heard about her before this, so I was going in completely blind with not much to expect.

Apparently, according to some of the reviews I have read, and I quote, “Ursula Jones did not do the justice of the potential of what this book could have been”. I kind of agree with Xylia, whose quote I have included. I don’t have anything to compare it with, but I agree that it doesn’t feel that completed.

It started out okay with an interesting story and plot line. But in the middle it kind of fell apart, lost my interest and in the end I actually struggled to finish it. Perhaps a great book for a younger audience, but I felt It was supposed to be something more. And it just wasn’t there. Kind of flat and two dimensional. Nothing I would recommend and unfortunately, nothing I liked very much.

 

 

Fantasy/Paranormal · Fiction/Science Fiction · Shortstory

Norse mythology – Neil Gaiman

37903770._SX318_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki—son of a giant—blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

Gaiman fashions these primeval stories into a novelistic arc that begins with the genesis of the legendary nine worlds and delves into the exploits of deities, dwarfs, and giants. Through Gaiman’s deft and witty prose, these gods emerge with their fiercely competitive natures, their susceptibility to being duped and to duping others, and their tendency to let passion ignite their actions, making these long-ago myths breathe pungent life again.

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My thoughts:

Norse Mythology is something I know quite a lot about. In Sweden we study the mythology and vikings from an early age. We even have a “Viking camp” we do in school, where we learn how the Vikings lived, hunted, cooked food and so on. I can’t say I learned anything new by reading (audiobook) this book per say, but I have to say I really like the way Gaiman has put the tales to life. It is truly descriptive and beautiful in a way, I believe, everyone can enjoy. Neil Gaiman is also an fantastic narrator and perfect for reading his own books. I really enjoyed listening on him. It is also perfect for those who doesn’t want anything heavy to read right now. It is a bunch of short stories, gathered together in one book. Light and easy. Perfect for those “in between” books.

I have to be hones and say that I first wasn’t supposed to read it. Since I know so much about the topic, It wasn’t anything that interested me to read more about. But a prompt in this years Pop Sugar Challenge was actually the reason to why I read it. The prompt was to read “A book inspired by mythology, legend or folklore” and when googling what book fits that prompt, Norse Mythology kept poping up. Now I’m happy that I read it. It is fun, light and familiar. Almost a little nostalgic and it woke something in me which have been buried since childhood and school was finished with teaching us kids about our heritage.

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction · Thriller/Horror

Frankenstein – Mary Shelley

12974171._SY475_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: The scientist Victor Frankenstein, obsessed with possessing the secrets of life, creates a new being from the bodies of the dead. But his creature is a twisted, gruesome parody of a man who, rejected for his monstrous appearance, sets out to destroy his maker.

Mary Shelley’s chilling Gothic tale, conceived after a nightmare in 1816 when she was only eighteen, became a modern myth. It is a disturbing and dramatic exploration of birth and death, creation and destruction, and one of the most iconic horror stories of all time.

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My thoughts:

It’s strange to review a book which was written over 200 years ago. The times changes, the language develops, words gets new meanings and limits are pushed. It feels almost a little wrong to review such a widely read and known story. Myself have never read the original before now, but I’m very well known in the story about Frankenstein. Not only through movies and series, but also through different retelling from different authors. For an example Dean Koontz’s Frankenstein series, which meets the old time Frankenstein in a modern world where science is a lot more developed.

Anyway, I can see why this has become so famous through out the years. Not only is it written by a female (lo and behold) which was not gently looked upon at the time, but it is also a horror story with an underlying message, which you can interpret in several different ways and discus to the end of days. My thoughts about it is that science can go too far and it is up to us too think before we do and stop before we go over that line. But where is that line? I also think it is about the humanity, that we are the biggest threat against our self and that the “monster” is us all. No one is better than the other, no matter what you may think. I can discuss this forever but in a nutshell, this is some quick thoughts of mine.

I would probably have liked it more if it was written in a more modern way, or in Swedish. At least I would have found it simpler. I can only blame myself really. I wanted to read it in the utmost original way I could. But I’m happy I finally read it. Frankenstein is one of my favorite classical stories and now I can say I have read the original. 😀

 

 

Classic/Historical · Fiction/Science Fiction

The pillars of the earth – Ken Follett

40195487| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Everything readers expect from Follett is here: intrigue, fast-paced action, and passionate romance. But what makes The Pillars of the Earth extraordinary is the time the twelfth century; the place feudal England; and the subject the building of a glorious cathedral. Follett has re-created the crude, flamboyant England of the Middle Ages in every detail. The vast forests, the walled towns, the castles, and the monasteries become a familiar landscape. Against this richly imagined and intricately interwoven backdrop, filled with the ravages of war and the rhythms of daily life, the master storyteller draws the reader irresistibly into the intertwined lives of his characters into their dreams, their labors, and their loves: Tom, the master builder; Aliena, the ravishingly beautiful noblewoman; Philip, the prior of Kingsbridge; Jack, the artist in stone; and Ellen, the woman of the forest who casts a terrifying curse. From humble stonemason to imperious monarch, each character is brought vividly to life.

The building of the cathedral, with the almost eerie artistry of the unschooled stonemasons, is the center of the drama. Around the site of the construction, Follett weaves a story of betrayal, revenge, and love, which begins with the public hanging of an innocent man and ends with the humiliation of a king.

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My thoughts:

WOW!

Okay, breathe! It’s difficult for me to describe why I love this book as much as I do. It’s a 1104 pages long story about the building of a cathedral in the 12-century and you would think I’m on drugs, but it was so damn fascinating. The characters are memorable in both good and bad ways, the story was interesting and the plot was captivating. It has been a while since I was so emotionally invested in a book. The pillars of the earth is pure and simple one of the best books I have read in 2019.

First off, a warning. If you are a sensitive soul or in any other way have problems with rape and injustice, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK! Bear in mind that this book takes place in Medieval England where the church has a strong hold on the people, the rich rule the poor and there is violence, misogyny, accusations of witchcraft, revenges back and forth and rape. Yes, rape! And one scene is especially disturbing and graphic. It was hard to read and I was totally unprepared for it.

Other than that, it is a wonderfully written book with characters you love, hate and love to hate. It is a page turner and it was like I could not get enough. I still can’t get enough and I want more. The main plot is about the building of a cathedral but it is the characters around it who really drove the story forward. There was some love stories in there, friend and family relations took a huge part and there was a few, strong female characters who I wish to praise Follett for doing such a good job with.

As strange as it sounds, I loved to read this book. Even with all the injustice, despair and misery, there was always hope. And all the weaving of destiny was really what made it all come together in the end in a satisfying way.

TBR

To Be Read – August

I had huge problems with choosing my TBR list this month. In one hand, I want to have a list ready so that I don’t have to think about what book to read next, but at the other hand I do not wish to “constrict” myself in what books to read. Not now when my desire to read is somewhat fragile.

But in the end I chose five books and they are as following.

augusti.JPG Book one is written by a Norwegian journalist and to this date is not yet translated to English. It probably will in the future and I can imagine the title will be directly translated too something like this. “Swim with the drowned.”

Book two is the second book in Throne of Glass series. I did not find the first book that fantastic but people keep saying it is worth continuing so I will try one more book. Keeping an open mind.

Book two is the second book in the legend of the ice people series. I have read it before but now when I have the whole series I’m reading it from scratch.

Wicked by Jana Deleon is the fourth book about Shaye Archer. The third one was an hell of a ride and it has taking me until now to feel myself mentally ready for the next one.

The last book is one by Kristen Ashley I have had in my kindle for years. It is some time since I read anything by KA now and instead of buying a new book, I thought I should read the one I already have.

And as usual there will be one more book but which one I do not yet know due to that my book club not yet have had our monthly meeting. 🙂

What are you planning to read in august?

Monthly summary

July Summary

monthlysummery2

Wow. Four books read this month. That is so bad. There is several years since I read so little in one month. But I have just not had the time. With the house and everything, reading has not been a priority. Now that we are starting to get settles, I due hope that I will find time for more reading in August. 😀

Favorite book this month: Rhythm, chord & Malykhin – Mariana Zapata
Least favorite book this month:
Whiskey and gunpowder – Liliana Hart

Number of physical books:
1
Number of e-books:
 1
Number of audiobooks:
2
Total pages: 1343
Female authors: 3
Male authors: 1

17465450The husband’s secret – Liane Moriarty
Pages: 402 Published: 2013
Genres: Fiction, mystery, chick lit, romance, adult.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
26148083._SY475_Rhythm, chord & Malykhin – Mariana Zapata
Pages: 398 Published: 2015
Genres: Contemporary, romance, New Adult.
My rating: 4/5
Links: Review
37655464Whiskey and gunpowder – Liliana Hart
Pages: 217 Published: 2018
Genres: Chick lit, romance, contemporary, crime.
My rating: 1/5
Links: Review
Book 6 in The Addison Holmes Mysteries series.
35343341Save me from dangerous men – S.A. Lelchuk
Pages: 326 Published: 2019
Genres: Mystery, thriller, fiction, suspense
My rating: 3/5
Links: Review
Book 1 in The Nikki Griffin series. (Maybe)
Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Suspense · Thriller/Horror

Save me from dangerous men – S.A. Lelchuk

35343341| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Nikki Griffin isn’t your typical private investigator. In her office above her bookstore’s shelves and stacks, where she luxuriates in books and the comfort they provide, she also tracks certain men. Dangerous men. Men who have hurt the women they claim to love. And Nikki likes to teach those men a lesson, to teach them what it feels like to be hurt and helpless, so she can be sure that their victims are safe from them forever.

When a regular PI job tailing Karen, a tech company’s disgruntled employee who might be selling secrets, turns ugly and Karen’s life is threatened, Nikki has to break cover and intervene. Karen tells Nikki that there are people after her. Dangerous men. She says she’ll tell Nikki what’s really going on. But then something goes wrong, and suddenly Nikki is no longer just solving a case—she’s trying hard to stay alive.

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My thoughts:

If Jessica Jones and Jack Reacher had a baby, you get Nikki Griffin. A kickass, female PI character who stand up for the weak, and helps out in a way that everyone can understand. And to top it off, she is a book lover with her own bookstore. How cool is that? Just that description was enough for me to decide that this is the book of 2019 releases I just have to read.

Now when done I’m quite conflicted. On one hand I absolutely love Nikki and feel that this is a character I want to read more about. I also want to meet those side characters that we encounter now and then throughout the book. On the other hand I felt myself somewhat detached to the story itself. It is hard to explain but I was there but never quite there if you understand. It’s not a bad story because of it, it just didn’t capture or connect with me on a level that makes me invested. Maybe because I felt the plot line was somewhat destructed and not completed in a degree I feel it could have been. And the ending was a little too farfetched when you take some of the characters and their actions in account to the end result.

I do however LOVE the “romantic” aspect of the book. There is almost no romance per say, but there is a character Nikki meets and the chemistry and several situations and monologues that is happenings which was just wonderful.

It looks like there is coming more books about Nikki and if so, I’m certainly is going to read them.