Sunday, 25 January 2015

Another Austen under my belt.

Persuasion by Jane Austen (1818)

“They had no conversation together, no intercourse but what the commonest civility required. Once so much to each other! Now nothing! There had been a time, when of all the large party now filling the drawing-room at Uppercross, they would have found it most difficult to cease to speak to one another. With the exception, perhaps, of Admiral and Mrs. Croft, who seemed particularly attached and happy, (Anne could allow no other exception even among the married couples) there could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved. Now they were as strangers; nay, worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted. It was a perpetual estrangement.” 

Anne is the oldest of the Elliot sisters, 27 and unmarried. Due to money problems, the Elliots' beloved property has to be let as they can't afford to live there any more, and they will move to a much smaller apartment in Bath. It is an admiral and his wife, the Crofts who are the new tenants at Kellynch Hall, the Elliots' estate. It turns out that Mrs Croft is the sister of captain Wentworth, whom Anne used to be engaged to. And they are bound to meet sooner or later. How will Anne react? And will she be forever alone?

As all the Austen novels I have read, it is too long in the beginning and then something unexpected happens and I just can't get enough. Persuasion turned out to be one of the best I have read by Austen so far and Anne should be all unmarried women's heroine. I like how I always guess who ends up with who when I read Austen.

Why do I like Austen? It is definitely because of the drama and intrigues when it comes to the matters of the heart. She writes so clearly and it is easy to picture the characters and early 19th century English countryside. And the language, of course. There are so many quotable sentences and passages, probably for every aspect of life and emotions. And that is why Austen is still so readable two centuries later. I'm glad I still have Sense and Sensability, Emma and Lady Susan to look forward to.

Persuasion was the first book in Line's 1001 books reading circle in 2015.

Saturday, 17 January 2015

the last book I read in 2014

the Silkworm by J.K. Rowling (2014)
(Cormoran Strike  #2 , as Robert Galbraith)


Owen Quine, the author of one best selling novel and a lot of mediocre ones,  has disappeared. And his wife asks Cormoran to find him. Quine's just finished a new novel which makes fun of a lot of people in the publishing industry. Could that be a motive for his disappearance? And then Cormoran finds Quine's body. The body is arranged the exact way as Quine's described his own death in the unpublished novel.

Rowling, as always, is spot on with her characters and descriptions. And the plot was never boring either. I was racing the clock to finish this on New Year's Eve as I desperately had to read 50 books before the year was up. It was the perfect book for the job, but I'm afraid I don't remember much of the plot afterwards, although the characters are still very vivid nearly three weeks after. I really like Cormoran and his secretary, Robin, and I hope Rowling continues writing about them. But I'd rather have more of Harry Potter's universe and books like the Casual Vacancy, of course. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

norsk på norsk, del to.

Siste innspurt for norsklesinga i 2014 + at jeg rakk to før nomineringa til Bokbloggerprisen gikk ut på begynnelsen av året.. Er overrasket over hvor mange bøker det ble (til meg å være). Her kommer det et samleinnlegg der to av bøkene ikke levde opp til forventet nivå, og tre gjorde det. 

47. På terrassen i mørket av Hanne Ørstavik (2014)
Tags: sex drugs and rock'n'roll, family and self, war and travel, love, supernatural

Paula har flyktet til Malaga etter å ha gjort det slutt med kjæresten sin. I Malaga skal hun forske på hvordan det er å være eskortepike ved å la menn betale for å ha sex med henne. (Nå har det gått en måned og fortsatt vet jeg ikke mer hvordan jeg skal beskrive boka, unntatt at den også handler om Finnmark og åndedyr). Den hadde masse potensiale og jeg koste meg mens jeg leste, men etterpå tenkte jeg; var dette alt?




48. Krø av Didrik Morits Hallstrøm (2014)
Tags: supernatural, crime and mystery, family and self, sex drugs and rock'n'roll

Bestefaren til Adam ber han innstendig om å komme til den lille øya Krø, og Adam drar siden farfaren er veldig gammel. Adam er for øvrig en eksnarkoman, men har fått jobb som programmerer og er samboer med en som har et barn fra før. Før han drar til Krø lager han et spill hvor man kan bygge verden rundt seg, og mystiske ting begynner å skje, både i spillet og i virkeligheten når han kommer til Krø. Denne ble lovpriset av mange bloggere og den ble et lett valg for å korte ned ventinga på julaften. Men den ble aldri så spennende som jeg hadde forventninger om, og mye ble enten for tydelig eller for utydelig. Men, masse plusspoeng for slutten!


 49. Bare et menneske av Kristine Næss (2014)

Tags: family and self, crime and mystery, books you should read

Bea Britt er en forfatter som bor alene på Vettakollen. En dag forsvinner ei tenåringsjente som bruker å gå tur forbi huset hennes. Når sekken til jenta blir funnet i hagen til Bea Britt, så blir hun mistenkt, særlig siden hun er ganske så skarp mot politiet. Boka gir også innblikk i det nokså ensomme livet til Bea Britt og hennes nærmeste, men også familiehistorien. Jeg likte boka veldig godt, og spesielt det at jeg ble så i tvil om hvem som hadde kidnappet jenta. En flott bok som flere bør få øynene opp for!


1. Unnskyld av Ida Hegazi Høyer (2014)
 Tags: love, family and self, books that made me cry, books you should read

Et forhold som begynner så fantastisk, men går så inni helvete galt. Og kjærlighet gjør som kjent folk blinde, pluss at vold avler vold. Denne boka gjorde så vondt å lese og er så nydelig skrevet. Aller mest hadde jeg lyst til å klippe over fiskesnøreringen til hovedpersonen og få henne til å våkne opp. Jeg gråt og gråt mens jeg leste denne på flyet, og den traff absolutt ei nerve. Anbefales!




2. Om igjen av Monica Isakstuen (2014)
Tags: family and self, books you should read, love, sex drugs and rock'n'roll

Joyce Hatto var en gang en av de framste pionistene, så ble hun syk. Før hun døde ga hun ut en haug med cder, og ble hyllet. Problemet var bare at verkene ikke var spilt inn av henne. Isakstuen har brukt en fiktiv elev til å forsøke å skjønne hvordan dette kunne skje. Boka tar også for seg denne elevens, Ida, liv og hvordan hun kunne forlate mann og barn. Jeg tror denne er den mest sitatverdige norske boka jeg har lest så i tide til Bokbloggerprisen2014. En tankevekkende bok som også anbefales.



Kommer jeg til å skrive et halvlangt blogginnlegg om en enkelt bok på norsk noen gang? Jeg tviler. Uansett, jeg gleder meg til å ha et helt år på å lese nye norske bøker.

Friday, 2 January 2015

2014, where did you go?

I read book 50 just hours before midnight while putting on my make-up and getting ready for the last evening of 2014. I remember who the killer was, but not too sure about the reason. And I think that sums up my reading year perfectly. Wtf happened? I have no idea, but I haven't read this little in years. I have a sneaky suspicion that Netflix and the iPad are a big part of the blame, so less tv and games this year! But at least I managed to reach the goal of 50 books.

Time to analyse the what went wrong:

  • Read more than 50 books As I mentioned, I made it just in time.
  • Participate in a few online reading circles; Line's 1001 books, Clementine's Booker prize, Ingalill's biographies and Bjørg's off the shelf challenges. Nope. I ended up skipping books in all the reading circles, despite them being good books. I think this is what went really wrong as I felt that I didn't get to choose what to read as I always had books I needed to read.
  • Finish Kristin Lavransdatter by Sigrid Undset No, nei, njet. I put it away, possibly for good.
  • Read at least 5 non-fiction books 2 of 5. Better luck next year.
  • Continue working my way around the globe in books (43 countries so far) Up to 47 now, so 4 new countries. Yay!
  • Lifelong goals: cross off as many 1001 books you must read before you die (11%) and Nobel Prize winners Up to 11,9% and one new Nobel (Saul Bellow), so that's something.
  •  Buy bookshelves, not books Hahahaha who am I kidding? Current number of unread books is 1035.
So how am I going to make this year a success? No reading goals at all? Of course not! This year I will:
  • Read more than 50 books
  • Read the alphabet (author's surname of course).
  • Read at least 5 non-fiction books
  • Read A Dance to the Music of Time by Anthony Powell. That's 12 books in all. 
  • Continue working my way around the globe in books (47 countries so far)
  • Lifelong goals: cross off as many 1001 books you must read before you die (11, 9%) and Nobel Prize winners (27/111)
  • If I want to buy a book, I'll have to read one off my shelf first 
  • Read in a book every day, even if it's just a page
 I think this is doable. By reading the alphabet I mean that the next time I'm not sure what to read I'll use the alphabet and my endless tbr-pile to decide which book to pick up. In that way I believe that my reading will be more diverse and surprising. The last goal is also going to be really interesting and probably the hardest to keep. But I cannot continue buying the piles of books I do. (And just to be on the safe side I sent an order of about 20 books just before the New Year). Does this mean that I won't be participating in any reading circles? Of course not. I'll do Line's 1001 books challenge and this year it's full of classics, so that's going to be interesting. Bjørg's and Hedda's off the shelf also looks interesting, but I feel that this was the one I least managed to keep up with, so I'm sceptical. Clementine's Booker circle depends on the books and how busy I am next autumn. And Ingalill's biography also depends on the topic and if I have time (and how good she's at swinging the whip).

Books I read in 2014 which you should read in 2015.
  • the Corrections by Jonathan Franzen (2001)
  • A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki (2013)
  • the Woman in White by Wilkie Collins (1860)
  • Harvest by Jim Crace (2013)
  • the Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith (1955)
  • A True Novel by Minae Mizumura (2002)
  • We Need New Names by NoViolet Bulawayo (2013)
  • Dirty Havana Trilogy by Pedro Juan Gutiérrez (1998)
  • the Wasp Factory by Iain Banks (1984)
  • All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (1928)
  • the Alberta Trilogy by Cora Sandel (1926-1939)
  • the Lobster Kings by Alexi Zentner (2014)
  • the Bees by Laline Paull (2014)
  • the God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy (1997)
  • A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz (2002)
  • the Fault in Our Stars by John Green (2012)
  • All the Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy (1996)
  • the Blindness of the Heart by Julia Franck (2007)
  • Våke over dem som sover by Sigbjørn Skåden (2014)
  • Til Nuuk by Espen Haavardsholm (2014)
  • Bare et menneske by Kristine Næss (2014)
I hope you all have a fabulous reading year 2015! I still have two more blog posts to make from 2014, so I'm not quite ready to move on yet. Happy New Year!

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