September 2012 – Monthly Wrap Up

Yes yes, I know, we’re already halfway through October and I’m late with the monthly wrap up post. I just think we have to agree that my schedule is … well, a couple of weeks after everybody else’s and just go with it. I’ve been postponing and postponing posting this post – and maybe procrastinating a little bit – because I wanted to include links to reviews of all the books I read in October. I’ve finally realized that that’s not going to happen so here, 2,5 weeks late, is the monthly wrap up post for September…!

I picked up the pace a bit more in September. 4 books read. This is actually strange, since I started work this month. Luckily, only 30 hours a week and – even better – I commute by train so each day I have one hour to read on the train. I love traveling and commuting by train! Even one Friday, when the train was late because four cows were talking a walk on the tracks and I was sitting close to some guys going to the October Festival in Munich – and they were preparing by drinking beer and shouting ‘prost!’ a lot, making it rather hard to concentrate on Clarissa… Still, the train ride gives me time to read, I get to say hallo to my brother-in-law almost every morning when he gets on the train as I get off and it’s just a nice way to start and end the working day.

So 4 books this month. That’s okay. 2240 pages. That’s fine too. But I’m still 2 books behind on my goal to read 52 books. Still, I think I’ll make it … (ignoring the fact that I still have to read some really big novels this year like The Kindly Ones and Les Misérables). 

  1. Christine Feldthaus: Feldthaus skruer ned. A Danish television celebrity takes on a challenge to become more environmentally friendly, use less electricity and hot water. An okay book that gives some nice perspectives on the environmental debate. 3 stars.
  2. Marion Zimmer Bradley: The Mists of Avalon. Great novel about the women of Arthur’s court and the intrigues surrounding them and it. And of course Avalon and the Lady of the Lake. And Lancelot. 4 stars.
  3. Stephen King: The Gunslinger (The Dark Tower #1)
  4. Jean M. Auel: Folket i Klippehulerne (The Shelters of Stone) (Jordens Børn #5). After taking a long break from these books, I returned. Jondalar and Ayla has returned to Jondalar’s people and this book details how they get used to living in one place again, Ayla’s pregnancy and their mating ceremony. Very repetitive. 3 stars.

I also listened to one audio book this month:

  1. Lisa Shearin: Con & Conjure (Raine Benares #5). Fast-paced light fantasy read. Entertaining, nothing more. 3 stars.

So I have three months left to finish my challenges this year. I need to read some Neil Gaiman – and I’m looking forward to that. I need to finish Clarissa – I’m really looking forward to having finished that! And I need to read 8 books for my private challenge (including American Gods by Gaiman, Les Misérables by Victor Hugo, Don Delillo Underworld and the last book in the Earth’s Children series by Jean M. Auel). Last month I signed up for The Epic Dark Tower read-a-long and therefore, I need to read Dark Tower #2: The Drawing of the Three. I need to read 16 books more this year, having read 36 out of 52 so far. I think September again will focus on finishing challenges. Halloween is not a big thing in Denmark so I don’t plan on reading anything particularly scary this month – well, maybe Underworld, that one really scares me!

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Christine Feldthaus: Feldthaus skruer ned (review) (English title: Feldthaus cuts back)

Christine Feldthaus is a well-known TV personality in Denmark. She has participated in several different types of shows, mostly focused on life style. She is probably most known for being in a show called Kender du typen? where two so-called experts on life style and consumer behaviors try to guess which celebrity whose home they are visiting and while doing so, talking about what the things in the home tell about their owner. She was very popular in this show, coming across as very funny and direct.

Because of her personality and popularity, she was approached by a publisher who wanted her to write about her own personal journey with living more green, reducing her carbon footprint, her use of water and electricity and more. Feldthaus saw this as a challenge and the book is written as a diary where we follow her slowly learning more and more about living green.The diary runs from December 2007 to June 2008 and details how she, her husband and teenage son gradually changed their habits and ways of consuming and focusing on sustainability.

She talks about isolating her house better, cutting down on electricity, all the bad things you find in nail polish and lip stick and how to make a green lifestyle make sense while at the same time wanting to live a life with luxury. So over these 6 months, she changes her life in a lot of ways – but none of these are huge life-altering decisions. It’s the little things that count. Like turning off the light when you’re not in the room. Not leaving all your electric things on – or even on standby. Taking shorter showers. Buying more ecological. Taking the train or the bike and not the car. Little things – without being truly fanatic. And it works.

After 6 months, she has saving quite a bit of money by not using as much heat and electricity. She has lost weight because she’s taking the bike more instead of taking the car. They eat healthier, having two days a week without meat. And they have cut their C02 emission by a lot.

So it works. There’s no question about it that what she has done, has been effective. I believe that it’s a very good thing to use less electricity and heat and cut down on CO2 emissions. And this book gives suggestions about how you do so. There’s no doubt that writing the book has changed Christine Feldthaus and changed the way, she and her family live their lives.

However, the book itself – not that amazing. Not only would I have liked it to be more informative, I would have liked it to be more funny. Christine Feldthaus is known for her humor and for being so direct – but maybe it works best on TV, being brief and transient and being said while you watch the sparkle in her eyes and see her smile. It doesn’t work as well in this book. In the end, you are left with the feeling of having read a rather blah book, a bit too long even for the amount of information in it and not as funny as you would have hoped.

  • Title: Feldthaus skruer ned
  • Author: Christine Feldthaus
  • Publisher: Thaning & Appel
  • Year: 2008
  • Pages: 254 pages
  • Source: Own Collection
  • Stars:  3 stars out of 5