Adding to the Shelves

One of my favorite things to do, is to buy new books. Even for those periods of time when I haven’t been reading, I have still bought books. Not so during this recent reading slump. I really haven’t bought any books since February. And that’s actually kind of scary. I haven’t bought any new books and I haven’t kept up with book publishing or anything. I have really  been doing a cold turkey. I’m trying to view it as a good thing since my normal practice of buying books whether I was reading or not, is the cause of my having more than 200 books on my shelves that I haven’t read…
Still, that doesn’t mean that I haven’t acquired new books. But ever since buying a lot of books back in February, only three new books have been added to my shelves.

041549-fc222 First of these are Tolkien’s Silmarillion. When I still was reading a lot and was on track with my goals for the year and just enjoying myself, I was participating in The Official 2014 TBR Pile Challenge hosted by Adam at Roof Beam Reader. And I was so lucky to win a book of my own choice, thanks to Adam’s generosity. I had been planning to read The HobbitThe Lord of the Rings and The Silmarillion this summer, and since I already owned the first two, I of course asked for The SilmarillionI’m not sure if I ever properly thanked Adam – and now I see that he has stepped down from Roof Beam Reader due to work obligations so he will not be around much. Still, thank you so much Adam! Now I’m back from my hiatus, I’m looking forward to explore Middle Earth!

9781451660326_p0_v3_s260x420The second new book I have acquired during these last 4 months, was a birthday present from my 3 years old daughter. Whenever she is asked what she want to give to someone, she always answers ‘a book’. I can count the number of times, she whispered to me ‘I’m giving you a book, mommy’. And so she did.
Last year I read Félix J. Palma’s wonderful The Map of Time and it was just such a thrilling ride that I haven been looking forward to reading the second book ever since. And this was the book I was so lucky to receive for my birthday thanks to my little girl knowing exactly what her mommy wants – and her father helping her pick out the right book!

978-87-997204-0-8And finally, the third book was a present from my best friend. Henrik has his own publishing company, H. Harksen Productions, where he publishes weird fiction, H.P. Lovecraft inspired fiction and similar themed books, both in English and Danish. One of his latest publication is this Killer Killer by Danish author Morten Ellemose. This is supposed to be following in the tradition from the Hannibal Lecter books and I’m pretty sure it’s going to be a very scary read. Maybe I should try to get around to reading it while it’s still summer and the nights are still light. I don’t do scary very well, I’m afraid.

So that’s the books which have been added to my stash recently. So while few in numbers, I’m pretty sure I’m going to have a great time reading these. Have you read any of these? Did you like them? And what else have I been missing in books and book blogging in these last months? I feel dreadfully out of touch…

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Book Buying 2014 #1

So I lasted all of 18 days before I just had to buy some new books. I had decided that I wanted to wait and not buy any books until we got to Copenhagen at the end of this month, but well, that didn’t happen. And I’m still buying books in Copenhagen!
9780007270613I’ve planned to reread Lord of the Rings this year and since I only owned a translation of The Hobbit, I had to buy this one. Especially since it wasn’t a movie tie-in version. I’ve watched the first of the Hobbit movies and I was not impressed, let’s put it that way. Which is another reason I want to reread this book because I only have a narrow recollection of if from back years ago, when my mother read it to me. I bought a paperback edition, beautifully illustrated by Alan Lee, and I’m looking forward to reading first The Hobbit and then Lord of the Rings right after for the first time in my life.
nos-4r211-669x1024My other new acquisition, yes I did limit myself to two, is NOS4R2 by Joe Hill. I’ve been wanting this since it was published last year because it sounds really good. And ever since I read that Stephen King said that Joe Hill could easily finish King’s book if King died because Hill writes in a way close to King’s writing – but has a better fantasy. I love Stephen King and he is rather imaginative and inventive so if he thinks Hill has more imagination, I’m game!
So I’m looking very much forward to both these books and hope to actually get around to reading them this year. I hope they will not suffer the tsundoku faith – a wonderful Japanese word meaning ‘the act of leaving a book unread after buying it, typically piled up together with other such unread books’. So while my books are not piled up, but placed nicely in alphabetical order on the shelves, the rest of that word fits extremely well. I have around 200 books which I have bought but not read. I’m trying to get that number down, but not succeeding. Still, I hope to get to these two sometime this year and if not, I like having a fancy word to describe what I’m doing so thanks to Vishy for teaching me this word!

Top Ten Favorite Fantasy Authors

So this week, we each get to decide on what genre we want to highlight ten favorite authors from. One of my favorite genres is fantasy. But even though that is so, I find it hard to

As usual, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. And did I mention this is the fifth week in a row I’m participating in Top Ten Tuesday. And there are a lot of us, check out The Broke and the Bookish blog to see the links to the other participant’s blogs.

  1. Margaret Weis & Tracy Hickman: Weiss & Hickman introduced me to fantasy as an adult. Their DragonLance books are a great series of light fantasy with some great characters. This group of heroes – Tanis, Goldmoon, Riversong, Raistlin, CameronTas, Flint, Tika, Laurana – are wonderful and I love them. Chronicles
  2. Adrian Tchaikovsky: Tchaikovsky has taken a very normal fantasy theme – the unlikely heroes banding together against the big bad – and turned it into something new and exciting by creating insect kinden. Basically, various groups of people resemble various types of insects.
  3. Phil Pullman: I loved His Dark Materials. I thought it was both exciting and intelligent – and I so badly wanted my own dæmon!
  4. J.K. Rowling: Well, of course you can’t make a list of fantasy authors without mentioning Rowling and the Harry Potter series.
  5. J.R.R. Tolkien: Lord of the Rings – need I say more?
  6. Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was one of my favorite books as a young teenager and I also liked the Dirk Gentry books. I really want to reread Hitchhiker!
  7. Jasper Fforde: Literary fantasy – in the sense, that this fantasy involves literature. Thursday Next is a literary detective solving literary issues – that sometimes do involve traveling in books.
  8. Susanna Clarke: I wish Clarke would write more books. I loved Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell. I haven’t read The Ladies of Grace Adieu yet because I’m not that much into short stories but I will read it and I really hope she will publish another novel real soon.
  9. Neil Gaiman: Even though I so so so need to read more of Neil Gaiman’s works but I love The Graveyard Book, the Sandman and Death series. I plan on reading American Gods and Neverwhere very soon.

Making this list has made me realize, that I have to read more fantasy. I feel so behind – there is so much fantasy I want to read, on top of the list authors like George R.R. Martin, Patrick Rothfuss and Robin Hobb.

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On a Desert Island …

So what if you had been Robinson Crusoe and was stranded on that island – or any island (not the one from Lost though) – which books would you bring? If you should choose a small number of books and those were the only books you had to read for maybe the rest of your life or at least for a very, very long time.

You have food enough and enough to drink, there’s a comfy chair as well as a comfy beach chair, but your only company is your books. So which books would you choose? Don’t choose lightly – this is your only chance.

I really wanted to limit myself to 5 titles but when I first got started, I couldn’t limit myself to just 5. I figure, I’m a fast reader – I need more than 5 books to sustain myself on on this beautiful island. So there – my list of 10 books to bring on a desert island.

  1. John Irving: The World According to Garp. This is my favorite, favorite book. I love this book. Even though I’ve already read it a lot of times, I still want to read it again. And again.
  2. Leo Tolstoy: War and Peace. Well, one thing this has going for it, is it’s length. I’ve already read it once and I will really much like to read it again. And since there’s so much going on in it, I will most likely need to read it several times.
  3. J.R.R. Tolkien: The Lord of the Rings.  I’ve only read it once but I loved it and I loved the movies. So definitely want to spend some time reading this.
  4. Georges Perec: Life – A User’s Manual. I don’t think many know about this book and it’s a shame. It’s a weird book – all about the people living in the same apartment building. It’s amazing and I loved it.
  5. Marcel Proust: Remembrance of Things Past. I’ve read Swann’s Way 1 and liked it. I think if I was stranded on a island for a long time, I would get the whole thing read.
  6. Joyce Carol Oates: Blonde. Joyce Carol Oates is one of my favorite authors and this was the first book I read by her. And I loved it. I really want to re-read it and a desert island is perfect place to spend reading about the life of Marilyn Monroe.
  7. James Joyce: Ulysses. Oh yeah, I’m serious. I want to read this. I have never read it but what better thing to do on an island than to try and tackle Joyce? And on that note …
  8. James Joyce: Finnegan’s Wake.  Yeah, I’m still serious. I want to read Joyce!
  9. Haruki Murakami: Kafka on the Shore. Another spot taken by one of my favorite authors. I loved this novel and so far, it’s my favorite book by Murakami.
  10. Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell. I read this once, loved it. I really want to read it again – great book with awesome footnotes.