What I read in 2016

Yeah, I know. What do you care about 2016? We are way past the end of year posts – but well, bare with me. This is hopefully a way for me to start blogging again.

At the very least, I’ve started reading again after a very long hiatus and well, when I read, I also want to write about what I’ve read. Hence The Literary Bunny. I’ve read 6 books so far this year. Actually, I’ve read 6 books during April and May. And I’m loving it. And compared to the 10 books I read all of 2016, 6 books is a lot.

But enough talk about this year. Let’s look back and see what I did get read in 2016.

raising_steam1Terry Pratchett: Raising Steam (Discworld #40). 3 stars.
I love Terry Pratchett, I love Discworld and I love the character Moist von Lipwig. That said, this was not one of my favorite Discworld novels.
After having created both the post service and a proper banking system, Moist now has to deal with transportation – with trains.
Still, even though this is not the best Discworld novel, there are as always plenty of things to enjoy – like these quotes:
‘Is there something in the word ‘tyrant’ you do not understand?’
‘The Queen appeared as innocent as one of those mountains which year after year do nothing very much but smoke a little, and then one day end up causing a whole civilization to become an art installation.’
‘Don’t force me to draw my own conclusions. I do have a very big pencil.’

333293Stephen King: Song of Susanna (The Dark Tower #6) and The Dark Tower (The Dark Tower #7). Both 5 stars.
The Dark Tower series has been a presence in my life for a very long time. When I was a teenager and started going to the library on my own, I read Christine and Cycle of the Werewolf among others and kept eying The Dark Tower series – but kept waiting for it to be finished before I started reading. I regret not reading it back then but I’m glad that I have now finally read it. I started reading it back in 2012 (!) so it’s actually taken me 4 years to finish the series.
the-dark-tower-stephen-king-2011-a-pThese are so good books! They have so many qualities and I love the alternative reality elements where King himself suddenly shows up in the story and actually incorporates his real life traffic accident and the entire meta layer of Roland v. King. Who actually calls the shot? Fictional Roland or fictional King – or real King?
‘What we’re playing for, Roland, is the ages.’

 

9781922070005Félix J. Palma: The Map of the Sky (Trilogía Victoriana #2). 5 stars.
The second book in the series – and just as mad a ride as the first one. I love the mixing of alternative reality with fantasy elements. This one, starring both Edgar Allan Poe and H.G. Wells, is similar in many aspects to the first one but is still it’s own thing. The plot twists may not be quite as clever as in the first one but this might just be because I’m now more familiar with his writing style and crazy creativity. I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.

41fCzBniKSL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Marjorie Celona: Y. 5 stars.
Oh man, I wish I had taken notes when I read this book. I remember loving it and thinking it was quite different from the other books I’ve read this year but I can’t quite remember that many details from it. And that makes the book perhaps seem not worth reading which is not my intention.
It goes into some quite heavy subjects – is it ever the right thing for a mother to give up her daughter?
It was a good read!

s-l400Umberto Eco: The Name of the Rose (I read the Danish version: Rosens Navn). 4 stars.
I am a big fan of reading the book before watching the movie – or tv series (still haven’t watched Game of Thrones!) but in this case, I watched the movie years ago and only now got around to reading the book. So my book had Sean Connery in it – which is not surprising for anyone who has watched the movie, I guess. And it is a great story. The killing of monks, the danger of knowledge, the clever old monk, the not so clever young monk. It is a great story. The only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars is, that I feel it is a bit heavy. It’s a demanding read and at some points, it didn’t quite keep my attention (which might say more about me than the book, actually).
11174642._UY200_Deborah Harkness: A Discovery of Witches (All Souls Trilogy #1), Shadow of the Night (All Souls Trilogy #2) and The Book of Life (All Souls Trilogy #3). 4 stars, 4 stars and 5 stars respectively.
One of my colleagues got me reading this series. She absolutely loves it and actually owns several copies of it.
I bought the first volume some time ago but never got around to reading it. Finally I started to read it – and then had to pick the two next volumes up so I could read them, one immediately after the other. It has become quite a thing I do  – to buy the first volume in a trilogy to see if I actually want to read it, and then be annoyed later on and not start to read it because I only have the first book…
17270883I preferred the first and third volume though. The second one was a typical middle part of a trilogy and just not quite as interesting to me, despite it’s taking place in Shakespeare’s England. But I did like the time traveling elements and the chance it gave for Diana to know Matthew’s past.
I liked how Harkness introduces her vampires and witches into a modern setting and letting them just be a part of our world.
I adored Diana’s family house and her family and how the house kept secrets and things until it deemed it time to release them. And also Matthew’s family!
510BYyiGPdL._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_The entire story of how to come into your own and learn who you are at the same time as you struggle with coming to terms with a love that is not supposed to be and which many people have an interest in preventing – and will go quite far to stop, actually – was very enjoyable and I think Harkness succeeded in creating a modern day version of a vampire story that is actually quite good.
I’m looking forward to the movie, whenever it might be out – and also the next book in the series, out later this year, supposedly.

9780007448036George R. R. Martin: A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1). 5 stars.
As I mentioned earlier, I haven’t watched Game of Thrones yet – which is actually quite an accomplishment! And something my boyfriend hates me for because I’ve made him wait alongside me until I finish the books… So finally, I started. And of course, I enjoyed it. I wish I had read it earlier before knowing so much about the plot but it still captured my attention very much.

These are the 10 books which made my 2016. Mostly great reads. Mostly fantasy – which is my genre of choice, especially when I’m not reading much and trying to get back into reading.

So except for the low number of books, it was actually a really good year!

 

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Christmas Gifts 2014

So even though my reading has been seriously lacking in the second half of 2014, I still got some beautiful books for Christmas. Lovely, lovely books that hopefully can get me back to reading regularly.

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My boyfriend and I have watched the Outlander tv-series and really enjoyed it – and it made me want to both start over on the series as well as read one. Outlander is a great series but I sometimes forget how much I enjoy reading it.
My Brother got me this second-hand version of Isabel Allende’s Paula, the book she wrote to her comatose daughter, Paula. I have been wanting to read more by Allende – and even though I’m pretty sure that this one will make me cry, I’m still looking forward to it.

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I also got the final book in Lev Grossman’s Magicians trilogy. I enjoyed the first book but haven’t read the second one, so I think I’m going to read the entire series now. And I got the first book in Stephen King’s new trilogy, Mr Mercedes. Not much to say about that – I like Stephen King.

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And I got two non-fiction books. The Danish Aarhus University publish a series of books that introduce various subjects in an engaging way. The one I received is written by Dan Ringgaard is about litterature and argues, that litterature is the art made with language – whether it’s on paper, digital or something else.
Daniel Kahneman’s book Thinking, Fast and Slow, argues that there are various ways of thinking and discusses why we make the choices we make as it delves into human rationality and irrationality.
So I had a wonderful Christmas time where my kids also got some great books I’m looking forward to reading to them. I hope you all had a great bookish Christmas as well and are ready for what 2015 will bring.

Related posts:

The Books I Missed in 2013

I didn’t read a lot of new books in 2013. Not at all. I did buy some but not as many as I had hoped. So to remember the books I really wanted in 2013 and inspired by Kerry at Entomology of a Bookworm, here are some of the books I wish I had bought and/or read.

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  1. Robert Calbraith: The Cuckoo’s Calling. This was of course one of the important books of the year. It was interesting to see how this book got good reviews but didn’t sell – until it was revealed that it was actually written by J.K. Rowling. And then it ended the year on several ‘Best of 2013’ lists. If someone can get me to read crime novels, I think it’s J.K. Rowling. I’m at least willing to give this one a try.
  2. Dan Simmons: The Abominable. Ever since reading Drood, I’ve been wanting to read more by Dan Simmons. It’s about adventurers traveling to the summit of Mount Everest – or possibly running from something on Mount Everest. I’m sure it’s creepy!
  3. Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Americanah. I loved Half of a Yellow Sun. Not just because of it’s compelling story, but because it taught me things I didn’t know. I think it will be the same with this one.
  4. Joe Hill: NOS4A2. This book is an example of a book where the title alone sells it! And I’ve heard nothing but good about it so I need to get this one.
  5. Hannah Kent: Burial Rites. This book about the last woman to be sentenced to death in Iceland, sounds amazing. It reminds me a bit about Margaret Atwood’s Alias Grace and I really want to read this one!
  6. Eleanor Catton: The Luminaries. The 2013 Man Booker Prize winner. It sounds intriguing and fascinating but with the way it’s written, it also runs the risk of being a bit gimmicky – so far, the reviewers seem to agree that it’s absolutely amazing.
  7. Cassandra Rose Clarke: The Mad Scientist’s Daughter. Cat’s tutor is a robot who is perfectly happy to just teach her. But then the government grants rights to the robot population and suddenly, Finn has to find his own place in the world. Another great sounding novel!
  8. Amish Tripathi: Immortals of Meluha (Shiva #1). This is the first book in the Shiva trilogy, a fantasy series about hindu gods. How cool does that sound?
  9. Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Watcher in the Shadows. I really liked The Shadow of the Wind and this book about a mysterious toymaker who lives as a recluse in an old mansion surrounded by his magical beings sounds so amazing.
  10. Ma Jian: The Dark Road. The tagline of this novel reads ‘If a panda gets pregnant, the entire nation celebrates. But if a woman gets pregnant she’s treated like a criminal. What kind of country is this?’, how can I resist that?
  11. Matt Bell: In the House Upon the Dirt between the Lake and the Woods. A young couple is unable to have children so the husband takes it out on every animal living in the lake and the woods. The wife somehow learns to sing objects into being. It sounds like a fascinating book about what happens when you so badly want children but is unable to have them.
  12. Stephen King: Joyland. King has two books coming out this year and this is the first one. It’s about amusement park serial killers and I don’t t need to say more because if you like King, you will get this!
  13. Douglas Lain: Billy Moon: A transcendent Novel reimagining the Life of Christopher Robin Milne. This is one of the books I’m probably the most excited about. I think it’s some kind of twisted look at Christopher Milne’s childhood and on the Winnie the Pooh stories and I can’t wait!
  14. Andrew Pyper: The Demonologist. This sounds like some kind of Da Vinci Codebook but taking Paradise Lost as it’s starting point. And that’s is it’s selling point to me.
  15. Warren Ellis: Gun Machine. A detective finds an apartment filled with guns. Each gun leads to a different, previously unsolved murder. This book sounds just so cool.
  16. Sonali Deraniyagala: Wave. This woman lost her husband and sons in the 2004 tsunami in Sri Lanka. This is a book about grief. I am sure it will be almost unbearable to read but still, I want to.
  17. Helen Wecker: The Golem and the Jinny. This seems to be a very interesting book which combine Jewish and Arab mythology. It’s about two supernatural creatures in New York – and of course they are drawn together.

It’s funny – some of these were on my list of books to watch out for in 2013 but for some reason or another, they have dropped completely from the radar – or at least from my radar. I heard a lot about the Warren Ellis book – but I don’t think I’ve read a single review… I know I’m not even close to listing all the books that I could be interested in reading but still, I think I will print this list and take it with me whenever I happen to be somewhere with a decent bookstore and hope to pick up some of these amazing sounding books!

Christmas Haul 2013

And so this is Christmas.
And what have you done?

Well, I have been unwrapping books and I like that. I love receiving books as gifts – especially when it’s books I have been wishing for for a long time. So here’s my Christmas Haul!

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  • Octavia Butler: Kindred. A sci-fi novel dealing with slavery. How could I resist that? Besides, everyone who has read this one, has been raving about it and it sounds really intriguing. A modern black woman is taken from her time and transported back to the South because of a drowning white boy. She’s apparently his nanny – and a slave! I’m so looking forward to reading about how a modern black woman deals with living in this time.
  • Khaled Hosseini: And the Mountains Echoed. I have only read The Kite Runner but it was so good and I have been regretting that I haven’t bought A Thousand Splendid Suns yet. I was hoping that it would become available together with Hosseini’s new book, but so far, no such luck. Still, I have the new one and it’s supposed to be wonderful as well so I will probably love it!
  • Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence. This year’s Christmas Classic (the classic, my boyfriend gifts me for Christmas) is Edith Wharton’s The Age of Innocence. I am so looking forward to reading it and I hope I like it because I have received  the Norton Critical Edition so essays about the book takes up more pages than the actual novel itself in this edition! This will be my first Edith Wharton novel and I have so high hopes for both this novel as well as her other novels.

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  • Stephen King: Doctor Sleep. I have been eagerly awaiting this novel. I love The Shining, both the book and the movie, and when I heard that King was writing a sequel, I of course needed to get it. And here it is, looking all pretty with a cat on it’s cover?! My boyfriend also wanted to get me The Shining but apparently it’s sold out and we have to wait for a new edition. I really want to read them back to back so I think I’m going to wait with this one until I get The Shining.
  • Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch. Donna Tartt is a wonderful author and I have loved both The Secret History and The Little Friend. I have been waiting for this one for a couple of years and it’s finally here and looking big and amazing and I hope to get around to this one really soon.
  • Ib Michael: Himlen brændte. (The sky burned) Years ago, I attended a lecture about one of the biggest natural disasters in the history of the earth. On June 30th, 1908, there was an explosion in Tunguska in Siberia and it completely destroyed a huge area of the tundra. And the explosion is still a mystery. I have fascinated by this ever since and when I saw a novel about this event, I had to have it.

And finally, the debut novel of Selma Lagerlöf: Gösta Berlings Saga. I got a pretty old edition of this book, first published in 1891. I have never read Selma Lagerlöf and only know her as the author of Niels Holgersens underbare res a venom Sverige (The Wonderful Adventures of Niels). I don’t know what this one is about but I’m looking forward to getting to know more of Lagerlöf’s writing.

So this was my haul this year. Some amazing books and I’m really looking forward to reading them! How was your Christmas? Did you receive any books or other great gifts? I also got some cool plates and a backpack and the kids had a wonderful time (although we now have two Furbys in the house…!) so this was a great Christmas!

Top Ten Books I Wouldn’t Mind Santa Bringing Me

toptentuesday-1The tree is is ready, reindeer food has been thrown in the garden and cookies and chocolate are waiting for Santa next to the tree. We are ready for him to show up and decorate our tree and put our presents beneath the tree.
Because that’s our tradition in our home. Santa decorates our tree and brings the presents while we sleep. The family arrive at 3 PM and then we eat, sing Christmas carols while walking around the tree and then we exchange gifts at about 6 PM or so – and then for the rest of the evening…
So this is the list of the books I hope to find tonight.
As always, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

  1. Edith Wharton: The Age of Innocence. Each year, my boyfriend gifts me a Classic which I then read sometime before next Christmas. This Christmas Classic is one of our traditions and Iove it. This year I have wished for my first Edith Wharton. Previous Christmas Classics have included War and PeaceLes Misérables and Madame Bovary.
  2. Stephen King: The Shinging & Doctor Sleep. I love The Shining but I don’t own it and with it’s sequel being published this year, of course I have high hopes to find these two under the tree.
  3. Donna Tartt: The Goldfinch. I love Donna Tartt’s books. She takes forever to write them but they are worth the wait. And The Goldfinch sounds so wonderful, I can hardly contain myself. So, so want!
  4. Kahled Hosseini: And the Mountains Echoed. Third novel from Hosseini. Another of this year’s big books. I own, have read and loved The Kite Runner and I want to read both this one and the previous one, A Thousand Splendid Suns.
  5. Walter Moers and John Brownjohn: The 13 1/2 Lives of Captain Bluebear (Zamonia #1). Because of SJ, I seriously hope to get this one. If not, I have to order it for myself. The fourth book in this series is called The City of Dreaming Booksfor crying out loud. I have to read these!!!
  6. Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake, The Year of the Flood & MaddAddam. (See how I managed to make this a very long Top Ten?) I want to explore Margaret Atwood’s books. That was actually one of my goals for this year and I haven’t done so… But I really want to read this trilogy so fingers crossed that it will be there and I can dig into it before New Years!
  7. Karl Ove Knausgaard: My Struggle. I have been postponing reading these – or maybe rather trying to avoid reading them. But I keep hearing about how amazing this series are so I promise to stop trying to avoid them and instead embrace them. It’s sort of a modern Proust – so what’s not to like? (says the girl who’ve read one book of the 14 books Danish translation…!)
  8. Féliz J. Palma: The Map of the Sky. I loved The Map of Time. I keep saying it was a wild ride and it was and I want more books that are like that so I’m hoping the sequel will be too.
  9. Andrea J. Buchanan (ed.): It’s a Girl: Women Writers on Raising Daughters
    and
  10. Peggy Orenstein: Cinderella Ate My Daughter. Both of these books for pretty much the same reason. I have girls, two of them in fact, and I really want them to grow up to be independent, strong and with confidence in their own abilities. And since I am a book person, of course I read books about raising kids, raising girls.

(I actually have more wishes but I forced myself to stick with ten – or almost sticking to ten…)
Have a very Merry and beautiful Christmas – hopefully filled with books (and family, love, laughter and all that stuff, but books too!)

Related posts:

Top Ten 2014 Release I’m Dying To Read

toptentuesday-1So it’s been a while since I’ve participated in a Top Ten Tuesday last – mostly because the topics haven’t really spoken to me. But this week it’s all about which books we’re looking forward to in 2014 and looking forward to the new releases is very much on my mind, this time of year. So of course I had to participate. And of course there are lots of great reading experience to come out in 2014!
As always, the Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

  1. Haruki Murakami: Colorless Tsukuro Tazaki and his Year of Pilgrimage. So the newest Murakami novel is supposed to be published in English next year and of course I’m looking forward to that. It’s supposed to be a bit like Norwegian Wood which I really liked so this is definitely one I’m looking forward to.
  2. Joyce Carol Oates: Carthage. Of course there’s a book by Joyce Carol Oates on the list – there is every year. This year it’s about the disappearance of a young girl and what it means to her community and family.
  3. Stephen King: Mr. Mercedes/Revival. It seems we get another Stephen King novel next year – or maybe more than one. There have been several titles mentioned and it’s all on a rumor basis right now but here’s hoping that 2014 will be another big King year (even though I haven’t read Dr. Sleep or Joyland yet).
  4. Patrick Rothfuss: The Doors of Stone (The Kingkiller Chronicle #3). I’m am so eager for this one to come out because then I can finally start this series. From what I’ve heard, this is a series with serious cliff hangers so I have forced myself to wait. But now the final novel is coming out and I can finally begin reading it!!
  5. Lev Grossman: The Magician’s Land (The Magicians #3). This is the series heralded as being a combination of Narnia and Harry Potter, but for adults. I liked the first book in the series so now I’m looking forward to reading the entire series.
  6. Leigh Bardugo: Ruin and Rising (The Grisha Trilogy #3). This is another trilogy I’ve been waiting to read so I could read it all at once. It sure does look like I’m going to read a lot of series next year!
  7. Blake Crouch: The Last Town (The Wayward Pines #3). Both my boyfriend and I are intrigued by this series and I hope we’ll get around to reading it. It sounds intriguing with a small town completely shut off from everything around it and with no one knowing what’s going on.
  8. Torben Munksgaard: I virkelighedenI studied philosophy together with Torben so I’m always intrigued whenever he publish a new book. This is his fourth novel and I own his first three. If I could just get around to actually reading any of them … They all sound good – I just don’t read a lot of Danish literature…
  9. Diana Gabaldon: Written in My Own Heart’s Blood (Outlander #8). I’ve read the first two in the Outlander series and really enjoyed them. I need to pick up my pace and get this series read!
  10. Jim Butcher: Skin Game (Dresden Files # 15). I read the first two in this series and liked them, but didn’t love them. However, I’ve been told that they improve so hopefully I will stick with this series and find out if this one is worth having hopes for!

So there’s my list. I’ve been trying to google a bit and finding some good titles for next year but this is the best I’ve found. It annoys me to have a list filled with books from series – especially from series which I either haven’t started or where I’m far behind – but these are the books I know about, which I’m the most intrigued by.

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Stephen King: Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #4) (review)

wizard-and-glass2So after having loved the third volume in Stephen King’s amazing The Dark Tower series, I just continued straight on with the fourth book, Wizard and Class. The third book, The Waste Lands, sees the ka-tet fully formed with Eddie, Susannah and finally Jake (and Oy) as Roland’s partners on his quest to reach the tower. And it ended with a cliffhanger so I just needed to keep on reading – even though Wizard and Glass is the longest in the series with it’s 845 pages (my edition).
And it continues right where The Waste Lands left off. Our group of unlikely heroes have boarded Blaine the mono rail and are ready to try their luck at outsmarting him in a game of riddles, thus preventing him from killing himself while they’re still on board. Not an easy task since Blaine has seen it all and heard it all – he knows any and every riddle. Luckily – and necessarily because otherwise this book would not be 845 pages long – they manage to outsmart him and after having stepped out of the train, they find themselves … in Kansas, of all places.
But our group decides not to press on on their quest but instead, sit down, take it easy and listen to Roland tell the story of his youth, the story of why he is emotionally stunted and unable to love, the story of Susan.
And that’s pretty much the rest of the book. As young teenagers, Roland and his two best friends, Cuthbert and Alain, are sent away from home to keep them safe. But of course, they find themselves in even greater danger because they end up in a city strongly supporting the good man, John Farson; the man, the boys’ hometown Gilead is fighting against. The boys pretend to be send to count horses, fish nets and other things that can support in the battle against John Farson and quickly finds out that they are lied to by just about everyone in town.
Except Susan.
Roland and Susan meets accidentally one night and Roland walks her home – and that’s it. Roland is lost and in love. But Susan isn’t exactly free to fall in love and she comes with a past which may be important in the job, the boys are trying to do. So pretty soon, the young teenagers are sneaking off and making love all over and Susan is helping the boys with their attempt to prevent John Farson for getting what he wants.
But being young and in love isn’t always the best way to be when you are also trying to sneak around some very dangerous men and a whole town, in fact, so Roland’s friends are extremely worried. And for good reasons because if the men in town aren’t dangerous enough, there’s also a witch to take into account. A witch who finds herself the guardian of a pretty pink stone; a stone, which has powers – and a will! – of it’s own.
Even though it’s nice to get some backstory to Roland, I would have preferred it to be shorter, I think. I really like spending time with Eddie, Susannah, Jake, Oy and Roland and their attempt to get to the tower and in this book, we hardly get any closer. Well, we do a bit, but not much. And knowing Roland, we know that the love story will not be a happy one – and to add to this, King uses so so much foreshadowing to let us know that things will not turn out the way the young lovers want them too, that it actually gets to be a bit too much.
One think I did like was the riddle game in the beginning, played between Blaine the mono rail and our group of heroes. I’m pretty sure that King was inspired by Tolkien when writing this – the riddle game played by Bilbo and Gollum in The Hobbit (read an interesting post about it here), especially since both authors seem to emphasize the history of riddles and the tradition of riddle contests.
I also really liked the shout-outs to The Wizard of Oz even though I have to admit that I have neither watched nor read it. I have watched a little bit of it and I did like what I saw (and not only because Toto is a cairn terrier just like my Kayleigh (except a different color)) but I didn’t finish watching it because I hadn’t seen it from the beginning. Anyway, I liked how King incorporates elements from The Wizard of Oz into the book – and how Kansas apparently has a special connection to magical worlds!
I think if this book had been anything but a part of the Dark Tower series, I would have liked it a lot more – it just didn’t fit quite in to the series for me. Or maybe it will be a better read when one rereads the series and does know how it all ends and isn’t all eager to find out. All I know is that I didn’t feel the need to just read on in the series after finishing this book as I did after finishing the third volume. But it’s not a bad book, mind you – I realize this review makes it sound like a bad and boring book and it’s really not. It’s just not as good as The Waste Lands and that is very obvious when you read them back to back.

  • Title: Wizard and Glass (The Dark Tower #3)
  • Author: Stephen King
  • Publisher: New English Library – Hodder & Stoughton
  • Year: 2003 (original 1997)
  • Pages: 845 pages
  • Source: My boyfriend’s collection
  • Stars: 4 stars out of 5

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Stephen King: The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3) (review)

waste-lands‘Feed your need to read.’ (p. 156)
After the gathering of Susannah and Eddie in The Gathering of the Three, Roland’s ka-tet is to all appearances finished and the three set off for the Dark Tower. Roland teaches them the ways of the gunslinger to prepare them for whatever lies ahead – but also because he is slowly going mad. His mind is constantly arguing with itself about the boy Jake who travelled with Roland in The Gunslinger and was killed. Roland saved Jake from being killed in our world, thus preventing Jake from going to Roland’s world and dying there. This creates a paradox and now Roland has two sets of memories. Did Jake exist or not, did he die or not. These two strands of memories are pulling Roland apart in such a devastating way that he freely hands over his gun and knife, knowing that he might hurt Eddie and Susannah if he looses it completely – and still caries weapons.
But a ka-tet is nothing if not bound together by destiny and the members may be linked in more ways than they first thought. Eddie starts having weird dreams, dreams about a haunted house he remembers from his childhood. And in the corner of his eye, there’s a boy there. A boy watching him and his brother. A boy who is new.
In this novel, we get more glimpses and hints about what has happened to Roland’s world. It has changed, grown bigger and is at the same time slowly dying. And the dark tower is a part of this. The tower has guardians: huge, creepy half animal half robot creatures. We get the pleasure of meeting the giant bear Shardik. It is definitely a force to be reckoned with, as the trio finds out. As soon as I read the name Shardik, I knew it was a nod to Richard Adams and King plays it very cool, letting Eddie say: ‘I know that name, but I can’t place it. /…/ The thing is … /…/ I associate it with rabbits.’ Later in the book he does come out and names Adams as well as Watership Down but I loved the sly humor in this scene.
The bear guards the road to the tower. Everything is draw to the tower so the path is easy to follow when it has been found. Unfortunately this path leads them to the city of Lud, a city torn apart by war. But there they must go to continue their journey towards the tower.
King also manages to take a well-known children’s story and turn it into something scary and nasty. The story is about a train which only want to choo-choo along and enjoy the sky and the wind but which is pushed aside by a newer faster train but finally the old train gets it’s redemption and is allowed to carry children around an amusement park. My kids have that book – or a version of it anyhow – and now I’m scared to go find it and read it and most of all, I’m scared to look at the pictures. Because this train … this train is a serious freak!
For me, this was the best book so far in the The Dark Tower series. It was just pure pleasure to read it and I didn’t want to put it down. As always, King is a master story teller. There might be issues with his world building and with the connections between our world and Roland’s world – but who cares! It’s solid enough to make you pause and think over things and how the worlds are related but not so solid that you feel like you have to try to find small mistakes that can make the world building crumble.
My favorite (new) character in this novel is the dog-like creature Oy, a billy-bumbler. He is a clever, clever animal, dedicated and faithful, and even able to count and pronounce some syllables/words. He is indispensable in this novel and I’m just sad that he wandered into a King novel because the odds of him getting out of this alive, are not good. Not good at all.
In fact, now we know a tiny bit more about what we’re up against, I would be surprised if all our main characters will make it through to the tower.
So many times I’ve seen books marketed as ‘Harry Potter for adults’ etc (which is a bit weird since many adults, myself included, read Harry Potter). But if you’re looking for fantasy for an adult audience, this is it. King never shies back from anything. Here’s sex, drugs and rock’n’roll. Yes, the sex is with a demon. Yes, the drugs are only in Eddie’s reminiscing and yes, the rock’n’roll is not easily recognizable at first – but that’s what gives it edge and makes it stand out.

dark tower ral

I began reading this series as part of the epic read-along of The Dark Tower hosted by The Stephen King Challenge blog – and I have written earlier that I was fallen behind – now I’m not sure quite how far along the read-along has come – or if it’s even going on any more but I’m still trotting along, slow but kind of steady…

  • Title: The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3)
  • Author: Stephen King
  • Publisher: New English Library – Hodder & Stoughton
  • Year: 2003 (original 1991)
  • Pages: 584 pages
  • Source: My boyfriend’s collection
  • Stars: 5 stars out of 5

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Back from holiday (& Book Buying 2013 part 6)

So I’m back from holiday and we had a great time. We saw a lot of animals in various zoos, visited an amusement park, the beach, a glass museum and more. We enjoyed hanging out, just the four of us. The cottage we had rented, was beautiful and it was so peaceful to sit outside it and read. So all in all, a lovely holiday. And tomorrow – it’s back to work for me. The girls and my boyfriend have two weeks more so the next couple of weeks will be rather relaxing as well.

9780141184272As for reading, I did manage to finish Virginia Woolf’s Orlando. It is a magnificent piece of literature. I am impressed with how Virginia Woolf both manages to create a love letter to Vita Sackville-West and comment on the normal male-fixated Western history, on biography and how absurd it is in some ways, on time, gender and so much more – and still make it readable. Now, when I say readable, I mean that I enjoyed it s much – but even though the book is short of 300 pages, it does take rather a lot of time and effort to read it.

waste-landsMy next read, on the other hand, was the third volume in Stephen King’s magna opus The Dark Tower. The Waste Lands is my favorite so far in the series and I just flew through it. It was such a thrill to read and I couldn’t help sit and compare how different the reading experiences was in these two novels. I enjoyed them both and I love how you can get so many experiences, feelings, challenges and more from sitting quietly with a book.

Proper reviews will follow later – very positive reviews.

So two books read (almost) and … well … two books bought…

9780141974026

Yes, well. We went to my second favorite book store in Denmark and I had to buy two books. I bought Thomas Hardy’s Tess of the d’Ubervilles which is on my list of books for The Classics Club. I’ve read many positive reviews of it so I’m excited to read it. I’ve never read anything from Thomas Hardy so I’m curious to explore him and this book. And I love this Penguin English Library series with it’s beautiful covers!

mantel

And I bought a Hilary Mantel. I have only read Wolf Hall and was more impressed by it than loving it. I rated it 4 stars but I need to read it again to fully get it. I’m guilty of not knowing who Thomas Cromwell was before reading this book. I had a long talk with the woman behind the counter who was a huge Mantel fan. Don’t you just love it when you meet people in shops who actually know what they are talking about. I would love to live in the city where this store is…

So two great books brought home with me. And a great holiday spend with my boyfriend and our two beautiful girls. I love summer!

17026_413852478709121_1163712783_nOh and I might have bought another book earlier that I forgot to mention and I guess now is as good as time as any to mention it. Of course I bought Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane as soon as I spotted it in a book store. I have been so excited about this book ever since I first heard about it. It sounds amazing and the cover is gorgeous so I got it immediately. Only sorry that they didn’t have the hardcover.

Holiday Reading

Today, my family and I are going away on holiday. We’re spending a week in a nice cabin in a beautiful part of Denmark and planning on visiting various zoos and other child friendly sights as well as the beach if the weather stays sunny and warm. I’m also hoping for a book shop or two…

When we go away on this type of holiday, my boyfriend and I like to read in the evenings. We usually bring some board games and some books and never even open the game boxes but just spend every evening reading. And since I love to read, that’s perfectly fine by me. (Even though we need to stop buying board games if we never intend to play any of them…)

Of course, this means that I have to choose which books to bring. And this year, it has been really hard. Last year I spend most of the holiday reading Ken Follet: The Pillars of the Earth and loved it. This year – I’m not sure I want to read a chunkster. I just finished The Count of Monte Cristo and can’t quite handle to dive into another huge book so soon after.

So what I’m opting for this year, is options. I’m bringing several books and hoping that they will cover whatever mood I feel. And I’m bringing my kindle. In part because then I can read whatever I fancy but also because I have the complete Sherlock Holmes on it and I plan on reading that this year. I might also have a couple of other books on it and some 20+ samples – just to be sure that I don’t run out of reading material…

Now let’s see what else I’m bringing:

9780141184272Virginia Woolf: Orlando. I’ve been wanting to read Orlando for years. Ever since the movie came out back in 1992! I can’t remember when I bought the book but I’ve owned it a while. I’m really intrigued by how the protagonist changes sex in the novel and lives for 400 years or so as first a man and then a woman. This book is also on my list of reading goals for the year; a list, I’m falling a bit behind on so I plan on starting with this one.

NightCircus.final_.2Erin Morgenstern: The Night Circus. This next choice was between Erin Morgenstern’s novel The Night Circus and Christos Tsiolkas’s book The Slap. I ended up choosing The Night Circus because I have kept postponing reading it because I’m scared that it can’t live up to my expectations. And now I want to force myself to read it because I do think it is a novel that I will enjoy – and Morgenstern is working on a new one and I would like to have this one finished before she does.

waste-landsStephen King: The Waste Lands (The Dark Tower #3). The fantasy category. Here, I chose between the third installment in Stephen King’s Dark Tower series, the fifth in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series and the first in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. I decided against A Song of Ice and Fire since I am already reading the other two series. And I decided against A Wheel of Time because, frankly, it’s not all that good and the writing annoys me. I know King can deliver a good and thrilling read!

BRUN_MANDS_BYRDE_FORSIDE_300dpiHassan Preisler: Brun mands byrde (Brown Man’s Burden). A debut novel which has gotten a lot of praise in Denmark. Apparently, it is a modern version of Rudyard Kipling’s poem White Man’s Burden but set on it’s head where the author and others like him have to teach the ordinary white Dane that we live in a multicolored and multicultural world. It seems to be not about the importance of tolerance but of respect – to respect each other enough to also tell each other if something we’ve made sucks.

I don’t plan on posting a lot next week. I hope to write a lot of notes to the books I read so it will be relatively easy to write (hopefully a lot of) reviews when I get back but I don’t plan on  actually finishing anything – except a lot of books!