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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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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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!)

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