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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Book Buying 2013 – part 7

So this not buying more books than I read thing, is really not working all that well. I really want to read all the books i own (or most of them, anyway) and I want to work my way through them and own fewer books that I haven’t read, but I simply can’t resist buying books.
So when I had to go to Copenhagen for work, I of course had to go to the best bookstore in Denmark when you’re interested in English literature, Politikens Boghal. This was made more necessary because the bookstore has just been renovated. So I went – and was a bit disappointed. I didn’t feel as inspired as I usual do when I visit this bookstore but whether this is because the bookstore is not quite as good as it used to be or if it’s just because it’s new and different and I like things the way they’ve always been…!
Anyway, I still managed to find three books that desperately needed a new home.

The InterestingsMeg Wolitzer: The Interestings. I’ve been reading a few reviews on this on various blogs and it sounds really good. A group of artistic teenagers form a friendship at a summer camp and then we follow them all the way through to middle age. I don’t know, there’s just something about this book which really speaks to me. I’m really looking forward to this one – in some ways it reminds me a bit of The Secret History which I loved.

n425233Marjorie Celona: Y. So this book was on my list of my most anticipated books in 2013. And as soon as I spotted it, I immediately picked it up. It’s about an abandoned baby, the man who finds her – and the woman who left her. It sounds so wonderful and tragic, beautiful and heartbreaking. I really hope it lives up to my expectations for it – even though they are quite high. I actually haven’t read any reviews of this one but I’m hoping to get around to it very soon and post one of my own.

9780679405795_p0_v1_s260x420Charles Dickens: Great Expectations. So after reading somewhere that this book is about a woman living in her torn and ragged wedding dress and after seeing pictures of Gillian Anderson from the mini-series, I just knew that I desperately wanted to read this novel. And so, when I found it in the Everyman’s Library edition, I bought it immediately and now I’m looking so much forward to reading it. I love Dickens and I really want to read about Pip, miss Havisham and the rest of the cast of this book. Not sure really what the book is about but I’m sure Dickens isn’t going to disappoint me.
So these three books were the ones that had to come home with me. Sadly, I wasn’t much tempted by many other books. I hope to go back to Copenhagen and Politikens Boghal soon and see if the store does carry fewer books or if it’s just my imagination …

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New books in 2013

So I know I already did a list of my Top Ten Most Anticipated Books for 2013 – but 10 is not enough! There are so many good books coming out next year that I had to make another post about them. So here they are – 12 more books!

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tumblr_mbrmj9nBOt1r4zpe9 celona28rv2 the-cover joyland

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  1. 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?
  2. 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.
  3. Kate Atkinson: Life after Life. One night, Ursula Todd is born but dies before she can draw her first breath. On the same night, Ursula Todd is born and lives on to lead an unusual life. Doesn’t this sound extremely intriguing?
  4. 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?
  5. 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.
  6. Marjorie Celona: Y: A Novel. A book about an abandoned baby, the mother who left her and the man who found her. It sounds heartbreaking and beautiful.
  7. Joe Hill: NOS4A2. This book is an example of a book where the title alone sells it!
  8. 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!
  9. 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!
  10. Andrew Pyper: The Demonologist. This sounds like some kind of Da Vinci Code book but taking Paradise Lost as it’s starting point. And that’s is it’s selling point to me.
  11. 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!
  12. 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.

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