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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #92

July 19, 2017 | One comment


 

1. One of my best friends just visited for a 2 week vacation. Among other things, we went on a road-trip around Iceland (with a heavy focus on hot-pots and waterfalls). Photos to come soon.

2. Loving Scars on 45’s cover of Time After Time. Also, I cannot wait for their new album.

3. I’ve done something to my left foot/leg. Pinched nerves, locked muscles, shin splints, and an ankle that feels like it will shatter into a thousand pieces when you put any pressure on it… (Did I mention that fieldwork season is here?)

4. Not being able to go for even short walks is also making me extremely antsy and annoyed.

5. On Monday evening, we went to see Ludovico Einaudi’s concert at Harpa, the concert hall in Reykjavík. It was absolutely amazing. Definitely one of the best concerts I have ever been to.

Visit Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for more bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

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Reading Recap | June 2017

July 5, 2017 | No comments


 

I read 20 books in June, of which four were in Swedish (for the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge). The following three were the highlights of the month:

Davidsstjärnor by Kristina Ohlsson ★★★★★
Ebook | 490 pages (Read June 10)
Published in English as “The Chosen”

In the fifth book about investigative analyst Fredrika Bergman and detective Alex Recht of the Stockholm police, the duo investigates three murders (of a pre-school teacher and two young boys) who all have connections to a Jewish Congregation in Stockholm. This book was a true page turner and it reminded me why I love this series. I cannot believe I waited so long to read this one.

 
Cold Earth by Ann Cleeves ★★★★
Audiobook | 11 hours (Read June 10-11)

In the 7th, and last, book in the Shetland series, Inspector Jimmy Perez and his colleagues investigate a case with a dead body found in a small croft house following a landslide. This was a great read, and I’m kind of sad that there won’t be any more books in the series.

 
The Girls in the Water by Victoria Jenkins ★★★★
Ebook | 328 pages (Read June 17-18)

In the first book about Detective Alex King and her new recruit Chloe Lane, a serial killer is targeting women who all attended the same support group. It was a great introduction to the series, and I’m looking forward to reading more about this duo.

 
OTHER READS

★★★★
Thin Air by Ann Cleeves (audio) | Syndafloder by Kristina Ohlsson

★★★
The Boys of Everest by Clint Willis (audio) | Elephants Can Remember by Agatha Christie | Svart fjäril by Anna Jansson | Reported Missing by Sarah Wray | The Marx Sisters by Barry Maitland | Sherlock Holmes’ Rediscovered Railway Stories: Four original short stories by John Taylor | A Twist in Time by Julie McElwain | Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell | Blue Monday by Nicci French | The Private Patient by P.D. James (audio) | Believing the Lie by Elizabeth George (audio) | Lärjungen by Michael Hjorth

★★
One Mountain Thousand Summits by Freddie Wilkinson | Into the Water by Paula Hawkins | Take the Key and Lock Her Up by Ally Carter

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6 Degrees of Separation: Picnic at Hanging Rock

July 2, 2017 | 2 comments


 

6 Degrees of Separation is a book meme hosted by Kate at Books are My Favorite and Best. The goal is to construct a chain with 6 other books, using any criteria you want, and see where you end up.

The starting book this month is the Australian classic Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. I haven’t read the book, but being a geologist, Hanging Rock is on my list of places to visit if I ever go to Australia.

Someone that is used to hanging on to rocks is Alex Honnold. In his memoir, Alone on the Wall, he describes a selection of his most astonishing climbing achievements. Honnold is famous for free soloing, which is a type of climbing where you don’t use a rope, partner, or hardware for aid or protection. He is the first climber to free solo Yosemite’s 3000-foot El Capitan wall and has pushed free soloing far beyond the limits of what anyone thought was possible.

Something most people considers unthinkable is exactly what Aron Ralston was forced to do in 2003. In his memoir, 127 Hours: Between a Rock and a Hard Place, he describes the extreme action he had to take to save himself when he got his hand trapped under an 800-pound boulder while hiking alone in Utah and without anyone knowing where he was or coming to his rescue.

Jack Olsen’s book, The Climb up to Hell, chronicles an amazing rescue attempt of four climbers on The Eiger in the Swiss Alps in 1957.

An amazing rescue attempt is also the focus in Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History by Antonio J. Mendez. Mendez was the CIA agent who came up with the plan for how to rescue six American hostages from Iran in 1979, after militants stormed the American embassy in Tehran. Even though the 1979 event is the focus of the book, it also chronicles the rest of Mendez’ career and his work as an espionage artist for the Technical Services Division of the CIA.

The same year as I read Argo, I also read Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures by Robert K. Wittman. Whitman was the founder of the FBI’s Art Crime Team and his memoir tells the details behind his recoveries of priceless art and antiquities all over the world. The book has been described as “a real-life international thriller to rival The Thomas Crown Affair” but I actually found it quite slow paced and borderline boring.

Tom Kirk, an international art thief, is the main character in James Twining’s series that starts with The Double Eagle (which has been described as a mixture of James Bond and The Thomas Crown Affair).

This time, my chain took me from the Australian classic Picnic at Hanging Rock, via numerous non-fiction books, to the thriller The Double Eagle.

Why don’t you join us and make your own chain? Starting with Picnic at Hanging Rock, where will you end up? Visit Books Are My Favourite and Best to read the rules and see who else made a chain this month.

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The Present Participle List | June 2017

June 30, 2017 | One comment


 

DRINKING water
WATCHING Shadowhunters
LISTENING to Imagine Dragon’s new album
WEARING my new rubber boots
LOVING smoothies for breakfast
KEEPING a food journal again
EATING raspberries
ENJOYING the light
READING Swedish crime novels
PLAYING Mastermind
ORGANIZING my closet
WRITING book reviews
FEELING tired
PLANNING an epic road-trip

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Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #91

June 28, 2017 | One comment


 

1. Yesterday was filled with sad news. Both the Swedish actor Michael Nyqvist (who, among other things, played Mikael Blomkvist in the original film adaption of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium books) and the British author Michael Bond (who wrote the Paddington Bear books, which I loved as a kid) passed away.

2. One more week until vacation! One of my closest friends is coming to visit and we are planning an epic roadtrip (involving lots of hot pots, beautiful scenery, and good food).

3. This. Especially #2-3 and 12.

4. I’m not the biggest fan of Dracula, but this could be interesting.

5. I splurged and finally bought myself a pair of Ilse Jacobsen rubber boots. They are the most comfortable boots I’ve ever owned (and I suddenly don’t mind the prospect of a rainy summer).

6. In honor of the 20th anniversary of the first book being published: I am 29% Hufflepuff, 29% Gryffindor, 28% Ravenclaw, and 14% Slytherin. What is your Hogwarts House percentage?

7. This Saturday is July 1, which means time for another round of 6 Degrees of Separation. The starting book is the Australian classic Picnic at Hanging Rock by Joan Lindsay. I have not read it, and have absolutely no idea what to use for my first link.

Visit Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for more bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

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Top Ten Books of 2017 (so far)

June 27, 2017 | No comments


 

We are almost halfway through the year, and the top ten books I’ve read so far, not including rereads* (as hosted by The Broke and the Bookish) are:

1. Davidsstjärnor by Kristina Ohlsson (published in English as The Chosen)
2. Stalker by Lars Kepler
3. Kaninjägaren by Lars Kepler (not yet published in English)
4. Passing Strange by Ellen Klages
5. The Ice Queen by Nele Neuhaus
6. The Dead Room by Chris Mooney
7. With No One as Witness by Elizabeth George
8. The Girls in the Water by Victoria Jenkins
9. Den man älskar by Mari Jungstedt (not yet published in English)
10. Dead Simple by Peter James

 
Which are the best books you have read this year?

*If I included rereads, The Martian by Andy Weir would be 2nd on the list.

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The Girls in the Water by Victoria Jenkins

June 24, 2017 | No comments


 

What: First book in a new crime series about Detective Alex King and her new recruit Chloe Lane, to be published August 3, 2017 by Bookouture.

Setting: South Wales

Plot in brief: A serial killer is targeting women from the same support group, and the murders are connected to Chloe Lane’s troubled past.

The good: King and Lane are great characters, although it took me a while to warm up to them, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading a police procedural with two strong female main characters. The mystery is well presented with lots of twists and turns.

The not-so-good: The first half was quite slow with a lot of background information, and borderline too many things going on at the same time. It almost felt like this books was further into the series, rather than the first book.

Why I read it: I loved the cover, and the publisher was kind enough to supply me with an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: ★★★★

Conclusion: I cannot wait for the sequel.

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Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #90

June 21, 2017 | 8 comments


 

1. I’m almost done with project reread Gone With the Wind. I’m not quite enjoying it as much as when I first read it (over 15 years ago). I think I have less patience for Scarlet this time.

2. I highly recommend reading the articles at Humans of New York.

3. This miniature calendar is my absolute favourite instagram account at the moment.

4. Hokulea has returned home.

5. Witty librarians are my heroes.

6. I don’t really have time to watch that much TV at the moment, but I’m making an exception for Shadowhunters and Elementary (I’m now on season 5).

7. I could not resist and spent this month’s Audible credit on Sherlock Holmes: The Definite Collection narrated by Stephen Fry and it is 63 hours long.

8. Only 2 weeks left until my summer vacation. One of my best friends is coming to visit, and I’m planning to show her all my favourite places in Iceland (and hopefully discover some new ones).

Visit Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for more bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

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Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

June 17, 2017 | 2 comments


 

What: Psychological thriller published in May 2017.

Setting: Small town in the UK.

Plot in brief: The apparent suicide of a single mother, with similarities to the death of a teenage girl a few months earlier, brings out secrets from the past that the inhabitants of the town would prefer stay hidden.

The good: The tagline “Beware a calm surface—you never know what lies beneath” is sadly the best thing about this book.

The not-so-good: There are so many things about this book that I have issues with. It has a very big cast, borderline too big. For every chapter, the narrative voice switches to another character and because all chapters are told in first-person point-of-view, I found it extremely hard to keep track of who was doing what or even which character the story was following at what time. To make everything worse, I didn’t like any of the characters. The big cast and the narrative style was extremely distracting from the mystery, which is supposed to be the thing that ties all the different characters (and their own stories) together. I found it disjointed, confusing, and honestly, quite boring.

Why I read it: I liked the author’s previous book, The Girl on the Train, which this is constantly compared to.

My rating: ★★ (1.5 stars)

Conclusion: Not worth reading.

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Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #89

June 15, 2017 | 2 comments


 

1. Happy one year anniversary in Iceland to me. I still think that moving here is the best decision I’ve ever made.

2. I bought myself a fancy Ninja blender. I’m terrible at eating breakfast but I’ve been making smoothies in the mornings and bringing into work. So far, I’ve only been using the trusted combination of plain skyr, bananas, raspberries, and blueberries, but I’m building up the courage to try other ingredients.

3. There is a new Jamie Oliver restaurant opening in Reykjavik. I’m very excited about it, even though I likely won’t be able to eat anything there. The best pasta dish I ever tried was at Jamie’s Italian in Bristol.

4. Something else that I’m excited about is seeing the new ice cave exhibit at Perlan that opens at the end of the month.

5. I’m in desperate need of a new audiobook crime series to listen to.

6. Less than 3 weeks left until summer vacation.

7. I started reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins. So far, I’m not impressed.

Visit Christine at Bookishly Boisterous for more bookish (and not so bookish) thoughts.

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