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Couch Potato, Librocubicularist

Book vs Screen: Chesapeake Shores

August 30, 2016 | One comment


 

I’m taking a page from Kate’s book and comparing books and their screen counterparts. This time, it’s a romance novel and the TV show based on it.

I read the book The Inn at Eagle Point (first in the Chesapeake Shores series) by Sherryl Woods (originally published 2009) AFTER seeing the pilot of the tv show Chesapeake Shores (premiered 2016).

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TV SHOW over book, because:

1. The book felt very slow going, and the story did not really captivate me.

2. I didn’t quite connect to the characters as much in the book as in the TV show.

3. TV show has a great cast. Among others, Treat Williams and Jesse Metcalfe are perfectly cast as Mick O’Brien and Trace Riley. (And I have a soft spot for big cast/family shows.)

4. The scenery is gorgeous and it really comes across on screen.

5. After finishing the book, I didn’t feel the need to keep reading the rest of the series, but after seeing the pilot episode, I definitely want to continue watching the show.

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Reading Recap | 114

August 29, 2016 | 2 comments


 

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Last week I read The Inn at Eagle Point (★★★), the first in a romance series by Sherryl Woods set in the Chesapeake Bay area. The setting is definitely the reason I wanted to read this one, but I much preferred the Hallmark tv series based on the novel.

I also read Into Oblivion by Arnaldur Indridason (★★★), a prequel to the Icelandic crime series about Inspector Erlendur. It was a good mystery, but not the best from the series.

I listened to Careless in Red by Elizabeth George (★★★). It is the 15th book about Inspector Lynley. It was a quite slow, but interesting, read.

I also listened to The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer (★★★★). I’ve read it before, and I enjoyed it just as much this time.
 

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This week I’m continuing Den döende dandyn by Mari Jungstedt (published in English as Killer’s Art), the fourth book about superintendant Anders Knutas which I started last week. I’m also hoping to get to the fifth book in the same series, I den ljuva sommartid (published in English as The Dead of Summer).

I’m listening to I Hear the Sirens in the Street by Adrian McKinley, the second book about Detective Sean Duffy, set in Belfast in 1982.

 
What are you reading at the moment? For more inspiration and other’s reading plans, visit the it’s Monday, what are you reading linkup.

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Reading Recap | 113

August 22, 2016 | One comment


 

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Last week I was in a mood for some romance novels. I read Wait For Me by Samantha Chase (★★), All I Want by Jill Shalvis (★★), It’s Only Love by Marie Force (★★), and Married ’til Monday by Denise Hunter (★★). They were all kind of bland and nothing that really worked for me. (Maybe I wasn’t really in the mood for romance?)

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Last week’s crime novels were better choices. I read Alla de stillsamma döda by Anna Jansson (★★★), the second book about detective Maria Wern (not yet published in English), and Bittrare än döden by Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff (★★★), the second book about psychologist Siri Bergman (published in English as More Bitter Than Death). I also listened to The Cold Cold Ground by Adrian McKinley (★★★), a crime novel set in Ireland in 1981. It started a bit slow, but overall it was an interesting read.

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Last week, I also read Montana Sky by Nora Roberts (★★★), a romantic suspense. It was vaguely familiar – I think it might have been made into a tv show or movie.

Last week I also read two non-fiction books. I listened to The Summit by Pat Falvey (★★★), about the 2008 disaster on K2. It was ok, but not great. I also read Taking the Lead by Derek Hough (★★). Some parts of it was quite interesting, but overall it felt very unorganized.

 

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This week I’m reading Den döende dandyn by Mari Jungstedt (published in English as Killer’s Art), the fourth book about superintendant Anders Knutas which I never got around to reading last week.

I’m also reading Into Oblivion by Arnaldur Indridason, a prequel to the Icelandic crime series about Inspector Erlendur.

I’m also planning on reading The Inn at Eagle Point, the first in a romance series by Sherryl Woods set in the Chesapeake Bay area. The setting is definitely the reason I want to read this one (and the Hallmark channel just premiered a series based on the novel).

I’m listening to Careless in Red by Elizabeth George. It is the 15th book about Inspector Lynley.

 
What are you reading at the moment? For more inspiration and other’s reading plans, visit the it’s Monday, what are you reading linkup.

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Librocubicularist

Five Favourite Regions

August 17, 2016 | 3 comments


 

It is probably no secret that my favourite setting (especially for crime novels) are the Nordic/Scandinavian countries. I’ve already written multiple list with my favourite books set in this region* (see here, here and here). Five areas in the US (and one in Europe) that I’m obsessed with, even though I’ve only visited them in books or films, are in no particular order:

1. The Chesapeake Bay (Maryland and Virginia)
Book series such as the Chesapeake Diaries by Mariah Stewart and the Chesapeake Bay Saga by Nora Roberts have made me fall in love with the area along the Chesapeake Bay, a large estuary on the East coast of the US.

2. Pacific Northwest (Oregon and Washington)
I completely blame books such as The Search by Nora Roberts and the Thunder Point series by Robyn Carr, and films like Sleepless in Seattle and the Free Willy trilogy for making me love the Oregon and Washington area.

3. Maine
The Cider House Rules by John Irving, The Calhouns series by Nora Roberts, Paul Dorion’s mystery series about game warden Mike Bowditch, and the tv show Haven based on Stephen King’s The Colorado Kid are only a few reasons I’m convinced Maine would be a perfect area to relocate to. It’s also very possible that I might (maybe) have a soft spot for the tv show North Woods Law

4. North Carolina
Thanks to Nicholas Sparks’s novels A Walk to Remember, The Notebook, and The Choice (and of course the films based on his books), I’m starting to think the North Carolina would be a wonderful place to live.

5. Alaska
Northern Lights by Nora Roberts (and the tv movie based on it) and the film The Proposal are just a few examples that make me think that I could be quite happy in Alaska.

Bonus: Ireland
I blame my obsession with Ireland completely on Nora Roberts’ Gallaghers of Ardmore and Born In/Concannon trilogies. (And Tana French’s Dublin Murder Squad series has definitely rekindled that love.)

Clearly, I’m destined to live in rural communities, on islands or in the archipelago/ in a coastal or harbor town. I need to be close to both the mountains and the ocean (in real life and in books).

Which geographical regions have you fallen in love with thanks to books set there?

*To see other lists of favourite books based on a specific setting, visit the linkup at The Broke and the Bookish.

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Reading Recap | 112

August 15, 2016 | 2 comments


 

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Last week, I read both some great and some not so great books. I read a few random mysteries, neither of which were very good: Brutality by Ingrid Theft (★★), Motive by Jonathan Kellerman (★★), The Girl Next Door by Ruth Rendell (★★), and Murder House by James Patterson (★).

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I read Criminal Enterprise by Owen Laukkanen (★★★), the second book about FBI agent Carla Windermere and BCA agent Kirk Stevens. It was well written, but felt a bit slow. I also read Bortom sanningen by Anne Holt (★★★). It’s the 7th book in a Norwegian crime series. I had read one book from it several years ago and then forgot about the series but I think I will continue it now. I read Edge of Midnight by Leslie Tentler (★★), third in the Chasing Evil trilogy. It wasn’t quite as good as the previous two books.

I gave Sue Grafton’s Kinsey Millhone series another chance and read U is for Undertow (★★★). It was better than X, but I’m still a bit disappointed and not sure I’ll continue the series.

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I reread two old favourites: Sea Swept (★★★★) and Rising Tides (★★★★), the first two books in Nora Roberts’ Chesapeake Bay Saga.

I also read All You Need is Love (★★★) and I Want to Hold Your Hand (★★), the first two books in the Green Mountain series by Marie Force. I loved the setting (Vermont) and premise (large family contemporary romance) but the story was pretty average.

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Last week I read Built by Jay Crownover (★★★), the second book in the Saints of Denver series. It was ok, but I’m doubting I will continue the series.

I finished Anatoli Boukreev’s biography Above the Clouds: The Diaries of a High-Altitude Mountaineer (★★★). It was an interesting, but slow and difficult, read.

I also read Skumtimmen (published in English as Echoes from the Dead) by Johan Theorin (★★★). It’s a Swedish crime novel, set on the island Öland. It started a bit slow, but I liked it.

I also finally read Lucifer’s Tears by James Thompson (★★★★), the 2nd book about Inspector Kari Varaa. I loved the first book in the series, and this one was almost as good.

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Last week I also read three more books from Elly Griffith’s series about forensic anthropologist Ruth Galloway: En orolig grav (★★★★), De utstötta (★★★★), and De öde fälten (★★★), the Swedish translations of Dying Fall, The Outcast Dead, and The Ghost Fields.

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Last week I listened to Lost Light (★★★), The Overlook (★★★★) and The Black Box (★★★★), the 9th, 13th and 18th books about police detective Harry Bosch by Michael Connelly. They were all great reads.

 

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This week I’m reading three Swedish crime novels: Alla de stillsamma döda by Anna Jansson, the second book about detective Maria Wern; Den döende dandy by Mari Jungstedt (published in English as Killer’s Art), the fourth book about superintendant Anders Knutas; and Bittrare än döden by Camilla Grebe and Åsa Träff (published in English as More Bitter Than Death), the second book about psychologist Siri Bergman.

I’m currently listening to The Summit by Pat Falvey, about the 2008 disaster on K2.

 
What are you reading at the moment? For more inspiration and other’s reading plans, visit the it’s Monday, what are you reading linkup.

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #60

August 11, 2016 | 4 comments


 

1. August is crazy busy. I have two field trips, two manuscripts for to submit, edits on a third manuscript, a grant application to write, and I’m already behind on my new project.

2. I’m also getting sick. I have a terrible headache, chills and a soar throat, and my ears are hurting. I really just want to crawl into my bed and not deal with the massive to-do list.

3. To make everything even worse, the sky is dark grey, its raining, windy and cold outside. Summer is definitely over.

4. This is why I love being a geologist.

5. I feel like I’ve been neglecting my blog lately. There just isn’t enough hours in the day at the moment. (Also, I’ve been busy reading.)

6. I usually prefer non-fiction over fiction for audiobooks but lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of books from Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch series. They are solid 3-4 star reads. I’m liking the series more and more.

7. While waiting for the next Harry Bosch audiobook from the library, I listened to X by Sue Grafton. I’ve been planning to read the Kinsey Millhone series for years, but never gotten around to it. Sad to say, it was a big disappointment. (People kept saying that it is amazing – now I feel like I’ve been cheated out of a good series.) Maybe I shouldn’t have started with book 24? The one good thing was that it highlighted how great the Harry Bosch audiobooks are. It made me want to go back and up the rating on all of them.

8. I haven’t been watching that much of the Olympics so far, but I must say that Simone Biles is pretty impressive.

9. Cucamelon is the cutest thing ever. I’m trying to convince my ex-co-gardeners that they need to plant some. Why did no-one tell me abut these while could still benefit from the things growing in our community garden?!

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

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Reading Recap | 111

August 8, 2016 | 6 comments


 

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Last two weeks I read Driftwood Point by Maria Stewart (★★★), the 10th book in the Chesapeake Diaries series (one of my go-to contemporary romance series).

I also read Leveled by Jay Crownover (★★★), which links her series Marked Men with the spin-off series Saints of Denver, and The Wrong Hostage by Elizabeth George (★★★) a romantic suspense.

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I read The Will to Climb by Ricahrd Harris (★), a non-fiction about a father and son that attempted to climb to highest mountain on each continent. I usually love mountaineering books but this one was a big disappointment. It might be the most boring mountaineering book I have ever read.

I also read Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny (★★★), a crime novel set in Canada. It was interesting but a bit slow going.

I finally read The Last Mile by David Baldacci (★★★), the second book about Amos Decker, but it was not as good as the first book. I also listened to The Guilty by David Baldacci (★★★), the 4th book about hit-man Will Robie.

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I also listened to 3 more novels in the Harry Bosch series by Michael Connelly: Nine Dragons (★★★), The Closers (★★★), and The Drop (★★★★). Harry Bosch is quickly becoming one of my favourite detectives.

I also listened to X by Sue Grafton (★★), but it was quite the disappointment.

 

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This week I’m continuing Anatoli Boukreev’s biography Above the Clouds: The Diaries of a High-Altitude Mountaineer. I have wanted to read it ever since I read Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer and so far, it is an interesting read.

I’m also going to read Lucifer’s Tears by James Thompson, the 2nd book about Inspector Kari Varaa. I loved the first book in the series, and hopefully this one is just as good. I had planned to read it last week, but never got around to it.

I will also read Skumtimmen (published in English as Echoes from the Dead) by Johan Theorin. It’s a Swedish crime novel, set on the island Öland.

I’m listening to The Overlook by Michael Connelly, the 13th book about police detective Harry Bosch.

 
What are you reading at the moment? For more inspiration and other’s reading plans, visit the it’s Monday, what are you reading linkup.

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6 Degrees of Separation: Year of Wonders

August 6, 2016 | 6 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.

This month, the starting book is Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. It won the ALA Alex Award in 2002, and no matter how much I like reading books from award lists, I have no plans of reading this one.

Another award winning novel that I probably will not read is Max Brooks’ World War Z. I find it kind of intriguing, except for one thing: the zombies. I haven’t even seen the film adaption from 2013, even though it stars Brad Pitt. (And Brad Pitt trumps zombies every day.)

In spite of the zombie thing, a book I’m actually considering reading is Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Jane Austen’s classic reimagined by Seth Grahame-Smith. I haven’t yet seen the film which premiered earlier this year, starring Lily James and Sam Riley as Elizabeth Bennet and Mr Darcy.

My least favourite Jane Austen book is probably Lady Susan, but I’m definitely looking forward to seeing the film adaption Love & Friendship starring Kate Beckinsale in the title role.

A book/film pair I still need to read/see is The Dressmaker – the novel written by Rosalie Ham and the film starring the fabulous Kate Winslet.

Kate Winslet also starred, opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, in the film adaption of Richard Yates’ novel Revolutionary Road. I liked the film, but have not read the book yet.

I also really liked Leonardo DiCaprio’s portrayal of Jay Gatsby in Baz Luhrmann’s film adaption of The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Although, I must confess that I liked the costumes more than the story itself.

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This time, my chain took me from an award winning novel I have no plan to read, via a film themed chain, to a classic I probably should read soon.

Why don’t you join us and make your own chain? Starting with Year of Wonders, 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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Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #59

August 4, 2016 | 2 comments


 

1. Last week I went to Askja for fieldwork. It was cold, rainy, and snow on the ground, but such a beautiful area. On the 10 hour drive back to Reykjavik, I was reminded over and over again how much I love the landscape here.

2. I really need a pair of these reinvented slippers.

3. It is August, which means it’s time for another round of 6 Degrees of Separation. The starting book this Saturday is Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks. Normally, I’d have my chain done weeks in advance but I haven’t started yet, and I have no ideas which book to link it to.

4. I’m still not convinced about the new layout of bloglovin’. I find it very hard to navigate.

5. I’m also not loving goodreads new layout.

6. I feel like I’m heading into a reading slump again. I need something good to read to get me back on track. Any ideas?

7. I have a deadline at work on Friday, and another one on Monday. I’m still in denial about how much is left to do, thinking that I won’t have to go into the office this weekend.

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

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A Murder in Time by Julie McElwain

July 28, 2016 | 2 comments


 

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In brief: Julie McElwain’s debut novel combines mystery and historical fiction (with a bit of time travel). The protagonist, FBI agent Kendra Donovan, suddenly finds herself 200 years earlier in time at a British castle, where she needs to solve multiple gruesome murders and catch a serial killer.

Setting: Starting with present day US, ending with a UK castle in 1815.

The not-so-good: The first few chapters went very slow and it took quite a long time for me to warm up to the heroine. For some reason, I found her to be quite hard to relate to, not very sympathetic, and occasionally not very believable. I also felt like there was a lot of back-story glossed over – it almost felt like there was a previous book I had missed reading – that would explain a lot of her actions.
I usually have a hard time with books involving time travel (Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander being the exception), and even though I didn’t find that part of this story very convincing, the mystery part of the plot eventually had me hooked. The writing is far from the best I’ve ever read, but overall, this book contains all the pieces needed for a good mystery.

The good: In spite of the issues I had with the setup of the plot and the protagonist, once the mystery started (and dead bodies started turning up) I was hooked. After a while I forgot about all the minor details that had been bugging me and got completely wrapped up in trying to figure out who the murderer was. This is definitely one of those books where the individual pieces are not so great, but together they somehow work. (Also, did I mention that much of the story is set in a castle?)

Why I read it: It was the June/July selection for the Big Library Read. And the cover is gorgeous.

My rating: ★★★★

Conclusion: This mystery disguised as historical fiction is definitely worth reading. I’m looking forward to reading the sequel, A Twist in Time, scheduled for publication in April 2017.

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