Semi-Charmed Winter 2015 Book Challenge (Month 1)

December 8, 2015 | 4 comments


We’re one month into the semi-charmed book challenge (hosted by Megan). So far, I’ve finished 6 of the 12 tasks.


10 points | Read a debut book by any author

Where Monsters Dwell by Jørgen Brekke
Hardcover, 357 pages ★★★★ (Read December 5 – December 6)

In Brekke’s debut novel about police inspector Odd Singsaker a gruesome murder at the library in Trondheim, Norway, is very similar to one at the Edgar Allan Poe Museum in Richmond, Virginia. I really enjoyed this crime novel, and am looking forward to the next installment in the series.


10 points | Read a book that does not take place in your current country of residence

Salvation of a Saint by Keigo Higashino
Kindle, 336 pages ★★★★ (Read November 29)

In this myster set in Japan, a man named Yoshitaka is poisoned by arsenic-laced coffee and dies. His wife, Ayane, is the logical suspect, but she has a seemingly airtight alibi. I really enjoyed this well-written novel with great characters and complex relationships.


15 points | Read a book with “boy,” “girl,” “man” or “woman” in the title

The Girl in the Spider’s Web by David Lagercrantz
Hardcover, 400 pages ★★★ (Read November 30 – December 5)

I was a bit hesitant about reading the continuation of Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy, but I adore the original and thought I should give it a chance. Following a painfully slow start, the second half of the book at least resembled a bit of what we experienced with the previous books. Lagercrantz’s writing is unfortunately nowhere near the brilliance of Stieg Larsson. The story had all the components but the pieces never quite came together, and the characters felt like weak copies. Not bad, just not nearly as great as the original.


15 points | Read a book with a one-word title

Malice by Keigo Higashino
Kindle, 288 pages ★★★★ (Read November 8)

In this mystery, Police Detective Kyochiro Kaga investigates the murder of the acclaimed bestselling novelist Kunihiko Hidaka. Hidaka’s body is found in his office, a locked room, within his locked house, by his wife and his best friend, both of whom have rock solid alibis. Detective Kaga soon start to suspect that not everything is like it seems.


20 points | Read a food-themed book

The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morais
Paperback, 242 pages ★★★ (Read November 7)

This novel is about Hassan Haji and his life’s journey, starting with a small family restaurant in Mumbai to starting a controversial restaurant in Lumière, a small village in the French Alps. I though the book was good, but not nearly as great as the movie with the same name, starring the amazing Helen Mirren.


20 points | Read a book with a verb in the title

The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson
Paperback, 419 pages ★★ (Read November 15)

I love Jonasson’s previous novel (The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared) but this one was a bit of a disappointment. His writing style is great but this story lacked a coherent plot line and the characters are not as likable.