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Life According to Literature: 2017

January 1, 2018 | 2 comments


It’s a new year, and thus time to fill out the annual Life According to Literature survey (originally by Catherine Pope). The rules are easy: answer each statement using the title of a book read in 2017.

+ Describe yourself: The Scarred Woman (Jussi Adler-Olsen)

+ How do you feel: In the Morning I’ll Be Gone (Adrian McKinty)

+ Describe where you currently live: 66º North (Mikael Ridpath)

+ If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Where Roses Never Die (Gunnar Staalesen)

+ Your favourite form of transportation: Into the Water (Paula Hawkins)

+ Your best friend is: The Ice Queen (Nele Neuhaus)

+ You and your friends are: The Missing (Caroline Eriksson)

+ What’s the weather like: Endless Night (Agatha Christie), but also A Cold Day in Paradise (Steve Hamilton)

+ You fear: The Murder Room (Michael Capuzzo)

+ What is the best advice you have to give: Take the Key and Lock Her Up (Ally Carter)

+ Thought for the day: Cruel Is the Night (Karo Hamalainen)

+ How I would like to die: The River at Night (Erica Ferencik)

+ My soul’s present condition: Blue Monday (Nicci French)

How would you describe your 2017, using only the titles of books you read during the year?

(Image from someecards.com)

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What I Read – 2017

December 31, 2017 | One comment


For the last four years, I’ve done Jamie’s end of the year book survey. This year, to change things up a bit, I’m copying Bookish Beck’s idea ‘Various Superlatives, Good and Bad’, with some modifications (like Kate’s).

The Book Everybody Else Loved but I Didn’t: Bear Town by Fredrik Backman

The Year’s Biggest Disappointment: Cruel is the Night by Karo Hamalainen

The Worst Book I Read This Year: Tie between Dead to Me by Stephen Edger and Mount Misery by Angelo Peluso

The Downright Strangest Book I Read This Year: Mount Misery by Angelo Peluso

The Best Discoveries of the Year: Jane Harper, Beverly Connor, Kati Hiekkapelto, and Chris Carter

The Debut Authors Whose Next Work I’m Most Looking Forward to: Jane Harper – The Dry was splendid.

The Book I Choose Entirely Because of the Cover: Murder on the Lake of Fire by Mikel J Wilson

The Book That Made Me Cry the Most: A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

The Book That I Recommended the Most: Something Like Summer by Jay Bell

The Best Book Someone Recommended to me: Passing Strange by Ellen Klages and The Gates of Evangeline by Hester Young

The Books That Were the Most Memorable: Passing Strange by Ellen Klages, Something Like Summer by Jay Bell, and Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf

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The Dry by Jane Harper

December 15, 2017 | No comments


What: Murder mystery with links to the past.

Setting: Small town, Australia.

Plot in brief: Federal Agent Aaron Falk return to his hometown to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Luke was Falk’s alibi for the murder of their friend when they were teenagers, and now Luke is thought to have murdered his wife and young son before taking his own life. Falk joins forces with the local detective to figure out what really happened to Luke.

The good: This book has everything you could ever wish for in a murder mystery. The setting is splendid, the characters are diverse and complex, and the story was beautifully presented.

The not-so-good: I have nothing to say. I loved everything about this book, from the first page to the last.

Why I read it: I was intrigued by the description (and the gorgeous cover).

My rating: ★★★★★

Conclusion: One of the best books I have read this year.

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #101

December 13, 2017 | No comments


1. It’s December! Bring on all the Christmas music. (I’ve got the Science Christmas Songs stuck in my head.)

2. My Christmas decorations are up, but they are sadly not in the same league as these.

3. Kate has done the amazing job of going through all the best-of-2017-book-lists and summarized them into one massive list of the top 47 books. This year, I have not read a single book that made the list. I usually stay quite on top of recent publications, but I don’t know what happened this year.

4. My sister and my mother are coming to spend Christmas at my place, and I’ve got this insane idea that I’m gonna cook a proper Christmas dinner. (Including doing some fancy Christmas baking.) Check back after Christmas to see how this goes.

5. I recently finished two books that both, for very different reasons, made me want to write a review.

6. This video of a polar bear broke my heart.

7. Videos of amazing dogs heals my heart again.

8. We had a professional photographer at work yesterday morning and everyone could get a free headshot taken. I hate having my picture taken, but figured I should probably have a more professional photo than a selfie for all the work-related things. The timing was crappy – I had an appointment to get a haircut today so of course today my hair looks fabulous and yesterday it was a mess. (Also, I had just walked through wind and rain and snow to get to work right before the photo was taken). Still, it cannot be worse than a selfie, right?

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

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Librocubicularist, My Brain is Mostly Song Lyrics

Literary Mixtape: The Silent Girls

December 10, 2017 | One comment


I love mixtapes and I love books, so there should be no surprise that I have a soft spot for literary mixtapes (especially those by Rory and Kate). I don’t know why I have never made one of my own.

Maybe I have just not read the right book for it. That is, until now.

I recently read Eric Rickstad’s The Silent Girls, published in 2014. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read. Far from it. It is an interesting mystery in a nice setting but the characters are nothing special. It falls in that grey zone of ok books that are good reads, but when you’re done you quickly move on to the next one and don’t look back. The one exception that made The Silent Girls slightly more memorable is that it was littered with passages that made me feel that this book really required a soundtrack.


01. I Started a Joke / Bee Gees

“Nothing dulled the guilt or the loss.”

02. Dream On / Aerosmith

“But peril pressed in at the edges of a girl’s life, and worry planted roots in Rath’s heart and bloomed wild and reckless.”

03. Living in Danger / Ace of Base

“It was a loathsome fact about the human condition: Wherever there were girls, some would go missing, plucked like errant threads from the fabric of everyday life and cast into a lurid nightmare of someone else’s making.”

04. Here I Go Again / Whitesnake

“Rath gazed at the long, deserted stretch of road that ran north into Canada in just under a mile, then looked south to a length of road equally long and deserted.”

05. Love Is The Drug / Roxy Music

“Rath lit his cigarette, drew the smoke deep. It tasted like dryer lint, but he’d suck it to the filter anyway. That’s why they called it addiction.”

06. Why / Annie Lennox

“Ghosts from a past life he wished would remain dead.”

07. Before It Breaks / Brandi Carlile

“Hope was a luxury. And Rath had to knock on the door and ask the missing girl’s mother painful intrusive questions, yank scabs off tender wounds and gouge old sores, let the blood run fresh.”

08. Still Fighting It / Ben Folds

“Memory was a devil that wore many disguises.”

09. Brightest Light / FDVM

“She radiates. A smile like sunshine’s pouring from her.”

10. Dancing With Myself / Billy Idol

“She was unclear on what compelled her to run with such mania.”

11. Where Were You Last Night / Ankie Bagger

“This was the trouble with lying: it bred paranoia.”

12. Lost Stars / Adam Levine

“The recessed lights dimmed to leave the office in perpetual dusk.”

13. Better Alone / Carolina Liar

“Pain could always get worse.”


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Couch Potato, Librocubicularist

Books vs Film: The Bourne Identity

December 4, 2017 | 4 comments


I have a soft spot for the Bourne films, and I have been saying for years that I need to read the books. I finally read the first book, The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum.

The film wins, hands down, because:

1. Matt Damon.

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6 Degrees of Separation: It

December 2, 2017 | 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.

The starting book this month is It by Stephen King. I have not yet read it, and cannot decide if I want to read it. I have conflicting feelings about King. I feel like I have not given his books an honest chance, and most of my opinions are based on Misery, which was the first of his books that I read (about 16 years ago). I hated it. I can no longer remember why, but I really hated it.

Another book I did not like was The Daydreamer Detective by SJ Pajonas. I cannot remember a single significant plot event in it, but the main character was one of the most annoying characters I have come across and there was absolutely to character development at all.

The main character was the main reason I gave Dead to Me by Stephen Edger a one star review. She did not have a single redeeming quality and I liked her less for every chapter.

The Orphan Master’s Son by Adam Johnson is another book I liked less for each chapter. The timeline (and plot) was all over the place without any logic and I didn’t care for the main character. I would not have finished it if it hadn’t been that I read it as a buddy-read together with a friend (who actually disliked it as much as I did).

Another book where the timeline (and plot) was all over the place was The Travelers by Chris Pavone. It is also a book that I read as a buddy read with another friend, and otherwise would have abandoned.

A book I really wish I had abandoned is A Game of Thrones by George RR Martin (considering I disliked it from the first chapter, over 800 pages is a lot to go through…). I much more prefer the tv show, and have no qualms about not giving the rest of the books in the series a chance.

This time, my chain took me from It, via books that were not my cup of tea, to A Game of Thrones.

Why don’t you join us and make your own chain? Starting with It, 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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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #100

November 29, 2017 | One comment


1. Today I walked to the grocery store down the street without crutches. It’s only like 600 meters roundtrip but after 4 months on crutches and going crazy not being able to go for walks, I’m calling today a huge a victory.

2. I want one of these wine advent calendars next year.

3. Love these fake subtitles.

4. I cannot believe it’s almost December. How did this year pass by so quickly? There is still so many books I was planning on reading this year that I haven’t gotten around to yet.

5. I need all of these this winter.

6. My mom got me a new phone (iphone 8) as an early Christmas and early birthday present. It is so shiny and pretty. (It also does not crash every 5 minutes which is a big step up from my old phone.)

7. I watched Home Again the other day. It was no Sweet Home Alabama but definitely one of Reese Witherspoon’s best movies.

8. It is Book Week Scotland. I had great plans of reading lots of Scottish murder mysteries this week, but haven’t had time to read anything at all. This year they also have lots of virtual events. I enjoyed watching crime writers play cluedo (while talking about their writing).

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

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #99

November 22, 2017 | 2 comments


1. This is hopefully my last week on crutches. I’m looking forward to slowly starting to go on short walks again.

2. I started a bullet journal. I have only started a few spreads, but I’m finding it very relaxing.

3. What could possibly go wrong? (So, so many things)

4. I’m looking forward to seeing The Greatest Showman.

5. I finally started reading Robert Ludlum’s The Bourne Identity but so far, it just makes me want to watch the film again.

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

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #98

November 9, 2017 | 4 comments


1. James Veitch is hilarious. It is possible that I spent an hour or two laughing at his videos.

2. We had our first winter storm of the season last weekend, with winds up to 25 m/s. I took it as a good excuse to not have to leave my apartment.

3. This is pretty cool.

4. I need a new podcast to listen to. Suggestions?

5. This week I was reminded about how weird the English language is.

6. The voting for the goodreads choice awards 2017 has started. I had only read 2 of the nominated books (across all 20 categories) and one was a book I didn’t particularly like. I thought I had been reading a lot of newly published books this year, but apparently not.

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

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