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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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Life & Everything

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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Reported Missing by Sarah Wray

June 10, 2017 | No comments


What: Psychological thriller to be published by Bookouture on July 14, 2017.

Plot in brief: 14 year old Kayleigh went missing on the same day as Rebecca’s husband Chris disappeared, and Rebecca is the only one who believes it is a coincidence and that Chris is innocent.

The good: The plot idea was intriguing, and the book definitely had good potential.

The not-so-good: The story is told in first person narrative, from Rebecca’s point of view, and it did not work for me. The first 2/3 of the book felt very slow and drawn out, although it picked up towards the end. Overall, there were too many and too long sections just with the thoughts that are going on inside Rebecca’s head. I had a very hard time connecting with her and did not care what happened (in fact, there was not a single character in the book that I liked). At the end, I did not care if Rebecca found out what had happened to her husband and Kayleigh or not, or what happened to Rebecca.

Why I read it: It sounded like an interesting read, and I received an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

My rating: ★★★ (2.5 stars)

Conclusion: Good premise, but did not work for me.

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #88

June 9, 2017 | 2 comments


1. I’m very excited about the new adaption of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express arriving in November. The trailer looks great. (I’m not a big fan of Johnny Depp, but it also stars the amazing Judi Dench!)

2. I found this article about Sherpas very interesting. I read a lot of mountaineering books, and in those, focus are usually on the visiting climbers and not on the sherpas.

3. I got off to a great start for 20 Books of Summer with Svart fjäril (‘Black Butterfly’) by Anna Jansson at the beginning of the month, but since then, I have barely had time to read anything.

4. Rhubarb might be my new favorite sorbet flavour.

5. This makes me miss Hawaii a little bit. (Or mostly, I just miss having trees everywhere.)

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

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6 Degrees of Separation: Shopgirl

June 3, 2017 | 10 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 Steve Martin’s Shopgirl. I have not read it, nor I have seen the film based on it, because Steve Martin is one of the few actors I absolutely cannot stand.

Another actor I cannot stand is Rowan Atkinson, and that is why (in spite of my love for detective stories) I have not seen any of the made for TV movies about French police detective Jules Maigret, which are based on Georges Simonen’s book series, starting with Pietr the Latvian from 1931.

Henri Bencolin is another fictional French police detective, first introduced in 1930 in It Walks by Night by John Dickson Carr. It Walks by Night is a classical locked-room mystery, in which a murder occurs in a closely guarded room in a Paris gambling house.

The most recent book I read that was set in Paris is Murder on Champ de Mars by Cara Black. It is about a female private investigator (and single mother) named Aimée Leduc, who investigates a case with ties to an old unsolved murder and to Aimée’s father. I thought too much of the book was spent focusing on Aimée’s personal life, and I did not like her at all as a character (so it is safe to say that I will not be reading any other books from the series).

Forensic archeologist (and amateur sleuth) Ruth Galloway is the main character in a British crime series by Elly Griffiths. Like Aimée Leduc, Ruth is also a single mother, and her personal life is an important part of the books. I do, however, not mind this because the series is so well written, and I cannot wait to read the ninth book, The Chalk Pit, which was published earlier this year.

The Fourth Victim is the ninth book in Mari Jungstedt’s series about police inspector Anders Knutas on Gotland island in Sweden. I finished the series earlier this year, but I hope more books will be added to it soon.

Sov du lilla videung is the fourth, and at the moment last, book in Cilla & Rolf Börjlind’s crime series about police student Olivia Rönning and former police detective Tom Stilton, set in Stockholm, Sweden. It has not yet been published in English, but the first three books in the series have been, and I take every opportunity to recommend them to everyone who enjoy reading Scandinavian crime novels.

This time, my chain took me from Shopgirl, a book I definitely won’t be reading, to Sov du lilla videung, a book at the top of my TBR list.

Why don’t you join us and make your own chain? Starting with Shopgirl, 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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Reading Recap | May 2017

June 2, 2017 | No comments


May turned out to be a much better month reading-wise than March and April. I read 4 books in Swedish, but did not attempt making any progress on Les Miserables. Out of the 21 books I read in May, the following three were the highlights:

Stalker by Lars Kepler ★★★★
Ebook | 602 pages (Read May 13-14)

Lars Kepler – or rather Swedish writer couple Alexander Ahndoril and Alexandra Coelho Ahndoril – never disappoints. The fifth book about police inspector Joona Linna, in which he investigates a series of gruesome murders in which the police receives a videotape of the victim right before the murder occurs.

Kaninjägaren by Lars Kepler ★★★★
Ebook | 571 pages (Read May 14)

In the sixth book in the series (not yet published in English), Joona Linna is released from jail to help search for a murderer known as the Rabbit hunter. I loved this entire series, and really hope there will be another book published soon.

With No One as Witness by Elizabeth George ★★★★
Paperback | 784 pages (Read May 9-13)

I’ve been reading the series about Inspector Lynley out of order, so I already knew about the fallout from some of the events in this book (although I didn’t know it was in this book those events happened when I started it). It is by far the best book in the series of the ones I have read.


Dead Water by Ann Cleeves (audio) | Dark Summit by Nick Heil (audio) | Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn | Eragon by Christopher Paolini (audio)

Wait for Dark by Kay Hooper | Master of Thin Air by Andrew Lock (audio) | Bad Wolf by Nele Neuhaus | Speaking in Bones by Kathy Reichs (audio) | Bad Blood by Jennifer Lynn Barnes | The Undesired by Yrsa Sigurdardottir | Absolute Power by David Baldacci (audio) | Into the Silence by Wade Davis (audio) | The Secret Friend by Chris Mooney | Europa Blues by Arne Dahl

Under the Knife by Tess Gerritsen | Linda – som i Lindamordet by Leif GW Persson | Murder on the Champ de Mars by Cara Black

Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George (audio)

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Life & Everything

Bookish (and not so Bookish) Thoughts #87

June 1, 2017 | 6 comments


1. I cannot believe it’s already June. In 2 weeks, it is one year since I moved to Iceland.

2. June also means that it is time for another round of the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge (hosted by Cathy at 746 Books). This year, my goal is to read 20 books by Swedish authors, and I’m starting with a reread of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.

3. Love these wonderful photos of gorillas.

4. I’ve got José González’ beautiful song Stay Alive stuck on repeat in my head.

5. I want to try this miso cauliflower macaroni and cheese recipe.

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

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Life & Everything

The Present Participle List | May 2017

May 31, 2017 | 2 comments


DRINKING Elderflower lemonade
WALKING along the water
WATCHING Elementary
LISTENING to Runrig and José González
WEARING Bob’s shoes
LOVING my new Fjällräven bag
EATING caprese salad
ENJOYING longer summer days
READING Gone With the Wind
PLANNING summer vacation
WRITING book reviews
PLAYING Gardenscapes and Ticket to Ride
SEARCHING for a knitting group to join
GRADING final exams

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20 Books of Summer

May 30, 2017 | No comments


For the second year in a row, I’m joining the 20 Books of Summer reading challenge (hosted by Cathy at 746 Books). The goal is to read 20 books between June 1 and September 3.

Last year, I focused on trying to catch up on series by Scandinavian authors (with mixed success). This year, my goal is to read 20 books by Swedish authors (and in Swedish if possible). I haven’t finalized the list of books yet, but some of the authors I definitely will read are:

Lars Kepler
Åsa Larsson
Anna Jansson
Kristina Ohlsson
Carin Gerhardsen
Mons Kallentoft

I’m also planning on (finally) rereading the Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson.

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Inherit the Bones by Emily Littlejohn

May 27, 2017 | 2 comments


In brief: Emily Littlejohn’s acclaimed debut novel about detective Gemma Monroe, who investigates a murder at a traveling circus with links to a powerful family.

Setting: Small town in Colorado.

The good: Well-written mystery with great characters in a wonderful setting. The plot is complex with lots of levels and details.

The not-so-good: A bit of a slow start, and at times, the numerous aspects to the case seemed a bit too much (but at the end, it all came together perfectly).

Why I read it: Rory recommended it to me (and it was one the outstanding books for her in 2016).

My rating: ★★★★

Conclusion: I’m looking forward to reading the sequel A Season to Lie, to be published in November.

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