2016/01/31

BOOK HAUL: JANUARY

The first month of the year is over and here in Norway, it has been COLD. However, it's been an exciting month for me, as I've got the keys for my new apartment and will be moving in within the next couple of weeks. The last part of January has been spent getting everything ready for that - painting, putting up furniture and most importantly: trying to get the WiFi to work (of course). 

Anyways, I'm really excited about all of that, but what you want to see is probably all the books I got in January, so here they are!















What new books did you get this month?
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2016/01/30

2016/01/29

2016/01/28

BOOK REVIEW:
THE WEIRD SISTERS BY ELEANOR BROWN

Title: The Weird Sisters
Author: Eleanor Brown
Published: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 371
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
Set in a small town of Ohio, three sisters find themselves reunited when their mother falls ill of cancer.


Review:
I was quite excited to read this book when I picked it up, and in the end, I'm left with mixed feelings. I found the main characters to be fascinating, but the plot was somewhat predictable and dull. I get what the author is trying to do, but in the end, this didn't make the impact on me that I think it was supposed to.

There are parts in this book that I found a bit pretensious and hard to believe, like how they communicate through quotes from the bard in excessive amount, because the sisters father is a professor and loves Shakespeare. I found the narrating style different and it took some getting used to, but I see why the author decided to do it that way.

I am not a huge reader of this kind of contemporary novels, as I very often find them somewhat average. I feel the same way about this. The writing was lovely at times, but I felt no deep connection and in the end, I didn't really care that much about what happened.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys contemporary fiction though, as I imagine a lot of peopøe would like this. If you're familiar with the works of Shakespeare as well, I think that would add something to the reading experience.




You can get this book at The Book Depository.
You can get the e-book on Amazon.
You can read more about it on Goodreads.
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2016/01/26

TOP 5:
TRANSLATED BOOKS I WANT TO READ

As one of my goals this year is to read more translated books, here are five that have struck my interest.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami


In an effort to read something from the highly acclaimed Murakami, I got this book. This is a magical realism book where a man, in search of his wife's cat, stumbles into a strange world.

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov


This is satire written during the darkest period of the Stalin regime, which sounds interesting enough in itself. Also, this cover is insane.

Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy


The most terrifying book on this list, I really do want to read this, but the sheer size of it freaks me out. 

Love In the Time of Cholera by Gabirel García Márquez


This is a magical realism book about unrequited love. I have still to read anything from Márquez, so I need to get on that.

Perfume by Patrick Suskind


The book I keep putting on my lists of books I need to read, but never seem to get around to. Still though, need to read this SOON.


Do you have any recommendations for translated books one should read?

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2016/01/25

BOOK REVIEW:
BRIDGET JONES'S DIARY BY HELEN FIELDING

Title: Bridget Jones's Diary
Author: Helen Fielding
Published: 1996
Language: English
Pages: 274
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
Bridet Jones, a thirty-something Singleton, is on a devastatingly hilarious quest for self-improvement and love.


Review:
After years and years of having people tell me to read this, I finally have, and it was quite the rollercoaster.

One one hand, I found this book to be hilarious and there's something to the hysterical part of Bridget that I think most people can relate to, as well as the obsessive way she keeps track of how her new years resolutions are going. Her moods are constantly changing and her diary reflects this in a funny and realistic way. It's also very British, which I love.

One the other hand, I don't feel like this really made me think that much. It made me feel for Bridget, but not necessarily connect massively to her. Nothing really surprised me with this book, it was fairly predictable. It is exactly what I thought it would be: a light and funny chick-lit novel.

I would recommend this as a light, holiday read for people who enjoy (though I hate this phrase, I have nothing else to call it) women's fiction.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads

This edition is to die for by the way.



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2016/01/24

BOOK REVIEW:
1984 BY GEORGE ORWELL

Title: 1984
Author: George Orwell
Published: 1949
Language: English
Pages: 368
Rating: 5/5


Summary:
Set in a dystopian society where Big Brother watches everything and everyone, where the Thought Police monitors and controls all original thoughts, Winston Smith find himself questioning both the present and the past and silently rebelling against the totalitarian regime.


Review:
Finally, I have read this book and as suspected, it blew me away. I've never seen the movie adaptation and I never really had any idea what it was about except that it was a dystopian must-read.

I thought the world in this novel was fantastic. The political system was fascinating and I especially enjoyed the themes of government surveillance and control, brainwashing, doublethink, censorship and the idea of independent thought and freedom of speech. I think these are things that are still very important topics in our society today.

One cannot help but think about how one such society could possibly exist, but in small doses it does and has in revised forms been attempted. That is a truly terrifying thought. This book has made me think a lot about the importance of freedom and how lucky one is to have it.

I would highly recommend this book to everyone who enjoys dystopian fiction.





You can get this book at The Book Depository.
You can read more about it on Goodreads.
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2016/01/22

2016/01/21

BOOK REVIEW:
LIFE ON MARS BY TRACY K. SMITH

Title: Life On Mars
Author: Tracy K. Smith
Published: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 88
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
This book is about the discoveries, failures and oddities of human existence, with a fair bit of sci-fi elements to accompany it.


Review:
Well. I had quite high expectations for this, knowing it has won several awards, but I must say I find myself disappointed.

The greatest thing in this collection is the writing. The author creates beautiful imagery and some sentences are to die for. The problem is, I don't understand what they mean.

There were a couple of poems I really liked and that I felt I got the meaning of. Some other poems I felt like I could see where she was going but I still didn't really understand. For the most part though, I was just lost.

I don't feel like this book really gave me anything at all, and sadly, I can't really say I would recommend it. Though there must be some people who get it, since it won the Pulitzer Prize, so maybe it's just me.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2016/01/20

BOOK REVIEW:
STILL ALICE BY LISA GENOVA

Title: Still Alice
Author: Lisa Genova
Published: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 384
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
A brilliant psychology professor at Harvard is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer and we follow her as she struggles through acceptance and descends into illness.


Review:
This book has been on my to-be-read list for forever and the synopsis has always intrigued me, having had experience with Alzheimer in my personal life. I had very high expectations.

I find myself torn. One one hand, I felt all the information about Alzheimer to be very interesting and I felt myself recognising certain situations. You do get a very good feel for what it would be like to suddenly just forget something - even if it's something as simple as where the bathroom is. Or the horror of introducing yourself to the same person twice within the span of 10 minutes. All of these things are heartbreaking and horrifying - the deterioration of the mind.

On the other hand, I wish this had dug deeper, especially into the characters. I didn't love how the perspective suddenly just shifts and I felt like a lot of the side-characters were one dimensional. There was so much potential, especially with the main character, that I felt was left unused.

I felt like this book could've hit harder and cut deeper with a little more work, but overall, I would recommend reading it, because it's definitely interesting.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2016/01/19

TOP 5: NON-FICTION BOOKS I WANT TO READ III

Having really had my eyes opened when it comes to the genre of non-fiction, I keep adding a bunch of these books to my TBR, so I thought I would share five with you!

You can also check out Part I and Part II.

Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the End of the World by Joan Druett


Having recently read a non-fiction book about Magellan's circumnavigation of the globe in the 1520's, I want to read more books like this. This is a story from much later is history, 1864, and is the story of a crew that shipwrecks at Auckland Island in the middle of the Southern Ocean.

Ways of Forgetting, Ways of Remembering: Japan in the Modern World by John W. Dower


This is a book about the history and misuse of history, centring around relationship between Japan and the US after The Second World War.

The Undivided Past: Humanity Beyond Our Differences by David Cannadine


This book investigates religion, nation, class, gender, race and civilization and how this has shaped our history and the human race.

River of Darkness: Francisco Orellana's Legendary Voyage of Death and Discovery Down the Amazon by Buddy Levy


Another historical book about adventure and exploration, this time set in the great and terrifying Amazon. 

Stars Between the Sun and Moon: One Woman's Life in North Korea and Escape to Freedom by Lucia Jang and Susan McClelland


The first book I finished this year was In Order to Live by Yeonmi Park, another woman who escaped North Korea. I want to read more about this and was recommended this one.


Do you have any non-fiction books you want to read soon?


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