2017/01/29

BOOK HAUL:
JANUARY

The first month of the year has passed and it's time to show you the books I acquired this month!

January was good, a bit cold and slippery, but the feeling of freshness one gets at the beginning of the year is always nice. I must admit though, I am very much looking forward to spring and for the days to become lighter and longer. Spring can't come soon enough, if you ask me!

Nevertheless, here are the books!












How was your January?
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2017/01/28

BOOK REVIEW:
EVEN THIS PAGE IS WHITE BY VIVEK SHRAYA

Title: Even This Page Is White
Author: Vivek Shraya
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 116
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This is a collection that explores skin, race, gender and the everyday struggles of being colored.


Review:
I find this a difficult book to review.

One one hand, I think this is a wildly important collection that deals with crucial issues in our society. The poems look both in and out, sometimes calmly, sometimes raging, and it's all done quite cleverly.

On the other hand, I found the style difficult to get into. It almost feels like it's meant to be read out loud by the author and because it's not, it loses something. Some poems are excellent, but I felt it lacked flow. Maybe it's meant to be that way, but for me, I found it difficult to interpret.

The book is very different from anything else I've read though and for that is worth checking out, and there are some poems in here that are truly moving.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/01/27

2017/01/25

BOOK REVIEW:
THE UNDERGROUND RAILROAD BY COLSON WHITEHEAD

Title: The Underground Railroad
Author: Colson Whitehead
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 306
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
In this story, the metaphor of the Underground Railroad comes to life, and we follow Cora, a slave, on her journey to seek freedom.


Review:
This is yet another book I had heard amazing things about and since I find stories about America and slavery to be fascinating, I thought this would be perfect for me. In some ways, it lived up to those expectations, but in others, not quite.

I loved the setting and the way the author brings to life the era of America as a slave nation and the politics of it. I loved reading about the railroad and it worked wonderfully to weave the story together. The writing itself is solid, though not particularly striking.

I was quite invested in the story as I read it, especially in the last two thirds because it is quite exciting. However, when I finished it and put the book down, I started thinking about the characters and realised I didn't really feel like I got to know them and truly connect to them. I felt slightly held at a distance and I think that's unfortunate.

All in all, I thought this was a solid read and definitely worth checking out if you like historical fiction.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/01/23

BOOK REVIEW:
MARGARET THE FIRST BY DANIELLE DUTTON

Title: Margaret the First
Author: Danielle Dutton
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 176
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This is a fictional dramatisation of the life of the very unconventional 17th century Duchess, Margaret Cavendish.


Review:
This book is wonderfully written.

The writing style is definitely my favorite part. It's lyrical and playful, and there are phrases and sentences I read over and over again. It's strange and refreshing.

I did enjoy the storyline as well, but it was perhaps a bit lacking in depth. I enjoyed the exploration of Margarets inner life as well as her journey of writing and exploration of the "thoughts of men", but I very rarely felt connected.

In a lot of ways, the whole book feels a bit like a dream, beautiful but slightly fleeting and ungrounded. It was an interesting experience to read, but I don't think the book will stick with me for very long. It is worth reading though, if only for the writing.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/01/21

BOOK REVIEW:
MIGHTY BE OUR POWERS BY LEYMAH GBOWEE

Title: Mighty Be Our Powers: How Sisterhood, Prayer and Sex Changed a Nation at War
Author: Leymah Gbowee, (with) Carol Mithers
Published: 2011
Language: English
Pages: 272
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This book is about the author and her life in Liberia through civil war and her extraordinary effort to help bring peace to her country.


Review:
This was a very interesting read and in my opinion, an important one.

Gbowee has a fascinating and remarkable story to tell and one that is valuable both in the sense of history and humanity. She describes Liberian culture, history and people amazingly well, both before and during the war she endured. Her work and her life is absolutely intriguing to read about, and the community of women she brought together and what they did is truly inspiring.

Although this is definitely a good book, I think the writing could have been better, and I do, unfortunately, think some parts were a bit lacking. I wish the book would have dug deeper and I sometimes feel like I couldn't see the whole picture. It feels, a bit, more like an overview than I think it's meant to.

Despite all that, it is a remarkable read in a lot of ways and definitely worth checking out.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/01/20

2017/01/18

BOOK REVIEW:
TWELVE YEARS A SLAVE BY SOLOMON NORTHUP

Title: Twelve Years A Slave
Author: Solomon Northup
Published: 1853
Language: English
Pages: 256
Rating: 5/5


Summary:
This is a harrowing memoir from one of the darkest periods in American history: it's the story of Solomon, a man born free who was lured into slavery and spent 12 years in bondage.


Review:
What a singular book this is!

This book is powerful, fascinating, distressing and heartbreaking. It gives an interesting and important look into both history and humanity. One can help but think, when reading books like these: how can people do these things to one another?

I do realise that some parts in this book may be a bit boring to some people - such as passages on cotton planting and harvesting - but I think it's helpful to remember that this isn't a novel. Personally, I thought those parts, although dry, offered up something essential.

This book is important because it offers up an insight into the perspective of one person on a part of recent history. It is not without it's fault, but neither are people. I know some readers of this compares it to other narratives from the same period, but I feel like it's crucial to remember that people are different and experience things differently. This is one mans experience, one very much worth learning about.
You can get this book at The Book Depository.
You can read more about it on Goodreads.
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2017/01/17

BOOKSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT:
@MARNIEREADS

I have another bookstagram account to show you guys, this time it is the wonderful @marniereads. She has a really lovely and warm feed.

Et bilde publisert av Omarni (@marnireads)



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2017/01/16

BOOK REVIEW:
THE GEEK FEMINIST REVOLUTION BY KAMERON HURLEY

Title: The Geek Feminist Revolution
Author: Kameron Hurley
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 272
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
This is a collection of essays on feminism, geek culture and the writer's own journey.


Review:
So, I was really excited for this book - it promised a series of essays about feminism and geek culture. And it did deliver that, sort of.

This book was just not my jam. Although I agree with a lot of what is said in this, I'm not overly fond of the way it's said. The writing style is far too melodramatic for my taste.

I think my biggest problem is that I didn't feel this brought anything remotely new to the table. I was also bothered by how much the author put herself into the discussions and how much she references her own work (if I have to read one more sentence that starts with "In my novel..." I'm going to punch a wall). I don't think it worked, although perhaps it would have if it had been in smaller amounts.

There were some parts I did enjoy though, like when she discussed women and feminism in TV-shows and movies, as well as in science fiction and fantasy. I also thought the last essay, "Women Have Always Fought", was pretty good.

Overall, I think this pales in comparison to other things I've read on the same subject, so sadly, I didn't think this was all that great.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/01/14

BOOK REVIEW:
CALL OF THE UNDERTOW BY LINDA CRACKNELL

Title: Call of the Undertow
Author: Linda Cracknell
Published: 2013
Language: English
Pages: 256
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This is about a forty-something cartographer who moves to a small village on the coast of Scotland as a form of both escape and self-punishment.


Review:
This was a lovely read.

My favorite thing about this book is how atmospheric it is. The author manages to thoroughly bring to life the setting of the harsh coast, the dunes and the beauty of it all. I also loved the mention of myths and lore of the place this is set.

This is a quiet story in a lot of ways. It deals with grief, the idea of home, motherhood in different forms and questions unanswered. It's mysterious, intriguing and ambient.

I also really enjoyed the different relationships explored in this book, but I didn't find myself as moved by it as perhaps I should have. I do wonder, however, if this will impact me more if I reread it. Either way, it's worth checking out if you think it sounds like something you would like. I'm definitely going to check out more of this authors work.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/01/13

2017/01/11

BOOK REVIEW:
RAT QUEENS VOL. 1

Title: Rat Queens Volume 1: Sass and Sorcery
Author: Kurtis J. Wiebe, Roc Upchurch's (illustrator)
Published: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 128
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
A darkly hilarious comic about a pack of female mercenaries.


Review:
Wow, what a ride it was to read this thing!

The most prominent thing about this is how fun it was to read! It was fast-paced, thrilling and action packed. I really enjoyed the main characters, they are powerful and sassy. The whole thing is also hilarious and I chuckled my way through it.

I also really love the artwork, and appreciate that the characters come in all different shapes, sizes and colors. I do always wish these things were a bit longer and that perhaps more time had been spent on laying the groundwork, but what can you do, the Rat Queens has shit to do!

I also love a bit of monsters and sorcery, and if you do too, this is one to read.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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