2017/03/29

BOOK HAUL:
MARCH

The ending of March is upon us and April is approaching. That means it's time for yet another book haul!

Winter does not quite seem to want to end these days, but I'm very much looking forward to spring arriving. April also brings Easter, which in Norway, means we get a few days off work, which sounds great right about now.

Nevertheless, on to the books! This month might be a bit overkill to be honest, even for me, but I fell into this hole where I wanted to read all the nonfiction books in the world alongside a bunch of fiction books I've been eyeing for a while, and well... here we are.





















I hope you've all had a lovely month!
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2017/03/28

BOOKISH REFLECTIONS:
TIPS ON READING POETRY

Not too long ago, I did a post with Tips on Reading Classics, and as I know a lot of people find it a bit difficult to read poetry as well, I thought I would give you some tips for reading that too.

I think poetry is wonderful, but for a very long time, the only exposure I had had to it was at school and we all know what that's like (you know, boring and soul sucking). So, I had always sort of avoided it, thinking that it definitely wasn't for me, until I stumbled upon Edgar Allan Poe in my early twenties and fell in love.


Discovering Poe was the way in for me, but I don't think it's the way for everyone. It also made me scoff a bit at so called "modern poetry", because surely it couldn't be anything like they wrote back in the day. Then I read Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur, and my eyes were opened once again.

I love reading poetry now, but I must admit I do still find it difficult sometimes to find collections that truly speak to me. I'd say of all the genres I read, the poetry genre is the one I read the most things I don't like, in search of finding things that do touch me. This can be slightly disheartening at times, but honestly, it's always worth the search, because when I find the right book, it moves me in a way other types of writing doesn't.

So, I thought I would share some tips with you, if you're new to poetry, or if you've had bad luck in the past and given up.


#1 Find the Right Poetry For You
Like I mentioned, this might not be that easy, but I would recommend perusing a bit online. You can find loads of classical poetry alongside modern poetry and read a bit here and there. Read poetry that rhymes, poetry that deal with things you like, poetry that has no form and all sorts of different things. If you find a poet you like the voice of, maybe you could try a full collection, see what you think and go from there.

Personally, I like to read a bit of everything, but if classical poetry isn't for you, then it isn't for you. If modern poetry isn't, then it isn't. There's no need to force it. 

#2 Read It Aloud
A lot of poetry sounds better when read aloud, because sometimes it's hard to find rhythm in the things you read in your head. Sometimes the beauty of a poem is revealed only when you hear it. You might feel a bit silly at first and it might take you a few tries to get it right, but it's definitely worth trying.

#3 Not All Poetry Is Meant To Be Read
A lot of it is meant to be listened to. Maybe give spoken word poets a try? You might like both one or the other, or both. There's tons and tons of stuff online you can look through, or you could be even more daring and go to a local spoken word night. Don't knock it until you've tried it!


#4 To Analyze or Not To Analyze
A lot of us are introduced to poetry at school, and because of the way we read it there, a lot of us automatically tie poetry in with something that needs to be picked apart and analyzed. If you want to do this with poetry, you definitely can (it's especially easy with older poetry, as you can find other people's thoughts in books and on the Internet), but it's not mandatory. If you don't get it, it doesn't mean you have to sit down with a notepad and pick it to bits. If you don't get it, you can just let it go and move on to something else.

#5 Remember You're Allowed an Opinion
I see this a lot: because a person is not an English major or hasn't read this poet or that poet, they feel like they're not allowed to have an opinion on what they're reading. I think this is a bit because of the way "poetry enthusiasts" have a tendency to shame others (it's the same with people who just cannot believe you haven't read that one particular classic), and a bit of it is because one may feel unsure in new waters. I think that's perfectly normal, but I think it's important to remember that you're allowed to think things, no matter what standpoint you're viewing something from. You might not have the same viewpoint as someone who has studied a lot of literature, or someone who just happens to read a lot of poetry, but it doesn't make your opinion less valid. You just happen to be coming from a different place, and that's fine. 


I hope this was somewhat helpful if you're looking for some tips! If you're interested in reading some of my reviews of different poetry collections, you can find them here.

What do you guys think? Do you read poetry, and if you do or you don't, why?
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2017/03/27

BOOK REVIEW:
INTO THIN AIR BY JON KRAKAUER

Title: Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster
Author: Jon Krakauer
Published: 1997
Language: English
Pages: 319
Rating: 5/5


Summary:
This is journalist Krakauer's epic account of the May 1996 disaster on Everest, which eventually claimed the lives of eight people.


Review:
This book was brutal and almost left me heaving.

To be honest, I had been avoiding this book for some time, because I felt I already knew quite a lot about the disaster, having seen several movies, documentaries and read articles. However, none of that was anything like this. This book doesn't just show you what happened, but takes you in and brings you along on this epic, idealistic and eventually horrifying adventure.

I thought this was well written and I like how it sort of strips this sort of enterprise of it's glossiness. Climbing Everest is, above all, painful. And you can almost feel the pain while reading this. Yes, it's also a show of extraordinary will of humans, a show of athleticism, bravery and friendship, but it's no easy feat, and if you have any ideas that climbing the highest mountain on Earth is easy, you're wrong.

When reading these kinds of books, I am aware that it's impossible for the author to tell the story objectively, so the controversy around this makes no difference to me: this is how Krakauer experienced the disaster and how he remembers it, and I understand that some of it might not be completely accurate.

I read this book over the span of about 24 hours, which is not something I usually feel compelled to do, but I could not put this one down. I thought it was harrowing, atmospheric and horrifying, and although it might not be the absolute truth, I don't see how this could've been done any better.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/03/25

BOOK REVIEW:
SPRING GARDEN BY TOMOKA SHIBASAKI

Title: Spring Garden
Author: Tomoka Shibasaki, Polly Barton (translator)
Published: 2014
Language: English (translated from Japanese)
Pages: 154
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
Set in the suburbs of Tokyo, this is a story about a divorced man and a young woman living in a half-empty building about to be torn down, and their fascination with a pale blue house next door.


Review:
I'm not quite sure what to say about this other than a few brief thoughts.

This book felt sort of pointless to me. I didn't hate it, but I have a hard time finding any sort of meaning in it. The writing is all right, but the whole thing was just sort of... meh. It definitely focuses a lot more on the mood than any sort of plot, which I guess kind of works, but overall, I can't say I feel like I connected to it in any sort of way or really understood it.

For me, this was just an OK read and nothing that will stick with me.

You can get this book at The Book Depository.
You can read more about it on Goodreads.
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2017/03/24

2017/03/23

2017/03/21

BOOKSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT:
@THEARTFULELLE

I have yet another bookstagram spotlight for you guys today, and this time it's all about the lovely Elle over at @theartfulelle, who I discovered quite recently and has absolutely wonderful photos.




Go follow!
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2017/03/20

BOOK REVIEW:
HIDDEN FIGURES BY MARGOT LEE SHETTERLY

Title: Hidden Figures: The Untold Story of the African American Women Who Helped Win the Space Race
Author: Margot Lee Shetterly
Published: 384
Language: English
Pages: 384
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This is the untold story of the African American female mathematicians who played a crucial role in winning the space race.


Review:
I quite enjoyed this book, as I love reading about the "untold stories" of women in history, important stories who deserves every bit of daylight they can get.

I loved reading about the history and politics of this book (and space, because who doesn't love space?), and I generally find the history of segregation to be interesting, so that part of this book was fascinating. I liked how you get to see the women and their struggles with not only being a woman, but being of color. I think it's an important topic and I felt it was tackled very well.

I do think this is a bit dry and it does drag on a bit in certain parts. I am also not blown away by the writing, and a lot of the time I felt a disconnect with the people in this book because you sadly do not get to know them as well as one might hope. The book keeps you a bit at a distance, and I wish it hadn't.

I think this book is worth the read if you're interested in this topic, and personally, I am now very interested to see what I think of the movie, because I imagine it will bring a bit more emotion to the story (at least I hope so).
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/03/19

2017/03/18

BOOK REVIEW:
SAVAGE SUMMIT BY JENNIFER JORDAN

Title: Savage Summit: The Life and Death of the First Women on K2
Author: Jennifer Jordan
Published: 2005
Language: English
Pages: 353
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This is the story of the first six women who made it to the top of K2, the Savage Mountain.


Review:
You probably don't know this, but I have this weird fascination with people who decide to climb the highest mountains on earth, and I've watched loads of documentaries and movies about it. This, however, is the first book I've read on the subject.

I think there's something appealing about reading of the rather few women, and people in general, who've made it up to such a perilous place, a place where, with every breath, you are literally dying (at least a lot faster than us average mortals). And because of my interest in this topic, I found this quite a delight to read. I felt I got to know the women pretty well, and I especially liked how the author portrayed them as not only women, but people, faults and all. I also think it captures the way this mountain just speaks to some people's souls quite well.

I do think there's a slight lack in depth in this book, and personally, I thought some of it felt a bit... far-fetched. In the beginning of the book, the author states that she's included some thoughts of the women which really has no base in fact; just what one would think a person might think in such a dangerous situation, and I wish she'd have left those parts out. Yes, one can speculate, but unless you really know a person, you can't really even begin to guess, so for me those parts were wholly unnecessary.

Nevertheless, I thought this book was very much worth the read if you're interested in this topic, or if you just want to read about some captivating and intriguing women who've been to a place very few people will ever see.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/03/17

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