2017/05/31

UPCOMING RELEASES:
JUNE

June is coming our way tomorrow and here are some awesome books coming our way too!

Penguin Vintage Minis

1st

So, there are around twenty of these books coming out in this series, and they're all short books from some of the greatest writers in the world, exploring different aspects of human life. The minute I saw these, I may have ordered five of them... I love these kinds of books, there's a really interesting variety of writers and topics and I can't wait to read some of them!

You Don't Have To Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie

13th

This is a memoir I have read some early reviews of and it sounds fantastic. It's a book about family, love, loss and it has poetry in it, which definitely makes me want to pick it up.

Women In Sports by Rachel Ignotofsky

18th

So, I've previously read Women in Science by this author and I loved it, so I'm very intriguied to see she's written and illustrated another book about women in sports, as I think it will be equally inspiring and interesting.

The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

6th

Roy is an acclaimed author that I still haven't read anything from, but it's on the list (as is everything else, please send help). It's set in India, it's literary fiction and I've heard such great things about her writing.

The Silent Corner by Dean Koontz

18th

This is a mystery novel and it's a debuts a remarkable heroine that readers think is going to be a new icon, which is enough for me!

Are you excited for any new releases this month?
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2017/05/28

BOOK HAUL:
MAY

The month of May is at an end and you know how I mentioned spring had arrived in last months book haul? Winter came back with a vengeance this month and we've had snow more days than I can count. Luckily, it's melted and the weather is slowly but surely making its way to warmer days.

What is really great though, is that the days in Oslo are really long this time of year, which cannot help but lift your spirits. It was also Norway's national day this month, which I spent mostly playing with my adorable nephew (and also hanging out with family, but you know, the nephew is what's important here).

I also, true to form, got a bunch of new books. I am also quickly beginning to run out of space on my shelves, so I definitely need to have a clear out over the summer. Anyways, enough rambling, here are the books!

















I hope you've all had a wonderful month and wish you all a great start to June!
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2017/05/27

BOOK REVIEW:
ONE DAY WE'LL ALL BE DEAD AND NONE OF THIS WILL MATTER BY SCAACHI KOUL

Title: One Day We'll Be Dead and None of This Will Matter
Author: Scaachi Koul
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 256
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
In this essay collection, Koul explores womanhood, race and what it was like growing up as the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada.


Review:
This book was a lot of what it promised; funny, interesting and heartfelt.

My favorite part of this book were the essays dealing with the author and her family, their history and the relationship between the different people, especially between Koul and her dad. I also enjoyed reading about her experience as a woman of color, both in Canada and in India, and it deals with a lot with being a woman in general, which I thought was done very well.

Although I think this has importance and relevant commentary to many of the topics the author explores, it does feel like it lacks a certain depth and I wanted more reflection. To be both funny and profound is a difficult thing to do and this is not quite there.

I chuckled a fair amount reading this though, and there are some excellent one-liners in here. I certainly hope to see more of Koul's work in the future, because I think it will be fantastic to see her amusing and unique voice progress.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/05/26

2017/05/25

2017/05/24

BOOK REVIEW:
THE TUSK THAT DID THE DAMAGE BY TANIA JAMES

Title: The Tusk That Did The Damage
Author: Tania James
Published: 2015
Language: English
Pages: 240
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
This is the story of an orphaned elephant whose terrorising the countryside, a young man who is drawn into the alluring world of ivory hunting and a documentary film maker, all of whom eventually come together in a tragic climax.


Review:
What a wonderful and unusual book this was, and it has left me slightly dazed and devastated.

The story is told through three viewpoints; that of a young male poacher, a woman working as a documentary film maker and that of an elephant. Of the three, the documentary filmmaker is the weakest and I felt the relationships in that narrative could've been better developed, but the rest is pretty much on point.

There's darkness in the theme of this book and the writing doesn't shy away from it - rather, it embraces it. It also discusses truth and humanity in a way I think is really interesting, a way that include the complexity and grey areas of it. There are also traces of myth and legend interwoven in the story that adds another fantastic detail to it.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed. The book takes you on a journey, one you know is not going to end well, but one very much worth being taken on. I would definitely recommend it if you like literary fiction.

You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/05/23

BOOKSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT: @ANNATHERBOOK

I have another bookstagram account to share with you today; this time it's the lovely Anna from @annatherbook. I found Anna quite recently and I just love her feed and her style.




Go follow!

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2017/05/22

BOOKISH REFLECTIONS:
HOW BLOGGING AND THE INTERNET HAS CHANGED MY READING

I've been a reader for as long as I can remember - as a child, books were my favorite thing and while growing up, they have remained exactly that. But when looking back, I can clearly see a shift in myself, what I read and the way I read dating back to about 2014; the year I started this blog.

I think I've mentioned it before, but I started The Book Castle blog just after I graduated from photography school because I'd been thinking about it for a good while, but I didn't want it to get in the way of my studies. I also didn't feel brave enough to start a YouTube channel, although I had been watching BookTube religiously for about a year. So I created this little corner of the internet and it has been nothing but a fantastic experience ever since.


The greatest thing about the internet and the bookish community here is that I found people like myself, who care about books, literature and all bookish things to the same degree as I do, if not more. There's an equal passion here that is amazing and that I just love, and eventually, as you know, I also started a YouTube channel, which feels even more interactive with other people and is absolutely wonderful.

It's also motivating to see books everywhere, to have books as such a big part of my day to day life, and this has really upped my game when it comes to how much I read. When looking back, I think I maybe read between a dozen and two a year and now, as I'm sure you're aware, I try to read about one hundred.

But it isn't all about the numbers of pages or books read. The way my reading has changed the most is when it comes to the diversity of it. Where as before I used to stick to certain genres, now I read almost everything. Where as before I used to read mostly white authors (because that's what was most available to me and I didn't even notice), I have made an effort to broaden my horizon and it's made such a difference. Where as before I used to talk about books with only a few of my friends, now I get to discuss them with all of you who comment on posts and videos and that's the main reason for doing any of this at all.

Books have always helped open my mind, but the internet with its literature lovers and the bookish community has exploded it in the best way imaginable, and I'm really grateful for it. It's an absolute joy.


This got a bit more sappy than perhaps I'd outlined, but this place really has been and still is one of the best parts of my life. What about you guys? Whether you're an active participant, a blogger, vlogger, bookstagrammer or something else, or just check in once in a while, how has the internet changed you and your literary adventures? I would love to know!
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2017/05/21

2017/05/20

BOOK REVIEW:
PENGUIN MODERN POETS 3

Title: Penguin Modern Poets 3: Your Family, Your Body
Authors: Malika Booker, Sharon Olds, Warsan Shire
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 117
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
This is a collection of poetry featuring three different authors.


Review:
Having previously read Penguin Modern Poets 1 and 2 and not being overwhelmed, this was a happy surprise.

Warsan Shire is already one of my favorite poets, so I was very excited to read some more of her work, but I was also impressed by the two others, perhaps in particular Malika Booker. All three have a distinct voice, something to say and does this beautifully. The collection is has an honesty and rawness to it that is quite moving.

One of my new favorite poems from this collection is The Ugly Daughter by Shire:

Knows loss intimately,
carries whole cities in her belly.

As a child, relatives wouldn't hold her.
She was splintered wood and sea water,
she reminded them of the war.

On her fifteenth birthday you taught her
how to tie her hair like rope
and smoke it over burning frankincense.

You made her gargle rosewater
and while she coughed, said
Macaanto, girls sholdn't smell
of lonely or empty.

You're her mother.
Why did you not warn her?
That she will not be loved
if she is covered in continents,
if her teeth are small colonies,
if her stomach is an island,
if her thighs are borders?

Who wants to lie down
and watch the world burn
in their bedroom?

Your daughter's face is a small riot,
her hands are a civil war,
a refugee camp behind each ear,
a body littered with ugly things

but God,
doesn't she wear
the world well.
p 100-101

Overall, this was an excellent collection and I would definitely recommend it. 
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/05/19

2017/05/17

2017/05/16

THINGS I LIKE NO. 1

It's spring and I felt like it was time to introduce a new feature to the blog. I'm going to call this, as you can probably see in the title; things I like!

Now, there are books everywhere on this blog, so much so you can hardly get away from it (which I suppose is the point of a book blog). But I feel like there should be a little more space for other things as well, if only to give you a bit of a peek into my life to see what I'm enjoying!

Now, I suspect some of these things will be book-related, but I like the idea of being able to share other things with you guys too, just anything I'm digging. So, here we are! Ironically, the first thing I want to tell you about is actually slightly book related and it is this lovely tote bag called "Fair" from Obvious State, which features not only this lovely artwork, but a literary quote as well.

I've had mine for over a year now and it's well worn and probably needs a wash just about now because I use it almost every single day. Tote bags come with all sorts of lovely artwork on them, but this one is one I never tire of. While writing this post, I'm actually eyeing some of the others designs on their website, especially the other floral ones...

I hope you guys are going to like these new types of posts and if you have any thoughts, do share them with me!
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2017/05/15

BOOK REVIEW:
UNDER THE BANNER OF HEAVEN BY JON KRAKAUER

Title: Under the Banner of Heaven: A Story of Violent Faith
Author: Jon Krakauer
Published: 2003
Language: English
Pages: 372
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
In this book, Krakauer explores the Mormon fundamentalist faith and its history, with the core of the book being two brothers who insist they have been commanded by God to kill an innocent women and her baby girl.


Review:
This book was, all at once, enlightening, disturbing, fascinating and harrowing.

I've never educated myself on the Mormon religion to any further extent than grasping the basics, but this book really delves into the faith, its history and how it came to be what it is today. It feels like an unbiased depiction as well, simply and in a well-researched manner telling you about it. It also looks at the power of faith and its sometimes gruesome consequences - in this case, the murder of two innocent people.

The case of the brothers is quite interesting, though in most ways horrifying to read about, and I feel like the book explains how someone could get to that point very well. It doesn't, in my opinion, get into the heads of the murderers, but I suspect that might not really be possible.

The writing is fairly simple, but paints a rather intense and gripping picture, and it does this without too much judgement. I feel the balance between the history and the true crime was fairly well-divided, though I will say some parts did drag out slightly when it came to some of the historical events.

The book has thought-provoking and fascinating things to say about not only Mormonism, but all religions, and of people, fanaticism and where it all might come from.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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