2017/06/29

BOOK HAUL:
JUNE

June is almost over and it's time to show you the books I got this month!

Summer is here and it's quite warm and lovely in Oslo these days. I've got about three weeks until I have a few weeks off work and I'm really looking forward to that, I've got some exciting things planned (mostly book and ice-cream related things).

I've both been sent a few books this month, as well as acquired a few myself, and here they are in all their glory! I can't wait to read them all!


















I hope you've all had a wonderful month and that you're all enjoying your summer!
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2017/06/28

BOOK REVIEW:
WELCOME TO LAGOS BY CHIBUNDU ONUZO

Title: Welcome to Lagos
Author: Chibundu Onuzo
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 368
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
A group of mismatched individuals leave their homes for Lagos in search of freedom and a new life, and eventually end up in the midst of a political scandal.


Review:
I had quite high expectations for this book, and it sure ended up being an interesting read.

I absolutely love the setting of this book and the author manages to bring it to life vividly. I found most of the main characters absolutely fascinating and the group dynamic was unquestionably fascinating; seeing them come from completely different places and coming together as a family of sorts. There are perhaps too many characters in this though and the further into the novel we get, the more characters appear and it's difficult to form a connection with them all.

This book discusses politics and doesn't shy away from commenting on both actual history and current events, and this becomes clearer and more bold the further into the novel we get. However, I felt that the more the book did that, the more the characters started suffering for it; they retreat into the background and the connection starts to falter. As a reader that generally gravitate towards characters more than plot, this was a bit disappointing to me.

The story has a rather open ending which I think suits the story wonderfully, as that's just what life is like, and I do catch myself wondering what these characters would end up doing, which I think is a very good sign.

It's not a perfect novel but I think it's worth the read nonetheless; it brings up interesting discussions and it's worth getting to know the characters, even if it's only for a little while.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/06/26

BOOK REVIEW:
EVERYDAY SEXISM BY LAURA BATES

Title: Everyday Sexism
Author: Laura Bates
Published: 2014
Language: English
Pages: 416
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Starting as a website where people could share their stories of daily and normalised sexism, the Everyday Sexism project became a viral sensation and this book is a collection of stories and discussions on feminism and its still very relevant position in todays society.


Review:
This was a powerful book to read.

I felt I was pretty prepared for what this book was going to offer, but it did definitely offer up new thoughts and discussions around certain themes. There's also something formidable in seeing all of these issues condensed into a little over four hundred pages - it's a bit of a punch in the gut, whether you were aware of all of it before reading this or not. It's painful and heartbreaking to read, but so very important.

One of the things I like the most about this book is that it puts into words a lot of things I think, but am unable to express. The author is good at arguing for the cause, at explaining where people are coming from and to get her point across. It's also funny in certain parts, but it's always clever - the funny parts just highlights the ridiculousness of certain things.

It's a tough book to get through, but one worth ploughing your way through nonetheless. I would say it's worth the read for everyone, and I think it would be especially eye-opening to people who still believe feminism is unnecessary or that "women are just overreacting."
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/06/24

BOOK REVIEW:
LANGUAGE BY XIAOLU GUO

Title: Language
Author: Xiaolu Guo
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 112
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
This is an excerpt from the book A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers and it's the story of the authors experience moving from China to England and trying to learn and understand the English language.


Review:
This was quite a short reading experience, but it was very interesting.

I really enjoyed reading about the authors first experience of London, trying to learn the language and the customs and see her fall in love with an Englishman. The structure of the story was fantastic, and the writing style is a bit different and maybe not for everyone but I really liked it; it's concise and lovely.

You do notice clearly that this is taken from a bigger piece of writing and it ends in sort of an odd place, but all that's done is make me want to track down and read the book is this taken from. I would definitely recommend this, I think it's an interesting topic and she has a fascinating voice, so if you want to try a taste of what her writing is like, this is an easy way to do that.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2017/06/23

2017/06/21

BOOK REVIEW:
SOMETIMES A RIVER SONG BY AVRIL JOY

Title: Sometimes A River Song
Author: Avril Joy
Published: 2016
Language: English
Pages: 194
Rating: 5/5

A copy of this book was sent to me by the publisher. This does not influence my review.


Summary:
Set in the 1930's in a riverboat community in Arkansas, this is the story of fifteen year old Aiyana who dreams of learning to read, which will offer her a life away from the cruelty of her father, a life away from the river she loves.


Review:
This book is really something, and quite different from anything else I can remember reading.

It's a short novel, but there's so much in here nonetheless, and I can't think of anything I don't love about it. The setting of the riverboat community is fantastic and ambient, the characters are fascinating and realistic and I really enjoyed the prevailing themes of nature, as well as the underlying air of folklore and legend.

My favorite part is the voice of the main character; right away, it swoops you into this world of the river, a world veiled with mythology; a world filled with an atmosphere you can almost touch. Getting to know Aiyana and the inside of her head is both painful and beautiful, as is seeing her grow up.

This is a poetic, engrossing and vivid coming of age story, one I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys historical fiction and literary fiction. It's a books I think will stay with me for a long time.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/06/20

BOOKSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT: @ANINFINITEBOOK

It's time for another bookstagram spotlight and this time I want to show you some awesome stuff from @aninfinitebook! Her feed is filled with flowers, great light and of course; loads of awesome books.




Go follow!
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2017/06/17

BOOK REVIEW:
STRANGE HEART BEATING BY ELI GOLDSTONE

Title: Strange Heart Beating
Author: Eli Goldstone
Published: 2017
Language: English
Pages: 208
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This is the story of a man who goes in search of his wife's past after she has been killed by a swan.


Review:
What an interesting reading experience this was!

I adore the writing style in this and it's my favorite part of this book. It's dark and funny, lyrical but not overly so and I felt it captured the atmosphere wonderfully. The story explores grief and the unknowability of people very well and it generally has an ambience I really enjoy.

I think the concept of reimagining the myth of Leda and the swan is fantastic, but I felt the story lost its way a little bit somewhere in the middle. The first part is truly rather amazing and then it sadly just dwindles and unfortunately, I started to feel a bit out of touch with the characters.

Overall, I'd say this is a promising debut and worth reading if you like your books on the odd side. I'm intrigued to see what Goldstone writes next and will definitely be keeping an eye on her in the future. The potential is massive.
You can get this book at The Book Depository*
You can read more about it on Goodreads

*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/06/16

2017/06/14

CAN YOU CRACK THE CODE?

As you might be aware, The Unseen World by Liz Moore is one of my favorite reads of the year so far, so when the author reached out to me and told me she'd made a puzzle for us, I of course wanted to share it with all of you!

You'll get all the information you need by watching both mine and Liz's video, but basically, this puzzle is to celebrate the new paperback edition of the book coming out, and if you manage to crack the code, you can win a prize!

 
 
The competition is open internationally and all you need is to get your hands on the new paperback (you can get it here*). You have until the 15th of July to figure it out, so best of luck!
*AFFILIATE LINK
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2017/06/13

THINGS I LIKE NO. 2

So, you may have seen these in my Spring Favorites video because I have been loving them! I've been a bit obsessed with face masks lately and these Flower Fusion sheet masks from Origins are some of the best I've tried, they really help keep the dryness of my face in check. My absolute favorite one is the Rose mask, but I also like the Violet and the Raspberry.


I also have to say, I think I prefer sheet masks over regular facemasks, because they're so easy to use. You literally just have to unpack it, spend five seconds putting it on, leave it for 20 minutes and spend 1.4 seconds taking it off. And voilá, you're done!
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