2019/05/31

2019/05/30

BOOK HAUL:
MAY

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
S P O N S O R E D  :  S O M E  B O O K S  S E N T  B Y  P U B L I S H E R S
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May has been a wonderful month here in Oslo. Spring has arrived and we've had varying weather, which I think is kind of nice; you appreciate sunny days more when it rains every once in a while. I also kind of like rain, because it's the perfect reading weather!

This month I've got a wonderful assortment of books, some of which sent by the publishers, one I got from a friend and the rest I all got myself!









( a f f i l i a t e  l i n k s  +  b o o k s  m a r k e d  *  s e n t  b y  p u b l i s h e r s )
* The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

I hope you've all had a lovely month!
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2019/05/28

THINGS I LIKE NO. 22

After trying to replace all my make-up with cruelty free items, I've found that a lot of brands I really want to try are not stocked in shops in Norway and so I have to order them online (which is always a bit of a risk because you can't try the colors etc), but luckily for me, they've started stocking Jeffree Star cosmetics in a big chain here in Norway and all of his stuff is cruelty free and a lot of his stuff is vegan as well!

One of the things I've discovered from this brand and fallen in love with is the liquid lipsticks, which are both cruelty free and vegan, and they're so good! The ones I have are opaque with only one swipe, they're very comfortable to wear and they don't feel sticky. Of the different types of liquid lipsticks I've tried (which is not that many), this is also the ones that dry out my lips the least, which is fantastic!
The shades I've got right now are Androgyny (which is a kind of plum mauve) and Calabasas (which is a subtle pink shade that I feel like would suit most people and most skin shades).

These won't survive if you're eating a greasy pizza (let's be real, no liquid lipstick really do), but even then, it won't look all that bad. I'm really very impressed with these, I have to say, and I definitely want to try more products from this brand because if the quality is like this, that's amazing!
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2019/05/25

BOOK REVIEW:
THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL BY SUJATA MASSEY

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Title: The Widows of Malabar Hill
Author: Sujata Massey
Published: 2018
Language: English
Pages: 385
Rating: 4/5


Summary:
Set in Bombay in the 1920's, Perveen Mistry is the first female lawyer in the city and is investigating a suspicious will on behalf of three Muslim widows living in seclusion.


Review:
I so enjoyed this book, it was a joy to read!

I thought this was charming and engrossing and I love so many things about it: the setting, the time period, the characters (especially the main character). The storyline brings up all of these different issues and discussions about women of this time, which I absolutely loved. There are two timelines in this book, both of which I found really fascinating. I felt like the switching between the two flowed really well throughout the book.

I do think the book tries to do a lot in a short amount of time though, and I sometimes wished we'd gotten to spend a bit more time exploring the different situations, it sometimes feel a little bit rushed. I also wish we'd gotten more time to get to know some of the side characters, especially Perveen's best friend who feels a bit one-dimensional, but other than that, I thought this was fantastic.

I'm already very much looking forward to the next book in this series, I can't wait to see what mysteries lies ahead for this group of characters.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2019/05/21

EVERYMAN'S LIBRARY:
LONDON STORIES

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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London is one of my favorite cities in the world, so of course I've got a copy of the beautiful London Stories by Everyman's Library.
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2019/05/20

BOOK REVIEW:
RED BIRDS BY MOHAMMED HANIF

S P O N S O R E D  :  B O O K  S E N T  B Y  P U B L I S H E R
I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Title: Red Birds
Author: Mohammed Hanif
Published: 2018
Language: English
Pages: 320
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
An American pilot crash lands in the desert and ends up in the refugee camp he was sent to bomb.


Review:
I don't really have a whole lot to say about this book. After having finished it, I'm left just thinking: meh.

This is one of those books that just didn't quite manage to hold my attention and although I noticed that in the very beginning, I thought perhaps it would get better as I kept going. And the further into it I got, the more dull and repetitive it got and then at the very end it took at turn and went real weird (and not in a good way).

I think the themes brought up in this book in this book are intriguing, but I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style in this, the story kept diverting on unnecessary rants and I didn't find any of the characters particularly interesting.

Overall, just an OK read.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2019/05/18

BOOK REVIEW:
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE BY ANTHONY BURGESS

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Title: A Clockwork Orange
Author: Anthony Burgess
Published: 1962
Language: English
Pages: 159
Rating: 2/5


Summary:
Set in the future, we follow a young man named Alex through a world is filled with violence, high technology and authoritarianism.


Review:
I am a huge fan of Brave New World and 1984, and this book is often mentioned alongside those, so I was very excited to read this and I was pretty sure I was going to love it.

And there are parts I do really like. I think the world in this story is fascinating and I really like how we follow our main character through different parts of it. The atmosphere throughout this book is also excellent, it's really dark and almost oppressive. As with the best dystopian novels, it brings up discussions around society, freedom of choice, good and evil.

What I don't like though, is the writing. There is a lot of slang in this book and I had such a hard time understanding any of it, let alone enjoy any of it. Maybe it would've been easier if my copy had a sort of glossary attached to it, but even then, I don't really want to have to translate what I'm reading to understand what's going on. I just felt like I kept getting stuck and it was very difficult to get into the flow of the story or really get a good grasp on any of the characters.

I think that in comparison to some of my other favorite classic dystopian books, this falls short and I can't help but be disappointed. Maybe it would be better if I read it again some day, but for now, I'm just not that into this.
You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2019/05/17

2019/05/15

BOOK REVIEW:
A WOMAN LIKE HER BY SANAM MAHER

S P O N S O R E D :  B O O K  S E N T  F O R  F R E E  B Y  P U B L I S H E R
I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Title: A Woman Like Her
Author: Sanam Maher
Published: 2019
Language: English
Pages: 336
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
This book explores the life and death of Qandeel Baloch, a social media star from Pakistan who was murdered by her brother.


Review:
I was very excited to read this book because I think this story is important and fascinating, and I'm glad I read it and got to learn more about it.

I really like how this book explores the life of Qandeel, both her social media persona as well as her actual real life. I think it's interesting to get to take a look at the power of social media and how it fits into different cultures, as well as how the book discusses the freedom of expression and freedom to be whatever kind of woman one wants to be.

That being said, I do feel like I didn't really get to know the real Qandeel. The book is written after she was murdered and we get to know a lot of the people who were around her and we hear what they have to say about her, but I almost feel like none of them really even knew her either. The author has also put in "commentary" from Qandeel in italics throughout the chapters and I didn't feel like this really worked; they felt out of place and I don't know how well they really served their purpose. It didn't feel to me like these were Qandeel's thoughts.

Maybe no one really knew who she really was and that's one of the things this book tries to get across, but as a reader, I just felt a bit held at a distance and it was hard to connect to this. I think the writing style feels a little messy a lot of the time and it's hard to keep track of everything and everyone.

Still though, I am really happy I read this and got to learn more about this story and more about Qandeel, even if we didn't really get under her skin. I think the discussions brought up in this book are valuable and interesting and it's worth reading it just for that.
PS: I am aware that the edition I've read is an uncorrected proof, so it's very possible that some of the things that I've noticed (especially when it comes to the writing) will be corrected in the final edition.

You can get this book at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2019/05/14

BOOKSTAGRAM SPOTLIGHT:
@STEFIEREADS

Today I want to tell you about this lovely bookstagrammer @stefiereads! She's Indonesian but actually lives in Bergen here in Norway and she has the most beautiful feed ever! I love her photos and the books she shares.


Go follow!
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2019/05/13

BOOK REVIEW:
UTOVER ENHVER RIMELIG TVIL BY MALIN PERSSON GIOLITO

I N C L U D E S  A F F I L I A T E  L I N K S
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Title: Utover Enhver Rimelig Tvil
Author: Malin Persson Giolito, Monica Carlsen (translator)
Published: 2012
Language: Norwegian (translated from Swedish)
Pages: 384
Rating: 3/5


Summary:
A fifteen year old girl has been murdered and a doctor has spent thirteen years in prison for the crime, but when attorney Sophia Weber takes a look at the case, she discovers discrepancies in the investigation, enough of them to want to help him.


Review:
There is a lot I really like about this book and then some things that I don't.

My favorite thing about this is the discussion throughout this book about justice and possible miscarriage of justice, as well as the role of the media and public opinion in criminal cases. The story talks about how this man who has been convicted is an all-round horrible guy, but how one can't judge him for being an asshole. It highlights issues in the justice system, as well as within humans. It asks questions like: how much evidence do you need to convict a man? Can we risk lowering the standard of the evidence needed if it means the possibility of convicting an innocent person?

I also really like the writing style of this author. There's something about it that I find incredibly compelling and I feel like I really get into the heads of the characters.

That being said, this is an almost 400-page book and not a lot happens in it, and in the end, very little of what we've read even come to fruition. There is very little action and not a whole lot of excitement, except towards the very end and even that part isn't particularly engrossing.

It's more a commentary of society than anything else and it's a book that asks more questions that it answers, which I thought was interesting enough, but overall, this didn't exactly knock my socks of in the way I had anticipated.
You can get this book at Adlibris. You can get the English version at The Book Depository (affiliate link)
You can read more about it on Goodreads
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2019/05/11

UNBOXING:
BIRD & BLEND TEA

I've wanted to try teas from the independent company Bird & Blend for months and I finally just had to get some, so today, I've got a little unboxing to share with you!

These teas are hand blended in the UK, so I had to order them from there, as they don't sell these in Norway (at least as far as I'm aware). I got one of their Tea Gift Boxes because I wanted to try some different types and didn't really know which ones to choose. The one I got was the Fave Tea Box, which contains five of their most popular teas, all of which sounded delicious and I wanted to try!

The teas also came in this beautiful box, and I'm definitely going to keep these gift boxes in mind the next time one of my friends birthday is around the corner, because it really does make a wonderful gift.











which contains

I also got two samples of two different teas with the order that I'm going to try out. Of the ones in the box though, so far I've tried the Blue Raspberry (which is the purple one you see in the pictures) and the Earl Grey which was lovely and the MojiTEA which is perfect for me, because I love teas with peppermint!
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