Tag Archives: books

Bout of Books round up

So I actually started this post back on day 3 (today is day 7!) on my lunch break, I got caught up in the fact that I couldn’t find the original wordpress post editor and ergo could not fathom a few features I wanted to use, so it fell by the way side.  Then if I’m honest I’ve prioritised the actual reading side of things with all my spare time, so I’m doing one update to cover the whole week.

I started reading Blackout by Ragnar Jonasson, it was on a Kindle deal over Christmas, and whilst I own his other two UK released books in paperback, I felt like this was too good to miss. The story is once again set in the Northern town of Siglufjörður, and has more twists and turns than an old fashioned rollercoaster. I rated the book 4/5 but the actual Kindle version 1/5, I realised once I was about a third of the way through that Jonasson usually includes a little map of the locations used in his books and sometimes more info: it turns out that this information is included in the e-book version, but upon starting it, it jumps from the title page to the first chapter, I also noted at least 4 grammatical / typesetting mistakes in the text – I’d have been really peeved had I paid full price. My other gripe with this book is that it’s listed as ‘book 3 of the Dark Iceland’ series, which for the UK order release it is, but not for the original and chronological order. This makes no sense to me, so I’ve read in the UK order book 1, 5, 2, leaping back and forwards in time is very confusing for the read how can a character have a child with his partner last book, but this book they’ve not had it yet and have split up… also kinda ruins the on going plot just a bit. (Page count 220)

Second book on my list was the Little Book of Icelandic – by Alda Sigmundsdottir a wonderful compendium of nuances of the Icelandic language, reminding me of all the things I loved about Lingo  and more. For example the reasoning behind some root words that haven’t evolved like English has, contained three examples that I could also recognise in my Swedish learning (the words for dog and meat). There’s also the explanations of pronunciation of those funny characters and my favourite – the compound words! I find it a lot easier to remember words when I know the history of how they could about, this is especially true when they are amusing or quaint (eg. laptop comes from the words meaning migrating computer). I think this is a must for anyone with an interest in the fun side of linguistics or anyone wanting to learn Icelandic. (Finished today, page count 162)

Third book, I’m currently reading and predict will be finished tomorrow, is The Little Book of Hygge by Meik Wiking, which is a beautifully designed, hardback, almost pocket sized book on the hygge lifestyle. So far I’m learning that candles, snugly scarves and coffee are all good elements of hygge, loving it. (page count on day 7, 75)

So total page count: 457

I hope next time for bout of books to get more involved with the twitter chats etc, but I’m fairly sure they’re all at 4pm UK time (the ones I’m actually awake for) which is commuting time and not great tbh..  til next time

Bout of Books 18 and reading challenges

Heading into the New Year and one resolution I kept, or rather challenge I completed (I like to think as resolutions as challenges to keep tally of), was my Goodreads Reading Challenge, of 52 books for 2016. I’ve actually exceeded that reading a total of 63 so far  and it feels slightly premature posting this, as I fully intend to finish another tonight and there’s still tomorrow to go!

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This was in no small part to joining several Read-a-thons, and I’m stoked to say the next one starts in a few days – the week long Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 2nd and runs through Sunday, January 8th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 18 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Given that during the last read-a-thon I signed up to, I read nothing, as family descended on us for the whole weekend, I’m really looking forward to this one. It’s certainly more relaxed than a 24 hour read a thon lasting a whole week, and entirely in your own timezone. I haven’t decided what to read yet, I downloaded a few e-books over Christmas, and acquired a few more physical books during December (ok, more than a few, 11 to be exact, with 2 more in the post.. but who’s counting really?). So come Monday 2nd January, I’ll be reading on the bus, in my lunch break, after work, in my bed… wherever I can.

Bout of Books 18

Review: The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared

The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The premise of this book is fairly simple – a 100 year old man climbs out of the window of his care home and disappears, but nothing could have prepared me for the gloriously funny stories that unfold. Not only the story of what happens once he turns 100 and nips out the window, but the back story of his entire life which is interspersed with the modern day adventure. Was he responsible for Hiroshima? Did he thwart Stalin? Become friends with Harry S Truman? read it and find out…

View all my reviews

Bout of Books round up

Aka, days 5-7..

So I didn’t do all that badly, I don’t think. I definitely made good progress particularly in finishing a couple of lurkers on my currently reading list.

Saturday I finished off The Stranger by Albert Camus, made all the more easier once I realised I had a physical copy to read lurking on a dark shelf, as the e-book version was just not very e-book friendly. Next up was a photography book that had a couple of essays in it – oh and a great quote from Henri Cartier-Bresson:

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Sunday I got less reading done, as I had signed up to run the Oxford Town and Gown 10K Sunday morning (1hr 15m if you were wondering). Afterwards though in a very hot bath, i finished A Very Short Introduction to Philosophy. The last few chapters were interesting enough giving me more ideas on what to read, but the thing that really bugged me about it was that for the first 30% of so of the book, the author kept heavily suggesting you read several other texts, which to me, misses the point of this series… but anyway, done with.

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I now have the rather ominous task of writing a piece of criticism on a literary text for my evening class, that is due in about 10 days, which wouldn’t be half as ominous if I wasn’t away visiting family the entire weekend. Wish me luck!

Bout of books day 1-2

So today’s reading has been interesting to say the least. My usual peaceful commute via bus into Oxford was disturbed by someone’s phone screeching out bagpipes music for the most of it.

Currently I’m trying to finish ‘The Art of Travel’ which I started during the Dewey’s readathon, however the current chapter on the Lake District and Wordsworth is boring me slightly meaning I’m finding it hard to push through…

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Updating a day later, and it’s finished – here’s my brief ‘review’ from Goodreads

“One of those books where I’m kicking myself I didn’t read it earlier, it was everything I expected and more. Split into sections prefixed with ‘On’ such as On Anticipation or On the Sublime, each one with a little grid that displays the place(s) and the guide (s) that will be your travelling companions in that chapter. Looking at reasons why people started travelling, and why, and why people go where… there was only one chapter that I didn’t like (I absolutely hated in fact) which was the one with the Lake District (place) with Wordsworth (guide), as I don’t really like either. Kind of funny that my reasons for not liking the lakes were echoed in this book, around pre-conceptions.
Absolute must read for anyone interested seeing whilst travelling. “

This book has given me so much more to think about /research in relation to my art/photography work based on travel. The section on the Sublime had some interesting quotes from Edward Burke’s A Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful, that excited me so much I’ve already ordered it from Amazon, in a month I promised myself I wouldn’t buy any excessive books (but I had a voucher so that makes it ok right?).

So after finishing on that high note today, it was straight onto We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, a perfect readathon book, given that it was so quick to read (probably under 40 minutes). Based on a TED talk she gave a few years ago, she talks about her personal experiences in Nigeria, of women not being equal, about male friends who’ve not realised that equality is not yet ‘there’ until it’s slapped them in the face. I’d recommend this to everyone.

Readathon round up… and onwards

OK it’s a bit late in the day, but I’ve been busy sorting out prints for two exhibitions.

So my final tally for the Dewey’s Readathon was:

Finishing 1 book of 23 pages- The Sea Close By, by Albert Camus

73 pages of Bad Blood by Arne Dahl

138 pages of The Art of Travel by Alain De Botton 

Not as much as I hoped, but given how busy the last few weeks have been, managing to set aside that much time to read really helped.

I also found a couple more blogs to follow of fellow readathon-ers! (Hi ich lese  and Cat Litterary!) which is always nice, although sometimes I feel like I need a readathon style day to catch up with all the great blogs I follow.

Another great thing about the readathon was finding out about other readathons, so I hereby declare myself signing up to Bout of Books

Bout of Books

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, May 9th and runs through Sunday, May 15th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 16 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

So expect more bookish posts sometime soon.

Readathon Hours 4 – 12?

OK so technically we’re into hour 11, 9 for me as i started so late.. which makes me feel slightly better about that fact that I haven’t read as much as I intended.

I did read Albert Camus – The Sea Close By, although short (it’s actually two stories, 23 pages long), it wasn’t like a modern fiction novel that I could speed read, it required ingestion of the words and took a lot longer than anticipated. I did however enjoy it, but I think today I’ve spent entirely too much time checking out other people’s posts and challenges.. it’s like oh the clock is hitting the hour -a new challenge is due, and before I know it, there’s less than 30 minutes left in that hour.. Arrg! Not to mention an impromptu trip to the supermarket to get snack and stuff..

Arne Dahl - Bad Blood

Arne Dahl – Bad Blood

For my second book I chose Bad Blood by Arne Dahl, I feel like these translations are a long time coming compared perhaps to other Scandi/Nordic crime fiction. I struggled to find my books on Goodreads as well which was new to me and given that the TV versions of the book were first shown on BBC4 three years ago, it feels like there is some delay compared to others in the genre. An interesting point about this book series (for me at least) was realising that in the TV version they made the A Unit team leader a woman, same name, just swapped gender, I’m going to guess because the novel has such a male orientated cast and it needed evening out for TV? Also reading this reminded me to log into Duolingo and do my daily Swedish practice ( I think I can probably order a meal for for men and women, particularly if that meal includes turtle). My intention was to read ‘a few chapters’ before moving to something else, but I’m at chapter 10 already so I may just stick with it tonight, as i’m probably going to flake soon and read something different in the morning.

I also tried reading standing up tonight, mostly because I was trying to hit 10k steps today, so the only way was to read whilst ‘walking’ and a bit whilst dancing as I’ve been listening to 6 Music since about 8pm. My overall take home, whilst it certainly works, and keeps me awake, it also leaves me a bit unsteady on my feet – circuits of the living room particularly. Jogging on the spot is probably easiest to manage book in hand, but also the most boring. I’ve also reached that stage of “my eyes hurt because they’ve dried out” so contacts out, glasses on, eye drops being liberally applied, all in the name of reading just a few more pages before bed