Friday, 31 May 2019

Book Blogger Hop; Reading Books Over 400 Pages

It's Friday yet again and probably time for yet another Book Blogger Hop post, courtesy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The question of the week was "Do you read books over 400 pages?".
Personally, I do read them. A few of the longer books I've read and enjoyed includes The Alphabet House by Jussi Adler-Olsen, A Dark So Deadly by Stuart MacBride and Germinal by Émile Zola.

Thursday, 30 May 2019

Monthly Summary; May 2019

It's the end of the month again, which means it's time for a monthly summary of the books I've read in addition to my book haul. I've managed to read quite a number of books this month as well, with a combination of poetry, children's books, crime novels and other random titles. Quite a number of these where either press copies or ARC's I've recieved from Netgalley.

My favourite secondhand bookstore in Stavanger (Løvås bruktbu) had a three day sale this month, so I managed to find a few books there this month. As it's a secondhand bookstore, the books were reasonably priced to begin with, so when they had the sale, it was possible to save a bit. Walking through that store is almost like going on a literary treasure hunt.

Anyway, here's my lists.

Books I've Read

  • Grave Expectations by Sandra Gardner
  • The Jacq of Spades by Patricia Loofbourrow
  • Scarlet Fever by David Stever
  • Region Six by Ian James Krender
  • Sifting Through Clues by Daryl Wood Gerber
  • Killing Her Softly Barb Warner Deane
  • Bed, Breakfast and Beyond by JoAnn S. Dawson
  • The Winemaker's Secret by Cynthia Ellingsen
  • Møt meg på museet av Anne Youngson
  • Knit One, Die Two by Peggy Ehrhart
  • The Marriage Bureau for Rich People by Farahad Zama
  • Håpet av Mich Vraa
  • A Checkered Past by Daniella Bernett
  • The Urban Sketching Handbook: Working with Color: Techniques for Using Watercolor and Color Media on the Go by Shari Blaukopf
  • When Spring Comes to the DMZ by Uk-Bae Lee
  • Antiques Ravin' by Barbara Ann
  • The Hawk and the Dove by Paul Kor
  • Ojiichan's Gift by Chieri Uegaki
  • Wed, Read & Dead by V. M. Burns
  • The Diva Sweetenes the Pie by Krista Davis
  • Yellow Crocus by Laila Ibrahim
  • Jeg klarer det ikke alene av Kristian Bergquist
  • Between You and These Bones by F. D. Soul
  • Jeg lever ikke lenger selv av Kristine Hovda
  • Kvinner under krigen av Siri Walen Simensen
  • Prologue to Murder by Lauren Elliot

Book Haul

  • Arven fra familien Palmisano by Rafel Nadal (press copy from publisher)
  • Jeg lever ikke lenger selv by Kristine Hovda (press copy from publisher)
  • Jeg klarer det ikke alene by Kristian Bergquist (press copy from publisher)
  • Smilefjes. Tommel opp. Regnbue. by Victoria Durnak (press copy from publisher)
  • Du sier, jeg sier by Kaia Dahle Nyhus (press copy from publisher)
  • Kosmos by Witold Gombrowicz (press copy from publisher)
  • The Odin Mission by James Holland
  • En gul sol by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  • Kvinnekamp - historia om norske motstandskvinner by Kristin Hatledal
  • Bistro - velsmakende hverdagsmat fra det franske tradisjonelle kjøkkenet

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

Book Blitz; A Shifting of Stars by Kathy Kimbray

Top 5 Wednesday; Books Featuring Mental Health

It's Wednesday and time for another Top 5 Wednesday post, thanks to the Goodreads group. The theme of the week was books featuring mental health.

My picks are;
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

23:27 by H. L. Roberts

The Edge of Brilliance by Susan Traugh

Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen

Prozac Nation by Elizabeth Wurtzel

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Top Ten Tuesday; Favourite Books Released In the Last Ten Years

It's Tuesday yet again, which means it's time for another Top Ten Tuesday post courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl. The theme of the week was favourite books released in the past ten years, one for each year.

My picks are these ones;

2019; Here Walk the Dead (Boneseeker #2) by Brynn Chapman

2018; Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien

2017; The Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell

2016; Coffin Road by Peter May

2015: Murder in Absentia by Assaph Mehr

2014; Dirty Pretty Things by Michael Faudet

2013; Scales by Amity Green

2012; I Am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

2011; The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

2010; Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh

Monday, 27 May 2019

Omtale; Bønn for Tsjernobyl av Svetlana Aleksijevitsj

I forbindelse med Non-fiction Reading Challenge, endte jeg opp med å lese boka Bønn for Tsjernobyl av Svetlana Aleksijevitsj og i dag kommer omtalen.

Beskrivelse fra forlaget
"Jeg har alltid med meg to buketter: en til ham, og den andre legger jeg i hjørnet til henne ... Jenta mi reddet meg, hun tok hele strålingsstøyten, hun ble som en strålingsavleder. Så liten. Det lille nurket ... Kan man virkelig drepe med kjærlighet?"
Ljudmila Ignatenko, enken etter brannmannen Vasilij Ignatenko.

På mindre enn tre døgn ble atomkrafteksplosjonen i Tsjernobyl en global katastrofe som rammet og påvirket hele verden. I dag, 30 år senere, begynner vi å danne oss et bilde av de massive ringvirkningene ulykken har fått. Journalisten Svetlana Aleksijevitj, har i tre år reist rundt i de mest utsatte områdene for å samle vitnesbyrd om livene til menneskene som kom tettest på. Hvordan lever de i dag? Hva opptar dem? Hva tenker de om fremtiden? Hva er deres historie?
I Bønn for Tsjernobyl går Aleksijevitj dokumentarisk til verks og lar menneskene fortelle historiene med sine egne ord. De beretter om dyp sorg og stort mot, men også om å tørre å tenke på fremtiden, om hverdagsgleder, livslyst og menneskers evne til å finne nye måter å leve på i møte med en usynlig trussel.

Mine tanker om boka
Bønn for Tsjernobyl er en tankevekkende bok for de som er interessert i naturvitenskap og europeisk historie. Ofte "glemmer" man menneskeskjebnene når det er snakk om historie og denne boka får frem noen av de stemmene. Det kommer også frem at det til dels har blitt lagt lokk på enkelte elementer ved katastrofen, noe som gjør det enda viktigere at ting kommer frem i lyset.

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Review; The Mutts Summer Diaries by Patrick McDonnell

I was fortunate enough to recieve a sample ARC of The Mutts Summer Diaries by Patrick McDonnell from Netgalley and today I'll post my review.

Description from Netgalley
Put on your swim trunks and hit the beach with Earl and Mooch—the dog (and cat) days of summer are here!

It’s summertime, and the living is easy, the ice cream is cold, and the temperature is so hot your brains will melt right out of your head. Mooch and Earl are eager to make the most of it, lounging in the backyard pool, building sandcastles on the beach, and exchanging knock-knock jokes with a dolphin. From whales and tsunamis to lemonade and Bermuda shorts, this Mutts collection is packed full of summer fun!

My Thoughts on the Book
Even though I only recieved a sampler from Netgalley, the comics are nontheless really cute and funny, especially if one has pets.

Saturday, 25 May 2019

Review; The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt

A little while ago I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of the cookbook The Flexible Pescatarian by Jo Pratt through Netgalley. I read the book shortly afterwards, but I haven't posted my review until now.

Description from Goodreads
Whether you’re looking to eat less meat, a lover of seafood, or even a dedicated pescatarian, you’ll find something for you in this book filled with delicious and practical recipes for every lifestyle from celebrated chef Jo Pratt. Choose between cooking each recipe as a fish dish, or get creative with some veggie substitutes.

From a curried Buddha bowl to Cornish crab pasties, aromatic cured salmon with pea blinis to a wholesome and hearty smoky mac ‘n’ cheese, the range of international recipes spans the globe and are all simple, well-balanced and packed with flavour. As well as easy approaches on how to cook your fish and hacks for vegetarian options, this original cookbook shows you how to prepare the perfect fish fillet and handle whole fish and seafood. With a wide variety of health benefits, there has never been a better time to join the growing pescatarian movement and expand your culinary skills.

My Thoughts on the Book
This is one of those cookbooks that makes fish interesting and there's quite a few good photos in it. What I also liked was that it had a variety of recipes, just to make things less bland.

Friday, 24 May 2019

Review; Passion Becomes You by Michelle Reid and Takane Yonetani

Recently, I was lucky enough to recieve an ARC of the manga Passion Becomes You by Michelle Reid and Takane Yonetani through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
She’s scared to lose her heart. He’s a playboy and confirmed bachelor!
When Jemma, a secretary, first meets Leon Stephanades, her boss’s wealthy Greek client, she’s unable to take her eyes off him. His smile almost makes her heart burst. Jemma tells herself she mustn’t fall for the playboy—he changes lovers as often as her parents and her boss do! In any case, he’s a confirmed bachelor who hates being tied down. Nevertheless, aware of Jemma’s gaze, Leon tugs her toward him and softly promises, “No conditions, no promises. But while we’re together, I’ll be yours only.” Though annoyed by his arrogance, Jemma is unable to resist his kiss.

My Thoughts on the Book
Passion Becomes You is a manga novel with beautiful artwork, but I honestly struggled to like Jemma and Leon at times as characters.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

Review; The Modern Cheesemaker: Making and Cooking with Cheeses at Home by Morgan McGlynn

Recently I was lucky enough to recieve an ARC of the book The Modern Cheesemaker: Making and Cooking with Cheeses at Home by Morgan McGlynn through Netgalley. I read it shortly afterwards and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
The Modern Cheesemaker shows you how to make 18 cheeses, from the rich and gooey, to the wonderfully stinky, and all the cheeseboard favourites – including simple, fresh cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta, working up to salty and versatile halloumi, feta and paneer, perfect, melting Swiss cheese, through to aged Cheddar and Brie.

Starting from the very basics of the making process, with a guide to milk types and the seasonal nature of cheese, The Modern Cheesemaker will deepen your understanding of this essential ingredient and its production.

The equipment you will need is thoroughly explained and readily available and by following the easy-to-use instructions and Morgan McGlynn’s expert tips, you’ll soon learn how to become your own artisan cheesemaker. To reap the rewards of your hard work, there are over 40 recipes for delicious cheese-based dishes to make, along with flavouring cheese and suggested accompaniments.

My Thoughts on the Book
This is a beautiful book with recipes both for the actual cheeses and what to make with the cheeses, whether it's Paneer Stuffed Peppers, Cheese and Garlic Scones or other yummy treats. I also really loved the photos and I'm tempted to try several recipes.

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge; Books I Love that Became Films or TV Shows

It's Wednesday and time for another Wednesday Weekly Blogging Challenge thanks to Long and Short Reviews. The theme of the week was books I love that became films or TV series. While several of my favourite books have been adapted to either film or TV, I'm not going to list them all.

Here is anyway five of my favourite books that has been turned into films or TV series.

Chocolat by Joanne Harris

Dracula by Bram Stoker

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

The Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Top 5 Tuesday; Top 5 “Unputdownable” African Reads

It's Tuesday again and time for a new Top 5 Tuesday, courtesy of The Bionic Bookworm. The theme of the week was top five unputdownable reads and I decided narrowing it down to African reads as it's a vast continent and deserves some attention.

My picks are these;

Black Mamba Boy by Nadifa Mohamed

Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Under the Udala Trees by Chinelo Okparanta

The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma

The Last Brother by Nathacha Appanah

Monday, 20 May 2019

Review; A Checkered Past by Daniella Bernett

This is the last day for me participating in Mystery Thriller Week. I was lucky enough to recieve a press copy of the crime novel A Checkered Past by Daniella Bernett from the author and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
A looted Nazi painting…A former IRA commander…The tie that binds is murder

Emmeline Kirby is back in London, determined to make a success of her new job as editorial director of investigative features at The Clarion. Three months have passed since her trip to Torquay and the devastating revelations that surfaced about her fiancé Gregory Longdon. The whole interlude has left a bitter taste in her mouth, and she is keeping him at arm’s length. But a suave and dashing jewel thief like Gregory is not easily daunted. After all, faint heart never won fair lady. It doesn’t hurt that Emmeline’s grandmother and her best friend, Maggie, are on his side. Only his shadowy past could ruin his chances.

All of these relationships are threatened as Emmeline stubbornly pursues a story about looted Nazi art and an IRA collaborator. When a stolen Constable painting belonging to Maggie’s family turns up in the collection of Max Sanborn, the chairman of the company that owns The Clarion, her personal crusade brings danger close to home. To find the truth, Emmeline and Gregory must untangle a web of deception, betrayal, and dark deeds. But will they learn too late that justice can be cold comfort if you’re dead?

My Thoughts on the Book
Personally I found A Checkered Past a fast paced and layered novel with links to the last. I think it might be helpful reading the rest of the books in the series (which I didn't), but it didn't ruin anything for me. It's still an entertaining read and I would recommend it.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Review; Scarlet Fever by David Stever

Mystery Thriller Week isn't over quite yet luckily. Earlier I was fortunate enough to recieve an ARC of Scarlet Fever by David Stever through Netgalley. As it was a book listed for Mystery Thriller Week, I ended up reading it and today I'll post my review.

Description from Goodreads
He’s a hard-drinking ex-cop with nothing to prove. She’s a gorgeous mystery woman with everything to lose.
She needs his help. He just needs HER.

The mobsters won’t know what hit them.

Private investigator Johnny Delarosa’s seen it all. Cheating spouses, greedy embezzlers, insurance scammers—it’s all part of the game to him. But when a drop-dead gorgeous redheaded mystery woman walks into his bar and drops a $20,000 retainer in his lap, he knows he’s met his match.

Claire Dixon wants the hard-drinking Johnny to find $2 million that was stolen from her mob-wife mother thirty years ago, but the money is only half the mystery. When every lowlife in Port City suddenly comes out of the woodwork to claim their share of the take, suddenly Claire’s nowhere to be found—and the body count starts to climb.

With the help of a bright young amateur sleuth, can Johnny crack the case before the streets of his beloved Port City run scarlet?

With a wink and a nod to the hard-boiled detective fiction of yesteryear, David Stever offers up a heaping helping of old-school noir sure to satisfy every thriller lover, even genre purists. Scarlet Fever is the first book in the Johnny Delarosa Mysteries.

Fans of Sunburn by Laura Lippman, Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King, The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn, and The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler are sure to love this book.

This book is for anyone who likes reading about:

Crime fiction
Hard-boiled detectives
Femme fatales
Gangsters and mob bosses
Mysteries and thrillers

My Thoughts on the Book
Scarlet Fever is almost like a modern version of the 1930's PI/mafia crime novels, which made me enjoy it a lot. Scarlet Fever is also an entertaining, well-written and fast paced book which I read in an evening and in addition I liked the PI and his sidekicks.

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Review; The Jacq of Spades by Patricia Loofbourrow

Mystery Thriller Week isn't over quite yet. I've read The Jacq of Spades by Patricia Loofbourrow for this occasion and today I will post my review of the book. I was also lucky enough to recieve a digital copy of this book from the author.

Description from Goodreads
The once-beautiful domed neo-Victorian city of Bridges is split between four crime families in an uneasy cease-fire. Social disparity increasing and its steam-driven infrastructure failing, a new faction is on the rise: the Red Dogs.

Jacqueline Spadros has a dream life: a wealthy husband, a powerful family. But her life is not what it seems. Kidnapped from her mother's brothel and forced to marry, the murder of her best friend Air ten years before haunts her nightmares. She finds moments of freedom in a small-time private eye business, which she hides in fear of her sadistic father-in-law.

Air's little brother disappears off his back porch and the Red Dogs are framed for it. With the help of a mysterious gentleman investigator hired by the Red Dogs to learn the truth, Jacqui pushes her abilities to their limits in hope of rescuing the child before the kidnapper disposes of him.

My Thoughts on the Book
I haven't read that many steampunk crime/mystery novels yet, but as I love both steampunk and crime, I really liked this book. Even as this is a steampunk, it doesn't go overboard in describing technical down to each and every nut and bolt, which made it easy to read. The book also plays a bit with the mob/gangster family trope, but what I enjoyed the most was that it had a female protagonist. Due to having a female protagonist, The Jacq of Spades also shows just how vunerable women could be in the 1800's as the setting is in that century.

So if you want to read an entertaining steampunk crime/mystery, I would recommend this book. At the moment I'm tempted to read the rest of the series.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Book Blitz; Paladin by Sarah MacTavish

Book Blogger Hop; Which Author Would I Most Like To Interview and Why?

It's Friday and probably time for a new Book Blogger Hop post, courtesy of Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. The question of the week was "Which author would you most like to interview, and why?".
There's a bunch of authors I would love to interview, but one I would love to interview is James Holland, who's both an author and a historian. He seems both down to earth, intelligent and interesting, so I suspect it would be a treat interviewing him.

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Review, Grave Expectations by Sandra Gardner

It's time for another book review for Mystery Thriller Week. This time it is Grave Expectations by Sandra Gardner and I was lucky enough to recieve a digital press copy from the author.

Description from Goodreads
When Marabella Vinegar’s favorite neighbor, Sam Lipschitz, dies, everyone, including the NYPD, thinks it was natural causes. After all, Sam was pushing eighty, with a heart condition. But Marabella knows Sam’s heart problem was mild and under control with medication—and she’s already acquainted with Sam’s greedy relatives—so she doesn’t think there was anything natural about it. Neither does her sleuthing sidekick, her mother-the-ghost-detective, who has recently dropped back into Marabella’s life, happy to interfere again. Not only that, but Rose, another elderly neighbor, tells Marabella she overheard Sam arguing with someone in his apartment about money, and was threatening to change his will. Rose caught a shadowy glimpse of the person fleeing Sam’s apartment and is worried the person saw her. The next day, Marabella finds Rose, severely injured, on the floor of the building’s laundry room, saying she was pushed. Marabella can’t convince her old nemesis, NYPD Detective, now Lieutenant, Rivera, that people are being murdered. So she vows to track the killer down with her mother’s help, by investigating the heirs to Sam’s considerable estate. Can she and her mother find the killer and get enough evidence to convince Rivera? Or is Marabella doomed to become the next victim?

My Thoughts on the Book
Even though this is a cozy mystery novel, I had a good laugh at times, especially because of the cat. The characters are three dimensional and realistic, and the book itself is well-paced.

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Review; Chasing Symmetry by Tempeste Blake

It's time for another review in relation to Mystery Thriller Week and today it's Chasing Symmetry by Tempeste Blake, in which I was fortunate enough to recieve as a press copy from the author.

Description from Goodreads
Someone had been trying for the perfect shade of red . . .
When art professor Bianca James tries to save a dying woman, the grudge-holding chief of police is all too quick to catapult her to the top of the suspect list. As if that isn’t enough, her ex-boyfriend’s younger brother, Finn Tierny, is assigned to the case, and she’s faced with a trilogy of dilemmas: go head to head with the chief, stop a cold-blooded killer on her own, or trust another Tierny.
Finn’s return to Riley’s Peak is bittersweet. He’s flooded with memories, both good and bad, as he battles doubts about being a cop, a cantankerous father, a jealous brother, and a drug dealer with a rap-sheet longer than the list of addicts he’s been supplying.
Threats escalate, the suspect list grows, and it becomes clear—the murderer’s resolve to kill Bianca is almost as strong as Finn’s desire to keep her alive.

My Thoughts on the Book
Chasing Symmetry is a well written book with a good pace and the characters, such as Bianca, Maris, Dylan and Finn are well written and complex. I also liked the subplot about Bianca and Finn.

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Top Ten Tuesday; Crime and Thriller Books That Should be Adapted to Movies

It's yet another Tuesday, which means it's time for a new Top Ten Tuesday post courtesy of That Artsy Reader Girl. The theme of the week was a page to screen freebie, so I decided to write a list of crime, mystery and thriller novels I would love to see being adapted into a movie.

My picks are;

The Fire Child by S. K. Tremayne

The Teacher by Katerina Diamond

Redemption Road by John Hart

Silent Scream by Angela Marsons

The Secrets of the Lazarus Club by Tony Pollard

Night School by C. J. Daugherty

The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne

Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman

Down River by John Hart

The Reading Buddy by Bryce Gibson