Coffee Book Tag

Coffee and books sounds fun! First saw this tag on The Book Eater, it was originally created by BangadyBangz

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1. Black coffee: a book that was hard to get into but has a lot of diehard fans

Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, I couldn’t get into this book no matter how much people seem to like its uniqueness. I never achieved the natural flow of reading I usually do and found the plot confusing. Gave up after a couple chapters. Black coffee is what I usually drink btw, just because that’s what is around.

 

hp2. Peppermint mocha: a book that gets popular around the holiday season

The Harry Potter series by J. K. Rowling is the obvious answer, along with the movies. I don’t know why so many connect it with winter. Is it the childhood and family, nostalgia aspect? Holidays are when people have time to read or watch it?

 

 

3. Hot chocolate: your favorite children’s book

 

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“Gravbøygen våkner” by Sigbjørn Mostue, it was an exciting fantasy story, set in nature like the one I grew up in, in Norway (but it also isn’t translated from norwegian).

An english one would be Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer, also a fantasy story with police fairies and a millionaire criminal 12-year-old genius who outsmarts everyone.

4. Double espresso: a book that kept you on the edge of your seat

thoaPs: this is my type of coffee. I didn’t drink coffee, then a couple years ago I was in Firenze in Italy with four/five hours sleep each night and guess who suddenly shotted espresso. Some cappucinos is good too, but mostly I take my coffee out of necessity.

Back to books – The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson is the last book of the original Misborn trilogy. It’s a perfect example of a last book where shit goes down and the ending is up in the air until the very end, which made me tense up and so so excited.

 

5. Starbucks: a book that you see everywhere

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Lately it’s been Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi. It has just been published and I need to read it soon, it’s been getting such good reviews and sounds like an exciting unique fantasy book, which is rare.

6. Hipster coffee shop: a book by an indie author that you love

I’ve read some indie books, but none that I’ve loved as far as I know. I don’t really realize when they’re indie either?

7. Oops, accidentally got decaf: a book you expected more from

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Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare (review linked), I liked the first book Lady Midnight, but the second was just okay and I’m in no hurry to pick up the third book in the series. All the Clare series seem to become more similiar as time goes. I do have a soft spot for Julian Blackthorn and his children though, which was maybe why I disliked the ending of this.

 

8. The perfect blend – a book with the perfect combination of bitter and sweet

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I’m not sure what this means entirely?? Then I saw The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz on my goodreads list and it just fits. Life is a combination of bitter and sweet, and this book reflects that so well. People who has unfortunate things happen in their lives, losing people they love, sometimes struggling through each day, loving each other, creating and redefining family. The gay adoptive mexican dad of the main character is the best, a person the world needs more of .

 

 

9. Green tea – a book that is quietly beautiful

Upstream

 

Upstreams by Mary Oliver, a collection of eighteen essays. Mostly about nature, growing up in a small american town, on poets like Whitman and Poe and what inspires her to write.

 

 

 

10. Chai tea – a book that makes you dream of far off places

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Nearly every book, especially fantasy. A picture can make me dream of far off places, I just want to travel more. Norwegian wood is a weird choice, it’s not about the place as much as the people. But all of Haruki Murakami’s books I’ve read makes me want to go to Japan.

 

 

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen | Review

Pages: 340
Genre: fantasy, westerns
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Summary

A western-inspired fantasy, sentered around Nettie who’s called half-breed and treated like a slave by the people who raised her. There’s dangerous things in the desert, but she never imagined something like the monster that attacks her. As she gets in a stab, the monster turns to black sand, and from that point she can’t stop seeing monsters all around her. She might also be haunted by someone who needs help avenging her lost child. Eventually Nettie runs from the life she’s known, dressed as a boy and trying to survive in the unhospital world.

My thoughts

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I liked this book because it was entertaining as well as contains a lot of well-written themes, like gender roles and racism, making it a different kind of fantasy novel. It doesn’t lose focus on the plot or character development, which I’ve missed in other similiar books. I loved the main character Nettie, and how she reacts to the world around her, which isn’t very welcoming to someone who’s black and/or a girl. The book feels well-done, in all aspects I can judge. At times it was a bit slow as Nettie’s journey started to look like a long line of encounters with creatures, but eventually it was always leading somewhere. Westerns is still not a genre I’m going to read much of, but I liked it better than expected. The thing to keep in mind when reading this book is definitely to be open for something different.

 

Books On My Spring TBR | Top Ten Tueday

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week. 

You might take on look on this list and think it’s just a TBR list, it doesn’t have anything to do with spring at all.

Let me explain a little; spring is the season of new hope (no longer dark outside 20/7), of motivation and exhaustion (exams). So hopefully I’ll give books I’ve forgotten about a new chance, along with reading more sports books, especially with fighting. I miss being healthy enough to exercise (I’m chronically ill and currently not feeling so good). Also I’m going to a university visit/science workshops, so I want to read a bit more science and non-fiction on the travel there. Fighting, forgotten books, science – here we go

The F- It List by Julie Halpern

Why I want to read it: mostly because I’m trying to clear out my to be read list, tbh.

 

 

Bruised by Sarah Skilton

Why I want to read it: young adult book with taekwon-do, no more research needed.

 

Fighting for Flight by J. B. Salsbury

Why I want to read it: martial arts, romance. I hope it’s good, I’m not quite certain about this one.

 

 

Letters to a Young Scientist by Edward O. Wilson

Why I want to read it: a famous book of advice by the scientist Edward O. Wilson, which hopefully will give me some inspo for choosing uni.

 

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury

Why I want to read it: it’s a classic and I want to give it a try before the movie comes out, starring Lilly Singh. I think it will be hard to avoid spoilers afterwards.

 

New and Selected Poems Vol. 2 by Mary Oliver

Why I want to read it: I love Mary Oliver’s poems and I need them at all times in my life. It’s good she’s published so many.

 

(Don’t you) forget about me

Why I want to read it: This book has been on my tbr list for many years, and while many books have been read or crossed out, this one persists.

It’s an interesting plot – a town where no one ever gets sick or dies from illness, but of course it comes with a catch. Every fourth year the teens in the town is infected with something that makes them do weird shit, like kill their friends. Skylar’s sister was locked up for killing sixteen of her classmates in such a incident, and she’s haunted by it four years later. She needs to stop the murder sprees from happening and she doesn’t have much time left. 

 

Words of Radiance by Brandon Saderson

Why I want to read it: It’s the second book of the Stormlight Archive. The only reason I haven’t read it yet is that it’s 1000 pages and I need time, because it’s so hard to lay down when you first start. I love Sanderson’s books. I don’t know if I’ll get the time before summer, but I’ll certainly try.

Ilusions of Fate by Kiersten White | Review

Pages: 278
Genre: fantasy, young adult

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“Perhaps if you gave the sun a bit more attention, it would be flattered and come out more often.” 

Synopsis

Jessamin has been an outcast since she moved from her island home of Melei to the dreary country of Albion. Everything changes when she meets Finn, a gorgeous, enigmatic young lord who introduces her to the secret world of Albion’s nobility, a world that has everything Jessamin doesn’t—power, money, status…and magic. But Finn has secrets of his own, dangerous secrets that the vicious Lord Downpike will do anything to possess. Unless Jessamin, armed only with her wits and her determination, can stop him.

My thoughts

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My feelings about this book told by the book itself: “I don’t dislike them, nor do I like them. I’ve never understood why one must love children (magical plots) because they are (have lots of all-powerful alpha men behaving like) children.” Edited that quote a bit oops, not that the original quote with children isn’t too true. Fortunately for me, Jessamin feel the same way about the guys, at least at first.

“Paths do not only go one way. We choose which direction to take. I refuse to believe that any outside forces can determine the course of my life.” 

It’s supposedly a historical fiction (with a non-existing country?), or at least it’s placed in England in another time where women didn’t have rights and especially not the biracial ones from foreign countries, who blackmailed their white rich dad to get an education (u go girl).

“He shakes his head dismissively, and I hate him for it. He has dismissed my entire life with that one gesture, whether intentional or not.”

Sometimes Jessamin seems clever and capable, making me want to laugh in glee, but mostly she’s acting even more like kid than the rich bastards involving her in their oh-so-powerful invisible magic war. Can’t even remember what the fighting was about, that’s how much the book explained it. Jessamine’s friendship with the other girl was what got me through that last part. A huge thank you to Kiersten White for not making her the typical “mean girl”.

This book is interesting and the ravens are cool and all, but it doesn’t bring much new. Perhaps if the writing had been better, or the characters less inconsistent? It handles the subjects of politics and racism pretty well, but… it lacks a certain flow and I’m sorry to say the beautiful cover doesn’t match with the story between them.

 

 

Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson | Review

Pages: 690
Genre: epic fantasy

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Summary

The people of Hallandren’s Gods, like Lightsong, are regular humans who died in a heroic way and was brought back to life using magic. No matter how hard Lightsong tries, he can’t remember his death or past life, as is the same with all gods, and he questions the belief people hold of him. After all, the thought of him being the god of bravery proves something’s gone wrong.

The God King, Susebron, are to marry one of the princesses Vivieanna or Siri of Idris. Vivienna has been trained for court and this fate her whole life, but her father the king considers her too valuable to let go. With that decision war would be on them, and so he sends his younger, more unruly daughter Siri instead.

Vasher is an immortal and exactly what he’s planning no one knows. His bloodthirsty, talking sword Nightblood are by his side and so are thousands of Breaths. Magic is colorful in this world and it comes in the form of breaths. Every person carry one Breath each and if one buys or gathers enough, few things become impossible.

My thoughts

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I really enjoyed this book. It has a lot of elements I have missed in fantasy, like the quality of the interesting political intrigues. Not to forget the fantastic world-building, twists and mysteries that makes you constantly question the gods’ place and how this world actually works. Sanderson’s one of the best at playing around with gods and belief-systems, and this is a perfect example of that. Theology is a corner stone in the development of characters and the story, without overlessing you with facts or becoming too complex to follow for regular readers.

There’s five (i believe) different points of view and Siri is telling the story a lot in the beginning, as she’s beginning her journey. I didn’t like Siri or her sister Vivenna as much as I would’ve liked, but I still cared enough to worry about them. Siri is a strong, if young and inexperienced, main character and it’s not her fault she’s thrown into this new country without preparation. Or maybe a little, since she quickly realizes she should’ve paid attention in her classes. Vivienna on the other hand is a leader, but perhaps in over her head. They’re both faulty people, and the book shows that well.

Vasher’s point of view was interesting, but there’s so much mystery surrounding him it can get a bit overwhelming. His sword Nightblood has to be my favourite magical object and it’s worth reading the book just for its sarcastic witty comments and fights. 

I completely fell in love with Lightsong and his place in the story. He’s a minor god of bravery and automatically controls parts of the troops, even if he jokes about giving the responsibility away. No Lightsong on board = no war. He’s tried to stay out of the political intrigues and works hard to convince himself and everyone else he’s useless. The reason I love him is how he thinks about how lazy he is and unfit for the job, while sneaking around trying to find answers. That’s devotion. I mean;

“Have you no thoughts on the matter?“ Blushweaver finally asked.
“I try to avoid having thoughts. They lead to other thoughts, and-if you’re not careful-those lead to actions. Actions make you tired. I have this on rather good authority from someone who once read it in a book.”
Blushweaver sighed. “You avoid thinking, you avoid me, you avoid effort… is there anything you don’t avoid?”
“Breakfast.” 

I didn’t like Warbreaker as much as the Mistborn series, I just prefer those characters and magic-system, but it’s absoloutly worth a read or three. It’s a good place to start with Brandon Sanderson’s books since it’s only one book (for now) with a complete story, where many others are series. Warbreaker had a perfect balance of humour, focus on characters and solving the mysteries of the plot!  

– favourite quotes – 

“I swear, my dear. Sometimes our conversations remind me of a broken sword.”
She raised an eyebrow.
“Sharp as hell,” Lightsong said, “but lacking a point.” 

“Lightsong had never bothered to learn the rules.
He found it more amusing to play when he had no idea what he was doing.”

“So much evil, Nightblood said, like a woman tisking as she cleaned cobwebs from her ceiling.” 

My Favourite Podcasts: Books and mythology

Could I have a book blog and not post my book podcast recommendations? I’ve already given my favourite general two-dudes-talking type here and science and productivity podcasts here.

– books and mythology –

The Legendarium

  • They read and discuss fantasy series. The biggest book series they’ve covered is Brandon Sanderson’s books, Wheel of Time, Lord of the Rings and they’ve recently started Narnia. In between there’s discussions on movies and tv series, like Black Panther.

Unattended Consequences

  • Patrick Rothfuss, author of The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicles) and Max Temkin from the podcast Do By Friday and the game Cards Against Humanity.
  • Currently inactive, but it’s perfect for fans and book lovers

Reading Glasses

  • Discusses books, book items and interview authors

Spirits

  • Mythology, legends and lore from all cultures told by two hosts with a drink in hand. The themes varies widly, which I appreciate and along with the discussions it keeps it interesting. Personal favourites are nr. 55 Yuki-Onna, nr 43 Javanese Mermaid Queen, nr 40 Laumes and nr 32 The Butterfly Lovers.

Poetry Off the Shelf

  • About poetry, obviously. Each episode seems to have a theme, The Wilderness is the first episode of series called A Change of World, and was amazing as it included women’s place in poetry from the 1800th century to now. They read poems out loud, and it’s wonderful, thought-provoking and calming.

Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman | Review

Pages: 300

Genre: mythology, fantasy

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LOOK AT THAT COVER!

I already liked this book by page fourteen, because in the quote above Gaiman is basically describing my home and I agree it makes a lot of sense to not like your gods if they keep burying you in snow and forget humans need sunlight once in a while. Also scandinavians doesn’t really trust anyone as a rule and/or joke. Mostly joke, nowadays. Also no! This is not connected to american gods, it’s a retelling of the old norse myths. I’ve glanced at the reviews for this book, and it’s obvious some have no idea what they’re writing about, that this book is based on real myths and that’s why it’s a series of short stories and not one connected plot. I’ll come back to that later.

[About Loki] He is tolerated by the gods, perhaps because his stratagems and plans save them as often as they get them into trouble.

What I mostly took from these stories was that the gods of Asgard would be incredibly bored without Loki there and I don’t know why I feel this symphatic towards his monster children, but to banish one to the edge of the world, one to underneath the earth and one in chains seems awful. Joke’s on them, but mostly on humans, whyy did anyone think this was a good idea. Also I predict “Shut up, Thor” will be my favourite line of the whole book.

“Because,” said Thor, “when something goes wrong, the first thing I always think is, it is Loki’s fault. It saves a lot of time.”

Would recommend this book for anyone who’s interested in norse mythology, especially after watching “Thor”, that’s why this book is published now isn’t it? Basically, this book is for beginners. Please go read up on the edda if you want something traditional and to understand where this book came from, the language isn’t that difficult in the modern versions. Know that the stories are modernized some and rewritten, that’s the whole point of having Gaiman write them, but the right elements are definitely there. I was pretty well-known with norse mythology already, through school and own interest, and didn’t really find anything new. But it was somewhere between an okay and fun read, with some stories I found more interesting than others. Mostly I liked the stories that required charging the jotner (giants?) and including Frøya.  And I like this type of Loki, if you haven’t guessed already:

“Well? You know something. I can see it in your face. Tell me whatever you know, and tell it now. I don’t trust you, Loki, and I want to know what you know right this moment, before you’ve had the chance to plot and plan.”
Loki, who plotted and planned as easily as other folk breathed in and out, smiled at Thor’s anger and innocence.

WWW Wednesday 14. March 2018

Time for the wednesday update! If you would like to know more about www wednesday, where you answer three questions every wednesday, it’s hosted by Taking on a World of Words.

What did you recently finish reading?

This week I’ve just finished audiobooks. So far I’ve only liked biography audiobooks, especially when the author, a personality, narrates it. I’ve listened to My Fight / Your Fight by Ronda Rousey, Secrets for the Mad by dodie and Born a Crime by Trevor Noah. Favourite was Ronda Rousey’s and I learned a lot from Trevor Noah’s book, it’s mostly about him growing up in South-Africa. Would really recommend both, dodie’s book seemed to be aimed at girls fourteen years and younger. I also DNF’ed Every Ugly Word by Aimee L. Salter, it’s about bullying which is good, but it felt whiny, not really the girl, more the entire book. Not to mention how predictable it was.

What are you currently reading?

The Collected Poems of Emily Dickinson, Harry Potter e la pietra filosofale and The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Continue on my current reads. Also Mary Oliver’s New and Selected Poems Vol. 2 if it ever arrives in the mail.

All Fall Down by Ally Carter | Review

Pages: 250

Genre: young adult – mystery

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Synopsis

Grace is absolutely certain of three things:

1. She isn’t crazy. 2. Her mother was murdered. 3. Someday she’s going to find the man with the scar, and then she is going to make him pay.

My thoughts 

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“All Fall Down” is overall a good young adult book with lots of action, likeable and mysterious characters and plot twists. While I didn’t find it as entertaining as the Heist society, or the mysteries as well though out as those of the Gallagher girls, it’s a nice beginning of a new series by Ally Carter.

The plot gets a slow, hesitant applause from me. A girl who no one believe when she says someone killed her mother? Sure. Living at a embassy? Better. Spying? Great concept. The characters? Mixed feelings. Predictability? Halfway into the book I could guess the ending, even if I was only partly right.

The flow of the book wasn’t like it should have been either. Some places the writing got messy because suddenly a lot of action needed to happen simultaneously. It’s especially a problem towards the ending. I have read worse, but it throws you off, especially for younger readers.

“Keep your chin up. Eventually, you will meet someone who cares about your opinion. I’m so sorry I’m not her.” 

That quote describes Grace pretty well. I’ve always liked Ally Carter’s previous characters and Grace is no exception. She’s a sarcastic, brave, spontanious, witty and a paranoid person. Really, she jumps off brick walls into different countries. What is there not to like? However, she’s also troubled, in a way that added something to the story. First I thought she got panick attacks, which she does in a way, but it’s more like flashbacks. I don’t know if that was the best way to tell this story, but it works? Kind of. Something else I miss is the relationship between the characters. There are so much potential there. COME ON, they’re embassy kids. From all over the world, all different kids stuck in the same situation. The diversity, stories, cultures and friendships that could have been exchanged. But you really don’t get to hear a lot from them. Mostly it’s because Grace is stuck in her own head, which I can understand, but I feel like they haven’t got enough time together. Perhaps in the next book. Right now the other kids seem more like ghosts who follows her, but only because they’re bored.

There are also a few very cheesy elements in this book, like the fine line between peace and war. Could really this bunch of kids, actually teenagers – they just act like kids, start a war by running around? The adults seem to think so, but they don’t do anything about it. Except for those cheesy conversations and “don’t worry about it”. I’m not buying it.

I want to say I just felt a little too old for this book, but my eleven-year-old self would definitely like this book. It’s well-written in places, in others it seems unfinished. The plot is built on too many assumptions for it to feel remotely real. Teenagers, even if they act like kids, aren’t that far off from the rest of the world as this book make it seem. Especially not if they’ve grown up around dimplomats, I would believe. Still, I’ll read the next book when it comes out.

Books That Surprised Me | Top Ten Tuesday

The best feeling is picking up a book you don’t know much about, with low expectations and finding out how amazing it is. And then there’s a book with a lot of hype, or that you’ve got hope for, but it was a let down. I’ve linked book reviews I’ve written.

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl to bring bookish friends together. A new topic is posted each week. 

– positive surprises –

Wake of Vultures by Lila Bowen

  • I didn’t have expectations going into this book, and it turned out to be good, young adult fantasy. Enjoyed it a lot.

What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

  • First book I read by Haruki Murakami, which probably wasn’t the best idea, but I loved this journal/running diary. I don’t even run.

The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson

  • First book by Brandon Sanderson I ever read and I was blown away. His writing and world-building is excellent, the ideas so complex for how many and varied books he produces. I can’t keep up with all the releases.

The Paper Menagerie and Other Stories by Liu Ken

  • I’ve never loved short stories like I do with these. So much creativity, orginality and important topics within immigration and asian culture

 

– negative surprises – 

Reckless by Cornelia Funke

  • The other Cornelia Funke books are great, this is very below average

Allegiant by Veronica Roth

  • The perfect example of the last book ruining a trilogy

Cress and Winter by Marissa Meyer

  • I liked the first two books, but these weren’t as good.

Ash by Malinda Lo

  • Boring and dull, but with a cute f/f relationship

Half Bad by Sally Green

  • Below average, very cliche witch-book