Hospitalization & Collecting Books and Never Getting a Chance To Read Them | Bookhaul #1

Hi again! There is this thing I really struggle to write about, for many reasons. And then I always wonder, do anyone care to read it anyway? But I am also on painkillers and bored so here we go-

I am chronically ill, and sometimes it really defines what I am able to do. For instance I dropped one grade in all my classes because I got worse towards the end of the year, The moment exam season finished I got really sick, and turns out I had a lung infection. And then we realized my gallbladder bile duct was enlarged and today I had surgery to fix it. I’m terrified of hospitals yet I have been in one for two weeks, before I got to fly to the biggest hospital in the country for the surgery thing today.

Pain is extremely difficult to describe, and I am not in a condition to make a good attempt at it right now. But I want to share that I’ve had three different mothers tell me gall stones are way worse than giving birth – “I have three kids and I would rather give birth to them again, all in a row”. So while it’s not certain I have gallstones, it’s been a lot of pain. Which is why I haven’t been able to read.

Which bring me back to the books- This is going to be a weird post. I had been looking forward to reading these books for months, I just had to get through exams and end of schoolyear. Now I am looking forward to reading them on a beach somewhere if I ever get out of this hospital.

Physical books

The Lake House by Kate Morton 

The Complete Poetry by Edgar Allan Poe

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

The Waste Land and Other Poems by T.S. Eliot

Six Easy Pieces by Richard Feynman

Women in Science by Rachel Ignotofsky

Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte (I have to admit I bought it only because of the cover, I mean look at it)


Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection by Brandon Sanderson includes a lot of short stories and novellas from the Cosmere universe like Edgedancer, which I read before starting Oatbringer.

Notes from Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky was bought because it was cheap.

The Art of War by Sun Tzu was also cheap, oops.

Books from NetGalley

The Future by Neil Hilborn, a poet I’ve followed for a while, but never read his collections.

Foundryside by Robert Jackson Bennett, a well-received fantasy, with “industrialized magic” and thieves.

The Plastic Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg, magic and a lovely cover.

The Unbinding of Mary Reade by Miriam McNamara, with pirates!

Summer TBR | Top Ten Tuesday

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

Why not just post my summer TBR? I am horrible at following tbr’s and do not feel any need to, but most of these books are chosen because I have access to them in the library of the city I am visiting and so this one is more likely than the rest.


Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson

This is a gigantic book, like when I saw the hardcover I laughed out loud in a bookstore. It’s gigantic even for being over a thousand pages. Then I saw the paperback and sighed, it was no smaller and felt like a brick as I carried it around me. I’m so excited to finally start it now after exam season!

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

It’s science fiction, which I’m trying to read more of this summer. The main character Jason are knocked out and wakes up with a life and family he’s never known. Many of my goodreads friends (and then Hank Green!) has recommended it.

The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making by Catherynne M. Valente

By an author I’ve read and liked, this book hopefully is a intelligent and cute fairytale fantasy for middle schoolers. Am I anywhere close, to those who has read it?


Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Young adult with queer characters and university life and dreams from an author in her twenties. I’m very excited (it also has an average of 4.3 on goodreads).

A Court of Frost and Starlight by Sarah J. Maas

Do I really want to read this after reading mixed reactions reviews? Not really. Let me go on a rant about what first put me off this book: it’s a novella of 229 pages exactly. The price in the store was that of two and a half normal-sized books! The reviews came out and that price dropped fast, but if I can get it without paying for it I will read it, just to have an opinion. This series is the only one by Sarah I haven’t given up on yet, so a lot is on the line I feel like.  


Wolf Island (The Demonata #8) by Darren Shan

I started reading this series as a kid, and as I am going back to my childhood library I hope to finish it! It’s really fantastic and filled with demons.

The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami

I love reading Murakami’s books in the summer, the magical realism always fits and gives a good and mysterious mood. I don’t really want to know much about the books before starting them, just let them surprise me.



Einstein by Walter Isaacson

I started reading this a year ago and had to put it down one fourth in to start reading my actual physics syllabus. Now it’s summer and hopefully more time for it again!

Six Easy Pieces by Richard P. Feynman

Speaking of physics, I have it next year as well. I feel like we rush through a lot and the teacher we’ve had until now is good, but he comes from an engineering background and it’s been very focused on appliance instead of theories themselves, if that makes sense. Just trying to get better myself, I guess.

A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

I also have more history classes next year. I am going to suffer through it, maybe this book will give me some interest.



Rare or New Books? | Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Every week there’s a new book-themed question to be answered!


June 15th – 21st – You have just won a $100.00 Visa gift card. Will you spend the entire amount on a rare collector’s edition you have always wanted, or buy several newly-published books? 


I’m young and would spend it on newly-published books that I wanted to read. I want so badly to one day have a library with all the books close to my heart, but before that I am hopefully moving around, especially to university, and it would be hard bringing everything with me. While I have things I love, I am very aware that I don’t want to collect too many things. Who knows, in the next years I suddenly decide to just travel.

That gift card would be a dream though, it’s free books that I can pick out myself!

Books That Makes Me Want to Travel | Top Ten Tuesday

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

I am very excited too read others lists this week, because I want to get more recs of “travel” books. I looked through books I’ve read and found few, except for with fantasy worlds, that made me want to travel. So here’s a few unusual ones –


Upstream by Mary Oliver

All of Mary Oliver’s poems about nature makes me want to run out and find it (which wouldn’t be too difficult since I live in a little valley village). It also makes me want to never return though.

The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt

I don’t enjoy travel photography as much as actually travelling  there and seeing it myself, which I think can be compared to reading about travels. But I really enjoy books like this, where the main characters has to leave abruptly, with little things, because while it’s often not in the best circumstances, it seems like a weirdly freeing feeling.  

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

All of Haruki Murakami’s books makes me want to travel to the places, often in Japan. Here he also writes from a time living in Hawaii and you get to read descriptions from all his good running routes, along with a marathon in Europe somewhere (Greece, was it?).


Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Ok, I tried to leave out fantasy books, but this had a journey that I so wanted to go on when I read it the first time. I might not have been so worried about the danger either if I had Katsa’s skill with fighting.

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente 

I mostly added this to the list as a joke, but I would go to space had there been proven other sentient species on other planets. Perhaps not by force, like in this book, but it did make me excited about the future and space travel.

Most Read Authors | Book Blogger Hop

The Book Blogger Hop is hosted by Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Every week there’s a new book-themed question to be answered. They seemed really original, short and fun, so I wanted to try it out!


June 8th – 14th: What author have you read the most in the past two years?


Questions like these makes me very relieved that I’m using goodreads to track everything. Let’s see – I think Mary Oliver and Brandon Sanderson is the authors I’ve read most books from. But since Oliver writes poetry and Sanderson long epic fantasy books, I’ve definitely read most Sanderson in total. He’s such a great fantasy writer that also produces so many books, I’ve listened to him explain how he writes pretty straight forward, with little editing (except when rewriting early books) and it’s almost unbelievable. I’ve also read a couple Haruki Murakami books the last two years, as I just discovered him and I love how he uses magical realism to tell stories. I also found out I tend to spread out what kind of books and genres I read in a year pretty well, it’s not as much fantasy or “just” young adult as I thought.


Quote of the Week #4

It’s time for the quote of the week! It feels like cheating to use a quote I’ve definitely posted here in a whole review before. And I don’t know if I should do this on this nice & lighthearted blog, but I want to talk a bit about anger. These quotes of the week are getting darker and darker, all because of Holly Black. Not at all, but I’ve had periods where I’ve been very angry. Basically I’m angry all the time, in varying degrees. Mostly I’m angry at my own body, for not working properly #chronicillnessproblems. Like you got to be able to be angry at yourself for not being able to walk all of a sudden one day, and that’s me this whole week.

*This blog post is brought to you by another heavy week of trying to find out if I have arthritis or another connective tissue disorder, you are warned*

Also, I was at the hospital two times this week and they had made an (half-hearted possibly) initiative for patients and their families to write notes with “things they considered important at the hospital” to better it. I wrote two of my own, and hanging mine up I noticed so many of the others also saying “to be listened to” that I got angry right there. 

This is a good point to say that I am in real life a calm and collected person, if a bit introverted. I am nineteen years old and really aware of how I interact with people and trying not to bring so much negativity and anger into that. Anger isn’t good, but it does get you to act and think (in that order), it’s better than absoloutly nothing which too often seem to be the alternative. In the quote the main character soon walks out and makes choices that leads to a lot of deaths, so I want to distance myself from that thoughtprocess. But I’ve definitely been there with “fuck consequences, I am done caring about how you see me right now”.

I really relate to people not realizing how angry I am, which is good most of the time. Until I am angry in a doctors office and they continue to talk down to me. When I get angry I get tears in my eyes from holding it all back, like all muscles are tense from not running or yelling and I am literally crying. Confuses a lot of adults, my whole life. Where were I going with this? Sometimes you have to be careful who the anger gets released at, maybe this doctor isn’t the doctor/person that deserves it. I think here’s where the “give up on regrets” comes in. I rarely let my anger out at people randomly, but the few times it happens I’ve wondered how I was able to get back from being in that state of pure fury. I am not sure I was able to before I had some kind of closure with the problem behind it. Maybe that’s why I am angry now, I let myself be angry at things I cannot change or figure out right now.

In the end, anger is what has gotten me places the fastest, which I find disheartening. As a nineteen year old I can come with as fitting arguments as I please, but if a mind is made up, I am usually too easy to brush off with no consequences to that person. And when it’s in a doctors office, it’s even worse, because it will have detrimental effects to me and I know it. I’m good at arguing, in debates at school and outside, because I’ve had to since being a sick kid in doctors and teacher offices, always with a lot on the line. And if you care enough, at some point anger seems to be expected. I hope not, because I find it sad and the recipe for turning people bitter, but I’ve seen people yelling getting so much further than playing nice. At the same time I am in too many of these hospital offices each month to lose it at every one and still stay sane.

Why do people react to anger so weirdly? I guess it makes sense that you don’t want to see a person sad, but you definitely don’t want them angry because then it might have consequences for them. So then things get solved. I have a love hate relationship with that quiet anger that can be a driving force behind things, and I think I will continue to have it for a while.


Fawkes by Nadine Brandes | Review

Pages: 450

Genre: young adult fantasy


Thomas Fawkes is turning to stone, and the only cure to the Stone Plague is to join his father’s plot to assassinate the king of England.

Silent wars leave the most carnage. The wars that are never declared, but are carried out in dark alleys with masks and hidden knives. Wars where color power alters the natural rhythm of 17th century London. And when the king calls for peace, no one listens until he finally calls for death.
But what if death finds him first?
Keepers think the Igniters caused the plague. Igniters think the Keepers did it. But all Thomas knows is that the Stone Plague infecting his eye is spreading. And if he doesn’t do something soon, he’ll be a lifeless statue. So when his Keeper father, Guy Fawkes, invites him to join the Gunpowder Plot—claiming it will put an end to the plague—Thomas is in.
The plan: use 36 barrels of gunpowder to blow up the Igniter King.
The problem: Doing so will destroy the family of the girl Thomas loves. But backing out of the plot will send his father and the other plotters to the gallows. To save one, Thomas will lose the other.
No matter Thomas’s choice, one thing is clear: once the decision is made and the color masks have been put on, there’s no turning back

My thoughts

Rating three out of five:

I enjoyed this book for the most part, especially in the beginning as Thomas are thrown out of magic school and seeks his father Guy Fawkes to get his mask he needs to connect to a colour and get his magical abilities. As he gets dragged into the gunpowder plot to assassinate the king, we learn with him as readers, and I thought it was well-done without too heavy information dumps. Then the middle part arrived and I started to get bored, and confused.

the characters 

The interactions between Emma and Thomas lead to them both learning and one wasn’t there just for the others behalf. Emma is very determined, which I liked, and it’s obvious what kind of girl the author did not want her to be, even if she’s under the care of wealthy people and without measures to get free. We get to see a lot of Thomas’ journey in the middle part of the book, and there were some moments of clarity I really liked. Emma could show him another perspective, his father showed him the gravity of the situation and the Gunpowder plot, he himself saw the conditions “his people” the Keepers were under as they were executed. The moral dilemmas he went through really had something to say for the ending of the book and it was interesting seeing that journey he took.

That said, I had a few things that didn’t sit right with me in this book. As much as I liked Emma’s determination and strong will, it made her very predictable as a character. I’ve read other fierce female characters who avoided this, and when you know she’s going to follow, or eventually break out of other’s control, it makes her plotline very obvious. Still, her fighting people and Thomas standing there silently cheering her and being impressed was awesome. 


The author really spelled out what she wanted to include in this book, like literally on the last pages or afterword. I would not mention this had it not also been very obvious throughout the book. She wanted to show a historical fiction where a female character finds her independence, with moral dilemmas over those in power and including and raising questions around slavery and treatment of people of colour. And all that’s great, but those things had a very streamlined, straight-forward and predictable route even as the plot itself had its twists and was interesting done. It felt too one-dimensional in comparison to the rest of the book, perhaps to make sure the points were clear enough.

the stone plague

Through the whole book I realized Thomas being plagued was like a portrayal of illness/injury and how it can change identity and be an insecurity. Emma talks to him about not letting her darker skin define her, and that conversation was really good. At the same time, with the exception when he’s stabbed and plagued for the second time, he doesn’t seem to really feel it physically. Like he’s worried about people’s thoughts, obviously as it makes him a target, but he’s not in pain and when it’s mentioned how his skin turns to stone it’s more like the skin is a bit tight which sounds so unbelievable. I don’t think the author did anything wrong, it’s just one of these smaller things that doesn’t make sense to me. Let me tell you, as I’m typing this my fingers are hurting because of joint problems, you cannot have a plague turning you into stone and not be in constant pain or uncomfortable, if that’s not explicitly stated. 


the damn White Light

Then it’s White Light as a concept. I’ve read enough Sanderson books to consider it a god in this world (not that I’m comparing books here). But do you want a Light who is able to talk to and know everyone? How the hell would we have the plague in the first place if White Light could guide people like he did with Thomas? The moment I realized Thomas was supposed to have as much power as Dee who had studied it for so many years, when the Light could give him (and possibly others) its god-sized ability, that reduces the credibility drastically. It’s a known trap in fantasy, like that moment made it obvious whatever side Thomas was on would win and ruined the whole finale. Like Thomas could’ve gotten his father out of prison, definitely. The Light could have a whole army of teen boys out there doing its bidding. Also did it want the Keepers dead? I’m confused.

Everything else is so spelled out that I need an explanation to why you have a god with such powers and ability to bend others to his will basically, who knows enough about people to be witty about Emma’s determination, and it comes down to the ending this book has. The characters never questions its intention.

the ending

The ending really didn’t work personally, it was apparent that the gunpowder plot would not go down in the book either, the fact that Thomas didn’t tell his dad about Dee’s bad intention made barely sense in the beginning and the characters went out of character for the whole ending, the way I see it. Thomas could have flipped a switch and become very secure in the White Light, fine, but the rest of them … I was done.

The feeling this book gave me: intrigued, but never satisfied with a big finale or explanations

Thanks to publisher Thomas Nelson for receiving this copy through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Books I DNF Recently | Top Ten Tuesday

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

Before I didn’t usually stop reading books, but then I realized it was limiting what books I chose to pick up and give a chance. I read to get something positive out of a book, if it’s not for me I won’t go through another two hundred pages of that. So here’s some books I recently put down before finishing.



Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young

I did not give this book a fair shot. Something about the writing made me understand that I would not think about anything else than how much it got on my nerves. I do not remember what I expected starting this book, but vikings are close to my heart and home and I just went “nope, this seems like the tv version, not for me”. DNF at 10%

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

The writing was very lovely with carefully phrased sentences and some mystery behind it, then the plot never takes off, neither does the characters. They see a snow child in the forest outside the house. Wife finally believes man, wife goes slowly crazy or into a depression? And then nothing happens forever, which was why I was out of there. Hope they have a good life afterwards, but it did not seem like that were the way they were heading. DNF at 30%

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater

This book is great. And I could not finish it. I love Maggie Stiefvater’s books, I loved the details in this one, but I could not follow the plot where they’re just wandering the desert and it seemed like there’s some bigger thing I am missing. Will perhaps give it another try. DNF at 70%

One of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

Do not read this young adult book unless you want to give up on young adult books, is the opinion of a person who reads and likes a lot of them. Good concept, horrible execution, why is it popular. DNF at 25%

Fahrenheit 451

I tried so hard and spent so much time getting through this book, but halfway I was bored out of my mind. I got the concept and the ideas behind it, it might be one of those books that I’ve heard about too much and know just enough about it that it feels like I’ve read it before. Excited for the movie though, I’m sure they’re going to fuck it up even with Michael B. Jordan as the lead. DNF at 50%

Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente | Review

Genre: sci-fi & humor

Pages: 350

First off I finally got a kindle cover! It’s slytherin green!


Turns out, humans aren’t the only sentient creature in the universe and they’ve come to realize that. The people of other planets are questioning if the humans are even sentient. They’re going to have to prove it, through a contest. After a war that nearly tore the galaxy apart the other planets went together and created an intergalactic song contest, because song is what the universe is made of obviously. The “new” planets is obligated to join. But if they lose they have proven they’re not worth keeping around, so they will be eliminated completely, the species along with the planet. Humans doesn’t even get to choose their contestants, it’s the one hit then forgotten band Absolute Zeroes who has been chosen to represent Earth among these murderous aliens, musical geniuses or divas.

My thoughts

Rating four out of five:


I was confused about was going on most of the time, could not keep the aliens or even human characters apart, thought one of the main characters was a man instead of a woman for most of the book (turns out it wasn’t the bromance i thought) and have to admit that the writing is an aquired taste, perhaps for the crazy and adventorous. But I was blown away by this book and how entertaining it was, a type of book that I’ve been looking for a long time. It’s all over the place and funny, with some morals here and there if you’re looking closely and parts to analyze. Everything seems just thrown in, and I love the style. It did certainly become better after the first twentyfive percent so hang in there if you’re confused. 

First tip when reading this book: do not try to understand everything on the first read through! You will use forever, the writing won’t flow and you’ll be frustrated. Just let go and enjoy the ride, especially if english isn’t your first language and so many weird words than usual, in so many strange settings throw you off. Which leads to tip number two: read this book in your first language, if possible. It will be difficult to follow anyway, from someone who has read almost exclusively english books the last seven years.

This book was marketed as this crazy, colorful, intergalactic Eurovision song contest with the name of Metagalactic Grand Prix. If you’ve ever seen eurovision and enjoyed it, this book might be for you, especially if it’s the drama, costumes and stage show that is entertaining. Because that’s what some of the aliens live for, which is so funny. Some just kill each other or others, which is why they got the contest, to “unite” aka keep an eye on each other. Politics is wonderful in these kinds of things. There were so many times I wondered if the author Valente was drawing parallells to reality and social commentary, but I could not stop reading every time, so I guess I’ll have to go back and reflect a bit more. I like her writing from other books, which was what drew me to this one, but I could not imagine the creativity and originality I would find.

On the other side there’s another marketing thing I think went wrong for this book; comparing it so obviously to “the hitchhiker’s galaxy”. Valente says herself that it wouldn’t have been made without it in a way I loved: “Without Hitchhiker’s Guide, this book would simply disappear in a puff of logic. Good lord, without Hitchhiker’s Guide, I would disappear in a puff of logic.” But it sets an expectation for a format she doesn’t have, which I think mainly is the reason for bad or average ratings I’ve seen. You need to go into this book willing to be confused and entertained.

For some of this book I feel like the hilarious, sarcastic cat who found herself on a spaceship, away from earth:

“Thus, for her, the voyage passed by like a training montage in a hastily made feel-bad film, in bits and flits and pieces the feline found it far too much work to understand or care about.”

The humor in this book is definitely my cup of tea … of coffee? “But you’ve just never had better coffee than the fair-trade organic late-harvest darkest of dark roasts at a Voorpret espresso bar. And you don’t nuke that sort of thing from orbit. It’s just so hard to find a good cappuccino when you’re traveling.”  The humor is dark, and often packaged in pretty words or situations. I love when the song contest is on and the contestants are plotting against each other.

The feeling this book gave me: being a confused tiny creature laughing out loud at how the book reflects so many parts of life and irony in the darkest things, how the erratic writing style match my brain a lot (but might be even more extra)


Here’s some parts I love, I mean watch out for spoilers,but if these won’t get you to read the book, it might not be for you:

“Mainly because the original Flus had broken off from the collective consciousness ages back, conquered everything he could get his blades on, and replaced the local gene pool with his own personal microbrew, so not only were they a hive mind, but they were all clones as well, and Muntun was, in point of fact, Planet Hitler, 100 percent populated with telepathically linked, genetically identical, sociopathic knifeasaurus dictators.” 

“Oh, I had a fantastic time talking to the depressive socialist moonbeam. After fifteen minutes, I actually asked it to kill me, but I was informed that would be nonunion work. Then Capo tried to eat it, which did not go well. Did you know my new best friend is trying to put four wee moonshines through university on a tradesman’s wage? It’s a daily struggle.”
“Life is beautiful and life is stupid. As long as you keep that in mind, and never give more weight to one than the other, the history of the galaxy, the history of a planet, the history of a person is a simple tune with lyrics flashed on-screen and a helpful, friendly bouncing disco ball of glittering, occasionally peaceful light to help you follow along. Cue the music. Cue the dancers. Cue tomorrow.”

Quote of the Week #3

It’s time for a new quote of the week!

Summer is what I consider new years in many ways, where I reflect about the year that has been and plan for the next. I don’t officially have summer vacation for another month, but with thirty degrees in usually cold Norway it certainly feels like it’s here already.

So I’ve been very reflective the last few days, about some things that lay heavy on me when I give them time to. I usually don’t, for this exact reason. The thing I’m thinking all about now is just how much people are capable of adjusting and adapting to situations they never thought they would find themselves in or survive. I’ve heard the phrase of “if that was me — well, I just wouldn’t know what to do” and every time I want to reply that they’re selling themselves short, they just haven’t seen their “normal”, what some might call comfort zone, being shaken up enough to find out. And fantasy books are great at showing this, without necessarily having the characters life completely destroyed and sad. Who wants to read about their reality? That was a joke, hopefully. Anway, this brings us back to the quote, which is from a young adult mob fantasy series I enjoyed and might write a review about one day.

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