Book Unhaul

So this summer I got rid of quite a few books, and by ”got rid of” I mean I gave them to a friend. They were all books that I had already read and didn’t feel like reading again, so to get more room for new books I offered them to friends and found one who was willing to take them all 😀

There wasn’t necessarily anything wrong with the books, they were all good, and a few of them really-really great , I just didn’t feel like I would ever pick them up again and decided it was time to move on. Because I didn’t have any serious reason for why I gave a specific book away, I’ll now only show you the books I gave away and not give any comment.

So here are the books I unhauled this summer:

1. “Gone” by Michael Grant

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2. “The Archived” by Victoria Schwab

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3. “The Merman” by Carl-Johan Vallgren

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4. “Night Owls” by Jenn Bennett

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5. “Gilt” by Katherine Longshore

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6. “Goodbye Stranger” by Rebecca Stead

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7. “Passenger” by Alexandra Bracken

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8. “Wayfarer” by Alexandra Bracken

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These were the books I unhauled. How do you feel about giving books away/ donating them? 

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Top 5 Wednesday

Top 5 Wednesday is a Goodreads group that is hosted by Sam from Thoughts On Tomes. Bloggers, bookstagrammers and booktubers all post on a common topic every Wednesday.  Feel free to join the group on Goodreads if you want to participate 🙂

This week the topic for T5W is Books to Read without the Synopsis.

1. ”American Gods” by Neil Gaiman

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This book is one I didn’t know that much about when I started reading it, and the reason for why I think everyone should start reading the book without the synopsis, is that it was such an amazing book and it surprised me a lot. I think going into this book ”blind” will make the reading experience a lot better and memorable.

2. ”Never Let Me Go” by Kazuo Ishiguro

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I had heard that this book was good before I picked it up, but that was pretty much it. I was really surprised by the book, but to be quite honest I was also lost while reading it. This novel is really strange and not for everyone, but incase someone wants to read it…don’t spoil yourself. I have seen the movie based on this as well, but it wasn’t very good, so I don’t really recommend watching that.

3. ”Between Us and the Moon” by Rebecca Maizel

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A really great contemporary that I liked a lot better than I thought I would. There were a few things I knew about the story before I read the book, but that wasn’t enough to spoil everything that was going to happen.

4. ”Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline

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This, I think, is a book that is now really hard to read without knowing the synopsis, due to the movie coming out next year. I however read it during a time when it was talked about, but not enough to ruin the book for me. If you read it without any previous knowledge of the story, it will be a wonderful and exciting experience.

5. ”Fingersmith” by Sarah Waters

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I found this book on my friend’s bookshelf and asked her if I could read it because I was looking for new books to read. All I really understood about the story was that there was a lesbian romance situation going on and some kind of plot to steal from a wealthy family. I don’t really remember what my first thoughts were. The book turned out to be so much more interesting than I had thought it would be though. The plot twists were amazing and I loved every page of the novel. I believe there are also two movies based on this novel, but I haven’t seen them.

 

Book review: ”American Gods”

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Title: ”American Gods”

Author: Neil Gaiman

Published: 2001 (the TV Tie-In was published in 2017)

Pages: 541

Format: paperback

Goodreads rating: 5☆

Blurb:

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life.

But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself.

Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies…and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing – an epic war for the very soul of America – and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Review:

Thank you man at the bookshop! Honestly, I just love it when people I don’t know come and recommend really good books to me. I dare say this has been the best recommendation I’ve got so far 😀

At first I was quite intimidated by the book, I mean take a look at it. It’s a huge book and I felt kind of like maybe the story would be too much for me to handle. Well now that I’ve read it I am really cursing myself for underestimating my reading potential. I have shied away from books like this for way too long!

“All your questions can be answered, if that is what you want. But once you learn your answers, you can never unlearn them.” 

This novel was by far one of the most complex books I’ve read…ever. Just when I thought I had it all figured out, something happened or something was said that just turned the story in a different direction a bit. It never went far from the main storyline, but it did tip the scales on many occasions.

I am a really big fan of mythology, legends and all sorts of beliefs, and reading about them never fails to nail me to the spot. Neil Gaiman did such an amazing job here with his take on religion and gods. It felt like such an inventive and shocking way to talk about these ”taboo” topics.

“There’s never been a true war that wasn’t fought between two sets of people who were certain they were in the right. The really dangerous people believe they are doing whatever they are doing solely and only because it is without question the right thing to do. And that is what makes them dangerous.” 

Besides the way Gaiman gave on the story of the main character, the way he wrote it, I absolutely loved the crazy-all-over-the-place band of characters he had. The way they interacted and the way they reflected the cultures they (speaking of the gods here) represented was mind-blowing. I freaking loved the concept of ”new” taking over the ”old”, the fight between traditions and beliefs born hundreds of years ago and then something new born out of addiction to change (pretty much, I mean?!).

“Gods die. And when they truly die they are unmourned and unremembered. Ideas are more difficult to kill than people, but they can be killed, in the end.” 

And of course putting asides the gods, we have to talk about the main character Shadow, who is one of the greatest main characters to this day, whose POV I’ve read from. When there are usually lots of moments where I doubt the main characters decisions and sayings, then with Shadow this didn’t happen. I vey much liked the way he thought and acted. There was a pleasant ”I don’t give a damn!” air about him and it made Shadow so much more interesting. Seeing this man just quite casually come to terms with everything happening was funny in a way. I feel like the reader could really feel all his pain that came from being in prison and losing his wife, through his actions and words. Every emotion came through really well.

“I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you’re alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it.” 

There were so many things about this novel that just made me fall in love with reading all over again and to put everything I felt into words, is kind of impossible. Neil Gaiman truly is a master of his art.

“Every hour wounds. The last one kills.” 

If anyone is in search of a book that is urban fantasy and mythology and a whole bunch of crazy mixed together… this is the book for you!

“Too much talking these days. Talk talk talk. This country would get along much better if people learned how to suffer in silence.” 

Check the book out on Goodreads here.

 

August Book Haul

I bought three books in August and I feel like there isn’t really anything to say about why or how. They were all books I wanted to read a lot (two of them again actually) and so I went and got them.

I have been very much in the mood for reading and buying Neil Gaimans books, so I think you’ll be seeing a lot more of his books here in my hauls and wrap ups from now on, maybe reviews as well (if I don’t forget to write them).

1. ”Mees, kes teadis ussisõnu” by Andrus Kivirähk

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2. ”Neverwhere” by Neil Gaiman

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3. ”Coraline” by Neil Gaiman

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Book review: “Edith & Oliver”

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Title: ”Edith & Oliver”

Author: Michele Forbes

Published: 2017

Number of pages: 320

Format: paperback

Received for review from Hachette UK.

Blurb:

From the author of Ghost Moth, one of the most acclaimed debuts of 2014, a stunning second novel which will put Michèle Forbes in the league of Colm Toíbín, Anne Enright and Sebastian Barry.

Edith was born into a different world. But her rebellious nature brought her to the seedy glamour of the music hall, where she plays the piano by night.

Oliver is an illusionist of moderate repute. But he is a man of ambition. He wants to tour the world, to pioneer ground-breaking illusions.

History and fate have other ideas.

When Edith and Oliver meet they fall headlong in love. But their children arrive as the world begins to change, as cinemas crowd the high street and the draw of the music hall wanes. What follows is a struggle: against the entropy of marriage, against the march of time, and against Oliver’s flaws-flaws that may cost them everything.

Review:

This book ended up being a DNF for me, which is sad since it was a book I was so looking forward to reading. I am very thankful though, for having received this book from Hachette UK ❤

I am very sorry for taking so long with this review, I haven’t posted a review in months (I believe ._. ) and it is so hard to get back on track with everything. Someone should just hand me the award for worst blogger of all time. Seriously. I suck at doing this, big time.

Now onto the review!

The book itself has a very promising premise, from the blurb it sounds like something that I would normally enjoy a lot. But the thing with historical fiction (and me) is that it might sound good and it could even be good in the beginning, but it can end up being a total flop really fast. I am just very sensitive (is that the right word?) towards historical fiction and the novels that I like in the genre.

This book was one that I didn’t enjoy. I started reading it as soon as I had it out of the package it was sent in and read it for a couple of days, and then things went south. I put the book aside and in no way felt inclined to pick it up again and continue reading it. The same thing happened when I tried to read it again during my summer vacation, I started from the beginning and then got about a hundred pages in… and just didn’t feel like reading on. To be honest the feeling to stop came much sooner than that.

I think the very problem that kept me from finishing and enjoying this was the writing style. There were things about the way the novel was written that didn’t click with me and made the story lose value in my eyes. Everything progressed really fast in the book and was in a way so half-heartedly written that the story felt incomplete and unfinished, sort of like a draft.

Besides the writing, the characters in the book were also ones I didn’t sympathize with. I didn’t like the characters, and if possible I liked them less than the writing style. There was no real depth there and I just… feel like it could have been more special, you know?

There are reviews for this book that are really positive and say that it is really good and I think my mistake was to trust just those few reviews that I read. This book does sound good and I don’t doubt there being people who like it and who will like it, it just wasn’t for me and I will now just set this book aside for the time being (that being probably forever). But who knows, maybe one day I’ll need a book to read and then I can take this off my shelf again.

Check the book out on Goodreads here.

Top 5 Wednesday

This week the topic is Books from Before You Joined ________. I have chosen to with my favourite books from before Goodreads. So here are some of my favourites from before I joined Goodreads aka before the year 2015.

1. ”The Iron Butterfly” by Chanda Hahn

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This book doesn’t have a lot of good reviews, but it was one of the first fantasy trilogies I read back to back, and I absolutely loved it then. Now thinking about it…yeah, maybe it wasn’t the best, but it was entertaining and fast-paced.

2. ”City of Bones” by Cassandra Clare

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I believe I also read this, like, a year before joining Goodreads? I definitely loved this a lot and well the whole series is actually really good. I still like the series a lot and I am quite interested in reading the new books ”Lady Midnight” and ”Lord of Shadows”.

3. ”Etiquette & Espionage” by Gail Carriger

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I believe this was also a pre-Goodreads book for me. This is such a kick-ass series. I haven’t read the last two books though, but I will, just you watch. It was an enjoyable mix of fantasy and paranormal, also 19th century finishing school setting?! Yes, please.

4. ”The 5th Wave” by Rick Yancey

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I really loved this book when I read it, but I never read the sequel and probably never will. This was from the time when I was just getting into reading more books in English, back when I was young and impressionable…I loved everything the library had to offer.

5. ”Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell

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I think I read this one a bit before making my Goodreads account. A book I thoroughly enjoyed and loved. I read it through in one sitting as well, I believe, and I remember feeling quite proud of myself.

July Wrap Up

Let’s not pay attention to the fact that this was uploaded in the middle of August :’)

I read three books in July and I liked them all quite a lot. I am seriously hoping to get around to reading more in August, I have so many books that I am dying to read.


1. ”Geekerella” by Ashley Poston

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This was my pick for the Crush That TBR group’s July theme, which was Book with the most beautiful cover. I wrote a short review on what I thought and posted it a little while ago. Overall the book was a sweet take on Cinderella’s story and it was a great take on fandoms. I feel like this is a book that could become a big guilty pleasure read for me, one that would help me get out of reading slumps every now and then.

I gave this book 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. ”American Gods” by Neil Gaiman

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Holy goose, this book was amazing! I have the review drafted…still need to edit it and upload it. It’ll happen soon I swear! I need to get my feelings and opinions out there, because this book was just mind-blowing. I have always heard so many great things about Gaiman’s books for adults, but for some reason they have always intimidated me. I finally faced one of my fears…which was reading this book. I was so afraid that this would be too big a bite to take, but honestly, I am so proud of myself.

Had to give this one 5 out of 5 stars on Goodreads, too good for words.

 

 

 

 

 

3. ”The Girl in 6E” by A. R. Torre

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This was a delightfully messed up story to read. Way too realistic and that is what made it even scarier. I have never been one to read thrillers, this was my first one, and now I am quite interested in reading more books like this one. I have the sequel for this book on my phone now and might read it in August to see what Deanna gets up to next.

Gave this book 4,25 stars on Goodreads.