Been off living my life

I did have the silent intention to blog every day, well, it's lucky it was silent because I epicly failed this weekend. Things like that happen when you're off visiting friends in another town and don't feel like spending precious hours at the computer.

I didn't even read very much. Imagine that.

Now I'm back to normal life though, except how I am off to meet a whole bunch of other book bloggers this evening and although I have nail polish and converses and a canvas bag with books to trade I still feel a bit anxious. As one is when meeting new people. I'm pretty sure it will be an evening of laughter and lots of book talk though. In fact I think it will be generally awesome.

On the way there I will keep reading about Temeraire and giggling about large dragons sneezing.
  • Sooz
  • 1:31 PM
  • 3 comments

So who would you...

...want to smooch, who'd be a great spouse and which character deserves a very long walk on a very short cliff? In other words, kiss, marry, cliff - the literary version! Answer in the comments or in your own blogs and post the link in the comments, please.

So, what are my own answers? Well, for kissing I'd pick Harry Dresden. Now I am tempted to say it would be magical but then I'd have to shoot myself over that bad pun so I'll stick to saying that Harry is a man who does things with a passion and I can't imagine his kisses being much different.

Marry then, well, I do already have a awesome husband but if I hadn't I'd love a rebellious gentleman, Lord Peter Wimsey would make an awesome spouse. The other choice would be Karrin Murphy, also from the Dresden Files, she's good looking, kick-ass and would probably make me worry indefinitely but I still think she'd be a good partner.

As for who to walk off a cliff, well there are several who deserve it. Most often inflexible pencil-pushers who take a sadistic pleasure in enforcing rules no matter the consequences. Of all those I'd say Dolores Umbridge is among the worst and therefore she get's to take a tumble.
  • Sooz
  • 10:25 PM
  • 3 comments

Boarding school books

When I was young and inhaled books I loved reading about boarding schools, I remember one series about, I think, a pair of female twins but I can't for the life of me remember the titles! Anyone recognize them? They were dark haired and solved some sort of mysteries. The books had white covers I think.

This links into what some other book bloggers have named Aca-porn, ie books set in an academic setting, often old universites, bording schools and the like. I want to read more of this, preferably with some sort of mystical, fantasy or future element... anyone have recommendations? Besides Harry Potter of course because I think my geek book blogger card would be revoked if I hadn't read those.

Edit: I am wondering if the series I read might have been The Dana Girls, appearently they are from Carolyn Keene so that would explain why I read them since I was a Nancy Drew-fan for a long time.
  • Sooz
  • 10:26 AM
  • 2 comments

Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders - Gyles Brandreth

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I have read shamefully little of Oscar Wilde but every time I read a quote of his I always smile and promise myself to pick up The Picture of Dorian Gray and Three Stories or The Importance of Being Earnest very soon. Therefore I was of course intrigued when my friend handed me this book. Oscar Wilde as a detective? It turns out it works very well, it's a mystery somewhat in the style of Arthur Conan Doyle (who also shows up as a character in the book) but a bit less straightforward than the cases Sherlock Holmes solves. It wasn't until the very last chapters that I figured out who was the murderer and that is always a good sign. I also like how Oscar Wilde is portrayed in the book. He of course has his faults and vices but on the whole is it a very believable portrayal.


It took me long enough to finish this book but that is more my fault than the book's, I am most definitely looking forward to reading the next one.



  • Sooz
  • 10:00 AM
  • 0 comments

Whirlwind

I went back to work on Monday, business trip was back on so I threw myself head on into learning a new program well enough to hold a presentation about it. Hence no posts for a few days.

Right now I'm in Denmark for said presentation and I'm wishing I actually knew danish.

Also, very annoying thing when travelling - leaving your book in luggage that is suddenly not carry-on anymore. Lucky it was on the shortest leg of the trip.

By the way, you know an author can write exciting action when you forget time and place when you read it. In other words, Furies of Calderon is really good if you like actionbooks.
  • Sooz
  • 2:14 PM
  • 0 comments

Yup, still sick

Getting better I think but still exhausted and coughing. Really over this whole cold thing now. But Furies of Calderon is good and Agent to the Stars was good and from my vantage point on the couch I've made tentative plans on how to arrange our bookshelves. So, progress, I think.

Tomorrow I'm going to work to see if I am still going to Denmark this week. Three days lost is not a good thing but honestly I think I would have been worthless at work anyways. Shit happens, I'll sort it somehow.

Also, I get payed this week and it's time to see if I can keep to my self-imposed stop on buying books. As long as I don't pass by a bookstore I should be ok. I think. *deletes bookdepository.co.uk from bookmarks*

  • Sooz
  • 8:51 PM
  • 0 comments

V for Vendetta - Alan Moore

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I now understand why people who have read V for Vendetta first is not as big fans of the movie as the people who haven't. Because while the movie is good, and I expect I will still enjoy it, the book is so much better. It's kind of like the difference between a really nice sketch and a beautiful oil painting of the same motive. Both are works of art but the oil painting has more dept and more variation.


If I were to make a recommendation to someone completely unfamiliar with both the movie and the book I would say watch the movie first. I think that way you'll get the most enjoyment out of both as the movie won't feel like a pale copy but rather a nice preview.


There are differences of course, not only in the amount of detail, most of those differences are centered around Evey and I'm not sure which version I like best. Same thing with the ending.


In any case, I would say this graphic novel is required reading for anyone interested in alternative history and good stories.



  • Sooz
  • 8:49 PM
  • 1 comments

Side Jobs - Jim Butcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The best parts of this antology are the two stories that Dresden is not the main character in. One is from Thomas' POV while the other is from Murphy's and I am a big fan of how they give an extra level to the 'verse Butcher have constructed.

All in all this book is a must-have in the wait for the next novel in the series and although it has spared me from having to buy all the antologies just to get my fix of tall, lanky, snarky wizard I probably will pick them up eventually anyway if only for Butcher's good words about the people who put them together.

So, how long until Ghost Story again?



  • Sooz
  • 9:09 PM
  • 0 comments

Still sick

The only positive with being sick is all the time to read. I'm now ahead instead of behind in my personal challenge to read 52 books this year and I'm halfway through Ark which has turned out to be very interesting and they haven't even gotten into space yet. But then again the world ending is always interesting no matter if it happens due to zombies, vampires, global warming or floods.

Ark is a very serious book though, not much humor but lots of misery (although written well as opposed to Black Blade Blues which was angsty and badly written), so I think the next one I pick up will have to be funnier, maybe Agent to the Stars? In any case, I'm going back to bed now.
  • Sooz
  • 3:08 PM
  • 3 comments

The Passage - Justin Cronin

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Passage is a big and rather complicated book. The story, or stories rather, take place over a long period of time and instead of explaining everything the reader is allowed to reach their own conclusions and their own explanations.


It's the story of the end of the world.

It's the story of the girl Amy.

It's a story of humanity.


It took me a long time to get to the end of this book, mostly because I started it in 2010, a year in which I wasn't reading much at all, but also because it takes a bit of effort to read The Passage, not only because my edition is a big (very pretty) paperback which almost doesn't fit in my bag, but also because of what I wrote above about the reader needing to reach their own conclusions. Which is a good thing.


Another good thing is the way Justin Cronin writes, without getting bogged down with endless descriptions he paints very vivid pictures of the world both before and after it ends. I'm not in the least surprised that it's already been picked up by the movie business because like many of John Scalzi's books it's written like a movie already. I just hope it gets treated well and is not completely butchered on the altar of time and cost restraints.


So did I like The Passage? Well I gave it four stars so I must have, right? And, yes, I did. But it also leaves me wanting and desperately wishing that the second book, The Twelve, answers some of the questions that still linger in my mind.



  • Sooz
  • 8:38 PM
  • 2 comments

Fever and Irish Druids

I finished Soulless last night (will be reviewing it soonish) and it was wonderful. I had plans to start Hounded on the commuter train this morning but this was foiled by my husband realizing I was warmer than him and forcing me (lovingly) to take my temperature. Turns out I was running a fever coupled with my raspy throat and cough so he used my own tricks against me and guilt tripped be into staying at home. I grumbled a bit, emailed work and went back to bed. Got up a few hours later and went to the shop for coffee and some other things and judging from how exhausted I was by that he was probably right to make me stay home.

So, I've started reading Hounded while resting and drinking lots of tea and other fluids instead and it really is a perfect "home sick"-book, humorous, easy to read and with a captivating story. Plus, you know, viking vampires, a dog who wants to be Djingis Khan and lots of Irish deities in a family fight of truly epic proportion. In other words, just my kind of book. In fact, I'm gonna make myself another cup of tea (Earl Grey. Hot.) and go back to reading.
  • Sooz
  • 3:57 PM
  • 2 comments

Sunday meme on a Monday

Since this Monday is my Sunday as I took time off work to spend time with Martina and Fia I thinks it's quite alright if I answer this meme today (created by Bokstävlarna and translated by me):

This weekend's...

…funniest: Trash-talking ESC together with the girls and the awesomely geeky bookish get-together on Saturday.

...most boring: Not having enough money to indulge in all the bookstores we visited. And also saying good bye to M & F again.

tastiest: Maybe the dumplings, or the sushi, or the muffins or possibly the tacos. So much good food!

…reading: Finished Iron Council by China Mieville and started on Soulless by Gail Carriger.

…listening: Less than usual but when appropriate the usual very random spotify-list.

So, how was your weekend?

  • Sooz
  • 10:09 PM
  • 4 comments

Newly acquired

While I am poorer than a church mouse at the moment I still couldn't resist buying Kevin Hearne's Hounded when we went to sfbokhandeln yesterday. I read about it on Scalzi's blog, in one of the Big Idea segments where Hearne himself talked about the thoughts behind the book and it went on the to-read-list instantly. So when it was finally in stock again and rather cheap too (79 sek) I fluttered my eyelashes at the husband and borrowed enough to get it.

Martina claims the cover looks like one from a romance novel (despite the rather glaring lack of heaving busoms) but judging from the blurb on the back it seems void of much romance. In any case I am looking forward to reading it as soon as I finish Soulless.

  • Sooz
  • 10:30 AM
  • 0 comments

Kraken - China Miéville

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I think this might be my favorite China Mieville book to date. I've read a few of the other reviews on here that claim it is thinner, more boring and whatever (don't get me wrong, many of those reviewers liked the book too just maybe not as much as me) but honestly I think that is a plus. Now, Mieville is one of my favorite authors but his books are kind of like eating really dark chocolate, very tasty but it get's too much if you mainline a whole bar of it. The worlds he creates are so filled with wonderful strangeness that I can only absorb so much before having to put the book down. Now this book is like dark chocolate with a nice filling or flavoring, ie you can actually eat the whole damn piece without feeling overwhelmed.


Kraken might be a bit easier to read but in no way has Mieville skimped on the fantastic ideas. I do adore Billy the main character because he feels so real, so normal in all of the craziness of the world ending. Because the world is ending, the problem is only finding out how.


I heartily recommend this book to anyone who has enjoyed Chine Mieville's earlier books, especially Un Lun Dun, or Neil Gaiman's whole bibliography, especially Neverwhere.



  • Sooz
  • 10:18 PM
  • 4 comments

Tithe - Holly Back

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I picked this up randomly from the library since I love urban fantasy and fairies done right. And regarding to those factors this book delivers. Holly Black weaves a wonderful modern fairytale mostly aimed towards young adults and it is that last part that makes me lower my score. To me it seems there are parts missing, I get thrown between events abruptly and that also throws me out of the story at times.


I also wonder if all beautiful tortured supernatural males have a thing for female teens.


The characters are very good though, they are complex and well written. I just wish there were more padding in their story.



  • Sooz
  • 8:06 PM
  • 0 comments

Babbling about books

First of all I'm kinda disappointed that bokblogg.nu won't let me register this blog on the site because they only take blogs in Swedish. Too bad, it's not like Swedish people in general have a problem reading English. But oh well.

Secondly, I've joined a book swap over on bpal.org and I am eagerly waiting to see who I will get as my book worm. We've been answering questions in the thread and it's really interesting to see the wide variety in answers. It's going to be fun to pick out books for someone else, I'm not sure if I want to get someone with similar tastes as mine or if I want my polar opposite. Time will tell in the end.

I'm sure there was something else I wanted to say but someone seems to have replaced my brain with porridge, I really hate it when that happens. So, to bed I go.

Have fun storming the castle!
  • Sooz
  • 7:25 PM
  • 0 comments

Storm Front - Jim Butcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Anyone who knows me know that this book is right up my (dirty city) alley and it really really is. It has magic, snark, compelling mystery and a rather grumpy hero and I love each and every bit of it. I'm just wondering why it took me so long to get to this. I need to get my hands on book two real soon...


ETA: Less than a year later and I've now read all that's been released in this series and my love for it has not lessened a bit. It keeps it's quality throughout and something I really love is how it all ties together. Pay attention when you read this the first time. The smallest thing might end up being really important later on, or a vague foreshadowing of things to come.


Any fan of the fantastic should read this. That's my opinion.



  • Sooz
  • 7:15 PM
  • 0 comments

Lootz!

So my darling husband turned 35 today and with that in mind I visited sf-bokhandeln on Friday. I am really quite proud I only came out of there with two books for me and two for him.

The adorable Storm Trooper is his as well. It goes with the bobble headed Vader he already owns.

Anyways, the books I got for me was Agent to the Stars by John Scalzi and Soulless by Gail Carriger. One is a humoristic tale about First Contact, you know the alien kind, and the other has vampires and steampunk and Victorian London. Soulless was on a Steampunk list by Jen at Epbot and it seems really interesting.

The other two books were birthday gifts for 'dreas. He enjoyed Flash Forward the TV-series and the book is supposedly better (when are they not). And since we have both been enjoying Butcher's Dresden books lately I though this was an excellent opportunity to get his other series and see if that's any good.

Sidenote - I really love the cover on Agent to the Stars. Retro prettyness!

  • Sooz
  • 10:58 PM
  • 2 comments

Shorty book meme

Am stealing and translating a meme I found at Glory Box who'd gotten it from Johanna K at Bokhora:

1. Which book are you reading now?
As you can see in the margin over-there I am reading Chine Mieville's Iron Council right now.

2. How far along are you?
*checks* I'm on page 189 of 614.

3. Describe the book in three words.
Queerness, golems and revolutions.

4. How would you rate the book so far on a scale of 1-5.
I'd give it a solid 4 so far, after a slow start it's getting there.
  • Sooz
  • 11:41 AM
  • 0 comments

Old Man's War - John Scalzi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I became interested in John Scalzi's writing after reading his short story After the Coup on Tor.com. I really liked the way he wrote dialogue and how the action flowed. So I started following his blog and other thing and eventually finally came across this book at the library, I picked it up and when I started reading I was instantly captured by the world and the characters.


Scalzi tells of a world that very easily could be our own a few hundred years into the future. The humans are still very human in both the good and bad ways and the universe is filled with sentinent life of all shapes and forms.


When reading I was tossed between blinking away tears and giggling, sometimes on the same page. Snarky conversations and pop-cultural references mix flawlessly with heartrendering scenes of absolute beauty.


I highly recommend this book to anyone, sci-fi/military fan or not.



  • Sooz
  • 9:11 AM
  • 0 comments

Books and scents

I read an entry over on Calliope Books regarding the fact that Neil Gaiman's story Snow, Glass Apples, have been made into a soap and I was just about to comment on that to say that Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab have a whole range of perfume oils inspired by Gaiman's words. Then I remembered I have a book blog now and that it would be better to write an entry of my own about it.

I am quite the fan of BPAL and several of my favorite scents come from the Gaiman-line. If I'm not completely mistaken the first of his's works to be scented was Good Omens, the apocalyptic story of the anti-christ, and let me tell you it is rather fantastic. One of my absolute favorites is Pepper which is a flowery perfume for people who doesn't really like flowery scents.
Wild English roses, French gardenia, vanilla, honey, golden ginger, blood orange, pine resin, pink pepper, crushed berries, tuberose, bergamot, and geranium.
Seriously, doesn't it sound delicious? Since that first range of scents it's been extended to include everything from short stories to American Gods. Sadly I haven't had the means to try them all but damn do I want to.

And the geeky scents doesn't stop with Gaiman, no, just recently they came out with a range based on classic RPG. The scents are supposed to be layered so you can smell like an Evil Hafling Mage or a Neutral Elf Paladin which ever strikes your fancy. In fact, I have testers of just Evil,Neutral, Halfling and Mage on the way right now and you can be sure I will tell you what I think about them when they arrive.

Small note. I am in no way sponsored by bpal, I just happen to love their perfumes.
  • Sooz
  • 11:45 AM
  • 0 comments

Boneshaker - Cherie Priest

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book lives up to the hype. It's gritty, exciting, fun and a great read. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a steampunk fix.


I really do love it when an author can keep from revealing all of the backstory at once, when instead the reasons and motivations trickle forth at just the right speed to keep one interested and wanting more.


Something else I do adore about this book is the fact that the characters have flaws and personalities and reasons that we might not exactly know but they act after anyway.


I also like it when the first thought after the last page is "when can I read more?".



  • Sooz
  • 9:53 PM
  • 0 comments

And so it begins...

I have a book blog. It's been a long time coming what with me loving to write and loving to read. Not to mention two of my dear friends run book blogs of their own and seem to have lots of fun doing it.

So how will this work? Well, I plan on writing and posting reviews, mostly through my goodreads-account, and also make posts where I ramble on about this and that relating to books. So yes, a pretty standard plan all and all. The books I read are mostly either fantasy or sci-fi although not always the garden variety of either. I love New Weird and sci-fi that make me laugh (looking at you here John Scalzi), I like sword and sorcery and .44 Magnums in leather coat pockets (Yes Harry Dresden I am talking about you) and sometimes I re-read the Belgariad for about the millionth time. Oh, and yes, I am Swedish but will be writing in English except maybe when I review books written in Swedish.

So welcome, take a browse and remember that Any moment called now is filled with possibilities
  • Sooz
  • 9:02 PM
  • 2 comments

Greywalker - Kat Richardson

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

There is something to be said for an author who kills her main character in the first chapter, I have to say that. Harper Blaine takes quite a beating and one could think she'd taken lessons from Harry Dresden in getting her ass kicked. In fact it's hard to read Greywalker without drawing parallelles to just the Dresden Files, both main characters are PIs and both handle the supernatural in a large American city assisted by assorted side-characters. But where I instantly relate and like Harry, Harper kinda just make me wince. Maybe this will change later on in the series, I do hope so, but for now it is quite obvious that this book is the first in a series. The characters are a bit chunky, the action scenes just a bit too rushed and impersonal and the story just a little bit to simple. It might have been slightly unfair to read this so soon after finishing Butcher's series about Dresden, had I read this first I might have rated it higher than the average three it gets now.

Despite that the series does show promise, I like the author's take on the supernatural and if Harper Blaine and her fellow characters get a bit more flesh on their bones it might be an enjoyable read.



  • Sooz
  • 8:44 PM
  • 0 comments