A tiny review of The Tiny Wife

The Tiny WifeThe Tiny Wife by Andrew Kaufman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The Tiny Wife is a tiny adorable book, easily read in a single sitting and most awesomely absurd in both its premise and in its execution. It is hard to say something about the story as almost anything would be a spoiler but what can be said is that in the end it is a story about people, a story about knowing yourself and a story about life. And also tattoos turning into lions and people shrinking until they almost disappear. Or do disappear.

This book reminds me a little bit about Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About and somewhat about Microserfs as those books are also about life and are told with in a slightly odd angle and with a first person view.

I recommend this book to anyone in need of a bit of a pick-me-up or just a ray of sunshine. Go read it, you won’t regret it!

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  • Sooz
  • 10:15 AM

Rot and Ruin - Jonathan Maberry

Rot & RuinRot & Ruin by Jonathan Maberry
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I got this book in a review challenge from Swedish Zombie, and I started reading it just after finishing with a very long and complicated hard SF novel by Peter Hamilton. This might not have been completely fair to Rot and Ruin. I spent the whole first third of the book being annoyed at the main character for being an idiot when he in fact was being a pretty ordinary teenager.

Basis of the book is this: two brothers live together in a small town of survivors about 14 years after First Night, the outbreak of the unknown cause for everyone dying rising again a while later with a mindless urge to consume anything living. The older brother is a zombie hunter while the younger is just trying to figure out what he wants to do with his life. Then stuff happens. Perceptions change and in the end the read’s been told a fairly engaging story.

In some way this felt like The Passage light. There’s a strange young girl and a young man finding himself in this one too but the storytelling seems aimed at more inexperienced readers. I use that term instead of Young Adult or Teenagers because age have very little to do with it. I would just as soon put this in the hands of an adult who is rediscovering reading or someone who just want something fun and light while sunning at a resort.

At the start I was pretty sure I was going to be annoyed the whole way through the book but in the end I wouldn’t mind reading more by the author and even a continuation of the book. I also have a sneaking suspicion that if this was filmed I would be hopelessly mooning over Tom (the older brother) even though he is a bit too good to be true at times, even his faults were endearing.

One thing the author does very well is balance the gender roles. Contrary to many post apocalyptic novels both males and females are allowed in any role they feel they could manage but despite this the gender identity is not erased to be replaced with some kind of hard-ass male template. Women are women, just women who can also kick ass when needed. There might not be terribly many women portrayed in Rot and Ruin but those that are feel real, and in the end that’s what matters most.

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  • Sooz
  • 2:48 PM

Meet the bloggers? (Bloggträff?)

I'm gonna take this in Swedish because it's so very local. Poke me if you're a reader/blogger who is non-Swedish speaking and happens to be in Stockholm early October and I'll translate!

Så, i början på oktober, den 1-3 för att vara precis, så kommer Martina från Ett hem utan böcker och hälsar på mig. Och vad passar då bättre än en träff med fika och massor av bokprat? (och säkert prat om annat också).

Min tanke är söndag den 2:a tidig eftermiddag och platsen Muffinsfabriken vid Skanstull. De har ett litet sidorum som vi nog kan få boka (om vi är många nog) och deras muffins är supergoda, kaffet gott (Pressbryggare) och de har laktosfri mjölk! Jag har inte testat teet men de verkade ha ett försvarbart urval.

Anmäl er genom att kommentera på denna post. Väl mött!

Preliminära anmälningar än så länge (förutom mig och Martina):
Dark Places

  • Sooz
  • 10:34 AM

Whedon Weekend - Laughing through the tears

So, fiktiviteter sent out word some time ago that she was planning a Whedon Weekend in which bloggers would talk about anything Joss Whedon-related. And as a fangirl of gigantic proportions I of course couldn’t resist that temptation. This here is my contribution, go check out this link to see the other wonderful pieces posted over the weekend. And remember, comments are what we live on!

Fair warning, there might be spoilers. Although I write mostly about Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog which you can see on YouTube (or Hulu if you are in the us.) If you like it buy the DVD!

Laughing through the tears
If there is one thing Joss Whedon is excellent at, well there are several things (one liners, strong female characters, relatable story-lines), it is to make us laugh just to turn on the waterworks the next second. A brilliant example of this is the experimental feature Dr Horrible’s Sing-a-long Blog. As I hope you all know this was 45 minutes of singing superheroes and villains portioned out in 15 minute chunks for free over the Internet. The idea was apparently spawned and the series created during the writer strike of 2008 (Also known as the TV-season of abrupt endings) and it is really rather great, especially for something made with a shoestring budget.

In the 45 minutes of runtime, portioned out in 3 parts, Whedon manages to squeeze in laughter, original songs and drama enough to make your heart ache. Many think that the base premise is a rather standard love story but there’s where I think they are wrong. This is a coming of age-story, or rather a coming to evil-story.

The main character, Billy, has a supervillain alter-ego, Dr Horrible (with a phd in Horribleness) and his greatest dream is to get into The Evil League of Evil. Or is it? There’s also the pretty girl at the laundromat who he really wants to at least talk to. And herein lies the problem, can you be a supervillain and get the girl at the same time? Isn’t it the heroes that get the girls? What if the heroes are assholes who use their fame to get into the panties of every female who gets in their way?
This feature pokes fun at the classic portrayal of super heroes and their nemesis and in the process it tells a bit of human nature and breaks our hearts. Seem familiar? If you’re a Whedon fan it should be because he’s done it before. Buffy the Vampire Slayer pokes fun at the horror genre while also telling the story about a girl who just wants to be normal (at first) and later just have a nice quiet life. Angel the Series handles moving to and living in a large city, how easy it is to disappear between the cracks. And Dollhouse is just a big hunk of critique on the whole society we live in, how people become bartering chips and stripped of their humanity in the process. In all of these cases the serious issues are cleverly hidden under a thin veneer of one-liners and laughs which gives the right distance to actually see what is being shown. For me that is much more effective than a based on a true story Lifetime movie about a single mom just trying to get by in a harsh society.
The final song from DrHSaB still makes my eyes misty when it comes on randomly on my playlist. The Bad Horse song makes me smile when I wake up to it (I have a whedonesque playlist for my alam clock app to choose from) and I still can’t see the Buffy episode The Body without ample supply of tissues.

Dr Horrible from the comic book(s) which tell more of the story
Billy isn’t a full on super villain until the accidental death of Penny, he is pushed rather far along on the path by Captain Hammer’s douchery but when the moment comes to pull the trigger he hesitates and that hesitation costs him the girl but gets him the world. The transformation is complete. I don’t really think people are evil from the beginning, most are made such by events in- and outside of their sphere of influence, and that is illustrated very well by mr Whedon (again).

Maybe it is because Whedon’s world view is similar to my own that I like his works so much, but if that is the case I am not alone. I think the mixture of sadness and humor is what drew together the large fanbase and I think the truthful protrayal of real life is what keeps them interested.
  • Sooz
  • 12:02 PM

Friday Questions!

First from Engelsfors News (That's where you wanna go for information in English about Cirkeln (The Circle) and the rest of the Engelsfors-trilogy. So go, now, and then come back).

Q: Last book you finished?
My answer: Hammered by Kevin Hearne (link in the margins if you wanna check it out)

Q: Did you enjoy it?
My answer: I did indeed, the ending was a bit abrupt and I have some sort of ingrained defense mechanism for the Nordic gods and don't like them getting hurt but still, yes I did enjoy it and am happy the series will continue...
Q: What are you reading right now? 
My answer: The Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton and Udda Verklighet by Nene Ormes.

Q: Are you enjoying it? 
My answer: I picked Pandora's Star up again after letting it rest for a while and now it has caught my interest much better despite being a Very Thick Book. I'm on page 500-something and only half way! But there's FTL-drives and cloning and mysteries and humanity and I am rather liking it. Udda Verklighet is the first proper e-book I am reading on the iPad, I borrowed it from the library and it is really good! Very nice urban fantasy in Swedish.


And secondly from Bokbabbel - Originally in Swedish, translation is mine.
What are you reading this weekend?
Besides knitting patterns I expect to get at least some read in the two books I talk about above. Especially Udda Verklighet as that is borrowed from the library.

What's the perfect reading moment like?
A good book, something tasty to drink (in a thermos mug if it is hot because I tend to forget about it) and maybe something not-sticky to eat.

Best reading moment last week?
I am guessing one of the commutes, most likely in the morning because somehow I seem to be able to completely ignore the outside world best then.

How many hours a week do you spend in the world of books? 
At least five since I read at least on my morning commute every day but most often at least 10. Not counting weekends cause there is fluctuates wildly.

Where do you never read?
In the shower! I also try to avoid reading before sleep since way too many times that's ended with me blinking confusedly at a the clock after the book is finished and realizing I have something like two hours to sleep before having to be at work.

What do you never read? Based on a true story! General "real world" drama very very rarely makes an appearance in my reader list. There are too many books in genres I generally like for me to venture too far into ones I don't generally like.

Which is your favorite bookstore?
IRL - SF Bokhandeln. Online - thebookdepository.co.uk

You get 300 sek ($38, 32 euro) to shop books for, what do you buy? 
Oh dear, well... I would probably go nuts on the News-shelf at SF Bokhandeln or possibly go through my wishlist over on goodreads to see what I could get my hands on :)

Which recent book wouldn't you read even if you got it for free?
Well, there's a lot of books I wouldn't read but since I don't usually read and enjoy chick-lit Martina Haag's Glada hälsningar från Missångersträsk would probably be left standing way back on the shelf until I could give it away with good conscience.

Which not yet released book are you looking forward to most right now?
The next book about Harry Dresden most likely, it will probably take a long time before that comes out though. I am also eagerly awaiting Tricked by Kevin Hearne. Besides that there are so many already released books I wanna read! 


That's it for questions for today, don't forget to stop by on Sunday when I post my part in the Whedon Weekend! Check out Fiktiviteter for more on what will be covered and where to read it. (Mostly in Swedish but some, at least my post, will be in english)
  • Sooz
  • 2:37 PM

Throne of Jade - Naomi Novik

Throne of Jade (Temeraire, #2)Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not entirely sure why I only give this book a three star rating. I mean it should be right up my alley, there's dragons, history and a compelling friendship. And don't get me wrong, it IS a good book, just not "oh my god I need to rec this to everyone"-good.

In this sequel to His Majesty's Dragon Captain Will Laurence and his dragon Temeraire has to go on a long voyage, to China to be precise. No to surprisingly the eastern country has a drastically different view on dragons and much about the book is about alternatives and how the characters react to them. There's also ships, seamen, dragons, more dragons and the relationship between Captain Laurence and Temeraire grows just a little bit more. It is refreshing to see a relationship that is not romantic in nature but still every bit as strong and life changing for the participants.

I do adore the descriptions of the society in China and enjoy how it affects the rather stiff English visitors but as I said in the beginning the book doesn't leave me frantic to pick up the next one in the series (Black Powder War), I probably will but there are other books I want to spend time with before that.

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Bokstävlarna also read and reviewed Throne of Jade recently
  • Sooz
  • 1:28 PM