The book Provinspis on a table next to a passport.

Provinspis

Author: Ditte Wiese

Published: Carlsen, 2017

Serie: Sonar

Provinspis – the book

Ida is a young girl living in a Danish province. Her mother, who is French, left many years ago after having withered away in Denmark for a long time. Ida mostly feels the same way about the small town that she lives in; it is boring as hell. Luckily her best friend Jon lives only 185 steps further down her street and she is always welcome at his place, which she benefits from on the nights where her own house is filled with the yelling of her dad and his girlfriend. Ida dreams of the day she can leave the town behond and travel out into the world; she just has to finish gymnasiet (high school/upper secondary)! She spends a lot of time working in the local grocery store, in order to save up for the travels she plans. And she needs to survive the boredom, which she does through sex, drugs and alcohol.

But something happens. Like things always do. Finishing her education suddenly doesn’t seem so easy. Being friends with Jon is suddenly not so easy; especially not while he is hooking up with Ida’s only girlfriend. Yet growing up means dealing with these kinds of things, and so Ida does. The only way she knows how.

my thoughts

(be aware of possible spoilers)

I was swept away by Ida and her struggles. To be honest, I don’t think I would have befriended Ida had I known her, which makes me feel sad, because she really needs a proper friend. My heart broke a little all the time she was left on her own. Even when she, in some way, caused it herself. The story is told through Ida’s point of view, which creates a beautiful layered experience, when reading the story, because everything is told through her language. I loved how the book slowly builds up to something, that I had a hard time figuring out, and at times I honestly felt as confused as Ida, which is why I never really believed myself, when I thought I knew what would happen next.

Provinspis is both a beautiful and an awful story about growing up and finding yourself in the world. Ida says: “The meaning of life is to be other places“, which I feel is so essential to the character of Ida. Even when she genuinly enjoys herself in the small town, she needs to get away. In many ways her story reminds me of Edith Wharton’s “Summer”, where the main character Charity constantly searches for the place she belongs; the place she can call home. Ida is searching for the same thing, really. Believing she will find herself, when she gets to the right place. Believing that there is so much of her mother in her, that she will never find peace in a small town in one of the provinces of Denmark.

Should you read it?

Provinspis is an honest story. The language is youthful, which is important since the target group is young adults. Ida is an average girl, who most young adults will be able to identify with. She is strong and outgoing, yet vulnerable and insecure. Everybody can benefit from reading this. The younger ones can maybe identify with Ida or one of the other characters in the book, which can sometimes help them in their own search for themselves. Parents can get some insight into the mind of a young girl, which may help them through their child’s process of growing up. Everybody will get an exceptionally brutally honest and wonderful reading experience, where the more experienced reader wil notice the layers, use of language and how the text combines form and content.

So the short answer is: Yes, you should read it.

The book Pigen fra Månehøjen on a tree branch

Drømmen om at skrive

Hello everyone! This post will be in Danish as it is written in connection with a blog tour of the Danish book “Pigen fra Månehøjen” by Lene Krog.


Følgende er skrevet af forfatter Lene Krog og handler om at følge sin forfatterdrøm. God fornøjelse med læsningen, og tak til Lene for at dele disse tanker med os!

drømmen

Engang for længe siden, i den helt spæde begyndelse af dette årtusinde, startede min rejse som forfatter, da et forlag skrev til mig, at de ville udgive min bog. Hurra! Lykken var gjort. Drømmen var nået. Sådan, mand!

Det var før sociale medier (ja, så gammel er jeg), lige kort før jeg fik min første mobiltelefon (og dengang var der ikke engang kamera i), og markedsføring var noget med aviser og blade. Der var da heller ikke meget i budgettet til en så ukendt forfatter som mig, men en af mine lærere tilbød at kontakte den lokale ugeavis for mig, så de kunne lave et interview, og jeg kunne få lidt eksponering.

Vent? Hvad?

Så folk kunne se, det var mig, der havde skrevet den der bog? Nej, sådan skulle det jo ikke være. Drømmen var jo bare at skrive bøger. Ikke stille op til interviews og udstille mig selv. Allerhelst ville jeg jo bare være anonym, mens mine bøger fløj hen over disken ved boghandleren.

Sådan virker det selvfølgelig ikke. Men stakkels, lille, introverte mig var ved at gå til over et simpelt, hypotetisk interview til ugeavisen. Så jeg sagde nej til min lærer. Forbød hende at kontakte dem. Og så kom anmeldelserne. Lidt blandede. Både positive og negative, men det negative vejede naturligvis mest, desværre. Og med det hele blandet sammen, tog det lidt modet fra mig.

Sjovt nok afholdt det mig ikke fra at skrive. Det var jo det, jeg elskede. Drømmen var at skrive. Men at skulle vise det frem, at skulle tage kritik, at skulle promovere bogen og mig selv – det var jo bare slet ikke drømmen. Men det følger alt sammen uvægerligt med, og det havde jeg lidt svært ved at acceptere.

Og til sidst stoppede jeg med at skrive. I rigtig lang tid.

Indtil for fem år siden. Pigen fra Månehøjen begyndte lige så stille at spire, og jeg havde en idé om at skrive den på engelsk og gemme mig bag et pseudonym. Godt nok var jeg på de sociale medier, men det var alligevel ikke helt mig – jeg var jo pseudonymet nu. Jeg legede lidt med Amazon, kom i kontakt med andre forfattere, og fandt Goodreads.

Jeg læste et væld af dårlige anmeldelser på populære bøger, og fandt langt om længe ud af, at man ikke kan behage hver en læser. Ligesom så meget andet, er det individuelt, om nogen kan lide en bog eller ej. Nogle elsker den samme bog, som andre hader. Og da det gik op for mig, var det på en måde nemmere at skrive. Jeg begyndte at skrive det, jeg gerne selv ville læse.

Jeg har også lært at tage kritik til mig, hvis jeg kan bruge den, og ryste den af mig, hvis jeg ikke kan. Det bilder jeg i hvert fald mig selv ind. Og efter mit korte engelske indie eventyr, som var alt for besværligt med alskens udenlandske skatteregler at sætte sig ind i, besluttede jeg mig for at vende tilbage til det danske sprog, omskrive Pigen fra Månehøjen, i mit eget navn tilmed, og tage kampen op mod angsten for selvpromovering.

Det er stadig min drøm at skrive bøger. Det har det sådan set altid været. Pigen fra Månehøjen har jeg selvudgivet, og det lykkedes mig at få den sendt videre til at få en lektørudtalelse, så bibliotekerne rundt omkring i Danmark nu er ved at købe ind af den. Og jeg glæder mig til at folk låner min bog og læser den. Om de kan lide den, tja, det kan jeg jo ikke styre. Men jeg kan håbe det. Og i mellemtiden fortsætter jeg min skrivedrøm, med alt det der følger med.


Pigen fra Månehøjen

Pigen fra Månehøjen er den første bog i en dansk fantasyserie om de to piger Merian og Aia fra landet Bragimark; et land i krig, hvor de få med magiske evner jages og deres evner tages fra dem. En dag tvinges de to piger ud på en rejse, der på mange måder bliver en betydningsfuld færd for de to piger; og ikke kun for dem personligt.

Vind bogen

Hvis du hopper forbi Lenes Facebookprofil har hun gang i en konkurrence, hvor du kan vinde hendes bog Pigen fra Månehøjen. Konkurrencebetingelser og lignende vil være at finde samme sted. Jeg ønsker alle en spandfuld held og lykke, og god fornøjelse!

Hvis du skulle være uheldig ikke at vinde bogen, kan den heldigvis købes flere steder både som fysisk eksemplar og som e-bog eller lånes på biblioteket. Så klik ind på din foretrukne bogsalgshjemmeside eller løb ned i den nærmeste boghandler eller det nærmeste bibliotek og skaf dig dit eget eksemplar, så du kan komme i gang.

A stack of books that I intend to read during Dewey's 24-hour readathon

Dewey’s Readathon

Today Dewey’s Readathon begins and I am going to be a part of it. At least for som time since I have a birthday to go to later today. Also, the whole staying awake for 24 hours is not really something I am good at.

What to read for this readathon

I have a couple of books in my stack that are purely for school. I follow a literature course this term and we need to read a various amount of Danish authors for class. Three of my books for this readathon are for school. These are:

  • Drengen der fik en hunds hjerte by Louis Jensen (The boy who received a dog’s heart)
  • Kopierne by Jesper Wung-Sung (The Copies)
  • Små frø by Mette hegnhøj (Small Seeds)

In my stack I further have:

  • Intet by Janne Teller (Nothing)
  • Til døden os skiller by Kit A. Rasmussen (Until Death Do Us Part)
  • Harry Potter og de vises sten by J. K. Rowling (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone)

I hope to get through more than half during this readathon, but not knowing what I am going into or how I will hold up, I just hope for the best!

I will keep updating this post the further into the readathon as we get!

Please, feel free to comment where you keep updates on your readathon!

The first book

I will begin with Drengen der fik en hunds hjerte, since I started it a long time ago and really need to finish it.

The Danish book "Drengen der fik en hunds hjerte" is placed in a tree with green moss spots

Drengen der fik en hunds hjerte by Louis Jensen

16:12

I just finished Drengen der fik en hunds hjerte and also had a little bite to eat. The book turned out better than I had hoped for, now I will continue with Mette Hegnhøj’s Små frø (Small Seeds) before I have to leave for my boyfriend’s brother’s birthday. We leave at 16:45 (4:45pm), so I know I won’t get far into it, since I also need to change clothes before we leave. I dont know when we will be home, but I’ll make sure to write an update, when we do.

The second book

The second book is Små frø (Small Seeds) by Mette Hegnhøj and it is…. sort of a modern retelling of an old Danish story. Yet it is not a retelleing at all. I do not quite know how to explain it. However, I have heard it should be really good, so I really look forward to reading it!

The book Små frø (Small Seeds) by Mette Hegnhøj on a bench in the woods.

Små frø (Small Seeds) by Mette Hegnhøj

20:59

Well back at home after a wonderful evening at my mother-in-law’s to celebrate my boyfriend’s brother’s 17th birthday. It was so hyggeligt and fun, but I didn’t get any reading done. I didn’t expect to read much either, so it’s alright. Now I will begin my second book and see how long I can keep going.

00:22

This staying up late is so not for me. I just had a boyfriend-break, where we watched some TV and ate a b lot of popcorns! I’ve looked at several other blogs and instagrams to see how everyone else is doing, and now I will go to bed and try to read the last few pages of Små frø before I fall asleep. I hope your readathon goes well!

9:12

I have a big heart for sleep, so I managed to sleep for a good seven hours tonight, but am now back on track. It is amazing to see how much people can read. I am a slow reader and I also need a lot of breaks when I read. It wasn’t always like that, but I have lost some of my ability to concentrate for longer periods of time. Hopefully I can get it back with exercise. I know it is something I need to work on.

I am now starting Til døden os skiller (Until Death Do Us Part) by Kit A. Rasmussen, which is my third book in this readathon.

13:10 (1:10 pm)

I have just put down Til døden os skiller (Until Death Do Us Part) by Kit A. Rasmussen which was such an amazing read! It left my heart a little hollow, so instead of continuing with Kopierne (The Copies) by Jesper Wung-Sung as I had originally planned, I am going to dive into the Danish edition/translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone to lighten the mood a little for these past minutes. I wish you all a happy final spurt and look forward to reading some of the other readers’ blog posts about these last few hours, since I completely vanished from the surface and haven’t paid attention to other readathoners since 9 am this morning. But now I will read.

14:10 (2:10 pm)

Time’s up. The readathon is over and we can go back to our normal lives. I am so happy I finally got to try this out, but I must admit that I was a far better reader this morning than I was yesterday afternoon and evening. Next time I must make sure to be in a time zone, where the readathon starts in the morning! (I’m obviously kidding – I will not move time zone! But I might structure my readathon differently).

I am amazed with myself. I actually got to finish three books and a short story. Granted none of the books were bricks (Game of Throne size), but I really didn’t think I could concentrate long enough to finish more than one book. I had imagined giving up and starting a new one, once in a while – or go back to one a gave up on earlier in the readathon. I am so glad that I decided to go to sleep, because I woke up much more determined and hungry than I was when I went to bed.

To sum up

  • Drengen der fik en hunds hjerte (104 pages)
  • Små frø (87 pages)
  • Irene Holm (17 pages)
  • Til døden os skiller (265 pages)
  • Harry Potter 1 (21 pages)

All in all: 494 pages.

This was a great experience, but I will definitely have to make som changes for the next one I want to participate in. I am not  big snacker when I read, but I managed to eat through two bags of popcorn (with help from my lovely boyfriend!), an apple and half a bag of gifflar (cinnamon buns) plus a bottle or two of water and two glasses of soda. Plus the proper meals of course. I missed some cookies though, so I will definitely add that to my “things to remember” list for next time. Now I crave pancakes, so I will adventure out for a walk with former mentioned boyfriend and buy some oats, so we can have afternoon pancakes before we have to leave for another birthday (same boy – different part of the family)! It has been a super busy weekend, and I was way to anxious about it before it started, but I have actually managed to enjoy it all the way. And pause, when I needed to.

Moreover, I have really enjoyed following a bunch of other bloggers/instagrammers/readathoners to see what they were reading, eating and doing. When they went to bed and which of the small challenges they participated in. I look forward to next time, but for now I will go show my boyfriend I haven’t forgotten him in all this. And make pancakes! A ton of them <3

Soulles by Gail Carriger and Carry On by Rainbow Rowell on a bench by a lake

Autumn holidays

I have a whole week off work and studies now due to the autumn holidays. I am so in need of it! It is going to be a designated reading holiday, where I have a little more than seven books I’d like to read. Luckily Dewey’s Readathon is next weekend, so I expect it to be possible to read all of the books I’d like to. A few of them are for my teaching studies and are only a hundred pages or so long, which I believe will be quickly read.

herlufsholm fantasy book fair

This weekend Herlufsholm is hosting their annual Fantasy Book Fair and I intend to join! The programme is filled with authors I’d like to hear (and see). I hope to be able to be there for the entire Friday, but I have a doctor’s appointment early Friday and am not sure I’ll be able to make it to 12 when it starts.

I went last year for the first time ever and was so scared of all the people there who knew a lot more about the books and the authors present than I did, that I spend most of the time hiding behind my boyfriend. This year I will spend mostly listening I think. The programme looks so good and interesting that I honestly think I could sit and listen for the entire weekend.

Unfortunately I can only be there on Friday, but I intend to make the best of it!

what to see

The full programme can be seen here, but I have highlighted three of the features I find the most interesting below, but let me just state that there is so much more to come for.

12.00-12.30 Rainbow Rowell interviewes om bogen ”Carry on”

Rainbow Rowell has been everywhere on my instagram feed this year and I really would like to know why that is. What makes her writing so special and/or magnificant? I have recently started Carry On to have some sort of background knowledge before the interview and expect to finish it before Friday. This, however, is the one thing I don’t think I can make after getting my doctor’s appointment, but I still hope to go!

14.30-15.00 Gail Carriger interviewes på engelsk om serien ”Soulless” af Rasmus Hedeboe, musiker og fantasyfan

Two things here: Firstly, I received the first novel in the Soulless series last year at Christmas and she has a very peculair, yet funny, writing style! And I’d like to hear her thoughts on the series. Secondly, I watched Rasmus Hedeboe perform an interview last year and I was really caught by his enthusiasm, so I look forward to seeing him in action again this year!

15.00-15.30 Nanna Foss og Boris Hansen fortæller om serierne ”Spektrum” og ”Panteon-sagaen”

These two Danish authors have piqued my interest this year. With their ever grounded easy-loving way of interacting with fans and followers I was hooked. I haven’t read Panteon yet, but the years only have so many days and it seems I have more books to read. But it will come, someday! Spektrum on the other hand I have begun and I love it! I do not understand one single thing about the plot (or well, maybe I understand one or two things), but I still enjoy it so much and I love how I as a reader can feel how Nanna has cared for the details. So; I have to see this!

Dewey’s Readathon

Another exciting event this week is Dewey’s Readathon. I have been wanting to participate for the past year, but only now seem to be able to do so. Last year I didn’t know what it was, but it seemed interesting and I followed a few blogs and instagrammers. I had only just begun my instagram adventure myself, so I think it was a good start to just observe.

In the spring things just didn’t add up for me to participate, but this time I really want to. I have a birthday party in the middle of it all, but I will make it work by still reading as much as possible for the remaining hours. Since I am not good at 24-hours wake time, I also need to sneak in a little (lot of) sleep. I will keep you posted on this event!

To breathe again

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe…

I didn’t really know if I should post about this or not, but in case somebody out there actually reads my posts, I figured I should give some kind of explanation, but I also think it would be nice to some day look back and see why I was suddenly all quiet for an entire month.

I haven’t stopped reading as you would know, if you follow my instagram account, and I still scribble down notes when I read, but for some reason this past month has been almost too much for me. I felt like I was drowning in study work and my work as a teacher. I felt like I was not able to breathe properly – like my chest was too tight – and I have had a hard time concentrating. This week, I have finally stopped grinding my teeth in my sleep and am now working on relaxing my shoulders to avoid tension headaches. I always break around the autumn holidays. Mostly I just stop doing my homework, sometimes I skip school for a week or two and then everything’s fine.

This year, though, it hit me a little earlier than usual and a little harder. I am under no impression that I have to put up posts on my blog, but the mere want is knocking my world out of focus. At the same time, I don’t think I have wanted to do well in any of my studies as much as I want to right now, which evidently puts me under some kind of pressure – whether I want to or not. So I have been quiet for some time; putting all my strength into my work and my studies.

But as I mentioned, I haven’t stopped reading or taking notes. I just need to work on making the notes actual posts I can put up here. In my own time of course. But that is life. One step at a time. We can never do more than we can do, and right now I just can’t do as much as I’d like to. So I read a lot. I read without analysing. I read without an end goal. I read merely for the pleasure of reading itself. And I think that sometimes that is the only way to read.

However, I am currently working on a post about Leoniderne, the first book in the sci-fi series Spektrum (Spectrum) by Nanna Foss and I do so look forward to sharing it with you!