The Danish book "Kopierne" in a tree.

November Wrap Up

Not only was November a month where I bought a lot of books, I also managed to actually read more than I do on average in a month. In this wrap up I will give some explanation as to why I chose to read the books I read, but also provide you with a short summary of the book and further bring you my opinion on it.

Desert Skies, Rebel Souls

This book was generously gifted to me by the author M. P. Tonnesen in relation to the book’s release date in exchange for a review. I also got the opportunity to ask Michelle some questions to an interview I brought as a part of the book launch blog tour that was arranged. You can read the interview here.

Desert Skies, Rebel Souls is a story about the young Danish girl Olivia, who travels to Israel in search of herself; trying to run away from her parents’ expectations at home. She works at a kibbutz, where she crosses paths with the young and handsome Chaim. It is practically love at first sight, and Olivia is whirled into his world one kiss at a time. However Chaim has to leave for the army and in the meantime Olivia backpacks through the Middle East with two of her backpacking friends.

It is a very sweet story, with all the ups and downs that do necessarily follow in a love story like this. I very much enjoyed Olivias story, and I loved all the descriptions of the beautiful places she visits. I never truly felt the depth of her relationship with Chaim, though, but that has a lot to do with this whole “love at first sight” concept. And also a little to do with morals…. 😉

Mostly, it just made me want to pack my bags and travel the world; travel the Middle East. <3

Fandens fødselsdag (The Devil’s birthday)

This book I chose, because I had to read aloud to some of the children at my school. November is the month of literature and the pupil’s read, read, read all through the month. Twice the teachers read to them instead. In larger groups, where the children could go sit and listen to the story they felt like hearing at the moment. It is a very good event, I believe!

Anyhow, I chose to read Fandens fødelsdag to them, which is a sweet story about the Devil, who always gets what he wishes for, but this year something is still amiss. Then a little (naughty) angel girl swings by and celebrates Fandens birthday with him. She arranges a treasure hunt and practically bosses the poor devil around. In the end though, she is called back to Heaven and Fanden tells his parents that he wishes for friends to come over for his birthday.

I liked this story so much. There is so many things to discuss. Mostly though, the children thought it was funny, which is also very important when reading books: we need to enjoy them.

Kopierne (The Copies)

This book I had to read for my studies.

In Kopierne we follow Jonas, who it turns out, is actually a copy of the real Jonas, who suddenly returns. Jonas (the copy) then flees in order to avoid being killed, which is what is done when a copy is no longer needed. He runs into the woods, where he meets Ian – another copy (and later a third boy/copy joins them). Together they travel through the woods while trying to keep themselves together, in hopes of finding a ship. It is dangerous though, because they are still being hunted by the men, whose job is to kill them, but in the woods they must also be aware of boars. Slowly the boys start to lose themselves and staying sane is suddenly more necessary than finding the ship. Yet, without the ship there seems to be no hope.

This was a horrific story, that had me thinking a lot about many different things. Like; what kind of society accepts the use of copies when their own children are away e.g. due to hospitalisations? Why is a copy needed? Why do te copy need to be so human, that they will fight for their survival? And how can parents dismiss a copy so easily, when they seem so real?

And those were the questions I had only twenty pages into the story.

I really liked this one! I am a big fan of books where form and content are mutually exclusive. We can see how Jonas slowly degenerates in the chapters. The sentences. The headlines even. However, this story was very hard to read. Children being rejected hurts me so deeply, and this was a book about an entire community – world maybe even – where everybody thought it alright to stop caring about a person, simply because it is a copy, who is no longer needed.

Intet (Nothing)

The fourth book I read this month was also for my studies.

In Intet we follow a group of kids from the seventh grade in ground school, who come together in trying to show one of their classmates that something matters. This particular classmate had left class stating that: Nothing matters, and so nothing is worth doing. The rest of the pupils in the class try to gather items that really mean something to them, however they do not choose themselves what matters, but someone else in the class points to them and tells them what to put into the pile of things that matter. It all though, turns into a horrible episode of bullying and … *sigh*

When I closed the book I thought: “hm.. njaeh.. I don’t know.” ’cause I really didn’t know what I thought of it. The kids were awful, and I couldn’t help but to think where all of the adults were. Who could simply just let this happen? At the same time, I found it to be one of those books that were not written to be enjoyed, but merely written to be worked with. Written to provoke, to spark some thoughts, to question something. And maybe I just questioned the wrong things.

Now I actually sort of like it. Well, it is still an awful story, and I still have doubts about using it when teaching myself. Mostly because I think the book says so many things, that  do not think, I can talk about with my classes. I fear too many will not get the book, and I fear they will instead just feel horrified or bored.

Spektrum: Ursiderne

I read the first two in the Spektrum series a few months ago and really liked them. Now I finally got my hands on the third one.

In Usiderne we follow Nasrin, who is new to the group. Nasrinlives with her father, who is never home, and her late mother’s friend, who takes care of Nasrin. Nasrin lost her mother some years ago in a terrible accident and the loss has made Nasrin very reticent and destructive. In this book the group digs deeper into the mystery that was (briefly) introduced in Geminiderne (Spektrum 2). This search for answers are very important to Nasrin, because it helps her understand more about her mother’s death, but the group – and especially one of them – plays an important part in Nasrin’s self healing.

Nasin is by far a much more destructive character than we have encountered before, but I really liked her. Not as much as I liked Emilie and Pi (especially Pi) from the earlier books, but I really do think that the author Nanna Foss has extraordinary character creating skills! She manages to write characters that are truly honest and believable; and so easy to identify with. Moreover she dares to end her book(s) with a cliff hanger, so great it should be illegal! I am so enthralled by her writing and I cannot wait to read the next in the series!

 

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)
  • SmÃ¥ 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 SmÃ¥ 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 SmÃ¥ 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 SmÃ¥ 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)
  • SmÃ¥ 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