The books Desert Skies, Rebel Souls and Pigen fra Månehøjen on a flowery background.

2017 in Books

2017 has been an amazing reading year for me. Only this year did I begin to actually organise my reading; keep lists of books I have read and lists of books I want to read. It was this year I finally began to learn how to use Goodreads (Okay, I did that yesterday, so maybe I’ll learn a lot more in the new year).

2017 proved to be a year where I read a lot of books. More than anticipated. 20 more books than anticipated. That is crazy! And I very much enjoyed most of them! 2017 was also a year where I did not DNF any of the books I began! Maybe I have become a more flexible reader, or maybe I have become better at picking my books. I don’t know, but I am happy for this experience.

owlcrate

This year I began an owlcrate subscription, and I am so glad I finally got to do so! It was my birthday present from my boyfriend back in May and it has opened my eyes to a world og book merchandise and all the creative little shops that exist. And I love it!

Owlcrate has also introduced me to a variety of books I had never heard of, and thus also to authors I had never heard of. This means that 2017 for me has been a year where my knowledge of books and pretty much anything book related was seriously widened. If one can say that…

ARC’s

This year also became the year where I received my very first ARC (Advance Reading (or Review) Copy). It was something I dreamed of doing someday after having settled as a bookstagrammer – or a book blogger, when I finally got my blog up and running. It was such an amazing experience, and I still feel bubbles in my chest when I think of it or look at my books; An author actually wanted me to read her book, write down my thoughts and post a review of the book. And not just one author: Two authors. I cannot believe it.

I keep being in awe of writers. Of authors. They get to do this fantastic thing; write down stories for me to read! They’re like super stars to me. And then suddenly, some of them want to hear my thoughts on their books. I am still so thrilled! And so happy! I honestly didn’t expect to be able to do this in my very first year in the online bookloving community. The ARC’s I received can be seen in the image at the top of this post.

I am so grateful for this experience I would like to thank M. P. Tonnesen and Lene Krog for giving me this experience and for letting me review their amazing stories: Desert Skies, Rebel Souls and Pigen fra Månehøjen!

The reads

I managed to red 40 books in 2017, and although a few of them were for my class in literature at the teacher education, I actually enjoyed all of them. Some more than others of course 😉

I read a variety of books this year including two children’s books. I rarely read children’s books, which I can see is actually a mistake. Especially since I work with children, because I wouldn’t know where to start, if they asked me to read a book to them.

The Holiday Bag

This year I tried my local library’s new concept; a holiday bag. A concept, where one of the librarians of my local library mixed a bag of books for me based on some questions I had answered as I ordered one. It is a concept I hope, they will keep doing and a concept I hope more libraries will begin, since it is a really great way to find new authors and new reading material. Without this bag who knows if I would have ever been introduced to The Girl at Midnight or Regnfaldet.

The best read(S) of 2017

This is a tough one, since I feel I have read a lot of amazing books this year. Some of the books that I have the best recollections of are:

  • Half Lost by Sally Green, which was an outstanding reading experience – so was the entire trilogy(!) – and I really look forward to reading more of Sally Green’s work.
  • The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison. This was a creepy read. One of those, where you are sometimes scared how much you like the book, because it is actually quite disturbing. I cannot recommend people read this enough, and I sincerely hope thet one of the Danish publishing houses will decide to publish it!
  • Haabet by Mich Vraa was amazing! I don’t normally read this genre, but I was swept away by Vraa’s writing! I even contemplate on reading more of his books alone because of his skills as a story teller!
  • Spektrum by Nanna Foss. Yes. I know Spektrum isn’t one book. But Nanna writes exceedingly well and the books are so different, yet all the same. In a good way! And I love how the main character’s change from book to book. Even though it makes it so much harder when the book ends.
  • Til døden os skiller by Kit A. Rasmussen. This was so good, and I also possible just read it at the right time, which made the experience so much greater! I loved how the book was written like this mystery I, the reader, needed to solve – yet there was no mystery, only a tough story, where I could only hope for a happy ending. It is such an important story to tell and I think Kit did an amazing job!

Okay, I could keep on going, but I promised myself I wouldn’t make a top 20 out of 40 books. I could do that though. Or well… a lot of book would probably share the places. So this is a handful of the books I enjoyed this year.

Happy New Year

The bookstagram community, Goodreads and all the book bloggers I follow has opened my eyes to the importance of being organised and I have tried to be this year, but I still need a lot more practise!

All in all 2017 has been amazing and I can ony hope that 2018 will be even more so!

Happy New Year!

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!