Thursday, December 31, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - December

Nattefokk by Johan Theorin – AUDIO
Och fjättra Lilith i kedjor by Åsa Schwarz
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
I, Robot by Isaac Asimov – AUDIO
Kennedys hjerne by Henning Mankell – AUDIO
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd by Agatha Christie
The Singing Line by Alice Thomson
Box 21 by Roslund & Hellström
Minnet av en mördare by Willy Josefsson
'She Must Have Known' by Brian Masters
House of the Sleeping Beauties by Yasunari Kawabata
Dollar by Lee Childs – AUDIO
Kuren by Mo Hayder – AUDIO
Pappersväggar by John Aijvide Lindqvist
Isbjörnarna/Cheek to Cheek/Människor i solen by Jonas Gardell
no tears for queers by Johan Hilton
Øye for øye by Stein Morten Lier - AUDIO
The Va Dinci Cod by ARRR Roberts

12 printed books, 3,589 pages.
6 audiobooks, 73h 32m.

Favorite fiction:
Pappersväggar. I love this author and in this short story collection there are some amazing stories. Everyone should read all of his books :-) and this one is no exception.

Favorite nonfiction:
no tears for queers - a wonderful read that really opened my eyes. I'll be doing a video on this book I think, it really made me think a lot of new thoughts.

Favorite audio:
Probably ... Nattefokk. My second book by this author, and I loved this one too. It's available in English under the title The Darkest Room. I recommend it strongly.

Books with no links will be reviewed ... at some point ... :-)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Johan Theorin: Skumringstimen

Utgitt av Lydbokforlaget i 2008.
Lydbok, 12t 59m.
Lest av Birgitte Victoria Svendsen.
Boka kom opprinnelig ut på svensk i 2007.

The review is in English. :-)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - November

Visjonens bok by Muniam Alfaker
Gomorra by Roberto Saviano – AUDIO
Det tredje tegnet by Yrsa Sigurdardóttir
Midtvinterblod by Mons Kallentoft
Skumringstimen by Johan Theorin – AUDIO
Svenska skurkar by Stig Linnell
Me and Mr Darcy by Alexandra Potter
Sirkelens ende by Tom Egeland – AUDIO
Leoparden by Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa
Night by Elie Wiesel – AUDIO
The Great Derangement by Matt Taibbi
Daughters of the House by Michele Roberts
Fjellet by Arnaldur Indridason – AUDIO
Afrikanen by Jean Marie Gustave le Clezio – AUDIO
Pride and Prescience by Carrie Bebris
Stolthet og fordom by Jane Austen – AUDIO
The Hundred and Ninety-Nine Steps by Michel Faber
Live Flesh by Ruth Rendell
Helt konge by Øystein Sørensen

12 printed books, 3,128 pages.
7 audiobooks, 66h 38m.

Favorite fiction:
Det tredje tegnet. I'll be doing a video review of this book shortly. It's a great read - an entertaining Icelandic thriller with great characters, a fascinating plot, and also surprisingly well translated in the Norwegian edition that I read. I'm really looking forward to reading more books by this author, who was entirely new to me when I picked up the book at a BookCrossing meetup. Thanks to Tine1971 for recommending it so warmly. :-)

Favorite nonfiction:
I have to say ... The Great Derangement. Perhaps slightly outdated in some sections, but more than makes up for that by being very well written, entertaining, insightful and intelligent.

Favorite audio:
Oh, how to choose?? This has been a great month for audiobooks. :-) If I have to pick one, I think I have to say Skumringstimen. I really enjoyed that book tremendously. I'm already reading the author's second novel. :-)

Books with no links will be reviewed here before too long. :-)

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

I like this writer a lot, so when I discovered she was going to be appearing at the House of Literature here in Oslo as part of their African Week event series earlier this month, I was quick to score some tickets. :-) Adichie was interviewed by Åsne Seierstad, and I recorded most of the interview. Enjoy. :-)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Melville among the Viking ships

I released a BookCrossing book today ... something of a themed release.

I think Melville would have appreciated this. ;-)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Siân Rees: The Floating Brothel

Published by Review/Headline in 2001/2002.
242 pages + index.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Book quote

En drapsetterforskning, tenker Malin. Vi etterforsker et drap, og folk gidder ikke engang ta seg bryet med å ringe tilbake. Og så klager de på at politiet ikke gjør jobben sin? Malin ønsker av og til at hun kunne få folk til å forstå at politiet bare er de ytterste kvistene i et nettverk av greiner der hver og en er nødt til å ta sin del av ansvaret for lov og orden for at samfunnet skal fungere.
Men alle stoler på at alle andre gjør det de skal. Og selv gjør de ingenting.

Måns Kallentoft, Midvinterblod
(Schibsted, 2008)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tom Egeland: Sirkelens ende

Utgitt av Lydbokforlaget i 2005.
Lydbok, 12t 49m.
Lest av Erik Hivju.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fun @

I released a book tonight ... a copy of Jaws by Peter Benchley. Right after I'd written and entered the release notes, I saw the book pop up under 'Recently Released' in the sidebar. Whee! That so rarely happens - I see the books I get under 'Recently Caught' a lot, but rarely the other way. Fun ... to me anyway. :-)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Jack Kerouac: På kjøret

Utgitt av Lydbokforlaget i 2006.
Opprinnelig utgitt på engelsk i 1957.
Lydbok, 11t 53m.
Oversatt av Olav Angell, lest av Mads Ousdal.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - October

A Chocolate A Day Keeps the Doctor Away by Ashton/Ashton
På kjøret av Jack Kerouac – AUDIO
The Floating Brothel by Siân Rees
Frp-koden by Magnus E Marsdal
I den skogen by Harlan Coben – AUDIO
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James
The Broken Crown by Michelle West
Sula by Toni Morrison
Maria Q by Cecilie Løveid
Sky på flukt by Muniam Alfaker
Pol Pots leende by Peter Fröberg Idling
The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst – AUDIO
Skryt og skrøner by unknown [Baron von Münchausen] – AUDIO
Kjærligheten skjærer dype sår by Helena von Zweigbergk
Hannah's Garden by Midori Snyder
The Timewaster Letters by Robin Cooper
Den ulende mølleren by Arto Paasilinna

13 printed books, 3,507 pages.
4 audiobooks, 42h 38m.

Favorite fiction:
The von Zweigbergk, I guess. I could hardly put it down ... just like the last book by her that I read. It's interesting, because the main character isn't that ... likeable, or however I should phrase it, but still the whole setting is so gripping, and I can't really put my finger on why. I really recommend these books to anyone who's interested in unusual crime fiction.

Favorite nonfiction:
Frp-koden, definitely ... even though there were other strong contenders too this month. It was so interesting, it really made me think things over and gave me new insight. Also quite well written. Don't know what more one could ask for in a book, really. :-)

Favorite audio:
The Line of Beauty. An interesting 80s retrospective ... convincing and moving. Very well read too IMO.

All the books that don't currently have links will be reviewed here on this blog shortly.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Harlan Coben: I den skogen

Utgitt av Cappelen Damm i 2009.
Opprinnelig utgitt på engelsk i 2007.
Lydbok, 12t 23m.
Oversatt av Sissel Busk; lest av Christoffer Staib.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Peter Longerich: Dette visste vi ikke noe om!

Utgitt av Forlaget Historie & Kultur, 2007.
528 sider.

Jeg hadde så mye å si om denne boka at det ble to videoer i stedet for en. :-D

Del 1:

Del 2.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Margaret Atwood: Oryx and Crake

Published by Chivers Audio Books in 2004.
Audiobook, obviously; 12h 35m, read by John Chancer.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - September

High Society by Ben Elton – AUDIO
Summer of Love by Lisa Mason
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
Juleoratoriet by Göran Tunström – AUDIO
The Crow Road by Iain Banks
Drottningens juvelsmycke by CJL Almqvist
Fitter by Juan Manuel de Prada
The Ancestor's Tale by Richard Dawkins
Katedralen vid havet by Ildefonso Falcones – AUDIO
Det ska bli ett sant nöje att döda dig by Magdalena Graaf
De gales hus by Karin Fossum
Paradiset by Liza Marklund
Muhajababes by Allegra Stratton
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood – AUDIO
Michael K by JM Coetzee
Sekten by Peter Pohl
The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski

13 printed books, 4,038 pages
(+ one graphic novel which I have not counted in the page total).
4 audiobooks, 59h 50m.

Favorite fiction:
Summer of Love ... because it's taken me literally years to get around to reading it, and it turned out to be really great. :-)

Favorite nonfiction:
Ooh ... Sekten was really good, and I loved reading something by Pohl again, haven't done that in ages. He used to be one of my absolutely favorite writers when I was a teenager. But no, I think I have to say the Dawkins book. It was so well written and it explained things so beautifully. Everyone ought to read that book. :-)

Favorite audio:
I guess I have to say Katedralen vid havet ... I spent such an eternity reading it. :-D No, but it was just incredibly long ... more than 23 hours, I just felt like I was never getting to the end of it. But it was a really good book, very gripping, with great characters and a very vibrant setting. I'd recommend it, but you need some patience. ;-)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Arnaldur Indridason: Vinterbyen

Utgitt av Cappelen Damm i 2008.
Lydbok, 9t 27m, lest av Ivar Nørve.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Arnaldur Indridason: Røsten

Utgitt av Cappelen Damm i 2008.
Lydbok, 9t 12m, lest av Ivar Nørve.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Muriel Barbery: Pinnsvinets eleganse

Utgitt av Lydbokforlaget i 2008.
Lydbok, 8t 55m, lest av Janne Kokkin og Silje Lundblad.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Göran Tunström: Juleoratoriet

Utgitt av Lydbokforlaget i 2004.
Lydbok, 11t, lest av Kim Haugen.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Ben Elton: High Society

Published by Isis Audiobooks in 2003.
Audiobook, obviously; 12h 45m, read by Greg Wagland.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Book quote

Was Fergus Urvill anywhere, still? Apart from the body - whatever was left of him physically, down there in that dark, cold pressure - was there anything else? Was his personality intact somehow, somewhere?

I found that I couldn't believe that it was. Neither was dad's, neither was Rory's, nor Aunt Fiona's, nor Darren Watt's. There was no such continuation; it just didn't work that way, and there should even be a sort of relief in the comprehension that it didn't. We continue in our children, and in our works and in the memories of others; we continue in our dust and ash. To want more was not just childish, but cowardly, and somehow constipatory, too. Death was change; it led to new chances, new vacancies, new niches and opportunities; it was not all loss.

The belief that we somehow moved on to something else - whether still recognisably ourselves, or quite thoroughly changed - might be a tribute to our evolutionary tenacity and our animal thirst for life, but not to our wisdom. That saw a value beyond itself; in intelligence, knowledge and wit as concepts - wherever and by whoever expressed - not just in its own personal manifestation of those qualities, and so could contemplate its own annihilation with equanimity, and suffer it with grace; it was only a sort of sad selfishness that demanded the continuation of the individual spirit in the vanity and frivolity of a heaven.

Iain Banks, The Crow Road
(Scribners, 1992)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Book quote

Tintomara! två ting äro vita
Oskuld - Arsenik.

CJL Almqvist, Drottningens juvelsmycke

Tintomara! two things are white
Innocence - Arsenic.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Some books I'd like to read

I always have my camera with me wherever I go. When I see a book that strikes my fancy - in a store or at the library - I like to take a picture of it. :-) Here are some of those pictures from recent months.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Charlotte Brontë: Jane Eyre

Utgitt av Fono Forlag i 2004.
Lydbok, 11t 10m, lest av Marika Enstad.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Kjell Askildsen: En plutselig frigjørende tanke

Utgitt av Lydbokforlaget i 1998.
Lydbok, 2t 25m, lest av forfatteren.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


New photo of the zone, taken after the September 2nd meetup. The books were kind of thin on the shelves when we got there, but afterwards it was well and truly filled up. :-)

An update: By the next day five of the books had already been picked up. :-D

Monday, August 31, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - August

En såkalt drittjobb by Lotta Elstad
The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett
Hemma hos Martina by Martina Haag
Linda - som i Lindamordet by Leif GW Persson AUDIO
Tatt av kvinnen by Erlend Loe
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë AUDIO
Meningen med livet by Bradley Trevor Greive
The Island by Peter Benchley
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
The Darcys and the Bingleys by Marsha Altman
Dette visste vi ikke noe om! by Peter Longerich
Pemberley Shades by D.A. Bonavia-Hunt
Grotesque by Natsuo Kirino
The Passion by Jeanette Winterson
A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo
Don’t Smell the Balloons by Stewart Clark
Madonna-gåten by Nærum/Botterli/Udnæs
En plutselig frigjørende tanke by Kjell Askildsen AUDIO

15 printed books, 3,829 pages.
3 audiobooks, 32h 26m.

Best fiction:
Pemberley Shades ... because it's always such a relief to come across a Pride & Prejudice sequel that is actually genuinely good. This one was also a very interesting read because it's so old ... it was first published in 1913. o_O Well worth reading, and not just for Austen fans.

Best nonfiction:
Dette visste vi ikke noe om! - the result of an examination of a great many sources from the 1930s and early 1940s, which shows that the German people of the Third Reich were not all burning anti-Semites, but on the contrary felt not a little compassion for the suffering of the Jews; that they were surprisingly well-informed about the scope and intention of the Nazi persecutions; and, not least, gives tremendous insight into exactly why the regime was able to carry out these persecutions in the face of what ought to have been public opposition. I learned so much from this book.

Best audio:
Jane Eyre. A total classic of course, but actually the first time I'd read the entire thing. Since I already knew the plot so well it's pretty impressive that I was still very moved by the story of the unfortunate but plucky young orphan. Well read too by some woman whose name I don't remember.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Backyard sale at Tronsmo

The independent bookstore Tronsmo here in Oslo are having their annual backyard sale this weekend. It started yesterday and will go on through tomorrow afternoon (opening hours tomorrow will be 10am-4pm). I was there today and I have to say that this is their best sale ever. They had more books than I've ever seen in their backyard sale before, and they had lots of good stuff. Very good prices too. I bought all these books, look:

I got all of this for 410 crowns. Not too shabby. :-) If you're in Oslo and you get the chance, stop by, you can get some real bargains. If you don't have the chance to go, then don't worry, they do the backyard sale every year. :-)

Friday, July 31, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - July

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie AUDIO
Doppler by Erlend Loe
An Earthly Crown by Kate Elliott
Det som er mitt by Anne Holt AUDIO
Pinnsvinets eleganse by Muriel Barbery AUDIO
Beyond Black by Hilary Mantel
Kurt quo vadis? by Erlend Loe AUDIO
Den rettferdige by Helene Uri
Kurt koker hodet by Erlend Loe AUDIO
Kurtby by Erlend Loe AUDIO
Empress Orchid by Anchee Min
Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Folkemordenes svarte bok by Bernt Hagtvet, ed.
Røsten by Arnaldur Indridason AUDIO
The Book of Daniel by EL Doctorow
Ten Little Niggers by Agatha Christie
Vinterbyen by Arnaldur Indridason AUDIO
Penelopiaden by Margaret Atwood
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
Skjeggete damer og siamesiske tvillinger by Herman Berthelsen

12 printed books, 3,694 pages.
8 audiobooks, 62h 52m.

Best fiction:
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. No question. High class entertainment, people!! ;-)

Best nonfiction:
Very little to choose from. I have to say that Skjeggete damer og siamesiske tvillinger, a book about freaks and freakshows that I borrowed from AudiX78, was certainly the most entertaining one. :-)

Best audio:
Much harder to choose here (as opposed to the fiction category). Maybe Pinnsvinets eleganse ... I don't think I would have come across it on my own and it was a wonderful read, and wonderfully read, too. :-)

Can you tell that I've had a lot of free time lately ... ?? :-)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Paco Underhill: Why We Buy

Published by Orion Business Books in 1999.
248 pages + index.

I borrowed this book from a friend, or a friend of a friend, whatever ... a non-BookCrosser, anyway. :-) I read it last month.

This was a pretty good read, although somewhat dated. It's relatively well written, though IMO it would have been better if the language had been less informal and there had been fewer personal anecdotes. That's my opinion. But the topic is very interesting and there is a great deal of interesting information here. I work in retail myself and I found several useful points in the book. It's obvious that the author knows what he's talking about - there's solid research underlying all his claims. It's also quite entertaining to read about the various ways in which that research is conducted. :-)

This book is ten years old, and as I mentioned, it does show to some extent. This is most apparent in the part of the book that deals with online shopping. :-D But the predictions made by the author are all very correct, so it's simply amusing and doesn't spoil the book.

This is an easy read that I'd recommend to anyone interested in the mechanics of retail. Although I would perhaps suggest looking up newer work by this author as well. Such as this title, which I would also like to read some day.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Some favorite books

Recently on the Scandinavian forum on BookCrossing, one of the Swedish members posted to ask if there was any interest in trying to create a BC Scandinavia List of Bests (of books, obviously ;-). If you're not familiar with the Lists of Bests site, take a look at it here. She wants to try to make up a list like that ... but we're going to start small, with everyone just suggesting ten books. These were the criteria that she set up for us to use:

The books were supposed to be
1: books that we think everyone ought to read before they die
2: books that have given us fantastic reading experiences (even though the rest of the world may be shaking its collective head)
3: books that represent several different genres

I had to think about it for a while, but I managed to come up with a list of only ten books. This is it. Obviously all books that I recommend very strongly. :-)

The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas
Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren
Exquisite Corpse by Poppy Z. Brite
Perdido Street Station by China Miéville
Swordspoint by Ellen Kushner
Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
Illusion by Paula Volsky
The Horrific Sufferings of the Mind-Reading Monster Hercules Barefoot, His Wonderful Love and Terrible Hatred
by Carl-Johan Vallgren

No particular order ... although The Count of Monte Christo is in fact my #1 favorite book of all time. :-)


Cross-posted from my main blog,

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - June

Evelina by Francis Burney
Blood Games by Chelsea Quinn Yarbro
Mörker, ta min hand by Dennis Lehane - AUDIO
Why We Buy by Paco Underhill
Rendezvous with Rama by Arthur C Clarke
The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer - AUDIO
Burning Bright by Tracy Chevalier - AUDIO
Man kan inte hindra ett litet hjärta från att älska by Claire Castillon
Lord of Emperors by Guy Gavriel Kay
Kurt blir grusom by Erlend Loe - AUDIO
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
Russerfangene by Einar Kr Steffenak

9 printed books, 2,868 pages.
4 audiobooks, 33h 59m.

Best fiction:
Evelina, with Moll Flanders a close second. I had never heard about Frances Burney before I started reading the 1001 list, but as soon as I heard that Jane Austen was a big fan of hers, of course I had to read her. ;-) A very entertaining story with lots of fun characters.

Best nonfiction:
Nothing very special, really, this month. I guess maybe Why We Buy, because I felt like I learned a thing or two from that one that I can use professionally.

Best audiobook:
Burning Bright ... because the reader, Cornelius Garrett, did such an amazing job.


Cross-posted from my main blog,

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Monique Truong: The Book of Salt

Published by W.F. Howes in 2004.
Audiobook, 12 hours, read by Jeff Woodman.

An audiobook I borrowed at the library and read last month. For a plot summary, go here.

This book is a fictional memoir and also falls into the category of 'foodie books' as it talks a lot - a lot! :-) - about food and things related to food, and entwines its story with these concepts. And it does so very beautifully. I enjoyed this book tremendously in many ways. One of them that I have to mention is the reader. Woodman has a very expressive voice and he reads this book in a way that is very intimate and personal. I really enjoyed his reading here and have enjoyed it elsewhere too. He's definitely becoming a plus for me in my selection of audiobooks.

The plot of this book was very intriguing to me and the setting very convincingly described. A lot of fun characters and entertaining little scenes. The book has many amusing moments but overall is very poignant and sad. An emotional story, a creative and original work. Very well written ... touching without being blatant about it. I enjoyed reading it and I will definitely be looking for more books by this author.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

David Mitchell: Cloud Atlas

Published by Isis in 2005.
Audiobook, 21h 30m, read by various.

I 'read' this book last month, and I have to say that I have never enjoyed any audiobook more. I picked it up from the library totally on an impulse - I didn't know anything about it other than that it is on the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. The very vague ideas I had formed about it bore no relation to reality, as it turned out. I started listening with a completely blank slate. At first I was very confused, but pretty soon I was enthralled, amazed and deeply impressed.

I'm sure this book is a great read as a regular printed book as well, but it is ideally suited for the audio format as it is comprised of six different stories, each with its own narrator, and in the audiobook these have all been given their own voices. IMO all the readers did a fantastic job, they were all well chosen and they all read their sections superbly. I loved listening to them all and was completely won over by this book.

I won't go into the plot, I don't think, because I don't know where I'd be able to stop. ;-) It's a complicated story, or rather six complicated stories, all of them entangled in each other, and all of them intriguing, well constructed and well written. Each centers on one character who has some connection to the next in line. The book is constructed as a pyramid ... and I'll leave you to find out exactly what I mean by that. ;-) You can read more about the book and its author here. It's pretty fascinating. I am so happy that I read this book.

This book was a completely enthralling read. I could, metaphorically speaking, hardly put it down. I was sad to see it end. I think it may well end up to be my #1 read this year. It's so clever, such an intelligent and complicated construction of stories ... it's original, it's inspired ... it's so well written, the author adapts his language to each character and they are all so believable. The settings are fascinating and the plots engrossing. I was so impressed with this book. I can't believe that I'd never really heard of the author before now. I will so definitely be reading more of his books. He is a brilliant writer. :-)

Don't miss this book. I seriously cannot recommend it enough.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I love books. :-)

Yes, I love books. :-) And I love the things books inspire people to. I mean, look at this ... !!

This is the Arma de Instruccion Masiva, a 'weapon of mass instruction'. :-D It's the creation of the Argentinian artist Raul Lemesoff, and these days it can be seen on the streets of Buenos Aires. He's actually a BookCrosser although he may not really know it - he both gives away books from the sculpture as well as accepting donations of books. I think this is so fantastic. Just look at that thing. Brilliant. I'm not really into cars, but I think I'd want one like this. ;-)

A few of Lemesoff's photos can be seen on his photostream on Flickr, here - some pretty good shots IMO. More pictures of the Arma, if anyone's interested. Three days ago I'd never heard about this guy, but I like him already. :-)


Cross-posted from my main blog,

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Authors A-Z challenge 2009

I completed this year's A-Z challenge this afternoon. Yay me. :-)

A. Ali, Idris: Dongola
B. Beti, Mongo: Mission to Kala (abridged)
C. Chabon, Michael: Wonder Boys
D. Dicker, John: The United States of Wal-Mart
E. Eng, Tan Twan: The Gift of Rain
F. Fastvold, Marianne: Kjærlighet for viderekomne
G. Grahame, Kenneth: The Wind in the Willows
H. Holm, Gretelise: Krigsbarn
I. Indridason, Arnaldur: Glasbruket
J. Jack, Andrew: Inside Putin's Russia
K. Kristiansen, Tomm: Afrika - en vakker dag
L. Loe, Erlend: Fisken
M. McEwan, Ian: Sementhagen
N. Noel-Hume, Ivor & Audrey: Tortoises, Terrapins and Turtles
O. Orczy, Baroness Emmuska: Den hvite rosen
P. Poe, Edgar Allan: The Murders in the Rue Morgue
Q. Qiu Xiaolong: Når rødt er sort
R. Roberts, Nora: Skuggor från det förflutna
S. Smith, Ali: Girl Meets Boy
T. Tarte, Bob: Enslaved by Ducks
U. Updike, John: Rabbit, Run
V. Vinje, Aasmund Olavsson: Ferdaminne fraa sumaren 1860
W. Weldon, Fay: The President's Child
X. Xinran: The Good Women of China
Y. Yarbro, Chelsea Quinn: Blood Games
Z. Zawacki, Neil: How to Be a Villain

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - May

Den hvite rosen by Baroness Emmuska Orczy
Økonomi på trikken by Erling Røed Larsen
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – AUDIO
Fisken by Erlend Loe - AUDIO
Gullsmedens hemmelighet by Elia Barceló
Rabbit, Run by John Updike
Mig äger ingen by Åsa Linderborg
The Good Women of China by Xinran
Det Gud inte såg by Helena von Zweigbergk
Knutby-koden by Eva Lundgren
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell - AUDIO
The Book of Salt by Monique Truong - AUDIO
Real World by Natsuo Kirino

9 printed books, 2,274 pages.
4 audiobooks, 46h 37m.

Best fiction:
Det Gud inte såg. An unusual thriller/crime novel about a young female cleric working in a prison. Very well written and good characters. I could hardly put it down and read it in two days.

Best nonfiction:
Mig äger ingen. Everybody says this, and they're right. :-) It really is just as moving and personal and touching and real as they say. A both depressing and wonderful read about a daughter's love for her far from perfect father.

Best audio:
Cloud Atlas, hands down, no question. An absolutely wonderful, brilliant, fantastic book. I knew nothing about it going in, I just picked it up on a whim, but it turned out to be the best audiobook I've ever listened to. I can't recommend it enough.


Cross-posted from my main blog, here.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Tracy Chevalier: Girl with a Pearl Earring

Published by W.F. Howes in 2003.
Audiobook, 8 hours, read by Ruth Ann Phimister.

A book I wanted to read because I've heard a lot about it - a lot of positive things - and because I saw the movie when it came out and enjoyed it a lot. Of course, Colin Firth ... but I also liked the story and the setting. I do like a good historical drama, so I decided to finally try this book.

Not sure any plot summary is necessary, but here it is: Our heroine, Griet, is from a respectable family that has fallen on hard times because her father has lost his eyesight and thus can no longer work. Griet is the oldest child - 14, as fas as I recall - and as such has to do her share for the family. A place is found for her in a household where the husband is a respected painter and the wife is a baby-making machine. They're low on cash - because he paints so slowly - and in need of an extra pair of hands. Griet doesn't quite fit in, and at first is unhappy in the Vermeers' home, but as the time passes she settles in more and more. During her daily shopping trips she gets to know a boy at the market ... and during her work in the house she gets to know her master and his quirks. She becomes more and more impressed with the great artist's work. In fact she can hardly tear herself away. But the society she lives in is very strict and its rules are not to be trifled with. What will her master ask of her, and what will she choose to do ... ?

A very low-key story with a fascinating and extremely well described setting. I totally believed in this recreation of 17th-century Delft. The characters were very well-rounded and convincing. Although not a lot happens - the plot is hardly action-packed - the story is both moving and fascinating. The reader does a fantastic job - I had never heard of her before coming across this audio edition but her voice is perfect as Griet's. She does an amazing job and I thoroughly enjoyed hearing her read this novel.

I will definitely be reading more by this author. :-)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Purple Hibiscus

Published by Whole Story Audio Books in 2005.
Audiobook, 12h 15m, read by Lisette Lecat.

I picked this book basically because I've heard good things about the author, although I had never read her before, and because I was interested in reading a book from Nigeria. I had actually looked at the book before too, but had never had an opening, so to speak. :-) But then one day I needed a new audiobook and this was on the shelf.

Very luckily, in fact, as it was a wonderful read. A low-key but absorbing story with fascinating characters, beautifully narrated. I enjoyed the book tremendously and will definitely be returning to this author.

Brief plot summary: The main character, Kambili, is a teenage girl who lives with her father, mother and brother in a prosperous home. Her father is a successful businessman, but he is also domineering, overbearing, obsessed with his religious ideals and determined that his whole family be picture perfect. He sets impossible standards for his two children, who almost erase their own identities striving to live up to his demands. They've lived with this man their whole lives, and so don't see the way he is metaphorically suffocating them ... terrible things happen in their comfortable home, but they don't impinge properly on Kambili and her brother Jaja. Not until they spend some time with their father's sister Ifeoma and her family. Aunt Ifeoma opens their eyes to just how messed up their own family is. But what are they to do? Both of them are so beaten down by their father's possessiveness and his crushing ideals. Kambili almost despairs at the thought of going back to her locked-up life, but feels there's nothing she can do. Jaja, on the other hand, refuses to let things go back to how they were. And as their mother too is touched by the need for change, an opportunity opens for Jaja to really make a difference ...

A beautiful story, actually, despite its tragedy. The setting is fascinating and the characters very believable and well-rounded. Very well written. The narrator reads the book wonderfully, I thought her voice was completely convincing as the timid and oppressed Kambili. A fascinating plot, and a story that shows very well how religion can destroy the human mind. A book I definitely recommend.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Qiu Xiaolong: Når rødt er sort

Utgitt av Forlaget Press i 2006.
Opprinnelig utgitt i 2004.
Oversatt av Jan Verner-Carlsson.

Dette var den andre boka for meg av denne forfatteren. Den første leste jeg for et års tid siden. Xiaolong skriver kriminalmysterier som foregår i Shanghai i Kina (forøvrig forfatterens fødeby) rundt 1990. Deng Xiaoping har nylig satt i gang med 'åpningen' av Folkerepublikken og det er store omveltninger i det kinesiske samfunnet. Vår helt, kriminalførstebetjent Chen, har gammeldagse verdier og føler seg til tider som en fremmed fugl i det nye samfunnet som er i ferd med å vokse frem.

I denne boka skal ikke Chen egentlig jobbe ... i hvert fall ikke som politi. Han arbeider ved siden av politijobben med noen oversettelser nå og da, og nå har han fått et meget stort prosjekt i hende. Han får permisjon fra jobben for å konsentrere seg om dette oppdraget. Så når en kvinnelig forfatter blir funnet død i sitt eget hjem er det hans nestkommanderende Yu som må ta saken. Han jobber hardt, men saken er vanskelig, og til slutt kreves det en innsats fra Chen for å få samlet trådene og komme til bunns i saken.

Jeg likte denne boka godt, akkurat som den første jeg leste. Jeg synes det er kjempeinteressant å lese en krim med en så original og uvanlig setting (uvanlig i alle fall for meg :-). Boka er godt skrevet og godt oversatt - ganske poetisk i språket, faktisk. Persongalleriet er spennende og troverdig, plottet er godt konstruert og historien er spennende med innslag av humor som aldri virker malplassert. Alt i alt en meget lesverdig bok og en forfatter jeg helt sikkert kommer til å lese mer av. :-) Anbefales for alle som vil lese en krim utenom det vanlige.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Marianne Fastvold: Kjærlighet for viderekomne

Utgitt av Gyldendal i 2008.

Denne boka leste jeg for et par måneder siden i forbindelse med lesesirkelen min. Jeg ville ikke ha lest den på eget initiativ og det ville jeg ha gjort rett i. :-) Denne boka likte jeg ikke.

Kort fortalt handler boka om en kvinne, Anne, som går fra det ene forholdet til det andre og tilpasser seg som best hun kan til 'the man of the moment'. Hun faker interesse i ting hun egentlig ikke bryr seg om og skifter meninger etter hva mannfolka er opptatte av. Mao så er tematikken i denne boka noe som både er uinteressant for meg og som innerst inne byr meg imot. Boka har layout som nærmest en serie noveller - disse er tildels ganske gode (objektivt sett :-) men skjemmes av diverse 'mellomtekster' som tydeligvis er ment å binde hovedtekstene sammen, men som virker helt overflødige. De består mye av gjentagelser og av 'spoonfeeding' til leseren. Disse delene av boka burde ha vært luket ut - en eller annen redaktør har ikke gjort jobben sin her.

Boka er ganske godt skrevet, men IMO er persongalleriet uinteressant og ikke helt troverdig, historien er urealistisk og slutten er dårlig. Slutten er faktisk ganske merkelig. Historien foregir å skulle foregå i den virkelige verden, den skal være realistisk, noe som faktisk kan skje. Men det blir rarere og rarere og mot slutten sklir det helt ut. Jeg vil ikke avsløre noe, men slutten på denne boka er helt i tåkeheimen. Den ødela hele boka for meg ... jeg syntes ikke den var så ille frem til da, bare ganske intetsigende, men slutten ødela den. Boka som helhet kan jeg ikke tro på ett sekund.

En veldig lite givende leseropplevelse, grei nok tidtrøyte, men fort glemt. Denne forfatteren kommer jeg ikke til å lese noe mer av.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Book quote

Ain't no right or wrong, the stronomer king teached me. Just protectin your tribe or judasin your tribe. Yea, just a strong will or a weak un.

David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
(Hodder & Stoughton, 2005)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Radioteaterets 'De elendige'

I forrige måned lånte jeg ved en feiltakelse en CD-utgivelse fra Radioteateret på biblioteket ... jeg trodde det var en vanlig lydbokutgave av Victor Hugos store roman. Men det viste seg at det var en dramatisering. Jeg tok den med allikevel - jeg hadde jo reservert den, så hvorfor ikke - og hørte på den. Det er jeg virkelig glad for at jeg gjorde. Det var en virkelig fin opplevelse. Dramatiseringen inneholder mye 'brødtekst' fra en fortellerstemme også, så man går ikke glipp av detaljene i historien. Skuespillerne er veldig gode, de legger mye følelser i spillet sitt, men overdriver allikevel ikke. Det er en del lydeffekter, men ikke mer enn det nødvendige. Jeg syntes historien var spennende og medrivende, selv om jeg kjente den temmelig godt fra før. En gripende historie og en overbevisende tidsskildring. Jeg kan virkelig anbefale denne innspillingen.

Denne dramatiseringen ble sendt på NRK Radio for første gang i 1971. Hugos roman hadde blitt oversatt av Knut Johansen og ble bearbeidet av Herbert Grevenius. Paul Skoe regisserte og Gunnar Sønstevold komponerte den kanskje litt overdrevne, men stemningsfulle musikken.

I de viktigste rollene:
Jean Valjean - Per Sunderland
Fortelleren - Tordis Maurstad
Politiinspektør Javert - Jon Lennart Mjøen
Fantine - Mona Levin
Thénardier, vertshusholder - Jørn Ording
Fru Thénardier - Marit Halset
Cosette - Anne-Marie Ottersen
Marius, en ung mann - Knut Husebø
Courteyrac, hans venn - Nils Ole Oftebro
Herr Gillenormand - Kolbjørn Buøen
Hans datter - Merete Skavlan
Eponine - Inger Teien
Gavroche - Birgit Strøm

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - April

Det finns en särskild plats i helvetet för kvinnor som inte hjälper varandra by Liza Marklund and Lotta Snickare
Acid Row by Minette Walters - AUDIO
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
Mr Darcy Takes A Wife by Linda Berdoll
Når rødt er sort by Qiu Xiaolong
Kjærlighet for viderekomne by Marianne Fastvold
The Crucible by Arthur Miller
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier - AUDIO
Where We Once Belonged by Sia Figiel
Enslaved by Ducks by Bob Tarte
Death and the Penguin by Andrey Kurkov
Inside Putin's Russia by Andrew Jack
Glasbruket by Arnaldur Indridason

11 printed books, 3,169 pages.
2 audiobooks, 17h 52m.

I also read a couple of graphic novel-type things that I'm not counting ... and I listened to a dramatization of Les Miserables which I thought was a standard audiobook when I ordered it from the library, but, well, it wasn't. :-) So I'm not counting it, but I did listen to it. :-)

Best fiction: Where We Once Belonged. A novel set in Samoa, a country I know very little about and from which I have never read any literature. But this book was a wonderful read. A poetic and beautiful picture of a young girl's life.

Best nonfiction: Enslaved by Ducks. Incredibly funny and so well written. I wish I could say I saw nothing of myself in it ... ;-)

Best audio: Oh, both were so good. But the woman who read Acid Row was fantastic. She just acted it out as she read, basically. A fantastic performance.


Cross-posted from my main blog, here.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Captain Wentworth's Letter to Anne

I can listen no longer in silence. I must speak to you by such means as are within my reach. You pierce my soul. I am half agony, half hope. Tell me not that I am too late, that such precious feelings are gone for ever. I offer myself to you again with a heart even more your own, than when you almost broke it eight years and a half ago. Dare not say that man forgets sooner than woman, that his love has an earlier death. I have loved none but you. Unjust I may have been, weak and resentful I have been, but never inconstant. You alone have brought me to Bath. For you alone I think and plan. - Have you not seen this? Can you fail to have understood my wishes? - I had not waited even these ten days, could I have read your feelings, as I think you must have penetrated mine. I can hardly write. I am every instant hearing something which overpowers me. You sink your voice, but I can distinguish the tones of that voice, when they would be lost on others.- Too good, too excellent creature! You do us justice indeed. You do believe that there is true attachment and constancy among men. Believe it to be most fervent, most undeviating in


I must go, uncertain of my fate; but I shall return hither, or follow your party, as soon as possible. A word, a look will be enough to decide whether I enter your father's house this evening or never.

Jane Austen, Persuasion, 1818

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Jane Austen: Overtalelse

Utgitt av Lydbokforlaget i 2003.
Lydbok, 8t 15m, lest av Petronella Barker.

Originalens tittel er selvfølgelig Persuasion, og boka ble opprinnelig utgitt i 1818.

Jeg vet ærlig talt ikke hva jeg skulle trenge å si om denne boka, for enhver dannet person kjenner selvfølgelig til den. ;-) Det er en gripende, trist, velskrevet, vakker, sjarmerende, spennende og følelsesladet skildring av en ung kvinne og en periode av hennes liv. Det er den mest 'lavmælte' av Austens bøker, men kanskje også den mest rørende.

Hovedpersonen er den 27 år gamle Anne som bor sammen med sin overflatiske far og sin irriterende storesøster i familiesetet Kellynch Hall. De er lokale storfolk, men økonomisk står det ikke så bra til. Familien har levd over evne - Anne har dog svært liten del i dette og er forøvrig beskjeden på nesten alle måter - og etter hvert går det ikke bedre enn at de må leie ut huset og bosette seg i Bath. Anne gleder seg ikke til å flytte og unngår dette i det lengste ved å reise på besøk til den andre søsteren sin, som er gift og har sin egen familie. Under dette besøket hender det både det ene og det andre ... for Annes del er det mest betydningsfulle at hun treffer igjen en gammel bekjent, en mann noen få år eldre enn henne som er bror til kvinnen som nå er husfrue i hennes barndomshjem. For åtte år siden kjente Anne denne mannen, og hun elsket ham. Han ville gifte seg med henne, men den gang var han ung og fattig og uten tydelige fremtidsutsikter ... og Anne lot seg overtale, av dem som var eldre og mer erfarne enn henne selv, til å avvise frieriet. Nå er hun selv eldre og klokere, og hun har angret på avgjørelsen sin i alle disse årene. Nå er han tilbake i livet hennes. Men han elsker henne ikke lenger. Eller ... ?

Dette er en så nydelig og vakker og fullstendig vidunderlig bok. Fantastisk. Jeg kan ikke anbefale den sterkt nok. :-) Denne oversettelsen er god og boken blir fantastisk godt lest av skuespiller Petronella Barker. En kjempefin lydbokopplevelse som jeg kommer til å gjenta; boken ble lånt på biblioteket og ligger nå lagret på harddisken min. :-) Jeg gleder meg allerede til å 'lese' den igjen. :-)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Some words on books

There is a certain class and kind of literature that has the quality of universality. It has something in it that reaches the high and the low, the wise and the foolish, the educated and the illiterate. This quality in it makes it ring as true as a bell. After all, in this transitory life, we are all, high and low, educated and illiterate, on one and the same pilgrimage. The essential frame of life is the same for all. The Anglo-Saxon who spoke of life as a bird passing a moment through a lighted hall and out into the darkness spoke down the ages to twenty generations. When Shakespeare said, "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" the words were as good yesterday as today.

What we call the classics are the books that have enough of this universal appeal to give them their place and keep them there. One might wonder why it often comes about that books seem written for one class, or in a language largely out of common understanding, yet reach and hold a wide enough world to make them classics. The reason is, I think that appreciation is a queer thing running in sympathetic channels. Children listen, enthralled with things they cannot understand. Clergymen love sea-stories and sea-captains read theology. When a man sits buried in a book, it is not the man that you see and know that is reading. Deep down in him are antecedent generations- soldiers, pirates, martyrs, fading back to cave men. As he reads, the "universal" book is calling to one of them.

Stephen Leacock, Who Canonizes the Classics

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Liza Marklund: Livstid

Utgitt av Piratforlaget i 2007.
Lydbok, 12 timer, lest av Lena Meieran.

Hittil nest siste Annika Bengtzon-bok. Jeg 'lånte' denne av moren min i juleferien - hun hadde den liggende på mp3 da jeg var hjemme på besøk og jeg så mitt snitt til å legge den over på min kjære lille Creative Mosaic-spiller. Jeg hørte på boka i annen halvdel av forrige måned.

Kort om historien: en landskjent politimann blir funnet brutalt drept i sitt hjem, og hans tre år gamle sønn er sporløst forsvunnet. Deres kone hhv mor blir arrestert på tross av at hun ser ut til å ha hatt en psykotisk episode ... hun blir snart stemplet som den skyldige og politiet setter alt inn på å bevise at deres oppfatning av saken stemmer med virkeligheten. Parallelt følger vi hennes beste venninne, som ikke vet hva hun skal tro, og Annika, som selvsagt ivrig graver i saken etter at alle har bedt henne gi opp, her er det ikke mer å finne. Vår heltinnes traurige privatliv går også videre, hun er endelig kvitt den ubrukelige dusten hun har vært gift med, og han på sin side er i ferd med å oppdage at den spennende dama man har på si ikke er like spennende når hverdagslivet setter inn. Bwahahaha.

Denne boka syntes jeg sto mer til troende enn den forrige. Plottet var relativt godt oppbygd og persongalleriet interessant. Det ble litt i overkant dramatisk mot slutten ... litt for 'Hollywood' for min smak. Boka hadde IMO vært bedre hvis den hadde fått stå alene, med nye personer og ny setting. Jeg synes at denne serien generelt illustrerer 'serieproblemet' veldig godt, og poengterer hvor smart Minette Walters er som ikke har gått i den fella. :-) Selv om dette var en lesverdig og forsåvidt spennende bok bør Marklund snart pensjonere Bengtzon og prøve seg på noe nytt ... hvis hun får det til. >:-)

Oppleser gjør en god jobb, og det er selvsagt ikke hennes feil at oversettelsen ikke er helt god; skjemmet av samme type tabber som jeg har påpekt i tidligere omtaler av disse bøkene.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Book quote

On the day of the hunt I came to know in the slick center of my bones this one thing: all animals kill to survive, and we are animals. The lion kills the baboon; the baboon kills fat grasshoppers. The elephant tears up living trees, dragging their precious roots from the dirt they love. The hungry antelope's shadow passes over the startled grass. And we, even if we had no meat or even grass to gnaw, still boil our water to kill the invisible creatures that would like to kill us first. And swallow quinine pills. The death of something living is the price of our own survival, and we pay it again and again. We have no choice. It is the one solemn promise every life on earth is born and bound to keep.

Barbara Kingsolver, The Poisonwood Bible
(HarperCollins, 1998)

My copy on BookCrossing here.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Ingrid Bjørnov: Lakse-enka

Utgitt av Vega Forlag i 2007.
Lydbok, 1t 5m, lest av forfatteren.

Jeg 'leste' denne boka for et par uker siden etter å ha kommet over den ved en tilfeldighet på biblioteket. Det tok ikke lange tida, jeg leste hele på én dag. :-)

Dette er en humorbok i den forstand at den er veldig morsom for leseren. Men Bjørnov har åpenbart gått gjennom mange lidelser i sitt ekteskap med en pasjonert laksefisker, så for henne er vel denne boka katarsis mer enn humor. Hun beskriver hvordan et slikt forhold som hennes utvikler seg og hvordan en mann som hennes takler en lakseløs hverdag. (Selvsagt med å planlegge endeløse fisketurer.) Boka er et oppkomme av morsomme episoder og gode formuleringer. Bjørnov skriver virkelig godt, hun er en skikkelig ordkunstner. Boka handler jo i stort sett om mer og mindre hverdagsliv, men hun formulerer seg på en måte som skaper interesse for det meste. Meget god bruk av det norske språket.

Forfatteren leser selv og det gjør hun selvsagt meget bra. En veldig morsom bok å høre på ... festlig og sjarmerende. Anbefales virkelig til alle som har mennesker i livet sitt som virkelig brenner for noe ... og kanskje også for dem som er slik selv? Man kunne kanskje få seg en oppvekker ... ;-)

Meget lesverdig!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Liza Marklund: Nobels testamente

Utgitt av Piratforlaget i 2006.
Lydbok, 13t 30m, lest av Lena Meieran.

Enda mer Annika Bengtzon. Lånt på biblioteket - et vidunderlig sted. :-) Lest i mars.

Kort om handlingen: Lederen for den svenske Nobelkomitéen blir skutt og drept under selveste Nobelfesten. Annika er tilstede, hun skal skrive om festlighetene for Kvällspressen, og hun blir øyenvitne til drapet. Politiet kaster seg over saken, men kjører seg fast. Etter hvert skjer flere drap - de har en forbindelse, men hvordan? Innimellom handlingen får vi utdrag av en ... bok? om Alfred Nobels liv og virke. Kanskje løsningen ligger der? Annika blir kjent med en ung forsker og får innsyn i en helt ny verden. Det er en enorm ære å vinne en Nobelpris, men nettopp derfor er det heller ikke trygt å bevege seg i slike høye sfærer. Hvem ønsker å rydde komitéens lederskap av veien, og hvorfor??

Dette var forsåvidt en underholdende bok, men jeg likte den allikevel ikke veldig godt; jeg synes den har et troverdighetsproblem. Mye pga det jeg nevnte i den forrige Marklund-omtalen jeg skrev - jeg synes ikke det henger på greip at én person kan surre seg inn i så mye rart. Og i denne boka baller det virkelig på seg. Jeg klarte heller ikke helt å tro på skurken her. Det kan jeg ikke si så mye mer om, for da avslører jeg litt vel mye ;-) og boka er lesverdig som en underholdende krim, så jeg anbefaler den vel forsåvidt for dem som liker sånt. Men stor kunst er det ikke. Jeg tenkte da jeg leste at Marklund burde prøve å finne på noe annet i stedet for å trekke ut denne serien lenger.

Personene irriterer meg tildels fortsatt, særlig mannen til hovedpersonen. Ubrukelig gjøk. Forholdet deres står ikke til troende IMO. Innsikten i forskermiljøet i denne boka er derimot troverdig og interessant. Det var den mest spennende delen av boka. Det er også en del morsomme scener som skildres med rare forskere og akademikertyper. Som sagt en forholdsvis underholdende roman.

Oversettelsen var grei nok, men egentlig ikke særlig god. Som tidligere er det en rekke svesismer som oversetteren ikke har klart å luke ut. 'Att le' betyr f.eks. ikke det samme som 'å le' på norsk. Pinlig at oversetteren ikke får med seg såpass enkle ting. Lena Meieran leser, hun er en ukjent størrelse for meg, men hun gjør en meget god jobb. Jeg likte godt å høre på henne og gjør det gjerne igjen.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - March

Tyvenes marked by Jan Guillou - AUDIO
Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn
Dongola by Idris Ali
Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown
Nobels testamente by Liza Marklund - AUDIO
Millioner by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Lakse-enka by Ingrid Bjørnov - AUDIO
Tortoises, Terrapins and Turtles by Ivor & Audrey Noel-Hume
The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey
Livstid by Liza Marklund - AUDIO
Unge Tørless by Robert Musil
Harens år by Arto Paasilinna
Overtalelse by Jane Austen - AUDIO

8 printed books, 1,752 pages.
5 audiobooks, 49h 20m.

Best fiction: Ella Minnow Pea, no question. So creative, so clever, so entertaining and yet so thought-provoking. It dealt with an unreal and unrealistic situation, yet it held a mirror up to reality for me, in some ways. I can't recommend it enough.

Best nonfiction: I've only read two, so there isn't much to choose from. :-) I have to say Tricks of the Mind. An interesting read, entertaining, certainly well written. Not all the material held my interest equally but there was more than enough there to make it worthwhile. And Brown is a funny guy. :-)

Best audio: Kind of hard to choose. But I think I'll have to go with Overtalelse (original title: Persuasion). I'd read it before, of course, and I know the story well, which makes it all the more impressive that I enjoyed it so much this time too. The ending moved me almost to tears even though I knew exactly what would happen. The book was beautifully read by the actress Petronella Barker. She did a wonderful job, really made the story and characters come alive. I don't think I've 'read' this book for the last time. ;-)


Cross-posted from my main blog, here.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Good article on

Here's a good article on the excellent website It's about children's literature and how it's important that kids have access to 'darker' reading material as well - think Roald Dahl, say, or the Brothers Grimm - and not just fluffy cutesie stories. I so agree. :-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A rhyme on books

Books to the ceiling
Books to the sky.
My pile of books
Are a mile high.
How I love them!
How I need them!
I'll have a long beard
By the time I read them.

Arnold Lobel

Friday, March 13, 2009

Opening night jitters ...

... I has dem ... :-)

The Niels Arden Oplev movie based on Stieg Larsson's first Millennium novel opens in Norway tonight. I've got my ticket and I can't hardly wait. :-)

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Flea market season is almost here ... !

Next weekend marks the opening of the flea market season here in the Oslo area. :-) There are two events on the 14th/15th, one of which I would normally definitely go to - namely, the flea market held twice a year at Hasle elementary school. Unfortunately, I will have to miss this one, since I will be in Warsaw, Poland next weekend. I'm OK with that. :-) I'll be back for the one at Høyenhall, though - I always go to that one (it's also twice a year) and I will definitely be there on March 21st. :-)

If you're in the Oslo area and you're looking for a flea market, this is the place to go to:, a great site with lots of detailed info on a huge number of events. I'm addicted to that site during the season. :-) Check it out. :-)

These are some pictures of various hauls I've brought home from flea markets in the past. Mostly books, yeah. ;-)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Henrik Ibsen: Terje Vigen

Der bode en underlig gråsprængt en
På den yderste, nøgne ø;-
Han gjorde visst intet menneske mén
Hverken på land eller sjø;
Dog stundom gnistred hans øjne stygt; -
Helst mod uroligt vejr, -
Og da mente folk, at han var forrykt,
Og da var der få, som uden frygt
Kom Terje Vigen nær.

Siden jeg så ham en enkelt gang,
Han lå ved bryggen med fisk;
Hans hår var hvidt, men han lo og sang
Og var som en ungdom frisk.
Til pigerne havde han skjemtsomme ord,
Han spøgte med byens børn,
Han svinged sydvesten og sprang ombord;
Så hejste han fokken, og hjem han foer
I solskin, den gamle ørn.

Nu skal jeg fortælle, hvad jeg har hørt
Om Terje fra først til sidst,
Og skulde det stundom falde lidt tørt,
Så er det dog sandt og visst;
Jeg har det just ej fra hans egen mund,
Men vel fra hans nærmeste kreds, -
Fra dem, som stod hos i hans sidste stund
Og lukked hans øjne til fredens blund,
Da han døde højt opp' i de treds.

Resten av diktet her.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Book quote

After love, food is the most important thing in life, and whoever thinks politics more important should ponder the fact that politics would not exist but for a lack of food and love.

JF Federspiel, The Ballad of Typhoid Mary
(Penguin Books?, 1985)

My copy on BookCrossing here.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Books I've read in 2009 - February

The Hours by Michael Cunningham
Girl Meets Boy by Ali Smith
Spiral by Koji Suzuki
Skuggor från det förflutna by Nora Roberts - AUDIO
Heng ham ikke vent til jeg kommer by Per Egil Hegge
Fisken by Erlend Loe - AUDIO
How to Be a Villain by Neil Zawacki
Tulpanfeber by Deborah Moggach
Prime Time by Liza Marklund - AUDIO
The Gift of Rain by Tan Twan Eng
Den røde vargen by Liza Marklund - AUDIO
Hvis en reisende en vinternatt by Italo Calvino
Affluenza by de Graaf/Wann/Naylor
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame

10 printed books, 2,474 pages.
4 audiobooks, 42h 47m.

Best fiction: Difficult to choose, but I think I have to say Tulpanfeber. Very moving, beautifully written and very well translated, a fascinating look into the past, convincingly described.
Best nonfiction: Heng ham ikke ... - a great read on issues that are close to my heart; proper language & grammar.
Best audio: Maybe the Nora Roberts book?? Just because it was quite a pleasant surprise - I got this book from a BookCrossing friend and had low expectations, as I had assumed that this author wouldn't be up to much. But I liked the book much better than I thought I would. A good lesson not to trust my unfounded expectations. ;-)


Cross-posted from my main blog, here.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Upcoming reads

Some books I plan to read over the next month or so. Not in order.

Tricks of the Mind by Derren Brown.
This was a gift - a Random Act of BookCrossing Kindness :-) - from a BookCrosser in the UK, miketroll. I've never read anything by Brown, I've just watched a number of episodes of his various TV series. Everything I've seen has been very interesting. His approach is especially interesting to me because of his background - he's been there and done it and now he sees right through it. :-) I'm really looking forward to reading this.

The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde and Tom Bouden. A graphic novel version of Wilde's famous play, with a contemporary setting. It looks like a lot of fun. I've only looked at it a little bit, but already I'm quite taken with Bouden's drawing style - reminiscent of Hergé ... :-)

Mr Darcy Takes A Wife by Linda Berdoll. I know ... o_O I seriously do not expect this book to be any good. It's a Pride & Prejudice sequel with a bad rep ... too much sex and too little plot, basically. But I compulsively read everything P&P-related that I can get my hands on, so I definitely want to read this too. :-)

Ella Minnow Pea by Mark Dunn. A book I've been wanting to read for quite a while. I'm not familiar with the author, but the book sounds original, creative and clever.

Evelina, or The History of a Young Woman's Entrance Into the World by Fanny Burney. #958 on the list of 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. An 18th-century classic that I don't know much about, but it's supposed to be very entertaining.

The Black Swan by Mercedes Lackey. Another gift ... a Christmas gift, I think, from my best friend, a couple of years ago. A standalone fantasy novel based on Swan Lake. It's supposed to be good. And it's been too long since I read anything by Misty, so it's about time. (Not even to mention how long this book has been sitting in a box waiting to be read ... I don't want to think about it.)

Millioner by Frank Cottrell Boyce. A book for young readers that I don't really know anything about, but which was highly recommended by fellow BookCrosser Jannike a couple of BookCrossing meetups ago. :-)

Nobels testamente and Livstid by Liza Marklund. Both audiobooks and both from the library. Two more Annika Bengtzon books - I'm going to get through the entire series. :-) I'm trying to read them in chronological order ... at least as close as I can manage. I just listened to two of them this month. I'm not sure if this is the best idea; some of the characters are really starting to annoy me ... ! ;-)

Relatively varied, IMO. :-) I will of course also continue with the audiobook I'm currently listening to, Tyvenes marked by Jan Guillou. Quite enjoying it so far ... as I hope to do with all these other books as well. :-)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Liza Marklund: Den røde vargen

Utgitt av Lydbokforlaget i 2004.
Lydbok, 11t 49m, lest av Gisken Armand.

Enda en Annika Bengtzon-bok, som jeg begynte på dagen etter at jeg var ferdig med den forrige. Ikke nødvendigvis optimalt å lese flere bøker av samme forfatter etter hverandre, men nå ble det i hvert fall sånn denne gangen. Boka er lånt på biblioteket.

Plottet kort oppsummert: Annika vil skrive en serie artikler om terrorisme, og begynner med et attentat mot et jagerfly på en militærebase utenfor Luleå for en god del år siden. Hun får tak i en journalist ved lokalavisen som dekket saken den gang og som hinter til at han vet mer enn det som kom på trykk. De avtaler å treffes, men før de rekker det dør mannen i en ikke helt troverdig bilulykke. Annika gir seg selvsagt ikke, hun graver videre, og stadig flere sammentreff dukker opp. Spørsmålet blir hvor dypt hun kan grave før hele greia raser sammen for en eller annen - for her er det tydeligvis noen som vet mer enn andre.

Jeg syntes denne boka var mer spennende enn den forrige jeg leste (Prime Time), sikkert mye pga at jeg interesserer meg mer for intriger i politikken enn bak kulissene i TV. ;-) Helt troverdig var den ikke, jeg syntes det ballet på seg vel mye etter hvert ... og denne boka illustrerer IMO veldig bra problemet med å skrive en serie bøker med samme hovedperson. Jeg for min del klarer ikke å tro på at én person, selv en journalist i en hovedstadsavis, kan bli viklet inn i så mye komplisert og livsfarlig. Det blir bare for mye etter hvert. I denne boka må jeg si at det var særlig det med pengene som satte seg litt på tvers for meg. I mean, what are the odds??

Jeg blir også stadig mer irritert over persongalleriet i disse bøkene. Særlig Thomas, mannen til Annika. For en jævla ubrukelig tulling den fyren er ... !! Jeg trodde de skulle gå fra hverandre i denne boka, det skjedde ikke, men det skjer visst etter hvert. Da blir sikkert Annika lei seg, men hvorfor det?? Det burde bare være en enorm lettelse å bli kvitt den håpløse sulliken. Det eneste hun burde være lei seg for er at ungene hennes har 50% av de ubrukelige dustegenene hans. >:-( Det forekommer meg meget underlig at en kvinne som skal forestille å være så intelligent som Annika ikke gjennomskuer denne møkkafyren. De delene av boka som omhandler Thomas - hans 'indre liv' etc - var bare meget irriterende i mine øyne og veldig lite givende.

Et annet irritasjonsmoment gjennom alle disse bøkene er måten Marklund omtaler Annikas bestevenninne Anne på. Hun omtales med fullt navn forbløffende ofte. Jeg skjønner ikke hva grunnen kan menes å være til dette og jeg irriterer meg over det. Det er bare én person ved navn Anne som er med i disse bøkene, og selv om hun ikke er med i veldig mange scener så er vel ikke den gjennomsnittlige leser dummere enn at h*n klarer å huske hvem dette er snakk om. Jeg synes det er nedlatende overfor leserne å bruke dette grepet; fåglarna vet hva Marklund mener med det, men jeg oppfatter det slik. Hadde vært interessant å høre andre leseres mening om dette, egentlig.

Dette var forsåvidt en lesverdig bok, men den skjemmes i mine øyne av at det er for mye tull i privatlivet og for lite av det som virkelig er interessant, nemlig plottet i boka - motsatt plottet i serien. Sistnevnte mister jeg stadig mer interessen for. Oversettelsen er god bortsett fra en del svesismer som absolutt burde ha vært luket ut. Skuespiller Gisken Armand leser og gjør en meget god jobb.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

If I ever get my own house ...

... as unlikely as that may be, then I want a staircase like this.


WANT ... !!!


Cross-posted from my main blog, here.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Liza Marklund: Prime Time

Utgitt på Lydbokforlaget i 2003.
Lydbok, 11t 7m, lest av Gisken Armand.

Denne boka lånte jeg på biblioteket og la over på mp3-spilleren min. Genialt. :-)

Dette er vel den tredje boka jeg leser i denne serien. Det er flere ting jeg liker ved disse bøkene ... blant annet at hovedpersonen ikke er en forhenværende politimann som ser mørkt på livet og drikker for mye til stadig irritasjon for sin ekskone ... eller variasjoner over samme type. Dessuten synes jeg Marklunds måte å koble historiene til større problemstillinger er god. Dette er ikke 'klassisk krim' hvor det begås et mord og så må mordet oppklares ... forfatteren henter tematikken fra viktige felt i samfunnsdebatten, kanskje i mindre grad enn tidligere i denne boka, men dog. Denne gangen blir Annika Bengtzon, vår heltinne, dradd inn i en spektakulær drapssak hvor offeret er en feiret og forhatt TV-stjerne. Egentlig skal hun bare dekke saken for Kvällspressen, men ved en tilfeldighet er bestevenninnen hennes en av de tolv mistenkte. Og etter som Annika graver mer og mer i saken blir hun stadig mindre overbevist om at venninnen Anne umulig kan være den skyldige ...

Denne boka er altså oversatt fra svensk - oversettelsen er ikke helt god, det henger igjen noen svesismer her og der som jeg synes ødelegger. For eksempel så heter 'mellomgulv' ikke 'diafragma' på norsk ... og jeg har aldri i mitt liv hørt en nordmann bruke uttrykket 'å trykke av' for det å avslutte en samtale på mobiltelefon. o_O Men det er nå greit nok, det er ikke så mange av disse tabbene, så jeg holdt absolutt ut. :-) Det er skuespilleren Gisken Armand som leser, og det gjør hun stort sett meget godt. Hun vant faktisk en pris for denne lydboka. Hun legger mye følelser i lesningen og gjør mange scener virkelig levende. Absolutt verdt å få med seg. Dette var den første lydboka jeg hørte på med henne som leser, men det blir ikke den siste. :-)

Historien her opplever jeg som hakket mindre troverdig enn i tidligere Annika Bengtzon-bøker, men jeg er ikke sikker på at jeg helt kan sette fingeren på hvorfor. Noe med settingen - TV-miljøet virker kunstig på et vis. Men det er kanskje nettopp slik det er. :-) Scenene i avisredaksjonen er som vanlig gode og meget troverdige. Skildringen av Annikas liv er god og mangesidig - en av denne seriens fremste styrker. Skjønt ... alt med måte, kanskje ... ?

Ikke den beste thriller jeg har lest - ikke engang den beste av Liza Marklund jeg har lest :-) - men absolutt en lesverdig og til tider medrivende bok.