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