Posted in Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Book Quotes

There is a room in this school that no one knows about but me.

First line in A List of Cages by Robin Roe

I’m back with another Top Ten Tuesday post, and we’re handling a favorite topic of mine this week: book quotes! I love writing down my favorite quotes from a book while I’m reading it, and then revisiting them months or years later to remind myself of why I loved the book.
As usual, Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl so head over there to check out future topics.
I’ve chosen to limit myself to one quote per book, as this would otherwise just be me quoting Fangirl and A Little Life. But let’s get started. Here are some of my favorite quotes!


From Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson – Feminism in Fantasy

She now understood that the world wasn’t kind to young women, especially when they behaved in ways men didn’t like and spoke truths that men weren’t ready to hear.


From A List of Cages by Robin Roe – On how much it hurts to miss someone

It’s strange how many ways there are to miss someone. You miss the things they did and who they were, but you also miss who you were to them. The way everything you said or did was beautiful or entertaining or important. How much you mattered.


From Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell – What I wish everyone would understand about social anxiety

In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you (and the ones you can’t Google).


From A Little Life by Hanya Yanigahara – No one has ever described the value of friendship better

Why wasn’t friendship as good as a relationship? Why wasn’t it even better? It was two people who remained together, day after day, bound not by sex or physical attraction or money or children or property, but only by the shared agreement to keep going, the mutual dedication to a union that could never be codified.


From The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith – Reading can be bad for you

The trouble with reading is it goes to your head. Read too many books and you get savvy. You begin to think you know which kind of story you’re in. Then some stupid git with a cosmic quill fucks you over.


From A Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne – A deep understanding of what it means to be lonely

It’s as if she understood completely the condition of loneliness and how it undermines us all, forcing us to make choices that we know are wrong for us.


From Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia – Again, a description of social anxiety that hits a little to close to home

When I was little, it was endearing. Now it’s strange. I should have grown out of it. I should want to be social. I should desire friends.”


From Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman – If you can’t relate to this, I want to know your secret

Forget solar energy – If you could harness denial, you could power the world for generations.


From The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley – Why do I picture this so vividly?

It’s good for a person to be terrorized by a goat. Hard to get high and might when there’s something chasing you for vegetables.


From The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss – A depressing, but profound bit about childhood

When we are children, we seldom think of the future. This innocence leaves us free to enjoy ourselves as few adults can. The day we fret about the future is the day we leave our childhood behind.

I love a good quote. I hope you enjoyed the post. Please, let me know if we share any favorite quotes. Happy reading!

Posted in Lost In Translation

Lost In Translation: A Look At Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in Danish

The villagers of Little Hangleton still called it “the Riddle House,” even though it had been many years since the Riddle family had lived there.

First line in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J. K. Rowling

We’ve made it to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire in my series of posts where I take a closer look at the Danish translations of the Harry Potter series. It’s all just for fun, as I greatly admire the work translators do, especially when it comes to translating fantasy books.

In these posts, I draw attention to very specific Harry Potter-terms and names that lose a little bit of meaning in the translation process, and in that way, give the reader a different reading experience. I grew up reading the books in Danish, but then later switched to English when I was able to understand them. If you’ve missed the posts for the previous books, you can find them here.

Let’s take a look at the cover for the first hardback edition:

⚡ Gotta say I find this cover pretty boring. Not a lot going on and it’s primarily dark colors. Seems like they added that orange color on the inside of his robes just to make it a little bit exciting.

⚡ On the right we have a mermaid doing her version of the Thriller-dance. Harry is trying to copy but he’s doesn’t get the hands quite right.

I want to share another cover with you because I also own the third paperback edition of this book. That was the one I read when I was younger.

⚡ Is boring Goblet of Fire covers a thing?

⚡ In case you can’t tell, that green thing is the dark mark. I’m telling you this because child-me thought it was the Goblet of Fire for years!

Now we’re moving on to the translations!

‘Original English’ = ‘Danish translation’

Pigwidgeon/Pig = Grisligiano/Grisling

We’re not talking a giant name-change for this over-excited little owl. The first part of his name is actually a direct translation. So ‘Pig = Gris‘. ‘Widgeon’ is, apparently, some kind of duck species. Don’t know what to make of that. I haven’t been able to find a meaning for the latter part of the Danish translation, ‘ligiano’, other than it sounds Italian.
Its nickname in Danish is quite funny, though, because ‘Grisling’ is what we call Piglet from Winnie-the-Pooh. It’s very difficult for me to picture a tiny owl when I read that name.

Ludovic Bagman = Ludo Ludomand

‘Ludo’ comes from Latin and means to play or gamble, which makes you wonder what Ludo’s parents were thinking when they named him. But at least they were equally ridiculous in both languages. His English last name can have a few different meanings. In American slang, ‘Bagman’ refers to a person in the world of crime who handles bribes. A sort of go-between. In the UK, though, a bagman is slang for a traveling salesman. Both terms refer to people dealing with money.
Because it’s slang, you can’t translate it directly, and Danish doesn’t really have a similar slang word. So the translator went with ‘Ludomand’. If you remove that last ‘d’, you have the Danish word for ludomania. It’s like his name is Gamble Gambler. It’s just an unfortunate name.

Portkey = Transitnøgle

The meaning does not change a whole lot for this way of transportation. ‘Key’ is directly translated into ‘nøgle’ so let’s take a closer look at ‘port’. It’s is derived from the French word porter, which means to carry. In Danish that is changed to ‘transit’, which means the same as the English word ‘transit’. More specifically, it means ‘to move’ or ‘to cross’. So even though the word changes we’re very close to the same meaning, so the change was successful in the way that it only made it sound better in Danish.

Barty Crouch = Barty Ferm

Crouch is not an unusual surname as far as I’m aware, but it is not just that. It also means to bend down or to stoop low. Well, that’s not what ‘Ferm’ means in Danish. When you’re ‘ferm’ it means that you’re adept/very, very good at something. Which somehow seems a more fitting name for Barty (senior, at least). I’m unsure whether it was Rowling’s intention for the name to carry meaning or not, but it wouldn’t be the first time a Danish translation had bestowed hidden meanings to character names.

Death Eaters = Dødsgardister

I’ve always felt that Death Eaters was a weird name, and it doesn’t help that we never got an explanation as to why that was the chosen name. I read a theory about it, which suggests that it comes from Voldemort’s fascination with immortality. He wanted to be in control of Death and prey on it instead of Death preying on him. So he got himself a bunch of followers who would “eat Death”.
However, the Danish word for them is ‘Dødsgardister’ which means Death Guards. Do note, though, that it’s a very unusual word for ‘guard’. But can we interpret this as the Danish Voldemort taking a more defensive stance? He needs to be guarded from Death instead of ‘eating Death’. I’ll admit that I never thought about this when reading the books, so it’s debatable whether meaning is lost or not. It’s just a fun little change.

Rita Skeeter = Rita Rivejern

I’m guessing at meaning again in this case because Skeeter might just be a name. However, it’s also slang for mosquito. Which can imply several things. It could be a hint to her secret life as an insect (literally and figuratively). It can also refer to the fact that the word paparazzi is derived from the Italian word for mosquito. Nevertheless, it’s a perfect name for Rita.
We’re in slang-area again, which means that Rita gets a new surname in Danish. And her name ‘Rivejern’ simply means grater. Other than being a kitchen tool, ‘rivejern’ is also a metaphor for a loud, angry woman (some would say bitch). I still think it’s a fitting name, and it sounds absolutely brilliant.

Mad-Eye Moody = Skrækøje Dunder

Another name-change! Understanding Moody’s first name is quite essential to his character, so a translation was needed. In Danish, he’s called ‘Skrækøje’ which means fear/horror eye. It refers more to the feeling he invokes in others, whereas his original name is about what people think of him (that he’s crazy). I would still conclude that they’re similar enough that not a lot of meaning is lost. A direct translation of ‘mad’ would not sound good in Danish.

It gets a little bit more difficult to decipher the meaning behind his surname in Danish, though. ‘Dunder’ isn’t a very common word, so I actually had to do research to find out what it means. It’s part of the expression ‘dunder speech’, which basically means an aggressive scolding. I can’t decide whether that’s fitting for Moody or not, but I can say that that’s not what ‘Moody’ means. That name refers more to his quick changes in mood. However, we’re again at that “a direct translation will sound stupid”-reasoning.

West Ham = Super-Skankefodboldholdet

I have checked and re-checked this translation 10 times and come to the conclusion that I will simply never understand.
We’ve come across a translation of the football team West Ham before in book 1, and back then, it was translated to Liverpool. I was incredibly distraught when I discovered that, but that was because I didn’t know how much worse it could get.
Just to be clear, ‘Super-Skankefodboldholdet’ isn’t a thing! It doesn’t exist. Anywhere! The last part, ‘fodboldholdet’, simply means football team. The rest of it, ‘Super-Skanke’, most of all appears to be what you get if you ask Google Translate what West Ham means. Which you shouldn’t because it’s a team name. I dread coming across West Ham again in the next books.

Triwizard Tournament = Turnering i Magisk Trekamp

The translation here is quite similar to the original, but there is still a change in meaning. The tournament in Danish is called ‘Turnering i Magisk Trekamp’ which roughly means Tournament in Magical Three-Fights. That ‘three-fights’ can also be translated as an alternative triathlon.
The ‘wizard’-part is completely removed in the translation process, which is why I think the ‘magical’ was added. Otherwise, it would just sound like your standard triathlon. The translation also changes what trio is referred to. The original name focuses on the trio of wizards (or witches) who will participate in the tournament. The translated name focuses on the three tasks the tournament consists of.

Cruciatus Curse = Dolorosoforbandelse

This one breaks a bit of a pattern in terms of spells in the Danish translations. So far, spells with Latin names have been kept as they are, but this one is translated. Not into Danish, though. ‘Doloroso’ is Spanish because why not? It means painful, so it checks out. But still, why change it from one thing a Dane wouldn’t understand to another thing a Dane wouldn’t understand? (Also, these posts are hard enough, juggling two languages. No need to add a third!).
I don’t know much Spanish, but I guess you could also argue that it should ‘Dolorosa‘ since the Spanish word for curse, maldición, is feminine.

S.P.E.W. = F.A.R.

If you thought S.P.E.W. was an unfortunate name, you didn’t know about the Danish name for Hermione’s organization. Because F.A.R. means… dad. So yeah, Hermione spent most of Goblet of Fire talking about her daddy issues. The thing with this translation that bothered me most when I was younger is that there are so many obvious jokes about it that aren’t being made in the book. Like, how would Ron not say something about Hermione’s “daddy issues”?

There’s also a small difference in what the letters stand for, as you might have noticed that the translation is missing a letter.

S.P.E.W. = Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare

F.A.R. = Foreningen for Alfers Rettigheder (The Association for Elfish Rights)

The ‘promotion’-part is left out, and ‘welfare’ is changed to ‘rights’, but I would say that the gist of it is the same. Some sacrifices had to be made to create a word that made sense and was also funny.

Professor Grubbly-Plank = Professor Makkeret

I feel like I need to give a short summary of the etymology behind this professor’s original name. ‘Grubbly’ most likely is a version of ‘grubble’ which means to feel or grope around in the dark. I think anyone who has ever been a substitute teacher would find that name too accurate. ‘Plank’ can mean a piece of wood you cling to for support. Which is what she was for the students while Hagrid was gone.

Her Danish name is ‘Makkeret’ which I can only assume is a contraction of the expression ‘makke ret’. It means to obey. Which is nothing like her original name. It’s also a very stern way of demanding obedience. There are some negative connotations involved, I would say. I don’t find her stern enough to have earned such a name that claims she demands obedience. So in the translation, she’s changed from a helpful witch, trying to do her best to an even sterner version of McGonagall. Which is a feat.

Bonus

This is just a little thing I wanted to add about the core of Harry’s wand. In book 1, his core was changed from a phoenix feather to a chimera horn, which broke my brain, so I wanted to update you. In Goblet of Fire, his wand is now mentioned to contain BOTH a chimera horn, and a phoenix feather. Didn’t know wands could have dual cores but okay. In The Weighing of Wands chapter, it is also stated that Voldemort’s wand contains not only a feather from the same phoenix but also a horn from the same chimera. The funny thing is, though, that when talking about Priori Incantatem, Dumbledore only mentions the phoenix feather as the reason why it’s happening. So what is the truth? Will that chimera horn stay a part of Harry’s wand all the way to book 7 or will it quietly disappear at some point? The mystery continues!

Did we really make it all the way to the end? Thank you if you read all of that! For some reason, I expected these posts to be shorter the further along in the series I got, but new stuff is introduced all the time in these books! And since the books are longer, I’m finding more translations to talk about. I’m kind of dreading Order of the Phoenix now 😅. But hope you enjoyed, and see you next time. Happy reading!

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – September 23rd 2020

It was not quite dawn when Magnus Bane rode into the low clearing with death on his mind.

First line in The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare

Hi, guys. I hope you’re all doing great. Today I’m using WWW Wednesday to give you a reading update. WWW Wednesday a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you’ll read next

What did you recently finish?

I’ve been good this past week. I finished two books and the first one was The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare. It’s the second book in the Eldest Curses series, but there’s a major time-jump from the first to the second. I ended up rating it 2.5 stars, and that might have been a little generous. I don’t see the point. This one should have been a novella, or it should have been written right after The Mortal Instruments ended. Now later books have told me that the characters are going to be fine and are not going to go through any major character development so why should I care?

I also just finished Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which means it’s time for me to write another Lost in Translation post. It’s going to be a very long one this time.

What are you currently reading?

I’ve picked up A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden, but I’m only 10% into this Viking-esque story. However, we’ve already hit the first plot twist. Not one I particularly liked, though. It tricked me into thinking that the story was going in one direction but then changed completely. I was so invested in that first direction already, so now I have to adjust my expectations.
It partly takes place in Denmark, which is a huge reason why I wanted to read it. What I want to say in connection to that is that so far, the author has been name-dropping a lot. It’s cool enough for me because I know the meaning and significance behind the names… but I doubt many other readers will.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Well, I’m still waiting for The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan from the library. I have no idea what I’m going to pick up next if not that one. I might just go down to the library this weekend to take a look around and find something at random.

Posted in Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: My Fall 2020 TBR

“The man who called himself Bors, at least in this place, sneered at the low murmuring that rolled around the vaulted chamber like the soft gabble of geese.

First line in The Great Hunt by Robert Jordan

Apparently, it’s already fall here in 2020, so I guess it’s time to share my TBR for the season. To take a quick look back it my summer TBR, I’ve read 5 of the 8 books on that list, but I’m about the start the sixth. I’ve decided not to put the remaining two on my fall TBR because I don’t feel myself very inclined to pick them up at the moment. The books in question are There Will Come A Darkness by Katy Rose Pool and Metro 2033 by Dmitry Glukhovsky.

Based on that experience, I’m also going to stick with just 8 books on my seasonal TBRs instead of 10. Here are my choices in no particular order other than the order I thought of them in.


I really hope to read all of these in the next few months. There are quite a few exciting new releases coming up that I haven’t added to this list simply because I don’t know when I’m able to get a hold of them (library decides). They will take priority, though. And yes, it’s stressing me out very much. What do you plan to read in the fall?

Posted in Fun Lists

Books I Would Like Better as Movies/Shows

The great horn sounded.

First line in The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett

I know a lot of readers deem it to be sacrilege to say that any movie was better than the book. I’m not one of those readers. You see, if I don’t like the book, there’s quite a big opportunity for the movie to be better. The most popular example is The Lord of the Rings.

A movie or a show has the opportunity to fix some of the issues I have with the book, especially in terms of writing style and sexism in books published (what feels like) 5000 years ago. So that’s what I’m talking about today. I’m going to be talking about books I gave 3 stars or less, that I think I would enjoy more if they hit the big screen. This was inspired by a recent Top Ten Tuesday post where I talked about all the books I love I would like to see adapted.

The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi

My rating: 2 stars

I know I’m not the only one who found this book very confusing, but I would still be very intrigued to see it turned into a Netflix series. It has enough interesting characters and a world writers can play around with. Especially the many inventions introduced in the book could be portrayed better in a TV series. In the book, I missed some background information about these things and why they existed, besides the fact that the characters needed them.

Master of Sorrows by Justin Travis Call

My rating: 2 stars

This book was too slow. And it was slow in the wrong way. For example, it spent a lot of time setting the scene every time we changed location. Those 2-3 pages-long descriptions of a room every so often would just be a single shot in a movie, meaning there could be room for so much more story.

What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

My rating: 3 stars

It’s not that I disliked this book. It just wasn’t anything special. I think that I personally prefer these cutesy romance stories in movie format. You know, with music in the background and generally beautiful cinematography to really make me feel all the feels.

Vicious by V. E. Schwab

My rating: 3 stars

This would need a major makeover as a movie to be something I liked, but it can be done. Fewer flashbacks and more present-time interactions between Victor and Eli would make it much more entertaining for me. A little more action, too, please. They have superpowers!

Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan

My rating (book 1-3): 2-4 stars

I know we’re already getting an adaption of this, so this is me saying I have high hopes for it! I’m positive the show will do something about the awful gender stereotyping and generally give the characters a little more depth. The show format will also mean that I don’t have to trudge through long-winded descriptions of inns that look exactly the same.

The Painted Man by Peter V. Brett

My rating: 3 stars

This book has so many cool concepts that were sadly overshadowed by the worst case of “men writing women” I’ve ever seen. Watching a movie version would mean less eye-rolling for me and quite possibly make me much more interested in this world where demons rule the night.

That was this week’s fun little post. Let me know what you think of book-to-movie adaptions. Am I completely wrong in saying that the movie is sometimes better? Is there a movie you like better than the book or maybe predict you would if it existed? I would love to discuss it in the comments!

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – September 16th 2020

Today was the day a thousand dreams would die and a single dream would be born.

First line in The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson

Hi, guys. I hope you’re all doing great. Today I’m using WWW Wednesday to give you a reading update. WWW Wednesday a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you’ll read next

What did you recently finish?

I finished The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, which I gave 3 stars. It was such a middle-of-the-road book for me that I don’t have much to say about it. There wasn’t anything I loved or hated in particular. I do see some potential in the series and that ending kind of forced me to continue.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare, and I’m 32% into that one. It’s weird. It makes me think about how the main critique of Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo is that the characters act older than their age. In The Lost Book of the White, it’s the same problem but in reverse. The characters are adult but act like teenagers because it’s YA. So yeah, the characters aren’t that great but so far the plot has kept me intrigued, so I’m still excited to continue reading and see where that goes.

I’m also still working on my reread of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I’m 60% in so I might be able to finish that before next Wednesday.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m hoping the library will come through for me and give me The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, book 4 in Wheel of Time. If that doesn’t happen, I’ll start A Gathering of Ravens by Scott Oden. I’ve read a lot of YA fantasy lately, so I’m in need of something adult.

Posted in Book Tags

The Liebster Award

“Telsin!” Waxillium hissed as he crept out of the training hut.

First line in The Bands of Mourning by Brandon Sanderson

I nominated for an award! This time it was for The Liebster Award, and I was nominated by Naemi from A Book Owl’s Corner, so thank you very much! If you’re not already following her, you need to. She’s preparing for some seriously intimidating exams at the moment so please head over there and cheer her up.

What is the Liebster Award?

“The Liebster Award is an award that exists only on the internet and is given to bloggers by other bloggers. The earliest case of the award goes as far back as 2011. Liebster in German means sweetest, kindest, nicest, dearest, beloved, lovely, kind, pleasant, valued, cute, endearing, and welcome.”

Rules:

  • Say thank you to the person who has nominated you for the Award.
  • Answer the 11 questions the person has asked you
  • Nominate 11 people
  • Ask the people who you have nominated 11 questions

Now let’s jump into the question I was asked by Naemi!

What is a trope you can’t help but love, even though it’s overused?

I will forever be in love with the chosen one trope. It’s not possible to overuse it. However, I don’t think I can explain why I love it. I just find that the chosen one character often is my favorite in whichever book they feature.

Describe your perfect quarantine day!

A quick trip to the store as early as possible (to avoid people) to shop for snacks. Then sit and read for most of the day. Taking breaks to write blog posts or gathering the courage to comment on others. I have been into playing Football Manager a lot lately, so that would also be a break from reading. Of course, I would order take-out for dinner and probably watch a Marvel movie in the evening. Perfect day!

If you could have any fictional pet, what would you choose?

I want Manchee from A Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness. If you haven’t read it, Manchee is the cutest, most adorable dog ever. I’m actually not allowed to have pets where I live, but I’m sure I can figure something out with my landlord. When I tell him that I could have picked a dragon, I’m sure he’ll come around and see that a dog is actually a compromise.

What is your favorite and least favorite thing about blogging?

My favorite thing about blogging is that I get to be creative and write. And that I decide what that means. Some of the posts I’ve made have either been very weird or very niche. Like how would I ever in real life talk about how some book titles work as band names? It’s fun to be creative.
My least favorite thing is the social side of it. You sort of need to interact with other bloggers to really be a part of the community. And yeah, if you don’t know what social anxiety is, then let me you tell about how talking to people is my worst nightmare. It’s not too bad when people comment on my own posts, and I just have to answer them. Invading other people’s spaces and forcing them to talk to me, though? I want to throw up. But I still want to show my love for what other bloggers do, so I always try to comment. Just not succeeding a whole lot.

If you were stranded on a deserted island all alone, which fictional character and which author would you choose to join you and why?

My choice of fictional character is Ronan Lynch from the Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater because he has a special ability that I guess is a spoiler to talk about. Let’s just say he would solve a lot of the problems that would arise from living on a deserted island.

My choice of author is Erin Morgenstern for two reasons. I want to ask her about all of the hidden meanings in The Starless Sea, and I also just think she could come up with some interesting stories to pass the time.

Describe your favorite book using emojis or GIFs, but don’t tell us what it is. Let’s see if someone can guess it in the comments!

I don’t have a single favorite book so I just picked one of my favorites. See if you can guess.

If you could have any character from a book teach you one skill, what would you learn and who would be your mentor?

I’m simple. I just want Peeta to teach me how to bake. Anything really. I’m not worth much in a kitchen, but I love cake.

Have you ever dressed up as a character from a book?

No, not a specific character at least. As a child, I dressed up either as a witch or a princess (I know, incredibly original). Since then, I haven’t had many opportunities where it would be fitting to dress up as a book character.

What book are you proudest of forcing on other people? (For their own good, of course…)

I don’t know. I don’t get the feeling that I’m “powerful” enough to make people read something. Friends and family don’t even read what I recommend them lol. I’ve been trying to get my mom to read Harry Potter for the past 15 years, but she won’t touch them 😂.
I may have gotten a few people to read The Library of the Unwritten by A. J. Hackwith, which I’m immensely proud of. If I haven’t forced it on you yet, here’s my review 😉

What is your favorite blog post that you’ve ever written and why?

The real question is: do I actually like anything I’ve written? 😅

I gave it some thought and figured I had to mention two because I have a favorite serious-post and a favorite funny-post.
The serious one is my discussion on cancel culture and its alternative solutions because that was really hard for me to write and post. I think it turned out great, though, and I was glad to get some things off my chest.
The fun one is a Top Ten Tuesday post about book characters I’d follow on social media. I put way too much effort into that, but it was such a fun creative challenge.

Which post that someone else wrote have you enjoyed recently?

I really liked a post Ikram @Readlogy did recently, which was a guide for non-English speakers who want to start reading books in English. Not that it was relevant to myself, but I thought it was very well put together, and I recognized some tips that I used when I started reading in English.

Another recent post combined my two favorite things: books and football. Nefeli @BiblioNebula told us about which football clubs book characters would support. She gave some very convincing reasons for every choice and had such a fun time reading it. Although, seeing Harry Potter as a Manchester United supporter hurt me a little.

Those were some fun questions to answer. Now, I’ve decided to make my own rules and not nominate anyone else. I very recently answered questions and tagged 11 people for The Sunshine Blogger Award and have generally tagged quite a few people recently. That social anxiety I was talking about is yelling at me to stop, so I hope that’s okay. I would love to know your answers to some of Naemi’s questions in the comments instead. Especially the one about your favorite blog post. Feel free to link it and I’ll check it out. Happy reading, guys!

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – September 9th 2020

Fie was taking too long to cut the girl’s throat.

First line in The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen

Hi, guys. I hope you’re all doing great. Today I’m using WWW Wednesday to give you a reading update. WWW Wednesday a weekly meme hosted by Sam @ Taking on a World of Words, and it’s meant to give you all a little insight into my reading this week. I’ll answer the 3 questions:

  • What are you currently reading?
  • What did you recently finish?
  • What do you think you’ll read next

What did you recently finish?

Two books! First I finished The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley, which I posted my review of yesterday. I ended up rating it 4 stars because it was such an enjoyable read. It contained many of my favorite things in books such as deep friendships and a slow-moving plot. I was also very intrigued by the themes surrounding disability which the book explored and it opened my eyes to some new aspects.

I also finished The Faithless Hawk by Margaret Owen, the sequel to The Merciful Crow, but sadly couldn’t give that one more than 2 stars. Everything was just wrong. All side-characters were pretty much reduced to glorified extras, and everything was about the MC instead. That was a shame because her main personality trait seemed to be “angst”. That gets boring pretty fast. Also, the magic system in here seemed to develop in a very convenient way. There weren’t really any hard rules explained about it so it just worked the way the characters wanted it to work. That’s probably my least favorite fantasy trope.

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading The Kiss of Deception by Mary E. Pearson, which I’m 52% into. I don’t know what to think other than I enjoyed the very beginning of the book. It introduced an intriguing world and some character dynamics I’m very interested in seeing more of. Unfortunately, I was then spoiled for the big mystery of the book because I glanced at a supposedly spoiler-free review on Goodreads… so now I’m kind of bummed. But well, I’m trying to enjoy it anyway, but have to admit that some of the excitement is gone.

I’m also working on my reread of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which I’m 22% into. It’s my favorite in the series, and for some reason, I always forget why until I pick it up and can’t stop reading.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m considering taking a short break from The Kiss of Deception, and pick up The Lost Book of the White by Cassandra Clare. It’s the second book in The Eldest Curses series and I’m craving some Cassandra Clare.

Posted in Book Review

The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley – Book Review

Although I hadn’t been shot at for years, it took me a long time to understand that the bang wasn’t artillery.

First line in The Bedlam Stacks by Natasha Pulley

Author: Natasha Pulley

Published: July 13th 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction/Magical Realism

My rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Buzzwords: Peru, disabled MC, friendship, culture clash

Synopsis: In 1859, ex-East India Company smuggler Merrick Tremayne is trapped at home in Cornwall after sustaining an injury that almost cost him his leg and something is wrong; a statue moves, his grandfather’s pines explode, and his brother accuses him of madness.

When the India Office recruits Merrick for an expedition to fetch quinine—essential for the treatment of malaria—from deep within Peru, he knows it’s a terrible idea. Nearly every able-bodied expeditionary who’s made the attempt has died, and he can barely walk. But Merrick is desperate to escape everything at home, so he sets off, against his better judgment, for a tiny mission colony on the edge of the Amazon where a salt line on the ground separates town from forest. Anyone who crosses is killed by something that watches from the trees, but somewhere beyond the salt are the quinine woods, and the way around is blocked.

Surrounded by local stories of lost time, cursed woods, and living rock, Merrick must separate truth from fairy tale and find out what befell the last expeditions; why the villagers are forbidden to go into the forest; and what is happening to Raphael, the young priest who seems to have known Merrick’s grandfather, who visited Peru many decades before. The Bedlam Stacks is the story of a profound friendship that grows in a place that seems just this side of magical.

Goodreads

Review

Through The Bedlam Stacks author Natasha Pulley takes the reader on a journey to a far-out village in Peru in the year 1859. We follow Merrick as he hesitantly has agreed to help his friend Clem and the India Office collect cuttings from some very special trees that can treat malaria. They only grow in Peru but are heavily guarded to keep a monopoly in place, which makes the mission one of high risk.

Disability Rep

Merrick is recruited because of his great knowledge of plants, but he worries about the strain the journey and danger of the mission will put on his leg. You see, he was previously injured and now has trouble walking without a cane. His disability is one of the major topics of the book. I haven’t been able to find any own-voice reviews of this book to gauge the quality of the disability representation in here. However, in my own humble opinion, it was done in a way that was both respectful and educational. Very much one of my favorite aspects about the book. He’s also not the only character with a disability.

Slower Than Slow

Patience is a keyword should you decide to read The Bedlam Stacks. It is so slow that it almost grinds to a halt. Luckily, you’re rewarded for your patience when you get to the end. It’s the kind of book that if you DNF it midway through, you have no idea what it’s about. Just trust that there’s a point to it all.

Friendships

The way this book explores different kinds of friendships was what really made me love the reading experience. It goes into how friendships aren’t necessarily logical. Sometimes it just works, and other times it’s way more complicated than that.
I also just adore when characters show affection for each other, and The Bedlam Stacks very much delivered in that area.

He laughed. It showed how he had been when he was younger. Mild-mannered and handsome. In a shilling-spin of an instant, I realised that he wasn’t crude work but the ruin of something fine.

The Landscape of Peru

A lot of time is spent describing the landscape of Peru that Merrick travels through, and here we get to the reason why I only rated this book 4 stars and not 5. This description-heavy style of writing isn’t exactly my favorite. I have a hard time picturing what I’m reading, which means that these descriptions do nothing for me. Some of the magical realism aspects also went a little over my head because of this, but not to the extent that I wasn’t able to understand the story. I would have loved a more atmospheric writing style to make me feel like I was in that little village in Peru. I’m sure that would have made me love the book even more.

Overall

A book that took me out of my comfort zone, but nonetheless, gave me a reading experience I haven’t been able to stop thinking about. Natasha Pulley has woven an incredible story that slowly but deliberately pulls you in through deep character interactions and a desire to uncover the secrets of a small village.
My last attempt to convince you to read The Bedlam Stacks is this quote:

It’s good for a person to be terrorized by a goat. Hard to get high and mighty when there’s something chasing you for vegetables.

I hope you found this review useful. It’s a book I highly recommend, but it’s also very much a book that isn’t to everyone’s liking. I’m just very happy I read it, so let me know if you plan to. Or already have. I definitely plan to read more from this author.

Posted in Recommendations

Patrick Ness – Author Appreciation and How To Get Started

“Adam would have to get the flowers himself.”

First line in Release by Patrick Ness

I have counted Patrick Ness among my favorite authors for quite a few years now since I first dove into his Chaos Walking trilogy. Ness has been writing novels, and even a few screenplays, since 2003, and is mainly known for his Young Adult works. His books have earned him several awards, including two Carnegie Medals.

So what is it that he does so well? If you ask me, it’s a lot of things, of course, but mostly the very emotional way he writes his characters. He will transport the reader into the mind of the character and will not only make you see their reasonings and motivations but will make you understand them as well. Even when the character isn’t necessarily the “good guy”. But this is especially important as a few of his books feature a protagonist with mental health issues. He’s often showing the how and the why behind these struggles.

What you also need to know about Ness is that he creates some very unique and original stories. You won’t find the most generic tropes in his books, and if you do, it’s only because he’s decided to take a creative spin on it like in “The Rest of Us Just Live Here” where we follow a group of ordinary teenagers who are living their lives around the ‘Chosen Ones’.
This brings me to the topic of how most of his books can be said to be contemporaries or at least give off a contemporary feel, but they all have a sci-fi or fantasy twist to them. To me, that is part of why his books feel so unique. His imagination and how he uses these twists are what keep me guessing all the way through.

Finally, we have his writing, which really is what makes him one of the absolute best YA authors out there. It is both beautiful without being purple prose and smart in the way that it allows the readers to think for themselves. In other words, it’s simple and to the point. His writing is also why I think many of his books will work for readers who primarily read adult books and wants to try out some YA. Patrick Ness is a great choice to start with.

Below I have a list of all of his works with links to Goodreads in case you’re interested in a synopsis. After that, I’m going to try and recommend which book to start with if you’re completely new to the author.

Books

The Crash of Hennington (2003)Adult

Topics I Know Nothing About (2004)Short Story Collection

The Chaos Walking Trilogy (2008-2010) – Young Adult
The Knife of Never Letting Go
The Ask and the Answer
Monsters of Men

A Monster Calls (2011)Young Adult

The Crane Wife (2013)Adult

More Than This (2013)Young Adult

The Rest of Us Just Live Here (2015)Young Adult

Release (2017)Young Adult

And the Ocean Was Our Sky (2018)Young Adult/Graphic Novel

Burn (2020)Young Adult

Where to Start Reading Patrick Ness

Before I start recommending books to start with, I will highlight that I haven’t read his adult books or the graphic novel, so I naturally won’t be recommending those. This will only focus on his YA novels.

Which book of his fits best for you is, of course, very much down to personal preference. I wouldn’t say that there is a wrong place to start so if you’ve found a synopsis you think sounds extremely cool, then I would say just go for it. If you on the other hand is completely lost, here are some recommendations based on your reading tastes:

You like SFF:

🥇 Chaos Walking trilogy – An entire village of only men that can hear each other’s thoughts. Every. Single. Thought. The Mayor keeps secrets and a girl shows up.

🥈 Burn – Dragons that co-exist with humans in a 1950’s Washington to the extent that they have a cult-following. Prejudice still exists, and a prophecy might destroy everything.

You like contemporaries:

🥇 The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Those Chosen Ones can really mess up other people’s lives with their chosen-one-ness. A guy just wants to finish high school and deal with his OCD.

🥈 Release – A book that shows you just how many problems you can have in a single day. A boy from a religious family deals with being gay and life in general, and there is a ghost.

You like something sad:

🥇 A Monster Calls – Prepare yourself for an ugly-cry. A monster shows up at a boy’s window to teach us all how to deal with life when a loved one suffers from a long-term illness.

You like something uplifting:

🥇 Release – A book that shows you just how many problems you can have in a single day, but also how to overcome them. A boy from a religious family deals with being gay and life in general, and there is a ghost.

🥈 The Rest of Us Just Live Here – Those Chosen Ones can really mess up other people’s lives with their chosen-one-ness. A guy just wants to finish high school and deal with his OCD.

You like something weird:

🥇 More Than This – A boy wakes up and has no idea what’s going on and neither should you when starting the book.

🥈 Chaos Walking trilogy – An entire village of only men that can hear each other’s thoughts. Every. Single. Thought. The Mayor keeps secrets and a girl shows up.

In case I haven’t made it clear, I love Patrick Ness and his amazing YA stories. This was a post that hopefully managed to help you figure out if he’s also an author for you. Let me know what you think in the comments.