Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – November 25th 2020

“The Golem’s life began in the hold of a steamship.”

First line in The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker

Hi, guys. Hope you’re all doing well. 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?

The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, which I gave 4 stars. I liked the last 100 pages a lot. It was satisfying to see all the puzzle pieces fit together since we had spent most of the book getting to know each piece. There were also some great plot twists that I hadn’t seen coming, and that finally had me hooked. I hadn’t felt that way through first 300 pages where I was more or less just mildly interested. It had been very slow and for me the writing wasn’t anything special, although not bad.
Upon finishing it, I also learned that it’s getting a sequel next year. I was so sure it was a standalone, and it works perfectly that way too, so I’m a bit hesitant about the continuation.

And then 10 minutes before writing this, I finished The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley, and excuse me but my mind is just incoherent screaming at the moment. It’s obviously 5 stars. I love these characters. And I love the very unique premise of this duology which I won’t spoil, but it allows the author to tell a story you’ve probably heard before, just with a twist. I’m so sad it’s over. I plan on doing a full review of this duology some time soon, hopefully when I’m a little more coherent. Probably not going to stop screaming about it anytime soon.

What are you currently reading?

I’m down to reading one book at the moment, which is The Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson, book 2 in The Remnant Chronicles. There was a long wait at the library to get this one, but I’m finally ready to continue this series. I’m only 15% into it, so I don’t exactly have any thoughts yet.

What do you think you’ll read next?

I’m finally going to continue my Harry Potter reread and pick up Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Posted in Book Tags

The Black Cat Blue Sea Award

“Pippin looked out from the shelter of Gandalf’s cloak.”

First line in The Return of the King by J. R. R. Tolkien

I was nominated for another award! One I’d never heard of this time, The Black Cat Blue Sea Award. I was nominated by Naemi from A Book Owl’s Corner a while ago now, and I finally found the time to answer her 3 questions. I highly recommend her blog if you haven’t checked it out already. Her posts are fun and creative, and my day just gets a little bit better whenever she posts.

The meaning of the Black Cat Blue Sea Award: “This award is for bloggers who strive to write for everybody, and no matter how many viewers they get, make an impact on a reader. This award is an expression of gratitude to the nominee. It should be awarded to anybody that you choose deserves it, and it doesn’t mean that they must have hundreds of followers and likes.”

The Rules

  • Anybody nominated can nominate seven (lucky number) other bloggers.
  • Anybody nominated answers three questions.
  • The questions you ask while nominating can be any three questions.
  • If any of the questions asked are offending or the nominee simply does not want to answer them, the nominee does not have to answer them to earn the award.

If you had to write a bucket list, which three things would be right at the top?

I’m not good with bucket lists because I feel like I’m putting more pressure on myself, and I honestly have enough. But for the sake of this question, I’ve come up with a few things that, if I were to have a bucket list, would be at the top (not necessarily in this order).

  1. Move to a house with an extra room so I could have an entire room to fill with books. My own personal little library that I could make really cozy with a reading nook and decorate with all kinds of book merch to show off my weirdness. I imagine non-readers will be super jealous when they see it, but they are probably more likely to wonder what’s wrong with me.
  2. I love football, and I have a lot of games I would love to experience live one day. The unachievable ones such as a World Cup Final, Champions League Final and so on, but also my favorite teams playing against some of their biggest rivals. I’ve already crossed some of these off my list, but I can always find more. I went to see Arsenal against Manchester City a few years back, and that was truly epic. Nevertheless, I can’t tell you how much I would sacrifice to be able to see Arsenal against Tottenham. It will happen one day.
  3. I can’t think of a third. I don’t have goals in life.

What is/was your favorite subject in school and why?

Well, it changed a lot over the years, and there was never a subject I really loved. I was the kind of person who was very good in school but I hated being there. In Denmark, we have this thing where you get two grades in a subject, and one of them is purely based on how much you participate/say in class. For someone with social anxiety, I was sure that was invented just to torture me. A lot of the time, the teachers would just pick me to answer a question randomly to force me to say something, so my favorite subject was always based on which teacher would leave me alone and give me a good grade anyway. But to answer the question properly, I’ll give some subjects.

When I was younger, I believe I liked math because it was so logical. It was easier for me to say something in class because I knew there was a definite correct answer to each question.
Later on, I started liking English a lot, which is funny because I hated that subject with a passion when we started learning it. Like, I was actually dreading those periods, but that changed when I learned more of the language and started reading books in English. Then I couldn’t get enough of it.

I also want to mention a subject I had for one year in high school. It doesn’t translate well to English but my best attempt is ‘ancient knowledge’. Half of that year was spent reading excerpts from The Odyssey, and I freaking loved it. It was the kind of subject that if you’d read all of the Percy Jackson books, you would just cruise through it. Of course, I was the only one in my class to have done so, so the rest of my classmates hated that subject. I couldn’t relate.

…This was a very long and deep answer to a very simple question.

If you could trade lives with a fictional character, would you do it? And if you had to, whom would you chose?

First part of the question: would I trade lives with a fictional character? No. Absolutely not. Never. I mean, I read fantasy, and those characters have sooo many problems. I don’t want that. Maybe at the end of the book when all the conflicts have been resolved, but then the author comes up with a continuation with more problems, and it just never ends.

But since you’re forcing me to choose in this hypothetical scenario, here we go. My unofficial answer is Syl from the Stormlight Archive only so that I could be around Kaladin all the time. However, Roshar is a pretty brutal world, so I don’t think even Kaladin would be worth that life-trade (I’m sorry!).

It was very hard to pick a character, but I ended up going with a character from The Greenhollow Duology by Emily Tesh called Mrs. Silver. I already aspire to one day gain her no-bullshit-attitude, so this would be a short-cut. She is also from a more fairytale-esque world and not a brutal, epic fantasy where I would be dead within 5 minutes.


Those were fun questions, so thanks again to Naemi for tagging me. Here are the people I’m tagging:

Please, don’t feel forced to do this, if you don’t want to or these awards aren’t your thing. I just really like your blog.

My Questions

  1. What are your top 3 TV shows? If you don’t watch any, feel free to make a top 3 of whatever you want.
  2. What is your favorite book of 2020?
  3. When shopping for Christmas presents (or any kind of present), are you a last-minute kind of person or a “I took care of that 2 months ago”-person?

That was it for this post. Please go check out some of the blogs tagged because I highly recommend them. Happy reading!

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – November 18th 2020

“The Wheel of Time turns, and Ages come and pass, leaving memories that become legend.

First line in The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan

Hi, guys. It’s been a while but I’m back with a WWW Wednesday post again after taking a month-long break from them. I haven’t had much to update you on so they seemed kind of redundant until now. 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 spent an entire month working my way through The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, book 4 in The Wheel of Time, and sadly ended up rating it 2.5 stars. It wasn’t as painful for me to get through as book 3 as the stuff happening felt semi-important, at least. However, I would often find myself reading and noticing how the book didn’t spark any emotions in me. No joy, no hate. Just such a bland reading experience. Of course, that leaves the question whether to continue with a series that after 4 books has yet to impress me. People seem to quit after book 4, which makes me want to be a rebel and read at least one more, lol. However, I did read some Goodreads reviews for book 5, and it honestly sounded exactly like it is book 4 all over again.

What are you currently reading?

I’m currently 61% into The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker, and I think I like it? It’s not what I expected and it hasn’t captivated me in the way I had hoped it would, but it’s still good. It had some very info-dumpy first 100 pages, and I’m still waiting for some of that info to turn relevant. It’s the kind of story where I expect the ending to have a major influence on my overall opinion. My favorite thing about it so far is its portrayal of a multi-cultural New York around 1900. We follow so many immigrants with vastly different cultures which create such an interesting backdrop for the story.

What do you think you’ll read next?

The Lost Future of Pepperharrow by Natasha Pulley, the sequel to The Watchmaker of Filigree Street. I am beyond excited to start this because Watchmaker was one of my favorite books of the year. This is also the last book by Pulley I have left to read, so I might have to join some kind of support group when I’m done.

Posted in Fun Lists

Reading 5-Star Reviews of Books I Hated

“The town was in flames.”

First line in Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

I’m looking at reviews again! Last week I found some 1-star reviews of books I really loved, and so in this post, I’m doing the opposite. I’ve found some interesting, maybe funny, reviews for books I gave 1 or 2 stars to, and now I’m going to try and see if I can understand what people like about these books I wanted to hurl across the room. One in particular is going to be a challenge. This is also a way of spotlighting a few books that I normally don’t mention on my blog because you might like them even if I don’t. Take a look.


Grace and Fury by Tracy Banghart

Okay, this is difficult.
I’m choosing to latch onto the fact that the reviewer is an inexperienced fantasy reader, and that must be why our opinions differ so drastically on this book. I agree that the setting is accessible to non-fantasy readers, but mainly because it’s too simple. I don’t think many experienced fantasy readers will find anything unique about it. And the layered and compelling characters? Sure. I didn’t see them, but sure. Lastly, I agree with the statement that this book is feminist. I just didn’t like that it was so much in-your-face feminist. It was like the author had to make absolutely sure you knew about the feminist themes and therefore kept explaining them instead of letting the reader think for themselves.

The Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

This review really sums up what went wrong for me with this series. Blood of Elves is the third book, and I liked the first one alright, but then it went downhill from there. And you see, the first book was really just retellings of old fairy tales, and I love that! The more the books deviated from that, the more I disliked them. On top of that, there wasn’t any Geralt in this (if I remember correctly), and since he was the only character I was just slightly interested in, this story didn’t swallow me.

The Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien

“The books may be slow in some parts”. Excuse me, but that’s the understatement of the century.
Here’s where I could pretend to agree with some of the praise from the review, but I wouldn’t want to lie to you. These are the worst books I’ve ever read, and no, I’m not sorry.

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

Yes, the last line is why I picked this review.
I’ll admit that I went out of my comfort zone with this book, and maybe that was a mistake. It didn’t manage to rock my world as it did for this reviewer. I didn’t find it particularly well written as the characters were incredibly flat and uninteresting, and the plot was very predictable. However, I do agree that the science-parts were easy enough to follow, and that is often my big struggle with sci-fi.

Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth

I’m a bit confused as to why the reviewer said that characters were believable as if there was more than one character in this book. They say so themselves that Mox wasn’t clear and that Matt faded away. Sloane is the only character in this book, but she is believable, I’ll give them that.
I’m also not sure I would call it a great standalone as I did feel like the book only started at the very end, clearly setting up a sequel. But if you really like Sloane and relate to her, I can see how you don’t need much else from the book, whether it be plot or other characters.

This was way more difficult than the opposite version from last week, which really has sent my mind spinning. Why is it more difficult for me to accept that people don’t hate the same books as me than it is to accept that people hate a book I love? (Hope that sentence made sense). I’d love to know if you’ve experienced feeling similarly or if it’s just me. Of course, also let me know what you thought of my responses to these reviews and if you agree.

Posted in Book Memes

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Titles That Could Be Song Titles

“Hello. I hope somebody is listening.”

First line in Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

Hey, it’s Tuesday and here you have my post for Top Ten Tuesday, which is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic for this week is “Book Titles That Would Make Great Song Titles”, and oh, have I been looking forward to this. It’s the perfect topic for me to have some fun with. So I did. I’m not only giving you song titles, but also a little bit of info about them and their artists because these songs are totally real (okay, maybe not). So please, enjoy!

…there might be a tiny bit of sarcasm involved. And please note that the names in brackets are the authors’, not the artists’, but if you want to imagine the authors as the artists, I’m not stopping you.


Loveless (by Alice Oseman)

Sung by a female solo artist. A powerful pop-ballad with a theme centered around being too awesome as a single Pringle.

The Toll (by Neal Shusterman)

Actually a psalm that you might hear your local church choir sing. A fierce song of praise for the magnificent church bells.

Northern Wrath (by Thilde Kold Holdt)

Sung by a weird-looking Swedish indie band who attempt to look like Vikings during their performances (note that there has been some controversy because they wear the wrong helmets). The song itself tells a story of a lot of anger, although it is unclear who or what said anger is directed towards.

Queens of Geek (by Jen Wilde)

Sung by a duo consisting of two teenage girls who are very popular among children and other teens. A song that praises intelligence and assures children that there’s nothing cooler than being smart.

More Than This (by Patrick Ness)

Sung by an incredibly popular boy band who, however, is taking a waaaaay too long break at the moment. The song is an emotional love song from the band’s early years.

*cough*this might be real*cough*

I’ll Give You the Sun (by Jandy Nelson)

An up-and-coming country group released this song as their first single, and it went straight to the top of the charts. An upbeat love song that you just gotta move your feet to.

We Are the Ants (by Shaun David Hutchinson)

Written and performed by male duo who are known for their political activism, also shown through their songs. This song in particular is about the downtrodden common folk and their fight against the big, evil capitalist machinery.

Edgedancer (by Brandon Sanderson)

A fan-favorite from Eurovision a few years back. A high-tempo dance and party song performed by a very lively 82-year-old German woman. She didn’t win the contest but she won the fans which is all the matter.

For the non-Eurovision viewers: No, this is not odd. It’s pretty standard.

Chainbreaker (by Tara Sim)

A female rapper forces her way into the male-dominated hip-hop genre with this song where she shows how to combine femininity and killer rapping skills.

The Last Song (by Nicholas Sparks)

Performed by a group that has existed for years and is a consistent source of comfort for its fans. This powerful rock anthem closes everyone of the band’s shows with a bang.

If you think I’m weird, I totally get it. But I hope you had some fun reading about my picks for book titles that could be song titles. Which one was your favorite?

Posted in Fun Lists

Reading 1-Star Reviews of My Favorite Books

“There was a boy in her room.”

First line in Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

I’m a firm believer in the statement that art is subjective, and that includes books. We all know this, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to smile and nod whenever someone trashes your favorite book. However, I felt inspired to give it try and looked up some 1-star reviews on Goodreads for some of my favorite books to see what people aren’t loving about these obviously amazing books. I needed to share my agony with all of you guys and also my attempt at accepting other people’s opinions. But, guys, I found some crazy ones so check it out.


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This review starts out alright. The Hunger Games is quite brutal, and not everyone is going to be into that. It starts getting a little weird when the reviewer claims they don’t like present tense. I rarely notice the tense myself, but sure, let’s say that’s a valid complaint. Then we get the plot twist, which is that the reviewer didn’t even manage to read the first chapter… I’m sorry, what? So basically, this person decided to rate a book 1 star on Goodreads purely based on what they had heard the book was about. I cannot stress how wrong that is, but sadly it was something I saw a lot of while looking for reviews for this post. “It was such a bad book! Couldn’t even get through the title. 1 star.” Please, stop.

I’m also personally a bit affronted over the eye roll for the amount of romance when The Hunger Games is one of the YA books with the least amount of romance I’ve ever read. It’s very clear the person never read it.

The Girl in the Tower by Katherine Arden

Ah, the ever-prevalent assumption that if a book is written by a woman it must be YA. The Winternight Trilogy is adult!
That they thought the book was boring, that’s fair. I know I love a lot of boring books, although I would categorize the first book in the series, The Bear and the Nightingale, as more boring than The Girl in the Tower. The plot really picks up in the second one, so I wonder why the reviewer even decided to continue on with the series. They must have hated the first one even more.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

HOW DO YOU NOT CARE ABOUT KATSU???

I’m sorry for that outburst, but I just can’t relate. That mechanic octopus is possibly one of my favorite animal companions.

But that the story is boring? Yes. Not a lot happens, as it focuses on the characters a great deal.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson

I had to include this so that you can all get the mental image of Sanderson and Rothfuss tipping their fedoras at a screen.

Now, I’m also quite baffled over how someone deems Sanderson and Rothfuss “straight up bad writers”. Yes, Sanderson’s character-work is lacking, but not to an extent that makes it unreadable. There are so many other aspects he does incredibly well, so ‘bad writer’ seems a bit unfair. I’m actually curious to know who the reviewer considers a great writer 🤔

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

I can respect continuing with a book simply to witness the deaths of hated characters. And that they call upon Melisandre is an… innovative way of bringing it about. I can’t really fault them for anything here. It is the crossover between A Song of Ice and Fire and The Iliad we didn’t know we needed 😂

We Are the Ants by Shaun David Hutchinson

I’m sorry, but We Are the Ants is sci-fi. It might have a contemporary feel, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are aliens in this book. I generally think this reviewer just went into this book with wrong expectations and rated it low for not being what they wanted. Because, you know, if you don’t like books with “super whiny and emo”-characters, maybe don’t pick up a book with a severely depressed main character. Just a thought.

That was actually quite fun. I learned that I love a lot of boring books, apparently, because that was the main complaint in most of the reviews I found. I can accept that as many of the books I love are character-driven stories with zero plot. However, I also ran into many of those weird Goodreads reviews where you wonder why everyone is allowed to review books, even when they haven’t read the book. We know the average ratings mean a lot, so it’s just very frustrating to see.
But anyway, I hope you enjoyed this. I plan on doing the opposite of this so 5-star reviews of books I hated, which could possibly be even more challenging for me.

Posted in Wrap up

October 2020 Reading Wrap-Up

“The Home Office telegraphy department always smelled of tea.”

First line in The Watchmaker of Filigree Street by Natasha Pulley

Just a heads up: This is going to be a very pitiful wrap-up. And there aren’t any spooky books in it either, although those seem like mandatory reading in October. Truth be told, I don’t really care to read such books, and we also don’t really celebrate Halloween here in Denmark. It’s mainly the stores here that are desperately trying to make it a thing.

So about that pitiful reading, here are my stats for the month:

Yes, only 3 books, and I have to admit that one of those was a 20 pages long short story. That short story was Galatea by Madeline Miller, which I’m not going to review. It’s a retelling of a Greek myth as it usually is with Miller and mainly one I would recommend to those of you who, like me, are craving new content from this author.

Another of the 3 books I read was a reread of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, which I obviously rated 5 stars. It’s a book I always find good to read when you feel like your life is shit, just to remind yourself that at least it’s not that bad. But anyway, since it’s a reread, I’m not reviewing that one either.

That leaves only one book to review in this wrap-up. Before we get to that, though, I just want to mention the two books I’m currently reading. I’m halfway through The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss but have decided to take a short break from that one. I can only take a certain amount of Kvothe a the time 😅 I’m also a third of the way through The Shadow Rising by Robert Jordan, which I definitely plan on finishing in November. But those two books are the reason why I haven’t been able to finish more books in October. They took up quite a bit of my time. However, let’s get to that one review, which I took the opportunity to make a little bit longer than usual.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street (The Watchmaker of Filigree Street #1)

Author: Natasha Pulley

Published: July 2nd 2015

Genre: Historical Fiction/Magical Realism

My rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Buzzwords: Victorian London, Japanese culture, magical science

Synopsis: 1883. Thaniel Steepleton returns home to his tiny London apartment to find a gold pocket watch on his pillow. Six months later, the mysterious timepiece saves his life, drawing him away from a blast that destroys Scotland Yard. At last, he goes in search of its maker, Keita Mori, a kind, lonely immigrant from Japan. Although Mori seems harmless, a chain of unexplainable events soon suggests he must be hiding something. When Grace Carrow, an Oxford physicist, unwittingly interferes, Thaniel is torn between opposing loyalties.

The Watchmaker of Filigree Street is a sweeping, atmospheric narrative that takes the reader on an unexpected journey through Victorian London, Japan as its civil war crumbles long-standing traditions, and beyond. Blending historical events with dazzling flights of fancy, it opens doors to a strange and magical past.

Goodreads

My thoughts

Saying “I love this book” seems like such an inadequate description of my feelings towards this book that I almost gave up on writing this review. But I had such a good time reading it.

It’s the kind of book that’s difficult to talk about because, as its main character, it changes along the way. What it starts out as isn’t what it actually is in the end. I really love those kinds of books. It’s also helped along by a magnificent writing style that relies heavily on the reader to catch onto hints and figure things out for themselves. It’s my favorite kind of writing, so I was completely invested. However, it means that I won’t categorize this as an “easy, relaxing read”. It requires that you pay attention, and I actually think it would work great as a buddy read or book club book.

Since I rate books based on my enjoyment, I couldn’t give this one any less than 5 stars. However, if I were to attempt objectivity, I could probably find a few things that could have been done better. For example, one character’s motivations could have been explored further to make them a stronger character. But I didn’t mind that in the end because there was so much I loved about the book.

Finally, I saw someone on Goodreads call this an alternative version of Sherlock Holmes, and I can definitely see the similarities. So, if all of this sounds like something for you, I highly recommend The Watchmaker of Filigree Street.

That’s all I have for you. It was a weird month for me, but hey, I completed my Goodreads goal of 55 books! My unofficial goal is 66 because that would be a new record for me, but let’s see how it goes. I need to read some shorter books to make that happen. Let me know how your October went. What was your favorite book?

Posted in Lost In Translation

Lost In Translation: A Look at Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix in Danish

“The hottest day of the summer so far was drawing to a close and a drowsy silence lay over the large, square houses of Privet Drive.”

First line in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling

Hello, you lovely people. It’s time for another post where I take a closer look at the (sometimes odd) translation choices made when Harry Potter was translated into my native language, Danish. Naturally, I grew up reading them in Danish so the translations have had a great impact on my first impression of this series I love so dearly.

In these posts, I take a closer look at the specific “Harry Potter words” and determine how much meaning was lost or changed in the translation. It’s all for fun since I greatly admire the work of translators and recognize that the task of translating a fantasy book requires some serious skill. I’m just a blogger who loves languages and Harry Potter and found a way to combine them. If you missed any of the previous posts, you can find them here. But let’s get started because this is a long one. As usual, here’s the Danish cover for the first hardback edition:

⚡ The symbolism!! I love how the only part of Harry we see is his head, which is such a brilliant way to illustrate how much this book is about Harry’s mind. Then we have the Thestrals behind him with their demon-like look haunting him. My own interpretation is that they represent the trauma Harry suffers from, from having witnessed Cedric’s murder and everything else that happened in that graveyard. We know he’s able to see them now because of Cedric’s death.

⚡ I’m not sure what that thing in the background is, but my guess is that it’s an attempt at the archway that Sirius falls through. If it is, it could represent that second death-trauma that will hit Harry by the end of the book.

⚡ I know I bashed the Goblet of Fire cover for being too dark, but I don’t have that problem here. Order of the Phoenix needs to have the darkest cover.

And now for the translations.
‘Original English = ‘Danish translation’


Scourgify = Skureogrense

We’re starting with one of the non-Latin spells, which means it gets a translation. It’s a simple cleaning charm, and it’s isn’t so much that the translation is inherently wrong more so than it’s a funny solution. The translator realized that it’s challenging to make Danish words sound like a spell. The language is not epic or mysterious enough, so what did they do? They mushed several words together to make it sound like something made-up. ‘Skureogrense’ is actually ‘Skure og rense’ which translates to scrub and clean.

Dudley Demented = Dudleys Første Kys

This is the title of the first chapter and is clearly meant to refer to Dudley’s first encounter with a Dementor. It’s not completely obvious, though, when you read it for the first time because ‘demented’ could mean a variety of different things. It could mean that Dudley was insane/mad (likely) or suffering from dementia (unlikely). In Danish, the chapter title, however, means Dudley’s First Kiss, which makes you want to stop reading immediately because why would you want to witness that? The translation does succeeding in subtly hinting at the Dementor attack, even though the “trick meaning” is different. Also, he isn’t technically kissed by the Dementor, but I still want to applaud the translation for being creative. You could have translated ‘demented’ into the Danish ‘dementere’, but it’s a highly uncommon word (that also doesn’t mean the same), so I think it would have been too obvious that we were going to see some Dementor-action if that word was used.

Dolores Umbridge = Dolora Nidkjær

I have a lot to say about this horrible woman’s name. Her first name is only made Danish-sounding and not changed completely, but maybe it should have been. If you read my post for Goblet of Fire, you know that the Danish translation changed the torture curse from cruciatus to the Spanish (and Latin) doloroso, which means painful. So her first name means pain, but in Danish that connection to pain is made so much more obvious by the cruciatus-translation. I’m not sure what to make of that other than it’s an interesting choice.

Moving on to her last name which in English is similar to the word ‘umbrage’ meaning ‘to take offense’. The Danish translation ‘Nidkjær’ comes from the word ‘nidkær’, which means zealous. It really refers to her pedantic obsession with rules and Ministry guidelines, and although the meaning isn’t the same, I actually think I prefer the Danish meaning. It’s so fitting for her character. I also really liked how the translator added that ‘j’ in the name because it makes it sound like a typical Danish last name. ‘Kjær’ is very common in our names.

O.W.L. = U.G.L.

As you probably know, O.W.L. stands for Ordinary Wizarding Level but is referred to as ‘Owls’. So how did the Danish translator solve this nightmare? Let’s go through the letters.

U = Udmærkelse (English: distinction/award/education)

G = Genialitet (English: geniusness(?)/ingenuity)

L = Lærevillighed (English: willingness to learn)

I’m sorry, none of those words liked being translated directly into English. Basically, U.G.L. stands for ‘education in ingenuity and willingness to learn’, which is so far from the original name, but not entirely wrong either. I think the biggest problem is that there’s nothing magical about it. It could be an education for Muggles.
I can tell there was an attempt at recreating the ‘owls’ reference, and therefore the words had to be changed. The only problem, however, is that they didn’t succeed in spelling out the Danish word for owl. That word is ‘ugle’ so they’re missing an ‘e’. Ugl doesn’t mean anything. I also specifically remember reading it as letters when I was younger and not as one word. I didn’t make the owl-connection until I read the English versions.

Wilbert Slinkhard = Wilbert Skræddersjæl

This is the author of the book Defensive Magical Theory, which the students read in Defence Against the Dark Arts. His original last name contains the word ‘slink’, which means to walk away from somewhere quietly to avoid notice. Bearing in mind that his book only handles magical theory and not the use of spells, I think it’s safe to say that his name means that he runs away from any confrontation instead of staying and fighting.

The Danish translation is not that far off, and I’m actually quite impressed with it. The literal meaning of ‘Skræddersjæl’ is tailor soul. I know, that doesn’t make any sense, but the word is also a very old metaphor for coward. So old, though, that I’ve never heard it used before, but you don’t need to know what it means. It’s just a fun little joke for those who do.

Lachlan the Lanky = Lachlan Lemmedasker

We’ve reached the point where random statues get new names, and I decided to include this one because it made me laugh. His Danish last name ‘Lemmedasker’ means… Limb Slapper. It’s especially unfortunate because the word ‘lem’ in Danish could just as easily refer to a very specific limb on the male body. Don’t know how that relates to being lanky, so I really hope they were referring to slapping arms or something like that. And it’s not as if we don’t have a word for lanky. It doesn’t start with an ‘L’, but other similar translations have proven that it doesn’t have to.

The Hog’s Head = Det Glade Vildsvin

It’s our favorite creepy tavern whose name had to be changed. The Danish version ‘Det Glade Vildsvin’ means The Happy Boar. It first and foremost means that the translation added quite a bit of irony to the name because that place is not happy. It also changed the animal, although not by much. But why change anything at all? Well, even though ‘hog’s head’ is easy to translate, it doesn’t mean that it works as a name for a place. In my opinion, a direct translation would have given the tavern a very clunky name, whereas ‘Det Glade Vildsvin’ just rolls off the tongue.

Dumbledore’s Army = Dumbledores Armé

If you had to read that twice to notice the difference, I don’t blame you. I was unsure whether to include this one because it isn’t technically wrong. ‘Armé’ means army if that wasn’t obvious from their similar look. The problem is that ‘armé’ isn’t used in daily speech at all. It’s one of those words I only know the meaning of because of its English equivalent. Our standard word for army is ‘hær’, which would have been the more correct direct translation. However, it’s clear that the translator prioritized keeping the DA abbreviation, and when it’s a possibility in this way, I’m not sure if I can blame them. The way the characters talk about it makes its meaning clear, even though younger readers might not be familiar with the word.

Willy Widdershins = Bernard Bagvend

A very minor character, but he’s the one who’s been doing pranks on Muggles (Mr. Weasley complains about him), and he’s also the one who overhears the DA meeting in The Hog’s Head and tells Umbridge. His original last name, Widdershins, is another word for going counter-clockwise. Danish doesn’t have a single word for that so that the translator went with ‘Bagvend’ which is very close to our word for backwards. Quite clever, right? Now to the fun part. His name is mentioned four times throughout the book, but ‘Bagvend’ is only his name the first time. The other three times his name is ‘Bagrend’, which doesn’t really mean anything. I can understand one typo but three? I’m confused.

Witch Weekly = Alt for Heksene

This popular witch-magazine is translated in a way that draws parallels to a well-known magazine in our real world. ‘Alt for Heksene’ means everything for the witches and is a reference to the Danish women’s magazine ‘Alt for Damerne’ meaning everything for the ladies. Because the Danish reader knows about that famous magazine, they immediately know all they need to about this fictional one.

Bonus

This section is mainly for those of you who have been reading my previous posts in the series because there are some changes in the translations from those posts. I mean, why would something be translated the same way across 7 books? I don’t know what you expected.

⚡ First, the wand issue. There have previously been some doubts about whether the core of Harry’s wand contained a chimera horn, a phoenix feather, or both. When Harry gets his wand checked upon his arrival at the Ministry, the security wizard tells us that the core only consists of a phoenix feather. And he seems pretty thorough in his examination of it as he can even tell how many years Harry has been using it. You would think that if there was even a trace of chimera horn in there, he would say it. He didn’t, so does that mean that that horn has been completely purged from the Danish translations? Maybe, but I don’t trust anything, so I’ll still be keeping an eye out.

⚡ Now brace yourself because I’m going to tell you about the most mind-blowing thing in this book… The words ‘West’ and ‘Ham’ appeared in succession! 😱 That’s right, the football team West Ham wasn’t translated. Third time is the charm, apparently. However, it also means that we now have three different translations of that team across the series, the first two being Liverpool and Super-Skankefodboldholdet. I mean, no wonder that child-me never really caught on to Dean’s team affiliation.

We’ve sadly reached the end, but I hope you feel entertained and enlightened. I personally think the quality of the translations improved with this book compared to the first four, as there weren’t really any that didn’t make sense. I was even quite impressed with a few of them. But let me know what you think! And in case you’ve read these books in another language, please feel free to share any weird translations you’ve noticed.

Posted in WWW Wednesday

WWW Wednesday – October 21th 2020

It was Felling night, and the usual crowd had gathered at the Waystone Inn.

First line in The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

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?

Absolutely nothing. Here’s a cute dog instead:

What are you currently reading?

I’m still working on the beast called The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss because for all of my efforts, I’m only 36% in. There has been a shift in the story which I’m grateful for. Not that it has gotten incredibly exciting, but at least we’re doing something new. Since last week’s update, I’ve experienced being immensely frustrated with Kvothe as a storyteller a couple of times. Whenever we seem to be getting close to some exciting events, we jump forward and barely dedicate a page to those events. WHAT?!? We have to hear about every single menial thing of his everyday life, and when something finally happens, HE SKIPS IT?? I’m sorry, I just don’t understand. But well, the writing is still great so it isn’t difficult for me to continue reading. But it’s going very slowly.

The second big book of the week is still Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, but I only have about 150 pages left of that one. Those are going to go by quickly, I expect.

What do you think you’ll read next?

It’s crazy, but I finally got The Shadow Rising from the library! The timing is horrible because I’m really not feeling another huge book right now. But I’m going to start it and see how it goes.

Posted in Discussions

Yes, I’m A Book Blogger Who Doesn’t Like Book Reviews

It was midday and the passageway quiet and cool.

First line in Thick As Thieves by Megan Whalen Turner

Hi, today I wanted to explain why I’m weird. And maybe make you feel less weird because you feel similarly about book reviews. The title explains this post quite well: Why I find book reviews to be the least interesting blog posts, both to write and to read.

Why I Don’t Write Many Book Reviews

I felt the need to make a post about this because I often see the term ‘reviewer’ being used as a synonym for ‘book blogger’. It has made me feel a little odd because I don’t consider myself a “reviewer”, although I obviously identify with the book blogger term. I do write reviews on my blog, but if we’re talking full, dedicated reviews, I only do them for about 20% of my reads. The rest only get a mini-review in my wrap up posts, but I consider them more like “book chats” than actual reviews. I more or less focus on my reading experience instead of trying to “sell” them.

So why is this my approach? Well, mainly because I started a book blog to discuss the books I’ve already read. I wanted a place where I could talk about all the books I’m reading in detail and find out what other readers thought of the same books. My main goal has never been to get other people to read a book. If they happen to pick something up because I liked it, then great! But that’s still not the purpose of this blog. Which I can tell is a weird thing to say in the bookish community. The same goes for the #supportauthors thing that seems important to reviewers. It’s not a focus for me, but if it happens anyway, great! My blog is not a job for me and only something I do for fun in my spare time, so I don’t feel like I have any obligations of that sort, even though publishers are trying to convince me (and the community in general) of the opposite. I know this sounds kind of harsh, but it’s just a way to explain my thought processes. It’s not as if I go out of my way to NOT support authors. It’s just, again, not the point.

Why I Don’t Read Book Reviews

Why I don’t write a whole lot of reviews is only one part of this discussion. The other part is that I don’t read other people’s reviews either for the simple reason that I don’t want to add more books to my TBR. It’s long enough, and even though I avoid reviews, it’s still growing. I don’t have trouble finding good books to read. I do, however, have a few exceptions to the rule because I do read some reviews:

  1. I’ve already read the book being reviewed and want to discuss it.
  2. The book is already on my TBR, and I just need to know if the person liked it or not (I check the rating and quickly skim the review).
  3. It’s from one of the very few reviewers I know makes the kind of review I like. Not formulated like a sales-pitch, includes both negatives and positives, no matter if the rating was 5 or 1 star, etc.
  4. Multiple short reviews in one post e.g. a wrap-up post.

So why does it matter that I don’t read book reviews? Well, it matters in the sense that I sometimes find it difficult to support other book bloggers, which I really want to by reading their posts and commenting and all that. But if a blogger only writes book reviews… then I can’t. It has recently made me realized that I prefer BookTube content over book blogger content, simply because most of them do fewer reviews. I’m sure I’ve committed book-blogger-treason for saying that, especially with how little attention BookTubers pay book bloggers. However, I do find that friendly and important discussions are most often found on a book blog, and those are still my favorite type of content to consume. I just wish there were more of them.

Basically, I think there’s so much more to book blogging than writing book reviews. You can find so much amazing content where people are being creative, inquisitive or just flat-out entertaining. That is the type of content I love. Also, this is not me telling other bloggers to stop writing reviews. Please keep doing that if you love it! I simply want to highlight the fact that you don’t have to write a single book review to be a book blogger.

I would love to discuss this! What is your take on reviews? Both in terms of reading and writing them. What is your favorite type of content? If you watch BookTube, do you think their content differs from book blog content, and if so, what do you prefer? See you in the comments!