Thursday, April 21, 2011

The 2011 book quest: Books 12 & 13.

I have not had much time to really sit down and read Dværgen fra Normandiet like a book deserves to be read. A good book deserves peace and quiet, contemplation, laughter. It deserves to pull it's reader out of this world, and in to it's own. It deserves the full and undivided attention of the reader, and I am sad to say I did not give book 12 that.
On the bright side I had read this book before and was therefore well aware of the gold that lay hidden between the covers. So even if I read it a little unfocused I still enjoyed it.

I think I mentioned somewhere that I have studied history, well this book is exactly why I did that. It is the perfect mixture of history and fiction. The historic part and the fictional universe built around it match perfectly, and none of them steal the lead, they both carry the story all the way through.

The book centers around the making of the Bayeux Tapestry and the entire plot takes place in one convent in England in the years 1076-1078. Most of the story actually happens in one single room, now that I find impressive. The author found no reason to put his characters in constantly shifting scenery to move the story along, no one room, six main characters, a few weapons (which are only used once), needles, yarn, 70 meters of cloth and you have this book.

Four women in a convent is to embroider the story of how King Willhelm of Normandy became king of England. To guide them is a dwarf from Normandy who was part of the kings court and an old viking who fought on King Harold of England's side at the Battle of Hastings. They tell the stories of how everything that led up to the crowning of Willhelm, and the women embroider it all onto the cloth in one long story.

Now I am lucky enough to have seen the Bayeux Tapestry with my own eyes, and I am here to report that it is nothing short of amazing. I believe it has the amount of stars in the Michelin guide book that adds up to "worth the entire journey" and it deserves it. I cannot even describe it, it needs to be seen.
So this book really makes me want to go there again, and again.

Here it is in the read-pile:

And that was book 12. Now on to 13.

I could not sleep at all last night so what to do? Grab the nearest book!

It turned out to be Derby Girl by Shauna Cross. Some might know it as Whip It, it was made into a movie of that name and they consequently changed the name of the book to fit.

It is a sweet little book that takes about a night to read and though the plot is not riveting it is nice and warm and fuzzy and I cannot help having a little tear in my eye near the ending.
All in all a good go-to book when all else fails, sort of like a security blanket in book form, and we all need security blankets sometimes when the world falls down around us.

Do not get me wrong, my world is not falling apart, it seemed like it might a couple of weeks ago, but it didn't and now it is all sunshine and rainbows again. So that is not why I picked up Derby Girl, I picked it up because A was sleeping and I snuck around the apartment looking for something to read and suddenly the bright orange cover was shining at me from the couch.

I was like it was teasing me "come on, pick me up, you know you wanna. I'm just a short, tiny little book, you'll be done in no time, I swear" And so I did and I was and here we are with book 13 Derby Girl by Shauna Cross.

Read-pile pic: (uhh it's growing)

Next up is the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice mainly because I found a really pretty version of it in a used bookstore. I know it is actually a pretty cheap version, but with the maroon and gold I just went gaga and had to have it. And since I have already used an Austen quote to finish of a previous post I will use the first sentence of this book instead:

"It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife."

Thursday, April 7, 2011

The 2011 book quest: Book 11.

I finished the rule of four last night and I have to say; I should have listened to my mom. 
She was right, it is a bad book. Well maybe bad is to harsh, but uninteresting then. 
Nothing happens, at least Dan Brown knows how to pace the story, reel in the reader and set up riddles that even normal people could solve with a little thought.

But the plot of this book took place over two days that seemed like an eternity, the story was mostly the protagonist whining to himself how he screwed everything up and how he misses his daddy. And the actual mystery was not revealed with great care, it was just: "Oh look heres what it says in Latin, wait I'm a pretentious jerk I'll quickly translate it to English". And i took Latin in high school, it was boring as hell, so kudos to anyone who bothered to learn it, but the book just comes of as douchy with its "know it all" attitude (yes books can have attitudes).

The plot, which seemed exiting on the back cover, turned out to be the least of the book. It was instead filled with selfpity and douchebaggery. And so i am proud to announce that this is, so far, the worst book of the quest.
I am sorry i didn't listen mom.

Well here it is in the read-pile:

And so to help me get back on track after some not so interesting titles, I have chosen a book I have read before. It is great, and just the fact that I know I will not hate it makes me want to read it so badly. 

I think that is exactly what I need right now, a book that is guaranteed to be good.

The last time I read this one I think I was 12. I love this author he filled my youth with the viking gods in his series about Erik Menneskesøn (actually I might re-read those for the quest too), and this book I have chosen is about the beautiful Bayeux tapestry and how it was made.

So book 12 will be: Dværgen fra Normandiet (The Dwarf from Normandy) by Lars-Henrik Olsen.