Thursday, September 24, 2009

Let the Right One In

I can't remember who recommended John Ajvide Lindqvist's Let the Right One In to me, but it was certainly one of you, someone in the blogosphere who shares their thoughts on books with the rest of us. In any case, thanks whoever you were, as I probably would not have picked this up otherwise. There are so many vampire stories these days that you really need a personal recommendation, I think... This Swedish take on vampire stories is great.

Let the Right One In is the story of Oskar, a twelve-year-old boy with a life that I'm sure is not out of the ordinary. He lives with his mother in a mediocre apartment building, his alcoholic father unable to break his habit long enough to form a proper relationship with him. He is badly bullied at school and becomes obssessed with stories of murderers, as they inspire scenes of revenge in his mind. He is a pretty regular bored kid.

Until he meets Eli, a 200-year-old vampire who looks like a girl about his age. They strike up a friendship and pretty much start to love each other. You can imagine that this does not have positive consequences, life becomes even more complicated for young Oskar.

Their relationship grows amid mysterious ritual murders, unexplained events and the tedium of the dreary housing estate they live on. The story never stagnates, even though I suppose it's not that eleborate, as stories go.

The characters, however, shine. The author has a way of making fictional people come to life and he gives personal information on even the most secondary of characters. Really, the richness of the people living in this story makes the book worth reading.

Challenges: R.I.P. IV, Genre Challenge, 999 Challenge, 2010 Countdown Challenge

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A book and an update

The book first, though quickly. I needed a book for the Every Month is a Holiday Challenge and since September 30 is Botswana's national day, I read the fourth book in Alexander McCall Smith's No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, The Kalahari Typing School for Men. I love this whole series - the writing, the characters, the descriptions of daily life in Botswana... everything. They are all short and sweet and charming. This particular one is no exception - if you need something light and uplifting to read, I definitely recommend the entire series.

Challenges: 999 Challenge, Every Month is a Holiday Challenge

And my news. I had my 21-week scan this week and we found out that we're having a boy! I'm spending some time thinking about my future life as Mom to a little boy... it takes some getting used to, I was convinced I was having a girl. I'm thrilled to bits about this news though and so very excited. I can't wait till he's actually here!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Geektastic: Stories from the Nerd Herd

When Nymeth reviewed this short story collection, edited by Holly Black and Cecil Castelucci, I was so intrigued that I immediately went on Amazon and ordered it. Now, I never do this, because I have such a long list of books to buy that the latest interesting one I hear about just gets added to the bottom of the list. Then when the book arrived I did another unthinkable thing - I actually started reading it straight away! No being put on the TBR shelf, no being added to a challenge of some kind, no forgetting about it.

I'm glad I read it straight away, because I loved it. Geeks rule. Smart people rock. All these stories had such fantastic characters that made me want to re-write my own high school past and wish I'd been a proper geek. But alas, I was too busy trying to fit in and only came into my geekness later in life. It's still considered uncool. :-)

Geektastic has Trekkies, comic book geeks, literature geeks, gaming geeks and two of my favorite sorts - Buffy geeks and science geeks. I'm a total Buffy geek and kind of a science geek myself so those I can relate to. I also felt some connection with the gaming geeks, even though I've never played any of these alternate reality or fantasy games. I've been dying to try World of Warcraft, but I get addicted to these things so fast and I don't want to be addicted so... I haven't tried it.

Anyway. If you're a geek of any kind, you must read this story collection, I'm sure you'll find yourself in it somewhere. Not to mention that you'll discover some great authors - I know that quite a few of the authors included are going straight onto my wishlist. Sigh.

Challenges: Umm, none!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril…IV

I'm a tad late signing up for Carl's R.I.P. IV challenge, but who cares, right?

The challenge is to read from the following genres until 31 October, scary Halloween...

Dark Fantasy.

So getting into the mood of the season, here are my possibilities... I'm aiming for Peril the First or Second, depends how many books I can realistically get through while reading for other challenges too!

Check out Carl's original post for more details and visit the review site to see what everyone else is reading.

Completed: ALL 4/2-4 as of 31 October 2009 (read my wrap-up post here)

Let the Right One In by John Ajvide Linqvist
The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova
The Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco
No Time for Goodbye by Lynwood Barclay
Fingersmith by Sarah Waters
Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus, volume 1 by Joss Whedon et al.
Morrigan's Cross by Nora Roberts

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Mrs. Dalloway

I just can't, can't, can't cope with finishing this book. I got half-way through it and found myself forcing myself to read just a few more pages. As in 'read 10 more pages and then you can read something else for a while'. Doesn't sound like fun reading time does it? :-)

I'll probably find that everyone else in the world loved this book, but to me it was boring and confusing and all over the place. My mind kept wandering so I kept losing my grasp on who was talking.

I like stream-of-consciousness writing and since I loved Michael Cunningham's The Hours so much I thought I'd at least like the book that inspired him. But I thought he used the style in a much more engaging way.

At least I tried. And I refuse to let those thoughts of 'maybe classics aren't for me' into my head. I've enjoyed plenty of them, plus I haven't read anything Jane Austen yet and I'm told that I can't quit classics till I try her!

Challenges: 1% Well-Read Challenge, 999 Challenge, My Year of Reading Dangerously, Rescue Challenge, TBR Challenge