As of today, the very first Dutch readathon has started, ending next sunday night. And I’m participating, so I’ve got a week full of reading ahead. It’s the first readathon I’ve ever participated in, so I’m both very excited and kind of uncertain about how things will work out.
Unfortunately, I’ve got a lot of other things going on at the moment, so I can’t be setting any goals such as reading for 24 hours straight or reading a book every day. For some of you, my goal might seem like too small an effort, but for me, this won’t be about how many books or pages I read.
Following the PRISM-scandal, interest in Nineteen Eighty-Four spiked. To be more exact: book sales rose with an enormous 7000 percent! For me, the book had been waiting on both my to read list and my bookshelf for quite a while, so I decided to give it a go.
Various people had told me how they loved the book or had recommended I should read it, so my expectations were high. After all, it’s one of those classics you ‘should have read’. I didn’t have any experience with the author’s writing except for Animal Farm, which I remember to be very entertaining! All in all, I expected a great book. So why only two stars?
Oh, yes, my dear followers (and other interested parties), TBB is back! Even though there hasn’t been a post on this blog for more than thirteen months, TBB is coming back to life.
Thirteen months is a long time and a lot has changed. For me, life is getting busier than ever - I’m moving cross-country* to my very first own place, tomorrow I’ll be starting a summer job that’s
nearing full-time hours and soon my life as a university student will begin.
Reading books takes time and writing about them takes some more, so I’m not promising super regular updates or long, detailed reviews every week. But as we speak, books (or a book, rather) is being read to be reviewed, ideas for other articles are bubbling to the surface and my participation in the first Dutch Readathon is in the works. And I’m hoping you’ll be there reading this blog along the way. I really do!
Write you soon,
* Which, I must admit, amounts to about 200 km, here in the Netherlands.
I bought this book directly after the - unofficial - start of my summer vacation. I’d been eying it for a while and I decided to treat myself. Well, I can tell you this: a treat is exactly what it has been. A 730 page long one, to be precise! Don’t you love that? When you’ve found a book you really like and it’s actually long enough to keep you going for a while?
The Dwarves strongly reminds me of Eragon by Christopher Paolini (of whose work I’m a real fan). I’m sure fans of the Inheritance cycle will enjoy this book as much as I have!
Today I’m going to tell you about The House of the Mosque. I’m very glad that this book (originally called Het Huis van de Moskee) has been translated into English, because this means that I can write a post on one of the best Dutch books I’ve read in a very long time.
The House of the Mosque tells the story of Aga Djan and his family, who live in the house belonging to the most important mosque of the city. There they live as the family has done for centuries, maintaining old traditions and participating in the city’s social life as they have for ages. Aga Djan is a respected and powerful man, but then the Iranian Revolution comes along.
Do you know the feeling? You’ve taken a lovely hot shower and put on your favourite pair of pyjamas afterwards. You’ve just managed to sneak in a bit of homework on which you were behind* and now it’s getting a bit later than you’d planned. Not too late, more of a ‘if I want to really get enough sleep for a change, I should go to bed now, but I’m not too tired yet’ kind of time. All in all you’re feeling quite well.
And then you think of that sequel of the book you just read a week ago and you find out that in the meantime it’s become available to download. And there you go. At least, that’s what happening right now to me. Gone is the calm, sleepy and very ‘zen’ feeling I had a minute ago, right now I’m just waiting for the download to be finished so I can start reading. I know that whatever I might say or think now, I’m not going to do that last extra bit of studying Livy’s Ab Urbe Condita (book two, the part where Mucius a.k.a. Scaevola gets his nickname, in case anyone’s interested). I’m going to read. And I’m going to read for quite some time. So no, I’m not going to get that amount of sleep I wanted and I’m not going to be happy tomorrow morning, but what the heck, I can’t help it!
Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson isn’t the type of book I’d normally read. I read a lot of different things, but over the years, I’ve found that two types of books just aren’t for me. The first: those where negativity plays too much of a role. The second: the scary ones. Guess which category Robopocalypse belongs to?
Just to let me recover my image ever so slightly: I’m not that much of a wuss. If you’ll let me choose between Saw and Bride Wars, I’ll choose the first. (In fact, I once did watch those two movies right after each other. I was trying to convince someone that romantic comedies were more fun than thrillers, he thought the opposite was true. Of course I lost big-time, Bride Wars was boring as hell.) My point is: I’m not the bravest person you’ll ever meet, but I’m not that easily scared either.
Pottermore has been open to the public for half a month now and a few days ago I decided to take a look. The opinions I heard or read of those who got into the limited beta version in July last year weren’t always that positive. A friend of mine told me that she thought that it was fun, but not nearly as special or exciting as all of the marketing had made her expect it to be. Somewhere else I read the opinion that the new content was great, but that moving through all of the chapters and having to search for hidden items before that content got unlocked really wasn’t that interesting.
I myself have been a Harry Potter fan since I started reading the first book. So though I was sceptical with these comments in mind, I wasn’t planning on letting this opportunity of experiencing this story in a new way and getting to know more about this world go by.
Death. In our highly controlled and safe world, it’s still very much on our minds. Though we live in a time that’s banned more and more deadly diseases, that’s reduced the danger of life itself to a bare minimum and in which most of us will live to a ripe and old age, we continue to be fascinated by the concept that at one point we will cease to exist.
And this isn’t only kept concealed in our minds. This fascination is expressed by thousands of artists all over the world and in all kinds of cultures. Whether it’s through the luridly beautiful sculpture For the Love of God by Damien Hirst or by incorporating the theme of death time and time again in successful novels. Or is it the other way round and do these novels become successful because of this theme?
As Bring up the Bodies will soon be in store, I thought it would be interesting to revisit its predecessor: Wolf Hall. I’ve seen a lot of positive reviews and people who were either wildly enthusiastic or utterly disappointed. For me though, that wasn’t the case. My opinion of the book is most easily described with one word: meh.
When I first picked the book up in the bookstore, it wasn’t because I had heard great things about it or because I was that interested in yet another book about Henry VIII. (He has been rather popular lately.) It was because of the cover art, especially because of the Tudor rose on it. I thought the book might be about the Wars of the Roses and as I didn’t know a thing about those, I thought it might be interesting. Here in Holland schools don’t teach us a lot about the civil wars of other countries. So when I picked up the book, I found out that wasn’t the case, but I still ended up buying it. And that is where it gets interesting.