Books

Book-Tube-A-Thon TBR 2017

This year the BookTube-A-Thon is taking place from July 24th – July 30th.

All information can be found here (Youtube) and here (Website).
Let’s get on with it.
Here are the books I will try to read next week. I have to say, it’s a very ambitious TBR because I’m working full-time… But we’ll see how it goes.
Challenge 1: A book with people on the cover
The Hurricane Party – Klas Östergren (buy)
the hurricane party klas ostergren
Lots and lots of people on this cover.
Hanck Orn’s son is dead. When they come to the door they tell him it was a heart attack, but he knows they are lying. So he travels to the archipelago at the outermost reaches of the land to find out what really happened. He lands on an island and is met by a young woman, hair streaked with blood, raving like a lunatic. She is one of the sisters, who tell him the story of how his son died in the great hall of the Clan, the Norse gods, who were holding a party. But the festivities soon got out of hand, the guests began to argue with one another, and the mischievous shapeshifter Loki dealt a deadly blow. Set in a dystopian future that recalls Orwell and Zamyatin, Klas Östergren has weaved a dizzying story of magnificent scope and foul play. Moving from the golden halls to the depths of the underworld, it is about one man’s search for justice for his son in a world on the brink.
Challenge 2: Read a hyped book
Our Endless Numbered Days – Claire Fuller (buy)
our endless numbered days claire fuller
This has been everywhere on YouTube for a while so I’m counting this as my hyped book.
1976: Peggy Hillcoat is eight. She spends her summer camping with her father, playing her beloved record of The Railway Children and listening to her mother’s grand piano, but her pretty life is about to change.

Her survivalist father, who has been stockpiling provisions for the end which is surely coming soon, takes her from London to a cabin in a remote European forest. There he tells Peggy the rest of the world has disappeared.

Her life is reduced to a piano which makes music but no sound, a forest where all that grows is a means of survival. And a tiny wooden hut that is Everything.

Challenge 3: Read a book in one day
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams (buy)
the hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy douglas adams
A short and fun book. Can’t believe I haven’t picked this up yet.
On 12 October 1979 the most remarkable book ever to come out of the great publishing corporations of Ursa Minor (and Earth) was made available to humanity – The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. It’s an ordinary Thursday lunchtime for Arthur Dent until his house gets demolished. The Earth follows shortly afterwards to make way for a new hyperspace bypass and his best friend has just announced that he’s an alien. At this moment, they’re hurtling through space with nothing but their towels and an innocuous-looking book inscribed with the big, friendly words: DON’T PANIC. The weekend has only just begun…
Challenge 4: Read a book where the main-character is different from you
Maus – Art Spiegelman (buy)
maus art spiegelman
Different from me in that this story takes place during the Second World War and it’s told in a specific way with cats and mice.
Maus I: A Survivor’s Tale and Maus II – the complete story of Vladek Spiegelman and his wife, living and surviving in Hitler’s Europe. By addressing the horror of the Holocaust through cartoons, the author captures the everyday reality of fear and is able to explore the guilt, relief and extraordinary sensation of survival – and how the children of survivors are in their own way affected by the trials of their parents.
Challenge 5: Read a book outdoors
Makkelijk leven – Herman Koch
makkelijk leven herman koch
You may know him from “The Dinner”, “Summer House with Swimming Pool” and “Dear mr. M.”. Makkelijk Leven or ‘Easy Life” is a little book he wrote as a book-day-present. I don’t think it has been translated though… but it’s veeeeery short 😉
Tom Sanders writes popular self-help books. His books “Crime without borders” and “Easy Life” have sold over 40 million copies. He leads a comfortabel life with his wife Julia and two grown-up sons of which Stefan – his youngest- is his favourite.
During Julia’s birthday party, they get a visit from Hanna, Stefan’s girlfriend, on whom Tom and Julia are not too keen. She tells them how Stefan has hit her and how it was not the first time. Does Tom address the issue? Can he find a way to talk to his son based on his own self-help books?
Challenge 6: A book you bought for the cover
The Burial (new title: The Untold) – Courtney Collins (buy)
the burial courtney collins
I had never heard of this book but it looked amazing so I bought it… I don’t normally do that but look at it. It’s so beautiful!
It is 1921. In a mountain-locked valley, Jessie is on the run.
Born wild and brave, by twenty-six she has already lived life as a circus rider, horse and cattle rustler, and convict. But on this fateful night she is just a woman wanting to survive though there is barely any life left in her.
Two men crash through the bushland, desperate to claim the reward on her head: one her lover, the other the law.
But as it has always been for Jessie, it is death, not a man, who is her closest pursuer and companion. And while all odds are stacked against her, there is one who will never give up on her—her own child, who awaits her.
Challenge 7: Read seven books
Heldere Hemel – Tom Lanoye
heldere hemel tom lanoye
Officially the shortest book I have on my shelf. So perfect for a read-a-thon..
Based on true events. During The Cold War, a Russian Sovjet fighter plane crashes in a small Belgian village. A small event on a global scale but it has a massive impact on one family.
Well, wish me luck!
Are you participating in the Book-Tube-A-Thon?
What are you reading?
Books, Wrap-Up

Short Wrap-Up Dewey’s 24h Readathon

Dewey’s 24h readathon has come to a close and I just wanted to tell you what I read.

The honest answer here is: not a lot.

As suspected, I spent most of those 24 hours playing with or taking care of my two little ones. I managed to convince my 3 yo daughter to sit down with a book for a while so we could read together. Apparently, being a 3 yo means that you can only do an activity for about 10 minutes and then you have to move on 😉 but it was fun while it lasted.

I did end up finishing my book The Puppet Boy of Warsaw with only minutes to spare. That means I read 283 pages, which is fine. I’m just glad I finished the book. Not so much because I thought it was amazing and wanted to keep reading, quite the opposite in fact. I didn’t like it but forced my way through it anyway… I’ll write down my thoughts after I upload this and you’ll be able to read them (if you want to) tomorrow.

Even though I didn’t read that much, I’m still really happy that I participated. The book-reading community is one I absolutely adore. To everyone who I tweeted with or who liked my pictures on Instagram, THANK YOU! You made me smile and feel connected with the world.

See you in autumn (?) or is it winter (?) for the next readathon!

Love

Ellen

Books

Dewey’s 24h Readathon – 2016

Hi there!

This weekend it’s readathon time. I try to participate in both editions, every year but as always the amount of reading I get done depends on how much entertainment my little prince and princess need.

For me, the readathon starts at 2PM. I’ll probably get most of my reading done in the evening or early on Sunday morning.

I’d been thinking about what to read and decided on finishing some books that I had put down before. Books that I’ve been in the middle of for ages.

So without further ado, here’s my TBR for this edition of Dewey’s 24h Readathon.

The Historian – Elizabeth Kostova

I really liked this book when I started reading it. I thought it was very original and also liked the flow of the story. After a while, however, the pacing got a bit slow. Too slow.. and I decided that I’d rather read something else. So, I marked the spot where I left off and put it back on my shelf.

I have 176 pages left to read..

The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde – Robert Louis Stevenson

And once again.. I really liked this book. I’ve read it before for school when I was 15. Back then I read it in Dutch and when I found this pretty edition, I immediately wanted to read it again. Stuff happened, things got between me and my reading and the book ended up back on its shelf, unfinished. Time to change that!

I have 134 pages left to read..

The Puppet Boy of Warsaw – Eva Weaver

 

This is my current read. I don’t actually like reading a million books at once so I’d like to finish this one as well before I pick up anything else. The story is very good so far and I’m curious to see what happens next.

Here, I have 283 pages left to read.

Which means a total of 593 pages… That’s quite a lot…

Like always, I’m not sure how much I’ll actually be able to read but I’ll give it my best shot.

Are you participating? Leave me a link to your TBR or Twitter page so that I can see your progress.. because the best thing about the readathon, is the community reading together, cheering each other on, just generally having fun.

Love

Ellen

Random

Dewey’s 24 hour readathon

I’m participating in Dewey’s 24 hour readathon.

The Pre-Party consisted of a short introduction so, here we go:

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?

I live in Bruges, Belgium which means that my readathon starts at 2 PM. I’m guessing I’ll get most of my reading done tonight when my 2yo daughter is asleep…

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?

I’m mostly going to read ‘The Song Of Achilles’ by Madeline Miller. I would love to get through all of it but I know that probably won’t happen. I’m not doing the readathon to read as many books as possible, I’m participating to read alongside people from all over the world and hopefully make my way through this one book. (If I do finish it, I’m starting ‘Night Film’ by Marisha Pessl. 

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?

The cookies I’m baking right this moment.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!

I’m 26 years old and a mother of a very cheeky 2 yo daughter. I’m also currently pregnant with the next addition to the family. I love reading and baking oh and sleeping, there’s nothing better than a soft, warm bed…

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?

This is my first readathon and I just want to get some pages read. Also, I’d like to get to know some more people in the online reading community..

And that’s it, the readathon is about to begin so I better get ready!

I’m also vlogging my progress and that video should be up late on Sunday or early Monday.

Love

Ellen

Review

A walk to remember – Nicolas Sparks ****

a_walk_to_remember1

When I was young (this makes me sound old doesn’t it..), I mean when I was about 16-years old, this book was made into a movie and they played it on tv all the time. Every time they played it, we watched. I love that movie.

I bought the book three years ago, but never got around to reading it. Maybe I was a bit scared that it would clash with my memory of the movie.

The book IS different from what I remember. It takes place in the 50’s, where I think the movie is more modern.. I’m not a 100% sure, I’ll just have to watch it again. 😉

Every April, when the wind blows from the sea and mingles with the scent of lilacs, Landon Carter remembers his last year at Beaufort High. It was 1958, and Landon had already dated a girl or two. He even swore that he had once been in love. Certainly the last person in town he thought he’d fall for was Jamie Sullivan, the daughter of the town’s Baptist minister.

Yes, it’s corny and to be honest, there were time when I rolled my eyes at the way things were written but I also really liked this book. I’m glad that I read it.

Landon is one of the more popular guys. He starts out indifferent and stuck in his group of friends. He’s one of the guys who makes fun of Jamie. But then he gets to know her and finds out that she’s just like everyone else. She has dreams and hopes of her own. She’s her own person.

She also brings out the best in him and everyone else around her. She’s a truly good person. (That’s a good thing of course but it can be very annoying to. Like Landon says at one point; “She makes you feel guilty” and I agree, if she was a real person and I met her, I think she would make me uncomfortable.)

Of course, like all Sparks’s books, disaster soon follows happiness. Their love can’t last.
Even though I knew what was coming, even though I thought I was prepared, I cried when the plot twist came and I continued crying until after I had finished the book.

I guess it’s the way the characters are written. They are so well played out. You know it’s going to end badly, but you end up hoping that you’re wrong.

This book is quite short and it’s a fast read, which was why I decided to read it in the first place.
The way it made me feel, reminded me of how I felt when reading The Fault in our Stars, but this is a bit more grown-up I think. They talk a lot about religion and God, which was okay with me. I’m not a religious person but I could still connect with what was being said.

Also this quote:

“Love is always patient and kind.
It is never jealous.
Love is never boastful or conceited.
It is never rude or selfish.
It does not take offence and is not resentful.
Love takes no pleasure in other people’s sins,
but delights in the truth.
It is always ready to excuse, to trust, to hope,
and to endure whatever comes.”

It’s beautiful. They use it in the movie too and I always remembered it.
Every once in a while, I look for it, just to read it out loud again.
I guess I’ll just have to write/print it out.

Love

Ellen

The picture and its source can be found on my Pinterest page.