Thursday, July 28, 2011

Booking Through Thursday - Night Owl

Booking Through Thursday is a weekly meme about (mostly) books and reading.

This week's question is:

What’s the latest you’ve ever stayed up reading a book? Is staying up late reading a usual thing for you?

I am most definitely a night owl. I love staying up late into the night and do so whenever I can (one of the perks of being a freelancer; I don't always have to be up early). I do more things than read, like watch a film or create something, but I like reading at night because I know I won't be disturbed. I don't know exactly what the latest I've stayed up reading is, but if I were to guess I'd say around 3 or maybe 4 in the morning. Sometimes if I have only a few chapters left of a book I think I'll just finish it before I go to bed, but I always read much slower than I think so it usually ends up being quite late before I finally fall asleep.

Are you a night owl too?

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

 
It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

I'm sure you have all heard about the tragedy that hit my peaceful little country over the weekend. I won't say too much about it because everything that can be said has already been said, and in much better ways that I can say it. I just want to extend my condolences to everyone who lost a loved one these past few days. My heart breaks for you. I will always remember the words of one of the survivors from Ut√łya: "If one man can show so much hatred, imagine how much love we can show together."

Show some love today. You will make the world a better place.

Yesterday was my birthday, and to celebrate a little I'm having a birthday giveaway here on the blog. It's open internationally, and you can win a book of your choice! Enter here until 31 July.

I had a nice, quiet birthday at home. Mum made me pancakes and Dad came home from a fishing trip with some coalfish, so I'm happy. The fish is delicious warm, but even better cold with potatoes, cucumber and sour cream. Yummy!

I don't have much to report in bookish news. I'm still reading The Devil Colony by James Rollins. I thought maybe it would be strange to read a thriller after last Friday's events, but I found reading fiction actually helped. I'll finish it this week, and then it's onto another review book, Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis. I hear it's good, so I'm looking forward to it.

A little different format for this meme today, but I hope you understand. Take care of each other out there.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Birthday Giveaway!

Since today is my birthday I thought I would celebrate in true book blogger style and have a giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a book of their choice from The Book Depository worth up to $15.

I am a fan of quick and easy giveaways, so here are the rules:

– Open to everyone with a postal address in a country TBD ships to (see list here).
– You do not have to be a follower or promote this giveaway anywhere (but I'll send you lots of virtual chocolate if you do!).
– Fill out the form below to enter.

Giveaway closes 31 July 2011, 24:00 CET. Winner will be chosen by Random.org.

Good luck!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

On Kindles and Elevators

"Books are no more threatened by Kindle than stairs by elevators."
– Stephen Fry

I do believe he is right.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Norwegian Edition: A Discovery of Witches

Norwegian Edition is a new feature here at The Turn of the Page. Usually we only see the US and UK editions of books across the blogosphere, so I thought I would share with you some Norwegian editions now and then.

First up:

A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness

Alle sjelers natt ("All Souls' Night") was released in Norway in March, and this is the cover for the hardback. It's very different from any other editions I have seen.


I haven't read the book yet, so it's hard to say how the cover art relates to the story. I love the colours and the full moon, but there is something about the whole thing that gives it an almost cartoony feel. Maybe it's the silhouetted bird that puts it over the top for me.

My favourite cover for the novel is this edition from Viking Adult:


What do you think of the Norwegian cover for A Discovery of Witches? What about the title?

Monday, July 18, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

 
It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

I finally found my reading mojo again last week and what happened? I got swamped with projects at work so I hardly have time to read at all the next few weeks. Hrmph.

FINISHED LAST WEEK
It took me almost 3 weeks, but I finished my re-read of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling. I really regret not finishing the series years ago, because with the last film coming out it was impossible to avoid spoilers unless I moved into a cave in the mountains for a while (and I appreciate modern comforts too much to do that). So now I know all sorts of things I didn't want to know until I had read the last two books. Oh well, perhaps it's better to know what's coming so I can prepare myself for the turmoil?

CURRENTLY READING
I'm about a fourth of the way into the newest Sigma Force novel, The Devil Colony by James Rollins. So far this scientific thriller is very good.

WHAT'S NEXT
I'm thinking it will be Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis, the first in a new paranormal detective series that sounds intriguing.

What are you reading this week?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Review: A Scottish Ferry Tale

A Scottish Ferry Tale
By Nancy Volkers

First published: 2009
Series: Scottish Ferry Tale #1

Read: 15 - 18 June 2011
E-book

Amazon description
Newly single Cassie Wrentham spends a long weekend in Scotland with frightening-looking cows, difficult cats and friendly, stubborn Scots. One attracts her immediately, and the feeling is mutual. But Cassie is ruled by her head, not her heart; she can't even read a fairy tale without rolling her eyes and picking the plot apart. She won't fall for the love-at-first-sight thing – or will she?

Delightful and uplifting

I typically don't read a lot of romance novels, because frankly, most of them bore me. But after reading Alice's review over at Girls Just Read I thought this particular one sonded good, so I picked it up. And I'm so glad I did, because A Scottish Ferry Tale turned out to be a delightful and heart-warming story.

The description above makes the book sound a bit bland, which is sad because it is anything but. I would write my own description if I had the skills to summarize a story in an accurate and witty way, but I think the author's comment on Goodreads does a better job:

"If you're looking for historical fiction, deep analysis, bodice-ripping romance, or vampires, you won't find it here. You do get a stubborn, over-analytic woman; an unusually sensitive, direct man (...), a very large dog, a couple of boat rides, some fairy tale analysis (have you ever wondered why Snow White is compelled to commit breaking and entering to *clean someone else's house*?), and a bit of love. Oh, and chocolate cake."

Even though Cassie and I are completely different, I found it very easy to relate to and empathize with her. She is the kind of person I wish I could be (or rather had been when I was her age). Sure, there were times when her choices frustrated me and I wanted to smack her over the head for being such a fool, but I'd like to do that to my best friend sometimes too. And Ralph, the sturdy, charming Scotsman who sweeps her off her feet is just perfect. 

The writing is fluent and beautiful, and often funny: 
"He laughed, that deep, joyous, genuine laugh, and a little voice inside me said Uh Oh. This Is Someone You Can't Not Pay Attention To. (Yeah, the little voice had bad grammar and akward sentence structure sometimes. But it was often right.)" 

And then there are passages that are just so true:
"Here's what I think," she said. "You love him. The two of you are amazing together. And that scares you. You are sure that because it's so good, something will go wrong, and instead of enjoying it, you're on guard, waiting for the bad thing to happen."

Not to mention the paragraph about how a flock of sheep lying in the middle of the road behave when a car comes along – spot on! I guess sheep behave in the same way no matter what country you are in. 

The setting is just magical, and having just come back from a week in Scotland before reading the novel, I had no trouble imagining the scenery. In fact, it made me want to go back again and look for my own happy ending. 

A Scottish Ferry Tale is a gem of a novel that you don't want to miss; it's charming, hopeful, and funny and it made me happy.

My rating:

Note: The sequel, called Starlight in Scotland (don't you just love these titles?), was published earlier this year.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Month in Books - June

Oops, I'm rather late putting together this summary of June – we're already well into July. I don't know how it happened, but somehow half the summer is already gone and it's almost time to start thinking about Christmas presents again!

So, let's talk about June. Not a very good month for me reading-wise. I hit a severe reading slump about mid-way through the month and haven't finished a single book in weeks now. I'm getting back into the swing of things now, but it made June a bad month in that respect.

What made June a good month however, was going to a Bon Jovi concert in Oslo on the 15th. It was an incredible experience and I'm still not over it. In fact, I think that concert might have to take some of the blame for my reading slump, because after I got home I couldn't stop listening to their music (and I can't read and listen to music at the same time). But if that's the case, it's okay – I can read anytime but I don't get to see Bon Jovi every day.

Read in June

Links go to my reviews

23) Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer
24) The Doomsday Key by James Rollins
25) The Skeleton Key by James Rollins (novella)
26) A Scottish Ferry Tale by Nancy Volkers

I also posted my review of Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz. Love this series!

Incoming Books

I'm terrified of this list. I swear books are finding their way into my home of their own accord. My TBR pile is growing by the minute. This has to stop (yeah, as if).

For review
Hard Spell by Justin Gustainis (from the author)
No One to Trust by Julie Moffett (NetGalley/Carina Press)
The Mountain of Gold by J.D. Davies (NetGalley/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

RAK
Toil and Trouble by H.P. Mallory (thank you Rebecca from Kindle Fever!)

Won
The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4 by Sue Townsend (thank you Daphne from Loving Books!)

BookCrossing
The Thieves of Faith by Richard Doetsch

Bought
The Pawn by Steven James (e-book)
The Girl With the Long Green Heart by Lawrence Block (e-book)
The Girl Who Chased the Moon by Sarah Addison Allen
Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales
Stories I Only Tell My Friends by Rob Lowe
Allegra Biscotti Collection by Olivia Bennett (free e-book)
The Skeleton Key by James Rollins (e-book)
Among Thieves by Douglas Hulick
Revenge of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
The Sword-Edged Blonde by Alex Bledsoe
The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale by Christine Bell (free e-book)

Challenge Progress

First in a Series Challenge – 6/6 – Completed!
1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
2. Burglars Can't Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
3. Heat Wave by Richard Castle
4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
5. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory
6. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

2nds Challenge – 2/3 
1. Outside In by Maria V. Snyder
2. Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz

Mystery & Suspense Challenge – 6/12
1. Burglars Can't Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
2. Heat Wave by Richard Castle
3. The Survivor by Sean Slater
4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
5. Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz
6. The Doomsday Key by James Rollins

Other Posts of Interest

Top Ten Tuesday
Favourite Book Settings

Booking Through Thursday
Soundtrack
Size Matters

Misc
Solar Eclipse

Here's to the rest of July – which happens to include my birthday. :)

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness - July

New month, new RAK courtesy of Book Soulmates:


In June I received:


From Rebecca @ Kindle Fever: Toil and Trouble by HP Mallory

Thank you so much!

Now come join the July RAK!

The Rules:

• Sign up each month you'd like to participate in.
• Show off your participation! Grab one of the buttons available :)
• Create a wishlist and post it in the Google Doc located in each R.A.K post for the month.
{Post on your blog, Amazon, where ever as long as there's a link to it.}
• If you choose to do a R.A.K for someone, check out their wishlist and contact that blogger for their address.
• At the end of the month, SHOW US YOUR R.A.K!
Make a post saying 'Thank You' to whoever granted one of your wishes and share it with us :)

OPEN TO EVERYONE!
Lets's keep our International bloggers in mind and in our hearts.
Remember, there's always the Book Depository and they offer FREE shipping!

My wishlists are pretty full because I add anything that sounds interesting, but these are the main two: Kindle wishlist and general wishlist in case anyone wants to take a look. :)

Friday, July 8, 2011

Top 5 Books of 2011 - So Far

As half of 2011 lies behind us (seriously, what happened??), I thought I'd share my top 5 reads of the year so far. I've read some really good books this year and the lowest rating I have given is 3 out of 6, so I've had a good year so far. It's always hard making a prioritized list, but here it is.


1) The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
This was actually a re-read, but it was just as fabulous the second time around. I am in love with everything about this book; the plot, the characters, the setting, the cover... In fact, I am so much in love that I'm completely incapable of writing a coherent review, which is why I never have.


2) The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale
I said in my review in May that this novella was the most fun I had had reading a book all year, and that sentiment still applies. I thoroughly enjoyed every word of this twisted tale, and had it been a full-length novel it would have pushed poor Locke down from first place without question.


3) A Scottish Ferry Tale by Nancy Volkers
This was such a sweet romance novel. I loved the story and the characters, and as I had just spent a week in Scotland before reading this one, the setting was very vivid.


4) Curse of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz
The second book in the Spellman Files was just as funny as the first one. Isabel Spellman is a great narrator; crazy without being over the top. If you like Stephanie Plum, you'll love Izzy Spellman.


5) Heat Wave by Richard Castle
If you like the excellent TV series Castle, you are sure to like this first installment of the Nikki Heat series written by the fictional Mr. Castle himself because it feels just like watching an episode of the show.

There you have it; my five best reads of the year so far. It will be interesting to see how many of these are still on the list in six month's time.

What are your top 5 books so far this year?

Monday, July 4, 2011

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

 
It's Monday, What Are You Reading is a weekly meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. It is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.

Happy 4th of July to all my American friends!

FINISHED LAST WEEK
I went through a bit of a reading slump (or life slump, really) last week, so I didn't finish anything.

CURRENTLY READING
Still Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. There were days last week when I didn't read a single page, but I'm getting back into it now and should be able to finish this one in a few days. I had forgotten just how big these last books in the series are!

WHAT'S NEXT
I have a couple of review books I should read soon, including The Devil Colony by James Rollins. However I just bought the sequel to A Scottish Ferry Tale, Scotland by Starlight by Nancy Volkers, and I have a feeling I won't be able to resist it for very long.

What are you reading?

Friday, July 1, 2011

1st in a Series Challenge 2011 - Completed!


This was a fun challenge! I signed up for the second level: Series Lover - 6 books and reached that goal much sooner than expected. I considered upgrading to the next level of 12 books, but after having a bit of a down period in my reading recently I decided I didn't want the pressure. I'm sure I'll read several more books that are first in a series this year, but I don't want to feel guilty if I don't make it to 12. So, I hereby declare this challenge completed!

Here are the books I read with links to reviews. I also read Inside Out by Maria V. Snyder, but managed to delete the review without having a backup, so I'm not counting it anymore.

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J.K. Rowling
2. Burglars Can't Be Choosers by Lawrence Block
3. Heat Wave by Richard Castle
4. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
5. Fire Burn and Cauldron Bubble by H.P. Mallory
6. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

CHALLENGE COMPLETED  4 JUNE 2011
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