When Breath Becomes Air – a Tiny Book Review

When Breath Becomes Air is a memoir written by Paul Kalanithi, and was first published in 2016, after his death.

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In this memoir 36-year old Paul tells the story about himself – his younger years, his love for literature, his longing to discover the answer to what makes a life worth living – how he felt closer to the answer more than ever when becoming a neurosurgeon. And then, the story about getting diagnosed with terminal lung cancer, his struggles, his marriage, his thoughts about dying and leaving everything behind.

When Breath Becomes Air is an extremely well-written book, filled with philosophical, loving and heartwarming thoughts and conversations. Tears were shed, and my heart both grew and broke at the same time reading this book. A definite must-read.

The Reading Challenge: One point – A book about death or grief.

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The Trick is to Keep Breathing – a Tiny Book Review

The Trick is to Keep Breathing is a novel written by Janice Galloway, and was first published in 1989.

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The book is about Joy, a 27-year old teacher, following her thoughts and actions in a downward spiral, catalyzed by the death of her partner. The story alternates between the present and Joy looking back at memories, traumas, and conversations.

The Trick is to Keep Breathing won a Book of the Year award, as well as got shortlisted for a couple other awards. I do get why it was awarded – the story is honest and recognizable when it comes to mental diseases, which is a good thing cause we could always use more honesty about that. However (and this is a small however), I did find it sort of a bit too messy and hard to decipher at times (but that’s what mental diseases often are, so…).

The Reading Challenge:  Two points – A book set in the decade you were born (1980s), and – A book with song lyrics on the title (Garbage – The Trick is to Keep Breathing).

Hidden Pattern – a Tiny Book Review

Disclaimer: once again a Norwegian book, not translated as far as I know. Therefore the translation of the title is my own.

Hidden Pattern is a mystery/crime novel written by Norwegian author André Bjerke, and was first published in 1950 under his pseudonym Bernhard Borge.

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Apologies for the bad image from internet; my book only have a black cover.

The book is about a young woman, Irene, who moves into a house with four male friends. Things are going great and the men adore her, but as time goes by they sense a nervousness in Irene when it comes to her family. Is it just her nerves, or is something really going on..?

Confession! I love André Bjerke, he is my favorite Norwegian author, especially when it comes to his poems. His other books are also so delightfully written; I can basically see all the scenes happening as if I were watching a movie. I adore the language – he wrote his books with a hint of old-fashioned spellings, making it easier for me to really imagine all the conversations and the surroundings in my head.

Reading Challenge: One point! Bjerke died in 1985, but he was an Oslo-guy through and through, so this book was indeed written by a local author.

Anorectic – a Tiny Book Review

Disclaimer: This is a Norwegian book, published last year, so not yet available in English. The title is therefore my own translation.

Anorectic is a true story journal-book, written by Ingeborg Senneset, and was published in 2017.

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The story takes place over the course of three years, mainly written as journal entries. It’s Senneset’s own story about her journey in the Norwegian mental healthcare program, trying to fight both bulimia, anorexia, and OCD.

Anorectic is a book mostly directed at the people working with mental healthcare. It describes several of the issues a patient can struggle with, but never speaks up about. It’s definitely an important book, and one everyone should read. It’s also a well-written book (Senneset is today (among other things) a journalist for one of the largest newspapers in Norway), and it doesn’t really contain triggers – in case anyone was wondering.

The reading challenge of 2018!: One point – A book about mental health.

Reading Challenge 2018 – Welcome!

Same procedure as last year – I’m saving the Advanced reading list till I’ve finished the normal one, and see if I actually will even start on it. Therefore my list will have the Advanced points cut out. Here’s the Reading Challenge 2018 cut-version:

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I’ve already made a list of books containing some of these points. And, as last year also, one book can cross off up to two points. Let the fun begin!

The Book Year 2017

Phew! The year is over! 2017 has certainly been a book year for me. In both 2015 and 2016 I read 17 books throughout the year. Which honestly isn’t bad, but it had a lot of room for improvement. And apparently the improvement came this year, reading 36 books! Double the amount than the previous two years; or more than the previous two years combined (whichever sounds more impressing to you).

Now, two of the 36 books of 2017 haven’t been written about here, as I briefly mentioned in a post back in May, because I wrote reviews of them for the magazine I volunteer for (none of them got published though). But I certainly read them! But they’re both Norwegian books, so the effort to write the reviews such a long time after isn’t quite worth it.

Because of the Reading Challenge I got to read a lot of different books, which I’m really grateful for! Without it, it would’ve been a lot of fantasy, sci-fi, and Norwegian novels. So here are some of my favorites from the year:

The Book Thief: I mean, just the fact that this was my third attempt at this book, and I finally finished it, was kind of a big deal. But the story is really catching, and I do believe it was the book that struck me emotionally the most.

Their Eyes Were Watching God: Just the title itself is so beautiful, which was what made me pick the book – I hadn’t even heard of it before, despite it being pretty famous. I think it’s good for a lot of people out there to read something that tells about a different culture from the minority itself; it might change some world views. This book also made me really realize that I read way too many books written by white people.

Both Fast Food Nation and Angry White Men sort of strengthen my view on the American culture – how it’s turned out the way it is these days, and how damaging capitalism really can be. Not saying everything about American culture is bad, but there are some factors that just pierces through the whole system and causes really bad things to happen, and that’s the scary part. However, at the end, Hillbilly Elegy made me think twice about my judgements, and that there’s more beneath and other factors to consider. (Angry White Men and Hillbilly Elegy was not part of the reading challenge though.)

What We Talk About When We Talk About Love: I really like the title itself (titles are a big deal to me, yes), and the short story collection tells about pretty normal-day events, often with a twist. I find it fun and inspirational that something to simple can be so interesting to read about.

Some of my least favorites these year were…well, I’m not gonna say, but they were Norwegian all of them. Not that they were bad, but just not my style.

Here’s the full version of the Reading Challenge 2017, fully completed!:

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Thank you to all my new followers this year, I do really appreciate that you want to read my blog. 🙂 Here’s to a brand new book year!

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