Aborted Book – The Interpreters

The Interpreters is a novel written by Wole Soyinka, and was first published in 1964. It won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986.

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The novel follows the lives of a group of Nigerians, in Nigeria. That’s as much as I can say about the plot, because I honestly didn’t get much else of what was going on. Despite having well-written sentences, after 70 pages I still found it hard to understand what was happening in the bigger picture since the sentences sometimes didn’t seem to be related to each other.

I had sort of high hopes for this, being a Nobel Prize winner and all. And I can get why it won a prize, seeing it describes the lives of a group of people in a country that isn’t that well known to the Western civilization. So I’m definitely disappointed – mostly in myself for not grasping the plot well enough.

But, I do write these Aborted Books so I can one day look back at what I didn’t finish, and then get the inspiration to actually finish it, so I’m not dismissing that you will all read a Tiny Book Review about this book in about ten years time.

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How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe – a Tiny Book Review

How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe is the debut novel of Charles Yu. It was published in 2010.

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In this book we follow the thoughts of time machine repairman Charles Yu. We get to go along his memories from childhood, especially about his father. And we get to follow his semi-quest to find his father wherever he might be in the universe.

I first fell for How To Live Safely In A Science Fictional Universe simply because of the cover. Just look at it! It’s so beautiful! The laser pistol themselves pop up a little on the book, it’s just a delicious book. The content however…I was a bit disappointed. There was a lot of thinking happening, and not a lot of doing. But it does vastly improve after about 70 pages! So if you can stick through that, I would kinda recommend it.

Reading challenge: One point –  a book about time travel!

The Shamer Series – a Tiny Book Review

These books haven’t been translated to English, therefore the titles are my own translations.

The Shamer Series is a fantasy series in four parts, written for teens. Written by Danish author Lene Kaaberbøl, the first book, The Shamer’s Daughter, was published in 2000. The second and third book, The Shamer Sign and The Gift of the Snake, came in 2001. Fourth and final book, The Shamer War, came in 2003.

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The Shamer Series is about a girl named Dina, her older brother Davin, and their family. At ten years old, Dina discovers she has inherited the gift of being a shamer – someone who when looking in your eyes see all the things you’ve done in your life that you’re ashamed of. Not the greatest gift according to a girl her age. Her mother, the shamer, uses her power to help settle disputes whenever someone is accused of murder, thievery and the likes, since she can see if someone is lying or not.

One day a king, his daughter-in-law, and her young son is found murdered, the suspicion landing on Nico, the king’s son. Drakan, the king’s illegitimate-and-outcast son, brings the shamer in to prove it, however the shamer refuses to believe Nico is the murderer. But Drakan won’t accept that, and has no problem doing whatever he needs to make sure he’s the next in line for the throne.

Now, since this is a tiny book review, I won’t spoil more than that. Let’s just say that things escalates a lot. I first read these books when they initially came out in Norwegian, and I loved them from the start. 15+ years later I found myself still loving them. The language is easy, written for a younger audience, but the story is so driven that it just makes it more fun to read. A proper page-turner, in other words.

Fun fact: The character Davin, pictured on the cover of the second book, is where I got my middle name from. His characteristics meant so much to me at the time I was reading these books, and I identified a lot with his stubbornness, determination, and sometimes thoughtlessness. So I ended up taking his name.

Reading challenge: Even though there are four books, there’s only three points in total to check off: (1) The next book in a series you started. (2) A book about a villain or antihero (making people feel ashamed isn’t exactly popular). (3) A book with an animal in the title.

Ghostwritten – a Tiny Book Review

Ghostwritten is David Mitchell’s debut novel, and was first published in 1999.

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Mitchell’s first novel is about several different people and consists of a small insight to their lives; their stories are also entwined to each other by small occurrences. It’s also possible to read the end of the book and start right to the beginning again without the story suffering – it just loops.

However much I loved some of the individual stories, cause Mitchell is a great writer and writes differently for each story, I have to admit that I struggle a bit to grasp the…shall we say, point of the story as a whole. I mean, yes, a part of it is the thought that all of us are connected however unlikely that fact seems. But, I feel that I’m also missing something else that I just can’t pinpoint… Maybe you should read the book and tell me what I missed?

The Reading Challenge: One point – A book with an ugly cover. I mean…just look at those colours.

 

House of Leaves – a (not so) Tiny Book Review

House of Leaves is a novel written by Mark Z. Danielewski, and was first published in 2000.

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Well, this is a complicated one. I don’t want to spoil too much from the book itself, so I’ve decided to make a doodle of the structure of the book, to make it easier to understand. Here it is:

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Johnny Truant is the main story teller. He’s the one who finds Zampanò’s documents, writes them down, and sends them to the publisher (to short down his appearance in the book tremendously). Zampanó’s documents are about The Navidson Record – a master thesis of sorts, which you get to read in full, containing hundreds of footnotes and added documents. The Navidson Record are several short films and other documents about a house which has a door that expands into…well, you’ll see. The publisher in my doodle is the publisher that Truant sends the book to (and not the publisher of the physical book I read).

The existence of House of Leaves baffles me, and it baffled me again and again throughout the book. I’ve thought about writing this review so many times, and I still struggle to be able to include the complexity of House of Leaves. It is nothing less than a masterpiece, and I can’t praise it enough, mostly because of the amount of work that poured into it! I cannot for the life of me believe this book didn’t win all the awards out there!

Now go to your local library and get this book this instant!

The Reading Challenge: My favorite prompt from one of the previous Reading Challenges – although not entirely true (not a favorite), I have been annoyed that I never finished Moby Dick back in 2016, missing to read a book with more than 600 pages. So I’m checking that box right now, thank you berry munch.

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd – a Tiny Book Review

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a crime novel, written by Agatha Christie and was first published in 1926.

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We follow the story from the perspective of the doctor in the village, as he tells us about all the gossip that rummages around. During a dinner at the rich-man Roger Ackroyd’s house, the host gets brutally murdered! Lucky for some, Hercule Poirot recently moved to the village…

Well, it’s only been a year since I said I was gonna read this book, and this Easter it finally happened! Third book about Hercule Poirot, and I do adore how Christie managed to write these stories. Poirot is such a snob, and it’s comically obvious in the books. Just like I like him.

The Reading Challenge: A book made into a movie you’ve already seen. (David Suchet as Poirot. ❤ ) Technically it’s a TV series according to iMDb, but every episode is an hour and a half, sooo…