Book Reviews

A man called OVE by Fredrik Backman

“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.”

I picked up this book due to a Twitter thread of GoodReads asking readers what their favourite book for 2018 was and A Man called OVE appearing in most of the comments. Yeah, I know, majority rules! And I can say with my hand on my heart that this book has made me cry, made me laugh, and made me feel wholesome again.

OVE is your typical grumpy old man but underneath the surface, he is kind, determined and has a big heart (literally). His thoughts are that actions weigh more than words and he is true to his thoughts – doing more than talking.

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.”

And when his thoughts drift towards suicide, it’s a question of principle.

Book Reviews

The Gift of Fear – Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence

I read this book as it came highly recommended from different Reddit forums dealing with relationships, abuse and spotting possible stalker behaviour.
The book was indeed very good but I can’t say that the tagline “This book will literally save your life” is indeed applicable. It goes with a lot of common sense and helps identify possibly threatening behaviour, all the time putting an accent on the fact that living in permanent paranoia is not the key to survival but allowing your instincts to detect when something is amiss.

By using several examples and his extensive experience in the field, Gavin de Becker teaches us how to spot and how to respond to a possible bad situation.

Key Lessons from “The Gift of Fear”:

  1. Be Aware of Body Language and Forced Teaming
  2. There’s a Way to Tell If a Bomb Threat Is Real or Not
  3. Don’t Get Addicted to the Cycle of Abuse: Tell Someone
Book Reviews

Kurt Vonnegut – Slaughterhouse 5

I’ve read the book last week and I can’t say I liked it. One of the most widely read anti-war novels of all time made little to no sense for me.
The timelines jump from side to side and all I can think of is that the guy who must have written in might have been cray-cray.
The story jumps from the bombardment of Dresden in the Second World War to an optician and then to an alien zoo exhibit who was shagging a movie star with his massive dong for the entertainment of four-dimensional beings.

Book Reviews

Vanishing Girls Book Review

Here comes yet another psychological thriller from Lauren Olivier (author of Before I Fall). The story revolves around two sisters who have survived a tragic car accident and are trying to get their lives in order in the aftermath.
Then Dara (the younger sister) vanishes on her birthday and Nick (the older sister) thinks Dara is just playing around. But another girl, nine-year-old Madeline Snow, has vanished, too, and Nick becomes increasingly convinced that the two disappearances are linked. Now Nick has to find her sister, before it’s too late.


Book Reviews

The Daemon Prism: A Novel of the Collegia Magica * Book Review

2017: I abandoned the book after the first few chapters. I didn’t actually realize that it was part of a series and more, it was the last book of the said series.

2019: I picked it up again after reading Soul Mirror and it was still a terrible read, with confusing plotlines and characters.  Berg seems to have fallen into the same trap she has with many of her other books, taking a plunge into an esoteric, incomprehensible battle that lasts far too long for the reader to keep caring.

  • Carol Berg
  • Publishing Date:2012
  • Author: Carol Berg
  • Pages: 482

The story

Dante the necromancer is the most reviled man in Sabria, indicted by the king, the Temple, and the Camarilla Magica for crimes against the living and the dead. Blinded by his enemy’s cruel vengeance, Dante salves pain and bitterness by preparing his student, Anne de Vernase, to heal the tear in the Veil between life and death.
When Anne abandons him to return to her family, Dante seeks refuge in a magical puzzle, a desperate soldier’s dream of an imprisoned enchantress and a faceted glass that can fulfil one’s uttermost desires. But the dream is a seductive trap that threatens to unleash the very cataclysm Dante fears. Haunted, desperate, the blind mage embarks on a journey into madness, ancient magic, and sacred mystery, only to confront the terrifying truth of his own destiny..

For about three-quarters of the book, I was bored, slogging through the antagonists essentially laughing evilly at one another and doing terrible things while Dante did the same thing he has done in previous books: Gritted his teeth and pretended to be evil. He’s an interesting character, but it would have been nice to see him without his masks for the book that was supposed to be centered about him. To top things off, the shifting narrative — which did not occur in the other books — seemed off-balance, disorienting and confusing rather than offering multiple facets (perhaps a meta-reference to the prisms around which the story centers?) to the story.

The book fails to deliver on so many levels and it’s a definite 1/5

Book Reviews

Thicker than Blood – Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley

If you are looking for a horror set in a zombie apocalypse scenario featuring two strong women who are not lesbian or bi but thoroughly friendly with each other, you have come to the right book.


Book Reviews

Every Day by David Levithan (or the tale of the body switcher)

I’ve picked up this audiobook just after I’ve seen the movie. And even though I’ve seen the movie and I knew what was going to happen, I was still surprised by how well the book came across and how many other things were described that weren’t in the movie (dooh!).

Book Reviews

Aldous Huxley – Island Book Review

I found this book in my sci-fi pile. Written in 1962 and possibly the last book by Aldous Huxley, Island is a far cry from Brave New World.
It tries to mix Buddhism and English Colonialism and philosophy into a stew that just doesn’t taste good. It’s too contrived and the subject at hand is an utopia in the form of the Palanese society – who embrace modern science and technology to improve medicine and nutrition, but have rejected widespread industrialization.

Book Reviews

Sadie – Courtney Summers

In our last episode, I introduced you to the two girls at the center of this podcast, Mattie Southern and Sadie Hunter. Mattie was murdered, her body left just outside her hometown of Cold Creek, Colorado. Sadie is missing, her car found, abandoned, thousands of miles away, with all her personal belongings still inside it. The girls’ surrogate grandmother, May Beth Foster, has enlisted my help in finding Sadie and bringing her home.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water. But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

Book Reviews

Nicholas Sparks * The Guardian Book Review

It’s been quite a while since I’ve read a story about a woman, a man and a dog and a psychopath chasing them which wasn’t written by Dean Koontz. Nicholas Sparks has written many, many books like The Notebook and A Walk to Remember – but this is his first thriller and I must say it turned out great. He still let the romance bloom and it didn’t take anything away from the story.