CrowdedMinds a.k.a. Rita

~ GoodReads Expat ~ Danish ... with a dash of Sicilian ~

~ Thoughts & Musings ~

Well done Ms Collins! Catching Fire is a darn good read!! :)

Catching Fire  - Suzanne  Collins

The sequel to The Hunger Games is far better than anticipated by me. It was difficult to put down and it had many, for me, unexpected turns of events. Suzanne Collins manages to effectively balance the action vs the romance (you may remember that I generally speaking loathe romance novels) to keep the story engaging, and occasionally she manages to even throw in some dry non-cringe worthy humor. I'm definitely looking forward to the final instalment in the series, Mockingjay.

Reading progress update: I've read 171 out of 245 pages.

The Stars My Destination - Alfred Bester

I was really looking forward to read this science fiction classic by Alfred Bester. Now, I'm extremely tempted to abandon this book. That's not a feeling I often get while reading, luckily. I find it very difficult to see what is so special and "master-piece-y" about it. Sure, it has a few good ideas here and there, but it's way too erratic, it's like the author wanted to write about too much in too little space instead of taking the time to flesh this thing out to something that personally would consider decent.  Is it just me that feels like that bout this so-called masterpiece?

Rosemary's Baby

Rosemary's Baby - Ira Levin

This book is a far cry from what I would consider to be horror, but it was a darn good read - well-written with very real characters and characterisations and situations. It felt "real". Only at one point did i find this novel "dated" and that was in the scene where people would be smoking in the company of the then pregnant Rosemary - I doubt you'd find a current-day book with similar scene!

Very unforgettable, kind of what you'd expect to see in a post-apocalyptic zombie novel that is NOT about the gore and the horror.

The Reapers Are the Angels - Alden Bell

Great book, almost gave it 5 stars. Very unforgettable, kind of what you'd expect to see in a post-apocalyptic zombie novel that is NOT about the gore and the horror. I'm not going to summarise for you what the book is about; I suggest instead that you go read it for yourself in stead! :-)

One little thing irked me though, something that I found to be very unrealistic, and that's why I didn't give it 5 stars:

How can the main protagonist (and others) be driving around in cars more than 25 years after the apocalypse took place? Where do they get the gasoline from? Surely, in a real life situation where the unthinkable happens and where your supply chain gets cut, because people die and there's virtually no one to work on the oil rigs, distribution, etc., gas would run out relatively fast, wouldn't it? Surely people don't get around with cars more than 25 years after it happened? Surely the world would succumb to a more primitive stave of development? Yeah yeah, I know, zombies are not realistic either, why do I make an "issue" out of the continued use of gas when zombies don't exist in real life either, but you see, my point is that when you add a fantastical element (zombie) in a "real world" environment, you must make that world realistic and credible in order to make to book come to life and make it "real", at least that's how it works best for me.

Eleanor & Park - not case of teenage wild life?

Eleanor & Park - Rainbow Rowell

As an adult I find it pretty hard to fully relate to the characters in this book, not because they are not well written or well rounded, they are, but because I find it difficult to relate to the typical insecurity that the protagonists face, especially because I didn't share them with them either when I was a teen nearly three decades ago. Unlike Eleanor, I did stand up for myself when I was being bullied, which (I have to admit) did happen in my pre-teen and early teenage years. I didn't have a Park though, nor was I a red-head, but that's another story ;) So, I can relate to Eleanor's sense of being the odd kid that's being picked on at school. I do painfully remember what that felt like. But her passive non-confrontative way of dealing with is certainly not something I can relate to [[[spoiler]]] especially towards the end of the book when she ran away from home[[[/spoiler]]].

As a few other reviews have pointed out, their romance feels forced and unnatural: where did the sudden attraction come from? A reluctant friendship makes sense, and that's portrayed quite well actually, and I liked how it build up, but the sudden romance? Where did that come from? I don't get it. If fact I personally didn't need the romance at all, I passionately hate romance novels, seriously.

Overall, the book was a good recommendable read. The characters were compelling and well-rounded, and I must say that I found it daring by the author to include the nasty element that bullying is. More books should do that, especially since more light need to be brought on it, especially after all the tragic cases of suicides by bullying that we have all read about in recent years.

Knits for the Sci-Fi fan

Knits for Nerds: 30 Projects: Science Fiction, Comic Books, Fantasy - Joan of Dark, Toni Carr

Not sure how relevant the models are, but the models provided a definitely fun to check out and a must for every sci-fi nut such as myself, and I would go as far as to say some of the models have real life application and not just "Halloween" potential. :)

"Vampireish" knitting

Vampire Knits: Projects to Keep You Knitting from Twilight to Dawn - Genevieve Miller

This book has many really sweet knitted items, though perhaps not all are relevant for all knitters, but there is a lot of potential in the models provided, and honestly: Twilight really has little to do with what you find here, trust me on this as I am not a Twilight fan! :)

Either or....

Either Or...Booklet or Tome? Uh that is a tough one. But when I look through my book case I'd have to say Tome, though some of my all-time favourite books have been booklets, like "I am Legend" or "Flowers for Algernon".


Pre-Owned or New? New, but I have to admit that I do get a lot second hand.


Historical Fiction or Fantasy? Fantasy, no doubt.


Hardcover or paperback?  Paperback, hands down. Though hardcovers are pretty, but they are just too heavy to carry around and they take up too much space compared to paperback when you store them.


Funny or sad? I think that books that want to be funny often try too hard and in the end they fail miserably, at least when it comes to what I find funny.


Do you prefer reading in summer or in winter? The season actually matters very little when it comes to my reading schedule.


Classics or mainstream? In some cases I'd actually say Obscure. I like to read "off the beaten path", though a lot of what I read might considered mainstream. Classics I often find to be huge disappointments.


Guidebook or Fiction? Fiction. Guidebook is a weird term so I choose to think of it as "non fiction" - I do enjoy non-fiction in the quantum physics department. 


Crime Novel or thriller? Both actually, though I think my reading choices end more in the thriller/horror end of the spectrum.


Ebook or Print Edition? I ready both ebooks and printed books. I've come to enjoy ebooks more lately as I find it awesome that you can adjust the font to what's more comfortable to my eyes. Though I have to say my first choice is the printed book. They are just visually more pretty.


Collecting or clearing out? We don't talk about that :P but if I have to be honest, the term hoarder comes to mind... You know the Ikea bookcase "Billy"? Yeah well, I need a fourth... The only books I clear out are the ones that I did not enjoy at all. They usually end up with either friends or the second hand book store. Although I didn't like them I do not have the heart to throw them out with the trash.


Internet or Bookstore? Internet. Though I love to browse in actual physical shops.


Cookbook or Baking Book? I don't read about food, I eat it :P


Tagged Next: feel free to play along. Have no clue on how to tag here...! :)

Reblogged from Debbie's Spurts:

The Picture of Dorian Gray -- I think that I enjoyed the movie more!

The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde, Jeffrey Eugenides

Now this was an odd- ball.

First I would like to say that, for me, books written in the 1800s are quite "difficult" to get through. To me the language and style is too drawn out and I always feel like yelling to the author "Dude, get to the point!". The Picture of Dorian Grey was no different to me. This is not due to the fault of Oscar Wilde, that's just how a lot of writing just was back then. Literature from the 1800 is usually just not "me".

I was very much in doubt if I should give this book 3 or 4 stars. In the end I opted for 3 stars because I actually like and enjoyed the concept behind the book: the eternal youth and the corruption that in the end eats up Dorian, partly due to the influence of his friend Lord Henry, and partly due to Dorians own obsession with beauty - his own and in others. It's not a surprise why this has become a classic.

I must say that I was always looking forward to the Lord Henry's scenes. I  love reading his (sarcastic?) comments and observations! And in fact I found Dorian himself quite uninteresting! :-)

In the end I have to admit that I preferred the movie by far, which was probably because it actually deviated quite a lot from the book.

Danish Zobie Fiction!

Kadavermarch (in Danish) - Dennis Jürgensen

I recently read Kadavermarch as part of a February group read for a group that I help moderating (on GR). For a change the group chose a Danish book in the zombie/post-apocalyptic genre. We don't have that many books that fall into that genre in Denmark! The book is from 1991, so it was written quite a while before the rise of the current waive of zombies in both literature and television. On a side note I'd like to add that it reminded me tremendously of The Walking Dead (tv series).

As you might expect this book is quite action-packed and fast paced. There's a lot of (unexpected?) humour in it as well. The language/style of the book I found to be very Young Adult-y, but not in an immature sort of way, it reads simple, quick and fluid, though at times I found the choice of words and mannerisms of some characters unlikely/out of character.

It was incredibly fun to read a book in Danish for a change, and it was fun to have it all set in my home country of Denmark - it's definitely a unique little book worth reading if you otherwise like the genre and/or are open-minded.

Knitters Unite! Things I learned from Knitting by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

Things I Learned From Knitting (whether I wanted to or not) - Stephanie Pearl-McPhee

This little book is a humorous take on knitting written by a long time knitter, and she recounts the life lessons that she has learned from knitting. It draws parallels to real life situations and it's pretty funny. I guess you have to be a knitter to get the full enjoyment out of it! I found out that I sat there chuckling to myself during my daily commute yesterday while reading it. :)

Carrie - by Stephen King

Carrie - Stephen King

Impressive early Stephen King. Wow. This book was definitely not what I expected it to be. Even though this book celebrates its 40th anniversary this year (2014) it still reads fresh and new, and it does not feel dated at all, not one bit, in fact all the protagonists in this book feel alive and real. What surprised me, and what I like about it, is the mix of the narrative and the documentary perspective mix. It gives it an edge that few books from that time had - or at least few of the books of that period that I have read until this date. If you are contemplating whether you should read this book or not...Well, speculate no further over it and just pick it up! :)

Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 242 pages.

Carrie - Stephen King
Reblogged from Debbie's Spurts:

Saw this just now on "That's What She Said" facebook page.  Of course, I can remember making the exact digging motions and noises going through the cards as I do going through cell phone apps which makes it really oddly appropriate.



Reblogged from Sarah's Library:
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Currently reading

Life of Pi
Yann Martel