A – Z End

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Phew, an other crazy April blogging month is over. Every April 30 I can’t help but feel quite content to go back to my normal, once a week blog schedule. Thinking of all the free time I will create in my calendar. Free time that I can spend reading one of the many books that have been recommended to me during this journey.

Thank you every one who read my posts and recommended a book, I have grown my TBR and it has now officially reached above the books I’ve already read. This can be interesting for the future.

As to my own challenge of commenting more on other people’s posts, I think I did quite well in the beginning of the month. I deliberately took time out of my work day (as a self-employed gymnastics coach I have the luxury of a flexible schedule) to visit everyone who left a comment on my blog. I also tried to go through the very long list of people posting on the list every day, which proved to be a bit more of a challenge considering the vast amount of people participating in this challenge, but I like to think that I went through a big chunk of the challengers and I tried to comment on every post I visited. I have difficulties commenting on blogspot pages, as it keeps sending me back to review my post, which then means that if I am in a hurry I end up not posting a comment. Does anyone else coming from a wordpress blog ID find this as well? or is it just my impatience and lack of technical knowledge that keep my comments bouncing back on me?

Ok last challenge. Without any restrictions, which is your favourite book setting that you recommend to everyone? Tell me in the comments below.

PS. If you wonder which one is my most recent favourite book head to my J post

I HOPE YOU ENJOYED YOUR JOURNEY FIND ALL POSTS HERE. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

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May – FIRST

Phew! Another A-Z blogging month is over, if you missed some of the posts you can find all of them here. For the whole month, I blogged about settings in some of my favourite books using one letter from the alphabet every day.

Today I’m back to my FIRST of the month photograph, here is the short explanation, if you’re new to the blog:

All through 2018, on the first day of the month I will publish a photograph and journal about what it means to me. This is an exercise I will do to further develop my writing.

If you have the time and inclination, you can join me in the comments below and you can find my previous FIRSTS here.

5. Maj

I’m in the middle of my training period, so it felt fitting that my photo this month is of my running shoes.

I have a love/hate relationship with exercise. Even though I am a gymnastics coach and will encourage anyone to do as much exercise they can fit in their schedule and recommend gymnastics as a good basic start to development of any child, I find it very difficult to motivate myself to do any exercise outside my working hours without a clear goal. Hence every May I am running a half marathon in Gothenburg with my siblings and throughout the summer I run 10Ks around London. These small goals make it easier to motivate myself to exercise. Once I am out I know I will feel great and afterwards I have much more energy than on those days when I don’t do any exercise, but it’s that step of tying my shoelaces and get going that is difficult.

On the track, I don’t have very much competitive spirit, I want to keep a decent time and length, but I have no desire to be better or worse than I was the day before. To me it is more about doing the exercise consistently rather than improving times. I also know from experience that I am of that age when I have to carefully listen to my body, to make sure that I stay healthy enough to continue my day job, something I would not want to miss out on because I was reckless with my own exercise.

So three days a week you’ll see me schlepping around my London neighbourhood, not faster, not slower then the day before, but I’m out there.

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Z – Zoo (London)

Z

My last Dane of the month, this small country has many talented authors and I like how they weave their stories together in very different ways. Earlier this month we met crime writer JUSSI ADLER-OLSEN  and Greenland fan KIM LEINE.

 

 

In the WOMAN AND THE APE by PETER HÖEG, part of the book takes place at the then newly renovated and soon to re-open London ZOO. There are small tidbits strewn out around the book, talking about the origin of the London Zoo and what happened once the rich beneficiaries were no longer supporting it.

Z - Zoo (London) book cover

The book itself is about relationships of different kinds and how we react to relationships with other people and even other species. As Höeg’s books always are there are elements of the quite not explainable part of the world that makes this a fascinating read to finish on.

Now I am throwing the challenge to you, dear reader. For the last letter of the alphabet, can you think of some amazing places, real or fictional that you want to share with me and the rest of my readers in the comments below. I love to find new books to put on my never ending To Be Read list, travel to new places and be enchanted.

If you missed where I travelled previously find all old posts here.

ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

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Y – Yugoslavia

Y

We are almost at the end of the challenge and today we are travelling to YUGOSLAVIA, a country that because of political decisions no longer exists. THE TIGER’S WIFE by TÉA OBREHT, like the country’s own history is a complicated story. Much of the story takes place when the Balkan area was still one country, but it also talks about the aftermath, how the now separate countries tries to mend wounds left by the war. The story is intriguing, with so many layers and dimensions. Stories that weave in and out of reality.

Obreht is a true master storyteller and I feel that she present the country and its many complications and complicated histories in a very good way. I have visited the country both as one unit and long after the war ended. The first time, before the war I was very young and I don’t remember much what I thought about more then the fascination with the small shrines they have everywhere, usually if someone has died a tragic death, such as at the road side. This was not something we had seen in Sweden and it was very strange to us to see the dead remembered in this way. In Obreht’s story the dead have a central place, as have the living.

Now I am throwing the challenge to you, dear reader. For every letter of the alphabet, can you think of some amazing places, real or fictional that you want to share with me and the rest of my readers in the comments below. I love to find new books to put on my never ending To Be Read list, travel to new places and be enchanted.

If you missed where I travelled previously find all old posts here.

ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

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X

X

This letter has stumped me every year since I started this challenge and even though I made a conscious effort to come up with a book early on for the letter X, I still have yet to find one. If anyone has any suggestions, let me know in the comments below. I feel as if I have thought about it so much now that I am missing the very obvious choice somewhere. So go ahead and surprise me with your suggestions!

Now I am throwing the challenge to you, dear reader. For every letter of the alphabet, can you think of some amazing places, real or fictional that you want to share with me and the rest of my readers in the comments below. I love to find new books to put on my never ending To Be Read list, travel to new places and be enchanted.

If you missed where I travelled previously find all old posts here.

ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

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W – World

W

The WORLD would have been a very different place if even just one of the alternative histories explored in WHAT IF – MILITARY HISTORIANS IMAGINE WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN (edited by ROBERT COWLEY) had come true. From a naval battle at Salamis in 480 BCE through the battlefield at Waterloo in 1815 to a cold war turned hot. These re-tellings of history really interest me, not only as a historian but I think it is important to think of the consequences of our everyday choices too.

Going about our daily life, we are confronted by choices, some we make without thinking, some we might agonise over for days, but in the end, we can’t take back what we choose, it is the decision we are stuck with. Therefore I think it is important to always go back and review, to sort out these consequences to really understand the choices we make.

W - What if book cover

The world in these stories are quite different from where we are now and it is mind-boggling how small the changes can be sometimes for the world to end up a vastly different place.

Now I am throwing the challenge to you, dear reader. For every letter of the alphabet, can you think of some amazing places, real or fictional that you want to share with me and the rest of my readers in the comments below. I love to find new books to put on my never ending To Be Read list, travel to new places and be enchanted.

If you missed where I travelled previously find all old posts here.

ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

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V – Venice

V

We’re back in Italy, still in the north, but this time on the other side of the coast, in VENICE, THE CITY  OF FALLEN ANGELS according to JOHN BERENDT. I love to read a good travelogue, especially the ones that really transport you to the place they are writing about. PAUL THEROUX can do that, I have read a few of his books and have a few more on my shelves.

Berendt got me excited about Venice. I have visited a few times but I always feel that it is such a touristy place and you never get a feeling of the people who actually live there and spend their life, living among all these tourists. It doesn’t help my experience of the city that I have only visited on day-trips as part of a ‘must-experience’ destination. One day I will get back there, and enjoy it the way Berendt did and immerse myself in the city as it deserves to be immersed in and perhaps even experience some of the city’s regular life.

Now I am throwing the challenge to you, dear reader. For every letter of the alphabet, can you think of some amazing places, real or fictional that you want to share with me and the rest of my readers in the comments below. I love to find new books to put on my never ending To Be Read list, travel to new places and be enchanted.

If you missed where I travelled previously find all old posts here.

ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

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U – Underworld

U

Today we are travelling down, to the UNDERWORLD where the dead people live. The greatest book I have read, narrated by death itself is the BOOKTHIEF by MARKUS ZUSAK. It lingered on my shelf for years, for some reason, before I finally picked it up. I bought it when it was first published because the topic interested me. Then it turned out to be one of those books that you kick yourself for not picking up earlier, because that would have meant you could live in Liesel’s world for longer.

The film adaption was all right, not bad, but not good either. It didn’t miss out any vital parts of the action and I enjoyed it, but I think Zusak portrays death better in the book than they could ever make in the film. The voice-over loses some of its power compared to what you felt when reading the book.

It is always difficult when they make films from your favourite books, they can’t quite capture your favourite bits of the book and I always get the feeling something is missing.

U - Book thief both

I was happy though to have the film version at hand when I had struggled about a third of the way through In the Name of the Rose by Umberto Eco. This was a book, where the details overtook the story, and the film missing out on most of it actually benefited the story. However it was very many years since I tried to read the book, so I might give it another chance in the future. Incidentally this book/film also have to do a bit with the underworld.

Now I am throwing the challenge to you, dear reader. For every letter of the alphabet, can you think of some amazing places, real or fictional that you want to share with me and the rest of my readers in the comments below. I love to find new books to put on my never ending To Be Read list, travel to new places and be enchanted.

If you missed where I travelled previously find all old posts here.

ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

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T – Thames

T

Living in London you can’t avoid the great river THAMES that run through the city, much of its life is surrounded by it and have been from the earliest origins. I love going on the top deck of a bus crossing the river on one of the many bridges to look out over London. No matter which side you come from or which bridge you cross, the view is always spectacular and reminds me of why I love London so much.

However, the Thames SHARON BOLTON re-visits in her series about LACEY FLINT, is a much darker version and the closeness to her main character Lacey Flint is both scary and majestic at the same time.

‘Up above the river splashed, gurgled and swished, but beneath, the sounds suggested pouring, draining, sloshing. Beneath the surface, the river sounded alive.’ (A dark and twisted tide p. 27 paperback)

T - Thames book cover

Lacey Flint has had a destiny with the river more than once throughout the series, and she is always drawn back to it. The Thames make a perfect character to any story about London, it has seen it all, can be benign and evil, give or take.

Now I am throwing the challenge to you, dear reader. For every letter of the alphabet, can you think of some amazing places, real or fictional that you want to share with me and the rest of my readers in the comments below. I love to find new books to put on my never ending To Be Read list, travel to new places and be enchanted.

If you missed where I travelled previously find all old posts here.

ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

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S – Saltmarshes

S

The SALTMARSHES are located in the Norfolk area of England, where ELLY GRIFFITHS have set her DR RUTH GALLOWAY series. It’s a mysterious place with lay lines and quick sands, the perfect background for any murderous scenes where the landscape speaks for itself. Ruth’s lonely cottage at the end of a narrow road, where people seldom visits unless they come with an intent, and in this case often evil.

DCI Harry Nelson describes it best in A room full of bones, ‘the bleak expanse of wind-blown grass, the treacherous stretches of quicksand, the tide rushing in across the mudflats turning land into sea – a fatal trap for the unwary.’ (p. 20 Paperback edition)

Griffiths have however, cleverly made the landscape part of the book, and have even transformed it to a somewhat friendly place by Ruth’s partiality to it and reluctance to leave, no matter what happens to her.

Lucky for me (and the rest of her fans) there are now ten books in the series and an 11th will be released in 2019. I haven’t gone through them all yet. I met Griffiths at a book event at Waterstone’s and have a signed edition of The Chalk Pit. It’s so happens that I found the Ghostfields at the library just the other day and can’t wait to throw myself back into the saltmarshes and see what Ruth and the others will get up to.

Now I am throwing the challenge to you, dear reader. For every letter of the alphabet, can you think of some amazing places, real or fictional that you want to share with me and the rest of my readers in the comments below. I love to find new books to put on my never ending To Be Read list, travel to new places and be enchanted.

If you missed where I travelled previously find all old posts here.

ENJOY YOUR JOURNEY. HAPPY READING EVERYONE!

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