Archives For Books

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Every summer I usually splurge a bit on a few new books to keep myself entertained when it’s too warm outside. This summer has been way warmer than any in my recent memory so I decided to just go to the book store to take advantage of the Air Conditioner there, and to find a few new reads. I noticed they had a 3-for-2 deal on English pocket books (pocket means paperback here). Books here are fairly expensive, these retailed for 149 NOK (roughly 17 dollars) per piece, so I’m glad the third was free. I chose a good variety of books, Armada being the thinnest at 368 pages, and American Gods being the thickest at 736 pages. I’m really looking forward to read all of them! I also picked up a moisturizing face mask, and a hypoallergenic mascara from Isadora at the drugstore next door from the book store. I usually use the Lush Eyes Right mascara, but mine had dried out and this one was on sale so i opted to go for that instead.

Neil Gaiman – American Gods

Locked behind bars for three years, Shadow did his time, quietly waiting for the day when he could return to Eagle Point, Indiana. A man no longer scared of what tomorrow might bring, all he wanted was to be with Laura, the wife he deeply loved, and start a new life. But just days before his release, Laura and Shadow’s best friend are killed in an accident. With his life in pieces and nothing to keep him tethered, Shadow accepts a job from a beguiling stranger he meets on the way home, an enigmatic man who calls himself Mr. Wednesday. A trickster and a rogue, Wednesday seems to know more about Shadow than Shadow does himself. Life as Wednesday’s bodyguard, driver, and errand boy is far more interesting and dangerous than Shadow ever imagined. Soon Shadow learns that the past never dies…and that beneath the placid surface of everyday life a storm is brewing – an epic war for the very soul of America – and that he is standing squarely in its path.

Ernest Cline – Armada

Zack Lightman has spent his life dreaming. Dreaming that the real world could be a little more like the countless science-fiction books, movies, and videogames he’s spent his life consuming. Dreaming that one day, some fantastic, world-altering event will shatter the monotony of his humdrum existence and whisk him off on some grand space-faring adventure. But hey, there’s nothing wrong with a little escapism, right? After all, Zack tells himself, he knows the difference between fantasy and reality. He knows that here in the real world, aimless teenage gamers with anger issues don’t get chosen to save the universe.

And then he sees the flying saucer.

Even stranger, the alien ship he’s staring at is straight out of the videogame he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada—in which gamers just happen to be protecting the earth from alien invaders. No, Zack hasn’t lost his mind. As impossible as it seems, what he’s seeing is all too real. And his skills—as well as those of millions of gamers across the world—are going to be needed to save the earth from what’s about to befall it. It’s Zack’s chance, at last, to play the hero. But even through the terror and exhilaration, he can’t help thinking back to all those science-fiction stories he grew up with, and wondering: Doesn’t something about this scenario seem a little…familiar?

Erin Morgenstern – The Night Circus 

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

Beyond the smoke and mirrors, however, a fierce competition is under way–a contest between two young illusionists, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in a “game” to which they have been irrevocably bound by their mercurial masters. Unbeknownst to the players, this is a game in which only one can be left standing, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

As the circus travels around the world, the feats of magic gain fantastical new heights with every stop. The game is well under way and the lives of all those involved–the eccentric circus owner, the elusive contortionist, the mystical fortune-teller, and a pair of red-headed twins born backstage among them–are swept up in a wake of spells and charms.

But when Celia discovers that Marco is her adversary, they begin to think of the game not as a competition but as a wonderful collaboration. With no knowledge of how the game must end, they innocently tumble headfirst into love. A deep, passionate, and magical love that makes the lights flicker and the room grow warm whenever they so much as brush hands. Their masters still pull the strings, however, and this unforeseen occurrence forces them to intervene with dangerous consequences, leaving the lives of everyone from the performers to the patrons hanging in the balance.

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After visiting both the book store and the drug store, I decided to stop by H&M  to see if I could find any eye shadows on sale, as recommended by Lisa. I found two that were on sale for 10 NOK (roughly a dollar each) and one for 20 NOK (two dollars). You could see two of these being used in my previous blog post about a bold eye look. I didn’t show any swatches there, so I thought I could include them here! The purple and the blue shades were impressive, but I was a tiny bit disappointed with how sheer the green shade was. Like you would expect a more christmas-y green from that pan, right? Or is it just me having too big expectations?

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I guess I can’t really complain since they were so cheap to begin with! And I will continue to use it in combination with the green shade from the Maybelline 24k palette anyways.

Have you treated yourself to something nice lately?

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Goodreads

June 1, 2017 — 8 Comments

Have you heard of Goodreads before? It’s a website for you to track books you read, connect with other book lovers, enter giveaways for new books, discover new reads and pretty much everything else you would want to do with books. I have had an active profile there since January and it has been a good experience overall. I only have one friend added so far, which is Lisa, but she posts updates so frequently so it feels like way more, heh. If you use goodreads and you would like to connect with me on there, follow this link to go to my profile page, or just search for my name that is displayed in the picture below.

On the Goodreads profile page it lets you add in a lot of information, like favorite authors, books you already have read, books you are reading (including how many pages you have read) and books you want to read. It is a really neat system to keep track of your literary endeavors. They also have an app where you actually can scan the cover art of the book you’re reading to add it to your ‘currently reading’ section.

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A fun feature is the reading challenge! You can choose how many books you would like to read before the end of the year and it will let you know how well you are doing. I was behind by one book for a while but I caught up in April. My goal is to read 10 books, I would have chosen more but all of the unread books I have now are quite lengthy and I don’t want to force myself to read faster because I enjoy taking my time with books, reading them when I know I really want to.

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Another great feature is the Giveaways section! Here you can find books that are both signed and unsigned that are given away by the authors themselves. I have yet to win a giveaway but I always enter them for books that I find to be interesting. You have the option to add them to a ‘to read’ shelf so you can find the books later if you want to purchase them yourself. I don’t know of any other sites providing the same options as this so for me this is great and quite unique.

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So, that was all I had for Goodreads! This post is not sponsored in any way, I just wanted to share a site that i use frequently and I would definitely not mind if more people started using it too!

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TheinheritanceThe Inheritance is a novel set in the Dragonlance universe, a series licensed by Wizards of the coast, publishers of Dungeons and Dragons, Magic the Gathering and so on. It is a fantasy novel and it provides plot key points that fans of the fantasy universe could appreciate. To me it was an emotional novel because of the female protagonist and what she is put through, both physically and mentally. If you are sensitive to subjects like sexual abuse, miscarriages and violence, I would not recommend this one. Nothing is too grotesquely described but you are left with a terrible feeling after reading those parts anyways.

I do not condemn the author though, sometimes things just have to be written, sometimes it is just part of the plot.

Plot introduction

The setting is Qualinost, Pax Tharkas, and the borderlands between Qualinost and Thobardin.

Plot summary

The book begins with Elansa Sungold going to the border to heal a group of trees with her Blue Phoenix, a magical artifact passed down since the Age of Dreams to woodshapers in her family. The Blue Phoenix is a symbol of Habbakuk, and the artifact may be a holy artifact of Habbakuk. She is guarded by twenty elves. When they reach further into the forest, they are ambushed by goblins, which were hired by human brigands. Elansa is taken for ransom, and one of the guards who were sent to take care of her by her husband, Prince Kethrenan, is mutilated and sent back to Qualinost, the elve’s homeland, to inform them of the ransom demand, two cartloads full of the best weapons that the elves have. Elansa is taken to one of the bandits secret hideouts, and is guarded by Char, the dwarf. Brand, the leader of the bandits, also takes Elansa’s Blue Phoenix from her. In the hands of a human, it didn’t pulse with magic at all, so humans would think it’s just a pretty shaped gem. Brand kills the son of Gnash, a hobgoblin, who was sent to assist the ambush, making him an enemy of the goblins. They run from the goblins into many different secret hideouts, then hole up in one for the winter.

In the sprain, Brand’s demand for two wagons full of weapons has been acknowledged. Prince Kethrenan, and his cousin, a female warrior, drive the wagons, while other warriors hide in the woods. Their plan is to slaughter the bandits when they come to take the weapons, however, their plans are foiled when goblins, this time enemies of both, appear. Brand and his band get away with Elansa and the two wagons, leaving the elves to “mop up” the goblins. Brand stores the weapons in caches all over the stone lands, so that they won’t be discovered. A goblin “turncoat” decides to help the elves, and with his help the locate all of the weapon caches. The weapons that can’t be recovered due to transportation issues are destroyed. By plotting the caches on a map, the elves discover an arrow pointing to Pax Tharkas, perhaps the last safe house for the brigands, so the elves head to Pax Tharkas. Brand and his band know that they are being hunted, but not by whom, so they decide to go to the abandoned Pax Tharkas as a safe haven.

During this time, Char becomes almost a friend of Elansa’s. Many of the men in the group of bandits want Elansa, so Brand gives her a choice between him and them. He was just doing this to protect her, but she didn’t know that. Elansa chooses Brand. The goblins amass an army and also head to Pax Tharkas, following Brand. Brand and his followers arrive in Pax Tharkas, and a couple of goblins manage to rouse the undead guarding Kith-Kanan. While Elansa is trying to help the Bandits to destroy the undead, one of the bandits tries to rape her, but Char saves her. Elansa uses her Blue Phoenix to destroy the undead, but she faints from the strain afterwards. The elves and goblins fight outside Pax Tharkas, and the elves destroy the goblins. Prince Kethrenan’s cousin is killed. Prince Kethrenan comes in to rescue Elansa, but Elansa wants him to spare Brand. He refuses, kills Brand, and at the same time Leyerlain Starwing kills Kethrenan by throwing a dagger into his neck. At this point, Elansa realizes that she grew to love Brand. Elansa runs away with Char, before the elves come to investigate. She’s pregnant with Brand’s child, and Char convinces her to claim that she was raped to protect herself and the child, even though Brand grew, almost, to be her lover. She returns to Qualinesti. The child is known as Tanis Half-Elven.

 

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The Maquisarde is a book written by Louise Marley and it is set in the last few years of the 21st century. The book follows the story of Ebriel Serique, a flutist from Paris, who experiences a great loss. The world is pretty much being controlled by something known as InCo, under the leadership of General Glass. Her family is murdered and Ebriel is certain that General Glass is responsible for it, so she sets out to seek her revenge. The book tells the tale of Ebriel’s successes and struggles and it really plays with your emotions. I can’t really count how many times i caught myself choking up, having tears spilling from my eyes. Marley is great at creating a whole universe that you can lose yourself in. I haven’t been this invested in a story in a long time, and I’m both relieved and sad that it is now over. The book is very futuristic, but it is also close enough to how our world is now, enough for us to start imagine what it would be like if this was our reality.

If you love futuristic settings and science fiction books, and stories with a strong heroine, this will be perfect for you! Marley takes her characters to hell and back, but in the end it all seems to work out in mysterious ways. I’ll include the official description below so you can read it yourself.

In the final few years of the 21st century, life in Paris is quiet for Ebriel Serique and her family. They live protected by the glass walls of their skyscraper apartment, safe from the poverty-stricken countries just over the Line of Partition. Until one day, her husband and daughter go sailing, and are murdered by terrorists who claim their yacht had crossed the Line.

Driven by grief and justice, Ebriel ventures beyond the confines of her charmed life to confront the truth about the way the world is run. And while she never would have suspected it, Ebriel discovers that she has the courage for anything-even violence.

I honestly do not think that there is more for me to say about this one.. You would have to read it and experience it yourself. Maybe you won’t like it, maybe you would end up loving it just as much as I did. It would definitely be worth the read though, no matter if you end up enjoying it or not.

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Fantasy books haul 2.

February 25, 2017 — 2 Comments

Dragonlance edition!

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Winterheim by Douglas Niles

Strongwind Whalebone, king of the Highlanders, is a captive within the ogre fortress, while outside, his allies plot his rescue, and within the fortress, Grimwar Bane, the ogre king, confronts treachery and possible revolt.

Dragon’s Bluff by Mary H. Herbert

Youthful mage Ulin Majere and his traveling companion head for the port city of Flotsam to identify a murder victim, only to find themselves caught up in a dangerous web of conspiracy, a clever gang of thieves, the Knights of Neraka, and a deadly red dragon that is terrorizing the local populace.

Divine Hammer by Chris Pierson

Sorcery: A Threat to the Glory of Istar.
Twenty years have passed since Beldinas the Kingpriest assumed the throne. His is a realm of unsurpassed grandeur and wealth, a testament to the mightiest age of the empire of Istar.
But evil exists in this great realm, threatening the peace and sanctity of the province. Beldinas must turn to his most loyal lieutenant, Cathan, for help. Following Cathan’s lead, the Knights of the Divine Hammer strive to extinguish a foul sorcery that will stop at nothing to serve its own dark ends.

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The Second Generation by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Years have passed since the end of the War of the Lance. The people of Ansalon have rebuilt their lives, their houses, their families. The Companions of the Lance, too, have returned to their homes, raising children and putting the days of their heroic deeds behind them.
But peace on Krynn comes at a price. The forces of darkness are ever vigilant, searching for ways to erode the balance of power and take control. When subtle changes begin to permeate the fragile peace, new lives are drawn into the web of fate woven around all the races. The time has come to pass the sword — or the staff — to the children of the Lance.
They are the Second Generation.
An all-new repackaged paperback edition of a classic Dragonlance novel.
This book of five novellas bridges the gap between the Chronicles and Legends trilogies and “Dragons of Summer Flame,” While detailing their adventures, “The Second Generation” also sets up key events and characters in future Dragonlance novels.

Draconian Measures by Don Perrin and Margaret Weis

The regiment of draconian engineers featured in “The Doom Brigade” seek a safe haven for their precious cargo of young draconians. All they have to do is stay alive. Surely that shouldn’t be too hard.
But Commander Kang puzzles over a sinister mystery. Why are some of his men vanishing? Kang will have to use draconian measures to defeat his foes and save his race. They’d better be enough — the fate of his entire race hangs in the balance.

The Messenger by Douglas Niles

Exiled in disgrace to the harsh land called the Icereach, Kerrick, a Silvanesti elf, encounters a group of barbarian villagers that is making a determined stand against the encroachment of the remnants of a powerful ogre empire that is out to seize control of the frozen world.

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A warrior’s journey by Paul D. Thompson and Tonya C. Cook

Writing team Thompson & Cook once again explore the history of the ancient Dragonlance world in “A Warrior’s Journey,” the first title in the new Ergoth trilogy. Considered the historical specialists of the Dragonlance world, the authors take the story to a colorful and violent era of its history that has not been previously chronicled in any novel.
The mighty Ergothian empire is gripped by civil war.
Centuries before the first Cataclysm sunders Ansalon, two imperial dynasties struggle for supremacy. Brutal warlords jockey for power, while corrupt wizards sell their skills to the highest bidder. Unnatural monsters prey on the unwary.
Amid this chaos and upheaval, a brave young peasant shakes the towers of the mighty as his fate and the destiny of Krynn collide.

The inheritance by Nancy Varian Berberick 

Kidnapped by a ragtag gang of outlaws, an elven princess patiently waits for her husband’s rescue, until she falls in love with the leader of her captors, a love that results in the birth of one of Krynn’s greatest heroes, Tanis Half-Elven, Hero of the Lance.

The Players of Gilean by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman

Across the ages roams an immortal troupe of actors, gifted with fantastical powers and led by a mysterious artiste with a penchant for meddling. Wherever they roam, they encounter magic and monsters and evil that requires taming.
This is the first anthology based on characters from the extraordinary novella “The Travelling Players of Gilean,” by Margaret Weis and Aron Eisenberg, which was featured in The Best of Tales, Volume One. This new anthology also features novellas by best-selling Dragonlance authors Douglas Niles, Richard A. Knaak, Paul B. Thompson, and a new collaboration by Jean Rabe and Aron Eisenberg.

Have you purchased or read anything fun recently? 

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