tiistai 3. toukokuuta 2016


Wow. So. April was shit. I mean, this whole year's been pretty fucking questionable, but April can go and fuck itself with a rusty eggbeater. Repeatedly.

Until (or in case I don't) I get around to writing up all I read in April, here's a list:

Ben Aaronovitch - Broken Homes. Again. Still loved it. Gonna re-read the fifth soon, too, while waiting for the sixth. Which keeps getting pushed back! This keeps up, I'm gonna go for round three soon...

Kate Locke - God Save the Queen. She ain't no human being! I loved the idea of this: vamps and werewolves and all, in London, with Queen Victoria reigning over all. Even so, I kept asking myself every now and then, why am I still reading this? Should've quit.

Martin Amis - Lionel Asbo: State of England. Natural born criminal Lionel, in and out of prison, wins an INSANE amount of money on the lottery. The insanity that follows is mostly seen through the eyes of his nephew and ward, Des.

Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird. Finally! My friend Laura from the US sent me a copy as a gift. Beautifully written, really enjoyed it.

Chris Cleave - The Other Hand. Ok, I read this mostly/all in May, on the recommendation of Nowkku. Little Bee, a Nigerian refugee girl in the UK, finds the people she once met on a beach. The book says NOT to tell anyone any more about it than that, to have them find out the rest for themselves, so yeah. I had come across the Finnish version several times in the library, thought about reading it, too, but never got around to it. Then Nowkku recommended it, and I found the original language version on Kindle for, like, one friggin' euro. So, here we are.

keskiviikko 23. maaliskuuta 2016


Title: Fingersmith
Author: Sarah Waters
Published: 2002 by Virago (this reprint from 2009)
Genre: Historical crime fiction
Pages: 548

Last summer I was reading The Paying Guests when Nowkku asked me what I was reading. I told her, and then went on to tell her how awesome an author Sarah Waters is, and that she should definitely check out some of the books, and that Fingersmith has been translated into Finnish! (Most of her books are, I think.) Then I kinda went on and on how good a book it is so much that I had to pick it up again. I read the first bit that summer, but when more books kept popping up, Fingersmith took a break on the shelf. And then I picked it up again a few weeks ago, and finished it.

Sue is a young thief in London, a fingersmith, who is talked and coached into a shady deal that will make them both rich by a con-man known as Gentleman. Their goal is to cheat the fortune out of a rich but simple girl, living out in the countryside with her eccentric, book-loving uncle. Sue goes along with it, dreaming of riches and the poor rich girl's fine dresses and jewels. What she ends up getting is a bit different.

Nowkku, you better read this. I really do wish I'd get to read it again for the first time, to arrive at each wild turn and go Woah! But there is some joy in knowing what's going to happen before the characters do.

   'There you have it!' says the doctor. 'Her uncle, an admirable gentleman I don't doubt. But the over-exposure of girls to literature-- The founding of women's colleges--' His brow is sleek with sweat. 'We are raising a nation of brain-cultured women. Your wife's distress, I'm afraid to say, is part of a wider malaise. I fear for the future of our race, Mr Rivers, I may tell you now. And her wedding-night, you say, the start of this most recent bout of insanity? Could that' --he drops his voice meaningfully, and exchanges a glance with the doctor who writes-- 'be planier?' He taps at his lip. 'I saw how she shrank from my touch, when I felt for the pulse at her wrist. I noted, too, that she wears no marriage ring.'

Oh wow, looks like this is post #300! Woo! Tonight we dine in... the kitchen! 'Coz that's where the food is!

Death of the Little Match Girl, take 2

Title: Death of the Little Match Girl
Original title: Smrt djevojčice sa žigicama
Author: Zoran Ferić
Published: 2002
Genre: Murder mystery
Pages: 193

I said I'd re-read it soon(ish)! I was seriously thinking of re-reading Death of the Little Match Girl ever since last summer (like, it was in the back of my mind, not like, Have to read it NOW!) and picked it up one morning while reading Fingersmith, as that one's a big book and takes up a lot of space in my bag. Love it, though.

As I loved this one, more than last time. I remember being a bit suspicious for the first 100 pages or so last time, but now I just dove straight into the strangeness. You can read in the link what the book is about. I'm just gonna add to that, that it was really worth the reading, and the re-reading, and further re-readings. Yay! Unfortunately it doesn't really look like any other books by Ferić have been translated to English. Boo.

I made an unforeseen visit to the island to mourn an unexpected death and attend a child's funeral. I even bought a wreath--a futile effort to frame the emptiness with flowers--and with it like a cross on my shoulder, I climbed the stone path to the cemetery atop the hill. My friend's daughter had died. Her coffin was small and white, no bigger than a kitchen water heater box, and on that little white coffin was a wreath of white roses with a white sash and gold letters: TO MIRNA FROM MUMMY AND DADDY. The white lace, in which the six-year-old had been wrapped as if at baptism, was sticking out of the coffin. God loves irony. All this white was not accidental. Her father was a Hajduk fan. 

sunnuntai 6. maaliskuuta 2016

The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents

Title: The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents
Author: Terry Pratchett
Published: 2001
Genre: Humour Fantasy for Kids
Pages: 288

Rats! Rats and cats! It's the 28th Discworld book, based on things such as the well-known story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin (what? I thought it was Hameln. All my life, a lie...). Aimed at kids, or more accurately, appropriate for kids as well as adults.

Maurice is a cat who one day realised he could think, and talk. Same happened to a bunch of rats, who happened to eat something odd near a certain University. The cat and the rats threw their lots together, and set out to look for an island where the rats could live in peace, and be rats. But to get there they need money. So they picked up this stupid-looking kid who could play the pipe, and set out to con some money out of towns.

   It was a good routine, even Maurice had to admit. Some towns had advertised for a rat piper the very first time he'd done it. People could tolerate rats in the cream, and rats in the roof, and rats in the teapot, but they drew the line at tapdancing.

They have gathered a lot of money already, and Maurice talks the rats into conning one more town before quitting. Just one more town. Unfortunately they pick a town where all is not as it seems. There's something... evil going on.  

Amazin Maurice is aimed at kids, but it's also great fun for adults. Pratchett doesn't talk down to his readers, never mind what their age is, and I completely forgot that I was reading a kids' book. Even when the main characters were talking rats and a mischievous cat.

sunnuntai 28. helmikuuta 2016

The Martian

Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Published: 2011
Genre: Science fiction
Pages: 369

Like The Road, I wanted to read The Martian before seeing the movie. So I reserved it from the library, and then waited for some four months to actually get it! The first 20-30 poop-filled pages didn't... I mean, is this gonna be all about poop? Poop on Mars? Is there poop on Maa-aars? But then I finished The Road and stopped being distracted by other books and the pages just flew! And there was considerably less poop.

On a mission to Mars, the crew of Ares 3 has to evacuate due to a strong storm. Unfortunately, astronaut and botanist Mark Watney is left behind, presumed dead but very much not so. No communication, not enough food to last until the next mission arrives, Mark is in deep shit. Luckily someone brought potatoes and Mark is a botanist, not to mention very resourceful, and very sweary. Soon he's got taters growing for food, and then it's time to start trying to get in touch with Earth.

The Martian was pretty much everything I expected it to be, after hearing about it and the movie. Worth the wait, and very enjoyable!

So that's the situation. I'm stranded on Mars. I have no way to communicate with Hermes or Earth. Everyone thinks I'm dead. I'm in a Hab designed to last thirty-one days.
   If the oxygenator breaks down, I'll suffocate. If the water reclaimer breaks down, I'll die of thirst. If the Hab breaches, I'll just kind of explode. If none of those things happen, I'll eventually run out of food and starve to death. 
   So yeah. I'm fucked. 

The Road

Title: The Road
Author: Cormac McCarthy
Published: 2006
Genre: Post-apocalypse
Pages: 287

The Road spent ages on my Kindle, and then I almost half-accidentally started to read it while sitting in the subway. I remember hearing about the movie and wanting to see it, but only after I'd read the book. And then came other books, and other books, and other books. But now! Here we are. All read. I was hooked after the first few pages, even though it has to be one of the darkest, most hopeless books I've ever read.

The Road is the story of a father and his young son traveling towards south, away from winter's grasp, in a world all but destroyed by some unnamed cataclysm. There's hardly any food, little shelter, and the few people left have turned to cannibalism. It's not safe to trust anyone. The world is covered by ash. And onward they walk, trying to make the food last, trying to get to warmer climates. Death is all around, and the road isn't safe,but neither is staying still.

Damn, that was bleak. But brilliant. Now to find the movie.

He walked out into the gray light and stood and he saw for a brief moment the absolute truth of the world. The cold relentless circling of an intestate earth. Darkness implacable. The blind dogs of the sun in their running. The crushing black vacuum of the universe. And somewhere two hunted animals trembling like ground-foxes in their cover. Borrowed time and borrowed world and borrowed eyes with which to sorrow it.


Nimi: Torakat
Alkuperäinen nimi: Kakerlakkene 
Kirjoittaja: Jo Nesbø
Julkaistu:  1998, suomeksi 2009
Genre: Dekkaripokkari
Sivuluku: 319

Sama kaveri joka lainasi minulle Pahan Ruusun Puutarhan lainasi myös tämän, jotta olisi muuton yhteydessä vähemmän kannettavaa. Tykkäsin kovasti Nesbøn Kukkulan Kuningas -kirjasta, joten ajattelin että kokeillaanpa Harry Holea.

Torakat on järjestyksessä toinen Harry Hole -kirja, mutta näitä on suomennettu taas vähän miten sattuu. Ensimmäistä en ole lukenut, joten oli vähän hukassa että mitä kaikkea on tapahtunut. Ryyppyputki ainakin oli ekan kirjan tapahtumia seurannut, ja Thaimaan komennuksen saanut Harry löytyi baarista.

Norjan Thaimaan suurlähettiläs näes löytyi murhattuna hotellista, jossa miehet yleensä käyvät maksullisten naisten kanssa, ja Harry lähetetään selvittämään asiaa. Ja päätään. Murha pitäisi selvittää mahdollisimman pian ja mahdollisimman hiljaa, mikä on tietenkin helpommin sanottu kuin tehty.

Nesbøn Thaimaan kuvausta kehuttiin kovasti. En ole siellä (vielä) käynyt, mutta tunnelma tosiaan välittyi hienosti. Tuli ihan hiki! Alussa kirja ei ihan kauheasti jaksanut kiinnostaa, mutta juonen syvetessä nalkkiinhan sitä jäi, ja pitänee muitakin Harry Hole -kirjoja lukaista kun vastaan tulevat.

He löysivät hänet Schrøderin kapakasta Waldemar Thranes gatelta, vanhasta ja arvokkaasta juottolasta, joka sijaitsi tienristeyksessä jossa Oslon itä- ja länsipuolet kohtasivat toisensa. Rehellisesti sanottuna Schrøder oli enemmän vanha kuin arvokas. Arvokkuus piili pitkälti siinä, että kaupunki oli katsonut viisaaksi rauhoittaa ruskean, pinttyneelle tupakalle haisevan ravintolasalin. Rauhoitus ei kuitenkaan koskenut asiakaskuntaa, levotonta ja sukupuuttoon kuolevaa ihmislajia, joka koostui vanhoista juopoista, ikuisista maatalousopiskelijoista ja väsähtäneistä hurmureista, joiden parasta ennen -päiväys oli mennyt jo aikaa sitten.