The Dark Griffin (K. J. Taylor)

Ever so often, I find myself in the mood for a classic high fantasy novel. With maps on the first couple of pages, long and complicated names, an entire different world and language, mystical creatures and magic. Yes, it’s cliche, but those stories have been told over and over again for a reason. The simplicity of the noble hero and the evil enemy, if simple, still makes for a great story to lose yourself in.

This book is about Arren, a griffiner in a country where northmen like himself are despised. While he does his best to hide his heritage, the people around him never treat him with respect, and when there is talk of him joining the council his competitors need to make sure that he will not succeed.

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A Quiet Kind of Thunder (Sara Barnard)

There are good books. There are amazing books. And then there are some books that really resonate with you. This was one of those books. Ever so often, there would be a passage or a sentence that had me thinking: Oh my god, this is me. This is exactly what that feels like. It’s those moments that I love reading most, when you realise you’re not the only one feeling like that.

A Quiet Kind of Thunder centers around Steffi, a girl with severe social anxiety, who is struggling with selective mutism, and Rhys, who is deaf. As Steffi has some basic BSL knowledge, she’s introduced to Rhys when he joins her school in the beginning of her sixth form. They develop a friendship, which over time grows into something more.

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Different places, different books

Things have been pretty quiet over here ever since autumn came around; that is because my final exams arrived, and I barely had time to sleep, not to think of reading books. At the same time, I was looking for a place for my mandatory research practicum, and I finally found one, in Canberra, Australia.

Oh boy. It was all pretty spontaneous, and with all the preparation it didn’t occur to me that at the end of it all I would actually have to go. But there I was, standing at the airport, my all my possessions in boxes in my parents’ basement, one suitcase and a bag by my side. On my way to the other side of the world.

I’m one of those people who really enjoys long flights, so nerves didn’t set in on the way, not even when I arrived in Sydney, and got the train to my AirBnB. But when I arrived at that house, meeting my host, settling into bed listening to the strange birds outside and the rush of traffic on the street next to my house, that was when it hit me. Here I was, 15.000 km away from home, alone in a city I didn’t know.

It is moments like these that I really appreciate books. I had brought one from Germany, and it happened to be Caraval by Stephanie Garber. And, in the end, it is not important where you read a good book – you are swallowed up by the story, and with the best of them, you forget all about your surroundings. That is what happened to me. I curled up on my bed, opened those pages, and just let myself sink into the story, and quite suddenly, all the anxiety and panic disappeared.

I’m not saying that Caraval is a perfect book (I’ll have a review of it up later this week). I had some issues with it. But for diving into another world, forgetting about my worries for a while, it was absolutely perfect.

Autumn Reads

Autumn is, without question, my favourite time of year. The days become shorter, the temperatures drop, leaves start to colour the streets in fiery shades of orange and yellow. Pumpkins start to appear everywhere, the days begin to feel like indie folk and pumpkin spice, like steaming hot chocolate and knitted jumpers.

It is also the perfect time to curl up with a good book, watch the rain though the windows or visit a nice cafe and drink huge amounts of tea of coffee.

These are some of the books I plan to read this fall:

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Crooked Kingdom (Leigh Bardugo)

“Don’t worry, Da. People point guns at each other all the time in Ketterdam. It’s basically a handshake.”

I’ve been waiting  for this book since I finished Six of Crows a day after it came out. I’d read the “Shadow and Bone”-Trilogy before and loved it, but Six of Crows surpassed my highest expectations. It was the book I wish I’d had written. It had everything. The characters and the plot were simply spectacular, exactly the right amounts of funny, exciting and deep. Amazing, cliffhanger-, plot-twist-ending. As always with these books, I was terrified of the sequel. My expectations skyrocketed, and I was sure “Crooked Kingdom” couldn’t live up to them.

Boy, was I wrong!

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The Rest Of Us Just Live Here

22910900The idea of this book is so marvelous that I can’t believe I never read a book like this before. It is your regular “end-of-the-world” novel, but instead of focusing on the people who are saving the world (Patrick Ness calls them “indie kids”) it focuses on a group of regular teenagers who just want to live their life and not get killed. The apocalypse-plot is crammed into the chapter titles, and you begin to realize that you care a lot more about the main characters than about the Immortals invading the planet.

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The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto

“There is a reason you glance up when you first hear a melody, or tap your foot to the sound of a drum. All humans are musical. Why else would the Lord give you a beating heart?”

25142924I went to the library the other day, and found the massive “English Books” section. That sure was a happy day for me, and for my bank account.

The first book I picked up was this one, The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, by Mitch Albom. I had wanted to read this for a while now, ever since it came out last autumn (I think?). One, I love Mitch Albom (I adored The Five People You Meet in Heaven and For One More Day), and I love music, so this book seemed like the perfect fit.

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