I’ve never been to Denmark, though I’ve traveled to Sweden and Norway in the past with friends and family, so I’m not completely inexperienced when it comes to Scandinavian countries. Due to my love of memoirs and yearlong projects, The Year Of Living Danishly had been on my radar for a while. When I saw it featured again during Nonfiction November (I think on Based On A True Story), I knew it was finally time to pick up a copy.
I definitely wasn’t disappointed – this memoir is the perfect mix of laugh-out-loud moments, interesting facts and personal life experiences. It was funny, inspiring and thought-provoking, all while making me want to follow Russell, uproot my life in LA and move to Denmark. Who’s with me? Though transnational moves may not be on your horizon (and being realistic not on mine either), I encourage you to read this book as a great way to explore Denmark from the comfort of your own home.
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Book Of The Month is a subscription service that sends you one hardcover work of modern fiction per month for a monthly subscription fee. You can add 2 more titles to your monthly delivery for $9.99 each, and the price overall is very cheap for full-size hardcovers.
Book Of The Month is not paying me to promote their service. I just love it so much that I’ve turned my monthly deliveries into a feature on my blog 🙂 I do encourage you to try it though, because if you like hardcovers it’s a great deal.
You can use my referral link and code FRIEND50 to receive 30% off a 3-month subscription to Book Of The Month (and I’ll receive a free book if you sign up through my link – win win).
The three titles I picked for my November 2016 delivery were The Mothers by Brit Bennett, Rich And Pretty by Rumaan Alam and The Trespasser by Tana French. I really loved both The Mothers and Rich And Pretty, but I didn’t really like The Trespasser.
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I remember standing at the foot of the stage of the reconstructed Globe Theater in London, watching The Tempest enacted above me. It must have been the year 2000, when I was a 10th grader in high school whose favorite class was English Literature. The trip to London was a high school field trip so I was surrounded by friends my own age, some equally entranced by the play in front of us and others somewhat less so. I remember the figure of Caliban, half-stooped and beast-like in its movements as it groveled at the foot of its master Prospero. I remember there were special effects to indicate when Ariel entered the scene and also to recreate the actual tempests in the play itself. It was a memorable experience and probably the reason due to which The Tempest is my favorite Shakespeare play.
When I picked up Hag-Seed by Margaret Atwood I really didn’t know what to expect. We’ve all seen Shakespeare romances reinterpreted for modern times, especially in the form of movies. The Tempest is a bit of a different story and I wasn’t sure how a written modern version of it would fare. I had also never read a book by Margaret Atwood – mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. All my reservations were dispelled within the first few chapters of Hag-Seed. Atwood is a genius who has brought to life Prospero and the entire cast of characters in The Tempest in an incredibly vivid and contemporary portrayal that I could have never imagined possible, but am so thankful now exists.
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Since I’ve started this book blog I’ve delved more into genres of literature that I previously didn’t tend to read – especially thrillers and historical fiction. When I first saw The Other Einstein on Net Galley I was interested in reading it to continue my exploration of historical fiction, but also interested in learning more about the shadowy figure of Albert Einstein’s first wife Mileva Maric, which most people probably haven’t given a second thought to.
Einstein is a larger than life historical and scientific persona, and when I picture him it’s as an elderly ‘mad-scientist’ type with the poofy white hair and glasses. I never really thought of what his life as a young man must have been like and what kind of lover and husband he might have been. I think that The Other Einstein provides a fictionalized but plausible account of Albert and Mileva’s relationship in which Mileva’s portrayal as a strong but downtrodden woman feels authentic and contemporary in its frustration.
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December is going to be a month split in two for me – the first half filled with my regular routine of work, blogging, socializing and some additional holiday baking, the second half spent home in Milan with my family. I can’t wait to have 2 and a half weeks with them to catch up and relax. Maybe to others, flying home to Milan twice a year sounds like a dream vacation – to me it’s really like a staycation in which I focus on catching up on sleep, reading as much as I can and spending quality time with my family.
I was hoping to find some great new titles that would be available from Net Galley or released early enough that I would be able to purchase them to take on my trip. I have to say that it was easier to find new nonfiction titles that I was excited about this month – there seemed to be a lot of fantasy, YA and romance novel releases in December rather than the thrillers and literary novels I prefer. In the end, for the fiction section, I found five novels from authors I’m not familiar with that had good advanced reviews on Goodreads and Amazon and that are based on intriguing plot premises. Hope you find something to tempt you ahead of 2017!
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