It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

itsmonday“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what we’ve read the past week and are planning to read next.

*****

It seems this post didn’t publish on Monday. Did I forget to press the button? Well, any day is a good day to talk about books! 

*****

The last week I read…

The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant by Pablo TussetThe Green Pen by Eloy Moreno& Sons by David GilbertDit kan niet waar zijn by Joris LuyendijkThe Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

I finished The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant by Pablo Tusset. How about that for a title? It’s Spanish Month on one of the Dutch blogs and this is my first book. Click on the title for my review.

I also finished  The Green Pen by Eloy Moreno, another book by a Spanish author, which I read together with Isi of FromIsi.

At the moment I’m trying to get &Sons by David Gilbert finished for our book group meeting on Friday. It’s sometimes slow, sometimes a fast read. I think I’ll make it!

I also started The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer. A thriller. I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read by this author, and it starts really interesting!

And this book, I just need to sit down and finish. But now that I’m reading &Sons in somewhat of a hurry, it’s just lying there. Dit kan niet waar zijn [This Can’t be True] by Joris Luyendijk, about banks and how no one really seems to know what they’re doing (including the banks themselves).

Next up it’s

bal

Bal Masqué by Elia Barcelo. My final Spanish author for this month. I have run out of books by Spanish authors, but not out of books. :-)

There are also the three books above that I started but not finished yet. I think that will keep me busy this week!

 

Reviews

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel FaberThe Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant by Pablo TussetWeerwater by Renate Dorrestein

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber.

The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant by Pablo Tusset

Weerwater (Dutch) by renate Dorrestein

.

My challenges

FitReaders2015

#Fitreaders is a challenge for all readers (and everyone else, really) who want to get more active. My goal is 3 x 7,000  and 3 x 5,000 per week, and one day off. This week, I’ve done spectacularly badly with one day under 2,000 – that’s like sitting on the couch most of the day. And a few 3,000s and one 8,000. Let’s talk about something else!

Cut-Out-Processed-Food

The Cut out Processed Food in 14 Weeks challenge for last week, I didn’t do. It was No refined or hydrogenated oils. Since the week before I had been very careful not to eat anything with sugar, I didn’t feel like another week taking extreme care of what I ate. But this week, the challenge is to Eat local; at least one meal per day should contain something locally grown. I’m going to the farm shop tomorrow!

What are YOU reading this week?

leeswammes_signature

Book review: The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant by Pablo Tusset

The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant by Pablo TussetThe Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant: What it is about

From the publishers: “An easy-riding, ball-busting comedy of bad manners, this is one of the most surprising and entertaining literary debuts of recent years.

Pablo Baloo Miralles, a fat, useless and flatulent thirty-year-old, is the black sheep of his obscenely wealthy family. While he dedicates his days to online philosophy chatrooms and his nights to whatever pleasures he can find, his brother, ‘The First,’ is president of his booming family business.

But, when ‘The First’ suddenly disappears, Pablo finds himself being sucked into a hair-raising, mind-bending adventure – an adventure in which he must use all of his well-honed survival instincts to come out alive.”

The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant: What I thought

As you probably can imagine, I bought this book solely because of the title. It turns out, the title is simply chosen because these are the first few words of the first chapter. That’s it. Croissants do feature every now and then, but their role is minimal. However, this book does end very weirdly. So in that sense it deserves a title like this.

The protagonist is 30-something Pablo, who lives off his parents’ money and spends most of his time getting drunk and using drugs. When his brother disappears, he uses his well-trained lying skills to keep his parents unaware of the situation. Of course, his lies get bigger and bigger and he has a different story for each person, then convinces them not to tell “the truth” to the others. Meanwhile he starts to investigate what could have happened to his brother.

He is not the most pleasant character but somehow I was happy to tag along with him to try and find his brother. When the PI he hires is found dead after a car chase, he knows it’s serious stuff and becomes determined to get to the bottom of the case. He even drinks less!

The ending is rather surrealistic, in the sense that it could happen, but it never would. But that’s fine, as it is, in some sense, the best possible outcome for Pablo.

A fun and fast read. I didn’t like Pablo too much, but that didn’t hinder my enjoyment. I especially liked that Pablo ended up being involved with exactly those people he before had been avoiding as much as he could: his parents, his sister-in-law, etc.

An enjoyable suspense novel with a twist.

I read this book as part of the Let’s Get Spanish! month, organised by Soraya Schrijft.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 360

First published: 2001

I got this: bought it

Genre: Contemporary fiction

 

Book review: The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

The Book of Strange New Things by Michel FaberThe Book of Strange New Things: What it is about

From the publishers: “Peter Leigh is a missionary called to go on the journey of a lifetime. Leaving behind his beloved wife, Bea, he boards a flight for a remote and unfamiliar land, a place where the locals are hungry for the teachings of the Bible – his ‘book of strange new things’. It is a quest that will challenge Peter’s beliefs, his understanding of the limits of the human body and, most of all, his love for Bea.

The Book of Strange New Things is a wildly original tale of adventure, faith and the ties that might hold two people together when they are worlds apart. This momentous novel, Faber’s first since The Crimson Petal and the White, sees him at his expectation-defying best.”

The Book of Strange New Things: What I thought

This is a large book but reads so fast! It’s hard to put it down, as we need to know what happens to Peter, the missionary. His wife wasn’t allowed to come with him to Oasis, the planet far, far away. So, he goes alone. While his work with the aliens is very rewarding and positive, he gets messages from his wife suggesting that back on earth, things are falling apart.

He loves his wife very much, but is so engrossed by his life among the natives, that he finds it hard to be considerate to her. Life on Oasis is so different, he even forgets what certain things on earth are like (e.g., at some point, he can’t picture what a turkey looks like).

He is the only human who is interested in the aliens on Oasis. The others consider them freaks and not worth thinking about. But Peter is hired to evangelize them, and so he will. Although it turns out they’ve heard of Jesus already! And they’re keen to learn more. How about that? That was great fun, as was exploring the Oasians’ lives and customs together with Peter.

I loved all of this book and especially finding out what Peter would do: Will he return to earth when the time comes (or even earlier, to look after his wife)? And how does his relationship with the Oasians develop?

If this story appeals to you, don’t be held back by the size of the book. It’s irrelevant!


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars (very good)

Number of pages: 592

First published: 2014

I got this: from the publishers, Cannongate, for review (Netgalley, e-book)

Genre: Science fiction, space travel

 

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

itsmonday“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what we’ve read the past week and are planning to read next.

*****

The last two weeks I read…

The Ship by Antonia HoneywellPublish Successfully on Amazon by Liesbeth HeenkThe Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber

I read The Ship by Antonia Honeywell. A post-apocalyptic sea voyage. I enjoyed reading this! I also finished a Dutch book on how to publish your book on Amazon. Very useful information!

I finished (and loved!) The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber. This is a large book, but it reads so easily, it’s never a slog.

Next up it’s

The Shut Eye by Belinda BauerDit kan niet waar zijn by Joris LuyendijkThe Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant by Pablo TussetThe Green Pen by Eloy Moreno

The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer. A thriller. I’ve enjoyed every book I’ve read by this author, and it starts really interesting!

Dit kan niet waar zijn [This Can’t be True] by Joris Luyendijk, about banks and how no one really seems to know what they’re doing (including the banks themselves).

The Best Thing That Can Happen to a Croissant by Pablo Tusset. How about that for a title? It’s Spanish Month on one of the Dutch blogs and this is my first book.

Together with Isi of FromIsi, I’m reading a book by another Spanish author, The Green Pen by Eloy Moreno!

Are you joining in the 24-hour readathon or the Literary Blog Hop (not hosted by me)? Look here for more information.

Reviews

dewitt

I reviewed Ablutions by Patrick DeWitt, but for now only in Dutch.

.

My challenges

FitReaders2015

#Fitreaders is a challenge for all readers (and everyone else, really) who want to get more active. My goal is 3 x 7,000  and 3 x 5,000 per week, and one day off. I had 4 days above 7,000 steps and I never seem to get to those 5,000+ days… Oh well, I’m happy.

Cut-Out-Processed-Food

The Cut out Processed Food in 14 Weeks challenge was not terribly hard last week (the nineth week of the challenge): Eat no added sugar, or other sweeteners. It turns out, there is sugar in a lot of things, even foods where you don’t expect any. But I managed, mainly by cutting out foods – not something I can do indefinitely – and buying some alternatives from the health food store (since they don’t taste as nice, I don’t eat that much!). This week it’s No refined or hydrogenated oils. Well, they’re also in everything! :-)

 

What are YOU reading this week?

leeswammes_signature

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,522 other followers

%d bloggers like this: