Dear Z

I hope everything is okay with you! I am glad we found our Skype window the other day, lets talk again soon!

Okay, I am not sure where to start so I will just jump right in.

I think you might have read almost all the books I sent you a few month back? Sounds like a huge amount, but it was like five, right? I promised I would not send you any more books in the near future so I guess a list of book recommendations will have to do. Or this post is mainly going to be books written by some of the authors I sent you.

None of us are the biggest fans of Sophie Kinsella’s Shopaholic series, but I believe you (like me) enjoyed The Undomestic Goddess. So, what other books of her’s is worth reading?  The first book I read by Sophie Kinsella was Can You Keep a Secret?. I think I saw this book in one  of my cousins bookshelves and lent it from the library. The main character Emma is on a plane and is absolutely sure that the plane is about to crash so she spills all her secrets to the stranger next to her. The plane does not crash and he turns out to be her company’s next CEO (who now knows all her secrets). After that, I believe I read Twenties Girl. (I found an English copy in a second hand store a while ago and bought it to re-read.) The spirit of the main character Laura’s great-aunt turns up and will not leave Laura alone until she finds her lost necklace. Then there is Remember Me?. I really liked it at the time, but I guess I will have to re-read it to give you an update on what I think now. Here we meet Lexie who wakes up and cannot remember the last three years (she is, among other things, married) Then we have I’ve Got Your Number. I remember it not being as good as the others, but still a good read. I have also read Sophie Kinsella’s Wedding Night, but you can just skip that one. Sophie Kinsella is a pseudonym for Madeleine Wickham. I have not tried to read any of the books under her real name, and from what I have heard others say, they are not as good. My favourite Kinsella? I think it has to be The Undomestic Goddess.

Next up, I sent you The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas JonassonI read it myself in Swedish in the beginning of January this year, I think. I started writing a review of it in English but haven’t gotten around posting it yet. We will just have to wait and see if it turns up here. After I had read it, I read a few (non-Swedish) reviews of it and some people were like “really Sweden, this is the best you can come up with?” and “this is so unrealistic, this is not how the second world war happened”. Eh, no, it was not supposed to be realistic and super accurate. I really like his writing, how he tells the story and the voice of Alan. I have not yet read anything else by Jonas Jonasson. I have his next book The Girl Who Saved the King of Sweden standing in my shelf to be read, I think it was my grandmother gave it to me for my birthday a couple of years ago, but I wanted to read about Alan first. I have not really looked into what it is about. The English title did not just go with the Swedish title this time but made up their own to, I guess, go with the same theme and tell us who it is about. The Swedish title Analfabeten som kunde räkna would be translated into The analphabetic who could count. So, I guess it is really a combination of the two. He has also written Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All. I have not heard much of this, except for one of my choir members who thought it to be hilarious.

Then there is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I do not think that I have met anyone who does not like it. I am a little amazed by that so many worldwide like is at much as we Swedes do. I think everyone knows someone who could be Ove. So, I have only read this one and Saker min son behöver veta om världen, which has not been translated (yet?). The second title would be translated into something like Things my son needs to know about the world. Fredrik Backman writes a blog in Swedish, and this book is very much like his blog posts (mostly funny). But, to the books that have been translated; My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry, Britt-Marie Was Here and a short story just recently translated; And Every Morning the Way Home Gets Longer and Longer. I think the short story is next on my to-read list of these, and after that the Grandmother-one.

It feels like this could turn out to become a really long post (I guess it already is) so I think I will stop here for now and we will see what comes up next.

Take care,


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All Grass Isn’t Green

Book cover: All Grass Isn't Green

All Grass Isn’t Green – Erle Stanley Gardner (prev. published under pseudonym A.A. Fair)
Original title: All Grass Isn’t Green (1970)
Series: Cool and Lam #29
Publishing house: The Murder Room

I once wrote a post (in Swedish) about Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason. Both the book series and the TV series (with Raymond Burr) are very likeable. Erle Stanley Gardner is most famous for the stories about defense attorney Perry Mason but he has also written other things. I have read one book in the D.A. series, about District Attorney Doug Selby. And, I have now read a book in the series Cool and Lam, where Cool and Lam run a private detective agency.

I got a few books in this series as a birthday gift (a very good gift if you ask me, thank you dad!). None of the books I have is the first book in the series but I had anyhow planned to look up which one was the first, of which I own, to be able to start reading that one. (Yes, there is a ‘but’ coming.) But, when I did chose one to read, I was in a hurry. I was just about to walk out the door and didn’t have time to check which one came first. So, I looked at them and took one of the thinner ones. Did I happen to choose the very last book in the series? Yes.

I really liked it.

Both Perry Mason and the D.A. is written in third person, but this one is written in a first person point of view. That was the first thing I thought about when I started reading this book. It worked out really well. I liked being ‘in the head’ of the investigator.

One thing that these three series have in common is that the main character, who happens to be in the same line of work even though they don’t have the same profession, is the one solving the murders. In Perry Mason, there is a private detective that Perry Mason always hires when he needs one; Paul. I really like Paul. If Erle Stanley Gardner would have lived now, Paul might have gotten his own spin-off series.  I think I prefer it this way. Paul is always hired by Mr. Mason, and it is Mr. Mason who solves the murders, not Paul. Paul is just an awesome detective. Cool and Lam are, in All Grass Isn’t Green, hired by a man to find a person, and of course there is a murder somewhere in this book that is connected to their case and therefore needs to be solved.

It feels like I’m comparing everything to Perry Mason, but it is a little hard not to.

So, I really like the court room scenes in Perry Mason – they are usually my favourite parts of the books. This court scene was also really good, but slightly different. And I am not sure how much I can say about this without spoiling things. The scene is quite at the end. I liked the twist anyway.

As I mentioned above, this is my first Cool and Lam novel. We didn’t get to see much of Cool in this book. I am not sure how much we usually get to follow her in the other books, but Lam takes the car and travel to Mexico and Cool is still at the office. We meet Cool in the opening and closing scene and in the occasional phone call, but that’s it. I hope we get to know her better in the other books.

This edition had a few printing errors but it was just stuff that one could overlook. The missing ” could be a bit confusing sometimes, but I felt that it wasn’t so hard to figure out where they should have been.

So, to summerise things: read it if you like cosy mystery books or Perry Mason or private detectives, or just read it anyway.

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Golden – Cameron Dokey
Original title: Golden (2006)
Series: Once Upon a Time #9
Other books in the series by the same author: The Storyteller’s Daughter (#1), Beauty Sleep (#2), Sunlight and Shadow (#6), Before Midnight (#11), Belle (#14), The Wild Orchid (#15), Winter’s Child (#17), The World Above (#19)

Golden is a retelling of the fairytale Rapunzel. This Rapunzel is, however, different from the one we usually hear about because she is bald. How does this work, you might ask, a bald Rapunzel? It works perfectly fine.

One thing that hit me as soon as I started reading Golden was that it felt like a fairytale. Good, one might think, it is a fairytale retelling after all! Yes, but the other fairytale retellings I have read previously have not had the special fairytale feeling. I have been trying to put my finger on what it is that makes it feel like a fairytale. I think it might be the matter-of-fact way it is told. This fairytale is told from a first person perspective, which might not be the typical in ‘classic fairytales’, but it worked good with this story.

There are some holes in the credibility on this story, but the whole cosy fairytale feeling makes up for it. It is not like all fairytales are all that credible.

The story is written in quite a slow pace but I never felt like it was going too slow. The book is not too long so it does not take that long to read either.

Predictable? Yes and no. There was this one thing that I had my suspicions about for a long time, about Mr. Jones (not the cat one) which turned out to be true. I thought at one point that the ending might not turn out as it might seem it would, but it did, but not really. Some of the credibility holes were in the ending.

In the end of the book is an ‘author’s note’ where Cameron Dokey explains why she chose to do a retelling with a bald Rapunzel. I think it was a very sweet reason.

Golden was over all a cosy and sweet read and I think I will try out a few of the other books in the series as well.

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Huset som saknade nyckel

Huset som saknade nyckel

Huset som saknade nyckel – Earl Derr Biggers
Translator: Håkan Andersson
Original title: The House Without a Key (1925)
Series: Charlie Chan #1, Klassikerserien #3
Publishing house: Deckarhyllan

Det här är en bok som har lite av varje. Mord, mysterium, spänning, kärlek, miljöbeskrivningar och mysfaktor.

Det är kanske inte en bok som man sitter klistrad vid tills den är utläst, utan mer en småtrevlig bok som man gärna tar upp när man får lite tid över.

Förutsägbar? Nej. Nu är jag ioförsig inte en person som brukar lista ut vem det är som är den skyldige i förväg, jag vet faktiskt inte hur mycket jag funderar på det under själva läsningen. I det här fallet kunde jag efteråt tänka att “ja, om man tänkte på det där var det ganska självklart vem det måste ha varit”, men samtidigt fanns det andra faktorer som gjorde det till synes omöjligt, kanske därför jag inte tänkte tanken. Det låter kanske en aning kryptiskt, men man vill ju inte bli spoilad om vem den skyldige är innan man ens har hunnit läsa klart recensionen och hunnit tänka tanken att man vill läsa boken.

Miljöbeskrivningarna var inte några av de långa och tråkiga som man oftast skummar igenom, utan det var lite meningar som var inpetade här och var och som gav Hawaii känslan att vara lugnt, trevligt och vackert. Till skillnad mot fastlandet är det ett lugnt tempo på ön, det får ta den tid det tar med saker.

Jag tyckte att det var lite roligt att de pratade om 1880-talet, som då är 40 år innan den här utspelar sig. Det var en av de sakerna som påminde om att det här boken är så pass gammal som den är, annars var det väldigt lätt att tänka att den utspelar sig ganska många år senare.

Här och var i texten fanns det lite fotnötter som förklarade vad personerna i boken refererade till eller bara en anmärkning på en miljöbeskrivning som jag annars inte hade förstått. Det är en bra tanke och jag ser gärna att det dyker upp i fler böcker framöver. Det hjälper läsaren och det visar också att översättaren är intresserad av och har en kunskap om vad som översätts. Det var intressant, och rolig information, många av sakerna hade jag nog bara läst förbi utan att tänka på att det kunde ligga någonting mer bakom. Liksom i Perry Mason och fallet med den anklagade advokaten tyckte jag att förordet var intressant.

Om jag inte hade vetat om att serien kretsar kring Charlie Chan hade jag trott att det var John Quinsy som var huvudpersonen. Charlie Chan befinner sig mer i bakgrunden, jag hade gärna sett lite mer av honom för att lära känna honom mer.

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The Beekeeper’s Apprentice

The Beekeepers Apprentice

The Beekeeper’s Apprentice – Laurie R. King
Original title: The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (1994)
Swedish title: Drottningfällan
Series: Marry Russell and Sherlock Holmes #1
Next three books in the series: A Monstrous Regiment of Women, A Letter of Mary, The Moor
Publishing house: Allison & Busby

I waited to read this book because I wanted to read some of Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories first, to get to know the real Holmes. I didn’t have to have had read it before, but it was quite nice to have read some of the stories to know the references. I still have a lot of his stories to look forward too, though.

I like the way this book was written, it feels like Mary Russell is telling us her life story. When she start telling us something and remembers that ‘oh, you might need to know this first’, she tells us that before she continues to tell whatever she was planning to tell us. She also goes ahead and says stuff like ‘in the years to come, I learned that …” which also strengthen the feeling of Mary Russell telling us her life story. I like how it all is chronologic, but not quite,  it gives me a more genuine feeling of someone telling their story and not the feeling of someone pretending to be someone telling a story. If that makes sense.

When Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes first meet is Holmes retired from his crime solving career (sort of) and research bees instead, and Mary is a 15 year old girl that soon is going off to college. They like the way their brains stimulate each other, they can think with each other in a different way than they do with others.

The one thing I might have an hesitation towards in this book is their huge age gap (39 years if I remember correctly). In this book, their relationship is more teacher – student, father – daughter, but I know what is coming.

I read this book kind of slow, but it didn’t feel like it went slow. The language was different than the books I usually read in English, there were a lot of words I weren’t certain what they ment but I could understand the context. I am generally quite bad at looking words up while I read, in the sense that I usually do not do it, but there were a few times I did it in this book when I had a dictionary (phone) close by because I wanted to get the actual mening of something and not the general sense of the meaning. I am looking forward to reading this book in Swedish as well.

Am I going to read more books in this series? Definitely.

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What are you reading at the moment?

I just finished reading The Beekeeper’s Apprentice (Laurie R. King) Sunday night and really wanted to read the next book in the series, A Monstrous Regiment of Women. I, however, do not have the book at home (yet) so I picked up Du är aldrig ensam (Sarah Dessen) instead.

I borrowed Du är aldrig ensam from the library some time ago, unsure if I had read in English (Lock and Key) already. I realised quite soon after picking it up that I had. I have actually reviewed in on the blog; Lock and Key. I think I liked it better then than I do this time.

What are you reading at the moment?

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Mer från Deckarhyllans klassikerserie


Efter att jag hade läst Perry Mason och fallet med den anklagade advokaten så kanske de här flyttade hem till mig. Det är del två och tre i Deckarhyllans klassikerserie.

Kungen är död är den 23 boken i Ellery Queen-serien. Jag har inte läst någon i serien tidigare, men jag tror att jag har någon bok i en kartong här hemma. Den kanske får letas fram när den här har blivit läst…

Huset som saknade nyckel är den första boken i serien Charlie Chan och utspelar sig på Hawaii. Jag har inte läst någon bok som utspelar sig där tidigare (tror jag), det ska bli spännande. Jag har sett en säsong av den gamla Hawaii Five-O, det är kanske är lite åt det hållet jag förväntar mig att den här ska vara.

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