Henrik is back for even more ROOTing

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Henrik is back for even more ROOTing

1Henrik_Madsen
Redigerat: dec 30, 2022, 3:45 pm

Despite falling three books short of my goal I consider 2021 another succesful year of ROOTing. Unfortunately I bought more books (63) than I read (47) so Mount TBR keeps growing like an active volcano. The elements might nibble from the bottom, but it just adds freshly erupted layers!

On the bright side, I have more than enough books to take part for another year.

As I have done in previous years I will count everything owned as ROOTs. The really tough ones (acquired before 2014) will be labelled DROOTs (Deep roots).

This year my goal will be 50 books. Happy ROOTing everyone!



My second ticker will follow the race between ROOTs read and new books brought into the house. We'll see if I can finally tip the balance this year...



ROOTs
1. Morten Kirkskov: Kapgang
2. Daniel Kehlmann: Tyll
3. Henry James: Europæerne
4. Lord Byron: Cain
5. Rakel Haslund-Gjerrild: Adam i Paradis
6. Erich Hackl: Drei tränenlose Geschichten
7. Leo Tolstoj: Ivan Iljitjs død
8. Jenny Erpenbeck: Heimsuchung
9. Edward St Aubyn: Glem det
10. Derib: Buddy Longway - Den samlede saga II
11. Isaac Asimov: I, Robot
12. Henrik Stangerup: Vejen til Lagoa Santa
13. Forvandlinger. Moderne myter i dansk kunst 1900-1950
14. Edward St Aubyn: Dårligt nyt
15. Haruki Murakami: Hardboiled Wonderland og Verdens Ende
16. Bernadine Evaristo: Pige, kvinde, andet
17. Peter Høeg: Effekten af Susan
18. Auclair og Migeat: Blodet i træets årer
19. Dennis Hopeless: Cloak and Dagger: Shades of Grey
20. Scott Lobdell: X-Cutioner's Song
21. Judith Herman: Hjem
22. Heinrich Böll: Gruppebillede med dame
23. Selma Lagerlöf: Køresvenden
24. Aurélie Lévy og Elizabeth Colomba: Queenie - Harlems gudmoder
25. Édouard Louis: Voldens historie
26. Butz Peters: Tödlicher Irrtum
27. Volker Weidermann: Duellen
28. Malte Burup: Uvisheden
29. Christiane Hoffmann: Alles, was wir nicht erinnern
30. Frederik Stjernfelt: I morgen bliver bedre vol 2
31. Anne-Mette Hjalager: Sommerhuse og verdensmål
32. Pierre Christin og Annie Goetzinger: Den hvide sultaninde
33. Edward St Aubyn: En smule håb
34. Steffen Maarup (ed): Tegn eller dø
35. Peter Kvistgaard m.fl.: Bæredygtighed og danske turismevirksomheder
36. Jonathan Franzen: Purity
37. Charlier og Giraud: Blueberry - de samlede eventyr 4
38. Karsten Mellon og Alexander von Oettingen (red): Pissedårlig ledelse
39. Ulla Nygaard: Nakskov krøniken 1970-2006
40. Harold Foster: Den store sørejse
41. Helle Juhl: På lige fod
42. Will Eisner: Juvelen fra Gizeh
43. Edward St Aubyn: Moders mælk
44. Siegfried Lenz: Der Geist der Mirabelle
45. Jörg Ulbert og Jörg Mailliet: Westend - Berlin 1983
46. Abdulrazak Gurnah: Paradis
47. Cyril Lieron og Benoit Dahan: Den skandaløse billet 1
48. John Williams: Butcher's Crossing
49. Thomas Roslyng Olesen: Da værfterne lukkede
50. Edward St Aubyn: Til sidst
51. G Willow Wilson og Adrian Alphonsa: Ms Marvel 1: Ikke helt almindelig
52. Kim Leine: Afgrunden

DROOTs
1. Michael Bond: Bjørnen Paddington
2. Günther Grass: Mit århundrede
3. Salman Rushdie: Jorden under hendes fødder
4. Søren Ryge Petersen: Anders og Julius - og andre historier

2Henrik_Madsen
Redigerat: dec 30, 2022, 3:46 pm

In 2021 I did an alphabet challenge as part of my ROOTing. It was fun and did make me look at my shelves with fresh eyes as I had to look for books to fit the letters I hadn't covered, but I still want to do something different for my supplementary challenge this year.

The plan is quite simple: I shall try to read the last of my unread books bought in the year 2015. The nominees are:

Haruki Murakami: Hardboiled Wonderland og verdens ende
Butz Peters: Tödlicher Irrtum
James Joyce: Ulysses
Selma Lagerlöf: Køresvenden
Henry James: Europæerne
Henrik Stangerup: Vejen til Lagoa Santa
Morten Kirkskov: Kapgang
Forvandlinger. Moderne myter i dansk kunst 1900-1950
John Williams: Butcher's Crossing
Erich Hackl: Drei tränenlose Geschichten
Kim Leine: Afgrunden
Martin Jes Iversen: Sidste udvej
Ulla Nygaard: Nakskov Krøniken 1970-2006
Clemens J. Setz: Indigo
Edward St. Aubyn: Patrick Melrose romanerne
Ali Smith: Begge dele
Haruki Murakami: Mænd uden kvinder
Jonathan Franzen: Purity
Edward St. Aubyn: Patrick Melrose romanerne bind II
Thomas Roslyng Olesen: Da værfterne lukkede

A total of twenty titles to contend with and I like the variation. There are books on history, some classic novels (I dread/look forward to Ulysses) and a lot of recent novels. There are two works by Murakami, all the Patrick Melrose novels (in two volumes) and a book I bought twice that year: The Europeans by Henry James. At least they were cheap!

3cyderry
dec 28, 2021, 12:02 pm

Good luck with your goals!

4rabbitprincess
dec 28, 2021, 12:08 pm

Great to see you back! Good idea to tackle unread books from previous years. Thinking I should do something similar :)

5Miss_Moneypenny
dec 28, 2021, 12:48 pm

Good to see you back! I'm really smitten with the idea of doing an alphabet challenge and think I'll add it to my plan for 2022!

6Jackie_K
dec 28, 2021, 12:58 pm

Welcome back Henrik!

7connie53
dec 29, 2021, 6:18 am

Good to see you back, Henrik. Good luck with your challenge and ROOTing

8majkia
dec 29, 2021, 8:03 am

Glad you are back. Good luck!

9floremolla
dec 31, 2021, 5:39 pm

Happy reading in 2022, Henrik, that's quite a list! Look forward to seeing how you get on with it - especially Ulysses! :)

10MissWatson
jan 4, 2022, 5:46 am

Good luck with your list, Henrik!

11Henrik_Madsen
jan 4, 2022, 4:40 pm

Thanks for visiting my thread and for the nice welcomes. As always I aim to be more on the boards this year, but we will see. Also, first ROOT of the year is done, review will be up shortly!

12connie53
jan 5, 2022, 3:49 am

>11 Henrik_Madsen: Good job, Henrik.

13Henrik_Madsen
jan 6, 2022, 3:33 pm

1. Morten Kirkskov: Kapgang

Acquired: I bought this on sale in a local bookstore in 2015 - so this is also the first book towards my secondary goal this year.

Martin is 14 years old and only a month removed from his communion when his mother suddenly dies. The family is torn apart by grief - and the heavy doses of alcohol they administer to themselves isn't helping either. Martin don't know how he is supposed to feel, and he desperately tries to repress his emotions. At the same time he has to deal with his emerging sexuality which draws him towards both Katrine (girl) and Kim (boy).

Growing up is never easy, but everything is magnified through the sudden death of the mother. This was Kirkskov's first novel. He is a major factor in Danish theatre, but I would welcome it, if he finds time to write some more books as well.

4 stars

14Henrik_Madsen
jan 15, 2022, 10:51 am

2. Daniel Kehlmann: Tyll

Acquired: Another book from my wonderful book club - I got it back in 2018 when it was published in Danish

Tyll Uhlenspiegel is the son of a miller, who gets in trouble for his interest in science. He travels Germany during the Thirty Years War as a jester with a great talent for surviving and entertaining. He encounters fanatic priests, brutish soldiers, and he performs for the emperor. Her also spends time with Friedrich V (the Winter King) and his wife Elizabeth Stuart. Their fate from accepting the throne in Böhmen in 1619 to the peace of Westphalia in 1648 is another storyline in the novel.

The book doesn't tell the story of the war form a to z but hightlights episodes from it, so having a basic knowledge of the participants and the developments is probably useful. The strength of the novel is the intense atmosphere of each chapter. Overall a very good book, but I thought the whole was somehow a bit less than the parts.

4 stars

15Henrik_Madsen
jan 19, 2022, 4:22 pm

3. Michael Bond: Bjørnen Paddington

Acquired: I don't remember buying this book, but we must have done so, when the children were small. We never got round to reading, but now felt like a good time to get it off my shelves.

Mr and Mrs Brown is a very nice couple who finds a small bear in Paddington Station. They unceremoniously give him the name Paddington and brings him home. He is a curious and there are lots of things he doesn't understand - perhaps because he is from the darkest part of Peru - but he is kind and bringing a bit of refreshing chaos and everyday adventure to the family.

The book is well-written but it is also very much a book of its time. It is sooo 1950s and soooo upper middle class, that I felt a bit bored by it.

2½ stars

16Henrik_Madsen
feb 2, 2022, 4:29 pm

4. Henry James: Europæerne

Acquired: This is the second book in my quest to read the rest of the books I bought in 2015. I knew Henry James though I hadn't read anything by him, so when this one showed itself at the grand booksale in the local store, I had to buy it.

The sieblings Eugenia and Felix Young travel from Germany, where she has been expelled from a small court where she was the unofficial wife of the ruler's younger brother. Near Boston they encounter the wealthy but grave and modest Wentworth family and their friends. The Europeans are lively and bring a (pleasant?) disturbance to the stale household, where the members are fascinated by the strange relatives who seem to belong to an entirely different culture.

James was very occupied with the relationship between Europe and America, which is obviously also a theme in this novel. It is also, however, a story of love among the wealthy. I enjoyed the dialogue and the characters but the novel seems a little loose around the edges.

4 stars

17Henrik_Madsen
Redigerat: feb 6, 2022, 3:59 pm

5. Lord Byron: Cain

Acquired: I downloaded this last week, so it's not been gathering virtual dust on the e-shelves.

Well, the story about the first murderer in (Christian) history is well-known. It is also a very short story in the Bible, so Byron adds elements to create a play. Most notable is the fact that Cain is doubting God long before being rejected at the altar and the introduction of Lucifer as a conversation partner for him.

The writing is beautiful, but the storytelling was rather tedious. Only Cain - and to some extent his wife - come across as whole characters. Well, it's done. On to the next one!

2 stars

18Henrik_Madsen
feb 6, 2022, 4:09 pm

6. Rakel Haslund-Gjerrild: Adam i Paradis

Acquired: A much longed for Christmas gift last year. I heard the author at the grand book fair in Copenhagen last november and really wanted to read this novel.

The book is a piece of exo-fiction, telling the story of the later years the Danish artist Kristian Zahrtmann through his own eyes and voice. Zahrtmann was homosexual which was illegal at the time, and there were a couple of very public cases in Denmark which brought down other writers and artists. There was a certain quiet bravery in just painting the pictures he did, and living the life he lived at that period of time.

Adam in Paradise was painted in 1913 and was one of his last major works. It focuses on Adam before the creation of Eve, and it is a celebration of the male body placed in gorgeous surroundings - but it is also a comment on the loneliness many people lived with because they couldn't be themselves. Adam is not just alone, he is bored, because he has no companionship.

The novel focuses on the creative proces and in flashbacks tells the story of his stormy relationship to the beautiful Hjalmar Sørensen who went with him to Italy one summer. The writing is exquisite, and I thought the book was both very well done and very interesting.

4½ stars

19Henrik_Madsen
feb 14, 2022, 7:09 am

7. Erich Hackl: Drei tränenlose Geschichten

Acquired: We went to Italy on holiday in 2015 but stopped for a few days in Salzburg on the way. There I bought this and a couple of other books.

Hackl is a journalist and/or historian who tries to confront Austrians with the Nazi past. He writes thorough portraits of victims of the regime. It brings forgotten destinies back, and focusing in on individual persons shows places the repression in specific times and places.

This book collects three such stories. The Klagsbrunn family, traders of coal, are forced to sell their business and emigrate in 1938, Wilhelm Brasse survives Auschwitz as part of the group of photographers who were forced to document lifte in camp and resistance fighter Gisela Tschofenigweg is murdered in camp on the eve of liberation. Hackl is a brilliant researcher who manages to make his portraits of long lost persons whole and interesting.

4 stars

20Henrik_Madsen
feb 22, 2022, 4:10 pm

8. Leo Tolstoj: Ivan Iljitjs død

Acquired: I have wanted this book for years, so when I finally got it for my birthday, I could not keep my hands off it.

Ivan Iljitj is a succesful judge in zsarist Russia who finally manages to secure a position in Skt. Petersborg. Once there he soon becomes ill, and the novel is mainly a rendering of his sickness and death.

Tolstoj is a great writer of realist and psychological fiction and this depiction of death has become famous. It tells a story from at the point in time when a traditional approach to death was replaced by modern estrangement from the end of life. It is also a great portrait of a man who had to go through all stages of grief before he finally got to accept death as enivitable.

4 stars

21connie53
mar 5, 2022, 5:37 am

Hi Henrik. I've been away from LT Threads for a while. Too much going on in my life the last months. I see you are still going strong with your reading and some of them are real classics!

22Henrik_Madsen
mar 12, 2022, 6:51 am

>21 connie53: Hi Connie. I have not been here all that much either, but I'm stille getting som reading done. Thanks for dropping by :-)

23Henrik_Madsen
Redigerat: mar 12, 2022, 7:03 am

9. Jenny Erpenbeck: Heimsuchung

Acquired: I bought this in Dussmann last year on a nice trip to Berlin.

The novel is centered around a house near one of the lakes souteast of Berlin. It is mainly used as a holiday home, but it's history reflects the country's history through the 20th century: Growth in the interwar period, the horrors of nazism, the liberation/repression byt the Russians and finally the reunification. Few characters are named, they are mostly called by there function, and the style is a strange combination of matter-of-fact telling of for happens and a poetic and dreamlike portrait of a place where people are just temporary guests.

I enjoyed the slow pace and the peculiar style quite a bit, and even seen from a random villa in the countryside, the hopes and horrors of history show themselves.

4 stars

24Henrik_Madsen
mar 18, 2022, 5:18 pm

10. Edward St Aubyn: Never mind

Acquired: Another book from my book club received in 2015

The first of the Patrick Melrose novels is really not that much about him. He is a little boy, who is being brought up by his tyrannical father and his mother who is so helplessly repressed by David Melrose, that she can only seek refuge in alcohol and medicine. The short novel centers around a single day where some of Davids friends / admirers come for dinner in the castle in southern France.

It's a short novel which is primarily concerned with it's characters. They are well written, even though the depiction of aristocratic sadism and entitlement feels almost like af charicature.

3 stars

25Henrik_Madsen
mar 26, 2022, 8:34 am

11. Derib: Buddy Longway: Den samlede saga II

Acquired: I got two copies of Catcher in the Rye for my birthday, so a exchanged one them for this wonderful volume

Derib continues the story of Buddy Longway, his wife Chinook and their two children Jeremie and Kathleen. This volume contains four albums orginally published in the late 70s. Two stories focuses on the complicated relationship between settlers and the native American population, and two of them are more focused on the beautiful but also unforgiving nature they live in.

I enjoyed all the stories and especially the wonderful artwork. It really is a charming series.

4½ stars

26Henrik_Madsen
mar 29, 2022, 12:18 pm

12. Isaac Asimov: I, Robot

Acquired: I was looking for Foundation in a book shop a couple of years ago, but couldn't find it. But I found this one!

The novel / collection of short stories was originally published in 1950. It is an interview with robot psychologist Susan Calvin who is trying to figure out what happens when the three laws of robotics meets a complex world and ever more intelligent machines. She outlines a number of interesting cases, and I found the book both entertaining and thoughtprovoking.

It has almost nothing in common with the Will Smith movie, and it was interesting reading a story that is basically optimistic about the liberating powers of technology. There are so many dystopian stories these days that a bit of optimism feels refreshing.

4 stars

27Henrik_Madsen
mar 30, 2022, 4:11 pm

13. Henrik Stangerup: Vejen til Lagoa Santa

Acquired: Another novel bought at a book sale in 2015.

The book is a portrait of the Danish 19th Century natural researcher P.W. Lund who discovered lots of fossils in Brazilian caves which helped cast light on evolution - a theory he never accepted himself. It is also a novel about a fragile mind who feared disease, lived most of his life with his friend, the painter Brandt, and had a nervous breakdown as he was about to return triumphant to Europe. Instead he spend the last forty years of his life in the small town of Lagoa Santa.

The prose is exquisite and so is the psychological understanding of the characters. I enjoyed it a lot.

4½ stars

28Henrik_Madsen
mar 31, 2022, 3:26 pm

14. Forvandlinger. Moderne myter i dansk kunst 1900-1950

Acquired: This is the catalogue from an exhibition I saw in 2015. So another piece in my ongoing housecleaning of unread books bought in that particular year

In the first half of the 20th Century modernism took hold in Danish art. The abstract modernism has been heavily studied, whereas the figurative art inspired by classicism but with modernist traits have received less attention. This book tries to correct this through commentary and analysis.

The book is well illustrated and written, and it was interesting to get some perspective on a style that is still very, very common in public buildings and squares in Denmark.

3½ stars

29connie53
maj 1, 2022, 11:46 am

Hi Henrik, dropping by again. I hope you did some reading in april too ;-)

30Henrik_Madsen
maj 10, 2022, 4:17 pm

>29 connie53: Less than hoped, Connie - and mostly library books.

31Henrik_Madsen
maj 10, 2022, 4:25 pm

15. Edward St Aubyn: Dårligt nyt

Acquired: This is the second novel in the first volume about Patrick Melrose which I bought back in 2015.

Patrick is now in his 20s. He doesn't really know what he wants to do with his life, and spends his time doing drugs and hating his father David Melrose. If you read the first volume, you know he has every reason to despise him, so he is not very sad, when he learns, that he is dead. Patrick flies to New York to handle the funeral, and over three days he meets his father's friends and handle the practicalities. He also devours alcohol, pills, cocaine and heroine in ridiculous amounts.

Patrick has every right to be angry and traumatized, but the novel never really touched me, because I could never feel him an just got a bit annoyed by the ongoing junkie stories.

2½ stars

32Henrik_Madsen
maj 27, 2022, 10:13 am

16. Haruki Murakami: Hardboiled Wonderland og Verdens Ende

Acquired: This was another novel I got from my book club back in 2015

This novel is both very strange, very Murakami and quite entertaining. The chapters switch between two narrators in very different worlds which slowly converge. The first narrator works as an encoder in a Tokyo of the near future. He is asked to do a job for a professor living beneath the sewers to protect himself from the outside world and soon he is involved in a dangerous game between strong forces. He also meets a librarian, a couple of polite thugs and the granddaughter of the professor. This world is strange - there are "darklings" ruling the world underground - but the other world is feels more like a fantasy world. Here the narrator has his shadow cut off and he has to read old dreams of unicorn skulls.

That's pretty weird even for Murakami, but I quite enjoyed the book. It has all the traits of Murakami, but it is still fresh and doesn't feel like something you have read before.

4 stars

33connie53
jun 5, 2022, 6:49 am

Hi Henrik. Just popping in to see what you have been reading. How are you doing, not only with your reading?

34Henrik_Madsen
jun 8, 2022, 2:38 pm

>34 Henrik_Madsen: Hi Connie and thanks for stopping by. I'm doing really good. Summer is almost here and I have been spending a lot of time cycling recently. I'm preparing to do the 2. stage of the Tour de France saturday, so getting in shape for that has taken a lot of my sparetime recently.

35Henrik_Madsen
jun 8, 2022, 2:43 pm

17. Bernardie Evaristo: Pige, kvinde, andet

Acquired: Yet another book from my bookclub. I got it a couple of years ago, after the book was awarded the Booker Prize in 2019

The novel consists of twelve portraits of people who are all in some way connected to the premiere of a new play in London. It is set up by one of the characters, Amma, who has spend decades creating underground theater and has now been recognized by the establishment. Amma is a black, lesbian woman, and all the stories features black women. They are connected by being colored but are otherwise very different. This is part of what makes the book so good: The marginalised position of being a black woman is not just one thing; it's all kinds of things and Evaristo brings this powerfully to life.

4½ stars

36Jackie_K
jun 8, 2022, 3:48 pm

>35 Henrik_Madsen: I really loved this book too, and gave it the same rating.

37connie53
jun 9, 2022, 11:07 am

>34 Henrik_Madsen: Good for you! I wish you all the succes to finish it! Go, go, go!

38Henrik_Madsen
jun 18, 2022, 6:17 am

18. Peter Høeg: Effekten af Susan (The Susan Effect)

Acquired: A birthday gift from my children in 2018. I have followed Peter Høeg since the 1990s but his latest books have been not-great so it took a while before I got to it.

Susan Svendsen is a physicist in a lot of trouble. She and her family are in all sorts of problems (that is: they har wanted by the police in different Asian countries) and there is a price to be paid, if she wants to be rescued: She has to track down the members of the Future Commission and obtain the minutes from their last meeting. Luckily she also has a special gift: She can make people truthful when she is near them, which is obviously a great advantage when you have to dig up hidden secrets.

The investigation reveals a dark side to Danish society as well as Susan's own complicated past. It is also a dangerous quest because they are not the only ones looking for the members of the commission. It is a pretty good thriller, but it doesn't hae the charm of Høeg's early books.

3½ stars

39Henrik_Madsen
jun 19, 2022, 4:04 pm

19. Auclair og Migeat: Blodet i træets årer

Acquired: I bought this in a used book store on a trip to Copenhagen earlier this year. Our son participated in an event with his highschool, and we took the opportunity to stay an extra night and see a version of Ulysses on stage.

Albon is young black man on Martinique during the Robert period, that is during the time when Pétain ruled part of France after the German victories of 1940 and repressive meassures were implemented all over French territories. He is personally insulted by the landowner, but when he takes to the hills to live outside the law, he soon becomes a symbol of resistance to the population.

Migeat has illustrated the book in a realistic and interesting fashion.

3½ stars

40connie53
jun 26, 2022, 6:25 am

Hi Henrik, just popping!

I'm always trying to translate the titles of the books you read. Luckily this time moving with the cursor above the title I know what it says, At least I know what the Dutch title is: A voice coming from nowhere.

41Henrik_Madsen
jun 29, 2022, 4:27 pm

>40 connie53: It is originally written in French (Le sang de flamboyant) and the title is hard to translate. The Danish title in word-for-word English is "The Blood in the Veins of the Tree". I think I like the Dutch title better but both are connected to the themes of the book.

42Henrik_Madsen
jun 29, 2022, 4:36 pm

20. Dennis Hopeless: Cloak and Dagger: Shades of Grey

Acquired: One of my favorite comic book stores had a major sell to create some cashflow, and of course I couldn't resist...

Cloak and Dagger were originally introduced as characters in Spiderman. A white girl and a black boy was transformed into superheroes by drugs, and for long they tried to get back at the drug traffickers who sealed theirs and other young peoples fate.

Years has passed in this mini series. The couple has split up - at least on the surface because Cloak can only keep the darkness in check with the help up Dagger. She is fighting crime in Los Angeles when strange bodies start showing up. Is it the work of Cloak or are there other sinister powers around?

The artwork is modern and ok, but I wasn't blown away, and the same can be said about the story. Nice entertainment for a couple of hours.

3 stars

43Henrik_Madsen
jun 30, 2022, 3:31 pm

21. Judith Hermann: Hjem (Home - but neither the Danish title nor my translation of it into English really captures the full meaning of the German title 'Daheim')

Acquired: My very well-edited book club had this as book of the month earlier this year

The female narrator has moved from a larger city to a small house near the ocean on the German west coast. Her daughter has moved out, and she is looking for new meaning in her life. She finds friends and is fascinated by the locals, but it is also quite obvious, that most of the characters are emotionally blunted.

It was an interesting and wellwritten book. It was also very dense, and some of the characters were hard to get a grip on.

4 stars

44Henrik_Madsen
jul 1, 2022, 3:49 am

22. Scott Lobdell: X-Cutioner's Song

Acquired: Well, you can't go to a comic book convention without buying any comics, can you?

The album collects 12 issues from Uncanny X-Men, X-Men, X-Factor and X-Force. It is a typical cross-over telling the tale of an assasination attempt on Charles Xavier and a new/old foe trying to get even with Scott Summer's and Jean Grey. The typical part is problems keeping the story going in a natural way across four titles and it is only more prevalent in the illustrations.

Overall: Not very good story, not even if you like the Marvel / X-men universes like I do.

2½ stars

45Henrik_Madsen
jul 2, 2022, 3:25 pm

23. Heinrich Böll: Gruppebillede med dame (Both the Danish and English titles are word-for-word translations of the German original)

Acquired: I rescued a number of books from an uncertain future when my parents-in-law downsized and moved to an apartment three years ago. This is one of them.

Böll tells the story of Leni, a 48 year old German widow and mother of a son in prison, and through her story he lays bare the machinations of the nazi regime and the horrors endured by anyone who lived under their rule. It is also an indictment of the people who profited from the system and managed to continue their lives after the war.

The style takes a bit getting used to. The narrator investigates Leni's life and we mostly get to know her through the words of people around her. But once the novel get going it is quite gripping and surprisingly full of humour.

4 stars

46Henrik_Madsen
jul 3, 2022, 3:24 pm

24. Selma Lagerlöf: Køresvenden

Acquired: I bought this during af book sale in Copenhagen in 2015 - time to get it done!

David Holm is drunkard who has let himself and his family down. On New Years Eve he is on the local cemetry, where he tells some comeraders a legend: The last man to die in a year is destined to drive the cart of death for the next year and collect the souls. Obviously Holm dies just before midnight and is forced to face the results of his choices in life.

It is a well done gothic story. The ending was a bit disappointing, but it is a short a recommendable read.

4 stars

47Henrik_Madsen
Redigerat: jul 3, 2022, 3:39 pm

25. Aurélie Lévy & Elizabeth Colomba: Queenie - Harlems gudmoder

Acquired: I also bought this graphic novel at the comic convention earlier this year - and had it signed by Lévy who gave a very interesting talk about the book

Stephanie St. Clair is a real person. She was born on Martinique and fled to America where she became a powerful gangster boss Harlem in the 1920s and 1930s. It was during the Harlem Renessaince where black culture and self consciousness grew, and St. Clair was part of that. She wrote in the local newspapers, supported the civil rights movement and showed by example, that anything was possible for black women.

The book shows her at the hight of her power and her desperate struggle to keep the brutal Dutch Schultz out the neighborhood with the background story told through flashbacks. Colomba's artwork is powerful and clearly build on thorough research of the period. I enjoyed the book a lot.

4 stars

48connie53
jul 19, 2022, 9:01 am

>43 Henrik_Madsen:. Thuis (NED) or zuhause. Where one is most at home!
>45 Henrik_Madsen:. The Dutch title too. Groepsfoto met dame
>46 Henrik_Madsen:. The Dutch title: De voerman = the wagoner
>47 Henrik_Madsen:. Something like: The godmother

Having fun with this!

49Henrik_Madsen
jul 23, 2022, 3:21 pm

26. Édouard Louis: Voldens historie (History of Violence)

Acquired: I bought this one at the big anual book fare in Copenhagen. Can't wait for the next one!

The narrator, who is also called Louis, is approached by a beautiful young man on his way home from a Christmas evening. He takes him home with them, and they make love an talk through the night. Then, just as they are about to part, Louis discovers that the man has stolen his phone and other items - and certainly the situationen turns into attempted murder and rape.

The story is told and retold, and even thought all versions lead back to the narrator, it enables him to give a nuanced account of what happened and how he and others reacted to it. It is extremely well done; Louis' fame is well earned.

5 stars

50Henrik_Madsen
Redigerat: jul 26, 2022, 2:56 pm

27. Butz Peters: Tödlicher Irrtum

Acquired: I was in Berlin in 2015 and saw an interesting exhibition about the RAF - so of course I had to buy this book in the museum shop.

Peters writes the story of the RAF from the origins in the West Berlin student movement to the official dispansion the organization in 1998. It is a very thorough account of what happened, base mainly on documents from the trials but also official texts from the RAF, and other sources. It is a very good book about WHAT happened, but I don't think it's as good withe WHY questions.

Overall an interesting book, but probably mostly for the very interested reader: 750 pages in German is a lot, even though it is well written.

4 stars

51Henrik_Madsen
jul 27, 2022, 3:18 pm

28. Günter Grass: Mit århundrede

Acquired: I'm not really sure, but it's been sitting om ny shelves at least 15 years. For holiday this year we went to Belgium and Cologne so why not read some German literature now?

The book is a collection of one hundred stories - or a novel in one hundred chapters -telling the story of the twentieth century. There is one chapter for each year, all 3-4 pages long. Most years are represented by one big or small event and the best chapters tells the story of war damage payments or German partition through an original narrator and/or a peculiar development.

The stories are a bit uneven, and I didn't like that Grass chooses himself and his doings as focal point for some years, but overall he succeeds in writing af original and easily read narrative of the most dramatic century in German history.

3½ stars

52Henrik_Madsen
aug 1, 2022, 1:04 pm

29. Volker Weidermann: Duellen (The Duel - precise translation of the German original title)

Acquired: I got this book earlier this year from my bookclub, and I decided to read it now to get som perspective on Mit århundrede by Günter Grass.

Weidermann has written a good biography of two giants of post-war German litterature. Grass was the golden boy, who grew up in Danzig and kept his membership of Waffen-SS seceret for decades while he was celebrated as the greatest German author for most of his career. Reich-Ranicki was Jewish and only barely escaped deportation from the Warszaw ghetto but he still emigrated to West Germany to become part of German litterary life. He became an important critic, and was particularly well known for his extremely critical reception of Grass.

The two men knew and admired each other, but they were also more or less public enemies throughout their careers.

Weidermann has written a really good book. It is easy to read, the two main characters are just plain interesting, and focusing on their mutual relationship adds perspective to both.

4 stars

53Henrik_Madsen
aug 1, 2022, 4:08 pm

30. Malte Burup: Uvisheden

Acquired: As told earlier I bought a huge pile of comics at a sale a few months ago - this was one of them

The story is somewhere between bewildering and non-existent: A man finds another man murdered and is transported to a dream-like world. He follows leads to move ahead, but none of it makes much sense. The artwork, however is wild. Simple forms and huge amounts of color, which are seems wrong for what is drawn but makes very much sense on the page as a whole.

It's like watching a comic composed of van Gogh paintings. I didn't care for the story but spent quite some time taking the artwork in.

3 stars

54Henrik_Madsen
aug 7, 2022, 1:31 pm

31. Christiane Hoffmann: Alles, was wir nicht erinnern

Acquired: We went to Braunlage for a little week in February. The others went skiing, I read books and bought some new ones in the charming little bookshop. Including this one.

Christian Hoffmann's parents were both refugees from Germany East of the current Oder-Neisse border. They fled from the red army, but even if they had not, they would have been expelled from their homes after 1945 anyway. Millions were expelled and their homes taken over by other millions expelled from the Western part of the Soviet Union. This story is not much talked about, not in the public and not in the family. After her father's death, Hoffmann decides to walk the route of his escape in January-February 1945, and this walking in his footsteps is combined with detailed reflections about the role the old home played in the family.

Hoffmann is an interesting voice. She combines her family's story with the broader historical develpment. It was particularly interesting to read about the good relations with the new residents in their old house - they even went there for a visit during the cold war and were heartily greeted. So, the content is great, but I was a little put off by the jumping around between themes, places and times. I wish all those creative writing courses would advice people to use that trick a little less.

3½ stars

55Henrik_Madsen
aug 12, 2022, 4:37 pm

32. Karoline Stjernfelt: I morgen bliver bedre vol 2 (Tomorrow will be better)

Acquired: Another book picked up at the comic fair in Copenhagen earlier this year.

The year is 1768 and something is wrong in the kingdom of Denmark. The king is psychogically unstable, his relationship with queen Caroline Mathilde is cold, and he dreams about giving up ruling to become an ordinary soldier. In this second volume things do indeed become better: The physician Struensee enters the story in force, and he seems to be able to help fulfill both of them. After his advise the king finally uses his power to get rid of his old ministers and abolish censorship to become an enlightened ruler, and the queen finally gets to know real love as she invites him to her bed.

This is a trilogy based on real events, so it is pretty clear that things won't continue to get better. But as a piece of art this second volume of Stjernfelt's graphic novel is indeed better. The storytelling has matured, and in the art she has found her style with good composition and brilliant colorisation.

4½ stars

56Henrik_Madsen
aug 21, 2022, 3:32 pm

33. Anne-Mette Hjalager: Sommerhuse og verdensmål

Acquired: My municipality was one of the six cases in the report, so we got a digital version, when it was finished.

Holiday homes take up a large part of the build environment in Denmark, and they are hugely important for tourism. It is there surprising, that they have not been studied more. This study focus on the houses themselves: When were they build, how are the areas with holiday homes planned, and how are they challenged by climate change and new usage patterns?

It is a scientific report and a handbook for Danish planners. If you are student of Danish planning or a planner yourselv, it is useful and well written. If not, this is probably not a book for you.

3 stars

57Henrik_Madsen
aug 26, 2022, 10:50 am

34. Pierre Christin og Annie Goetzinger: Den hvide sultaninde (The White Sultaness)

Acquired: Yet another comic picked up the comic book convention this spring - I really found some volumes there!

Christin is a prolific French comic book writer, mostly known for his Valérian series, but he has written a great deal of other works as well. This is a double story about lady Emma Sheringham, who is interviewed about an eventful life in Asia, and about an old woman found dead in her apartment in London. There is a connection between the two, sliding doors style.

Emma's life is a travel through the last decades of the British empire. She starts out as a governess but soon marries the father of the children she is supposed to teach and becomes part of the colonial elite. As such she travels to Hong Kong and Malaysia where she gets to know the lively Fanny and the local rulers.

The story is not particularly interesting and I wasn't thrilled about the art work either. On to the next one!

3 stars

58Henrik_Madsen
aug 28, 2022, 4:02 pm

35. Edward St Aubyn: En smule håb (Some Hope)

Acquired: In 2015 I bought all the Patrick Melrose novels in two volumes. After this read I'm finally through the first one.

It's the early 1990's, and Sonny and Bridget are planning a birthday party where the usual inner circle of the British elite is invited. Even Princess Margaret will attend. Most of the guest are incredibly egocentric, which is both tragic and funny, especially when the princess humiliates people who are used to bossing around with other people.

Patrick and his friend Johnny Hall have given up drugs, but Patrick has not found a purpose in lige yet. Still, as the title says, there is som hope, that he can finally come to terms with his father and the crimes he comitted when he was a child.

So far this is my favorite installment in the series. I enjoy a satiric thrashing of the upper classes as much as anyone, but I do like to have a couple of relatable characters as well. Patrick without drugs is a person of much more reflection and interest that the Patrick who spend every page of Bad News doing drugs.

3½ stars

59Henrik_Madsen
aug 29, 2022, 3:14 pm

36. Steffen Maarup: Tegn eller dø (Draw or Die)

Acquired: In June one of my favourite comic book stores had a sale - and I bought a lot.

The book is a gimmick. 16 comic book artists go tête á tête using all kinds of weird weapons to duel it out. A winner is named and goes through to the next round.

Seeing two gifted artists putting their pencil to the same piece of paper is ok, but that's it. It's a gimmick in book form, but at least it was cheap and a fast read.

2½ stars

60Henrik_Madsen
sep 3, 2022, 4:58 am

37. Peter Kvistgaard mfl: Bæredygtighed og danske turismevirksomheder

Acquired: I got this book from work where we also work on developing tourisme in the local area

The book maps how Danish companies in the tourism industry handles demands for sustainability. Most of them are eager to become more sustainable which is good. They also have a rather limited view on sustainability, mainly identifying reducing energy use and furthering de-carbonisation as areas of interest. It is also shown that companies are generally rather motivated but they lack structure and ressources to work systematically within the field.

It is small book for at very specific audience. I thought it was interesting enough even though it's also scratching the surface more than getting to the bottom of very important questions.

3 stars

61connie53
sep 3, 2022, 7:15 am

Hi Henrik! Just waving at you and reading about your books. I hope you are okay and all ie well with your family.

62Henrik_Madsen
sep 4, 2022, 4:03 am

Hi Connie. We are doing all right. My mother is sick, but she looks like she will be ok. And I’m getting a lot of reading done these days.

63connie53
sep 16, 2022, 10:12 am

>63 connie53: I hope it's nothing serieus, Henrik and she will recover quickly. Lots of reading sound good and pleasant.

64Henrik_Madsen
sep 17, 2022, 8:35 am

>63 connie53: Sadly it seems to be quite serious (cancer) but it looks like it can be treated. She is 86 so it's not totally unexpected that illness starts showing up, but it's still tough.

65Henrik_Madsen
sep 17, 2022, 8:44 am

38. Jonathan Franzen: Purity

Acquired: My bookclub provided this one back in 2015. Since then it has been sitting on my shelves looking voluminous.

Pip (Purity) has just finished college and her life is a mess. The man she loves is married to someone else, her debts are through the roof, her mother won't tell her about her father, and she has a shitty job. When some kind but strange Germans offer her an internship with the Sunlight Project in Bolivia, she accepts. Maybe an organization of leakers and hackers can help her find answers?

The second part focus on Andreas Wolf, who grew up in Eastern Germany before founding the project. He was priviliged but unhappy growing up, and he carries some dark secrets in his heart, even though his job is exposing what everybody else hides. The third part focus on The Denver Independent, a new online magazine run by Tom Aberant, who also has some sort of connection to Andreas. It is all connected, but how?

I much enjoyed the book. Franzen writes really well and I thought he succeeded in combining large stories of societal change with the characters and Pip's personal story. It is a long novel (600+ pages in my edition) and it could have done with a hundred pages less.

4½ stars

66MissWatson
sep 17, 2022, 8:52 am

>62 Henrik_Madsen: Sorry to hear your mother is sick, that must be a big worry for you.
Interesting review of the Franzen book. He has just received the Thomas Mann Prize, so I guess I'll be looking for his books.

67rabbitprincess
sep 17, 2022, 9:31 am

>62 Henrik_Madsen: I'm sorry your mum is sick and hope the treatments go well.

68connie53
Redigerat: sep 24, 2022, 3:54 am

Hi Henrik. So sorry to hear your mother is so seriously ill. My brother was recently diagnosed with cancer too, with positive expectations. I know the first shock when you hear such news.

About Jonathan Franzen books. I've read De correcties (3,5 stars) and have Kruispunt on my TBR.

69Henrik_Madsen
sep 20, 2022, 3:35 pm

Thanks for the good wishes for my mother. It is obviously a big worry how serious the illness will turn out, but - considering her age - also how tough the the treatment will be for her. Still, one wouldn't want her to be sick when she was younger.

Sorry to hear about your brother, Connie. I hope everything goes well with his treatment.

Purity was my first book by Franzen. I had been a bit turned off by it's size, but also by his reputation as a Great Author who may or may not have written The Great American Novel, but I liked it a lot and will definitely read more by him in the future.

70Henrik_Madsen
sep 24, 2022, 11:11 am

39. Charlier og Giraud: Blueberry - de samlede eventyr 4

Acquired: A Christmas gift from last - good to get to it.

This collection contains three albums from the original series. The first one sees the end to the story of the Indian Wars which took up all of volume three. Charlier puts the critical light on the expansion by the white Americans, where general MacAlister embodies the racist and aggressive attitude to the native inhabitants of the land.

It is a good story, but the rest of the book is better. On leave from the army Blueberry and his sidekick McClure get involved with the mysterious baron von Luckner. He claims to have a gold mine of great wealth inside Superstition Mountains, but he is als a choleric criminal. After a series of complicated intrigues they set off into the desert and so does a couple of bounty hunters. It is a great tale of adventure, but it is also an interesting look at the depths humans are willing to sink to when they hear the lure of gold.

Giraud's artwork is better than ever, so overall it was a great read.

4½ stars

71Henrik_Madsen
Redigerat: okt 3, 2022, 5:52 am

40. Alexander von Oettingen og Karsten Mellon (red): Pissedårlig ledelse (Shitty management)

Acquired: I read about the book when it came out in 2020 and decided I had to buy at my local bookshop

Most books on management / leadership focus on the best leaders in history and try to extract valuable lessons from them. This book takes the opposite approach: What is bad management and what can we learn from it? There are five short articles in the book. Three are theoretical introductions to leadership theory, and they are ok but a bit superficial. The two last ones also contains theoretical and philosophical elements - in short: being a shitty manager from time to time is unavoidable - but they have a different vibe to them, because the authors have both been leaders themselves for many years.

Overall an ok read for people interested in management, but I was disappointed that it didn't go deeper into some real fiascos and what could be learned from them.

3 stars

72rabbitprincess
sep 30, 2022, 11:05 am

>71 Henrik_Madsen: That's a shame that the book didn't go into as much depth as you would have liked. It's a great title though!

73Henrik_Madsen
okt 3, 2022, 1:15 pm

>72 rabbitprincess: Well it wasn't bad and a quick read, so no hard feelings on my part. And yes, great title. It is one of the few books I have bought solely because of the title!

74Henrik_Madsen
okt 3, 2022, 1:33 pm

41. Ulla Nygaard: Nakskov Krøniken 1970-2006 (The Nakskov Chronicle 1970-2006)

Acquired: I visited the local archive in 2015 and bought this extremely cheap.

There was an administrative reform in Denmark in 1970 and another one in 2007. Many municipalities hired people to write their story before they became part of larger entities and that was also the case in Nakskov where I live. The book is easy to read and quite well written. The main focus is on politics and economic development, but the characteristics of the organization is also dwelt upon.

The story of the city in this time is impossible to separate from the story of the shipyard. which was by far and away the most important workplace. The city had 17.000 inhabitants at its peak, the yard employed more than 2.000, and Nakskov was wealthy until the 1970s. Then there was crisis and in 1986 there was disaster as the yard finally closed after many close calls. The next 15 years was horrible and the city only partially recovered when Vestas moved in and started producing wings for wind turbines.

The book was financed by the municipality and it loyally depicts its identity, but it is well written and quite interesting - at least if you are interested in Nakskov's history.

3 stars

75connie53
okt 4, 2022, 6:46 am

>74 Henrik_Madsen: Books about your own hometown are always interesting. We have a book about Roermond, where I have lived since I was 10 years young and there are probably a lot of books about Den Haag (The Hague) where I was born.

76Henrik_Madsen
okt 8, 2022, 12:52 pm

>75 connie53: That's why it's sometimes hard to rate books on local history, because if you know the area or the people it will always be more interesting.

77Henrik_Madsen
okt 8, 2022, 12:59 pm

42. Harold Foster: Den store sørejse

Acquired: I bought this album at a fair in Maribo where I work earlier this year. I have read quite some Prince Valiant when I was a kid, and I wanted to try it out again.

Prince Valiant overcomes a viking army in Scotland, goes to the swamps to have his fortune told by a famous which and travels by see to Scandinavia because he wants to go back to his home Thule i Norway. Along the way he meets a lot of damsels (in distress and not) and gets involved in numerous fights and battles.

The story is nothing special and I have a hard time when it comes to all the killing - not because it's bloody, but because it's NOT and always carried out in a jolly mood. Still, Foster is a great artist, and some of the drawings are just beautiful.

2½ stars

78Henrik_Madsen
okt 11, 2022, 3:42 pm

43. Salman Rushdie: Jorden under hendes fødder

Acquired: I think I bought this one on sale around twenty years ago - so this is definitely one the dreaded DROOTs.

Ormus Carma, Vina Apsara, and Rai Merchant meet in Bombay in the 1950s. Both men fall in love with Vina, but she can only be the soulmate of one of Ormus. Their love is instant, as they recognize themselves in the dramatic life story and musical prowess of the other. It takes years before their love can be fullfilled. Abstinance and waiting is part of their relationship, but it is also a creative partnership when they finally launch the rock band VTO and conquer the world.

The world of the book is like ours but not quite, as Rushdie adds a dose of magical realism to a novel, which already seems to pack peculiar characters and dramatic developments for a trilogy or more. I enjoyed the writing, but in the end it was just a bit too much.

3½ stars

79Henrik_Madsen
okt 15, 2022, 2:06 am

44. Helle Juhl: På lige fod (On equal footing)

Acquired: I read about this when it came out, then bought it cheap in 2017.

The decades befor WWI was the high point of Danish satirical magazines. It was also the time when women fought for their right to vote until they were allowed to do so by the constitutional change in 1915. Helle Juhl combines these things in her story of the Danish suffragette movement. That is a great idea, because the women activists were frequently made fun of in the magazines. They were mostly conservative or socialist - the socialist movement supported women's right to vote, but it was more concerned with extending voting rights to servants - and made fun of the "manly" agitators. Still - as Juhl cleverly notices - they spread the idea of female independence even as they made fun of it.

The story of the movements for voting rights is not uninteresting, but it is not very original either. What really makes this book a joy is the illustrations, boths satires and photos in extraordinary reproductions.

4 stars

80Henrik_Madsen
okt 18, 2022, 11:43 am

45. Will Eisner: Juvelen fra Gizeh

Acquired: I'm still going through my purchases at the comic convention in Copenhagen earlier this year.

The stories in this volume of Spirit stories were originally published in 1948-50. It shows in the traditional stories, where heroes (and villains) are mainly men, and women are mostly concerned with getting married - unless they are femmes fatales. The art work feels very modern, however, and Eisner's dynamic style and original use (and non-use) of frames makes the album a delight to look at.

My first Spirit book, but definitely not my last one.

3½ stars

81Henrik_Madsen
nov 5, 2022, 1:18 pm

46. Edward St. Auby: Mother's Milk

Acquired: The "clean up books from 2015" project continues...

This is the fourth novel about Patrick Melrose. The Melrose family is still as dysfunctional as families can be. After his father's death Patrick has finally founded his own family with the loyal Mary, but after the birth of their second son, they are falling out of love. At the same time Patrick has to manage his relationship with his mother who is both terribly sick and incredibly self-centered. Soon Patrick finds his marriage under siege and his old habit of abuse (alcohol instead of drugs, but still) comes roaring back.

St Aubyn writes wonderful with lots of psychological understanding and a knack for precise acid-dripping dialogue but I find it hard to sympathize with Patrick or any of the other characters in the book.

3 stars

82Henrik_Madsen
nov 5, 2022, 1:24 pm

47. Siegfried Lenz: Der Geist der Mirabelle

Acquired: I bought this one on a short holiday in Lübeck a couple of years ago. I don't care much about editions, but it's still fun that this is a first edition.

Bollerup is a small town in Slesvig-Holsten where everybody knows everybody - they even have the same family name - and life is mostly comprised of the relationships between the people living there. Of course, the place has it's own mythology of noteworthy events, and those are told in a sympathetic and funny tone of voice.

Lenz obviously sympathizes with life in the small community of the village, and I enjoyed the stories as an entertaining break from more serious subjects. But I don't think they will stay with me for long.

3 stars

83Henrik_Madsen
nov 9, 2022, 2:13 pm

48. Jörg Ulbert og Jörg Mailliet: Westend. Berlin 1983

Acquired: We went to Berlin last year. My wife ran a half-marathon, I bought some books, of course!

This is the second volume about West Berlin in the 1980s. I loved Gleisdreieck and had high expectations for the follow up. The undercover agent Otto is still trying to infiltrate the left to find terrorists, or so it seems at least. As it turns out, the different branches of the police are mostly infighting and trying to cover up earlier mistakes in the Schmücker case.

The artwork is still a joy and you really feel the mood of the surrounded city, but I thought the story was a bit too complicated and not quite as engaging as in the first volume.

3½ stars

84Henrik_Madsen
nov 11, 2022, 11:45 am

49. Abdulrazak Gurnah: Paradis

Acquired: I got this one in earlier this year when publishers were eager to make money off Gurnah's Nobel Prize.

When he is a boy, Yousuf is sent to live with "uncle Aziz" as a debt slave. Aziz is a wealthy merchant, and after some years Yusuf accompanies him on his journey to the inner parts of East Africa before the first world war. The journey is a disaster, but Yusuf makes it back and is then drawn into a complicated erotic game with Aziz' wife.

The book is well written and I enjoyed the story about Tanzania when the Europeans were wying for dominance but I felt strangely un-moved by the violent things that happened in the story.

4 stars

85Henrik_Madsen
nov 12, 2022, 8:56 am

50. Cyril Lieron og Benoit Dahan: Den skandaløse billet 1

Acquired: At the comic fair in Copenhagen earlier this year, I heard a talk about the use of Sherlock Holmes in comics. This one was recommended as a great example, so I bought it.

Lieron has written a new mystery. A man, who turns out to be one of Dr. Watson's collegues, is found wandering in the street in his night shirt. He has no recollection of how he got there, but he is dirty and has a broken collar bone. He also remembers attending a show with a Chinese magician the night before, and it doesn't take long before our heroes realize that sinister forces are behind what has happened.

The story is great, but the best thing about the album is the art work. Dahan very literally takes us into the mind of Sherlock Holmes where obersvations are analyzed, registered, and either used to take the investigation one step further or saved for later use. Writing about it, does not do the cleverness of the illustrations justice. You have to see it. It is brilliantly done.

I loved the story - now I have to get my hands on the second and final album about the case.

5 stars

86Henrik_Madsen
nov 12, 2022, 8:56 am

And so, with 1½ months to go, my work is done and my goal is reached!

87MissWatson
nov 12, 2022, 10:39 am

Congratulations! Well done!

88rabbitprincess
nov 12, 2022, 12:31 pm

Woo hoo, congrats!

89Jackie_K
nov 13, 2022, 6:47 am

Well done Henrik, good work!

90Henrik_Madsen
nov 23, 2022, 4:48 pm

Thanks all!

51. John Williams: Butcher's Crossing

Acquired: Yet another book I got from from my bookclub back in 2015.

The year is 1873 and Will Andrews has left Harvard to go the frontier out West. He arrives in the small town of Butcher's Crossing, where he meets Miller, a tough veteran who arranges a hunting party to Colorado. Along with two other men they ride out to hunt buffalo - lots and lots of buffalo. They just skin the animals and leave the meat to rot.

It is a story about hardship among tough and lonely men, it is a story about longing for the empty space even thoug getting there will un-empty it, and it is a story about an American culture which ruthlessly destroys nature to make profit. Most of all it is a compelling and well-written novel.

4½ stars

91Henrik_Madsen
dec 11, 2022, 12:50 pm

52. Thomas Roslyng Olesen: Da værfterne lukkede

Acquired: I bought this book just befor new years eve 2015.

Ship building used to be one of the major industries in Denmark and Europe, but it largely disappeared after 1970 because of fierce competition from Asian countries. The books studies the closure of five shipyards and it's aftermath. It is all studied through the lense of Schumpeter's theory of creative destruction, and one the major strengths of the book is the thourough study of the many spin-offs from the industry. The most important ones are now more productive and more profitable than building ships used to be. Most are closed, however, and in some of the cities the impact of losing the ship yard is stil felt thirty years later.

4 stars

92Henrik_Madsen
dec 15, 2022, 3:16 pm

53. Edward St Aubyn: Til sidst

Acquired: Still going through books bought in 2015!

This is the fifth and final novel about Patrick Melrose and his dysfunctional family. His mother has finally died and the book is build around her funeral with a lot of flashbacks and reflections.

The writing is not as sharp as usual, and frankly I was kind of fed up with Patrick Melrose, the selfabsorbed English elite, and the endless stories about abuse of all kinds.

2½ stars

93Henrik_Madsen
dec 17, 2022, 7:24 am

54. G Willow Wilson og Adrian Alphona: Ikke helt almindelig

Acquired: Yet another comic book bought at the convention in Copenhagen in May

This is the third or fourth version of Ms Marvel, but it's also something new. When it appeared in 2014 it was the first Marvel comic with a Muslim as it's main character. Kamala Kahn's parents are originally from Pakistan, but she is also a normal teenager struggling with teenage stuff as she grows up in Jersey. She is a fan of the Avengers, but is taken aback when she certainly gains powers and becomes a hero of her own.

I really enjoyed the art work, which felt very "young", and Kamala is a charming character. At heart she is a good person, but life is complicated when you are sixteen and torn between family values and the outside world. The dialogue is good and the story in the first volume, which gradually introduces the Inventor as her first adversary, is well written. I liked it!

3½ stars

94Henrik_Madsen
dec 18, 2022, 10:14 am

55. Søren Ryge Petersen: Anders og Julius og andre historier

Acquired: I'm not quite sure about this, but I think I bought this at a sale in the local bookstore 10 years ago.

Søren Ryge is a Danish TV presenter who initially mostly did gardening programs but he has afterwards expanded his range to portraits of non-famous but not at all ordinary people. He also writes articles and a number of those are collected in this volume. The main characters are his neighbours Anders and Julius, two brothers who have always lived on the small farm next door. They live on their own without a great many friends, but they well liked and respected by the community. They are representatives of a way of living as farmers - perhaps peasants is a better word - in the countryside before farming was rationalised in massive farms.

I really enjoyed the book. Søren Ryge is a very good listener and he enjoys the peculiarities of normal people. They are always portraied as special, never odd. A collection of newspaper articles will often send the reader's mind in many directions, but the focus on two people somewhat makes up for this.

4 stars

95connie53
dec 22, 2022, 6:31 am

Hi Henrik! Congrats on reaching your goal.



I want to wish you and yours all the best for 2023 and Happy Holidays.

See you in 2023.

96Henrik_Madsen
dec 22, 2022, 6:50 am

Thanks Connie, and all the best to you and your family as well!

See you next year.

97Henrik_Madsen
dec 31, 2022, 7:23 am

So, the year is just about up - and how did it go? Well some things went better than others. I started out the year with three goals:

1. Read 50 ROOTs over the year. I ended up with 56, as I finished my final read of the year yesterday. (Review coming tomorrow, I think)

2. Read all unread books bought in 2015. I managed to read 15 of 20 titles, and I'm pretty ok with that.

3. Buy fewer books that ROOTs read. That was a complete and utter failure. When all was said and done, 117 new books had entered my house this year. That is by far the most I have ever bought in a single year. I could see where things were going in summer, but apparently I just decided, that I didn't care. I HAD to buy those books. I DESERVED to buy those books. In fact, I feel like I restrained myself greatly by not also buying all the OTHER books I wanted!

98Jackie_K
dec 31, 2022, 7:42 am

>97 Henrik_Madsen: Yeah, about your number 3. I feel seen, and really like your take on it!

99Henrik_Madsen
jan 4, 2023, 5:14 pm

56. Kim Leine: Afgrunden

Acquired: The final ROOT of the year - and the last one bought in 2015 I got to in my secondary challenge.

Kim Leine tells the story about two twins, Kaj and Ib Gottlieb, who joins the conservative side in the Finnish civil war in 1918. It was a violent and bitter conflict, and taking part in the bloody battles and senseless executions of prisoners marks the for life. Ib becomes a borderline psychopath, a sometime murderer and a doctor when they return to Copenhagen. Kaj studies theology forever before he becomes a succesful journalist. Both of them explore their sexual desires with both men and and women, and as usual Leine is not shy about describing body fluids. During German occupation everything converges. Old acquaintences show up, and the brothers are in some sense finally coming home when they join the resistance movement.

It was a long but alos very engaging book. Leine is always a very graphic writer, but it worked really well in this one.

4 stars