Nerwende ROOTs in 2016

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Nerwende ROOTs in 2016

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1nerwende
Editado: Dic 30, 2016, 2:55pm

Hi everyone!
I'm new here and very glad to have found this group. I was looking for a challenge group but felt that most of them were.... well, a bit too challenging for me at the moment. ;) This place however will hopefully be just what I need to help me get through some of those books that seem to all have the alternative title "to be read one day".

I'm going to start this year with my To Read collection and I've set the goal at 30 titles. There's books in English and in Finnish (some of them translated from English so not necessarily that obscure) and they can be roughly categorised as one or more of the following:

- "I really should have read this already" classics
- read and quite possibly rehome after
- fantasy/sci-fi
- lt early reviewers/member giveaways (too many of those I'm ashamed to say)
- some stories from my favourite authors that I've been "saving for a rainy day" (which I'm now planning on using as rewards if necessary)





Some heavy stuff hiding within those roots... taken in a forest I visit almost daily with my dog. Also this is how little snow we have at the moment!

*********************************************
ROOTs tackled in 2016

January:
* Ingo by Helen Dunmore
* The Story of Kullervo by J.R.R. Tolkien
* 10lb Penalty by Dick Francis

February:
* Shattered by Dick Francis
* Salattuja voimia by Johanna Sinisalo

March:
* Tarina vailla loppua by Michael Ende
* The Monsters and the Critics by J.R.R. Tolkien
* Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Pearl; Sir Orfeo as translated by J.R.R. Tolkien
* Papin perhe by Minna Canth
* Timbuktu by Paul Auster
* Kylän koirat by Veikko Huovinen

April
* Magical Beginnings edited by Steven H. Silver and Martin H. Greenberg

May-July
* Musta rakkaus by Väinö Linna

August
* Dun Lady's Jess by Doranna Durgin
* Bent by Teri Louise Kelly
* The Unpleasantness at Baskerville Hall by Chris Dolley

September
* The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
* Notes on a Scandal by Zoë Heller
* Nurinkurin by Umayya Abu-Hanna

October
* Mythago Wood by Robert Holdstock
* Feral Darkness by Doranna Durgin
* Rendezvous: Where immortals come to play by Elinor Groves
* Pikku Puun kasvatus by Forrest Carter

November
* Eerikinpojat by Antti Tuuri
* Liavek edited by Will Shetterly & Emma Bull
* Liavek: The Players of Luck edited by Will Shetterly & Emma Bull
* Liavek: Wizard's Row edited by Will Shetterly & Emma Bull

December
* Liavek: Spells of Binding edited by Will Shetterly & Emma Bull
* Intian viidakoista by Rudyard Kipling
* Intian viidakoista II by Rudyard Kipling

2connie53
Dic 28, 2015, 4:50am

Welcome to the ROOTers, Nerwende. It's good to see new members joining us for this challenge.

I like your categories!

3majkia
Dic 28, 2015, 7:23am

Welcome! Sounds like a workable plan. :) Feel free to ask questions you might have. We're a friendly group.

4avanders
Dic 28, 2015, 8:53am

Welcome & Good Luck ROOTing this year! :)

5rabbitprincess
Dic 28, 2015, 10:02am

Welcome aboard and good luck!

6nerwende
Dic 29, 2015, 3:43am

Connie53, majkia, avanders and rabbitprincess, thanks for the warm welcome. :) I've taken a look at everyone's threads and I love how you can just make your own rules. I'm going to take an easy approach on things this first time around but I've gathered some great ideas on how to add to the challenge in the future. Getting really excited for this!

7connie53
Dic 29, 2015, 5:37am

It's good to be excited, nerwende. I'm going to choose my first ROOT today, just to be able to see it lying next to me for when I've finished the book I'm now reading.

8cyderry
Dic 29, 2015, 6:44pm

Welcome aboard!

9nerwende
Dic 30, 2015, 4:43am

Thanks cyderry!

I've added a ~relevant photo to the first message and chosen the first book. Is it customary to post the titles beforehand or only after finishing one?

10Ameise1
Dic 30, 2015, 4:49am

Welcome nerwende. Still you have some snow, we have none.
Happy ROOTing 2016

11lilisin
Dic 30, 2015, 5:11am

>9 nerwende:

I only count a book as a ROOT once I've read it so I only post titles after the book is finished but again, you can do as you wish. This group is very lenient! Welcome!

12connie53
Dic 30, 2015, 6:10am

Love the picture, Nerwende. It looks awesome.
I post the books I'm reading when I start them and just mention it when I'm finished and have added them to my ticker and the group ticker. Perhaps you could read a few other threads in this group to get some ideas.

13rabbitprincess
Dic 30, 2015, 5:46pm

Wow! That is an amazing photo!

14avanders
Dic 31, 2015, 11:11am

>9 nerwende: I tend to do what Connie does... mention them when I start them and list them on my list as Reading...
then when I'm done, I add them to the tickers and give them ratings. If I have time (or if it's an early reviewer), I also post a review or mini-review....

15lkernagh
Dic 31, 2015, 10:55pm

Love the photo! Good luck with your ROOT reading!

16connie53
Ene 1, 2016, 3:16am

17Tess_W
Ene 1, 2016, 5:27am

18MissWatson
Ene 4, 2016, 5:50am

Welcome aboard and happy reading! That is a mighty ROOT in your photo!

19nerwende
Ene 4, 2016, 10:12am

Thanks so much for all the good wishes and advice everyone. :)

I've just finished my first ROOT! A few years ago a family member was cleaning out their bookshelves and gave me Helen Dunmore's Ingo. As I was sorting through my potential ROOTs, I glanced at the first two pages and thought it looked promising enough as an easy and pleasant start. I was wholly expecting it to be sorted as "to be re-homed" later on but now I'm not sure I will be able to let it go! All I can say is, had this book been published and translated a couple of decades ago, it would have definitely been a childhood classic for me. It ticked all the boxes that made me love Narnia, the Dark Is Rising sequence, the Chronicles of Prydain and other tales like those.

20nerwende
Ene 5, 2016, 2:27pm

Finished my second ROOT, The Story of Kullervo. Even though it's a brand new book in my collection, I felt it was appropriate to include in the challenge because I always have several Tolkien books on my wish list and I shouldn't go and buy new ones before I've read all the ones I already have! So for every Tolkien book I read this year, maybe I get to buy another one. ;)
This was another great read. The story itself is basically an unfinished first draft of a planned "fix-it" adaptation of Kullervo's story as it was published in The Kalevala but interesting nonetheless. The surrounding notes by Verlyn Flieger explain nicely its significance, but for me (as a Finn), the most enjoyable and fascinating was Tolkien's own essay on The Kalevala, or as he himself called it, "...rather a disconnected soliloquy accompanied by a leisurely patting on the back of a pet volume". :D

21nerwende
Ene 17, 2016, 4:41am

Here are some of the books I've pooled to my "to read" list that I will count as ROOTs when I've read them. (3 done, 27 to go!)

22connie53
Ene 17, 2016, 5:21am

I liked the books by Dick Francis. Read them all when I was younger. And you have a lot of Tolkien there! Nice pile.

23nerwende
Ene 17, 2016, 6:22am

I've read and own copies of most of what Francis wrote. I've been trying to save up the unread ones since he died. It's going to be odd once I get to the place where there a no more new ones. I've had these two for about 5 years though, so I it was time to let myself enjoy them. Have you read any of the ones written solely by Felix Francis?

24connie53
Ene 17, 2016, 8:32am

I've read everything that's translated into Dutch in the time when I could not afford to buy books. I used to go to the library then and take them with me. I think it's been 15 years ago when I read the last one. There are 4 of his books on my shelves. But not any by Felix.

25rabbitprincess
Ene 17, 2016, 9:26am

Great idea to make a pool of potentials! Also a great idea to photograph them. I love pictures of book piles :)

26Soupdragon
Ene 17, 2016, 3:29pm

It's good to hear you enjoyed Ingo so much. It's one from my shelves that I'm hoping to get to before too long. I also have the third in the series but not the second.

27avanders
Ene 17, 2016, 10:38pm

>21 nerwende: fun! Mythago Wood is also on my shelves.. it keeps coming back up as a book to read... maybe I'll get to it this year? maybe.... ;)

>25 rabbitprincess: tee hee, me too ;)

28nerwende
Ene 29, 2016, 9:21am

>25 rabbitprincess: I love photos of books! But I find them a bit difficult to take.

>26 Soupdragon: It worked for me as a standalone, so I wouldn't worry about having to commit to the whole series or anything like that.

>27 avanders: I think I've had my copy for at least a decade!

29avanders
Feb 2, 2016, 6:52pm

>28 nerwende: they have a habit of doing that... ;)

30nerwende
Editado: Feb 7, 2016, 5:43am

My last January read and my first book this month were both by Dick Francis. 10-lb penalty was a positive surprise but Shattered was a disappointment.

Francis was a pretty consistent author, and always before when asked about what one should read from him I've said you can pick any of them for a good example of his work. Well, from now on I'm going to have to amend that with "just don't start with Shattered". I found both the protagonist and the villain inconsistent in character, most of the minor characters unlikely in behaviour and most disappointingly, a lot of the writing just generally not flowing very well. Francis has been my go-to author for nice, well-written, entertaining stories and having read and enjoyed over 30 of them so far it's somehow doubly disappointing to come across a stumble like this. Shattered is his most recent work I've now read (having been published 15 years ago) and I hate to say this, but it has made me very hesitant to pick up the few novels that have been released under his name since. It's probable the change in quality is due to changes in his personal life (his wife Mary, who helped him write his novels, died the same year Shattered was published) but I'd rather keep the good memories of his older books than go on reading if the rest are like this. Luckily I still got two of his really old novels I haven't managed to find a copy of, so there's something to look forward to!

Having said all that, I have to confess I had expected 10-lb penalty be be dull or maybe even difficult for me to follow (the theme being British politics which I know very little about) but it actually turned out to be a straightforward mystery with a refreshingly different (for Francis) protagonist and very light on actual politics -which I understand was a disappointing factor for many readers, so truly a YMMV case.

31connie53
Feb 7, 2016, 5:46am

>30 nerwende: Too bad, Nerwende. It's sad to hear the absence of his wife makes such a difference. She must have had a great influence on him and his writing.

32nerwende
Editado: Mar 5, 2016, 6:35am

I've read my fifth ROOT, "Salattuja voimia" by the Finnish author Johanna Sinisalo. It's not available in English, although some of her other works are "Troll: A Love Story" and "Birdbrain" have both got some international praise but I've read neither so I can't comment on them).

This is a book about tramping/hiking. It has both fictional stories set on various treks around the world and real-life anecdotes from the author's own journeys as well as some general musings on tramping and even a short chapter on what you need to know before you hit your first trail. It's been divided into geographical sections rather than fact/fiction, so you might read a fictional story set in Alps for example, followed by a real world account from the walk that inspired it and then switch over to Australia and repeat. It's all been clearly marked though and the typography changes between different content as well, so it's not confusing at all.

I can't find any obvious faults in the book, but it still left me feeling a bit disappointed perhaps. It's solidly written and edited, the structure works well, the theme is right up my alley... maybe my expectations were just too high. Or maybe I felt the fictional stories were all too similar (they mostly seemed to deal with characters capable of disturbing and/or violent behaviour and towards the end that theme started to feel a bit repetitive.) I also got the impression that the author's own tramping preferences don't match mine, and especially since a lot of the book focuses on "Swiss-style" tramping, I probably won't be re-reading it. I'd recommend it though. So I think this copy will be looking for a new home.

//can't get the touchstones to work on this one, sorry!

33nerwende
Editado: Mar 11, 2016, 4:18pm

I had meant this to be my third ROOT for February but I got terribly stuck so here we are, it's my first one for March instead. I've just finished The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, which started to actually feel like it would never end just past the midpoint. But I'm glad I persisted since it got better again towards the end.

I had somehow managed to completely not even be aware of this book as a kid, although it definitely existed and had been translated. Thinking back, I remember that my local small library had Momo by the same author but somehow I failed to read that one as well (I see a lot of people actually seem to prefer it to this one). I was in my twenties before I even saw the movie! So since I had no connection to this story as a kid, I feel like I shouldn't judge it too harshly as an adult - but instead of finding the world fascinating and rich, it felt over the top and simultaneously paper thin to me. I also feel the pace was too hasty - too much was happening without any chance to pause and reflect on any of it until the very end. Still, I can see why it's a classic and I think I'll keep my pretty copy around to see if my nephew might want to read it in a few years.

34avanders
Mar 9, 2016, 5:20pm

Bummer that you didn't enjoy the Neverending Story! One of my favorite childhood movies and I did also enjoy the book... though I read it much younger and, again, had the movie as a backdrop while I was reading it :) Hope your next ROOT is better for you!

35nerwende
Mar 11, 2016, 4:24pm

Oh, I know exactly how you feel avanders, I'm always disappointed when someone doesn't enjoy or seem to "get" the books I loved as a kid. I believe there are a lot of books you unfortunately have to experience at a certain age to really absorb their magic - and then you'll feel it ever after when you revisit. But maybe I've just been conditioned to think like that by stories like the Narnia chronicles. ;)

36connie53
Mar 12, 2016, 1:05pm

I read one of my favourite childhood books last year and although it was still a nice read I did not feel the same sentiment about it as I did back then. And, yes I think that is due to getting older.

37avanders
Mar 12, 2016, 9:03pm

>35 nerwende: I think that's very true! E.g., I unfortunately did not read A Wrinkle in Time for the first time when I was still a kid.. and I think I really missed out...

>36 connie53: yeah .. it seems to happen whether we welcome it or not ;p

38Tess_W
Mar 13, 2016, 6:38am

>36 connie53: I have re-read several favorite childhood books and with a few exceptions, they are not as enjoyable as I remember them.

39nerwende
Editado: Mar 17, 2016, 6:31am

Yesterday I finished two Tolkien books that I've been reading side-by-side: The Monsters and the Critics and Sir Gawain and the Green Knight; Pearl; Sir Orfeo. The former of course contains his essay "On Fairy-Stories" so some of what you three have been discussing has been in my mind too. One of his arguments was that good fairy-stories shouldn't solely belong to children but adults should be able to enjoy them as well. I never got into Alice in Wonderland (which he uses as an example of stories which are not really fairy-stories because they are satires or otherwise too "knowing") and I think that was also why I struggled with the latter half of the Neverending Story: something about the magic breaks when world is re-created on the whimsies of the main character. I simply started asking too many "logical" questions and couldn't suspend my disbelief any more.

Anyway, I had fun reading both of these volumes. It's been over a decade since I purchased Sir Gawain, and I think my English just wasn't good enough at the time so I didn't get far. I still had some difficulties and will probably never wholly understand the nuances of the alliterative stuff on a native level but I found the different rhythms of the three poems surprisingly easy to follow and that helped a lot. (As did cross-referencing Tolkien's essay on Gawain in the other book and browsing Wikipedia and CliffsNotes). And although some of the themes in the essays (namely most of the Beowulf ones as I haven't yet read it) went right over my head, I always enjoy reading his non-fiction writing because he was just so passionate about things that mattered to him (and quite often very funny too!)

40nerwende
Mar 17, 2016, 8:44am

Dug through the boxes and here are most of the rest of the physical books I've pooled for this year


Looking at that proudly trotting puppy on the ticker is sooo satisfying! :D

41avanders
Mar 17, 2016, 10:09am

lol yes, the puppy does look proud with his progress! Cute :)
Nice pic of your upcoming reads! It's fun to do that :)

42nerwende
Mar 19, 2016, 11:34am

Thanks! I have to stress though that I would never organise my actual book shelves by colour, I'm too much of a Capricorn for that! ;) But sadly my books are currently mostly in boxes and in three different physical locations so I can't satisfy my need to have them properly grouped by subject, chronology, author etc.

I read a kind of special ROOT today, Papin perhe ("The Pastor's Family") by Minna Canth. Canth was a really important figure in the history of Finnish literature but sadly one that my generation read about in schools rather than read. I've had my mother's copy of this play for a few years now and thought today would be a perfect day to finally familiarise myself with it, as March the 19th is an official Minna Canth day in Finland (she is this far the only woman who has her own national flag day here). Although naturally the language of the play feels a bit old now, I was surprised to find that the characters felt really real and relatable and although the ending was a bit "too good to be true" I was impressed by how many different social issues (many of them still sadly relevant after 120 years) she managed to include in the plot. I think I'm going to make a tradition of reading something by her every year on her day, as a lot of her work is available free through places like the Project Gutenberg and such so I really have no excuse not to!

43Tess_W
Editado: Mar 19, 2016, 3:26pm

>42 nerwende: Sounds like a lovely read! I have never been able to organize my shelves at all...color doesn't work, subject, author, etc. My books are so very eclectic and then I have 2 bookcases where the shelves are not movable and some books are too tall to be grouped by subject, author, etc. I find that in paper (non ebooks) I have only about 1 of each author.....and I'm a capricorn, too! I do dust them frequently and put them back on the shelves, but haven't come up with a "system" yet!

44nerwende
Mar 19, 2016, 3:21pm

Ohh weird shaped books are a nightmare! I never know where to group Mr. Bliss for example because its shape which is wide AND short and kinda demands to be next to a large format book or on either end of a row for aesthetic reasons, but all my other Tolkien books are categorised 1st according to subject (middle-earth, non-middle-earth, nonfiction, other authors on Tolkien, adaptations etc) and 2nd in either chronological (if it exists) or in publication order and ALSO if there's a Finnish translation, paired up with that. It probably looks like a mess to anyone else, but it makes sense to me! :D

And then there's Meditations on Middle-earth which used to regularly move from my Tolkien collection to my Robin Hobb (she's one of the authors in it) collection and back again... until I tagged it as part of both on LT and stopped bothering. :)

45nerwende
Editado: Mar 31, 2016, 9:13am

Oh dear, looks like the touchstones are down again. :/

A quick afternoon read today to strike down one ROOT, Paul Auster's Timbuktu (a very nice Finnish translation). I had received it as a gift years and years ago and I'm afraid it had been selected for me because "it's like, got a dog in it, and you like dogs" and maybe that flippancy and the rather grating cover design had put me off reading it. More fool me, because it was a great read indeed. I found a couple of aspects a bit troubling but overall thought it was solid story.
First of all I was a little confused whether I was supposed to see a link between Willy's mental illness (which seems to be presented as something inevitable) and his family's history. I also thought Mr. Bones makes some out-of-character human judgements. I don't mean his "heightened" skills, just that some of his thoughts sounded too much like a human's. But most of all I was a bit disappointed how short the latter half of the book was, it seemed to me that the writer had only just begun to explore the contrasts in the human cultures that Mr. Bones comes across when the story came to an abrupt end.

Possibly re-homing my copy, definitely with recommendations.

46nerwende
Mar 31, 2016, 8:56am

Continuing the same theme of dogs and how they might reflect on human societies, I've read Kylän koirat by Veikko Huovinen (I don't think any of his works have been translated into English, but a couple of very nice movies have been made based on them that were also released internationally). The book is a humorous stream of consciousness type of narrative about the life of Finnish village dogs before the 60's when they were still able to run around freely during winters and possibly enjoy life more than in the modern days with all sorts of laws and restrictions in place. The contrast between freedom/restrictions and limited resources/material wellbeing isn't as prevalent as in Timbuktu, but the first signs of changing times (both for dogs and people) can still be found in the text and as such it would be easy to see similarities. I'm not sure how apparent this would be to foreigners or people who don't know the history of independent Finland although I still suspect they could enjoy the descriptions of the dogs' behaviours.
I've had this book for 18 years and based on a bookmark I found it seems my previous read ended (very uncharacteristically for me) in the middle of a chapter about 1/3 through. I'm very glad I picked picked it up again if only to remind me that I should make a point of reading more of this author's works!

47nerwende
Abr 6, 2016, 9:43am

First April ROOT is an anthology titled Magical Beginnings which contains 16 stories by some pretty well known writers of speculative fiction from the very early days of their careers (in most cases, the first genre story they sold). I have a bad habit of acquiring anthologies for a single story in them because it's part of a series I collect, and then never reading the rest. In this case, I hadn't touched ANY of the stories because I wanted to save the one I bought it for, knowing that there's likely not going to be more set in that universe. But I decided it was now time to enjoy that little treat, plus actually make the effort to read the whole thing through. I actually made notes of each story and I'm planning to write a proper review seeing it doesn't have any on LT, but I need to gather my thoughts first.

48connie53
Abr 11, 2016, 2:14pm

>47 nerwende: I tend to do the same concerning anthologies! Buying them just for that one story.

49nerwende
Abr 19, 2016, 12:43am

>48 connie53: I think there will be several anthologies in my ROOTs in the years to come. I do actually often enjoy reading them, once I get around to doing it. Especially when I'm otherwise busy, it's nice to be able to read unrelated short stories because it's easy to read one or two quickly and then it doesn't bother me that I won't be able to pick up the book again for some time, it doesn't feel like I'm in the middle of something unfinished.

I've now added the review for Magical Beginnings.

I'm falling behind on my schedule this month, it would seem. I need to just pick a book and start reading again!

50avanders
Abr 20, 2016, 9:56am

>49 nerwende: wow that is quite the review!
We all fall behind at times, you'll catch up, no worries!

51nerwende
Jul 27, 2016, 1:15pm

So I totally fell off the wagon in May and have only now managed to catch up with it. Now to climb back on...

I started a very short book (~170 pages) in May by an author I enjoy a lot but it got depressing super fast (it's the kind of tale where not only rocks fall and everyone dies but you can see it's going to happen after the first few pages and feel so helpless because there's nothing you can do to help the characters) and I made the mistake of putting it down instead of pushing through... and then summer happened and I was too busy/distracted to pick it up again.

However, I picked it up today, finished it and wrote a short review for Musta rakkaus by Väinö Linna. Done and dusted! I need to choose something lighter in tone next obviously! :D

52rabbitprincess
Jul 27, 2016, 5:33pm

>51 nerwende: Hurray for getting through the darker book! I hope your next book is light and fun.

53connie53
Jul 31, 2016, 3:02am

>51 nerwende: Glad to see you are back on the wagon!

54nerwende
Ago 1, 2016, 3:47am

55nerwende
Ago 10, 2016, 8:32am

I hit the exact tone of light and fun (but not silly!) that I needed with Dun Lady's Jess by Doranna Durgin - this was an early reviewers ebook I got in late 2013 (oops) so definitely a proper root too. Review now written and posted, about to update the tickers.

56nerwende
Ago 11, 2016, 6:22am

Another ER ebook done, still writing the review. For some reason the touchstone for this title doesn't seem to work but it was "Bent" by Teri Louise Kelly. I had a couple of false starts with this one until I realised the stream of consciousness style demands it to be read in a couple of chunks in as short a time as possible, not in chapters.

And I'm halfway through to my goal! :)

57nerwende
Ago 30, 2016, 10:03am

3 books for August so I'm back at normal pace but I must speed up if I'm to reach my goal by the end of the year...

I finished an early reviewers book, The Unpleasantness at Baskerville Hall which I didn't have in the original ROOT pool since I only received it this February - but as I'm also trying to empty my er/member giveaway queue, I decided I would count it as a ROOT as well.

58avanders
Ago 30, 2016, 2:04pm

>57 nerwende: Great job! Any progress is good progress! :)

59nerwende
Sep 10, 2016, 5:14am

>58 avanders: yes it is! :)

I've had a horrible flu this week, but the upside is that after the first two days I got some reading done. The Picture of Dorian Gray which I approached with some caution due to it's status as a classic turned out to be very much worth a read (my copy is a Wordsworth classics edition with an introduction that actually encourages one to read the story first!) and Notes on a Scandal which I thought might be disappointing as I know the plot of the movie by heart but which is so deliciously written I could hardly put it down.

60Tess_W
Sep 10, 2016, 6:13am

>59 nerwende: Well I'm glad that at least if you had to suffer physically you got 2 enjoyable reads!

61rabbitprincess
Sep 10, 2016, 8:06am

Hope you're feeling better soon. I am relieved that you were not too sick to read. That's the worst!

62nerwende
Sep 16, 2016, 4:15pm

>60 Tess_W: Exactly! I am so bad at being ill, I can handle a couple of days and then THE BOREDOM sets in. Good books to the rescue!
>61 rabbitprincess: Thank you. It's been a very persistent flu, but the worst is definitely over.

And I got another ROOT down. Nurinkurin is an autobiography by Umayya Abu-Hanna, about her childhood and teenage years as a Palestinian girl in Israel. She later moved to Finland and became an award-winning journalist. I was both fascinated and upset by her memories. Her descriptions of geography, people's physical features and especially various foods are really vivid. And the confusion of a small child amidst different cultures and under a constant threat of war, growing up without a strong sense of her own identity came through really well. I see she's written another memoir - I really need to read that one as well.

63connie53
Sep 18, 2016, 3:31am

Good to hear you are feeling better, Nerwende! And had some good books to read. I loved Dorian Gray when I read that way back when!

64avanders
Sep 22, 2016, 10:53am

>59 nerwende: I can't wait to read the Dorian Gray book.. I can't believe I haven't yet! It's been years that I've been wanting to... it just keeps getting pushed down..
Sorry to hear about your horrible flu though! :(

>62 nerwende: and glad to hear you're starting to feel better!

65nerwende
Oct 18, 2016, 1:19pm

>64 avanders: Go for it! It was a quick and easy read. :)

My first ROOT for October, Mythago Wood, had been gathering dust for six years. I've just finished it, and I'm maybe a bit disappointed. For a book that starts with no less than three pages full of praise from reviewers it fell a bit short on my expectations. I found the first 100 pages or so difficult to get through and even though the pace picked up after that, I kept waiting for something to "click" but it never really happened. There was nothing particularly interesting about the main character and I thought he accepted the extraordinary events too easily. His love interest was a right mess of a character. Additionally, it seems to me that the whole premise of the story only sort of works on a philosophical level, but soon falls apart if examined more closely. Then again, I also disliked the Fionavar trilogy so maybe these "real world myths mixing and mingling in an imaginary one" stories just aren't for me.
Anyway, it's a well written book, likely worth a read for anyone looking for different kinds of fantasy fiction.

66nerwende
Oct 24, 2016, 4:42am

Another early reviewer book read, 2 and half years after acquiring it. And I'm very glad to have & keep this one, it proved to be a real gem! Feral Darkness by Doranna Durgin, highly recommended for anyone who likes dogs, urban/paranormal fantasy, and/or old legends. Even better than my previous ROOT from the same author.

67nerwende
Oct 28, 2016, 3:21am

Third book for October, "Rendezvous" by Elinor Groves turned out to be more enjoyable than I expected. I'm also pleased with catching up on my reviewing - from now on the motto shall be "don't let LTER books turn into ROOTs!"

68Tess_W
Oct 29, 2016, 9:03pm

>67 nerwende: a good motto, but very difficult to live up to!

69nerwende
Oct 30, 2016, 9:20am

>68 Tess_W: certainly!

I've just finished one more book for this month, the Finnish translation of The Education of Little Tree by Forrest Carter. Somewhere between getting my copy as a gift years ago and finally reading it in full now I learned the truth about about its author... and I can honestly say I've never been so confused while and after reading a book. I certainly felt a range of emotions reading it and will most likely be mulling over its purpose or meaning for awhile, which I guess means it was worth a read anyway.

70avanders
Nov 2, 2016, 10:52am

>65 nerwende: oh Mythago Wood is another on my shelves... bummer that it was a bit disappointing for you! I've heard good things about it, but limited things... I think I received it from my LT Secret Santa a couple years ago and haven't yet gotten to it.... Good to know, in any event, not to build my expectations too high :)

71nerwende
Nov 6, 2016, 4:12am

>70 avanders: Oh, I hope I haven't discouraged you too much!

My first ROOT for November is Eerikinpojat by Antti Tuuri. Shortest way to describe it would be that it's 300 pages of descriptions of a group of people exiled from the kingdom of Sweden for their religion, sailing along the coasts of the Baltic sea, trying to find a city that would let them in. Bad weather, nasty bureaucrats and religious teachings abound in cycles. The view point character is a young maid from Finland, but the she tells her tale in a very specific passive voice (probably meant to reflect her social status and lack of influence on things that unfold) which together with there being virtually no dialogue just makes her really hard to connect with. According to Wikipedia, this seems to be the first part of a long series although the book makes no mention of that. It's by no means a bad book, just not my style at all so I will be rehoming my copy.

72avanders
Nov 8, 2016, 10:01am

>71 nerwende: no no, I really prefer to go into books w/ "managed expectations" -- keeps me from being too disappointed ;)

73nerwende
Dic 4, 2016, 4:38pm

3 of my 4 November ROOTs as well as the first December ROOT which I've just completed were the Liavek books 1-4. I had acquired them years ago for my Megan Lindholm collection, read the first one and saved the rest for later. I re-read the first volume before continuing the series now, and as I had forgotten almost everything about it, decided it would count as a ROOT as well. Saying I'd forgotten most of it might not sound very good, but I did really enjoy this series. The books are shared world anthologies, which makes them easier to read than most anthologies as you don't have to learn a new set of "rules" for every story, but having different voices tell those stories keeps the world feeling fresh and interesting. That being said, there were some stories that would have needed a bit more polishing before publication and a couple that were only barely connected to the universe, but then to my delight especially the fourth volume featured mostly interconnected stories that felt like they weren't just snippets but actually offered some closure as well so I finished them on a very positive note. The series is currently being re-published as ebook volumes (with, for some reason, slightly reorganised order) and I'd seriously consider getting a hardback copy if one were available.

74avanders
Dic 5, 2016, 10:46am

Sounds like you had a great November, reading-wise :) Glad you enjoyed the series!

75Tess_W
Dic 23, 2016, 10:40pm

76nerwende
Dic 30, 2016, 3:09pm

>74 avanders: Definitely, I found myself wishing I could go back to Liavek more than a few times afterwards!

>75 Tess_W: A belated Thank You!

And so I end this year's rooting with the Jungle Book and the Second Jungle Book. I'd been planning these for next year but they happened to fit my schedule around Christmas better than anything else I had around.
They've been translated 4 or 5 times into Finnish and I've read some version as a kid* - my copies are the first translation so there was some amusing old language - which actually gave the story just the right feeling. I enjoyed them as classics, but some of the attitudes towards animals are really outdated - I think a more modern text would have made me feel more bothered about that.



*I should try to sort out and combine the Finnish editions here on LT but it looks like the original ones are a bit of a messy situation as well...

77avanders
Ene 2, 2017, 7:10pm

Woo hoo Congrats!


Also, Happy New Year & see you in the new 2017 group!

78nerwende
Ene 7, 2017, 3:48am

>77 avanders: thank you, I really appreciate all the support you've given me. :)

79avanders
Ene 11, 2017, 11:02am

:)