Showing posts with label inger wolf. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inger wolf. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Wondrous Words Wednesday (24)

Welcome back, wordy friends!

Wondrous Words Wednesday is hosted by BermudaOnion each week. It's an opportunity to share new words you've encountered in your reading, or highlight words that you particularly enjoy.

Here are three of my favorite new-to-me words from my recent reads.  
All definitions from

1. mysophobia. "Besides, there is some mysophobia in society.  Nobody wants to talk about it."  (from  Evil Water by Inger Wolf)  

a dread of dirt or filth.

In this part of the book, the characters were discussing infanticide.  So I think they were referring to the fact that people, in general, do not like discussing unpleasant subjects.

2. importunate. "There was something unpleasantly arrogant about him, and he didn't find it hard to imagine that she had thought him importunate."  (from  Evil Water by Inger Wolf)

1. urgent or persistent in solicitation, sometimes annoyingly so.
2. pertinacious, as solicitations or demands.
3. troublesome; annoying: importunate demands from the children for attention.

I've heard this one before, but couldn't place the exact meaning.

3. crake. "He had a voice like a little crake with him, and so funny it sounded against the basso of my father that I was bound to push my fist in my mouth not to be rude."  (from How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn)
any of several short-billed rails, especially the corn crake.

And apparently a "rail" in this sense is a type of small grassland bird.  Did anyone else immediately think of the book Oryx and Crake when they read this word?

What are your new words this week?

Monday, April 1, 2013

A happy camper again: March 2013 in review

March: in like a lion, out like a lamb.  BAAAAAAAAAAA.
Nothing like a little sheep humor to start your morning.
You probably remember that I had a rather terrible February.  So March didn't start on the highest of notes.  But I am happy to say, it did improve.  Even though we battled some colds in our house, the illness seems to be mostly gone (knock on wood), the snow is melting, the birds are chirping...SWEET JESUS, it's springtime!  FINALLY!

Not to mention that Small Fry was rather adorable this weekend, hunting for Easter eggs with us outside:

Overall, I am just feeling VERY excited for the warm weather to roll in, which of course means more time to read OUTSIDE, in the sun.  Woot!

The March 2013 Fave/Least Fave honors were hard to choose this month (especially for Favorite)...I read a lot of good books!  The honors go to:

March 2013 Favorite:  The Storyteller  by Jodi Picoult
March 2013 Least Favorite:  The Four Ms. Bradwells  by Meg Waite Clayton

In total, I read/reviewed 7 books:
Be Happy Without Being Perfect by Dr. Alice Domar
The Four Ms. Bradwells by Meg Waite Clayton
The Trajectory of Dreams by Nicole Wolverton
I'll Take What She Has by Samantha Wilde
The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht
Evil Water by Inger Wolf

Plus one review of a past read:
The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I also posted one new Small Fry Saturday Review of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr and John Archambault.

In other book talk, I recapped my epic meeting with Jodi Picoult, I told you why modern women's fiction is my jam, we talked about my beef with Hollywood, this place got a facelift, we Bloggiesta'd, I introduced you to Alexis, and I got drugged by a librarian.  Busy freakin' month.

Here's to springtime!  Hope you all have a fabulous April.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Book Review: Evil Water by Inger Wolf

Title: Evil Water
Author: Inger Wolf
Publisher: Black Cat Edition
Publication Date: December 15, 2012 (English translation)
Source: e-copy received from publisher for an honest review

Plot Summary from Goodreads:

Two women disappear without a trace, and the same autumn a farmer on the outskirts of Ã…rhus finds them murdered in suitcases under a heap of stone. The skin of one woman is filled with the letter Y, and the other has a rare flower in her hair. Inspector Daniel Trokic is leading the case which goes in several directions: to a tribal population in Africa, religious insanity, and a horrifying meeting with leeches. When a third woman disappears, Trokic is under pressure to find out what the killer wants to say with his macabre scenery and rituals.

My Review:

When I was offered this book for review, I'll admit it: I read the description and immediately thought, "Oooooh dark Scandinavian mystery!  How Dragon Tattoo-ish!"  On that alone, I knew I had to give it a try.

Evil Water is the first of Inger Wolf's novels that have been translated into English (from the original Danish). I was initially under the impression that this was Wolf's debut novel, but in fact, she has several other books previously published (all in Danish).  This is important to know beforehand, because the other novels also include Daniel Trokic as the protagonist, so this is a bit of a series.  I didn't realize this until partway through the novel, when it became obvious that the plot was referencing things that had happened in other books.  Once I figured that out though, it didn't detract from my reading of the novel, and in fact made me wish the other books were available in English as well.  (I do have to note that the translation leaves something to be desired at times...word choices are a bit awkward throughout, which is off-putting, but I considered this to be a reflection of the translation rather than the writing itself.)

This is a dark mystery for sure.  Trokic and his crew are combing through some pretty grisly murders, so this is not for the faint of heart!  The pacing is fantastic.  I know I compared it to the Dragon Tattoo books above, but Evil Water moves along much more quickly and concisely than that series.  I felt like something new was being revealed on each page, and there was very little of the drawn-out background information that you often get in longer mysteries.  I had no problem getting hooked right at page one.

Another plus for this novel: the characters.  Trokic is a great lead detective, and all the references to Wolf's other novels made me wish I had more of the background on him.  The other characters (especially the other detectives) are very unique, which is great because they each bring a separate POV when you see the crime through their eyes.

Wolf throws a ton of red herrings in along the way, which left me constantly second-guessing the supposed identity of the killer.  There were several points where I was POSITIVE I knew who the killer was, only to be proven wrong a page later.  The ending was pretty creative, though I will say I felt that the steps to get there were sometimes contrived.  I won't give any spoilers, but there are several parts where the characters suddenly dovetail a conversation in a very awkward way that is obviously meant to bring a new clue to light.  The clues were all relevant, but I wish they were worked into the plot more naturally, as this made the action feel stilted at times.

If you look up the term "page-turner" in the dictionary, a picture of Evil Water is next to it.  If you want a fast-paced, twisted thriller, this is a great choice.  The translation and some of the clue-drops were not ideal, but overall I'm glad that I dove into Trokic's world.  Here's hoping that more of Wolf's novels become available in English as well!

Other reviews of Evil Water:
The Yellow-Haired Reviewer
Valli's Book Den
I Am, Indeed

What say you, readers?  Have you read any good crime thrillers lately?

Monday, March 18, 2013

It's Monday, peeps!

So what are you reading?

This weekend was another busy one around these parts, as we did a day trip on Saturday to visit the in-laws, and then yesterday was full of errands...although I did get to use a little tax return money to start my summer vacation shopping.  YES!  T-minus 3 months until a fantastical week of beach time.  Must load up the Kindle too...

In other news, Small Fry has started to refer to our cars as the "beep-beeps".  WHICH IS SO ADORABLE.  Love that kid.  He does something new every day.

Anyway, what am I reading?

The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Sage Singer befriends an old man who's particularly beloved in her community. Josef Weber is everyone's favorite retired teacher and Little League coach. They strike up a friendship at the bakery where Sage works. One day he asks Sage for a favor: to kill him. Shocked, Sage refuses…and then he confesses his darkest secret - he deserves to die, because he was a Nazi SS guard. Complicating the matter? Sage's grandmother is a Holocaust survivor.

What do you do when evil lives next door? Can someone who's committed a truly heinous act ever atone for it with subsequent good behavior? Should you offer forgiveness to someone if you aren't the party who was wronged? And most of all - if Sage even considers his request - is it murder, or justice?  (Goodreads link)

The newest Picoult release that I picked up at her kickoff event last month.  I AM HOOKED.  The story is complex and mysterious and dramatic and full of awesome.  I'll admit, when I saw she was tackling the Holocaust, I was a little skeptical...there are SO many fiction novels that take on that topic, I wasn't sure how she was going to approach it from an original angle.  But those concerns quickly went out the window.  I hope the ending gives a big pay-off to match the rest of the novel.  Review coming later this week!

How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

Huw Morgan, about to leave home forever, reminisces about the golden days of his youth, when South Wales still prospered and coal dust had not yet blackened the valley. Llewellyn's characters fight, love, laugh, and cry, creating an indelible portrait of a people.  (Goodreads link)

As I mentioned last week, I decided to use this as my book for Wales in the Around The World In 12 Books Challenge.   I just started it this weekend...not bad so far.  A slower pace than the Picoult book for sure, but I'm impressed with the breadth of characters and how quickly I'm coming to be attached to Huw.  This is a long one though, so we'll see how I fare!

Also, I'm still listening to the audiobook of The Tiger's Wife by Tea Obreht.  It continues to be fantastic.  Can't wait to review soon!

What's on tap next?
Probably At the Mercy of the Mountains by Peter Bronski (for this month's Keyword Challenge), and/or Evil Water by Inger Wolf--I have a review copy and it sounds pretty thrilling.  Have you read either of these two?  Any recommendations?

Have a great reading week!
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