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Digging deeper: Henrik's rooting for 2016

2016 ROOT Challenge - (Read Our Own Tomes)

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1Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Dec 21, 2016, 4:14pm Top

2015 was brilliant. I had a realistic goal and actually reached it. 2016 will predictaby be very busy for me - work will realistically continue to get in the way of my other interests + I start studying for my MPA in January - so I will have the same modest, but attainable goal this year.

I will also continue the categorization I used last year. Deep ROOTs (DROOTS) are books bought before I started systematically registering new books in 2014. ROOTs are books acquired after that point.




ROOTS
1. Ida Jessen: En ny tid
2. Christin & Mézières: Rejser i tid og rum, bind 7
3. Kjell Westö: Luftspejling 38
4. Volker Weidermann: Ostende. 1936, Sommer der Freundschaft
5. Torben Beck Jørgensen (red): På sporet af en offentlig identitet
6. Daniel Goleman m.fl.: Følelsesmæssig intelligens i lederskab
7. Alice Munro: Livet
8. Ove K. Pedersen: Konkurrencestaten
9. Morten Pape: Planen
10. Camilla Sløk: Blod, sved og tårer
11. Pia Søltoft: Kunsten at vælge sig selv
12. Franz Kafka: Dommen
13. Tobi Dahmen: Fahrradmod
14. Lone Hørslev: Dyrets år
15. Unica Zürn: Mørkt forår
16. Mike W. Barr & Brian Bolland: Camelot 3000
17. Svetlana Aleksijevitj: Krigen har ikke et kvindeligt ansigt
18. Arthur Koestler: Yogien og kommissæren
19. Fjodor Dostojevskij: Forbrydelse og straf
20. Reinhard Kleist: Der Traum von Olympia
21. Peter Heiberg og Flemming Skude: Arkitekten Ejnar Ørnsholt - liv og værk
22. Delphine de Vigan: Alt må vige for natten
23. Isabel Allende: Kærlighed og mørke
24. Caroline Howard Grøn m.fl. (red): Offentlig styring
25. Philip Roth: Portnoys genvordigheder
26. Kieran Walshe: Regulating Healthcare
27. Linn Ullmann: De urolige
28. Johan Nørgaard Pedersen: Sabotage i Viborg
29. Lutz Seiler: Kruso

DROOTS
1. William Shakespeare: Henry VI
2. Leo Tolstoj: Kreutzersonaten
3. Christa Wolf: Nachdenken über Christa T.
4. William Shakespeare: Richard III
5. Margaret Atwood: Penelopiaden
6. Joakim Garff: SAK
7. Christoph Hein: Den fremmede ven
8. Wolfgang Herrndorf: Sand
9. Kerstin Ekman: Grand final i skojarbranschen
10. George Eliot: Silas Marner
11. Jack London: Når naturen kalder
12. Marcel Proust: Swanns verden
13. Ian McEwan: Enduring Love
14. P.D. James: En form for retfærdighed

2connie53
Dec 29, 2015, 6:42am Top

Hi Henrik! Here you are. Good to see you for some ROOTing in 2016.

3avanders
Dec 29, 2015, 12:02pm Top

>1 Henrik_Madsen: yay for reaching goals! It's nice and inspiring that way ;)
Welcome to 2016 ROOTing & good luck!

hee hee... DROOTs ;)

4cyderry
Dec 29, 2015, 6:35pm Top

Henrik, Glad you are back again in 2016!

5rabbitprincess
Dec 29, 2015, 7:05pm Top

Welcome back and good luck!

6lkernagh
Dec 31, 2015, 10:20pm Top

Good luck with your ROOT reading!

7connie53
Jan 1, 2016, 3:11am Top

8tess_schoolmarm
Jan 1, 2016, 5:32am Top

9Henrik_Madsen
Jan 1, 2016, 6:04am Top

Thanks everyone - And happy new year to all of you as well.

10Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Jan 2, 2016, 1:56pm Top

1. Ida Jessen: En ny tid (A new time)

And we are off! First ROOT of the year was a Christmas present from my parents, so it hasn't even touched my shelves before it was read. If you read my threads, you know that is not alwas the case.

Ida Jessen is one of my favorite contemporary Danish authors. She wonderfully dissects the fears of modern (wo)man, who is financially well off but not protected from losing family and especially children.

This novel is a bit different. It depicts the life of Lilly Bagge, a female teacher who comes to a poor village in Jutland in the beginning of the 20th Century and marries the local doctor. He is a very private man, caring in his own way, but he obviously doesn't respect her much. After his death she must ask herself, if there was really love - and how she shall live the rest of her life.

It is a wonderful portrait of Lilly and the small society she lives in. It was a time of substantial and significant progress for most people, and especially in Denmark that was not part of The Great War. One should not romantisize the past, but the feel of the book is very different today.

4 stars

11tess_schoolmarm
Jan 3, 2016, 12:24am Top

As a teacher, this sounds like a wonderful book!

12Henrik_Madsen
Jan 3, 2016, 6:50am Top

>11 tess_schoolmarm: It is a wonderful book, but she only spends a short time actually teaching before she becomes a fulltime doctor's wife. (Then again, that might be what teachers dream about! ;-)

13avanders
Jan 3, 2016, 4:54pm Top

Congrats on your first ROOT pulled already!

14MissWatson
Jan 4, 2016, 6:25am Top

Happy New Year Henrik, it's nice to see you here again. I'm looking forward to some book bullets!

15Henrik_Madsen
Jan 4, 2016, 11:21am Top

>13 avanders: Thanks - it does feel good to start out strong.

>14 MissWatson: Happy New Year to you too! I will try to direct some bullets your way. I always enjoyed BBs even though I know, that I will probably never be able to read them all.

16tess_schoolmarm
Jan 5, 2016, 9:50am Top

>12 Henrik_Madsen: LOL, I don't think most teachers in this day and age dream about becoming a doctor's wife, especially this one!

17Henrik_Madsen
Jan 8, 2016, 4:52pm Top

2. Christin & Mézières: Rejser i tid og rum, bind 7 (Travels in time and Space)

My first root was a Christmas gift. The second is a Christmas gift I didn't get. It's been on my wish list more than once, and I would wait no more, so I bought it myself and finally had a chance to read the ending to the this great science fiction series.

Linda og Valentin (in Danish the girl is mentioned first) is searching through the universe for traces of the lost Earth. It brings them to the rim of The Great Nothing, where they join an expedition to this unknown world. Huge stone creatures rule here and threaten to destroy everything. Even such apocalyptic forces have allies so Linda and Valentin have to gather their friends from the previous albums for the final battle.

It isn't a bad story, but it's just not as good as some of the previous volumes.

3½ stars

18connie53
Jan 9, 2016, 3:13am Top

He, I guessed the translation of that title because it is similar to Dutch: Reiziger in tijd en ruimte.

19Henrik_Madsen
Jan 9, 2016, 3:17am Top

>18 connie53: Yes, that's pretty much the same. When I hear Dutch, I always have a feeling I should be able to understand it, because there are so many similarities to German, English and the Scandinavian languages. Problem is, it is always the small but important words which are different.

20connie53
Jan 9, 2016, 3:24am Top

Yeah, you are right about that. I have the same feeling about Danish!

21Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Feb 1, 2016, 3:05pm Top

3. Kjell Westö: Luftspejling 38 (Mirage 38 in English)

The scene is set in 1938. Claes Thune is a lawyer and swedish-speaking Finn in Helsinki. Once a month he meets with some old buddies in the "Weadensday-Club" where they discuss the worsening political situation and drink a lot of alcohol. As they meet once again at Thune's office his new secretary recognizes a voice: It is The Captain. Twenty years ago she was interned in the aftermath of the Finnish civil war, and The Captain raped her several times.

Hearing his voice reactivates horrible memories, and when he approaches her again she is faced with a choice: Should she see him again? And how shall she cope with the terrible past, which is living memory to her but totally forgotten by him?

The reader doesn't know who The Captain is until the very last pages of the book, and much of the suspense is generated by this fact. But it is also a very good portrait of a middle-aged man, a plagued woman and an interesting society on the verge of another war.

4 stars

22Henrik_Madsen
Feb 7, 2016, 12:18pm Top

4. Volker Weidermann: Ostende. 1936, Sommer der Freundschaft

The interwar period has interested me for a long time, and ever since I read Verden af i går by Stefan Zweig, I have been fascinated with him. So, there was no resisting Weidermann's novel from 2014, which depicts the summer he and friends like Joseph Roth und Irmgard Keuner spend in Ostende in 1936. It was a desperate attempt to hold on to a world which was hastily diasppearing, but it was also the swan song of the friendship and working relationship between Zweig and Roth. Roth was simply drinking himself into oblivion and Zweig could no longer keep him afloat.

The book is probably of most interest to persons like me: People who already have an interest in the 1930s and the authors depicted in the book. Considered purely as a novel, I found the story a bit lacking.

3 stars

23tess_schoolmarm
Feb 9, 2016, 9:59am Top

Sounds interesting as history, Henrik. I had read some about the interwar period, but mostly about the "Lost Generation" that dallied around Paris and Spain (Stein, Fitzgerald, Hemingway).

24Henrik_Madsen
Feb 9, 2016, 2:46pm Top

>23 tess_schoolmarm: The novel probably takes place a little later than the heyday of American authors in Paris, but otherwise there are similarities. It can be read by everyone, but I think it's most enjoyable if you know some of the characters and their books. I don't know if it has been translated from German, though.

25Henrik_Madsen
Feb 9, 2016, 3:38pm Top

5. Torben Beck Jørgensen (red): På sporet af en offentlig identitet

I didn't expect to read much this year. I have just started a MPA-study and I figuered it would hamper my reading quite a bit. What I seemed to forget is the fact, that studying is largely an act of buying books and reading them.

This is the first book I have finished in this context. It is an analysis of the prevalent values in the Danish public sector, and it provides a valuable guide to the topic. The values themselves are not that surprising - equality, rule of law, loyalty to political leadership etc - but Jørgsen powerfully argues, that the Danish state is not one thing, but instead consists of several layers of values and organizational principles stacked upon eachother. Very interesting.

3 stars

26Henrik_Madsen
Feb 17, 2016, 1:50pm Top

6. William Shakespeare: Henry VI

I'm working my way through Shakespeare's plays which are being translated and published anew in Danish. Henry VI part 1-3 is one of his lesser works, but the quality is growing immensely as you read your way through the three plays. Part one is mostly set in France where Jeanne D'Arc is leading the fight against the English after the conquests by Henry V. She is portrayed as a badmouthed witch, and most of the plot is concerned with battles and English rivaling.

Part 2 & 3 are much better. Back in England the fight between the houses York and Lancaster is picking up pace, and Henry is unable to quell the differences despite his continuous attempts at compromise. His queen, Margret and the yorkists are hell-bent on confrontation and civil war cannot be avoided.

I liked part 3 the most. As the moral man he is, Henry laments the fighting and loss of life on all sides. He actually dreams of the peaceful life of a sheppard, far removed from the reality of rule. His opposite is Richard (later III) who actively plots for the throne even though most of his family will have to be removed to achieve it. In his quest for power nothing is sacred - and I'm really looking forward to reading Shakespeare's take on him.

3 stars

27avanders
Feb 17, 2016, 4:17pm Top

You're doing great w/ your ROOTing! :)

28rabbitprincess
Feb 17, 2016, 6:37pm Top

I'm still at Henry IV in the history plays -- looking forward to reading about Henry VI eventually!

29Henrik_Madsen
Feb 18, 2016, 4:07am Top

>27 avanders: Thanks - I'm very happy with my progress!

>28 rabbitprincess: My edition is following the order in which the plays were written - not the order of the actual events, so I still have Henry IV and Henry V in store for later. Something to look forward to?

30rabbitprincess
Feb 18, 2016, 7:02pm Top

>29 Henrik_Madsen: I haven't actually started Henry IV yet, but I did like the BBC adaptation "The Hollow Crown". And I did read and like Richard II.

31Henrik_Madsen
Feb 20, 2016, 4:19am Top

7. Leo Tolstoj: Kreutzersonaten

This small novel is the story of a crime. During a travel through the Russian provinces, Pósnydschev tells his story to another passenger. He used to live the amoral life of noblemen, full of drinking and women, but after marrying he has decided to live a more moral life.

However, the marriage is unhappy and full of strife, and he is unable to shed his old beliefs. Most of all he is plagued by jealousy, seeing his own behaviour in every other man and absolutely expecting his wife to cheat on him whenever she gets the chance. When they get to know a young violinist he is certain they are having an affair, and driven mad by jealousy he murders her.

It is a fascinating portrait of a man living on the edge of reason. In the deciding moments he is both unable to control his feelings AND aware of the horrible thing he is doing.

3½ stars

32Henrik_Madsen
Feb 21, 2016, 10:46am Top

8. Daniel Goleman: Følelsesmæssig intelligens i lederskab

I was really skeptical when I started reading this book. It was so - for the lack of a better word - American, apparantly focusing on leadership as an act of manipulating emotions. It turned out to be much more, though. Once started it became a thoughtful book on different styles of leadership and it debated thoroughly how leaders can improve their skill set and become much more aware of how their actions and behavior influences working conditions and the culture of their organization.

The book could probably be read by anyone interested in organizational devolopment, but it did resonate with me, because so much of made me reflect upon how I act as a leader myself.

4 stars

33Henrik_Madsen
Mar 6, 2016, 12:18pm Top

9. Alice Munro: Livet

Acquired: 24-07-2014 from Samlerens (bookclub)

This was my first encounter with Alice Munro, but definitely not my last. (Though it will probably be her last book, that's what she has stated, anyway.) The volume contains ten short stories and four autobiographical stories. Read together they give a rich insight into Canadian history from the 1930s onward and more generally into the many fantastic twists and turns human life can take.

I always enjoyed short stories best when they were not all that short, and Munro's stories fit that description. They are never about just one scene or episode. We get to know the charachters and the direction their lives take.

4 stars

34Henrik_Madsen
Mar 12, 2016, 3:40am Top

10. Christa Wolf: Nachdenken über Christa T.

Acquired: Secondhand in Berlin in 2000

The narrator tells the story of her friend Christa T. who has died very young. The two women grew up together in Germany during the war and met again afterwards in Eastern Germany where they formed a friendship until the early death of Christa T. The novel is the portrait of a free spirit choosing her own way of life and staying unique in mass society.

This is my second novel by Wolf, and I don't think her style fits me very well. The language is complex and the story is only to a very modest degree plot-driven. There are some very beautiful parts, and some scenes are still vivid in my mind, but other parts never really got to me.

3 stars

35Henrik_Madsen
Mar 13, 2016, 8:00am Top

11. William Shakespeare: Richard III

Acquired: Christmas present 2014 from my parents - part of volume I of a new translation of all Shakespeare plays

Richard III is the story of limitless ambition, totally devoid of moral and decensy. To become king Richard has to manipulate and murder his brother, his nephews and their allies. He has his own helpers but gradually his powerlust transforms itself to paranoia and he is left alone on the battlefield, desperately crying out for a horse.

I enjoyed the play for the drama and the writing, but Richard's misdeeds got a little repetitive. Shakespeare is best, when his characters are betrayed by their humanity and for long stretches Richard is more of a super villain than a human being.

4 stars

36Henrik_Madsen
Mar 21, 2016, 9:44am Top

12. Ove Kaj Pedersen: Konkurrencestaten

Acquired: 02-04-2016 from saxo.com

The book is the origin of the Danish idea of the "Competetion State" as a new economic-political era growing out of and replacing the Welfare State. It is of course contested whether such a dramatic shift has actually taken place, but the idea has definitely caught on in public debate here, where it has proven both thought-provoking and provoking in and of itself.

It basically argues that states today act in a global environment defined by competetion - whether that competetion is real of imagined doesn't really matter - and that has changed the rationale behind the public sector in Denmark. The goal is no longer to shield the population from the effects of the market of economy but instead to prepare every man, woman and child to take part in the international competition. I'm not entirely convinced by the analysis but it does throw light on the political environment and the nature of many recent reforms.

3½ stars

37Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Mar 27, 2016, 7:20am Top

13. Morten Pape: Planen

Acquired: 02-06-2016 - a birthday gift

The narrator grows up in the 1990s and 2000s in a tough neighbourhood in Copenhagen. There are few functioning families, and the area is mostly inhabited by immigrants and Danes without much hope for the future. His parents are soon divorced and life is constant struggle to avoid violent classmates and the lures of drugs and crime.

He doesn't avoid drugs - especially pot - but still manages to struggle through all of the adversity.

The novel is a compelling portrait of contemporary Denmark from a viewpoint that is more discussed than understood in public debate. I read it with fascination and fully understand why Pape was rewarded with the prize for best novel by a new writer last year.

4 stars

38Jackie_K
Mar 27, 2016, 2:22pm Top

>37 Henrik_Madsen: Hmm, I'd take a BB on that, but it doesn't appear to be on the UK amazon site. Probably just as well - it sounds quite depressing, although fascinating.

39Henrik_Madsen
Mar 28, 2016, 5:12am Top

>38 Jackie_K: To my knowledge it's only appeared in Danish so unless you want to go all in and learn the language, you can probably avoid a BB for technical reasons here!

I really enjoyed the book, but almost 600 pages was a bit much.

40Henrik_Madsen
Edited: May 6, 2016, 12:44pm Top

14. Camilla Sløk: Blod, sved og tårer (Blood, Sweat, and Tears)

Acquired: In january as part of the book-package for the first semester of my MPG-study

What is the role of guilt in modern leadership? This is the question, which Camilla Sløk explores in this interesting book. It is well-known that sometimes things go wrong no matter what you do, and the leaders are obviously responsible for it. It is more blurry whether they are also guilty in the legal or theological meanings of the word.

Work and also the leadership role has become much more internalised in the last 30 years. Leaders are constantly told to use themselves, care more for employees' personal life and geneally remove the strict borders between private and professionel life. This is not without problems in the best of times, but it is even more complicated when things go wrong, because it is not just the professional but also the person that has failed.

The book is interesting and thought-provoking but also a bit uneven.

3½ stars

41Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Jun 12, 2016, 11:10am Top

15. Pia Søltoft: Kunsten at vælge sig selv (The Craft of Choosing Yourself

Søltoft is an expert on existentialist philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, but she is also very much concerned with "applied science" within the humanities. The reason is not hard to find: In Denmark as in other countries universities and researchers are increasingly asked not just to solve scientific problems but to produce value for society.

This book is an introduction to Kierkegaard's thinking from the point of view of coaching. Søltoft discusses a variety of ways in which the modern self and the modern leader is pressured by increasing demands, demands which are only reinforced by self-help books which squarely puts all responsibility on the individual. Kierkegaard points in another direction: Choosing one-self is a task presented to every individual as a path to reflection and acceptance of your actual self instead of relentlessly pursuing something else.

There are obviously a boatload of nuances which are more or less impossible to translate, but the book was very rewarding 8-)

4 stars

42Henrik_Madsen
Apr 2, 2016, 10:46am Top

16. Margaret Atwood: Penelopiaden (The Penelopiad)

Acquired: A long time ago - perhaps by my wife?

I really like Margaret Atwood and I also enjoyed this re-writing of the Odyssey from Penelope's perspective. In this version of the story, focus is not on the many adventures and achievements of Odysseus but on the life of Penelope in his absence. She is not just the patient wife waiting for his return, but an active manager of his estates, cleverly keeping the suitors at bay and using her maids as spies.

Odysseus has always been seen as clever and cunning but here he is also depicted as cruel and lying whenever it suits his own purposes. Everyone can claim that, of course, but Atwood cleverly tells the story using all the wellknown elements but depicting them in a new and much more feminist light.

4 stars

43avanders
Apr 5, 2016, 11:05am Top

>42 Henrik_Madsen: Glad you enjoyed that - it's on my shelves and I look forward to (someday) reading it!

Also congrats on your great progress! 16/25! :D

44connie53
Apr 11, 2016, 2:11pm Top

Great job, Henrik!

45tess_schoolmarm
Edited: Apr 13, 2016, 10:54am Top

>42 Henrik_Madsen: Glad you enjoyed the book. This book is on my TBR pile.

46Jackie_K
Apr 13, 2016, 2:33pm Top

>42 Henrik_Madsen: I added it to my wishlist.

47Henrik_Madsen
Apr 14, 2016, 2:31pm Top

>44 connie53: Thanks Connie!

>45 tess_schoolmarm: I think that's a good thing :-)

>46 Jackie_K: Sorry to BB you 8-)

48Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Apr 14, 2016, 4:18pm Top

17. Franz Kafka: Dommen (The Judgement)

Acquired: Two months ago in the anual booksale

This is a very beautiful small volume. It contains a story not even 30 pages long about the need to live up to your parents expectations - even when you are an adult on the verge of marriage. Kafka is a master, twisting everyday life into absurd situations.

The book reprints the Kurt Wolff version from 1916 along with a Danish translation. I read the German version, but having the translated text at hand is obviously nice.

3 stars

49avanders
Apr 20, 2016, 10:12am Top

>48 Henrik_Madsen: sounds very interesting! I tend to really enjoy the "Kafkaesque" books... but somehow I've never actually read any Kafka ... every time I read about something of his, I know I need to!

50Henrik_Madsen
Apr 22, 2016, 11:33am Top

>49 avanders: Oh, you should. It took me many years to get to Kafka but he's brilliant. I would suggest The Metamorphosis or The Trial as a starting point, though.

51Henrik_Madsen
Apr 22, 2016, 12:57pm Top

18. Tobi Dahmen: Fahrradmod

Acquired: On February 6th from the wonderful comicbookstore Strips and Stories in Hamburg

The graphic novel biography has become an established genre with a number of master pieces. Seen in this light, Dahmen's story of growing up i Wesel in Western Germany in the 1980s falls a bit short. The story is told well and the artwork complements the story nicely. But 480 pages is just a lot to tell a pretty undramatic story about a young man who happens to be a fan of the British youth culture movement The Mods.

Not a bad book, but not a great one either.

3 stars

52avanders
Apr 22, 2016, 2:10pm Top

>50 Henrik_Madsen: Thanks! I think I have one or both of those at home... :)

53Henrik_Madsen
Apr 23, 2016, 11:36am Top

19. Lone Hørslev: Dyrets år (The Year of the Beast)

Acquired: November 24th 2014 from my book club Samlerens.

Marie Grubbe is one of the most written about characters in Danish literature. Born as a noble woman in the 1640s she married the king's illegitimate son before having an affair, first with an officer at the castle and then with her own brother-in-law. She even ran away with him after being forced to a divorce. After a number of other shifts and turns she ended up as a poor inn-keepers wife.

It is a pretty remarkable story. This novel focus on the years 1666 to 1667 when Marie Grubbe decided to break with the morality of the time and pursued her heart's (and body's) desire. It is a very good book giving a credible portrait of the times and an interesting study of this remarkable person.

4 stars

54Henrik_Madsen
Apr 24, 2016, 11:36am Top

20. Unica Zürn: Mørkt forår (Dark Spring)

Acquired: April 3rd 2016 from the publisher's webshop

This short novella was pretty much guaranteed to create scandal when it was published in 1969. It is a study of the sexual nature of a very young girl (she is only 12 at the end of the story) and contains her vivid fantasies about men. However, the dream of love and satisfaction is always accompanied by loss, pain and the impossibility of realizing her heart's desire.

When you add a tragic ending to the mix, it is pretty obvious that it is not a book for the faint-hearted. But it's good.

4 stars

55connie53
Apr 26, 2016, 5:15am Top

You have done some great reading, Henrik.

56Henrik_Madsen
Apr 27, 2016, 2:50pm Top

>55 connie53: Thank's Connie. I am very pleased with my reading this year, since I expected it to be a uphill.

57Henrik_Madsen
Jun 21, 2016, 3:14pm Top

21. Joakim Garff: SAK

Acquired: February 8th 2003 - it was a birthday gift so it should have been read a long time ago, but it was a pretty intimidating volume.

This 700 page biography of Danish philosopher Søren Aabye Kierkegaard became an instant bestseller upon publication. Interest in Kierkegaard had been growing for some years, when Garff wrote this classic life & times biography.

It is a brilliant introduction to the man and his times - he lived his life Copenhagen, which was a small capital in the 19th Century, but bristling with talent in the 1840s. It is not an introduction to his thinking, even though his books are discussed as they were published.

4 stars

58Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Jun 28, 2016, 2:30pm Top

23. Svetlana Aleksijevitj: Krigen har ikke et kvindeligt ansigt (The War does not have a Female Face)

Acquired: April 6th 2016 from the Samlerens book club

This a beautiful, horrible book. Aleksijevitj has interviewed hundreds of female veterans from the second world war, and their accounts are woven into a detailed narrative of the horror of war. Seeing it from a female perspective brings new angles to the table as the women seem more focused on individuals and details which are in some sense more telling than the story of major battles.

The war on the Eastern front was brutal beyond belief, and this book brings it to life. It is a brilliant book, but it does not leave its reader unmarked.

5 stars

59Henrik_Madsen
Jul 1, 2016, 4:14pm Top

24. Christoph Hein: Den fremmede ven (A very precise translation of the German title Der fremde Freund. In English it is called The Distant Lover, which is not quite the same.)

Acquired: Sometime in i the 1990s from a book sale at the library where I lived)

Claudia is 40 years old, divorced, and incapable of a meaningful relationship to other people. At least on surface, because she has a deep but somewhat unusual relationship with Henry, who tragically dies and leaves her desolate and alone.

Set in the GDR it can be politically interpreted, but that is probably too simple. Claudia's problems stemm from her past and are also a product of modernity in general.

I took me some time before I could relate to Claudia, but the story grew on me. A pretty good little novel.

3½ stars

60rabbitprincess
Jul 1, 2016, 5:53pm Top

Ooh, only one ROOT to go! You're doing very well!

61MissWatson
Jul 2, 2016, 12:58pm Top

You're getting close, well done!

62Henrik_Madsen
Jul 17, 2016, 5:16am Top

>60 rabbitprincess: >61 MissWatson: Thanks - and now I'm done after some deep rooting on my vacation!

63Henrik_Madsen
Jul 17, 2016, 6:22am Top

25. Wolfgang Herrndorf: Sand

Acquired: In 2014 from Dussmann during a business trip to Berlin

I absolutely loved Herrndorfs previous novel Tschick so I had high expectations for this one. Unfortunately it didn't appeal as much to me.

Action is placed in a fictive place in North Africa in 1972 and is centered on a man who wakes up in a building in the dessert without any memory of his own identity or what has happened to him. He has a serious wound in the back of his head and there is little doubt that people are out for his life. He struggles through the sand and teams up with American woman Helen to figure out who he is.

It is a thriller which doesn't obey the rules of thrillers, and trying to figure out who the man is, is fundamentally a good story. Unfortunately the book is too long and I don't think the writing is quite as unique or interesting as in his previous book.

3 stars

64Jackie_K
Jul 17, 2016, 10:06am Top

Sorry the book didn't meet your expectations, but hooray for meeting your 2016 ROOT goal!

65tess_schoolmarm
Jul 17, 2016, 2:59pm Top

Congrats on reaching your goal?!

66Henrik_Madsen
Jul 18, 2016, 7:04am Top

>64 Jackie_K: >65 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks - I'm so pleased to reach it, but I'm also a bit surprised I'm done already. Counting any books - also new ones - helps, but it also seems to turn out to be a good year for reading.

67MissWatson
Jul 18, 2016, 7:05am Top

Congratulations!

68Henrik_Madsen
Jul 18, 2016, 7:12am Top

69rabbitprincess
Jul 18, 2016, 7:56am Top

Hurray! Congratulations!

70Henrik_Madsen
Jul 19, 2016, 3:18pm Top

71Henrik_Madsen
Jul 23, 2016, 12:05pm Top

26. Kerstin Ekman: Grand Final i skojarbranschen

Acquired: I bought this wonderful book in 2012 during an extended weekend in Kristiansstad in Sweden. I had just read a couple of books by Ekman so it seemed like an obvious choice.

Accomplished authour Lillemor Troj is faced with a manuscript with a lot of inconvenient truths. She has never written her books on her own but had a close working relationship with Babba Andersson, who didn't want to come forward and face all the public obligations of a modern author. (Taking part in public debates, reading sessions, book fairs, interviews, promotion and such.)

The two women have broken off and Babba has finally decided to write a book of her own. It's the story of Lillemor and herself, picturing Lillemor as a glorified secratary or editor. This obviously puts Lillemor in quite a dilemma, and as we are told the interesting story of her life, we are left to reflect on the relationship between life and litterature and between author and book. Would it really matter if it turned out a book was written by a person whose name is not on the cover?

4 stars

72tess_schoolmarm
Jul 23, 2016, 10:11pm Top

>26 Henrik_Madsen: Looks like a really good read, but not translated into English. I did notice that has a lot of books that are translated. I will check into another one of her's.

73Henrik_Madsen
Jul 24, 2016, 10:34am Top

>72 tess_schoolmarm: She is one of the great contemporary Scandinavian authors in my opinion. I would definitely recommend Blackwater which is a stand-alone novel. It is a history of a crime but it is most of all a history of the Northern part of Sweden which are lingering due to aging and urbanization. A really good novel.

Some of her other works are series.

74tess_schoolmarm
Jul 24, 2016, 1:15pm Top

>73 Henrik_Madsen: TY so much, Henrik! I did find that one in a paperback and put it on my wishlist.

75ipsoivan
Jul 25, 2016, 8:01pm Top

>73 Henrik_Madsen: Oh yes, I agree! I thought Blackwater was brilliant, and also read Under the Snow, which I enjoyed, but not as much as Blackwater. I'm glad of the reminder to read more of her work, and I hope this one is eventually translated.

76Henrik_Madsen
Jul 26, 2016, 2:57am Top

>75 ipsoivan: I really can't say that I have read all her works, but I would definitely also recommend Mordets Praktik (if it's ever translated into English) It is a story of murder and sort of spins off the classic - and even better - crime novel Doktor Glas by Hjalmar Söderberg.

77MissWatson
Jul 26, 2016, 4:08am Top

>76 Henrik_Madsen: This sounds very interesting! And since both are available in German translation I'll try to track down copies. Thanks!

78Henrik_Madsen
Jul 30, 2016, 6:13am Top

27. Arthur Koestler: Yogien og kommissæren

Acquired: I bought the book a couple of months ago, sniffing my way through a wonderful local used-book store. I have wanted to read Koestler for a long time and now the opportunity presented itself.

Koestler's dramatic life took him from Hungary to Germany, the Soviet Union and Spain before he settled in England during the second world war. This collection of essays was written 1941-44, and it contains very different texts. Some are written for mobilisation for war or left wing reform once the war is over, others analyze the catastrophic development of Europe in the interwar period.

The most famous parts of the book focus on the Soviet Union. Koestler went there as a devout communist, but he left appalled by the reality of stalinist rule. He emphatically shows that the Soviet Union has betrayed its own ideas and settled on a bureaucratic and totalitarian system which is even further from socialism than the capitalist states of Western Europe.

The crimes of communism have been well documented afterwards, but Koestler is writing on the basis of his own experiences which add an extra layer to his essays. Some of the texts feel a bit dated, but generally it is still a moving and thoughtprovoking book.

4 stars

79connie53
Jul 31, 2016, 3:24am Top



Congrats on reaching and surpassing your goal, Henrik!

80Henrik_Madsen
Jul 31, 2016, 10:46am Top

>79 connie53: Thanks - sommer is usually a good reading period for me and that's also been the case this year. It feels go to be done already, but I'll keep going.

81connie53
Aug 1, 2016, 3:27am Top

>80 Henrik_Madsen: I know, summer is an ideal season for reading outside. That works best for me.

82Henrik_Madsen
Aug 4, 2016, 4:01pm Top

28. George Eliot: Silas Marner

Acquired: I bought this paperback cheap in the mid 1990s. The book stores where I lived regularly brought in a stack of English classics, trying to lure students to buy them. As you can see, they were often succesful!

Silas Marner is the shortest of George Eliots novels and my first encounter with her work. Marner is an honest weaver who is falsely accused of theft and forced to wander the lands until he settles in Raveloe. It is a typical English village with craftsmen, farmers and a squire Cass who is richer but not totally detached from the others. His sons are disappointments. Godfrey is weak and cannot assert himself, Dunstan is both lazy and immoral.

There is wealth, a pub and a strong community. Marner wants none of that. He works and spends his evenings counting coins until the fateful day, when it is all stolen from him. Finally he is forced out of his cocoon and becomes a part of village life.

I very much enjoyed this book. 19th century novels are sometimes too long, seemingly growing in length and scope for no good reason, but this is tight and focused story. Most of the characters are nuanced and believable, and I felt in good company even though the story is both highly moral and tends to paint village life in an overly idyllic light.

4 stars

83tess_schoolmarm
Edited: Aug 5, 2016, 7:48am Top

>82 Henrik_Madsen: Eliot is probably one of my favorite authors and Silas Marner one of my favorite novels. I like it because it shows the desperation and heartbreak of a man falsely accused. I can really feel Silas' agony when the book tells the reader that "he felt the unseen hand was not outstretched to him', meaning he felt that God had abandoned him.

84Henrik_Madsen
Aug 5, 2016, 2:03pm Top

>83 tess_schoolmarm: Yes, Silas is a great character. His movement from (false?) religion, to money to parental love is so interesting to follow. I especially liked his reintroduction to society after the theft - it's as if he had been on a deserted island and has lost his ability to speak.

Godfrey Cass is not as likeable but also a very recognizable person.

85Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Aug 6, 2016, 10:03am Top

29. Fjodor Dostojevskij: Forbrydelse og straf (Crime and Punishment)

Acquired: I bought my copy two weeks ago. I had chosen Dostojevskij for my anniversary challenge (written 150 years ago) and didn't own it already.

The arc of the narrative is wellknown: Rodion Raskolnikov, a young student in Skt. Petersburg, murders a pawn shop owner (crime) and must ultimately face the consequences (punishment). But there is so much more the story. We follow his actions, listen to his doubts, meet the people he meets and watch him break down under the weight of his family at risk, the Marmeladov family pushed to the brink of existense, and his own consciousness.

It is a breathtaking novel. Dostojevskij's portrait of Raskolnikov is incredible. Not a particularly sympathetic character but very human and so distinguishable that I felt like I could see him before my eyes. The style is modern. I just read Silas Marner which is just 5 years older but through and through 19th Century whereas Dostojevskij feels contemporary.

Without a doubt my best read this year.

5 stars

86ipsoivan
Aug 9, 2016, 7:15am Top

Well, Silas Marner and Crime and Punishment are clearly going to have to be in my near future. Nice reviews.

87Henrik_Madsen
Aug 9, 2016, 1:53pm Top

>86 ipsoivan: Thanks - and they are really good books, I promise. 8-)

88ipsoivan
Aug 10, 2016, 8:04am Top

>87 Henrik_Madsen: I did read Silas Marner decades ago and didn't like it, but your description made it seem much more appealing, and I'm happy to give it another try. I loved Middlemarch and Daniel Deronda, but found the early part of Mill on the Floss too cloying and put it down. As for Dostoevsky, I've read the Idiot and The Brothers Karamazov, so I know I'll love C and P.

89Henrik_Madsen
Aug 10, 2016, 4:00pm Top

30. Jack London: Når naturen kalder (Call of the Wild)

Acquired: My copy was published in 1947 and has been in my family as long as I can remember. I also believe I read it as a child - the story seemed very familiar.

Buck is a big family dog enjoying himself in California when the gold rush in the Klondike in the 1890s creates a huge demand for strong, tough animals to pull the sleighs. Buck turns out to be an exceptional dog and he soon challenges the lead dog to take his place. But he also hears the call of the wild and is drawn towards the wild life of the wolf packs.

London is great at making Buck's development and sentiments believable without turning him into a human on four legs. The novel could be interpreted as an allegory of the battle between instinct and civilization in human nature but I actually think it works best when it is "just" read as a great adventure story.

Fast and satisfying read.

4 stars

90tess_schoolmarm
Edited: Aug 13, 2016, 10:04pm Top

>89 Henrik_Madsen: I re-read The Call of the Wild last year with my grandson and enjoyed it.

91Henrik_Madsen
Aug 17, 2016, 3:42pm Top

31. Reinhard Kleist: Der Traum von Olympia (The Olympic Dream)

Acquired: Like ROOT #18, I bought this book in February in Strips and Stories, a wonderful comic book shop in Hamburg. Since it's time for the Olympics and all, I figured now was a good time to read it.

In 2008 Samia Yusuf Omar became a public favorite during the Beijing Olympics. She was one of just two participants from Somalia, and even though she finished last, she was cheered for being there. Unfortunately that didn't help her back home. Al-Shabaab was ruling the streets of Mogadishu and soon she was forced to flee to save her life and fulfill her goal of participating in London i 2012. The route through the Sudan and Libya was (and is) dangerous, however, and even though she succeeds in getting to the Mediterranean, she still has to face the dangers of the sea.

Kleist's book is a well-told story of tragedy and hope, and the black and white artwork really helps convey Samia's struggles.

3½ stars

92ipsoivan
Aug 18, 2016, 7:28pm Top

I'm normally not an Olympics follower, but this sounds amazing. Thanks for posting about it.

93Henrik_Madsen
Aug 19, 2016, 3:50am Top

>92 ipsoivan: It was pretty good but I believe it's only available in German.

94ipsoivan
Aug 20, 2016, 6:09pm Top

>93 Henrik_Madsen: Clearly time for me to branch out in my languages! Just think of all the great things those of us not comfortable reading other languages are missing out on. I'd like to improve my French, and then follow up with Nordic languages and German. Maybe some Italian. And Chinese. Oh dear.

95Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Aug 26, 2016, 4:56pm Top

32. Peter Heiberg og Flemming Skude: Arkitekten Ejnar Ørnsholt - liv og værk (The Life and Work of the Architect Ejnar Ørnsholt)

Acquired: I just bought this book last week - it was recently published and I wanted to read it.

I live in the small Danish town of Nakskov which this year celebrates 750 years anniversary as a city with acknowledged trading rights. It has been marked in a number of ways and this new book on Ejnar Ørnsholt is one of the most valuable, in my opinion. He was an architect who build around 200 public and private houses here, so it's almost impossible not to see his work on a daily basis.

This wonderfully illustrated book introduces his work and I have already re-planned my route home more than once to get a new look at his buildings. Most of them are done in brick and even though he worked in the first half of the 20th century and knew modernist thought, he wasn't really a modernist. He was firmly founded in craftsmanship but managed to turn tradition in to buildings of lasting significance.

He was also his own man, helping introduce Georgism in Denmark and devoting much of his time to theosophism of Anne Betant.

Ørnsholt was a truly interesting person whose life and work has now been beautifully told. Living in Nakskov obviously adds to my pleasure of reading the book - but most people interested in architecture should enjoy it.

4 stars

96connie53
Aug 28, 2016, 3:42pm Top

Hi Henrik, Just popping in to see what you are reading!

97Henrik_Madsen
Aug 30, 2016, 3:02am Top

>96 connie53: Thanks - a visit is always nice 8-)

98avanders
Aug 30, 2016, 12:48pm Top

A belated congratulations on meeting your goal!!

99Henrik_Madsen
Aug 30, 2016, 2:32pm Top

>98 avanders: Thanks - I'm still pretty pleased with it 8-)

100Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Sep 13, 2016, 3:48pm Top

33. Marcel Proust: Swanns verden (The literal translation to English of the Danish title would be Swann's World which is slightly different than Swann's Way - but neither totally captures the original French title Du côté de chez Swann. Understandably, I honestly don't know how I would phrase that in Danish)

Acquired: This was a Christmas present from my parents in law three years ago. Having read it, volume 2 goes on the wishlist this year!

This novel is not just about remembering the past. Proust attempts to revive a world which doesn't exist anymore, and he will not settle simply for what happened. He investigates emotions and experiences, at the same time identifying the feeling of past life and analyzing those emotions with the benefit of later experience.

Swann's way is the first volume of In Search of Lost Time. It is not without plot - included is a novella telling the story of Swann's intense relationship with Odette de Crécy - but it's greatness is mostly a result of an exceptional power of observation and the mastery of language to bring it to life.

4 stars

101ipsoivan
Sep 14, 2016, 7:26am Top

I also loved Swann's Way. I had read one of the older translations, but I really fell in love with it with Lydia Davis's translation released by Penguin. I'm looking forward to re-reading the second volume, also with a newer translation. There are some interesting notes about the translators' choices in the Penguin forward.

102Henrik_Madsen
Sep 14, 2016, 8:40am Top

>101 ipsoivan: The translation is obviously of huge importance, and I believe this one is very good. (I haven't read the original, but at least the result is good Danish.)

103ipsoivan
Edited: Sep 15, 2016, 10:26pm Top

>102 Henrik_Madsen: Some interesting commentary from Lydia Davis's Translator's Introduction:

Many contemporaries of Proust's insisted that he wrote the way he spoke, although when Du coté de chez Swann appeared in print, they were startled by what they saw as the severity of the page. Where were the pauses, the inflections? There were not enough empty spaces, not enough punctuation marks. To them, the sentences did not seem as long when they were spoken, in his extraordinary hoarse voice, as when they were read on the page: his voice punctuated them.

The style in which Proust wrote was essentially natural and unaffected, free from preciosity, archaism and self-conscious elegance, and far plainer than one might guess from existing English versions....

One of
his friends--ignore touchstone if it appears--, perhaps exaggerating, reported that Proust would arrive late in the evening, waking him up, begin talking, and deliver one long sentence that did not come to an end until the middle of the night. The sentence would be full of asides, parentheses, illuminations, reconsiderations, revisions, addenda, corrections, augmentations, digressions, qualifications, erasures, deletions and marginal notes. It would, in other words, seek to be exhaustive, to capture every nuance of a piece of reality, to reflect Proust's entire thought....

One interesting point that she makes is that Proust in fact chose simple, direct words; Scott Moncrieff chose, on the other hand, very "showy" words. That impact alone would make a big difference to the style.

So it sounds like the older English translation was a bit of a muddled attempt: Scott Moncrieff tried to capture Proust's long sentences, but he didn't know that Proust's spoken sentences were quite long but aurally well divided into clauses and subclauses; also Scott Moncrieff's own choice of flashy vocabulary would not have matched Proust's quite plain word choice.

I'd love to hear what choices the Danish translator made.

104Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Sep 16, 2016, 10:14am Top

>103 ipsoivan: She doesn't comment much on her choices, but I do recognize Lydia Davis' description. His vocabulary is huge, but it's not a very stylized way of writing. The words in the Danish edition are not "showy" and the individual part on the sentence is simple enough, but the sentences, the paragraphs and the chapters are both complex and well organized.

Writing is in it's nature linear, but Proust somehow defies that and manages to but many meanings, nuances, and angles next to each other to give at much more complex picture. It reminded me of reading Thomas Mann in German and the translation captured this feeling of watching a picture instead of reading a novel with a plot.

105ipsoivan
Sep 17, 2016, 11:16am Top

I'm going to go on a read the second in the series soon. I read it many years ago (like the first), but in the older translation. Davis is not the translator this time, but if the rationale is the same, I think I will enjoy this one too.

106connie53
Sep 18, 2016, 2:51am Top

So I finally got round to your thread, Henrik. Have a good Sunday!

107Henrik_Madsen
Sep 18, 2016, 2:56am Top

You too, Connie. I'm looking out at a beautiful morning of what looks to be one of the final days of summer. The proclaimed rain has not shown itself yet.

Has the weather finally turned to autumn in the Netherlands?

108connie53
Sep 18, 2016, 3:00am Top

>107 Henrik_Madsen:. It's a bit colder now, but not autumn yet. It's grey outside, so sent me some sun!

109Henrik_Madsen
Sep 19, 2016, 2:03pm Top

34. Delphine de Vigan: Alt må vige for natten (The literal translation to English of the Danish title is "Everything Must Give Way to the Night" which has the same meaning but is actually the original - and the English - title in reverse: Nothing Holds Back the Night. Either way it is one the most poetic and beautiful titles I know and it perfectly captures the emotion of the book.)

The novel is a homage to the author's mother, written in the months and years after her suicide. It traces the story of a large and colorful family, which was also rich in tragedy (three children die young) and paints a complex portrait of Lucile, the narrators mother, who was a beautiful and independent but also fragile woman. The chapters where her personality gives in to psychosis in front of her two young daughters are breathtaking.

It's a biography, but it is also a reflection on the art of writing a biography. The narrator - and probably also the author, but you never know - discusses the writing process, the difficulty of exposing your own family and how difficult it is to figure out, what really make other people tick. Definitely worth recommending.

4 stars

110avanders
Sep 22, 2016, 12:07pm Top

>107 Henrik_Madsen: "The proclaimed rain has not shown itself yet." Glad for you! Sad for me... ;)

111Henrik_Madsen
Oct 1, 2016, 3:44pm Top

35. Ian McEwan: Enduring Love

Acquired: Strictly speaking, this is not my book. It is a paperback bought by my wife before we met, probably in 1998 or 1999.

Joe Rose's world is turned upside down, when he becomes involved in a fatal accident. One of the other participants mysteriously declare him his love and starts stalking him. This is not pleasant, and soon his whole life as well as his until now very happy marriage to Clarissa starts to fall apart. The book is also a thriller so I will not reveal more about the plot.

I have had very different experiences with Ian McEwan. I loved On Chesil Beach and Black Dogs but didn't really enjoy Amsterdam. Unfortunately Enduring Love is like the latter. The basic idea is interesting, but then McEwan starts forcing things and making his characters act in ways, I don't believe they would. Generally I'm ready to accepts any idea in a book, if the story seems coherent. This one didn't.

3 stars

112Henrik_Madsen
Oct 15, 2016, 11:59am Top

36. Isabel Allende: Kærlighed og mørke (The Danish title is a precise translation of the original Spanish title as well as the English Of Love and Shadows)

Acquired: I stumbled upon this book three weeks ago at a small fleamarket close to work. Since it was already voted book of the month in the 1001 books to read before you die group, I bought it.

Francisco and Irene work together as photographer and journalist during the dictatorship of general Pinochet i Chile. He is also engaged in secret activities against the regime. She is from a more privileged background, but once they start investigating the vanishing of a young girl, they soon find themselves facing repression and danger. They are also on the verge of finding evidence which can seriously undermine the authority of the military.

Along the way they fall in love, which is hardly surprising. The story is interesting, but I don't think the execution was very good. It's as if Allende couldn't bother finishing all the scenes and just settles for a short write-up of what happens to fill in the blanks. It could just be me, but I was really disappointed in the second half of the book.

2½ stars

113Henrik_Madsen
Oct 29, 2016, 2:47pm Top

37. Caroline Howard Grøn m.fl.: Offentlig styring

Acquired: Juni 2016 - I received it along with some other books for the autumn semester

Management in public organizations is an important subject for everyone with a leadership role in the sector. This textbook introduces various theories on the subject which is followed by some fresh analysis of new tendencies in Denmark. Now, textbooks are rarely a joy to read, but this was a fine introduction to the subject. The Danish examples are hardly unique, but they did help put the theoretical framework into a context.

3½ stars

114Henrik_Madsen
Nov 6, 2016, 5:46pm Top

38. P.D. James: En form for retfærdighed (Very precise translation of the original 'A Certain Justice)

Acquired: Around 2000 - I bought it at a book sale a couple of years after it came out in Danish in 1998

I very much enjoyed this thriller / mystery. I haven't read a lot of them the last couple of years, because the ever increasing brutality of the murders and the underwhelming writing of series, which obviously had to produce a new volume for every book season.

This was different. Well-written, thrilling and a very interesting portrait of an interesting environment. When succesful attorney Venetia Aldridge is murdered, there are a number of obvious suspects: rivals in the office, a lover and an ex-husband and of course Garry Ashe, the young sociopath she has just helped escape a murder charge, but who has now returned as her daughter's lover. Adam Dalgliesh is in charge of the investigation in this satisfying mystery.

4 stars

115Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Nov 21, 2016, 2:09pm Top

39. Philip Roth: Portnoys genvordigheder ('Genvordigheder' would probably be 'troubles' in English but it's pretty close to the original title 'Portnoy's Complaint')

Acquired: I bought this book last year in Juy. I had read and enjoyed another novel by Roth, and this one had reached the "please take this one out of our storage" stage in the local bookshop. Just a dollar and a half - an offer I obviously couldn't resist.

Alexander Portnoy is 34 years old, and his life is a mess. He is lying on the coach in a psychiatrists office where he tells his story or, more precisely, rambles on about his growing up in a Jewish neighbourhood in Newark in the 1930s and 40s, about his complicated relationship with his mother, his complicated Jewish identity and his complicated relationship with women.

He is obsessed with sex and his language is very graphic - just a warning - but Portnoy's ramblings barely covers a huge insecurity and a deep pain. Who is he supposed to be? Why can't he escape - or embrace - his Jewish upbringing?

Part of the novel is funny, laugh out loud funny, actually, but the story is told like it's Woody Allan on speed. It get's a bit tiring, and Portnoy's self-righteous mistreating of all the women who actually cares for him is annoying.

3 stars

116Henrik_Madsen
Edited: Dec 4, 2016, 11:32am Top

40. Kieran Walshe: Regulating Healthcare

Acquired: It was one of the books I bought in June for the courses of this semester.

Regulation is gaining ground as a tool to further quality, improvement and efficiency in public and semi-public institutions, and its increasing popularity also means more reason to regulate well. Walshe looks closer at regulatory praxis in health care in the US and the UK, but the monograph also contains a broader introduction to regulation theory in general.

I'm not particularly interested in health care, and the book is probably dated on these issues anyway, but having in-depth analysis of two cases definitely added to the understanding of the theoretical framework.

3½ stars

117Henrik_Madsen
Dec 4, 2016, 11:40am Top

41. Linn Ullmann: De urolige

Acquired: Book of the month from my bookclub two months ago.

Linn Ullmann is the daughter of Liv Ullmann and Ingmar Bergman, and this autobiographical novel tells the story of her life. She spends most of the time with her mother, who after leaving her father moves around a lot and seems to be quite fragile despite her fame and artistic prowess. Her father finally settles down with his 5th wife (!) and Linn visits him regularly at his summer residence at Hammars where work and order is the foundation of life.

It is a beautifully written story of being a child, growing up and finally losing your parents to old age. It is not a particularly dramatic life, but many episodes are wonderfully registered and the writing is poetic. I enjoyed it a lot.

4 stars

118avanders
Dec 7, 2016, 11:02am Top

Way to go w/ all your progress! 16 ROOTs past your goal - must feel great!

119Henrik_Madsen
Dec 8, 2016, 2:43am Top

>118 avanders: Sure does! I think I will upgrade my goal a bit next year, but being ahead all the way just feels good.

120Henrik_Madsen
Dec 10, 2016, 12:22pm Top

42. Johan Nørgaard Pedersen: Sabotage i Viborg

Acquired: I bought the book in may in the wonderful comic book and sci fi store Fantask in Copenhagen.

This graphic novel takes place in the Danish town Viborg in early 1944. The Nazis have occupied Denmark, and small pockets of resistance are gaining momentum in a desperate attempt to outrun the German secret police. The main focus here is sabotage against the railways which were the main line of supply and troop transport going to and from Norway. A small group of four people attempt another attack and suddenly find themselves in a dramatic fight with German troops.

The book is an undiluted salute to the men and women of the resistance, but I didn't like the art work much, and the story is too focused on fighting. The characters are never developed and the book was ultimately a bit unsatisfactory.

2 stars

121avanders
Dec 19, 2016, 1:57pm Top

>119 Henrik_Madsen: I know, it's always a tough call year-to-year... plus, life has a way of changing & being unpredictable ;)

122Henrik_Madsen
Dec 21, 2016, 4:08pm Top

43. Lutz Seiler: Kruso

Acquired: Book of the month from the Book Club in April

Ed, after tragically losing his girlfriend, traves north from Berlin to Hiddensee. It is the year 1989 and as he is absorbed by a strange parallel society of outcasts who helps refugees before urging them to return, the very foundation of the East German state starts to corrode.

The novel is surreal but not very densely written. I enjoyed the weird story and the beautiful writing a lot - but was less pleased with 40 pages of postscript detailing Ed's investigations in Denmark many years later.

4 stars

123avanders
Dec 23, 2016, 9:24am Top

124tess_schoolmarm
Dec 23, 2016, 10:28pm Top

125Henrik_Madsen
Dec 29, 2016, 12:42pm Top

>123 avanders: & >124 tess_schoolmarm: Thanks - I hope you have had a wonderful holiday with family and books as well 8-)

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