Book Review: Crossroads, by Hardit Singh

CrossroadsI got Crossroads by Hardit Singh as an e-book for free a little while ago, as I follow him om Twitter (@HarditSingh1). I’m always curious about new literature, and a short story like this was a nice break between everything else on my reading list.

Crossroads is the story about Robert, who on the day we meet him, has landed at Heathrow early. Instead of heading home, he has headed for a bar. There he meets the beautiful Elise. They soon find out that though they are strangers, they both find themselves in similar situations in their marriage. Together they make plans that will change their lives drastically…

Though this is a short and easy read, I really enjoyed it. Even though it touches something that could be heartbreaking and sad, it has a sense of humor. I found myself chuckle loudly more than once while reading it.

The story is a nice break in everyday life, and you can get it at Amazon (Kindle) or Kobo (ePub).

Bookie Brunch: Christmas Edition!

Last night was Yule Eve (I celebrate midwinter). Being a Norwegian, that means having dinner with your family, opening presents and all that jazz.

This time the Bookie Brunch, an idea originated from Sasha Soren, is hosted over at Jennie’s Corner. The questions are related to this very season, and here’s my take on them.

What do you think of festive themed books?

I actually enjoy them. We have lots of them in Norway, and working in a library, I can see new ones being published every year.

Do you have a favourite christmas book to read? If so, What is it and why? or will you be avoiding them?

My favourite Christmas book is Letters from Father Christmas by J. R. R. Tolkien, one of my favourite authors. I am supposed to have a tradition of reading it every 23rd December, after decorating the tree, but the last few years I’ve been living alone and in Finnmark far from my family, and have therefore not been at home around Christmas. I hope to take this tradition up again at some point.

Letters from Father Chrsitmas

Happy Hollidays!

God jul!
Happy Yule!
Glædelig Jul!
Nollaig Shona!
Buon Natale!
Joyeux Noël!
¡Feliz Navidad!
Gleðileg jól!
عيد ميلاد سعيد!
Nadolig Llawen!
С Рождеством Христовым!
Craciun Fericit!
Hyvää joulua!
میری کرسمس!
Boldog karácsonyt!
Fijne Kerstdagen!
Wesołych Świąt!
Καλά Χριστούγεννα!
Froehliche Weihnachten!
Buorit juovlat!

God Jul!

Book Review: Wonderstruck, by Brian Selznick

This book is, in short, a piece of art. There are two main characters in the book, and we follow each of their stories in two different ways: Ben, who recently lost his mother in an accident, we read about in the written part of the book, and Rose, the deaf girl, we follow in Brian Selznick’s beautiful illustrations.

In the beginning, the only thing the two characters seem to have in common is to have a different life. Ben lives with his aunt and uncle, and has to share bedroom with his cousin. Ben feels, in many ways, alienated from the rest of his family. He has only one ear that he can hear with, and has an interesting of collecting things, and for the stars.

One night Ben sees a light in his and his mother’s house, and goes over, to find one of his cousins wearing his mother’s clothes. This makes him angry and sad, and she apologies. Though she heads back to her parents’ house, he stays behind. Shortly after, a thunderstorms starts. He decides to stay a bit longer, in the hopes for the storm to ease, and he starts to go through some of his mother’s thing. He then finds something that gives him a clue on where to find his father, that he longs for, but has never known. One of the things he finds is a phone number, and he picks up the phone to try to give his dad a ring. As he does this, a lightning strikes, and he wakes up to find himself without the ability to hear at all. Even though Ben is now deaf, he refuses to give up on his father, now that he finally knows where to look, and on his own he sets out to try find him…

Rose is, as mentioned, deaf, and has been all her life. She scrapbooks everything she can find about a mysterious actress, and after a while she runs away from home to the big city to find her.

The two stories starts decades apart, but after a while they are woven into one. This is done in a wonderful way, and I must say I loved the book. The over 600 pages just flew, and the illustrations are so alive and vivid they tell more than a thousand words!

I also liked the fact that the main characters of the book can’t hear. Alas, there are not many books around with deaf people as the centre of the story. It’s interesting to see the world in a somewhat different perspective.

Though this probably would be seen as a children’s book, I have no problems recommending it to grown ups. The story has so many layers, and I’m sure we pick up things a kid probably will not. However, even though there might be elements kids miss out on, the story still works brilliantly. Maybe one of those books you could read together?

Christmas is coming!

«Of course Santa Claus will come,» said Jimmy Martin confidently. Jimmy was ten, and at ten it is easy to be confident. «Why, he’s got to come because it is Christmas Eve, and he always has come. You know that, twins.»

Yes, the twins knew it and, cheered by Jimmy’s superior wisdom, their doubts passed away. There had been one terrible moment when Theodora had sighed and told them they mustn’t be too much disappointed if Santa Claus did not come this year because the crops had been poor, and he mightn’t have had enough presents to go around.

«That doesn’t make any difference to Santa Claus,» scoffed Jimmy. «You know as well as I do, Theodora Prentice, that Santa Claus is rich whether the crops fail or not. They failed three years ago, before Father died, but Santa Claus came all the same. Prob’bly you don’t remember it, twins, ’cause you were too little, but I do. Of course he’ll come, so don’t you worry a mite. And he’ll bring my skates and your dolls. He knows we’re expecting them, Theodora, ’cause we wrote him a letter last week, and threw it up the chimney. And there’ll be candy and nuts, of course, and Mother’s gone to town to buy a turkey. I tell you we’re going to have a ripping Christmas.»

From the short story «Christmas at Red Butte», in Lucy Maud Montgomery Short Stories, 1909 to 1922, written by L. M. Montgomery.