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text 2018-03-06 11:19
A little book meme
Tintin in Tibet - Hergé

1. Favorite childhood book


I think that The Wind on the Moon was my favorite when I was very young, but as I grew a little older, it was too sad for me. I guess I'll pick Tintin in Tibet instead, which was another great favorite of mine. I got it for my fourth birhday and I read it so many times, it was basically ruined, then a boy I knew gave me a new copy for a later birthday. I also liked a 'series' of two little paperbacks about a girl named Camilla (my name) who solved mysteries. We didn't have much in common and she was a 'big' girl (about fourteen) when I was four. That always puzzled me. The characters in the books I read were always a lot older than me. I guess that comes from learning to read at the age of 3...

2. Favorite toy growing up


The Snoopy I won at an amusement park when I was eight.


Cartoon Snoopy

3. Favorite fun dinner as a child.


Spaghetti rings in tomato sauce.

4. Cookies or cupcakes?


I'll have to say cookies, because when I was a child, no one had heard of cupcakes here in Sweden, though I guess I preferred cake or a Danish roll.


Birthday cake

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review 2018-01-03 05:42
Cute? animal sidekicks, magic & mountaineering
Even the Darkest Stars - Heather Fawcett

Loved this. From the first page, it's clearly something special. Flawless, effortless worldbuilding with unique-yet-relatable characters in high-stakes adventures with a serious twist. In Fantasy!Historic Tibet, the second daughter of a village chief in the mountain is flunking magic lessons and totally failing to hatch dragon eggs. Good thing her best friend is a genius and can cover for her. Big sister also perfect, so when the empire's most accomplished explorer (who just happens to ALSO be a hot teen) shows up in town, of course it's sis that gets invited on his next, most important-yet mission. Then sis runs off with the explorer's chronicler and things get interesting. Our magicless flunkout is about to prove her serious climbing and mountaineering skills as she saves big sis AND the empire (because evil witches are out to get them, btw) and steals the lead explorer title for herself. Until demons start hounding the camp and the party members' secrets start undermining the mission. Exciting story, fresh setting, relatable, compelling and endlessly cool characters with appealing but understated romance and serious twists. Good for mid teens and up; no language, minimal sex references, PG for the under 14s, but it's pretty clean, especially for YA these days. Some great lines and timely ideas and themes explored. Cinematic; could see this being a great film/TV series too. Can't wait for the sequel!

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text 2017-11-24 23:32
Reading progress update: I've read 144 out of 320 pages.
Seven Years in Tibet - Heinrich Harrer

Ooooh, we finally meet the Dalai Lama and his family.

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text 2017-11-20 13:29
16 Tasks of the Festive Season - Square #6: December 5th-6th and 8th - Bodhi Day
Seven Years in Tibet - Heinrich Harrer

Book themes for Bodhi Day:  Read a book set in Nepal, India or Tibet, –OR– which involves animal rescue.  (Buddhism calls for a vegetarian lifestyle.)


I briefly considered reading Seven Years in Tibet for Square # 10 - World Peace Day because it does feature Harrer's encounter with the Dalai Lama (who is a Nobel laureate). While the book (my lovely1955 hardback edition anyway) has several lovely photographs of the Dalai Lama and his family, much of the story in Harrer's book is, however, about Harrer's escape from the internment camp in India and his travels across India and Tibet. He also comes very close to the Nepalese border (as far as I have read). 


So, the book is a much better fit for the book task for Bodhi Day.


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review 2017-04-22 21:31
A book for readers who enjoy science-fiction that asks big questions, with religious undertones, and lots of action
As Wings Unfurl - Arthur M. Doweyko

I thank the author who contacted me thanks to Lit World Interviews for offering me an ARC copy of his novel that I freely chose to review.

I am not a big reader of science-fiction (perhaps because I don’t seem to have much patience these days for lengthy descriptions and world building and I’m more interested in books that focus on complex characters) so I was doubtful when the author suggested I review it, but the angel plot and the peculiarities of the story won me over. There are many things I enjoyed in this book but I’m not sure that it was the book for me.

As I’ve included the description and it is quite detailed (I was worried about how I could write about the book without revealing any spoilers but, many of the things I was worried about are already included in the description) I won’t go into the ins and outs of the story. The novel starts as a thriller, set in 1975. A private detective has taken a compromising photo and that puts him in harm’s way. Apple, the main character, seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, although later events make us question this and wonder if perhaps what happens was preordained. One of the interesting points in the novel, for me, was that the main character was a Vietnam War veteran, amputee (he lost a leg) and now addicted to Morphine. He also experiences symptoms of PTSD. Although his vivid dreams and flashbacks slowly offer us some background information, and the whole adventure gives him a new perspective on life and a love interest, I found it difficult to fully connect with the character. It was perhaps due to the fast action and the changes in setting and point of view that make it difficult to fully settle one’s attention on the main protagonists. One of the premises of the story is that Angela, the mysterious character who is his ersatz guardian angel, has known him all his life. She is oddly familiar to him, and she decides to give up her privileges and her life mission because of him, but as Angela’s interest in him precedes the story, there is no true development of a relationship and readers don’t necessarily understand why they are attracted to each other from the start.

The story, written in the third person, is told mostly from Apple’s point of view but there are also two other characters, from Tibet, Shilog, a farmer, and Yowl, what most of us would think of as a Yeti, but that we later learn is a member of a native Earth species. In my opinion, these two characters are more fully realised, as we don’t have any previous knowledge or any expectations of who they are, and they work well as a new pair of eyes (two pairs of eyes) for the readers, as they start their adventure truly clueless as to what is going on, and the situation is as baffling to them as it is to us. They are also warm and genuinely amusing and they offer much welcome comic relief. They are less bogged down by conventions and less worried about their own selves.

I enjoyed also the background story and the underlying reasoning behind the presence of the “angels” (aliens) in the world. It does allow for interesting debates as to what makes us human and what our role on Earth is. How this all fits in with traditional religions and beliefs is well thought out and it works as a plot element. It definitely had me thinking.

I said before that one of the problems I had with some fantasy and science-fiction is my lack of patience with world building and detailed descriptions. In this case, though, other than some descriptions about the Tibetan forest and mountains, I missed having a greater sense of location. The characters moved a lot from one place to the next and, even if you were paying attention, sometimes it was difficult to follow where exactly the action was taking place (especially because some of the episodes depended heavily on secret passages, doors, locked rooms…) and I had to go back a few times to check, in case I had missed some change of location inadvertently. (This might not be a problem for people who are used to reading more frantically paced action stories.) I guess there are two possible reading modes I’d recommend for this story; either pay very close attention or go with the flow and enjoy the ride.

I really enjoyed the baddie. Dane is awesome. I don’t mind the bad characters that are victims of their circumstances or really conflicted about what they do, but every so often I like a convinced baddie, who takes no prisoners and goes all the way. She is not without justification either, and later we learn something that puts a different spin on her behaviour (I didn’t find it necessary but it does fit in with the overall story arc). The irony of her character and how she uses human institutions and religions to subvert the given order is one of my favourite plot points and she is another source of humour, although darker in this case.

All in all, this is a book for readers who enjoy science-fiction that asks big questions, with religious undertones, lots of action and not too worried about the psychological makeup of the main characters. Ah, and if you love stories about Bigfoot or the Yeti, you’ll love this one.

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