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message 1: by Hilde (last edited Oct 04, 2018 08:52AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments
Hilde's Europe Trip

Countries visited: 8
Current score 1001 books: 3
Current score (non-1001) books: 5
Other points (creativity): 1
Total points: 9

1. Sweden: Ildvitnet/The Fire Witness ★★★(★) (1 point, non-1001)
2. Denmark: Smilla's Sense of Snow ★★★★ (1 point, 1001)
3. Germany: The Book Thief ★★★★ (1 point, non-1001)
4. France: The Life Before Us ★★★★★ (1 point, non-1001)
5. Scotland: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ★★★(★) (1 point, 1001)
6. England: The Sense of an Ending★★★★ (1 point, 1001)
7. Iceland: Iceland's Bell★★★★ (1 point, non-1001)
8. Norway: Jeg forbanner tidens elv/(I Curse the River of Time) ★★★(★) (1 point, non-1001)

Status: Home, sweet home!

Home country: Norway
Location of updates: Litsy (@hilded) and Goodreads.
Getting ready for my trip

(I am not committing to only reading from the 1001 list, but thought it would be convenient to have a place to update my travels here).

Ildvitnet by Lars Kepler Smilla's Sense of Snow by Peter Høeg The Book Thief by Markus Zusak Med livet foran seg by Émile Ajar The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes Islands Klokke by Halldór Kiljan Laxness Jeg forbanner tidens elv by Per Petterson

message 2: by Hilde (last edited Jul 16, 2018 04:10AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments Potential landmarks:

France: Mont-Saint-Michel
Spain: Alhambra: Parthenon
Belgium: La Grand-Place (Brussels)
Croatia: Old city of Dubrovnik
Greece: Parthenon
Turkey: The Gran Bazaar (Istanbul)
Hungary: Buda Castle (Budapest)
The Czech Republic: The Charles Bridge (Prague)
Germany: Brandenburg Gate (Berlin)

message 3: by Hilde (last edited Jul 16, 2018 04:11AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments First stop will be Sweden, where I will read Ildvitnet/The Fire Witness by Lars Kepler. I have read the first two in the series, not a big fan - but enjoyable enough to continue on with the series. Sweden though; big fan! Was in Stockholm just a couple of weeks ago, may have to dig up some of my pictures from that trip.

Excited to start my backpack tour tomorrow!:)

Excited to go to Sweden

A fun day at Gronalund

message 4: by Hilde (last edited Jul 16, 2018 04:09AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments Seems like I will be hanging in Sweden for quite a bit, this awful weather just arrived from nowhere: Weather delay announced

Surprised by the rain

message 5: by Hilde (last edited Jul 16, 2018 04:14AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments 1. Sweden: The Fire Witness ★★★(★) (1 point)
Ildvitnet by Lars Kepler

I enjoyed my time in Sweden with The Fire Witness. A classic suspense novel in the 'Nordic Noir' genre. I enjoyed this book more than the two first one in the series, as there weren't that many logical breaches in this one. Guessed the murderer quite early though... I also liked that we got to know Jonna L (the main detective) more, and that he wasn't just in the background. Found the book a tiny bit to long though.

Sweden was lovely, especially the first week before the storm hit us. Goodbye Sweden

message 6: by Hilde (last edited Jul 16, 2018 04:13AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments After some days wih terrible rain, the sun is finally shining again and I'm on my way to Denmark! My mini Scandinavia tour continues:)

My travel companion this time is Peter Høeg and Smilla's Sense of Snow. Looking forward to exploring Denmark, I always have a faboulous time when I'm here.

Hello Denmark!

message 7: by Liz M (new)

Liz M | 194 comments Hilde wrote: "Hello Denmark!..."

How do you copy the litsy url? Are you using an iphone or android when you do so?

message 8: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments Liz M wrote: "Hilde wrote: "Hello Denmark!..."

How do you copy the litsy url? Are you using an iphone or android when you do so?"

Hmm, I am so bad at explaining these things, but I'll give it a try;
I am copying the url from Litsy, under your relevant post there is an "arrow" that allows you to either copy the url directly, or send it to your e-mail to copy it from there. (I have an iphone, but I assume it's the same for both).

To copy it in here on GR, I then use the "some html is ok", and copy it in as a link.

message 9: by Liz M (new)

Liz M | 194 comments Aha! I had never tried pressing that arrow, but did look in various places under the "three dot" menus with no luck. :)

message 10: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments Liz M wrote: "Aha! I had never tried pressing that arrow, but did look in various places under the "three dot" menus with no luck. :)"

Glad to hear it made sense :)

message 11: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments 2. Denmark: Smilla's Sense of Snow ★★★★ (1 point)


I really enjoyed my stay in Denmark and the company of the quircky Smilla. A fascinating read, especially when we got to learn more about Greenland life and culture. The writing flows beautifully, and pulls you right in. I can understand that this is not for everyone though, especially if you're expecting a fast paced crime novel. This was, in my opinion, so much more than that.

Solid 4⭐️

Enjoying Denmark

message 12: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments After a lovely stay in Denmark, I moved on to Germany last week. My companion this time is The Book Thief.

Germany here we come!

message 13: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments 3. Germany: The Book Thief ★★★★ (1 point)
For my next stop in Germany, I decided to finally read the The Book Thief, which has been dusting of my shelf for quite some time. The book takes place in Nazi Germany, and is narrated by death which gives it quite a special frame for the book. As I had heard so many praises for this book, I was a bit worried it would not live up the hype. But it did, it was such a beautiful book!

The best part of the book was the characters, which were so well developed. The main person, Liesel, a nine year old girl, did not have an easy start to life as her parents were sent out to the concentration camps. She was then brought up with a curt (but caring) foster mother and a loving foster father. Her foster father is the one that helps her discovering the magical world of books by helping her learn how to read.

Despite all the sad things that happen throughout the book, the Holocoust, a country ruled by a fanatical, the bombing, Liesel and her friend Ruby is able to find happy moments. This makes the story optimistic, after all. A beautiful novel!

message 14: by Hilde (last edited Aug 26, 2018 02:05PM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments After really taking my time in Germany enjoying myself, I finally moved on to France where I will be in the company of Madame Rosa and Momo in The Life Before Us. I am really looking forward to this book, my expectations are set high!

Paris next!

message 15: by Hilde (last edited Aug 26, 2018 02:15PM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments 4. France: Med livet foran seg/(The Life Before Us) ★★★★★ (1 point)

What a wonderful stay in Paris, one of the best books I've read this year. The characters will stay with me for a long time. A profoundly moving read, I even cried a little at the end there.

The Life Before Us is the story of an orphaned Arab boy, Momo, which grows up with Madame Rosa, a survivor of Auschwitz and retired "lady of the night". The novel earned France's premier literary price, the Prix Goncourt. Beautiful book!

Belleville, Paris

Madame Rosa and Momo

message 16: by Hilde (last edited Aug 27, 2018 06:51AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments Next up is Scotland. Not sure I will actually get to see that much of this beautiful country with the company I have chosen to hang with: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, we shall see.

Scotland next!

message 17: by Hilde (last edited Aug 27, 2018 07:03AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments 5. Scotland: The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde ★★★(★) (1 point)

I spend my time in Scotland with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. It was interesting, even though I did not get to see anything of Scotland as suspected. Luckily, I have been doing a roadtrip there before, it sure is a beautiful country :)

Well written, disturbing and dark about the battle between good and bad. I quite enjoyed this one, especially the last part when we got the "explanation". But it must have been more shocking back then when the twist wasn't so well known!

My brief stay in Scotland

message 18: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments I got offered a ride from Scotland to England which I couldn't pass. Hence, my stay in Scotland was a brief one, and I'm now headed towards London, yay! My company this time will be Tony in The Sense of an Ending.

Heading towards London

message 19: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments Moved on from England to Iceland, my seventh country for this backpack tour. This will also be the last country I visit before I head back home. It has been great fun! My company this time will be Iceland's Bell by Halldór Kiljan Laxness, which is a list author, but not a list book.

I will update properly when I'm back home tonight or tomorrow.

message 20: by Hilde (last edited Oct 04, 2018 08:17AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments 6. England: The Sense of an Ending★★★★(★) (1 point)

GR synopsis:
The Sense of an Ending follows a middle-aged man as he contends with a past he has never much thought about - until his closest childhood friends return with a vengeance, one of them from the grave, another maddeningly present. Tony Webster thought he'd left all this behind as he built a life for himself, and by now his marriage and family and career have fallen into an amicable divorce and retirement. But he is then presented with a mysterious legacy that obliges him to reconsider a variety of things he thought he'd understood all along, and to revise his estimation of his own nature and place in the world.

The book slowly builds up a quietly devastating plot that is not resolved until the ending, and this was done in such an elegant way that I almost wanted to turn the book around and start over again in the hope of getting more of the clues I potentially missed early on. However, I guess I knew that would not give me all the answers anyhow, as the theme of the book deals with the unreliable juncture of memory, time, and history, with aging and remorse thrown in.

I found the novel very compelling, and like the blurbs say, it begs to be read in a single setting. I couldn’t do that, but I found myself walking extra distance to/from work to be able to listen to it a bit more. I initially gave it four stars, but it might be worthy of a five star.

This quote sums it up nicely;

“What did I know of life, I who had lived so carefully? Who had neither won nor lost, but just let life happen to him? Who had the usual ambitions and settled all too quickly for them not being realised? Who avoided being hurt and called it a capacity for survival? Who paid his bills, stayed on good terms with everyone as far as possible, for whom ecstasy and despair soon became just words once read in novels? One whose self-rebukes never really inflicted pain? Well, there was all this to reflect upon, while I endured a special kind of remorse: a hurt inflicted at long last on one who always thought he knew how to avoid being hurt—and inflicted for precisely that reason.”

Edit 4/10: I squeezed in a museum visit while in London, and went to the terrific Natural history museum: Museum Visit in London

message 21: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments On my way back home to Norway, where I will read Jeg forbanner tidens elv/(I Curse the River of Time) by Per Petterson. He is an author I appreciate very much, so I'm expecting to end my backtrip tour on a good note. Home, sweet home! :)

message 22: by Hilde (last edited Oct 04, 2018 08:34AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments 7. Iceland: Iceland's Bell★★★★ (1 point)

GR synopsis:
Sometimes grim, sometimes uproarious, and always captivating, Iceland’s Bell by Nobel Laureate Halldór Laxness is at once an updating of the traditional Icelandic saga and a caustic social satire. At the close of the 17th century, Iceland is an oppressed Danish colony, suffering under extreme poverty, famine, and plague. A farmer and accused cord-thief named Jón Hreggviðsson makes a bawdy joke about the Danish king and soon after finds himself a fugitive charged with the murder of the king’s hangman.
In the years that follow, the hapless but resilient rogue Jón becomes a pawn entangled in political and personal conflicts playing out on a far grander scale. Chief among these is the star-crossed love affair between Snaefríður, known as Iceland’s Sun; a beautiful, headstrong young noblewoman, and Arnas Arnaeus, the king’s antiquarian, an aristocrat whose worldly manner conceals a fierce devotion to his downtrodden countrymen. As their personal struggle plays itself out on an international stage, Iceland’s Bell creates a Dickensian canvas of heroism and venality, violence and tragedy, charged with narrative enchantment on every page.

I gave this book four star because it is a good book. It was historically interesting, but it was very slow and challenged my patience. The language is excellent though, it just demands that you take your time with it. It gave a great picture of Iceland, the nature and the people a long time ago. 4/5 stars.

My visit in Iceland: Beautiful Iceland

message 23: by Hilde (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments 8. Norway: Jeg forbanner tidens elv/(I Curse the River of Time) ★★★(★) (1 point)

So I finally made it home, and finished my last book 28 of September, just before September ended. I had an excellent trip, but it was also really good to be home :-) The fall is setting in for full here now, and it was gloomy summer when I left, so it's really changed.

Now to the book:

GR synopsis:
An enthralling novel of a mother and son’s turbulent relationship from the author of Out Stealing Horses

Norway, 1989: Communism is unraveling all over Europe. Arvid Jansen, thirty-seven, is trying to bridge the yawning gulf that opened up years earlier between himself and his mother. He is in the throes of a divorce, and she has just been diagnosed with cancer.

Over a few intense autumn days, Arvid struggles to find a new footing in his life. As he attempts to negotiate the present changes around him, he casts his mind back to holidays on the beach with his brothers, and to the early days of his courtship. Most importantly, he revisits the idealism of his communist youth, when he chose the factory floor over the college education his mother had struggled so hard to provide. Back then, Arvid’s loyalty to his working-class background outweighed his mother’s wish for him to escape it.

As Petterson’s masterful narrative shifts effortlessly through the years, we see Arvid tentatively circling his mother, unable to tell her what she already knows he is thinking. In its piercing and moving portrait of their layered relationship, I Curse the River of Time bears all the hallmarks of Petterson’s compassion for humanity that has won him readers the world over.

I enjoyed this novel, just like any other book I have read by Petterson. But it wasn’t as good as ‘Out Stealing Horses’. The book is first and foremost the story of a mother-son relationship, beautifully written and good reflections. But the book was also a bit slow at times. 3.5/5 stars.

message 24: by Hilde (last edited Oct 04, 2018 08:50AM) (new)

message 25: by Hilde (last edited Oct 04, 2018 08:52AM) (new)

Hilde (hilded) | 355 comments All updated, it was great fun, thanks for arranging it! :)

Pending approval: Museum visit in London, posted on Litsy some weeks ago (Museum Visit in London)

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