Monday, December 24, 2018

Happy Jolabokaflod!

Meet your favorite new holiday tradition!

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Last year, I wrote a post about Jolabokaflod, Iceland's "Christmas Book Flood." Sorry for the repetition, but I just had to share about this AWESOME tradition again this year! I wish everyone did this in the US.

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According to a decades-old Icelandic tradition, books are the standard Christmas gift. NPR reports:
"The culture of giving books as present is very deeply rooted in how families perceive Christmas as a holiday," says Kristjan B. Jonasson, president of the Iceland Publishers Association. "Normally, we give the presents on the night of the 24th and people spend the night reading. In many ways, it's the backbone of the publishing sector here in Iceland."

In the months before Christmas, publishers compete for the attention of Icelanders in a season known as Jolabokaflod, the "Christmas Book Flood." According to NPR, "The Flood begins with the release of Bokatidindi, a catalog of new publications from the Iceland Publishers Association distributed free to ever Icelandic home."

The tradition is especially fitting for Iceland, as it's famous for being a highly literary culture. As the BBC pointed out in 2013, "This island nation of just over 300,000 people has more writers, more books published and more books read, per head, than anywhere else in the world." Las month, the New York Times reported that "At least 90% of Icelanders age 16 or older read at least one book a year just for pleasure." In comparison, only 72% of American adults read a single book last year.

Check out this article by an Icelandic author to see what Jolabokaflod means to her.

You can also get these awesome Jolabokaflod pajama sets from Out of Print! I think they are sold out for the holidays though, because I can't find them any more. :( Maybe next year...

Happy holidays everyone!

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Tuesday, December 4, 2018

The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library #5) by Genevieve Cogman

The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library #5)  The Mortal Word (The Invisible Library, #5)
A corrupt countess
A spy in danger
And an assassin at large 
In the latest novel in Genevieve Cogman's historical fantasy series, the fate of worlds lies in the balance. When a dragon is murdered at a peace conference, time-traveling Librarian spy Irene must solve the case to keep the balance between order, chaos... and the Library. 
When Irene returns to London after a relatively straightforward book theft in Vienna, Bradamant informs her that there is a top secret dragon-Fae peace conference in progress that the Library is meditating, but that the second-in-command dragon has been stabbed to death. Tasked with solving the case, Vale and Irene immediately go to 1890s Paris.
Once they arrive, it seems that the murder victim had uncovered evidence suggesting that he may have found proof of treachery by one of more Librarians. But to ensure the peace of the conference, some Librarians are already hostages in the dragon and Fae courts. To save the captives, including her parents, Irene must get to the bottom of this murder-but was it dragon, Fae, or even a Librarian who committed the crime? 


I ABSOLUTELY this series!

If you haven't read the rest of the series, check out my review of the first 3 books (I sped through them super fast and decided to do 1 review about all 3), HERE.

I will try not to include too many spoilers about the first 4 books, but it is kind of unavoidable.

SPOILER ALERT: I will try to keep them to a minimum though

This book picks up where book # 4, The Lost Plot, left off, with Kai no longer in service to the Library.

I'm sad that Kai wasn't in this book more! He is one of my favorite characters! I love him and Irene as a team! It sucks that they aren't working as one anymore!

I am glad he was in it, though, and of course, I am still in with Irene! She is a total badass!

This book, like the last, is set in the same world as the first 3 books, but since the original conflict with Alberich was resolved (we hope), this book follows a new main plot line. Irene and Vale are asked to go to 1890s Paris and solve a dragon murder.

While this book was a bit different than the rest of the series, I found it just as enjoyable. The author introduced some very interesting new characters that I really liked. Up until this book, I wasn't a fan of the fae, but I started to like a couple of them in this book.

If you liked the rest of the series, you will certainly like this book. It is mostly set at one time, in one city, unlike some of the other books in this series, but the author still continues to world build and share much more about the dragons, fae, and Librarians that we haven't learned yet. Also, the character development continues, but the new characters are my favorite part of this book.

I just read that Genevieve Cogman has been contracted for up to 8 books, so she plans to write at least 8 Invisible Library books! It makes me so happy that I do not have to say goodbye to Irene, her friends, and her world yet. However, a release date has not been announced for book #6, so I may have to wait a while to see what happens next.

Until then, I will be waiting not so patiently to see what happens next!

I received a copy of this book from the publishers, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.