Before I get into the business of the week, I wanted to let my fellow bloggers know that I seem to be having a commenting problem. Sometimes (not all the time) when I’m trying to comment on a Blogger blog, my comment just sort of evaporates. I’m not sure what the problem is, but if I’ve all of a sudden stopped commenting on your blog (and you are on Blogger), that is probably what is going on…
Now, as promised, my thoughts on Thor: Love and Thunder. Let me put it this way: if Thor: Ragnarok was a smart, sophisticated comedy, Thor: Love and Thunder is a sit-com. It is funny–very, very funny in parts–but it also just didn’t seems as accomplished as its predecessor. While I feel I can rightly blame a lot of this on Natalie Portman, who does not have a comic bone in her body, I can’t help but feel that there was also a lot of instances where they were trying to recreate Ragnarok comedy instead of developing something new. Would I recommend it? Yes…if you go on a matinee so you don’t have to pay full price.
I did do something fun yesterday–I went out for a “fusion tea” with some friends. What is fusion tea? Think of an English Tea Service and then make it…fusion! We went to a tea house (I guess it is technically a “tea lounge“) down in Tualatin and I’m guessing we’ll be going back in a different season to try another menu! Of course, our next tea experience will be next month back at one of our favorite tea rooms for our yearly Harry Potter tea!
Other than that, this has been a quiet week for us where our biggest accomplishment is making a dent on the laundry. Sometimes, those are the best kinds of weeks.
And now, onto the books!
As usual, I’m linking up with Kathryn at Book Date and her It’s Monday…What Are You Reading? blog hop.
Last week, I finished reading:
The Tenant (Korner & Werner #1) by Katrine Engberg (translated by Tara F. Chace, Narrated by Graeme Malcolm)
Date finished: July 11, 2022
Star rating: 3.5 stars
I don’t read much Nordic Noir, but I always end up enjoying it and this was no exception.
I opted to listen to this one as I thought that it would be a good option to hear the names and places as intended. While it did accomplish that, I wish I had read it. It’s not that the narration was bad (it’s not spectacular, but it is fine). Instead, I found not being able to see the names in print made it harder to keep the characters straight. If I read on in the series (I’m still undecided on that point as the 2nd book isn’t translated), I’ll do so in print.
But, beyond that, this was a twisty and entertaining mystery. I quite enjoyed the story, which was as dark as one would expect from a Nordic Noir. The main characters are interesting and having a detective duo who don’t actually like each other very much was a unique dynamic. The mystery itself was very well-crafted and kept me on my toes.
That being said, it wasn’t perfect. For half the book, Jeppe mourned his lack of libido, and for the other half, he could barely contain his horniness. This wasn’t necessary for the story and I didn’t appreciate having to hear about it. There are also a number of sizeist comments sprinkled through that I felt were unnecessary.
If there was an English translation of the 2nd book in this series, I would continue to read on. Even though I’m leaning toward this being the only Korner and Werner book for the me, the scales tilt towards it being an entertaining experience.
This Tender Land by William Kent Krueger
Date finished: July 15, 2022
Star rating: 4.5 stars
I have to admit something: I’m a William Kent Krueger stan. I loved his first standalone, Ordinary Grace, and am burning through his Cork O’Connor series. So, the question is…why did this book sit on my TBR bookshelf for almost 3 years? I can’t say I have a good answer for that. But now that I have finally read this, I’m kicking myself. This book is a treasure!
Many people compare this to Huck Finn; if you read the Author’s note, you know this is not a coincidence. However, this book still stands on its own. Krueger, as usual, creates an amazing sense of place and time. I’m familiar with the area in which the bulk of this book is set, and Krueger hits the nail on the head. To top that off, he brings us back to the Great Depression in 1932.
The story is engrossing from the beginning, and adventure abounds. We have a Dickensian school, an escape, bootleggers, and spiritual healers…just to name a few. I loved all the characters in this book, which isn’t surprising given this is from William Kent Krueger.
The only thing keeping this from being a true 5-star book for me is that there is one element that requires a bit of a suspension of disbelief, and I just didn’t feel like it was necessary for the story. It wasn’t so much that I didn’t like it, I just didn’t feel like it really fit. But, other than that, this book was near perfection.
This is an excellent place to start if you haven’t read any William Kent Krueger. And if you’ve only read his Cork O’Connor series, this is a great next step. Krueger writes not only fast past crime fiction but also amazing literary fiction.
Last week, I started reading:
- The It Girl by Ruth Ware
- We Are the Brennans by Tracey Lange
- Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi, narrated by Arina Li