Weekly Wrap-Up (April 14)

First things first! Many, many thanks for all the positive vibes you guys sent my way here and over Twitter regarding my doggie. The news was altogether pretty positive and she’s out of the woods for now. Unfortunately, it looks like it might turn into a recurring problem. She’s old after all. But we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, she’s being spoilt rotten … erm, even more so than before.

Yohi would very much like to point out she looks amazing for her age

What the hell happened to Spring?! It’s been so cold this past week, with a few nights even going below freezing point again and I do NOT approve! Still, that does mean I can ignore my garden for a little longer and stay nice and warm on my sofa, surrounded by books.

So, what have I been reading this week, I hear you ask.

| BOOKS I READ THIS WEEK |

Another six off the shelf! I’m happy with that amount because that C.J. Sansom series is one doorstop after the other. This one was a mere 576 pages, although it didn’t feel like it.

I also finished an audiobook but since I started it weeks ago, I didn’t feel it should count 🤣

| BOOKS I BOUGHT THIS WEEK |

I’m continuing with my collection of Harlan Coben books, of which I apparently read more than I thought 🙄. I also went ahead and bought the three books in the James Marwood series by Andrew Taylor because of Kate. If you love historical fiction, you should definitely follow her!

These are the April 4th preorders that finally arrived. Why yes, I have already read two of them.

| BOOK POST THAT LANDED ON MY DOORSTEP THIS WEEK |

Lucky, lucky blogger. With thanks to Orenda Books and Penguin!

| ON THE BLOG THIS PAST WEEK |

Monday : Reviewed The Bridal Party by J.G. Murray

Tuesday : Shared my review for My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing

Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Shared an extract from Suddenly Single by Carol Wyer on the blog tour

Friday : Nothing

Saturday : Took the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

I didn’t get any reminder emails so it’s safe to say I didn’t forget to write anything down in my schedule and at least I managed to fill in some of the gaps. Let’s just call it the quiet before the storm. 😂

| NEXT WEEK ON NOVEL DEELIGHTS |

Monday : Nothing planned

Tuesday : Blog tour | Review | The Passengers by John Marrs
Tuesday : Blog tour | Guest Post | White Leaves of Peace by Tracey Iceton

Wednesday : Blog tour | Review | The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe
Wednesday : This Week in Books

Thursday : Blog tour | Review | The Garden of Lost and Found by Harriet Evans

Friday : Blog tour | Review | Liberation Square by Gareth Rubin

Saturday : Taking the day off

Sunday : Weekly Wrap-Up

Told you things would get back to normal soon 😂. Still ahead of schedule though. I’ve read all of them, I just need to write one more review.

In other news, voting is now open in the Annual Bloggers Bash Awards. I’ve been nominated for Best Book Blog, alongside 64 other amazing book bloggers. I don’t stand a chance of winning but if you feel so inclined to cast a vote my way, please do. I don’t know if they rank everyone but if they do, I’d quite like to avoid coming last 😂 . You can vote here

Question of the week : Short versus long books. Yes, of course this was prompted by the Shardlake series by C.J. Sansom. Does a high amount of pages put you off starting a book? What is your cut-off point, if you have one?

I personally don’t care. I mean, I read the Game of Thrones series. Some of those went over a thousand pages and it didn’t bother me at all. Obviously I’d need more time in my schedule to tackle something like that than I do now. And preferably someone to hold the book up and flip the pages for me. 😂

Speaking of Game of Thrones, the final series starts tonight/tomorrow, depending on where you are. I will be disappearing off social media every Monday until I’ve had the chance to watch the episode myself so don’t worry if I’m late with sharing your posts or just not interacting. Should probably say, interacting even less. I just know the second I go online, there will be spoilers and I will do anything to avoid that. I so can’t wait!

Right, enough babble for this week. Hope you’re all having a wonderful weekend. Have a great week and I’ll see you next time. Happy reading! xx

Whiteout by Ragnar Jónasson @ragnarjo @graskeggur @OrendaBooks @annecater #blogtour #guestpost

It’s such an incredible pleasure to find myself hosting a stop on the blog tour for Whiteout by Ragnar Jonasson today! I am absolutely delighted to welcome translator Quentin Bates to the blog but first, here’s what Whiteout is all about.

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Author : Ragnar Jónasson
Title : Whiteout
Series : Dark Iceland #5
Pages : 276
Publisher : Orenda Books
Publication date : November 1, 2017

aboutthebook

Two days before Christmas, a young woman is found dead beneath the cliffs of the deserted village of Kálfshamarvík. Did she jump, or did something more sinister take place beneath the lighthouse and the abandoned old house on the remote rocky outcrop?

With winter closing in and the snow falling relentlessly, Ari Thór Arason discovers that the victim’s mother and young sister also lost their lives in this same spot, twenty-five years earlier.

As the dark history and its secrets of the village are unveiled, and the death toll begins to rise, the Siglufjordur detectives must race against the clock to find the killer, before another tragedy takes place.

guestpost

Me and Ari Thór

The very first Iceland Noir, a one-day event organised on a wing and a prayer, and afterwards a bunch of us plotting to get Ragnar Jónasson published in English. Fast forward to Bloody Scotland, where Ragnar met Karen Sullivan of the fledgling Orenda Books on the football pitch. Add to that the guy who liked the challenge of translating someone else’s words – and we were all ready to roll.

It seemed only a few months later that Snowblind was published with a fanfare of the kind only the mighty Karen can rustle up, complete with those now legendary cupcakes. Then Snowblind briefly knocked the Girl on the Train off the top of the kindle chart. I know, because the normally imperturbable Ragnar called me at 2AM to let me know it had hit number 1.

It hasn’t always been an easy ride. Translation isn’t an exact science – or is it an art? Or something in between the two? What you see on the page isn’t a literal translation of Ragnar’s original. A word-for-word translation would be unreadable; there’s inevitably a level of interpretation in there.

A translation has to be flexible and occasionally the elastic needs to be stretched a long way, especially when dealing with the untranslatable idioms and plays-on-words that every language has. A joke is often the toughest translation challenge*, with the choice of a literal (and unfunny) translation or finding some elusive alternative that may well leave the original far behind but which remains faithful to the book by being amusing – which was the author’s intention to start with.

The translator has to come up with something that renders the book into a readable version of the original, while it’s the editor’s role to go at the text with a hammer and chisel before putting it all back together. Karen and West Camel have applied a great deal of rigour to the editing process, demanding signposts and discreet additional information where needed, shifting some of the furniture, pruning foliage and shaking things up to reshape the book to be the best it can be for a non-Icelandic readership unfamiliar with customs, mores, landscape, geography and everything else that an Icelandic reader can take for granted.

Since Snowblind there have been four more tales of Ari Thór’s adventures in and around Siglufjörður.

That’s five books, something over a quarter of a million words and a lot of hours over a laptop at the kitchen table during the couple of years we’ve lived in each other’s pockets. And now I’ve waved him off as he disappears into the distance.

I’ve heard it said that not even your spouse will get to know you as intimately as your translator. Only the most dedicated student will pore as minutely over a writer’s words as a translator does. After those three-hundred-and-something thousand words, I ought to know Ragnar fairly well. But I’m not certain that I do. He’s not a writer who strides across his own pages. He’s there, in the background somewhere, letting his characters have the limelight while his own presence is normally only felt if you know what to look out for.

So I feel I’ve got to know Ari Thór much better than I have his creator. It hasn’t always been a happy relationship. Would we have got on if we had met? Probably not.

There have been occasions when I’ve wanted shake him, yell at him to stop acting like a petulant child. There have been times when I’d have gladly punched him. I’ve also mentally cheered him on and willed him to notice what’s right in front of his eyes. More than once I’ve sadly shaken my head when he’s screwed things up with his girlfriend yet again.

So good-bye and good luck, Ari Thór. It’s been an interesting couple of years.

*Fortunately, Ragnar isn’t big on jokes. There’s only one in the Ari Thór series, and it took weeks to figure out a suitable alternative.

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Massive thanks to Quentin Bates for taking the time to write this fabulous and insightful  piece and to Karen Sullivan and Anne Cater for the opportunity to join the Whiteout blog tour!

Whiteout was published on November 1st.

Amazon US | Amazon UK | Bookdepository | Goodreads

abouttheauthor

Ragnar Jónasson is author of the international bestselling Dark Iceland series. His debut Snowblind went to number one in the kindle charts shortly after publication, and Nightblind, Blackout and Rupture soon followed suit, hitting the number one spot in five countries, and the series being sold in 18 countries and for TV.

Ragnar was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, where he continues to work as a lawyer. From the age of 17, Ragnar translated 14 Agatha Christie novels into Icelandic. He has appeared on festival panels worldwide, and lives in Reykjavik with his wife and young daughters.

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About Quentin Bates :

Quentin Bates made his escape from suburbia at the end of the seventies as a gap year turned into a gap decade spent in the north of Iceland. He worked ashore and at sea before returning to England and, once finally ashore for good, drifted by accident into journalism.

Finally the lure of fiction became too strong to resist. Sergeant Gunnhildur and the series of novels she features in have their origins in a deep affection for Iceland and its people, and an intimate knowledge of Icelandic society and its language, customs and quirks.

Today he divides his time between the north of Iceland and the south of England, translating books from Icelandic in addition to working on his own fiction.

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