December Spotlight 2022

As the days grow darker and colder, find out how to make this time of the year more enjoyable and discover your next read or watch.



The Shadow of the Gods by John Gwynne

Introducing a current read:
A Norse inspired firecracker of a fantasy is my current read. I have been struggling to find a good book that just captured my attention like A Song of Ice and Fire and The First Law series. Cue recommendations to try out some of John Gwynne’s books.

The Shadow of the Gods is the first book in the Bloodsworn Saga by Gwynne. After the gods warred and drove themselves to extinction, the cataclysm of their fall shattered the land of Vigrið.

We follow three people as war echoes through the mountains and fjords; a huntress on a dangerous quest, a noblewoman who has rejected privilege in the pursuit of freedom to be whom she wants to be, and a thrall who seeks vengeance.

I am about 250 pages in and I am loving it. The plot starts right away and it does get your attention fairly early on. A bonus for me, is living in a city known as the gateway to the fjords and surrounded by mountains. Its the perfect read if you want some Norse inspired fantasy and intriguing characters. I am not sure how this will end, but it is definitely a book I will remember.


Last Argument of Kings (book three of The First Law series) by Joe Abercrombie

“Power makes all things right. That is my first law, and my last. That is the only law that I acknowledge.”

A favorite read from this fall:
This is hands down my favorite series of the year. The First Law was a long series to listen to, but what a ride it was. It is hard to point to one thing that I loved about this series and this book, its pretty much everything: the characters, the plot, the pacing, the intriguing politics. There will be a full review coming up, but I am still trying to decipher the entire series. It is a series I highly recommend as an audiobook, it is long, but it is worth every minute. The best part about the audiobook is without a doubt Steven Pacey. I am willing to listen to anything this man narrates from now on.

The end is coming. Logen Ninefingers might only have one more fight in him, but its going to be a big one. Superior Glokta on the other hand is fighting a very different battle, but luckily for him, blackmail, threats and torture can still work in his favor. Jezal dan Luthar has decided that winning glory is far too painful, and has decided to go for a simple life with the woman he loves. Love, on the other hand can be painful too. **




If you loved Rogue One and cannot get enough of Star Wars, this is a series worth checking out. Set five years before the events of Rogue One, the series follows a few people during the time the Rebel Alliance is forming. We are introduced to Cassian Andor, here just a simple thief, before he joins the rebels and becomes the revolutionary character we met in Rogue One.

FIFA Uncovered


Netflix sure does have timing! FIFA Uncovered was released just a couple of days before the World Cup 2022 in Qatar was about to kick off. It is a documentary that leaves you feeling that the very name of this organization makes you sick. The documentary exposes a pattern that has been within FIFA as far back as 1938, with FIFA organizing world cups in countries that had dictators in place. It is a well made documentary that shows how FIFA never played a fair game, and how corruption runs through every level. 


Visible Women with Caroline Criado Perez

The author behind the book that still makes my blood boil, Invisible Women, has now released a podcast where she looks into what happens next. How can we close the gender gap and design a world that works for everyone?

Impact Winter (An Audible Original available on Spotify)

An Audible Original featuring a brilliant British cast. It’s the near future and seven years since a comet hit the earth and blotted out the sun. The world is a dark, frozen landscape. And then, beastly creatures emerge and take over. Can they really be vampires?

Self-Care & Mental Health

Winter season brings darkness and cold weather, and for us living on the west coast of Norway a lot of rain. Nevertheless, this is one my favorite times of the year, as it is a perfect opportunity to make things koselig. 

Koselig, is a word pretty much imprinted on all Norwegians. Just like the Danes have hygge, we have koselig. It is a hard word to describe as its translation does not always capture the depth of the word. And then, every Norwegian will have a different explanation for what koselig actually means. 

In its direct translation, koselig, could be cozy. 

But with this word comes a specific vibe, a deep warmth feeling. It can be as simple as to snuggle up with a blanket, a new read and something nice and hot in your cup of tea. Light a lot of candles and spend an evening with friends playing boardgames. Or hiking outdoors, when its so cold your cheeks and nose tip turn red, but the fresh cold air makes you feel alive. 

The biggest thing for me with this feeling is that it helps me get through the dark days, or the days where everything just feels extra hard. Looking forward to snuggling up with hot cocoa and a book, can help me get through a rough day. Having plans with friends, just to meet up in our "chill clothes" and play board games and talk, is the best way to unwind after a long week. Or simply hiking early Sunday morning, to reset my mind, my body, for a new week, with nothing but just the nature around me. 

Self care can be so many different things. And as the days grow darker, it is even more important to remember to make time for these moments, either alone or together with the people you love. 

This blog post was written by Gabriela Saez. You can follow her reviews on Instagram @bookstrider


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