books, life

3 thoughts on Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology

I was off to a slow start with Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology. It is a pretty straightforward retelling of the norse sagas and I’m not overly keen. To be honest. Mythology interests me just fine, the sagas for some reason not so much. Probably because a. the Norse gods are not likable, and b. their concerns are kind of foreign to present day people.

Despite the slow start, I got really into it. I would have liked the book to never end.

Can we have Neil Gaiman read all the books? I listened to the audiobook. Neil has one of the most pleasant voices there ever was. Sometimes even bordering on Alan Rickman. (Obvs another fave.)

The Aesir got what they deserved. I don’t know if it was the way Gaiman told it, but I just really felt for the Fenrir wolf; knowing they would lose in the end, it felt right.

Why aren’t any of the stories about the norns? I love the norns, the Norse version of the fates. My favorite characters of all the characters. Not even sure why that is, it’s not as if there’s a lot of info about them out there.

Actually. I’m currently reading a new interpretation of Norse mythology focusing on the female deities. I’m hoping it’ll shed some light on the norns. Because who cares about Frigg or Freya? No, not even Gaiman managed to make them anything like interesting.

Gaiman’s got a nice intrepretation/rendition of the norns in Sandman, which you really should read if you haven’t already. Not only because of the norns, but that is defnitely one reason of hundreds to pick it up.

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books

Top Seven Sunday; Instant attraction

I’ve been meaning to finish this post for literally months. It’s really one of the Top Ten Tuesday topics from The Broke and the BookishTop ten things that will make me instantly want to read a book.

I’m just going to ignore the fact that I’m so late the party’s been over for a very, very long time now, and just get on with it anyway. Because I really did like this topic.

And because I’ve already written the post, I know this list does not include 10 things, but rather seven, so let’s keep with the alliteration and just call it what it is.

Disclaimer: I may want to instantly read a book for any of the following reasons, but there are still any number of things that will discourage me a second later.

Norse mythology. I have  a long-going Norse mythology obsession. To be fair, I’m quite interested in mythology in general; what I find most appealing about Norse mythology is that we seem to be missing pieces of the puzzle, it makes little sense at the best of times. Which means you can fill it with content of your choice. I love it when authors take the basic idea of Norse mythology and runs with it. Examples: The Valhalla Saga, Sandman, American Gods.

Music references. Not music in general, specifically music I know and/or love, obviously. This also applies to fictive music, e.g. books set in a music industry context that also manage to be convincing, such as How to kill a rockstar. Other examples: Röta, Eleanor & Park, The Sex Revolts.

University setting. I’m a sucker for university setting. I was even before I started working at uni. Examples: You had me at hello, Rebell med frusna fötter, Fördömd – I also hear Stephen King’s Lisey’s Story is set at uni. I keep meaning to read it for that very reason.

Feminist satire. Is there anything better? Examples: Egalia’s Daughters, Hur man botar en feminist (English: How to cure a feminist), Jag är din flickvän nu (English: I’m your girlfriend now).

Feminist anything. In general. Fiction and non-fiction alike. I will give anything a go, the problem is, there are writers with faulty understanding of what feminism is, i.e. writer and me are not on the same page = they are wrong, and that will make me stop reading. I prefer feminist works of what people would probably call radical or extreme. A few favorites: Feminist Political Theory, Dirty Weekend, The End of Men, The Women’s Room, Det kallas manshat (English: It’s called hating men).

Well-written biographies. I don’t limit myself to people I know/like. I do prefer music bios about musicians I like, but I will read about just about anyone. At the same time, I’m quite particular when it comes to the quality of the writing. Which is unfortunate in this genre, as it tends to be a poorly written genre. And yes, I will immediately want to read if a reviewer says it’s a good bio. Can’t seem to learn that in general, reviewers and me don’t have the same idea of what constitutes a good bio. Examples: Scar tissue, The Heroin Diaries, It’s So Easy, The Long Hard Road out of Hell.

Books that put interesting historical figures (fictive or real) in new contexts. For example if you make up a story Karin Boye, or Medea. I know I’ve read several books like this but right now I can only remember Texts from Jane Eyre.

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books

3 thoughts on Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

Do we need a defense of the male chest hair? Do we? Really? An entire section about how men shouldn’t remove chest hair? I feel it is only fair that they should have to concern themselves with unsightly body hair too. I mean if we’re going to.

I don’t get American comedy. Mindy lists her favorite moments in comedy and I’m staring blankly. I’m slightly disappointed. UK comedy, you don’t like it? No? You know about it? Like really, how is there nothing UK on there??? (Yea yea, with the exception of Gervais, but he just doesn’t count.)

She has the best reason for not engaging in the debate on whether or not women are funny: it’s a nonsensical argument. Just like that. Of course it is! Just like so many things; they keep trying to distract us from the issue at hand with stupid debates that have no bearing and are beside the point. This strategy can be applied in any number of scenarios. In any discussion about women, always question whether or not it’s relevant. 9 times out of 10 it is not. Use your right to simply not engage. If you must, make up similarly inane arguments.

And if you’re wondering if this is a book worth reading I’d say the answer is undoubtedly yes.

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books

A book I might have read before?

Do you ever struggle to remember which books you’ve read? Because I do. Quite a lot actually.

More than once I’ve opened a book, started to read and gotten quite far before going Wait, hold on, this is very familiar!?!

This time though, I cannot decide if I did read this book before and remember it all wrong, or if it just makes me think of another novel. No idea which.

And that is why it’s good to own book. Usually, you can tell by the book if it’s been read or not.

So not doing myself any favors by starting to use a streaming service for audiobooks. But that’s what I’ve done.

I’ve never been drawn to audiobooks. My reasons:

  1. I like the written word. Texts; big fan.
  2. The selection has up until now done nothing for me. I don’t do crime.
  3. It’s more expensive than Spotify. That makes no sense to me.
  4. I’m so very easily distracted.

But! The selection has improved, and I’m just about trying anything to get out of this reading slump. Even if I’m distracted, I’ll probably be able to listen to most of the book…? And, excellent company for when you’re out spazieren, which I do quite a lot now that it’s not winter.

Obvious first choice of book: a book by Johanne Hildebrandt called Fördömd [English: Damned] I somehow haven’t read yet. Maybe?

The story is basically a feminist take on Indiana Jones set in Sweden with a bit of The Exorcist thrown in for good measure. It’s a lovely read. Bonus points for including university drama.

Now. In my mind, I seem to recall one of the characters, who’s this goth type girl with a keen interest in demons. And I seem to remember having read a book where this character more or less accidentally summoned a demon for some stupid reason and then me being upset about this because it seemed like goth prejudice. Or something to that effect. I should ask my sister, because she was the poor unfortunate soul subjected to my rage, the way I remember it anyway.

It’s not what happens in this book though. But I could well be remembering it wrong.

Also. I kind of did fall asleep during the final fight so I’m not sure what happened. I would have rewinded, it’s just, it was the third time I fell asleep listening to the damned book and trying to figure out at what point I fell asleep turned out to be such a hassle.

The other two times I spent a significant time listening to parts I’d already listened to because I couldn’t remember at what point I became unconscious.

I knew that would happen.

I’ve already started a new book, Mindy Kaling’s Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Fallen asleep twice. Not because it’s boring! Heavens no. It’s just I’m so damned tired but still thinking just a few minutes. Maybe I’ll get the hang of it. Eventually.

Either way. I think I’ll have to get a paper copy of Fördömd. It was that good.

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books

A book about girls

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I’m underwhelmed.

I’ve just finished reading The Girls by Emma Cline, and I’ve concluded the following:

My taste is extremely narrow. I only like overly feminist works where women are angry and mean, and/or books that read like lyrics.

Yes, Cline makes a few feminist points, like this one:

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Excellent point. Though not enough to keep my interest.

I did also like the following pessimistic observation:

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Sure, she’s an excellent writer, the flow is impressive. But I struggled with this book. I could easily put it aside and forget about it for weeks. It didn’t draw me in.

Something about it makes me think of The Virgin Suicides. The light? The slow pace?

I can see that it’s good writing, but technical skills alone don’t impress me, nor keep my interest. I mean what does this teach me about the world? That some people are creeps? That men are sexist pigs and women let them? Well, gee, had no idea.

How do I even get this upset by such an inoffensive book?

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books, life

End of April

Shorts! Spring coat! Boots with no lining! No more mittens! Lots of days off!

I.e. April wasn’t half-bad.

Music

Deaf Havana. Dear god I have a problem. Listened to All these countless nights on repeat repeat repeat.

Dead by April feat. Tommy Körberg. You know, the one I mentioned here.

The music off of Big Little Lies. Forget the soundtrack, search for the playlist some helpful user has compiled.

Reads

Eleanor & Park ♥♥♥

Ladydahmer.nu. The angriest feminist I know of, currently my fave blog. (Well obviously, there is literally nothing I like better than an angry feminist.)

Wearables

Let’s take a moment and appreciate the fact that I have not bought a single piece of anything, clothing or otherwise, that I can put on my body.

…no wait. I did buy another 2 pairs of my fave shorts from H&M. Could I argue it doesn’t count?

On the screen

Loved this video from Jenny Mustard:

Usually, I steer clear of anything called “healthy” as it’s just code for how to lose weight and just ZZZzzZZ. This tho! Does not strike me as aiming to get us to lose any weight at all. Tips I’ll be taking aboard: season with salt when the heat is off, (my salt consumption is out of control), more soy → less salt, more dates → less sugar (I’ve developed a slight fear of sugar because I watched someone who had to pull three teeth as a result of too much sugar. Supposedly. I don’t –actually– believe that is how it works, but my fear of losing teeth is great and on the irrational side), and polenta for crispy potato wedges! And I feel she makes a convincing argument when it comes to snacking?

Food

Hummus. I’ve obviously had hummus plenty before. But my god, ever since my sister made hummus for a pizza, topped with with beet slices and kale I’ve been obsessed.

Miscellaneous

Finally had to stop following Drop Dead on Instagram. Because why would anyone have malnourished models in their feed voluntairily?

Penntricket. A feminist podcast. They’ve got an episode named after my favorite book Det kallas manhat (English: It’s called hating men), that pretty much says it all.

Plans for May

Was going to say get Netflix back to catch up on Reign, but I kinda already did so I’m not entirely sure what to do with May.

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books

A book that clearly lacks sisterhood

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I’ve just finished reading Siri Pettersen’s Kraften, the last installment in the Ravneringene trilogy.

I don’t know if it was the books fault or if I’m in a reading slump (again, so soon?), but it took such a long time to get through it.

I didn’t hate it, not at all, it’s just I sort of kept forgetting about reading it.

Also in this book Pettersen introduces a new world, also in this book her main character Hirka has a plan of her own. A plan she always needs a man to help her with. I’m going to ahead and call this a definite pattern in Pettersen’s books. Men can have any role in the story, they can be good and they can be evil, but it is always to men Hirka turn for help. Whereas women are petty and frequently described as adversaries. Unfortunately not in the Ursula way, just annoying, narrow-minded, minor obstacles in her way.

What I mean is. I miss female friendship in this novel, I miss women being significant. In the trilogy as a whole.

I may have other issues too, seems to me there are logical gaps. I just find myself not buying certain parts of the story. I lack evidence that Graal really is the Big Bad. For example.

Or maybe I just want this story to be something which it is not. I’m really not too sure. Might have to reread.

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