flickvännen
books, challenge

The reading challenge; conclusion

Let’s get this over with.

I already mentioned that this challenge will remain a non-completion. Does it bother me? Nope. Zero percent. Because I’m so fucking easy-going.

I did complete the following of the challenge:

A satirical bookUppgång & Fall by Liv Strömquist.
A National Book Award Winner. Flickvännen by Karolina Ramquist
A YA bestseller. Before I Die by Jenny Downham. Loved this book, planning a reread!
A book translated to English. Unspeakable things: sex, lies and revolution by Penny Laurie. Feminism at its best ♥♥♥. It was translated from English, not the other way around. I don’t think it matters into which language it was translated. Positive.
A book set in Europe. Flickvännen by Karolina Ramqvist.
A book under 150 pages. The Sick Bag Song by Nick Cave.
A New York Times Bestseller. Bad Feminist by Roxane Gay. Highly recommended!
A self-improvement book. Reclaiming yourself from binge eating.
A book you can finish in a day. The Sick Bag Song by Nick Cave.
A book written by a celebrity. The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave.
A book that’s more than 600 pages. Odinsbarn by Siri Pettersen.
A science-fiction novel. Det Grönare Djupet by Johanna Nilsson.
A graphic novel. Can we just not talk about this book? I made such a terrible choice a just want to forget it. 
A book published in 2016. Kill the boy band by Goldy Moldavsky
by A book that takes place during summer. Flickvännen by Karolina Ramqvist. Officially known as my cheat book. Fits all categories!?!
A book and its prequel. Kallocain by Karin Boye + Det Grönare Djupet by Johanna Nilsson.
A murder mystery. Blythewood by Carol Goodman. Which is probably stretching it a bit.
A dystopian novel. MaddAddam by Margaret Atwood. Been looking forward to for such a long time, was a little disappointed. Just a little.
A book with a blue cover. Twitchhiker by Paul Smith.
The first book you see in a bookstore. The Portable Veblen by Elizabeth Mckenzie. Best thing about the book: the cover.
A classic book from the 20th century. Kallocain by Karin Boye. Another cheat book. 
A book from the library.  Unspeakable things: sex, lies and revolution by Penny Laurie.
An autobiography. Scar Tissue by Anthony Kiedis. Read multiple times before, I do love it.
A book about a road trip. Europa kreuzweise by Blixa Bargeld. Another favorite read.
A book that takes place on an island. The Expedition; A Love Story by Bea Uusma. It takes place on Kvitøya. Well partly. (I excel at stretching it, in case that wasn’t clear.)
A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy. by Nina Hemmingsson

Books that I couldn’t be bothered with/didn’t have time for/struggled to find:

A book based on a fairy tale.
A book you haven’t read since high school. In my defense, there’s probably reason for that..?
A romance set in the future. How does one go about finding this book, how??
A book that’s becoming a movie this year. Could have read Allegiant, but was clearly not a priority.
A book recommended by someone you just met. That was never going to happen anyway, I don’t meet people /hardcore introvert
A political memoir. I do feel a bit bad about this one. I feel I need more political memoirs in my life. I should speak to a librarian about this.
A book at least 100 years older than you.
A book from Oprah’s book club.
A book recommended by a family member.
Does it count if I read a book I got from a family member..?
A book with a protagonist that has your occupation.
A book written by a comedian.
A book of poetry.
 I knew what I was going to read! It just turned out to not be too easy to get my hands on.
A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with.

Had I embarked on this challenge 13 weeks earlier, it’d been a done deal. Probably. Maybe. ..except for that recommended by someone you just met. That was never happening.

I could start on the 2017 challenge. It looks like fun.

Or I could just read what I want to read. It’s not as if I’m lacking ideas.

xo,

signatur 1

Standard
odinsbarn
books, challenge, life

Reading challenge; A book that’s more than 600 pages

I’ve long since accepted the fact that I will not be completing the Popsugar 2016 reading challenge.

However. I’ve read a book and it fits the challenge. Let’s take a moment. Because I actually read a book that’s out of my comfort zone. Shocking I know.

I actively avoid most books that are more than say 250 pages. There are exceptions, but generally I’m of the opinion no book needs to be more than 250 pages. If it’s more than 250 pages you failed in editing.

Book read: Odinsbarn by Siri Pettersen. It’s the usual story, kid discovers it’s not like everyone else and goes on to save the day. The blurb of this book actually put me off reading it, so don’t read that. If, however, you enjoy historical fiction, magic,  and myths, you’ll probably like this. …don’t think it’s been translated into English though, so you need to be proficient in another (Scandinavian) language.

Initially, I had mixed feelings about it.

• The creatures in this story are basically humans with tails. Tails! I struggle with this image. Just like I struggled with the wings the protagonist sprouted in Ravencliffe. I fail to see the point. I also keep getting stuck thinking about how this would work/look in practice. If it was a graphic novel I could be on board, but in this format. No. Just no.

• The language. It’s kinda wordy. Typical fantasy I’m told. Not my cup of tea.

• It’s 600 pages. SIX HUNDRED. No book needs to be this long. Not only in terms of weight (yes I’ve been known to select books based on weight, because I like to bring a book when I travel, and as you may know, I’m a terrible packer → in need of short books).

But then..

• The use of the word jänta. I’m in love with this word.

• Being the Scandinavian that I am, I always enjoy when books are set in this region. It’s probably complete narcissism.

• I can list complaints all I want, the truth of the matter is they’re all irrelevant; the story had me at the palm of its hand. I was so drawn in, I’d read until I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

Am I getting the last two parts of the series? You bet!

But honestly. Tails? Really?

xo,

signatur 1

Standard
bookshelves
books, life

End of year summary; Favorite reads

You know when you schedule yourself for a workout class but spend considerable time looking for an excuse not to go?

I’ve found the perfect excuse: spending more time looking for an excuse to not go to the gym than you would actually spend at the gym in itself is a reason not to go. For the sake of your sanity.

There is literally no way I’d enjoy it, and then what’s the point?

So I’m skipping it and spending my time catching up on my tea-drinking and listing my top 8 reads of 2016.

Far less easy than the albums of the year list.

Top 8 reads of 2016

Estrid by Johanne Hildebrandt. Because it has all that I love: feminism, mythology, Vikings, a well-thought out language.

Uppgång & Fall by Liv Strömquist. Because she tells us about important things we need to know in an easily accessible way. The fact that she’s funny too is just a bonus.

Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky. This idea is just going to stick with me forever. It’s pure brilliant; that if fangirls really put their minds to it, there is nothing they can’t do. Overthrow governments? Piece of cake. If only that’s what they’d use their power for.

Before I Die by Jenny Downham. Again, the idea of this book appeals to me such a lot. Because it’s about knowing your days are numbered and still only wanting what everyone else wants, messing up like the rest of us; not finding the love of your life and traveling the world. Any unhappy story about the imperfection of people; ♥♥♥.

Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny. (Her name is so confusing! I can never remember which is her first and which her last name.) Non-fiction feminism; funny and accessible.

Blythewood by Carol GoodmanI’m so in love with her school settings, the worlds she creates and the creatures in them. There’s definitely a pattern to her stories, the good news is, if you like this pattern you will love all of her books.

Hur man botar en feminist by Nanna JohanssonFeminists have the best sense of humor. Need I say more?

Odinsbarn by Siri Pettersen. Not quite through this book yet, but I quickly went from WTF is this? Tails!!?? to just being completely caught up in the story. I don’t want to ever leave this world; cursing myself for not adding part 2 to my cart in my last book order.

So apparently, I like my music by men and my books by women? I’m going to call that a trade-off and stop feeling bad about the horrible male dominance of my listening habits.

xo,

signatur 1

Standard
the expedition uusma
books, favorites

Rereading The Expedition

I’m rereading Bea Uusma’s The Expedition: A Love Story.

Top 5 reasons I am madly in love this book:

  1. Uusma is a brilliant writer. One of the most difficult things about writing is finding a way to lead your reader through the text. I’ve heard it explained as you need to take the reader by the hand, which makes so much sense. Uusma has truly nailed this. Her tone is friendly and she feeds you bits of information at a time. She writes as if her main interest is having you know what she knows. final1480414959261
  2. The story is fascinating! Yes I’m calling it a story even if it’s technically non-fiction. Three men with no experience and no/little knowledge of the Arctic decide to go on a Polar expedition. In a balloon. And of course they crash on the ice; because that just wasn’t what they planned. In their minds it wasn’t a possibility. Of course it had to happen. I’m currently leaning towards it’s a cautionary tale about optimism. I really do want to argue that that was what killed them in the end. SPOILER. They never made it back to civilization.final1480414792624
  3. Uusma knows how to edit. While she presents plenty of evidence, and while she is thorough, she also makes sure that there is a point to what’s included. As a reader, I am never bored by pointless details for the sake of including everything which is often a problem in non-fiction.final1480414997254
  4. Beautiful presentation of the material. It’s just such a pleasure to read on all levels. Do I regret not getting the hardback + pic version of the book? Kinda. She mixes different types of texts and fonts. Sounds awful and confusing? It’s not. The way she does it makes sense; it keeps things interesting.
  5. I do love a story with an unhappy ending, I really do.

final1480415295812

xo,

signatur 1

Standard
books, face paint, favorites, life, list, music, outfit, travel

November favorites

Music

It’s been out for a while, but I was suddenly struck by just how great Adna’s Overthinking is.

Fave song live was without a doubt Bring Me the Horizon’s Avalanche. I’ve always liked the song well enough, but live it just hit me.

Became slightly obsessed with a few Little Jinder tracks, as a result of watching Så mycket bättre, like the rest of Sweden. Here’s Super 8:

So looking forward to an entire week of her on this year’s edition of Musikhjälpen. Love her punk rock attitude, it’s going to be so much fun.

Books

For a while there, I was starting to despair. A) Didn’t read an awful lot, B) the ones did read were a bit meh. In addition to which they didn’t fit my challenge. I didn’t even like Ravencliffe.

Texts from Jane Eyre was definitely a fave tho (even if, technically, I did finish it 31 October, but whatever).

final1479910126360.jpg

Almost starting to think I need to read Atlas Shrugged, I mean, all evidence suggests it’s kinda funny?

But then I ended the month by reading Estrid by Johanne Hildrebrandt and it was not only good; it was everything I wanted it to be. Still impressed with Johanne’s way with words, how she balances our everyday way of expression with a few well selected words we associate with the old days. It reads so well. And she knows how to draw the reader in. Bonus points for most characters being petty, greedy, just awful people. As in the majority of all characters. Love that.

final1480422251108.jpg

Wearables

Big chunky knits were definitely a theme. Also been reaching for jeans (black! the horror that you would think I’d wear denim) way more than I have for ages. Actually don’t think I’ve worn an actual dress/skirt even once. Unless you count oversized knits as dresses.

A pair of Vagabond boots I got on sale (half price, such a find), I just want to live in them. Comfortable + goes with everything. I really want a back-up pair, that is how comfortable they are.

final1479328203613.jpg

In terms of makeup, I’ve been obsessed with no-brow, no-liner looks. Quick + easy! Bonus points for making you look creepy.

Social Media

Russell Brand’s Trews!

Also. Bumble on Instagram. I have no idea how I ended up there, but how I love it.

It’s feminism, being introvert, and just not being perfect and sharing it. Just ♥♥♥

Suddenly became completely obsessed with Sarah Hawkinson; been watching for a while, but I’ve started going back and watching v. v. old vids. Not so old vid:

Meanwhile. Where do you go for YouTube recommendations? What YouTube recommends me is just not good enough.

DanArchitects. I’m sure he’s a great drummer and all, but I’m far more impressed with his Twitter skills. I only wish all musicians I followed were this funny, sarcastic, informative. A fave tweet from this month:

(I don’t see why not, most of us seem to deserve it?)

Food

I just have one food related thing on my mind: Glasgow’s Stereo. Visited 3 times the week I was in Glasgow – it was that good. Special mention: their buffalo cauliflower + sun dried tomato, rosemary & chili polenta chips. A-mazing. Combine it with a glass of Sauvignon blanc and it’s just heaven.

And new fave drink Dark & Stormy: ginger beer + rum. Ah ginger. I could marry it.

Series/movies

Finally watched Before the Flood. If like me you’ve been putting it off, there’s really no need. It’s an easy watch despite the serious subject. It made me feel as if we’re in the middle of a the world is flat type discussion.

Bonus: TRez + Atticus Ross made a beautiful soundtrack to it.

Gilmore Girls. Happier about the fact that it was back than the actual content tho. Not that it was bad. Except for that musical thing which which I’m quite upset about. You’ve got 4 episodes and you spend 15 minutes on a terrible musical? WHYYY?

Historieätarna. Has been ZERO PERCENT disappointing. Let’s not think about the fact that this is the last season. It will be missed.

Miscellaneous

Last time I mention my trip to Glasgow, promise! Even rainy days in Glasgow are better than Sweden in November. This is from when we walked along Clyde.

final1479382177199.jpg

Blow out I got at Belle & Blackley in Glasgow. While I’m not convinced I should have layers or a Brenda (90210 obvs) type fringe, the blow out was the best I ever did have. I only wish I could be bothered to do it myself.

Architects at ABC; I may have loved Bring Me’s Avalanche a ridiculous amount, and the show was so great – hell I went back for seconds on the 25th in Stockholm – but nothing compares to Architects. Am I considering going to America for more next year? Kinda. A little bit. With any luck the whole tour will be sold out before I do something stupid.

Plans for December

  1. See Jonathan Johansson play
  2. See Amity Affliction + Northlane play
  3. Work all alone in the office because I’m all out of vacay.

xo,

signatur 1

Standard
top ten tuesday
books

Top Ten Tuesday

Ah yes, finally a theme from The Broke and the Bookish that appeals to me! This week’s topic: Ten Books I’ve Added To My To-Be-Read List Lately.

I could easily list well more than 10, because I’ve been completely out of control with the buying of the books lately + I’ve been gifted a few as well.

I will limit it to this pile though, coincidentally consisting of ten books. How convenient.

final1477837797488.jpg

  1. Kris by Karin Boye. For unknown reasons I’ve yet to read this book; Karin Boye is hardly a new acquaintance. But reading Kallocain this time around I was suddenly inspired to read more of her non-poetry work, and stumbled upon this one in a bookshop in Gothenburg, as well as…
  2. Astarte by Karin Boye. Yes. Same as above. Could also mention: I do love Swedish lit from the 30s-40s. The language just reads like poetry. (That’s a generalization I’m sure is true.)
  3. När duvorna försvann by Sofi Oksanen. Also from my Gothenburg book haul. I just kept stumbling on good books. I thought. I’ve actually started reading this book, and I’m not that impressed. Might be the translation. I’ll never know tho, I don’t exactly read Finnish. It feels as if at least part of the problem is the translation. Kinda of disappointed, I loved the other three novels I’ve read by Oksanen.
  4. Expeditionen – Min kärlekshistoria by Bea Uusma. I’ve been meaning to buy this book for ages, a favorite for sure. I am so looking forward to diving into the world of Andrée and his foolish venture again.
  5. Ravencliffe by Carol Goodman. Part two in the Blythewood trilogy.
  6. Estrid by Johanne Hildebrandt. I figured if I go on about this book enough, eventually, eventually someone else will have to read it too, just too see what the hell I’m on about. I expect it to be every bit as good as the previous 4 parts. Basically, it’s about vikings.
  7. Unspeakable Things by Laurie Penny. I just keep going on and on about the same books, clearly I’m not reading at a fast enough pace. I finally get to read this beautiful book in the original language. Yay!
  8. Odinsbarn by Siri Pettersen. Erm. I forget what this book was actually about; I vaguely recall something about maybe magic…? And, clearly, it takes place during the viking age. Kinda obsessed with the vikings. It’s all Johannes fault.
  9. Texts from Jane Eyre by Mallory Ortberg. Might have planned this entry a while back. Might have read this one. Basically, it’s texts from a number of fictional characters, my faves are Achilles, Medea, Katniss, the Sweet Valley twins – oh it’s all good, absolutely hilarious. Takes like two minutes to read, well worth while.
  10. The Girls by Emma Cline. Present, haven’t the faintest what it’s about, so that’ll be exciting!?

xo,

signatur 1

Standard
roxane gay bad feminist
books, challenge

Reading challenge; A New York Times bestseller

So let’s talk about Roxane Gay’s Bad Feminist already!

It’s been ages since I finished reading this book, in fact, I’ve since managed to read a few books that no matter how I try to be creative will fit into my reading challenge.

Actually thought this one didn’t either, but! Turns out, at the very back of the book, they’ve mentioned that it’s a New York Times bestseller. Score!

You know how I like it, some pics of the pages and a few inane comments, here we go!

I love this book, because it deals with matters I sometimes think about. For example. One thing that is a concern I have is my taste in music. In no way is my taste in music feminist. What’s worse, I at least used to listen to a fair share of female musicians. Not anymore I’m not!

roxane gay bad feminist

The fact that someone like Roxane Gay also struggles with her taste in music makes me feel just a little bit better. Even if we don’t listen to the same type music at all.

She also mentioned the age-old I only have male friends claim. I’ve always wanted to inflict harm on people making this stupid statement. Because 1) 9 times out of 10 it’s a lie. You’re lying to yourself. 2) Why is this something you clearly feel is a brag??? 3) I pity you. Men excel at nepotism. Which mean it’s likely your only friends would pick another man over you. Because they’re men. Sad, no?

Roxane explains why this rubs me the wrong way; because the claim suggests that this particular female feels she is different from other women, that she has more in common with men. OH COME ON. It’s not as if being female is innate. There are few, if any, women who are real women. Whatever that is. Doesn’t mean we have to look down on being female tho.

roxane gay bad feminist

And she recommends women apply nepotism too. Finally! I was hoping someone other than my mother would suggest this. Bonus points for it being an academic.

roxane gay bad feminist

Best point of the book is, obviously, why it’s better to be a bad feminist than to not be a feminist at all.

roxane gay bad feminist

While I get where she’s coming from, the feeling that you’re not as well informed about feminism as you would like to be, that you’re a human being and some of things you do or like might not comply with feminism…

roxane gay bad feminist

…and you could consider that being a bad feminist…

roxane gay bad feminist

…is it really a reason to call yourself a bad feminist? I think we’re sufficiently informed and, let’s face it, old enough, to not care what anyone else thinks. I’m pretty sure we’re in charge of the definition of the word feminist. Doesn’t matter what pop culture we consume, or if we’ve read every text ever on feminism, doesn’t make us any less or a bad feminist. Sure, seeing how it’s complex and difficult and scrutinize yourself is important, but this good or bad – is it relevant? Can’t we just be feminists?

 

Also enjoyed the non-feminist related part, about what it’s like working at uni. This part:roxane gay bad feminist

The part where parents are calling us (university staff) asking about or calling on behalf of their children. Unfortunately we can’t deal with this problem – because it clearly is a problem – the way Roxane suggests (communicate with your child) because rules in Sweden are different. But really, if you kid can’t communicate with uni on their own, they have no business going to uni. OK?

And in case you were under the impression academics and/or feminists were a boring bunch; you need to read this book. It’s funny, well worth the read.

Lots of love!

signatur 1

Standard