The I Dare You book tag

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A girl can’t just sit around waiting to be tagged can she!? I saw this tag in my feed and it looked like such fun I’m just blatantly stealing it and dragging hitherdither with me.

Let’s go!

Which book has been on your shelves the longest?

We’re not off to a good start. I’m confused as to whether this means the book I’ve owned the longest, or the book left unread for the longest.

Let’s go with the first, I might be able to work that out somehow. I’m fairly sure it’s the Swedish translation of Stephen King’s Carrie. I have it in English too, because yea, I love it? Wrote a thesis on it I did.

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Probably one of my least favorite covers ever. The book tho, so much love!

What is your current read, your last read and the book you’ll read next?

Since I recovered from my reading slump I’ve taken pride in only reading one book at a time.

Yes well, I’m back to old habits. I’m currently reading three books: Kim Gordon’s Girl in a Band, Amy Tan’s Saving Fish from Drowning and Annika Lantz’s Vad ska en flicka göra?

My last read was Kristian Gidlund’s I kroppen min, which I told you about on Wednesday.

I think I’m due for some chick lit next.

What book(s) did everyone like and you hated?

Pretty much any book on any reading list ever. I’m a very critical (read: negative) person, especially when it comes to books picked by an authority (fancy word for teacher). I’m going to nitpick until the end of me, whereas my classmates are more interested in a positive mindset. Not sure why. Is it because they’re being tactical?

I could give you a reverse though; a book I loved that everyone else hated. The Autobiography of My Mother. I LOVE this book. My classmates hated it with a passion. Possibly because of the menstrual scene. It’s how I remember it anyway. It was my favorite scene.

I remember this book as being frequently gross while having a lanuage that reads like poetry, and the main character, Xuela, I love her. Which must mean she’s either bitter, tough, or sarcastic. Or all of the above. It’s been too long, I should schedule a reread.

…and I just went to get it and lo and behold! There’s actually an accurate description of this book on the back:

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So I’m not imagining things! There actually is a rhythm to the language.

If you haven’t read The Autobiography of My Mother, you really should. If for no other reason, then to see whose side you’re on.

Which book do you keep telling yourself you’ll read, but you probably won’t?

I’ve been telling myself I need to read the latest Stephen King for years now. Y e a r s. It’s probably not happening.

I used to love Stephen King, and I’d like to think I still do. But it’s been a while since I read one of his books.

Which book are you saving for “retirement”?

None! What if I never retire?! I could miss out on some brilliant stuff! Also I’m impatient. If there’s a book worth reading I’ll read it now or never. Plus, I like my books short, why would I save a short book for my retirement?

…unless. Unless that’s when I’m finally going to finish Ein Meerschwein Frisst die Erde Auf, the Die Ärzte biography.

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Just look at this beaut!

Best start my body building for that though. The weight of it. I swear if you can get a good hold on it, it could well be used for workout.

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Normal size book vs Die Ärzte. Think encyclopedia. Actually, there are encyclopedias that are smaller. 

Last page: read it first or wait till the end?

I’m not usually that interested in knowing the end, I’m more interested in finding out how the characters get there, so it would make no sense to read the last page before the end.

But.

If the story bores me, I could read the last page to see if the story is going anywhere good at all, to see if I should stick it out or not.

Acknowledgements: waste of ink and paper or interesting aside?

Complete and utter waste of ink! Having to read acknowledgements by scholars as a job, and edit them, it’s not helping. Their language is never as bad as when they write acknowledgements.

Which book character would you switch places with?

What character wouldn’t I want to switch places with!?

But oh, the Prague in Daughter of Smoke and Bone. That Prague, I am so in love with. (Still haven’t finished this book but shhh!)

Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life?

Mists of Avalon – sitting through my thesis seminar wondering how it was even possible these people (my classmates) were going to be teaching English. But you know, they do. The cockiest I’ve been in my entire life.

Name a book you acquired in some interesting way.

Le Petit Prince I got sent to me from a girl in Scotland. The most generous person I have ever met. At the time though, we hadn’t met, it was a LJ friend. Did meet her later when I moved to Scotland, which, coincidentally was where she lived. She was lovely. She probably is, but we lost touch.

Have you ever given away a book for a special reason to a special person?

Mmm…no. I’ll put that on my to-do list. Although it rarely works out does it? It’s like trying to introduce people to your new favorite song. They never get it. Must be because I lack social capital.

Which book has been with you to the most places?

Feminist Political Theory at least looks like it’s been with me to most places!

Had a bit of an accident when I was moving once. Packed a box, stood it next the refrigerator which I was defrosting. Clever.

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Still covered in bookmarks and underlinings. Can’t even remember what this particular bookmarks is about. 

Any “required reading” you hated in high school that wasn’t so bad two years later?

That is a beast that does not exist I’m telling you. High school is an endless parade of shitty books.

However. I felt like Under det rosa täcket was on my own personal required reading list, and if I recall correctly I didn’t like it much at all at first. Fortunately, I have since seen the light. It introduced me to my all-time favorite Dirty Weekend, safe to say I love Under det rosa täcket.

What is the strangest item you’ve ever found in a book?

Nothing. Nope. No. Nothing weird in my books.

Used or brand new?

I like used books. As long as they’re readable and not falling apart then I’m good. It’s just that lazy streak in me. I don’t buy nearly as many used books as I should on account of it’s just easier to go to Adlibris, type in what you want and presto! Book in your hand. Pretty much.

Have you ever read a Dan Brown?

I’m not 100%, but I think no? Pretty sure no. If yes then I don’t remember it. Which isn’t saying much, the majority of books I’ve read I don’t remember. Would it make you feel better if I said yes? I could go either way, my taste in books is by no means sophisticated.

Have you ever seen a movie you liked better than the book?

I know I have! But I can’t remember what it was.

I did like Warm Bodies the movie better than the book. But then I wasn’t overly fond of the second half of the movie either, still though.

A book that NEVER should have been published.

The Backyard Babies biography comes to mind. I’ve repressed what it’s called and I’m not going to google it either. Two pages of this book and I was furious about how insanely bad it was. And I LIKE this band. Or used to. Until I read the two first pages of this book.

Also love biographies about musicians in general. But this. JFC.

Have you ever read a book that’s made you hungry, cookbooks being excluded from this question?

Not hungry, but I really want to make bannocks when I read Carol Goodman’s Incubus. They sound delicious!

Who is the person whose book advice you’ll always take?

There is literally no such person. Although, to be fair, most people I surround myself with that could recommend me books usually go “you probably wouldn’t like it”, so I’m not exactly drowning in advice here.

What it does mean though! Is that these are some sensible people who have some knowledge of my taste so I should be able to trust them to recommend me books there’s a fair chance I’d like.

Gee that has to be the most boring possible answer to this question.

And on that note!

Top Ten Tuesday

Let’s have another top 10 Tuesday! If you’re unfamiliar; this is a weekly meme from The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is: Ten Books Set Outside the US. Easy peasy! That’s pretty much the majority of all books I’ve ever read! Of course. It does give me maybe too many books to chose from?

Let’s try to pick 10 books where the set is of some sort of importance for the story, to make it a bit more relevant.

Fallvatten by Mikael Niemi. Let’s start off by testing your patience with a Swedish novel that, far as I know, has not been translated. It’s set far up north in Sweden, the Suorva Dam breaks and disaster ensues. Basically. Completely fictional of course, it’s a study of human behavior in a disaster scenario, as you would imagine, the flood is not the scariest part.

The Other Queen by Philippa Gregory. The book I was struggling with for about 6 months. Usually, putting a book aside if we don’t get along like a house on fire from page one is not a problem. But I just really, really wanted to read a story about Mary Queen of Scots. Obviously, this story is set in England. Mary never makes it back to Scotland in this part of her story.

Er ist wieder da (Look who’s back) by Timur Vermes. Hitler suddenly wakes up in present day Germany and becomes a stand-up comedian. Loved this book, it’s absolutely hilarious. Can’t recommend it enough. Favorite part: when he’s getting an email adress, which can be seen in the trailer of the movie here.

Utvandrarna (The Emigrants) by Vilhelm Moberg. Set in Sweden in the mid 1800s, about the people who emigrated to America. Not my favorite novel, but the musical has ensured that this is a book you’ll never forget.

Stalins kossor (Original title: Stalinin lehmät, translates as Stalin’s cows) by Sofi OksanenI really expected there to be a translation into English of this book, but I guess not? It strikes me one of the greats. It’s a brilliant mix of politics, eating disorders, the Soviet and Estonia/Finland, and brilliantly executed.

Kärlek i Europa (Love in Europe) by Birgitta Stenberg. Published early 80s, but I’ve only just recently discovered it. It’s the first in a series of autobiographical books that Stenberg wrote. Actually one of the best reading experiences I’ve had in the past few years; I will be rereading. Stenberg frequently lived abroad when she was younger, and this book takes place during a time when she mainly lived abroad. It takes place in Sweden, France, Italy and Spain.

The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave. The set is probably not that important here. I just wanted to mention Nick Cave. Obviously. The story is set in Brighton, and starts out with the haunting picture of the pier burning and the birds screaming.

Ein überdimensionales Meerschwein frisst die Erde auf (An oversized guinea pig eats the world I guess? I’m not qualified to translate from German) by Markus Karg. This is the book about the world’s best band (oh yes, this is a fact). They’re from Germany in case you didn’t know. So obviously this is set in Germany. Or at least so I assume, I never did finish it. I’m saving this as a project for when I retire. 

The Expedition – A Love Story by Bea Uusma. Sweden in general loved this book. It’s non-fiction. Mainly takes place on White Island. It’s about three Swedish explorers who planned to go to the North Pole by a gas balloon. They never made it there; it crashed on the ice and they died before they made it back to civilization. It’s an excellent read. It had me completely obsessed with cold, icy places for months and months, I was watching any type video material from any place where it was cold and snowy. Including the North Pole webcam.

Freja (Freya) by Johanne Hildebrandt. Takes place in Sweden during the Bronze Age, soo… not actually Sweden, but what would become Sweden. This is one of my all-time favorite novels. Hildebrandt has basically taken characters from Norse mythology and based her story around them. I keep looking for books similar to this because the idea is so wonderful, i.e. fiction about the Norse gods. It is also the main reason I forced myself to watch Vikings, it’s nowhere near as good as this novel, but it’s not bad.

What books would be on your list?

xo,

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The reading challenge

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I don’t usually take part in reading challenges.

But while I was lying in bed last night, having woken up at about half past two and just given up on going back to sleep, as per usual, I stumbled across the Popsugar 2016 reading challenge.

This may well be the first reading challenge I take part in, ever.

My problem with reading challenges, because they’ve been annoying me quite a bit lately, is that they seem to only aim at reading a certain number of books within a certain time limit.

I don’t get it.

Yes, I admire you if you manage to read many books, but I still don’t understand why. Is it like exercise? Also, how do you make time for your other hobbies? Love and time needs to be distributed evenly.

It could well be I’m just not in the right places, that there are other challenges of the more thematic variety; I can’t recall having seen any tho.

That being said. The point of the Popsugar challenge is to broaden your horizons, to get some variation in your reading. I could be on board with that.

What I also like is that the list includes types of books I’ve already read, do read, as well as types of books I would not normally reach for. This way you can mix and match; as much as I find variation appealing, I don’t really see myself reading books that are “out of my comfort zone” for an extended period of time, and not feeling as if it’s a chore. Reading should never be a chore. (Thusly my aversion to reading challenges of the ‘read this many books in this given time’ type.)

The list and my thoughts:

A book based on a fairy tale. I’ve got no immediate candidates, looking forward to research! As I might have mentioned, my favorite novel Dirty Weekend is written in the form of a fairy tale, which I just think is insanely clever, so this could very well lead to a proper find. 

A National Book Award Winner. I’m thinking maybe translating this into Swedish (free translation of course) and read e.g. some who got the August prize. We’ll see.

A YA bestseller. I so badly want to reread the Jessica Darling series, but that sort of defeats the point of the challenge a bit. I’ll try to find something new and interesting. I’m sure Forever Young Adult could give me a few suggestions. 

A book you haven’t read since high school. I do love rereading, and this seems like the perfect opportunity to reread The Vampire Chronicles, I used to LOVE Anne Rice. The Queen of the Damned was my favorite in the series, so that is definitely going to be my pick. I used to be obsessed with it. Also an opportunity to find out if the Swedish translation is in fact not bad, which was how I felt back then.

A book set in your home state. I guess that could be translated as landskap, in which case I’m thinking Vägen till Bålberget; if memory serves it is about the last of the witch trials in Sweden. I could say my home state is where I currently live right? I mean it is my home, even if I’m not from here (kinda aware I’m stretching it a bit here).

A book translated to English. Part of me wishes it was a bit more specific..on the one hand, I could go for a book translated from Swedish, on the other, I could use it as an excuse to reread The Second Sex, OR finally finish Letters to Sartre – which is just about the weirdest translation ever. That translation deserves investigation and a report, I kid you not.

A romance set in the future. Part of me just wants to reread The Handmaid’s Tale. There’s romance, and there’s future, but might not be romance exactly?

A book set in Europe. Yeeesss..this particular category becomes a bit ridiculous for someone actually from and living in Europe. I was going to say I could do Russia instead, but that’s been done. I had a slight obsession with Anastasia and Rasputin for a while, not to mention Catherine the Great, obvs I’ve also read Dostoevsky. I’ll do some research.

A book under 150 pages. If I wanted to cheat I’d just read Le Petit Prince again. But surely I don’t want to do that?

A New York Times Bestseller. Are you telling me there are books that aren’t?! Probably says something about my reading habits..maybe the latest Stephen King? I’ve completely lost touch with him since I studied literature. And I’m not going to tell you just how long ago that was.

A book that’s becoming a movie this year. Tricky one! Er. For someone who really doesn’t follow movies at all.

A book recommended by someone you met. I’m sorry but this is laughable. An introvert getting a book tip from someone she’s just met? That’s pretty much mission impossible. But what’s the definition of met? If I walk into a bookstore and ask for a tip, does that count? Better yet, library?

A self-improvement book. This is actually a type of book I would say I actively try to avoid. But I’ll give it a go.

A book you can finish in a day. My favorite kind of book! If nothing else, there is always Dirty Weekend.

A book written by a celebrity. I’ve just read one, The Death of Bunny Munro by Nick Cave. So I guess I’ve already started on the challenge, right?

A political memoir. I’ve been wanting to read Underbara dagar framför oss, about Olof Palme, the Swedish prime minister who was murdered, so this is perfect.

A book at least 100 years older than you. I’ll see if The Madwoman in the Attic can give me some suggestions on novels that are 100 years older than me and worthwhile reading, that I haven’t read already.

A book that’s more than 600 pages. Right. Except for The Mists of Avalon I don’t really do books that are more than 400 pages. I prefer volumes around the 200-page mark. But I’ll see what I can find. I might sound less than intrigued, but really, I like the challenge of finding something that fits this description and that I would actually like to read.

A book from Oprah’s book club. One of my favorite novels is White Oleander, which is just that. Might reread, might find another, strikes me as likely I’d be able to find another one that I like?

A science-fiction novel. Had to Google for a minute, keep getting sci-fi and fantasy confused. All updated now. I’m thinking The Dispossessed by Ursula K. Le Guin – dystopian sci-fi – don’t we all just love that?

Jeez this list is long. I’m going to have to make me a cup of tea.

A book recommended by a family member. If I want to make this a proper challenge, I’ll ask my dad because he reads books I’d never read. But it could turn out to be too much of a challenge. Will probably ask sis, she’s given me good suggestions in the past. As has my mum to be fair, but she likes to read the depressing books.

A graphic novel. Can I reread Sandman!?!

A book published in 2016. Oo good! Chance to get updated, which I feel I need.

A book with a protagonist that has your occupation. Erm. OK. Anyone know of a book where the hero is a uni admin? Anyone?

A book that takes place during summer. Immediately thinking of The Summer without Men, so there’s always that.

A book and its prequel. Well thank god Good Reads has a list, I’d be at a loss otherwise.

A murder mystery. Might find another Carol Goodman to read, I think she does murder mysteries?

A book written by a comedian. Has Jennifer Saunders written a book? I’ve read books by most other comedians I like. Well, the ones who’ve written a book anyway. Or, Simon Amstell?

A dystopian novel. Yes! I still haven’t read MaddAddam, I’m sure that fits into this category.

A book with a blue cover. It is a shame blue is not my favorite color. But I like the idea.

A book of poetry. I usually claim that the only poets worth reading are Karin Boye, Edith Södergran and Emily Dickinson. I’ll either stick to that, or give someone else a chance. We’ll see.

The first book you see in a bookstore. I’m a bit scared of this category. This could go horribly wrong.

A classic book from the 20th century. Is it bad if I want to reread D.H. Lawrence?

A book from the library. Oh good, I just made a reservation for Unspeakable things: sex, lies and revolution.

An autobiography. Will Anthony Kiedis’ Scar Tissue do?

A book about a road trip. I will not be reading On the Road, I’ll tell you that much.

A book about a culture you’re unfamiliar with. I would so love a book on inuit culture.

A satirical book. If you Google this, you’ll find Pride & Prejudice. Among others, but still.

A book that takes place on an island. Does The Expedition: A love story count as taking place on an island? I’m not reading Lord of the Flies tho, that’s for sure.

A book that’s guaranteed to bring you joy. Tough one. It’s not exactly the same as ‘make you laugh’ is it?

So this’ll be fun!? Slightly worried as I nearly didn’t make it through typing this out, but I’m sure it’ll be fine. Maybe.

Are you taking part in any reading challenges? Let me know!

PS. Is this content giving away that I’m almost due for vacation? Just another 3 days to go.

xo,

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Top Ten Tuesday

Over at The Broke and the Bookish they do a top ten on Tuesdays which looked like fun. This week’s theme is Ten Facts About Me, sticking to the book theme or any type theme you like. I will be sticking with the book theme.

And I will also try to think of 10 things about me relating to books that you wouldn’t already know. Unless you’re new here. In which case you wouldn’t know that I love the novel Dirty Weekend. But you do now, so let’s get on with this.

Ten Facts About Me

  1. I’ve got a degree in literature, not because I love books. I do love books, but it’s because I wanted to take a course where I had to do as little speaking in public as was humanly possible.
  2. My favorite book, and movie!, as a kid was Ronia the Robber’s Daughter.
  3. Despite having studied literature, I’m not impressed by the classics in general. I prefer pop lit.
  4. My thesis (i.e. one of the three I’ve written) was on Stephen King. How original (/sarcasm).
  5.  I break the backs of paperbacks as a way to let future me know that I’ve read this book.
  6. This is because I often forget which books I’ve read. I try to use GoodReads as a reminder. On more than one occasion I’ve started reading a book only to go ‘Hmm, this seems oddly familiar..?’
  7. I can and have read books in 6 languages: Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, English, French, German. Danish and Norwegian tended to be only during studies, because it was required, and I’ve studied French, but my level of comprehension is pretty much children’s books, and while I could read in German, I’m mostly too damned lazy for it.
  8. I come from a family of readers. However, we don’t read the same type of books at all. So we generally don’t talk about what we read.
  9. I own two copies of The Second Sex, one in Swedish and one in English. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions as to why.
  10. This is where I do most of my reading:1468337752813

 

xo,

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Dirty Weekend, the movie

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Have I mentioned lately that I love Dirty Weekend? I  l o v e  Dirty Weekend. Hands down favorite novel of all time. I was introduced to this masterpiece via Nina Björk’s Under det rosa täcket, which was on the reading list when I studied contemporary feminist literature. So at least I got something out of that course…

What I love about Dirty Weekend is how it’s written in the style of a fairytale, and I do love a good story of revenge. It’s also short and snappy, and Zahavi is really quite good at creating tension.

Anyway. That’s not the point here; I’m not going to try to convince you this is the best novel ever (I mean it is, purely objectively), you can go right ahead and hate it. Which seems to be what most people do anyway. So.

I’ve known for a while Dirty Weekend was made into a movie in the early 90s. Terrible movie apparently. (See IMDB.) Because I’m completely obsessed with the book – I read it at least once a year, frequently when I read terrible books to remind myself that there are good books – I have been looking for the movie. I just had to see it, even if was terrible. Considering the fact that A. most people seem to hate the book too, and B. I sometimes don’t agree with IMDB (what do you mean the 1993 The Three Musketeers is not the best movie ever!?!?) – I figured there was a fair chance I’d still like it.

I didn’t. At all. Not even a little. It wasn’t even vile. Or violent, which you might expect if you read the book.

I just wanted to say that I’m disappointed. And I don’t handle disappointment well (in the words of Diamanda, obviously).

And I was so happy when I finally stumbled on it on YouTube; I’ve been looking for this movie for basically forever. And I generally struggle to find any movie at all that I feel even the slightest inclination towards watching. I never thought I’d say this, but I even prefer Baise-Moi, which is just vile. But that’s always something.

I just wish someone would have made it into a cartoon instead. I am so sure that would have worked so incredibly well for this particular story. Oh well.

xo,

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