Currently reading

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I’m reading two books: the fourth book in the Jessica Darling series, Fourth Comings, and Naomi Klein’s This Changes Everything.

Jessica Darling, I am reading primarily to not think. But if I was going to say something about it, it’s less problematic from a feminist point of view than the first three books. However. The narration choice is a weird one. Sometimes confusing. And this is my third read, mind you.

And yeah. Third read because I love it, as I think was previously established. So not complaining about it, it’s just an observation.

Naomi Klein’s book gives me so many thoughts it’s distracting. 

It took the book no more than an hour of listening to have me in a state of panic.

I can’t go on like this! I need to get my shit together! I have to stop driving to work, recycle more, buy second hand only, if at all, only buy local produce, never travel, stop dyeing my hair, chewing gum, buying fruit that cannot possibly come from anywhere but really fucking far away….I CAN’T HAVE TEA!?! oO

At the same time.

I don’t think the environmental crisis can be solved on an individual level. It’s a structural problem. We need policies, regulation, corporations to take responsibility. I think that is what Klein’s book says too. Can’t be too sure, my thoughts drift.

Also. The book makes me absolutely furious. It explains how corporations are free to roam and wreck havoc in whatever way they please, and we, as individuals, have to take responsibility, and try to do research which we probably haven’t got the time or energy to anyway, just because governments are too weak to lay down the law.

This conflicts with my general attitude that What the hell do I care? I don’t have kids. I don’t even have kids in any sort of close proximity in my daily life and so, if the world ends…what’s it to me?

I’ve thought about it. And what makes me care isn’t what happens or doesn’t happen to the Earth, but rather that I don’t approve of a small group of people being able to avoid any sort of responsibility, and instead dumps it on the rest of us. Taking responsibility for my own goddamn actions is hard enough! What is this?!

And when I don’t take on this responsibility dumped on me—I am vaguely aware that I frequently make poor choices in terms of environment—I feel guilty about it. Even if I’m not at all sure there is anything I can do, i.e. that there are choices I can make as an individual that make any sort of difference. Until proven otherwise, I believe in legislation and regulation. Whether or not my carrots are organic? The fuck difference does it make? (Well…organic carrots are much tastier, but that’s beside the point…)

I’m upset.

I’m also concerned that Klein’s book, the way it’s written, makes in inaccessible to the majority of people. It’s a brick. And it’s wordy. And even for me, who’s a semi-decent reader, it is a daunting read. We’re talking 20 + hours if you choose the audio version. That’s half a working week. The message of the book is too important to exclude most people. As I was saying, I’m concerned.

Those are some of the thoughts I have listening to this book. And I’m only a few hours in.

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This has been an Endless Blog Challenge post.

Some books need a third read

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I seem to be in the middle of my third read of Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series.

I don’t understand how this happened.

This was my first read:

Wtf is this??? Jessica is at the top of her class, a brilliant athlete, has a group of friends and she’s complaining??? On top of which, you’re telling me this Marcus character is the cool kid and he’s a ginger with dreads, but really just super intelligent and misunderstood? And don’t even get me started on this Paul Parlipiano character. Just NO.

My second read:

OK, I’ve accepted that she’s not Daria, her love interest is not Trent and that is a good thing, and I do like the story, and the writing is not at all bad. 

Current read:

How did I not love this from the start!?! I love how bitter and cynical Jessica is. So what if she’s an athlete (for all of the first book), so what if she’s really smart to boot? Bitter. Cynical. And at times wonderfully irrational. What more could you ask for? I loves it. You don’t have to be Daria. Even if it’s preferable. 

So ja.

If you’re not familiar with this series, and interested in knowing what it’s about, Forever Young Adult does a brilliant job explaining the plot and why you need it in your life.

I absolutely love this series and a terrible movie/TV series really should be made asap.

Of course, I fully expect Jared Leto to be cast as Paul Parlipiano. So what if he’s…30 years to old? Doesn’t matter!

Do I feel slightly guilty that I’m

a. a grown woman reading YA?
b. “wasting” time on rereads when there are lots of new and brilliant books to read?

Kinda. Yeah. But I’ve got zero control.

 

..it should probably also be said that the slut-shaming and judging people by appearance that this book is kinda fond of is problematic. But yea. You can’t expect all books to be a feminist masterpiece. 

On my reread list

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So many books to read, so little time!

And yet I have a massive craving to reread:

I am Dina by Herbjørg Wassmo. 1800s Norway, a female lead to fear and poetic language. It’s been too long since I read this book.

I am Dina who sees the sleigh with the person on it rush headlong down the steep slope.
At first I think I am the one lying there tied to the sleigh. Because I feel pain more terrible than any I have ever known.
Through crystal-clear reality, but beyond time and space, I am in touch with the face on the sleigh. Moments later, the sleigh crashes against an ice-covered rock.

The horse actually loosed the carriage shafts and escaped being dragged down the slope! Amazing, how easily that happened!
It must be late in the fall. Late for what?
I do not have a horse. 

The Valhalla Saga by Johanne Hildebrandt. A Viking saga told from a female perspective, imagining the switch from matriarchy to patriarchy. Kind of like as if Mists of Avalon was set in Scandinavia. Sort of. The fact that this world and the world portrayed in Vikings don’t agree is an endless source of disappointment for me. Any retelling of Vikings that doesn’t obey the rules in the world Hildebrandt’s has created is just wrong.

The Circle trilogy by Mats Strandberg and Sara Bergmark Elfgren. Six girls find out they’re witches, overcome their differences and go on to save the world from an invisible evil. Very much like Buffy. The obvious Buffy similarities are a bonus, regardless of whether they’re intentional or not.

The Autobiography of my mother by Jamaica Kincaid. How can I convince you you need to read this book too? Will a quote do?

I married a man I did not love. I did not do so on a whim, I did not do so after making a calculation, but this marriage had its usefulness. It allowed me to make a romance of my life, it allowed me to think of all my deeds and of myself with kindness in the deep dark of night, when sometimes it was necessary for me to do so. Romance is the refuge of the defeated; the defeated need songs to soothe themselves, for their whole being is a wound; they need a soft bed to sleep on, for when they are awake it is a nightmare, the dream of sleep is their reality. I married a man I did not love, but that word, “love,” that idea, love – what could it mean to me, what should it mean to me?

The language, the ideas discussed; I am forever grateful someone had the presence of mind to put this on the course reading list.

The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty. About how Jessica Darling is simply meant to be with Marcus. As someone who hates decisions, I like any story that enhances the idea of you really don’t have a choice, and thusly won’t have to make a choice. Free will, it’s all smoke and mirrors.

The Harry Potter series. Which I find kind of embarrassing. Can’t I just outgrow this series already, please?

Anything and everything by Nina Hemmingsson. Should be on my reading list permanently. Just a couple of pages a day? As good for you as brushing your teeth I’m sure.

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“And you should know that I haven’t got anything against people, actually, some of my best friends are people! It’s quite OK, really!”

Before I Die by Jenny Downham. I have a weird obsession with this book. (Or maybe not so weird if you believe what Guardian writes here.) I’ve also managed to watch the movie a number of times already. It’s probably not a very good movie, but I love it, even it doesn’t quite live up to the book.

Songs they never play on the radio by James Young. The last years of Nico’s life as told by her keyboard player. I mentioned it a while back. There are so many books I remember liking but only vaguely remember what they’re about. I know there are parts describing her recording with John Cale and I seem to recall touring? See? I need to reread asap.

It seems to read like an actual story though, unlike the Kim Gordon bio, just look at this:

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Cannot wait!

PS. Goodreads has finally made it so that you can track your rereads!

Best not as much as glance in the general direction of my book shelves, I’ll just find more books to reread. Which isn’t a bad thing in itself, but what about all the new books??

…I really should make an effort to sort out some books though. It would make no sense to move books from here to my new apartment that I don’t plan on rereading. Another time…