2018 · April · May · Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up | April & May 2018

Here’s my super-late wrap-up from April and May! The reason why I didn’t do this sooner is that I haven’t been reading, so I thought I would merge these together to have more to talk about. Then I thought I would film it, but if I do that it will be even later ^.^’ . So here it is in written form, at least.

(M)ornitologen, by Johanna Thydell
4 feathers // My review (in Swedish)

This was the one book I read in April, and I basically finished it over one weekend. It’s about a girl called Moa, whose mum left when she was little and Moa hasn’t really missed her. One day, her mum gets in touch and wants to meet Moa, who decides to come visit her mum’s house in the forest under the pretense that she’s doing a school project about birds over the summer. I liked this one a lot! I especially liked that it was such a quick read, the ending was bittersweet and the footnotes were awesome.

Agnes Cecilia – En sällsam historia, by Maria Gripe
Three feathers // My review (also in Swedish)

This is about a girl called Nora, who lives with relatives after her parents died when she was a kid. When they move into a turn-of-the-century apartment, strange things start happening to Nora. I think that this would be the perfect book to read aloud if you have children around the age of 9-12; it’s just the right amount of scary for children around that age. However, there were some things that bothered me. For example, it became clear that it’s both written and set during the early 80s, which felt slightly jarring for the simple reason that it was obvious. There were also some inconsistencies with the age of the characters.

Anteckningar från en ö, by Tove Jansson & Tuulikki Pietilä
Four feathers // Review here (once again, in Swedish ^.^’)

Anteckningar från en ö is a diary-like book about how Tove and Tooti found a remote island in the Finnish archipelago and built a house there. What I liked the most about it was the environment and the surroundings. I’ve always lived close to the sea, I spend all my summers in the Swedish archipelago, and can’t imagine a life without it, so I loved the fact that this was set in an environment that I’m so familiar with. The surroundings and Tove’s relationship to them were captured really well. My one complaint was that it could have been longer.

They Both Die at the End, by Adam Silvera
3.5 feathers // Review here

This one’s about two boys, Mateo and Rufus, who live in an alternate universe where people get a phone call on the day that they’re going to die. Mateo and Rufus end up meeting through an app and spend their last day together. Overall, I enjoyed this. The ending was good and the love story actually worked. However, it was cheesy, it took a while to get into the story, and some things were left unexplained.

That was it! I only read four books in total, and I haven’t read that much in June either, but it felt a bit much to have three wrap-ups in one ^.^’ . Here are these two at least!

2018 · Booktube · June · May · Vlogs

An Update

Hi everyone! I’m back! I’ve been very inactive on pretty much all my social media recently, which is mainly because of uni. During the last week of term, I handed in two essays, both of which I defended on separate occasions. Once that was done, my sister and I got the keys to our new apartment, so I’ve spent time moving and getting used to the new place. But now it’s summer, and I’m going to try getting back into reading for fun. That also means that the blog, Instagram, and Youtube will be more active in the future. I’m going to try posting on here at least once a week, but I’m hoping to get that up to twice a week. As for Insta, I still have some sort of goal to post everyday (as if that’s going to happen, I’m happy if I land on three or four times a week ^.^’). I can’t promise anything for Youtube, but I will hopefully get some stuff out on occasion. In the meantime, here are a few recent videos:

 

Vlog 005 (I know it says 006 in the video, I messed up ^.^’)

 

My most recent book haul

 

My last vlog!

2018 · May · Reviews · Svenskspråkigt

Bokrecension: “Anteckningar från en ö”, av Tove Jansson och Tuulikki Pietilä

Publicerad 1996 av Albert Bonniers förlag | 4 fjädrar

Sammanfattning:

Det här är slags självbiografi av Tove Jansson, illustrerad av Tuulikki Pietilä, som handlar om hur de byggde sig ett sommarliv på ön Klovharun längst ut i den finska skärgården.

Recension:

Vad som aldrig slutar förvåna mig är att det är relativt svårt det är att få tag på Tove Janssons böcker. Hon känns som en sån central del av nordisk litteraturhistoria att hennes böcker borde vara lättare att få tag på, men de enda böckerna som kontinuerligt är i tryck är Mumin. Men så hittade jag den här på biblioteket och lånade hem den. Den var fin, precis som alla andra Tove-böcker. (Är ni förvånade att jag tyckte om den? ^.^’)

Framförallt älskade jag miljön. Jag är lite halvt uppvuxen i skärgården, och jag kände igen mig så mycket i miljön! “Och den sista sommaren hände något oförlåtligt: jag blev rädd för havet” (s. 90), skriver hon precis i slutet, och det illustrerar hela relationen till miljön så väl. Sen finns ju det där lite underfundiga med, som alltid, i hur hon har det här ständiga kriget med måsarna och “kattfan”, och rosenbusken som de planterar första sommaren som sedan blir helt vild. Och Tootis illustrationer passade så bra in också!

Den enda “dåliga” var att den kunde ha varit längre. Fast det kanske också var poängen, det är ju trots allt “anteckningar från en ö”.

2018 · Favourites · May

Things I’ve Watched/Listened to Lately | May 2018

I got the idea to do this post because I haven’t been reading that much during April and May, but I have watched and listened to some stuff that I’ve enjoyed. Therefore, I thought I’d do a recommendation post!

That’s Why We Drink
podcast

This is a true crime/paranormal podcast, in which the hosts tell each other one true crime story and one paranormal one in each episode. I found it after googling “true crime podcasts” because I wanted something new to listen to – I had tried My favorite murder but didn’t really like it (probably an unpopular opinion ^.^’). This one, however, was a lot better! Also, it’s actually funny, I’ve found myself giggling several times while listening to it. So definitely a recommendation!

Secrets of Selfridges
documentary

I want to start watching more documentaries, and randomly found this one on Netflix. It’s about Harry Selfridge and how he built his store on Oxford Street. It probably isn’t that interesting if you don’t specifically want to know stuff about shopping and Selfridge’s, but if you watched and enjoyed the ITV series Mr Selfridge (like I did), you will probably like this one too.

Without You
song by Avicii, feat. Sandro Cavazza

As you’re all probably aware of by now, Avicii passed away a couple of weeks ago. This is my favourite song by him, which I’ve been listening to a lot lately. I also have a special memory attached to it, because Sandro Cavazza played live at Karneveljen (aka a huge party/event thrown for all people involved in the carnival in my uni town).

Is Booktube Educational?
Video by Ariel Bissett

I have been following Ariel for a few years by now, and she has begun making more discussion-type videos like this. This video in particular is partly responsible for my new-found interest in documentaries. It also made me think about what I could do with my degree in the future.

That was everything I had to talk about today! Is there anything you guys have been watching/listening to recently that you would like to recommend?

2018 · May · Reviews

Book Review: “They Both Die at the End”, by Adam Silvera

Published in 2017 by HarperCollins | 3.5 feathers

Summary:

“They Both Die at the End” is set in an alternate universe where there’s a “service” called Death-Cast. Their job is to call people on the day that they’re going to die, so if you hear from them you have a maximum of 24 hours left to live. In this book, we follow to teenagers – Mateo and Rufus – who get the call, and end up meeting and spending the day together because of an app called Last Friend.

Review:

Overall, I enjoyed this a lot. It started out pretty cheesy, because both Mateo and Rufus immediately went into full YOLO mode as soon as they got the call. While I appreciate the message, it would have been more convincing had it been more subtle. Even though that cheesiness persisted to some extent throughout the novel, it did get better towards the end.

One thing I liked is the fact that the love story actually worked. To some extent it was instal-love, considering how they only knew each other for less than 24 hours, but they didn’t actually kiss until two thirds – three quarters of the way through, so the love story did take much of the book to develop. I appreciated that.

Although I knew it was coming, the ending hit right in the heart! Also, (and I’m going to be as vague as possible on this point because of spoilers, but) it was so sad that what ended up killing them was what they weren’t actually scared of to begin with.

The third thing I enjoyed was the snippets we got to read from other characters’ points of view. Some of them added to the progression of the story, while others were just random people Mateo and Rufus passed on the street.

However, there were a few things that bothered me. Firstly, it was the cheesiness. It did get better as the story wore on, but for a good chunk of the book I considered rating it three stars because of the cheesiness and the fact that it took a while to get into the story properly.

The other thing was that some things that were left unexplained. The term “deckers” was one of them. I don’t think it was explained why the people who got the call from Death-Cast were called deckers, so I found myself asking that question a few times while reading. I would also have liked to know what happened to Delilah – she’s one of these random side characters who we get to follow a bit more, but we never get to know how her story ended. To me it felt like it was just left hanging, so it would have been nice with  even just a mention of how it went for her.

As a side note to end this review off, someone actually created Rufus’ Instagram account. You can find it here, if you want to have an extra cry.

2018 · May · Reviews

Bokrecension: “Agnes Cecilia”, av Maria Gripe

Publicerad 2015 av Bonnier Carlsen | Utgavs för första gången 1981 | Tre fjädrar

Hi peeps! This is one of those Swedish reviews, because if this has been translated, I don’t think it’s as well-known in other countries. Also, I have a ton of uni-related things coming up in the next few weeks, so posting might become more scarce than usual. I’ll try to schedule some stuff, but just a heads up.

Sammanfattning från Goodreads:

Maria Gripes “sällsamma historia” handlar om den föräldralösa Nora, som visserligen har det bra hos sina släktingar, men inte upplever sin tillvaro hos dem som något självklart.

När Nora är 15 år flyttar de till en gammal lägenhet och märkliga saker börjar hända. Klockan går baklänges, rummet förändras, de döda blir närvarande och en docka nästa levande. Nora dras in i ett magiskt äventyr, som hjälper henne att slutföra sorgearbetet efter föräldrarna och finna sin egen identitet.

Recension:

När jag läste Tordyveln flyger i skymningen för ett par år sen, var min första reaktion att den hade varit jättebra som högläsningsbok under sena sommarkvällar. Det tror jag gäller för den här också, det är en sådär lagom mysryslig bok för mellanåldern.

Däremot har jag några saker som störde lite under läsningen. Noras ålder var en sådan sak; det sägs rakt ut att hon är 15, men hon kändes inte riktigt som 15. Hon kunde lika gärna ha varit ett par år yngre. Samtidigt nämns det att styvpappan Anders är gymnasielärare, vilket skulle innebära att hans elever är lite äldre än Nora, men när Nora och Dag följer med hans klass på utflykt till Stockholm tycker Nora att det märktes tydligt att Anders elever var yngre än henne. Det gick inte ihop riktigt.

Det märktes också att boken är skriven på 80-talet. Framförallt när det gällde de äldre karaktärernas ålder fick man ofta tänka till en extra gång, eftersom att 80-talet nu har hunnit bli en generation bakåt. Också med vissa detaljer blev det otroligt tydligt – Anders skulle till exempel få ett recept från läkaren på posten.

Som sagt, överlag var det här en mysig bok, men jag tror att jag nog hade tyckt bättre om den om jag läst den när jag var yngre.

2018 · April · Lists

How to get out of a reading slump

I feel like I’m on my way into a reading slump, and I am desperate to avoid it. I am not in the mood for anything I pick up, so I thought I’d do this post to help myself get out of it, and maybe it will help somebody else in the process!

1.Audiobooks!

Audiobooks are great when you’re not in the mood for reading, because you’re not actually doing the reading yourself, so it doesn’t really feel like reading. Plus, you can do other things in the meantime; audiobooks are great for driving or sitting on the bus, since it’s a nice way to pass the time when you’re just sitting there anyway.

2. Quick reads

For me, it usually helps to reads things I know that I can get through quickly, because it makes it feel like getting reading done. Avoid slow books at all costs until you’ve gotten back into reading! It will only make it worse if you don’t feel like you’re getting anywhere. Chick-lit/contemporaries and action-packed fantasy books tend to help me a lot!

3. Libraries are a thing

If you don’t own books you’re in the mood for, use the library! Even if you live in a small town (like me), there is most likely a local library. The one where I live, for example, is incorporated into a school library, so it’s both a public and a school library at the same time. If there isn’t one in your town, maybe there is one in the town/city where you study, or your school/uni has one! Anyway, the point is, just go there and have a browse, and pick up something at random that seems even remotely interesting. You don’t have to pay for library books, so it doesn’t really matter if the book is crap – you can just hand it right back if you don’t like it after two chapters. And if it isn’t a new favourite – that doesn’t matter either! It was a nice pastime, and at least you read something.

4. Don’t read!

This is probably my #1 tip. If you’re not in the mood, don’t push it. Reading is supposed to be fun, and if you’re not enjoying it at the moment, it’s okay to take a break for however long you need.

5. If a book isn’t good after 50 pages…

… put it away and read something else instead. This is one of the best pieces of reading advice I have ever been given, even though I still struggle with following it. It’s worth keeping in mind.

2018 · April · Reviews

Bokrecension: “(Mor)nitologen”, av Johanna Thydell

Publicerad 2016 av Alfabeta | 4 fjädrar

For all my English-speaking followers: I’m going to try something new. Very occasionally, I read something in Swedish. If that book hasn’t been translated into English, I will write the review in Swedish. Such is the case with this book. There will be an English-language summary in my wrap-up at the end of the month where you get my thoughts, but to me it felt kind of weird to write a full review in English of a book that was written in Swedish. Pleased bear with me! (And maybe leave a comment; I want to know if you guys think this works or not. Should I continue doing this, or should I write everything in English?)

Sammanfattning:

Moas mamma stack när hon var två, och har inte hört av sig sedan dess. Tills en dag, när Hedvig plötsligt ringer och vill ses. Moa vill egentligen inte erkänna att hon faktiskt vill träffa Hedvig, så hon hittar på att hon ska göra ett skolarbete om fåglar över sommaren och “måste” därför komma och hälsa på Hedvig, som bor i skogen.

Recension:

Jag var lite nervös innan jag började läsa. Johanna Thydell har skrivit tre ungdomsböcker tidigare som har fått väldigt mycket uppmärksamhet (I taket lyser stjärnorna (2003), Det fattas en tärning (2006), och Ursäkta att man vill bli lite älskad (2010) ). Jag läste alla tre ganska nära inpå varandra när jag var 15 (jag är 22 nu, och fyller 23 till sommaren), för mamma gav mig de första två i födelsedagspresent den sommaren och sen släpptes den tredje den hösten. Sen dröjde det ända till 2016 innan hon släppte något nytt, och vid det laget hade jag tappat “favoritintresset” för hennes böcker, så jag var inte säker på om jag kanske hade vuxit ifrån henne. Men jag kan glatt rapportera att jag tyckte mycket om (Mor)nitologen också!

Till att börja med var det kul med fotnoterna; Moa lägger in små kommentarer via fotnoter texten igenom, vilket var ett roligt inslag. Slutet tyckte jag också fungerade väldigt bra – det var något bitterljuvt över det och det var inget guld och gröna skogar. Det tyckte jag om, att allt inte bara huxflux löste sig.

Det här var också precis den typen av bok som jag behövde just nu, för det gick så otroligt fort att läsa den. Jag började vid 7-8 på kvällen, nästa morgon vid 10 hade jag läst över 100 sidor, och däremellan hade jag ätit middag, sett en film, och sovit hela natten.

Med andra ord är jag glad att jag äntligen läste den här!

 

Ett citat jag tyckte om: “Dessutom vägrade jag vara en sådan där med trasig barndom. Det var min mamma som var trasig, inte jag.” (s. 9)

2018 · Films · March · Reviews

Film review: “I taket lyser stjärnorna”

Directed by Lisa Siwe | 2009 | 3.5 feathers

Summary:

We follow 13-year-old Jenna, whose mother has cancer. That eventually forces them to move in with Jenna’s grandmother. Obviously, that’s a lot to deal with, at the same time that you’re in your early teens and have friends and school to deal with at the same time.

Review:

This movie is almost ten years old by now, and it’s based on a book that was published way back in 2003. The book was awarded a prestigious literary prize here in Sweden and got a lot of attention, and I think the movie got some awards as well. I read the book much later, when I was 15, because my mum gave me the author’s first two books for my birthday that year. Then I only watched the movie now, because I realised it was on Netflix. It would be fun to reread the book now, because I only remember the “big” details of the plot, but I can’t find my copy. I probably put it away in the garage when I cleared out my bookshelves a while ago.

Tangent over ^.^’ . To the good things: it seems like an honest depiction of teenage life, and I could relate to at least some of the main character’s struggles. Also, I can tell it’s a good movie, and I understand why it won awards. However, I can’t help but feel as if I would have liked it a lot more if I hadn’t read the book beforehand. I know I just said that I didn’t remember that much of the plot or the details, but I remember enough to notice stuff they left out or didn’t develop. For example: Jenna changes friend groups, and we get to know what her new friend’s name is, but I think that her “old” friend’s name is mentioned once, and in the book, it’s a huge deal about that friend wanting to change nicknames/spelling of her name. Now I had to google to remember what that friend’s name was because it took so long for it to even be mentioned in the film. Also, the book develops the breaking friendship between Jenna and Susanna (the old friend) in much more detail, and I think that could have been developed a bit more here as well.

Also, it could have been made clearer that she initially dislikes Ullis (the new friend). Another thing I thought about was the event the title alludes to. Jenna writes a poem in school for her mother (this is in the film), which she hides under one of these plastic, glow-in-the-dark stars you can put in the ceiling. That last part wasn’t really in the film.

In summary, I think this was a good film. But as I said, I think I would have liked it a lot more if I hadn’t read the book first.