2017 · April · Currently Reading

Currently Reading | April 2018

I am reading so many books at the same time, again -.-‘ . What gets to me the most is that I always start a lot of books, and then I never have time to finish anything because of life. Also, how can it already be a month since I did my last currently reading-post?? Anyway, here I am again, with some thoughts on everything I’m reading at the moment.

La Belle Sauvage by Philip Pullman + Gösta Berlings saga, by Selma Lagerlöf

These are the only two on here that are the same as last month. I don’t think that I’ve made any progress on them since then; regardless, I don’t have anything to add. If you want to know more of my thoughts, you can check out last month’s post.

The Trial, by Franz Kafka

I started this for class, but I never finished it, so it’s just been on hold since then. I do like what I’ve read so far though, so I will probably finish it. The Swedish audiobook is just 8,5 hours long as well, so it’s not a huge commitment either. The plot is also really interesting, because it’s about a man who is arrested for no apparent reason, and is then put through an absurd trial which ends in him receiving the death penalty. It’s a very important modernist novel, so it would be nice to be able to say that I’ve read it.

Kvinnor och äppelträd, by Moa Martinson

This is also one of those books I’ve started for class; we were reading it for our lecture on working class literature in Sweden. And it was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. Not that I really expected anything, but so far so good. I will probably finish this on audiobook as well, once I’m done with The Trial.

Falling Kingdoms, by Morgan Rhodes

Finally, something I’m reading for fun! I haven’t read that much yet, I think I’m only somewhere around page 50, but I’m finding it hard to get into. I wanted something that would grab my attention right away, and so far I don’t think this one has done that.

That was all of this month’s books! I can’t believe that I’m reading five books at once ^.^’

2017 · 2018 · December · Reviews

Book Review: “Fangirl”, by Rainbow Rowell

Published in 2013 by Pan Macmillan | Five feathers

Summary:

This is about Cath, who starts college with her twin sister Wren. They’ve always been close, so Cath assumes that everything is going to continue the way it has always been: they’ll be roommates, they’ll attend class together, and Wren will continue helping Cath with her fan fiction. However, Wren wants the whole college experience with parties and boys. So Cath has to learn to deal with everything new in her life.

Review:

To begin with: I loved Fangirl! I’m always a bit skeptical towards hyped books, because in many cases I don’t love them as much as everyone else seems to do. But this one was great. I could relate so much to Cath and her anxiety, and I loved how the fandom aspects were incorporated into the story. It’s definitely up there with my favourite books of 2017.

What I didn’t get was the deal with Levi. Sure, he was okay, but everyone has been talking so much about Levi that I thought that he must be something special, but he wasn’t really? That is probably an unpopular opinion, but he didn’t stand out as a character to me.

Also, I would sometimes forget that the novel is written in the third person, and then I would be surprised when I suddenly realised that it isn’t. That’s not really a criticism, but it was something that occurred to me while reading.

Overall, I liked this a lot, and would definitely recommend it if you like contemporaries centered around fandoms with a relatable main character.

2017 · 2018 · December · Reviews

Book Review: “Turtles All the Way Down”, by John Green

Published in 2017 by Penguin | Four feathers

Summary from Goodreads:

Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

Review:

Turtles All the Way Down has been everywhere this past autumn and winter. Since I’ve read and enjoyed all of John Green’s other books in the past, I figured that I’d pick this one up as well and give it a go. And I liked it. In a sense, it is a very typical John Green book, both in terms of the writing style and the characters. The thing is, I know a lot of people who don’t like his books because of the overly intelligent teenagers, but I don’t mind that. Teenagers aren’t stupid, and he doesn’t dumb them down, which I like.

When it comes to Turtles, it had a very good representation of OCD. As someone who lives with the same type of mental illness, it was cool reading about someone on the same level of crazy as me ^.^. However, we are put into Aza’s head and we’re not let out when she gets stuck in one of her thought spirals, which means that we go into those spirals with her. That is what docked a star on the rating for me, because though the representation is good, it was also slightly difficult to read. The portrayal of the thought spirals were almost too good, if that makes sense. I guess it should be mentioned as well that the summary is not entirely representative of the plot. The book is about finding the billionaire, but it’s more about Aza’s OCD.

Also, I was not expecting that ending! I don’t know what I was expecting, and it makes sense in retrospect, but I didn’t fully see it coming.

To wrap things up a little, I would recommend this if you like John Green’s books or generally like the sound of this one in particular and would like to read a book with a good representation of mental health issues.

2017 · 2018 · December · Reviews

Book Review: “Sommarboken”, by Tove Jansson

Published in 1972 by Albert Bonniers Förlag | Audiobook read by the author herself | Five feathers
There’s an English translation called “The Summer Book”, published by Sort Of Books in 2003

Summary:
“Sommarboken” is the story about a little girl called Sophia and her grandmother, and it follows the duo’s summer adventures on an island in the Finnish archipelago.

Review:

Finally it’s time for my long overdue review of Sommarboken! Especially considering that I finished it about a month ago ^.^’ . I can begin by saying that I loved this book so much! It reminded me a lot about Moomin in the catastrophic themes, the grandmother had clear streaks of Snufkin, and it had the same subtle humour. It’s a great place to start if you’ve read Moomin and would like to try out something else by Tove.

There is no real, overarching story; instead, it is an episodic story where each chapter is about a different thing. I liked that, but it was slightly difficult to get an idea of the time frame. It might have to do with the audiobook, though, and that I wasn’t always paying as much attention as I might have if I had read it as a physical book.

Speaking of, I adored the audiobook! The author read it herself, and as she was from Finland, she had a lovely accent. I don’t know what it is, but there’s something about the Finnish accent that I find so calming. All you Swedish-speakers out there will know what I mean.

In short, this book was great! As I mentioned earlier, I think you would like this if you have read Moomin and would like to try some of Tove’s adult stuff, because it’s such a Tove book that you’ll instantly feel at home.

2017 · December · Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up | December 2017

I read quite a lot in December, so I’m just going to jump right in! There will not be any long reviews or deep thoughts on any of these books – some I didn’t have enough to say about, and some will be getting full reviews very soon.

“A Room of One’s Own”, by Virginia Woolf
Three feathers
I found this pretty slow, and it felt like it took forever to read. I do appreciate it for its importance, though.

“Sommarboken”, by Tove Jansson
Five feathers
This was the first of Tove’s adult books I read, and I loved it so much! It was very typical of her writing/story style, and there were certainly some references to Moomin. There will be a full review of this up some time soon.

“Vitsvit”, by Athena Farrokhzad
No rating
I didn’t rate this because I honestly don’t know what I think about it and now it’s been a few weeks since I finished it.

“Turtles All the Way Down”, by John Green
Four feathers
I have very ambivalent feelings towards this book. It was a typical John Green-book, I did not expect the ending, and the ocd representation was great. The thing is that that representation was almost too good if that makes sense, it was good on the verge of being triggering. There will be a full review of this as well at some point in the near future, where I’ll elaborate a bit more on my thoughts.

“The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”, by Joanna Bolouri
Three feathers
This was okay, it was a good book to bring to the beach as it wasn’t too deep. There was a lot of swearing, though, so keep that in mind ^.^’

“Fangirl”, by Rainbow Rowell
Five feathers
I loved this ❤ . Cath was so relatable as well! I actually liked it so much that I immediately ordered Carry On, which I’m currently impatiently waiting for to arrive in the mail.

“Citizen: An American poem”, by Claudia Rankine
Three feathers
This deals with some important topics, especially race and racism, in a cool format.

“Minnet av vatten”, by Emmi Itäranta
Three feathers
This was just okay. There was no real plot and no real ending, and there was little explanation as to how society became what it is in this novel.

“Natten som föregick denna dag”, by Johanne Lykke Holm
One feather
I think that this might be my very first one-feather rating! I originally rated it two feathers, but at the moment, I can’t remember any of the plot. So be it that I skim-read it, but it says a lot that nothing in this book stuck with me, even though it’s only been around a week since I finished it.

2017 · 2018 · Lists

2018 Goals + 2017 Wrap-Up

I can’t believe that it’s 2018 already?? Every year I sit there and wonder what happened to the year that just passed, but I’m still excited for the year to come. I thought I would put up a post of my 2018 book-related goals and look back up my goals for 2017.

2017
Read 50 books
I didn’t reach this goal, although I was close! At the moment of writing this (December 30th), I have read 47 books. The majority of them were for fun, but there are also quite a few I read for class as well.

Project 5: Read 5 books before I get to buy a new one
I did not accomplish this goal this year, but it’s definitely something I would like to continue aspiring to.

Publish at least one blog post/week and revive my Instagram
I think this went fairly well. There were weeks when I didn’t post at all, but I have been more consistent with my blog than before.

Get better at using my reading journal
This is the one goal I definitely accomplished, and I’m so happy about it! Every book I read this year is recorded in my reading journal.

Read at least one book for fun each month
This went well in the beginning of the year, up until I started studying literature. Then class reading took up a lot of my time.

 

2018
Read 50 books
I’m keeping this on here because it still feels like a doable goal. It will probably be a little bit more challenging this year since I’ll be done with studying literature in June, but I will do my very best!

Read at least one book a month for fun
This is important to me, since it’s my way of calming down. Maybe I will tweak this later on and read for 30 minutes before going to bed or something like that, but I will try to accomplish this.

Project 5: Read 5 books I own before I get to buy a new one
The reason I’m keeping this on here is pretty much the same as last year: I own so many books that I haven’t read, so I want to get better at actually reading those first.

Get better at unhauling books
I have a tendency to hold on to books, no matter what. But this year I want to get rid of books if I didn’t like them, if I don’t like that particular edition, or if I don’t think I will ever read that particular book.

Continue with the blog and Instagram
This is more or less the same goal as last year. I want to publish at least one post a week, and, since I want to practice my reviewing, I want to put up more reviews. As for Instagram, I would like to post at least three times a week.

2017 · Favourites · Lists

My Favourite Books of 2017

“To the Bright Edge of the World”, by Eowyn Ivey
My review
What I liked: the characters, the format, Alaska, and the mysterious things going on.
Also, funnily enough, this was the first full book I read this year, and it still holds up.

“Jane Eyre”, by Charlotte Brontë
My review
This book grew on me as time went on. It wasn’t on my top 5 favourites of January – July, but the more I think about it, the more I like this book. I can’t exactly tell you what my favourite parts were, but I liked the language and the setting, and it was nice reading about 19th century England. I think this would be a good starting point if you want to get into classics.

“Strange the Dreamer”, by Laini Taylor
My review
As I wrote in my review, this was the first time I can remember having a favourite chapter in a book. I also like the world/the setting, and the idea of a lost city and a main character who is obsessed with it. Also, Lazlo is such a cinnamon roll ❤ .

The Six of Crows duology, by Leigh Bardugo
My reviews here and here
I’m lumping these together because I loved both of them, which I didn’t expect to do. My favourite parts were the characters and the ending of Crooked Kingdom, and the fact that it’s based around a heist.

“The Inexplicable Logic of My Life”, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
My review
The main character’s relationships with his family and friends were so good in this novel, which is what made me love it so much. If you liked Ari and Dante, I think you would like this too.

“Eliza and her Monsters”, by Francesca Zappia
My review
This is centered around fandom and online communities, which was really fun to read about. Also, it has a main character with anxiety, which was great, and she reminded me a lot about both myself and people I know irl.

“Sommarboken”, by Tove Jansson
This book showed me even more how much I like this author! It made me really happy ❤ .

“Norra Latin”, by Sara Bergmark Elfgren
My review
I liked this mainly because I could relate to the environment and the fact that I couldn’t put it down. Also, it was the first Swedish book I had been looking forward to in a long time.

“Turtles All the Way Down”, by John Green
This is on here mainly because I could relate so much to Aza’s OCD. And I did not expect that ending??

2017 · Favourites · Lists

My Top 5 Favourite Books, July – December 2017

Here are my top 5 (or 6 ^.^’) favourite books of the second half of 2017! There will be a post up soon with my favourites of the entire year 🙂 .

“The Inexplicable Logic of My Life”, by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Finished on the 3rd of July
My review

I remember feeling a bit annoyed, because I finished this in the very beginning of July and loved it, and it was too late to put it in my January – June favourites. Anyway, here it is! My favourite parts of this was the main character’s relationships to his friends and family, because he had very positive relationships to them. If you liked Ari and Dante, you will definitely like this one too.

“Crooked Kingdom”, by Leigh Bardugo
Finished on the 20th of July
My review

It’s rare that I love all the parts of a series equally, but that’s exactly what happened here. I finished Six of Crows in June, immediately ordered this, and ended up liking it just as much ❤ . I liked the characters, and the ending suited the story well. If you like heists and fantasy, I would highly recommend this!

“Eliza and her Monsters”, by Francesca Zappia
Finished on the 25th of September
My review

This was one of those books where I could relate a lot to the main character – Eliza reminded me of both myself and other people that I know. It was great reading about online community, fandom and a main character with anxiety. Definitely earned its place on this list!

“Sommarboken”, by Tove Jansson
Finished on the 11th of December
Review to come!

If you know me at all, you know that I love Moomin, and this author has become one of my favourites. This is her first book for adults, and I’m so glad that I listened to it! It’s about a little girl and her grandmother and their summer on an island in the Finnish archipelago. I loved the characters, especially the grandmother. As soon as I finished it, it was clear that it should be on this list.

The next two books are on tied fifth place

“Norra Latin”, by Sara Bergmark Elfgren
Finished on the 11th of November
My review

This was the first book in Swedish that I’d been excited for in quite a while, and it did not disappoint! I finished it in about a week, which is pretty quick for a book I read for fun during term time. I liked the characters, the setting, the representation, and the fact that I couldn’t stop thinking about it until I had finished it. If you understand Swedish, you should definitely read this!

“Turtles All the Way Down”, by John Green
Finished on the 20th of December
Review to come!

I guess no one has been able to miss the release of this book. The actual plot is a bit unclear once you start reading, but the OCD representation is great and I did not expect that ending (although, in retrospect, I can see that it adds up). If you liked John Green’s other books and/or want to read a book about a main character with OCD, check this out 🙂 .

2017 · December · Favourites · Lists

My Favourite Books I Read for Class

I got the idea for this list a while back, and thought it would be a fun idea. Originally, I thought I’d save it for when I’m more or less done with studying literature, but I couldn’t wait that long, so here it is ^.^’ ! And then I can update it once I’m done 🙂 .

“Tordyveln flyger i skymningen”, by Maria Gripe
Published in 1978

There doesn’t seem to be a translation of this, but directly translated, the title is The Dor-beetle Flies in the Twilight. It’s a Swedish children’s classic, and I read it almost two years ago (!??) for my kidlit class at uni. The story follows three children who are asked to water the flowers at the local bed and breakfast during the summer while the owner is away, and are pulled into a mystery. Some of my friends thought one of the main characters was a bit annoying, and I can see what they mean, but I thought this entire book was lovely. It’s perfect for reading aloud during summer evenings, and it’s a very cosy mystery/ghost story. If you have kids around the age of 9-12, I think they would love this, but adults can definitely get something out of this too.

“När hundarna kommer”, by Jessica Schiefauer
Published in 2015

There is no English translation of this either, but the title translates to When the Dogs Arrive. This is about a small town where a boy is murdered by a neo-nazi group. It’s also about the love story of two young people. And it’s based on a real murder that took place during the 90s – the book as such isn’t true, but there is a true event behind it. Be aware that this is not a feel-good novel. Instead, it is one of those stories that get to you and crawl under your skin. Oddly enough, that’s the reason why I liked it. It’s not a pleasant book, but I have a feeling that it’s also important, as it’s about xenophobia and violence.

“The Great Gatsby”, by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Published in 1925

This is probably the most recent book I read of the ones I’m talking about on this list. As it’s a pretty famous book, y’all probably already know what it’s about, but we follow Nick Carraway who moves to New York and ends up being the next-door neighbour to the mysterious Jay Gatsby. No one really knows where Gatsby comes from or who he is, but Nick ends up befriending him. I don’t have very much to say about this, but I liked it a lot better after rereading it in English and then discussing it in class, as it provided a whole other perspective than I got when I read it on my own the first time around. Now it’s probably up there on the list of my favourite classics.

“Mördarens Apa”, by Jakob Wegelius
Published in 2014

There is actually an English translation of this – it’s called The Murderer’s Ape. It’s about a gorilla called Sally Jones, whose friend the Chief gets falsely accused of murder, and then it turns into an epic story of how Sally tries to get the Chief out of prison. This is a pretty long book, but I liked it a lot. It’s easy to get through, plus it’s illustrated 🙂 .

“Moomin”, by Tove Jansson
Published between 1945 and 1970

I couldn’t make this list without mentioning Moomin ❤ . We only read two of these for class, but I have since read almost all of the remaining parts of the series. Everyone who knows mer irl knows that I love these books with my entire soul ❤ . Read these!!

That was the list for now. As I said, I might make more of these lists in the future, when I’m done with studying literature at uni. Hope you enjoy 🙂 .

2017 · December · Favourites · Lists

Christmas Movies

Here’s the terribly belated Christmas movies-post! I’ve had quite a lot to do for class recently, which is why I’ve been fairly absent on here. I know that this list is the same as last year’s, but I don’t have any new favourites to talk about. I still thought I’d repost this to get in the Christmas spirit, plus if you’re new here, you might not have seen this yet.

The Polar Express
Directed in 2004 by Robert Zemeckis

I wrote about the book in my last post, and I think they did a really good job of adapting this. The book isn’t very long, so there wasn’t perhaps that much to adapt, but the entire book is in here. Some themes have also been developed, which is really nice. This is one of my favourite Christmas movies of all time ❤ .

A Bride for Christmas
Directed in 2012 by Gary Yates

This is one of those medium-quality, super cheesy TV films that always show up around Christmas time. I remember watching this one morning around Christmas a couple of years ago because it aired on TV and my mum happened to record it. Although it’s cheesy, it’s also worth watching.

The Holiday
Directed in 2006 by Nancy Meyers

I watched this for the first time a couple of years ago and liked it a lot ❤ . The Holiday is one of those staple Christmas movies and I would love to rematch it, but our DVD has mysteriously disappeared and it’s not on Netflix. Anyway, I saw someone describe this as “that Hugh Grant film without Hugh Grant” and I totally agree, so if you like that type I would definitely recommend this!