2018 · November · Wrap-Ups

Wrap-up | November 2018

HOW WEIRD IS IT THAT IT’S DECEMBER?????? I know I say this every month, but what happened to November?? Anyway, December is one of my favourite months because Christmas is my favourite holiday, so I don’t really mind the cold ❤ . Here are all the books I read in November:

Pappan och Havet, by Tove Jansson
5 feathers

This was a reread for me, which I started in October and finished in early November. I was in the mood for something autumnal, so that’s why I decided to pick it up. What I loved about this especially is the fact that the island and the sea play such a big part in the story – it’s almost as if they’re characters themselves. The sea is very important to me, so Pappan och havet spoke to my heart.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Original Screenplay, by J.K Rowling

I read the script in preparation for watching The Crimes of Grindelwald. I love the Fantastic Beasts film (it’s one of my favourites!), but I didn’t end up leaving a rating for the script. I find it difficult to rate scripts/plays as it is, and in this case I think I’m too biased to actually rate it ^.^’ . Some of the magic is lost in here, obviously, so I would definitely recommend watching the movie instead of reading the script!

Sent i november, by Tove Jansson
5 feathers

Here’s another reread, which I ended up loving! I wrote a review way back in the summer of 2016 when I first read it – which you can find here – and I still stand by what I said there. But I would like to add some thoughts about the characters. Tove is good at writing characters; each of them felt very distinct from each other, with their own lives and problems. This is a book that on some level is about ideas and admiring people so much that they, in the end, aren’t people anymore but some grand picture that they cannot possibly live up to. Please just go off and read this, but be prepared for some slightly depressing stuff ^.^’

The Crimes of Grindelwald: The Original Screenplay, by J.K Rowling
Reviews here and here

I didn’t rate this either, again because I feel biased from the film. And I basically only read it because I was in a daze from the film – because I couldn’t go watch it again right away, I had to read the script to bring some clarity to my thoughts!

Legendary, by Stephanie Garber
Three feathers | Review here

This was the last book I finished in November! I wasn’t expecting to love it, which I didn’t end up doing either. It was a quite average YA fantasy novel with not much to make it stand out, even though the idea is cool.

That was all! Have you guys read anything good this month?

2018 · October · Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up | October 2018

I almost wrote “September” in the title of this post, before I realised that it is actually October that is coming to an end. October has been amazing here, we had summer temperatures up until just a couple of weeks ago, before autumn properly started. Anyway! I didn’t read as much this month as I did in September, which is largely due to the fact that we’re having a grammar module at uni right now and it’s been taking up a lot of my energy. I did end up managing three books at least, so here they are:

The Upside of Unrequited, by Becky Albertalli
– Three feathers | Review here

I expected to love this, because so many people I follow online do and Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda was lovely. Instead, I found Molly (the main character) so annoying, because her only goal in life was to get a boyfriend. She didn’t seem to have anything else she wanted to accomplish, and that seemed a tad unrealistic. Let’s just say that I’m not as excited to read Leah on the Off-beat now as I was before I read Upside.

Grief is the Thing with Feathers, by Max Porter
– No rating –

This was one of my first forays into poetry on my own, which I’m oddly proud of?? I didn’t leave a rating, because I don’t feel as if I’ve read enough poetry to know how to rate it yet, but I did enjoy Grief. It was interesting to see how the crow interacts with and sometimes even melds with the characters.

En helt vanlig familj, by Mattias Edvardsson
– Four feathers –

I went to a crime event at my local bookstore with my mum in October, and Edvardsson was one of the authors who spoke there. I don’t read much crime otherwise, but decided to pick this up to challenge myself to read something different. And it was exactly what I needed! I flew through it in a matter of days, and I thought the concept was interesting. It’s about a 19-year-old girl who is arrested for murder, and the story is told in three parts, from the perspectives of the dad, the daughter and the mum. It’s being translated into English, so I would recommend reading it once it’s out! (Unless you understand Swedish of course, in which case it’s already available) .

2018 · August · Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up | August 2018

I ended up having a really good reading month in August, and read a total of six books! I’m generally very happy with what I read, so here’s the full list:

The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue, by Mackenzi Lee
Four feathers

Perhaps this wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, and for the most part I would probably have rated it a three feathers. However, it was a funny and entertaining read, which is what earned it that extra feather.

Traitor to the Throne, by Alwyn Hamilton
4.5 feathers | Review here

As you may have seen in my review and in my last wrap-up, this series surprised me with how much I ended up enjoying it. I like the characters, their friendship and their sass. I did like the desert setting of the first book better than the palace setting of this one, though.

Hero at the Fall, by Alwyn Hamilton
Four feathers

Hero at the Fall didn’t pull me in as quickly as the other two books in the series did, but I think that that might have something to do with me moving back home after spending the summer working in the village where we have our cottage. Anyway, I don’t have very much to say about this one that I haven’t already said about the other two, except that I’m still torn up about Sam ❤ .

Safe Haven, by Nicholas Sparks
Four feathers

I was in the mood for a contemporary and Safe Haven has been standing on my shelf for several years, so I decided to pick it up. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, but I can’t pin down exactly what it is that made me not enjoy it as much as I thought. I guess I was in the mood for something lighter, but I knew going in that this wasn’t going to be super fluffy; I’ve watched the movie twice. There was just something about it that left me wanting a bit more.

The Girl You Left Behind, by Jojo Moyes
Three feathers | Review here

This was another one of those contemporaries that I found myself a little bit disappointed in. In this case, it was because I had expected more of a love story and then this entire court process around the painting got in the way. The court thing could have been toned down in favour of the love story. The parts I enjoyed the most were the flashbacks to WWI France and the bit where Liv and Paul had just met.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, by Jenny Han
Three feathers | Review to come

The problem here is that I watched the movie first, and the movie has condensed the entirety of book one + a good chunk of book two, so I kind of wish I’d read the books first because I ended up being disappointed when things where missing from the book. Also, I loved film Kavinsky, but he’s much more of a douche in the book and I didn’t like him at all as much. Lara Jean was so relatable, though, especially in how she doesn’t like to drive ^.^’

That’s it, guys! I probably won’t have as much time to read in September since classes start on Monday, but I will do my very best since I’m in such a flow right now.

2018 · July · Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up | July 2018

Here’s my slightly belated July wrap-up! I know I said I was going to start posting more regularly on here over the summer, but I have felt so uninspired lately and haven’t really known where to go with the blog, so the posting has been lacking a bit. Anyway, here’s what I read in July!

Björnstad, by Fredrik Backman
Five feathers

I was so surprised by how much I liked this book. I was in the mood for this type of book when I picked it up, but I never thought I would like it this much. One of the best books I’ve read so far this year! Also, if you liked this one, there’s a book called När hundarna kommer written by Jessica Schiefauer that has similar themes and a similar feel.

Save the Date, by Morgan Matson
Four feathers

This one was so cute! Also, it was actually funny. The main character’s family is super random, and it is almost difficult to believe that so many things can go wrong during the same wedding. It was the perfect summer contemporary.

The Beginning of the World in the Middle of the Night, by Jen Campbell
Three feathers

I was almost a little disappointed when I finished this. It felt like the type of book I would normally like, and there were stories that I liked a lot (like the script the book is named after), but overall it didn’t blow me away.

Rebel of the Sands, by Alwyn Hamilton
Five feathers

Here’s another book I wasn’t expecting to like quite as much as I did! My friend gifted it to me for my birthday last year, but I didn’t get around to reading it until now. And I loved it! It’s such an immersive world, and the setting pulls you straight in. There will be a full review of this coming your way soon enough 🙂 .

I’m happy with my reading in July, as I managed to finish four books, most of which I liked. Hope the flow continues into August!

2018 · June · Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up | June 2018

I only read two books in the month of June; definitely not as much as I would have liked, but I’ve moved house and started working, so I’ve had a lot going on. Anyhow, here’s what I read in June!

All the Crooked Saints, by Maggie Stiefvater
3.5 feathers

This one was released almost a year ago, and I saw people haul it, but since then no one has really talked about it, which I found slightly weird because a lot of people love The Raven Cycle. I wasn’t that big of a fan, but decided to pick this up anyway since the library had a copy. It was a little difficult to get into, so it took me a while to read. However, I did like the language and the magical realism aspects.

The Loney, by Andrew Michael Hurley
4 feathers

It took me three weeks to finish The Loney, but I don’t mind all that much. It was exactly the type of book I was in the mood for. I liked the gothic atmosphere and the fact that the main character was slightly unreliable. Perhaps I should have read it at a slightly faster pace to properly remember all the details, but that doesn’t bother me all that much. Also, the horror aspects didn’t seamlessly fit in – I find that it would have been better if it had been a pure thriller. There will be a full review for this, so keep an eye out for that!

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 · February · Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up | February 2018

I ended up reading a lot of books in February, which I’m really proud of! Since I only read two books in January, I thought that would keep up this month as well, but I read seven things instead. Also, I liked everything I read a lot as well, which I’m very happy about.

Bildhuggarens Dotter, by Tove Jansson
4 feathers | Review here

This was wonderful, as always with Tove’s books. It’s a book of short stories about her childhood, and she is very good at capturing the child’s point of view. However, I do wish that I’d physically read it instead of listening to the audiobook, because it feels like one of those books that need to sink in.

Trollkarlens hatt, by Tove Jansson
4 feathers | Review here

I guess I was in a Tove mood at the beginning of February ^.^’ . But I don’t mind, I like her stuff a lot and ended up enjoying this one as well! As I wrote in my review, I found it funny and clever, but I was surprised by how different it was from the later books in the series. Once I’ve read the Moomin short story collection, I will probably start over from the beginning and read the entire series from start to finish in one go, just to see the development.

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
3.5 feathers | Review here

I’m a bit undecided on what I think of Carry On. I found the first 150 pages on the slow side, and Simon came across as whiny and over-obsessive. Plus, I couldn’t tell if the book was trying to be a parody or not. However, the story picked up after part one ended, and Baz’s parts were my favourites.

Fröken Julie, by August Strindberg
3 feathers

This is a classic, famous play in Sweden, which I read for class. It was alright, there were some details I didn’t pick up on, but I’ve always found it difficult to read plays because they’re not really meant to be read. Also, it might be that I wasn’t entirely paying attention.

Tomtemaskinen, by Sven Nordqvist
4 feathers

Another real classic, this time more recent and in the children’s department. I reread it for my BA essay in kidlit and liked it a lot ❤ .

Et dukkehjem, by Henrik Ibsen
4 feathers

Here’s another classic play! This was my first foray into Ibsen’s own writing, but we watched a really weird spinoff of this in high school so I didn’t really know what to expect. But it was a lot better than I thought it would be, so I was happily surprised!

Räddad, by Alfhild Agrell
3.5 feathers

I think we were supposed to read this because it’s a response to Ibsen’s play. It was interesting to see the intertexts, so I’m somehow glad I read it.

That was everything I read in February! I am currently reading a few books as well, but I think I’ll write a separate post about those so this post won’t be too long 🙂 . So keep a lookout for that, I will probably have it up some time next week!

2018 · January · Wrap-Ups

Wrap-Up | January 2018

HOW is it February already?? I didn’t read that much in January; I actually only finished two books, but I am also in the middle of two other books, so I thought I’d do this wrap-up anyway.

A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens
Published in 2012 | Originally published in 1843 | Three feathers

I read this for class, because I have to write an essay on it, but I’ve wanted to read it for quite a while. However, it wasn’t as good as I thought it would be. I like the story and the setting, but I find Dickens’ books really slow, so it felt like it took ages to read even though it is under 100 pages long. A Christmas Carol therefore ended up feeling pretty average.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, by Becky Albertalli
Published in 2015 by Penguin | Five feathers

By contrast, I loved this one! The story was cute, and I liked how modern-day social medias were integrated into the story – for example, the school had a Tumblr page which felt more realistic than them using Facebook, for example. Overall, it made me really happy, and I ended up putting away school work for the day to finish reading this ^.^’

Those were the books I actually finished, but I am reading two other books as well:

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell
Published in 2017 by St. Martin’s Griffin | Originally published in 2015

I picked this up because I read Fangirl over Christmas and loved it. Nothing much has happened yet as I’m just over 100 pages in, but so far I’m liking this one too. I’ll be back with a better review once I’ve finished it! 🙂

Brott och straff (Crime and Punishment), by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Published in 2010 by Bonnier Pocket | Originally published in 1866

This one is so boring! I’ve been listening to it on audiobook, it’s almost 30 hours long, and so far I’ve listened to around 8 hours. It’s all angst and paranoia and I don’t care about these characters. Ugh. It’s for class, but we’ll see if I end up finishing it.

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.