Summer Reading Challenge

This was not at all in my plans, but Lisa convinced me! Goodreads summer reading challenge (beginner version, cause that seems to be plenty.) Let’s – as always – start off by saying that the parameters for this challenge are not clear enough to me. Like, am I allowed to let 1 book cover multiple categories? Since they didn’t say no, I say yes. I also used my own TBR pile as a starting point, and tried to pick books from that whenever they fit the prompt.

  • Read a book that won a Goodreads Choice Award.
    – I’m going with Children of Blood & Bone (it was already in my “want” list at the bookstore I shop from)
  • Read a book being adapted for TV or film this year.
    Watchmen! This is already in my existing TBR pile, so it makes me happy to combine reading challenges like this.
  • Read a book with less than 100 pages (or a book you can finish in one sitting).
    – Another one from my existing pile waiting to be read: Seneca’s On the Shortness of Things. My edition is 104 pages, which I count as close enough.
  • Read one of the most read books right now on Goodreads.
    – Not a super-inspring list imo, but I’ll try Overdue Life of Amy Byler.
  • Read a book that’s been on your Want to Read shelf for more than a year.
    – Oh sure. In February 2013, I apparently added Anathem to that list, so let’s go with that. I always do enjoy Neal Stephenson’s books.
  • Read a book set in a different culture from your own.
    Purple Hibiscus! By my favorite author. (Takes place in Nigeria.)
  • Read a book that a friend has recommended.
    – Svälten: Hungeråren som formade Sverige. (Also keep in mind that this was the first book that popped into friend L’s mind when I asked her for a recommended summer read. Love my friends. The title translates to something like “The Starvation: the hunger years that shaped Sweden”)
  • Read a coauthored book.
    –  The Rise & Fall of D.O.D.O. (Neal Stephenson & Nicole Galland)
  • Read a book in a format that you don’t normally read in (­a graphic novel, poetry, a play, an audiobook, etc.).
    – Edit Södergrans Samlade Dikter. (That’s not the right book, but close enough.)
  • Read a debut novel.
    – sorry not sorry, I’ll bunch this one with the first point, and go with Tomi Adeyemi’s first novel.
  • Reread a book you loved when you were younger.
    The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
  • Read a book set in a destination you want to visit.
    Paradise Reclaimed by Halldor Laxness (Iceland, always Iceland).

The expert level additions are:

  • Read a book with more than 500 pages. (Anything by Neal Stephenson covers this.)
  • Read a nonfiction book published this year.
  • Read a translated book. (Paradise Reclaimed covers this!)
  • Read a book that appears in your Goodreads newsfeed.
  • Read a book set on every continent.
  • Read a book from a genre you’ve never read before.
  • Read the third book you see on your Want to Read shelf.
  • Read a book with a number or color in the title. (Purple Hibiscus!)
  • Read a book about a subject you don’t know much about. (Svälten!)

If I go crazy and finish the first part, I might go there?

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week 23 / new bike! (part 1)

Music

Insta/Twitter/YouTube/Netflix

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I watched  both the one above and About Time, and very much enjoyed both of them. Always be my Maybe also has a hilarious restaurant scene with Keanu Reeves in it.

Personal

I’m getting a new bike! After waiting 2 weeks, it was supposed to be delivered yesterday. Only when they come and are trying to the final adjustments, they notice that the break cables are on the wrong side of the handlebar, meaning that it doesn’t come into place. And off they went, with my new bike. Sigh. At least I know it’s pretty?

week 22 / summer is here

Book/story

Begun re-reading this little brick of a book, so I can finally read that third part (you know, after I also re-read part 2) I bought 1.5 years ago. 200 pages in, it’s just as good as I remembered:

20190602_130611.jpg

Reading list

Moby’s treatment of Natalie Portman is a masterclass in nice-guy misogyny

Want to read more? Choose an extremely long book

Workout/progress

Went to the gym twice this week, so very satisfied about that since my goal is 2-3 times a week. Less happy about the accessibility of racks for lifting (there’s 1). Have been looking at other gyms… there’s one that looks very promising and that focuses on lifting, but it’s twice as far away from the house (i.e. 10 min by bike) and also it’s scary to try and approach a place like that. Plus I have over a year left on the contract at the current gym, but am figuring it’s probably possible to pay my way out of that. To be continued?

Oh, also biked 15 km yesterday as we were invited to a friend’s for bbq. A nice time was had by all.

May Summary

The Books

Patti Smith’s Just Kids
Meg Rosoff’s How I Live Now
Jenny Colgan’s The Endless Beach (Summer Seaside Kitchen #2)
Kristin Emilssons Äta kakan & ha den kvar
Laurie Penny’s Unspeakable things

The Movies

Avengers: Endgame
Annihilation
Rough Night
Nunnan (“The Nun” – Swedish documentary)

The Nun is a documentary I initially saw when it was released in 2007, and I was looking for it again a few years ago to see if it still holds up. The answer is… eh, kind of? It’s the story of how a relatively normal Swedish teenager from a catholic family decides to join a convent. Mind boggling to me.

The Shows

Gilmore Girls
Agents of SHIELD
Mästarnas Mästare
Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj
Jack Whitehall: Travels with my father (S02)
Lucifer

Oh come on, Tom Ellis is just killing it as Lucifer.

The Workouts/progress

I’ve gone back to the gym! Now I just have to keep it up. Am currently doing Stronglifts at beginner level weights (and still, damn the muscle pain I keep having after the squats is just crazy).

week 21 / first bbq of the year!

Food

We had the first bbq for the year this weekend! Went to the market and got fresh trout, that was cooked in aluminum foil with lemon and herbs. Possibly the healthiest bbq we’ve had in years?

Podcast/episode

Started listening to two Swedish podcasts that my younger brother recommended. Both from SR (Swedish state radio) – USA-podden & Så funkar det.

(Svensk fotnot: Vet inte hur jag känner inför Anders & Måns än, de var liksom inte “kända” när jag emigrerade. Lite flamsiga, men lite roliga också? Första avsnittet, som jag lyssnade på när jag cyklade till centrum handlade om varför en inte ska lita på holländare, så det skrattade jag faktiskt åt på riktigt.)

Personal

My baby bro bought a house! It’s 2 km from where we grew up (i.e. where he’s dreamt of living since moving out) and just the right size for him. So, so happy for him!

Reading list

There should be nothing wrong in waving Palestinian flags at Eurovision

Workout/progress

I went to the gym! Only once, but hey, it’s a start. I didn’t quite stick to plan (shocker), which was to being Styrkebyråns Bli en Beefcake (2 day split). Instead, I’d happened upon this app that looked neat called Stronglifts. The main pull for me was that it tells me what weight to start with. Cause look, I get the reasons for people NOT wanting to do that, but how do I have any idea then? So sure, this one starts with 20 kg (essentially, just the bar if you’re at a decent gym), but it then keeps adding as you do successful lifts. It also contains a calculator so you don’t have to think 😛

And, essentially, the workout is almost the same. It’s the same basic exercises, and almost the same assisting ones (haven’t touched those yet).

week 20 / when I didn’t go to the gym a single time

Book/story

I have a problem with giving up on books. It feels like when I start reading it, I make a commitment to finish! So I pat myself on the back as I did this:

1793

That book… It’s gotten raving reviews in Sweden and I hated it from the first chapter. Also, at like 25% through, part of the story is revealed, and then you know there’ll be frigging disgusting things happening in order to get to that point. I will have no part of reading that. At least I can say that I appreciated the murder victim not being a woman, for once. Gave it to little brother (“Here, I didn’t like it, you can have it”. He: “…thanks?”)

Reading list

We froze the salaries of 20 executives – and it improved the lives of 500 employees

Purchase

Was complaining about my VPN provider (HMA! (I’m not so excited about them I add the exclamation point, that’s their name)) to little brother, and he recommended Windscribe instead. Tried it and have now immediately paid for a full year. Works like a charm, plus has both the normal VPN plus an add-on for the browsers to give extra protection. Five stars!

Week 19 / so, so late

Insta/Twitter/YouTube/Netflix

I finished Gilmore Girls. Yes, also the new season. While I really liked most of  the new season, I’m quite bummed about the end? HOW COULD RORY AND LOGAN NOT END UP TOGETHER? I also think I’ll have to re-watch GG every 2 years or so, since I like comfort watching things (is that a thing/name?). I did read a thing about how it helps people with anxiety to watch things over again as it comforts/calms them. Hello anxiety, you and I will watch Gilmore Girls again! (I mean, not right now, but later.)

Personal

I flew back to Sweden for 4 days (yes, hello, I know the world will end due to environmental issues, but also I want to spend time with my mom, even if it is in the hospital as she’s getting treatments) and got to participate in both a surprise birthday party (brother’s gf turned 40!) and see my nephew play football in 1C degree weather.

Question

Rory and Logan… whyyyyyyy?

Workout/progress

Did exactly 1 workout, and it actually went very well. Really didn’t want to go (lazy, lazy), but did. Had muscle pains for several days, which I normally don’t at all.