August Wrap Up

Inspired by Lise, and prompted by Lisa, here’s another topic from this week’s Endless Blog Challenge – August Wrap Up.

The (Finished) Books:

Elena Ferrante – Those Who Leave and Those Who Stay. Part 3 in the Neapolitan series
Julia Skott – Kroppspanik : fett, lögner och sjukt onödig ångest.
Elena Ferrante – The Story of the Lost Child. Part 4 (final!) of the Neapolitan series.
Alexandra Potter – Don’t you forget about me.
Ursula Poznanski – Die Verratenen.

So I’ve finally finished the Neapolitan series by (pen name) Elena Ferrante. I have to say that the second book was a bit of a lull for me, but it picked up again, and was well worth reading. Julia Skott’s book was an interesting and useful read (that I’ll surely get back to), and then I needed some chick lit to get less depressed.

The Movies:

It seems the movies and series have a slight Skarsgård-clan theme this month. (Father) Stellan in River – about a hallucinating detective grieving his partner, (eldest son) Alex as awkward and a little bit creepy Monroe in Diary of a Teenage Girl, and (oh-I-don’t-know – middle? son) Bill in a supporting role in Atomic Blonde. If you’re only gonna see one of these movies, I’d suggest The Lobster or Manchester by the Sea. Not that the others were bad, but those two have stayed with me.

Atomic Blonde (cinema!)
The Lobster.
Swiss Army Man.
Florence Foster Jenkins.
Diary of a Teenage Girl.
La La Land.
Manchester by the Sea.

The Shows:

Sense8 season 2.
Fargo (started season 3).
Agents of SHIELD (Started season 4).

After the season finale of Sense8, I was/am quite upset that the show’s been cancelled. Sure, finance vs popularity bla bla, but I want to see where the story goes, damnit.

The Songs:

Top Ten Tuesday

It’s Tuesday and time for The Broke and the Bookish TTT again. Today’s prompt is:

August 29Ten Hidden Gem Books in X Genre: Pick a genre and share with us some books that have gone under the radar in that genre!

Well. This would somehow indicate that I read books that are “under the radar”, which is frankly not really true. I read a lot of top listed books (look, they’re there for a reason…). So I’ll make this a big vaguer, and say “books that have somehow changed how I think about or see something”. There might be a slight feminist theme around it (but also sci-fi).

  1. Under det rosa täcket – Nina Björk. (“Under the pink blanket”, referring to the pink/blue blanket they used in maternity wards in Sweden, depending on the gender of the child.) I read this book in school, and it was (together with #2 in this list) what made me see the patriarchy, and embrace feminism as the way to go. I haven’t read it since, but just repurchased it, so it’s in the TBR pile now.
  2. Darling. Yes, yes, technically this was not a book, but a magazine. I also don’t remember how I got into it (library? school library?), but it was when I was around 15, and it made feminism completely natural to me in a very good way. Thanks Drrling!
  3. The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism – Naomi Klein. Naomi kills me. Or at least my heart. Her books upset me, make me slightly depressed, and also quite cynical. But they’re so worth reading. I was introduced to her writing at uni, when No Logo was compulsory reading.
  4. A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf. This book helped me see my own (white) privilege.
  5. Kill the Boy Band – Goldy Moldavsky. Sure, it looks like YA, but man! This story has definitely made me more sympathetic towards teenage fangirls, and made me hate boybands even more. 
  6. Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman. Basically: don’t trust your brain.
  7. Noughts & Crosses – Malorie Blackman. While I can never fully understand what it’s like to be in an ethnic minority that’s been (and is) discriminated against, at least this book opens the doors a bit by turning the tables. 
  8. Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson. This book was published in 1992, and talked about a metaverse (basically like what 2nd life turned into) and avatars. And the two main characters are Hiro Protagonist and YT. Love it. (Just, er, keep in mind what year it’s from when reading – that makes it more remarkable.)
  9. Autumn: The City – David Moody. A.k.a. “How the Autumn series made me think unreasonably much about what I would do if everyone else turned into zombies.” (Yeah, this has got to be a blog post at some point.)
  10. The Equality Illusion – Kat Banyard. I think the title sums up pretty well what the book is about. Now the question is, can I get my boyfriend to read it?

Dream Lineup

This is part one of Lisa’s Endless Blog Challenge, the prompt went like this:

Fall is almost upon us! This means regular tours. Finally! No more of these pesky festivals. What four bands/singers would you love to see tour together this fall? And at what venue would like them to play?

Hear, hear! Fucking festivals. (Only exception: beloved Iceland Airwaves, and I’m not even going there this year.) For convenience, I’d like them to play in the Netherlands – Melkweg in Amsterdam would be nice. (Yes, I know, totally unrealistic, but no one said this has to be attainable.)

I’ve actually divided this into two separate ones, since due to their different styles, I am unwilling to list what order they should play in otherwise.

#1 – a.k.a. Icelandic invasion:
Sigur Rós
FM Belfast

#2 -a.k.a. Super Swedes:
Little Jinder
Annika Norlin (a.k.a. Säkert! and/or Hello Saferide)
Veronica Maggio
The Hives

The Endless Blog Challenge – So it begins

As I was complaining about the end of the 100 day song challenge, Lisa volunteered to create a new – endless – recurring challenge. She’s too nice! Every Sunday, she’ll post 3 topics that everyone’s invited to write about in whatever way they see fit. You can read more here.

The first three topics she has selected are:


While I’m not sure my personal library is versatile enough to complete the book poetry part, I will for sure post on the other two topics during the week.

Come join us!

Take Away All My Power

So the fantastic people of FM Belfast (look at me talking like I know them*, but really, I’ve seen pretty much anything with them on Youtube, and am in their private Facebook group; it feels a bit like I know them) have released a new single, and asked their minions to “spread the word”. So here I am, spreading the word.

Like this – in this interview (below).
“- Our music is…?
– Happy, dramatic, dance-pop music!
– It’s eh, party music for people who don’t party all the time, but just sometimes. You know, not people who wake up and start drinking and shooting heroin very early in the morning, but just people who party just every other weekend.
– Ah, yes, that’s pretty good. It’s for normal party people.”

They crack me up.

*the second Arní is the one I mentioned in this post.

100 Day Song Challenge – #100

“A song. Actually, not just “a song”. THE SONG.”

As with so many of the others, this prompt just annoys me. What? You want me to pick just ONE song? Of all songs that have ever been written? Pff.

When I started the list, over a year ago, I put this song at this number:

But I guess it could also be this one:

Basically, I refuse. Let’s call this “by one of your favorite bands (#4)” instead.

And with that, it’s time to say goodbye to this music challenge. Thank you, you were a great safety blanket this past year, and I don’t really know what to do without you.

Top Ten Tuesday

It’s Tuesday and The Broke and the Bookish TTT is back from vacation!

August 22Back To School Freebie: anything “back to school” related like 10 favorite books I read in school, books I think should be required reading, Required Reading For All Fantasy Fans, required reading for every college freshman, Books to Pair With Classics or Books To Complement A History Lesson, books that would be on my classroom shelf if I were a teacher, etc.

I like freebies! My choice will of course be “books I think should be required reading”, cause, you know, I like to tell people what they should do. As I selected the books, they kind of organized themselves into two sections: non-fiction and fiction – 5 of each.

  1. Let’s start off easily, with this 64- page book based on Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s TED talk; We Should All Be Feminists. The radical notion that we’re all equal human beings! (I also read that this book was going to be handed out in high schools in… Finland? Sweden? Something like that.)
  2. Then we can move on to becoming depressed about the world as a whole, by reading This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate by Naomi Klein.
  3. Congo: the Epic History of a People by David Van Reybrouck.
  4. As I always do, let’s throw in a Swedish book. Kroppspanik: fett, lögner och sjukt onödig ångest by Julia Skott. (Translated title… er… Body panic: fat, lies, and insanely unnecessary anxiety. Roughly? Lisa – feel free to help 😛 ) I like to think that I’m pretty.. you know… aware. But it appears I still needed to read this book, about BMI (bullshit) and how people look at and treat fat people.
  5. More history: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann.

    So, that was the serious stuff. Now let’s move on to the more fictional part of this list:

  6. On a brighter note, some nice, short poems, to get people into poetry. Nayyirah Waheed’s salt. 
  7. I like my zombie books as much as the next person, so here’s one of those (a non-series one): The Girl With All The Gifts by M. R. Carey.
  8. Dystopia! Space odyssey! Sciency stuff! Seveneves. It appears I can’t make a list without putting Neal Stephenson in it.
  9. Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky.
  10. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams. I still remember who recommended this to me, and when (we’re talking 1994; classmate Daniel – who, btw, has only given it 4 stars on goodreads!).

100 Day Song Challenge – #99

A song “by one of your favorite bands (#3)”.

The reason I love Annika Norlin? Lyrics like these, they just crack me up:

And I know love will leave you all crooked
And I know he’ll start sleeping around
Or start listening to symphony rock
Or throw out the key and change the lock

Also, when googling for videos of this song, see how many covers there are? Almost all by women? Representation matters.

All the Movies

So yesterday I apparently didn’t want to study. So much so that instead I watched 4 (…yep) movies and did grocery shopping. Procrastination ftw!

This time, I saw these:

Florence Foster Jenkins
Well, who doesn’t like Meryl? And together with her, my mom’s favorite, Hugh Grant – who was really quite likable in this one. I think you know the premise? Rich lady wants nothing more than be part of the music and art world, she does so by contributing money and singing. Just that her voice isn’t… great. It’s a well played drama, where you start off laughing with Wolowitz (i.e. Simon Helberg), but in the end I almost shed a tear for Florence.

The Lobster
So this movie takes place in a society that values relationships more than anything. So when/if your partner leaves you, you’re sent to a hotel where you have 45 days to find a new one. If you fail, you will be transformed into an animal (of your choice). We’re not talking “true” love though, but the main thing is that the two people have something in common.
Now, I really like the premise and the storyline, and the dialogues are awkwardly hilarious. Unfortunately I think it lost speed around halfway, but I appreciate the ending.

Diary of  Teenage Girl
This one didn’t even go up in the cinema here, but I of course heard about it because of Alex Skarsgård (who, btw, cannot POSSIBLY turn into more of a copy of his dad than he is?). If you’re able to overlook the 35 yo man who has an affair with his girlfriend’s underage daughter, the movie is good! Kristen Wiig is great as always, and Skarsgård jr is pretty good at playing awkward. And the story allows a teenage girl to be into sex without slut shaming her, plus the movie ends with the line (which I don’t remember ad verbatim, but along the lines of) “I always thought I wanted to be like my mom, but she thinks she needs a man to be happy. I don’t.”

Swiss Army Man
First of all, I would so very much like to see how many Harry Potter fans that went to see this one because Daniel Radcliffe’s in it. Secondly, I would have wanted to see their faces afterwards. The only reason I watched this one was that my brother hyped it. He’s pretty picky with recommending movies, but called this “one of the best movies he’d ever seen”. So. I guess if you can get past the fart joke that is the first 15-20 minutes, you  might warm up to it. During the movie, I was pretty unimpressed, but I have to say that it grew on me. Not the fart jokes, mind you, but the atmosphere and feeling in the movie. Plus this song:

Skincare & Sunburns

The trains are (exceptionally) crap this week, so I was allowed to work from home Tuesday-Wednesday. You’d have thought I might have had time to write some posts then, but I guess not. Can we discuss how awesome it was not having to commute though? And not being surrounded by chattering people all day?

Anyway. About two months ago, I suddenly decided to start with skincare. Yep, you read it right, I’m 35 and haven’t done that before. Obviously, I’ve washed my face (with soap!!) and even used day cream every now and then, but that’s been it. Then I started reading Kakan Hermansson‘s preaching on skincare, and thought “maybe I should give it a try?”. So the thing she keeps talking about it is a 2% bha from Paula’s choice. Honestly – I still don’t really know what it is (yeah, yeah, it exfoliates), but I can be easily persuaded.

Said and done, I ordered the whole shebang from Paula’s choice (…I’m also lazy, have I mentioned this before?) – cleanser, 2% bha, day cream and night cream:


And now, 2 months later… I have to say it’s quite nice. My skin is definitely a lot softer, and I have less blackheads and zits. In addition to this, the joy of having a day cream with SPF. Why has no one told me this before? As the pale northerner I am, this has already saved me a couple of times (like when I went biking with my (red-headed) brother, and you couldn’t really tell on me, but he was lobster-red). I swear I will never use a day cream without it. Think I exaggerate? Just listen to this podcast episode. Really, do it.