week 4 / when it snowed!

Music

Insta/Twitter/YouTube/Netflix

The accents! ❤

You can thank L for that one. Her direct quote was: “Älskar humor där man måste ha läst classics vid Oxford för att hänga med!”

Purchase
Soooo. I bought an acoustic guitar. First reaction when trying to play? “There are so many strings!” (Obvs. comparing to the ukulele.) And they hurt my fingers. We will see how this goes. Both my in-laws (who, to their sorrow, are very musical but got kids who aren’t interested at all) are super excited as well. No pressure.

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2019 reading goals

So, how about this year? I’ve decided to focus less on concrete numbers (1 book a week as a goal will do) and gender (I mean, I won’t go less than 50/50, obviously). Main reason? I have still not read Oathbringer! And to read it, I want to re-read the previous 2 parts (because I loved them). And that, my friends, is all by a male author…

So I’ve decided that 2019 will be dedicated to my TBR pile and books I want to re-read. No guilt, no feeling of “wasted time”. Of course, I still want to track this somehow, so here’s the list of what’s in my TBR (alphabetically, by title, cause why not):

American War by Omar El Akkad
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
Bortom Varje Rimligt Tvivel by Malin Persson Giolito
Bottenskrap by Jørn Lier Horst
The Culture Map by Erin Meyer
De Indische Romans by Helkla S. Haasse
Der Kleine Prinz by Antoine de Saint-Expery (German version)
En Officer & Spion by Robert Harris
The Female Eunuch by Germaine Greer
Feminist Fight Club by Jessica Bennett
Fjällfolk by Bernhard Nordh
Freja by Johanne Hildebrandt
Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Grottmannen by Jørn Lier Horst
Himmel und Hölle by Alice Munro (German version of Hateship, Friendship, Courtship, Loveship, Marriage)
I Marsfjällets skugga by Bernhard Nordh
Illiaden by Homer (Swedish version)
Independent People by Halldor Laxness
Jesus was Cesar by Francesco Carotta
Love and Friendship by Jane Austen
Matthildur by Roald Dahl (Icelandic version)
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Oathbringer by Brandon Sanderson
Odysseen by Homer (Swedish version)
On the Shortness of Life by Seneca
Paradise Reclaimed by Halldor Laxness
Persuasion by Jane Austen
Purple Hibiscus by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Samlade Dikter by Edith Södergran
The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
Snare by Lilja Sigurdardottir
The State of Africa by Martin Meredith
Stjärnklart by Lars Wilderaeng
Unspeakble Things by Laurie Penny
Vinterstängt by Jørn Lier Horst
Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Watchmen by Alan Moore & Dave Gibbons
Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom
Äta Kakan och ha den kvar by Kristin Emilsson
1793 by Niklas Natt och Dag

And OMG this looks so much worse in writing than it does in my bookshelf. In addition to this, I have three books I’m “reading” (haven’t opened either in over 6 months). They are:

Det står ett rum här och väntar på dig by Ingrid Carlberg
A book with 3 stories by Selma Lagerlöf (can’t find it anywhere to link to)
Nederland. Een objectief zelfportret in 51 voorwerpen by Wim Brands

So that’s 48 books. *cough*.

And I’m currently reading The Mists of Avalon as well as Malala’s autobiography.

Er, I guess… wish me luck?

week 3 / meh

Podcast/episode
As mentioned last week, I started listening to some new podcasts. I actually quite enjoy The Armchair Expert by Dax Shepard. So, the reason I even gave it a try (given that I mainly know him from Punk’d), is of course that he had his wonderful wife Kristen Bell as his first guess. And that every episode ends with a fact check section, where his friend/editor lets everyone know if he (or his guests) said something incorrect during the pod. Slightly annoyed that he at times get so eager that he interrupts his guests, but hoping this’ll get better eventually?

Music
Went to two concerts this week. This is unheard of!
Monday we saw Snow Patrol in Ziggo Dome (Amsterdam), and it was SO NICE. I know their music a bit, but mainly the two albums from 2003/2006, and thought “sure” when Dutchie suggested going. I’ve rarely seen a band that look so happy to be where they are, and only Kaizer’s Orchestra charmed the audience more. Plus the Irish accent, I mean to my ears there isn’t any nicer accent when speaking English.

So, with that as a start of the week, it was a tough task for Icelanders Árstíðir to live up to this in Leiden on Sunday evening. I’m probably also much harder on them considering that I’ve seen them so many times (don’t know exact number, but two digit for sure, as they’re always playing Iceland Airwaves). And, yeah. The tour they’re on is for the new album, which I don’t like as much as the previous one, so I honestly found it a bit dull. The older stuff is great, and they played some songs from it.

Playlist
All Snow Patrol.

Insta/Twitter/YouTube/Netflix
Still watching Gilmore Girls (still season 2). And yep, Dean is turning into a jealous jerk as we speak. And Jess is getting more likable.

App
It seems I have kicked the worst of the FB/Insta “addiction” (light) thing. Re-installed the FB one 2 weeks ago after having befriended my brother’s “new” GF there. I check it maybe 3 times a week? That’s fine, so as long as it doesn’t get worse than that, it can stay. Insta stays away, cause that’s much nicer to check 😛

week 2 / the week that would never end

Food
Bad food week. Prepared 2 lunches, which I then proceeded with not eating because I really didn’t want them.

Podcast/episode
Alltså. I listen less to podcasts now, and got rid of a whole bunch when I did my (unsuccessful) test of Spotify as podcast player. Now I removed I nöd och lyft (p.g.a. två poddar om att lyfta blev för mycket, så jag håller mig till Styrkebyrån), and added some other ones. I’ll report back if any are worth your time.

Reading list
I’m reading Mists of Avalon! Last time was in 2000, so I remember virtually nothing. I’m about 400 pages in, and still liking it.

Insta/Twitter/YouTube/Netflix
Gilmore Girls! I never did finish it in the past, so working on it now. I’m on season 2 and it’s just wonderful so far. Friend L initiated a discussion about Dean vs Jess when we were in Iceland, and so far… I’m torn. Rory’s obviously got more to talk to Jess about, but on the other hand he is also a bit of a twat. I think we can all agree on Dean being boring.

2018 in books

My reading goal for 2018 was 80 books (and the same 30 – 10 (skipped the 20) as previous years). When I set this, I was still commuting 2 hours a day, and it didn’t seem at all crazy. Then we moved, and my commuting time turned to 10 minutes walking each direction to get to work, and voila – natural reading time disappeared. I find that it is much more difficult for me to get the reading done now, as I have to consciously make time for it, or it won’t happen. Anyway, how did it go?

Number of books
I ended at 79 read books. I could’ve pushed this and reached the 80, but I didn’t want to, and thus didn’t. I’m perfectly OK with this total, and doubt I’ll get even close to it this year.

The countries
So the 30 still stands for books from 30 countries, which I – once again – did not even come close to. The authors came from 15 different countries. Actually quite happy about this too, as I don’t think 15 is bad…

The decades
The 10 in the challenge stands for 10 different decades (I wrote centuries first – not THAT would have been a real challenge…). I covered 8 different decades, so with this one I’m pretty bummed. I’ve made it easily in previous years, so I clearly did something wrong!

The genders
I also set a goal of reading 80% female authors, and ended at 82.3%, so mission accomplished!

The laureates 
An inofficial goal of mine is to read some Nobel laureates every year. I imagine this will also help broaden my reading horizons. This year I covered 3 – Selma Lagerlöf, Doris Lessing & Svetlana Alexievich.



I’ve already covered my favorites in the Best of 2018 post, but what about worst?

I found Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s Shadow of the Wind tedious. While I liked his descriptions of war-time Barcelona, the story as a whole did nothing to me. My completely unscientific methods tell me that if you’re a middle-aged, middle-class white man however, you probably like it (people at work talked about it; this was the division). 

If you’re into shitty and shallow descriptions of women, I suggest reading Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84 (trilogy). I really love his way with words and the stories, but seriously. Come on Murakami, let a woman have something to say.

Malin Persson Giolito’s Bara ett barn (I guess “Only a child”?). This was the author’s debut, and you can tell. It’s not necessarily BAD, it just feels a bit… forced?

While I didn’t love Octavia E. Butler’s Parable of the Sower when I read it (mainly due to the religious undertones of it) it has stayed with me, so I think I need to revalue that and maybe even read the sequel?

51-+rburccl._sx325_bo1,204,203,200_I don’t recommend this one.

Week 1 / let’s do this again

Food

After all the Christmas food it was quite nice to get back into the habitual eating of lots of veggies (and no desserts!)

Insta/Twitter/YouTube

I’ve started my own sourdough, and have been watching videos on how to get your best sourdough breads. Standing in the way of this at the moment, is our crappy IKEA oven that only goes to 230 C, when most sourdough breads call for 250 C. What?

Mask

Bodyshop lured me in with their sale (got two hand creams for half off), but also bought this one, which was at full price:

seaweed-oil-balancing-clay-mask-7-640x640

 

 

Best of 2018

To clarify – all listed below are things that I personally consumed this year. That does not mean that they’re necessarily FROM this year.

The Books: 

So, I read 79 books this year (1 short of my goal – I could’ve forced it but chose not to). I’d lie if I said I can recall all the stories in them, so this is a very, very subjective list to which I’ve added the year the book was originally published:

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Malin Persson Giolito’s Störst av allt (2016)
I got this book from V. and had no idea she is the daughter of well-known (at least in Sweden) crime writer (and professor of criminology) Leif GW Persson. I thoroughly enjoyed this read, and it has stayed with me all year. I also read another book by her, which was not as interesting.

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Yaa Gyasi’s Homegoing (2016)
Recommended by Lina, and wow. The stories in this book are haunting, and the writing is so beautiful.

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Nnedi Okorafor’s Akata Warrior (2017)
This cannot be a surprised considering how much I talked about the prequel last year? Teenage witches in Africa! It’s wonderful.

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Reni Eddo-Lodge’s Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race (2017)
So this was a book I endeavored on due to Our Shared Shelf. Dare I say this should be required reading for all white people? It’s not a book I finished in one sitting, as I needed to give things time to sink in. It’s also a book I know I will need to re-read.

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Margaret Atwood’s MaddAddam (2013)
Who doesn’t love a well-written dystopia? This trilogy (this book is preceded by Onyx & Crake and Year of the Flood) is my Atwood favorite so far.

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Madeline Miller’s Circe (2018)
I just recently  mentioned this one, so for this I’ll just say – Look how pretty!!

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Neal Shusterman’s Scythe (Arc of a Scythe #1) (2016)
The only man to make it onto this list also wrote a dystopic book (this one I guess is YA). I kind of want the Thunder Head to take over IRL 😦

The Movies:

What We Do in the Shadows

Black Panther

Brooklyn

The Shape of Water

Avengers: Infinity War

One of the guys from Flight of the Conchords is behind the first movie, which is about a group of cohabiting vampires of varying ages. If you enjoy vampire movies and mockumentaries, this one’s for you!

The Shows:

Parks & Recreation

Penny Dreadful

Lucifer

Salvation

None of these shows are new, so I’m sure you’ve heard about them. If I ever get the time, I’ll probably rewatch both Lucifer and Parks & Recs.

The Songs: