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 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 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!

April wrap-up

The Books:

Bernhard Nordhs I Marsfjällets skugga
Torgny Lindgrens Ormens väg på hälleberget
Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Grey
Lena Anderssons Utan personligt ansvar (Ester Nilsson #2)

Meh. Most memorable is the environment/nature in the first book, and the storyline of Dorian Grey. Still enjoy Lena Anderssson’s language though. (And only the first one was a physical book… that TBR pile is still staring at me.)

The Movies:

Someone Great

Basically, I’ll watch anything that has anyone from Pitch Perfect in it. In this case – Brittany Snow. The other two leading ladies were also very worth seeing!

The Shows:

Gilmore Girls (season 6 now!)
Black Mirror (yes, I’m slow)

Quarterly check up on that TBR pile (part 1)

They always say that accountability helps with achieving things, so here we go.

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 Wilderäng
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

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

By month:

January – I got nothing.
February – I got 2 and felt like a fucking champion. (Freja & Snare).
March – Culture Map, Bortom varje rimligt tvivel, American War, Washington Black.

Well, so far it’s gone better than I’d expected! I realize that 6 crossed of this very long list doesn’t make a HUGE difference, but it’s a difference nonetheless. Keep it up me!

March Summary

The books

Erin Meyer’s The Culture Map
Malin Persson Giolitos Bortom varje rimligt tvivel (Sophie Weber #2)
Maria Langs Inte flera mord!
Omar El Akkad’s  American War
Esi Edugyan’s Washington Black
Johanna Junekes Swedavien
Look at me read! Best ones were American War & Swedavien, although Washington Black was also a very nice read. (Not saying the others were bad, just less memorable.)

The movies

Isn’t it Romantic
The Dirt. Cause Lisa mentioned it in passing.
Behind the Curve

All 3 were worth seeing! First one with Rebel Wilson (and small cameo by Tom Ellis) and a Hemsworth brother. Movie about Motley Crue (I did read the book, but many years ago). And then the wildcard – a movie about flat-earthers. I would normally never have watched that, but Martin at work recommended it, so I did. And it was quite amusing.

The shows

House of Cards (final season)
Agents of SHIELD
Champions
Gilmore Girls
Turn Up Charlie
Wild, wild country

Ok, well now Jess left for California without even telling Rory, so I’m now on neutral grounds. The boys in this show are stupid, and Rory deserves better. I really enjoyed Champions as well, and Turn Up Charlie, but they got their own posts already, so enough with that. Wild, wild Country is a show I’ve watched only during warm-up at the gym (so we’re talking 5 minute increments here), and I finished it now, only 6 months later. My verdict? Meh.