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)

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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.

February wrap-up (a.k.a “week 9”)

Can we just start with this song? I can’t say that I know the National at all, and having listened to the original afterwards, I still prefer this cover by my favorite Icelander:

The Books

Marion Zimmer-Bradley’s The mists of Avalon
Maria Langs Farligt att förtära
Karolina Ramqvists Den vita staden
Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s Snare
Jenny Colgan’s The cafe by the sea
Johanne Hildebrandts Freja
Malala Yousafzai’s I am Malala
A.J. Jacobs’ The Year of Living Biblically: One Man’s Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible

They were all pretty good, I have to say. Looking back, I remember Snare (not necessarily the storyline, but the feeling the book gave me) and Freja. Meanwhile Jenny Colgan has become my most reliable read when it comes to chicklit.

Concerning Maria Lange though – I rather enjoy the books, but the mortality rate in them is close to Midsummer Murders numbers, and you as a reader wonder how this woman can be welcomed into any circles.

The Movies

Decoy Bride

Yep, rewatched it. David Tennant is in it, and they speak Scottish – what’s not to love?

The Shows

Orphan Black
Gilmore Girls
Derry Girls
The Good Place
House of Cards
Star Trek: Discovery

We finished Orphan Black! And yeah, it was pretty great. Very impressed by Tatiana Maslany’s portrayal of… dozens (?) of characters and still managing to make them feel genuine. Meanwhile, in Gilmore Girls, I’m completely on team Jess (sorry L! you were right all along) and Dean is a jerk. And Sonequa Martin-Green is the coolest main character in Star Trek that I’ve seen.

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.