It’s my Birthday! I’m starting to feel old when I see my own age in writing now (36). Will I have a crisis when I turn 40? Only time will tell. Apparently I’m getting birthday presents this year too, more about that later.
For some reason, this song, which (I realize) doesn’t even mention birthdays, makes me think of birthdays. Idk, the only parties that exist to me are birthday parties, or something?
Sooo. Top Ten Tuesday time! A pretty straightforward topic this week:
September 19: Top Ten Books On My Fall TBR List
- Bad Feminist
- The Second Sex
- The Mists of Avalon
- Akata Witch
- The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
- Born a Crime
- Scrappy Little Nobody
- Death by Black Hole
- Yes Please
- You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost)
I allowed two male authors to sneak in there, but only because the rest is pretty feminist, and they write about “real” things (growing up in apartheid, and science).
It’s Tuesday (worst day of the week if you ask me), and time for another TTT from the Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:
September 5: Ten Books I Struggled to Get Into But Ended Up Loving or Ten Books That Were A Chore To Get Through or Ten Books I’ve Most Recently Put Down (the theme is…books you had a hard time with…tweak it how ever you need)
Well, at least with this subject I won’t end up recommending the same books over and over again! I’ll go with the second alternative – ten books that were a chore to get through. Some of these books are rated 4 or higher on goodreads, so clearly this is a very subjective list (but that’s the charm, right?).
- Stephen Clarke’s 1000 Years of Annoying the French. If you really kind of hate history, and want it turned into Mr Beanesque humor, then this book is for you.
- Walter Isaacson’s Steve Jobs. Wanna read about a selfish male asshole who’ll do anything to anyone to get his way? Well then I have this book for you!
Now I’ll continue with books I actually did finish:
- Anne Applebaum’s Gulag. This is the only book in this list I’d still recommend to people. It’s only here cause while I was reading it, it felt like it would never end. That was due to the subject though, not the writing.
- Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita. Maybe if you can get past the topic of this story, the writing can enchant you? I wouldn’t know, cause I couldn’t. To me, it’s just another story of an adult man taking advantage of a young child.
- Jan-Philipp Sendker’s The Art of Hearing Heartbeats. Meh, it wasn’t that bad, I just couldn’t get into it. It’s not even that long, but lasted for ages…
- Henrik Berggren’s Underbara dagar framför oss: En biografi över Olof Palme. Look, I like Olof Palme as much as any Swedish left-leaning social democrat my age, but this book… it was dull. Interesting, but slow. So slow.
- John Ajvide Lindqvist’s Rörelsen: den andra platsen. This is my, by far, favorite horror writer, but sadly this book didn’t live up to my expectations, and I finished it just cause it felt like I should. If you’re new to his books, don’t start with this one!
- Donna Tartt’s The Little Friend. The cover totally turned me off this book, and the first time I began reading it, I even quit. I’ve made it through it now, but.. yeah. Meh.
- Emily Brontë’s Wuthering Heights. I found this comment which summarizes my feelings for this book: “I don’t hate it, but there’s not a single character that I like or can relate to, and it romanticises abuse.”
- James Rollins’ Bloodline. To be fair, I got the book amongst a bunch, and it’s the 8th one in a series (that’s never stopped me before!). SO. BORING. I disliked the characters and the storyline, but still felt I needed to know how it ended. So I guess that’s… good?
It’s Tuesday and time for The Broke and the Bookish TTT again. Today’s prompt is:
August 29: Ten 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).
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
- A Room of One’s Own – Virginia Woolf. This book helped me see my own (white) privilege.
- 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.
- Thinking, Fast and Slow – Daniel Kahneman. Basically: don’t trust your brain.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.)
- 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?
It’s Tuesday and The Broke and the Bookish TTT is back from vacation!
August 22: Back 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Congo: the Epic History of a People by David Van Reybrouck.
- 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.
- 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:
- On a brighter note, some nice, short poems, to get people into poetry. Nayyirah Waheed’s salt.
- 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.
- Dystopia! Space odyssey! Sciency stuff! Seveneves. It appears I can’t make a list without putting Neal Stephenson in it.
- Kill the Boy Band by Goldy Moldavsky.
- 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!).
As the previous time, I realize that TTT is now on a summer break, but I feel like doing this anyway, so I shall!
When scrolling through their list of previous topics, one immediately caught my eye; “Most Dislikable Characters”. “I can work with that!”, I thought. We will see.
Rated in terms of horribleness:
- Joffrey from A Game of Thrones. I’ve never wished a character in a book dead as strongly as I did Joffrey, and I may have cheered when he finally died.
- Cersei. Joffrey’s mother in A Game of Thrones.
- That guy in Fallvatten (how is it that this book hasn’t been translated into English?). I can’t remember his name, but if you’ve read it, you know who I mean. Eeeew.
- Julia Bliss Flaherty in Seveneves. Completely unsympathetic president who think they’re the center of the world. Does that remind you of someone?
- Humbert Humbert in Lolita. Hate is not a strong enough word for this guy.
And that was about it. I’ve looked through the books I’ve read in the last 2 years, and no other ones stick out. Apparently characters have to be really bad before I find them completely unlikeable.
So I realize that TTT is now on a summer break, but since the one from last week is one I’d actually not mind doing, I shall do it now! (Also – Hello! I’m back! It wasn’t a break, I just went on vacation without telling (again). I also ran into Lisa‘s brother for the first time in… idk, 15 years?)
Last week’s topic for TTT was: Best Books You’ve Read In 2017 So Far. It turned into a top 9, which is close enough! Two of the books have links to amazon rather than good reads – that’s cause their English versions were only available there (books 2 & 8).
- Siri Pettersen’s troll-trilogy (Korpringarna in Swedish, Ravneringerne in Norwegian). I re-read parts 1 and 2 to get in the mood for the final part. Oh man. How are they still not translated into English?
- Bea Uusma’s The Expedition. I never thought a book about a polar expedition would intrigue me. I was wrong. Now I’m trying to get more people to read it. Do it!
- Goldy Moldavsky’s Kill the Boy Band. Girl friends who bond over a boy band.
- Malorie Blackman’s Noughts & Crosses. Apartheid the other way around. Very good read.
- Angela S. Choi’s Hello Kitty Must Die. It involves a serial killer, but not in a scary way.
- Elena Ferrante My Brilliant Friend.
- Val McDermid’s The Vanishing Point. Ah Val, my favorite thriller writer.
- Jonas Hassen Khemiri’s Everything I Don’t Know.
- Brandon Sanderson’s Words of Radiance. Part two in a series. Fantasy and a bit of a brick.
It’s Tuesday and time for another The Broke and the Bookish TTT!
May 2: Cover Theme Freebie: literally anyyyything about covers….top ten covers that scream Spring, ten books with ice cream on the cover, ten books with blue covers, etc. etc. THIS ONE COULD BE REALLY FUN and I can’t wait to see how creative your lists are!
My choice of which book to buy is quite often completely based on the cover (cliche sayings be damned). For this TTT, I picked 10 of my favorite covers. It’s difficult to say which ones I really thought were initially pretty, and which are pretty cause I also really liked the book (as I noticed that all my picks are books I like…). In the end, I guess that doesn’t matter.