Wednesday, 9 August 2017

7-års krisa?

Det har gått syv år og åtte måneder siden denne bloggen fikk sin eksistens. I de første årene var jeg superivrig, men så har det blitt mindre og mindre. Og i år har det ikke blitt et eneste innlegg. Så, hva gjør man? Legger ned? Eller prøve med gjenoppliving?

Jeg går all in - relansering! Og på norsk. Faktisk.

 Hittil i år har jeg lest hele 35 bøker - og er i følge goodreads 6 bøker før skjema. Ligger bra an med andre ord, men fortsatt stor sjanse for å snuble før målstreken.

Hva har jeg lest? Før nyttår lagde jeg ei liste over 50 bøker som jeg skulle få lest før året er omme.  Så langt har jeg krysset av 14 - noe som jo sier at jeg har vært utro mot lista. Grunn 1 er at jeg var så smart å sette opp en tittel i en serie, og endte med å lese flere. Dette hendte med både Elena Ferrantes brilliante Napoli-serie som jeg slukte og elsket. Rett og slett nydelig! Og passe brutalt. Jeg hadde en nedeperiode i mai hvor det eneste jeg gjorde var å lese bøker i Harry Bosch-serien. Endte på fem på to uker. Og nå er det den råe Afrika-trilogien til Jakob Ejersbo det går i.

Grunn 2 er enda enklere; nye bøker! Jeg liker å lese bøker fresh from the print. Så langt har det blitt åtte bøker utgitt i 2016 og 2017. Akkurat nå er det Bookerbonanza på goodreads og jeg klarer ikke å bli revet med. Jeg hadde allerede fem av bøkene i hylla (alle ulest, unntatt Roy som jeg kjøpte på flyplassen og hadde lest femti sider av før langlista kom) og resten er på vei i posten. Det er mye bra litteratur som blir gitt ut i år og ønskelista mi er (som alltid) griselang.

Når det kommer til ny norsk litteratur så har jeg lest latterlig lite. Faktisk bare to, og de er ikke nevneverdig en gang. Jeg har ikke funnet mange spennende norske titler så langt i år, så krysser fingrene for at den norske bokhøsten blir knall. Jeg vet at jeg skal lese den nye til Helga Flatland hvis den kommer på ebokbib/ jeg klarer å karre meg til det nye biblioteket i kommunen. Og så venter jeg strategisk på alle bokbloggerinnleggene med liste over nye norske bøker som bare måååå leses. Da skal jeg velge analysere listene og velge med omhu.

Sosial uakseptabel bokoppbevaring
Grunn 3: gamle bøker, nye impulser. Jeg er jo ikke et menneske som klarer å holde meg til andre rutiner enn de som får meg igjennom hverdagen (såvidt), så jeg burde jo ikke lage ei liste i det hele tatt. Av og til så får man bare skikkelig lyst til å lese noe, og da må man jo bare følge den impulsen. Impulsen har også gjort at det har blitt noen flere meter i bokhylla siden i fjor. Jeg har vært fink og faktisk gitt bort en del bøker og er i en prosess hvor jeg skal kvitte meg med flere, men også kjøpe flere bokhyller (siden gulvet visstnok ikke er en sosial akseptabel bokoppbevaringsplass).

Kommer jeg til å følge lista? Tvilsomt. Ikke fordi at den ikke er bra - men fordi jeg gikk listebananas og lagde ei ny som skal vare til jeg er 40. 250 bøker, men da regner jeg med at det er rom til å lese andre bøker også siden jeg ligger på rundt 50-60 i året. Men kjenner jeg meg selv rett, så ender jeg med å lese alt annet enn dem på lista.

Så med dette erklærer jeg bloggen for gjenåpnet. Ingen vet hva framtiden bringer, men jeg vil lese ferdig Afrika-trilogien og skrive litt om den. Og Booker når jeg er lei av det rotteracet. Jeg ser at trenden i bokbloggermiljøet har hellet mot månedsoppdateringer og det er jo også en mulighet (og jeg har også neglisjert kommenteringer - trippelskam på meg!). Jeg liker muligens bedre å metaskrive om bøker enn å skriveskrive om dem. Får se hva som skjer når det virkelige liv starter igjen på mandag. Men før det venter København med musikk og øl. Regner med at noen bøker ender opp i kofferten også.

Saturday, 7 January 2017

2016.

What a year it has been. From the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. Readingwise it has only been impressive in numbers; I managed to read 63 books. And for the first time ever, I read most books from my own country. I guess I can blame Jo Nesbø for that as I spent three weeks during the winter reading all the Harry Hole books. I also read mainly books published in 2016, and that may be why I felt like this was kind of a meh-year of reading. And maybe the most tragic thing is that I can count the times I have written here on two hands.

Let's see how I did on my reading goals:
  • Read more than 50 books: 63! 
  • Read Ulysses by James Joyce: I gave it a real try, but then I didn't even notice that I had read the same chapter twice - thus I gave up. I probably need to age a little before giving it another go.
  • Read at least 5 non-fiction books: 1! I guess reality was too hard to handle last year. But the book I read (To søstre by Åsne Seierstad) was one of the best.
  • Continue working my way around the globe in books (49 countries so far): 3 new countries: Austria, Australia and Greece.
  • Lifelong goals: cross off as many 1001 books you must read before you die (12,6%) and Nobel Prize winners (29/112): Up to 13,8% and one new Nobel Prize winner (J.M. Coetzee)
  • Read in a book every day, even if it's just a page: This was pretty successful.
  • Write more: Wrote less than ever. But started instagramming. 
So, what about this year? Just a repeat of last year's, minus Ulysses.
  • Read more than 50 books. But with a twist. I have already decided which 50 books to read.
  • Read at least 5 non-fiction books.
  • Continue working my way around the globe in books (52 countries so far)
  • Lifelong goals: cross off as many 1001 books you must read before you die (13,8%) and Nobel Prize winners (30/113).
  • Read in a book every day, even if it's just a page.
  • Write more.   
 The best books I read last year, in random order:
  • Max, Mischa og Tetoffensiven by Johan Harstad (2015)
  • Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood (1939)
  • Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (2009)
  • the North Water by Ian McGuire (2016)
  • the Natural Way of Things by Charlotte Wood (2015)
  • Neljäntienristeys by Tommi Kinnunen (2012)
  • the Summer Book by Tove Jansson (1972)
  • Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (2016)
  • Do Not Say We Have Nothing by Madeleine Thien (2016)
  • the Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood (2000)
  • To søstre by Åsne Seierstad (2016)
 My favourite shot from 2016. Taken at the re-enactment of the Battle of Little Bighorn, Montana.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

norsk på norsk 2016

For å kvalifisere meg til å nominere bøker til bokbloggerprisen2016, så må jeg vel få fingeren ut og skrive litt om de norske bøkene jeg leste i fjor. Og jeg har lest mye norsk2016 (til meg å være), hele 15 bøker ble det.

Fjorårets lesing kan vel sies å være midt på treet. Med et par unntak. Jeg kan vel også avsløre at både Vigdis Hjorth og Monica Isakstuen havnet i avbrutt-kategorien. Skammer meg heller ikke så særlig over det, de funka bare ikke for meg.

Det som fungerte var å lese om steder jeg har tilknytning til. Jeg falt pladask for Brødre av Erling E. Guldbrandsen som er satt til Nordlandskysten og Oslo. Og det skal mye til for å falle for en bok som er så brutal. Det eneste negative med boka er slutten, som var way way over the top. Nordnorsk julesalme av Hild Haaheim var jo et enkelt valg når den handler om Kirkenes og slekt. Jeg kom meg også igjennom et par bøker som nevner Nittedal, og  Fjällräven Gul av Tiril Broch Aakre var den som nådde høyest opp. Det er rart å lese bøker satt til plasser som du kjenner veldig godt. Apropos slekt, broren til tippoldemor var kokken Lindstrøm, og jeg ble ekstra konsentrert når navnet hans ble nevnt i Amundsen av Espen Ytreberg.

Mange norske forfattere har nok tatt utgangspunkt i den berømte åpningssetningen i Anna Karenina. Eller så har jeg vært veldig flink til å plukke ut bøker som handler om familier som sliter. I tillegg til de som jeg allerede har nevnt, så må bare Et godt liv av Jens M. Johansson nevnes. Rett og slett nydelig. Birgit Alms Endelig skal vi le fortjener også hederlig omtale.

Jeg har vært dårlig til å lese bøker som kan nomineres i åpen klasse. I år ble det kun to. Åsne Seierstads To søstre har blitt diskutert med familie, venner og kollegaer. Superviktig og interessant bok! Den andre var Når historien slutter, den siste boka i I morgen er alt mørkt-trilogioen til Sigbjørn Mostue. Prikken over i-en, rett og slett.

Andre bøker som er lest og ikke helt glemt: Cathrine Everlid - Drømmer fra Texaco, Nicolai Houm - Jane Ashlands gradvise forsvinning og Birger Emanuelsen - Anna og kjærligheten. Bøker som er lest og nesten glemt: Victoria Bø - Adresse Alberta, Silje Aanes Fagerlund - Eneste, Geir Pollen - En spøkelseshistorie og Nikolaj Frobenius - Alle mine demoner. Den siste boka jeg rekker å lese før nominasjonsfristen er Havende av Gunstein Bakke - så langt liker jeg den.

Den beste boka? Max, Mischa og Tetoffensiven av Johan Harstad. Det tok meg over et år, men herregudogfaderforeibok! Verdt hver eneste tegn og sekund. 

Og apropos den virkelighetsroman-debatten; jeg siterer Jens M. Johansson
“Alle vil bli skrevet dikt om" sa han. "Men ingen vil være karakterer i en roman.”

Thursday, 25 August 2016

books read in 2016 that i have said nothing about.

In an attempt to start writing again, I need to have a clean slate (yeah I know I said the same in June, here's to a second try). So, a list of all the books I have said nothing about:

  • Wolf Hall (2009) by Hilary Mantel (UK, Man Booker): ❤︎!
  • the House of Ulloa (1886) by Emilia Pardo Bazan (Spain, 1001 books): 3
  • Bring Up the Bodies (2012) by Hilary Mantel (UK, Man Booker): 5
  • Black Ice (1992) by Michael Connelly (USA): 4
  • the Nest (2016) by Cynthia d'Asprix Sweeney (USA): 2+
  • Last Rituals (2005) by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Iceland): 3+
  • Portnoy's Complaint (1969) by Philip Roth (USA, 1001 books):  3+
  • Pastoralia (2000) by George Saunders (USA, 1001 books): 4
  • My Soul to Take (2006) by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Iceland): 4
  • Ashes to Dust (2007) by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Iceland): 4
  • the Day is Dark (2008) by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Iceland): 4
  • the Natural Way of Things (2015) by Charlotte Wood (Australia): ❤︎!
  • All That Man Is (2016) by David Szalay (UK, Man Booker): 4+
  • Barkskins (2016) by Annie Proulx (USA): 3+
  • the Girls (2016) by Emma Cline (USA): 3-
  • Things Fall Apart (1958) by Chinua Achebe (Nigeria, 1001 books): 4+
  • the Summer Book (1972) by Tove Jansson (Finland, 1001 books): ❤︎!
  • Homegoing (2016) by Yaa Gyasi (Ghana): ❤︎!
  • My Name Is Lucy Barton (2016) by Elizabeth Strout (USA, Man Booker): 4+ 
Books not yet translated to English
  • Tellemarck (2015) by Morten Øien (Norway): 5
  • De urolige (2015) by Linn Ullmann (Norway): 5-
  • Adresse Alberta (2016) by Victoria Bø (Norway): 3
  • Slik skal vi velge våre ofre (2015) av Bjørn Vatne (Norway): 4+
  • Neljäntienristeys (2012) by Tommi Kinnunen (Finland): ❤︎!
  • Eneste (2016) by Silje Aasnes Furulund (Norway): 3
  • Anna og kjærligheten (2016) by Birger Emanuelsen: 4+ 

Tuesday, 7 June 2016



not sure if this is temporary or permanent. 


❤︎

Monday, 2 May 2016

of whales and men.

the North Water by Ian McGuire (2016)

 Behold the man is the opening sentence, and that we really must do. The man in question, Drax, is a brute, a lover of rum and young boys. He is about to ship out with a whale boat named the Volunteer. The year is 1857, and the traditional whale ships are met with hard competitions from the steamers. The captain on the ship is deemed unlucky as he has lost ships and men before, so the atmosphere aboard the ship is nervous.

There is another man we must observe, Patrick Sumner, who has signed up to be the ship's doctor. He has come back from India where he witnessed the siege of Delhi and the horrors of war. And because of that he is not able to sleep and function without laudanum. But as the ship's doctor he will witness things equally as bad or even worse; venereal diseases, clubbing of baby seals, conspiracies, frost bites, rape and even murders. One thing that is for certain is that both the ship and its crew are beyond hope.

When I read the book's description, I knew that this would be right up my alley and I'm glad it didn't disappoint. Although it is dark, violent and gory, sometimes bordering the grotesque, I loved every word of the book. The language is crucial in order to make such a wild tale work, and it flows perfectly while being entertaining and salty. The only fault I see is that it was simply too short, I wish the author would give more details of the returns at the end.

I have a sneaking feeling that the North Water might end up as one of my 2016-favourites.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

january - march.

I have read 21 books so far this year. And only written about 2. I wanted to write about more, but I have never gotten around to it because life is simply too much everything right now (and that is why I'm reading so much - escaping reality).

So. I'm just going to list them (except the recent Norwegian ones, they will get a post of their own).

6. Disgrace by J.M Coetzee (1999): Race and rape. Bleak. It is still on my mind. Won the Man Booker Prize, is on the 1001 books list and Coetzee has a Nobel prize. Read for Line's 1001 books challenge: books by a Nobel prize winner.

7. House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski (2000): Scary, but too much academic writing and nonsense. Disappointing in the end. 1001 books.

8-16. Harry Hole book 2-10 by Jo Nesbø (1998-2013): I developed a love/hate relationship to Harry Hole and the books. Too many similar plots. But at least Harry Hole has a great taste in music.

18. the Radetzky March by Joseph Roth (1932): The downfall of a family and the Austrian-Hungarian empire. Read it with a smile on my face and also learnt a lot of history. Read for Hedda's off the shelf challenge: books written in German.

20. the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1892): Sherlock Holmes #3. Short stories. Entertaining, but some were too predictable. Read for Line's 1001 books challenge: crime and mystery

21. the Black Echo by Michael Connelly (1992): Harry Bosch #1. I watched the Bosch series and fell in love. The book was tougher to get through, probably because I overdosed on police corruption reading the Harry Hole books. Ingalill says it will get better. Started on #2.

Clean slate. I'm enjoying Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel tremendously, all I want to do is read about the Tudors all day long. Luckily I have Bring Up the Bodies to look forward to.

I also set up an instagram account and it is more up to date than this blog. 

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Berlin, Berlin!

Goodbye to Berlin by Christopher Isherwood (1939)

“I am a camera with its shutter open, quite passive, recording, not thinking. Recording the man shaving at the window opposite and the woman in the kimono washing her hair. Some day, all this will
have to be developed, carefully printed, fixed.”

Christopher moves to Berlin where he spends his time giving English lessons, writing and having a jolly good time. But this is Berlin in the early 1930s and behind the decadence lurks Nazism and violence and Christopher decides to leave the city in 1933.

Through his years in Berlin he meets a lot of interesting characters. My favourite is Sally Bowles, an English cabaret dancer who loves men and money. I think the reason why I love Sally is her complexity, she is both fun and depressed. There are other important and fascinating characters as well, and many of them Jewish or gay. And that is why this book is so sad. The last chapter made me cry because we now know what happened. It is also the reason why this book is important.

Isherwood simply amazed me with this book, in fact I read in just a few hours on a train between Oslo and Trondheim back in February (I'm superslow at logging my books this year). Now I'm eager to read the rest of his works. I already bought Mr Norris Changes Trains when visiting fantastic Berlin during Easter and his autobiography Christopher and His Kind is very high on my wish list.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

trust me, I'm telling you stories.

the Passion by Jeanette Winterson (1987)

 Henri is the man who prepares chickens for Napoleon. And because of that he gets to see the battlefields of Europe, all the way to Moscow. Meanwhile, in Venice, a web-footed girl named Villanelle works at a casino. At work she cross dresses to flirt with the customers and she falls in love with a married woman. Years later, Henri and Villanelle meet on the outskirts of a burning Moscow and they decide to desert together, making their way to Venice where Henri has to find Villanelle's heart.

I'm amazed by the fact that this book is a mere 180 pages long, but has so many stories within the story. I loved the setting, and if I could time travel, Venice would be one of the places I'd visit (but not now, as it is a tourist trap). I also learnt more about Napoleon. All in all, it's a great read and that was a pleasant surprise as I didn't enjoy Orange is the Only Fruit when I read it years ago.

(Why is it always so hard to write a lot about the books you have come to love?)

This was my choice for Hedda's off-the-shelf 2016 reading challenge; a book with a red cover. I'm months behind in blogging.

Friday, 29 January 2016

all the lonely people, where do they all belong?

Keep the Aspidistra Flying by George Orwell (1936)

 “Their combined ages were two hundred and sixty-three years. None of them had ever been out of England, fought in a war, been in prison, ridden a horse, travelled in an aeroplane, got married, or given birth to a child. There seemed no reason why they should not continue in the same style until they died. Year in, year out, nothing ever happened in the Comstock family.” 

 Gordon hates money so much that he left his good job and started working for a small book shop. At night he writes poetry while glaring at the hated aspidistra on his shelf in his rented room. And always thinking about money and the fact that he is too poor to do anything.

So goes his life, until one day when he receives a letter and a cheque for 10 pounds from an American magazine that will publish one of his poems. He is going to give half of it to his sister who has always given him a hand, but first he is finally going to invite his girlfriend and a friend out to dinner. But the perfect night turns into a drunken stupor that ends in jail.

Orwell is a master in portraying the life on the dirty, poor streets of London. And as in all of his novels, the political aspect is close to the surface. Although Gordon is a miserable character, Orwell writes with an excellent sense of humour, and it is hard to feel sorry for  Gordon as he can only blame himself for his position. After all, the war against money is a battle that he is doomed to lose. The way the book ends is another plus, although I predicted it.

This was the remaining Orwell novel on my shelf, and that is a little sad. But he has written some very interesting non-fiction books, so I have something to look forward to. If you have only read Animal Farm and 1984, I highly recommend his other works.

Folkens! Lines 1001 bøker lesesirkel har gjenoppstått fra de døde. I januar leser vi en bok vi har lenge hatt lyst til å lese. I februar er det en 1001 bok fra en nobelprisforfatter som står for tur. Sleng deg på!