I managed to get a fair bit of reading done this month, much thanks to a few days off in the beginning of January.
Autumn by Ali Smith
I have already written about this here but the short version is that I loved it.
Kärlekens samtal(The lover’s discourse) by Roland Barthes
I’ve read Barthes before but not extensively. This one is wonderful; a collection of mini essays gathering his thought on love and intimacy based in his experiences, discussions and extensive reading. It’s not all brilliant but when he gets it right, it’s on point. Food for thought, and a surprisingly enjoyable read.
When Breath became air by Paul Kalanithi
I know this one is loved by many and has effected people deeply; as I had just read Autumn, which to me was more about the end of life then post-Brexit sentiment, it was “cake upon cake” as we say in swedish. But it’s a good book to read and reflect upon and I don’t hesitate in recommending it.
The tengu’s game of go by Lian Hearn
I have loved this series and it was both a joy and a sorrow to read the last installment. This is great escapist literature and the mythical feudal Japan that Hearn has created has me purring with delight. This one is darker and more mature The Otori saga but to me that’s a good thing.
The Good Immigrant edited by Nikesh Shukla
So so relevant. I have written about it here but let me state again that this should be read by many.
Nicholaus and Alexandra by Robert K. Massie
The joy of spending snowy days wrapped up in a blanket getting stuck in a thick biography. I have written about it here already so will just state again that I’m reading more Massie in the future; I loved this.
The Alice B.Toklas cookbook by Alice B.Toklas
A very random find, bought for giggles, that turned out to be a delight. I love a good foodie memoir. I will come back to this as I’m hosting a dinner based on recipes from this book shortly.
Snöstormen(the Blizzard) by Vladimir Sorokin
I listened to this as an “audio-serialization” by swedish radio and I will point out again how much I loved the reading and acting by Rolf Lassgård. This was my first Sorokin so don’t know how it measures with his other works. It’s a zombie book without zombies really, a dystopian vision of a Russia in the future that is still much like that of Dostoevsky and Gogol. The efforts of Doctor Garin to get to a village with vaccines, in a horrible storm makes my commute seem reasonable.
Moongloow by Michael Chabon
Chabons fictionalized account of his family’s history is well-written, funny and very enjoyable. This starts with conversations he had with his grandfather just before he died, and weaves a a tale where Chabon himself makes several appearances. Much recommended.
Lace Bone Beast by N.L Shampole
I found this to be uneven but then so many poetry collections are. I probably would’t have read it(or even come across it) had I not been offered and ARC by the publisher. That said I did like parts of it as I enjoy a little fairytale-esque flavor in my life. Think Angela Carter meets Rupi Kaur.
Mellan världen och mig(Between the world and me) by Ta-Nehisi Coates
Another of those hyped and relevant books. But it does live up to it. Coates is an intelligent writer and manages to put his feelings into words, and tell his story in a way that is relatable despite there really being a world between him and me. His anger is justified, and he is entitled to his emotions regardless, but he reasons with himself and manages to make it into something that is both raw and reasonable.
Step aside,Pops by Kate Beaton
This one made me laugh out loud several times. I am an eclectic reader and have come to a point where I have the time and space to pick up whatever tickles my fancy, like a comic strip collection that I’ve never heard of found on the shelves at the library. Beaton makes this comic riffs, and mash-ups, of classic literature and popular culture.
The Missolonghi manuscripts by Frederic Prokosch
The imagined notebooks and diaries by Lord Byron. What can go wrong? A very entertaining book, and elegantly written but I will (as I have done elsewhere) issue a warning to sensitive readers as this is sexually explicit(it’s Byron; no surprise there).
I’ve also read on in A poem for every night of the year as compiled by Allie Esiri. A book I very much recommend, I adore it, and it is nice to read a little poetry everyday, especially since it really is from the whole spectra.
Other January stats;
Clothing items lost; a few socks and tights,a pair of winter boots had to be retired and I’ve lost two earrings(from different sets) and two pairs have broken.
Sewing projects completed; a few actually. Will post soon.
Most worn perfume; Flagrant délices by Terry de Ginzburg. In this grey cold weather I’ve been craving sweetness.
Sick days; None. A vicious strand of stomach flu hits this town every winter and I’m always worried I’m gonna get it. I actually threw up once, then ran home to put myself in quarantine, but I had no other symptoms so I was either food poisoned or my stomach acted up. So far I’ve also managed to not catch a cold but its probably just a matter of time.
Most enjoyed viewing; Taboo with Tom Hardy on HBO. The first four episodes has me wanting more. It is very much filling the gap left by Penny Dreadful.