Jema reads

Expeditionen: Min kärlekshistoria

Expeditionen: Min kärlekshistoria - Bea Uusma

As the sub-title indicates, this is a book about Bea Uusmas passion for André expedition.

For 313 pages, and for 15 years she longed to go to White Island and to solve the mystery of the three polar explorers death. It is exciting and gripping, I can not drop the book even though I "should" read other books first.

I would just browse a bit and then I got stuck in the ice too. Here is so much of everything! The adventure, the joy and pride of doing something ' important ' . The foolhardyness of the expedition, to go out there without having tested everything 100 times, the naive faith in man's superiority all the elements and all the hungry polar bears. Despair over the cold, stomach pain, blisters on feet, disgusting meat powder, ice drifting faster than they can walk. Quarrels and tense moods and desperation. Homesickness and longing for love . A heart that eventually may find it's way.

It's a love story and a detective story. The book is full of pictures and lists and charts but most of all it is filled with passion!


I really hope this one will be translated to english so more people can read it.


Acorn - Yoko Ono
I got this from Netgalley as a rec.ex (as an adobe file)
Still remember how taken I was by her Grapefruit and I have actually followed the website that had these pieces of Acorn posted but are glad to see them come out as a book now.
I also see that the website is gone now.
Hope that the physical book is large with plenty of space to write in myself for a bit of the whole point of Ono is that she wants you to be a co-creator. We write the book together.

Acorn is full of small 'instructions' or prompts, questions, suggestions on things to do, or dream. Yoko Ono has also illustrated it with a kind of pointillism drawings that are just beutiful.

     Cleaning Piece I

     Write down a sad memory,
     Put it in a box.
     Burn the box and sprinkle the ashes in the field.
     You may give some ashes      to a friend who shared the sadness.

  I think I got this in my hands exactly when I needed it most, a comforting voice, a challenge.
Paul Auster is taken
Paul Auster is taken

Charlie spending time with the literary giants.

Reading Munro

Lives of Girls and Women - Alice Munro

Lives of girls and women is a serie of connected short-stories about the life of Del Jordan and her family in Jubilee in the south of Canada just after WW2. There are so much I love about this book, her Uncle Benny, married off to the crazy woman/child with a baby after just a notice in the paper and a cup of tea with her brother. Del's mom selling encyclopedias and propagating for birthcontrol and is an atheist in an otherwise christian town. The boarder Fern who sings opera and is the least romantic girl ever who doesn't even save her loveletters. Del's deflowering aboung the peonies, the baptism. There is some sadness too, what started as a we against the world family ends up being divided to the point where even their language seems separate. We don't learn a whole lot about men and boys here. Even if the start is an idyllic one:


But they were connected, and this connection was plain as a fence, it was between us and Uncle Benny, us and the Flats Road, it would stay between us and anything. It was the same as in the winter, sometimes, when they would deal out two hands of cards and sit down at the kitchen table, and play, waiting for the ten o'clock news, having sent us to bed upstairs. And upstairs seemed miles above them, dark and full of the noise of the wind. Up there you discovered what you never remembered down in the kitchen - that we were in a house as small and shut-up as any boat is on the sea, in the middle of a tide of howling weather. They seemed to be talking, playing cards, a long way away in a tiny spot of light, irrelevantly; yet this thought of them, prosaic as a hiccough, familiar as breath, was what held me, what winked at me from the bottom of the well as I fell into sleep.


I really liked this one even though I read it slowly, just a chapter now and then. I will go on to one of Munro's short story collections soon.

Historic Heston

Historic Heston - Heston Blumenthal

Heston Blumenthal is a renowned and slightly quirky chef from England, known from various TV shows. This book, I listened to the (abridged) via BBC radio, and if you've seen Heston's TV series you will recognize some of the recipes. He reads himself 5 of the chapters from the book and it is really good, you get a little excited to try yourself. Well, maybe not all the recipes, some seem a little bit disgusting. As these 'meat fruits' What looks like an orange is actually a meat patty:-S

The book itself is very exclusive and nothing I can afford (£ 77 on Amazon), but if you see that Heston will be on TV then check it out, you will not be sorry, he is funny and engaging! Or borrow the book from the library.

I myself am a little tempted to make a 'Tipsy Cake' I give the BBC program ****


Kawabata - Thousand cranes

Thousand Cranes -


(Review refers to Swedish edition of the novel and the review itself is badly translated by myself from Swedish)


Somewhere is a flutter of a piece of cloth, light red with a pattern of the thousand cranes . But the girl and the cranes are intangible. The crane is a symbol of lifelong marriage and that is nothing the protagonist even wants right now. He is still young and about to break free and go fully into a life as a more modern Japanese man . His house has a tea room that molds away and a garden that is growing over. Kikuji is nevertheless bound by the memory of his parents and of his house, and the three women who visit there.

Chikako was for a short while the father's mistress, in the book's beginning describes how Kijuji caught a glimpse of her big birthmark on her breast. She is marked and described as toxic and scheming . She stands for the tradition Kikuji wants away from. The two other women are Mrs Oota, the father's and then the son's mistress, and her daughter Miss Oota. Kikuji see in her the reflection of her mother and the novel develops into a story of confusion , taking over identities and expectations. Not until it is perhaps too late does Kikuhi see that she is in fact more than her mother. She is like him, a young woman trying to break free .

In the middle of everything is the tea ceremony which aims to enhance the sophistication of the moment, to purify, like a meditation, but instead becomes a trap. Details are few but may carry too deep a meaning. Any breach of the Convention is a crime against the family and in the end a cup has to be shattered and buried.

This book was written in 1949 and translated from the German, and not from the Japanese . It came out in 1966 in Sweden and only 3 years later, in 1969, Kawabata was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. It is a short novel of only 165 pages, and even though you can read it on an evening, I think the novel deserves to be read slowly and thoughtfully - a bit like a tea ceremony. I give it 4 stars.

Start of a book blog

Since Goodreads is still making me tear my hair out due to a number of things I decided to start a bookblog away from it all. It is in swedish though since I think it might be easier for me to do reviews in swedish. No reviews up yet, but I got the lists over read books and will start reviewing more as I go from now on.


I will check in here too though.


Seems like Goodreads finally just gave out on me. I cannot even get the page to load properly so will try to harvest all info I need from there and just set up a new book-blog. I am sorry, but I really hate this site, so far. No groups, no good overview, hard to even figure out how to write a review, no little read-this-year widget. I am frustrated.

Setting the mood

Night Film - Marisha Pessl

I rate this just a 3 star mainly due to a poor finish but I have to say I quite enjoyed the ride up to that point.
No need to add a synopsis cause you can easily find that just a bit above. Not sure what to shelf it as though, I do need to work on my shelves here anyway but perhaps 'Thriller' is good enough. 
My fave part of the book is actually the 'lost in the Peak' scenes. Read those at about 3am home alone and it was rather spooky.


I should add here that I really did not like her first novel at all so this one was a huge improvement.


YES! I got shelfs (on booklike). I was beginning to despair. I had several hundred read but only 2 on a shelf. Hmm, that reminds me of my apartment...


I have been housing my books all over the place. I got 4 smaller bookshelfs here + a few boxes in the attic + one large box over at my brothers apartment. 


Now I have been saving up to buy stuff for a huge floor to ceiling shelf in the living room though. Just need someone to bring it home and help me put it up. It will be amazing. I can order the books according to Author and title. Perhaps put a special shelf just for all my occult stuff. 


The pic shows the pathetic shelf I used to have... Who made these? They are NOT made for books, all shelfs are sagging...

Will post the new one soon - I hope

Min kamp 2  - Karl Ove Knausgård Just as good as the first book, this time he writes a about falling head over heels in love and about having children and his thoughts of living in Sweden versus in Norway, about trying to find space and time for writing in the mundane every day life, all very down to earth but in a crisp and clear language that even the most boring detail is glittering and you want more.
Blek kung - David Foster Wallace, Alva Dahl In parts this feels like a novel written on post-it notes being randomly placed all over some institutions matte yellow walls by a horde of bored and mentally unstable IRS employees. I quite enjoyed it.
Medan giftet verkar - Bruno K. Öijer Kan inte ens ge ett betyg. Älskade dessa dikter när jag låg på studentrummet i Uppsala men nu känns dom väldigt sökta och faktiskt lite larviga. Vissa böcker man kanske inte ska läsa om, särskilt ens poesi-älsklingar.
The Sandman: The Dream Hunters - Yoshitaka Amano, Neil Gaiman It would be unfair to finish this one in one sitting even if it is rather short. Better to read before you go to bed and let this fairy-tale and these images form the portal into your own dreams.

This is a story of a Buddhist monk and a fox and the dream they dream together. Parts of it reminded me of old Swedish folk-tales, of animals masked as humans, of ruins turned to castles and mice and spiders into a feast.

The art is stunning and together with the words it paints a world full of magic and darkness. I see it listed here as 'comics' which is a silly notion.
The Tent, the Bucket and Me - Emma Kennedy Really enjoyed this one. The BBC-radio version just had Emma Kennedy read 5 of her holiday memories but she did such a great job that I hope they decide to do the rest of them for later.
One could argue that she could not possibly have recalled as much as she did from a vacation when she was 3 but the thing with these stories are that they are part of the family-mythology. These are the kind of stories a family re-tell to each other, and sometimes embroider upon, until they are so vivid in your mind.
Death Masks - Jim Butcher Harry Dresden is chasing after the shroud, you know that piece of cloth with the imprint of Jesus. Meanwhile he is juggling a half-vampire girlfriend, a mobster crime-lord, a red court vampire, the white counsel and some nasty monsters powered by coins. There are slap-stick humour, a little bit sex, lots of swords and guns and wands and cars and trains and not airoplanes but at least an air-port.
I sometimes get exhausted by proxy when reading a Dresden book...

Currently reading

City of Saints and Madmen
Jeff VanderMeer, Michael Moorcock
Min kamp 3
Karl Ove Knausgård
The Weird: A Compendium of Strange and Dark Stories
Jeff VanderMeer, Ann VanderMeer