bookshelves

Summing it up

I am not exactly thrilled to be back in Sarajevo earlier than I had planned but, as it is, I am not saddened by it either. Sweden was almost heaven. I say almost because I had hoped to get away from high temperatures and I ended up taking them with me, apparently. Sisters and friends were continuously reporting bad weather in Bosnia while up there, north, it was an exceptionally hot summer. In spite of high sun protection factor, and much to my dismay, I came back tanned, with my hair three or four shades lighter. But, it all matters not. This is a blog about books.

I was about to write that, aside from Durrell’s Picnic and Suchlike Pandemonium (which, after Corfu Trilogy, proved to be a bit too much Durrell after all) I haven’t read a thing during the last month or so when I remembered it wasn’t quite the case. I spent many a hot afternoon in a renovated Gothenburg City Library where they had a Tove Jansson themed interactive exhibition. In addition to a dozen delightful Moomin comics, I ended up reading a couple of Roald Dahls (of which I’m not sure what to think) as well as Jostein Gaarder’s Hello! Is Anybody There? (which was underwhelming).. And Spark’s The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (which deserves a post of its own).

I read a lot, it seems. And I had been shopping obsessively – I paid a visit to every bookshop that wasn’t closed for holidays. (The most enchanting one being Faust Antikvariat – I would have left a fortune in there if I had any! Browsing the internet I only found this blog post on the shop. Cannot believe people were not writing about it!) So, at the end, the number of books bought rose to no less than forty and I considered leaving them at my cousin’s. However, presented with a huge wheeled bag, I happily took them all with me.

Without any further ado, the list:

  • 2014-08-21 12.50.11Far Away From Nifelheim. Majgull Axelsson
  • April Witch. Majgull Axelsson
  • On Summer: a July journal. Arne Gadd
  • Among Gnomes and Trolls
  • Doktor Glas. Hjalmar Söderberg
  • Gregorius. Bengt Ohlsson
  • Pickwick Papers. Charles Dickens
  • Where Angels Fear to Tread. E.M. Forster
  • Hungry Stories and Other Stories. Rabindranath Tagore
  • The Waterfall. Margaret Drabble
  • Jerusalem the Golden. Margaret Drabble
  • Lark Rise. Flora Thompson
  • The Woman in White. Wilkie Collins
  • The Fellowship of the Ring. J.R.R. Tolkien
  • Bathsheba. Torgny Lindgren
  • Sweetness. Torgny Lindgren
  • A Tiler’s Afternoon. Lars Gustafsson
  • Mr. Gustafsson Himself. Lars Gustafsson
  • Here’s Your Life!. Eyvind Johnson
  • The Host. Marie Hermansson
  • Mussel Shore. Marie Hermansson
  • The Sea, The Sea. Iris Murdoch
  • 2014-08-21 12.45.35Midnight’s Children. Salman Rushdie
  • The Man Who Was Thursday. G.K. Chesterton
  • Portrait of a Marriage. Nigel Nicolson
  • Captain Nemo’s Library. Per Olov Enquist
  • Sofie. Marianne Fredriksson
  • Hanna’s Daughters. Marianne Fredriksson
  • It Is Acceptable. C.J.L. Almqvist
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9 thoughts on “Summing it up

  1. A nice haul there my friend, lots of good authors and new adventures to embark on. I haven’t picked up the Jostein Gaarder you mentioned, it that the book for children, if so that would be the reason I was put off as The Christmas Mystery wasn’t particularly impressive either…Welcome back by the way, you have been missed.

    1. It is a children’s book, yes..
      The problem with Gaarder is that he’s too repetitive. I don’t want to think of him this way but he really can be put side by side with Coelho. :/
      Number of his books contain the same idea written in almost identical words, while others share the essentially same plot.. However, I cannot help but like him because there are titles that are dear to me, that stand out. “The Ringmaster’s Daughter”, for instance. Alongside “Maya” the most ‘serious’ one.

      And, thank you for the welcome. It is good to be back. I will try to regain my self-discipline and be a bit more active from now on.

  2. I preferred The Solitaire Mystery and The Orange Girl personally, a lot of his ideas are simplistic but nontheless a decent read…I was underwhelmed with Sophie’s World which everybody else seems to harp on about. Having said that I’m not a fan of Coelho either although I have only read The Alchemist which was another underwhelming book…why is it that most of the time the masses are wrong. I look forward to more posts.

    1. The Orange Girl is one of my favorites as well (I used to give people around me a hard time asking them THE QUESTION). But, so is Sophie’s World, I’m afraid.. It has a lot to do with my young age when I first read it and the fact that it contained such a delightful introductory course on philosophy – a whole new world which I was just beginning to enter.. Aghh, it was so long ago.. I reread it couple of years ago. It wasn’t the same, naturally..
      I am not sure why I’m not a fan of The Solitaire Mystery. I should reread it.. The Ringmaster’s Daughter, too – it is dark, but maybe I gave it more weight than it has..

      Why are masses wrong.. This, of course, is a rather narrow answer but, the way I see it the reason is the lack of proper education = critical thinking.

      1. I think that is a big part of the reason the masses are wrong but also because they can easily be fobbed off with bad writing and believe it is more substantial than it is by the reviews that come from a media with a vested interest. They really don’t know what they are missing.

        1. Yes, you are right. Still, the reason why they are ‘easily fobbed off’ is the lack of critical thinking.. or maybe underdeveloped critical thinking, if there’s such a thing.
          I sometimes feel rather sad knowing they don’t know what they are missing; as well as feeling the urge to say ‘look! see? you must see it – it’s too good to miss..’

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