Reading

I’ve read the following since I started to track my reading progress in January 2020.

Silvervägen

Silvervägen by Stina Jackson (2018). I read it in Swedish: Silvervägen. Finished 2020-06-17.

Mytomanen

Mytomanen by Sofie Sarenbrant (2019). I read it in Swedish: Mytomanen. Finished 2020-06-01.

Eighth book in the series about Emma Sköld.

Shame (Skamvrån)

Shame by Sofie Sarenbrant (2019). I read it in Swedish: Skamvrån. Finished 2020-05-23.

Seventh book in the series about Emma Sköld.

The Scapegoat (Syndabocken)

The Scapegoat by Sofie Sarenbrant (2018). I read it in Swedish: Syndabocken. Finished 2020-05-17.

Sixth book in the series about Emma Sköld.

The Beggar (Tiggaren)

The Beggar by Sofie Sarenbrant (2016). I read it in Swedish: Tiggaren. Finished 2020-05-06.

Fifth book in the series about Emma Sköld.

The Babysitter (Avdelning 73)

The Babysitter by Sofie Sarenbrant (2015). I read it in Swedish: Avdelning 73. Finished 2020-04-24.

Fourth book in the series about Emma Sköld.

Killer Deal (Visning pågår)

Killer Deal by Sofie Sarenbrant (2014). I read it it in Swedish: Visning pågår. Finished 2020-04-17.

Third book in the series about Emma Sköld was also great. The one thing I will say though is that I expected there to be some fallout for Emma becuase of how she “strong-armed” her boss in book two. I don’t want to reveal too much, but Emma was worried about her sister and used her connections to force her boss to take an action he didn’t want to take.

Second Wind (Andra andningen)

Second Wind by Sofie Sarenbrant (2013). I read it in Swedish: Andra andningen. Finished 2020-04-01.

This is the second book in the crime novel series about Emma Sköld, and it takes place in June 2012 during Stockholm Marathon, which is famous for its horrible weather conditions:

Imagine running 42 km (26 miles) in that. Still, 15 949 (crazy people) started and 92 % finished.

It was an intriguing backdrop to a crime novel, and I quite liked it, though I thought the ending was a bit sudden. Things were said and done that should have severe consequences, but the author doesn’t let us know what they were. The novel just stops. Maybe we’ll learn more in part three, which I will definetly read.

Rest in Peace (Vila i Frid)

Rest in Peace by Sofie Sarenbrant (2012). I read it in Swedish: Vila i Frid. Finished 2020-03-19.

A solid crime fiction novel. I especially liked the structure. The book is divided into separate parts, and each part contains the events of a single day. Within each of those parts, every chapter is told from one of the characters’ perspectives. I felt this made the story unravel at a good pace, and in an intriguing way. This was the first part of a series of books starring Emma Sköld. I plan to continue the series.

Charlotte Löwensköld

Charlotte Löwensköld by Selma Lagerlöf (1925). I read it in Swedish, same book title. Finished 2020-03-09.

This is part two of the author’s so called Ring trilogy, or The Ring of the Löwenskölds. I expected another ghost story with at least some connections to the ring in part one (The Löwensköld Ring), but it’s not a ghost story at all, and the ring’s barely mentioned. The story’s mostly about scheming people whose plans backfire, which was kind of satisfying I suppose since I didn’t like any of the characters. I can’t say I enjoyed the story, though, and I won’t be reading part three anytime soon.

The Löwensköld Ring (Löwensköldska ringen)

The Löwensköld Ring, by Selma Lagerlöf (1925). I read it in Swedish: Löwensköldska ringen. Finished 2020-02-27.

Officer Löwensköld (“the general”) died in 1741, and was laid to rest with his signet ring, given to him by King Charles XII of Sweden. In life, he had proudly served and even worshipped Charles XII. It was his hope that in death, the King would recognize the ring, and allow the general into his precense once again. But the ring was stolen, and the general could rest no more. This is a fantastic ghost story by one of the most celebrated Swedish authors ever.

Sara Videbeck and the Chapel (Det går an)

Sara Videbeck and the Chapel, by Carl Jonas Love Almqvist (1839). I read it in Swedish: Det går an, which literally translates to “It will do”. Finished 2020-02-23.

A love story set in 19th century Sweden where she, Sara, has unconventional ideas about relationships. She wants to continue her career as a glazier, and keep their finances and properties separate, thereby keeping her independece. These were outrageous things to write about back then. The author was persecuted and publically branded an “immorality-author”. Today he’s celebrated as one of the early champions of the feminist movement.

Apart from the (understandably) archaic language I liked it a lot. I admire the author for being brave enough to face the inevitable backlash from society, and stand up for what he felt was right.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll (1865). Finished 2020-02-18.

It’s beyond strange, which I kind of expected, but not to this degree. The story’s all over the place, every character seems mad, and nothing ever makes sense. It was a frustrating reading experience. The novel’s apparently “one of the best examples of the literary nonsense genre”, according to Wikipedia. I believe it. Don’t get me wrong though, the novel’s great at being what it’s trying to be. It’s just not for me.

All Quiet on the Western Front (På västfronten intet nytt)

All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque (1929). I read it in Swedish: På västfronten intet nytt. Finished 2020-02-08.

The story’s about German soldiers in World War I and the many hardships they had to endure, both at the western front and in civilian life. The author’s a German World War I veteran. This is probably one of the most important books I’ve ever read, and the most gut-wrenching.

A Charming Mass Suicide (Kollektivt självmord)

A Charming Mass Suicide by Arto Paasilinna (1990). I read it in Swedish: Kollektivt självmord. Finished 2020-01-26.

Suicide used to be an alarmingly common cause of death in Finland. In this story we get to follow a group of Finnish people who are contemplating suicide. The book tackles this sensitive topic with a sense of humor, but without shying away from the harsh realities of sorrow, hopelessness, glumness, and so on. It was a wild ride.

The Canterville Ghost

The Canterville Ghost by Oscar Wilde (1887). Finished 2020-01-16.

I remember listening to a Swedish dramatization of the story on cassette tapes when I was a kid: Spöket på Canterville, which is available on Spotify). But I’d never read the original story before. I thought it was pretty good, though not as scary as the tapes I remember (of course). The story’s on Project Gutenberg.

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (En dag i Ivan Denisovitjs liv)

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (1962). I read it in Swedish: En dag i Ivan Denisovitjs liv. Finished 2020-01-13.

This is a story about survival and totalitarian oppression, taking place in a bitterly cold Soviet labor camp in the 1950s. We get to follow one of the prisoners, Ivan, for a day and see the methods he uses to stay alive. Even though his circumstances are terrible, Ivan’s motivated, energetic and resourceful. It’s a fictional story but it feels authentic, no doubt because the author himself was imprisoned in the Gulag system between 1945-1953. I loved it and I’m already sure I’ll want to read it again someday.