Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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book of october: the stand 


They all say Stephen King is quite the author. I’d never read any of his work before now. Why now? Well it is October, and I wanted to plan for Halloween the whole month.

Halloween isn’t as big here in Sweden, but I still try to celebrate in my own way every year. Some years we bake Halloween treats and invite friends over, sometimes I try to watch a scary movie. The thing is I don’t like watching scary movies alone, and I can’t seem to get anyone here at home to watch with me. So this year I tried something new. What I didn’t realize is that horror books are also quite the scare fest. Definitely worth it though. Pick up a copy near you if you haven’t already read this one!

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book of september: a wanted man

After reading Persuader in March of 2015 I was looking forward to reading more of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher novels. Now I’ve finally read another!


My expectation was to read the first of the Jack Reacher novels. The reality was that I read the 17th novel (according to Wikipedia, and the list in the back of the book). Missed it by a hair, you could say. To be honest I’m not exactly sure what went wrong. I’m sure it has to do with my lack of paying 100% attention to things occasionally. Or something of that nature. 

Persuader is the 7th novel in the series,  and A Wanted Man is the 17th (as mentioned). So now I either have to wait for the 27th or actually start from the beginning. The best part of the Jack Reacher books is that you really do not need to read them in order. It’s impressively done by Child. I’ve heard the claim before, that books in a series don’t need to be read in order, but this is the first time I actually ageee with that claim. 


A Wanted Man was an exciting read with a few surprising laughs along the way. Child’s writing style is a treasure and I so very much look forward to more Reacher novels. In whatever order I do very well please. And you should read a Jack Reacher novel, whichever one you very well please.


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book of august: othello

This summer I read many a book. 90% of them were children’s books under 20 pages long, so in my spare time it was great to sit down to a slightly more intellectual book. Othello is one of the classics, though I was never assigned to read it in school. Part of me is sad about this because I’ve missed out on class discussions and a teacher’s interpretations of the work. Yet, the more realistic part of me isn’t disappointed because I probably wouldn’t have read it then anyways.


If you haven’t read Othello, do. The plot is enjoyably dramatic, even if you already know the gist of it – it’s worth a full read through. Plus you get to experience what I assume to be one of the earliest uses of the word “holla” as well as the wonderful expression “light of brain”. Every part of me is excited to use that figure of speach as much as possible. I have absolutely no idea why “light of brain” has fallen out of use, as I personally have daily use for it. 

Enjoy fair readers!


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book of july: déjà dead

I loved this book. I expected to, but not this much. I’m not sure if it’s purely due to my recent lack of reading adult fiction, but reading this book reminded me what it means to read for fun. Something about reading only for the enjoyment of it is hugely different than reading for my classes. That combined with the fact that Kathy Reichs’ is a brilliantly entertaining mind lead to this being so hugely enjoyable for me. 

These books inspired the TV series Bones, which I loved. Thus my expecting to love this book. And, as is so often the case, the book is just so much better than the on screen depiction. It was particularly fun to try to pick out which of the book characters represented which of the television depictions (aside from the obvious). Though in my mind Temperance doesn’t really look like Emily Deschanel (actress in the series). Another interesting aspect was to see which changes were made. One of the big ones, not so spoilery, was the relocation from Quebec (book) to Washington D.C. (television).

This month I’m recommending a twofer. If you haven’t read this book and only seen the show. Read it now. If you have read it and not seen the show, get on it, the show is a lot of fun. If you’ve done neither then you’re in for hours and hours of fun! I’m excited to continuing to read the Temperence Brennan novels, and I’ll be sure to post here when I do.


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four(teen)th of july


I love the Fourth of July. I’m willing to say it’s my favorite holiday. As an expat that makes for a hard time. This year we celebrated in Sweden. That is sans four day weekend. I mean I’m off, but the rest of the country isn’t. (Petition to the King still pending). 


We made a great day of it. Grilling, American flag decorations galore, and lots of red white and blue clothing. I hope our little one will enjoy the Fourth of July as much as I do. As often as we can, I hope we celebrate it in the States. It does make all the difference.


Here’s hoping your Fourth was full of fantastic fireworks, good company and tasty food. 


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15 days: my iphone withdrawal story

15 days, that’s one day more than two weeks. That’s how long I haven’t had a smart phone at my immediate disposal. That’s actually how long I haven’t had a phone of any kind easily at hand. 

These days there are a lot of articles about phone addiction, the dangers of extended screen time, or even this one about decreased mental capacity while in close proximity to a smart phone. I haven’t done any empirical studies on how smartphone use personally affects me, but it’s definitely safe to say I am affected. 

First, there occurred a mishap that led to my iPhone being submerged in water for an extended amount of time. No, I do not have the 7, so yes, that was the end of that. Not that I would believe it at first. My very first response was to envelop my phone in a bag of rice for over 48h. Because diligent Googling said that was the ideal amount of time. 

These first 48 hours were no walk in the park. I constantly felt like I was forgetting something whenever I was leaving home, or a friend’s place – wherever I was really. That feeling of “something is missing” was not a comfortable one. Even when I assured myself that it was my phone, and that I didn’t have it with me. 


I didn’t let the fact that my phone was drying out in a bag of rice stop me from uploading to Instagram or scrolling through Facebook. Most importantly I didn’t let it stop me from taking pictures. (I have over 6,000 pictures on my phone pretty much at all times, and yes, I back up regularly to the cloud and harddrives – don’t cry for me Argentina). My addiction to technology is deeply ingraned. I borrowed my wife’s phone often and brought my SDLR around with me in a way usually only reserved for tourists. 

Day three was test day. Finally I would find out if my phone would turn on or not. If my phone would be saved. Turn on it did not. I despaired. I cleaned it out diligently and charged it. Thinking that maybe, just maybe it was completely drained of battery, and needed a charge. 

Days four and five I wrestled with the thought of life without a phone. If it was truly gone I would need to replace it. At some point at least. But maybe – just maybe, I bargained with myself, I could make it all summer without a phone and wait it out for the 8 (or X or whatever Apple decides to name their next smartphone). Why spend the money on an old model now when I can buy the newest version in a few short months? Can I really make it three months without a phone? I could. Right? Or I could buy the 7. That one is waterproof. But why spend that money when a newer better version will soon(ish) be available? Can I make it? I can. Right? How long could I delay my reward? I was torn.

Day six, life. Much to my surprise my iPhone blinked blue on the sixth day. All the buttons were functional, and I could turn it off and on using them. However, the touchscreen was unresponsive. This meant a trip down to the nearest fast phone fix it locale to see if there was anything to be done. One tense afternoon and one phone call to aforementioned wife, lead to the news that the repair costs would equal phone replacement costs. Day six continued: contact with Apple Support, which in alignment with my recently completed survey I am highly likely to recommend to a friend, colleague or blog reader. (In the name of honesty: I added the last category). They helped me with exactly what I needed and gave me an estimate on fixing or replacing my phone, which would result in a functional phone guaranteed to be returned to me. The right decision was ade clear to me: send it in.

The weekend following day six was a three day holiday weekend in Sweden (Midsummer – see previous posts 1, 2, and 3 for more information on that). So it wasn’t until the tenth day that my phone was to be picked up. Alas, UPS could not enter our condo building so the successful pick up occurred on the eleventh day. When I kept our kitchen window ajar and listened for truck noises all morning – and promptly ran out with my decrepit phone when I saw a large brown truck from my bird’s eye view. 

Since then Apple has been assessing my phone and determining that a replacement product is to be returned to me. Bringing us to the present day: day fifteen. Mail is not delivered on weekends in Sweden, so we shall see what happens on day seventeen. 

Maybe my newfound freedom from mobile phones will mark the beginning of a less phone-dependent, more present in the moment period of my life. Or maybe like any true addict I will be back at it as before exactly when the opportunity presents itself. I’m shooting for the former. 

After my initial panic of being without a phone for an extended period of time, later bargaining with myself about how long I could make it without a phone, I’ve now been able to enjoy these past days without a phone. It’s been nice. It’s one less thing to think about. One less thing to remember to have with me. One less thing to distract me from the matter at hand. I think I’ll take a phone vacation every now and again. It’s been nice.


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book of june: raska på alfons åberg 

Here he is again! Loveable Alfons Åberg! Since my first Alfons post (or Alfie if you’re reading the English translation) a lot has happened. Including the current residence of a small toddler in our home. K loves Alfons. She actually loves a wide myriad of books of all shapes an sizes. (She frequently brings me my textbooks for me to read to her – and sits for much longer than expected and listens as I read aloud). What we’re here today to talk about is my personal favorite Alfons book – Raska på Alfons Åberg! Which translates to Hurry up Alfie Atkins! 

Left: first post – Good night Alfie Atkins. Right: Hurry up Alfie Atkins!

Not to give away the plot of the ending, I do want to say it ends in a lot of laughs. Which means I laugh a little while reading (always the dutiful actress), K laughs a lot at me, and I start genuinely laughing. Just a jolly good show for all. I, yet again, recommend Alfons, Alfie, Mikko or whatever language you prefer to read in with your little one.