Enjoy Not Knowing

Just another American living in Sweden


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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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book of march: harry potter and the cursed child parts one and two


I consumed this book. Consumed it in a matter of hours, one could even count the minutes. I bought it right when it became available in book stores. Snatched up the last available copy – since I was a little late to the store that day. Then I proceeded to save it. Knowing myself well enough to realize that once I started I would not put it down until fully read. Trying to savor the story by way of waiting to read it.

I’m not sure if my strategy  worked, but I loved reading every page of this all the same. As a big Harry Potter fan this was just what I needed. If you too love Harry Potter and J.K.’s wizarding world and have yet to read this, do so immediately, multiple times if necessary.

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interstellar

Have you guys seen this movie? It is epic.

It had been on my “to watch” list since it came out in 2014, we just never got around to seeing it in the theater. Then I saw that IMDb added it to the top 250 list, and there you have it, two birds – one stone! Also, seeing as the slogan for the movie was “THE END OF EARTH WILL NOT BE THE END OF US” I was pretty confident it would lift my spirits regarding the future of humanity. You know, that the only possible series of future events won’t inevitably lead to our extinction.

I ended up seeing Interstellar on an aircraft. Where I proceeded to hold onto my face for stability for the duration of the movie. My fellow passengers may or may not have thought I have anxiety. Which wouldn’t be completely untrue with regards to the emotional roller coaster I went on during the viewing.

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Ladies and gentlemen, prior to take off please make sure your seat and tray table are in the upright position, that your seat belt is securely fastened and that all carry-on luggage is properly stowed. At this time, please feel free to take a firm grasp upon each side of your face and do not let go for the following 150 minutes.

Now, I’m no theoretical astrophysicist, but I’m pretty convinced everything in the movie could totally happen. Hence the need to clutch my face for two and a half hours. If you have not seen this move, please do so. It is worth your time.

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book of august: middlesex

Don’t think I’m ahead of schedule here, this is actually my book of August from a while ago…So I’m little behind schedule, but here it is:

Middlesex

When I say a little behind schedule, apparently I mean three years behind schedule. *geeze* I am apparently a horrible friend. Okay, horrible might be a strong word, but I’ve definitely been slacking on my friend duties. My bad.

Let me explain. My friend Elizabeth and I (name obviously changed to protect identity) decided to do a book club. This book club consisted solely of the two of us. Meaning that we would both read the same book in a months time, and discuss it over Skype.

I did not read the book in a months time. Nor did we ever Skype about it. I mean I did finish the book just now, so we could theoretically Skype about it now…but I didn’t even tell Elizabeth that I’ve finished the book. This will be the first she is hearing of it. Alright I’ll say it. Horrible friend = me.

Let’s disregard that though and focus on the book. I don’t like to dwell.

Middlesex was on Oprah’s book list. Or recommendation list. Or some kind of list written by Oprah, you know the one:

Anyway, I think that is why Elizabeth suggested we read the book. Oprah knows her shit.

To be honest though, the book wasn’t exactly up my ally. Though you may have guessed that since it took me THREE YEARS to complete. I mean it’s not like I’ve been actively reading it for that long, there have been breaks….okay, nevermind.

It did get really good for the final third of the book. But it is really important you read the first two-thirds in order to understand the end…well the moral is, it may be a great book for you, but for me it was an exercise in discipline and determination to be a good friend.

I hope this makes up for it! … ?

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gröna lund

One of many Things To Do In Sweden, as listed by yours truly, is to visit Gröna Lund. Which is an amusement park on Djurgården island, which you can get to by ferry, bus, car, bike, skateboard, walking – and those standing scooter things that I assume were created to increase the spread of obesity the world over. And yes, standing scooter things is an official Google search term.

What I’m saying is, you can get there by many means. Once there, and you have paid the admission fee and possibly bought your ride wrist band or tickets, you are free to run around and explore the wonderful mini-world that is this amusement park.

I’ve been a few times, the most recent time being last summer. My personal favorite rides are the tallest ones, especially Eclipse where you can see absolutely fabulous views of Stockholm.

Gröan 2015

Grönan 2

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Of course no trip to Gröna Lund would be complete without Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!

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All in all Grönan (as the locals call it) is a great time!

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why this american is rooting for sweden

For all of the sports inclined people out there, it won’t be news that the Olympics are currently occurring. For all of the women’s soccer enthusiasts it won’t be news that the USA woman’s team has won four golds in the past five Olympics. Or I should say, six Olympics, as this Olympics marks a marked decline in the teams results with a loss to Sweden in the quarter finals.

Why, you may ask, would this American then be rooting for the exact team that dashed the USA team’s chances and dreams of winning a fourth consecutive Olympic gold? My answer is Pia Sundhage.

Pia Sundhage

To summarize the media coverage (and awesome memes), after the US lost to Sweden in a nail-biting shoot out, Hope Solo called the Swedish team a bunch of cowards. When asked about this comment Pia Sundhage said “Jag skiter i vilket. Jag ska till Rio, hon ska hem.” The popular translation of which is: “I don’t give a crap. I’m going to Rio, she’s going home”. My personal translation would be “I don’t give a shit…” but I suppose that makes for a slightly less child-friendly meme. So I understand the distinction.

Hope & Pia

What makes tonight’s final even more exciting is the nail-biting shootout win that brought the Swedish team here. After an initial loss to Brazil in group play, Sweden came to play this past Tuesday. Overcoming the initial loss was no small thing either, the two team’s first meeting this Olympics was an epic loss for Sweden with Brazil finding the back of the net a full five times. But with another grand display of defensive play the Swedish team did it again in five shootout shots, with two saves by Lindahl.

And yes, no one in Sweden has any finger nails anymore after all this shootout action.

The cherry on top is that Pia Sundhage was the head coach of the US women’s team for the past two Olympic golds. That is to say Sundhage is coaching tonight for her third gold in a row. Making their win over the US team a little sweeter for the Swedes, and her response to Solo’s comments all the better. But wait, this also happened: A reporter asked Sundhage if she could coach a men’s team. What do you think she said?

A whole country

Mic drop…

Now, I hope I’ve convinced you to also root for Sweden tonight. As we say in Sweden: Heja Sverige!

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book of march: modern romance

So many people I know were reading this book last summer, I just had to give it a go. And I am sure glad I did.

  
As per my usual I listened to the audiobook version, because Aziz is a funny guy and funny people are funny to listen to. I even noticed some parallels between this funny guy and other funny people. For example he opened his book, like Sarah Silverman, wondering what the listeners would be doing upon listening. Aziz painted a lovely picture of his listener being curled up in bed, enjoying a cup of tea by the fire. Sarah bet on pooping. I’m not saying one or the other is better…but I feel I should say for the record I’m in the first category.

From Aziz I learned that In the 30’s and 40’s people would go as far as they had to to find a mate, but no farther. The “girl/boy nextdoor” is a real thing, and many people clearly loved the ones they’re with already. What I took away from this is that I must have been terrible at finding a mate since I had to go all the way to Sweden to find her.

I also learned that average age of first marriage is 27 for women and 29 for men, and 30 for men and women in big cities. So, again, I follow none of the norms. To be fai Aziz admits to focusing on heterosexual relationships in his book, so I guess I just don’t fit in here. Joking aside I do think there is a lot of fun stuff to take away from the book. But I’m not going to tell you any more about it, you’ll have to just go read it for yourself. 

I will say that there are robots and scientific studies in the book. If that doesn’t pique your interest I don’t know what you’re even doing here.