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 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. 


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book of february: what to expect the first year


Our tiny little baby is officially a one year old. During this past year I’ve had a great time paging through this book during different periods of baby K’s development. They repeatedly reiterate that all babies are individuals and not everyone will follow exactly these guidelines. Yes repeatedly reiterate, because that’s seriously how much they do it.

The story of my receiving this book is a fun one. My mother’s cousin lives on the west coast (of the US) and found out I had not yet gotten a hold of a copy of What to Expect the First Year. So what she did was to send the book to Sweden with a friend of hers who was going anyway. Me and my mother’s cousin’s friend met up in Stockholm where books, pleasantries and some laughs were exchanged.

If you have a brand new little one in your life, or will shortly, I highly recommend this book. Unless you’re one of those people who just cannot heed the repetitive reminders that every baby is different, and instead riles yourself up into a frenzy when everything doesn’t align perfectly. Then you should probably avoid it for your own sanity.

Happy reading!

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book of january: one, two, many

I haven’t had a lot of time for free reading this month. That is to say I’ve done quite a bit of reading, but almost exclusively for my ECE degree. I say almost exclusively because not reading road signs makes driving a whole lot harder.


This book, En, två, många (which translates to One, Two, Many) has all the information you might want regarding mathematics in the early years of life. Of course, in Swedish. 

Side bar: only the first letter of books are capitalized in Swedish. I may have mentioned this before on the blog, but it really baffles me. Every time! So I need to bring it up again now.

I definitely recommend this book for any early educators, people curious about basic mathematical terms in Swedish, or just anyone looking for a good time.

Dig in!


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book of may: svinalängorna

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At one point I thought I’d try to read more in Swedish. Then I started my Early Childhood Education degree (in Swedish) and was buried in textbooks *written in Swedish*. Is it my own fault for wishing to read in Swedish? Maybe Probably.

Regardless, this book is actually part of the course literature in my History of Children and Childhood course. (I’m basically directly translating this stuff, so I could be totally off on what it really should be called). Told from the perspective of a first generation Swedish girl with Finnish parents her journey through childhood is graphically documented and beautifully written. Susanna Alakoski really can write.

The book has also been made into a movie, so you know it’s a good one. I’m not sure if it’s been translated to English, so before I can recommend you read it I should first recommend you learn Swedish.

No probs, right?

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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.


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book of february: essentialism: the diciplined pursuit of less

I really liked this book. Really a lot.


I’m not sure if it’s because we’re moving soon, or that we’ve just had a baby, but I feel the need to have less things. Not only have less things but do less things. Do less things more effectively. Which is what this book is about.

Now I definitely think you should go read this for yourself, but my big take home was that whenever a choice presents itself to you, in life, love, business, whatever, ask yourself if/how this will help you make your biggest contribution to the world. This is some difficult stuff, it requires one to be a grounded and informed individual. But, something I think is important to remember is that nothing is written in stone, and you should never not do something because of the time it takes. The time will pass anyway. If an opportunity you deem to be important enough to pursue presents itself, then it’s an easy: Yes.

After finishing the book I find myself often asking myself two questions (in my quest to have less possessions and to use my time more effectively):

  1. If I didn’t already own this, how much would I pay for it?
  2. Do I want this enough to struggle for it?

I feel the second question needs some explaining. By combining what I read in this book, and the contents of this article, I ask myself this question for two reasons. If I think I want something I need to first examine the hinders/obstacles ahead of me that may prevent me from getting there. After I have determined the obstacles I need to then determine if I am willing to overcome them. The answers to these questions help me decide if whatever I’m pondering about is truly worth pursuing.

As I said, wonderful book. Go read it!