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 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 november: nudge

My dad gave me one dollar bill’
Cause I’m his smartest son,
And I swapped it for two shiny quarters
‘Cause two is more than one!
And then I took the quarters
And traded them to Lou
For three dimes — I guess he don’t know
That three is more than two!
Just then, along came old blind Bates
And just ’cause he can’t see
He gave me four nickles for my three dimes,
And four is more than three!
And I took the nickels to Hiram Coombs
Down at the seed-feed store,
And the fool gave me five pennies for them,
And five is more than four!
And then I went and showed my dad,
And he got red in the cheeks
And closed his eyes and shook his head–
Too proud of me to speak!

That’s a poem by Shel Silverstein entitled Smart, not the book Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein. But it was referenced in Nudge, used to make a good point about libertarian paternalism. I didn’t know much (if anything) about libertarian paternalism prior to reading this book, but boy was I intrigued once I got started!

Nudge: Improving Decisons About Health, Wealth, and Happiness was recommended to me by my Goodreads app, based on previous books I’ve enjoyed. Which is also a great reason to actually fill in the books I’ve enjoyed on the app. (Previously seeming to me as a somewhat pointless activity). Back to the book. Nudge was a very fun read, despite the fact that the authors diss ABBA. They do go on to speak well of the Swedish retirement investment system, so they come out neutral in their views on Sweden. At least according to me.

If you are also interested or curious about libertarian paternalism definitely check this book out. If nothing else, by the end of the book I hope you will at least consider always checking the door mechanism when entering and exiting rooms and/or buildings.


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book of july: the paying guests

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Prior to reading this book I had read Waters’ first book Tipping the Velvet. If memory serves,  both books take a while to get into and I don’t know if it’s just me, but I didn’t find myself getting wrapped up in the plot of The Paying Guests until at least 6 or 7 chapters in. Though, once this book gets going it really gets going! I recommend just speeding through the first few chapters to get to the good stuff, you’ll be glad you did. Definitely a great summer read!

All in all The Paying Guests was a fun read, and I will definitely check out more books by Waters. This being the sixth book Waters has written I have a few to choose from, though I think I’ve already decided on reading Fingersmith next.

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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.