Most of this book was fascinating, thought-provoking, and filled with interesting tidbits and insights about human nature, especially challenging things western society wants to think of as "human nature" that, well... doesn't seem to be the natural order of things for every human society out there. To me, the last chapter or two seemed to get harsher in tone, implying that hoping for a twosome to last (regardless of whether it included any demands of monogamy or not) is wistful thinking, which kind of set off my abandonment anxieties. My fiancé says he didn't read that section as such at all, so it's probably a matter of me reading with my "anxiety glasses" on. Overall it's a book I highly recommend, and I've loaned my copy to my best friend to read.
7. Världens dåligaste språk by Fredrik Lindström (nonfiction) - Week 4
Taking a bit of a popular science angle on linguistics, Lindström discusses around language, how it changes, how it varies, and where it comes from. It's a very readable book, sometimes frustrating (when his definitions of words or usage didn't quite match mine), but overall just interesting. The issues I did have I guess just highlight one of the points he's making: language differs from user to user.
8. Johannesnatten by Gull Åkerblom (YA/supernatural, reread) - Week 7
9. Drakens ö by Gull Åkerblom (YA/supernatural, reread) - Week 7
10. Isflöjten by Gull Åkerblom (YA/supernatural, reread) - Week 8
11. De andra by Gull Åkerblom (YA/supernatural) - Week 9
This series is a long-time favorite of mine, though it's taken me a ridiculous number of years to actually get to the point of reading the final installment. Unfortunately, as much as I love the first three books (and I think I've already reviewed them multiple times on this comm), which throw an ordinary girl into an invisible struggle of the gods of old, blending mythology and old snatches of wisdom with a very clever heroine in a modern-day world, the moment I finished the fourth book I wished I'd never picked it up. In fact, it made me wish it had never been written.
Not because it's badly written, but because the impression it left me with was that of the author petulantly endeavoring to tear down every last scrap of the world she'd built through the first three books, to eliminate any opening for fans to imagine a continuation of the saga. Nobody seems to act in-character, and the ending is at best bittersweet for any of the characters. While "sometimes nobody wins" can be a valuable life lesson, the contrast with the previous books, which had more of a "sometimes winning takes great sacrifices" flavor, made me just not enjoy the conclusion of Matilda's story. In my headcanon, that fourth book doesn't exist.
12. Draykon by Charlotte E. English (fantasy, ebook) - Week 9
(This review is just the conclusion of a longer one, read the full review here.)
I was quite pleased with this book; English’s craftmanship is largely brilliant, and the story contained enough twists to keep me as a reader guessing without making me feel like I was being deliberately led astray by the narration. It is not a supremely long work, which fits well with English’s rather economical (yet vivid!) writing style. There were a few typographical errors - I counted two or possibly three (the third could have been a word I was just not familiar with), all of them in the latter half of the book – but those are easily forgivable as they were relatively minor and I’ve seen worse in work published by bigger names. The only thing I actually found jarring about the book was the shift of viewpoint characters when the reader first met Eva – it was sudden and unexpected and made me uncertain where things were headed – but once I got used to it that wasn’t a major deterrent.
In short, this was a work I enjoyed, would readily recommend, and would love to own a hard copy of.
13. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë (classic lit) - Week 11
I actually purchased this book back when I lived in the US, over ten years ago. It's taken me until now to sit down and read it, and I can't say I was at all disappointed. It was a delight to read about Brontë's cast of dysfunctional characters, and though many of them provided ample reason to dislike them as persons, none provided reason to dislike them as characters. Definitely will want to read this again at some point. As a bonus, there were a lot of quaint little old-fashionisms in the language (as to be expected), which provided me with extra amusement (calling the people living in either house "inmates" may not be as inappropriate as all that even with the modern meaning of the word).
14. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley (classic lit) - Week 12
A very enjoyable read, once I figured out what was going on in the beginning; the framing of story-in-a-story is not something I was expecting, and so it threw me off quite a bit. The book was quite often jarring, simply because media has led me, over the years, to think I know the basics of the plot, when really I had very little clue. I think the relationship between Frankenstein and his creator says a lot about parenthood, and what responsibility it comes with.
15. Inlåsta (original title: Room) by Emma Donoghue - Week 12
I enjoyed the narrator voice of little Jack, and the portrayal of the coping mechanisms he and his mother have developed to deal with their existence in the small room, as well as how those coping mechanisms to some extent backfire out in the real world.