dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
My life is increasingly packed up. Boxes in the cellar, bags of books with my grandmother, clothes in the big luggage, important papers in the folder... Everything of me is getting put away from here and I'm counting the days til I leave.

Meanwhile, I try to read through the stack of titles I haven't gotten to yet.

First out was Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine. I. I can't quite talk about this book yet. I think I have to look into it again. It's very upsetting (took me ages to read through, one nibble at a time), it's extremely interesting and I recommend everyone to pick it up! Give it time, take it slowly, but read it through carefully. Wiki article here, I do believe I will return to this book when I have a bit more energy. But it certainly made me think

Second was China Miéville's latest, Embassytown which I'm not quite certain if I liked? Think I did, yes, all right, but it returned a bit to what I have problem with in the early Miéville books; too much distance from the characters and events. Embassytown is all about language, the truth, and whether concepts that we cannot articulate can really be real for us. Very geeky, light and easy-to-read prose (containing some damn mindtwisty concepts, though) but ultimately not his most engaging work. But a good read at the moment, when I'm somehow trying to prepare for switching my own main language for a while, comparing and contrasting what I have, what I used to talk and what I might be talking and reading during my second Berlin visit ^_^

Also, mom and I are watching Battlestar Galactica and, about halfway through the second season, we both love it. Bit too much religious mumbo-jumbo from time to time, and why aren't they training up more doctors? but overall, excellent stuff. It continues to outshine my (high) expectations
dancing_moon: My books: Never enough shelf space (books)
My univeristy library has a lovely system which sends out mails approx 2 days before you need to return a book (and then you get increasingly stern mails that you should Really Return That Book, NOW PLEASE, once the date has passed). For some reason it's called millenium, so I have a bunch of mails from "millenium". It feels a bit like being in contact with a Dan Brown novel

Anyway! I borrowed a whole bunch of books for my paper and have re-loaned all the ones I'm still working with. However, since there is absolutely no room for anything more in the paper as it is and I have no time at all to read them, I am returning Maria Nikolajeva's books about the structure of childrens literature. I managed to read her first one - Barnbokens byggklossar (The Building Blocks of Children's Books) before the essay writing began, since it was included in the reading suggestion list for the essay course. It was really good! I've also got "Power, Voice and Subjectivity in Literature for Young Readers" here, but I'm gonna return it unread and hope to pick it up later some day.

She uses narrativism to pick apart and analyze the structure in children's literature. It interested me, because it's a much better approach to studing manga than many other lit science entrances I've seen - not as good as actual, y'know, mangastudies but there is still a lack of a good "comic analysiz + story tropes + solid step-by-step analysis - Orientalist exoticism = GOOD FRAME FOR MANGA ANALYSES" book. What I like about using a structure such as Nikolajeva's children's focused narrativism, is that you can get to grips with the text as such, and (I hope) not get tangled up in Western perceptions of Japanese culture. I am, anyway, more interested in How Manga Reads Here than But What Does it Mean There? At least when it comes to trying to do any work of my own, I loved Kinsella's study of the Japanese publishing industry in Adult Manga. But hey, I'm in lit science, not sociology plus I don't speak Japanese - it's not like attempting to update her study will ever be anything that I can or should do :)

Anyway! Nikolajeva: Easy to follow, very structured, I haven't actually tried to apply any of her stuff, but it seemed nice and comprehensible.

This, and the intimatopia idea put forward by Elizabeth Woledge are both tools/theories that really ring true to certain experiences I've had as a fandom-focused reader, writer and all-around participant.
dancing_moon: Synonyms are word's you can't spell (can't spell)
So I have read things and watched things and not quite slept enough this week, whoops. I'll get better at the last part, I promise.

Manga read: Bunny Drop #3 )

Book read: Dr W & Mr H )

Last but not least: I have bought John Ajvide Lindqvists "Lilla Stjärna". Will I dare to read it...? Of course. Will it creep the hell out of me? Ohohoho, yes, most likely!
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I have a slightly embarrasing confession to make - I think I have developed a celebrity crush. On John Barrowman. (Yes, only some years after everyone else...)

But it didn't just come from watching Torchwood, although that was definitely the start. Went to London this weekend, see, and among other books I picked up his second biography/essay-collection on family and fame "I am what I am" and... he's really funny. Possibly exhausting to be around, but entertaining to read.

So now I've spottifyed one of his albums (John Barrowman Swings Cole Porter) which, I have to admit, wasn't really my thing and I'm downloading his show thing. Although, the song Miss Otis Regrets has brilliant lyrics, so that was totally a find. I'll also borrow the first biography from V. later on

Anyway, I don't know if it'll stick, but right now I'm trying to torrent everything he is in that seems the least bit interesting. Tips and warnings very much appreciated!

By the by, a warning for anyone who reads this - avoid the Swedish Torchwood boxsets. They don't contain all the extra material that is listed on the box. Among the missing things are the bloopers and deleted scenes, as well as the comments track :/
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
I just finished Johan Hilton's No tears for queers, with the subtitle "A report about men, gays and hate crimes". It is a deeply unsettling and horribly shaking book about three cases of violence against homosexual men. It is published by Bokförlaget Atlas and I bought it at Textmässan, a book fair for independent publishers.

Hilton writes in a detached, clinical style. Lots of recaps based on police materials, many many quotes and interviews. It's chilling, perhaps even worse because it's so clinical. He uses words like a scalpel and what he shows is awful, there are values of manliness that are rotten through and stink of hate and violence.

Matthew Shepard in the US. Johan Petterson in Katrineholm. Josef Ben Meddour in Göteborg.

It hurts, to read this report of three senseless, brutal murders. It hurts and it makes me so angry, so angry with the world and this country. I hope it is a good anger, I hope I'll be able to channel it into something doing more than just writing this little blog post as some kind of futile protest.

There's a long quote on the publishers page - here's part of it.

Först 1997, året då Josef sköts i rygg och nacke, började Säpo föra statistik över brott med homofobiska motiv. Sedan dess har antalet anmälda brott ökat med 76 procent utslaget över hela landet. Det beror inte bara på att HBT-människor numera känner större tilltro till polisen och vågar anmäla brotten. Det beror på en reell ökning. Bögar knackas som aldrig förr. 140 anmälda hatbrott i Västra Götaland bara det första kalenderhalvåret 2003. Att jämföra med 150 under hela 1997. Vad värre är: endast några få av dem klaras upp.

Short in English : Since 1997, when the security police began to track them, crimes with homophobic motives have increased with 76% in Sweden. The book was written in 2005, as far as I can understand.
76% more hate crimes against queer persons in eight years. WHAT THE FUCKING HELL IS THE MATTER WITH THIS COUNTRY. WHAT THE FUCKING HELL IS WRONG WITH THIS WORLD!
150 reported crimes during all of 1997 to 140 crimes the first half of 2003 in one area.

So. Yeah. If you can speak the language, read this book.

There's a whole heap of important books in my "to read soon" list. I attack them when I have the time and energy. Here, I only began to flip through some pages and then I was sucked in. It's like a nightmare. I don't want it to be true. But I know it is, I recognize the words and values and the unspoken pressure. From my memories of school, from hearing drunk people on the bus, from friends of friends - straight from a few former friends, in fact - from the assumptions behind things that everyone says and thinks. Probably me too, if I could look at my mirror image with objectivity.

Have another quote. It's telling:
Den kritik och agg som deras föräldrar och det vuxna närsamhället har mot invandrare och homosexuella omvandlar de i handling. De utför de handlingar som vuxna säger sig vilja utföra, men inte vågar.
Basically, young aggressive men put into violent reality the anger, dislike and fear that the society as a whole feels towards homosexuals and immigrants, but only dares to express through words.
The above from Hans Knutagårds "...det var bara en bögjävel", quoted in the book.
dancing_moon: Jadeite / DM / Me (Default)
Yes, of course I'll forget to keep a log of the books I'm reading. Who do you think I am, some kind of organized person?

Anyway, since the last time I know I've worked my way through at least:
- Manga -
Shout Out Loud 1-5 - Meh. Not bad, but the plot was a bit too convoluted and at the same time too down-to-earth and realistic. Either operatic hijinks or a universe were not everyone wants to sleep with the uke or his (adult, no worries) son.
Baby and Me 1-7 - So sweet! So good! Marimo Ragawa is something so unusual as a manga author who manages to take slice of life and mangafy it without slipping into so many wacky hijinks that one doesn't even remember the original setup

- Books -
Dwarves - Far too mediocre. The "original spin" of the book, that the dwarves are the main characters, isn't enough to keep my interest. Well-crafted epic fantasy which brings absolutely nothing to the genre that hasn't already been done a thousand times before. Only this time, it's dwarves doing it
Two more Wodehouse books! The Jeeves and Wooster collection with that one story from Jeeves POV and the story where they, uh, have a tragic divorce due to banjoeloes. Banjolettes? Something like that, I've read them in translation. Still very funny, though I think the Blandings books either translate better into English or had a more competent translator. They're not written in first-person POV after all, so a lot of the very slangy parts aren't in them. But, you know, very funny
A while ago I bought Don't Panic, the book about Douglas Adams and his 'verse by Neil Gaiman. Since I managed to sprain my foot and was forced to basically sit on the couch (except when I was sitting in the bed, for a change of pace) and read all weekend I ploved it. Very quick read... It's fun to see how very improbable the creation of the entire thing seems to have been, with Adams happily ignoring deadlines until his editors basically locked him away with a typewriter. Or, in the case of some radio episodes, had begun airing the first part of the episode. Yeeahhh...
2x Jasper Fforde, both Thursday Next books bought on the annual book sale. Amazingly enough, I had a much better time with book five than book two in the series despite not having read any other parts. They're good, very lit-injokey and do not work at all in the Swedish translation. It feels, I don't know, clunky, boring and just not well done at all. A shame

Also, I re-read the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy. Or, honestly, am re-reading them and I think I will once again stop before Mostly Harmless, as that book just makes me sad. I've read these books so many times that I can still quote passages. But! Only in Swedish, because we had the whole four-parts trilogy in a pocket edition. Now I've got the ultimate softcover version (US edition, which does not contain the word "fuck" but four extra sentences about the swear word "Belgium" instead. Ah well) and I... honestly don't know if I'll ever read the sixth semi-book, the recently released one written by Eoin Colfer. Whose name is apparantly not pronounced ee-o-win, as I though, but Owen. Still, I was really not impressed with Artemist Fowl, and I think I prefer the dratted ending to Mostly Harmless by someone unfunilly mucking about in the Hitchiker's main verse. Side-stuff like the Starship Titanic (which btw shares an amazing likeness with the Dr Who Titanic Christmas special. According to Wiki, they meant it to) is another matter though, and frankly, I'd rather see them writing more "free" spinoffs in that vein.
This was a lot of blather to say, bascially, that I
1) Had forgotten how amazingly weird these books are. And very sad at times, beneath all the funny!
2) Will always prefer Den Drägglande Dårfinken från Draal to the The Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (the firs means, basically, the Drooling Lunatic from Draal), but a lot of the other jokes make a lot more sense in english.
3) Still love these books a lot.

Also, our internet is 99% dead =D Let's see if this posts, or if I have to save it to USB and try and post it from work...

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