Saturday, 20 September 2014

New purchases

While in Sweden I want to buy Swedish books. Normally, I venture into a book store and see what is new and exciting. Books are rather expensive in Sweden so mostly I don't buy that many. However, this time I went twice to a second hand shop that also had a big library section. When prices are 0.50 or 1.00 euro there is not much thinking of it. Especially, since I had the car, and could load the books in there. Flying is always difficult considering the weight of the books.

One thing that hit me, while looking in the book stores, is that books these days tend to be VERY THICK! You could buy five books and end up with half a metre! Difficult choice when you have no space in the book case. I don't know what is with this trend of writing books that covers 800 to over 1.000 pages! You could argue that you get a lot for your money! Yes, true, or it is just an inflation in words? And what about holding them why you are reading? They are heavy, you might have to sit by a table. Don't even think of lying in bed reading, you'll get muscle ache in your arms.

Here is a list of my new books (please note that the titles for the Swedish books is a free translation from myself, if not available in English version):

New books

1. New books

  • Aldermanns Arvinge (Aldermann's Heir) by Gabriella Håkansson. This is the first in the Aldermann trilogy. The second one was out, Temple of the Heretics, but since I haven't read the first on, I started with this. According to Wikipedia "it is set in early 19th century London. Rich orphan William Aldermann spends his childhood in a hug, neo-classical house, surrounded by a staff of servants as well as old friends of his dead father. The boy soon discovers that he has a deeply troubling heritage: the father was the leader of a mysterious, elitist society of free-thinking radicals." A book I am sure to love. 813 pages so it will keep me going for a while!
  • En enda natt (One Night Only) by Simona Ahrnstedt. One of, or almost the only, romance writer in Sweden. These kind of books are not very well looked upon in Sweden. She writes well though and sometimes one has to have a little bit of an easy read and a little bit of romance.
  • Att inte vilja se (To Not Want To See) by Jan Guillou. The fourth part of his 20th century family drama. We have reached the second world war.
  • Analfabeten som kunde räkna (The Analphabet Who Knew How to Count) by Jonas Jonasson. The second book by the man who wrote The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared. Need I say more. Looking forward to see if he can keep up the pace and humour from the first book.
  • Märta and Hjalmar Söderberg, En äktenskapskatastrof  (Märta and Hjalmar Söderberg, a catastrophic marriage) by Johan Cullberg and Björn Sahlin. Hjalmar Söderberg is one of our famous writers, born 1869, died 1941 in Copenhagen. He had marital problems with his first wife and managed to put her into a mental hospital. The writers, also doctors, are looking at the evidence from the time to investigate if the medical reasons were valid or not. Märta suffered from a difficult rheumatic disease, which made it impossible for her to handle the daily life with house and three children. Fascinating book about real life drama. Hjalmar used several parts of his life in his fiction. 
  • Vägen mot Bålberget (The Road to Bålberget) by Therése Söderlind. A historical novel on witches and witch hunts in 17th century Sweden. Wanted to read this for a long time so happy to find it in a pocket book. 
  • En man som heter Ove (A Man Called Ove) by Fredrik Backman. This is well-known to many of you so I will just say it seems to be a feel good book with twists.
History books

2. Second hand books:
2.1 History

  • En vandring genom den svenska historien (A Walk Through the Swedish History) by Helrman Lindqvist. A well-know Swedish former foreign correspondent turned writer. This should be an easy read of essential points in our history
  • Historien om Sverige (The History of Sweden) by Herman Lindqvist. Another one of his books covering the time from the ice age to a kingdom.
  • Stalingrad by Antony Beevor. Always wanted to read something by this famous historian, and here I am. Should be a thrilling story.
  • Around Tycho Brahe and Hven. A very thin (as a change to the thick books!) brochure on Tycho Brahe and his island Ven where he made his scientific research and experiments. 
  • Slaget vid Lund, Ett mord och icke ett fältslag (The Battle of Lund, a Murder and not a Battle) by Claes Wahlöö and Göran Larsson. History of a battle.
  • Svenska knektar (Swedish soldiers) by Lars Ericson. A history of the poor soldiers through war and peace.
  • Tulpanfeber (Tulip Fever) by Deborah Moggach. Another book about Tulipomania in the Netherlands in the 17th century. Already read Mike Dash book Tulipomania so it will be interesting to read another view to compare.
  • Fänrik Ståhls sägner (The Tales of Ensign Ståhl) by Johan Ludvig Runeberg. Born in Finland in 1804, which was then Swedish territory. He wrote in Swedish and is today the national poet of Finland. It is an epic poem and is considered the greatest after Kalevala. 
Second hand fiction

2.2 Fiction

  •  Sugar (The Crimson Petal and the White) by Michel Faber. Historical fiction, London in the Victorian era. Much be good....or?
  • Jungfruns älskare (The Virgin's Lover) by Philippa Gregory. She is always good.
  • Burfågel (Jailbird) by Kurt Vonnegut. A must read writer that I have never read. Here we go.
  • Mot Fyren (To the Lighthouse) by Virginia Woolf. Same as above, never read anything by her. Shame on me.
  • Damen med enhörningen (The Lady and the Unicorn) by Trace Chevalier. Loved her Girl with Pearl Earring
  • Upplösning (Dissolution) by C.S. Sansom. I have his Winter in Madrid which I liked.
  • Vägen (The Road) by Cormac McCarthy. Supposed to be so good you have to read it. OK.

Audio book

That's it really. As mentioned in my earlier post I also bought an audio book for my long car trip. Ghostman by Roger Hobbs. A criminal who is an expert in disappearing has to pay a debt by finding a missing bank robber in a robbery gone bad. Along the way he remembers another robbery gone bad five years earlier.  The story itself was rather thrilling but it was too many details. A manual for bank robbers, criminals and drug addicts it seems to me. 

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