Thursday, 27 February 2020

Non Fiction Reading Challenge 2020

I have decided not to join too many new challenges this year. However, this is too good to be true. Just in line with my own reading plans. I want to read more Non Fiction this year. Book'd Out is hosting this challenge. Here a few of the rules (head over to Book'd Out for more).

The aim is to encourage you to make nonfiction part of your reading experience during the year.
The challenge will run from January 1st to December 31st 2020. Participants may join at any time up until December 1st 2020

So far I have read two books; The Raphaelite Sisterhood by Jan Marsh and a book about the Medicis by Göran Hägg. More of the Medicis will come up. I recently visited Florence and would like to read up on its history and important citizens.

Having been to the Caribbean in December/January, I would also like to read books about the 'discovery' of the Continent. Just started Columbus, The Four Voyages by Laurence Berggren, and ordered  Empire's Crossroads: A History of the Caribbean from Columbus to the Present Day by Carrie Gibson.

That will keep me occupied for a while. Are you joining this Challenge? What kind of books do you want to read?

Wednesday, 26 February 2020

Book sales 2020

In Sweden there is a big book sale going on in February every year. Yesterday, I did go to have a look, aiming for two books that I had already checked out. Considering the state of my book shelves, I have to restrain myself. Did not help much since I came back with seven books, of which four were VERY thick.

I don't count the Soduko book I bought. Love soduko, and find it very relaxing. I did concentrate on the non fiction books. I live in Sweden now and can easily borrow books from the library, including e-books. So convenient.

Three books about Skåne. Love the covers.

I could not resist a series of three books on the history of Skåne. This is the province in which I live. Until 1658 the southern part of Sweden belonged to Denmark. The history of this part is therefore very interesting. One of our famous historians, Gunnar Wetterberg has written the history of Skåne covering the periods; 11500 BC - 1375 AC, 1376 - 1720 and 1720 - 2017. He is also a great writer. I have several books by him.


The biggest hype for a book last year was Ålevangeliet (The Gospel of the Eel) by Patrik Svensson. I think he has gathered all information available, and some more, about this rather mysterious creature and its life. It received several literary prizes and is supposed to be very good.

The next one I could not resist since I have a problem sleeping. Matthew Walker's Why we sleep - unlocking the power of sleep and dreams might be the book I need. I really hope there are some tips in it for me!

One of our greatest female writers is Selma Lagerlöf. Anna-Karin Palm has written a biography on her life, with the title "Jag vill sätta världen i rörelse" (I want to make the world move - my translation). It has also got good reviews. Love such biographies.

Well, that was all. They have to share the space with all the other books.

Tuesday, 25 February 2020

The First Book of the Year 2020

Through Readerbuzz, I stumbled upon First Book of The Year hosted by Sheila at Book Journey. A little bit late maybe, (been travelling extensively since beginning of December, making the blog suffer) but I wanted to say a few things about my first book this year. First of all the idea of this Meme.

Sheila encourages us to pick a book to start out the new year. The criteria is flexible:

  • A guilty pleasure book...
  • A favourite book that you never got around to read or want to re-read...
  • All in all, whatever you like to read as the First Book Of the Year...
My first book was just a book I choose by coincidence. Since I was travelling, I had my ipad with me, full of downloaded books. Having read a few easygoing, historical fiction books at the end of the year, I fancied a non fiction book next. It turned out to be The Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood by Jan Marsh. We have heard about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, but Marsh (who is quite an expert on the group) choose to focus, in this book, on the women in their lives.


An exciting and gripping book about women whose lives happened to intertwine with the best of Victorian painters, artists and writers. There are extensive documentation on the Pre-Raphaelites, but not much about their women. Some of them did paint as well, or were writing, but most of them left no traces of their lives behind them. The destiny of the women were quite different. It did not seem easy to be part of these artists. Most of them were very strong, and had to be to survive in this circle. Jan Marsh has done extensive research and she takes us straight back to the Victorian times.

I find the group and the era utterly fascinating. I always visit the Pre-Raphaelite section of Tate Britain when I am in London. Wonderful paintings. Earlier I have read:

Desperate Romantics was made into a TV-series (with Aidan Turner as Rosetti) and Effie was made into a movie (with Dakota Fanning as Effie). Highly recommended.

A non fiction book as my first book of the year, is also setting the tone for the idea I have of my reading for 2020. I want to read more non fiction. Preferably, grouping together several books on the same subject. Week 3 of the Non Fiction November had as themes; Be the Expert, Ask the Expert and Become the Expert.  I would like to be the expert, but first I have to become the expert.

A few thoughts about my reading for this year. I will not enter too many challenges, just a few favourite ones. Looking forward to see what you all will read for the coming year.

Monday, 24 February 2020

Bookmark Monday

This meme is hosted by Guiltless Reading. Last week I spent three days in Florence. It is such a wonderful, historical city, a pure pleasure to be there. I have been there before, so I choose what to see again. Collecting a few bookmarks does not take up a lot of space in your luggage.

Visiting David at the Galleria dell'Academia is always a treat. Such a beautiful statue.

The Uffizi Gallery with its treasure of statues and paintings, is a must in Florence. Standing out are two paintings by Sandro Botticello; The Birth of Venus and Primavera. 



The other four bookmarks are on amazing buildings in Florence; Il Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio and Ponte Vecchio.