Update and Queer Lit Readathon tbr

So how’s my reading year 2021 going? Well. Splendidly, I’d say.

Skjermdump fra Goodreads som sier at jeg har lest 80 av 100 bøker og derfor ligger foran skjemaet med 38 bøker i årets utfordring.

It must be said that 26 of those are rereads of the St. Clares, Mallory Towers and Trebizon series, which are pretty short books and since I’ve read them before I basically inhale them and read 2-3 in a single day. Still, even that is a few good hours of reading time. And of course it leaves more than 50 other books read, so even leaving those 26 out of the counting (though why would I?) I am nicely on track to beat the challenge I set myself.

Anyway, what I really wanted to do was tell you about my tbr for the coming Queer Lit Readathon. It will be my second time participating (you can read my wrap up of the last one here), and like last time I am aiming for a completely filled bingo board, though I realise it is somewhat overambitious when I look at the physical pile of books I need to finish to attain that goal. In the last Readathon the only square I couldn’t check off was the Group Read, since the book was delayed from the webshop I ordered it from. There is a distinct whiff of history repeating itself right now, as I have yet to receive this round’s group read, Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. I belive it has been dispatched, though, so there is hope.

Bingo board for the Queer Lit Readathon, four by four squares in rainbow colours with the categories detailed in the text below.

Well, here we go:

Memoir: We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice by adrienne maree brown. I admit to being unsure of whether this actually counts as a memoir, but I found it on a list of “best queer memoirs of <year>”, so I’m hoping it works.

Group Read: Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi – if it arrives…

Hard Hitting Contemporary: Shuggie Bain by Douglas Stuart.

Choose Your Own Category: I have not decided yet, but I’ll try to come up with a fun one that one of my books fit.

Shorter Than a Novel: We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice by adrienne maree brown.

Brings You Joy: I have high hopes for You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson.

M-Spec: You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson

Not Set on Your Continent: Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi (but also most of the others, so this one should be easy)

Intersectional: We Will Not Cancel Us: And Other Dreams of Transformative Justice by adrienne maree brown.

Vintage: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Summer Vibes: Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman

Superheroes: Harley Quinn: Breaking Glass by Mariko Tamaki and Steve Pugh. I am going to argue Harley Quinn counts as a superhero, but I might be out on a limb on this one.

Underrepresented Identity: Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi

Religion: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin

Recommended: Giovanni’s Room by James Baldwin was recommended to me by @antonymet in the last round.

40%+ BIPOC: I believe the only non-Bipoc author on my list is Douglas Stuart, so I guess I’m ok.

So… I realise I have a pile. Baldwin and Brown are luckily quite short, and the comic/graphic novel is too, but in the other four I have almost 1400 pages to get through. I may have to cheat a bit and start before Sunday. Or I can switch out Shuggie Bain for one of the others, certainly Summer Bird Blue sounds like it ought to fit the “Hard Hitting Contemporary” box, too. But I really want to read Shuggie Bain. Well. We’ll see.

If you’d like to take part, or just want some ideas for queer books to read, check out these:

And I’d certainly suggest following @queer_lit on Twitter and/or Instagram.

Note that I have only seen parts of the videos linked above, as this is me:

Podcast, boksalg og bokpriser

Som jeg nevnte i innlegget om On a Sunbeam har jeg fortsatt å høre på podcasten Books Unbound. Jeg har også hørt en del episoder av podcasten Pengesnakk (som nevnt i innlegget om boka med samme navn). Jeg har altså blitt en sånn person som hører på podcasts. Så nå tenkte jeg det hadde vært greit med en liten oppdatering på hvilke andre jeg har testet og hva jeg synes. Det er bare et par som er litteraturrelatert, så når du har lest om de to kan du hoppe ned for å lese et hjertesukk om boksalg og bokpriser om du vil.

Boksnakk: Jeg har fulgt både @readygoread og @leseverden på Instagram en stund, så det var naturlig å sjekke ut podcasten Boksnakk når de lanserte den. Så langt synes jeg den er veldig bra. Formatet er relativt likt Books Unbound sitt, Marte og Malin snakker om bøker og bokbransjen, bøker de har lest og bøker de gleder seg til. De har tydeligere tema for hver episode enn Books Unbound, og jeg har hittil hoppet over episoden om krim (som jeg knapt leser) og Mammutsalget (siden jeg helst ikke ville oppdage noen bøker jeg “bare må ha”), men har hørt alle de andre som har kommet ut så langt. Den siste handlet om “mai-salget” og fastprisavtalen og var spesielt interessant synes jeg. Jeg kjente greit til prinsippene i avtalen fra før, men fikk noen nye synsvinkler å tenke på og litt mer konkrete detaljer rundt datoer og tidslinjer, så det var kult.

Reading Women: Jeg har hørt et par episoder, og kommer nok til å høre flere, men denne podcasten krever et høyere konsentrasjonsnivå, og går ganske i dybden på temaet det snakkes om, så det føles nesten som en forelesning jeg burde ha forberedt meg til. Nesten. Som sagt, jeg kommer nok til å høre flere, så ikke la deg skremme helt.

Love to Sew: En passe lavterskel podcast, men om å sy klær snarere enn om å lese bøker. Helen og Caroline har hyppige gjester og tar opp alt fra nybegynnertema til detaljsnakk om type stoff og hvordan søm som hobby hører hjemme i det store bildet, sosialt og miljøvernmessig. Et stort pluss er at de gjør sitt beste for å være inkluderende, og har fokus både på kroppspositivitet og på ting som Black Lives Matter og kjønnsmangfold innen sitt fagområde. Jeg har hørt kanskje 20 episoder og det er nesten 200 å ta av, så her går jeg ikke tom på en stund.

Forbrukerpodden: Handler også om personlig økonomi, men tar utgangspunkt mer i bærekraft og miljøvern. Her har jeg også hørt meg gjennom en del episoder på rappen, og kommer sikkert til å høre flere, særlig der hvor det er interessante gjester.

Spinning Plates with Sophie Ellis-Bextor: Jeg har bare hørt en episode, og det var fordi Jack Monroe var gjest. Men den episoden var veldig bra, så jeg har beholdt podcasten i abonnementslista.

Friends of Dorothy: Verter for denne er drag-dronningene Candy Warhol and Kiki St Clair. Her har jeg også bare hørt en episode, den der Mara Wilson var gjest, men også denne ga mersmak og ligger derfor i abonnementslista.

Our Opinions are Correct: Jeg har hørt et par episoder, blant annet en om virus, både ekte og oppdiktede. Denne liker jeg for måten de blander litteratur – og da spesifikt sci-fi – inn i diskusjoner om temaer som treffer oss i hverdagen (eller omvendt?).

Gender Reveal: Superinteressante intervjuer med transfolk. Så langt har jeg hørt flest episoder med forfattere og får en stadig lenger tbr-liste.

Trans Norge: Driftes av PKI og er en relativt ny podcast (20 episoder så langt). Den ene episoden jeg har hørt, der podcastvert Luca Dalen Espseth prater med Miriam Aurora Hammeren Pedersen om interseksjonell feminisme var spot on, så her blir det mer lytting framover.

Out to Lunch: Jeg elsker Jay Rayners restaurantanmeldelser. Av podcasten har jeg hørt en og en halv episode, jeg begynte med den der Tim Minchin er gjest, siden jeg også er Minchin-fan. Passe småpratete om alle mulige tema i tillegg til mat, selvsagt.

Jeg har også hørt starten på tilfeldige episoder på noen flere podcaster og ikke likt det jeg hørte, avsluttet og avabonnert, men nå husker jeg ikke hvilke. Jeg må bli bedre til å notere, rett og slett. Men, ok, jeg liker jo bedre å drive med framsnakking enn slakt, så kanskje det er like greit.

Overskriften på dette innlegget lover at jeg skal si noe om boksalg og bokpriser, men jeg har egentlig bare et lite hjertesukk å komme med. Jeg kjøper mye bøker (surprise!), også nye norske bøker. Sistnevnte er ikke billige, men det er greit, det står vel i stil med lønnsnivået i landet, og jeg tjener mer en greit nok, så jeg skal ikke klage (så mye). Men jeg har jo ikke lyst til å betale noe mer enn jeg må, jeg heller. Jeg bruker biblioteket når det passer seg sånn. Men det gjør jo “alle” andre også. Eller litt for mange i alle fall. Nå er det for eksempel to norske romaner fra 2020 jeg gjerne skulle ha fått tak i, nemlig de som står på kortlista til Bokbloggerprisen. Heroin Chic av Maria Kjos Fonn har jeg arvet av en venninne, så den har jeg i hus, men Tollak til Ingeborg av Tore Renberg og Et liv forbi Helga Flatland står jeg på venteliste på på biblioteket. På henholdsvis plass 51 og 16. Jeg har fortsatt fire måneder på meg, så 16 skal gå. Jeg er mer usikker på 51. Så nå som maisalget har startet og det også har gått nok tid til at de har kommet i pocket tenkte jeg at jeg skulle sjekke muligheten for å kjøpe bøkene til en litt rimeligere penge enn fullpris ny bok. Og, vel.

Skjermdump fra Norli, tre versjoner av Tollak til Ingeborg. Hardcover er på tilbud til 149,- ebok er på tilbud til 120,- mens pocket koster 199,-Jeg vil helst ha fysisk bok, så skal jeg spare penger bør jeg gå for innbundet. Men jeg vil ikke egentlig ha innbundet. På den annen side: Pocket til 199? Er det bare meg, eller er det ikke noe særlig billig? Jeg har ikke sjekket fysisk butikk, men jeg mistenker at dette ikke er ordentlig pocket, men sånn half-assed greie også kjent som “dansk bind”. Men jeg vil ikke ha en bok som ser bra ut på hylla, faktisk er ikke dette en bok jeg nødvendigvis har noe ønske om å ha på hylla i det hele tatt, jeg vil ha en bruksbok, en jeg kan putte i sekken (eller lomma) og lese på bussen og eventuelt sette på hylla etterpå, men da er det fint om den tar minst mulig plass og det gjør verken innbundet eller dansk bind.

Angående Flatland er ståa eksakt den samme:

Dansk bind, forresten: I Danmark er det faktisk det som er “innbundet”. Alle mine nyere danske førsteutgaver er dansk bind. Pocket er noe annet.

Men. Jeg skal stikke innom en fysisk butikk på lørdag og sjekke hvordan “pocket”-utgaven faktisk ser ut. Hvis det er ordentlig pocket skal jeg vurdere å betale blodprisen 199 for fornøyelsen tross alt. Hvis ikke vurderer jeg å kjøpe innbundet og putte den i leveringsboksen til biblioteket når jeg er ferdig med den, de trenger jo tydeligvis flere eksemplarer.

 

 

 

Riordathon2020: Godly Parents

Som nevnt i innlegget om The Land of Green Ginger bestemte jeg meg spontant for å bli med på runde tre av #Riordathon2020, The Percy Jackson edition, organisert av @bokpanda, @bookstrider og @lesehjornet siden den ene boka slo ikke bare to, men seks fluer i en smekk. Forsvarlig behandling, som jeg allerede hadde lånt fra biblioteket, passet perfekt inn på oppgaven “anbefalt av en venn”, og siden det er det eneste punktet som må oppfylles av en bok som ikke brukes på flere punkter har jeg ikke engang vurdert om den oppfyller andre krav. Nå holder jeg på med The Outlaws of Sherwood av Robin McKinley, det er både gjenlesing og gjenfortelling og oppfyller derfor punkt 4 dobbelt opp, og dessuten punkt 11. Deretter har jeg en slags plan om å lese Min vei, Ruth Reeses selvbiografi som jeg ble tipset om på Twitter for noen uker siden. Den fikk jeg tak i i hardcover hos min lokale bruktbokpusher, så den dekker i alle fall oppgave 1.

Etter det får vi se. Jeg har fram til slutten av januar, så det skal ikke stå på tiden, nødvendigvis, men jeg skal helst finne bøker på TBR som passer til de siste oppgavene, jeg trenger ikke egentlig å få lagt bøker til TBR, kan du si. Men det gjenstår bare fem punkter, og siden man kan velge seg både våpen og “forelder” og dermed påvirke oppgaveinnholdet virker det ganske overkommelig. Det er naturlig for meg å velge enten sverd eller bue og pil, siden jeg “kan” å bruke begge IRL, og siden jeg alt har dekket “furies” som bua eliminerer er det vel smart å velge sverd… Da kan jeg kutte ut den oppgaven jeg ønsker. Av gudommelige foreldre faller det nærliggende å tenke at jeg nok hører hjemme hos Dionysos/Bacchus, med tanke på hva jeg blogger om i tillegg til bøker. Da kan jeg dessuten kutte ut enda en oppgave ved for eksempel å ta meg en whisky, og det er vel lite sannsynlig at jeg ikke skal ha meg en whisky en eller annen gang i løpet av januar.

Har du også lyst til å bli med på lesemaratonet anbefaler jeg å sjekke instagramkontoene til arrangørene (altså @bokpanda, @bookstrider og @lesehjornet). De har alle detaljer i høydepunkter i stories. For oversikt over oppgaver sjekk pdf på google drive og for oversikt over gudommelige foreldre og hvilke fordeler de gir kan du sjekke nettsiden: Godly parent guide.

Min liste så langt:

1. Medusa: read a hardcover book – Min vei
2. Lupa: read a book with a parent character – The Land of Green Ginger
3. Furies: read a book with a bird on the cover – The Land of Green Ginger
4. Chimera: read a re-telling or a re-read – The Outlaws of Sherwood
5. Lycanthrope: read a book with a mythical creature – The Land of Green Ginger
6. Cerberus: read a book with an animal on the cover – The Land of Green Ginger
7. Cyclopes: read a book with imprisonment – The Land of Green Ginger
8. Titans: read a book where someone/something is overthrown
9. Sphinx: read a book with a tragedy
10. Scylla: read a book with a blue cover, or a ship on the cover/in the title
11. Centaur: read a book about hero – The Outlaws of Sherwood
12. Minotaur: read a book with a strength
13. Empusa: read a book with demons or an evil character – The Land of Green Ginger
14. Charybdis: read a book with a trap or a plot-twist
15. To close the doors: read a book recommended to you by a friend. This is the one that can’t be doubled, it has to be one of a kind to close the Doors of Death – Forsvarlig behandling

Queer Lit Readathon wrap-up

It’s been a few weeks, but here’s a belated summary of my Queer Lit Readathon reading.

This Winter by Alice Oseman checks off Background Romance, Non Coming Out and Winter Vibes. I thought Tori was Ace according to canon, so that  This Winter would count for Ace/Aro MC, too, but I think I may have been wrong about that.

Love Lives Here by Amanda Jette Knox was my pick for Adult Fiction/Nonfiction (the latter, obvs), ???, and See Yourself (I am Cis, and so is Amanda).

George by Alex Gino covers Pre/Non-Medical Transition.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta covers #ownvoices, BIPOC MC and MC Not Like You.

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales was picked for Retelling, but also works for Host Rec and Queer Friends.

Lumberjanes vol. 9: On a Roll squeezed in to cover Graphic Novel.

So that’s every square checked (well, with some doubt about Ace/Aro MC), except the group read. I ordered Summer of Everything by Julian Winters at the same time as Only Mostly Devastated, and it was supposed to arrive on time according to the estimates from the shop, but alas. It would have been a challenge to finish it within the readathon week in any case, but without the book in hand it was obviously impossible. It has arrived now, though, so it will be read eventually.

I have, to a certain extent, been prioritising reading over blogging about the books I’ve read over the last few months (if not longer), so to make sure I get these written up I will stick to a very brief summary of my thoughts for each of them here, rather than pretend to myself that I’ll do a proper review of them at some later point.

This Winter by Alice Oseman is a novella that takes place after the three volumes of Heartstopper that are already out and before Solitaire (which I’ve since read). It is narrated by the three Spring kids, Tori, Charlie and Oliver, who each get a section in order of age from oldest to youngest. It is also illustrated in Oseman’s characteristic style. The whole of the plot takes place on Christmas day. The book comes with a content warning, in that it references mental illness and eating disorders and includes “ignorant views regarding mental illness” (a wording which I particularly liked).

Tori and Charlie are trying to put a rather rough autumn/winter behind them, and for Tori that means trying to protect Charlie as well as dealing with her own “disasterous” life. Charlie seems to want to escape from himself (and his family). Oliver mainly wants someone – preferably his elder siblings – to play Mario Cart with him. The novella is a moving and insightful portrait of a family dealing with mental illness, and of how everyone is unavoidably tied up in the situation, though the way they try to deal ranges from trying too hard to help to pretending nothing is wrong (or even, in the extended family, making fun of the whole thing).

This is Tori:

I walk back into the kitchen. Mum is still washing up. I walk up to her, and her face looks like stone. Like ice, maybe. There’s a pause, and then she says, ‘You know, I am trying my best.’

I know she is, but her best isn’t really good enough, and it shouldn’t be about how she feels anyway.

(Page 44.) It’s hard not to feel like the Spring parents are fumbling at their parenting job, but as a parent myself, who has not had personal experience with mental illness, I’m not all that sure I’d have done a much better job. Well, in fact, that is very much one of the reasons why I read books – like these and in general – in order to learn, to get the perspective of the struggling teens, in this case, letting me see the world from their point of view.

Here’s Charlie:

I should explain about the argument with Mum and all the arguments we’ve had over the past few weeks. I should explain how difficult it is to keep trying to do better when there are so many people who just refuse to understand how hard it is. I should explain that I barely slept last night because I was so anxious about dinner and, even though I actually did quite well, I still felt like everyone was watching me, waiting for me to fuck up and ruin the day.

(Page 72.) I started reading Solitaire at the tail end of the readathon, and I’m looking foreward to making my way though all of Oseman’s books, probably in the near future (I have purchased them all, so it’s just a matter of finding the time).

I came across Amanda Jetté Knox on Twitter a while back, and have been meaning to read her  well, I guess we can call it a memoir? Love Lives Here was a very interesting, and in parts moving read. Someone on Goodreads called it a bit of a Trans 101, and I suppose there is something in that, if you’ve already read a bit about the issue and you’re looking to understand more about transness in itself, this is perhaps not where you should go.

I did, however, find it interesting to get the coming-out-as-trans stories from the point of view of a cis woman, since I myself am cis, and moreover from the point of view of a parent. There is also quite a lot of discussion about advocacy, about being public as a family of supportive individuals, and being public in general. When Amanda’s partner suggest she uses her parenting blog as an advocacy platform, Alexis (then out as trans boy, now non-binary) makes a point:

“You should do that!” Alexis agreed. “When I searched for trans kids in Canada, I couldn’t find any stories of families who were supportive. Not one. We should be that one.”

(Page 99.) The frequency of sucicide and suicide ideation is already much higher in trans and non-binary kids, how much worse is a Google-search that tells them they will be thrown out from home and shunned by everyone they love going to make that situation? It is admirable to out oneself out there as the (sensible but apparently unusual) alternative: The loving and accepting family.

Interesting as this was, though, the next book I pick up about trans issues will be by a trans author. Time for some #ownvoices to teach this old cis lady about the myriad of human experience.

I read Rick by Alex Gino, which happens after George chronologically, a few weeks before the readathon. A pity, since it would have worked beautifully for Ace/Aro. Ah, well. In terms of order it didn’t make all that much difference to me that I read them “the wrong way round”, but Rick does spoil George (quite a bit, and not just on the coming out parts which you could probably take a guess at either), so if you can stick to the proper order, do.

George is a sweet story, very much not intended for 46-year-olds. Which doesn’t mean we can’t read it, obviously, and certainly doesn’t mean we can’t learn from it. I don’t suppose it’s too much of a spoiler to say that it’s a book about being trans. In fact, if so, the synopsis will spoil it for me. George/Charlotte is lucky enough to have a best friend that sticks with her, a mother who, despite taking some time, comes round and an older brother who takes it all in his stride:

“Weird. But it kinda makes sense, No offence, but you don’t make a very good boy.”

“I know.”

(Page 156.) Which feeds into the theme from Love Lives Here: If we are going to make progress, we (and most especially trans/LGBTQ+ kids/teens) need stories with happy endings and families that are able to adjust and stick together and love one another, or else coming out is just going to remain as terrifying as it must have been for centuries.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta was already on my TBR pile, suggested to me by who knows. The combination of it ticking several bingo boxes and being a relatively quick read, being in verse, made it the perfect pick for the readathon.

The narrative being from the first person perspective and the verse form combine to make this a hard-hitting read. The book fits the prompt “MC Not Like You” perfectly, Michael is my opposite in every element of the snappy shorthand descriptions we use to group people. He is male, mixed-race, gay and gender bending, I am cis female, white and straight. Even so, it is not difficult to empathise with Michael’s exploration of his identity, and his emergence towards the end of the book as ‘The Black Flamingo’, fierce, in drag, and wholly himself, is a triumph the reader shares.

Interspersed throughout the narrative are standalone poems by Michael. Here’s an example:

I Come From

I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday
roast, jerk chicken and stuffed wine leaves.
I come from travelling through taste buds
but loving where I live. I come from
a home that some would call broken.

I come from DIY that never got done.
I come from waiting by the phone
for him to call. I come from waving
the white flag to loneliness. I come from
the rainbow flag and the Union Jack.

I come from a British passport
and an ever-ready suitcase. I come from
jet fuel and fresh coconut water.
I come from crossing oceans
to find myself. I come from deep issues
and shallow solutions.

I come from a limited vocabulary
but an unrestricted imagination.
I come from a decent education
and a marvellous mother.

I come from being given permission
to dream but choosing to wake up
instead. I come from wherever I lay
my head. I come from unanswered
questions and unread books, unnoticed
effort and undelivered apologies
and thanks. I come from who I trust
and who I have left.

I come from last year and last year
and I don’t notice how I’ve changed.
I come from looking in the mirror
and looking online to find myself.
I come from stories, myths, legends
and folk tales. I come from lullabies
and pop songs, hip-hop and poetry.

I come from griots, grandmothers
and her-story tellers. I come from
published words and strangers’ smiles.
I come from my own pen but I see
people torn apart like paper, each a story
or poem that never made it into a book.

(Pages 217-218.)

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales was suggested by one of the hosts for the “Retelling” prompt and I’m glad we crossed paths.

I found it to be a clever reworking of the Grease plot. In place of Sandy and Danny we find Ollie from California, plonked down in North Carolina because his parents want to stay near his aunt (who is very ill with cancer), and Will, basketball jock, definitely not out. The supporting cast is both charming and interesting (a bit like in the movie) and help bring the story to life. Quite apart from the summer-romance-oh-now-we’re-at-the-same-school-and-that-is-not-who-I-am-here plot, there are other echoes of Grease, not least in the gradual realisation of Ollie’s that while he is finding the situation tough, so is Will, and that if they want to have a chance at an actual relationship they both need to give as well as take. Even down to the words and phrases there are echoes. I feel the title (a phrase that appears in the book, too) sounds like “hopelessly devoted” in some intangible way (and it made me hum the song every time I thought about the title), but those words also appear:

If I didn’t cut Will off cold-turkey, I’d end up pining over him, all hopelessly devoted, and hurt, and unrequited.

(Page 79.) It’s been quite a few years since I last watched Grease, but I’m positive that a careful side-by-side comparison would reveal even more details that the two have in common than the many I spotted.

It’s more of a YA romance than I would normally read (I may be growing old after all, I have grown out of teen romance…), but the revamped Grease story and the nicely handled theme of coming out – how different the experience can be depending on your family, friends and local community (Ollie from liberal-minded California has been out “forever”) – made it a much more interesting read than the plain boy-meets-boy-and-after-some-obstacles-they-live-happily-ever-after romance story.

The Lumberjanes series is a firm favourite in this house. Some time in the autumn I resolutely purchased all the volumes we were missing from Waterstones. They propmtly disappeared into the teen’s room, but I have been asking for them back in order so I could (re)read the whole thing chronologically. In volume 9: On a Roll our heroes, the Roanokes, find an overground roller derby track and challenge a group of Sasquatches to a game, in order to help the neighbourhood Yetis whose digs the Sasquatches have taken over. This being Lumberjane-country, the track turns out to have… well, deadly booby traps.

It’s unabashedly queer (yes, in both senses) and undeniably weird and unendingly charming.

Alle bøkene har jeg kjøpt sjøl.

Bout of Books 30: Sign-up and progress post

As usual, I will be participating in Bout of Books. I have previously found it a good way to kickstart my reading for the year. I will also (as usual) stick my daily updates in this post rather than add a new one per day.

The Bout of Books readathon is organized by Amanda Shofner and Kelly Rubidoux Apple. It’s a weeklong readathon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 4th and runs through Sunday, January 10th in YOUR time zone. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are reading sprints, Twitter chats, and exclusive Instagram challenges, but they’re all completely optional. For all Bout of Books 30 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. – From the Bout of Books team

Today is day one, and I am all set to go, I just need to get through this little matter of thefirstworkingdayoftheyear first.

Monday

Finished:
A Presumption of Death – Jill Paton Walsh (inspired by Dorothy L. Sayers) p 135-372
Where the sidewalk ends – Shel Silverstein p 176-183 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Started:
The Land of Green Ginger – Noel Langley p 1-20

Instagram challenge:

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av Ragnhild Lervik (@lattermild)

Once I’d finished the book I had to ad a comment to my own Instagram post:

You know what? Scratch that. When I wrote the above I was just about half-way through, and Lord Peter had just turned up. Now I’ve finished and I really don NOT think I will spend any further time on Walsh’s versions of Peter and Harriet. She does a decent job on the details of the characters, the setting and landscape, and to a certain extent the plot, but she completely fails to capture the relationship between Peter and Harriet, the dialogue feels clunky and the attempts at continuing Sayer’s version of Harriet’s internal dialogue is almost embarrassing. I might get rid of this one alltogether rather than risk rereading it again in a fit of “but I want MORE” the next time I reread Sayer’s books.

Tuesday

Continued:
The Land of Green Ginger – Noel Langley p 21-158

Started:
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 1-25 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Instagram challenge:

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av Ragnhild Lervik (@lattermild)

Wednesday

Finished:
The Land of Green Ginger – Noel Langley p 159-288

Continued:
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 26-32 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Would have picked up a new book after Green Ginger, but went to check Twitter quickly and ended up doomscrolling the domestic terrorist attack on the Capitol in DC instead.

Instagram challenge:

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av Ragnhild Lervik (@lattermild)

Thursday

Started
Forsvarlig behandling – Unni Cathrine Eiken p 1-40
The Outlaws of Sherwood – Robin McKinley p 1-12

Continued:
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 33-45 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Instagram challenge:

 

Se dette innlegget på Instagram

 

Et innlegg delt av Ragnhild Lervik (@lattermild)

Friday

Continued:
Forsvarlig behandling – Unni Cathrine Eiken p 41-98
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 46-60 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Saturday

Continued:
Forsvarlig behandling – Unni Cathrine Eiken p 98-169
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 61-75 (reading aloud with the youngest)

Sunday

Finished:
Forsvarlig behandling – Unni Cathrine Eiken p 170-304

Continued:
Lighting Girl #4: Superpower Showdown – Alesha Dixon p 76-91 (reading aloud with the youngest)
The Outlaws of Sherwood – Robin McKinley p 12-32

Summary

That’s 959 pages in total, which is pretty good going for one week even if it would have been more satisfying to hit 1000. After the events of Wednesday, the official updates and events of the readathon were toned down to a minimum, understandably, and I fell out of the loop Instagram-wise. Hopefully we can return in May (Bout of Books 31 is scheduled from May 10th to May 16th) in a world where the orange cheeto is a nobody (preferably in jail) and where the mob of Wednesday have discovered the little something that is the consequences of their own actions. We’ll see.

Leseåret 2020

Det er på tide å ta et tilbakeblikk på 2020. Som notert i august, når det opprinnelige målet på 80 var nådd, er antallet bøker lest betraktelig høyere enn i 2019.

Oversikten fra Goodreads har ikke oppdatert seg helt, antallet skal være 140. 140! Det er altså nesten 100 flere bøker enn i 2019. Hva har skjedd? Vel, jo, jeg har tidvis vært streng med meg selv og sagt at “Nå SKAL du lese 20 sider før du får legge fra deg boka!” Men først og fremst har jeg lest bøker jeg har lyst til å lese, og i år har jeg tydeligvis hatt lyst til å lese bøker. Long may it last.

I ren lykkerus har jeg justert opp målet for 2021 fra de 80 jeg har hatt de siste årene til 100. Og jeg har allerede lest ferdig min første bok i år, så dette går så langt strålende.

Skjermdump fra Goodreads med 2021 Reading challenge mål på 100 bøker.

Vel, det var antall. Vi får ta en titt på statistikken, hva?

35 % gjenlesing og 65 % nye (for meg) bøker tilsvarer det jeg har ligget på de siste årene, og det er en fordeling jeg lever godt med. Når ingen bøker fenger er det veldig greit å plukke ned en gammel favoritt fra hylla, da vet man i alle fall at boka er bra og slipper å investere tid i noe som kan vise seg å være bom.

Kjønnsfordelingen i år er 36 % menn, 50 % kvinner, 9 % “both” og 5 % queer. Jeg fant ut at jeg måtte legge til den siste kategorien for å synliggjøre de trans og ikke-binære forfatterene jeg leser. Når poenget er å overvåke mangfold (eller mangelen på mangfold) i hva jeg leser er det litt dumt å kategorisere f.eks. Alex Bertie som hvit mann, selv om det jo er korrekt om man skal forenkle ned til ren binær inndeling. Jeg tenker at tallet for “queer” her godt kan bli høyere, men ellers er jeg vel nogenlunde fornøyd.

Geografi og hudfarge, derimot… Joda, tallene er bedre enn de har vært de siste årene, men BRA kan jeg vel ikke akkurat si at de er. For å ta geografien først: 30 % UK, 29 % USA, 27 % Norge, 9 % Canada og 1 % hver for Kina, Japan, India og Australia.

Det må vel kunne sies at det er rom for forbedring? Tallet for ikke-hvite forfattere er oppe på 16 % (fra 10 % i fjor). Det er jo på vei i riktig retning, og det er jo snakk om en del bøker, faktisk, siden totalen var såpass stor (og gjenlesingsbøkene er i liten grad av melaninrike forfattere, så av nye bøker og forfattere jeg har valgt å lese er andelen ikke-hvite oppe i 24 %). Vi kaller det forbedring, men konstanterer at det fortsatt er forbedringspotensiale også.

På LGBTQ+-fronten er også tallene forbedret, andelen bøker med streite hovedpersoner er sunket til 64 %. 24 % er en eller annen form for ikke-streit (11 % er markert “ikke relevant”, det dekker en del av sakprosaen jeg har lest, f.eks.).

Jeg har ikke akkurat lest planmessig, så utfordringer har det blitt dårlig med. Men jeg konstanterer at jeg har truffet 10 av 24 punkter på Book Riots Read Harder, og det er jo noe.

Jeg har kopiert 2020-regnearket og startet å logge for 2021. Vi du også ha regneark anbefaler jeg å sjekke Portal in the Pages på YouTube, det er hennes variant fra et par år tilbake jeg har basert mitt på.

Bøker lest 2021

Title Author Date started Date finished Re-read?
Busman’s Honeymoon Dorothy L. Sayers 20201230 20210101 Yes
Thrones, Dominations Dorothy L. Sayers, Jill Paton Walsh 20200101 20200103 Yes
A Presumption of Death Dorothy L. Sayers, Jill Paton Walsh 20200103 20200104 Yes
Where the Sidewalk Ends Shel Silverstein 20201220 20200104 No
The Land of Green Ginger Noel Langley 20210104 20210106 No
Forsvarlig behandling Unni Cathrine Eiken 20210107 20210110 No
The Outlaws of Sherwood Robin McKinley 20210107 20210115 Yes
Min vei Ruth Reese 20210115 20210118 No
You Can’t Touch my Hair Phoebe Robinson 20210118 20210125 No
Ompa-Pa og tveskalp René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo 20210127 20210127 Yes
Asterix på Korsika René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo 20210127 20210127 Yes
Asterix – Spåmannen René Goscinny, Albert Uderzo 20210127 20210127 Yes
The Handmaid’s Tale Margareth Atwood 20210125 20210131 No
Lightning Girl Superpower Showdown Alesha Dixon 20210105 20210130 No
Men du ser ikke syk ut Ragnhild Holmås 20210131 20210202 No
Svartebok for deg som vil opp og fram: En smart guide til jobb og penger Helena BrodtKorb, Ida Jackson 20210202 20210203 No
The Magic Misfits Neil Patrick Harris 20210203 20210204 No
A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel Madeleine L’Engle, Hope Larson 20210205 20210205 No
Animorphs 1: Invasjonen K.A. Applegate, Michael Grant, Chris Grine (ill.) 20210207 20210207 No
The Mental Load: A Feminist Comic Emma 20210207 20210207 No
The Handmaid’s Tale: The Graphic Novel Margareth Atwood, Renée Nault 20210209 20210209 No
Jeg lever et liv som ligner deres Jan Grue 20210208 20210211 No
ElfQuest: The Grand Quest Volume 9 Wendy and Richard Pini 20210222 20210222 Yes
Frontier Follies: Adventures in Marriage and Motherhood in the Middle of Nowhere Ree Drummond 20210222 20210224 No
ElfQuest: The Grand Quest Volume 10 Wendy and Richard Pini 20210223 20210224 Yes
ElfQuest: The Grand Quest Volume 11 Wendy and Richard Pini 20210224 20210225 Yes
ElfQuest: The Grand Quest Volume 12 Wendy and Richard Pini 20210225 20210226 Yes
ElfQuest: The Grand Quest Volume 13 Wendy and Richard Pini 20210227 20210228 Yes
ElfQuest: The Grand Quest Volume 14 Wendy and Richard Pini 20210228 20210301 Yes
How to Be Ace: A Memoir of Growing Up Asexual Rebecca Burgess 20210302 20210302 No
Pengesnakk Lise Vermelid Kristoffersen 20210301 20230302 No
Sovjetistan Erika Fatland 20201110 20210307 No
The Twins at St. Clare’s Enid Blyton 20210308 20210309 Yes
The O’Sullivan Twins Enid Blyton 20210309 20210310 Yes
Summer Term at St. Clare’s Enid Blyton 20210310 20210311 Yes
Second Form at St. Clare’s Enid Blyton 20210311 20210312 Yes
Claudine at St. Clare’s Enid Blyton 20210312 20210312 Yes
Fifth Formers at St. Clare’s Enid Blyton 20210312 20210313 Yes
First Term at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210313 20210313 Yes
Second Term at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210313 20210314 Yes
Summer Term at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210314 20210314 Yes
Boy Trouble at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210314 20210314 Yes
More Trouble at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210314 20210315 Yes
The Tennis Term at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210315 20210315 Yes
Summer Camp at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210315 20210316 Yes
Into the Fourth at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210316 20210317 Yes
The Hockey Term at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210317 20210317 Yes
Fourth Year Triumphs at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210317 20210318 Yes
The Ghostly Term at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210318 20210318 Yes
Fifth Year Friendships at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210318 20210318 Yes
Secret Letters at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210318 20210319 Yes
The Unforgettable Fifth at Trebizon Anne Digby 20210319 20210319 Yes
Photographic: The Life of Graciela Iturbide Isabel Quintero, Zeke Peña 20210320 20210321 No
The October Man Ben Aaronovitch 20210320 20210324 No
False Value Ben Aaronovitch 20210325 20210401 No
What Abigail Did That Summer Ben Aaronovitch 20210402 20210403 No
First Term at Malory Towers Enid Blyton 20210403 20210404 Yes
Second Form at Malory Towers Enid Blyton 20210404 20210405 Yes
Third Year at Malory Towers Enid Blyton 20210405 20210406 Yes
Upper Fourth at Malory Towers Enid Blyton 20210407 20210407 Yes
In the Fifth at Malory Towers Enid Blyton 20210407 20210407 Yes
Last Term at Malory Towers Enid Blyton 20210407 20210408 Yes
Dette blir mellom oss Alexander Kielland Krag 20210414 20210414 No
Before I Had the Words: On Being a Transgender Young Adult Skylar Kergil 20210403 20210414 No
Hvordan bli en (skandinavisk) feminist Marta Breen 20210415 20210417 No
Tiananmen 1989: Our Shattered Hopes Lun Zhang, Adrien Gombeaud, Améziane 20210416 20210417 No
Nå heter alle Sorry Bart Moeyaert 20210301 20210418 No
Dragonsong Anne McCaffrey 20210421 20210422 Yes
Dragonsinger Anne McCaffrey 20210422 20210423 Yes
Pengeplanen Lene Drange, Tore Løchstøer Hauge 20210423 20210423 No
Life As A Unicorn: A Journey From Shame to Pride and Everything In Between Amrou Al-Kadhi 20210421 20210425 No
If I was Your Girl Meredith Russo 20210426 20210429 No
On a Sunbeam Tilley Walden 20210419 20210429 No
Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer Rick Riordan 20201219 20210505 No
Lappjævel! Kathrine Nedrejord 20210506 20210508 No
The Mother of All Questions Rebecca Solnit 20210509 20210512 No
Din kamp er min kamp Kamzy Gunaratnam, Martine Aurdal 20210513 20210516 No
Heartstopper, vol. 4 Alice Oseman 20210519 20210519 No
Wonder R.J. Palacio 20210518 20210521 No
I am J Cris Beam 20210422 20210526 No
Arbeiderpartiet og 22. juli Hallvard Notaker 20210528 20210531 No

Queer Lit Readathon TBR

Background Romance: Meaning a book where the romance isn’t the point of the book, it’s just there.

The Deep by Rivers Solomon has been suggested on the @queer_lit Instagram, and I recently purchased it.

Group ReadSummer of Everything by Julian Winters.

I’ve ordered this (and Only Mostly Devastated, see below), just hope it gets here in time.

Adult Fiction/Nonfiction: Read an adult book that is either fiction or nonfiction.

Love Lives Here by Amanda Jette Knox, also ticks the box for Nonfiction November.

???: Choose Your Own Category – tells us what it is in your TBR

Hør her’a by Gulraiz Sharif. This autumn’s big thing to talk about here in Norway.

Non Coming Out: Read a story that does not have a coming out

Ace/Aro MC: Read a book with an asexual/aromantic main character.

I belive Radio Silence by Alice Oseman will work here, but I’m not sure. I’d read Loveless, but as I just read it it seems like cheating to read it again.

Pre/Non-Medical Transition: This means a trans main character that is pre medical transition, or one that has no desire to physically transition.

George by Alex Gino.

See Yourself: Read a book where a character shares an identity of yours.

The Ace/Aro book will do here, though I guess I’m demi- rather than completely a-.

#ownvoices: Read a book that has been written by an author with that identity

BIPOC MC: Read a book with a main character that is Black, Indigenous, or a person of color.

The Black Flamingo by Dean Atta – would also tick off #ownvoices, I guess?

Winter Vibes: Read a book that gives you feelings of winter.

This Winter by Alice Oseman.

Host Rec: Read a book recommended by one of the hosts

Well, I guess The Deep would count here.

Queer Friends: Read a book about queer friends

Can I reread? Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me would tick off both this and the graphic novel prompt, and I feel like I should reread it anyway, I sped through my first read (I always do). Come to think of it, it’d do for non-coming out, too. I’m open to suggestions, though (though I’m running short on time to get hold of new books).

Graphic Novel: Read a graphic novel

Retelling: Read a retelling of a fairytale, classic story, or the such.

Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales as recommended by @queer_lit sounds like fun and is a possible candidate.

MC Not Like You: This is open to of a different sexuality, gender identity, nationality, ethnicity – just read diversely

Well, let’s say The Black Flamingo for this one, too.

Expect changes, but at least I have a plan… Sort of.

TBRs from other participants (lots of tips for books to read in the future here!):

Queer Lit Readathon

Queer Lit Readathon is a readathon I’ve seen others participate in before, most notably @hiddeninabook on various platforms. But for once I’ve caught whiff of the ‘thon before it starts rather than after the act, so this time I’m going to participate.

Round 6 runs from November 29th to December 5th in your timezone. For the details, watch Kathy Trithardt explain on YouTube (or read the video description, which has all the useful links and everything), or go to Rogan Shannon’s blog post about it.

There are 16 challenges, and since the same book can count towards several, the obvious goal is to tick them all off. I’ll have to dig through my TBR and see what sort of plan I can come up with.

Sakprosa

Erika Fatlands nye bok, Høyt, står på innkjøpslista mi. Men den er ikke funnet “verdig” i vurderingen av hva som skal kjøpes til alle landets biblioteker gjennom innkjøpsordningen. Det er faktisk intet mindre enn en skandale. Bedre blir det ikke når du ser på de andre sakprosabøkene som ikke fikk plass de siste årene. Helene Uris Hvem sa hva? er jeg nettopp ferdig med. Jeg eier mitt eksemplar, hadde jeg ønsket å låne den på biblioteket måtte jeg satset på at mitt bibliotek hadde råd – og har prioritert – å kjøpe den inn selv. Shazia Majids Ute av skyggene har jeg planer om å lese snart. Jeg kjøper den kanskje, jeg har økonomi til sånt, men heller ikke den er det noen garanti for å finne i hyllene i mitt lokale bibliotek.

Sånn kan vi jo ikke ha det? Jeg har lest en del dårlige romaner (uten at jeg skal argumentere for at de ikke skal bli kjøpt inn), men den norske sakprosaen jeg har lest har vært fra middels bra til fantastisk, og det er helt uforståelig for meg at disse bøkene ikke skal finnes på landets bibliotekhyller (eller rettere sagt: At det skal være opp til den regionale økonomien å bestemme om de finnes) slik at de er tilgjengelige for hele den norske befolkningen, uavhengig av personlig økonomi.

Og da er fokuset mitt bare på lånerne og leserne. Men den mangelfulle innkjøpsordningen påvirker selvsagt også forfatternes økonomi, ikke minst får en sakprosaforfatter mindre royalties per bok enn en skjønnlitterær forfatter. Hvorfor det, sier du? Jo nettopp fordi det er mindre sjanse for at boka blir kjøpt inn. Det blir for dumt.

Skarve 25 millioner er det regnet ut at det vil koste å utvide innkjøpsordningen for sakprosa slik at den favner like bredt som ordningen for skjønnlitteratur. Det har vi faktisk råd til.

TLDR: Jeg støtter sakprosaforfatternes opprop: Sakprosaens urettferdige kår