14. maj 2013
What an interesting, pretty book about tattooing in Denmark. I read somewhere that it originally was meant to be a photo book, but when collection material, Jon Nordstrøm came upon so many fantastsic stories about the tattoo mileu in Denmark that it ended up with quite a lot of text in it. That is, a bit of historical background, quite a few repoductions of newspaper articles plus portraits of 13 Danish tattoo artists. The book is an interesting piece of history, not only about tattooing and tattoo art, but about Danish society. All text except for the newspaper articles are in English as well as Danish. Very recommendable.
5. april 2013
John Ajvide kan noget med at gøre det hverdagslige dødsens uhyggeligt – og netop fordi det er så hverdagsligt, bliver det endnu mere uhyggeligt. Her er det en historie om en far, der mister sit barn. I sig selv en tragisk historie og hjerteskærende beskrevet, men så let slipper læseren ikke.
Meget læsværdig, også for folk, der ikke læser uhyggelige bøger.
9. marts 2013
A beautiful, clever, epic graphic novel with a doppelgänger/duality/dichotomy-theme. Brilliant.
8. marts 2013
Det er ikke nogen særlig velbevaret hemmelighed, at jeg er besat af Sebastian, især af hans 70′er-inkarnation. Torben Bille har jeg til gengæld aldrig været særlig vild med. Hans hang til overdrevent overflødige ordspil (see what I did there!) svinger mellem det irriterende og det tåkrummende, synes jeg. Skal man grine eller græde over en sætning som “Enevold havde gjort sig selv og Gladsaxe til et brand. Og Knud var indebrændt.” (s. 234) ? Og hvorfor har en redaktør eller korrekturlæser ikke fået ham til at vælge mellem mens og imedens? (Og hvem har sidst brugt “alt imedens” i ramme alvor?)
Udover at jeg jo er professionel sprognazi, så irriterer det sproglige mig så grænseløst, fordi det her faktisk er en god bog, der slet ikke har brug for finurlig sprogjonglering for at glide ned. Bille falder nemlig ikke, som jeg ellers frygtede, i fan-fælden, og heller ikke i venne-fælden. Han har faktisk skrevet en rigtig interessant bog om Sebastian i en skiftende samtid. Læs resten af indlægget »
8. marts 2013
Jeg var vild med de sirlige tegninger og fine geometriske mønstre i Habibi, men jeg har altså også en forkærlighed for ting som den her, der benytter sig af helt anderledes minimalistiske greb. Og så får hun (som al god, på overfladen underholdende litteratur gør) sneget nogle knivskarpe iagttagelser ind om det moderne liv.
Skynd dig over på marensblog.dk og se nogle af striberne. De kan i øvrigt også snart ses i Politiken, hvor den charmerende tændstikdame bliver fast inventar.
15. februar 2013
Hah. I see now that when I finished reading the Harry Potter-series I wrote that I hoped Rowling would write “a grim, realistic novel without all those flying brooms” “because she’s a good writer.” And this is exactly what she’s done. This is a brilliant, disturbing, grim novel. It’s well-written and pleasantly unpleasant to read. I (and the rest of the world, I suspect) feared that her first non-fantasy novel would be bleak or badly written or anticlimactic in some way. It’s really not at all.
16. januar 2013
Ja. Det her er, som titlen antyder, en antologi om kød. Om kødproduktion, vegetarisme, landbrugets påvirkning af landskabet, sundhed og hvad man ellers kan komme på af aspekter af kød set fra et dansk synspunkt. Som udgangspunkt meget interessant, men også helt utroligt ujævnt. Nogle af indlæggene var tørre og lærebogsagtige, andre essayistiske og diskuterende. Jeg har savnet bøger a la Foers Eating Animals med udgangspunkt i danske forhold, men det var desværre kun enkelte dele af Kød, der var i den stil. Jeg tror, en lidt skarpere redaktion kunne have gavnet bogen.
13. januar 2013
En interessant antologi af danske grafiske noveller (det må det hedde, når de ikke er lange), med et fælles dogme om, at de skal handle om “virkeligheden”. Opgaven bliver løst meget forskelligt, og der var et par, jeg rigtig godt kunne lide (fx StineStregens indlæg og Mantards kølige håndillustration), og nogle stykker, jeg virkelig ikke brød mig om. Og det er jo altid interessant at blive konfronteret med noget, der falder uden for ens gængse smag. Alt i alt en interessant og lækker udgivelse, men nok ikke en, jeg vil huske om fem år.
2. januar 2013
I’ve had a really good reading year. Really. A lot of good reading experiences and no outright bad ones.
I got aquainted with Robin Hobb and The Farseer Trilogy, which I thoroughly enjoyed, and I stumbled upon the brilliant journalist Jon Ronson, whose The Psychopath Test was brilliant. Other highlights were the graphic novels Are you my Mother?, Paying for it and Habibi, and the latest installment of the long-running saga about Thursday Next, The Woman who Died a Lot.
I see to my horror that I haven’t finished reading anything of Karl Ove Knausgård’s epic, six-piece autobiography in 2012, as I finished reading the fifth volume in late 2011. I’m currently working my way through the massive final volume, but, really, I need to get on with it. I will.
If I, hard pressed, have to mention my worst read of the year, I would say it was Jeffrey Eugenides’ much praised The Marriage Plot or Julian Barnes’ Sense of an Ending, which got the Booker Prize. It’s good to know I’m still a book snob at heart.
15. december 2012
This was the final volume of The Farseer Trilogy, and I enjoyed this a lot, just as I did the other two. It was long, more than 800 pages, but the tension was held almost to the last pages – Hobb doesn’t spend her time winding down, it’s all action and misery.
The protagonist, Fitz, has a habit of almost dying and miraculously recovering, and it did get a tiny bit trivial at one point. But apart from that, this was a really well-crafted novel. All the pieces of the puzzle fit, and even the most horribly evil forces have a point to them. There’s no black and white in this universe, and that seems to me a rather impressive feat in a fantasy universe that is to a large extent built on clichés.
This trilogy was, as far as I’ve understood, Hobb’s great claim to fame (understandably), but I see now that she’s written no less than three other trilogies set in the same universe, and one follows Fitz 15 years later. As much as I enjoyed this trilogy, I’m not sure I’ll read anymore Hobb. This was a great read, and I think I’ll leave it at that.
15. november 2012
Meh. I think it was a mistake to read three of Ronson’s books this close together. He’s a great writer and he writes about interesting stuff, but he does it in somewhat the same way. This, even more than the other, seemed to me as a series of essays or articles more than a coherent book. Or maybe he honed his craft and this, the first of the three books, is the weakest? Well, an interesting read, nonetheless.
4. november 2012
Lovely. 750 pages of good, solid fantasy. Loads of royalty, intrigues, assassinations and a wolf pup. Very enjoyable.
22. september 2012
Immediately after finishing Ronson’s The Psychopath Test, I picked this up. It’s written six years earlier, and it seems Ronson hadn’t completely arrived at his form yet. Or maybe torture in Guantanamo is just a more serious matter than psychopaths (?).
This is of course the book behind the film of the same title, which I haven’t seen. But this is not fiction, but journalism portraying experiments that went on (and are still going on, maybe?) in the US Army, and it’s thoroughly bizar. A very, very interesting book.
14. september 2012
Why did I wait this long to read more by the author of We Need to Talk About Kevin? Luckily, I had this thrown at me for £2 in the lovely record store Fopp in the even lovelier city of Glasgow. But that’s all the lovelyness for this post.
I read the novel almost non-stop during my holiday, and it’s as grim a cynical and realistic and touching as We Need to Talk About Kevin was. It deals with illness and with the American health insurance system – two cheerful subjects – and, of course, with love, in the most unsentimental way. Perceptive and just plain brilliant.
11. september 2012
This, the first volume of The Farseer Trilogy, is good, solid fantasy. Just how I like it. But the resemblance to Trudi Canavan was rather … striking.
I read Canavan’s The Black Magician Trilogy back in 2007 and, as far as I remember, it’s got a very similar middle age setting, a mind reading plot and an orphan/outsider plot. Interestingly, Canavan wrote the trilogy a decade after Hobb’s trilogy had been published, and as far as I’ve understood, Hobb practically reinvented the genre. So can Canavan really not have known about it? Maybe I’m only remembering the parts of Canavan that resemble Hobbs. Anyway, it would have been interesting to read them in the reverse order.
But Hobbs is a good read, and I’m tearing through the second volume as I (belatedly) write this.
3. september 2012
I’m an instant fan of Jon Ronson. This book is non-fiction, but it’s journalism more than a cool presentation of facts. The scope of the book is an exploration of madness and the madness industy, that is the diagnosing of psychopats. But really, it’s an exploration of Ronson’s exploration of it. It’s very funny in a deadpan sort of way but it’s also a well-researched, interesting account of how we perceive madness, from within the prison system to among high-ranking CEO’s. Brilliant. I can’t wait to read his other books.
4. august 2012
This book by the psychoanalysist Susie Orbach ties nicely in with Naomi Wolf’s The Beauty Myth (I really ought to re-read that), as well as the new, feminist books I’ve read lately (Delusions of Gender, Living Dolls and Female Chauvinist Pigs). It was quite academic and less popularly written than the three mentioned above – and I liked that – about our relationships with our bodies, based on concrete case stories and interesting and intellegently written. It also mentioned the psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott, whose name wouldn’t have meant anything to me a few months ago, but he plays quite a part in Alison Bechdel’s Are You My Mother? That’s how the universe sometimes converges.
4. august 2012
This is among the best – if not the best – of the Thursday Next novels. Not as silly as the first ones (and make no mistake, I like silly), but a bit more sombre. I liked the aged Thursday’s vulnerability, and both the day player-twist and the mindworm/Aornis-plot was simply brilliant.
19. juli 2012
Oooh, I thoroughly enjoyed Bechdels classic cartoon, spanning 25 years and a multitude of lesbian lives and political rants.
1. juli 2012
Alison Bechdel is the brilliant cartoon artist behind the long-running series Dykes to Watch Out For and the fabulous Fun Home, which was about her father. Here’s the story about her mother, or rather, her relationship to her mother. And therapy and phychoanalysis and lovers. I’ll thoroughly recommend it to everyone who’s ever been in therapy or has had a mother, or even both.