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April Wrap-up



April is gone and we are heading for May. Difficult to think of, considering the weather we have here in Sweden. April has been cold and windy, cloudy with some rain. Where is the sun, one wonders. The good thing is that in the last few days it has visited us, and with comes a little bit of warmer weather. I have done a few, smaller trips during April which made it all the better. You can read more about them in my newsletter.


April was a slow reading month. I don't really know why, since I think I did read quite a lot. I ended up having read five books.


A Slow Fire Burning by Paula Hawkins

I think this is my third Hawkins, and maybe the one I liked the least. It was rather slow in the beginning, or just that the introduction of characters seemed a little bit too much for me. However, it was soon over and the story got going, making it difficult to put the book down. You were left to the very end to know who did it. Although, I did have a few guesses the end turned out a big surprise. Always good for me.


Hemma (Daheim/At Home) by Judith Hermann

I read this for one of my book clubs and did not like it at all. After having read it, I was wondering what it was all about. However, as you start discussing it with other people, characters and their actions keep bouncing up and showing themselves in another shape. This improved my impression of the book, which has been highly praised in Germany.


She, the narrator, has left her former life behind, and moved from the city to the sea. Her husband is somewhere in the background, they still have contact through letters, but it seems they can not live together. Her daughter is travelling the world in remote places so contacts are rare. She finds a new life working in a lake tavern owned by her brother. Making friends with a female neighbour and a pig farmer, and takes a new look at her life. Judith Hermann talks about the unreliable memory of what was, as a cross road comes and your life splits into new ways.


Filosofi på 30 sekunder (Philosophy in 30 seconds) edited by Barry Loewer

My attempt to learn more about philosophy. It is an easy enough introduction to the greatest philosophers. That does not mean that I do understand everything. Often philosophical discussions tend to make my head go around and I find no answer in the end, justing feeling more confused. But, some of the thoughts I think I got a clearer view of.


Vi drabbade samman med våra ödens hela bredd: författarparet Moa och Harry Martinson by Ebba Witt-Brattström

This is a biography, or it reads more like an academic paper, on two, early 20th century Swedish authors who were married for ten years. In those days, we talk 1920s and onwards, female authors were rare, and male authors took the stage. Interesting story about Harry who got the Nobel Prize for his Flowering Nettles in 1974, and Moa, who was the more popular author, and their lives, work and legacies.


The Teutonic Knights by William Urban

This was a good book to read for my Polish trip where we visited Malbork (Marienburg in German) where the Teutonic Knights had their headquarters. Fantastic place, and I wrote about it in my newsletter. Urban is a professor in history in Illionis, USA. He has been teaching in several universites around the world and is an expert on German and Baltic history. This you notice when reading the book. I think everything there is to know about the Knights and their fights to turn heathens into Christians is there. It was turbulent times, fights going on everywhere, an especially eastwards towards where the Baltic states, Ukraine and Russia are today. The grand masters of the Knights, the different kings and princes of the eastern areas are changing all the time and it is not easy to get an overview of this turbulent history.

 

That was it for April. I will do a bit of travelling in May, meaning I will probably read more from my ipad than from my physical books. I have read 20 books from my TBR this year, out of 168, so I am quite pleased with that.


Have you read any of these books? Any views?

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