The history of me reading

It all started before I was born… No seriously, studies say that a child growing up with parents that like reading, are more likely to develop the interest themselves. My parents were big readers, so I picked up the habit myself. 

I, like most children learnt to read in school, and then it became my biggest passion. The first books I remember reading were these really popular books about fairies. There was always a seven part series, and the story would repeat itself over and over again, but with different kinds of fairies. 

Then came second-grade. The year was 2010, I was eight years old and every one was still talking about Harry Potter, mostly the movies. Like every child at that age, I wanted to watch the Harry Potter movies, but my dad said that I had to read the books first. Unfair, I thought, but fine. And so it began, I started reading the first one and I took it with me everywhere. I still have clear memories of dragging the fifth one with me to school everyday. That book is a thousand pages and for eight year old me, it weighed a ton. Still, thanks to my dedication it took me less than a year to finish them all. 

By then I was hooked, I was reading everything that I got my hands on. My father and I used to go to our local library every third week and fill at least one big Desigual bag with books. It didn’t take long for me to move from the children part of the library to the young adult part. Not long after, I was reading real adult novels. 

Reading wasn’t really popular in my class, it was basically me and three other kids that liked it. Only one of them read as much as me. We bonded over our shared love for literature and favorite books sometime around 2012. Together we would read and discuss all kinds of slightly inappropriate books. We were after all still just ten and reading fiction meant for adults. To this day she is still my best friend, and we still talk a lot about books, but we do now also have other connecting interest.

Around 2014 I, at one time, got really, really bored and spent too much time on the floor in our basement staring at the literal wall of books we had there, trying to find something to read. That’s when I noticed the Game of Thrones. We only had them in English, and I still couldn’t read in that language, so I had my dad buy them in Swedish for me. My father is a nice, chill guy that basically has allowed me to do whatever I want too, for as long as I have been alive. So he didn’t consider that perhaps those books was a bit to brutal for a twelve year old. Still, I liked them.

In 2015 I could finally read good enough in English to understand a book, so what did I read? I read Harry Potter fanfiction. I toned down on actual paper books and started reading online, mostly Harry Potter, but also other fandoms. And let me tell you, fanfiction can be just as good, or better, than regular fiction. 

In early 2018 I started reading actual books again, mostly thanks to my awful Swedish teacher. At least something great came out of my ninth grade Swedish class. Nowadays I read a mix of fantasy and books considered classics. I prefer reading in English, mostly because I often read things written by English authors and the original version is better than the translated one. I’m looking forward to the day that I can read in French. I’m actively avoiding French authors until I can read the original piece.        

Disclaimer: My mother is innocent in all of this, she had little knowledge of what I was reading, and Game of Thrones wasn’t popular when I started it, ergo, she had no idea it was bad. And library day was with dad. He should be blamed for it all.

Books of September

Reviews of all the books I read in September because I love reading and talking about literature.

Of Mice and Men 

John Steinbeck 

This was a required reading from school so I was a bit sceptical from the beginning, but wow, I was pleasantly surprised. I have only read a few books before, that are as beautifully thought out as this one. It’s most definitely worthy of its status as a classic and I recommend that everyone reads it. The fact that the book is short is both a positive and a negative thing. I would have liked to get to know the carathers a bit more. Knowing the name of Curley’s wife would have been nice, she does, after all, play a big role in the book. On the other hand, I feel like the simplicity of the book is one of the things that really makes it great. Steinbeck only put things that mattered in the book, which means that one really has to pay attention to everything in it, if one wants to get all the foreshadowing. I’m looking forward to re-reading this book in the future and see if I can spot any more foreshadowing.

The City Of Brass 

S.A Chakraborty

I picked up this book mostly because it said on the back that it was set in Cairo and I love Cairo. In that aspect I was kind of disappointed, they leave Cairo after approximately 60 pages, though I was pleasantly surprised in many other aspects. Most of the book unfolds as a classic fantasy story. A very well written one, but still kind of classic. It’s first at the end of the book, that Chakraborty really shines as an author. The way everything goes to hell truly builds up the excitement and the many plottvists in the end left me wanting to have the next book now! I love how all of the characters are so well described and complex. It was also nice and refreshing to read a book with Islam as its main religion. Over all, the book is a wonderful first and I can’t wait to read the next in the series.   

Riders 

Veronica Rossi

This book was amusing from start to end, something that came as a pleasant surprise. Rossi’s biggest accomplishment with this book is the way the story is told and the fact that she manages to keep it interesting even after she told the ending half way through the book. The main character, Gideon, tells the story of how he and his fellow horsemen of the apocalypse ended up captured by the American military. Like I said, halfway through he tells the ending to that particular story, but Rossi throws in a new plot element that makes one want to keep going. I loved the way that she wrote, it was a lot of fun surprises.

Conversion

Katherine Howe

I can’t decide if the ending was brilliant or frustrating and that is the beauty of this book. I loved how relatable the girls in this book were. I, a high school girl, could relate to how all the girls in this high school behaved. I, myself, have also felt that anxiety over schoolwork and the annoyance of grownups not listening to us. Beside all of the teenage relatability, it was interesting to read two stories intrewinde. I was a bit surprised that the stories didn’t connect more in the end. I thought that the spirits from the past, was back hunting the present. That’s not at all what happened. Like I said in the beginning, I can’t decide if the ending was good or not. It was kind of an open ending, there was a minor affirmation on a supranational element, but it was all just swept under the carpet and the troubles was explained as a stress related disease. Somewhat frustrating, but the way it would have ended had the story been real.

Ulysses 

James Joyce

I read this book on a dare, a family friend that has known me forever said that even I, who read adult novels at 11 years and so far only quit reading one book, was going to fail in reading this. I, of course, had to prove him wrong. Hadn’t it been for the sheer sprite of it I would have given up. This book is that annoying. I can understand that the way Joyce writes is fascinating, and some parts of it, I even enjoyed, but most of all the book is so complex that it’s boring. I read a guide before starting that said that it was supposed to be funny, not true. Also you aren’t supposed to have to read a guide before starting a book, that is some sort of elitist shit. I feel like this book is considered a classic mostly to make normal people excluded from the academic literature discussion. Literatur, even the “classics” should be for everyone.