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27 May 2010 @ 10:48 pm
8-13, Catching up a bit but still very behind  
8. Promiscuities: The Secret Struggle for Womanhood, by Naomi Wolf
Eh. I do like Wolf, and she has many relevant things to say about female sexuality, but most of what is said here has been said before, and I am not too interested in her 1970s San Francisco childhood.

9. Fredens pris, by Anna Högberg
(Title means "the price of peace) Self-published high fantasy - and while the self-published shows (spelling needs to be fixed in places, and the pacing is a bit off in ways an editor could probably fix) it's pretty good. Its errors are more standard for the genre; invented names that feel invented, awkward dialogue, too. damn. much. travelling (with maps as visual aids.) But also with strength: it isn't the Liberator who is the main character, but a insignificant girl, and the bad guys aren't bad (neither are the good, except when they all are).

10. Ett öga rött, by Jonas Hassen Khemiri
Weirdly written in broken Swedish, but very captivating. (The title means "an eye red", and no, I have no idea why), this is a story about a teenage boy whose parents were immigrants to Sweden and who is lost in just about every way, dealing with racial identity, his mother's death, his dad's attitude to Sweden's integration policy, a girl... Probably the best aspect of this book is that Halim, our protagonist, is entirely wrong about some thing - and yet definitely right. The language, intentionally constructed to question connections between language and power, is difficult initially, but a matter of habit. Good one.

11. The Greatest Show on Earth: The Evidence for Evolution, by Richard Dawkins
The sciency bits (which is 92% of the book) are awesome, pedagogical well-written and generally awesome. The evangelizing-atheist parts are boring (the book was written for people who have to deal with creationists, and instructing people on how to do that isn't quite the same thing. It's the and-how-would-GOD-do-that-huh? that pisses me off; it's the preaching that bothers me about religious people, and the same applies to scientists.

12. Pappersväggar, by John Ajvide Lindqvist
<3! Short stories (and a novella)! I love Ajvide's writing, but I don't really, deep down, enjoy suspense, so small doses of it is a hundred times better. Some connect to Let The Right One In and Handling the Undead (and one, I think, connects to the yet-to-be-translated Harbor), but most are standalones, and brilliant ones (apparently this book has been called uneven, which is not true.) I really hope this is translated, and soon, because otherwise I'll have to do it amateurishly and give to friends (especially Gräns (Border) and En by på höjden (A village, vertically).) It's brilliant.

13. Hanteringen av odöda (Handling the Undead), by John Ajvide Lindqvist
And once again, as creepy (and consequential, well-constructed) as the horror elements are, it's interpersonal relations that is Ajvide's strength. This zombie book is not so much about the reawakened dead (although it is) as about their loved ones; what happens when two thousand dead people start walking? What do you do with them, where do you keep them, and how do you deal with your wife, your husband, your six-year-old grandchild waking from their graves? I read this in a day, and it's been a while since I did that. I had cried twice by page 60, and in the end, there was a baby rabbit and I shouldn't be allowed to read things with baby rabbits in them, but oh man. Good one.