The last Friday theme chosen by Desiree in Alabama: what kind of books do you read? How much do you read? Favourite book? Favourite author?
My reading goes through phases, sometimes I read a lot, sometimes I don’t read for several days (or even weeks). When I was younger I went through the typical bokslukaråldern (Swedish for “book swallowing age” which is apparently typical for mostly girls aged 9-12) and I probably read most books in our small public library in the village where I lived. When I was 13-14 I loved reading Agatha Christie’s books and I can still enjoy a good Ms Marple or Hercule Poirot book. My favourite is the “And then there where none” (the original politically incorrect title has been changed…), especially as I never remember who is the killer! 😀
Some of my many (too many according to O) recipe books! There is even my old Home economics book from school (great when I want to a boil an egg as I can never remember the timings!).
I am still a huge lover of books, and to O’s despair I can’t stop buying books!! All kinds of books… novels, biographies, historical and political books, recipe books, travel guides, interior design etc. I read in Swedish, English and French (and Italian when I lived in Italy) – I have just started reading in Spanish. I think that it is a great way to develop your vocabulary in a foreign language, it doesn’t matter if you don’t understand every single word as long as you get the story!
My beloved Lonely Planet guide books! And yes, I have been to all of those places except Argentina, East Africa (a friend lived in Tanzania and gave me the book, I never got there before he moved to Oslo), Egypt (Marianne, I really want to come and visit you) and South America (we might go to Argentina this autumn)…
My favourite author? Well, just like my reading, it depends on the period – I had one period when I was 18-20 when I read the Russian authors and I loved Dostojevskij’s Crime and Punishment, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina and War and Peace etc. Then I moved onto the British female authors of the 19th century – Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy and the Brontë sisters… I also read the Chinese authors Han Suyin and Pearl S. Buck a lot when I was at university. Actually I think that one of my favourite books of all time must be Wild Swans by Jung Chang as it tells the fascinating real life story of 3 generations of Chinese women! The longest book I have read is A suitable boy by Vikram Seth (apparently one of the longest novels in the English literature), too bad that I didn’t like the end, arrrggghh!
Just like when I was younger, I still enjoy a good crime novel such as Elizabeth George’s and Minette Walter’s books – great for a summer read! One of my favourite Swedish authors must be Jonas Gardell who writes funny but sad books, I have read most of them. However, nowadays I seem to read random books without any special favourites.
I am always reading at least 2-3 books, depending on my mood I can choose whichever I feel like reading at just that moment. Some books take me longer to read, I don’t like giving up on books even if they are boring or bad so I just keep them on the side (sometimes they end up in the toilet!) until I have finished them…
Some of my favourite coffee table books – La Terre vue du ciel I got as a 30th birthday present from my father’s uncle and his wife, they had sent it by post from Switzerland (it is HEAVY!) – little did they know that it was one of the things that I really wanted for my birthday!! Älskade Hem is a book I bought in Ikea, great photos of homes that are not just decorated with Ikea furniture…
There are some places where I just have to have a book to read: especially when I am travelling and on the beach. I can even read in the car if the road is somewhat straight – such as the German motorways for example!
Some of the books I have yet to read! The oldest book in this picture is probably Moby Dick, I bought it in 1994 in Prague and I still haven’t even read one line in it… My best friend and I bought a copy each as we loved the film Heathers (with Winona Ryder) where they quote lines from the book. Let’s see if I feel like reading about the white whale (isn’t it?) one day!
PS For a great web-site on reading, check out BBC’s The Big Read – there’s a Top 200 list of the best books ever written, as voted by the BBC viewers!! It’s fun to check out how many of the books you have read… and a good reference point to find new books to read! Out of the Top 10 I have read: No 2 Pride and prejudice, No 6 To kill a mockingbird, No 7 Winnie the Pooh and No 10 Jane Eyre. The Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy is in my bookcase waiting to be read… Love No 15 too, The Catcher in the rye, a great book that I must re-read one day!