Hillbilly Elegy – a Tiny Book Review

Hillbilly Elegy is written by J.D. Vance, is both a memoir and a dive into political and cultural diversity in the US, and was first published in 2016.

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The story is about Vance’s own upbringing, being born and raised by hillbillies in the truest sense. From having a non-existing father and a drug-addicted mother, to a grandmother and grandfather that loved him deeply, he dives into his family’s history; alongside explaining possible reasons for why people with his background have turned so drastically politically as they have (from Democrat to Republican) .

Hillbilly Elegy is a truly interesting book. It’s very well-written, driven, intriguing, and a real page-turner. I could recommend it solely based on Vance’s own ability to reflect on the people who was around him growing up; but how he also include a reasoning for the changes of a whole culture is truly eye-opening.

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10 Questions to End the Year Intentionally

Taken from NoSidebar.

  1. What makes this year unforgettable?

Several things, mostly because of Jesse. Biggest thing is definitely getting married to him! We also had a road trip in February that I loved (and at the time kind of hated because of lack of sleep), the camping trip we had in May, and him visiting me for the first time this fall. ❤ On a general note, I feel a bit more optimistic about the future of mankind because of the increased focus on the problems we face; that more and more people seem to actually get it and wanting to do something about it.

  1. What did you enjoy doing this year?

Traveling to the US is a big one. Despite all the problems I see that they have (the politics, health system, white supremacist, racism, etc.) I actually quite miss being there. Obviously since Jesse lives there, but I in general like the people and the atmosphere and the weird sense of freedom I get there. I’ve also enjoyed work a lot more, which is caused by me actually working alongside other people, hence felt a bit more connected to my colleagues.

  1. What/who is the one thing/person you’re grateful for?

Jesse, without a doubt. I’m pretty sure he knows me better than anyone, including myself, which feels so safe and scary at the same time. I’m not a fan of being vulnerable, and I do have trust issues, but putting my trust in him is easier than it’s been with anyone. I know I can be quite irrational at times, and I have my weird insecurities, but somehow he’s never indicated that he’d give me up. Also he’s super funny, pretty damn smart, extremely cute and hella sexy.

  1. What’s your biggest win this year?

Getting Jesse to marry me was a pretty big win! Challenging my anxiety has been another one, as it has (god forbid) made me stronger and less stressed about social interactions. Finishing the Reading Challenge is also something I’m very proud of!

  1. What did you read/watch/listen to that made the most impact this year?

All the news reports regarding climate change and increased plastic in the ocean. It’s like…even the news are bringing it up now, and they do it frequently, so people are actually paying attention to it. Several of the books I’ve read this year have been amazing – more on that later.

  1. What did you worry about most and how did it turn out?

Heh. Well, I’m quite the worrier. I can worry about absolutely everything, “preferably” at once. But I definitely worried most about my second trip to Jesse this year, in May. I was for sure the customs would look right through me, deny me access to the US, and telling me I couldn’t visit again for several years. They didn’t, though – I got through it as easy as I could have.

  1. What was your biggest regret and why?

Possibly not initializing the work schedule I’m currently on, sooner. But I try not to regret things, especially when it comes to my own development – see question 10 for elaboration. My standard regret is stressing and worrying too much too fast, though.

  1. What’s one thing that you changed about yourself?

Nothing really stands out here. I’ve gotten better at certain things; saying no without feeling I have to explain myself, and social interactions are more fun than scary. Another one is that I feel less ashamed of my body, which I give yoga (and Jesse) a lot of credit for!

  1. What surprised you the most this year?

I’m daily surprised that Donald Trump is still allowed to be president, honestly. On a personal level, I believe I’ve gotten a bit surprised by my own strength. Also I’m often surprised that someone as amazing as Jesse would ever marry me.

  1. If you could go back to last January 1, what suggestions would you give your past self?

I’m gonna turn a bit metaphysical here and say that I wouldn’t tell myself anything, cause I know I wouldn’t have listened anyways. I evolve in the pace I evolve, and whether I do it faster/better/slower than expected, I still feel that it was already per-determined. It doesn’t mean it’s boring for me; if I get a spur of motivation to do whatever it may be, it’s still new to me and it feels great. Other days I feel no motivation to do anything, and I try not to stress getting through it – I want to feel whatever I feel, when I feel it.

 

Yes, Jesse is mentioned basically in every question. That’s what happens when you find someone you constantly want to talk about, and have an open blog. But thanks for reading!

The Man Who Was Thursday, a nightmare – a Tiny Book Review

The Man Who Was Thursday, a nightmare is an existentialist novel written by G.K. Chesterton and was first published in 1908. A movie based on its plot came out in 2016.

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The book follows Gabriel Syme, a poet that finds himself entwined into an anarchist group targeting Paris, and ultimately to ruin the whole world. But as the story unfolds, things turn more and more complicated.

This book is….pretty interesting! It has a lot of plot twists, and far from all of them are predictable. The book has been referred to as a metaphysical thriller, which isn’t that wrong. At only 127 pages, it has a lot of existentialism packed into it.

Reading Challenge: Why, yes! This is the last book of the year, crossing off the final point on the reading challenge for 2017: A book with a month or day of the week in the title! Well, next weeks it’s a brand new reading challenge up and running!

Christmas in Norway – a Tiny Book review

Christmas in Norway is a fact/history book written by Ørnulf Hodne. It was first published in 2007.

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The book is about old and new traditions in Norway; how we’ve prepared and celebrated this holiday through the times. Most of the traditions mentioned are from the 1800s, with some input from as far back as mid-1500s. Unfortunately the documentation on these things haven’t been the best.

This book is really, really…cozy. We Norwegians love everything cozy, and basically most things can be (it’s basically the same as the danish hygge, which is a bit more internationally known). Reading this book gave me Christmas spirit all the way through! I learned a lot about some outdated traditions, and I loved picturing all these people living in a different time coming together to celebrate my favorite holiday.

This is my last book review before Christmas, so I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

New (Norwegian) Magazine Out!

So yesterday I stopped by The Support Center Against Incest Oslo, where I have quite the history and have been volunteering for their magazine the past several years, to look at our newly printed magazine for 2017! Here’s what it looks like:

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For the non-Norwegians – “ikke Stikka'” loosely translates to “Don’t run away”, the words on the cover “jeg skal ikke si noe” means “I’m not gonna say anything”, and “Barnet” means “The child” – which is the theme for this year’s edition.

It’s so beautiful! Previously we’ve had a larger format, where the front page is of some form of illustration, and the paper has also had more of a glossy texture. Our new editor decided that a smaller format and a more anonymous front page would encourage people more to grab one (the magazine is free). The paper now is softer and nicer to the touch, and I also love the color combination!

I’m so, so proud to be part of this magazine, even if I didn’t do too much – I interviewed someone for a portrait article, and did some proofreading. I would’ve loved to contribute more, especially attending more of the meetings, but work got in the way.

Here’s the proof of me actually contributing:

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The editorial meetings start up again already next month, and there’s several possible themes up for discussion. I can’t wait! ❤

The Bourne Identity – a Tiny Book Review

The Bourne Identity is a spy novel written by Robert Ludlum. It was first published in 1980, and was made into a movie in 2002.

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A man is rescued from drowning in the depth of the ocean by a fishing boat, having three bullet holes in him. When he wakes up, he can’t remember who he is, or anything about his past. A long journey is ahead of him, following the tiny breadcrumbs he finds scattered around his mind.

It’s kind of hard to give a recap without giving spoilers, so the description isn’t the best. Those that have seen the movie knows what it’s about, but it’s been too long since I saw it, so I won’t say if there’s a lot of similarities between book and movie otherwise. It’s a well-written book though, with several good plot-twists, and at times it’s a real page-turner. I kind of feel that the book is a bit too long, but that it was also necessary.

The Reading Challenge: One point – An espionage thriller!