luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
The Winter of the Witch by Katherine Arden (2019)
It's a great feeling to sit down with a book that I pretty much know that I will love, because I loved the previous books in the series. And I did indeed love this! Spoilers )

Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor (2011, audiobook)
For my fannish book club. I think I enjoyed this more as an audiobook than I would have otherwise--the reader has what I assume to be a Nigerian accent, which adds a lot since the book is set in Nigeria. Also she's a great reader. As for the book itself, it's perfectly fine YA fantasy and I enjoyed it but was not super-enthusiastic? I liked that there was no romance front and center, I liked the group of protagonists, and I liked the setting. But it does that thing where experienced adults send children into life-threatening danger to defeat Evil (even though the adults also have magic). The book is aware that it's doing that and does somewhat question it, but not enough to explain it, I think.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Hjärnstark by Anders Hansen (2016, only in Swedish. Title means Brainstrong; the pun sadly is not captured.)
About the benefits of exercise for the brain--it is good for stress, for mood, for memory. This is pretty similar to the book about sleep that I just read, in that they are both pretty heavy-handed about their message. But I didn't mind, and I am certainly convinced. Funny though how the books both go "Sleep is probably the most important thing you can do to prevent dementia in old age!/Exercise is probably the most important thing you can do to prevent dementia in old age!" And don't at all mention the other's subject. Oh well, I guess that's specialization for you.

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge (2015)
I am just more impressed by every Hardinge book I read. She is so original, and the writing is so good! I didn't warm up to this one as quickly as I did to A Skinful of Shadows, but the way everything came together at the end really got to me. I love the breadth and depth of the female characters, even the minor ones (yay, surprise lesbians!).
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Child of a Hidden Sea by A. M. Dellamonica (2014)
I wanted something lighter to read, and this was perfect! It's a fun portal fantasy in which I totally identify with the main character's reaction when arriving in a new world. She's all "ooh, what a cool eco-system! I wonder what that species is!" Hee. Other than that, there is swashbuckling adventure and family drama, and a bit of courtroom procedural drama. Oh, and a charming brother-sister relationship. I have already ordered the next two in the series.

En svensk anarkist berättar by Nisse Lätt (1982) [The Tales of a Swedish Anarchist, only in Swedish]
These are the memoirs of a Swedish anarchist who was a sailor, then fought in the Spanish Civil War, and then was a traveling agitator for the SAC (the union I'm in). He also worked cutting timber in the north of Sweden. It's a rambling, vigorous and opinionated account. Quite interesting.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Oops, I forgot to post this, though I finalized the goals around the new year. If you're new: the idea here is not that I have to do all of these things! It's a five by five bingo square, though I'm too lazy to actually put them in a square here. I really like this approach to New Year's goals--if I fail to do things, it's no big deal, and I like the process of thinking through what I want to do in the coming year.

Unfinished goals from last year that I aim to do this year:
  • Go running 50 times. (Just...keep up with the running, basically.)
  • Try out Marcq St Hilaire's method of determining one's position with a sextant. (This is such a specific geeky goal, but it's actually also related to my teaching. I'd have to go to one of the outer islands in the archipelago here, or do it when I'm out sailing with my parents, so I have a clear sea horizon.)
  • Perform with my sister or record songs with her.
  • Take a dance course and/or go dancing twice. (I actually love dancing and don't do it enough.)
Finished goals from last year that I am aiming for again:
  • Make a new friend. (I don't expect this to happen every year but I like it as a goal.)
  • Go swimming in 20 new lakes/places by the sea. (I always enjoy this goal.)
  • Go to one of the Swedish national parks I haven't been to. (I guess eventually I will run out of parks, but no danger of that yet.)
  • Do something which sounds interesting but is out of my comfort zone or that I have never done before.
  • Sleep outdoors (well, in a tent/hammock) 20 nights.
  • Go tree climbing eight times.
Goals from last year that I am developing/changing:
  • Post 2h of podfic. (Was: Post 3h of podfic, but I had a long WIP last year. I'm scaling down the ambition, but I do want to keep doing some podficcing.)
  • Read at least 25 unread books from my book case (My reading goal for this year. Was: Half the books I read should be non-fiction.)
  • Write three fanfics. (Was: Participate in a new fic exchange.)
  • Have at least 100 species in my wood-living fungi herbarium (fungarium?) and/or 350 moss species in my moss herbarium (Was: to have 150 species in my moss herbarium, and another goal to learn more about wood-living fungi.)
New goals:
  • Have a party when I turn 40.
  • Learn to stand from a sitting position with my legs crossed, without using my hands or knees. (I can already stand up from a sitting position on the floor without using hands or knees, but I do it in a different way. My sister can do it from crossed legs, which spurred me to also want to learn it.)
  • Build a tree platform from pallets and put it in a tree, and then sleep on it.
  • Learn GIS. (That is, geographical information systems. This is for forest inventory purposes.)
  • Be part of an Extinction Rebellion action.
  • Improve my sleep habits. (It's not that they're terribly bad, but they could be improved.)
  • Not be on the union board anymore. (Because I want to go back to environmental org board again...but I don't want to leave the union board before we find someone to replace me. It's not that I don't like the union board! More that I served my two years of office and want to prioritize my other org again, though I'll keep being active in the union.)
  • Go on a trip to either Öland, the mountains or western Norway (and geek out about nature).
  • Quarrel less with my mom. (We'll see how this one goes.)
  • Lose 2 kg of weight. (I'm not overweight, I just want to carry less when I'm running/hiking.)
  • Develop my workout and exercise routine. (I'm pretty happy with it, but it could probably use more variation, and I want to think about if there's anything important I'm missing.)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker (2017, audiobook)
Okay, this was an eye-opener. I really didn't know how many bad effects there were of not getting enough sleep. I usually do get enough sleep, but this book convinced me to be more vigilant about it.

Svälten by Magnus Västerbro (2018, The Famine, only in Swedish)
A historian writes about the Swedish famine years 1867-1869. This book won prizes and was reviewed widely, so I picked it up. And it's good--definitely popular science, but in a good way. The writing is sort of like painting, like, it pauses and meanders a bit, filling in more details. Although the subject is heavy, obviously.

I also did not manage to finish Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, which I was reading for my fannish book club. The writing did not engage me, and I rolled my eyes at the approaching YA romance (the main characters are two brother-sister sets! obviously they will pair up in the predictable way!). Maybe YA is just not for me. (I think that, and then I remember Frances Hardinge.)

But I wanted to talk (yet again) about magic and democracy. This book has downtrodden persecuted magic users again, although to be fair it's more realistic here because they don't actually have magic anymore (at least in the beginning). But in general I feel like people who have magic are usually a bad metaphor for downtrodden minorities. It seems more probable to me that people who have magic would become powerful and be the people who are doing the treading down. Magic as a metaphor for the rich and powerful? But there's a reason why it's not written that way: magic is cool, right? You want your heroes to be cool and have magic. But you also want your heroes to be the underdogs.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
A Country of Ghosts by Margaret Killjoy (2014)
The genre of this is "wanting something better in the age of empire", a bit similar to Nisi Shawl's Everfair or possibly Zen Cho's Sorcerer to the Crown (though it's very different in tone from that one). The empire here is called Borol and the geography is different, but it's still pretty much England. I mean, they wear top hats, ride trains, etc. The protagonist is a journalist who is sent out to the front to write about the glorious imperial war, but he defects to the other side. The other side are failed revolutionaries from a neighboring country who fled into the mountains and there joined forces with independent villages already living there, developing an anarchist mode of living together. This is my favorite of Killjoy's books so far, though there's something about her writing that makes me like her books rather than love them. Oh, and it does not in fact end in "cannons go off, everyone dies" but has a fairly optmistic ending. Also, gay main character, FYI.

I also abandoned White is the Color of Death, a collection of three connected short stores, one by Margaret Killjoy. What I read of it seemed to be grim pointless post-apocalyptic dystopia.

The Divide by Jason Hickel (2017, audiobook)
An account of how the present economic inequality between countries came about and how it's maintained, and how it's worsened since the 1960's. I already knew some of this, but not all--the stuff about how international trade works and how (for example) the capital outflows from Africa are far larger than the inflows was very interesting.

Kapitalet, överheten och alla vi andra by Göran Therborn (2018) [Capital, the upper classes, and all the rest of us, only in Swedish]
More about economic inequality, this time about changes in Sweden's class structure since the 1980's and how those changes came about. This is where those statistics I quoted yesterday came from. I picked this up on a whim at the library, and I'm glad I did. It's a popular account of a research project and really had a lot of stuff I didn't know about and also interesting analysis.

...maybe I should read some non-political fluff soon.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
I offer these depressing statistics about Sweden:

In 1965, the combined wealth of the five richest families was as much as 1.17% of that year's GDP. In 2016, the combined wealth of the five richest individuals was as much as 23.2% of that year's GDP.

Between 1983 and 1997, the richest 1% increased their wealth with 81%, and the poorest 40% decreased theirs with 129%.

In 2017, the richest 10% of the population owned 78% of total household wealth (not sure if wealth hidden away in tax havens was counted). To compare with Norway (63%), Denmark (69%), and Italy (51%). In this respect we're even worse than the US, at 77%!

I mean, we do still have free university and healthcare, but it's going downhill fast. Also, when I presented these statistics to my dad, he went on a rant about immigration as the root of all evil. The mind boggles.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
I predict that this will probably be my favorite book of this year. I mean, I already love Mary Doria Russell's writing, especially her historical books, but that subject matter? It is basically designed to push all my buttons. I have been waiting for that book for years, ever since she first said on her blog that she was writing it.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
I am now "done" with Yuletide, in the sense that I've gone through all fandoms that I'm interested in and read everything shorter than 5K words and put the longer stuff on my ereader. So here are some more recs!

the leaning grasses and two lights above the sea by [personal profile] toft (Earthsea, with Ged, Tenar, and Seserakh)
This has Le Guin's appreciation of domestic daily life, and Seserakh is beautifully written, especially as seen through Tenar's eyes.

build a bridge to the stars by [ profile] jediseagull (The Course of Honour, Jainan/Kiem)
I am a sucker for this pairing and how they support and complement each other.

The Theft and the Gift by [ profile] dr_zook (Norse mythology, with Heimdall, Loki, Freya, Thor)
Vivid and interesting characterization, with an ending and a beginning that hang together ominously.

better cheated to the last by [ profile] Damkianna (The Sting, Henry Gondorff/Johnny Hooker)
Aaah, I ship these two so hard, and this fic captured them perfectly, the way they can catch each other cues without speaking.

She Who Saw the Deep by [ profile] lnhammer (Gilgamesh)
This is about Gilgamesh and Enkidu seen through the eyes of Shamhat, the woman who brings Enkidu into civilization by having sex with him. I really like how she's written as an interesting character in her own right.

The Business and Process of Writing by [ profile] phnelt (Galaxy Quest, mostly gen)
Delightful ensemble fic set during the filming of a new Galaxy Quest series.

Csethiro Ceredin Speaks Her Mind by [ profile] BeccaStareyes
Csethiro's view of Maia's proposal and the process of her learning more about Maia himself.

The Work of Feeding Humans by [ profile] Miss_M (Robin McKinley's Sunshine, Constantine/Rae "Sunshine" Seddon)
Con helps Sunshine with the baking.

In which there are an Abundance of Wings by [ profile] aedifica (Diana Wynne Jones' Howl's Moving Castle)
A short story with delightful living furniture.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
So as well as previous quarrels, my mom and I have now had The Money Quarrel! Fun times. But tomorrow I will be back home, whew.

Really no need to click, I only wanted to vent )
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Here are some statistics about my reading, for my own navel-gazing pleasure. In 2018 my goal was that half my reading should be non-fiction. Previous goals: reread more books (2017), read fewer American books (2016). Next year's goal: whittle down the pile of unread books I own.

Statistics under the cut! )

Favorite new-to-me non-fiction books in 2018, in no particular order. Links go to my book posts.
The Collapse of Complex Societies (1998) by Joseph Tainter (Fascinating theory about the declining marginal benefits of complexity in society.)
The CNT in the Spanish Revolution (2011) by José Peirats (What it says on the tin. Simultaneously dry and moving, and full of interesting practical detail.)
Carbon Democracy (2011) by Timothy Mitchell (About the interplay between politics and fossil fuels.)
Fossil Capital (2016) by Andreas Malm (Same subject as the previous one, but from a different, complementary angle.)
All of Lilian Ryd's historical books about life in northernmost Sweden, with many practical details of life as it was lived (Kvinnor i väglöst land (1995), Renskötarkvinnor (2013), Tusen år i lappmarkens historia (2012)).
The Ecology of Agroecosystems (2011) by John Vandermeer (Brilliant application of the science of ecology to agricultural ecosystems.)
Debt (2011) by David Graeber (Compulsively readable history of debt from an anthropological perspective, and of economy in a wider sense.)
The Great Eating Disorder (2016) by Gunnar Rundgren (About what's wrong with the global food and agricultural system.)
Brainstorm: the flaws in the science of sex differences (2010) by Rebecca Jordan-Young (Impressive study focusing on the flaws both in individual experiments and in how they fit together.)
Messages From Islands (2016) by Ilkka Hanski (Good popular account of the science of biodiversity and nature conservation, woven together with personal memories of research.)
My European Family (2015) by Karin Bojs (About the last 50 000 years of European history, from a genealogical perspective based on DNA testing.)
The Art of Selling War (2016) by Pierre Gilly (About how pro-war propaganda works and how many lies are usually involved.)

Favorite new-to-me fiction books in 2018, in no particular order.
Kindred (1979) by Octavia Butler (An exploration of how slavery distorts intimate relationships.)
The Outlaws of Sherwood (1988) by Robin McKinley (Robin Hood retelling with a lot of heart and community feels.)
The Course of Honour by [ profile] Avoliot (Delightful arranged marriage in space, with lots of pining.)
A Skinful of Shadows (2017) by Frances Hardinge (Girl fights to get to choose which ghosts will live in her head, set in 1600's England.)
A Monstrous Regiment (2017) by [ profile] AMarguerite (Elizabeth Bennett, dragon captain.)
Raya (2018) by Henrik Johansson (Set in an industrial bakery in the lead-up to a strike.)
Spinning Silver (2018) by Naomi Novik (..everyone already knows about this one.)
The Murderbot novellas by Martha Wells (Also about this one.)
The Comfortable Courtesan (2017) by A. L. Hall (Have only read volume 1 so far, but this is a delightful and very readable regency series that passes Bechdel test in spades.)
Moll by Elizabeth Rynell (Extrapolation of the depopulation of the Swedish countryside.)

In conclusion, this was definitely the year of non-fiction for me. I mean, I read equal amounts of fiction and non-fiction, and yet there were a lot more candidates for the "favorite" category among the non-fiction books.


Dec. 30th, 2018 07:12 pm
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Have now spent a week in a small cabin with my parents, one week to go. I definitely don't regret it, and I appreciate many aspects of their company, but there are times when I have to retreat into my own room and put headphones on so I don't hear them talking.

My dad asked me today when I'm going to grow out of my leftist opinions. Yes Dad, I know you were briefly a Trotskyist when you were seventeen, and your opinions have changed since then, but I'm almost forty. It is not a youthful phase. *rolls eyes*
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
They aren't that many, but this isn't nothing either!

To Spill His Flowers on the Ground: sex pollen ent fic for Lord of the Rings, R, 750 words.
A Reply to the Second and Third Houses of the Earth: short poetry for Ursula K. Le Guin's Always Coming Home
Sisters in Arms: Original work for Chocolate Box, Healer/Exhausted Female Knight Returning From The War, PG, 2000 words.
A Better Compromise: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Cassian Andor/Bodhi Rook, PG, 1,500 words.

Besides these, I also started on some new stories that I sadly didn't finish:
- this year's Yuletide story,
- another Cassian/Bodhi story which is a possibly strange combination of meaningful disaster relief work and robots make them do it,
- a Rae/Mel/Constantine story for Robin McKinley's Sunshine,
- and another rarelit story which I am reluctant to disclose because it was conceived as a gift, and I may yet finish it and gift it.

The Tale of the White Lady of Iffish by [personal profile] raspberryhunter (Earthsea, gen, 49m)
The Land of Lost Content, by [personal profile] desireearmfeldt (and another author, now anonymous) (Fraser/Kowalski, Ray Vecchio/Stella, PG, 3h 9m). Collaboration, with [personal profile] luzula as Ray Kowalski, [personal profile] mific as Benton Fraser, [personal profile] desireearmfeldt as Stella Vecchio, and [personal profile] serafina_b as Ray Vecchio, and bonus [personal profile] podfic_lover as Constable Lester Pearson.
Dear Patron, by [ profile] Selden (Original Work, Librarian/Patron with a very overdue library book, PG, 29m)
because I don't know how to love any other way by [ profile] rain_sleet_snow (Star Wars, Beru Whitesun/Owen Lars/Obi-Wan Kenobi, PG-13, 44m)

Sadly I didn't manage an Aubrey/Maturin podfic for the traditional Advent Calendar this year, maybe I'll make one afterwards instead. I also still owe a podfic to [profile] ride_forever. And I asked the author of my Yuletide gift if I could podfic that, so that's another future project.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Yesss, I managed to write some recs before reveals! I put everything longer than 5000 words on my ereader, so these are short. Also, I still am far from having read everything I'm interested in, so hopefully I can get one more round of recs in later.

I enjoyed a lot of the Irina/Mirnatius fics from Spinning Silver, so check them out! Of course, the book was leaving so much unwritten there that I'm not surprised people are filling it in.

Kolya's Sestina (Paksenarrion - Elizabeth Moon)
A sestina about a minor character that I like a lot.

The Inevitability of History (Voynich manuscript)
A tantalizing glimpse of another sort of science. You don't need to know canon (I didn't).

How It Was Then (Persuasion - Jane Austen)
The relationship between Frederick and his sister Sophia, and Anne/Frederick as seen through Sophia's eyes.

rosy as a flushed red apple skin (never been as sweet) (Medieval manuscript illustrations)
Probably my favorite in this fandom, though there are other good ones, too! The fake scientific article on the decline of the penis tree is hilarious. No need to know canon (although the canon is just pictures).

Sprezzatura (Much Ado About Nothing)
A bitter and passionate inner monologue from Beatrice, impressively written in blank verse.

Prickly Situation (Aubrey-Maturin)
A little Jack/Stephen vignette, of the sort where it's the prose and not really the events of the story that are what you remember.

Unexpected (Pern, Kylara/Lessa)
I have to thank [personal profile] isis (ETA: oops, no, it was [personal profile] rachelmanija) for bringing this one to my notice, since I'd missed it. I would gladly read a book's worth of sequel to this story! I imagine long-simmering UST and then finally a mating flight, and lots of interesting politics. F'lar's reaction would be hilarious.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
A Siberian Jay has fed from my hand. ♥♥♥ I didn't manage to get that moment on camera, because they're quick! But here they are:

Four Siberian Jays sitting in the snow, one of them with a bit of bread in its beak.

They are reddish-brown birds in the Corvid family that live in old-growth forest in the taiga. Although they live so far from human habitation, they are inquisitive birds that will happily come and share your meal when you take a break from cross-country skiing. They are one of my favorite birds!

For good measure, here is also a view of the landscape I'm skiing through:

Snowy landscape with spruce and birch trees, heavily weighed down by snow.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
I defaulted from Yuletide this year, and yet I received a wonderful gift! *hugs story to chest*

It's a rather bleak story, but very fitting for the canon, and it's so well written too. Just reading the title makes me shiver a little bit now, because of the way it evokes the themes of the story. Go read it, people! I don't know how the Hainish fic at Yuletide is always so good, but it is.

The Harvest of Orhoch (8513 words) by Anonymous
Fandom: The Left Hand of Darkness - Ursula K. Le Guin
Rating: Teen And Up Audiences
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Characters: Original Characters
Additional Tags: Karhidish tales, Canon-Typical Violence, Original Mythology, Worldbuilding
Summary: The stain of murder wears heavy upon the soul.

The King of Orhoch seeks to name his heir, though it is no easy thing.

luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Here's how I did with my bingo card of yearly goals for 2018!

Things I did:
  • Sleep 20 nights outside/in a tent. (22 nights this year.)
  • Make a new friend. (I got to know a woman who's on the union board with me, and one woman who I did forest inventories with this summer who I really bonded with.)
  • Go swimming in 20 new lakes/places by the sea. (26 this year! It was a really warm summer.)
  • Go to one of the Swedish national parks I haven't been to. (Yes, I was in Store Mosse National Park--a friend had her 40th birthday party in a cabin there, but I didn't get as much chance to geek out as I would've liked. It's a large wetland in southern Sweden that somehow escaped being drained out.)
  • Change banks. (Yes, finally! I didn't actually leave my old bank, but I moved my savings to two other banks that don't invest in fossil fuels and other bad stuff.)
  • Spend 24 hours in a tree. (Yes, I wrote this up here.)
  • Do something which sounds interesting but is out of my comfort zone or that I have never done before. (Yes, I rode on a horse!)
  • (Re)install Linux on at least one of my computers, hopefully both. (Kind of? I got a new work computer and got them to install Linux on it for me. Still counting it, though.)
  • Post 3h of podfic. (Yes, 5 hours and 11 minutes! Note how it's sneakily worded to say "post" rather than "record". This is so I could count an old WIP I finally finished the editing on.)
  • Half the books I read should be non-fiction. (Yup.)
  • Track the wood-living fungi species (especially polypores and Corticiaceae) I see during the year, and also learn fungi microscopy better. (I went to three different fungi courses/workshops, did a little microscopy on my own, did a lot of forest inventories which always improves my skills, and started work on a reference collection of wood-living fungi that now has about 50 species.)
  • Participate in at least one other fic exchange in addition to Yuletide. (Yes, I did Chocolate Box and thought about doing some other exchanges--there are so many multifandom exchanges running during the year!--but ended up not doing more.)
  • Go tree climbing at least 8 times. (Yes, I climbed a lot this year, but didn't keep track of how many times after I reached eight. Lots of banner-hanging!)
  • Co-organize a forest inventory camp in the summer. (Yes, I did this.)
  • Babysit a kid with noone else there. (Two kids, in fact! \o/ They were about five and two years old.)
  • Go to the union congress on the national level. (Yes, it was a good experience.)
  • Go cross-country skiing a couple of days. (I will be doing this for two weeks now!)
  • Organize my moss herbarium properly, with at least 150 species in it. (Woohoo, it now has 250 species, which is about a fourth of all moss species in Sweden.)

Things I did partly:
  • Go running 50 times. (I only did 38 times. Fail. /o\ In my defense, the tracks were really icy in the beginning of the year, and then I was sick a lot, with two colds, a sinusitis and a flu, and then during the summer I was doing other outdoorsy stuff, and then I had two other colds in the fall. Will do better next year.)

Things I didn't do:
  • Delete my gmail accounts and save the email somewhere else. (No. I ran into trouble when I was backing up the email because Thunderbird froze, possibly because I had too much email. And then I just let it slide. Haven't used them for a long time though, and I don't trust Google to actually delete my data even if I tell them to. : / )
  • Perform with my sister or record an album with her. (No. She still has a small kid. We were going to do some sort of Christmas thing but didn't get around to it.)
  • Do research of some kind, damn it. (Ha ha, no.)
  • Visit [personal profile] exeterlinden and/or my friend Jennie. (Nope. I tried but it didn't happen.)
  • Take a dance course and/or go dancing three times. (No, I didn't go dancing even once, if you don't count the department Christmas party, which I don't think I do.)
  • Try out Marcq St Hilaire's method of determining one's position with a sextant. (I meant to do this but it never happened--one time I was all set to go out to the archipelago to do it but then it got cloudy...)
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Adrift: 76 Days Lost At Sea by Steven Callahan (1986, audiobook read by the author)
Recced by [personal profile] rachelmanija. This was quite immersive and suspenseful to listen to as an audiobook, and also included an interesting interview with the author at the end.

A Nun in the Closet by Dorothy Gilman (1975)
Also recced by [personal profile] rachelmanija, and by [personal profile] skygiants! Aww, this was indeed delightful. I liked the nuns bonding with the hippies.

The Lamb Will Slaughter the Lion (2017) and The Barrow Will Send What It May (2018) by Margaret Killjoy
Novellas about anarchist demon-hunters. Quite enjoyable--for example, there's a demon who kills those who exercise power over others (that's the lamb slaughtering the lion). Although that doesn't exactly go as planned for those who summoned it, because of course they're trying to use the demon for power over others... Looking at photos of the author I have to imagine that the "itinerant anarchist punk" part of the characters (if not the "demon-hunting" part) is a bit autobiographical. I've read one book by Killjoy before; it was a choose-your-own-adventure story about a human getting mixed up in the rebellion of the downtrodden goblins against the gnomes. Sadly I found it less enjoyable than that sounds, but these were better.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
1) I will be spending two weeks in a cabin in the north of Sweden with my parents over Christmas and New Year's, wish me luck avoiding family quarrels. It'll be good to do some cross-country-skiing, it was far too long ago.

2) I will be working 80% next year! \o/ I am happy to trade some money for free time, so that'll be great. To be honest though, I have not been working 100% in practise this last year. I have 20% research time, but I have not managed to do any research. It's not like I'm trying to exploit the system, I do feel bad about not managing to do research. Still, I'd rather not have that time fill up with more teaching, which is what would happen if I kept not doing research, so I'd rather go down to 80% and spend that time organizing and being outdoors. It's only for a year though, we'll see what happens after that.

3) I checked out the local newly-formed Extinction Rebellion group, and was impressed. They were holding an intro to which about 30 people turned up, which I would say is a lot, and also, the three people sitting near me had no previous experience with environmental organizing. That they're reaching new people like this gives me hope. I've really been missing a radical climate movement in Sweden, and while I probably don't have time to take on an organizing role, I will definitely be part of their action trainings and actions. Do check out their local group if there's one near you.

4) I camped out on the winter solstice like I always do, this time on one of the islands in the archipelago on the west coast of Sweden. I hiked out in the dark but didn't need a flashlight or anything--there was a moon that shone through a thin cloud cover and I could see enough to scramble over rocks and put up the tent on a flat bit of grass. I had my winter sleeping bag so I wasn't cold, though I did forget earplugs and the wind in the tent was a bit distracting when I was trying to sleep.
luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)
Moss researcher at the national species databank: I see you have a specimen of Herzogiella turfacea, could you send it to us? It's very rare so close to the mountains.
Me: Sure, I'll send it!
Me (privately): OMG I have probably mis-determined it (especially because there was just a few shoots of it) and he will think I'm really stupid.
Moss researcher, after a week: Thanks for your specimen! We have checked it and it is indeed Herzogiella turfacea. We'll put it in the herbarium of the Swedish Museum of Natural History.
Me: Okay, cool! Thanks for checking it.
Me: (privately): Eeeeee, it was correct! \o/ ...also since I want a reference collection I will need to find a new Herzogiella turfacea.


luzula: a Luzula pilosa, or hairy wood-rush (Default)luzula

February 2019

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