Archive for april, 2012

On Reading Trilogies

Source: Wikipedia


Have you ever stumbled upon a book quite coincidentaly, bringing it home, and finding it SO enticing you can’t put it down… just to end at the last page and finding out that it’s part of a trilogy? At least I’ve got that problem. Today I did this mistake again, when I ran into Patrick Rothfuss’ fantasy trilogy of the Kingkiller’s Chronicles. Did I know it was a trilogy before I bought it? No. Am I still gonna read it? Yes.


Trilogies I have ongoing:

The Century Trilogy (Ken Follett)

Watch (Sergei Lukyanenko)

The Passage (Justin Cronin)

Trälen Holme (Jan Fridegård)

Mörkrets ring (Nick Perumov)

All Souls Trilogy (Deborah Harkness)

The Millennium Trilogy (Stieg Larsson)


Now, to be fair, 4 out of the 7 trilogies listed above have not yet been released in full – but the sheer fact of having seven ongoing stories is a little unnerving to me. To begin with, I rarely read two fiction books at the same time, POSSIBLY coupling a fiction with a non-fiction, but generally – my focus and my belief in really understanding a work, is normally limited to one book at a time.


The truth then is that I now have seven storylines to follow and remember, as well as the other ”single” novels I’m reading. But looking at the list of trilogies, they none of them are really the same, not in time, nor in genre. The Century Trilogy is purely historical fiction based around the world wars (so far) and great events of the 20th century. The Passage is a futuristic dystopia story of a virus gone wrong. Trälen Holme is a historical retelling of the Viking Era in Sweden. Mörkrets ring is a spin-off of J.R.R Tolkien’s Lord of The Rings epos. All Souls Trilogy is a historical supernatural fiction with witches and vampires. And lastly, The Millennium Trilogy is a contemporary fiction of todays’ Swedish society and abusing of women.


Have you ever read a book to its full, realising when it’s finished, it is part of a Trilogy?

What trilogies are You engaged in at the moment?

Douglas Adams is perhaps one of the most famous science-fiction authors in the modern era. What first started out as a radio show, turned out to be no less than five books in a series, a movie adaption and television series. So what is this all about? A few years ago, I started to read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but put it back on the shelf just a few pages in. Because really, it’s nothing logical about it all. In some way I’m not surprised that it sprung out of a radio show in the way it is written.


Introductive passage:

Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat thing.

Read the rest of this entry

Math on Canvas

Working with colours is something I quite recently started with. I’ve sketched and painted since I was very young, but almost only in pencils and black ink – colouring a piece on paper has never really gotten to me. Canvas is another matter. Since we moved to a house last year, painting on canvas is a new hobby of mine!

Acrylics only. I don’t work in oil at all. Partly because I find it too long to dry, and the smell is not very pleasing either.


I love reading popular science cause it is a wonderful fun way to learn otherwise complicated, stale (and boring) subjects. Because don’t tell me that Math and Physics in a school bench does not make you quiver. It is no coincidence that my habit of heavy coffee drinking started in order to keep me awake in electronics class. Popular science however, is really interesting and fun – and even ”novels” pertruding on these subjects I find truly inspirational.


For my last two paintings came to be because of books on Math. Particularly one I read last year: The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa. It is a story of a professor trapped in 8 minutes of short-term memory and his new housekeeper and her son. This story is beautiful and sad at the same time. The professor makes all kinds of mathematical discoveries in a world where the present moment is key. I truly recommend this book to anyone!


The professor in this book, at one time, tells of triangular numbers – and how their geometrical pattern of triangular forms are both elegant and simple. Which gave the idea for this painting of three:



It is truly just another coincidence – that the painting of triangular numbers were done on 3 canvases. My fiance loves it though, and it soon hangs in his study.

My second painting, that I finished this weekend, came from the thought of Pi. Pi, a ”magical” number of infinite size, has always intrigued science. As far back as the ancient Egyptians, an approximation of Pi was used. But this piece, came to my mind after reading an article online about a woman redoing her kitchen tiles. Instead of tiles though, I saw a skyline in the sunset… made up of decimals of Pi. Over 100 of them.



An Indian Classic. Perhaps even the most famous one, although probably more for its subjet matter more than its literary content. The Kama Sutra was not originally on my Classics list, but what is a girl to do when her fiance comes home with a present from the bookstore? (even though it was on sale).


The edition he found

…is a new translation built mainly upon Vatsyayana’s writings and commentaries on those writings. To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure what I was expecting from this book – the ”book of love”, supposedly filled with descriptions of things far too complicated for an everyday human being… (except if you are an athlete and perhaps also an olympian medalist). But imagine my genuine surprise.


It handles things quite ”scientifically”

…and is in no way erotic. In fact, only one out of seven parts discusses ”Sexual Union” while the rest focuses on more cultural issues and etiquette. Most of which are clearly outdated, but hence I have a great general historical interest – I found it both fascinating and, at times, comical to read about how you were supposed to behave around, and treat a woman 2000 or so years ago – also how a woman herself is to treat males of various castes and social standing. In a way, it is not so different from those classic 19th-20th century ”house wife” books – and when taking time to reflect, it is not so much different from our woman world view before 20th century. The only difference is that in India, it’s been written down in, perhaps you might say, pure scientific matter of fact.


The Kama Sutra

…handles subjects of marriage, hetero- and homosexuality, monogami and polygami alike, how to steal a woman from another man – as well as the life of courtesans, and last mot not least, how to attract a woman by extra ”medicines”. A large part tells of how to act a wife, how to treat family and friends and so on, but in the mist of outdated views, there were a few gems worth quoting.


Notable passages

  • The man who is ingenious and wise, who is accompanied by a friend, and who knows the intentions of others, and the proper time and place for doing everything, can win over even a woman who is hard to be obtained.

  • Men and women, being of the same nature, feel the same kind of pleasure, and therefore a man should marry such a woman as will love him ever afterwards.

  • [...] though a man loves a girl ever so much, he never succeeds in winning her without a great deal of talking.

  • It is said that a man does not care for what is easily gained, and desires a thing which can only be obtained with difficulty.

  • The extent of the love of women is not known, even to those who are the objects of their affection, on account of its subtlety, and on account of the avarice and natural intelligence of womankind.


Final thoughts…

I don’t know if this is a book I would recommend to anyone ”out of the blue”, but it definitely is a worthwhile read, not so much for the tips of ”congress”, as for its historical account of the culture of India.

The earliest memory of a literary experience,

…was from when I went to fifth grade, 10 years old. We lived in a two storey villa and I remember how I walked with my nose snuggled up between the book pages everywhere I went; The toilet, the sofa, for breakfast, for lunch…even walking up and down the staircase! What was this book, that could snare a 10 year old deep into its mysteries?

The year was 1999,

… and a debut author from U.K. had gotten her first book translated into Swedish, in the end it would be a 7 book series. If you haven’t figured it out yet, it was Harry Potter och De Vises Sten (Philosopher’s Stone). Certainly I’ve read books before that time, but Harry Potter was the first book that captivated me beyond reality… and it is that feeling that I search for in every book ever since. If a book manages to draw me into its world in such a degree that I can’t put it down and I forget all about time… then it is a hit!

Books like that are rare.

I can count most of them on my fingers, mostly fantasy and historical fiction, but nonetheless:

  • J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings
  • Stephen King’s The Talisman
  • Leo Tolstoy Anna Karenina
  • Deborah Harkness A Discovery of Witches
  • Kader Abdolah The House of the Mosque

Reading are always both ways.

It can be magical and it can be plain dull. But in the end, I always read for myself – no one else. And that’s the way it should be. However, having blogged now for nearly 4 years, something that is only for oneself can still be shared.


What book(s) have captivated YOU beyond time and space?

This website is Protected by wp prevent copy