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So, I kept getting recommended a book by a friend of mine. Eventually I did manage to track it down through a library in another town and I have now read it.

Våga vara rädd - En bok om utmattningssyndrom by Emma Holmgren [Dare to the be afraid - A book about fatigue syndrome]

Like I mentioned in the previous blog post, fatigue syndrome is Google's translation but I am quite hesitant to use it. This, of course, is because I'm not a doctor and my English skills in the medical field is sub par at best. Sorry about that.

The book? I didn't like it. Now comes the test for the avid readers of my blog: why is that? I'm pretty sure I've written this a dozen times by now: I read books for entertainment and as an escape from real world problems. When a book is too real, it fails both of these criteria and become difficult to read.

So, given that I didn't like it, would I recommend it? YES! Fatigue syndrome, if that is really the name in English, and stress are the most common reasons for women to become sick and go on sick leave. I'm not a woman, why would I care? Because I've been on sick leave for over two years now because of it. If someone who is under a lot of stress might be able to read this book and notice the signs BEFORE having a breakdown it might mean that the "bouncing back" period takes less time. Also, the breakdown might hurt that person's relatives and friends less. That's another point: maybe reading this book will make you more perceptive of YOUR friends and relatives and maybe help them get help before their crash? Hope, it's ever eternal. Yes, I'm getting more positive, but I'm not well yet...

Too much of this book was about me and my troubles I've had and still have to this day. This was not a fun read. It does help, potentially, to realise that I'm not alone in my troubles. Shared worry is half worry? Still hesitant to that expression, but... Who knows.

I'm putting this one under point 51: a book about a difficult topic. Difficult? The medical community has established the diagnosis as a clear medical problem since 2005. Surely it's not difficult? I still hear doubters though. Too many still view it as something that only affect the weak and those not willing to work and that they deserve what ever troubles they get. The book DOES mention an old trouth though: "People cry not because they're weak. It's because they've been strong for too long". Not verbatim, but close enough. The author of the book and her two interviewees were all strong people in leadership positions. They're all parents. They were all VERY strong people. Eventually though, the energy ran out and they crashed. Hard.

I've been there and in many ways I still am. Reading their stories did make me sad... They all eventually went back to work though, so maybe there is still hope?

1. A book recommended by a librarian
2. A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long - Nybyggarna by Vilhelm Morberg [The Settlers]
3. A book of letters
4. An audiobook - Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
5. A book by a person of colour
6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
7. A book that is a story within a story - Zwierzoczłekoupiór by Tadeusz Konwicki [The anthropos-spectre-beast]
8. A book with multiple authors
9. An espoinage thriller
10. A book with a cat on the cover
11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
12. A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read
13. A book by or about a person who has a disabilitiy
14. A book involving travel
15. A book with a subtitle
16. A book that's published in 2017
17. A book involving a mythical creature
18. A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile - Bruno & Boots - Beware the Fish by Gordon Korman
19. A book about food
20. A book with career advice
21. A book from a nonhuman perspective
22. A steampunk novel
23. A book with a red spine
24. A book set in the wilderness - På väg mot inkaskatten by Kjell Edwall & Mats Carlén [On the Way to the Treasure of the Incas]
25. A book you loved as a child
26. A book by an author from a country you've never visited
27. A book with a title that is a character's name
28. A novel set during wartime - Sista brevet till Sverige by Vilhelm Moberg [The Last Letter Home]
29. A book with an unreliable narrator
30. A book with pictures
31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
32. A book about an interesting woman
33. A book set in two different time periods
34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35. A book set in a hotel - Who is Bugs Potter? by Gordon Korman
36. A book written by someone you admire
37. A book that's becoming a movie in 2017
38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39. The first book in a series you haven't read before - Utvandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [The Emigrants]
40. A book you bought on a trip
41. A book recommended by an author you love
42. A bestseller from 2016
43. A book with a family-member term in the title
44. A book that takes place over a character's life span
45. A book about an immigrant or refugee - Invandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [Unto a Good Land]
46. A book from a genre/subgenre that you've never heard of - The Terry Pratchett Diary by Sir Terry Pratchett & Friends
47. A book with an eccentric character
48. A book that's more than 800 pages - Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk
49. A book you got from a used book sale
50. A book that's been mentioned in another book
51. A book about a difficult topic - Våga vara rädd - En bok om utmattningssyndrom by Emma Holmgren [Dare to the be afraid - A book about fatigue syndrome]
52. A book based on mythology
Leave a comment

A thought crossed my mind: why do I play this game called The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim so much? The easy answer is because I'm entertained by it. But then I wanted to go deeper.

Let's face: it's escapism! The real world is not ... great, right now. For me, at least. Movies, books, computer games, theater plays, etc, etc, are ways to leave the real world and find something a bit more... Bearable. So what in the game is different than my own world?

---

Sexism
In the short form, there are two genders. Yes, I know there are really 63, but allow me my binary way of thinking right now, ok?
In real life, people with different genders get treated VERY differently. The paycheck is smaller for females, males get custody of the children more seldomly, and either side gets treated negatively by their opposit gendered bosses.
I was about to say that doesn't happen in Skyrim, but I'll change that to: it's less frequent.
There are soldiers in the game. Roughly half men, half women. I have played as a male or female character and the pay is the same. I got married recently, as a female character. My wife is also female. We have two children together (adopted). NOBODY said a word about it! Our kids call us both "mom". Skyrim came out in 2011, but same sex marriage wasn't law for the entire USA until 2015. Progressive.

War
There is a civil war going on in the country when you enter it. (supposedly it's ended, by you, later in the game, but the sides are NOT actually equel so a few years after the game ends there will be more of it, I'm sure). The good thing is: uniforms. One side wears blue, the other wears brown. With the exception of the player's avatar, there is no one breaking this rule. This was a simpler time...

Religion
Religous people pray and receive gifts from their diety. I think? Not being overly religious myself, it looks quite suspicious to me... In the game, the benefits from prayer is immediate and VERY easy to notice. There really isn't any doubts. Being an agnostic in real life though, I only pray in the places of worship when I have to...

Freedom of religion
There are nine dieties in Skyrim and you're free to pray to which ever one you want! Except if it's the 9th one: Talos. According to some contract with the Elves, Talos may NOT be worshipped! And there is trouble over that... It's one of the main reasons for the civil war. When ever I join the Stormcloak side, that is one reason for doing so. When I chose not to it's because of:

Racism
Good lord is Ulfric Stormcloak racist! If you're not a human AND a Nord, he WILL point this out! My characters always have to jump through a LOT of hoops to gain his trust. Since he's the future king of Skyrim (if he has me by his side that is), he's the one calling the shots. Don't I ever play a Nord myself? No. Why would I? I am one in real life!

Stairs
I've mentioned in previous posts that I can't walk up stairs without a bannister. Either to draaaag me up or leaning on it going down for fear of alling. My avatar in Skyrim? Not only walk, but RUN! As fast running in stairs as running on a floor! Actually, there seldome IS any bannisters... If this had been real life, I'm pretty sure it would be quite illegal to discriminate towards the differently abled. Still: it does my heart good watching the character running up and down stairs all day without hinderence.

Food
I have allergies. I have diabetes. Food needs to be chosen QUITE carefully. In Skyrim? Current character still hasn't eaten anything. Why would she? If you get hurt, just step back a few seconds and you'll heal up automatically. Kind of difficult to do that in the middle of a fight though which is why there are:

Healing potions
Take one Blue Mountain Flower (grows pretty much EVERYWHERE), cook it up with Blisterwort (a mushroom that grows in most caves) and you have a healing potion. Picking flowers is something I do a LOT in that game!
Now think about how it's done in real life. Calling the hospital, arrange a time with a doctor and then wait weeks, months, possibly years (two and a half when I waited to get my diagnosis for Aspergers). Then get a medicine that might, might not work. Usually with side effects that necessitates MORE medication.
Of course, healing potions aren't the only thing you can cook up. Let's just say that my character wouldn't be allowed to compete in the olympics... Steroids? *pah!* I wouldn't touch weak stuff like that!

Sleep
"fatigue syndrome" Google translate claims it to be in English? What ever. I have it. I've been on sick leave for two and a half years now because of it. I sleep a LOT. Expecially early on. I think I slept more than I was awake... Some days that happens again. I'm not well yet...
In Skyrim? I have walked PAST beds, does that count? Not a single time have I slept. If you sleep in one, you get "rested" or "well rested" bonus. Unless you're a werewold. Which I am. There IS a cure, but I don't care enough to look into it. I WILL take a nap sooner or later. One quest path can only be started with the leaders of the group kidnapping you while you sleep. So I will. Eventually.

Theft
I could never steal anything in real life. I simply don't have the moral fiber, or lack thereof, to take something without permission.
In the game? Quite soon I will be the leader of the thieves guild. That's the benefit of playing the game more than once, you know what will happen in the future.
In the game I steal a LOT!
Anything that isn't nailed down? GONE!
Anything that IS nailed down? GONE! And so are the nails!
There is a perk in the pickpocketing skill set that lets you steal the clothing from people while they're WEARING THEM! I've never bothered with previous characters, but maybe this time...?

Money
Currently I own five houses that I bought and I've built three more. Also, there are a few abandoned houses where I can keep my stuff and sleep if I want to.
When I started out, I had one set of ragged clothes and a pair of shoes.
How did I do it?
I, for one, do like the whole alchemy thing. You pick up flowers and mushrooms from off the ground, add some salt and other miscelaneas items, boil for a second (in real life, boiling stuff takes a lot longer, but this is a game, so...) and you got a potion you can sell. Profit? The ingredients were picked OFF THE GROUND! It doesn't get cheaper than that!
There's also smithing and enchanting. I always do the bare minimum of each so that I can make the best weapons available. Yes, you CAN mine the ore yourself and fill soul gems for enchanting your smithed item, but I don't.
Mostly you pick up stuff from dead enemies. Every enemy that attacked you had a weapon and pieces of armour or clothing. Bring the stuff to town and sell it.
Bounties. Workable, but not very profitable on their own... Although: if your quest is to kill a bandit leader, he's the best fighter of that group. He will undoubtedly have some VERY valuable items on him!

Time
This is topic split in two:
In game
Sometimes you get quests that are VERY time sensitive! You must HURRY or the world will end! If you chose to do a few sidequests, maybe make some more health potions, join and become leader of the thiefs guild, you will make it in time. However much they talk something up: you will get there just in time or you will be late. Depending on the narrative. YOU, the player, worrying about it won't help. So do that sidequest where you join a drinking contest that ends with you stealing a goat, selling it to a giant, using the money to buy a wedding ring, proposing to a hagraven, planning the wedding in an abandoned temple and... Then wake up hungover not remembering any of that! The Hangover movies have NOTHING on Skryrim!
Out of game
You can spend as much or little time as you want. If you want to take a break for two weeks, which has happened, you're free to do so. Unlike MMORPGs, there is no monthly fee that more or less forces you to play (you want to get something out of your spending, don't you?).


---

Imagine a world where you can walk around doing what ever you want with little to no consequence?
When you're ACTUALLY living in a world where eating too much of something gives you indegestion and puts you out of commision for days on end? A world where doctors are unavailable and money is scarce?
Who WOULDN'T want to live in Skyrim!

Note: a lot of people, animals, dragons and fish has died under my hands. It's a VERY violent world. And that's why I play it. I want the safety of living in the real world, but I DO want to roam around free as well.
By playing games, I can allow that part of me to run around naked, should I chose to!
(there are mods for it, I think? I haven't bothered looking into it. I'm on the Internet, there are plenty of pictures of naked people to look at, why would I demand it in a game?)

Leave a comment
I have mentioned before that Gordon Korman was my favourite author as a child and that I still own seven of his books. Well, I've just completed the sixth for this reading challenge.

Who is Bugs Potter? by Gordon Korman

At day he's rehearsing for a high school band festival, while at the same time trying to woo a Hollywood superstar, but at night... At night he goes clubbing, meets up with his favourite bands and gets to play drums with them. High school? Yes, he's only 15, did I forget to mention that? How can he go clubbing at 15...

Logical sense? You've gotten the wrong book if that's what you're after! It might help to understand it if you know that the author was 17 when the book came out. The book is easily read, absurd most of the time and still doesn't fail to bring a smile to my face. After the last book, finished this morning, I needed this!

I'm shoehorning this one in at number 35, a book set in a hotel. True, the clubbing, where a lot of the main plot takes place, happens in ... clubs. But the participants of the festival LIVE and rehearse in a hotel. So most of the time is spent there.

1. A book recommended by a librarian
2. A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long - Nybyggarna by Vilhelm Morberg [The Settlers]
3. A book of letters
4. An audiobook - Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
5. A book by a person of colour
6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
7. A book that is a story within a story - Zwierzoczłekoupiór by Tadeusz Konwicki [The anthropos-spectre-beast]
8. A book with multiple authors
9. An espoinage thriller
10. A book with a cat on the cover
11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
12. A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read
13. A book by or about a person who has a disabilitiy
14. A book involving travel
15. A book with a subtitle
16. A book that's published in 2017
17. A book involving a mythical creature
18. A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile - Bruno & Boots - Beware the Fish by Gordon Korman
19. A book about food
20. A book with career advice
21. A book from a nonhuman perspective
22. A steampunk novel
23. A book with a red spine
24. A book set in the wilderness - På väg mot inkaskatten by Kjell Edwall & Mats Carlén [On the Way to the Treasure of the Incas]
25. A book you loved as a child
26. A book by an author from a country you've never visited
27. A book with a title that is a character's name
28. A novel set during wartime - Sista brevet till Sverige by Vilhelm Moberg [The Last Letter Home]
29. A book with an unreliable narrator
30. A book with pictures
31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
32. A book about an interesting woman
33. A book set in two different time periods
34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35. A book set in a hotel - Who is Bugs Potter? by Gordon Korman
36. A book written by someone you admire
37. A book that's becoming a movie in 2017
38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39. The first book in a series you haven't read before - Utvandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [The Emigrants]
40. A book you bought on a trip
41. A book recommended by an author you love
42. A bestseller from 2016
43. A book with a family-member term in the title
44. A book that takes place over a character's life span
45. A book about an immigrant or refugee - Invandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [Unto a Good Land]
46. A book from a genre/subgenre that you've never heard of - The Terry Pratchett Diary by Sir Terry Pratchett & Friends
47. A book with an eccentric character
48. A book that's more than 800 pages - Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk
49. A book you got from a used book sale
50. A book that's been mentioned in another book
51. A book about a difficult topic
52. A book based on mythology
Leave a comment

The fourth book of the trilogy has now been read. And I'm sad now... This book series is about Karl Oskar and Kristina travelling to North America and settling there. On the way things happen. A lot of things. Enough to fill four books. Since the books are about them, the last book DOES contain their deaths. Rather obvious, true, but the first one to go did so a LOT earlier than I expected...

Sista brevet till Sverige by Vilhelm Moberg [The Last Letter Home]

The last book ended in 1860. Since these books are also about American history, I expect you know what happened in 1861?

WAR!

After Abraham Lincoln became president of The United States of America, 11 states decided to leave the union and a civil war broke out. Karl Oskar, of course, volunteered to defend the union. Thankfully, for the narrative, he was disqualified due to poor health. And now we know why he was hit by those logs eleven years earlier and why he had limp in his left leg since then. Setting things up in the first book, ten years before writing the last. Well done, Vilhelm!

So, not too many worries about that. The war was mainly fought in the southern states themselves, after all. But what happened the year after?

The Sioux Uprising of 1862!

This happened in Minnesota, which is where the books take place. That CANNOT be ignored! Many of Karl Oskar's and Kristina's fellow emmigrants perished during it. Civil war down south and an indian uprising at home, things are not looking good... And right when the harvest needs taking in!

And that's a point throughout the books: farming. I can't say I know THAT much about it (I probably know more than most, living in the most fertile state in the country). But it is interesting and captivating to read about how some summers have too much rain, some springs have too little, some winters being too cold for too long to sow the seeds and so on.

The end of the book is about Charles O. Nelson. Karl Oskar's "Americanised" name, and his memories about his life. His children all move away from home (they build a new house a stone's throw away from his). The sound of his grandchildren right outside his door and the memories of his own days as a child and...

It's all really sad...

Still, these books are classics for a reason. If you're a Swede with family having travelled to the US or are the offspring of Europeans having done so or, possibly, just want to read good books, give these a try!

--

*a bit of digging later* 31st of January I finished book 6 of this challenge. Today is March 23. Almost two months it has taken me to read four books. Why am I telling you this? Just a warning that there will be thinner books ahead to make up for it.

I'm putting this one under number 28, a novel set during wartime. The war lasted for four years and tore the country in half. Quite impossible not to mention that in a book about the country.

1. A book recommended by a librarian
2. A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long - Nybyggarna by Vilhelm Morberg [The Settlers]
3. A book of letters
4. An audiobook - Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
5. A book by a person of colour
6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
7. A book that is a story within a story - Zwierzoczłekoupiór by Tadeusz Konwicki [The anthropos-spectre-beast]
8. A book with multiple authors
9. An espoinage thriller
10. A book with a cat on the cover
11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
12. A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read
13. A book by or about a person who has a disabilitiy
14. A book involving travel
15. A book with a subtitle
16. A book that's published in 2017
17. A book involving a mythical creature
18. A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile - Bruno & Boots - Beware the Fish by Gordon Korman
19. A book about food
20. A book with career advice
21. A book from a nonhuman perspective
22. A steampunk novel
23. A book with a red spine
24. A book set in the wilderness - På väg mot inkaskatten by Kjell Edwall & Mats Carlén [On the Way to the Treasure of the Incas]
25. A book you loved as a child
26. A book by an author from a country you've never visited
27. A book with a title that is a character's name
28. A novel set during wartime - Sista brevet till Sverige by Vilhelm Moberg [The Last Letter Home]
29. A book with an unreliable narrator
30. A book with pictures
31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
32. A book about an interesting woman
33. A book set in two different time periods
34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35. A book set in a hotel
36. A book written by someone you admire
37. A book that's becoming a movie in 2017
38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39. The first book in a series you haven't read before - Utvandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [The Emigrants]
40. A book you bought on a trip
41. A book recommended by an author you love
42. A bestseller from 2016
43. A book with a family-member term in the title
44. A book that takes place over a character's life span
45. A book about an immigrant or refugee - Invandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [Unto a Good Land]
46. A book from a genre/subgenre that you've never heard of - The Terry Pratchett Diary by Sir Terry Pratchett & Friends
47. A book with an eccentric character
48. A book that's more than 800 pages - Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk
49. A book you got from a used book sale
50. A book that's been mentioned in another book
51. A book about a difficult topic
52. A book based on mythology

Leave a comment

Not much to say, really. Book one and book two already read, so now I finished book three in the trilogy. Except it isn't. The author has a last word at the end of each book and has pointed out that the books are planned to be part of a trilogy. But not this time. This afterword has him mentioning that a fourth book will be written. With almost 60 years of hindsight, we know this to be true. So the next book I read will be the final chapter in the series.

Nybyggarna by Vilhelm Morberg [The Settlers]

You know me, ANY book or movie that references Star Wars will be a favourite of mine! True, the book came out 54 years before Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes back, but that scene is WAY too similar not to be a reference! Or maybe not? In the movie, during a snow storm, one of the protaginists cuts open his mount to put the other protaginist inside of it to keep their body temperature up. The same happen in this book! Or is it a story element I just haven't read anywhere else... There are a LOT of movies and books out there, it's probably just a coincidence.

What is the book about then? Well, The Settlers. Don't you just love products that are exactly what the label claims them to be? First they emigrated out of Sweden, then they immigrated into America and now they're settling. At the end of the book, they become citizens of the USA. They came into the country in 1850, but that wasn't part of the United States. Minnesota only became an official state in 1858. A bit of an American history leasson there.

The main thing though, according to me, is the language barrier. They're Swedes speaking Swedish. As time goes on, the father of the household goes to the store and have dealings with Americans. Slowly but surely he learns ... a bit of English. When he speaks at home he goes into what is sometimes refered to as Swenglish. Mostly Swedish, but quite a few English words and syntax thrown in. Now he's difficult to understand in town and with his wife... It's not easy for an uneducated farmer to keep up. But the harvest has to be taken in, so no time to worry about that! It is mentioned, in a letter home to Sweden, that America is only for hard workers. The struggle to keep from starving is ever present, even though they've left famine stricken Sweden.

Book one: travel to America, book two: travel in America, surely there is travelling to be had in this one as well? Yes. Robert, Karl Oskar's younger brother, who joined them on the trip across the Atlantic, is NOT a hard worker. The promised land that he was, well, promised, looks to be very similar to what he left. He does NOT want to struggle to keep alive. He really DOES want money for nothing. And that exists! On the gold fieds of California! You can just bend down and pick up enough gold to buy your brother a bigger house! So him and his friend Arvid go on the California Trail. How that ends up, I won't spoil. I think you can figure it out on your own?

I'm putting this one in category 2: a book that's been on my to be read list for too long. These books are part of my cultural heritage, it's honestly quite a shame that I haven't read them before...

1. A book recommended by a librarian
2. A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long - Nybyggarna by Vilhelm Morberg [The Settlers]
3. A book of letters
4. An audiobook - Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
5. A book by a person of colour
6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
7. A book that is a story within a story - Zwierzoczłekoupiór by Tadeusz Konwicki [The anthropos-spectre-beast]
8. A book with multiple authors
9. An espoinage thriller
10. A book with a cat on the cover
11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
12. A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read
13. A book by or about a person who has a disabilitiy
14. A book involving travel
15. A book with a subtitle
16. A book that's published in 2017
17. A book involving a mythical creature
18. A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile - Bruno & Boots - Beware the Fish by Gordon Korman
19. A book about food
20. A book with career advice
21. A book from a nonhuman perspective
22. A steampunk novel
23. A book with a red spine
24. A book set in the wilderness - På väg mot inkaskatten by Kjell Edwall & Mats Carlén [On the Way to the Treasure of the Incas]
25. A book you loved as a child
26. A book by an author from a country you've never visited
27. A book with a title that is a character's name
28. A novel set during wartime
29. A book with an unreliable narrator
30. A book with pictures
31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
32. A book about an interesting woman
33. A book set in two different time periods
34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35. A book set in a hotel
36. A book written by someone you admire
37. A book that's becoming a movie in 2017
38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39. The first book in a series you haven't read before - Utvandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [The Emigrants]
40. A book you bought on a trip
41. A book recommended by an author you love
42. A bestseller from 2016
43. A book with a family-member term in the title
44. A book that takes place over a character's life span
45. A book about an immigrant or refugee - Invandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [Unto a Good Land]
46. A book from a genre/subgenre that you've never heard of - The Terry Pratchett Diary by Sir Terry Pratchett & Friends
47. A book with an eccentric character
48. A book that's more than 800 pages - Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk
49. A book you got from a used book sale
50. A book that's been mentioned in another book
51. A book about a difficult topic
52. A book based on mythology

Leave a comment
As you go through life, you will make mistakes, you will say things that are incorrect and that is ok. Knowledge is an ever growing process that will hopefully continue for as long as humans are around.

My question to YOU, dear reader, is: how did you react to that subject line? Being told that you, in fact, are wrong?

In my view, there are two ways to handle it.

1. Defensive. Who are YOU to tell ME that I'm wrong?!? Then write a reply back immediately and start with the name calling, insulting of mothers, countries, religions, politics or what ever blunt instrument you prefer to use. (I like a hammer myself, it's very versatile). This is an immediate reaction that we can all identify with. As you grow older and, hopefully, more mature, you start getting into the second option.

2. Accepting. I was wrong? ... Cool! I will now learn something new! Please tell me more! If the person giving the feedback is then also a mature person, there is no end to the possibilities. After a bit of arguing, citing sources available to both parties, you might make a friend for life. Reasonable, intelligent people are not as common as you might wish, you should treasure them like the gems that they are.

The second option is not always a good one, however... Some feedback givers are NOT mature, intelligent people. Their whole argument being: you're a poopy face and I is right because I said so! Nothing can be learned from them. Arguing back will only take up time and energy and not lead to anything. Time is a precious resource, please don't waste it on trolls...
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Ok, can we all agree? Clickbait has to go away!

So, what IS clickbait? Clickbait is a bait to get clicks. Simple. Most words are quite simple if you think about them.
Blueberries are berries ... that are blue!

The click
Someone on social media links an article, someone else clicks on it, gets bombarded with advertisement and pop-ups and ad revenue goes up for that page. Every single time someone clicks that link, the creators of the site gets cash.

The bait
False or misleading headlines or simply attention grabbing pictures. What ever it takes for the person scrolling through his or her news feed to go "hm, I want to know more about this!". (it's been 20 years since the movie Starship Troopers was released, "Would you like to know more?" is as prevalent as ever...).

Of course, this is a new thing. Before today, everybody was honest and would NEVER make up attention grabbing headlines to get advertisement revenue. Right?

Yellow journalism
To sell more newspapers some journalists would devolve into sensationalism. One such trend was the use of yellow ink. Yellow ink?! And colours at all!?!? Quite sensational in the 1890s. Frank Luther Mott, American historian, defined yellow journalism from five criterias:

1. scary headlines in huge print, often of minor news
2. lavish use of pictures, or imaginary drawings
3. use of faked interviews, misleading headlines, pseudoscience, and a parade of false learning from so-called experts
4. emphasis on full-colour Sunday supplements, usually with comic strips
5. dramatic sympathy with the "underdog" against the system

Click bait is nothing new, we have simply refined it over the years...

Yes, everything I write today I stole from wikipedia. Does that mean that this blog is clickbait? I'd say no. I make no money from this blog. I don't use big print headlines, pictures, misleading headlines or try to paint the picture of any underdogs. I try to be informative towards those that don't have the time to dig through wikipedia to find this out for themselves. I do recomend it though. You shouldn't take second hand information at face value. Not everyone is as nice as you or I...
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This is a no brainer. I read part one last time so I've read part two now.

Invandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [Unto a Good Land]

The last book was, roughly, split into two parts: describing the misery of the home country and then the horrors of the travel to get to the new world. Eight people died during that trip! The fact that when someone complained about how crowded the living arrangements were, they were told it wouldn't be a problem for very long... The people handling the travel KNEW that a lot of people wouldn't make it and they still sold the tickets?! It is a different world to be sure, 150 years later...

This book is similar. Half the book is the travel to get to Minnesota from New York and the other half is the troubles they have once they get there. They had left Sweden early in the year to make sure they got there in time for sowing the crops. They were delayed though... Over and over again. And yet, they were luckier than most. They actually had an adress they were going to. The ship's captain mentions how many OTHER captains just threw the passengers off in New York and sailed home to get more. Those passengers were then stuck in a country they didn't know and unable to speak the language. Thank goodness Ellis Island opened up an immigrant inspection station! Not that that matters for this book: the book takes place in 1850, Ellis Island opened in 1892...

Getting there was not easy and once they DO get there... True, the soil looks very healthy indeed, there are lots of fruits and berries, the woods have lots of wildlife to hunt and the lake is full of fish. But the first winter is still VERY rough going. One thing that is a bit difficult to grasp is the distances. Karl Oskar, the main character, has to buy flour for his wife, Kristina. Walking to the town takes half the day. Going back, with a HEAVY sack on his back... A wagon drawn by oxen? Horses? Unavailable, they can't afford ANYTHING. Most of their savings were spent to buy tickets. And the rest is lost during the travel inland and buying the tools needed to build a house. It is rather difficult to understand poverty and starvation... I have had plenty of rough patches in my life, but I have never starved. These books tell the story of a time when people DIED from starvation. And it wasn't that long ago after all...

"Unto a Good Land"? The direct translation of the title would be The Immigrants, which more clearly describes why I'm putting this one into challenge 45, a book about an immigrant or refugee.

1. A book recommended by a librarian
2. A book that's been on your TBR list for way too long
3. A book of letters
4. An audiobook - Napalm and Silly Putty by George Carlin
5. A book by a person of colour
6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
7. A book that is a story within a story - Zwierzoczłekoupiór by Tadeusz Konwicki [The anthropos-spectre-beast]
8. A book with multiple authors
9. An espoinage thriller
10. A book with a cat on the cover
11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
12. A bestseller from a genre you don't normally read
13. A book by or about a person who has a disabilitiy
14. A book involving travel
15. A book with a subtitle
16. A book that's published in 2017
17. A book involving a mythical creature
18. A book you've read before that never fails to make you smile - Bruno & Boots - Beware the Fish by Gordon Korman
19. A book about food
20. A book with career advice
21. A book from a nonhuman perspective
22. A steampunk novel
23. A book with a red spine
24. A book set in the wilderness - På väg mot inkaskatten by Kjell Edwall & Mats Carlén [On the Way to the Treasure of the Incas]
25. A book you loved as a child
26. A book by an author from a country you've never visited
27. A book with a title that is a character's name
28. A novel set during wartime
29. A book with an unreliable narrator
30. A book with pictures
31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
32. A book about an interesting woman
33. A book set in two different time periods
34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
35. A book set in a hotel
36. A book written by someone you admire
37. A book that's becoming a movie in 2017
38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
39. The first book in a series you haven't read before - Utvandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [The Emigrants]
40. A book you bought on a trip
41. A book recommended by an author you love
42. A bestseller from 2016
43. A book with a family-member term in the title
44. A book that takes place over a character's life span
45. A book about an immigrant or refugee - Invandrarna by Vilhelm Moberg [Unto a Good Land]
46. A book from a genre/subgenre that you've never heard of - The Terry Pratchett Diary by Sir Terry Pratchett & Friends
47. A book with an eccentric character
48. A book that's more than 800 pages - Youngblood Hawke by Herman Wouk
49. A book you got from a used book sale
50. A book that's been mentioned in another book
51. A book about a difficult topic
52. A book based on mythology
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Yesterday, I was presented with the news that Bill Paxton had passed away. I got it from Facebook. These are the emotions I went through:

Sadness. I liked quite a few movies he was in. I especially liked how he didn't always play the same role. He could be the main character or play a bit part and it felt like he was giving everything he had to make any role come alive! Not all actors do that.
More sadness. Then doubt entered my mind... After all: just how many times has Morgan Freeman died now? And he's still (as of this writing) alive! Googled it and... Yes, it was true...
Most sad! The fact that I live in a world full of "fake news" and "alternative facts" means that I CAN'T just accept news anymore. I HAVE TO look things up for myself. Most troublesome...

Still sad that he's passed away, of course, but most sad because of my reaction. My faith in humanity is dwindling and I don't like it!

To put it in the words of Private Hudson from Aliens (1986):
"That's it, man. Game over, man. Game over! What the fuck are we gonna do now? What are we gonna do?"

:(
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I had more thoughts about podcasts and figured I'd just write them down.

Which do I prefer? That is a VERY difficult question to answer. Some of my favourites are more or less oposits but I like them anyway. For different reasons. I figured I would just write down some criteria and see if I can think of anything worth saying (probably not).

Content
I pretty much ONLY listen to podcasts about movies. Currently on my list is also one about comic books or comic book movies. I USED to read comic books, but these days I prefer "real books". When I'm online though, I sometimes read webcomics. Not quite the same thing in my view. Physical media vs digital... That's a topic for another day.

Length
This is an important one! Those who have read the reviews I've written for the paper (there came out three issues last year, should tell you something), compliment me on being able to tell a LONG story in very few words. The same is true for podcasting. If I were forced to chose though... Shorter is better. When you have very little space to move around in, you make sure to get to the point quickly and not ramble. One of the lengthier ones was 4.5 hours... That is too long! Yes, I've listened and relistened to it multiple times. In it the hosts did interviews with the screen writer, producer, actors, etc. etc. Very informative. But most of the time, especially these days, I don't have 4 and a half hours I want to spend on any turn based game and have the podcast playing in the background. Maybe I just haven't found a good game in that genre for a while?

Professionalism
A difficult one... If the podcast has interviews with Hollywood superstars, they need to be pretty big and well known. Also, if it's someone just starting out, the sound might be ... less great. From what I understand, there is a LOT of hard work going into editing these things.
Personally? I prefer the least professional. The process of the hosts growing and learning how to do podcasts is worth listening to. For me.
One that I removed from my list recently had hosts with a LOT of experience. They were all professional reviewers that wrote for magazines and blogs. They knew EXACTLY what they were doing! To me they came off as a bit arrogant and eventually I gave up on them.

Number of hosts
I have listened to podcasts with just one host and others with five or six people. I'd say: if you can manage to have all people in one room it IS doable. If they're all on Skype the podcast turns into: "oh sorry, I didn't mean to speak while you were speaking". It can be done but... Also there is the question: who is speaking when? I'm not watching a vidcast, I can't SEE who is speaking. Therefore it's a benefit, for the audience, if the voices are distinct.

Fun
I listen to podcasts because I want to hear them. I want them to be funny! It feels, to me, that that is more easily achieved when the hosts do NOT know what they're doing. Again: when I find a podcast with totally inexperienced hosts just starting out, go through the archives and find out that they've done 2-300 already, I am VERY happy. That means that they didn't know what they were doing, but learned and got better. It's not always WHAT you say but HOW you say it. If the hosts sound like they're having fun, I am having fun and will continue to listen.

Conclusion
“The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.” - From the book Diggers by Sir Terry Pratchett
I DO have an open mind. I am willing to hear people out regardless of how weird or strange they might be. For podcasts that means I usually listen to 10 or 12 episodes before making a judgement on it. After all: maybe the co-hosts get exchanged three episodes in? After five the host has finally figured out the mixerboard? The first few were simply to show off that they had interviewed celebrities and then the podcast went in a totally different direction? You wouldn't know that if you only listened to one episode. Also, at least me, I ALWAYS, if possible, listen from the start. It's not always available. After all, after ten years you might not want anyone to listen to your first attempts...
No, I have never actually put that much thought into it before... That's why I have a blog now, to force me to think about such things. Tomorrow I might think about cucumbers. (I get the green colour, but why are they bent?). You never know with me! The worst part is, neither do I... I just sit down and start writing and all of a sudden I've written a new blog post.
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