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The Sorcerer's Stone came out in Swedish in 1999 when I was 10, the same year I began learning English in school. My parents have the books in English and Swedish in their bookcases from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix going forward because I couldn't wait for the translations, but then I re-read them when the Swedish edition arrived (since my comprehension was honestly not that great), before allowing my siblings to read them. I have friends from back then then that I doubt has read any other books since then that weren't assignments. Can't really blame them.
I don't know if they're available as audiobooks, but if they are, The Emigrants by Vilhelm Moberg is 1780 pages between the four of them, all of them really good.
I started on Augustine's Confessions a while back and as far as I'm concerned he'll always be a heathen.
The Looming Towers by Lawrence Wright was recommended by kleinbl00 and gives a good historical overview of radical islamism and the events leading up to 9/11.
Speaking of historical overviews, Crashed by Adam Tooze on the last decade of financial and political turmoil, for someone who didn't really follow the news for large parts of it, felt sort of like watching the photos from a party you attended but don't remember the day after. My takeaway was that sure, the fire started in the U.S, but when it jumped over the Atlantic it was the EU that kept stumbling and kept it going.
What We Lost in The Fire by Mariana Enriquez is a flavorful collection of short stories from Argentina. It sort of acted as a palate cleanser to me after reading a bunch of short novels by Chinese authors like Wang Xiabo, Hao Jingfang and Fei Ge. The weirdest short novel I've read lately is probably Ödmården by Nils Håkanson set in the post-apocalypse in Sweden where language and culture has become unstable and corrupted. The book is written in a mixture of Swedish slang from different time periods, Dutch loan-words and made-up words with no consistent grammatical structure.
Belladonna by Croatian author Daša Drndić was also a weird read, but an enjoyable one. I've also read like three novels by Michel Houellebecq before realising it could have sufficed with one, probably The Map and the Landscape for me.
Out on the Wire by Jessica Abel about the making of This American Life and other radio shows/podcasts was really interesting, but since learning how the sausage is made I haven't really been able to enjoy listening to that type of shows.
I've got a bunch more books that I wanted to mention, so I'll add them later when I have the time.
Just finished it, thanks for the recommendation! The hardcore jihadi circles seemed like a really small world back then before 9/11 where everyone knew everyone.
I’ve got a list of nurseries that carries North American native seeds that I got from a visiting professor so let me know and I will dump it on you.
Wikipedia tells me it’s called a ”community garden” in North America, it’s basically a plot of land that has been subdivided into smaller plots for individuals to grow their own food for a small fee. It’s great if you live in a small apartment but still wish to do some gardening. The city provides water and a spot to dump garden refuse but everything else you might need like seeds etc you have to buy yourself, or barter from your neighbours. I got some strawberry seedlings last year in exchange for a wheelbarrow of horse manure from my Italian neighbour (I also got to borrow the wheelbarrow from him).
In my neighbourhood in Malmö everyone still accept (and prefer) cash. However, many of the bars, cafés and restaurants in the fancier part of town only accepts card or mobile payments. On the bus you have to pay with a card or phone if you haven’t prefilled your bus pass. Last time I was in Stockholm, only the cheapest bar accepted cash. All the grocery stores I’ve been to have accepted both, but in the bigger ones you are incentivised to use a card, if you want to use the self-checkout or the extra cash register they open up when it’s busy you have no choice but to pay with card. I’m not sure what it’s like in the countryside, but I imagine some of the stores as starting to ditch cash since the ATMs are getting more and more rare.
When I lived in Norway, me and my Swedish friends used to joke about the boring Norwegians who had sandwiches for lunch every single day. I guess it grew on me, cause I miss it, or as the article points out I miss not having to think about what I’m packing for lunch every day. We used to get free bread at work, and cheap Norwegian bread is so much better than what you get in Swedish supermarkets. I now live next door to an Iranian bakery that only makes barbari bread which has started to turn into a routine buy on the way to the bus when I haven’t had time for breakfast or preparing lunch the day before.