Tuesday, April 7, 2015

March reading: Finnish werewolves, Grumpy cat and cute detectives

My march reading is introduced to you by Chuck (aka the yellow angry bird) and Minion Pig. In march I decided to read more Finland than usually.

Salla Simukka “Punainen kuin veri” [Finland] 
Niskatuki ja muita sarjakuvia [Finland] 
Aino Kallas “The Wolf's Bride” (Sudenmorsian) [Finland] 
Ana Blandiana “The hour of sand: selected poems 1969-1989” [Romania] 
“Grumpy cat: yrmeä kirja (Grumpy Cat: A Grumpy Book)” [USA] 
Emmi Itäranta “Memory of Water” (Teemestarin kirja) [Finland] 
Agatha Christie “Partners in crime” [UK] 
Octavia E. Butler “Wild Seed” [USA] 

“Punainen kuin veri” (As Red As Blood)
“In the midst of the freezing Arctic winter, seventeen-year-old Lumikki Andersson walks into her school’s dark room and finds a stash of wet, crimson-colored money. Thousands of euros left to dry - splattered with someone’s blood.”

A coincidence, but I started reading Punainen kuin veri on the same day as the book starts. I liked the story and the heroine. It's set in Tampere where I've been only once, and that one trip was enough to fall in love with the city. The adventures (and Lumikki's skills) were sometimes a bit over the top, but it didn't bother me much. Also, there were so many feels in the end. (T_T)

Long Finnish word is long.
(“chocolate-nut-cardamon-vanilla coffee”)

I'll share two quotes: one funny, one serious.

“Jääkaapissa häntä ei ollut tervehtinyt edes valo.” :D (“In the fridge not even the light greeted her.”)

“Et ole ne sanat. Et ole huudot ja haukkumiset. Et ole ilkeydet, jotka syljetään päällesi kuin makunsa menettäneet purukumit. Et ole nyrskiniskut etkä niistä syntyneet mustelmat. Et ole veri, joka vuortaa nenästäsi. Et ole heidän määriteltävissään. Et ole heidän.
Sisälläsi on aina se osa sinua, johon kukaan ei pääse käsiksi. Se olet sinä. Olet itsesi oma ja sisälläsi on universumi. Voit olla mitä vain. Voit olla kuka vain.
Älä pelkää. Sinun ei tarvitse enää pelätä.”
“You aren't those words. You aren't the shouts and names. You aren't the awful things spat at you like flavorless gum. You aren't the punches or the bruises they cause. You aren't the blood running from your nose. You aren't under their control. You are not theirs.
Inside you is always the part of you that no one can touch. You are you. You are your own and inside you is the universe. You can be whatever you want. You can be anyone.
Don't be afraid. You don't have to be afraid anymore.” 

As red as blood indeed.

“Niskatuki ja muita sarjakuvia” - Headrest and other comics “Critics Ville Hänninen and Harri Römpötti steered seven artists by conversations aimed at developing their scripts. The results of Forging the Stories project are in this book. The artists are: Heta Bilaletdin, Aapo Kukko, Eeva Meltio, Emmi Nieminen, Aino Sutinen, Jari Vaara, Emmi Valve.” 

This book is in Finnish and English. Very diverse art styles! Some of these Finnish comics were pretty gloomy. Shocking, I know.

But also some cuties! ^^

I wrote about The Wolf's Bride yesterday. Werewolves! is all you need to know. ;-)

Ana Blandiana's works were recommended by Tanya from Tampere. ^^ I chose to read her poetry, as it's been awhile since I read non-Japanese poems. My first Romanian book!

“Loneliness is a town 
Where it snows tremendously
And not a footstep
Desecrates the light”

“Round, unending the water,
The moon pouring oil
On its glitter.”

“Teach me how to burn darkly,
Mould my flame 
In the shape of wings
And purify it of all colour.”

These lines:

“Sun of insomnia
White melted metal,
Unbearable to the retina”

made me think of Insomnium's video While We Sleep:

[Insomnium is one of the bestest Finnish metal bands.]

There is a special kind of hell reserved for people who write in library books.
Very special.

A hidden watermark!

I have learned the ways of Grumpiness.

“I wrote a book once. It was horrible.”

Memory of Water was so poetic, and beautiful and sad... “Global warming has changed the world's geography and its politics. Wars are waged over water, and China rules Europe, including the Scandinavian Union, which is occupied by the power state of New Qian. In this far north place, seventeen-year-old Noria Kaitio is learning to become a tea master like her father, a position that holds great responsibility and great secrets.” Expect hot future Finland, tea ceremonies, girl friendship and a dark ending.

But who is on the cover? Both heroines are dark-haired, I think...
(My pet peeve: someone on the cover who doesn't resemble the book's character at all, basically a random person or worse, a whitewashed cover.)

“We are children of water, and water is death's close companion. The two cannot be separated from us, for we are made of the versatility of water and the closeness of death. They go together always, in the world and in us, and the time will come when our water runs dry.”

“The only thing that separates us from dust is water, and water cannot be held in one place. It will slip through our fingers and through our pores and through our bodies, and the more shriveled we become, the more anxious it is to leave us.”

Appropriately Finnish snack (no gelatin! ^^)

Tommy and Tuppence! I loooove these detectives. They should be more famous.

Now that cover is a lie! There was no dog in this book. I heard they'll get a dog later in the novels. I really hoped it would be here already. Arrr.

“Do you know what I've been thinking, Tommy?”
“It's impossible to say,” replied her husband. “You think of so many things, and you think of them all at once.”

Wild Seed was so dark, I'm glad I read some lighter things before it. An immortal being Doro breeds people with special abilities, and when they are no longer useful, he kills them. What a charming fella... A much more pleasant character is Anyanwu, a shapeshifting woman from Africa (Nigeria probably?). I will continue reading this series, but after a break. What if Doro gets worse in later books? (Don't spoil me.)

“Civilization is the way one's own people live. Savagery is the way foreigners live.”

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