Nell Iris


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#RiotGrams day 30

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

30 – Bookish Totes and/or Tees

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I got this tote from my beloved daughter, she thought it fitting for me. It’s in Swedish, but here’s a little translation help 🙂

jag = I
böcker = books

And the heart needs no translation, of course 🙂

I hope you’ve enjoyed this challenge as much as I have. See you in July!


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#RiotGrams day 29

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

29 – A Favorite Hobby

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I love writing poetry. I especially like it when there’s a lot of constraint put on it. Like the number of syllables for example, like in the haiku above. Or like in yesterday’s post, when the challenge was to create a poem from the spines of the books I’ve got in my shelves.

That’s really interesting, considering I’m someone who hates rules 🙂

And if you can’t read it from the image above, here it is:

In the deafening
silence after my harsh words—
I hear your heart break


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#RiotGrams day 28

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

28 – Spine Poetry

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6 books – 12 words, my spine poetry.

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These are the books I used, and I took some liberties with the titles. That’s what we writers do, right? 🙂

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The result. Very dramatic, don’t you think? 🙂


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#RiotGrams day 27

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

27 – Retro Cover Fun

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The cover of The Colorado Kid by Stephen King has a retro, pulp fiction-y vibe that I like. But what I really feel about the book, you can read in my guest post I wrote for Divine Magazine a few months back. Here’s the link to it: Chekhov’s Gun, Or Tying Up Loose Ends 🙂

Covers are fun and important, but I think that blurbs are more important. A cover can be hideous, but if the blurb is great I’ll read it anyway. Which is good, because I’ve discovered a couple of my favorite authors this way—by ignoring the ugly cover and finding a gem behind it.

But on the other hand: not even the most beautiful cover can save the crappiest book. Turd is still turd, even when polished 😀

What do you think is more important? Covers or blurbs?


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#RiotGrams day 26

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

26 – Childhood Read

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As a Swede, I have Astrid Lindgren in my blood. Maybe that’s not as common these days as it was back when I was a kid considering all the options available out there. Millions of channels on TV. YouTube. Computer games. But when I was little, we were raised on a steady diet of Astrid Lindgren.

I especially loved watching her on TV, reading her own stories. She was a lovely old lady, with a very distinct voice. Check her out here, when she reads from Mio, my Son. It’s in Swedish, but watch her for a couple of seconds. Wasn’t she fabulous?

Astrid Lindgren is a big part of our legacy. I’m going to be 45 in a few short months and I still love her writing. And while I loved Pippi, Emil, and all the other children she wrote about, three of her books have a special place in my heart.

Three fantasy books, instead of her usual “contemporary” writing (if Pippi, the strongest girl in the world can be considered contemporary):

It’s very unusual for me to prefer fantasy over contemporary, but I loved the worlds Astrid created with her writing. I wanted to be Ronja, the wild child, who always did the exact opposite of what she was told, and who stood up to her father when he was being bigoted and a bully. I was terrified of the evil Knight Kato that Mio had to fight in Mio, My Son. And I wanted to be brave and go to Nangijala, like the brothers Lionheart.

When my daughter was little, I bought her all of Astrid Lindgren’s books, and I continue to gift them to my friend’s kids. Books are the most important thing in my life. It transports me to a magical world where even small, sickly children like Karl Lionheart can be brave and amazing.

And Astrid Lindgren was especially great at writing stories about courageous, wonderful children, who stands up for what’s right and dare to be themselves. Her characters continue to be role-models, and her books have helped shape me into who I am today.

Also in the above picture is my most beloved friend, who sleeps with me every night. He’s named after Winnie the Pooh’s friend, Tiggr (he’s not great at spelling, so he forgot the “e” 🙂 )

What’s your most beloved childhood read?


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#RiotGrams day 25

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

25 – True Stories

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If you’ve hung out with me for a while, you know that I’m a music lover. And not just me, but my family are, too. My husband is a musician (not professional, he has one of those pesky day-jobs, but make no mistake. He’s a musician first and a hot-shot IT director second.)

And because our love of music, we buy memoirs written by musicians and artists. Like this one, Girl in a Band, by Kim Gordon. She’s a bassist, guitarist, and a vocalist, and I know her from the band Sonic Youth. They’re not a favorite of mine: too rattly and punk-y, but the hubby loves them, so this is his book. But I still like reading about their lives, especially the artists that made it big in the seventies or eighties, when they had to be talented to be famous, not just good-looking like today 😉

Oh, and the vinyl records are mine. (Vinyl records are the only thing that isn’t “ours” in our marriage. It’s a long story, maybe I’ll tell it some day 🙂 )

If you’ve never heard of Sonic Youth, here’s a link to the only song they’ve made, that I really like: 100%

Do you like reading memoirs or books based on a true story?


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#RiotGrams day 24

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In June, I’m partaking in a bookish Instagram challenge here on the blog. Pictures are required (because Instagram), so I’ll post a pic with some explanation or other every day. The challenge is courtesy of Bookriot. And if you’ve got Instagram and want to see what other people come up with, just check #riotgrams.

24 – Tiny Books

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This is my favorite poetry book. It’s by a Latin poet called Gaius Valerius Catullus, who lived 84-54 BC. I studied Latin in high school and that was how I came in contact with him.

He wrote lots of love/hate poems to a woman he called Lesbia. Her real name is thought to be Clodia, and she was an aristocrat in Rome, married to a prominent man. Catullus’ relationship with Lesbia goes through all phases in his poetry, from euphoric infatuation to the bitter writings of a disillusioned man with a broken heart.

He also wrote a lot of dirty poetry…which is probably why I like him so much 😀

It’s the tiniest book I’ve got (at least when it comes to matters of size) It’s neither thick nor tall. Want proof?

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Can you see it? The small black one to the right of Shakespeare’s sonnets?

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I know this poem in Latin. By heart. I learned it in school, because one of the assignments was to translate it from Latin to Swedish.

Odi et amo. Quare id faciam fortasse requiris.
Nescio, sed fieri sentio et excrucior.

Isn’t it beautiful? And I swear I wrote it without googling it. I even know the correct punctuation 😀

Do you like poetry? Who’s your favorite poet? 🙂