Some light reading

Blogging by Jill Walker Rettberg
Ever since Jill published her book about blogging in 2008 I have been planning to read it. It took some time, but I finally got around to it in May 2010.

This is not a how-to book about blogging but a look at how sosial media function in society with a special emphasis on blogging. The book look at different blogs like the journalistic blogs, the political blogs, personal blogs, blogging firms and blogging institutions and look at how they differ and are the same.

In addition to the different genres in blogging the book also look at the history of blogging and its relationship to other kinds of online and offline media. It is a light, engaging and educational text. I like that Jill included a list of all the blogs mentioned so that I can look them up and check them out for myself if I’d like to.

As previously mentioned the book was published in 2008 and things happen fast on the Internet. This ment that the part about Facebook already felt a bit dated, but this is no huge drawback on the book as a whole as Facebook is not the focus point for the book. The two pages about how to start you own blog are probably also a bit dated, but I skipped them because I’ve done this a few times in my life.

All in all this is a very good book about anyone interested in blogging.

Jill started blogging as far back as October 2000 on jill/txt (first in both Norwegian and English, later mainly in English) and she has also published an article about learning in public (students and weblogs).

Other people have read Blogging too:

Let the right one in by John Ajvide Lindqvist

I’m a wimp when it comes to horror stories, and I have to admit that Let the right one in is a bit too scary for my taste.

The book takes place in 1981 in Blackberg, a quiet suburb of Stockholm.  The middleaged alcholics in town meet at the local chinese restaurant, Tommy dislikes the policeman his mother is dating, Håkan has to kill for someone and Oskar is being bullied and dreams of revenge. Then there is Eli, the strange girl that has moved in next door to Oskar.

It is very well done. The relationship between Eli and Oskar is gripping and scary at the same time, as is the relationship between the pedophile Håkan and Eli.

I have two main reasons not to give the book full marks. One is that there are too many voices telling their different stories and I could do with one or two less. The second is that it’s just too scary for me, so people who are less wimpy can feel free to assume a 4,5.

Other people with more spoilsers and more views about the book.

The book has also been turned into a movie that has received excellent reviews.

I can’t think straight av Shamim Sarif
When I first came out as a lesbian I read every scrap of lesbian and gay literature I could lay my hands on. I’ve become a lot more picky as the years have gone by and now I usually only read about lesbian characters if they happen to show up in a book I’ve decided to read because I’ve read good reviews or I have to read it at work. But, on a trip to London I bought the lesbian romance novel I can’t think straight by Shamim Sarif.
The christian palestinian Tala and the muslim indian Leyla both lives in London. When they meet Tala is busy preparing for her wedding with her fiancee (he is fiancee no.4) Sparks fly and Tala and Leyla has a short affair before Tala takes off to Amman in Jordan to marry number 4. The wedding never takes place (what a surprise) and the two women eventually comes out to their families.

This could have been a good book. A story of two lesbian women from cultures where it is very hard to be a lesbian could be really interesting. Sadly the book falls into every romance cliché pit it can find. I give it a 3 because of the interesting cultural bits that gets a good treatment and for making the womens fathers interesting characters who sadly enough hardly get any place at all in the story.

Other views:

The book has also been filmed with the author as director.

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