The Girl who Saved the King of Sweden by Jonas Jonasson

girlwhosavedthekingofsweden-jonassonIn my opinion Mr. Jonasson has a knack for three things:

1) Writing characters who make the best out of the absolute worst. Take, for example, Nombeko, the heroine of this jaunty little tale. She was born in a South African slum, orphaned at ten, run over by a car, practically imprisoned for more than a decade, and then, just as she escapes, is accidentally saddled with a nuclear bomb (which is where this story really starts). And yet, she’s good with numbers, handy with a pair of scissors, smart enough to keep her eyes open and her mouth closed, crafty enough to escape alive, and lucky enough to meet the one man in all of Sweden who doesn’t give a fig about her rather dangerous luggage (and who also does not technically exist).

2) Connecting fictional story lines with factual events, no matter how unrelated, far fetched, or arbitrary they may be. For instance (and this is just one of many entertaining examples): Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely purchased Volvo from Sweden in 2010. Jonasson’s novel suggests that the purchase was somehow the result of the professional relationship between the fictional Nombeko and Hu Jintao, the real-life [past] President of the People’s Republic of China. (So… satire. He’s good at satire.)

3) Writing light-hearted comedy with such command of his craft that it loses nothing in translation (at least, I don’t think it does), and that even the most horrific scenes are reduced (or perhaps elevated) to hilarity. As such:



And because Mr. Jonasson is so good at these three things, I declare this book an absolute joy to read (despite the large doses of scientific and mathematical jargon and two very frustrating characters whom I will let you discover—and loathe—on your own).

No. 19 on my challenge. Because #2.

Neighbours 2


This. Is. Gold.


And by that I mean that it’s raunchy and vulgar and ridiculous and totally inappropriate (it’s not rated R for nothing), and absolutely hilarious. What’s more, the men are vapid and objectified and the women are smart, unapologetic, and crafty as hell! So, ring a ding ding.

Also, I’m going to watch the garage scene at least three times before the end of the night.

American Ultra


I’m a little concerned for my taste in movies. Or maybe my expectations were so low that this movie literally could not have been any worse than I thought it would be, therefore making it appear better than it actually is. I mean, it wasn’t amazing (obviously), but I didn’t hate it. In fact, it was about 3.78 times better than I’d expected, so there’s that. It’s bloody, and a bit outrageous, but ultimately not a terrible way to spend a few hours.



Do you know what? This movie is funny. Bleedin’ hilarious.

“You really think you’re ready for the field? I once used defibrillators on myself. I put shards of glass in my eye. I’ve jumped from a high-rise building using only a raincoat as a parachute and broke both legs upon landing; I still had to pretend I was in a Cirque du Soleil show! I’ve swallowed enough microchips and shit them back out again to make a computer. This arm has been ripped off completely and re-attached with *this* arm.” —Rick Ford

One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B.J. Novak


Not at all what I had expected, but if I had a nickel for every time I said that… (inside joke for those smarties who have read the book). Very clever—entertaining with a few teaching moments thrown in.

ps. click on the cover to see the amazing book trailer starring Mindy Kaling.

No. 1 on my challenge. One of the many.