Friday, 15 December 2017

Book Quotes of the Week

"Reading ... a vacation for the mind ..." Dave Barry

"One writes only half the book; the other half is with the reader." Joseph Conrad

"Books allow me to get lost in the right direction." Leiter 1919

"Un enfant qui lit sera un adulte qui pense." Flore Vasseur (A child who reads will be an adult who thinks.)

Find more book quotes here.

Thursday, 14 December 2017

Scott, Mary; West, Joyce "The Mangrove Murder"

Scott, Mary; West, Joyce "The Mangrove Murder" (Inspector Wright #3) - 1964 

I found this book by my favourite author from my teenage years. And I hadn't read it, yet! Because, in general, crime stories are not really my genre.  But since I have read and re-read all her other books, I thought it was time to tackle the five stories she wrote with another author from New Zealand, Joyce West.

The people in this story are just as charming as everyone in Mary Scott's other books, well, except for the killer, of course. But other than that, we read about people who live in New Zealand at a time when life was still very different from today.

I also found her other crime books in the meantime and will read them at my leisure

From the back cover (translated):
"Pauline's engagement broke. When she wants to take a break in the countryside, instead of the longed-for rest she finds the body of an unknown person."

Find my reviews of her other books here.

Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Dickens, Charles "Oliver Twist"

Dickens, Charles "Oliver Twist" - 1838

One of the many classics by Charles Dickens I haven't read, yet.

Charles Dickens certainly is one of the best classic authors you can think of. His love of detail, his way of telling you every single event, describing every person, makes his era come alive.

I think most people have seen the movie "Oliver" which is a good musical. However, the book - as usual - is so much better, the characters are more lively, the scenes ring more true.

This is certainly one of his best novels - although, I haven't found one, yet, that I didn't love.

From the back cover:
"Dark, mysterious and mordantly funny, Oliver Twist features some of the most memorably drawn villains in all of fiction - the treacherous gangmaster Fagin, the menacing thug Bill Sikes, the Artful Dodger and their den of thieves in the grimy London backstreets. Dicken's novel is both an angry indictment of poverty, and an adventure filled with an air of threat and pervasive evil.

The Penguin English Library - 100 editions of the best fiction in English, from the eighteenth century and the very first novels to the beginning of the First World War."

Friday, 8 December 2017

Book Quotes of the Week

"All good books are alike in that they are truer than if they had really happened and after you are finished reading one you will feel that all that happened to you and afterwards it all belongs to you: the good and the bad, the ecstasy, the remorse and sorrow, the people and the places and how the weather was. If you can get so that you can give that to people, then you are a writer." Ernest Hemingway

"Our high respect for a well-read man is praise enough of literature." Ralph Waldo Emerson

"People don’t read any more. It’s a sad state of affairs. Reading’s the only thing that allows you to use your imagination. When you watch films it’s someone else’s vision, isn’t it?" Lemmy Kilmister

"Books are best preserved in the minds of readers." Kat Lowe, Dream Cat

"I have never known any distress that an hour’s reading did not relieve." Charles de Montesquieu

Find more book quotes here.

My Life in Books Tag

Another tag to steal! I found this list here on one of the Blogs I follow, You, Me and a Cup of Tea and thought it was a lovely idea.

Find a book for each of your initials
M - "My Name is Red" by Orhan Pamuk
M - "Middlemarch" by George Eliot
I don't have a middle initial and the two I have are the same but I still found some.

Count your age along your bookshelf... What book is it?
Gao, Xingjian "Soul Mountain" (Chinese: 灵山, língshān) - 1989

Pick a book set in your country
Mann, Thomas "Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family" (German: Buddenbrooks) - 1901

Pick a book that represent a destination you'd love to travel to
Bryson, Bill "Down Under/In a Sunburned Country" - 2000

Pick a book that is your favorite colour
Green is my favourite colour, followed closely by blue. Now, while there are a lot of books in blue, I could hardly find one in green. However, my favourite dictionary company in Germany publishes their books in green and here is one of the best:

Which book do you have fondest memories of
It is so tough to choose a book here because there are so many that bring back the best memories.
So, after thinking about it for quite a while, I've come up with this one, it was the first book I read in a book club and I have read so many other great books ever since and met the loveliest people by discussing them.
Bernières, Louis de "Captain Corelli’s Mandolin" - 1994

Which book did you have the most difficulty reading
Joyce, James "Ulysses" - 1922

Which book on your TBR pile will give you the biggest accomplishment when you read it?
I think after "Ulysses", I'm ready for anything. If I look at the length of the books on my TBR pile, the next challenging is probably:
Kermani, Navid "Dein Name" [Your Name] - 2011

Well that's it! Feel free to steal the tag if you so desire!

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Bryson, Bill "Notes form a Big Country"

Bryson, Bill "Notes from a Big Country" (US: I'm a Stranger Here Myself) - 1999 

After many years in Great Britain, Bill Bryson returns to his home country with his family for a while. He is one of my favourite authors.

If you need to laugh out loud, really laugh, pick up a Bill Bryson book and get carried away. I always said my favourite of his books was "Notes from a Small Island" (added by "The Road to Little Dribbling" later on) but I am not so sure after this one. Maybe because I also have left my home country and lived abroad for about a quarter of a century and don't always know my own country that well myself any more, maybe because this book seems to be even more personal than many of the other Bryson books ... in any case, I loved it.

Please, write more books, Bill!

From the back cover:
"Bill Bryson has the rare knack of being out of his depth wherever he goes - even (perhaps especially) in the land of his birth. This became all too apparent when, after nearly two decades in England, the world's best-loved travel writer upped sticks with Mrs. Bryson, little Jimmy et al. and returned to live in the country he had left as a youth.

Of course there were things Bryson missed about Blighty but any sense of loss was countered by the joy of rediscovering some of the forgotten treasures of his childhood: the glories of a New England autumn; the pleasingly comical sight of oneself in shorts; and motel rooms where you can generally count on being awakened in the night by a piercing shriek and the sound of a female voice pleading, 'Put the gun down, Vinnie, I'll do anything you say.'

Whether discussing the strange appeal of breakfast pizza or the jaw-slackening direness of American TV, Bill Bryson brings his inimitable brand of bemused wit to bear on that strangest of phenomena - the American way of life."

I have a blogpost called "Bill Bryson - Funniest Author ever" where I link to all my Bryson reviews.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Oates, Joyce Carol "Big Mouth & Ugly Girl"

Oates, Joyce Carol "Big Mouth & Ugly Girl" - 2003

I don't think that I need to mention it again that JCO is one of my favourite authors.

This is about two young people at a school where someone has to stand up for what's happening. The story belongs to one of her youth books which are just as well written and interesting as her adult ones. But this is a particular good one for the youth, there is so much to learn. That the popular kids are not always the best kids to be friends with, for example. That in the end, it doesn't matter what you look like or what others think about you, it's your personality that counts and that you should be true to yourself and to others. The two kids in this book learn this the hard way.

A journey back to our teenage years. Oh, if we had known then what we know now ...

A beautiful story that confirms the old saying: "A friend in need is a friend indeed."

From the back cover:
"Matt Donaghy has always been a Big Mouth. But its never gotten him in trouble until the day Matt is accused of threatening to blow up Rocky River High School. Ursula Riggs has always been an Ugly Girl. A loner with fierce, staring eyes, Ursula has no time for petty high school stuff like friends and dating or at least that's what she tells herself. Ursula is content with minding her own business. And she doesn't even really know Matt Donaghy. But Ursula is the only person who knows what Matt really said that day and she is the only one who can help him. In her first novel for young adults, acclaimed author Joyce Carol Oates has created a provocative and unflinching story of friendship and family, and of loyalty and betrayal."