Monday 4 December 2023

Spell the Month in Books ~ December

Reviews from the Stacks

I found this on one of the blogs I follow, Books are the New Black who found it at One Book More. It was originally created by Reviews from the Stacks, and the idea is to spell the month using the first letter of book titles.

December: Winter, Christmas, or Christian themes
What a lovely idea for December. We don't have any winters anymore, nothing like when I was little. But I remember always thinking of Christmas and winter together.

Pasternak, Boris "Doctor Zhivago" (RUS: Доктор Живаго) - 1957
I always have to think about winter when thinking about Doctor Zivago. A big part of the story takes place in one of the coldest parts on earth.

Wharton, Edith "
Ethan Frome" - 1911
Another good story about life under harsh circumstances, again in winter.

Dickens, Charles "A
Christmas Carol" - 1843
Who doesn't know Scrooge, a miser who gets healed at Christmas?

Sturluson, Snorri "
Egil's Saga" (Icel: Egils saga Skallagrímssonar) - 1240
Northern Europe, especially Iceland, always makes us think about snow and cold winters.

Ali, Sabahattin "Madonna in a Fur Coat" (TR: Kürk Mantolu Madonna) - 1943
While Turkey doesn't make one immediately think about cold weather, a fur coat certainly belongs to winter.

Robinson, Barbara "The
Best Christmas Pageant" - 1972
A beautiful part of Christmas is always the little plays the children perform for their parents and other spectators.

Austen, Jane "
Emma" - 1816
I know I've used Emma before but there are so many parts in that story are set in winter, especially the outing to the Westons.

Rutherfurd, Edward "
Russka. The Novel of Russia" - 1991
Another book about Russia where a lot of winters take place over the centuries.

Happy Reading!
📚 📚 📚

Saturday 2 December 2023

Six Degrees of Separation ~ From Kitchen Confidential to When We Were Orphans


#6Degrees of Separation:
from Kitchen Confidential to When We Were Orphans

#6Degrees is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best. I love the idea. Thank you, Kate. See more about this challenge, its history, further books and how I found this here.

This month's prompt starts with Kitchen Confidential. Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly (Goodreads). That's the same this month. So, I looked at the description of the book:

"Most diners believe that their sublime sliver of seared foie gras, topped with an ethereal buckwheat blini and a drizzle of piquant huckleberry sauce, was created by a culinary artist of the highest order, a sensitive, highly refined executive chef. The truth is more brutal..."

Not my type of book, I think, so I probably wouldn't even find anything relating to the topic. However, this month, I can go with words in the title again which is something I really enjoy because it takes us through so many different subjects. We start with the word Kitchen.

Ali, Monica "In the Kitchen" - 2008

Carter, Jimmy "We Can Have Peace in the Holy Land" - 2008

Tolstoy, Leo "War and Peace" (RUS: Война и мир = Woina i mir) - 1868/69

Bragg, Melvyn "A Son of War" - 2001 (follow-up to "The Soldier’s Return")

Johnson, Adam "The Orphan Master's Son" - 2012

Ishiguro, Kazuo "When We Were Orphans" - 2000


I couldn't really find a link between the first and the last book. The closest one is probably that the first one is about cruelty in the kitchen whereas the last one takes place in a war, and there is always cruelta in a war.

The other thing the two authors have in common, the first one was born in the USA but travelled all over the globe with his job. The last one was born in Japan and lives in the UK.

And they were both born in the 1950s.

Friday 1 December 2023

Happy December!

   Happy December to all my friends and readers

New Calendar picture with this
beautiful watercolour painting by Frank Koebsch

"Fischerboote im norwegischen Winter
Fishing boats in the Norwegian winter"

Hanka and Frank say to this picture:
Snow clouds in Sanitz are a rather rare occurrence. In order to find our winter dream, Hanka and I often travel during the Norwegian winter.
Schneewolken in Sanitz sind ein eher seltenes Ereignis. Um unseren Wintertraum zu finden, sind Hanka und ich oft im norwegischen Winter unterwegs.

(see here)

Another great watercolour painting by Frank Koebsch. Enjoy!

Read more on their website here. *
 * * * 
Fishing boats are always special. I have not been to the sea in winter often, so this is an even lovlier picture for me. We might have to go to Scandinavia in the colder months one year.
 * * * 
November was very rainy, just as I remember most Novembers. But I still prefer them to the hot summers we have been getting lately.
November is always the time to think about our beloved departed ones. My parents died eight and nine years ago. Time flies, I still cannot believe they are gone.
* * *

And here's another German word that I just thought of which might be interesting: Quadratlatschen

This means more or less square slippers.

Latschen is a colloquial (and degrading) word for shoes or rather slippers. Quadrat is a square. Not reallly a shape that sounds comfortable for a foot, though it stands more for large slippers.

Do you have words like that in your language?

* * *

* You can also have a look under my labels Artist: Frank Koebsch and Artist: Hanka Koebsch where you can find all my posts about the two artists. 

* * *
🎄 I wish you all a happy December! 🎄 

Thursday 30 November 2023

#ThrowbackThursday. The House of the Mosque

Abdolah, Kader (Hossein Sadjadi Ghaemmaghami Farahani) "The House of the Mosque" (Dutch: Het huis van de moskee) - 2005

Even though this is not an autobiography, the author's life resembles that of his main character, e.g. he wanted to study literature but studied physics.

The book is a good teacher. The novel contains a lot of information about Iran, immigrants, the political situation, there are symbols, grandmothers, place of women, warning against fundamentalists, fanaticism.

It is hard to  imagine living in the midst of the revolution, therefore this gives you a very good account. They had an ordinary society before, then everything went wrong.

Considering the recent political events, this book is as actual as ever.

We discussed this in our international book club in September 2010.

Read my original review here.    

Monday 27 November 2023

Nonfiction November 2023 Week 5 New to My TBR #NonficNov

Week 5 (November 27 - December 12) New To My TBR
Lisa @ Hopewell’s Public Library of Life

It's the fifth week of Non-Fiction November (see here). Our topic is "New to My TBR".

Here is the Official Schedule.

Week 5 (November 27 - December 12) New To My TBR: It’s been a month full of amazing nonfiction books! Which ones have made it onto your TBR? Be sure to link back to the original blogger who posted about that book! (Lisa @ Hopewell’s Public Library of Life)

I have not added any books that I found this month through the posts because I just was not well enough to go through that. But I have added a few new (to me) non-fiction books lately, some in German, some in English.


Clinton, Hillary Rodham "It Takes a Village: And Other Lessons Children Teach Us) - 1996 (Goodreads)
Garfield, Simon "To the Letter: A Curious History of Correspondence – A Celebration of the Lost Art of Letter Writing" - 2013
Gauck, Joachim "Toleranz: einfach schwer" [Tolerance: simply difficult] - 2019
Specht, Heike "Ihre Seite der Geschichte - Deutschland und seine First Ladies von 1949 bis heute" [Her Side of the Story - Germany and its First Ladies from 1949 to Today] - 2019 (Goodreads)
Uusma, Bea "The Expedition: a Love Story: Solving the Mystery of a Polar Tragedy"
(Swedish: Expeditionen: min kärlekshistoria) - 2013 (Goodreads)
Wickert, Ulrich "Frankreich. Die wunderbare Illusion" [France. The Wonderful Illusion] - 1989

Quite a variety of topics there. I'm looking forward to reading them all.


For my lists on Nonfiction November check here.

Thursday 23 November 2023

#ThrowbackThursday. Third Culture Kids

Pollock, David C. & Van Reken, Ruth "Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds" - 2001

"In this publication, the authors explore the experiences of those who have become known as 'third culture kids' (TCKs) - children who grow up or spend a significant part of their childhood living abroad."

If you live/d abroad with your children for only a couple of years or if you grew up in different countries or in a country different from your parents, this is the book to read.

We discussed this in our international book club in September 2007.

Read my original review here.   

Monday 20 November 2023

Nonfiction November 2023 Week 4 Worldview Changes #NonficNov

 Week 4 (November 20-24) Worldview Shapers
Rebekah @ She Seeks Nonfiction

It's the fourth week of Non-Fiction November (see here). Our topic is "Worldview Shapers".

Here is the Official Schedule.

Week 4 (
November 20-24) Worldview Shapers: One of the greatest things about reading nonfiction is learning all kinds of things about our world which you never would have known without it. There’s the intriguing, the beautiful, the appalling, and the profound. What nonfiction book or books have impacted the way you see the world in a powerful way? Is there one book that made you rethink everything? Do you think there is a book that should be required reading for everyone? (Rebekah @ She Seeks Nonfiction)

We had this subject last year and I chose
Marx, Karl; Engels, Friedrich "The Communist Manifesto" (GE: Das kommunistische Manifest) - 1848 (see here)

What nonfiction book or books have impacted the way you see the world in a powerful way?
I read non-fiction books all the time in order to get to understand the world better.

Is there one book that made you rethink everything?
I wouldn't exactly say it made me rethink everything, but this year I was especially impressed by:
Keefe, Patrick Radden "Say Nothing. A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland" - 2018
The author describes both sides in the Irish Civil War (also called "The Troubles") and makes us understand why these conflicts going on everywhere in the world always take so long, often cannot be changed at all (see Israel/Palestine).

Do you think there is a book that should be required reading for everyone?

There are a lot of books that should be read by everyone. In general, it would be good if people read more non-fiction and got more information from real experts rather than from those individuals who just plaster their uninformed opinions all over the internet.


For my lists on Nonfiction November check here.