Tuesday, 26 January 2021

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Top Ten … ehm … Eleven New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020

"Top Ten Tuesday" is an original feature/weekly meme created on the blog "The Broke and the Bookish". This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at "The Broke and the Bookish".

It is now hosted by Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl.

Since I am just as fond of them as they are, I jump at the chance to share my lists with them! Have a look at their page, there are lots of other bloggers who share their lists here.

This week's topic is 

Top Ten … ehm … Eleven New-to-Me Authors I Read in 2020
(If you didn’t read 10 new authors, that’s fine! Just do what you can.)

I read many new authors in 2020 but these are the ones that stuck most and where I would love to read more. Some of them have only written one, so far, I'm hoping they will carry on. Others, where I had the chance, I've already read more than one in that year, I guess it shows how much I loved their books.

New author (for me) that I would like to read more from: 11
Cathleen Booth, Erika Fatland, Maxim Gorky (Максима Горького), Shappi Khorsandi, David Malouf, Benjamin Myers, Richard Osman, Delia Owens, Ayn Rand, Helen Russell, P.G. Wodehouse

Booth, Cathleen "Mercy & Grace on the Camino de Santiago" - 2020
Fatland, Erika "The Border: A Journey Around Russia Through North Korea, China, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Poland, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Norway, and the Northeast Passage" (Norwegian: Grensen: En reise rundt Russland gjennom Nord-Korea, Kina, Mongolia, Kasakhstan, Aserbajdsjan, Georgia, Ukraina, Hviterussland, Litauen, Polen, Latvia, Estland, Finland og Norge samt Nordøstpassasjen) - 2017
- "Sovietistan: Travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan" (Norwegian: Sovjetistan. En reise gjennom Turkmenistan, Kasakhstan, Tadsjikistan, Kirgisistan og Usbekistan) - 2014
Gorky, Maxim (Максима Горького) "Mother" (Russian: Мать/Matj) - 1906/07
Khorsandi, Shappi "A Beginner's Guide to Acting English" - 2009
Malouf, David "Fly Away Peter" - 1979
Myers, Benjamin "The Offing" - 2019
Osman, Richard "The Thursday Murder Club" - 2020
Owens, Delia "Where the Crawdads Sing" - 2018
Rand, Ayn "We the Living" - 1936
Russell, Helen "The Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing the Secrets of the World's Happiest Country" - 2015
Wodehouse, P.G. "Ring for Jeeves" (US Title: The Return of Jeeves) - 1953
- "Right Ho, Jeeves" - 1934
- "The Code of the Woosters" (Jeeves #7) - 1938

Monday, 25 January 2021

Harris, Kamala "The Truths We Hold"

Harris, Kamala "The Truths We Hold. An American Journey" - 2019

I just finished this, on the day of her inauguration. I am so happy to have read it. I didn't really know much about the new US vice president and this was a great way to get to know her. What a woman!

If you've been following my blog for a while, you will have heard this already. When I first joined Facebook, I used to take part in some of their "games" and found that I am very liberal (not a surprise), "as far left as can be before heading into Stalin's backyard". That was a US American test, of course. (Compared to their Republicans, that is certainly true.)

Anyway, I believe in peace to this world, human rights and social justice for all, equal opportunity, a good healthcare, free education for everyone and anything that makes life easier for all of us, not just for the richest of the riches.

Kamala Harris represents all that. In her book, she tells us the story of her parents who came from India and Jamaica, how they started from scratch, how her mother brought up her daughters alone, how Kamala and her sister got through their education and into their jobs, how they keep fighting for the underprivileged, how she climbed the ladder in a system that seems to be very much inclined towards other goals. I'm not surprised, Joe Biden chose her as his VP. She believes in books and education and hard work, she believes in family values, loves her family and friends with all her heart and cares deeply for her "neighbour". I know many people believe that foreigners shouldn't care for who the US president is but the influence that country has on the world is still very big and, therefore, we should care. Kamala Harris gives us new hope.

I believe that we should trust in science. Yes, the world is round and climate change/global warming exists. And the earlier we do something against it, the better. It might already be too late.

She has taken something her mother always used to say as a guideline:
"You may be the first. Don't be the last."
She has tried to pass on the help she received from people before her to young people everywhere. We should all take her as an example.

One of my favourite lines:
"Freedom must be fought for and won by every generation. It is the very nature of this fight for civil rights and justice and equality that whatever gains we make, they will not be permanent. So we must be vigilant. Understanding that, do not despair. Do not be overwhelmed. Do not throw up our hands when it is time to roll up our sleeves and fight for who we are."

So, even if you don't trust the media and don't like the democrats, I think everyone would enjoy this book and maybe change their mind about the author a little bit. She truly is inspirational.

From the back cover:

"The extraordinary life story of one of America's most inspiring political leaders.

The daughter of immigrants and civil rights activists, Vice President Elect Kamala Harris was raised in a California community that cared deeply about social justice. As she rose to prominence as a political leader, her experiences would become her guiding light as she grappled with an array of complex issues and learned to bring a voice to the voiceless.

Now, in
The Truths We Hold, Harris reckons with the big challenges we face together. Drawing on the hard-won wisdom and insight from her own career and the work of those who have most inspired her, she communicates a vision of shared struggle, shared purpose, and shared values as we confront the great work of our day."

Friday, 22 January 2021

Book Quotes of the Week

"Coming into a bookstore when it's raining is like grocery shopping when you're hungry." Overheard in a Harvard Book Store
Nice that someone wrote it down. I agree with that stranger. Although, having said that, going into a bookstore is always dangerous.

"To really be a nerd, she'd decided, you had to prefer fictional worlds to the real one." Rainbow Rowell
If I look at today's world, most people probably prefer the fictional ones.

"Books… are like lobster shells, we surround ourselves with 'em, then we grow out of 'em and leave 'em behind, as evidence of our earlier stages of development." Dorothy L. Sayers, The Unpleasantness at the Bellona Club
Yes, sometimes we outgrow a book but can't say good-bye because of all the memories.

Find more book quotes here. 

Thursday, 21 January 2021

Snider, Grant "I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf"

Snider, Grant "I Will Judge You by Your Bookshelf" - 2020

Every once in a while, we all need a picture book. I often find cute little comics on the internet, more often than not, if they are about reading, Grant Snider is the originator. So, I was happy to find this book.

A couple of years ago, I already talked about this in my blogpost "Judge a reader by his books". So, I was happy to find a like-minded person here.

There are some wonderful pages here, like the "book fair" that gives us all the little booths you will find, just with a different title (fresh-squeezed romance, deep-fried memoir, ice-cold true crime or self-help on a stick for the food stalls, for example). Just cute. Or "The Portrait of Parent Reading". Or "Behind every great novelist is a …" And then there is a guide to the "National Department of Poetry". It's tough to find the best bits, these are just some short examples I found while flipping through the book.

But the best part of the book is: you can get it out again and again and have a wonderful time, it always makes you smile. It's funny, creative, a great way of showing us how we are. Readers of the world, unite. And read Grant Snider!

From the back cover:

"A look at the culture and fanaticism of book lovers, from beloved New York Times illustrator Grant Snider
It’s no secret, but we are judged by our bookshelves. We learn to read at an early age, and as we grow older we shed our beloved books for new ones. But some of us surround ourselves with books. We collect them, decorate with them, are inspired by them, and treat our books as sacred objects. In this lighthearted collection of one- and two-page comics, writer-artist Grant Snider explores bookishness in all its forms, and the love of writing and reading, building on the beloved literary comics featured on his website, Incidental Comics. With a striking package including a die-cut cover,
I Will Judge You By Your Bookshelf is the perfect gift for bookworms of all ages."

Tuesday, 19 January 2021

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Top Ten Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To

"Top Ten Tuesday" is an original feature/weekly meme created on the blog "The Broke and the Bookish". This feature was created because they are particularly fond of lists at "The Broke and the Bookish".

It is now hosted by Jana from That Artsy Reader Girl.

Since I am just as fond of them as they are, I jump at the chance to share my lists with them! Have a look at their page, there are lots of other bloggers who share their lists here.

Books I Meant to Read In 2020 but Didn’t Get To
(You could take this opportunity to tell us what’s left on your seasonal TBRs from last year. Or books you were super excited about and then you didn’t get to them.)

There are a lot of books I meant to read, I could write a list of a hundred, I guess. But I thought I add those here that are already on some of my lists to read soon, hopefully that way I will get to them faster.
Dickens, Charles "The Old Curiosity Shop" - 1840 Goodreads
Ford, Ford Madox "Parade's End" (Tetraology: Some Do Not - 1924, No More Parades, 1925, A Man Could Stand Up 1926, Last Post 1928) - 1924-28 Goodreads 
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von "Italienische Reise" (Italian Journey aka Letters from Italy) - 1817 Goodreads 
Gogol, Nikolai (Никола́й Васи́льевич Го́голь, Nikolay Vasilyevich Gogol) "The Overcoat" (RUS: Шинель) - 1842 Goodreads
Jacobs, Harriet Ann (Linda Brent) "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" - 1861 Goodreads
Sand, George "La Petite Fadette" (FR: dto., aka Fanchon, the Cricket) - 1849 Goodreads 
Savage Carlson, Natalie "The Family Under the Bridge" - 1958 Goodreads
Shakespeare, William "Much Ado About Nothing" - 1598/99 Goodreads 
Twain, Mark "A Tramp Abroad" - 1880 Goodreads 

Monday, 18 January 2021

Pamuk, Orhan "The Naïve and the Sentimental Novelist"


Pamuk, Orhan "The Naïve and the Sentimental Novelist" (Turkish: Saf ve Düşünceli Romancı) - 2011

One of my favourite authors talks about one of my favourite subjects: books. What could go wrong?

Nothing. Orhan Pamuk talks about his view of writing, his approach to literature in just the same enchanting way as he describes the characters in his novels. He goes through various forms of writing for all of which he gives good examples from well-known literature (see list below). He uses a lot of Russian literature, especially comes back to "Anna Karenina" a lot.

This is an introduction to literature, how to understand it and what to make of it. It would probably be a great book for students of any language but certainly those who study literature. I have yet to find a book by this fabulous author where I don't learn at least a little. Here, I have learned a lot.

If he hadn't received it already, I would have suggested him for the Nobel Prize many times, but certainly after this book.

From the back cover:

"From the Nobel Prize-winning novelist, an inspired, thoughtful, and deeply personal book about reading and writing novels. 

In this fascinating set of essays, based on the talks he delivered at Harvard University as part of the distinguished Norton Lecture series, Pamuk presents a comprehensive and provocative theory of the novel and the experience of reading. Drawing on Friedrich Schiller’s famous distinction between 'naïve' writers - those who write spontaneously - and 'sentimental' writers - those who are reflective and aware - Pamuk reveals two unique ways of processing and composing the written word. He takes us through his own literary journey and the beloved novels of his youth to describe the singular experience of reading. Unique, nuanced, and passionate, this book will be beloved by readers and writers alike."

Orhan Pamuk "who in the quest for the melancholic soul of his native city has discovered new symbols for the clash and interlacing of cultures" received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2006.

Orhan Pamuk received the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (Friedenspreis) in 2005.

You can read more about the books I read by one of my favourite authors here.

I contribute to this page: Read the Nobels and you can find all my blogs about Nobel Prize winning authors and their books here. Read my other reviews of the Nobel Prize winners for Literature.

List of books and/or authors mentioned:
Abū Nuwās (al-Ḥasan ibn Hānī al-Ḥakamī) (~756-814)
Albrecht, Michael von (1933-)
Alighieri, Dante (1265-1321)
Allston, Washington (1779-1843)
Aristoteles "Physics" (Φυσικὴ ἀκρόασις/Phusike akroasis) ~4th century
Auden, W.H. "The Shield of Achilles" - 1952
Austen, Jane (1775-1817)
Bakhtin, Michail (1895-1975)
Balzac, Honorée de "Father Goriot" (Le Père Goriot) - 1835
- "The Human Comedy" (La Comédie humaine) - 1829–48
Barnes, Julian "A History of the World in 10½ Chapters" - 1989
Beaudelaire, Charles (1821-67)
Beauvoir, Simone de (1908-86)
Benjamin, Walter (1892-1940)
Bhabha, Homi K. (1949-)
Borges, Jorge Luis (1899-1986)
Bourdieu, Pierre (1930-2002)
Broch, Hermann (1886-1951)
Brod, Max (1884-1968)
Bulgakov, Michail "The Master and Margarita" (Мастер и Маргарита/Master I Margarita) - 1866-67
Butor, Michel (1926-2016)
Cabrera Infante, Guillermo "Three Sad Tigers" (Tres tristes tigres) - 1967
Calvino, Italo "Invisible Cities" (Le città invisibili) - 1972
- "If on a Winter's Night a Traveller" (Se una notte d’inverno un viaggiatore) - 1979
Çelebi, Evliya (1611-83)
Cervantes, Miguel de "Don Quixote, vols. 1 and 2" (El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote de la Mancha) - 1605-1615
Christie, Agatha "Murder on the Orient Express" - 1934
Coetze, J.M. (1940-)
Coleridge, Samuel Taylor "Biographia Literaria or Biographical Sketches of My Literary Life and Opinions" - 1817
- "The Rhyme of the Anicent Mariner" - 1798
Conrad, Joseph (1857-1924)
Cortázar, Julio "Hopscoth" (Rayuela) - 1963
Defoe, Daniel "Robinson Crusoe" - 1719
Desai, Kiran (1971-)
Dick, Philip K. (1928-82)
Dickens, Charles "David Copperfield" - 1850
- "Oliver Twist" - 1838
Diderot, Denis (1713-84)
Dikbaş, Nazim (1973-)
Dostoevsky, Fyodor "The Brothers Karamazov" (Братья Карамазовы/Brat'ya Karamazovy) - 1879-80
- "Demons" aka "The Possessed" (Бесы/Bésy) - 1871´-72
Eco, Umberto (1932-2016)
Ekrem, Recaizade Mahmut "Araba Sevdazi" - 1896
Eliot, George (1819-80)
Eliot, T.S. "Hamlet and his Problems" - 1919
Faulkner, William "As I lay dying" - 1930
- "The Sound and the Fury" - 1929
- "The Wild Palms/The Old Man or If I Forget Thee Jerusalem" - 1939
Fielding, Henry "The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling" - 1749
Firdausi, Abu l-Qasem-e (940-1020)
Flaubert, Gustave "Madame Bovary" (Madame Bovary) - 1857
- "Sentimental Education" (L’Éducation sentimentale) - 1869
Forster, E.M. "Aspects of the Novel" - 1927
Foucault, Michel "What Is an Author?" (Qu’est-ce qu’un auteur?) - 1969
Frank, Joseph "Dostoevsky: The Miraculous Years" - 1995
García Márquez, Gabriel (1927-2014)
Gautier, Théophile (1811-72)
Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von (1749-1832)
Greenblatt, Stephen (1943-)
Habermas, Jürgen (1929-)
Hakmen, Roza (1956-)
Handke, Peter (1942-)
Hedayat, Sadegh "The Blind Owl" (بوف کور/Boof-e koor) - 1936
Heidegger, Martin (1889-1976)
Highsmith, Patricia (1921-95)
Homer "Iliad" (Ἰλιάς, Iliás)
- "Odyssey" (Ομήρου Οδύσσεια, Odýsseia) - 800-600 BC
Horace "The Art of Poetry" (Ars Poetica) ~19 BC
Huyssen, Andreas (1942-)
Iser, Wolfgang (1926-2007)
James, Henry "The Golden Bowl" - 1904
Joyce, James "Finnegans Wake" - 1939
- "Ulysses" - 1922
Kafka, Franz "The Metamorphosis" (Die Verwandlung) - 1912
Kundera, Milan "The Unbearable Lightness of Being" (Nesnesitelná lehkost bytí) - 1984
Le Carré (1931-2020)
Lem, Stanisław (1921-2006)
Leskov, Nikolai "Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District" (Леди Макбет Мценского уезда Ledi Makbet Mtsenskovo uyezda) - 1865
Lessing, Gotthold Ephraim "Laocoon: or, The limits of Poetry and Painting" (Lakoon oder Über die Grenzen der Malerei und Poesie) - 1766
Lukács, György "The Theory of the Novel" (Theorie des Romans) -1974
Mann, Thomas "Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family" (Buddenbrooks) - 1901
- "The Magic Mountain" (Der Zauberberg) - 1924
Manzoni, Alessandro "The Betrothed" (I Promessi Sposi) - 1827
Melville, Herman "Bartleby, the Scrivener" - 1853
- "Moby Dick or The Whale" - 1851
Molière "The Miser" (L'avare) - 1668
Montaigne, Michel de (1533-1592)
Murasaki, Lady Shikibu "The Tale of Genji" (源氏物語/Genji Monogatari) - early 11th century
Nabokov, Vladimir Vladimirovich "Lolita" - 1955
- "Pale Fire" - 1962
Naipaul, V.S. "Finding the Centre" - 1984
"In a Free State" - 1971
Nerval, Gérard de "Sylvie" (Sylvie) - 1853
Nietzsche, Friedrich (1844-1900)
Ortega y Gasset, José - 1883-1955
Pamuk, Orhan "The Black Book" (Kara Kitap) - 1990
- "Cevdet Bey and His Sons" (Cevdet Bey ve Oğulları) - 1982
- "Istanbul - Memories of a City" (İstanbul: Hatıralar ve Şehir) - 2003
- "The Museum of Innocence" (Masumiyet Müzesi) - 2008
- "My Name is Red" (Benim Adim Kirmizi) - 1998
- "The Silent House" (Sessiz Ev) - 1983
- "Snow" (Kar) - 2002
- "The White Castle" (Beyaz Kale) - 1985
Perec, Georges "Life; A User's Manual" (La vie mode d'emploi) - 1978
Poe, Edgar Allen "The Philosophy of Composition" - 1846
 - "The Raven" - 1845
Proust, Marcel "In Search of Lost Time" (À la recherche du temps perdu) - 1913-27
- "Swann's Way" (Du côté de chez Swann) - 1913
Rabelais, François (~1483-94-1553)
Robbe-Grillet, Alain (1922-2008)
Rousseau, Jean-Jacques "Confessions of Jean-Jacques Rousseau" (Les Confessions) - 1782
- "Julie; or, The New Heloise" (Julie ou la Nouvelle Héloïse) - 1761
Rumi "Masnavi" (Masnavi-ye-Ma'navi/مثنوی معنوی‎) ~1273
Sartre, Jean-Paul "The Words" (Les Mots) - 1964
Schiller, Friedrich "Über naive und sentimentalische Dichtung" (On Naïve and Sentimental Poetry) - 1795
Shakespeare, William "Macbeth" - 1606
Shklovsky, Viktor (1893-1984)
Şoray, Türkan (1945-)
Stendhal "The Charterhouse of Parma" (La Chartreuse de Parme) - 1839
- "The Red and the Black" (Le Rouge et le Noir - 1830
Sterne, Laurence "The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman" - 1759-67
- "Sentimental Journey through France and Italy" - 1768
Strindberg, August "The Son of a Servant" (Tjänstekvinnans son) - 1886
Sue, Eugène (1804-57)
Tanizaki, Jun'ichirō "Naomi" (痴人の愛/Chijin no Ai) - 1925
Tanpınar, Ahmet Hamdi "The Time Regulation Institute" (Saatleri Ayarlama Enstitüsü) - 1961
Thomas, Bernard "Old Masters" (Alte Meister) - 1895
Tolstoy, Leo "Anna Karenina" (Анна Каренина/Anna Karenina) - 1877
- "War and Peace" (Война и мир/Woina I Mir) - 1868/69
Vargas Llosa, Mario "Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter" (La tía Julia y el escribidor) - 1977
Woolf, Virginia "Mrs. Dalloway" - 1925
- "The Waves" - 1931
Wordsworth, William (1770-1850)
Yourcenar, Marguerite "The Abyss" (L'Œuvre au noir) - 1968
- "Memoirs of Hadrian" (Mémoires d'Hadrien) - 1951
- "That Mighty Sculptor, Time" (essay "Ton et langage dans le roman historique" from "Le Temps, ce grand sculpteur") - 1983
Zola, Émile "Nana" (Nana) - 1880

Friday, 15 January 2021

Book Quotes of the Week

"Let’s be reasonable and add an eighth day to the week that is devoted exclusively to reading." Lena Dunham
I second that.

"I've tried atheism and I can't stick at it: I keep having doubts. That probably sums up my position." Ian Hislop (husband to Victoria Hislop)
I think that is a good way of describing the views of many.

"No novel that I've loved has ever given me an answer. It's given me the opportunity to live in the question." Nicole Krauss
Many books give us more questions than answers. Isn't that how it should be?

"Book lovers never go to bed alone." N.N.
So true. And what a comfort that is.
[If anyone can tell me the originator of this quote, I'd be very thankful and would happily include the name.

Find more book quotes here.