Friday, 24 September 2021

Book Quotes of the Week

     
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"The classics are books which, upon reading, we find even fresher, more unexpected, and more marvellous than we had thought from hearing about them." Italo Calvino

This author has written so much about the truth of classics, he hits the point with this quote again.

"Whenever a party tells you national identity matters more than anything else in politics, that nationalism can sort out all the other problems, then watch out, because you’re on a road that can end with fascism." C.J. Sansom in "Dominion"

There are still people around who believe they are something special because they are born in a certain country, with a certain skin colour, into a certain society or religion ..., which is something totally random and nothing we can do about or have "earned". That always sounds very suspicious to me because I know where it once led my country.

"Own only what you can always carry with you: know languages, know countries, know people. Let your memory be your travel bag. Use your memory! Use your memory! It is those bitter seeds alone which might sprout and grow someday." Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918–1956

I guess he knew exactly what he was talking about. They put him in places where most people wouldn't survive for a week but he knew what he knew and what they couldn't take away from him.

Find more book quotes here

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Douglass, Frederick "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass"

Douglass, Frederick "Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave" - 1845

After reading Harriet Jacobs' story "Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl" earlier this year, I had this next on my list of books for one of my challenges. I thought the story of Harriet Jacobs was extraordinary but this one was even better. Probably, because it was told by the person who experienced this life himself. Frederick Douglass didn't learn reading and writing like we do, at school, he had to do it secretly. And what a writer he became.

I guess, freedom is something we all would wish for if it were denied to us. And not having experienced it, it would be impossible to understand how it is if you can't just choose where you want to live and what you want to do but also with whom you want to live. Families got ripped apart and you never knew what happened to your loved ones, probably nothing good.

The author understands all this very well. He has lived it. If you want to read about how a slave truly feels, this narrative is probably one of the best you can find. If you read this book, you will definitely join in with all the anti-racist people and organizations and say: Never again!

This is a very important book!

One of his quotes is:
"Once you learn to read you will forever be free."
But the best one is probably: "I know of no rights of race superior to the rights of humanity."

From the back cover:

"Born a slave circa 1818 (slaves weren't told when they were born) on a plantation in Maryland, Douglass taught himself to read and write. In 1845, seven years after escaping to the North, he published Narrative, the first of three autobiographies. This book calmly but dramatically recounts the horrors and the accomplishments of his early years - the daily, casual brutality of the white masters; his painful efforts to educate himself; his decision to find freedom or die; and his harrowing but successful escape.

An astonishing orator and a skillful writer, Douglass became a newspaper editor, a political activist, and an eloquent spokesperson for the civil rights of African Americans. He lived through the Civil War, the end of slavery, and the beginning of segregation. He was celebrated internationally as the leading black intellectual of his day, and his story still resonates in ours.
"

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Top Ten Books on My Fall 2021 To-read List

    

"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: Books on My Fall 2021 To-read List

I still have two books from my Books On My Spring 2021 TBR list but that doesn't mean I don't have more that I want to read before the end of the year. I joined quite a few challenges this year and therefore have no problem filling in this list.

So, here is a collection of books, fiction (A Column of Fire, Del Boy, Dracula, The Incredible Journey, Much Ado About Nothing, The Satanic Verses, The World of Jeeves), non-fiction (Der Geist fiel nicht vom Himmel, Narcissus and Goldmund, The Silk Roads), English (A Column of Fire, Del Boy, Dracula, The Incredible Journey, Much Ado About Nothing, The Satanic Verses, The Silk Roads, The World of Jeeves), German (Der Geist fiel nicht vom Himmel, Narcissus and Goldmund), funny (Del Boy, The World of Jeeves), serious (The Incredible Journey, Narcissus and Goldmund, The Satanic Verses, The Silk Roads), classic (Dracula, Der Geist fiel nicht vom Himmel, The Incredible Journey, Much Ado About Nothing, Narcissus and Goldmund, The World of Jeeves), modern (A Column of Fire, Del Boy, The Satanic Verses, The Silk Road), short stories (The World of Jeeves) and a play (Much Ado About Nothing), a selection of all sorts of books I like to read.

Ditfurth, Hoimar von "Der Geist fiel nicht vom Himmel: Die Evolution unseres Bewußtseins" - 1976 (Goodreads)
Follett, Ken "A Column of Fire" (Das Fundament der Ewigkeit) - 2017 (Goodreads)
Frankopan, Peter "The Silk Roads. A New History oft he World" (Licht aus dem Osten: Eine neue Geschichte der Welt) - 2015
(Goodreads)

Hesse, Hermann "Narcissus and Goldmund" (Narziss und Goldmund) - 1930
(Goodreads)
Martin, Catherine "The Incredible Journey" - 1923
(Goodreads)
Rushdie, Salman "The Satanic Verses" - 1988 (Goodreads) (Buddy Read/
Buddy Read)
Shakespeare, William "Much Ado About Nothing" - 1598/99
(Goodreads)
Stoker, Bram "Dracula" - 1897
(Goodreads)
Trotter, Derek "Del Boy" (Family of John Sullivan) "He Who Dares" - 2015
(Goodreads)
Wodehouse, P.G. "The World of Jeeves" (Jeeves #2-4: The Inimitable Jeeves #2, Carry On, Jeeves #3, Very Good, Jeeves! #4) - 1923/1925/1930
(Goodreads)

And what's on your TBR list for the next season?

Monday, 20 September 2021

Jackson, Shirley "The Lottery"

Jackson, Shirley "The Lottery" - 1948

Once a month, Kate at Books Are My Favourite and Best invites us to participate in her challenge Six Degrees of Separation (see here my latest post).

Often, we have not read the book but still can start our chain with the information given. This time, since it is the first time she started with short story, she said there were no excuses for not reading the starting book, right? While I don't care much for short stories, I thought this was as good a reason as any to read it. And it is available online (here). I don't read books online but for a short story that I have to get quickly, I thought I could do it.

It is hard to review this story without telling the whole story. In any case, a lot of towns in the USA seem to hold this lottery once a year. (Don't forget, this is fiction!) Nobody wants to win in this case but someone has to. This story reminded me of "The Hunger Games" by Suzanne Collins. Mind you, since that novel was written in 2008 and this short story in 1948, we can only imagine who copied the idea from whom, if that was the case.

A very dark, sinister and shocking story that could have been made into a series and probably would have as "The Hunger Games" and "The Handmaid's Tale" by Margaret Atwood and several other stories demonstrate.

While looking for a picture for this post, I saw this "joke":
"I hope you win the Lottery soon. Not the state-run lotto, but the Shirley Jackson one."
I'm glad to say I don't know anyone to whom I would say that. I know that these kinds of things happen in other parts of the world and I don't wish it on anyone.

From the back cover:

"In a small American town, the local residents are abuzz with excitement and nervousness when they wake on the morning of the twenty-seventh of June. Everything has been prepared for the town’s annual tradition - a lottery in which every family must participate, and no one wants to win.

'
The Lottery' stands out as one of the most famous short stories in American literary history. Originally published in The New Yorker, the author immediately began receiving letters from readers who demanded an explanation of the story’s meaning. 'The Lottery' has been adapted for stage, television, radio and film."

Another book that this reminded of is "The Wave" by Morton Rhue, it's a good addition to this short story.

Friday, 17 September 2021

Book Quotes of the Week

     
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"I like to write when I'm not supposed to be writing. Like, in a bathroom at a party, just hiding in there for half an hour. On the subway, or just walking around New York on my phone." Melissa Broder

I totally understand her. I have the best ideas when there is nothing to write on anywhere in my surroundings.

"We live for books." Umberto Eco

Definitely. I couldn't live without them. And I'm glad my husband supports me in this.

"I tell you these stories because these things happen to everyone. It’s not about being starched or polished or cute or polite. It’s about having ears that stick out, about breaking yet another glass. It’s about seeing something for the first time and making a million mistakes and not ever getting completely discouraged." Maira Kalman

Sometimes when I read something I think, oh yes, this sounds so familiar, happens all the time. Other times I think, I'm glad that doesn't happen to me.

Find more book quotes here

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Top Ten Books With Numbers In the Title

   

"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: Books With Numbers In the Title

What an interesting subject. I found so many books with numbers in the title. First I thought I might just take some with years but in the end I thought I'd rather count from one to ten.

Hislop, Victoria "One August Night" - 2019

Dickens, Charles "A Tale of Two Cities" - 1859

Mortenson, Greg & Relin, David Oliver "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time" - 2006

Shalev, Meir "Four Meals" (Hebrew: כימים אחדים aka "As a Few Days" or "The Loves of Judith") - 1994

Murphy, Jill "Five Minutes Peace" - 1986

Scott, Mary "Breakfast at Six" - 1953

Fo, Dario "My first seven years (plus a few more)" (Italian: Il Paese dei Mezaràt: I miei primi sette anni (e qualcuno in più)) - 2004

Cognetti, Paolo "The Eight Mountains" (Italian: Le otto montagne) - 2016

Brown, Daniel James "The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics" - 2013

Yu, Hua (余華/Yú Huá) "China in Ten Words" (Chinese: 十個詞彙裡的中國/Shi ge cihui li de Zhongguo) - 2012

Do you have any books with numbers on their title that are special to you?

Monday, 13 September 2021

Leaf, Munro "The Story of Ferdinand"

Leaf, Munro "The Story of Ferdinand" - 1936

The first time I heard of Ferdinand, the bull, was in a small little German book. Pixi books are 10x10 cm (3.94 inches) and always consist of 24 pages. They have always been cheap and were lovely little presents for kids. My boys loved them. They would have many classic stories but also some just written for that purpose.

Well, one of the stories they published was "The Story of Ferdinand" about Ferdinand, the bull, who was peaceful and rather sat in his pasture smelling flowers than going to a bullfight. It is a sweet story for children about peace.

I was reminded of this when I watched "The Blind Side", a wonderful story based on real life about a homeless boy who is taken in by a family and becomes a big sports star. They read the book and compare this boy to Ferdinand the Bull because he also wants peace. So cute.

In any case, it's a wonderful story for children, they all love it.

From the back cover:

"Ferdinand, the peaceful bull who loves to sit and smell flowers, is mistakenly carted off to a bullfight in Madrid, where he is believed to be the fiercest bull around. Ferdinand trots into the ring, only to sit and smell the flowers in the ladies' hair. No matter what the frustrated matador and his helpers do, they cannot get Ferdinand to fight. Lawson's memorable black-and-white pictures speak volumes in this childhood classic."