Wednesday, 31 August 2022

Alphabet This or That

I saw this list of questions on Lectrice Vorace's blog who saw it on Lissa's blog (Postcards from the Bookstore). The lovely banner is hers as well. Since I always enjoy doing these tags, here we go:

These are the questions to copy:
A. Attached or Single?
B. Blue or Black?
C. Cats or Dogs?
D. Down 10 flights of stairs or Up to 2 flights?
E. Email or Snail mail??
F. Fairytales or Nonfiction?
G. Gain a pound or Gain some money?
H. Hop on one foot or Jumping jacks?
I. Ice cream or Ice cones (aka snow cone)?
J. Juice or Water?
K. Kiss a frog or Hug a bear?
L. Lose your heart or Lose your mind?
M. Music or Silence?
N. Nuts or Chips?
O. Oatmeal or Cereal?
P. Pizza or Spaghetti?
Q. Queen for a day or Quiet for a day?
R. Rain or Sun?
S. Steak or Salad?
T. Talk to a stranger for a minute or talk to your enemy for an hour?
U. Unicorns or Unicycles?
V. Vanilla or Chocolate?
W. Walk or Run?
X. Xray vision or Power to fly?
Y. Yoga or the Gym?
Z. Zipper or Velcro

And here are my answers:

A. Attached or Single?
I've been married for almost forty years

B. Blue or Black?
Blue

C. Cats or Dogs?
I don't want any pets but definitely cats.

D. Down 10 flights of stairs or Up to 2 flights?
Tough choice, I have a bad back and have to avoid stairs at all cost.

E. Email or Snail mail??
Both have their charms.

F. Fairytales or Nonfiction?
Another tough one. I think if it's only fairytales, I'd go for non-fiction.

G. Gain a pound or Gain some money?
What a question! Would anyone go for more weight? I know I don't

H. Hop on one foot or Jumping jacks?
I used to love jumping jacks.

I. Ice cream or Ice cones (aka snow cone)?
Cream though it has to be lactose free.

J. Juice or Water?
Water.

K. Kiss a frog or Hug a bear?
Definitely not the former.

L. Lose your heart or Lose your mind?
I lost my heart a long, long time ago.

M. Music or Silence?
Mostly music.

N. Nuts or Chips?
Definitely Nuts.

O. Oatmeal or Cereal?
Cereal. I love the crunch

P. Pizza or Spaghetti?
Pizza.

Q. Queen for a day or Quiet for a day?
Quiet.

R. Rain or Sun?
Rain. I love the rain, hate the sun.

S. Steak or Salad?
Both are nice but generally, salad.

T. Talk to a stranger for a minute or talk to your enemy for an hour?
I love talking to strangers but trying to convince an enemy that he is wrong also has its perks.

U. Unicorns or Unicycles?
Unicorns, if they're of the "so fluffy, I'm gonna die" quality. ;)

V. Vanilla or Chocolate?
Chocolate

W. Walk or Run?
Walk

X. Xray vision or Power to fly?
Power to fly.

Y. Yoga or the Gym?
Neither but if I had to, I'd go for Yoga.

Z. Zipper or Velcro
Zipper.

So, thank you, Lissa and Lectrice for this interesting challenge.

Tuesday, 30 August 2022

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Going Back to School

  

"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, our topic is School Freebie (In honor of school starting up soon, come up with a topic that somehow ties to school/education. The book could be set at school/college, characters could be teachers, books with school supplies on the cover, nonfiction titles, books that taught you something or how to do something, your favorite required reading in school, books you think should be required reading, your favorite banned books, etc.)

That's an interesting topic. I have chosen books that contain the word "school" in the title (or the German equivalent: Schule), or "teacher", or books that describe life in a school. Made me think about my time in school. I used to love school, definitely my kind of world. I also loved it when my children attended, I always felt connected to it and  helped out as much as a I could.

Fleischhauer, Wolfram "In a Tender Hold" (GE: Schule der Lügen) - 2003  
Jelinek, Elfriede "The Piano Teacher" (GE: Die Klavierspielerin) - 1988
Lamb, Wally "The Hour I First Believed" - 2008
McCall Smith, Alexander "The Kalahari Typing School for Men" - 2002
McCourt, Frank "Teacher Man. A Memoir 1949-1985" - 2005
Molière (Jean-Baptiste Poquelin) "The Miser or The School for Lies" (F: L'Avare ou l’École du mensonge) - 1668
Mortenson, Greg "Stones into Schools" (with Mike Bryan) - 2009
Precht, Richard David "Anna, the School and the good God" (GE: Anna, die Schule und der liebe Gott. Der Verrat des Bildungssystems an unsere Kinder) - 2013
Rhue, Morton "The Wave" - 1981
Schneider, Wolf "German for Life. What the School Forgot to Teach Us" (GE: Deutsch fürs Leben. Was die Schule zu lehren vergaß) - 1994 (Goodreads)

So, I managed to come up with ten books. I hope you find a book among them that you might like.

📚 Happy Reading! 📚

Monday, 29 August 2022

Kafka, Franz "The Metamorphosis"


Kafka, Franz "The Metamorphosis" (German: Die Verwandlung) - 1912

Kafka was one of the writers I had to read in school and I found terrifying to read. Especially this story here. That was probably the first step that put any "fantastic literature" on my negative list.

I can't relate to that kind of idea. At the time, I even wished that Kafka's friend, who had promised him to destroy all his works after Kafka's death, had fulfilled this. Unfortunately, he didn't, and so students have to struggle forever and ever with reading his stories.

What does the author want to tell us with this story? No idea. And I really don't want to know either.

From the back cover:

"One morning, traveling salesman Gregor Samsa wakes from an anxious dream to discover that he has inexplicably changed into a monstrous insect. Nonetheless, life goes on, and poor Gregor is left to deal not only with the existential questions of who or what he now is but also with more mundane concerns: his job (which he fears he’ll lose), his loved ones (whom he fears he disgusts), and the daily indignities of everyday life (which continue apace). Soon, even those who sympathize with his bizarre predicament begin to lose their patience…

A darkly comic examination of social mores, family dynamics, and the nature of identity itself, Kafka’s unsettling masterpiece has inspired a century of literary debate and interpretive theories. But its enduring power lies in the simplicity of its audacious premise, its deadpan surrealism, and its humane sensitivity.
"

Friday, 26 August 2022

Book Quotes of the Week

 

"Curiosity is what lets a young mind grow and keeps an old mind young." Kelley Armstrong, Sea of Shadows

There is a lot of truth in that. Curiosity makes us more educated and hopefully better people.


"The internet is amazing because it connects us with one another. But it’s also horrific because … it connects us with one another." Felicia Day,
You're Never Weird on the Internet.

As everything, it has its pros and cons. In general, I believe the pros win but some days I have my doubts.


"A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus:
1. What am I trying to say?
2. What words will express it?
3. What image or idiom will make it clearer?
4. Is this image fresh enough to have an effect?
And he will probably ask himself two more.
5. Could I put it more shortly?
6. Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly?
George Orwell

Some good thoughts that should always be considered, and not just for authors but by everyone, especially for those bullies and trolls on the internet.

Find more book quotes here.

Thursday, 25 August 2022

#ThrowbackThursday. Memoirs of a Geisha

Golden, Arthur "Memoirs of a Geisha" - 1997 

I have read this book twice - both times with a book club. The first time, I liked it, the second time, I enjoyed it even more.

This book shows the difference of Eastern and Western culture as well as the changes in society during the couple of decades.

We discussed this in our British book club in May 1999 and in our international book club in October 2005.

Read my original review here.

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

10 Year Celebration Questionnaire

10 years ago this month, The Classic Club Blog was born! I don't remember when I first joined but it can't have been much later than that.

To celebrate 10 years of blogging about Classics, the moderators have put together a list of questions.

Here are the rules:
    Share a link to you blog and/or classic club list/s.
    Answer the 10 questions below.
    As always we are very flexible about how and when you do this.
    Tweek, add or subtract the questions to suit you best.
    Have fun!

The Questions
    When did you join the Classics Club?
    What is the best classic book you’ve read for the club so far? Why?
    What is the first classic you ever read?
    Which classic book inspired you the most?
    What is the most challenging one you’ve ever read, or tried to read?
    Favourite movie adaptation of a classic? Least favorite?
    Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?
    Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving? Respecting? Appreciating?
    Classic/s you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
    Favorite memory with a classic and/or your favourite memory with The Classics Club?

Before I get to my answers, I found the questions quite tough. But I tried to answer all of them as faithful as I could.


When did you join the Classics Club?
Must have been shortly after they started because my first ever mentioning them is from 2012

What is the best classic book you’ve read for the club so far? Why?
Undset, Sigrid "Kristin Lavransdatter" (NO: Kristin Lavransdatter) - 1920-22
I absolutely loved reading about a woman even before the middle ages and how their lives was. And the fact that this book was written a hundred years ago makes it even more interesting.

What is the first classic you ever read?
Spyri, Johanna "Heidi" (GE: Heidis Lehr- und Wanderjahre + Heidi kann brauchen, was es gelernt hat) - 1880/81
This was the first "real" book I ever owned. It wasn't a hundred years old because it was in 1965, I was in second grade and just had my appendix removed and my parents gave it to me as a present.

Which classic book inspired you the most?
Mann, Thomas "Buddenbrooks: The Decline of a Family" (GE: Buddenbrooks) - 1901
This book doesn't just happen in my part of the world, I could draw so much from the experience of the people in it, especially the women. I did not make the same mistakes.

What is the most challenging one you’ve ever read, or tried to read?
Joyce, James "Ulysses" - 1922
Very challenging but very deserving.

Favourite movie adaptation of a classic? Least favorite?
That's a tough one. Movie adaptation or tv series? For the former, I'd probably go for
Pasternak, Boris "Doctor Zhivago" (RUS: Доктор Живаго) - 1957 (this one from 1965 with Omar Sharif)
for the latter:

Austen, Jane
"Pride & Prejudice" - 1813 (The Motherhood and Jane Austen) (this one from 1995 with Colin Firth)
Those are my favourites, of course. Worst, oh my, I could name so many.


Which classic character most reminds you of yourself?
Anne Elliot
Austen, Jane "Persuasion" - 1817 (The Motherhood and Jane Austen)
It's hard to explain but I was the only girl among boys (and the eldest), so my duties in the family were very much like Anne's. And with my background, my chances were probably even lower to begin with. Only, it was a little easier for me to get out of that circle through education.

Has there been a classic title you expected to dislike and ended up loving? Respecting? Appreciating?
I love classics and have never thought I would dislike one before I touched it. However, I have read some that I ended up not liking.

Classic/s you are DEFINITELY GOING TO MAKE HAPPEN next year?
The last books three from my initial Classics Club list.
Kazantzakis, Nikos "The Last Temptation of Christ" (Ο τελευταίος πειρασμός/O telefteos pirasmos) - 1951 (Goodreads)
Keller, Gottfried "Romeo und Julia auf dem Dorfe" [Romeo and Juliet in the Village] - 1855/56 (Goodreads)
Mandelstam, Ossip "The Din of Time" (Шум времени/Shum vremeni) - 1925 (Goodreads)

Favorite memory with a classic and/or your favourite memory with The Classics Club?
Meeting so many other classics lover is certainly my best memory with the Classics Club.

Tuesday, 23 August 2022

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Completed Series

  

"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, our topic is Completed Series I Wish Had More Books

I think any series that I read until the end would fall under that category, so this was an easy task this week. The ones I do read usually are more trilogies than "series" but I still put them in here. These are my absolute favourites.

Allende, Isabel The House of the Spirits
- "The House of the Spirits" (E: La casa de los espíritus) (The House of the Spirits #1) - 1982

- "Daughter of Fortune" (E: Hija de la fortuna) (The House of the Spirits #2) - 1999
- "Portrait in Sepia" (E: Retrato en sepia) (The House of the Spirits #3) - 2000

Follett, Ken Kingsbridge
- "The Evening and the Morning" (Kingsbridge #0.5) - 2020
- "The Pillars of the Earth" (Kingsbridge #1) - 1989

- "World Without End" (Kingsbridge #2) - 2007
-
"A Column of Fire"
(Kingsbridge #3) - 2017

Follett, Ken Century Trilogy
- "Fall of Giants" (Century Trilogy #1) - 2010

- "Winter of the World" (Century Trilogy #2) - 2012
- "Edge of Eternity"
(Century Trilogy #3) - 2014

Ghosh, Amitav Ibis Trilogy
- "Sea of Poppies" (Ibis Trilogy #1) - 2008

- "River of Smoke" (Ibis Trilogy #2) - 2011
- "Flood of Fire
" (Ibis Trilogy #3) - 2015 

Mahfouz, Naguib Cairo Trilogy
- "Palace Walk" (arab. بين القصرين/Bayn al-qasrayn)
(Cairo Trilogy #1) - 1956
- "Palace of Desire" (arab: قصر الشوق/Qasr el-Shōq)
(Cairo Trilogy #2) - 1957 
- "Sugar Street" (السكرية/Al-Sukkariyya) (Cairo Trilogy #3) - 1957

Ruiz Zafón, Carlos The Cemetary of Forgotten Books
- "
The Shadow of the Wind" (E: La sombra del viento - El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1) - 2001
-
"The Angel's Game" (E: El juego del ángel
- El cementerio de los libros olvidados #2) - 2008
- "The Prisoner of Heaven" (E: El prisionero del cielo - El cementerio de los libros olvidados #3) - 2011
- "The Labyrinth of the Spirits" (E: El laberinto de los espíritus - El cementerio de los libros olvidados #4) - 2016


Sendker, Jan-Philipp The Rising Dragon
- "Whispering Shadows" (The Rising Dragon #1) (GE: Das Flüstern der Schatten) - 2007
- "The Language of Solitude" (aka Dragon Games) (The Rising Dragon #2) - (GE: Drachenspiele) - 2009
- "The Far Side of the Night" (The Rising Dragon #3) (GE: Am anderen Ende der Nacht) - 2016

Stroyar, J.N. The Children's War
- "The Children's War" - 2001

- "A Change of Regime" (The Children's War #2) - 2004
-
"Becoming Them" (The Children's War #3) - 2017

Turner, Nancy E. These is my Words
- "These is my Words"
(Sarah Agnes Prine Trilogy #1) - 1999 *
- "Sarah's Quilt"
(Sarah Agnes Prine Trilogy #2) - 2006
- "The Star Garden" (Sarah Agnes Prine Trilogy #3) - 2017

Zweig, Stefanie Nowhere in Africa
- "Nowhere in Africa" (#1) und "
Somewhere in Germany"
(#2)- 1995+1996 - Book Club Questions
- Nowhere in Africa - Somewhere in Germany
(GE: Nirgendwo in Afrika + Irgendwo in Deutschland) - 1942
- "Home was Nowhere. My Life on Two Continents" (GE: Nirgendwo war Heimat. Mein Leben auf zwei Kontinenten) (#3) - 2012
This does, in a way, have more books, the author wrote about a fictional Jewish family from Frankfurt in her
Familie Sternberg series. The stories are based on her own family, same as the Africa books. Unfortunatley, they are not translated.

I guess some of you will have read a book or two from this list. If not, let me know what you like and I will tell you where you should start.

Have a good week, everyone.

📚 Happy Reading! 📚

Monday, 22 August 2022

Dürrenmatt, Friedrich "The Visit"

Dürrenmatt, Friedrich "The Visit" (German: Der Besuch der Alten Dame) - 1956

The real translation of the title is "The Old Lady's Visit". But they shortened it for the English edition.

A witty story, which is also very philosophical and interspersed with a lot of humor.

One of the books we had to read in school.
Which is still read in schools today. And rightly so. Not only is the narration well written, it also contains many themes. How much people can change when it is to their advantage. Especially to the negative. What are people willing to do for money?

This is one of the most important questions asked and answered here. The book is more than half a century old, but it could just as easily take place today.

I rather watch plays than read them. I saw this play not only at my son's school, where it was performed by the seniors - and very well indeed, I've now also been able to enjoy it as a musical. If you have the opportunity, you should definitely take it. And of course read the book.

From the back cover:

"Friedrich Dürrenmatt is considered one of the most significant playwrights of our time. During the years of the Cold War, arguably only Beckett, Camus, Sartre, and Brecht rivaled him as a presence in European letters. In this ALTA National Translation Award-winning new translation of what many critics consider his finest play, Joel Agee gives a fresh lease to a classic of twentieth-century theater. Dürrenmatt once wrote of himself: 'I can best be understood if one grasps grotesqueness,' and The Visit is a consummate, alarming Dürrenmatt blend of hilarity, horror, and vertigo. The play takes place 'somewhere in Central Europe' and tells of an elderly millionairess who, merely on the promise of her millions, swiftly turns a depressed area into a boom town. But the condition attached to her largesse, which the locals learn of only after they are enmeshed, is murder. Dürrenmatt has fashioned a macabre and entertaining parable that is a scathing indictment of the power of greed and confronts the perennial questions of honor, loyalty, and community."

Friday, 19 August 2022

Book Quotes of the Week

  

"The library is inhabited by spirits that come out of the pages at night." Isabel Allende

Isn't that a lovely idea? And one that we can understand so well.

"Writing is its own reward." Henry Miller

So true. Whether it's a letter, a post for a blog or on a social network site or a book, I am sure the author of the book feels the same as anyone else who writes anything.

"There is so much more in those words than just loving books. I love the smell of them. I love the way their bindings look pressed together on a shelf. I love the feel of the pages buzzing through my fingers. I love big books and small books. I love words and how they’re strung together, and most of all, I love the stories. I love how books are not really books at all, but doorways." Ashley Poston,
Bookish and the Beast

Could it be said any better? I doubt it.

Find more book quotes here.  

Thursday, 18 August 2022

#ThrowbackThursday. Captain Corelli's Mandolin

 

Bernières, Louis de "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" - 1994

My very first book club book. It definitely convinced me that it is worth discussing a book with a book club.

I think this story deserves more than a Hollywood movie, there are so many topics in the book itself, so many questions that come up. It certainly is one of those books that can be read more often than once.

We discussed this in our British Book Club in May 1999.

Read my original review here.

Tuesday, 16 August 2022

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Top Ten Books from 2012

  

"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, our topic is Books I Love That Were Written Over Ten Years Ago

I absolutely love classic books and have tons of lists about them (e.g. here).

Therefore, I thought, what about books that are just ten years old and I came up with a list of some great books. I can't believe they are already a decade old and I cannot recommend them enough, so here we go.


Erpenbeck, Jenny "The End of Days" (GE: Aller Tage Abend) - 2012

Follett, Ken "Winter of the World" (Century Trilogy #2) - 2012

Grjasnowa, Olga "All Russians Love Birch Trees" (GE: Der Russe ist einer, der Birken liebt) - 2012

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

Kingsolver, Barbara "Flight Behaviour" - 2012

Mantel, Hilary "Bring up the Bodies" (The Wolf Hall Trilogy #2) - 2012

McLain, Paula "The Paris Wife" - 2012

Morrison, Toni "Home" - 2012

Palma, Félix J. "The Map of the Sky" (E: El mapa del cielo) - 2012

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

There are some great books here by some wonderful authors. If you haven't read any of them, I hope you will do so in future. And if you have read them, let me know how you liked them. Thanks.

📚 Happy Reading! 📚