Monday 31 October 2022

Johnson, Maureen; Cooper, Jay "Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village"

Johnson, Maureen; Cooper, Jay "Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village" - 2021

Most bloggers know that if you blog and always recommend books to other readers, you constantly get recommendations themselves. The disadvantage: your TBR pile grows and grows. The advantage: your TBR pile grows and grows. This is one of the recommendations I received from another reader who often finds the most interesting books (Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks). And this one is no exception.

If, like me, you like to watch the British crime series "Midsomer Murders", the title jumps right into your eyes. And there is only one conclusion to be drawn. The authors must have watched the series, as well. And they drew their conclusions.

Once you start reading this, you know they did. They tell you what to avoid: the vicar, high places, low places, dark places, any places, empty houses, bridges and tunnels, any kind of events, village, sports or otherwise, any kind of family gatherings etc. etc.

No matter what the recommendations are, at the end it is always clear, you are going to get killed if you visit these places. So, the biggest advice is: Stay away!

They forgot one good advice I can give to anyone who wants to visit Midsomer County. Do not befriend the Chief Inspector's wife, no matter how nice and lovely she is. The victims always belong to her closest circle.

Why do I love Midsomer so much? I used to live in Buckinghamshire and I have actually been to quite a few of the places that appear in the series, larger towns or small hamlets. And I can tell you, they are really as pretty as shown in the series and the people are awfully nice. We lived there for six years and didn't encounter any murder.

Still, this book reminded me of the series as well as the area. So lovely. And funny. Oh, and the illustrations are both cute as well as hilarious. I guess even if you haven't seen the series, you would enjoy this book.

From the back cover:

"Thinking of a foray to a quaint English village? You'll think twice after reading this tongue-in-cheek illustrated guide to the countless murderous possibilities lurking behind these villages' bucolic façades  - from bestselling author Maureen Johnson and illustrator Jay Cooper.

A weekend roaming narrow old lanes, touring the faded glories of a country manor, and quaffing pints in the pub. How charming. That is, unless you have the misfortune of finding yourself in an English Murder Village, where danger lurks around each picturesque cobblestone corner and every sip of tea may be your last. If you insist on your travels, do yourself a favor and bring a copy of this little book. It may just keep you alive.

Brought to life with dozens of Gorey-esque drawings by illustrator Jay Cooper and peppered with allusions to classic crime series and unmistakably British murder lore, Your Guide to Not Getting Murdered in a Quaint English Village gives you the tools you need to avoid the same fate, should you find yourself in a suspiciously cozy English village (or simply dream of going). Good luck, and whatever you do, avoid the vicar.

Friday 28 October 2022

Brecht, Bertolt "The Caucasian Chalk Circle"

Brecht, Bertolt "The Caucasian Chalk Circle" (German: Der kaukasische Kreidekreis) - 1944/45

The story describes the parable of the true mother who is recognized by the love for her child. The story was already described in the Bible, it gave us the expression "Solomon's Judgment", then it was also told in China in the 13th century as "The Chalk Circle".

Brecht transposed the story to the time after World War II. It makes sense anytime. Some people only think about themselves and money. The story stands for everything that is wrong in society.

Book description:

"The city burns in the heat of civil war and a servant girl sacrifices everything to protect an abandoned child. But when peace is finally restored, the boy's mother comes to claim him. Calling upon the ancient tradition of the Chalk Circle, a comical judge sets about resolving the dispute. …

Few authors have had such a dramatic effect as Bertolt Brecht. His work has helped to shape a generation of writers, theatergoers, and thinkers. His plays are studied worldwide as texts that changed the face of theater.
The Caucasian Chalk Circle is a parable inspired by the Chinese play Chalk Circle. Written at the close of World War II, the story is set in the Caucasus Mountains of Georgia. It retells the tale of King Solomon and a child claimed by and fought over by two mothers. But this chalk circle is metaphorically drawn around a society misdirected in its priorities. Brecht's statements about class are cloaked in the innocence of a fable that whispers insistently to the audience.

No translations of Brecht's work are as reliable and compelling as Eric Bentley's. These versions are widely viewed as the standard renderings of Brecht's work, ensuring that future generations of readers will come in close contact with the work of a playwright who introduced a new way of thinking about the theater.

Thursday 27 October 2022

#ThrowbackThursday. The Color Purple


Walker, Alice "The Color Purple" - 1982 

This is one of the best stories I have ever read. They story of a woman who seems to have no rights whatsoever and manages to get out of the hell she lives in with the help of others but mainly by being very strong herself. Alice Walker received the well-deserved Pulitzer price for this in 1983.

Read my original review here.

Wednesday 26 October 2022

Kästner, Erich "Emil and the Detectives"

Kästner, Erich "Emil and the Detectives" (German: Emil und die Detektive) - 1929

This is one of THE German classics and I had never read it. So, when the "Read the Year" club chose 1929 for their next challenge, I found that this novel was from that year and decided to read it.

My two favourites by Erich Kästner are "Three Men in the Snow" (GE: Drei Männer im Schnee) and "Lisa and Lottie" (aka The Parent Trap) (GE: Das doppelte Lottchen). They are both funny and interesting. Still, Emil and his detectives never attracted me as much. And I was right. For me, this story wasn't as captivating as the other ones. Probably because I'm not much into crime stories.

But the story teaches us something. The harder we have to work something, the more we appreciate its value. And if we can find like-minded people, everything is easier. We can follow a mutual goal and work for a better world.

That is what Erich Kästner has always tried to bring across. And he managed it here, as well.

From the back cover:

"If Mrs Tischbein had known the amazing adventures her son Emil would have in Berlin, she'd never have let him go.

Unfortunately, when his seven pounds goes missing on the train, Emil is determined to get it back - and when he teams up with the detectives he meets in Berlin, it's just the start of a marvellous money-retrieving adventure . . .

A classic and influential story, Emil and the Detectives remains an enthralling read.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Top Ten Tuesday ~ 👻 Top Thirteen Halloween Playlist 👻



"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 a Halloween Freebee. I think I mentioned before that we don't celebrate Halloween in Germany. And I don't read horror books. So, that often leaves me with the option to twist the topic.

Last year, Lindsey @ Lindsey Reads had the idea to post songs with a creepy subject. I thought that was a great idea and am now ready to copy that. Thank you, Lindsey.

So, here is my Halloween Playlist. I had to make it a little more spooky and therefore chose thirteen.

👻 AC/DC "Highway to Hell" (Youtube)
🎼 Blue Oyster Cult "Don't Fear the Reaper" (Youtube)
👻 Creedence Clearwater Revival "I Put A Spell On You" (Youtube)
🎼 David Bowie "Scary Monsters and Super Creeps" (Youtube)
Donovan "Season of the Witch" (Youtube)
🎼 Duran Duran "Hungry Like the Wolf (Youtube)
👻 Fleetwood Mac "Black Magic Woman" (Youtube)
🎼 Michael Jackson "Thriller" (Youtube)
👻  Lady Gaga "Monster" (Youtube)
🎼 Men at Work "Who Can It Be Now?" (Youtube)
👻 Ray Parker Jr. "Ghostbusters" (Youtube)
🎼 Rockwell "Somebody's Watching Me!" (Youtube)
👻 Andrew Lloyd Webber "The Phantom of the Opera" (Youtube)

Thank you, Good Housekeeping for some of the ideas.

Monday 24 October 2022

Brontë, Charlotte "Shirley" - 1849


Brontë, Charlotte "Shirley" - 1849

This is my tenth Classic Spin and we were given #2.

One cannot read anything by Charlotte Brontë without comparing it to "Jane Eyre". Whilst that novel was about a poor girl with no relatives to help her, the poor girl in this story has an uncle who raises her. And cousins who like her. And a rich friend. So, a completely different story, one could say.

However, Shirley and her friend Caroline also show us the situation of women in the 19th century just as well as Jane Eyre. The story might not be as dramatic but it certainly is interesting. Charlotte Brontë shows quite a bit of humour in her narrative. Still, not my favourite.

From the back cover:

"Following the tremendous popular success of Jane Eyre, which earned her lifelong notoriety as a moral revolutionary, Charlotte Brontë vowed to write a sweeping social chronicle that focused on 'something real and unromantic as Monday morning.' Set in the industrializing England of the Napoleonic wars and Luddite revolts of 1811-12, Shirley (1849) is the story of two contrasting heroines. One is the shy Caroline Helstone, who is trapped in the oppressive atmosphere of a Yorkshire rectory and whose bare life symbolizes the plight of single women in the nineteenth century. The other is the vivacious Shirley Keeldar, who inherits a local estate and whose wealth liberates her from convention.

A work that combines social commentary with the more private preoccupations of Jane Eyre, Shirley demonstrates the full range of Brontë's literary talent. '
Shirley is a revolutionary novel,' wrote Brontë biographer Lyndall Gordon. 'Shirley follows Jane Eyre as a new exemplar but so much a forerunner of the feminist of the later twentieth century that it is hard to believe in her actual existence in 1811-12. She is a theoretic possibility: what a woman might be if she combined independence and means of her own with intellect. Charlotte Brontë imagined a new form of power, equal to that of men, in a confident young woman [whose] extraordinary freedom has accustomed her to think for herself.... Shirley [is] Brontë's most feminist novel'."

Here are all the books on my original Classics Club list.
And here is a list of all the books I read with the Classics Spin.

Friday 21 October 2022

Book Quotes of the Week


"Reading was a joy, a desperately needed escape - I didn’t read to learn, I was reading to read." Christian Bauman

That is something I have tried to tell many parents, if your child loves reading, they can learn everything. Doesn't every reader have those moments?

"Although it's clear that some books are better than others by any objective standard, literature isn't algebra. Two people can have wildly different opinions about a book and both be right." Chris Bojhalian

Anyone who is a member of a good book club will second that.

"A child educated only at school, is an uneducated child." George Santayana

Very true. So sad for those kids who don't learn anything at home, where the parents think that is only for school. Often, these kids are not prepared for school and will learn even less than the others. 

Find more book quotes here.

Thursday 20 October 2022

#ThrowbackThursday. The Kingsbridge Series


Follett, Ken "The Pillars of the Earth" (Kingsbridge #1) - 1989

A brilliant series of historical novels about a small village and its cathedral. It gets built in 12th century England.

"World Without End" (Kingsbridge #2) - 2007

The follow-up takes place 200 years after the first book.

"A Column of Fire" (Kingsbridge #3) - 2017

Kingsbridge in Tudor time.

The biggest part of England's history is touched upon in these novels. From the sinking of the White Ship over the Black Death unto the Gunpoweder plot, everything is described.

A very impressive series. Ken Follett's style is fantastic, his love for detail brilliant and the stories in his book exciting.

I am currently reading the Kingsbridge novel #0.5 "The Evening and the Morning", set around the year 1,000 AD.

Read my original reviews here: "The Pillars of the Earth", "World Without End" and "A Column of Fire".

Tuesday 18 October 2022

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Favourite Words of Places


"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 Favourite Words (This isn’t so much bookish, but the thought is that it would be fun to share words we love! These could be words that are fun to say, sound funny, mean something great, or make you smile when you read/hear them.)

I wanted to write a post about beautiful names of cities for ages. So, this is the opportunity.

A lot of them sound like dream words from 1001 Nights: Isfahan, Samarkand, Kandahar, Kashmir, Zanzibar, but there are other beautiful ones, Ouagadougou, Inishmore, Scarborough, Mandalay, and not to forget the most beautiful of all:

They are all pretty beautiful and there are hundreds more but I tried to restrict my list to ten.

Inishmore, an island in Galway Bay, Ireland, from Gaelic "Árainn" or "Árainn Mhór", "kidney-shaped" or "ridge"

Isfahan, a city in Iran, comes from Persian "Spahān" for "the armies".

Kandahar, a city in Afghanistan, founded by Alexander the Great, the name derives from "Iskandar", the local name for "Alexander".

Kashmir, a region in India, from Sanskrit, "land desiccated from water".

Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, village on the island of Anglesey in Wales, apparently the place with the longest name in the world (there is an even larger one in New Zealand), meaning "Saint Mary's Church in a hollow of white hazel near the rapid whirlpool of the church of Saint Tysilio with a red cave".

Mandalay, Burmese city, origins unknown, maybe "mandala", "circular plains" or "Mandara", a mythological mountain.
Not to be confused with Manderley, a fictional estate in England from the novel "Rebecca".

Ouagadougou, capital of Burkina Faso, originally "Wogodogo", meaning "where people get honour and respect".

Samarkand, situated in Uzbekistan, the origin of the name is the Sogdian (Eastern Iranian) language, "samar" is "stone, rock" and kand "fort, town".

Scarborough, a seaside town in Yorkshire, England, from Viking "Skarðaborg", "harelip", Nickname of its founder Thorgils, "borg" meaning "borough".

Zanzibar, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean, united with Tanganyika it became modern day Tanzania, the name came from Arabic "zanjibār" via the Persian "zangbâr", a compound of "zang" for "black" and "bâr" for "coast".

📚 Happy Reading! 📚

Bruckner, Karl "The Day of the Bomb"

Bruckner, Karl "The Day of the Bomb" (German: Sadako will leben) - 1961

I read this story as a child and it made a big impression on me. I learned a lot about the war from my parents, but this is definitely one of the books that contributed to me being anti-war and anti-nuclear power throughout my life.

The book should be on every school reading list. We get to know Sadako and her life and her will to live so well, we can put ourselves in her shoes and experience her drama up close.

No wonder the author received the Austrian Children's and Youth Book Prize for it.

From the back cover:

"First published in 1961 under the German title Sadako Will Leben (meaning Sadako Wants to Live), this non-fiction book by renowned Austrian children’s writer Karl Bruckner is considered his most famous work.

Telling the vivid story about a Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki, who lived in Hiroshima and died of illnesses caused by radiation exposure following the horrific atomic bombing of the city in August 1945, the book has been translated into most major languages and has been used as material for peace education in schools around the world.

"The day of the bomb was a day which was to change the lives of all mankind, not just Sadako.

Sadako is a little girl who lives with he parents and elder brother in wartime Hiroshima. She is a thin little girl because she doesn't get enough to eat, but she has a chubby face because she is still very young.

On August 6th, 1945, Sadako and her brother go to join the queue for food outside the Ministry. But Sadako is too weak to wait for their ration and her brother decides to carry her home. On the way he stops to bathe while Sadako sleeps on the lakeside.

Just as he dives into the lake the atom-bomb explodes over the town.

Sadako and her family survive the dropping of the bomb and the subsequent rigours of life in a post-war world - the black market, the shortages, the bitter competition. The pleasures and the tragedy of life in Japan at this time are seen here through the eyes of the young girl who wins local fame for her prowess in a bicycle relay race, only to find that even she cannot cycle fast to escape the events of the past.

Her story - and through it the story of mankind - is told with the vivid detail of a colour film and the sensitivity of a human documentary. It is an account without bitterness and without horror of an event that changed the course of history.

There is also another children's book about Sadako and her ordeal:
Coerr, Eleanor "Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes" - 1977

Monday 17 October 2022

Kafka, Franz "The Judgment"

Kafka, Franz "The Judgment" (German: Das Urteil) - 1912

A son's relationship with his father. The bad relationship between son and father. The terrible relationship between son and father. Supposedly the closest thing to Kafka's autobiography. If so, I no longer wonder at this writer's insane thoughts. How can a father wish his son dead?

Well, Kafka really isn't my thing at all.

Book Description:

"'The judgment' is considered the most autobiographical of Kafka's stories. First, there are Kafka's own commentaries and entries in his diary. When he re-read the story, for instance, he noted that only he could penetrate to the core of the story which, much like a newborn child, 'was covered with dirt and mucus as it came out of him'; he also commented in his diary that he wanted to write down all possible relationships within the story that were not clear to him when he originally wrote it. This is not surprising for a highly introverted writer like Kafka, but it does illustrate the enormous inner pressure under which he must have written 'The judgment.'"

Friday 14 October 2022

Book Quotes of the Week

"It's not that I don't like people. It's just that when I'm in the company of others - even my nearest and dearest - there always comes a moment when I'd rather be reading a book." Maureen Corrigan, Leave Me Alone, I'm Reading: Finding and Losing Myself in Book

Doesn't every reader have those moments?

"If you read the fine print, you will find that life is subject to change without notice." Nora McInerny,
No Happy Endings

Unfortunately. And we cannot ask for a rewind or a refund.

"Buying me books is a good way to win over my heart. Reading them, and discussing them with me, you might as well propose." N.N.

So true. I found my best friends through discussing books with them.

Find more book quotes here.

Thursday 13 October 2022

#ThrowbackThursday. The Grapes of Wrath


Steinbeck, John "The Grapes of Wrath" - 1939

I love Steinbeck's way of writing, his descriptive painting of people, scenes, environment, situations. A sad story. But I loved how the people helped each other out, how they shared the little they had if it was more than others had. I loved the descriptions of everything, be it the land, the people, actions, the situation.

We discussed this in our international book club in March 2009.

Read my original review here.

Wednesday 12 October 2022

The 1929 Club

This book challenge takes place twice a year and concentrates on one year and one year only. I call it "Read the Year Club". This time, 1929 was picked. For more information, see Simon @ Stuck in a Book. (Here is the invite.)

If you are looking for inspiration, there are a few books from that year that I read already:
Bulgakow, Michail "The Master and Margarita" (RUS: Мастер и Маргарита) - 1929-39
Döblin, Alfred "Berlin Alexanderplatz" (GE: Berlin Alexanderplatz) - 1929
Wolfe,Thomas "Look Homeward, Angel" - 1929

I also found some other ideas:
Hemingway, Ernest "A Farewell to Arms" (Goodreads)
Faulkner, William "The Sound and the Fury" (Goodreads)
Baum, Vicki "Menschen im Hotel" (
Grand Hotel) (Goodreads)

I picked:
Kästner, Erich "Emil und die Detektive" (Emil and the Detectives)
because it has always been on my wishlist. I might read the oters, as well, over time.

This challenge takes place from 24 to 30 October 2022.

If you would like to participate, it's still time to make up your mind.

Tuesday 11 October 2022

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Books about Travels


"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 Read On Vacation 

But I haven't been on a holiday for ages and I usually just carry on reading what I've been reading so far.

And I know, I've done Travel Books before but here are the last ten I read that I really loved. And I promise, they are not all the same as on the last one. So, you will have to be content with this.

Aaronovitch, David "Paddling to Jerusalem. An Aquatic Tour of Our Small Country" - 2000

Aitken, Ben "Dear Bill Bryson: Footnotes from a Small Island" - 2015

Andersson, Per J. "From the Swede who took the train and saw the world with different eyes" (aka Take the train: on the track through history, present and future) (SW: Ta tåget: på spåret genom historien, samtiden och framtiden) - 2019

Booth, Cathleen "Mercy & Grace on the Camino de Santiago" - 2020 

Bowman, W.E. "The Ascent of Rum Doodle" - 1956

Elliot, Jason "An Unexpected Light. Travels in Afghanistan" - 1999

Fatland, Erika "Sovietistan: Travels in Turkmenistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan" (NOR: Sovjetistan. En reise gjennom Turkmenistan, Kasakhstan, Tadsjikistan, Kirgisistan og Usbekistan) - 2014

Frankopan, Peter "The Silk Roads. A New History of the World" - 2015

Kaminer, Wladimir "Travel to Trulala" (GE: Die Reise nach Trulala) - 2002

Orth, Stephan "Couchsurfing in Iran: Revealing a Hidden World" (GE: Couchsurfing im Iran - Meine Reise hinter verschlossene Türen) - 2015

Now I'm curious to see what books others are reading during their holidays or about other people's holidays.

📚 Happy Reading! 📚

Monday 10 October 2022

Gotthelf, Jeremias "The Black Spider"

Gotthelf, Jeremias "The Black Spider" (German: Die schwarze Spinne) - 1842

A story that is probably as old as mankind. Several old legends are processed here. The eternal struggle between Good and Evil is described. The devil tries to bribe people. And anyone who doesn't keep their pact with him will be punished. I'm surprised they haven't made a movie out of it yet. Or maybe they did?

From the back cover:

"It is a sunny summer Sunday in a remote Swiss village, and a christening is being celebrated at a lovely old farmhouse. One of the guests notes an anomaly in the fabric of the venerable edifice: a blackened post that has been carefully built into a trim new window frame. Thereby hangs a tale, one that, as the wise old grandfather who has lived all his life in the house proceeds to tell it, takes one chilling turn after another, while his audience listens in appalled silence. Featuring a cruelly overbearing lord of the manor and the oppressed villagers who must render him service, an irreverent young woman who will stop at nothing, a mysterious stranger with a red beard and a green hat, and, last but not least, the black spider, the tale is as riveting and appalling today as when Jeremias Gotthelf set it down more than a hundred years ago. The Black Spider can be seen as a parable of evil in the heart or of evil at large in society (Thomas Mann saw it as foretelling the advent of Nazism), or as a vision, anticipating H. P. Lovecraft, of cosmic horror. There’s no question, in any case, that it is unforgettably creepy."

Saturday 8 October 2022

Nobel Prize for Literature 2022 goes to Annie Ernaux from France

I always look forward to this week. The Nobel Prize laureates of the year 2022 were announced. The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature is Annie Ernaux. She is the 16th French person to receive the award and the 17th woman.

I haven't read anything by her, so far, but I found some quotes and they sound very promising:

"I realize that I have left part of myself in a place where I shall probably never come back." from La Honte (Shame)

"I started to make a literary being of myself, someone who lives as if her experiences were to be written down someday." from Mémoire de fille (A Girl's Story)

"Maybe the true purpose of my life is for my body, my sensations and my thoughts to become writing, in other words, something intelligible and universal, causing my existence to merge into the lives and heads of other people." from
L'Èvénement (Happening)

"Sometimes I wonder if the purpose of my writing is to find out whether other people have done or felt the same things or, if not, for them to consider experiencing such things as normal. Maybe I would also like them to live out these very emotions in turn, forgetting that they had once read about them somewhere." from
Passion Simple (Simple Passion)

"When I write I do not have the impression of looking inside me, I look inside a memory."

Annie Ernaux received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2022 "for the courage and clinical acuity with which she uncovers the roots, estrangements and collective restraints of personal memory".

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

I read in the meantime:
"Les années" (The Years) - 2008

Friday 7 October 2022

Non-fiction November is Coming


The Classics Club is an interesting website. It gives us the opportunity not only to read the classics we always wanted to read, no, though their pages we are able to talk to others and also find new classics we didn't think about. Through them I found this challenge last year.

It's Non-Fiction November again and this year, it is hosted by Christopher from Plucked from the Stacks together with Katie @ Doing Dewey, Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction, Rebekah @ She Seeks Nonfiction, Jaymi (The OC Book Girl). They have put together a plan that looks highly interesting.

Here is the Official Schedule.

Week 1 (Oct 31-Nov 4) - Your Year in Nonfiction: Take a look back at your year of nonfiction and reflect on the following questions - What was your favorite nonfiction read of the year? Do you have a particular topic you’ve been attracted to more this year? What nonfiction book have you recommended the most? What are you hoping to get out of participating in Nonfiction November? (Katie @ Doing Dewey)

Week 2 (November 7-11) - Book Pairing: This week, pair up a nonfiction book with a fiction title (or another nonfiction!). It can be a "If you loved this book, read this!" or just two titles that you think would go well together. Maybe it’s a historical novel and you’d like to get the real history by reading a nonfiction version of the story. Or pair a book with a podcast, film or documentary, TV show, etc. on the same topic or stories that pair together. (Rennie @ What’s Nonfiction)

Week 3 (November 14-18) - Stranger Than Fiction: This week we’re focusing on all the great nonfiction books that almost don’t seem real. A sports biography involving overcoming massive obstacles, a profile on a bizarre scam, a look into the natural wonders in our world - basically, if it makes your jaw drop, you can highlight it for this week’s topic. (Christopher @ Plucked from the Stacks)

Week 4 (November 21-25) - Worldview Changers: 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 has impacted the way you see the world in a powerful way? Do you think there is one book that everyone needs to read for a better understanding of the world we live in? (Rebekah @ She Seeks Nonfiction)

Week 5 (November 28-Dec 2) - 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! Pro tip: Start this draft post at the beginning of the month and add to it as your TBR multiplies. (Jaymi @ The OC Bookgirl)


If you’re a Bookstagrammer, Jaymi (@theocbookgirl) will be running #NonfictionBookParty which will feature a host of challenges, buddy reads, story templates, and even giveaways! Be sure to check out her Instagram for more details.

And then there are graphics we can use for free for our posts. You can see, I took full advantage of it already. Here is the link.

This is my third year of taking part and here are my entries for the last years (or you can just go here).

My Non-Fiction November Entries from 2020:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

And last year, 2021:
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4
Week 5

This year, 2022:
Week 1 
Week 2
Week 3
Week 4 
Week 5 

This was instigated by our Classics Club reading challenge. I found them through Words and Peace. Thank you.

Thursday 6 October 2022

#ThrowbackThursday. Three Cups of Tea


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

Greg Mortenson gets lost on his way back from K2. He reaches a tiny little village in Pakistan and meets the most helpful people in the world. He see the conditions they live in and promises to come back and build them a school. He keeps his promise and carries on to build more than 50 schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

We discussed this in our international book club in May 2009.

Read my original review here.

Wednesday 5 October 2022

Twelve Years of Blogging

12th "Blogiversary"

It's a special day today. At least for me. Twelve years ago, I started this blog.

Twelve is a good number. We have twelve months in the year and two times twelve hours in a day. We also have twelve signs in the zodiac, in the Western as well as in the Chinese one. In mathematics, it's a so-called composite number, the smallest number with exactly six divisors, its divisors being 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 and 12. In the British imperial and monetary system, everything was either divisible by twelve or by twenty (e.g. 12 inches in a foot). We even have an extra word for twelve in most languages: a dozen. In most religions, it has a very symbolical value (see 12 apostles, 12 sons of Abraham, 12 days of Christmas).

Last year, I presented you with the number of entries I had in certain genres and here is an update:
Classics (369 as opposed to 329 last year), Nobel Prize Winners (128), Lists (192), Book Club (225). And I have found many other things to blog about over the years, Book Quotes (353 quotes), Top Ten Tuesday once a week (141 weeks by now) and new challenges all the time, the Classics Club, Spell the Month in Books, Six Degrees of Separation, Read the Year, Travel the World Through Books etc. I haven't started any other new reading challenges this year because I really need to "work on" my TBR pile. However, I started to add books to my German blog here.

See last year's blogiversary post.

Ivey, Eowyn "The Snow Child"


Ivey, Eowyn "The Snow Child" - 2012

I'm not a fantasy fan but I like magic realism and I like fairy tales. Some people will claim that is the same but I know real fantasy fans will agree. Now, this was a mixture between magic realism and fairy tale, it is based on an old Russian fairy tale but takes place in Alaska in the 1920s.

It is difficult to explain without giving too much away but the book description already says a lot. I liked the old couple and I loved the young girl. I liked the interaction between them and I also enjoyed the descriptions of the nature and the hard work people had to endure in order to make a living.

A great story about what could have been.

Book Description:

"Alaska, 1920: a brutal place to homestead, and especially tough for recent arrivals Jack and Mabel. Childless, they are drifting apart - he breaking under the weight of the work of the farm; she crumbling from loneliness and despair. In a moment of levity during the season's first snowfall, they build a child out of snow. The next morning the snow child is gone - but they glimpse a young, blonde-haired girl running through the trees."

Eowyn Ivey was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for "The Snow Child" in 2013.

Tuesday 4 October 2022

Top Ten Tuesday ~ Bookshop Books


"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 Favorite Bookstores OR Bookstores I’d Love to Visit (The UK celebrated National Bookshop Day on October 1)

I don't have the luxury of many bookstores in the area and when I get to visit a town, I usually visit at least three of their bookshops. So, I thought I'd present some books that take place in a bookshop - or a library. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Bivald, Katarina "The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend" (SWE: Läsarna i Broken Wheel rekommenderar) - 2013
Bythell, Shaun "Confessions of a Bookseller" - 2019
- "The Diary of a Bookseller" - 2017
Campbell, Jen "The Bookshop Book" - 2014
Fitzgerald, Penelope "The Bookshop" - 1978
Funke, Cornelia "Inkheart" (GE: Tintenherz) - 2003
Hanff, Helene "84 Charing Cross Road" + "The Duchess of Bloomsbury Street" - 1970 + 1973
Rice, Ronald (ed.) "My Bookstore: Writers Celebrate Their Favorite Places to Browse, Read, and Shop" - 2012
Ruiz Zafón, Carlos "The Shadow of the Wind" (E: La sombra del viento - El cementerio de los libros olvidados #1) - 2001
Seierstad, Åsne "The Bookseller of Kabul" (NO: Bokhandleren i Kabul) - 2003

I hope I will see many blogs that present interesting bookshops or books about bookshops.

📚 Happy Reading! 📚