Tag Archives: Literature

‘Whitethorn Woods’ by Maeve Binchy

25 Aug

I finally finished ‘Whitethorn Woods’ by Maeve Binchy. Finally more so because I fell into my typical summer reading hiatus and less because it was difficult to finish this book; it wasn’t. This has been my third Binchy novel and the more I read her books the more I want to read more. This is a weird sentence.

The novel centres around a well that may or may not have mystical powers in the woods outside of a place called Rossmore, Ireland. There are plans to build a bypass around the city that would run right through the well and thus destroy it. Throw in a lot of different characters that are all in some way connected with each other and have a relationship with that well of some sort and you got yourself a great story.

I enjoyed this novel very much because it tells so many stories of so many different people. You get the full spectrum of what humans are capable of, both positive and negative which is great. It doesn’t read like a made up story you get lost in, it resembles real life too much for that. It’s one of Maeve Binchy’s gifts in writing in my opinion, her stories always feel very real to me.

At this point, I don’t have so much more to say other than, read it if you like stories about people. You won’t regret it.

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Bookish Q&A

15 Aug

I saw this meme on two of my friends blogs, Charleen and Kirsti while I thought of my poor and neglected Book section so I decided this needed to be on my blog as well. Enjoy and feel free to copy this meme if you like as I’m not going to tag anyone in this.

Rules

  1. Post these rules
  2. Post a photo of your favorite book cover
  3. Answer the questions below
  4. Tag a few people to answer them too
  5. Go to their blog/twitter and tell them you’ve tagged them
  6. Make sure you tell the person who tagged you that you’ve taken part!

Favourite book cover?

This one is easy:

Isn't the cover beautiful?

What are you reading right now?

I’m a bit stuck with ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and I’m also reading ‘Whitethorn Woods’ by Maeve Binchy which I enjoy a lot but have not finished yet because I fell into my usual summer reading hiatus. Not sure why this keeps happening but apparently it’s a thing for me.

Do you have any idea what you’ll read when you’re done with that?

I have the first book of the Game of Thrones series on lend from a friend. Maybe I will give that one a shot or finish my attempt to make it through the entire Sherlock Holmes canon.

What five books have you always wanted to read but haven’t gotten round to?

  1. ‘My Life’ by Bill Clinton
  2. ‘Living History’ by Hillary Rodham Clinton
  3. ‘War and Peace’ by Leo Tolstoy
  4. ‘Gone With the Wind’ by Margaret Mitchell
  5. ‘The Catcher in the Rye’ by J.D. Salinger

What magazines do you have in your bathroom/lounge right now?

None, I feel pressure with magazines because there is a lot to read and depending on the number of issues per month I feel like I’m cheating on my books. So no magazines for me. There’s a book about mathematical anecdotes in my bathroom though.

What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

Easy, this one. Also, Twilight was not great either.

What book seemed really popular but you didn’t like it?

Damn, I mentioned Twilight too early, didn’t I?

What’s the one book you always recommend to just about anyone?

See above for best cover, Lauren Groff – The Monsters of Templeton. Amazing prose and storyline.

What are your three favourite poems?

The Panther by Rainer Maria Rilke. I mostly love it for its sound and it loses a lot through the translation into English. Sonnet XLIII by Edna St. Vincent Millay. The last three lines always get me. They always do. And the third one is Song by Allen Ginsberg.

Where do you usually get your books?

I like to actually purchase books. Unfortunately due to my location I end up ordering a lot of them from Amazon because German bookstores only have a very limited choice of English books and I prefer to read books in their original language as far as I am able to.

When you were little, did you have any particular reading habits?

Umm, not that I’m aware of. I remember reading mostly mystery and adventure books instead of girlie books though.

What’s the last thing you stayed up half the night reading because it was too good to put down?

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. Very captivating and pulling at your heart strings.

Have you ever “faked” reading a book?

I don’t know what that means ;)

Have you ever bought a book just because you liked the cover?

Not exactly, I definitely decided to give a book a closer loo because of its cover and then decided to buy it because it sounded good so yes-ish?!

What was your favourite book when you were a child?

The Miss Marple series by Agatha Christie.

What book changed your life?

Tough one. I don’t know if there is a book that changed my life per se.

What is your favourite passage from a book?

I answered this in a recent VEDA video:

Who are your top five favourite authors?

Jane Austen, JK Rowling, Kerry Reichs, Lauren Groff and John Green.

What book has no one heard about but should read?

Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff. It’s a collection of short stories and even though I am usually not very into them but this collection was something else. Go check it out!

What book are you an “evangelist” for?

I don’t know! I haven’t read a book that I liked but had to defend myself for liking it if this is what you’re asking.

What are your favourite books by a first time author?

I am not very up to date with the new trends so my first time authors are not first timers anymore.

What is your favourite classic book?

Pride and Prejudice and Jane Eyre I would have to say.

Five other notable mentions?

Anna Karenina – Leo Tolstoy
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Every Jane Austen novel ever
The Bertie Wooster series by P.G. Wodehouse
Leaving Unknown – Kerry Reichs

Don’t you have enough by now?

19 Apr

The simple answer is – NO! One can never have too many books.

Ever since I was a little girl, I loved going through my grandmas books. I studied the authors and titles, looking for special one’s like War and Peace (which I never found even though she told me she had it), memorising their locations and storing the information away for a later day. I knew back then that having a library in a home would be my biggest accomplishment. I guess this is partly why I love buying books so much. I want my own damn library, OKAY?!!

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Yesterday I came across this post on Tumblr and I started to think about which room I could turn into a full-blown library. I didn’t reach a conclusive decision yet but I still have time and need to get more books first. Regardless I wanted to show you what I’ve got so far.

Only Kirsti beat me to it and now I look like a copy-cat. You have my word though that this is a coincidence and she was just faster than me, mkay? Here we go then.

DSC_0014This is the representational side, the nice mostly hardcover books. You’ve got the collected works of Shakespeare, some Russian literature (yes, War and Peace, I got my own copy, thanks for nothing Grandma) on the top left and the paperbacks on the right are crime novels; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie mostly. Also, most of these books are in German.

DSC_0009Moving on to the other side of the same bookshelf, are the books I treasure most. Some classics and most of my English paperbacks. Yes, that truly is the Twishit-saga, I haven’t gotten rid of it yet, though it’s moving out next time I need more space for real books. I also got a Quran and a Bible, if I’d had read them I could actually become the next Pi Patel but as I haven’t, I’m safe. The Bible was a gift from my uncle and the Quran I got free in a Mosque in Bahrain so why not have it, looked nice and you never know when it might come in handy.

These books are neither sorted by name or author. It’s a very special system, based on publishing house, size, my love for it and the ability to best fit in these compartments. It may not be a logical system, there are at least 4 different compartments housing Jane Austen novels, but it’s my system and I love it.

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 Exploiting the little space there was between the wall and chimney, I put these two mini-shelves up to shelter some of the series I read.

The one on the left is mostly occupied with the Eve Dallas Series. I’ve been reading them for close to 10 years now I think and they are my guilty pleasure books although the latest I’ve read tend to lack a little of the stuff that once made me read them in a hurry. Maybe it’s just me growing out of them or the bad translations, I’m not sure. Now that Mom is not there demanding to be able to read them as well I can switch to the Originals though.

Aaaaaand, Thursday Next, of course.

On the right is a series of a local author whose books may not be the most demanding literature but it’s nice to read a novel which is set in your small city.

Below that is the Temperance Brennan series located. I hate that they all have different sizes and designs but I guess I can’t change that.

DSC_0010Concluding this post is my book outlet located in the stairwell. Yes, the shelf is actually that crooked. It was the first IKEA thing I ever put together when I 14 or 15 so please forgive me. I didn’t have a father to teach me how to do such things properly, I had to learn the hard way. Nevertheless these are books I inherited from various people. To my shame, I barely read them but they look nice and I adore old books even though I can hardly read some of them as they are written in Fraktur which takes some practice to get used to.

I hope this wasn’t too boring for y’all. Maybe I can come up with something more substantial next time.

30 Days of Books – Day 29

29 Nov

A book everyone hated but you liked

Previously: Favourite title

Again I’m digging way back into my days as a schoolgirl. In grade 10 we had to read Katz und Maus (Cat and Mouse) by Günther Grass in german lit.

 

Most of my classmates hated this book but I didn’t. It is vulgar at times but something made it not that terrible to me as it was for my friends. Grass is a controversial author, or at least, I like to think of him as such. He is one of the big german contemporary authors but that doesn’t mean we have to like it just because he won the Nobel Prize in Literature. Also, I’m not sure if I liked this book, but I hated it less than the other kids in class so I think it counts. But frankly, I don’t need to read it again anytime soon. All the Nazi and 3rd Reich topics are not my favourite.

Next: Your favourite book of all time

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