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In my mailbox


Hosted by The Story Siren

 

“Every seventh wave” by Daniel Glattauer in the original German version “Alle sieben Wellen”. This is the sequel to “Love virtually” (“Gut gegen Nordwind”)

 

“Sweat Shop Paris” by Martena Duss & Sissi Holleis from Netgalley.

 

  • 2 German books on jam making (I blogged about one of them in my last Weekend Cooking post)
  • 3 German books on crochet
  • 2 German books on Amigurumi

 

alle_sieben_wellensweat_shop_parislibrary_110731

 

What was in YOUR mailbox recently?  Check out other In my mailbox participants here.

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Weekend cooking: Apricot jam with chocolate

I love making jam at home. No, I love having my bread baking machine make jam for us.

This week I got two books from the library with recipes for making jam, one of them is the one you see below (sorry, it is German).

marmeladen

It has so many delicious recipes in it I didn’t know where to start. So I started with what I had at home and made apricot jam with chocolate. Actually, that recipe is not even in the book, it gave the recipes for either raspberry-chocolate jam or strawberry-chocolate jam, so I adapted them a bit for my purposes.

The result is more than yummy!

Here is my recipe (only a small amount, I don’t make jam to last 5 years for a family of ten):

Apricot-chocolate jam

  • 600g apricots, without stones and cut up into small cubes
  • 300g jam sugar (2:1)
  • a bit of lemon juice
  • 100g chocolate, grated to flakes (I used less than the recipes said)

jam1Set the chocolate aside. Make jam from the remaining ingredients as usual (I just throw everything into my bread baking machine and wait until it beeps. When it is done and gels, add the chocolate flakes and fill them into the containers, put the lid on, turn them on their heads for a few minutes. Let cool down. Enjoy!

For labels I used the wonderful round labels by Cathe Holden. I normally put them on the lid, because they cover whatever is on the lid and they fit perfectly. On her blog Just something I made Cathe shares a lot of great designs to use for your craft projects. Check her out!

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Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera, 4

kundera

“Symposium”

This story is set at a hospital over the course of one night and the following day. The characters all belong to the hospital staff and work the night shift together (or rather spend the night shift drinking and discussing love and life). Subliminal messages are all over the place and more often than not are misunderstood.

This symposium in the old sense of the word very much reminded me of the Hospital at the end of the city, a Czech TV series from the 70s or so. I always sat mesmerized in front of the TV, watching all the entanglements of the hospital staff with the patients, the womanizing doctor, the senior physician (even though Dr. Sova would never have had a girlfriend!), the nurse with loose morals, it was all there, just a bit condensed.

I very much liked all the little goings on, the trainee who is a bit of an outsider among the old hands, who thinks the female doctor, who in turn has an affair with the married head physician, has a crush on him and gave him a sign to meet him outside. Only to find himself in the company of the head physician himself following the call of nature. Dr. Havel who is like Death – he takes everything (i.e. every woman), just not the nurse. The nurse who later tries to commit suicide – or not. It’s all very complicated with lots of undercurrents.  I loved it.

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Joseph Goebbels by Curt Riess

Blurb:

Well, it is a biography of Joseph Goebbels, what else can you say?


In a nutshell:

I liked it:  x Yes       No

For people who are: interested in history, the Third Reich, National Socialism, WWII


My thoughts: 

To my disgrace I have to confess that I knew next to nothing about Joseph Goebbels, except for that he was in charge of the Nazi propaganda. I don’t remember how I even came across this book but when I decided to read about WWII for the One, Two, Theme challenge I added it to my list.

I got a German edition from 1950 (the book was published first in 1949), it is also available in various English editions. Curt Riess is a German-born journalist who emigrated 1933 to the US and worked as a war correspondent for the US Army. He published this biography in 1948 after researching documents he found in post-war Germany and interviewing relatives, friends and employees of Goebbels.

I can’t say I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, but it did keep me reading on and on. I finished it within a week, but read other things in between, as the whole story is rather hard to digest. The war itself is only mentioned “in passing” as Goebbels himself had rather little to do with the operational, military side of things. Also the known atrocities are only talked about on a few occasions, like for example when he was asked whether it was true that concentration camps existed and he – “after checking back” – answered that there was no such thing.

I would think that all the material Riess used must be fairly unspoilt and fresh as it was collected directly from remains of the propaganda ministry or from people who knew Goebbels personally and rather well.

There are a lot of quotes from Goebbels writings that show a glimpse into what he was really thinking and how he managed to be such a convincing devil’s advocate even in cases where he personally did not believe in what he was preaching.

If you are only slightly interested in the Third Reich and in one of its key figures, this is a must read.

Product info and buy link :

Title Joseph Goebbels
Author Curt Riess
Publisher Ballantine Books
ISBN ASIN: B0007EQ3Y6
Buy link Buy Joseph Goebbels: A biography

 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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What is a teleidoscope?

A lot of people are coming to my blog because they have entered “teleidoscope” as a search term.  Maybe some my regular readers have also wondered what on Earth a teleidoscope is.

A teleidoscope is similar to a kaleidoscope, but much, much cooler. A kaleidoscope only creates its images from little bits of glass (or whatever it is) that are inside it. A teleidoscope creates those cool images from items that are OUTSIDE it. So, if you point your teleidoscope to your bookshelf, you will see those books in some way when you look through it. The number of images it can create is endless.  Not two images are exactly the same.

I bought my own teleidoscope in the 90s in Key West in a small artist’s shop. It has been my pride and joy ever since. Here it is:

teleidoscope

I found a very nice image of what a teleidoscope can do on flickr. If you look closely you can see the trees and the sky.

teleidoscope_trees

Image by jcarwash31 at flickr

For more images there is a flickr group called Teleidoscope.  

The image at the top of my sidebar is an image of some artwork on our walls in the hall.  

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Paris in July: A moveable feast by Ernest Hemingway

A moveable feastBlurb:

‘If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast.’ Hemingway’s memories of his life as an unknown writer living in Paris in the 1920s are deeply personal, warmly affectionate and full of wit. Looking back not only at his own much younger self, but also at the other writers who shared Paris with him – literary ‘stars’ like James Joyce, Wyndham Lewis, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Ezra Pound and Gertrude Stein – he recalls the time when, poor, happy and writing in cafes, he discovered his vocation.

 


In a nutshell:

I liked it:  x  Yes       No

For people who like: Hemingway, Paris, the 1920s, biographies 


 

My thoughts: 

It took me quite some time to read this, but not because I didn’t like it. It’s just that biographical writing never keeps my attention as much as fiction, no idea why. So I read a lot of stuff in between. Hemingway_1923

This was fascinating. Ernest Hemingway describes a time and a lifestyle that is lost. He and his wife  Hadley were living a lifestyle that sounds unbelievably bohemian and almost romantic. It seems life in Paris in the 1920 cost buttons. He was poor, still they had money to go to the races, drink every day at various cafés, go skiing in Austria, go to Spain for the bull fights…..Working somehow seemed to get done in passing.

Hemingway met a lot of interesting people, all American expats, and what he has to say about them is not always flattering, but always interesting. I know nothing about Gertrude Stein, but what I learned about her here makes me want to go and find out more. The same with Ezra Pound. I particularly enjoyed reading Hemingway’s descriptions and observations about F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife Zelda.

If you like reading about past times that everyone wishes back, then this is the book for you. Don’t we all want a moveable feast in our lives?

Image: Ernest Hemingway’s passport photo in 1923. Source: Wikipedia

Product info and buy link :

Title A moveable feast
Author Ernest Hemingway
Publisher Scribner
ISBN 978-0684833637
Buy link Buy A Moveable Feast

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Sakura’s review at chasing bawa

Lakeside Musing

Bookstore bingo 

Bookstorebingo_Moveable_Feast 

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Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer

gut_gegen_nordwindBlurb:

It’s a virtual romance that begins by chance. When Leo mistakenly receives e-mails from a stranger named Emmi, he replies–and Emmi writes back.  Soon, secrets are shared, sparks fly, and erotic tension simmers. Even though Emmi is married, it seems only a matter of time till they meet. But will their feelings survive a real-life encounter?  And, if so-what then? Funny and fast-paced, Love Virtually offers plenty of twists, turns, and satisfaction.


In a nutshell:

I liked it:  x  Yes       No

For people who like: epistolary novels, e-mail romance, who think that life on the net is real and not just fluff.


My thoughts: 

I first read about this in a post by Stu about epistolary novels which I like a lot. “Love virtually” is the modern equivalent, a novel in e-mails instead of letters. It sounded like something I might enjoy, so I got the original German version (called “Gut gegen Nordwind”) right away. And read it within one day which says a lot, given that I am a rather slow reader (not because I am slow at reading, but because I have not much time to read, I might add). But this was worth losing an hour of sleep over.

I loved how Emmi and Leo slowly, slowly got closer, from a polite and short exchange about a wrong email address to a deep friendship and (possible) romance. The conversations were sometimes extremely short, sometimes very long, very witty, sometimes loving, sometimes truly angry. They sometimes stopped writing for a couple of days but in the end they couldn’t leave each other alone.

Why at some points they didn’t revert to chatting I didn’t get. Instead of emailing a 3-sentence-mail every 20 seconds they could have gone and chatted more effectively. But I suppose this would have interrupted the thought of a 100% e-mail correspondence.

One thing I must complain about, however, is the abrupt ending. This just was too quick and disappointing for this reader. But not all is lost. I heard from LoveVirtually on twitter that there is a sequel (something I was oblivious to) called “Every seventh wave” (German “Alle sieben Wellen”). Good news after all. Do I need to say that I already ordered it?

Product info and buy link :

Title Love virtually
Author Daniel Glattauer
Publisher SilverOak
ISBN 978-1402786747
Buy link Buy Love Virtually

 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Stu’s review at Winstonsdad

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Necklace knockoff

On Flamingo Toes I saw this wonderful Boden Boulevard necklace knockoff. So last week I bought a couple of supplies and went to work. Instead of the twill I bought velvet ribbon and the link chain is different, too, but I totally like the result.

I only realized later that I made a mistake in one of the strands (you can see it on the picture), but true to the motto “Is mir egal, ich lass das jetzt so” (roughly: I don’t care, I’ll leave it like that now) I, well, left it like that.

necklace1107

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UK & EU Summer Hop Introduction giveaway

Only a few more days before the UK & EU Summer Hop giveaway starts.

 

To spread the word Donna and Jodie who organize the hop have put together a few great introduction giveaways to win. All you need to do is tweet about the upcoming hop and you will be entered for the drawing of some very generous swag and book giveaways. Hop on over to the UK & EU summer hop blog to find out more.

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The Art of Steampunk by Art Donovan

art_of_steampunkBlurb:

“Extraordinary Devices and Ingenious Contraptions from the Leading Artists of the Steampunk Movement”

The Art of Steampunk seeks to celebrate the world of Steampunk: a world filled with beauty and innovation.  A world in which steam power and technology intertwine to create machines that are not only functional and practical, but unique and striking. 

Art Donovan is the owner of Donovan Design, a handmade lighting company with clients like Tiffany & Co, Bennetti Luxury Yachts, and Four Seasons Resorts. He also specializes in Steampunk-inspired lighting and artwork, and runs a blog devoted to the subculture at http://artdonovan.typepad.com/blog/ He’s also a regular contributor on The Steampunk Home blog, and was the curator of the Steampunk Exhibition at the Museum of the History of Science at The University of Oxford.


In a nutshell:

I liked it:  x Yes       No

For people who like: Steampunk, design, art,


My thoughts: 

When I saw this book at Netgalley it caught my eye right away. I have been a regular visitor of The Steampunk Home for quite some time now  and just love to look at all those gorgeous designs. Also, a book about Steampunk art, instead of fiction, is a good addition to my books for the Steampunk Challenge.

This book is a feast for the eyes.

First we learn about the Steampunk exhibition (of which Art Donovan was the curator) at the Museum of the History of Science  at the University of Oxford, which is followed by an introduction to Steampunk. Already at this point some gorgeous designs are shown.

Then follows a “Steampunk 101” by G. D. Falksen where he answers some very basic questions every Steampunk newbie will ask, for example, “Where does the punk come in” or “What about goggles”.

The next 17 chapters are each dedicated to one specific artist. At the beginning each one is introduced and then his or her designs are displayed. Now this is where the eye candy starts. I just couldn’t stop looking at those gorgeous looking items. I was going to mention some of the most remarkable items but I realized I couldn’t pick any because they all are so wonderful to look at. Just to give you an idea, there is a  laptop, jewellery, sculptures, a cover for cell phones, a clockwork heart, the list could go on and on.

I am considering myself to be a Steampunk newbie and this book is a very good introduction to Steampunk design. Even though you might not be particularly interested in Steampunk as a literary genre or life style, the designs are so beautiful that I can’t imagine anybody would not enjoy looking at them and subsequently want to know more about Steampunk in general.

Product info and buy link :

Title The Art of Steampunk
Author Art Donovan
Publisher Fox Chapel Publishing
ISBN 978-1565235731
Buy link Buy The Art of Steampunk

 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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Needlework Tuesday: Mass production

Since my crocheted netbook cover turned out so well I decided to go into mass production of various pouches.  After I made a small lime pouch for some math flash cards for one of my sons he wanted one for his Yu-Gi-Oh cards (the black one). Then his friend saw it and asked whether he could have one for his Harry Potter cards (the red one, this is NOT pink!).

pouches

Then I made a fluffy cream and very light pink cell phone cover, which turned out a bit too big, but my cell will have to put up with it. Can it get more girly than that?cell_cover

 

Those little projects are such fun, quickly finished and I get the feeling I got something accomplished. Love them!

 

Join us for Needlework Tuesday which is hosted by Heather from Books and Quilts.

 

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Sew up a home makeover by Lexie Barnes

sew_upBlurb:

Want to bring a new look to a tired room without spending a fortune? Designer Lexie Barnes shows you how to personalize your living space in just a few hours, with 50 fresh, fun, pattern-free sewing projects.  Transform a living room with a custom-designed slipcover and coordinated pillows. Redecorate a bedroom in a weekend by sewing up a headboard cover, a lampshade, and matching window treatments. Learn how easy and inexpensive it can be to change the look of a child’s room as she grows from a baby to a kid to a teenager.  With dramatic before-and-after examples, beautifully styled photography, and a fun “you-can-do-it” attitude, Sew Up a Home Makeover is a creative resource that you’ll return to every time you’re ready for a new look.


In a nutshell:

I liked it:  x Yes       No

For people who like: to sew and like easy projects. Especially if they are sewing newbies.


My thoughts: 

As a complete sewing newbie I totally loved this book. I have to admit that I haven’t re-created any of the projects, but I am pretty optimistic that it wouldn’t be a problem to do so with the given instruction.

I liked how the book was structured and the overall look. The photos were gorgeous and made you want to go out and buy more fabric right and re-do the complete home away.

The book starts with three chapters introducing the reader to the basics of sewing (very important for the beginners). They deal with the six principles of decorating and making over your home, fabrics & tools (like for example what should be in your sewing kit) and tips & techniques (various types of stitches, stitch jargon etc.).

The there follow four makeover challenges, each sub–divided into rooms or occasions and again into various projects. Just to give you a few examples:

  • Room: La Vida Lively – Project: Stretched Canvas Art
  • Room: Sweet Dream Bedroom – Project: Upholstered Headboard
  • Occasion: Tea for Two – Project: Unlined Napkins
  • Room: Pee Wee Playhouse – Project: Marshmallow Cushion
  • Room: Craft Atelier – Project: Utilitarian Table Cover

There are many, many more…and they all look absolutely stunning. Each project gives you an exact list of needed supplies, the finished size of Ms. Barnes’ project (the size of a lot of them depend on the size of your furniture or needs) and very clear instructions with easy to understand illustrations.

I got this book from netgalley as an e-book and could only read it on the PC, but I am considering getting the print edition so I can take a closer look and so that I have the instructions right in front of me.

Product info and buy link :

Title Sew up a home makeover
Author Lexie Barnes
Publisher Storey Publishing, LLC
ISBN 978-1603427975
Buy link Buy Sew Up a Home Makeover
(available from Sept. 24)

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I’d love to hear other opinions.

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In my mailbox


Hosted by The Story Siren

 

“Love virtually” in the original German version called “Gut gegen Nordwind” by Daniel Glattauer. I saw Stu’s review of Love virtually which made me extremely curious. I just found out today from LoveVirtually on Twitter that there is a sequel. Already ordered it.

 

“The Art of Steampunk” by Art Donovan from Netgalley, great for my Steampunk Challenge

“Starting from happy” by Patricia Marx from Simon & Schuster

 

gut_gegen_nordwind art_of_steampunk starting_from_happy

What was in YOUR mailbox recently?  Check out other In my mailbox participants here.

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Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera, 3

kundera

“The Hitchhiking Game”

The Hitchhiking Game is the third story in Laughable Loves. It is about a couple who are on their way to their holiday location and start a role playing game that they can’t seem to stop.

I always liked The Hitchhiking Game but when I read it this time it made me pretty sad. The man and woman who are very much in love start playing this game where she pretends to be a hitchhiker and he picks her up on the way. They both get so carried away that she actually starts to think that he cheats on her with her alter ego.  He in turn starts to show his dislike for easy girls (that he happily goes out with nevertheless) as if she was one herself. I found the whole setting quite disturbing especially since the end of the story is not a positive one, it leaves things open and the reader has no idea whether the previously perfect relationship is disrupted for good or not.

Excellent story, but depressing.

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Welcome to Blogfest 2011

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Welcome to Blogfest 2011!

Since the last blogfest I have changed the name of my blog and expanded the topics I cover a bit. I still mainly blog about everything bookish, but also about crafts, and various other things that come to my mind.

Have a look around, don’t forget to enter my giveaway and then hop on to the next participating blogs and see what they have to offer.

To see a full list of participants (there are over 200!), please go to A Journey of Books. There you will also find a tracking page where you can track your progress you made during the blogfest.

If you would like to know about my future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+

Now to the giveaway…

chinese_english

I am giving away a used copy (good condition) of A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers by Xiaolu Guo. I blogged about this book in a very, very short post almost three years ago, but you can find a longer review of it at Libri Touches. The giveaway is international.

Product description

Language and love collide in this inventive novel of a young Chinese woman’s journey to the West and her attempts to understand the language, and the man, she adores.Zhuang – or “Z,” to tongue-tied foreigners – has come to London to study English, but finds herself adrift, trapped in a cycle of cultural gaffes and grammatical mishaps. Then she meets an Englishman who changes everything, leading her into a world of self-discovery. She soon realizes that, in the West, “love” does not always mean the same as in China, and that you can learn all the words in the English language and still not understand your lover. And as the novel progresses with steadily improving grammar and vocabulary, Z’s evolving voice makes her quest for comprehension all the more poignant. With sparkling wit, Xiaolu Guo has created an utterly original novel about identity and the cultural divide.

Please fill out the form below to enter.

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Paris in July: Pictures of Paris

It is more than appropriate to post a couple of pictures of Paris during our Paris in July event. Just so we can all see what we are missing while we are sitting at home blogging about it…

 

 

paris_1

From Notre Dame. You can see the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

paris_2

From Notre Dame again. I love those grotesques. In the background on the hill you can see Sacré-Coeur.

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Needlework Tuesday: Netbook Cover

It’s been a while since my last Needlework Tuesday post. My wrap is lying in its basket, not even half finished, waiting for me to continue. I’m sure you know how it is.

However, last week I got a new toy to play with. It’s a cute, little netbook and it needed a cover badly. Why not make one myself? First I thought about sewing one and had a look around for instructions. At Tipnut I came across a variety of patterns, among them some for crochet. I changed my mind quickly and decided to crochet instead of sewing one.

I more or less used the pattern for this cover at Roses n Lilies. Just that I added a flap to mine so I could close the cover with a button. And I changed it a tiny bit at the beginning. I added 2 chains after the first row of single crochet on both sides to make the curve a bit rounder.

netbook_cover1

I already had the yarn at home, it wouldn’t have been my first choice as far as the color combo is concerned, but I wanted to use what I already had. I used two strands (one purple, one lime) at the same time. The yarn originally needed a 3.5 hook and I used a 5 which gave it a very sturdy, firm feel and a very snug fit.

netbook_cover2

I found another kind of cover, more the envelope type with a more elaborate pattern at On Hooks & Needles. It looks a bit loose in my eyes, but that could easily be adjusted. I might give that one a try, too.

This project is so easy, you can’t go wrong with it. Perfect for beginners and great to try out all sorts of color combos. I can already picture myself creating a number of mobile phone sleeves as well (and use leftover yarn in the process).

 

Join us for Needlework Tuesday which is hosted by Heather from Books and Quilts.

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Paris in July: Amants by Catherine Guillebaud

zwei_liebende_coverBlurb:

This is the story of a man and a woman who fall in love with each other and start an affair even though they are both married. They can’t live together, but can’t be without each other either.

It is an unreasonable “amour fou”, but deep, passionate and extremely painful for both of them. 


In a nutshell:

I liked it:  x Yes         No

For people who… don’t mind a love story that involves adultery. Who like strong feelings. Who like a detached writing style. Who don’t mind a story with no happily ever after.


My thoughts: 

It seems as if this book is not translated into English so it is kind of pointless to review it in English, but maybe there are some people out there who are interested in reading it in the original French language.

I liked this book very much even though the writing style is very different from what I normally read. Catherine Guillebaud tells us the story of two people who meet, separate, get together again, this time with the intention of starting a love affair and then spend the next years as a secret, but extremely passionate couple. She talks about them as if she was a completely innocent bystander without any judgement or emotions. The woman and the man are never called by their name (except that, I think once each of their names are mentioned, but in a casual way), they are just “the man” and “the woman” or “he” and “she”.

They spend their lives mostly apart and this leads to a lot of discontent and bad feelings towards each other even though they crave being together. Their relationship sometimes takes quite a dubious way towards dominance and submission, this is probably slightly uncomfortable for some readers.

I can’t say I *enjoyed* reading this story, but it was a very good read that explored the deep emotions, mainly of the woman, who was trapped in a parallel life with her lover as well as in her “real” life about which we hardly learn anything. She only exists for the hours or days with her lover. When the man falls ill towards the end she suffers terribly as she is far away from him and first knows nothing about his whereabouts and later nothing about his condition. Eventually at the end, when they see each other again, everything is left open. We don’t know what is going to happen.

Product info and buy link :

Title Zwei Liebende (German translation)
Author Catherine Guillebaud
Publisher Fischer
ISBN 9783596160082
Buy link “Zwei Liebende” kaufen

Title Amants (French original)
Author Catherine Guillebaud
Publisher Seuil
ISBN 978-2020606547
Buy link Buy "Amants"

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I’d love to hear other opinions.

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In my mailbox


Hosted by The Story Siren

 

  • “The track of sand” by Andrea Camilleri. This is the 12th instalment of the Commissario Montalbano series and I am very much looking forward to reading it. It is one of my favourite detective series. Here you can see a list of the books in chronological order
  • “Heartless” by Gail Carriger, the fourth instalment in the Parasol Protectorate series. You can read an interview with Gail Carriger about Heartless at Bookaholics Anonymous.
  • “I wish someone were waiting for me somewhere” by Anna Gavalda which I want to read for Paris in July

 

  • “Sew up a home makeover” by Lexie Barnes from NetGalley. This is going to be different, since I will have to read it on the PC. I can’t read a book like this on the e-reader. Not sure how I will like that, but the books sounds just right for me being a sewing newbie.

 

track of sand heartless i_wish_someone

sew_up

 

What was in YOUR mailbox recently?  Check out other In my mailbox participants here.

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Laughable Loves by Milan Kundera, 2

kunderaThis is about the second story in the book “Laughable Loves” by Milan Kundera.

“The Golden Apple of Eternal Desire”

This is the story of a bachelor narrator and his friend and their hunt for women.

Martin, the narrator’s friend, is a rather terrible character. He is constantly on the lookout for new women, in fact has even developed a system of three steps to get to know them and remember them for future usage. Not that he actually ever gets to “do” anything, he actually is quite a loser. On a trip to a small town where the two men are supposed to meet two women he registers so many other women that it is almost mind boggling. When they finally get to the small town in question he reveals to the narrator that  they only have about an hour for meeting the women, warming them up and seducing them, as he has to be back home at a certain time because his wife (whom he is very much in love with) likes to play cards with him before going to bed! What a Casanova!

On the other hand he is so keen on hearing the success stories of others that the narrator feels under pressure to invent a story about a hot girl he met.

The story of Martin really is quite pathetic when you come to think of it. It reveals the ridiculous behaviour of some men who obviously only get validation from the number of women they “conquer”. When they HAVE done that though, they feel driven to immediately look for their next possible victim. They play with her, and as soon as they succeed in any way they move on. It’s all about the game for them. A good story that gives us a lot of insight into the mind of (some) men.

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Book beginnings on Friday

partie4Today I am looking at the first few sentences of a great novel that I recommend to everybody. I only read it once and probably won’t read it again, not because I didn’t like it but because it takes some dedication to read it. After all it has 1.474 page.

It is “A suitable boy” by Vikram Seth.

A suitable boy is the story of Lata whose mother is looking for a suitable husband for her daughter and at the same time it is the story of a newly independent India.

A lot of other stories are interwoven and reading them is a great pleasure.

The first chapter starts with the wedding of Lata’s sister Savita.

“You too will marry a boy I choose,” said Mrs Rupa Mehra firmly to her younger daughter.

Lata avoided the maternal imperative by looking around the great lamp-lit garden of Prem Nivas. The wedding-guests were gathered on the lawn. “Hmm,” she said. This annoyed her mother  further.

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Paris in July: 13 quotes

Today I am combining Thursday 13 with Paris in July and found thirteen quotes about Paris.

Louvre Image by Dimitri B from flickr.com

  • If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life, it stays with you, for Paris is a movable feast. ~Ernest Hemingway
  • America is my country and Paris is my hometown. ~Gertrude Stein
  • When spring comes to Paris the humblest mortal alive must feel that he dwells in paradise. ~Henry Miller
  • In Paris they simply stared at me when I spoke to them in French. I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their language. ~Mark Twain
  • Of course I have played outdoor games. I once played dominoes in an open air cafe in Paris. ~Oscar Wilde
  • The best of America drifts to Paris. The American in Paris is the best American. It is more fun for an intelligent person to live in an intelligent country. France has the only two things toward which we drift as we grow older—intelligence and good manners.  ~F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • [Paris] is dirty. It has pigeons and black yards. The people have white skin. ~Albert Camus
  • To have one’s mother-in-law in the country when one lives in Paris, and vice versa, is one of those strokes of luck that one encounters only too rarely. ~Honoré de Balzac
  • Nowhere is one more alone than in Paris … and yet surrounded by crowds. Nowhere is one more likely to incur greater ridicule. And no visit is more essential.  ~Marguerite Duras
  • Whoever does not visit Paris regularly will never really be elegant. ~Honoré de Balzac
  • To err is human. To loaf is Parisian. ~Victor Hugo
  • …the whole of Paris is a vast university of Art, Literature and Music…it is worth anyone’s while to dally here for years. Paris is a seminar, a post-graduate course in Everything. ~James Thurber
  • Paris is the only city where you can step out of a railway station —and see, the Seine with its bridges and bookstalls, the Louvre, Notre Dame, the Tuileries Gardens, the Place de la Concorde, the beginning of the Champs Elysees—what other city offers as much as you leave a train? ~Margaret Anderson

 

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My reading list for July

readinglist

In June  I read

and

I started reading

For this month – apart from finishing or continuing the two books above – I am planning to read:

 

What is on your reading list this month?