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Chrischi_HH's guided tour through Lübeck 2018

2018 Category Challenge

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Edited: Jul 26, 5:17pm Top

My name is Christiane and I live in the north of Germany. This is my fourth year joining the Category Challenge, it is so much fun! I don't read as much as some others here do, but let's see what 2018 brings. I'll keep it rather simple with 8 categories, focusing on books from my own shelves and books I have wanted to read for a while already. But there'll be room for new books and spontaneous choices as well.

During the year I will take you on a small tour through the city I live in, which is Lübeck, in the north of Germany. In 1987, the Lübeck's historic cityscape was declared to be a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO - so there's a lot to see!

Here are the eight categories:
*Salt Store Houses: TBR
*Marzipan: wishlist books
*Hüx Street: LT book bullets since 2015
*Passat: Geo focus Lübeck/Germany
*Holsten Gate: classics
*The 7 towers: series
*Museum for Theatre Figures: CATs & KITs
*Brodtener Ufer: overflow
Plus one:
*Town Hall: BingoDOG

There won't be target numbers for the respective categories. I'll just try to fill the categories as good as possible and to reduce my wishlist a little bit. Overlap is allowed. Regarding an overall target, I miserably failed in 2017, but I'm trying again with an overall target of 40 books for 2018.

Currently reading:
Wie der Soldat das Grammofon repariert by Sasa Stanisic

Next up:
- ?

Edited: Jul 26, 5:19pm Top

Read in 2018:
1. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann 4.5*
2. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier 4*
3. Was ich euch nicht erzählte (Engl. Everything I Never Told You) by Celeste Ng 4.5*
4. Grønt Støv by Sara Blædel 4*
5. Veronika beschließt zu sterben (Engl. Veronika Decides to Die) by Paulo Coelho 4*
6. Der wolkenlose Tag by E. Annie Proulx 3.5*
7. The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall 4.5*
8. Das Maikäfermädchen by Gina Mayer 5*
9. Die Träumenden (Engl. Sleep Toward Heaven) by Amanda Eyre Wood 4*
10. The Lake District Murder by John Bude 3.5*
11. The Book of Tomorrow by Cecilia Ahern 4*

Pages read: 2,990 + 286 + 420
*January: 0
*February: 1,211
*March: 280
*April: 698
*May: 437+364+314
*June: 0
*July: 286 + 420

From own shelves: 9
Borrowed - from library: 2 - from family/friends: 0
Rereads: 1
New books bought: 3 (0 read)
Read in German: 7
Read in English: 3
Read in Danish: 1
Books by female author: 8
Books by male author: 3
Fiction: 11 | Non-fiction: 0
EXTRA - Magazines read: 0

Countries visited in 2018

Make yours @ BigHugeLabs.com
Countries visited: 6
(Denmark, Germany, Italy, Slovenia, United Kingdom, United States)

Edited: Jul 26, 5:21pm Top

- books from tbr -

The Salt Store Houses are a group of storage houses that were built between 1579 and 1745. From here, the salt was shipped to Scandinavia. The location was ideal with water connections almost from the salt mines to the export destinations and salt trade was one of the main reasons for Lübeck's success. Today, the houses accomodate a clothing shop.

Owned prior to 2018 – 40 books

1. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
2. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
3. Grønt støv by Sara Blædel
4. Veronika beschließt zu sterben by Paulo Coelho
5. Der wolkenlose Tag by E. Annie Proulx
6. The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall
7. The Lake District Murder by John Bude
8. The Book of Tomorrow by Cecilia Ahern

Edited: May 24, 4:29pm Top

- books from wishlist -

Marzipan is the main sweet treat Lübeck is known for. There is not only one manufacturer in town, no, the number is four. No visitor goes home without a visit in one of the shops or the popular café by Niederegger (the biggest brand here), and also locals often enjoy the delicious treat as little bar or huge cake. So what could be better for this category than marzipan?
My sweet wishlist is continuously growing, partly because of book bullets here on LT (which are covered in the next category), but also thanks to friends/family, reviews in magazines, tv shows or the internet, award longlists or favourite authors. This year I'll be trying to get a few books off that list.

Edited: Jul 14, 3:06pm Top

- LT book bullets shot at me -

So many BBs hit me every year that I need a post to collect them and remind myself of all the great books I have yet to read. :) "Hüxstraße" is a small street in the city centre with lots of small, independet shops and nice restaurants and cafés. I cannot go there without buying something, so I think that perfectly matches the "book bullet concept".

BBs read:
1. The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall (Roro8, 2015)
2. The Lake District Murder by John Bude (rabbitprincess, 2015)

2018 BBs:
1. The King of Lavender Square by Susan Ryan (Ikernagh)
2. The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwama (LibraryCin)
3. Krabbenbrot und Seemannstod by Christiane Franke (MissWatson)
4. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield (Roro8)
5. The Sworn Virgin by Kristopher Dukes (Roro8)
6. The Black Tulip by Alexandre Dumas (leslie.98)
7. Where the Bodies Are Buried by Christopher Brookmyre (mathgirl40)
8. White Tears by Hari Kunzru (mathgirl40)
9. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker (mathgirl40)
10. The Last Painting of Sara de Vos by Dominic Smith (LittleTaiko)
11. The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani (dudes20)
12. The Illusionists by Rosie Thomas (Roro8)
13. The Perfect Nanny / Lullby by Leila Slimani (Nickelini)
14. Gehen, ging, gegangen by Jenny Erpenbeck (japaul22)

Read: 0/14

Link to my 2017 BBs
Link to my 2016 BBs
Link to my 2015 BBs

Edited: Feb 3, 6:35pm Top

- Geo focus: Lübeck/Germany -

Passat is a four-masted steel barque which was built in Hamburg in 1911. The sailing ship was used for general garco and nitrate through the world and rounded Cape Horn 39 times, also being the last ever cargo ship rounding Cape Horn. In 1959 Passat was purchased by the municipality of Lübeck, where the famous ship has become an iconic landmark, museum, event venue and favourite place to get married. Today, Passat is one of the last remaining windjammers and located in Lübeck-Travemünde.
Don't we all need a safe harbour to always return to?

Thomas Mann
Heinrich Mann
Die Hanse
Petra Oelker
Sandra Gladow

1. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

Edited: Apr 14, 6:44am Top

- Classics -

The Holsten Gate was built in the 15th century as a city gate at the western boundaries of the Hanseatic City of Lübeck. Once it was part of a series of four consecutive gates, which were built in different eras. The other three do not exist anymre, just like the southern and eastern city gates. In the 1860 the Holsten Gate was almost torn down, but fotunately the decision was made to restore the buliding. Regular restorations are required, because the Holsten Gate was built on unstable ground and is therefore a bit tilted. Since 1950 it has been housing a museum.

1. Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
2. Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
3. Veronika beschließt zu sterben by Paulo Coelho

Edited: Apr 9, 2:40pm Top

- Series -

Lübeck is also known as the city with the seven towers. The owers of the five churches St. Jakobi, St. Marien, St. Petri, St. Aegidien and Lübeck Cathedral. Located on the old town hill, they have been visible from far away throughout the centuries and form a well known landmark. Today, they are also used in the city's marketing. Can you spot them all?

1. Grønt Støv by Sara Blædel - Louise Rick #1

*Series I am reading:
Jo Nesbø - Harry Hole (read 8/11)
Petra Oelker - Rosina&Claes (read 6/10)
Sara Blædel - Louise Rick (read 1/9)
David Downing - Station series (read 1/6)
Agatha Christie - Hercule Poirot / Miss Marple (read 1/46)
Carla Federico - Chile saga (read 2/3)
Hjorth & Rosenfeldt - Sebastian Bergmann (read 1/5)

*Series I'd like to start:
Andrea Camilleri - Commissario Montalbano
Stieg Larsson - Millennium trilogy
Stuart Neville - Jack Lennon
Ursula Poznanski - Beatrice Kaspari

Edited: Jul 26, 5:24pm Top

- CATs & KITs -

I don't know yet to what extent I'll participate in the CATs, but I'm sure I'll drop in and out and read a book whenever it suits me.

January: BBs - /
February: special festivities - /
March: headlines - Was ich euch nicht erzählte
April: April - /
May: flowers - Das Maikäfermädchen
June: unusual narrators - /
July: getting to know you -
August: mountains

January: black - Das letzte Königreich / Cola Cola Jazz
February: brown Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (brown spine)
March: green - Grønt Støv by Sara Blædel (grøn = green)
April: yellow -Der wolkenlose Tag by E. Annie Proulx (yellow cover)
May: blue - Die Träumenden by Amanda Eyre Woode (blue spine)
June: purple - The Lake District Murder by John Bude (purple on cover)
July: pink - The Book of Tomorrow by Cecilia Ahern (pink on cover/spine)
August: grey
September: metallic
October: orange - Five Quarters of the Orange / The Amber Room
November: red - Koriandergrün und Safranrot / Red or Dead
December: white / hosting - Nesbø / Der weiße Tiger / Hansetochter

January: Nordic Mysteries - Jo Nesbø / Hjorth & Rosenfeldt / Sara Blædel
February: Female Cop/Sleuth/Detective
March: Global Mysteries
April: Classic and Golden Age Mysteries
May: Mysteries involving Transit
June: True Crime
July: Police Procedurals
August: Historical Mysteries - Petra Oelker
September: Noir and Hard-Boiled Mysteries
October: Espionage
November: Cozy Mysteries
December: Futuristic/Fantastical

Edited: Nov 2, 2017, 5:58pm Top

- Overflow/Everything else -

When I have enough of the city I like to take the train or bus and go to the coast. It's only 15 km away and this specific area still belongs to Lübeck. Brodten is a small village and is close to a beautiful cliff line. You can walk by the water across sand, stones and fallen trees, or take a walk "upstairs" with a beautiful view over the Baltic Sea on one side and green fields on the other.

Edited: Jul 26, 5:29pm Top

- BingoDOG -

The Town Hall dates back to 1240 and is one of the widest known building from the "red brick gothic" time and one of the biggest medieval town halls in Germany. Over time, different building styles have been used, so that it has various faces. On the picture you can see two of them: the smaller white house from the 16th century and the monumental wall from the 13th century. The round windows and decorative elements are the reason why I chose the Town Hall for the BingoDOG.

4. Veronika beschließt zu sterben (Portuguese)
6. Grønt støv
13. The Book of Tomorrow (ColorCAT July)
15. Buddenbrooks
19. The Italian Wife
22. Der wolkenlose Tag
23. Rebecca

Read in order: 15 - 23 - 6 - 4 - 22 - 19 - 13

Nov 2, 2017, 5:33pm Top

Here we go, another year of books and great categories all over the place. I'm looking forward to my own reading and to follow yours as well - including all the book bullets flying around.

I'll take my time to finalize and fine tune my categories, there will be pictures and explanations of what the categories mean. And throughout the year I promise to show you more pictures and tell you more about the lovely city I live in.

Welcome to my thread!

Nov 2, 2017, 6:19pm Top

The marzipan category is perfect! Thanks for the tour of Lübeck! Have a great reading year :)

Nov 2, 2017, 8:06pm Top

You live in a beautiful city and I am enjoying learning more about it. I am placing a star and looking forward to following along for another fun year.

Nov 2, 2017, 10:15pm Top

I'm looking forward to learning more about your lovely city. Thanks for sharing it with us. I'm impressed that you will be reading books in English and in Danish in addition to your native German.

Nov 3, 2017, 5:32am Top

Wonderful choice of categories! Have a great reading year!

Nov 3, 2017, 10:52am Top

I love your categories! Lübeck looks like a beautiful city!

Nov 3, 2017, 2:30pm Top

This looks great, and the places match the categories so well! (I'm going to do a place-related challenge too, but the links between my places and my categories are much more tenuous! But it's a good excuse to share some nice photos!).

Lubeck looks really lovely.

Nov 4, 2017, 2:08pm Top

What a great theme! Marzipan is one of my favourite treats, perfect to tie with your wishlist. I look forward to hearing more about Lübeck.

Nov 4, 2017, 3:47pm Top

Your city looks like something from a fairy tale, especially in that first photo. What a great theme. I look forward to reading more about it and seeing what you read through the year.

Nov 4, 2017, 3:47pm Top

Thanks everyone! I'm really looking forward to next year's challenge - to read great books and to share more pictures with you.

>18 Jackie_K: I'll watch out for your thread, then! I'm curious what places you have picked. :)

I'm off to eat some marzipan now. ;)

Nov 12, 2017, 12:42pm Top

Love how you have tied in your categories to Lübeck!

Nov 14, 2017, 8:36am Top

I love your categories, and the theme fits perfectly. Looking forward to the tour!

Nov 17, 2017, 1:30pm Top

>4 Chrischi_HH: Marzipan is one of my favorite candies. Have you ever had the French confection called Calissons D'Aix?

Have a wonderful year!

Dec 6, 2017, 4:37pm Top

>24 mamzel: Thank you! I haven't heard of Calissons d'Aix, but they look delicious!

Just a bit more than three weeks and we can dive into our 2018 reading. I guess I should go out and take the few missing pictures for my categories and look at options for the CATs...

Dec 7, 2017, 4:36am Top

>25 Chrischi_HH: Planning can be so much fun!

Edited: Dec 30, 2017, 6:47pm Top

>26 MissWatson: Planning was absolutely fun - and will be. I'm looking forward to all the monthly challenges.

I'm all set for 2018, starting the first book tomorrow. I'll start with Thomas Mann's Buddenbrooks because it's the perfect opener for my "tour through Lübeck" theme. Set here, the famous Buddenbrook House just a few minutes away and it's a classic that I've wanted to read for quite a while.

Others planned for January:
- Das letzte Königreich bei Bernard Cornwell (ColorCAT, cover is mainly black)
- Nordic noir (maybe Nesbo, or Sara Blaedel)

Happy New Year to all my thread visitors!

source: www.ln-online.de

Jan 1, 9:10pm Top

I really enjoyed seeing the pictures of Lubeck. And the map!

Jan 2, 1:14pm Top

>27 Chrischi_HH: Gorgeous fireworks! Happy New Year!

Jan 2, 11:08pm Top

What a neat theme! I love the pictures.

Jan 7, 1:33pm Top

>28 hailelib: >29 MissWatson: >30 pammab: Thank you!

It will take a little while until I can post the first review. Maybe it wasn't all smart to choose two chunksters to start the year. I'm really enjoying Buddenbrooks, but 700+ pages is a lot! Next I have planned The Last Kingdom and a little short story collection as well as a photo collection about Cuba (pictures from the first decade after the revolution, 1959-1969, combined with an essay).

Today we had fantastic weather here in the north (finally!) and I went to the coast for a walk. Quite crowded, but it was so so nice! And yes, also this is my city, Lübeck:

Enjoy your Sunday / Sunday night!

Jan 7, 5:59pm Top

>31 Chrischi_HH: - How lovely!

Feb 15, 5:02pm Top

I'm still alive! We'll move to the new appartment in 9 days, and I've really been busy the last weeks. I did finish one book two weeks ago, and am halfway through a second book. Slow start of the year, but I'm sure reading speed will increase again after the move. :)


Book #1:
Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, 1901
Paperback, 759 pages, German
Genre/Tags: fiction, 19th century, Germany, Lübeck, classics, 1001 books
Category: X
Bingo: Written more than 100 years ago
Countries visited: Germany

Buddenbrooks is one of the German classics, that have been on my list for ages. Yet I was a little afraid of reading it, because it's a real chunkster and because I didn't really know what to expect from it. For my Lübeck theme this year it was the one and only book to start the year off with. And I'm glad I did!
Thomas Mann wrote a great family story covering several decades, allowing us to follow the private and business life of the Buddenbrook family, from the golden years to the times of illness, death and business disappointments. I enjoyed this so much, partly because I liked the quiet family story, but mostly because of all the places that I know so well here in Lübeck. Often I felt like living in the Buddenbrooks era, imagining what the city would look like if I left the house for a walk. The style of writing was also much more readable that what I was afraid of. Highly recommended!

I also posted a picture of the book in front of the Buudenbrook house on Instagram.

Buddenbrooks is a mix of Mann's own life and fictional elements. The Mann family owned the house for about 50 years, and ran a grain trading comany just like the Buddenbrooks. Today, there is a Buddenbrook museum in this house (here are a few pictures) as well as a Mann book collection and a research centre. What I didn't know is that the house was destroyed during WW II, only the facade was left. I still haven't visited, but should really do that soon.

Feb 15, 5:06pm Top

I certainly know what a hectic time moving is! Hope it all goes smoothly .

Feb 15, 9:15pm Top

>33 Chrischi_HH: What a beautiful cover! Nice review too!

Wishing you a smooth moving experience!

Feb 16, 1:19am Top

Good luck with moving. It's always such an upheaval that after every move we've made, I say I'm never moving again. >:-)

A book about a place you know can be really special; unless they get the geography wrong, at which point it becomes really irritating - although that could just be me.

Feb 16, 4:13am Top

Good luck with the move!

Feb 16, 6:12pm Top

Hope the move goes well and that you have a cosy reading spot in the new place :)

Feb 16, 7:09pm Top

Good luck with the move and BB taken for the Buddenbrooks book!

Feb 23, 8:18am Top

Hi everyone! Thanks for alle the good wishes! :) Tomorrow is the big day, and I think we are well prepared. We already got the keys and the first few basics are already over there. Now I'm going to pack the last items into the remaining boxes and then we are all set. The internet guy is supposed to come on Wednesday, keep you fingers crossed that the technical part is going smoothly, too.

>36 Helenliz:: You are absolutely right, if books are set in a familiar area, they just have to be correct to be nice to read.
>39 lkernagh:: Yay, I'm happy to not only be hit by BBs, but also shoot some from time to time. ;)

Last night I finished another book, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, which I read for the ColorCAT (mine has a brown spine). Review coming soon!

Feb 23, 8:58am Top

>40 Chrischi_HH: Good luck with the move, Chrischi! I hope no favourite things are lost or broken.

Feb 24, 10:32am Top

>40 Chrischi_HH: Looking forward to your review of Rebecca once you've settled in! :)

Feb 26, 8:18pm Top

Buddenbrooks have been on my want-to-read list for a long time, but its girth has kept me from starting. Glad to hear the writing style is fairly easy too as I have been imagining something very heavy.

Mar 30, 8:53am Top

Time is running so very fast, it's hard to keep up with everything... I finished another book, the German translation of Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng, which I found very good. Two reviews coming up soon, I hope... Maybe I find the time over Easter. We have the whole family here on Monday, but that's about the only plan (besides cleaning and preparing the food) we have for the weekend.

The move went extremely well, after only three hours the shelves were already up again. After five weeks we now feel at home, although some bits like pictures and lamps are still partly missing.

Mar 30, 4:58pm Top

Good to hear that the move went well and you are feeling at home in your new place. Enjoy your Easter weekend.

Apr 3, 4:54am Top

Glad to hear you are settling in and receiving visitors!

Apr 3, 2:44pm Top

Hurrah for being done with moving! :)

Apr 5, 3:16pm Top

>44 Chrischi_HH: - Being settled into a new place.... that is such a great feeling! Glad the move went well.

Edited: Apr 14, 8:19am Top

Thanks for keeping my thread alive! Easter was wonderful, though more hard work than anticipated. We're not used to have 25+ people in the house. But it was nice to have the family here and everyone was impressed by the food that for the most part my boyfriend had prepared. (buffet picture on Instagram) Easter was still rather cold wiith a bit of snow, but just a week later we had the first summer days with 21°C and pre sunshine. First ice cream, first breakfast outside, just spending time in the sun. :) Today it is grey once again, so I am doing some housework and trying to catch up here.


Book #2:
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, 1938
Paperback, 452 pages, German
Genre/Tags: fiction, historical, British, romance, suspense, classics, 1001 books
Category: Salt Store Houses (TBR), Holsten Gate (classics)
Bingo: 1001 list
Countries visited: UK

Second book, second classic. I didn't really know what this book is about, so I went into it without expectations. Rebecca is a very quiet book, following a few years in a young woman's life. She does not belong to the upper class, but is married by a wealthy man and moves to the wonderful Manderley. There she is met be her dead predecessor Rebecca all over the place - the flower arrangements, the food, the daily routines, everything is like she would have done it. However, due to Rebeccas tragic death nobody wants to speak about her and she quickly becomes a heavy burden for the young woman. This book is a mix of classic novel, romance and suspens and even though it will not be one of my favourites, I enjoyed reading it.


Book #3:
Was ich euch nicht erzählte (Engl. Everything I Never Told You) by Celeste Ng, 2014
Hardcover, 280 pages, German
Genre/Tags: fiction, family, racism, suicide, grief
Category: Marzipan (wishlist)
Bingo: -
Countries visited: USA

Another rather quiet book on my reading list. It focuses very much on the persons, the family picture and the emotions. Right at the beginning the reader is told that Lydia has died and on the following pages the story that led to her death is unravelled. It began long before her birth, with her parnets' life as immigrants' children and has not only influence on Lydia, but on all family members. I liked this book a lot and it stayed in my thoughts for a few days after reading. Recommended!

More to come later!

Apr 14, 10:43am Top

>49 Chrischi_HH: Glad you're back! So, you had snow on Easter? I'm glad I was away south, then. And no luck with reading on the balcony today, either, it's raining buckets. The buffet looks mouthwatering. Off to check the fridge.

Apr 14, 5:42pm Top

>50 MissWatson: Yes, snow. Just a bit and not lasting longer than Saturday, but still...


Book #4:
Grønt støv (Engl. The Midnight Witness) by Sara Blædel, 2004
Paperback, 346 pages, Danish
Genre/Tags: fiction, crime fiction, suspense, murder, drugs, Scandinavian, Nordic
Category: Salt Store Houses (TBR), The Seven Towers (series), Museum for Theatre Figures (ColorCAT March)
Bingo: new to you author
Countries visited: Denmark

Following the original (Danish) publication order, this is book 1 in the series with police officer Louise Rick and her friend Camilla, working for a newspaper. The series is set in Copenhagen, which was my main reason for buying this while I still lived there. Compared to my favourite Jo Nesbø I found it less dark and the characters more "normal", but I liked this first entry.
A young girl is found dead and it is soon discovered that this murder might be connected with another murder, a journalist. Louise and her friend Camilla are drawn into Copenhagen's drug nightlife to find the truth.
Interesting characters, lots of familier place names, suspense – this was a good start. I had also bought the next two in the series and am now looking forward to them. There was some violence as well as some detailed descriptions that not everyone will like, so be aware of that.

If I understood correctly, her books are published in completely other orders in other languages. In the US, this book is going to be published in October under the name The Midnight Witness.


Book #5:
Veronika beschließt zu sterben (Engl. Veronika Decides to Die) by Paulo Coelho, 1998
Paperback, 224 pages, German
Genre/Tags: fiction, classics, mental illness, suicide, happiness
Category: Salt Store Houses (TBR), Holsten Gate (classics)
Bingo: originally published in another language
Countries visited: Slovenia

Another classic that has been on my list for a long time, I bought the book in 2015.
Veronica decides to commit suicide, but survives in Villete, a clinic for mentally ill. She gets diagnosed a heart failure as consequence of her overdose, giving her only another week to live. At first she is happy about it, but step by step comes to think of it differently. Living together with people suffering from depression or shizophrenia, she finds the way to herself and at the same time her diagnosis influences the other patients. What if they only had a short time live? Why are they at Villete? Is there a life for them outside of these walls?
The writing style is very matter of fact,w hich I liked in this case because the thoughts and emotions are already clear enough without being overwhelming. I was suprised by and really liked the ending. Recommended!

Apr 14, 11:54pm Top

Rebecca has been on my Mt. TBR for a very looong time. I really need to stop buying new and reading old. :)

Apr 19, 3:41pm Top

>49 Chrischi_HH: - Buffet food pics looks fabulous!

Apr 19, 11:03pm Top

Your buffet looks amazing! I recall Rebecca fondly, and I wonder how it stands up to not-being-13-anymore, so I was very interested in your review.

May 24, 3:52pm Top

I everyone! I'm still here, at least once in a while. Somehow I just don't manage to log in as often as I used to. I'll try to catch up a bit during the next days and will also try to post some pictures - which should be part of a guided tour. But first, a few reviews, because at least in terms of reading I'm more or less back on track! :)


Book #6:
Der wolkenlose Tag (Engl. The Unclouded Day) by E. Annie Proulx, 1988
Paperback, 128 pages, German
Genre/Tags: fiction, short story, American, New England, hunting
Category: Salt Store Houses (TBR), Theatre Figures (ColourCAT April)
Bingo: Something in the sky in the title
Countries visited: Unites States

I don't even remember when and where from I have this little book, but thought it's time to finally read it. It's a little collection of Proulx' short stories, containing three stories taken from her Heartsongs and Other Stories: The Unclouded Day, Stone City and Wer-Trout. The stories are set in rural New England, featuring lonely hunters and fishermen, rather simple characters with not much to win or loose. I think Proulx's writing is subtle yet powerful, and even though the stories' topics are not topics I expected a lot from, I enjoyed reading the stories.


Book #7:
The Italian Wife by Kate Furnivall, 2014
Paperback, 437 pages, English
Genre/Tags: fiction, post-war, Italy, Mussolini, grief, survival, romance, resistance
Category: Salt Store Houses (TBR), Hüx Street (BBs)
Bingo: Relative name in title
Countries visited: Italy

This is a BB that hit me back in 2015. I am happy I finally read it, because I liked it a lot. The main character is Isabella Berotti, who lost her husband and almost also her own life in an attack. Her husband was one of Mussolini's „blackshirts“ making way for Mussolini's state. Years later, she has a job as an architect in one of the new towns which she loves, but she is still grieving for her husband. When a woman entrusts her daughter into Isabella's care and a few minutes later jumps from the town's tower, things start to change. Isabella suddenly faces her past and discovers the secrets that have been covered for 10 years and which are more dangerous than she could expect.

The Italian Wife brought me to a country and time that I only knew parts of, which made the setting already very interesting for me. At the beginning I was unsure where the story might lead, but I was soon fully taken and had a hard time to put the book down. A great mix of history, romance and suspense, highly recommended! Thanks a lot for the BB, Roro8! :)


Book #8:
Das Maikäfermädchen by Gina Mayer, 2012
Paperback, 364 pages, German
Genre/Tags: fiction, post-war, Germany, survival, abortion, women
Category: Theatre Figures (RandomCAT May)
Bingo: -
Countries visited: Germany

This book was recommened to me by a book club. I had not heard of it before, but thougt it sounded interesting. Just like the latest book I read, it is also set in post WWII Europe, this time in Düsseldorf, Germany. Midwife Käthe Arensen was not able to save anything private in a bomb raid, she only kept her memories and her bible. Her husband is held as prisoner of war, while Käthe is alone and hungry – just like everyone else. Before the war she worked as a midwife, and is now still being called whenever needed. One day, when waiting in the long food queue, a girl approaches her and asks for her help: she does not want her child. Convinces by the payment securing food for a few days, Käthe decides to help. This is her first abortion, and more will follow in these hard times. In the destroyed city shee meets a former colleague, Lilo, and they start working together more professionally, making a living out of it.
This was not easy to read. Partly because of the post-war setting, where everyone is hungry, winters are bitter cold, women are grieving for the husbands and sons and men are broken by their memories from war. But also because the topic of abortions is not an easy one. In such a situation, how do you help more? Convincing the girls to have the child, without knowing if any of them can survice, or by doing what they aske for? The ending was very surpiring and gave the book an extra twist. A great recommendation!

(I think this has only been published in German.)

May 31, 3:57pm Top

Book #9:
Die Träumenden (Engl. Sleep Toward Heaven) by Amanda Eyre Wood, 2003
Paperback, 314 pages, German
Genre/Tags: fiction, USA, prison, death penalty, AIDS, women, reread
Category: Museum for Theatre Figures (ColorCAT May)
Bingo: -
Countries visited: USA (Texas)

I read Die Träumenden already many years ago, but it was like reading it for the first time. I got o it again because it was in the „to discrad after reading“ bunch, that I created when we moved – and which I am continously working on once in a while.
This novel deals with three women, Karen, Franny and Celia. Karen is in prison and waiting for her death penalty, Franny is a doctor and Celia lost her husband who was shit dead. Though in very different ways, the three of them try to cope with life and to find their own ways after their personal tragedies. When Karen's last day gets nearer, their ways cross and lead to their individual release from the past.
The story is told in small chapters, each with focus on one women. I liked this book and understand why I kept it after reading it for the first time. This time it still has to go and I hope someone else will happily pick it up.

Jun 3, 9:17pm Top

Jun 5, 3:50pm Top

>57 -Eva-: I hope you enjoy it when you get to it!

Edited: Aug 12, 9:22am Top

Time is still flying by, and with this unusually warm and dry summer, I spent a lot of time away from computer and smartphone. More or less, at least. And I decided not to put any pressure on my to be here, even though I woul dlive to, because I've always enjoyed spending time on LT. But autumn and winter are coming and I expect LT time to increase soon enough. I hope you're all having a great summer!

I finished three books (which isn't much, but anyway...):
The Lake District Murder by John Bude
The Book of Tomorrow by Cecila Ahern
Wie der Soldat das Grammofon repariert by Sasa Stanisic

Book #10:
The Lake District Murder by John Bude, 1935
Paperback, 286 pages, English
Genre/Tags: fiction, England, Lake District, crime fiction, mystery, Golden Age, classics
Category: Salt Store Houses (TBR), Museum for Theatre Figures (ColorCAT June)
Bingo: -
Countries visited: UK (England)

The Lake District Murder is a 2015 book bullet shot by rabbitprincess. When I saw her review, I was immediately intrigued, for two reasons: First, I loved the Lake District when I visited it several times during my semester abroad in England's north. Second, I like mysteries. For the ColorCAT (June: purple) I finally picked this one up.
Inspector Meredith is set to find out why and by whom one of the garage owners was murdered. During the process, he stumbles upon another, much bigger mystery, a shady business several garages seem to be involved in.
I didn't like this book as much as I had hoped to, because I found it very technical. Inspector Meredith collects and follows hints, carefully, detailed, fact-based. He has an idea of the murdeer could be quite early, so the focus is rather on understanding the context and collecting evidence. While this kept me interested enough to finish the book, I found an emotional part missing and the characters could have been developed with more depth. I'm happy I read the book, also because it brought vivid pictures of my own Lake District visits back to my mind, but it will not become one of my favourite books.


The other reviews will have to wait for another week, because now I'm off to a week's holiday in the Lake District. :)

Aug 12, 9:33am Top

Have a great holiday in the lakes. >:-)

Aug 12, 9:36am Top

>59 Chrischi_HH: Have fun in the Lake District! :) Maybe you'll find some other mysteries set there when you go. If you do, I expect book bullets ;)

I re-read my original review of The Lake District Murder and it turns out we gave it the same rating! I might have underplayed the technical stuff, though, because that interests me more than it might others...

Aug 12, 10:17am Top

>59 Chrischi_HH: Have a great holiday!

Looking forward to your review of the Stanisic book, that's (one of the many many many!) on my TBR.

Aug 12, 4:58pm Top

I think Rabbitprincess hit me with the same book bullet back in 2015 - and I still have the book on my shelves! Must get to it one of these days. :)

Aug 13, 5:09am Top

Have a fun holiday! You didn't miss much back home, the heatwave has finally broken and we got wet on our trip to Lübeck on Saturday.

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