MissWatson cooks her ROOTs, the second course
This is a continuation of the topic MissWatson cooks her ROOTs.
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Hello, I'm Birgit and glad to be back. Last year I read many more ROOTs than planned, so this year I'm aiming for 75.
I have also taken a critical look at my cookbook shelves and decided that they need decluttering. Every month I'm going to take down at least one book and cook from it. If it yields less than 5 repeatable recipes, out it goes.
Other than that, there will be a few re-reads and a serious attempt to reduce the enormous TBR. Everything I owned before January 1st, 2018 qualifies as a ROOT.
And the cookery experiment:
20 Minuten sind genug! Vegetarisch
Single-Küche für Faule culled
Lust auf Zucchini
Kochvergnügen vegetarisch culled
Aus einem Topf
One pot wonders culled
Here's the list of books read in 2018.
1. Endstation für neun by Maj Sjöwall / Per Wahlöö
2. The Black Arrow by Robert Louis Stevenson
3. By gaslight by Steven Price
4. Zofloya, or the Moor by Charlotte Dacre
5. Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
6. The Yellow Mask by Wilkie Collins
7. The Biter Bit and other stories by Wilkie Collins
8. Pay dirt by Rita Mae Brown
9. Murder, she meowed by Rita Mae Brown
10. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch
11. Der Altmann ist tot by Frl. Krise & Frau Freitag
12. Paradies in schwerer Zeit by Thomas Blubacher
13. ...alle Bitternis der Welt by Vsevolod Garšin
14. Women & power by Mary Beard
15. Maigret s'amuse by Georges Simenon
16. Die Jugend des Königs Henri IV by Heinrich Mann
17. Das Marsprojekt : Das ferne Leuchten by Andreas Eschbach
18. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery
19. A rising man by Abir Mukherjee
20. A closed and common orbit by Becky Chambers
21. L'homme truqué by Maurice Renard
22. The enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim
23. Pietr le Letton by Georges Simenon
24. Chez les Flamands by Georges Simenon
25. Maigret en Auvergne by Georges Simenon
26. Washington Square by Henry James
27. The Europeans by Henry James
28. Chinaman's chance by Ross Thomas
29. Out on the rim by Ross Thomas
30. Tagebuch einer Verlorenen by Margarete Böhme
31. Hazard by Nataly von Eschstruth
32. Glennkill by Leonie Swann
33. Die Ballade vom Fetzer by Tilman Röhrig
34. L'énigme des Blancs-Manteaux by Jean-François Parot
35. Les mariages de Paris by Edmond About
36. A wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
37. Exiles of ColSec by Douglas Hill
38. The caves of Klydor by Douglas Hill
39. Rechnung über meine Dukaten by Thomas Meyer
40. Der Herr Präsident by Adolf Streckfuß
41. Hercule Poirot's Christmas by Agatha Christie
42. Das Fest zu Kenelworth by Ludwig Tieck
43. Väter und Söhne by Ivan Turgenev
44. The Colosseum by Keith Hopkins and Mary Beard
45. Dichterleben by Ludwig Tieck
46. A house of pomegranates by Oscar Wilde
47. Even dogs in the wild by Ian Rankin
48. Schwarze Flagge Rote Segel by Paul Quincy
49. Harte Männer Schwere See by Paul Quincy
50. L'argent des autres – Les hommes de paille by Émile Gaboriau
51. Die Molkenkur by Ulrich Hegner
52. L'homme au ventre de plomb by Jean-François Parot
53. Boule de suif et autres nouvelles by Guy de Maupassant
54. A red herring without mustard by Alan Bradley
55. Der Weg zurück by Erich Maria Remarque
56. L'argent des autres – La pêche en eau trouble by Émile Gaboriau
57. The remains of the day by Kazuo Ishiguro
58. Menschen im Krieg by Andreas Latzko
59. Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
60. Woman in the dark by Dashiell Hammett
61. Zwei Männer aus Texas by Lee Hoffman
62. Silver Rock by Luke Short
63. Wenn's nur schon Winter wär'! by Ossip Schubin
64. The Asphalt Jungle by W.R.Burnett
65. Martinhagen by Julius Stinde
66. Die goldenen Schuhe by Vicki Baum
67. Le beau XVI siècle by Simone Bertière
68. Point Blank by Richard Stark
69. Ormond by Maria Edgeworth
70. Die Vollendung des Königs Henri IV by Heinrich Mann
71. Charlie M by Brian Freemantle
72. The secret agent by Joseph Conrad
73. Nachts unter der steinernen Brücke by Leo Perutz
74. La mare au diable by George Sand
75. The Night Manager by John LeCarré
76. Übertrieben tot by Frl. Krise & Frau Freitag
77. Les champs d'honneur by Jean Rouaud
78. Tiedemanns Tochter by Lotte Betke
79. In distant waters by Richard Woodman
80. Brennerova by Wolf Haas
The thread was getting a little long, so I have decided to set up a new one.
Thanks, Jackie! LT appears to be a little sluggish today, so I'll need to check some of the touchstones later. But starting a new thread feels like spring, and I am so happy that spring is finally here!
Hi Donna. I took down a book with asparagus recipes, Spargel & Rucola, and the first I tried was quite nice.
>10 MissWatson: lovely seasonal vegetable - I must try to be more adventurous with it!
Thanks, Donna, Robert and Connie!
>11 floremolla: My first recipe from the book was a chicken leg basted with a mixture of honey, balsamico, smoked red pepper and olive oil. Put into the oven together with small diced potatoes, season with salt and pepper and roast at 180°C for about 30 minutes. Add green asparagus blanched in boiling water for a few minutes, chopped cherry tomatoes and thyme, add a little stock if necessary and put in the oven again for another ten minutes. Next time around, I won't bother precooking the asparagus, in my experience 15 minutes in the oven is enough and the stalks come out still a little crunchy.
>14 MissWatson: thanks for sharing that recipe, Birgit, it sounds like something I would try. I agree with you about not needing to precook the asparagus. I sometimes bake a side of salmon in the oven for a buffet lunch, with just lemon juice and seasoning, and tuck the asparagus along the sides where it cooks beautifully while the dish is covered with foil. With lemon slices arranged along the salmon, it looks impressive for little effort. I'm all for easy recipes and minimum washing up!
Agree very much with minimum washing up. Both recipes sound very tasty.
After so many short mysteries I am now reading a real doorstopper Die Reise in den Westen with 1,300 pages. It is actually quite entertaining and the pages are flying by, but I won't finish this month.
Tuesday is a holiday and I'm taking Monday off to spend a long weekend with my sister. See you all next week. I hope you'll have lots of sunshine and outdoor activities!
Hi Birgit and happy new thread.
Wow, what an ambitious read at 1,300 pages. Enjoy your time with your sister.
Hope you're having a nice long weekend with your sister, Birgit!
An ambitious read indeed, look forward to hearing about it.
Hi Karen and Donna!
The weather was much better than the prognosis and we had a lovely time admiring flowers at a gardening exhibition. We didn't buy any, though. No reading, but on the train I started re-reading Bretonische Verhältnisse because I had no memory of it. After all those Maigret books I can now see where Bannalec got his inspiration for Dupin.
My chunkster is on hold for now. It is a Chinese classic (the journey into the west), but it is very episodic, and becomes repetitive if you read too many chapters in one go. "The group gets into trouble, the monkey king changes into something else and rescues them" pretty much sums up the plot, so far.
>22 Robertgreaves: I haven't gotten round to it yet, but I can well imagine it. I love the recurring phrase leading to the next chapter.
May is turning out to be a rather odd month. With all those public holidays to make up for, work is getting a bit busy.
The weather is sunny again, so I spent most of Sunday browsing the open air fleamarket, which is always fun. But I didn't buy a single book, which is very unusual.
>24 MissWatson: Not buying any books! Good for you.
Weather is good here too. I love it.
Hi Connie! We had heavy thunderstorms yesterday with enormous rainfall, including hail. Did you catch any of that? On the very same day my new oleander plant opened its first blooms. I'm so glad they survived. And we're back to clear skies, so I'm looking forward to a lazy weekend with a ROOT.
>26 MissWatson: No, we didn't! And I'm so glad about that. They predict some thunderstorms for this afternoon though.
Hi Connie! It feels like summer has come early, we're having so much sun. A perfect excuse for doing nothing but read, and I actually finished my first ROOT of May.
ROOT number 28 is Chinaman's chance by Ross Thomas
This is actually a re-read after almost thirty years, and I'm glad to find I enjoyed it as much as I did back then. The world has moved on a lot since then, but the murky waters in which Wu and Durant play their trade haven't cleared. Some time soon I should revisit Eric Ambler.
>26 MissWatson: I hope the oleander survives! They're one of my favourite flowers, and always remind me of lovely Mediterranean holidays.
>29 Jackie_K: Hi Jackie, and thanks, so far it is still looking healthy. I bought it as white, but the flowers are more a vanilla-like pale creamy yellow, very lovely. All these sunny days have helped, I'm sure.
ROOT number 29 is Out on the rim by Ross Thomas
More shenanigans from Artie Wu und Quincy Durant, this time in the Philippines.
With all this summery heat my mind turns towards outdoor eating and I picked up Brotzeit, a small volume about classic Bavarian beergarden fare. The first recipe, a spread for bread with tinned sardines, was very good.
>32 MissWatson: Every part of that sounds nice! -- warm weather, an inspirational cookbook and a tasty snack.
>33 detailmuse: Oh yes, it is nice, and the weather is set to continue for a few days. Too bad I have to go to work...
May is wreaking havoc with my ROOTing, so many holidays...Monday was a holiday, too, my best friend came to stay, and we spent a lot of time outside in this gorgeous weather. And now half my mind is already on our upcoming vacation! But I have finally picked up my next ROOT, which should be a fast read: Hazard Late 19th century chick lit!
ROOT number 30 is Tagebuch einer Verlorenen by Margarete Böhme
By some strange coincidence, I picked a book for my lunchtime reading at work which is set in the same time period: Tagebuch einer Verlorenen which shows the dark side of high society, the demi-monde of kept women and prostitutes. I downloaded this last year, so it counts as a ROOT. It contains quite a lot of slang, surprisingly, which was sometimes hard to get. A mine of information about daily life of the times.
ROOT number 31 is Hazard by Nataly von Eschstruth.
And the piece of fluff is also finished. Written in the late 1880ies, and set at the court of an unnamed German principality (Mecklenburg springs to mind), it paints a very different picture of the society that often overlaps with Thymian's world, that of male nobility. Looking at them now, I find them puerile, if not downright obnoxious with their pranks and boorishness. Hooray for the revolution that swept them away!
Which reminds me that I mean to go and visit the exhibit about the Sailors Uprising at the Maritime Museum...
Holidays, good weather, and best friends are excellent reasons for decreased ROOT production! I'm sure you'll make up for it soon.
Hi Karen! Yes, summer has arrived early this year, I'm getting a tan already from all those outdoor activities!
ROOT number 32 is Glennkill by Leonie Swann.
But I did manage another ROOT, saving up for June, so to speak. This is a mystery where a herd of sheep try to figure out who killed their shepherd, looking at things entirely from an ovine perspective. This part was fun, and she manages to maintain it throughout the book, but the mystery remained a little mysterious. And one more book off the shelves!
ROOT number 33 is Die Ballade vom Fetzer by Tilman Röhrig
I picked this up because it is one of the few books in my TBR that would fit the True Crime theme (for the MysteryCAT over in the Category Challenge), but also because reading Les rouges du Midi recently has revived my interest in the French Revolution. The Fetzer (Ripper) of the title was a notorious bandit in the French-occupied Rhinelands. The time shortly after the invasion of the French was one of extreme lawlessness, as the old regimes broke down, but the French were occupied elsewhere.
The author wrote this in 1975 and I was surprised to find it had been turned into a TV series three years later, featuring the prosecutor who brought the bandit to trial and execution, and on whose book the author had to rely for much of the facts. He tells the story strictly chronologically, one robbery follows the next, which makes for a rather episodic style, not helped by those short, awkward sentences. But it shows a fascinating life.
Hi Birgit! Summer's come early here, too - our next seven days forecast is the same - ~29C (85F), very humid, thunderstorms and possibly heavy rain in the afternoons. Good for the outdoor activities and tan.
>40 MissWatson: What an interesting premise.
Hi Karen! In our neck of the woods it is very dry, the farmers are complaining already. It's been weird weather, the winter was far too wet, and now we're having higher temperatures than we manage in most summers.
There's a sequel to Glennkill, but I think I'll borrow it from my sister's library at some point. I'm really surprised it has been translated into so many languages.
How can it be the last day of May already?! I finished six ROOTs this month, and I need to pick up my pace soon. Not in June, probably, with the summer holiday coming up.
Nice new thread, Birgit! (Ashamed I haven't seen it since you started it up.) It's amazing that it's already June. Can't quite get my brain around that. Of course I also wrote a check out this week and dated it 2015, so perhaps it's no surprise that I got confused on the month! ;)
You're doing such a great job on your ROOTs so far! Book 30 sounds especially interesting to me. Between LT and Litsy, I've found out about a couple of books about prostitution throughout history that I'd like to read. Just what I need, another subject to read about! Hope you're enjoying your weekend!
>45 LauraBrook: I'm glad I'm not the only one who does that sort of thing. I sometimes think my brain just picks a year at random.
I think the weather everywhere has been a bit odd this year so far. Hopefully it is good for your vacation, Birgit.
>48 Familyhistorian: Thanks, Meg. No rain would be good for visiting monuments. We've always been lucky, so far.
ROOT number 34 is L'énigme des Blancs-Manteaux
I bought this in Brittany five years ago and finally read it for a rather sad reason: the author died in May. It is the first in a series about a young Breton, illegitimate son of a nobleman, whose godfather finds him a place in the Parisian police, and in 1761 he investigates his first big case with a serious political affair in the background. There are many historical figures, including the chief of police and a young Sanson (the public executioner) and the conversations are very wordy and polite. I'm really looking forward to buying and reading the rest.
On the cooking front, it's still asparagus and strawberry season and far too hot for testing recipes.
>50 MissWatson: Hi Birgit! Asparagus season is my favorite, but artichoke season is a close second place :D Hopefully you get a break in the heat soon!
>51 Miss_Moneypenny: The forecast says it will last until the weekend, and maybe beyond. It shapes up to be a very strange year, but it means lots of asparagus, so I'm only half complaining. Artichokes, though, are something I like best when someone else prepares them.
ROOT number 35 is Les mariages de Paris by Edmond About
I downloaded this last year from Gallica and read it during lunch breaks. Six novellas about how to get married in 1850 Paris. The author has a nice, conversational style, a teeny bit sarcastic sometimes, and is full of praise for the provincial life.
ROOT number 36 is A wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin
Frankly, I couldn't summon up much liking for the main character, Ged, so don't feel the need to keep this or continue with the series.
>54 MissWatson: I've never read any Le Guin, but so many people I know rave about her that I feel I ought to.
>55 Jackie_K: This book was written 50 years ago and at the time it was probably outstanding. I find it often very difficult to read and properly appreciate genre fiction decades after the first publication, because what was groundbreaking or new at the time has become a trope through too much imitation or repetition.
ROOT number 37 is Exiles of ColSec, ROOT number 38 The caves of Klydor both by Douglas Hill.
Okay, I partly picked these because they are very short. This is YA science fiction, more than thirty years old, part one and two of a trilogy. Very competently written, but not original enough to go an a belated hunt for part three. These will leave the house (and only a small gap on the shelf, alas).
ROOT number 39 is Rechnung über meine Dukaten by Thomas Meyer.
This is a novel about King frederick William of Prussia and his mania for very tall soldiers. He goes to great lengths and enormous expense to acquire them, not always legally. Despite the grim topic, it was actually quite a funny book. And I really loved the author's use of the language of that time, the spelling, the verb forms, the vocabulary. Definitely a keeper.
And I am past the halfway point, yippee.
>57 Miss_Moneypenny: It may also be a question of experience (or age, if you will): with so many books read already it becomes harder and harder to find something entirely new and surprising.
>50 MissWatson: Sounds like something I'd like. I've added it to my wish list.
Yum to asparagus and strawberries.
Hi Karen! One of the many chefs on TV (I think every channel has at least five cooking shows) presented a recipe for a strawberry dessert that I want to try soon. Although they're best eaten fresh from the basket...
ROOT number 40 is "Der Herr Präsident" (no touchstone).
This had been lurking on my Kobo for ages, and it's been a bit of a struggle to read this mystery published in 1900. Old spelling, old class prejudices, and more of a morality tale than a mystery. But I like to take a glimpse into the mindset of a bygone age occasionally.
I picked it because the author was born under the sign of Taurus, but I didn't finish it in time.
ROOT number 41 is Hercule Poirot's Christmas.
Another short and quick read, this time also a very enjoyable one. And I was pleasantly suprised to find I bought this last year and therefore it qualifies as a ROOT. I had thought it was acquired more recently.
ROOT number 42 is Das Fest zu Kenelworth by Ludwig Tieck.
My choice of Gemini-born author is Ludwig Tieck, a prolific writer of novellas and much interested in the literature of other nations. I read his book about the Portuguese national poet Luis de Camoes in 2016, and this little item is about William Shakespeare, who as a boy of nine years old sneaks away without his father's permission to the giant fête held by Leicester when Queen Elizabeth paid a visit to his castle Kenilworth. A subject also treated by Walter Scott, soon to be read. But first I'm going to read Tieck's novella about Shakespeare, Dichterleben. These novellas are short enough to be read at lunchtime.
Wow, a high ROOT goal and you're well past the halfway mark! We had our first local strawberries last weekend and, if I recall, the ones that will ripen over the next few weeks will taste even better.
Enjoy them! We've had a few very sunny weeks here, so ours had a much better choice to ripen naturally than usual.
Strawberries and asperagus sound wonderful, but then so does warm weather. Enjoy it while you can.
ROOT number 43 is Väter und Söhne by Ivan Turgenev.
I've owned this since university days and it was strangely familiar. I can't decide if I've read this before or if it is the memors of the German TV movie, so there were no surprises. It is a wonderful book, with an afterword by Turgenev in which he comments on the negative reception it met with. Someday I need to make time someday to read up on this.
ROOT number 44 is The Colosseum by Keith Hopkins and Mary Beard
Keith Hopkins died before he could finish the book, so Mary Beard stepped in. A useful introduction to the history of the monument, plus some debunking of all those gladiator myths. If memory serves, she was asked to be an adviser to Ridley Scott for the movie and they paid so little attention to her that she asked for her name to be removed from the credits. There are times when this reads like an attempt to get across the points the film makers ignored.
ROOT number 45 is Dichterleben by Ludwig Tieck
This is another one from the ebook stash on my computer, downloaded some time ago. It's a two-part novella about William Shakespeare by the man who did much to popularise him in Germany and is written as pure hero worship. Still, stripped of the hyperbolic prose it contains some interesting early 19th century ideas about what it means and takes to be a writer. Especially in the first part, where the main character is Christopher Marlowe and Will's name is only unveiled at the end.
Ludwig Tieck was born under the sign of Gemini.
And this concludes my June ROOTing, I think. Tomorrow I'm leaving for my Normandy trip, the suitcase is almost packed.
>75 Familyhistorian: It did! I didn't need any of the longsleeved stuff, we had sunshine all the way through. Lots of sightseeing, lots of fun.
ROOT number 46 is A house of pomegranates by Oscar Wilde
I didn't have much time for reading while in Normandy, but I did finish one book from my Kobo. It's a collection of four fairy tales by Oscar Wilde, mildly soporific with their detailed descriptions. Perfect for bedtime reading.
ROOT number 47 is Even dogs in the wild by Ian Rankin
I picked this because of the shocking pink on the cover, to fit the ColourCAT, knowing full well this comes very late in the series. But I don't think it matters very much. And it moved the other Rebus mysteries up the list. Very good.
The local asparagus season ended just before we left for Normandy, and I never got around to test more recipes. Spargel & Rucola gets a reprieve til next year, or a glut of rucola. Right now, zucchini (courgettes) are flavour of the month and I have tackled Lust auf Zucchini.
The author has written other cookery books and I am a little disappointed to find her instructions so vague this time around. I tried a salad with carrots, fennel and zucchini, stewed briefly in orange juice, and she fails to mention whether the juice should be saved for the dressing or not. I decided not to, since the lemon juice and olive oil dressing was quite sufficient. Add chopped black olives, and you're set. Very yummy, both warm and cold.
>84 Henrik_Madsen: We were surprised as well. Everywhere, they had these humourous postcards by heula poking fun at rainy Normandy, and all we got was a brief shower when we visited Cap de la Hague.
ROOT number 48 is Schwarze Flagge Rote Segel by Paul Quincy
A nautical yarn set in the Caribbean in 1776. The author is German, so he gets a few things about the English wrong, and a former seaman, so the nautical bits are full of technical jargon. A solid contribution to the genre, but nothing remarkable or original. I hope to find a new home for it.
ROOT number 49 is Harte Männer Schwere See by Paul Quincy
Third instalment in a four-part series about Lt Turner. This time he's sent to intercept a French frigate with General von Steuben on board, so not exactly full of suspense. Another one off the shelves.
>88 enemyanniemae: Thanks! If only those pesky new shiny ones didn't get in the way!
Lots of books and a trip to Normandy since I've been here to visit, looks like things are going well for you.
Hi Karen, apart from the heatwave I'm doing fine. We've had five nights in a row with temperatures above 20°C, and it's beginning to tell. Nerves are starting to frazzle. We're not used to summers like this. The upside is that I spend all my free time in the shade reading.
ROOT number 50 is L'argent des autres – Les hommes de paille by Émile Gaboriau
I sit on the balcony after dark when it is a little cooler, and I find that I really get use out of the backlighted screen of my Kobo. I finished L'argent des autres – Les hommes de paille which I downloaded five years ago and was suprised to find that it is only part one of the book. I think I'll count the second part as a ROOT too, once I have finished it. After all I meant to read the whole book! And it is a very interesting look a financial speculation in 1870ies Paris. People's greed hasn't changed much.
>92 MissWatson: Those Koboos are great aren't they, Birgit! I could sit out in the garden after dark and read for hours, but then we have the mosquitoes!
Just skimming through your thread and trying to catch up. I hope I did not miss anything important.
Hi Connie! Nah, nothing much has happened, which is a good thing. Technology can be really useful sometimes! And we haven't had many mosquitoes so far. I guess it's too dry for them.
>94 MissWatson: And you are on your balcony and I'm in the garden near the dry pond. It's a little pond with rocks and there must be some water beneath them. And that is a nice place for mosquitoes.
>95 connie53: A pond, that could explain it. Is it dried up from the heat?
>93 connie53: I love my kobo too! Great for reading under the covers as well :)
>97 Jackie_K: Hi Jackie! I haven't tried that yet, as I have a strict rule about not reading in bed. I'd be unable to stop and never get any sleep.
Last evening my reading glasses had an accident (again) and I need to get them repaired. It's a good thing you can adjust font size on an e-reader, so I won't be totally destitute...yay for technology.
>96 MissWatson: Yes, It's completely dried up. Even the rain that fell last night did not do much for the pond (or the garden) only the temps have dropped to 28 degrees.
>97 Jackie_K: I never read under the covers, too hot! And not an easy thing to do with glasses. >98 MissWatson: Yes, that would happen to me too.
The heatwave has finally broken, and we had a lovely weekend going to two concerts. My sister also brought some books, so my ROOTing plans have gone off course. But at least it's cool enough for knitting now, so I can enjoy the audiobook. QualityLand hast just won the German Science Fiction Prize, so that's an additional incentive.
Our heatwave seems to be well and truly over as well, Birgit. I think England held on to it a bit longer, but here in Scotland it's not been great for a couple of weeks now. To be fair, since living in Scotland I've found that August is often pretty rubbish weather-wise, but September is often much better - here's hoping!
What are you knitting?
>101 Jackie_K: Hi Jackie! I've got two projects on the go, a plain jumper with raglan sleeves from pale grey cashmere yarn and a blue merino lace shawl. Buying yarn is a bit like buying books, I can never resist a beautiful colour or fine quality. The merino is hand-dyed by a cooperative in Uruguay, a fair trade initiative, and they make glorious yarns in wool and silk, but expensive. I'm taking my time over this in order not to spoil it. All summer long it's been far too hot for knitting, the yarn was always sticking to the fingers.
>102 MissWatson: Haha, I have some friends who do craft things - quilting etc - and they can never walk past a craft shop without buying fabric, wool, etc. It always did remind me of me and books!
>103 Jackie_K: Yes, and I just found out about a trade show in Hamburg in a fortnight. It's been some time since I spent a day in Hamburg, and this sounds like a perfect excuse.
Sometimes the store displays of fabrics or yarns are just absolutely beautiful.
>105 detailmuse: I'm always amazed how they drape a bit of fabric round a dummy and make it look like a gorgeous dress. I have absolutely no talent that way.
ROOT number 51 is Die Molkenkur by Ulrich Hegner
I really should make a note when and why I download books from sites like OpenLibrary or Gutenberg. I have no idea why I chose this, but it turned out to be a good fit for this month's RandomCAT over in the Category Challenge. This is a charming tale about a colonel taking a cure in Switzerland for his gout, a bestseller in 1812. The first part is told in his letters to his friends back home, a more conventional second and third part follows, as the colonel, his niece and her maid explore Appenzell and make friends. At the end the maid is married and the niece engaged.
edited for touchstone
ROOT number 52 is L'homme au ventre de plomb by Jean-François Parot
This is the second book in the series about Nicolas Le Floch in 18th century Paris. He spends a lot of time in Versailles, meeting the eldest daughter of Louis XV. I have vague memories of Dumas telling us that Louis had some very unkind nicknames for them, now which book was that?
ROOT number 53 is Boule de suif et autres nouvelles by Guy de Maupassant
I had no idea that Maupassant was born in Normandy, and lived in Etretat. Looks like I missed a few opportunities for sightseeing. Next time around!
My first encounter with his writing, and I liked it very much, despite his rather pessimist world view.
ETA: I forgot to mention that he was born under the sign of Leo.
ROOT number 54 is A red herring without mustard by Alan Bradley.
The third of the Flavia de Luce series, and she's fun.
On the weather front, we're back to normal temperatures and today we have rain, so the thought of cooking no longer makes me break out in a sweat. Time to browse the shelves for a new testing candidate...
ROOT number 55 is Der Weg zurück by Erich Maria Remarque
The book follows a group of young men who return home from the front after the armistice 1918 and try to settle into civilian life.
ROOT number 56 is L'argent des autres – La pêche en eau trouble by Émile Gaboriau.
Very different from the other book I finished this weekend. The marquis finally confronts the people who stole his father's money, and there's also a family secret cleared up. Plus lots of comment in the greed and rapacity of people who want to get rich quick. At the back, there is the deep and profound shock of the lost Franco-Prussian war which also loomed large in Maupassant's stories.
ROOT number 57 is Remains of the day by Kazuo Ishiguro.
Not a book for quick and easy reading, starting with Stevens' stilted prose. And there's so much left out or vague. A book that requires re-reading at some point.
I have decided to keep Lust auf Zucchini for now, because so many of the recipes are quick, easy and suitable for other vegetables, too. They're all recipes you could come up with yourself, but somehow you don't.
Since the weather has turned autumnal, and the harvesting season is four weeks early because of the drought, I'm already thinking soups and stews...
ROOT number 58 is Menschen im Krieg by Andreas Latzko.
I wish I had made a note of where I found out about this author and why I downloaded the book. It's a collection of novellas from the First World War, set among the soldiers of the Austrian Army, a long way away from Flanders and Picardy. Written with an incredibly furious, feverish rage; it has some of the most vivid description of shell shock I have read so far.
>115 MissWatson: Sounds good, Birgit, I will try to locate a copy, as there exists an old Dutch translation, published in 1918.
>116 FAMeulstee: It's not the kind of book where you can honestly say "I hope you like it", because the subject matter is so tragic and infuriating.
ROOT number 59 is Agnes Grey by Anne Brontë
Another governess, another impoverished parson's daughter, and yet so different from Charlotte's heroines. A little preachy, but overall enjoyable in its depiction of ordinary lives without drama.
Thanks Karen! It helps that summer is over and all the festivals ended.
ROOT number 60 is Woman in the dark by Dashiell Hammett.
This one was very short, too short to get interested in the characters, to be honest. But I needed a break from Henri fighting his way across France and fooling around with Gabrielle d'Estrées in Die Vollendung des Königs Henri IV. 700 pages to go in that...
One of my more recent acquisitions is Die Bistroküche and yesterday I tried my first recipe from this book, chicken with beans cooked in the oven with cidre. Simple, but needs a lot of time in the oven, so not suitable for weekdays. But a very promising start.
ROOT number 62 is Silver Rock by Luke Short
The weekend has been event-full: on Saturday we had dragonboat races on the Hörn, the innermost bit of Kiel harbour, and our library sent a team. So I went to give moral support. It was our first attempt, and we ended up very low on the list, but it was fun, and the weather was great.
Sunday was Open Monument Day, and our shipping museum offered a brief tour through the current exhibition (the 1918 sailors' uprising) and a turn with one of the museum ships, for free. We had glorious weather and the onboard guide pointed out several landmarks of the revolution. It's amazing how different the city looks when seen from a ship. I will also go back for a more detailed look at the exhibition.
Anyway, all this time outside means I only found time for a very slim book, a 125page western with a predictable plot and the usual cast of characters. It is falling apart, being more than forty years old, so out it goes.
ROOT number 63 is Wenn's nur schon Winter wär'! by Ossip Schubin
I finished another download from Open Library, a trashy romance set in Bohemia. But Schubin (real name Aloisia Kirschner) at least writes much better than Eschstruth, and is surprisingly realisitic.
ROOT number 64 is The Asphalt Jungle by W.R.Burnett
I've owned this for decades and it is possible I even read this before, but if so, I don't remember it. Compared to other books in the noir genre, it's tame and his over-use of exclamation marks annoying. The movie is so much better. Not a keeper.
ROOT number 65 is Martinhagen by Julius Stinde
This was a short ebook lurking on my PC since last year, a tale about a spoiled young girl deciding to earn a living as a governess. Her first employer is a well-to-do farmer in Schleswig-Holstein who feels the need to educate his daughters beyond the local village school, in particular to teach them "proper" German instead of the local Plattdeutsch. I can see why he was such a popular author in the late 1880s and 1890s.
And now I have only ten more ROOTs to pull!
edited for touchstone
ROOT number 66 is Die goldenen Schuhe by Vicki Baum
This was her last novel, published two years before her death. A ballerina at the highpoint of her career has a crisis in her marriage and looks back on her life, so we can follow her career from Vienna across Europe and the world. Ballet is a very closed life, and major events in Europe are taken notice of when they interfere with her working life. She's very good at describing this life lived exclusively for an art, the hard work involved, the single-mindedness of those working in this closed world.
Die Bistroküche has more meat dishes than I'm currently eating, but everything else I tried was good, so it stays.
ROOT number 67 is Le beau XVI siècle by Simone Bertière
I picked this up as a companion read to Heinrich Mann's Henri IV, to refresh my memory about French history and the events leading up to the Wars of religion. It offers potted biographies of the queens of the Valois kings and she really concentrates on the queens which gives a slightly different point of view and allows the reader to tell the main characters apart, which is no mean feat when they share a handful of names between them.
ROOT number 68 is Point Blank by Richard Stark
Well, this was short and fast-paced, plus a very high body count. But I prefer the movie with Lee Marvin.
ROOT number 69 is Ormond by Maria Edgeworth
Another ebook from my hoard, read during lunch breaks. Set in Ireland and Paris during the middle of the 18th century, it had its surprising moments, but in the end all is morally safe and sound and comfortably English.
My sister is coming to spend a long weekend, so I won't get much more ROOTing done this month, but 10 books this month is a decent showing. Getting very close to my goal!
You are doing a fine job of reading those ROOTs. I hope you had a great long weekend with your sister.
>136 Familyhistorian: Thanks! The weather played along nicely and we had lots of fun trawling two outdoor markets. No reading, of course, and I'm just catching up with threads, but then I'll be ROOTing again.
>136 Familyhistorian: Outdoor markets - veggies but no books?
>138 Familyhistorian: Not this time. One was a craft market where I bought a lovely handbound notebook with gorgeous covers, the other our monthly fleamarket. There are always semi-professional people offering second-hand books, but none that I was interested in.
Thanks, Connie. Some of them have been very short. I'm really looking forward to autumn and curling up with big books on the sofa all weekend long.
I hope you had a wonderful weekend with your sister. Mine lives about 2,600 miles from me on the other side of the US, and I really miss her.
Thanks, Karen and Jackie. My sister lives in North Rhine Westphalia, and depending on the traffic it's a four hour drive, so it's quite manageable for a weekend.
Last weekend was unexpectedly busy, because we had gorgeous weather and some more street markets. One was mostly pottery, which I'm not keen on, but the other was a proper fleamarket with lots of books this time. I bought a vegetarian cookbook for the amazing sum of 1 Euro and I'll try the first recipes from it this week. So only a little reading on the sofa, but I got five hours reading in the sun on the balcony on Sunday.
I just spent a wonderful day in Hamburg with temperatures above 20°C, which counts as a summer day. Bought a few books to read as ROOTS next years, probably, among them The invisible library. Just couldn't resist the price tag...
ROOT number 70 is Die Vollendung des Königs Henri IV by Heinrich Mann
This one is 981 pages long and there were times when I thought it would never end. Mann is vague about events and characters, at least until Gabrielle d'Estrées dies, and I found his painting of Marie de Medici unconvincing. But it's the sort of book that takes a while to digest.
ROOT number 71 is Charlie M by Brian Freemantle
I re-read this after nearly forty years and find it has held up well. A spy thriller from the Cold War, where the Brits and the Americans are their own worst enemies.
I have tried the first recipe from my fleamarket find: Kochvergnügen vegetarisch. A simple stew made with adzuki beans, vegetable stock, bell peppers and potatoes, and it would have been great had the author left it there. The addition of diced pineapple at the end did not really improve the dish. Well, five more to go before I decide.
ROOT number 72 is The secret agent by Joseph Conrad
Well, I have read it, but I found the writing very stilted and unnecessarily relying on polysyllabic words, as if trying to show off his comman of the vocabulary.
The second recipe from my current test candidate was more successful: an easy oven dish with flageolet beans and tomatoes, topped with grated cheese and breadcrumbs. You can save a lot of time if you use tinned or frozen beans for this. I used up some dried ones I bought in France and which had to be soaked overnight and pre-cooked in vegetable stock. They are almost impossible to find in Germany, so I'll try again with ordinary white beans some time which should go well with the thyme.
ROOT number 73 is Nachts unter der steinernen Brücke by Leo Perutz
I picked this up because it is set in the time of Henri IV's last years, a sort of "Meanwhile, in another part of the forest..." curiosity. We meet the emperor Rudolf II, Johannes Kepler, Wallenstein, Rabbi Judah Löw and many others who were real historical people, but there is a phantastical element to his version of Prague, with ghosts and magic. The language is beautiful, it really takes you into the early 1600s, before the Thirty Years' War.
Only two more to go! And I have high hopes of finishing The Night Manager on the weekend, at the latest. After that, a short one?
ROOT number 74 is La mare au diable by George Sand
This is an ebook downloaded two years ago and much shorter than I expected. It's mostly in dialogue, thus an easy read, especially as the young ploughman and his little shepherdess speak perfect, grammatical French. It gives an unreal flavour to the whole thing, and Ms Sand's romanticising attitude is a bit hard to swallow.
ROOT number 75 is The Night Manager by John LeCarré
And I have reached my goal, yippee! This was a rather depressing read, though, because it's probably closer to real life than we like to think. The operation peters ignominiously out, internecine warfare scuppers it mostly, and the lone undercover agent obsesses far too much about the bad guy's woman for my taste and patience. Off to a new home it goes.
Kochvergnügen vegetarisch will also leave the house. The author tries too hard for novelty, adding unusual spices or aromas that do not really work. There are also too many sections I won't use, like making preserves.
Congratulations on meeting your goal! I hope #76 is better than #75 though!
>155 MissWatson: Congratulations! I keep hearing about the TV adaptation of The Night Manager and it appeals because of Hugh Laurie ... your comments make me realize it's probably darker than I'm imagining.
>162 detailmuse: It's on my radar, too. I mean, Hugh Laurie? Tom Hiddleston? But I notice they changed the gender of one of the main characters, Jonathan's case officer, which gives a different dimension to the relation. And from the plot synopses it seems that Jonathan's part is a lot more active than it appears in the book. Still, spies is something the Brits do well.
ROOT number 76 is Übertrieben tot by Frl Krise & Frau Freitag
This is another joint writing effort by two teachers from a Berlin comprehensive. Unfortunately, the mystery is non-existent, and the shenanigans they get up to to park their most disruptive students in a godforsaken Brandenburg village are totally unconvincing. Into the bin it goes.
It's autumn and time for meals cooked in a single pot. Aus einem Topf is shaping up to be a keeper: a very slim volume and two decent recipes already. None that you couldn't think up for yourself, it's just that sometimes you need a little prompt, and for this it is very useful.
>155 MissWatson: Congratulations on reaching your goal. Too bad it’s not a stellar read.
>156 MissWatson: Pineapple in a simple stew. *shudder* Authors trying too hard for novelty = gone.
>166 MissWatson: Yes, autumn recipes. I’m glad Aus einem Topf is a keeper.
I’m going to start making some of my favorite soups and stews after our American Thanksgiving next Thursday. The weather has finally gotten cold enough out here so that the idea of hot soup isn’t abhorrent.
>167 karenmarie: Hi Karen, nice to see you! I've been busy with non-ROOTs, some of them very, very, good, so I'm quite over the less than stellar final ROOT. And we're finally having cold weather, too, stews are very appealing now.
>155 MissWatson: Belated congratulations reaching your goal!
I haven't read the book, but have seen the TV adaption. It was on the edge of the scary I can handle.
ROOT number 77 is Les champs d'honneur by Jean Rouaud
My sister recommended this to me years ago and I finally picked it up. Quite unusual in its structure, as he moves backwards in time with every chapter. And I had a nostalgic moment in the first chapter where he talks about Brittany's constant rain and mentions as an exception the drought of 1976 – that was the summer my family spent three glorious weeks in St Malo and returned brown as nuts while I did an internship after high school. I was so jealous...
>171 MissWatson: We were also on holiday in France in 1976, not near the coast, but near a big lake. Sad you could not join that year.
>172 FAMeulstee: Yes, it was disappointing. On the other hand I had the family home all to myself which wasn't bad.
ROOT number 78 is The red badge of courage by Stephen Crane
I have owned this for decades and finally picked it up because it was short and fit the ColourCAT in the Category Challenge. I can see why it was once considered seminal, but it no longer has the impact it once had. It is crumbling, so will end in the recycling bin.
I think I read The Red Badge of Courage in high school but can't remember anything about it.
Hope you're doing well and that you're finding wonderful recipes in your cookbooks.
Hi Karen! Nice to see you see you.
I just finished a 1319 page non-ROOT (my birthday present), so I've been a little absent from my thread. Christmas is on my mind these days: I'm spending it at my sister's and need to buy the train ticket, and I just hope the train drivers won't go on strike, come the day. And I still need one present...
My current cookbook has lots of simple, quick dishes, but none of them outstanding. I will probably keep it, as it is very useful for clearing the pantry shelves.
Back again to read your thread, Birgit. Have a nice holiday at your sisters! And I will be keeping my fingers crossed for the no-strike thing.
>179 connie53: Thanks, Connie! I started packing the necessaries and tomorrow I'll wrap the gifts. I hope you're doing fine! Is Fine enjoying the holiday preparations?
ROOT number 78 is Tiedemanns Tochter by Lotte Betke
This was a find on a fleamarket browse and I was hoping for something more substantial, considering that this is about the daughter of a Hamburg coffee trader. No such luck, a rather tedious tale for teenage girls from the 1950s. Since it is also in a very bad condition, it goes into the dustbin without regrets.
>180 MissWatson: Fiene was especially impressed by Sinterklaas. We celebrate Sinterklaas on December 5 with gifts. I don't know if you know about this Dutch thing. This year we were at Jeroen and Rianne's place. And we had gifts just for Fiene and Lonne not for the adults. It was a great afternoon, even Peet enjoyed it.
For Christmas we are, again, invited by Jeroen and Rianne. But we decided to give no presents, just order some nice food and play games and such things.
>182 connie53: That looks like an impressive number of gifts! I've heard about the custom of Sinterklaas when I lived in North Rhine Westphalia, we do something similar on December 6 with Nikolaus. It used to be only sweets in the boots before the door, and you had to wait until Christmas for the real presents. But these days kids get presents on every holiday which is a little sad, it makes Christmas less special.
I hope you have a lovely holiday!
ROOT number 79 is In distant waters by Richard Woodman
I've owned this for decades but it seems there was a reason I abandoned the series. This instalment was just dull.
Okay, I've given it a try, but several of the recipes didn't really work, and One Pot Wonders now leaves the house. With so much still to do before Christmas I don't have the patience for new stuff.
ROOT number 80 is Brennerova by Wolf Haas
A quirky Austrian mystery takes me to 80 ROOTs, yay! I'm ready packed for the holidays, just one last peek at LT tomorrow for the scavenger hunt, and then I'll be offline until January.
Happy Holidays to everyone!
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