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EllaTim's Reading and More in 2019-2

This is a continuation of the topic EllaTim's Reading and More in 2019.

75 Books Challenge for 2019

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1EllaTim
Jun 29, 9:37am Top



This is The Reading House, in Amsterdam north. Must be the smallest library in Amsterdam. Located in the Tolhuistuin complex: once upon a time the ferry from Amsterdam to the north landed here, and of course there was a pub. But now it's a cultural centre. And this small building? Couldn't find what it's destination has been, but now a small library. Bring your own books, pick them up. And they give volunteer language lessons for refugees:-)

Hi, I'm Ella, living in Amsterdam, with my husband Marc. Thought it would be nice to start my thread with something that makes me smile. Other things are books, of course, cats, and our allotment garden.

2EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:33pm Top

Read in 2019

1. Mirror, Shoulder, Signal by Dorothe Nors (Denmark) ****
2. The Chosen by Chaim Potok (USA) ****
3. Ink and Bone by Rachel Caine (USA) ***1/2
4. Old Filth by Jane Gardam (UK) ****1/2
5. Darwin in de stad by Menno Schilthuizen (dutch) ****
6. Begin van een onbekend tijdperk by Konstantin Paustovskij ***1/2 (Russia, Ukrain)
7. Amstelglorie by Onno Blom ****1/2 * (but actually by Jan Wolkers)
8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett ****
9. Het Pauperparadijs by Suzanna Jansen (Dutch) ***1/2
10. Cold Granite by Stuart MacBride (UK) ****
11. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens ****
12. The Maze Runner by James Dashner ***
13. Dying Light by Stuart MacBride ***1/2 (UK)
14. A history of loneliness by John Boyne (Ireland) ****1/2
15. Uprooted by Naomi Novik (fantasy, audio) ***1/2
16. De verborgen universiteit by Natalie Koch (fantasy, audio, Dutch) ***1/2
17. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel (UK) ****1/2
18. The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion (audio, Australia)
19. The Scarlet Pimpernel by Baroness Orczy (UK, 1905) **1/2
20. De kaart van zout en sterren The map of Salt and stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar (USA, Syria) (audiobook, 2018)
21. The Man in the Wooden Hat by Jane Gardam (UK) ****
22. De Cock en de vermoorde onschuld by Peter Römer (audio, Dutch, 2015) ***1/2
23. De Levens van Jan Six by Geert Mak (dutch) ****
24. DNA by Yrsa Sigurdardottir (Iceland) (English title: The Legacy) ***
25. Beestachtige Zaken by Donna Leon (audio, in dutch) ***1/2
26. Ik aanbid je by Donna Leon (audio) ***1/2
27. Tegenlicht by Esther Verhoef (dutch) ***1/2
28. Raadselvader by Jolande Withuis (Dutch, audio) ****1/2
29. The woman in white by Wilkie Collins (UK, audio) ****
30. Gaat je geheugen kapot, als je teveel voor je computer hangt by Erik Scherder (dutch, audio) ****
31. Indische Duinen by Adriaan van Dis (Dutch) ***1/2
32. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (UK, audio) ****
33. Op oorlogspad in Japan by Adriaan van Dis (Dutch) ****
34. A cold red sunrise by Stuart M. Kaminsky **** (USA)
35. De Meisjes van de Suikerwerkfabriek by Tessa de Loo (dutch) **
36. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson (UK) ****

3EllaTim
Jun 29, 9:39am Top

Challenges I am participating in:

The BAC (British Author Challenge) hosted by Paul.

BRITISH ISLES AUTHOR THEME CHALLENGE 2019

January 2019 - The Natural World https://www.librarything.com/topic/296824#6632759
February 2019 - Pat Barker and Peter F. Hamilton
Options: The silence of the girls (started, but not finished)
March 2019 - The Murderous Scots https://www.librarything.com/topic/296824#6637458
April 2019 - Rosamond Lehmann and John Boyne
May 2019 - The Edwardians https://www.librarything.com/topic/299559#6656870
June 2019 - Nicola Barker and Wilkie Collins
July 2019 - YA Fantasy Series https://www.librarything.com/topic/299559#6660927
August 2019 - Anita Brookner and Jim Crace
September 2019 - Biography and Memoir https://www.librarything.com/topic/299559#6674204

Non-fiction Challenge, hosted by Suzanne
1. January: Prizewinners
Darwin in de stad by Menno Schilthuizen

February: Science and Technology: Innovations and Innovators.
March: True Crime, Misdemeanors and Justice, Past and Present Day:
April: Comfort Reads:
May: History.
June: The Pictures Have It!
July: Biography & First Person yarns
August: Raw Materials: Animal, Vegetable, Mineral
September: Books by Journalists
October: Other Worlds: From Spiritual to Fantastical
November: Creators and Creativity
December: I’ve Always Been Curious about...

4EllaTim
Jun 29, 9:40am Top

Reading around the World. A fun idea, I found on Paul's and Janet's threads. Reading from writers from around the world. Trying to fill in the blanks on the map. It's harder than I thought, I tend to English and American writers. Followed by Russia, Holland, Belgium and France.

Reading around the world:


visited 34 states (15.1%)
Buy Douwe's Machine Learning Book

5EllaTim
Edited: Jun 29, 9:41am Top

Some books and projects from last year that I still would like to finish:

Bewegen voor beginners by Bram Bakker X
Ruim Duizend Dagen werk by Koos van Zomeren

And the website that has the letters of Vincent Van Gogh, with annotations, and pictures of all art he mentions in his letters!
(Vangoghletters.org)

6EllaTim
Jun 29, 9:43am Top

That's it! Welcome visitors. Wishing everybody a good summer.

7jessibud2
Jun 29, 9:53am Top

Happy new thread, Ella! Your topper could be a very tiny library or a very large Little Free Library! ;-)

8EllaTim
Jun 29, 10:01am Top

>7 jessibud2: Thanks Shelley ! It's both, I think:-)

9drneutron
Jun 29, 10:56am Top

Happy new thread!

10PawsforThought
Jun 29, 12:05pm Top

Hi Ella,

I love the look of the leeshuis. Looks like it might have been one of the tollbooths.

11kidzdoc
Jun 29, 12:53pm Top

Happy new thread, Ella! Thanks for the photo of and information about The Reading House.

12EllaTim
Jun 29, 1:25pm Top

>9 drneutron: Thanks Jim!

>10 PawsforThought: It does look nice, doesn't it? No I don't think so, the real toll house is much bigger. The toll was for the ships using the channel to the north.



The Reading House is somewhere to the side of it.

>Hi Darryl! Thank you. No problem, it's fun to look up a bit more of the history of a place I pass frequently.

13jnwelch
Jun 29, 4:39pm Top

Happy New Thread, Ella. I love the small library up top, the Reading House. That's easily the smallest I've ever seen.

14EllaTim
Jun 29, 7:17pm Top

>13 jnwelch: Hi Joe! Thanks. It's a cutie isn't it?

15PaulCranswick
Jun 29, 11:09pm Top

>1 EllaTim: Cute is exactly the word I would have used too, Ella.

Happy new thread. xx

16EllaTim
Jun 30, 6:32am Top

>15 PaulCranswick: Nice to see you Paul, and smooches back at you.

17EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:28pm Top

29. The woman in white by Wilkie Collins (UK, audio) ****



A 19th century novel, so it's a big one. But surprisingly easy to read.

The version I read was the Librivox audio. All read by volunteers who did a great job.

I must confess that I started out enjoying the book very much, the beginning is all very atmospheric, slowly the tension builds up, but we are only guessing at what has happened and what will come to pass. The two women, Laura and her sister, Marianne, are interesting contrasts: Laura a sweet girl, Marianne much more assertive and intelligent.

And of course William likes Marianne a lot, but falls in love with sweet Laura, who gets increasingly passive and vulnerable as the story goes on. And then, when Marianne does take a really active part, she of course gets severely ill, and is forced out to the sidelines of the story as well.

Leaving it to William to look after them and their happy ending. In the meantime dealing with the awful, and of course foreign, (Italian you know) crook.

So, I might have been a bit exasperated by this story line, I guess ;-)

Well, of course it was the 19th century. The book makes it very clear how dependent women were, on the men in their life.

I wondered how I would have liked this book, if I had been a 19th century woman?

18PawsforThought
Jun 30, 6:47am Top

>17 EllaTim: I've been meaning to read The Woman in White for ages, and actually have the Librivox version bookmarked so it's good to know it's a good listen. The storyline does seem to leave one a bit wanting, though.

19msf59
Jun 30, 7:12am Top

Happy New Thread, Ella. I hope you are having a nice weekend. I have never read The Woman in White. Someday?

20johnsimpson
Jun 30, 3:44pm Top

Happy new thread Ella my dear, I love the Reading Room in your thread topper photo, it is so nice. I hope you and Marc are having a nice weekend my dear and send love and hugs to you and Marc from both of us dear friend.

21FAMeulstee
Jun 30, 5:58pm Top

Happy new thread, Ella!

Glad we are back to more bearable temperatures, so I can finally do some needed work in the garden.

22EllaTim
Edited: Jun 30, 7:16pm Top

>18 PawsforThought: Hi Paws! Well, it's a very 20th venture view on the book. I liked the first half best.

>19 msf59: Thanks Marc. You never know, Marc. Likes and dislikes are so personal. But I wouldn't put it down as right down your alley;-)

>20 johnsimpson: Hi John, thank you! Love and hugs back to you and Karen. We had a very nice Sunday, with a friend visiting at the allotment. Relaxing.

>21 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. Yes, what a relief at last. Nice to get some gardening done! And the weather forecast is good.

23EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:29pm Top

A fast read, or listen, this was an audio lecture series.

30. Gaat je geheugen kapot, als je teveel voor je computer hangt by Erik Scherder (dutch, audio) ****

I wouldn't have called this a book, but it was in the audio library. It is a series of short lectures about the brain and the effect of movement and certain habits on brain quality.

Erik Scherder is a professor in neuroscience and movement, and a good and entertaining speaker. This series was short, entertaining and interesting. He talks about the effects of movement for the brain (hint: very positive, especially when you exert yourself a bit). About music and the brain, but also about the simple fact that for elderly people who are very immobile chewing can be very beneficial! Last, computer use, and screen time and the brain.

Depressing? Not at all, reading is beneficial as well...

24figsfromthistle
Jul 2, 10:54pm Top

Happy new thread, Ella!

25EllaTim
Jul 3, 4:21am Top

>24 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita! Thank you, and nice to see you:-)

26sirfurboy
Jul 3, 5:22am Top

>23 EllaTim: That sounds interesting. What did he say about screen time and the brain?

27karenmarie
Jul 4, 8:28am Top

Happy new thread, Ella!

I have Woman in White on my shelves. Your review doesn't inspire me to immediately go grab it off my shelves, but it would be nice to get another ROOT in this year. I liked The Moonstone when I read it in the late '80s but don't remember much about it.

28EllaTim
Jul 4, 9:48pm Top

>27 karenmarie: Hi Karen! Thanks.

No, but don't look only at my review, I have been feeling a bit crabby lately, I guess;-)

29EllaTim
Jul 5, 1:27pm Top

>26 sirfurboy: Hi Stephen. Yes, it did sound interesting, but he doesn't refer to research linking screen time directly to brain effects, but indirectly, as he talks about the positive effects of movement, and the negative effects of sitting still and passivity. Simple conclusion is that activity is good for the brain, movement, like brisk walking etc. But activity in general as well, as it provides stimulation, so reading is beneficial as well;-)

30vancouverdeb
Jul 5, 6:11pm Top

Congratulations on reading The Women in White. I've yet to do that and I've had the book on my shelves for ever. It's a long book so of course you might feel crabby! :-) I also seem to be a feeling a bit crabby with my books lately too! :-)

31EllaTim
Jul 6, 1:41am Top

>30 vancouverdeb: Hi Deb. Yes, it's a long one, and you crabby with the books as well? Hope it will pass, but sometimes it just happens.

Still reading The Iliad, a page a day, I guess. I borrowed the dutch translation from the library, to compare with the English one I was reading. English translation by Caroline Alexander, dutch one by H.J. de Roy van Zuydewijn.
The translation by Caroline Alexander is written in pentameter, the dutch one is in hexameters, the same as the Greek original. It really makes a difference in feel. The English translation reads faster, there is a forward momentum in it. I thought the translation very good, the sentences very natural and readable. The Dutch version is slower, sometimes a bit ponderous , and the meter is more obvious. But slower reading gives you more time to absorb the sentence. At the moment I am going with the Dutch translation.

32FAMeulstee
Jul 6, 4:56pm Top

>31 EllaTim: I read The Iliad translated by Imme Dros, loved it!

33EllaTim
Jul 7, 6:22am Top

>32 FAMeulstee: There's an idea, Anita!

Yesterday the whole day at the allotment, Saturday morning is general work morning, everybody has to help out keeping our common greens in order. And in the evening we had our annual summer party.
Unfortunately the weather decided to take a turn, from sunny to very light rain. But we braved it outdoors under the trees. There was a barbecue and an improvised stone oven, and wonderful flammkuchen. And we sat there, four old biddies, discussing their mothers (all over 90), watching the young generations, a group of small boys playing soccer, and the youngest of all, a one year old girl, with that big smile, of wonder, oh I can walk, and look at the world! She was so endearing!

And tomorrow my husband has to go into the hospital for evaluation, we're both of us feeling ill at ease:-(

34vancouverdeb
Jul 7, 6:30am Top

I'll be thinking of you and your husband, Ella. It's so natural to feel ill at ease. My very best to both of you and here's hoping for happy results. (((hugs))) My heart goes out to both of you.

35jessibud2
Jul 7, 6:56am Top

Thinking of you and your husband today, Ella. Best of luck
Yesterday sounded like a good day, Has the heat broken yet in Europe? It's still pretty unpleasant here in Montreal where I currently am.

36msf59
Jul 7, 7:38am Top

Happy Sunday, Ella. Good luck with your husband tomorrow. Keep us posted.

37EllaTim
Jul 7, 8:08am Top

>34 vancouverdeb:, >35 jessibud2: >36 msf59: Hi Deb, Shelley and Marc! Thanks for thinking of us, much appreciated! Will keep you posted.

The heatwave is over here, and it is even a bit chilly. Lots better, as far as I am concerned. Hope yours will recede as well.

38karenmarie
Jul 7, 9:46am Top

Hi Ella.

Sending hugs and positive vibes for tomorrow's evaluation.

39EllaTim
Jul 7, 10:01am Top

>38 karenmarie: Thank you, Karen!

40EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:30pm Top

31. Indische Duinen by Adriaan van Dis (Dutch) ***1/2



Autobiographical novel. Adriaan van Dis is a very well known person here in Holland. He did a TV program where he interviewed writers from all over the world. Very good program. He was a good, and very polite and intellectual host.

In this book he shows a different side of himself. Brought up by a father who had been a member of the KNIL-army (the Royal Dutch Indonesian army, in the time when the Netherlands were still in power in Indonesia). But his father is not healthy anymore, the family has emigrated, migrated, been repatriated, to Holland, after the Second World War, when Indonesia gained its independence.

The title translates not to Indonesian Dunes, but "Indian Dunes" would be wrong as well. Indisch is the word that refers to of Indonesian origin but before the independence, so to the Dutch colonial Indonesia (one can only go wrong here). The book has been translated "My father's war", found it on WorldCat. Here's the excellent summary I found there:

"Born in Holland after the war, a son grows up an outsider in the midst of his family. Living in isolation among the dunes of coastal Holland, he looks on as his half-caste half-sisters are mocked for their 'blue skin', and wonders about the wartime hardships his family suffered but never discusses."

His father treated him roughly, wanting to make a man of him. Still there was a lot of love between them. But there's a lot of pain in the book as well. Giving it its sharp edges, I think. Adrian's father, mother and older sisters were interned in different concentration camps during the war. He himself was born after. He didn't share their experiences, but they still were important.

I didn't love the book, but there's something very real about it.

41FAMeulstee
Jul 7, 4:34pm Top

>33 EllaTim: Thinking of Marc and you tomorrow, fingers crossed that all is well.

42EllaTim
Jul 7, 8:05pm Top

>41 FAMeulstee: Thanks, Anita. I'm holding my breath.

43jnwelch
Jul 8, 8:23am Top

Good luck to you and your husband today, Ella.

I enjoyed the atmosphere of The Woman in White, but our daughter, who usually shares my taste in mysteries, found reading it a slog. Neither of us have been able to take on The Moonstone, his other well-known one. I've tried three times, without success.

44EllaTim
Jul 8, 7:15pm Top

>44 EllaTim: Hi Joe! Thanks, unfortunately, today was inconclusive, the evaluation had to be postponed because my husband now has a chronic cystitis that didn't respond well to the medication. Sigh. So new medication, and hope it helps. :-(

Yeah, I liked the atmosphere in The Woman in White as well. I loved the book at first, it's the second half that I liked a lot less!

45EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:30pm Top

32. Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens (UK, audio) ****

The story read by LibriVox volunteer Mil Nicholson. She did a wonderful job reading this aloud. And i really enjoyed the story, in spite of it being old-fashioned and rather sentimental.

46EllaTim
Edited: Jul 13, 12:24am Top

Still wrestling my way through The Iliad. Skip it, I just need to vent some frustration.

It's really bloody, and very personal, and detailed. People get hurt or killed, and Homer gives their names, tells something of their background, and then the bloody details of how they get slaughtered, like getting speared in the bladder. No distance, all is up close and personal. No, I do not like it at all. It's just that I started it and still want to finish. Why does he do that, it's not as if it's a tennis match or something?

Well, this was what war was like then, of course. And they had been camping near Troy for ten years, and it seems everybody knew everybody anyway, even before the start of the war.

I'm having a sleepless night, so lots of time to read.

47EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:31pm Top

33. Op oorlogspad in Japan by Adriaan van Dis (Dutch) ****

I borrowed a compilation of books by Van Dis from the library. This was book two.
Here he talks about a visit to Japan, a couple of days, by invitation, as a writer. His family background making it inevitably about war experiences. His father's POW experiences, but Adrian talks to a number of Japanese, in a confrontation with their points of view.

I thought it interesting and well written.

48PaulCranswick
Jul 13, 10:24pm Top

>40 EllaTim: Looks fascinating, Ella. I would suggest, given my local knowledge, that he may have meant 'Indon Dunes" - Indon being the word most people use to describe an Indonesian locally.

Have a wonderful weekend.

49EllaTim
Edited: Jul 16, 8:06pm Top

>48 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul! I didn't know the word Indon! But I don't think so, it's from the old Dutch colonial name for Indonesia, Indie. And he writes about the life he leads as a child with his half Indische family in the dunes. The book deals in part with the complex relationship they have with Holland and being white or not white. Colonial relationships and the past of those.

50vancouverdeb
Jul 17, 12:09am Top

I've never attempted to read The Iliad, Ella. I don't think I care for it. I'm sorry to read about your husband's evaluation being postponed and that he contending with chronic cystitis . I hope that the new medication helps . Best to both of you.

51karenmarie
Jul 17, 8:20am Top

Hi Ella!

>50 vancouverdeb: What Deborah said, even including the bit about never having attempted to read The Iliad. Hugs to you and best wishes to your husband.

52FAMeulstee
Jul 18, 5:22am Top

>46 EllaTim: Maybe a tennis match is the way we ritualised the personal war?
I wasn't troubled that much by The Iliad, it was distant enough, in time I mean. I have more trouble with bloody details if it is something that could have happened in present time.

53streamsong
Jul 18, 1:07pm Top

Hi Ella! Interesting comments about The Illiad and the personalization of war. How would we ever kill someone face-to-face if we knew their backstory and imagine the injuries to our own bodies?

I have The Woman in White on my piles of TBR's, too. I am really falling down this year in reading classics and/or reading from the 1001 list. I did start reading The Monk several days ago and am enjoying following the tutored read lyzard did on it several years back.

I'm sorry your husband's tests were delayed. It's so hard to wait when medical issues are involved.

54EllaTim
Edited: Jul 18, 8:25pm Top

>50 vancouverdeb: >51 karenmarie: Hi Deborah, and Karen. Thanks! He's on medication again, but it's the same antibiotics, so how will that help, when it didn't help the last four times? And then Monday the evaluation again. Pfff. A friend just told me that there's new research proving that a slight inflammation, like the common cold, helps fight bladder cancer. So maybe he's benefiting from the cystitis, who knows?

>52 FAMeulstee: Oh yes! Or soccer, or football, certainly. The story reminds me something of those sports commentators, now Agamemnon is doing this, but look from the sides Aeneas is coming etc.

>53 streamsong: Hi Janet! Exactly, I couldn't imagine it.

But I am listening to an audiobook by Frank de Waal at the moment. It's called Mama's laatste omhelzing translation of Mama's Last Hug



He has done research with mainly chimpanzees, into social emotions and behaviour: empathy, reconciliation, friendship. Very interesting. But he compares empathy to a door we can open to other people's feelings and emotions, and that we can also close again, and keep closed.

A tutored read! That would be helpful, of course (I'm sorry, I never even heard of The Monk).

Yes, waiting is anxiety producing, hope that Monday they can do that evaluation.

55johnsimpson
Jul 20, 4:13pm Top

Hi Ella my dear, hope you and Marc have had a good Saturday and enjoy the rest of the weekend, sending love and hugs dear friend.

56FAMeulstee
Jul 21, 10:51am Top

>54 EllaTim: I loved Frans de Waals other books, Ella, Mama's last hug and Primates and philosophers (De aap en de filosoof) are patiently waiting on mount TBR.

57EllaTim
Jul 21, 6:09pm Top

>55 johnsimpson: Hi John, Thank you very much, Yes, enjoying the wonderful weather. Coming week a heat wave, but now the perfect summer. And hugs back at you.

>56 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. I only read one earlier book, but I liked that a lot as well. You will certainly enjoy yours on mount TBR.

58PawsforThought
Jul 23, 6:29pm Top

Hi Ella,

Hope everything is well with you and yours.

That Frank de Waal book sounds interesting - I've been fascinated by the great apes all my life.

59EllaTim
Jul 24, 6:56pm Top

>58 PawsforThought: Hi Paws, Thanks. We're a bit hot here. Heatwave. Tomorrow 37 C. A bit much. Can't do much, read with curtains closed. Very inconvenient timing.

Yes, it id interesting. I have seen some video's of the groups of apps he's talking about making it even more so.

60EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:32pm Top

Finished two books. The weather is excellent for reading .

34. A cold red sunrise by Stuart M. Kaminsky **** (USA)



Excellent story. Inspector Porfiry Petrovich Rostnikov gets sent to Siberia to solve a murder. The police inspector before him has been murdered trying to solve the death of the daughter of a dissident.

The book takes place in Russia during the time of Gorbachev, interesting time and place. But it's also a well-told and exciting story.

This was part 5 in the series featuring inspector Rostnikov. I'll try and find the others from book 1. This one was in our allotment library, just this book, no others.

61PawsforThought
Jul 24, 8:18pm Top

>59 EllaTim: Ugh, 37 is just cruel.
We're getting some of that heatwave too. It's been just below 30 all week and is supposed to stay that way or somewhat higher until Sunday. I was not made for temperatures like this. I'm going to my family's summer house tomorrow and spending the weekend there, because being in town is horrendous. The summer house is by the sea so it's a bit better - and you can have a dip.

>60 EllaTim: Ooh, crime novel in Siberia? Never heard of before. That could be interesting.

62EllaTim
Jul 25, 11:00am Top

>61 PawsforThought: Oh below 30, that feels hot as well, when you are not used to it. Summer house by the sea sounds wonderful. Is that the Baltic Sea?

I'm not built for it either, it doesn't agree with me at all. But Saturday will be cooler. Unfortunately tomorrow still a hot day, and we have a protest action planned, outside, in the hot afternoon. Cold water will be needed, and we're going to provide slices of watermelon for people who brave the heat.

It's a series, mostly taking place in Moscow I believe. Was nice to read about snow and frost;-)

63PawsforThought
Edited: Jul 25, 11:51am Top

>62 EllaTim: Yeah, it’s by the northern offshoot of the Baltic Sea - the Gulf of Bothnia. It’s so nice to have the sea breeze blowing; you never feel that stifling kind of heat you get in town/inland. Hot temperatures during a protest sounds painful, glad to hear you’re taking precautions with water and watermelons (melons have made up about 1/3 of my diet this past week - so great when it’s hot out). Don’t forget to get some salt in you too, if you don’t have rehydration tablets or sports drinks eat some pretzels or salted chips/crisps.

64EllaTim
Jul 25, 6:26pm Top

>63 PawsforThought: Gulf of Bothnia. Sounds wonderful. Would love to see it! Post a picture one of these days, please?

Yes, a bit of wind coming from over water is always nice when it's hot. Our usual refuge on days like this would be the dike of the IJsselmeer some kilometres from Amsterdam. It's a stone dike, that has trees growing on it. The lake is very shallow there, so you can wade into it and swim easily.

But tomorrow we are going to take precautions. I'm thinking of buying some ice for everybody. Melons and watermelons. And something salty!

65EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:32pm Top

35. De Meisjes van de Suikerwerkfabriek by Tessa de Loo (dutch) **

I don't like giving negative reviews, and I don't like writing them. But this book just did nothing for me.

Short stories. Much praised when it first appeared. But it just didn't appeal. I am sorry.

66ronincats
Jul 26, 12:39pm Top

Your record-breaking temperatures made our national news last night, Ella. Hope you are able to stay cool today!

67FAMeulstee
Jul 26, 1:06pm Top

I hope you didn't get overheated today, Ella.
Did you get any news on Marc's condition last Monday?

68PawsforThought
Jul 26, 4:17pm Top

>64 EllaTim: I’ve never posted a photo I’ve taken on LT before, but I’ll see if I can get one up one of these days.

Hope everything went well with the protest (and the rehydration) today.

69EllaTim
Edited: Jul 26, 7:08pm Top

>66 ronincats: Hi Roni. Really? But it is record breaking and all over Europe and America as well, isn't it? Today was hot, hot, hot. But tomorrow will be better, and tonight will be cooler:-)

>67 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. We managed to stay reasonably cool, in spite of 36 C this afternoon.

Marc's result unfortunately was not so good. The doctor says it looks too unclear and not so quiet as it should and wants a better look. I'm worried. And there is more waiting as the Slotervaart Hospital has been closed, and all patients have to be dealt with by the other hospitals. So three weeks waiting for the next procedure:-(

>68 PawsforThought: Hi Paws. Would be nice! Yes, try.

The protest went well, it was hot, but fun and felt good. Good atmosphere, met some new people. We even made the local papers, well it's cucumber time ;-) (you know, nothing real to report on, everybody out of town so they do small fry)

70EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:33pm Top

36. Life after Life by Kate Atkinson (UK) ****



What would life be like if you would be reborn as the same person each time? It happens to Ursula, and she gets flashes of deja vu and starts remembering things.

Kate Atkinson writes well, and kept me reading and interested. It's a strange story, of course, life going on and on, and what's the point of it all. But also a scene that brought tears in my eyes, because of the feeling of loss and memory at the same time.

Will read it's follow up, but I'm letting it rest for now.

71EllaTim
Edited: Jul 29, 5:36pm Top

I finally numbered the books I read this year. Funny, some didn't stick at all, I could barely remember them. Others have stayed with me. Should I change my evaluation? A book that's totally forgotten might be less worthwhile?

I admire all those wonderfully organized people in this group;-)

72PawsforThought
Jul 29, 6:22pm Top

>71 EllaTim: I forget most of the books I've read, and it's definitely not the books fault. I can barely remember the plot lines of some of my favourite books (and don't ask me to say who the killer is in ANY murder mystery - I'll have forgotten within a week of reading it). And yet I can remember very specific details about some book I read 15 years ago and don't know the author of. My memory is just weird - it fixates on the small details.
I say stick to the evaluation you gave at the time. If you thought something was a 4* read when you finished it, then it is a 4* read, whether you remember it later on or not. Enjoyment ≠ memorability.

73FAMeulstee
Jul 30, 2:16pm Top

>71 EllaTim: >72 PawsforThought: Paws said it right: enjoyment ≠ memorability
My all time favorites are books I enjoyed and were memorable.

74EllaTim
Jul 30, 7:01pm Top

>72 PawsforThought: Hi Paws, no I usually can't remember the identity of the killer either, all to the good, as it makes for more fun when rereading a good mystery;-)

I always doubt myself and backtrack. I used to hate this about myself but a friend said it shows that I'm considerate, or something like that (I should ask her, as I loved her for saying it, and now I have forgotten).

>73 FAMeulstee: Hi Anita. You both are probably right. It's just that I wonder what my stars mean, are they for enjoyment or for quality? Not the same thing, as reading the Iliad shows. But the best reads are enjoyable and memorable!

75FAMeulstee
Jul 31, 5:24pm Top

>74 EllaTim: Part of the quality of a book is for me that I enjoy it, so my stars reflect both. I have given some classics 2 or 2½ stars, because I didn't enjoy them. Sadly some of those tend to stay in my memory ;-)

76Ameise1
Aug 1, 5:00am Top

Hi Ella, I'm sorry that your husband did not get any good news from the doctor. I think of you and him and wish you heartfelt strength and courage.
I hope that the temperatures have become more comfortable with you.

77EllaTim
Aug 1, 7:20pm Top

>75 FAMeulstee: Oh, that sounds too bad, Anita. This has happened to me with movies (horror), but usually not with books.

>76 Ameise1: Thank you, Barbara!

78karenmarie
Edited: Aug 2, 7:06am Top

Hi Ella!

>69 EllaTim: I, too, am sorry that the news about Marc was not good. Worrying and waiting is so tough, and now to have to wait 3 weeks for the next procedure! I'm keeping you both in my thoughts and hugs to you!

When I finish a book I think of one word to describe my reaction, then translate that word into stars. I very rarely change from that initial reaction. If I re-read a book and my rating changes, I update LT with my newest rating.

79EllaTim
Aug 2, 8:58pm Top

>78 karenmarie: Thanks Karen. You're quite right about the worrying part.

Hey that sounds interesting. I have wondered how other people come up with a rating. I'm now going to pay special attention to your reviews. Do you put that first reaction in your review? Do you use it?

Movie today:
Ága by Milko Lazarov



In a yurt on the snow-covered fields of the North, Nanook and Sedna live following the traditions of their ancestors. Alone in the wilderness, they look like the last people on Earth. Nanook and Sedna's traditional way of life starts changing - slowly, but inevitably. Hunting becomes more and more difficult, the animals around them die from inexplicable deaths and the ice has been melting earlier every year. Chena, who visits them regularly, is their only connection to the outside world - and to their daughter Ága, who has left the icy tundra a long time ago due to family feud. When Sedna's health deteriorates, Nanook decides to fulfill her wish. He embarks on a long journey in order to find Ága.

Beautiful pictures of life in a landscape of snow and ice. The first part is almost like a documentary about the way of life of the people that is probably almost lost. But this is not a documentary, but a story, there is magic and tragedy, loss, and emotion. I loved it.

80PaulCranswick
Aug 4, 12:00am Top

>79 EllaTim: That is a wonderful photo, Ella - I love that you can see the rays of the sun reaching out to the earth.

Have a lovely Sunday.

81EllaTim
Aug 6, 9:50am Top

>80 PaulCranswick: Hi Paul, it's lovely isn't it? Actually, here the man is on his way to bury his wife under the tree. There were a lot of beautiful scenes in the movie.

And Sunday has passed, so I'll visit you in your thread and wish you a nice week.

Started reading the Cazalet Chronicles

Finished number 1

37. The Light Years by Elizabeth Jane Howard (UK) ****1/2



This is a family story. The Cazalet family consists of the elderly parents, their three sons, Edward, Hugh and Rupert. Unmarried daughter Rachel. Their wives, her friend. Their offspring, a governess, and their servants. In this first book they are living together in their parents house in Sussex, for the holidays. The story takes place before the start of WWII, but you can already see it coming.

I liked the way the people are described. In quite ordinary life, but it is an immersive story, you start feeling for them. All different characters, well described, with some minor exceptions. It is a middle class family, and their servants remain rather sketchy. It gives a very good impression into what life was like in those times.

This was a recommendation from my mother, who has always been fond of family stories.

I've already started book 2 in this series.

82figsfromthistle
Aug 6, 9:53am Top

>70 EllaTim: I have this one on my shelf. Great review. I will see to bumping it closer to the top of my reading pile

83EllaTim
Aug 6, 7:00pm Top

>82 figsfromthistle: Hi Anita! I hope you enjoy it.

84EllaTim
Aug 12, 7:59am Top

Still struggling with The Iliad, but found a group read here:

https://www.librarything.com/topic/307862#6894089

It's a real help to me, and it makes me laugh, a good thing.

85FAMeulstee
Aug 12, 6:38pm Top

>84 EllaTim: How nice that you found the group read, Ella, and that it works for you.
Laughing is always good.

86EllaTim
Aug 12, 8:17pm Top

>85 FAMeulstee: It's definitely nice, they are behind me at the moment, but will help me get through the bad parts.

87PawsforThought
Aug 13, 4:32am Top

Good to hear you found something that's helpful with your Iliad read. Laughing definitely helps.

88EllaTim
Aug 13, 7:51pm Top

Hi Paws! Nice to see you. I'm not very talkative here on LT right now. Reading part three of the Cazalet series , but don't feel like writing reviews. The Iliad will get finished, but very slowly.

I watched one part of a tv series about the First World War tonight, it's very good, a series made from real diary fragments. One wonders how the world could get so totally crazy, what happened?

89EllaTim
Edited: Aug 15, 7:48pm Top

38. De Scheepsjongens van Bontekoe by Johan Fabricius (dutch, audio, 1924) ***1/2



Touchstone not working?

This is a golden oldie. An adventure story for boys.
Three boys travel to Indonesia on a ship of the dutch VOC company. It's early seventeenth century. They meet with all kind of adventures, their ship is quite unlucky, disaster happens, there's a fire on board. The ship is wrecked and only some sailors make it out alive.

They still manage to get to Indonesia, here the boys get separated from the rest, and have to travel alone for some time. This is the part of the book that i liked best. The writer must have loved the country, there are some nice scenes, and beautiful descriptions.

But the book has aged, it's attitudes to people of colour wouldn't be acceptable nowadays. It really dates from colonial times, and that colonial attitude is clear.

The book was based on an old ship's journal, as this unlucky journey really happened.it is described in Het Journaal van Bontekoe by skipper Bontekoe himself.

90FAMeulstee
Yesterday, 10:10am Top

Happy 10th Thingaversary, Ella!

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2019

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