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Anita's armchair travels in 2009

75 Books Challenge for 2009

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Edited: Mar 30, 2009, 3:09pm Top

The name of my thread came from Nickelini message 177 in the thread akeela aims for 75 in the group of 2008. I liked it because we have a similair saying in Dutch.

I think my total on the end of 2008 will be around 125 books, so I will try that again.
My 75 thread in 2008.

I have no special goals, I just keep on reading and hope to find many new gems in 2009.

currently reading:
In Europa part 2 by Geert Mak

book #29 Charmed life by Diana Wynne Jones (msg 235)
book #28 Conrad's fate by Diana Wynne Jones (msg 235)
book #27 The lives of Christopher Chant by Diana Wynne Jones (msg 235)
book #26 The Kitchen Boy by Robert Alexander (msg 213)
book #25 Bashan and I by Thomas Mann (msg 202)
book #24 Clay by David Almond (msg 195)
book #23 The zookeepers wife by Diane Ackerman (msg 188)
book #21 and #22 Tomorrow when the War began, The dead of night, A killing frost, Darkness be my friend, Burning for revenge, The night is for hunting and The other side of dawn by John Marsden (msg 164)
book #20 Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl (msg 158)
book #19 The Book Thief by Markus Zusak (msg 152)
book #18 All families are psychotic by Douglas Coupland (msg 144)
book #17 The View from Saturday by E.L. Konigsburg (msg 136)
book #16 Het kleine meisje van meneer Linh by Philippe Claudel (msg 130)
book #15 Life of Pi by Yann Martel (msg 129)
book #14 Dierenpraat by Armando (msg 127)
book #13 Meester Pompelmoes en de mompelpoes by Hans Andreus (msg 127)
book #12 Don Quixote - part 2 by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (msg 126)
book #11 Eldest by Christopher Paolini (msg 122)
book #10 Eragon by Christopher Paolini (msg 106)
book #9 Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (msg 96)
book #8 Secret heart by David Almond (msg 94)
book #7 Don Quixote - part 1 by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra (msg 88)
book #6 Dragonkeeper by Carole Wilkinson (msg 74)
book #5 Kinderen van Amsterdam by Jan Paul Schutten (msg 74)
book #4 The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer (msg 64)
book #3 Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes (msg 55)
book #2 The uncommon reader by Alan Bennett (msg 32)
book #1 The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (msg 20)

edited to correct spelling error

Dec 9, 2008, 6:13am Top

Anita, you're too sweet! :)

What is the Dutch saying you have? I studied Dutch at varsity some years back ... I think I'd still be able to appreciate it!

I'll be following your 2009 trip. Happy travels!

Dec 9, 2008, 2:21pm Top

thanks akeela

In Dutch it is "reizen vanuit je leunstoel".
Of course I'll follow your readings too in 2009 :-)


Dec 9, 2008, 2:35pm Top

I love that! Thanks, Anita!

Dec 9, 2008, 3:03pm Top

Anita, I visited Amsterdam a few times "vanuit mijn leunstoel" via Ciske by Piet Bakker. It's one of my all-time favorite books. I read it in Afrikaans, first as a child in primary school, then again after I'd completed high school, and two years ago, I read it a third time. And each time, it touched me more deeply! Are you familiar with Ciske? Is it as popular in your country as I imagine it would be?

Dec 9, 2008, 3:13pm Top

akeela I have read Ciske de rat once in my youth and later I have seen the movie.

I lived for many years in Rotterdam and my husband was born in Rotterdam. There is a bit of rivalry between Rotterdam and Amsterdam, so I did not read about Amsterdam much ;-)
Now, three years away from Rotterdam, and living nearer to Amsterdam, I don't feel so "Rotterdams" anymore LOL

Dec 30, 2008, 6:01pm Top

Well, all is set up, feeling comfy in the 2009 group...
At this moment 2009 is exactly 24 hours away ;-)

Dec 31, 2008, 6:11pm Top

Cheers, I think you ring in the new year before we do!!

Jan 1, 2009, 7:20am Top

Happy New Year, Anita! Glad to see you are joining us for another one :)

Jan 1, 2009, 8:43am Top

yes BDB, 2009 started here before you all on the other side of the Atlantic.

Happy New Year to you too Stasia, and to all others reading this ;-)

Now back to the The Complete Chronicles of Narnia!

Jan 1, 2009, 9:51am Top

Great read!!! Couldn't put it down.

Jan 1, 2009, 12:03pm Top

>11 blackdogbooks: BDB
Only put the book down for reading the threads here on LT ;-)

Jan 4, 2009, 4:43am Top

Found your topic, I'm going to follow your travels in the world of books!

Jan 4, 2009, 2:33pm Top

I have finished the first 5 Narnia books.
I only have not decided yet if I count all books separate, or as I read them all together in one book...

I do like the books and am enjoying my read!

AlcottAcre: I have met Reepicheep in Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I love him too :-)

Jan 4, 2009, 6:23pm Top

You definitely have to count them separately.

Can't wait to hear which was your favourite and why!

Jan 5, 2009, 12:06am Top

I am with Flossie on this, count them separately! Yes, and now spill the beans on which one is your favorite . . .

Jan 7, 2009, 10:07pm Top

Oh, wow! 125 books for last year? I'm impressed! :D I think I made it to 80. Anyway, best of luck, and I can't wait to see your list.

Edited: Jan 8, 2009, 8:15am Top

>1 FAMeulstee: Fam, I was also inspired by Nickelini's comment: "you've really done some great arm chair traveling this year". I based the name of my book on a variation of that comment: The Book Traveller, which is the name for a mysterious arm chair! So, thanks Nickelini.

- TT

Edited: Jan 8, 2009, 8:44am Top

>17 saraslibrary: Sara
The final count was 129 books for last year. But that included 112 YA books.
Looking at my reading plans now, I might read less books this year. I nearly finished The Chronicles of Narnia and planning to read Don Quixote, I will be glad if I read those two this month.

An intriguing title, and I liked the first chapter.
I hope to read chapter 2 today and will let you know.


Edited: Jan 9, 2009, 4:54pm Top

book #1 The Complete Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
All 7 books in Dutch translation.

I never read any of the Narnia books before.
The first time I "heard" of them was in Cynthia Voigt's Come a Stranger.
I liked all the stories, and most lovable side characters were for me Reepicheep, the Talking Horses and the Flying Horse (is his name in English Fledge? He appears in the first book "The Magicans Nephew" and briefly in the last book "The Last Battle").
Of course Aslan is special, in some ways divine.

It was a very good read, 4 stars

edited for touchstone

Jan 9, 2009, 4:52pm Top

I am so very glad you liked the books! OK, tell me now - which was your favorite?

Jan 9, 2009, 4:54pm Top

And Anita, despite the fact that they were all collected in one omnibus edition, I think you should count them as seven books. Okay, what was your favorite? I think my favorite is atypical--I'll share after you do!

Jan 9, 2009, 4:55pm Top

It will be interesting to compare choices for favorites - I will share my fave after Anita does, too.

Jan 9, 2009, 5:01pm Top

Stasia and roni
You two are responding fast :-)

I think my favourite was The Horse and his Boy with The Lion, The Witch and the wardrobe and The voyage of the Dawn Treader both as close second.

For administrative reasons I count them all as one book. I did the same with The Lord of the Rings and Kristin Lavransdotter last year.
If it is physical one book I count it as one book.

Jan 9, 2009, 5:08pm Top

My favorite has always been The Voyage of the Dawn Treader followed by The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe. So now you know, lol.

Jan 9, 2009, 5:11pm Top

>24 FAMeulstee:: ooh, interesting. I think you are the very first person I have met who has that as their favourite Narnia.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the second book I ever read completely independently (the first was The Phoenix and the Carpet), but it doesn't make my faves list - my favourite is Dawntreader by a country mile, next most closely followed by The Last Battle (touchstone won't load grrr). And my son's favourite is Prince Caspian.

This is bad... so many threads on here conjuring overwhelming nostalgia for my childhood reads; I run a severe risk of spending the rest of 2009 re-reading everything I read between the ages of 5 and 15 (I'd stop at 15 as that's when I went through a Virginia Andrews phase ;-))

Jan 9, 2009, 5:12pm Top

I run a severe risk of spending the rest of 2009 re-reading everything I read between the ages of 5 and 15

And what's so wrong with that?

Jan 9, 2009, 5:16pm Top

Anita, I think you are the first one I have known to have the same favorite as me. I don't know why, but although I love the first four books unreservedly, The Horse and His Boy has always clicked with me--I love the irony and the situations and the shifts in attitudes due to events that occur along the story line.

Flossie, I am at that stage where I have to reread those books I read 20 or 30 or 40 years ago because I don't remember them any more!! At least most of them are still sitting on my shelves!

Jan 9, 2009, 5:19pm Top

Looking at the rating statistics:

4.18 The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe
4.14 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
4.00 The magicans nephew
3.99 The Last Battle
3.97 The Horse and his Boy
3.95 Prince Caspian
3.94 The Silver Chair

Edited: Jan 9, 2009, 5:33pm Top

>29 FAMeulstee:, definitely agree with The Silver Chair being the weakest. Eustace is just too, too annoying to be saved, even as the "experienced" member of the party.

>27 alcottacre:: Stasia, the only 'wrong' thing is that I was trying to make this year the year of reading as-yet-unread books that I already own!! So far I'm not doing well at all, as I have read a totally pathetic 2 books (second still to post on my thread), purchased 3 (all self-help, bleurgh), and borrowed a further 5 from the library (although you could argue that last figure should be a 4, as one of them was a later edition of a book I already own :-)). These numbers probably disintegrate before your astonishing public-library habit, but for those of us that need a little more sleep, "we're very concerned."

>28 ronincats:; Roni, nearly all my childhood(adolescent-hood) books are still on my shelves in my mum's house, so as well as depriving me of reading "new" stuff, I would have to (a) steal them back again (b) find somewhere to PUT them.... aiee. I do find, though, that my memory of them is MUCH clearer than a lot of stuff I have read more recently. I can count a lot of books that I have picked up to read and got about 100 pages into before realising, no, I've already read this and completely forgotten it.

(sorry for threadjacking, Anita!! Really glad you enjoyed Narnia. I still love them unreservedly.)

Jan 9, 2009, 5:39pm Top

never be sorry for threadjacking Flossie.
Posting here or somewhere else in the 75 group, I'll read it anyway ;-)

Re-reading books from childhood makes me always happy, so just enjoy them!

I have the same, some books I read long ago are crisp clear in my memory and of my recent reads only a few have nested in my brain.

Jan 10, 2009, 3:35pm Top

book #2 De ongewone lezer by Alan Bennett
Library book, Dutch translation of The uncommon reader

Like many others from last years group, I enjoyed this funny fictionary book about Queen Elisabeth II who discovers the joy of reading.

4 stars

Jan 10, 2009, 10:10pm Top

Roni and Anita -- The Horse and His Boy is my fav too :)

Anita, I am so thrilled for you! You crawled out of the mire of non-reading, taking those tentative steps to see if you could do it again and shazam! 129!! Woot!!!

Where's a glitter graphic with fireworks when I need one :)

Jan 11, 2009, 2:32am Top

Where's a glitter graphic with fireworks when I need one :)

At glittergraphicwithfireworks.com, of course :)

Edited: Jan 11, 2009, 2:48am Top

LOL I knew that one was coming, but thought it would come from TT. Ha!


Edited further to say, I know that's lame, but all the fireworks said Happy 4th or something about Ramadan!! (pretend it's a cool graphic)

Jan 11, 2009, 2:38am Top

Uh, oh, I know I am in trouble now if I am being compared to TT :)

Jan 11, 2009, 2:05pm Top

>33 suslyn: & 35: Susan

Thank you for the glitter graphic :-)
(and well done Stasia, no you are not in trouble)

I am getting even further, thanks to Stasia I am reading Johnny Tremaine in English now!

Jan 11, 2009, 2:31pm Top

My favourite is absolutely The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I was traumatised as a child by The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe and now can neither read the book nor watch any film/tv adaptation. I can however read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader and love it.

I also love Johnny Tremaine so I hope you really enjoy it Anita, its a very good book :)

Jan 11, 2009, 4:31pm Top

oooh in English -- boy howdy your world is expanding. Wish we could get together and have a cuppa. Maybe next time I'm in Holland for more than a change of planes...

Jan 11, 2009, 5:39pm Top

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite too... can't wait until they put the film together for that one (as endearing as the BBC version was). I also love The Magician's Nephew, but I think you have to be in a really, really silly mood to enjoy it most. :)

Jan 11, 2009, 7:09pm Top

It is fun to see what Narnia books are favorites :-)

Susan: that would be great to meet IRL.
Chances me getting to Romania are small.

Jan 12, 2009, 3:39am Top

#40: From what I read on IMDB the other day, it does not look like Dawn Treader is going to be filmed any time soon. Disney has pulled out, and Walden Media is looking for a new backer for the remaining Narnia films :(

Jan 12, 2009, 3:40am Top

#37: I hope you enjoy Johnny Tremain!

Jan 12, 2009, 7:45am Top

36 WWW: "Uh, oh, I know I am in trouble now if I am being compared to TT :)"

You weren't before, but for that remark you definately are now! :(

- TT

Edited: Jan 12, 2009, 8:09am Top

As Scooby Doo says "Ruh roh"

And Anita says I am not in trouble

Jan 12, 2009, 8:02am Top

>42 alcottacre:: Awwww noooo!!! *sniffles*

Jan 12, 2009, 8:05am Top

#46: That was pretty much my reaction, too. I sure hope Walden Media finds someone to back them. Fox may be interested, but with the economy the way it is, who knows?

Jan 12, 2009, 4:35pm Top

43: alcottacre

Yes I enjoy Johnny Tremain, I did hear from the Boston Tea Party, but never really knew what it was about. I am in chapter 7 (of 12).

Jan 12, 2009, 11:19pm Top

#48: I am glad you are enjoying the book, Anita. I hope you like the other one as well.

Jan 12, 2009, 11:24pm Top

thanks to Stasia I am reading Johnny Tremaine in English now

??? huh ???

Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 3:04pm Top

Hey Anita, I just wanted you to know that I got all of the Tillerman series out of the library with the exception of one which has not come in yet. I will start reading Homecoming tonight after I finish reading Ella Minnow Pea.


Jan 13, 2009, 3:06pm Top

#51 fantasia

how are you finding Ella Minnow Pea? Its a book I've just ordered, so don't give me any details, just let me know if its good or not!!

Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 3:09pm Top

luna, I love it so far, its great and I bet you will love it too!
(this is the only detail I will give you) Life without letters would be hard.

Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 4:04pm Top

>50 TadAD:: TadAD
Stasia was to kind to send me Johnny Tremain and Celia Garth, after they were recommended to learn a bit more about the American Revolution and I could not find any translations into Dutch.

>51 fantasia655:: Catey
I hope you enjoy them as much as I did :-)

Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 3:58pm Top

book #3 Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
YA, Newberry Medal 1944

The story of a boy in Boston at the time of the start of the American Revolution.
I did not know much about that time in the US, I had heard of the Boston Tea Party, but did not know it was about refusing to pay English taxes.
Reading in English took some more time, but it was easier than I thought/feared to be. Reached for the dictionary only 4 times ;-)

4 stars

Edited: Jan 13, 2009, 3:59pm Top

>54 FAMeulstee:: Ah, I thought she had perfected a better-than-Berlitz method for teaching English and wondered why you needed it since you were obviously already reading in English.

Edit: Never mind the rest of it.

Jan 13, 2009, 4:00pm Top

>56 TadAD:: TadAD
yes I read English, but I can read Dutch much faster :-)

Jan 13, 2009, 4:23pm Top

Maybe we should employ this as a method for slowing Stasia down. Make her read in various different languages so she is the same pace as the rest of us.

Any takers for my idea??

Jan 14, 2009, 2:19am Top

> Msg 55 I'm impressed! Only 4 times to the Dictionary. I do that too in my own language (except I go online as the movers shipped my dictionaries to storage!!!)

Jan 14, 2009, 4:32pm Top

>58 lunacat:: It could work ;-)

>59 suslyn:: thank you, in Dutch I can't rember the last time I used a dictionary. When I am reading the computer is off (I have a laptop), I use online dictionaries for LT.

Jan 14, 2009, 4:46pm Top

Oh, I hope you like Celia Garth as well--it's my favorite "girl" book for that grade level. She's in Charleston in the American Revolution as Johnny Tremain's a Boston boy.

Jan 15, 2009, 4:01am Top

#55: I am glad you enjoyed it - and I am with suslyn on this only 4 trips to the dictionary thing! Great job.

I cannot wait to see what you think of Celia Garth.

Jan 15, 2009, 10:12am Top

>61 Prop2gether: & 62
Celia Garth has to wait a while, I have just started Don Quixote ;-)
But I am sure she will get her turn later this year.

Edited: Jan 15, 2009, 10:34am Top

book #4 Eilandpost by Mary Ann Shaffer
Dutch translation of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, library book

I had seentis book in some threads of last year, with mostly positieve reviews. So I was pleased when I saw it at the library ;-)

The story is about Guernsey during WWII, written in letters just after the war. Guernsey was occupated by the Germans in 1940 and for 5 years cut off the world outside the island.

Athough the story is not light, there is some wit and humor to make it a light read, that I enjoyed very much.

4 1/2 stars

Jan 15, 2009, 10:38am Top

book #5 should have been Reading Lolita in Teheran, but I have abandoned it. Maybe it is just not the right book at the right time, or I am not into reading this kind of non-fiction. Anyhow I did not enjoy it and stopped reading after 50 pages.

So now I started Don Quixote, enjoyed the first 7 chapters today!

Jan 15, 2009, 11:13am Top

>65 FAMeulstee: I'm having trouble with Reading Lolita in Tehran myself -- I got about as far as you did before setting it aside. I've heard good things about it though, so I hope to give it another try sometime.

Jan 15, 2009, 12:57pm Top

I hope you both give Reading Lolita in Tehran another shot - it really is worth the read.

Glad to see you enjoyed Guernsey, Anita!

Jan 15, 2009, 3:55pm Top

I might try again Stasia, but not in the near future.

Jan 15, 2009, 4:02pm Top

#68: On a different tack, but along the same lines, you might try The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo.

Jan 19, 2009, 2:02pm Top

Anita: thanks for the link! You've gotten me even more excited to finish the Narnia series - I will definitely pick up the third book today!!

Also, it took me a little while to get into Reading Lolita in Tehran - maybe after about 1/3 of the book I really got into it. It was a few years ago that I read it, so I can't really remember what the problem was... Once I got over that hump then I really loved it!!

But f you're not into it, then it may help to just put it aside for a few weeks and try something else. Good luck!

Jan 19, 2009, 2:08pm Top

>70 neverlistless:: fasciknitting
Thanks for visiting my thread!
I look forward to your thoughts about the remaining Narnia books.
I might try Reading Lolita in Tehran again, but not sure yet, so many great books out there ;-)

Jan 21, 2009, 8:59pm Top

Wow, I thought I was an alien for not really liking Reading Lolita in Tehran! Glad to know I'm not alone!

Jan 22, 2009, 10:38am Top

72: tloeffler
I am glad LT even brings dislikes together ;-)

Jan 23, 2009, 3:23pm Top

I took a little break from Don Quixote after Chapter 27 (book three).

book #5 Kinderen van Amsterdam by Jan Paul Schutten
Awarded Dutch YA

Translated the title would be Children of Amsterdam.
History of Amsterdam told in 9 chapters
Each chapter starts with a 4 page comic, introducing the child whose life we follow in that chapter. The book starts in 1170 and ends in 1943.
Next to the story there are some facts about that time in the chapters.

4 stars

book #6 Drakenhoeder by Carole Wilkinson
translation of Dragonkeeper, thanks avatiakh for mentioning this book!

I am not sure to say if it is Childrens or YA.

A nameless young slave girl takes care of the remaining two Imperial Dragons. Due to neglect the other dragons have died and one of the two remaining dragons dies just before the Emperor comes to visit them.
The girl and the dragon escape, to avoid the Emperors anger, and make a long journey through China.

A very good read, a beautiful quest tale, the friendship between a chinese dragon and a girl.

4 1/2 stars

Jan 23, 2009, 3:36pm Top

Sounds like some more great reads for you, Anita! I am adding Dragonkeeper to the Continent!

It looks as if there are at least 2 follow up books to Dragon Keeper if you are interested: Dragon Moon and Garden of the Purple Dragon.

Jan 23, 2009, 3:51pm Top

DragonKeeper sounds fantastic, I want it!! Its gone onto the wishlist/tbr list. I'm gonna be catching up on you soon Stasia, if I keep adding at this rate!!!!!!

Jan 23, 2009, 3:54pm Top

>75 alcottacre:: alcottacre

Yes I know Stasia, but sadly those two are not available yet in Dutch :-(

Jan 23, 2009, 3:57pm Top

#77: Sorry about that, Anita. I do not know how to check first before I mention things like that or I would have.

Jan 23, 2009, 3:58pm Top

#76: I kind of sort of doubt it, lunacat, since I have at least 20 years start on you! But good (bad?) for you if you do!

Jan 23, 2009, 4:02pm Top

>78 alcottacre:
I am glad you mentioned, in this case I already knew, and had looked for the others.
Dragonkeeper was published here in 2008, so maybe the next one will come this year...

Jan 23, 2009, 11:55pm Top

>74 FAMeulstee: Kinderen van Amsterdam sounds like a neat book. Don't suppose there's an English translation out there? It's not enough that I have a million books to read already; now I have to learn Dutch and start a whole new list!

Jan 24, 2009, 5:02pm Top

>74 FAMeulstee:: my 7YO (7 today!! blimey where does the time go?) adores dragons and is just beginning to tentatively try longer books, so I'll definitely note this one down for him - thanks!

Jan 24, 2009, 5:36pm Top

>81 tloeffler:: tloeffler
join the rest of the 75-ers who want to learn Dutch because of my readings, maybe time for a new group? ;-)

>82 FlossieT:: Flossie
I hope he enjoys it!

Jan 24, 2009, 5:46pm Top

What an airhead I am. I've been trying to find your thread and finally located it.

I am so impressed with your ability to write in English so well when your native language is Dutch.

Jan 24, 2009, 5:48pm Top

sorry Linda I made it so difficult for you ;-)
Thank you!

Jan 24, 2009, 5:51pm Top

Nah, you didn't make it difficult. I was simply looking for Fam in the title...

I hope the weather where you are is warmer than where I am in Pennsylvania...

I went to the library today and obtained more YA books... I was surprised to find the book The Things They Carried in this section.

Take good care,

Jan 24, 2009, 7:45pm Top

some librarians seem to have a strange view on YA....

The weather here was very rainy and cold the last few days, around +4 Celcius. Today was dry, that made the dogs very happy: more time outside :-)

Edited: Jan 28, 2009, 4:28pm Top

book #7 De vernuftige edelman Don Quichot van La Mancha, vol 1 by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Dutch translation of Don Quixote, part 1

I finished the first part of Don Quixote today.
It was a dense/hard read, long sentences, difficult words, but greatly enjoyable and funny.
We all know about Don Quixote fighting the windmills, it surprised me to find that very early in the book and wonder if the populairity of it comes because many readers never read beyond the windmills?

possible spoiler alert
Don Quixote goes into the world as knight to become famous, like the knights in the books he read and takes Sancho Panza with him as his shield-bearer.
Although he obvious is an intelligent man, whenever is spoken about the high deeds of knights, he takes this over seriously and believes everything that is written in novels of chivalry is absolutely true. He sees the world through "chivalry eyes" and the windmills look for him like evil giants. At the start of his adventures Sancho Panza tries to convince his master to look at the world like it is, later on Sancho Panza is also affected by Don Quixote's view.
Of course Don Quixote and Sancho Panza get in a lot of trouble because of this. In between there are some romances with beautiful woman and their admireres and stories how they find eachother.
Funny was how the writer mentions himself as a slave (a spanish guy named Saavedra) in one of the stories.

5 stars!

Jan 28, 2009, 5:05pm Top

Hi Anita
Thanks for the great comments of Don Quixote. I confess, I've never read this book but now, based on your comments, will aim to do so in 2009.

Jan 28, 2009, 5:39pm Top

hi Linda
I started it because of our group read and I had this book staring from the shelf ;-)

Jan 28, 2009, 11:54pm Top

Hey, Anita, I am so glad to see that you enjoyed Don Quixote! Having never read it myself before this year, I must admit that some of the things early in the book have surprised me. I have only read the first 8 chapters though, so I am sure more surprises await me in the remainder of the book.

Jan 29, 2009, 10:54am Top

Don Quixote is coming up soon on one of my lists and I'm excited about it!

Jan 29, 2009, 4:00pm Top

Stasia & Amber

I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. I am going to read some lighter books now and then on to Don Quixote vol. 2


Jan 30, 2009, 4:59pm Top

book #8 Tijgerhart by David Almond
YA, translation of Secret heart

Yet another great book by David Almond.
Joe Malony is different as the other kids in the village Helmouth, he stutters and the other kids call him names.
Then a circus comes to town and Joe meets Corinna and they become friends. With help of her, the other from the circus and a magical tiger he overcomes his fears.

4 stars

Jan 30, 2009, 5:01pm Top

I'm slowly making my way through Don Quixote, but so far, it's enjoyable! I'm glad to hear that you made it all the way through the first part and still enjoy it.

Jan 30, 2009, 5:14pm Top

book #9 Zwijg als het graf by Laurie Halse Anderson
YA, translation of Speak

Melinda starts at highschool and does not fit in. It gets harder and harder for her to speak. Her former best friend Rachel is no friend anymore after a party in the summer that ended because Melinda called the police.
Slowly the truth of what happend is revealed. On the way some people try to help Melinda, but most ingore her or actively exclude her.

The theme of this book is heavy, but it is witty and funny too. I fully recommend it!

5 stars

Jan 30, 2009, 5:16pm Top

Another one for the Continent! Thanks for the review of Speak, Anita.

As for David Almond's books, I have decided I will just have to buy them all having expended my local library's contents.

Jan 30, 2009, 5:22pm Top

>95 ladydzura:: Amy
Glad to read you enjoy Don Quichote too!
Just keep on reading ;-)

>97 alcottacre:: Stasia
Glad I can add to the continent!
I own some of Almonds books, the others are on my wishlist, i am sure I will read them again sometime.


Jan 30, 2009, 5:23pm Top

Speak sounds like a winner. On to the tbr pile it goes.

Jan 30, 2009, 5:26pm Top

I am almost sure you will like it Linda!

Jan 30, 2009, 9:09pm Top

I trust your judgment!

Jan 30, 2009, 10:20pm Top

Secret Heart sounds interesting; unfortunately, I only have 1 book by David Almond--Heaven Eyes--which I'll have to look for. He's an author I've been wanting to read for a long time now. Thanks for inadvertently reminding me about him. :) And I'm glad you liked Speak. I've been looking for my copy, but haven't been able to find it. :/ Maybe my cats ate it? (pokes their full bellies)

Jan 31, 2009, 3:30pm Top

>101 Whisper1:: thanks!

>102 saraslibrary:: Sara
Heaven Eyes was beautiful too, I read it last year.
But my favourite is Kit's wilderness and I think Linda liked Skellig best.

I would worry if your cats are eating books ;-)
Gladly the dogs know how important books are to us!

Feb 1, 2009, 12:57am Top

#103: I'll have to keep my eyes out for those books when I'm book shopping again. Thanks. :)

Yes, my cats are nonstop garbage guts. :) They eat everything--paper, plastic, you name it. In fact, I keep most of my books in a closed-off room or in drawers. My dog is somewhat behaved like yours. I saw on your profile page that you have 2 Chows. They're beautiful! I have 1 dog (a silky terrier), and I'm dog-sitting 2 more (a jack russell/maltese mix and a lab/great dane mix).

Feb 1, 2009, 4:30pm Top

thank you Sara,
yes we have 2 smooth Chow Chows and hope Chimay will give birth in March...
I know Silky Terriers, but am curious how the mixes you dog-sit turned out!

Feb 1, 2009, 5:09pm Top

book #10 Eragon by Christopher Paolini

An enjoyable read, not great, but I will look for the sequels tomorrow at the library.
A boy finds a stone, the stone turns out to be a dragon-egg. Boy and dragon go on a quest.

3 1/2 stars

Feb 1, 2009, 7:47pm Top

Anita - I've been seeing these books everywhere, but hadn't bothered to find out what they were about. Your description is just enough to make me interested - I'll have to give Eragon a try!

Feb 1, 2009, 8:01pm Top

>107 porch_reader:: Amy
I am glad to know my shortest review ever is appriciated ;-)

Feb 3, 2009, 5:47am Top

#105: I'm a little biased, but I'm think they're beautiful. :) The jack russell/maltese mix is starting to grow out of her puppy phase (slowly). She's all white like a maltese, but very high-strung like a jack russell. The lab/great dane mix is much older, I think almost around her early teens. She's all black (with a small white patch on her chest) and weighs about 150 lbs! Oddly enough, the two of them are best friends. :)

Btw, good luck with Chimay's birth. March isn't too far away! Is your other Chow the father?

#106: I see Eragon at work all the time, though the size of it kind of intimidates me. Do you plan on watching the movie now that you've read the book? (I haven't seen it yet.)

Feb 3, 2009, 8:51am Top

This message has been deleted by its author.

Feb 3, 2009, 8:59am Top

poop! i hit the wrong button... Just said that I watched the movie Eragon and enjoyed it. Then I read the book... I think now that the only way I could enjoy the movie is to pretend it's a different story altogether.

Feb 3, 2009, 9:05am Top


LOL, I found the movie intolerable, I guess that is because I watched it after I read the book

Feb 3, 2009, 10:39am Top

>109 saraslibrary:: Sara
No the father is an other red smooth Chow.
Gladdich is blind in his right eye and had surgerie on both knees last year, so he is not good enough to breed. To prevent accidents between him and Chimay, he was neutered.
He will act like a father for the litter, he was very good with our last litter in 2007.

Feb 3, 2009, 10:51am Top

>109 saraslibrary:, 111, 112
Eragon was many pages, but easy to read.
Most movies after a book are disappointing, so I might see it when it comes on TV one day.

Recently I watched Crusade in jeans, a book I loved when I was young and of course the movie was disappointing...

The only time I was happy with a movie after a book were the tree movies after The lord of the rings, but even there I missed some scenes from the book.

Feb 3, 2009, 11:07am Top

chiming in on books that were made into movies..There are three that come to mind that I thought were great renditions of the books.

Simon Birch (modeled after A Prayer for Owen Meany To Kill a Mockingbird
The A&E adaptation of Jane Eyre

I'm a touch audience and judge of these movies because all three are my top favorite books.

Feb 3, 2009, 11:40am Top

I'll add the A&E adaptation of Pride and Prejudice to well-done movies of books! I LOVE that version.

Feb 3, 2009, 2:26pm Top

Ditto here on P&P. No Country for Old Men was great too. The movie was almost exactly word for word with the book. I saw the movie first then read the book. When I finished the book, I wondered why I bothered. I usually do read the book first though.

Edited: Feb 3, 2009, 8:36pm Top

#115 I didn't know that A Prayer for Own Meany was made into a movie. I'll have to check it out. Thanks for the tip! I love the three books you mentioned, they are among my all time favorites.

Feb 3, 2009, 8:45pm Top

The title of the movie is Simon Birch. And while it follows the storyline for the most part, there are differences as well. Still, I highly recommend it.
Here is a link describing the movie:

Feb 4, 2009, 7:03am Top

Thanks for the link Whisper. Interesting that the movie doesn't have the same title as the book at Irving's request because he didn't think it could be done successfully. I think I'll take a reading break this coming weekend and watch a movie!

Feb 4, 2009, 9:39pm Top

It was done very successfully. I'll be interested in hearing what you think about it.

Hi Anita!

Edited: Feb 5, 2009, 3:34pm Top

hi Linda :-)

book #11 Oudste by Christopher Paolini
translation of Eldest

The second book is again an enjoyable read.
Eragon and his dragon are trained by the elfs and the war against the bad king starts.
I hope the third book is available at the library next week, now i want to know how it all ends :-)

3 1/2 stars

Feb 5, 2009, 4:16pm Top

Glad you liked Eldest. Unfortunately, you will discover that Brisingr is now the 3rd of 4 books. When I figured that out it was very frustrating. I was looking forward to the conclusion.

Feb 5, 2009, 4:32pm Top

thanks Jennifer
that is a bummer, I like to wait unil a series is complete before starting to read. I don't like waiting for the next... well maybe I'll wait a while before reading Brisingr now.

Feb 5, 2009, 9:44pm Top

Hmm, I did not know that either, and I wonder if Catey does? She was planning on reading the books, too. I will have to check. Thanks for letting us know, Jennifer!

Edited: Feb 9, 2009, 3:43pm Top

book #12 De vernuftige edelman Don Quichot van La Mancha, vol 2 by Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra
Dutch translation of Don Quixote, part 2

I finished the second part of Don Quixote today.
This part was published 10 years later (1615), a bit easier to read, not so funny as the first part, but still enjoyable.

Don Quixote leaves his village again with his shield-bearer Sancho Panza.
This time it is not Don Quixote who misinterpretates the world, but the people they meet have read the first book and create adventures for their own amusement.

4 1/2 stars

Feb 11, 2009, 6:42pm Top

Yesterday and today I spend most of the day upstairs on the couch in my cosy little library. In two weeks we are going to put the whelping-box in this room. Chimay and I spend some more time here in anticipation.
The scanner and the children's en YA books are here, so the time is well spend scanning covers.

Meanwhile I have read two awarded childrens books today:

book #13 Meester Pompelmoes en de mompelpoes by Hans Andreus
Awarded as best Dutch Children's book in 1969.
Funny stories about Master Pompelmoes and his amazing pets: Joachim the Educated Cat, The Cheerful Dog and Gettit the Gardencrow. The stories are a bit dated, but for me that was no problem, I grew up back then ;-)

4 stars

book #14 Dierenpraat by Armando
Awarded with Zilveren Griffel in 2000
Short stories. The writer meets all kind of talking animals, some absurd humor.

3 stars

Both books only available in Dutch, sorry...

Now back to reading Life of Pi

Feb 12, 2009, 12:24am Top

Hey Anita
Best of luck with Life of Pi, hope you would like it!

Edited: Feb 12, 2009, 9:44am Top

thank you Piyush
Yes I liked it!
I hope you are doing a bit better with your leg.

book #15 Het leven van Pi by Yann Martel
translation of Life of Pi, Booker Prize 2002

This was the first book that was added to my TBR pile, when I started here on LT. Last week I took it from the library.
It is a good book, I did not expect the end and I am still an atheist (if you read the book you know what I am talking about) ;-)

The story is about Pi, an boy from India, who grows up in the zoo his father owns. His parents decide to sell to zoo and move to Canada. They go by ship and some of the zoo animals are sold to the USA and Canada, so they travel with the same ship. Sadly the ship wrecks and Pi finds himself on an lifeboat with a tiger. Pi floats around for 227 days.

I feel some hope that the tiger roamed somewhere in Mexico, I know, that hope is idle, but some of me wants it to be true...

4 stars

Feb 12, 2009, 9:21am Top

book #16 Het kleine meisje van meneer Linh by Philippe Claudel
translation of the French book La petite fille de monsieur Linh

Mister Linh comes from Vietnam as a refugee into France. He does not understand the language, the surroundings, the people. All that is left is his grand-child and later a French widower, who becomes his friend, despite their inabillity to understand eachother.

It is all there.
The tragic of a refugee, lost in a new country and holding on to the past.
The loneliness of the widower, despite all the people around him in the city.
The powerlessness of the social-workers, not able to help mister Linh, so sending him off to a mental hospital.
And a dramatic, yet beautiful ending...

A great book, if there is an English translation (I could not find one), or if you can read French, I recommend it!

5 stars!

Feb 12, 2009, 9:45am Top

Hi Anita

the Life of Pi sits on my shelf, waiting, waiting, waiting to be read.

Thanks for your recommendation. I'll have to at least dust it off and put it up to the top of the huge tbr pile.

Because I recently finished two books re. Viet Nam that were excellently written by Tim O'Brien, I wish your book #16 was in English. Alas, one semester of French in high school does not a reader or speaker make... So, I'll look out for an English translation.

Feb 12, 2009, 11:00pm Top

Life of Pi is on my shelf too, and has been waiting there for... uh... a loooooong time. I've heard everything from excellent reviews to terrible ones, but your positive review inspires me to consider allowing it to move a little closer to the TBR pile... :)

Feb 13, 2009, 5:32pm Top

>131 Whisper1: & 132

After I finished Life of Pi I went to read the reviews and was surprised how mixed the reviews were.
I really liked it, so I hope you both are going to like it too :-)

I really hope that La petite fille de monsieur Linh will be translated, it was really a gem.


Feb 13, 2009, 6:55pm Top

I tried to read Life of Pi and couldn't get through it. Maybe I should try again. Sometimes books have to be read at the right time to be appreciated.

Feb 13, 2009, 6:57pm Top

Anita, count me in as one of the people who really like Life of Pi. It seems to be one of those 'either you love it or hate it' books though.

Edited: Feb 14, 2009, 1:17pm Top

book #17 Uitzicht op zaterdag by E.L. Konigsburg
YA translation of The View from Saturday, Newberry Medal winner

Despite the lousy translation a lovely book.
Four sixth graders together in a team, winning even against seventh and eighth graders and going strong in the regional academic bowl.
Each character feels real, with their own weaknesses and strengths, struggeling into puberty.
Kindness and compassion ultimate win from negative forces and the four kids and their teacher find eachother and themselves.

4 1/2 stars

Feb 14, 2009, 12:33pm Top

I did my A-level coursework study on comparing Life of Pi and The Old Man and the Sea and had to read it pretty intensively for that. I really enjoyed it then, but haven't read it since. Maybe I will one day.

Feb 14, 2009, 1:21pm Top

> 137: Luna
I read the The old man and the sea ages ago, on highschool, maybe time for a revisit. But first I want to read Moby Dick, looking for a decent copy the library only has abbridged versions.

Feb 14, 2009, 3:07pm Top

Message #136, Fam, once again you come shinging through on YA books. I've added this latest one to be pile.


Feb 14, 2009, 3:15pm Top

You can also get an e-book for Moby Dick, Planet PDF is one of the sites you can get a copy with decent font and line spacing from.

Feb 14, 2009, 3:41pm Top

> 139: Linda
I hope you will like it too.

> 140: Piyush
Thank you, but I don't think I will manage the English version yet. So I go on looking for a decent Dutch translation ;-)

Feb 15, 2009, 3:51pm Top

> 141, Anita, I saw I Dutch translation of Moby Dick on one of those display tables at a bookstore. Don't know if it's a new translation, as I didn't skip through it, but it might be. I can recommend to read it. Sometimes it's a little bit slow with all the details about whales, but it's a good story.

Feb 15, 2009, 4:30pm Top

hi boekenwijs

Thank you. I just ordered the new translation, it is in the "Pepetua-reeks van Atheneum-Polak & Van Gennep". I hope to receive it next week.


Feb 16, 2009, 2:05pm Top

book #18 Alle families zijn psychotisch by Douglas Coupland
library book, translation of All families are psychotic

mentioned by Flossie in one of the threads last year, when we were chatting about dysfunctional families, and recommended this year by Eliza (girlunderglass).

An bizarre and absurd story about a dysfunctional American/Canadian family. They all travel to Florida because of the only succesfull member of the family is going into space.
A fun and interesting read.

3 stars

Feb 16, 2009, 3:15pm Top

#144: Ha, nice title. :D I've heard of this one, but I had no idea what it was about. Thanks for the review. I'll have to keep my eye out for it at the bookstores (even though LT has predicted I won't like it--go figure).

Feb 16, 2009, 3:21pm Top


I noticed this book as well. And put it on my TBR list. Now, thanks to your recommendation, I'm heading to the library to see if they have it.

The title is catchy and I certainly can relate to a psychotic family...

Edited: Feb 16, 2009, 3:30pm Top

> 145: Sara
Yes the title was the first part that attrackted me ;-)
The LT predictions are just for fun, not very accurate though.

> 146: Linda
I have a similair family, in the book there are some very absurd things happening, but I could tell as absurd tales about my own family.
It is a generation thing I guess, at least Coupland makes me feel I am not the only one with a weird and total dysfunctional family, with only one succesfull member (not me)!


Feb 16, 2009, 3:53pm Top

>144 FAMeulstee:: glad to be the source of a successful recommendation! I think I enjoyed it more than 3 stars myself, but it's a while since I read it... also I read a whole bunch of Coupland back to back so I was 'in the zone'

I really really liked Coupland a few years back, but somehow have stopped buying and reading his more recent stuff; I have a special edition of JPod, complete with special little Lego person, that I have never broken out of his box, and still haven't acquired a copy of The Gum Thief. I guess reading tastes change as we do.

If you liked the zanier side of this, Miss Wyoming is excellent, and utterly preposterous.

Feb 16, 2009, 5:28pm Top

hi Flossie

I am not sure what zanier means, something like funny and absurd?
My library has no other titles by Coupland, but some other regional libraries have. I might read some more Coupland, but not straight away.


Feb 16, 2009, 5:42pm Top

Anita, yes, exactly - absurd and funny, a bit whacky.

Feb 17, 2009, 7:44am Top

glad you liked it Anita!

Feb 21, 2009, 11:10am Top

book #19 De boekendief by Markus Zusak
Dutch translation of The Book Thief
awarded YA, Zilveren Zoen 2008

This might be the best book I read this year.
Beautifully and poetic written; great, compelling, heartwrenching story...
There are so many raving reviews on LT, it is hard to add something meaningful.

This story, set in WW II in Germany, is told by Death, who has a hard time during the war. About a girl living with her foster parents in a village between Munich and Dachau. About a Jew hiding in their basement. About the neighbors and friends living in the same street.
She is growing up in a dark time, but she discovers the power of books and words. And goes out to steal books.
The Jew in the basement paints the pages of Main Kampf white so he can use them to write his story.

higly recommended!!!!
5 stars

Feb 21, 2009, 12:48pm Top

I read The Book Thief last year and loved it. It's one of my all time favorite reads. I thought that Death as the narrator made it especially unique and interesting. I'm glad you liked it as well. I can't agree with it's listing as a young adult book, which may influence the adult reader against reading it. It has a more universal appeal and sophistication than that genre may suggest to some readers.

Edited: Feb 21, 2009, 2:42pm Top

That looks really good, Anita! I only have Getting the Girl by the same author, so I'll have to keep my eyes out for The Book Thief.

#153: I can understand how adults are sometimes put off by books geared towards kids (I wouldn't be one of those, however), but I think The Book Thief is still a YA book. Not sure. :)

Feb 21, 2009, 4:12pm Top

If you give The Book Thief five stars and say it is the best book you ever read, then naturally, I have to read it as well.

Thanks for your recommendation.

Feb 21, 2009, 7:30pm Top

>153 loriephillips:: Lorie
I agree with you, it is for a wider audience, but it was awarded with a YA prize here, that was why I bought it.

>154 saraslibrary:: Sara
I hope you read it one day, it is well worth your time.

>155 Whisper1:: Linda
I am not sure about best book ever, but I think it will be my top read for this year. I'll look forward to your review ;-)

Feb 21, 2009, 9:56pm Top


Opps...sorry. I went back and re-read your comment..

Feb 23, 2009, 3:07pm Top

no problem Linda :-)

book #20 De fantastische Meneer Vos by Roald Dahl
translation of Fantastic Mr. Fox
awarded childrens Zilveren Griffel 1972

With others in the group reading Dahl, I thought it was a good time to read my own Dahl books. They are in my collection of awarded Childrens and YA books. Five have won a Zilveren Griffel and two a Vlag en Wimpel.

A short story about a family of foxes and three farmers who want to kill the foxes. But Mr Fox is smarter than 3 farmers ;-)
A fun read, I don't think the best Dahl wrote, but enjoyable.

3 1/2 stars

Feb 25, 2009, 7:57am Top

re: The Life of Pi, I couldn't read it. I tried. I moved to Romania and had none of my books (movers hadn't arrived). My neighbor took pity on me and loaned me that, Inkheart and something else (a la Danielle Steele). So I eagerly commenced. Figured it must just be the move etc but I couldn't get into it. A year later the neighbor moved and I inherited those books along with some others. So I tried again. Not happening. I decided not to bother a third time. However, I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Feb 25, 2009, 8:33am Top

I'm not a Life of Pi fan either. Couldn't get through it. I may try again sometime.

Feb 25, 2009, 9:26am Top

Susan, Lorie

I also couldn't get through Life of Pi at my first attempt. The key for me the second time around was to get through the first 100 pages, after that I couldn't put it down! Maybe the 100 page rule would work for you too...

Feb 25, 2009, 2:39pm Top

I also found Life of Pi very slow going at first, but managed to stick with it. I loved the ending, though I'm not sure it quite made up for the early slogging.

Feb 25, 2009, 5:27pm Top

So there are mixed feelings about Life of Pi.
I did not expect that when I finished the book. I read reviews mostly after finishing a book, so then I found out it seems to be either LOVE or hate this book ;-)

Edited: Feb 28, 2009, 5:25pm Top

book #21 and #22 Morgen toen de oorlog begon Omnibus 1 & 2 by John Marsden
YA from the library
translation of Tomorrow when the War began, The dead of night, A killing frost, Darkness be my friend, Burning for revenge, The night is for hunting and The other side of dawn
Seven books together in two bands (do you call that omnibus too?).

Seven teenagers in Australia go hiking in the bush for five days. When they return to their homes they find the farms empty, a war has started and their families are imprisoned in a camp in town.
They decide to fight back.

A well written story, all seven books long. At times almost too thrilling for someone like me, who does not like any violence. But in a war there are casulties, and fighting for your freedom changes norms and values.
Here and there a bit too many coincidences, but overall a good and believable story of teenagers who have to grow up way to fast to survive in a very changed environment.

4 stars

Feb 28, 2009, 5:32pm Top

This sounds like a good series.

Thanks for your well-written review.

Feb 28, 2009, 6:18pm Top

#164: The Marsden books sound good to both Catey and me. Thanks for the recommendation!

Mar 3, 2009, 11:48am Top

I hope you all like the books too!

I am reading now The zookeepers wife, but I am not sure if I can finish it before tomorrow...

Chimay, our smooth Chow Chow is pregnant and I expect the puppies will be born tomorrow or the day after. Then I will have not much time to read for 8 or 9 weeks.

Mar 3, 2009, 3:16pm Top

I am so excited for you and Chimay. I do hope you post some photos. Good luck with the births.

Mar 4, 2009, 10:46am Top

#167: Oh, how fun! I think in this case, we'll forgive you for being on hiatus for awhile. ;) Let us know how it goes.

Mar 4, 2009, 11:21am Top

I am very anxious to see photos of Chimay. I love your website. What a beautiful dog! And, I imagine the puppies will be just as spectacular. Good luck with all this Anita.

Mar 4, 2009, 4:40pm Top

Hope it's a smooth birth with healthy babies!

Mar 4, 2009, 4:56pm Top

Here's hoping the new pups are as cute as the ones I looked at on your website! I hope mother and puppies come through safely.

Mar 4, 2009, 6:38pm Top

thanks everyone

7 pups are born today, 4 males, three females.
Some trouble with the first, but the vet helped and Chimay did the others on her own.

exhausted, off to bed now, wil update the website & weblog tomorrow.

Mar 4, 2009, 7:01pm Top

That's great, sorry to hear she had trouble with first puppy, I hope she's alright now.

Have a good rest :)


Mar 4, 2009, 11:25pm Top

#173: Get some rest - and I am glad the puppies and Chimay are OK. I cannot wait to see pictures!

Edited: Oct 29, 2010, 6:17am Top

we all slept well.

The first picture and names of the pups on my website

and at my weblog

Mar 5, 2009, 9:28am Top

Sweet puppies. I like the names you chose. I hope they bring you and Chimay a lot of joy.

Mar 5, 2009, 10:44am Top

I want to reach out and gently hug all those beautiful puppies! They are so very adorable. What an incredible photo!

Glad everyone slept well after the birth.

Mar 5, 2009, 11:55am Top

Anita, I love the names you've chosen for the pups! And they're all so beautiful -- looking forward to seeing more pictures of them.

Mar 5, 2009, 3:20pm Top

Wow! Looks like Chimay came through OK in spite of the early difficulties. Thanks for the pictures.

Edited: Mar 6, 2009, 11:58am Top

#178: I want to reach out and gently hug all those beautiful puppies! LOL, that was my first reaction too, Whisper! I just wanted to cuddle up with them.

Congrats, Anita (or should I say Chimay? ;)! I'm glad everything went well. I remember watching one of my cats being born, and I was the one who was a total mess, because I couldn't bear watching the mother cat in pain (which was very minimal actually).

P.S. Anita, I hope you don't mind, but I'm now one of your blog Followers. :)

Mar 6, 2009, 3:53pm Top

thanks for the compliments

I think tomorrow I will take the first series of weekly photos of the pups on Franks lap. That way you can "see" them grow.

Not much cuddling: Chimay barely allows us to take her pups away for weighing and putting clean sheets in the whelping box. Strangers are not allowed near yet. But we have Gladdich, he likes to hug and kiss!

Of course you are welcome to follow my blog :-)

Nearly no reading the past days, I managed to read 10 pages in The zookeepers wife.


Mar 6, 2009, 4:12pm Top

Beautiful pups -- and I like the red recliner a lot too!

Mar 7, 2009, 12:30am Top

Hi Anita

It certainly is understandable why you don't have time to read. Chimay and the pups must be very time consuming. I'll be curious to see your comments on The Zookeeper's Wife. I was able to obtain a copy from my local library.

And, I owe you a BIG thanks for recommending A View From Saturday. I cannot say enough great things about this wonderful book. Once again, my friend, you came through with another stellar book!

Edited: Oct 29, 2010, 6:15am Top

183: suslyn
thank you, and that was a very comfy one.
Sadly it was too big for this house, so we sold it.

184: Whisper1
I am glad you enjoyed A View From Saturday :-)
Chimay had some trouble at first and I did not get much sleep last nigt, but she seems calmer now.

I have put the first photos of the pups at Franks lap at the website

off to bed now, for a better night I hope!

Mar 8, 2009, 1:22am Top

Love the pictures of the pups! I hope you have a good night's rest.

Mar 8, 2009, 7:48pm Top

Yes, please do post more when you have time.

I hope you are getting some rest.

Edited: Mar 13, 2009, 5:51pm Top

book #23 Antonina's dierentuin by Diane Ackerman
translation of The zookeepers wife
from the library

I found this book a bit disappointing. In it there is a great story, but the way it is told is not very gripping.
At times the details are overwhelming and in other parts the details are severely lacking. I missed the feel of the persons.
Lilac_Lily01 wrote a review of this book that is very similair to my feelings

2 stars

Mar 11, 2009, 11:20am Top

thanks Stasia and Linda

The pups are doing well, but I haven't slept much. Not because of the pups, but because a very dear friend died recently and yesterday at the funeral Frank heard he was brutally murdered...
I can't believe it, he was such a dear and gentle soul. I feel devastated and numb.

Luckely Chimay and the pups need me, so I have enough to do to keep my mind a bit in focus.


Mar 11, 2009, 11:35am Top

Oh my Gosh! I am so sorry that a dear and gentle soul friend of yours was brutally murdered. Ah, I never, never understand violence.

I'm glad Chimay and the pups keep your mind focused.

BIG hug to you!

Mar 11, 2009, 11:49am Top

Another big hug your way Anita! I'm so sorry and hope you feel better soon! It's such a cliche to say it but time really does heal everything...

Mar 11, 2009, 6:16pm Top

Anita: I know I don't post much, but I do follow your thread and I just wanted to say that I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I'm keeping you in my thoughts, and give those puppies a hug for me.

Mar 11, 2009, 8:59pm Top


I am so sorry to hear about your friend. I will keep you in my prayers as well as the family.

Mar 12, 2009, 7:30pm Top

thanks Linda, Eliza, Amber and Stasia

I am still in shock, it is not fair and in some ways unacceptable... This should only happen on TV, not hit so close to home...

The pups are doing well, gaining weight every day, we can nearly see the pile growing ;-)
Saturday I will take new photos for the website.


Edited: Mar 13, 2009, 5:53pm Top

book #24 Duister by David Almond
translation of Clay, from the library

David Almond did it again, he wrote a great book.
The story reminds a bit of Kit's Wilderness, but it is darker.
Davie and Geordie are two Catholic boys, they regular fight with the Protestant boys from the next village. But one of those is very big and strong, he hurted Davie bad in the last fight.
Then a new boy comes into town: Stephen Rose, he can do magic with clay. He makes clay sculptures that seem alive...

5 stars

Mar 14, 2009, 2:31am Top

#195: Anything by David Almond is immediately going on the Continent these days. Thanks for another great recommendation, Anita!

Mar 14, 2009, 3:33pm Top

#189: I am so, so, so sorry about your friend, Anita!


Mar 14, 2009, 5:45pm Top

I've just read through your thread - I have a lot of catching up to do. I'm glad that you enjoyed Dragonkeeper, there is now a prequel as well to look forward to,Dragondawn, it came out last year in Australia, New Zealand - I have yet to read it. Carole's daughter Lili is also a writer of teen books and manages a great Australian YA books website www.insideadog.com.au
Have you got Lian Hearn's Across the Nightingale Floor available in Dutch? It's the first book in the Tales of the Otori series an exciting YA fantasy set in medieval Japan.
I'm also a fan of David Almond's books but haven't read Clay - it is on my TBR List so will have to bump it up.

Mar 14, 2009, 7:07pm Top

>197 fantasia655:
thank you Catey!

>198 avatiakh:
Yes Kerry, three Lian Hearn books are available at the library, so I hope to try the first one soon.
From Carole Wilkinson only Dragonkeeper is translated, I hope the others will be translated some day.

Edited: Oct 29, 2010, 6:14am Top

The second page with picture of the pups is on my website

and all together at my weblog

Mar 14, 2009, 10:39pm Top

I love your puppies!

Mar 17, 2009, 5:26pm Top

thank you Terri.

book #25 Baas en hond by Thomas Mann
translation of Herr und Hund, English translation is called Bashan and I

I saw this book mentioned in kiwidoc's thread and it seemed right to read it now.

Thomas Mann tells about his Birddog-mix Bauschan, he arrived after their Collie Perceval had died.
Some of the observations feel a bit dated, there is a lot more knowledge about dogbehavior available these days, but Thomas Mann touches the essence of his dog. Doglovers will recognise a lot.

4 stars

Mar 17, 2009, 10:38pm Top

Hi Anita

I was able to obtain a copy of Bashan and I from my local library. I hope to read it this week. Thanks for your comments.

And, of course, I'm curious, are Chimay's puppies eyes opened as yet?

Mar 18, 2009, 4:02pm Top

hi Linda

I hope you like Bashan and I and look forward to your review.

Four pups have opened their eyes, the other three are waiting a bit longer ;-)

Mar 18, 2009, 4:46pm Top

@ 202, Thomas Mann, somebody I still want to read something of... I guess I will go for The magic mountain.

Hope your pups are doing well!

Mar 18, 2009, 10:10pm Top

#204: Maybe by the time you take pictures on Saturday, they will have their baby browns(?) open . . .

Mar 19, 2009, 7:07am Top

Are puppies like kittens in that their eyes are always blue to begin with?

The only dog I ever had from a puppy had blue eyes anyway so I don't know...............

Mar 19, 2009, 4:48pm Top

>205 boekenwijs:: boekenwijs
I have both The Buddenbrooks and The magic mountain waiting on the shelf.

>206 alcottacre:: alcottacre
five pups have opened their eyes, the other two are on their way, so yes, they will have their baby blues open on Saturday :-)

>207 lunacat:: lunacat
Yes, they have darkblue-ish eyes when they open up at first. Later they turn brown. I think kittens have lighter blue eyes. But we can compare soon!

Mar 19, 2009, 6:28pm Top


Indeed, any day now. 60 days was yesterday so we are waiting with baited (or sleepy) breath. Mostly she has been waking me up a lot wanting cuddles...........................

Edited: Oct 29, 2010, 6:11am Top

The third page with picture of the pups is on my website, all eyes open, only Esmoreit refused to show his eyes ;-)

and a photo of them all together at my weblog

Mar 21, 2009, 7:43pm Top

They are really starting to get cute and fuzzy. I want to snuggle with them.

Mar 22, 2009, 4:22pm Top

thank you Jennifer
they are very cute and will become cuter in the next weeks ;-)
They will move downstairs next week, and then the first visitors come.

Edited: Mar 22, 2009, 5:46pm Top

book #26 De keukenjongen by Robert Alexander
from the library, translation of The kitchen boy
recommended by Linda (Whisper1) last year

Fiction, reads like a memoir.
The book tells about the last weeks of the Romanovs, through the eyes of kitchenboy Leonka, who was imprisoned with them in Siberia. Their hope to be rescued and their death.
Well researched and quite well written. The story did not really grip me. The last twist was not expected.

3 1/2 stars

Mar 22, 2009, 5:37pm Top

They look like ginger guineapigs!! Sooooooooooooooooooo cute

Mar 22, 2009, 5:48pm Top

thanks Luna
I had not thought of looking like guineapigs ;-)
How is your beautiful cat today?

Mar 22, 2009, 8:35pm Top

What I found most interesting about The Kitchen Boy was the fact that the author took one obscure phrase from the diaries of the Romanov's and developed an entire book around that statement.

Mar 23, 2009, 1:03am Top

#212: I want to visit!! Now if I can just figure out how to hold my breath clear across the Atlantic to get there . . .

Mar 23, 2009, 5:41pm Top

#213 I read De keukenjongen some years ago and had the same feelings: it was interesting and well written but not gripping.

Mar 23, 2009, 5:45pm Top

>216 Whisper1:: Linda
Yes, and a few notes. He made it feel like it was non-fiction.

>217 alcottacre:: Stasia
You are welcome LOL

Mar 23, 2009, 9:27pm Top

I liked The Kitchen Boy much better than Rasputin's Daughter.

Mar 23, 2009, 10:31pm Top

Hey Anita, good to finally find you. Alcot pointed me in the right direction.

I see that you read the whole Narnia series. I plan to read them and started with book one last year but the sheer volume of books that came into my house last year did not allow me to get back to them. I will try again this year and I hope to get it done this time around.

I see you read a book by Laurie Halse Anderson. I read Wintergirls also by her and I liked it. It was hard to read but very well written.

I absolutely love The Book Thief. By the way I read an interview with the author. He talks about how he does not know why the book's classification was changed to YA lit when it made it to the US. Apparently in most other countries it is sold as an adult book.

Mar 24, 2009, 12:41am Top

None of the local libraries have Wintergirls so I'll have to obtain this interlibrary loan. I am interested in reading this book.

Edited: Mar 24, 2009, 6:01pm Top

>221 TrishNYC:: Trish
I am glad you found my thread ;-)
The 75 group has grown a lot this year.

I loved The Book Thief too, great book I am sure I will read it again. Over here it got an Young Adult award, but I found it in the adult section of the bookshop.

Wintergirls is not translated yet, but I am sure it will be some day. Her other book Speak was very good, and I read Fever 1793 last year.


Edited: Oct 29, 2010, 6:08am Top

The forth page with picture of the pups is on my website, this week they started to eat on their own and they moved from the whelping-box to the puppy-pen in the livingroom.

Mar 28, 2009, 10:20pm Top

Your puppies are soooo cute! They've grown a lot in a very short period of time and they look like little bears.

Mar 29, 2009, 1:00am Top

Anita, I simply want to hug and hold all puppies. It is such great fun to see the photos each week and note their growth. Frank looks so darn happy holding them. I can see they bring lots of joy to you and your house.

Do you have homes for all of them?

Mar 29, 2009, 2:24am Top

I want the rough one! Please could you ship her to me? lol

Mar 29, 2009, 3:29pm Top

thanks Lorie, Linda and Stasia

Puppies grow incredible fast Lorie, when they are 8 weeks they are ready to go to their new homes.

Yes Linda, they bring a lot of joy, and we can very well use that. We have not yet homes for them all, for some reason everyone is looking for rough pups at the moment. But they will stay until we have found proper homes for them, does not matter how long it takes

I'm sorry Stasia, that one is sold ;-)

Mar 29, 2009, 3:37pm Top

Omg they are gorgeous. Its been such a pleasure having baby kittens around so I can imagine what its like having the puppies :)

Mar 29, 2009, 7:12pm Top

Well, baby kittens don't CHEW!

Mar 29, 2009, 7:21pm Top

baby Chows don't do that either, Roni ;-)

Well to be honest, they chew occasianally at eachother or a chewie, but none of our Chows ever destroyed something that was not given to them.

Mar 29, 2009, 7:48pm Top


Sheltie puppies chew. When a puppy, Simon chomped on all slippers that he could find. He was adept at crawling under the bed to find them.

Mar 30, 2009, 1:06pm Top

Lol, they may not chew but they have CLAWS!

Mar 30, 2009, 2:45pm Top

Linda & Luna

My Belgian Sheepdog destroyed about half of my belongings: clothes, shoes, books, couch and much more. In those days I had cats as well and they did a nice job on the wallpaper & houseplants... So I know pets can be destroyers LOL

Luckely the Chows are different, a bit cat-like, clean and very well behaved for dogs. The downside is that they are usually not very good with other dogs and most can not walk off leash, some because they are hunters, others because they don't like other dogs.


Mar 30, 2009, 3:06pm Top

and now back to the books:

book #27 De twaalf werelden by Diana Wynne Jones
translation of The lives of Christopher Chant
from the library, YA fantasy
4 stars

book #28 Het wisselkasteel by Diana Wynne Jones
translation of Conrad's fate
from the library, YA fantasy
3 1/2 stars

book #29 De negen levens by Diana Wynne Jones
translation of Charmed life
Awarded YA fantasy, re-read
4 1/2 stars

In 1980 Charmed life was translated into Dutch and was awarded with a Zilveren Griffel in 1981.
I read it twice and liked it very much.
Here on LT I found out it was part of a series, the other books were translated between 2001 and 2005. I found them at the library and had a good time reading them.
Charmed life is still my favourite (4 1/2 stars), The lives of Christopher Chant comes second (4 stars) and Conrad's fate was a bit less (3 1/2 stars), but still an enjoyable read.

Next time I visit the library I hope the other two books in this series are there.

Mar 30, 2009, 3:07pm Top

As you know, I trust your judgment in YA. I'm adding your latest reads to my tbr pile.


Mar 30, 2009, 6:58pm Top

actually in your first thread flissp wrote in msg 483 about books by Diana Wynne Jones and mentioned the Chrestomanci Series ;-)

Mar 30, 2009, 7:16pm Top

Thanks Anita...
It was my first day back at work. I'm a little slow today.

I'll have to check to see if I already added all the books.

I hope you are well.

Mar 30, 2009, 7:23pm Top

you had to go back to work already, is that not a bit too fast?
I am well, pups are thriving ;-)

Mar 30, 2009, 7:30pm Top

Hi Anita
I checked my library to find I had added The LIves of Christopher Chant, but missed the other two you mentioned, so I added them to the TBR pile.

I'm so glad the puppies are thriving. You and Frank must be ever so happy!

Mar 30, 2009, 8:51pm Top

Anita, check and see if The Pinhoe Egg has been translated yet. It is the most recent Chrestomanci, and has a lot more of him in it than some of the other recent books. I liked it a lot better than Conrad's Fate.

Mar 31, 2009, 4:20pm Top

Roni, sadly that one is not translated yet, but the four books of the The Dalemark quartet are, do you know them?

Mar 31, 2009, 5:43pm Top

Yes, that set is frequently assigned in our schools. It is a completely separate fantasy, much more serious in tone, and excellent in both conceptualization and actualization.

Mar 31, 2009, 6:10pm Top

I saw you wrote on another thread that you're changing threads tomorrow so I thought I'd quickly squeeze in one comment to say how much I'm enjoying your reviews!

I don't know if I've mentioned this but my boyfriend is half-Dutch and I'm encouraging him to read more in Dutch (as he usually only reads in English) so I've checked your library many a times for recommendations.

See you on your new thread ;)

Mar 31, 2009, 6:26pm Top

Thanks Roni, I put them on my librarylist.

Eliza, no you did not mention that before. I am glad I could help without knowing ;-)
What kind of books does he like?

Yes I am planning to start a new thread tomorrow, this thread is well over 200 messages now.


Mar 31, 2009, 6:40pm Top

hmm..well he loves Brett Easton Ellis and Chuck Palahniuk and Tom Wolfe and those sort of writers. The whole post-modern thing. And Roald Dahl.
Nah he's actually very open to different genres and suggestions though. He ended up loving lots of stuff I've tried to get him into, like Salinger, the Harry Potter series and things like Iris Murdoch or Vonnegut. We have this thing where every third book he reads has to be one recommended by me and vice-versa. That sounds corny, but yeah. We would appreciate some more suggestions if you have them :)

Apr 2, 2009, 4:27pm Top

Palahniuk and Wolfe are books my husband, Frank, likes. So I would look in my library at books tagged proza, most of them are Franks collection.
In Dutch he could try:
W.F. Hermans Nooit meer slapen or De donkere kamer van Damokles
Harry Mulisch De aanslag or Het stenen bruidsbed

Apr 2, 2009, 5:57pm Top

thanks a million - will do some bookmooching soon :)

Edited: Apr 4, 2009, 5:41pm Top

Group: 75 Books Challenge for 2009

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