Carsten's (ctpress) Take and Read - 2013
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Time for a new top image - a painting by the Irish artist Brigit Ganley
OK here we go again, documenting another reading year on LT-75 from my little corner of the world - Denmark. Exciting to start a fresh new thread on the brink of 2013.
My planned reading this year will not be much different from the years before - the classics have a high priority - also classics of sci-fi, spiritual and children's literature - but I guess I can squeeze in some award winning novels and scandi-crime and what else is hot and happening in the world of literature right now....
01. The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce (2012) - 4/5
02. The Light Between the Oceans by M. L. Stedman (2012) 5/5
03. Life of Antony by Athanasius (356) 3.5/5
04. Life of Pi by Yann Martel (2002) 2,5/5
05. Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe (1721) 2/5
06. The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndhan (1957) 2/5
07. A Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton-Porter (1909) 3.5/5
08. Gilead by Marilynne Robinson (2005) 5/5
09. The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope (1864) 4/5
10. The Little Flowers of Francis Assisi by Anonymous (ca. 1300) 3/5
11. Tales of Mystery and Terror (Puffin Classics) by Edgar Allan Poe (ca. 1866) 4/5
12. The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (1956) 3,5/5
13. Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham (1956) 5/5
14. Final Harvest by Emily Dickinson (ca. 1860) 4,5/5
15. A Conspiracy of Faith by Jussi Adler-Olsen (2010) 4,5/5
16. Stuart Little by E. B. White (1945) 3/5
17. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving (1998) 4/5
18. Last Crossing Guy Vanderhaeghe (2002) 5/5
19. Breakfast at Tiffany's Truman Capote (1958) 3,5/5
20. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde (1890) 4/5 (reread)
Hi Diana - Nice to see someone waving "close" to home here in Europe...
Hi Paul - I'll make an effort not to miss any of your threads this year....I know I have to be quick and alert!
Your planned reading for the year sounds not dissimilar to mine (classics and sci-fi dominate my year) so I'm looking forward to seeing what you end up with.
Hello again Carsten! I always look forward to your review of the Classics because it reminds me I need to read more of them. :) Have a wonderful New Years!
Happy New Year in advance, Carsten!
Hello Jim and Faith - Nice of you to stop by - *waving* back with a happy new year wish
Anne - I'm reading Girl of the Limberlost at the moment and it will be one of the first to finish in the new year. It's very good. Happy New Year.
Deb - Yes, enjoying the walk by Harold Fry. Gilead is in the top of my TBR-pile. Hope to get to it soon. And a happy new year to you :)
Nancy - Happy new Year. Good to see you back. I'll rush over to your new thread....
Paul - Godt nytår :) nice with a danish version
Monica - yes, a lot of good books I sure hope. Happy new year.
Nathalie - likewise - And a hope for a more peaceful year to you :)
Genny - famous last words indeed :) a happy book year to you
Click on my link - it will show you the new cover! :) It seems that at least some of the old classics are getting " fancy new covers", perhaps to better catch the " New Generation" of which I am not a part. But they got me anyway!
It's a Top 11 - couldn't get it down to ten.
North & South by Elisabeth Gaskell (1855)
Jack's Life: The Life Story of C.S. Lewis by Douglas Gresham (2005)
Pollyanna by Eleanor H. Porter (1913)
Adam Bede by George Eliot (1859)
Framley Parsonage by Anthony Trollope (1861)
The Detour by Gerbrand Bakker (2010)
The Way of a Pilgrim and The Pilgrim Continues His Way by Anonymous (1884)
The Redbreast by Jo Nesbo (2001)
The Road by Cormac McCarthy (2005)
My Antonia by Willa Cather (1918)
Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience and Redemption by Laura Hillenbrand (2010)
But it's not just that. It was the classic novel that really got me going exploring the classics 12 years ago. I just wanted more of the feeling and wisdom that novel gave me.
Nancy - Going over the top 11 again I think about how many really was the recommendations of friends here at LT. You with Unbroken a World war II story and I think also North and South and pacing me with Trollope. Deb with the Detour. Paul with Redbreast - and Pollyanna was also a recommendation but can't remember which. I think you will love Cather :)
Deb - A good quess :) No bodice ripping but a lot of shunning and moral agony and themes of judgment, sin and forgiveness...
Harold get the news of of a colleague that are dying of cancer. He sets out to post a letter - and he decides in stead to walk to her and it turns out to be an eventful pilgrimage.
I liked this book best, when it was just Harold on the road by himself meeting strangers. These moments, these situations were truly wonderful - also his wife back home starting to open up to her neighbor. On his long walk we are also introduced to things of the past, slowly we discover truths that alter our perception of the characters. The relationship with his son being the main theme - a theme I didn't think was that successful.
Well, it was wonderful reading by Jim Broadbent - one that added to my rating. A slow, careful, pensive reading. Just like Harold - and then Harold does this thing without thinking, totally out of character. And life opens up...I feel like rereading Thoreau's wonderful essay on Walking. Well, I might just do that.
So far I love Anna Karenina. It's a lot better than I had expected (feared) nd I can see why you felt like reading more classics after you'd read that one.
Deb - Yes, we have to get Nancy going on Harold Fry and the Lighthouse :)
Monica - Ha, ha - I have bought a book I later found out I already had - there you go - not the only distracted person here :) Glad you like Anna Karenina - adding to your question of the best classic ever - do you have a favorite? As an afterthought I think maybe the best one - not in a literary sense but personally maybe should be one you want to return to several times. And for me it will be the novels of Jane Austen - and then Jane Eyre - all of them I read twice and some of them three or four times. And I will most likely read them again.
Great to have you back in for another round, Carsten!
Hi Rachel - I thought about that when I was listening to it. There was too many flashbacks - and a lot of the times I enjoyed mostly what happened on the road with Harold. But I loved the way he came to terms with his life - and the way the walk put everything in perspective for him.
Good review of the Harold Fry - looking forward to a paperback version over here.
Have a great weekend and I hope it is not too cold there.
Anne (and Paul) - Exactly. Those lists should come in all form and sizes - after all, it's MY list....or do you think the Top 10-police will hunt me down?
Oh Carsten I feel your pain as far The Light Between Oceans goes. Such dilemmas that the characters get themselves into. Sometimes when I'm reading I get so anguished that I have to peek at the ending bit.. not that I'm suggesting that. shhh it's my little secret! :)
50 - I guess you live in the north of Sweden? I've been there a few times for skiing and yes, it can get very cold......
Deborah - I thought it would be colder in Vancouver.....here people (and me) still ride bicycle when it's below zero...
I will keep your little secret, don't worry. After reading about Harold and Futh it's also nice to read about a secluded soul like Tom who seems to be more "normal" so to speak and genuinly good-hearted...which makes the approaching heartache even more painful. I won't peak or rush. I enjoy all the details and descriptions. Like the joy and fear over the unexpected "gift". Just this quote:
“The simple fact was that, sure as a graft will take and fuse on a rosebush, the root stock of Isabel’s motherhood—her every drive and instinct, left raw and exposed by the recent stillbirth—had grafted seamlessly to the scion, the baby which needed mothering. Grief and distance bound the wound, perfecting the bond with a speed only nature could engineer.”
Beautiful quote from The Light Between Oceans... oh it will get so much more complex, Carsten.
If you look here, you can see lower down the average temps for the Vancouver area. It's very nice here!
#36 If you like reading about walking you might want to check out Robert MacFarlane The Wild Places and The Old Ways, a Journey on Foot. He is an amazing writer (teaches at Cambridge) and the newly appointed chair of the judges for the next Man Booker prize. Thought you might enjoy these books!.
54 - yes even down here at the level of southern Sweden we are not out of the woods yet. The frost will no doubt return.
Deborah - Sounds like a city for me, with bike lanes that are salted like here :)
Mary - thanks for the suggestions. Actually I've been thinking of taking a hiking/walking trip soon with a friend - maybe in Sweden this summer. It's all those novels :) I enjoyed one in the Lake District of England a few years ago. I will explore your suggestions, thanks. I love well written travel/nature books.
Nancy - Oh, yes, the writing.....review coming up right away....
The novel opens with an arresting scene. A boat washes up on shore on a little island near a lighthouse, its cargo a dead man and a crying baby. Tom, the lighthouse-keeper and his wife Isabel finds the boat - but what to do about the baby? Isabel still mourning after a recent miscarriage can only see this baby as "a gift from God". Is this baby for her?
The moral dilemma is clear from the beginning and we sense the devastating consequences looming - the novel starts out very slow, taking its time to get us into Toms world - a secluded soul but good-hearted - and slowly introduces us to other characters in a little coast-town in Australia in the years following WWI.
This is a story about loss, loneliness, guilt, forgiveness, love. Written with compassion for each character, with a deep understanding of the human heart, it's frailty and strength. It's ability to hurt and love at the same time. We come to understand these people, ache with them in their sorrows and moral agonizing.
Stedmans lyrical prose is filled with biblical imagery - it adds to the themes of guilt and forgiveness. There's so many keen observations about life, so many beautiful poetic passages. What a marvelous debut novel.
A long quote:
“Now and then, as if brought in on the breeze, the memory of Isabel’s kiss floats into his awareness: the touch of her skin, the soft wholeness of her. And he thinks of the years when he simply couldn’t have imagined that such a thing existed. Just to be beside her had made him feel cleaner somehow, refreshed. Yet the sensation leads him back into the darkness, back into the galleries of wounded flesh and twisted limbs. To make sense of it—that’s the challenge. To bear witness to the death, without being broken by the weight of it. There’s no reason he should still be alive, un-maimed. Suddenly Tom realizes he is crying. He weeps for the men snatched away to his left and right, when death had no appetite for him. He weeps for the men he killed.”
Marie - Thanks, hope your wishlist can cope. It's been a good start of the year.
Nancy - Thanks, I agree with Deborah. This one you would like very much, beautiful prose. Be quick. It will be adapted for the big screen. It could be nice to be hot again. It's rather cold here :)
From two good novels of 2012 we now go back to the year 356....
St Antony (Antony the Great) gave all his possessions away early in life, seeking to live a life of prayer without ceasing….he lived a very ascetic life alone in the desert for many years - most of what we know about him comes from this little biography written by Athanasius shortly after Antony's death.
It's a really fascinating tale of a man who didn't want anything to disrupt his prayer life and dedication to serve God in solitude. His friends provided bread for him which they lowered down into his cave in the desert and he lived there alone for years - well, that's not exactly true - because he was in a constant spiritual battle with Satanic temptations of all sorts. Later on many came to him in the desert mountains for counseling, prayer, healing, exorcism and teaching.
Fascinating to read about one of the desert monks of the early church. I always think: Why? Why all this seclusion, extreme self-imposed affliction? But then again. How much do I really pray and how often do I get distracted in this busy world? Sometimes a cave could come in handy. Well, I don't know. My exploration of the spiritual classics both baffles me and intrigue me.
Going into this reading I expected a fantasy mixed with philosophical/religious overtones. It was not that, well, maybe a little. It was a fascinating tale, no doubt, but I couldn't really get emotionally involved in this characters story. One major problem was that the true tale of survival at sea Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption kept disturbing my reading of life of Pi. Unbroken being one of the best - if not the best - book I read in 2012. That shouldn't take anything away from life of Pi - but it did.
The audiobook-reading was very good - still, I don't think I was ready for another harrowing ordeal on a life boat. Also it contained some very disturbing killings. It was almost too much at times.
Stasia - I'm sure you will enjoy or be touched by this story. If it will reappear from the BlackHole at some point :)
2-3 degrees being mild and said without the slightest hint of irony.
Best classic read ever? If we mean pre 1900. I would have to piss off Richard and go for A Tale of Two Cities with Return of the Native receiving an honorary mention. In translation La Bete Humaine or Germinal as a toss up as my favourite among the French. Crime and Punishment bringing home the bacon for the Russians.
The Light Between the Oceans looks like one to seek out. The Life of Pi was loved by Megan if I'm not mistaken and she normally has a keen eye, but so many more have hated it. Long on the shelves and I know why I keep taking it up and putting it back.
Keep warm and have a great weekend.
Deborah - I've no plans of reading more of Martel - plentt of other novels waiting....
Nancy - And a good rest of the weekend to you - have a nice reading-sunday.
I'm sorry that Life of Pi was disappointing. I'll probably read it eventually as part of my plan to read all of the Booker winners, but it certainly seems to get mixed reviews. It describes as something that I probably wouldn't enjoy, but you never know. I'm always surprised when it comes to which books end up touching my heart.
I loved Life of Pi - the book, and really liked the movie. I never got the religious themes, but was very carried away with the dual story options!
Nancy - I have already bought the Alan Rickman version of The Return of the Native and started a little listen-peek into it and I look forward to it maybe later this year.
Megan - Shipwrecks looks interesting. Well, I was kind of irritated by the alternative story in the end of Life of Pi- and couldn't really figure out what it was all about. Well, something about faith vs reason or our perception of reality only from the standpoint of cold hard facts or usung your imagination and looking at the world with wonder and awe through eyes of faith?
Looking forward to see how they treat it in the movie.
I enjoyed reading your reaction to Life of Pi -- it wasn't an earth-shattering book for me, either, but I thought it was interesting that you kept returning to Unbroken while reading it. I have that last one in my pile somewhere.
Hope you're having a good week!
Hi Anne - Thanks. Hope you'll enjoy it if you get to it someday. Do get to Unbroken soon. If you love well researched biographies then this is a must. One of my top favorites last year.
Hi Deborah - No hobbits, fairies, and dragons for you, I can guess :) Life of Pi is not really a fantasy in that respect - no cave trolls there - I must say I don't read much of the fantasy-genre myself, although I love it once in a while.
Have a great weekend and I hope it is cool enough for you.
Still I'd like to see the movie some day, just because I believe it looks good on the big screen.
Skating on the city lakes - that sounds sooo lovely! We finally got some centimetres of snow yesterday, but when I look out of my office window I can watch it all disapperaing again.
Ottawa is very pretty though , and yes, people do go skating on the Rideau Canada. I've only been to Ottawa in the summer.
Sorry by Gail Jones was heartbreaking but wonderful read. I think that you would enjoy it, Carsten. I have not gathered my thoughts together on the book, but I feel confident in recommending to you -and Nancy loved it too.
I've started on my first Sherlock Holmes book - A Study in Scarlet. Quite amusing and about time I read something by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
Nathalie - yes, exactly my own thoughts on Life of Pi. Didn't like the ending at all - it took the sting away from the hole thing. Do you go skiing in the mountains where you live?
Deborah - well, based on the mountains in the picture on your thread you can always drive a few miles and then you have snow plentiful :) Danes are travelling all the way to Austria or Italy for alpine skiing. Happy you liked Sorry - it will be on my list - till the next time I'm in the mood for a heartbreak-story. Good luck with Mr. Holmes and Mr. Watson. Classic crime :)
Yes, one can drive a for 45 minutes ( if traffic is good ) and get into the snow in the mountains. I used to ski,but these old bones of mine no longer wish to take the risk of falling. Oh the peril of age ;)
I'm very much enjoying A Study in Scarlet and I thought of you when I began it. I know you are a fabulous classics reader as is Nancy and many more here in the 75's. I might have to stay up even later to finish off the book before I go to bed... it's getting that interesting... from England to the Mormons in the USA - such a wide sweeping story for such a short book. Interesting!
You have plenty of interesting reading going on! Enjoy!
Gilead has been in my sights for a while - I look forward to your comments on that one most especially!
Have just started Gilead and it looks promising. Good to know that it's not total tragedy in Sorry :)
With the novel's title you know what's going to happen:
The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders who was Twelve Year a Whore, five times a Wife (whereof once to her own Brother), Twelve Year a Thief, Eight Year a Transported Felon in Virginia, at last grew Rich, liv'd Honest, and died a Penitent. Written from her own Memorandums.
Sounds all very exciting, but to me it was a tedious account by a very annoying person. I didn't like her at all, and it goes on forever describing various husbands, lovers and money-worries - the latter is preeminent - the children she have we hear little or nothing about - as if they were just some play dolls.
From a historic point of view of course it's interesting to read as a precursor to the modern novel.
Book 6: The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham (1957) 2/5
After the wonderful Day of the Triffids I had high expectations to another Wyndham. But it was a disappointment altogether. The premise itself was interesting enough. A small village where every woman of child-bearing age becomes pregnant at the same time after a suspected gas poisoning in the area. The children grow up displaying a very strange "group" behavior and becomes a threat in the town - controlling people with their minds.
But it's a dull read, not at all exciting or scary, told from the viewpoint of an outsider who tries to fill in the blanks.
Review of Moll is up and running now :)
Luckily I do have more stars to spread out to the ones I'm reading now.
As for cross country skiing, I only tried it once in my teens. All of the lessons and skiing here seemed to be geared to down hill skiing. Once you've experienced the thrill of down hill skiing - well - when I went cross country skiing , I looked for small hills , climbed up and skied down! :) I think since then they have developed more cross country stuff. You know, my second date with my husband was down hill skiing, and it was on the lift on the way up that I decided in my mind - I will marry this dashing down hill skiier! :) Of course we had a little more in common than that! :)
Nancy - Thanks :)
Have a great Sunday, Carsten!
Paul - it is even figuring in the revised edition of Burt's The Novel 100 - normally agree with him but this is a miss. Although from a historical point of view it's interesting to study in terms of the development of the modern novel.
Stasia - Oh yes, I'm enjoying my present reads - Trollopes The Small House at Allington and Gilead are both enjoyable reads. I will be much more liberal with my stars :)
Hee! I never hit on a man in my life , Carsten! I think it would be safe to say that both Dave and I were somewhat shy initially. Dave was a customer where I worked and the others told me- oh that fellow has his eye on you. I told them - no, he is far too good looking to me. It took him a 6 months to work up the courage to ask me out, and I had to kind offer an opportunity to him - by asking him to call me at the bank where I worked to give me some needed work information, at which time he asked me out. I felt like a " call girl" even telling him to phone me at the bank. Very traditional in many ways, Carsten, that is me -except once you get to know me, you'll soon find I am nut! I like to think that Dave married me for my nuttiness and fun! :)
You know what Dave thought was a compliment to me when we were dating? Because I was quite athletic he said to me " You have nice thick calves - you must be a dancer? I said - you mean I have shapely muscular legs from running? Well, that it was Dave meant. LOL! Dave , a man of many " choice" words. He's improved over time....
A classic american children's story about a very creative and charming girl who decides to pay her way through high-school collecting moth's in the Limberlost swamp. Elnora's father is dead and her mother lost in grief and refuses to support her in any way, blaming Elnora for the death of the father.
This can't quench Elnora's spirit. She has an incredible determination, and the transformation of this girl into a young woman captivates us. She's unspoiled, curious, self-taught and with a disarming simplicity and love of nature.
The second half of the book is more of a love story between Elnora and a rich kind city-boy, Philip. however he's already entangled with a conceited girl that does whatever she can to stop the blossoming love.
Stratton-Porter is a naturalist and we get a lot of knowledge of the nature life in the swamp. It also takes on some serious issues about loss, grief and reconciliation. If you love Anne of Green Gables there's a good chance you will love this one.
It's in 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.
Wow, I didn't know you were also a talented photographer. Your photos of winter in Copenhagen are gorgeous. Do you skate on the lake you've photographed?
Yes, I'm getting a lot of good suggestions from 1001 Children's Books You Must Read - it's a wealth of old and new YA-fiction - and with many beautiful illustrations and covers. Just a joy to flip through. A free book with illustrations - don't you just love the iPad? :)
Nancy - Oh, yes, also thanks to Simon Vance there's plenty of chuckles. Also whenever Earl de Guest is around - who sleeps soundly after dinner while the guests try to entertain themselves :)
“Grace has a grand laughter in it.”
The old reverend John Ames has a heart condition and knows he's going to die very soon. He writes a letter to his young son, the blessing of a late marriage to a much younger woman. The novel is this long letter, an attempt to pass on his own story and the story of his father and grandfather.
“People talk about how wonderful the world seems to children, and that's true enough. But children think they will grow into it and understand it, and I know very well that I will not, and would not if I had a dozen lives.”
This is a profoundly moving and insightful novel. The beauty of the story is not in a fast moving plot - no, this story will slow you down - should slow you down - this is a meditation on life, what it means to be human, the mystery of faith, the wonder of creation, the grief and regret that a life fully lived will contain, the relationship between father and son, about the things that are worth living for and dying for.
The first part is mainly stories of his father and grandfather, but while writing the letter, things also happens in the present. The "prodigal son" of his best friend is returning to town - a young man, whom John Ames has always disliked - he struggles with accepting him, and his own "theology" is put to a test.
“The Lord is more constant and far more extravagant than it seems to imply. Wherever you turn your eyes the world can shine like transfiguration. You don't have to bring a thing to it except a little willingness to see. Only, who could have the courage to see it?”
Your review is perfectly captivating: this story will slow you down - should slow you down - this is a meditation on life, what it means to be human, the mystery of faith, the wonder of creation, the grief and regret that a life fully lived will contain, the relationship between father and son, about the things that are worth living for and dying for
Nancy - Thanks :) I enjoyed it so much - my version is underlined many places and I know I will return to this one later on.
Your message in 123 - well, Carsten, I think I can understand why you and your fellow Danes excel in cross country skiing, with that high - cough- " Sky Mountain" Oh that gave me a chuckle! I was looking up the height of the highest peaks in Canada, and most of them are in my province and the highest is 15,325 ft. There a higher mountains , the highest being 19,551 ft in the Yukon or something. Because the area around me is fairly mountainous -but 40 minutes away from, of course there is far more down hill skiing. But I do think that cross country skiing would be lovely, however, our climate and geography does really favour it.
You are so witty ! " Normally humble Danes". Really, if I could notlive in Canada, I would chose a Scandinavian country and Denmark would be high on my list.
Gilead will find it's place for me, hopefully fairly soon. I always love a book about Christian Faith.
Good to heat that they continue translating The Department Q stories, Deborah. I will myself begin with A Conspiracy of Faith in a short while - when I get it from my sister. She's up to date with all things concerning Jussi, and are now reading nr 5 in the series which have just been released here in Denmark. She speaks highly of nr 3 so you/we can look forward to that one.
About Gilead there's a lot of references to Bible stories and passages he's going to preach on - his mind always in a prayerful state. There's numerous mentioning of prayer, blessing, baptism, forgiveness which all add significance to the story. It has such a beautiful ending....well, enough said.
I can't wait to hear what you think of A Conspiracy of Faith, how will I wait for May!
I will let you know how things are in Department Q - hope to get to it soon.
#102 - I'm sorry that The Midwich Cuckoos was disappointing. I really enjoyed The Day of the Triffids, and I'm quite the harsh critic of 1950s sci-fi!
#118 - Beautiful photos - thanks for sharing!
#126 - Nice review of Gilead - I like a good, slow-moving meditation on life. I'll put it on the list, if it's not already there.
#61 Wonderful review of The Light Between the Oceans which I've wishlisted.
#70 Sorry you didn't enjoy Life of Pi. I loved it when I read it a few years ago but I did find it very harrowing in parts which is the reason why I haven't gone to see the film.
#102 And sorry you didn't enjoy The Midwich Cuckoos too. I have that one in my TBR pile after really enjoying The Day of the Triffids. Oh well, I'll give it a go.
#117 And wishlisted A Girl of the Limberlost as I love Anne of Green Gables!
#118 Wow - fabulous photos, especially the goose. How close did you have to get to get that shot?
#126 A wonderful review and I'm so pleased to see another fan of Gilead. I thought it was a wonderful book and I'm looking forward to reading Marilynne Robinson's other books.
I think I will watch the Pi-movie on dvd and fastforward if it gets too brutal. About Midwich Cuckoos you might enjoy the very british stiff-upper-lip approach to the disaster which I found very funny. It has a lot of humour.
Glad to find another Gilead fan. She has only written three novels so she's easy to catch up with. My next one will be her latest Home. And now over to your thread......
The Small House at Allington is the fifth (out of six) in the Chronicles of Barsetshire series by Anthony Trollope. Having read the previous in the series I knew what to expect. Not dramatic events and a fast moving plot, but gentle humor and insightful observations on human nature - well-rounded, believable and real characters that we come to know very well.
I had some problems with the household at Allington, the widowed mother and the two young daughters that are being courted by various men. Lily Dale are clearly the "heroine" but she was the most annoying of them all. So delicate, so hypersensitive a nature, but also manipulative in all her servility. Ok, I suppose she is to be pitied, but it's hard to really feel for her, when she responds as she does.
Johnny Eames is one of the suiters - but very wimpish - it's funny to follow his route from a young "hobbledehoy" to become a man. Specially when he's taking under the protection of Lord de Guest - also the old Squire Dale I finally loved more than all the others. These two elderly men offered a wonderful balance with their course manners and hard-headed approach to life. And the "scoundrel" Crosbie was perhaps the most interesting to follow - we almost pity him in his downfall.
I can't recommend the Barsetshire-series warmly enough - and the reading by Simon Vance. It's a wonderful "shire" to be brought back to.
Book 10: The Little Flowers of Francis Assisi by Anonymous (ca. 1300) 3/5
I'm not really sure if I approach this classic the right way - with the necessary prayerful devotion. First of all, this is not a reliable biography of Assisi. These are collected legends - the stuff of folklore - when the miracles, dreams and visions just gets more and more fantastical when they are told and retold and eventually one jots them down.
I read it with a smile on my face - a lot of them are quite humorous, inspiring in a childish kind of way - the devotion so extreme it becomes, well, oddly funny.
No doubt, Assisi was a very humble man, serving Christ and others with much devotion. When I read about this man who can tell the destiny of other monks, quiet the birds when he preach to them, calm the fierce wolf of Gubbio, have dreamlike visions of Christ, St. Paul etc. etc. well - I smile. It's just a lot of wonderful stories - we want them to be true…..and some of them no doubt are true, and some of it did happen. Some of it.
I'm very much enjoying Invisible Murder by Lene Kaaberbol. One thing I've discovered is that she is co-writing her books with a woman who is/ used to be a reporter in Denmark. I think that accounts from some of the more topical issues that the book is covering - not to give the book away, but topics of Roma's in Denmark and Hungary, a mosque being built with the objection of some objecting to it, especially the minarets. Now, I'm not sure if those things are really issues in Denmark, but if so, the book is all the more interesting.
Do come to Vancouver, but I do think that very likely Denmark is full of history and beautiful sights as well. My sister visited Denmark back in her teens with a friend of hers who's parents came from Denmark, and my sister was very keen on Denmark.
Happy you are enjoying "Invisible Murder" - yes, in fact both the things you mentioned have been in the media in Denmark. Interesting - like a social comment. Most of us travel to see something new - and Vancouver would certainly be something new in terms of nature. Have a nice weekend.
As for reading I hope to get the next Department Q from my sister this sunday - the third in the series. I have some days off work and are planning to read it then - at the moment I'm escaping into fantasies, - or at least on adventures with Dalmatians, a little clever mouse, at sea with a young man - and inside the troubled mind of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe - at lot at once I admit.....
I can't wait to get my hands on the next Dept Q once it's released here in Canada. Enjoy your wonderful escape into the fantasy of 1001 Dalmations. I remember seeing that as a Disney Movie at the end of Grade 1 or 2, the entire school gathered in the gym and watched it. Ohh - Cruella scared me silly when I was 6 or 7! But then, so did The Wizard of Oz!Scary stuff for me as a child!
Deborah - Did I mention I'm going to London in may? :) I can't remember the Disney-Dalmatians, but Cruella is a towering menace that can frighten anybody - specially at 6 or 7. I enjoy the reading by Martin Jarvis - Children's book are meant to be read aloud, I think.
Liz - Well, said - It's funny how Trollope in the beginning of his novels make excuses for the "hero" or "heroine" - that Eames is not an Apollo and so on - and Trollope knows there must be a heroine in every story, but he can't altogether recommend Lily Dale as his heroine. I think he has a lot of fun with it.
Deborah - Flying is not something I will ever get used to - it usually involves a lot of prayers when we take off :) Hope you can start enjoying an audio-books - Simon Vance would be a good start. There are many good "readers" out there. I can't go back to danish audiobooks - it's so flat and boring, they don't make the effort really to do the different voices of the characters.
Terror and mystery. The title words reveal the grotesque imaginations of a genius writer. A lot of the tales have a storyteller who are on the brink of insanity, if he has not altogether lost it. A murderer haunted by the heartbeat of his victim. Another driven to madness by a black cat. One in a dungeon facing severe torture but from what source?, a haunted house in "Usher", a ship heading for a horrible sci-fi-like fate - and even a rather humorous tale titled "Some Words with a Mummy".
This selection has 13 of his best known tales. The variety is refreshing. Pit and the Pendulum - The House of Usher - A Tell-Tale Heart, The Black Cat are among them. Missing are his three detective stories (fx the famous The Murders in the Rue Morgue) - I will read them later in a separate collection.
OK, it's not my favorite genre - (and definitely not my favorite cover) but Poe has an ability to describe the sense of madness and horror when people are facing death or the fate of their foul deeds. It's just brilliant writing. And also seemingly normal incidents are suddenly turned upside down with fantasy and the grotesque.
This is a good selection that will give you a good idea whether to pursue more Poe or not. But do give him a chance. Afterwards you can tick off two titles in 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die. The short tales are listed as separate titles.
Book 12: The One Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith (1956) 3,5/5
Here is a story that is now more well known as a Disney movie than a novel. And perhaps also the more recent adaptation with Glen Close as a wonderful sinister Cruella de Vil. She doesn't appear a lot in the novel, but it's always shocking when she does.
I knew the basic storyline - but it was a wonderful reading by Martin Jarvis. Highly recommended fun relaxing reading. And one more to tick off in 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up.
Btw, went to thumb-up your Poe review, and it's not posted?? Don't forget!
Nancy - Arrrggghhhrrr.... Another tale of Touchstone-Terror. There are so many collections of his stories, that they can't tell them apart. Try this: Tales of Mystery and Terror (Puffin Classics). Well, thanks anyway. I look forward to his detective stories. The Dalmatians were a lot of fun. Martin Jarvis is also reading Wodehouse, and he can be recommended if you are in need of a stiff-upper-lip british accent...
#164 - Terribly creepy cover, but great review! I've not read very much Poe - only a story here and there in classes. I think I may be able to handle a collection like that, but it might frighten me too much. I'm not sure.
You have been reading some from across the ages havent you! 1300's authors are probably not that easy to come by in the local book shop.
Carsten, you read and write with such amazing English. Do you learn English immediately in school , or are you one of Denmark's geniuses? You also read such a broad scope of books, I really admire you.
Deborah and Nancy - LOL - Come on dear ladies, enough now - you embarrass me :) Actually we start to learn english in Denmark very early on, in third grade - around 10 years old. As a teenager I often underlined every word I couldn't understand in articles in Time Magazine which I subscribed to - my father thought I was mad - but the grammar is still killing me. I just try to wing it, knowing all is not well in that department. As to the genius part, well, I can confirm that, of course :)
About Poe I don't know that much about his background - There's not a consensus on what he really suffered from - I don't think madness or insanity in a clinical sense - but some sort of manic-depression - increased no doubt by periods of excessive use of alcohol. The death of his wife hid him very hard also.
As for Poe's life, I remember an English teacher telling us that they were discovering new things about him. They believe he had diabetes and that when he was found dead from drink in the streets, it really wasn't from drink. He'd gone into a diabetic coma. She also said that much of the biographical information we have on him was from a rival coworker who hated him and was out for character defamation. I don't know what the current trends are on what people believe about his life, but I would be skeptical about much of it. Just because he wrote gothic horror doesn't mean he lived it.
“Mathematics is nothing if it isn’t correct! Men’s lives depend on those figures!”
Nathaniel Bowditch utters these words almost in rage in this biography of his life. Nat is a nerd - a genius with numbers - and he revolutionized navigation in the late 18th century - eventually writing The American Practical Navigator - which became THE book for sailors and saved a lot of them from shipwreck.
It's historical fiction written for teenagers - but I found it utterly refreshing reading about this self taught mathematical wizard.
His father couldn't afford to send him to Harvard - his big dream - so he's placed in indentured service as a bookkeeper for nine years. But nothing could stop Nat's thirst for knowledge. There's something immensely satisfying reading about Bowditch's drive and determination - and the thrill of excitement as he discovers language and science. A good friend gives him Newton's Principia Mathematica - but it's in Latin, so he studies latin to read it - same with a french book - it all eventually lead to his mission in life: Correcting the navigational tables, writing the book and teach sailors on board the ship so they themselves can find their way at sea.
His personal life is filled with both romance and love but also tragedy when several people dear to him dies at an early stage of his life. The fact of life in a seatown as Salem in those days (also as war is raging)
As YA-historical fiction this is hard to top. It was awarded the Newbery Medal in 1956.
Of course I've sneaked a peek at what you are currently reading and I am jealous!!!! The new Jussi Adler- Olsen and A Prayer for Owen Meany. I remember reading A Prayer for Owen Meany some years ago and enjoying it - and I think it's also one of those 1001 books to read . Go Carsten!
I'm having a good time reading right now - Carl Mørck is more disgruntled than ever, and a new sinister killer is focusing on sects in Denmark. And my first Irving - he's really a good storyteller - it just flows out of him - very entertaining. Another one to jot down from 1001 Books - in a while - it's a brick (can you say that, if it's on the iPad?)
Have a great week!
Hi Deborah - Yes, quite a pair :) You can look forward to Department Q no. 3 - what a sinister killer in that one....Oh yes, those reviews - they don't all come easy.
Hi Nancy - the BBC production - just finished it last night - is based on Cranford and two other novellas. In the book one of the main characters Captain Brown die very early in the novel - while he thrives well and good in the tv-series. Very confusing...hope you have better success if you try the audio-version :)
Heather - Yes, maybe I should try that one - after all it's my favorite story in the tv-series. Poor Dr. Harrison. But it all turned out well in the bbc version.
It has taken me a long time (years…) to finish these poems. Generally not reading more than a handful of poems at a time. They deserve to be pondered upon.
This selection by Dickinson scholar, Thomas H. Johnson, has 576 of the 1.775 poems she wrote. While reading this volume I also read Roger Lundin's fine scholarly biography Emily Dickinson and the Art of Belief - read it in 2010!!- it made me more aware of her silent secluded world and her many sorrows and struggles.
What I like about Dickinson is her naked honesty - the way she searches her own heart and soul - struggling with doubt, faith, death, immortality and the nature of God. As Roger Lundin writes: She took the full measure of the loss of God and bravely tried to calculate the cost. In the end, as one who both doubted and believed, she resembled Dostoevsky more than Nietzsche. Like the Russian novelist, she won her way through doubt to a tenuous but genuine faith.
I know that He exists.
Somewhere - in Silence -
He has hid his rare life
From our gross eyes
Even when she tries to illuminate nature it is an enchanted world - it often points to another reality - a transcendent one.
She can be very difficult to understand - what exactly does she see now or try to convey with those brief sentences? Often I had to give up. But then suddenly there's a genius play on words or an insightful observation that blows you away. And while she's preoccupied with death and pain she can also be funny - so let me end with that:
I'm Nobody! Who are you?
Are you Nobody - too?
Then there's a pair of us?
Don't tell! they'd advertise - you know.
How dreary - to be - Somebody!
How public - like a Frog -
To tell one's name - the livelong June -
To an admiring Bog!
How apt in our reality-tv days :)
Thanks, Deborah. You're right. The main character is doing some research on Dickinson - also there's a poem in the Detour that deals with death.
I order the majority from Amazon canada Amazon ca. If I can, I order a second hand book from Amazon ca. Right now I am waiting for The Idea of Perfection - second hand but still via amazon protection, and The Introvert's Way: Living a Quiet Life in a Noisy World. I also use the library of course and also a couple of bookstores - a big box bookstore and an independent one. Of course there is also the kindle.
As for your next book, hmm - I favour a nice short read for you.
Personally I can attest to having saddle sores from exploring too many rough and tumble frontiers, be they in Australia, New Zealand, or North America. I can't speak for Nancy, but I suspect she is busy with those shots while listening to the Palliser novels!;)
Mostly for new books I check for a Kindle-version (american store) or iBook-version. Of course sometimes it's cheaper to get a used paperback from England than to buy it on the Kindle.
So for The Idea of Perfection - it's rather expensive on Kindle (17$) - cheaper to get a paperback from UK (ca. 10$ with postage) or cheapest - I see a danish translation at my local library and I can pick it up for free today if I want to :) Well, I might even do that.....
What is "Amazon protection"?
I'm at the last chapters of Department Q no. 3 - it's the best in the series yet, I think!
I did had my suspicions about Nancy and her fondness for the saloon's :) Hope she's not reading this...
OK, Nancy - I can relax now. I was beginning to think all these westerns had lead you into dubious places and habits :) Coca-cola shots can do no harm. I see you are already into your next Trollope - no stopping you.
As for " amazon protection" if I purchase a second book via a second hand book under the amazon ca "auspices" amazon guarantees that you will get your book within a certain time frame, even though it's from a second hand dealer. So, if the seller reneges or does not mail out the book, amazon will refund your money. That only happened to me once and amazon did refund my money. I'm the same - sometimes I can't find a book for my kindle , or else I'd prefer it in print, so I will often as little as 1 cent for the book and then $6.49 for the postage - standard on amazon. ca. I guess I could also go to the Book Depository if they have the book, but since I'm often checking on amazon ca , I usually get second hand books there.
Hmmm... I'm looking at comment 213 , and I'm thinking that actually our little " barfly " does have an excellent memory and very good listening skills. I find it amazing how she can listen to Palliser novels and keep track of it all. I don't think I could do as well, and all I drink is milk and water and coca cola when I am indulging.
I checked my local library and they did not have The Idea of Perfection - so I decided to purchase it second hand. There is just something about having a real book in my hand, though I do enjoy my kindle too.. And yes, sometimes it's cheaper second hand then by purchasing on kindle.
Yes, there's a lot of characters in the Trollopian world - but he's no match for Tolstoy or Doestoevsky - they are more difficult to follow, I think. The thing about Trollope - his victorian world moves slowly and comfortably, so you just have to slow down yourself - if you want to rush, Trollope is not for you.
A sunny day in downtown Vancouver - sounds brilliant. Finished Department Q - review coming up.
Actually it is quite a tasty drop, but I cant stand the sight of myself drinking it. (a) its so sugary and (b) its such an insidious corporation
Enjoy your weekend.
Paul - Just read it. It's a top Scandi-Crime.
The detective Carl Mørk is back. Oh he's so very back. More grumpier than ever in his under-budgeted Department Q that takes on all the unsolved cases. And in pursuit of the most sinister killer by far in this series. No need to elaborate on the plot here. This is Scandi-Crime and no one in their comfortable suburbans houses are save. Specially not the members of shady sects in Denmark. Mørks team assist him once more - sidekick Assad with the hidden talents - and the quirky secretary who reluctantly plays a more active role this time.
I like the way the narration shifts between the killer's perspective and the investigator's - sometimes in the same scene - the last part of the story is really suspenseful. In the beginning of the story there are several scenes that borders on the farcical - over the top for my taste - but a minor detail.
I like the English title better than the Danish. FYI - the English translated-version will be available in late may. This is the third one in the series.
Book 16: Stuart Little by E. B. White (1945) 3/5
A charming tale about a very determined and studious mouse - who doesn't care if he's smaller than anybody else - he can make his mark on the world - and nothing shall stop him from doing it his own way. It was quite funny in the beginning - but as he go on a travel to find a bird he loves the story ends somewhat unresolved in the middle of his big quest. Very strange for a children's book. Garth Williams illustrations are great.
Another classic from 1001 Children's Book You Must Read Before You Grow Up.
Nancy - I feel inspired to get on the band-wagon and try a western very soon - so I hope the book bullet will get you down from your "high horse" and visit Denmark and the Department Q :) - about Stuart Little - I think Charlotte's Web is much better. I love that famous pig.
Why that Nancy, surely she knows of Elements of Style by the same E. B.White. Gasp! Tis a high school must read for English students. Really Nancy, how did you make it through school! :). I preferred Charlotte's Web too. I'll leave the wild west recommendations to Nancy.
eta: Deb, shh ... I haven't told anyone I didn't make it through school!
Lit Chick knows her stuff. The authority on westerns has spoken - This is what it says on Amazon: The Last Crossing is a sweeping tale of breathtaking quests, adventurous detours, and hard-won redemption. Who can say no to that - I just had to click on that 1-click-button. Oh, it's too easy....
I am doomed to remember a boy with a wrecked voice— not because of his voice, or because he was the smallest person I ever knew, or even because he was the instrument of my mother's death, but because he is the reason I believe in God; I am a Christian because of Owen Meany.
A brilliant opening sentence of A Prayer for Owen Meany that encapsulate the essence of the story and immediately grabs our attention.
This is a story of a beautiful and lasting friendship - about growing up in the 50's and 60's in a small fictional town in New Hampshire. About the loss of childhood - a tragic death - and more than anything about faith and God's providence - that nothing happens without a reason.
Owen Meany is one of the most fascinating characters I've met in a long time in fiction - an unlikely angel or savior, a dwarf-like-prophet with a wrecked voice who weighs almost nothing. Definitely something transcendent about his place in this story - when he speaks it's always in CAPITAL LETTERS, like a prophets voice. At one point he's called THE VOICE due to his column-writing in the school-paper.
The narrator John is Owens best friend - and the story alternates between events in the present (1980's) and his memories of childhood. We meet Johns mother, her new fiancé Dan (a man with such a tender wisdom), the strict grandmother (with a weakness for tv-watching) and Hester - John's beautiful seductively cousin - and a lot of other persons (this is a 700 plus pages brick).
This is my first Irving - so I can't compare it to his other writings - Irvings world is quirky - so many memories weave into each other effortlessly - many strange, absurd and funny incident's and clever observations. But for some reason I wasn't deeply moved by the story - hence the four stars and not five.
Owen Meany is one of the most fascinating characters I've met in a long time in fiction - an unlikely angel or savior, a dwarf-like-prophet. Isn't that the truth. thumb!
Enjoys your travels in the Wild West and don't forget I warned you about saddle sores! :)
ETA Candi- dust! Hahaha , Mr. Dandi - Crime! :) We should try asking for Candi- dust or Dandi - Crime next time we go to a book store and see how fast we are escorted out .
He, he - I don't think they have a category in the bookstore for Candi-dust - nor Dandi-Crime. But maybe one day!!
Yes, I can see being escorted out of a bookstore and perhaps directly to a police station for asking for Candi-dust!
#232 - Great review! I do know what you mean though, regarding something being of very high quality, but not particularly moving. I read a couple of his novels many, many years ago, but wouldn't know what to recommend next.
Still alive, Nancy. Indians on the prowl, and I survived the first gunfight, but it was a close call. A lot of interesting characters.
Heather - Thanks! No need to be scared....well, maybe over the length of the novel, but so much to enjoy.
Ursula - Thanks for stopping by. I can understand why Owen Meany would be an all time favorite. Also I find that I keep thinking of Owen Meany, so that character will stay with me. A special boy indeed.
I've been meaning to get to A Prayer for Owen Meany for a long time, as a few of my friends count it as their favorite book. I enjoyed your review! There's a movie also, which I watched a few years ago for a class: Simon Birch. I enjoyed it.
I read Stuart Little as an adult (aloud to the girls) and for a bit thought there was something wrong with my book -- surely that wasn't the end...? It is odd for a children's book to end that way. I absolutely love The Trumpet of the Swan and of course, Charlotte's Web.
Hope you're having a great weekend!
Hi Anne - and we are still in the freezer here - not many signs of spring - have plans for watching the movie version soon which I've heard been altered a lot in the plotline. And hoping to read The Trumpet of the Swan this year. We'll see.
Hi Nancy - Yes I'll Return with Sherlock - Good to have something to look forward to, right? :)
This has western written all over it. Plenty of action with shooting, stabbing and scalping - but it's not just an action packed story. Even more I would say it's reflective and deals with the inner turmoils of the many very different characters coming to terms with their conflicted past.
The two brothers Charles and Addington Gaunt sail from England to "The New World" in a doomed search of their lost brother Simon. Charles is a good-hearted but disillusioned artist, Addington, a disgraced military captain, is a reckless man without honor - together they assemble an unlikely search party at the Montana frontier - among them the "half breed" scout Potts (half Blackfoot, half Scot) - the Civil War veteran Custis Straw and - of course - a woman - the young Lucy Stoveall - who have an agenda of her own - to seek revenge for the murder of her sister. And she attracts the attention of both Charles and Custis which brings additional tension to this band of misfits.
Canadian author Guy Vanderhaeghe alternates between many of the characters perspective - sometimes narrating in first person, sometimes in third person - and he does something magical with the language in this book - his "archaic" style (in a good way) fits with the time and place so well - you are instantly brought back to 1871 and immediately get a lot of dust in your eyes riding a long the trail. The sense of place is exceptional here. This is a clever, well-researched intellectual, yet suspenseful western.
Book 19: Breakfast at Tiffany's Truman Capote (1958) 3,5/5
"I never get used to anything - anybody that does, they might as well be dead"
A quote from Holly Golightly - this short novel tells her story - or the narrators brief "friendship" with her during the war in the 1940's Manhattan. He lives in the same apartment building as Holly - he's deeply fascinated with her - maybe in love with her - or maybe just infatuated with her.
Holly Golightly is a woman hard to describe. One of those you just never really get to to know really well. With a mysterious past - she's always in search of something more, a new place, new people, new experiences - not particular interested in thinking of the past or the future - just living in the moment.
A free spirit, she likes to break the rules (like shoplifting as a sport), with thousand whims and ideas that are exchanged for new ones the next day. There are some funny and weird incidents in this novel but it's Holly as a person that is the story - how she reacts and talks funny with her crazy ideas and living. Not really sure if she's clever or naive.
She leave a definite mark on the narrator - being around her life is just more interesting - she's an interesting but brief breeze in his life and he will never forget her.
I enjoyed the sweet sense of nostalgia but was also happy it was a quick read.
Another one from 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die"
The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris
Traveling Mercies by Anne Lamott
The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day
The Problem of Pain by C. S. Lewis
Will concentrate on The Cloister Walk by Kathleen Norris (I like it already)
Reading together with The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde - my first reread this year.
Hmm, Holly Golightly shoplifts as a sport... hmmm, Carsten! I hope you are not unduly influenced by that read! :) Woot! A 5/5 read with The Last Crossing - I'm very glad that you enjoyed it. Later on, I'll update my thread.
Oh, Carsten, I am so delighted you loved The Last Crossing! It was a five star read for me, too : ). You describe it perfectly here: you are instantly brought back to 1871 and immediately get a lot of dust in your eyes riding a long the trail. The sense of place is exceptional here. This is a clever, well-researched intellectual, yet suspenseful western.
Also an excellent review of Breakfast at Tiffany's. That's another I haven't read, and I admire that you are steadily reading form 1001 Books. I started out in that regard with good intentions, but I got lost somewhere; now, anything that I read from 1001 happens more by coincidence than planning.
I am curious about your next read, The Cloister Walk. Just looked up its main page. Sounds very reflective.
I'm looking forward to Anne Lamott - have heard good things about this book.
Thanks Nancy - and for introducing me to the wild, wild, west. I just loved it. I'm going back again some time. Yes, I've had a handful of 1001 Books already this year - I have this mental goal of getting around 10-15 new "1001 Books" each year, so I'm well on track this year.
The Cloister Walk will not be a quick read - demands "lectio divina" - spiritual or holy reading, which is something I need to get more of. I like what she says about it in the beginning of The Cloister Walk:
With lectio divina one does not try to "cover" a certain amount of material so much as surrender to whatever word or phrase catches the attention. A slow, meditative reading, primarily of scriptures, lectio respects the power of words to resonate with the full range of human experience.
There goes my trying to "cover" the 1001 Books :) - well, no - there's a place for both, but sometimes it's just good to slow down with non-fiction that demands reflection.
“Live! Live the wonderful life that is in you! Let nothing be lost upon you. Be always searching for new sensations. Be afraid of nothing.”
Not the best advice in the world to a young innocent man.
The premise of Oscar Wilde's only novel is well-known. Dorian Grays friend Basil Hallward paints his picture - and Gray thinks it's a shame he will grow older, but the picture will stay the same. He declares that he would sell his soul if the reverse was true. Well, be careful what you wish for……
This was a reread - and it's remarkable that I remember so many things from this story - having read it back in the 80's. Down to certain quotes I remember pasting into a scrapbook I once had - the power of stories. I was very fascinated by it back then - I wasn't gripped so much by it this time.
The reckless libertine, Lord Henry Wotton admires the young Adonis - and he deliver's much of the wit in the story with his amoral life wisdom spoken out so elegantly.
“There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked about.”
“Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.”
Things like that.The second part of the story is not so well crafted I think, but it is slowly building up to the "grand finale" - the novel reminded me of Stevenson's Doctor Jekyll and Mr. Hyde although that is a more of a gothic horror story than Dorian Gray. But I mostly enjoy it for the conversations in the beginning between, Basil, Lord Henry and Dorian Gray. That's sublime.
My first reread this year - planning on more....
As for me - I've absolutely LOVED Life After Life. I am just pondering on a review for it -and you know I have a difficult time churning out my reviews! :) But I do recommend it!
Thanks Nancy - it was a fascinating reread. In fact when I read it as a young man I was as Dorian Gray fascinated by the "wisdom" of Lord Henry - now I read his opinions in another light. It's true that the appreciation of certain books depends upon where you are in your life at the time of reading. Rereads is a good way of telling.
CandiDandi Lit! Perfect, Carsten!:)
By the way, I finished and reviewed A Trick I Learned from Dead Men . The ending was very ambiguous. I think it could go two ways -but I'm really not clear. I'll be interested in your thoughts should you chose to accept your assignment. ( Actually I think you had that on your possible Orange LL read. )
eta: I'd just burn that snore fest!
Nancy - I give up on the snore fest :) it's not working out for me.
And then too busy at work this week - I think you know I work as an editor/journalist for which is the equivalent to BBC in Denmark - my first day monday after some days off work and then came the explosions in Boston and I had to work all evening and night. But the last part of this week looks promising - spring is finally here with warm weather and a lot of sun. We are basking in it right now.
So, you are reading Moby Dick in addition to everything else. Wow! By the way, the Orange short list is out, and it's on my thread as well as on in the January/ July Orange are, should you get a moment.
I was out walking the dog today (as usual) and all of the tulips are out in bloom, azaleas, cherry blossoms are over now and even the sight of a bunch of dandelions in the field was a nice bright sight to behold. However , tomorrow it is supposed to rain and it is still unseasonably chilly overnight ( like 5 - 7 C ).
I'll have to check the shortlist now.
I've looked at Moby Dick and looked at it, and have never taken the plunge. Like you, I love my classics, but I'm not sure that's one I'd get through.
Chuckled at the autograph quips, Deb! I'm decidedly less enthralled with the Duchess who I think needs to get a job, gasp! (Remaining clothed at all times when outdoors would also be a good idea, LOL). But Denmark has its own Royalty for Carsten to jet-set with, non? (or at least dispatch journalists to hobnob with).
Moby Dick is a reread for me - I love it more this time - it's actually hilarious. I guess I've decided to concentrate on that one for now.
Tickled you are enjoying your reread of Moby Dick so much : ).
>274 vancouverdeb: hey, I want in too. This money-making scheme is right up my alley ;)
>285 ctpress: I think you know I work as an editor/journalist for which is the equivalent to BBC in Denmark
I didnt know that! It sounds like a fantastic job. I bet it keeps you busy.
>289 ctpress: good luck on getting that invitation, Carsten. Im sure its in the mail :)
Megan - Yes a long time - good to hear from you. Nice to see some interest around the world for the new 1001-Book-project. Literary quality is irrelevant - purely a money-making scheme :) Yes, being a news-editor can be very hectic - but fortunately a lot of fun....Ah, the mail, I bet that invitation got lost somewhere - that's the reason....
Carsten, I'm sure that your invitation is in the mail. How cool that you got to visit the Danish castle and your dad got a medal!!Ahhh flirting with royalty - swoons! ;)
I'm glad that you are enjoying Moby Dick so much. I think most people are scared off by that tome! Good for you!
Captain Ahab have just entered the scene for the first time after about a 100 pages - yes, I'm enjoying Moby Dick :)
So glad you are enjoying Moby Dick . I'm trying to get into Flight Behaviour , but having some difficulty getting caught up in the book.
Hope you'll get into Flight Behaviour very soon. Shortlists are not always that easy...
Did you know we have very important visitors from Canada this weekend? - at least according to most teenage girls here: Justin Bieber :)
Sorry to hear you've had to kiss the weekend goodbye in order to work, Carsten. And now with that huge explosion in Texas. Yikes! I just read on someone else's thread, who resides in Texas: This week has sucked. It certainly has sucked in terms of tragedies in the US.
Yes, a tragic week in the US. I'll relax tomorrow - or rather sleep the whole day. And turn off my cell phone.
Oh Carsten, please do we Canadians a favour! Please keep Justin Bieber. The guy is national embarrassment. Throw him off the stage and let the teenage girls have him. Doesn't he still have a monkey in quarantine in Germany or something? Can you get him to stop wearing those half way down harem pants, or whatever they are..
* shudders to self*
Yes, Nancy - too much - and also right :)