Carsten's (ctpress) 2018 - Take and Read - part 1
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OK, dropping Danish artists for now - I love this painting and since it's winter - and I have this postcard at home - it will do as a start of 2018
I'm living in Copenhagen, Denmark. Working as a journalist and I'm almost always reading some classic. But new literature will slip through.
The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book One) by C. S. Lewis
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) by J.K. Rowling
The Two Towers by J. R. R. Tolkien (LOTR-trilogy, Part 2)
8. Fellowship of the Ring by J. R. R. Tolkien (Book 1) (1954) 5/5 - reread
7. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling (1999) 4/5 - reread - audiobook
6. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (1998) 4,5/5 - reread - audiobook
5. Walden by Henri David Thoreau (1854) Rating: 5/5 - reread
4. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling (1997) 4,5/5 - reread - audiobook
3. The Winged Watchman by Hilda van Stockum (1962) 3/5 - audiobook
2. The Invisible Man by H. G. Wells (1897) 4/5 - reread - audiobook
1. Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame (1908) 5/5 reread - audiobook
1. Rereads: Of 29 books 12 was rereads, so about one-third. That was one of my goals. More rereads.
2. My Brontënathon: Read the remaining Brontë-books I had not read. Read five in all.
3. Small “group-reads”: Reading and discussing He Wants by Alison Moore and The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was such a joy. I got so much more out of both novels being able to get other views and interpretations of them. Hope to continue with that.
New reads in 2017 (excluding rereads) these three stood out:
1. The Reawakening by Primo Levi (non-fiction)
2. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë
3. Water from a Deep Well by Gerald Sittser (non-fiction)
Hope you are doing well, and that you come across some fantastic reads this year.
Describe yourself: Master and Commander
Describe how you feel: Surprised by Joy
Describe where you currently live: Alice in Wonderland
If you could go anywhere, where would you go: North & South
Your favorite form of transportation: A Philosophy of Walking
Your best friend is: The Tenant of Wildfell Hall
You and your friends are: Mike and Psmith
What's the weather like: Fahrenheit 451
You fear: Dark Matter
What's the best advice you have to give?: Stand Firm: Resisting the Self-Improvement Craze
Thought for the day: “There’s so much we don’t have to do” (Der er så meget vi ikke er nødt til)
How I would like to die: Simon’s Night
My soul's present condition: Great Expectations
Yes, I have my bags half packed. I have your new thread starred.
Lori - Thanks - The meme went surprisingly well despite the lack of choice :) I hope for much joy of reading this year.
Rachel - Thanks - also good wishes for your year of reading.
Charlotte - Yes, I have to remind myself of that thought a lot.
Mary - Ah, I'm enjoying Wind in the Willows so much. A good listen for this new year. Ah, a contrarian in deed, but I agree with a lot of what she says, and wow, good writing. I think I'm almost tempted to defend my dear Thoreau a bit, but I'll wait to the review to tell you why I read it for the third time :) I've actually been to Concord and walked around the lake etc.
Nancy - Thanks. Hope your reading year will be filled with good books.
Amber - Michael Hordern is narrating - and he's doing a fine job of it.
Mary - No, not offended at all. I know little about Thoreau's life other than what is presented in Walden. Her critique of my dear (idealized, no doubt) Thoreau is hard to swallow so I must read more about him. I found a Ted talk where she talks on Being Wrong. Could she be wrong on Thoreau :)
Have to see it later today. Interesting.
Happy New Year
Happy New Group here
This place is full of friends
I hope it never ends
It brew of erudition and good cheer.
Anita - Glad to hear of another "Walden-admirer". "Charmed" describes my own feelings about him. I think he's quite witty with all his irony and deliberate exaggerations. There's a certain enchantment you feel when he muses over nature and his relationship towards it.
It would be a fun question to ask her.
Five reasons why I love Wind in the Willows
1. Playfulness: It’s pure delight when Mole decides to drop his spring cleaning and begin to enjoy a day of rest and play and leisure in the company of his new found friend, Ratty. Grahame reminds us of this essential part of “human” life, remember to take time of to enjoy life and rest and have fun.
2. True friendship: This is specially seen in the way they have patience with the silly conceited Toad and keep rescuing him and save him from himself. As William Horwood writes in the preface: “Kindness is at the very heart of “The Wind in the Willows”, the kindness that makes one character put the interests and needs of another first. For these are not characters out to gain advantage over each other.”
3. Sweet Home (Dulce Domum): The scene where Mole feel homesickness and they decide to find his place and he invites Ratty in to his humble dwellings is priceless. Even the caroling field mice have a feast there. It reminds me of this essential breathing space - a home where meals unite family and friends - an almost holy place where we find renewed energy.
4. Transcendence: How to interprete the chapter “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn”? The mysterious Friend, nature god Pan, this awe and reverence in the presence of something transcendent - the feeling of both joy and sadness. It’s just a miracle.
5. Poetic nature: Grahames poetic descriptions of nature is remarkable. You just feel a desire to experience it all in its fullness. The wind, the grass, the sun, the snow, the river bank.
Great review of why you loved the book! Thumb!
Happy New Year Carsten! I love your topper too!
I see that you're reading Walden - I've never read it, but have visited Walden's Pond twice, once just this past summer. Unfortunately, this trip it was so crowded there was no parking so we couldn't get out and walk around, but we did manage to get a view of the pond. The surrounding area is a great place to visit. Walter Gropius of Bauhaus fame lived there, and one can visit his house, which is absolutely fantastic. From Gropius' front yard, one can see Marcel Breuer's house, which is unfortunately unavailable for tours. I love that in a town that is dominated by formal colonial architecture that there are these two modern structures. Just down the road is the de Cordova art museum which has a large sculpture garden. And of course the houses of the Alcotts, Hawthornes, and Emersons, along with Author's Ridge at the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. A great place for book lovers!
I was there myself many years ago, but unfortunately the trip was cut short as I had some visa-problems and had to fly back to Denmark earlier than anticipated. Fortunately, I did get to walk around Walden's Pond and see the place where his house was built. And I also visited The Alcott House and Emersons, so - all in all - I enjoyed my short stay there. Would gladly come back and explore some more someday. Didn't know about the modern structures and the other things you mention.
I have downsized my reading plans this year - keeping a low profile :)
Well, two things I do hope to do. Continue with my rereads (which went well last year) starting with the most famous novels by H. G. Wells - and then make progress on Newbery-medal/ honors-books and 1001 Children’s Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up. They will probably coincide.
I think I will ignore my other book-lists for the moment - didn’t make progress last year and will probably not make so much progress this year as I’m rereading a lot. We'll see.
2004: The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo
1990: Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
1986: Sarah, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan
1984: Dear Mr. Henshaw by Beverly Cleary
1973: Julie of the Wolves by Jean Craighead George
1972: Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O’Brien
1970: Sounder by William H. Armstrong
1968: From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg
1963: A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
1962: The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare
1961: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
1959: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
1956: Carry On, Mr. Bowditch by Jean Lee Latham
1945: Rabbit Hill by Robert Lawson
1944: Johnny Tremain by Esther Forbes
1936: Caddie Woodlawn by Carol Ryrie Brink
1923: The Voyages of Doctor Dolittle by Hugh Lofting
2008: The Wednesday Wars by Gary D. Schmidt
1988: Hatchet by Gary Paulsen
1960: My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George
1957: Old Yeller by Fred Gipson
1953: Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
1939: Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Richard & Florence Atwater
Marie - It's highly recommended. One of those that are definitely for all ages - and some parts of it mainly for adults I think.
I checked my local library, but The Wind in the Willows is currently on load. I'll maybe put a hold on it.
At the moment I'm listening to The Winged Watchman - I guess you've heard of that one...
Deborah - Growing up my main intake was Danish children's books - series of books with young people solving crimes etc. as was popular in the days. Also a lot of Enid Blyton. Not many of the Newbery books was translated into Danish. Wind in the Willows is a treat. I think you'll like it.
Read and reviewed this in 2010. It's an excellent narration and a suspenseful chilling story - I like the way it's told first from the village-peoples perspective as they encounter the invisible man with bewilderment and horror - and then you get the perspective from the invisible man himself and his tragic story.
Next one is H. G. Wells' The Time Machine.
Megan - It feels good to be able to say “Of course I’ve read H. G. Wells”.
Mary - I've favorited it as well.
Deborah - That is a shame and strange. A well-known classic...I have it in a Danish translation as well as the audiobook. I thought you used a Kindle, or do you have another ebook-device? - it can be found for free on ebook-sites in several formats.
Hope all is well with you, mate.
Looking forward to some LT-time again.
About a catholic family in occupied Holland during WWII. The Verhagen family - parents and three children, risk their lives several times for the Dutch underground. There's a spy among some of their nearby friends which add to the suspense. Good reading by John Lee.
Here's a book that needs no review...remember reviewing it for a Christian magazine. (that was when there were only two novels published, I think) I wrote that it was good, but probably wouldn't be a classic. Hrmph...famous last words. Excellent narration by Jim Dale.
Here is a link to that " discussion" - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_debates_over_the_Harry_Potter_series
Personally, I was just glad that it grabbed my eldest as books that he wanted to read. I recall reading the first book together with him. And going to the movies with the my sons .
Great to see you!
I only briefly mentioned that controversy about the occult in my review, as it was not a major problem for the readers I was writing to here in Denmark. I think hardly any of them would think that the books encouragees readers to practice the occult.
I rather think the opposite - that the series helps us to see more clearly how to live well with goodness and love in our hearts.
I think Rowlings is very good at describing magic or witchcraft as something you can use or misuse and use for either good or evil - and thereby she also show both virtues and vices in the characters. I like that she restrics the magic with rules and even forbids it in the "real" world so boundaries are set. If you have a magic "gift" you have to mature and grow so you know how to use it for others and not for self-serving purposes.
When magic in fantasy is done well (as in Lord of the Rings, Narnia og Harry Potter - the ones I know of) the magic serves to help us see the battle between good and evil better. In Harry Potter there are certainly selfish dark forces that hunger for power but also goodness and friends who sacrifice everything for each other. I'm inspired by the latter and repelled by the former. And I think the children are as well.
Thanks, Deborah. Obviously parents need discernment in this regard, but I think they go to far as you mention - ha, they already love chocolate and candy so this is a perfect fantasy :)
Happy reading - sounds very interesting. I’ve read quite a lot recently so I’m about ready to post something today or tomorrow.
My third reading of Walden - every time I read it I'm again reminded of the enjoyment of the simple pleasures of life - the way Thoreau observes life, nature, solitude, friendship, eating, walking. There's a lot of wisdom in his musings on simplicity, living with less, contentment.
This reading made me see the humour in Thoreau - the way he exaggerates and uses hyperbole as satire to wake us up. I think we could use more of Thoreau's curiosity and wonder of the everyday life.
I thorougly enjoy listening to this series again. I enjoy the slowly uncovering of more and more secrets concerning Voldemort. Gilderoy Lockhart, Hagrid, Dumbledore, there's so many characters I love whenever they appear. Excellent narration by Jim Dale.
Have a great weekend, Carsten.
More things are uncovered about the death of Harry's parents and who was involved and in company with Voldemort. I'm really enjoying rereading or actually relistening to this series.
Rereading this now after I've seen the movie-adaptation so many times, it's difficult not to compare the changes in the film-version. From a movie-standpoint there's a lot of improvements to Tolkiens story - fast paced and more action, more jokes, more romance.
However it's a joy to be immersed in Tolkiens universe and the "historical" setting. I love the foreshadowing of events to come. Gandalf sense it, but not in detail. The dark forces are everywhere, very few places to feel safe. And in the book you of course get more detailed description of events and characters.
The Harry Potter book will certainly be classics I think, for their big cultural impact and sheer imagination. It's a thrill to come to them again - and I'm listening to number four now.
Have a wonderful Sunday.
Deborah - Yes, fascinating and it's very difficult to tell. Moby Dick was quickly forgotten in Melvilles day, and now it's one of the most solid classics. Guess that will happen to a some novels written today also.
OK, my reading progress is slow. But I'm also reading some big tomes.
Nearly half way through David Copperfield (35 hour audiobook) -
just started Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (500 pages),
one third into The Brothers Karamazov (900 pages)
and half way through Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. (600 pages)
Enjoying them all - all rereads.
It's been over a half year since I made my last entry - A lot have been going on at my work which have taken it's toll on my reading. Big round of firing caused a lot of worries about the future - I "survived" but my tasks at work have changed a lot, so I've been busy catching up on that.
In stead of books I've gone to the movies/tv-series a lot, but now I've started reading again - and I'm ready to start a fresh new thread in 2019 - for now, I just want to say hello and that I'm still here.
Charlotte - And a happy holiday to you. It’s great to finally start reading again. And listening to audiobooks.