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Anita (FAMeulstee) keeps on rooting in 2020


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Edited: Jan 3, 4:05pm Top

I am Anita Meulstee from Lelystad, the Netherlands. This is going to be my 4th year ROOTing in a row.
The first time I joined was in 2013, my worst reading year ever. I came back in 2017.

In November 2016 I started to read through my childrens/YA books alphabeticly, to decide what I would keep and what to cull. This project was finished in 2019.

In 2017 I have read 453 books, 238 ROOTs, of those 172 were from my childrens/YA collection and I culled 61 of them.
In 2018 I have read 534 books, 365 ROOTs, of those 250 were from my childrens/YA collection and I culled 159 of them.
In 2019 I have read 413 books, 192 ROOTs, of those 126 were from my childrens/YA collection and I culled 79 of them.

Because my childrens/YA books project is done, I have lowered my goal for 2020 to 24 ROOTs.

Personal ROOT rules: every book I own, no matter how recently purchased, is a ROOT.
The majority of the books I buy have been on my wishlist for a long time, or are awarded and I buy them to keep my collection complete, or are part of a series I am already reading and not available at the library.

I only list my ROOTs read here. To follow all my readings go to my thread in the 75 Books Challenge for 2020 group.

Total ROOTs read:

Total books read:

Total pages read:

Total books culled:

Total books added:


Total books read since joining LibraryThing in 2008

Total pages read since joining LibraryThing in 2008

Jan 1, 1:40pm Top

*waves furiously*

Good to see you again and much happy reading! I love seeing all the goals and stats- it gives me motivation. So thank you for that. :D

Jan 1, 1:41pm Top

Hi Anita!

Happy New Year and Happy ROOTing in 2020.

Jan 1, 2:19pm Top

Hi Anita - good luck for your reading in 2020.

Jan 1, 3:21pm Top

Welcome back, Anita! Looking forward to seeing what you read in 2020 :)

Jan 1, 5:39pm Top

Thanks everyone, it is good to be back here :-)
Only two ROOTs planned for January, so it might take a while before my first ROOT is read.

Jan 2, 8:35am Top

Happy reading through 2020, Anita - well done on completing your project in 2019 - look forward to seeing what’s on your list this year.

Jan 2, 12:41pm Top

Welcome back, Anita, and good luck with your goal!

Jan 2, 3:34pm Top

>7 floremolla: Thank you, Donna. I am glad it is done, and happy I have some empty shelves now. Although that won't last long :-)

>8 MissWatson: Thank you, Birgit, the same to you!

Jan 2, 5:39pm Top

Happy ROOTing, Anita! Good luck with your goal!

Jan 3, 3:59pm Top

>10 mstrust: Thank you, Jennifer, no ROOT read yet ;-)

Jan 27, 3:55am Top

ROOT 1: Ochtendwind by Rosemary Sutcliff
acquired before 2008, translated, YA, original title Dawn wind, 254 pages
Alphabetical Order – The author’s first initial preceeds the author’s last initial in the alphabet

In the 6th century the boy Owain and a dog are among the few surviving Brits after the last battle against the Saxons. Owain and Dog wander together through an empty city when they meat Regina. She also has lost everything, so they decide to travel together to Bretagne, where many others have fled.
But Regina gets ill and to save her life, Owain sells himself as slave to a Saxon. He serves his master well and slowly gets used to the customs of the Saxons.

Jan 28, 12:23pm Top

Hooray, Anita, you got one! I haven't gotten to as many ROOTs as I'd expected yet. So many new books from Christmas...

Jan 28, 7:35pm Top

Yay, first ROOT of the year! And a four-star one, to boot :)

Jan 29, 4:56am Top

>13 mstrust: Thanks, Jenifer!
Chrismas was 2019, right? I would count any book from last year as a ROOT....
Personally I count also those that will enter the house this year.

>14 rabbitprincess: Thank you, RP, Sutcliff is one of my favourite YA writers.

Feb 23, 7:22pm Top

ROOT 2: Tot in de hemel by Richard Powers
acquired September 2019, translated, Pulitzer Prize 2019, original title The overstory, 603 pages

Great book about trees, people, earth, reminded me a bit of Barkskins.

Edited: Feb 24, 12:37pm Top

ROOT 3: De geschikte jongen by Vikram Seth
acquired July 2017, 1001 books, translated, original title A Suitable Boy, 1366 pages

India, 1951, following some families with different backgrounds shortly after independence. Tensions in politics, religion, family life.

Feb 24, 8:32am Top

A Suitable Boy is one of my all time favourite books. I bet translating it was a bit of a challenge though, it's not a little novella!

Feb 24, 6:17pm Top

>18 Jackie_K: I rarely change my rathing, Jackie, but I decided it was worth 5*. It was a great read.
Still my all time favourite is Life and Fate by Vasili Grossman.

Edited: Feb 29, 6:15am Top

ROOT 4: Grand Guignol by Louis Ferron
acquired August 2011, poetry, no translations, 53 pages

Louis Ferron was the son of a Dutch waitress and a German soldier, born during WWII. Until the end of the war he lived in Germany, with the wife of his father. After the war he came back to the Netherlands and was raised by his maternal grandparents.
These poems are full of violence and German myths, larded with references to German writers and composers.
The most poignant poem is about the end of WWII, describing a little boy who's toys and dreams are all burned, liberation they called it...

Feb 29, 6:08am Top

ROOT 5: De laatste betovering by Mary Stewart
acquired December 2016, translated, original title The last enchantment, 405 pages

The last book of Mary Stewarts Merlin trilogy.
I like the way Merlin and Arthur are described in these books. In thsi final instalment Arthur is established as king, and Merlin, loosing his magical powers, steps back.

Feb 29, 9:26am Top

>21 FAMeulstee: That was the series that really cemented my fascination with the King Arthur legend, Anita. I loved them, and I'm happy to hear they worked for you as well.

Mar 1, 2:25am Top

>22 rosalita: Same here. I still have those books somewhere in a box.

Mar 1, 8:19am Top

>22 rosalita: For me it started with the books by Jaap ter Haar, a Dutch writer of childrens books. He wrote about Arthur, Parcival and Tristan and Isolde.
I read the Stewart trilogy before, somewhere in the 1990s, my father in law gave them to me. Culled them in 2005 and re-acquired 3 years ago and they will never leave my house again!

>23 connie53: I were all good reads, besides these, I also liked T.H. White's The once and future king.

Mar 24, 5:13am Top

ROOT 6: Het water komt by Rutger Bregman
acquired March 2020, Dutch, non-fiction, no translations, 48 pages

Sealevels are rising, in some decades The Netherlands might be gone, as the majority of our country lays below sea level.
In 1953 we had a big flood disaster, one man warned for many years, but wasn't heard. We are in a similair place now, and it is time to act.

Mar 28, 4:54am Top


ROOT 7: Geef me de ruimte! by Thea Beckman
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, no English translation, 300 pages

ROOT 8: Triomf van de verschroeide aarde by Thea Beckman
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, no English translation, 320 pages

ROOT 9: Het rad van fortuin by Thea Beckman
acquired before 2008, YA, Dutch, no English translation, 336 pages

Trilogy set during the Hundred Years War between France and England (14th century).
A Flemish girl runs away from home, to escape a forced marriage. She ends up in France, where she meets a troubadour who marries her. Together they travel the roads and meet historic figures like Bertrand du Guesclin, Charles V of France.
all three books

Mar 28, 2:41pm Top

Ahh, Thea Beckman. Nice, Anita.

How are you doing? Are you all right? And is your family good too.

Mar 28, 5:33pm Top

>27 connie53: Thea Beckman is a good comfort read, Connie. I had a slight reading dip, and these books brought me back on track.

Here all is well, for me there isn't much change. I am home, reading, working a bit in the garden, and go for our daily walk with Frank. Only dowsize is that I can't visit my father. He is nearly 90, so at risk, and at Franks work there are 3 clients in isolation because of suspected COVID-19... So now I telephone a bit more often with him. I am glad that my brother still visits my father once a week.

Mar 29, 6:26am Top

>26 FAMeulstee: This sounds very interesting! And it has been translated into German, almost forty years ago. I wonder if it is still available somewhere...off to go looking.

Mar 29, 6:46am Top

>29 MissWatson: did you find them somewhere, Birgit?

Mar 30, 11:18am Top

>30 connie53: Only as very expensive hardcovers. But when the current crisis is over I'll try my luck at the public library in Bielefeld (where my best friend lives). They archive all their books and I have found quite a lot of YA books there that are no longer in print or on the shelves.

Mar 30, 3:45pm Top

>29 MissWatson: Good luck finding them!

>31 MissWatson: WOW a library that KEEPS their books, that is wonderful!

Mar 31, 4:05am Top

>32 FAMeulstee: Especially the YA and children's books which are so hard to find later. Long may they continue to do so.

Mar 31, 5:33pm Top

ROOT 10: Wie wat vindt heeft slecht gezocht by Rutger Kopland
acquired before 2008, poetry, Dutch, no translations, 48 pages

Poetry, originally published in 1972, by well known Dutch poet, writing under pseudonym.
I always enjoy his poems.

Mar 31, 6:03pm Top

ROOT 11: Platero en ik by Juan Ramón Jiménez
acquired October 2019, 1001 books, translated from Spanish, English translation Platero and I, 190 pages

Short poetic stories told by a young man in Andalucia to his donkey Platero. He tells about the village, the children, life and death, festivities, and nature.

Apr 1, 11:18am Top

Dropping in to say hi, Anita. I'm sorry you can't see your dad right now, that would be really hard.

Apr 1, 4:25pm Top

Thank you, Jennifer,
It is hard, but we are coping. I just had him on the phone. He is bored so he has taken up walking again, twice a day.

Apr 3, 4:41am Top

Hi Anita, your father is doing a good thing by taking walks. Peet does that too and I started to join the exercise program on TV. We need to keep our body healthy too.

Apr 3, 6:48am Top

>38 connie53: So good you keep up the exercise, Connie!

My father used to walk twice a day, with my mother in her wheelchair in the morning when he visited her and walked alone in the afternoon. After my mothers death his walking declined. I am glad he walks again.

Frank and I started walking daily in December 2017, when Frank was diagnosed with diabetes. With changing his lifestyled he succesfully managed the diabetes and is now free of it. Slowly our walking increased, now we walk 6 - 8 km a day. We even started walking the Pieterpad, a few weeks ago we walked the first two parts.

Apr 4, 4:20am Top

The Pieterpad! Good for you and Frank. You can solve a lot of medical things with exercise. My BFF has a problem with her bigger veins and could choose between a stent or try walking first. So now she is walking and is getting better.

Apr 11, 4:57pm Top

Have a Happy Easter, Anita.

Apr 11, 6:33pm Top

>41 mstrust: Thank you, Jennifer, happy Ester to you!

Apr 11, 6:35pm Top

ROOT 12: Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit
acquired March 2020, e-book, non-fiction, translated, original title Wanderlust, 411 pages

Wandering through the (western) history of walking, from philosophers to protesters.

Apr 11, 6:37pm Top

ROOT 13: Wij slaven van Suriname by Anton de Kom
acquired before 2008, Dutch, non-fiction, no English translation, 190 pages

The history of Surinam from black pespective made me cry. The inhumanity of the long lasting slavery (only abolished in 1863! and then the ex-slaves were forced to work 10 years for their former owners as compensation!) in colonial Surinam was terrible. Even in other parts of the American continent it was well known that it was worst to be a slave in Surinam. Some slaves managed to escape, known as Maroons they build a life in the jungle and resisted the Dutch for most of the time. For Anton de Kom the Maroon leaders are the true hero's.
While reading a biography of Anton de Kom, I realised I never finished this book and should read it before reading on in the biography.

Apr 20, 3:28am Top

Hi Anita, Did you see the latest Verborgen Verleden on TV? With Remy Bonjasky. It took him back to his Marron roots in Surinam.

Apr 20, 6:15am Top

>45 connie53: Thank you, Connie. I rarely watch TV, so I missed it. I found it on NPO start and just watched it, thanks!

Apr 27, 7:33am Top

ROOT 14: De pest by Albert Camus
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, translated from French, English translation The Plague, 223 pages

Gripping story about a city in Algeria, where the plague strikes. The city is closed down, isolated from the rest of the world. We follow doctor Bernard Rieux, who visits the sick, sends them to hospital, quarantaines suspected cases, through the year.
An intense read, especially in this pandemic time...

Apr 28, 5:01am Top

>47 FAMeulstee: Did it suddenly become a best seller in the Netherlands, too, because of the pandemic? My sister is on a book-swapping side and had requests for all five copies within two days.

Edited: Apr 29, 11:15am Top

>48 MissWatson: Many read it in the last month, both the VPRO (Dutch broadcasting association) and Hebban (a Dutch booksite) had an organised read of The plague. I didn't participate, but thought it was a good time to get to it :-)
My next (non-root) read was also plague related: Doomsday book.

Apr 30, 4:27pm Top

ROOT 15: Telefoon voor de dode by John le Carré
acquired April 2020, translated, original title Call for the Dead, 187 pages

Spy mystery, first book with George Smiley as main character. It was fun to discover how his relation with Ann started.
Enjoyable read.

Apr 30, 4:43pm Top

ROOT 16: Cheops by J.H. Leopold
acquired before 2008,, Dutch, Dutch Canon, no translations on LT, 32 pages

Long poem, written in 1914, about a pharao who just died.

Apr 30, 5:44pm Top

ROOT 17: Ideeën van Multatuli. Eerste bundel by Mutatuli
acquired December 2019 (free download at DBNL), e-book, Dutch, no translations, 783 pages

First of seven books of Ideas by Multatuli. Essays, one-liners, and interwoven the story of Woutertje Pieterse. Written in the second half of the 19th century.
He critisises the government, parliament, the policy towards the Dutch-Indies, publishers, preachers, teachers, etc. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, sometimes boring.

May 11, 3:57am Top

>49 FAMeulstee: I really loved Zwarte winter. How are you doing? I hope you and your family are fine. Keep safe!

Edited: May 11, 6:44am Top

>53 connie53: It was a very good read, Connie, I thought very appropriate to read now.
All is well in our place, I only miss the visits to my dad. I call him a few times a week instead of once a week.
And I am very happy the library is open again!

I hope all is well with you and yours as well.

May 11, 8:26am Top

>54 FAMeulstee: Here everything is fine. Everybody is healthy and working from home for the most part.

Edited: May 31, 8:48am Top

ROOT 18: Candide, of Het optimisme by Voltaire
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, translated from French, English translation Candide, or Optimism, 132 pages

A very accesable philosopic, social critical and satiric work, against the theories of Leibniz.
The adventures of Candide traveling the world in the 18th century, the theories of Leibniz are personificated in the teacher Pangloss.

Edited: May 31, 8:50am Top

ROOT 19: Ik, Robot by Isaac Asimov
acquired in 2017, 1001 books, translated, original title I, Robot, 271 pages

This copy of I, Robot was published as free book for everyone in the yearly "The Netherlands Read" in 2017. It contains one extra story written by a robot "Asibot" and the Dutch writer Ronald Giphart.
Connected stories about the development of robots in the future and the problems encountered.

May 31, 8:51am Top

ROOT 20: Aarde, lucht, water en vuur by Empedokles
acquired before 2008, translated from Ancient-Greek, no English translation including exactly the same content, 143 pages

The works of Empedocles are traditionally published in two books. The translator studied the fragments of Empedocles work that we know, and came with a new translation of all fragments in a new order.
Empedocles was a doctor and philosopher, his beliefs are near Buddhism. This edition contains the original Greek texts with translation and comments. It was way more academic than I anticipated.

May 31, 8:52am Top

ROOT 21: De mystieke masseur by V.S. Naipaul
acquired before 2008, translated, Nobelprize winner, original title The Mystic Masseur, 240 pages

The carreer of Ganesh in colonial Trinidad after WWII.
After finishing school, Ganesh becomes a teacher. Teaching is not his aim, so he tries as a masseur, becomes a mystic masseur and eventually a politican. The story is larded with some humor.

Jun 11, 3:52am Top

Hi Anita, how are you doing? I hope you are all right but seeing you have been reading is a good indication. Here everything is still going well Corona-wise.

Jun 12, 3:48am Top

>60 connie53: Thank you, Connie, we are doing well. Not much change, except for visiting my father last Sunday. It was odd keeping 1,5 meter distance.
I took a lot of books from the library, when they reopened, so not much to mention here.

Jun 30, 5:04am Top

I'm glad you got to see your dad again. It must be strange to keep that 1,5 meter distance but really necessary for your dad's health as well as your own.
We celebrated Peet's 70th birthday last Sunday with the the kids and grandkids. It was nice enough weather so we could sit in the garden and try to keep distance. We had a nice time talking and enjoying being together again.

Jun 30, 2:03pm Top

>62 connie53: We were all happy to see eachother in real, Connie, my father, Frank and me. We went for a little walk in Clingendael, easier to keep distance while walking.

Good your family came together for Peets birthday. It must have been hard not to see your grandkids for some time.


I have read 3 roots this month, so I reached my goal of 24.
Reviews will follow later tonight or tomorrow.

Jun 30, 6:16pm Top

ROOT 22: De brief voor de koning by Tonke Dragt
ROOT 23: Geheimen van het Wilde Woud by Tonke Dragt
acquired long before 2008, YA, Dutch, English translation The Letter for the King and The Secrets of the Wild Wood, 340 pages and 358 pages

After the previous book (Lord of the Flies) I needed a comfort read. So I turned to childhood favorites.

The Letter for the King: The last task before becoming a knight is to wake all night in a chapel, with the other knights to be. But Tiuri hears a voice outside asking for help, so he leaves the chapel to see what he can do. He finds a dying knight and is send to deliver an important letter to the king of the neighboring country. There are enemies around who will do anything to prevent the deliverance of this letter.
The Secrets of the Wild Wood: After his previous adventures Tiuri finds enemies, danger and adventures in his own country

Jun 30, 6:17pm Top

ROOT 24: Van de koele meren des doods by Frederik van Eeden
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, Dutch, Dutch Canon, English translation The Deeps of Deliverance, 264 pages

Dutch classic, originally published in 1900.
Set in the 19th century. The life of Hedwig de Fontayne. She is born as 4th child in a well to do family. As a child she gets very ill, and at the same time her mother dies. This is kept from her until she is better. Her whole life she has troubles with her emotions. Depressions alter some better times. She gets married, but the marriage is a disaster. Eventually she runs away with a musican. This relationship doen't bring happiness either. She gives birth to a girl, but her child dies within a month. She ends up as a morphine addict in Paris, is saved, returns to The Netherlands and lives the rest of her life on a farm.

Jul 1, 5:28am Top

Congratulations on reaching your goal!

Edited: Jul 1, 10:21am Top

>66 MissWatson: Thank you, Birgit, I saw you did too!


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