Wednesday, November 9, 2011

More books

I wanted to share some more books I have discovered lately, this time for adults. You can read about my children's and teen book recommendations here.

Let's get started: It's a fairly mixed bunch....

From the delightful Alan Bradley comes a new book in the Flavia de Luce series, which I adore! 
I Am  Half-Sick Of Shadows.
If an 11 year old English girl in the 1950's with a talent for chemistry and a nose for murder interests you only remotely, then you will be hooked....
This time it's another murder mystery right before Christmas at the crumbling Buckshaw Estate! 
If you haven't gotten a chance to read his previously written books, I very much recommend them. Absolutely charming!
Perfect for all Anglophiles! 

Another prolific writer, whom I have enjoyed reading over the years, is Bill Bryson. His latest book, At Home, now out in paperback, is another stroke of genius. He describes in entertaining and enlightening ways the history of home as we know it, and, perhaps, as we do not.  
It's a short history of private life and architecture in the English speaking western world from the times the Romans left England to present day America! 
Indeed: Bryson's enthusiasm brightens any dull corner!

Moving along: I have had read Lev Grossman's The Magicians and liked the book. It's fantasy/realism for adults and the comparison to Harry Potter or Narnia does not hold up to his skillful ways with words. It is interesting to notice, that the reviews are widely spread in all directions. From devotion to hate I have found everything. Personally I favor his storytelling and now the sequel has arrived. I will follow up with The Magician King, hopefully worthy its predecessor!

Sticking with a little more magical realism I am also looking forward to reading Karen White's The Strangers On Montagu Street
I devoured her previous books in which she introduces the characters. During this summer's break I have had plenty of fun following her around with ghosts in the South....It's light fare, but this is what I need in-between...

Memoirs: I recommend three books. The first one - A Mountain Of Crumbs - by a Russian immigrant coming to America and her childhood and youth in the former Soviet Union. It is especially interesting for me, because I share many memories growing up under a communist regime. To read about her realities made me shiver.
She has been compared to Frank McCourt and his memoir Angela's Ashes. I guess this is already a great recommendation.

Another book which had me in it's grip from the first page is Adeline Yen Mah's Falling Leaves. The story of an unwanted Chinese daughter and her incredible journey into freedom, fulfillment and finally writing.

Of course, much has been said and written about Joan Didion's latest venture into memoir writing. After her highly acclaimed book The Year Of Magical Thinking she has now written about her stepdaughter's death at the age of 38. Blue Nights.
I have reflected a little more about it here

Some of you might remember the German writer Bernhard Schlink, who wrote the bestselling story The Reader, which was subsequently made into the movie of the same title. (starring amazing Kate Winslet and Ralph Fiennes in the main roles)
There are many more great books by him, one I very much 
like is The Gordian Knot. Perhaps the translation from German into English suggests particular ideas (thinking of the Gordian Knot in history) but the more correct translation should be The Gordian Bow. Of course that doesn't sound remotely as good as knot and I guess this was the motivation behind the translation. The difference between a knot and a bow is obvious, the first is practically not to be easily unraveled, but rather  needs to  be cut in half, the latter can be pulled apart...There is of course some meaning behind the original title and this differentiation. Sorry to nit pick....
But go ahead and find out yourself! A classic noir thriller about love and deception.

Another book which has me sitting in anticipation is Alan Hollinghurst's The Stranger's Child.  There has been a wonderful interview with him on the Leonard Lopate Show; you can listen to it here. Just about everything about the story set in England from the beginning  of WWI to the almost present days has me all excited. Oh, go ahead and buy it already....

Finally I'll end this rather long post with my last book I have waiting in the shelf beside my bed....
The Night Circus.

Maybe it will be the right thing to do, to read it at night....
A little more magic and love and the spinning of one's imagination.... I can't stay away from it! 

But then again, we are in the right time for magic and believe!
Just a few sprinkles....

All images via Barnes & Noble website.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

First snow

Today, as predicted, the first snow began to fall this year! I think it's the first time in years to come so early!
It's getting denser by the minute and although I do not think it will stay, since the grounds are still autumn warm, it could be a sign of what's to come...
Little succession within 20 minutes:

Stay cozy!

Little update.
 What started as a nice little snow fall now turned into an ugly blizzard with much damage in our neighborhood as far as I can see! Trees down, power lines
down, deep bend branches under the weight of the wet snow, in danger to snap. Driving is hazardous.

All images by V.Zlotkowski

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Fully booked

There are so many books again, which I can't wait to either read or share with you after I had the pleasure of reading them already!
So without further delays I am going to start my latest lists. The holidays are soon upon us and there is always the possibility of a great book to give or receive.
I will sort them in books for children ( about 9 and up) and teens, the young at heart, liking them too (like me), adult books and art books. Easy enough?
This first post - part will only bring you the kids/teen section. As always it's highly individual and by no means exclusive. I am sure there are many more wonderful stories waiting to be discovered!

The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsall. Oh, I love the entire series!

Noah Barleywater Runs Away by John Boyne. For boys! (and girls...) Just beautifully written!

An Elephant In The Garden by Michael Morpurgo. About my hometown at the end of more said! I was so moved.

The Books Of Elsewhere The Shadows by Jacqueline West. The haunted adventure every lonely kid craves.

Daughter Of Smoke And Bones by Laini Taylor. For my daughter (14) for the coming holidays.

The Maze Runner by James Dashner. A page turner with suspension! My daughter's latest favorite trilogy.

From the same author:

The Scorch Trials

The Death Cure

Then I have bought for my son (11), who loved last year's

The Invention Of Hugo Cabaret
by Brian Selznick, his second marvel of a book:

Wonder Struck

A special place in my heart have found the two small books by Katherine Hannigan:

Ida B. 

and True(sort of)
Don't let yourself be fooled into thinking these last two are for small children, the subject is suitable for tweens and teens, who have experienced or have friends in difficult situations. It's about solving life's sometimes hard to talk about problems. Wonderfully felt and written. 

All these books above have great language and captivating stories in common. They are heartfelt and honest, true and filled with characters children can look up to and identify!
Heroes we like!

Enjoy reading with the children in your life, they do not only have to be your own...

Enjoy this last October weekend!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Books of the South

Many lovely books I've read so far over this summer and I just want to share them with y'all! 
We spend the most delightful time in the South and its all about the South in these books!

Harper Lee's classic! And of course I saw the movie classic too! My summer '11 favorite!

Fun with ghosts!

More fun with ghosts!

What can I say: I loved the book and the movie!
I just adore her books! Straight to the heart!

Summer perfect reading!

By now this is a must for Savannah fans! The audio version is priceless, the movie less so!

This book touched me on many levels! I recommend it strongly!

What have you been reading?


Images through B&N website!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Some more pictures from a great time in America

What a good time we had! We hope these memories will last very long!

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