Do you remember when I told you I wanted to write about the books I read?
Well, today is the first time I am doing this. From now on, there will be two blog posts per month, in which I am talking about the books I want to read or have been reading (I can’t promise everything, but I have good intentions). Mostly, I will talk about library books, but I will also include my own books, because there are loads on my shelves which I haven’t read yet …
To make it more convenient for you, I will do two things. First, I created a category called “books” and I will tag all blog posts about literature accordingly. Second, I put the word “Books” in all the blog posts concerning literature and reading, so that those of you who are not interested in literary content can pass on that blog posting. If I am talking about a knitting book, I will let you know in the title.
Is everyone okay with that? Let’s go! 😀
So, my mum and me hit the library once a month. I love the library. I still get a students’ discount, meaning that I only pay 10€ per year (yes, that’s right) – which means, basically, that I can carry off as many books as I can without breaking my back (but not more than 200 at a time!). 10€ is immensely cheap (about 11 US$) and I think this is a brilliant system to educate and entertain yourself. When I worked in a book store, we had a couple of customers who would loudly complain that they would not get a discount, because they were coming every week and they were spending at least 100€ on books … I always recommended the library and that shut them up for good. (In Germany, books have a set price. You are not allowed to discount them, unless there is something wrong with the book’s cover, etc. Or if the publisher allows it.) My mum has to pay 30€ per year (33 US$), and still this is really cheap.
So, as always, we went to the library, and after returning my stack of books, I got myself one of the little red plastic baskets and set off on my journey towards the shelves. I have a somewhat set shelf-routine that I follow: First, I will check the shelf with current recommendations, then see if there is anything interesting in the knitting section. Then I go and browse. This time, however, I had made myself a list of books I wanted to look for. I joined Goodreads a couple of months ago, and since I LOVE sorting stuff (typically German), I had shelved most of the books I own and have read into the various sections. I had browsed my recommendations and had written a list of 20 or so items that I wanted to look for. Not necessarily take home, but at least check out.
Ahhh … Does this look like a lot of books? I guess so … to be completely honest, I always go overboard with the books I borrow. Always. (My constant fear is that one day, I will break the little red plastic basket, because the handle will fall off due to the sheer weight of the books inside and I will get yelled at by the library staff and I won’t be allowed back.)
The day I have been at the library, I always show Philipp what I borrowed this time. For this, I sort the books according to genre, and this is how I photographed them as well (because I don’t think the picture above is that brilliant).
These are the comics and graphic novels I got myself: “End”, a French graphic novel (the first book of a series), “Strandsafari” by mawil, a German cartoonist (“Beach Safari” in English, I think it has been translated) and “Die Sicht der Dinge” by Taniguchi (this one HAS been translated, the English title is “My Father’s Journal”). Taniguchi is one of the best Mangaka in Japan, and when I stumbled upon the book (the name Taniguchi rang a bell, because he is mentioned in Muriel Barbery’s “Die Eleganz des Igels” / “The Elegance of the Hedgehog”), I took it home.
Next come the fantasy novels – one book, “Scherbenmond” is missing here, because I lend it to my mother. “Golem und Dschinn” went home with me before, but I didn’t manage to read it; it’s a big book (over 600 pages) and I didn’t find the time. This is an English one (“The Golem and the Jinni”), by the way! “Schattenpfade”, the other book, is a German translation of the English book “The Poison Throne”, the first book of the Moorehawk Trilogy. The author is Irish.
I also got myself two Science Fiction novels: Stanis Lem’s “Solaris” (I think I don’t have to explain that one) and Max Brook’s “World War Z” – usually, I am not into Zombies, but I liked the story “I am Legend” (I have seen neither of the movies, gore is not for me. But I find the actual turn in the portrayal of Zombies in current literature, movies, etc. very interesting). I’m curious what I will say about this one!
Of course, I also got myself some “real” literature (these were all Goodreads-recommendations, by the way): “A Thousand Splendid Suns” has been read by everyone except me, I suppose, and I already thought about giving “All the Light We Cannot See” to my mum as a birthday present (I didn’t know it had won the Pulitzer Price). It sounds interesting. The book on the left is Kazuo Ishiguro’s “The Artist of the Floating World”, and I simply picked it because I had to read “The Remains of the Day” for a university course and liked it a lot. 🙂
Next are two children’s / young adult novels: The first one, “Die Insel der besonderen Kinder” is the German translation of “Miss Peregrin’s Home for Peculiar Children” and it sounded interesting (the photographs within the book are already f***ing scary. We’ll see). The book on the right is Judith Kerr’s “Eine Art Familientreffen” / “A Small Person Far Away”, the third book of the series that began with “Als Hitler das Rosa Kaninchen stahl” / “When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit”. We read that one in 6th grade, and I still reread it sometimes. I also have the second book, and I probably will get myself a copy of the third one as well.
Now these three may seem a bit weird among the rest, but I do have a soft spot for travel literature, especially travel literature concerning the NORTH or the SOUTH (and we’re talking north or south POLE here, friends). I might not travel very far, but I love to read about expeditions, nature and animals and PEOPLE (that’s why I also love watching documentaries on arte). Alaska and Canada are particularly interesting to me, so I chose “Alaska-Fieber” (German translation of “Alaska Fever”) and “Blockhaus am singenden Fluss. Eine Frau allein in der Wildnis Kanadas” (German translation of “Cabin at Singing River. One Woman’s Story of Building a Home in the Wilderness”). The Book in the middle (it’s a German translation of an Italian book) tells about what it’s like to live in Vatican State, and I just took it home because I thought that could be interesting.
And last but not least – a cook book! Yeah! I really like Jamie Oliver’s recipes – I own three of his books and although Philipp does most of our cooking (he is teaching me very patiently how to do it properly), I am often the one who loves reading cook books (or books about baking. Especially when I am eating). This one is the German translation to “Jamie at Home”, and we still have to check whether we will actually try any recipes in there.
So! You’re through! Are you still there? What do you think? I wanted to write a second blog posting about which books I managed to read and how I liked them … Would that be interesting? Should this become a regular feature of the blog?
Just spill it out – I’m happy to get opinions and thoughts! 😀
Take care, my friends!
Love, Julia 😀