Thursday, 29 June 2017

Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann

I bought this book several years ago and it has been standing on my TBR shelves ever since. I bought it because it is a classic and I want to read a classic from time to time. Furthermore, since I mostly read English classics, it felt refreshing to read a classic from another country. However, every time I felt like reading it, its pure size stopped me from actually picking it up. What a lucky day when I did!

Sometimes you start a book with not very high hopes. A classic is always a gamble. Will it still be as fresh as it was at the time of writing, or will it seem hopelessly old fashioned? Buddenbrooks feels as fresh as when it was written. You are stuck from page number 1!

The novel tells the story of four generations of a bourgeoisie family in L├╝beck during the years 1835-1877. Mann's own family comes from this milieu so he was well aquatinted with it. We meet them at the peak of their success and follow the decline over the years.  Major political and military developments took place in Germany during this time; the Revolutions of 1848 and the Austro-Prussian War. They are the back drop to the story, but do not have a significant place in the novel.

Friday, 23 June 2017

Long time no see!

Hello everyone! It was quite some time since I posted here. A little bit of fatigue entered my life and I have just been letting the days past. I have spent a week in Sweden which was very nice. I managed to get me some energy there, in the fresh winds from the sea. I played tennis and swam, so exercise every day. I also used the opportunity to read two books from my shelves there.

Most of my books are in English, but lately I have bought a few books in Swedish since I have spent some more time there. I do prefer to read English books in the original language, but when there is a language I don't read, like Icelandic and Portuguese in this case, I enjoy reading in Swedish.

One of my favourite authors is Arnaldur Indridason and I found his Oblivion in my book case and I read it in one day. It is difficult to stop reading when you start one of his books. What I especially like with his books is, that apart from the murder mystery, there is a very personal and interesting story of either the victim or someone close. In this case detective Erlendur looks for a cold case of a missing girl that was never found. This story runs parallell with the murder story. Exciting to the very end. Well written and descriptions of the Icelandic nature and society. Especially interesting for me since we are going to visit Iceland this summer. I also discovered that I have another to books by Indridason on my shelves, so there will be something for my next visit.

While in Sweden I was looking for a book for my mother's birthday. The book shop had an offer of 4 for 3, so I found one for her and three for me! They were Paulo Coelho's The Spy, Stefan Zweig's Amok and Karin Bojs' Min europeiska familj (My European Family) about our ancestors from the beginning of time.

I did manage to read The Spy while I was there. It has not got very good reviews from you fellow bloggers, but I must say I am really into Paulo Coelho for the moment. I can't say how much of the story that is true, but it seems he has done a lot of research and, as usual in these cases, it is the dialogue and the thoughts that are made up. I am always overwhelmed by the wisdom of Coelho and I thought there were a lot of thought worthy elements on life, how it is, and how we interpret it. I don't know a lot about Mata Hari, only the outline. However, Coelho's story shows us a woman ahead of her time, who lived the life she wanted and embraced life and its possibilities.

I was quite happy to find Stefan Zweig's Amok. So many of you have recommended him and I really look forward reading the book. He is also Austrian, like my husband, and since I have not read that many authors from there, I always enjoy finding someone good. Like Robert Seethaler's A Whole Life

That was a small catch up from me. I have four reviews that will come within short. The Temporary Gentleman by Sebastian Barry, Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann, Blood and Guts: A Short History of Medicin by Roy Porter and Self Power by Deepak Chopra. See you soon!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Bookmarks Monday

Guiltless ReadingI am joining Guiltless Reading for the Bookmarks Monday meme. A couple of weeks ago I was visiting England and Stratford upon Avon. It was a great visit and I walked around all the places connected to Shakespeare's period. The Anne Hathaway's Cottage, Nash's House, Hall's Croft and of course Shakespeare's birthplace. They were all wonderful places and I really enjoyed walking around Stratford as well.

One bookmark and one book was the outcome of my visit there. The book was Roy Porter's Blood and Gut, A Short History of Medicin. Great book and not as bloody as I expected. The bookmark is all related to Shakespeare and you see it here.









Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Life's different phases

It has been rather quiet here lately. This is partly due to a travel I did to London and Menorca. While in London I also visited Oxford and Stratford and hope to do a couple of posts on these wonderful places later.

Otherwise life has been very heavy from the beginning of the year. I am trying to cope with lack of energy and hope that I am now on the right way. Something that helps is to read your blogs which always inspire me. It feels good to see what you are all up to, what you are reading and how you cope with life.


I have a couple of book reviews waiting to be written. I read Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann. A huge book, but what a treat it was to read it. In Stratford I bought a book, Blood and Guts, A Short History of Medicin by Roy Porter. Very interesting story on the development of medicin. To help out my present state I finally read Self Power by Deepak Chopra, which has been on my shelves for some time. It contains a lot of useful tips on how to approach life and, if necessary, change your outlook and situation.

This week, while sitting by my computer, I am enjoying the French Open in tennis. A lot of interesting games, surprise wins and overall good tennis play. It is a windy day here today, so perfect to stay inside and enjoy the games.