Monday, 23 November 2015

Four Shades of Brown Book Covers

The Content ReaderI have read a few books recently without writing a review of them. Partly because I have been very
busy, and partly because of some lack of inspiration. When I took photos of some of the books I have read, I realised that they all had different kind of brown covers. Brown is not my favourite colour, it is not very common on book covers, so I was quite surprised to find four of them on my last reads. Here they are with a short summary of the books.

Opening Pandora's Box by Ferdie Addis

A book in the same series as The Classical Education; the Stuff you Wish You'd Been Taught at School, this time about phrases borrowed from the Classics, and the stories behind them. Many of these phrases we use today, often maybe, without knowing where they came from. Like the opening of Pandora's box, which today means 'to unleash a stream of unforeseen problems; to open a can of worms'.  The original being...

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According to the Greek poet Hesiod, Pandora was the world's first woman, created by the gods as a punishment for humankind. Pandora was blessed by the gods with all sorts of skills and graces, but beneath her extraordinary charms, they gave her a 'shameless mind and a deceitful nature'. At last, decked in Olympian finery, Pandora was given to the demigod Epimetheus as a wife.
Pandora brought with her a storage jar (later mistranslations made it a box), which the gods had filled with wars, plagues, famines and all the other evils in the world. When she arrived on earth, Pandora, perhaps through curiosity of perhaps out of malice, lifted the lid and unleashed a torrent of troubles on mankind. Only one thing remained behind: Hope, which comforts people through all their misfortune.
...
 The Happy Prince and Other Tales by Oscar Wilde

As you see, this is an old edition of Oscar Wilde's tales for children. I presume they are for children, but maybe they are mostly meant for adults. They all have a moral point to make. As usual with Oscar Wilde it is just wonderful! The book contains, apart from The Happy Prince also The Nightingale and the Rose, The Selfish Giant, The Devoted Friend and The Remarkable Rocket. Quite enjoyable.

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Fågelbovägen 32 by Sara Kadefors

The title is an address in an unknown town in Sweden. Here we meet the middle aged doctor Karin who is devoted to her work, above everything else. She also works freely for an underground medical centre that helps paper-less immigrants. There she meets Katerina, sick with pneumonia and working for a family that treats her badly. Karin decides to help her and asks her to come an stay with them.

It was a spur of the moment decision and Karin did not realise the consequences of her offer. The story tells how Karin's family, husband, son and daughter, and herself, are changing with the introduction of Katerina in their lives. All of the family, except Karin, accept Katerina, but for Karin it is not that easy. She finally lets her work in the house and she is doing a marvellous job, but for Karin the situation is a dual one. She does not want to use or take advantage of a paper-less person, at the same time she can not tell her to leave. Where would she go?

Very interesting moral dilemmas are discussed in this very well written book.

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The Song of Taliesin - Tales from King Arthur's Bard by John Matthews

This is a book with Celtic stories, based on The Mabinogion, Triodd Ynys Preydein and other tales from this time. John Matthews has studied the original sources and used the fragments to write the tales. It is very much in the style of the Celtic stories of gods, giants, good and evil. Gives an interesting insight into a world which did not give a lot of written sources to go down through history.

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