Saturday, 23 June 2018

Audio books

I have finished two audio books recently. It always takes a little bit of time to listen through. Lately, I have been driving long hours, and it makes for a good opportunity to listen to a book. I have finished Mythos by Stephen Fry (also narrated by him) and Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn (narrated by Julia Whelan and Kirby Heyborne).

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Mythos is Fry's story of the Greek gods. There are numerous books about the Greek gods, but I think none of them come close to this personal account. He manages to make them all alive and kicking, behaving like "normal" people with all the good and bad faults. It is a hilarious trip he takes us on, as well as juicy details of the behaviour of the gods. Fry narrates himself and that adds to the story and humour with which it has been written. A must for those interested in the stories of the Greek gods and their creation of our world, but maybe even more for those with a less pronounced interest. The book is a good way to venture into this fascinating world of the ancient gods and learn more. Interesting is also all the words and themes we use today, but did not really know came from the ancient gods. I also found it perfect to listen too. The chapters are short, and although it is a continuous story, it is easy to break up the listening.

Gone Girl is a novel which comes with a lot of baggage, that is, so many positive reviews, that one is afraid to read it. However, I wanted to watch the movie, but thought it would be better to read the book first. Although the listening spanned several months, I managed to follow the intricate story line. From the beginning I did not like the narrators, but they grew on me and as I listened along I began to admire the way they narrated. It was like actors playing the roles and both of them did it very well. It added a lot to the story.

The story as such? I will not go into any spoilers here, so will not relate it in details. Shortly, Amy is missing one day, and her husband Nick is accused of having killed her. But as the days go and no body is found, the mystery tightens. We get the narration from both persons and both perspectives. It is an interesting and quite complicated twist in the story. You really get into the characters and think you know them, even if I don't really like any of them. I did like the book, but felt it was far to long. Maybe it was necessary to be able to explain the plot and keep it until the very end. I found the end very good, although it gave me a bad feeling.

I have now started on another audio book, The Phantom Tree by Nicola Cornick. It also comes with good reviews and having only listened to a few chapters, I am totally into this book.

Friday, 22 June 2018

Paris in July 2018

One of my favourite memes or challenges is back. Tamara at Thyme for Tea is hosting another year of Paris in July. Reading her post finally got me out of my hibernation (due to moving and a lot of other things to do). I just love everything about it. It is so interesting to read other participants relationship with Paris and everything French. It is a variety of posts on a variety of subjects. Anything that reminds you of Paris and France.

The rules are simple as Tamara says: Just blog about anything French. Here are some guidelines on the way.

  • reading a French themed book - fiction or non-fiction
  • watching a French movie
  • listening to French music
  • cooking French food
  • experiencing French, art, architecture and travel
For more instructions how to share your posts go to Thyme for Tea.

My own participation will go along the following lines:
  • I would like to finalise Nana by Émile Zola which I started last year or even the year before, but did not finish. It goes well with my newly purchase of The Disappearance of Émile Zola by Michael Rosen. Review of both will follow.
  • There are several interesting French TV series/movies on Netflix. I will look at some of them.
  • French music is also interesting. I will see what I can find that is appealing to me. 
  • I will arrange a French dinner in July with friends. 
  • Maybe look a little bit more into French art and architecture and be inspired for a post about that.

Well, lets see what Paris in July will bring. There is also all the inspiration from other participants.

Thank you very much Tamara for hosting another year!

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Back in business!

Hello, I am back! Long time no see. I have been busy with the last things of, as it seems, a long move. Living like a nomad, no internet and no time to sit down and reflect. I did have time to read though and took the opportunity to read from my shelves, meaning I don't have to move all of the books. I have given away a lot of them. Due to smaller space in the future, I do give away, or terrible thought, through away some books. I only keep those I really loved a lot.

This, of course, does not prevent me from buying new ones. I had a couple of hours to fill downtown Brussels the other week, and ended up in a beautiful bookshop, Filigranes. You can have a cup of coffee or a light lunch here, sitting among the books. It is heaven, n'est pas? They also have a section of foreign books and I went though the English one. It is always interesting to see what kind a books a foreign book shop decides to sell. It is not always the same sort of books as would be highlighted in the UK and other English speaking countries. Often you find very interesting ones as well.

I found two books which I will give away, and therefore the titles will not be revealed here yet. One for my husband and one for a good friend who is celebrating his 70th birthday in September. The four books I found for myself are these ones.

The Disappearance of Émile Zola is about his exile after his involvement in the Dreyfuss affair. I think this can be an interesting book. Hopefully you can find out how it effected Zola. I have also read Zola during my literary course, and this look into his life will be an interesting addition. 

A thriller is not bad, especially during lazy summer months. I have not read Cumming, but they had several of his books, so I thought it could be worth a try. I choose A Divided Spy. 

When I saw The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck I just had to have it. I have read several reviews of it among the blogging community. I think we sometimes just have to do that, although it does not come easy. At least for me. Let's see if something useful comes out of it. 

A while ago a colleague of my husbands sent me a poem by Philip Larkin The Arundel Tomb. I had never heard about him before, but as so often happens, once you have, he pops up everywhere. Here is one of his books, The Whitsun Wedding which also contains the poem above. I really loved The Arundel Tomb and am looking forward getting acquainted with more of his poems.  

Have you read any of the books/authors? What do you think? Any new books entering your already full book shelves?