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Showing posts from July, 2018

The Classic Club Spin #18

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Time for another classic spin. The new moderators of the Classic Club (thank you for taking over) starts with one of the popular challenges; The Spin! It is easy to follow. Make your list of  20 classics you want to read. Post about it before Wednesday 1st August 2018; that is, create a post with your list. Once the spin takes place and a number comes up - the book listed by that number is the one you should read before the end of August. More info under the link above. I have slightly revised my list and took away a couple of books I read from there. I must confess that I don't always manage to read the book listed. At least I try. It always depends on my mood what I want to read, so the spin and my mood have to be in harmony at the right time! My spin list for 2018 
 1. Washington Square by Henry James 2. Death Comes for the Archbishop by Willa Carter 3. New Grub Street by George Gissing 4. Karin Lavransdotter by Sigrid Undset 5. Shirley by Charlotte Brontë 6. A P

Mount TBR Reading 2018 - checkpoint 2

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Bev at My Reader's Block   is hosting this very useful challenge, which aim is to lower the number of books on your TBR shelves. Four times a year we check-in and share our process. My aim was set for Mount Ararat, that is 48 books. I do hope to finish more, and it feels better to read more than less. So far I have finished 34 books. At the last check-in I had read 13 and was a little bit on my way up Mt. Bland. With 34 books I am nearing the top of Mt. Vancouver. The mountain is 4.812 m high and I am now at 4.545 m. Two more books to go. In the mean-time, a few challenge summaries of my reading that Bev has put together for us. Choose two titles from the books you've read that have a common link. Link is family - The Empty Family by Colm Toíbin and Kate Hannigan's Daughter by Catherine Cookson Tell us about a book on the list that was new to you  Målarens döttrar (The Painter's Daughters, my transl.) by Anna Karin Palm. First time I read something by he

Paris in July 2018 - French TV-series

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While looking at the Play version of one of our TV channels, I ran into a French TV-series, supposed to be one of the best thriller series in the world! Sounds good to me. I started watching the other day and it consists of three seasons, with 10 episodes for each season. It is called Le Bureau des Légendes , and is about the French secret service. I have only seen three episodes, but so far so good. Are any of you familiar with it? What do you think. This is about all I am able to achieve in the hot wave that has hit all of Europe I think. In Sweden it is hotter than usual and my energy level is down to zero! I guess it is a good thing just to watch a good TV-series and try to spread out your limbs so they don't touch each other! How are you all keeping up? Paris in July  is hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea and it is all about Paris and France. Join in!

Breakfast reading

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Sweden has been hit by a heat wave, and I have difficulties doing anything. We are just not used to this kind of weather. I have lived in hot climates before, but obviously I forgot what it is like. Anyway, one should not complain. That is just an excuse to explain the low energy that I have for the moment. Can't do anything more than lying in the shade reading, which is, after all, not that bad. However, it generates fewer blog post, and I am now pushing myself to the limit to write a few! I take my breakfast on the balcony a little bit later in the morning. Since I eat it alone, I enjoy some reading during breakfast. Either some magazines, or some suitable books. By suitable, I mean books that you can stop reading whenever you have finished with breakfast. I have recently been finishing a few of them, and I would like to share them with you (although they are in Swedish). Short story books are one option of course, but what I really love is books that gives you half a pag

The Hanging by Lotte and Sören Hammer

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Summertime is crimi time, and I found this book by a Danish brother and sister on my shelves. It turned out to be quite a page turner, although I was a little bit reluctant in the beginning. Why is that? Well, I am rather tired of all these chief inspectors who are middle aged, overweight, living an unhealthy and unhappy life. They seem to appear everywhere these days. I cannot believe that real life is like that. The other thing a lot of crimi novels have these days, is gruesome, sadistic and violent murders. What is wrong with a quiet, country murder like in the Agatha Christie novels? Why do the murders have to be so horrible? Having said that, I did enjoy the book. From the back cover: "On a cold Monday morning before school beings, two children make a gruesome discovery. Hanging from the roof of the school gymnasium, in a clear geometric pattern, are the bodies of five naked and disfigured med. Detective Chief Superintendent Konrad Simonsen and his team from the Mur

Paris in July - My French Dinner

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One of the things I wanted to do in July was a French dinner, and I did. Not a big one, just my friends Ingalill and Benny who are neighbours. It was decided to have it on the same day as France and Croatia played the final in the football world championship. What can be better than hit "two birds with one stone"? Here is the meny from my wonderful "Guest and Menu" book I received as a gift many years ago. It always comes in handy on occasions like this. The Menu

Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

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This weeks book beginning and page 56 highlight is from a recently purchased book. It is rather new and I thought it will help me not worry to much. It is The Subtle Art of not Giving a F*ck  - a counterintuitive approach to living a good life by Mark Manson. Book beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader "Charles Bukowski was an alcoholic, a womanizer, a chronic gambler, a lout, a cheapskate, a deadbeat, and on his worst days, a poet. He's probably the last person on earth you would ever look to for life advice or expect to see in any sort of self-help book. Which is why he's the perfect place to start."   The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice The truth is that there's no such thing as a personal problem. If you've got a problem, chances are millions of other people have had it in the past, have it now, and are going to have it in the future. Likely people you know too. That doesn't minimize the problem or mean that it should

A Sense of Jane Austen

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Jane Austen is always an interesting subject for an exhibition. 'Kulturen' in Lund (a city close to here) presently hosts an exhibition with clothes used in the filming of her books. Most of the from the excellent dramatisation for BBC of Pride and Prejudice , with Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth. While going around looking at the displayed clothes, the beautiful music from the adaption is playing and there are screens showing different parts from the tv-series. There are also clothes from other adaptions. The clothes are absolutely beautiful in real life. The only think I wonder is how a human being can fit into them. They do look terribly small, but maybe they have been folded in the back?

Paris in July 2018 - The de Goncourt brothers

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I have recently quoted from a book called 365 dagar  (365 days) by Anders Bergman & Emilie Perland. There are extracts from famous and not so famous writers of diaries. You meet a lot of different people that you have never heard of before, and they are sometimes fascinating characters. Two of them are the de Goncourt brothers, Edmond and Jules, both naturalism writers.  " They formed a partnership that "is possibly unique in literary history. Not only did they write all their books together, they did not spend more than a day apart in their adult lives, until they were finally parted by Jules's death in 1870."They are known for their literary work and for their diaries, which offer an intimate view into the French literary society of the later 19th century." (Wikipedia) Edmond (left) with his brother Jules. Photographed by Félix Nadar (Wikipedia) Researching the internet, I found this interesting article by Tara Isabella Burton (from 2015) on th

Paris in July 2018 - French National Day

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Paris in July , hosted by Tamara at  Thyme for Tea , and it is the French National Day. For a short historical note, here is what it says on Wikipedia: "Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries/lands to the French National Day, which is celebrated on the 14th of July each year. In France, it is formally called la Fête nationale ; and commonly and legally le 14 Juillet.    The French National Day is the anniversary of Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, a turning point of the French Revolution, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. The oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe is held on the morning of 14 July, on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests." The Bastille (Wikipedia) My present 'breakfast reading' is "

Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

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Another Friday is here and time for quotes from books. This week I found A Gathering Light  by Jennifer Donnelly on my shelves. It sounds very interesting and here is a summary from the back cover.  "Based on a real murder at the turn of the century, this outstanding debut novel is a powerful and moving coming-of-age book. Mattie is torn between her familial responsibilities, her desire to be a writer, and the excitement of a first romance. Her dilemmas and choices are quietly reflected in the life of a young woman found drowned in a lake, a woman that Mattie only gets to know through reading her letters. When finally the tales of Mattie and the drowned girl merge, their stries beautifully combine in a brilliant and perfect conclusion." Book beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader When summer comes to the North Woods, time slows down. And some days it stops altogether.  The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice  I was angry at Lawt

Six in Six - 2018 Edition

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From Margaret at Books please  I found this one-time-a-year challenge hosted by The Book Jotter . The idea is to look through what you have read in the first sex months of the years and share 6 books in 6 categories. For the categories go to the link above. List your books and post some time in July. The images are from the category of my favourite covers, in no specific order. Six classics I have read The Portrait of a Lady by Henry James A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert Candide by Voltaire Lancelot by Chrétien de Troyes The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Six new authors to me Marie Benedict (The Other Einstein) Michel Bussi (After the Crash) Elizabeth Strout (My Name is Lucy Barton) Stephen Fry (Mythos) Diane Setterfield (The Thirteenth Tale) Anna-Karin Palm (Målarens döttrar) Six blogging events I enjoyed Book Beginnings on Fridays The Friday 56 Six Degrees of Separation Ful

The Disappearance of Èmile Zola by Michael Rosen

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Paris in July hosted by Tamara at Thyme for tea . I recently purchased this book in order to read it for the Paris in July  challenge. I don't know a lot about Èmile Zola and have not read a lot by him either. I do know that he wrote the J'accuse article in defence of Alfred Dreyfus, but not much else. The subtitle of the book is Love, Literature and the Dreyfus Case , concentrating on the year he spent in exile in London, due to a prison sentence in France, and the very last years of his life. Since the book covers the last part of his life, you do not get any background on his younger life and struggle to become an acknowledged author. He was at the time a very admired author in France, which partly changed due to the Dreyfus affair. Rosen has researched well his time in London, his feelings of exile, and how he occupied his time. Mostly, it is a rather depressing account. Zola was not happy outside France without friends and colleagues. He did not speak English,

Paris in July 2018 - French TV-series

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For Paris in July , hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea , I had a plan to see a French TV-series. I have watched a few the last year and I find them interesting and good. I have seen Marseille, a political thriller and The Frozen Dead , a crimi about a serial killer. To my great joy I saw that there is a new French crimi on Netflix, La Forêt/The Forest, which I started yesterday. Started and finished the six episodes at 1.30 a.m. Yes, it was that good and exciting. " Sixteen-year-old Jennifer disappears one night from her village in the Ardennes. Captain Gaspard Deker leads the investigation with local cop Virginie Musso, who knew the girl well. They are helped by Eve, a lonely and mysterious woman." That is a short summary of the story. It takes place in a small village where everyone knows each other. Ten years earlier two girls disappeared in the forest and now another three girls disappear. Each of the five episodes (six in total) ends with a cliffhanger, so that i

Paris in July 2018 - Bookmark Monday

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Paris in July hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea . Click the link for more info. My Bookmark Monday meme, hosted by Guiltless Reading , has a Paris theme this week. Since I did not have any bookmarks to highlight the city, I decided to be a little bit creative and make one myself. I started out with a clothes label, that I had already used as a bookmark (yes, I use what is closest at hand!). It worked very well. I do a little bit of scrapbooking and journaling and remembered seeing some papers with the Eiffel tower somewhere. Deb Nance at Readerbuzz  posted about how often we see this tower on book covers. Well, this time it will be on the bookmark. The front of the bookmark turned out like this: The back turned out like this: My handwriting is appalling, so this was the best I could do. Will use this for my next book French.

Book Beginnings on Fridays and The Friday 56

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This week is the start of Paris in July  hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea . For this weeks book beginning and page 56, I choose one book I have been reading for this challenge. It is Michael Rosen's The Disappearance of Èmile Zola. Book beginnings on Fridays hosted by Rose City Reader "On the evening of Monday, 18 July 1898, Èmile Zola disappeared." The Friday 56 hosted by Freda's Voice "As Zola wrote in his notes for the novel, his intention was to write Three Gospels ('Èvangiles') - Fruitfulness, Work and  Justice. This would match the trilogy he had finished eleven months earlier, Les Trois Villes (Three Cities) - Lourdes, Rome and Paris. " A review of this biography will follow.

Short notes on latest reads

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There has not been that many reviews here lately, although I have read quite a lot. Well, time is the culprit. Here are a few short notes on some of the books I have read in June. Three books by Colm Tóibín;   The Empty Family, Brooklyn and The Heather Blazing. All about family relationships, or the difficulty with such relationships. The first one contains short stories of different kind of family relationships. Often we might think of family as mom, dad and children, but Tóibín finds so many more kinds, and they are not always happy ones. The other two books also deals with family. In Brooklyn, Eilis Lancey, moves to New York when she cannot find work in 1950s Ireland. All alone in a new country, totally different from her old world, we see how she changes in trying to find a happy life for herself. It is very sensitively written and shows clearly how people change/develop coming to a new place, and how it also changes the relationship with the people left behind. The Heather B

New purchases, again!

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The other day I had 10 minutes to spare before taking the bus home. Since I passed the book store, I thought I WILL JUST HAVE A QUICK LOOK. Well, it was quick but it also extended my TBR shelves with three new books. To my defence they were on sale; 50% and 70%. Not much to consider for a longer time. I quickly grabbed two non fiction and one fiction. I did not even miss the bus! So, here are the three new additions to my shelves. This is a biography of August Strindberg, one of our great authors. He was very controversial and it is always interesting to see what new can be added. A free translation would be The Truth is Always Rude.  It can go well with Strindberg I think. This is about Erasmus of Rotterdam. I don't know a lot about him and it seems like an interesting approach to his deeds. I have read two books by Ann Rosman before, and really liked them. They are crimis, taking place at the west coast of Sweden and always have a historical element in them,

Château de Bussy-Rabutin

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Paris in July 2018 hosted by Tamara at Thyme for Tea . Visit her web-site for more info. From food and Zola in my first post to culture, history and books in this one. During a recent trip to France (Champagne and Bourgogne, heading south towards Switzerland) we happened to pass by a wonderful French château. Being a castle fanatic, it was just too good to miss. It is situated six km northeast of Alise-Sainte-Reine. In 52 BC the famous battle of Alesia took place here (although the experts are arguing about the exact place).  " It was fought by the army of Julius Ceasar against a confederation of Gallic tribes united under the leadership of Vercingétorix of the Arverni. It was the last major engagement between Gauls and Romans, and is considered one of Ceasar's greatest military achievements and a classic example of siege warfare and investment. The battle of Alesia marked the end of Gallic independence in France and Belgium. " (Wikipedia). There is nevertheless a mu