Friday, 31 December 2010

World Book Night

Check it out, it's world book night soon. You can apply to give books away, and you can even choose to whom you want to give it (well kind of). I love it. It gives people who are passionate about literature the chance to encourage other people to read. Without annoying your friends who can't listen to you anymore without rolling the eyes.

So go on, check it out and get the world reading :)

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Jonathan Livingston Seagull — a story by Richard Bach

Hmmmmmmmm ... apparently it's HUGE in the US. Not so huge in Europe but people 'have heard of it' at least. It's a fable and it's philosophical, trying to bring the meaning of live to the reader.

Maybe I just didn't get it, but I thought it's a weird novel.
Jonathan is a seagull, bored with being ordinary. While the rest is only concerned about flying from a to b to get some food, he practices flying everyday. In all possible constellations, really fast, really slow, really high, really low. Of course the others don't like that and say bye bye to the weirdo. He doesn't really care and continues his flying.

He then (I think after he died) comes into a form of personal heaven and learns more and better flying. He also starts to learn a lesson about freedom.

In the last part of the he tries to get this freedom into other seagulls...partly successful.

So even though the other seagulls were mean to him and didn't care about him, he goes back to them (from his heaven) to bring a meaning to their lives.

I'd have rather read the message in a shorter short story (the book I had was 74 pages, 30 of those were pictures of seagulls but it could have been shorter), and I honestly think it would have had more effect on me. But than, maybe I'm just not a big fan of those 'find and love yourself and you'll repair your live' stuff ...
or maybe it was the translation, as I read it in German?!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

This is the End ...

Uch I hate it so much. You're nearly there, the story is almost over. But not quite yet. It's those last 10 pages, that really annoy me. You know who the murderer was, that they kissed and got married, that they saved everyone from dying, or that they all died. And then? Then there is this last bit with a couple of blablas and blublus but there is nothing in it. All you want is the book to be over, but you can't just put it away because there are only a couple of pages left.
This is why I love books that end with the peak of the climax. Murder is solved, end of the book. No celebrations or promotions afterwards, because they don't matter! They kiss each other? Good, I will assume that they spend the next days in bed, move in with each other and have a happy ever after life. But please don't make a never ending end out of it!

Transgression: A Novel of Love and War by James W. Nichol

If you have some spare time and like crime novels, this one is quite enjoyable.
It's the story about Adele in 1941 in occupied France. She meets a German soldier (who is of course not all German and soldierish, but nice and handsome), they fall in love and the relationship is not allowed to work easy. The story drags on until World War II is finished ... and continues with a search.

The other story is a search in itself. There was a murder in a small town in Canada in 1946. The police chief tries to find evidence, which is of course what they do ...

As you will imagine the stories link into each other at some point. I found the first part of the story more interesting than the second half, but that might just be me. There is an interesting story in all of the characters. I didn't think it was an awesome book to read, but it was fun! I liked the way the end makes you think about the story and everyone in it. In fact I think if the ending would have been different the book would not have been so good ... so finish it, even if you get bored at some point. It's worth it and it's an easy read. Good for holiday time.

I also just found out that Mr. Nichol is a massive star in Germany (where I got the book from) but almost unknown in his home country, Canada. So if you're Canadian - give him a chance.