Showing posts from November, 2011

Challenges for 2012!

I took part in only a couple of challenges this year - but plan on participating in a whole lot in 2012. Here are the ones I have decided to sign up for:
1. The Sir Terry Pratchett Reading Challenge hosted at Once Upon a Time - I absolutely LOVE the Discworld series, of course. But I still have a couple of books from the series, here and there, which I haven't read - including the Tiffany Aching novels. There are a whole bunch of Pratchett's non-Discworld books, that I would love to read as well. Not to mention, re-reads. The challenge runs for the whole year, from January 1st to December 31st 2012. You can set your own goals and read as many books as you want!
2. Back to the Classics Challenge hosted at Sarah Reads Too Much - I stayed away (and I mean far away) from classics of any kind until very recently. I decided to give them a try and turns out they aren't all that bad. Which is why, I decided to participate in this year-long challenge. The categories are: - any 19th ce…

Hotel Savoy - Joseph Roth (Week III)

It is Week III of the German Literature Month (hosted by Caroline @ Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy @ Lizzy's Literary Life.) I read Hotel Savoy in less than a couple of days - and since I read it in German, that is quite an achievement for me. The book is only a little more than a hundred pages, though. It is a quick and quite pleasant read.

(I didn't manage to find any quote from this book in English - so I translated this on my own; unfortunately putting both the quality and the authenticity at risk.)
"I am a cold person. During the war, I never felt one with the company. We were all lying in the same dirt and waiting for the same death. But all I could think of was my own life and my own death. I walked over dead bodies, and sometimes, it hurt me that I felt no pain."

About the book: Hotel Savoy is a novel written by Austrian writer Joseph Roth. It was first published in 1924.
Summary: Gabriel Dan is a "Heimkehrer", an Austrian soldier and later, POW …

Mein Name Sei Gantenbein by Max Frisch

In my German class, we once studied a page out of Max Frisch's Mein Name sei Gantenbein. A man is returning home after a long time, and on his way, in the airplane he sees the news of his own death in the newspaper. He then goes home to attend his own funeral. On seeing his own family accepting his death, he leaves without letting anyone know he's there.

I was very curious to put this story in context, and I really wanted to read the book ever since. Published in 1964, Mein Name sei Gantenbein is a book by Swiss author Max Frisch. After a failed relationship, the author is trying to put himself and the woman in a number of scenarios, trying to picture what would have worked out. He says, "I try on stories like clothes." (Ich probiere Geschichten an wie Kleider.)
The stories revolve around the two main characters - the man and the woman, Lila. There are three identities of the man - that is, Theo Gantenbein (the narrator himself), Enderlin and Svoboda. The narrator …

The Curious Case of Benjamin Button by F. Scott Fitzgerald

"Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18." (Mark Twain)About the story: Youth is wasted on the young; isn't that what they say? Inspired by Mark Twain's quote, F. Scott Fitzgerald's amusing and imaginative short story The Curious Case of Benjamin Button proves just that. The story was first published in 1922 in Collier's Magazine. Along with ten other stories, it is also a part of Fitzgerald's short story collection titled Tales of the Jazz Age.Summary: When Mr. Button rushes to the hospital to see his new born baby, he is greeted by an angry doctor, who wishes never to see the Buttons again. Just like the doctor, the nurses inside the hospital seemed to be spooked by Roger Button's child. When Mr. Button insists on seeing his baby, a flustered nurse leads him inside a room. Instead of a baby, however, there appears to be an old man squeezed into the crib. "Where in God's name did y…

Verbrechen (Crime) - Ferdinand von Schirach (Week II)

The German Literature Month is hosted by Caroline @ Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy @ Lizzy's Literary Life. The reading theme for the second week is Crime Fiction. I read a volume of short stories titled Verbrechen/Crime by German author Ferdinand von Schirach, in the original German.

About the author: Ferdinand von Schirach is a defense counsel from Munich. He is specialized in handling controversial cases of his high-profile clients. His grandfather - Baldur von Schirach - the Nazi youth leader later convicted of being a war criminal, is not the only reason Ferdinand is world famous. In 2009 Ferdinand von Schirach published his debut book entitled "Verbrechen" or "Crime." The book stayed on the bestsellers' list of Der Spiegel magazine for over forty weeks.

About the book: Verbrechen is a collection of eleven short stories about law and crime. It is a work of fiction; but even if not entirely based on reality, the book certainly draws inspiration from …

Mozart auf der Reise nach Prag - Eduard Mörike (Week I)

For the German Literature Month (hosted by Caroline @ Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy @ Lizzy's Literary Life) Week I, I also read the novella Mozart auf der Reise nach Prag (Mozart's Journey to Prague) by Eduard Mörike. It was short and I enjoyed reading it in the original German; when I read translated versions, I always wonder if there was anything else that got lost in translation...
"Die Erde ist wahrhaftig schoen und keinem zu verdenken, wenn er so lang wie moeglich darauf bleiben will. Gott sei's gedankt, ich fuehle mich so frisch und wohl wie je und waere bald zu tausend Dingen aufgelegt, die denn auch alle nacheinander an die Reihe kommen sollen, wie nur mein neues Werk vollendet und aufgefuehrt sein wird. Wieviel ist draussen in der Welt und wieviel daheim, Merkwuerdiges und Schoenes, das ich noch gar nicht kenne, an Wunderwerken der Natur, an Wissenschaften, Kuensten und nuetzlichen Gewerben! Der schwarze Koehlerbube dort bei seinem Meiler weiss dir von m…

Perfume - The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind (Week I)

This is the first book I read as part of the German Literature Month 2011 hosted by Caroline @ Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy @ Lizzy's Literary Life.

There was just such a
fanatical child trapped inside this young man, standing at the table with eyes aglow, having forgotten everything around him, apparently no longer aware that there was anything else in the laboratory but himself and these bottles that he tipped into the funnel with nimble awkwardness to
mix up an insane brew that he would confidently swear - and would truly believe! - to be the exquisite perfume Amor and Psyche. Baldini shuddered as he watched the fellow bustling about in the candlelight, so shockingly absurd and so shockingly self-confident."
Summary: Perfume is the story of an unusually talented perfumer named Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, who has the best sense of smell in the whole of Paris (and, every other place); but who, ironically, has no scent of his own. Though outwardly harmless, people fi…

Why I like to read Horror Fiction

Don't roll your eyes, answer, "...because people like to be scared... it excites us... blah blah." and convince yourself that this is one of those articles. Believe me, I don't like to be scared. In fact, I never dared to read the horror genre until very recently, when I read my first Stephen King book. That too, only because some idiot told me it's not as scary on paper as it is on screen.. For someone who got scared even by the obviously fake white faced, black eyed ghosts in most run-of-the-mill horror movies; and whose only experience with horror fiction involved pathetic childhood encounters with R. L. Stine, King's book was something else. I am, what you call, a classic "scaredy-cat." And this post is about why I love to read horror fiction. "At last he crept back into bed and pulled the blankets up and watched the shadows thrown by the alien streetlight turn into a sinuous jungle filled with flesheating plants that wanted only to slip arou…

German Literature Month

German Literature Month is hosted by Caroline @ Beauty is a Sleeping Cat and Lizzy @ Lissy's Literary Life.
I don't have a whole reading list planned for the entire month. I have decided to go on planning according to the weekly schedule. I had also decided to try to read two books - one in German, one in English. (Let's see how that works out!)
Week 1 starts today, in my part of the world, and it is time for German Literature.
My tentative reading list: 1. Perfume (Das Parfum) - Patrick Süskind 2. Death in Venice (Der Tod in Venedig) - Thoman Mann 3. Die unendliche Geschichte (The Neverending Story) - Michael Ende
Happy Reading!