Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Review: White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

India is a curious place to me and I enjoy reading books about it. I started 2010 with a read of A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry and decided I wanted to read more. So I grabbed this Booker Prize winning book and wasn't disappointed.

Balram tells us his story over the course of seven nights. Born in the dark parts of India he grew up being the son of a poor rickshaw driver and is now wanted for committing the crime of murdering his master to become. The Minister of China is going to visit India soon. Balram wants him to know the truth about India. And this truth can be best described within his story, so he decides to write to him.

Balram becomes hired the driver for the wealthiest man in his village. Soon his new world and the life of his master becomes a revelation of India. He goes for girls, drinks liquor, reads Murder Weekly and plays his role in the Rooster Coop of the Indian society but he also watches his employers going for girls, bribing ministers, drinking expensive liquor and playing their own role in the Rooster Coop. He tries to find a way out of this Coop by committing a murder which has bad consequences for his family.

I liked being told about this foreign society and learned from Balram that one has to eavesdrop on the right conversations to get a suitable education and decency in a corrupt world.

The character of Balram though is not very likable. One could say he is too foreign. But this I think could be intentionally done by the author.

I read this book for my Booker Challenge.

Bookish Christmas Presents

Among other presents this year I got BOOKS. As you can see in the picture I now am the proud owner of Freedom by Jonathan Franzen, Kitchen and Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto and Blindness by José Saramago. Thanks to all the kind givers.

As I missed to post my It's Monday! What are you reading? I would like to catch up with it now. Actually I decided to let the year fade away with some relaxed rereading. I'm reading books in a series of four and try to finish Dracula by Bram Stoker as this is the last book from 2010 which I started reading but did not yet finish. I read other books in between as I wanted to participate in a game. Now I picked it up again.

I hope everybody had a pleasant Christmas. I would also like to know about your presents if you would like to share.

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Top 10 Tuesday 12/21/10

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme to share your top ten bookish things. It is especially funny for people who like to make lists.

1. Blindness by José Saramgo -Blindness spreading among people like an infectious disease. I am curious.

2. Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto - I heard good things about Yoshimoto's writing and I would like to try this and the next one for my Japanese Literature Challenge.

3. Goodbye Tsugumi by Banana Yoshimoto - Another one for the Japanese Lit Challenge.

4. A Moleskine Weekly Calendar - I just love Moleskine calendars and notebooks. I'm pretty sure I'll get one as Santa brings one every year.

5. The Passage by Justin Cronin

6. Freedom by Jonathan Franzen - Somebody I trust raved about this book but actually I'm going to wait for the paperback edition.

7. Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood - As the Year of the Flood and this one are somehow related I'd like to read this one first. If I won't get it I will borough it from the library or buy a used one.

8. The Help by Kathryn Stockett - I intent to read this like hundreds of other books, but it would be a good start to have it within reach when I really want to take it up.

9. Still Alice by Lisa Genova - I actually know someone who owns it, I could borough it there too.

10. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy - There is no need to tell why I would like to try a Tolstoy, is there?

I will report back on you to which extend my wishes come true.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

MyTop 10 Reads of 2010

photo credit

1. Madame Curie by Eve Curie - Madame Curie is by far the most excellent biography I ever read, written by Marie Curie's daughter in the most sensitive way.

2. The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy - A book about finding one's ways in life and one of the most curious findings: one does not need to live in Paris to get to know real life.

3. To kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - What could I possibly add- I just loved it.

4. The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery - Nearly philosophical roamings about life and the love of literature. Already the third book on my list to be set in Paris.

5. In the Woods by Tana French - Suspenseful until the end, with an end not to be expected.

6. The Millennium Trilogy by Stieg Larsson - I'm for sure one of the biggest fans of Lisbeth Salander and Mikael Blomquvist. I couldn't get enough of it.

7. A Tree grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith - I love childhood memoirs. They let me see the world with "different" eyes.

8. A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry - India is one of the mot curious places in the world, harboring very rich but many more poor people and their life's stories.

9. March by Geraldine Brooks - Based on the back of Alcott's Little Women, this book gives an insight in the lives of Mr. March and Marmee. Very interesting and very well done.

10. Her fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger - I was surprised by this one, but it seems not negatively surprised.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Review: March by Geraldine Brooks

This is the first book I read by Geraldine Brooks. I picked it up because of a challenge I participated in, where I was asked to read a book about a war in which America participated.

*Possible Spoiler Warning*

The book is set during the Civil War in America and is build on the back of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. Mr. March decides to fight for the freeing of the slaves despite his advanced age. He leaves back his family to become an army chaplain. What he experiences he writes down in letters to his family although he dares not to tell the truth as it would worry his daughters and wife. The reader gets to know the real Mr. March, his feelings, his past and his present. Later he gets wounded while trying to free some former slaves, his fosterlings or pupils, from a new slavery. He is sent to a hospital in Washington and when he has recovered he is sent home.

Back in the bosom of his family he can be found broken as most war veterans with a feeling he has not done everything that stood in his powers.

The book reveals the truth about Mr. March as a character as well as Marmee. Tragically their relationship contains some misunderstandings between husband and wife. Only one example is that Mr. March donated a big fortune to a man with revolutionary ideas to free the slaves which did not turn out, because he thought this would make him more noble in the eyes of his wife, who adored the man who got the money. But Marmee would have never wanted to give all their money to a man and his ideas if this would lead her family in poverty and sometimes she feels this new poor live to be an imposition although she would never complain about the actions of her husband. I would call this a big misunderstanding and lack of communication.

*End of Spoilers*

Marmee becomes like a real character now due to Brooks' work. She sometimes looses her temper (a character flaw which adds to it) and when facing a female rival who stands in the favor of her husband she is not afraid to take actions. This all turns out near the end end when Brooks' inserts Marmee as narrator. For me that also shows Brooks' writing skills. She did not only manage to use the right tone for a book set during Civil War based on a famous novel, she also knows how to use her (or Alcott's?) characters to speak for themselves.

All that and more makes this book worth ★ ★ ★ ★ ★!

It's Monday! What are you reading?

“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila to share with others what you've read the past week and planning to read next.

I have finished:
March by Geraldine Brooks (review to follow soon)
The Girl who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson (review to follow soon)

I have started:
The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga, which I have planned to read for more than a year now and which started to cover in dust on my bedside table. I decided it was time to pick it up and get another book for my complete booker challenge done.

I have planned to read from my shelf as it is bursting over with books I owned for a long time now and never read.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Five Quarters of the Orange by Joanne Harris

This book is charming and delicious. Joanne Harris always does a good job describing food in all varieties which makes my mouth water. But not only that. The five Quarters of the Orange is tale about a mother who has to raise her three children alone in France during second world war. She tries best but especially in the eyes of her youngest daughter Framboise she fails. Framboise gets in contact with a young German soldier and happens to attend an accident at the river Loire where the young soldier drowns. She and her brother decide to cover up the accident as they don't want anybody to know they had regular contact with him. The family has to leave the little Les Laveuses. When Framboise is grown up and a widow she decides to come back home but that nobody needs to know her true identity and opens a soon good-running crèperie. But her past will get to her sooner or later.

The story is told by Framboise being an old lady revealing the truth about the accident and of course what Oranges have got to do with it at all.

Very much is told about the relationships between mothers and daughters and the life in small villages in France during the second world war as well as today, which I liked. Harris' style is unique and somehow magical. I think that this book is at least as good as Chocolat.

I give it three stars and a half. Rounded up to four.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Solaris by Stanislaw Lem

First of all I never read science fiction. Second of all I don’t like novels taking place in space. Solaris has both of it. But the man I love loves this book and after having ignored him asking me to read it for a long time now, I finally gave in.

At the beginning I couldn’t get into the book very well. This is because I lack imagination concerning technical and spacey things and doings. But after thirty pages or so it went better. The main character Kelvin visits the planet Solaris for research. But as he gets there he realizes that strange things are going on. Solaris is covered by a big ocean of a glibbery mass which seems to be orange or blue or black depending on the daytime and the both suns orange and blue accompanying Solaris.

All three researchers on Solaris are having “guests”. Those guests behave and act like people who only exist in the minds of the researchers, as Kelvin’s guest for example is his young wife who had killed herself after Kelvin left her some years ago.

The big questions are: what kind of trick of mind is that? What has the ocean got to do with it? And how can one get rid of “guests” in order to stay sane?

Have I already mentioned that I actually do not read books of this kind? This has got a reason. But Lem’s writing wasn’t all in all bad or boring to me. He writes in a descriptive and often philosophical manner. But still I’m not sure I got his message for I don’t know if I got the right meaning of the ocean. But of course this could be intentionally and everybody is going to come up with something different. I hope so.

I think I’m going to stand back from science fiction for now as I had my portion for this year.

I’m going to give ★ ★ ★ under reserve.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Literary Blog Hop

Literary Blog Hop

This blog hop is hosted by The Blue Bookcase. It is made for bloggers who mainly blog and review about classic literature or literary fiction.

This weeks task is to highlight one of my favorite books and why I think it to be literary. So here it goes:

I think it may be easier to describe why a book is not literary than why I think it is. First of all a literary book is not what everybody enjoys to read but I do. That does not necessarily mean I enjoy every literary book I read. Take Madame Bovary for an example. I did not like it at all. This may be because I read a horrible German translation of it, but that topic would be worth another post. I did like Lolita, The Dud Avocado or The Elegance of a Hedgehog though just to name a few.

Next a literary book has no shallow main characters. That means the character could be an idiot but soon discovers he is one and tries to change it. Characters need to develop during the course of a book. Those who stay the same all along are not interesting. Take Pride and Prejudice for an example the one is pride the other is prejudiced but both overcome that nasty flaws of character and get together.

A literary book is not coming without a social standpoint or other question of morality. It gives the ambitious reader what he or she wants. Something to think about, to get along with or completely disagree.

At last the style of an author who writes literary books is not the same as the one of any other author. The use of language is the channel which affects the reader. Everything like feelings, thoughts, actions and moods are transmitted by it. Take To kill a Mockingbird. I totally connected with the style of Harper Lee so that it was a pure pleasure to read it.

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

This is a gorgeous book with a gorgeous heroine. Sally Jay Gorce sets out to take two years for herself in Paris in the late 1950s. She wants to get to know life and be independent. There she has love affairs and is trying to become an actress. But of course very much can go wrong being a young American in Paris. Sally Jay loses her passport and later on she has to discover that it has been stolen from her by one of her dearest friends.

The book is witty and funny. What it has to say about life has to be read between the lines. But one thing is for sure one does not need to live in Paris to get to know life. Although I tend to have this romantic thoughts about Paris too.

To the question how much biographical this book was, Elaine Dundy answered that all the impulsive, outrageous things her heroine does, she did herself. But all the sensible things Sally did, she made up.

I'm going as far as to say that this one hilarious, charming and romantic book is going to make it very high on my top ten list for 2010.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★!

Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Top Ten Tuesday (2)

Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme to share your top ten bookish things. It is especially funny for people who like to make lists.

This week's theme is Top Ten Books for Halloween. Here are mine:

1. Three Bags Full by Leonie Swann - It's a sheepish detective story and I have the urgent need to recommend it to all you people because nobody seems to know this fabulous author.

2. In the Woods by Tana French - I just read this book, I think it's my favorite read this year.

3. Out by Natsuo Kirino - Murdering women is all I have to say.

4. Her fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger - Again a great novel or better say ghost story by Niffenegger.

5. The Perfume by Patrick Süßkind - Again the urgent need to step in for German language authors. What a horrifying read!

6. Dracula by Bram Stoker - I'm currently reading this book but as I grabbed it as Halloween read on the list it goes.

7. The Woods by Harlan Coben - There is something about creepy woods.

8. Coraline by Neil Gaiman - I so loved watching the film in this case! Often I hate the film when I already read the book.

It seems like I can't think of two more right now. And I'm not going to force me.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Fool by Chris Moore

I'm still wondering about what I just read and it is hard to find words to describe it to you. I read about a fool obviously. But I also read about King Lear's court in the medieval Britain. And very much obviously they were a little bored at that time. So what did they do all day long? Yes, right! They had sex or they thought about it. They had war or at least tried to initiate one. They intrigued against each other or they tried to keep their had off the loop.

Pocket is the fool at King Lear's court. His duty is to cheer up Lear's youngest daughter Cordelia. He does well until the king asks his three daughters to tell him how much they love him and soon the intrigues unwind.

Moore's style is unique. He mastered word acrobatics and he is funny. But I also often felt like: What the heck... did he really wrote things like that? What about morality and what about values? And did I really laugh about it? Yes, I did! But I don't know if other people would, so I'm certainly not going to recommend it to anyone.

I think it deserves ★ ★ ★ and a half!

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Top Ten Tuesday (1)

Hosted by

The Broke and the Bookish
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme to share your top ten bookish things. It is especially funny for people who like to make lists.

This week's topic: Top Ten Fictional Crushes

1. Mr. Darcy (Pride and Prejudice): He is pride and he is a gentleman. What else does a girl need?

2. Kalle Blomqvist (Millennium Trilogy): He is a loyal friend. Somebody to visit a bar and have a lot of beer with.

3. Kakuro Ozu (The Elegance of the Hedgehog): He is a literate and cosmopolitan man with whom you could have a game of chess or watch a Japanese film.

4. Henry DeTamble (The Time Traveler's Wife): He is a mysterious man who comes and goes as his time traveling makes him. Life with him must be adventurous somehow but also a little scary as one always waits for his safe return.

5. The Mad Hatter (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland): I'd love to have a tea party with this guy.

6. Pi Patel (The Life of Pi): He survived a trip on a safety boat with a tiger!

7. Harry Potter (Harry Potter obviously): I guess we would have made good friends at Hogwards.

8. Mr. Rochester (Jane Eyre): There is something about this 19th century guys.

9. Franck Lestafier (Hunting and Gathering): He is a French cook. And he's got a motor bike.

10. Will Freeman (About a Boy): A careless bachelor who is not into kids. But he is all into music and one could spend some carefree time with him listening to music.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

In the Woods by Tana French

The back-cover says: "Three children leave their small Dublin neighborhood to play in the surrounding woods. Hours later, their mothers' calls go unanswered. When the police arrive, they find only one of the children, gripping a tree trunk in terror, wearing blood-filled sneakers, and unable to recall a sinlge detail of the previous hours.

Twenty years later, Detective Rob Ryan - the found boy, who has kept his past a secret - and his partner Cassie Maddox investigate the murder of a twelve-year old girl in the same woods. Now, with only snippets of long-buried memories to guide him, Ryan has the chance to uncover both the mystery of the case before him, and that of his own shadowy past."

I picked this first novel of Tana French up because of a review of her second book The Likeness by the Book Whisperer. This one made me want to read both and as I'm a lucky child which was born on a Sunday I found both books in the used book store I raved about in my London posts.

It is said to be part psychological thriller and part murder detective story, both genres I don't pick up very often. But I got surprised by characters already deep and mysterious but still developing during the process of the story. Rob Ryan tells us the story from his point of view and he is honest with the reader. Not only about the things happening but also about his person. He is the boy who lost his best friends in the wood and he can't remember any detail of his past which lay before that day. But he tries and he is going to take us with him on this often unsatisfying trip. Cassie Maddox is his female counterpart. I took her in my heart immediately. She is brave and she has the ability to assert herself, but she is also tender somehow.

Nothing was given away which could have led the reader to an earlier solution of the murder investigation than detective Ryan himself. I liked that, one really felt the pain of an investigation which can also get stuck at a certain time and one feels the uproar too when important clues come in.

I've got the second one already lined up and can't wait to read it.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ for my possibly favorite read this year!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Like Water for Choclates by Laura Esquivel

The Mexican author Laura Esquivel sets up a story of love spiced with a typical Mexican recipe in each chapter. Tita is only fifteen when she falls in love with Pedro. Unfortunately Tita is the youngest child of Mama Elena. Thus she is prohibited by family tradition from marrying as she has to take care for her mother when latter gets old. Pedro decides to marry one of the other sister to be near Tita. But his mother in law has now a rigorous eye on the lovers and knows how to withhold them from getting close with each other. The only chance for Tita to beguile Pedro is with her cooking and this is an art she soon masters perfectly.

Actually I wasn't really intrigued by this book. I started twice as I forgot what I already read in a time span of three days, which of course does not speak for it. Tita though is a likable character and one easily feels her passion and her pain. The Mexican setting makes it different from many other books I read lately. But one nice character and one nice setting do not necessarily make a nice book. I did not get something special out of the story as of which I have read in so many reviews. Actually I did like the love story and magical chocolates in Joane Harris' Chocolat better.

★ ★ and a half for this book!

Monday, 4 October 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading?

“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila to share with others what you've read the past week and planning to read next.

I have finished:
Like Water for Chocolates by Laura Esquivel (soon to be reviewed)

I have started:
In the Woods by Tana French which I like very much so far. I bought in a used book store in London for only £ 3. I bought The Likeness as well because sometime ago I read a great review of it at The Book Whisperer.

I have planned:
many other spooky books for October including Dracula by Bram Stoker.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Update on my growing Pepper Plant finally really growing Pepper

Four months ago I did a post on a tiny Pepper Plant I found in the plug hole of where the dishes are drying. I extracted it and put that brave little thing in some earth. Now it is an adult pepper plant blossoming and finally growing a pepper! YAY! I will give myself a bronze order for my green thumb. Or I could declare my green thumb now to be a bronze thumb. Wonder how this pepper will taste?!

Monday, 20 September 2010

London Impressions no. 5

This is how it works. I'd like to write a travel journal about my vacation in London but as it is already over and I had no permanent Internet access there I'm going to write them like a memoir. Every day (since Thursday) I'll post on my impressions of the day exactly one week ago. All in all I will have six posts on my travels. I hope you'll like it although it is mainly of personal value as I'd like to preserve my experiences.

One week ago...

I wanted to visit the Tower of London. And that is exactly what I did then. Entrance queues on a Monday morning were small contrary to all I have heard of those queues. A Monday morning is as well a good pick as the Tower opens at 10 am instead of 9 am which gives you one more hour to beat the queues which weren't there. Oh well, I see in the summer with loads of tourist like myself pouring in the city those could become really long. Enough about queues. After we payed the voluntary donation which is included in the entrance fee and passed the security check of our bags we saw a group led by a yeoman warder starting off. As we wanted to participate in a tour ourselves we went with them. We got to know many things of which most were not as cruel as one always thinks when thinking about the Tower of London.

Yeoman Warder Tour

I'm going to share a little of what I learned that day. In the Tower only seven people have been executed, to whom belonged Anne Boleyn for example as executuins in the Tower were a privilege as it did not took place in public like all the other executions outside the Tower on Tower Hill. Torture is also not a practice which was prominent in England. Quintessence is that the Tower is not as bloody as always believed. But never the less it is a very historical place and made me want to find out more about that time.

View at Tower Bridge from inside the Tower

After the Tower experience we actually wanted to see St. Paul's cathedral to climb it and enjoy the view over London, but as soon as we left the Tower there was rain keeping us company. So we decided to take the bus line no. 15 and ride until it's end and back to St. Paul's. Route 15 is one of only two routes where still the old double decker buses are operating. As we got out at St. Paul's station it still was raining and so we decided to not go inside as it would have cost us £ 12.50 each.

We decided for the Museum of London instead (admission free) and got there at 3.30 pm. We were lucky as the museum announced a tour through the Medieval Galleries at 4 pm. We joined in and got to know about the early London, when everybody lived in wooden houses, later black death and the construction of St. Paul's, later the big fire in 1666 and the reformation under King Henry VIII. The dark ages were not as dark for me anymore. Unfortunately we had only one more hour when the tour ended to have a look at the rest of this fantastic museum. It was my favorite one on the whole vacation and I need to go back and spend a little more time there.

In the evening we went to have dinner in the gbk, the gourmet burger kitchen on Westbourne Grove. As it is New Zealand cuisine, they also served Kiwi burger, which of course did not contain Kiwi birds but was the special burger there. Very delicious! Be sure to take some fries with it and have a L&P soda. Cheers!

The Foam of the Daze by Boris Vian

The book tells the story of Colin and Chloé. Colin is a Parisian bohemian in the 40s, he falls in love with Chloé, a girl with the name of one of Duke Ellington's songs. They get married and could lead a happy life if not Chloé would have gotten a cold during their honeymoon. But soon it becomes obvious that Chloé has something worse than a cold, it's a water lily growing in her lungs.

Boris Vian has a very individual writing style. Things like water lilies in lungs or eels out of water taps indicate a surrealistic plot, which it truly is. Vian likes wordplays and made up words just like Lewis Carroll. His writing is very descriptive and although reality fails one can picture the described things very well. Take for an example the pianocktail, a piano which played in a certain mood like blues produces a cocktail just looking and tasting like the thing. I think this to be very inventive and creative. Two of my favorite sentences are as follows:

"I want to hide in a quince. Because it smells so nice. And because then I would have some peace and quiet..."

"The blue greenish heaven droops nearly to the pavement,and big white stains mark the spots where clouds have been shattered."

Boris Vian has been a multi talented guy. He was writer, poet, musician, singer, translator, critic, actor, inventor and engineer. This all influenced his novel noticeable.

If you'd like some surrealism to intervene your reading go read this one. I read the book with puckered eye brows but ended up enjoying it.

★ ★ ★ and a half!

Sunday, 19 September 2010

London Impressions no. 4

This is how it works. I'd like to write a travel journal about my vacation in London but as it is already over and I had no permanent Internet access there I'm going to write them like a memoir. Every day (since Thursday) I'll post on my impressions of the day exactly one week ago. All in all I will have six posts on my travels. I hope you'll like it although it is mainly of personal value as I'd like to preserve my experiences.

One week ago...

I woke up on a sunny Sunday and it was finally time visit Greenwich. After breakfast we left for Embankment where Thames Clipper's River Boat Service has one of it's stations. We paid £ 7.10 each to go to and back Greenwich. This is a price which we achieved due to our travel-cards from Transport for London. It is really useful for tourists as we got a seven day travel card for zones 1 and 2, which cover central London (our hotel was located inside those zones) for £ 25.80. When in possession of a travel card one gets 30% off for all Thames Clipper services. Boats to Greenwich leave I think every half hour and the ride takes you about forty minutes. I enjoyed it very much as one can see very many famous sights from the water like London Eye.

London Eye

Spend a morning of maritime history!

When we arrived in Greenwich one of the first sights to see is the tea clipper Cutty Sark but unfortunately there was no chance to see it for us as it is currently reconstructed due to a fire. Next stop is the Old Royal Naval College, designed by Christopher Wren who nearly built all famous and old London building. ;) A must see is the Painted Hall, one of the prettiest dining halls in the world.

After that we headed for the National Maritime Museum, where you can see Nelson's uniform. This he wore at the battle of Trafalgar, when a fatal musket ball hit his left shoulder, where the uniform still shows the hole. We got a good impression on maritime history and shipping and left hungry. The museum includes a nice café where we grabbed some delicious coffee and pain au chocolat, which we ate together with our lunch in the park behind the museum in front of the hill where the Royal Observatory is located. A beautiful landscape where many families spent they day having a pick-nick and other outdoor activities.

View from the hill in Greenwich Park, behind me the Royal Observatory and in front the National Maritime museum and the park where we had lunch.

We spent our afternoon exploring time and space in the Royal Observatory, where the biggest highlight is for sure the prime meridian. There you can stand with one foot each in the east and west hemispheres! Really impressive I also found the astronomy route. It offered many hands on science spots to learn about space, e.g gravity, black holes and supernovas.

We left the Observatory for the town of Greenwich itself, which is small and pleasant. We discovered Greenwich market before it closed (every day at 5.30 pm). How fantastic: loads of stalls and artisan people selling their handmade stuff. We saw paintings, paper crafts, hats, t-shirts and so on. I couldn't resist and bought a quilted bag, which is just lovely.

My new bag!

We traveled home by boat and river again, where I recognized the impact of the tides on Thames river for the first time. Amazing! In the morning there has been nearly no water compared to the situation in the afternoon.

In the evening I had some great plans. I wanted to see the grand finale of the Mayor's Thames Festival, one of I think two fireworks which are displayed on the Thames each year. We had some nice Lebanese food on Queensway and headed for Embankment again to stand on the bridge and have good view. The firework started about 9.45 pm and lasted at least 15 minutes. What a great show. Even Londoners next to me were thrilled and let out Ooohhss!, Ahhs! and Wows!

When I think about it today it was probably the best day I had in London!

The Girl who played with Fire by Stieg Larsson

Everybody knows the content but in case you do not: This book is the second in the Millennium trilogy. Lisbeth Salander returns from her vacation after things cooled down a bit in Stockholm. She gets herself a new flat, a new car, possibly a new life. But Dag Svensson, a young journalist is going to uncover one of Sweden's biggest rings of white slavery and he works with Mikael Blomquvist, a journalist for whom Lisbeth did some research for a case Mikael worked on in the first part of the series. As Lisbeth gets to know this she pays a visit to Dag and Mia, his girl friend who writes her Ph thesis about the girl slavery. The very same evening they are found dead by Mikael Blomquvist. He now tries to find the murderer of his friends but also cannot believe that Salander is guilty.

For me it is the same as with the first part of the series. I found it to be incredibly exciting. Lisbeth Salander is one of the most peculiar characters I have ever read about. Her social life is nearly non-existent and she reacts with violence when somebody hurts her feelings. But she is clever and I like that she knows how to defend herself.

Actually I'm no big reader of books that come in a series. I too fast grow tired of the same characters and the familiar setting. The only way out seems to be reading the books with a little distance of time. I did not experience this with the Millennium trilogy. I'm going to pick up the third book after I have finished the two library books I still have.

Although this series is no high literature I very much appreciate it to be so entertaining. One single book has about 700 pages but when I started reading I could not put it down anymore. That is why I'm looking forward to reading the next in the series and I am a bit sad that it will be the last one.

I'm going with the masses.In my eyes the book deserves ★ ★ ★ ★ ★!

Saturday, 18 September 2010

London Impressions no. 3

This is how it works. I'd like to write a travel journal about my vacation in London but as it is already over and I had no permanent Internet access there I'm going to write them like a memoir. Every day from Thursday I'm going to post on my impressions of the day exactly one week ago. All in all I will have six posts on my travels. I hope you'll like it although it is mainly of personal value as I'd like to preserve my experiences.

One week ago ...

I woke up in a London hotel room and again was rewarded with sunshine. Our plan for today included a visit to the British Museum. Admission to most London museums is free but they kindly ask for a donation of three to five £ if you liked the exhibition.

Meal deal for £ 2.

But first we went to get lunch at a Tesco express which we planned to eat after the expanded tour through the museum. Tesco offers a meal deal, which includes either sandwiches, wraps or pasta salad with a little bag of fresh fruit and something to drink like a small bottle of water or orange juice for all in all only £ 2.

Lionhunt in the Assyrian Galleries

As the British museum is too big to get all of it we decided for Egyptian sculpture (room no. 4), the Middle East including Assyrian works (rooms no. 6 to 10) and the Greece Panthenon (room no. 18) on the ground floor. On the upper floor we visited Ancient Egypt (room no. 61 to 66) with exhibits like mummies and grave goods. I saw a little boy who told his mommy that he doesn't want to go on as he found it scary. Little sweetheart! All in all a very satisfying tour.

Next we went to Covent Garden. I love this place! On a Saturday afternoon it is crowded with people and street artists like magicians, acrobats and jugglers to name a few. Most of the artists try to make a living with their shows there and ask for a little money. They are really kind and funny and like to interact with their audience. If you don't like that be sure to stand a little in the back. :)

The guy on the photo juggled with some balls and an apple while driving this huge unicycle. The grand finale was him eating the apple while juggling with it and two knives, really fascinating.

We spent some time strolling around Covent Garden and at some point also came across London's China Town. It only covers about four streets but there is some Chinese architecture and restaurant and shops all over the place. Something I have never experienced before is that one ethnic group takes possession of an area like this. Great! On the photo below you can see one of the gate entrances to the China Town streets and somewhere on it my company. :)

We had dinner in a British restaurant called Stockpot which is located at 18 Old Compton Street. I started with leek and potato soup and then had grilled salmon steak with salad and roast potatoes. I promise I did not pay more than £ 10 for the food and a coke. When we came out a nightly hustle and bustle was going on in this neighborhood. We spent some time watching it and then went back to the hotel.

Friday, 17 September 2010

London Impression no.2

This is how it works. I'd like to write a travel journal about my vacation in London but as it is already over and I had no permanent Internet access there I'm going to write them like a memoir. Every day from Thursday I'm going to post on my impressions of the day exactly one week ago. All in all I will have six posts on my travels. I hope you'll like it although it is mainly of personal value as I'd like to preserve my experiences.

One week ago ...

Me in my hotel room

I woke up in my hotel room. I stayed one week in the Umi Hotel in the lovely Notting Hill/Bayswater area. It is a 3 star budget hotel and tries to offer best available rates combined with best available service. Before I booked there of course I read a lot of reviews of which some were lovely and some were cruel. My company left the decision on the hotel all on me but also all the responsibility. I desperately hoped I made the right decision. And I did. Okay the double bed room was small but it had all I needed: a bed, a closet, a desk and a small (maybe tiny) bath. The bed was extra comfortable and I slept heavenly unlike at home, where the mattress is actually to hard for my taste.

After breakfast we left for Portobello Road market which is located of course on Portobello Road, only a ten to fifteen minutes walk from the hotel. Every day stall holders sell different things like fresh fruit, antiques, furniture, jewelery and fashion there. But also many shops established there to provide good service for example the Hummingbird Bakery which sells adorable little cup cakes for not as adorable prices but oh well it's London it's not supposed to be cheap. And they taste as delicious as they smell. The Tea and Coffee Plant serves some great coffee which goes fine with the cupcakes. Alice's is also worth to mention, it's like an antique curiosity shop which harbors real treasures.

Alice's on Portobello Road

Finally we made our way to Notting Hill Gate station and came across a used book store! YAY! A place I would have liked to never leave again. It had many books I always wanted to read but couldn't get in my library, as my library doesn't offer a good variety of English books. I was in heaven and would have loved the book shelfs in this shop to materialize in my flat at home. I bought only two books as I considered I would have to carry them all day long. I got Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier (not even in German available in my library) and In the Woods by Tana French (also not available in my library).

We headed for the Science Museum (admission free) as my company is a science crack and needed a little input. I was happy I could offer him that. I thought the Historical Medicine gallery to be extremely exciting. I did like to feel a little anxious at sight of antique surgery tools or disgusted by drawings of infectious diseases. I also liked the Launchpad although this is more or less for children where you can have your hands down on science yourself like producing waves or see yourself in a heat camera. The place has been a little overcrowded though.

When the museum closed we decided to visit Harrods which is really close to the museums (Science, Natural History and Victoria & Albert). We went inside and were stunned by all the luxury although we had expected it. It is like visiting the KaDeWe in Berlin, which can be compared to Harrods as it is the biggest department store on the European continent. We visited the Pet Halls and had a look at sweet little puppies and kittens for about 1000 pound per animal. Wow! We got our dinner in the Harrods Food Halls and went back to the hotel as our feet needed a rest.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

I have been awarded!

Thanks to LibrarysCat I have been awarded the Cherry on Top Award!

I found out that this award goes to "beautiful blogs with that little bit extra". My dear LibrarysCat I really appreciate you awarded me this! That is amazing!

Rules that come with it are:

1. Answer this question: If you had the chance to go back and change one thing in your life, would you, and what would it be?

For me being as young as twenty-something years old there is not much yet that I regret and would like to change. Maybe just one thing, that is following: I should have done a year in a foreign country after school. Actually I wanted to be an Au-pair and did Babysitter courses as well as my driver's license for it I did not get to the point where I applied at an agency which is a must do when one wants to go to the US. But on the other hand this is why I'm one of the youngest students in my year at university and I will get a diploma being younger than others which I hope will give me an advantage.

2. The second thing you have to do is, pick 6 people and give them this award. You then have to inform the person that they have gotten this award.

In no particular order:

Leeswamme's Blog
And the plot thickens
A Little Bookish
Thyme for Tea

3. The third and final thing is: thank the person who gave you the award.

Oh wow! I have done that already but there is no reason to not do this again and again. Thank you so much LibrarysCat!

London Impressions no.1

This is how it works. I'd like to write a travel journal about my vacation in London but as it is already over and I had no permanent Internet access there I'm going to write them like a memoir. Every day from today I'm going to post on my impressions of the day exactly one week ago. I hope you'll like it although it is mainly of personal value as I'd like to preserve my experiences.

One week ago ...

I woke up in my hotel room and almost feared to open the curtains. The reason for that for sure lies in the uncertainty of English weather. Two days ago the weather forecast predicted rain for my whole stay. But as I was an obedient child all year long I deserved a little sun and that is what I got.

I didn't expect much for breakfast but as the hotel runs it's own coffee shop especially my fair trade coffee was very good. Could I have asked for more?

Buckingham Palace

My company and me decided on one of the most famous and important sights to see first, we decided for Buckingham Palace. Somewhere I read about it lovingly referred to as Buck Home. Maybe the Queen likes to call it that? I would have loved to see the Changing of the Guard but this ceremony is only carried out at 11 am every second day and unfortunately Thursday was no such day. Actually it was possible to go inside Buckingham Palace as the State Rooms are open to public for August and most of September when the Queen is in her summer residence. I decided against it to use the nice weather outside and of course to save a small fortune. Me and my company strolled through St. James Park where I planned to feed the ducks but forgot to take bread or biscuits with me. Luckily not all tourists were as careless as I was.

We continued our walk to Trafalgar Square crowded with people and traffic past Downing Street which is actually a dead-end street and heavily guarded by security and a huge gate. When one fine car accompanied by another loaded with security left this street I felt invited to imagine that this may have been the Prime Minister. Who knows?

View at Parliament from park behind it

We walked by the Houses of Parliament and Big Ben and Westminster Abbey where all important royal ceremonies are held, such as weddings and things. We had a picnic right behind the Parliament as there is a little park next to the Thames. Suddenly the clouds broke loose and Londoners all over the place changed their sun glasses for their umbrellas. Luckily I was prepared too. We took the tube from Westminster to Mansion House (because Blackfriars is closed until late 2011) to walk over Jubilee Bridge which is a bridge only for pedestrians. On the other side Tate Modern daily opens it's doors to fans of modern art. Admission is free as in most London museums. Actually I can not say I'm a fan of modern art as in general I'm an amateur in art things. But I enjoy looking at pictures or sculptures and trying to find what the artist possibly wants to express or just what I think the piece of art is meaning to me. More than once I got a feeling that a certain work meant nothing at all. Today I still remember some famous artists and works I have seen that day such as Summertime by Jackson Pollock, The Kiss by Auguste Rodin and Water-Lilies by Claude Monet.

Tate Modern

After the art lesson I felt so worn out for all the walking and staying around all day I needed to get a rest in my hotel room. Later I craved for some Italian food for dinner and we went to a restaurant on Queensway near our hotel in the Notting Hill/Bayswater region. The food was fabulous and the prices reasonable although we had to wait for our pizza for more than thirty minutes but as the wine was good too I didn't care that much. Later I recognized that this restaurant actually belonged to a chain of Italian restaurants which is called Bella Italia and is spread all over London.

After a short walk for exploration reasons in our neighborhood we went back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

London is calling me!

Hey guys,
its this time of year! You wonder which time I think of? I think of the time in the year I do my vacation. Last year I have been to Paris. And this year I finally want to visit London. I actually already have been to London but not as an adult. This time I'm going with my boyfriend and we have planned (yes, I admit that I have planned) loads of entertaining and cultural activities!

I'm off tomorrow and will be back next week and hopefully have some nice pictures for you!

Happy reading!

Monday, 6 September 2010

Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter by Mario Vargas Llosa

The book is set in 1950s Peru. Pedro Camacho is a Bolivian writer of peculiar and a little eccentric radio plays which are famous all over Peru. But suddenly the plays become a mess, characters from different plays appear in plays where they do not belong. Pedro Camacho seems to have lost overview or is it just some artistic expression?
Pedro's story is intertwined with that of Mario, a student and wanna be professional writer. He falls in love with his aunt Julia, the divorced sister of uncle's wife, who is some 13 years older than Mario. When they decide to run off and marry the familiy becomes panicky as all their hopes lay on Mario.

This was the first Llosa book I read. I was not disappointed, the story is entertaining as well as the chapters of the radio plays, which gave some extensive report on 1950s Lima and it's social structure. That this book is partly autobiographical makes it just more interesting as Mario Vargas Llosa aslo married his aunt Julia, who was thirteen years his senior. But the book was actually written when those two were already divorced again. As a matter of fact Julia Urquidi Illanes wrote a book herself, it is called Lo que Varguitas no Dijo (What Varguitas didn’t say), which is telling her side of the story.

★ ★ ★ ★

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Frida Kahlo - A Biograohy of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera

Hayden Herrera did a good job on portraying Frida Kahlo's life, the famous Mexican artist. Many attempted to do it likewise but did not come close. This is what critics say. I found this book entertaining at the beginning and in the middle part but it slowed down at the end. I got to know very much about the unique person of Frida Kahlo as well as of Diego Rivera, Frida's husband with whom she could not live without. But there were also times when Frida could not stand living with him either. For an example take the year when they divorced and one year later married again.

I got to know very much about the meaning of Frida's paintings and that the source of all that was her self, her pain and loneliness. But I did not get rid of the feeling that what the author described as self-centeredness in Frida's character was actually something I don't like in people.

What I found remarkable is that once it is stated that Frida wanted to paint not for the expression of her art but because she wanted to make a living out of her paintings and be an independent woman. That's strength.

I think the reason that the book slowed down in the end can be found in the fact that Frida's life did too. Her back hurt very much and she was unable to leave her bed.

I haven't read any other Frida biography but her very own diary which she wrote in her last years but if you are interested in Frida Kahlo's life I'm sure you can't go wrong with this book.

★ ★ ★

Friday, 20 August 2010

Time for Book Blogger Hop!

Every Friday, join the Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Jennifer (Crazy-For-Books), and hop to some new blogs. The Book Blogger Hop gives book bloggers a chance to connect and find out what others are reading. Sign up at Jennifer’s blog so people can find your blog too.

If you visit my blog because of the hop please leave a comment and a link and I'm going to pay a visit at your blog too.

Jennifer asks this week how many blogs I follow. Let's see on my blog roll I have 10 blogs I love to read. But I subscribed to 27 blogs which I read from time to time.

Valeria's Last Stand by Marc Fitten

The author Marc Fitten let's his first novel be set in Hungary. He himself lived in Europe for some years and spent the most of his time in Hungary.

Valeria lives in the Hungarian Prairie, she is sixty-eight years old and a cranky, very peculiar spinster. She finds flaws in everything: her neighbors who spent all the time in Ibolya's tavern, the villages major, who makes bad politics and has a skinny legged wife, even the vegetables being sold on the market are limp.
But it comes the day when the village's potter draws Valeria's attention to himself. She is struck by his nice hands and his solid gaze. Suddenly she wears her hair open, dresses in flowery skirts and stops nagging about everything. She is not too shy to confess her affections for the potter, who is amazed and follows her call. But the villages becomes restless as Valeria reveals this improper character trade.

Although the author comes up with descriptions of very peculiar people living in a very peculiar village, I never could quite picture Valeria. I had no problems with fifty-something Ibolya though, running the village's tavern dressed in tight blouse and short skirt to have the men order more beer. She loves the potter too but seems to have no chance against Valeria and her charm. Even old men remember the days when Valeria was no cranky spinster and how they would have followed her if she had given them a sign. But she didn't want to as when she was young her sweetheart decided for another woman.

I think it is all about loneliness in a woman's older ages. Valeria suddenly decided against it as she realized she still could attract men like the potter. So she tried to win his heart for her. But the common people couldn't stand an old woman that obviously wanting a man not only for love but also for sex. The village people felt compassion for the potter who was always such a nice man. Like he was lost (to Valeria).

★ ★ ★ ★

Monday, 16 August 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading? & Mailbox Monday

“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila to share with others what you've read the past week and planning to read next.

I have finished:
Valeria's Last Stand by Marc Fitten (soon to be reviewed)

I have started:
Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera

I have planned:
The Girl who played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (actually I'm half way into this already)
Tell No One by Harlen Coben
Fool by Christopher Moore (waiting for me to be read for ages)

This weeks Mailbox Monday is hosted by Chick Loves Lit. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Last week I only got the biography of Frida Kahlo by Hayden Herrera from the library.

Out by Natsuo Kirino

I have done it! My first read for the Japanese Literature Challenge hosted by Belezza. Kirino who mostly writes Japanese detective fiction has received the Grand Prix for Crime Fiction, which is Japan's top mystery award for her novel OUT.

The novel is centered around Yayoi. She murders her husband in the heat of the moment when she gets to know that he lost all their savings in gamble in the amusement district Shinyuku, Tokyo. Yayoi decides to tell her colleague Masako, with whom she works at the near lunch box factory. Masako spontaneously agrees to help Yayoi become rid of her husband's corpse. Furthermore Yoshie another colleague from the factory happens to help them as she owes money to Masako. Unfortunately Kuniko, a despicable chatterbox and chronic broke colleague gets wind of the business of the three women. She helps to distribute some of the corpse's pieces and decides for a public park where soon the police is going to find them.

The novel is set in the 1990s, which is denoted by the recession after the economic high of "Bubble". Literary themes are isolation, solitude, disoriented young people, burnt out clerks and workers, compulsive consumption and excessive indebtedness.

Although Yayoi is the figure who murderes her husband the spot is on Masako, a resolute woman but also mother and wife. She is intelligent and hard but also lonely. I liked Masako very well although she represses feelings, she is a woman who does what needs to be done. The ending though was strange and not foreseen. It is great when the author is able to surprise the reader but what I read did not go along with my values. Actually the whole book did not. It's kind of challenging to read as one always asks: what had I done in this situation?

★ ★ ★ ★

Friday, 13 August 2010

Becoming Jane Austen by Jon Spence

Jon Spence wrote a biography about Jane Austen. His sources are mostly letters from Jane to her sister Cassandra who was her confidante. The book covers all of Jane Austen's live which unfortunately was only forty-two years long. But as the title reveals the book is about everything that influenced Jane Austen in becoming Jane Austen. As a woman who never married because she would only marry for love, Jane lived with her family all her life long. This is why we get to know so much about Jane's family members in this book. First I thought this to be really annoying because I wanted to read about Jane. I didn't want to read about her mother or father or her brothers and sister. But then I realized that this would not have been possible as Jane's life was for the life with all of them. And soon I enjoyed reading about funny anecdotes and deep character portrays. I ended up getting to know her better and better and that's what a biography is all about, right?

Let's do the hop!

Every Friday, join the Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Jennifer (Crazy-For-Books), and hop to some new blogs. The Book Blogger Hop gives book bloggers a chance to connect and find out what others are reading. Sign up at Jennifer’s blog so people can find your blog too.

If you visit my blog because of the hop please leave a comment and a link and I'm going to pay a visit at your blog too.

Jennifer asks this week how many books I have on my tbr shelf. Hmm... that one is diificult to answer as I have a virtual to be read shelf down at shelfari with all the books I heard really good things of and therefore would like to read. The number of books listed there is more or less only getting bigger and never smaller. At the moment I have a total of 191 books listed there.

On my physical bookshelf here at home I have 15 books waiting for me to be read. And this pile is also never getting smaller as I constantly add books from the library and bookmooch or just books I couldn't resist buying.

How about you? Make my eyes pop out because of the enormous numbers of books on your whatsoever shelf.

Monday, 9 August 2010

It's Monday! What are you reading? & Mailbox Monday

“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila to share with others what you've read the past week and planning to read next.

I have finished:
Dear Jane by Joe Spence (soon to be reviewed)
Out by Natsuo Kirino (for my Japanese literature challenge, soon to be reviewed)

I am reading:
Valeria's last Stand by Marc Fitten

This weeks Mailbox Monday is hosted by Chick Loves Lit. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Last week I got real loads of books into my house. In my mailbox were five Jane Austen novels. I browsed the Penguin Classics and just couldn't resist.

I also got a very lovely notebook with the Eiffel tower on the cover from Karen and Tamara who were hosting the blogger event Paris in July. Thank you very much it's awesome.

Friday, 23 July 2010

Join the fun of Book Blogger Hop!

Every Friday, join the Book Blogger Hop, hosted by Jennifer (Crazy-For-Books), and hop to some new blogs. The Book Blogger Hop gives book bloggers a chance to connect and find out what others are reading. Sign up at Jennifer’s blog so people can find your blog too.

If you are hopping by because of the blog hop please leave a comment and a link and I will visit you too.

Jennifer asks to tell you about the book I'm currently reading. I'm reading Dear Jane by Jon Spence. It's a biography about Jane Austen which was also made into a movie. So far I have to say that it is only at parts interesting, because Spence in my opinion takes too long to tell the reader about Jane's family than herself.

Have a great weekend everybody and thank you for stopping by.

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Blink! by Malcom Gladwell

by Sabrina

This book is about the first impression all humans have in a blink of an eye about every situation in daily life. Our mind is drawing conclusions in an instant about meeting people for the first time, entering a lecture hall, reading the first lines of a book etc. The author describes how one can use the power of rapid cognition to ones advantages but also how one can be tricked by it.

It's more or less a report based on the scientific field of psychology which is easy to understand. But in my opinion only tells us what we deep inside us have already known. I liked the book for it's descriptiveness though. Gladwell introduces us to cases which are entertaining like adventure stories. I also liked that he often gets back on cases when he revealed another part about rapid cognition.

I missed some information on why we are able to make decisions based on first impressions though. I would have been interested in what happens inside our mind or body when we get strange knowing feelings about things we can't actually know.

My star rating: 3 out of 5 stars.

Monday, 19 July 2010

The Diary of Frida Kahlo

by Sabrina

Frida Kahlo's illustrated journal documents the last ten years of her life (1944-1954). It was first published 40 years after her death. The 170 pages contain Frida's thoughts, poems and illustrations like in a sketch book, using it to work out graphical ideas for her canvases. Other pages are all over filled with Frida's generous handwriting in brightly colored ink.

This personal document gives a very deep and personal insight in Frida's feelings and thoughts, reflecting especially her love for Diego Rivera whom she divorced once and one year later married again. It adds also to the understanding of her unique vision and courage in facing some 35 operations to correct injuries she had sustained in an accident at the age of eighteen.

The journal is written in Spanish, as Frida was Mexican but in the ending every page is printed smaller in black/white again and an English translation is provided as well as some notes on the meanings of the entries. The high quality paper of which the pages consist is very thick and shiny and smells just great. An introduction to the book is written by Carlos Fuentes. "An essay on the place of the diary in Frida's work and in art history at large, as well as commentaries on the images, is provided by Sarah M. Lowe."[cover]

Actually this book made me curious about Frida Kahlo's life and I decided to read Hayden Herrera's often quoted biography about Kahlo too. As I am no expert in art I think it is possible that I did not enjoy the book as much as somebody who really knows about the milestone of Frida's work. I only enjoyed looking at the colored pictures and getting an impression on Frida's intellectual world. More or less that was everything I could do with it. For me it was enough.

It's Monday! What are you reading? & Mailbox Monday

by Sabrina

“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila to share with others what you've read the past week and planning to read next.

I have finished:
The Diary of Frida Kahlo (soon to be reviewed)
Blink! by Malcom Gladwell (soon to be reviewed)

I will read this week:
The Girl who Played with Fire by Stieg Larsson (2nd in Millenium Trilogy)

Books I have aquired:
Tell no One by Harlan Coben via BookMooch

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia from The Printed Page. Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Last week I found a copy of Harlan Coben's Tell No One in my mailbox. I got it from BookMooch. I really look forward to reading this as I have read The Woods by him and liked it very much. It was more suspenseful than anything I had read in a long time. A friend recommended Tell No One and told me that it is even better than The Woods.