Monday, 27 February 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Last week I read:

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout - Olive's story is told through short stories about her neighbours and friends. I liked this approach and the uniqueness of each character and his or her own story. Though Olive is a cranky, resentful old bugger I got to like her, too.

Now I am reading:

Garou by Leonie Swann - It is the second book of the Sheep Detectives series. The first is a crime novel, the second book is a thriller. And I love it! It's funny and as witty as sheep can be.

Coming up:

Faithful Place by Tana French - I already delayed reading it far too long. I am going to read it next. I swear.

Great House by Nicole Krauss - In March my shelfari group and I are going to read books about books and Great House is about a writer and her desk. When she has to give it back, she is not able to write anymore.

More news:

Starting this weekend Care from Lit in the Last Frontier is hosting a nice challenge about reading what you want, tracking your page count and thus accomplishing the IditaRod 2012, the famous Alaskan dog sled race, whilst reading. Check it out here.

It's Monday is hosted by Sheila from Book Journey.

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Thoughts: A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi

The memoir of an American woman who moved to Venice to follow her love, giving up her whole privileged and established life in the US. It contains recipes as the woman is a cook or a food tracker, searching for new tastes, or something. I didn't like how she referred to her new husband always as "the stranger" and put up with his kinks, she only got to know bit by bit. Didn't hold my interest, though I am a notorious book finisher, that's why I persevered till the end.

I decided to read it because of the blogging event "Venice in February" and because it fits the monthly tag memoir in a shelfari group I participate in. Especially the food related sides of Venice were mentioned, like markets and restaurants, which got me enough insight on Venice to count for the blogging event. I am not tempted to pick up one of her other books.

Unfortunately I think it's worth only 2 stars out of five.

Monday, 20 February 2012

It's Monday! What are you reading?

Since my last Monday post a few weeks ago I read:

The Gathering by Anne Enright (click here for review) - A somewhat dark and melancholic view on the protagonist's emotions and thoughts due to the loss of her suicidal and alcoholic brother. This book was awarded the Man Booker Prize 2007.

Room by Emma Donoghue (click here for review) - A new favorite of mine. Five year old Jack and his mother are captured in Room. Their daily routine is somewhat bizarre as Jack is not aware of the existence of a world outside of Room.

The Rain Before it Falls by Jonathan Coe (click here for review) - How Imogen was blinded was a secret until now, but Rosamond is going to lift it with great empathy, also describing wonderful moments of Imogen's life, trying to rouse apprehension for an incomprehensible deed. A very enjoyable read.

Mockinjay by Suzanne Collins - My first audio book and I loved it, though I didn't like the third part as much as the other Hunger Games parts.

The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides - Insights on a marriage plot (as often spun in Jane Austen books)as it could have worked in the '80s. Unfortunately I couldn't connect to this time period that much and didn't get all the references.

A Thousand Days in Venice by Malena de Blasi - The memoir of an American woman who moved to Venice to follow her love, giving up her whole privileged and established life in the US. Didn't hold my interest.

Now I am reading:

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout, which I think is adorable. The reader gets to know Olive through bits and pieces told through the stories of her neighbours and friends. I like this concept and though Olive Kitteridge is not the friendly, happy teacher woman from next door I like her too.

I plan on reading:

Whatever strikes my fancy or hopefully a book from my tbr challenge list (have a look here). I also have Great House by Nicole Krauss from the library, which, of course, I want to read before I have to return it.

It's Monday is hosted by Book Journey.

Monday, 13 February 2012

Venice in February. Finally started into the challenge.

I picked up my book from the library. I am going to read A Thousand Days in Venice by Marlena de Blasi. Unfortunately I only got hold of this
book, otherwise I would have committed to reading more.

Since I have been to Venice twice already, I thought I might share some impressions. Both times I went to Venice it was blazing hot in the city. I remember heading for narrow alleys, because houses there spent some cooling shadow. The windows and their shutters were closed keeping the heat out or because houses were abandoned. The canals running alongside the the alleys exuded the smell of standing water. There were shops that sold sandwiches and cold soft drinks to the tourist as well as souvenir shops that sold tiny glass figurines or painted masks. And I swear that I smelled licorice sticks at every other corner. I figure it must be some local speciality.

Hundreds of doves were filling Piazza San Marco and I think there must have been many more people. Napoleon once said: "San Marco is Europe's most elegant salon." Well, the setting is awesome and I am sure Venice might be able to make visitors feel quite exquisit, too. I also remember a very long queue of tourists waiting to get access to St Mark's Basilica. People were asked to cover bare shoulders and legs despite the heat before entering the church.

I can't say that Venice stroke my sense of romance though, because I only saw it in bright daylight and because instead of a mild sea breeze there only was sweltering heat and because instead of some privacy, Venice offered boatloads of shoving excursionist.