2014 Wimpy Book Challenge (One Book Per Month)

Reblogged from Debbie's Spurts:




(or Things I Mighta Done Even Without A Challenge)


To participate in the challenge: Each month, post or reblog that month's challenge.


Tag all challenge related posts as "2014 Wimpy Book Challenge."  At a minimum, note what you will be reading.  Preferably, note what you'll be reading, keep us all updated on your status throughout the month, and actually review the things.  


If you forget to start in January or miss a month, just go ahead and post those months whenever.  Whenever, whatever, adjust to suit -- an intentionally wimpy challenge not as "demanding" as some 30-day ones.


Details on each month's posts:


read more »
Source: http://donealrice.booklikes.com/post/735274/2014-wimpy-book-challenge-or-things-i-mighta-done-even-without-a-challenge-?preview

Gecko's Advent Calendar: Charity vs Amazon, Day 21

Bierquälerei: Zum Feiern zu alt, zum Sterben zu jung - Volker Keidel Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert

December 21,

I'm a happy bookish amphibian today. I found a Christmas present in my locker at work today. It was a gift certificate for a local bookshop from one of the relatives of a client of mine. That is the first one I ever got. Normally we get pralines, which I don't eat or bottles of sparkling wine, which I don't drink. Both is appreciated, but it's wonderful to get something that I really can use myself...


The  books for today:


Volker Kreidel - Bierquälerei: I bought it because of the funny title (cruelty to animals exchanged with cruelty to beer) and because I know my brother in law loves beer, and he is like me, a little to old for partying all night, but not to old to want to.


Gustav Flaubert - Madame Bovary: This book looks like it is a Collector's Library book but it isn't, it's a straight up German copy of the design from Weltbild publishing. I read English books in English, but not French one's.


This results in 79 books from Charity against 95 Books from Amazon.

Reading progress update: I've read 378 out of 378 pages.

Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel - Alan Bradley

I can't wait for the next one. I need it right now... damn cliffhangers.


But I'm also quite happy that nothing bad happened to Gladys, this bookcover as beautiful as it is, is totally misleading.


Gecko's Advent Calendar: Charity vs Amazon, Day 20

Rokal, Der Steinzeitjäger - Dirk Lornsen Die Steinprinzessin - Jörg Kastner, Corinna Kastner Lost - Gregory Maguire

December 20,

I have to take it a little bit slower, I think, because there is not enough shopping time this year. So there will be fewer books the next days, just to keep this thing going... and I can't buy more then maybe ten at a time or my spine will break. Without a car to support me, I have to walk quite a lot with a heavy backpack. But the goal is in front of me, just some days more to go.


The books for today:


Dirk Lornsen - "Rokal der Steinzeitmensch": I haven't read it, but the little 'adopted' grandchild R. of my father in law might like it.


Jörg & Corinna Kastner - "Die Steinprinzessin": This is for his older sister. German Fantasy, and I didn't read it myself. To pick up a children's book there must be a special reason for me, I also don't read a lot of YA stuff.


Gregory Maguire - "Lost": Somewhere on my shelves, way up high, there is "Wicked" still sleeping and dreaming the dreams of unread books. But this sounded so lovely, I had to pick it up... even if I don't know the author yet.


This results in 77 books from Charity against 95 Books from Amazon.


Speaking from Among the Bones: A Flavia de Luce Novel - Alan Bradley

"At a quarter past two in the morning, the road was a ribbon of moonlight, just as it was in Mr. Noyes's poem 'The Highwayman.' In my long, dark winter churchgoing coat, I might have been the highwayman himself, except for the fact that I was riding a bicycle and wasn't planning to end up dead like a dog on the highway."

Flavia de Luce, Speaking From Among the Bones, page 150.


This girl is insane but in an absolutely lovely way... and I don't know how to get my nose away from the pages.


Gecko's Advent Calendar: Charity vs Amazon, Day 19

Eine kurze Geschichte von fast allem - Bill Bryson, Sebastian Vogel Die Unsichtbaren Stimmen - Carolina De Robertis, Cornelia Holfelder-von der Tann, Adelheid Zöfel Senyoria: Roman (suhrkamp taschenbuch) - Jaume Cabré

December 19,

My workmate and her 2year old were down with bugs today, so I had to cover her shift and am dead now. My bones are aching and my head drives me nuts. So I will hold this short and probably not very entertaining.


Books for today:


Bill Bryson - "Eine kurze Geschichte von fast allem": This is from my own books and will go to my uncle. Because I don't know if he reads at all, I thought this might be a book for a guy like him.


Carolina de Robertis - "Die unsichbaren Stimmen": "The Invisible Mountain" is for my aunt, who is member in a book club for ages, it's quite tricky to find something for her. I hope she doesn't know it already.


Jaume Cabré - "Senyoria": This is for me, because I liked his other book so much. It's historical fiction, Barcelona in the 18th century.



This results in 74 books from Charity against 95 Books from Amazon.

Gecko's Advent Calendar: Charity vs Amazon, Day 18

Häschen in der Grube. - Janosch Die Straße - Cormac McCarthy The Book of Joby - Mark J. Ferrari

December 18,

Today was a good day, I got some homework done, had a nice shopping day with one of my clients and read a lot. Six more days, than it's Christmas and I even decorated the living room a little bit.


Time for some more books to get my challenge moving:


Janosch - "Häschen in der Grube": This goes to one of my clients. He may be the only one getting a present, but books are not a major hobby if you can't read. But I will try and read it to him.


Cormac McCarthy - "The Road": This goes to my aunt. She doesn't read much, but everything I gave to her. I hope she will like it.


Mark J. Ferrari - "The Book of Joby": After my annoyance with "The Angel's Game", I hope this is not another huge chunk of BS... but hope has do die last.


This results in 72 books from Charity against 95 Books from Amazon.


Das Spiel des Engels - Carlos Ruíz Zafón

Das Spiel des Engels - Carlos Ruiz Zafón, Peter Schwaar The Angel's Game (The Cemetery of Forgotten Books, #2) - Carlos Ruiz Zafón

Disclaimer: English first, German after the devil and the doctor


Someone tried and couldn't do it:


Sometimes I regret that I am often to lazy to write a review about a book I read. If you ask me, what is left in my memory about „The Shadow of the Wind“, I can't say much about it. I see a four star rating an my shelf and have vague memories about a boy, an older girl, romance and a Gothic story about a book... but some things I remember vividly. There was this hidden library in Barcelona, and there was a book blurb telling me about it and about a rich story set in fascist Spain.


And I remember that I thought after reading it, that I didn't get much of history from it... but I liked the book. Not so much this one.


„The Angel's Game“ is the prequel to „Shadow of the Wind“, and it is not a good book. I tried to like it, but it wouldn't let me. Is there one character apart from the old bookseller, that isn't bad and annoying? The lead character is just selfish, dumb and even if he says he is ironic, tells just bad pun after bad pun. He wasn't funny at all. His background story wasn't interesting, his love interest a boring cliché in two legs, his sidekick at first an annoying and unfunny teenager, than an holier than thou realist. It was all so bad, I couldn't believe it.


All this to tell the old story of an 'unbeliever' or skeptic, who is tempted by the devil.


Hey you, Daniel Martín, all-mighty author, who is better than his predecessor, and even writes his books, haven't you heard of Faust? Doesn't it ring a bell if you hear Christopher Marlow or Goethe? Maybe you could have read a good book, instead of hysterically jumping around and get beaten up every five minutes.


Let me guess, you are just a dumb, lazy fuck, aren't you? Like the real author behind the story, who wrote a bad copy of better works by authors before him? Disguised it as a prequel to one of his other books, even if the hidden library is just mentioned? Giving his lazy created sidekick girl a short life to live to be the mother of the other 'hero'? Really, I hoped it would get better, but instead it got cheesier with every page. Sometimes I got a hind, that Zafón still can write. Some scenes were just fine, nicely written, intelligent composed and than... it all got busted with irrational dream-sequence action and boring conclusions. A hole bunch of characters not lend from noir mysteries, but just copied over.


What a lame thing to do, what a lamer thing to read.


Shortly before I read this book, I mentioned that maybe I should search for a bad book an my shelves. It didn't take long. It just plopped into my hands, and now I have to try to forget it.


Señor Zafón, I have just two questions left:


What with all those fame about you writing stories in interesting times, that you never wrote? Not much history in the first one, and the second had nearly none. Nothing, nada...


And the other one: Was the mentioning of „Great Expectations“ by Dickens the one joke, that really hit home? I mean, maybe you were just playing with all those people who made „Shadow of the Wind“ a bestseller and their great expectations for the next book?


I don't care anymore. I just buy other peoples books, who can play with genre fiction and make it interesting.



Einer, der es versuchte und nicht konnte:


Manchmal bereue ich es, dass ich oft zu faul bin eine Rezension zu schreiben uber ein Buch das ich gelesen habe. Wenn du mich fragen würdest welche Erinnerungen ich zu „Der Schatten des Windes“ habe, dann kann ich darüber nich mehr viel sagen. Ich sehe eine Vier-Sterne-Wertung und habe vage Erinnerungen über einen Jungen, ein älteres Mädchen, eine Romanze und eine gothisch angehauchte Geschichte über ein Buch... aber anderes erinnere ich lebendiger. Da war diese verborgene Bibliothek in Barcelona und da war der Klappentext, der von einer großen Geschichte aus dem faschistischen Spanien erzählte.


Ich erinnere mich auch, dass ich am Ende dachte, wirklich viel Geschichte war da nicht, aber ich mochte das Buch. Dieses hier nicht.


„Das Spiel des Engels“ ist die Vorgeschichte zu „Der Schatten des Windes“, und es ist einfach kein gutes Buch. Ich versuchte mich daran zu erfreuen, aber es wollte nicht. Gibt es in diesem Buch auch nur einen Charakter, abgesehen von dem alten Buchhändler, der nicht schlecht und nervig ist?


Der Hauptcharakter ist egoistisch, dumm und behauptet die ganze Zeit ironisch zu sein, wenn er einen dummen Spruch nach dem nächsten bringt. Das ist nicht im geringsten komisch. Er hat keine interessante Vergangenheit, seine Liebste ist ein langweiliges Klischee auf zwei Beinen, sein Sidekick ist erst erst ein nerviger Teenager, und dann plötzlich die alleskönnende Realistin. Das war alles so schlecht, ich kann es bis jetzt nicht glauben.


All das um die alte Geschichte vom Ungäubigen zu erzählen, der vom Teufel verführt wird.


Hallo, David Martín, du bester aller Autoren, der seinen Vorganger aussticht und sogar dessen Buch schreibt, hast du je von Faust gehört? Klingelt bei Christopher Marlow oder Goethe ein Glöckchen?


Nein? Nun, dann hättest du vielleicht besser ein gutes Buch lesen sollen anstatt hysterisch herumzuhüpfen und alle fünf Minuten verprügelt zu werden.


Darf ich raten, das du eigentlich ein faules Arsch bist? Wie der echte Autor dieses Buches, welcher eine schlechte Kopie von Werken besserer Autoren schrieb? Welche er dann tarnte als eine Vorgeschichte zu seinem anderen Buch, in dem er eben mal schnell besagte verborgene Bibliothek erwähnt und seiner Nebendarstellerin rasch noch ein kurzes Leben voraussagt, weil er sie zur Mutter seines anderen Buchhelden macht?


Ich habe wirklich gehofft es würde besser werden, aber es würde billiger mit jeder weiteren Seite.


Manchmal war da eine Spur, daß Zafón immer noch schreiben kann. Einige Szenen waren gut, ordentlich geschrieben, intelligent komponiert und dann wurde alles zerfetzt mit irrationalen Traumphrequenzenartigen Aktonszenen und langweiligen Audlösungen. Ein ganzer Sack voll Charaktere, die nicht aus Crime Noir Geschichten geliehen, sondern einfach kopiert wurden.


Ein echtes Armutzeugnis, und noch ärmer es lesen zu müssen.


Kurz bevor ich dieses Buch gelesen habe, hatte ich erwähnt, das ich mal in meinem Regel ein schlechtes Buch herausfischen müsste. Ich brauchte nicht lang suchen, es sprang mir sozusagen gleich in meine Hände und nun muss ich versuchen es möglichst wieder zu vergessen.


Señor Zafón, ich habe nur noch zwei Fragen übrig:


Wie kommt es, das Sie soviel Ruhm erhalten, weil sie Bücher in interessanten Zeiten schreiben, die sie niemals geschrieben haben? Da war kaum Geschichte in ihrem ersten Buch und im Zweiten eigentlich gar keine.


Und die andere Frage: War das erwähnen von „Große Erwartungen“ von Dickens der eine, einzige Punkt Ironie, den ich erst zum Schluß verstanden habe? Ich meine, war dieses Buch die ganze Zeit nur ein Spiel mit den Lesern, die „Schatten des Windes“ zu einem Bestseller gemacht haben und deren großen Erwartungen für das nächste Buch?


Eigentlich kümmert es mich nicht mehr. Ich werde einfach Bücher von Autoren kaufen, die mit Genre Literatur spielen können und dies auch interessant machen.




Gecko's Advent Calendar: Charity vs Amazon, Day 17

Little Bee - Chris Cleave, Susanne Goga Der Wolkenatlas - David Mitchell, Volker Oldenburg The House of the Seven Gables - Nathaniel Hawthorne

December 17,

Today was the first day both me and Mr. Gecko hat time to go to the "Weinachtsmarkt", we made the most of it, eating venisom and Spätzle,  drinking "Feuerzangenbowle" and I bought a little tin gecko for my library and

a necklace watch hiding inside an owl.


So sweet. Look at it...

But enough of cute, useless stuff.


The books for today:


Chris Cleave - "Little Bee": This book goes to my cousin J., I think she will like it. I exchanged it with an English version of the book I got at Oxfam, which I will keep and hopefully read next year.


David Mitchel - "Der Wolkenatlas": This goes to the boyfriend of my other cousin, and yes, you got me there, this book should be read by more people ;)


Nathaniel Hawthorne - "The House of the Seven Gables": I didn't like the 'Scarlett Letter' but I will give Mr. Hawthorne a second chance.



This results in 69 books from Charity against 95 Books from Amazon.

Reading progress update: I've read 220 out of 322 pages.

Storm Front - Jim Butcher

There is something good about finding the first book of a long series on a flee market. You pay nearly nothing and can test the water before you dive deeper into it... unfortunately it happens not often enough. So far Mr. Butcher might have found another follower, and I'm sure I have to pay him something before this series is over.

Gecko's Advent Calendar: Charity vs Amazon, Day 16

Kleines Schweinchen - großer König / Hallo Schiff Pyjamahose - Janosch Bärengeschichten. Das große Buch von Rasputin dem Vaterbär - Janosch Light Shining in the Forest - Paul Torday

December 16,

Got some new books today, so my little calendar can move on, and all Christmas fatigue is forgotten as long as I can walk into bookstores and sort through bookshelves full of little wonders in print, with hard and soft covers, some ugly, some beautiful... It's time to get the new generation of readers hooked!


So the books for today:


Janosch - "Kleines Schweinchen - großer König / Hallo Schiff Pyjamahose" & "Bärengeschichten": This are for my niece, the the 2 1/2 year old bundle of joy, that my sister gave to our family. She loves animals, bears and tigers especially. They all make 'roar' sound and are as fierce as she is. She gets two, because it's never to early to have a TBR shelf.


Paul Torday - "Light Shining in the Forest": Found this at Oxfam today, new and clearly unread. Had to have it. Just because of the nice cover... another new to me author, even if I heard about "Salmon Fishing in Yemen"


This results in 66 books from Charity against 95 Books from Amazon.

Reading progress update: I've read 223 out of 223 pages.

Von der Liebe und anderen Dämonen - Dagmar Ploetz, Gabriel García Márquez

All the awfulness of bad parenting, crazy churches and child abuse scented in oranges and cocoa and hidden between mangroves in the gloomy darkness of rain forests.

Gecko's Advent Calendar: Charity vs Amazon, Day 15

Der Kuss des Einhorns - Tracy Chevalier, Ursula Wulfekamp Das Buch Der Anderen - Zadie Smith Haduvig im Kreuzgang - Ricarda Huch

December 15,

Third Advent, and all I can think of is, how tired I am. To much work and to much trouble with Christmas preparations, it's the same mess as every year. But all this will be over soon, until next year at the same time.


The books for today:


Tracy Chevalier - "Der Kuss des Einhorns": After dedicating this to my books for the open library shelve, which stands at the riverbank of the Rhine, I had to reactivate it as a present because I forgot some people at my work. So this goes to one of the night watch hoppers, who works not just for us but for institutions of my employer.


Zadie Smith - "Das Buch der Anderen": This goes to another colleague of mine. With a short story collection it might not be so obvious if I mist her tastes by a mile or more.


Ricarda Huch - "Haduvig": This is for me and my collection. It's from a high esteemed german author and historian, and I have no single clue what it is all about ;)


This results in 63 books from Charity against 95 Books from Amazon.


Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom

Winter in Madrid - C.J. Sansom

Disclaimer: English review below all those ugly German words.


Krieg gegen die eigenen Leute, in Zeiten wo es "neutral" nicht mehr gibt.

„Winter in Madrid“ war vielleicht nicht das Buch, das ich erwartet habe. Ich habe es mir gekauft, weil mir die Reihe um Matthew Shardlake von C.J. Sansom so gut gefallen hat und ich nach „Mein Katalonien“ von George Orwell und „Die Stimmen des Flusses“ von Jaume Cabré gesteigertes Interesse an Spanien zur Zeit der Revolution und der Franco Ära hatte. Vor diesen Büchern wusste ich so gut wie gar nichts über Spanien unter Franco... wir haben in Deutschland genug mit unserer eigenen Geschichte zu dieser Zeit zu tun, und doch, nichts in Europa oder in der Welt geht von allein, meist passiert an vielen Orten etwas ähnliches und dies ist besonders an dieser Stelle der Geschichte, nah genug um unser aller Leben noch immer zu beeinflussen, sehr deutlich.


Dies hier soll nun ein Spionageroman sein, der genau in der Zeit spielt, als der zweite Weltkrieg alles zu überschatten begann. Aber es ist kein Spionageroman im üblichen Sinne. Er arbeitet mit den Motiven doch viel mehr im Vordergrund stehen die Personen aus deren Sicht diese Geschichte erzählt wird.


Da ist zum einen Harry Brett, der nach Privatschule und Cambridge, eine kurze Episode im Krieg miterlebte und nach Dünnkirchen traumatisch gestört zurück bleibt. Dies ist nicht unbedingt das ideale Material für einen Spion. Aber das britische Außenministerium nimmt ihn dennoch in seinen Dienst.

Denn es geht um einen alten Schulkameraden, Sandy, der sich in zwielichtigen Geschäften mit dem Franco Regime befindet, und dem Harry auf die Schliche kommen soll. England fürchtet das Spanien sich den Deutschen anschließt und will versuchen dies zu verhindern.

Sandy, schon als Jugendlicher leichtfertig und moralisch zwielichtig könnte ein Faktor in diesem Spiel um Allianzen sein.

Sandy lebt zusammen mit Barbara, einer ehemaligen Krankenschwester des Roten Kreuz, die zuvor eine kurze Liebesbeziehung mit Bernie hatte, einem idealistischen, den kommunistischen Ideen der Zeit anhängenden, Mannes, der im Krieg gegen das Franco Regime verschollen ist und für tot erklärt wurde... und Bernie war ein Freund von Harry und ging mit ihm und Sandy zur gleichen Schule.

Aus der Sicht dieser vier Menschen bekommen wir nun das Innere Spaniens zu sehen und zu erleben, und das ist ein bisschen so, als wäre man selbst dort und würde es mit ihnen erleben und die Spionage verschwindet eigentlich in den Hintergrund.


Was mich sehr beeindruckt hat war der große Realismus, der die ganze Geschichte durchzieht. Wie die Unfreiheit des Faschismus sich langsam in die Psyche dieser Menschen einschleicht, wie die Furcht wächst hinter jeder Ecke einen Spion zu erwarten. Wie man Unrecht und Ungerechtigkeit sieht und doch kaum eine Möglichkeit hat etwas dagegen zu unternehmen, ohne sein eigenes Leben zu gefährden... und wie am Ende alle Illusionen und Träume erlöschen.


Zudem sind die vielen Fakten in das Buch sorgsam eingeflochten und kommen zum Teil erst sehr langsam zum Tragen. Dies ist keine reißerische, hektische und voller Aktionen geladene Story. Nein, sie ist viel realer und erinnerte mich darin stark an die vielen Augenzeugenberichte, die ich über Deutschland und die Verhältnisse hier gelesen habe.


Das Schlimme an solchen Systemen ist nämlich, das dies alles nicht über Nacht geschieht und man sich plötzlich in einer surrealen Schönen-Neuen-Welt befindet, sondern, das es immer noch das gleiche Land und die gleichen Nachbarn sind. Nur haben plötzliche manche dieser Nachbarn plötzlich Macht und können dir Schaden zu fügen, weil ihnen deinen Nase nicht passt. Aber, der Alltag ist der gleiche, aber es verschieben sich die Nuancen, so lange, bis nichts mehr ist, wie es zuvor war. Der normale Mensch, der Angst hat, kann nicht immer über seinen eigenen Tellerrand hinaussehen, bis es zu spät ist.


Interessant waren aber auch die Unterschiede zwischen dem deutschen und dem spanischen Faschismus. So ist es in Spanien insbesondere die Kirche, die nach der Zerschlagung der Kommunisten und Rebublikaner, stark in die Leben der normalen Menschen eingreift. Das entfernen von Kindern aus Familien, um sie umzuerziehen, die moralische Unterdrückung von Frauen und Sexualität, die spanischen Konzentrationslager, in denen die Kirche eine große Rolle spielte.


Nicht ganz so gut gefallen hat mit die teilweise etwas langatmige Erzählweise, dabei meine ich nicht den großen Teppich den C.J. Sansom hier ausbreitet, sondern das sich die Charaktere immer wieder in ähnlichen Monologen ergehen, das war etwas ermüdend. Hier und da hätte es sich ruhig etwas schneller entwickeln können... und auch das Ende war etwas, na ja, melodramatisch?


Was zurückbleibt ist große Desillusion, die Ideale, mögen sie noch so gut und rein sein, überleben eine solche Zeit nicht, denn ob in Spanien oder in Deutschland, die Gewinner am Ende waren die ohne jede Moral. Nein, die Weltgeschichte ist kein Märchen.


War against ones own people in times, where 'neutral' doesn't exist anymore:


"Winter in Madrid" wasn't the book I expected. I bought it, because I liked the series about 'Matthew Shardlake' a lot, and after reading 'Homage to Catalonia' by George Orwell and 'Die Stimmen des Flusses' by Jaume Cabré (there is a good book without an English translation), I had a huge interest learning more about Spain's revolution and francoist Spain. Before I read this books I nearly know nothing about this part of European history. We have in Germany enough to do, with our own part of history in this period of time. But nothing in Europe or the World happens on it's own. It is all related and clearly so, especially in this time of history, close enough to influence our lifes till now.


This book was supposedly a spy novel, playing in a time as World War II cast a shadow over the world. But it is not a spy novel in it's regular sense. It's working with this themes, but it is more a story about the people involved.


There is Harry Brett, Englishman, public school educated and a Cambridge fellow, who had a short but traumatizing encounter with war in Dunkirk. Not very good material for a spy but never the less, he gets hired as such by the foreign office.

Because he should spy on Sandy, one of his old schoolmates, who has some secret dealings with Franco. Harry should try to befriend him again and gather knowledge about this dealings. England is in fear that Spain may join there fellow fascist Germans in the war. 

Sandy, all lose morals and as selfish, as he was as a child, lives together with Barbara, a former Red Cross Nurse. She had an affair with Bernie, who was an idealistic Communist, fighting against Franco. Now he is lost in battle and declared dead by the fascists. Bernie was also a friend of Harry back at school.

Through the eyes of this four people we get to see Spain and that's a little bit as if we would discover it on our own, and this is the point, where the spy story just walks into the background.


I was impressed by the huge amount of realism, which moves the whole story. How the bondage of Fascism creeps into the mind of those people, how the fear rises, how behind everyone and everything a spy might hide. How this people see unfairness and injustice and can't do nothing about it, because they have to fear for their own lives... and at the end all illusions and dreams are gone.


Facts and history are really nicely intertwined with the story, which takes its time to come to fruition. It is not a fast speed and high on action story. No, the story is to real to be like that. It remembered me a lot of eyewitness accounts of Germany and the time here, that I read.


Because what is really bad about living in such a system is, that you don't wake up one morning in a surreal "Brave"-New-World. It's still your home country, with the same people. But some of those people have now power over you and can harm you, if they don't like you. But the everyday life is still there, it shifts over time, and than, someday nothing is as it was before.A normal person, who is full of fear, can't always see beyond his own nose, and it might be to late if he does.


Interesting are also the nuances between Fascism in Germany and Spain. The Catholic Church in Spain gains much power, after the destruction of the Communists and Republicans, and interferes in normal peoples life. The taking away of children, to reeducate them, the moral oppression of woman and sexuality, Spanish concentration camps in which the church plays a mayor role... the list goes on.


The one thing I didn't like about this book was the sometimes repetitive nature of the story, by which I don't mean the huge carpet of time and space, C.J. Sansom has woven, but  the characters engage over and over in monologues about their situation which wasn't necessary. Which was tiring, and could have left out to move the story a bit faster.


At the end it is all a great dissolution, the ideals, how ever good they were, don't survive such times and regimes. It doesn't matter if it is Spain or Germany, the only people who gain from such times, are the ones without morals.

No, world history isn't a fairy tale.


Gecko's Advent Calendar: Charity vs Amazon, Day 14

Wasser für die Elefanten - Sara Gruen, Eva Kemper Troposphere - Scarlett Thomas Therapy - David Lodge

December 14,

Today was a reading day, the morning was rainy and dark and now its very cold outside. So I did a little bit of homework on a work-free day and tried to read a bit... I'm still not back to my old reading flow. But it gets better, I'm sure. I'm also totally stuck with my reading list for 2014. It's as if I can't see one book inside a whole library. But enough complaining...


The books for today:


Sara Gruen - "Wasser für die Elefanten": This book is another one I own but haven't read yet. But this will go to another ghost shift nurse, and former colleague of my team. She loved the film so much... I haven't seen it.


Scarlett Thomas - "Troposphere": This book I exchanged with the English version, which will stay with me, and it is gone to a workmate of mine.


David Lodge - "Therapy": New to me author but it sounded funny so I had to take it with me.


This results in 61 books from Charity against 95 Books from Amazon.

What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank - Nathan Englander

This was really nice. Well done short stories are a rarity in my eyes but these are all or most of them above average. Well written and emotional engaging... I'm satisfied right now.