Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Back Reviews Reel: January 2014

Three years ago I started into the blogging year with the last five of altogether 32 reviews for the European Reading Challenge 2013 hosted by Rose City Reader that closed on 31 January 2014 (»»» see my summary including a complete list of books reviewed or just read for it). My final effort to pay a reading visit to at least half of Europe’s fifty countries, took me first to Switzerland on the pages of the satirical classic Once a Greek by Friedrich Dürrenmatt. Then it was the turn of the en-NOBEL-ed writers of 1909 and 2006 to show me their countries: I moved northwards to Sweden in the late nineteenth century with The Emperor of Portugallia by Selma Lagerlöf, before heading south to modern-day Turkey via Germany and sinking into the slippery world of Anatolian Snow by Orhan Pamuk. Afterwards I travelled to the Netherlands in the fierce grip of The Storm by Margriet de Moor from 1953 to the present. And my final destination was in the east of the continent, more precisely in Azerbaijan between 1914 and 1920, where I accompanied the lovers Ali and Nino by Kurban Said through the maze of religious, cultural and national traditions trying to keep them apart.

Monday, 16 January 2017

Poetry Revisited: Snow by Adelaide Crapsey

Snow

(from Verse: 1915)

Look up…
From bleakening hills
Blows down the light, first breath
Of wintry wind…look up, and scent
The snow!

Adelaide Crapsey (1878-1914)
American poet

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

New on Lagraziana's Kalliopeion: The Professor by Charlotte Brontë

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/902436.The_ProfessorTo read the first work of a much adored writer can be either a revelation or more likely a deception, sometimes even a big one because not many succeed in producing outstanding literature already in the very first try. Writing like any other occupation needs practice. And experience of life usually isn’t a disadvantage, either. Quite a lot of the great men and women of literature that we know today saw their first novels (poems, short stories,…) rejected by publishers, often by more than just one, as show their biographies. In the Victorian age this wasn’t any different from today. Charlotte Brontë, for instance, never saw her first novel in print. The Professor was first published under her pen name Currer Bell in 1857, i.e. only two years after her premature death, and to this date it’s less widely read than her masterpieces Jane Eyre and Villette or even Shirley.

Read more » (external link to Lagraziana's Kalliopeion)

Monday, 9 January 2017

Poetry Revisited: A Copse In Winter by John Clare

A Copse In Winter

(from The Village Minstrel, and Other Poems: 1821)

Shades though you're leafless, save the bramble-spear
Whose weather-beaten leaves, of purple stain,
In hardy stubbornness cling all the year
To their old thorns, till Spring buds new again;
Shades, still I love you better than the plain,
For here I find the earliest flowers that blow,
While on the bare blea bank do yet remain
Old winter's traces, little heaps of snow.
Beneath your ashen roots, primroses grow
From dead grass tufts and matted moss, once more;
Sweet beds of violets dare again be seen
In their deep purple pride; and, gay display'd,
The crow-flowers, creeping from the naked green,
Add early beauties to your sheltering shade.

John Clare (1793-1864)
English poet

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Women Challenge #5: My List


http://www.peekabook.it/2017/01/2017-women-challenge.html
click on the image to go to the
challenge on peek-a-booK!

  Books Written By Women

- completed and forthcoming reviews in alphabetical order -
  1. Mariama : So Long a Letter (1980), original French title: Une si longue lettre
  2. Maja Haderlap: Angel of Oblvion (2011), original German title: Engel des Vergessens
  3. Elisabeth Hickey: The Painted Kiss (2005)
  4. Sumii Sué: The River with No Bridge (Volume I: 1961), original Japanese title: 橋のない川

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks: My 2017 List

http://www.read52booksin52weeks.com/
click on the image to go to the
challenge on Read 52 Books in 52 Weeks

52 Books – 52 Writers

- completed and forthcoming reviews in alphabetical order -
  1. Mariama : So Long a Letter (1980), original French title: Une si longue lettre
  2. Heinrich Böll: Billiards at Half Past Nine (1959), original German title: Billiard um halb zehn
  3. Maja Haderlap: Angel of Oblvion (2011), original German title: Engel des Vergessens
  4. Elisabeth Hickey: The Painted Kiss (2005)
  5. Amos Oz: Black Box (1986), original Hebrew title: קופסה שחורה
  6. Arturo Pérez-Reverte: The Flanders Panel (1990), original Spanish title: La tabla de Flandes
  7. Sumii Sué: The River with No Bridge (Volume I: 1961), original Japanese title: 橋のない川

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

2017 Reading Challenges

Welcome in a new blogging year – my fifth already! It goes without saying that on the coming fifty-two Fridays you can look forward to many reviews of gorgeous books from the pens of famous and forgotten authors, half male and half female. During the past couple of weeks I made a long (not yet complete) list of reads to present to you and that I hope will meet your tastes too, not just mine. In addition, I picked a few new annual reading challenges to participate in that should make 2017 an even more diverse reading year than usual. Instead of making a sign-up post for each one of the five new ones, I decided to just write the following summary with links to the respective lists that will go online by and by. Moreover, I include an up-date for the ongoing reading challenges.