Syempre Leyendo

**Bücher**Books**Livres**Libri**Libros**

Chinua Achebe "No longer at ease"
siempreleyendo
Synopsis: When Obi Okonkwo, grandson of Okonkwo from Achebe's first volume in his African trilogy, "Things fall apart", returns to Nigeria with a British education in his pocket, he finds himself unable to compromise between his European-bred ideas, his love for a "taboo" woman the expectations of society and the demands form his family. In the end, he looses everything by succumbing to, and finally being convicted of, corruption.

I had high hopes in this book, as I thoroughly enjoyed reading "Things fall apart" a couple of years ago. However, after reading this book I'm no longer sure if I even want to complete the trilogy and read "The arrow of God". All through the book I had a sense of foreboding and I just knew that everything in Okonkwo's life would go wrong. It also took me a while to get into the story, it starts in fragments of court proceedings and I was confused a few times about the timeline. Nevertheless, it is Achebe who wrote the book, and that means refreshingly clear language, intelligent observations and a palpable love for his characters.

Rating: 1  2  3  4  5  6

Alice Sebold "The Lovely Bones"
siempreleyendo
Synopsis: Susie Salmon is murdered by a man form her neighborhood when she's 14. Her body is never found and her family is struggling to come to terms with this tragedy. Ruth, a girl from Susie's high school class, knows that Susie is watching them. From her heaven she hopes for her murderer to be caught, her family to find happiness again and for just one more moment in earth.

My attention was called to this book by the trailer of the movie by Peter Jackson. I decided I wanted to read the book instead of watching the movie but now I'm determined to see the movie as well. I read it in 4 days, it totally captured me! Although the beginning - the murder - as well as the framing topic - murdered women and children - are gruesome, it isn't necessarily a difficult book to get through. The real topic is grief, friendship, love and to keep going despite all adversity and hardship. It is a powerful homage to the beauty of life.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 5.5 6

Lew Tolstoi "Anna Karenina"
siempreleyendo
Synopsis: When Anna Arkadjewna Karenina and count Wronski fall in love they go against all the conventions and mores of upper-class Russian society to forge a life together. What in the beginning looks like the start of fulfillment and happiness for both slowly poisons their hearts and minds and lures them onto destruction. In contrast, Jekaterina Alexandrowna and Konstantin Dimitritsch find together after months of despair and confusion and set out to be what looks like a content, successful, almost happy, family.

it took me over a month to read this book but every day was worth it. When I read classics like Tolstoy, Dostoevsky or Woolf, I feel like most modern writers have no talent, no skill, no idea what a book should sound like, feel like and read like. Although cynics could argue that many moments, incidents and feelings Tolstoy describes are rather irrelevant to the core story, every word in "Anna Karenina" seems deliberate, carefully chosen and important for the story as a whole. I'm guessing Rosemarie Tietze is to be credited largely for that, as she translates Tolstoy in a way that leaves nothing to be desired in the authentic feel of German version.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 5.5 6

Ingo Metzmacher "Keine Angst vor neuen Tönen"
siempreleyendo
Synopsis: "Eine Reise in die Welt der Musik" Ingo Metzmacher, apparently a well-known German conductor, writes about his biggest passion . modern music. He introduces the reader to different composers and describes some of their works, his experience with playing them or meeting the composers. In between he writes about different musical topics such as "play", "time", "color", "noise" and lets us know what the musical pieces mean to him.

I really thought this would be an interesting book to read. I thought I'd be introduced to some new and unheard music and I completely forgot that this is a book and that the author would have to describe the music in his own words if he didn't want to include sheet music. Well, after reading "Keine Angst vor neuen Tönen" I'm convinced that describing music with words is at best a difficult task. If you want to write about music you need to be sure that the reader knows exactly what you're talking about. If not, the experience remains a dry and abstract one. What carries this book is Metzmachers passion for these pieces. His flowery phrases I could have done without.

Rating: 1 2 3 3.5 4 5 6

Jacques Bonnet "Meine vielseitigen Geliebten"
siempreleyendo
Synopsis: Bekenntnisse eines Bibliophilen.
Jacques Bonnet, a former editor, owns thousands of books. Literally. The main topic in his book thus is "How to organize your library". It's surprising to see just how problematic finding the answer to such a seemingly simple question is.

Ok, I get it, he loves books. So do I. He collects them. So do I. I keep every book I liked to read and I give away all the ones I didn't like because chances are I won't ever read them again. Not Monsieur Bonnet. He collects books like other people collect stamps - randomly. If there's a series, he absolutely needs to have every single volume. Every catalogue to every exhibition he ever visited and to the ones he didn't. Every book of every author he ever read something interesting by. And so on. I do love books, I really do, but this book made me feel a bit nauseous. Mr Bonnets habit is not very far from people who buy Gucci just because it's Gucci. For me, that's not what literature is for.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie "The Thing Around Your Neck"
siempreleyendo
Synopsis: A collection of short stories.

I love Adichie's writing (see siempreleyendo.livejournal.com/968.html)! But I'm not a fan of short stories. I always feel like I want to know so much more about the characters, the setting, the time, the situation, etc. Adichie writes about various topics, from war to relocation in another country, identity crises, falling in love with a person from another culture to devastating family secrets. She's every bit as brilliant as in her other books but for me, personally, short stories are just not enough.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Banana Yoshimoto "Kitchen"
siempreleyendo
Synopsis: Something about a girl who's lost every member of her family. And other stories.

I can't even remember what happened in the stories of this book. I only know it supported my opinion that "Amrita" is the only interesting book Yoshimoto has ever written.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Joyce Carol Oates "My Sister, My Love"
siempreleyendo
Synopsis: Based on the real-life murder of 6 year-old beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey (renamed: Bliss Rampike), Oates tells the story from her unwanted older brother Skyler's point of view. From his earliest memories of his little sister to his realization that he actually did not have anything to do with his little sister's death (what his parents wanted him to believe), the book tells Skyler's whole life from little boy to slowly recovering tween.

"My Sister, My Love" is a disgusting exploitation of the gruesome murder of a little girl in her own home. It denounces the media for their blood-lust, lack of decency and disrespect for the privacy of a mourning family yet is in itself based on blood-lust and said lack of respect. Being myself someone who despises voyeurism, especially in the face of a crime, more than anything, it made me sick reading this book, yet read it I did. I'm an admirer of Oates' talent yet this book is way beneath her.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 6

Susanna Kaysen "Girl, Interrupted"
siempreleyendo
Synopsis: After a supposed suicide attempt at 18, Susanna is hospitalized for about a year by a psychiatrist she saw only once. In the psych ward she accurately observes and describes her surroundings, the sayings and doings of her fellow patients. Soon the reader comes to realize that what is normal and what is crazy often blur in real life as well as in hospitals.

I loved the movie and thought the book could only be better. Well, no. The book bored me for the most part and I was disappointed to see that in the movie they had made Angelina Jolie's character into a lunatic the woman it's based on never really was. Not worth it.

Rating: 1 2 3 4 5 6

My my my!
siempreleyendo
I've been very bad, my last post was written in October :-o !
Sorry about that. It's not that I'm not interested in my little book project anymore, I was just a bit preoccupied with university, so... I'll get on it after my exam though and I promise I will write about every single book I've read since "Der Meister und Margarita". Promise!

You are viewing siempreleyendo