Two Kids Books! #FBM17 #FraFra2017

One of the two kids books that really impressed me: Aprés by the incredible artist Laurent Moreau (in French language).

This will be the last part of my Frankfurt Book Fair follow-up. Let’s finish with two kids books that really fascinated me – one in French and one in English. But I think that kids would get the ideas of those books in any language.

Have a wonderful start into the new week!

Aprés (“After”) by  Laurent Moreau:

“After the rage, there comes the silence. After a long silence, I don’t know what to say.”

Artist Laurent Moreau captures the mindset of a kid in beautiful pictures. For me, this book was love at first sight and I really wish for an English (or even better) German edition of it!

“After winter, the spring brings back the colors.”

Book of Bones – 10 Record-Breaking Animals by Gabrielle Balkan and illustrated by Sam Brewster:

A wonderful book that really has a different way of explaining nature…

…by first showing pictures of animal skeletons, asking “Who am I?” …

… and finally showing the accompanying animal plus some interesting facts about it.

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What I Read on Top of the Mountains: Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella!

Sophie Kinsella’s book may be falling into the category of chick lit. But hey, who cares – sometimes a girl needs a little bit dreaming away and relaxing her mind. Sitting on the top of the mountains, on a bench in the sunshine in front of an alpine hut and waiting for my friends to come back from their skiing adventures, there could have been no better distraction for me than to read Wedding Night by Sophie Kinsella.

It’s about the girl Lottie who thinks that her long-time boyfriend will propose very soon. When he didn’t, she breaks up with him quite spontaneously. Then, out of the blue, she gets a call from her first love. When he proposes on the very first date – after they didn’t see each other since they were teens – Lottie believes in fate and says YES.

Lottie’s older sister Fliss can’t believe she’s doing something so crazy. She is in the mid of a divorce herself and to save her little sister from making this sad experience she does everything to prevent the wedding …

It’s great fun to follow the sisters paths – especially since it is written from both perspectives, Fliss’ and Lottie’s. So, the reader can understand both intentions. Wonderful (chick lit) read!

I wish you a weekend full of relaxing hours for your minds!

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The Summer without Men by Siri Hustvedt

I didn’t read the novel The Summer without Men because the reviews were fantastic when it came out last year. I didn’t read it because of the famous author, Siri Hustvedt, the wife of the not less famous (and incredible) Paul Auster. I just read this one because of its title and all the implications that came with it for me: A summer without Men? What could that look like and would it be something I should try out myself? Yes, I should definitely try this one… but I know me too well, always on search for drama, the person I am. Unfortunately…

The heroine Mia of Siri Hustvedt’s book is nothing like me. She’s an elderly woman, mother of an adult daughter, wife to a famous scientist and daughter herself to an active mother, living still in the small village Mia did grow up. And that’s exactly where she escaped to after having had a mental crack up as reaction of her husband’s decision to pause the marriage because of a younger women from his lab (later always be titled as „the pause“). Mia spends a whole summer with her mother and her mother’s  extraordinary friends („the swans“), the girls of her poetry class and her neighbor, a young mother dealing with her own relationship problems herself. Slowly, Mia starts to process her current situation, to analyze her past and to develop a new future perspective.

Maybe I read this book for the wrong reasons, but in the end I can totally say that it was the best book I read for a very long time. It’s a master piece with a simple plot that touches aspects of all of our lives and relationships and offers a poetic language mixed with a big portion of humor that is unexpected and fantastic! A totally re-read (And that’s something I do very, very seldom)!

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Wendy Cope’s Poems: Two Cures For Love

I don’t want to say too much today about Wendy Cope -this great poet that convinced me to read my first english poems ever- or her work, which I find so extraordinary that I even used it as a citation in my PhD thesis. Just that I fell in love with her words immediately and this collection of selected poems from 1979-2006 made it easy to dig into her work since this edition identifies the references, and background information, which gives readers a completely new inside into her poetry.

These are some of my favorites:

Two Cures for Love

1. Don’t see him. Don’t phone or write a letter.
2. The easy way: get to know him better.

A Christmas Poem

At Christmas little children sing and merry bells jingle,
The cold winter air makes our hands and faces tingle
And happy families go to church and cheerily they
And the whole business in unbelievable dreadful, if
you’re single.

After the Lunch

On Waterloo Bridge, where we said our goodbyes,
The weather conditions bring tears to my eyes.
I wipe them away with a black woolly glove
And try not to notice I’ve fallen in love.

On Waterloo Bridge I am trying to think:
This is nothing. You’re high on the charm and the drink.
But the juke-box inside me is playing a song
That says something different. And when was it wrong?

On Waterloo Bridge with the wind in my hair
I am tempted to skip. You’re a fool. I don’t care.
The head does its best but the heart is the boss –
I admit it before I am halfway across.

All three poems excerpts from Wendy Cope’s book Two Cures for Love.

More information about Wendy Cope and her work: Wikipedia, Poetry Archive, British Council Literature.

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