My so-called Luck

Ein Blog, der all den kleinen inspirierenden Dingen des Lebens gewidmet ist.

Category: Kultur Page 2 of 29

Audrey Niffenegger: Die Frau des Zeitreisenden!

©Bild: Franzi.

Die Frau des Zeitreisenden von Audrey Niffenegger habe ich nicht ganz freiwillig gelesen. Stephan hat es mir im Italienurlaub in die Hand gedrückt und gemeint, es wäre bestimmt etwas für mich. Auf der langen Heimreise mit dem Zug ist mir dann meine eigene Lektüre ausgegangen und so habe ich mit dem Lesen angefangen. Viele Stunden später war ich dann durch und wusste

a) warum ich es ursprünglich nicht lesen wollte (und auch den Film nie gesehen habe) und

b) warum Stephan der Meinung war, dass das Buch doch etwas für mich sei.

Ich hab immer Abstand von dem Buch genommen, weil ich das Gefühl hatte, dass es ein tieftrauriges Element besitzt: Clare kennt Henry schon seit ihrem sechsten Lebensjahr. Henry lernt Clare jedoch erst mit Anfang dreißig kennen. Er ist ein Zeitreisender und besucht die heranwachsende Clare regelmäßig nachdem er sie kennengelernt hat. Was daran tieftraurig ist? Das Ungewisse, das ständig diese Beziehung umweht und das nicht Beständige.

Trotzdem konnte ich das Buch nicht aus der Hand legen. Ich wollte unbedingt wissen, wie es für die beiden ausgeht. Die Story ist spannend und originell. Das Fantastische schadet ihr nicht.

Aber: Das Buch hat deutliche Längen und hätte gerne 100 Seiten kürzer ausfallen dürfen. Es gibt Kapitel deren Bedeutung mir im Nachhinein nicht ganz klar sind sowie lange Ausschweifungen zur Papiermacherei (Clare ist Künstlerin). Zudem gibt es Inkonsistenzen in der Geschichte und eine deutliche Herausarbeitung von Klassenunterschieden in der Gesellschaft (alle Bediensteten sind Schwarz oder Ausländer), die mir so gar nicht gefallen.

Ich bin aber dennoch froh, dass ich es am Ende doch noch gelesen habe und vergebe hiermit **** (von 5 möglichen).

Habt einen bezaubernden Start in die neue Woche!

Wie immer: Alle Bildnachweise erscheinen nach einem Klick auf die entsprechenden Links . Für weitere Infos, Anregungen oder Fragen freue ich mich über eine Mail.

The Books I’ve Read: Faking Friends by Jane Fallon!

Pic by Franzi.

What would you do if your best friend is secretly having an affair with your fiancé? Would you cry in your sheets and break-up the relationship immediately? I certainly would, but Amy – the heroine of Jane Fallon’s novel Faking Friends – chooses another way…

When she arrives unannounced in her flat in London, her fiancé Jack is out, but it’s clear another woman has been making herself at home there. Amy wants to find out, who the woman is – and takes on as if everything is okay:  She books herself into a hotel, phones Jack and announces her arrival the same evening. The next day she finally realizes that the ‘Other Woman’ is Melissa, her best friend. But instead of falling apart, she’s determined to get her life back on track – and also to get some bit of revenge.

This book is a highly entertaining read. I started it and couldn’t drop it down anymore. It is written in a empathetic style with a story sometimes tragic, but often funny. A perfect book for the first (still cold) spring days!

Have a wonderful and entertaining week :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

Hottentotten Stottertrottel – Wolf Schneider’s Biography!

Pic by Franzi.

Wolf Schneider is the one name that comes into my mind, when I think about excellent journalism and the distinct usage of words and grammar in writing. Schneider worked for such prestigious German journals and newspapers as the Süddeutsche Zeitung, the Stern or the Welt. Moreover, he wrote a bunch of books about the German language and taught for many, many years on journalism schools.

Some sentences from his books about good (or more often bad) German style are with me and my writing all the time. The most important one: “Hauptsachen gehören in Hauptsätze!” // “Main things belong into main clauses!” It may sound incredible logic and easy, but so often one gets distracted and ends up with one loooong sentence with three subordinate clauses.

Schneider’s (German) biography Hottentotten Stottertrottel – Mein langes wunderliches Leben has been published in 2015, the year of his 90th birthday. The book is a wild mix of journalistic thriller and a trip back in time. He narrates his rollercoaster journey through the German journalistic world, his meetings not only with famous publishers like Henri Nannen or Axel Springer, but also with presidents, politicians and all kinds of famous or long forgotten big names of the last 60 years.

Since he has written the biography himself, it is once more a wonderful possibility to enjoy his clear writing style.

For me, a must-read for everyone who is interested in biographies, German history and – of course – in journalism.

Have a wonderful and entertaining week :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake!

Pic by Franzi.

Merry X-Mas everyone :)! Those days are stuffed with visits of family and friends, big and small dinners and a lot of fun. In case you still have some time for a holiday read – here is this year’s favorite of mine: The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake.

A Danish girl, Clara Kristensen, arrives in autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It’s cold, drizzly and the skies are grey. The last shop on the high street – an adorable little toy shop – is just shutting its doors. Clara rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe, the son of the owner, comes to Yulethorpe. Joe is very busy with his job in London. Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life – naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?

This book is not only heartwarming, but also funny and insightful: A little more hygge is welcome everywhere, isn’t it?

Have a wonderful (X-Mas) week!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

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.

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

Frankfurt Book Fair 2017! #FBM17 #FraFra2017

This year’s guest of honor: France! All pics by Franzi.

I am just back from Frankfurt where I visited once more the Frankfurt book fair. This year’s guest of honor was France and it was wonderful to hear people talking French everywhere. Of course, there were also lots and lots of books and inspiring authors I wanna share with you the next weeks. Today I would like to show you some impressions of the fair and its atmosphere, in case you are interested :):

I wish you a wonderful start into the new week – enjoy the sunny fall days and take some time reading good books!

With France as guest of honor at a book fair, there has to be an Asterix!

A wall of books!

The light-flooded French pavilion!

Cookbooks!

The creative business festival THE ARTS+ took also place on the book fair.

The inventive Hendricks gin booth (yeah, there was some booze offered at the fair ;)).

There was also an impressive antique book fair included.

The main stage in the French pavilion.

A view on Frankfurt and the fairground.

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

My Vacation (in) Books!

The six books I read during the last two vacation weeks. All pics by Franzi.

Our (late summer / early fall) vacations are already over. Those two weeks were incredible relaxing and fun. And finally there was time for reading :)! Here are the six books I indulged in.

Cooking for Picasso by Camille Aubray:

In spring 1936 seventeen-year-old Ondine cooks with her mother in the kitchen of their family owned “Café Paradis” in the small French village Juan-les-Pin. The already famous artist Pablo Picasso stays incognito in a nearby villa and makes a deal with the “Café Paradies” that they are responsible for his food. Thus, Ondine rides everyday with her bicycle to Picasso’s villa and cooks for him her extraordinary dishes.

Céline is a Hollywood makeup artist in New York of the present days. From her mother Julie, she learns that her Grandmother Ondine once cooked for Picasso and that she may once owned a Picasso painting. But where’s the painting got to?

This was a perfect vacation book – French Riviera atmosphere, excellent food descriptions, a gripping story and plot that combines the real facts wonderfully with imagination.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

This is a historical letter novel that plays shortly after WWII and is about a young English author on the search for a topic for her new book and a bunch of people located on Guernsey who created the “Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society” during the German occupation on Guernsey. The plot is hilarious and entertaining and sometimes sad. But then there’s also a romantic story-line ;)… A big must-read recommendation!

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

This is the first book of a crime series around the Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid and his young sergeant Gemma James:

Overworked Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid plans to make vacation at the time-share “Followdale House” in northern England. Some of his fellow guests have been to the time-share hotel before. Others are newcomers. Then someone dies…

I am a big fan of good-written crime series (I love the Elizabeth George series!) and this book was a good start into a new addiction :).

Becks letzter Sommer (Beck’s last summer) by Benedict Wells

A bored teacher in his 30s, his depressed and addicted black best friend and a 17-year-old Lithuanian, who’s a highly talented musician. Those three people are experiencing not only a summer together, but also a road trip to Istanbul full of adventures that have consequences for all of their futures.

A nice German book that’s well written, easy to read and has a clever plot.

Ein Kind für mich allein (A child all for myself) by Elfriede Brüning

This is a German 1950s classic about a woman who is trying to find her life’s purpose. Shortly after the war ended, she works as a nurse in a hospital in Berlin. She falls in love with a doctor of the same hospital who is not interested in a long-term relationship with her. Then she believes she’s pregnant…

At the moment, I am interested into German literature of the 1950s – especially if it is about the life of women during this time. The book illustrates a woman on her search of independence – which was a lot harder in the 1950s than it is now. But some of her thoughts are nevertheless up to date. Like: What is one’s purpose in life? Or: When is the right time to get a child and with whom?

Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway

This novel from 1926 was one of the first successes of Hemingway. It describes not only the “lost generation” of the 1920s in Paris but plays also in Pamplona during the Fiesta of San Fermin where the protagonist Jake Barnes travels with a bunch of friends to visit the running of the bulls. He is in love with a typical 1920s girl named Brett. Unfortunately Jake was injured during the war and, as a consequence, is now impotent. Brett on the other side loves life and men – her fiancée Mike is with her in Pamplona – as is also her latest affair Robert Cohn.

The story is typical Hemingway – fast and with a passionate plot it narrates the story of Jake and Brett and the destiny of all those involved.

I wish you a wonderful week! Have an entertaining one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

Letters to a Young Writer by Colum McCann

Pic by Franzi.

“The whole point of good literature is to make newness durable. You are creating alternative time. You are making vivid that which did not exist before.” Colum McCann, Letters to a Young Writer

Letters to a Young Writer by author Colum McCann comprises fifty-two short texts that give some practical and philosophical advice about various matters of authorship – like creating characters, developing a plot, the terror of the white page, the first line and many more.  For me, each of the small texts was highly motivating and full of inspirational lines, which I would like to write down on a BIG mood board and hang it up above my favorite place to write (so currently this would be above my sofa).

A big recommendation for everyone who is loving the written word but also fighting with it from time to time.

I wish you a wonderful week! Have a creative one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

A Book About the Brain!

Pic by Franzi.

Today’s post is written under some time pressure: Thus the small picture and only a few lines…

Our last book in the literature club was Mein Hirn hat seinen eigenen Kopf (My brain has its own head) by Dong Seon Chang. It’s a book about the wonders of the mind – how our brain works and how it defines us and our relationships to the people around us.

An exciting read with lots of insights to discuss about!

I wish you a wonderful week! Enjoy the wonders of your mind :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

A Portuguese Crime Novel: Lost in Fuseta by Gil Ribeiro!

Pic by Franzi.

It was more accidentally than planned that I took the crime novel Lost in Fuseta by Gil Ribeiro (aka Holger Karsten Schmidt) with me at the Algarve.

In this first book of a new crime novel series we get to know Leander Lost, a police officer from Hamburg who participates at an exchange program and will stay one year in Portugal – in Fuseta, a small town at the Eastern Algarve. But Leander Lost is not the ordinary kind of police men: He wears only black, stares strangely into the eyes of other people and – most important – cannot lie. Soon after his arrival there is a murder case to investigate and his new Portuguese police partners, sub-inspector Rosado and her colleague Esteves, have to deal with this strange new man in their team.

This book was a positive surprise: It is written in an entertaining (German) voice, I really liked its figures and I learned a lot about the people at the Algarve. A book that is worth reading – not only if you are actually in Portugal.

I wish you a wonderful week! Enjoy the sun :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

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