Skip to main content

Book haul for last week and the week before

I acquired 4 books in the week before last: 3 non-fiction books and one novel, and have already read two of them.

  • The big red book is a richly illustrated history of the Vikings. It was fist published back in the 1960s, so I expect some more stuff has come to light since it was written, but it's a gloriously beautiful book worth owning.
  • Common Grounds is a book on the natural history of a small area of land in Harrogate, Yorkshire. Click on the link to read my review. 
  • Alice is about what might have happened to Alice after her adventures in Wonderland.  Clink the link to read my review. 
  • The Devil in the White City is another history book.I expect I will read it soon, as it has been on my TBR list for several years.

Then I acquired 12 books last week and have already read 2 of them and started reading a third.

First photo:

  • The book in the top left corner is titled Deutschland, and is a photo book about Germany. It was published in 1964 and all the photos are black-and-white. As I have mentioned before, I am going on holiday to Germany next year and I have been gathering reading material, mostly guide books, to prepare for the trip. There is some text in this book, all of it in German, and I plan to read it in order to prepare for the trip. I studied German for 4 years when I was in my teens, but have not used it much since. My vocabulary has therefore become sadly eroded and I want to beef up on it before I set off.
  • Animalwatching is a gorgeous natural history book by zoologist Desmond Morris. It will go nicely on the shelf next to my David Attenborough books.
  • Historic Costume in Pictures is a Dover Publications reissue of a series of sumptuous costume plates originally published in Germany in the 19th century. 
  • Leonardo da Vinci's Machines is full of da Vinci's drawings of his inventions, with explanations and discussions. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching TV shows where people have built some of these machines, and was fascinated by an exhibition of scale models of some of them that I visited some years ago, so the book is a happy addition to my library.
  • Live Alone and Like It is a guide to the single life for women. It was first published in the 1930s, so I expect some of the advice will be out of date, but it will be fun to read. I just wish I could return the photograph I found inside it to it's rightful owner.

Second photo:
  • Top left: An Icelandic translation of The Joy of Sex
  • Centre, top: An old book of crochet designs. I crochet quite a lot and this book contains several classic designs.
  • The Man Who Loved China. Simon Winchester is among my favourite authors of history/biography books and this is one I have not read before.
  • The Long Earth - I thought I had a copy of this, but I couldn't find it in my library database, so when this appeared on the exchange bookshelf at work I pounced on it.
  • Nótt is an Icelandic  translation of Eli Wiesel's classic book about life in a German concentration camp during World War 2.
  • A Dubious Legacy. I was delighted to discover a Mary Wesley book I had not read before. 
  • The Solace of Open Spaces. This one I have already read and thoroughly enjoyed. (See the Weekly report).


Popular posts from this blog

Book 40: The Martian by Andy Weir, audiobook read by Wil Wheaton

Note : This will be a general scattershot discussion about my thoughts on the book and the movie, and not a cohesive review. When movies are based on books I am interested in reading but haven't yet read, I generally wait to read the book until I have seen the movie, but when a movie is made based on a book I have already read, I try to abstain from rereading the book until I have seen the movie. The reason is simple: I am one of those people who can be reduced to near-incoherent rage when a movie severely alters the perfectly good story line of a beloved book, changes the ending beyond recognition or adds unnecessarily to the story ( The Hobbit , anyone?) without any apparent reason. I don't mind omissions of unnecessary parts so much (I did not, for example, become enraged to find Tom Bombadil missing from The Lord of the Rings ), because one expects that - movies based on books would be TV-series long if they tried to include everything, so the material must be pared down

List love: 10 recommended stories with cross-dressing characters

This trope is almost as old as literature, what with Achilles, Hercules and Athena all cross-dressing in the Greek myths, Thor and Odin disguising themselves as women in the Norse myths, and Arjuna doing the same in the Mahabaratha. In modern times it is most common in romance novels, especially historicals in which a heroine often spends part of the book disguised as a boy, the hero sometimes falling for her while thinking she is a boy. Occasionally a hero will cross-dress, using a female disguise to avoid recognition or to gain access to someplace where he would never be able to go as a man. However, the trope isn’t just found in romances, as may be seen in the list below, in which I recommend stories with a variety of cross-dressing characters. Unfortunately I was only able to dredge up from the depths of my memory two book-length stories I had read in which men cross-dress, so this is mostly a list of women dressed as men. Ghost Riders by Sharyn McCrumb. One of the interwove

First book of 2020: The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel by Deborah Moggach (reading notes)

I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but I loathe movie tie-in book covers because I feel they are (often) trying to tell me how I should see the characters in the book. The edition of Deborah Moggach's These Foolish Things that I read takes it one step further and changes the title of the book into the title of the film version as well as having photos of the ensemble cast on the cover. Fortunately it has been a long while since I watched the movie, so I couldn't even remember who played whom in the film, and I think it's perfectly understandable to try to cash in on the movie's success by rebranding the book. Even with a few years between watching the film and reading the book, I could see that the story had been altered, e.g. by having the Marigold Hotel's owner/manager be single and having a romance, instead being of unhappily married to an (understandably, I thought) shrewish wife. It also conflates Sonny, the wheeler dealer behind the retireme