Category Archives: literature

My bestie knows me well!

It’s 01/01/2015, around lunchtime.

I crawl out of bed (oh please, as if you got up any earlier after those New Year’s festivities), listen to some of BBC’s Cabin Pressure while I get ready and then get a call. A parcel was left for me next door.

Weird. For once, I don’t have any Amazon orders outstanding, and the two posters of Richard III at Trafalgar Studios that I’d been after since September arrived on December 30.

What could it be?

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My “To Read” Pile for 2015

I love buying books. I can spend hours in a bookstore or browsing a fleamarket for a bargain. Usually, I end up buying at least 1 book, which is why my To Read Pile is growing and growing. Even if I only wanted to get a voucher for a friend’s birthday… I’ll end up getting the voucher for her and a book for myself.

A home without books is like a body without a soul. – Cicero

I really believe that. People who don’t have books are highly suspicious in my eyes. Take my ex for example: he only owned two “proper” books. Animal Farm and Anne Frank’s Diary. The rest of his books were picture books with “pretty” cars in them.

I can’t help it. I like to show that I’m well-read. Seeing what others have on their bookshelves can be a great conversation starter! My “To Read Pile” is growing ever higher, though, as I haven’t had a chance to properly get lost in a good book in months.

Some of these books I’ve been meaning to read for a while now. Others were gifts. A few of them are by authors I admire. One is by a very good friend of mine (Die Spiegelsinfonie). But some I chose because I love the cover (Tape & Mister Pip especially)

So here are some books I’ve already got at the ready for 2015:

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Required High School Reading – Book list from a German school

Lately I have been wondering about required reading in high school. Mainly because I re-organised my book shelves and grouped all the books I had to read in school together and realised that my list is pretty long.

There seem to be a few books and/or authors that are universal (Shakespeare, Orwell etc.), but many are down to a country’s preference.

In your native language, you’ll usually read and analyse books that originated in your country or were written in your language first (i.e. not a translated work). In foreign languages, you tend to start off easy and then get more complex reading lists as your language skills improve.

This makes me quite glad that I received my secondary education in Germany, as I feel I got a quite comprehensive reading list out of the deal. My Grammar School was bilingual and we were treated like native English speakers as well as native German speakers, so my reading list might be a bit out of the ordinary. Grammar School in Germany used to go from Year 5 to Year 13. It has since my graduation in 2006 been reduced to Years 5-12.

Which books were you required to read in school? Which ones did you keep? Which ones stayed with you?

Here’s my list!

Continue reading Required High School Reading – Book list from a German school

Bestselling NaNoWriMo Success Stories

If you think that NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) is just a little project to keep wanna-be writers occupied during November and nothing ever comes of it, you’re wrong.

Several authors have had their start as NaNoWriMo participants and went on to publish the projects they wrote during November and edited during December.

Don’t believe me? Here are some traditionally published authors you migt have heard of, and their bestselling novels that started life as a NaNoWriMo project.

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Interview with Alex Hofmann, author of Menschen mit Meer

It’s nearly 9pm when my door bell rings and Alex Hofmann stands grinning in my hallway. The author of Menschen mit Meer (lit.: People with Sea), a book about people with autism that was published by Kleine Wege in 2013, gives me a hug, gets comfy on the couch – and pulls a thermos out of her handbag.

“I totally forgot I’d made tea and I didn’t want to let it go to waste,” she explains while I go and get mugs and she pulls something else out of her bag.

“There are a few homemade Christmas cookies in this box. Help yourself!”

We talk about this and that; about space and psychology, autism and Menschen mit Meer, and our interview is almost an afterthought.

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