Monday, February 18, 2013

The books i (should) read & "Off with their heads!"

This blog post is inspired by the reading challenge: 7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books - Reading Challenge 2013 and by the "It's Monday! What are you reading?" series, more about both, at the bottom of this post.

The books i should read vs. the books i read
Right now, my reads consist of 2 kind of books: the ones i should be reading, or rather: the ones i am reading, and thought i would finish, but need a pause from: there's Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood", and Granta's Pakistan anthology, which both are powerful reads, but rather on the intimidating side of emotions, with the senseless murders described in Cold Blood, the Kashmir tragedy, and a theme of lost lives running through all.

Alice In Wonderland
So instead of the "should finish first" books, i am taking a reading detour with "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" by Lewis Carroll. Like with The Little Prince and with Grimm’s Fairy Tale, i thought i'd remember the story, but when reading it, found so many things that felt new. And like Grimm's Fairy Tales, the Alice read is inspired by SciFi & Fantasy class - it's so good to read a book and parallel to that, listen to the literary lectures about it with themes like "About Lewis Caroll" (turns out, he was a professor of mathematics), "The Continuum of the Fantastic", or: "Thoughts on Language and Mathematics".- If you are interested, here's the lit course link, here's the book post that includes Grimm's Fairy Tales, and here are the pdf-link to the free e-books, both the version with illustrations: "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass".

Off with their heads.. 
While typing this, i noticed some curious cross-overs: here are the 2 books that are the "should-reads", and the Pakistan indeed has an almost fairy-tale-like cover...

...while in a twist of themes, Alice keeps reminding me of Cold Blood, with the Queen and her favourite order: "Off with their heads"! in scenes like this:
"Better not talk!" said Five. "I heard the Queen say you deserved to be beheaded!" "What for?" said the one who had spoken first. "That's none of your business, Two!" said Seven.
And following the tune, the Pakistan book has a short story that would please the Queen: "A Beheading.."
No escape from the dark side of things, it seems. So more about the 2 books from the colorful dark side, next week... and meanwhile, off to Romania in shorts, and then on to Mexico by train:

Never Mind the Balkans, Here's Romania
And as I want to read more globally this year, i looked for a books from East Europe, as Romania and Bosnia made cultural headlines yesterday at the international Berlin film festival: indie film from Romania won the Golden Bear. Here's an interesting prize-winner article at the Guardian: "Berlin film festival honours eastern European movie-makers": Two low-budget films, one from Romania and the other from Bosnia, take top prizes for portrayals of post-communist life." - and here's the film trailer: Child's Pose.
But back to books: Romania. Another country i never read something from, and when looking for detour sunday reads in the currently-for-free-e-book-list, i arrived at the "Here's Romania" book, which includes "58 short stories set in Romania, written by former BBC journalist Mike Ormsby. The preface of the collection consists of this single line: "These stories are based on fact. Spooky but true."

Ten Thousand Miles by Freight Train: A Memoir of Beauty and Freedom on the Rails 
Another book i came across while browsing said list is the Train Travel memoir by Carrot Quinn - i read into the first lines, and they made me think of "Wild" with their eagerness to get out there, despite lack of money and obstacles and all: "This is the true story of a young woman who sets out across the continent on wild freight trains in search of beauty, freedom and adventure. There is weather, wind, and peril; she becomes hopelessly lost; she lives for days in magical, forgotten forests." 
The first train ride leads to Mexico and back, and the second one, i guess i want to read that in a train.


Global Reading Challenge
This blog post is inspired by a Global Reading Challenge, more about it here: 7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books - Reading Challenge 2013 The idea of this reading challenge is to explore the world by books from different continents and countries, and by visiting various world lists while planning the reads, to encounter unknown angles and facts about our world. This challenge is still open for anyone who is interested to join.

The link is also listed in the "It's Monday! What are you reading?" series that is hosted by Sheila at Book Journey, participating blogs are listed in this Linky Book List

Previous reading blog entries are collected here: bookshelf: currently  reading... there also is a visual bookshelf, just click it to get there:

And my own new book... is Worl(d)s Apart. True.


Sarah said...

That Granta book is beautiful! I've only read their Ten Years Later collection on the anniversary of 9/11, but I'd love to read more.

Dorothee said...

hi Sarah! The Granta books, i only found them this year, and have 2 here now, this one and their "Africa" collection. Great format, i will look for more, too.