Monday, March 4, 2013

current reads: island audio book + a walk through America + a classic gone Manga

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 great thing about libraries is that they offer the chance to find books you never heard of, from authors you don't know..." - that's what i wrote in February after stopping by at the local library. I've been there again last week and came and must have been blind before - they have a shelf with audio books, right in the first room. I usually don't listen to audio books, but reading about it several times in book blogs recently, i thought about looking for one - and there they were, waiting all the time! The one i picked is:

Audio Book from the library: 
"Snow Falling on Cedars" by David Guterson
Still fitting the season - a winter book from a remote place. Here's the book description from Goodreads: "San Piedro Island, north of Puget Sound, is a place so isolated that no one who lives there can afford to make enemies. But in 1954 a local fisherman is found suspiciously drowned, and a Japanese American named Kabuo Miyamoto is charged with his murder. In the course of the ensuing trial, it becomes clear that what is at stake is more than a man's guilt." more here: Snow Falling on Cedars

I still think it's a bit odd that they picked the actor image instead of a book cover, but listening to the first CD, the one who reads - or rather "acts in audio" - Ulrich Matthes is an actor, and with his voice, he shapes the different characters like on a stage. Really enjoying the audio "read" so far. It's from an audio book series that was released by a magazine, with actors and actresses as speakers.

Hartland - walking through America by Wolfgang Büscher
The second book i picked was "Hartland" - it stood out with its cover and it's curious title. It's written by an author i remembered from another book: Wolfgang Büscher is known for his long, unusual solo walks. In his previous book, he wrote about walking from Berlin to Moscow - to explore the territory that was forbidden in the time of the cold war. Another walk he took was: along the border of Germany in a round trip of 3 months, taking trains, buses and ships. In "Hartland", he walks through America. Starting at the Canadian border, his plan is to walk from North to South, right through the middle, along the route 77. Here's more about the book at Goodreads: Hartland (seems neither of his books is published in English yet). And here's the route, which is included in the front of the book:

Looking at the books I read last year, this now makes the third "Walk through America book". The first was "A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail" by travel writer by Bill Bryson.

And then in summer, "Wild" by  Cheryl Strayed, her book on walking the Pacific Crest Trail - and for me, my first full e-book on kindle. A strange twist, that from all books, a wilderness-book brought me to reading e-books.


Valmont, or: Dangerous Liaisons / Cruel Intentions
The third book i am currently reading is not about walks, but from concept it is indeed a bit "wild", too: it's the French classic "Dangerous Liaisons", which has seen many adaptations already in film and book - now there also is a Manga version, created by Japanese Manga artist Chiho Saito. Like Japanese and Chinese writing, the Manga are read the other way round, too: from left to right = from "back" to "cover", only that those of course are inversed, too. It's fascinating, both the read and the format. Very different from my recent "comic" reads, like Nobody, and Habibi (which is unique itself).

And of course, the story itself is as compelling as ever with its vengeful twists, and the history it connects to. Here's a bit about the classic read and its various adaptations:
Les Liaisons dangereuses / "The Dangerous Liaisons" is a French epistolary novel by Choderlos de Laclos, first published in four volumes by Durand Neveu from March 23, 1782. It is the story of the Marquise de Merteuil and the Vicomte de Valmont, two rivals (and ex-lovers) who use sex as a weapon to humiliate and degrade others, all the while enjoying their cruel games. It has been claimed to depict the decadence of the French aristocracy shortly before the French Revolution, thereby exposing the perversions of the so-called Ancien Régime. However, it has also been described as a vague, amoral story."
of Dangerous Liaisons at wiki.
So in an unexpected way, the Manga read now also connects back to January and the reads of French books. Upcoming soon now (in reading) is Egypt. At the library, I looked for a contemporary graphic novel  from there - "Metro", which was censored for a while, due to political reasons. They tracked down a copy in former East Germany.. so that's where my Metro will be from.

Have an enjoyable and interesting reading week, everyone!

& some additional links from fellow book bloggers:

This blog post is inspired by the blog series "It's Monday! What are you reading?" which 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.


Tanya Patrice said...

I so enjoy your Monday posts because your books are always so diverse in topics - and the stories behind how you arrive at those books is always such an experience.

And so glad you're enjoying the audiobook you picked up :-)

Tanya Patrice

Ekaterina Egorova said...

Wow, they made Manga out of Dangerous Liaisons! I don't usually read Manga, but now I'm interested =)