Monday, June 16, 2014

book phone box reads: No Princess, The Lake, Diary of 1927

A while ago, I discovered a "bookphonebox" in a town near here: a telephone box that some people turned into an open free book exchange by installing shelves:


It’s open, and without any guard or security: you can just go in, look at the books that are there, bring some books from your own shelves to share, and take some books in exchange. Surprisingly, it works. (Well, I guess someone probably stops by every other day to check. But still.)

Now another town put up such a box, too, and I visited it last week. 
While I was inside, 2 girls knocked at the door, and asked: "What are you doing?" They were about 7 or 8, curious and cheeky. I pointed at the books, and said: "I am here to look at them, see if there is one that would interest me." They grinned, of course they knew what the box was for. "No interesting books," they explained to me, and added: "No princess books at all."

And indeed: no princess books. But 2 great books that I didn't know about - they almost feel like gifts, both are almost new:

"The Lake" ("Der See") by Banana Yoshimoto
I once read a Yoshimoto book, but can't even remember the title - and picked this one for the cover. Turns ou, it is on the more melancholic and dark side of life, with a touch of magical reality. Set in Tokyo, it's about two people who got stranded emotionally, and who learn to open up and face their troubles and fears.
It's also about art, and about the hum of the everyday, about the interconnectedness of everything - and about a lake in the countryside, a place of reflection and clarity.

"Bucolic Diary 1927-1932" by Wilhelm Lehmann
This is an old book, first published in 1948: a collection of diary-like essays and notes on the flow of seasons and the farm life, written for the Sunday newspaper "The Green Mail". I just googled the title "Bukolisch", assuming that it referred to a region, but it actually is referring to rural life, and to the greek / latin poetry of herdsman (here's more: "Bukolische Dichtung/ Bucolic Poetry")
The book got re-published in a new edition in 2005. Such a good find, taking the reader back to the past, which still reads timeless and very present.

Here's a line from it, from February 1928, about the first signs of spring:
"Die Bäume beginnen zu sprechen. Die Vögel sind ihre Worte." -
"The Trees begin to speak. The birds are their words."


Currently Reading + More Reads:

For 2014, i didn't join a specific reading challenge, but i try to read books / authors from different countries and continents, and also follow the “readwomen2014” initiative. Here’s more about it: 2014 - year of reading women

For more reading notes in this blog, click here: life as a journey with booksand a reading list by regions is online at: World Reads by country

Other book blogs and their current reads: It's Monday! What are you reading? (join by blogging and adding your link)

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