Saturday, March 21, 2015

reading notes: books from Sweden, France, Germany, Mauritania, Indonesia

Catching up with reading notes that wait since February... and while putting them together, I realized that they form a pretty international combination. Quick continent statistic: in 2015, with the 5 reads below included, I so far read 27 books. 12 from Europe, 8 from Asia, 3 from Africa, 2 from America, 2 from Australia (here's a list of the books).

from Sweden: "Collected Poems" by Tomas Tranströmer
A lucky find in the library: the collected poems of Swedish poet Tomas Tranströmer, who was awared the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2011. The Collection includes early and more recent works. One of my favourites so far is "Track", which is also online with 9 other of Tranströmer poems at the official website: Ten Poems by Tomas Tranströmer

from France: "Klatschmohnfrau" ("The Poppy Woman") by Noëlle Châtelet
Chatelet is a French author. In "Klatschmohnfrau" she writes about two retired people who meet and then fall I love, after thinking that this emotion isn't for them anymore. It is a brief but sweet novella. Maybe a bit one-sided: the woman feels that with her former husband, there wasn’t much space for romantic feeling and for joy. But then, it’s too easy to blame years of feeling not much joy just on the partner, I felt when reading. Still, a lovely book (but it seems there's no English translation yet)

from Germany: "Tarzan am Main" by Wilhelm Genazino
Genazino is a German journalist and author. He was born in 1943, and in his writing. His speciality is the precise  description of modern-life everyday moments in a still-life like view. "Tarzan am Main" is a collection that also is about his own life - the place he lives in (Frankfurt at the river Main, hence the title), urban encounters, memories.


And two more recent reads:

from Mauritania: "In the country of round women"by Tine Wittler
This is another chance library find: a memoir of German journalist Tine Wittler, who is both popular but also dealing with criticism as her body isn't model-shape. In 2012, Wittler visited Mauretania, a country with a rather different idea of "model-size": in Mauretania, beautiful women are round. A thought-provoking read that explores another culture.

from Indonesia: "Evacuated" by Kate Benzin and Rudy Tanjung
After reading the Indonesian bestseller "The Rainbow Troops" (here's the reading note), I came across "Evacuated". It's the story of the eruption of Mt. Merapi in 2010 - Merapi is the most active volcano in Indonesia. Kate Benzin and Rudy Tanjung lived in a house 9 miles from it, in a supposedly "save area".


Global Reading Challenge 2015 + Currently Reading:

For 2015, I try to read books / authors from different countries, the idea is to visit all continents. If you want to, join the reading challenge: 7 Continents, 7 Billion People, 7 Books - or just join the international facebook reading group.

In the previous book post, I put together some reading statistics and book memories of 2014 - so if you are into geeky reading statistics, try this link: A year in reading in geek statistics +  book memories

For more reading notes, click here: life as a journey with books. A reading list by regions is online at: World Reads by country

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