Day 24 – Under the Christmas Tree


Not quite under the x-mas tree (yet), but in my last Advent calendar package! This most wonderful book about the fascinating minds of the Octopus and the evolution of intelligent life.

“Mischief and craft are plainly seen to be characteristics of this creature. —Claudius Aelianus, third century A.D., writing about the octopus”

Can’t wait to start reading this – what was under the tree for you?

Thanks a lot for being part of my Challenge again this year. It was fun.

Have a wonderful bookish xmas and a great 2018 – thanks for being part of this here – highly appreciated. This blog wouldn’t be half as much fun without you guys.



Day 23 – Childhood Favorite


This series got me pretty hooked and I couldn’t wait to cycle to the library every week to pick up the next volume of the Famous Five. I made my way through all of them and I guess nearly everything else that Enid Blyton has written.

George was of course my role model 😉

Maybe not exactly high brow literature but it certainly was important in shaping my love for reading. Next to Enid Blyton it was probably Astrid Lindgren, Erich Kästner, tons of comics, TKKG and Alfred Hitchcocks „Three Investigators“ better known as „Die drei Fragezeichen“.

Which books are guilty of turning you into an obsessed Reader?


Day 22 – The book I most often give as a gift


This book is just the perfect gift. It is a book that I liked when I was around 18 and still love it… it just get’s better and I discover different things each time I read it.

And because this is the case I will give it this year to one of my readers here. So leave a comment until the 31.12. midnight 😉 and let me know which book you most often give away as a present and why and also if you would prefer to have Virginia Woolf’s „A room of one’s own“ in English or German.

The book is called „Ein eigenes Zimmer“ in German and was published in Fischer Verlag.

The lucky winner will receive a brand new copy so you have lot’s of space in the margins for your own notes and underlinings.

Good luck!

Day 21 – Can’t stop talking about it


After briefly checking with the people around me, it looks like it was pretty difficult to shut me up when it came to „Sapiens“ – I just totally loved that book. Read the book and the follow-up „Homo Deus“ (which is also pretty good) in a week, whilst on holiday on Crete and it was not easy to make me stop reading even just long enough to go for dinner…

I have turned into this annoying missionary-like person who tries to force the people around me to buy and read it already…

You can find the full review here.

Do you have one of this books that you just can’t shut up about? 😉

Day 20 – The book that changed my opinion


… that not all Western need to be stupid and boring 😉

I remember the day in Bookclub we went through the list of books that had been voted for for the next six month and I was „What ? A Western? – You must be kidding me…“

I so didn’t want to read this book. I don’t like Westerns, I don’t do them, I was stubborn as hell but the first moment of appeasement came when I saw the cover – holy cow that was a great cover. I loved it and would put it up on the wall as a poster anytime.

What can I say ? The book totally surprised me. I liked it so much better than I ever anticipated. The „Sisters Brothers“ is a tragic comedy about two contract killers and their weird and bloody trip through the United States in 1851.

Herman Kermit Warm is about to die. His death was ordered by the „Commodore“ and the brothers Charlie and Eli Sisters are about to get this done. Their trip leads them from Oregon to sunny California where they try to find Warm. It is a trip through the American West deeply enveloped in the feverish hunt for Gold. Their journey is often interrupted by weird and cold blooded meetings.

The brothers are as different as brothers can be. Charlie the stone cold ruthless killer and Eli the brooder who is constantly thinking about some existential question. When they finally arrive in California things take a pretty surprising turn.

This book is filled with remarkable characters: Losers and Cheaters and all the guys you would find in a John Steinbeck novel. The story takes you to the melancholy and sometimes humorous Wild West and we even get to develop some sympathy with the two killer brothers who are bound by Blood, Violence and Love.

The cover is by Dan Stiles one of my favorite Illustrators and designers and was voted one of the best covers of 2011. Thanks to this posting today I follow him on Instagram.

This is why I love my Bookclub. They make me read books I would never have picked up, we have heated discussions, forge coalitions that last until the next book, fall in love with characters that others despise and no debate ever cannot be peaceful solved with another glass of wine. This book was by the one nearly all of us could agree upon that it was a really good one.

Thank you Guys – this one is for you 🙂

Auf deutsch erschien das Buch unter dem Titel „Die SistersBrothers“  im Goldmann Verlag.

OK everybody – which book did change your opinion on something?

Day 19 – Favorite Quote


Still this one:

„It was the day my grandmother exploded. I sat in the crematorium, listening to my Uncle Hamish quietly snoring in harmony to Bach’s Mass in B Minor, and I reflected that it always seemed to be death that drew me back to Gallanach.“

If you wanna know more about this book you can find my full review here.

What is your favorite quote?


Day 18 – A book that you made a soundtrack for


An dieser Lektüre ist ganz eindeutig Ms Autumn Schuld, die mir mit ihrer grandiosen Rezension derart Lust auf dieses Buch gemacht hat, dass ich es umgehend einkaufen und in die Urlaubskiste werfen mußte. Und ? HELL YES! Es hat sich gelohnt, aber sowas von. Das ist ein wirklich unvergessliches Buch und ich kann gar nicht so genau sagen warum.

Ich denke, es liegt an der Atmosphäre die dieses kleine Büchlein heraufbeschwört. Steinbeck schreibt so derart beruhigend, so wundervoll ich würde mich nicht wundern, wenn die Lektüre blutdrucksenkend wirkt. Er beschreibt Menschen am Rande der Gesellschaft die versuchen aus den Karten das beste herauszuholen die ihnen das Leben ausgeteilt hat. Die versuchen freundlich und gut zu sein und denen das häufig mißlingt. Einfach weil das oft so ist. Weil man die Absichten hinter den Taten oft nicht erkennt, weil man häufig gerade die Menschen am heftigsten verletzt, die man am meisten liebt. Aber die wenigsten Leute wachen morgens auf und denken „heute werde ich mal ein richtiges Arschloch sein“. Manchmal gelingt das mit dem Gut sein und manchmal eben nicht.

Die Menschen hier kämpfen für jedes kleine Glück, geben nicht auf, erleben Rückschläge und stehen fast immer wieder auf.

„It has always seemed strange to me…The things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.“

Die Handlung spielt in Monterey, Kalifornien und erzählt skizzenhaft die Geschichten der Einwohner mit besonderem Fokus auf die versuchte Überraschungsparty für Doc. Alle lieben Doc aufgrund seiner fast schon übertriebenen Großzügigkeit und seiner Herzlichkeit und so sehr sie versuchen ihm zu danken, am Ende zahlt er immer drauf.

“Doc would listen to any kind of nonsense and turn it into wisdom. His mind had no horizon – and his sympathy had no warp. He could talk to children, telling them very profound things so that they understood. He lived in a world of wonders, of excitement. He was concupiscent as a rabbit and gentle as hell. Everyone who knew him was indebted to him. And everyone who thought of him thought next, ‚I really must do something nice for Doc.”

a636a9cc4f2f98095829fcfb8c92157dFoto: Flavorwire

“Cannery Row in Monterey in California is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses. Its inhabitant are, as the man once said, „whores, pimps, gambler and sons of bitches,“ by which he meant Everybody. Had the man looked through another peephole he might have said, „Saints and angels and martyrs and holymen“ and he would have meant the same thing.”

„Two generations of Americans knew more about the Ford coil than the clitoris …“

Doc fährt tagsüber an der Pazifik-Küste entlang, sammelt Meeresgetier um es weiterzuverkaufen, um abends auf seinem Grammophon klassische Musik zu spielen, in seiner umfangreichen Bibliothek Lesungen für die Nachbarschaft abzuhalten, Bier zu trinken und gelegentlich die eine oder andere örtliche Schönheit zu verwöhnen.

Mir gefallen die Einfachheit seiner Charaktere, die ehrliche Art und Weise wie sie ihr Leben anpacken und die Chuzpe, mit der sie ihre Karten ausspielen und sich nicht als Opfer sehen. Das Glück will raus, egal wie sehr die Umstände oft tonnenweise Geröll draufpacken.

Steinbecks Scharfsinn, seine Wärme und Klugheit geben einem das Gefühl, ein klügerer und vielleicht sogar ein kleines bisschen besserer Mensch zu sein, als vor der Lektüre. Es macht Lust, alles hinter sich zu lassen, einfach loszulaufen und unterm Sternenhimmel zu schlafen und sich auf spannende Begegnungen mit allen möglichen Leuten zu freuen.

“Look at them. There are your true philosophers. I think that Mack and the boys know everything that has ever happened in the world and possibly everything that will happen. I think they survive in this particular world better than other people. In a time when people tear themselves to pieces with ambition and nervousness and covetousness, they are relaxed. All of our so-called successful men are sick men, with bad stomachs, and bad souls, but Mack and the boys are healthy and curiously clean. They can do what they want. They can satisfy their appetites without calling them something else.”

Hab dann aber doch genug Realist in mir, der mir vom Schlafen unterm Sternenhimmel aufgrund Unmengen von Creepy Crawls abrät. Dann schnapp ich mir lieber ein Bier, setz mich in den Garten und höre mir Docs Playlist an.

Wie sagt Herr Scheck immer so schön? Vertrauen Sie mir – lesen Sie dieses Buch. Sag ich jetzt auch und Ms Autumn stimmt mir auch zu, bin sicher.

“How can the poem and the stink and the grating noise – the quality of light, the tone, the habit and the dream – be set down alive? When you collect marine animals there are certain flat worms so delicate that they are almost impossible to capture whole, for they break and tatter under the touch. You must let them ooze and crawl of their own will onto a knife blade and then lift them gently into your bottle of sea water. And perhaps that might be the way to write this book – to open the page and let the stories crawl in by themselves.”

Doc’s Playlist:

Monteverdi – Hor ch‘ el Ciel e la Terra
Scarlatti – Concerto Grossi
Beethoven – Große Fuge
Ravel – Pavane to a dead Princess
Ravel – Daphnis et Chloé
Bach – Brandenburgische Konzerte
Debussy – Clair de Lune
Debussy – The Girl with the flaxen hair
Beethoven – Mondscheinsonate
Monteverdi – Lamento della Ninfa – Amor
Monteverdi – Ardo
Gregorian Chants

Das Buch erschien auf deutsch unter dem Titel „Die Straße der Ölsardinen“ im dtv Verlag.

Für welches Buch habt ihr mal einen Soundtrack gebastelt?