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The Year of the TigerToday is a special day: Valentine’s Day and Chinese New Year. Yay, The Year of The Tiger has started! This afternoon I went to a Chinese festival and released Paper Tiger (Papieren tijger) by Olivier Rolin for our Bookcrossing Monopoly Game. And I hopped by our city’s red light district for a Valentine’s release called Solely Lust (Louter lust): erotic stories for women. Both have been caught already!

In the past week I finally managed to post my review of In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. And I wrote a (belated) Weekly Geeks post revealing a fun fact about author David Mitchell.

Cover The RomanticNow, this Valentine’s Day Sunday Salon provides me with a good opportunity to talk about Weekly Geeks 2010-6: ‘Romancing the Tome’. Have you heard of The Romantic, a book by Barbara Gowdy (one of my favourite authors)? You should have! It got longlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2003, and was in the running for several other awards. I haven’t been able to write a coherent review of this book about a zillion kinds of love; I had too many feelings to make any sense of them. So I’m going to give you the synopsis from Waterstones:

How do you love someone who sits, smiling, at the edge of oblivion? Award-winning Canadian writer Barbara Gowdy unravels a romance, and the idea of romance, in this spry, witty, agile novel full of all the species of love. Louise Kirk falls in love. She’s 10, lives in a cosy, unremarkable suburban home, but, remarkably, has lost a mother already. Or, rather, her chic, sharp mother has disappeared. So, Louise, lonely and steeped in complicated yearnings, decides to fall in love. Furiously. First, she falls in love with her magnificent new neighbour, the operatic and exotic Mrs Richter. Then, within the year, she falls for Mrs Richter’s brilliant son Abel. Distracting him from his attentive study of everything around him — the constellations, the moths, the music — proves quite a struggle. But before long Abel finds he loves Louise ‘too much’. A dozen years later, Abel is gone and Louise is devastated. This is the unravelling story of their romance! In The Romantic, Barbara Gowdy tracks and identifies all the species of love. Each of her characters is iridescent, but Louise Kirk, who flies to love again and again like a moth at a lamp, is a creature from whom no reader will easily tear their gaze.

I am not a person to reread books — so many books, so little time! But I have been wanting to start over in The Romantic ever since I finished it (and that was in 2004). Yes, that’s how much I loved it. Well, I’d better finish my current book first — I seem to be STUCK in it! :-o That’s the 3rd part of I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki. And the bookgroup discussion starts tomorrow! I guess I’ve left it for too long. But I don’t want to put the novel aside; I should be able to finish the last part of this classic! Although it seems to be keeping me from reading at all…

The Pillow Book read-along

Arrived at entry: 0
Entries read since last time: 0

My Name Is Sei Shonagon (book)Oooops, I still haven’t started reading yet! It’s because of my problems with I Am a Cat. I hope I’ll have some better news for you next week! Anyway, I did buy another book to read once The Pillow Book read-along has ended. A bit premature, I knoooow LOL, but I couldn’t leave this discarded library book for someone else to find, could I?

It’s My Name Is Sei Shonagon in Dutch (Mijn naam is Sei Shonagon), by Jan Blensdorf. You can find a review on Curled Up With a Good Book.

The Sunday Salon is a virtual gathering of booklovers on the web, where they blog about bookish things of the past week, visit each others weblogs, oh — and read ;)

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Booking Through Thursday dares us this week to organize our books in a different way, using titles as a guideline.

Although I wouldn’t actually dream of doing this IRL on my book shelves, it was sure fun being challenged to think about it! So I’ve got 3 title stories to share with you (saving the best for last).

It was hard getting all titles readable in the picture, so I got a little help with the first one ;)

After the quake
The unconsoled
Black dogs
Dance with death
Through the green valley


In the country of men
The romantic
Servant of the bones
Steps
In cold blood
Through the green valley

My favourite:

After dark
Everything is illuminated

The 42 books I’ve read in 2007

  • Rosalie Niemand, Elisabeth Marain (stopped reading)
  • The Geographer’s Library *ring*, Jon Fasman
  • Poppy Shakespeare, Clare Allen
  • Max Havelaar, Multatuli
  • Publieke werken, Thomas Rosenboom
  • Dance with death, Barbara Nadel
  • The Road, Cormac McCarthy
  • Arthur & George, Julian Barnes
  • Narziss en Goldmund (en andere verhalen) *slow ray*, Hermann Hesse (stopped reading)
  • Het huis van de moskee, Kader Abdolah
  • Het Bureau (deel 1): Meneer Beerta, J.J. Voskuil
  • The Wasp Factory, Iain Banks
  • De brug, Geert Mak
  • De ontdekking van de hemel, Harry Mulisch
  • En dan zou jij zeggen, Elisabeth Keesing
  • Never let me go, Kazuo Ishiguro
  • The shape of snakes, Minette Walters
  • Greenwich Killing Time, Kinky Friedman
  • Het zijn net mensen, Joris Luyendijk
  • De lijfarts, Maria Stahlie
  • A cool million, Nathanael West
  • Het geheim van de krokodil, Alexander McCall Smith
  • De grote bocht, Peter Delpeut
  • Norwegian Wood, Haruki Murakami
  • De uitvreter, Nescio
  • The inheritance of loss, Kiran Desai
  • Nooit meer slapen, W.F. Hermans
  • Helpless, Barbara Gowdy
  • Heden mosselen, morgen gij (kort verhaal), Hans Vervoort
  • Gods ingewanden (Métaphysique des tubes), Amélie Nothomb
  • Een heel huis vol, Boudewijn Büch
  • Everyman, Philip Roth
  • Bougainville, F. Springer (thank you for this RABCK to Linniepinnie!)
  • Black dogs, Ian McEwan
  • Een stoomfluit midden in de nacht (Yonaka no kiteki ni tsuite), Haruki Murakami (with special thanks to maupi!!!)
  • De Donkere Kamer van Damokles, W.F. Hermans
  • Met angst en beven (Stupeur et tremblements, ring), Amélie Nothomb
  • A place of hiding, Elizabeth George
  • Death in holy order, P.D. James
  • Asta’s book, Barbara Vine
  • In the country of men, Hisham Matar
  • In search of the distant voice, Taichi Yamada

Personal challenge for 2007
YES! On the 3rd of December I’ve accomplished my personal challenge to read all books of the Best Dutch Book shortlist that I hadn’t already read!

(Look at this earlier post to view bookcovers :)

Het huis van de moskee, Kader Abdolah PC
De Donkere Kamer van Damocles, W.F. Hermans PC of Maaike
Nooit Meer Slapen, W.F. Hermans PC of BX-er wolfram-nl
De ontdekking van de hemel, Harry Mulisch BX-copy
Max Havelaar, Multatuli PC
De uitvreter, Nescio PC of BX-er nokawa
Publieke werken, Thomas Rosenboom PC of Maaike
Het Bureau, J.J. Voskuil PC of BX-er wolfram-nl

Books on the shortlist that I had already read before this challenge started:
Hersenschimmen, J. Bernlef
Titaantjes/Dichtertje, Nescio
De avonden, Gerard Reve

With this challenge I was participating in The SIY (Set It Yourself) Challenge. Ibis3 has made us a nice challenge page. I am not sure if I would have been able to accomplish my goals for 2007 without participating in the challenge!

Special rings and challenges I have participated in…
Special Bookcrossing rings & rays
De Bookcrossing theedoos
Het Nederlandse BookCrossers Kattenjournaal

Bookcrossing challenges
Breng wat kleur in de wereld in januari!
De Nederlandse Release Challenge
Movie Books Release Challenge
Four Seasons Release Challenge
2007 History Challenge
‘Words to Release By’ Challenge
The SIY (Set It Yourself) Challenge, 1st and 2nd edition. You can also find them at Ibis3’s readalong blog.
Hiroshima Anniversary Peace Challenge.

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