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Some of you may have noticed, others may not.. Again there was no Sunday Salon on Graasland yesterday. But I’ve got a great excuse: I was at an Emma marathon viewing with some Loekgrrls: we watched all four episodes of the 2009 BBC television series in a row.

I’ve read the 1815 Victorian Romantic novel a few years ago. Being a real Boekgrrl I couldn’t resist: it is Jane Austen’s most famous book. According to Wikipedia it seems to be pre-Victorian though… I will try to find out why at another time. I’m writing this post during my lunch break ;)
[Edited to add: thanks to Claire and Anna I now completely understand why it was stupid to call Emma a Victorian novel! (see comments)]

Even though it seemed a bit burlesque at times, I did like the tv-serial with Romola Garai as our ‘heroine’. At first I wondered where I had seen her before, but thankfully one of the grrls checked the Internet Movie Database on her iPhone. [Note to self: need iPhone badly] Of course: the actress also played Briony in the movie adaptation of one of my all-time favourites, Ian McEwan’s Atonement!

The pace was quite slow — as expected, so it didn’t bother me. Strangely enough at other times I got the feeling it could have been a musical as well… I guess it was the way they moved, combined with the affected style of acting. Don’t worry, they didn’t sing, and hardly danced ;) And Sir Michael Gambon was, of course, adorable as the over-anxious Mr Woodhouse, Emma’s father.

Here’s a photo set on Flickr about filming Emma.

But you might want to hear about my actual reading… Progress in I Am a Cat is slow but steady: I now have less than a 100 pages to go. Once I’ve finished I will really start The Pillow Book, next to Haruki Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman; which I am looking forward to even though I am not too fond of short stories.

The Pillow Book

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Like last week (when I ran into a ‘caolybag’ book relating to The Pillow Book) I had a chance discovery of something cool: a one-off theatre play of The Pillow Book on March 21st in Amsterdam. Honest, I wasn’t looking for anything pillowbooky! Serendipity rules :)

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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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

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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 ;)

When this post goes ‘on air’ I’ll be lounging in a velvet chair on the final day of the International Film Festival Rotterdam, enjoying 5 movies that were favourites of the festival audience. Oh goody ;)

Of course I’ll be tagging a book along for possible interludes: I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki. I’ve started reading the last part (3rd volume) for the Japanese Literature Read-along, which ends February 15th. But that’s not the only read-along I’m participating in at the moment — sort of. This week we’ve begun reading the classic The Pillowbook by Sei Shōnagon. It’s in a leisurely pace of only 10 diary items a week. I’ve received a Dutch translation of the Ivan Morris Penguin edition, Het Hoofdkussenboek van Sei Shōnagon, which seems to be a little abridged. So at times I’ll be reading even less entries… But for now I haven’t even managed my first 10 yet — oops! Well, it’s on my nighstand, together with the Kitagawa Utamaro bookmark I used with The Housekeeper and the Professor — doesn’t that count for something? ;)

Velvet of vvb32reads has started a while ago and decided on editing her post about The Pillowbook on a regular basis. Tanabata from In Spring it is the Dawn will write an update post each Friday. So, how am I going to tackle it? I think I’ll be using my weekly Sunday Salon as a dumping ground for my thoughts on the book! The read-along project will take us until somewhere in autumn, so don’t say I haven’t warned ya ;)

I missed out on last week’s Sunday Salon because I had the flu :( Good thing I had my Hello Japan! music sessions scheduled! Otherwise it would have been even quieter on Graasland.

These are the bookish things I didn’t tell you about yet:

  • I posted a review for The Housekeeper and the Professor by Yoko Ogawa, including a small giveaway that was won by Amanda from The Zen Leaf.
  • I finished reading The Rapture by Liz Jensen. W O W what a great read! I was wondering if it could be called a Dystopian novel, but NO. And now I’m not sure if I should disclose what genre it does belong to. I hope to write a post about it soon but to be honest: it is not on top of my list because I had promissed myself to limit myself to challenge book reviews…
  • Also finished reading the last ‘Lynley mystery’ (so far): Careless in Red, by Elizabeth George. I had it on my shelf for exactly a situation like this — being ill. I’ve read all the books in the series in succession. Remember I was disappointed last year when I thought I had another one in my hands but it wasn’t? And now there really is no comfort read standby anymore! :(
  • Of course there are enough other books at hand; and Mr Mailman even brought us some more: Waltz with Bashir graphic novel (the ‘animentary’ was one my two best movies of 2009), Silence by Shusaku Endo (May’s read for the Japanese Literature Book Group), and The Makioka Sisters by Junichirō Tanizaki (JapLit Read-along from July to September). In February-March the bookgroup is reading Dance Dance Dance by Murakami, preceded by A Wild Sheep Chase — which I both recently read so I’ll be buddyreading Murakami’s Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman with Elsjelas instead. His The Wind-up Bird Chronicle is the current read-along and since that was the book that triggered my interest in this author (and Japanese literature?), I can take a break from all the herding ;)
  • A comic book I read is In The Shadow of No Towers by ‘Mr Maus‘, Art Spiegelman. And I wrote a blogpost about my experience with a Dutch classic as a graphic novel: De Avonden. Oh, that was my Sunday Salon of two weeks back ;)

The Pillowbook

Now, about The Pillowbook. It’s a book of observations, musings, poetry etc. recorded by Sei Shōnagon, a Heian court lady to Empress Teishi, during the years 990 – early 1000’s. It is called a pillow book because precious personal possessions like this were stowed away in a cavity of the woodblock (?) that was traditionally used as a pillow. I have tried to find a picture of such a headrest but failed. I’ll keep looking! Or if anyone could oblige??

My experience with the I Am a Cat read-along has taught me to leave the introduction till last, so I don’t know much (more) about the book yet in advance. And I’m a bit reluctant to start because somehow (somewhere) I’ve gotten the idea that it might be dull. Something to find out eh? ;) I’m curious to know whether it will remind me of Genji Monogatari (The Tale of Genji) by Murasaki Shikibu, which is from approx. the same time — or if it’s completely different. I actually only read part of ‘Genji’ and have thought back to it when I read other Japanese books, like Murakami’s Kafka on the Shore.

Sorry, lots of text today for you, little images. For me it’ll be the other way ‘round!

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 ;)

I really, really, really am such a lucky grrl. First I received my present from dolce bellezza for admitting quotes from I Am a Cat in the Japanese Literature Challenge November giveaway.

I love these colourful  maki-e stickers with gold so much that when I entered the ‘competition’, I vowed that I would go buy that longed for iPhone should I win… And I’m one to keep my promise! Don’t you think my mobile will look great with those gorgeous koi fish? Accessorize, Personalize! Better start making plans for a shopping trip ;)

The lucky cat phone charm is called Maneki Neko, which can be translated in ‘beckoning cat’. It is asking you to come in, because you’re welcome! It is believed to bring good luck. This cat has his left paw raised — some say to bring customers in, while having a raised right paw brings wealth and good fortune. Well, I’m lucky anyway! ;)

Because, as I wrote in yesterday’s Sunday Salon, I also received a whole box of goodies from vvb32 reads. Look at it!

December giveaway from velvet

Didn’t I get spoiled? The first thing to notice is Snow Country, by Kawabata Yasunari. I guess velvet noticed I fell in love with the author last year, while reading The Old Capitol in the Japanese Literature Bookgroup. I still need to review it, but I claimed it to be my 2nd best read of 2009! The other two books don’t trigger any memories, except that I know velvet read Gail Carriger’s Soulless, and loved it. I quote:

this is a fabulously fun Victorian romp involving supernatural creatures and others

I’ve decided against rereading her review because I prefer to know as little as possible about books before I begin — as I’ve said before ;) The Christmas Quilt by Thomas J. Davies hasn’t popped up anywhere on my radar yet, but it seems a cosy read for this year’s Holiday season. Let’s just hope there aren’t any zombies in it — can’t get comfy with guests like that, can I? :\ Then again… Why would I need brain flavour zombie mints when not expecting any living deads ?! :-o Boy, they must have bad breath… You think I could scare them away with the Christmas Cracker in the right-hand corner? Because I’m saving that until December as well! It has a cute wooden ‘Nutcracker’ toy on it.

Still, the box is not empty yet. There’s some stuff to get myself organized in the new year: a cool sushi bar calendar (stickers) and a monster heart pencil. I hope velvet doesn’t mean to suggest I need to stop blogging and start writing a personal diary? :P Nooooo, it’s probably to take notes while buddy reading Sei Shonagon’s The Pillowbook with her!

I’m open to suggestions on how to use the calendar stickers btw… The wrapper hints to putting them on my personal computer, but somehow that doesn’t seem such a good idea to me.

Superior Scribbler Award Happy 101 Blog Award

And then I got some more awards. You know by now I don’t pass these along, but I do APPRECIATE THEM very much! So many thanks to velvet for the Superior Scribe Award and to Sherimiya for the Happy 101 Blog Award! They both make me really happy :) But the one I like ‘bestest’ was passed on to me by the ever faithful velvet: the Zombie Chicken Award. (Yesh, velvet likes her zombies ;)

The blogger who receives this award believes in the Tao of the zombie chicken – excellence, grace and persistence in all situations, even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. These amazing bloggers regularly produce content so remarkable that their readers would brave a raving pack of zombie chickens just to be able to read their inspiring words.

I rest my case. Let’s scatter those mints for the chicks and any other zombies Maneki Neko brings in. Then I can wallow in my wealth :)

Like I said I am starting as a Philogynist in the Women Unbound challenge.  That means I need to read at least two books, including (again at least) one nonfiction one. What exactly is the purpose of this challenge?

Participants are encouraged to read nonfiction and fiction books related to the rather broad idea of ‘women’s studies.’ [..]

For nonfiction, this would include books on feminism, history books focused on women, biographies of women, memoirs (or travelogues) by women, essays by women and cultural books focused on women (body image, motherhood, etc.). [..]

It’s trickier to say what is applicable as fiction. Obviously, any classic fiction written by a feminist is applicable. But where do we go from there? To speak generally, if the book takes a thoughtful look at the place of women in society, it will probably count. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to explain in your review why you chose this for the challenge and its connection to women’s studies.

For now, my books for this challenge are:

  • The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata (read in November),
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi (autobiographical graphic novel),
  • The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon, a book of observations and musings recorded during her time as court lady to Empress Teishi (my nonfiction entry for this challenge).

The Old Capital & The Pillow Book are both written by Japanese authors, so it will be interesting to look for differences and similarities in Kawabata’s male, and Shōnagon’s female view on the role of women in Japanese society. Of course the social strata in these books are very different: Chieko the merchant’s daughter in The Old Capital vs. a court lady in The Pillow Book. Well, at least I hope there will have been progress in almost a 1000 years from the year 990 (Heian Period) and the 1960’s… Let’s read and see!

You must admit that I’ve been really strong so far, not signing up for any 2010 reading challenges even though the rest of the book blogging world seemed to be doing so. Well, before you start congratulating me: today I could no longer resist… :)

Beth Fish Reads is taking over the third What’s in a Name challenge. I liked participating in #2 and I did finish reading all my entries… I just still need to review –whispers– half of them :\ Well, I’ll get to that. Someday.

Here’s the new challenge in brief: between January 1st and December 31st I need to read one book in each of the following categories.

  1. A book with a food in the title.
  2. A book with a body of water in the title.
  3. A book with a title (queen, president, sir) in the title.
  4. A book with a plant in the title.
  5. A book with a place name (country, city) in the title.
  6. A book with a music term in the title.

Ha! I am quickly going to browse my shelves for books to be admitted to this challenge! :)) Maybe I should postpone my Boekgrrls December read, The Gargoyle, to January? ;) No need: in April we’ll be reading John Irving’s Last Night in Twisted River! There are two other titles on our list that would fit loosely, but I want to play fair — to begin with :)

Another challenge that I’ve had my eyes on has already started: the Women Unbound challenge, running from November 2009 until November 2010. When I was reading The Old Capital by Yasunari Kawabata last month I kept thinking about this challenge. So now I’ve actually made the decision to join! I just need to figure out which level: Philogynist (“read at least two books, including at least one nonfiction one”) must be doable since I have already read Kawabata and will definitely pick up Sei Shonagon’s classic The Pillow Book soon, which counts for non-fiction. But it should be a challenge! Of course I could always upgrade along the way?

Since the Japanese Literature Challenge is running until February 2010, I am now officially participating in three 2010 reading challenges before the year has even started. Add the remaining three books of my personal 2008-2009 challenge to that and you’ll all think that I must be crazy. So be it. I love you too ;)

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 ;)

Just a short Sunday Salon today. No new books came into the house, so that’s good news ;) And I haven’t started any new reading challenges — although I am contemplating participating in the Women Unbound Challenge :\ But I said I wouldn’t join any new challenges before I had finished one of my current, so… Cover The PillowbookThen again, I’ll be reading The Pillow Book by Sei Shōnagon anyway for my personal and Classics challenge.

A book of observations and musings recorded by Sei Shōnagon during her time as court lady to Empress Teishi during the 990s and early 1000s in Heian Japan.

For the Women Unbound Challenge participants are encouraged to read nonfiction and fiction books related to the rather broad idea of women’s studies (the multidisciplinary study of the social status and societal contributions of women and the relationship between power and gender). As a philogynist I would need to read at least two books of which one non-fiction. The Pillow Book would fit in great!

Cover I Am A Cat

I finished part 1 of I Am a Cat by Natsume Sōseki. I’ll need to review it before November 15th because of the Japanese Read-along. That seems early enough but I’m way behind on my book reviews and it’s getting a bit frustrating. Hopefully November will prove better! Books read in October that I want to review aside from I Am a Cat: Coraline graphic novel (Neil Gaiman), The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck) and Be With You (Takuji Ichikawa).

But I also have a review backlog from before October: Revolutionary Road (Richard Yates), Brideshead Revisted (Evelyn Waugh) — and many more as you can see in the challenge overview below… Sigh. And these are only book blogposts :\ Well, at least I did write a short review of ‘The Piano Man‘ (De pianoman) during the 24 hour Read-a-Thon!

Cover In Cold BloodMy current book is In Cold Blood by Truman Capote. It’s the November read for my online book group. I haven’t gotten really far yet, even though I said I would participate in this week’s Spooky Booky Readathon at Bookcrossing. I hoped to beat the result of my first attempt in the September readathon, but with only 2:30 hrs read from Friday until now, that will become pretty difficult. Oh well. I knew I was going to have a busy week ahead and my priorities lie elsewhere ;)

I guess that’s it for now. I’ll just leave you with the monthly progress update of my reading challenges.

Challenges / Bookgroups etc.

Current Bookgroup reads:

  • Boekgrrls November book: In Cold Blood, by Truman Capote (now reading)
  • Japanese Literature Read-along for November 15th: I Am A Cat (part I), by Natsume Soseki (read, to be reviewed)
  • Japanese Literature Book Group for November 30th: The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata (TBR)

Sunday Salon logoThe 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 ;)

Let’s start this Salon post with a confession: I have been a bad grrl and bought 3 more books for myself!

  • I Am a Cat (Natsume Soseki)
  • The Old Capital (Yasunari Kawabata)
  • The Housekeeper and the Professor (Yoko Ogawa)

I’ve got a great excuse though: I joined the new online Japanese Literature Book Group and Read-along at In Spring It Is The Dawn — and these are the first books on the agenda. I am really looking forward to it!

Hello Japan! logoAnother fun thing to do over there is this months Hello Japan! mini mission:

Read or watch something scary, spooky, or suspenseful, and Japanese of course!

DarkWaterSince I have enough to read already I decided to rent a movie that has been on my wishlist for a long time now: Dark Water (Honogurai mizu no soko kara), by Hideo Nakata. You might have heard of the American remake with Jodie Foster, but I prefered to see the original. I’ll tell you why in my upcoming review post! It was a nice Friday night activity to surprise Mr Gnoe with, especially with the stormy autumn weather that has set in :)

But back to bookish things. For the last three months of 2009 I am also participating in the Set It Yourself Challenge (SIY) #10. Just to keep the pressure on my challenges: I have listed all 5 books I need to read before the end of this year:

  • The Chosen (Chaim Potok)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
  • The Pillowbook (Sei Shonagon)
  • The Sea, the Sea (Iris Murdoch)
  • The Old Capital (Yasunari Kawabata)

I have joined this Bookcrossing challenge before in 2008 and 2009; succeeding twice, failing once…

Speaking of Bookcrossing: I made a first attempt at the Bookcrossing monthly readathon. 24hrreadathonbuttonBut instead of 24 I read for 15 hours and 8 in the last week of September. So technically I failed but I am actually quite proud of the result because it was an awfully busy week. You can read about my thoughts concerning the readathon in Friday’s post. Now I am really looking forward to the autumnal 24 hour read-a-thon of October 24th! I am already making a list of books and snacks to lock myself in with :)

Partly thanks to the readathon I finished more books in September than I usually read in a month:

  • Vlinder in de wind (Butterfly in the Wind) by Rei Kimura (reviewed)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee (review pending), #4 on the list of Banned and Challenged Classics
  • Het pauperparadijs (Pauper Paradise) by Suzanna Jansen (no review planned)
  • Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates (review pending)

Current book: The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck. Wednesday’s update post will tell you why I picked this book. I am ‘buddy reading’ with two Boekgrrls: MaaikeB and Manon, so one of these days I should mail them my thoughts so far!

Another exciting thing going on this week is BAFAB! Buy A Friend A Book. One of my favourite reads of the past years is on its way to a long time friend that is on a busy schedule at the moment. I’ll give the book a chance to arrive for a few days longer, so I can’t say more! ;)
Do you BAFAB?

Challenges / Bookgroups etc.

Progress update on my challenges that I have not yet mentioned above:

Current Bookgroup reads:

  • Boekgrrls September book: Away, by Amy Bloom (read and reviewed in Dutch on the mailing list)
  • Boekgrrls October book: Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates (read, to be reviewed)
  • Japanese Literature Book Group for November 30th: The Old Capital, by Yasunari Kawabata (TBR)
  • Japanese Literature Read-along for November 15th: I Am A Cat (part I), by Natsume Soseki (TBR)

That’s it for now. I need to get up my review of Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird a.s.a.p. so that I can send this Bookcrossing book along to the next reader. Better get on with it!

As I told you on Sunday, I was showered with books last weekend.

Cover The PillowbookTo begin with I was very happy to find a Dutch copy of The Pillowbook by Sei Shonagon in my mailbox: Het hoofdkussenboek. This book fits almost all my current reading challenges! It has been on the list of my personal challenge of ‘Best Foreign Translations’ since 2008 and because of that I also entered it in the Classics challenge of 2009. I figured I could also add it to my JapLit challenge, even though I already accomplished the mission of just 1 book. Why stop? It seems like I will be reading The Pillowbook together with another participant: velvet from vvb32 reads, so that’s FUN!

This Bookcrossing book is a RABCK of stephen-1702. Too kind! I hope she likes the little present I sent her in return…

Cover Be With YouAnother book that I can add to the Japanese Literature Challenge is Be With You by Takuji Ichikawa. I read about it on Chick With Books’ blog (another JLC participant) and it reminded me of Taichi Yamada’s book Strangers, a much loved story! I could not help myself and ran directly to Bookdepository.com to order Be With YouCover TrespassAnd being in a bookshop (although online) I couldn’t resist buying something else: Trespass, by Valerie Martin. I liked her Orange Prize winning novel Property (2003) but I am not sure about her Mary Reilly, so now that she’s got a new book out I decided I should try some of this author’s other books. The story seems to be somehow compatible to Amy Bloom’s Away, which I recently read: that book being about an immigrant to the US from Eastern Europe a century ago, Trespass at the beginning of this century.

So, Mt. TBR has grown again… With lots of reading challenges to finish I hope I’ll be able to keep myself from hoarding anymore until the new year?!

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 ;)

So, what were my bookish things in the first week of September?

Cover De kleine keizerAs I told you last week my online book group is reading Away by Amy Bloom in September. I’ve sent in my review (in Dutch). Maybe someday I’ll feel like transforming it into an English blogpost for Graasland, like I did on Wednesday with The Little Emperor (De kleine keizer) by Martin Bril, a book about Napoleon that is part of the What’s in a Name challenge, category ‘profession‘. I have read all 6 books for this challenge but still need to review half of them!

Cover Butterfly in the WindBut hey, I quickly finished my reading for the JapLit Challenge this week: Butterfly in the Wind (Vlinder in de Wind) by Rei Kimura. A review is upcoming so I’ll keep my thoughts about this ‘biographical novel’ secret just a little longer!

The day I finished Kimura’s novel, the Bookcrossing bookray of To Kill a Mockingbird arrived from Portugal. Just in time because on Saturday I had to travel 5 hours by train! And you can’t travel without a book, can you? (Although I must admit I spent part of my journey preparing this Salon post ;)

Cover To Kill a MockingbirdWith this book I finally picked up on the Classics Challenge again. I didn’t know much about it in advance, just that it is a classic. And from the movie Capote I learned that Harper Lee was Truman Capote’s assistant – but that he didn’t respect her much as an author. Unbelievable, because To Kill a Mockingbird gripped me from page 1!

The novel is also part of my personal 2008-2009 challenge. My last read from the list was in January (!) this year: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro (which I will review for the What’s in a Name challenge, category ‘time of day‘). With 3 more books in my personal challenge and only 4 months to go, it feels good to be back on track!

This week ended with a bookish surprise when I got home from my long journey yesterday. There were no less than 3 books in my mailbox! I’ll tell you about them some other time :)

Cover The PillowbookCover TrespassCover Be With You

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