Friday, May 27, 2011

... in books


After three stressful days I finally had time to finish "The next thing on my list" yesterday evening. Nice story with an unexpected ending. Somewhere in the middle I thought I figured it all out and then some things happened and the whole story was flipped and the ending was not at all what I expected. I really enjoyed that.

Then there was this obvious problem that I needed a new book - in the middle of the night with no plan what to read next. So I spend 30 minutes in front of my books and settled on Terry Pratchett's "Night Watch" which I started almost three times by now and never read more than 30 pages. So I am really curious if I manage to finish it this time. It is not that this book is not interesting or amusing it just wasn't right at that time.

I still have some exams left and I really need to write my paper but it is a bit more relaxed till end of June. Hope I will have time to read some more books and find enough good ones to load to my Kindle for my Australia trip.

Friday, May 20, 2011

... online

Look what I found online a few days ago.

The following are different answers given by school-age children to the given questions:

Why did God make mothers?

1. She's the only one who knows where the scotch tape is.
2. Think about it. It was the best way to get more people.
3. Mostly to clean the house.
4. To help us out of there when we were getting born.

How did God make mothers?1. He used dirt, just like for the rest of us.
2. Magic plus super powers and a lot of stirring.
3. He made my Mom just the same like he made me. He just used bigger parts.

Why did God give you your mother and not some other Mom?1. We're related.
2. God knew she likes me a lot more than other people's moms like me.

What ingredients are mothers made of?1. God makes mothers out of clouds and angel hair and everything nice in the world, and one dab of mean.
2. They had to get their start from men's bones. Then they mostly use string. I think.

What kind of little girl was your Mom?1. My Mom has always been my Mom and none of that other stuff.
2. I don't know because I wasn't there, but my guess would be pretty bossy.
3. They say she used to be nice.

How did your Mom meet your dad?1. Mom was working in a store and dad was shoplifting.

What did Mom need to know about dad before she married him?1. His last name
2. She had to know his background Like is he a crook? Does he get drunk on beer? Does he make at least $800 a year? Did he say NO to drugs and YES to chores?

Why did your Mom marry your dad?1. My dad makes the best spaghetti in the world. And my Mom eats a lot.
2. She got too old to do anything else with him.
3. My grandma says that Mom didn't have her thinking cap on.

What makes a real woman?1. It means you have to be really bossy without looking bossy.

Who's the boss at your house?1. Mom doesn't want to be boss, but she has to because dads such a goofball.
2. Mom. You can tell by room inspection. She sees the stuff under the bed.
3. I guess Mom is, but only because she has a lot more to do than dad.

What's the difference between moms and dads?1. Moms work at work and work at home, and dads just got to work at work.
2. Moms know how to talk to teachers without scaring them.
3. Dads are taller and stronger, but moms have all the real power cause that's who you gotta ask if you want to sleep over at your friend's.

What does your Mom do in her spare time?1. Mothers don't do spare time.
2. To hear her tell it, she pays bills all day long.

What's the difference between moms and grandmas?1. About 30 years.
2. You can always count on grandmothers for candy. Sometimes moms don't even have bread on them!

Describe the world's greatest Mom?1. She would make broccoli taste like ice cream!
2. The greatest Mom in the world wouldn't make me kiss my fat aunts!
3. She'd always be smiling and keep her opinions to herself.

Is anything about your Mom perfect?1. Her teeth are perfect, but she bought them from the dentist.
2. Her casserole recipes. But we hate them.
3. Just her children

What would it take to make your Mom perfect?1. On the inside she's already perfect. Outside, I think some kind of plastic surgery.
2. Diet. You know her hair. I'd dye-it, maybe blue

If you could change one thing about your Mom, what would it be?1. She has this weird thing about me keeping my room clean. I'd get rid of that.
2. I'd make my Mom smarter. Then she would know it was my sister who did it and not me.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

... in Australia

In 46 days, which is a little more than 6 weeks, I will fly to Australia for 3 weeks. It was my parent’s gift for my 25th birthday. Yes, I have really wonderful parents. No, I will not trade with you. 

From Vienna, Austria to Perth, Australia it takes us approximately 29 hours with two stops in Frankfurt, Germany and Singapore. Then we will spend 3 weeks in Australia, touring Western Australia. 
So I need a lot to read during the evening and then we will fly back from Perth over Bangkok, Thailand to Vienna, which will take around 20 hours. 

So you see, I will need many many books. So I had three possibilities. 

  • The first one was to reduce my pile of things I want to take with me to a minimum and take a whole suitcase of books with me. Was not so popular with my dad – I still don’t know why.
  • The second option was to take books with me and leave them in Australia when flying back. This option was not popular with me because I know for sure that I can’t do that. Just leave me books somewhere – are you kidding me? No way!
  • So I figured out a perfect third option. Today I bought an Amazon Kindle. It can hold 3,500 books and weighs only 241 grams. Sounds perfect to me! Even I can’t read so many books in 3 weeks. I ordered the Wi-Fi version of the Kindle together with a red cover. I am so excited. For some weeks now I looked for books to read for this trip and I found more than enough.
I still think that an e-book will not substitute a REAL book but it is definitely a good alternative for special circumstances like this. 

I am a huge fan of books – real books but I am also really excited to get my Kindle next week. Maybe that’s also because I am so looking forward to this trip. The only downer is that we will leave our dog at my aunt’s for 3 weeks. No, she loves him and he loves her and she will take more than good care of him and everything will be fine but it is kind of hard to leave him. On the other hand, I am so sure that those 3 weeks will rush by and we will be back home in no time and then he will be so excited to see us again. 
So all in all, I can say that the next 6 weeks will be full of studying, writing papers and exams but I have something really special to look forward to.

Monday, May 9, 2011

... in books

Cultural differences

Some weeks ago my mum and I discussed that classics and “most read books” differ from culture to culture and from country to country.
American most reads are completely different from Austrian and German ones and the Italian ones are certainly different to those.
From time to time you stumble across lists with the ominous title “100 books you have to read”. When this list is published by an English speaking person I have read just five to ten of those. When this list is published by someone speaking German and reading mostly German literature and classics I reach around 30 books.
Some days ago I found such a list which for me contains a mix of English and German most reads. It is in German but it contains many English books as well.
Sadly I only have read 19 of these books so far but some I have at home and I know that I will read them some day.

And now, I want to share this list of “100 books you have to read” with you (I tried to translate all titles, some I haven’t found or wasn’t sure which one were the right ones)

1. The Lord of the rings, JRR Tolkien
2. The Bible
3. The Pillars of the Earth, Ken Follett
Perfume, Patrick Süskind
5. Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
6. Buddenbrooks, Thomas Mann
7. The Physician, Noah Gordon
8. The Alchimist, Paulo Coelho
9. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling
10. Pope Joan, Donna W. Cross
11. Inkheart, Cornelia Funke
12. Feuer und Stein, Diana Gabaldon – no English translation found13. The house of the spirits, Isabel Allende
14. The reader, Bernhard Schlink
15. Faust I, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
16. The Shadow of the wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón
17. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
The name of the rose, Umberto Eco
19. Illuminati, Dan Brown
20. Effi Briest, Theodor Fontane
21. Harry Potter the Order of the Phoenix, JK Rowling
22. The Magic Mountain, Thomas Mann
23. Gone with the wind, Margaret Mitchell
24. Siddharta, Hermann Hesse
25. Die Entdeckung des Himmels, Harry Mulisch – no English translation found26. The neverending story, Michael Ende
27. Das verborgene Wort, Ulla Hahn – no English translation found28. Angela’s Ashes, Frank McCourt
29. Narcissus and Goldmund, Hermann Hesse
30. The Mists of Avalon, Marion Zimmer Bradley
German Lesson, Siegfried Lenz
32. Die Glut, Sándor Márai – no English translation found33. Homo faber, Max Frisch
34. Discovery of Slowness, Sten Nadolny
35. The unbearable lightness of being, Milan Kundera
One hundred years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Márquez
37. Owen Meany, John Irving
38. Sofie’s world, Jostein Gaarder
39. The Hitchhiker’s Guide trough Galaxy , Douglas Adams
40. The Wall, Marlen Haushofer
41. The Cider House Rules, John Irving
42. Love in the time of Cholera, Gabriel Garcia Márquez
Der Stechlin, Theodor Fontane – no English translation found44. Steppenwolf, Hermann Hesse
45. To kill a mockingbird, Harper Lee
46. Joseph and his brothers, Thomas Mann
Der Laden, Erwin Strittmatter – no English translation found48. The tin drum, Günter Grass
49. All quiet in the Western Front, Erich Maria Remarque
50. The swarm, Frank Schätzing
51. Wie ein einziger Tag, Nicholas Sparks – not sure which on is the right title in English52. Harry Potter and the prisoner of Askaban, JK Rowling
Momo, Michael Ende
54. Jahrestage, Uwe Johnson – no English translation found55. Mutant Message Down Under, Marlo Morgan
56. The catcher in the rye, Jerome David Salinger
57. The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown
58. Krabat, Otfried Preußler
59. Pippi Longstocking, Astrid Lindgren
60. Desert Flower, Waris Diris 
61. Geh, wohin dein Herz dich trägt, Susanna Tamaro – no English translation found62. Hanna’s daughters, Marianne Fredriksson
63. Mittsommermord, Henning Mankell – not sure which on is the right title in English64. The return of the dancing master, Henning Mankell
65. The hotel New Hampshire, John Irving
66. War and peace, Leo N. Tolstoi
67. The glassbead game, Hermann Hesse
68. The Shell Seaker, Rosamunde Pilcher
69. Harry Potter and the goblet of fire, JK Rowling
70. Diary, Anne Frank
71. Salt on our Skin, Benoite Groult
72. Jauche und Levkojen, Christine Brückner – no English translation found73. The Corrections, Jonathan Franzen
74. White Massai, Corinne Hofmann
75. What I loved, Siri Hustvedt
76. The 13 ½ lives of Captain Bluebear, Walter Moers
Das Lächeln der Fortuna, Rebecca Gablé – no English translation found
78. Monsieur Ibrahim and the flowers of the Qur’an, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt
79. Winnetou, Karl May
80. Désirée, Annemarie Selinko
Nowhere in Africa, Stefanie Zweig
82. The world according to Garp, John Irving
83. Wuthering heights, Emily Brontë
84. P.S. I love you, Cecilia Ahern
85. 1984, George Orwell
86. Mondscheintarif, Ildiko von Kürthy – no English translation found
87. Paula, Isabel Allende
88. Just like heaven, Marc Levy
Es muss nicht immer Kaviar sein, Johannes Mario Simmel – no English translation found90. Veronica decides to die, Paulo Coelho
91. Chronicler of the winds, Henning Mankell
92. The Master and Margarita, Michail Bulgakow
93. Chess, Stefan Zweig
Tadellöser & Wolff, Walter Kempowski – no English translation found95. Anna Karenina, Leo N. Tolstoi
96. Crime and Punishment, Fjodor Dostojewski
97. Count of Monte Christo, Alexandre Dumas
Der Puppenspieler, Tanja Kinkel – no English translation found99. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
100. Rote Sonne, schwarzes Land, Barbara Wood – not sure which on is the right title in English

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

... in books

It’s the beginning of May and now starts the critical phase at university. Same procedure as every year!
I need to study for exams, write all my papers, try to find time to do my homework and attend my classes. This year there is more to do because I’m attending a course where I need to go to different school and observe some lessons, which is real fun but takes valuable time from my full days. 

And as always when I am a little stressed or when time is precious I read a lot more than usually. So I think I will finish quit a lot of books the following months.So far I finished reading Joanna Harris “Chocolat” and Walter Moers “The Alchemaster’s Apprentice”. 

I got Chocolat in February for my 25th birthday from my family. Shame on me, but I must confess that I got the film with Juliett Binoche and Johnny Depp for several years now and I never watched all of it. So when I got the book and knew that I had to read the book before watching the film. I finally finished it on Sunday and now I’m really interested how they transferred this book into a film. 

The Alchemaster’s Apprentice is one of Walter Moers’ wonderful novels about Zamonia. It is wonderfully written and sometimes I laughed out loud. All the other Zamonia novels are also worth reading, totally obscure but so much fun. 

Now, I will focus on my study materials again!