books books books

Gosh oh gosh, there is a book meme going around and all the people that have participated are like people who read literature with a capital L, teach literature, read 100 books a day so it seems, .... and guess what....Jen tagged me!?
Gosh I feel intimidated to say the least as I am clearly not in their league, but I do like books so I am playing along. To say more: I'll combine 2 book meme's that Jen published last week!

Total number of books

Hmm not many really. I've always been a library girl. Since I never read a book twice I truly don't see the point in buying books really, because they'd just be gathering dust afterwards.
Jan however has bought a couple of them and I did get seduced in a bookstore last year. Not counting for travel guides, I would own together with Jan a maximum of 20 books? Totally different than Anno's bookshelf no? My gosh her collection just blows my mind!

Last book read

Solefall (original title) from Kim Smage. It's a Norwegian police detective, the first one I read from this author...it was ok, but it didn't turn me wild either though.

Last book bought
The kiterunner - Khaled Hosseini ....I was in a book store and got seduced. However it's still like a little treasure on my nighttable while I read my library books first as they are always due :p.

5 meaningful books:

ok can I bend the rules a bit since I don't really know if I can list 5 meaningful books like that. I'll make it a bit broader.

1 ) Pietje Puk - Henri Arnoldus: this child series about Pietje Puk were the first books I could read in the library. The first joy that I could borrow books to read, not to look at the images! And the stories about this friendly postman that always got into trouble are truly heartwarming and funny. Afterwards in grade 2 I could upgrade to the series about Mr Pompelmoes!

2) Lemniscaat (NL) and Averbode (B) : 2 Well known publishing companies that publish child and youth books in Dutch. They published the books of frequently awarded youth authors like Jan Terlouw, Evert Hartman, Johan Ballegeer, Thea Beckman, Karel Verleyen, René Swartenbroeckx, .... Seeing their label on the back of a book guaranteed much reading pleasure!

Gosh who hasn't read 'Koning Van Katoren', 'Kruistocht in spijkerbroek', 'Celines grote oorlog', 'Oosterschelde, windkracht 10', 'Kinderen van moeder aarde' , 'We trouwen als de keizer komt', 'Aisha'...as a child here and has not fallen absolutely in love with it?? Those were big large books full of historic or cultural references, very informational and yet mesmerizing. I was drawn into new worlds, I got addicted, ...I am drewling again when thinking back about those books. My friends and I , we all tried to read them first, the most, ....I had to rush to finish them so I could start the next one and yet I did not want to finish them ever. Later on when I was working in a summer job in the library, I started secretly reading them again. I didn't see the movies that were made from them though.
When in grade 9, 'youth literature' was added to the curriculum, our teacher was very upset that she had to teach child books rather adult books...until she was pleasantly surprised by the quality and depth of these books.

Truly as an adult, I've never found books that I loved so much as those books from Dutch and Flemish writers that I've been reading between age 9 and 14!

3) The name of the Rose- Umberto Eco: how more brilliantly can anyone combine history and a thriller in one book? The best of 2 sides....well the best, I would make an editorial cut in some of the lenghty political discussions in it.

4) The time traveller's wife: since I saw it recommended everywhere I deliberately searched for it in the library. Usually I just wander aimlessly around and pick the books where my eye falls on it (although I do search more detectives, historical books or books about foreign cultures). Why is this in my little list here: because I just read it a couple of weeks ago and it was the first book since a very long time that made me cry. It was quite different than I had imagined yet I was drawn into it more and more.

Another one that moved me very much as well is Paula from Isabelle Allende. Unlike Allende's other books full of peculiar characters, this book was soooo real. The pain it held was soooo real. This was a mother talking to her daughter in coma. It leaves you breathless.

5) the bible: not because I read very often in it at all, yet I do value it! I think it was the first book I ever bought actually.



The second meme that Jenn challenged us last week was to take the top 106 unread books from librarything.
The instructions are: Bold what you have read, italicize those you didn't finish, strikethrough the ones you hated, put *asterisks next to those you’ve read more than once, and put a + cross in front of the books that are on your bookshelf. Underline books that are on your "to read" list.

woooohaaa, that's going to be funny. All those English classics that I've never touched or don't even know. No Belgian books in the list? Hmm I don't think I'll have to do editing. so here's my list:

Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
Catch-22
One hundred years of solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
+ Life of Pi: a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Ulysses
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
A Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveller’s Wife
The Iliad
Emma
The Blind Assassin
+ The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A heartbreaking work of staggering genius
Atlas shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran
Memoirs of a Geisha
Middlesex
QuicksilverWicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave new world
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
Middlemarch
Frankenstein
The Count of Monte Cristo
Dracula
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
1984
+ Angels & Demons
The Inferno
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One flew over the cuckoo’s nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les misérables
The Corrections
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The curious incident of the dog in the night-time
DuneThe Prince
The Sound and the Fury
+Angela’s Ashes
The God of Small Things
A people’s history of the United States : 1492-present
Cryptonomicon
Neverwhere
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
Dubliners
The Unbearable Lightness of BeingBeloved
Slaughterhouse-five
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake : a novelCollapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Lolita
Persuasion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Aeneid
Watership DownGravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield
The Three Musketeers


Any other booklovers that want to play? Allie, I know you like to read! And Jenn in Holland, didn't you like to read as well. I am curious which books are special to you guys!

Comments

See, I KNEW I'd be fascinated by your choices! Thanks so much for playing! And look, you've read all those books IN ENGLISH - I sure haven't read that many classics in Russian or French which are my main two foreign languages. And your meaningful book choices were wonderful. Now I know about a whole new category of books. I just have to learn Dutch to read them. ;-) And I read a lot of those classics because I had to, but then ended up enjoying them. I really had the world's best English teachers in high school and they pushed us to the max.
anno said…
These lists have been so interesting to me -- thanks for posting yours! (I loved the Kiterunner and Time Traveler's Wife, and I'm glad they have a place on your list.) Like Jen, I'm pretty amazed by the amount you've read in English. The number of books I've read in German is pitifully small.
Allie said…
Oh boy ... okay, I will play. I just have to think about this and will work on a post for tomorrow.

Happy Belated Birthday too by the way. I feel like such a crappy friend for not sending at least an ecard to you. So I will send you big virtual hugs now ......
Goofball said…
@Jen: You don't need to know Dutch to read them since some of those top books have been translated into English, German or French. Just search for the authors I mentioned.

eg. 'Koning van Katoren' is 'How to become king' from Jan Terlouw.
A book that has multiple levels: either just a boy that wants to become king of Katoren, but needs to fulfill 7 challenges: eg solve the problem in a village full of walking churches.
=> second layer of a critical view on the Dutch society eg competition between the different religions. This is an absolute classic that is often dealt with in schools, that has plays etc...

'Winter in wartime' of Jan Terlouw and 'War without friends' are 2 books about occupied Holland during WWII.

'Crusade in jeans' from Thea Beckman is an absolute classic as well that has been turned into a big European movie project a couple of years ago. About a boy who timetravelled and ends up in a children's crusade in the Middle Ages where he needs to survive with the other children. This is a must read childrens book.

...see, you got no more excuses ;)

@Jenn and Anno:
I did not read all of those books in English though. I have the Kiterunner in Dutch at home and I read the Time traveller's wife in Dutch too, as well as Isabel Allende, Umberto Eco, ...
Some of the books were on my highschool English curriculum: 1984, the picture of Dorian Grey, The catcher in the Rye (and extracts of Mme Bovary in French class), ...
80% of the books I read are in dutch and 20% or less in English, also because the choice of Dutch books is bigger in the library. But I truly don't mind reading in English at all. French would be much harder and not much of a fun passtime anymore.

@Allie: thanks for the virtual hugs. And no you are not a crappy friend! but do send some more hugs ;)
This was a very interesting post. I loved it.
Thanks so much for that information! I'm going to find those books.