Thursday, February 28, 2013

Booking Through Thursday – Current Events

Booking Through Thursday question from Deb:

What are you reading right now? (And, is it good? Would you recommend it? How did you choose it?)

I’m still reading The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton. (Saying “still” because I also mentioned it in my Teaser Tuesday post, and then I had only just started it.) I’ll wait with recommendations until I’ve finished it, but yes, I like it. I chose it because I’ve liked her previous three novels. Unusually I bought one – her third, The Distant Hours – in a bookshop back in 2011 without ever having heard of neither the author nor the book before. After reading that I ordered her two previous novels too (The House at Riverton and The Forgotten Garden) as paperbacks. And after buying my Kindle last year  I bought her latest, The Secret Keeper, as e-book at full price. As I don’t buy a lot of books at full price, it says something about my confidence in the author if I do buy more than one ;)

I’m also listening to A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (1905), a classic children’s story which I’ve read before, many years ago (and also seen film adaptations of). Free audio book dowloaded from http://www.booksshouldbefree.com/ 

“Sara Crewe begins life as the beloved, pampered daughter of a rich man. When he dies a pauper, she is thrown on the non-existent mercy of her small-minded, mercenary boarding school mistress. Stripped of all her belongings but for one set of clothes and a doll, Sara becomes a servant of the household.” (from a review found on the internet)

Before that I listened to Three Men on a Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome (1900) (also a free audio book). This is another book I’ve read a couple of times before (I have it in paperback) – a sequel to the better known Three Men in a Boat from 1889 (which I’ve read more times than I can count and still find hilarious every time).

In the sequel, J., George, and Harris again find themselves in need of a break, and this time they decide on a bicycling tour in the Black Forest of Germany. Since two of them are now married they first have to persuade their wives that this is a good idea. Like Thee Men in a Boat, this one too is a combination of travelling book and humourous episodes, with various sidetracks and general musings in between. For my own part I find it a fascinating time-document of how an Englishman looked on Germany some 14-15 years before the first world war.

In England we regard our man in blue [the policeman] as a harmless necessity.  By the average citizen he is employed chiefly as a signpost, though in busy quarters of the town he is considered useful for taking old ladies across the road.  Beyond feeling thankful to him for these services, I doubt if we take much thought of him.  In Germany, on the other hand, he is worshipped as a little god and loved as a guardian angel.  To the German child he is a combination of Santa Claus and the Bogie Man.  --- The German citizen is a soldier, and the policeman is his officer.  The policeman directs him where in the street to walk, and how fast to walk.  At the end of each bridge stands a policeman to tell the German how to cross it.  Were there no policeman there, he would probably sit down and wait till the river had passed by.

Jerome, Jerome K. - Three Men on the Bummel

4 comments:

  1. i am reading a spy/action/mystery set in China, Lethal Circuit.. Lars Guignard

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  2. Jerome K. Jerome's books are among the most hilarious ones I have ever read. Maybe it's time for a re-read.

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  3. I have The House at Riverton in the UK. It's on the list! I shall put Three Men on the Bummel on the list too.

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