mandag den 6. juni 2016

NY Times 'By the Book' tag

Det er længe siden, jeg har deltaget i et book tag, men da Anne Nikoline taggede mig i dette, synes jeg alligevel spørgsmålene var for gode til at stå over. Så her kommer de altså!

Spørgsmålene, jeg besvarer er følgende: 

1. Hvilken bog er der på dit natbord?
2. Hvilken bog var den sidste, du læste, som du vil betegne som fantastisk?
3. Hvis du kunne møde en hvilken som helst forfatter - død eller levende - hvem skulle det så være, og hvad kunne du tænke dig at vide?
4. Hvilke bøger vil man blive overrasket over at finde på din bogreol?
5. Hvordan organiserer du dine bogreoler?
6. Hvilken bog har du altid haft en intention om at læse, men aldrig kommet i gang med? Er der bøger du er pinligt berørt over ikke at have læst?
7. Skuffende, overvurderet, bare ikke god: hvilken bog føler du, du burde kunne lide, men det modsatte skete? Kan du huske den sidste bog, du lagde fra dig uden at færdiggøre den? 
8. Hvilken slags historier bliver du draget mod? Hvilken slags har den modsatte effekt?
9. Hvis du kunne få statsministeren til at læse en bog, hvilken skulle det så være?
10. Hvad planlægger du at læse næste gang?

*Krigen har ikke et kvindeligt ansigt af Svetlana Aleksijevitj

Hvis du har lyst til at være med og besvare de samme spørgsmål, så smid da lige en kommentar i kommentarfeltet, så jeg kan høre dine besvarelser. Jeg håber, I har en dejlig solskinsdag!

8 kommentarer:

  1. Svar
    1. 1. Peter Nadas‘ novel „Parallel Stories“ is on my bedside table . Reading the first chapter I know I’ll love that book.
      2. Three extremly impressive novels by Edgar Hilsenrath: „The Story oft he last Thought“, „The Nazi and the Barber“ and „Night“(„Nacht“ in German, I don’t know if an english translation is available. I learnt in Yerevan that we have such a great author in Germany. . Hilsenrath was the „Unknown unknown“ for me.
      3. I would like to meet Thomas Pynchon and Joseph Heller. Unfortunately , it would be quite impossible, because Mr. Pynchon avoids any public and unfortunately Mr. Heller already died in 1999. I’m deeply influenced by them.
      4. There are no surprises. All boos in my bookshelf I wnted to have.
      5. There are approximately 2000 books (fiction, non-fiction, encyclopedias aso.) standing in double rows in my bookshelf. The books are orginized in a excel workbook. That is necessary for finding every book within a short time.
      6. Aristotle „Nicomachean Ethics“ Since many years the book is unread in my bookshelf.
      7. Thomas Mann „Doctor Faustus“. Everything in the novel is strange for me. But I will try it again at any time.
      8. I’m open for all stories. I‘ havent prejudices. Especially short stories are prefered.
      9. All leading politicans I would recommend reading „Picture this“ by Joseph Heller, a parallel story dealing on one hand with the old Greeks and on the other with Rembrandt’s Netherlands. A extremely sharp satire which is also valid nowadays. As background to this novel ist he knowledge of Plato’s „Republic“ very helpful. There is second work, very important for them in the times of disinformation: Stefan Heym (German writer): „The King David Report“. And of course, they should read Joseph Heller’s „Good as Gold“.
      10. Believe it or believe it not: the novels of Jane Austen. And the unread Aristotle mentioned above.
      Unfortunately I don’t understand Danish. I would like to know what did you explain in your video.
      Best regards

    2. Thank you for your answers! It's very interesting hearing others answers and views on these matters!
      I like your answers to the third question! Joseph Heller is such a good answer. I wish I could meet him too. And who knows, maybe you've met Pynchon without knowing it? As far as I know, nobody actually knows what he looks like, right?

      Wow, I wish I could see your collection of books. It sounds extraordinary and magical! Do you have a room dedicated only to your books?

      Good luck with Jane Austen. I'm sorry to say it, but she never really managed to impress me with her novels.

      I'm sorry I didn't do an English recap of the questions. I've been trying to introduce English translations to the blog but I wasn't sure if anybody actually cared but I'll definitely prioritise it more now.

      1. John Williams "Butchers Crossing". I've read the first half of the book and I adore it. Once again I'm blown away by the intense atmosphere.
      2. "War does not have woman's face" by Svetlana Alexievich. It was such a strong read and created images in my head I'll never forget.
      3. In the video I end up mentioning three: Ernest Hemmingway, Hunter S. Thompson and Charles Bukowski. All dead unfortunately.
      4. My answer is similar to yours. I always get rid of the books I don't like. Which aren't many because I'm very selective in what I buy. But I think the "Walking Dead" graphic novels stand out, because I don't have any other graphic novels at all.
      5. I order my books alphabetical, but I'm not very strict about it and it's often a bit of a mess because my current book shelves can't contain all of my books.
      6. James Joyce's "Ulysses". I've begun twice but I never seem to be able to move past the first 100 pages. I really want to read it though and one day I will. I'm sure of it.
      7. I don't like not finishing books when I've begun. I feel like I owe to book to finish it. But as mentioned above, I haven't finished reading "Ulysses" yet.
      8. I'm drawn to well-written stories. I absolutely love when a sentence makes me stop and re-read it because it's constructed in a way I've never experienced before. Or when there are new words I didn't know before. I also prefer stories that are somehow rooted in something I know. It doesn't have to be realistic (for instance I really like The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, which isn't realistic at all - BUT it begins in the world I know and so it seems so much more exciting).
      9. I'm not too keen on our current prime minister, so I just state, a little harshly maybe, that I think any book would be good for him to read because reading books are the greatest way to learn what it is like to be another person - and I think compassion is something he doesn't have enough of.
      10. Karl Ove Knausgård's "My struggle 5". I finished the fourth one last week so I'm planning on reading the last ones this summer. I love his novels so I'm sure it will be a splendid summer.

      I hope you're having a great day!

  2. Hi, I’ll say two words in Danish: Tusind tak. I’m very grateful for explaining me your video. These are so many suggestions on what I could read this summer. Karl Ove Knausgards novels sounds very interesting.
    First some words to my bookshelf. Perhaps it is not so extraordinary as you imagine. I even bought most oft he books, but a lot I was given on X-mas or so. As the years went by, more and more books were collected. A bookshelf is really a story teller. It tells about its owner. Depending on life periods in my own case can be recognized as an East-Asia- or a Japanese period, a Russian period, a romantic period, and an American period which came never to an end . Also philosophical preferences may be derived. And also fairytales, some dime novels… Knowing a bookshelf is like knowing the digital footprints that left by someone in the internet.
    It would be very nice when you want to introduce more English translations in your blog, but be aware, that is lot of work. For reading Danish articles I used the google translator. Of course, a translation from Danish into German is fairly rough, into English appear to be more accurate.
    Do you know that you are one of the few who like Joseph Heller? Some Americans I know shook their heads and couldn’t understand reading such novels. I recommend Thomas Pynchon to my pen pal. He bought “Gravity’ Rainbow” (15 $). But the book was too complex for him. He handed it over to a distinguished eighty year old lady and asked she reading it for him. Oh my god. But I could prove that Pynchon was included on the list of Nobel Prize candidates. Maybe it saved my life.
    Some remarks to your notes:
    5. At first I also tried to order my books alphabetical. But it was quite impossible due to their different sizes. Therefore I store the books according to their size and their buying date like all the scientific libraries. With the help of my excel workbook every book can be found in very short time. I filled in following columns: Name/First Name/Title/Publisher/Year/Genre/Bookshelf Compartment/Price. Do never summarize the prices! You’ll be shocked.
    6. I had had the same difficulties as you with that book. I needed three starts and then I succeeded reading the whole novel and enjoyed it very much. Similar experiences I had had with „Gravity’s Rainbow“ and with „Against the Day“. Much easier to read was „Mason & Dixon“, because it begins with such nice describing of Advent season feelings.
    7. Like to me.
    8. Great that you mentioned it. After reading a lot realistic novels escaping in a dream is sometimes necessary. Douglas Adams seems a good idea. I’ll look for the Hitchhiker. I know “Faster than light” by John Lucas. It was very funny, but I mean the first chapter was the best. It shows realistic situations within enterprises .But here is a rumor that Lucas has used some ideas from the Hitchhiker.
    9. Yes, I also have a very critical view on politics. I’m convinced, that most of the current problems of our societies are homemade. That are no unforeseeable natural catastrophes how certain politicians and mass media would have us believe.
    I wish you a pleasant summer with a lot of books.
    Best regards
    PS: It is a nice idea, perhaps I have already seen Mr. Pynchon but I didn’t realize it. :-)

    1. You're very welcome.

      Knausgård is a favourite of mine. His writing is so simple yet so dazzling. If you read one of his novels at some point, please let me know. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. I think he usually divides the waters; either you love him or you hate him.

      That is such a lovely way of thinking of your books. You're absolutely right. In fact, it might be interesting to divide ALL your books in the order you read them (or bought them?). Then it would almost be like a reflection of your life. It will obviously be more interesting the older you get, but even now I feel a huge nostalgia when I look at the novels I read when I lived in Berlin. Christopher Isherwood's Berlin novels makes me recall so many memories from those days.

      Oh really? I actually thought Joseph Heller was someone most people liked. I loved Catch-22! It's been so many years since I read it. I might read it again. Which of his books are your favourite? Maybe I'll give that a try instead of re-reading one.

      Pynchon is a complicated fellow. I think most post-modern writers are complicated. I've only read some of his short stories, but I really liked the one called "Entropy". I like the idea of an 80-year old lady reading Pynchon because it was too complicated for your pen pal haha :-)

      I'm glad to hear you managed to read Ulysses. There is hope for me still.

      I don't know "Faster than light" by John Lucas, but it sounds very interesting. I'll have to look that one up.

      I agree. The mass media is such a dangerous institution. I think it should be law to teach children and young adolescents how to see through media and be critical about everything they hear/read/see.

      I wish you the same and I hope the summer is warmer where you are, than it is here in Denmark.


  3. Hej,all Knausgards novels are translated into German. I will start reading the first one (German title "Sterben" - in English it is more complex "A Death in Family: My Struggle 1") next month because of having so much to read now. The publishing house offered a free download reading rehearsal (the first 40 pages full text). It touches me. All his novels are available as paperbacks. By the way, "He usually divides the waters" is a expressive phrase. I'll keep it in my mind.

    Dividing all my books in the order I read or bought them is a wonderful idea. I have the most facts in my mind. In my excelsheet the column year shows the year the book was printed. The year of reading or the year of buying will be implemented next time. In the sheet the prizes of the books are included, that means currencies "Mark", "DM" and "€". Therefore the collection can be roughly divided into the social periods "Behind the Iron Curtain", "Reunification of both German states and thereafter" and now the growing influences of the "EU". The main focuses of reading habits are obviously, they depend on the social circumstances.

    What did you do in Berlin? Perhaps semester abroad or an aupair or an normal stay abroad? I read something about Christopher Isherwood, but I din't read any of his novels. I feel I schould change that.

    I read all novels of Joseph Heller, some several times, and also his play "We bombed in New Haven". "Catch-22" (German title "Der IKS-Haken") was the first one I read. It hits me like a flash. Did you know, that his novels were published in the former GDR? Yes they passed the censorship and many other American writers, too. I'm thinking on Thomas Pynchon, "V" was available, and John Updike, Saul Bellow, Norman Mailer a.s.o.
    But Heller is the greatest for me. Why? All his novels are describing social circumstances and behaviours valid for all societies. That is the point, you can find all the patterns as well as in all societies. "Catch-22" was continued by "Closing Time" in 1994, even so sharp-tongued and witty, but with a serious background - our dystopian current world is mirrored. It seems, nobody has learned nothing from the history. The second great experience was "Good as Gold". There are memorable sentences as "Every Change is for the Worse", "Nothing Succeds as Planned" or "We Are Not a Society or We Are Not worth our Salt". And the third worth to mention is "Picture this". The book closes with sentences you never kept out your mind. I love such closings. I remember only two books with similar closing sentences, that are "The world according to Garp" by John Irving and "Weights and Measures" (German title: "Das falsche Gewicht")by Joseph Roth. Many years ago I had the possibility to visit New York.
    There I bought "Picture this" and then I went with book in my hand to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and looked at the original painting. It was a very touching event.

    I'm sure you'll manage reading "Ulysses". And I can tell you, you will like it any time. You wrote you are collecting sentences worth to re-reading or new words or so. There you'll find a lot. I did even so, and I have filled a whole scratchpad. The same with "Gravities Rainbow" and "Mason & Dixon".

    I have an idea in respect the influences of mass media. I recommend you "American Hero" by Larry Beinhart.

    Today a heavy rain came down, no summer feelings. Everyone is waiting for summer. Maybe next week? :-)

    The next few days I'm offline. But I'll be back soon and looking forward to your new reviews on your blog.

    Kind regards

  4. Sikke en fin video og nogle gode svar!