Seven books for December

 by Diana Studer

- gardening for biodiversity

 in Cape Town, South Africa

 

Catching up with the garden after being down and out with flu, I have read less. These are the good books that stay in my mind.

 

Karin BRYNARD

Weeping waters

~

Crime. Murder. Set in the Kalahari. Gritty, realistic of South Africa's here and now, but leaves me with a - we can do this feeling.

~

[waiting for cell phone reception, travelling across country]

Apart from the ticking of the cooling engine, it was absolutely silent. An odd sort of stillness, he thought. As if it had personality. A presence, almost, like somebody standing too close to you in the dark.

 

Doring River in 2011
Doring River in 2011


Maggie Shen KING

An excess male

~

Read for the second time. A companion to The Handmaid's Tale. China's one child policy and millions of unmarriageable men in 2030.

 

 

Merce RODOREDA

In Diamond Square

~

Written in 1962. Translated from Catalan. Spanish Civil War in Barcelona.

~

Drops of rain played chase on the washing lines, and, sometimes, one dripped down and, before it fell, it stretched and stretched because it seemed it was a huge effort to let go. ... the low clouds were so full of drizzle they dragged their swollen bellies along the roofs.  

 

Porterville July winter in 2009
Porterville July winter in 2009


Charlotte MENDELSON

Almost English

~

We were living in Switzerland when the news always mentioned Imre Nagy - so I remember, despite the way it is spelt, it sounds like an English notch, with a hidden g at the end and hidden d in the middle. She explains that 'gy' as like the 'dy' in - D'ye know where the bus is? An interesting language to grow up with in London. Echoes of Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman.

~

How are you? (hodge vodge) Hogy vagy?

 

Lauterbrunnen 2016 Swiss languages
Lauterbrunnen 2016
Swiss languages


Marisa SILVER

Little nothing

~

A once upon a time fairy tale reinvented. Echoes of 'women running with wolves'. Brothers Grimm territory. Spellbinding.

 

Paper model by Melissa Four
Paper model by Melissa Four


Carys BRAY

The museum of you

~

She is twelve, her mother died soon after she was born. Summer holiday gathering memories and stories of her mother. Her grandparents to her father, like mine much older. (Cover design and paper model by Melissa Four)

~

Colin's parents were young. They'd been born on the cusp of the sixties. Dad was born just as Europe geared up for the Second World War, and Mum was born right at the end of it [as were two of my sisters] The years between ... war babies and the start of Generation X, made a world of difference. ... a past that seemed, to have been shot in black and white, and slow-motion frames.

 

Angela Merkel and Du hast den Farbfilm vergessen

  

Eley WILLIAMS

The liar's dictionary

~

From INside the dictionary - the people who write the definitions. Editing the incomplete dictionary before putting it online. Weaving then and now together and tracking down the deliberately faked words.

~

People who work with words like to do this: enunciate with admiring flourishes as if a connoisseur and to show that here was someone who knew the value of a good word, the terroir of its etymology and the rarity of its vintage.

 

Shorter Oxford Dictionary Zoe in 2017
Shorter Oxford Dictionary
Zoe in 2017

Two fat volumes that he carried across London for me, since I didn't want my English dictionary to have a Swiss accent ;~)

 

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Comments

  1. What happened there in 1949? I am afraid to ask.

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    Replies
    1. Our bridges used to always have the construction date highly visible. This is almost right for my husband, never did find mine.

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  2. I'm sorry to hear that you were ill. I always find something to draw my interest from your book summaries - this time it's The Liar's Dictionary. Your photo of Zoe is precious.

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  3. Thanks for the suggested reading--they all sound interesting. I'm glad you're feeling better. Kitty looks happy. :)

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  4. Glad to hear you are recovering--flu is no fun. Behind in your reading? Still six more than me in a month. Best wishes from faraway.

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  5. So sorry to hear that you have been ill. I hope that you are recovering. Thanks for the reading tips. xo Laura

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  6. Dear Diana, I hope you feel better again! I don't know any of the books you have presented, nor do I know whether they are available in German. But at least I could read "Jungfrau" on the hotel ;-) Zoe in the bookshelf with the nostalgic bears is a delightful photo!
    I am here today to wish you a wonderful Christmas holiday and a good start into 2022, because I want to take a "Christmas blog break". 🎄🕯️✨
    All the best, Traude
    https://rostrose.blogspot.com/2021/12/advent-2021-bei-den-rostrosen.html

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    Replies
    1. Pilot bear and I flew to London City Airport from Zurich. He is only half as old as the straw stuffed pair.

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