Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Chunkster 2011 - finishline

Yes, I did it! Kinda list minute, kinda last 100 meters, but I think I did it. Last year I joined this challenge on January 15th, the first post is here.Some things changed on the way, I didn't read the book I thought I was going to read (Gone with the Wind, Shantaram or Fall of Giants - I still have them on my TBR) - but I ended up reading 6 beautiful books, different and amazing, finishing the Do These Books Make my Butt Look Big? level
Small reviews here:  
1. Anna Karenina (Adevarul - 960 pagini)
2. Cartea soaptelor by Varujan Vosganian (Polirom 528 pagini) trad The Book of Whispers
3. Casa de lut  - 3 volume - The Good Earth 438p, Sons 560p, A House Divided 393p - 1391p
4. Alegerea Sofiei - Editura ART - 712 pagini
5. Sa ucizi o pasare cantatoare - 493 pagini
6. Cioplitorul in piatra - 597 pagini 
Everything was so last minute because I neglected to write a few lines about the book once I finished it - Note to self - Don't do that again !
Looking forward to this year's challenge! I've already joined and I'm already down one book.

LE (Feb 1st) And a different wrap, here are two photos from late last night - small tower of the books I've read for this challenge and Nichi, my cat - being very interested in the books' smell, some of them are bought from a second hand shop, maybe that's why she's so into smelling them.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Reading about this book and its author I discovered Truman Capote and I added – In Cold Blood to my wish list. I read To Kill Mockingbird in the summer at the seaside, during a work thing I had last year. It is not quite the holiday book you take with you hoping for a light reading J but I loved the book and I would recommend it to anyone. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 so it fits right in my Pulitzer Project. It deals with racism related events seen though a young girls’ eyes, in America in the 1920ies.  It is Harper Lee’s only book and it won many awards, but I think that the biggest reward is that it is so up-to-date now, many years after it was first published. I will find time to see the movie also, but I know it cannot compare with the book.  Movies never do
“Out of the cradle endlessly rocking,/
Out of the mocking-bird’s throat, the musical shuttle,……./
A reminiscence sing” – Walt Whitman  

The Book of Whispers/Cartea soaptelor

I bought this book because it won the best book award in 2009 and because it’s written by Varujan Vosganian – an Armenian politician and I was curious. I read it slowly because some parts are quite strong, especially the circles of death. It’s a biography of Armenians in Romania, the history of the 1915 genocide, life stories of those who chose exile and of those who chose to stay, it’s a tangled web of characters, destinies, families. It was amazing to me that the childhood memories, all the smells and images were so vivid and it was enough to close our eyes and take a break from reading and you were in Focsani in the 50ties and the smell of fresh coffee or green nuts would surround you. I think this book has it’s charm because it written in Romanian, Mr. Vosganian is a skilled and wonderful story teller and I will find an opportunity to hear him read from his book because I am sure it would be like time traveling back into a time when my parents were just babies. It is surprising how things change in 50 and so years. To me it was less of a history lesson, more of a peoples’ fresco.  
“Noi nu ne deosebim prin ceea ce suntem, ci prin mortii pe care fiecare ii plange” a spus bunicul meu Garabet.
Rough translation :
We do not distinguish each other by what we are, but through the dead we each weep

Sophie's Choice

Sophie’s Choice

I usually have a good reason for picking a book up, buying it and reading it. I only know where I bought this book from, but not why. I’ve read it late this summer, but I didn’t get a chance to write anything about it. Maybe I took it because of The Diary of a Young Girl – although Sophie is not Jewish.
Three characters that I loved and hated at times and a very sad story. A love story, an agonizing life,  friendship and hate. It’s about a mother’s struggle to save her children during The Second WW, her chances, her choices. I read that this book produced quite a stir in 1979 when it appeared as it was explicit, but maybe due to the translation I didn’t get that feeling, but on the other hand, I read it in 2011. After all these months I still remember the scenes between Sophie and Nathan , scenes of love, jealousy, desperation,  self destruction and dependence. For sure it is a book worth reading again, at a wiser age, just to see what feeling digs up in me. Strong, powerful, breathtaking story about family, love and war. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Carti 2011

Tot ce am citit in 2011 :

The Lighthouse PD James 353 eng
Vant de rasarit, vant de apus Pearl S Buck 236 rom
Let The Great World Spin Colum McCann 400 eng
Drumul Cormac McCarthy 224 rom
Eroare judiciara Anne Holt 456 rom
Printesa gheturilor Camilla Lackberg 352 rom
Predicatorul Camilla Lackberg 480 rom
Anna Karenina Lev Tolstoi 960 rom
Se numea Sarah Tatiana De Rosnay 320 rom
Perla Chinei Anchee Min 328 rom
Cartea soaptelor Varujan Vosganian 528 rom
Alegerea Sofiei William Styron 712 rom
Sa ucizi o pasare cantatoare Harper Lee 496 rom
Casa de lut -3 vol Pearl S Buck 1391 rom
Room Emma Donoghue 336 eng
Casa de la Riverton Kate Morton 440 rom
Cioplitorul în piatră Camilla Läckberg 608 rom
The Island Beneath the Sea Isabel Allende 480 eng
Sa nu ma parasesti Kazuo Ishiguro 321 rom
Paula Isabel Allende 368 rom
Casa spiritelor Isabel Allende 444 rom
Piaza rea Camilla Lackberg 330 rom
The Hidden Child Camilla Lackberg 400 eng
Valul pictat W. Somerset Maugham 228 rom
Durabila iubire Ian McEwan 246 rom

25 de titluri, anul Pearl S Buck si Isabel Allende as zice. Ma asteptam sa fie mai multe, dar e primul an in care tin evidenta, este o obisnuinta buna.  Eu cred ca am citit carti bune, una si una, cel mai mult mi-a placut ROOM si la fel de mult The Island Beneath the Sea.

Friday, January 13, 2012

No1 - Chunkster 2012

My first book of this year is An Autobiography – Agatha Christie –I totally loved this book.  I love reading her books and especially this one. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to listen :) lovely-lovely book about childhood, family, love, life, in good and in bad times. I have to say that the best part of the book is the one about Ashfield , her childhood home. She describes everything she can remember, and she has quite a memory J  She lived in different times and  I was fascinated about those years and the way things were.  She experiences both wars, has 2 marriages,  a daughter and a full life. From this book I learned The tale about the two frogs that fell into a can of milk – one gave up and drowned, the second frog persevered, refused to give up, and gradually the milk turned into butter, and it was able to free itself from the can – I never knew it.  It suits this autobiography so well. I realize that it is somewhat an optimistic way of seeing your life and ,of course, she left out things like anyone would, but this made reading it even more special.
I am sure I will read this book again. (It is amazing that I paid only 10 RON (~2.5EUR) for this book from a second-hand bookshop and it was in my TBR list for so long)

Books to add to my shopping/reading list : 
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Confessions of an English Opium-Eater by Thomas De Quincey

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Ultimele carti pentru 2011

Fara sa vreau am facut un experiment cu Paula si Casa spiritelor.  Invers decat au aparut,  am citit mai intai realitatea, apoi cartea. As zice ca mai mult mi-a placut Paula. Da, in mod sigur mi-a placut mai mult Paula. Dupa Casa spiritelor s-a facut film, dar nu vreau sa-l vad, nu cred ca ar putea sa fie in vreun fel o proiectie a cartii. Dupa zbuciumata Allende, m-am retras in mult mai fictionala Camilla Lackberg – Piaza rea am citit-o ca pe o tableta de ciocolata –devorand-o. The Hidden Child, fiind in engleza a mers mai greu, dar atat de multi imi place de Patrik (in concediu de paternitate in cartea asta) si de Erica (ea gaseste printre lucrurile mamei sale o medalie nazista si niste jurnale si incepe sa investigheze pana da de adevar) incat am citit-o savurand parca mai mult scenele de confort casnic decat  activitatea politieneasca. Aceasta este a cincea carte din serie, a 6-a inca nu a fost tradusa in engleza. Pe unele situri vad ca s-ar numi The Mermaid, dar pe Amazon, la preorder – apare ca fiind The Drowing, cu coperta din aceeasi gama cu The Hidden Child…ar aparea pe 15 martie, vom trai si vom vedea.

Cu Valul pictat a fost o intamplare, am vazut secvente la televizor din film si apoi in decurs de cateva zile am vazut cartea si am luat-o. Am citit-o pe indelete si mi-a placut, chiar daca se sfarseste deschis, dupa parerea mea. Te lasa cu intrebari, cu nelamuriri si cu o imensa parere de rau. Oricum, nu am putut sa mi-l scot din cap pe Edward Norton, actorul care il interpreteaza pe doctorul  Walter Fane. L-as fi vazut (daca nu ar fi fost filmul) mult mai uratel pe domnul doctor :) oh, Edward Norton.  Dupa ce am terminat cartea am vazut si finalul filmului – da,  iti mesteca si iti da mura in gura varianta cea mai placuta, ofera un pic de continuitate. Raman la carte, ca fiind mai faina.  In plan am sa citesc, tot de W. Somerset Maugham  Luna si doi bani jumate, carte despre care stiu mai nimic, dar atat cat stiu imi e deajuns ca sa vreau sa o citesc.
Durabila iubire de Ian McEwan (Enduring Love) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjS6zwUx1hA – aceasta minunata, ciudata, induiosatoare, sufocanta  carte de dragoste, as zice. Nu cred sa fi citit vreo carte mai bizara. Cel mai mult m-a socat accidentul cu balonul, nu obsesia lui Jed pentru Joe. Mi-a fost mai mult mila de Jed si pe Joe l-am compatimit si l-am inteles in dorinta lui perpetua sa isi explice tot, sa gaseasca pentru orice o justificare, un raspuns.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Chunkster 2012

YES, I will join this challenge for this year, but on a different level.
The Plump Primer - this option is for the slightly heavier reader who wants to commit to SIX Chunksters over the next twelve months. 

Definition of a chunkster:
A chunkster is 450 pages or more of ADULT literature, whether non-fiction or fiction. A chunkster should be a challenge

The 2011 competition ends on January 31st and I am a little behind with the "reviews" , I've done the reading, I still have to do the writing. 

I have a few books in mind and I also have a justification for the lower level - I found myself looking for large books over the year and disregarding the thinner ones and this year this must end :) but I am looking forward to reading 6 books of  450pages each. First one, I've just started it last night -  Agatha Christie An Autobiography

        Six gone! by 21st of May!!!

 1 - An Autobiography - Agatha Christie   -  13th of January 

 2 - Poveste de dragoste africana -Caitlin Davies -  27th of February 
 3 - Gargui - Andrew Davidson - 23th of March
 4 - Corectii - Jonathan Franzen - 19th of April 
 5 - Poveste despre dragoste si intuneric - Amos Oz - 7th of May 
 6 - The Drowning - Camilla Lackberg - 21st of May