...from a BookLover

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Adorable kids

Oh my! what a lovely picture. How cute are they - sitting there under the umbrella, reading, with a bottle of milk beside them in the middle of the forest? Both dressed in autumn colours? What a precious moment.

Picture taken by
Glazastik Finch

Sunday, 28 October 2012

More than one teaser from "The Dragon Book"!

So, I have been reading The Dragon Book these last few days. It contains several short stories written by different modern fantasists - some famous, some lesser known. The book is edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois.

The stories vary a lot. Some tell of ancient dragons, some of newly hatched ones. You will encounter evil dragons that prey on mankind - and also wise dragons that count humans as friends. Some of the dragons even coexist with our modern world - living in disguise amongst us. Dragons are all strength, fire and magic - and many of them are truly beautiful. Some are simply as mischievous as you can get it. Everyone of them leaves you with the impression of a magnificent creature that demands and deserves your utter respect. You will do wise to tread carefully. And perhaps to keep an eye on the sky...

" So anyway - I wanted to know everything about 'em, growing up. Asked everybody in my village what they knew about dragons. Nobody knew much. Used to watch the dragons dive in the river for fish. Found out the sorts of things they like to eat when they can't get fish, found out what they physic themselves with when they're ill, that sort of thing.
   And then, one time, I followed one back to the cliffs where it nested and climbed up there to have a look, and that was when I found its hoard. All this gold! Nobody in my village had any, you can be sure. I reached in and grabbed this goblet with rubies on it - got my arm bitten pretty badly too - and carried it home. "
Are you afflicted with Dragons? by Kage Baker

" The dragon sniffled, but it lifted its head again to regard him in some wonder. Surprisingly severe, it said, "You are a witness to the rarest sight in the world - a dragon in tears - and all you can say is don't do that? I don't get you people at all." But it did stop crying; it even made a sound like rustling ashes, which Guerra thought might be a chuckle. It said, "Or did I embarrass you, Mike-O?"
 Oakland Dragon Blues by Peter S. Beagle

" At that, he gave off a burst of furious heat and exhaled a stream of green fire. She dodged him and ran toward the crevice.
   One huge forepaw came down directly in front of her. When she wheeled, his other paw came down, fencing her in.
   "You can't leave!"
   She put her hands over her ears, the roar shaking her whole body. The ground trembled under her. He was lying down, curled around her. She lowered her hands. He was calm again, but his great scaled bulk surrounded her. Only a few feet away, the enormous eye shut and opened again. "Tell me a story." "
Dragon's Deep by Cecelia Holland


More teasers:
Flukten fra virkeligheten
Should Be Reading

Thursday, 25 October 2012

"Perfectly written" - a poem

Perfectly Written

Rice wine
on your smooth
maroon lips and brave
you asked
what I really thought
of you.

At last, a glimpse of the man! The man beyond 
his buttonhole career, the real Lee Songjin.
Inside the silver threads of your flashy suit,
the one you wore to sell pharmaceuticals, the man
outside of your SUV and the gold watch 
you wore successfully, I saw past 
the You that I thought I knew.

What could I say?

Now, cinched with regret
that I never said ̶ 

you are not 
a compilation
of characteristics.

With a former lover, we'd never greet with a hello or a kiss,
but ease up to each other like two unfamiliar cats.
We'd brandish our noses in each other’s necks
sniffing out that exact word, one that would fit
our own personal poems, and when we found it
we'd boldly leap through the lines knocking over
metaphor and metres into some wordless embrace ̶ oh,

you don't even know
you are a poem, have
never taken the time 
to read your own 
pages, don't even know 
what lies inside the cover
in which your culture 
has bound you.

Nobody’s ever told you,
you are already
perfectly written.

~coreen boucher~            

I met Coreen while backpacking in Asia years ago now. Strangely, I only found out about her poems today! The more I read this one, the more I like it. I hope you enjoy it, too.

Check out her webpage for more poems: www.coreenboucher.com

Picture taken by
Laura Johansen

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A quote - a wish

May the saddest day of your future be no worse than the happiest day of your past.

I love the language in this series. There are so many great quotes and lines in it. I mean, can you get more adorable than this sentence above is?! It is so full of hope, dreams and wishes for the future... I love it.

May it be true.

The first book in
"The Children of the Lamp"-series

I introduced my youngest brother to these books years ago when the first one came out. Today there are at least seven books in the series. I am missing a few of the latest ones, which I really ought to do something about - because we cannot have that, now, can we? A collector like myself, missing books in one of her series? No, certainly not. Not a chance. Must acquire. Obviously.

Now, I really did like reading these books. That is why I thought them fitting for my brother in the first place. Back then I always preferred to know the books I was giving him as he was so young. Nowadays I sometimes get him books I have not yet read myself, although I am still quite selective. It is fun when you see a book and straight away connects it with a person - the way you are certain he or she will love it. The look in their eyes when they see that book for the first time.

About the books:
The two main characters in the books are the twelve-year-old twins; John and Philippa. They all of a sudden find themselves as djinns with magic powers and the ability to grant wishes. Needless to say that their lives is about to change. In a world where there suddenly are other djinns - some good, some evil, ancient magic, old pharaohs, whirlwind travels around the globe, poisonous cobras and curses, they have to trust themselves, their friends and their newfound powers just to stay alive. Fighting for good can be a most scary task. 

Other teasers:

Friday, 19 October 2012

My latest book haul

In the airport's book store the other day I found myself some more books! I cannot wait to get started on one of these.


" In the Florida Everglades, gator-park Swamplandia! is in trouble. Its star performer, the great beauty and champion alligator-wrestler Hilola Bigtree, has succumbed to cancer, and Ava, her resourceful but terrified 13-year-old daughter, is left in charge with her two siblings. But Ava's sister has embarked on a romantic relationship with a ghost, her brother has defected to a rival theme park, and her father is AWOL. And then a mysterious figure called the Bird Man guides Ava into a perilous part of the swamp called the Underworld, promising he can save both her sister and the park... "

"Girl Reading"

" An orphan poses nervously for a Renaissance maestro in medieval Siena, and an artist's servant girl in seventeenth-century Amsterdam snatches a moment away from her work to lose herself in tales of knights and battles. In a Victorian photography studio, a woman holds a book that she barely acknowledges while she waits for the exposure, and in a Shoreditch bar in 2008 a woman reading catches the eye of a young man who takes her picture. "

"The Dragon Book"

" Whether portrayed as fire-breathing beasts at war with humanity, or as noble creatures mystically bonded to the warriors who ride them, dragons have been found in nearly every culture's mythology. And in The Dragon Book today's greatest fatasists reignite the fire with legendary tales that will consume your imagination. "

" These stories make up an incredible collection that will challenge your perceptions of dragons - and leave you watching the skies... "

Friday, 12 October 2012

My new app!

Oh my - do I love my new IPad! My cousin showed me an absolutely brilliant new app which I downloaded last week. The app is called "My Library" and you can scan the barcodes of books with it to make a vertual register of all the books in your library. Different statuses also mean that you can add books you want, have borrowed or lent out. Did I mention it is brilliant?! Lately I have bought so many books, looked at so many books and thought about so many books that I quite easily forget which ones I actually have back home. Sometimes I find myself standing in the book store with a book or two in my hand, wondering if I did get them that other day I was thinking about getting them or not. You see my predicament?

Well, now all that is soon to be solved once and for all. I am currently scanning or manually entering all my books - which, by the way, I can promise you takes a small eternity. I knew I had a lot of books, but...seriously. Sigh. It will all be worth while in the end, though. I cannot wait to finally have a proper "card index" of my library (although digital) with me at all times.

Next time I am unsure about a book I can simply look it up - what a treat that will be!
My new app in action - flipping through the books!

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

The last day of summer

The other day we had what I believe was the last day of this summer. At least it felt like it to me. That day it was entirely possible to sit outside on the verandah, in the sun, with a cuppa tea and a book - still in summer clothing, I should point out - and soak in the sun. I do not think this will be possible again, not here, not until spring arrives with warm summer rays next year. In a way it is a shame, but autumn has its own pleasures just waiting to be re-discovered: crackling fires, hot chocolate, cozy blankets, homemade cookies, plenty of new books arriving in the book stores...to name but a few. I cannot not be looking forward to that, right?

So, here is a picture from that loveliest of days:

Only thing missing is my cat!

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Old prints/drawings

I would like my library to become a place where you can find unexpected things - and answers to your questions. Maybe one day it will look like that antique, labyrinthlike and slightly chaotic place you imagine a professor's den to be: a place overflowing of surprises you would never have imagined.

I mentioned in an earlier blog post that I love old prints or drawings of plants, insects and animals. Some of them are truly beautiful - plus, quite often they give you at least something of scientific value. That be the correct name of the item in question, naming of structural or skeletal parts, some latin to add to your vocabulary...perhaps simply a better understanding of the diversity of nature.

 The pictures certainly are a step in the right direction of that professor's den, don't you think?

Drawings of spiders.
Found in an antique store in Prague.
I love the details!

A bird and a flower. Prints from the 1800's sometime.
Found in an antiquarian in Oslo.
Not sure when the colour came to. 

A picture of a dragonfly I have had for a while.
This is where the idea came from.

Nowadays I find myself flipping through stacks of pictures (in addition to the usual stacks of books, of course) in second hand stores. Who knows where my next picture is waiting to be found!

Monday, 1 October 2012

A thought experiment - and a teaser

Today I am cheating a little. As I am still reading "Beautiful creatures", I thought I would give you a teaser from a book I read some time ago.

"The end of Mr. Y" by Scarlett Thomas left me mind boggled. It really plays with strange and exceptional theories, and it is written as a huge thought experiment. It really left me wondering - what if all this was even remotely possible? What if it was possible to leap through other people's minds, experience their memories? That sure would change the way we view the world.

So, here is my teaser:

"   'And this is all for a magazine article? ' 
    'Yeah. I do it pretty intensively. For a month I'll live and breathe, say, Samuel Butler. Then I'll find some link from him to take me to the next piece. The column is called Free Association. I started with the Big Bang about three years ago.' 
               Burlem laughs. 'And what did that lead to?'
    'The properties of hydrogen, the speed of light, relativity, quantum mechanics, probability theory, Schrödinger's cat, the wavefunction, light, the luminiferous ether - which is my personal favourite - experiment, paradox...'
    'So you're a scientist? You understand all that stuff?'
     I laughed. 'God, no. Not at all. I wish I did. I probably should'nt have started with the Big Bang, but when you do, that's what you get. At some point I went from artificial intelligence to Butler, and now here I am with Lumas. While I'm working on him I'll probably decide on what link I'm going to follow through next so I can order all the books. I might do something about the history of photography, actually, following through from "The Daguerreotype". Or I might follow it through to the fourth dimension, and that Zollner book, although that takes me back to science again.'  " 

"The end of Mr. Y" by Scarlett Thomas

More teaser's:
Flukten fra virkeligheten
Should Be Reading

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