Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Books read in May

(Note: How can May be over already???)

The Rosemary Tree by Elizabeth Goudge--A reread, but it's been such a long time that it was like the first time. I always enjoy Elizabeth Goudge (The Dean's Watch was my favorite), but there is something about her books that strikes me as slightly "off." I can't put it in words, but whatever it is, it keeps me from adding EG to my "life list" of favorite authors. That doesn't stop me from reading her, of course.

Out to Canaan by Jan Karon--A reread, because 2yo C. dragged it off the shelf and dumped it in the living room. After revisiting Mitford, I couldn't resist...

Light From Heaven by Jan Karon--the latest and last Mitford novel. I got this for Christmas, and although I peeked at the first chapter, I've left it alone until now. I was saving it to read in Poland. Well, I'm in Poland! I love the Mitford Series, and consider Jan Karon the best writer of modern Christian literature that I have read. Most Christian fiction doesn't deserve the title of literature, but I think Mitford does...

A Girl From Schindler's List by Stella Muller-Madej--true account of a Holocaust survivor. Because I live in Krakow, where the events from Schindler's List took place, and can identify many of the streets and places named, those stories are especialy poignant. (I only found this book available in French and German through Amazon!)

But I Survived by Tadeusz Sobolewicz--another holocaust survivor story. There were a few copies at Amazon, but it was not available as a new book.

KL Auschwitz Seen by the SS--Accounts from three German officials assigned to Auschwitz, including the first commander, Hoess. I borrowed these three books from someone who purchased them all at Auschwitz. I'm not sure these books are widely distributed or easily obtainable. Some of them are actually published by the Museum of Auschwitz.

A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens--I thought I would finish this book in May, but I haven't. I'm well past half-way, however, and the sad truth is...I haven't enjoyed this book as much as I usually enjoy Dickens. I'll try to finish it soon.

"The Secret Garden" and "The Queer Feet" by G.K. Chesterton--Another couple of "Father Brown" stories.

Anielka by Bolesław Prus--I checked Amazon and other sources for Prus, too, and I find that practically none of his work (including this book) has been translated into English, but he is a well-known classic Polish author. In fact, too classic, I think, for my purposes. I am reading in Polish primarily to improve my Polish, and turn-of-the-last-century language probably isn't the best choice for this purpose. At any rate, I've read 2-1/2 chapters this month, and I can tell what is going on in the story. I already know it has a sad ending...

Teacher in America by Jacques Barzun--I finished this book this month, and although I blogged about it earlier, I think I "blogged too soon," because after I got past the boring (to me) part about universities, it got really good again. The last couple of chapters were fascinating. I will be reading more Jacques Barzun, for sure.

The Harvester by Gene Stratton Porter--Another reread, by one of my all-time favorite authors. Too bad I don't like her books as much as I used to!

Inkspell by Cornelia Funke--I slogged through this to preview the series for my 12yo daughter. This is the sequel to Inkheart, which I haven't read, but I don't think it would have made any difference. I do not much care for fantasy literature anymore, although there was a season of my life when I enjoyed it more than anything else. I won't give this to E. until I obtain the first book in the series (how I ended up with #2 in the first place is more than I can tell), but I'm not reading any more of it. If you like the genre, I suppose it's okay, but I don't think it has enduring qualities.

What do I plan for June??? Well, I must finish A Tale of Two Cities and Climbing Parnassus (which I don't think I touched this month). I will continue working on Anielka. Apart from that...it's up for grabs. J. wants me to read Les Miserables, but I definitely won't start that before I finish Dickens. Another Chaim Potok novel? The latest Jostein Gaarder?

Zobaczymy! (Polish for "we'll see!")


At 9:22 PM , Blogger Mama Squirrel said...

I know what you mean about EG--even The Little White Horse has a bit of something that makes me wonder.

At 5:15 AM , Blogger Donna-Jean said...

Do you still read one book of Dickens a year? (Your "Tale of Two Cities" choice) I seem to recall reading once that you did that. :-)

At 9:04 AM , Blogger Krakovianka said...

Yes, I still try to read one new (previously unread) novel by Dickens each year. I did miss last year while I was in the states. I should do the same with Thackeray...but his books are more difficult to come by, unless I want to read them on the computer or via printout.

At 10:26 PM , Blogger gina c said...

I think Thackeray is rather unjustly ignored and wish that he were more readily availabe, however, until the day comes when the BBC produces a high rent adaptation of Henry Esmond, at which time the whole world will "discover" this neglected artist, you might want to try ebay, for esmond, the newcomes, pendennis were issued in hardcover editons in the late 50s and 60s in the Heritage Library and the Limited Editions Club. Also Barry Lyndon was issued in mass market paperback in the 70s after the Film came out. good luck,he is really worth the search. How lovely that you are joining us for war and peace! Welcome! and I am so glad to have discovered your blog, my husband's uncle is a professor at the Jagellonian University and we keep saying we really should visit there... time is too short alas to read as much as one wishes or to travel as much as one wishes! Cant wait to read more of your Polish adventures! I so admire you for learning the language! there are so many great Polish things that we know little or nothing of because of the language barrier.


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