MissWatson tries again in 2016

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MissWatson tries again in 2016

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1MissWatson
gen. 5, 2016, 5:21am

I didn't read as many chunksters as I intended last year, but I hope to do better this year, and soon. One of the books under the tree was Queen of fire and I'm eager to find out what happens.

2johnsimpson
gen. 6, 2016, 4:28pm

Hi Miss Watson, nice to see you here again my dear.

3Tess_W
gen. 7, 2016, 5:23am

Hi Birgit! Glad you are here. You always provide me with BB's and thoughtful comments on books that I have contemplated reading.

4MissWatson
gen. 14, 2016, 10:23am

First BFB of the year, yay!

Der Zauberring is a very odd book indeed, a tale of knights and their ladies, a magic ring, and far too many coincidences for the modern reader. It's the Middle Ages as idealised by the Romantics, in this case someone who overdosed on Gerusalemme liberata and Orlando furioso, at least I was constantly reminded of the operas based on these poems. Plus a library's worth of other romances of chivalry.
I'm still surprised I made it to the end, because the prose was very hard to swallow, again faux medieval. But I wanted to know how it played out and if I had guessed correctly who is who.

5MissWatson
gen. 15, 2016, 4:11am

And I have finished Queen of fire, a solid final chapter in this trilogy. At some time I need to re-read all three books in close succession, because there were quite a few surprises for me, and I'm not sure if I missed pointers for these in the previous volumes. There are several points of view, telling the story as it unfolds and builds to the final battle, and I was intrigued to find many parallels with my other book, Der Zauberring which tells its story in a similar structure. I still think the first volume is best, because of its very unusual viewpoint.

6MissWatson
feb. 15, 2016, 5:32am

#3 The Small House at Allington by Anthony Trollope

This is book 5 of his Barsetshire Chronicles and I was surprised to find that there is barely any mention of Church of England affairs. The others so far have been set mostly or partially among clergymen. Instead we get a glimpse at Plantagenet Palliser's relationship with Lady Dumbello and his future wife is described. There's also the failed romance of Lily Dale who is jilted by her social climber of a fiancé. Trollope himself describes her as a bit of a prig in his authobiography, and I would agree with him. Still, it's amazing to find a Victorian novel where she remains unwed at the end, although a likely candidate is presented. I'm looking forward to my next journey into Barsetshire, he is so good at creating believable, likeable women.

7bryanoz
feb. 15, 2016, 11:05pm

I have only read his The Last Chronicle of Barset and thoroughly enjoyed it, thanks for the reminder that I need to read the series, I have them here somewhere !

8MissWatson
feb. 16, 2016, 3:33am

I just started The Last Chronicle of Barset and am delighted to find old acquaintances.

9MissWatson
març 6, 2016, 6:06am

And I have finished it! A nice farewell to some favourite characters. Sad to know we will not meet them again.

10MissWatson
Editat: abr. 20, 2016, 3:59am

I have just been reminded that 22nd April sees the 400th anniversary of the death of Cervantes. Is this the day to finally start Don Quixote? I have repeatedly heard that its episodic nature lends itself to reading it in small doses...

edited for touchstone

11Tess_W
abr. 21, 2016, 12:26pm

>10 MissWatson: Great idea, Birgit! I have read certain scenes from Don Quixote, but not the entire thing. I think episodic reading would work best for that! I am working on 2 BBF's right now, but might well start this one following those.

12bryanoz
abr. 21, 2016, 7:35pm

MissWatson and tess, time to read and enjoy Don Quixote in its entirety, I remember it being a great novel, and humorous as well !

13MissWatson
abr. 22, 2016, 6:38am

Thanks for the encouragement, Tess and Bryan!

14MissWatson
abr. 25, 2016, 6:01am

Well, I have taken the plunge and the book off the shelf. So far, I've finished the notes on the text. Next weekend, the first chapter. This is something that requires time, concentration and some dictionaries within easy reach.

15Tess_W
abr. 25, 2016, 9:22am

>14 MissWatson: I'm not ready for the plunge, yet! Good luck!

16MissWatson
abr. 25, 2016, 9:49am

>15 Tess_W: I think I'm trying to make it up to poor Miguel. I never noticed before that he died on the same day (officially) as William Shakespeare, so who grabs all the attention and gets all the TV special documentaries? Wills, of course. Not a single mention of the other one. I do like the plays, never a doubt about it, but a whole week of these festivities is a bit much.

17Tess_W
abr. 26, 2016, 3:20pm

>16 MissWatson: Alas and alack, no festivities for either here in the U.S.!

18MissWatson
abr. 27, 2016, 3:40am

>17 Tess_W: I would have thought that's a great opportunity to fill the schedule with cheap repeats: all those lovely film versions...

19Tess_W
abr. 27, 2016, 11:55am

>18 MissWatson: Well, I guess I could have a party for myself and invite some friends who actually read Shakespeare! I am sorry to say, that I really don't know of any!

20MissWatson
juny 16, 2016, 5:56am

#5 Ruhe ist die erste Bürgerpflicht by Willibald Alexis

This was a real chunkster at 1081 pages. And a little odd, set in Berlin in 1805-1806, with Naopleon looming large. There's a large number of characters and many short scenes where they hold forth on politics and how to deal with the French. It reminded me a little of a kaleidoscope, a slight shift of the tube and you get an entirely different picture, or in this case opinion. The author writes a very distinctive (convoluted) prose, not without sarcasm or humour, and is very much interested in psychology.

21MissWatson
Editat: oct. 12, 2016, 3:31am

#6 The aeronaut's windlass by Jim Butcher

So, I got sidetracked into reading many other, short books from my TBR and poor Quixote fell by the wayside. The most recent distraction was The aeronaut's windlass which was mentioned favourably by some fellow LTers. And then I found myself in abookstore last weekend and succumbed to tentation. Ah well. It's an entertaining SFF tale with a very arrogant cat among the main characters.

22MissWatson
nov. 10, 2016, 8:16am

#7 Science and civilisation in China volume 2: History of scientific thought

It's taken me nearly three three months to finish this, as the subject matter is extremely dense. I freely admit that some of this went over my head, the study of ancient Greek philosophy was no longer part of the curriculum when I went to school. But it was very stimulating and I come away with some very interesting nuggets of knowledge (such as that Leibniz took inspiration from the hexagrams of the I Ching for his binary mathematics) and a much better appreciation of the way the Chinese see the world. It also provides a highly appreciated warning to approach Western translations of Chinese classics with more than a pinch of salt, because they often impose their own world view on the ancient texts.

23MissWatson
nov. 25, 2016, 10:48am

#8 Rose et Blanche, ou La comédienne et la religieuse

This is the first work George Sand had published, co-written with Jules Sandeau and presents the story of two young girls who meet by chance on a journey. One is destined for a convent, the other belongs to a theatre company. Both meet with much unhappiness.