Cloud Atlas

Haven’t finished the book yet (actually I’m pretty much in the middle of it), but I’m quite amazed by the Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell. The book consists of six stories. All unfolding like a diary, all in different times, all in different writing style, and all are entangled, but you only slowly understand the relation of the different people, times, and situations.

My favorite character isTimothy Cavendish. His narrative style is hilarious. I had to force myself not to laugh out aloud in the bus the other day.

Tiny excerpt (only in German…):

Zuweilen flitzt das flauschige Kaninchen Fassungslosigkeit so rasant um die Kurve, dass der Windhund Sprache perplex in der Startbox sitzen bleibt.

What is Real?


“Tell me one last thing, ” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”
Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

Coelho + India = Chopra?

Usually I always carry a book with me. One single day I didn’t because I thought I wouldn’t have a chance to read anyway … an what happens? I find myself in the city waiting for someone to help me carry my new couch table home.

In the vicinity of the furniture shop is one of those spirituality book shop filled with aura soma glases, tsafu, crystals, and from feng shui to judaism to tarot books. I sometimes really like those shop, sometimes I can’t go near them. At that day I felt alright to go in, but didn’t feel like any of those “find your inner strength”, “go with God” … books. Luckily they also had a Belletristik section with Lord of the Rings (?) and one book by Deepak Chopra called Fire in the Heart (in German).

The German version actually doesn’t quote that its meant for teens. Otherwise I might not have bought it (hey, I’m turning thirty in two months). Anyway.

I always believed Deepak Chopra to be one of those people from India riding on the new age wave in America, but that book definitely convinced me that he has a similar gift as one of my favourite writers Paulo Coelho.

For people in a bit of a crisis, a nice pathfinder to inner peace. At least for a couple of moments …

Paulo Coelho

There is no other author I’ve read so many books from without even reading the story description as Paulo Coelho. His latest novel, The Zahir, is currently troubling my brain cells and emotions.

Basically this book – as from different perspectives actually all his books I’ve read so far – is about finding yourself through understanding the love you feel towards the people you love. That sounds recursive and actually it is, but I doubt I’ll be able to explain it more clearly. Never mind, but in some other words …

… if you feel like you’re loosing your path, read The Alchimist (Prologue).
… if you’ve searching for the sense of your life, read Veronica decides to die (first chapter).
… if you want to understand the facets of love, read 11 Minutes.
… if you want a mental Red Bull, read a couple of pages in The warrior of light.

… as for The Zahir … haven’t finished yet …

The dark tower

Strolling through Orell Fuessli the other day, I saw part of the dark tower series by Stephen King. As I had some time to kill, I sat there and read a couple of pages of a random book of the series and it instantely hooked me again. I thought I had written about that epic before, but found nothing on my several blogs. Anyway. I guess I read the first book, The Gunslinger or in German Schwarz, around 1994 and the current last one The dark tower (German Wolfsmond) in the beginning of this year while finishing my studies (don’t try that: it’s a hard task to stop reading and continue learning instead).

I guess I can say I’ve read quite a few fantasy/science fiction novels, but never has any story been so thrilling and recursively inertwinded as this one. Of course there is also a little bit of Stephen King horror flavour, but by far not as much as in his other works.

Travel to the dark tower!

Brazil meets Germany

The first cold winds tossed me into bed with a really nagging cold.
I’m killing my time with two books:

Sven Regener Herr Lehmann (until now only available in German)

and

Paulo Coelho 11 minutes

I haven’t finished both of them yet (I just bought 11 minutes today). In a sense both books have the same basic topic in common: what do I want in life?.

11 minutes is about a young Brazilian woman, who grows up in a tiny village in Brazil. Her wish in life is a husband, children and a house with a view to the sea. Until page 70 (of a total of 190) she ends up in Geneva and starts working as a prostitute.

Herr Lehmann plays in Berlin. The main character, Mr. Lehmann, is a 30 year old guy working in a restaurant (one of those typical German restaurants with a think smoke mist whenever you enter). He seems to be a sort of a depressive figure, until he has a crush on a female cook.

Just finished. The book actually doesn’t really have a beginning or an end. It starts somewhere and ends somewhere. The conclusion is something like: Carpe Diem … You never know what’s going to happen.

Finito

Finished The Order of the Phoenix yesterday night (it was so hot, I couldn’t sleep …).

I was left with quite a frustrated feeling.

The book is not boring. There happen quite a few things and it’s more or less well written, but it all works out by the same scheme as always: Privet Drive, Dursley’s beeing mean to Harry, escape from Privet Drive, Weasley house, get to Hogwarts, much to study, Snape behaves like a moron, Quidditch, some strange things happen, Dubledore never around, Harry struggles with himself, Hagrid has a new monster, blablabla and by the end of the schoolyear Voldemort attacks, Dumbledore finally shows up and helps in one way or the other, all is fine, we get back to Privet Drive … Well, something like this.

I also had the impression that problems were sort of constructed (like the relationship between Harry and Snape – I think with a little respect and understanding you’d easily become friends with Snape).

Whatever.

Nosebleed Nougat

Being on page 250 of Order of the Phoenix (of a total of 766 pages, i.e. the British version), I’d say that it’s as capturing as the 4 other novels.

My personal favorite is number 3 The Prisoner of Azkaban, with one of my favorite characters, Remus Lupin, as their Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher. The wikipedia states that ‘Remus’ could come from ‘Romulus and Remus’, the founders of Rome. Both raised by a wolf. While ‘Lupin’ is the French word for wolf.
Surprise, surprise! (For those who haven’t read the book: Lupin is a werewolf.)
I find Joanne’s naming conventions quite sweet 🙂

All over the internet you can find discourses about the change in Joanne’s writing style, which I find a bit amusing. You sure notice, that she’s including more and more characters and draws them more sharply, but she had about 2500 pages time to do so. To me it’s the same as ever: very British, sometimes a bit bumpy (in my opinion Harry sometimes reacts a bit unreal … ) and after all directed to children and teenagers.