Tag Archives: book

the nose of a dog

“A dog can detect a teaspoon sugar diluted in a million gallons of water: two Olympic-sized pools full.”

Currently reading Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know by Alexandra Horowitz. A bit tortuous when the family pup is half a world away, but nonetheless enlightening about dogs and their awe-inspiring talents.

Photo via Jdenredden

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autumn and early winter reading

A year of reading, with 27 books enjoyed in 2011. Here are lists of what I read from January – May and from June – September. And now, the last batch of the year: the books I read in October, November, and December.

Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout. A portrait of a woman in a small coastal town in New England told through a series of shorts stories from her perspective and through the voices of those in her community.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brönte. This classic never gets old.

The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield. A biographer records the never-before-told personal history of a famous author at the edge of her life.

The Island at the Center of the World by Russell Shorto. A look at the history of Manhattan Island in the hands of its first occupants: the Dutch in New Amsterdam.

Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. A humorous tale of the consequences when one couple decides to forgo Christmas for one year.

The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. A story of a family who moves to a mysterious house on the coast of Spain. The children discover the dark secrets of its past inhabitants.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins. The first book of The Hunger Games trilogy tells the story of Katniss Everdeen, living a totalitarian society in which two children from each of the 12 districts are sent annually to compete in a game for their lives.

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins. The horror of the first book is on repeat when a second game is announced to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the games. Katniss finds herself back in the arena competing for her life.

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. The final installment in which the capital government becomes the final opponent. I listened to trilogy as audio books and was immediately swept up in the action and lives of the characters. It was a perfect way to enjoy the dark, winter months.

I already have a small collection of books for the next month or two, but would love some recommendations. Which books did you enjoy lately?

Photo by azrasta

action

It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it.

Jane Eyre, chapter xii

summer reading

 

A slower pace at work and a long holiday in Turkey allowed for more reading than the first part of the year. Here, a recap of the books I read this summer:

The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet by David Mitchell. A work of historical fiction about the Dutch East Indies Company’s outpost in Japan through the eyes of the young clerk Jacob de Zoet.

Radioactive: Marie & Pierre Curie, A Tale of Love and Fallout by Lauren Redniss. Described as a ‘biography-in-collage’, this work looks at the lives of scientists Marie and Pierre Curie as they fall in love and discover new elements of the periodic table together.

Catch 22 by Joseph Heller. The crazy world in which the bombardier Yossarian tries to survive when the number of missions he has to make before he can complete his service keeps being raised and the ominous rule of Catch 22 hangs above.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury. The story of fireman Guy Montag who lives in a dystopic world in which books are burned and independent thoughts questioned.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. A portrait of an African-American girl raised in the South and her childhood moments of triumph and tragedy.

The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton. A view on 1870s upper class New Yorkers in which recently engaged Newland Archer faces off with the demands of society as his relationship with the scandalized cousin of his fiancée deepens.

The Imperfectionists by Tom Rachman. A collection of short stories portraying the reporters, editors, and related characters of an English-language newspaper based in Rome.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen. Catherine Morland visits Bath and then the mysterious abbey and learns how tricky it is to navigate through 18th-century society.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. A novel written through an exchange of letters between novelist Juliet Ashton and members of a unique society on Guernsey Island. They share their experiences during the German Occupation of World War II and friendships form through the post.

Also two audio books!

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer. The story of an unforgettable protagonist, Oskar Blum, a young boy who lives in post-9/11 New York. He heads out into the city on a quest to understand his father’s death at the World Trade Center as the tale interweaves with his family’s past.

Bossypants by Tina Fey. The autobiography of comedian and producer Tina Fey, describing the forays of her youth and the experiences that led to her career success.

Traumgedanken (thoughts on dreams)

A beautiful project by German designer Maria Fischer captures the mystery and intangibility of our dreams and their fleeting connections. Weaving thread throughout the pages, she links the words of literary, philosophical, psychological, and scientific texts on dream theory.

Her book Traumgedanken (Thoughts on Dreams) ” is designed as a model of a dream about dreaming. Analogue to a dream, where pieces of reality are assembled to build a story, it brings different text excerpts together. They are connected by threads which tie in with certain key words. The threads visualise the confusion and fragileness of dreams.”

A wonderful description of the project is here, via TOM.

Amsterdam: The Essence by David Beckett

In Amsterdam: The Essence, 25 Amsterdammers share their stories of life in the Dutch capital, shaping a tale of the city itself. Written by David Beckett, I spotted this book on a shelf recently, but really starting exploring it through the stories captured on film.


Laser 3.14, street artist, “The essence of Amsterdam is its freedom and openness. You don’t find that anywhere else.”


Henk Schiffmaker, tattoo artist, “When I walk the streets, this city communicates with me.”

Weekend Links #19

Weekend Links is a collection of the interesting bits and pieces that I’ve come across on the streets and online. The weekly post is my chance to share with you a few things from the week, in a list compiled during the weekend. I hope you enjoy them as well.

A few things I enjoyed this week:
1. Browsing through the book Wild Animals (Wilde Dieren) by Dutch illustrator Rop van Mierlo (image and video below, via anothersomething)
2. Discovering The Makers, a photo project by Jennifer Causey with beautiful stories about people in Brooklyn who make things happen (Morris Kitchen pictured above, via frolic)
3. Browsing the Monkey See list of the all the films based on books coming out in 2011
4. Revisiting an old NYTimes article Why We Read
5. Although well into the year of the rabbit, enjoying this cute animation
6. Scouting out cinema notes at Smart Project Space
7. Walking through a sunny city and playing taste tester to Chef Marcus