It seems that my usual blogging time has been taken up with WiseGrandkid, which is fine by me. She's 15 months old now, and I've been able to babysit a few times. She misses her mother then terribly, but when we girls go shopping together, she quiets down. So shopping we go, I've managed to finally get myself some new shoes and stocked up on drug store items. It's amazing how young they are able to identify brands. There is this sugary yoghurt called Fruchtzwerge that comes in colorful little pots. While grocery shopping this week she pointed to them in the dairy section, then looked at me with those eyes I know only too well from WiseKid, and so Grandma puts a six-pack in the grocery cart. And WiseGrandkid actually ate one when we got home.
Over the summer I did get some reading done, so instead of long reviews, here's the list with a brief description:
- Kazuo Ishiguro: The Remains of the Day
This book won the Booker Prize in 1989 (which only shows how long it takes me to get around to reading things). It is a description of the life of an English butler, Stevens, who spends his life serving others. In 1956 he finally takes a holiday, and we are treated to descriptions of the English countryside as well as peeping into his past and all that he has seen, but never spoken of. He has never had time for himself, being in service 24/7 at Darlington Hall. I suppose I should take heed of this and spend more time doing things for myself and not end up like Stevens, only working for others.
- Jörg Maurer: Felsenfest: AlpenkrimiI usually prefer Scandinavian Krimis, crime thrillers. But Jörg Maurer is really good, he has such whimsical characters and such fast-paced, crazy stories that take place in the Alps that just might be true. A great summer read.
- Robert M. Sonntag: Die Scanner
This is a story for young people, although I'm afraid teenagers today don't read, so we'll have to wait for it to be available on YouTube. It's about a society not too far in the future in which there are no books any longer. They have all been scanned and the paper burned. There are people who comb the city, looking for books that have been left over, in order to scan them in. And of course there are the hold-outs who hoards books and hide them and refuse to turn them over to the scanners. Then one day, there is a "computer problem", and all the books of the past are gone. No matter, who reads books anymore, anyway? It is a plausible dystopia, but I'm afraid that teenagers don't understand the value of keeping "old stuff" around.