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Schlagwort: Penguin

John Green: Turtles all the way down

Some books leave you in wonder, in despair, in tears or in joy. And some books leave you thinking about the story you just finished. John Greens “Turtles all the way down” is one of those. This is not only because of Aza, a teenage girl who struggles with her anxiety, endless thoughts and life itself because she wants to be a good daughter, a good friend and a good student. She and her best friend Daisy decide to investigate the case of billionaire Russell Picket.

“The world is billion of years old, and life is a product of nucleotide mutation and everything. But the world is also the stories we tell about it.”

Aza’s  story is the story of a teenager trying to understand and getting along with life. And even if we are lucky enough living without any panic attacks or are grown ups with a regular life, “Turtles” touches us because it doesn’t matter if you are a teenager like Aza or a famous actor, author or just an ordinary guy, living a decent but ordinary life. All that matters in the end are values like love and friendships that will stay with us – and authors like John Green telling stories that we will remember for a very long time.

Photo: Petra Breunig

Photo: Petra Breunig

John Green: Turtles all the way down, Penguin, 7£

Schreiben Sie mir, oder ich sterbe

“Mein Engel, mein alles, mein Ich”  – Ludwig van Beethoven war nicht nur ein genialer Komponist. Er konnte auch Liebesbriefe schreiben. So wie viele andere berühmte Männer und Frauen, die auf den drei CDs “Schreiben Sie mir, oder ich sterbe” unter anderem von Sascha Rothermund, Götz Otto, Martina Gedeck und Anna Thalbach gelesen werden. Die unterschiedlich langen Stücke – meist sind es an die zehn Minuten  – geben Einblicke in sehr private Gedanken des jeweiligen Verfassers und gleichzeitig auch in eine Zeit, in der man sehnsüchtig auf Nachricht von einem geliebten Menschen gewartet hat, statt ihn jederzeit übers Internet kontaktieren zu können.

Spätestens seit ich die wunderbaren Bücher “Letters of Note” und “Letters of Note II” (beide Einträge sind auf Englisch) für mich entdeckt habe und die Veranstaltung “Letters Live” in London erleben durfte, bin ich von historischen Briefen fasziniert. Diese drei CDs werden gleichermaßen ruhig und leidenschaftlich von wunderbaren Sprechern gelesen. Am Ende des eigentlichen Briefes wird jeweils der historische Kontext des Briefes erklärt. Diese hörenswerte Sammlung verkürzt nicht nur lange Bahnfahrten, sie macht Lust auf mehr.

Foto: Petra Breunig

Foto: Petra Breunig

 

Schreiben Sie mir, oder ich sterbe. Liebesbriefe berühmter Frauen und Männer. Herausgegeben von Petra Müller und Rainer Wieland. Random House, 3 CDs, Laufzeit, 3 Stunden, 15 Minuten, ca 20 Euro.
Die CDs wurden mir freundlicherweise von Randhom House zur Verfügung gestellt.

Donna Tartt: The secret history

What is a good book, a good novel? One that grabs you, draws you inside it’s pages, inside the story and even stays in your mind when you have read the last word.  At least this is what I consider a good book.  And “The secret history” by Donna Tartt is definitely a good novel.

That is because the  story is so well written that once you have read a few pages, you have difficulties putting the book aside and if you have to – you know real life can be very demanding and your boss won’t take “reading” for an excuse – you want to know very badly how the story unfolds. That story takes the reader to Hampden College in New England, together with the narrator Richard Papen who moves all the way from California to study English Literature here.  Soon he discovers that the only thing he really wants to learn is classic languages and attend the classes of Julian Morrow, a teacher who only has few pupils, four boys and a girl. A elitist group which is centred around Henry Winter. Henry is a stranger in modern times together with his intellect, his knowledge about everything and his appearance he seems to be another Sherlock Holmes. A hint that Sherlockians of course will get at the very beginning of the story but which Donna Tartt picks up every now and then.

“(Henry Winter) might have been handsome had his features been less set, or his eyes, behind the glasses, less expressionless and blank. (…) He spoke a number of languages, ancient and modern, and had published a translation of Anacreon, with commentary, when he was only eighteen.”

Richard convinces Julian to take him into his classes and finds himself within a community that while  concentrating on ancient languages lives a life separated from their fellow students, even from modern life itself.

“The secret history” is thrilling, neither boring nor predictable and you will regret deeply when  you have reached the final page.

 

Donna Tartt: The secret history, Penguin £ 8,99.

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