MissWatson goes down to the sea again. Final voyage

Discussão2023 Category Challenge

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MissWatson goes down to the sea again. Final voyage

Editado: Nov 1, 3:19 am

My favourite holidays have been spent on the seaside or at least by a lake, and missing out on our trip to Lake Constance in 2022 made me realise just how much the sea means to me. It reminds me of my Dad, who would have had his 100th birthday this year. And so I'm going to visit the seas that were important to us. Some of them harbour several categories because I couldn't make up my mind.

I am not setting a goal, and I have no ambitions to read a book for every CAT or KIT every month. It's going to be a leisurely reading year. As usual, I'll be keeping track of the page count.

The photos are my own unless stated otherwise.

January: 4,089 pages
February: 2,722 pages
March: 2,330 pages
April: 2,737 pages
May: 2,838 pages
June: 3,271 pages
July: 2,609 pages
August: 4,932 pages
September: 2,826 pages
October: 2,278 pages

Editado: Ontem, 3:04 am

Indian Ocean – Bay of Bengal: Portside Out, Starboard Home

That's me and my Dad frolicking on Puri Beach.

GEOCAT / economic history
Many European countries had an East India Company to trade with the orient, so this is the place for my staple category of economic history. And because they were also eagerly conquering territories, it seems like a good place for the GEOCAT.

Economic history
Gold by Bernd-Stefan Grewe
Das Fleisch der Republik by Karl Christian Führer
Restoration Revolution, Reaction by Theodore S. Hamerow
Butler to the world by Oliver Bullough
The corsairs of Saint-Malo by Henning Hillmann
Venedig und die Weltwirtschaft um 1200

January GEOCAT: Central and Eastern Europe
Die Flucht nach Ägypten by Otfried Preußler
Ungarische Erzähler
Ariane, jeune fille russe by Claude Anet

February GeoCAT: a place you'd like to visit
The corner that held them by Sylvia Townsend Warner
On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin

March GeoCAT: Australia and New Zealand
The Dry by Jane Harper

June GeoCAT: South and South East Asia
Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee

July: Western Europe
Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
The Claverings by Anthony Trollope
Un début dans la vie by Honoré de Balzac
Madame Firmiani by Honoré de Balzac
Les Chouans by Honoré de Balzac

August: Central and western Asia
Die sieben Geschichten der sieben Prinzessinnen by Nizami
Rot ist mein Name by Orhan Pamuk

September: Africa
Half of a yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

October: USA and Canada
Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell

November: East Asia
Das Reispflanzerlied by Eileen Chang
Verdächtige Geliebte by Keigo Higashino

Editado: Ontem, 3:05 am

North Sea: Nordsee ist Mordsee

The view from our holiday apartment on Föhr

MysteryKIT, mysteries in general
This is the title of a seminal German movie from the 1970s, which in turn is taken from a famous poem by Detlev von Liliencron, about the fall of Rungholt. It calls the North Sea a murderous sea, so I'm counting mysteries here.

Mysteries in general
The Cold War Swap by Ross Thomas
Call for the dead by John Le Carré
Das Bestiarium von Mähren by Vlastimil Vondruska
Das verschwundene Fräulein by Elsa Dix
Das Nordseekind by Tilman Spreckelsen
Der Dieb der süßen Dinge by Andrea Camilleri
Tod in La Rochelle by Jean-Claude Vinet
Die ungehorsame Tochter by Petra Oelker
Das goldene Schiff by Ashe Stil
Verdächtige Geliebte by Keigo Higashino

January MysteryKIT: TV detectives
Schutzpatron by Klüpfel/Kobr
Wachtmeister Studer by Friedrich Glauser
Fer-de-lance by Rex Stout

February MysteryKIT: a classic setting
A murder of quality by John Le Carré
The spy who came in from the cold by John Le Carré

April: a classic mystery
Third girl by Agatha Christie

June: vintage mysteries
Les mémoires de Maigret by Georges Simenon

July: police procedurals and private detectives
Ghosts by Ed McBain

August: past and future
Mord und Brand by Gerhard Loibelsberger
Der Henker von Wien by Gerhard Loibelsberger
Der blaue Tod by Boris Meyn

September: college or university setting
Landscape with dead dons by Robert Robinson

November: seniors or kids as sleuths
The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman

Editado: Nov 20, 5:19 am

Baltic Sea: If it's Tuesday, it must be Tallinn...

The Bay of Eckernförde

I live in Kiel which has grown into an important embarkation port for Baltic cruises over the last years. They usually involve several stops in various cities, so it seems like a good fit.

January: series new to you
Wachtmeister Studer by Friedrich Glauser
Fer-de-lance by Rex Stout

February: series in translation
Das Bestiarium von Mähren by Vlastimil Vondruska

April: can be read out of order
Third girl by Agatha Christie
Phoebe, Junior by Mrs Oliphant
Royal Flash by George Macdonald Fraser

May: trilogies
Troubles by J. G. Farrell

June: favourite authors
Les mémoires de Maigret by Georges Simenon

July: non-fiction series
Pandemien by Jörg Hacker

August: series you want to get back to
Mord und Brand by Gerhard Loibelsberger
Der Henker von Wien by Gerhard Loibelsberger
Der blaue Tod by Boris Meyn

September: a series that started more than 50 years ago
The Gabriel Set-Up by Peter O'Donnell
Mister Sun by Peter O'Donnell

October: Asian setting
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

November: Historical series
Sharpe's assassin by Bernard Cornwell

Editado: Nov 19, 4:34 am

Mediterranean – Aegean Sea: Thalassa! Thalassa!

Satellite image from NASA

ancient history / ClassicsCAT
The wine-dark sea of Homer. Need I say more?

January ClassicsCAT
The trampling of the lilies by Rafael Sabatini
The Sea-Hawk by Rafael Sabatini

February ClassicsCAT: published before 1900
The evil genius by Wilkie Collins
La Reine Fantasque by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Contes de fées

March ClassicsCAT: adapted to the screen
Pünktchen und Anton by Erich Kästner

April: classic mysteries
Third girl by Agatha Christie

May: children's classics
The enchanted castle by E. Nesbit

July: a classic you've always wanted to read
Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
Un début dans la vie by Honoré de Balzac
Les Chouans by Honoré de Balzac
Le message by Honoré de Balzac
La messe de l'athée by Honoré de Balzac
Le colonel Chabert by Honoré de Balzac

August: classics in translation
Alte Zeiten / Ein absterbendes Geschlecht by Nikolai Lesskow
Die sieben Geschichten der sieben Prinzessinnen by Nizami

September: non-fiction classics
A room of one's own by Virginia Woolf

October: women's classics
The old nurse's story by Elizabeth Gaskell
The Poor Clare by Elizabeth Gaskell
Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell
Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
The grey woman by Elizabeth Gaskell
Invitation to the waltz by Rosamond Lehmann
Curious if true by Elizabeth Gaskell

November: ancient classics
Anabasis by Xenophon

Classics spontaneously
Auf dem Staatshof by Theodor Storm
Leonora by Maria Edgeworth
L'envers de l'histoire contemporaine by Honoré de Balzac
Z. Marcas by Honoré de Balzac
Un prince de la Bohème by Honoré de Balzac
Le diable au corps by Raymond Radiguet

Editado: Nov 26, 4:05 am

La Mer d'Iroise: Qui voit Molène, voit sa peine

St. Mathieu

seafaring / Celts, and Bretons in particular
The Iroise is the littoral sea that borders the Western part of Brittany. It's my favourite part, reaching from the Île Vierge to the Pointe de Pen'march.
The archipel of the Ouessant isles is one of the most challenging areas for navigation because of the rocks and the tide streams.

Robert der Schiffsjunge by S. Wörishöffer
Ein Seehund aus Eisen by Rudolf Majonica
Der Petersburger Seeteufel by Klaus Herold
The corsairs of Saint-Malo by Henning Hillmann

Les Chouans by Honoré de Balzac
All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

Editado: Nov 26, 4:06 am

The Channel – La Manche: 1066 and all that

The coast near Etapes in Normandy

history and historical fiction / Katie's historical fiction challenge
Anglo-French rivalry since the Middle Ages has provided the material for tons of historical fiction. Allons-y!

1. Read a work of historical fiction set in the country you’re from
2. Read a work of historical fiction set in a different country to the one you’re from
3. Read a work of historical fiction set in your favourite historical time period to read about
4. Read a work of historical fiction set in a time period you’re less familiar with
5. Read a work of historical fiction with a speculative element
6. Read a work of historical fiction about a real historical figure or a specific historical event
7. Read a classic work of historical fiction
Bonus: Read a work of historical fiction of over 500 pages

Set in the country I'm from
Der Tote am Hindenburgdamm by Kari Köster-Lösche
Das verschwundene Fräulein by Elsa Dix
Der Tote im Fleet by Boris Meyn
Emmas Reise by Petra Oelker
Der eiserne Wal by Boris Meyn

Set in a different country to the one I'm from
Der Himmel über Palermo by Constanze Neumann
The trampling of the lilies by Rafael Sabatini
Un long dimanche de fiançailles by Sébastien Japrisot
Troubles by J. G. Farrell
Smoke and Ashes by Abir Mukherjee

Set in your favourite historical time period to read about
Sharpe's Assassin by Bernard Cornwell

Set in a time period you're less familiar with
The Sea-Hawk by Rafael Sabatini
Sommergäste by Agnes Krup
The corner that held them by Sylvia Townsend Warner
Mistress Wilding by Rafael Sabatini

With a speculative element
Das Bestiarium von Mähren by Vlastimil Vondruska
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart

With a real historical event or figure
Royal Flash by George Macdonald Fraser
Das Nordseekind by Tilman Spreckelsen
Der blaue Tod by Boris Meyn
All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

A classic work of historical fiction
Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
Les Chouans by Honoré de Balzac
Beric the Briton by G. A. Henty
Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell

A work of historical fiction of over 500 pages
Rot ist mein Name by Orhan Pamuk

Der Wiener Kongress 1814/15 by Wolf D. Gruner
14 – Der Große Krieg by Oliver Janz
Märzrevolution in Kiel 1848 by Martin Rackwitz
Schlachtbank Düppel by Tom Buk-Swienty

Editado: Nov 6, 5:10 am

Atlantic – Canary Islands: Cristóbal Colón, con siete camisas y un pantalón

The place where we went swimming when on Tenerife. Yes, it was scary.

new books, new authors
I have been unable to find the source for this quote which my BFF cites with fond memories of Venezuela in the fifties. Columbus started his first voyage from the Canaries.

Die Vögel by Tarjei Vesaas
Sommergäste by Agnes Krup
Jugend ohne Gott by Ödön von Horváth
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
Le service des manuscrits by Antoine Laurain
Sea of tranquility by Emily St.John Mandel
Les Raisins de la galère by Tahar Ben Jelloun
Brave Hunde kommen nicht zum Südpol by Hans-Olav Thyvold
Half of a yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Invitation to the waltz by Rosamond Lehmann
Sturmflut by Margriet de Moor
The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

Editado: Nov 26, 4:07 am

Pacific: If you're going to San Francisco, you're gonna meet some gentle people there

By pexels at Pixabay.

CATs and KITs that don't fit elsewhere
I went to California a long time ago, and that‘s the closest I‘ve come to the Pacific. Faint memories of hippies, communes, and general goodwill and fellowship.

January RandomKIT: hidden gems
Wachtmeister Studer by Friedrich Glauser
January SFFKIT: Cobwebs and Dust
Brothers of the wind by Tad Williams

February RandomKIT: Second or two
A murder of quality by John Le Carré
On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin

March RandomKIT: Water, water everywhere
Der Tote am Hindenburgdamm by Kari Köster-Lösche
Das verschwundene Fräulein by Elsa Dix

April RandomKIT: Seven Ages of Man
Third girl by Agatha Christie
The Chosen by Chaim Potok
Royal Flash by George Macdonald Fraser

May RandomKIT: Royal names
Leonora by Maria Edgeworth
Vera by Elizabeth von Arnim

June RandomKIT: Walls
Le passe-muraille by Marcel Aymé
How to rule an empire and get away with it by K.J. Parker

June SFFKIT: humour
How to rule an empire and get away with it by K.J. Parker

August RandomKIT: Tell me something good
La messe de l'athée by Honoré de Balzac

September RandomKIT: The wild, wild west
Fiddlefoot by Luke Short

September KiddyCAT: History/biography
Beric the Briton by G.A. Henty

October RandomKIT: Treats, not tricks
Venedig und die Weltwirtschaft um 1200

November RandomKIT: A little light
All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

Editado: Nov 19, 4:34 am

The Caribbean – Leeward Isles: Full fathom five...

A photo of a paper photo, showing SS Sea Cloud in Soufrière Bay.

Diving for treasure in the TBR abyss / fantasy
We once went on a cruise along the Leeward Isles, on board a sailing ship. It's my greatest fantasy to do that again.

The Belton estate by Anthony Trollope
Saratoga Trunk by Edna Ferber
Der Dieb der süßen Dinge by Andrea Camilleri
Schloß Gripsholm by Kurt Tucholsky
Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
Cécile by Theodor Fontane
Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
Anabasis by Xenophon

Brothers of the wind by Tad Williams
Histoire de la Belle et la Bête by Madame de Villeneuve
How to rule an empire and get away with it by K.J. Parker

Editado: Out 22, 10:10 am

Lake Constance: Jetzt fahr'n wir übern See...

Lindau Harbour

Authors from Germany, Austria, Switzerland
Lake Constance is known in Germany as the Swabian sea, and Germany shares it with Austria and Switzerland.

Die Muskeltiere : Hamster Bertram macht Schule by Ute Krause
Die Muskeltiere und das Weihnachtswunder by Ute Krause
Kurt : Drachen sind auch nur Einhörner by Chantal Schreiber

Bergland by Jarka Kubsova

Der Waschbär putzt sein Badezimmer by Hubert Schirneck

Kochbuch für meine liebste Freundin by Sybil Gräfin Schönfeldt
Die Schloßkinder auf Rabenburg by Josephine Siebe
Lavalette by Golo Mann

Die Nibelungen neu erzählt by Michael Köhlmeier
Am Beispiel meines Bruders by Uwe Timm

Australien, ich komme! by Thilo Reffert
Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts by Joseph von Eichendorff

Es waren Habichte in der Luft by Siegfried Lenz

Editado: Ontem, 3:06 am

My thread feels incomplete without a Bingo card, so I am putting a new one here. I don't think I can fill it over the next three months, but there's always hope.
Credit for the card goes to ChristinaReads and LShelby, thank you so much!

1: A room of one's own by Virginia Woolf
2: Sharpe's Assassin by Bernard Cornwell
4: Sturmflut by Margriet de Moor
6: Half of a yellow sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
9: Verdächtige Geliebte by Keigo Higashino
12: Invitation to the waltz by Rosamond Lehmann
13: Lois the Witch by Elizabeth Gaskell
16: Belinda by Maria Edgeworth
17: Es waren Habichte in der Luft by Siegfried Lenz
19: Le diable au corps by Raymond Radiguet
23: Bridge of Birds by Barry Hughart
25: Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts by Joseph von Eichendorff

Editado: Nov 26, 4:08 am

Any reading challenge that catches my eye in the next weeks

I have looked at the 2023 Popsugar Challenge, which suits my tastes very nicely (after some tweaking), so here goes:

Popsugar 2023 reading challenge: Read a book…
you meant to read in 2022 The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman
you bought from an independent bookstore
about a vacation Schloß Gripsholm by Kurt Tucholsky
by a first-time author The Dry by Jane Harper
with mythical creatures
about a forbidden romance Sommergäste by Agnes Krup
with “girl” in the title Third girl by Agatha Christie
with a colour in the title On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
with a fat lead Fer-de-lance by Rex Stout
about or set in Hollywood
published in spring 2023 Bergland by Jarka Kubsova
published the year you were born Restoration, Revolution, Reaction by Theodore S. Hamerow
modern retelling of a classic Die Nibelungen neu erzählt by Michael Köhlmeier
with a song lyric as its title The girls by Edna Ferber
where the main character’s name is in the title Wachtmeister Studer by Friedrich Glauser
with a love triangle The Belton Estate by Anthony Trollope
that’s been banned or challenged Das Reispflanzerlied by Eileen Chang
favourite prompt from a previous challenge (published before you were born) Stamboul Train by Graham Greene
becoming a TV series or movie in 2023 All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr
set in the decade you were born Landscape with dead dons by Robert Robinson
with a queer lead
with a map Brothers of the wind by Tad Williams
with an animal on the cover Die Flucht nach Ägypten by Otfried Preußler
with just text on the cover Fanny herself by Edna Ferber
the shortest on your TBR list Lavalette by Golo Mann
recommended by a fellow LTer Barnaby Rudge by Charles Dickens
you bought secondhand Ungarische Erzähler
your friend recommended Der Tote im Fleet by Boris Meyn
on a bookclub list The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
about a family Tod In La Rochelle by Jean-Claude Vinet
that comes out in the second half of 2023
about an athlete or sport The Chosen by Chaim Potok
that is historical fiction Der Himmel über Palermo by Constanze Neumann
about divorce The evil genius by Wilkie Collins
you think your best friend would like Der eiserne Wal by Boris Meyn
you should have read in high school
you read more than 10 years ago The spy who came in from the cold by John Le Carré
you wish you could read for the first time again
by an author with the same initials as you

made into a popular movie The Sea-Hawk by Rafael Sabatini
that takes place entirely in one day
that was self-published
that could count as fan fiction Das Nordseekind by Tilman Spreckelsen
with a pet character Brave Hunde kommen nicht zum Südpol by Hans-Olav Thyvold
about a holiday that’s not Christmas
that features two languages The corsairs of Saint-Malo by Henning Hillmann
the longest on your TBR
with alliteration in the title
written during NaNoWriMo: The Calculating Stars

And Judy (DeltaQueen) found this very tempting
Interconnected Monthly Challenge:
1. January: A Book That Starts with “A” or “The” The Sea-Hawk by Rafael Sabatini
2. February: The cover or spine of the book compliments the January book cover On the Black Hill by Bruce Chatwin
3. March: The Title Starts with the next letter in the alphabet from your February book. Pünktchen und Anton by Erich Kästner
4. April: A different genre from your March book Third girl by Agatha Christie
5. May: The book is longer than the book in April Robert der Schiffsjunge by S. Wörishöffer
6. June: The title has half as many letters as your May book Emmas Reise by Petra Oelker
7. July: Set in a different country or part of the world from your June book The Claverings by Anthony Trollope
8. August: The same genre as the July book Cécile by Theodor Fontane
9. September: Turn to page 50 of the August book and your book must have one of the words on this page in its title. Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts by Joseph von Eichendorff
10. October: The book’s title starts with the first letter of the author’s name from your September book Es waren Habichte in der Luft by Siegfried Lenz
11. November: Set in a different time period from your October book The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead
12. December: Book has to be within 20 pages of the book you read in November.

Editado: Set 17, 3:27 am

Welcome to the last voyage of 2023! Have a coffee!

Honestly, where has the year gone? Last Friday I handed in the documents for my retirement, so that is final, too, and seemed a good moment to set up a new thread. However, the weather is continuing to be nice and summery, so it's not all doom and gloom. And there are books to read, aplenty.

Editado: Set 17, 3:45 am

North Sea: MysteryKIT / Popsugar: set in the decade you were born

Landscape with dead dons was first published in 1956 and has not aged well. It shows an Oxford that still seems small and self-contained, a world apart, with lots of big egos and internecine warfare among the dons. The plot revolves around an intellectual joke perpetrated by one of the college's dons and ends with murder, committed the night the police inspector arrives in Oxford for a different reason: all over the world precious books are being stolen and destroyed, and the Yard is afraid of revolutionaries.
This doesn't fit well with the murder investigation which plods along and requires inside knowledge of Oxford geography and Oxford slang as spoken in the fifties. There's also cumbersome humour on the part of the author, misogyny in the place in general, and a sudden u-turn into farce with a posse of naked men chasing the suspect through the town. Pornography and its persecution also comes into it, and none of these disparate elements is treated satisfactorily.
What annoyed me most, though, was the highfalutin prose style, I can't recall when I last had to look up so many obscure words. The whole reads like a pretentious intellectual game much like the one the killer plays.

Set 17, 7:19 am

Happy New Thread, Birgit! And good wishes for your retirement.

Set 17, 7:43 am

Happy new thread! Lucky you, heading for retirement - I still have an as yet unknown number of years left to go.

Make the most of the summery weather. After a wonderful week of sunny weather at the beginning of September, we are now definitely turning towards autumn here (the bedsocks are definitely on now!).

Set 17, 8:00 am

>14 MissWatson: Woo hoo!! Enjoy your retirement when it comes!

Set 17, 6:12 pm

I agree this year has gone by so fast. I thought my little world would slow down when I retired, but no, if anything it has sped up. Quite often I have to really think to know what the date, and even the day is! Hopefully the days to your retirement will slide by quickly for you.

Set 17, 11:01 pm

Happy new thread, Birgit. And best wishes for your retirement - lots of changes coming up but all for the better I hope.

Set 18, 11:17 am

>16 dudes22: Thank you!
>17 Jackie_K: Thanks, Jackie. Our nights aren't cold enough for bedsocks yet.
>18 rabbitprincess: I think I will, once I get used to the idea.
>19 clue: Thanks. We're going to be very busy at work the next weeks, so time will fly.
>20 DeltaQueen50: Thanks, Judy. So do I.

Set 18, 11:26 am

Mediterranean: September ClassicsCAT / Bingo: topic you don't normally read

A room of one's own is the kind of women's issues book that I don't read much. The first chapter chimed in oddly with the previous book, as she describes "Oxbridge" and how little women are welcomed there, even chased off the grass by a Beadle.
I'm also not very familiar with the essay form, and her long, rambling thoughts didn't really speak to me.

Set 18, 11:33 am

Lake Constance / Interconnected: a word from page 50 of your August book must appear in the title of the September book / Bingo: features music or a musician

The word in question is "Leben (life)" and I was looking for something short. Aus dem Leben eines Taugenichts was first published in 1817 and is usually taught in schools as part of the Romantic period. I had absolutely no memory of it, and I am not surprised, the plot is very thin. Our hero leaves his father's mill, finds work as a gardener in a castle and falls in love with a beautiful lady. Odd adventures follow which our hero innocently stumbles through like a latterday Parsifal. He plays the violin and sings a lot, and some of the poems cited here used to be very popular for wanderers. Not anymore, I think.
I think my present self would like to know more about the author and the reasons behind this book, which uses some surprisingly colloquial language.

And who would have thought that I can fill two Bingo squares in one weekend?

Set 18, 7:31 pm

Congratulations on finishing your Bingo card and starting another one! Also on your retirement. I loved my job but since retirement the only thing I miss are the statutory holidays, most of which zoom past without me noticing. :)

Set 19, 4:28 am

>24 VivienneR: That seems like a nice problem to have!

Set 19, 3:55 pm

Congrats on new thread and impending retirement!

Set 20, 2:37 am

>26 Tess_W: Thanks, Tess!

Editado: Set 20, 6:46 am

La Manche: a classic work of historical fiction / Pacific: September KiddyCAT

G. A. Henty is a famous Victorian writer of historical fiction for boys, much cited by others as an influence. So I could not resist when I ran into a digital copy of Beric the Briton, because Outcast is one of my favourite stories by Rosemary Sutcliffe, and I had an instant suspicion that she wrote it as an antidote. If so, the story took on a life of its own and has little in common with Henty's effort. And I must say that Sutcliffe writes so much more believably about the past.
Henty packs too much into his tale, from Queen Boudicca to Nero burning Rome and a slave revolt in Sicily, he is forever explaining the ancient Roman world in a most pedantic manner, and most youngsters today would have trouble understanding his prose – he calls a plain farmer a cultivator. And those Victorian morals and ideas of British superiority are insufferable today.

Set 24, 12:46 pm

>28 MissWatson: Odd to think how much children's books have changed over the years!

Hope the retirement preparations are going well.

Set 25, 4:59 am

>29 charl08: The thing that strikes me most is that the writing was much more complex: polysyllabic words and subclauses.

Retirement is getting dangerously close. I'm taking two days off next week, and after that I can fix my last day at the office. It's a very scary thought.

Set 26, 6:15 am

Popsugar: a song lyric as the title

The Girls doesn't really fit any of the categories, but I am sure that there's a song out there with that title. It's a fabulous story of three generations of unmarried women in Chicago, from the Civil War to the First World War, and the three Charlottes are wonderful characters.

Set 27, 4:17 am

Indian Ocean: GeoCAT Africa / Atlantic: new authors / Bingo: 4+ rating on LT

Half of a yellow sun is a book I had to read slowly, as it deals with a very unfamiliar time and place: Nigeria in the 1960s. It's the heady times of decolonisation, of Africans heading out to a new bright future – and stumbling over old tribal rivalries. Her description of the spiralling down into civil war is very indirect, I thought, but haunting nonetheless.

Set 27, 1:53 pm

>31 MissWatson: I'm glad you enjoyed The Girls. As a life-long Chicagoan, it was a very fun read for me.

Set 28, 9:10 pm

Congratulations on your upcoming retirement!

Set 29, 5:33 am

>33 kac522: The history of Chicago is one of the most fascinating aspects of the book.
>34 mathgirl40: Thanks! It's getting scarily close!

Set 29, 5:43 am

Mediterranean: classics spontaneously / Bingo: author under thirty

Precocious, self-indulgent, egoistic male teens rank very low on my list of favourite characters, so it was a good thing that Le diable au corps runs only to 96 pages. The narrator, whose name we never learn, is very much a teenager who spends an amazing amount of time on his own or with his mistress, and I really didn't understand the family dynamics of this. His father lets him run free on a very long leash, and hist siblings remain vague ghosts in the background, their ages and doings are never spelled out.

Set 29, 5:46 am

September roundup

I'm leaving for a long weekend at my sister's tomorrow, no internet, so I'll take stock of the month. The vacation did cut into my reading, but I'm quite satisfied with my progress and there were some very enjoyable books. Well, enjoyable is not the right word forHalf of a yellow sun, given the subject matter. But that was the best of the month and truly rewarding.
See you again next week.

Set 29, 4:23 pm

>37 MissWatson: Have a lovely long weekend with great reading.

Set 29, 10:29 pm

>36 MissWatson: Uh-oh. I have this one waiting on my Kindle. I don't think I will be reading it for some time as it doesn't appeal to me either.

Out 5, 5:19 am

>37 MissWatson: Thanks, there was little reading done, but we had nice walks in lovely weather!
>39 DeltaQueen50: You can safely put this at the end of your to-do list. The young man is very, very annoying.

Out 6, 4:20 pm

The Channel: historical fiction

Mistress Wilding was odd. The title is slightly misleading, as the main action centres on the Duke of Monmouth's attempt to stir up rebellion against his uncle, James II. However, our hero Anthony Wilding is so obsessed with making Ruth Westmacott first his wife, then make her love him, that he neglects his involvement in the campaign and actually plays a part in its foundering.
The author takes it for granted that his readers are familiar with the events, and he gives us loads of contemporary language, but the whole thing never really comes together. Has it been edited? Hard to tell. It's not really successful as a romance or a swashbuckler. I did get some Justin Alastair vibes from Wilding, though. And his sidekick Nick Trenchard is a true Sabatini swashbuckler, so he saves the day. Or book, in this case.

Editado: Out 7, 8:00 am

Saturday notes

So, I think I'm up-to-date with all the threads after my absence. It's been a weird week, I put out my back travelling to my sister and have been creeping around in slow-motion. Sitting down for long stretches was impossible, so no reading printed books. Sometimes I think that's the worst part, not being able to lose myself in a story.
But things are finally going back to normal, there's been a FoL sale in our shopping mall where I found a few things, and the FAZ had a review today of Daniel Kehlmann's new book: "Lichtspiel" (no touchstone yet) about the German film director G.W.Pabst. I very much want to read this, but for once I'll curb my impatience and wait for my sister to buy it for her library.
But I did go and treat myself to another book reviewed today, about the Mühlenberg family and their share in the American Revolution Söhne der Freiheit.

Edited for touchstone

Out 7, 8:41 am

Sorry to hear about your back, that sounds really uncomfortable, especially whilst travelling. I do hope your sister buys the book you're after soon!

Out 8, 7:52 am

>43 charl08: Thanks, Charlotte, I'm doing fine today and plan to have a walk later, when the chicken soup is done. It's that time of the year again...
I'm pretty sure she'll buy it because Kehlmann is always on the bestseller lists. I just need some patience. Around Christmas, I think...

Out 8, 7:57 am

Mediterranean: women's classics

First for this month's classics CAT is a short story by Elizabeth Gaskell, one of my favourite Victorian authors. The old nurse's story is short, not very scary as a ghost story, and altogether too short for my taste. I would have loved to learn more about the sisters!

Out 8, 8:06 am

>45 MissWatson: Glad you are feeling a bit better, Birgit. Backs are such an awful thing to be out of whack! I concur on the Gaskell!

Out 9, 5:53 am

>46 Tess_W: Thanks, Tess. It's so frustrating because there's so little you can actually do, so I'm glad it's over. And to reward myself I went ahead and ordered those Gothic Tales in print, hoping for some editorial notes. Until then, I may just re-read Cranford, as a treat!

Out 9, 1:18 pm

>42 MissWatson: I'm sorry about your back. Here's hoping it resolves itself soon.

Out 10, 3:56 am

>48 RidgewayGirl: Thanks, Kay! Sitting down for long stretches isn't going well, which means less reading than I'd love to do. I'm learning to use a Kobo while lying down, so not all is lost!

Editado: Out 10, 4:09 am

Mediterranean: October ClassicsCAT

The Poor Clare is one of those things stored away on my Kobo when I first bought it several years ago, and it's short enough to be read comfortably in one evening. I normally don't read in bed, but right now it's more comfortable than sitting down.
Anyway, this has a very Gothic flavour. It is narrated by a young lawyer tasked to track down the heir(s) to an Irish estate, and thus we learn the sad story of Bridget Fitzgerald, who loses her daughter to a seducer, curses him and, unknowingly, her own grandchild. The penitence was a bit over the top, but all in all I liked it. The description of the uprising of Antwerp against the Austrians was very vivid, an event I didn't know about and want to look up now.


Out 19, 9:41 am

October GeoCAT: USA / October ClassicsCAT: women's classics / historical fiction: a classic work of HF / Bingo: read a CAT

Lois the Witch is not a happy read, as it is about the Salem witch hunts. But I very much liked how the author handles the topic, placing people in their time and respecting their beliefs even if she does not share them. And she is always good at family dynamics.

Out 20, 3:13 am

October classicsCAT: women's classics / Bingo: author shares your zodiac sign

It's taken me a while to finish it, because I couldn't sit comfortably for long spells, and this is a long book. But Belinda was great, much more fun than the author's Leonora and full of surprises. We have frank mention of breast cancer, interracial marriage, and our heroine is guided by reason, not sentimentality. And there's a great finale where Lady Delacour arranges people in couples according to how they do it in novels...I loved it!
Mark you, this is the version of 1802, Maria Edgeworth altered it significantly in 1810, and the editor gives a good summary of that.

Out 21, 9:13 am

Saturday notes

We've had a truly momentous storm yesterday from an unusual direction – east – and in Flensburg the Baltic rose 2 meters above normal. And now it's raining, so I can't take a walk and look at our shore promenade. Ah well, tea and a book are a better option.
And Catherine Deneuve turns 80. Wow. A good reason to watch one of her movies tonight...

Out 21, 11:11 am

>53 MissWatson: I always miss my walks when I can't be out. But then again tea, a book, and a rainy day are hard to beat!

A few days ago an acquaintance said I'd better have a few books on hand as we go into January because the weather is forcasted to be bad. I'm still laughing!

Out 21, 1:33 pm

>53 MissWatson: Wow that's a big rise in sea level! I think you're probably better off not walking by the shore today!

Here we've been dealing with Storm Babet - it's hammered much of the UK, with parts of the Scottish east coast around and south of Aberdeenshire being particularly badly hit. I'm inland and high enough up that it's not been so bad, but we did have much heavier rain than usual and I am very glad to be indoors.

Out 22, 10:08 am

>54 clue: Running out of books will be the only thing not happening, thankfully!
>55 Jackie_K: The local news was full of it, of course, and there's been lots of damage in the marinas, boats sunk, the wooden piers washed away etc. But almost no loss of life, thanks to the advance warnings, I think. But there will be fools who go out in this weather on their surfboards and have to be resuced, thus endangering their rescuers who were needed elsewhere. I really wish such idiots would be made to pay for this!

Out 22, 10:19 am

Lake Constance: German authors / Bingo: popular author's first book / Interconnected: title starts with the same letter as last month's author's name

Because I stayed home I was able to finish a short book: Es waren Habichte in der Luft.
This was the first book Siegfried Lenz published, way back in 1951, and it is a little odd. Set in Karelia immediately after the Russian Revolution, and the hunt is on for people the party deems dangerous. In this case a teacher, who tries to hide in the small village, and we gradually discover how the various characters relate to each other. To be honest, I am not entirely sure what to make of it. What exactly is the significance of the hawks mentioned in every chapter, cruising high over the village?

Out 22, 2:02 pm

>57 MissWatson: Very interesting about the hawks, Birgit! I have a Lenz book (A Minute's Silence, which I've not read). However, another one of my WL is The German Lesson and it has a picture of a blackbird on it. I believe I have this book and the one of my WL because a colleague of mine (in days gone by) was studying something to do with Willy Brandt and somehow Brandt and this author were connected?

Out 23, 3:04 am

>58 Tess_W: They're birds of prey, but who are the victims? Like I said, I'm at a loss here.

In the early years, Lenz was known for short stories and novellas, and I mostly find them baffling, and this one is comparatively short, too.
I know that Günter Grass was a supporter of Willy Brandt, but this was a bit before I really took notice of the news, and I don't really know what Lenz' position on Brandt's policy toward the East was. Somehow I never ran into him during my school years, although those short stories would be perfect for German class...

Out 24, 8:01 am

Mediterranean: October ClassicsCAT

And the next of Mrs Gaskell's stories was The grey woman which is a Gothic tale about a young German girl who reluctantly marries a Frenchman who takes her to his solitary castle in the Vosges mountains. He is not what he seemed at first and she flees together with her maid.
It's a very dark story set during the early years of the French Revolution when gangs of robbers were active in the disputed frontier areas. A real criminal of the time is mentioned randomly without relevance for the plot, the Schinderhannes. She's not really secure in her ground and time, I think, and I didn't like the heroine who is too weak. Her maid Amante was way more interesting.

Out 26, 8:47 am

Indian Ocean: economic history / Pacific: October RandomKIT

Occasionally I treat myself to a book from my library's shelves about some truly offbeat topic. What we call "orchid subjects" at our universities. In this case it's Venedig und die Weltwirtschaft um 1200, papers from a conference about Venice and its trade relations with what was known of the world at the time. Various authors, interestingly two papers by David Abulafia, written in Italian (like some others). I was surprised that it didn't take a lot of effort to read those, it helps tremendously if you know what it's about, and there's a limited range of vocabulary you need for such an academic piece.
I won't remember all the details, of course, but it was a nice excursion into a different time. What I take away from it (again) is that the scarcity of original sources probably gives us a wrong picture about the so-called dark Middle Ages. These merchants from the Italian cities traded across big distances, handled great sums and needed to be very literate and numerate to do both, as well as their counterparts in Western Europe.

Out 27, 3:52 am

Mediterranean: October ClassicsCAT / Atlantic: new author / Bingo: small town setting

Invitation to the waltz was a pleasant surprise. It is set immediately after the First World War in a small English town, and the family of a local mill owner (we are never really told what the company produced) has fallen into financial difficulties. we meet Olivia on her 17th birthday, and the grand event coming up next is her first ball. She and her sister are invited and are apprehensive because they have no partners to squire them, and the rest of the company will be above them in social status.
I liked this a lot, as we get into the girls' heads and thoughts, and we learn about the social strata of the village where the family mansion is. This is an author to look out for.
Unfortunately, my copy was an Albatross edition produced in 1945, and the paper is brittle, it's falling apart. A pre-war paperback would be a precious find.

Out 27, 10:43 am

>62 MissWatson: U.S. Amazon has both Kindle and paperback editions. I remembered buying the Kindle copy awhile back. I'll make a note to actually read it next year!

Editado: Out 27, 12:47 pm

>62 MissWatson: Checking this out, thanks for the BB. Looks like it is available on Kindle.

Out 29, 9:59 am

>63 clue: I hope you enjoy it! I'm not in a hurry to find a new copy, as I have read it now. Albatross books are a bit of a collector's items for me, that's why it would be my preference.

>64 LadyoftheLodge: I think it must have been picked up by Virago, too, it's right up their alley.

Out 29, 10:08 am

Baltic: October series / La Manche: historical fiction with a speculative element / Caribbean: TBR / Bingo: more than 1,000 copies on LT

Memory is a funny thing. It's been almost forty years since I read Bridge of Birds and what I remembered most vividly was Fainting Maid. Turns out she's a minor character who doesn't make it into the second part of the book. And I have grown older and wiser since then, I suppose, it wasn't quite as charming as I remembered.
Still, it's a rattling good yarn with lots of fighting that seems to be taken from Chines wushu films, as well as the ghosts. And there were quite a few things mentioned here that seem familiar from non-fiction books about Ancient China.

Out 29, 11:35 am

Out 30, 4:59 am

>67 kac522: I wonder why they discontinued these distinctive green covers. Instant recognition, you'd think that's what they should be aiming for? They're instant buys for me when I find one secondhand. I just took down my copy of Frenchman's Creek down from the shelf and was mightily surprised to discover that it's a VMC edition.

Out 30, 8:26 am

Mediterranean: October ClassicsCAT

Curious if true is short enough to be finished during lunch break. Quite odd and fantastical, but pleasing.

Out 30, 11:31 am

>66 MissWatson: I just read Bridge of Birds for the first time and would agree with you -- "a rattling good yarn" describes it well.

Editado: Out 30, 1:36 pm

>68 MissWatson: Completely agree--mine are all on one shelf and I love them. And my biggest book-buying disappointments are when I come across one at a second-hand shop, grab it--and it's one I already own 😒

Out 31, 8:37 am

>71 kac522: That happens to me quite often when I go through the remainders bins at my bookstore. I really should remember to check LT before I pay, now that I actually have a smartphone.

Out 31, 12:53 pm

>72 MissWatson: My motto is "If it looked good once, it will look good again" which is why I also end up with duplicates from the sales and bins and tables. Sometimes books are issued with different covers and that throws me off, since I seem to have a good memory for covers.

Out 31, 1:40 pm

Ha, yes, having LT as an app on my phone has saved me many times, but somehow I still manage to make it home with books I already own. The worst is when a book is published with one title in the US and a different title in the UK or Canada.

Out 31, 3:54 pm

Sympathizing with all of us but secretly glad that I am not the only one who ends up with duplicates!

Nov 1, 3:18 am

>73 LadyoftheLodge: Exactly!
>74 RidgewayGirl: Yes, those changed titles are so annoying.
>75 DeltaQueen50: It's much like that out-of-control TBR we all have and moan over. But where would we be without it?

Editado: Nov 1, 4:06 am

Atlantic: new author / Bingo: switched identities

And I finish the month with a real bang: Sturmflut by Margriet de Moor. When I picked this up, I had watched some documentary about the Dutch sea defences and how they put real money into them after the devastating North Sea flood of 1953, which I hadn't heard about until then. That's what this book is about, and much more.

We have two sisters, close in age and close in their relationship, probably forged during the hardships of growing up during WWII. The war and the occupation are only mentioned in passing, but you get a sense of how much it looms over their lives. The elder, Lidy, is married with a baby, and her sister Armanda persuades her to change places with her and go visit her goddaughter on her birthday, so she (Armanda) can go to a party. It's the end of January, there's a storm and nobody has any idea yet that it will turn into one of the worst of the century.

From there we have two narrative strands: the one shows us in painful detail what's going on in these dark winter nights when the dykes break, and the other shows us how this loss impacts on her sister's life which we follow into the present.

I'm not much fond of this device, but here it works well. We also learn a lot about the technical details, and the translator has definitely done her homework. This is definitely an author to watch out for.

ETA: Still thinking about this, and especially the last chapter. In some sense, it's a case of switched identities, as Armanda persuades her sister to go to Duiveland in her place, and then she steps into her sister's shoes as mother and wife, so I'm using it for the Bingo after all.

Nov 1, 3:37 am

October roundup

I very much surprised myself with reading nearly as much as I did in the months before, despite the handicap of putting out my back at the beginning. And while my re-read wasn't quite as stellar as I remembered it, I've had some truly great books this month, most of them surprises. Yeah! Onward to November!

Nov 6, 5:18 am

Atlantic: new authors / Popsugar: on a bookclub list / Interconnected: in a different time period than the October book

I am pretty sure that The Underground Railroad is on many bookclub lists, given the subject matter. It provides much food for thought, and I'm still thinking about it. But I don't understand the rationale for introducing a real railroad, and it made me doubt the veracity of some of the other incidents, so I'll be burrowing down internet holes for some time.

Nov 10, 4:19 am

>79 MissWatson: I read Whitehead's The Nickel Boys, which was not 100% satisfying. However, because of of reviews, such as yours, that he uses a real railroad within this story, I don't think I will be reading it. Being a history professor, you would not believe the number of students that think the underground railroad was physically an underground railroad. I don't know Whitehead's rationale for doing this. It will certainly not clear up any confusion that exists.

Nov 10, 4:37 am

North Sea: November MysteryKIT / Popsugar: a book you meant to read in 2022

I have had a minor domestic disaster yesterday when suddenly my key wouldn't go into the outer lock of my apartment door. Meaning that if I close the door from outside I can't get back in. Panic set in, I really didn't need this five days before all the locks in the house are to be changed for new ones! They're overdue to be changed, most of us have had problems with their locks.
Anyway, after some thinking I arranged to take the day off and work from home today and on Monday. I really appreciate how flexible my library is when it comes to working schedules.

And I have had sufficient time to bake my first Christmas cookies of the season (baking is a very soothing task) and to finish The Thursday Murder Club which I liked very much. Great characters and lots of humour. The only thing I found a little irritating is that he constantly switches between past and present tense, but that's a minor issue. I'm looking forward to the next one!

Nov 10, 11:23 pm

>81 MissWatson: The Thursday Murder Club and Christmas cookies sound like the perfect combination!

Nov 11, 5:48 am

>81 MissWatson: Your lock situation doesn't sound great, but the work flexibility sounds brilliant.

I am intrigued by the Xmas cookies. Do you have a recipe you could share? What makes them seasonal?

I loved the Thursday Murder club. The author's been credited with doing great things for bookshop sales here.

Nov 11, 8:31 am

>81 MissWatson: - I've started my Christmas breads and my first batch of ice box cookies for Christmas. I like to try and make doughs that I can freeze unbaked and then pull them out closer to Christmas and bake.

Nov 11, 10:52 am

>82 rabbitprincess: It is!

>83 charl08: It's the spices – cinnamon, cloves and a little allspice – which is typical for "Spekulatius", which are usually only eaten during Christmas season. But in this recipe there's more almonds than flour, and they're not rolled out und cut out, but shaped into rings with a cookie press.

The recipe as follows: 250g ground almonds, 50g flour, 10g Cocoa, ground allspice (or ginger), cinnamon and cloves to your taste, but be generous, and half a teaspoon of baking powder. 115g soft butter, 100g icing sugar, 1 egg, a pinch of salt. Mix the dry ingredients, beat the butter and sugar together until the mixture is white and fluffy, add the egg, then the dry ingredients and mix well. Put the dough into the cookie press and make circles on a baking sheet. They go into the oven at 180°C for fifteen minutes, approx. That depends on your oven.

>84 dudes22: That's quite the planning! I haven't tried freezing the dough yet, but then I only make small batches for a few colleagues. And myself, of course.

Nov 11, 11:37 am

I have a recipe for "speculoos" cookies that I'm going to try this year. They have a couple of extra spices than your recipe and also include soybean flour and all-purpose flour. These are rolled out and I'm going to try using my embossed rolling pin on them.

Nov 12, 6:41 am

>86 dudes22: I'm pretty sure they didn't have soybean flour in the Middle ages here :-). I wonder how that influences the consistency of the dough?

Editado: Nov 12, 6:52 am

Indian Ocean: November GeoCAT / Popsugar: that's been banned or challenged

Das Reispflanzerlied is still considered as anti-communist propaganda in China and therefore not included in editions of the author's work. Normally I would have looked for an English edition, but the blurb said this was a new translation which also consulted the Chinese version of the novel, which Eileen Chang herself wrote after the English original and first published in Taiwan in 1968.

It's a short and very powerful story. We are in a small Chinese village, land reform has just made the peasants owners of the fields but the new state is already encroaching. Hunger is everywhere and despair finally erupts into violent protest when the peasants are forced to contribute to presents for the army soldiers at the New Year festival while they live on rice gruel.

Nov 12, 12:55 pm

This is the blog where I got the recipe and it talks about the soy flour partway down.

Nov 13, 2:41 am

>89 dudes22: Thanks, Betty!

Nov 13, 9:00 pm

>81 MissWatson: Glad your key problem was "solved." Baking (or cooking in general, for me) is soothing and makes the house smell good! I hope to get to my Thursday Murder Club this month!

Nov 13, 10:58 pm

>86 dudes22: Thanks for sharing that recipe. It will be fun to try out. I have a small bag of almond flour and this will be a good use for it.

Nov 14, 3:22 am

So, yesterday was the big say when the new locks were put in. They feel a bit strange still, the key glides in so effortlessly...

They've also laid new cables, should we want fibre optics for our telephone and internet connection, and crawled around the elevator shaft all day. Today the service guy for the elevator had to come...it's a good thing I can still walk up the four floors without taking a break. But I am really happy to be back at the office for my work.

And this evening I will have my head clear again for Anabasis for the ClassicCAT. All this has been rather distracting.

Nov 19, 4:42 am

Mediterranean: November ClassicsCAT / The Caribbean: from the TBR

I have owned Anabasis for almost forty years, and somehow never got around to it. It's the tale of the Greek mercenaries who joined Kyros in his attempt to wrest the Persian throne from his brother. He lost the battle, and our men tramp around Asia Minor for months trying to get home. Much of it felt very alien, as the daily offering to the gods and the arrogance of the Greeks over the so-called Barbarians. Other aspects were oddly familiar and reminded me of the way military matters were arranged during the Thirty Years' War. I suppose with a deeper knowledge of Ancient Greece you'd get more out of this, so I may have to dig up some non-fiction. Next year, perhaps.

Nov 20, 5:26 am

Baltic: November SeriesCAT / La Manche: historical fiction set in your favourite time period / Bingo: next in a series

Sharpe's Assassin is the latest instalment in a series I've been following for forty years now, and this time he's sent off to Paris immediately after the Battle of Waterloo with rather vague orders. The fluid state of affairs is well caught, but the subplot involving a man detailed to inventory Napoleon's looted art in the Louvre prior to restitution petered out rather unsatisfactorily and distracted from the main events. Still, it's always good to see Sharpe and Harper again.

Nov 20, 2:57 pm

>95 MissWatson: I've added the first published book, Sharpe's Eagle to my wish list. There's a warriors and mercenaries square in next year's Bingo, so a professional soldier like Sharpe would fit, and the book is also on the Guardian 1000 list. Normally battles would put me off, but this is definitely worth a try. Plus, lots of the books in the series are in Kindle Unlimited.

Nov 21, 3:15 am

>96 pamelad: There's lots of battles in this series, so you have been warned. But Sharpe is exactly my kind of rogue.

Nov 26, 4:13 am

La Mer d'Iroise: Celts / La Manche: historical fiction with a real event / Pacific: November RandomKIT / Popsugar: made into a TV series in 2023

The Netflix version of All the light we cannot see was recently reviewed in the FAZ. The reviewer was lukewarm about it, but praised the book, so I finally took it down from the shelf. It is about the destruction of the inner city of Saint-Malo during WWII, when the Germans decided to make their last stand in Brittany there. I know and love the city as it is now, rebuilt, and thus this was rather painful reading. The two young people on whom it focuses are lovely.

Ontem, 3:10 am

Indian Ocean: November GeoCAT / North Sea: mysteries / Bingo: STEM topic

I can't recall where and when I picked up Verdächtige Geliebte, a Japanese mystery. The series title suggests that the physics professor who assists the detectives in their inquiries is the main character. Here he runs across a former fellow student, a brilliant mathematician, and there's a duel of wits between them, which is why I'm counting it for the STEM topic. There was quite a surprising twist toward the end that I didn't see coming.

Hoje, 3:28 am

Today we had our first snowfall of this winter, the world is white and pretty. Probably won't last, but it's just perfect for the Christmas market that has also started on Monday. I think I'll have hot chocolate after work...