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#6 JRR Tolkien: The Hobbit
I am pretty sure, I am not the only one who decided to re-read this one after watching the film. Enjoyable as ever, it also makes obvious the challenges facing Peter Jackson. While the Lord of the Ring is an epic tale, the Hobbit is a bed-time story. The dwarfs are often comical, and the elves are closer to the Little People of English folklore - teasing and somewhat cruel, rather than to the Tolkien elves of later books.

#7-8 Phil Rickman 'The Bones of Avalon' and 'The Heresy of Dr Dee'
I like historical detectives, and these ones are a treat. Especially, since the main detectives are Dr. Dee and Lord Dudley. A promising start of what I hope will be a long series.

#9 Brigitte Hamann 'Elisabeth: Kaiserin wieder Willen' (An empress against her will))
A biography of the Austrian Empress, famous for he beauty, her extravagant life and her tragic and sudden death. Very well researched and engrossingly written. The general impression after reading the book though was, that here was a woman who did not manage to overcome her inner demons and to take the full advantage of all the many possibilities which life has offered her. Not unusual, but hardly inspiring.



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