Jenni R. (gugga) wrote in 50bookchallenge,
Jenni R.
gugga
50bookchallenge

  • Mood:

catching up books 30-41

(I have lost my list of read books in July, but they weren't too many, as I was spending the month in Italy, and had other things to do. But when I find it, I will add the missing books here.)


BOOK 30 - LEENA LEHTOLAINEN: RIVO SATAKIELI

a novel (or a part of a Finnish detective series)
language: Finnish
Pages: 346

This was my 2nd book I read about the police officer called Marja Kallio. The series is quite popular in Finland, and I guess I can understand why: Marja, as a character is totally empty, very much like Bella Swan, so you can just fill the gap with yourself. She is, apparently, a strong, feminist - but too feminist! (there's no way being too feminist in my opinion, but lots of people feel that way that too straight accusations, however true and justifiable are too much for the delicate ears of men) - woman, who is so ordinary after all. Language and style of the book were insignificant, if the sun shone the text read: "Sun was shining and it made her feel happy." So, a book for simple people. Only thing I wouldn't complain about (thought it's nasty of me to complain, Lehtolainen is certainly not trying to be Dostoyevski) was the riddle, or the case the police were solving, that was well structured and exciting.

BOOK 31 - VIRGINIA WOOLF: TO THE LIGHTHOUSE
a novel
language: English
pages: 195

I loooove Virginia Woolf. Maybe I shouldn't yet claim that, as I have only read three or four works of hers, but by now, I have liked everything. Her attention to detail and ability to express everything with such richness of language are amazing. She isn't easy, though, but that just makes her better. A good author will not only give something to the reader, but will also demand something in return (e.g. brainwork). I especially fancied this book because it has to do with the see, both on the level of the plot and semantics. I could well imagine doing some vaster research on Woolf as my literary studies go on.

BOOK 32 - JULIET HESLEWOOD: MAALAUSTAITEEN HISTORIAA NUORILLE (free transl."Art history for youngsters")
factual literature on art
language: Finnish
pages: 62

This wasn't a long read, as you can deduce from the amount of pages and the genre - lots of pictures, less to read. But I was happy to read something about art history, after my inspiring trip to Italy, especially Florence. I have actually never read a book on art history before (shame) and art history at school was non-existent (shame too). This book explained the major schools and periods of time in simple terms and with few, but good examples. But I guess there's a whole bunch of such books out there (I got this from my grandparents years ago, and by now, only looked at the pics). But yeah, a good start, I will want to read more, and more "proper" books on art history in the future.

BOOK 33 - CHRISTOPHER MARLOWE: DOCTOR FAUSTUS
a play
language: English
pages: 34

Well, not exactly living up to the page number expectation of a "book", but will still mark this work here, as it happens to be a very central work for English literature and European literature (model e.g. for Goethe's Faust). So, the traditional story and fight between the devil and angelic forces in a man. Worth reading.

"BOOK 34" - M.A.: WAS BEDEUTET RECHTS UND LINKS IN DER POLITIK?
essay
language: German
pages: 34 in A4

Well, this isn't actually a book, but printed would almost be one, and anyway, it being the first academic/scientific text that I have read in
German, it took a lot of effort and thus I consider it worth noting. So a historical/political essay written "for fun" by my ingenious boyfriend.
I'm learning a lot about history and political science from him and his writings. :)

BOOK 35 - GEOFFREY CHAUCER: THE PARLEMENT OF FOYLUS
a poem
language: English
pages: 127

I have read some of the Canterbury Tales and I guess I liked them a bit better. Not so, that there would be anything to criticize in this masterpiece of old English poetry. The introduction of this edition (I think Cambridge University Press) was very good and informative, put the poem in a historical context. The actual situation is that of it being spring, and birds having gathered up into this "parlement" to choose their mates under the eye of Nature. From Chaucer I would anyways recommend rather the Tales, they made me laugh aloud.

BOOK 36 - BEN JONSON: VOLPONE, OR THE FOX
a play
language: English
pages: 92
Jonson's I guess best known play. It was entertaining to read, I can imagine it would have been even more entertaining a theatre stage. Satire of human nature combined with elements from morality plays. The characters were characterised much by their names, a trick that I think worked surprisingly well. Jonson was too unfortunate to be born at the period of time as Shakespeare, as therefore will always remain number 2 of his time, but as a writer of humoristic and satiric texts I guess he not a bad competor.

"BOOK 37" - M.A.: DIE FLEISSIGE REVOLUTION. THEORIE UND PROBLEME.
essay/seminar-paper
language: German
pages: 21 in A4

Just see markings on "book 34." And: I need to know more about the status of women in the family and work in different periods of history.

BOOK 38 - OSCAR WILDE: THE DECAY OF LYING, THE SPHINX WITHOUT A SECRET, THE MODEL MILLIONAIRE
essay, two short-stories
language: English
pages: 22, 4, 5
Again, not exactly a whole book read, but I'm gradually reading the Compelete Works of Wilde, and want to mark up the texts I have already read. The short-stories were OK, nothing mind-blowing, but a nice read. The Decay of Lying proved to be a very interesting and witty essay - which is of course not surprising at all, Wilde being the author. He was really a master of paradoxes, phrases and proverbs, reading the essay I could not but admire the sharpness of his pen. Oscar Wilde is definitely worth reading: his plays are amazing, sarcastic, make you laugh. This was the first essay by him that I read, but as much worth reading as his best plays.

BOOK 39 - ARTO PAASILINNA: ONNELLINEN MIES
a novel
language: Finnish
pages: 185
I hadn't read any Finnish for some time, when I happened to pick up this book at one place where I am babysitting a boy. The family has given me full access to their bookshelves, how nice. I haven't read any Paasilinna before, although he is very popular in Finland, and supposed to be the contemporary master of humoristic writing. Well, there were probably 2 things that made me laugh, and 2 things when I thought "oh that's well put", so not nearly enough to call him a master of anything. The "happy man" was a greesy engineer, who ended up happy, because of stupid reasons, e.g. having two women (unheard-of in Finnish society). So a chauvinist happiness tale? Maybe. I'll have to read Paasilinna's Year of the Hare before I decide to dislike him. Now I have to prejudice him as an barely civilized chauvinist. The book wasn't bad, no, no, but not a book for me. A bit like Old man and the Sea by Hemingway - that book just isn't one for vegans.

BOOK 40 - EVA WEIN: PUOLIMAAILMAN NAINEN
a novel/short-stories?
language: Finnish
pages: 97

A short, concise, beautiful work of Finnish literature. The purpose of the intertwined but physically separated texts was to build up the character image of a author/the protagonist (the book was autobiographical). Wein was advertised as someone who has studied and lived in Berlin and Vienna, I hope she didn't pick up her name like Wien --> Wein (wine). The language was excuisite and colourful, and I can well imagine reading this book again just to enjoy the language.

BOOK 41 - OSCAR WILDE: A WOMAN OF NO IMPORTANCE
a play
language: English
pages: 50

Wilde, Wilde, Wilde. This one rates somewhere very close to Lady Windemere's Fan, and I might have personally enjoyed the dialogues here even more; topics were love and differences between men and women. I don't understand my self with Wilde; usually I would deny such statements as his in feminist anger, but there is just something, something so truthful in many of the things he says about women, men, and relationships:
"One should never trust a woman who tells one her real age. A woman who would tell one that, would tell one anything."
"I don't think there is a woman in the world who would not be a little flattered if one made love to her. It is that which makes women so irresistibly adorable."
"My dear young lady, there was a great deal of truth, I dare say, in what you said, and you looked very pretty while you said it, which is much more important."

And so on, I'm afraid I could tire anyone with witty, brilliant Wilde-quotes.


Read this far:
41/50 = 82 % (actually 49, but I'll mark them later)
93.2% of the year gone
Tags: 19th century literature, academic, art, autobiography, british, classic, essays, european, history, modern classic, play, poetry, politics, satire
Subscribe

  • January 2021 - Books 1 to 6

    1. The Long Way Home by Louise Penny Inspector Gamache is now retired in Three Pines when he’s recruited to help one of his friends find her…

  • December 2020 - Books 71 to 76

    71. Prairie Lotus by Linda Sue Park A young mixed-race girl moves with her widowed father to a fledgling South Dakota town in 1880. This is the…

  • Book 12

    Elatsoe by Darcie Little Badger My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, did I love this one. A girl and her ghost dog, Kirby? Yes please. Let me start…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

  • 0 comments