Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006

Books, Glorious Books!


I think have mentioned before that in my house we regard books as essential items, as necessary to life and health as food. This week I’ve received a bumper crop of books, which on top of my present grocery cupboard of reading matter, means I won’t need to visit the supermarket for a few weeks.

First of all, I’ve just joined The Sisterhood of the Traveling Books, a bookswop site that I first read about on Ash’s blog Stitched in Holland. I signed up, offered a book of mine (which my dear husband then suddenly decided to read) and put myself on the list. Since then, the lovely Ana Maria of Colombia has posted Rick Moody’s The Ice Storm to me. I loved the film – and incidentally the film of his other book Garden State – so I am really looking forward to reading it. Thanks, Ana Maria.

I also belong to a lovely book club. We have been going for three years now. The main goal of the club is not literary analysis, but pooling books we have enjoyed, since as expats, we have found it harder historically to access books. As German bookshops steadily improve their English sections (one of our topics of conversation is which German bookshop in the Heidelberg area has the best English section) and with the arrival of Amazon in our lives, it is now easier to get our hands on books, but it still fun to share, and obviously also not pay for, books. Tuesday night, I brought home a record five books from book club and I have four weeks to read them. They are:

A Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz

Two Lives by Vikram Seth

Interesting Women by Andrea Lee

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

I’m intrigued by the latter, a memoir, which starts:

I was sitting in a taxi, wondering if I had overdressed for the evening, when I looked out the window and saw Mom rooting through a Dumpster.

The question I’m pondering is: which book do I eat first?


In other news, it is the Summer Solstice today, and it is raining in Germany.

We are not amused.


Author: charlotteotter

Novelist, feminist, crime writer

7 thoughts on “Books, Glorious Books!

  1. It’s been raining and cool here too – as you said, not funny.

    I haven’t heard of any of those authors but the opening line of The Glass Castle has me hooked and that’s what I’d read first.

    I adore great starts to a book – you just know it will get better and better.

  2. Oh, I agree with Wendz. Read The Glass Castle first. It hooked me from the very beginning and kept me hooked, despite the fact I keep saying I’m going to stop reading these I-had-a-more-rotten-dysfunctional-childhood-than-anyone memoirs and still keeping being pulled in by some. I think the reason I liked this one so much was that she didn’t portray all of it as being so rotten. It was always shocking to the reader, but not always so, so horrible to the child experiencing it nor to the adult writer describing it.

  3. Oh I’ve never read that Jeanette Winterson and I really like her. Well, that’s to say I loved her first three or four novels, everything else got a bit pretentious. I shall look forward to hearing about all the literary loot you brought home with you!

  4. I bought some new books in the UK, but finding it difficult to find time to a) read them and b) blog about them! I’ll live vicariously through your blog for the moment 😉

  5. Hello, I’ve been perusing and really enjoying your blog. The Glass Castle is a fantastic read, I’ll put my 2 cents in for you to read that first.

  6. “it is the Summer Solstice today, and it is raining in Germany”: it always rains on the 21st of June, at least in France. The reason is simple: it is the Fête de la Musique, and with so many bands playing out of tune in so many places, no wonder it starts raining at some point. The statistics are undisputable, and there is one special anecdote that is certainly extra proof: in 1998, there was a world-cup match in Toulouse on the 21st of June, and the Toulouse Fête de la Musique was postponed to the 2nd of July. On the 21st of June, it rained everywhere in France, but not in Toulouse. On the 2nd of July, it rained in Toulouse.

  7. One of my favorite books is by Vikram Seth: The Golden Gate. Not only does he perfectly evoke the San Francisco Bay Area and create amusing characters, but he does it all in sonnet form!

    We’ve been having amazing thunderstorms here in NY…still trying to wrap my mind around the concept of rain in the summer. So not what I grew up with in So Cal!

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