MissWatson's BFBs in 2020

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MissWatson's BFBs in 2020

1MissWatson
Redigerat: dec 8, 2020, 10:17am

Hello everyone! I'm happy to be back and hope to read 10 BFBs this year.

1. Der nasse Fisch by Volker Kutscher
2. Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal
3. The slave trade by Hugh Thomas
4. Best served cold by Joe Abercrombie
5. Little women by Louisa May Alcott
6. Les années sanglantes by Simone Bertière
7. Castle Richmond by Anthony Trollope
8. Fräulein Nettes kurzer Sommer by Karen Duve
9. Der Zauberberg by Thomas Mann

2connie53
jan 2, 2020, 11:04am

Hi Birgit. Glad to see you here too!

3floremolla
jan 2, 2020, 6:20pm

Hi Birgit - good luck with the BFBs!

4MissWatson
jan 3, 2020, 12:03pm

>2 connie53: >3 floremolla: Thanks, Connie and Donna!

5johnsimpson
jan 10, 2020, 4:09pm

Hi Birgit, hope you have a really good year my dear.

6MissWatson
jan 11, 2020, 9:41am

>5 johnsimpson: Thanks for dropping in, John!

I can report my first BFB: Der nasse Fisch, first in a series of mysteries set in Berlin in 1929. Started very slowly, but then a police officer is murdered and things get very ugly very quickly. 543 pages.

7MissWatson
feb 23, 2020, 8:12am

Finally another BFB, but not one I enjoyed very much: Le Rouge et le Noir. I've read the introduction and the additional material, but it didn't really help me with the big question: what exactly is Stendhal trying to tell us here??

8MissWatson
mar 11, 2020, 10:30am

The slave trade also didn't live up to expectations, lots of important information but weighed down by far too much detail.

9MissWatson
mar 28, 2020, 1:58pm

Best served cold did not have the same page-turning quality that the First Law Trilogy had, took me longer than expected to get through this.

10MissWatson
apr 2, 2020, 9:09am

I have reached halftime with Little women, and I can see why it is still such a widely read favourite.

11MissWatson
maj 5, 2020, 3:41am

Les années sanglantes is a family history of the French queens in the second half of the 16th century in which I made frequent use of the family trees and indexes, so I'm counting all its 506 pages. Very interesting, but I wish she had cited her sources properly in the customary academic way.

12MissWatson
jul 30, 2020, 10:49am

Castle Richmond is one of Trollope's earlier efforts, and his take on the Irish Famine is unacceptable to a modern reader. On top of this, the romance is weak and unconvincing. I had to switch between editions, because the version I downloaded first was full of scanning errors and even had several pages missing. The next one was a two-volume edition from the Bodley Head and ran to 757 pages.

13connie53
Redigerat: aug 31, 2020, 3:14am

Hi Birgit, I hope you are still reading. Now I've reached my goal I tend to read what I feel like reading. Just for fun and mostly e-books. That's much easier to read outside or in the train. The ROOT I'm reading now is a BFB, so not that easy to carry around in a handbag.

14MissWatson
sep 8, 2020, 12:44pm

Hi Connie, I'm close to finishing a BFB! Report to follow soon.

15MissWatson
sep 9, 2020, 6:05am

Fräulein Nettes kurzer Sommer is a wonderful book about a few years in the early life of German poet Annette von Droste-Hülshoff which she spent mostly at the seat of her mother's family. The book starts in 1817, the Tambora eruption makes for miserable weather and starvation, although the aristocracy hardly notices it in their own consumption, and political life is in upheaval after the end of the Napoleonic Wars and the Congress of Vienna. It ends in 1821, after the family have achieved a final separation of Annette from her unsuitable admirer Heinrich Straube.
The book gives a convincing picture of life in a small German statelet, newly attached to the Prussian kingdom, at the university of Göttingen and among the literary circles of the day. I had bought this with an eye to our vacation at Lake Constance, but Meersburg doesn't feature here. Instead we spend lots of time in Kassel with the Brothers Grimm and other places familiar to me, so that is an added delight.

16MissWatson
dec 8, 2020, 10:22am

And I have finally come down from Der Zauberberg. This is a book that needs re-reading at some time, for now I am glad to part with it. The disputes between Settembrini and Naphta usually went over my head, and they take up most of the pages.
The most memorable event for me was the arrival of the record-playing machine. It brought home to me how much it changed the world. Music is ubiquitous now, we are drowning in it, usually in the sounds seeping from other people's earbuds. But then it must have literally moved your soul.

17johnsimpson
dec 30, 2020, 4:40pm