Anita (FAMeulstee) keeps on rooting in 2022

Diskutera2022 ROOT CHALLENGE

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Anita (FAMeulstee) keeps on rooting in 2022

jan 1, 2022, 5:32 am

I am Anita Meulstee from Lelystad, the Netherlands. This is going to be my 6th year ROOTing in a row.
The first time I joined was in 2013, my worst reading year ever. I came back in 2017.

My goal for 2021 is to read 48 ROOTs.

Personal ROOT rules: every book I own, no matter how recently purchased, is a ROOT.
The majority of the books I buy have been on my wishlist for a long time, or are awarded and I buy them to keep my collection complete, or are part of a series I am already reading and not available at the library.

I only list my ROOTs read here. To follow all my readings go to my thread in the 75 Books Challenge for 2022 group.

Total ROOTs read:

jan 1, 2022, 6:19 am

Happy new year, and good luck with your 2022 reading!

jan 1, 2022, 6:51 am

>2 Jackie_K: Thank you, Jackie, happy new year!

jan 1, 2022, 7:53 am

Hi Anita, Happy ROOTing to you in 2022

Glad you join us again.

jan 1, 2022, 8:10 am

>4 connie53: Thank you, Connie, happy ROOTing in 2022.

Looking forward to a next year in this group.

jan 1, 2022, 10:43 am

Welcome back, Anita! Have a great reading year :)

jan 1, 2022, 11:01 am

>6 rabbitprincess: Thank you, RP, to happy reading in 2022!

jan 1, 2022, 12:00 pm

glad you're back!

jan 1, 2022, 2:34 pm

>8 cyderry: Thank you, Chèli!

jan 3, 2022, 2:48 am

A Happy New Year of reading, Anita

jan 3, 2022, 3:27 am

>10 Robertgreaves: Thank you, Robert, happy New Year!

jan 4, 2022, 5:31 am

Welcome back, Anita. I'm looking forward to follow your reading!

jan 4, 2022, 6:36 am

>12 MissWatson: Thank you, Birgit, now looking to find your thread.

jan 4, 2022, 5:09 pm

Hi Anita, happy new year - I hope it’s filled with good reading!

jan 4, 2022, 5:44 pm

>14 floremolla: Thank you, Donna, happy new year!
The first reads (non ROOTs) were not great. But I have hope for my present read.

jan 7, 2022, 5:11 pm

No roots to report yet, I took a lot of books from the library and e-library.
I planned 4 ROOTs for January, and moved them towards the end of the month, when the library books have to be returned.

jan 18, 2022, 5:26 pm

ROOT 1: Dankzij de dingen by Rutger Kopland
acquired before 2008, poetry, Dutch, no translations, 39 pages

Poetry, originally published in 1989, by well known Dutch poet, a psychatrist who wrote under pseudonym.
He writes about his parents getting older, sufferening from dementia. Hiking in the mountains, and the village where he stays in the mountains
I always enjoy his poems.

jan 19, 2022, 3:38 am

>1 FAMeulstee:

Personal ROOT rules: every book I own, no matter how recently purchased, is a ROOT.

I am a bit confused. If every book you own is considered as a ROOT, why wouldn't all the books you read in your 75 Books Challenge thread also count here?

Redigerat: jan 19, 2022, 5:27 am

>18 lilisin: Because I don't own the books from the public library, most of the books I read come from the library.

ETA: Last year I did read 79 ROOTs on a total of 288 books. If I had to buy those other 209 books, I would be broke. Not to mention the lack of space on the shelves ;-)

jan 19, 2022, 6:04 am

>19 FAMeulstee:

I hadn't considered library books! That makes lots of sense!

jan 19, 2022, 6:22 am

>20 lilisin: :-)
We are blessed with a very good library in town, and I can order books from the even better one in the next town.
Once in a while I read a really great book from the library, so good that I need to have my own copy on the shelves.

jan 20, 2022, 4:45 am

ROOT 2: Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving
acquired before 2008, translated, original title The Hotel New Hampshire, 490 pages

Years ago I saw the movie, and while reading I still saw Jodie Foster in my mind as Franny and Nastassja Kinsky in the bear suit (although Susie looks very different in the book).
The saga of the Berry family runnng un-runable hotels, all called "Hotel New Hampshire", in the USA and Vienna. Swept through tragedy, sorrow and disaster the Berry children try to find their way in life.
Irving got me again in this emotional rollercoaster, from laughing to sadness, his humor keeps the tragedies bearable.

jan 20, 2022, 4:46 am

ROOT 3: Laurier en leeuwerik by Barbara Willard
acquired before 2008, childrens/YA, translated, original title The Lark and the Laurel, 191 pages

Mantlemass book 1
When King Richard III is defeated, Cecily's father has to leave the country, leaving her with his sister Elizabeth at Mantlemass. It is a big change for Cecily, as she was used to be surrounded by servants, living a noble life. Now she finds herself at the estate of her aunt, where she must help out. It takes some time for her to adapt to her new life. Then she falls in love with the foster son of the neighbor estate, but her father has other plans.
Funny how anticipation works. The first time I read this book, somewhere in the 1990s I guess, I really liked it. Reading it again in 2008 it disappointed, as I had high expectations. Third time around I liked it again, as my expectations were not so high.

jan 20, 2022, 4:47 am

ROOT 4: De loot van de brem by Barbara Willard
acquired before 2008, childrens/YA, translated, original title The Sprig of Broom, 198 pages

Mantlemass book 2
Mengel Plashet lives with his parents in a little house at the Mantlemass estate. His mother is a wise woman (some call her witch), who helps around with her herbs. His father seems to be an ordinary craftsman, but he has Latin books that he reads. Sometimes wealthy men from London are looking for him. When Mengels father disappears and his mother dies, Mengel is taken in by master Mallory at the big Mantlemass house. He is in love with Mallory's daughter Catherine, but how can the son of a craftsman hope to marry a girl of noble descent?
Looking forward to re-read the next Mantlemass books.

jan 20, 2022, 5:16 am

Detta konto har stängts av för spammande.

jan 22, 2022, 9:43 am

>22 FAMeulstee: Nice review, Anita! Hotel New Hampshire was the first John Irving book I ever read, and it captured my imagination immediately. He has such a way of building a scene from quirky to absurdity that leaves me giggling uncontrollably at times. And then he can turn around and hit the perfect emotional note. "Sorrow floats."

jan 22, 2022, 12:31 pm

>26 rosalita: Thanks, Julia, you describe Irvings writing perfectly.
My first book by Irving was A Prayer for Owen Meany back in 2010. I finally got to The World According to Garp last year, and now all three Irving books I own are read.

jan 30, 2022, 11:36 am

ROOT 5: De moeder van Nicolien by J.J. Voskuil
acquired March 2017, Dutch, no translations, 187 pages

Maarten Koning is the main character in the writers magnus opus Het Bureau.
In this book the visits to Maarten's mother in law are described. At first large time gaps, but later when demetia slowly shows, Maarten and Nicolien visit more regular. When she clearly can't take care of herself, Nicolien has to make the harsh decision to put her mother in a care home.

jan 31, 2022, 4:42 am

ROOT 6: Een koude wind by Barbara Willard
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title A Cold Wind Blowing, 195 pages

Mantlemass book 3
Piers Mengel, second son of Mengel Plashet of Ghylls Hatch, gets caught in the troubles of the time, King Henry VIII closes the monastries, affecting his uncle. He promishes his uncle to take care of a woman, who is threathened. This puts his life upside down.

jan 31, 2022, 12:34 pm

>22 FAMeulstee: it’s funny how in our minds we populate books with actors we can imagine in the role!

Off to a good start with your reading, Anita!

jan 31, 2022, 1:49 pm

>30 floremolla: Thank you, Donna, a movie preprints the visiuals. That is probably why seeing the movie after reading the book, the movie disappionts so often. In your mind is an other visual only based on the text, with sometimes an other actor as a character.

Yes, a good start, I just finished my last ROOT for January :-)

jan 31, 2022, 2:46 pm

ROOT 7: De oudste zoon by Barbara Willard
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title The Eldest Son, 221 pages

Mantlemass book 4
Harry Mengel, first son of Mengel Plashet of Ghylls Hatch, never liked horses. He would like to work with iron, but Ghylls Hatch has always been in horse breeding. When Harry buys a small horse for his daughter, he brings disaster to all.

Redigerat: feb 28, 2022, 7:30 am

In February the library books took over. I just finished my first (and last) ROOT for this month Hersenschimmen (=Out of mind) by J. Bernlef. Review will follow later.

ETA: one more read De ijzeren lelie (=The Iron Lily, Mantlemass 5).

feb 28, 2022, 7:49 am

ROOT 8: Hersenschimmen by J. Bernlef
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, Dutch, English translation Out of Mind, 160 pages

Maarten Klein and his wife Vera are a Dutch couple living in the USA. Maarten is retired, and now notices his memory is fading. His decline goes fast, and is hard on his wife.
We follow Maartens decline from his point of view, wich makes the story poignant.
Back in 1984 it was one of the first novels about dementia. I remember reading it back then, when it made a greater impression than it did now. It is on the Dutch 1001 books list.

mar 3, 2022, 2:24 pm

ROOT 9: De ijzeren lelie by Barbara Willard
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title The Iron Lily, 218 pages

Mantlemass 5
Lilias runs away, when her brother dies of the plague, and her sister in law questions her lawful birth. She marries an iron master, and becomes iron master herself, after her husbands death. She puts up a new iron plant near Mantlemass.

mar 9, 2022, 3:37 am

ROOT 10: Het uur u by Martinus Nijhoff
acquired before 2008, poetry, Dutch, Dutch Canon, no translations, 51 pages

Long poem, with illustrations.
It feels like a threat is in the air, something is going to happen. The city is quiet, only a few children play in the street. A stranger is walking through the streets, and when he has passed feeling has gone.

mar 15, 2022, 5:24 am

ROOT 11: Pieterpad deel II: Vorden-Maastricht by Toos Goorhuis-Tjalsma & Bertje Jens
acquired April 2020, Dutch, non-fiction, no translations, 208 pages

The Pieterpad is the best known long distance walking trail in the Netherlands, it starts in the village Pieterburen in the north and ends at the Sint Pietersberg in the south, totaling 499 km in length.
This book contains the route of the second half of the trail, with detailed maps, historic places, and tourist information.
Preparing for the last half of the Pieterpad. Between March 2020 and October 2021 we walked the first half, and ended in Vorden. Next Saturday we will walk the Pieterpad for six days again.

mar 16, 2022, 2:54 pm

>37 FAMeulstee: Enjoy your break! I must admit, if I was going to do a long-distance walk I can't help thinking that the Netherlands is the place to do it! (I don't do hills, if I can help it!)

mar 16, 2022, 5:08 pm

>38 Jackie_K: Thank you, Jackie, I am sure we will have a good time again.
Most of the northern part is very flat, there are some hills later on. Not very high yet, about 80 meters, it was rather tough on us. We are not used to differences in hight, as we live in a very flat part of our country. It will get worse when we are heading south, the south of Limburg is all hills.

mar 17, 2022, 9:36 am

Good luck with your walking plans! I hope there's not too much rain!

mar 17, 2022, 10:28 am

>40 MissWatson: Thank you, Birgit, it looks like we are lucky again. Prediction is sunny weather, dry, not much wind, and between 14 and 17 °C. Perfect walking weather!

mar 18, 2022, 8:34 am

>41 FAMeulstee: Have fun!

mar 27, 2022, 3:53 am

>42 MissWatson: Thanks, we had a good time :-)

mar 27, 2022, 3:56 am

ROOT 12: De Bommellegende by Marten Toonder
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 69 pages

Marten Toonders Bommel strips are well known in the Netherlands. They were published as daily strip in a paper, three or two drawings with a lot of text. Later they were published as books. Toonder invented words that are still used in Dutch.
Oliver B. Bommel finds a strange note, that appears to be very old. It says he must be rescued soon, else the Bommel lineage will end. He meets a scientist who works on slowing down and fastening time, ending up in strange adventures. His loyal friend Tom Poes comes to the rescue in the end.
As always the adventure ends with diner at the Bommel castle.

mar 27, 2022, 3:57 am

ROOT 13: Generaal zonder leger by Özcan Akyol
acquired March 2020, Dutch, Bookweek essay 2020, no translations, 64 pages

Özcan Akyol, better known as Eus, is a Dutch writer from Turkish decent. He critises the Dutch literary world, mainly being involved with eachother, complaining their books don't sell, reading in general is in decline, and the books that are read are not "litrary" books. Eus states that if better books are written, they will be sold and read.
Fun read, and I think Eus has a point.

mar 27, 2022, 3:58 am

book 14: De vergelder by Marten Toonder
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 80 pages

Oliver B. Bommel wants to be a buisiness man. Recently he lost a lot of money, so now he no longer wants to lean on his families fortune. He travels abroad with Tom Poes, and gets his hands on a machine that pays for what you put in it. Of course all goes wrong and as always Tom Poes has to solve all problems.

mar 27, 2022, 4:00 am

ROOT 15: Misverstand in Moskou by Simone de Beauvoir
acquired January 2020, translated from French, no English translation, 123 pages

An older couple travel to Moscow in the 1960s, to visit his daughter. Despite being together for a long time, small misunderstandings still can cause feelings of insecurity on both. Some trouble with memory doesn't help either. We get to know the thoughts of both woman and man from their perspective.
Meanwhile we also get a small peak into the USSR at the time.
Originally this story was intented to be included in The Woman Destroyed. At the last moment it was replaced. In 1992 it was published in a magazine.
My first Simone de Beauvoir, makes me want to read more of her books.

mar 27, 2022, 4:01 am

ROOT 16: Een vlucht zwanen by Barbara Willard
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title A Flight of Swans, 200 pages

Mantlemass book 6
Ursula, the daughter of Lilias. lives at Matlemass. Two cousins from London stay there for a while. When the Spanish Armada arrives before the coast, one of the cousins disappears. His brother returns to Mantlemass, after a brief stay in London. He starts to work at the iron place, and becomes iron master.

mar 31, 2022, 5:07 am

ROOT 17: Surrogaten voor Murk Tuinstra by Simon Vestdijk
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 195 pages

Anton-Wachtercyclus book 2
Anton Wachter and Murk Tuinstra are best friends, when Murk and his family move from Lahringen to Amsterdam. Anton tries to find a new best friend, but each time the frienship ends, as no one can live up to his true best friend.

mar 31, 2022, 5:35 am

ROOT 18: Lezen als geschenk by Robert Macfarlane
acquired January 2022, e-book, translated, original title The Gifts of Reading, 30 pages
TIOLI Challenge #12: Read a book with a five letter word in the title you might find in Wordle

Enjoyable essay about reading, and giving/receiving books. With some special attention to Partck Leigh Fermor and his book A time of gifts.

mar 31, 2022, 5:54 am

ROOT 19: Zaaien en oogsten by Barbara Willard
acquired before 2008, YA, translated, original title Harrow and Harvest, 224 pages

Mantlemass book 7
Ursula's grandchildren (Nicholas, Cecilia, Mallory and James) now live at Mantlemass. The civil war has started, and people are taking sides. When a far cousin barely makes it to Mantlemass, Cecilia realises he might be the true heir of Mantlemass. She always liked to read in her grandmothers papers, and knows some about the family tree. In the midst of the civil war Mantlemass is struck by disaster again.

Redigerat: apr 7, 2022, 5:15 am

ROOT 20: Het einde van Mantlemass by Barbara Willard
acquired January 2010, YA, translated, original title The keys of Mantlemass, 56 pages

Mantlemass booklet 8
Last story, Cecilia and James have left Mantlemass. One day they return an Cecilia gives James the last remaining heritage, the ring, as all else is gone now.

apr 28, 2022, 4:20 am

ROOT 21: Uitnodiging voor een onthoofding by Vladimir Nabokov
acquired before 2008, translated from English after the original Russian, English translation Invitation to a Beheading, 223 pages

A man is convicted to death, for being different than other people. While waiting in prison the people around (guard, director, a little girl) behave in absurd ways. He imagines how life is outside his cell, and desperately wants to know when his execution is sceduled.
Beautiful written, despite the absurd aspects I was drawn into the story.

apr 28, 2022, 4:30 am

Root 22: Voetsporen in de sneeuw by John le Carré
acquired April 2022, translated, original title A Murder Of Quality, 198 pages

Second book with George Smiley as main character. No spies, it is a murder mystery.
Smiley is contacted by Ailsa Brimley, a former collegue from his WWII years. She got an alarming letter from Stella Rode, claiming her husband wants to kill her. Stella's husband works at a private school, and Smiley goes there to find out more. Meanwhile Stella is murdered.
Enjoyable read.

apr 28, 2022, 4:36 am

ROOT 23: Op de planken by Gerrit Komrij
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 39 pages

Poetry, a short story in poems.
An old actress and an actor find eachother on stage. Some clever wordplay.

apr 28, 2022, 4:46 am

ROOT 24: De ombrenger by Marten Toonder
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 80 pages

Professor Sickbock invented a cheap way to get energy out of the air. Oliver B. Bommel invests in his project. But when more and more energy is drawn from the air, people get sick. Tom Poes is needed to end the trouble.
As always the adventure ends with diner at the Bommel castle.

apr 30, 2022, 5:31 am

ROOT 25: Terug tot Ina Damman by Simon Vestdijk
acquired before 2008, Dutch, Dutch Canon, no translations, 196 pages

Anton-Wachtercyclus book 3
Anton Wachter goes to secondary school and is bullied. He first tries to copy his teacher Greve, who copes with stoical patience all disorder in class. Later Anton falls in love with Ina Damman, and starts walking her to the station every schoolday. Eventually Ina gets enough of Anton's blind adoration.

maj 21, 2022, 6:56 am

ROOT 26: Voor het verdwijnt en daarna by Rutger Kopland
acquired before 2008, Dutch, poetry, no translations, 35 pages

Poetry, originally published in 1985, by well known Dutch poet, a psychatrist who wrote under pseudonym.
In this work he writes mainly about nature and art. Very poignant are the five poems about a visit to former concentration camp Natzweiler.
I always enjoy his poems.

maj 21, 2022, 9:08 am

ROOT 27: Koningin Eenoog by Willem Frederik Hermans
acquired before 2008, Dutch, non-fiction, no translations, 160 pages

Exhibition catalogue from 1986, when photo's of Hermans could be seen in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam.
It starts with an essay by Hermans about the title of the exhibition, Queen one-eye, referring the the "eye" of the camera. Human eyes are open most of the time, but see selectively. The camera's eye is closed most of the time, when it briefly opens it "is seeing" all within reach.
The 143 photo's by Hermans are nice, but not very special. People, cities, landscapes from all over the world. I liked the photo's from Groningen in the 1950s best, as historical documents.
The book ends with an essay by Frans A. Janssen about Hermans books and photography in his books.

maj 29, 2022, 4:46 am

ROOT 28: De andere school by Simon Vestdijk
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 203 pages

Anton-Wachtercyclus book 4
Because Anton promised Ina Damman not to bother her anymore, he changes schools. Going by train to his new school, he won't see her. Although in his mind she slowly transforms to an admirable, perfect future partner. Setteling at a new school is not easy, even with good results. After his exam Anton will go to Amsterdam to study medicine.

maj 29, 2022, 4:47 am

ROOT 29: De beker van de min by Simon Vestdijk
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 223 pages

Anton-Wachtercyclus book 5
Anton goes to live with family in Amsterdam, and starts to study medicine. He also joins a student association, where both men and women are members. At first he only goes to day activities, later he discovers the joy of going on all night. His aunt doesn't appriciate coming home in the morning. Despite the very few classes he attended, he succesfully ends his first year.

jun 1, 2022, 3:18 am

ROOT 30: Voor al uw geschenken by Jean Rouaud
acquired before 2008, translated from French, no English translation, 183 pages

Fourth of five books the writer wrote about his family.
The life of the writers mother, who recently died. She lost her husband early, and mourned for ten years, before picking her life up again. This had a big impact on the writer and his siblings. The remaining years she succesfully managed the gift shop she owned. Taking pride to have anything a client could possibly want. The writer had a complicated relation with his mother, so he could not write about her when she was still alive.
The first three books are available in English translation. Sadly the translator died before he could translate the other two.

jun 5, 2022, 7:56 am

Hi Anita. I've been neglecting the ROOTers for some time. Live, sunny days, babysitting the grandkids and doing volunteer work for the library at Lonne's school. And reading of course. Today is a rainy day with some thunderstrokes. A perfect Sunday for reading al those neglected threads.

Congrats on reaching the halfway-point, Anita. Great job.

jun 5, 2022, 9:05 am

>63 connie53: Glad to see you posting, Connie.
Life looks busy for you, with the grandkids, volunteering, and as always reading.

I have read more ROOTs than expected. The bulk of my reading comes from the library, and those have to be returned in time. My own books can wait :-)
In the first five months 20% were ROOTs, rather pleased about that percentage.

jun 5, 2022, 9:12 am

I can imagine you are pleased about that. I'm not a library member anymore because if I were I would not even read one book I own. Life is really busy, yes. But I like that better than sitting at home twiddling my thumbs! You can do so much cleaning and gardening.

jun 5, 2022, 9:18 am

>65 connie53: Here the cleaning and gardening goes in between the reading.

Reading from the library still adds to my own books. If I really love a book, I want my own copy. But at least I don't have to buy all others ;-)

jun 5, 2022, 9:29 am

I don't mind buying them. That's about all I buy for myself. I told my kids:
"Als ik moet kiezen tussen een book en een broek, kies ik een boek."

"If I have to choose between a book and a pair of trousers, I choose a book". Not as funny as the Dutch sentence.

jun 5, 2022, 9:39 am

>67 connie53: I would say the same :-)

I could not afford to buy the many books I read, even second hand it would cost to much.
Without the library I would be re-reading a lot.

jun 5, 2022, 10:45 am

We buy what we can afford to buy. I try to limit my bought books too, but sometimes I can't help myself.

jun 5, 2022, 1:15 pm

>69 connie53: Long ago I had often serious book buying sprees, Connie, I could aford it back then. Most of our books are from that time.

jun 6, 2022, 8:08 am

As are mine, hence the big TBR pile.

Redigerat: jun 23, 2022, 6:46 am

ROOT 31: Baron : de wonderbaarlijke Michel Baron, zijn leermeester Molière en de praalzieke Zonnekoning by Theun de Vries
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 1016 pages

The life of the actor Michel Baron (1653 – 1729), looking back at the end of his life on the seven years with Molière.
I love all books by Theun de Vries, they are a joy to read. Always interesting stories, well researched. A few minor mistakes, but at that time it took a lot more effort, without internet, to do historical research.

jun 23, 2022, 6:47 am

ROOT 32: Scheepsberichten by E. Annie Proulx
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, translated, original title The Shipping News, 399 pages

Journalist Quoyle returns to his family home in Newfoundland with his two daughters and aunt, after his wife died in a car accident. He gets a job at the local newspaper, and tries to renovate the house where his ancestors lived. Weather is harsh, the house a lot of work, and his aunt has unexpected sides.
I loved Barkskins and liked this earlier book by Proulx.

jun 23, 2022, 6:48 am

ROOT 33: De vrije vogel en zijn kooien by Simon Vestdijk
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 248 pages

Anton-Wachtercyclus book 6
Anton continues his study medicine in Amsterdam. He goes away from the place where he lived with his aunt and uncle, lives at differend places with various landladies. With good luck, and a bit more work than before, he comes through his next exams. His mother decides to move to Amsterdam too.

jun 23, 2022, 11:54 am

>73 FAMeulstee: I really loved this book too. I'd like to read Barkskins at some point too, although quite when I'd fit it in who knows?!

jun 24, 2022, 4:43 am

>72 FAMeulstee: It seems quite a few of his books have been translated in the GDR, back in the 1960ies. A name to keep in mind.

jun 24, 2022, 4:51 am

>75 Jackie_K: I really loved Barkskins, Jackie, I often love large tomes. I have one more by Proulx on the shelves Postcards, no idea when I will get to it.

>76 MissWatson: Theun de Vries was a member of the Dutch Communist Party, Birgit, so most translations happened in the former Eastern block countries, and ignored by most Western countries. He is one of my favorite writers. His best known work is Das Mädchen mit dem roten Haar, that was made into a movie. It is about the (communist) resistance in World War II.

jun 24, 2022, 4:59 am

Not a ROOT when I read it in May, but so good that I bought my own copy this week, and need to rave about it :-)

book 150: Het eiland van het tweede gezicht by Albert Vigoleis Thelen
library, e-book, translated from German, English translation The Island of Second Sight, 994 pages

Subtitled from the applied recollections of Vigoleis.
Years after his stay on Mallorca in the 1930s, Thele wrote about his time there. He went to Malllorca in 1931, with his partner Beatrice, as her brother Zwingli had telegraphed he was deadly ill. At their arrival Zwingli is in good health.
Their stay will last 5 years, eventually they have to flee when the Spanish Civil War has started.
The writer writes as Vigoleis, his self applied second name, describing their struggles from relative wealth to deep poverty, the various appartments and rooms they stayed, the people they met, their quest to find payed jobs. They mostly stay away from politics, but are affected when Hitler rises. Vigoleis is no Nazi and vocalises his antipathy. In the end this almost causes his death.

The book is an autobiography, a piquaresque novel, a description of life in the early 1930s on Mallorca, the rise of facism in Europe at the time, and the love that ties two humans in difficult times. It is written with humor and self-irony, containing self invented words in longwinding sentences.

It took me almost a month to read, as it is no quick read. It was a truly great read, I loved the time spend with Vigoleis and Beatrice.

I was alternating an e-book and a paper copy, both from the library. The first cover is from the e-book, the second from the paper copy. Now I have added the paper book to our own collection.

jun 26, 2022, 9:18 am

>77 FAMeulstee: Ah, that explains it!

jun 29, 2022, 7:04 am

ROOT 34: Het Opritsjnik-orkest by Vladimir Volkoff
acquired before 2008, translated from French, English translation The Set-Up, 379 pages

Alexander Psar is recruted by the KGB at his fathers funeral. His father came from Belarus to France, after the communists came to power. He always hoped to return, and so does Alexander. The KGB promises he will return after his job in France is done. He starts an literary agency, that is used to spread misinformation to create instability. His boss is a fan of Sun Tzu, writer of The Art of War, and regular cites from this book in his briefings.
When Alexander wants to retire, and return to the USSR, he is forced to do a last project, with the manuscript of an unknown prisoner in the USSR.
I now want to read The Art of War (also a ROOT), I have put my copy on the "to read soon" pile.

jun 30, 2022, 2:56 am

>80 FAMeulstee: This sounds interesting, so I looked up the author and found that he also wrote the YA Langelot series which I adored as a teenager. Wow, another name for my ever-growing list.

jun 30, 2022, 5:02 am

>81 MissWatson: The author was new to me. We acquired the book in the time we collected books like crazy, and somehow it survived all cullings in later years. I read it because of a stellar review on a Dutch book-site (Hebban) earlier this year,

jul 1, 2022, 3:36 am

>82 FAMeulstee: These lucky finds are the best.

jul 10, 2022, 11:08 am

>83 MissWatson: I agree with Birgit. Those are the best finds in your own stacks.

jul 11, 2022, 3:37 am

>83 MissWatson: >84 connie53: Indeed, I hope to find more of them, while slowly reading through my ROOTs :-)

jul 14, 2022, 5:00 am

ROOT 35: La Superba by Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer
acquired July 2016, Dutch, Libris Literatuurprijs 2014, English translation La Superba, 348 pages

Pfeijffer went to live in Genoa, the city called La Superba, five years before. In letters to an unnamed friend he tells about the city, and its history and inhabitants. Stories of daily life are larded with over the top fantastic adventures, from love and sex to bureaucratic insanities, alternated with the tragic stories of (illegal) immigrants from Africa. Pfeijffer realises very well he is a privileged immigrant, escaping his life as a well known writer in the Netherlands, he is still well to do in Genoa.
It is all told in rich language, with self-irony, wit, and humor. Not as good as Grand Hotel Europa, where some of the themes are further explored.

jul 14, 2022, 5:02 am

ROOT 36: Congo: een geschiedenis by David Van Reybrouck
acquired December 2010, Dutch, non-fiction, AKO Literatuurprijs 2010 and Libris Geschiedenisprijs 2010, English translation Congo, 680 pages

In 2010, when this book was first published, it was fifty years ago that Congo got independency. This colony of Belgium, started as private project of king Leopold II in 1885, who exploited the country ruthlessly, killing and mutulating millions. In 1908 it became a colony of the Belgium state. It became a little better, but still the white people saw themself as godsend rulers, who had to teach (and preach to) the poor black people of Congo.
In 1960 Congo got independence, way earlier than anticipated. Sadly this ended in the dictatorship of Mobuto for over thirty years, and in civil war with again millions killed. Steps towards democracy have failed ever since, as there has never been a path preparing the county to democratic ways. Those in power gather as much as they can, sharing their wealth with their supporters. The conflict between Tutsi's and Hutu's in Rwanda has moved to the east of Congo, and is still going on.
Van Reybrouck interviewed many old people in Congo, some so old they remembered the days of king Leopold's rule. He found some unknown stories of men from Congo who served in WWII, marching from Congo through Sudan towards the African front. A medical team that ended up in Birma.

Redigerat: jul 15, 2022, 1:03 pm

>87 FAMeulstee: That sounds terrific, I wonder if it's been translated into English?

(edited to say, yes it has - added to the wishlist!)

jul 15, 2022, 2:16 pm

>88 Jackie_K: Yes, Jackie, I see you already found out yourself.
I always mention the availability in English translation on the second line (the one that starts with acquired).

Redigerat: jul 18, 2022, 4:43 am

ROOT 37: De rimpels van Esther Ornstein by Simon Vestdijk
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 260 pages

Anton Wachtercyclus book 7
Anton continues his study medicine in Amsterdam. He meets Esther Ornstein again, she is now engaged and works at the library. Despite the engagement Anton and Esther start to date.

jul 18, 2022, 4:44 am

ROOT 38: De goddelijke komedie by Dante Alighieri
acquired before 2008, translated from Italian, English translation The Divine Comedy, 599 pages

This book is so often mentioned in other books, that I finally had to read it.
Dante's journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Paradise, with Virgil, Beatrice, and Saint Bernard.
I mostly enjoyed Hell and Purgatory. Paradise went a bit too much in Roman Catholic beliefs to be enjoyed by me.
I am glad I have read it now.
This copy was the prose translatation by Frans van Dooren, I might get to the poetic translation by Peter Verstegen someday.

jul 18, 2022, 4:59 am

ROOT 39: Anna, Hanna en Johanna by Marianne Fredriksson
acquired August 2021, translated from Swedish, English translation Hanna's Daughters, 351 pages

Anna visits her mother, Johanna, in a nursing home. Her mother suffers from dementia. Back home Anna finds a photo of her grandmother, Hanna, she never knew well. Next we read about Hanna's life, and later about Johanna, with Anna's present in between, showing how much has changed during their lives in Sweden.
I might have liked this book better, when I had read it some years ago. Now I have read often enough about the changes in the 20th century, so it was just one of many.

jul 24, 2022, 3:31 am

ROOT 40: De kunst van het oorlogvoeren by Sun Tzu
acquired before 2008, translated from Chinese, English translation The Art of War, 288 pages

A Chinese classic written around 500 BC. A mix of philosophy, politics, strategy and practical advice on war. A different way of thinking, compared to ancient Greek and Roman. No gods who interfere/rule the life of humans.
My edition from the 1990s was translated from the English translation, so there is probably some essence lost. Recent (at the time, in the 1970s) found additions were included. Some additional information about the site, and graves, where these new findings were found.

jul 31, 2022, 7:38 am

ROOT 41: De reparatie van de wereld by Slobodan Šnajder
acquired February 2021, translated from Croatian, no English translation, 479 pages

Georg (callname Ɖuka) Kempf is born in Croatia. His forefathers came from Germany in the 18th century. When the Germans take over he is supposed to be a "Volksdeutscher", a German in Hitlers ideas. In 1943 he is forced to join an SS-division that fights in Poland. With help of a woman, who is part of the Polish resistance, he manages to escape. After wandering a long time trough Poland, he manages to join the Red Army, and gets a permit to return to Croatia. Back home many of his friends have died in the war. He marries a communist partizan, and gets a son, who writes this book after his fathers death.
An impressive story, and a great read.

aug 1, 2022, 7:09 am

>91 FAMeulstee: I also liked the parts about Hell and Purgatory best. It might be my protestant upbringing/atheist beliefs, but I think it was more about how difficult it is to write praise for people without flaws in an engaging way. Saints may be admirable, but sinners are just more interesting!

aug 1, 2022, 9:35 am

>95 Henrik_Madsen: You are probably right that sinners are more interesting than saints.
I have a similair background, so that might be also part of it.
Now I am reading an other (poetic instead of prose) Dutch translation of The Divine Comedy, from the library, so it won't pop up here.

Redigerat: aug 22, 2022, 3:19 am

ROOT 42: De laatste kans by Simon Vestdijk
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no translations, 255 pages

Anton Wachtercyclus book 8
Anton continues his study medicine in Amsterdam. He falls in love again, but decides marriage is not for him. He passes his final exams, and will start as temporary replacement for a family doctor soon.

aug 22, 2022, 3:20 am

ROOT 43: De krokodillen van Yamoussoukro by V.S. Naipaul
acquired before 2008, non-fiction, translated, original title The Crocodiles of Yamoussoukro, 116 pages

The writer traveled to Ivory Coast. Yamoussouko was once a small, remote village. Because the president came from this village, it is now expanding fast. Next to the presidential palace crocodiles are kept, they are not native. Feeding time always attracts many people. He meets other people who, like him, originate from the West Indies. Also some thoughts about African beliefs/religion, and the Western perception.
In English this story was published in Finding the Center.

Redigerat: aug 22, 2022, 4:08 am

ROOT 44: Tortilla Flat by John Steinbeck
acquired before 2008, translated, original title Tortilla Flat, 158 pages

When Danny enherits two houses, he is suddenly rich. After serving in the army Danny and his friends lived in poverty, stealing what they could and drink as much as they could get. They continue this way of life, in Danny's house, sharing all they have.
I had better hope for this book. I didn't love it like I loved other books by Steinbeck. The humor saved it.

aug 22, 2022, 4:29 am

ROOT 45: Een geschiedenis van de wereld in 10½ hoofdstuk by Julian Barnes
acquired before 2008, translated, original title A History of the World in 10½ Chapters, 312 pages

Loosely connected stories. From Noah's ark to a funny look at heaven.
I liked the way Barnes jumps through history. Some stories are better than others. I loved the first story (The Stowaway) where we travel at Noah's ark, seen through the eyes of a woodworm. And the fifth story (Shipwreck) the story behind Géricault's painting, and the story of the painting itself.

aug 22, 2022, 8:14 am

>100 FAMeulstee: Yes, I loved the stories and the unexpected connections between them

aug 31, 2022, 3:52 am

>101 Robertgreaves: The connections poppping up were defenitly part of the charm.
Some stories were better than others.

aug 31, 2022, 3:53 am

ROOT 46: Kruisende lijnen by Junichirô Tanizaki
acquired before 2008 ,translated from Japanes, English translation Quicksand, 189 pages

Kakiuchi Sonoko* lost her husband recently, and meets the writer to tell what has happened.
At art school Sonoko meets the beautiful Tokumitsu Mitsuko, and they fall in love. Mitsuko is a very manipulative woman. When Sonoko's husband finds out, she promises to quit, but Mitsuko knows ways to get Sonoko back. Later Mitsuko's boyfriend becomes part of the relationship, and finally Sonoko's husband falls for her too.
Feelings of love, jealousy, and anger, combined with manipulating, push the characters to an unexpected ending.
I didn't like the characters, although Tanizaki describes them prefectly.

*The translator kept the Japanese way of naming, where the family name comes first.

sep 9, 2022, 4:47 am

ROOT 47: De man zonder eigenschappen: deel 1 by Robert Musil
acquired in 1988, translated from German, English translation The Man Without Qualities 1/4, 450 pages

ROOT 48: De man zonder eigenschappen: deel 2 by Robert Musil
acquired in 1988, translated from German, English translation The Man Without Qualities 2/4, 424 pages

The Dutch translation was published between 1988 and 1991. My husband had read the original for his German exams at highschool, so we bought them right after they were published. The Dutch translation differs from other translations in parts, a few chapters more in the first book, a few less in the second etc. Even the last book has some extra additions, compared to other translations.

Vienna, 1913, where our main character, Ulrich, gets involved in the planning of the festivities to be held in 1918, when the Emperor will be on the throne for 70 years. What starts as a small committee, grows into a larger group.
With a lot of irony Musil describes the Austro-Hungarian empire of that time. The society is changing into more individual ways, in some aspects close to our present times.
I'll write some more after I have finished the next two volumes.

sep 12, 2022, 6:26 am

Hi Anita, catching up on threads and waiting for the sun to reach my garden terrace. Congrats on reaching your goal (if I'm right)

sep 12, 2022, 7:01 am

>105 connie53: Thank you, Connie, with that last one I did reach my goal of 48.
I always wait until the shade reaches my terrace, before going into the garden. Each his own, enjoy the sun ;-)

sep 13, 2022, 4:18 am

Congratulations on reaching your goal!

sep 13, 2022, 2:52 pm

>107 MissWatson: Thank you, Birgit!

sep 13, 2022, 4:19 pm

Well done on hitting the goal, Anita!

sep 14, 2022, 2:02 am

>109 Jackie_K: Thank you, Jackie!

Redigerat: sep 15, 2022, 3:04 am

ROOT 49: De man zonder eigenschappen - deel 3 by Robert Musil
acquired in 1989, translated from German, English translation The Man Without Qualities 3/4, 472 pages

ROOT 50: De man zonder eigenschappen - deel 4
acquired in 1991, translated from German, English translation The Man Without Qualities 4/4, 440 pages

Vienna, 1914, Ulrich still takes part in the planning of the festivities to be held in 1918, when the Emperor will be on the throne for 70 years. But has to take a break, because his father dies. Back home he meets his youngers sister Agathe for the first time in years, and they both enjoy eachothers company. Agathe was widowed a few months after her marrige with the man she loved, and is now trapped in a second marriage. She decides to go with Ulrich to Vienna.

The last volume starts with the chapters Musil wrote, but didn't publish during his life. His widow published those in 1943. Then six chapters (that are part of the above mentioned) Musil was rewriting in the last two years before his death. Then again other variations of three chapters, written before. And finally an early set up from the 1920s, where you can recognise Ulrich and his sister deliberating about life.

The last volume was hard work to get through, four variations of the same three chapters is a bit much. And it didn't help it was translated by an other translator.

English and Dutch title are the same

book 3/4
book 4/4

sep 16, 2022, 4:18 am

>111 FAMeulstee: Congrats on finishing this. It's one of the most intimidating books I know of.

sep 16, 2022, 4:54 am

>112 MissWatson: Thank you, Birgit. I would skip the posthumus publications, the first three books were very readable, although sadly unfinished.
Of course there is a lot more than the few words above. It is in some ways comparable to The Magic Mountain by Thomas Mann. Lots of philosophy, different angles from all participating in the planning of the festivities. And the main character Ulrich, who can see in each statement, that the opposite can also be true.

I made September "read my very big tomes" month. I am reading now my other very big ROOT: the Dutch translation of Dream of the Red Chamber by Cao Xueqin. Not sure I will finish it this month, as it is even longer in pages.

sep 18, 2022, 6:37 am

Hi Anita. Congrats on reaching your goal.

I too, are reading BFB's in september. Purely by coincidence. I guess I can do them now. The garden is really not an option and big books are better read sitting at the dinner table.

sep 18, 2022, 11:17 am

>114 connie53: Thank you, Connie.
In August I was looking at the shelves and the list of my planned reads for 2022, and decided it was time to tackle two VERY big tomes. So I started my plans for September with The Man Without Qualities (1786 pages in 4 volumes), and Dream of the Red Chamber (2160 pages). Then some big library books (500+ pages) came in at the end of August, so Big Book September it was :-)

sep 18, 2022, 12:05 pm

I'm reading a big book too at the moment (1131 pages), but fortunately it is on my kobo so I'm not killing my wrists! As I get older I'm definitely losing patience with giant books, and would much sooner read something more concise!

sep 18, 2022, 2:27 pm

>116 Jackie_K: That is the flipside of big books, Jackie.
Luckely the Musil was in 4 volumes with 400+ pages each, and I read the Chinese classic on my Kobo. The library books (only 829, 704, and 603 pages) are the heaviest of this months reads.

sep 18, 2022, 7:17 pm

>115 FAMeulstee: >116 Jackie_K: Yes, I am feeling less inclined towards big books as I get older as well. I just don't have the stamina any more. I had to replace my copy of the Penguin Classics translation of "The Story of the Stone"/"Red Chamber Dream" and thought this would be a good time to re-read the whole thing after 25 - 30 years but I keep putting it off.

sep 19, 2022, 9:47 am

>118 Robertgreaves: No problem with stamina yet, just the heavy lifting gets more difficult. I am using a cushion on my lap now for the very big ones. That wasn't needed a few years back.
I had a few re-reads planned, but haven't gotten to those at all.

sep 30, 2022, 2:53 pm

Two more ROOTs finished in September: Lost Illusions and The Master of Go.
Reviews will follow later.

okt 1, 2022, 3:57 am

ROOT 51: Verloren illusies by Honoré de Balzac
acquired May 2018, translated from French, English translation Lost Illusions, 733 pages

David Séchard and Lucien Chardon grow up in Angoulême. David marries Luciens siste Eve, and Lucien goes to Paris to make it there as a writer. Lucien isn't a nice character, his rise and fall in Paris is the largest part of the book. At the end we return to David and Eve, who got in trouble, partly because of Lucien.
Balzac's portrait of early 19th century France didn't really grab me. Maybe I expected too much.

okt 1, 2022, 4:26 am

ROOT 52: De meester van het Go-spel by Yasunari Kawabata
acquired before 2008, translated from Japanese, English translation The Master of Go, 136 pages

Japan, late 1930s. A jounalist writes about an important match of Go. The old Master is challenged by a younger opponent. The match takes six months, partly because the old Master spends three months in hospital, but mainly because the opponents only play a few hours every few days. The game has changed, new rules have been made about limited time and days between play, that are carefully used by the young opponent. The Master still plays the game in old fashion, where respect and position were important, and rules only applied to the game itself.
I liked the story. In my edition there were pictures of the progress of the game, so it was easy to follow the moves described in the text. In my youth I played a few games of Go (and other board games like chess and draughts, but never very good at it), so I could follow what happened in the game. But most impression made the way even a game can change through time, like society changes in time.

okt 28, 2022, 5:55 am

book 53: Reinhold Messner: Das Leben eines Extrembergsteigers by Michele Petrucci
acquired April 2018, translated from Italian into German by Anja Kootz, no English translation, 88 pages

Graphic novel in German about the life of Reinhold Messner, the famous mountaineer from Italy.
He was the first to get to the top of all 14 mountains above 8,000 meter without oxygen.
I got this book from Nathalie (Deern), when we visied her back in 2018. My German is still good enough to read this, I only had to look up a few words.

okt 29, 2022, 7:30 am

ROOT 54: Dubbelspel by Frank Martinus Arion
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, Dutch, Dutch Canon, Engish translation Double Play, 365 pages

Curaçao, on a Sunday afternoon four men come together to play domino, like they do every Sunday.
Two of them are married, and don't know their opponents are having an affair with their wives. They talk about the island, the past, the future. Meanwhile the game is getting disastrous for the two married man, they loose again and again.
Great look into life and history at the Dutch Antilles. Although the story is told by four men from Curaçao, the way the Dutch still treat the inhabitants shines through. Not much changed after slavery was banned.

nov 29, 2022, 7:54 am

ROOT 55: Kazimir Malevich, 1878-1935 by W.A.L. Beeren (editor)
acquired before 2008, non-fiction, translated from Russian into Dutch and English, 280 pages

Catalog of the Malevich exhibition in the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam in 1989. In cooperation with the Russian Museum in Leningrad and the Tretiakov Gallery in Moscow.
I love to look at the pictures of the paintings by Malevich, and enjoyed the essays about him and his work, and the exerpts from Malevich own writings.

nov 29, 2022, 7:55 am

ROOT 56: Gozert by Pieter Koolwijk
acquired October 2021, children's, illustrated by Linde Faas, Gouden Griffel 2021, no translations, 253 pages

Ties has an imaginary friend, Gozert. Gozert sees the world as a big adventure. When he tells Ties his teacher is a witch, Ties attacks his teacher. When Gozert tells a man is a troll, Ties attacks his business. This can't go on, so Ties is placed in a mental institution. There he becomes friends with Luna, who can hear Gozert.
I had some problems with this book. The actions of Ties against innocent grown ups are not condemned by his father, he mainly thinks it is funny. How on earth can it be funny when your child hurts other people? The mental institution is also described in a very negative way.

dec 1, 2022, 11:37 am

ROOT 57: Gebroken wit by Astrid Roemer
acquired February 2021, Dutch, no English translation (to be published next year October), 342 pages

While Grandma Bee (Bernadette) is nearing the end of her life, her granddaughter Imker moves in with her. Meanwhile we learn about the whole family, a mix of races and nationalities, and where the color of the skin (and gender) still is important for future chances in life.
With two English translations to be published next year, I hope Astrid Roemer gets more acknowledgement. She won the two big Dutch oeuvre awards (P.C. Hooft-prize in 2016, and Prijs der Nederlandse Letteren in 2021), but still isn't read much.

dec 1, 2022, 11:39 am

ROOT 58: De god van kleine dingen by Arundhati Roy
acquired before 2008, 1001 books, translated, Booker prize, original title The God of Small Things, 340 pages

The twins Rahel (girl) and Estha (boy), are separated after a tragedy. We know what happened, but we don't know how. Slowly the whole story is revealed, so at the end of the book all trauma and tragedy that scarred them for life is there.
A gripping story of life in India in the 20th century.

dec 18, 2022, 6:18 am

ROOT 59: De droom van de rode kamer by Cao Xueqin
acquired January 2022, 1001 books, e-book, translated from Chinese, English translation Dream of the Red Chamber, 2160 pages
TIOLI Challenge #4: Read a book with an 4 plus letter word embedded in the title

It took me nearly four months to read this 18th century Chinese classic.
In four books of 30 chapters the story of a wealthy family in decline is told, mainly focussed on the women of the houshold, and the son and heir Baoyu. The whole is to much to summarize in a few lines.
The chapters read like a feuilleton, with small hints in the last line about what will come in the next chapter.
I very much enjoyed this book, a very different world, with other culture, habits and beliefs.

dec 18, 2022, 9:54 am

>129 FAMeulstee: I read this in the early 1990s. I've been thinking of re-reading it.

dec 18, 2022, 11:15 am

>130 Robertgreaves: It was a great read, Robert, so I would say go for it.

The Dutch translation was published last year. Before there was only an abridged Dutch translation of the German translation. So I was very glad to get it as early birthday gift this year :-)

dec 22, 2022, 5:55 am

Hi Anita

Fijne Kerstdagen en een gelukkig Nieuwjaar. (Even in het Nederlands ;-)) )

I hope to see you again in 2023!

dec 22, 2022, 6:05 am

>132 connie53: Thanks, Connie!

Ook prettige feestdagen en alle goeds voor 2023 voor jou en je familie.

I will probably ROOT again next year :-)

dec 22, 2022, 6:11 am

>133 FAMeulstee: Great! Good intention.

jan 2, 2023, 4:53 am

And my last ROOT of 2022

ROOT 60: De slag om de Blauwbrug by A.F.Th. van der Heijden
acquired before 2008, Dutch, no English translation, 123 pages

Short prologue of the much acclaimed series De tandeloze tijd (The toothless time).
Main character is the drug addict Egberts, who steals from cars to finance his habits. Highlight is the part set at the day of Queen Beatrix coronation at April 30, 1980, in Amsterdam.
Not overly impressed, I will try the next book and then see if I want to contnue this series.