Watching Castle

Castle's lesson of the day...

In this 11th episode of season 2 I am currently watching, one guy has been saved from a bullet by a copy of Dostoyevski's Crime and Punishment in his inner jacket pocket.

Beckett: "Good thing he reads"
Ryan: "Good thing he reads Russian literature. If the guy was a Nicholas Sparks fan, he'd be dead."
We get it: reading dense (in every sense) literature instead of chicklit will save your life.

BBC Lost in Austen

At first I was sceptical about this BBC production (2008). A 21rst century Janeite does an Alice-in-Wonderland-kind of jump into the world of Pride and Prejudice and experiences what we all would love to: she takes Elizabeth Bennet's spot and meets another very handsome version of our beloved Fitzwilliam Darcy.
Most of the story evolves around her efforts to put everything "right", that is how Austen wrote it in her novel. But the more she tries, the messier it gets.
I will try not to reveal any spoilers here, but in many respects, the series does not end in a very concluding happy ending manner, as it leaves some blatant catastrophies (like Jane's marriage to a man who's not M. Bingley) unresolved, though with a lot of hope...
Even if I needed some time to get used to the alternate universe concept - I am not a huge fan of it - I soon started to love the story and the characters, their developments are audacious but work! Elizabeth's attraction towards our modern world seems natural and sincere, it is almost sad that we do not really see her story as she discovers Britain in the 21st century. M. Bingley is an even bigger coward in this series than he is usually depicted and therefore forces Jane's character to be even more accepting and endearing. Their story is a sad one.
Fitzwilliam Darcy is well written, handsome and perfectly conveying the legendary snobbish tenderness à la Darcy.
The other characters, especially Mrs Bennet, are extremely well cast and written and bring in numerous funny moments. Overall, Lost in Austen is a good comedy that shows how Austen's characters would react when confronted to our blunt manners and words.

To repeat it, I loved it and would recommend it to any Austen-lover; don't be afraid of the alternate universe - I'm sure our Jane Austen is not turning over in her grave.

What the library let me hunt down

Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's, I already finished just now in my beloved armchair. It is a good story to read and reread, the ending is quite different from the movie.

If you let yourself love a wild thing. You'll end up looking at the sky.
Two by Eva Ibbotson, A Company of Swans and A Countess below Stairs, both often recommended to me and I was n the mood to alternate literature and chicklit. And Eva Ibbotson is a fantastic writer for children/young adults (I absolutely loved Secret of Platform 13), so her chicklit must be good stuff.

Aldous Huxley's Brave New World is a book that I am not sure of having read, because I remember that the husband of my mother's friend gave it to me when I was thirteen and as it was not in a language that I liked to read (and I did not like his taste in books in general, and I did not like the cover, and he was a teacher who basically treated his whole surroundings, even friends and family, like pupils), I just skimmed through it or so I think. So this is a fresh start.

I have always liked novels about China, especially about Chinese women, be it in ancient or modern China or their lives as immigrants or whatever. Amy Tan has produced several novels of that kind now and after I finished The Bonesetter's Daughter totally enthralled, her other novel The Joy Luck Club immediately ended up on my TBR-pile. I found it today and will read it as one of the first.

As I let my eyes float over the bookshelves (because that is how I see it, my eyes are like sliding from one book spine to another, waves of thick paper), I saw the beautiful oriental style book spine of In the Walled Gardens by Anahita Firouz, set in Iran before and around the Revolution. I did not even finished reading the back description, there it already was in my pile to be taken home.

Looking forward to read all of them!

Constantly changing places is inherent to my life. Books have always been steady friends which I could bump into wherever I was all over the world.
Stumbling upon Kaminer's German stories of "Die Reise nach Trulala" in Reykjavík's city library is as moving as meeting the Icelandic sagas in Boston's Borders.
To see a book again, that I've read thousands of kilometers away makes me smile "Hey I know you.." and shake hands by thumbing through it for a while.