Eva Ibbotson: "A Company of Swans"

I read "A Company of Swans" in December 2009 together with "A Countess Below Stairs" by the same authors, when I just needed some not-too-stupid chicklit, basically comfort reads. Back from the library, I immediately sat down in my armchair and read bot.
"A Company of Swans" seemed to be the more elaborate of the two, as it not only gave insights to ballet, but also brought the reader to the Amazon in a rather believable way.

Harriet Morton is the shy daughter of an intolerant and controlling professor, who wants to marry her off to his assistant. Ballet being her only joy in life, her life changes all over when she is chosen by a visiting ballet master to accompagny his ensemble to the Amazon. Running away from her father, who later sends her fiancé in a quite burlesque search of her, she reaches the Amazon and meets the attractive Rom Verney. Very quickly, she suspects him to be a member of the very wealthy family in her hometown, of which the head just died. Throughout the whole novel, Rom and she have multiple misunderstandings, the more as they become lovers. For example, she believes that Rom is still in love with his former fiancée while Rom thinks she won't quit ballet for him (and actually despises his former fiancée).

Anyway, it's chicklit, but actually quite good one, as the setting and the background topic (ballet) and some great characters like the star ballerina and the ballet master - a very cute couple in their old days - make it more than just a love story. I also liked the comedic moments in it, especially when Harriet has to replace her friend for a job and jumps out of a cake to dance in a gentlemens' club, where her fiancé Edward turned out to be.

Reading updates in January

One year ago, I just had finished a lot of light reading to get through the dark Icelandic winter, especially chicklit seemed to be on my mood, among others The Nanny Diaries, the very awful Sex and the City and the surprisingly good Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood.
Now, because of exams and a tighter schedule evolving around courses and their preparation and also rugby, not so many books have been checked off.

I had to read the insightful but somewhat dense Imagined Community by Benedict Anderson for one of my courses, which I recommend to anyone interested in nationalisms and how they were born, give that you can stand through detailed Indonesian examples.

Then, after reading the last pages of A Passage to India by Forster that I started mid-december and did not get a chance to continue because of exams, I speeded through L'étranger by Albert Camus in one of my very boring courses to end it the night afterwards.
I absolutely loved Forster. I do not know how many times I picked up my pencil and marked sentences that were simply beautiful and very strong and universal. I am glad that I finally read one of his works and am really looking forward to pick up A Room with a View and Maurice.

Speaking of this French name, I have recently read The Amazing Maurice and his educated Rodents by Terry Pratchett for Marg's Pratchett challenge. More about this in a review, that I hopefully will not forget to write soonish...

And now, I am currently reading In the Walled Gardens by Anahita Firouz, a story on pre-revolutionary Iran, a setting I am particularly fond of.

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.