we need to talk about Kevin

If I was to choose a book of the year it surely would be Lionel Shrivers ‘We need to talk about Kevin’. Some time in September I found out that she was giving a talk in the Queen Elisabeth Hall and bought a ticket and went there yesterday. Wow. 98 per cent of the audience were women and I guess that another 70% were American. As the room filled it resembled more and more a womens’ party meeting. Then Lionel Shriver arrived. She was wonderful. An intellectual with wit and a sparkle in her eyes, enjoying audience and the discussion which followed the reading. The reading was great and somewhat colourful. The discussion was very interesting. An American woman asked why Eva, the main character in the book hasn’t looked for professional help/therapy(‘I don’t know anybody who hasn’t looked for help!’) and Shrivers answer was that in America people don’t believe in simple tragedy and always look for someone to blame for, somebodys fault. I was reminded of 9/11, but this also applies for disasters like school schootings. Probably this arouses from the wish to keep control over situations. But what struck me more was the discussion about how motherhood changes a womans’ life, how she becomes a kind of public property. And then in a time of changing partners, the blood bondage with children tend to be stronger, lasting longer than what we call ‘love’. If you haven’t read the book, read it!

Posted by steffi at 8:16 PM
Categories: books


Dementors in Germany???

After ‚We need to talk about Kevin’ I was looking for a differnt book and decided to read the new Harry Potter. It is the usual cookie like reading. Very enjoyable and light(if not consumed in too large quantities). I like Rowlings style which often makes me smile when reading(when I read the first Potter I laughed out loud-). When I started with ‚The Half Blood Prince ’yesterday I found some interesting similarities. The Muggle prime minister is visited by a wizard polititian who informs him about the dangers of Lord Voldermort. He is also informed that the depression and bad mood in the country is actually caused by the Dementors, who have left Azkaban to join the dark Lord and who are currently breeding. This is responsible for the mist in the country and the dark athmosphere. Well, maybe the Dementors have settled in Germany, I had to think, because the description is how experienced Germany over the last year. Well, has Angela Merkel the power of Hermione Granger? Who could be a Harry Potter in Germany?

Posted by steffi at 11:41 PM
Categories: books


My attention was drawn to this book by an essay the author, Lionel Shriver had written for the Guardian. The title was ‚No kids please we are being selfish’. In this article she reflected on our western world in which many women and couples choose not to have any children. Her book ‚We need to talk about Kevin’ was mentioned. A couple of days later I heard an excerpt of it on the radio and bought it. Well, you can’t call it an easy read and one could state that this might not bet he rigth book to be read at the beginning of a teacher training. The novel is written in long letters, which eva Katchadourian writes to her estranged husband. She reflects on their marriage and their son, Kevin. Right from the start she had difficulties to engage emotionally with her son. He was a strange child and Eva tries to find the roots for what the nearlly 15-year old teenager did. In a well planned trap he kills seven of his fellow high-school students, a cafeteria worker and a teacher. She writes grippingly open and direct about her feelings and memories. Like a surgeon she doesn’t spare out anything and confronts her husband with her view of her sons development and psyche. Slowely the whole tragedy evolves and draws the reader into this family which tried to act normal untill the outbreak. Tough stuff! Read it!

Posted by steffi at 11:38 PM
Categories: books



My flatmate recommended this book and as soon as I started it I could not stop reading. The author Patricia Melo takes us to a favela settlement in Rio de Janeiro, to a poor boy nicknamed Kingie who lives with his mother and sister; he admires the trafficker and leader Miltao. The eleven year old wants to work for him and become one of his men. From the first page we are taken to an inferno , which spirals down. Incredible. Intense. Cruel. Read it.inferno

Posted by steffi at 3:27 PM
Categories: books



Die Bücher von Cees Nooteboom sind normalerweise Garanten für Lesevergnügen und darauf war ich auch eingestellt, als ich sein Buch ‚In den niederländischen Bergen’ zur Hand nahm. Eigentlich mag ich Märchen, aber diese Adaption von Andersons Schneekönigin konnte mich leider nicht begeistern. Gut, immer wieder mal gab es Lichtblicke, zum Beispiel, wenn über den Weg, 'auf dem Weg sein' und ‚weg’ sein reflektiert wird. Aber dies waren eben nur Lichtblicke, vergleichbar mit den Sonnentagen im Berliner so genannten 'Frühling'. Alles in allem überflog ich den Text eher als dass ich ihn las und freute mich, als ich auf der letzten Seite angekommen war. Kein Vergleich, beispielsweise zu ‚Mokusei!’, das ich verschlungen hatte, oder ‚Rituale’. Immerhin habe ich jetzt Lust bekommen, diesen alten ledergebundenen Anderson Band herauszusuchen, den ich vor Jahren in England gekauft hatte... Da weiss man, was man hat.
Posted by steffi at 4:56 PM
Categories: books



Was mich angesprochen hatte, war der Titel 84, Charing Cross Road Mein Masterstudium hatte ich am Central St Martins College in London absolviert und das College lag direkt an der Charing Cross Road, DER Buchladenstrasse in London. Selbstverständlich fühlte ich mich dort, wie ein Fisch im Wasser und konnte jeden Tag in diversen Buchläden stöbern gehen und habe übrigens gar nicht so viel gekauft, sondern mich eher im window-shopping geübt. Regelmäßig habe ich in einem der großen Buchkaufhäusern aus einem zweibändigen Kaffeehausführer für London die Adressen von Kaffeehäusern abgeschrieben und diese dann aufgesucht. Ja, und dann ist dieses besagte Buch erschienen, in dem der Briefwechsel einer lesebegeisterten und bibliophilen Amerikanerin und einem Antiquariat in der Charing Cross Road abgedruckt ist. Kurz gefasst, ist dieser Briefwechsel einfach wunderbar und in einer Leseattacke habe ich ihn beinahe auf einmal ‚zu mir genommen’. Man kann danach auch herrlich einfach eine Seite aufschlagen und ‚stöbern’. Der Untertitel lautet: eine Freundschaft in Briefen...nun ja, ich habe jedenfalls gleich danach Papier und Stift gezückt, um einer Freundin zu schreiben...
Posted by steffi at 10:32 AM
Categories: books


the art of vanishing

When I visited Reto last time he gave me a book, he could not put down after having started with reading. We sat in his kitchen and he was cooking. I opened the book and started to read the first page...and found myself half an hour later 30 pages further, drawn into a crazy story about American outlaws and magicians, joint in a revolutionary(or rather anarchistic) circle. It looses some of its originality after 300pages and the drug consumption is not my cup of tea, but still, it is a good way to escape this grey winter. The author is Jim Dodge and the English title of the book is 'Stone junction', in German it is called 'Die Kunst des Verschwindens'. It reminded me a little of Paul Austers 'Mr. Vertigo'. If you can't take a train or plane - disappear with this book!
Posted by steffi at 1:20 PM
Categories: books


seduction garantueed

Posted by steffi at 5:10 PM
Categories: books