I usually look for historical fiction when I visit a new place. But during a recent sailing trip among the spectacular Swedish skerries, the only novel I found with a local setting in the bookshop of the picturesque island of Sandhamn was a contemporary murder mystery. It took me only a few days to devour it.
Detective Inspector Thomas Andreasson has become a bit of a workaholic with not much of a social life Read more
Dr. Wolfgang J. Bittner erklärt, was es bedeutet, ‘hebräisch’ zu denken – in Geschichten statt durch Begriffe. Hier ein Auszug aus seiner These.
‘Wir sind bei einem der wesentlichen Aspekte dessen, was man hebräisches Denken, hebräische Wirklichkeitsauffassung nennen kann. Über einen Begriff kann ich nachdenken. Das hebräische Denken ist interessiert an den Vorgängen, die man betrachten kann. Im Musical Anatevka, das auf die jiddische Dichtung von Tewje dem Milchmann (Scholem Alejchem) zurück geht, taucht der Begriff Liebe auf. Read more
This is a very well-crafted story of an extended family of Huguenots caught up in the frenzied and irrational persecution under King Louis XIV after he repealed the Edict of Nantes in 1685. It is based on a true incident, in which smuggled documents from sympathisers in Holland are salvaged from a shipwreck near Rochefort on the west coast of France. Read more
A frolicking and rather preposterous classic tale of romance, gallantry, bravery and vengeance set in 17th century France (and England). D’Artagnan and his three friends Aramis, Athos and Porthos are never shy of a duel or some undercover mission and, although their own morals are questionable, they always fight for justice and always emerge (almost) unscathed from whatever scrape they fall into.
This book contains vivid descriptions, clever character studies and rich prose. It is extremely well Read more
This moving book can be read as a series of interlocking romances, but it’s much more than that. Life on the Orkney island of Raumsey is tough after the Great War and the widow Isa, who has returned from Canada with her daughter Annie, is poor and hardly able to maintain the family croft without a man in the home. So she marries the local Presbyterian minister.
Annie wants to study and persuades the attractive young teacher Alexander to give her lessons in the evenings. The complications start as we follow her and several other characters’ troubled relationships. Read more
Another brilliantly researched and well-told story of desperately strained relationships.
Two overlapping plots lead us on, as we explore the ethics of mercy killing as well as the torment a respected public figure goes through when he falls in love with another woman and his wife disposes of all his possessions.
Immortality! In the age of unlimited stellar computing power and virtual reality, it at last seems possible. When your body wears out, you can be uploaded into the Metaform and then downloaded into a new bio-frame (i.e. a biologically enhanced human body). But the incorporeal personalities within the mainframe also have a life of their own within the mainframe. Read more
A Facebook friend (# 1) shared this image from the AtheistRepublic, adding the caption: “Controversy alert! (But I’ll still listen if you disagree. 😂)”.
After several other comments, one from me triggered the following exchange:
Me:I’m a scientist who can’t quite manage to stretch my faith to believe there’s no God behind this wondrous world.
# 1:See, that does fascinate me. I can perfectly understand why lots of people need to ascribe a coherent, humanlike intelligence to the design of the universe; the incontrovertible facts of science tend to be explained in relatively complex language, and one really does need to concentrate. Where I’m interested is when genuinely intelligent people with a sound grasp of scientific principles also have this need. I get quite irritable when anthropomorphic viewpoints are described as facts, so I’d love to know why you, in particular, believe there must be a god. But only if you have time one day, and can be bothered! 😁
Me:Not sure this is the place for apologetics. But here goes:Read more
The story revolves around forty-eight year old Amanda and sixty-six year old Tess, whom we come to know intimately. They are very different from each other in many ways, but each struggling with who they really are, or would like to be.
We are transported back and forth between the days of their respective youth with the blossoming of their first loves, and present-day life in Dublin’s fair city, where they happen to live – separately and at loggerheads – in the same old Georgian house. Amanda’s career-obsessed husband is found to be unfaithful, her teenage children provide an occasional alternative perspective on their expensive but child family life. Meanwhile Tess has given up on life after her younger sister ran off with the man she loved. Each of them resolves to turn over a new leaf, make peace, and start living again. New romances develop and things seem to work out.
The time-hopping is somewhat irritating and confusing, as we tend to forget their ages in any particular scene.