A Trip, a Fall, and Two Broken Fingers…

… are a serious inconvenience not just for blogging, but for basically everything. Have you ever tried washing your hair with one hand? Button a shirt? Tie your shoes? For the past two weeks, I have basically just been moping about, feeling sorry for myself, missing all of the blogging fun. I really wanted to write a few more reviews for German Literature Month. Caroline, I’m sorry I didn’t get up my review of Alles Umsonst (All for Nothing). I completely agree with what you said about the book, and I’m looking forward to your selections for next year’s Literature and War Readalong.

For the rest of the year, I just plan to read, both my books and your reviews. But I hope to be back in full force in 2017. Until then, I leave you with some quick reviews of great books I’ve listened to over the past few weeks.

thereaderI read The Reader when it was first published about 20 years ago. We had multiple copies of it at home, because my mom, my sister, and I all wanted to read it at the same time and no one wanted to wait. It was a worthy investment, because we were all very affected by it. It was the first book that I read that humanized a person who collaborated with the Nazis. Since this person’s motives can never be fully explained because of the story’s setup, the book has stayed, and will continue to stay, with me. It is masterfully done, in my opinion. My “re-read” of this book was just as moving as my first encounter with it, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

swordsRuth Park’s Swords and Crowns and Rings was Brona’s readalong pick for this year’s AusReading Month. What a glorious book! It is the story of two childhood friends, Cushie, the daughter of a well-situated family, and Jackie, a dwarf living next door, who know early on how much they mean to each other. But circumstances work against them, they lose sight of each other, and it is years until they are finally reunited. What makes this not-unusual story so special is the backdrop of Australia during the Great Depression. And, as I have already told Brona, the audio version is not just a reading. It’s a performance, and I loved every minute of it.


fifteendogsFifteen Dogs is yet another book I’ve picked up because of Naomi, and once again, I have not been disappointed. Because of a bet made by the Greek Gods, fifteen dogs are given human consciousness to see if they can be happy. It is a witty and funny story that is narrated by Alexis himself. I can understand why some people didn’t enjoy this book because dogs die, but it didn’t bother me. I think the points Alexis makes about human nature, and the way he makes them, far outweigh the appearance of death. If you think that it is funny that a religious human being thinks of God as all-knowing, but a religious dog thinks of God as not being led by any thought, and both coming to complete opposite conclusions by the same logic, then this book is for you.

Enjoy the holiday season, my friends!




  1. Oh, TJ, how awful! And frustrating. But, I’m with Debbie – take advantage of it as well as you can and get some reading done!
    I’m so glad you liked Fifteen Dogs. I always worry that my recommendations will be disappointing to other people, and am always happy to hear about it when they’re not. 🙂
    Oh, The Reader… I can still remember that book. And the movie, too. That was a tough one.
    And now I have All For Nothing and the Ruth Parks book on my list – both sound awesome!

    Have a wonderful Holiday, and hopefully you’ll be all healed up soon! 🙂

  2. Eek! Your poor fingers! And poor you having to deal with all the attendant hassle of broken fingers. I will never ever underestimate the level of inconvenience of having messed up your fingers and toes can be. They seem so small and unimportant, and yet.

  3. This is terrible! You poor thing! I definitely take my functioning fingers for granted but have often wondered what I would do if I broke a limb in terms of getting to work/doing work. I hope they are healing nicely anyway. Take care of yourself, do the things that are easy and we’ll all still be here when you’re ready to come back, all healed up!

  4. Oh my goodness, I’m so sorry to hear about your fall. You have my sympathies. Several years ago now, I spilt a cup of scalding hot coffee over one of my arms. I was wearing a jumper at the time, and the liquid soaked in before I could pull it off. I ended up with terrible burns on my arm and hand, both of which were bandaged up for a few weeks. It was so difficult to do anything with only one functioning hand – as you say, just trying to get to grips with everyday things like washing my hair or getting dressed turned into mini challenges! I really hope you are back to full fitness very soon.

    The Reader is such a special book. I read it around the time of the film adaptation and it has stayed with me ever since. Glad to hear it lived up to your memories.

  5. Ouch! I hope you’re healing well. A few years agao, I cut a tendon in my (right) hand and, after surgery, had to wear a device that rendered my hand useless. For six weeks. Yes, it’s frustrating! But take advantage of the time that you can’t possibly expect yourself to do other things, and read, read, read, my friend! 🙂

  6. Poor you! I’m so so sorry this happened. I hope you are feeling better. It must have been painful.
    I’m glad you liked the Kempowski. It’s terrific, right? I hope you’re well now. I can imagine how difficult it must have been.

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