Book Review: Men of Men

“Best historical novelist? I say Wilbur Smith, with his swashbuckling novels of Africa. The bodices rip and the blood flows. You can get lost in Wilbur Smith and misplace all of August.” – Stephen King I first read Wilbur Smith in high school – it was one of his most famous novels, and probably the only one…

Book Review: Circe

Circe by Madeline Miller was one of the acclaimed new additions to my to-read list, and as a fan of her previous book – The Song of Achilles – I started it the moment it arrived. It tells of the nymph-witch Circe, daughter of Helios, maybe most famous for her part in the Odyssea. In…

A Day in the Life of Ancient Rome – Better Than Time Travel

Did you know that Ancient Romans lived in structures – insulae – similar to our own apartment buildings? Only few could afford a domus – the Roman houses we see in movies. Did you also know that the Roman Forum was fairly preserved, marble and gold included, until the Renaissance, when Pope Julius II decided…

Who Are We — a Post-”Sapiens” Reflection

I read Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens a while ago and it put me in a mild state of panic. Most of the facts and many of the insights are not new, but Harari bundles them in a succinct, neat package. The result is an eureka moment of sheer terror. His analysis and the logical build…

What I Read – What I Am

I hope you had a cozy holiday season with breakfasts in bed, curled up with a book – doing whatever and with whomever fills up your soul. As always – may the new year bring you subtle meanings, clever turns of phrase and a rainbow of exhilarating character arcs! What a glorious year 2018 was!…

Call Me By Your Name – Everything Review

I have a movie/book hangover. Is that still a thing? With so few titles really impressing me lately, both on screen and on page, I am happy to be miserable and heart-broken by Call Me By Your Name. (Not because of the story, but because it is over.) The book, the movie, and the soundtrack…

Books and Coffee – A Modern Love Story

Nothings stops me in my tracks as often as a gorgeous photo of a book beside a steaming cup of coffee. Kudos to all the patient souls who not only take a brief snap of their cozy moment, but take time to set it up in a lavishly bookish way. You have all been an…

A Year in Books

Happy New Year, fellow book nerds and stray literati! May it bring you subtle meanings, clever turns of phrase and a rainbow of exhilarating character arcs! One of my favourite things to do on the 1st of January (after strolling around a silent hangover-battling city and listening to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra New Year’s Concert…

Book Review: Tom Hanks’ Uncommon Type

Tom Hanks also writes and very well at that. I was aware of his love for typewriters, after I had come across an app he had sponsored (or something), which aimed to make writing on an iPhone resemble typing on a typewriter. To the extent that is possible, which is not great. When I saw…

Book Review: The Birth Of Venus

The Birth Of Venus is Sarah Dunant’s first historical novel (not her debut though, as I had wrongly gathered from my pre-reading research on the book). It is set again during the Renaissance, for which Dunant seems to have developed a certain panache, and tells the story of Alessandra – a young Florentine woman and…