Monday, 27 May 2013

The Classics Club - Crime and Punishment, by F. Dostoyevsky

I read Crime and Punishment by F. Dostoyevsky in a readalong organised by  Unputdownables over a period of three months.  This is, in my opinion, the best way to read such a chunk of classic Russian literature - in a rythme that is manageable, with lots of individual perspectives heard on a plot written in a remarkable style and taking place in an era and a society that are mostly foreign to us.  

And yes, Dickens writes about similar circumstances but I find his writing style more "understandable".  Also, the British reality is perhaps nearer my vision of past history in Europe.  In any case, the fact that several people read this at the same time, with different translations (also a great way to learn different aspects of life depending on the translator's sources) and different annotations shedding light to background information, really proved helpful and made such a great book easy to read as well.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Recipe: risotto with chicken and peppers

Today's recipe is my utlimate comfort food:  not only it in devouring it, but also in making it.  The constant, brainless activity of stirring the rice is just so relaxing for me, it's perfect for a evening, when I cannot even think straight anymore.  It's good to know that there are recipes for just such occasions... 
As with most things, it is essential that you have everything ready before you start.  You can thus enjoy the whole process ...

Monday, 6 May 2013

The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox, by Maggie O'Farrell

I bought The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox by Maggie O'Farrell in a book fair for peanuts (I'm not ashamed of my purchasing criteria...).  What a great bargain!  I would never have thought it would prove to be such a good book, and how I would not only enjoy reading it, but thinking about it and about the plot in particular.  You see, I'm always interested in the background work that goes into a book.  I can almost always tell whether an author has carried out serious research for it, which means that this is a subject of interest.  I'm the scholarly type, so obviously I went and researched myself afterwards...

The point in question:  how easy it was up to the early 20th century to have a woman committed to  a psychiatric institution.  

"A man used to be able to admit his daughter or wife to an asylum with just a signature from a GP"

Saturday, 4 May 2013

Recipe: sweet and savoury cheesecakes

sweet cheesecakes out of the oven...
I certainly love cheesecakes:  baked, non-baked, sweet, savoury... Any excuse to have cheese into my meal is good enough for me.  But now I got hold of a new aspect:  individual cheesecakes.  No more cutting, no diet pieces, all in the wonderful muffin form that is so practical.  
This weekend I used two recipes and discovered just how much better a good thing can become:

Thursday, 2 May 2013

The Classics Club: Anne of Green Gables

Sometimes I wonder how I went through childhood without any of the "classic" children's books.  True, I had Verne's fantasy novels and Charlotte's web, but I think I jumped too soon on to "adult" literature and am left wondering whether I've missed on something.  Making up for this, then, is to read such novels now and try to imagine whether I could have appreciated them at a younger age...

Ebookclassics organised a readalong for the month of April of Anne of Green Gables, and while I could not participate in the weekly discussions, I really appreciated the opportunity to visit one of the prolific authors of children's literature, Lucy Maud Montgomery and read the first novel of the Anne series.



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