Reading recommendations of the month

I love to read as much as I like to write. Especially in the last months, I focused my attention on writing handbooks and travel books that can help me advance with my writing. Also, I was looking for books that can help me to discover new places and inspire for finding new destination to feature.

Every time I travel I have at least one big book in my bag. The time has a different dimension when I am away of the computer and the reading goes smoother. In the last three weeks, I did a lot of trips together with some good and interesting books.

As I need continuously to improve my German, I found at my generous local library a couple of books with a travel topic.

Das Paradies liegt im Pommern, by Liselotte Schwiers is a memoir about childhood in this green and lake-rich area. I crossed Pommern several times in the last months and loved the picturesque landscape and the quiet green fields.  It is a classical book, not necessarily entertaining or surprising, telling simple stories. The kind of book that can fill your time when all the other good books are gone.

Tine Wittler is a famous media star, but the country girl me did not know about that before finding her book about a trip to Mauritania to document the standards of women beauty. Written as a diary starting months before the trip per se, and it is interesting from the point of view of the travel planning tips, especially for a destination that presents certain safety issues. I was not extremely interested by the ‘beauty’ part that took though the most part of the story, but for an easy reading, it is not that bad. 

My third and last German lecture was Nadine Gruenter account of the summer life in Trouville. A book that I liked for the ironic yet warm descriptions of characters, the architectural detail and the social relevance of every single move in such a crowded place. We are talking about France after all, where the bakeries are playing one of the biggest role in connecting people, events and latest gossips.

The next book is fascinating and it is that kind of wake-up call that I want to read from time to time. Alexandra Horowitz’s On Walking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes is a reminder of why we are writing and how we need to better use our senses to see, hear and understand the city. Even if it is about the two streets away from our house that we cross at least 3 times the day. I haven’t been so enthusiastic about a book since I discovered James Elkins’ How to Use your Eyes during my art classes years ago (as I did have a lot of free time, I also had some institutional artistry experiences).

I finish my bookish recommendation for today – some more books are on my shelves waiting to be featured – with a book about how to write freely, without complexes and getting the best possible voice, regardless what other people say: Brenda Ueland, If you Want to Write. The book was written in…1938 – it is not a misspelling – but republished several times, and did not feel anything outdated. An encouraging book for anyone coping with mistrust, misplaced jokes about the quality of their writing and other sarcasm, especially from the part of people that their whole life kept editing, but never publishing something valuable. ‘Even if I knew for certain that I would never have anything published again, and would never make another cent from it, I will still keep in writing’. Keep this in mind and don’t give up writing. It is only Tuesday so a lot of time left to publish at least 400 words this week. 

Happy writing and reading everyone!


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