Kindle in Motion, Pottermore…

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Harry Potter, #1)
by J.K. Rowling,  Jim Kay

Rating: 5 out of 5.

It‘s been ages since I read Harry Potter. More or less when the books were published the first time, in the original UK editions. I ordered myself an illustrated version a few years ago, but never read it. Every now and then I take a look at some of the illustrations — very pretty! Now a friend mentioned Kindle in Motion. It‘s basically the same version as my hardcover, as a kindle and with animated illustrations — it‘s mesmerizing!

I can‘t get over the owl on page 43 and how it moves! So cool… Diagon Alley is so pretty in this! 


And I love how the Golden Snitch zoomes around the page, when the crate is opened and Harry gets his introduction to Quidditch!

This is a very nice addition to the illustrated edition. It brings it to life and enhances the already pretty illustrations well.

Blast from the past

The Far Pavilions
by M.M. Kaye

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Around thirtyfive years ago, give or take a few, I watched the TV miniseries with Ben Cross. I am pretty sure I loved it. I think I read the book afterwards and liked it as well, so I will give this 4 stars for now. 

Who knows, I might re-read it at some point…

Shōgun (Asian Saga, #1)
by James Clavell

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As a teenager and in my twenties I read this book three or four times. Loved it. The exotic culture, the adventure, the difficulties of the English captain to understand the alien society and language, his slow growth throughout the story… Great stuff. And I loved the TV adaptation with Richard Chamberlain and Toshiro Mifune. I can hear the soundtrack in the back of my head, as I type this…

What is your blast-from-the-past that you barely remember, but probably liked and are a little scared to pick up again?

Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?

Shakespeare’s Sonnets (Kindle Edition)
by William Shakespeare

Sir Patrick Stewart, lovely man, reads Shakespeare’s sonnets on Instagram, one a day. This will take a while. Just mentioning it again, in case you haven’t noticed. Lovely to listen to his gorgeous voice and very relaxing. He must be the most adored man in social media right now. 

So, today Sir Pat read that most famous sonnet #18. I didn‘t know that‘s what it‘s called, but I recognized it right away. Lovely!


Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day? 

Thou art more lovely and more temperate:

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,

And summer’s lease hath all too short a date: 

Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,

And often is his gold complexion dimm’d; 

And every fair from fair sometime declines,

By chance, or nature’s changing course, untrimm’d;

But thy eternal summer shall not fade

Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st;

Nor shall Death brag thou wander’st in his shade,

When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st; 

So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,

So long lives this, and this gives life to thee. 

Sir Patrick on Instagram today

My daily dose of Zen…

Sir Patrick Stewart, a seemingly lovely man, started to read Shakespeare’s sonnets on Instagram. Just mentioning this, in case you haven’t noticed or aren’t on there… Lovely, really, to listen to his gorgeous voice, even if I sometimes don’t have a clue what he reads… and very relaxing.

Here is today’s offering, sonnet #10:

A Sonnet a Day

For shame deny that thou bear’st love to any,

Who for thyself art so unprovident.

Grant if thou wilt, thou art belov’d of many,

But that thou none lov’st is most evident;

For thou art so possessed with murd’rous hate

That ‘gainst thyself thou stick’st not to conspire,

Seeking that beauteous roof to ruinate

Which to repair should be thy chief desire.

O change thy thought, that I may change my mind.

Shall hate be fairer lodged than gentle love?

Be as thy presence is, gracious and kind,

Or to thyself at least kind-hearted prove.

  Make thee another self for love of me,

  That beauty still may live in thine or thee

I copied the sonnet from here, where you can also find a useful modern text adaptation.

Rough storm

Listen and watch…

The Tempest

by William Shakespeare

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Hell is empty, And all the devils are here.

I am listening/watching this on an app on my iPad. I posted about it a few days ago.

As mentioned there, my main motivation really was to watch Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi read this at me. And the hope of understanding it better. The biggest help for the understanding of the text were the annotations and explanation in the app. 

Very, very good! I recommend this app and if they bring out some other play, I will gladly pay for it and watch/listen, whatever play it might be!

Link to app

For tracking purposes I downloaded a kindle unlimited version as well and re-read some parts there as well.

How familiar am I with Shakespeare? Not very. I watched some movies and I read Hamlet about 30 years ago. The Tempest is a first for me, in any kind of medium, I think. I tracked down a movie version with Helen Mirren, that I will probably watch in the next few days.

I am not going to review the actual play, I am sure everything has been said, that could be written about it. And much more knowledgeably.

McKellen is fantastic as Prospero in the app. 

The instalove is a bit odd. They meet, they like what they see and on the spot decide to get hitched. Ok…

At times I felt the need for a translation into plain, current-day English. Some of the speeches went right over my head.

The motivations of the various characters were not always clear to me. Why did Prospero ‚abjure‘, for example, and forgive everybody?

„How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world

That has such people in’t.“

Is this where Aldous Huxley got the title for his book?

I am sure I will come back to this, re-read and discovery many new things I missed the first time around.

The Tempest by William Shakespeare

I am listening/watching this on an app on my iPad. Unabridged, with extras. To keep this entry short, more behind a spoiler tag (which it is not):


* A cast of professional Shakespearean actors performing the play
* The full text of The Tempest as published in the First Folio
* A full digital version of Arden Shakespeare The Tempest including full notes and commentary
* A linked historical time line of Shakespeare’s life, his plays, his theatres, and the historical context
* Video talks by both Sir Ian McKellen and Professor Sir Jonathan Bate on characters, themes, and the overall play
* Full breakdowns and explanations of every character with a visual rundown of all their lines across the scenes
* A full “play at a glance” with illustrations and summaries to explain the plot with key quotes and events.
* A history of all the major productions of The Tempest from the 17th century to the present day.
* The ability to make notes, copy and highlight text that can be collected, correlated and exported for later use.

Pretty cool. My main motivation really was to watch Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi read this at me. And the hope of understanding it better.…


For tracking purposes I downloaded a kindle unlimited version as well.

How familiar am I with Shakespeare? Not very. I watched some movies and I read Hamlet about 30 years ago.

More to come…

#StayHome24in48 #StayHome

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Finally done, halleluhjah.

The Incal Vol. 6: The Fifth Essence - Planet DiFoolThe Incal Vol. 6: The Fifth Essence – Planet DiFool by Alejandro Jodorowsky
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I am pretty ambivalent about the whole experience and glad to be done with it. I think I do not like John DiFool much. I pretty much agree with those 78 million…. What a wanker.

The twist at the end was neat and there were some nice panels towards the end.

But mostly I felt very meh and couldn‘t wait to get to the end. The resolution of the storyline was underwhelming. This felt a bit like smoking too much weed and listening to Ravi Shankar‘s Best Of.

Definitely not picking up more of this. Yes, it‘s a classic. And if you are a completionist, have a look at it for the sake of rounding off your experience of European graphic novels. Other than that maybe read the first volume and don‘t bother with the rest.

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Blast from the past…

How time flies. I reviewed this over 10 years ago…

If on a Winter's Night a TravellerIf on a Winter’s Night a Traveller by Italo Calvino
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Every now and then I read something that is not my “normal” choice, to keep things interesting. Sometimes it works and I find something that I really enjoy, other times it does not work at all. This is my worst choice for a long time. I was skimming pages at the end of the first chapter already. The first page sounded really good, but somehow this book never got off the ground for me. Intriguing idea, but there just seemed to be no point to the narrative. Unless it was to show us how smart and witty the author is.

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Dream novella

I just found an apparently unposted draft, so here it is!

TraumnovelleTraumnovelle by Arthur Schnitzler

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fridolin and Albertine are married with a child. One evening Albertine confesses to Fridolin that she had sexual phantasies involving a man she had seen during their vacation. That sets off Fridolin on an exploration into his life, his wishes and desires.

In 1926, when this was originally published, it was probably a pretty scandalous book. My thoughts were more along the lines of “oh, another guy exploring his midlife crisis!” Which is probably really shallow of me. Eroticism is only one aspect of this novella. It looks at our dreams, our wants and how we deal with them.

Go read some of the other reviews, they looked at this properly and made an effort to give you a well rounded and educated idea about this famous piece.

The movie Eyes Wide Shut is based on this novella, but I have never watched it, so I can’t say how it compares.

The delivery of the German audiobook I listened to was pretty wooden.

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