January 2019: Cathy’s Book Bag



Last book I read: Blood Brothers by Ernst Haffner (translated by Michael Hofmann). I think this short book may have been my best find of 2019. Originally published in 1932 Germany and swiftly banned by the Nazis the following years. Blood Brothers paints a frank but compassionate picture of the young homeless vagabonds and petty criminals of Berlin in the 1920s. Without family, opportunity or home these boys have to forge alliances between themselves to secure food and freedom from the machinations of the society that ever threatened to lock them up in youth centres or prisons. It’s only a short book but it packs them with an array of colourful characters and adventures. Each one sympathetic and villainous in their own way.What became of the author is a mystery; all trace of him disappeared in World War 2 but somehow his story has survived and still speaks a powerful message.

Currently reading: The Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkein. We watched the trilogy over Christmas and it set me off wanting to return to Middle Earth. For the first time ever I have skipped to the end and jumped right in to Return of the King. It has been wonderful escapism for me over the Christmas break where I wanted to read something good but familiar.

Next on my reading list: Fionne got me a lovely set of books for Christmas. I have been going on and on about how much I loved Netflix’s Haunting of Hill House but I have never read the original book, despite absolutely loving ghost stories (see my Halloween reading post here). Fionne has decided to help me out by gifting me a set of gothic reads:

  • The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  • A Rather Haunted Life by Ruth Franklin
  • A Pocketful of Crows by Joanne M Harris

I think these are going to see me through the long winter nights quite nicely!

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