Posted by: Corri van de Stege | June 12, 2011

‘Collecting’ e-books for Cyprus holiday

Even though I had a less than scintillating experience during my recent visit to Singapore (when my e-reader fell victim to the overflow of a seaside swimming pool) I am determined not to pack a pile of books that will weigh a ton, but to add to my collection on e-reader.  I had intended to take a hard copy of  the Berlin Noir collection of  thrillers by Philip Kerr  but having started it I have decided against it: not only is it quite bulky, I also have become bored with it.   The language is one of overpowering the reader, I think due to the constant use of  symbolisms,  forms of colloquialisms (Germany, in particular Berlin of course, late thirties, within the context of Nazi rule and Hitler’s ascendancy to power), and connotation.   Sentences such as ‘His was an order of life not much higher than the calcareous sponge’  are preceded or followed quick and fast by descriptions of people who are gross examples of the nazis and make them caricatures: ‘…Neumann its least attractive specimen.  His eyebrows, twitching  and curling like two poisoned caterpillars, were joined together by an irregular scribble of poorly matched hair.  Behind thick glasses that were almost opaque with greasy thumbprints, his grey eyes were shifty and nervous, searching the floor as if he expected that at any moment he would be lying flat on it……  ………teeth that were so badly stained with tobacco they looked like two wooden fences.’

I can only take so much of this I find, and having arrived halfway through the second book, I have simply had enough, even though to start  off I was quite intrigued by the character of Bernie Gunther and by the portrayal of what Nazi Germany was like,  I simply don’t like being hit by verbal hammers, non-stop.

So, it’s not coming with me.

Let’s just see what is on my e-reader (unread):

  • Carlos Ruiz Zafon: The Midnight Palace
  • Dennis Lehane: Moonlight Mile
  • Henning Mankell: The Man from Beijing
  • Jed Rubenfeld: The Death Instinct
  • Kazuo Ishiguro: A Pale View of the Hills
  • Michael Dibdin: Blood Rain
  • Rosamund Lupton: Afterwards
  • Sebastian Faulks: Faulks on Fiction
  • Tea Obreht: The Tiger’s Wife
  • Tessa Hadley: The London Train
  • Tracy Chevalier: Remarkable Creatures

Enough to get on with, I think, and something for all kinds of moods as well.  It’s quite brilliant that you can take all this on one simple device and don’t have to worry about your suitcase being overweight. Must avoid dropping it in sand or in the pool though….  

  Whilst on holiday I will also post on the books I will be giving away, so don’t forget to check in, also on all the other blogs that will be giving away books.

Literary Giveaway Hop hosted at Leeswammes



  1. A bit overwrought, that Philip Kerr, if hilarious, though I couldn’t stomach that for more than 50 pages I think.

    For my holiday, I have downloaded Mark Kermode’s It’s Only A Movie, which captures his hectoring voice perfectly, but is also surprising erudite, witty and well written. I am also looking at samples from Jar City by Arnaldur Indridason, Dark Matter by Leipzig-based author Juli Zeh, Iain Banks’s Transition and Claire Messud’s The Emperor’s Children.

    I’m still looking for a good non-fiction book on a par with Too Big Too Fail or Game Change, but can’t think of any. You any ideas?

    Anyway, can’t wait for our mutual holiday. And I hope this comment passes your spam filter with all those embedded links…..

  2. I’ve approved your comment 🙂 – I like your list and now think I must have another look. I’m definitely becoming an e-reader junkey. I’ll check out some of the non-fiction books. I’ve got Tony Blair’s Journey but that may just be hard going now that it all seems so much history! Zadie Smith has got some interesting essays in her Changing My Mind. Michael Foley’s The Age of Absurdity is quite good fun, but not sure if it’s available in e-book format….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: