Some of my Books

Some of my books. Photo: Ulla Hennig

When you take a closer look at this photo (and at this part of my bookshelf) you will learn a lot about me:

  1. I like to dive into strange and mysterious worlds. You’ll find two of Marion Zimmer-Bradley’s books: “Firebrand”, which is about the fall of Troja, and “the Mists of Avalon”.
  2. I like historical novels: Two books of Jean M. Auel, “The Valley of Horses”, and the German translation of “The Clan of the Cave Bear”. One book written by Ken Follett “The Pillars of the Earth”.
  3. I like any kind of suspense fiction authors – Stephen King, Wilbur Smith, Patricia Shaw and Barbara Wood.

The selection doesn’t sound very high class, does it? Not very intellectual. In Germany we have a differentiation between “Serious literature” and “Entertaining literature”, and the latter is frowned upon as sub-standard literature.Academics read that kind of literature as other people do, but they often pretend to read them only “because they have to write about them” – funny, isn’t it?

I think however, that a book which entertains the reader, which does not bore him, takes her into other worlds, makes her forget the world around her, is an excellent book.

My way of reading fiction is quite a strange one – I scan the book in order to find out if it is worth reading sentence for sentence. The second time I read the book wthout noticing how time goes by. And I have some books which I read more than once. These are the ones I keep, and some of them are among those on the shelf – the others I give away to a store where they are sold again for one Euro.

Of course I read non-fiction as well – software handbooks, biographies and autobiographies (although I would say that there is some part of fiction in autobiographies), and blog posts. But when I am dreaming of a reading retreat I dream of reading fiction.

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About Ulla Hennig

I live and work in Berlin. Taking photos is one of my hobbies, and writing is one of my hobbies, too. So I decided not only to show some of my pictures here but also present some of the thought which came wth the pictures.

4 responses to “Some of my Books”

  1. Dianne says :

    What a wonderful picture, Ulla! I love looking at other people’s book collections, it really does tell you lots about a person. Thank you for sharing yours!

    I agree about a good book being one that entertains, regardless of genre or intellectual classification. I have a very eclectic collection of books but I tend to read fiction for escaping, getting lost in a good book is one of my greatest pleasures. (Have recently very much enjoyed the Song of Fire and Ice series by GRR Martin … excitedly awaiting the next installment!)

    I share your love of Marion Zimmer Bradley, having written my MA thesis about “Mists of Avalon”, entitled ‘The New Merlin’ and have a copy of “The Pillars of the Earth” on my To Read pile, since it was highly recommended by both my parents.

    Love your astute aside about fiction in autobiographies, Ulla … I can’t remember the last time I read an autobiography, but I’m sure you’re right! :O)

  2. Barb Hartsook says :

    I love books! The only thing better is a collection of them!

    On a reading retreat I’d take some suspense or a mystery to solve… Sidney Sheldon, Perri O’Shaughnessy, John Lescroart, Vince Flynn, T. Davis Bunn.

    For just good story — Jeffrey Archer, Emilie Richards, Kristin Hannah, Rebecca Wells.

    Being a grandma of kids who also love to read, I’ll enjoy a good youth book as well. One recent series was The Curious Benedict Society trilogy by Trenton Lee Stewart, another a sports biography series by Dan Gutman.

    On my list to borrow from the library this week are: Pillars of the Earth (did I come to the right blog or what?), Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler, and Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.

    I loved your comment regarding autobiographies… my dad, an English lit and history teacher, preferred biographies to autos — said they were more objective and better stories. 🙂

    I don’t scan the whole book as you do, but I do read the first few pages before purchasing or even borrowing a book. Since I read for pleasure, I want to be ‘pleasured’ by the writing. Haha!

    Did you read The Alchemist, and do you recommend it?

  3. Barb Hartsook says :

    …one more thing. I love history as told through story, fiction or nonfiction. I look for the Afterwords, or acknowledgements or notes, to see how much of the background in authentic. One of the best ‘history’ books I’ve ever read is Anna Waldo’s Sacajawea. The author ‘fleshed out’ the history with story. Outstanding read.

  4. Bena says :

    What a wonderful picture, Ulla! Indeed! Would love to see more of your wounderful flat. Will you be sharing more ‘insights’ of yours? Bena

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