Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Asterix and Obelix...my heros!

I have adored Asterix and Obelix since I was a child. My mother is German, and I learnt German by speaking with her and also swapping Asterix and Obelix books with my Uncle in Germany. He used my ones to learn English and I used his to learn German. They are so amazing. The names are based on words in the language they are published. For example, Obelix stems from obelisk, Dogmatix from dogmatic and Vitalstatistix from vital statistics. This method is applied in other languages and dialects, for example Idefix is the French version of Dogmatix. Even the jokes suit the local population. They may seem like simple comic books, but they are actually very complex, clever little books, suitable for youngsters and grown-ups alike. I highly recommend them. The films are also very good, available in cartoon or with real people. Both make good use of the foreign accents. Their web-site is very good, particularly for practising language skills.

American Themes

I can't believe I have left it so long, but I have been distracted by some good books. I am currently reading "After The Rain", a story set around a restaurant in a small, rural town in Vermont. New England is another place I love to read about.

One of my favourite authors, Alice Hoffman, writes beautiful, complex stories about people and how their lives intertwine. One of her more recent books, Probable Future, developed the concept that people are not always what they seem, and her latest book, Blackbird House, focused on the lifetime of a house and the lives of the people that lived there. I really enjoy books about small town life in America, picturing their lives, comparing them to mine. Anne Tyler sets all her books in Baltimore and again tells the complex stories of people living there. The characters in all these books are so rich and alive, I get lost in them. Adriana Trigiani is another great author who writes about Italian immigrants in America, living in small towns. Again, the stories are so full of life, you can imagine everything that is happening to them, as if it was your own hometown.

Until next time....

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Stories of India

Well, so much for writing everyday. Life is hectic, but I can always find time to read. When I hit 30, I started to become more interested in my roots. My background is European/Asian. I am not a great fan of factual books. I love fiction and stories, and if there is an element of fact, all the better.

At the moment I am reading Hullabaloo in the Guava Orchard. It paints a really vivid picture of Indian people, and I am really enjoying it. I don't know how realistic it is, but one day I will visit India and find out for myself. I like reading books by Rumer Godden, and Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, both of whom also paint beautiful and strong images of India.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Stories in the workplace

Stories are being used increasingly in the workplace, to share knowledge and learn from experience, whether good or bad. They are easy to understand, often quite short, and also can be very entertaining, which makes it easier to learn.

I am a keen follower of Ron Donaldson, who is the Senior Knowledge Ecologist for English Nature. He has written and presented on his experiences with storytelling and you can read one of his articles, "A Natural KM Narrative," published by Inside Knowledge, here.

Friday, September 30, 2005


I love reading and listening to stories and I have discovered some fine podcasts to enhance the experience.

Elizabeth Rose is a storyteller from America and tells engrossing stories via 'Story'cast. She has a great story-telling voice and her tales are enchanting and are a great way to escape and relax and experience another life.

Another podcast that I like is The Twain Reader, where the podcaster regularly reads sections of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

I found both of these podcasts via the iTunes Podcast Directory.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Addicted to books

It seems as though my life revolves around books. I have always loved reading, my first job was in a bookshop and then while at university I worked part-time in the library and eventually qualified as a librarian. I even met my husband over a pile of books, and fortunately, although we have different tastes in books, (he likes fact, I like fiction and complete escapism), we both share a love of reading.

But this isn't supposed to be a blog about librarians or me. I just wanted to discuss my favourite books and hopefully learn about new authors. So, what I will try to do on a regular basis is write a bit about my favourite authors and books, so watch this space.....