Wednesday, 27 February 2013

Flight Behavior.... the latest novel by Barbara Kingsolver. Im a big fan of some of her work, but also a bit dissapointed in some of her other work . Because they lack, in my eyes, the subtlety that makes my favorites, Poisonwood Bible & The Lacuna, so brilliant. Kingsolver is an amazing storyteller. Stories that make you cry, crinch, laugh and feel embarrased. And she uses all of her books to get a message across. In Poisonwood the role of imperialism on Africa, in The Lacuna the witchhunt on communists in the US by McCarthy. In an intense yet subbtle way. In this book her theme is obviously Climat Change but in a very in your face way that I don't like very much. (here she talks about her motives to write about political issues) Maybe this subject is so close to her heart that it is difficult for her to have some distance. There also is an other theme: the difference between the rich/ well educated and, the poor/ village people. And I love how she points out the gap between the two groups. One sharp remark that doesnot seem to matter but sums it all up at the same time. For example: The maincharacter goes secondhand clothes shopping for her children. Not because it is cool in anyway but just because that is the only shopping she can afford. She describes how she see's a young student in the thriftstore. "The kind that can easily afford to buy her clothes somewhere else." (ouch, that would be me I guess...)( **I read the book in dutch so the sentence would be in dutch: " Zij zou best ergens anders kunnen winkelen.") Maybe Im too tough on Kingsolver sometimes: I want every of her books to be as brilliant as my favorites. And that is really unfair, cause all of her books are warm, hopefull and funny. And this one is a pageturner, and the maincharacter is funny, beautiful and very admirable. So I can't wait for the next Kingsolver. Ps No secondhands available on Marktplaats or yet.

Tuesday, 26 February 2013


It was freezing cold in Paris. But does that really matter? If you wake up with a view of the Seine and the Notre Dame? NOOOOOOOOO it doesn't. Just spend loads of times indoors drinking coffee, red wine of pear cider. Eating baguette, crepes and fantastic pastries. Oh Paris. Ps Still Major Computer problems so it will be fairly quiet for a little bit longer....

Saturday, 16 February 2013

The good life..... Jay McInerney is setted in Manhattan. Dinnerparties where people brag about the Chilean Winery they own, about the pink tibetan salt flakes they use and about their new interior designer. Scenes with expensive champagne and lines of coke. Way too much city life for me but slowly the story pulled me in. And then 9/11 takes place and the lives of the characters changes dramatically. And I kept reading and all of a sudden I was sitting on a fence in Tennessee watching a little disabled girl ride a pony called Little Jimmy Dickens. And two of the characters have the following converstation: "Oh dad I feel like such a loser" " We all do honey" " How can you say that, you have everything" She freed herself from his arm and slipped ovr the back side of the fence. "Let's take a walk" he said, jumping down beside her. She nodded tearfully. " That little girl", she said. "I know." (the 14 year old daughter just left rehab) In my good life some of my friends or people I know struggle with life, love, and give in to (il) legal drugs a little too often. And sometimes, when things are really bad for some, I wish I could show them some of those little fighting hero's I work with every week at the ridingschool for the disabled. One of the most personal, touching experiences of my life was expressed through this scene. In a book that annoyed me at first, cause I just could not stand it's characters with their superficial lives. Good life... Love Marike. (op Marktplaats een paar exemplaren in het nederlands, Het Goede leven)


It's quiet on the blog. And that's because of a blackout, a meltdown, a crash. Not my own blackout, meltdown or crash but my computers. But I suffered from my own little meltdown cause seemed that all my files, my archive, my drawings of the past few months were gone. Luckily the smartass computerkid was able to save them from my harddrive, and introduced me to the Timemachine application. (with a condescending look in his eyes while his mouth said: 'It's not that it's a new application, it's been 5 years now that every 'pear' computer has Timemachine as a standard application' Yeah folks, I did not know. We're not all smartass computerkids, allthough I learned my lesson. Back-up your files every day, or every week! Hope to be up and running by next week again. Have a good weekend, with lots up up-dating.....

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Trouw Magazine, Tijd

A beautiful lovestory written by Ernest van der Kwast. For years I've wanted to make illustrations for a lovestory, so I'm thrilled about this new job. Every month another story, every month another illustration. Woohoo, and the story is so touching that it made me cry.... well almost. Have LOVEly weekend. X

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Take it away-sessions

Yesterday evening I went to see the saddest feel-good-movie ever. My friend and me started out sniffing, but ended up crying big big tears. And everyone around us, even the real though guys, were crying. But for me it was also a bit of a feel good movie as well because of the bluegrass music that was played in the movie. Most of the songs were old traditionals I knew by heart, and I loved them all. Today I started googling to find good live bluegrass music in Amsterdam, cause a) I want to marry a banjo-player, b) I want to see more bluegrass music. While browsing I found a session recorded by Blogothéque/ Take it away sessions by a band called the Lumineers. I knew the music cause I listen to this great radiostation from the Uk regularly (through Itunes = Folk Radio UK, amazing good folk all day long) The Lumineers are playing in Amsterdam, it's sold out so no chance for me to marrying this bluegrass singer I guess (it is not really a bluegrass band anyway) but this session sure is amazing! (and don't forget this session; my favorite)LOVE LOVE LOVE MUSIC. Have a nice sunday! Marike.
(foto Blogothéque)

Friday, 1 February 2013

The race for Timbuktu

by Frank T Kyrza. A couple of weeks ago I finished reading the Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. A story of an American family in Africa (Congo/Zaire) around 1946. If I have to come up with some keywords of this book, africa would certainly be one of them, and so would the word 'poverty'. This book, The race for Timbuktu, africa is certainly a keyword, but so is wealth. The book is set in the early 19th century (a century before the Kingsolver-book) and tells the story of two British explorers trying to find the city of Timbuktu. No westerners have set foot in this city yet, and the city holds a promise of wealth, gold, luxery and wisdom. All the kings, tribe-leaders or sultans mentioned in the book own big palaces, lot's of wives, slaves or camels. Or all of these things. Earned by slave- or salttrade and goldmining. The explorers used two routes to find the city: the first one is leaving from the north, from Tripoli, crossing the Sahara. (the illustration is inspired by this route) the other route is via the coast of Ghana, Benin, cross the jungle and travel up north. The explorers cross several kingdoms, meet many different tribes and all of them are violent towards eachother and to strangers. It was weird to read those stories because currently in the same area the violence between muslims, tuaregs and the authorities caused chaos and war, and led to thousands of people fleeing their homes. (Maybe today's problem has it's roots hundreds of years ago?) There is one scene in the book that stuck in my mind, and is pictured in the illustration, a war-weapon in those times was to catch a vulture, attach cotton to its feet, set the cotton on fire, let the bird go and wait till his feathers catch fire. Eventually he'll fall down and by doing so set the villages of the enemy on fire. So I learned loads, history wise but also new words. It was not an easy read, I had to keep the Oxford Dictionary close at hand. But I learned loads of new words: Impunity, pungent, petulant, evasive. To mull over. It was an interesting book, wrapped up in an exciting story, and there even is a little love story...... but now I can't wait for an 'easy' fiction story again. Some one promised me the new Kingsolver, in dutch, that will be a nice and easy read.... maybe more snow? so I can sit next to my heater some more evenings and read read read. Have a good weekend. (and a link to the website of the publisher.)