book recommendation

Monday, March 14, 2011

During my last trip to Poland, I bought this book.
I read it, I liked it and now I'm recommending it.




When I read these reviews on the book cover, I was sold:
“The fusion of Ukrainian incomers with conventional English Midland life is sharply comic and the prose is lyrical.”
“….hilariously and affectingly records the fall-out when an elderly Ukrainian widower long resident in Britain falls for a flamboyantly busty Russian gold-digger in search of a passport to prosperity.”
“The culture clash between eastern and western Europe so ripe for comic treatment is captured in this delicious story of sibling rivalry.”


{Am I the only one who loves to smell books?}

For me, the culture clash between eastern and western Europe is what had me hooked. Spending so much time in both (although Germany is more central Europe than western, I should say), I have mentally noted quite the list of differences, many of which were mentioned in this book. I found the alternate storyline (big sister vs. little sister) also compelling but then again, I find birth order psychology fascinating in general (The Birth Order Effect by Cliff Isaacson – perhaps the next book recommendation I’ll post).

Here are a couple of my favorite excerpts from the book:

There are ten years between my sister and me – ten years that gave me the Beatles, the demonstrations against the Vietnam War, the student uprising of 1968, and the birth of feminism, which taught me to see all women as sisters – all women except my sister, that is. I am forty-seven years old and a university lecturer but my sister’s voice reduces me instantly to a four-year-old.

“Don’t children in your country give their teachers apples?”, asks Anna. “Apples, never”, says Stanislav. “Vodka, yes”.

{In the words of Kathleen Kelly: Read it, I know you'll love it.}

22 comments:

Megan said...

oh gosh that last quote cracked me up...because it's true.

Krystal said...

that sounds really good actually! and I LOVE smelling books. we always smell them when we open them. everytime!

TexaGermaNadian said...

Haha, this book sounds hilarious. Might have to see if I can find it over here. I am due for a new read!

Jenni Austria Germany said...

I know, Megan!! I read it out loud to Piotr and he goes, "Yup, that's totally true."

Alex said...

And this has gone on my to-read list. And no, you are not the only one who loves smelling books!

ilene @ muchloveilly said...

nope you're not a lone. i love the smell of books too! there is a certain smell in bookstores that i just love so much.

Erin said...

Hi Jenni!
I recently found your blog (through someone's blog... I don't remember exactly who!), and I love reading about your European adventures. My family visited Austria & Germany when I was in high school, and after that I decided I HAD to study abroad in Salzburg. My parents had both studied abroad in college, so it seemed like a no-brainer that I would, too.

Then my dad didn't have a job for about a year, and I was the oldest of 4 kids. So I did the responsible thing, and told my parents that I did not need to study abroad, because I would just move to Europe for real later. Then, of course, my dad found a job... in the Netherlands! So they lived there for 5 years, and I have gotten to have plenty of European vacations. My husband and I still hope to have our own chance to live in Europe some day, but for now a condo in Chicago and other grownup responsibilities are keeping us here. For now, hearing about other people's adventures like yours will keep the dream alive :)

(wow, long comment! Sorry!)

iheartkiwi said...

Oh my goodness I will totally have to pick up this book. It sounds amazing!

P.S. I LOVE the smell of books... that's why I'll never get a Kindle :) Also loving your nail polish. Too cute!

Jan said...

Ha - loved the excerpts. And the Kathleen Kelly quote!! You've loved the smell of books since you were little!!

Anait said...

Thanks for the recommendation! It's going on my amazon wishlist of books I'll start reading this summer one I can peel my eyes away from Microsoft Word and 20 page research papers (UGH).

Happy Monday!

p.s. love your bangs. Mine are growing out and I can't decided if I shoud cut or grow.

wilybrunette said...

i LOVE to smell books! and i'm sold just by the cover image.

Sophie said...

I LOVEEE the smell of books! this one sounds amazing!

megan tells me your coming to visit england btw?? we are excited! xx

Len♥reNeverM♥re said...

sibling rivalry is always so complex!
Adore the smell of books too...they should bottle it!

The Many Colours of Happiness said...

I have picked this book up and put it down oh so many times. But after your recommendation I will have to get it! and the smell of books is one of my favourite smells in the world.

danielle @ take heart said...

i love the smell of books too, you are not alone friend ;)

Taylor said...

I like the smell of books, EXCEPT for my library's old history books! They smell rotten :(

Melissa: Write it in Lipstick said...

Hahaha Vodka yes, too funny. I have to say I never smelled my book before hahaha.

Write it in Lipstick

christine donee said...

I love smelling books. So much. That's all I look for when I go to flea markets. Books that smell delicious.

Kristin Hjellegjerde said...

The book smells all the way here... you can see it by the cover!

Tucker said...

i love the way books smell. and we're meeting up in germany or austria or switza. or wherever. it's blate time.

aaez said...

love a good book smelling.

She Sailed the Sea said...

So i saw the little icon for this post on your latest post. I came here and omg. a. i'm in the process of reading this atm. b. I LOVE smelling books. and store catalogs. My mom's always done it and it's something reminds me of home.