25 December 2013

+JMJ+

A "Two or Three" Book Club Break!

This probably doesn't count as an announcement any longer, because I'm sure you all know that I've decided to read Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson with my Reading for Believers friends instead of hosting another readalong of my own this month.

But I did promise Sully and Amy that I would let them know what other two books were in the Mystery Box, so here they go . . .

vs.
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke
vs.
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende

What? Did we all make a big mistake? =P LOL!
How about meeting back here the same time next year?

When I started studying German in earnest, I made it a personal language goal to read a children's novel by a German author in its original language. Of course, I couldn't have done that this month even if I had gone with the Mystery Box option, but I would have been okay with reading either of the two picks in English first. I just want to be immersed in as much of German culture as I can get my hands on--even if it means I have to thank an American publishing house or a Singaporean franchise for the opportunity.

Hefe-Weißbier at Brotzeit
(And one of my few remaining friends in the world trying to duck out of the shot)

My friends weren't too crazy about my plan to have my "birthday" dinner at a Bavarian restaurant. They don't like pork (schweinfleisch), potatoes (kartoffeln), or beer (bier), which pretty much disqualifies most German cuisine. But they went along with the plan, anyway, because that is what friends do for each other and because they also like trying new things once in a while.

On the advice of a couple of German trainees, I ordered the Hefe-Weißbier--in a modest 0.3 litre glass--and took a little over two hours to make myself drink it all. ("Can you believe that men drink this stuff as if it's delicious?") My two friends shared the same beverage order between them and couldn't finish it. But we enjoyed the platter of würste, the side order of käsespätzle, and the red-headed-stepchild dish that was mozzarella käse and sun-dried tomate salat. And at dessert time, we all agreed that the schokokuchen was superior to the apfelstrudel.

Concluding that I just wasn't a beer drinker, I decided that if I ever went back to try the currywurst, which is served with kartoffelhappen rather than kartoffelpuree, I would not also order another bier.

Of course, all it took for me to change my mind was a German trainee casually remarking that beer is so full of antioxidants that it is good for the skin. Well, you know, I had been totally checking myself out in the rear view mirror of the car all the way to work the very next day. Despite my trainee chuckling at the idea that beer "worked" that fast, I knew I'd be back at Brotzeit agian.

Which I was last Sunday. This time, with a friend who is a more experienced biertrinker. She advised me to try one of the beer mixes, a Radler, which is a Münchner Lager mit limonade--and not only did I find it much easier to drink, but I also sank into a pleasant buzz which lasted the rest of our early dinner. Wunderbar!

And yes, I was glowing on Monday when I reported to work. Danke schon.

This may seem like an odd post to have for Christmas Day, but the colours are seasonal and the alcohol is festive, so I thought I'd publish it anyway. May your celebration of the Nativity of our Lord be holy and happy!

Image Sources: a) The Neverending Story by Michael Ende, b) Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

7 comments:

Sullivan McPig said...

I read The Neverending Story when I was a kid. and saw the movie of course. Loved them both. I've been told Cornelia Funke is a must read, so I'll probably get to reading Inkheart sometime.

As for German cuisine: Yum!!
I'm not much of a beer drinker either, not even the mixed ones, but schnitzel and kartoffeln.... *drool*

And good luck with reading books in German. I will confess that after three years of lessons in school I can understand most of it when I hear or read it, but speaking it is another story.

love the girls said...

I was looking for a book to listen to, and now I have one. Thank you very much.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UMv6JQYh-Gc

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Sully -- If I could have, I would have invited you to the dinner as well! =) And maybe had enough people for an excuse to order the schweinshaxe! But only if you also like it. LOL!

The last language I studied was Latin, so I'm used to being able to read it but not to speak it. Another language objective of mine is to spend some time in Germany, but that is for a more distant future!

LTG -- Wonderful. Another Middle Grade novel that you will have read before me! =P But you're welcome, of course. Let me know if Cornelia Funke is all that she is cracked up to be.

I've actually thought of doing the same thing as that YouTube uploader and reading a whole book aloud as a "video," but I couldn't decide on which one to do.

Sheila said...

The Neverending Story was a favorite of mine growing up! But it was my brother's favorite first .... so much so that when I read it, my brother got angry because it was HIS book and he didn't want me in HIS secret world.

Even Narnia gets a run for its money from the dark woods with the colored trees and the painted desert. I honestly feel that, like Bastian, I've been there.

I really hope you do post about it sometime.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Oh, I do plan to get to both these books eventually! =) It looks as if I'll be starting with Cornelia Funke rather than Michael Ende, though, since I already have a copy of The Thief Lord.

When I was younger, I also felt very protective of my fantasy worlds. Not that it really mattered, since no one else really wanted to enter them with me at the time. =P But since then, I've had the opposite experience of trying to get my brothers interested in the books I love and failing miserably! As I've mentioned elsewhere, I think the only way for me to find kindred readers in real life (that is, not on the Internet--although all of you are great, too!) is to give birth to them. LOL!

love the girls said...

Inkheart is pretty good, and better than a lot of the modern fantasy books I've read of late, but I wouldn't read it a second time like I would The Stolen Child, or The Doomsday Book or Eifelhiem.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

I wish I could already discuss it with you, LTG. =)