A Magic Book about the Magic of Books

Cornelia Funke: Tintenherz ISBN 978-3-79150465-0 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ My daughter loves books, and this makes me extremely happy. I am so glad she shares the reading passion of both her parents. The world of books is such a fascinating one. It stimulates our fantasy, it touches our emotional side, it keeps us thinking and we may even learn something new while having fun. Occasionally, my daughter brings home a book I adore right after the first pages. “Tintenherz” is such a novel.

“Tintenherz” narrates the moving adventure of a girl named Meggie. Meggie loves books just like her parents. Her mother has disappeared when she was very young and her father Mo is a bookbinder. They often change places and it feels like a flight. Is it? You will find out. One night a strange guy in ragged clothes shows up: He addresses Mo’s father as “Magic Tongue” while Mo calls him “Dust Finger”. Meggie is baffled. She was not supposed to eavesdrop on her father and now she discovers one of his secrets. Are the two men part of some secret conspiration? You will find out.

The two men talk about a book, and the following day Mo and Meggie leave the house and seek refuge in the house of Meggie’s aunt Elinor, a famous and only slightly excentric book collector living in Italy. But things turn out differently as imagined. Meggie is to stay with Elinor while Mo intends to bring a certain book to a man named “Capricorn”, the very book he wanted to hide from “Capricorn”. Right from the beginning you know this man is evil. He is as evil as a writer can invent him. And he has been looking for Mo’s book for a long time as it holds the secret that links Mo, Meggie and most of the other characters on the novel. A thrilling adventure with a surprising end is about to begin, an adventure that shows all the magic of the world of books.

This is a great novel not only for children, but also for adults. It’s fun, it’s emotional, it let’s adults dive back into childhood, which is not always as innocent as it may appear retrospectively. And while you discover the magic of books, you may as well discover the music of magic in Maurice Ravel’s “Daphnis et Chloé”:

Dancing with the Nymphs on Lesbos

Confronting death, fear and guilt

Isabelle Autissier: Soudain, seuls.
ISBN 978-2-253-09899-7 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A man and a woman decide to escape their daily routine and embark on a sailing trip through the Atlantic. A natural reserve in the vicinity of the Falkland island lurs them into a day trip with fatal consequences. A sudden storm prevents their return from that remote island to the boat. The boat with all their equipment sinks in the storm and they are stuck. They confront hunger and they fight for physical survival. They confront themselves, their past, their lack of future and fight to survive mentally. They taste brutality, merciless, hopelessness and the deepest fear possible: fear of themselves. One dies of privation, the other is tortured by guilt and shame. A powerful book written by an experienced French sailor and navigator. A fantastic read!

Linking the deep impression that these book made upon me was not too difficult. No “tragic” symphonic work, but rather an intimate piece of chamber music, Franz Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 in D minor “Death and the Maiden”:

Composing while death is knocking on the door