Great book and available as a DVD too.

Beauty Bellezza Beauté


The Garden of the Finzi-Continis is considered the best of the series of novels that Bassani produced about the lives of Italian Jews in the northern Italian city of Ferrara. Although the novel focuses on the relationships between the major characters, the shadow of creeping fascism, especially the racial laws that restricted Jews’ participation in Italian society, looms over all the novel’s events. According to Bassani, one hundred and eighty-three Jews living in Ferrara were deported to German concentration camps in 1943.

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As the Kulturabteilung (Department of Culture) of UFA, legendary German film-production company celebrating its 100th birthday this year, released this film little did they know that it would become one of the most detailed and rare images of the lost city of pre-war Berlin.

Its director, Adolf Trotz, created a timeless documentary which you, Dear Reader, can now enjoy without leaving your warm living room.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

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Modryb Marya, or Aunt Mary

We always had a holly tree at Christmas decorated with fairy lights in little copper lanterns made by my Father. These contained rice paper to diffuse the light and the same rice paper was used as a base for the coconut macaroons that my Mother made as part of the preparations for Christmas.

The Holly Tree is referred to in this beautiful poem by R.S.Hawker.

Image result for Holly tree

There is a little more information at

Goethe, a Very Short Introduction, by Ritchie Robertson

So do you know the land where the lemon trees bloom?

ANZ LitLovers LitBlog

This Very Short Introduction does exactly what a VSI should do.  It introduces the reader to its subject and explains why it is significant, and it’s pitched at a non-academic audience in accessible language and with a coherent organisation of the content.  Ritchie Robertson’s Goethe, a Very Short Introduction made me want to drop what I’m currently reading and find out more about this great German writer.

Goethe (Wikipedia Commons)Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) was a celebrity novelist at the age of 25! His debut novel, TheSorrows of Young Werther (see my review) was an early example of the Sturm und Drang literary movement, but today its passionate evocation of hopeless young love would place it on the YA shelves (and the film studios would option it and he’d have a mega advance to set him up for life).  But as Robertson explains in the preface, there…

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We Worry

Climate change requires that we give it urgent attention. Maybe people in Germany are better informed and acid rain has damaged many forests there too.

Observing Hermann

People living in Germany are the most worried about climate change, according to new analysis of 18 countries published this week.


The National Centre for Social Research (NatCen) examined data collected by the European Social Survey on public attitudes to climate change of 16 European countries, Russia and Israel.

Of these 18 countries, it found Germans are the most concerned, with 44% “very or “extremely” worried about climate change. At the other end of the spectrum, just 15% of Poles say they are “very or “extremely” worried.

MeanwhileChaos hits European flights as snow snarls major hubs. Germans worry about that kind of stuff, too. They’re always leaving Germany in the winter to escape the cold weather.

Der Winter hat in vielen Teilen Deutschlands zu chaotischen Zuständen geführt. In einigen Regionen zählte die Polizei in der Nacht zum Montag Hunderte Einsätze.

PS: Get your free sample of of Brain…

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