Categories for Books, films and TV

My bookcase

I don’t buy that many books. Partly it is the cost. Partly it is because i don’t read that much usually. I still have some books i haven’t read yet. They are on my list!

The bookcase in my front room has my main books in it. I’ll go through them.


A tiny book from Remco Campert called Fabeltjes vertellen. Little stories with language games and mazes in them. Another tiny book, Faust from Goethe. Never read this, i do know its world famous, just.. too tiny letters.

James Joyce, A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Ulysses. It’s been years since i read these books. I didn’t finish Ulysses, i’m ashamed to say. I did enjoy reading it till around three quarters. I know i should finish it.

Jonathan Safran Foer. Extremely loud & Incredibly close and Everything is Illuminated. These two books didn’t really stick. I enjoyed reading them, but that is about it.

Ian McEwan, Atonement. Brett Eaton Ellis, Lunar Park.

Jonathan Franzen, The Corrections. I also had his book Freedom, but last year, when i was reading it, i left it on the train station.

David Foster Wallace, Everything and more, Infinite Jest. I did read Everything and more this year. I had to brighten my math knowledge, which had sunken deep since i went to school. Infinite Jest is still on my list of to read books. I did try, but it is a hard book. One day i’ll be able to read it fully.

A.S.Byatt, Possession, Babel Tower. Dom DeLillo, Underworld. John Irving, A widow for one year, A son of the circus. Vikram Seth, A suitable boy.

Salman Rushdie. A discovery in the late 80s. I first read Shame. I don’t have that book myself. Which make me think now i should actually get it. I loved it. Midnight’s Children i read after that. Wonderful. Satanic Verses i loved too. His later books i didn’t think of that much to be honest. But still.


Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead. A borrowed book i never returned. I read this book i think when i was around 18 years old. I did reread it a couple of times.

Edwin Abbott Abbott, Flatland. A birthday present. Should reread it again. Great book.

Jung Chang, Wild Swans. I think i read this book when i was on holidays on Crete in 1993. My first acquaintance with Chinese history of the 20th century. Pretty shocking.

Paul Ford, Gary Benchley, rock star. I’ve been a fan of since i got to know it, i’m guessing around 1999. The main reason i bought his book yes. I do love his posts. This year his post on What is code? was published on

Jeannette Winterson, The Power Book, Sexing the Cherry, The Passion. George Perec, Het leven een gebruiksaanwijzing, not read yet. Per Olov Enquist, Het bezoek van de lijfarts.

Umberto Eco, In de naam van de roos, Baudolino. I read the first book on holidays when i was 19 years old. Loved it then.

Thomas Mann, De Toverberg. A classic. Should reread this.

Italo Svevo, Een geslaagde grap. August Strindberg, Aan open zee. Adrienne Rich, Poems 1950-1984. Thomas Rosenboom, Publieke Werken. Harry Mulisch, De zaak 40/61. Jan Wolkers, De perzik van onsterfelijkheid. Gerard Reve, Nader tot u, Op weg naar het einde. Bob den Uyl, Quatro Primi, De bloedende trein. A.F.Th. van der Heijden, Advocaat van de hanen. Multatuli, Max Havelaar.


Philosophy and non-fiction books.


Youth and young adult books. Thea Beckman, Tonke Dragt, J.K. Rowlings Harry Potter series, Philip Pullman and Astrid Lindgren.


My cook books.


My art books.




Vinyl, singles, Tolkien, my Asterix comics and Kuifje comics.

Published on August 19, 2015 at 6:00 by

Science fiction

Reading was my most treasured pastime from when i was able to read. I read fairy tales, myths, and all kinds of books from the library. Each week i went there. It must have been from my 8th, 9th. Sometime around that age. I bought many books. You can read my post about my teen books if you wish to know about those.

My favourite writer was Tonke Dragt. She is not in that post. That is because her books are still in my bookcase in the front room. I even bought one of her books in the 90s. Her books were my introduction into science fiction. I must have been around 12 years old. From that age until i was like 17-18 years old, scifi was the best!

So yeah, i did loose sight of the major developments in scifi from the 80s on. I got a bit more in fantasy, i bought some scifi books later on, some of them i liked, some of them i didn’t. It is a major escape for me, i can still pick up a book or a series and simply dive into it. Right now i’m reading The left hand of darkness by Ursula Le Guin. I came across her name a couple of times on brain pickings. So today i picked up the book once more and started to read.

I’ll give you a list of the books in my scifi and fantasy bookcase.

Top row, fantasy

  • some warcraft novels
  • Raymond E. Feist – ok books, basically exploration and magic and adventure books
  • Robert Jordan – Wheel of Time series, i still need to read the last book!

Second row, fantasy

  • L.E. Modesitt Jr – a favourite series, very specific magic system, not just bolts and whooshes, love the stories
  • Robin Hobb – adventures with some magic and swords
  • Eric Brown, Helix – quite new, don’t remember too much about this book tbh
  • Tais Teng, Cepheide – from the 80s, no recollection whatsoever
  • Amber Benson, Death’s daughter – Amber played Tara from Buffy the vampire slayer, i do like her books, and i do like her!

Third row, science fiction

  • Frank Herbert, Dune series – one of my old time faves
  • Asimov, two robot detectives – love these ones too
  • Jack Vance – these have faded a bit
  • Robert Heinlein – nice
  • Russel – frankly, i don’t remember much about this book
  • Ursula Le Guin – one of my faves, three books i have, like them all
  • Kate Wilhelm – sort of a feminist scifi book, should reread it
  • Ballard – like this one 🙂
  • Turner – mwah
  • Simak – ok
  • A.E. Van Vogt – ok
  • Ehrlich – this one had sex in it, enjoyed it 🙂
  • Bradley – sort of generic scifi
  • Coney – sort of generic scifi
  • Thijssen – scifi adventure, whoosh!

Fourth row, fairy tales, myths and science fiction

  • some books with games, some with cats, two old books and some fairy tales and myth books – ok
  • Ian M. Banks – some more recent purchases, i tried to read these, but it’s hard, might try again soon, or other option: simply forget about them
  • Neil Stephenson – also a book i couldn’t finish, sounds interesting, but sort of a bit too long for me
  • Peter F. Hamilton – i bought these in London on recommendation of someone who lived in the same flat as me, very space opera, fun
  • Zelazny – too long ago since i read this book, it is completely wiped from my memory
  • Pohl – good
  • Vera Chapman – more fantasy type books
  • and then towards the end some short stories books
  • at the end, Douglas Adams, Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy – i haven’t read this one yet! but i did see the movie 🙂

Sometimes when i’m in a bookshop, i wander over to the scifi and fantasy section. I might go soon once more, to get that last Wheel of Time book, which was released years ago. Reading is my most treasured form of escaping yes. Something about being all by yourself with just text which lets your imagination run wild with stories. More than watching movies and tv series. But i enjoy those too!

Ooh.. i did buy the first four ebooks of A song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin. I got into the second book. Maybe it is the ebook format which doesn’t appeal to me. Maybe it is the long threads and many many many people in the books which keep confusing me. Not sure. But yes, not finished reading those either. Loving the tv series though.

And another ooh, at the bottom two rows of this bookcase, magazines. Which are not scifi. Still need to fill up these rows with some magazines which are still in the attic. I know, i am a hoarder. But! the pile of magazines on the right are going to be thrown away.

Bye bye!

Published on July 9, 2015 at 6:00 by

Teen books

I have a room in the attic. It is a place to store stuff. Four apartments have a room there. When i went to London, fifteen years ago, to live there for a while, i put a lot of boxes with all my stuff there. It was stacked. After like 7 months, when i got back, i left a few boxes there. I might have taken a quick look to see what was in there, and thought that i didn’t need any of it.

Well, for like once a week i’ve been going upstairs and looked around. I took down a box full of books. The books i read when i was like 8 till 14 years old. Some of them i was even older.

The past week i read some of the books in there again. Which gave me a lot of pleasure!

Yes, i first read the Bouquet series books. This series is still available. It was like… 30 years that i last read these? The earliest one i have is number 62, which was published in the Netherlands in 1976. I was twelve then. I admit, the first books in these series were rather prudish. It was kissing mostly, feeling excitement yes, but no sex until you were married! Which usually happened at the end of the book. The later books were a bit more free in that aspect. Some had real proper sex, yay! I definitely had my favourites. There is one i still remember, which i sadly don’t have anymore. I also liked some writes better than others. I still got little red ears while reading a few of these.

I also have a lot of series. Billie Bradley i enjoyed. I didn’t know the series was published from 1920 through 1932. I also have Anne-Marie, a Dutch series. Katy and Zaza are Dutch too. Zaza was the best!

I also have some other Dutch series: Merel, Isabel and Annemieke. Not sure which one of these i liked best. I did like these books, but i don’t think they were my favourites. Some single pocket books, a couple from Leni Saris. I’m readng these again right now. They are different from the Bouquet series, which are mainly about a man – woman development which goes to the ultimate end. These Dutch books do have more of a story in them. The one i’m reading now, the Wingerdrank ( in English it’s well.. wingerd rank), is about a girl who is a journalist whose parent betrayed friends in the second World Was. There is love in there too, of course. It is a romance.

I do know i had the Enid Blyton series too. I now have only a few single books of these series. I think i have given away some of these books. Silly me! I remember the Famous Five. Sometimes i see this as a series on television and i still watch it when i come across it.

In the box there are also some other books, some of them i don’t remember at all. Not sure how i got them.

Well, that is almost it. The pictures are next. Still not sure what to do with them. My bookcases are quite full, but hopefully i can find a proper place for them. It’s good to have these books back in my little house!

Also, after making this post, i will make another post about my books. Lots of sci-fi, fantasy, literature, young adult, art and philosophy. Reading is not a huge part of my life, i do have periods i read lots, but also periods i don’t read anything. Ooh.. and magazines! Pfff.. so much more to come! 🙂

Read more…

Published on June 23, 2015 at 6:00 by

Read aloud: Snow White

I will be reading the Grimm fairy tale Snow White. The English name is actually Little Snow-white. But i stick with the Dutch title: Sneeuwwitje. Hmm, while i’m writing the Dutch title, it’s dawning on me that it’s the diminutive of Sneeuwwit. The appendix -je or -tje in Dutch means ‘little’. The same goes for -let in English and -lein and -chen in German. It’s actually in my first name, Neeltje. Which nobody has ever used! I mean, my name has always been Ellen, but officially my name is Neeltje Ellen Pronk. It’s in my passport.

German is close to Dutch, or better said, Dutch is close to German. The Dutch word for fairy tale is ‘sprookje’, the German word is ‘Märchen’. The Dutch word for girl is ‘meisje’, the German word is ‘Mädchen’. A better English translation is ‘little maid’. The English word Dutch is coming from the word Diets, a precursor to the modern Dutch. In the Netherlands we use the word ‘Nederlands’ for the word Dutch. Dutch to us sounds more like how we call the Germans, Duitsland, and how they call themselves: Deutschland. I do like how these words get mixed up and change meaning over time.

OK, an end to this digression. Back to Snow White. I did do a search for analyses of this fairy tale. It was hard to find decent ones. So many movies have been made, from Disney’s 1937 ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’, the 2012 ‘Snow White and the Huntsman’ and ‘Mirror Mirror’, the TV series ‘Once upon a Time’ and so many more. There is this rather nice article on the ‘Snow White: Beauty Is Power‘. In this article it is said the most important theme of the story is a generational sexual rivalry in a world where beauty – and youth – is the main asset of a woman. This does remind me of our current world still. Not strict, but the young are so beautiful, and it does give them power. Look at people like Ariana Grande, or Miley Cyrus. It’s not that they are not capable of what they are doing, but their beauty does add to their enticement. It’s not the only path a woman can walk, but it is still a very tempting one for the young and gorgeous people.

The seven dwarfs in Grimm’s version are not named. Also Snow White does not clean up their house, but eats a bit of their food, tries out their beds before she falls asleep in the one bed that fits her. The dwarfs in Grimm’s version are hard-working. They state very clearly from the outset the Snow White can stay at their place, only if she is willing to work. “If you will take care of our house, cook, make the beds, wash, sew, and knit, and if you will keep everything neat and clean, you can stay with us and you shall want for nothing.” Snow White needs to grow up and take responsibility of her own life.

I won’t go into any more possible analyses of Snow White. I leave it up to you. Enjoy!

Snow White

Published on May 21, 2015 at 6:00 by

Read aloud: Repelsteeltje

In my previous post i mentioned the book Grimm. I’m still reading it, i’m only at one third of the book. I do remember most fairy tales, but i have forgotten many details. With these tales, originally told and retold and remembered and changed all the time over the years, there are many different versions.

I am also a victim of disneyfication. I have seen Snow White, Cinderella and other movies. Reading the Grimm fairy tales now, i am surprised by the details, the different endings, beginnings, middle parts. Not every fairy tale ends in a happy way.

This blog is in english. But this time, i’m afraid i do read aloud in Dutch. I try to read as slowly as possible, but it’s not likely that people who do not speak Dutch will be able to follow the story. I will look for fairy tales translated in English, so maybe one day i will read one aloud in English. And then there are like 7000 other languages in the world. Sorry 🙁

The fairy tale i do read aloud this time is Rumpelstiltskin, in Dutch Repelsteeltje.

Sidenote: this fairy tale hangs together with lies and deceptions. The father lies about his daughter’s skills to make himself seem more important. The king is a gold lusting murderous man who threatens the girl with death if she doesn’t spin the gold in one night. The girl can’t actually spin gold. What daughter, or son, can? After a year, she stays inside the castle and lets her servant hunt for the name of the little creature. The only one capable of spinning the gold is this strange little imp. Who in the end tears himself in two. I did read some analyses of this fairy tale online. What is up with Rumpelstiltskin? and Story and Analysis of Rumpelstiltskin. The father and the king are the bad man in this story. The father pimps out his daughter. The king wants to get her to spin the straw, a worthless material, into gold. The imp is a nature spirit, a devil. Knowing his name will give power. But, the imp could be after the girl’s virtue. As does the father and the king of course. The fairy tale is a morality story. To be honest, even though Rumpelstiltskin seems like a nasty creature, he’s much better than the other two men. He actually helps the girl.


Published on May 18, 2015 at 6:00 by