Review of The Careful Use of Compliments, by Alexander McCall Smith

July 23rd, 2014

careful_use_of_compliments_largeThe Careful Use of Compliments

by Alexander McCall Smith
performed by Davina Porter

Recorded Books, 2007. 8 hours on 7 compact discs.

This is the fourth novel about Isabel Dalhousie by Alexander McCall Smith. I’m finding them much more enjoyable via audiobook. Isabel is a philosopher. She muses and thinks about everything that she comes across. In other words, the plots of these books are extremely slow moving. This is fine when you are in the car anyway, and delightful Scottish accents add to the fun.

You’ll be disappointed if you expect a traditional mystery from these books, but Isabel does slowly encounter a puzzle about a painting she’s thinking of buying. Also in the book she explores questions about motherhood, as she has a newborn son, and about her relationship with Jamie, so much younger than she is, and her relationship with her niece Kat. She’s being cut out of her job with the Review of Applied Ethics, and has to deal with the plotters responsible.

If you want an action-packed thriller, don’t pick up these books. But if you want to explore some musings about life and love with a deep thinker, and encounter some interesting situations at the same time, these books are a delight.

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library audiobook from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of Sparky! by Jenny Offill & Chris Appelhans

July 22nd, 2014

sparky_largeSparky!

by Jenny Offill
illustrated by Chris Appelhans

Schwartz & Wade Books, New York, 2014. 36 pages.
Starred Review

The girl in this book wants a pet. After much begging, her mother promises that she can have any pet she wants as long as it doesn’t need to be walked or bathed or fed.

She gets a sloth. She names him Sparky.

Sloths are said to be the laziest animals in the world. It is two days before the girl sees Sparky awake.

She tries to play with Sparky. He’s not very good at Hide-and-Seek or Kung Fu Fighter, but he’s very very good at Statue.

When another girl from school is critical of her pet, Sparky’s owner decides to present a Trained Sloth Extravaganza. Unfortunately, the only trick Sparky learns well is playing dead.

Interestingly, this book doesn’t end with a big bang or a punchy lesson. But we close with the girl sitting in the tree next to Sparky.

“You’re it, Sparky,” I said.

And for a long, long time he was.

This book makes me smile.

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of Firefly July, selected by Paul B. Janeczko, illustrated by Melissa Sweet

July 21st, 2014

firefly_july_largeFirefly July

A Year of Very Short Poems

selected by Paul B. Janeczko
illustrated by Melissa Sweet

Candlewick Press, 2014. 48 pages.
Starred Review

I’m not proud to say it, but a poetry book has to be something special to wow me. Firefly July is stunning.

The poems chosen have one thing in common: They are all short. They are also fit nicely into the context of a specific season.

A few are well-known, and I’d heard of them in my childhood, such as “The Red Wheelbarrow,” by William Carlos Williams, and “Fog,” by Carl Sandburg. Several more were by poets I’d heard of, such as Emily Dickinson and Langston Hughes. But the majority were entirely new to me. Those, too, were short and sweet and lovely.

Of course, the fact that all the poems are short makes this perfect for young kids looking for their first poem to memorize.

But the stunning part of the book is the way the bright pictures work with the poetry. I love the water lily on the page with this poem:

Water Lily

My petals enfold stamens of gold.
I float, serene, while down below

these roots of mine are deeply stuck
in the coolest most delicious muck.

–Ralph Fletcher

Melissa Sweet’s artwork is hard to describe. There are collage elements and bright colors and unsophisticated line drawings and friendly faces. They work beautifully with the poems in this collection.

candlewick.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of Hope Beyond Hell, by Gerry Beauchemin

July 20th, 2014

hope_beyond_hell_largeHope Beyond Hell

The Righteous Purpose of God’s Judgment

by Gerry Beauchemin

Malista Press, Olmito, Texas, 2007. 245 pages.
Starred Review

Years ago, through reading the books of George MacDonald, and through reading the Bible trying to put aside my preconceived notions, I came to believe that the Bible actually teaches that hell is not forever — that it has a redemptive purpose and will eventually be emptied out and every knee will bow to our loving Father. George MacDonald, however, while implying that this is what the Bible teaches, doesn’t lay out an argument of why he believes the Bible teaches this. Gerry Beauchemin, in this book, lays out an excellent argument.

Gerry Beauchemin calls his view “The Blessed Hope.” I like that very much, and much better than “Universalism,” because I think it’s different than what most people think of when they hear “Universalism.” Yes, I believe in hell. But I believe it represents the lengths to which a loving Father will go to bring his children back to Himself. It is not purposeless, everlasting torment.

Now, many Christians will automatically be arguing, “But that’s what the Bible says?” Is it really? I suggest you read this book and rethink that view. And I agree with the author that The Blessed Hope honors the character of God.

God is good even in His judgments. They are not infinite and horrendously cruel, but just, righteous, and remedial.

Many people don’t realize that the view that hell is eternal is not the one the church fathers held. I certainly didn’t realize that. Although this view is common today, it actually originated with Augustine, and so is called the Augustinian tradition here.

First, the author presents the pillars of his argument. The first pillar is the meaning of the Greek word Aion, which is more consistently translated “age” than “eternal.” Interestingly, Augustine, who supported the “eternal” interpretation (which is not consistent with other usage), was one of the first church leaders who wasn’t a native Greek speaker.

Then he talks about Gehenna, the lake of fire, which is every time spoken of as something finite, like prison. Also the word for “destruction,” apollumi is shown to mean “set aside,” “bring to nothing,” not “annihilate.” The author says, “Popular theology claims God is able to do all things except restore the destroyed for whom Christ died. Really?”

He also looks at God’s will and man’s free will. “God ‘will’ have all men to be saved. Does this mean God purposes with intent to accomplish His will, or that He merely desires it with no power to make it happen?”

He sums up the chapter on “Pillars” with this paragraph:

In this chapter, we have examined the foundational pillars upon which belief in infinite punishment is based and found them wanting. How many Christians including pastors and theologians have critically examined these pillars in light of the evidence presented here? I would venture to say very few. Given this evidence, let us explore with a fresh and open mind, unshackled by a flawed system and study the following chapters in sincerity and truth. Is there hope beyond Gehenna and the lake of fire? Might these judgments also have a positive purpose in God’s unfailing plan for man? The answer lies in the very nature of God Himself. Would a truly all-powerful and all-loving Creator bring into existence billions of people knowing well they would suffer for eternity as a result? Would He really pay such a price to get a few to love Him forever? This is what our tradition has taught. Is it true?

I do believe that Gerry Beauchemin goes on to present a wonderfully logical and complete argument for The Blessed Hope. Honestly, his words fill me with joy and love for my loving Father, who is Good, not vindictive and harsh and cruel. I am so glad that the people around me who don’t see things exactly my way will not be suffering in hell for all eternity — even the ones who make some bad choices in this life! (And don’t get me wrong — I wish they’d spare themselves a lot of suffering on that path to Life! But I really do believe God knows what each one needs.)

I’m not going to present all his arguments. Because I’d like people to consider them in full. I will, however, quote some paragraphs that I underlined in my slow savoring of the book.

This is from a chapter on God’s nature:

The longsuffering of our Lord “is” salvation. What a thought! When does the longsuffering of our heavenly Father for His children ever end? Does it end sooner than yours toward your children? The love of God expressed in His longsuffering will do what His brute power could never do — win the hearts of His enemies (Ps. 66:3-4) and make them His friends (Jer. 31:34; Jn. 15:15; Ro. 5:10).

Another interesting paragraph comes after quoting Christ telling his disciples to pray that God would send out laborers into His harvest (Mt. 9:36-38):

Why are we asked to pray for laborers for the harvest? Why are they needed? Doesn’t the text say it is because people are weary, scattered, distressed, and dispirited? But what has our tradition led us to believe? Answer: To pray because all people are on their way to hell! Isn’t there an inconsistency here?

And here is the introductory paragraph to the chapter called “Purpose-Driven Judgment”:

Is there any positive purpose to God’s Gehenna judgment? What purpose does it serve? According to the prevalent theology, its only purpose is to inflict pain. It refuses to acknowledge it has any remedial effect, and presents it merely as a perpetual prison from which its victims can never escape. I intend to show in this chapter the following facts: First, this view is simply unjust, and Scripture does not support unjust punishment of any kind. Second, Scripture affirms death is no obstacle to God in accomplishing His purposes in any life. Third, God is just and His justice satisfies even our God given human understanding of justice. Fourth, the Bible provides clear examples that all His judgments are driven by a positive purpose.

This paragraph echoed my own experiences when I read the Bible after becoming convinced that George MacDonald (who studied Greek) believed the Bible did not teach that hell lasts forever:

Most of us are not aware of how powerfully our paradigms affect how we understand the Scriptures. They force us to conclude certain passages do not mean what they say. Unless we are keenly aware of this, and make a diligent effort to compare Scripture with Scripture, we cannot see truth staring us in the face. It has been a slow, hard process for me. But once I stepped out of the eternal hell paradigm and began seeing Scripture without that filter, I was freed to receive God’s revelation in a fresh new way.

He looks at proclamations from Scripture, the Apostles, church fathers, logic, the character of God, and consequences. Is Christ really the Savior of the World?

Scripture refers to Christ as the Savior of the World. In fact, “Jesus” means savior (Mt. 1:21). The Father sent Him as such (1Jn. 4:14). Though popular theology gives lip service to this title, it actually denies it. It attests instead that Christ is merely the Savior of “some out” of the world. Or again, He is the “wish to be” Savior of the world. If the mass of humanity is lost forever, call Him what you will, He is not the Savior of the world. It does not matter that few, many, or most of the world is saved. Even if none are saved, He would still be referred to as “Savior of the world.” For the reasoning is simple: to offer salvation, makes a savior. That is strange indeed — “The Savior of the world not saved.” What would you think of a lifeguard who was hailed as the hero of the day at the funeral of a young child for merely having offered her a life preserver and then threw it to the other end of the pool?

Here’s an interesting summary:

The Blessed Hope and the Augustinian Tradition present two opposing views of God. Of these two ancient theologies, only the first does justice to the character of our glorious God as He is revealed in Christ. It is what the prophets, the apostles, and the early Church embraced. The second, on the other hand, is shackled by a theology of terror which I contend is the primary reason the Gospel has not yet taken the world by storm. Is it by coincidence that once it dominated the western church the medieval world plunged into the “dark ages”?

I am by no means presenting all the arguments here. If this interests you at all, I strongly recommend this book. As for me? Reading this book filled me with joyful, blessed hope.

hopebeyondhell.net

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on my own copy, purchased via Amazon.com.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door, by Hilary McKay

July 19th, 2014

lulu_and_the_rabbit_next_door_largeLulu and the Rabbit Next Door

by Hilary McKay
illustrated by Priscilla Lamont

Albert Whitman & Company, Chicago, 2014. First published in the United Kingdom in 2012. 91 pages.
Starred Review

This is the third beginning chapter book about animal-loving Lulu, and I like each one better than the last (having already been charmed by the first).

In Lulu and the Rabbit Next Door, Lulu gets new next-door neighbors, and they include a boy her age who has a rabbit. Lulu is excited about the rabbit, but the boy, named Arthur, is not. His grandfather gave him the rabbit, named George, when Arthur had asked for games for his Xbox. Arthur pays no attention to George except to feed him and check his water and clean out his cage.

That was true. Lulu knew it was true because she and Mellie checked. They could see George’s hutch quite clearly from Lulu’s bedroom window. With Lulu’s telescope they could see George sitting inside.

Day after day.

Week after week.

Twice a day, at breakfast time and dinnertime, Arthur visited George with food and water. Once a week on Saturday mornings, he put him on the ground, scooped all the sawdust out of the hutch into a black trash bag, and put in fresh sawdust. It didn’t take long to do this. The whole job was over in just a few minutes.

During those few minutes George became a different rabbit.

A non-sitting rabbit.

He would begin with hops. Then a stretch.

Then he would begin to run. He ran faster and faster in a racing circle all around the little garden. Sometimes as he ran, he leapt, high into the air. He ran until he had to stop, panting so hard his sides went in and out.

Then Arthur would pick him up and put him back inside his hutch.

To sit there for another week.

It was more than Lulu and Mellie could bear.

Lulu gets to keep George for a week while Arthur and his family go on vacation. George makes friends with Lulu’s rabbit Thumper (the one who doesn’t get along with her other four rabbits).

After Arthur takes George back to his lonely hutch, Lulu gets an idea. She starts sending letters to George from Thumper. The first one talks about how much work Thumper had making a bed of hay. There is a P.S.: “I am sending you a bag of hay so you can see for yourself what hard work it was.”

One after another, George gets notes that show Arthur how many interesting things a rabbit can do. It all culminates with a birthday party for Thumper that is almost stymied when Arthur has a hard time thinking of a present.

This beginning chapter book even kept me entertained. My sister had a rabbit when I was a kid, and I certainly had no idea how many things a rabbit can do. And besides that, the interactions between Lulu and her cousin Mellie with Arthur, who doesn’t know what to make of the crazy animal-lovers, are lifelike and fun. I enjoyed Mellie’s idea for teaching Arthur to take better care of George – she suggested they should keep him in a cage for a week. Their eventual solution was ingenious and delightful to watch unfold.

albertwhitman.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Review of Kilmeny of the Orchard, by L. M. Montgomery

July 18th, 2014

kilmeny_of_the_orchard_largeKilmeny of the Orchard

by L. M. Montgomery

Bantam Books, New York, 1989. First published in 1910. 134 pages.

I turned 50 last month. As a way of celebrating, later in the year during the few weeks when all three of us are 50 years old, two childhood friends and I are hoping to visit Prince Edward Island. In preparation for that trip, and as part of my celebration, I thought I’d reread L. M. Montgomery’s books. Update: The trip’s not going to work out after all this year, but we’re going to try to go before we turn 55. And it’s still a good excuse to reread the books!

Kilmeny of the Orchard is actually the first novel Lucy Maud Montgomery wrote, though she didn’t get it published until after her classic Anne of Green Gables was published and was immediately wildly popular. To be honest, as a writer it encouraged me greatly to learn this. If L. M. Montgomery’s first effort was a masterpiece, well, then, who was I to think I could ever write anything?

Let’s just say that after reading Kilmeny of the Orchard, I was not surprised to learn it was the author’s first effort. A lovely first effort, yes, but not a masterpiece like her first published novel.

Kilmeny of the Orchard, like all but one of L. M. Montgomery’s books, takes place on beautiful Prince Edward Island. It’s a romance, simple and sweet. There is lots of flowery description and the young lovers are good and true and the story will make you happy.

Yes, the plot is highly unlikely. L. M. Montgomery used to find surprising stories in the news and then put them in your fiction — not realizing that fiction needs to be less surprising than truth in order to be believed. Worse, there’s a villainous character who is clearly villainous because he’s from “Italian peasant stock.” And our heroine is essentially the most beautiful woman in the world, and innocent and sweet (even though she’s lived away from people except her aunt and uncle and the villain all her life). The hero is handsome and smart and rich, but working as a schoolteacher to help a friend.

However, you still can see the seeds of L. M. Montgomery’s greatness. She may overdo the description in this book, but she has a gift for it. And you can already see the quirky characters appearing whom she is so good at bringing to life.

All the same, this is the book that reassures me that L. M. Montgomery was human, too. She, too, had to work at her craft.

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on my own copy, purchased years ago.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Please use the comments if you’ve read the book and want to discuss spoilers!

Comments Glitch

July 18th, 2014

I just figured out that my blog hasn’t been taking comments for months. I’m so sorry! When I type in a comment myself, it simply disappears. It’s *not* that I haven’t been approving comments — they just don’t work.

I’m going to *try* to fix this. Yahoo Web Hosting was no help at all. It used to work, and I don’t think I changed anything… But I will try some different things to try to get them going again.

Review of How to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk, by John Van Epp, PhD

July 16th, 2014

how_to_avoid_falling_in_love_with_a_jerk_largeHow to Avoid Falling in Love with a Jerk

The Foolproof Way to Follow Your Heart Without Losing Your Mind

by John Van Epp, PhD

McGraw Hill, New York, 2007. 326 pages.
Original title: How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk.
Starred Review

Nine years after my husband left me, I’ve finally started dating again. And I’m finding it’s not for the faint of heart! I’m also finding that I’m so starved for male affection, it’s easy to let my feelings run away with me.

My sister is a Marriage and Family Counselor. For my 50th birthday, to celebrate that I’ve joined some online dating sites, she gave me a copy of this book, which she recommends to clients. Mind you, I haven’t had a date since I read the book, but the ideas make a lot of sense to me, and I’m hoping to get chances to put them into practice.

His promise is that he can help you keep your head when following your heart. That would be nice, wouldn’t it? The basic tool he teaches people to use is the Relationship Attachment Model. Here’s where he describes it (with a helpful diagram):

The five fundamental dynamics are the depth to which you know, trust, rely on, have a commitment to, and have sexual involvement with another person….

Picture a sound system’s equalizer with five up-and-down sliders evenly placed across the face of the board. The slider on the far left represents the extent to which you really know a person. As you move the bar on this slider up over time, you signify a richer, fuller, and more personal knowledge of the other. The next slider represents the range of trust you have for that person. This bar rises to denote a deeper, more positive, confident trust in your partner. The third slider represents the extent to which you rely on this person. Moving this bar up indicates the greater ways you depend on this person to meet your most significant needs. The fourth slider represents the range of commitment you have established with this person. The slider for this dynamic rises to signify greater levels of commitment expressed within your relationship. The final slider, on the far right, represents the degree of sexual touch and chemistry that exists between you and your partner. Elevating this slider signifies increases in the passionate chemistry and sexual contact with your partner….

Not only do these dynamics stand on their own as channels of bonding in your relationships, but they also interact with each other to produce a mix of the overall attachment in a relationship. As soon as you imagine some of the sliders up and some down, you immediately gain a sense of the mixed nature of love and attachment. In the same way that the controls on your equalizer affect the different tones of the overall sound of your music, the blend of the different levels of these five bonding relationship dynamics produces the “sound” of your attachment.

When all five are at the top level, the feelings of attachment are strongest. But when even one is low, attachment is weakened and your feelings of closeness become mixed. You are easily confused, hurt, and doubtful. The balance of all five bonding dynamics determines the healthiness of your relationship and the clarity of your perspective on your partner.

Here lies one of the most important keys to building a healthy relationship: keep a balance among the five relationship dynamics. Whenever the relationship dynamics shift out of balance with each other, you will feel unsafe, experiencing feelings of hurt, betrayal, confusion, mistrust, unfairness, anger, loneliness, or any combination of these. But when you keep these five dynamics in balance with each other so that you are not moving further ahead in one area than in any of the others, then you are securely planted in the safe zone.

There is one basic rule for guarding the safe zone: never go further in one bonding area than you have gone in the previous. This rule is based on the view that the five bonding dynamics have a specific order and logic to them: what you know about a person determines the degree you should trust him or her; this trust directs you in choosing what personal needs you can rely on him or her to meet; you should become committed only to the extent that you know, trust, and depend on that person; and finally, any degree of sexual involvement is safest when it matches the context of the overall intimacy reflected in the levels of the other four dynamics.

Slipping out of the safe zone explains the most common mistake people make in relationships: when the levels of the five dynamics are out of balance, then the emotional bond becomes unhealthy, and you tend to overlook crucial characteristics of the other person that should be exposed and explored. Thus, your love becomes truly blind. Or without knowing why, you wind up rationalizing characteristics and experiences that create a vague sense of unease.

This is by no means all that’s in the book. In fact, there’s almost too much detail. I felt like the author went on and on about what you need to know. But he continued with each of the relationship dynamics, explaining ways to strengthen that area, and providing plenty of examples and counterexamples. And the nice thing is that the big picture message is clear and easy to visualize.

And lest you think this model won’t work or is impossible to carry out, the author refers to multiple studies that back up his views on how to build a healthy and happy relationship.

Definitely food for thought. I hope I will get to try it out!

johnvanepp.com
mhprofessional.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on my own copy given to me by my sister on my 50th birthday.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Review of Eye to Eye, by Steve Jenkins

July 15th, 2014

eye_to_eye_largeEye to Eye

How Animals See the World

by Steve Jenkins

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Boston, 2014. 36 pages.
Starred Review

Steve Jenkins does it again! He’s the one who can make incredibly detailed animal art using cut paper collage. His art looks like photographs and has amazing levels of detail. When coupled with fascinating facts about animals, his books are exceptional.

Eye to Eye looks at four kinds of animal eyes: eyespots, a simple cluster of light-sensitive cells; pinhole eyes, which can form dim but detailed images; compound eyes with hundreds or thousands of individual facets; and camera eyes, found in all birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, emplying a lens to focus light on the sensitive surface of a retina.

Then he’s got examples of the different types of eyes and all sorts of strange and unusual eyes. We’ve got the biggest eyes in the world (on a colossal squid), eyes bigger than the animal’s brain (on a tarsier), the most highly developed eyes (on a mantis shrimp), eyes that look in two directions (on the brownsnout spookfish), an animal with a third eye on the top of its head (the tuatara), and a creature with as many as 111 eyeballs (the Atlantic bay scallop), among others.

I found some of the creatures a bit disgusting, but I’m guessing that will make certain kids enjoy the book all the more. I learned a lot about eyes reading this book. Another treasure trove of information paired with mind-boggling artwork from Steve Jenkins.

hmhbooks.com

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Disclosure: I am an Amazon Affiliate, and will earn a small percentage if you order a book on Amazon after clicking through from my site.

Source: This review is based on a library book from Fairfax County Public Library.

Disclaimer: I am a professional librarian, but I maintain my website and blogs on my own time. The views expressed are solely my own, and in no way represent the official views of my employer or of any committee or group of which I am part.

Sonderling Sunday – Hooray for the World Cup!

July 13th, 2014

It’s time for Sonderling Sunday, that time of the week when I play with language by looking at the German translation of children’s books. Think of it as a handy-dandy phrasebook of phrases as *actually used* to tell a story.

Today, in honor of Germany winning the World Cup (Woo-hoo!!!!), I’m going to look at the scene in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire where they witness the Quidditch World Cup. Because what phrases could be more appropriate?

HPFeuerkelch

Last time, we covered the Pregame Show. The actual Quidditch World Cup begins on page 106 in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Seite 113 in Harry Potter und die Feuerkelch.

The first sentence is an appropriate way to begin:
“‘Theeeeeeeey’re OFF!’ screamed Bagman.”
= »Looooooos geht’s!«, schrie Bagman.

They have a name for this:
“bridge of his nose” = Nasenwurzel (“Nose root”)

“slow motion” = Zeitlupe (“Time magnifier”)

“the noise of the crowd pounded against his eardrums”
= das Toben der Menge gegen seine Trommelfelle pochte
(“The roar of the multitude against his drumskins pounded”)

“Hawkshead Attacking Formation” = Falkenkopf-Angriff

“zoom closely together” = dicht nebeneinander dahinschwebten
(“close near-one-another there-in-floated”)

“ploy” = Täuschung

“who was dancing up and down, waving her arms in the air”
= mit schlackernden Armen umhertanzte

“lap of honor” = Ehrenrunde

“sulkily” = schmollend

“seamless” = nahtlos

“causing a thunderous tide of roars and applause from the green-clad supporters”
= was bei den grün gekleideten Fans eine wahre Springflut aus Jubelschreien und Händeklatschen auslöste

“scatter” = zerstreuen

“goal” = Tor

“gasped” = stöhnten

“parachutes” = Fallschirme (“Fall-umbrellas”)

“descent” = Sturzflug (“drop-flight”)

“huge groan” = markerschütterndes Stöhnen

“time-out” = Auszeit

“Firebolt” = Feuerblitz

“new heart” = frischen Mut

“scream of rage” = Wutschrei

“takes to task” = knüpft

“cobbing” = Schrammens (“scarring”)

“penalty” = Freiwurf

“referee” = Schiedsrichter

“looking mutinous” = rebellisch gestikulierten

“cruel-beaked bird heads” = Vogelköpfen mit grausamen Schnäbeln

“scaly” = schuppige

“deafening” = ohrenbetäubendes

“broom tail” = Besenschweif

“most exciting” = aufregendste

“had no idea” = war schleierhaft (“was veiled”)

“roared” = polterte

“tremendous force” = enormer Wucht

“horde” = Meute

“scoreboard” = Anzeigetafel

“brave” = tapfer

“surlier” = verdrießlicher

“team members” = Mannschaftskamaraden

“blared” = dudelte

“shrinking” = schrumpften

“forlorn” = elend

“shrugging” = achselzuckend (“armpit-twitching”)

“Quidditch World Cup itself” = Quidditch-Weltmeisterschaftspokal

“appreciatively” = anerkennend

“black eyes” = Veilchen

“bloody face” = blutunterlaufenen Gesicht (“blood-under-accumulated face”)

“slightly duck-footed” = watschelte ein wenig (“waddled a bit”)

“ear-splitting” = ohrenzerfetzendes

“hoarsely” = heiser

“twist” = Wendung

And that’s it for Chapter Eight: Irland gewinnt!

So, with these words you can relive the Fußball Weltmeisterschaft. You can talk about the Springflut aus Jubelschreien when Deutschland gewinnt. You can even discuss the memorable blutunterlaufenen Gesicht and the Tor in Overtime.