Month: March 2015

To the Reader – Charles Baudelaire

Dear Monsieur Baudelaire, You do not know me and I doubt you ever will as we are divided by both time and place – notably me living above ground and you residing below, but you do know of me, as I am a reader of Les Fleurs du Mal. You are heralded as the father of modern poetry, your contribution to poetry a loud reaction to pious idealism and romanticism. I wonder what you would say to that judgment. Would you relish the recognition and the bright rays of success or would you roll your eyes at the epitaphs, finding them the empty labels of fickle readers? I do not know you well at this point in time, but with the assistance of the World Wide Web (I’ll explain what that is at a later time) and a nifty edition of your poetry: Everyman’s Library Pocket Poet, I endeavor to read your poetry more attentively. (Would do you think about being a “Pocket Poet”?) I can practically hear you uncorking an emerald bottle and pouring …

Haruki Murakami

Murakami is one of the few authors that leaves me speechless. I have read a couple of his fictional books and they always leave me in a vacuum because they are so abundant, full, accomplished in every facet that they leave an immense emptiness when I finished reading them. The period of emptiness persists until the thoughts, experiences, and everything else I’ve picked up during my reading, fades and lands like Autumn leaves at my feet and I am able to examine them in my own sweet time. Merely stating that Murakami is a post-World War 2, Japanese author is oversimplifying. To Westerners, he is Japanese, but to the Japanese literary establishment, he is quite un-Japanese. However, many agree that he is both an important author in postmodern literature and one of the greatest contemporary authors. One facet that I truly appreciate about Murakami (born 1949) is that he has lived outside of writing. He is the complete opposite of those authors, who began writing before that took solid foods and have always existed in …

I am a book hoarder

I have at least a thousand books and I love every single one of them. “Love” may sound a bit much, but it isn’t in my opinion. My books provide a constant comfort and they keep me calm. I can’t imagine my home without books and I can’t imagine not reading at least one book at a time. My nightstand is always littered with books I am reading, about to read, or simply contemplating reading. My home library has expanded since my teens. Every time I have moved, new bookcases and shelving is a must. I admit I find it very difficult to discard books. Let this be the place, where I stand up and acknowledge that I am a book hoarder. Hi, my name is Louise, and I am a book hoarder. There are plenty of opportunities to forwarding books to other readers, but I keep 99 % – even the books that I found disappointing. You can sell your books online or at a flea market. You can give them away or donate …

Henry Ward Beecher

It is amazing how some families count numerous influential members; the American Beecher clan is one of these. Lyman Beecher was one of the best known Calvinist ministers of his age, and among his children are Henry Ward Beecher (1813 – 1887) and Harriet Beecher Stowe (Uncle Tom’s Cabin). Henry Ward Beecher was educated at Amherst College and served as a minister. His lectures were very popular, as he used humor, dialect, and slang to forward God’s love above all else. In the years up to the Civil War, Henry Ward Beecher was involved in abolitionist movement, sending rifles – called Beecher’s Bibles – to fighting abolitionists. After the war, he also supported women’s suffrage and temperance. By now, you’re probably thinking archetypical New England, forward thinking minister. Cue associations to Louise M. Alcott’s Little Women, North and South, and Gone with the Wind, but Henry Ward Beecher was scandalous as well. He was known to be a womanizer, and subject to adultery charges in 1875. The court case ended with a hung jury. Henry …

Q & A with Kylie Scott, author of Lick

Australian author Kylie Scott is a longtime fan of romance, rock music, and B-grade horror films. She is based in Queensland with her two children and husband – and she took the time to answer a few questions for Louise’s Home Library. Louise: Have you experienced prejudices from friends, family, or the public after writing and publishing (erotic) romances? Kylie: There are always some people who look down on romance. But I usually find they’ve never actually read any, so their opinion doesn’t mean much. My family and friends have been very supportive. Louise: Which books inspire you? Kylie: The books that inspire me are ones like Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and Beauty by Robin McKinley. They have a heart and soul to them, a certain charm. I’ve read both of them numerous times. Louise: Why do you think, readers devour and love “Lick” and other romance novels? Kylie: I think we love romance novels because they’re about the close connections we make going through life. Plus they give us hope, they encourage …

Lick – Kylie Scott

What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas… or so the saying goes, but for 21-year-old Evelyn an over-the-top birthday bash has some over-the-top legal and romantic consequences. She wakes up in the bathroom of a hotel room with a diamond on her finger, no memory of the night before, and a less than happy tattooed stud cum husband cum rock star at her side. “Lick” draws on the fantasy that pretty much every girl and woman from her teens and up has daydreamed about and the novel does it cheek fanning well. I won’t spoil the twists and turns here, but merely say that “Lick” hits the balance between story, chemistry, romance, and a dash of erotica. I should also mention, that “Lick” is part of the Stage Dive series consisting of four, stand-alone books. I have them on stand-by. During 2014, romances were one of the main genres that I have read. As with any other genre, there are books I haven’t been able to put down, books that didn’t strike a chord with …

Reading aloud

A friend of mine reminded me of the joy of reading together. I don’t mean discussing a book in a book club, but reading aloud to one another. Lenette and I (Sorry Lenette, for breaking your anonymity) were young students in Copenhagen together, living in tiny loft rooms with shared kitchens and baths. We couldn’t afford to buy books, but were big customers at the public library – and we read for each other in the evenings, on vacations, and everywhere else. We read many different genres and authors; most vivid in my memory the entire Harry Potter series. Parents read aloud for their children, but at a certain age, we seem to forget the joy and shared reading experience of reading together. Sometimes, you’ll hear an excerpt read at a book signing or other event, but reading chapter after chapter together is a rarity. Lenette and I didn’t always discuss the book in detail; it wasn’t a two-woman book club. However, we had these wonderful jokes about Dobby (the house elf from Harry Potter) …

Acquainted with the night – Robert Frost

”I have been one acquainted with the night.” Just that first line gives me that chills. “Acquainted with the night” by Robert Frost is my favorite poem. I would never be able to pinpoint a novel as my favorite, but since I first heard this poem at the age of 10, I have loved it, felt it, and even lived it as times. Did you notice I heard it the first time? Remember the 1980s series of Beauty and the Beast starring Linda Hamilton and Ron Perlman? My father gave me the soundtrack to the series, and it consists of these beautiful instrumental pieces and Ron Perlman reading sonnets and poems. His voice is amazing! I believe I know all the featured sonnets and poems by heart, but “Acquainted with the night” was special for me. The first image is a person, walking through the city streets at night – alone. The loneliness of the poem is exquisite; it is a defensive maneuver and an observant retreat at the same time. By adding time to …