24 October, 2009

Bona Fide: Weekly Roundup #43

Hello and welcome to issue #43 of my Weekly Roundup. As promised I don't talk about time. But maybe you have been a bit surprised that we didn't post every day. The reason for that is simple: Alec is busy with other stuff and I don't have the capacity to write more. Yay! I didn't use the magic word t**e. Did you notice? In two months time is Christmas! I started to think about Christmas gifts, especially my own wishes. Beginning with next Roundup I will add a section where I will talk about possibly gifts and so on. And now enjoy reading.....

Bona Fide's Menu

  1. Shelf discovery of the week: Winter's Tale by Mark Helprin
  2. Good news for all Eddie LaCrosse fans
  3. Lord Kelvin's Machine by James T. Blaylock - free audio download
  1. Steampunk Art @ Oxford
  2. Staircases, Spiral Staircases, Unbelievable Spiral Staircases
  3. Steampunk Month on Tor.com - what you maybe missed
  4. Unusual competition
  1. The Wolfman - New trailer
  1. Second round of German proverbs


The book I discovered this week is a real gem. Written in 1983, the book had neither nominated nor won any important literary prize. But got several votes in New York Times survey "What is the Best Work of American Fiction of the Last 25 Years?" in 2006 [Sources 1, 2]. I feel a bit ashamed that I haven't read Winter's Tale (1983) [US][UK], by Mark Helprin so far. Is there anybody out there who read this juwel?
Winter's TalePlease apologize, that I did not write a own summary but I think the following text from Mr. Helprin's website is far better then my possible humble words:
"Set in New York at the beginning and the end of the twentieth century, Winter´s Tale unfolds with such great narrative force and beauty that a reader can feel that its world is more real than his own. Standing alone on the page before the book begins are the words, I have been to another world, and come back. Listen to me. In that world, both winter and the city of New York (old and new) have the strength and character of protagonists, and the protagonists themselves move as if in a vivid dream. Though immensely complicated, the story is centered upon Peter Lake, a turn-of-the-century Irish burglar, and Beverly Penn, a young heiress whom he encounters in robbing her house, and who eventually will die young and in his arms. His love for her, and a gift of grace, will allow him after the most extraordinary and painful explorations and discoveries to stop time and bring back the dead. To follow him, his predecessors, his inheritors, and his companions is to experience one of the great stories of American literature." [Source]
And the more I have been impressed by Mark Helprin's statements about Mark Helprin about writing Winter's Tale
" . . . When writing Winter's Tale, I lived in Manhattan and Brooklyn and was obsessed with every aspect of the city, to the point of walking, wandering really, ten to twenty miles a day to gather sight, sound, and incident, as if every view, every ray of light that would come from the west at sunset from beneath a lid of black cloud and turn the city gold, every face, and every snatch of overheard conversation, were a diamond that I would put in my pocket. Often I would go for days at a time to the New York Historical Society, the books and paintings there drawing me so deeply into the city's past that I lost track of where I was. I had wanted to catch a fleeting presence that I was afraid would soon vanish completely, but then discovered that this presence, as if in a parallel dimension, was throbbing with a vitality that threatened to overflow its banks. It seemed as if everyone and every thing that had come before had left a mark, and that each mark and trace, when recognized and honored, would rise in a great commotion like a flight of many angels. It was as if every day I would have to say to myself, ‘Oh God, what a magnificent city, and how lucky I am to have seen it’ . . . . " [Source]
I must think again of my reading order......

As you may know I'm a big fan of sword-jockey Eddie LaCrosse, made alive by Alex Bledsoe. I reviewed both novels - the available The Sword-Edged Blonde (2007) [review] and the upcoming Burn Me Deadly [US, 10th November 2009][UK, 2nd November 2009] [review]. Within this week Alex Bledsoe made a big announcement: There will be definitely two more Eddie LaCrosse novels!! In winter 2011 Eddie will return in DARK JENNY . And in summer 2012 we will meet him again in a currently untitled adventure. And Alex Bledsoe is working on a brand new world. First book - THE HUM AND THE SHIVER - will be released in fall 2011. All books will be published by Tor.

There was following announcement over at Subterranean Press:
"As we’ve recently published a brand new Langdon St. Ives adventure, The Ebb Tide, we thought it the perfect time to revisit one of the gentleman scientist’s other adventures, in a captivating audio read by Sam Mowry. Keep your lanterns, heavy winter jackets, and a firearm or two handy as you hear “Lord Kelvin’s Machine”."
So far I didn't read a book by James P Blaylock. But as far as I know you find steampunk elements in his Langdon St. Ives books. Now download and listen..... Let me know what you think about it.


The Museum of the History of Science, Oxford University, UKThe Museum of the History of Science, Oxford University, UK, presents from 13 October 2009 to 21 February 2010 Steampunk Art. Unfortunately I can't visit because I don't live in UK. But like you I can have a look at the pictures shown over at Steampunk Art @ Oxford. Hopy you enjoy!

Every now and then spiral staircases appear in books and movies. Normally we don't think about them. I promise you that will change as soon as you have viewed an read Spiraling Out of Control: The Greatest Spiral Stairs in the World. Highly recommended!

October 2009 is the steampunk month of Tor.com. Until 22nd of October they published 52 posts - all related to steampunk! Essays, giveaways, art and more. You should have a look if you are interested in steampunk. Fortunately there is an index of all the posts. Just follow the link: Steampunk Month on Tor.com.

I like book competitions and giveaways. So I take part very often. In the first part of 2009 I won several books. And now my question: Would you write a write 4 line poem about a publisher, it's authors or its books in order to get the opportunity to win nine books at once? I couldn't withstand and took part. In case you would like to take part you have to switch to My Favourite Books where awesome Liz manages this cool competition. Good Luck to all participants.


In Roundup #35 I showed you the first trailer of The Wolfman (2010) which is a remake of The Wolf Man (1941) [trailer]. Now the second trailer is available and I don't want to keep it back:


As promised this week I continue with the presentation of German proverbs. And again I used wikiqoute as my main source.
" * Morgen, morgen, nur nicht heute, sagen alle faulen Leute.
Translation: Tomorrow, tomorrow, just not today, all the lazy people say.
Never put off till tomorrow what you can do today."

" * Neue Besen kehren gut ... (Part 1 often used without part 2)
Translation: New brooms clean well...
Meaning: New things may look good on the first glimpse...
or: A change may be an improvement...

...aber der Alte kennt die Ecken. (Part 2)
Translation: ...but the old one knows the corners.
Meaning: ...but old things can still be better on the second look.”

" Wer rastet, der rostet.
Translation: "He who rests, will be rusting."
Meaning: "If you stop moving (in both a physical and an intellectual meaning) it gets harder to start moving again."
English proverb: "A rolling stone gathers no moss."


Dave said...

I love the German proverbs as usual. The only one I knew already was "Wer rastet, der rostet."

Please keep up the proverbs & translations ;)

ediFanoB said...


I will do it for a while. Maybe I will add one or two quotes.

Krista said...

Hey! No worries on posting all the time...it's hard enough for me to get one post a week out! lol! :) Posts take quite awhile to get right and post, I know :)

I haven't read or ever heard of the Winter's Tale before now, so thanks :) It sounds amazing...

I hope you do good with that contest! I would write a poem but I'm not very good at them myself... LOL!

The Greatest Spiral Stairs in the World was really cool, thanks for sharing :)

Oh, That movie looks *Awesome*!

Love the German proverbs! Great stuff this week!

Oh, and I think that'd be a good idea to do a few German proverbs and a few other quotes :)

You have a wonderful day!

ediFanoB said...

You are so kind Krista!
I think it is better to have fewer posts but with good content.

Yes, Winter's Tale sounds amazing. I need to read it. Sometimes I'm really surprised which books I bought.

I received a first reaction concerning my poem. It seems it is not that bad. But normally I'm not got at writing poems like a lot of other people.
When the contest is over I will post my poem. It doesn't matter whether I won or not.

Good to read that you agree with my idea to post German proverbs and quotes. I must say I missed my quotes a bit...

I wish you good luck with your blog and have a wonderful day too.

Krista said...

I have to agree with you, Better content is a lot better than more posts! Keep up the good work! :)

Anonymous said...

Winter's Tale is a beautiful, wondrous book. Its opening sections are among the most breathtaking prose I've ever read. I could get all crazy hyperbolic here but I'll try to hold back. ;) Suffice it to say, it's a brilliant book. The ending third or so is not quite to the standards of the first parts, but it's still an excellent read.

ediFanoB said...


I have nothing to add. You're welcome!

ediFanoB said...


thank you for sharing your thoughts about Winter's Tale. That is one more reason to read the book soon. But first I have to finish another book. And in this case I would like to avoid to read two books parallel, what I do sometimes.