... my calculation of the number of readers being likely to find my home page was a failure. People using
search engines to find information about famous names like David Copperfield, Jane Austen or Mr. Smith are very likely
to come across this here site too. A fact that was not part of my consideration.
There's a lot I could tell about my further experience with reading books in a foreign language.
Unfortunately I'm a bit in a hurry, so I have to cut it short. It's highly recommended for those wishing to feel
younger than they are. It's a real fountain of youth. Well, maybe feeling like an eight year old boy or girl again
is more than you really want.
As I keep on reading I'll continue my list of books as well. I'll do this once in a year with an
annual issue of the "Red Bonnet Letter". Some of you asked me for more information about the stories that I
wrote. After reading so many excellent books I'm no longer sure if it's really worth while to translate them
into the English language. However, I made up my mind to give you a short summary of one story for each year. This year
it is ...
... about The Red Bonnet
The correct translation of the German title "Das rote Käppchen" would be "The Little Red
Cap". This title is allready used for a different story, also known as "The Red Riding Hood". To avoid
confusion I called my story "The Red Bonnet" instead. The story is about a girl suffering invisibility because
she is a moon-child. She is a very lonesome child because except for her parents nobody can see her. Therefore she is
not allowed to go out into the garden and play with the sun-children. Once she tries but it's a great disaster and
she nearly gets killed. Her desolation comes to an end when on her fifth birthday her parents give her a very special
birthday present: a beautiful red bonnet that makes her visible to all the sun-children. Thenceforth she is the happiest
moon-child of all and she could be quite contented but she wants more. On her sixth birthday she gets a pair of
Lemon-Yellow-Jumping-Boots. On her seventh birthday she gets a Peppermint-Green-Fluttering-Shirt. As I was too lazy to
think of more wonderful things to give her, the last things she gets are a Snow-White-Look-At-Me-Dress and a pair of
Crystal-Tripping-Shoes. Then her parents take her to the third floor where she is to become a Young Lady and to stay
with the Three Old Gentlemen. I think Moon-Child didn't like it very much because it all ends up in a great flood
and everything is washed away. You can also learn some other things from this story. What a Red-Bonnet-List is good for
and what the Red-Bonnet-Song goes like. Why icecream does not melt in a flame and how to brood a chicken in the
refrigerator. What you never need when hanging around and why you can do without a Peppermint-Green-Fluttering-List.
Where the Fallen Girls go and how to become a Veritable Queen ...
Now I'm really in a hurry so here comes ...
... the continuation of the list
The Catcher in the Rye [by J. D. Salinger, 1945]:
Old Phoebe, she has about five thousand notebooks and I wouldn't wonder if one of those notebooks is red and if
there's a special list in it. She knows what it takes to become visible. If a red bonnet isn't handy a red
hunting hat will do. And think of this: A motion picture only happens on the screen but a book happens all inside your
The Illustrated Man [by Ray Bradbury, 1952]:
The pictures were moving, each in its turn, each for a brief minute or two. The lions look real. A giant can-opener. The
blue clear Martian sky. The end of the world. The rocket lifted into the sky on a pillar of fire. He was looking at the
sun. There were seven rooms, each a different colour. They moved through the house and turned out the lights. There was
a moon. No people in all the universe. They were in Mexico in the year 1938. The New York towers faded. Tears came to
his eyes. Into the wet interior were placed organs of copper, brass, silver, aluminium, rubber and silk. Slam went the
door. He walked up toward the playground, planning the future.
Microserfs [by Douglas Coupland,
What makes the difference between me and you? Am I alive? I think so. But there must be a difference between being
alive and having a life. Not having a life is an unpleasant state. I'm going to buy myself a kayak so
that I can at least fake having a life. But where shall I keep that kayak if I don't have a garage? And something
else that bothers me. Can anybody tell me what a nerd is or a geek? I'm most terribly frightened that
I might turn out to be a nerd or a geek without being aware of it.
Harry Potter and the
Philosopher's Stone [by Joanne K. Rowling, 1997]:
A few years ago I was haunted by a cat staring into my kitchen window. She had that typical cattish look on her face, a
mixture of curiosity, caution and contempt. I wondered if I should let her in and give her some milk or other. I was
just about to open the window when she boldly said "me-yow!" to me. As you are not supposed to open your
window for someone who says "me-yow!" to you I changed my mind and kept the window shut. After roaming my
garden for a week or two, peeping in every once in a while, she disappeard and I never saw her again. Now having read
this Harry Potter book I am convinced that I made a big mistake. I remember this cat, there was a ribbon around her neck
and attached to this ribbon was a little white pendant. I took it for a sort of locket or capsule, just like silly old
dogs use to carry with them as to keep their address in it in case they get lost. How could I miss? A cat never needs
such a thing! Now I know there must have been something else in this capsule. A message for me. A very important
message, to be sure. It could have changed my life in a wonderful way if only I hadn't missed it. Will there be a
second chance? Oh, please don't let me be a Muggle for the rest of my life!
Angela's Ashes [by
Franc McCourt, 1996]:
A golden seal on the cover says "WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE". Is this a story for me? Am I allowed to read
it or listen to it? I'm not sure but I felt quite at home in it's language throughout the book. Pure and smart
and generous enough not to bother me with loads of fancy yellow words. A seamless string of tale and speech. A strange
vision of a child in my head, babbling and babbling and telling me everything.
The Adventures of Huckleberry
Finn [by Mark Twain, 1885]:
I used to be a little ashamed that there was not a bit of useful information on my website. Now I make up for this by
quoting a very useful desert island list I found in this Huckleberry Finn book. If you should ever happen to be deserted
on a deserted island leave all your books and records and other dainties at home. You are much better off with a
haversack containing some or all of the following things: An old tin lantern - a butcher knife whithout any handle -
a bran-new Barlow knife - a lot of tallow candles - a tin candle stick - a gourd - a tin cup - a ratty old bed-quilt - a
reticule with needles and pins and beeswax and buttons and thread and all such truck in it - a hatchet - some nails - a
fishline as thick as my little finger with some monstrous hooks on it - a roll of buckskin - a leather dog-collar - a
horse-shoe - some vials of medicine that don't have no lable on them - a tolerable good curry-comb - a ratty old
fiddle-bow - a wooden leg. I knowed it would spoil most of my irregular verbs but I had to read this book anyway to
be prepared for the next one from the other side which is...
Beloved [by Toni Morrison, 1987]:
One two three four - be spiteful - be loud - be quiet - be loved - crawling already - not quite in a hurry but losing no
time - pleasantly troubled - discreet flecks of yellow sprinkled among - tree on my back - circling the subject - round
and round the room - call me my name - she is my sister - I swallowed her blood - I love my mother - she cut my head off
every night - just a thing grown-up people do - a juniper tree - how can I say words that are pictures - there is no
place where I stop - a hot thing - as though it were what language was made for - sweet crazy conversations full of half
sentences daydreams and misunderstandings more thrilling than understanding could ever be.
Now let me thank you again for all your kind response. I hope to "see" you again here next year and
until then I wish you a merry last christmas of the century, a happy new year and all the best for the next