English and Dutch books you should read (part II)
Curated by Paulien Cornelisse
'The first poem I ever read by Ingmar Heytze was on the back of the VPRO Gids. I was still a kid, but I caught myself thinking as an adult: I should remember this name for later, and here the opportunity has arisen.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'One of the best Dutch nonfiction books. Suzanne Jansen investigates how the poor from the big cities used to be sent to the Peat Colonies against their will, more or less to be re-educated. She also brilliantly describes how poverty and the stigma that comes with it is passed on from generation to generation. I think this book is mandatory, especially in these times when it is often said that everyone has equal opportunities.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'A book about the future, in which nature on earth only occurs in reserves. This sounds rather dystopian but there is also a very hopeful element in this story, which I will not reveal. But let me just say that it has to do with communication.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'I think this is the finest collection of Van het Reve essays there is. In every essay he analyzes a widely held belief. For example: At Philips they could make a lamp that burns for years, but they don't, because then they won't sell any more. Very rational but also funny, Van het Reve explains why this is nonsense.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'Sei Shonagon was a lady at the Japanese court in the tenth century. She wrote down what she liked, what bothered her, and what moved her. It is a kind of column bundle that allows you to look directly back ten centuries in time. Sometimes what she writes is extremely strange to people living today, but more often it is completely familiar.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'This is a masterpiece. Not only exciting, but also sweet. In a way logical too: of course cats are aware of everything! Of course they think just like us. It is a human handicap that we cannot understand them.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'I have read The Bureau with great pleasure. Voskuil's alter ego Maarten Koning describes how he functions as an office slave in the micro-society of Het Bureau. In De Buurman we read how Maarten is actually caught up in complicated social situations at home. Because they now take place at home, they feel even more inescapable than in Het Bureau.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'Photo comics are mostly swoony romantic stories from the 1970s and 1980s. Ype Driessen takes the entire genre to a higher level with an autobiographical photographic novel. He analyzes his own fears and neuroses in a very funny way. I think this book is unique in the world.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'A nice collection of summer stories. Van Lonkhuyzen observes in such a surprising manner that I read the book in one sitting. Also important: I think it's the only adult book that comes with a sticker sheet.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'For me a recent, but memorable discovery. George Saunders' short stories often have an interesting form but the story that they tell is always good.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'One of my favourite writers and I think this is her best book. A presentation of short stories written so naturally that I think: she must have experienced this herself, otherwise she wouldn't write it like that. However that's not true, she can just write really well.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'Jennifer Egan writes so freshly and draws you into the story so well. For example, in this book she manages to write an entire chapter in the form of a Powerpoint presentation, which is also very moving!' — Paulien Cornelisse
'I think all of David Sedaris's books are very funny and good. In Calypso he adds a layer to his work that is a bit more melancholic. I was moved by this book (but also managed to laugh "as usual").' — Paulien Cornelisse
'A true story about a British politician who is destroyed over a homosexual affair - which is still illegal in England in the 1960s. There is also a good mini-series of this book (starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw) however this book is even better. In an often humorous way, Preston describes how the world is connected by clumsiness and coincidences.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'A wonderful essay by Carl Wilson, who hates Celine Dion. Since Dion is extremely popular worldwide, he tries to investigate how it is possible that he cannot feel the love for her. It is a beautiful and touching attempt to examine his own snobbery. In the meantime, you also learn a lot about the phenomenon Celine Dion and immediately question all your own examples of "good taste".' — Paulien Cornelisse
'In my opinion the best book about how things went in the DDR.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'A hilarious and at times scary book about extremists on the left and right. Ronson describes how many extremists ultimately end up with the same ideas. He is also good at describing interesting details such as how he accidentally overhears people in the toilet talking about how the world is actually run by large lizards in human form.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'A slightly scary picture book about what can happen when you think you're just sleeping. Sendak is best known for Max and the Maximonsters but I actually like this book better because of the everyday things that magically shine in the night kitchen.' — Paulien Cornelisse
'We know Murakami from wonderful stories with surreal elements. This book is very concrete and tells about the importance of discipline and routine when practicing art. That's why I think this book is perhaps his most "Japanese". — Paulien Cornelisse
'A must-read for everyone. In a general sense the story is about how you can try to shape your own life as well as how your own imagination can sometimes run away with you.' — Paulien Cornelisse
Paulien Cornelisse is a great fan of the Dutch language. "Annoy you? You can do that in your spare time" says Paulien, before going on a search like a detective for language innovations, miscommunications and bizarre turns of conversation. She shares her latest fascinations in Taal voor de leuk, her third language book.
The sequel to the bestseller Taal is really my thing. And then there is more than the title suggests. The successor to Taal is really my thing (2009) is again full of useless, yet amusing analyzes of our language use. This is not a P.S. but an update.
Language is really my thing is the mega-bestseller by Paulien Cornelisse with equally hilarious and recognizable observations about our language use.
Cavia works in the Communication department. In short humorous chapters, we get to know her and her colleagues. Stella from Human Resources. Ruud the creepy head of the finance department. And Harm-Jan from the IT department, who has been keeping a tamagotchi alive since 1999. The Confused Guinea Pig is a funny and moving book, indispensable for anyone who has ever had colleagues or perhaps still has them.
Japan in Hundred Small Pieces is a refreshing book for travellers, those at home, language enthusiasts and other curious people. Paulien Cornelisse lets you experience what it feels like to love a country that will never be yours.
Niko likes to play the triangle, because it makes the most beautiful sound in the world. PING. But then the peace is disturbed by a gentleman who comes with a bassoon. VOMP. When a girl with a timpani and two ladies with violins also turn up, a cacophony of sound is created: PING, VOMP, Zwie, DOEM. It doesn't sound like much until Niko proposes to play together. And then an orchestra is created and how beautiful that sounds! In collaboration with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.