A Cold Day on the Town

Since yesterday was the peculiar holiday known as report card holiday, i.e. two days of no school after the half term report cards have been given out, I decided to take the opportunity to go into Bremen. Actually I wanted to visit my aunt at the hospital, but my uncle told me that she’s running a high fever again, cause still undetermined. I’ve been worried about her for a long time, but now I’m really getting scared.

So I couldn’t visit my aunt, but I decided to go into town anyway. The weather was okay, though a lot colder than forecast. The temperature never went above the freezing point, contrary to the forecast. Besides, it’s not as if I have all that many opportunities. So I first did some local grocery shopping and then drove into town.

For lunch, I had Penne Arrabbiata and some Bruschetta at the Übersee, a restaurant housed in the so-called Overseas Museum, which started off as a place for the local seafarers to show off all the cool stuff they brought home from overseas and these days specializes in ethnology, natural history and trade history. I was surprised that the restaurant was so full, but then I realized that I usually come on Monday, when the museum is closed. Yesterday, however, the museum was open. And since it was a school holiday, there were lots of people with children.

The museum is right next to the central station, so I hit the central station bookshop/newsagent looking for “Romanhefte”, those little digest sized German dime novels. I’ve done quite a bit research on “Romanhefte” (paper to come soon) and I knew that Martin Kelter Verlag, one of the two German publishers of “Romanhefte”, is supposed to have two new series out according to their website, but the train station bookstore didn’t have them yet. At least I managed to pick up the third new Kelter series at the supermarket last week.

However, I did get lucky elsewhere. Since the refurbishing in the early 2000s, the central station has a lot more shops than just an excellent newsagent, including a Görtz shoe shop. I normally wouldn’t even have paid attention to this shop, but would have gone to the bigger Görtz store in the city centre or in one of the malls. But these boots currently on sale caught my eye in the display window. So I tried them on and – lo and behold – they fit! Considering the problems I had finding winter boots that fit last year, this was really a stroke of luck.

And there was more to come, too. I bought a necklace from a costume jewelery and accessory shop – chunky jewelery has always been one of my weaknesses. I also indulged in my other weakness, book. I picked up A Fistful of Charms and For a Few Demons More by Kim Harrison, Ruthless Game by Chrstine Feehan, Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs, which is finally out in paperback, Johannes Cabal the Detective by Jonathan L. Howard and Sleepless by Charlie Huston, which just made the 2010 Locus recommended reading list. This brings up the number of books on the 2010 list I actually own and read to four (plus one YA book I bought as a gift). Locus and I have very different tastes.

Finally, here is a great post by Juliette Wade on how to handle dialects in writing. Very helpful advice, considering how incredibly difficult it is to render dialects well.

For example, the allegedly Scottish dialect in all of those Scottish set historical romances with its “dinnae ken” and all that doesn’t resemble what real Scottish people sound like to me in the slightest.

This entry was posted in Books, General, Writing and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A Cold Day on the Town

  1. Sherwood says:

    I wish those Romanhefte were easily available over here. What an easy way to keep up one’s German reading.

    • Cora says:

      There is a specialty retailer named Romantruhe who has pretty much every Romanheft series there is as well as related products and ships internationally. I have no idea what the international shipping rates are, however.

      The Romanheft publishers haven’t started offering e-books yet, which is strange, because Romanhefte would be perfect for e-books.

  2. Estara says:

    My grandmother had just about every Hedwig Courts-Mahler Romanheft published, and I read them all – they were my introduction to romance – them and the short stories in Frau im Spiegel magazine ^^. She had some Doctor romances but I didn’t like them that much. I’m pretty sure they were all thrown away after she died.

    • Cora says:

      Bastei has been continuously reprinting the more than 200 Hedwig Courths-Mahler novels since acquired the rights in 1973. I think they are on the 8th or 9th reprint cycle by now. They hold up pretty well, too, considering they were written in the 1910s and 1920s.

      I remember the serialized “Illustriertenromane” as well as the self-contained romance and mystery short stories as well. Sadly, the form seems to have died out, because when I flip through my Mom’s gossip and women’s mags, there are no more serialized novels, though the mystery shorts occasionally survive. I always liked reading them as well. Even a news magazine like Stern serialized novels back in the day – usually of the more “adult” sort I officially wasn’t supposed to read and read anyway.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *