Daily Archives: August 12, 2016

The Robber Hotzenplotz by Otfried Preussler

The Robber Hotzenplotz by Otfried Preussler Title: The Robber Hotzenplotz
Author: Otfried Preussler
Translated by: Anthea Bell from German
Publisher: NYRB Children’s Collection
ISBN: 978-1590179611
Genre: Children’s Fiction
Pages: 128
Source: Publisher
Rating: 5 Stars

I steer clear from most children’s fiction. I don’t know why but that has always been the case – more or less. There are some books though that catches my fancy and I happened to literally bump into “The Robber Hotzenplotz” by Otfried Preussler online and couldn’t resist getting my own copy (on request from publisher) and I was more than pleasantly surprised by the book.

The story is simply told. The plot is of two boys – around eight or nine year olds – who are best friends – Kasperl and Seppel and of the robber Hotzenplotz who works very hard to hide in the woods and wait for his next victim. His next victim happens to be Kasperl’s grandmother, who he attacks and steals her coffee mill. The boys then head out to rescue the mill from Hotzenplotz and find themselves in the midst of one adventure after another.

Preussler’s writing is funny – in the sense not only for children but also for adults. The translation by Anthea Bell is simple and works with every single turn of the page. The illustrations are magnificent and won’t let go of you that easily. I loved the simple and yet so human like illustrations.

To me the book was a breeze of a read and will be the same for you. I was just wondering also of the numerous tales that we do not pay attention to, either because we aren’t familiar with them or because our culture doesn’t expose us to them. NYRB Children’s Classics plans to change that I hope with the publication of such classics that more children will read from different countries and know more. I know, I for one will lap them all.

“The Robber Hotzenplotz” is a funny read for both children and adults and I highly recommend this one.

Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice to Ease a Worried Mind by Catherine Lepage

Thin Slices of Anxiety by Catherine Lepage Title: Thin Slices of Anxiety: Observations and Advice to Ease a Worried Mind
Author: Catherine Lepage
Publisher: Chronicle Books
ISBN: 978-1452145792
Genre: Non-Fiction, Self-Help
Pages: 104
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 Stars

Why do we get anxious? What is it about us that make us feel that way? Is it us or the environment or the circumstances surrounding us? Catherine Lepage’s books “Thin Slices of Anxiety” talks to us about anxieties, fears and phobias in a manner that is not only easy and simple but also fun.

Thin Slices of Anxiety by Catherine Lepage - Image 1

I came across this book on a friend’s blog and I knew that I had to have it on my bookshelf. This book is unlike anything I have read on anxiety and what it takes to calm down. I have read self-help books but I also cannot classify this book in that category.
“Thin Slices of Anxiety” is a meditation on how to ease the worried mind. In today’s day and age we are flooded with worries. We don’t know when one begins and the other ends. Life is almost a battle and it doesn’t have to be that way.

Thin Slices of Anxiety by Catherine Lepage - Image 2

Catherine Lepage takes us through anxiety by distilling it for us into four habits that are very clear and plain to see that actually set anxiety into motion. They are: Accumulation of fatigue, Repressing emotions, setting goals too high and collecting responsibilities. Maybe the first step is to let go and then take a back seat (how many of us actually want to do that at all?) and go through the emotional repertoire and see how we can use that better to ease life.

Thin Slices of Anxiety by Catherine Lepage - Image 4

This book doesn’t preach. It doesn’t promise to change your life. It will not do all those things. It is a basic and most needed primer of our times – given the lifestyle choices we make and how perhaps we really do need to stop and smell the roses and not run all the time – from pillar to post, without getting anywhere at all.