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The Mirror and the Light
Hilary Mantel

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"You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough." ― Mae West

"The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read." ― Mark Twain

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In the Spirit of (Re-)Introduction: Shelfies, Reviewer Profiles & Such

Jumping onto several bandwaggons at once (even though I'm admittedly a bit late for the "shelfie" thing, but anyway).


My real name is Ulrike; I'm an attorney and live in Germany (Bonn – working in Cologne, however).  You'll find the combined extended version of my profile on the "About Me" and "Either / or: Reading Preferences" pages linked in the menu to the left of my blog – i.e., here, here, here, and here;  but for summary purposes ...


I've loved books and stories as long as I can remember; even when I was little and before I could read, one of the first things I learned to do was how to operate our record player and play my favorite recordings of fables, fairy tales and other stories.  (The photo to the left was taken when I was 2 or 3 years old; my mom's comment in the photo album reads: "First thing upon returning from a walk: a story!")


Fairly early on I was introduced to Greek mythology, which I came to find decidedly more interesting than the kiddy books that well-meaning but more distant an hence sadly clueless relatives tried to foist on me.  (But I mean, seriously, how could they even think that sort of stuff would be able to compete with honest-to-Zeus deities, or with heroes like Odysseus and Achilles??)  My biggest personal heroes were Pallas Athena and Odysseus – the first of these, obviously, also providing 1/2 of the inspiration for the screen name I adopted decades later; initially in a move to put up a screen against an online stalker.  The other part of my screen name is a nod to the Greek goddess of justice; the equivalent of the Ancient Romans' Justitia (the Romans essentially also cribbed her depiction, blindfolded with scales, from the Greeks).


From mythology my reading tastes spread out as quickly as uncontrolledly and widely; these days, there's hardly a type of book I won't touch at all, though the classics have remained a particular favorite of mine, as are literary fiction, mysteries, historical fiction, and nonfiction history.


And, of course, at some point early in high school I discovered the works of William Shakespeare, and henceforth I was essentially done for.  So, moving on to the shelfies part of this post here are the "Shakespeare & Co." sections of my living room bookshelf and my DVD rack(s) (alright, make that "Shakespeare and other lit classics" in the DVD section):




And then ... I dunno, does a wall count as a bookshelf as well?  Because my Shakespeare collection kind of wouldn't be complete without my poster-size 1-page editions of Hamlet and the Bard's sonnets ... and the facsimile of Shakespeare's will I brought home from Stratford: