The History of Bees

by Maja Lunde | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 1471162761 Global Overview for this book
Registered by discoverylover of Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on 9/13/2020
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5 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by discoverylover from Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, September 13, 2020
This was one of my favourite reads this year. I came across it randomly as an audiobook and thoroughly enjoyed it! The characters were all interesting and well developed and I found their struggles moving. I liked that the story ranged over 150 years, with three individual stories happening, but with links to each main character from each era.

Journal Entry 2 by discoverylover at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand on Sunday, September 13, 2020

Released 3 yrs ago (9/13/2020 UTC) at Wellington City, Wellington Province New Zealand

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Sending on as a Christmas gift for someone. Hope you enjoy!

Journal Entry 3 by bookfrogster at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Monday, December 28, 2020
This looks like it will be really good. Thanks for picking this one for me!

Journal Entry 4 by bookfrogster at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Novels with more than one narrative don't always work, or there is often one narrator that you don't care about and whose chapters you end up skimming. That was not the case with this book. The main thing i took from this story of the demise of bees was a sense of hope and good ness knows we could all do with a bit of that! Thank you for sending me this one discoverylover, it was a good choice! I hope to find another appreciative reader for it.

Journal Entry 5 by bookfrogster at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom on Sunday, May 23, 2021

Released 3 yrs ago (5/24/2021 UTC) at Edinburgh, Scotland United Kingdom

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And off it goes to Chania as part of the wishlist tag game. Happy reading!

Journal Entry 6 by Chania at Kokkola, Keski-Pohjanmaa / Mellersta Österbotten Finland on Tuesday, June 8, 2021
Thank you so much, this looks lovely!

Journal Entry 7 by Chania at Kokkola, Keski-Pohjanmaa / Mellersta Österbotten Finland on Tuesday, May 23, 2023
Very impressive book, one of my favourites so far this year!

Journal Entry 8 by Chania at Kuopio, Pohjois-Savo / Norra Savolax Finland on Sunday, July 2, 2023

Released 11 mos ago (7/2/2023 UTC) at Kuopio, Pohjois-Savo / Norra Savolax Finland

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Halonhakkaaja gets to read this next!

Journal Entry 9 by halonhakkaaja at Kuopio, Pohjois-Savo / Norra Savolax Finland on Sunday, July 9, 2023
Looks really interesting, thank you!

Journal Entry 10 by halonhakkaaja at Kuopio, Pohjois-Savo / Norra Savolax Finland on Saturday, October 14, 2023
Wow! Such a great book. In the back cover there is a quote from Good Housekeeping: "Fans of Cloud Atlas and Never Let Me Go will love The History of Bees". I'm definitely a fan of both. The movie Cloud Atlas (based on the book) is one of my favorite movies and the book Never Let Me Go is one of my favorite books. So the Good Housekeeping was right, I loved this book.

The stories made me think e.g. the meaning of life, importance of other people, second chances. So many important themes. And the facts of bees are interesting and their decrease so sad.

Thank you so much for sharing this <3

Released 2 mos ago (4/19/2024 UTC) at BC 2024 Convention in Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland

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Läsglädje!

Journal Entry 12 by Apechild at Tampere, Pirkanmaa / Birkaland Finland on Sunday, April 21, 2024
This sounded interesting, so I picked it from the book buffet table at the convention in Tampere on the first day. I have been a little slow with my admin!

Halonhakkaaja, jag undrar om det var dig jag dansade polka med imorse? Jag var helt slut efteråt, behöver träna på det.

Journal Entry 13 by Apechild at York, North Yorkshire United Kingdom on Thursday, May 9, 2024
My goodness, what a book. I feel like I am still digesting a lot of what I have read. I know a lot of what is in here isn't new as such, or it isn't now in 2024. We know that for nature to function properly you need all levels of the food chain, that pollinators play a vital role, that you can't industrialised natural processes to the extent that we see in the USA with the mass mobile hives to go around pollinating mono culture agriculture. Which of course then got hit with the hive deaths. We still have this problem in areas of the countryside that are essentially green deserts with single crops and nature almost wiped put via pesticides. But I would like to hope things are getting better and we are slowly getting better at working with nature. So that we won't end up in Lundes dystopia future in China where all the pollinators are gone and you are stuck with hand pollinating, or just relying on plants that use wind pollination. There is also this theme of the importance of community, and we are all in it together, and in isolation we die; be it the bee community, natural ecology, human family and friendship, society or the universe or whatever. I vaguely remember when I studied Scandi children's literature that they said this theme of community came through strongly from Norway.

I did wonder if I wasn't going to find it all that engaging because of the three very separate (well, seemingly) story threads. But it did get very addictive. There's the Victorian English tale of William, desperate to get the approval from his old teacher (who felt like a bit of a toxic father figure) by making some great discovery in beekeeping. Then around 2000 in the US with bee farmer, George who wants to be more traditional with his bees, but finds himself heading towards the route of travelling states with his bees to pollinate monoculture farms. Then China in the future when all the bees are gone, and society is conscripted to be hand pollinators to keep the nation fed, and children are soon out of school and to the fields to join the workers. Any chance of a future sacrificed for the greater good, rather like the ants offering up their larva to the intruding battle that William observes, to save the ant community. But like the bees being ferried back and forth, is this artificially controlled society healthy? Where you have to save up to pay a massive fine to be able to have a child, and you have to do it before you are thirty four (I think that was the age).

The parent - child relationships running through the stories are interesting, sometimes heartbreaking. The Chinese mother, Tao, searching for her little son who was taken away by the authorities when he takes sick without explanation... oh god... and she goes to Beijing, which is turning to a dead hive, abandoned by hge healthy. And those left alone, its not healthy for the community or the individual. I wrote down some interesting quotes...

When seeing the boy trapped at the Bejing restaurant, "his words were distortions of Li Xiaras. Each and every one of us is not important. But she was talking about community, he was talking about loneliness." P 316.

I also thought it came out when Tao was talking about the things she taught her son at home;

"I'd helped him to learn the names of all the planets by heart, so he would understand how small we were, that we were also a part of something larger..." P 245

I suppose education is also a theme, seeing William painfully desperate to shine in his old tutor's eyes, and to make great discoveries. And being so single minded on his wastrel sons education, girls being good for housewife work, and not seeing that it is his daughter Charlotte that he ought to engage with.

In the US story there is a positive educational influence with the professor there helping the son to shine, and also giving him time away from studies to go help his father, George, who is feeling threatened by all this book learning. He is so desperate for his son to follow him into the farm, and is lost how to bridge the gap between them as it grows ever more apparent that Tom wants to follow a different path.

And those Queen bee mothers, Thilda, Emma, and Tao, and how they become more independent, less restricted to just being housewife and mother, being more equal, and being able to head out solo to find their lost son.

Oh, still pondering over so much in this book.

I haven't decided where I will release it, but for now I have passed it on to my mother to read.

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