The Catalogue Of The Universe (Collins Flamingo) - Margaret Mahy I remember exactly that moment over 21 years ago when I picked up the German edition with its drab, blue, stars-and-moon-clad cover. I proceeded to read the longish, rambling blurb and felt a fascinated tingle run down my back: The plot description sounded so deliciously wacky but did not reveal much concerning what the book really would be about that I wrote down the bibliographic details and determined to buy the book as soon as I managed to save the right amount of money.

Well, I saved my money, I ordered the book, I read it fired up with anticipation and I was disappointed and a little angry although the ephemeral, liquid prose did resonate within me. The blurb had promised the entrance to a glittering treasure chest full of strange people and coincidences, but the book did not really cover much mysterious plot or pushed me off my rocker by astonishing turns. But since I spent so much pocket money on it and had to go without sweets for a while to afford it, I did not pass it on to my friends but kept it.

About a year later I picked it up again (having re-read everything else too often, I suppose), unconsciously geared up my page-turning pace, shook my head in wonder that I had been in fact devouring it and declared myself utterly enchanted. I was extremly puzzled about my own reaction and thought about it quite a lot, re-reading it a second time. I concluded that since the book stayed exactly the same I must have changed. Maybe at 13/14 I was still a bit embarrassed/shocked by Angela's brazen, self-confident attitude towards her body, that breathless, sexy encounter in the dark and the morning-after giddyness the lovers let shine through. Scenes of the book I came to love fiercely and look forward to as an older teen. And although I remember feeling sympathy for Tycho on the first go, I did not get his attractivenes, his beauty, at all. But when I was re-reading it for the first time, I already was 100% with Angela, when she says "I'm sick of this." [...]"I don't know everything I feel, but I do know this. You mustn't ever want anyone but me, Big Science. If you look at any other girl I'll kill her."

Now I've consumed the book for maybe the sixth time and I still love it. And I love the cover of the 2002-Collins-edition. It's perfect and it fits the mood I am in after closing the book. It won't be the last time I savored the story of the girl who went to look for her parents' love and found her own and the guy who had to let his science book drop and step upon the Catalogue of the Universe to see himself in a new perspective because "The Ionians Rule!".

TBR Pile Reduction Challenge 2011, Book #14 (challenger: Nomes)