"A half finished book is, after all, a half finished love affair"
                 - Robert Frobischer (Cloud Atlas)

Reading progress update: I've read 364 out of 364 pages.
They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie

Uhm ... yeah... I really don´t know how I feel about this book. It was entertaining and infuriating at the same time.

Reading progress update: I've read 268 out of 364 pages.
They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie

"By the way," said Richard, "I´ve brought a girl."

"Oh, have you? What sort of girl?"

"She says she´s your niece."

"My niece?" Dr Pauncefoot brought his mind back with a struggle from his contemplation of mudbrick walls. "I don´t think I have a niece," he said doubtfully, as though he might have had one and forgotten about her.

"She´s coming out to work with you here, I gathered."

"Oh," Dr Pauncefoot Jones´ face cleared. "of course. That will be Veronica."

"Victoria, I think she said."

"Yes. yes, Victoria. Emerson wrote to me about her from Cambridge. A very able girl, I understand. An anthropologist. [...]"


Hehehe. This book is ridiculous.


I´m going out on a limp here, but I suspect that Agatha Christie has been constantly drunk while writing this book.



Reading progress update: I've read 99 out of 364 pages.
They Came to Baghdad - Agatha Christie

Edward must find her a job. Or failing that, she would find herself a job. Why worry?


I like Victoria, I really do. But man, I feel so bad for Edward. He doesn´t know what is coming his way.


I can´t wait to find out if she actually meets up with him or if he only is a Macguffin, his sole purpose in the plot being the reason for Victoria to come to Baghdad.

Reading progress update: I've read 2 out of 256 pages.
The Night of the Hunter - Davis Grubb, Julia Keller

Pearl made them listen to the song about the hanging man.

Hing Hang Hung! See what the hangman done! chanted the little girl, and Willa, whirling, slammed the sloshing cup to the black stove top and struck the child so the four marks of her fingers were pink in the small flesh.

Don´t you ever sing that! Ever! Ever! Ever!

Willa´s poor, thin hands were knotted into tight blue fists. The knuckles shone white like the joints of butchered fowl. Pearl would have wept, but it seemed to her that now, at last, she might get to the heart of the matter and so withheld the tears.

Why? she whispered. Why can´t I sing that song? The kids down at Cresap´s Landing sing it. And John said ...

Never you mind what John said. God in heaven, as if my cross wasn´t hard enought to bear without my children - his own children - mocking me with it! Now hush!

Where´s Dad?

Hush! Hush!

But why won´t you tell? John knows.

Hush! Hush your mouth this minute!


I don´t know the movie version of this book, so I haven´t gotten a clue what is going on. But I´m hooked and I have only read two pages so far.



Reading progress update: I've read 336 out of 336 pages.
Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie



Agatha Christie is the perfect matchmaker. Poirot playing cupid, telling the good doctor that only he can make Elinor happy.

(show spoiler)


This was really, really good. I loved how Poirot got involved in the story and how he took on the task of finding out the truth. And may I just say that I loved the ending of this book. I´m so happy right now.

Reading progress update: I've read 313 out of 336 pages.
Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie

Of course, my theory has just been destroyed.


I love the court room drama aspect of this book. In my mind Sir Edwin Bulmer looks like Charles Laughton. And the "I put it to you..." approach of the prosecution and the defence is so odd.

Reading progress update: I've read 272 out of 336 pages.
Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie

Christie once again manages to make every single character a possible suspect. I have a theory, though. And if that theory is correct, I´m at a loss for words. Lets see if I can hold a candle to Poirot. Probably not, but anyway. Here is my theory:


Dr. Lord acted suspiciously in the last couple of chapters, so I think he actually did it. I think Mary knew that she was the daughter of Laura. And I think Mary and Dr. Lord were an item. Elinor (or maybe Roddy) helped Laura to take her own life, before she could change her will. So Mary and the doctor had to get rid of Elinor in order to get a hold of the money (Mary probably knew that Roddy would inherit the money from Elinor. Mary would then marry Roddy and kill him conveniently off and voilá, Mary would have the money). The good doctor poisoned the sandwiches, thinking that Elinor would eat them, not knowing that Mary would grab a bite as well. 


The lesson we all can learn from my theory is: Don´t tamper with the food!

(show spoiler)
Reading progress update: I've read 102 out of 336 pages.
Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie

I´m not sure how far my buddy read partner BrokenTune is, but here we go:


Sad Cypress has been off to a slow start, but it´s definitely picking up. All of the characters are odd and most of them are fishy. 


I have to admit, though, that I´m growing fond of Elinor. I can see why Poirot thinks that she is innocent.  


Roddy is a pathetic wuss and I really dislike him. I took a detour on IMDB and I looked up, which actor has played this character in the Poirot tv series. It´s Rupert Penry-Jones, who epitomizes the picture of a wuss for me (I don´t find him particularly attractive). A perfect match for Roddy.


The doctor is odd, but I have a theory about him:


Poirot is proving the innocence of Elinor and she is going to marry the doctor. I fully trust Agatha Christie´s talent in match making.  

(show spoiler)


And the nurses .... If my morphine would get lost, I would be a bit more concerned than those two. 


I think my reading mojo is coming back...
Sad Cypress - Agatha Christie

Here is the thing: I have been in a reading slump for the last two months. I haven´t read a book, haven´t read anything about books, haven´t listened to a book, haven´t watched videos about books. I haven´t even bought a single book in the last two months. Sounds awful, right? And it is.


I miss reading and I miss being on Booklikes. I´m so sorry that I have been absent lately. And I´m so happy that I finally feel like my slump is over. I picked up Sad Cypress today and I´m spending my evening with this book and here on Booklikes. It´s good to be back.

Reading progress update: I've read 11 out of 320 pages.
A is for Arsenic: The Poisons of Agatha Christie - Kathryn Harkup

In addition to her work and tutoring at the hospital. Agatha received private tuition from a commercial pharmacist in Torquay, a Mr P. As part of her instruction, one day Mr P. showed her the correct way to make suppositories, a tricky task that required some skill. He melted cocia butter and added the drug, then demonstrated the precise moment to turn the suppositories out of the mould, box them up an label them professionally as "one in one hundred" (one part drug per hundred in total). However, Christie was convinced that the pharmacist had made a mistake and added a dose of "one in ten" to the suppositories, ten times the required dose and potentially dangerous. She surreptitiously checked his calculations and confirmed the error. Unable to confront the pharmacist with his mistake, and frightened of the consequences of dispensing the dangerous medicine, she pretended to trip and sent the suppositories crashing up to the floor, where she trod on them firmly. After she had apologised profusely and cleared up the mess, a fresh batch was made, but this time at the correct dilution.


Ooooh, I think I´m going to love this book. As it turns out the pharmacist had problems with the metric systems, which he has used for his calculations.


At my work we have to make capsules with potentially dangerous active ingredients for children every once in a while. Every calculation gets double checked by at least two people, because as Paracelsus has said:


"Alle Dinge sind Gift, und nichts ist ohne Gift, allein die Dosis machts, daß ein Ding kein Gift sei" - "Poison is in everything, and no thing is without poison. The dosage makes it either a poison or a remedy." (Harkup mentiones the qoute on page 16. A book about poisons has to have the Paracelsus saying in it, without it it feels incomplete).


And did anyone of you ever make suppositories? It´s perfectly okay to make them with the newly developed fats, but cocoa butter is a pain in the ass to work with. It´s possible that the pharmacist was mentally preparing himself to get the suppositories out of the mould, seeing that this is a nearly impossible task. It´s not an excuse for shoddy calculations, though.

I´m in a slump!

Not the reading one, the reviewing one. I´m sorry if I haven´t posted any reviews lately, but I can´t get myself to sit down and write about the books I have read. I have to think of something to ease myself back into writing a review.


I´m not sure what kind of book to read next after having finished Catherynne M. Valente´s Space Opera (and still listening to her book Radiance). As much as I love her writing style, after having read one of her books every other book seem to lack something. Anyhow, I´m considering a reread of David Mitchell´s Cloud Atlas (a beloved favorite of mine), an Agatha Christie Mystery or a Patricia Highsmith novel. Does any one of you have a preference? What should I read next?


So instead of reading in my spare time I have watched the movie Justice League (that movie is one big pile of rubbish) and the first episode of the second season of Westworld (amazing show) the last couple of nights. And today I watched Avengers: Infinity War and I really enjoyed this movie. It was incredibly entertaining and I´m still reeling from all the feelings it gave me.


I hope you are all doing well and that you had a lovely weekend.

Reading progress update: I've read 132 out of 268 pages.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

The key to a happy life, Capo devoutly believed, was never giving much of a damn what happened in any given day so long as you got in a nap, a kill, and a snuggle, and the snuggle was optional. When Oort and Justine had adopted her from that shelter and taken her to a nice house where she was to be expected to be civilized, well-behaved indoor cat despite the whole joint lacking anything like a population of murderable sparrows, field mice, bunnies, and whatnot, she hadn´t run around making grand speeches and crying and questioning the meaning of it all. She ´d just carried on and contented herself with spiders, pieces of lint, and occasionally scratching or biting one of the kids just to keep in practice.

The nap was the really important thing. The nap was all.


I love the cat!


This book is so bonkers, Capo is going to be a part of the band. Or she might save the world in the end.  



Reading progress update: I've read 105 out of 268 pages.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

No matter how mad, bad, and dangerous a civilization gets, unto every generation are born the lonely and the uncool, destined to forever stare into the candystore window of their culture, and loneliness is the mother of ascension. Only the uncool have the requisite alone time to advance their species.


This is beautiful. Btw, I´ve been one of the uncool kids. I didn´t try to advance our species, though, but still. I love how the uncool kids get recognition.


And so it was that, eventually, between drawing meatship schematics in the dirt and dreaming of a world where she didn´t hate literally everyone, the shiest and most sensitive of Yurtmaks began to plan the most ambitious massacre in the history of the galaxy: the murder of stupidity.


I like the idea behind this plan. It´s going to be difficult to achive this (and I might not be okay with the inevitable bloodshed), but good luck with it.

Reading progress update: I've read 41 out of 268 pages.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

"[...] I don´t even know why you would bring up the Internet. The xeno-intelligence officer responsible for evaluating your digital communication required invasive emergency therapy after an hour´s exposure. One glance at that thing is the strongest argument possible against the sentience of humanity. I wouldn´t draw attention to it, if I were you. [...]"


First off, I would say the xeno-intelligence officer doesn´t know which sites to visit on the internet. Clearly he isn´t familiar with Booklikes. Other than that, he might have a point.

Reading progress update: I've read 24 out of 268 pages.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

For his part, little Danesh inhaled a heady, unleavened diet of science fiction films, despite his grandmother´s insistence that they were neither halal nor anywhere near as good as Mr. Looney of the Tunes, as she called her favorite American programme. He had spent many afternoons, surrounded by siblings slaloming through the furniture, trying to convince his nani, the very one who would drop lemons in Piccadilly Square years later, that Alien was far, far better than Elmar Fudd and Bugs Bunny, far more serious and meaningful than a goofy, dumb cartoon, only to be hushed by a wave of her hand and a brief lecture on her personal philosophy of pop culture criticism.

"Jee haan, but they are the same! One hunts, one runs; one chews the carrot, one chews the Sir John Hurt. One makes Egg that go BANG! One makes Acme traps that go BANG! See? Sameful. Only Mr. Looney of the Tunes is more actual, on account of how aliens live in your big Danesh-head and bunny rabits live in Coventry. Also, mine is bright and happy and makes a colorful noise, so I put it on top of yours that is droopy and leaky ands makes a noise like a dishwasher [...]"


Hahaha. Nani is awesome!


Reading progress update: I've read 11 out of 268 pages.
Space Opera - Catherynne M. Valente

On Enrico Fermi´s small, watery planet, it could be generally agreed upon, for example, that a chicken was not people, but a physicist. Ditto for sheeps, pigs, mosquitoes, brine shrimp, squirrels, seagulls, and so on and so forth on the one hand, and plumbers, housewives, musicians, congressional aides, and lightning designers on the other. This was a fairly easy call (for the physicist, anyway), as brine shrimp were not overly talkative, squirrels failed to make significant headway in the fields of technology and mathematics, and seagulls were clearly unburdened by reason, feeling, or remorse. Dolphins, gorillas, and pharmaceutical sales representatives were considered borderline cases.


Lol. I have to think of this the next time I talk to a pharmaceutical sales representatives.

currently reading

Progress: 66/256pages
Progress: 45/320pages