Lillelara

Lillelara

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

Review
3 Stars
A Room with a View
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

After having listened to the audiobook, excellently narrated by Rebecca Hall, my feelings towards this book haven´t changed a bit. Okay, maybe I liked Mr. Emerson senior more this time around. But everything else is as it has been two years ago. So here is my review from back then once more:

 

A coming of age story about a young Englischwoman named Lucy Honeychurch, who during her travel to Florence realizes that she is trapped in her rigid upperclass life and yet isn´t able to escape it. Soon she has to make a decision whether she is going to do the things that everyone is expecting from her or whether she is going to follow her own heart.

 

A Room with a View didn´t win me completly over, even though I really liked how E.M. Forster adresses the issues of stiff, victorian society in the beginning of the 1900s. But the characters lacked developement, the writing confused me more than once while reading this novel and the love story could have been more fleshed out. And Lucy Honeychurch is a lying, spoiled brat and most definitely not a heroine that I could root for.

 

Not one of my favorite classics, but there were some chapters that I adore (the scene at the lake is one of them). A solid three star read.

24 Tasks of the Festive Season - Day 5 / Task 2 - Veteran´s / Armistice Day

Task: Make an offer of peace (letter, gift, whatever) to a book character who has particularly annoyed you this year.

 

Now, this was fun. Even though I´m not sure if this letter is a peace offering or a prime example of passive aggressive rage ;).

 

Hello Guy,

I´m writing to you on Rosemary´s behalf. I know she won´t leave you and I have the slight suspicion that you and your devil worshipping friends might be responsible for this. But I know as well that it would kill Rosemary if I´m not trying to get along with you.

But let me get one thing off of my chest first. It´s never a good idea to have sex with your wife while she is unconscious. And your excuse that you wouldn´t miss out on “baby-night” is all kinds of wrong.

But having said that, I try to forgive you. Somehow … I will try to do it. For Rosemary, because I only wish her the best. It won´t be easy but I will try.

 

Yours sincerely,

Lillelara

 

PS: Please note that this letter is free from vomit stains. It shows how much of an effort I´m putting into this peace offering. Because let me tell you, supressing one´s gag reflex isn´t an easy thing to do. It really isn´t.

 

 

I need new glasses!

I went through my shelves once more to find covers in which a woman is holding a flower in her hands. And I did a little happy dance because finally, at last, I thought I found at least a single book on my read shelf which fits the criteria.

 

And then I did take a closer look at the cover:

 

Alles muss versteckt sein - Wiebke Lorenz 

 

Yep, epic fail ;D.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 174 out of 512 pages.
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters

I´m still not sure what this book is actually about. There isn´t much of a plot. But I actually don´t mind because of the great characters in this novel.

I have to admit, though, that Helen´s jealousy makes me mad. I wonder what made her become such a jealous lunatic.

Reading progress update: I've read 1 out of 512 pages.
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters

My second to last Sarah Waters novel. I´m reading this for door 24 (Epiphany - January 6th), a book with the word "twelve" or "night" in the title.

24 Tasks of the Festive Season - Tracking Post

 

A huge thank you to BrokenTune for allowing me to use her setup for the update post.

 

Total points: 10

 

Markers:

for completed tasks:

 

for books read:

 

Day 1 - Día de los Muertos!:

Task 1:  Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice.

Task 2:  Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one).

Task 3: Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it. Inclusion of book cover encouraged.

Task 4: If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it.

Book:  Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico.

 

Day 2 - Guy Fawkes Night:

Task 1:  Burn a book in effigy. Not that anyone of us would do such a thing, but if you HAD to, which book would be the one you’d sacrifice to the flames (gleefully or not)?

Task 2: List your top 3 treasonous crimes against books. Not ones you’ve committed, but the ones you think are the worst.

Task 3: Share your favorite / most memorable BBQ recollections or recipe, or your favorite recipe for food “flambé” (i.e., doused with alcohol which is then set aflame and allowed to burn off).

Task 4: Find 5 uses of the word “gunpowder” in book titles in contexts other than for blowing up things or shooting people (e.g., Gunpowder Green by Laura Childs = tea).

Book:  Set in the UK, political thrillers, involving any monarchy or revolution; books about arson or related to burning.

 

Day 3 - Melbourne Cup Day:

Task 1: Pick your ponies! MbD has posted the horses scheduled to race; everyone picks the three they think will finish (in any order).  

Task 2: Cup day is all about the hats. Post a picture of your favorite hat, whether it’s one you own or not.

Task 3: The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello. What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across?

Task 4: Have you ever been to or participated in a competition involving horses (racing, jumping, dressage, whatever)? Tell us about it. Photos welcome, too!

Book: about horses or a horse on the cover. Books with roses on the cover or about gardening; anything set in Australia.

 

Day 4 - Divali:

Task 1: Share a picture of your favorite light display.

Task 2: Cleaning is a big part of this holiday; choose one of your shelves, real or virtual, and tidy / organise it.  Give us the before and after photos.  OR Tidy up 5 of the books on your BookLikes shelves by adding the CORRECT cover, and/or any other missing information.

Task 3: Eating sweets is also a big part of Diwali. Either select a recipe for a traditional sweet, or make a family favorite and share a picture with us.

Task 4: During Diwali, people pray to the goddess Lakhshmi, who is typically depicted as a beautiful young woman holding a lotus flower. Find 5 books on your shelves (either physical or virtual) whose covers show a young woman holding a flower and share their cover images.

Book: Read a book with candles on the cover or the word “candle” or “light” in the title; OR a book that is the latest in a series; OR set in India; OR any non-fiction book that is ‘illuminating’ (Diwali is Sanskrit for light/knowledge and row, line or series)

 

Day 18 - Winter Solstice / Yuletide (December 21): 

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

Book: Read any book that takes place in December OR with ice or snow on the cover OR that revolves around the (summer or winter) equinox OR a collection of poetry by Hafez.

Day 19 - Festivus (December 23): 

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

Book: Read any comedy, parody, or satire.

Day 20 - Christmas (December 25): 

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

Book: Read any Christmas book.

Day 21 - Kwanzaa (December 26 - January 1): 

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

Book: Read a book set in Africa or the Caribbean OR by an African, Caribbean, or African-American author OR a book with a green, red, or black cover.

Day 22 - New Year's Eve (December 31): 

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

Book: Read a book about endings, new starts, or books where things go BOOM!

Day 23 - Hogswatch (December 32)*: 

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

Book: Read anything by Terry Pratchett. 

Day 24 - Epiphany (January 6): 

Task 1:

Task 2:

Task 3:

Task 4:

Book: Read a book with three main characters OR a book about traveling on a journey to a faraway place OR a book that’s part of a trilogy OR with a star on the cover OR with the word “twelve” or “night” in the title OR or concerning kings or spices.

Review
3.5 Stars
Monk´s-hood
Monk's Hood  - Ellis Peters

The Brother Cadfael series slowly becomes my favorite comfort read series. It´s so cozy and heartwarming and I love Brother Cadfael as a character. He is a genuinely good person and and he loves to help people when they are in dire need of help. And the fact that he is Welsh makes him even more sympathetic. Don´t ask me why that is, it just adds a lot to his character.

 

I have to say, though, that Monk´s-hood, the third book in the series, has been my least favorite so far. The mystery hasn´t been the most interesting one and the story dragged a bit in the middle of the novel. And the people Cadfael meets in this novel were bland and this book didn’t leave me with a feeling of perfect content upon finishing it.

 

Monk´s-Hood isn´t by any means a bad book and as with the other Cadfael books it gave me that cozy feeling, but it´s definitely not the best book in the series.

 

Monk´s-hood is part of a finished (dead) series.

 

24 Tasks of the Festive Season - Day 3 / Task 1 & 2 & 3 - Melbourne Cup Day

Task 1: Pick your ponies! MbD has posted the horses scheduled to race; everyone picks the three they think will finish (in any order).

 

I´m not even sure if the horses I have picked have made it over the finish line ;). They certainly didn´t win, so no extra points for me.

 

Task 2: Cup day is all about the hats. Post a picture of your favorite hat, whether it’s one you own or not.

 

Unfortunately I don´t have a dog or someone else I can place my hat on for a photo. But here is a picture of my favorite hat, exclusively worn in the summer:

 

 

I love the casual look of a Stetson hat.

 

Task 3: The coloring of the “horse of a different color” in the movie version of The Wizard of Oz was created by rubbing the horse’s fur with jello. What’s the weirdest use of jello you’ve ever come across?

 

Well, as a native Schleswig-Holsteiner, I´m not afraid to say it: we eat some weird food (Schwarzsauer ... shudder). A huge favorite is Sauerfleisch, which is meat (of whatever kind) in jello. But not your ordinary, dull jello. No, the jello tastes acidic.

 

[Source]

 

One day I´m going to try Sauerfleisch, it´s supposed to be very tasty. But so far I couldn´t get myself to eat it.

 

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've listened 323 out of 452 minutes.
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

I´m sorry, but does anybody else think this book is incredibly annoying? Because I do think so.

24 Tasks of the Festive Season - Day 2 / Task 1 & 2 - Guy Fawkes Night

Task 1:  Burn a book in effigy.  Not that anyone of us would do such a thing, but if you HAD to, which book would be the one you’d sacrifice to the flames (gleefully or not)?

 

I would never burn a book willingly, but should it ever be a matter of life and death to keep a fire burning and I would have this book at hand, I would gladly toss it on the pyre. Every nipple-glorifying and high forehead-shaming word can be erased from the literary world for all I care.

 

HEX - Nancy Forest-Flier,Thomas Olde Heuvelt 

Task 2:  List your top 3 treasonous crimes against books.  Not ones you’ve committed, but the ones you think are the worst.

 

1) Burning books

2) Breaking the spine, dog-earing the pages or otherwise damaging books, especially if they are borrowed (this includes library books)

3) German book blurbs are a crime in itself and I can´t even begin to tell you how awful those are. What I hate most about them is the fact that they fairly often spoil important plot points. I had a moment or two in which I felt the need to throw a book across the bookstore just because of the blurb.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 50 out of 288 pages.
Monk's Hood  - Ellis Peters

"Yes. I had to keep the extra dish hot there until the other was eaten, and to see to the serving. And Aelfric always eats there. And Meurig, when he visits..." She paused for only a second,  faint flush mantling in her cheeks: "... he keeps me company."

So that was the way the wind blew. Well, no wonder, she was indeed a very pretty creature.

 

Brother Cadfaels main interests in life:

 

a) His garden and his herbs

b) The feelings of the young people he encounters. I love how he cherishes love between people (and the falling in love). I really like this side of his character.

c) And of course murder. This time around it´s a pretty ghastly one.

 

I will be reading this book for:

 

 

The Brother Cadfael series is finished (dead) series.

 

 

24 Tasks of the Festive Season - Day 1 / Task 2 - Día de los Muertos

Task 2: Share your favorite gravestone epitaph (you know you have one)

 

An honourable mention goes out to the Dutch mathmatician Ludolph van Ceulen, who was the first person to determine that the value of Pi has 35 digits. After his death the number got engraved on his tombstone. I find that pretty amazing.

 

However, I´m going for another epitaph. This one cracked me up as soon as I saw it:

 

[Source]

 

24 Tasks of the Festive Season - Day 1 / Task 4 - Día de los Muertos

Task 4: If you like Mexican food, treat yourself to your favorite dish and share a photo of it.

 

At the moment I´m at my parents house and today I was responsible for the cooking. If there is one thing I love is to cook for other people and, odd as it is, I am a much better cook if I´m cooking for other people.

 

The cook is allowed to choose the dish he wants to prepare, so I took the chance and made some really tasty vegetarien enchiladas. My father isn´t a big fan of enchilades, but he really liked this recipe. So off it goes into my recipe collection for future use.

 

 

 

24 Tasks of the Festive Season - Day 1 / Task 3 - Día de los Muertos

Task 3: Create an altar (either digital or physical) for your favorite book, series, or book character, and post a picture of it. Inclusion of book cover encouraged.

 

I´m not sure if this qualifies as an altar, so please let me know if this doesn´t fulfill the requirements for this task.

 

 

Amsterdam: What I bought

First of all, the books:

 

 

I showed some real restraint in my book buying. Two reasons:

a) I didn´t like the editions they had of some of the books I was planning to buy and I´m picky about my editions.

b) the books in general were very expensive. I got The Silent Companions and Norse Mythology in a "Pick two books for the price of one" bargain, so that was a good price. But all the other books costs 5-8 Euro more than in Germany and I couldn´t get myself spending too much money on books.

 

But I bought quite a bit of non-bookish stuff:

 

 

And a close up of the little waterbear, my new bookish piggy bank and of course de Poezenboat postcard. I wonder if MbD has the same one:

 

Amsterdam: Day 4

On our last day in Amsterdam we went on a canal boat tour and it is fascinating how different the city looks from this perspective. I´m so glad we did this tour, but I´m also a little bit sad, because we didn´t hit upon the Poezenboat.

 

After the tour we went into the red light district, taking a look at the Oude Kirk:

 

 

But we were completely tired that day and after having eaten delicious Thai food, we went to our appartement and slept for an hour before heading back to town to watch a movie at the Pathé Tuchinsky.

 

The Pathé Tuchinsky is a cinema located in a wonderful Art Deco building:

 

 

We went to see Bohemian Rhapsody and I loved this movie so much. The movie might have taken some liberties in its story telling, but I didn´t care. Rami Malek perfomance as Freddie Mercury was outstanding. The way he moves and performes in this movie, he isn´t just playing Freddie Mercury, he IS Freddie Mercury.

I thought the casting for the whole band was outstanding and it was an utterly moving and gripping experience to watch this movie.

 

Oh, and before the movie started a brass big band played Queen songs and OMG, these guys were amazing:

 

 

We really did finish our visit on a high note.

currently reading

Progress: 229/480pages
Progress: 16/309pages
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  - J.K. Rowling, Stephen Fry