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

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.

Reading progress update: I've read 333 out of 333 pages.
Circe - Madeline Miller

I´m not impressed.




It´s the second book written by Madeline Miller I have read and contrary to everyone else (there are tons of five star reviews on goodreads), this book didn´t work for me. It´s not a boring story, it´s just completely bland and uninteresting.



Reading progress update: I've read 68 out of 374 pages.
The Killing Kind: A Thriller - John Connolly

Immediately after finishing the second book in the Charlie Parker series, I had to pick up book number three. And I never read one book after another in a series. But Connolly´s books are so compelling, I just have to know what happens next.


This time around Charlie Parker gets hired to investigate the alleged suicide of Grace Peltier and there is a lot of hinting at bad things to come. In the prologue there has already been a creepy death caused by spiders *shudder*.

Reading progress update: I've listened 335 out of 539 minutes.
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

Yep, this is still awful. 


Jazz is from Saudi Arabia. When she gives herself a fake identity, she chooses an Indian name, because, according to Jazz, a clerk at a cheap motel can´t tell the difference between an Arab and an Indian. And this isn´t the first offensive and disparaging comment regarding different cultures and races. 


And I wonder why every male in this book wants to be friends with Jazz. She is awful. Admittedly, I´m not a man, so she might be your everymans dreamgirl. Who knows.


Reading progress update: I've listened 136 out of 539 minutes.
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

So far this isn´t good. It´s kind of boring and Weir´s technical explanations feel like the worst kind of infodump.


It seems that Jazz and Mark Watney, Weir´s main character from his first book, share the same kind of personality. And they have a personality that can annoy other people really fast.

I have to admit, though, that I liked Mark Watney a lot as a character. Mainly because his personality is aimed at himself, being alone on a planet without any contact to the outside world. His quirky sense of humour helps him pull through and it added a whole lot of fun to the book. Jazz on the other hand is downright annoying and not a very likeable character to begin with.


I´m listening to the audiobook version narrated by Rosario Dawson and it might be that I´m spoiled by Stephen Fry as a narrator, but I don´t particularly like her as a narrator. A lot of the characters sound the same to me and some of the dialects sound weird.



Reading progress update: I've read 21 out of 387 pages.
Dark Hollow  - John Connolly

Billy Purdue was poor, poor and dangerous with some bitterness and frustration added to spice up the pot. The threat of violence was always imminent with him. It hung around him like a cloud, obscuring his judgement and influencing the actions of others, so that when he stepped into a bar and took a drink, or picked up a pool cue for a game, then sooner or later, trouble would start. Billy Purdue didn´t have to pick fights. Fights picked him.

It acted like a contagion, so that even if Billy himself managed to avoid conflict - he generally didn´t seek it, but when he found it he rarely walked away - five would get you ten that he would have raised the testosterone level in the bar sufficiently to cause someone else to consider starting something. Billy Purdue could have provoked a fight at a conclave of cardinals just by looking into the room. Whichever way you considered it, he was bad news.


John Connolly is so good at describing the personalities of his characters (even if they are only minor characters). And I have to admit, the fighting cardinals made me giggle.

Reading progress update: I've read 246 out of 290 pages.
The Blunderer - Patricia Highsmith

Men who Stretch the Law


Seriously, Walter. That booktitel isn´t suspicious at all.



Reading progress update: I've read 180 out of 290 pages.
The Blunderer - Patricia Highsmith

"Mr Stackhouse," Corby said, "you don´t deny that Kimmel´s actions were in your mind when you followed the bus your wife was on, do you?"

"When you say Kimmel´s action ..."

"We´ve discussed that," Corby said sharply.

"Yes," Walter said, "I do deny that." In the last seconds a sympathy for Kimmel had sprung up in Walter so strong that it embarrased him, and he felt he should try to conceal it.


Kimmel evidently intended to reveal as little as he could to Corby. Suddenly it seemed so heroic and generous on Kimmel´s part that Kimmel appeared a shining angel in contrast to a diabolic Corby.


Wait .... What? Oh, Walter...




KYD Green Round: Victim card collection - Team MbD / TA / Lillelara
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire - J.K. Rowling, Stephen Fry

Claiming the "Severus Snape" card from the red game play. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire fits all three tasks.


currently reading

Progress: 68/336pages
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