Lillelara

Lillelara

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

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

I´m not impressed.

 

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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.

 

[Source]

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...

 

[Source]

 

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.

 

KYD Green Round: Crime Scene card collection - Team MbD / TA / Lillelara
Cocaine Blues - Kerry Greenwood

Claiming the "Green Dragon Pub" card from the yellow game play. 

 

Task: Read a book set in Australia or New Zealand.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 100 out of 290 pages.
The Blunderer - Patricia Highsmith

She had told Walter about two men who had been in love with her before. She had an affair with each of them for about a year, and they had wanted to marry her, but she had refused. Walter was sure, from what Clara had told him, that both men had been on the weak side. Clara liked weak men, she told him, but she didn´t want to marry them. Walter suspected that Clara considered him the weakest of all, and that was why she had married him. It was not a pleasant suspicion

 

Dear Walter, I think you might be right. And Clara might have married you, because you might have been the easiest one of them all to manipulate.

 

Good grief, these people make me nauseous.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 80 out of 290 pages.
The Blunderer - Patricia Highsmith

But he had a cool, rational moment when he wondered if anyone had ever made love to her as well as he.

 

Walter is disgusting.

Reading progress update: I've read 64 out of 290 pages.
The Blunderer - Patricia Highsmith

One the one hand Clara seems to be the perfect wife. When Walter comes down with the flu she

 

briskly assembled around him everything he would need - cigarettes and matches, books, a glass of water and Kleenex.

 

On the other hand Clara is a sociopath.

 

There is a blurb by Gillian Flynn on my edition and it feels like Clara is the inspiration for Flynn´s character Amy from Gone Girl. At first glance they seem to be perfect, but deep down they are manipulative and self-absorbed. I almost feel sorry for Walter to be stuck with a woman like this.

Reading progress update: I've read 30 out of 290 pages.
The Blunderer - Patricia Highsmith

"Walter, I´m awfully tired."

"So´m I," he said, snuggling his head beside her on the pillow, avoiding the still warm spot were Jeff had lain. He passed his hand around Clara´s waist. She felt smooth and warm under the silk nightgown. He loved the rise and the fall of her middle as she breathed. He pulled her towards him. 

She twisted away. "Walter---"

"Just kiss me good night, Kits." He held her despite her squirming and her expression of distate that he could see in the grey light.

She pushed him away and sat up in bed. "I think you´re a sex maniac!" she said indignantly.

Walter sat up, too. "I´m closer to shrinking violet these days! The only thing the matter with me is that I´m in love with you!"

"You disgust me!" she said, and flung herself down on the pillow again, her back turned to him.

 

These people give me the creeps. And fyi, Jeff is a dog, not another man.

Reading progress update: I've read 5 out of 290 pages.
The Blunderer - Patricia Highsmith

I´m only five pages into the book and based on these few pages alone I assume that shit is about to hit the fan for the main character Walter (who I haven´t even met yet, btw).

 

Leave it to Patricia Highsmith to get me hooked on a book on the very first page. Getting curled up on the couch with this novel is going to be my main priority today.

Review
2 Stars
Cocaine Blues
Cocaine Blues - Kerry Greenwood

Phryne Fisher is bored by the London society. When she gets a proposition to do some amateur sleuthing in Australia, she immediately grabs the opportunity and boards a ship to Melbourne.

 

And there she starts her amateur sleuthing, which is fine by me. It´s your typical run-of-the-mill amateur sleuth plot. And the plot isn´t the reason why I have become increasingly more annoyed with every chapter that I have read. That honour belongs to Miss Phryne Fisher herself, but I will come back to that.

 

The very first thing that bugged me about this book were the never-ending descriptions of Phryne´s wardrobe, which I couldn´t care less about. Luckily Greenwood toned down on these description towards the end, but only because Phryne doesn´t wear hardly any clothes in the latter part of the novel. Instead she parades naked in front of a bunch of men, who doesn´t seem to be bothered by her nakedness at all. Kudos to these men, they have more willpower than Phryne has.

 

Because let´s have a look at her encounter with Sasha, her love interest. After the sex he says:

 

“Perhaps you will bear my baby,” commented Sasha. Phryne smiled. Carried away by passion she certainly was, but her diaphragm had been in place since last night.

 

The comment of this guy is gross. I would have kicked him out of bed and showed him the door. But Phryne smiles and she is thinking of sleeping with this douchebag again.

 

And a diaphragm, which has been in her womb for about 12 hours, doesn´t prevent her from getting pregnant. Quite the contrary. A diaphragm, which is used in combination with a spermicidal gel, has a pearl index of 1-20. The pearl index tells you, how many women out of 100 get pregnant while using said protection. Phryne´s diaphragm, which has been inside of her for a couple of hours, must have a pearl index of at least 50. Because there can´t be any spermicide left on that diaphragm, maybe she didn´t use one to begin with. The series contains twenty books and based on Phryne´s lifestyle, she has to become pregnant in book four the latest. But I suppose that doesn´t happen.

 

But of course, Phryne is some sort of wonder woman. If she doesn´t want to get pregnant, she doesn´t get pregnant. Raised in a poor environment, she became rich by inheritance. She knows how to deal with both the poor and the rich people. And there isn´t anything she can´t do. A professional gunman showed her how to use a gun, a professional female racing car driver showed her how to drive a racing car and she is even skilled in the art of street fighting:

 

Although trained in street fighting by apache masters […]

 

Oh please, give me a break. This book is a big pile of garbage and I would claim that Phryne is a Mary Sue of the worst kind. I can´t stand that women.

 

The only thing I liked about this book where the secondary characters. And this is not enough.

Reading progress update: I've read 175 out of 175 pages.
Cocaine Blues - Kerry Greenwood

This book...

 

[Source]

 

A rant is coming your way later in the afternoon.

 

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