Lillelara

Lillelara

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

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
State of Wonder - Ann Patchett

I haven´t been left with so many conflicting feelings for a very long time upon finishing a book. Have to think a little bit more about this one...

 

Reading progress update: I've read 70%.
State of Wonder - Ann Patchett

The characters are talking about a rare species of psylocibine mushrooms and how they keep the location of these mushrooms a secret, because ...

 

"Exactly. This place would be overrun, drug dealers, Brazilian government, other tribes, German tourist, there´s no telling who would get here first and what sort of war would ensue."

 

I beg your pardon ... German tourists? Do Germans have a reputation of participating in heavy drug tourism?

 

This book leaves me speechless at times.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 33%.
State of Wonder - Ann Patchett

Once Marina´s fever had broken and the vomiting had stopped, she was in fact grateful, not only for her shaman cure (though she wished she had taken a vaccine for hepatitis A before leaving on her trip) [...]

 

Really! Now you want the hepatitis A vaccination.... 

 

I´m reading these tidbits as some kind of satire (because otherwise I would despair). I like reading this book, but I honestly don´t know what kind of research Ann Patchett has put into her novel or if she deliberatly wrote these ridiculous things. The whole vaccination / medicin subplot (if you can call it that) feels like a stupidly written and cheap plot device and makes me want to shake my kindle whenever I stumble upon one of these gems.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 9%.
State of Wonder - Ann Patchett

Marina made an appointment with an epidemiologist in St. Paul and got a ten-year vaccine for yellow fever and a tetanus shot.

 

Only two shots and the MC is complaining about a sore arm ... that is so sweet. If her colleague has taken the same precautions before venturing to the Amazon, it is no wonder he has died of a fever.

I guess Ann Patchett couldn´t be bothered to mention all the horrible diseases that you can get in an inhospitable enviroment like the rain forest, but she still could have hinted at them.

 

To Kill a Mocking Bird - DNF
To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

I´m on page 86 of To Kill a Mockingbird and since it is a classic beloved by many readers, I feel bad for saying this: I don´t enjoy this book.

 

After having read a few Coming-of-age stories, I´ve come to the conclusion that I cannot stand stories told through the perspective of a child or an adolescent. Whether it being Dickens´ David Copperfield (another DNF), Dodi Smith´s I Capture the Castle (yeah, right, a DNF) or this book, I´m bored by these kind of stories. I´m not even a big fan of the Harry Potter books, even though I can deal better with a child / young adult narrator in a fantasy setting.

 

Since I have read 86 pages, I can add $1.00 to my bank account for the Booklikes-opoly.

 

Booklikes-opoly: Change of book
The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin

I listened to 31 hours and 10 minutes of the Complete Sherlock Holmes audiobook narrated by Stephen Fry and the stories and the narration are excellent. But trust me, "too much Sherlock" is a thing. I need a break.

 

So I´m putting Sherlock and Watson on hold and I will be listening to N.K. Jemisin´s The Fifth Season, a dystopian fantasy / science fiction novel. I want to count this book for the booklikes-opoly game (the print edition has 468 pages, which amounts to $5.00), so I´m putting The Thin Man back on my TBR and I will be listening The Fifth Season for Frontierland 1 instead.

 

 

Review
4.5 Stars
At the Existentialist Café
At The Existentialist Café - Sarah Bakewell

I studied existentialism back in school and I learned more by reading this book than in the half year of studying Jean Paul Satres work when I was 16. I didn´t fully grasp his notions about freedom and I´m blaming my teacher for it, because she didn´t give us the historical context of Satres philosophical musings. And this is exactly what Sarah Bakewell does.

 

At the Existentialist Café is a fascinating account of existentialism and phenomenology and the big players of these philosophies. Besides explaining the different theories of Satre, de Beauvior, Camus, Heidegger and a handful of others philosophers of the time, Bakewell tells of the lives of the various philosophers, their friendships and their falling-outs and how they dealt with the difficult times they were living in.

I have to admit, I didn´t fully grasp all of the theories. But I immensely enjoyed learning about history from a totally different perspective. A highly recommended read.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 47 out of 265 pages.
Poirot Investigates  - Agatha Christie

"And what do you think of Dr Bernard, Hastings?" inquired Poirot, as we proceeded on our way to the Manor.

"Rather an old ass."

"Exactly. Your judgements of character are always profound, my friend."

I glanced at him uneasily, but he seemed perfectly serious. A twinkle, however, came into his eye, and he added slyly:

"That is to say, where there is no question of a beautiful woman!"

I looked at him coldly.

 

This made me chuckle.

Booklikes-opoly Readathon Extra Rolls - Final books
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett Poirot Investigates  - Agatha Christie To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee

I had to think over some of the books for the three extra dice rolls, but with the help of BrokenTune I managed to choose a book for all the squares:

 

Frontierland 1: The Thin Man by Dashiel Hammett. I´m not completely satisfied with this choice for this square (because it´s not a western), but I really want to read this book and the title starts with a t. 

 

Frontierland 4: Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie. I have such a huge stack of Christie´s at home, I really need to read more of her books.

 

Main Street 10: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. BrokenTune recommended this book to me and it´s been on my to-read list for ages. And it´s about time that I read it.

 

 

Booklikes-opoly Readathon Extra Rolls

 

Thanks a lot, Moonlight Reader and Obsidian, for the extra rolls. I´m planning on finishing At the Existentialist Café first before digging into a new book.

 

Starting point: Square 29

 

 

 

Extra dice roll #1:

 

 

I have two books for this square, that I might be reading:

 

Lonesome Dove - Larry McMurtry  The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett  

 

I´m not sure if I will be reading either one of these for this square. Lonesome Dove is so long and The Thin Man isn´t a western (and this really bugs me).

 

Extra dice roll #2:

 

 

There is a boat on the cover, so I guess there is at least one story that takes place on a boat. And the letters in the title can be used to spell "River":

 

Poirot Investigates  - Agatha Christie 

 

Extra dice roll #3:

 

 

I can´t think of a book for this one... so I will just skip this square.

 

 

 

 

Review
3 Stars
The 13 Problems
The Thirteen Problems - Agatha Christie

The first Miss Marple short story collection, in which a group of people, Miss Marple among them, decides to tell stories of crimes and mysteries to each other. Will the listeners be able to solve the mysteries?

 

It´s been really fun to read about Miss Marple and her exceptional ability to outwit all the other people in the room. However, I don´t think that Agatha Christie excels at writing short stories. They were fun and I liked reading them, but the stories in itself were not memorable. But it was really nice to be with Miss Marple again and I´m beginning to like the old gal.

 

(I was allowed to choose any book I want).

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 4 out of 327 pages.
At The Existentialist Café - Sarah Bakewell

"Epistemological questions opened out of another like the rounds of a turning kaleidoscope, always returning to the same point: I think I know something, but how can I know that I know what I know?"

 

Apparently this was the headeache inducing way of philosophical thinking before existentialism and phenomenology. I kind of get why people got annoyed by this and invented their own way of thinking, which focuses on the things that are right in front of you.

 

 

 

Career of Evil - DNF
Career of Evil - Jay R. Galbraith

DNF at page 252.

 

Skim-read the rest of the book and I most happily DNF it. The conclusion to the mystery was meh, the very last page of the book was blergh.

I will get rid of the three books I own, because I most definitely won´t continue with this series. Maybe someone else will get more out of them than me.

 

Book 4 of Booklikes-opoly

Page Count: DNF at page 252

Earned money: $3.00

New bank account: $32.00

 

Reading progress update: I've read 252 out of 574 pages.
Career of Evil - Jay R. Galbraith

"She felt strangely unsettled, knowing that she was sleeping five doors away from Strike. That was Matthew´s fault, of course. If you sleep with him, we´re over for good.

Her unruly imagination suddenly presented her with the sound of a knock on the door, Strike inviting himself in on some slim pretext...

Don´t be ridiculous.

She rolled over, pressing her flushed face into the pillow. What was she thinking? Damn Matthew, putting things in her head, judging her by himself....

Strike, meanwhile, had not yet made it into bed. [...] Lying with his hands behind his head he stared up at the dark ceiling and thought about Robin, lying five rooms away."

 

I feel strangely unsettled, because I can´t take 300 more pages of this badly written "hinting-at-a-relationsship" crap. I´m this close to DNF this book and skim read who the murderer is. I have to think this over for a little bit.

 

My massive (Christie) bookhaul

At the beginning of the week I tried to stuff money into my piggy bank.

 

 

But it was full to the brim. The only sensible thing I could do to relief the poor piggy bank of its pain was to take money out of it and to buy books. I set myself a limit of 200€ ... I spend about 250€ (before you ask, I didn´t take all of the money out of it). And I bought the shocking amount of 40 books.

 

Let´s start with my Agatha Christie´s:

 

 

I bought just about half of the Poirot books:

 

 

Just about half of the Miss Marple books:

 

 

All of the Tommy and Tuppence books:

 

 

Some of the standalone novels:

 

 

Anf then I bought these three beauties:

 

 

The only thing I have to do now is to buy new book shelves ;).

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 212 out of 574 pages.
Career of Evil - Jay R. Galbraith

This book could be about 100 pages shorter if it wasn´t for Matthew, Robins horrible fiance. I never liked him to begin with, because he is an insufferably jealous twit.

On top of that Galbraith / Rowling is constantly hinting that there might be some feelings between Robin and Strike. And I don´t want them to become an item ... I just don´t.

 

The mystery is pretty good and kind of creepy and I would like the story to have its focus  on the mystery. But unfortunately there is too much of said relationsship stuff going on for my liking.

 

 

currently reading

Progress: 311/371pages
Progress: 142/421pages
Progress: 1870/4318minutes