Lillelara

Lillelara

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

Review
3.5 Stars
The Victorian Chaise-Lounge
The Victorian Chaise-Longue - Marghanita Laski, P.D. James

This short novella is about a woman in the 1950s, who falls asleep on a chaise-lounge and after having woken up finds herself trapped in another womans body. As she comes to term with her situation, she not only realizes that they both are having the same fate but that she has gone back in time and that it is the year 1864.

 

I really enjoyed this piece of psychological horror. Following the main character in her helplessness gave me a feeling of unrest and being trapped myself and this eerie feeling of not being able to do anything crept upon me while reading this novella. And the ending was just perfect for this novel, because it keeps you thinking about this book after having finished it.

 

I have to admit, though, I found to be the main character to be incredibly annoying. And this took a huge chunk out of my enjoyment pf reading this novella.

 

It´s still a book I would recommend, because it gives you an insight to how women (with certain disabilities) were treated back in Victorian times.

 

I´ve read this book for the Booklikes-opoly square Tomorrowland Station 22 and the main characters travels back in time.

 

Page count: 99 pages

Money earned: $1.00

 

 

Please, choose something nice for my next ride
Confessions - Kanae Minato, Stephen Snyder

I´ve hit the Booklikes square, so I need your help for my next read.

 

 

Feel free to send something my way - and I hope it´s going to be a square that I like ;)

 

 Edit: Familiar Diversions has send me to Square 8. Thanks for the pick :)

 

 

Confessions is both a mystery and it starts with a C. So it fits perfectly the task.

Booklikes-opoly: Rounds, Books read and bank account

 

Round #19.2:

 

Dice Roll: 6

Square: Mystery 17

Book read: Murder at the Brightwell by Ashley Weaver - 325 pages

 

Bank account (June 22th): $109.00

 

Free Friday Read #1:

 

Book read: Six Stories by Matt Wesolowski - 225 pages

 

Bank account (June 18th): $103.00

 

Round #19.1:

 

Dice Roll: 4

Square: Main Street 11

Book read: The Circular Staircase by Mary Roberts Rinehart - 362 pages

 

Bank account (June 17th): $97.00

 

 Extra Dice Roll #1:

 

Dice roll: 5

Square: Main Street 11

Book read: One Flew over the Cuckoo´s Nest by Ken Kesey - 281 pages (print edition) - DNF after 2 hours of listening time , which amounts to 50 pages read

 

Bank account (June 15th): $91.00

 

Round #18:

 

Dice Roll: 11

Square: Booklikes Square Task 3 - Familiar Diversion has sent me to square Mystery 8

Book read: Confessions by Kanea Minato - 240 pages

 

Bank account (June 15th): $90.00

 

Round #17.1:

 

Dice Roll: 10

Square: New Orleans 22

Book read: The Victorian Chaise-Lounge by Margarita Lanski - 99 pages

 

Bank account (June 13th): $87.00

 

Round #17.2:

 

Dice Roll: 7

Square: Paradise Pier 28

Book read: See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt - 325 pages

 

Bank account (June 11th): $86.00

 

Round #16:

 

Dice Roll: 9

Square: Main Street 13

Book read: Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders - 343 pages (print edition)

 

Bank account (June 8th): $83.00

 

Round #15.2:

 

Dice Roll: 3

Square: Electric company

Book read: Euphoria by Lily King - 261 pages (print edition)

 

Bank account (June 5th): $80.00

 

Round #15.1:

 

Dice Roll: 10 (double roll 5+5)

Square: Frontierland 2

Book read: The Dry by Jane Harper - 320 pages (print edition)

 

Bank account (June 4th): $77.00

 

Round #14:

 

Dice Roll: 3

Square: The Monorail 29

Book currently reading: Golden Hill by by Francis Spufford - DNF page 42 out of 344 pages

 

Bank account (June 3th): $74.00

 

Round #13:

 

Dice Roll: 9

Square: Adventureland 27

Book read: The Power by Naomi Alderman - 340 pages

 

Bank account (June 1th): $73.00

 

Extra Dice Roll #2:

 

Dice Roll: 8

Square: Visiting Jail

Book read: Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K. Dick - 193 pages donated to jail library

 

Bank account (May 28th): $70.00

 

Round 12: 

 

Dice roll: 5

Square: Fantasyland 7

Book read: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov - 371 pages

 

Bank account (May 28th): $70.00 

 

Round 11:

 

Dice Roll: 6

Square: Frontierland 2

Book read: The Secret of Chimneys by Agatha Christie - 400 pages

 

Bank account (May 24th): $67.00

 

Extra Dice Roll #1:

 

Dice Roll: 9

Square: Frontierland 1

Book listened to: The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin (audiobook) - pagecount (print): 468 pages

 

Bank account (May 24th): $64.00

 

Round 10:

 

Dice Roll: 11

Square: Tomorrowland 33

Book read: Hyperion by Dan Simmons - 473 pages

 

Bank account (May 20th): $59.00

 

 

Round 9:

 

Dice Roll: 3 + 11

Square: Free parking + water works

Book read: Jaws by Peter Benchley - 336 pages

 

Bank account (May 12th): $54.00

 

Round 8:

 

Dice Roll: 8

Square: Mystery 25

Book read: The Daughter of Time by Josephine Tey - 206 pages

 

Bank account (May 11th): $51.00

 

Round 7:

Dice Roll: 8

Square Cars Land 18

Book read: State of Wonder by Ann Patchett - 384 pages

 

Bank account (May 7th): $48.00

 

Extra Dice Roll #3:

 

Dice Roll: 7

Square: Main Street 10

Book read: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee - DNF at page 86

 

Bank account (may 6th): $45.00

 

Extra Dice Roll #2

 

Dice Roll: 3

Square: Frontierland 4

Book read: Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie - 265 pages 

 

Bank account (May 4th): $44.00

 

Round 6:

Dice Roll: 11

Square: Trains, Planes and Automobiles 29

Book read: At the Existensialist Café by Sarah Bakewell - 327 pages (the rest of the book are notes)

 

Bank account (May 1th): $41.00

 

Round 5:

Dice Roll: 10

Square: New Orleans 19

Book read: The Picture of Dorian Grey by Oscar Wilde - 230 pages

 

Bank account (April 27th): $38.00

 

Round 4:

Dice Roll (April 23th): 11

Square: Main Street 10

Skipped this square

 

Round 3:

 

Dice Roll #1:

Dice Roll: 8 (double roll)

Square: Paradise Pier 30

Book read: Career of Evil by Robert Galbraith - DNF at page 252

 

Dice roll #2:

Dice Roll: 7

Square: Start (I´m allowed to choose any book I want)

Book read: The 13 Problems by Agatha Christie - 314 pages

 

Bank account (April 23th): $35.00

 

Round 2:

 

Dice roll: 7

Square: Waterworks

Book read: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim - 262 pages

 

Bank Account (April 21th): §29.00

 

Round 1:

 

Dice roll 1: 12 (double roll)

Square: Mainstreet USA 11

Book read: The Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler - 251 pages

 

Dice roll 2: 6

Square: Mystery 17

Book read: The Man in the Brown Suit by Agatha Christie - 381 pages

 

Bank (April 19th): $26.00

 

Start

Bank (April 15th): $20.00

 

 

Review
4 Stars
Lincoln in the Bardo
Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders

Lincoln in the Bardo is a fascinating, unique and mesmerizing reading experience and I have to admit I have never read anything quite like it.

 

Saunders takes the reader on a journey to the bardo, a kind of "in-between-place", where the souls of the dead, who have unfinished business on earth, linger and obsess over their unfinished business on earth. On the night of his burial eleven year old William Lincoln gets stuck in the bardo, unable to pass on to the place beyond, eventhough this means a threat to him. Will the ghosts of the bardo be able to help him? 

 

This novel is about grief, loss, love, the bond between a parent and his child, sin, redemption and forgiveness. Especially the passages, where Williams father Abraham Lincoln comes to the cemetery, because he can´t let go of his boy, were heartbreaking.

 

The novel is split into two narratives and it took me some time to get used to the narration. The biggest part of the novel takes place in the bardo and is mainly told in dialogue from the perspective of three of its ghost (but there is a huge cast of other characters as well). The smaller part consists of qoutes of contemporary peers describing what Abraham Lincoln has done or how he has reacted during the time of Williams death. The chapters with the quotes were really fun at times, because various people contratict each other, beginning from the moon being there or not to the physical appearance of Abraham Lincoln.

 

The only thing I have to complain about is that Saunders uses a weird kind of humour in places, a humour which is not up my alley. But then it´s been a couple of days since I finished this book and I can´t stop thinking about it. I really liked this novel.

 

I´ve read this book for the "Main Street 13" square of Booklikes-opoly. Abraham Lincoln was a lawyer and the book is set during the Civil War.

 

Page count: 343 pages

Money earned: $3.00

 

 

 

Review
1 Stars
See What I Have Done
See What I Have Done - Sarah Schmidt

Since this a fictional account of the Lizzie Borden murders, I was prepared for violence and gore. But I wasn´t prepared for it being such a disgusting read. And it´s not the descriptions of all the blood and the crushed skulls that makes this novel disgusting, it´s the characters themselves that grossed me out (specifically the character of Lizzie and (fictional) Benjamin). I actually felt grimy after reading certain chapters of this book and overall it hasn´t been a pleasant book to read (at least for me).

 

This book takes place in the year 1892 and is set in the time of Queen Victoria´s reign.

 

Page count: 325 pages

Money earned: $3.00

 

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 190 out of 336 pages.
See What I Have Done - Sarah Schmidt

Good grief! This book is disturbing. Disturbing in a way that makes me sick to my stomach. It´s not so bad that I´m giving up on it, but I can´t say that it is a joy to read this novel.

Review
4 Stars
Euphoria
Euphoria - Lily King

I really loved this story about three anthropologist studying tribes in 1930s New Guinea. Based on the life of Margaret Mead, one of the first female leading anthropologist in the field, Lily King has managed to write a gripping piece of historical fiction.

 

Lily King adresses a lot of issues in this book. One theme of the book is the question, if it is possible to obtain untainted data as an anthropologist or does the person  "being there" amongst the tribe influence the data their obtaining. Another theme is a womans role in this kind of field and how other (male) anthropologists perceive them. And then there is the question, how much the tribal life gets changed due to western influences.

 

Euphoria is beautifully written with great characters. I felt heartbroken, sad and angry in varying degrees throughout this book and the character of Andrew Bankson, who is the main narrator of the story, has been my favorite character of the all. I absolutely loved him.

 

And just as a heads up: there is a lovetriangle in this story, but fortunately it´s not an angsty one and King managed this very well. I´m not a big fan of lovetriangles and it kept me from giving this book a five star rating.

 

I´ve read this book for the "Electric Company" square, the three anthropologist working in a field of science.

 

Page count: 261 pages

Money earned: $3.00

 

 

 

Booklikes-opoly: Change of book
The Victorian Chaise-longue - Marghanita Laski

I initially choose The Fall of Hyperion for the time travel square, but to be honest, I´m not in the mood for this book at the moment.

Instead I´m picking up Marghanita Laski´s The Victorian Chaise-Lounge, which has time travel in it. So far enjoyed all of the Persephone books and I hope I will enjoy this one too. And it is a short read with only 99 pages.

 

Review
4 Stars
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick

I tried to write something resembling a coherent review, but I can´t come up with anything else besides the fact that I really enjoyed this book and the questions about humanity it poses. What makes us human? Empathy, compassion and love? And is artificial intelligence able to experience the same emotions as humans?

 

I really liked the significance that Dick puts on real life animals and how humanity is closely linked with these animals. And I really liked the concept behind the mood organ:

 

"My schedule for today lists a six-hour self-accusatory depression" Iran said

"What? Why did you schedule that?" It defeated the whole purpose of the mood organ. "I didn´t even know you could set it for that", he said gloomily.

 

Truth to be told I would choose a self-accusatory depression every once in a while myself. But I think it would be pretty great to choose when to have one of those.

 

I read this book for my jail visit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review
4.5 Stars
The Dry
The Dry - Jane Harper

Federal Agent Aaron Falk doesn´t have fond memories of his hometown Kiewarra. Yet he comes back to attend the funeral of his best friend Luke and his family. Luke is supposed to have killed his family with a shotgun before committing suicide himself and yet the local police officer doubts this. Aaron ends up helping the officer investigating the case and the longer he stays in Kiewarra, the more he gets haunted by his own past.

 

I really loved this book, from the setting of the Australian small town, hit hard by an everlasting drought and heat wave, to the characters, who were realistically developed and felt like real people. The fact that this story could have happened in real life is something I really appreciate about this book, since a lot of crime novels are too far out there for my taste.

And the very first chapter has to be one of the best first chapters I have ever read. Jane Harper sets the tone of the novel in this first chapter wonderfully and I got immediately hooked.

 

It may not be the most original mystery out there, but it´s been a great and engrossing read. Highly recommended for every mystery reader.

 

I´ve read this book for the square "Frontierland 2" and people get shot in this book. And the police officers know how to handle a gun.

 

Page Count: 342 pages
Money earned: $3.00

 

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 28%.
Euphoria - Lily King

28% into the novel and not very much has happened so far plotwise. And yet it´s a captivating read, really quiet and sedate and beautifully written.  

 

Review
3 Stars
The Power
The Power - Naomi Alderman

What happens when women all of sudden develop a power, which makes them physically superior to every man on earth? That is the premise of The Power and it´s surely a fast-paced and action-driven read. But this book disappointed me in certain regards.

 

But first the things that I liked: I liked the idea behind the novel. What kind of influence would a shift in power between the sexes have on the society / the world? It really makes you think what you would do in a situation like that. Would you use your power for something good or would abuse your power? Are women better people and morally superior to men?

The novel begins with an email correspondence of two authors, who are having a discussion about a book that one of these two has written. Said book is the actual novel "The Power". The framed narrative poses some interesting questions in the end and it is especially this framing device that made the novel in the end a decent read for me.

 

I simply felt that this novel has been to short. Told from the perspective of four different characters, located in different parts of the world, Alderman tries to give a sweeping overview what happens to the world if a shift of power should occur. And she tries this in 340 pages. There is not enough time to develop the characters, which led me to feel absolutely nothing for them and there is at least one character that doesn´t add anything substantial to the storyline. 

There is a lot of violence in this book and as the story progresses, the story gets more and more violent. I know that Alderman uses the violence to emphasise the central theme of her novel, but I felt like she was shoving her message down my throat by it. So I´m not a big fan of the way that Alderman has written her novel, especially since she builds up to a big climax in the end and then the book just ... kind of ends. The ending (of the fictional novel) was quite disappointing.

 

This book was ok, but I certainly didn´t like it. I read this novel for the Booklikes-opoly Adventureland 27. The initials of Naomi Alderman´s name is found in the word "Tarzan".

 

Page count: 340 pages

Money earned: $3.00

 

Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Dry - Jane Harper

Well, this was an excellent mystery. Fast-paced with a great setting and loads of small town secrets.

 

Review
4 Stars
The Master and Margarita
The Master and Margarita - Mikhail Bulgakov

One hot summer afternoon the devil and his entourage comes to Moscov and wreaks havoc among the literary and artistic upper class.

 

That is the main premise of The Master and Margarita and this book has been an enjoyable tour de force of weirdness. It´s surreal and crazy and incredibly dark in its humour. The very first scene alone is so memorable, I guess I will never forget what happens to that poor guy. I have to say, though, that I didn´t enjoy reading a couple of chapters in the middle of the book (mainly because I didn´t like the character of Margarita and these chapters were about her).

 

It´s one of these books that I would have loved to study in an academic setting, simply because there is so much to analyse in this novel and I guess I don´t have enough knowledge about Stalin´s Russia to fully understand the satirical aspects of this novel. But even without that it´s a great book and I´m glad that I finally have read it.

 

There is a talking cat called Behemoth in this book and he is awesome:

 

Cat Behemoth of “Master and Margarita” by Bulgakov :)

[Source]

 

Page count: 371 pages

Money earned: $3.00

 

 

 

Reading progress update: DNF at page 42.
Golden Hill - Francis Spufford

The author surely has a way of bloating up his sentences:

 

"When he had ate his fill, and proceeded from the urgent first cup and necessary second to the voluntary third which might be toyed with at leisure, without any particular outcry seeming to suggest he should be on his guard, he leant back, spread the city´s news before him, and, by glances between the items, took a longer survey of the room."

 

There is no way that I can stick with this writing style, so I will DNF at page 42. Which amounts to a progress of 12.2% in the book. This has to be one of my fastest DNFs ever.

 

Since I read more than 10% of this book, I´m allowed to net $1.00 for my Booklikes-opoly.

 

Page count: DNF at page 42 out of 344 pages.

Money earned: $1.00

 

Reading progress update: I've read 3 out of 344 pages.
Golden Hill - Francis Spufford

"The brig Henrietta having made Sandy Hook a little before the dinner hour - and having passed the Narrows about three o´clock -  and then crawling to and fro, in a series of tacks infinitesimal enough to rival the calculus, across the grey sheet of harbour of New-York - until it seemes to Mr Smith, dancing from foot to foot upon deck, that the small mound of the city waiting there would hover ahead in the November gloom in perpetuity, never growing closer, to the smirk of Greek Zeno - and the day beginning advanced to dusk by the time Henrietta at last lay anchored off Tietjes Slip, with the veritable gables of the city´s veritable houses devided from him only by hundred foot of water - and the dusk moreover being as cold and damp and dim as November can afford, as if all the world were a quarto of grey paper dampened by drizzle until in danger of crumbling imminently to pap: - all this being true, the master of the brig pressed upon him the virtue of sleeping this one further night aboard, and pursuing his shore business in the morning (He meaning by the offer to signal his esteem, having found Mr Smith a pleasant companion during the slow weeks of crossing.)"

 

I sat about five minutes over the very first sentence, trying to figure out what the author wants to tell me. That´s what I came up with:

 

There is a ship heading towards New York, there is a swell (don´t get the calculus reference, to be honest), a Mr Smith is impatient because it seems like they never will reach the harbour (I have never heard of the greek philosopher Zeno - and I like to believe that the average reader doesn´t know him either - but apparently for him motion is nothing but an illusion). They anchor and it´s November and it´s bleeping cold and damp and the whole world seems to be a wet piece of paper. Hence the reason for the captain to keep Mr Smith on the boat for another night. Plus he is a nice guy to talk to.

 

Truth to be honest I would have made four or five sentences out of this monstrosity and fortunately Spufford doesn´t keep on with this on the following pages.

 

 

 

 

currently reading

Progress: 192/421pages
Progress: 1870/4318minutes