Lillelara

Lillelara

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

Reading progress update: I've read 20 out of 299 pages.
Just Mercy - Bryan Stevenson

"My work with the poor and incarcerated has persuaded me that the opposite of poverty is not wealth; the opposite of poverty is justice. Finally, I´ve come to believe that the true measure of our commitment to justice, the character of our society, our commitment to the rule of law, fairness, and equality cannot be measured by how we treat the rich, the powerful, the priviliged, and the respected among us. The true measure of our character is how we treat the poor, the disfavored, the accused, the incarcerated, and the condemned."

 

Review
2 Stars
The Paying Guests
The Paying Guests - Sarah Waters

The Paying Guests is my third Sarah Waters book and eventhough her other books aren´t perfect, at least they have been compelling reads. But this book I found to be incredibly dull and boring. The story in a nutshell: moping, moping, doing house chores, moping, more house cleaning, falling in love, being miserable and heartbroken, more moping, sex, drama, drama, drama, even more moping whilst being in a moral dilemma, the end (which is a lacklustre one, btw). 

I might have enjoyed the story more if I felt sympathetic towards the two main characters. But these two are horrible people, so not even the ending has been a satisfactory for me. I´m hugely disappointed by this book.

Only two more books ...

... and I wil have read 100 books this year. I have never, ever read 100 books in one year before, so this is a huge success for me. The two book bingos hosted by Moonlight Reader and Obsidian Blue have helped a lot to achive this number. So thanks again for hosting these awesome bingos. It has been a lot of fun.

I´m planning to read and finish the follwing books:

 

Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency - Douglas Adams  The Paying Guests - Sarah Waters  

 

Dirk Gently´s Hollistic Detective Agency: Last weekend I binge-watched the TV series on Netflix and I adore this show. So I decided to read the first book in the Dirk Gently series as my first Douglas Adams read. I´m 25% into the book and I´m not sure what to think of it. I´m still waiting for some kind of plot and so far Dirk Gently has only been mentioned once. What I can say is that the book and the show don´t have a lot of things in common (which I don´t mind).

 

The Paying Guest: I´m so in the mood to read another book by Sarah Waters over the christmas time. Maybe this book will get me out of my reading slump *keeping my fingers crossed*.

 

I haven´t forgotten about the Hygge-post. Now that Booklikes is up and running again, it will eventually come. December is just the most busy month at work and I´m not sure if I can´t get it up before christmas. So I apologize for the delay.

 

I hope you all enjoy christmas time and the days leading up to it. Happy reading everyone :).

Review
3 Stars
Planetfall
Planetfall - Emma Newman

As much as I liked the book up until the 90% mark, the ending fell flat for me and the last time I felt this kind of disappointment I was watching "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull". Maybe you know that feeling: You enjoy something and in the end you are sitting in your chair and you say to yourself "Really? This is supposed to be the ending? They got to be kidding me."

 

It´s not a bad book and I still recommend it, because there really are some things in it I immensely enjoyed (the world building, the characters, the storytelling). I just don´t think I´m that much of a spiritual person to really like and appreciate the ending.

Update on my reading life
Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes Dracula - Bram Stoker, Tim Curry, Alan Cumming, Simon Vance And Then There Were None - Agatha Christie, Dan Stevens Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman - Robert K. Massie Planetfall - Emma Newman So You've Been Publicly Shamed - Jon Ronson

Hi everybody,

the last couple of weeks have been super busy for me, so I didn´t have that much time to drop in here on a regular basis. Add to this that I´m having the weirdest reading month ever, since I manage to finish up on my audiobooks while I´m dragging my way through my physical books. Apparently I´m not in the mood to read with my eyes.

I was planning to participate in the 12 tasks of christmas, but I don´t think I have the time rigth now. But I will definitely make a post about hygge. You can count on that.

 

These books I have finished so far this month:

 

Broken Monsters: Not a favorite of mine. You can find my review here

 

Dracula: The narration of this audiobook is amazing and Alan Cumming could narrate the phone book for all I care and I would be one happy listener. But I´m not completely satisfied by the book itself. As good as the first half of the book is, I didn´t like the second half of it that much. Mainly because I couldn´t stand Van Helsing and him constantly saying "fair madam Mina" and "My good friend Jonathan". And I´m flabbergasted by the sheer stupidity the men put on display when it comes to Mina and

count Dracula´s visits to her bedroom.

(show spoiler)

 

And Then There Were None: An excellent story and an excellent narrator (Dan Stevens), who gives all of the characters a distinctive voice. I´m currently watching the 2015 BBC-Adaption with Aidan Turner, Charles Dance, Sam Neill, Toby Stephens and Miranda Richardson and it´s brilliant as well.

 

 

And these are the books I´m currently reading:

 

Catherine the Great: A memoir of Catherine the Great, empress of Russia. I´m really loving this book and Massey truly makes history come alive. I´m about halfway through and I just needed a little break from this book, because the political chapters are a bit more dense than the chapters where the personal drama is going on (and there is a LOT of personal drama in Catherines life).

 

Planetfall: There is some great worldbuildung in this book and I really like that the author focuses on the very troubled main character instead of focusing on the mystery surrounding the colony. I will definitely finish this book over the next couple of days,

 

So You´ve Been Publicly Shamed: The author Jon Ronson narrates this audiobook himself and he brings the right amount of compassion to his narration. Ronson takes a look at the lives of people, who have been publicly shamed and the psychology behind the phenomenon of public shaming. I´m fascinated by this topic and this audiobook has the "I´m just going to listen to one more chapter"- effect.

 

Last but not least: A happy thanksgiving to all my American Booklikes friends :).

 

Review
2 Stars
Broken Monsters
Broken Monsters - Lauren Beukes

A prime example how a otherwise decent three star book gets ruined by a ridiculous ending.

 

I was intrigued by the twisted murder mystery. A body, half boy, half deer, is found and I expected a compelling thriller. But the story turns into a weird horror-mystery-thriller-mix with a central message regarding social media that I didn´t care about and ultimately has been lost on me. The descriptions of derelict Detroit are pretty good, though.

Reading progress update: I've read 15%.
Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman - Robert K. Massie

I never knew about the connection between the Romanovs and the German house of Holstein-Gottorp. It´s really fascinating to learn something new about my home Schleswig-Holstein.

Reading progress update: I've listened 364 out of 928 minutes.
Dracula - Bram Stoker, Tim Curry, Alan Cumming, Simon Vance

"A brave man´s blood is the best thing on this earth when a woman is in trouble."

 

No, that´s not how blood transfusions work:

 

Either the woman is AB negative and a universal blood recipient (which is highly unlikely, because only approximately 4% of earths population have this bloodgroup) or the four men all have the same bloodgroup of 0 negative and thus being universal blood donors. And this is even more unlikely. 

 

I guess I have to accept that Luca Westenra is so special that her bloodgroup actually is AB negative.

Back from Munich

The last couple of days my mother, my aunt and I have been in Munich. We had some errands to run, but we had some time to look at Munich as well. It´s a wonderful city and I definitely have to visit it again at some point.

We only had two full days in Munich and we visited castle Nymphenburg and the Viktualienmarkt, which is food heaven (I got so distracted by all the food, I forgot to take a picture). But I managed to take some pictures and we had the best weather:

 

 

And of course I did buy some books:

 

 

I hope you had all a lovely weekend as well with some great fall weather :).

 

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

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.

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween Book Bingo Update #14 and Black Out

The last couple of days has just been the worst ever for my parents and myself, so I might be a little scatterbrained at times and I apologize for not keeping track on my comments. We went to the movies yesterday and watched "Bridget Jones´ Baby" and it cheered us up a little bit.

Anyway, on the bright side, I finished up my last book for the bingo and I have a black out. Thanks to Moonlight Reader (Murder) and Obsidian Blue (Black Death) for creating the bingo. It has been such a blast.

 

.

 

  1. It was a dark and stormy night - Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels
  2. Diverse Authors can be spooky fun - My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
  3. Ghost stories and haunted houses - The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  4. Scary Women (authors) - The Birds and other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier
  5. Young Adult Horror - The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs
  6. Classic Horror - The Turn of The Screw by Henry James
  7. Free Space - The Dumb House by John Burnside
  8. Vampires vs. Werewolves - Written in Red by Anne Bishop
  9. Set in New England - Storm of the Century by Stephen King
  10. Witches - The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  11. Supernatural - Sweetheart, Sweetheart by Bernard Taylor
  12. "Fall" into a good book - Fall of the House Usher by Edgar Allen Poe
  13. Gothic - The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  14. Full Moon - Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  15. Grave and Graveyard - The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
  16. Read with "Booklikes" friends - The Hound of the Baskerville by Arthur Conan Doyle
  17. Magical Realism - Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
  18. Locked Room Mystery - The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr
  19. Read by candlelight or flashlight - Honeysuckle Cottage by P.G. Wodehouse
  20. Creepy Crawlies - The Day od the Triffids by John Williams
  21. Genre: Mystery - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  22. Pumpkin - Hallowe´en Party by Agatha Christie
  23. Set on Halloween - The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury
  24. Black Cat - The Black Cat by Edgar Allen Poe
  25. Genre: Horror - The Elementals by Malcolm McDowell
 
Reading progress update: I've read 9%.
The Elementals - Michael Rowe, Michael McDowell

My last book for the halloween bingo and I hope that I will finish the bingo on a high note. In the prologue there is a weird funeral going on, so I´m definitely intrigued to find out what is going to happen next.

 

Review
4 Stars
The Day of the Triffids
The Day of the Triffids - John Wyndham

"When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere."

 

One morning Bill Masen wakes up in the hospital with bandages over his eyes and with the distinctive feeling that something is horrible wrong. During the night a green comet has passed the earth and in it´s aftermath most of the population has been blinded. Bill, one of the few people who is still able to see, has to deal with these strange circumstances and the sightless mobs, who are roaming the streets of London. And then there are the Triffids...

 

... big, carnivorous, walking plants, who definitely fits the description creepy. This book should be read for the Triffids alone. They are awesome.

 

Finally there is a dystopian novel that I actually liked. And finally people are acting in a relatable way. People, who still can see, are questioning themselves if they should help those in need or if this is an futile effort. The reader is following the characters immediately upon the big catatrophe and gets to know, how these people are trying to adapt to these changed circumstances. And a whole lot is happening. This book is rather fast-paced and I couldn´t put it down. And for a book that´s been written in 1951 it has quite a modern feel to it.

 

Towards the end the story starts to drag a little bit, but overall I enjoyed The Day of the Triffids very much and I will definitely pick up another book by John Wyndham in the future.

 

Review
3 Stars
The Black Cat
The Black Cat - Edgar Allan Poe

What a disturbing. creepy and dark story with an awful and insane human being as a narrator. I liked the writing and build up of this story, but I cannot approve of the cruelty against the poor cat. And I sincerely hope that cats will haunt the narrator in his afterlife.

 

 

Reading progress update: I've listened 148 out of 928 minutes.
Dracula - Bram Stoker, Tim Curry, Alan Cumming, Simon Vance

The voice of Lucy Westenra is grating on my nerves. But Lucy is a daft cow, so the narration fits.

Halloween Book Bingo Update #13 and 2 more Bingos

 

A half an hour later and my post is up. Well, I have finished three more books and got bingos 5 and 6.

 

  1. It was a dark and stormy night - Ammie, Come Home by Barbara Michaels
  2. Diverse Authors can be spooky fun - My Soul to Keep by Tananarive Due
  3. Ghost stories and haunted houses - The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson
  4. Scary Women (authors) - The Birds and other Stories by Daphne Du Maurier
  5. Young Adult Horror - The House with a Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs
  6. Classic Horror - The Turn of The Screw by Henry James
  7. Free Space - The Dumb House by John Burnside
  8. Vampires vs. Werewolves - Written in Red by Anne Bishop
  9. Set in New England - Storm of the Century by Stephen King
  10. Witches - The Crucible by Arthur Miller
  11. Supernatural - Sweetheart, Sweetheart by Bernard Taylor
  12. "Fall" into a good book - Fall of the House Usher by Edgar Allen Poe
  13. Gothic - The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins
  14. Full Moon - Bird Box by Josh Malerman
  15. Grave and Graveyard - The Murder at the Vicarage by Agatha Christie
  16. Read with "Booklikes" friends - The Hound of the Baskerville by Arthur Conan Doyle
  17. Magical Realism - Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Süskind
  18. Locked Room Mystery - The Hollow Man by John Dickson Carr
  19. Read by candlelight or flashlight - Honeysuckle Cottage by P.G. Wodehouse
  20. Creepy Crawlies - The Day od the Triffids by John Williams
  21. Genre: Mystery - Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  22. Pumpkin - Hallowe´en Party by Agatha Christie

currently reading

Progress: 157/389pages
Progress: 180/941minutes
Progress: 208/436pages
Progress: 709/4318minutes
Progress: 129/353pages