Lillelara

Lillelara

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

Reading progress update: I've read 193 out of 193 pages.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick

After having finished Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and The Master and Margarita in one day, I feel like I´m stuck in a David Lynch movie. My next read will definitely be a non-weird one (eventhough both books were great reads).

 

I´ve read this book for my jail visit which means 193 pages are going into the jail library.

 

Review
4.5 Stars
Hyperion
Hyperion (SF Masterworks) - Dan Simmons

It´s been about a week since I finished Hyperion and since I cannot stop thinking about this book I´m changing my initial star rating from 4 stars to 4,5 stars. Because who am I kidding, I absolutely loved this book and it might become a five star read upon a reread (which will happen at some point).

 

Hyperion tells the story of seven people, who are on a pilgrimage to the planet Hyperion in order to seek out the mysterious time tombs, where the mystical called the Shrike resides. Every pigrim has a wish that he is asking of the Shrike to get fulfilled. But only one wish gets fulfilled, while the other six pilgrims have to die. In order to prepare for the encounter with the Shrike, each pilgrim tell the stories of their lives, not knowing that the fate of humanity might lie in their hands.

 

The reader basically gets seven different stories wrapped up in one book, six of the pilgrims story and the overall story arc of the pilgrimage and the impending intergalatic war, which is looming on the horizon and probably is the main premise of the second book in the series. And everyone of these stories were really good, some of them were even breathtakingly beautiful, haunting or sad and some of them will stick with me for a very long time. There were only two stories that fell a little bit short for me, but they were by no means bad, they weren´t just as good as the other ones. My personal ranking of the pilgrims stories is:

 

1. The Priest´s tale

2. The Scholar´s Tale

3. The Detective´s tale

4. The Consul´s tale

5. The Poet´s tale

6. The Soldier´s tale

(show spoiler)

 

The thing that strucks me most is how Dan Simmons manages to give every story it´s distinctive style and how he uses the stories to slowly reveal the worldbuildung to the reader. At the beginning you don´t know exactly what going on, but as the story progresses you slowly realise what is happening in the universe of the Hegemony and that there is so much more at stake than the personal grievances of the characters. 

 

It´s my second book by Dan Simmons (I read The Terror years ago) and there is something about his beautiful, haunting and engaging writing style that makes his books compulsively readable.

I cannot wait to read the second book in the series, simply because I want to spend more time with these characters and the fascinating world Simmons has created.

 

I´ve read this book for the Tomorrowland 33 space and it is tagged as science fiction on GR.

 

Page count: 473 pages

Money earned: $5.00

 

Booklikes-opoly Memorial Day Rolls

I don´t have access to my book shelves over the weekend, so I´m doing my two extra dice rolls today. Thank you very much, Moonlight Reader and Obisdian Blue, for the extra rolls.

 

Extra dice roll #1:

 

 

Which brings me to square:

 

 

I´ve been on this square before. Luckily I have a lot of books written by authors who are born before 1955. So I have choosen this novel, which I will listen to on audio:

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: 50th Anniversary Edition - Ken Kesey,Robert Faggen (introduction),John C. Reilly,Penguin Audio 

 

Extra Dice Roll #2:

 

 

And I have to visit the jail:

 

 

 

I have to read a book with at least 100 pages, this book has a page count of 193:

 

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

 

 

 

 

Review
1.5 Stars
The Fifth Season
The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin

I seriously begin to wonder what kind of problem I have with hyped books. Because this is another one of these books that almost everybody loves and I just didn´t feel the love for it at all. One problem may be that I´m not the biggest fantasy fan, but there are some fantasy books out there that I do enjoy, so I don´t think the genre is the cause for my dislike of The Fifth Season. The biggest problem I had was with the way that N.K. Jemesin has told her story.

 

But let me start with the only positive thing in this book: the worldbuilding and the origins. The characters inhabit a continent, which gets periodically hit by catastrophes such as earthquakes and vulcanic eruptions. This world is inhabited by people that aren´t able to control any kind of magic and by people, called origins, that are able to control earths magic and thus are able to quell the shakes and eruptions. Jemesin slowly reveals how the world is functioning and I think she did an incredibly job with this.

 

But I really disliked the structure of the story. The story is told from the perspective of three different female characters and throughout most of the book it isn´t clear how these three characters are connected with each other. One of the characters didn´t add anything significant to the overall storyline, one character was constantly angry and sulky and the third character was constantly depressed and sad, because something horrible has happened to her.

I suppose the author has meant for me to care about these characters, but I sincerely didn´t care about any of them. There is that big twist towards the end and I haven´t been shocked by it. The only thing I could think about was that the last three hours of the audiobook would turn into the most boring thing ever, because the story became totally predictable from this point onward. And it happened to be that way, it turned into a snooze fest because I just didn´t care.

I guess I have to mention that one narrative is told in second person present tense and I didn´t really enjoy this kind of narration as well.

 

I listened to this book on audio and the narrator Robin Miles and I enjoyed the narration. I´m pretty sure that I would have DNF´d this novel as a physical book. However, on audio I managed to finish it and I can bank it for the Booklikes-opoly as a book that starts with a F.

 

Page count: 468 pages

Money earned: $5.00

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review
3.5 Stars
The Secret of Chimneys
The Secret of Chimneys - Agatha Christie

I really enjoyed reading The Secret of Chimneys, eventhough the plot is incredibly convoluted and the racism, expecially in the beginning of the book, is staggering. There are political intrigues, killed monarchs, a mysterious manuscript, a jewel thief mastermind, international affairs and the big country estate called chimneys, where all the different characters met up and all those story lines are coming together.

 

My biggest issue with this book is that exactly one specific character happens to be present at Chimneys by sheer luck and everything depends on this character in the end. I´m quite capable of suspending my disbelief, but I have a hard time with this, since everything depends on this one chance encounter. And since Christie seems to be infatuated with that specific character, the other characters aren´t allowed to shine (by that I mean specifically Inspector Battle).

 

 

It´s not my favorite Christie, but it´s been an enjoyable read and as of now Christie is my go-to-author for comfort reads. I really love reading her books,eventhough there might be flaws in some of them.

 

I´ve read this book for the Frontierland 2 square for Booklikes-opoly and people get shoot in this one. A perfect fit.

 

Page Count: 400 pages

Money earned: $3.00

 

 

Reading progress update: I've listened 927 out of 927 minutes.
The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin

In the end I really didn´t enjoy this book. So, in celebration of finishing The Fifth Season I will enjoy a glass of wine today, because:

 

 drinking wine advice betty white pearls of wisdom GIF

[Source]

 

I somehow have to regain the time I have spend reading this book, right? 

 

Reading progress update: I've listened 821 out of 927 minutes.
The Fifth Season - N.K. Jemisin

I just listened to the big, revelatory plot twist and I feel ... nothing. I don´t think that is a good sign.

 

So far I´m not madly in love with this book and I don´t think that the last couple of minutes are going to change anything about this. As a matter of fact I´m glad when I´m done with this audiobook.

 

Reading progress update: I've read 101 out of 421 pages.
Fire from Heaven: A Novel of Alexander the Great: A Virago Modern Classic (VMC) - Mary Renault

I won´t be able to start my Booklikes-opoly read before tomorrow (I don´t have my physical copy of that book with me), so I decided to pick up another book. And since I´m in the mood for historical fiction, I picked up the first novel about Alexander the Great by Mary Renault. 

 

I´m about a hundred pages into the story and it´s not an easy read. This book is incredibly fact heavy and since I don´t know a lot about Alexander the Great and his parents and the political and historical circumstances of Macedonia at the time, I have to do some additional reading on the internet. I like to do this, but this certainly makes this novel a challenging read. And it does help to know a thing or two about greek myths and legends.

 

It took me some time to getting used to Renaults writing style. There is a huge cast of characters and at times it is not clear from whose point of view the story gets told. And it doesn´t help that she refers to the characters only be calling them he, she, the boy, the young man. Renaults writing reminds me of Hilary Mantel, now that I think of it.

 

And I feel iffy about some plot points, especially Alexanders mother Olympias (that woman is crazy) and the homosexual allusions concerning the 6-10 year old Alexander. Basically every man is lusting for him and I feel like this:

 

  no scared nope nsfw gross GIF

[Source]

 

 

Review
4 Stars
The Daughter of TIme
The Daughter of Time - Josephine Tey

Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant lies in the hospital with a broken leg and he is utterly bored. Since Grant has the ability to judge a character from a persons look, he takes a look at a photograph of Richard III, who is supposed to have killed his two nephews, the princes in the towers. He immediately becomes interested in the mystery of the past. Has Richard III. really commited the crime?

 

I didn´t know anything about this book when I started reading it and I have to admit, this novel took me by suprise. I have never read a book before, where someone is solving a mystery by doing extensive research in books. And it is not even boring. I felt utterly compelled by this book the whole way through.

 

I have to admit, though, that I would have enjoyed this novel more if I would have known more of the Plantagenets and their history. Which means I will revisit this book as soon as I have brushed up on my historical knowledge.

 

I´ve read this book for the historical mystery square and it was a perfect read for this square.

 

Page count: 206 pages

Money earned: $3.00

 

 

 

Reading progress update: I've read 251 out of 473 pages.
Hyperion (SF Masterworks) - Dan Simmons

 I´m really enjoying this book so far.

 

I have finished the first three pilgrim stories. The first story has been wonderfully creepy, the second one is definitely not my favorite and the third one has been utterly weird (and kind of fun). I like that every story is totally different in style and content from one another.

 

 

Review
2.5 Stars
State of Wonder
State of Wonder - Ann Patchett

State of Wonder tells the story of Miranda, a scientist who works for a big pharmaceutical company. After her colleague Anders has died in the Amazonian rain forest, the company sends her to find out what has happened to Anders and how advanced the research of Dr. Swenson, the former mentor of Miranda and employee of the same pharmaceutical company, is.

 

It´s been a week since I finished this book and I feel the same amount of bewilderment and annoyance that I felt immediately upon finishing the novel. Ann Patchett sure can write a compelling story, but there are so many factual errors in this book, especially when it comes to the medicinal facts, I had a hard time enjoying this book and at some point I couldn´t read these passages from a humoristic point of view anymore. And the notion that Miranda is supposed to have been a medical doctor at some point in her life is utterly laughable, because she is incredibly stupid throughout the whole book.

In the beginning of the book Ann Patchett manages to write Dr. Swenson as that incredibly mysterious and enigmatic character and the oppressive atmosphere of the rain forest is excellent. This is were the book shines. But other than that I haven´t been impressed by this novel.

 

State of Wonder has been publisched in 2011 and fits the square Carsland 18

 

 

Page count: 384 pages

Money earned: $3.00

 

Reading progress update: I've read 8%.
Hyperion (SF Masterworks) - Dan Simmons

On Hyperion there is a flame forest, which comprises of tesla trees. I don´t know anything more specific about the forest yet, but this sounds so awesome.

 

Booklikes-opoly: Dice roll #10 - and a plea for help

 

I´m heading of from the water works and my next dice roll

 

 

brings me to 

 

 

I have three books that I would like to read for this square and I can´t decide between the three of them. So I thought you guys would like to help me out. The three books are:

 

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? - Philip K. Dick  Hyperion (SF Masterworks) - Dan Simmons  Old Man's War (Old Man's War, #1) - John Scalzi  

 

So, which book should I read? Feel free to recommend away, I would be very happy if you did. And I will be back in about 12 hours.

 

 

 

 

Review
1.5 Stars
Jaws
Jaws - Peter Benchley

I guess there must be something wrong with the book when the reader is rooting for the shark instead of the characters. I have to admit I was secretly hoping that the shark would eat all of the characters at some point in the story, because the shark is awesome and the most intelligent being in the novel. Much to my chagrin, however, there isn´t enough of the shark in the novel.

Instead there is small town drama, the despicable wife of chief Brody, gag-inducing dialogues about rape-fantasies and a weird mafia-subplot, which didn´t add anything to the overall storyline.

 

So eventhough it has been a fastpaced and actionpacked read, the story in itself left me utterly dissatisfied.

 

Square: Water Works

Earned money: $3.00

 

  

Reading progress update: I've read 73%.
Jaws - Peter Benchley

The second part of the book has been so annoying, thank god I´m done with it. Some of the charcters really deserve to be eaten by the shark!

 

Review
5 Stars
The Picture of Dorian Gray
The Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde

I don´t think I can add something new to the dozens of reviews out there, so I will keep it brief. The Picture of Dorian Gray is dark, twisted, brilliant and has some great characters, that are an absolute joy to dislike. One of my favorite classics.

 

This book has been tagged as gothic on goodreads.

 

Page count: 231

Money earned: $3.00

 

currently reading

Progress: 73/233pages
Progress: 99/310pages
Progress: 192/421pages
Progress: 1870/4318minutes