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

Reading progress update: I've read 120 out of 218 pages.
Dead Mountain: The True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident - Donnie Eichar

This book is such a mixed bag for me. I like the „historical“ chapters about what has happened in 1959. But then there are the chapters set in 2012, which have: 


A guy in his late thirties, eayrly forties, who has a small child at home and who becomes obsessed with a certain topic. In this case its the Dyatlov pass incident. And for some unfathomable reason this guy, who has never climbed a mountain or done other outdoor stuff, wants to reenact the trip those students have taken back in 1959. 


Why is he doing this? I don‘t get it. Can‘t the author just tell his story without doing idiot stuff like skiing / hiking in the Ural Mountains in the middle of winter. Will this add anything to the story so that I am less annoyed by it. I really doubt that.



I‘m back from my Gin Making Tour ...

... and I‘m a little bit drunk, tbh. We four ladies, two Americans, one Scottisch lady and myself, had a lovely time with a lot of laughs and a lot of Gin and its history, as you might tell of this photo:



Look at all these glasses. Anyway, each of us had our own little destillery:




And I got my own Gin: 



That name is just too good. Thanks, Tigus. Even our tour guide, Phillip, commented that this is a great name for all the book-loving, gin-drinking folks out there. And in the end, as if we hadn‘t already enough booze in the middle of the day, we were allowed to drink a Gin and Tonic with our self-made Gin:



I  like my Gin with a very dry tonic water. I have to take a look at what I can get in Germany. But I liked them all neat as well (I‘m a neat drinker for most of my beverages).


And yeah, this was so much fun. 








Pre-Party for Halloween Bingo - Book Suggestion for the New Squares? - Truly Terrifying - Part 2
Empire of Sin: A Story of Sex, Jazz, Murder, and the Battle for Modern New Orleans - Gary Krist Death in the City of Light: The Serial Killer of Nazi-Occupied Paris - David King Say Nothing - Patrick Radden Keefe The Wicked Boy: The Mystery of a Victorian Child Murderer - Kate Summerscale American Predator - Maureen Callahan Beneath a Ruthless Sun - Gilbert King Conan Doyle for the Defense - Margalit Fox The Last Pirate of New York - Rich Cohen Furious Hours - Casey Cep Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America - Jill Leovy

Lol, my "non-fiction true crime list of books I want to read" just went through the roof. These sound all amazing.


I haven´t read any of these books, but again: I want to read them all. And I definitely have to shoehorn another non-fiction book or two into my bingo reading. 

Pre-Party for Halloween Bingo - Book Suggestion for the New Squares? - Truly Terrifying - Part 1
The Mastermind: Drugs. Empire. Murder. Betrayal - Evan Ratliff Zodiac - Robert Graysmith The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York - Deborah Blum The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking - Brendan I. Koerner The Killer of Little Shepherds: A True Crime Story and the Birth of Forensic Science - Douglas Starr Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital - Sheri Fink A Spy Among Friends: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal - Ben Macintyre American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst - Jeffrey Toobin The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession, and the Natural History Heist of the Century - Kirk W. Johnson The Library Book - Susan Orlean

Out of these I have only read The Feather Thief, which was excellent and which I highly recommend to anyone, who don´t want to read about Serial Killers, murder and gory stuff.


As for all the other books, they seem to be right up my alley and I want to read them all.



My Halloween Bingo TBR

I´m traveling to Scotland on Wednesday, where I definitely will do some book shopping. Which means I have to think about what to read for Halloween bingo and which books I have to be on the lookout for in Edinburgh. I will be reading a whole lot of books I already own as well for this game, though. And this TBR can and probably will change during the game.



Country House Mystery, Locked Room Mystery, Genre: Mystery, Murder Most Foul, Amateur Sleuth:


I could read...


The Mad Hatter Mystery (Dr. Gideon Fell #2) - John Dickson Carr,Otto Penzler  Towards Zero - Agatha Christie  Seven Dead - J. Jefferson Farjeon  

The Poisoned Chocolates Case - Anthony Berkeley  The So Blue Marble - Dorothy B. Hughes  The Red House Mystery - A.A. Milne  


... and I have a whole lot of other options sitting on my shelves. These squares shouldn´t be a problem.


Classic Noir, Modern Noir:


Pop. 1280 - Jim Thompson  The Legacy: Children's House, Book 1 - Yrsa Sigurdardóttir, Victoria Cribb (Translator)  Knots and Crosses - Ian Rankin  


For classic noir Pop. 1280. And for modern noir:  I own a copy of The Legacy, but since I´m in Scotland, I´m awfully tempted to buy a physical copy of Ian Rankins Knots and Crosses. I have to think about this a little bit.


Black Cat, Fear Street:


I haven´t the faintest clue what to read for these squares yet.




Macbeth (The Pelican Shakespeare) - William Shakespeare,Stephen Orgel,Stephen Orgel,Stephen Orgel,A. R. Braunmuller 



I need your help with this one. Does Macbeth qualify for this square?


Serial / Spree Killer, American Horror Story, Southern Gothic (books in order):


A Killing Kindness - Reginald Hill  The Fisherman - John Langan  Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - John Berendt  


Relics and Curiosities, Paint it Black, Cozy Mystery, Classic Horror (books in order):



The Amulet - Michael McDowell,Poppy Z Brite  Beloved - Toni Morrison 

 Maisie Dobbs - Jacqueline Winspear  Benighted - J.B. Priestley  


Dark Academia, International Women of Mystery:


Gaudy Night - Dorothy L. Sayers  Edith's Diary - Patricia Highsmith  

People Who Knock on the Door - Patricia Highsmith  Eleven - Graham Greene  


I simply have to read Gaudy Night for Dark Academia. It´s the perfect match. And for International Women of Mystery is has to be a Highsmith. Don´t know which one it´s going to be yet.


Psych, Gothic, Creepy Crawlies, Terror in a Small Town, Film at 11 (books in order):


Stillhouse Lake - Rachel Caine  The Broken Girls - Simone St. James  Gods of Jade and Shadow - Silvia Moreno-Garcia  

We Have Always Lived in the Castle - Shirley Jackson,Joyce Carol Oates  The Postman Always Rings Twice - James M. Cain  


These are my planned audiobook reads. I´m not sure if I can manage to listen to five audiobooks over two months. But I can try.



And now the wait for September 1th begins.






Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell, Matt Godfrey

Wow, what a fabulous ending. I´m really going to miss the Caskys.



BL-opoly: That´s a wrap up

I made $113 in all and despite the many DNFs I had during this game, I´m more than satisfied with the books I have read during the game (no one or two star books). Thanks for this years game :D.



My seasonal Halloween Bingo helpers

Bored by their daily task of taking care of my book shelves and desperately wanting to have some fun in their lives, these two have volunteered to be my bingo markers this year:


Der Jammerlappen




Even though he is permanently depressed (while being incredibly cute at the same time), der Jammerlappen is utterly thrilled to be a part of this years game. He is taking up the task of being my "Read" marker.






Bimble has left her big Hoptimisten family to take her permanent residence in my home and having watched me for the last two years having fun with Halloween Bingo, Bimble finally wants to get in on the game. She is eagerly anticipating to be my marker for the "Called" squares.


And of course, for my "Read and Called" marker, both are teaming up:



They cannot wait for the game to begin. 





I´ve got my bingo card ...

... and it´s lovely! 



Look at those two at the bottom of my card, taking a sneak peak at it. It seems like I have some volunteers for the most important job of the whole game, being the bingo marker.



So stay tuned, I will introduce them to you very soon.

Reading progress update: I've read 93%.
Blackwater: The Complete Saga - Michael McDowell, Matt Godfrey

Here´s what I´m asking myself: 


Does Elinor hold a personal grudge against the Casky family and is this her longwinded way of bringing the family down? At the moment it seems that the ghost are coming back to haunt Elinor, but somehow it feels like she still has the upper hand. 


Only 2 hours left. And I haven´t gotten a clue how this ends. Okay, that´s not true. My guess is that Elinor goes back into the water to live with Norita and Frances.

(show spoiler)
Reading progress update: I've read 191 out of 529 pages.
The Mitford Girls: the biography of an extraordinary family - Mary S. Lovell

What I love about reading non-fiction? It opens up the pandora box to even more non-fiction that you can read about a certain topic:


Ich blätterte gerade in der Vogue, da sprach mich der Führer an: Unity Mitford, eine Biography - Michaela Karl 


All of the Mitford Sisters are fascinating, but I really want to know more about Unity Valkyrie Mitford, conceived in Swastika, Canada. 


Reading progress update: I've read 108 out of 529 pages.
The Mitford Girls: the biography of an extraordinary family - Mary S. Lovell

She [Nancy] had given a smart little party there for Evelyn Gardner when the latter became engaged to Evelyn Waugh ("who writes, I believe, very well") in 1928. After the two Evelyns were married, the complication of their names was resolved by the simple expedient of of referring to them as He-Evelyn and She-Evelyn.


LoL. That´s horrible!

Reading progress update: I've read 18 out of 529 pages.
The Mitford Girls: the biography of an extraordinary family - Mary S. Lovell

I can´t remember which Mitford Sister gets mentioned in Tilar Mazzeo´s "The Hotel on Place Vendome", probably Diana, but this really inspired me to pick this biography about the Mitford sisters up next. And I´m really in the mood to read a (hopefully) good piece of non-fiction. 

Pre-Party for Halloween Bingo - Favorite Halloween Bingo Authors
Deep Water - Patricia Highsmith, Gillian Flynn Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie The Elementals - Michael Rowe, Michael McDowell Clouds of Witness - Dorothy L. Sayers


Patricia Highsmith - the perfect fit for the Terryfying Women square.

Agatha Christie - whenever there is a square I can fit a Christie in, I´m doing it.

Michael McDowell - It wouldn´t be a Halloween bingo without a McDowell.

Dorothy L. Sayers - I read quite a few Sayers for Halloween bingo in the past and I´m keeping my fingers crossed for the Dark Academia square being on my card this year. Gaudy Night is waiting to get read.


Reading progress update: I've read 269 out of 324 pages.
The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker

I really liked the first half of the book, but I couldn´t be bothered about anything after Patroclus´ death.


My main problem is that I don´t see the benefit to get this story told from the perspective of Briseis, since she didn´t do a single thing besides lying in either Achilles´ or Agamnon´s bed or serving food and wine. And basically that´s what I would have expected a female slave in war time would do. So what is the point of telling me that over and over again.



Oh, and she watches everyone and tells the reader, what the men are doing, but most of the time she doesn´t give an opinion of her own on what is happening. 


Another thing I found incredibly irritating is that Pat Barker switches from Breseis´ first person perspective to a third person perspective, whenever she wants to tell something about Achilles or Patroclus and Briseis is not hanging around with the boys. 


And then towards the end, please proof me wrong, she adds things to the story that doesn´t appear in the Iliad or is mentioned anywhere else in Greek mythology. Or did:


Briseis and Achilles have a child. I don´t think so. I tried to google it, but I didn´t come up with anything.

(show spoiler)


I really like Barkers writing style and the gritty realism of this novel, but in the end this book and especially the last 120 pages were meh.





Reading progress update: I've read 206 out of 324 pages.
The Silence of the Girls - Pat Barker

Without armour, he´s a snail without a shell. Useless. But then he thinks perhaps there is something he can do. And so he climbs on to the parapet above the trench and standing there, outlined against the sky, sends his terrible war cry ringing across the battlefield all the way up to the gates of Troy. 


On the battlefield, the Greeks fighting to save Patroclus´ corpse recognize the cry and turn towards it. What do they see? A tall man standing on a parapet with the golden light of early evening catching his hair? No, of course they don´t. The see the goddess Athena wrap her glittering aegis around his shoulders; they see flames thirty feet high springing from the top of this his head. What the Trojans saw isn´t recorded. The defeated go down in history and disappear, and their stories die with them. Three times Achilles shouts and three times the Trojans fall back, the last time long enough for the Greeks to pull Patroclus´ body clear and carry it back to their camp.


I really enjoy reading this book, but I have some issues with it which I will elaborate on as soon as I have finished the book. But Pat Barker gets this epical feel of the Iliad down pat, I´m really loving the way she writes. 


I´m really sad that Patroclus is dead, though. As much as I´m indifferent towards his character in all the other books and movies I have read / watched about the Trojan war, I really liked his character in this book. 



currently reading

Progress: 187/205pages
Progress: 124/259pages