Martini

Martini

Snippets of my life-long love for reading. I read almost every genre, but I am especially fond of fantasy and science fiction, and I read and review in English and German.

One Book Haul = Two Are Happy

Linabox1

 

Linabox2

 

Linabox3

 

Linabox4

Ummm... what?!?

 

Dear Cologne City Marketing,

(I guess they were referring to the Kölner Dom = Cologne Cathedral and not to the dominant person in a BDSM relationship.)

Review
4 Stars
So much more than I expected!
Binti - Nnedi Okorafor

I expected this to be rather near-future SF about a Himba girl, a girl from the Namib Desert, going to a university in space and all the cultural differences and difficulties she would experience there. Instead, this was far-future SF with a culture clash of a different kind. Also, the Himba have developed into mathematical geniuses and can perform a mathematical meditation called ‘treeing’, through which they are able to steer ‘mathematical currents’ in order to make certain devices work and to analyze the world around them. Fascinating!

 

And that’s where my scientific interest kicks in: If I get presented with such a unique concept, I want to know more about it. Much more. Unfortunately, as the story develops, we only get a few glimpses at this astonishing ability. It is as if we were peeking through a hole in a fence, allowing us to see a certain section of a beautiful garden. But we want to see more of it, want to know which other flowers and trees are there, where the gravel path leads to, and if there is a pond or a greenhouse or a pavilion.

 

I really hope that the second part of the series, Binti:Home, will allow us to sneak a peek through further holes in that fence, and thus give us a wider view of the garden. That’s why I will start to read it immediately.

Review
5 Stars
So lovely!
Vintage Tea Party: So gelingt die perfekte Tea Party - Angel Adoree

This is definetely one of the most beautiful cookbooks (and more!) that I have ever seen. Highly recommended to everybody who is interested in the traditional English Tea Party, English lifestyle and everything vintage.

Hi everybody!
Hi everybody! Remember me? Yes, I'm the one who has been away for some time and is now spamming your feed by updating her bookshelves. Again: Sorry for that! May I ask you all a favor? My feed has gotten a bit quiet, so I need new active blogs to follow. I'll have a look at the "Find New Booklikes Blogs To Follow" group, too, but please recommend anybody who has been active for a while and who you deem interesting enough to follow. Favorite genres: Pretty much anything, except for people who blog about nothing but non-fiction or romance.
Sorry!

Sorry everybody for clogging up your feeds! I'm currently importing some data, and for a reason I don't understand Booklikes is showing all the books as reviews. Will delete them continuously. Terribly sorry!

From Stray To Friend

 

This is Lina, one of the stray cats from our area. The picture was taken last summer. She has been visiting us for about a year since we moved in last February.

She was very shy in the beginning, always running away when she saw us. We've been putting food out for her every day, because she was so thin and small, and she eventually started to tolerate us around her when she was eating.

After some time we put the food in our garden shed, where she could come and leave as she pleased, and after some hesitation, she accepted the new spot. We bought her a cushion, but she didn't like it and preferred to lie on a cardboard box instead, so we put a towel on it to make it more comfortable for her.

 

During the last months I've been trying to make her get accustomed to my hand, hoping that one day she would trust me enough to allow us to take her to the vet, to get all the necessary treatments. I started by simply sitting beside her when she was lying on her box. At first she hissed at me and then left. After some weeks, she accepted me sitting there, and that's when I started to slowly make her get used to my hand by simply showing it to her; again she hissed and left. A week later she stopped leaving, but still hissed at me. It took us two months for her to accept my hand close to her, and when she didn't hiss for the first time, it made me so happy. During the next months we made further progress, accompanied by initial hissing and leaving, and finally me being allowed to slightly touch her with one finger on her back.

 

Today I felt like it was time for the next step, and when I put my finger on her back, I slowly started to move it in small circles through her fur. At first she gave me a wry look, but did not move or protest, which encouraged me to use more than one finger to pet her. And when I was finally stroking her whole back, she turned her head towards my fingers so that I could pet her there, too. And then she started to purr. Silently at first, then louder and louder as I continued.

I petted her for almost an hour, most of the time crying and sobbing for sheer joy, then she left.

 

Today has become a day of celebration: we have a new family member.

Shaken: I've read 53%.
Mr. K - J. A. Konrath

The story alternates between four different times: today, 3 years ago, 21 years ago and 25 years ago; additionally the "today" narration alternates between three different points of view: Jaqueline's, her friend Phin's and the killer's. So all in all we're switching between six different perspectives. Yes, that's right: six. Is this really necessary? I mean, this is a thriller, not one of Tolstoy's epic works.

Gosh, this is grating on my nerves...

Review
4 Stars
Mostly Harmless: not what the title suggests
Einmal Rupert und zurück (Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, #5) - Douglas Adams

This is the last book in the Hitchhiker Trilogy pentalogy, and it was supposed to be a bad book, according to several reviews that I read. It was even described as depressing, not worth the read and that one would be better off by reading So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish as the final installment and then stop, in order to keep the series in good memory.

 

I shouldn’t have listened to those reviews, because saying that this book was bleak or even sad is utter BS. Granted, the undertone may be a bit less cheerful than in the other books, but nevertheless the story is brimful with the crazy funny stuff I adore Douglas Adams for.

 

Here are some examples – without spoilers or further explanation – to pique your interest, if you have refrained from reading the last Hitchhiker book until now:

 

  • a Grebulon ship tries to find out why its system does not work properly
  • Tricia realizes that there are actually two rules about going back for your bag
  • the Hering Sandwich experiments
  • the anti-Marvin
  • the welcoming planet of NowWhat

 

All of these examples are only from the first eighty pages; I stopped taking notes afterwards. So stop giving me that “Oh, he had a bad year when he wrote it” stuff. I know, Douglas said so himself, but still!

If you can’t see the loads of humor in this book, then, dear reviewer, you’re a Vogon.

Happy New Year! & Book Advent Calendar Day 23 to 24

 

Thanks for bearing with me during this fun little project which I'll probably repeat this year. I wish everybody a happy 2016 with lots of awesome reads; may your TBR always contain one book more than you'll need! :)

 

I meant to post the last update of the book advent calendar on Christmas Eve, but the holidays were really busy this year, and then life and a reading marathon got in the way, so I'll just post it now.

 

On the 23rd I got Charlotte Perkins Gilman's The Yellow Wallpaper, a book that I have wanted to read for quite some time, but it was out of print for some years in Germany. A new edition has been published only recently, and now the pre-loved copies are much more affordable, so I bought one eventually.

On Christmas Eve I got three books:

Louis Sachar's Holes, which is supposed to be quite funny, Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones because everybody I know IRL loved it, and David Gilmour's The Film Club because it sounds interesting and I need to read more non fiction.

 

 

You can find my other posts about the Book Advent Calendar here:

 

Merry Christmas!

May your days be filled with happiness and joy. Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Book Advent Calendar Day 20 to 22

 

On the 20th I got James Tiptree Jr.'s Crown of Stars. Another one of those butt-ugly covers. Ugh. I haven't read any of her books so far, so I'll be starting with this short story collection with some of her late works.

Yesterday I drew Carson McCullers' The Ballad of the Sad Cafe, a recommendation from somebody who had seen that I had liked Capote's The Grass Harp and thinks I might enjoy this one as well.

Today I got a book with collected texts from my favorite columnist, Max Goldt. Although the title suggests that this is an English book, it is not. He always has the strangest titles. Here are some of the weirdest ones:

  • "The ashtray gymnastics" (Die Aschenbechergymnastik)
  • "Bilingually educated bisexuals with bicycles on their car tops" (Zweisprachig erzogene Bisexuelle mit Fahrrädern auf dem Autodach)
  • "A life on the run from the coral" (Ein Leben auf der Flucht vor der Koralle)
  • "On the magic of passing something sideways" (Vom Zauber des seitlich dran Vorbeigehens)
  • "Naked in a fairytale castle full of really bad people" (Nackt in einem Märchenschloß voll wirklich schlechter Menschen)
  • "Ä"
    Needless to say that I adore him.

 

You can find my other posts about the Book Advent Calendar here:

Book Advent Calendar Day 16 to 19

 

 

On the 16th, I drew Sara Gran's Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, a mystery I chose because of its strong, kick-ass, substance abusing female protagonist, who makes the story sound really promising.

Day 17 was Paul Auster's Sunset Park, a novel that I want to read because (as I have said here) I recently read Moon Palace and really liked it, but couldn't get into the reading flow, so reading another one of Auster's books might tell me if it was because of the book or me.

On day 18 I got David Weber's Honor, which contains the first two books in the series, On Basilisk Station and The Honor of the Queen. Did I already mention that I love strong female protagonists?

Today was Elizabeth Moon's Remnant Population. Some time ago, I asked for recommendations regarding female protagonists that are not in their twenties or early thirties, and this was one of those that were suggested. Ain't the cover ugly? I hope the story is better...

 

And in case you were womdering: I haven't added any of the books from the advent calendar to my shelves for statistical reasons - if you know what I mean *coughtbrcough* ;)

 

You can find my other posts about the Book Advent Calendar here:

For All You Crazy Cat Ladies And Guys

I have been busy last week. Busy collecting cats. Not real cats, ouf course. Although... err...

There is a new (not really new, but it has just been translated from Japanese to English) game for Android and iOS based phones, Neko Atsume: Kitty Collector, where your only task is to collect kitties. Yes, that's right! You don't have to worry anymore about adopting too many cats, and what it says about your mental health if you do!

The game is quite simple: You have a yard (and later a part of your house) where you put out food and other goodies for cats, and just sit back and wait until they visit you. As a thank-you, they will leave you fish, which you can use to buy more goodies. Don't worry, you won't have to spend a lot of precious reading time with the game; actually, it requires you to close the app and leave it alone for some time in order for new cats to appear.

It is so unbelievably relaxing!

The artwork is pretty simple, but absolutely cute. At first I thought this would perhaps be a bit too plain, but when I had three cats in my yard for the first time, I went *SQUEEEEE* and now I'm hooked.

Just look at the adorable kitty butt! *_*

 

 

And now for the best part: The game is free. There is the option to buy more fish with real money, but you'll only want to resort to that if you're really impatient - and let's be honest: if you're that impatient, this game is not for you.

You can get the Android version at the Google Play Store and the iOS version at the Apple Store.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go and look if Tubbs has eaten all the food again.

 

Review
3 Stars
Too short for me. Yes, I know how that sounds.
Nach dem Beben - Haruki Murakami, Ursula Gräfe

Unfortunately it seems as if Murakami's short stories and me are not made for one another.
They are good, of course, but they don't give me as much as his novels do. They just don't draw me in and leave me speechless.
To me they are just okay.

Book Advent Calendar Day 10 to 15

I am a bit late with this update, but I have been suffering from migraine the last two days, so today you'll get the books of the last six days in one post.

 

 

On day 10 I got Gerald Durell's My Family and Other Animals, a book that is out of print in Germany, and used copies are quite expensive. Fortunately I was lucky to find a pre-loved edition from the 90s at an affordable price.

Day 11 was Stanislaw Lem's Solaris. I haven't seen the movie, but I have read and loved The Star Diaries, so I want to read more from this author.

On the 12th it was was J.K. Rowling's The Casual Vacancy, her first mystery. I want to find out how well she does in this genre. I haven't read any of the "Robert Galbraith" books so far, and I'll make it conditional on how much I enjoy this one.

 

 

Day 13 was José Saramango's Blindness; the premise of having an epidemic that makes everybody lose their eyesight sounds captivating.

Yesterday I drew the Gears' People of the Wolf, a recommendation when talking about Auel's Ayla series, or at least the better ones of its books.

And today I got Roger Zelazny's A Night in the Lonesome October. I simply can't resist a humorous fantasy novel that has so many well-known classical characters in it.

 

 

You can find my other posts about the Book Advent Calendar here:

liest gerade

Bereits gelesen: 100/102pages
Der Wolkenkratzerthron (German Edition) - Maximilian Meinzold, Tom Pollock, Kai Kilian
Mrs. Dalloway - Virginia Woolf
Das Magische Juwel - Rosemary Kirstein
The Curse of Chalion - Inc. Blackstone Audio,  Inc., Lois McMaster Bujold, Lloyd James