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review 2017-12-10 03:03
Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto (manga, vol. 2) by Nami Sano, translated by Adrienne Beck
Haven't You Heard? I'm Sakamoto Vol. 2 - Nami Sano

Sakamoto tutors Yoshinobu (the bullied kid from volume 1) while deftly avoiding and finally defusing Yoshinobu's amorous mother. Then Sakamoto outwits a teacher bent on believing he's trouble, even managing to add the teacher to his list of admirers due to a kind act he performs. Then there are a few shorter episodes: dealing with a slug in cooking class, drawing a classmate in a way that manages to be both flattering and insulting, and saving a classmate during a fire drill (?). The volume ends with a group of delinquents pursuing Sakamoto and always just missing him. As they try to find him, they hear about his past mysterious exploits. Then there's an incident involving a delinquent trying to pick a fight with Sakamoto and ending up in a bizarre push fight against him.

I don't know why I requested this. I shouldn't have. I disliked the first volume, which I felt had too much an "uncanny valley" feeling to it to truly be funny. I mean, this series is supposed to be a comedy right? I'm not misunderstanding?

I had similar issues while reading this volume. I'm sorry, but Sakamoto makes my skin crawl, and I can't bring myself to laugh at the situations he deals with. I wonder if a different artist would change things. Technically, Sakamoto and the things he does aren't that different from the occasional humorous bits in Black Butler, where Sebastian accomplishes seemingly impossible feats in order to properly serve his master. I love that stuff in Black Butler, but it doesn't work for me at all here.

The first part of this volume was particularly awful. Yoshinobu's mother struck me as a pitiful woman, and I disliked that the volume seemed to be asking readers to laugh at her and her efforts to corner Sakamoto. Not only that, she was attempting to molest a teenage boy - not something I'd consider good comedy material.

 

(Original review posted on A Library Girl's Familiar Diversions.)

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review 2017-12-08 12:45
Artemis by Andy Weir
Artemis: A Novel - Andy Weir

 

Jasmine Bashara is pretty much a female Mark Watney. I liked her, but she quickly got on my nerves. Luckily, the author kept things moving and I didn't have a lot of time to focus on her personality.

 

Jazz has been living on the moon with her father since she was 6. She's a trouble maker, she likes sex and she can weld the heck out of anything. Her relationship with her father is rather strained as he is a devout Muslim and she's a smuggler. It's expensive to live in Artemis, the moon's only city, so Jazz is always looking for opportunities to make more money. She's offered a chance to pull in the haul of a lifetime and she takes it, even though it's extremely dangerous. Will she be successful? You'll have to read this and see for yourself!

 

I loved the world building and the city of Artemis. I loved how the author created the economy of it as well as how different races from earth took over certain industries in the city. I didn't even mind how much I learned about welding. In fact, I liked that Jazz had a job that here on earth, would mostly be filled by men.

 

What I didn't like were her constant quips and smart-ass remarks. In The Martian, I didn't mind them as much, (as I said Jazz and Mark Watney have the same sense of humor), because Watney was alone on Mars and was attempting to keep the dark away. Jazz, who has a photographic memory, by the way, didn't need this humor to get by and as such, I found it annoying at times. There were some portions where the dialogue was clunky and also, how does the daughter of a Muslim grow up to love sex, drinking and smuggling? To me, there wasn't enough information there to explain those things. That bothered me, not enough to stop me from reading, but enough to prevent me from giving Artemis all the stars.

 

Overall, I enjoyed this science fiction/action novel. I especially liked the character of the moon's mayor and I wouldn't mind reading more stories taking place in Artemis. I just wouldn't mind less of the quips and maybe just a little less welding.

 

Recommended, especially for fans of science fiction and Mark Watney.

 

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the e-ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it.*

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review 2017-12-07 15:08
The role of humor in Lincoln's life
Lincoln’s Sense of Humor - Richard Carwardine

Richard Carwardine’s book is an entertaining and perceptive look at the role that humor played in the life of the 16th president. That Lincoln enjoyed telling jokes and stories is hardly new, as it was part of his appeal to his contemporaries. What Carwardine does is analyze the various ways in which he used humor and the insights it provides into his personality. Thanks to an extraordinarily retentive memory, Lincoln had a seemingly inexhaustible fund of anecdotes, tall tales, and jokes which he used throughout his career. Telling jokes drew people to Lincoln, making him a popular figure on the legal circuit and on the stump. How Lincoln used humor evolved over time, as he toned down the sometimes harsh satirical attacks of his youth to develop a broader and less insulting form by the time he reached the presidency. Carwardine sees Lincoln’s love of humor as a tool for coping with depression, though his frequent resort to it became a point of criticism during the Civil War as many – including members of his own administration – often interpreted it as a lack of seriousness about his responsibilities. Readers of Carwardine’s book have a more sophisticated understanding of the subject thanks to this discerning study, which with its frequent recounting of the jokes Lincoln employed is a pleasure to read.

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text 2017-12-07 15:01
Cover Reveal - Man Card

 

 

 

 
 
SUMMARY:
 
Nothing ventured, nothing banged...
 
Ash
 
I still don't know how it happened. One minute I was arguing with my arrogant competitor--our usual trash-talk over who deserves the larger commission. But somehow I went from throwing down to kneeling down... 
 
It can never happen again. I don't even like Braht. He's too slick. He's a manipulating mansplaining party boy in preppy clothes.
 
So why can't I get him out of my head? 
 
Braht
 
There are two things I know without question.
 
One: Ash and I are destined for each other.
 
Two: never trust a man with a unibrow.
 
Ash is my missing my piece. She's the sweet cream to my gourmet espresso. And nothing gets me going faster than her contempt for me. They don't call her the Ashkicker for nothing. 
 
Eventually I'll win her over...if my past doesn't ruin everything first.
 
 
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review 2017-12-05 17:39
BOBO-Bashing
Boboville - Andrea Maria Dusl

Dieses Buch wollte ich schon immer lesen, da ich die Figur des BOBOS  schon ein paar Mal zum Beispiel bei T.C Boyle thematisiert habe, der die amerikanische Ausprägung dieses Gesellschaftstypen nicht gerade charmant charakterisiert. Auch ich habe und hatte immer Probleme mit diesen ambivalenten, überkandidelten, völlig abgehobenen Städtern, die sich in ihrer eigenen Welt einigeln und ständig ihren perfekten moralischen Lebensstil in andere Lebensrealitäten zwanghaft exportieren müssen. Dusls Roman steht sogar bei Wikipedia als Beschreibung des BOBO-Charakters und als prägendes Werk, das die Bezeichnung vorangetrieben hat.

Leider war ich nicht so glücklich mit dem Buch. Es erschließt zwar das Wesen des Bobos ganz gut, hat aber inhaltlich außer Bobobashing und wirres Stolpern der Protagonistin mit skurillen Figuren und mit bekannten Möchtegerns durch ein auf Bobobezirke beschränktes Wiener Microversum, das die Autorin teilweise komplett präpotent-größenwahnsinnig mit New York City gleichsetzt, nicht viel zu bieten. Fast schein es so, als beschriebe der ganze Roman einen völlig wirren Trip von dem sie jahrelang nicht runterkommt und der für den Leser ohne intime Wienkenntnis und Kenntnis der österreichischen BOBO-Schickaria überhaupt nicht zu rezipieren ist. Ich habe es zwar schon verstanden, aber das Tempo des Romans und die Aufzählung von diesen bekannten und unbekannten kuriosen Typen ist fast so monkhaft zwangsgestört wie die Aufzählung von Marken in American Psycho. Diesen Mikrokosmos zu verarschen ist zwar am Anfang ganz lustig, gibt aber, wenn die Geschichte keine Schicksale erzählt, sondern nur abgedrehte Actions von coolen Leuten aneinanderreiht, einfach zu wenig her, um mich hinter dem Ofenrohr meiner ländlichen Existenz in  meinem Poughkeepsie (verächtlich für das Land natürlich wieder mit amerikanischen Größenwahnsvergleichen -  in meinem Fall Krems 80 km von Wien entfernt) hervorzulocken.

Ein Umstand hat den Roman dann doch ob der Innovation locker auf 2,5 aufgerundete Sterne geschraubt: Wahnsinn die Autorin kann wirklich im Stakkato Wörter kreieren, das ist zwar anstrengend aber witzig
"die Musik war auf Nachbartötungslautstärke eingestellt"
"Bonbonville  ... und dann kam sie und knirschknalldrückte mir die Türe zum Süßigkeitenjerusalem auf"
"Zum Schreiben hat er [Glavinic] sich ein Gerät angeschafft, das die Welt außerhalb Bobovilles als Blackberry kennt, der Fehltritt einer Schreibmaschine mit einer Hotelseife."
"Im Angesicht des abendlichen Fortgangs schüttet mein Körper Hypnotoxine aus. Während die Körper anderer Fortgehender Adrenalin ausschütten, Pheromone synthetisieren und andere selbstaufmunternde Substanzen, schüttet mein Körper Schläfrigkeit aus. Ich ermüde beim Gedanken an öffentliches Wosein."

Auch einige innovative Ideen werden entwickelt z. B. die Cedeh (CD) oder Das @ Zeichen wird nicht mit [Ätt] bezeichnet sondern als Marsupilamischwanz: Mariapunkt Dusl Marsupilamischwanz Tschimehlpunkt Komm.

Also Fazit : Inhaltlich passiert so gut wie nix substanzielles und das nervt - wortkreationsmäßig ist der Roman sehr anstrengend, aber auch witzig und innovativ.

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