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review 2017-11-23 19:37
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich

This isn’t a terrible book, but I can’t claim to have enjoyed it. Love Medicine is a somewhat awkward merger between novel and short story collection, made up of 17 pieces about two families living on the Ojibwe/Chippewa reservation over the span of about 50 years, from the 1930s to the 1980s. I call it an awkward merger because the stories all feature the same group of characters, but there’s neither the overarching plot you want from a novel nor the neatly encapsulated plots you expect from short stories. Life happens, but it isn’t organized by much plot structure at all.

Still, my dissatisfaction stemmed less from plotting issues and more from the fact that I simply never became invested in these characters. The first chapter was promising enough, but the older generation’s love triangle provided little interest, and something about the characters’ motivations and viewpoints felt off. It certainly doesn’t help that 13 of the 17 stories are told in first person, by 6 different narrators, of both genders, various ages, and from three different generations, and they all sound alike. Which tends to destroy the illusion that we’re hearing from different people, and for that matter, that these are characters at all rather than multiple figments of the same author’s imagination. It’s always baffled me that first-time authors – those least equipped to write multiple narrators successfully – are the most likely to attempt this feat, but I think I’ve hit on the explanation, which is that almost no one, no matter how experienced, can do this well and debut authors are also the least equipped to recognize their limitations.

That said, awhile back I tried to read Erdrich’s most recent novel, LaRose, and bounced off of it, finding the plot diffuse and the characters uninteresting. So it seems most likely that I simply don’t connect with this author’s writing. Fortunately for me, after finishing this I started Anything Is Possible, which provides everything I wanted here – a constellation of linked short stories about beauty and pain in everyday life, with characters and situations that caught and held my attention – albeit featuring white Midwesterners rather than Native Americans.

An endnote about the endnote: removing “The Tomahawk Factory” from the main text because “it interrupted the flow” and then tacking it on to the end just seems to muddle the book’s ending. I read it second-to-last, which happily turns out to be its chronological placement, once I realized it was meant to be part of this book and not a preview for another one.

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text 2017-11-23 14:49
Reading progress update: I've read 11%.
The Beautiful Mystery - Louise Penny

Reading while I wait to start eating :-)

 

Okay book so far though seeing Gamache at a monastery is kind of boring. Jean is now dating Gamache's daughter though he doesn't know.

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review 2017-11-20 08:13
Louise Thompson Patterson: A Life of Struggle for Justice
Louise Thompson Patterson: A Life of Struggle for Justice - Keith Gilyard
"Organizing is a fine art. I have worked at it all of my adult life."

Before picking up this book, I had never heard of Louise Thompson Patterson. Which is a shame, because she was an incredibly fascinating woman who influenced the movers and shakers of the Harlem Renaissance, the American Communist party, and the Civil Rights movement. Louise's story is an unlikely and amazing one, from her eclectic, peripatetic childhood, her tempestuous first marriage, to her struggles with her ability to "pass," her deep friendship with Langston Hughes and her bitter rivalry with Zora Neale Hurston, her leadership that brought together a collaboration with a Jewish organisation to fight for universal rights, her travels behind the Iron Curtain, and her lifelong loyalty to the Communist Party. The book is incredibly thorough and each page, often festooned with casual mentions of dozens of names, reads a bit like a Who's Who of the Harlem Renaissance-- which, unfortunately, would be more entertaining if I actually knew who was who. 

The book deftly describes Patterson's life, not only her virtues, but also uncompromisingly explores her flaws. Yet despite learning so much about her life, I am not sure I ever really understood what motivated her, and I absolutely failed to grasp her obstinate faith in the Soviet Union, even to the point of repeatedly switching sides as the Communist policy on the Nazis changed again and again. Perhaps most impressive of all was her ability to survive on a career in political organizing. Patterson was a fascinating complex woman who influenced generation upon generation of civil rights organizers. If you're curious about her life-- and are more well-versed in the history of the time than I am-- this book is well worth a read.

~~I received an advanced reader copy of this book through Netgalley from the publisher, Duke University Press, in exchange for my honest review.~~ 

Cross-posted on Goodreads.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-18 10:53
On The Bright Side, I'm Now The Girlfriend of a Sex God by Louise Rennison

 

** spoiler alert **Mild if any spoilers.

 

I love this book. It is nostalgic. I read it in high school, older than the main character is. I was 17 when it was published. As an adult, I did notice some things that young me might not have picked up on.

I didn't like how she joked about being suicidal or wanting to kill herself instead of sitting next to P.Green, a girl she calls Nauseating P. Green. Or all the lesbian jokes, especially with the gym teacher. What is with that stereotype? Sure, they were jokes and I know teenagers can be dramatic like that. The Bummer Twins were the ones usually making fun of Georgia and Jas, calling them lesbians when they were caught in compromising situations, like the girls doing the pencil test to see if they needed bras.

Then there is Dave. I liked him. He seemed like a nice boy for the most part, though he moved a bit quick. Do teens that young really move that fast? I did feel bad for Dave. Georgia is 14, but that should be old enough to know better than to play with someone's feelings, at least I would like to hope so.

Georgia is really mean to Jas, her so called best friend. She has a lot of mean thoughts in general about everyone from classmates, teachers and her own parents. I know she is a teen, but really? It did get a little annoying after the millionth time. I would never think about my parents the way she was constantly thinking and treating them, nor would my parents stand for that type of behavior.

Some of the jokes were really funny, even the one I probably shouldn't have laughed at about the Dalai Lama and what she wondered his father was called.

Maybe I've turned into an old prude, but I still think the so called "Sex God" is too old for her and feel it's weird that her mom never seemed to care. Also the thing with the mom and doctor was odd? Was it necessary?

Over all, I really enjoy this book and want to continue to read the series.

I'll say it here, I hope if she does end up with someone in a more serious way, I hope it is not Robbie. She gets wobbly knees with him, but I feel like there is something she feels for Dave, the "Red Herring" What a horrible name to call someone who likes you.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-11-12 18:36
Stalker
Stalker: Thriller - Louise Voss,Mark Edw... Stalker: Thriller - Louise Voss,Mark Edwards,Beate Brammertz

€ 9,99 [D] inkl. MwSt. 

 

€ 10,30 [A] |  CHF 13,90* 

 

(* empf. VK-Preis) 

 

Taschenbuch, BroschurISBN: 978-3-442-74571-5

 

NEU 

 

Erschienen: 14.08.2017 

 

 

 

Alex Parkinson ist wie vom Blitz getroffen, als er seine Dozentin aus dem Schreibkurs zum ersten Mal sieht. Siobhan ist wunderschön, intelligent und teilt auch noch seine große Leidenschaft: das Schreiben. Niemals zuvor hat er jemanden so sehr geliebt. Doch wie kann er Siobhan davon überzeugen, dass sie zusammengehören? Besessen von der Idee, sein Leben mit ihr zu teilen, findet Alex heraus, wo Siobhan wohnt, verliert seinen Job für sie, macht ihr Geschenke, kümmert sich um ihre Katze, liest in ihrem Tagebuch. Alex würde alles für Siobhan tun – bis plötzlich eine junge Frau tot vor ihrem Haus liegt …

Meine Meinung:

 

Ich bin durch den ja sehr aussagekräftigen Titel auf das Buch aufmerksam geworden. Ich habe bisher zwei Stalkingromane gelesen, da mich das Thema sehr interessiert. Freundlicherweise wurde mir das Buch zu Rezensionszwecken vom Verlag zur Verfügung gestellt.


Der Einstieg in das Buch ist mir anfangs nicht ganz so leicht gefallen, habe mich nach einiger Zeit aber gut herein gefunden. 


Das Buch fängt direkt ziemlich heftig an, da geht es ja um den Mord an die unbeteiligte junge Frau. 


Ich muss aber sagen, dass ich insgesamt den ersten Teil nicht sonderlich spannend fand, dies kam zum Glück später noch. 


Im zweiten Teil ging es dann richtig zur Sache. Ich hatte nie mit den vielen kompletten Wendungen und Veränderungen der Charaktere gerechnet. Ab da war das Buch ein absoluter Pageturner für mich. Andererseits fand ich diese Wendung aber auch etwas unrealistisch und auch sehr heftig. Genau das hat das Buch aber auch irgendwie besonders gemacht. 


Alles in allem war dies ein interessantes Buch über Stalking, auch, dass sich die Dinge wenden können. Von mir gibt es eine Kauf- und Leseempfehlung für alle, die gerne etwas mit dieser Thematik lesen möchten. Von mir bekommt das Buch 4 Sterne. 

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