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review 2017-09-21 05:49
Zwei Frauen - Diana Beate Hellmann

This was a reread. The last time I read it was about 20 years ago so it wasn't exactly fresh in my mind but it was surprising how familiar some parts of it were after all these years. 

The story is set in the mid 1970s and is about 18 year old Eva Martin who gives up her family and her childhood to train for her dream of becoming a prima ballerina. Just as she reaches her goal she collapses and is diagnosed with cancer. She shares her room in the clinic with Claudia, a 26 year old loud mouth who has been in and out of remission for years. The young women seem to be opposites in every way but they strike up a friendship that helps them through the trials ahead. 

From the summary of the story the book sounds like sentimental twaddle but in fact it is raw depiction of a cancer patient who is given only months to live. The story is based on experiences in the author's own life and is written as a kind of memoir. I don't know if the book was ever translated into English. 

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review 2017-09-20 21:44
OMG!! Fantastic!
By Jo Beverley Forbidden [Mass Market Paperback] - Jo Beverley

Forbidden by Jo Beverley is the perfect historical romance.  Ms Beverley has delivered a well-written book.  She has loaded this book with amazing, lovable characters.  Francis and Serena's story has all the things that keep readers from putting the book down...action, suspense, humor, sizzle and drama.  Ms Beverly's flair for writing shines through in this fabulous book.  I totally LOVED reading Forbidden and can't wait for my next Jo Beverley book.  Forbidden is book 4 of The Company Of Rogues Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.  I gave this book 5 stars, only because 6 isn't an option.  It saddens me that Ms Beverley is no longer with us to pen these fabulous tales.

 

I voluntarily read a free copy of this book that I received from BookFunnel.

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text 2017-09-07 22:42
Reading progress update: I've read 178 out of 557 pages.
Zwei Frauen - Diana Beate Hellmann

This is a reread for me. I vaguely remember reading the book about 20 years ago and watching the film and still remember some of the funny bits but I forgot how heart-wrenching the story was. I am enjoying it though.

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review 2017-08-13 12:25
The Dark Lake
The Dark Lake - Sarah Bailey

I won an ARC of The Dark Lake in a Goodreads giveaway. It was my first ever GR giveaway win after being a member for nearly eight years. Miracles do happen, people.

 

This is a competently written and plotted crime novel with an authentic Aussie small-town flavor. It’s predictable, but not annoyingly so, and it hits all the right beats and combines enough of the standard tropes to be successful, but I can’t rate it higher.

 

We spend most of the book in Detective Sergeant Gemma Woodstock’s head, and after a while that comes to be something of a chore as she spins in mental spirals around the murder victim, her dead high school boyfriend, her affair with her married partner, and her live-in boyfriend/baby-daddy. Adultery-as-character-development is one of my least favorite literary devices ever. The relationship drama is relentless and very soap-opera-esque, so much so that in my head the town of Smithson is populated entirely by cast members from Home and Away (Aussie primetime soap).

 

And let’s face it: I am never going to love first person present tense.

 

This is the kind of crime drama you read when you want to hang out with characters whose lives suck more than yours. If you don’t like too much relationship angst cluttering up your murder investigation, maybe steer clear, but if you don’t like too much murder investigation cluttering up your relationship angst, give this book a try. For me, it was just okay. Not bad for a debut novel.

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review 2017-08-11 10:03
The Quest for Immortality, variant no. 843: “A Calculated Life” by Anne Charnock
By Anne Charnock - A Calculated Life (Paperback) (2013-10-09) [Paperback] - Anne Charnock

“’That’s the heart of the problem. I haven’t lived enough. My character is just the combination of my intellect and my faults. I haven’t had time to become more complex, more interesting. […] I’m not sure if you realize this but without my flaws I’d be pretty dull. You should know that.’”

 

In “A Calculated Life” by Anne Charnock

 

 

For the sake of argument let me be devil’s advocate.

 

The scientific materialist assumption is that the body is the primary organ and consciousness is secondary. This is not so; consciousness is the primary experience and the body and all other experiences are secondary. The body is a construct of consciousness. Forward thinking scientists are just beginning to realise this. Man might be able to prolong life but a 'machine' existence will never happen because the 'reality' of phenomenal existence is simultaneously 'real' and 'not real'. People, including scientists tend to see everything in terms of being a binary system. Yes/no, off/on, is/isn't, 0/1, true /untrue. Reality is not that simplistic. Mm, that's some good pseudo bullshit. Preventing aging is almost certainly more achievable soon than consciousness transfer, but ultimately the latter offers greater security and opportunity. Immortal DNA is all very well, until you suffer catastrophic injury or brain damage. With transferable consciousness, you get the immortality, along with the option to backup and restore in the event of a fatal accident, as well as the ability to travel at light-speed as a digital signal to be reawakened on arrival. And that's before we even get into the idea of truly inhabiting the virtual world as digital consciousness. With an infinitesimal fraction of the earth's current energy use, you could have untold trillions living in a virtual utopia, with a near infinite diversity of cultures, worlds and lifestyles. Nevertheless, is it misleading to talk about 'transferable' consciousness? What would be uploaded would be a facsimile of your consciousness. As far as the exterior world, interacting with the facsimile, would be concerned it would be you. However, it would actually be a totally new instance of you, with no continuity of your original consciousness. It's what's always troubled me about the idea of Star Trek-type teleportation - the thought that disintegrating someone in one place and then reassembling them in another, would effectively mean the death of the original, internally-experienced consciousness (although nobody else would notice or care!). 

 

 

If you're into SF, read on.

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