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text 2018-01-03 10:08
Looking back on 2017
The letters of Herman Melville - Herman Melville,Merrell R. Davis,William H. Gilman
A True Novel - Juliet Winters Carpenter,Minae Mizumura
Wir - Евгений Замятин
Der Glöckner von Notre-Dame - Else von Schorn,Victor Hugo
What the Hell Did I Just Read - David Wong
Nineteen Eighty-Four - George Orwell
Сердешна Оксана - Григорій Квітка-Основ'яненко
The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo - Oscar Zeta Acosta,Manuel Acosta Sero,Hunter S. Thompson
The Revolt of the Cockroach People - Oscar Zeta Acosta,Marco Acosta,Hunter S. Thompson
Ein so langer Brief - Mariama Bâ,Irmgard Rathke,Rolf Italiaander

Hey there! I hope everyone had a fantastic start into 2018!

 

I always like to take the first days of January to look back and recap what I read in the past year – which books did I love, which ones did I like ok and which ones did upset or disappoint me. So here we go – quick and dirty!

 

Books I loved

There were a lot of books which I really liked in 2017, so I wrecked my brain to distil the three absolute best of the best for you:
My favourite book must have been The Letters of Herman Melville – interesting, well written and as an highlight I recommend reading the letters he addressed to Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Another one of my favourites was A True Novel by Minae Mizumura which I binge read in 11 days despite the sheer amount of nearly 900 pages. And last, but definitely not least was the mother of all dystopian novels We by Evgenij Zamjatin.

 

Books I was disappointed in

Luckily, in this category there were not that many books to choose from. The biggest letdown and as I can remember also the most exhausting one to read must have been The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, which is sad, because I expected so much more from this classic. What the Hell did I just read was no favourite of mine neither, although this did not come as a surprise, because David Wong’s books are gradually declining in quality. And since I mentioned We as one of the best books, I have to admit that 1984 wasn’t really a good one, despite its status as the dystopian novel par excellence.

 

And some honourable mentions

Сердешна Оксана as the first (and so far only) book I read in Ukrainian, So long a letter as a fascinating account of the life of African women and both books written by Oscar Zeta Acosta (The Autobiography of a Brown Buffalo and The Revolt of the Cockrach People), because Acosta proves that even lawyers can be amazing writers and fight for what is right.

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review 2017-12-28 15:58
Who is Tom Baker?
Who On Earth Is Tom Baker? An Autobiography - Tom Baker

Who indeed. There is so much I didn’t know about Tom Baker, but reading his autobiography has made me appreciate him so much more.

 

What an odd fellow he must have been in his youth, growing up in a labouring class environment in Liverpool, always feeling a bit dissatisfied and out of touch with his fellow human beings. As much as I was trying, I just cannot picture this goofball as a monk (even less after reading about the thoughts he had during that time).

 

One marriage, two sons and a quite remarkable number of odd jobs here and there later and he finally stars in different theatre and movie productions (with various amounts of success). In this time he also befriends people like Anthony Hopkins – just imagine those two staggering out of a pub and wobbling down the street together, uniting those mighty voices!

 

Before becoming the Doctor, Tom Baker had quite a roller coaster life and luckily he survived a lot of suffering, self-doubting and states of depression. Naturally, his autobiography features quite a bit on Doctor Who, but less than one might think. It was especially those parts that brought tears to my eyes though, because reading about how happy it made him being the Doctor and bringing as much joy to children as he possibly could is heart warming beyond anything.

 

Some other parts were quite bitter and my heart sank while reading how disillusioned and frustrated he is concerning some parts of life like religion, friendship and relationships with women, despite the fact that he disguises his retrospective with a thick coat of irony.

Additionally, Tom Baker swears a lot and is quite occupied with his dick.

 

Even though most of us probably know him as two hearted gallifreyan Time Lord from another time and space, the man behind this role is so incredibly human! Throughout most of his life he had a sense of confusion and simply did not know what and how and why to which I can relate to more than I would like to admit.

After all, this is his autobiography and the way he wants to be remembered. For me Tom Baker made it quite clear, that he is way more than the fourth Doctor and that his life still has so much more to offer. A great last book of 2017.

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text 2017-12-23 20:25
Reading progress update: I've read 104 out of 268 pages.
Who On Earth Is Tom Baker? An Autobiography - Tom Baker

Funny and witty, just as we know and love our Baker.

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review 2017-12-18 16:29
Rabbit the Autobiography of Ms. Pat
Rabbit: The Autobiography of Ms. Pat - Patricia Williams,Jeannine Amber
Rabbit definitely got knocked down quite a few times before she saw the light. She holds nothing back when she talks about her life and how she seemed to follow in her mom’s shoes until her time in jail when she met other women who were like her. She wanted to change, she swore she was going to change but when she was released, it was too easy to fall back into her old ways. She needed a nudge, a threat, a constant reminder of the potential that she had within her to change. That prod and force was Michael.
 
Growing up in the 1980’s, she was being raised by a single mother with four other siblings. In the hood, her mother liked her alcohol and her pot, her children were secondary. Their grandfather took the family in and Rabbit didn’t realize how well she had it until he was hauled off to jail. Her grandfather residence was actually a bootlegging house where he mixed his potions and individuals drank until they passed out. By the time Rabbit was fifteen, she had two children under the age of two, she was single with no education past the seventh grade. She wanted more for herself and her children but how was she going to get it?
 
As I read this novel, I could feel the struggle that Rabbit was battling. She felt locked within her situation and couldn’t see a way out. She wanted more for herself and her children but she didn’t know how to get herself out of the spiral she falling into. She knew she needed money but without an education she couldn’t get a deceit job so she did what she saw others doing. She couldn’t think outside her world, she didn’t know how. When she landed in jail, she was exposed to others who gave her the tools to look outside her world, to be resourceful so she could find other solutions but when she was released, she was delivered right back into her old world where she already had a pattern. She needed something or someone to push her off course.
 
This was an interesting read and I appreciated Rabbit’s honesty to show her readers the life that she led. I found myself agreeing to some of the notions that Rabbit emphasized in this novel, she brought up some fantastic points. I thought Rabbit was a kind soul from the beginning but her situation didn’t allow for it to be revealed until later in life.

 

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quote 2017-11-13 14:06
Even now [Hemingway] is, as Helene says all men are, fragile.
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