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review 2017-02-25 09:00
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.

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review 2017-02-23 17:34
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.

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review 2017-01-20 19:24
Elizabeth Berg: Dream When You're Feeling Blue
Dream When You're Feeling Blue - Elizabeth Berg

I picked this up because I am a fan of Berg's other books, but I found this novel disappointing. It didn't add anything to my understanding of the war years (I have watched many movies from the 1940s), and without that setting as a novel framing device, the reader must rely on the interior life of the characters for the success of the novel. Unfortunately, the fact that the war is going on was pretty much the only interesting traits the characters had.

 

Honestly, watch Mrs. Miniver instead. (And The Miracle of Morgan's Creek for Tish's story!)

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2016-12-23 05:28
Anne Tyler: The Amateur Marriage
The Amateur Marriage - Anne Tyler

I usually love Anne Tyler's novels, but this one left me lukewarm. Although it is, like her other novels, thoughtful and well written, I didn't get much from it. The characters live, age, die. Huh.

 

After reading it, I learned that Tyler had intended to keep writing this book for her entire life, weaving new parts of the family into it and extending it back in time. She saw it as a work without an ending. This helps explain the lack of structure. Also, I'm not sure that this kind of work qualifies as a novel? Either way, it was lovely but totally missable.

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review 2016-12-15 05:08
Helen Mcdonald: H Is of Hawk
H Is for Hawk - Helen Macdonald

I had high expectations for this one, and it was amazing. The contrasts that Macdonald manages to hold in balance! Grief and savagery, science and literature, singlemindedness and insanity, bravery and panic, memory and immediacy, studied technique and desperation, commitment and unravelling. Honestly, this book was breathtaking. Highly recommended.

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