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review 2018-08-16 06:50
Fun running over tropes
Northanger Abbey - Jane Austen,Marilyn Butler,Claire Lamont

Why did I take this long to read this? From Austen's big six, this is the last I got to. I mean, I know what my reasoning was: satire and humour was not what I was looking for when I searched for an Austen volume. But I was wrong to, because this was a great romp.


(On that note, one day I have to write long and hard on how the prominence of Pride and Prejudice in pop-media puts an expectation on what Austen writes about that is a total disservice to her body of work)


If you put this and Persuasion together, it's impossible to ignore that the woman's common thread is not romance, but social critique, and tropes and expectations. In this one she takes Gothic literature ones, and more than run with them, runs them over. Anne Brontë kinda did that in a very understated way. There is nothing understated here, and I was laughing from the opening lines alone... Actually, the overall initial setting is quite similar to Brontë's Agnes Grey's opening, just, you know, absolutely savage. Much like the whole book.


The charming part comes from Catherine being a sincerely good-natured soul, and pretty sensible on the whole, so even where she hypes herself from much sensational reading (and hell, like nobody ever got jumpy in the night after reading or watching some horror), and builds some weird fantasies on it, she never quite finds herself carried away on over-dramatic feelings of angst, be it romantic or otherwise. Even when other characters ask about them on hilariously detailed, over the top descriptions.


I get now why it is the favourite Austen among many. I had lots of fun with it.

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review 2018-08-15 07:14
Witches Abroad (Discworld)
Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett,Nigel Planer
Witches Abroad - Terry Pratchett

An excellent riff on fairy tales.  I'm not actually sure what to say about it beyond that.  If you've read any of the discworld books, this one won't disappoint you.  


I listened to the audiobook, and Nigel Planer did an excellent job, though I disliked his Magrat and Ella choices; his voices for them both made them sound dull and stupid. On the other hand, I've also listened to other Pratchett books narrated by Celia Imrie and I really disliked her Granny Weatherwax voice; Planer gets Granny just right - she's the crone without hurting your ear drums. 


The plays on words are always my favorite part of Pratchett books and Witches Abroad did not disappoint (Emberella = Cinderella).  I also loved the we finally saw Granny's magic in a very decisive show; I hope it won't be the only time we see it.

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review 2018-08-15 02:58
Midnight Snacks Are Murder - Libby Klein


After the death of her husband, Poppy McAllister returns to Cape May, New Jersey to take care of her elderly, purple-haired Aunt Ginny and also help her operate a bed and breakfast.  Keeping watchful eyes on Aunt Ginny and her wild and crazy antics; overseeing the remodeling of the bed and breakfast with all its blunders; the unexpected visit from her meddling mother-in-law; being wooed by two men for her heart, Poppy has become a sensation baking Paleo sweet delicacies.


Aunt Ginny’s night time medication has a startling side effect which causes her to sleepwalk and break into the homes of her neighbors, help herself to a midnight snack and take a trophy from her nocturnal escapades.  When Poppy and Aunt Ginny think all is well in the neighborhood, Aunt Ginny has been accused and arrested for the murder of one of Cape May’s humanitarians.


I have never snickered and laughed out loud so much while reading a book.  I enjoyed every page in this cozy mystery. Aunt Ginny’s shenanigans are hilarious and never-ending.  Her humor jumps off the pages. She reminds me of the “Golden Girls” Sophia with purple hair. What I enjoyed about Poppy’s character is that she’s a 40-something protagonist who has real daily struggles of living a healthy lifestyle and a dry sense of humor.  The mother-in-law’s character was entertaining, although I felt annoyed with her at times.


The author did an excellent job developing several plots and strategically connecting them.  It was easy to follow and the story flowed smoothly. The events happened in a timely manner without a rushed conclusion.  The romance wasn’t over the top and I hope in the next installment, we find out who will be Poppy’s love interest.


Midnight Snacks Are Murder by Libby Klein is the second installment of the Poppy McAllister series.  This lively story will have you doubled over with laughter. Also, at the end of the story are Paleo recipes which look very appetizing.  I look forward to baking a few of them.


Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Publishing for an advanced reader’s copy in exchange for my honest review.

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review 2018-08-12 08:22
Langweiliges Blabla von "rĂ¼stigen" Senioren
Danke, ich brauche keinen Sitzplatz!: Das neue Tagebuch der Marie Sharp (Das Tagebuch der Marie Sharp, Band 3) - Virginia Ironside,Sibylle Schmidt

Was habe ich mir nur dabei gedacht! Ich wollte ein leichtes, witziges Buch von einer Autorin als Strandlektüre, und jetzt rege ich mich auf, dass dieses Tagebuch derart seicht und banal ist. Selbst schuld!


Dabei musste ich in mich gehen, was mich gar so gestört hat, denn normalerweise kann ich mit ganz banalen Alltagsgeschichten sehr viel anfangen. Bei mir muss es nicht immer Drama und Katastrophe sein.


Nach einiger Zeit kam ich dahinter: Erstens bedient die Autorin fast alle Klischees des aufgehübschten rüstigen Alterns. Die Figuren sind wie die Prototypen aus der Seniorenwerbung total heppy beppi eindimensional.


Zweitens gibt es im Plot eine doppelte überraschende Wendung mit einem zerstrittenen Ehepaar und dem darunter leidenden Sohn, die extrem unwahrscheinlich ist. Es hätte gereicht, wenn die Autorin Kommissar Zufall nur beim Zusammenbringen der Protagonistin Marie mit dem Ehemann Graham und dem Sohn Zac bemüht hätte. Das zufällige Treffen im Cafe mit der Mutter Julie war viel zu dick aufgetragen, bei so einer Entwickung geht die Wahrscheinlichkeit gegen Null.


Drittens: Meine Güte verplempert die Protagonistin Marie ihr Leben. Eine Geschwulst, die in Form eines Vielleicht-Tumors daherkommt, ist von Jänner bis Juli nicht mal im Versuch diagnostziert, weil Marie keinen Druck bei den Arztterminen macht, sondern lieber darauf wartend und ängstlich bangend den Kopf in den Sand steckt und sich in ihr Schicksal ergebend die Augen verschließend mit Warten auf die Arzt-Termine das Leben an sich vorbeiziehen lässt. Ein anderer hätte halt mal was in Gang gebracht, jemanden angerufen, angebrüllt oder einen Privatarzt bemüht- wir reden hier von 6 Monaten in denen nicht mal ein MR passiert. Diese Geschwulst geht mir überhaupt total auf die Nerven, denn wie eine eigene Figur taucht sie auf, bestimmt dann dreiviertel des Romans und verschwindet dann schwuppdiwupp plötzlich wieder, genauso wie sie gekommen ist. Das ist auch so eine total unwahrscheinliche Wendung, die mir gar nicht gefallen hat.


Fazit: Total laangweilig und entbehrlich dieser Roman in Form eines Tagebuchs. Ich empfehle ihn erst ab 80+ zu lesen, um sich dann zu freuen, dass man das Leben im Vergleich zur 66-jährigen Marie viel besser und mit mehr Tatendrang im Griff hat.


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review 2018-08-11 19:52
A New York Tale of Tails
Rattus New Yorkus - Hunter Shea

New York rats have a bad reputation, and this book is not going to win them any positive vibes. The long asked question may finally be answered-Who is the king of the cement jungle ? Man or rat, the battle is on ! Welcome to fight club, rat vs man, all rules off the table, only one can win.   
It's all fun and games till the rat pops out of the mouth. Oh yeh expect to cringe, chuckle and shutter as you read along. Keep a hockey stick close, and be ready to run. Oh my, I loved the ending the skittering sound...so Carrie with once last EEKK or squeak depending on your humanity level.
Thanks NetGalley and publishers for the review copy.  

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