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text 2017-01-05 20:00
My December 2016
Goddess of Poison - Tödliche Berührung - A. M. Grünewald,Melinda Salisbury
Girl Online Going Solo - Zoe Sugg
Die Stille vor dem Tod: Thriller (Smoky Barrett 5) - Cody McFadyen,Axel Merz
The Fearless Travelers' Guide to Wicked Places (Capstone Young Readers) - Pete Begler
Manga Classics: Jane Eyre - Charlotte Brontë
Manga Classics: Les Miserables - Victor Hugo,Luke Mehall;Gaelen Engler;Drew Thayer;Ashley King;Stacy Bare;Chris Barlow;Erica Lineberry;Brendan Leonard;Teresa Bruffey;D. Scott Borden

Stopping the Noise in your Head - DNF

Shopaholic - Die Schnäppchenjägerin - DNF

Here I Am - DNF

Goddess of Poison - Tödliche Berührung - 4 stars
Girl Online Going Solo - 4.5 stars
Die Stille vor dem Tod - 5 stars
The Fearless Travelers' Guide to Wicked Places - 4 stars
Manga Classics: Jane Eyre - 4 stars
Manga Classics: Les Miserables - 5 stars


Favorite book(s) of the month: Girl Online Going Solo, Die Stille vor dem Tod, Manga Classics: Les Misérables


Books started this month but haven't finished yet: none


Well, this took me forever to post.

But here it is. December was the month I finally gave up on somebooks I kept dragging from one month to the next. I also read lots of great books and dove into some more Manga's. Great reading month.


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review 2016-12-30 12:47
Manga Classics: Les Misérables!!!
Manga Classics: Les Miserables - Victor Hugo,Luke Mehall;Gaelen Engler;Drew Thayer;Ashley King;Stacy Bare;Chris Barlow;Erica Lineberry;Brendan Leonard;Teresa Bruffey;D. Scott Borden

First things first: I received this book through NetGalley.


I have such a love/hate relationship with Les Mis. I would love to love it, but I just don't. until now. I seriously suffered through the movie, fell asleep more than once and only watched it from beginning to end until the third attempt. I never read the actual book cause the size of that thing is scaring the crap out of me.


But somehow the people working on the Manga made it work for me. Compared to the movie and the book, the manga was very short and sweet. And I loved it, especially cause I don't think they actual missed anything. I'm impressed, people. Also the fact, that this may not be as in depth as the book or the movie, but man, I felt these characters and cared about them a lot.


So, I HIGHLY recommend this Manga, I'm a changed person now when it comes to Les Mis.

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review 2015-11-04 18:12
Les Misérables - Victor Hugo

Les MIserables.



This book is a masterpiece.
It is an incredible story of temptations, redemptions, evil, love; it describes how miserable
life in that era of France was for the common people.
A story about real life, with fictional characters creating real people, and the social perspective is as true today as it was in the past.


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review 2015-08-30 17:19
“It is nothing to die. It is frightful not to live”
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review 2015-08-30 16:40
Les Misérables
Les Misérables - Victor Hugo

In my vacation, over the last two weeks, I visited the birthplace of Victor Hugo in Besançon, his home in Paris where his children were born, and his grave in Pantheon. I also read his “Les Miserables” again, that is 21 years after I read it for the first time in my High School in France, and I was surprised to see how differently I reacted to this book.

Then I realized the book has not changed over these 21 years, but it’s me who has changed!

At the school, I was obliged to read this book as a part of our curriculum, and it came across as something heavy. But, now that I have been blazed a few times in my life, I could relate to this book a lot better, and, at times, even felt healed by it.

The aspect that struck me the most is how Victor Hugo has constructed his characters: they’re neither entirely good, nor entirely bad; they’re humane, yet extraordinary.

The police inspector Javert values his duty of keeping law and order above human beings, until he is humbled by Jean Valjean, when he saves the life of Javert, his worst enemy, during the barricade. Then Javert enters his irreconcilable internal conflict between ethics and law, that is between his moral duty to preserve a good man like Jean Valjean and his legal duty of turning him in as a fugitive, and Javert ends his life to save Jean Valjean.

This comes across as a surprise, because Victor Hugo had set up all along Javert as a man of unbending principles, yet not incredible, because we’ve also seen Javert to be a man of good heart and conscience.

Victor Hugo didn’t set up Jean Valjean as a paragon of virtue either. We can see his humane side, even after his conversion into a good man, when he enters his severe inner conflict vis-a-vis the man about to be condemned in his place, for having stolen the forty sous from Petit Gervais. You can see his temptations to evade law and save his own life; you can also see traces from his life of ex-convict when he gets angry with people, and the use of his force when his personal ethics conflict with the law. And, even for a powerful man like him, you can see his fears, his anxieties, and his insecurities about Cosette.

Even for the rogue Thenardier, Victor Hugo has made him humane, by letting him save the father of Marius in the battle of waterloo!! Hugo also gave Thenardier a realistic end, in the sense that, in spite of all his dirty tricks, he ‘succeeds’ in life, from Thenardier’s perspective of course.

Gavroche, the son of Thenardier, earns his bread by stealing, but he also steals your heart when he saves the two kids, and gives up his life at the barricade. His sister, Eponine, is another thief and manipulator, but she sacrifices her life at the barricade too, trying to save Marius, her secret love. Marius, the closest in resemblance to Victor Hugo (whose middle name is ‘Marie’ by the way), is a political idealist, yet insensitive to many in life, including Jean Valjean; you’re in love with him, and angry at him at the same time.

It’s this powerful use of contrast, in the characters and in the events of the novel, that I find absolutely fascinating in Victor Hugo’s work, particularly in Les Miserables. And, I think this is what makes his works so lifelike, because, just like in life, you can’t really put a definite label on any of his characters or story events; that’s why you can never predict anything, and you remain hooked in suspense till the end.

Of course, there are his big philosophical discourses about life and love, but, if you focus on the core drama of this novel, it’s just absolutely gripping. The way he details the inner landscape of the characters, and the values of the society he touches upon, are as universal today, as they were during his time. It’s because those details are so unique and specific that they no longer remain individual; they become us, the universal.

This evening I’m going to see the grave of Juliette Drouet, who was the muse of Victor Hugo, for fifty years!! As a woman, I wonder what was there in her spirit that could inspire a writer like Victor Hugo, for so long.

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