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review 2018-03-05 17:02
Alias Grace / Margaret Atwood
Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood

Grace Marks has been convicted for her involvement in the vicious murders of her employer, Thomas Kinnear, and Nancy Montgomery, his housekeeper and mistress. Some believe Grace is innocent; others think her evil or insane. Now serving a life sentence, Grace claims to have no memory of the murders.

Dr. Simon Jordan, an up-and-coming expert in the burgeoning field of mental illness, is engaged by a group of reformers and spiritualists who seek a pardon for Grace. He listens to her story while bringing her closer and closer to the day she cannot remember. What will he find in attempting to unlock her memories? Is Grace a female fiend? A bloodthirsty femme fatale? Or is she the victim of circumstances?


I read this novel to fill the A in my Women Authors A to Z reading challenge and a “Book about a villain or anti-hero” for my 2018 PopSugar challenge.

For me, Margaret Atwood rarely disappoints and Alias Grace was no exception. Despite the fact that I’m recovering from a nasty cold and need all the sleep that I can get, I found myself up after bedtime, obsessively following the life of Grace Marks. Atwood has taken a historical figure and told her story—sticking to the facts, but embroidering around them in a beguiling fashion.
The themes are timeless—who is telling the truth? Whose truth? Who are we to believe? Does the justice system really offer us justice? Who gets to decide?

Though much of the novel is seen through Grace’s eyes, I still didn’t feel like I knew her well enough to judge—did she assist with the murders or was she merely an accessory after the fact? All of the might-have-beens weighed heavily on me. If only she had chosen this path or that one, things might have been so different.

A truly engrossing story.

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text 2018-02-22 19:20
TBR Thursday
A Brief History of Seven Killings: A Novel - Marlon James
Bellevue Square - Michael Redhill
An Enchantment of Ravens - Margaret Rogerson
Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood
The Inimitable Jeeves - P.G. Wodehouse
The Lost Plot - Genevieve Cogman
Vlad: The Last Confession - C.C. Humphreys

So, I am home from a rather unpleasant trip to Taiwan.  The weather was unseasonably cold (yes, its winter, but it doesn't usually get so cold and wet and gray).  The birds were thin on the ground.  Most of Taiwan is not set up to deal with cold weather, so there was no heat on our bus, in our hotels or in the restaurants that we ate in.  My cold weather clothing got a lot of wear and could probably crawl to the washer itself at this point!


To make an unpleasant trip worse, I caught a nasty cold halfway through, complete with hacking cough.  Staying in cold, uncomfortable hotels did nothing to help.  Also, our ground agent (who ordered the food for us) didn't seem to care if we actually liked the food he was providing.  I can't tell you how many evenings at the end I just ate a couple of bowls of rice and decided I'd eat when I got home. 


So I've been under the weather for over a week even when I made it home to my nice soft bed in my warm house and where I get to choose the menu.  I've even been too groggy to have much interest in reading, something which is completely unlike myself.


So it is with great relief that I find myself feeling better and ready to tackle my stack of library books!  I'm going to hear Marlon James at a guest lecture next week, so I am plugging away at A Brief History of Seven Killings.  I'm finding it slow going, but I think I'm finding the rhythm and expect to make a dent on it this weekend.


Bellevue Square is not what I expected--I hope to finish it off tonight or tomorrow night.  I'm reading it for the B in my alphabetical title challenge.  Alias Grace will count toward both my Female Author A to Z challenge and my PopSugar challenge (a book about a villain or an anti-hero).


Then I get to treat myself to An Enchantment of Ravens and The Lost Plot, two books that I've really been looking forward to.  Plus get introduced to Wodehouse's Jeeves in The Inimitable Jeeves


And finally, Vlad : The Last Confession is by a new favourite author, Chris Humphreys, who I met at a convention last summer.  I recommended that our public library acquire the book and it has finally arrived!


Its still cold here in Calgary and we've had a pile of snow, so I will quite happily hide in my house this weekend, cuddled up with my books.



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review 2018-01-25 12:08
Mixed bag.
Alias Grace - Margaret Atwood

This had really brilliant parts. And a lot of boring stuff.


All written very well, but it was a very long read. And it felt that way.


What also didn't help was the different layers of the story, Grace's own story would have been fascinating enough without Dr. Jordan's life story etc. - it nearly felt like a totally different and remote story. 


The end felt abrupt and kind of disappointing - it felt like a long climb and then no view...


I guess it was clear from the beginning that there would be no conclusion as this is an unsolved crime in real life. Maybe my expectations were too high.

But I felt dissatisfied after finishing it.

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review 2018-01-06 11:00
Retrospective of a Painter's Life: Cat’s Eye by Margaret Atwood
Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood

Some twenty years have passed since painter Elaine Risley left Toronto, Canada. Now she is back for a retrospective exhibition of her work and memories of childhood and youth flood her mind. Many of them are one way or another related to her "best friend" Cordelia who bullied her in primary school until she lost her power over Elaine when she almost froze to death in a ravine. Although she almost forgot those difficult years, they had a lasting impact on her life... and her painting.


Read more about this Canadian novel here on my main book blog Edith's Miscellany.

Source: edith-lagraziana.blogspot.com
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text 2018-01-06 07:55
Meine Besten Bücher 2017
Eine allgemeine Theorie des Vergessens: Roman - José Eduardo Agualusa,Michael Kegler
28 Tage lang - David Safier
Die Vegetarierin: Roman - Han Kang,Dr. Ki-Hyang Lee
Der Report der Magd: Roman - Margaret Atwood,Helga Pfetsch
Damals in Nagasaki (Broschiert) - Kazuo Ishiguro
Das merkwürdige Verhalten von Schimpansen in Kinderkleidung: und andere sozialpsychologische Experimente - Felicitas Auersperg
Wirklich wahr!: Die Welt zwischen Fakt und Fake - Simon Hadler,Stefan Rauter
Falco: Die Legende lebt. Die Graphic Novel - Reinhard Trinkler
Der Bankert vom Naschmarkt: Ein Kriminalfall aus dem alten Wien (Graphic Novel) - Gerhard Loibelsberger,Reinhard Trinkler

Das Buchjahr 2017 war wirklich sehr erfolgreich, noch nie habe ich so viele gute Bücher zusammenbekommen, insofern war meine Auswahl der Best of 5 sehr schwer. Im Bereich Belletristik, konnte ich mich aber letztendlich doch entscheiden.


Eine allgmeine Theorie des VergessensJosé Eduardo Agualusa
Mein absoluter Favorit im Jahr 2017. Eine wundervolles ironisches Märchen im Stile des lateinamerikanischen magischen Realismus über den Bürgerkrieg in Angola, Schuld und Sühne, Überlebenskampf, Revolution und Einsamkeit, das mich regelrecht vom Hocker gerissen hat.


28 Tage lang David Saffier
Meine positive Buchüberraschung in diesem Jahr. Nie hätte ich David Saffier eine derartig leise, wundervolle Geschichte über junge Leute im Warschauer Ghetto zugetraut. Großartig!


Die VegetarierinHan Kang
Durch meine A-Z Autorinnenchallenge lese ich vermehrt Bücher von Schriftstellerinnen. Dieses Werk über Unterdrückung und Selbstbestimmung einer Frau im asiatischen Kulturraum hat mich restlos begeistert.


Der Report der Magd Margaret Atwood
Mein Lieblingsklassiker 2017. Da heuer die Fernsehserie rauskam, hatte ich nun endlich die Möglichkeit, auf dieses grandiose Werk aufmerksam zu werden, das ich bei seinem Erscheinen 1985 offensichtlich überhaupt nicht bemerkt habe. Eine furchtbare, brilliante feministische Dystopie.


Damals in Nagasaki Kazuo Ishiguro
Anlässlich der Verleihung des Literaturnobelpreises habe ich ein paar Ishiguros gelesen, und dieser Roman muss unbedingt auch auf die Liste der High-Fives. Eine asiatische mysteriöse Geschichte, die fast ein bisschen an Murakami erinnert, mit einem sehr intelligenten Twist zum Ende, der reichlich Interpretationsspielraum für den Leser offen lässt.


Im Bereich Sachbuch möchte ich Euch zwei geniale Werke ans Herz legen, die mich 2017 sehr begeistert haben


Wirklich Wahr! - Simon Hader
Eines der besten Sachbücher, das unter anderem auch in praktischen Beispielen zeigt, wie man in der heutigen Medienlandschaft mit Fakten und Fakenews umgehen sollte. Gut recherchiert, humorvoll aufbereitet und grafisch wundervoll illustriert.


Das merkwürdige Verhalten von Schimpansen in Kinderkleidung - Felicitas Auersperg  
Mein Sachbuchhighlight des Jahres 2017! Felicitas Auersperg zeigt durch die Sammlung von spannenden sozialpsychologischen Experimenten genau auf, wie der Mensch wirklich tickt.


Seit ein paar Jahren habe ich auch das Genre der Graphic Novel für mich entdeckt und in diesem Bereich möchte ich auch zwei Empfehlungen aussprechen, die 2017 herausgekommen sind


Falco - Reinhard Trinkler
Text: Zum Geburtstag des Sängers Falco eine Biografie als Graphic Novel. Eine Innovative und großartige Idee und mein Highlight 2017 in diesem Genre!


Der Bankert vom Naschmarkt - Gerhard Loibelsberger und Reinhard Trinkler
Eine sehr gut gezeichnete Geschichte in Form eines Wien-Krimis um die Jahrhundertwende. Ein exzellentes realistisches Sittenbild dieser Zeit und zudem ein spannender Kriminalfall.






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