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review 2020-03-29 17:43
Passionate Minds by David Bodanis
Passionate Minds - David Bodanis

This is a frothy historical biography best described by its title. Unfortunately it does not live up to either the dramatic promise of its subtitle, or to the serious intentions stated in its preface. In that preface, the author bemoans the lack of recognition of early 18th century aristocratic French scientist Emilie du Chatelet, stating that she was written out of the canon by men who didn’t believe a woman could make serious contributions, and that the society hostesses and later feminist writers who might have championed her lacked the technical knowledge to understand her work, with the result that female biographers just focused on her wild sex life. Bodanis then proceeds to tell a story of du Chatelet’s life focused on her wild sex life, with only brief segments about science that provided little enlightenment to this reader.

In particular, Bodanis is enamored of du Chatelet’s tumultuous 15-year affair with Voltaire, and structures the book around that. It’s almost a dual biography (to the point that my library shelves it as a biography of Voltaire), except that Voltaire outlived du Chatelet by decades and those years aren’t covered in this book. Bodanis seems attached to the notion that this relationship provided du Chatelet with the confidence and support she needed to engage in scientific work, but it seemed to me that much of the evidence he provides argues against this conclusion. For instance, in one episode, Voltaire decides to enter a scientific competition, and du Chatelet spends her days assisting him with his experiments, but for some reason feels she can’t tell him where he’s going wrong, and meanwhile secretly stays up late every night working on her own submission, which she hides from him and ultimately mails off with the assistance of her extremely laid-back husband, who appears genuinely indifferent throughout to the fact that she’s living openly with another man. Which of these people is actually providing useful support, and which one has become an obstacle? I came away from the book with the impression that du Chatelet’s penchant for falling wildly in love with various men was a tragic distraction from her work, perhaps in part due to the author’s focus.

It’s a focus, in the end, that involves compressing complicated events into such short segments that I found them a bit difficult to keep track of, while lovingly expanding on descriptions of emotions and relationship dilemmas. These people wrote constantly, so I don’t think Bodanis is speculating, but it does come across as frothy. Interestingly, in the acknowledgements he says that while writing the book, he sent it out in installments to friends, and they and their friends and coworkers all eagerly signed up for more. But then, he says, that draft, nearly twice the length of the book he ultimately published, “wasn’t quite right. . . . There was to much to-ing and fro-ing, too much textual analysis and historical background, and too much elaboration of science and the biographer’s evidence.” I for one suspect I would have thought more of this book if it had included all that stuff, and the contrast between the word-of-mouth excitement Bodanis describes around his draft and the small number of readers who have rated the completed version on Goodreads makes me suspect it’s not just me, and what he cut was more essential than he realized.

Ultimately, this was an interesting book that I don’t regret reading, and it had a great start, but after 60 pages or so I began to fall out of love with it and never regained that level of enjoyment. Great material, but perhaps not the best possible treatment of it.

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review 2019-10-13 01:40
Why Does He Do That? Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men
Why Does He Do That?: Inside the Minds of Angry and Controlling Men - Lundy Bancroft

This is a must-read for everyone--for people who are being abused, people who are not being abused, family members and friends of people being abused, people who have escaped abusive relationships, people who want to understand angry and controlling men... EVERYONE. It demystifies partner abuse in a way that our society NEEDS to understand.

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text 2019-04-22 14:07
BLOG TOUR, REVIEW & #GIVEAWAY - Alien Minds (Dimension Drift #1) by Christina Bauer
Alien Minds (Dimension Drift #1) - Christina Bauer

DIVERGENT meets OCEAN’S EIGHT in this urban fantasy heist!

 

On my seventeenth birthday, I wake up in the hospital to find I just survived a sketchy but terrible accident. My parents stand by my bedside—both are beautiful, wealthy, and super-nice. They tell me that once I leave the hospital, I’ll attend the prestigious ECHO Academy, where I’ll churn out equations for the government along with my mega-smart peers.

 

So, I’m living the perfect life. 

 

Then why does everything feel all wrong? 

 

My parents, my house and even ECHO Academy…none of it fits. Plus, what’s up with Thorne, my brooding yet yummy classmate who keeps telling me I need to remember my true past, which seems to have included a lot of us kissing? That’s one thing I’d really like to remember, except for the fact that I’m pretty sure Thorne is hiding a ton of nasty secrets of his own, including the fact that he may not be from this world. But considering how my own past seems alien to me, it’s not like I can judge. Plus, Thorne has dimples. That’s a problem.

 

And worst of all, why does it feel so yucky to work on these calculations for the government? It’s all supposed to be part of ECHO, but my heart tells me that I’m helping something truly terrible come to pass. Thorne seems to think that kissing him again will release my real memories. 

 

Maybe it’s time to pucker up.

 

“Appealing and engaging. Love the strong female character!” – Arlene’s Book Reviews

 

This new series is perfect for: fans of urban fantasy, action & adventure, cool science, evil corporations, forbidden romance and hot new classmates who may or may not be aliens.

 

@XpressoTours, @hotchoc84 (Charlotte), @CB_Bauer, #ScienceFiction, #YoungAdult, 4 out of 5 (very good)

Source: archaeolibrarian.wixsite.com/website/single-post/2019/04/22/Alien-Minds-Dimension-Drift-1-by-Christina-Bauer
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review 2019-03-23 16:12
Suspicious Minds!!!
Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds: The First Official Novel - Gwenda Bond

german and english review (spoilerfree)

mir wurde das Buch vom Penguin Verlag für eine Testleserunde zur Verfügnung gestellt

 

Inhalt: Sommer 1969: Die Amerikanerin Terry Ives studiert am College, als sie von einem bedeutenden Experiment im Auftrag der Regierung hört. Sie meldet sich als Testperson, aber schon bald muss sie feststellen, dass es sich um keine normale Studie handelt: Unter dem Decknamen MKULTRA werden ihr in einem geheimen Labor bewusstseinsverändernde Substanzen verabreicht. Sie ahnt nicht, dass hinter den Mauern des Hawkins National Laboratory eine Verschwörung lauert, die größer ist, als sie sich je hätte vorstellen können. Doch es gibt jemanden, der ihr dabei helfen kann, das Böse zu besiegen: Ein Mädchen, das im Labor vor der Welt versteckt gehalten wird. Sie hat übermenschliche Kräfte - und eine Zahl anstelle eines Namens: 008 ...

 

Meine Bewertung: Trotz kleiner Startschwierigkeiten, hat mich das Buch total begeistert.

 

Der Anfang war unheimlich langsam für mich. Natürlich hat mich die Geschichte interessiert, weil ich einfach alles Liebe was mit Stranger Things zu tun hat und auch der Schreibstil hat mir wirklich gut gefallen. Trotzdem hat mich keiner der Charaktere wirklich interessiert. Bis ich dann die 30% in dem Buch erreicht hatte und sich auf einmal alles komplett geändert hat.

 

Ich fand es total klasse, wie sich die Truppe um Terry, Alice, Gloria, und Ken gefunden hat. Wie sie zu einer kleinen Familie geworden sind, die sich umeinander gekümmert haben, mit denen sie reden konnten, wenn sie sich niemand anderen anvertrauen konnten, und wie sie sich unterstützt haben in der ein oder anderen schrecklichen Situation.

 

Terry. Ich liebe was für eine Kämpferin sie ist. Sie muss wirklich so viele Schläge verkraften aber sie ist wirklich unheimlich stark, beißt sich wirklich durch jede Situation und gibt niemals auf. Ich hab einfach so viele Gefühle wenn es um Terry geht.
Alice ist mir ebenfalls extrem ans Herz gewachsen. Sie war wirklich die kleine Schwester in dem Buch und ich wollte sie einfach nur von allem und jeden beschützen.
Gloria. Sie ist großartig und ich mochte auch die Familienmomente, die wir bei ihr zu Hause sehen konnten.
Ken. Ken ist bei mir ein bisschen untergegangen, das muss ich ganz ehrlich gestehen.

 

Andere Charaktere wie Andrew. Was für ein toller Kerl. Es hat echt weh getan.
Kali. Mein Kind. Acht. Ich fand sie einfach wirklich klasse und auch wie sie in die Geschichte reingepasst hat.
Brenner. Ich dachte nicht, das ich ihn noch abstoßender finden könnte aber siehe da. Er ist wirklich unerträglich grausam.

Alles in allem, hat mir das Buch wirklich richtig gut gefallen und war ein wunderbares Buch um die Serie zu ergänzen. Ich glaube nicht, dass wir irgendwas Neues gelernt haben, aber es war wunderbar mit der Serie verbunden, hat ein paar Dinge erklärt und einen den ein oder anderen Charakter einfach nochmal viel näher gebracht.

 

Ich bin wirklich auf weitere Bücher gespannt.

 

***

 

Summary: A mysterious lab. A sinister scientist. A secret history. If you think you know the truth behind Eleven’s mother, prepare to have your mind turned Upside Down in this thrilling prequel to the hit show Stranger Things.

It’s the summer of 1969, and the shock of conflict reverberates through the youth of America, both at home and abroad. As a student at a quiet college campus in the heartland of Indiana, Terry Ives couldn’t be further from the front lines of Vietnam or the incendiary protests in Washington.

But the world is changing, and Terry isn’t content to watch from the sidelines. When word gets around about an important government experiment in the small town of Hawkins, she signs on as a test subject for the project, codenamed MKUltra. Unmarked vans, a remote lab deep in the woods, mind-altering substances administered by tightlipped researchers . . . and a mystery the young and restless Terry is determined to uncover.

But behind the walls of Hawkins National Laboratory—and the piercing gaze of its director, Dr. Martin Brenner—lurks a conspiracy greater than she could have ever imagined. To face it, she’ll need the help of her fellow test subjects, including one so mysterious the world doesn’t know she exists—a young girl with unexplainable, superhuman powers and a number instead of a name: 008.

Amid the rising tensions of the new decade, Terry Ives and Martin Brenner have begun a different kind of war—one where the human mind is the battlefield.

 

My review: Even though I had some issues in the beginning, I ended up totally loving this book.

 

The beginning was a rough one. Of course I was totally interested in the story cause I love everything Stranger things, and I also really enjoyed the writing. Still, none of the characters did anything for me and didn't interest me at all. Until I reached the 30% mark of the book when everything changed.

 

I loved the whole group dynamic between Terry, Alice, Gloria, and Ken, and how they just found each other. How they became this little family that took care of each other, who they could talk to when they couldn't talk to anybody else, how they supported each other through every awful situation.

 

Terry. I love what a fighter she is. She had to overcome so many things, one awful thing after another, and she still stayed so strong, fought through everything and never gave up. I just have too many feels when it comes to Terry.
Alice snuck her way into my heart right away. She really was the little sister in the book, that I wanted to protect from everything and everyone.
Gloria. She is just amazing and I truly loved every little moment she had with her family at home.
Ken. Well, Ken kinda fell through the cracks for me a bit, to be completely honest.

 

Other characters like Andrew. What a great guy. Everything about his whole situation just hurts like hell.
Kali. My child. Eight. I just love her so damn much and how she fit into the whole story.
Brenner. You know, I thought I couldn't hate him more or find him any more disgusting but look at that. He is just insanely aweful and cruel.

 

All in all, I truly enjoyed this book a lot and think that it really complemented the tv show. I don't think that we learned anything new, but it still tied in really well with the show and explained a few things more and it really brought me closer to some of the characters.

 

I'm truly excited for the following books.

 
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text 2019-03-14 17:04
Reading progress update: I've read 34%.
Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds: The First Official Novel - Gwenda Bond

YESS, finally reached the part where I'm actually interested in the characters and care about them. YESSS. Now the book is really starting for me.

 
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