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text 2017-09-19 10:39
Reading Update for Black Rose: Made me laugh
Black Rose - Nora Roberts

Black Rose
by Nora Roberts

Progress:  25 of 355 pages (7%)


Just now, it looked as if he hadn't shaved in the past few days, so there was a dark stubble toughening his face.  His bottle-green eyes appeared both tired and harassed.  His hair needed a trim.

He was dressed much like the first time she'd met him, in old jeans and rolled-up shirtsleeves.  Unlike hers, his basket was empty.

"Help me," he said in the tone of a man dangling from a cliff by a sweaty grip on a shaky limb.

"I'm sorry?"

"Six-year-old girl.  Birthday.  Desperation."

I don't know why, but this passage made me laugh out loud.  I probably needed something silly and light-hearted after the chaos that was The Thin Man, and my so far frustrating progress in Dear Maggie.

Looks like Nora Roberts is a great cure-all.

The image of this scholarly professor of genealogy getting overwhelmed by a birthday present for a six-year-old girl was too amusing not to giggle about.  I do believe that he had appeared to us in the last book as an arrogant know-it-all professor who was secretly amused by the Harper household's claim about the authenticity of the Harper Bride--then promptly got schooled when he saw her for himself.

Even though Roz has already met Dr. Carnegie, this felt like an even more adorable "Meet Cute."




Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/reading-update-for-black-rose-made-me.html
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review 2017-09-19 08:27
Some Thoughts and a Spreadsheet: The Thin Man
The Thin Man - Dashiell Hammett

The Thin Man
by Dashiell Hammett


Buddy read at Booklikes - tags: n/a
Collective Reading Updates for The Thin Man


Ex-detective Nick Charles attracts trouble like a magnet.  He thinks his sleuthing days are over, but when Julia Wolf, a former acquaintance, is found dead, her body riddled with bullets, Nick - along with his glamorous wife, Nora - can't resist making a few enquiries.  Clyde Miller Wynant, Julia's lover and boss, has disappeared.  Everyone is after him, but Nick is not convinced Wynant is the murderer - and when he finds a junked-up hoodlum with a careless attitude to guns in his bedroom, it's only the beginning of his troubles.



"Do you think Jorgensen killed her?" she asked.

"I thought I knew who did it," I said, "but it's too mixed up right now for anything but guesses."

"And what's your guess?"

"Mimi Jorgensen, Wynant, Nunheim, Gilbert, Dorothy, Aunt Alice, Morelli, you, me, or Guild.  Maybe Studsy did it.  How about shaking up a drink?"

I believe that about sums up the entire investigation of The Thin Man.  Frankly, I spent a good lot of time not really paying attention to the book, if only because I had a hard time figuring out what was going on in the first place.  And also, I was trying to make my tallies for whenever someone took a drink.  As far as I could tell, there was a murder, and then Nick Charles spent most of the time reluctantly investigating the murder after being pushed into the whole mess... and everyone has some sort of sketchy background.

The rest of the book saw all of the characters generally having a merry time, dancing, drinking, hanging out... or just being their plain crazy selves.

The bar on crazy just kept getting raised a bit higher each time Mimi or Dorothy showed up, and the dramatics were pretty explosive.  Gilbert was a strange kid, completely creepy strange, and yet he somehow seemed a bit more stable than his mother and sister--until you read his dialogue and start wondering whether he's going to be the next sociopathic serial killer with his questions about cannibalism, and the acceptability of incest in the western U.S, and his experimentation with morphine.

Overall, the entire convoluted relationship tree involving that family, including exes, lovers, etc... was just a big ball of dysfunctional.

In my honest opinion, this wasn't a completely terrible book, if you can overlook the creepy commentary about Dorothy from the men, or the back-handed commentary about women in general, or even the fact that Nick is kind of an arrogant ass whom everyone seems to either be in love with or worships.  Or even that entire passage about cannibalism...

Nora could have been a potentially great character, but she felt down-played, and soon got relegated to background, simply there to accompany Nick, or to get everyone drinks and food.  Dorothy got on my nerves with the constant sobbing and whining and dramatics; Mamma Mimi was just crazy.  Others actually felt kind of flat.

Truth is, we needed more of Asta.  There wasn't nearly enough of Asta.  Asta might have at least helped the book a little bit.  Okay, maybe not, but at least I would have been satisfied with more Asta.

I think I enjoyed the Buddy Read aspect, discussing the book, making fun of the characters, being quite taken aback by the amount of drinking... more so than I actually enjoyed the book itself.

The Thin Man is a book that certainly isn't something I'd come back to.

And by request, here is the somewhat, half-assed drink tallying spreadsheet I used to keep track of everyone's drinking.

I kind of lost track in some of the chapters, so this spreadsheet isn't exact; and I stopped tallying at Chapter 26, but the book was almost over by then, and Nick's drink count was in the 30s, so I figured I had made my point.


I couldn't get the spreadsheet to paste over with the names running vertical, so I just took a screen shot and called it good.

A few notes about the data:

  • I mostly counted one drink whenever it was mentioned that a drink was poured, a drink was brought to someone, or someone finished their drink, or took a drink.
  • Again, I stopped counting after Chapter 26, though I'm sure Nick had another drink in that chapter, bringing his total up one more.  I'm also sure both Nick and Nora had a drink in the last chapter.
  • I also tried to count some of the minor characters, but lost track of some when we ended up at any speakeasy since there were so many other people present.
  • I also didn't count how many drinks each character had when they were at a party or a bar, and only counted whichever ones were narrated--but we all know that you don't just drink one when you hang around a bar for a long time.  Especially not these people.  I considered giving everyone at least one implied drink even if it wasn't narrated--I don't remember if I actually did or not.
  • Nick doesn't actually take a drink in any part of the narrative in Chapter 7, but it's hard for me to believe he DOESN'T drink at a party where everyone else is drinking.  I gave him an implied drink count, but feel free to subtract that from the total if we want to get specific--I don't think it'll make a difference.
  • Both Dorry and Harrison Quinn showed up drunk on at least two occasions--I don't know how many drinks that implies, so I won't count them since they were "off-stage," so to speak.  It's possible that if those drinks were counted, both would be up about +10 drinks.  Although Dorry's supposed to be a tiny girl, so maybe she only needed a couple drinks to get really smashed.
  • I lumped Harrison Quinn and Alice Quinn into one category as 'the Quinns'; they don't really show up all that often.
  • At the level of crazy that she is at, I'm surprised Mimi didn't have as many drinks.  Then again, she wasn't exactly the focus of the book anyway.
  • Overall, while it seems like these people are always drinking, the tally doesn't seem that high for everyone else, but Nick.  And since I'm not sure about the duration of time this book takes place, maybe 33 drinks isn't so bad?  O.O  However, the fact that Nick always seems to start his day with a drink or two before he even has breakfast probably says something...
  • Nick has more drinks than there are chapters in this book.

For certain, these people have a lot of house parties.  And I'm also not sure I know when the last time was I offered a random visitor hard liquor as a refreshment.  Because obviously these people don't have tea, coffee, or water in their homes.

And that's a wrap!



Halloween Bingo 2017



Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/some-thoughts-and-spreadsheet-thin-man.html
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text 2017-09-19 03:01
A Ranting Update: Dear Maggie
Dear Maggie - Brenda Novak

Progress:  52 of 355 pages (17%)

I'm finding our titular character, Maggie, both contradictory and stupid.  She's also kind of judgmental and a slut-shamer, making some comment about how it's okay to treat one of her co-workers with contempt just because "she's slept with every guy in the office.  Even the publisher."

Because she's kind of lonely and looking for a new father for her son, she's considering signing up for a dating service.  When prompted, she refuses to join her closest friend/co-worker at a bar or club to meet men, because she believes you only meet dangerous killers and stalkers in those places.  She even makes noise about not being able to fit in at a nightclub anyway because she doesn't have any tattoos or body piercings.

She also poo-poos the idea of online dating, because they could attract weirdos or cyber nuts.  But she's still so stuck on the dating service idea--an idea she got through an ad she received in the mail, mind you--and thinks this is the best way to meet men with similar goals, ambitions, highly educated, blah, blah, blah...

It takes her friend showing her a live example of how easy it is to lie on these dating service questionnaires, when Maggie decides to stretch the truth of her own survey question responses, for Maggie to realize that her dating service idea isn't any better than the other ones.  After all, if she can give a few false responses, so could a bunch of other people.  So much for meeting someone highly educated or similarly ambitious or NOT A CREEPY STALKER.

So the two of them agree to meet at a singles chat room that evening to see what it's like.

And then Maggie proceeds to tell everyone in the world about her entire life story, with real names and real incidents and everything.  A few pages later, she once again lays out her entire life story to some complete stranger who was in the chat room, who decided to direct e-mail her so that he could become friendlier with her.

Granted, the complete stranger is our hero, Nick Sorenson who is apparently undercover FBI come to keep security surveillance on Maggie...

But who in their right mind gives their entire story, plus real names, real occupation, the works, to a complete stranger you just met in a chat room?!

Brenda Novak is a Romantic Suspense author I've kept on my radar for some time because I've read some of her books, which had readily hooked me in.  Some were pretty bad, some were mediocre... but Maggie... this girl is some kind of special.

And I'm already getting tired of her "Oh, I'm not even remotely good looking" off-handed comments, in which her friend Darla has to keep inputting, "Honey, you're gorgeous.  You just need to believe it." assurances.



Halloween Bingo 2017


Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2017/09/a-ranting-update-dear-maggie.html
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review 2017-09-18 19:50
A Court of Wings and Ruin / Sarah J. Maas
A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin's manoeuvrings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit – and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords – and hunt for allies in unexpected places.


When I sit down to read these tomes by Sarah Maas, I always wonder as I begin if I will find this volume as engaging as the last one. So far, so good. Once I started Wings and Ruin I couldn’t stop until I was done. I reluctantly went to bed (late) on Saturday night and picked the book right back up again on Sunday morning. Why do I like this series, when writers like Christine Feehan and J.L. Ward leave me annoyed? Because there’s some PLOT here. The first two books got us set up for the big war scenes that we experience in W&R.

Yes, there is romance and there’s some sex, but there are plenty of friendships too, all kinds of relationships really. Indeed, because Feyre & Rhys are an established couple, Maas can concentrate on the other relationships. Enemies, frenemies, relatives, chosen families, unknown quantities, close friends, useful acquaintances….they’re all in here. Many of them had a place in the earlier books and now we see them in a new light. Will Feyre’s sisters fight with her or against her? Will they accept their transition to the Fae world or will they cling to their past humanity?

Feyre makes mistakes, admits it, and works on fixing them. What I like the most is the circle of chosen family that Rhysand has assembled for himself and how Feyre is finding her way into their hearts as well and vice versa. Yes, its all a bit melodramatic and unrealistic, but I got swept along with the story and didn’t notice too much until I thought back on it after finishing. Not sure if it would actually be possible for Morrigan to keep her sexual preference a secret for over 500 years—especially not since in the High Fae world, it seems like anything goes, so why would she bother?

So, it has its idiosyncrasies and silliness, but I still found it to be an enjoyable read. Although this one actually felt final, I see there are future volumes planned. At this point, I’ll be willing to give the next one a try.

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review 2017-09-18 17:51
Die Kinder
Die Kinder: Thriller - Wulf Dorn Die Kinder: Thriller - Wulf Dorn

€ 16,99 [D] inkl. MwSt. 


€ 17,50 [A] |  CHF 22,90* 

(* empf. VK-Preis) 


Paperback, KlappenbroschurISBN: 978-3-453-27094-7




Erschienen: 04.09.2017 



Auf einer abgelegenen Bergstraße wird die völlig verstörte Laura Schrader aus den Trümmern eines Wagens geborgen. Im Kofferraum entdecken die Retter eine grausam entstellte Leiche. Als die Polizei den Psychologen Robert Winter hinzuzieht, wird dieser mit dem rätselhaftesten Fall seiner Karriere konfrontiert: Die Geschichte, die Laura Schrader ihm erzählt, klingt unglaublich. Doch irgendwo innerhalb dieses Wahnkonstrukts muss die Wahrheit verborgen sein. Je weiter Robert vordringt, desto mehr muss er erkennen, dass die Gefahr, vor der Laura Schrader warnt, weitaus erschreckender ist als jeder Wahn.

Meine Meinung:

Nachdem ich vor einigen Monaten "Kalte Stille" von Wulf Dorn gehört habe, war ich sehr gespannt auf die Neuerscheinung dieses Autoren. Freundlicherweise wurde mir das Buch vom Heyne Verlag zu Rezensionszwecken zur Verfügung gestellt. 

Das Cover gefällt mir sehr gut, vor allem dieses düstere Erscheinungsbild, es passt einfach zum Titel. 

Der Einstieg in das Buch ist mir sehr gut gelungen, es ist auch direkt sehr spannend angefangen und ich wollte einfach nur wissen, was Laura Schrader genau zugestoßen ist. 

Der Schreibstil war sehr flüssig, ist bin sehr zügig durch das Buch gekommen.

Ich muss aber sagen, dass das Buch circa nach der Hälfte in eine Richtung gegangen ist, die mir gar nicht gefallen hat. Meiner Meinung nach ist es ins Fantasy/Übersinnliche abgedriftet. Da ich einen Thriller erwartet hatte, war ich dementsprechend enttäuscht, da Fantasy auch gar nicht mein Genre ist. 

Das Ende hat mir auch nicht so wirklich gefallen, mir sind zu viele Fragen offen geblieben. 

Alles in allem konnte mich das Buch leider nicht so ganz begeistern und überzeugen. Es war an einigen Teilen schon sehr spannend, aber die Richtung, die das Buch genommen hat, war einfach nicht so mein Geschmack. Von daher gibt es von mir 3,5 Sterne.  

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