books I read 2008
Once when I picked up a book from the local library, the librarian asked to tell her what I thought about the book when I would bring it back. Well, why not write a few lines about all the books I read so everybody could see what I thought about it? I'm often also happy to have friends recommend a certain book or tell me this and that is not really worth reading. I won't comment about the tons of books I have read so far, but about books I read from now on.
Sonea ist in die Magiergilde als Novizin aufgenommen worden. Sie ist die einzige Magierin überhaupt, welche aus den Hüttenvierteln stammt und nicht aus den feinen Häusern. Als Aussenseiterin hat sie es nicht leicht, obwohl ihre magischen Fähigkeiten ausgezeichnet sind. Immer wieder machen ihr die anderen Novizen das Leben schwer, vor allem Regin.
Die Fortsetzungsgeschichte von "Die Rebellin" ist weniger spannend als der erste Band der Trilogie. Das Buch, obwohl immer noch interessant, hat bei mir ein wenig den Eindruck erweckt, als wäre die ungefähre Seitenzahl vorgegeben gewesen und hätte gefüllt werden müssen. Richtig knisternde Spannung kommt bei der Lektüre nicht auf. Allerdings kann ich mir auch sehr gut vorstellen, dass dieses Buch eine Brücke darstellt zwischen dem ersten und dritten Band, die Informationen vermittelt und Voraussetzungen schafft um dann im letzen Teil der Trilogie nochmals so richtig Gas geben und Spannung erzeugen zu können.
Seit ihrer Herausforderung und ihrem Sieg über Regin vor einem Jahr, machen die Mitschüler Sonea das Leben in der Magierschule nicht mehr so schwer. Dennnoch ist sie nach wie vor eine Einzelgängerin. Ihr Leben verändert sich jedoch abermals grundlegend, als ihr Mentor, der Hohe Lord der Magiergilde, sie eines abends mitnimmt in die Stadt und ihr an einem Gefangenen Sachakaner beibringt, wie sie Gedanken lesen kann, auch gegen den Willen des Betroffenen. Von diesem Zeitpunkt an beginnen sich die Ereignisse zu überschlagen. Schon nach kurzer Zeit fällt die Gilde in eine Krise, als sie ihren Hohen Lord anklagt, verbotene schwarze Magie nicht nur gelernt, sondern auch praktiziert zu haben. Trotzdem getrauen sich weder die Gilde, noch der König, die für dieses Verbrechen vorgesehene Strafe der Hinrichtung zu verhängen. Gleichzeitig mit der Anklage von Akkarin, dem Hohen Lord, bricht ein weiteres Unglück über die Gilde herein, das nicht nur für die Gilde selber, sondern für die ganze Stadt Imardin, ja sogar ganz Kyralia eine existentielle Bedrohung darstellt.
Dies ist der letze Band der Trilogie und ein Buch, bei dem es einem schwer fällt, es zur Seite zu legen. Unerwartete Wendungen in der Geschichte; all die Aufbauarbeit der ersten zwei Bücher wird benutzt, um von der ersten bis zur letzen Seite prickelnde Spannung aufkommen zu lassen. Dieser letzte Teil ist Entlöhnung genug, um sich vorher auch durch das nur mittelmässige zweite Buch zu lesen.
Christopher Banks is a detective in London of the 1930-ies. He has come to England from Shanghai when he was a young boy.
After having read close to half the book, I still don't have much more information on what is supposed to be going on. Ishiguro lets his main character, Christopher, reflect in his memories but does not make apparent what the story is all about. One guesses that at some point, Christopher might travel to Shanghai again and try to find out what did happen to his parents. The writing style is very descriptive without saying much. After page 138 I finally gave up hoping to find something which might make it worth to go on reading.
Das Buch ist für den fachlichen Laien sehr gut verständlich geschrieben. Es versucht anhand von Beispielen aufzuzeigen, was Auslöser für Stress sein können und was man in solchen Situationen tun kann. Vor allem baut es auf dem immer wieder zitierten (Un)Gleichgewicht zwischen Körper, Zukunft, Leistung und Kontakt auf.
Ich glaube nicht, dass dieses Buch ein Mittel ist um aus Krisensituationen herauszufinden oder zur Stressbewältigung dienen kann. Es zeigt jedoch sehr wohl Ansatzpunkte auf und kann zum überdenken der eigenen Situation und Verhaltensweisen anregen. Diesbezüglich kann ich mir das Buch gut vorstellen als begleitendes Hilfsmittel bei einer Therapie oder als Leitfaden zum nachdenken über unsere eigenen Verhaltensweisen und Reaktionsmechanismen.
When Molly Lash, convicted for murdering her husband but always saying she can not remember having done such a thing, is released from imprisonment after five and a half years, she makes a bold statement to the press covering her release: she still thinks she did not murder her husband and wants to find the true murderer. However, within a week of getting out of jail, Molly is accused of having murdered yet another person. Everybody believes she is mentally ill and dangerous. Only one reporter, Fran Simmons who is to be doing a TV special on the case, starts do dig deeper into the matter and comes to think that Molly might actually say the truth.
A wonderfully crafted story where all the pieces fit together. Taking you in right from the first to the last page. The only problem with this book is that you'll hardly be able to ever take your hand off till you've read it all.
During summer break 2005 Alice is visiting her friend Shelagh in France who is the deputy at an excarvation site. As Alice does not have any other plans, she helps for a couple of days and makes a discovery at her last day...
In July 1209 Alaïs finds a dead body in the river when she goes to find fresh herbs for her medicines. When she describes what she found to her father, he is rather distressed, just as if the dead might be somebody dear to him. It turns out to be somebody else, but still, something seems to be bothering her father and he passes her an ancient book of great value for safekeeping. One book of a set of three he once was asked to bring from Egypt because it supposedly was safer in France...
Is Alice the same person as Alaïs? Is she a decendant? Gradually the two stories, at first seemingly unrelated, become one. A story of religion, faith, love, all centered around the Holy Grail.
Shortly after the dead body of a woman is found in Wrigthsburg, more murders happen. The handywork of some maniac serial killer. But neither the police, nor the FBI can put the pieces together. Also Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, two ex-Secret Service agents can't make sense out of it at first. And some additional murders, which seem not to be performed by the serial killer, don't make things easier either...
After their first adventure in Split Second, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell, now partners in a private investigation firm, solve another mistery crime. The story makes for a good read, but is somewhat cruel at times and it is not always so clear how the hero jumps to the conclusions which help to solve the mistery.
Shan Tao Yun, once a successful Chinese investigator, was put in prison and working camp, because of his success. Since his release he lives in the mountains of Tibet.
Shan planned to go on a retreat for meditation after the festival. However, during the festival something happens in the cave and seems to have driven the lama Surya mad. There is also a pond of blood deep down in the cave, but no injury or body to go with it. When then finally some helicopters with troops arrive, Shan decides he could not possibly find peace in meditation until he knows more about what has happened in the cave, not expecting the kind of troubles and dangers he is about to face.
A well written thriller in a different setting from the mainstream. Sometimes I did not really see how the characters in the story came to their conclusions, but this well structured story makes still for a good read.
Imagine a person with no conscience, none at all. This is the most basic description of a sociopath. Stout, a psychotherapist in the Boston area, kind of shocked me on the first page with the explanation of what a sociopath is. She goes on and explains, also using real-life examples, why it is so difficult to recognize these people, why they often seem to be successful, respectable achievers, what their motivation is and compares what is going on inside of a sociopath and a non-sociopath. Towards the end of the book she also shows how similar science and religion see these people.
Even though I do not quite agree with the complete black-and-white picture Stout draws, her samples and explanations can be an eye opener for something, you might already have witnessed but took for a mistake on your side since it just seemed so unbelievable.
The book does not give you any direct help on how to deal with sociopaths, even though it does sport a (far too short and utterly useless) section called Thirteen Rules for Dealing with Sociopaths in Everyday Life. The real value of this book, however, is to open up your mind to accept and thus be aware of something, most of us would think was completely impossible, so impossible we would come up with tons of excuses why what we saw and thought could simply not be true. In fact, after reading this book, I might, in some situations, now accept that indeed it was true.
Global warming threatens to make the island nation of Vanutu disappear. Vanutu and the National Environmental Resource Fund are preparing to file a lawsuit against the US over global warming. George Morton is financially backing the lawsuit with a 10 million dollar grant. All the preparations go fine. But after John Kenner shows up at Morton's place, Morton seems to have second thoughts about the matter and threatens to withdraw the grant. Shortly before dying in a car crash, an obviously drunk George Morton publicly hints his withdrawal in a public speech.
Now things really speed up. In the course of only a couple of days George Morton's lawyer and secretary are urged by John Kenner to follow him to a number of places around the world in order to prevent some catastrophes which would be only too convenient to coincide with a big conference on abrupt clima change.
The book is very well written and loaded with presumably well researched information about global warming, all wrapped in a thrilling and fast paced story. Some chapters contain more story while others are more designed to present information and facts about global warming, media influence etc. without being boaring or pure descriptions.
Some of the action in the book seems a bit far fetched and I could well do without one particularly cruel death, but apart from that the book is really recommendable. It shows global warming from a refreshingly different side than what we hear and read from the news all the time.
Violet Sullivan is an extremely attractive woman, but married to a violent guy. Both her husband and herself often hang out at the Blue Moon and have a drink too much. One day Violet disappears and is never seen again. Foley, her husband, is suspected of having killed her, but he persists in saying he didn't do any wrong and she simply ran off. No proof can ever be produced to backup one or the other story.
Thirtyfour years after the disappearance of Violet Sullivan, her daughter Daisy hires the private investigator Kinsey Millhone to have, against all odds, a look into the matter once more. She wants to find out whether her mother was murdered or ran off without ever bothering about her own daughter.
A medicore story which, I think, could have done without another death at the very end of the book.
Kvothe is the son of a trouper family, going from town to town, performing, moving on. He is a formidable actor. He is a great musician. And he is very bright.
When Kvothe sees someone call the name of the wind so the wind rushes to the aid of the caller, he wants to learn the names of things as well. He wishes to go to university to learn. He longs to have access to the huge library at the university. But the Chandrian meddles with his life. The way to university is hard. Staying at the university is hard. But hardest of all is the thirst for knowledge.
This story is fantasy, set in a time when people believe in daemons, but might be they are right in doing so. It is extremely well told and it keeps you turning page after page after page. Like the story itself, you can not do justice to the book by explaining about it, the only way to understand is to read it. I assure you, you will not regret it.
Liza Barton, at the age of ten, shot her mother and wounded her stepfather while trying to save her mother's life. She was accused of cold blooded murder but finally got off without being sentenced. Twenty four years later, after having taken on a different identity, Liza returns to her former home when her new husband, who is not aware of her past, buys a house for her birthday present, the house where everything happened. Upon their moving in, they are greeted with a nasty surprise to make things worse, a series of murders start.
While quite a number of happenings in the storyline are predictable, Marry Higgins Clark still succeeds to keep the reader turning page after page.
The final part of the Harry Potter story. Lord Voldermort has returned and risen again. He is about to take over the whole wizarding world. Of course, not everybody agrees with the new ruler, but putting up resistance becomes more and more difficult by the day. Even Harry Potter has to go into hiding. Before Professor Dumbledore died, he gave Harry a task, but Harry feels he has not be taught enough about what he is supposed to do...
Again, Rowling easily succeeds to catch the reader's interest, to keep everyone's nose sticking to the pages. There are, however, quite a number of references made to the part of the story which happened in the preceding books, so don't attempt to read this book without having read the rest of the story.
Even though there is a fair amount of slaughtering in this book, it is not frightening. There are also some sexually explicit scenes which I would have guessed were written by a woman even if I hadn't known the author of the book. All in all: good entertainment.