Friday, 31 July 2009

John Lutz: Mord auf Abruf

Ein Mord ohne Leiche: Privatdetektiv Alo Nudger wird von einem prominenten Anwalt engagiert, um ihm bei der Verteidigung eines Bankers zu helfen, der angeklagt ist, seine Frau umgebracht zu haben. Es gibt aber keine Leiche. Die Polizei und die Anklage behaupten, die Frau sei ermordet worden und der Banker habe die Leiche verschwinden lassen. Es gibt genügend Indizien, die zu einem Todesurteil führen können. Dennoch scheint der Angeklagte seltsam gelassen den Prozess zu verfolgen.

Eine leichte Lektüre für zwischendurch. Der Detektiv Nudger ist interessant, da er dem typischen Klischee eines Detektiven so gar nicht entspricht. Er ist erfolglos, hat Magenprobleme und massive Angstzustände!Die Geschichte selbst war zwar gut konstruiert, aber dennoch vorhersehbar. Das Thema des "fait accompli" wurde meiner Meinung nach schon zu oft verarbeitet. Dennoch war das Buch unterhaltsam….

Thursday, 30 July 2009

Renan Demirkan: Schwarzer Tee mit drei Stück Zucker

Eine junge türkische Frau liegt im Krankenhaus und wartet auf die Geburt ihres ersten Kindes. Ihre Gedanken wandern zurück in die Kindheit in einem anatolischen Dorf, dorthin, wo sie mit ihren Freunden in den Nussbaumplantagen zwischen den Schafherden ihres Onkels spielte. Sie erinnert sich an die strenggläubigen Großeltern, an die Verwandten, die zurückblieben, als sie mit ihren Eltern nach Deutschland ging und an die ersten Jahre in ihrer neuen Welt. Die Erzählerin schildert die türkisch-deutsche Jugend eines jungen Mädchens, das seinen Platz im Leben sucht - zwischen den Träumen der Eltern von einer Rückkehr in die Heimat und ihren eigenen Wünschen vom Leben im Hier und Jetzt.

Eine faszinierende Geschichte über türkische Einwanderer in Deutschland. Die Erzählung in Form von Anekdoten war leicht verdaulich, wenn auch die einzelnen Erinnerungsstücke nur schwer zu verkraften waren. Das Gefühl nirgends dazuzugehören, wurde sehr gut beschrieben und so war das Buch eine tolle Lese- und Lernerfahrung.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Andreas Schmidt: Pinguinmord

Sie sind zu einem Wahrzeichen geworden, die Pinguine der Pinguinale 2006. Doch Mysteriöses geschieht in Wuppertal. Immer mehr der beliebten Figuren verlieren ihren Kopf und kurz darauf geht es ihren Besitzern an den Kragen. Der stets schlecht gelaunte Kommissar Ulbricht muss ermitteln bevor ihm die Reporter der Wupperwelle wieder einmal zuvorkommen....

Das ist ein kurzweiliger Krimi, der aus vielen verschiedenen Perspektiven und in kurzen Szenen erzählt wird. Diese Erzählweise macht die Geschichte rasch und spannend, wenn auch einige Handlungsstränge weit hergeholt und andere wiederum zu vorhersehbar waren.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

Emily Barr: The Sisterhood

Elizabeth Greene is devastated when her boyfriend of ten years leaves her for someone else. After a night of drowning her sorrows leads to an unexpected one-night stand, Elizabeth finds herself pregnant, alone and vulnerable.
Helen has just discovered she has a sister she didn't know she had. Bored with her privileged life in France and driven by a need to gain her parents' approval, Helen sets out to find her sister and reunite her with her long-lost mother....

An interesting and fascinating story told from the perspective of three women, Liz, Helen and Helen's mother Mary. And although I expected dark and sinister things to happen, I was still taken by surprise by the ultimate resolution of the story. As a reader, I let myself be equally blinded as Liz and Helen: When Helen is in Liz's room, sees the picture of Liz's mum and quickly turns away, I was asking myself why she would do that but did not pay great attention. Also, I found it strange that Helen's brother Tom always seemed to communicate with Helen only, and yet again, I did not draw the only possible conclusion. A fantastic read!

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Jodi Picoult: Nineteen minutes

In nineteen minutes, you can mow the front lawn, colour your hair, watch a third of a hockey game, order a pizza and get it delivered, read a story to your child or have your oil changed. In nineteen minutes, you can stop the world, or you can just jump off it. In nineteen minutes, you can get revenge. - Sterling is a small, ordinary New Hampshire town where nothing ever happens – until a student enters the local high school with an arsenal of guns and starts shooting....

Another interesting story of Jodi Picoult's! I found it very difficult at first to get myself to read it, as it was upsetting to face up to all the taunting and bullying that goes on in schools and that the victims of bullying might one day get revenge. However, once the story unfolded it became clear that not all was as clear-cut as would have been expected from the beginning. Although the moral take of the story is great, the actual ending to the novel was slightly disappointing....

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Gareth Roberts: I am a Dalek

Equipped with space suits, golf clubs and a flag, the Doctor and Rose are planning to live it up, Apollo mission-style, on the Moon. But the TARDIS has other plans, landing them instead in a village on the south coast of England, where an archaeological dig has turned up a Roman mosaic, circa AD 70, depicting mythical scenes, grapes and a Dalek.

This is another entertaining quick read with witty repartees...

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Alma Alexander: The Embers of Heaven

In "The Secrets of Jin-Shei", eight women pledge themselves as sisters in the name of jin-shei, the unbreakable bond, the promise that lasts a lifetime. This sisterhood shapes their lives, their country and their world. "The Embers of Heaven" begins four hundred years later. In eighteenth-century Syai, and its capital city of Linh-an, things have changed beyond recognition. On the face of it, women are more equal than they have ever been. But the men run the machines, the factories, and the technology. Women have lost the ability to weave their fates and influence the course of events. Amais is heir to her poet-ancestress's manuscripts and journals in jin-ashu, and Amais has the clear vision of an outsider looking in. She determines to reinvent the Women's Country and bring the jin-shei back. But just as her crusade begins, she and her family are caught up in the whirlwind of the Golden Rising - a people's revolution that is fated to destroy much that was once valuable, gracious and beautiful.

This sequel to "The Secrets of Jin-Shei" was equally evoking and upsetting, and although I again dreamt about Jin-Shei and Jin-Ashu, I did not find it as mysterious as the first book.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Book of Short Stories

To celebrate the launch of Quick Reads in 2006, "The Sun" ran a short story competition called 'Get Britain Reading' in order to find the hidden talent among its ten million readers. It was judged by "Sun" columnist and bestselling author Jane Moore. "The Sun Book of Short Stories" contains a selection of the winning entries. They may make you smile, laugh or cry - but all of them are sure to entertain you.

An interesting collection of short stories with more and less surprising endings. Some stories are very well developed and memorable:
Ball Games, A Living, Henry, The Lost Gene, There's a Queue for the Therapist's Chair, I Don't Know Why, Last Gasp, Murder in Catcher's Wood, Christmas Truce, Dad's Car, Super, She, One Wish, Need to Know, Daylight Robbery, In Terms Of: An Office Story

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Stephen King: On writing - a memoir of the craft

Short and snappy as it is, Stephen King's On Writing really contains two books: a fondly sardonic autobiography and a tough-love lesson for aspiring novelists. The memoir is terrific stuff, a vivid description of how a writer grew out of a misbehaving kid. You are right there with the young author as he is tormented by poison ivy, gas-passing baby-sitters, uptight schoolmarms and a laundry job nastier than Jack London's. It's a ripping yarn that casts a sharp light on his fiction.

King also evokes his college days and his recovery from the van crash that nearly killed him, but the focus is always on what it all means to the craft. He gives you a whole writer's "tool kit": a reading list, writing assignments, a corrected story and nuts-and-bolts advice on dollars and cents, plot and character, the basic building block of the paragraph and literary models. He shows what you can learn from HP Lovecraft's arcane vocabulary, Hemingway's leanness, Grisham's authenticity, Richard Dooling's artful obscenity, Jonathan Kellerman's sentence fragments. He explains why Kellerman's Hart's War is a great story marred by a tin ear for dialogue, and how Elmore Leonard's Be Cool could be the antidote. King isn't just a writer, he's a true teacher.

Saturday, 4 July 2009

Terrance Dicks: Doctor Who - Revenge of the Judoon

The TARDIS brings the Doctor and Martha to Balmoral in 1902. Here they meet Captain harry Carruthers - friend of the new king, Edward VII. Together they head for the castle ground to see the king - only to find that Balmoral Castle is gone, leaving just a hole in the ground. The Doctor realises it is the work of the Judoon. While Martha and Carruthers seek answers in London, the Doctor finds himself in what should be the most deserte place on Earth - and he is not alone. With the help from Arthur Conan Doyole, the Doctor and his friends discover a plot to take over the world. With time running out, who will fall victim to the revenge of the Judoon?

Quick, easy and entertaining read! Having recently discovered Doctor Who, I found this book rather entertaining, as you could imagine David Tennant's sound of voice and spirit in the dialogues.

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Anne Lamott: Bird by Bird

"Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten ears old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he'd had three months to write. [It] was due the next day. We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead. Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother's shoulder, and said, 'Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.'"

Superb writing advice... hilarious, helpful and provocative. -- A warm, generous and hilarious guide through the writer's world and its treacherous swamps. -- A gift to all of us mortals who write or ever wanted to write... sidesplittingly funny, patiently wise and alternately cranky and kind -- a reveille to get off our duffs and start writing "now," while we still can.