DanySpike

 

 Book lover. Crocheter. Broadway Star.

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The Troubled Man (Wallander #10) - Henning Mankell

The Troubled Man - Henning Mankell

It's always a bit nostalgic to finish a series, but I can't say I'm sad saying good bye to Wallander because I started to dislike him a few books ago. While this book had a very interesting plot, it had many, many holes and it left quite a lot of unexplained things. It was also very exasperating to read so many convenient things that the author just put in there to make it easier for Wallander to discover the truth. Kurt has a question about the swedish navy and he just happens to have an old school friend who is an expert in that, although it's the first time we ever heard of him. Then he has a question about russian spies, and guess what? He ALSO happens to have a friend who was a russian desserter. Of course, this is the first time we learn about him and he disappears just as quickly as all the characters that Mankell includes just because he needs Wallander to know something.
And Kurt Wallander is just as annoying as ever. For instance, he decides to call Martinson on his free day, on a day where he is with his grandchildren and makes him come to his house right away, urgently, just to tell him something he could have easily told Martinsson over the phone. He totally abuses his position of power. And don't get me started on Linda Wallander because I'm going to lose my cool ;)

Anyway, although it did have some highlights, I'm glad this series is over and I'm giving this book 2,5 stars

Interesting!

18 books to watch for in February 2017

Reblogged from BookLikes:

 

There's no better way to survive the winter evenings than picking up new books. Here's a collection of February releases worth your attention. What are your bookish picks for this month?

 

Swimming Lessons - Claire Fuller Swimming Lessons - Claire Fuller  

Ingrid Coleman writes letters to her husband, Gil, about the truth of their marriage, but instead of giving them to him, she hides them in the thousands of books he has collected over the years. When Ingrid has written her final letter she disappears from a Dorset beach, leaving behind her beautiful but dilapidated house by the sea, her husband, and her two daughters, Flora and Nan. Twelve years later, Gil thinks he sees Ingrid from a bookshop window, but he’s getting older and this unlikely sighting is chalked up to senility. Flora, who has never believed her mother drowned, returns home to care for her father and to try to finally discover what happened to Ingrid.

 

King's Cage (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard King's Cage (Red Queen) - Victoria Aveyard 

In this breathless third installment to Victoria Aveyard’s bestselling Red Queen series, allegiances are tested on every side. And when the Lightning Girl's spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion? Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner. As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back. When blood turns on blood, and ability on ability, there may be no one left to put out the fire—leaving Norta as Mare knows it to burn all the way down. 

 

A Separation - Katie Kitamura A Separation - Katie Kitamura  

A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: it's time for them to separate. For the moment it's a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go look for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart, she's not even sure if she wants to find him. As her search comes to a shocking breaking point, she discovers she understands less than she thought she did about her relationship and the man she used to love. A searing, suspenseful story of intimacy and infidelity, A Separation lays bare what divides us from the inner lives of others. With exquisitely cool precision, Katie Kitamura propels us into the experience of a woman on edge, with a fiercely mesmerizing story to tell.

 

Pachinko - Min Jin Lee Pachinko - Min Jin Lee  

Profoundly moving and gracefully told, PACHINKO follows one Korean family through the generations, beginning in early 1900s Korea with Sunja, the prized daughter of a poor yet proud family, whose unplanned pregnancy threatens to shame them. Betrayed by her wealthy lover, Sunja finds unexpected salvation when a young tubercular minister offers to marry her and bring her to Japan to start a new life. So begins a sweeping saga of exceptional people in exile from a homeland they never knew and caught in the indifferent arc of history. In Japan, Sunja's family members endure harsh discrimination, catastrophes, and poverty, yet they also encounter great joy as they pursue their passions and rise to meet the challenges this new home presents. Through desperate struggles and hard-won triumphs, they are bound together by deep roots as their family faces enduring questions of faith, family, and identity.

 

Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones  

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell. All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns. But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above.

 

Universal Harvester - John Darnielle Universal Harvester - John Darnielle  

Jeremy works at the Video Hut in Nevada, Iowa. It’s a small town in the center of the state—the first a in Nevada pronounced ay. This is the late 1990s, and even if the Hollywood Video in Ames poses an existential threat to Video Hut, there are still regular customers, a rush in the late afternoon. It’s good enough for Jeremy: it’s a job, quiet and predictable, and it gets him out of the house, where he lives with his dad and where they both try to avoid missing Mom, who died six years ago in a car wreck. But when a local schoolteacher comes in to return her copy of Targets—an old movie, starring Boris Karloff, one Jeremy himself had ordered for the store—she has an odd complaint: “There’s something on it,” she says, but doesn’t elaborate. Two days later, a different customer returns a different tape, a new release, and says it’s not defective, exactly, but altered: “There’s another movie on this tape.” Jeremy doesn’t want to be curious, but he brings the movies home to take a look. And, indeed, in the middle of each movie, the screen blinks dark for a moment and the movie is replaced by a few minutes of jagged, poorly lit home video.

 

We Are Okay - Nina LaCour We Are Okay - Nina LaCour  

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart. An intimate whisper that packs an indelible punch, We Are Okay is Nina LaCour at her finest. This gorgeously crafted and achingly honest portrayal of grief will leave you urgent to reach across any distance to reconnect with the people you love.

 

All Our Wrong Todays: A Novel - Elan Mastai All Our Wrong Todays: A Novel - Elan Mastai  

You know the future that people in the 1950s imagined we’d have? Well, it happened. In Tom Barren’s 2016, humanity thrives in a techno-utopian paradise of flying cars, moving sidewalks, and moon bases, where avocados never go bad and punk rock never existed...because it wasn’t necessary. Except Tom just can’t seem to find his place in this dazzling, idealistic world, and that’s before his life gets turned upside down. Utterly blindsided by an accident of fate, Tom makes a rash decision that drastically changes not only his own life but the very fabric of the universe itself. In a time-travel mishap, Tom finds himself stranded in our 2016, what we think of as the real world. For Tom, our normal reality seems like a dystopian wasteland. But when he discovers wonderfully unexpected versions of his family, his career, and—maybe, just maybe—his soul mate, Tom has a decision to make. Does he fix the flow of history, bringing his utopian universe back into existence, or does he try to forge a new life in our messy, unpredictable reality?

 

Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman Norse Mythology - Neil Gaiman  

Neil Gaiman has long been inspired by ancient mythology in creating the fantastical realms of his fiction. Now he turns his attention back to the source, presenting a bravura rendition of the great northern tales. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman stays true to the myths in envisioning the major Norse pantheon: Odin, the highest of the high, wise, daring, and cunning; Thor, Odin’s son, incredibly strong yet not the wisest of gods; and Loki―son of a giant―blood brother to Odin and a trickster and unsurpassable manipulator.

 

Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life - Yiyun Li Dear Friend, from My Life I Write to You in Your Life - Yiyun Li  

Yiyun Li grew up in China and has spent her adult life as an immigrant in a country not her own. She has been a scientist, an author, a mother, a daughter—and through it all she has been sustained by a profound connection with the writers and books she loves. From William Trevor and Katherine Mansfield to Søren Kierkegaard and Philip Larkin, Dear Friend is a journey through the deepest themes that bind these writers together. Interweaving personal experiences with a wide-ranging homage to her most cherished literary influences, Yiyun Li confronts the two most essential questions of her identity: Why write? And why live?

 

The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes Novel) - Brittany Cavallaro The Last of August (Charlotte Holmes Novel) - Brittany Cavallaro  

In the second brilliant, action-packed book in the Charlotte Holmes trilogy, Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are in a chase across Europe to untangle a web of shocking truths about the Holmes and Moriarty families. Jamie and Charlotte are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved Uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers. So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

 

Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders Lincoln in the Bardo - George Saunders  

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying.

 

The Education of Margot Sanchez - Lilliam Rivera The Education of Margot Sanchez - Lilliam Rivera  

After “borrowing” her father’s credit card to finance a more stylish wardrobe, Margot Sanchez suddenly finds herself grounded. And by grounded, she means working as an indentured servant in her family’s struggling grocery store to pay off her debts. With each order of deli meat she slices, Margot can feel her carefully cultivated prep school reputation slipping through her fingers, and she’s willing to do anything to get out of this punishment. Lie, cheat, and maybe even steal… Margot’s invitation to the ultimate beach party is within reach and she has no intention of letting her family’s drama or Moises—the admittedly good looking but outspoken boy from the neighborhood—keep her from her goal.

 

Darling, I'm Going to Charlie: A Memoir - Maryse Wolinski Darling, I'm Going to Charlie: A Memoir - Maryse Wolinski  

An elegant, deeply felt memoir from Maryse Wolinski—journalist and widow of the late cartoonist Georges Wolinski, who died in the terrorist attack on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo—that is both a beautiful tribute to her late husband and a rallying call to action. “Darling, I’m going to Charlie.” These were the last words that prolific satirical cartoonist Georges Wolinski said to his wife, Maryse, as he left for work. Two hours later, terrorists barged into the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo magazine, fatally shooting him and eleven others

 

The Impossible Fortress - Jason Rekulak The Impossible Fortress - Jason Rekulak  

Until May 1987, fourteen-year-old Billy Marvin of Wetbridge, New Jersey, is a nerd, but a decidedly happy nerd. Afternoons are spent with his buddies, watching copious amounts of television, gorging on Pop-Tarts, debating who would win in a brawl (Rocky Balboa or Freddy Krueger? Bruce Springsteen or Billy Joel? Magnum P.I. Or T.J. Hooker?), and programming video games on his Commodore 64 late into the night. Then Playboy magazine publishes photos of Wheel of Fortune hostess Vanna White, Billy meets expert programmer Mary Zelinsky, and everything changes. A love letter to the 1980s, to the dawn of the computer age, and to adolescence—a time when anything feels possible—The Impossible Fortress will make you laugh, make you cry, and make you remember in exquisite detail what it feels like to love something—or someone—for the very first time.

 

Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women's Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics - Marjorie J. Spruill Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women's Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics - Marjorie J. Spruill  

Although much has been written about the role that social issues have played in politics, little attention has been given to the historical impact of women activists on both sides. DIVIDED WE STAND reveals how the battle between feminists and their conservative challengers divided the nation as Democrats continued to support women's rights and Republicans cast themselves as the party of family values. The women's rights movement and the conservative women's movement have irrevocably affected the course of modern American history. We cannot fully understand the present without appreciating the events leading up to Houston and thereafter.

 

To Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death - Mark O'ConnellTo Be a Machine: Adventures Among Cyborgs, Utopians, Hackers, and the Futurists Solving the Modest Problem of Death - Mark O'Connell  

Transhumanism is a movement pushing the limits of our biology—our senses, intelligence, and lifespans—in the hopes that, with technology, we can become something better, something other, than ourselves. For decades, transhumanism has been quietly exerting its influence, but in the last few years it has achieved critical mass, finding support among Silicon Valley billionaires and some of the world’s biggest businesses. Where is our obsession with technology leading us? What does the rise of AI mean not only for our offices and homes, but for our humanity? Could the technologies we create to help us eventually bring us to harm?  Addressing these questions and more, O'Connell presents a thoughtful, provocative, often hilarious look at a growing movement.
 

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce - Morgan Parker There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyonce - Morgan Parker  

There Are More Beautiful Things Than Beyoncé uses political and pop-cultural references as a framework to explore 21st century black American womanhood and its complexities: performance, depression, isolation, exoticism, racism, femininity, and politics. The poems weave between personal narrative and pop-cultural criticism, examining and confronting modern media, consumption, feminism, and Blackness. This collection explores femininity and race in the contemporary American political climate, folding in references from jazz standards, visual art, personal family history, and Hip Hop. The voice of this book is a multifarious one: writing and rewriting bodies, stories, and histories of the past, as well as uttering and bearing witness to the truth of the present, and actively probing toward a new self, an actualized self. This is a book at the intersections of mythology and sorrow, of vulnerability and posturing, of desire and disgust, of tragedy and excellence.

 

Finders Keepers (Bill Hodges #2) - Stephen King

Finders Keepers: A Novel - Stephen King

In my opinion, the second book in the series is not as good as the first one. There were too many things that just "casually" fit in the story, so it didn't feel real. For instance, the characters had a million options to consider in a given circumstance, but somehow they immediately jumped to the correct conclusion. And after arriving to said conclusion, they inevitably made the wrong decision each time.


I really liked reading about Holly, Jerome and even Billy, but Peter and Morris did not manage to be interesting enough for me, so I'm giving this book 3 stars

A great Reckoning (Armand Gamache #12) - Louise Penny

A Great Reckoning - Louise Penny

A Great Reckoning takes place between Three Pines and the Police Academy, where Gamache is the new Chief Superintendent. Of course, someone gets killed and the pursue of the killer begins, but, as always with Louise Penny's Gamache mysteries, there is so much more than that and that's why I love this series.
I also love visiting Three Pines. I didn't realize how much I missed these characters until I got to read them again, but I did miss them and I'd really like to meet them in real life.
Five stars.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe - Benjamin Alire Sáenz

What a sweet book. A few clichès here and there, but I really, really liked this book. I fell in love with Ari, with Dante, and with their parents. By itself, I would probably have given it 4 or 4.5 stars. But with Lin-Manuel Miranda as the narrator, I was blown away. He does such an amazing job. Five stars!

The Diviners (The Diviners #1) - Libba Bray

The Diviners - Libba Bray

3,5 stars!

 

This book is called The Diviners, but weirdly enought, although you do know who they are, they don't really do anything and they never get together! They keep being the separated entities they were before the start of the book.

I feel like this was just an introductory chapter to the rest of the story - even the murders appear not to be really solved - so everything is just presented to you, they tell you that something is going to happen, someday, probably someday soon, but not now. This makes me very interested in reading the second book, but leaves me feeling a bit cheated with the first one.
However, I did enjoy getting to know all these different characters, I loved to know a little more about New York City all those years ago and I'm really looking forward to read the second book, so I'm very glad I picked up this book.

Mr. Mercedes (Bill Hodges Trilogy #1) - Stephen King

Mr Mercedes - Stephen King

Although the ex-detective is an idiot who apparently forgot all about procedure and common sense, the other characters were smart and helpful, and I liked them a lot. The middle of the book lagged a bit, but the beginning and end were really engaging. Four stars! 

Shadow and Bone (The Grisha #1) - Leigh Bardugo

Shadow and Bone - Lauren Fortgang, Leigh Bardugo

Although this book is a variation of everything we've read before, I still had a lot of fun while reading it and I liked it very much. Yes, most of what happens is expected or predictable, but the author writes it so beautifully that I didn't care. I must say, however, that I don't feel the attraction she's supposed to feel for Mal, and I can't help looking at him as her brother and not a romantic partner, so that was a bit awkward in certain scenes.  But I really liked this book and I will continue with this series :)

Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Christ's childhood pal - Christopher Moore

Lamb: The Gospel According to Biff, Christ's Childhood Pal - Christopher Moore

I loved, loved, loved this book! Definitely one of my favorites of the year! <3

Before the Frost (Linda Wallander #1) - Henning Mankell

Before the Frost - Henning Mankell, Ebba Segerberg

As it turns out, Linda is an insufferable idiot and Kurt a permanently angry man. I normally like Wallander books but this one was exasperating. Two stars.

The Elite (The Selection #2) - Kiera Cass

The Elite - Kiera Cass

I don't understand myself. Everything is infuriatingly childish and there were so many silly situations, I kept rolling my eyes constantly. But I couldn't stop reading, I was and still am interested in knowing what's going to happen next, so I will be continuing with the series. Three stars? My brain says 2,5 stars, but since I did enjoy the book, I guess three will have to be!

Last Rituals - Yrsa Sigurdardóttir

Last Rituals - Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Bernard Scudder

I'm torn between 2.5 and 3 stars. The mystery was well developed and interesting, but I hated the main character, Thora. What a childish, immature, stupid woman. I understand that not all MC can be super smart but she is so stupid it makes you want to hit her. Her 6-year-old daughter tells her that her 16-year-old brother spends his afternoons "jumping on the bed and making strange noises" and Thora can't imagine what he could be doing?? Come on. And don't get me started with how she refers to her secretary because she is fat. Granted, the secretary is a terrible one but all Thora says about her are mean things about her weight. It was offensive and unnecesary. Horrible, horrible main character. But as I said, the mystery was an interesting one and that kept me reading, so that's why I'm torn about the rating. I don't know if I'll continue with the series yet. I think I need some time away from Thora before I decide.

Champion (Legend #3) - Marie Lu

Champion: A Legend Novel - Marie Lu

No spoilers! A great ending to the series, even though a few parts were a bit hard to believe. But still, I'm satisfied with the way it ended, especially because one of the things that bothered be about the first book was that none of the characters was well developed and you can see the author growing in that aspect. Entertaining to the last page, I will continue reading other series by Marie Lu :)

The hypnotist (Joona Linna #1) - Lars Kepler

The Hypnotist - Lars Kepler, Ann Long

I'm torn between 2,5 or 3 stars. Too many plot holes and unexplained, unnecessary things. There was zero communication between the characters which made them make so many stupid mistakes, it was unnerving. Just talk to each other, damn it! I didn't like most of the characters although I didn't dislike the Detective. I didn't like him either, he just... was. However, the dismemberment story was interesting, so maybe I'll give this series another try with the next one.

Legend (legend #01) - Marie Lu

Legend - Marie Lu

There is absolutely nothing new or unpredictable in this book, but it was so much fun. The characters are a bit flat, but the MCs are very likeable and the story was very fast-paced and action-packed. I will continue the series!

Paper Girls Vol.1 - Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang

Paper Girls Volume 1 - Cliff Chiang, Brian K. Vaughan

Very interesting first volume! It kind of reminded me of Stranger Things/Goonies/etc.
I really want to see where the story goes!