Witty Little Knitter

I read fantasy, crime, true crime, lgbt-romance and books written by my favourite comedians. List not necessarily complete.
Sometimes I write for Bibliodaze
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Day 25: Your Guilty Pleasure Novel

Fatal Shadows - Josh Lanyon Life Lessons - Kaje Harper

Oh...well.

Day 24: Novel that reminds you of your (English) teacher

Adressat unbekannt - Kathrine Kressmann Taylor

Well we did also read stuff in English but I remember the plays (Macbeth, An Inspector Calls) much better than the novels (Lord of the Flies...and...ehm...other books) so I'll go for a book that reminds me of my German Teacher (even though the author is American...) who really loved this book and told us that she has gifted the book to pretty much all of her friends. 

I also really enjoyed the book (*cough* unlike the other books we read with that teacher...Nachgetragene Liebe was incredibly boring) and a while ago found an audiobook-version that was read by one of my favourite actors (Matthias Brandt...he could read a toaster-manual and I would listen) which is equally awesome.

Review: The Silkworm

The Silkworm - Robert Galbraith,J.K. Rowling

Read the Review also on Bibliodaze

 

Cormoran Strike is the illegitimate child of a famous rock-star who lost one leg in Afghanistan. Not exactly experiences that the majority of readers share or have an easy time imagining. Still he feels much more real and relatable than many of his colleagues that have a less unusual backstory.

 

While I occasionally have problems imagining that crime-novel protagonists have life outside their work Strike seems like somebody who has a complicated but overall healthy private life: he shares dirty jokes with friends that date back to the days when they were at school together, suffers through awkward family-dinners with a brother-in-law he can’t stand and yells at the television when his football-club manages to lose after leading 2:0 at half-time. Despite all that the book also doesn’t fall in the opposite trap and makes you suffer through countless chapters on Strike’s private problems that have no relevance on the crime-plot.

 

Robin, Strike’s assistant, who admittedly stayed a bit colourless in the first book also gets more attention in this one. Still the secrecy surrounding parts of her past gets annoying after all the vague allusions about a big event that made her drop out of university without giving any more details. I assume we will learn more about it in the future books but I am not a big fan of the way the book handles it.

 

The crime-plot itself is everything one can wish for. It’s engaging and full of surprising twists that make it completely unpredictable. I was also glad that while the brutal and gruesome murder that the cover promises is certainly no hyperbole it never feels like it’s done for mere shock-value. There is just enough description to leave no doubt that it was a horrible murder but it doesn’t dwell on it for longer than necessary.

 

Bot sadly it does pull the same trick I already did not like in the first novel: Strike has a suspicion about who the killer is about 50 pages before the end. He shares this suspicion with Robin – but not with the readers. He tells Robin what she needs to do to find proof for his theory – but the readers only gets very vague hints about what it is. They have to wait for the big bang at the end to learn what exactly happened. I just can’t help but feel that this is a rather cheap trick to keep up the tension.

Still, despite these minor misgivings The Silkworm is one of the best crime-novels I've read in quite a while.

Day 23: Favorite novel with exotic background

Nordermoor - Arnaldur Indriðason,Coletta Bürling

I'm really struggling with this one...among other things because 'exotic' is one of those words that could mean so much (I mean...could a make a case for USA being exotic for me? I've never been there :P) but I'll go with 'place that is quite far away (oh...more or less) and not a common setting for books': Iceland.

Indridason's Erlendur crime-novels are really great and Nordermoor is definitely my favourite.

Day 22: The Novel you most like to give to friends

Roter Drache In Aspik: Das Fantasy Kochbuch - Sascha Storz,Adalbert Dichbauchens

I have to cheat here and pick a non-novel. Because while I tend to gift a lot of books there is none I gave more than once as I tend to choose presents based on what my friends like not based on 'I loved this and you HAVE to love it as well'. What I have given to more than one friend (and have the vague intention to give it to more) is this great cookbook for fantasy-lovers that features recipes with dragon, basilisk or wolpertinger-meat (with notes saying that for the unlikely case you can't find that you could replace it with rabbit/fish etc.) It is really a cute book and many recipes also include a little story about how the author encountered his first basilisk/dragon.

I do heartily recommend this book if you are in search of a present for your (German-speaking) fantasy-loving friend who also likes to cook)

The 50 Shades of Grey Trailer Drinking Game

Reblogged from The Book Lantern:

The film trailer's premièring this month. I suggest alcohol, if that's your thing. 

FREE BOOKS!!! -----> BLACK BEAST AND FEARSCAPE ---> Thru July 31st!

Reblogged from The Armchair Librarian:

Do you like free books? Then please reblog! <3

 

FEARSCAPE and BLACK BEAST were enrolled in Smashwords' Summer/Winter promotion giveaway! Enter the code SW100 at checkout to get them both for free!

Black Beast:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/425387

Fearscape:
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/412064

Offer valid until July 31st!

Day 21: the novel you expected to hate but ended up loving

And this is where I should have read all the question before posting my answers because I answered that already on Novel that surprised you most (and on Lucky Dip) as well and now I am out of books that fit this criteria. I might have been positively surprised occasionally (like with Carola Dunn's Lady Daisy novels which I also already mentioned, I really did not expect to like them as much as I did) or hated books slightly less than expected (a handful of books we had to read at school ^^) but otherwise I am out of answers for this one.

Day 20: Your Desert Island Novel

The Hobbit & The Lord of the Rings - J.R.R. Tolkien

My first instinct was to pick Harry Potter but even with cheating and taking all seven they would not keep me entertained for that long because I can't help but rush through them everytime. (No seriously...it took me three re-reads till I did not binge-read the first three in one night anymore). LOTR is something I can actually read slowly and also a coupke of times because there is so much that I haven't discovered/already forgotten since the last time I read it.

Review: Tödliches Bayern

Tödliches Bayern: Kriminalfälle aus zwei Jahrhunderten (German Edition) - Robert Hültner

Nachdem ich den Klappentext nur überflogen hatte hat mich der Beginn gleich überrascht. Ich hatte nämlich eher ein Sachbuch über Mordfälle in Bayern erwartet aber das Buch las sich eindeutig eher wie ein Roman/Erzählung. Eine genauere Untersuchung des bis dahin übersehenen Vorwortes brachte Klarheit: die Fälle über berichtet wird haben sich tatsächlich ereignet, aber (besonders bei denen vom Beginn der beschriebenen 200 Jahre) die Quellenlage ist lückenhaft und/oder widersprüchlich. Um eine zusammenhängende Geschichte zu bekommen muss ein wenig spekuliert werden und fiktionale Personen müssen 'aushelfen'. Damit habe ich an sich kein Problem. Hans Pfeiffer hat auch sehr ähnlich gearbeitet und genau wie der liest sich Hültner sehr flüssig und kurzweilig. Was aber störend ist, ist die Tatsache das für mich Fiktion und Realität in den Erzählungen zu sehr ineinander fließen. Wo die nackten Tatsachen aufhören und die Phantasie des Autors anfängt ist nicht klar ersichtlich. Besonders wenn einem Richter in einem Mordprozess aus den 60ern in inneren Monologen Sympathien fürs NS-Regime nachgesagt werden ist das schon irgendwie problematisch. Ganz besonders weil man als Leser keine Möglichkeit hat das selbst nachzuprüfen denn Quellenangaben Bibliographien sind nicht vorhanden. Überhaupt nicht. Selbst wenn (was wahrscheinlich ist) der größte Teil aus verstaubten Archiven stammt zu denen man als Normalsterblicher kaum Zugang bekommen wird wäre es trotzdem schön zu wissen woher der Autor seine Informationen hat.

Unverständlich ist auch warum bei den neueren Fälle keine Informationen zum Strafmaß zu finden sind. Es ist verständlich das hier Namen geändert wurden um die möglicherweise noch lebenden Angehörigen zu schützen aber warum auch das verschwiegen wird erschließt sich mir wirklich nicht.

Nach so viel Gemecker: die Auswahl der Fälle war sehr gut. Im Vorwort erklärt der Autor, dass er nach solchen gesucht hat die symbolisch für die Zeit in der sie passiert sind stehen und das ist eindeutig gelungen. Vom mörderischen Priester der seine Taten zu einem Zeitpunkt begangen hat als der Klerus schon so viel Einfluss verloren hatte das das nicht mehr unter den Tisch gekehrt werden konnte aber noch genug hatte dass er abgesehen vom Verlust seiner Ämter noch relativ glimpflich davonkam über die sprichwörtlich auf dem rechten Auge blinde Justitia aus der Zeit zwischen den Weltkriegen bis zur Verwirrung der Nachkriegsjahre ist keiner der Fälle eben 'einfach nur' ein Mord sondern irgendwie auch symbolisch für ein ganzes Land (/Bundesland/Königreich). 

Day 19: Most Memorable Plot Twist

Broken Homes - Ben Aaronovitch

Let's say I was very surprised at the end. Very.

Day 18: Favourite Crime Novel of all time

Well-Schooled in Murder - Elizabeth  George The Fifth Woman - Henning Mankell,Steven T. Murray The cuckoo's calling - Robert Galbraith Murder On The Orient Express - Agatha Christie Strong Poison - Dorothy L. Sayers

That question is a lot like the question about the favourite fantasy novel. How do you expect me to choose one?

 

Well-Schooled in Murder: I am falling out of love with Elisabeth George...or rather I already have because I didn't even manage to finish her most recent one but that does not change the fact that her early work is awesome. There used to be only 2 1/2 authors that could make me go 'Oh I'll just read a bit more and then go to bed...why is it suddenly 2 o'clock at night?' and they were George, Rowling and occasionally Pratchett

 

The Fifth Woman: I start with a confession: I have issues with many of Mankell's books and don't think he is as awesome as he is sometimes made out to be. However some of his books aren't just good. They are brilliant and The Fifth Woman is one of them.

 

The Cuckoo's Calling: Yes I have no trouble admitting that. I think it's great. In fact it reminds me a lot of Elizabeth George's earlier (and better) books.

 

Murder on the Orient Express: Do you really have to ask?

 

Strong Poison: *making incoherent squeing noises while yelling 'I LOVE PETER AND HARRIET'*

Day 17: The Novel that surprised you

Rubinrot - Kerstin Gier

When I started reading (or rather listening as it was the audiobook) I fully expected to hate it (why did I start it then? Well I wanted to mock it relentlessly on GR). But I ended up really enjoying it. Yes there is some plot-induced stupidity but the heroine is funny, the love-interest refreshingly non-creepy (yeah...low standards) and so many bits are absolutely hilarious. 

Reading progress update: I've read 18%.

Drachenklingen: Roman (German Edition) - Pierre Pevel

This book has won the David Gemmel Newcommer award.

I do wonder what the other nominees were like because...well this book is

 

To be fair: the plot is decent and could be really interesting if it wasn't drowned in description that read like a straight teenage boy's fantasy. Every woman that appeared so far is incredibly hot, the men are all awesome fighters (I lost count of the times they duelled alone against three or more opponents and still won...and I'm not even 1/3 through the book). Everybody also has super-awesome and special weapons made from super awesome and special materials...

 

We also get a gem of a dialogue that went like this;

A: I would not go in there if I were you

B: I would get out of my way if I were you

And then the text informs us that this comment by B is witty.Because going 'LOL no you do' is clearly the epitome of wittiness.

 

Day 16: Favourite Novel to take to the beach

Das Alabastergrab (German Edition) - Helmut Vorndran

I haven't had a beach-holidays in ages. I'm more a city-trip or nature/hiking-type of person. I also don't really do holiday-reads. I always read what I feel like...but assuming this question means vaguely 'books that require slightly less brain-power than average' then I'll go for Lokalkrimis a genre that I think exists really only in Germany and I admit that there is a lot of crap out there but inbetween there is some really great stuff like Helmut Vorndran who writes hilarious and engaging books.

Day 15: Lucky Dip

20000 leagues under the sea - Juliusz Verne

It's the first book we had to read in school that I actually enjoyed. We read it in 7th grade (so we were 12/13 then) Before we had read a couple of random kids/MG-books I found really really boring and I expected to hate 20000 Leagues as well (I was really into Famous Five and similar series where kids solve burglaries or bring back kidnapped animals at that time and so did not expect to enjoy anything that did not involve these sings) but I ended up loving it and developing a great fondness for Jules Verne.

Currently reading

Drachenklingen: Roman (German Edition) by Pierre Pevel
Progress: 18%
Krieg und Frieden by Leo Tolstoy, Michael Grusemann
Progress: 520/1024pages
Stephen and Matilda by Jim Bradbury
Progress: 52/262pages
From Hell by Alan Moore,Eddie Campbell,Pete Mullins
Progress: 40/539pages