Thursday, May 31, 2007

an idea for a challenge - won't start too soon, though!

Well, I've been thinking about all those series I've started, but not finished at various points in my life. Be it series with the same characters, the same topic, by the same author... There are just so many of which I read maybe the first few books and then left off because of other series I wanted to give a try. And by no means did I "leave" those series because I didn't like what I read!

I doubt I'm the only one, so I thought it would be a fun challenge. I'll have to come up with a time frame, most likely one that is longer than the "average 4-5 months"... And I won't give a maximum or minimum number of books - for a certain reason ;-)

I have a list with a lot, but certainly not all the series I started - and I have 56 series on that list.

What I have not yet come up with is a proper name and a time frame. I'm just not sure how many months I'd like to "put up" for this. So, I'm open to suggestions! If you have an idea or a thought for a name or time frame, leave a comment!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

de Graaf/Wann/Naylor - Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic

Since I forgot to post the opening post for this book I'm going to post all the information together :-)

Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic
236 pages
Berrett Koehler

affluenza, n. a painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety, and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more.

Based on two highly acclaimed PBS documentaries,
Affluenza uses the metaphor of a disease to tackle a very serious subject: the damage done - to our health, our families, our communities, and our environment - by the obsessive quest for material gain. The authors show that problems like loneliness, rising debt, longer working hours, environmental pollution, family conflict ad rampant commercialism are actually symptoms caused by the same "disease": affluenza.
Affluenza presents the symptoms - stress of excess, family convulsions, dilated pupils, resource exhaustion - along with their historical and cultural origins. Most importantly, the book explores causes and cures, such as the "new frugality" an "voluntary simplicity" movements, and suggests strategies for rebuilding families and communities and for restoring and respecting the earth.
Engaging, fast-paced, and accessible,
Affluenza takes a hard look at a complex and serious issue, revealing ways of living and working that make more sense and are, ultimately, more satisfying. After all, the best things in life aren't things.

First sentence:
"Imagine, if you will, the following scene:
In his office, a doctor offers his diagnosis to an attractive, expensiely dressed female patient."

Well, what can I say? Basically, the backcover blurb tells it all. I enjoyed that each chapter began with a short, fictional scene to introduce what the authors would talk about afterwards.
The only negative aspect were some lengthy parts that were really boring. But those passed and it got back to the interesting part soon again.

I think I got some ideas out of the books for my future life, though the test showed that I'm doing okay in my life. But then, what can you expect from a student? It's not like I have much money...

If you are interested in this epidemic that we have to buy and have to have "it all", then I can only recommend this book.

Rating: B+

Monday, May 28, 2007

Argh! May reads all together!

Okay, since I completely forgot to post my May reads so far, I decided to post the two books I read (embarrassing as it is, I really only read 2 books so far this month).

Lope de Vega: Fuente Ovejuna (A-)
This was a Spanish drama I read for class, and I really don't understand why this is not exactly well-known.
The story is set in ancient Spain, around 1611/1612. The citizens of Fuente Ovejuna suffer under the Commander, who ruled rather random and took what he wanted, until the citizens decided to do something about it actively.

Carolyn Haines: Buried Bones; 354 pages (A-)
When Sarah Booth Delaney gets an invite to Lawrence Ambrose's dinner party, she of course has to get there. At the party, Lawrence, once a famous author, announces that he is planning a comeback with an autobiography, a tell-all written with the help of former model Brianna Rathbone. When he explains that he will reveal Zinnia's darkest secrets, it becomes obvious that everyone there has a secret of some sorts - and wants Ambrose to keep it. When Lawrence Ambrose is found dead everyone is a suspect, and Madame, one of Lawrence's friends, hires Sarah Booth to solve the murder.

I loved this mystery a lot. It took me ages to read it, but it was totally worth my time. If I hadn't been so busy with university, I would have finished it a lot earlier. This second in series holds the promises the first made. The characters are well developed and we find out more about them. I can only recommend this series :-)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Yet another challenge...

Okay, I'm sort of crazy, but hey... ;-)

I will also join the RBL Summer Mystery Reading Challenge.

The rules in short are:
Read 6 my2steries by new-to-you-authors between June 1 and August 31. Audio books are okay. In order to keep everyone up to date, there will be a SMRS post every day where one is supposed to post updates. Also, and this is the fun part - you don't have to create a reading list before you're actually starting. You just go ahead with the list as you are reading.

Therefore I will not post a list, not even a temp list.

And another challenge...

Well, let's just admit it - I won't succeed at my "no more challenges for this year" policy. I have no chance with all those wonderful challenges out there ;-)

The one I joined not long ago is Debi's Medical Mystery Challenge.

The basic rules are:

WHAT: Pick anywhere from 2 or more medical mysteries/thrillers to read and discuss with fellow medical thriller fans.

WHEN: June 1 to November 1

WHO: Anyone

So here are my books:
1. Tess Gerritsen - The Apprentice
2. Kathy Reichs - Dejà Dead
3. Eileen Dreyer - With A Vengeance (at least I think that's the title of the Dreyer I have...)

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

German reads in April

Tess Gerritsen's The Sinner; #3 Detective Jane Rizzoli & doc Maura Isles; B+
I'm reading this series first backwards (I started with #4, Body Double) and once I arrived at the first I'll read the rest in order. I really enjoyed this installment, though not as much as I enjoyed Body Double. I think this might be due to the fact that Maura had to deal with Victor, the slime ball. I despised that man from the very first second he appeared. Otherwise I really enjoyed the mystery and the character development (though for me it was more backwards ;-) ).

Nora Roberts' River's End; B
It was a nice book, but not what I am used from her books. A "standard Roberts" usually gets a B+, with this one, I really liked the mystery, but it did not live up to my expectations. There were so many characters and two of them didn't have a real chance to get to know each other, as I think they would have deserved. That, though, is not my decision, so I tried to ignore it best as I could. I really enjoyed the main characters, though.

Nora Roberts' Rebellion; B+
See, I told you a "standard Roberts" gets a B+ ;-) It was one of the first, if not the first of the MacGregor books. Since it is set in ancient Scotland and England, I also got to enjoy the terms from "way back then" and I really enjoyed it.

Nora Roberts' In From The Cold; B+
I read this one right after Rebellion and it is also a MacGregor book. This time set in the US starting about the day of what is known as the Boston Tea Party and ending the year after. One of the MacGregors falls for a good-looking but rather "grumpy" American while he is on a "vacation" in the US. Only with is Aunt's intervention is he able to right some mistakes he did at first ;-) Great book and certainly a fun, but too short read!