Bookshelf: 2016

Aaaaand 2016! Never thought I would post this entry before the end of 2020.
But I fucking did it! Let's dive right in!

(Also, I was clever enough to take notes IN the books... at least a few times.)

Source: Goodreads
Living Dolls: The Return of Sexism by Natasha Walter
"Empowerment, liberation, choice. Once the watchwords of feminism, these terms have now been co-opted by a society that sells women an airbrushed, highly sexualised and increasingly narrow vision of femininity. While the opportunities available to women may have expanded, the ambitions of many young girls are in reality limited by a culture that sees women's sexual allure as their only passport to success. At the same time we are encouraged to believe that the inequality we observe all around us is born of innate biological differences rather than social factors. Drawing on a wealth of research and personal interviews, Natasha Walter, author of the groundbreaking THE NEW FEMINISM and one of Britain's most incisive cultural commentators, gives us a straight-talking, passionate and important book that makes us look afresh at women and girls, at sexism and femininity, today." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★★

Good lord. Again no memory. I should really get better in taking notes, ugh. But it probably was worth a read? Hahaha.

Source: Goodreads
The Swarm by Frank Schätzing
"Whales begin sinking ships. Toxic, eyeless crabs poison Long Island's water supply. The North Sea shelf collapses, killing thousands in Europe. Around the world, countries are beginning to feel the effects of the ocean's revenge as the seas and their inhabi-tants begin a violent revolution against mankind. In this riveting novel, full of twists, turns, and cliffhangers, a team of scientists discovers a strange, intelligent life force called the Yrr that takes form in marine animals, using them to wreak havoc on humanity for our ecological abuses. Soon a struggle between good and evil is in full swing, with both human and suboceanic forces battling for control of the waters. At stake is the survival of the Earth's fragile ecology -- and ultimately, the survival of the human race itself.
The apocalyptic catastrophes of The Day After Tomorrow meet the watery menace of The Abyss in this gripping, scientifically realistic, and utterly imaginative thriller. With 1.5 million copies sold in Germany -- where it has been on the bestseller list without fail since its debut -- and the author's skillfully executed blend of compelling story, vivid characters, and eerie locales, Frank Schatzing's The Swarm will keep you in tense anticipation until the last suspenseful page is turned." [Source: Goodreads]

Source: ★★★★✰

Very long at times, not less interesting. Definitely worth a read if you're still thinking about it. Makes you think about the way we treat our planet. Plus, no white lead character for once, ffs.

Source: Goodreads
Catching Fire (The Hunger Games #2) by Suzanne Collins
"Sparks are igniting. Flames are spreading. And the Capitol wants revenge.
Against all odds, Katniss has won the Hunger Games. She and fellow District 12 tribute Peeta Mellark are miraculously still alive. Katniss should be relieved, happy even. After all, she has returned to her family and her longtime friend, Gale. Yet nothing is the way Katniss wishes it to be. Gale holds her at an icy distance. Peeta has turned his back on her completely. And there are whispers of a rebellion against the Capitol - a rebellion that Katniss and Peeta may have helped create.
Much to her shock, Katniss has fueled an unrest she's afraid she cannot stop. And what scares her even more is that she's not entirely convinced she should try. As time draws near for Katniss and Peeta to visit the districts on the Capitol's cruel Victory Tour, the stakes are higher than ever. If they can't prove, without a shadow of a doubt, that they are lost in their love for each other, the consequences will be horrifying.
In Catching Fire, the second novel in the Hunger Games trilogy, Suzanne Collins continues the story of Katniss Everdeen, testing her more than ever before...and surprising readers at every turn." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★★

See "Mockingjay".

Source: Goodreads
Mockingjay (The Hunger Games #3) by Suzanne Collins
"My name is Katniss Everdeen. Why am I not dead? I should be dead.
Katniss Everdeen, girl on fire, has survived, even though her home has been destroyed. Gale has escaped. Katniss's family is safe. Peeta has been captured by the Capitol. District 13 really does exist. There are rebels. There are new leaders. A revolution is unfolding.
It is by design that Katniss was rescued from the arena in the cruel and haunting Quarter Quell, and it is by design that she has long been part of the revolution without knowing it. District 13 has come out of the shadows and is plotting to overthrow the Capitol. Everyone, it seems, has had a hand in the carefully laid plans--except Katniss.
The success of the rebellion hinges on Katniss's willingness to be a pawn, to accept responsibility for countless lives, and to change the course of the future of Panem. To do this, she must put aside her feelings of anger and distrust. She must become the rebels' Mockingjay--no matter what the personal cost." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★★

For my taste the movies are way too much concentrated on the love story. That's why I enjoyed the books a lot more. Also I am a sucker for dystopic settings and riots against the facist state. And I found the end to be very realistic under the given circumstances.

Source: Google
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
"Moral allegory and spiritual autobiography, The Little Prince is the most translated book in the French language. With a timeless charm it tells the story of a little boy who leaves the safety of his own tiny planet to travel the universe, learning the vagaries of adult behaviour through a series of extraordinary encounters. His personal odyssey culminates in a voyage to Earth and further adventures." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★★

I loved it. Such a cute and dreamy book.

Source: Goodreads
How to be a Woman by Caitlin Moran
"Caitlin Moran puts a new face on feminism, cutting to the heart of women’s issues today with her irreverent, transcendent, and hilarious How to Be a Woman. “Half memoir, half polemic, and entirely necessary,” (Elle UK), Moran’s debut was an instant runaway bestseller in England as well as an Amazon UK Top Ten book of the year; still riding high on bestseller lists months after publication, it is a bona fide cultural phenomenon. Now poised to take American womanhood by storm, here is a book that Vanity Fair calls “the U.K. version of Tina Fey’s Bossypants….You will laugh out loud, wince, and—in my case—feel proud to be the same gender as the author." [Source: Goodreads]

Source: ★★★✰✰

Looked forward to reading this for years until rebuy finally had it at the same time I placed an order. While I like Caitlin for being so outspoken, loud, drunk and unapologetic, her views and language made me angry at times. And I don't mean the use of swearwords. Here are a few examples.

"So here is the quick way of working out if you're a feminist. Put your hand in your pants. a) Do you have a vagina? and b) Do you want to be in charge of it?" (p. 79)
Not every woman has a vagina, Caitlin. Being female/a woman is not limited to your genitals.

"The bra is, perhaps, the rudest item of women's clothing. If you you do not doubt this, try this simple test: throw a bra at a nine-year-old boy. He will react as if he has had a live rat wanged at his head. He will run, screaming, away from you - like that Vietnamese kid covered in napalm. He cannot handle the rudeness of bras." (p. 99)
What an unnecessary, shitty comparison.

Source: Goodreads
Apocalypse Now Now by Charlie Human
"Baxter Zevcenko is your average 16-year-old-boy. If by average you mean kingpin of a porn-peddling schoolyard syndicate, and a possible serial killer who suffers from weird historical dreams. Baxter is the first to admit that he’s not a nice guy. After all, high school IS a gaping, icy abyss and Baxter is not about to allow anybody to drag him down. That is until his girlfriend, Esme, is kidnapped and the clues point toward supernatural forces at work. Faced with navigating the increasingly bizarre landscape of Cape Town’s supernatural underworld, Baxter turns to the only person drunk enough to help: bearded, booze-soaked, supernatural bounty hunter, Jackson “Jackie” Ronin.
On a mission that takes them through the realms of possibility, they face every conceivable nightmare to rescue Esme, including the odd brush with the Apocalypse." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★★

Another lucky purchase. The cover looked so interesting. He looks like some sort of bad boy Harry Potter. lol
There's really no other way for me to discribe this book than the series Supernatural clashing with Quentin Tarantino. (Btw I'd watch the hell out of that!) And I really fell in love with the references to pop culture, like Harry Potter ("If I'm forced to play Quidditch, I swear, someone is going to get shot." p. 282) and Die Antwoord ("I think you're phoney and I like you a lot" title of chapter five, p. 74) (than again the author is from South Africa). One of the books I was extremly sad about to be through.

Quelle: Goodreads
27 von Kim Frank
"Mika hat Angst. Angst vor dem Tod. Dem Tod mit 27. Die Zahl verfolgt ihn, so wie sie die meisten großen Musiker verfolgt hat, die dann zu den Mitgliedern des Klub 27 wurden, doch Mika hat nichts mit Musik zu tun. Das Bewusstsein, niemand zu sein, treibt ihn dazu, jemand gewesen sein zu wollen, und er tut alles, um seinen selbst auferlegten Fluch zu erfüllen. Er wird einer der Großen, eine Ikone, lebt ein Leben, das er nicht mehr kontrollieren kann, das unaufhaltsam auf sein Ende zusteuert.
Er wird gewesen sein. Wird dazugehören. Er wird mit 27 sterben." [Quelle: Goodreads]

Source: ★★★★✰

Ich glaube dieses Buch habe ich irgendwann mal bei Tedi gekauft. Manchmal findet man dort einige Schätze, so wie diesen. Zwei Dinge haben mich dazu bewogen dieses Buch zu kaufen: Club 27 und Kim Frank. Ehrlich gesagt, war ich ziemlich gespannt, wie der ehemalige Sänger von Echt sind als Autor machen würde und es war keineswegs enttäuschend. Ich mochte die Story, den Stil, die Sprache etc. Wenn es euch also mal irgendwo über den Weg läuft: kaufen!

Source: Goodreads
Miss Peregine's Home for Peculiar Children (#1) by Ransom Riggs
"A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.
A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.
A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography, Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children will delight adults, teens, and anyone who relishes an adventure in the shadows." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★★

Oh, what a beautiful and mysterious novel. Since I am into collecting old photos myself, this book was such a treat! (And sometimes I got really jealous Ransom Riggs has such wonderful pictures in his collection, hahaha!)
I still need to see the movie and I am so so so afraid it won't live up to my expectations and Tim Burton might have changed too much about it. Looking forward to Eva Green as Miss Peregrine though.

Source: Goodreads
Sleepy Hollow and Other Stories by Washington Irving
"Originally entitled, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent, this collection of essays, sketches, and tales established Washington's reputation as America's foremost professional author. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Rip Van Winkle are classics of American fiction and display Irving's ability to depict American landscapes and culture. This volume also contains a number of gently ironic pieces about life in England that reflect the author's interest in the traditions of the Old World and his longings for his home in the New." [Source: Goodreads]

Source: ★✰✰✰✰

Eugh. This was one of the most boring books I've ever read. Sleepy Hollow is the last story in it, so I still tried to work my way through everything before that. And it was hard. Two or three stories I could give a mildly recommendation for. They were a bit on the spooky side. Other than that you will find a lot of travel reports which was something people really enjoyed at that time. Washington Irving's writing just made it so awfully dull.

Source: Goodreads
Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
"Victor Frankenstein dreams of creating life. As lightning flashes across the sky, his creature stirs. Will it be the perfect being he imagines, or a monster?" [Source: Goodreads]

Source: ★★★★✰

The first author of science fiction was a woman. And now tell me again how this genre is some guy thing. Fuck that.
The novel is writing from Victor Frankenstein's view, at one point the narration is taken over by "the monster" to tell the story according to his account which I found a lot more intruiging than the first. To see "the creature" being born into this world, finding his way.
I do prefere the very soft depiction of Caliban/John Clare on Penny Dreadful a lot more but it was wonderful to see where the original idea came from. Even if I had my problems with the old, florid use of the English language since I am not a native speaker.

Source: Goodreads
The Game: Penetrating the Secret Society of Pick-Up Artists by Neil Strauss
"Hidden somewhere, in nearly every major city in the world, is an underground seduction lair. And in these lairs, men trade the most devastatingly effective techniques ever invented to charm women. This is not fiction. These men really exist. They live together in houses known as Projects. And Neil Strauss, the bestselling author, spent two years living among them, using the pseudonym Style to protect his real-life identity. The result is one of the most explosive and controversial books of the year -- guaranteed to change the lives of men and transform the way women understand the opposite sex forever.
On his journey from AFC (average frustrated chump) to PUA (pick-up artist) to PUG (pick-up guru), Strauss not only shares scores of original seduction techniques but also has unforgettable encounters with the likes of Tom Cruise, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Heidi Fleiss, and Courtney Love. And then things really start to get strange -- and passions lead to betrayals lead to violence. The Game is the story of one man's transformation from frog to prince -- to prisoner in the most unforgettable book of the year. " [Source: Goodreads]

Source: ★✰✰✰✰

Ugh, I have so much to say about this fucking book. Just thinking about it makes me so awfully angry I wanna smash something. Patriarchy for starters.

To be honest, I thought this really would be some kind of exposing the shitty ways of pick-up artists (which it might also be) but first and foremost it is a manual.
Where to begin? Should I maybe just pick out some quotes? There's enough of them I marked in this book.

"When a man sees his friends after getting laid, they ask, "How'd it go?" And in return, he either gives them a thumbs up or a thumbs down. That's how it's done. To discuss the experience in detail would mean giving your friends mental images they don't really want to have. It is a taboo among men to picture their best friends naked or having sex, because then they might find themselves aroused - and we all know what that means." (p. 41)
Fragile homophobic masculinity. ;(

"As anyone who regularly reads newspapers or true-crime books knows, a significant percentage of violent crime, from kidnapping to shooting sprees, is the result of the frustrated sexual impulses and desires of males. By socializing guys like Sasha, Mystery and I were making the world a safer place." (p. 87)
Or just making it more misogynist by objectifying women. And how is manipulating people into sleeping with you any more safer?

"One of the tragedies of modern life is that women as a whole do not hold a lot of power in society, despite all the advances made in the last century. Sexual choice, however, is one of the only areas where women are indisputably in control." (p. 93)
Really? You must know.

"And I'd like to say that's how we all felt, that we all realized we'd become too consumed and came to our senses, that we put our lives in balance and got our prioities straight, that we relegated seduction to a glorified hobby." (p. 205)
How is this so called hobby more important then not disrespecting women in the first place? Oh, I forgot, your lack of self-esteem. Poor boy.

"Hea was a teeny indie-rocker nerd with a boyfriend. Randi was a cute actress with the most mischievous smile I'd ever seen, and a boyfriend. It took a month to convince Hea to cheat on her boyfriend; it took a day to convince Randi." (p. 211)
Yes, I know there always are two in this but... WHY?! Why does he need the fucking challenge to convince a woman to cheat on her boyfriend?

"Then, at your leisure, tell her she smells nice. Sniff her slowly, from the bottom of her neck to just below her ear. This is when you use the evolution phase-shift routine: smell her, bite her arm, let her bite your neck, bite her neck and then kiss. Unless she attacks you with lust, as you physically escalate continue talking to keep her mind occupied and pulling back just before she starts to get uncomfortable. You should always be the first one to object. This is called stealing her frame. The goal now is simply to arouse her without her feel pressured, used, or uneasy.
You make out, you remove her shirt, she removes your shirt, you start to remove her bra. What's this? She's stopping you from going any further? The PUAs have a name for this - last minute resistance, or LMR. Back up one or two steps, then continue. Wash, rinse, repeat. It's not real. It's just ASD - anti-slut defense. She doesn't want you to think she is easy. So you cuddle, you talk. She asks dumb questions like how many siblings you have; you answer honestly and make her feel comfortable again. Then you start from the top: You make out, then remove her bra. She lets you this time. You suck her breasts. She arches her back. She is aroused now. She gets on top of you and starts grinding. You are hard. You are excited. You want her.
You lift her off and begin to unbutton her pants. She pulls your hand away. "You're right, this is so bad," you agree, breathing heavily into her ear. "We shouldn't be doing this."
You make out more. You reach for the pants again. Wash, rinse, repeat. But she still stops you. So you blow out the candles, turn on the light, turn off the music, and ruin the atmosphere. Then you grab your laptop computer and check your e-mail while she lies there confused. This is called a freeze-out. She was feeling good a moment ago, enjoying your attention, your touch, and the intimacy of the room; now you're taking it all away.
She rolls over and starts kissing your chest, trying to reel you back in. You put down your computer, turn off the light, and return her affection. You reach for her pants. She stops you. She says you just met. You tell her you understand. You turn the light on again. She asks what you're doing. You tell her that when a woman says no, you respect that, but it pushes a button in you that turns everything off. You are not upset. You tell her this in a matter-of-fact voice. She rolls on top of you and whines, playfully, "No."
She wants to have sex. All she wants to know is that you're going to call her afterward, so that she feels good about what she did - even if she doesn't actually want to see you again. You let her know that.
You tell her, "Take off your pants."
She does. You enjoy yourselves and give each other many orgasms over the course of the night, the morning, and perhaps even for years afterward.
One morning, she asks you how many women you've been with.
This is the only time you're allowed to lie." (p. 217/218)
Let alone the parts in bold letters. And how is this fucking strategy respectful?

"Tyler Durden advocated a new mission. He called it Project Mayhem, in honor of Fight Club. And the directive was to run up to an attractive woman and - before even uttering a word - lightly body check her, whack her on the head with something soft, or physically accost her in some other playful manner." (p. 221)
First: What an insult to Tyler Durden and the book/movie.
Second: WTF.
Third: Nice supporting behaviour like that. He might not have done it himself but by not saying anything about it, you as good as have done it, pal.

"In the process of dehumanizing the opposite sex, I had also been dehumanizing myself." (p. 227)
Boohoooo. Even he realises this in the middle of the book, he still goes on being a pick-up artist.

"I thought about how Tyler Durden had constantly pestered Vision for routines and material. Now I understood why Vision had kicked him out of the house. He didn't seem to see the humanity in us. He didn't care about what we did for work; where we were from; or what our thoughts on culture, politics, and the world were.
There was a distinction he didn't seem to understand: We weren't just PUAs. We were people." (p. 229)

I could go on and on and on but honestly, I got a headache from just reading through half of the stuff I scribbled something next to.
Something I still want to mention is a story about a burlesque dancer who tells him about having herpes. After that he is too paranoid to sleep with her but hey, good job stating her name in this book and potentially ruining her career, you complete fucking turd.
And I could say so much more about this book, the author's and his friend's behaviour but I am so done right now. Done with straight white cis-men's pissing contests in every kind of way. 
Sincerely, go fuck yourself.

(On a side note: I enjoyed the parts about Courtney Love, especially when she lived at their place. That's what that one star is for.)

Source: Goodreads
Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
"The terrifyingly prophetic novel of a post-literate future.
Guy Montag is a fireman. His job is to burn books, which are forbidden, being the source of all discord and unhappiness. Even so, Montag is unhappy; there is discord in his marriage. Are books hidden in his house? The Mechanical Hound of the Fire Department, armed with a lethal hypodermic, escorted by helicopters, is ready to track down those dissidents who defy society to preserve and read books.
The classic dystopian novel of a post-literate future, Fahrenheit 451 stands alongside Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World as a prophetic account of Western civilization’s enslavement by the media, drugs and conformity.
Bradbury’s powerful and poetic prose combines with uncanny insight into the potential of technology to create a novel which, decades on from first publication, still has the power to dazzle and shock." [Source: Goodreads]

Source: ★★★★✰

Probably the same reason why I like The Hunger Games and mentioned 1984. People acting/working against (the will) of the facist authorities. Damn worth a read!

Source: Google
Skulduggery Pleasant (#1) by Derek Landy
"Stephanie's uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn't fiction. Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source - the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★★

Oh, I love this one and I can't wait to read the rest of the series. The humour is wonderful, Stephanie is a daring and cool young female lead character who is awfully clever!

Quelle: Google
Cthulhu Geistergeschichten von H.P. Lovecraft
"Seine grundlegende Idee, dass der Mensch sich fürchtet vor dem Unbekannten und Unheimlichen aus den unermeßlichen Tiefen des Universums, verwendete Lovecraft erfolgreich bei der Schöpfung seiner Cthulhu-Mythologie, die in den Erzählungen des vorliegenden Bandes Cthulhu das Kernstück bildet.
Der Cthulhu-Mythos ist eine Wiederbelebung alter Sagen und Dämonengeschichten im kosmischen Rahmen und stellt eine Verbindung zwischen Weird- und Science-Fiction her. [Quelle:]

Source: ★★★★✰

A few of Lovecraft's stories. While he never depicts the horror his characters experience in too much detail (sometimes saying it was so horrible, there was no describing it), his writing always leaves me with this weird feeling in my guts. The fear of something bigger, something cosmic, something inevitable.

Source: Goodreads
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling
"Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places." [Source: Goodreads]

Source: ★★★✰✰


Hm, how should I begin. Well, to get it out: I was pretty disappointed. Don't get me wrong, reading a new Harry Potter... I was so excited and I was happy to read about something about our golden trio again. And I did like that Harry wasn't being the most perfect parent ever, that he had his problems with Albus. It was rather realistic that the Ministry of Magic had not changed that much, even Hermione did influence it immensly, at least that was what it felt to me (and I was really bummed out by that fact). Also had my problems with Harry being a police officer. Yes, he always wanted to be an auror and they do a lot of good but I can't help the thought, they just might be like the muggle police. But that's just my opinion. Just as... the time traveling... again? Voldemort's daughter (though funny enough I always had the idea, he might have had a kid with Bellatrix)? This constant good talk about Snape? (He bullied Harry for fuck's sake.) And so much more I do not remember in detail right now. So... I am trying to push it in the fanfic box, even it is canon, hahaha. (Maybe it does work a lot better on stage.)
But thumbs up to everyone who liked/loved it. I am happy it brought all the joy of the previous books back for you!
Good I had Fantastic Beast and Where to Find Them to watch. It brought a lot of the feeling back from back of the days when the HP movies were released. Also I have an ungodly crush on Ezra Miller.

Phew, I finished my opinion on The Game last and all I want is hot chocolate right now (it's 00:10).
Boy, bye.

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