Anna Regeniter – Ein Jahr in London: Reise in den Alltag

This book has only appeared in German and is part of a book series that is somewhat of an experience report – people move from Germany into other parts of the world and describe their experience, „adventures“, and cultural quirks. In this book the author describes her life in London (over the time span of a year).

ein jahr in london

Taschenbuch
Verlag: Herder spektrum
veröffentlicht: 2007
Seiten: 192

Book on Amazon

Klappentext:

„Das war Jude Law!“ Sind die den alle blind? Die hinter mir lächelt beschämt. Eine andere Frau verdreht die Augen. Die Verkäuferin schaut mich mitleidig an. „ Der kauft hier jeden Tag ein.“ Ich werde rot. Anders als der Rest der Bewohner von Primrose Hill habe ich mich noch nicht daran gewöhnt, in unmittelbarer Nähe unzähliger Berühmtheiten zu wohnen.

In Kürze:

+ Erlebnisbericht über ein Jahr in London
+ kein Reiseführer, dafür erhält man sehr schöne Geheimtipps und einen Einblick ins tägliche Leben
+ wunderbar flüssig und lebendig geschrieben
+ hat viele Erinnerungen geweckt

Meinung:

Anna Regeniter zieht in die Millionenmetropole London und erfüllt sich damit einen Traum. Dort angekommen stellt sie fest, dass das Leben anders läuft. Selbst mit ihrem guten Lehrergehalt ist es schwierig, eine bezahlbare Wohnung zu finden. Es verschlägt sie letztendlich in das Künstlerviertel Primrose Hill, wo die Autorin in einem shared house zieht mit einigen anderen Nicht-Briten. Endlich angekommen, erlebt sie London und dessen Eigenheiten und lässt uns daran teilhaben.

Die Briten sind schon ein Volk für sich. Ich durfte auch mal einen längeren Zeitraum in London verbringen und viele der Erzählungen haben mich doch sehr an damals erinnert und zum Schmunzeln gebracht. Der Schreibstil der Autorin war wunderbar flüssig, frisch und unterhaltsam und hat erheblich dazu beigetragen, dass mir dieses Buch so wunderbar gefiel. Die Autorin hat einen förmlich mitgerissen und an ihren Entdeckungen teilhaben lassen und war dabei sehr sympathisch und charmant.

Natürlich ist dieses Buch kein Reiseführer, sondern eher ein Erlebnisbericht. Der Leser erhält einen Einblick in das persönliche London von Anna Regeniter. Der Kampf mit den zwei Wasserhähnen aus dem jeweils warmes und kaltes Wasser kommt; die wunderbar dünnen Wände zum Nachbarn, bei dem man die Ameisen husten hören kann; und man erlangt einen Einblick was passiert, wenn eine Schneeflocke auf der Straße liegt. Diese Buch beschäftigt sich weniger mit einem Überblick über die typischen Sehenswürdigkeiten, sondern enthält wunderbare Geheimtipps wie zum Beispiel die Bonfire Night auf dem Primrose Hill oder Empfehlungen verschiedener Pubs.

Fazit:

Ein wunderbar lebendig und unterhaltsames Buch, das einem das Lebensgefühl der Autorin und ihrer neuen Heimat London näher bringt.

Rating:

rating 5

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Adam Gidwitz – Ein Dunkle und Grimmige Geschichte/ A Tale Dark and Grimm

eine dunkle und grimmige geschichte

Hardcover
Verlag: arsEdition
veröffentlicht 2011
Seiten: 250

Book on Amazon (Deutsch/English)

Klappentext/Blurb:

Was nun folgt, ist ein Märchen. Ein Märchen?, wirst du vielleicht denken. Märchen sind doch Kinderkram! Doch in diesem Märchen hüpfen keine kleinen Mädchen mit roten Kappen fröhlich durch den Wald. Was zwischen diesen Seiten auf sie lauert ist die wahre Geschichte von Hänsel und Gretel – ein Märchen voller dunkler Zauberer, gefährlicher Hexen und todbringender Drachen. Dieses Märchen ist vielleicht furchterregend, sicherlich blutig und definitiv nichts für Angsthasen; aber anders als alle anderen Märchen, die du kennst, ist dieses hier wahr. (Amazon)

Hansel and Gretel walk out of their own story and into eight other classic Grimm (and Grimm-inspired) fairy tales. An irreverent, witty narrator leads us through encounters with witches, warlocks, dragons, and the devil himself. As the siblings roam a forest brimming with menacing foes, they learn the true story behind the famous tales, as well as how to take charge of their destinies and create their own happily ever after. Because once upon a time, fairy tales were awesome.(Amazon)

In Kürze/In (Very) Short:

+ Neuerzählung Grimmscher Märchen
+ verschiedene Märchen werden zu einer Geschichte verwebt
+ unterhaltsam und spannend
+ sehr schöne Gestaltung des Covers
+ retelling of Grimm’s fairy tales
+ different tales are weaved into one story
+ entertaining, thrilling
+ beautiful cover

Meinung/My Opinion:

Bei diesem kleinen Märchenjuwel handelt es sich um einer Neuerzählung oder besser eine Anderserzählung der Märchen der Gebrüder Grimm. Hierbei verbindet Gidwitz einige Märchen zu einer einzelnen Geschichte mit Hänsel und Gretel als Hauptfiguren und als verbindendes Element.

Die einzelnen Märchen werde in einzelnen Kapitel nacherzählt bzw. neu erzählt und dadurch hat man die Möglichkeit, das Buch einfach mal aus der Hand zu legen, ohne das Gefühl zu haben man verpasst jetzt etwas. Ein Handlungsstrang wird pro Kapitel beendet während der übergreifende Handlungsstrang die Geschichte konstant weiterbewegt.

Das Buch ist lustig, unterhaltsam und spannend. Manchmal war ich doch ein wenig erschrocken, über all das fließende Blut, aber das war ja auch bei den Grimms nicht anders. Nur scheint mich das früher nicht so gestört zu haben. Irgendwie komisch. Die Gestaltung des Covers finde ich ebenfalls sehr schön: das intensive blau mit den schwarzen fast schon Scherenschnitt ähnlichen Figuren vorne drauf. Einfach sehr schön. Wirklich sehr zu empfehlen.

This little jewel is a retelling of the fairy tales of the brothers Grimm. Adam Gidwitz intertwines several of the fairy tales to one story in which Hansel and Gretel are the main protagonists. They are also the connecting element between all the fairy tales used in this book.

The fairy tales are retold within the span of a chapter which gave me as the reader an opportunity to take a break from reading without having the feeling that I might miss something, if I don’t continue right away. One plotline usually ends in one chapter while the overall story arch remains intact and urge the rest of the story onward.

It is a funny, entertaining and thrilling book. Now and then I was a little surprised or even repulsed how bloody the story is, but that is really no different in Grimm’s version. Though it must have not irked me when I was younger. I really like the cover: the intense blue contrasts with the black silhouette on top. Really beautiful. I really recommend this book.

Fazit/Bottom Line:

Ein spannende Neuerzählung Grimmscher Märchen. Damit kann man wirklich nichts falsch machen. Sehr zu empfehlen.

An exiting retelling of Grimm’s fairy tales. I don’t think you can do anything wrong with this. I really recommend it.

Rating:

rating 4

A. Wendeberg – The Devil’s Grin

the devil's grin

paperback
published: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
published 2012
pages 238

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

In Victorian London’s cesspool of crime and disease, a series of murder remains undiscovered until a cholera victim floating in the city’s drinking water supply. Dr. Anton Kronberg, England’s best bacteriologist, is called upon to investigate and finds evidence of abduction and medical maltreatment. While Scotland Yard has little interest in pursuing the case, Kronberg pushes on and crosses paths with Sherlock Holmes. The detective immediately discovers Kronberg’s secret – a woman masquerading as a man in order to practice medicine – a criminal deed that could land her in prison for years to come. But both must join forces to stop a crime so monstrous, it outshines Jack the Ripper’s deeds in brutality and cold-bloodedness.

In (Very) Short:

+ crime story with Sherlock Holmes, yet he is not the protagonist
+ enjoyable crime story and conspiracy
+ an interesting take on Doyle’s crime stories
– the tension between Kronberg and Holmes was a bit forced
– it was as if 21st century criticism was forced onto another century

My Opinion:

The Devil’s Grin is actually written by a German author who wrote and published this in English before it was translated into German. I somehow think that it is funny to write in a different language and then have someone else translate it for you. But that’s apparently how it works. Anyway, she started out as being self-published and I am not sure if her English books still are, but the German translations are now published by a German publisher. I met her during a reading and I really liked her, so I picked the book up – in English.

The Devil’s Grin tells the story of Anton Kronberg, who really is Anna Kronberg disguised as a man to practice medicine – apparently. As Scotland Yard requires her help with a dead body, she meets Sherlock Holmes who looks through her disguise, yet keeps her secret. Both continue to investigate this case after the police stops and discover quite a monstrous and heinous conspiracy.

I enjoyed this book. It was a good read and the crime story was interesting and kept my attention. I am not sure how I felt about the character portrayal though. I know that Sherlock Holmes sometimes appears to be arrogant, and has his own view on women etc., I don’t get why Anna Kronberg had to shove that in his face all the time. I felt a constant vibe of accusations (as if he was the only one who thought that way), the sexual tension between them seemed a little forced, and a main focus of the story lay on how Anna lived her life trying to combine both halves. Something that is interesting and understandably of interest, but since I was looking for a Sherlock Holmesian crime story, that was a little too much for me.

I am aware that I am really picky here. It was a good book and a good read, but some aspects were just a little much and overloaded this rather thin book. The case itself was somewhat solved, yet a lot was left open for the next installments since this series of Anna Kronberg continues.

Bottom Line:

A good and enjoyable read, with a little too much content and issue pressed into this slim issue.

Rating:

rating 3

Marie Lu – Legend

legend

paperback
publisher: Penguin Books
published 2011
pages 295

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

Los Angeles, California, Republic of America
He is Day, the boy who walks in the light.
She is June, the girl who seeks her brother’s killer.
On the run and undercover, they meet by chance. Irresistibly drawn together, neither knows the other’s past. But Day murdered June’s brother and she has sworn to avenge his death.

In (Very) Short:

+ first part of a trilogy, young adult dystopian novel
+ fast paced and plot driven
+ story is narrated in alternating points of view
+ teasing of bigger conspiracies within the world creation

My Opinion:

Legend by Marie Lu is the first part in yet another trilogy. After some heavy-duty theory reading, I needed something light and fast and predictable. Although it was (for me) light and fast, it was not as predictable as I thought it would be – apart from the love thing.

In a world were the plague is a constant threat and only the rich and wealthy are protected by vaccines, two very different characters collide. Both have grown up in different social circles, each brought up to different ideological believes. When June tries to find the person that killed her brother, she meets Day – the master criminal the whole country is after. While June tries to expedite information from Day, both discover that a lot more is going on behind closed doors of the government research facilities. (I don’t want to go into more detail when it comes to the plot since it could potentially spoil your reading.)

I really enjoyed this book. It was fast paced and very action driven. The two points of view from which the story is told – Day and June – add tension and also allow deeper character development in this plot driven novel.
The writing is fluent and Legend is set in an interesting world with a lot of secrets. Although the love relationship was predictable, the world creation is great and the secrets, that are teased, are so incredibly fascinating that I really have to continue this series. I like my little and my big conspiracies. I can’t wait to find out what the government is really doing and what is up next for the duo.

Bottom Line:

A fast paced book that is fun and entertaining, very plot driven, yet does not lack character development.

Rating:

rating 4

My Reading Month April

This is the first really disappointing reading month this year. It’s not even that I am in a reading slump, I just did not seem to have the time or the patience to sit down and read. The two books I managed to get through in April are the ones that I read before falling asleep. And apparently that was a lot faster than usual. But still, I hope it will pick up in May.

Anna Regeniter – Ein Jahr in London

This book is usually categorized as a travel report or travel literature. For me it is more the experience of someone who moved from Germany to London and illustrates the cultural differences in a funny and entertaining way. The way she describes her work life, her living arrangements and how London comes to a standstill when a snow flake hits the ground are so relatable. I agreed with a lot of those things and had to smile quite a bit. Really an enjoyable and funny read.

ein jahr in londonanimal farm

George Orwell – Animal Farm

Since I have challenged myself to read more classics and I have not done this so far, I pick up a small volume to get started. I really enjoyed this short novella. (I am not sure it is one, but it’s not really a book either.) I had to read 1984 in school and (as with every other book you had to read) I thought it was OK, but I wasn’t really interested. I really enjoyed Animal Farm. I liked the writing style and the fact that no matter the distance between the time a book was written in and the time you read it, the story is still valid and reflects on today’s society. A really good and thought-provoking read.

Sadly this was it. Maybe I’ll be better next month. Thanks for sticking with me.