Recently Read: Four Books + Ratings

“I don’t like you, Park. Sometimes I think I live for you”

― Rainbow Rowell, Eleanor & Park

#1 The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion

Voor Deel 1, “The Rosie Project”, check dit artikel.

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Synopsis:

THE ROSIE PROJECT WAS COMPLETE BUT I WAS UNPREPARED FOR THE ROSIE EFFECT.

GREETINGS. My name is Don Tillman. I am forty-one years old. I have been married to Rosie Jarman, world’s most perfect woman, for ten months and ten days.
Marriage added significant complexity to my life. When we relocated to New York City, Rosie brought three maximum-size suitcases. We abandoned the Standardised Meal System and agreed that sex should not be scheduled in advance.

Then Rosie told me we had ‘something to celebrate’, and I was faced with a challenge even greater than finding a partner.
I have attempted to follow traditional protocols and have sourced advice from all six of my friends, plus a therapist and the internet.
The result has been a web of deceit. I am now in danger of prosecution, deportation and professional disgrace.
And of losing Rosie forever.

Nederlandse omschrijving:

Don Tillman en Rosie Jarman zijn getrouwd en wonen in New York. Juist als Don wil vertellen dat Gene, zijn schuinsmarcherende beste vriend uit Australië komt, heeft Rosie nieuws: ze is zwanger.

Op zijn geheel eigen wijze verwerft de autistische Don in no time alle kennis over vader worden. Maar zijn oude zwakheden komen weer boven en brengen hem in de problemen. Terwijl hij opgaat in het perfectioneren van alle praktische details, verliest hij zijn emoties totaal uit het oog. Hij dreigt Rosie kwijt te raken op het moment dat ze hem het hardste nodig heeft.

De Australiër Graeme Simsion is de auteur van de internationale bestseller Het Rosie Project. Het Rosie Effect is de opvolger van deze wereldwijde hit. Simsion werkte als consultant voor hij fulltime schrijver werd.

My favorite quotes:

“To the world’s most perfect woman.’ It was lucky my father was not present. Perfect is an absolute that cannot be modified, like unique or pregnant. My love for Rosie was so powerful that it had caused my brain to make a grammatical error.”

“I thought you were happy about having a baby.’ I was happy in the way that I would be happy if the captain of an aircraft in which I was travelling announced that he had succeeded in restarting one engine after both had failed. Pleased that I would now probably survive, but shocked that the situation had arisen in the first place, and expecting a thorough investigation into the circumstances.”

“Do you want this marriage to work or not?’ she said. ‘My spreadsheet identified –’ I interpreted Sonia’s expression as I don’t want to hear about your fucking spreadsheet. Do you, emotionally, as a whole mature person, want to live the rest of your life with Rosie and the Baby Under Development or are you going to let a computer make that decision for you, you pathetic geek? ‘Work. But I don’t think –’ ‘You think too much. Take her out to dinner and talk it over.”

“Boy or girl?’ said Rosie. ‘Male, I think.’ I checked my message. ‘No, female.’ It was a detail that could have waited. It would be years before the difference was important.”

Rating:

4c-11-1

#2 Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley

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Synopsis:

Award-winning author Alan Bradley returns with another beguiling novel starring the insidiously clever and unflappable eleven-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. The precocious chemist with a passion for poisons uncovers a fresh slew of misdeeds in the hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey–mysteries involving a missing tot, a fortune-teller, and a corpse in Flavia’s own backyard.

Flavia had asked the old Gypsy woman to tell her fortune, but never expected to stumble across the poor soul, bludgeoned in the wee hours in her own caravan. Was this an act of retribution by those convinced that the soothsayer had abducted a local child years ago? Certainly Flavia understands the bliss of settling scores; revenge is a delightful pastime when one has two odious older sisters. But how could this crime be connected to the missing baby? Had it something to do with the weird sect who met at the river to practice their secret rites? While still pondering the possibilities, Flavia stumbles upon another corpse–that of a notorious layabout who had been caught prowling about the de Luce’s drawing room.

Pedaling Gladys, her faithful bicycle, across the countryside in search of clues to both crimes, Flavia uncovers some odd new twists. Most intriguing is her introduction to an elegant artist with a very special object in her possession–a portrait that sheds light on the biggest mystery of all: Who is Flavia?

As the red herrings pile up, Flavia must sort through clues fishy and foul to untangle dark deeds and dangerous secrets.

Nederlandse omschrijving:

Op de kermis laat Flavia zich de toekomst voorspellen door een zigeunerin. Diezelfde nacht wordt de waarzegster aangevallen. Er wordt gefluisterd dat ze iets te maken heeft met de verdwijning van een baby, jaren geleden. Niet veel later ontdekt Flavia het lijk van een lokale dief in de fontein bij haar huis. Welk verband is er tussen de twee misdaden? De onvermoeibaar nieuwsgierige Flavia ontdekt aanwijzingen die de politie over het hoofd ziet. Ze legt een mysterie uit het verleden bloot, maar komt daarbij zelf in gevaar.

De kunst van het liegen is het derde boek met Flavia de Luce in de hoofdrol. De voorgaande twee delen heb ik niet gelezen, maar dat is totaal niet erg. Na verloop van tijd rolde ik makkelijk in dit derde verhaal over de ondeugende Flavia.

My favorite quotes:

“Whenever I’m with other people, part of me shrinks a little. Only when I am alone can I fully enjoy my own company.”

“Compared with my life Cinderella was a spoiled brat.”

“…because I was only eleven years old, I was wrapped in the best cloak of invisibility in the world.”

“I was learning that among friends, a smile can be better than a belly laugh.”

“I had long ago discovered that when a word or formula refused to come to mind the best thing for it was to think of something else: tigers for instance or oatmeal. Then when the fugitive word was least expecting it I would suddenly turn the full blaze of my attention back onto it catching the culprit in the beam of my mental torch before it could sneak off again into the darkness.”

“I have no fear of the dead. Indeed in my own limited experience I have found them to produce in me a feeling that is quite the opposite of fear. A dead body is much more fascinating than a live one and I have learned that most corpses tell better stories. I’d had the good fortune of seeing several of them in my time.”

Rating:

4c-11-1

#3 Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King

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Synopsis:

In the frigid pre-dawn hours, in a distressed Midwestern city, hundreds of desperate unemployed folks are lined up for a spot at a job fair. Without warning, a lone driver plows through the crowd in a stolen Mercedes, running over the innocent, backing up, and charging again. Eight people are killed; fifteen are wounded. The killer escapes.

In another part of town, months later, a retired cop named Bill Hodges is still haunted by the unsolved crime. When he gets a crazed letter from someone who self-identifies as the “perk” and threatens an even more diabolical attack, Hodges wakes up from his depressed and vacant retirement, hell-bent on preventing another tragedy.

Brady Hartfield lives with his alcoholic mother in the house where he was born. He loved the feel of death under the wheels of the Mercedes, and he wants that rush again.

Only Bill Hodges, with a couple of highly unlikely allies, can apprehend the killer before he strikes again. And they have no time to lose, because Brady’s next mission, if it succeeds, will kill or maim thousands.

Mr. Mercedes is a war between good and evil, from the master of suspense whose insight into the mind of this obsessed, insane killer is chilling and unforgettable.

Nederlandse omschrijving:

Drie van de meest onwaarschijnlijke en fantastische helden die Stephen King ooit heeft gecreëerd proberen een eenzame moordenaar te stoppen die eropuit is om duizenden mensen op te blazen. Het gevolg is een bloedstollende race tegen de klok met vele levens op het spel.
Op een ijskoude vroege ochtend staan honderden wanhopige werklozen in de rij voor een banenbeurs. Zonder waarschuwing racet een eenzame bestuurder in een gestolen Mercedes dwars door de menigte; acht mensen worden gedood, vijftien raken gewond. De moordenaar ontsnapt.
Maanden later wordt politieagent Bill Hodges nog steeds achtervolgd door de onopgeloste misdaad. Wanneer hij een krankzinnige brief ontvangt van iemand die zichzelf de ‘Extra’ noemt en dreigt met nog een duivelse aanval, ontwaakt Hodges uit zijn depressieve en wezenloze pensionering, vastbesloten om een volgende tragedie te voorkomen.

My favorite quotes:

“Rich people can be generous, even the ones with bloodcurdling political views can be generous, but most believe in generosity on their own terms, and underneath (not so deep, either), they’re always afraid someone is going to steal their presents and eat their birthday cake.”

“Creepy as hell. You ever see that TV movie about the clown in the sewer?”

“Every religion lies. Every moral precept is a delusion. Even the stars are a mirage. The truth is darkness, and the only thing that matters is making a statement before one enters it. Cutting the skin of the world and leaving a scar. That’s all history is, after all: scar tissue.”

“Never tell a lie when you can tell the truth.”

“Everybody likes the ice cream man.”

“People can be stunningly unobservant.”

“More coffee?” Hodges declines with a smile. Hot can only do so much for bad coffee.”

Rating:

5c1-1-1

#4 Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

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Synopsis:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

Nederlandse omschrijving:

Dit intrigerende boek vertelt het verhaal van de twee buitenbeentjes Eleanor en Park, tijdens één schooljaar in 1986. Ze delen hun passie voor stripboeken en muziek. Ze zijn slim genoeg om te weten dat een eerste liefde bijna nooit standhoudt, maar ook dapper en wanhopig genoeg om het te proberen.

My favorite quotes:

“Eleanor was right. She never looked nice. She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

“Holding Eleanor’s hand was like holding a butterfly. Or a heartbeat. Like holding something complete, and completely alive.”

“What are the chances you’d ever meet someone like that? he wondered. Someone you could love forever, someone who would forever love you back? And what did you do when that person was born half a world away? The math seemed impossible.”

“I just want to break that song into pieces and love them all to death.”

“You can be Han Solo,” he said, kissing her throat. “And I’ll be Boba Fett. I’ll cross the sky for you.”

Rating:

4c-11-1

Happy reading!

Liefs,

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