A Portuguese Crime Novel: Lost in Fuseta by Gil Ribeiro!

Pic by Franzi.

It was more accidentally than planned that I took the crime novel Lost in Fuseta by Gil Ribeiro (aka Holger Karsten Schmidt) with me at the Algarve.

In this first book of a new crime novel series we get to know Leander Lost, a police officer from Hamburg who participates at an exchange program and will stay one year in Portugal – in Fuseta, a small town at the Eastern Algarve. But Leander Lost is not the ordinary kind of police men: He wears only black, stares strangely into the eyes of other people and – most important – cannot lie. Soon after his arrival there is a murder case to investigate and his new Portuguese police partners, sub-inspector Rosado and her colleague Esteves, have to deal with this strange new man in their team.

This book was a positive surprise: It is written in an entertaining (German) voice, I really liked its figures and I learned a lot about the people at the Algarve. A book that is worth reading – not only if you are actually in Portugal.

I wish you a wonderful week! Enjoy the sun :)!

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The Books I’ve Read: The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling!

bookPic by Franzi.

I am a fan of the writing of J. K. Rowling from the first Harry Potter book on (1997 – nearly twenty years ago!!). I love her development of real characters and a big storyline with many turns and twists. Finally, I found the time to read her first novel for adults The Casual Vacancy (published in 2012 – I know, it took some years until I started reading it). What shall I say? I needed some pages to find my way into the story but then I imagined the single characters like persons I actually know and was totally hooked. Perfection!

The novel’s major topics are politics, social issues and family dynamics – all topics that are very rough and real-life based. The story is set in a suburban town called Pagford. Everything begins with the death of the Parish Councillor Barry Fairbrother. As a consequence, a seat on the council is vacant, which leads to a big small town conflict of who should take this place. There are two factions with opposing opinions regarding the debate on whether or not to dissociate with a local council estate – “the Fields” – with which Barry supported an alliance. Within the election campaign dark secrets from the different candidates come to light and every character has to deal with his or her very own set of problems.

A book that needs some time to read, but when it finally is over one keeps on thinking about its different characters and their fates.

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a thrilling one :)!

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The Books I’m Listening To: Ach, diese Lücke diese entsetzliche Lücke // Oh, This Gap, This Horrible Gap by Joachim Meyerhoff.

meyerhoffAudible screenshot. Made by Franzi.

Joachim Meyerhoff’s memoirs about his childhood, his teenage year in the US and now also his recent book about his time as student on the drama school are always great! I read the first  book together with my literature club. The second one I listened to as an audio book. For his third book Ach, diese Lücke diese entsetzliche Lücke (Translation: Oh, This Gap, This Horrible Gap), the author read live at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg. I went there in February together with my literature ladies. Now, the live reading of the whole book is available and I am totally into it.

This book comprises  Joachim Meyerhoff’s time at the drama school in Munich, during which he lived in his grandparents house. The story narrates his life between two worlds – at the drama school where he has to learn to play a hippo as a figure out of Effi Briest and in his grandparents antique surroundings where everything stays as it is. A funny, sad and entertaining book that makes me often laugh out loud and pensive at the same time.

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a playful one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

Sewing Books! #fbm16

sewing3The Classic: Martha Stewart’s Encyclopedia of Sewing and Fabric Crafts. All pics by Franzi, made on the #fbm16.

Let’s start with the books I found on the Frankfurt Book Fair this year! Like I let you know last week, I am now the proud owner of my own sewing machine. So it’s not very surprising that I looked out for some instruction books on sewing. Here are the best sewing books I found :).

Have a beautiful day!

sewing4Sewing for babies and kids (German): Nähen mit JERSEY – kinderleicht!

sewing1Make your own fashion (German): Mode schneidern – das Buch.

sewing2My favorite: Sew Many Dresses, Sew Little Time.

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

The Books I’ve Read: >>The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency<< Novels by Alexander McCall Smith!

booksPic by Franzi.

During our summer vacations I read a lot of books – since my stack of unread books is steadily growing, I chose some books that were waiting there forever. The  Botswana-based crime novels about the ‘No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency‘ owner Mma Ramotswe by author Alexander McCall Smith were among them. I read the first and the second book of the series about “Africa’s Miss Marple” – like Mma Ramotswe is often called in reviews.

Those were typical books for summer: Based in Botswana with its distinct nature and the burning sun, they give an insight into Africa’s life and history. The plot is light but entertaining and easy to read. I love the simple way that the great lady detective uses to solve her cases. Like Miss Marple she uses her brain to combine the facts and chooses simple tactics to analyze the situation. Great reads!

I wish you a fun weekend! Have a hot one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

Modern Romance by Aziz Ansari!

Modern RomancePic by Franzi.

Actor and comedian Aziz Ansari’s book Modern Romance is all about love and relationships in a time of tinder dates, breaking up via WhatsApp or snooping into the mobile history of your partner.

Together with the sociologist and New York University professor Eric Klinenberg he explores the change in romantic behaviour that has occurred in the past decade. His main focus lays onto the paradox of the idea that having more options of possible partners seems to be better, but ultimately makes it a lot harder to settle for anyone.

I listened to the audio version of the book.  Aziz Ansari is narrating it himself – and makes fun of his listeners because they are too lazy to read it :). His ideas were easy to follow and I recognized many of the described behaviours. …Either from my own experiences or from those of my friends. An entertaining read/listening that stimulates lots of further discussions.

I wish you a fun weekend – have a lovely one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

The Books I’ver Read: Eine unbeliebte Frau // An Unpopular Woman by Nele Neuhaus

BookPic by Franzi.

I planed to read a Nele Neuhaus crime novel forever …there were just a lot more books on my to-read stack left ;). Finally I made it and read her first book of the ‘Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein‘ series Eine unbeliebte Frau (An unpopular Woman – unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be available as an English edition).

The crime novel is the first book starring the two detectives Pia Kirchhoff and Oliver von Bodenstein living and working in the German countryside near Frankfurt (the area is called Taunus). The story is about the murder on the young woman Isabel. Soon the detective duo has to learn that she was quite unpopular, had affairs and played a foul game with nearly everyone around her. Moreover, there is her missing daughter Marie and the suicide of a famous prosecutor.

The book was an easy read during a long train ride for me. In my opinion, there doesn’t happen enough in the plot despite having at least three different lines of action. Nevertheless, it’s a nice start into a crime series and maybe I will also read the other episodes as well.

I wish you a fun weekend – have a thrilling one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

The Books I’ve Read: Shenzhen – A Travelogue From China by Guy Delisle!

Shenzhen1Pics by Franzi.

Two weeks ago I participated at a book “chain letter” (I know, I know… but hey it was about books ;)). One of the first books I found in my mailbox was Shenzhen – a travelogue from China by the Canadian Québécois author Guy Delisle. Since reading a graphic novel was on my to-do list anyway, I started reading it immediately.

The ‘travelogue’ documents in black and white pictures Delisle’s three-month deployment in 1997 to Shenzhen, where he worked in a Chinese studio. The graphic novel depicts his struggles with boredom, and the difficulties he had with life in a Chinese mega city. The fun thing for me was that I myself know someone who stayed in Shenzhen in the end of the 1990s. Back then he documented his experiences in a travel blog and EVERYTHING sounded strange and foreign to me. This made Delisle’s story something like a time capsule for me. Perfect book present – thanks to the person who sent it to me :)!

I wish you a fun weekend – enjoy your city :)!

Shenzhen2Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

The Books I’ve Read: James Miranda Barry by Patricia Duncker!

bookPic by Franzi.

Currently I’m reading lots of books about tough women finding their own way. That’s why a colleague of mine lent me her copy of James Miranda Barry by Patricia Duncker. To be honest, I was quite sceptical if I would like it: It deals with the historical figure James Miranda Barry, a surgeon who lived during the 19th century. He was a successful doctor, serving in the army and was stationed amongst others in the tropics (where he experienced the last days of slavery among the negroes). And most important: It is wildly assumed that he was actually a women, who was raised as a boy since childhood to permit him to study medicine.

I am always a bit sceptical if I read historical stuff (BUT I love Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth and Noah Gordon’s The Physician). Unfortunately, I really had to force myself through the 400 pages of the book. Nevertheless, I liked the figure of James Miranda Barry her/himself and learned a lot about the historical developments of his/her time. So, I conclude that it was maybe not my cup of book but the story itself is interesting and will stay into my mind for quite some time.

I wish you a wonderful weekend (with enough time for reading)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

The Books I’ve Read: Astrid Lindgren – Die Menschheit hat den Verstand verloren//War Diaries, 1939-1945!

BuchPic by Franzi.

In my literature club we just finished reading Astrid Lindgren’s War Diaries from 1939 until 1945 (German edition Die Menschheit hat den Verstand verloren). She started writing it on September 1, 1939 with the words: “Oh, today the war started.” Back then, Lindgren was still an unknown person in the literature world. She just started to write her first children novels and invented Pippi Langstrumpf/Pippi Longstocking by telling her sick daughter Karin stories about Pippi and her funny adventures. Lindgren and her family lived in Sweden – a country that didn’t participate on WWII. Nevertheless, the people there were in the middle of the fights surrounding Sweden and always frightened that the war would also come into their own country. I was deeply impressed by Lindgren’s documentation of those dark years. Her insights speak of a clever mind, far from what was expected from a ‘housewife and mother’ in the 1930s/40s. A big, big, big MUST-READ!

I wish you a peaceful weekend. Have a wonderful one!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.