Literary Blog Hop

blog-hop My Book Self is organising a Literary Blog Hop! A number of blogs are offering literary prizes. Visit them all and try your luck. But first enter here at Leeswammes’ Blog! I have a book so new, it was published just a week ago and it’s fan.tas.tic! I finished it today and decided, this is the book to offer for the blog hop (no review yet). Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum The publisher says: “Anna Benz, an American in her late thirties, lives with her Swiss husband, Bruno—a banker—and their three young children in a postcard-perfect suburb of Zürich. Though she leads a comfortable, well-appointed life, Anna is falling apart inside. Adrift and increasingly unable to connect with the emotionally unavailable Bruno or even with her own thoughts and feelings, Anna tries to rouse herself with new experiences: German language classes, Jungian analysis, and a series of sexual affairs she enters with an ease that surprises even her. But Anna can’t easily extract herself from these affairs. When she wants to end them, she finds it’s difficult. Tensions escalate, and her lies start to spin out of control. Having crossed a moral threshold, Anna will discover where a woman goes when there is no going back.”


To enter

To enter, please read the rules and then fill out the form below.

The rules:

  1. Anyone can enter. You do not need to have a blog.
  2. You do not have to be a follower of my blog or become a follower, although if you like my blog I hope you will! You can follow by email or by RSS (see buttons in the side bar on the right at the top).
  3. There will be one winner.
  4. You need an address where bookdepository will deliver.
  5. Leave a comment to say you’d like to win the book. You can enter the giveaway until Sunday April 12th. I will close the giveaway when I turn on my computer on April 13th (Netherlands time).
  6. Tweet about the giveaway for ONE extra entry. Use this text: Win Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum in the Literary Blog Hop http://wp.me/pTjfK-4MG
  7. Note that double or invalid entries will be removed.
  8. I will notify the winner by email. The winner need to answer my email within 3 days, or I’ll announce a new winner.
  9. That’s it! Good luck and thanks for playing.

Now go to the other blogs and try your luck!

Click here to view the list with participating blogs.

Book Review: The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer

The Shut Eye by Belinda BauerThe Shut Eye: What it is about

From the publishers: “Five footprints are the only sign that Daniel Buck was ever here.
And now they are all his mother has left.
Every day, Anna Buck guards the little prints in the cement. Polishing them to a shine. Keeping them safe. Spiralling towards insanity.
When a psychic offers hope, Anna grasps it. Who wouldn’t? Maybe he can tell her what happened to her son…
But is this man what he claims to be? Is he a visionary? A shut eye? Or a cruel fake, preying on the vulnerable?
Or is he something far, far worse?

The Shut Eye: What I thought

I have read almost all of Bauer’s books and enjoy them a lot. This one was a little different: it had a supernatural element. Anna, who lost her son a few months ago, wants to know whether he’s still alive. Visiting a psychic, she is shown someone else’s picture, and she gets a vision. This happens several times. It doesn’t seem to be related to the disappearance of her son, but it may be something to do with the disappearance of a girl, a year earlier. The police think she’s crazy (which is how she behaves, from grief) but one inspector, DCI Marvel, believes that they should investigate further.

DCI Marvel is obsessed with the disappearance of the girl. He can’t get along with his colleagues and goes his own way. His superior, side lining him, gives him the lowly task of finding back Mitzi, his wife’s dog. This leads him to Anna. It becomes likely that the person who stole the dog is also responsible for the missing children.

I found the characters very convincing. Especially Anna, who was clearly mad with grief, even madder than it seems at first. When she is at the police station, one of the officers makes a discovery about Anna, which came very suddenly – I had not seen this coming at all, even though Anna had been a main character for some time. An amazing revelation, very clever of the author.

There are some elements in the story, especially related to the missing girl, that didn’t make complete sense to me and that weren’t resolved, which was a pity. The reason the girl had disappeared is something that I would never have been able to conjure up – another brilliant, if slightly unlikely, move by the author.

An entertaining, but not totally convincing read.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars (good)

Number of pages: 304

First published: 2015

I got this: from the publishers for review, via Netgalley (ebook)

Genre: mystery

 

April: East-Asia Month!


4月には、東アジアの月です!

In April, I will continue working on my goal to reduce my pile of to-read books. In March, I read all the books I owned (but hadn’t read) by Spanish authors (3). In April, I will read all the East-Asian books I own but haven’t read yet.

It’s a doable pile:

The Strange Library by Haruki MurakamiThe Reason I Jump by Naoki HigashidaThe Three-Body Problem by Cixin LiuWolf Totem by Jiang RongLight and Dark by Natsume Soseki

The Strange Library by Haruki Murakami. A short story in a beautifully designed book. Ideal for the 24 hour readathon!

Slightly bigger, but not by much, is The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida, the story of an autistic boy, told by himself. Also ideal for the readathon.

The Three-Body Problem by Cixin Liu is a science fiction novel that I happened to come across in a book store. I’ve never heard of the author or the book, but it sounded so intriguing, I had to buy it. Read about it here.

Wolf Totem by Jiang Rong is one of the books that has spent the most time on my to-read pile. Not sure why. I heard good things about it. This is the ideal month to read it! Read more about it here.

Finally, I have a beautiful edition of Light and Dark by Natsume Soseki. A Japanese classic, but unfinished novel. I have the feeling this will be a tough read. I’ll read a bit every day, three short chapters. That will bring me half-way the book. If I enjoy it, I’ll continue in May. Read more about it here.

Want to join in?

My East-Asian authors are all from Japan or China. But let’s define East-Asia as any country to the right of (but not including) India. I’m not sure if there is an official definition, but this will do, right?

So, let me know in the comments if you’d like to join in and read all (or some) of your East-Asian books in April.

What will you be reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

itsmonday“It’s Monday! What are you reading?” is a weekly event hosted by Sheila at Bookjourney to share with others what we’ve read the past week and are planning to read next.

*****

The last week I read…

& Sons by David GilbertDit kan niet waar zijn by Joris LuyendijkThe Shut Eye by Belinda Bauerbal

I finished three books. &Sons by David Gilbert (click on the title for my review), Dit kan niet waar zijn [This Can’t be True] by Joris Luyendijk, a non-fiction book about banks, and The Shut Eye by Belinda Bauer, a thriller with some supernatural elements.

I’ve just started in Bal Masqué by Elia Barcelo. My final Spanish author for this month. Not hugely interesting to start with, but I have great hopes.

Next up it’s

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander EssbaumGeachte Heer M [Dear Mr. M] by Herman Koch

Hausfrau by Jill Alexander Essbaum.

If I get round to it, the new Herman Koch, Geachte Heer M. [Dear Mr. M.].

Reviews

The Green Pen by Eloy Moreno

The Green Pen by Eloy Moreno. I read together with Isi of FromIsi, but my review is in Dutch.

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My challenges

FitReaders2015

#Fitreaders is a challenge for all readers (and everyone else, really) who want to get more active. My goal is 3 x 7,000  and 3 x 5,000 per week, and one day off. Last week, I was not far off this target, so I am happy with that.

Cut-Out-Processed-Food

The Cut out Processed Food in 14 Weeks challenge for last week, was Eat local; at least one meal per day should contain something locally grown. I did go to a farm shop but was not convinced all their stuff was local (bananas, nuts? Not in the Netherlands, for sure!). But it was nice not to buy from a big supermarket. I got some things, but not enough for seven days. I may make it a habit to visit them once a week or so. This week’s challenge is to cut out sweeteners, which I’ll skip. I’m concentrating on the local thing.

What are YOU reading this week?

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