Review – Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman

Hi,

This review is long overdue which resulted in my reading the book twice within the past year. 😀 But I didn’t mind, because Neil Gaiman‘s Fortunately, the Milk is a real treat.

Fortunately the Milk
Image provided by Bloomsbury¹

When Dad stays out way too long on his way to get some milk, his kids want to know where he’s been all the time. What they didn’t expect is that he had a weird time-traveling experience with Professor Steg, a talking dinosaur.

Dad and Professor Steg travel through different centuries and countries and meet all sorts of characters who aren’t always friendly. Professor Steg is an intelligent and likable character with whom I would travel the universe right away and Dad is, well, a caring Dad who doesn’t shy away from the unknown.

Fortunately, the Milk is a witty and imaginative book that holds surprises on every page. Chris Riddell‘s fitting drawings are beautiful and enhance your reading experience. As this book is a great read for adults, I’m sure children will love it too.

5 Star Rating: Recommended

¹http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/fortunately-the-milk–9781408841761/

Lovelybooks Leserpreis Awards

Hey you,

I have great news for you, you’ll get an interview real soon 🙂 YAY! But now back to business 😉

You probably all know Goodreads Choice Awards (winners of 2013 will be announced on December 3rd) but do you know Lovelybooks Leserpreis awards? Well it’s basically the same concept. Readers vote for their favorite reads of the past year in different categories. BUT: There are no restrictions whatsoever concerning the country of publication. The books contain German-language publications as well as numerous translations. You can even nominate foreign language publications in the nomination round. The only restriction is that the books must be first-time publications in either hardcover, paperback or e-book format that have been published between December 1, 2012 and November 30, 2013.

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Provided by Lovelybooks

The nomination round ended last week. The final round is on right now and voting is open until November 28 11:59 p.m. German time (23:59 for our German readers). There is a countdown on the homepage.

I think we’ll just have a look at the categories on offer:

Romane / Novels

I guess this one is pretty self-explanatory. Everything that doesn’t fall into one of the other categories, or is a mix, or is so good that you want it here as well :D. At least that is what I think. In the nomination round, I voted for my favorite, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (It’s called Die Unvollendete in German). Unfortunately, and I don’t really get why, it wasn’t among the 35 nominees for the final round. So in the final round, I voted for another favorite this year: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (Das Licht Zwischen den Meeren in German).

Krimis und Thriller / Crime Novels & Thrillers

As I’m not into crime novels or thrillers, I didn’t vote in this category.

Fantasy

I can’t remember if I nominated an English-language novel in the first round. The fantasy books I’ve read this year either haven’t been translated to German yet, or they haven’t been that good. Nooo, you know what I did? I just remembered. I nominated Life After Life AGAIN 😀 Because it’s also fantasy. Kind of. lol I didn’t vote in the final round though. Nothing there to vote for me. Though I wish I had finally time to start reading Ben Aaronovitch!

Science Fiction

I nominated The Humans by Matt Haig. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it to the final round. The book wasn’t released in German yet, so nobody read it. Poop. Nothing to vote for me in the final round 😉

Jugendbücher / Young Adult

Booming YA genre. I left this one to the experts 🙂

Kinderbücher / Children’s Books

I love children’s books. But I mostly read the backlist. And I haven’t read Fortunately The Milk (Neil Gaiman) yet. Not that it would matter, as it hasn’t been translated to German and it probably wouldn’t have made it to the final round. BUT: I promise, I’ll vote for it next year if I think it worthy 🙂

Liebesromane / Romance

Aaaah l’amour. This time, I nominated Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You (G: Ein Ganzes Halbes Jahr) and guess what? Something weird happened. It didn’t make it to the final round in the romance category but it made it to the final round in the novel category. And just so you know, Jojo Moyes is nominated twice in that category in the final round! Jup. The second novel being The Girl You Left Behind (G: Eine Handvoll Worte). So I couldn’t vote for her in that final round anymore. Sorry. And I had nothing left to vote for in romance either.

Erotik / Erotic Novels

Left that one to the experts. 😉

Historische Romane / Historical Fiction

Aaah I did it again 😉 ‘Cause you know, Life After Life is historical fiction. But, as nobody seems to like Kate Atkinson (these people really don’t know what the good stuff is), I voted for Liz Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things (G: Das Wesen der Dinge und der Liebe) in the final round.

Humor

I’m quite shocked but it seems like I don’t read much funny stuff.

Sachbuch und Ratgeber / Nonfiction

I can’t remember what book I nominated. It didn’t make it to the final round. 😦 I haven’t read any of the nominated books.

Bestes Hörbuch / Best Audio Book

I haven’t listened to an eligible audio book. But you have to go and listen to Miranda Hart’s Is It Just Me? It’s hilarious!

Bester Buchtitel / Best Book Title

I enjoyed this category. I didn’t need to know the books, I had something to think about and I chose a title that made it to the final round. Die Inneren Werte von Tanjas BH by Alex Haas. The title roughly translates to The Inner Values of Tanja’s Bra. I love it 😀

Bestes Buchcover / Best Book Cover

This one is tough but great. As I was already in a wintry mood, I originally nominated the cover of Alexi Zentner’s Touch. Unfortunately it isn’t there anymore so I had to find something else in the final round. I decided on Titus Müller’s Der Schneekristallforscher.

Beliebtester LovelyBooks Autor / Most Popular LovelyBooks Author

A very nice category but I don’t feel qualified to vote here. 🙂

As you can see, there is a lot to vote for. If you don’t speak German this might have been a quick glimpse at German/Austrian voting culture, or at what I voted for in particular :D. I tried to make it as entertaining as possible.

If you found one or more of your favorites in the above categories, go vote for them and maybe you’re lucky and they win. Just click the picture below or click on the categories above.

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On Friday, November 29 Lovelybooks will announce the winners of this year’s Lovelybooks Leserpreis awards! Who will they be?

Review – The Ocean at the End of the Lane

It’s review time again 🙂

I finally got around to reading the pre-release copy of Neil Gaiman‘s The Ocean at the End of the Lane that I won from The Independent.

(If my writing sounds a little strange today, blame it on too many watermelons 😀 )

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Summary quoted from Headline¹:

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

My Thoughts:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is set in a rural town, probably in the 20th century. Although there are lots of scenes that take place during daytime, there is a certain darkness that I felt spanning these scenes. This gave the setting quite a creepy atmosphere. Sometimes everything about the narrator’s house seemed so shabby and rotten. I think this was brilliant.

The main characters we meet in Ocean are the narrator (sometimes in the form of a grown up man, more often as a little boy) and his family, the narrator’s friend Lettie and her family and then there is a woman called Ursula Monkton. All characters are very believable, some friendly, some scary, some a little blurry. The blurriness of these characters might be because they are of lesser importance to the story. But as we are experiencing the story through the little boy, I think his mother shouldn’t be that blurry even though she only plays a minor role.

The story itself is interesting and I’m still not that sure what to think of it. I don’t know if Mr. Gaiman wants it to be interpreted or not. I’m not sure if it should simply stay a fantastic tale, or if there is supposed to be more depth to it. If there is, I think it’s clever. (I can’t tell much more without putting spoilers in here). If it’s just a tale, I think it’s a nice tale but it’s not very special at all. It reads quickly, it’s NOT for children, of that I’m sure, but it didn’t surprise me. The Ocean at the End of the Lane a very dark and scary tale of a boy who is unfortunate enough to be involved in something he doesn’t understand and fortunate enough to find good friends.

bohnen3s

¹ http://www.headline.co.uk/Books/detail.page?isbn=9781472200310

Offer – Neil Gaiman Kindle Books

You haven’t read all Neil Gaiman books? Me neither. Well, now seems to be the perfect time. As Neil Gaiman’s new book The Ocean at the End of the Lane is out since yesterday (June 18th), it seems Amazon decided to lower the price on many Neil Gaiman Kindle books. You can get books like The Graveyard Book, Coraline or Stardust for under 5 Euros (I think they also are under $5 for US customers, I only see the price they charge for European customers and that’s usually higher and they are still under $5. Unfortunately, I cannot see the price information for the UK, but I think the same applies here. Just check.).

Just head over to your country’s Amazon site and search for Neil Gaiman Kindle books 🙂 Happy Shopping!

(It could be that other e-book platforms also lowered their price for the books. Go check!)

I Won – The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Happy Friday everyone,

It’s a busy time for me right now. I’ve got lots of exams coming up at the end of June and the beginning of July. Nevertheless, I have good news:

I won a pre-release copy of Neil Gaiman‘s The Ocean at the End of the Lane from The Independent. YAY 🙂

Here it is:

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I can’t guarantee that I’ll get to read it before the official release on Tuesday, as I’ve got lots of studying to do and I also joined a reading challenge where I have to read a 774-page book and do lots of tasks until the end of June (and that book also arrived today – whoa). I’ll still try though. Maybe I’ll have to pull an all-nighter.

Summary quoted from Headline¹:

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

¹ http://www.headline.co.uk/Books/detail.page?isbn=9781472200310