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September 3rd, 2019

Extra slow year so far..books 2-6

I don't really know what's been up with me this year, but I have been so slow in reading it's shameful. Started so many books which I've just struggled to read through. Hoping with the start of a new term (I work at a university) and finishing a course I have been doing since the start of the year coming to an end, reading will pick up again.

2. A History of Heavy Metal - Andrew O'Neill
Pages: 281
Blurb: The history of heavy metal brings us extraordinary stories of larger-than-life characters living to excess, from the household names of Ozzy Osbourne and Metallica (SIT DOWN LARS!), to the brutal notoriety of the underground Norwegian black metal scene and the New Wave of British Heavy Metal. It is the story of a worldwide network of rabid fans escaping everyday mundanity through music, of cut-throat corporate arseholes ripping off those fans and the bands they worship to line their pockets. The expansive pantheon of heavy metal musicians includes junkies, Satanists and murderers, born-again Christians and teetotallers, stadium-touring billionaires and toilet-circuit journeymen.
Award-winning comedian and life-long heavy metal obsessive Andrew O'Neill has performed his 'History of Heavy Metal' comedy show to a huge range of audiences, from the teenage metalheads of Download festival to the broadsheet-reading theatre-goers of the Edinburgh Fringe. Now, in his first book, he takes us on his own very personal and hilarious journey through the history of this most enduring and misunderstood of subcultures.
Thoughts: So I felt very conflicted with this book. It was funny in places, quite informative but my god was the author judgemental. It really put me off the book toward the end and I was just glad to finish it. Also, very judgey over what was and wasn't metal.

3. The Man in the Brown Suit - Agatha Christie
Pages: 243
Blurb: Anne Beddingfield is caught up in a thrilling chain of events when she witnesses the death of a man who falls onto the track at a London underground station. A man in a brown suit claims to be a doctor and examines the body, then rushes off, dropping a piece of paper with a cryptic message. Anne suspects that the man's death was no accident, and sets off to solve the mystery.
Thoughts: I was down with this book right up until the last couple of chapters which were utterly ridiculous. I have no idea what Christie was on when she thought of the ending but I hated it.

4. Goodbye to Berlin - Christopher Isherwood
Pages: 256
Blurb: Set in the 1930s, Goodbye to Berlin evokes the glamour and sleaze, excess and repression of Berlin society. Isherwood shows the lives of people at threat from the rise of the Nazis: a wealthy Jewish heiress, Natalia Landauer, a gay couple, Peter and Otto, and an English upper-class waif, the divinely decadent Sally Bowles.
Thoughts: If you were expecting the film Cabaret as a book (as I was) this book may not necessarily be for you. However, for a fascinating read in to a forgotten era, this is definitely one for you. Once over my initial disappointment, I actually really enjoyed this book.

5. grün und blau
Pages: 154
Blurb (translated in to English): In 1983 Aljoscha Rompe, Alexander Kriening, Paul Landers and Flake Lorenz founded the band "Feeling B". Around 25 years later, Flake pulled out the old records and produced previously believed to be lost songs with Mark Bihler, mixing the songs from scratch. This book contains photos and documents from Flake's shoebox collection, showing the history of the East German punk band to the beginnings of Rammstein.
Thoughts: First book I have read completely in German in years and I am so chuffed with myself. This book is fascinating as a fan of Rammstein, Flake and East German history. Filled with hilarious stories and photos, it provides a fascinating look in to life in East Germany.

6. Kin - Snorri Kristajansson
Pages: 312 (1246 overall)
Blurb: 970: For the first time since Helga was adopted, her family will be gathered in one place. But her siblings are coming with darkness in their hearts.
Everyone knows their father, the Viking warlord Unnthor Reginsson, has a great chest of gold hidden somewhere on his land - and each of his heirs is determined to find it.
Then one morning Helga is awakened by screams. Blood has been shed. Kin has been slain.
All the clues point to one person - who cannot possibly be the murderer, at least in Helga's eyes. But if she's going to save an innocent from the axe, she's got to solve the mystery - fast...
Thoughts: This book caught my eye for a couple of reasons, the main being it's a mystery set in 970 in somewhere Nordic (Denmark or Norway I think). I really enjoyed this book, very atmospheric and visual language. I didn't get the murderer until a chapter or two from the end, which is quite rare for me with a mystery. I also loved the little twist at the very, very end. Definitely a series I will be following.

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