Saturday, August 2, 2014

50/50 Challenge Update: First of the Month

Well let's just come out and say it, July was a blur. Yes, I was traveling during a lot of it, but I just think -- kids are going back to school! What even happened in July?!

I am just getting over a summer cold, which was the absolute worst. Note: Tylenol Cold & Sinus mixed with baking-inside-my-apartment temperatures is not a good combo!

But now onto my challenge update, which I am still determined to conquer this year. #thingsgeekssay

Movie #29: Magic in the Moonlight

I wrote a lengthier review of the movie, but I was a little underwhelmed.

21. The Rosie Project by Graeme C. Simsion
22. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
23. Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

The last book I received free from Blogging For Books. If you love books like I do, then you should sign up to! The only "catch" is that you leave a review of the book you receive. How easy is that?

Summer House with Swimming Pool by Herman Koch

Herman Koch writes in such a way that has the reader intrigued at what's to come but not in a hurry to get there. For Summer House with Swimming Pool the novel is a mystery unfolding, but not a typical page-turner pace that most thrillers have. That's not to say the writing is slow or dull; it's more to the credit of the writer for setting the tone early on and allowing the reader to craft the story in the mind. 

Dr. Marc Schlosser is a family doctor who is bored with what he does and has a watered down look at the world. He and his wife are constantly invited to social events and after one such premiere, he meets actor Ralph Meier, a larger than life personality, who at the beginning of the story has wound up dead after a possible misdiagnosis, and the story travels backwards from there. The description of Ralph and more importantly, what he does (hacks at a swordfish on the patio to cook up on the BBQ) gives the reader a keen sense of what type of personality we are dealing with from him. 

Ralph is a ladies' man and takes an interest in Marc's wife, Caroline but is fleeting, while Marc, on the other hand, take an interest in Ralph's wife, Judith. They follow-up with a dinner party at the Meier's house, and this begins the subplot to the story that creates an interesting tension and intertwining of the families. 

The Schlosser family (Marc, Caroline, and their two daughters Julia and Lisa) take a camping trip near the Meier's summer house where they have been invited as guests. After their teenage daughter, Julia runs into the Meier's son, Alex the two families come together again and end up spending time together at the summer house. The families then face a dark turn and the details that follow lead to clues regarding Ralph's death.

It's interesting to hear the voice of Marc and how he sees things from a doctor's perspective in comparison to a father's and also in comparison to any other average person. Details from a doctor's perspective, while matter-of-fact, can be gruesome to the reader or at least create some discomfort, but it fits with the darker tone of the story. 

I enjoyed the writing of this book and the story overall. It definitely would ignite interesting discussion. 

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