Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New blog url!!!

If you subscribe to this blog through something other than the followers function, please change the url to this blog's new location:!

I have decided to change the url so that it matches the blog's name. So far it's still made up to fit the waaaay old blog name!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This blog is under allergies *wink*

Sorry, I'm suffering from my allergies and it drains all energy right out of me. I am tired, can't breathe through my nose and wished those stupid pollens would just hurry up doing their job so that I can breathe and live again.
I hope it gets better during the next few days - at least so much better that I can think and read again or at least get used to it...

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday (Apr 18)

Please don’t forget my two current giveaways: My 4th Blogiversary Giveaway ending April 24 and my Birthday Giveaway ending April 26!

In My Mailbox is a weekly event exploring the books I found in my mailbox and is hosted by Kristi @ The Story Siren and was inspired by Alea @ Pop Culture Junkie. To join in, please visit Kristi's blog!

Mailbox Mondays is a weekly event hosted by Marcia from The Printed Page. To join, please visit her blog!

Last week I've been really, really bad about visiting all your Mailboxes. Sorry! I hope and plan to be better this week.

Beth Fantaskey's Jessica's Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Gail Carriger's Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)

Batya Gur's The Saturday Morning Murder: A Psychoanalytic Case (Michael Ohayon Mysteries, No. 1) - I'm reading this series a bit out of order, because I can't always find the right book in the book store.

David Remnick's The Bridge: The Life and Rise of Barack Obama - my first book about the current president of the USA, and I'm already curious!

And two German books:

Entschuldigung, sind Sie die Wurst? (Excuse me, are you the wurst/cold meats?), a birthday gift from a dear friend. It's a compilation of things overheard in public - similar to Overheard in New York and Overheard Everywhere. (You really need to check these out if you don't know them already!)

Daniel Kehlmann's Ruhm (Fame), which is a novel in nine stories, where one story links to the others in one way or another. This was a birthday gift from a colleague and friend.

Friday, April 16, 2010

blame game time (April 16)

It is time for another blame game! I realized I skipped the last week or so, but with my cat and everything, I was too distraught to remember... The blame game was first done by Chris from Stuff As Dreams Are Made On.

Just Like Me, Just Better by Carol Snow was reviewed by Wendy from Wendy's Minding Spot and it sounds hilarious!

The Girl She Used To Be by David Cristofano was reviewed by Lenore from Presenting Lenore. I read a lot about the book in the past, but her short review just did it for me.

Taken By Storm by Angela Morrison was reviewed by Lorelei from Tattooed Books. I just have to get it, because it sounds like a nice book to read once I have finished some of my other books.

Wish by Alexandra Bullen has been out there for a bit, and I really don't know why I hesitated. Anyway, the review Kim from The Book Butterfly was the last straw...

The Wide-Awake Princess by E.D. Baker was reviewed by Stephanie from Juiciliciousss Reviews - while I don't particularly like the official cover (the ARC cover was much better!), I am still curious about this version of The Sleeping Beauty.

The DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) by Kody Keplinger was reviewed by Jami from YA Addict and it sure sounds like a fun read of reluctant friends (frenemies???)...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review: Literary Murder by Batya Gur

AuthorBatya Gur
TitleLiterary Murder
Date of PublicationOctober 7, 1994
Page Count368 (my German copy: 480)
SeriesSuperintendent Michael Ohajon #2

On a short vacation to the sea with his son, Superintendent Michael Ohajon witnesses the body of a dead scuba diver being pulled out of the sea. The diver turns out to be a lecturer at the Hebrew Literature Institute at Hebrew University in Jerusalem - Ido Duda'i. Back home in Jerusalem, Ohajon helps with the investigation in the lecturer's death, when a second murder victim is found: the head of the institute, Sha'ul Tirosh, a world-reknowned scholar and poet. While investigating the two murders, Ohajon heads back into the world of the university, including its academic talking and the lectures.

To be up front, this book can be boring in some parts for those readers who don't know the basics of studying literature (for example what hermeneutics is). Batya Gur recreated two longer lectures on literature in this mystery and some shorter discussions in conversations between the characters. This, of course, could have been expected in a book set around the world of the lecturers and professors of a literature department at a university. You can of course skip or skim those parts, but I really enjoyed them, as they showed some more distant characters in a new light.

Aside from that, though, the murder mysteries and the characters were so well-developped, it was amazing to read Literary Murder. The characters are really three-dimensional, with different reasons that make them tick. It was hard to keep track of every little detail, which made it impossible (at least for me) to guess who did it up until the very last moment.

On top of that, the setting in Jerusalem was one I have yet to encounter in other mysteries. According to SYKM there are a few more series set in Israel, or Jerusalem, more specifically (do authors know there are other interesting cities in Israel? I'd like to read a series set in Tzfat or maybe Haifa *wink* Batya Gur really brought Jerusalem into my living room and my room at my parents'. It was awesome to almost see the streets of Jerusalem with the old buildings and everything!

In my German copy, the publisher even added some explanations about the Jewish terms, as not everyone might know what "shiva" is. I'm really excited about this series, as it is so different from other murder mysteries / police procedurals I've read in the past, yet, it is similar. I can't wait to get my hands on the next book.

This review is part of Jen's Detectives Around the World week. For more posts about detectives from all different countries, please click on the picture:

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

books, books, and more books - currently reading and not reading

I'm sooo tired! My first week of lectures at unversity is already finished (I only have classes Mon through Wed) and 4 of my classes didn't even take place yet, but I'm so tired, I actually went to bed at 8:30pm yesterday and only read for an hour before I switched off the light and dozed off, happily slept until close to 7am this morning and I am still (or again?) tired!

With all the being tired I haven't read much, but instead I started a few more books. Just what I needed, right? On Monday, I bought and started reading one of Carlo Goldoni's works (the title escapes me, sorry - it's about a notorious liar and his servant, Arlecchino). On Sunday late in the evening I discovered - to my shock and horror - that sometime after my wisdom tooth issue, they changed the class info for my class on Italian lit and I was supposed to read this one *before* the class started. And yes, the class started on Monday! Anyway, I got up early, left for the book shop to get the book and the sat down in the Starbucks right around the corner and started reading. I think I read the first 20 pages before I had to leave for my class, so I really was nowhere near finished (the book has only about 90 pages, but still!). Now, on to said class, with a guilty conscience! And there I found out we won't discuss the book until late May or even early June. Duh! I could have saved myself the trouble (and another currently reading-book. Well, I'm now half-way through, so I will finish it and then skim it once we're closer to the actual discussion date.

Then, I needed something light for the evening, because on Monday already, I was just so tired! So I picked up one of my romance novels which I have here. My small stack of "lifesavers", so to say, because I just can't fall asleep unless I read a few pages. No matter how tired I am, I just won't fall asleep! And then, I'm reading the 4th House of Night book, Untamed. I am on page 45, I think, which really isn't that far into the story yet, and even though I enjoy it, I just haven't managed to pick it back up today (not after the train ride home from the dentist, who took the stitch out this noon, anyway).

Really, right now, I just wished I could sit down with *one* book and finish it. But no, I have a bunch going.

And as if that is not bad enough, I sorted through all the bills from my book-shopping sprees (I collect them :-P ). I filed all those away that have unread books on them, and I have unread books from as far back as 2006 (that's as far back as I could go)! Can you imagine that? 2006!!!

The books are:

1) P.J. Tracy: Dead Run
2) Tamar Myers: The Ming & I
3) Julia Spencer-Fleming: In The Bleak Midwinter
4) Joanne Fluke: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder (one would think I read that right away - chocolate chip cookies and all!)
5) Rhys Bowen: Death of Riley
6) Nancy Fairbanks: Death A L'Orange
7) Emilie Richards: Let There Be Suspects
8) Rachel Gibson: Simply Irresistible

And maybe Janet Evanovich's Seven Up, but I can't find it on my TBR piles or shelves. Wherever that book is, I hope I already read it!

This run down really scared me, so I didn't even think about going through the bills from 2007. It can only get worse! *sigh*

Do you have many unread books at home from looooong ago?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review: My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

AuthorLauren Bjorkman
TitleMy Invented Life
PublisherHenry Holt
Date of PublicationSeptember 29, 2009
Page Count229

Roz and Eva are sisters who are only one year apart - and up until a few months ago, they were not only sisters, but also best friends. But then they fell out with each other, which ended with Eva deleting a folder from her computer desktop titled "Roz - sister and best friend". Roz calls this the PD - the time Post Deletion. Now the sister are enemies of sorts and very, very tense around each other and argue whenever they're talking. When Eva dares Roz to publicly proclaim she is into girls at the beginning of a new school year, Roz accepts right away, thinking it won't be too difficult and might even help others with their coming out, but is she really ready for what will come her way? And who is actually into girls in this cast? And will this affect this year's play the drama club will perform, Shakespeare's As You Like It?

In this young adult novel spiked with Shakespearean curses and even more references Shakespearean language most of the time, we not only meet two sisters and their friends in times of troubles and secrets. We also are thrown into the world of teenagers today who have to deal with their identity and their sexuality.

Roz is a funny, rather clueless girl who stumbles into difficult situations simply because she wants to help. This makes her a likeable character, even if you sometimes feel like telling her to open her eyes. Her sister Eva is someone Roz misses in her life and she does not know what caused the fraction between them, so she tries to figure it out, to go back to normal. To top it of (like the whipped cream on the ice cream, if you'd like), we get Roz's internal view, her daydreams. And then there are of course the other members of the drama club. These characters are something and they throw you right back to high school - there's drama, lies, betrayals and some good acting going on throughout the book.

I really enjoyed that Lauren Bjorkman used this setting everyone involved in high school art clubs knows, to talk about sexual identity, sibling rivalry and friendship. We all need friends, after all! I found Roz' voice to be clear, even if she was not exactly the most straightforward, that's how it is girl and her daydreams spiked things up.

All in all, I was sad to see this story end, but while I would love to visit Roz, Eva and the entire drama club again, I just don't see a good plot. Unless you take Jonathan as the narrator! Actually, I can't wait for 2011 to come, because then I will at least get back with Lauren Bjorkman's beautiful writing, in her second young adult novel Miss Fortune Cookie.

I got this book through International Book Tours, and I'm really glad the girls are doing this for us international book bloggers!