Saturday, June 30, 2007

classics challenge - a few additional comments

It was brought to my attention, that I missed some explanations for the classics challenge, so I thought I'd add a few comments now.

Of course, it is okay to use re-reads for the challenge. Don't we all prefer a good classic to one we don't enjoy at all?

And then, if you started a chunkster classic (400+ pages) before July 1st, and you've not yet reached page 50, then feel free to add this one to the list.

Also, if you want to join in, please do so before August 16th (I'm thinking about drawing a "winner" out of those who finished the challenge on time for a little goody).

Then, there's another thing - cross-overs with other challenges: There are so many challenges out there and many signed up with more than one, so of course it is okay if you have cross-overs.

And if you made up a list and find you don't want to read one of the books, you can change that until August 16th as well :)


Just a quick addition: I am still reading, but so many books at a time I don't really see any progress. I hope to finish another book next week or so!

former Sticky Post

***Sticky Post: This post will be on top until June 30. Newer posts can be found below. Thanks! ***

Here are some posts that originally were sticky posts, but they are sooo long I decided to instead only post the links to the posts.

reads for reading challenges

classics challenge - the lists

idea for a series challenge - not before December 2007! - for this challenge neither the time frame nor a proper name has been set, so if you are interested and/or have an idea let me know!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Me - addicted? Nooooo!

I just saw this at Marg's Reading Adventures and thought I should try it.

72%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating

I can live with this result, I think. Not even 3/4...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This blog apparently would be R-rater

Online Dating

Mingle2 - Online Dating

I just had to try this and see for myself...

6x murder
3x dead
2x death
1x corpse

And all this makes me R-rated?!? Wow! If I was as old as some people judge me to be (usually about 17, sometimes 20), I wouldn't be allowed to read this book, but I'm the author - insane, if you ask me...

But then - wasn't it Shirley Temple who was allowed to act in the movies, but didn't get to see her movies because she was too young?

Monday, June 25, 2007

Splintered Bones

Number: 61
Title: Splintered Bones
Author: Carolyn Haines
Started: June 22, 2007
Finished: June 25, 2007
Pages: 354
Genre: mystery
ISBN: 0-440-23721-1

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: My TBR stack, which should be melting, but isn't because I keep adding books to it.

First Sentence: There is something about warm soil that connects the past and future into the present.

Cover Blurb: She may be a Mississippi belle, but Sarah Booth Delaney is no pampered daddy's girl. Unwed and over thirty, Sarah has her own set of problems - like coping with regular hauntings by her great-great-grandmother's nanny, a busybody of a ghost who's set on marrying her off to the first suitor who comes calling. But when an old friend is in trouble, Sarah Booth doesn't hesitate to get involved.

Eulalee McBride has confessed to murdering her husband... and she wants Sarah to dig up the dirt on the violent scalawag to prove he got what he deserved. Sarah Booth suspects her friend is lying through her pearly whites... but why? There's certainly no lack of suspects in Zinnia Mississippi, including Bud Lynch, a horse trainer, who arouses killer lust in the town's women. As Sarah Booth begins to put together the pieces of the case, a killer is preparing to strike again. And this time it could send one late-blooming southern sleuth into an early grave....

Reason For Reading: It's a buddy read for one of my online reading groups.

Comments: I'm trying to get my thoughts down without any spoilers as I believe you just have to read this book by yourself to discover all the twists and turns. And there are quite a few, believe me!

Ms Haines manages to not ignore the side characters (IMO there are no minor characters, just characters that don't play such a big role) and how they develope.

We've known Eulalee McBride already when she comes in as a major character. Before she was a friend, but that's about it. And in this installment we find out a lot more about her and her life. Same goes for Tinkie, who did appear right from the beginning, but again she seems to grow and we see more of her personality.

I just loved the twists and turns Ms Haines created. It has been a while since I last read a book with that many, yet everything was resolved in the end.

Also, I consider it still a lot of fun that Sarah Booth is not on the look out for a husband, no matter what Jitty says. Instead, in my eyes, she now has three good guys lined up. I hope to see a resolve to this soon, but I can also wait a bit longer, because the author keeps it light.

Okay, I'm afraid I'm babbling along as I really don't want to give away anything about the story. I better leave it at that: It is a great part of a great series and if you like the South, independent women and fun characters (including the dogs, Chablis and Sweety Pie), I'd definitely recommend it!

Favorite Part: That must have been Tinkie coloring Sweety Pie's fur!

Miscellaneous: I'm going to pick up the next in series some time today and I really can't wait!

Rating: A-

A Woman Worth Loving

Number: 60
Title: A Woman Worth Loving
Author: Jackie Braun
Started: June 24, 2007
Finished: June 25, 2007
Pages: 156
Genre: romance

Language: German

First Sentence: [translated by: me] Of course it was obvious to regret the own life style when someone crushed one's throat.

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] Far off the glamorous world of Hollywood, actress Audra wants to relax close to her family at Lake Michigan. But during her vacation at Trillium Island, she meets Seth Ridley, the love of her life. Hand in hand, they walk along the sea, listen to the rippling of the waves - and kiss passionately in a deep red sunset. Still, Audra does not suspect that Seth believes she is responsible for the acident of his family - and wants to take revenge...

Reason For Reading: Oh well, I didn't believe I could finish Splintered Bones in one more sitting and didn't want to put the book down 40 pages to the end, so I started this one - only to finish this one AND Splintered Bones that night ;)

Comments: Oh well, since you kind of know what to expect I rate those books with the expectation in mind. I can't help it.

With this one I have to say it portrays something many of us have experienced at one point in our lives. You make a mistake and try to change your life, but this is not always easy - which the author showed pretty well.

Actually, when thinking about the characters more carefully, I'd be able to understand them all to a degree. They were not really eccentric, but acted in ways I can imagine many people around me (including me, most certainly!).

Rating: B+

Sunday, June 24, 2007

By The Decade Challenge

It's not as if I didn't have enough challenges going for me already, but this one sounded like a lot of fun, so I'm joinin gin somewhat late on the By The Decade Challenge

And I also already made up my list.

1920s Agatha Christie: The Mysterious Affair At Styles (1920)
1930s Agatha Christie: Murder At The Vicarage (1930)
1940s Enid Blyton: The Twins At St. Clares (1941) (read: June 07)
1950s Agatha Christie: 4:50 From Paddington (1957)
1960s Agatha Christie: The Mirror Crack'd (1963)
1970s Charlotte MacLeod: The Family Vault (1979)
1980s Charlotte MacLeod: The Withdrawing Room (1980)
1990s Stephanie Barron: Jane And The Unpleasantness At Scargrave Manor (1996) (read: April 07)
2000s Shirley Damsgaard: Witch Way To Murder (2005) (read: March 07)

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Series Challenge (?!?)

As I already announced, I intend to host a challenge for all those of us book addicts who keep starting new series, but hardly ever finish (or at least get up to date) with them. The first post about the challenge is here.

Right now I have at least 63 (rather more, because I'm sure I forgot a series or two) series going and there's no real end for many of those in sight (other than Harry Potter, that is). Be it series with the same characters, the same topic, by the same author...

I was thinking about doing this challenge over 6 months - but with the option for an extension (like another 6 months or so), as I know that 6 months will never be enough for me to finish even a fourth of my series - and I assume I'm not the only one who is in such a situation ;)

I thought about doing the first 6 month (Yes, it sounds as if I'm already planning the extension, huh? LOL) between December 1, 2007 and May 31, 2008.

The basic rules would be:

1. There is no set number of books you have to read, you just have to read the books in order to be all up-to-date with the series.

2. Post your review of the books on your blog, no matter how long.

3. Post a comment here when you have finished a series and when you have finished all the series you wanted to finish for the challenge.

4. Always remember this is for fun!

So, the basic things appear to be set (? if not let me know) - with one big exception, the name! Does anyone have an idea for a name?
I only come up with weird or stupid names (see the title for this post - or "All Those Series Challenge"), but I'd prefer a better one ;)
I'm open for suggestions!

Also, here is an incomplete list of all the series I have going right now...


I have been asked whether trilogies and the like would also be okay for this challenge. The Garden Trilogy was mentioned as an example...

Of course they are okay. As long as the books are linked in some way (I know the Garden trilogy - I already read the first two and will maybe read the 3rd for the challenge, actually), I'd consider it a series :-)

my final list for the Classics Challenge

I finally made up my mind about my reading list for the Classics Challenge. It took me a while, but I think I now have it :)

The goal for the Classics Challenge is to read 3-5 classics between July 1 and November 30.

My intended reads are:
Honoré de Balzac - The Girl With The Golden Eyes
Emily Bronte - Wuthering Heights
Theodor Fontane - Frau Jenny Treibel

And my alternates:
Jane Austen - Mansfield Park
Paul Auster - Moon Palace
Victor Hugo - Les Misérables
William Shakespeare - Macbeth

Friday, June 22, 2007

Kitty and The Midnight Hour

Number: 59
Title: Kitty and The Midnight Hour
Author: Carrie Vaughn
Started: June 20, 2007
Finished: June 22, 2007
Pages: 259
Genre: paranormal
ISBN: 0-446-61641-9

Language: English

Where The Book Came From: Ordered it through on one of my book buying sprees (I've had too many lately, I admit it, at least I'm getting a few through Tauschticket now...).

First Sentence: I tossed my backpack in the corner of the studio and high-fived Rodney on his way out.

Cover Blurb: Vampires. Werewolves. Talk Radio.

Kitty Norville is a midnight-shift DJ for a Denver radio station - and a werewolf in the closet. Sick of lame song requests, she accidentally starts "The Midnight Hour", a late-night advice show for the supernaturally disadvantaged.

After desperate vampires, werewolves, and witches across the country begin calling in to share their woes, her new show is a raging success. But it's Kitty who can use some help. With one sexy werewolf-hunter and a few homicidal undead on her tail, Kitty may havebitten off more than she can chew...

Reason For Reading: It was recommended to me and I thought I could use some paranormal. Especially because I can't even remember whether I ever read something about were-animals before...

Comments: I couldn't put this book down, it was so exciting and full of suspense!

Kitty is a DJ and radio show host for the public - and in secrecy, she's also a werewolf, part of a pack. And she is trying her best to keep it secret until one night she gets a call from a listener on air asking her specific questions about life as a supernatural being. While trying to give advice (all without revealing her true identity), her ratings go up and both the alpha male of her pack and Arture, the local vampire Master are not too happy about her popularity.

When on top of that a hired assassin and werewolf hunter is after her, she gets involved with the police. The same cops now ask her for help in a series of unsolved murders, because now that the public is aware of the existence of werewolves and vampired, they think it might have been a werewolf who commited the murders.

I'm still trying to figure out whether it could be considered a (paranormal) mystery series, with this first one simply being dedicated to character development rather than the mystery per se - which added a lot to my rating! - or whether it is a paranormal series.

Favorite Part: The conversation on air about (and later with) Cormac (the werewolf hunter) whether he ever had a relationship with a werewolf.

Miscellaneous: I couldn't put it down even though I was tired last night. I have a sleeping disorder and so I'd normally cherish each and any chance I could get to sleep, but it was just so exciting!

Rating: A-

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Shades Of Earl Grey

Number: 58
Title: Shades Of Earl Grey
Author: Laura Childs
Started: June 18, 2007
Finished: June 20, 2007
Pages: 234
Genre: mystery

Where The Book Came From: My TBR stack - now left at XXX books

First Sentence: Scurrying across the Italian marble floor of the Lady Goodwood Inn, Theodosia Browning glanced up at the gleaming painting of the inn's venerable founder and matriarch.

Cover Blurb: Indigo Tea Shop owner Theodosia Browning is finally invited to a social event that she doesn't have to cater - but there's more than champagne bubbling...

Theo is mingling with the cream of Charleston society at the engagemnt soiree of the season. But as they eagerly await the dazzling young couple's arrival, the groom meets with a freak accident. The exquisite wedding ring - a family heirloom from the crown of Marie Antoinette - is mysteriously missing. Theodosia suspects that trouble is brewing. But when she goes to the authorities, they treat her like she's been reading tea leaves - and that's the sures way to put Theodosia's kettle on the boil...

Reason For Reading: It was actually a buddy read in early May, but I didn't get around to read the book until now due to university. Now I have only about 2 - 3 weeks left until the buddy read on the next book in series starts, so I better get this done now!

Comments: Oh my, I should have read this a lot earlier, but with classes I just didn't have the time. Would have been a good idea if I had used this one to relax a bit, though as it was awesome!

I like to see how the characters develop and I also enjoy all the changes that go on with Theodosia's tea shop. This time, she actually has an entirely new line of products going, which sounds intriguing. I have to say - I'd try it as well, if it was available.

Theo's independence is a wonderful aspect. She can do things for the investigation on her own, yet she doesn't strictly refrain from asking people she knows for help in certain things. You can't do it all on your own, I think. Sometimes you need a different point of view in order to see something - maybe an important hint!

Also, I really loved that Jory was back in this book. I missed him in the last one, and this time his appearance satisfied me again :)

I can only say I will read the next one - The English Breakfast Murder - as soon as I can!

Favorite Part: My favorite part was the super-glue attack - and no, I'm not going in depth here, as I would only spoil this scene in case you'd like to read it (and if you already read it you'll most likely remember it).

Miscellaneous: This was supposed to be a buddy read in early May - and I ended up reading it in late June. Umm yes... At least I could finish it before we're going to read the next in series in early July!

Rating: A-

Sister Swap

Number: 57
Title: Sister Swap
Author: Lilian Darcy
Started: June 19, 2007
Finished: June 20, 2007
Pages/Time: 114
Genre: romance

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: it ended up in my family, probably when my Grandma was ill

First Sentence: "Did I understand you right, Mom?" Roxanna asked.

Cover Blurb: [translated be: me] Since Roxanna works at the wonderful country estate in the Toscana, her life is turned upside down. The fascinating Italian Gino di Bartoli courts her so much, she can't resist. But Gino is only looking for an affair - and Roxanna says No...

Reason For Reading: I was in desperate need for some fluff!

Comments: Well, as the English title already says, this book is about a sister swap. Roxanna's twin sister has a problem and can't get back to work in the Toscana, so Roxanna, currently out of a job, goes there in her place.

I usually enjoy those stories set in Italy because the atmosphere there is pretty much unique. You can't find a place like Italy anywhere else on this planet - or that's at least how it seems to me :)

Predictable as romance novels are I had quite some fun reading it and once more didn't get to sleep until I was done (well, maybe it is a good thing I have troubles sleeping at normal times right now ;) ).

Rating: B+

The Prince's Virgin

Number: 56
Title: The Prince's Virgin
Author: Lucy Monroe
Started: June 19, 2007
Finished: June 19, 2007
Pages: 110
Genre: romance

Language: German

Where The Book Came From: somehow came to my family (most likely while Grandma was ill)

First Sentence: "Did you hire her?"

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] Maggie experiences magical days on the paradisiacal island Scorsolini. Finally her biggest dream seems to come true: She and Prince Tomasso become a couple! But when he proposes he doesn't talk about love...

Reason For Reading: It was there and I needed fluff.

Comments: Oh my, at least it was a lot better than the one I read before. You always kind of know what to expect from the translation. Cheesy - cheesier - cheesiest! What really bugs me is that they use words no decent human being would use in everyday life. This makes it look surreal and makes me laugh at those novels quite a bit. I enjoy those in English a lot better.

Anyway, at least I enjoyed the characters and it was a nice story. Usually I enjoy the author's works better, though. It seemed a bit forced, the whole "evil ex-wife" part, at least.

Rating: B+

some new books from the last 2, 3 days...

These are the books that arrived between yesterday and today.

On Tuesday, I already got Meg Cabot's The Princess Diaries, Volume IV and a Half: Project Princess.

The book in the middle and the Cabot were both books I got through Tauschticket, a German swap site for books, CDs and DVDs. The other two, I ordered through Amazon.

For the Lovesey there's a special, though sad reason and I'm glad it arrived so soon. I will read it as soon as possible.

I already started the first Kitty Norville book (Kitty and The Midnight Hour) and enjoy it a lot. It appears to be different from what I usually read - even among the vampire/paranormal books.

Booking through Thursday

Booking through Thursday

Since school is out for the summer (in most places, at least), here’s a school-themed question for the week:

1. Do you have any old school books? Did you keep yours from college? Old textbooks from garage sales? Old workbooks from classes gone by?
2. How about your old notes, exams, papers? Do you save them? Or have they long since gone to the great Locker-in-the-sky?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Well, I didn't have to buy all my school books, but I still have my French books and most of the books I had to read for school. I like to keep them because I did add some notes and I like to read those while re-reading a book.

My books for school, btw, are the only book I ever wrote in.

Also, I have quite some of the notes I took during classes. I still have everything from 12th & 13th grade (the last two years at school) along with all my papers and exams from back then. I have a few from the years before as well - and I have what I wrote down during the last few semesters as well...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Taken By The Tycoon

Number: 55
Title: Taken By The Tycoon
Author: Kathryn Ross
Started: June 17, 2007
Finished: June 18, 2007
Pages: 112
Genre: romance

Where The Book Came From: I got the "book" from Grandma.

First Sentence: Their looks met across the table at the conference room and suddenly the air appeared to sizzle between them.

Cover Blurb: [translated by: me] On the white beach of Barbados, Nicole wants to enjoy Luke's wild passion one last time. Before he breaks her heart, she has to leave him. She fell in love with the charming millionnaire, but he refuses a relationship...

Reason For Reading: If only I knew... It was there and I needed some light reading, but all of that I had left at home.

Comments: First off, part of the story was a total rip off. Same publisher, different author. Whyever she got through with it.

But then, in the end all those books are similar in a way. Woman meets rich guy, he's not interested in a relationship, she falls in love anyway, tries to break up with him, which he can't stand and therefore pursues her - and realizes he loves her as well. Duh!

Miscellaneous: Part of the story is pretty much exactly like in another book by a different author (I don't remember name and title right now, but could possibly look it up later this week.)

Rating: B- (just because I knew what I was getting myself into)

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Crocodile On A Sandbank

Number: 54
Title: Crocodile On A Sandbank
Author: Elizabeth Peters
Started: June 01, 2007
Finished: June 17, 2007
Time: 9 hours and 51 minutes
Genre: mystery

Where The Book Came From:

First Sentence: Amelia Peabody embarks upon her debut Egyptian adventure armed with unshakeable self-confidence, a journal to record her thoughts, and, of course, a sturdy umbrella.

Cover Blurb: [from] Amelia Peabody inherited two things from her father: a considerable fortune and an unbendable will. The first allowed her to indulge in her life's passion. Without the second, the mummy's curse would have made corpses of them all.

Reason For Reading: This series was recommended to me quite a while ago and I thought it would be a great addition to the RBL Summer Mystery Reading Challenge.

Comments: I can't believe I waited so long to get to this first adventure of Amelia Peabody! Though it had first been recommended to me at least 3 years ago, I didn't get around to reading it until now. And even then only when I got a subscription to and found that they have a lot of the books, if not all of them. I assume I'll get one each month now, so that I can revisit Amelia as often as possible.

Amelia is a 30-something single woman from England who sets out for Egypt upon inheriting her father's money (not that she hadn't already inherited his love for ancient history ;) ).

In this installment, she doesn't have to find a murderer, but it still has quite a mystery in it. It involves an inheritance, a poor girl, a mummy and some British noble men...

And I would always recommend it, as it is just great! The characters came to live for me and I would download the second right away if I wouldn't "have" to listen to another audio book first ;)

Favorite Part: Whenever Emerson and Amelia were talking, actually. They just have a way of talking to each other that makes me crack up.

Miscellaneous: The author has a Ph.D. in Egyptology, so she sure knows what she's talking about.

For more info you might be interested in

Rating: A-

Fowl Prey

Number: 53
Title: Fowl Prey
Author: Mary Daheim
Started: June 5, 2007
Finished: June 17, 2007
Pages: 230
Genre: mystery

Where The Book Came From: From Mt. TBR, now 139 books high (plus a few I forgot to add to the list LOL).

First Sentence: Oops! I knew I forgot something when I put the book on my shelves at my parents' *blush* Will add it on Thursday morning!

Cover Blurb: Murder Most Fowl

Leaving the Hillside Manor in capable hands, bed-and-breakfast hostess Judith McMonigle heads north to Vancouver's Hotel Clovia with her irrepressibly voracious cousin Renie for a pre-Thanksgiving getaway. But when an addled and impoverished popcorn vendor is murdered - along with his foul-mouthed pet parakeet - a local copper's suspicous gaze settles on the two visiting Americans. The cousins, in turn, suspect one of the 'Sacred Eight' - an odd-duck assortment of glamorous showbiz glitterati currently gathered at the historic hotel. And unless Judith and Renie can pluck a killer from the secretive, star-studded group, their geese will be thoroughly cooked in short order!

Reason For Reading: It was a buddy read with some friends and I also wanted to continue this series. (I'm already anxiously awaiting the date for the buddy read on #3, Holy Terrors!)

Comments: Oh my, what am I to say?! I just love this series more with each installment I read, it seems.

Judith McMonigle has a B&B and she wants to spend the days before Thanksgiving with her cousin Renie in Canada. Of course, where Renie is, there is chaos. It appears to be one of the mysteries that will never be solved. ;)

First off, their reservation is messed up and then they get to stay with old friends of the girls, who are part of the Sacred Eight, a group of theater people. While there were a lot of characters, I have to say I had amazingly few problems keeping the characters straight. It took me only a short time to memorize them and from then on, it was rather easy for me to know who was who, though usually I do have quite a few problems with this...

I enjoyed that Judith didn't just take everything like the "dumb heroine accidentally solving the case". She sticks up for herself! I like independent heroines a lot better than the TDTL heroines.

Favorite Part: I loved it when Angus MacKenzie, the Canadian cop and Judith and Renie *talked*! It was just great! And of course the phone conversation between Judith and Joe *bg*

Miscellaneous: Don't ask me how many homeworks I didn't do just because of this book! LOL

Rating: A-

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Good point, Meghan!

Meghan, over at Recreational Reading, wrote a very true entry about those ridiculous, all-revealing titles for romance novels. I mean, I usually only read those books in German (well, except I once got a whole box full of Harlequin romance novels at ebay for a very decent price ;-) ), and when I get the book, I usually add it to my database right away, which means I get to see two titles.

I mean, just today I got a 4-in-1:
Taken By The Tycoon
The Prince's Virgin Wife
Sister Swap
Rebel In Disguise

The German titles in translation would be:
Stormy Nights In Barbados
At The Palace Of Love
Summer Love In The Toscana
Listen To The Voice Of Your Heart

I did mention those are the titles for the same 4 books, right? ;)

I could mention quite a few other double titles that are - interesting at the least! It sometimes really seems as if either the puplisher doesn't want to "waste" much time on the title, or just don't care as long as sales are right.

I mean, no matter how good the writing is, romance novels will never get a better rep when no one manages to really care. It seems as if the publishers are the stepparent to a poor stepchild, the romance novels...

Friday, June 15, 2007

10 Things You Don't Know About Me

I found this one at Melissa's Reflections and enjoyed reading her things so much I decided to think about some not that well-known facts about me.

1. I'm the only granddaughter my Grandparents have (on both sides!). I have one brother and two (male) cousins.

2. Also, I'm the oldest grandchild for both my Grandparents.

3. Once we read a book for school that I had already read a few weeks before - as a hard back along with the other two books in the series. No matter how heavy the book was, I refused to leave me precious book at home. It was Henry Winterfeld's Detectives In Togas from 1953.

4. Back when I was at school I brought along even the heaviest of books to read during breaks and on the bus. I think the heaviest was one of the Harry Potter books.

5. Back at school, during the last few years I kept annoying my German teachers by applying English punctuation to German texts. This was the only reason they had to use red ink on my papers when it came to spelling and grammar. (Don't ask about content, though, cause I never had finished the books we were to write the paper on LOL)

6. When ordering food or eating out, I may say "I'm getting this", but in the end I pretty much always end up ordering something else. I just can't help it...

7. I kept trying and trying to keep a journal, but I never managed to write something down for longer than 2, 3 months. I think I'm doing much better with my blog!

8. I learned how to knit from my Grandma and right now I'm working on a cell phone sock (see here for an example for one you can buy. Mine will be red/orange/yellow.

9. I despise Lord Of The Rings as books. The movies are okay, but please, don't try to get me to read the books!

10. I have a mock exam (just translating some English excerpts into German and write a bit down about the authors) next week, and so far I haven't done a thing for it.

8 random facts

As I mentioned earlier on, I usually never get tagged, so I can choose freely from all the memes that are flying around out there.

This one I found at The Sleepy Reader (That name, btw, could be mine just as well. I'm sleepy and I'm an avid reader!).

Here are the rules:

1: Each player starts with 8 random facts/habits about themselves.
2: People who are tagged, write a blog post about their own 8 random things, and post these rules.
3: At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and include their names.
4: Don't forget to leave them a comment and tell them they're tagged, and to read your blog.

1. I'm thinking about changing my major - for one last time! Here in Germany, job life with a M.A. in comparative lit is not really something to look out for unless you manage to get one of the few jobs at a university. I have applied to some other things and we'll see what happens.

2. I'm seriously considering conversion since about 10 years now. And I'm actually trying to make it work out right now.

3. My Dad doesn't allow any more book shelves in my room in their house. He said he'd have to get a whole new report on the statistics then and that he's afraid the house would collapse with all my books in my room. So I have to either get rid of my books or I can't add any more books to my book shelves there. I assume I'll just have to get some of those big boxes to stash my books in them. I can't possibly get rid of my books! (At least not of those I enjoyed...)

4. I've never been out of Germany for more than 3 weeks.

5. My Grandma actually was the midwife when I was born, isn't that cool? :) (Same for my brother, btw!)

6. In 12th grade (that's the year before the last school year here) I sang in my former school's choir with a special permission by the headmaster there. I'd sung in the choir ever since I was at that school and wouldn't want to miss out on the fun we were always having there. Only in my last year at school I was too busy to drive to the old school once a week after classes.

7. I'm not exactly an organized person. I keep saying that genius rules over chaos. The only exception are my books. I have them organized by authors name - and if I have more than one book by an author, by publishing date as well. Plus, I keep series together!

8. I can't stand to have to read a series out of order. It just doesn't work that good for me :( If I can't find the next book in series, I'd rather wait so long until I can find said book. And if it takes several years!

Tell Your Blogging Story

Through Katrina at Callapidder Days I discovered Don't Try It At Home and the invitation to share our blogging history.

(Btw, can you tell I'm procrastinating? This is the 4th entry this morning, and I have to leave for classes in an hour and a half - not that I could come early to get a bit more of the homework done LOL)

How did you start blogging?
It started out with me really enjoying various blogs at first. I checked them out as often as possible and even read all the blog entries that were written way before I found the blog (I still do that, btw!). I had been searching for a good way to save up thoughts on the books I read. I tried writing down short summaries in a book . this didn't work so well because I kept forgetting to write it down. So I got my first blog (and now have three).

Did you intend to be a blog w/a following? If so, how did you go about it?
I see my blog as my place. It's the place for my book reviews, for my thoughts. If someone reads it, hey, feel welcome and enjoy it here!

What do you hope to achieve or accomplish with your blog? Have you been successful? If not, do you have a plan to achieve those goals?
I'm trying to write down my thoughts on my books. I usually manage to get this done, but there are always times when life intervenes and I can't blog for a bit. So far, I always ended up getting back and writing again. And I sure as hell enjoy it!

Has the focus of your blog changed since you started blogging? How?
Well, I'd say I added the challenges to the blog, but my blog is still about books, as it used to be when I started it.

What do you know now that you wish you'd known when you started?
I think the worst time was when I felt bad because I didn't know a thing to blog about. I hadn't read a new book, I had no really interesting thoughts about books. So what should I write?
I now take this a lot easier. When I have something to write, I write it down. If I don't have anything to write down, so be it. If I have something to write down, but not the time to sit down and write it down, I take a piece of paper and at least get the general idea down in a halfway quiet moment so that I won't forget it.

Do you make money with your blog?

Does your immediate or extended family know about your blog? If so, do they read it? If not, why?
My family knows about my blog, but they don't read it, AFAIK. My brother is not really interested in books and my parents don't know their way around the internet (neither do my Grandparents).

What two pieces of advice would you give to a new blogger?
Don't put pressure on yourself to get lots of readers and comments and to blog every day. There will be days you don't have time, where you don't know what to write. That's okay. No one will punish you for not blogging for a couple days ;-)
And the amount of readers and commenters doesn't necessarily tell the quality of a blog either, if you ask me.

Page 161

I found this meme at Musings Of A Bookish Kitty's and it's been a while since I did this, so I'm doing it again.

The Rules:
1. Grab the book closest to you.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth full sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence to your blog.
5. Don't search around for the coolest book you have, use the one that is really next to you.

This one is that never gets old because it's always changing. If you'd like to play along for the first time or give it a try again, consider yourself tagged!

Since I have two books that are at the same distance from where I am right now I'll just do it for both.

He'd changed out of the wet clothes he'd worn on the boat.
from: Meg Cabot - Avalon High

"And what?"
from: Mary Daheim - Fowl Prey (#2 in the Bed & Breakfast mystery series)

Avalon High

Number: 52
Title: Avalon High
Author: Meg Cabot
Started: June 04, 2007
Finished: June 15, 2007
Pages: 280
Genre: YA

Where Book Came From: my TBR stack - well, I bought it on June 04, and started reading at the book store already...

First Sentence: "You are so lucky."

Cover Blurb: Avalon High, Ellie's new school, is pretty much what she'd expected. There's Lance, the hunky footballer; Jennifer, the cute cheerleader; Marco, the troublemaker. But the big surprise is Will - the most gorgeous guy Ellie's ever met.

When Will says he thinks he's known Ellie before, things start getting weird. A feeling that grows as Ellie discovers dark secrets that bind Lance, Jennifer, Marco, Will - and herself. Can she stop the horrific chain of events that threatens to engulf them all?

Reason For Reading: I love Meg Cabot's books and this one sounded great while reading the first two chapters. I actually had to make myself stop reading to buy the book, or I would probably have finished it then and there.

Comments: When I picked this book up I had already 4 or 5 other books going - and I read quite a few from cover to cover in between starting and finishing this book. But nonetheless, this book is just great!

Ms Cabot manages to connect history, the present and YA fiction really well in this one and despite the fact that I'd never heard of the Lady of Shalott I did some research and intend to continue gathering information on her. It is a fascinating story and I also enjoy Tennyson's poem.

This YA has it all, teenagers falling in and out of love, heroes and villains, family secrets, teenage life, popular and not so popular kids, sports...

And I have to say, I hope for another, unlikely as it is. I'd like to meet Will, Elli, Jennifer and Lance again, to see what happened to them. Also Mr. Morton!

Favorite Part: Probably when Elaine screamed when she opened her eyes while floating in the pool and saw Will sitting on Spider Rock. Or maybe the scene at the end, with the sword.

Let's just say there were a few, okay? LOL

Miscellaneous: I just checked Meg Cabot's site (the British was down, so I used the US site) and it says that I have to wait only about 17 days for the second in series. And there's also a comic book-style blurb on the book, which you can find here! Now I have to get my calendar to write it down, cause doesn't have the book up for pre-order yet *gr*

Rating: A-

a minor change

I started to feel less and less pleased with how I organized my blog entries about my reads lately - which ended in my not writing an entry on my books in the last couple weeks trying to figure out how I'd like to do it.

I thinkI have now found a way I like, so I will try it. This new format, of course, might change as the time goes by and as I discover how to make it better. I no longer will post 2 separate entries for one book, but instead will post it all in one entry once I've finished the book.

You will see the new format as soon as I manage to finish up the blog entry for Meg Cabot's Avalon High :-)

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Booking Through Thursday

Booking Through Thursday

1. Do you cheat and peek ahead at the end of your books? Or do you resolutely read in sequence, as the author intended?
2. And, if you don’t peek, do you ever feel tempted?

I'd like to say I don't cheat, but occasionally, it happens. Especially when the book isn't that good and I'd like to know how it ends anyway. This has at times made me actually finish a book I had wanted to dump.

Though, cheating is not really something I do often. This year it hasn't happened up to now, and I don't even remember when I last cheated. Must have been way early last year, or the year before maybe?

But I have to admit that at times, when I'm reading a very exciting mystery or something other that is not that predictable (as opposed to romance, for example), I'm very tempted.

It's like that: You're sitting there with your book, reading it, and it is really very suspenseful. And then you have to stop reading yet again because of something. This is frustrating, because you want to know how it will end, but you're still so far from the end.

And btw, I keep scolding my Mom for reading the end after lousy 5 chapters LOL She does it way too often!

Btw, I'm handling this different for dinner - I don't mind having dessert before everything else *bg* After all, it means I have more room left for dessert ;-)

Friday, June 8, 2007

A few things of my favorite things

After reading Stephanie and Nyssaneala's responses to this really good meme at Book-A-Rama I haven't been tagged (for some - lucky - reason, I hardly ever get tagged), so I can choose which memes to take on.

A book that made you cry: Pretty much everything about the Shoa (the Holocaust) - I think it started with Judith Kerr's books and then went on with lots of other books written for YA. And sometimes tragic love stories... I admit, those are two very different genres!

A book that scared you: As above, books about the Shoa - I mean, it could happen again, theoretically! And this is really, really scary to me!

A book that made you laugh: Most of Sophie Kinsella's books and the Bidget Jones's Diary books by Helen Fielding. Those are simply hilarious (along with Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum books) and I can hardly get enough of them!

A book that disgusted you: The Treatment by Mo Hayder - bad writing always disgusts me...

A book you loved in elementary school: Technically, it is more of a series: Enid Blyton's Malory Towers books. I read them over and over again! (And still do!)

A book you loved in middle school: Henry Winterfeld's Roman mysteries - they were awesome, and was I glad we read them at school not long after I had read them for sheer pleasure!

A book you loved in high school: Oh, that's a hard one! Probably Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. I loved this book and was shocked it took me so long to get to it!

A book you hated in high school: The Terrors of Ice and Darkness by Christoph Ransmayr - simply horrible, and I think I only read about 5 pages. And it took me 8 weeks to get this far!

A book you loved in college: Among others, but the probably least well known would be Lope de Vega's Fuente Ovejuna (Thanks a lot, Ms Preuss!)

A book that challenged your identity: No book in particular, I'd say. More the sum of books I have read it the past 3-4 years or so. If I had read them earlier in life, I might be at a different point in life now.

A series that you love: Well, I definitely can't go with only one, but I'll try to limit myself. I'm a series reader ;-) First off, I have to mention the Harry Potter books, and The Princess Diaries books by Meg Cabot.

Your favorite horror book: Carrie by Stephen King - this book is great :)

Your favorite science fiction book: Actually, I have never really read real sci-fi, I think...

Your favorite fantasy: All the Harry Potter books! You just have to love them!

Your favorite mystery: Umm - I'm a mystery addict. Do you really think I could limit this to one?!?

Your favorite biography: Judith Kerr's trilogy on WW2 was awesome!

Your favorite "coming of age" book: If it counts I'd say To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee and definitely The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. And then there are a few German books no one else knows that weren't bad either.

Your favorite classic: Pretty much everything by William Shakespeare and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.

Your favorite romance book: As long as the story isn't too cheesy and the characters may exist in real life I might read it. I can't stand the cheesy and "dripping with slime and oil" books!

Your favorite book not on this list: The Modesty Blaise graphic novels by Jim Holdaway & Peter O'Donnell. I borrowed them from a friend and I have to say they are awesome! As was Maus by Art Spiegelman, btw :)

classics challenge - the lists

Okay, since some already posted their lists of books they want to read for the classics challenge later this year, I decided to post links to those lists.

If you already posted a list, please let me know and I'll add it the next time I'm online!

The lists:
1. Chris (Stuff As Dreams Are Made On)
2. booklogged (A Reader's Journal)
3. Literary Feline (Musings Of A Bookish Kitty)
4. Think Pink Dana (so many time, so little time)
5. Laura (Musings)
6. Henk (Masterpieces)
7. Puss Reboots
8. Fond of Books
9. Mominin (The Peer Review)
10. Sally906
11. Kelly
12. Bibliophiles Anonymous
13. Trish (Trish's Reading Nook)
14. Raidergirl3
15. 3M
16. Kathrin (me)

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Booking through Thursday

Okay, this is my first Booking through Thursday ever, but I've enjoyed reading other bloggers' answers. I will try to get to it each week now. Wish me luck!

Booking Through Thursday

Almost everyone can name at least one author that you would love just ONE more book from. Either because they’re dead, not being published any more, not writing more, not producing new work for whatever reason . . . or they’ve aged and aren’t writing to their old standards any more . . . For whatever reason, there just hasn’t been anything new (or worth reading) of theirs and isn’t likely to be.

If you could have just ONE more book from an author you love . . . a book that would be as good any of their best (while we’re dreaming) . . . something that would round out a series, or finish their last work, or just be something NEW . . . Who would the author be, and why? Jane Austen? Shakespeare? Laurie Colwin? Kurt Vonnegut?

Don’t forget to leave a link to your actual response (so people don’t have to go searching for it) in the comments—or if you prefer, leave your answers in the comments themselves!

Well, if I could really pick an author, I think I would pick J.K. Rowling. I can't imagine there won't be another Harry Potter book after the 7th (HP And The Deadly Hollows) is out in July :'-( Just one more Harry Potter to give me a bit more time to say good bye, more time to realize that it will be over... I'm really sad it will be over so soon and I find this hard to deal with ;-) At least I'll have the chance to read it twice - first in English, then in German!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

checking up on friends - or series reading...

Who knows me, knows I'm reading series in order whenever I can. (Meaning, whenever I can get hold of the books in order.) I love series, trilogies, whatever. I enjoy checking up on my dear old friends and meeting them again, seeing how their life pregresses...

As you might already have read in my post introducing my challenge idea, I have quite some series going, so when I saw that Literary Feline , Kailana and Marg had listed their series, and I found it really interesting.

Anyway, since I intend to go through with the challenge I mentioned, I thought it might be a good thing to list my series.

series I'm currently reading (the bold ones are those I'm up-to-date with):
(numbers in brackets: # of books I read vs. # of series so far)

  • Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity (3/11)

  • Nevada Barr: Anna Pigeon (2/13)

  • Stephanie Barron: Jane Austen (1/8)

  • Kate Borden: Peggy Jean Turner (1/3)

  • Rhys Bowen: Constable Evan Evans (1/10)

  • Rhys Bowen: Molly Murphy (1/5)

  • Lilian Jackson Braun: Jim Qwilleran, Koko & Yum Yum (1/31)

  • Meg Cabot: 1-800-WHERE-R-YOU

  • Marion Chesney: Lady Rose Summer & Captain Harry Cathcart (1/4)

  • Laura Childs: Tea Shop mysteries (2/7)

  • Jill Churchill: Grace And Favor (1/6)

  • Harlan Coben: Myron Bolitar (4/8)

  • Mary Daheim: Judith McMonigle (1/22)

  • Shirley Damsgaard: Abby & Ophelia Jensen (1/3)

  • MaryJanice Davidson: Betsy Taylor (1/5)

  • Janet Evanovich: Stephanie Plum (6/14)

  • Nancy Fairbanks: Carolyn & Jason Blue (2/9)

  • Jasper Fforde: Thursday Next (1/4)

  • Earlene Fowler: Benni Harper (1/12)

  • Tess Gerritsen: Maura Iles & Jane Rizzoli (2/6)

  • Sue Grafton: Kinsey Milhone (2/19)

  • Carolyn Haines: Sarah Booth Delaney 82/6)

  • Laurell K. Hamilton: Anita Blake (1/15)

  • Lyn Hamilton: Lara McClintock (1/9)

  • Lee Harris: Christine Bennett (7/17)

  • India Ink: Bath And Body (1/3)

  • Harry Kemelman: Rabbi David Small (1/11)

  • Alice Kimberly: Ghost in the Bookshop

  • Victoria Laurie: Abby Cooper

  • Donna Leon: Commisario Brunetti (9/15)

  • Charlotte MacLeod: Professor Peter Shandy (1/19)

  • Tamar Myers: Den Of Antiquity (1/13)

  • Emilie Richards: Aggie Sloan-Wilcox (1/2)

  • J.D. Robb: Eve Dallas (2/25)

  • J.K. Rowling: Harry Potter

  • Barbara Seranella: Munch Mancini (1/8)

  • Dana Stabenow: Kate Shugak (1/14)

  • Susan Sussman: Morgan Taylor (1/2)

  • P.J. Tracy: Monkeewrench (2/4)

series I have not yet started (but have some books on my shelves):

  • Mark Billingham: Tom Thorne

  • Rita Mae Brown: Mrs. Murphy

  • Gwendoline Butler: John Coffin

  • Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain: Murder She Wrote

  • Joanne Fluke: Hannah Swensen

  • Yasmine Galenorn: the D'Artigo Sisters

  • Faye Kellerman: Peter Decker & Rina Lazarus

  • David Skibbins: Tarot Card mysteries

  • Julia Spencer-Fleming: Claire Fergusson & Russ van Alstyne

  • Victoria Laurie: M.J.

  • Paul Levine: Solomon vs. Lord

  • Anna Maclean: Louisa Mae Alcott

  • Charlotte MacLeod: Sarah Kelling & Max Bittersohn

  • Leslie Meier: Lucy Stone

  • Elizabeth Peters: Amelia Peabody

  • Kathy Reichs: Temperance Brennan

  • Madeleine E. Robins: Sarah Tolerance

  • Michele Scott: Nikki Sands

  • Victoria Thompson: Sarah Brandt

  • Peter Tremayne: Sister Fidelma

Have you Read Any of These Books?

I just found this at Literary Feline's - and since it says "if you read it, you have to do it!", here I am!

Look at the list of books below:
* Bold the ones you’ve read
* Italicize the ones you want to read
* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in. (I interpreted this in my own way--books that haven't yet said to me, "Read me! Read me!" It's possible that one day I will develop an interest in some of them. Others, maybe never.)
* If you are reading this (and haven't participated yet), tag, you’re it!
**If there are any books on this list that I didn't italicize and you think I should read, let me know in comments!

Like Bookfool, I've gone ahead and highlighted the books I have never heard of. Or if I have, I've forgotten (which is probably very likely). The amount of books highlighted is kind of embarrassing, but then, I suppose, with all the books out there is it really possible for me to have heard of or remember every book?

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugges (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much Is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She's Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)