Thursday, December 31, 2009

the one with the look-out at 2010 - part 1

Let me be up front: I pre-order books. I can’t help it. When I hear about a book that is not yet out, but still interests me because of the plot, I sometimes can’t wait for a review or two. I am just so excited about the book that I need to pre-order it.

Granted, I have had some bad luck with that in the past. Remember Dan Brown’s latest? The Lost Symbol? I pre-ordered it, paid an awful lot of money and ended up not even getting past page 50! (In case someone’s interested, let me know ;-) )

But earlier this week, I went on one of those pre-order book-shopping sprees again. 2010 soon begins and I couldn’t resist, I heard about some books that will be out January through March 2010 and I just have to have them as soon as possible!

So here is the list (and some additional info) on the books I will be getting rather sooner than later:

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
Thanks, Lenore! The bookmark for this one was part of my gift from secret santa and as soon as I checked out the book (or more, the trilogy), I was hooked!
Meghan was six years old when she saw her father disappear right before her eyes. Ever since then, her life has felt slightly off, but what she would never have guessed is that she is the daughter of a faery king and a pawn in a deadly war.

The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard
Romeo and Juliet in the 21st century!
Colt and Julia have been meeting secretly for a year. Colt is from the wrong side of the tracks while Julia is from an upper-class neighborhood. No one would have understood their relationship. But then Julia dies unexpectedly and Colt can't show his mourning for her. After all, no one knows how close they have been.

Princess for Hire by Lindsey Leavitt
Ever since I read The Princess Diaries I've been hooked on teenage princesses, so when I read the summary for this one, it was clear I had to check it out:
When an flawlessly dressed woman steps out of an iridescent bubble and wants to asks Desi Bascomb whether she would like to become a substitute princess, Desi, who’s been longing for a bit of glamour in her Idaho life, says yes! She even has a magical ability that helps her transform temporarily into the exact lookalike of any princess who needs her subbing services.

Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves
Sixteen-year-old Hanna is in search for her mother who abandoned her at birth. This search leads her to Portero, a small Texas town with flesh-eating creatures and parasitical spirits.
I might just as well blame this one on HJ, who got me to read my first zombie books in a while. That one was good enough to make me want to read Bleeding Violet.

The Naughty List by Suzanne Young
This one, as well, goes with a thanks to Lenore (her review can be found here!).
Head cheerleader Tessa is also the head of a super-secret organization - the Society of Smitten Kittens - that investigates boys possibly cheating on their girlfriends. Tessa knows her own boyfriend Aiden would never cheat though... or would he?

The Mark by Jen Nadol
And another thanks to Lenore who reviewed this book a short while ago!
Sixteen-year old Cassie Renfield has seen the mark since forever: a glow around certain people as if a candle were held behind their back. The one time she pointed it out taught her not to do it again, so Cassie has kept quiet, considering its rare appearances odd, but insignificant. Until the day she watches a man die. Mining her memories, Cassie realizes she can see a person's imminent death. Not how or where, only when: today.
Cassie searches her past, her philosophy lessons, even her new boyfriend for answers, always careful to hide her secret. How does the mark work? Why her? Most importantly, if you know today is someone's last, should you tell?
There is, in fact, an excerpt you can read.

Happy New Year!

I wish you all a Happy New Year!

Have a wonderful 2010 with luck, success, health, love and great books!

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

reviewlets - SEP: LADY BE GOOD; Nalini Singh: VISIONS OF HEAT; Donna Kauffman: THE CINDERELLA RULES

It has been months since I read the following books and I still haven't reviewed a bunch of books, so I'll give you some reviewlets of those I don't remember too well anymore. I'll try to sort them by genre or topic, as good as possible, but I won't promise anything ;-)

Susan Elizabeth Phillips
414 pages

I have no clue how many times I have read this book already. It has become one of the few reads I'm reading again and again. I just like SEP's writing, the story and the hilarious characters. There's nothing that lifts my mood as good as the women and men in these chick lit/romance novels. In Lady be Good, British Lady Emma Wells-Finch travels to Texas to meet with the only man who might be able to help her ruin her impeccable reputation: Kenny Traveler. Only he has no intention of helping her, as exactly this would probably mean the end of his pro-golfing career. You see, Kenny has a similar problem as Tiger Woods currently has: he has been seeing far too many women. And on top of that, Kenny also has been in a few bar fights, which upset the organizer of the pro-golf tour so much he suspended him from playing. Now these two very opposite characters with there most definitely completely opposite agendas meet (Emma wants to lose her reputation in order to avoid a truly disgusting man who wants to marry her for exactly that reputation and tries to pressure her into complying) and worlds clash.

Nalini Singh
380 pages

I'm sure I'm one of the last people in the world who like were-whatever (what's the correct term again, when it's not just werewolves?) and a little romance plus lots of suspense that started reading Nalini Singh's books. In this installment, Faith Nightstar can predict the future dangerously accurate, but when a murder turns her life upside down. She sees the murders in scary details, but has no clue who the killer could possibly be, so in order to stay safe, in order to not be locked up in a cell, she turns to the only people she thinks might be able to help her.

Donna Kauffman
462 pages

When Darby Landon's sister asks her to fill in for her and take care of one of their father's client, Darby is in big trouble. She has been as far away from high society as she possibly could for the past years - on her grandfather's farm in a very rural area of Montana. Now she has to go back to Washington and figure out how to act like the societal butterfly her father's client is expecting. For her to be able to pull it off, her sister Pepper even hired the Glass Slipper Inc., a company that is all set on helping people dress right, behave right, etc - like the fairy godmother in Cinderella.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, not only because the story was hilarious, but because Kauffman added a mystery, a spy story in the background.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Saying Goodbye to one of our own

Today we said a last Goodbye to one of our own. The son of family friends died December 22nd, or, more specifically, was found dead in his bed by his mother. His heart simply stopped beating, it stopped and he is gone and won't ever be back. From what I know his death certificate reads "natural cause", which is ridiculous. What's natural about the heart of a 24 year old to stop beating?

He was a year younger than me and I wasn't exceptionally close to him, but it still shocked me so much I haven't really talked about it so far. We only saw each other when we were at the same parties in our hometown, the town I haven't lived in for the past 5 years. But so far, whenever I came back for one of the parties, I knew exactly who I was going to see - now it's one person less, one person I didn't know well, sadly, but I did know him enough to link him with "home". I knew him to be a good person.

In this time, I feel with his family, his parents, whom I've come to like as I've been hanging out with them every now and then, and his older brother (probably a year older than me), who mixed my drinks at least a couple dozen times in the last years and was always in a good mood. And of course with his friends, who gathered all their strenght to carry him on his last way.

F.L., this one's for you - you'll be sorely missed!

Nur die Besten sterben jung (Only the best die young) by Böhse Onkelz

translated lyrics:
we were more than friends
we were like brothers
many years we sang the same songs
only the best die young
you were the best
only memories
tell me why
only the best die young
only the best die young

the time heals wounds
but I can't forget
the time heals wounds
but I think about you often
no matter where you are
you know a well as I do
one day we'll see again
in my dreams
in our songs
only the best die young
only the best die young

tell me why
only the best die young
only the best die young
too young
only the best die young
far, far too young
far too young


Martin Millar
751 pages
Soft Skull Press
ISBN: 978-0-979-66366-6

Werewolf Kalix MacRinnalch is a fugitive - from her family! After attacking her father, she was banned from her clan and werewolf hunters are out to get her. She finds a hide-out with two young students in London, Moonglow and Daniel, but she can't shake off the past that easily and both Moonglow and Daniel are drawn into the family feud.

I absolutely loved this book! I pretty much raced through the 751 pages (of my German copy) and when I brought it to class with me, I even infected a friend. Millar's characters are hilarious, he knows how to create wonderfully funny scenes that - if read in public - might cause some awkward scenes, because trust me, people are very sensitive when it comes to people laughing very loud in public.

Millar develops the characters very well over the whole 751 pages and it will be a real treat to see what will happen further as we proceed to the second book.


Gareth P. Jones
263 pages
ISBN: 978-0-7475-9982-1

Thirteen-year-old twins Lorelli and Ovid Thornthwaite are not your average kids. They live in a huge, creepy mansion, are homeschooled, are heirs to a vast fortune - and for as long as they can remember, they have been trying to kill each other. But on the day of their thirteenth birthday they call a truce and call off all their murderous sibling rivalry. Now if only the attempts at their lives would also stop! But what is behind the trouble - or more exactly, who?

This book was such a great book, I can't gush enough! I absolutely loved the writing, Jones really made me want more and more and I could not put the book down at all. The story kept flying by and before I could look, I was at the end of the story. Lorelli and Ovid are quirky, menacing and somehow sweet at the same time. They take sibling rivalry to the next level, that's for sure, because who could think up an unhinged bicycle seat that incidentally attrackts a bear - just to make sure? And that is only one small view into the world of death traps created by Lorelli and Ovid! The story itself is simply brilliantly twisted and lovingly created.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

another blame game

So, let me play one more round of blame game for this week, while I recover. Thanks again, Chris (go check out his blog!)!

Let me start with CarrieK:
When She Flew by Jennie Shortridge (technically, many bloggers should get a point for that one, but it was Carrie who finally made me add it to the wish list - I couldn't resist any longer!)

drey also gets a point:
The Diplomat's Wife by Pam Jenoff

Lesa also deserves her point:
Why My Third Husband Will Be A Dog by Lisa Scottoline

And Karin gets a point:
The Comet's Curse by Dom Testa

Lenore also gets a point:
The Mark by Jen Nadol

Then there's Kristi:
Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

Marcia is up next:
The Last Concubine by Lesley Downer

And then there is Michael:
9 Dragons by Michael Connelly

Plus a German blogger, Irina:
Tempting Danger (Verlockende Gefahr) by Eileen Wilks

Bookworms Carnival - looking for submissions

So, I am going to host the Bookworms Carnival on January 9, so it's about time to tell you about my theme and ask you all to send in your submissions... :-)

I picked Series as my theme, in part because I've been hosting the Series Challenge for over 3 years now and I absolutely love series. It is nice to rejoice with characters we already know and and see them develop and grow. But I'm not necessarily only talking about series revolving around a certain cast of characters or series set in one world only. Theoretically, this theme is so broad, you could also submit a blog post on the "for Dummies" books or any other series-type book you can find.

And to have something to take back to your blog:
What is it about series you like most? Which are the series you enjoy most? And do you remember the first series you read? And do you prefer to have something on the covers that links the books (like the yellow background and the comic-style guy on the "for Dummies" books to give only one example) or don't the covers matter to you that much?

To submit entries to the carnival or for any questions you might have, feel free to write to me at dreamworldofabookaholic [AT] googlemail [DOT] com !

So have them coming, the submissions! :-)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Book Bloggers Holiday Swap - vlog

So, this one has been sitting in my drafts for about a week now, and I'm really, really sorry! It took me a while to gather all the information I wanted to give along with the vlog, but now I'm done and here you go (by the way, the third vlog is still in the making - sorry!):

I still haven't found out for sure who my secret santa is, but I have a hunch, so tell me whether I'm right or not, but I think it is Lenore @ Presenting Lenore. Thanks soooo much! I don't have the words to explain how excited I am!!!

The Stolen One by Suzanne Crowley
The Stolen One is the story of young Kat, who embroideres finery for wealthy women. Kat wants more than what life is giving her right now, but she also doesn't want to alienate Grace, who took her in when no one else would. When a stranger appears in their cottage bringing with her the story of Kat's birth, she is curious and leaves their tiny village to go to London. There's a trailer for this book that can be found here.

The Keepsake by Tess Gerritsen
A new Rizzoli & Isles mystery, what more do I have to say??? I absolutely love Detective Jane Rizzoli and Maura Isles, so as soon as this one's out in German (my Mom's reading them as well, and she'd be really mad at me if I read them in English!), I will get it. Here you can find more info on the book including an excerpt and a trailer, so go and check it out!

The Moon series by Rose Marie Wolf
This is a werewolf series, in order the books are: Sweet Moon Dreams, Blood Moon, Hunter's Moon and Dark Moon Magick. In these books we follow the story of Rose Sullivan and her mate, Jason Barnett. I hope I can get my hands on those books! I'm curious! For more info, check out the author's website!

Melissa Walker's Violet Greenfield series
Violet On The Runway, Violet By Design & Violet In Private are the three books in the Violet Greenfield series about a wallflower turned model. Check out the author's site here!

Jessica Verday's The Hollow
This one is the first in the Hollow trilogy, where Abbey's best friend Kristen vanishes at a bridge near Sleepy Hollow and Abbey discovers secret after secret. There's an excerpt you can read here!

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa
This first book in the Iron Fey series introduces us to Meghan, who saw her father disappear right before her eyes when she was six years old. Ever since, her life has felt slightly off, but what she would never have guessed is that she is the daughter of a faery king and a pawn in a deadly war. For an excerpt go here!

Megan Crewe's Give Up The Ghost
An outcast at her high school, Cass uses the secrets her ghostly friends dig up to expose her fellow students' deceits. Then the popular student council V.P. discovers her secret, and, to her surprise, asks her for help... For lots of additional info, check out the authors's site!

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
This book tells the hilarious story of Will Halpin, an overweight deaf teen who spends his first year at a mainstream high school looking for love, failing Algebra, unraveling the school's social scene, trying to get invited to the greatest party ever … and, oh yeah, solving a murder. You want more? Check it out here! As this one won't be out until Feburary 2010, I will add this on my list of possible books for the German YA challenge I'm participating in, where the goal is to read 15 YA books published in 2010.

And the books I got from my dear secret santa, both off of my wish list (how awesome is that?!):

Living Dead Girl by Elizabeth Scott
Elizabeth Scott's site can be found here!

Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon
Check out the Cindy Pon's website!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Well, it's about time around here to start the munching and eating and feeling all stuffed later in the evening, so:

Merry Christmas!

Have a wonderful day and enjoy celebrating with your family :-)

I will spend the next few days reading and maybe I can write a few reviews - I still have a backlog - when I'm not with my family.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

blame game

And some more time to play the blame game while I'm out with a cold. Again, thanks to Chris for starting it!

This round's winners are:

Irish is up first:
Hate List by Jennifer Brown

Kristi comes next:
DupliKate by Cherry Cheva

Holly also deserves a point:
Wickedly Ever After by Michelle Marcos

So does mee, who actually gets two points:
Squeamish About Sushi and Clueless in Tokyo by Betty Reynolds

Esme also will get a point:
Supreme Courtship by Christopher Buckley

Last, but not least, Ann-Kat gets a point:
Num8ers by Rachel Ward

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Erotica Challenge - wrap up

I have finished J. Kaye's Erotica Challenge.

Here are the books I read with the links to my reviews:
1) Jill Shalvis, Jacquie D'Alessandro & Jamie Sobrato: Heating Up The Holidays
2) Lori Wilde: Lethal Exposure
3) Jill Shalvis: Flashpoint
4) Jennifer LaBrecque: Yule Be Mine
5) Cara Summers: Come Toy With Me
6) Leslie Kelly: Slow Hands
7) Jill Shalvis: Flashback
8) Sarah Mayberry: She's Got It Bad
9) Jill Shalvis: Storm Front
10) Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis & Rhonda Nelson: Better Naughty Than Nice

blogger blaming

It's so definitely time again to do a new blogger blaming round, even though I'm still sick. In fact, I have gathered enough books for at least 3 rounds of blame. And now, I have finally figured out who is responsible for this wonderful meme-type posts: Chris!

So, I'm going to start off with a book Chris "recommended" (to put it nice):
Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger

Then. let's continue with Yvonne:
The Diva Runs Out of Thyme by Krista Davis

Next up should probably be Ana / nymeth with two entries:
Underground by Haruki Murakami
Asleep by Banana Yoshimoto

And to add some more Murakami, Lena gets to be on this episode of blame game:
What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami

Nely also gets a point for the following book:
After the Moment by Garret Freyman-Weyr

And let me add some German book bloggers:

Nina added a book to my list:
One Day (Zwei an einem Tag) by David Nicholls

Then , there's Melli who gets a point:
Three Days to Dead (In drei Tagen bist du tot) by Kelly Meding

And Soleil actually gets two points for one book because I bought the first in series right away:
The Little Lady Agency And The Prince (Amor hat das letzte Wort) by Hester Browne
And the book I bought is The Little Lady Agency by the same author.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

the one with the sick blogger

Yes, I am sick! I have a cold which is annoying me a lot! I spend hours and hours in bed and 9pm seems very, very late right now (I'm usually more of a night owl - I can work until 3am and not realize it). I hope to be back up and running by the weekend at the latest, but can't promise it. So for the time being, please bear with me. I have a few things on my mind (and technically two vlogs somewhere on my computer somewhere that just need some editing ;-) ).

Friday, December 11, 2009

Progressive Dinner Party - Dessert

So, it's about time my dessert popped up here, right? I know I'm a bit late, but it was supposed to go up as scheduled earlier today - only it didn't *sigh*

But here you go with one delicious mousse au chocolat:

The ingredients:
200 grams dark chocolate
3 eggs, separated
250 ml whipping cream
35 grams powder sugar

How to do it:
1) Melt the chocolate slowly in a bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water. Let it cool for a couple of minutes.
2) Stir the egg yolks into the chocolate
3) Whisk the egg whites until very stiff and peaky, then slowly add the sugar a bit at a time, whisking again as each bit is added
4) Gently and slowly fold the egg whites, a spoonful at a time, into the chocolate. Don't be aggressive, you want to keep the volume of the eggs as much as possible.
5) Pour gently into the final bowls or ramekins and put in the fridge for a few hours.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

the one with the first holiday swap packed I got to open

So, I finally got to open my first holiday swap package this season. It was with the German book blogging community and I'm so excited!

Here's what I got:
Danielle Joseph - Shrinking Violet
a little book on friendship with lots of cool quotes

Photo 4
Originally uploaded by oisec

Photo 5
Originally uploaded by oisec

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Unfortunately, I couldn't find any evidence that this one has been translated into English so far, so I'm going to make this a bit different. Well, and another reason would be that I really like the video clips below ;-)

Yasushi Inoue
164 pages

In Japan, in the age of Samurai, the famous tea master Sen no Rikyu is ordered to commit suicide by the warlord Hideyoshi. His student, the priest Honkaku, tries to find out what caused the rift between Hideyoshi and Rikyu that led to his master's suicide.

I really enjoyed this novel a lot. It was quiet, but meaningful. It teaches a bit about Japan, about Japan in the late 1500s and early 1600s. In his beautiful writing, Yasushi Inoue re-tells the story of Honkakubo's search for the truth.

This is a scene from Hana Yori Dango - Boys Over Flowers, where two of the major (not main!) characters are having tea. Granted, I'm pretty sure this is in no way similar to the tea ceremonies as they were held in the 1500s and 1600s, the time in which THE BOOK is set, but I think it's a nice scene to get at least an idea about it.

In case you're interested in HYD, here's a short intro on the four boys, called F4:

And another video on HYD, with a summary of the relationship between the two characters in the first video and what happened that lead up to the tea scene:

And one just because I love the character of Hanazawa Rui:

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

the one with the "Hidden Treasures"

For this, I was inspired by a challenge in a German book forum. I liked the general idea, but all in all the rules were too difficult for my taste. Now I have tweaked it a bit - okay, maybe more than just a bit - to make it a great bi-monthly event, I hope!

The basic idea is to post your TBR list (whether you choose the whole big thing or the smaller list you created for your challenges) and have someone else pick your next book with a short explanation why they picked this book and not one of the dozen other books. The first book title left to you in your comment section is the one you're supposed to read (or at least try to read, if it turns out to be so bad you can't stand the thought of finishing it) within the next two months. That way, we all could find those hidden treasures on Mt. TBR that we neglected, ignored all this time!

Now, you don't have to participate in each round! Just join in when you can't decide what to read next or want a change of pace. Sign up in the comment section of my bi-monthly post by leaving a link to your post with your current TBR stack.

Also, to give everyone a chance to recommend someone a book and maybe even get to know our fellow book bloggers a bit better, don't leave that one book recommendation for every blogger that already signed up. ;-)

Now, I'll start with my list, which you can find here.

Which book should I read and why? I'll read the book until the end of January and post a review hopefully at the beginning of February at the latest (early on in the year, I'm better with reviewing on time).

the one with the 2010 challenges

I've decided to have only one post where I gather all the challenges I join in this time around. Last time around, I had so many challenge posts, I barely posted anything else in December and January... Maybe I can even figure out how to make in post links, so that I have a list of all the challenges by name only that links to the actual part of the post about said challenge. If you know how this works, let me know!

100+ Reading Challenge 2010
42 Challenge
Alphabet Reading Challenge
Banned or Challenged Books Challenge Perpetual
Book-A-Week Reading Challenge
Book Around The States Challenge Perpetual
Books About TV Challenge
Buy One Book And Read It 2010
Debut Author Challenge
Elizabeth Gaskell Mini-Challenge
George Eliot Mini-Challenge
Graphic Novels Challenge 2010
Hogwarts Reading Challenge
Jewish Literature Challenge
Leo Tolstoy Mini-Challenge
Lisa Jackson Challenge 2009/2010
Manga Challenge 2010
Pages Read Challenge Season 2
2010 Reading Resolutions Challenge
Read Your Name
RYOB Challenge 2010
Reading Through The Seasons 2010
Series Challenge Season 4
TBR Lite Reading Challenge 2010
Twenty Minute Book Club Challenge 2010
To Be Continued Challenge Perpetual
Vampire Series Challenge
18th and 19th Century Women Writers Challenge 2010
World Religion Challenge 2010

Elizabeth Gaskell Mini-Challenge
read and/or watch 2 works by Elizabeth Gaskell
January 1, 2009 - June 1, 2010

George Eliot Mini-Challenge
read 2 works by George Eliot, one movie may be substituted
January 1, 2009 - June 1, 2010

Leo Tolstoy Mini-Challenge
read 2 works by Leo Tolstoy
January 1, 2009 - August 31, 2010

Jewish Literature Challenge
read 3 books by Jewish authors or about Judaism
February 27, 2010 - September 10, 2010

Series Challenge Season 4
read 4+ books to finish up series
December 1, 2009 - November 30, 2010

1) Kathryn Lilley: A Killer Workout (#2 Fat City)
2) Nick Sagan: Edenborn (#2 Idlewild)
3) Nick Sagan: Everfree (#3 Idlewild)
4) Jill Shalvis: Instant Gratification (#2 Wilder Brothers)
5) Jill Shalvis: Instant Temptation (#3 Wilder Brothers)

Pages Read Challenge Season 2
pick a goal number of pages you want to read
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010


RYOB Challenge 2010
read a certain number of your own books
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

my goal: 80 books

World Religion Challenge 2010
The Universalist Path - read something about the 5 world religions plus more books about any or all of the following religions: Shintoism, Animism, Taoism, Confucianism, Wicca, Mythology, Atheism, Occult, Tribal Religions, Voodoo, Unitarianism, Baha'i, Cults, Scientology, Mysticism, Rastafarianism, Jainism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism, Agnosticism, Gnosticism, Satanism, Manichaeism, Deism, Comparative Religion, Religious Philosophy, Jungiansim, Symbolism, Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, etc., etc. etc. (you may also read about another aspect of one of the 5 Biggies)
possible things to do: read (any form of the written word), movies, music, plays, attend services, perform a ritual etc.)
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

2010 Reading Resolution Challenge
create personal reading resolutions for 2010 and post about your progress every other month starting February 15
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

* I will read a broader variety of books, genre-wise in summer.
* I will limit my book-buying a bit in that I will only buy books that I intend to read within the two months after I bought them.
* I will be more precise with my university reading and not just skim it.

Reading Through the Seasons 2010
read four books, one for each season with the season in the title
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

1) Spring
2) Summer
3) Lisa Kleypas: It Happened One Autumn
4) Winter

42 Challenge
read/watch/listen to 42 sci-fi related items
January 1, 2010 - December 3, 2010

Alphabet Challenge 2010 (Yahoo Group)
read the alphabet either by author or by title
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Book-A-Week Reading Challenge 2010 (Yahoo Group)
read a book a week in 2010, meaning 52 books total
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

100+ Reading Challenge 2010 (Yahoo Group)
read 100+ books in 2010
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Twenty Minute Book Club Challenge 2010
read 13 books from the book club (with one substitute from 2009) - reading list here
December 29, 2009 - December 29, 2010

Read Your Name Challenge
read books to match your name
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

TBR Lite Challenge 2010
Option B: read 6 books off of Mt. TBR - list can be changed throughout the year
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

1) Lisa Kleypas: It Happened One Autumn
2) Kelley Armstrong: Bitten
3) Jim Butcher: Storm Front
4) Tzipi Caton: Miracle Ride
5) Suzanne Collins: The Hunger Games
6) MaryJanice Davidson: Undead and Unpopular

18th and 19th Century Women Writers Challenge 2010
read 2 books by women writers who lived in the 18th and 19th century
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010


Vampire Series Challenge
Level 3: Vampire Enthusiast - read 6 books from any series featuring vampires
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Graphic Novels Challenge 2010
Intermediate Level: read 3-10 graphic novels
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Buy One Book And Read It 2010
Level 3, Book Blogger Option: buy 12 books I learned about on book blogs and read them before Dec 31
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Manga Challenge 2010
read 6+ mangas and 3+ anime or anime series episodes
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Debut Author Challenge
read 10 YA or MG novels from debut authors of 2010
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Lisa Jackson Challenge 2009/2010
read as many Lisa Jackson books as you want
July 18, 2009 - December 31, 2010

1) Twice Kissed
2) Fatal Burn

Books About TV Challenge
read 2+ books about or based on a TV show
January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2010

Hogwarts Reading Challenge
read books that fit the Hogwarts subjects
March 8, 2010 - December 13, 2010

For the record: I play for Gryffindor!

I was Sorted!

Get Sorted By The Hogwarts Sorting Hat!

Banned or Challenged Books Challenge"
read 50 banned or challenged books, keeping track here

Book Around The States Challenge
read 51 books set in the 50 states plus DC, keeping track here

To Be Continued Challenge
read series books

Monday, November 30, 2009

November summary

Now seriously, I am the weakest person ever when it comes to book buying! I was on a book buying ban, zut alors! And what do I do? I buy books... To my defense, I must say I was out and about reading a book I didn't enjoy, so I needed some new reading material - and then I forgot my books and needed some new reading material.

And then I only read 5 books? I'm certainly not happy about that! Maybe if I hadn't forgotten my books at home all the time, I would have read more, but we'll never know now!

125) Patricia Davids: Speed Trap (can I blame the authors? she told me about it and I couldn't resist LOL)
126) Tzipi Caton: Miracle Ride - A True Story of Illness, Fate, Humor - And Triumph
127) P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast: Marked
128) P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast: Betrayed
129) P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast:Chosen
130) P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast:Untamed
131) Josh Bazell: Beat the Reeper
132) Nick Sagan: Edenborn
133) Alan Bradley: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
134) Melissa Marr: Wicked Lovely
135) Gareth P. Jones: The Thornthwaite Inheritance
136) Wolfgang Schorlau: Das München-Komplott (German mystery)
137) Ralf Schmitz: Schmitz' Katze (German book by comedian)
138) Eckard von Hirschhausen: Die Leber wächst mit ihren Aufgaben (German book by comedian)
139) Lernkrimi Italienisch: Mord in der Scala (Language Practice Italian: Murder at the Scala)
140) Jeffery Deaver: The Vanished Man
141) Melissa De La Cruz: Masquerade
142) Georges Simenon: Maigret et le clochard
143) Vicki Lewis Thompson, Jill Shalvis, Rhonda Nelson: Better Naughty Than Nice
144) Gene Luen Yang: American Born Chinese
145) Michael Anthony: Mass Casualties
146) Dan Brown: Da Vinci Code (in French, gift from a dear friend!)

92) a great book you'll hear more about as soon as possible! (not the same as #91 in October!)
93) Martin Millar: Lonely Werewolf Girl
94) Cassandra Clare: City of Bones
95) Gareth P. Jones: The Thornthwaite Inheritance
96) Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child: Reliquary (audio)
97) Yasushi Inoue: Memoirs of the Priest Honkaku

6) Dan Brown: The Lost Symbol (I'm still annoyed I actually shelled out the money for the hardcover!)

the one with the Pages Read Challenge Season 2

The end of the year is coming closer and closer and I really wonder where all the months went. Wasn't it May just yesterday??? What happened to summer and autumn?

But then, the end of the year also means that all those wonderful reading challenges pop up again and we have to figure out which ones we want to join in.

In 2009, I hosted the Pages Read Challenge for the first time and I will host it again in 2010, so post a comment to sign up!

The rules are easy:

1) Pick a number of pages you'll be attempting to read in 2010. It doesn't matter whether your goal is 10,000 or 100,000. You can always up your number as we go along, so you don't need to go all up high with your page count.

2) Write a blog post about it in which you will keep track of your page count.

3) Comment here with your goal number and a link to your blog post (if you have a blog - otherwise, just leave a comment with your name and the goal number). I'll then add you to the list of participants below.

4) The challenge starts January 1, 2010 and ends December 31, 2010. Only pages read after the new year has begun count in for the challenge, but any and every page you read counts for this challenge. I don't care about re-reads, overlaps with other challenges, or e-books! Just count the pages you read, no matter what type of book you're reading :-) See, it's a really easy challenge!

5) As usual: Have fun!

Michelle @ True Book Addict even created a great button for the challenge:

Thanks a lot, Michelle!

The participants:
1) Jennifer - 50,000
2) Kathrin - 25,000
3) AlleluiaLu - 20,000
4) Amanda - 40,000
5) Veronika - 15,000
6) Kris - 31,000
7) Kara - 30,000
8) Kirthi - 70,000
9) Kathrin - 25,000
10) Janet - 35,000
11) Aleksandra - 50,000
12) Veggiemomof2 - 30,000
13) Jaime - 40,000
14) Wendy - 20,000
15) Kelly - 10,000
16) Lindy - 100,000
17) Erin - 20,000
18) Becky - 100,000
19) lioness37 - 50,000
20) Jules - 50,000
21) Kris @ Bookheart - 23,000
22) Susan - 35,000
23) CCDPiper - 18,000
24) Gina - 80,000
25) Kelly - 30,000
26) Sandra - 40,000
27) SueFitz - 20,000
28) Michelle - 1,000,000
29) Michelle @ The True Book Addict - 30,000
30) Velma - 25,000
31) Kristin - 40,000
32) The Clumsy Reader - 1,000,000

Monday, November 23, 2009

the one with the Series Challenge Season 4

EDIT: As of now, you can leave links to reviews in the blog post for reviews and summaries! Thanks.

It's that time again! The end of the year is near and with this the 3rd Series Challenge is about to end. So let's see whether we can keep this going! (Oops, I almost missed the end of the challenge I host!)

The challenge starts December 1st, 2009 and goes until November 30th, 2010.

The rules are easy:

1) Pick a couple series you already started and now want to finish (meaning, you'll be all up to date with the series when it ends).

2) Read at least 4 books, more are also okay, of course!

3) Crossovers with other challenges are always okay.

4) Post your review of the books on your blog or in the comment section, no matter how long. If you post the review on your blog, please post a link to the review in the comment section so that everyone else can check out your review.

5) Have fun!

As I can only put up one Mr. Linky on my blog it would be nice if you left a link to your blog post in the comment section. I'll add you to the list of participants.

The Participants:
1) Jennifer
2) Kara
3) Grilsgood
4) Kirthi
5) kim in ohio
6) jlshall
7) Kathrin
8) Violette Severin
9) sausconys-books
10) Kris
11) Aleksandra
12) Beth F
13) Mark
14) Veggiemomof2
15) blondierocket
16) Rhinoa
17) Joanne
18) Dreadful Penny
19) emmegailsbookshelf
20) samantha1020

Saturday, November 21, 2009

the one with a challenge idea

This time around, I have an idea for a challenge. (I know, I know, I still haven't posted the sign up posts for the Series Challenge and the Pages Read Challenge, but they'll be up next week or next weekend at the latest!)

Earlier this month (November 12), German kid lit author Michael Ende would have been 80 years old (he died in 1995). He wrote some great books for kids, among others The Never-Ending Story, the Jim Button books and Night of Wished or The Satanarchaeolidealcohellish Notion Potion.

picture: LastFM

The basic idea for the challenge is that I would also write about it on my German blog to bring together the German and English blogging world, if possible.
Everyone would have to read one of Ende's books, though if you want to read more, that's also okay. Once you've written a review, I would then translate the review so that it is available for everyone and leave a link to your blog (of course!).

Would you be interested?

Friday, November 20, 2009

the one with the non-bookish rant

Okay, I'm sorry, but there's a non-bookish rant ahead - YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!!!

I know I am waaay behind, but I just finished the very last two episodes of Gilmore Girls. I had the DVD box on the shelf next to the TV at my parents' for ages literally, but I couldn't make myself watch it because I knew there wouldn't be any more Lorelai and Rory as soon as I finished the 7th season.

Now first of all: It's over after only 7 seasons? Why? I want more of the girls, of Emily & Richard, of the people in Stars Hollow... I can't believe this is it! I want more, I have so many questions that weren't answered.

And then, the last two episodes. The ones I watched today, tonight. I'm sorry, but up until last weekend (yes, I live without a TV on weekdays!) I was okay with the story line, with what happened. But now? If Lorelai and Luke hadn't "made up" somehow, and if Emily hadn't showed in her very, very unique and bossy way that she really wants Lorelai to be around, that she wants to see her and talk to her and know what's going on, then I would have opened the blends again and thrown the whole damn DVD box out!!!

I mean, seriously? No more Logan? Never again Logan and Rory? They've been through so much together, had they ups and downs and now this is it? Just like that and for such a stupid reason??? Look at them!

No, sorry, I don't buy it and I'm pissed. I don't even know how to say it!!!

Goodbye, my beloved Gilmore Girls! I spent years with you and had so much fun. You'll be missed!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Cassandra Clare: CITY OF BONES

Cassandra Clare
560 pages
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5507-8

When Clary Fray sees a boy being stabbed by three other teenagers at a club, she is shocked. Even more so, when the stabbed boy suddenly disappears and no one seems to even have seen the whole incident. After her return home the next day, her mother has disappeared and she is attacked by a giant spider. Barely saved by Jace, one of the teens who stabbed the boy at the club, she realizes there is more than meets the eye of a mortal - much more! And soon Clary is in the middle of a war between good and bad, Shadowhunters (half human, half angel, hunting and killing demons) and secretive demonic forces.

The second time I read City of Bones, I realized so much more about the characters and the plot, so "there's more than meets the eye" fits not only the world depicted in City of Bones, but also Cassandra Clare's writing. There are, in fact, so many details I missed the first time around, I'm already planning in a third reading of the series.

Anyway, back on topic. As you might now from reading my blog, I'm pretty new in the fantasy genre other than vampires and werewolves, so I'm still reluctant, but when I first read the back cover blurb of City of Bones it shouted "buy me", and I haven't regretted it one bit.

Clare wrote a page-turning YA fantasy novel full of twists and turns that should even draw in reluctant readers. Throughout most of the book, I saw the pictures and scenes painted clear and vivid. It was as if the characters and surroundings were jumping out, a bit like watching a movie while reading. This, though, will make it hard for the movie (the movie rights have been sold recently) to measure up with.

And the story? Well, you won’t be able to wait long between reading City of Bones and City of Ashes, as the cliffhanger is unfair, annoying and mean at the same time!

Rating: 4.5/5

the one with the stupid, stupid idea

Did I mention I'm on a book buying ban? I think I did, but honestly, I'm sooo bad at it! Today I have classes from 10 am until 7:30 pm with only a 2 hour break for some lunch and I realized that the only book I have with me is a fantasy novel that has more se* scenes in it than your average Harlequin Blaze romance. (In case you're wondering, I'm reading Anne Bishop's Daughter of the Blood.) Now, I really don't feel like reading it right now, even though it is a book that came highly recommended by a friend of mine.

Right now, this book is simply annoying me, so when I had some time left after lunch and some much needed shopping (just the most basic stuff - new hair brush, some tea, etc.) I still had some time left and my favorite coffee shop was packed with people, I decided that the book store around the corner might be a nice place to stay warm and dry until I could get some coffee. Now what a stupid, stupid idea!!!

When I saw that they had The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley I decided that maybe this was the book I should read while I'm at university for the rest of the day. Only - I didn't pay right away. No, I had to look around and browse the shelves a bit longer. Again: What a stupid, stupid idea!

I had three books in hand, when I finally decided I should probably just pay, leave and hope that I could get my coffee.

Oh, right. This being a book blog, it might be a good idea to let you in on the books I got:

Alan Bradley: The Sweetness At The Bottom of the Pie - I can only blame this one on Ann Kingman & Michael Kindness @ Books on the Nightstand. It was at their podcast that I first heard the book and I've been thinking about getting the book ever since. They mentioned it in Episode #21 and then again in Episode #29.

Melissa Marr: Wicked Lovely - I don't remember whom I should blame for this book, but I read a few reviews and as soon as I find them again, I will edit this post accordingly. No blogger should go without the blame he or she deserves ;-)

Gareth P. Jones: The Thornthwaite Inheritance - Now this is a book I never heard a thing about, but the cover and the back cover blurb sounds hilarious, so I had to get this book!

Next time I leave campus for lunch, I'll make sure I'll drag someone along with me - someone who knows I'm on a book buying ban and has enough strenght to keep me away from book stores!

(On a small side note: This is year #4 that I leave NaNo early, I just can't do it. Not with 20 hours of class each week and work - and sleep. Maybe next year...)

blaming fellow book bloggers

I guess it's time for another round of "blaming bloggers". My wishlist is still growing, which is both good and bad. Bad, because I can't possibly read all the books I hear about and good, because, let's face it, we all like book recommendations!

The first blogger to get some blame is Katrina @ Bloody Bad, who made me want to get Cowboy & Wills by Monica Holloway right away. It seems to be a great book about a boy with autism who steps out into the world with the help of a dog, Cowboy.

Then, Kathy @ Bermudaonion's Weblog for Ann Pearlman's The Christmas Cookie Club, because I love to bake anything and everything!

Lenore @ Presenting Lenore added How To Buy a Love of Reading by Tanya Egan Gibson, because seriously, parents paying an author to write a book their daughter will like? How cool is that!!!

While Stephanie @ Stephanie's Confessions Of A Bookaholic didn't absolutely love Melissa De La Cruz' Blue Bloods, I think I will give it a try. I like vampires, especially after last semester's class on vampires in literature and film, and I'd like to see for myself where De La Cruz is going with the story.

Ana / Nymeth @ things mean a lot reviewed Lady Audley's Secret by Mary Elizabeth Braddon - and what can I say, I love classics and this one seems to have a mystery in it as well, so I can't wait to be off the darn book-buying ban!

Jackie @ Farm Lane Books was reading Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami a short while ago and now posted her review - and I absolutely have to read that one!!!

Ana / Nymeth @ things mean a lot, Chris @ Stuff As Dreams Are Made On, Amanda @ The Zen Leaf and Carl @ Stainless Steel Droppings are all responsible for Uncle Montague's Tales Of Terror by Chris Priestley ending up on my wish list. But seriously, how could anyone resist such an "army" of advocates???

Then, with one single post, Andi of Tripping Towards Lucidity added two books to my wish list: Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader by Anne Fadiman and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. The first title is self-explanatory, so on to the second, a different book about afterlife.

After reading the review austenfan posted @ Reality Bites... Fiction Does It Better, Robin Benway's Audrey, Wait! had to end up on my wish list. It sounds like one hilarious, surprising, awesome YA! She also reviewed Michelle Rowen's Demon Princess: Reign or Shine, which sounds hilarious, so I must have it!

An interview with Katrina Michaels at Teens Read and Write made me add her Midnight Reflections. I don't like the cover, but vampires in a serial killer mystery? I'm curious!

Amy @ My Friend Amy reviewed The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary Pearson and just like her I was reluctant at first, but now I'm curious...

Natasha @ the Maw Book Blog reviewed The Black Book of Colors by Menena Cottin and Rosana Faria and the premise of a book, a black book of colors with braille and raised art, apparently, is too intriguing to not want to take a look and get the book!

Pages Read Challenge - finished?

Here's a list of all the participants who finished the Pages Read Challenge.

1) Sherrie
2) Sandra
3) Kathrin

Monday, November 16, 2009

the one where I'm hoping for your recommendations

So, you can see it in the title, I'm hoping for your recommendations. Book recommendations, that is (of course), but not for me.

My brother is no reader. A couple days ago, he in fact asked me (and he was dead serious!) whether he could say he had read 5 books now that he is reading The Blue Nowhere by Jeffery Deaver for the 5th time (maybe more, but he wasn't sure). Um, no, you can't???

Anyway, he's no big reader, but something about this book made him read - so much, in fact, that I got a second copy of the book so that he could keep my first copy. With this book, I believe I have proven that he is not a "non-reader", it's more about him reading or trying to read the wrong books. Unfortunately, I have found only one other book that has slightly peeked his interest. That was a YA book by a German author about a computer hacker who found out sensitive material about a pharmaceutical company that they didn't want to be spread, as it could have meant the loss of their reputation.

This is where you come in, where I hope you can help me find some more books for my brother.

A little bit of background info for you:

* He's 22 years old.
* very much into computers and computer games
* the only books he finished were the above mentioned two books (both have computer hackers in them, maybe that's a must?)
* he liked the story line of Mort by Terry Pratchett, but never finished the book

If you need more info, let me know, otherwise, I'm really hoping you can help me with that one! I can't believe a relative of mine doesn't read!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

a little bit of this, a little bit of that

As I haven't been good with blogging last week (sorry about that, but I promise I'll write up a post about Cassandra Clare's signing in Frankfurt!), I decided to gather a few blog posts I read during the last 4 or so days.

Chris @ book-a-rama posted her thoughts on nuts, or more specifially nut allergies and other sometimes deadly allergies (you can find Chris' blog post here). Now granted, I'm lucky in that my allergies (food and pollen, mostly) so far haven't been life-threatening, but I can totally understand her outrage about an article in Chatelaine magazine. Having to live with allergies, and food allergies especially, means you have a lot to consider throughout the day. Do I eat food A because it is readily available without knowing how it was made or do I rather pay more, go further away etc. for food B where I know it won't contain any traces of nuts (or whatever other allergy you have)? Of course, having an allergy, I'll go with food B.
Another problem is when you're going out, say to a Christmas party, when the dishes served have been pre-decided. You have to think of every single allergy you have or suspect you have (wouldn't want to risk finding out about a new allergy during an office party now, would you?). And this is only a very, very small look into life with food allergies.
By the way, in case you're wondering: I'm allergic to (all kinds of) nuts, almonds, sesame (cross allergy with the nuts), raw carrots (slightly cooked I can eat them), cucumbers and the likes, and melons. That's it, as far as I know - but you never know, do you? If you have some spare time next time you're doing your grocery shopping, check out the ingredients list, not just for nuts and almonds, but also traces of nuts and almonds - it's "fun" to see what you wouldn't be able to eat if you were allergic!

On a brighter side, I saw a great bench at the blog of A Mother in Israel. It reminds me somewhat of Park Güell in Barcelona. Just click the link to A Mother in Israel to see the bench. Trust me, it is beautiful to look at!

Then I have a youtube video for you - the trailer to Dear John, another movie after a novel by Nicholas Sparks:

To quote Material Maidel: because who doesn't want to see Channing Tatum in uniform? and without his shirt :) (And for those who don't know me in person and therefore have no clue about my desktop background: it's a picture of Duke of G.I. Joe.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

new books, bookmarks, and some other things

For some bizarre reason the vlog was set on private so no one could view it and it all was a bit messed up, so here it is again, this time around hopefully without any mistakes. I take this as proof that I shouldn't be posting after 10pm.

Finally it's online! My second vlog :-) While waiting for the file to upload at youtube, I did a couple things (other than reading).

I gave up on trying to read each and every read-a-thon post closely and instead skimmed them, mostly. Sorry, guys! I loved your posts, though, and got some reading recommendations off of your posts. I'm now down to 25 unread blog posts that I'm going to read tomorrow (plus all the other things posted until I'm back on).

I also played Farmville on FB. It's a highly addictive game, I think, but ever since I got to the next level earlier today, I have to say I'm a bit - shocked... I now have to gather ten freaking thousand XP to get to the next level!!!

I can't believe I look so tired, but maybe I should have taken a break from reading earlier today.

I'd be glad if someone could explain to me whether there are certain rules for the use of "pretty", "gorgeous", "cute", "sweet" and the likes. So far I use the first one that comes to mind, but there must be some rule, no?

Here are the books mentioned in the vlog:

P.C. & Kristin Cast: MARKED (ISBN: 978-0-312-36026-9)
P.C. & Kristin Cast: BETRAYED (ISBN: 978-0-312-36028-3)
P.C. & Kristin Cast: CHOSEN (ISBN: 978-0-312-36030-6)
P.C. & Kristin Cast: UNTAMED (ISBN: 978-0-312-37983-4)
Josh Bazell: BEAT THE REEPER (ISBN: 978-0-316-03222-3)
Martin Millar: LONELY WEREWOLF GIRL (ISN: 978-0-955-49840-4 -> I really, really don't like the cover, so if you can, wait for the March 2010 release with ISBN: 978-0-749-94283-0, which fits the description of Kalix a lot better!)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

blaming fellow book bloggers

Time for another round of book blogger blaming. I can't wait for my reader to be back in two-digit unread blog posts!

This time around I'd like to blame:

Kristi @ The Story Siren for Mr. Darcy, Vampire by Amanda Grange - simply because of the title.

Then, Mari @ MariReads finally made me add Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers to the never-ending wishlist.

Bookfool @ Bookfoolery & Babble did her part by adding Ally Carter's I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have to Kill You, a YA spy novel.

For Lev Grossman's The Magicians I have to blame a number of people, so here's the list: Kathy @ bermudaonion, Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman @ Books On The Nightstand (actually, I have to blame them for at least one book every week!)

Chris @ book-a-rama for French Milk by Lucy Knisley

Stacy @ Stacy's Books for The Funny Thing Is... by Ellen Degeneres and Manhunting by Jennifer Crusie.

More blame goes to Chris @ book-a-rama and Michael Kindness and Ann Kingman @ Books On The Nightstand for Gesine Bullock-Prado's Confections of a Closet Master Baker. The chocolate on the cover alone would have done it, but the books sounds great!

ExtremeReader @ Extreme Reader Book Reviews has to live with the blame for Meridian by Amber Kizer.

Lori Handeland's Blue Moon ended on my wish list because of Irina's review on her German book blog.

Kristen from BookNAround added Victoria in Reel Life by Adriana Trigiani to my wishlist.

Hannah @ Word Lily gets some blame for Melody Carlson's What Matters Most - so does Kaye from Pudgy Penguin Perusals, by the way!

Natasha @ the Maw Books Blog gets some well-deserved blame for Jill Smolinski's The Next Thing on my List - I like lists, so this one should be fun!

Rebecca at Lost In Books deserves some blame for Saffron Dreams by Shaila Abdullah.

The Bibliophilic Book Blog made sure I add P.C. Cast's Divine By Mistake, the first in the Partholon series, on my wish list.

Lenore of Presenting Lenore persuaded me with her interview of Lauren Bjorkman (as if that was really necessary after her review) to add My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

Nely @ all about {n} talked about Jessica's Guide To Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey, which I think might be the brain candy I'm looking for for next summer.

Drey @ drey's library described Kylie Brant's Waking Nightmare so well I hope to read it soon, so let me blame drey for this one :-)

Carrie @ Books and Movies reviewed Dear Fatty by Dawn French - and as I love Dawn French, this one has to be on my wish list!

Kristen @ BookNAround, drey @ drey's library and Amy @ My Friend Amy (even if she didn't like it) added Japan Took The JAP Out of Me by Lisa Fineberg to my list.

Wendy @ Caribousmom is one of my fellow bloggers who is responsible for The Girl She Used To Be by David Christofano to end up on my wish list.

And the last one for now is Karin @ Karin's Book Nook for adding After by Amy Efaw to my never-ending wish list.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Monday Thoughts (or Weekend Thoughts)

So, I had originally planned this post for yesterday, but I was busy reading, being at a concert and then had a headache (yep, all yesterday). Now, I’m a day late, but that actually only means I had one more day to think about some of the things I wanted to say, so I can’t really complain.

Now it’s late and I’m tired, but I have a coffee right in front of me and will maybe get a yoghurt for dessert (my second for today, but so what!) later on.

Now, in case you’re wondering, I read (and finished) a great book about zombies this weekend, but more about that at a later point. I promise! It's just that I have some "mystery books" (anyone have a better name for them?) lately...

I’ve also been reading some more of Lonely Werewolf Girl by Marin Millar. I absolutely love the book, although some of my favorite characters will likely make me some enemies, unless my feelings change while reading the last hundred or so pages. It’s just that so far I really, really like one of the "bad guys“. I can’t help it. And Malveria is a hoot! I doubt there’s anyone out there who won’t start laughing and not be able to stop once she appears! But wait, I’m almost starting a review here and I haven't even finished reading the book. So more on that tomorrow or the day after.

Now, my wish list has been growing some (haha!) more thanks to you guys. I am sort of up to date with my reader, but when I signed back in I had 150 unread blog posts there again. So would you please give me a break and let me read the blog posts before you start posting like crazy again? Pretty please??? Now, I know someone started the bad blogger posts where we blame other bloggers for our never slimming wish lists, but I can’t find out who did it. Could anyone help me, by chance? Thanks!

Oh, in case you're interested, the concert was classical music - first François-Josef Gossec's Sinfonia Concertante D-major for flute, violine and orchestra, and then Ludwig van Beethoven's Prometheus (op. 43). The latter, sadly, is hardly ever played in it's entirety, because it is actually a ballett and the "ballett book", where all the dances are written down, is missing. For this concert, they played the entire opus and had a speaker tell the story of Prometheus. In case you'd like to at least see the pictures of the solists in Gossec's sinfonia and the speaker for Prometheus, check out the (German, sorry!) website for the Fränkische Musiktage! (I can translate it for you, if you're really interested.)

So much for the fun parts of my weekend. Now on to the thought provoking ones. I realize some are probably not going to like me after what I have to say, but I can live with that.

For some reason, the comment function at my blog isn't working so well. Some comments that appear to be sent never show up on the blog. A friend of mine commented on my second vlog (she tried to do so twice, in fact), but it never showed up. In case you know what's going on, please let me know! So far, my search hasn't been successful.

A few bloggers (Linda, Bellezza and Marc David) talked about the "industry" book blogging seems to have become (and have done so far more eloquent than I ever will be able to) – and I definitely agree with them. I had my first book blog years ago, when it was just for fun, to keep a reading log somewhere, to give my friends in real life and online a link where they could check in whenever they wanted to see what I’m reading and how I like it. I created a new blog (this one!) when I realized my old one was no longer "me“. It no longer reflected the person I am, and I didn’t know how to change it, so instead I kept it – for myself, for memory, to revisit the "old times“. Now, with my new blog, I still do it for the fun, to keep a reading log of sorts and not worry about where I put the notebook again. I am like that – I constantly misplace notebooks, work sheets, etc. so a blog is perfect.

If I can help someone else find a good book, that’s a nice side-effect and if it helps an authors to promote a book, that’s also good. I stand by my ratings and my opinions, because seriously, where’s the sense in giving a book a good rating when I in fact didn’t like it? It would undermine every reviewers credibility (just look at the whole HK story, if you know what I mean) and it wouldn’t help readers either, as they’d just be frustrated when they buy a book they don’t like (I know I am!).

Maybe it all started with the nice awards. All of a sudden everyone wanted to ge one and instead of leaving it at one or two awards, there are now I don’t know how many out there.
Then, it was all the blog tours. I like author interviews and guest posts every now and then, I don’t mind author interviews with authors you really like or the occasional interview with a young, striving author either, but when I get one author interview after another on your blogs, it gets old! (Especially because at times it seems as if I subscibe to every single participant’s blog of certain blog tours.)

Lately, it has been the giveaways. I know I hold giveaways sometimes, but those are my own books, books I give away to find a good home for them, for various reasons – one entry for each person. But that’s not what’s going on at some other blogs. What’s up with all the additional entries? Isn’t one entry enough? Now if you post about a giveaway at your blog, in your sidebar, on Twitter AND become a follower, you get additional entries for each of these things – and sometimes even more than one for each of those things. Why does anyone want to have an amount of followers when most likely those followers will only mark those blogs read and not take a look at the posts?

To me, the confusing thing is that I still think it’s about the books we read and truly enjoy. But it seems to many others it’s become a popularity contest. Now let me be up front, I hated those back in school and I’m not going to participate now. In fact, I don’t even know how many people visited my blog so far!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Waiting, waiting...

If it didn't take so darn long for the vlog to upload, you'd be seeing my second vlog here, but as it is, it will take at least another hour *sigh*

For the time being, I'm reading your blogs and adding book after book to my wish list!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Progressive Dinner Party

So here I am, trying to catch up on unread blog posts, and there, Amy @ My Friend Amy posted this:

The holidays are for celebrating and what better way to celebrate than with food? Unfortunately, we all live so far apart that we can't get together but that shouldn't stop us from celebrating in style! So Nicole, Julie, and I put our heads together and came up with the Progressive Dinner Idea!

Here's your Invitation:

Who: You, of course, silly! And all the other fab bloggers who want to join in.

What: A Virtual Progressive Dinner (in which each blog hosts one part of the meal)

When: December 7-11

Where: The hub will be at the Book Blog Social Club

Why: Because we are party animals! Hopefully the fabulous recipes and ideas for entertainment and decoration will give you everything you need for the holiday season.

How will it work?

We just need you to fill out this fun form and tell us what part of the meal you want to host. Don't cook much? Don't worry! We need people to give us ideas for decorating and entertainment, too! Then pretty please spread the word about the dinner via facebook, twitter, and your blog! We'll go through and figure out which team we can put you on, and send you an email with your teammates names. Then, your team will figure out if you want to have a theme and who will post what. The week of the progressive dinner, we'll host Mister Linkys up at the Book Blog Social Club, and you can put in your link. by the end of the week, we'll have a fabulous collection of recipes and party ideas to celebrate with!

Now, I love food and I love baking - so how could I not participate???

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

NaNoWriMo & Book Blogger Holiday Swap

Apparently I completely forgot to mention this, but once again I'm in for the fun of NaNoWriMo. I'll never complete the darn thing, but it's fun anyway. Right now, Day 4 is over and I'm at 226 words, I think. Um, yes, I'm not joking there. See, the biggest problem is that, whenever I'm at my computer, I read mails, other blogs, write some blog posts of my own or do - well anything but write. Maybe I'll just grab my stuff and go to university a bit early on Friday to write some, but even that won't guarantee I'm writing on the dreaded thing.

The good thing is, I signed up for the Book Blogger Holiday Swap.

I absolutely love the button, designed by Daniel and I think it is a fun way to start into the holiday season :-)
If you haven't signed up yet, go ahead and do it here!

Monday, November 2, 2009

winter reading recommendations, anyone?

I had a couple interesting days lately, book-wise!

First, I spent some time with a vegan vampire (no worries, in the end said vampire decided to give in and eventually survived!), and now I'm with a almost-bulimic werewolf. This sure sounds crazy, but I'm having so much fun! The characters are far from your average vampire or werewolf.

As for the books, I'll keep you guessing with the vegan vampire, but I promise I'll tell you more! And the werewolf with the almost eating disorder is Kalix of Martin Millar's Lonely Werewolf Girl. Both books are wonderful reads for the darker, shorter days we're dealing with right now.

Other authors I like to read now would be Jane Austen, Emily Bronte (well, actually all three Bronte sisters!), Mitch Albom and Kelley Armstrong.

If those are too short, why not curl up with Michail Bulgakov's The Master and Margarita or Victor Hugo's Les Misérables?

What about you? Do you have any favorite reads or genres for the days post-clock change?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

my first vlog and summer reading

I can't believe I did that, but apparently, it is true! I did my very first vlog. I had planned this for a while, but was very reluctant. I had to cut and edit it a bit because of its original length, though. Oh, and I apologize up front - I used so many "funs" in that one *sigh* Plus, its a bit grainy and dark and I have a sore throat, so my voice is a bit scratchy...

Anyway, it's totally up to you all whether I'll do another vlog or not, I think. So tell me what you think!

So, I really don't know why my summer reading is always so different from my other reading. I long for quick reads in summer, books that are entertaining and - if possible - can be read within a day or less. Maybe that's because I read some rather hefty books for university? Or because it's summer and with the warm weather my brain doesn't work as fast? Or maybe I'm really just lazy and haven't really tried to find other easy, entertaining reads? And it stops as soon as it is colder again!
Basically, I think my summer reading consists of romance, fantasy and mystery.

Now, I have a challenge for you: Recommend some books for next summer! What books are easy to read that are not necessarily romance novels. I would love to read something else for a change!

The books I'm talking about are:

Janet Evanovich: SMITTEN (234 pages, ISBN: 978-0-06-059887-7)

Jill Shalvis: STORM FRONT (209 pages, ISBN: 978-0-373-79491-1)

Julie James: JUST THE SEXIEST MAN ALIVE (296 pages, ISBN: 978-0-425-22420-5) - and I should have blamed the girls of The Book Binge for that author as well!)

Merline Lovelace: A QUESTION OF INTENT (248 pages, ISBN: 0-373-27325-8)

Kristan Higgins: JUST ONE OF THE GUYS (376 pages, ISBN: 978-0-373-77299-5)

Sara Orwig: WYOMING WEDDING (177 pages, ISBN: 978-0-373-76947-6)

Carly Phillips: HOT PROPERTY (478 pages, ISBN: 978-0-373-77333-6)

October summary

So, October is over and I'm really, really glad this month was much better than September. The read-a-thon sure helped!

121) Jon Krakauer - Under The Banner Of Heaven
122) Jill Shalvis: Instant Gratification
123) Sara Orwig: Wyoming Marriage
124) Sarah Mayberry: She's Got It Bad

84) Jill Shalvis - Storm Front
85) Sara Orwig: Wyoming Marriage
86) Friedrich Duerrenmatt: Die Panne
87) MaryJanice Davidson: Undead and Unreturnable
88) Jay Asher: 13 Reasons Why
89) Will Eisner: The Spirit
90) Alan Bennett: The Uncommon Reader
91) a great book you'll hear more about as soon as possible!

5) Mari Mancusi: Stake That

Saturday, October 31, 2009

blaming blogger

I'm desperately playing catch up with my poor Google reader right now, but it seems it's not doing me any good. My wish list is growing as I'm writing this! (Maybe even as I'm sleeping...) And as if the enormous backlog is not enough, my blog is moving - no, not this one, my German one, as I've definitely had it with wordpress! I don't have the patience to spend half an hour just to include one picture that links back to another page.

But back to the growing wish list!

Bloggers I would like to blame are:

Teddyree from The Eclectic Reader for Claudia Gray's Evernight, a YA vampire novel she herself didn't absolutely love. But still, she somehow made it sound like an awesome book, so I'm curious!

Kathy from bermudaonion, who talked about Masha Hamilton's 31 Hours and was very secretive about the plot, but from what I know about her taste in books, this might just be the one for me!

Lenore from Presenting Lenore, who reviewed Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman. This seems like such a fun book to read! She also talked about Carla Buckley's The Things That Keep Us Here - I seem to be into apocalyptic lit lately, which is pretty unusual for me.

My long-time friend Lesa from Lesa's Book Critiques, who reviewed Mennonite In A Little Black Dress by Rhoda Janzen, and it sounds awesome!

Kailana from The Written World, who talked about James A. Levine's The Blue Notebook, a novel about an Indian child prostitute, which seems to be intriguing, if sad!

Kathy from Kittling: Books, who reviewed The Writing Class by Jincy Willett, which seems to be a book about a murderer in a writing class.

Marie from The Boston Bibliophile recently presented The Lost Tribe: Jewish Fiction in her Friday Finds. It is an anthology of contemporary writers and seems interesting.

Alyce from At Home With Books, who found Gang Leader For A Day by Sudhir Venkatesh, a non-fiction recounting of Venkatesh's years with a gang as an observer.

Well, now I'm about half way through the back log, so I've done enough procrastinating! I'm off to read a bit and then, tomorrow, I will actually work on moving part of my (German) blog!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


Jay Asher
320 pages
ISBN: 978-1-595-14171-2

When Clay Jensen finds a mysterious package addressed to him on his door step when he returns from school, he doesn't know what to think of it, but when he finds 7 cassettes in it and starts to play the first he is shocked. The voice on the tapes belongs to Hannah Baker, his classmate who committed suicide two weeks earlier. Hannah explains, that he is one of thirteen people to get these cassettes to listen to the thirteen reasons why she finally decided to end her life. That night, Clay takes a tour of his hometown to all the places Hannah leads him to, while listening to her story.

As I had mentioned during the read-a-thon, this book was awesome, but also hard to read. All the things that happened to Hannah, that she had to deal with!

Asher took care of getting into the minds of both Hannah and Clay. They are so different, yet they seem to connect so much through the tapes! While Clay is popular, a good student and tries to do everything he can to be allowed to speak at the graduation ceremony. Hannah, on the other hand, is the „new girl“ as her parents moved into town a while ago to be the new owners of a shoe shop. At first, she hung out with the two other new students, but soon things changed.

Over the course of 13 Reasons Why we find out what happened to Hannah and how seemingly innocent actions and words can cause great pain. Actions and words that would not do much to one person can seriously affect another person that already has trouble, pain or has been harmed otherwise in the past.

Asher’s carefully depicted voices of both Hannah and Clay make for a compelling and awesome novel that was hard to put down – and thus a perfect read for the read-a-thon.

Rating: 5/5