Thursday, April 30, 2009

April summary

59) Julia Hoban: Willow
60) Michael Karpin: Tightrope - Six Centuries Of A Jewish Dynasty
61) William Boyd: Restless
62) Adriana Trigiani: Lucia, Lucia
63) Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Half Of A Yellow Sun
64) Philip Roth: American Pastoral
65) Cormac McCarthy: The Road
66) Karen Tei Yamashita: Tropic Of Orange
67) Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband
68) Italian language learning mystery: Dottor Bianchis Letzter Wille (Dorrot Bianchi's Last Will)
69) Paul Robertson: Road To Nowhere
70) Abby Gaines: Married By Mistake
71) Michail Bulgakov: The Master & Margerita

23) Lori Wilde: Lethal Exposure
24) Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 2
25) Eun-Ah Park: Sweet & Sensitive 4
26) Eun-Ah Park: Sweet & Sensitive 5
27) Tess Gerritsen: The Mephisto Club
28) Meg Cabot: The Princess Diares - To The Nines
29) Harry Kemelman: Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home
30) Elie Wiesel: Night

2) Maureen Child: An Officer And A Millionaire
3) Laura Childs: Eggs In Purgatory

It's The end of April - challenge progress

Well, here we go with my challenge progress as of April 30, 2009:

challenges trying to accomplish since January 1, 2009

challenges accomplished so far
1) Winter Reading Challenge (6/6)
2) Harlequin/Silhouette Romance Reading Challenge (5/5)
3) Military Challenge (2/2)
4) Paranormal Challenge (2/2)
5) 20 Books In 2009 Challenge (20/20)
6) Series Challenge 3 (5/4)
7) Jewish Literature Challenge (2/4)
8) Maree's Mini-Challenge (3/5)

challenges starting May 1, 2009
Non-Fiction 5 (0/5)

challenge list
01. Spring Reading Challenge (5/16)
02. Once Upon A Time III (0/1)
03. Lisa Jackson Read-A-Fest (0/?)
04. "I Suck At Challenges" Challenge
05. Themed Reading Challenge (0/5)
06. Countdown Challenge (30/45)
07. 999 Challenge (28/81)
08. Cozy Mystery Challenge 2009 (0/6)
09. Classics Challenge 2009 (0/6)
10. Genre Challenge (5/10)
11. Chunkster Challenge (0/2)
12. Montgomery Mini-Challenge (0/4)
13. Medical Mystery Challenge (1/5)
14. 42 Challenge (0/42)
15. Orbis Terrarum (2/10)
16. Orbis Terrarum Bilingual Mini-Challenge (2/5)
17. Orbis Terrarum Film Mini-Challenge (0/10)
18. 9 Books For 2009 (5/9)
19. 18th & 19th Century Women Writers Challenge (0/4)
20. 1st In Series Challenge (2/12)
21. 1% Well-Read Challenge
22. 2nds Challenge (2/12)
23. 100+ Reading Challenge (25/100)
24. 666 Horror/Paranormal Challenge (9/36)
25. 2009 Mini-Challenges (3/12)
26. Agatha Christie Challenge (1/2)
27. Alphabet Challenge A: (10/26) T: (11/26)
28. Amateur Sleuth Challenge (1/12)
29. Audiobook Challenge (3/12)
30. Baker Street Challenge (0/3)
31. Be Inspired Challenge (1/1) - now applying to life
32. Book-A-Week Challenge (25/52)
33. Book Buddy Blogger Challenge (0/10)
34. Books Into Movies Challenge (0/2)
35. Buy One Book And Read It Challenge (5/12)
36. Casual Classics Challenge (1/4)
37. Centuries Reading Challenge (0/4)
38. Chick Lit Challenge (0/10)
39. Decades Challenge (0/9)
40. eBook Reading Challenge (0/10)
41. Erotica Romance Challenge (2/10)
42. Graphic Novels Challenge (3/6)
43. In Their Shoes (2/?)
44. John Steinbeck Mini-Challenge (0/2)
45. Lost In Translation Challenge (4/6)
46. Manga Challenge (2/6)
47. My Year Of Reading Dangerously Challenge (2/12)
48. New Authors Challenge (8/10)
49. Numbers Challenge (1/5)
50. Pages Read Challenge (3,761/20,000)
51. Polyglot Agatha Reading Challenge (0/?)
52. Read And Review Challenge (0/?)
53. Read Your Name Challenge (3/7)
54. Read Your Own Books Challenge (2/4)
55. Reading My Name Challenge (0/2)
56. Really Old Classics Challenge (0/2)
57. Rescue Challenge (0/4)
58. Romance Reading Challenge (1/5)
59. Scott Westerfeld Mini-Challenge (0/2)
60. Serial Readers Challenge (3/?)
61. Shakespeare Challenge (0/6)
62. Suspense & Thriller Challenge (2/12)
63. TBR Challenge Lite (0/6)
64. Three's A Charm Challenge (0/3)
65. Vampire Challenge (1/2)
66. Victorian Challenge (1/3)
67. World Citizen Challenge (0/1)
68. YA Challenge (2/12)
69. Elizabeth Gaskell Mini-Challenge (0/2)
70. George Eliot Mini-Challenge (0/2)
71. Leo Tolstoy Mini-Challenge (0/2)
72. PERPETUAL - Banned Or Challenged Books Challenge (11/50)
73. PERPETUAL - Book Around The States Challenge (1/51)
74. PERPETUAL - To Be Continued Challenge (0/?)

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

busy, busier, me

I realize I have a couple reviews waiting, including some for the Jewish Lit Challenge that ended Monday. I hope to get to them soon, but right now I'm swamped!
As I said this afternoon, right now my private life only consists of an hour of sports a week. And that's aerobics, which I - technically - hate!

A big SORRY!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? April 27th

J. Kaye is hosting this wonderful weekly event, so if you want to join in, just go on over and post a link to your weekly reading there :-)


Meg Cabot: The Princess Diaries - To The Nines

Currently reading

Amy Tan: The Hundred Secret Senses
Harry Kemelman: Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home

Up next

Challenge book(s)
Elie Wiesel: Night

University book(s)
Bram Stoker: Dracula

Just because book(s)

Mailbox Monday, April 27th

Mailbox Monday is a weekly event hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. If you want to join in, just go there.

Abby Gaines: Married By Mistake
I saw this book on another blog and just had to have it. Chances are it was on The Book Binge, but I don't want to blame them because I am really not sure!

Michail Bulgakov: The Master And Margarita
I didn't really find this book in my mailbox, but I got it from two friends for my birthday (didn't get around to celebrate with them until last Thursday). I've been wanting to read this book for so long and they knew it, so now I have it and can get to it as soon as I have finished my university books. Yay!

Btw: As usually, the links from the pictures lead you to

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Half Of A Yellow Sun Read-Along

When I saw that Jackie from Farm Lane Books had Half Of A Yellow Sun on her list for the TBR challenge I had just gotten the book a few days before through Bookcrossing and so I decided to write her about it. We then agreed to do a buddy read for this one.

The plan is to start reading it in the first week of May. That way we think we can read the first half until May 7 and then finish it up until May 14.

Jackie already has a post up about this here, by the way.

Here's the backcover blurb:
In 1960s Nigeria, a country blighted by civil war, three lives intersect. Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university lecturer. Olanna, a coung woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. The third is Richard, a shy Englishman in thrall to Olanna's enigmatic twin sister. When the shocking horror of the war engulfs them, their loyalties are severly tested as they are pulled apart and thrown together in ways that none of them imagined...

Are you interested in joining us for the read along? We’d love to share our thoughts with you!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Yom HaShoah - Holocaust Remembrance Day

Today is what we know as Yom HaShoah, the Holocaust Remembrance Day. Now, 64 years later, there are still people who deny the facts of the Holocaust. They deny 6 million murdered people. To at least diminish the number of those people, we have to remember, and we have to keep teaching our children that it is a fact that millions of people were killed for no reason. They should never be forgotten!

In Israel, sirens announce the two minutes of complete silence, when life stops and everyone remembers the people who lost their lives.

The song for this video, Ani Ma'amin, was sung by the Miami Boys Choir (very talented!). Many Jews sang this song while being herded into the gas chambers.

The lyrics are:
Ani ma'amin beemuna shlemah
B'viat hamashiach
V'af al pi sheyitmameha
Im kol zeh achake lo
B'chol yom sheyavo

The translation:
I believe with a complete belief
In the coming of the Messiah
And even though he may tarry
I will wait for him, whenever he comes

Here's a second, short video with more shocking pictures:

By the way, Zyklon B, the gas that was used in the gas chambers to kill the Jews (a canister is shown in the video above) was invented by the IG Farben, a German company that owned the building in which I am studying now.
To remember the Holocaust and the history of the building there are plates with the history and evidence all over the building both in German and English.
(The link above - the building - leads you to the wikipedia page for the building and its history.)


Tess Gerritsen
413 pages
ISBN: 978-3-442-37138-9

NOTE: Picture and link for the English edition, ISBN and page count for the German edition!

So this is the third book I read for the read-a-thon. I'm still sad it is over, but it is true. But - I'm talking to a friend about this and maybe we'll have a surprise for you soon! Anyway, back to the book.

The Mephisto Club is the latest installment in Tess Gerritsen's Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Iles (at least in Germany, in the US The Keepsake was published last year). It has been approximately four months since the events in the last book, Vanish, where Jane Rizzoli gave birth to a baby girl at the end.

Now it is Christmas and Jane gets called to a gruesoe murder scene. A young woman has been murdered and her body has been severely mutilated. During the autopsy, Dr. Maura Iles realizes that there must be a second body, as the hand found with the woman's body is not hers.

Step by step, Gerritsen leads us anew into the world of murder. At first, the murder seems to be the result of a satanic ritual, but when a second body is found, the police gets some hints from a group of scientists who try to solve murders on their own. Based on this, it appears more and more that the murder was not part of a satanic ritual.

While it is very clear who is the murderer early on in the book, Gerritsen provides a few twists throughout the book that make it a must read not only for mystery and thriller readers, but also for those who like the unsuspected.

Rating: 5/5

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? April 20th

J. Kaye is hosting this wonderful weekly event, so if you want to join in, just go on over and post a link to your weekly reading there :-)


Eun-Ah Park: Sweet & Sensitive 4
Eun-Ah Park: Sweet & Sensitive 5
Tess Gerritsen: The Mephisto Club

Currently reading

Amy Tan: The Hundred Secret Senses
Meg Cabot: The Princess Diaries - To The Nines

Up next

Challenge book(s)
Harry Kemelman: Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home
Kizzur Shulchan Aruch

University book(s)
Bram Stoker: Dracula

Just because book(s)

Mailbox Monday, April 20th

Mailbox Monday is a weekly event hosted by Marcia at The Printed Page. If you want to join in, just go there.

This week was eventful for my mailbox.

For three of the books I can blame university. They're all for a class on "What happened to the American Dream? Pastoral in Literature and Fiction":

1) Karen Tei Yamashita: Tropic Of Orange
2) Cormac McCarthy: The Road
3) Philip Roth: American Pastoral

Then, I am incredibly grateful to Francesca. I won a book from her and it arrived in the mail:

4) Lernkrimi Italienisch: Dottor Bianchis letzter Wille (Dottor Bianchi's Last Will)
This is a language learning mystery with exercises in each chapter. Thank you so much, Francesca!

Also, I had a book from a Virtual Bookcrossing Book Box in the mail:

5) Paul Robertson: Road To Nowhere

And the last book I got for me, and just for me LOL:

6) Oscar Wilde: An Ideal Husband

And what did you have in your mailbox?

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Read-A-Thon wrap up

While it is hours after the official end, I just now got around to write a wrap up post for the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon in honor of Dewey. This was my first read-a-thon ever and I wished there was another one soon. I had so much fun, I can't believe it!
I googled, but I didn't find one. (If you know more, let me know ;-) )

Here are the victims:

This box was almost full when the read-a-thon started. Not much is left of the carrots, which are victim #1 of the read-a-thon.

This is the pack of cookies that I ate during the read-a-thon - victim #2.

And of course, without some green tea, I wouldn't have made it. These hand-filled tea bags are victim #3.

These are the water bottles that I drunk during the read-a-thon aka victim #4.

And this is the lecithin I took during the read-a-thon. As I meantioned earlier, my concentration is that of a goldfish, but with lecithin it's a bit better. This stuff is available in regular supermarkets, so I don't mind taking it. Lecithin - victim #5.

With all those victims, I managed to read almost three books:
1) Eun-Ah Park: Sweet & Sensitive 4
2) Eun-Ah Park: Sweet & Sensitive 5
3) Tess Gerritsen: The Mephisto Club (finished the hour after the read-a-thon ended)

And I listened to one audio book (for a second time):
Meg Cabot: How To Be Popular

Now I would have been able to read a bit more if I hadn't taken the nap, but in the end it was the best decision.

The total amount of pages I read is 694.
I would have loved to read more pages, but I can live with that.

I realized I could concentrate best with some music in the background, so I eventually figured I'd add the current song to my regular updates. It was a fun part for me to check out what I was listening to while I was writing the update.

For the next read-a-thon (the sooner, the better, if you ask me!), I think I'll go to bed earlier the night before. I'll try to prepare the updates ahead of time and I'll plan in some more computer breaks, so that I don't have the mess with a computer on strike again. Otherwise, I'd probably do everything the same way.

The 24th hour

It is over! And I'm already sad *sigh* I wished the Read-A-Thon were more often, not just once a year. I know not everyone could join in all the time, but maybe it would give those who don't have the time at a certain date the chance to join in at another date?

Ah well. I'll just have to wait until next year. At least I accomplished a bit :-)

Books read so far: 2 plus an audio book during the time whenI tried to coerce my computer into working with me instead of against me

Pages Read so far: 694

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (page 348 of 413)

Current song: Queen Of New Orleans by Jon Bon Jovi

Now I'm off to finish up my book and then I have a bunch of comments to reply to (Thanks everyone! I love your comments :-) ) and after that I will check out what other read-a-thon-ers did. I'm so curious!

close to the end

This is the last task at hand before I complete my final post. A meme on the Read-A-Thon.

1. Which hour was most daunting for you?
The most daunting was the 15th/16th hour. My eye lids kept falling shut, so I took a nap - only to find my computer messing with me *sigh*

2. Could you list a few high-interest books that you think could keep a Reader engaged for next year?
I think YA is always a good choice for the wee hours. I don't think I could come up with some general books that work for each or at least most participants, though. Tastes are too different. For me, Tess Gerritsen did a great job, once I got into reading thanks to Eun-Ah Park's manhwas. Others might hate mangas/manhwas and mysteries or thrillers.

3. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
I think what would be fun to see was a list of books the past participants read during the 24 hours. That might inspire some reading choices. But I wouldn't change anything about the Read-A-Thon, you did an awesome job!

4. What do you think worked really well in this year’s Read-a-thon?
The cheerleaders and the challenges kept me busy and distracted me from being tired for a long time. That was awesome!

5. How many books did you read?
I finished 2 books plus 1 audio book and am close to the end of a 3rd book.

6. What were the names of the books you read?
I read Eun-Ah Park's Sweet & Sensitive 4 and Sweet & Sensitive 5. I listened again to Meg Cabot's How To Be Popular, and I've almost finished Tess Gerritsen's The Mephisto Club.

7. Which book did you enjoy most?
My current read, Tess Gerritsen's The Mephisto Club.

8. Which did you enjoy least?
Meg Cabot's How To Be Popular - I didn't like it much the first time around and I still have my problems with the story.

9. If you were a Cheerleader, do you have any advice for next year’s Cheerleaders?
I've been reading, but a big Thanks! to all the cheerleaders! You were awesome!

10. How likely are you to participate in the Read-a-thon again? What role would you be likely to take next time?
If I don't miss the date: I definitely will participate again. Actually, I wished you would do this more often!

At the end of the 23rd hour...

Now I'm back on with my book. I hope to finish it, but I'm still sad I couldn't read the other two books I was excited about to read for the second half of the marathon *sigh*

Books read so far: 2 plus an audio book during the time whenI tried to coerce my computer into working with me instead of against me

Pages Read so far: 642

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (page 294 of 413)

Current song: Clocks by Coldplay


Well, I'm not good with limericks, so I had a chance to browse Dewey's blog again for Eva's mini-challenge. I didn't know here, which I think is really sad. I discovered her blog shortly after she passed away. In the past I've been reading on her blog, though.

What surprises me still is that one of my favorite posts so far is one of the last ones she wrote. I'm talking about her Sunday Salon post about double copies.

I think what made me jump at this post today (don't remember what it was in the first place) was that it so much describes the bookaholic. If you love books, getting double copies happens. You read about great books on other people's blogs, see them in book shops, etc. and you decide that you want to have this copy. Now, usually our Mt. TBR is too big to check it every time we hear about a great book.

I haven't kept proper track of my books for about a year and just recently I reorganized my Mt. TBR after getting new shelves (thanks again so much, Dad!). I came across three books of which I had double copies. Luckily, two of those wereGerman, so I just gave my Mom the second copy for her bookshelves *evilgrin*. And the third? That's for you to see soon. I can tell you, though, that it's by one of my Top 10 authors and I'll give it away soon to someone here on my blog.

And somehow this post wouldn't feel complete if I wouldn't include her post about The Little Prince. My Mom had this book on her shelves as long as I can think, and I never got around to reading it, but when I discovered Dewey's post on it earlier this year, I decided to put it on my must-read-in 2009 list. I haven't gotten around to it yet, but I know I will.

I never knew why everyone was so excited about this book until I read Dewey's post. Now I can't wait to read it! I can only imagine how many other people had a similar reaction to her posts. This thought actually makes me ever sadder, because Dewey can't tell us about other awesome books we should read anymore. Maybe that is something we other book bloggers should try to do: Get other people to read the great books in her name!

Current song: Love Is A Mutt From Hell by Wheatus (Remember that group? Haven't heard about them since I was in school...)

The 22nd hour

Now that my computer finally let me back in after some dreadful hours (what happened to my nap?), I can finally update again, so off to the Read-A-Thon page and there we go.
Okay, a limerick it is...

There she came
Back from a nap
When she saw the lap
Had decided to lag.
But back to the books,
There are some great hooks!

No, really!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

At the end of the 22nd hour...

Books read so far: 2 plus an audio book during the time whenI tried to coerce my computer into working with me instead of against me

Pages Read so far: 625

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (page 277 of 413)

Current song: 위로 from the Soundtrack of The 1st Shop Of Coffee Prince (Korean TV series)

At the end of the 15th hour...

Okay, for the past hour my eye lids have been falling down pretty much every minute. I think I'll forget trying to stay awake for 24 hours straight and do the reasonable thing. I'll sleep for an hour and then come back to read soeme more. I'll still read most of the 24 hours anyway. Work and the term paper on Monday are important. I need to be at least somewhet awake then. I won't be any use at all in a semi-coma!

Books read so far: 2

Pages Read so far: 625

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (page 277 of 413)

Current song: With Me by NewS and Bu De Bu Ai by Pan Wil Bo

The end of the 14th hour...

For the next two hours I will try to ignore my computer best as I can. This last hour I spent more time commenting than reading and I have to catch up a bit. On top of that, my eyes are getting tired, so I'd rather use the strength to read. This doesn't mean I won't post my hourly updates, though. If I remember them, I'll post them.

Books read so far: 2

Pages Read so far: 569

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (page 221 of 413)

Current song: What My Heart Wants To Say by Gareth Gates

And the winner is...

Well, the Randomizer has picked a winning number:


The winner is Mee, as she posted the 10th comment. Congrats!

Please let me know your snail mail address so that I can you the prize. You can send me an e-mail at dreamworldofabookaholic [AT] googlemail [DOT] com :-)

The 13th hour...

Books read so far: 2

Pages Read so far: 557

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (page 209 of 413 now)

Current song: When You Say Nothing At All by Ronan Keating (from the Notting Hill Soundtrack)

And with this I think I built a bridge back to the Books to TV cross-over mini-challenge, which has now ended.

Hour 13 mid-marathon survey

So this time around, we're doing a mid-marathon survey. This is a good way to put down the current read for a minute or two and concentrate on what we accomplished so far :-)

1. What are you reading right now?
The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen

2. How many books have you read so far?
I finished two books, both manhwa's. They were fun reads and I have to admit, I was really disappointed that I don't have the following books in the series here. I think this will be my next just-for-me shopping.

3. What book are you most looking forward to for the second half of the Read-a-thon?
For the second half I have two books in mind:
1) Meg Cabot: The Princess Diaries 9
2) Stephenie Meyer: New Moon
I hope I can read both :-)

4. Did you have to make any special arrangements to free up your whole day?
No, I'm missing 24 hours for finishing up my term paper, but so what, I still have 24 hours after that ;-) Okay, I might be a bit crazy LOL

5. Have you had many interruptions? How did you deal with those?
I didn't have many. When I went downstairs to get something for dinner, my best friend's mom was here and I skipped about two hours of reading, but in the end it proved to be a good thing. I'm now fresh and the bad start is forgotten. And the second slight distraction was when my Dad came upstairs to bring me the other cat (Sano has been with me most of the evening, but Karlheinz was sleeping in the bathroom until 30 minutes before my Dad wanted to go to bed).

6. What surprises you most about the Read-a-thon, so far?
I was afraid that it would be hard work to read for 12 hours, yet I set my own goal to 24 hours. I'm surprised that it is still so much fun! What might have helped, though, is the books I chose, and the fact that I have a huge stack to choose from.

7. Do you have any suggestions for how to improve the Read-a-thon next year?
No, I like it the way it is :-) Thanks for doing all the work, mes chères!

8. What would you do differently, as a Reader or a Cheerleader, if you were to do this again next year?
I think I would get more food ready and I would maybe clear up my table a bit more. The way it is right now I have to juggle so that it fits the computer, my tea and my glass.

9. Are you getting tired yet?
Just a little, but I might be getting there soon. It's 2:15am for me now and my weak hour is approaching. If I'm still awake at 6am, I'm all good to go through withthe 24 hours. I just hope the water is still warm enough for my tea (I have green tea leaves here and you can't brew them when the water is still boiling.)!

10. Do you have any tips for other Readers or Cheerleaders, something you think is working well for you that others may not have discovered?
None that I haven't posted yet. If I come up with more, I'll let you know!

The 12th hour...

Half time!!! Let's all celebrate that we made it this far. And then decide that, if we made it this far, we can go on :-)

The dangerous phase begins for me. It's 2am and I am slowly getting tired. I'll do anything to stay awake! But:

We can go on! I can go on!

Books read so far: 2

Pages Read so far: 519

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (page 171 of 413 now)

Current song: Breakaway by Kelly Clarkson

The end of the 11th hour...

We're closing in on the half time now, so let's get ready to rock this! This is not the time to get tired! LOL If you really must, get some coffee or green or black tea, open up the windows to get some fresh air in, maybe try to exercise a little - and definitely drink lots of water!

I'm an experienced night owl, especially when the deadline for term papers is coming close, so believe me, those things work! But keep in mind that coffee and caffein in general is not too good for you, so if you rely on those, keep a bottle of water next to the cup of coffee or whatever your caffein drug of choice is.

If you can't read when it's all quite (I always need background noise, otherwise every little crack distracts me) put on a CD, though preferable none that you just have to sing along. That distracts from reading ;-)

Books read so far: 2

Pages Read so far: 469

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (page now)

Current song: Things I'll Never Say by Avril Lavigne

The 11th hour mini-challenge

This time around, the task is to write a letter to the protagonist of my current read.

Here's what Shannon from Flight Into Fantasy wrote:

Write a letter to the protagonist of one of the books you’re reading. The letter can be about anything–why you like him or her, why you don’t like him or her, things you’ve learned from him or her. Post your letters either on your blogs or in the comments!

My current read is Tess Gerritsen's The Mephisto Club featuring Detective Jane Rizzoli and Dr. Maura Iles.

Dear Jane,

In the past, you've been through a lot. You've almost been killed by a lunatic serial killer everyone called "The Surgeon". He injured you severely, not only on the outside, but also on the inside. You've been about to give birth when a crazy woman took you hostage. And those are only the two major events in your life so far. Now you've been called to the second murder scene within a few short days, right after your Mom arrived at your door, asking you to take her in until she finds an apartment of her own. And it's no ordinary murder scene, no, it's a colleague of yours that has been brutally killed.

But always remember, no matter how bad the world sometimes seems, you have a wonderful husband at home. He obviously loves you dearly and would give his life for you. You have a beautiful little girl who might seem like she's growing up too fast right now, but that will slow down. And to top it of, you have wonderful friends who know what has happened and who are worried about you, but who also will be there for you whenever you need them.

No matter what happened in the past, all those people will always be there, no matter what! Cherish that and always keep in mind that even though it takes a while before you catch the bad guys, you eventually do, and that means you safe lives. Of course this doesn't bring back those lost souls that had to die already, but you will always remember them, so they will be remembered. Only when we are forgotten we are really dead. So you will remember them and the people whose lives you touch will always remember you.

When I think about you, I think of a strong woman who is successful both in her job and - even more important - in her life. You catch bad guys, you save lives, you love and you care. You are everything we should strive to be. No one is perfect, and we all know that, but you're doing the right things.

My wish for you would be that your demons, Warren Hoyt, his actions, and your nightmares, but also Dr. O'Donnell, will fade away.

We will meet again, I'm sure. And to be honest, I'm already excited and hope it will be soon. Till then I wish you all the best, many hours filled with joy and pleasure with your husband and your daughter, and nights of wonderful dreams!

All my best,

The end of the 10th hour...

So, after the break I'm back to reading. The book is getting more and more fascinating and I had to put it down now or I would have missed the new hour. Just finished a chapter...

Remember my mini-challenge, it's still open!

Books read so far: 2

Pages read so far: 452

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen

Current song: I Have Seen The Rain by Pink (with her father) and Astair by Matt Costa

Read-A-Thon mini challenge: Books to TV cross-over

So, are your eyes already getting tired from all the reading you're doing for the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon? No? Then you're doing really good, and if they do, let me remind you that breaks are a great thing. You can go outside for 5 minutes, maybe prepare something small to eat, you could even brew some coffee - or better some tea during those five minute breaks! Maybe you're even thinking about a small mini-challenge? Well, then you've come to the right place!

This is my first year joining the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon. In the past I found out about it too late and missed the day, but this year I finally managed it and I even decided to host a mini-challenge.

Remember all those books you read and all the movies you watched? If not, take a moment and think about them. Get up and look at your shelves, look at all the books you got there and enjoy their sight!

Now, what I want you to do for the mini-challenge is to search your memory for books and book series that might also work as a TV series. Which are they, and do you already have some actors in mind for them? (If so, you might even post links to a photo of the actor!)

Now think about the movies or TV series you've watched. Which of them would you read as a book as well? What are they about and what genre would they be?

And finally, think about the books that have already been made into a movie or a TV series. And what about those movies and TV series that were made into a book?

You can just make a list of all the books and movies and series you come up with for all three parts of this challenge.

Five minutes from now, at 11pm my time (Germany) or 2pm PST, the Books to TV cross-over mini challenge will start. It will be open for 4 hours until 3am my time (that's 6pm PST). This means it's for the hours 9 through 13 of the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon.

Now, leave a link to your post in the comment section or post your answers right in the comments, if you don't have a blog!

Once the challenge is over I will put all your names in the randomizer and pick a winner. The prize is a copy of Alexander McCall Smith's The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency as it has just been made into a TV series! If the winner already has a copy, I agreed with Trish that the winner can pick one of the books from the general prize list.

ETA: This blog is on comment moderation due to some very annoying spammers. If your comment doesn't pop up right away, don't post again. I'll try to check in ever 30 minutes or so to approve the comments :-)

Read-A-Thon update

So, I've taken an involuntary break. I went downstairs to get some food when I saw that the mother of one of my best friends was over for a visit (Michael, the friend, grew up just across the street). I hadn't seen her in a long time for some reason and I sent her a postcard a few days ago which arrived today, so we started talking and it felt rude to just walk away.

On the postcard, by the way, I sent her the recipe for a chocolate cake I had wanted to give her over a year ago. Embarrasing, to say the least!

Books read so far: 2

Pages read so far: 394

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen

Current song: Hotel California by The Eagles

The end of the 9th hour...

Books read so far: 2

Pages read so far: 398

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen

Current song: Knockin On Heaven's Door by Guns'n'Roses

The 6th hour...

Books read so far: 2 (Thanks to Shanra's advice!)

Pages read so far: 394

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen

Current song: Ana Free singing To Be With You by Mr. Big (see below, she's really talented!)


Eun-Ah Park
174 pages
ISBN: 978-3-86580-115-3

The 5th installment puts right up where the 4th left of. Ee-Ji, Han-Kyul, Do-Kyung and Sae-Ryun are at the beach for the holidays. Ee-Ji still hasn't fulfilled her task from the bet with Sae-Ryun and she's afraid she won't be able to make it until the time is up.

When the girls are forced to leave their hotel, they don't have a choice but to ask Sae-Ryun for help. His family has a hotel nearby and he agrees to let them stay. Later that night, some girls from Ee-Ji's class decide they want to test their male class mates to see whether they're really brave. This causes a new misunderstanding between Ee-Ji and Han-Kyul. Will they be able to make up or is this the end of their short relationship?

I can only say I love Eun-Ah Park's style. She draws the characters beautifully and you just can't mistake them for another character. They are all unique. On top of that, the story is sweet and so funny! If you haven't tried this series yet, go for it!

Rating: 4/5

And the special for the Read-A-Thon:
listening to the German theme of the Sesame Street and Te Busque by Nelly Furtado

The 5th hour

Books read so far: 1 (Thanks to Shanra's advice!)

Pages read so far: 220

Current book: Sweet & Sensitive 5 by Eun-Ah Park


Eun-Ah Park
200 pages
ISBN: 978-3-86580-114-5

With this 4th installment of Sweet & Sensitive, Eun-Ah Park brings us back to Seoul, South Korea. We once again meee Ee-Ji Bae, her first love Han-Kyul Kang, her best friend Do-Kyung Moon, and Han-Kyul's best friend Sae-Ryun Shin.

Ee-Ji Bae has been in love with Han-Kyul ever since she first met him in elementary school, but he moved soon after that and they didn't meet again until high school. After some misunderstandings and other things, Ee-Ji and Han-Kyul are finally a couple, but why is Ee-Ji all of a sudden so confused when she hears that Sae-Ryun has been suspended from school for beating a boy who asked her out on a blind date? After all, Sae-Ryun and Ee-Ji are always argueing.

When Ee-Ji realizes Sae-Ryun won't know what will be the topics of the half-term exams, she goes to his house to give him the paper with the necessary information. Only, they get into a new argument and end up betting. The one who is better in the exams will have one wish granted from the other...

Rating: 4/5

And a special for the Read-A-Thon:
listening to Love Changes Everything from one of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musicals and then Private Hearts by NewS (Japanese pop music)

The end of the 4th hour...

Where did the last hour go??? I haven't read a thing, I just couldn't concentrate on any book. I'm now going with Shanra's advice to pick something short.

My pick: Sweet & Sensitive 4 by Eun-Ah Park, a manhwa...

End of the 3rd hour

So, the Read-A-Thon has been going for 3 hours so far and I'm not happy. I've done some reading, true, but only a few pages. Somehow nothing captures my attention. In fact, it seems a lot as if my attention span resembles that of a goldfish.


I read a page or two, and then my mind wanders. I know that my life usually is like that, but not when I'm reading. In the past, my reading time has been the only time I was concentrated. But apparently, not any more *sigh*

Books read so far: a big, fat 0

Pages read so far: Don't even ask... Okay, for the curious ones, I read 12 pages

Current book: The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen (thanks to the first mini-challenge)

The first Mini-Challenge

This first mini challenge is hosted by Jodie from Book Gazing.

here's what she said about her challenge:
First look over at your read-a-thon pile o' books. Isn't it gorgeous, don't you just want to pet it?

Look through the pile and take a picture of the cover you like the best, for whatever reason. It can be the prettiest, the oddest, the brightest...

Flip the book over and look at the blurb (or look on the inside of the jacket). Now here's the fun, little kid part - recreate the blurb anyway you want. What I'm looking for is some kind of tableau that expresses the main thrust of the book's plot (which the blurb should hopefully capture). You can recreate it using action figures, poppets, stuffed toys, lego creatures, models made from bluetack and paper clips, anything you can find around the house. If you're feeling really ambitious you can get people to help you out - dress them up and take a picture of them acting out the main idea behind the book. Mock it up quickly and have fun doing it :) Snap a picture of whatever you create. The challenge runs from 2pm - 4pm (GMT).

I definitely wanted to pet my stack of books, but then, I pretty much always pet my books when I just walk by. They are too pretty to not touch them!

The book I chose is the German edition of Tess Gerritsen's The Mephisto Club

I don't know why, but I just like the cover. The hand at the throat of the naked woman holds her life in hand, it's powerful, but it is also artsy, as it was taken from a painting.

Here are two pictures of my creation. I have to admit, there aren't many dolls or other figures around here. My brother is 21 and I'm 25, so it's been a while since we played with toys...

The backcover blurb said that the body of a woman is found apparently used in a satanic ritual and during the autopsie, Dr. Maura Iles realizes that the hand found next to the body doesn't belong to the body.

And a closer shot:

Introduction meme

Darcie created an introduction meme for the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon a while ago, which I think is a fun way to get to know the other participants.

Here you go with my answers:

Where are you reading from today?
I'm reading from Germany, a small town in Hessen, to be exact.

3 facts about me …
I'm a student.
I just turned 25 last week (Good Friday).
I watched all 10 seasons of Friends within less that 2 weeks.

How many books do you have in your TBR pile for the next 24 hours?
I have 25 books on my TBR pile - a broad range is everything to me! You can find a list of the first 24 books here and the 25th book here.

Do you have any goals for the read-a-thon (i.e. number of books, number of pages, number of hours, or number of comments on blogs)?
I hope to read through all 24 hours, but maybe I'll just fall asleep at one point. My weak hour is 4am my time (so you can calculate what that is in your time zone: the Read-A-Thon began at 2pm my time).

If you’re a veteran read-a-thoner, Any advice for people doing this for the first time?
It's my first time, so no advice yet, sorry! But I'll be curious about everyone else's advice!

It has begun!

Yikes! I just realized I forgot one last book for the Read-A-Thon.

My current read is a book I don't want to put aside, so I had decided to include it in my reading...

And with this:

The 24 Hour Read-A-Thon has begun!

It's closer and closer...

So, I have one hour left until the read-a-thon starts. One hour in which I will have lunch and get some more things ready.

I already have my snacks ready. Some ready cut carrots, some cookies, and gummibears. I know what I'll have for dinner today and breakfast tomorrow. Now all I have to figure out is what I want to eat for lunch tomorrow - and maybe I'll bake some muffins. They're quick and easy, and it's not much trouble to have them finished before the read-a-thon starts.

Last week already, I took care of my reading stack. It is huge, but I figured it is better to have a broad variety of genres and something for breaks as well. I certainly wouldn't want to have to pick off of Mt. TBR (obviously ;-) ).

The books are:
Lost Souls by Poppy Z. Brite
For a class at university on vampires in literature and film.

The Mephisto Club by Tess Gerritsen
For challenges and because I just looove those books!

Fatal Burn by Lisa Jackson
For a challenge and just for fun.

Dracula by Bram Stoker
For a class at university on vampires in literature and film.

New Moon by Stephenie Meyer
Do I really have to give a reason? ;-)

Sunday The Rabbi Stayed Home by Harry Kemelman
For a challenge and because it's a great series.

Murder Is Binding by Lorna Barrett
It's a mystery, so it's cozy reading just because...

a book by Yasushi Inoue (no clue about the English title, sorry!)
For Orbis Terrarum and because the story line is so interesting.

The Princess Diaries 9 by Meg Cabot
Easy reading with fun.

2 language study books
Learning and reading mysteries combined - just right for me :-)

Manhattans & Murder by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain
You'll see why at 11 pm my time (Germany) or 2 pm PST!

Tightrope by Michael Karpin
It's a review book and I'm just too curious about it!

Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis
Comfort reading for the wee hours...

??? Kids by Ulf Blanck
Comfort reading for the wee hours...

Sweet & Sensitive 4 by Eun-Ah Park
Comfort reading for the wee hours...

Sweet & Sensitive 5 by Eun-Ah Park
Comfort reading for the wee hours...

House Fan-Book
Comfort reading for the wee hours...

Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
Group read for May.

Miniature In Murder by Margaret Grace
I'm cuuuurious!

And a few additions because they arrived today and are mostly for university (except Oscar Wilde):

An Ideal Husband by Oscar Wilde
I have mentioned I love Oscar Wilde, right?

American Pastoral by Philip Roth
For a class at university.

The Road by Cormac McCarthy
For a class at university.

Tropic Of Orange by Karen Tei Yamashita
For a class at university.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


No matter what you were planning today, check out this link!!! I would have embedded it, but it was deactivated. It is an amazing video from Britain's Got Talent.

This woman is singing I Dream A Dream from the musical Les Misérables.

I just watched the video and I'm stunned!

This woman IS Fantine! (If you know the story I think you know what I mean!)

She is awesome. I mean, come on, if she doesn't nail this season's Britain's Got Talent then I don't know who could!

Anyone else here who loves the musical Les Misérables as much as I do? (Actually, reading Victor Hugo's two tomes is one of my projects for this year - in French!)

Stay tuned for more reviews to come within the next few days - I'm currently working on them to clear up my shelves before the 24 Hour Read-A-Thon starts...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Lovely Blog Award

Imagine that, I got the Lovely Blog Award! Actually, I even got it twice. Both Kerrie from MYSTERIES in PARADISE and Bella from Bella is reading... gave me with this award. Thanks you two!

This award which is given to new blogs and blogging friends.

The rules to follow are:
1) Accept the award, post it on your blog together with the name of the person who has granted the award and his or her blog link.
2) Pass the award to 15 other blogs that you've newly discovered. Remember to contact the bloggers to let them know they have been chosen for this award.

1) Becky from Becky's Book Reviews
2) Lesley from Lesley's Book Nook
3) Meghan from Recreational Reading
4) The Sleepy Reader
5) Samantha from Sam's Book Blog
6) Nely from All About {n}
7) Lise from Breakfast In Bed
8) Jew Wishes
9) Jackie from Farm Lane Books Blog
10) mee from Books of Mee
11) Ashley from Ashley's Library
12) Catie from Graduate Knits
13) tanabata from In Spring It Is The Dawn
14) Natasha from Maw Books Blog
15) Ramya from Ramya's Bookshelf..

Mailbox Monday, April 13th

Mailbox Monday is hosted by Marcia. If you want to join in, feel free to drop by!

This week I found the following books:

William Boyd: Restless
It is 1939. Eva Delectorskaya is a beautiful 28-year-old Russian émigrée living in Paris. As war breaks out she is recruited for the British Secret Service by Lucas Romer, a mysterious Englishman, and under his tutelage she learns to become the perfect spy, to mask her emotions and trust no one, including those she loves most. Since the war, Eva has carefully rebuilt her life as a typically English wife and mother. But once a spy, always a spy. Now she must complete one final assignment and this time Eva can't do it alone: she needs her daughter's help.

Adriana Trigiani: Lucia, Lucia
Lucia Sartori is the beautiful daughter of a fine Italian immigrant family living in Greenwhich Village, New York, in 1950. Fuelled by the post-war book, in which ambitious girls are encouraged to follow their dreams, Lucia becomes an apprentice for a clothing designer at a chic department store on Fifth Avenue. Though she is sought after as a potential wife by the best Italian families, Lucia is determined to have a career. She juggles the roles of dutiful daughter and ambitious working girl perfectly.
When a handsome stranger comes into the story and catches her eye, it is love at first sight for both of them. In order to win Lucia's hand, he must first win over her traditional family and make proper offer of marriage. Their love affair takes an unexpected turn as secrets are revealed, Lucia's family honour is tested, and her own reputation becomes the center of a sizzling scandal.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Half Of A Yellow Sun
In 1960s Nigeria, a country blighted by civil war, three lives intersect. Ugwu, a boy from a poor village, works as a houseboy for a university lecturer. Olanna, a coung woman, has abandoned her life of privilege in Lagos to live with her charismatic new lover, the professor. The third is Richard, a shy Englishman in thrall to Olanna's enigmatic twin sister. When the shocking horror of the war engulfs them, their loyalties are severly tested as they are pulled apart and thrown together in ways that none of them imagined...

And last but certainly not least:

Michael Karpin: Tightrope - Six Centuries Of A Jewish Dynasty
Nearly twenty years ago, a chance meeting with a Backenroth family member spurred journalist Michael Karpin to years of research that spanned the globe and several centuries. In Tightrope, he shares the amazing tale of a family that was in many ways extraordinary and in many others typical of Eastern European Jews. Offering a unique portrait of Jewish life through such pivotal events as the migration from Western to Eastern Europe, the birth of Zionism, and the Holocaust, Tightrope tells an inspiring, compelling, and often surprising take of faith, courage, loyalty, and resourcefulness through centuries of struggle, heartbreak, and triumph.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mailbox weekend

Now look what found its way into my mail box last week!

Julia Hoban's Willow is just out and I have it already. I hope to read it soon, as the premise of the story sounds interesting.

In a rainy March night, Willow was driving home with her parents in the car. While Willow survives, her parents died and nothing will ever be the same again. To her new classmates she is the killer orphan girl and her brother barely speaks to her. Willow tries to cope with the pain and the tragedy by hurting herself, but no one seems to realize how she feels. Only when one sensitive boy discovers her secret, Willows seemingly safe world turns upside down.

I usually take part in the Mailbox Monday hosted by Marcia, but this last week was crazy and so I didn't find the time to post it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jill Shalvis, Jacquie D'Alessandro & Jamie Sobrato: HEATING UP THE HOLIDAYS

Jill Shalvis, Jacquie D'Alessandro & Jamie Sobrato
Harlequin Blaze
212 pages
ISBN: 978-0-3373-79439-

This is a wonderful holiday short story compilation. Jill Shalvis, Jacquie D'Alessandro & Jamie Sobrato all wrote short stories revolving around those men and women who make a living out of helping others and saving theirs lives: firefighters. While I didn't rate the stories separately, I will try to give a short review for all three short stories.

All He Wants For Christmas is that firefighter Christina Lewis realizes she's in love with him. He, that is EMT Dustin Mauer. He has been hung up on her for a long time already. The two are complete opposites. Christina is all the tough girl at work and doesn't have time for emotions, while Dustin is not afraid of his emotions.
The wonderful thing about this short story was that Jill Shalvis managed to pack all the action into a few pages and yet I didn't feel rushed. I was annoyed at times by Christina's pig-headedness, but that was easy to deal with, as Ms Shalvis made sure to more that outweigh it with positive character traits.

In My Grown-Up Christmas List florist Toni Rizzo is done with firefighters, but Brad Griffin doesn't give up. He uses all his imagination to make her realize that not every firefighter is the same and puts her on top of his wish list.
While the story was pretty nice to read, I've read better story lines by Jacquie D'Alessandro and I am pretty sure part of what I missed was due to the shortness.

Up On The Housetop firefighter Ryan Quinn finds Dr. Lorelei Gibson. Just back from a stint as a doctor in Africa, she came back to the old house of a relative. In a stormy night she climbs on the roof and in an attempt to fix the major holes, she nails her pajama pants to the roof. When she is finally saved she is shocked that it is Ryan Quinn who broke her heart back in high school.
This story could have been longer! Then, there would have been more character development. That said, it was a wonderful story and I'll definitely read more by all three authors.

Now, reading this wonderful anthology was fun and it was a quick read, but it also stayed with me for a bit after I finished it.

Rating: 4/5

Another year has passed...

Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday to me,
Happy birthday dear me,
Happy birthday to me!

Yes, it is true, I'm a year older now. Scary, huh? ;-)

25 years ago exactly now, this very second, I was born in a small town in Germany.

If anyone ever asks, I would love to get one of those one day:

Picture: Click on the pic to find the instructions! (They have great cakes there, go check it out!)

The Cookie Monster has always been my favorite! And I really hope I'll never feel too old to want one of those :-P

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Marco von Münchhausen & Ingo Püschel
hours minutes
audio book

Now honestly, the German title is so much better and a lot more fun! It doesn't translate all too well, but the "inner temptation" in German is called "pig's dog", which is slightly derogatory, but not in an all mean sense.

I can't say for sure these things will work in real life - at least not in mine. There was so much information to absorb I don't even know whether I remember everything.

Rating: As this is a non-fiction I have a hard time rating it with my usual scale. It was a good read, easy to follow. If it translates into real life? We'll see! I'll keep you posted as the weeks pass.


Meg Cabot
hours minutes
audio book

I'm thinking I should get the rating for this one down because I don't remember anything at all - except for one scene. That's no good sign for a book now, is it?
Rating: 3/5

New bookshelves - finally!

Okay, I just have to share this, because it is an awesome thing for me. Yesterday when I got back to my parents, my Dad picked me up at the train station and we went shopping. Not the "we need food" kind of shopping, the book shelf kind of shopping. I have been talking to my parents about getting one or two (or maybe even more) book shelves for the past year or so, so it was a looong process. In the end, we came up with a way that would also help me separate the sleeping area of my room at their place from the living / working area.

Now, my Dad picked me up yesterday, after I had already given up hope that it would work during the semester break, and off we went to get me some book shelves. I had even saved up some money for the occasion over the past months.

Before I had the very final okay (my parents, especially my Mom, were concerned the weight of the books would be too much for the floor), Mom, my brother, and I went to look at some furniture. My brother is in the middle of re-decorating his room, so we had a reason to go and decided to take a peek at book shelves as well. After some looking around, we found a couple nice book shelves, although they were fake-wood ones.

Now when I went to get them with Dad, he saw them and said we should look around for wooden shelves, so we did that - and were successful! And we even saved some money!

As it turns out, I didn't even have to pay for both shelves, as they were an early birthday present :-D Now imagine how happy I am!

Before I got the new shelves my room at my parents was filled with books in every spot available!

Note before you look at the pictures: Please ignore the messy room. I haven't found the time to make the bed today. I was busy baking, filling up my bookshelves and cleaning up the (saw) dust that came with the bookshelves.

These are my bookshelves before. There's another row of books behind the sofa - which, by the way, also had a stack of books on it.

Then, I had a couple books on a box on the floor on the right of the sofa.

This is the box from above.

This is the books from the side. Yes, even on top of the box I had two small stacks of books.

And of course, I also used the niches underneath the roof for my books:

Those are my new book shelves, which my Dad and I set up right after buying them. They now work like a paravent, to separate me bed and closet from the rest of the room:

Now everything is more organized and the niches are mostly free (apart from two of them my dictionairies and a few unread mangas). Even the box is gone - well, empty, at least!

I have lots of free space for more books, and the new bookshelf isn't even filled in two rows for the most part yet!
To make it look less empty, but still nice to look at from both sides, I sorted my movie collection on the shelves. See the bottom row on the right? Those are the videos I own (yes, I'm *that* old, kids LOL). And on the left, the second and third row from the top are filled with with movies and the two rows closer to the bottom are filled with my DVD boxes for TV series.
Oh, and the top two rows on the right? They hold my books for reading challenges, as far as I could find them. (Some are at my place.) And if you look really close, you'll also see a few books sitting in the row that separates the movies from the DVD box sets. This is my short stack for April (minus three books I'm currently reading. Those are on my dark red rocking chair - the one that used to belong to my Mom when she was a teenager!

And these are the new shelves from the other side. My assorted collection of unread books that are not (yet) challenge reads.

Even the old shelves are more organized now. See the manga section on the right? Those used to be in the niches. And there's also hardly anything lying on top of the rows of books!

I have to be honest. I already did some calculating and I think I can add about 300 more books on those shelves before they're filled again. When I told my Mom, she was - not amused, to put it mildly :-) You just have to love her, though, because she's the one that just filled up some empty shelves at Grandma's with a bunch of books of her own. It *does* run in the family!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Linwood Barclay: NO TIME FOR GOODBYE

Linwood Barclay
10 hours 52 minutes

The story is easy to tell. When fourteen-year-old Cynthia Bigge wakes up one morning after an argument with her parents, her entire family is gone. The police can't find them anywhere, and neither can they find their cars. Twenty-five years later Cynthia is still haunted by her family's disappearance. Now married and with a daughter of her own, Cynthia is very protective, fearing to lose another family member. After she appears in a TV show, she and her husband Terry are visited by a psychic, receive a series of bizarre phone calls, and become the victims of a break-in, although nothing is taken. Instead, something is left—a hat that Cynthia is convinced belonged to her father. With each event, Cynthia grows more and more paranoid and Terry is about to lose his patience when they hire a private investigator. Soon they must realize that this was just the beginning.

All in all it was an interesting read if, yes if, Cnythia hadn't been so paranoid she would have made the most laid-back person consider either suicide, homicide or (for the less violent ones) running away and never turning back. I don't remember any book where I hated a main character as much as I hated Cynthia Archer née Bigge and I was constantly surprised that Terry didn't speak up for himself and his daughter more.

The Archer's about 11 year old daughter was dropped off by her mother right in front of the school. Not by her father, by her mother, because Mommy didn't trust Daddy to do the job just right.

Possible spoiler ahead!

Come to think of it, I wonder whether Cynthia didn't bring her to class actually, as once Terry had finally managed to persuade his wife that their daughter was old enough to walk the short way to school, the poor girl had to call her mother from the cell phone she got for exactly this reason and hand the phone over to her teacher.

No more spoilers from now on!

On top of that there were some plot twists that were simply unbelievable. If you want to read it and are willing to suspend disbelief, go ahead, though, as it was otherwise an interesting story line. With the idea, though, another author could have made a whole different book.

Rating: 2/5

Sunday, April 5, 2009

How do *you* decide what to read next?

I found this post at J. Kaye's blog, and she apparently found another post on the same topic at Becky Workman's blog.

It appears Becky's TBR pile is getting out of hand (whose isn't?) and she wondered how everyone else was deciding what to read next. Now, I already read J. Kaye's answers and I liked them. To some part they even fit in with mine.

I separete my read from my unread books and my unread books are separated into those for challenges and "the others". My unread books are on shelves at my parents' and at my place and between those two places I also divided my challenge books. I have an extra shelf at my place and an extra shelf plus a carton at my parents'. That way I can at least pretend to have my books under control!

All in all, my Mt. TBR contains over 300 books and I'm not proud. I once was at about 200 books and decided to work my way through the books until I had only 150 books left - and I actually succeeded. But then, one day, I stopped paying attention to Mt. TBR and it got completely out of hand!

For this year, I joined an incredibly big number of reading challenges, so my next read usually falls into one of the following categories:

~ books for challenges: These are the books I put down to read for challenges. The list is long, but I'm determined to finish it.

~ audiobooks: I can sometimes listen to audiobooks at work, and I have to use the public transport system and trains frequently. For me it is a nice change to just look out of the windows while I'm listening to a good story.

~ books for university: As I'm studying literature, languages and comparative religion, I usually have a big bunch of books to read.

~ fun reads: When I can't concentrate on any of the other books I should actually read first I grab a book from Mt. TBR that just really attracts me.

Mt. TBR - the actual thing...

Well I figured I'd just post my Mt. TBR here, so that it is official, the horrible truth! I pondered how to do it, but in the end I decided I'll just list the books alphabetically by author and then write down the ugly truth aka the number of unread books on my shelves at the end of the post.
At least, while going through my list again, I deleted a few books from the list...

Douglas Adams: The Hitchhiker's Guide Through The Galaxy
Lara Adrian: Kiss Of Midnight
Louisa Mae Alcott: Little Women
Dante Alighieri: La Commedia
Catherine Alliot: The Old-Girl Network & Going Too Far
Katherine Applegate: Falling For Claire
Katherine Applegate: Zoey Comes Home
Kelley Armstrong: Bitten
Kelley Armstrong: Stolen
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity Digs In
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity's Christmas
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity Beats The Devil
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity: Detective
Nancy Atherton: Aunt Dimity Takes A Holiday
Margaret Atwood: The Blind Assassin
Margaret Atwood: Cat's Eye
Jane Austen: Mansfield Park
Jane Austen: Emma
Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey
Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey and Other Works (Lady Susan, The Watsons & Sanditon)
Jane Austen: Pride And Prejudice
Paul Auster: Moon Palace
Paul Auster: The New York Trilogy
AVI: Sometime I Think I Hear My Name

Jacqueline Baird: Marriage At His Convenience
David Baldacci: Total Control
Nevada Barr: Ill Wind
Lorna Barrett: Murder Is Binding
Stephanie Barron: Jane And The Man Of Cloth
Stephanie Barron: Jane And The Wandering Eye
Ann Bauer: A Wild Ride Up The Cupboards
Charles Baxter: The Feast Of Love
Christa von Bernuth: Die Stimmen (German mystery or thriller)
Mark Billingham: Lazy Bones
Claudia Bishop: The Case Of The Roasted Onion
Ulf Blanck: Die dre ??? - Flucht in die Zukunft (German YA)
Stephen Booth: Black Dog
Rhys Bowen: Death Of Riley
Rhys Bowen: Evan Help Us
Rhys Bowen: Evan's Gate
Rhys Bowen: Her Royal Spyness
Marion Zimmer Bradley: Lady Of Avalon
Ann Brashares: The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants
Lilian Jackson Braun: The Cat Who Could Read Backwards
Lilian Jackson Braun: The Cat Who Talked Turkey
Libba Bray: A Great And Terrible Beauty
Poppy Z. Brite: Lost Souls
David Brock: The Seduction Of Hillary Rodham
Charlotte Brone: The Professor
Emily Bronte: Wuthering Heights
Rita Mae Brown: Wish You Were Here
Sandra Brown: The Alibi
Bill Bryson: The Lost Continent
Bill Bryson: In A Sunburned Country
Frances Hodgson Burnett: A Little Princess
Jim Butcher: Storm Front
Tony Buzan: Use Your Head
A.S. Byatt: Possession - A Romance

Meg Cabot: The Princess Diaries - To The Nines
Albert Camus: The Plague
Dorothy Cannell: Down The Garden Path
Bernardo Carducci: Erfolgreich Schüchtern
Susan Carroll: The Bride Finder
Shaine Casim: Le charme fou des Èmilie
Geoffrey Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales - A Selection
Marion Chesney: Hasty Death
G.K. Chesterton: Father Brown - A Selection
Laura Childs: Chamomile Mourning
Agatha Christie: The Murder On The Links
Agatha Christie: Star Over Bethlehem
Agatha Christie: The Secret Of Chimneys
Tom Clancy: Without Remorse
Mary & Carol Higgins Clark: He Sees You When You're Sleeping
Claus & Aust-Claus & Hammer: ADS - Das Erwachsenenbuch (German book on ADD)
Blaize Clement: Curiosity Killed The Cat Sitter
Hillary Rodham Clinton: Living History
Harlan Coben: Drop Shot
Harlan Coben: No Second Chance
Harlan Coben: The Innocent
Patricia Cornwell: Postmortem
Patricia Cornwell: The Last Precinct
Bill Cosby: Fatherhood
Cleo Coyle: On What Grounds
Robert Crais: The Monkey's Raincoat

Mary Daheim: Holy Terrors
F. Dame & E. Weydt: An Grenzen
Alexandra David-Neel: Voyage D'Une Parisienne A Lhassa
Jeffery Deaver: Speaking In Tongues
Jeffery Deaver: The Stone Monkey
Jeffery Deaver: The Coffin Dancer
Charles Dickens: David Copperfield
Charles Dickens: Great Expectations
Charles Dickens: The Pickwick Papers
Jennifer Donnelly: The Tea Rose
Charlotte Douglas: Mystique
Arthur Conan Doyle: The Complete Adventures And Memoirs Of Sherlock Holmes

George Eliot: The Mill On The Floss
Hallie Ephron: Writing And Selling Your Mystery Novel
Jeffrey Eugenides: Middlesex
Janet Evanovich: Seven Up
Janet Evanovich: Hard Eight
Janet Evanovich: Visions Of Sugar Plum
Robert M. Eversz: Killing Paparazzi

Nancy Fairbanks: Death A L'Orange
Robert Ferrigno: Flinch
Fischer (editor): Mein erstes Buch
Jaspe Fforde: Lost In A Good Book
Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain: Manhattans & Murders
Joanne Fluke: Chocolate Chip Cookie Murder
Vince Flynn: Transfer Of Power
Theodor Fontane: Frau Jenny Treibel
Lori Foster: Jude's Law
Anne Frank: Tagebuch

Yasmine Galenorn: Witchling
Meg Gardiner: Crosscut
Elizabeth Gaskell: North And South
Cindy Gerard: Show No Mercy
Tess Gerritsen: Harvest
Tess Gerritsen: The Mephisto Club
Rachel Gibson: Tangled Up In You
Rachel Gibson: Simply Irresistible
Rebecca Gillieron & Catheryn Kilgarriff: The Bookaholics' Guide To Book Blogs
J.W. von Goethe: Iphigenie auf Tauris & Die Leiden des jungen Werther & Faust (German classic)
Margaret Grace: Malice In Miniature
Sue Grafton: C Is For Corpse
Sue Grafton: D Is For Deadbeat
Sue Grafton: F Is For Fugitive
Sue Grafton: L Is For Lawless
Lois Greiman: Unzipped
Martha Grimes: The Blue Last
Brothers Grimm: Grimm's Fairy Tales
John Grisham: The Testament
John Grisham: The Brethren
John Grisham: A Painted House
John Grisham: The Last Juror
John Grogan: Marley & Me

Carolyn Haines: Crossed Bones
Carolyn Haines: Hallowed Bones
Laurell K. Hamilton: The Laughing Corpse
Charlaine Harris: Dead Until Dark
Kim Harrison: Dead Witch Walking
Josef Haslinger: Der Opernball
Betty Hecht: Hooked On Murder
Heinrich Heine: Der Rabbi von Bacherach (German classic)
H.K. Herglotz: Leaves From A Survivor's Diary
Carl Hiaasen: Lucky You
Kristan Higgins: Just One Of The Guys
Tachibana Higuchi: Alice Academy 4
Tachibana Higuchi: Alice Academy 5
Tony Hillerman: Skinwalkers
Hermann Himmenmann: Warum keiner die Chinesen versteht (non-fiction about Asian economy)
Wolfgang Hirn: Angriff auf Asien (non-fiction about Asian economy)
William Hjortsberg: Falling Angel
Jilliane Hoffman: Plea Of Insanity
Nancy Horan: Loving Frank
HOUSE: Die kleine House Apotheke (House trivia book)
Linda Howard: Cry No More
Linda Howard: Cover Of Night
Victor Hugo: Les Misérables 1
Nicole Hunter: Waiting For The World To End
Siri Hustvedt: What I Loved

Greg Iles: Sleep No More
Greg Iles: Footprints of Gd
Greg Iles: Blood Memory
Yasushi Inoue: Der Tod Des Teemeisters
Roberta Isleib: Deadly Advice

Lisa Jackson: Fatal Burn
Julie James: Just The Sexiest Man Alive
Julie James: Practice Makes Perfect
Peter James: Looking Good Dead
Joseph Joffo: Un Sac De Billes
B.J. Johnson: Albert Angelo
James Joyce: Dubliners

Franz Kafka: Der Proceß
Donna Kauffman: The Cinderella Rules
Faye Kellerman: Sacred And Profane
Jack Kerley: The Hundredth Man
Alice Kimberly: The Ghost And The Femme Fatale
Alice Kimberly: The Ghost And The Haunted Mansion
Sophie Kinsella: The Undomestic Goddess:
Heinrich von Kleist: Die Familie Schroffenstein (German classic)
Heinrich von Kleist: Die Marquise von O... & Das Erdbeben in Chili (German classic)
Lisa Kleypas: It Happened One Autumn
Jayne Ann Krentz: Hidden Talents

Jennifer LaBrecque: Yule Be Mine
Erik Larson: The Devil In The White City
Petra Last: Bis And Ende Der Zeit
Hugh Laurie: The Gun Seller
Victoria Laurie: Crime Seen
Victoria Laurie: Demons Are A Ghoul's Best Friend
Lora Leigh: Nauti Boy
Francois Lelord: Le voyage d'Hector
Donna Leon: Wilful Behavior
Lernkrimi Französisch: Der Schatz des Sonnenkönigs (French study book)
Kathryn Lilley: A Killer Workout
Merline Lovelace: A Question Of Intent
Peter Lovesey: The Last Detective
Peter Lovesey: Diamond Solitaire
Robert Ludlum: The Bourne Identity

Katie MacAlister: Sex, Lies, And Vampires
Helen MacInnes: Friends And Lovers
Anna MacLean: Louisa And The Missing Heiress
Mary Jane Maffini: Organize Your Corpses
Gregory Maguire: Wicked
Sophie Marvaud: La foudre frappe toujours deux fois
Sujata Massey: The Flower Master
Carole Matthews: The Chocolate Lover's Club
Neil McMahon: Blood Double
Stephenie Meyer: New Moon
Mianmian: Lalala
Maki Minami: Special A 1
Maki Minami: Special A 2
Maki Minami: Special A 3
Tohko Mizuno: In A Distant Time 10
R. Moesta & K. Anderson: Crystal Doors
Molière: Le Misanthrope
Richard Montanari: The Skin Gds
Michael Moore: Dude, Where's My Country
Steve Mosby: The 50/50 Killer
Christian Moser: Monster des Alltags
Tara Moss: Fetish
Tamar Myers: The Ming And I

Azar Nafisi: Reading Lolita In Teheran - A Memoir In Books
Hitori Nakano: Train Man - The Novel
James W. Nichol: Midnight Cab
Audrey Niffenegger: The Time Traveler's Wife
Garth Nix: Sabriel

Karl Olsberg: Das System

Robin Paige: Death At Bishop's Keep
Chuck Palahniuk: Diary - A Novel
Sara Paretsky: Guardian Angel
Robert B. Parker: Stardust
Donita K. Paul: DragonKnight
Matthew Pearl: The Dante Club
Kate Pepper: One Cold Night
N. Peske & B. West: Cinematherapy For Lovers
Elizabeth Peters: The Mummy Case
Elizabeth Peters: Lord Of The Silent
Jodi Picoult: The Tenth Circle
Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar
Edgar Allen Poe: Selected Works
Chaim Potok: The Chosen
Philip Pullman: The Golden Compass

Jeanne Ray: Julie And Romeo
Kathy Reichs: Death Du Jour
Emilie Richards: Let There Be Suspects
Emilie Richards: Beware False Profits
Emilie Richards: Beautiful Lies
Alexandra Ripley: Scarlett
J.D. Robb: Immortal In Death
J.D. Robb: Purity In Death
Nora Roberts: Jewels Of The Sun
Nora Roberts: Tears Of The Moon
Nora Roberts: Heart Of The Sea
Nora Roberts: Heaven And Earth
Nora Roberts: Red Lilies
Nora Roberts: Northern Lights
Madeleine E. Robins: Point Of Honour
Holly Robinson Peete: Get Your Own Damn Beer, I'm Watching The Game!
Edmond Rostand: Cyrano de Bergerac
Geneen Roth: Breaking Free From Compulsive Eating

Mayu Sakai: Rockin' Heaven 2
John Sandford: Rules Of Prey
Marjane Satrapi: Persepolis 2
Dorothy L. Sayers: Clouds Of Witness
Kirsten Schützhofer: Die Farbe der Revolution
William Shakespeare: Othello
William Shakespeare: Hamlet
William Shakespeare: Shakespeare's Sonnets
Jill Shalvis: Flashpoint
Jill Shalvis: Instant Attraction
Rich Shapero: Wild Animus
Sidney Sheldon: Memories Of Midnight
Jane Sigaloff: Like Mother, Like Daughter
Dani Sinclair: Secret Cinderella
Nalini Singh: Visions Of Heat
David Skibbins: Eight Of Swords
Karin Slaughter: Kisscut
Nicholas Sparks: At First Sight
Nicholas Sparks: A Bend In The Road
Julia Spencer-Fleming: In the Bleak Midwinter
Stendhal: De L'Amour
Stendhal: Le Rouge Et Le Noir
Bram Stoker: Dracula
Jonathan Stroud: The Amulett Of Samarkand
Cara Summers: Come Toy With Me
Leonie Swann: Glennkill

Amy Tan: The Hundred Secret Senses
Camy Tang: Only Uni
Victoria Thompson: Murder On Astor Place
P.J. Tracy: Dead Run
Peter Tremayne: Absolution By Murder
John Twelve Hawks: The Dark River

Carrie Vaughn: Kitty Goes To Washington
Elaine Viets: Shop Till You Drop

J.R. Ward: Dark Lover
Livia J. Washburn: A Peach Of Murder
Lauren Weisberger: The Devil Wears Prada
Irvine Welsh: Trainspotting
Cameron West: First Person Plural
Kate White: If Looks Could Kill
Lori Wilde: Lethal Exposure
Robbie Williams: Somebody Someday
David Wishart: A Vote For Murder
Tom Wolfe: The Bonfire Of Vanities

Richard Yates: Revolutionary Road
Elizabeth Young: Asking For Trouble

Stefan Zweig: Meistererzählungen

TOTAL: 309

Friday, April 3, 2009

BIP #2 - My Conclusion

Well, after some pondering and some helpful weigh-ins from Beth F, Jodie, Francesca (Scribaccina) and Kim (sophisticateddorkiness), I made up my mind about what I am going to add as a a regular feature here at the Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic.

After some brainstorming I came up with three separate ideas. Since you can find the long version here, I'll re-post a concise version:

  • features about book series and their authors
  • general stuff on reading
  • a regular feature on religion and literature

  • I do write about regular stuff on reading every now and then anyway, so why make it a regular? Of course, it would be the easiest way to find some themes regularly, but no. Not really...

    In the end, I think alternating between the blog posts on series and posts on religion and literature is the best way. I want to try this, because I actually like both ideas and I couldn't make up my mind. With the alternating themes I will have enough time to research the different religions and find some stuff about the series I'll write about.

    I will start out with a bit on series this month, because I already have something in mind, and then, in May, I will post about religion and literature. So it would be great if you came back here to check out what blog posts I have for you!

    Thursday, April 2, 2009

    Agatha Christie Reading Challenge Carnival

    I would like to introduce you to a wonderful monthly Carnival. I love reading Agatha Christie, so of course I'll post about it. How could I not?

    This is the banner for the Agatha Christie Reading Challenge Carnival hosted by Kerrie. To get to the blog, just click on the banner above!

    Basically, Kerrie is collecting links to all the reviews of Agatha Christie's books post online. All you have to do is enter the link in her database (you can find the link at her blog on the upper right).

    So if you like Agatha Christie's novels, please check it out, it is really awesome and you also get to know a lot of other blogs as well :-)

    BIP #6 - The Results

    Well, as part of the Blog Improvement Project #6 - Let's Get Social, I decided to get active on Twitter.

    I had joined Twitter only about a week or two before, so I was all new to it, and I still am. I don't yet know how all this "tagging" works, so I have yet to learn a bit.

    I don't think Twitter really helped me get more visitors to my blog. I don't know how one could make this work. If you have any advice, pleeeeeaaaaase, let me know!

    While I did make some friends on there, they were mostly people whose blogs I already know. Some commenters here are new - at least new to me, though, so maybe it is helping? Did you find me through Twitter? If so, tell me, I'm curious!

    And if you haven't connected to me yet, but would like to, my Twitter account is set up under KathrinP!