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