Wednesday, April 28, 2010

New blog url!!!

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

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

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

This blog is under allergies *wink*

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

Sunday, April 18, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday (Apr 18)

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

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

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

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

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

Gail Carriger's Soulless (The Parasol Protectorate)

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

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

And two German books:

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

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

Friday, April 16, 2010

blame game time (April 16)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Book Review: Literary Murder by Batya Gur

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

The books are:

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

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

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

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

Monday, April 12, 2010

Book Review: My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, April 11, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday (Apr 11) and what else I got this week

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

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

This week was filled with good things for me. After all, it was my birthday and I needed some comfort after having my wisdom tooth extracted.

So, for books I got :

My Invented Life by Lauren Bjorkman via the International Book Tours. I already finished the book and it is ready to be sent on to the next person.

Then I got a German book written by former Israeli ambassador in Germany (I hope I got his title right!) Avi Primor, in which he talks about his work as ambassador and his life. I'm really curious about that one - and I was really lucky, because I bought a used copy with his signature!

I also got Exclusively Chloe by J.A. Yang. I think I'll break my rule of reading the older books first with this one. I'm cuuuuuurious! :D

William Sleator's Fingers just had to come to me, now that I finally remembered the title of a childhood favorite, which I read only once when I got it from the library. For years I've been trying to remember the title, because the story of a young boy, a wonder child pianist, haunted me! I hope it can live up to my memories.

Do I have to say anything about this? I had to get Hex Hall (Book 1) by Rachel Hawkins!

Also, I got a bunch of DVDs:

Persuasion with Amanda Root and Ciarán Hinds - it's the first BBC classic I ever watched and I just had to get my own copy.

Don't worry! I got the collectors box with all three movies for a small price. Persuasion with Sally Hawkins and Rupert Penry Jones, Mansfield Park with Billie Piper and Blake Ritson, and Northanger Abbey with Felicity Jones and William Beck.
I just love the Jane Austen movies from BBC!

And my brother and his girlfriend got me the 2nd and 3rd season of King of Queens for my birthday. How awesome is that?

Read-A-Thon woes

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

I'm really sad I missed out on this read-a-thon! But it was my birthday and I knew right from the start that I couldn't possibly be around for the entire 24 hours. Plus, tomorrow is the first day of the new semester and I'd very much appreciate being wide awake! Also, I thought I would be busy with something, which fell through - and I only found out far, far too late *sigh*

But aw, what have I missed. After reading a few blog posts, I felt so sad I marked every RAT-post as read in my reader. I am so annoyed that I couldn't join in in any way (not long after my family left, our sweet neighbors came over and stayed - for for a quick visit for more than 2 hours!). All in all, it was a fun day with wonderful people, but I missed the whole atmosphere of the read-a-thon!

On the bright side, I'm participating in Jen's Detectives Around the World! I will be posting my review of Batya Gur's Literary Murder and some additional info on Thurday, so watch out for it!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy birthday to me!

I'm another year older! Some days I really feel old, but so what! Anyway, I am not on my computer again for 25 hours, but I want to share this with you. So I just scheduled this post!

Today is my 26th birthday and on top of my blogiversary giveaway, I have a smaller birthday giveaway for you!

You might remember that I'm absolutely crazy about bookmarks. I absolutely love bookmarks and it's pretty much the coolest thing ever! I have all kinds of bookmarks and I collect them. So to celebrate my birthday with you, two of you will get a small bookmark selection - the book marks will be new ones and I will buy them as soon as I have picked some winners, so you can tell me if there's something you really don't like in bookmarks.

And now, here's your chance to enter: Just fill out the form by April 26 12AM CEST! For the exact time, please check out this clock.

blame game time (April 9)

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

Forgive My Fins by Tera Lynn Childs was mentioned by Rebecca from Lost in Books. She has it on her wishlist - and now, so do I!

Have a Littel Faith by Mitch Albom was reviewed by Nelly from All About {n} and as I really, really loved Albom's previous novels, I have to get this one as soon as it is out in paperback!

Exclusively Chloe by J.A. Yang was mentioned by Ari from Reading in Color - and she gets two points because I already ordered the book. (What the heck happened to my book buying rules???) She also added Love, Shelley by Kate Sakensa and Ten Things I Hate About Me by Randa Abdel-Fattah to my wish list.

Never Tell Our Business to Strangers by Jennifer Mascia was reviewed by Naida from The Bookworm.

Prism by Faye and Aliza Kellerman was mentioned by Karin from Karin's Book Nook. I'm really curious about it!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Happy 4th Blogiversary!

Can you believe it? I've been blogging here at Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic since four years! (And about two months from now I'll have my 6 year blogiversary - yikes!)

And to celebrate this, I'm hosting a giveaway! One of you will get to pick 2 books from those I reviewed in the past 4 years (the books have to be available at, as I will order them there) and 2 bookmarks. And three of you will get a 2 bookmarks.
To see which books I reviewed in the past 4 years, please check out my reviews.

This giveaway will be open for 4x4 days - so your last chance to enter will be Saturday, April 24, at 1pm CEST! For the exact time, please check out this clock.

And here's your form to enter the giveaway!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

out for a day or two

Well,me - the wisdom tooth is out for good ;-) And with this announcement I'm off to bed with a book. See you again once I'm no longer woozy from the drugs... My dentist was nice to me, I think. It's been 6 hours and I still don't feel much... I hope it stays that way!

I'll be back once I feel better! Also: Check back later this week, as I will have a blogiversary & birthday giveaway!

The Book List (Apr 6): Regretable Book Covers

Once again it is time for The Book List, a meme started and hosted by Rebecca from Lost In Books.

This week's theme is regretable book covers.

Now I admit right away, this one won't be easy! Unfortunately, I judge a book by its cover, so I hardly ever buy books with ugly covers - and therefore have a hard time remembering bad covers.

One book I bought despite a not exactly favorable cover was Cassandra Clare's City of Bones. Not the pretty, colorful cover, but the ugly, two-color dark-grey, shiny blueish (?) cover, which didn't tell anything about the book. It didn't have one of the characters or a scene from the book, it was just - blah! Unfortunately - or maybe fortunately - I couldn't find a photo of the cover. They changed it to the regular cover.

Another one is John Sandford's Rules of Prey.

Now, really, what is up with the green and the light colors? This is a dark book - serial killer, murder, blood and gore all over the place! Why did they have to pick these light colors? The book looks friendly, if bland, like something I'd want to read in my spare time, something that's not all exciting, but still a bit of a pleasure to read.

And third, I'd say: every single cover on a Harlequin romance novel I ever laid my eyes on! They're an abomination! I don't even know where to start with this. they're cheap, ridiculous, never tell a thing about the story other than some semi-good looking guy and some beautiful woman apparently have the hots for each other.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Book Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You by Ally Carter

AuthorAlly Carter
TitleI'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You
Date of PublicationMarch 20, 2007
Page Count288
SeriesGallagher Girls #1

Cammie Morgan is a student at Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. On the outside, this is a fancy prep school for the daughters of wealthy families - but on the inside, it is a top-secret boarding school for girls training to be spies. Their subjects range from culture & assimiliation and advanced encryption to covert operations. The girls are even learning way more than a handful of languages - with the help of lunch time conversations in Chinese, Japanese and all the other languages the girls are studying. On a covered operations mission, Cammie meets Josh, a local boy, who has no clue she's a Gallagher Girl. This sets off a chain of events - from hands-on investigating to lying to Cammie's mother, the headmistress at Gallagher Academy.

My first YA by Ally Carter blew me off my feet! I expected some sweet "girl-James Bond" novel, but what I got was a group of average girls, different characters. There were some technically versed students as well as girls who loved to go undercover. No girl was like another and especially one "transfer student" was a hoot. I'm not telling you more about her, though. You'll have to read it for yourself!

While ITYILYBTIHTKY (wow, even shortened, it's a loooong title!) starts off without too much action during the first few chapters to properly introduce everyone and everything. After all, we have to take in a lot of information, and with tons of action, it could get lost. But as soon as Ally Carter accomplishs that, she moves to action with covered operations lessons for the girls and she brings the reader right along.

The writing and the story line was never boring and it was such a wonderful experience reading this book, I not only brought it along to a friend for her to read, but also ordered the 2nd in series, Cross My Heart And Hope To Spy, and pre-ordered the 3rd, Don't Judge A Girl By Her Cover - in fact, I already read the 2nd and passed it on to my friend.

Did you read I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have To Kill You? Then please leave a comment soI can link to it!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Busy week ahead

So, the upcoming week will be filled with "events". I will spend some time at my dentist's to see whether or not we'll extract my (last!) wisdom tooth. I'm not sure whether I want it out or not. If it's out, I won't be able to get any decent food for another week (maybe even a few days longer). After 8 days of card board bread and potatoes, I could really use some good food :-P

Then, my blogiversary is coming up. Yay! Also, my birthday is coming up - two days after the blogiversary. So watch out for something nice (I hope)!

And on my birthday? Well, and then there will also be Dewey's 24 Hour Read-A-Thon - finally! You can't wait either, can you? If you haven't heard of this awesome read-a-thon yet (really???), check it out and join in! It's the most fun you can have!

And as soon as next weekend is over, I will be back at university, the new semester begins!

In My Mailbox Monday (Apr 4)

Now, a rainy, sunny, cold, warm - all in all, weird - week is over. Of course, I had some delicious food, and tons of "card board" bread (those of you who have been eating it for the past 6 days know what I'm talking about - and no, I caved and had some real bread when I realized I was about to fall up and down several stairs...)

But I think you want to know more about the book-ish stuff I got last week, right? So there you go.

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

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

I got one book only, and this was one of my pre-ordered books:

Jill Shalvis' Instant Temptation, the last in the Wilder Brothers trilogy - and I'm already sad! I will miss not only the people, but also the surroundings, the places featured and the mountains and everything!

So now you know what I found in my mailbox last week. What did you find?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

blame game time (April 1)

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

Elizabeth Scott's Grace was mentioned by Elie from Ellz Reads. After my first encounter with Elizabeth Scott's work earlier this year I definitely have to read more!

Secrets of Eden by Chris Bohjalian was reviewed by Jill from The Magic Lasso. I've never read any of Chris Bohjalian's books, but I'm really curious.

Ann Malaspina's FInding Lincoln was reviewed by Natasha from the Maw Books Blog. It sounds like a good kiddie lit book!

Queen of Secrets by Jenny Meyerhoff was reviewed by Laura from Tattooed Books. Even if she didn't absolutely love it, the story sounds interesting to me, so I actually already pre-ordered it.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

March summary

I really need to tune down the frequency with which I'm buying new books! Three months in and I already got 22 books more than I actually read. Maybe I'm a hopeless case? I mean, I pre-ordered 4 books this month alone - and I'm glad they won't arrive until later this year...

new additions
36) Toni Morrison: A Mercy
37) Kate Atkinson: When Will There Be Good News?
38) Ally Carter: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
39) Lauren Oliver: Before I Fall
40) C.J. Omololu: Dirty Little Secrets
41) J.T. Ellison: The Cold Room
42) Lionel Shriver: Double Fault
43) Susan Beth Pfeffer: Life As We Knew It
44) Lionel Shriver: Double Fault
45) Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner
46) Laura Kinsale: Flowers from the Storm
47) Becca Wilhite: My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions
48) J.T. Waldman: Megillat Esther
49) P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast: Hunted
50) David Ebershoff: The 19th Wife
51) Justina Chen Headley: North of Beautiful
52) Alan Fox: The Seeker in Forever

21) Jill Shalvis: Instant Gratification
22) P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast: Chosen
23) Tzipi Caton: Miracle Ride
24) Becca Wilhite: My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions
25) Michele Wahlder: Alphatudes
26) Melissa De La Cruz: Blue Bloods
27) Melissa De La Cruz: Masquerade
28) Ally Carter: Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy
29) John Boyne: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
30) J.T. Waldman: Megillat Esther

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

New background color

Now, I realize I still have to write the review - once I have finished my term paper - but I figured I'd change the background color for my blog first. I hope you like it! I think it is easier to read now.

Do you agree?

Monday, March 29, 2010

best laid plans...

Now, I had planned to write a review today, for either the first Gallagher Girl book (I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls)), and maybe even the second one (Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy (Gallagher Girls)). But the best laid plans...

Now granted, we changed to summer time this weekend, so I'm missing an hour and yet I was up and about at 6:30am (technically 5:30am *shudder*) and I was awake! The shock! The horror! I was so awake, I spent more time at work than I had originally planned, because I decided (pretty much on a whim) that I would stay home tomorrow to finish up my term paper. Now, I left work, went to university got myself some numeric list (very, very important, because without it I can't print out the confirmation that I'm still a student - necessary for health insurance, bank stuff etc.). Once I was done I took the subway home with two short stops to do some grocery shopping for the week. As soon as I was home I started the cooking and well, I won't invite anyone in my kitchen until this battlefield is cleaned up again! At least, I had a delicious dinner (lamb, mazzot and a couple other things)! And I even have two more dishes ready for the next days: I made a big portion of my Grandma's potato salad. I just hope it is at least close to her recipe! Because then it will be delicious!

Anyway, the best laid plans fell right through. I spent hours between the kitchen (to prepare said 3 meals) and my computer to talk to a good friend. And once I was done with dinner (after 9pm), I was too tired to concentrate on anything else. Now, I'm really sorry! But as my room mate put it: "This is the first time in ages that you cook something from scratch." Far too often, I'm afraid, I'm too tired when I come home from work / university / both, so I just whip something up real quick and voilà - dinner in 5 minutes! *sigh*

I will try to give you the two reviews as soon as I'm done with my term paper!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday (Mar 28)

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

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

This week was fairly quiet with only two books:

I finally got my copy of North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley! I can't wait to read it, but for now, there's so much more I have to read, it will be a while until I get to it.

And I got The Seeker in Forever by the author himself, Alan Fox. Thanks a lot! I'm curious about it :-)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Book List: Books you loved as a child (Mar 23)

The Book List Meme is a weekly event hosted by Rebecca @ Lost In Books.

This week's theme is about books you loved as a child.

My picks are:

1) pretty much anything Enid Blyton (plus the later books here in Germany in order to continue her series)

2) Agatha Christie (I started reading those pretty early on!)

3) Tais Teng's YA horror novels

Hidden Treasures (April through May)

Well, it is time for the second Hidden Treasures! For this, I will let you look at my Mt. TBR again and the first one to pick a book for me and post it in the comments will have picked the book for me to read within the next two months. Basically, the idea is that we all have so many unread books, there must be some hidden treasures we keep ignoring or missing. If you want to join in and have someone pick a book for you, just leave a link in the comments.

Thanks to Wendy @ Caribousmom, I even have a wonderful button for this event. Thanks a lot, Wendy!

The first time you picked Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie's Half of a Yellow Sun and Charlaine Harris' Dead Until Dark for me. I didn't finish Half of a Yellow Sun, as I couldn't get into the story, no matter how far I read (I managed to get to page 100, which is unusal for me), but I'm still working on Dead Until Dark and so far I enjoy it a lot! The second time around, I got The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne, which I have yet to review, but I am planning something for April, so bear with me!

So, for this time, you can pick a book from my TBR list. I'm curious to see what you'll pick!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

An award!

Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic received a wonderful award - and from two different bloggers at that! So a big, fat THANKS to Trillian and Stacy :-)

  • 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.
  • 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.

I am passing this award along to:

The Bookette
Chaviva - she may not be a book blogger, but she has an awesome blog and is a wonderful person! (And Mazel tov on the upcoming wedding, by the way!)

Monday, March 22, 2010

Book Review: Alphatudes by Michele Wahlder

AuthorMichele Wahlder
TitleAlphatudes - The Alphabet of Gratitude
PublisherLife Possibilities Publishing
Date of PublicationJanuary 15, 2010
Page Count111

I'm still not sure how I'm going to write the review for this one. It is obviously non-fiction, with the purpose to help people realize the positive things in life. I recieved this review copy from Rebecca from The Cadence Group and I'm really glad. Rebecca's mail came at a time when I was really annoyed with life in general and when I read that it was based on the alphabet I decided to read one chapter a day and let it sink. I wanted to take the most out of it, not knowing that the author suggested to read the entire book and then go back to those points the reader would like to improve.

Now, I think the layout is awesome! Each chapter starts with the basic principle, like Joy for J and a short quote about it - all on a double page with the most awesome pictures ever! I in fact missed my train a time or two just because I was so enthralled with the pictures! After this there's one page where Michele Wahlder explains precisely, what she means by the principle before she offers a prayer-like paragraph one can use to focus on it. Now it might sound a bit preachy or religious for those who are not at home with any specific religion, but I can assure you that it does not come across too preachy.

Reading the book helped me realize how I can manipulate myself for the worse, so I really hope I can use the suggestions made by Michele Wahlder. I found it helpful to see the small things in life we can be grateful for and think that we all might not always see the positive in all situations. I will let you know later this year if I could make good use of them - or whether I was too weak, too much of a push-over to go through with it! But I'll keep the book off of my shelves for future references, especially because I took a bunch of notes and have tons of sticky notes to mark pages.

One last thing I should mention: Olivia Newton-John has a song out which those who buy Alphatudes can download for free. You might not know it (yet), but I absolutely love her - ever since I saw Grease and absolutely fell in love with that movie (and her voice)! And for this I have to thank my music teachers who went the extra miles to have a band, an orchestra, two choirs and a few other voluntary groups at my high school. I was a member of our choir from 6th grade on and never left. In fact, I even got the permission to return for another year after I changed schools. And it all started with Grease!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday (Mar 21)

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

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

As I forgot to write my post last week, I'll give you a run-down of what I got during the last two weeks. Therefore the list will be a bit longer and without pictures.

Double Fault: A Novel by Lionel Shriver - I got this for the THIB 20 Minute Book Club Challenge and am reading it right now. It is my first book by Lionel Shriver and so far I really enjoy it.

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, which I bought for my online book club. We'll be reading it in April, so it is on my very, very short stack and does not fall in my general rule to read older books first.

Flowers from the Storm by Laura Kinsale is another book for the THIB 20 Minute Book Club Challenge. I hope I can read this in time so I can call in and discuss along with Nicole, Kate and whoever else calls in.

My Ridiculous, Romantic Obsessions by Becca Wilhite - and here I admit right out: I've already finished it! It was so cute and I absolutely love the cover. I enjoyed it a lot.

Megillat Esther by J.T. Waldman. I'm curious about this as it is the Book of Esther in graphic novel form.

Hunted (House of Night Novels) by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast - I have the first four and as I somehow rush through these books and only had one left, I ordered this one to have one more in stock, just in case!

The 19th Wife: A Novel by David Ebershoff is a book I won from the wonderful Wendy. I first heard about The 19th Wife in a Books on the Nightstand podcast and I hope to read this sooner rather than later!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Look who's won!

While I realize I still have to post the next podcast review (it is almost finished, but I was too tired today, sorry!), I at least wanted to give you the winners of my 50 Followers Contest. But first I would like to thank everyone who participated and answered my short blog improvement question. I will keep your suggestions in mind and hopefully find a way to implement a few more things.

To give you a quick reminder of what was up for grabs:

  1. Courtney Summers: Cracked Up To Be (paperback)
  2. Poppy Z. Brite: Lost Souls (paperback)
  3. Laurie Halse Anderson: Speak (paperback)
  4. Sam Savage: Firmin (paperback)
  5. Gareth P. Jones: The Thornthwaite Inheritance (paperback)
  6. Rachel Ward: Numbers (paperback - British edition)
  7. C.J. Omololu: Dirty Little Secrets (hardcover)
  8. Carrie Ryan: The Forest of Hands and Teeth (hardcover - British edition)
  9. Suzanne Young: The Naughty List (paperback)
  10. Lindsey Leavitt: Princess for Hire (paperback)

But now, without further ado:

The winners are

Courtney from Stiletto Storytime

Wrighty from Wrighty's Reads

Lover of Books

Sara from YA Vampire Books

Carol from Carol's Notebook

Please contact me as fast as possible. I'll give the books away on a first come first serve basis. You can write me here. Just send me the titles of the 3 books you'd like the most and your address.

Note on the side: As I have mentioned in my previous post, I will unplug for a day starting tomorrow, Friday at 6:15pm CET and won't be back before Saturday at 7:30pm, so don't worry if I don't answer right away.

Unplugged for a day!

I'll be away for a day. Well, I won't really be going anywhere, but I will unplug for a day. I've spent day and good parts of the night on or near the computer during the past months and I have been exhausted for quite a while now. (Hence the bad blogging on my part, sorry about that!)

I realize I have tons of stuff to do and I haven't even posted a Mailbox Monday this week, but I didn't have the energy left. It's sad!

So I just stumbled across a great idea and I'll participate. The idea is to unplug from everything for a day. To be exact, this day will be Shabbat, so it starts Friday evening going through Saturday evening. The times for me would be:

Beginning 6:10pm CET on Friday and ending 7:30pm CET on Saturday (give or take a few minutes).

It is something Orthodox Jews know by heart and do every single week (and on a number of holidays), and I think it is a wonderful idea. In this day and age, I think we're being ruled by technical gadgets and I feel anxious when I don't have my phone or my computer around. It is a sad state and maybe with this I can overcome the negative feelings for at least one day a week to recharge my batteries and get some reading done.

I doubt I will stay away from every technical gadget at all during this time, but I will do my best to keep at least the majority of them at a distance. For me this whole idea means:

  • no computer
  • no phone
  • max. 2 hours of TV (I tend to distract myself with TV when I'm at my parents' and have nothing else to do - especially because I don't have a TV at my place)

Wish me luck! I'll be going cold turkey...

The background story can be found at Sabbath Manifesto and I also found a nice video where some of the participants explain a bit about it:

Friday, March 12, 2010

blame game time (March 12)

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

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

Steph Su from Steph Su Reads earns a point for Birthmarked by Caragh O'Brien. I seem to have a thing for dystopic fiction lately...

Kristi from The Story Siren gets a point for Stupid Cupid by Rhonda Stapleton. It sounds like a hilarious read for when I need to relax.

Alyce from At Home With Books talked about I Am Nujood, Age 10 and Divorced by Nujood Ali.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Reading For A Cure - I'm in, are you?

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

I have come to the conclusion that I would like to join Wendy's Reading For A Cure for Childhood Cancer. I am reading a book about a 16-year old cancer patient right now (as it is autobiographical, I know said girl survived), so this might be just the right time to join in. I am not yet sure just which level of participation I should choose, so for the time being I'll pick one month. I can still add another month (and another) later.

This is really a great thing Wendy has created there, and I think I will donate 5 Euros for every other book I read (I'm a student and if I really do the entire year I'll have finished over 100 books, so I have to keep it at a reasonable amount).

What about you? Are you already Reading For A Cure or will you still be joining in? Do it, it is a great cause and once you've read Wendy's facts, you'll likely be as shocked as I was.

What I'm up to...

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

So, right now I'm a bit - read waaaaaay - behind in reviews. I hope to use Sunday for that, though, especially because I have read some great books. I'm also still somewhat busy with my term papers (due March 31) and preparations for my blogiversary in April.

In the mean time, if you have already checked out my giveaway (see above), you might want to check out Extreme Reader's Mega Swag and More Giveaway. There are some really cool things she is giving away!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Book List: Books that take you back to High School (Mar 9)

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

The Book List Meme is a weekly event hosted by Rebecca @ Lost In Books.

This week's theme is about books that take you back to high school.

My picks are:

1) John Steinbeck: Of Mice and Men

2) Jay Asher: 13 Reasons Why

3) Sophie Kinsella: Can You Keep A Secret?

I picked the books for the following reasons:

We read Of Mice and Men in school. 13 Reasons Why reminds me a lot in my time at school. And Can You Keep A Secret? is one of the many books I read during English lessons (without my teacher objecting).

Monday, March 8, 2010

New layout and new header

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

As you probably already realized, I have a new blog template and a new header. I completely forgot to mention this yesterday. Sorry!

My awesome brother helped me with the header and I think it's awesome. In fact, he even helped me with a button, which you can grab if you want. You can find it in the right-hand bar. (If you do, let me know so I can return the favor!) I really like my new button, especially because it's my sweetie reading *wink*

Also, this blog now has its own Facebook page, just in case you're curious!

Secret Dreamworld of a Bookaholic

Promote Your Page Too

Oh, and Kathrin Dreamworld Ofa Bookaholic - that would be me!

50 Followers Contest - now with 5 winners!

Well, I told you I'd add 1 more winner and therefore 2 more books to my contest once my blog reached 99 followers. Now we're at 101, so we would have 4 winners who get two books each, but I'm feeling funny today, so let's up this to 5 winners.

The books are:

  1. Courtney Summers: Cracked Up To Be
  2. Poppy Z. Brite: Lost Souls
  3. Laurie Halse Anderson: Speak
  4. Sam Savage: Firmin
  5. Gareth P. Jones: The Thornthwaite Inheritance
  6. Rachel Ward: Numbers
  7. C.J. Omololu: Dirty Little Secrets
  8. Carrie Ryan: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
  9. Suzanne Young: The Naughty List
  10. Lindsey Leavitt: Princess for Hire

Except for Dirty Little Secrets these are all paperbacks.

The giveaway is open internationally and will end March 17, 2010!

To enter the contest fill out this form!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

In My Mailbox Monday (Mar 7)

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

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

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

I am a bit disappointed in myself. I wanted to not buy any books until I had at least finished all the books from January. But then I met a good friend on Thursday (March 4) and on our way from university to Starbucks we came across a book store. That's how the story goes, right?

Anyway, it's a small indie and they always have two boxes of marked down books right outside, so we decided to just sift through them, not really expecting to find anything. Right! Sure! Whom were we kidding anyway?

A Mercy by Toni Morrison - acually, we both got a copy because one of our professors had mentioned (and recommended) it during a class on American Lit and Culture (the beginnings up until 1820), so when we saw two copies in the boxes it was clear we would get them.

When Will There Be Good News? by Kate Atkinson was also in those boxes and I remembered a review I read a while ago (no clue where, but once I find it I'll link back).

And while we were having our coffee I got a text message with the information that I could pick up a package at a "Packstation" (sort of like a PO box, only they're distributed all over the place and you can access each and everyone with a card and a PIN). That's when I got the following three books:

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter is the second in the Gallagher School series and I finished the first one short before I ordered the 2nd (and pre-ordered the 3rd). I can't wait to read it!

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver - I admit it, I caved. I wanted to wait until it is out in paperback, but in the end... Well, I'll get to it soon, I guess. In - oh! 25 books *sigh*

Dirty Little Secrets by C.J. Omololu - just because!

The Cold Room by J.T Ellison is a book the wonderful Marcia from The Printed Page sent me so I could also enjoy it. Thank you sooo much!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Book Blogger Blog Hop

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

Jen over at Crazy For Books has started something I hope you will be part of.

Hey book bloggers! Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on!

Now, I follow a lot of blogs and I haven't seen this feature yet, so if someone else is doing a Book Blog Hop, please let me know!! I don't want to step on any toes or anything!

So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this, sign MckLinky, and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!!

I'll try to make a nifty graphic to go along with this, but give me another week to get that done! :)

Go on and check it out if you're a book blogger or if you just like to read about books online!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Dear Anonymous Spammer

A short break from book-ish stuff for a public service announcement and a letter:

Dear Anonymous Spammer,

Leave! Do it now! Do NOT come back here ever again! I'm tired of rejecting your comments (13 so far today). In fact, you won't be able to comment here anymore until you get yourself registered and even then I will have to approve your sh*t, which I (obviously) won't do. I have no interest whatsoever in helping you promote your sh**ty money making software or whatever it is. Just leave. Shoo! Go! Do NOT return!

Sorry, everyone else, but until jerk-dumbass-idiot (see, I'm trying to stay semi-polite) leaves, I won't turn anonymous commenting back on. If you want to leave me a note, check out my mail or the various other ways to contact me.

Sincerely (but without any patience),

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Geeky Me?

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

So, the past two Wednesdays I posted about one particular podcast I really enjoyed, but I can't possibly fill all Wednesdays with podcast reviews (there's only so much time I have). Instead, I decided to give you some more insight into me (as the "me" usually falls short, except for my reading and my opinion on what I read) in this feature I tentatively called Geeky Me. I'd love it if you told me what you think about this idea, so comment away!

As a few of you might know, I am a student at the university in Frankfurt/Main, Germany (it is named after a famous German writer, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, by the way). Our studies are in parts still rather different from the American and British (and most other) systems. I started out early enough to still get my Magister Artium (M.A.) without having to get a Bachelor degree first. Another difference is that I have one major and two minors (although I could also have picked two majors without a minor). When I have my M.A., I can apply to a program for a doctorate degree - if my grades are good enough, that is. So much for the back story!

Now, my major is American Studies, which in essence is a combination of (U.S.-)American Literature, Linguistics/Language, Culture, Politics and History. It covers such a broad range of subjects I will have to specialize in two of them after about 4 semesters (in about a year from now). Last semester I took a class on literature and culture from the first settlers until about 1820. I knew so little about this time, it was surprising. Granted, I knew about the historical aspects, but the literature? There is so much out there, I'm still amazed and I can't wait for the second part (1820 until maybe 1865? That would go with the Norton Anthology.)! In fact, I have decided that I would like to see whether I can read at least one text from the Norton Anthology each month during the semester and two when we don't have classes. (Care to join me?)

And my minors are Romance Studies (capital R for the Romance), but I have yet to decide on whether I'd rather study Italian or French in depth, and Comparative Religion. I love languages a lot, there's no other way to say this, as I would (in theory) be able to survive in a number of countries while using the official languages. (More about that later, if you like the Geeky Me.)

So, I have yet to decide whether I'd rather keep myself busy with the Italian language and literature or the French language and literature. Last semester I took a few classes in French lit and next semester I'll take a class in Italian lit and two language classes. I have been both to France and Italy in the past (like, before 2003), and I enjoyed both vacations a lot, so that's no help either. I tend to prefer Italian contemporary literature more than I do French literature, but I really love French playwright Molière and know practically nothing about Italian classics. You see, it will be a tough call!

And Comparative Religion was an easy decision. I did not grow up overly religious. When my brother and I were younger, Mom used to drag us to church every other week when she wasn't working Sundays, but even for her it was mostly because it was how she grew up (her Dad used to say that they can stay up on weekends, but who can party on Saturday can go to church on Sunday). At least that's how it came across. Now, in Germany we also have (mandatory) religion classes each year, so you (or rather your parents) can choose whether you attend Catholic religion class, Protestant religion class or Ethics. These classes fill two hours each week and you have to take them 1st through 13th grade - there's no way around it! (Note: Today, some schools offer classes for students of other religions as well, if enough people take part, but back in my days and in my previous schools there just weren't enough students for these classes.)
Now, with little knowledge, I always enjoyed the 5-7 weeks every other year that we spent learning about other belief systems. It was fascinating and it was one of the few subjects I actually looked up at the library and later online. So when it came the time for me to pick a 2nd minor, it was an easy choice. And here I am enjoying classes about all different beliefs (last semester: organ donation with a Jewish perspective).

By the way, some of you commented on the size of the writing on my blog and I totally agree! It is a bit on the small side, so I hope this is better. Just let me know those little things. Sometimes I miss them. (More often than not, actually! *sigh*)

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

update on 50 Followers contest

So, I have just decided to add two more books (and thus one more winner) to my 50 follower giveaway should I reach 99 followers. The books in question are:

C.J. Omololu's Dirty Little Secrets


Rachel Ward's Numbers (the British paperback edition)

You can find the button to follow me at the bottom of this page, and to join the contest please visit the original 50 followers contest page.

Do you think we can do this? Spread the word :-)

The Book List: Best / Worst Sidekicks to a Hero in a Book

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

The Book List Meme is a weekly event hosted by Rebecca @ Lost In Books.

This week's theme is about the best and worst sidekicks to a hero.

My picks for best sidekicks are:

1) Zoey's friends (is this considered cheating?) in P.C. Cast und Kristin Cast's House of Night series

2) Ron and Hermoine in the Harry Potter series

3) Charlie, Jace's sidekick in D.D. Barant's Dying Bites

I couldn't come up with any really horribly bad sidekicks...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

February summary

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

I believe now all the pre-ordered books from December should be in. I have already pre-ordered two or three books for later this year, though. Despite buying so many books these past two months, I also got quite some reading accomplished, so it was not a complete loss. For next month, though, I have to finish all the 9 (!!!) unread books I bought in January before I start anything else. According to my 2010 resolutions they should have been read already!

new additions
19) Joy Preble: Dreaming Anastasia
20) Lesley Livingston: Wondrous Strange
21) Patrick Ness: The Knife of Never Letting Go
22) Gayle Forman: If I Stay
23) Lindsey Leavitt: Princess for Hire
24) Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl: Beautiful Creatures
25) Emmett James: Admit One - My Life in Film
26) Suzanne Young: The Naughty List
27) Carrie Ryan: The Forest of Hands and Teeth
28) Michele Wahlder: Alphatudes - The Alphabet of Gratitude
29) Lisa McMann: Wake
30) Art Spiegelman: Maus 1 & 2
31) Jane Austen: Sense & Sensibility
32) Laura Mechling: Dream Girl
33) Tera Lynn Childs: Oh. My. Gods.
34) Becca Fitzpatrick: hush, hush
35) Chloe Neill: Firespell

10) Anna Jarzab: All Unquiet Things
11) Kristina Springer: The Espressologist
12) Elizabeth Scott: Living Dead Girl
13) Courtney Summers: Cracked Up To Be
14) P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast: Betrayed
15) Christa Holder-Ocker: auf Wiedersehen
16) Gayle Forman: If I Stay
17) Art Spiegelman: Maus 1
18) Art Spiegelman: Maus 2
19) Ally Carter: I'd Tell You I Love You But Then I'd Have To Kill You
20) Maggie Stiefvater: Shiver

Book Review: Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

AuthorMaggie Stiefvater
Date of PublicationAugust 1, 2009
Page Count434

Ever since she was saved from a wolf attack by a yellow-eyed wolf, Grace has been interested in these animals. After a local boy is killed by wolves, everyone is out to kill the pack of wolves, but Grace tries to help them. And when she meets a boy with chilling yellow eyes the summer after, all she wants is try to figure out what it is about the boy that seems so familiar...

A small note up front: This is a review in progress, hurried up to make it qualify for Nicole's THIB 20 Minute Book Club Challenge. I will edit the review in a week or so, so if it sounds a bit rough and "iffy", come back later.

I absolutely love the cover, even though mine is slightly different from the above shown. I have the British version and it is black with a white tree and leaves and one leave (as well as the author's name and the dot on the "i") is in a bright red. It is so beautiful, I find myself looking at it each time I pick up the book. What really amazed me was the wonderful idea of starting each chapter not only with the name of the narrator, but also with the temperature. That way I could keep track of the time throughout the year.

The writing blew me away. I had so much fun and didn't even realize time was flying by. When I was at work, I couldn't wait to get back home again and when I was at the dinner table with my family (I spent the weekend with my family), I rushed back to my book as soon as the table was cleared.

In My Mailbox Monday (Feb 28)

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

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

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

Last week I got:

I got Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility from a fellow German blogger. Now I have all of Austen's works, I believe :-)

I got Lauren Mechling's Dream Girl from the same German blogger. Thanks a lot, Melli!

And then I bought:

Becca Fitzpatrick's hush, hush

Tera Lynn Childs' Oh. My. Gods.

Chloe Neill's Firespell

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Book Review: Betrayed by P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

AuthorP.C. Cast & Kristin Cast
PublisherSt. Martin's Griffin
Date of PublicationOctober 2, 2007
Page Count310
SeriesHouse of Night

After the excitement in Marked, Zoey sure would have deserved some time to rest and enjoy her life at the House of Night along with her friends, but it is not just that easy for her. Instead, she has to deal with being the new leader of the Dark Daughters and has to come up with new rules and rituals for them, just when death strikes first among the people she knew in her life before she was marked and then even at the House of Night.

With the second installment of the House of Night series, the authors bring back a charming cast of characters with flaws and once again it was hard to take breaks reading it (I am actually already reading the 3rd book).

What made me worry a bit were all the references to actors and their attractiveness. With Nicole Kidman in the first I'm not that worried as she is a good actress, but Matthew McConaughey and Hugh Jackman, who were mentioned in this book, this is a different story. It is true, they both still look really good (especially Hugh Jackman ;-) ), but it could be a problem for future readers. It is not as timeless as I would have wished it to be.

I was amused and annoyed at the same time with Zoey's feelings and thoughts about three boys / men at the same time. She knew it was wrong, yet she acted on all her feelings. Her thoughts about this were:
I wanted Heath.
I needed Erik.
I was intrigued by Loren.
(p. 174)
It bothered me especially because it almost seemed as if two - er, three-timing was okay. I think this is a bad example.

The storyline and all the other events made me almost forget this, though, because there were so many other things that happened and new discoveries about certain red-ish people who have been running around in the first book already. And the new people introduced all in all seemed genuine and reliable. In fact, one of the new characters has become a favorite of mine. I'll only give away the initials for now, though: D.M. I hope he's as honest as he seems to be.

Book Review: All Unquiet Things by Anna Jarzab

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

AuthorAnna Jarzab
TitleAll Unquiet Things
PublisherDelacorte Press
Date of PublicationJanuary 12, 2010
Page Count337

Neily was shocked when his ex-girlfriend Carly was found murdered, but when Carly's cousin Audrey wants him to help her find the real murderer. The imperative being "real", as Audrey doesn't believe her father killed her best friend, even though he was convicted. Neily reluctantly joins Audrey in her investigation at Brighton, the school they all attended together, in part because even after a year he still feels guilty for not answering his phone when Carly called the night she was murdered.

Anna Jarzab did a wonderful job with this shocking and heart-breaking mystery, exploring love, loss, family and friendship in just 337 pages. With her wonderful, deep writing and a plot that turned in circles (in a very good way) she created something fresh without the happily-ever-after, the-world-is-perfect ending so many other authors would have used. The story is told in alternating points of view, changing back and forth between Neily and Audrey.

Carly is by no means a sympathetic character at the time of her murder, but her backstory gives a hint of what made her the person she was in the end. Audrey was always a rougher version of the "old Carly", I felt. She had been though a lot in the years before she came to Empire Valley. What made them bond, yet feel different at the same time was that both girls lost their mothers, but while Carly's mom died of cancer, Audrey's mom left her and her Dad to live a different life. Neily is the son of a wealthy IT guy and a nurse who got a divorce. With Carly, his world seemed okay, but once she dumped him for a rich bully and publicly humiliated him, his world took yet another turn for the worse. And this is only a very short rundown of the characters Jarzab created.

I absoltely loved the book and was glad I decided to buy it with all the books already on Mt. TBR. It has been a while since I read such a well-written book by a debut author and I will be holding my breath for the next book written by Anna Jarzab.

Oh yes, and a sentence I wrote down? "How many people are we going to lose before the universe decides we've had enough?" Carly asked me.

Busy weeks followed by a busy weekend

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

After three busy weeks with end-of-term exams, my take-home exam and far too much noise and strangers running around at my work place, I've decided to ignore the term paper due in about 8 weeks for the weekend and instead work on a few reviews for all the books that are piling up on my desk. You know, I don't shelf my finished books until I reviewed them, so they're piling high on my desk and it looks a bit cluttered right now.

I think I'll start with Dia Reeves' Bleeding Violet, Anna Jarzab's All Unquiet Things and P.C. Cast & Kristin Cast's Betrayed. Watch out for them in the near future. Other books I can't wait to review are Courtney Summers' Cracked Up To Be, Gayle Forman's If I Stay and Art Spiegelman's Maus 1 & 2.

Of course, I also want to read a bit more. I am in the middle of Maggie Stiefvater's Shiver and I like the short chapters and the story. Easy to read and it's not much of a problem to put it down every now and then to play with my cat.

Friday, February 26, 2010

blame game time (February 26)

Please don't forget to check out my giveaway celebrating 50 followers!

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

Jina Bacarr's The Blonde Samurai was reviewed by Monica from The Bibliophilic Book Blog and it sounds like something I enjoy. I have a thing for Japan (among a few other countries).

Olen Steinhauer's The Tourist was mentioned by Marcia from The Printed Page.

Elizabeth Eulberg's The Lonely Hearts Club, because Kristi from The Story Siren seemed to enjoy it a lot and I grew up with The Beatles.

Robin Brande's Fat Cat was reviewed by Nikki from Ramblings of a Bibliophile and it sounds really interesting.

Shannon Delaney's 13 to Life was mentioned in a WoW post by Kim from The Book Butterfly and it sounds right up my alley (werwolves?).

Elizabeth Scott's The Unwritten Rule has been mentioned by Laura from Tattooed Books and as I have only recently read one of Elizabeth Scott's books and really enjoyed it, I can't wait!

Joelle Anthony's Restoring Harmony, Lesley Hauge's Nomansland, Rae Mariz' The Unidentified and Allyson Condie's Matched were mentioned by Lenore from Presenting Lenore. And for 2011 Lenore talked about Lauren Oliver's Delirium and Lisa McMann's The Unwanteds.

Jenna Black's Glimmerglass and Eileen Cook's Getting Revenge on Lauren Wood were mentioned by Steph Su from Steph Su Reads.

Wally Lamb's Couldn't Keep It To Myself was highly recommended by Stephanie of Stephanie's Confessions of a Book-a-holic.