Thursday, January 31, 2013

My Life...

Monthly Rewind
January

I was so inspired by Jamie (The Broke and The Bookish and The Perpetual Page-Turner) and her monthly rewinds that I decided to start doing them too. I always feel that when reading someone's rewinds I get to know this person a little better each month and that's why I want to share my January with you.

My Pic of January
the last Christmas trees covered under a blanket of snow
 
January in One Word
Work
I am a student and term officially ended yesterday so not only had I exams to prepare for and papers to write I also tutor high school students in English and some of them had exams too. So I either studied or tried really hard to explain the different between Past tense and Past perfect tense or what the Boston Tea Party was about.

5 Things that Happened in January
  1.  My best friends turned 27 and he almost freaked out about the David Garrett concert ticket I gave him. We'll go see it together in May. 
  2. I got sick - twice!
  3. I received two books everyone was raving about - Just One Day by Gayle Forman and The Archived by Veronica Schwab.
  4. I went out with my friends again after a long long time. 
  5. I went to the cinema and watched "Life of Pi". 


5 Songs that Were Popular on My I-Pod
 
 The Story of Us by Taylor Swift

 
 Picture to Burn by Taylor Swift

Beauty and the Beat by Justin Bieber covered by Alex Goot, Chrissy Costanza and Kurt Schneider

Red by Taylor Swift covered by Landon Austin and Nikki Phillippi

We are young by the people from Glee

Book I Read this Month
  • Sophie Kinsella - The Undomestic Goddess
  • Michelle Madow - Transcendence (Transcend Time Bonus Packet)
  • Stephanie Perkins - Anna and the French Kiss
  • Darynda Jones - First Grave on the Right
  • Lauren Morrill - Meant to be
  • Kerstin Gier - Ruby Red
  • Kerstin Gier - Sapphire Blue
  • Janet Evanovich - Hard Eight 
8 books
2570 pages

a TV series I liked this month


5 Random Things I (Re-)Discovered/Liked this Month
  1. I suck at writing reviews right after I'm finished reading the book. That's why I cannot always find the right words when I finally write it. 
  2. the magic of Twitter - I never thought that I could connect with people who live thousands of miles away so well via the internet.
  3. I watched the NFL conference finals and two times a year (second will be the Super Bowl on Sunday) I like watching football. Even thought I have trouble getting the rules sometimes.
  4. Those cold and snowy winter days make me feel like a child again. Me and my dog played in the snow for hours and I didn't mind that I was so wet and cold in the end. 
  5. Tea! I love drinking tea when it's cold outside but I hardly ever have some because usually I drink coffee and I'm just to lazy to make some tea when I'm thristy so I have water instead.

Things I'm Looking Forward to in February
  • my birthday!
  • time to breath between my end of January exams and my end of February/beginning of March exams.
  • seeing my friends baby boy again (even though he's not a baby anymore).
  • reading books that are a bit thicker because I won't spend that much time on public transport - and some of those books are heavy.
  • particiapting in Bloggiesta - it's been too long!
Felix in January
 
A big "Thank you" to Jamie for letting me borrow some of her categories and ideas. 
You're the Best!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

...in pictures

This week's Photochallenge topic is 
White
and this is what caught my eye while or better before I had desert on Monday evening.


Tuesday, January 29, 2013

...in books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
This week the girls at The Broke and Bookish want to know my:
Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

I usually don't get annoyed with characters but I often have this "oh my God, what are you doing? Could you be any more annoying/stupid/frustrating?" moment quite often with characters and they usually are male ones. Coincidence? So I figured I would tell you these ones because they can get annoying from time to time.

Jace Waylard (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)- the number one! 
His switching between being super nice and caring about Fray and the next moment he behaves like a jerk - I just want to shake him and tell him that she doesn't deserve being treated like that. 
 
Will Herondale (The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare)- close second! 
It seems as if Cassandra Clare is good with writing annoying and frustrating males. 
 
Gideon de Villiers (Ruby Red Trilogy by Kerstin Gier)
He is quite a lot like Jace and treats Gwen differently every minute. He cares about her and tries to help her but the next second he doesn't speak to her and treats her like she did something really wrong and she never knows why. I either want to yell at him basically every two pages or tell Gwen that he's an idiot and that she's better without him. 
 
Ranger (The Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich)
 I'm reading Hard Eight right now and when I was on my way home last night I read it on public transport and more than once I thought: "Come on, get yourself together. Tell her how you feel about her. Stop playing games!" I cannot say that I'm Team Ranger because I adore Joe Morelli but sometimes I just wish they both would man-up. 
 
Joe Morelli (The Stephanie Plum novels by Janet Evanovich) - same reason as above. 
Just man-up, Joe!



Okay, I could only think of five (part-time) frustrating characters but hey, that only means that I enjoy almost all characters I read about, right?
 

Monday, January 28, 2013

...in pictures

After I got sick last week, I had to study for my exams and wrote two today 
so this week's topic is a bit later than ususal. But better late than never, right?
This week's I would like to see pictures covering the follwoing topic:
White / WeiƟ

Please link you post to mine in time. 
Submission period is between the 28th of January and the 4th of February
(11:59 pm CET). 

...in pictures


Dots - how many different things could you use to make an awesome photo. 
I chose an owl my mum has in her vast collection. 

Saturday, January 26, 2013

My Life...

Sorry for my lack of posts this week but I had been sick since Tuesday and am finally feeling better. As, I think, all of you too, I hate being ill and I hate it even more when I feel so "yuck" that I don't want to read at all.

Next week I have my end of term exams at university but I'll be back in full swing after January 30th with some new reviews and maybe even a giveaway? So be sure to stop by and keep your fingers crossed for me next week so that I'll pass all my exams.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

...in books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
This week the girls at The Broke and Bookish want to know my:
Top Ten Settings I'd Like To See More Of (Or At All)

Book settings are really important for me and I tend to buy books based only on their settings (maybe not my best characteristic). Book settings I would like to see more of are:
  1. today's London - there is no better city to set books in than London. I love the city and I always keep a small map of London in my planner. When a contemporary novel (YA or adult) is set in London I love taking out my map and following the people around town. You might have guessed: I am a Map-Lover!
  2. past London - once again, a city I love but London in the past is full of history and interesting bits and pieces. Books I loved set in London in the past are: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier or The Alexia Tarrabotti series by Gail Carriger.
  3. New York - the city that never sleeps.
  4. Paris - which I really didn't like when I visited it but I love reading books set there and I think I should give Paris another chance. 
  5. Italy - the country of my dreams and a place I would love to live. Everytime a book is set in Italy it feels like coming home and this wonderful images of beautiful cities, the ocean, gelato, pasta, pizza, ... There is nothing better than a holiday feeling when you read a book. 
  6. somewhere in the USA - my parents and I made some wonderful road-trips through the states when I was a child and those were and still are my most treasured memories  
  7. at the ocean - becasue the ocean is something magical and calming
  8. Vienna - I would love to read a good YA novel set in the city I live in.
  9. Discworld - I can't get enough of Terry Pratchett's Discworld novels and everyone who enjoys fantasy novels should read his books. 
  10. on road trips - road trip books are awesome and I'm sure that it doesn't matter where the book is set as long as the characters are on a road trip the book will be good. Unfortunately there are not enough good road trip books. So if you have any recommendation, please send them my way.
As you can see, I love books set in cities and countries I love. I am a girl who likes reading about real places. It's okay when there are paranormal elements or slightly different settings as long as the place is real. That doesn't mean that I don't like fictional places but I tend to reach for books set in "real" places.

Monday, January 21, 2013

...in pictures

Next week's topic will be:
Dot(s) / Punkt(e)

Please link you post to mine in time. 
Submission period is between the 21st and the 28th of January
(11:59 pm CET). 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Life...

I am studying

my desk when I'm preparing for exams
The next two weeks will be a bit hectic for me because I have a lot of studying to do for my exams at the end of January and next week I'll have a three day long seminar and won't have time to blog. I will try my best to post regularly but it might be a bit more quiet on the blog. Hopefully I will still find time to read and blog but I will definitely be back in full swing at the beginning of February.

Friday, January 18, 2013

...in books



Review
Beautiful Creatures
by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl

First sentences:
There were only two kinds of people in our town.

Summary:
There were no surprises in Gatlin County.
We were pretty much the epicenter of the middle of nowhere.

At least, that's what I thought.
Turns out, I couldn't have been more wrong.
There was a curse.
There was a girl.
And in the end, there was a grave.
Lena Duchannes is unlike anyone the small Southern town of Gatlin has ever seen, and she's struggling to conceal her power and a curse that has haunted her family for generations. But even within the overgrown gardens, murky swamps and crumbling graveyards of the forgotten South, a secret cannot stay hidden forever. Ethan Wate, who has been counting the months until he can escape from Gatlin, is haunted by dreams of a beautiful girl he has never met. When Lena moves into the town's oldest and most infamous plantation, Ethan is inexplicably drawn to her and determined to uncover the connection between them. In a town with no surprises, one secret could change everything.
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
Wow! For a long time I struggled with writing this review because I had no idea what I wanted to say about Beautiful Creatures. This book blew me away. I started it three times, I think, because it never felt right and then I flew through it in a few days and couldn’t stop reading.

The story is gripping and full of darkness and suspense. From time to time I had to focus my attention to the world surrounding me just to be sure that I was not in Gatlin but in a tram in Vienna. It doesn’t happen often that I am as sucked into a book as I was into this one. The way Kami Gracia and Margaret Stohl are able to write a complex story like this as an author team deserves respect. I picture writing as a team as more challenging than writing alone but maybe I am wrong.

The overall word I would use to describe Beautiful Creatures would be “Dark”. Before my inner eye Gatlin was always dark and cloudy and every time something a bit creepy happened I pictured it a dark and stormy night. Don’t get me wrong this book was amazing but in a bit creepy way that conveyed the supernatural setting so well.

I still think that this review is one of the most incoherent I ever wrote but I still have problems telling you how fascinating I found the book in a way that isn’t: “Read it, it’s awesome!”
I hope I didn’t do as bad as I think and you will go and read it. I cannot wait to read the second book in the series but unfortunately it is always sold out at my local bookstore but if I can’t find it till February I’ll order it from Amazon – take that bookstore!

If you want to get a feel for the book check out this video by CoraLynnsBookReviews (she reads a small part a hillarious chapter in a real Southern drawl).

The Books in the Caster Chronicles are:
  • Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles #1)
  • Beautiful Darkness (Caster Chronicles #2)
  • Dream Dark (Caster Chronicles #2,5)
  • Beautiful Chaos (Caster Chronicles #3)
  • Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles #4)
The movie to Beautiful Creatures will be in cinemas in 2013.

For more information about Kami Garcia visit her Homepage, Blog, Facebook and Twitter page.
For more information about Margaret Stohl visit her Homepage, Facebook and Twitter page.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

...in pictures


I had a wonderful idea for this week's topic.
I am a scarf girl through and through. I usually have a scarf either around my neck or in my bag (yes, even in summer) because I freeze so easily. So when this week's topic Wool was chosen randomly I had the perfect idea. I gathered all my wool scarves and my colorful gloves and this is the picture you are looking at.

Monday, January 14, 2013

...in books

Bout of Books Read-a-thon: Wrap Up

I participated in the Bout of Books read-a-thon all during last week and really enjoyed it. Unfortunatly, due to the fact that I spent a lot of time at work or on the commute I couldn't participate in the Twitter chats and I also didn't tweet and comment as much as I would have liked. Hopefully I will be able to do this more during the next read-a-thon.

I did manage to read more than I normally would during this week; which means that there is now a huge pile of books I need want to review. Hopefully I can catch up on them soon because my next three weeks will be super busy and hectic (thanks to end of term exams).

Here are some numbers for you:
  • I finished 3 books and started 1 more
  • I read 936 pages in one week
  • I managed to read 244 pages on Saturday (where I had to work too) which were the most I managed in a day
  • On Monday I only read 76 pages which were the least I managed in a day
  • Half the books I finished in 2013 I read during the read-a-thon 

I will definitely participate in the next Bout of Books read-a-thon too.

Thank you Amanda  and Kelly for organizing it and being awesome hosts. 

...in pictures

Well hello there and welcome to the 2013 Photochallenge!

Last week's topic was so cool. There were many different approaches and awesome pictures. When I was thinking about Stripe(s) one of the first things that came to my mind were vapor trails - you know these funny, fuzzy stripes airplanes make. My apartment has skylights and when I'm looking out there, usually dreaming about something, I see vapor trails. Every time I see them I feel this antsy feeling called wanderlust. So taking a picture of vapor trails was the perfect picture to take. The one and only problem was that we had horrible weather (cloudy) for most of the week but finally on Saturday we had a clear day and I had enough time to wait for the perfect vapor trail to appear and for me to snap a picture.


Next week's topic will be:
Wool / Wolle

Please link you post to mine in time. 
Submission period is between the 14th and the 21st of January
(11:59 pm CET).  

Last year I had all the Photochallenge topics in my sidebar and after some requests and struggling with it myself, I decided to put them there again. So whenever you want to link your post to mine, just scroll down and you will find the link to the topic post right under the Challenge button.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

...in books

 
Updates

Monday
Number of pages I've read today: 76 pages
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 0
Books I read: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

Books I finished: 0


Tuesday
Number of pages I've read today: 79 pages
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total number of books I've read: 0
Books I read: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones and Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Books I finished: 0


Wednesday
Number of pages I've read today: 148 pages
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total number of books I've read: 1
Books I read: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones and Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Books I finished: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones



Thursday
Number of pages I've read today: 127 pages
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 1
Books I read: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Books I finished: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones


Friday
Number of pages I've read today:  141 pages
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total number of books I've read: 2
Books I read: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill and Rubyred by Kerstin Gier (re-read)
Books I finished:
First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones, Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill


Saturday
Number of pages I've read today: 244 pages
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 2
Books I read: Rubyred by Kerstin Gier (re-read)
Books I finished: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones, Meant to Be by Lauren Morril


Sunday
Number of pages I've read today: 121 pages
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total number of books I've read: 3
Books I read: Ruby Red and Sapphire Blue by Kerstin Gier
Books I finished: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones, Meant to Be by Lauren Morril, Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

...in books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
This week the girls at The Broke and Bookish want to know my:
Top Ten Bookish Goals For 2013 
 
I am not good with goals and resolutions but I’ll try my best each and every year. Let's see how 2013 goes. 

In 2013 I want to:
  • write my reviews sooner than last year
  • vary my reading, genre-wise
  • read more books from my TBR pile and don’t buy so many new ones
  • finish some series I have on my shelf
  • read more e-books. I have so many really good ones I neglect because they are e-books.
  • try one new genre
  • devote more time to books than to YouTube videos J
  • comment more on blogs I like
  • schedule more posts so I don’t feel stressed or have to stop blogging when life takes over
  • figure out a blogging schedule I like

Monday, January 7, 2013

...in pictures

Well hello there and welcome to the second week of the 2013 Photochallenge!

I was really psyched that so many decided to participate this year and hope we will all have a wonderful time and draw a lot of inspiration from each others pictures.

Here is my photo for last week's topic - which was Red:


I love bruning candles during winter time and this week I started burning my Cranberry and Pomegranade one. It smells so delicious.

I have a long list of the 52 different topics right next to my computer and made the decision for this week's topic through the old "close your eyes and point somewhere" method and the following word could be found there:
Stripe(s) / Streifen

Please link you post to mine in time. 
Submission period is between the 7th and the 14th of January
(11:59 pm CET).  


You can find the list of topics and links on my Challenges 2013 page at the very bottom.

Just to fill you in on what song I had in my head during the week (thinking about the topic, trying different approaches on the topic, etc.).



Sunday, January 6, 2013

...in books

Showcase Sunday is weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits & Tea which was inspired by In My Mailbox from Kristie at The Story Siren.
It is a possibility for us to show what amazing books we got during the week. 

People, have you noticed this cool new banner Vicky has created? It is so awesome and I really like it. These are so my colours. Good job, girl!

Now, let's go on to the books I got this week:

After Christmas I went on a book buying spree and bought almost all my books I had on my wish-list from Amazon. 







Saturday, January 5, 2013

...in books

Bout of Books Read-a-Thon
It's time for a Bout of Books Read-a-Thon!

From January 7th to January 13th there will be another Bout of Books Read-a-thon hosted by the lovely Amanda from On a Book Bender and Kelly from Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 7th and runs through Sunday, January 13th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure, and the only reading competition is between you and your usual number of books read in a week. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 6.0 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog. There's still enough time fro you to sign up and if you wanto you can check the schedule here.

Today it's time to write down my goals for this read-a-thon. Unfortunatly my life (work, uni, studying, etc.) will start again by Monday so I cannot devote as much time to reading as I would like but I will still try to focus my attention to reading in my spare time.

My Goals

  • I want to read at least 1 hour a day
  • I want to visit more blogs during Bout of Books and comment
  • I want to enjoy this week of reading, rambling and being surrounded by bookish people.  
As you might know by now, I hate (yes, hate) having to come up with specific books I will read during the read-a-thon and I'm glad that there's no need for me to write them down beforehand. So I will choose them during the week, depending on if I manage to finish the book I'm reading now before Monday, my mood and how much time I'll spend on public transport (the decision between Hard- or Paperback).

Updates - I'll post my daily updates here:


Monday
Number of pages I've read today: 76 pages
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 0
Books I read: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
Books I finished: 0


Tuesday
Number of pages I've read today: 79 pages
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total number of books I've read: 0
Books I read: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones and Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Books I finished: 0


Wednesday
Number of pages I've read today: 148 pages
Number of books I've read today: 2
Total number of books I've read: 1
Books I read: First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones and Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Books I finished: 1



Thursday
Number of pages I've read today: 127 pages
Number of books I've read today: 1
Total number of books I've read: 1
Books I read: Meant to Be by Lauren Morrill
Books I finished: 1


Friday
Number of pages I've read today: 
Number of books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:
Books I read:
Books I finished: 


Saturday
Number of pages I've read today: 
Number of books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:
Books I read:
Books I finished: 


Sunday
Number of pages I've read today: 
Number of books I've read today:
Total number of books I've read:
Books I read:
Books I finished: 

Friday, January 4, 2013

...in books

 Book Challenges 2013

Last year I only participated in the Goodreads Challenge and read more than my 60 books I wanted to read. This year I was looking at more challenges and picked some really cool ones. Most of them require an introduction and or goal setting post and I am combining all these in this one post. 

2013 Reading Challenge 
I will, once again, participate in the Goodreads Challenge and my goal is to read 60 books this year too. I know that I managed to read 83 in 2012 but I want to be on the safe side in 2013 and I know that I have a lot of things planned so I might not be able to read so many books. If I set my goal to 60 books I am sure that I will complete it successfully and we all love to succeed, right?

 
6 awesome book bloggers host the 2013 TBR pile reading challenge and I will participate! I have so many unread books on my shelves and I would love to read more of those. Not only will I feel a lot better when doing so, I will also have more money throughout the year (when I'm not buying so many books) and it will be so much easier for all my friends and family to give me books for my birthday. I'm aiming to read 11-20 books from my TBR pile which is categorized as "a friendly hug" (I love this name). Hopefully I will read more than 20 books from my TBR pile but I can move up levels anytime during the year.

 
Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf is hosting a Witches & Wizards Reading Challenge. I sounds like so much fun so I added it to my ever growing list of challenges. My goal is to reach Initiate level (to read 1-5 Witchy books).

Genre Variety
A Daydreamer's Thoughts host a Genre Variety Challenge. I like many genres but feel like I neglected some awesome ones last year. So I will try to jazz up my reading by participating in this challenge. I am Careful and will try to read 6 books from 6 different genres this year.

 
I also will participate in the Book Blogger Recommendation Challenge and want to read 5 books from the list.

 
Workaday Reads hosts the Ebook Challenge on her blog. I have a Kindle and love it but I tend to neglect reading ebooks because I love the feel of a pysical book which leads to many awesome ebooks on my reader but I only read a handful. This will change in 2013 because my goal is to read at least 10 ebooks which is the CD level.

 
I will also be part of the Sookie Stackhouse Reading Challenge. I read the first book 2 years ago, really liked it but haven't read another one. Dani from Pen to Paper loves this series and recommended them to me over and over again so I will participate in this challenge to be "forced" to read them. I want to read books 1-4 which is Level 1 "Just a Drop". I know I read the first book already but I can't remember a thing other than me liking it. So Dead Until Dark, Living Dead in Dallas, Club Dead and Dead to the World will be the books I want to read in 2013. 


 
I have a huge problem with finishing series. When I enjoy a series it is hard for me to say goodbye to the characters so I tend to read all books in the series except the last one. I'm pretty sure I missed out on a lot of great endings because of this habit. So I will try to finish at least 2 series this year and will keep track via Socrates' Book Reviews' Finishing the series reading challenge. 

europe map
And the last two challenges aren't exactly challenges. Epic Reads - check them out if you don't know them - did YA Reading Maps of the US, Europe, Oceania, Canada and Greenland last year. I want to read at least 3 out of the 33 books from the Europe map and 5 from the 50 books on the US map. I love the idea of reading your way across a country and as a geographie student I am a sucker for maps. So thank you Epic Reads for creating these maps

In 2013 I will participate in 10 different reading challenges and my own Photochallenge. Some of the books I will be reading might count for more than one challenge so it doesn't feel so intimidating but still, I have a year full of wonderful books ahead of me and looking forward to the experience.

Are you participating in any challenges?