Tuesday, November 29, 2011

... in books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish and this week’s question deals with the books on our reading list for winter.

I am not one of those readers who know exactly which books to read in the next weeks. For me reading depends a lot on my emotions, the way I feel right now and if I need a book to read during the day or at night. I have daylight and nighttime books because I am easily scared. That is why my current reading list on the right always contains at least two sometimes three books. 

So I will tell you which books I want to read next but I am pretty sure that those won’t be the exact books that you’ll find in my current reading list over the next weeks.

Okay, this is a sad TTT-list. Usually I am a list girl and there’s nothing better than writing list. Yes, I am on of those who sometimes writes “take a shower” on her daily to-do list just to be able to cross it out. I am a wonderful planner. Not so good when putting my lists and plans into action. But I suck in listing books I want to read as you can see.

So, I am hoping that I will at least read those three books – or not! Who knows!

The only thing I am sure about is that I will use my time well and read a lot as every time I have a lot to do. I tend to divide my time in hectic weeks into little junks; sleeping, reading, studying, reading, working, reading and reading.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

... in books

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristie from The Story Siren. This meme gives us the chance to show all our fellow booklovers what books we got during the week.

This week was a really good book week for me. As I told you last week I am currently not allowed buying any new books until Christmas. Fortunately I have ordered some books before sealing this book buying ban with my mum. So I received some amazing YA books this week.

I ordered Maureen Johnson’s “13 Little Blue Envelops” which I read this summer and loved. I hope I will receive the sequel “The Last Little Blue Envelope” next week – ordered it already. I love Maureen Johnson’s book. It is told in a wonderful way and tells the story of Ginny who receives letters from her deceased aunt who left the States for Europe years ago. Through the letters she convinces Ginny to travel through Europe on her aunt’s paths and experiences many adventures and her own love story in London.

My postman also brought Claire LaZebnik’s “Epic Fail” which was described as a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice”. I started reading it right away and it was a fabulous book. Finished it today while waiting for my student to arrive. It really is a modern retelling of “Pride and Prejudice” and I found it fascinating how exactly the story follows Jane Austen’s storyline. But I will not tell you more now due to the fact that I am going to post a review about “Epic Fail” either today or tomorrow. My first review, by the way!

Hope to receive equally good books next week – still waiting for some – and that your mailbox contained wonderful books too. 

By the way, check out Maureen Johnson's blog. She is a hilarious writer!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

... in color

As I told you guys yesterday, my week was really crazy. I was away most of the day from Monday till Friday even though my lecture on Monday got cancelled. I went to university and then I spent a lot of time working as a tutor. 

In Austria I know two possible ways of tutoring kids. The first one is that the kid comes to your house or you go to their house and help them with their studies. This is the version where you are able to gain more money because you don’t have to share it with the owners of a tutoring institute. Working at an institute is the second option. This is what I do. I go there as often as needed and there I am provided with a room to tutor the kid, learning materials, a Xerox and coffee machine, my boss arranges the lessons for me and I don’t have to open my apartment to other people. The disadvantage is that I need to go there and that takes me up to 45 minutes and that I don’t earn a lot of money; which is fine by me because I don’t need to earn my living expenses. 

I hope I am a good tutor but I usually am able to help my students and I am one of those who like to prepare texts and grammar exercises at home so that I just need to copy them at the institute and am ready to start working.

But when I am rushing around for a week it sometimes gets messy at my desk. This week was a really messy week. I tend to change bags very often. Not because I think that a bag should fit with the whole outfit, no, I change bags al lot because I am carrying a lot around with me and when I am working I carry much more than usually. This week I often went to university in the morning and then directly to work which meant that I had to bring all my stuff with me that I needed for the day. Apart from all the books I needed at university and the texts and exercises I needed at work I always carried a book, my planner, gloves (it is so freaking cold here), material I needed to study, my MP3-player and tons of other, mostly useless, things around with me.
So when I came home I was so exhausted that I either went to sleep, slumped down on the couch and did not move until it was time for bed or sat in front of my laptop and browsed the internet until it was time to go to sleep.
The next day I got up, got ready for university or sat down to plan my lessons for that day and before leaving the apartment I dumped all my stuff I carried around with me yesterday onto my bed and put the new stuff in my bag. In the evening I put the stuff from my bed onto my desk and left it there. The next morning I pushed all the crap to one side of the desk, sat down, planned my lessons, dumped the content of my bag on my bed, etc.
You get the picture, right?

So that is why my desk looked like this yesterday evening:

Crazy, isn’t it? Well, I will hopefully find the time to clean it up today, after work, so that I will be able to study there this afternoon because I really need to.
If you look carefully there are some things you will always find on my desk and these are books and chocolate. 
I got the chocolate from my mum yesterday (yummy, truffels) and the books are there for my weekly “In My Mailbox” that is hosted by Kristie from “The Story Siren” each Sunday.

So, tomorrow I will tell you what awesome books I got this week and for now I will stop rambling on about my full week, go to work and in the afternoon I will hopefully start cleaning my desk.

Friday, November 25, 2011

... in books

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by GReads!

This week I can really say “Thank God it’s Friday”! I had an exhausting week and I have the feeling that the next week won’t be any better. All the kids have their English tests in the next two weeks and that’s why they all need my as a tutor right now. It feels like I am either at university, on public transport or at work. I know that it can’t be true but studying was not really possible this week and my exams are creeping closer with every day.

Okay, enough whining for now – the TGIF question this week is:
When You're Not Reading:
What occupies your time when your nose isn't stuck in a book?
I am a student so I am reading a lot; either for pleasure but sometimes for university as well. I am not going to tell you about my studies or my work but about what I do after work. My spare time is used for other things than reading too - not a lot but still. 
I love music – listening to it and singing along. I meet with friends – right now there are so many Christmas Markets in Vienna so we often meet for punch. When we are meeting during the rest of the year we meet in “our” bar. Waiters know us there and it is near to all of us and really cozy. 

 I am also watching TV quite often. Right now I am watching TV in the evenings because I am not sure if my brain can absorb any more information. I love series like “How I met your mother” and “Castle” and when watching films I usually see comedies or romantic comedies because I am easily scared when watching horror films.  

I am also a huge fan of photography. So when my nose is not stuck in a book there is a huge possibility that I am behind a camera. In the last year I started looking at other peoples pictures and discovered that there is a clear boundary between photographers who take pictures of people and those who love landscape pictures. I like landscape photography much more but that may be because I have this feeling that I am invading privacy when taking pictures of people and on the other hand I don’t like posed pictures. So I tend to take pictures of everything around me except of people. From time to time there can be a person found but these are mostly snapshots. 
Copyright: Karin Maier, 2011
Oh, I almost forgot; I love love love to travel. I was in Australia this summer and the travel bug bit me hard there. Would love to be on the road right now. Always better than studying and writing exams. 
So now you know me a little bit better and I am really interested in your answers so today you will probably find me blog hopping instead of reading.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

... in pictures

I love traditions! 
Especially during Christmas time!

My mum and I talked about Christmas and our traditions during one of our drives to my grandmother’s house the other day. Well, we mostly discussed if it would be possible for her to cook something else this year on Christmas Eve. Here in Austria we celebrate Christmas on the 24th of December. In the morning we decorate our tree, then we have lunch and afterwards we take a long walk with our dog. After coffee I start wrapping the presents for my parents, then put them under the tree and afterwards we wait. I am usually too excited to read something and that is why I am surfing the internet, posting Christmas wishes on blogs, Facebook pages and sending e-mails to friends further away. At five-ish my dad lights the candles on our tree, we feel overwhelmed with joy, start unwrapping our gifts and then we have dinner. We always have the same dinner on Christmas Eve and mum and I discovered that we are having it for almost 20 years now.  

About five years ago a friend of our family moved from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Vienna and we started celebrating Christmas Eve with him and either his partner or his son, depending on who was coming to visit him over the holidays. These were wonderful Christmas dinners but the food stayed the same.

This year something is different. My mum always told me that we don’t go to a Christmas Market until the beginning of December and I always stuck to that. This year I haven’t! Christmas Markets opened on November 12th and I went to one on the 15th for some punch before my late lecture on Tuesday. It was a strange feeling but I told myself that drinking punch is not really attending a Christmas Market. On Monday my uncle, who is a musician, played at the Christmas Market before Karlskirche here in Vienna. My mum and I went there to hear him play and to wander between the stalls, it was dark and cold, we had Vanilla Pear Punch, parts of my family were there and it was the beginning of Christmas season for me.

Since then I noticed how much Vienna had changed into Christmassy mode during the last two weeks. Christmas lights are up, shop windows are decorated, you can buy roasted chestnuts and potatoes on basically every street corner, Christmas songs are playing, I am in the mood of lighting candles and it is so freezing cold.

Maybe Christmas time is the most wonderful time of the year!

The reason why I am writing this long post is because I want to show you some pictures from Monday evening and my visit to the Christmas Market before Karlskirche and maybe because I am really looking forward to celebrating Christmas this year. 

rather empty Christmas Market
some people before the Punch booth
Musicians - my uncle is the one far right
my cousin Juliane
 And who knows, maybe this year our Christmas menue will change as well? 

... in books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by TheBroke and Bookish.

It is Thanksgiving on Thursday and this weeks question fits perfectly.
Top Ten Authors I'd Love To Have At My Thanksgiving Feast

  • Terry Pratchett
because I love his Discworld series and I am sure he is a wonderful guest. I would love to chat with him and I am really interested if he has this typical British humor or not. 

  • Maureen Johnson
because her books are wonderful, her tweets are hilarious and I am sure she would be real fun at the party. 

  • Janet Evanovich
because I would love to meet her. Her Stephanie Plum novels are the best books ever (okay, my list of best books ever is kind of long and adapted once in a while) and I would love to chat with her about books she likes, her inspiration for her novels, if she has any role model for Stephanie, Joe and Ranger, etc. 

  • Gervase Phinn
he is the author of the Dales novels. These novels tell his life as a school inspector in the Yorkshire Dales and I am a fan of people writing about school life and life as a teacher, their experiences with teachers and kids. I would love to talk to him about his experiences and I am curious if he is a nice as I imagine him. 

  • Kerstin Gier
because she writes awesome novels. Rubyred and Saphireblue were amazing and all her German books I read were so funny. I think she is a wonderful person, friendly, heartwarming and so funny. I would also like to tell her how much I love her books. 

  • Cornelia Funke
because her Inkheart series is absolutely wonderful. It is the perfect series for bookaholics (especially the first novel). She seems like an amazing author and I think that she, Kerstin Gier, Janet Evanovich and Maureen Johnson would be a real awesome quartet.  

  • Ali McNamara
have you read “From Notting Hill with Love … Actually”? Wonderful book and a must-read for all fans of films and/or London. Brilliant book. I am so looking forward to reading her new novel “Breakfast at Darcy’s” which should be here any day now. I would love to chat with her.

  • Sophie Kinsella
because she fits so perfectly into my little imaginary feast. Her books are just awesome (again this word – but there is non that describes these amazing books better) and she must be awesome too. I love “Twenties Girl” and all her “Shopaholic” novels. 

  • William Shakespeare
because I would love to know who is the REAL William Shakespeare. I love discussing about who was the REAL William and I am so looking forward watching “Anonymous” in cinema – hopefully this week. If he would join my feast I would be the only one who knows who the REAL William Shakespeare is. Well, me and nine other authors. 

  • Jane Austen
because she was an amazing woman and author. She was ahead of her time and I would love to chat with her and see how she fits into today’s world.

So, these are my top ten authors but I am sure there are millions more that I would love to meet. Maybe I’ll invite them to my Christmas Dinner this year.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

... in books

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristie from The Story Siren. This meme should be for all of us who want to share their new received, bought or borrowed books from last week.

As many of you know my main source for English books are Amazon and Book Depo. Every year my mum and I agree on the deal that from the middle of November on I am not allowed to buy new books until Christmas. This year we agreed on this deal again but fortunately I ordered some books on Book Depo last weekend. These books will arrive in the next week – hopefully. When they arrive I will share those with you next Sunday. 

This week I received two books both by Monica McInerney. She is a wonderful Australian author and she writes books with amazing stories. 

Some years ago I bought “A Taste of It” in German and read it three times already. I am one of those bookaholics who loves to have as many books as possible by an author I love and I also want to have them all in the same language. “A Taste for It” is unfortunately out of print but some weeks ago I found it at a second hand bookstore and bought it. It looks as if it is new. Thank you former owner for taking good care of it! I love this story. It is a typical romantic comedy but with a twist at the end and wonderful characters. 

The second book I got from Monica McInerney this week is “Those Faraday Girls”. I read this one on my Kindle in Australia this summer and I bought it on Amazon because it is a really good book. My mum pointed out to me that having a book on my Kindle should be the same as seeing it on my shelves but that is just not true. It is not the same. I love to re-read my books which my mum doesn’t. So maybe that is why it is more important to me to own books I love in print. I don’t know.
This story is a family story settled in Tasmania, Australia, New York and Ireland. It tells the story of the Faraday girls (5 sisters) and their father and starts shortly before the youngest sister, Clementine, gets pregnant at a young age. The book deals with a tragic incident that happened in Maggie’s youth (the baby girl of Clementine) and the tragic effects that this incident has on the family. The book is wonderfully written and over 600 pages long but I never thought that the story is to long. The ending came really unexpected to me. I really recommend reading Monica’s books. They all are a wonderful read.

I am really excited to read all your In My Mailbox posts!

Friday, November 18, 2011

... in books

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Greads!

It’s Thanksgiving weekend in the US this week and the question is:

Giving Thanks: Which books are you most thankful for receiving from other bloggers, friends, family members, or publishers?

My blog is new in the blogosphere so I haven’t asked any publishers for ARCs yet and I am not sure if I will in the near future because I have no idea if it is possible for me to get ARCs from publishers in the US or the UK to Austria.

I have one American book series I am so thankful for receiving. It is Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series. I love love love this series as I often mentioned before. Eva lent me the first two books of the series over a year ago and I was hooked.

 Last year at Christmas my mum got me Maggie Barbieri’s book “Quick Study” which was the third in the series. She actually thought that it was the first and on Christmas Day I ordered the first on Amazon. In the middle of reading it I ordered the second and they are wonderful cozy mysteries. One of the problems of living in Austria is that all these amazing mystery series and many other good books (e.g. Young Adult books) cannot be purchased in stores here. Major disadvantage from my point of view!

A friend of mine got me Rachel Gibson’s “Sex, Lies and Online Dating” this February for my birthday. She told me that the blurb reminded her of me and I was not so sure if I found this flattering.
The book is about a mystery writer, Lucy, who dates men online to do some research for her new book. At the same time there is a killer out there and she kills men she met online. One evening Lucy meets Quinn who is really an undercover cop working the killings and Lucy is a prime suspect until she discovers who the real murderer is.

And I am most thankful for receiving Terry Pratchett’s “Wyrd Sisters” from one of my father’s collegues. This book started my Terry Pratchett addiction. I got this book with the words: “Amazing series! You have to read it! This book is the perfect starter and you won’t regret reading it!”
Definitely so true! Thank you Bernd!

And  would like to also mention:
  • JoAnna Carl’s Chocoholic Mysteries
  • Cleo Coyle’s Coffeehouse Mysteries
  • Anne George’s Southern Sisters Mysteries
As you can see I am most thankful for US mystery series and fantasy novels but it’s not the case that I only read those it is just that I am reading so many different genres and those books are some of my favorites!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

... in color

Today is not really my day:
  • I woke up with a massive headache
  • I need to study for my test tomorrow
  • I really need to study for my exam on Friday
  • I am tired 
  • the sky is grey in grey (it was a wonderful week so far, so not really a reason to be grumpy about)
  • I am not motivated to do anything that's on my list

I found a wonderful picture in my huge picture archive that reminded me how to turn a not so lovely day into a lovely day and because I am sure that all of you need this reminder from time to time I will share it with you!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

... in books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by “The Broke and Bookish” and this weeks question is:

Top Ten Books That Have Been On My Shelf For The Longest But I've Never Read

I love buying books and from time to time a buy them more quickly than I read them. Due to the fact that I am reading both German and English books and I almost never leave a bookstore without buying myself a book I have a rather huge pile of books to be read.
So it wasn’t that difficult to find 10 books that lingered on my shelf for a long time which I haven’t read. They are in no order and definitely not the only ones but those who came to my mind first.

P.G. Wodehouse – Carry on, Jeeves

 Cecilia Ahern – Where rainbows end

Karen Joy Fowler – The case of the imaginary detective

 Delia Ephron – Hanging up

 Terry Pratchett – Sourcery 
(I love his books but I try not to read them one after the other because I want to save myself some for times I really need his crazy fantasy stories)

 Meg Cabot – Size 12 is not fat

 Arthur Golden – Memoirs of a Geisha

 Gerald Durell – My family and other animals

J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter (books 5-7)

Kate Fox – Watching the English

I know, I know, shame on me that I haven’t finished the Harry Potter series but honestly after the fourth book they became so violent. I stopped in the middle of the fifth book. I re-read the first three two times since then and I love them. So it is definitely not the series but just me hating violent children’s books (I don’t think that they really are children’s books but shops keep putting them in the kids section).

So that’s all from me today and I am looking forward reading you top ten lists!

Monday, November 14, 2011

... in pictures

Lately my dad told some friends that our dog Felix is the star on my German Photo Blog.
I am pretty sure that that is the case but just because he is a really nice model. On the other hand he is volatile as every animal. That is why I sometimes get pictures like this.

But now I want to introduce you to the one and only Felix! He is a very special edition of an Australian Shepherd. We released him from a shelter when he was just eight weeks old. That is why we don't have any idea what kind of breed he is. He looks a lot like an Australian Shepherd and he behaves like one as well but we are sure that there is some other breed in him as well.

He is now almost two and a half years old and he is the best dog ever. He needs lot of attention and loves to play, especially during his walks in the woods. Entertaining him is easy because as long as you throw sticks in different directions he is the happiest dog!

shortly before a stick gets thrown