Saturday, March 31, 2012

... in pictures

Last week I told you here about the book I gave to the sweet little baby boy of a friend. 
His first book and he got it from me. 
Well I have a reputation to uphold, right?

I also said that I forgot to take a picture of the book and guess what...

My friend reads my blog, which by the way I find so sweet and I am amazed all the time (yes, I still think I am writing this for me and no one else), and she read this entry as well.

She took a picture of her baby and my book and sent it to me. The text also said: "Yesterday we read it to him already!"

Don't I have the best friends in the world?

Friday, March 30, 2012

... in pictures

This week’s topic at the Photochallenge was Water
You have no idea how appropriate this is today.
It is raining like crazy and temperatures dropped over night. Next week there will be a chance for snow again. 
Thank you April!

Next week’s topic will be
Fire / Feuer

I am really looking forward to your pictures and please link you post to mine in time.
Submission period is between the 30th of March and the 7th of April.
(11:59 pm CET)

... in pictures

Happy Birthday!

It's my mum's birthday today!
We are a bookish family that is why my mum only got for her birthday! 
Six novels and one guidebook for the Southwest of the United States. 
She and my dad will go to Phoenix and the Grand Canyon next week. 
Hope she has a wonderful day!

Love you!

... in books

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by the lovely Ginger at GReads!

This week’s question is perfect for a rainy Friday like this.
Book Blogger Retreat: If you could gather up a handful of book blogger friends to spend a weekend away talking books, where would you go? Tell us about it.

I love the ocean! I can’t think of anything that relaxes me more than sitting at the beach listening to the waves coming in, smelling the salty air and dreaming or not thinking at all.
Unfortunately Austria is an inner land and so we have NO ocean. Karin sad :( 

Copyright: Karin Maier
 This is why I would spend my weekend away at some coast with my bookish friends. For all (European) friends I would suggest the Croatian coast – wonderful ocean, crystal clear water, pebble beach, nice and friendly people and amazing food.
We should rent a house there and spend our weekend – could we make a week out of it? – sitting at the beach or the terrace (drinking iced tea) laughing, talking about books and in the evening we could go to one of the wonderful restaurants around the house and have a wonderful dinner. *sigh

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

... in books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by TheBroke and Bookish and this week 
they want to know our
Top Ten Books That I'd Play Hooky With....

German cover
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

my all time favourite German book
Gretchen Sackmeier by Christine Nöstlinger

each and every one of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels

The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare

 Heartless by Gail Carriger

with every book of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld series

From Notting Hill with Love…Actually by Ali McNamara

and due to the fact that I named three whole series in this TTT I will now close this post and will grab a book from my shelf and start reading. University starts tomorrow at ten so I need to by finished by then.

Monday, March 26, 2012

... in pictures

View from my desk right now

... in books

The Juliet Club
by Suzanne Harper

The author:
Suzanne Harper has published two young adult novels, The Secret Life of Sparrow Delaney and The Juliet Club. She is currently working on a third young adult novel and a middle-grade series.
She has also written three original novels based on the Hannah Montana TV series (Rock the Waves, In the Loop, and Swept Up) and a number of novels (under the pen name N. B. Grace) based on High School Musical.
Her nonfiction books include: Boitano’s Edge: Inside the Real World of Figure Skating (with Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano), The Real Spy's Guide to Becoming a Spy (with Peter Earnest, executive director of the International Spy Museum), Terrorists, Tornados,and Tsunamis: How to Prepare for Life’s Danger Zones (with Lt. Col. John C. Orndorff), and Hands On! 33 More Things Every Girl Should Know: Skills for Living Your Life from 33 Extraordinary Women.
She earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and English from the University of Texas-Austin and a master's degree in creative writing from the University of Southern California. She now lives in New York City.
source: HarperTeen

First sentence:
“Which one of Johnny Burwell’s eyebrows do you think is cuter?” Sarah asked.

Italy . . . Shakespeare . . . but no romance?
Kate Sanderson inherited her good sense from her mother, a disciplined law professor, and her admiration for the Bard from her father, a passionate Shakespeare scholar. When she gets dumped, out of the blue, for the Practically Perfect Ashley Lawson, she vows never to fall in love again. From now on she will control her own destiny, and every decision she makes will be highly reasoned and rational. She thinks Shakespeare would have approved.
So when she is accepted to a summer Shakespeare symposium in Verona, Italy, Kate sees it as the ideal way to get over her heartbreak once and for all. She'll lose herself in her studies, explore ancient architecture, and eat plenty of pasta and gelato. (Plus, she'll be getting college credit for it – another goal accomplished ) But can even completely logical Kate resist the romance of living in a beautiful villa in the city where those star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet met and died for each other? Especially when the other Shakespeare Scholars – in particular Giacomo, with his tousled brown hair, expressive dark eyes, and charming ways – try hard to break her protective shell?
source: Goodreads

My opinion:
"In fair Verona, where we lay our scene . . . "
That is the beginning of William Shakespeare’s tragedy “Romeo and Juliet” and fair Verona is also the city where Suzanne Harper’s novel “The Juliet Club” is set.

The story takes us to Verona with Kate, a smart high school student who was heartbroken for the first time by her boyfriend and who now renounces love, and her father, a Shakespeare scholar and professor. Kate got accepted to a seminar during her summer holidays for studying Shakespeare and his famous play “Romeo and Juliet”. Her father accompanies her because he is one of the professors teaching a course there.

Kate soon meets the handsome Giacomo, son of Francesca Marchese, organizer of the seminar, also a Shakespeare scholar and an enemy of Kate’s dad due to the fact that she seems to be more present in the media and she also wrote a novel about Shakespeare which he thinks is not acceptable.

The story is told in five acts and entr’actes and reveals what happens during the Shakespeare seminar and in the love lives of the seminar participants (thank god we get to know three boys and three girls better). I like the idea of the story being told in acts just like Shakespearean plays. It is a nice bonus.  

At the seminar participants are grouped and one specific professor will lecture them during the whole symposium.
Although the participants of Kate’s seminar group need to answer letters that were sent to Juliet, this part of the story – the title giving one – isn’t a major storyline. I haven’t really grasped why they had to answer those letters when it was announced that participants will study “Romeo and Juliet” at this seminar.

I am a sucker for all books dealing with Shakespeare, his life and his plays so I basically had to read this book. It tells a wonderful love story and is an entertaining read but some of it is rather predictable. Nonetheless “The Juliet Club” is a nice book to read on a sunny day.

The Juliet Club is available at Amazon for $8,99/ EUR 6,99/ £5,25 and for your Kindle too. You can also buy it at Book Depo for $8,44/ EUR 6,37/ £5,31.

For more information and extras on “The Juliet Club” visit Suzanne Harper's homepage.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

... in books

In My Mailbox is a weekly meme hosted by Kristie from The Story Siren.

This week, as some of you read on my Twitter account, I went a bit book crazy…what else is new?

On Wednesday I had some time during lectures and went to a bookstore, left it after 90 minutes and had bought some new books.

One I gave to a friend right away. Do you remember my good friend who just got a baby boy? 

We met on Wednesday afternoon and because I have the reputation of being complete bookaholics, I thought that this little bundle of joy needs a book as well. So he got his first picture book. I know it is a wee bit to early for him to appreciate it but I wanted to be the first. I forgot to take a picture of the book so I am not able to show it to you but it was a small one with pictures of lions, cars, etc. in it. You know what I mean, right?

All the other books were for me :)

My Life Undecided by Jessica Brody
a wonderful story about a high school kid who regularly makes wrong decisions and starts a blog to let the world wide web decide what she should do…hilarious

There is a book trailer for this novel too:

Cassandra Clare’s Clockwork Angel
I read City of Bones and I have City of Ashes and City of Glass at home and I just needed the Infernal Device series as well. I behaved myself a bit there because I only bought the first book and not both.

Welcome to Rosie Hopkins’ Sweet Shop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan
Sweets! Do I NEED to say more?

Mike Gayle’s The Stag and Hen Weekend
I love Mike Gayle’s books. They are so entertaining and unpredictable. I love it when a book does not have the ending you expect or if it is so entertaining that you don’t think about how it might end. If you haven’t read a Mike Gayle you should definitely do so!

The Boyfriend Bylaws by Susan Hatler
A girl who is not so successful in being in a relationship lets her best friend direct her love life. Sound like a fun read to me.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

... in TV series

Hey guys, I found a new weekly meme at The Weekly Enthusiast. She does a Fantastic Five Friday which was inspired by our beloved Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and Bookish.

The Weekly Enthusiast’s blog is about all kind of series and TV shows and her meme questions are TV show related.

This week she wants to know my
Five TV Relationships that I Will Go Down With

I am a huge fan of TV series. Always have been and hopefully always will be. So this meme gave me plenty of relationships to choose from.

First there definitely are Luke and Lorelai. I can’t understand those people who favour Christopher. Luke is the guy for her. He is so sweet and you can see this adoration he has for her right from the beginning. I kind of got angry with the writers when they introduced April – how lame is that. Finally Luke and Lorelai are together and then there must be some kind of twist to bring them apart. Come on! But I so want to believe that they are now happily married with adorable kids and a huge weekly coffee stock.

Next I have to name Castle and Beckett or better Rick and Kate. How cool is that; their names have the same number of letters. I love this series and I am so longing for these two to start a relationship. Here in Austria the fourth season just started so I just got introduced to the new captain but what’s way more important is that I want to know how this story continues. Will they ever be together?

When I was a teen I was a huge fan of Full House. After I saw almost each episode twice or three times I kind of forgot about it but two years ago I discovered it on DVD. I bought the first season and after watching it begged my dad to bring them back from the States.
I always loved Jesse and Becky! They were the perfect couple – and still are!

Another series I watched when I was a teen was Saved by the Bell. Does anyone still know it? It was this crazy story about six high school friends and I always wanted Zack and Kelly to become a couple. This series follows them through high school and college and in the end there is this great big wedding and I cried and cried and cried.

One TV relationship I always loved isn’t a relationship in a couple kind of way. I am talking about Will Truman and Grace Adler. He is a gay lawyer and she is a kind of insane and insecure interior designer. These two have a friendship that can be classified as a relationship and it is the ultimate friendship two characters can have. I always hoped to find someone with whom I can share as much as Grace can share with Will. Still looking….any volunteers?

These are my five TV relationships that I will go down with. Try it yourself it is fun…thinking about TV shows you are watching or have been watching, figuring out what a perfect relationship is for you and bringing or trying to bring the epicness (is it a word?) of it into words. Trip down memory lane!

Friday, March 23, 2012

... in pictures

what a wonderful topic for this week’s Photochallenge!

As many of you know, I live in Vienna – the capital of Austria. Definitely urban! So this topic was quite easy for me.  I just took my camera with me and started wandering the city. Spring arrived in Vienna this week and I took a lot of pictures of blooming flowers (which you can see here) and it took me some time to find a motive I thought expresses what I see as urban.

In the end I had six pictures I really liked so I did a collage and will be posting six photos instead of one. 

to enlarge click on the image
What I want to do now is tell you why these pictures express “urban” for me.
  • at the center of the collage is a photo of a typical playground for kids in the city center. I think it looks kind of depressing and as you can see in the background it is right next to a street (two streets actually).
  • the one above the playground is typically urban. It was taken at “the ring”, a street that goes around the first district, Vienna’s city center. The first district is now only a small part of Vienna but originally it was Vienna and the ring is now where the city wall had been. Today it is a busy street as you can see – lots of car, bikes and trams.
  • below the playground and in the upper left corner you can see people enjoying the sun. Vienna has lots of parks where you can go. Some of them even have nicer playgrounds. You can also enjoy the weather at the Donaukanal (upper left corner).
  • at the bottom left corner you see two tourists taking photos before city hall. I passed them on my way to university the other day I the first thought that came to my mind was that there must exists thousands of these touristy pictures taken before a sight so this pictures is nothing typical Viennese but something typical for any bigger city in the world.
  • and last but not least you can see one little lonesome yellow flower in the middle of the city. Which I think brings a bit of outskirts feeling to the city!
The challenge for next week will be to take pictures to the following topic:
Water / Wasser

I am really looking forward to your pictures and please link you post to mine in time.
Submission period is between the 23rd and the 31st of March.
(11:59 pm CET)

... in books

TGIF is a weekly meme hosted by Ginger at GReads!

This week she wants to know:
Bookish Trends: 
What are some bookish trends you are noticing in the literature world today?
Is there a particular trend you'd like to see more of?

The first thing that popped to my mind was that there is (even in Austria) a huge section of English YA books in most bookstores. You can also find the German translations of many YA novels like, Starcrossed, The Mortal Instruments (they kept their English title even in German) and The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy.

some German covers

When I was a teen I was just starting my now huge English section on my bookshelves and most of them were adult novels and brought from the US, when my dad went there on business. This definitely changed. I think that authors finally realized that there is not only a market for children’s and adult’s literature. Young adults finally have their own genre and this is amazing. I love reading YA novels and I hope that this trend will continue because I think that teens have different (reading) needs than kids and adults.

Another bookish trend is that during the last two years or so a lot of book dealing with witches, vampires and werewolves were published. Don’t get me wrong, I love them but sometimes it would be nice to read a recently published (YA) novel without a paranormal twist.

A huge deal right now are dystopian novels. They are popping up everywhere! I like reading different genres and I also read dystopian but sometimes it irritates me that books and genres get hyped so much. It seems like a lot of publishers are like “Oh, this and this dystopian novel sells well, we have to publishes one too!”

To end this rambling, I would like to say that I love seeing people read and especially kids and teens because I always hope that they will stay avid readers throughout their lives and I think that the trend to writing and publishing YA novels (either in English or in German) is a good way to keep teens reading. I also love seeing so many different genres in the YA and also in the adults section in bookstores but sometimes I would appreciate it if there would be more variety in publishing (so not ten new dystopian YA novels and then ten paranormal YA novels). How about a little mix and match?

Have a nice weekend and enjoy the sunshine 
(hopefully the sun is shining wherever you are)

Thursday, March 22, 2012

... in pictures

During the last week spring made its appearance here in Vienna – temperatures rose, the sun was shining, we had this beautiful light blue spring sky, flowers are blooming …
That is why I took my camera and made a little tour through the woods and parks and took some spring pictures. 

soft colors almost get lost against the fallen leaves
blooming willow
wild garlic leaves

all around Vienna flowers get planted

blooming Japanese cherries
blooming Japanese cherries against the blue sky