Wednesday, July 31, 2013

My Life...

Monthly Rewind

  My Pic of July
  the Danube near Melk (Austria)
July in One Word 
During the month of July we had so many super hot days in Austria and over the last week we almost hit 40° Celsius on some days. The only things you could do where either sweat and read or sit outside (preferably either by a river or at the pool) and read. We had an amazing summer and I am usually one for warmer weather but almost 40° are too hot - even for me.

3 Things that Happened in July
  • Me and three other lovely book bloggers started reading Jane Austen's Mansfield Park together and I really enjoyed this whole new experience of buddy reading a book. 
  • I went to see Monsters University with a good friend and as always I loved the Pixar film - soooo much!
  • I spent some hours at my local bookstore browsing the shelves and just enoying my holidays.

Book I Read this Month
  • Marian Keyes - The Mystery of Mercy Close
  • Ally Carter - Heist Society
  • Carole Matthews - Sunshine, with a chance of snow
  • Lindsey Kelk - I heart New York 
  • Cassandra Clare - City of Bones 
  • Caroline B Cooney - The Face on the Milk Carton 
  • Jane Austen - Mansfield Park 
7 books 
  2367 pages 

  a TV series I liked this month
After I realized that I wasn't able to follow the new episodes of How I Met Your Mother I started watching it again from the start andright now I am in the middle of marathoning the fourth season.

Things I'm Looking Forward to in August
  • My trip to London with my mum at the beginning of the month. I adore this city and cannot tell you how much I am looking forward to going there again.
  • The Book Blogger Picnic me and my four best book blogging friends are organizing on Saturday the 24th of August at the Vondelpark in Amsterdam. For more information click here.
  • Those random summer afternoons I will have time to meet my friends in the last three weeks of August. I am working like crazy tutoring high schoolers in English and preparing them to pass an important exam at the beginning of September. So I won't have a lot of time but those free hours I will cherish.

Felix in July

Monday, July 29, 2013 pictures

This week's topic will be: 
Kunst / Art

Please link you post to mine in time. 

Submission period is between the 29th of July and the 5th of August
(11:59 pm CET).

Sunday, July 28, 2013 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.
After about a month of not buying books I finally caved in and bought some but this time I had to :)

A group of Book Blogger Friends (namely,
Kat from The Aussie Zombie, Daisy from Between the Pages and Celine from Nyx Book Reviews) and I decided to read Jane Austen's Mansfield Park and Claire La Zebnik's The Trouble with Flirting together. We almost finished Mansfield Park and will discuss The Troble with Flirting when we and Vicky from Books, Biscuits and Tea will meet in Amsterdam in August. 

If you haven't already seen the post: We will be hosting a Book Blogger Picnic on Saturday August the 24th, 2013. We will meet at 12 o'clock at 't Blauwe Theehuis in Vondelpark. We picked a rather well known spot so that everyone can find us but I am sure you will recognise a bunch of crazy (in a good way) bookish girls laughing and talking about books immediately. We will then look for the perfect spot to sit down, eat, drink and chat about books and blogging for as long as we want. So if you live close by or want to spend some days in Amsterdam then join us on the 24th for some bookish fun! We would love to meet you! (for more information click here)

So which books exactly did find a lovely home on my shelves? 
These ones:

The Trouble with Flirting by Claire LaZebnik
Mansfield Park by Jane Austen
The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson (Book 2 in the Shades of London series)
 Hex Hall, Demonglass and Spell Bound by Rachel Hawkins
Obsidian, Onyx and Opal by Jennifer L. Armentrout
The Heist by Janet Evanovich and Lee Goldberg
Silber by Kerstin Gier (1st book in a new series; in German)

I cannot wait to dive into these stories and explore new worlds. Which books did you get this week and are you planning on stopping by our Book Blogger Picnic?

Wednesday, July 24, 2013 pictures

Sorry for the delay this week guys but better late than never, right?
 Last week's topic was Tomatoes.
I really like tomatoes in all forms - as pasta sauce, with mozzarella and basil, as a snack,etc. 

This week's topic will be: 
Grün / Green

Please link you post to mine in time. 

Submission period is between the 24th and the 29th of July
(11:59 pm CET).

Tuesday, July 23, 2013 books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
This week the girls want to know my 
Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make You NOT pick up a book 

I don't have a lot of turn-off words when it conmes to books as everyone can see with my huge collection but there are three that make me put down books immediately. It does not matter how good the summary is, how many people recommend it on blogs, YouTube or in person, how much I adore the cover - if one of those words appear in the synposis I will not buy the book!

My turn-off words are:

  • World War Two
  • Cancer
  • and War in general 
I do kid you not a book about those topics will not be bought. I did buy one dealing with the second world war while I was in Berlin but this one didn't explicitly say on the back cover that it will deal with it and after I started it and discovered it I put it down and marked it as DNF. I just can't do it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

My Life...

Somehow my blog went on holidays last week! 

I really hope it went there!

It wasn't really a planned blogging break but definitely a needed one. Right now a lot of things are going on in my life and due to lack of time and to be honest a little lack of motivation I didn't put any posts up after my TTT post last Tuesday.

I have now filled my batteries again over the weekend and will be back again tomorrow with new posts.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.
This week the girls want to know my 
Top Ten Authors Who Deserve More Recognition

If you know me and have been reading my blog for a while now, I am sure that those ten authors do not come as a surprise. I read and reread their books regularly, always love them, have them on my auto-buy list and cannot recommending them.

Monday, July 15, 2013 pictures

I know that during my summer holidays I tend to do a lot of reading and not much else. So I decided to document last week with three photos per day just to see what I am doing on a "normal" summer day.

Monday started with a good cup of coffee in my favorite Elmo cup I bought in Perth two years ago, used during my three week road trip through Western Australia and brought home with me in one piece (I am still proud of my packing skills). We had around 30° Celsius but nevertheless I found the first gingerbread or Lebkuchen as they are called in Austria in the shops - in July! Come on guys! In the evening I was desperate to find the coolest place to write my reviews and I found it. I spent some time on my balcony reading and writing reviews and blog posts.

On Tuesday the sky was blue and no clouds could be spottet so I went for a walk with my dog Felix in the woods and in the evening took my Kindle and read a bit of Mansfield Park on the balcony - hurray for small clip-on reading lights.

I had to work on Wednesday and spent some time correcting the homework of the kid I'm tutoring in English at the moment. I also discovered how hard it can be to use English grammar correctly in texts. In the evening I watched two episodes of Gordon Ramsay's Ultimative Cookery Course and afterwards me, my Kindle, some salted peanuts and a white wine spritzer enjoyed the rest of the evening on the balcony - I see a theme here.

Thursday I enjoyed a walk with my mum and my dog. Whenever you are out on a walk with Felix he loves chasing sticks. That's never a problem when you're in the woods but we decided to drive to a big meadow we know and there we found hardly any sticks but as you can see in the bottom left picture we found a few and he ran after them yapping happily. In the evening I took down my London guide books and browsed through them on the look-out for places I've never been and shops I really want to see when I'm there again in August. It's a long list.

Friday was every booklover's dream! Me and a friend of mine went to our favorite bookstore and I only came home with four books. No wait; five books. I forgot to include my physical copy of Mansfield Park - whoops. In the afternoon I enjoyed some old episodes of How I met your mother and Felix enjoyed his nap.

I spent my morning reading in bed. Those are my favorite kinds of Saturday. In the afternoon I went to a friend for a BBQ before we went to our local pub to celebrate the birthdays of two good friends. I love getting together with a lot of my friends because it's always good fun. One of the boys got a robot race arena and the guys had nothing better to do than betting on which robot will win the fight. They spent approximately 30 minutes watching those tiny robots fight and me and a friend's girlfriend were the only girls there. I love my boys but at that moment I cursed myself for not bringing a book. In the end we had our BBQ and went out for drinks and I arrived home at 3 a.m. So it wasn't such a bad night.

I'm pretty sure my slightly hung over self would be the best picture for today but no way José so I'm telling you how sunny it was today and that I changed the ink container thingy on my printer which was wrapped in the funniest kind of bubble wrap.

All in all I had a fabulous week and if you want to see those weekly recaps more often, tell me in the comments. Have a wonderful week all of you and may your days be filled with reading!

Sunday, July 14, 2013 pictures

This week's topic will be: 
Tomaten / Tomatoes 

Please link you post to mine in time. 
Submission period is between the 15th and the 22nd of July
(11:59 pm CET).

Thursday, July 11, 2013 books

Guys, I cannot tell you how excited I am writing this post!

In August I will be in Amsterdam for a few days meeting up with four of my favorite book bloggers of all time:
Daisy from Between the Pages
Celine from Nyx Book Reviews

I am so looking forward to finally meeting these girls with whom I've been chatting regulary, who feel like some of my closest friends, with whom I shared opinions about great books and not to forget unraveled the big mystery of who-is-who in Jane Austen's novel Mansfield Park.

To make this trip even better we decided to host a Book Blogger Picnic in Vondelpark during our stay in Amsterdam. We were inspired by the Book Blogger Picnic that several of our American friends hosted during BEA this year and decided something as amazing should happen during out trip too.

So here are the details:
On Saturday August the 24th, 2013 at 12 o'clock we will be meeting at 't Blauwe Theehuis in Vondelpark. We picked a rather well known spot so that everyone can find us but I am sure you will recognise a bunch of crazy (in a good way) bookish girls laughing and talking about books immediately. We will then look for the perfect spot to sit down, eat, drink and chat about books and blogging for as long as we want.

So grab some food and drinks and join us for the fun!

So if you are living in the Netherlands or are coincidentally in Amsterdam over this weekend or want to come to the city for this picnic we would love to meet you all. Post a comment telling us that you'll join us so that we can be even more excited than we already are.

We are looking forward to meeting many new bookish friends!

The Book Blogger Picnic will be in:

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 pictures

This week's topic was Waves

I am a beach girl, even though Austria has no access to the ocean.
So whenever I have the opportunity to take photos of a lake, the sea, rivers or waves I take it.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013 books

Head Over Heels
by Jill Shalvis

You might want to read Simply Irresistible and The Sweetest Thing first
Otherwise this review might contain spoilers

First sentences:
It wasn't often that Chloe Traeger beat her sisters into the kitchen in the morning, but with Tara and Maddie currently sleeping with the town's two hottest hotties, it'd been only a matter of time.

Free-spirited Chloe lives life on the edge. Unlike her soon-to-be married sisters, she isn't ready to settle into a quiet life running their family's newly renovated inn. But soon her love of trouble--and trouble with love-draws the attention of the very stern, very sexy sheriff who'd like nothing better than to tame her wild ways.
Suddenly Chloe can't take a misstep without the sheriff hot on her heels. His rugged swagger and his enigmatic smile are enough to make a girl beg to be handcuffed. For the first time, instead of avoiding the law, Chloe dreams of surrender. Can this rebel find a way to keep the peace with the straitlaced sheriff? Or will Chloe's colorful past keep her from a love that lasts . . . and the safe haven she truly wants in a town called Lucky Harbor?

source: Goodreads

My opinion:
Head over Heels is the third book in the Lucky Harbor series and as entertaining and beautifully written as the first two. Simply Irresistible tells the story of Maddie, the middle sister, The Sweetest Thing the story of Tara, the oldest and Head over Heels focuses on Chloe, the youngest and the wild child of the bunch.

The atmosphere between Chloe, the wild child of the three sisters, always on the hunt for her next kick but often limited by her strong asthma attacks and Sawyer, Lucky Harbor's local sheriff isn't always the best due to Chloe's sometimes illegal adventures. The three sisters are not always on the same page when it comes to decisions about their inn and Chloe has to convince Maddie and Tara that her ideas concerning the inn are worth considering.

Chloe discovers her true passion and her place at the Lucky Harbor Inn. She still gets into trouble from time to time – without that it wouldn't be Chloe but she is also the considerate sister and friend.

And Sawyer, don't get me started on Sawyer...he's just adorable and such a caring guy. Somehow Jill Shalvis always manages to portray the men in her novels as almost perfect but not quite which makes them more realistic than others.

Head over Heels is a typical Jill Shalvis novel – wonderfully written, an entertaining and gripping story full of personal growth, romance, hot guys and sisterly love.

The books in the Lucky Harbor series are:
  • Simply Irresistible
  • The Sweetest Thing
  • Head Over Heels
  • Lucky In Love
  • At Last
  • Forever And A Day
  • Under The Mistletoe
  • It Had To Be You
  • Always On My Mind (expected publication: September, 2013)
  • Once Upon A Time (expected publication: February, 2014)

For more information about Jill Shalvis visit her Homepage, her Blog and herFacebook and Twitter page.

Monday, July 8, 2013 pictures

This week's topic will be:
Wellen / Waves 

Please link you post to mine in time. 
Submission period is between the 8th and the 15th of July
(11:59 pm CET).

Friday, July 5, 2013 pictures

This week's topic is 
Many beautiful flowers grow in my aunt's beautiful garden (for more pictures click here) but these were absolutely stunning and perfect for this week's photochallenge.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013 pictures

Last Sunday my whole family met at my aunt's for a BBQ and to celebrate some birthdays. Both my uncles, my aunt, my mum and my oldest cousin were born between March and June and so we usually celebrate their birthdays together and while most of my family were occupied with one of the presents my cousin got I took my camera and went for a stroll around my aunt's magical, fairy-like garden.
The blackberries started turning dark,

 the bumblebees are busy around the lavender,

the redcurrant will need a bit more sun to ripen and a lot of beautiful flowers are in full bloom.

Big and small lanterns are hung all around the garden

and many lovely bits and bobs are hidden between the flowers.

 Wild grass is dancing in the wind just outside the gates and 

  inside at the pond roses are blooming. 

 This little fellow guards the strawberries 

 and the apples are already starting to turn red. 

If you liked this little trip through Elfi's garden you might want to check out her blog where she regularly posts updates from this beautiful little corner of the world.