Friday, January 23, 2015

On a grey day in the ancient city of Prague ...

Daughter of Smoke and Bone
by Laini Taylor

First sentence: 
Walking to school over the snow-muffled cobbles, Karou had no sinister premonition about the day.  

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

source: Goodreads 

My opinion:

Since this book came out in 2011 everybody raved about it. I had it on my shelf for quite a while now and I was so glad when we picked it as our book club book for April since I was planning on reading it in April anyway because of my trip to Prague – the city where Karou lives. I thought it would be a great idea to read the book while being there.

I started reading it on the bus journey from Vienna to Prague and was hook from the first sentence. Laini Taylor’s way of writing immediately appealed to me and I fell in love head over heels. I like reading fantasy novels but mixing in a city I like and know well made the book even more interesting. I liked how through Laini’s writing the whole story started playing in my head like a movie.

Karou is also a kick-ass heroine. She lives a weird life in comparison to ours and her shifting between the earth as we know it and Elsewhere adds another dimension to the story (no pun intended). She, who doesn’t know where she really belongs and where she’s originally from, has a family of, let’s call them monsters and loves them unconditionally. They took care of her while she was growing up and became her family even though they kept huge secrets from her – as she later discovers.

The different characters in the book are all special in their own way. Karou as the girl jumping between worlds, Zuzana, Karou’s best friend who is her family in Prague and who stays at her side no matter what, Akiva, who might be Karou’s destiny and all the different monsters living in Brimstone’s shop. I loved them all and would really enjoy seeing how Laini Taylor imagined them and how it differs from the way I think they look like.

All in all I can only recommend you reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone because it not only is a beautifully writing story with a fantastic world and amazing characters but the story also takes some unexpected twists and turns that could lead to you forgetting time and place. Yes, I managed to miss my stop not once but twice and I also arrived almost 45 minutes late for work while reading this book and if that doesn’t convince you that taking a trip into Laini Taylor’s well developed world of Prague and Elsewhere I don’t know what could.

For more information about Laini Taylor visit her Homepage or Twitter page.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

My Top Ten Books I already own and really want to read in 2015!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish.  
This week is Freebie-Week for Top Ten Tuesday!
Since I am currently tying to give the books I own a fair chance to get read, 
I decided to tell you
My Top Ten Books I already own and really want to read in 2015!

Timeless by Gail Carriger
which I want to read before Prudence comes out this March

Waistcoats & Weaponry also by Gail Carriger
which I want to read before Manners & Mutiny is published in November 2015

Explosive Eighteen by Janet Evanovich
because I need my regular Stephanie Plum fix

A Skeleton in the Family by Leigh Perry
I received this one as a Christmas gift and am soooo interested in it

Seeing Other People by Mike Gayle
which I was so excited to find before its publication date but still haven't read it

the final books in Jill Shalvis' Lucky Harbor series

the final books in Shannon Stacey's Kowalski Family series

Demonglass by Rachel Harris
because I've had it for ages and really want to know how the story continues

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
because I've also had it for years and I've enjoyed book 1 and 2

Thursday, January 15, 2015

How my TBR pile will accompany me through 2015

 According to Plato my house has a soul but recently I felt a bit overwhelmed by all my unread books!

I have a lot of unread books - a LOT! I'm not talking about 50 to 80 but more like 200. I either bought them or got them as a gift and I am rather ruthless in sorting through them on a regular basis and donating books I'm no longer interested in or have read and don't feel the need to keep. So currently there are many unread books on my shelves, I would love to read and am interested in. So I decided to make 2015 - as so many others do too - my year of diminishing my TBR pile. I want to give the books I own a fair chance. I also am in the middle of many series and wanted to finish some. I'm not saying, I won't be buying books this year - hell, no! - I just want to be sure I need this book before buying it. I'm not setting myself a goal like read them all by 2016 (way too unrealistic) or diminish it by half (I don't even know howmany unread books I own - so not the best idea). I just want to read what I own.

For the last 2 weeks, I started quite some books and put them back because they didn't feel right. Some might call it a reading slump. Maybe it was but I embraced it. I watched a lot of movies on Netflix or DVD, watched some YouTube videos and during January I'm usually pretty busy with university - taking exams or studying like a crazy person.

Yesterday I picked up the first book in a cozy mystery series which I love but haven't finished. I started and finished it in just over two hours and enjoyed every second. I found my reading mojo due to an old favorite and this time I decided to keep up with this series. Let's see how this goes.

So thanks to JoAnna Carl's The Chocolate Cat Caper for helping find my reading mojo again!

Monday, January 5, 2015

It's Finally Bout of Books Time Again

It's that time again - it's time for Bout of Books!
Bout of Books is a week long read-a-thon hosted by the amazing ladies Amanda and Kelly and it is a chance for us readers to make an effort to minimize the number of books on our TBR pile. It's a time for reading, cheering each other on and just having fun with all the amazing people in the book blogging community.

The Bout of Books read-a-thon is organized by Amanda @ On a Book Bender and Kelly @ Reading the Paranormal. It is a week long read-a-thon that begins 12:01am Monday, January 5th and runs through Sunday, January 11th in whatever time zone you are in. Bout of Books is low-pressure. There are challenges, giveaways, and a grand prize, but all of these are completely optional. For all Bout of Books 12 information and updates, be sure to visit the Bout of Books blog.

This time Amanda and Kelly decided to not ask the participants to set goals to take the preassure out of this week. I will not set myself any goals other than reading more than I did the last weeks.

If you want to participate go check out all the details at the Bout of Books website. I can highly recommend joining because it really is a fun filled bookish week.

Bout of Books Daily Updates

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Friday, January 2, 2015

Books I Read In 2014

  • Ally Carter - Uncommon Criminals
  • Ally Carter - Double Crossed
  • Ali McNamara - Breakfast at Darcy's 
  • Kady Cross - The Strange Case of Finely Jayne
  • Gerhard Elfers - 111 Reasons to love London (German book)
  • Kady Cross - The Girl in the Steel Corset 
  • Katie Fforde - Recipe for Love 
  • Derek Landy - Skulduggery Pleasant
  • Richard Castle - Heat Wave
  • Shannon Stacey - Exclusively Yours 
  • Gervase Phinn - Trouble at the Little Village School 
  • Shannon Stacey - Undeniably Yours
  • Michelle Madow - The Secret Diamond Sisters
  • Rae Carson - The Girl of Fire and Thorns
  • Niki Glattauer - Leider hat Lukas... (German book)
  • Spencer Quinn - Dog on It
  • Rachel Gibson - Daisy's Back in Town
  • Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg - Pros and Cons 
  • Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg - The Heist
  • Tahereh Mafi - Shatter Me (DNF)
  • Terry Pratchett - Unseen Academicals 
  • Kasie West - The Distance Between Us (DNF)
  • Rachel Gibson - Simply Irresistible
  • Rainbow Rowell - Eleanor and Park
  • Robin Benway - Also Known As 
  • Laini Taylor - Daughter of Smoke and Bone
  • Janet Evanovich - Lean Mean Thirteen
  • Rick Riordan - Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
  • Darynda Jones - First Grave on the Right 
  • Shannon Stacey - Yours to Keep 
  • Jill Shalvis - It Had To Be You 
  • Kristin Rae -Wish You Were Italian
  • Hera Lind - Das Superweib (German book)
  • Cassandra Clare - City of Ashes
  • Chris Ewan - The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam
  • Sarah Dessen - The Truth About Forever 
  • Katie Cotugno - How to Love 
  • Rachel Hawkins - Hex Hall 
  • Colleen Helme - Carrots
  • Terry Pratchett - Going Postal 
  • Paul Acampora - I Kill the Mockingbird
  • Jennifer L. Armentrout - Obsidian
  • Jay Asher & Carolyn Mackler - The Future Of Us 
  • Gail Carriger - Blameless
  • Stephanie Perkins - Anna and the French Kiss
  • Shannon Stacey - All He Ever Needed 
  • Janet Evanovich - Fearless Fourteen
  • Terry Pratchett - Making Money
  • Bernie Su & Kate Rorick - The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet
  • Rachel Gibson - Daisy's Back in Town
  • Terry Pratchett - Raising Steam 
  • Colleen Helme - Fast Money 
  • Lindsey Kelk - About a Girl 
  • C.J. Daugherty - Night School 
  • Janet Evanovich - Finger Lickin' Fifteen 
  • Richelle Mead - Shadow Kiss
  • Ally Carter - Perfect Scoundrels 
  • Rob Thomas & Jennifer Graham - Veronica Mars: The Thousand Dollar Tan Line 
  • Cleo Coyle - On What Grounds 
  • Noelle August - Boomerang
  • Rachel Gibson - Crazy on You
  • Rachel Gibson - Rescue Me 
Rachel Gibson's Crazy on You was the 61st book I read this year, which means that I officially finished my Goodreads Challenge in August!

  • Maureen Johnson - 13 Little Blue Envelopes
  • Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg - The Chase
  • Kady Cross - The Girl in the Clockwork Collar
  • Shannon Stacey - All He Ever Desired
  • Kady Cross - The Dark Discovery of Jack Dandy 
  • Terry Pratchett - Guards! Guards!
  • Janet Evanovich - Sizzling Sixteen
  • Ali McNamara - From Notting Hill with Love...Actually 
  • Christopher Healy - The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom
  • Rachel Gibson - Runs To You
  • Kerstin Gier - Ruby Red
  • Colleen Gleason - The Clockwork Scarab
  • Ali McNamara - From Notting Hill to New York...Actually 
  • Julie James - Something About You
  • Jenn McKinlay - Books Can Be Deceiving 
  • Jenn McKinlay - Due or Die 
  • Gail Carriger - Etiquette & Espionage
  • Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg - The Shell Game 
  • Darynda Jones - Second Grave on the Left
  • Kerstom Gier - Dream a Little Dream (German Edition) 
  • Cecilia Ahern - Where Rainbows End 
  • Gail Carriger - Heartless
  • Gail Carriger - Curtsies & Conspiracies 
  • Janet Evanovich - Smokin' Seventeen 
  • Jill Shalvis - It Had To Be You 
  • Jill Shalvis - Merry Christmas Baby
  • Janet Evanovich & Lee Goldberg - The Job
  • Cleo Coyle - Through the Grinder
  • Michael Bond - A Bear Called Paddington
  • Terry Pratchett - The Light Fantastic
  • Meike Winnemuth - Das gro├če Los (German Book)
  • Jill Shalvis - Always On My Mind 

In 2014 I read
94 books,
did not finish 2 of them,
read 39662 pages 
(40312 pages if I count the DNFs too - which I don't),
which are on average 108,7 pages per day,
431 pages per book and
finished my Goodreads Reading Challenge (goal: 60 books) in August.