My Reading Month August

I know it is very late for a reading month August since it is already October, but what the hell…here goes nothing.🙂 Slowly I feel that I have my reading groove back at least I had it back for a short time due to late summer nights on my balcony and a nice stress level at work that made me grab an audiobook or two. Yet the groove to publish content more regularly has not yet returned in full force. But I am happy about a little force as well. All in all, I am quite happy with the month of August.

  • Books: 4
  • Audiobooks: 6
  • Pages (only books): 956
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 4300
  • Minutes listened: 6779min. (almost 13 hours)

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Maggie Stiefvater and Jackson Pearce – Pip Bartlett und die magischen Tiere: Die brandgefährliche Fussels/ Pip Bartlett*s Guide to Magical Creatures

My first read this month is also the book that has gotten me out of my little low. This book is such a lovely story with a wonderful and rich world of magical creatures and great ideas. I enjoyed every minute of the story as well as the beautiful illustrations. A great children’s adventure story about magical creatures and a girl who can talk to them.

Kerstin Rottland – Agathe Bond: Cool wie das Wasser im Pool

Another fantastic and adventurous read is this spy novel with a tortoise as the main protagonist and major spy. A hilarious and fantastic story with beautiful illustrations, quite some adventure and a lot of spy equipment hidden in one small tortoise-shell.

Dora Heldt – Jetzt mal anders

This collection of columns written by a well-known German author were entertaining, sweat, and short. I did not feel the pressure of having to read the book cover to cover but pick it up when I felt like it. The stories cover a wide range of everyday topics and observations.

Martina Sahler – Matilda und die Sommersonneninsel

This young adult book or early teen book – whatever age range this is supposed to cover – is a wonderful summer read for young girls as the story centers around a group of young girls and their long summer vacation. Short, sweat, and entertaining.



Kirstin Cashore – Die Flammende / Fire

I have read this book some years ago and I enjoyed every page of it. The same holds true for the audiobook. It was as riveting and exiting as I remembered the book to be. A wonderful fantasy novel with a great protagonist. I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

Eve Chase – Black Rabbit Hall

A family drama with two different timelines that intertwine towards the end. Though I felt like I could predict what was going to happen, the author had the uncanny ability to make me doubt my previously made decisions. The story kept my on my toes and was an entertaining and thrilling audiobook. A great read or better a great listen.

Frauke Scheunemann – Ziemlich unverhofft

The second book centering around the protagonist Nicola was another entertaining and fun audiobook. I returned to the world, the people, and a similar chaotic life of the protagonist with pleasure and passion. Though I was a little annoyed by the story line with her neighbor Tiziano and this attempt at some sort of love triangle thing…the remainder of the story was great.

Lucinda Riley – Der Lavendelgarten/ The Lavender Garden

My second Riley novel was another audiobook for the win column. The story was set in two different times (as seems to be the case with Mrs. Riley) and follows the family history of Emily de la Martiniere – her struggle to maintain a family legacy and the struggles of her family in WWII. The story was riveting, the characters were sympathetic and likeable, both story lines drew the reader in yet were slow enough to enjoy the beauty of the scenery the narrative was set in as well as the writing.

Sarah Lark – Das Lied der Maori (#2) / Der Ruf des Kiwis (#3)

These two audiobooks are the second and third installment in a family tale. I enjoyed the first immensely and wanted to continue with the narrator and the author and the family story. We follow the descendants of the two women that came to New Zealand in the first book – trying to survive in a world and situation that they cannot escape and if they do, they have to endure a lot of pain and suffering.
Though I think you could have listened to these audio books individually without a specific order in mind, I was happy that I listened to them how it was intended. The books were a little more intense than the previous one especially the third installment. This is not necessarily for times when you as a reader are in emotional distress or more vulnerable because the story includes quite an ordeal of abuse and rape into these books. I had to stop on occasion. Despite those scenes the books were very good.

A lack of motivation, reading slumps and that darn time consuming thing called work

I am not sure why this has hit me so hard lately. While I was at times even more stressed or even more busy than I am now, I often lack motivation when I come home after work. I did change from a part-time job and writing my PhD thesis alongside that job to a full-time job in another different yet not completely alien field. But when I get home … well, I just can’t be bothered to read a book or sometimes even listen to an audiobook. I was also not really motivated to write reviews and come up with any kind of content for my blog. Maybe that’s because I am starring at a computer for such a long time everyday that I am relieved when I don’t have to.

It stressed me out in the beginning – the lack of content on my blog, the lack of books on my night stand, the stagnating number of books in my Goodreads challenge. Somehow that seemed to increase my reading slump or my lack of motivation. I lost the enjoyment of reading. I am slowly coming back from this with small, short and enjoyable books that are not daunting and preferable children’s books or Agatha Christie’s. They always get me into my comfortable zone. I also reduced my Goodreads challenge to 30 books instead of 45. This also reduced a lot of self-imposed pressure.


Yet, I am not sure I can maintain this happy feeling. A lot of things are changing at work again and I have to find my rhythm – again. And then there are those moments in live that show you how short it can be. My friend had a severe brain infection and though it was a miracle that she made it out of this okay, another friend then got hit by a car with severe brain trauma and several emergency surgeries. Life is full of surprises and sadly not only good ones. I love reading and I love to dive into new worlds, funny stories, and great adventures, but I also need to go back and live some more of these adventures. The older I got, the more I achieved or felt like I have to achieve, the more I lost track of the living my life part. So I will try to find a new rhythm of living, working, reading, blogging, and adventures. But that might also mean a more or less regular content on my blog (though I will get my reading months up soon since I simply forgot to post August) and just an occasional sign of life on my Instagram. I hope you bear with me.🙂

Maggie Stiefvater & Jackson Pearce – Pip Bartlett und die Magischen Tiere: Die brandgefährlichen Fussels/ Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures (Incl. English Review)

  • Hardcover
  • Verlag: Heyne>fliegt
  • veröffentlicht: 2015
  • Seiten: 340


Die neunjährige Pip Bartlett hat eine besondere Gabe: Sie kann mit magischen Tieren sprechen – mit Einhörnern, Seidengreifen und Hopp-Grackeln. Mit Eltern und Lehrern klappt die Verständigung allerdings manchmal nicht so gut. Weshalb Pip in den Sommerferien wegen des Einhorn-Vorfalls (wer denkt denn auch, dass die so doof sind!) zu ihrer Tante Emma verbannt wird. Emma leitet eine Praxis für magische Tiere, und begeistert plaudert Pip den ganzen Tag mit den verrücktesten Geschöpfen, die man je gesehen hat. Doch dann taucht ein abenteuerliches Problem auf, nämlich Unmengen von Fussels. Das Schlimme an diesen kleinen pelzigen Wesen: Wenn sie sich aufregen, gehen sie in Flammen auf … Hier können nur Pip und ihr neuer Freund Thomas helfen. (Heyne>fliegt)

An exciting new series full of magical creature, whimsical adventures and quirky illustrations. Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. And her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. When things go amok, Pip consults JEFFREY HIGGLESTON’S GUIDE TO MAGICAL CREATURES — a fun guide to such entities that Pip adds to from time to time. (Amazon)

In Kürze/In (Very) Short:

+ ein wunderbares Abenteuer mit magischen Tieren
+ tolle Illustrationen und tolle Buchgestaltung
+ sympathische Figuren und Kreaturen und einen schönen Bösewicht
+ a great adventure story with magical creatures
+ beautiful illustrations and an overall stunning design
+ loveable characters and a wonderfully wicked villain

Meinung/My Opinion:

Pip Bartlett kann mit magischen Tieren sprechen und sorgt damit für ein Riesenchaos beim Schulprojekt. Als Strafe muss Pip zu ihrer Tante, die eine Tierarztpraxis für magische Tiere hat. Nicht wirklich eine Strafe für Pip – wenn man von ihrer Cousine einmal absieht –, die hier nicht nur ihre Fähigkeiten einsetzen kann, sondern auch gleich noch ein paar magische und nicht-magische Freunde kennenlernt. Mit denen muss sie die Stadt vor den brandgefährlichen Fussels retten.

Das Buch ist ein wunderbare Kinderbuch mit einer liebenswerten Protagonistin, tollen Kreaturen, einem spannenden Abenteuer und einer schönen Botschaft am Ende.

Das Autorenduo hat wirklich eine tolle Welt mit wunderbaren Figuren und sehr schönen Kreaturen erschaffen. Diese sind liebenswert und chaotisch – wie z.B. Pip, das Einhorn Regent Maximus, Thomas, der auf magische Tiere mit magischen Allergien reagiert, und der mürrische Seidengreif Blubber. Natürlich gibt es auch einen wunderbar unsympathischen weiblichen Bösewicht und eine nervige Cousine.

Die Geschichte ist wirklich niedlich und schnelllebig, das Buch ist sehr schön gestaltet mit Zeichnungen zu den jeweiligen Wesen und ist in blau gehalten. Die Zeichnungen sind wirklich wunderbar und entzückend. Der Schreibstil ist angenehm, flott und zum Thema und Buch passend.

Vielen Dank an den Heyne>fliegt Verlag für die Bereitstellung des Rezenzionsexemplars.

Pip can talk to magical creatures and gets into trouble. As a punishment she has to spend her summer with her aunt who is a veterinarian and treats magical animals. Not really a big punishment for Pip. She quickly makes new friends and soon has to find a way to save the city from little flammable creatures.

This books is a wonderful children’s book with a loveable protagonist, wonderful creatures, an exiting little adventure and a lovely message at the end.

The authors have created an interesting and divers world with some unique and beautiful magical creatures. Who doesn’t love a scared and scatterbrained unicorn – who has way to many anxieties and issues. Alongside the many likeable characters (Pip, Thomas, Pip’s aunt Emma, Regent Maximus – the unicorn and many more) are of course a wonderfully wicked villain and an annoying teenage cousin.

The story is fast-paced and adorable, the book is beautifully illustrated and the illustrations as well as the pages are kept in blue. The writing is fluent, fast, and fitting for the age range it was written for.

Fazit/Bottom Line:

Ein wunderbar unterhaltsames Kinderbuch mit fantastischen Tieren und Zeichnungen.

A beautiful and entertaining adventure story with magical creatures and fantastic illustrations.


rating 4

Frauke Scheunemann – Ziemlich Unverhofft: Eine Familienkomödie (Incl. Short English Review)

This book is written by a German author and not yet published in English. For a short English review please see further below.


Der ganz normale Wahnsinn, jeden Tag
Nikola Petersen, Anwältin und allein erziehende Mutter in Hamburg, hat ihr Leben fest im Griff. Na gut, manchmal ist es auch ein wenig chaotisch. Zum Beispiel jetzt gerade: Schwiegermutter Gisela, ihres Zeichens Chefbabysitterin im Hause Petersen, will auf Kreuzfahrt gehen – natürlich ohne Nikolas Kinder. Dabei türmen sich im Büro die Akten, und Nikola hätte gern ein wenig Zeit, um den vielversprechenden Flirt mit ihrem Kollegen Simon Rupprecht auszubauen. Getreu dem Motto „Schlimmer geht’s immer“ muss sie dann auch noch die Avancen ihres Nachbarn Tiziano abwehren, der Nikola aus unerfindlichen Gründen seiner Mutter als neue Freundin präsentiert zu haben scheint. (der Hörverlag)

In Kürze:

+ 2. Geschichte um Nikola Peters und ihre Familie
+ leichte, luftige, unterhaltsame Lektüre, ideal für schöne Sommertage
+ liebenswerte Charaktere wenn auch nicht mit zu viel Tiefgang


Ziemlich Unverhofft ist die zweite Geschichte um Nikola Petersen. Nikola ist Anwältin und alleinerziehende Mutter. Die Geschichte entführt uns in einen etwas chaotischen Abschnitt von Nikolas Leben: ihre Schwiegermutter geht als Chefbabysitterin kurzfristig in den Urlaub, ihr Nachbar verwickelt sie in eine Lüge, ihre Freundin lässt sich gerade von ihrem Ehemann scheiden, der sie mit allen Mitteln über den Tisch ziehen will und dann sind da noch Nikolas alter und neuer Kollege.

Diese sehr unterhaltsame Geschichte war leicht, luftig, lustig und genau das richtige für den Sommer. Ich habe die Geschichte sehr genossen, die Figuren waren angenehm, wenn auch nicht mit all zu viel Tiefgang. Gelegentlich gingen mir einige der Charakter auf die Nerven – besonders Tiziano und auch die Kollegen von Nikola – aber die Geschichte um die Scheidung und den betrügenden Ehemann war interessant und hielt die Spannung. Auch der zweite juristische Handlungsstrang mit der Scheinehe gefiel mir sehr gut und hätte meiner Meinung nach durchaus vertieft werden können.

Der Schreibstil war wie die Geschichte seicht, fließend und sehr angenehm und die Sprecherin – Marie Bierstedt – hat es ganz wunderbar gelesen.

Vielen Dank an der Hörverlag für die Bereitstellung des Rezensionsexemplars.


Ein wirklich gelungenes, unterhaltsames Sommerbuch mit einer angenehmen Protagonistin, chaotischen Familiensituationen und interessanten Rechtsfällen.


Frauke Scheunemann, geboren 1969 in Düsseldorf, ist promovierte Juristin. Sie absolvierte ein Volontariat beim NDR und arbeitete anschließend als Journalistin und Pressesprecherin. Seit 2002 ist sie freie Autorin. Ihre Romane um den kleinen Dackel Herkules waren monatelang auf der SPIEGEL-Bestsellerliste. Frauke Scheunemann ist verheiratet und lebt mit ihrem Mann, ihren vier Kindern und dem kleinen Hund Elmo in Hamburg.

In English:

This is the second novel focusing on Nikola’s life – the lawyer and single mother of two is suddenly left in the middle of quite a huge chaos. Her mother-in-law – the head babysitter – decides to go on a cruise leaving Nikola in desperate need as the kindergarten closes for a few weeks, her neighbor entangles her in an uncomfortable lie, her best friend gets a divorce from the seedy husband who would do anything so he doesn’t have to pay money and then there are Nikola’s two colleagues.
This novel was a charming, light, entertaining and fluffy read and are wonderful for those nice summer days. I enjoyed the story especially Nikola’s cases as they were not only entertaining but also kept the tension high. The writing was very comfortable, light, and fluffy yet captivating without being to flowery and overwhelming. The characters were very likeable especially the main protagonist Nikola but lacked depth and a few were just plain annoying. But it fitted the chick lit formula quite well, although this might be chick lit for chicks past their mid to end thirties.

Eve Chase – Black Rabbit Hall (Incl. Short English Review)

Since this audiobook was in German, this review is in German as well as English. There is a short English Review further below.


Eine Familie. Ein Geheimnis. Ein Sommer, der alles verändert …
Auf Black Rabbit Hall, dem Sommersitz der Familie Alton, passiert normalerweise nicht viel. Bis zu einem stürmischen Abend 1968: Da stellt eine Tragödie die Verbundenheit der vier Alton-Geschwister auf eine harte Probe. Jahrzehnte später stoßen Lorna Smith und ihr Verlobter auf der Suche nach einem Ort für ihre Hochzeitsfeier auf ein verfallenes, aber wunderschönes Haus. Nach und nach verrät es Lorna seine schönsten Geschichten und traurigsten Momente … (Random House Audio)

In Kürze:

+ spannende Familiengeschichte auf zwei Zeitebenen
+ durch clevere Erzählung zweifelt der Leser an seinen eigenen Schlussfolgerungen
+ ein mitreißender Schreibstil


Black Rabbit Hall ist ein wunderbare Familienroman, der auf zwei Zeitebenen spielt. Lorna sucht nach einem Ort für ihre Hochzeit und wird dabei magisch von Black Rabbit Hall angezogen. Dabei stellt sie recht schnell fest, dass sie als Kind schon einmal dort war – aber warum war mit ihrer Mutter in ihrer Jugend immer wieder da. Lorna macht sich auf die Suche nach Antworten und erfährt dabei nicht nur einiges über ihr eigenes Leben sondern auch über das Leben der Geschwister Amber, Toby, Kit und Barney Alton. Ein tragisches Ereignis schweißt die Alton Kinder enger zusammen, aber ihre Beziehung wird immer mehr auf die Probe gestellt besonders die Beziehung zwischen den Zwillingen Amber und Toby. Ein verhängnisvolles Schicksal nimmt seinen Lauf.

Ich bin Familiengeschichten gegenüber doch immer noch etwas skeptisch, aber ich habe wirklich jede Minute davon genossen. Die Geschichte war spannend und auch wenn man einige Situationen voraussehen konnte, hat die Autorin einen immer wieder verleiten die eigenen Vermutungen anzuzweifeln. Daher blieb es durchgehend aufregend und man war nie sicher, dass man wirklich weiß, was passieren wird oder in der Vergangenheit passiert ist.

Die Figuren waren interessant angelegt und komplex und einige von ihnen hatten einfach keine positiven oder erlösenden Eigenschaften. Auch konnte ich Ambers Last und Anstrengung mit der Situation aber auch mit der Stimmung ihres Bruders klarzukommen sowie Lornas Sehnsucht nach Klarheit und Verzweiflung wirklich gut nachvollziehen. Die Autorin hat es geschafft einen komplett einzunehmen und mich dazu verführt am liebsten in das Buch hineinzuspringen und manchen Figuren auch einfach mal eine Backpfeife zu verpassen.

Die Sprecherin, Anna Thalbach, liest wie so oft wunderbar und schafft es durch ihre Interpretation die Leser einzunehmen.
Vielen Dank an Random House Audio für die Bereitstellung dieses Rezensionsexemplars.


Ein spannendes, unterhaltsames, einnehmendes Buch mit einer faszinierenden Familiengeschichte, komplexen Figuren und einer tollen Sprecherin.

Die Autorin:

Eve Chase wollte schon immer über Familien schreiben – solche, die fast untergehen aber irgendwie doch überleben – und über große, alte Häuser, in denen Familiengeheimnisse und nicht erzählte Geschichten in den bröckelnden Steinmauern weiterleben. Black Rabbit Hall ist so eine Geschichte.
Eve Chase ist verheiratet und lebt mit ihrem Mann und ihren drei Kindern in Oxfordshire.

In English:

Loran is looking for a wedding location and is drawn to Black Rabbit Hall. She feels connected to the house and soon learns that she has been there several times in her childhood. Lorna cannot remember anything about that and begins to search for answers. There she discovers not only her own past but learns a lot about the life of the Alton siblings who lived in this house many years ago.

The Alton siblings life has been shaped by a tragic event. As the children move closer together, the relationship between the twins (Amber and Toby) gets more and more complicated. A tragic family story runs its course.
I thoroughly enjoyed this story. It was captivating and thrilling. Even though I felt like I could already guess what the outcome was going to be, the author was able to make me doubt my assumptions all the time. Thus, I really did not know anything until the end.

The characters were complex and varied (though some did not have any redeeming qualities whatsoever) and I was able to identify, empathize, and feel for the characters. The author was able to transport the emotional turmoil of the protagonists but especially of Amber and I was so immersed in the story that I wished I could enter the book and slap some people occasionally. This was a great, captivating, and beautiful read.

My Reading Month July

It took a while but here it is. I am still not in the mood to pick up physical books but I think I have my audiobook groove back. 🙂

  • Books: 1
  • Audiobook: 5
  • Pages (only books): 480
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 3344
  • Minutes listened: 2057 min. (over 34 hours)


Bill Bryson – It’s teatime my dear: Wieder reif für die Insel/ The Road to Little Dribbling: More Notes from a Small Island

After reading and thoroughly loving the first book, I had quite high expectations. They did not match but I enjoyed this book. It was a little like reminiscing in the good old times and yet accompanying a grumpy old man. I still laughed a lot while reading and sadly had to agree with some of the rather idiotic idiosyncrasies. A really good read, though not my favorite of his books.

Its teatime my dear von Bill Bryson


Iny Lorentz – Die steinerne Schlange

This historical novel was set right outside the borders of the Roman Empire when the Romans tried to capture, occupy and enslave Germanic tribes. A young woman of the tribe fights for her own freedom as she does not want to be „sold“ to the Roman leader and sets off a chain of events that will change her life, the life of her tribe as well as history. It was an interesting and captivating story that was set in another time that then middle ages – which I really appreciated. And though the story used some common and slightly predictable tropes, it was a joy to listen to.

Philip Rock – Abingdon Hall: Der letzte Sommer/ The Passing Bells

Abingdon Hall – the seat of the Grevilles – is full of parties and social events, but even here the beginning of the First World War cannot be ignored forever. The book follows the children and their friends as they spread across Europe. It was an interesting and compelling setting yet I have to admit that I don’t remember the story that well. Mainly because I had difficulties to distinguish the characters by name and sometimes lost track of who was who and where in Europe they were.

Danielle Hawkins – Dinner mit Rose/ Dinner at Rose’s

After Josie discovers that her boyfriend is cheating on her, she escapes to the New Zealand countryside to live with her aunt for a while in order to try to figure out her life and herself. She not only meets her first love but is confronted with another difficult situation as her aunt gets sick. This was a really lovely story. The narration was a wonderful combination of a serious and sad topic (without dragging the reader down or making light of the situation) with a light and funny love story. It was really a charming and enchanting audiobook.

Jutta Wilke – Holundermond

I read this book a few years ago and I just felt like diving into the story again. The young girl Nele accompanies her father to Vienna, who investigates the theft of artifacts from a church. Soon her father disappears and she has to find out what happened to him and what her father’s ominous colleague has to do with this. This was a wonderful adventure story for children with a supernatural touch and a lot of interesting facts about churches and a particular part of Vienna’s history (can’t really say cause afraid I might spoil it for some).


Sarah Lark – Das Land der weißen Wolke

Two women begin their journey from London to New Zealand where they are being married to two men they barely know. Both their lives will intertwine for ever, both will have to face obstacles, and both will have to survive. Though I don’t always remember the storylines in Sarah Lark’s books, they are captivating. I cannot put them down and I just have to know how the story continues.

Sarah J. Maas – The Assassin and the Underworld

the assassin and the pirate lord

published: 2012
publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens


When the King of the Assassins gives Celaena Sardothien a special assignment that will help fight slavery in the kingdom, Celaena jumps at the chance to strike a blow against the evil practice. The mission is a dark and deadly affair that takes Celaena from the rooftops of the city to the bottom of the sewer – and she doesn’t like what she finds there. (Amazon)

In (Very) Short:

+ the fourth novella set on the world of Throne of Glass
+ fast-paced
+ intrigue, action, betrayal

My Opinion:

I have read through these novellas quite quickly, yet I could not start the last one yet, as I know what will or has happened in there. But back to this story. As with the others I will not go into detail when it comes to the story, since I would spoil Throne of Glass if you haven’t read it yet.

This story was a little more emotional than the last, at least that is what I remember the most after reading it some time ago. As any other story there was action, intrigue, and betrayal. Yet, The Assassin and the Underworld resonated on a more emotional level. I felt for Celaena, I was hurt, sad, and sometimes even a little happy (though that was quickly gone, since I remembered what will happen to the characters later on). It was a fast-paced storyline with quite some twists and turns. I am a little anxious to read the last story of this novella series.

Bottom Line:

A good, fast-paced, and entertaining read.


rating 4