My Reading Month July

This month was particularly children’s book heavy. Since I had to read a lot of theory texts for my thesis I had difficulties to get into any long, convoluted story. I needed something short and sweet that could be read in one or two sittings and that was easy for me to get.

Since I borrowed most of the books from my local library I read many German books this month. I think almost all of them (I have to check that again) are also published in English so I will write a German and an English review.

But I did not only read kids books this month, there were a few others in between as well. You’ll see. Anyway lets just get going.

My month started with a non fiction book by a German author writing about Jane Austen.

Elsemarie Maletzke – Mit Jane Austen durch England

This book is a trip through Jane Austen’s life, through England and basically a trip with Jane through England. The important places of Austen’s life are visited and her experience and life connected to her books and characters. It is an interesting read as I enjoyed reading Austen so far and I am quite a fan of England. However, I don’t think this book is translated into English as I believe they have enough authors writing about Austen’s life 😉

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Jutta Bauer – Selma

Well, it is actually not really a book and should not be counted as one, but I got this for Christmas from my very good friend Anja and I love it very much. It made me smile and happy. This little illustrated story is about a sheep looking for the meaning of happiness.

Cornelia Funke – Gespensterjäger auf eisiger Spur
Cornelia Funke – Ghosthunters and the Incredibly Revolting Ghost

Written by one of the most well-known children authors in and outside of Germany this books is the first part of Funke’s ghost hunter stories. Tom sees a ghost in his cellar and only his grandmother believes him and suggest he get some help to fend of that ghost.

It is a lovely and sweet story that weaved some simple and easy accessible tricks for fending of ghosts into the narration. It will probably help some frightened kids sleep a little better and see that not all ghosts are bad.

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Hiawyn Oram, Sarah Warburton: Rumblewicks Tagebuch: Hilfe, meine Hexe gründet eine Girl-Band!
Hiawyn Oram, Sarah Warburton: My Unwilling Witch Starts a Girl Band (Rumblewick Diary #3)
Hiawyn Oram, Sarah Warburton: Rumblewicks Tagebuch: Hilfe meine Hexe kocht im Fernsehen!
Hiawyn Oram, Sarah Warburton: My Unwilling Witch gets Cooking (Rumblewick Diaries)

The story is told from the perspective of the cat Rumblewick, who was assigned to a witch to do witchy things with her. But his particular witch, Haggy Aggy, is stubborn and wants to be part of the human world rather than frighten people. This is of course punishable in the magic world and Rumblewick really doesn’t want to lose his diploma.

Both books are funny and sweat but especially beautifully illustrated and written in form of a diary that Rumble keeps which include many photos.

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Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise: Friedhofsstraße 43: Gespenster gibt es doch!
Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise: Dying to Meet You! (43 Old Cemetery Road #1)

Again another series of books that caught my eye because of the beautiful illustrations and their different way to tell a story. This book is narrated through letters and newspaper articles, which is a great and lovely idea.

Severin lives in an old house with his cat and the ghost Olivia while his parents travel the world and don’t care about him. An old author, whose success with ghosthunter novels has been long time in the past, rents the house to write another installment. There he is challenged by the ghost to believe in the topic that he writes about.

Tom Angleberger – Yoda ich bin! Alles ich weiß!
Tom Angleberger – The Strange Case of Origami Yoda (Origami Yoda #1)

After spending some time with ghosts I took up this book. Yes, I did it because it had Yoda in the title and I do like Star Wars. But you don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to read and to enjoy this story.

The “weird” kid Dwight creates and origami Yoda that gives great advice and becomes quite popular and sought after in school. Tommy wants to find out if origami Yoda is real or not.

Each chapter is a little Yoda related story told by a different person. The book is created like a case study, but still works fluently and beautifully. This is a book for kids who do not have the greatest attention span.

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Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise: Friedhofsstraße 43: Nur über meine Leiche!
Kate Klise, M. Sarah Klise: Over my Dead Body (43 Old Cemetery Road #2)

And again I returned to a ghost story. This time around Severin (Seymour) and his author friend are forced from their home and the authoritative figure Dick Tater wants to forbid all ghost stories and rename Halloween. But the ghost Olivia has something to say about that.

Again a story that I thoroughly enjoyed. I can only recommend this series.

Sara Paretsky – Deadlock

To split from my children’s books addiction this month I started with a traditional crime story, which took me a while to get into. This was due to me being occupied with all that theory. I couldn’t concentrate and did not have the patience to get into any kind of long, convoluted storyline.

V.I. Warshawksi investigates the death of her cousin only to discover a conspiracy. It follows the typical pattern of the hard-boiled genre only with a female protagonist, who does not necessarily gets beaten up that much (instead is involved in a number of “accidents”). Everything else stays the same. It was a good book and draws upon the strength of Paretsky when it comes to creating those conspiracies, but as I said, this time it took me a while to warm up to this.

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Agatha Christie – Miss Marple’s Final Cases

Another short-lived and entertaining read were Miss Marple’s Final Cases. It is a collection of short stories centering around Miss Marple (only two of those stories had nothing to do with any of Christie’s known investigators) and offering her to solve a case within the span of 20 to 40 pages per story. Lovely as always and a sure recommendation.

Kristin Cashore – Fire

Towards the end of the month I did pick up a young adult fantasy book. It is some time ago that I read the first installment called Graceling. Now that I finished Fire and that I am currently reading the final installment of the trilogy I want to read the first again. I did forget quite a bit.

Fire itself has only limited connections to Graceling through the character Leck present in both books, but is an independent story from the first book.

Fire is a unique person, who can influence people to do anything for her. Although she is afraid of her abilities and tries to hide from the world in order not to hurt anyone, she learns to accept her gift. Fire uses her gift to help the royal family win the war that has been threatening the kingdom for years and to come to terms with her past and the past of the kingdom.

I enjoyed the narrative very much and though the story itself was somewhat predictable and sadly drifted off in the end, it made me pick up the last book in the trilogy very fast.

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Marliese Arold – Magic Girls: Das verbotene Amulett

My final book this month is sadly not translated into English yet.

It is the second book in a series about a two teenage witches who have been exiled to the human world. Elena’s father has committed a grievous crime in the witch world and was transformed into an iguana. Elena’s best friend Miranda goes with Elena’s family into exile in order to study the humans, their behavior, their life, and their world.

The girls are not only challenged by surviving in the human world, avoid being discovered by anyone, but also discover the secret of an amulet Elena has discovered among her father’s belongings.

This again is a story that is lovely and entertaining. Each of the chapters contains little passages about the life of witches as well as old discoveries about humans that are funny and cute.

And that was it for this month. I like that the number of books is quite high although I did not necessarily read that much. But all in all it was a good month and an entertaining one at that.

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