My Reading Month January

A new year and I am still reading less than I want to, but I listen to a lot more audiobooks. My way to work is a little longer and the house work does not seem to decrease, therefore my hours of listening to audiobooks have increased quite a bit this month. In addition, going through all the personal paper work and cleaning those files cabinets out is a lot more bearable with a nice audiobook.
I digress, so let’s get started.

  • Books: 2
  • Audiobook: 8
  • Pages (only books): 736
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 4864
  • Minutes listened: 3404 min. (over 56 hours)

Books:

Martin Wehrle – Sei einzig nicht artig.

This non-fiction book is maybe something like a self-help thing, though it does not tell you how to do anything really. Basically, this book illustrates how many of your choices have been somehow made by other people in your life or by society as a whole and not by yourself. You don’t always (or sometimes never) choose things because you want them or like them but because of what is expected of you – and you don’t even really notice it. Or some things you notice, but it helps that someone else points them out to you again. Anyway, I really enjoyed this read. This does not mean I am going to change my life or my habits or my thought patterns right away, but at least I think a little about it. Sadly, this is written by a German author (yeah for readers who read German), and I doubt this will be translated into English. I am sure, though that there is a similar book on the English-speaking book markets.

dem pharao versprochen

Marliese Arold – Dem Pharao Versprochen

Another German book this month was written by one of my favorite children’s book authors. After I started reading and listening to her magic girls series (about witches, who were exiled into the human world and now have to hide their witch powers so they are not discovered), I came across this story set in Ancient Egypt. Anchesenamun, the sister and wife of Tutanchamun, is a the center of this story as she and her best friend are thrown into the intrigue and politics of the Egyptian court. Not only is she barely teenager, she is also in love with someone else and if that is discovered it could cost them their lives. I enjoyed the setting of the story, since I loved reading novels set in Ancient Egypt when I was younger and I thoroughly enjoy Ancient Egyptian mythology. It was a nice story for young girls, that did lack a little bit of action for me. Since it was more a story dealing with emotions rather than an adventure story, I had a few difficulties to relate to the main character, but then again I am quite a bit older than the intended reader.

Audiobooks:

Kai Meyer – Die Muschelmagier/ The Pirate Emperor (The Wave Walkers #2)

I enjoyed this novel as much as the first in this pirate adventure series. Jolly and Munk continue to save the world, yet their magic and power affects both quite differently. This part follows Jolly a little more and we get to read less about Munk, which I personally did not mind since I was getting on my nerve. However, the narrator was fantastic as always and the story thrilling.

Eva Stachniak – Der Winterpalast/ The Winter Palace: A Novel of Catherine the Great

I have listened to quite a few historical novels, but this is my first set in Russia. The story follows a young girl who works at the royal court and becomes a spy. She also becomes friends with a young and unsure Sophie – later Catherine the Great – whom she is dedicated to, only to learn that there are no friendships at court. I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the setting. I remember some of the historical facts from school, but this made me want to catch up on my Russian history.

Petra Durst-Henning – Die Champagner Königin

Isabelle has married a man her parents did not approve of, when he inherits a vineyard and the move to France. The young woman is enchanted by the landscape and the possibility of a bright future. Yet nothing is a pretty as it seems: a rival is already waiting to destroy them and fate strikes a devastating blow. It was a nice and easy story, that was entertaining and enchanting (I felt a little mesmerized when listening to the descriptions of the landscape). A good audiobook.

Sabine Ebert – Die Entscheidung der Hebamme

The is the third installment in the series about a midwife in the middle ages. Old rivals always return, fate strikes again and again, and cruelty seems to reign supreme. It was a good story, at times it felt a little jumpy as they try to cover quite a large time span. I just need a little break from the series and I am sure the main character would need that too. How much can happen to one poor person.

Der Winterpalast die rebellin

Lena Johannson – Die Ärztin von Rügen

I was in a historical novel mood, as this was my forth in a row. Yet all of them set in different times or at least different countries. This was a rather slower audiobook as this was not so much about action and abuse of the female character (as many novels set in the middle ages are). Anne has lived and worked with her father (a doctor) all her life. But when the train comes to Rugia a lot more doctors come along and not all of them are pleased to see her work as a doctor’s assistant. And then there are two young doctors who do not mind her at all. It was a lovely and slow book, that was entertaining, yet I could see so many things from afar long before she noticed any of it – which made me a little annoyed at her but also took away some of the excitement.

Ursula Niehaus – Das Heiligenspiel

Another novel set towards the end of the middle ages centers around the young woman Anna who is neither pretty nor desirable and surely not loved by her mother. She manages to live a somewhat comfortable and happy life when rumors start to swirl and make her out to be a saint. She tries to explain and rectify those assumptions, yet people don’t believe her. With those rumors and the changes in her life, envy comes crawling out of the woodwork. It was a good read, though I could not relate to Anna and I had difficulties with the development of the story and thus her life. There seem to be too many coincidences that always put her in awkward positions, yet there was nothing she could have done either. I just seem to have difficulties with the lack of control she had and the missing desire to have control.

Ulrike Schweikert – Die Herrin der Burg

I haven’t noticed how historical novel heavy my audiobooks were this month. Another historical novel set in the middle ages centering around two half sisters who are thrown into the turmoil of a brewing war. Though the premise was interesting and the book had good reviews, I had quite some issues to get into the story: to many places, names, and characters. It was confusing and it took me a while to figure out what was happening with whom and who belonged to which side. I can honestly say, that I still don’t know for sure. Maybe I should have read this one instead of listing to it and maybe I should have freshened up on my history lessons from school before starting this novel.

Trudi Canavan – Die Rebellin/ The Magician’s Guild

Trudi Canavan is great. I have read this book some time ago in English and now I listened to the German audiobook version and I thoroughly enjoyed it. It was fun, entertaining, and narrated and translated well. I really like Sonea and I could not stop listening, just as I could not stop reading back in the day. The story world is great, the characters likable, the story well constructed. I loved it again.

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