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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Books:

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.

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Audiobooks:

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.

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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.

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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. 🙂