Two Halfs of One Whole – My Reading Life with Two Languages

English Conquers My Reading World

I started reading novels in English a long time after my high school English teacher told me that I would never be able to speak English properly. My pronunciation was good but the rest, well it wasn’t and it was never going to be good. I have now finished my PhD in American Studies and I wrote it in English. And though I will be far from being at a native speaker level (and I never aimed at being one) I think I managed to make the language my own – familiar, comfortable, home 🙂

Is my German Really Lost – The Rediscovery of My Native Tongue

Because I was so focused on conquering English, I haven’t read German authors for many years

  • because I felt I had to read English to stay connected with the language,
  • because it was easier for me to read English after so many years,
  • because books in German became strangers to me.

All there was English, novels in English, theory texts in English, TV series in English, movies in English, manuals in English – you name it. Once I started reading blogs and watching Booktube I was brave enough to picked my first German book in over a decade. Though reading the first novels felt strange, it became familiar again – it  also became home.

Do I Have to Choose – My World Is Big Enough for Both

So, every time I read a book in German I yearned for English and every time I was deeply invested in an English novel, I looked forward to read a story in German – it was a predicament. I considered myself a torn because I couldn’t decide which language I liked more, which was more familiar, which was my home. But finally I discovered, I don’t have to decide. I can love both equally. I can be at home at two different places at the same time.

I was a little mad at my English teacher for telling me English and I would never get along. Today I am thankful for it. Because of what he said I chose English as a subject of my studies, I lived in an English-speaking country, and I am at easy with two languages. I am at home when I hear or read either of them.

A Pick Me Up for Broken Things – How the Snyder’s Healer Series Healed my Sou

The Healer Series has healed my fantasy deprived soul. I used to read so much fantasy and lately I was mostly unhappy with what I read and I missed stories, worlds, and characters that would captivate me. I felt as if something in me was broken. The joy I usually deprived from fantasy books was gone – maybe even lost. But then the Healer Series by Maria V. Snyder came along. This trilogy – Touch of Power, Scent of Magic, and Taste of Darkness – fed three ravenous beasts within me: the thirst for action, believable friendships and world building.

I Need To Catch My Breath – Action Packed Storylines That Don’t Slow Down

Just as her Study Trilogy the action was fast paced. I enjoyed the setting and the world building, but the incredible fast pace, the lack of narrative breaks and therefore the amount of running, hunting, being hunted and fighting the protagonists had to go through, captured me from the first to the last page. There was barely a break for the poor guys to catch a breath.

Cross My Heart And Swear To Die – Friendships Save The World

Alongside the action, the friendships make up the core of the story – at least for me. They are believable, withstand opposition and hardship, are comical and endearing, and longstanding. Once I close the book, I start to miss them, as I felt like a member of that circle. The sidekicks are usually the most lovable characters in the book. Until this day I am always happy to see them again – in other stories or when rereading the old ones.

Take Me Away From Here – Building A World Where I’d Rather Be

Within a short time I am fully immersed in the world and often the magical, political, and social system that is new to me. I can see it, feel it, and I am familiar with it, still I discover even more throughout the entirety of the trilogy. Yet I believe, if those are continued I would learn so much more and still am surprised by it.

So far I have enjoyed Maria V. Snyder’s Study Trilogy and Healer Series. I have to admit that I am not as thrilled with the Glass Series (that is set in the same world as the Study Trilogy), but I will surely finish that as I want to continue my adventures in Ixia. If you need something to pick you up that you can’t put down – have a go.

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Miss Marple Calms My Restless Mind

Miss Marple always solves her crimes – sitting, knitting, wearing tweet costumes. However stressed my life becomes and however deep I am caught in a reading slump, Miss Marple has a way of reaching my absent mind. The allure of coziness and comfort within the confines of murder is soothing. It feels like coming home. The reasons I return to Miss Marple at any given time: the lack of gore, the inherent nosiness, and the nostalgia.

Where is the blood – the lack of gore in Miss M.’s murders

Given the often overpowering images of news outlets (be that papers, television, or even radio) and television with there attempt to outdo each other with even more shocking and gory details of crimes, wars, and other catastrophes, the lack of blood is a nice change in pace.

Yes, I am nosy – Miss M.’s passion for poking around

Miss Marple lives out the nosiness that I do feel when a riddle or any other interesting unanswered question stops by. The great thing is: I don’t have to feel guilty because Miss M. asks all the questions that I have (and of course many more that I don’t have) and pokes about to get the answers. This is of course oversimplified and at times feeds the stereotype of elderly spinster detectives but I really love her moxie and her awareness of the perception people have of her. She always uses that to her advantage.

Everything Was Better Before – Miss M. reminisces

While Miss Marple is nostalgic towards her own past, I am nostalgic towards my own as well as the past (as stereotypical and simplified as that might be) illustrated by Christie. Due to less gore and the acceptance of the nosiness of elderly spinsters, it is a calm escape for a hectic overexposed mind caught in a world where the attention spans get shorter and the visuals more prominent and faster. The peace and quiet offered by Miss Marple are a wonderful way to return my hectic brain to a more normal speed – one that was common when I was yet young and the world just a bit slower.

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. 🙂

My Reading Challenges for 2016

I have taken a little time to have a look at my reading challenges from last year and see how or if I might adapt them for this year. But I try not to see me not successfully finishing my challenges as a failure, thus I will keep them for this year and attempt them again. However, I have decided to add an audiobook challenge to my Goodreads challenge. I was thinking about combining them, but that somehow feels like cheating, though it really is not. Therefore, I just made up another one. We’ll see how I will manage this year. Good luck with all your reading or personal challenges in 2016.

1. Goodreads Reading Challenge 2016

2016 Reading Challenge

Goal: 45 books

Last year I did not quite manage to read 45 books, but I will attempt it again this year. I think that will be a tough one especially since there are still more changes about to happen in my life. So there might be quite a few times where I simply don’t have the time or energy, but you never know.

2. Attack on the TBR pile 2016 (personal challenge)

TBR challenge

Goal: 10 books

My TBR pile slowly increases and though I read a bit, there are more incoming books than outgoing especially since my library is so incredibly tempting. But I will try to read some that have been on my TBR pile for a while. The books that add themselves to my TBR pile this year [2016], don’t count here. As I have not managed to achieve my goal in 2015, I will attempt it again this year.

3. Finish Series Challenge 2016 (personal challenge)

The Series Challenge

Goal: finish 5 series

There is a wonderful Finish-Book-Series Challenges out there but their goals are just way to high for me. If I manage to finish 5 series (trilogies, multiple book series etc.) that would be quite an achievement. However, this year I will officially add audiobooks to the list. Thus, when I finish a series that I listen to as audiobooks this year, I will add that as well.

4. Audiobook Challenge 2016

Goal: 30 audiobooks

Since I have discovered the joy of listening to audiobooks, I will also attempt an audiobook challenge. As there are quite some changes coming this year, I am not sure how much time I will actually have. Therefore a goal of 30 audiobooks this years is hopefully manageable. We’ll see 🙂

I am free …

…I think, but I don’t really feel it yet. I have finally, officially finished by biggest project of the last years and defended my dissertation in front of a committee. Now, I am done and it still feels very surreal.

The past months and weeks have been quite a hectic mess and once I was done, I tried to catch up on all the things that suffer and that I neglected for a longer time…foremost family, friends, and my desperate need for sunshine. Hence the long silence over the past weeks. I have a lot of catching up to do on my blog and I will try my very best.

I will combine my monthly reviews of June and July, so June is still coming (only late) and I am trying to put together a book haul post. I have bought some books over the past months, but I have lost track completely. I try to be back on a regular schedule soon.

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Thanks for sticking with me.

eBook-Aktion: Gitta Edelmann – Canterbury Requiem

Currently, I am a little bit in a tight space when it comes to time for this blog. But I hope that will be resolved some times soon. I try to upload post more or less regularly, but that’s far from what I wanted or did do in the past months. I’ll try to be back regularly as soon as possible.

However, there is a great sale for a great book but that is written in German. So, if you speak German and you want to read  it, please do. It is really a good and entertaining read.

Until August 13th you can go the publisher’s website and purchase the e-book for only 3,49 € (click here to get to the sale)

For a my review click here.
For more information on the publisher click here.
For more information on the author click here.

Canterbury eBook-Aktion_1

Der Goldfinch Verlag hat ein wunderbares Angebot: Bis zum 13.8. kann man das eBook Canterbury Requiem von Gitta Edelmann für 3,49 € anstatt 6,99 € kaufen. (Hier geht es zum Angebot.) Es ist ein sehr schönes Buch und ich kann es wirklich nur empfehlen.

Meine Rezension findet ihr hier.
Mehr Informationen zum Verlag findet ihr hier.
Mehr Informationen zur Autorin findet ihr hier.