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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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.

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Klappentext:

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 stĂĽrmischen Abend 1968: Da stellt eine Tragödie die Verbundenheit der vier Alton-Geschwister auf eine harte Probe. Jahrzehnte später stoĂźen Lorna Smith und ihr Verlobter auf der Suche nach einem Ort fĂĽr ihre Hochzeitsfeier auf ein verfallenes, aber wunderschönes Haus. Nach und nach verrät es Lorna seine schönsten Geschichten und traurigsten Momente … (Random House Audio)

In KĂĽrze:

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

Meinung:

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 gegenĂĽber 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 weiĂź, 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 fĂĽr die Bereitstellung dieses Rezensionsexemplars.

Fazit:

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.