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)

img_20160814_191219_resized img_20160828_191417_resized

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.

cimg6916

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.

Advertisements

Maggie Stiefvater & Jackson Pearce – Pip Bartlett und die Magischen Tiere: Die brandgefährlichen Fussels/ Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures (Incl. English Review)

https://i1.wp.com/www.randomhouse.de/content/edition/covervoila_hires/Stiefvater_PearcePip_Bartlett_1_168793.jpg

  • Hardcover
  • Verlag: Heyne>fliegt
  • veröffentlicht: 2015
  • Seiten: 340

Klappentext/Blurb:

Die neunjährige Pip Bartlett hat eine besondere Gabe: Sie kann mit magischen Tieren sprechen – mit Einhörnern, Seidengreifen und Hopp-Grackeln. Mit Eltern und Lehrern klappt die Verständigung allerdings manchmal nicht so gut. Weshalb Pip in den Sommerferien wegen des Einhorn-Vorfalls (wer denkt denn auch, dass die so doof sind!) zu ihrer Tante Emma verbannt wird. Emma leitet eine Praxis für magische Tiere, und begeistert plaudert Pip den ganzen Tag mit den verrücktesten Geschöpfen, die man je gesehen hat. Doch dann taucht ein abenteuerliches Problem auf, nämlich Unmengen von Fussels. Das Schlimme an diesen kleinen pelzigen Wesen: Wenn sie sich aufregen, gehen sie in Flammen auf … Hier können nur Pip und ihr neuer Freund Thomas helfen. (Heyne>fliegt)

An exciting new series full of magical creature, whimsical adventures and quirky illustrations. Pip is a girl who can talk to magical creatures. And her aunt is a vet for magical creatures. When things go amok, Pip consults JEFFREY HIGGLESTON’S GUIDE TO MAGICAL CREATURES — a fun guide to such entities that Pip adds to from time to time. (Amazon)

In Kürze/In (Very) Short:

+ ein wunderbares Abenteuer mit magischen Tieren
+ tolle Illustrationen und tolle Buchgestaltung
+ sympathische Figuren und Kreaturen und einen schönen Bösewicht
+ a great adventure story with magical creatures
+ beautiful illustrations and an overall stunning design
+ loveable characters and a wonderfully wicked villain

Meinung/My Opinion:

Pip Bartlett kann mit magischen Tieren sprechen und sorgt damit für ein Riesenchaos beim Schulprojekt. Als Strafe muss Pip zu ihrer Tante, die eine Tierarztpraxis für magische Tiere hat. Nicht wirklich eine Strafe für Pip – wenn man von ihrer Cousine einmal absieht –, die hier nicht nur ihre Fähigkeiten einsetzen kann, sondern auch gleich noch ein paar magische und nicht-magische Freunde kennenlernt. Mit denen muss sie die Stadt vor den brandgefährlichen Fussels retten.

Das Buch ist ein wunderbare Kinderbuch mit einer liebenswerten Protagonistin, tollen Kreaturen, einem spannenden Abenteuer und einer schönen Botschaft am Ende.

Das Autorenduo hat wirklich eine tolle Welt mit wunderbaren Figuren und sehr schönen Kreaturen erschaffen. Diese sind liebenswert und chaotisch – wie z.B. Pip, das Einhorn Regent Maximus, Thomas, der auf magische Tiere mit magischen Allergien reagiert, und der mürrische Seidengreif Blubber. Natürlich gibt es auch einen wunderbar unsympathischen weiblichen Bösewicht und eine nervige Cousine.

Die Geschichte ist wirklich niedlich und schnelllebig, das Buch ist sehr schön gestaltet mit Zeichnungen zu den jeweiligen Wesen und ist in blau gehalten. Die Zeichnungen sind wirklich wunderbar und entzückend. Der Schreibstil ist angenehm, flott und zum Thema und Buch passend.

Vielen Dank an den Heyne>fliegt Verlag für die Bereitstellung des Rezenzionsexemplars.

Pip can talk to magical creatures and gets into trouble. As a punishment she has to spend her summer with her aunt who is a veterinarian and treats magical animals. Not really a big punishment for Pip. She quickly makes new friends and soon has to find a way to save the city from little flammable creatures.

This books is a wonderful children’s book with a loveable protagonist, wonderful creatures, an exiting little adventure and a lovely message at the end.

The authors have created an interesting and divers world with some unique and beautiful magical creatures. Who doesn’t love a scared and scatterbrained unicorn – who has way to many anxieties and issues. Alongside the many likeable characters (Pip, Thomas, Pip’s aunt Emma, Regent Maximus – the unicorn and many more) are of course a wonderfully wicked villain and an annoying teenage cousin.

The story is fast-paced and adorable, the book is beautifully illustrated and the illustrations as well as the pages are kept in blue. The writing is fluent, fast, and fitting for the age range it was written for.

Fazit/Bottom Line:

Ein wunderbar unterhaltsames Kinderbuch mit fantastischen Tieren und Zeichnungen.

A beautiful and entertaining adventure story with magical creatures and fantastic illustrations.

Rating:

rating 4

Maggie Stiefvater – The Raven Boys

17675462© Scholastic Press

Audiobook (German)
Information on the book
Hardcover
publisher: Scholastic Press
published: 2012
pages: 416

Blurb:

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue never sees them–until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks to her.
His name is Gansey, a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.
But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul whose emotions range from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher who notices many things but says very little.
For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She doesn’t believe in true love, and never thought this would be a problem. But as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore. (Amazon)

In Very Short:

+ ley lines, ghosts, premonitions and supernatural occurrences
+ divers group of characters
– the narrative pace was to bumpy and the story did not captivate

My Opinion:

This first installment of the The Raven Boys Cycle introduces the main characters – the Raven Boys – Blue and the search for ley lines and the power that those hold. Not only do they discover some strange, supernatural occurrences, the truth about the past and one of their group, they also get caught up in lots of emotions and future destinies.

It was an interesting story, with a well-developed and even paced story line, which was partially solved towards the end yet left many open questions for future books. Still, at different points in the narration, it felt halted and slowed down before it picked up again. The premise was interesting, yet it lacked the ability to captivate me.

The characters are a divers group of people, most of them being exposed to future troubles and possible destinies yet all determined to fight those visions. The story was already hinting at some kind of love triangle problem – that I am not that thrilled about, but that was not foregrounded either.

The writing was melodic and easy, yet also quite slow. Sometimes attempting to be poetic and thus taking attention away from the narration. It did not add to the story, but it might have been a problem due to the translation.

Bottom Line:

It was a good book and an interesting story line, yet I am not sure whether I should give the English version a try. At this point I am not sure I want to continue the German one either.

My Reading Month May 2015

May was not necessarily a great reading month, but it was OK. I have read three books and also listened to 3 audiobooks. So, at least I enjoyed six different stories, which is not bad. I really should add my audiobooks to my goodreads challenge. Than I would be ahead of things instead of behind. But let’s get started.

Crown of Embers

Rae Carson – The Crown of Embers

My first read this month was The Crown of Embers, which was the second book in The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy. It was a really enjoyable and fast read, with a likeable yet occasionally short-sighted protagonist, loveable side characters, a lovely word creation and a lot of action right from the start. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Katharina M. Mylius – Bloody Rosemary: Ein Oxford-Krimi

This cozy crime novel was written by a German author and is set in Oxford. The book is Christie-esque, the characters normal and capable to investigate and have a life, the murder mystery was interesting but not gruesome, and there was a lot of intertextual references to other books from the same publisher. Fun and light read.

Touch of Frost Bloody Rosemary

Jennifer Estep – Touch of Frost

I really thought, I am not into the whole special school for special creatures/being kind of thing and I was wrong. Gwen Frost attends a school where the descendants of many historical and mythical people go to school: Vikings, Valkyries, Amazons, Spartans and many more. She doesn’t fit in with her Gypsy gift, she has no friends and then a girl gets killed and her entire world turns upside down. I enjoyed the setting, the story was fast, and the characters likeable.

Audiobooks:

Maggie Stiefvater – Rot wie das Meer/ The Scorpio Races

I have read The Scorpio Races a while ago and I really enjoyed it. And I also enjoyed the audiobook version of it, too. The story is interesting and fantastic yet real and very character driven. I liked both Sean and Puck, I enjoyed the writing which lulled me and drew me in. Still one of my favorites. Maybe because it is a quiet book.

Andrea Sawatzki – Von Erholung war nie die Rede

The second book by this German author follows the Buntschuh family on their vacation where everything seems to get out of control really fast. Annoying mothers and mother-in-laws, even more annoying brothers and sister-in-laws and an even sometimes annoying main protagonist. This time the point of views vary between different characters. It was good and entertaining.

Maggie Stiefvater – Wen der Rabe ruft/ The Raven Boys

The second book by Maggie Stiefvater that I listened to this month was the Raven Boys. It was good book, following Blue, who can connect to ghosts and stuff, and four boys who are looking for an old dude from Wales. I know I should remember more, but I don’t. It was good and interesting, but apparently not so great that I remember. It also had to do with Gypsy things and a ghost and three very different boys and there was murder involved. Again, it was good.

My Reading Month May

This reading month has been a little slow. Although I have read quite a few pages, I look at the number of books and I am a little disappointed. But at the end of the day there are not enough hours to read or I am simply not always in the mood. Anyway. The three books I have read this month, I enjoyed thoroughly.

 CIMG0113

Maggie Stiefvater – The Scorpio Races

I am absolutely on love with this book. But when someone asks me why, I cannot formulate a coherent and logical sentence. The book is a little paradoxon for me. It is a fast paced story that is also quite slow in its narration, but never to slow to be bored.

The story lives from its characters and their development, their relation to the island they live on, their reasons for taking part in the Scorpio Races (the often bloody and deadly race on bloodthirsty water horses) and their relation to their horses (water horse or “normal” horse). Yet at the same time the practice and the race are so action packed that my heart occasionally stopped beating.

The book is fantastic and shed light on the mythology of water horses that is not necessarily common knowledge but sure deserves the attention. I enjoyed this read and ride immensely.

Michael Grant – Gone

Gone is also an interesting and exiting read. It deals with a group of children and youth who have to live in a world without parents and anyone older than 14. With a blink of an eye they disappear and the ones remaining are confronted with the challenges of survival, growing supernatural powers, mutating animals and “something else out there”.

Although I enjoyed the book I personally cannot say what the book really is. Is it science fiction, fantasy or a dystopia . I would categorize as somewhat of a speculative fiction which could be really everything and nothing. It reminds me a little bit of Stephen King and though I am not a fan of his writings, I like Michael Grant’s version. Many will claim that this is not Stephen King like and I do not claim it is or to know King’s complete writings. But it somehow reminds me of him.

I enjoyed Grant’s novel and am looking forward to read further installments in this series as it is interesting as well as shocking when looking at the development within the remaining society. I sure have to know why everyone disappeared, why there is a wall, why animals are mutating and what the “other” out in the desert is.

Christine and Christopher Russell – The Warrior Sheep Go West

The second installment in the Warrior Sheep series is as much fun as the first one. Again the five rare breeds of Eppingham farm are on their way to save all sheepdom and do as the holy ram Aries bids.

Brought to America to serve as experiments for a mad scientist, the sheep go West to save all sheep from Red Tongue – a sheep devouring monster.

With wit and a lot of sheer luck the rare breed start their quest through the desert of the US.

This book is again a lovely and beautifully written children’s book with the loveable sheep and their owners Ida and Tod on a new adventure. Ida is again a loveable and naïve yet take charge granny who does not take orders from anyone nor stops until she has what she wants. Tod right on her heal and the sheep again caught in their own adventures.

It is an easy, breezy, and entertaining read for children and for the young at heart.

Although this month was not as reading intense as I wished all three reads were very enjoyable and entertaining reads that aloud me to escape from my own reality for a while.

Maggie Stiefvater – The Scorpio Races

CIMG0104

paperback
publisher: Scholastic US
published 2011
pages: 482

Book on Amazon

Blurb:

Every year, the Scorpio Races are run on the beaches if Skarmouth. Every year, the sea washes blood from the sand. To race the savage water horses can mean death, but the danger is irresistible.

When Puck enters the races to save her family, she is drawn to the mysterious Sean, the only person on the island capable of taming the beasts.

Even if they stay together, can they stay alive?

A breathtaking ride that will make you heart race.

In (Very) Short:

+ beautiful and gloomy
+ half fantasy, half coming of age centering around the myth of water horses
+ told consecutively from the perspectives of the two protagonists Puck and Sean
+ slow moving at the same time fast paced story
– I can’t pronounce the name of the water horses for the life of me

My Opinion:

Kate (Puck) Connolly and Sean Kendrick have lived on Thisby there entire life. A small little island whose biggest secret is revealed every October when the beautiful yet deadly water horses come to the shore.

Tradition dictates that each year the men on the island catch and race those horses in the Scorpio Races. Yet, the races demand a price – a bloody and deadly one.

For the first time in the history of Thisby a young woman takes part in the races and only slowly realizes how dangerous and deadly this game is. But with the help of Sean Kendrick she might just be able to survive.

I am in love with this book. The general mood of the book is rather dark and gloomy, so don’t read this when you are in a similar mood. However, this book and the mood has captured me from the very first pages. It is beautiful.

The story is wonderfully written. The mythological horses and the legend surrounding them were foreign and strange to me, but are never forced or unnatural to the story.

The narrative as well as the relationship between Sean and Puck is slow moving yet at the same time fast paced. That doesn’t mean there is not enough action. There sure is a lot.

The story itself is told from the perspectives of Puck and Sean, not repeating the narrative but subsequently telling the story. This drives the narrative forward and adds to the pace.

I still have to utter a little warning. If you are not a fan of horses and dislike the animal, this might not be the right book for you. If you don’t relate to the animals than maybe don’t pick up this novel.

Bottom Line:

I am in love with this book and the beautiful story. Although I cannot pronounce the mythological name of the water horses for the life of me, I will read this book again. Sadly it was planned as an individual book and not as part of a series. But please do pick it up and read, because it is worth it.

Rating:

rating 5