My Reading Month March

March was a solid reading month. I have a little bit of reading groove back. It increased slowly, but at least it does. I hope the next months might be better.

  • Books: 4
  • Audiobook: 6
  • Pages (only books): 698
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 1857
  • Minutes listened: 1490 min. (over 24 hours)

Books:

Charlaine Harris – Three Bedrooms and One Corpse (Aurora Teagarden #3)

The third novel in the series was finally a little more crime fiction than the ones before. I enjoyed the story, the mystery, and even the characters – Aurora wasn’t as annoying as in the last installments. A good cozy mystery.

Kate Clary – The Monster that Moved in

A lovely children’s tale about a family who invited a monster to move in with them. Only to discover annoying habits that seems to drive them crazy. Yet they are not aware that they might have annoying habits, too.

Andreas H. Schmachtl – Weltbeste Freunde für Immer

A short book about friendship and love. Really adorable.

Maria V. Snyder – Touch of Power (Avry of Kazan #1)

It took me a while to start another book by Maria V. Snyder. I loved her Poison Study series, but wasn’t so thrilled with the first book in the glass series. This time I get to know a whole new world full of magic and healers, who are hunted down – a little like a witch hunt. This whole story just sets up the story for the continuing books and is leaves an interesting premise for the future. I was captivated, enjoyed the characters, and loved the side kicks. Snyder has a fantastic way to create loveable characters and keep a fast and thrilling narrative pace. I loved it.

Weltbeste Freunde Charlaine Harris - Teagarden 3

Audiobooks:

Andreas H. Schmachtl – Tilda Apfelkern

My first audiobook this month was German children’s book but I forgot the complete title. There are quite a few out there and I couldn’t recall which one it was. It contained stories about the white mouse Tilda and her friends who embark on some adventures.

Holly Black and Cassandra Clare – Magisterium: Der Weg ins Labyrinth/ The Iron Trial

Although the reviews state that The Iron Trial was a rip off of Harry Potter, I disagree. Yes there are some similar tropes and settings used but you can’t reinvent the wheel all the time. There is bound to be some overlapping. I really enjoyed the story, I did not see the ending or the twists coming. Really good.

Nina Müller – Kuschelflosse und die blubberbunte Weltmeisterschaft

The second adventure of the fish cuddly and his friends is equally fun and adorable. The participate in the world championship of bubbles, trying to create the most and unique bubbles with a machine. Lovely story.

George R.R. Martin – Das Lied des Eisdrachen/ The Ice Dragon

Also lovely and entertaining was this short fairy tale. The Ice Dragon is a short, yet interesting narration that would have made a wonderful fantasy novel: Adara and the ice dragon are friends, yet when her town is run over by war, Adara has to make a choice that will cost her.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson: Im Bann des Zyklopen/ Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters

I love Percy Jackson. I already read all the books and I now listen to the audiobooks in German. Granted, I do think the originals are better because I was laughing a lot more when I read them, but I also enjoy the narrated German version. They are still as captivating as the written word.

M.C. Beaton – Agatha Raisin: Hiss and Hers

My first M.C. Beaton mystery and I am unsure what and how to feel. The mystery was very good and interesting. It kept my on my toes. Yet I did not warm up to the main character or any other character really. They were annoying, behaved like children, and drove me plain crazy. Thus, I think I have to read one before I form a final opinion. Some books are better when I read them then have them narrated to me. Maybe it will be the same with Beaton’s novels.

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Nina Müller – Kuschelflosse: Die blubberbunte Weltmeisterschaft (Incl. Short English Review)

This book is written and narrated in German. For a short English review see further below.

Kuschelflosse - Die blubberbunte Weltmeisterschaft von Nina Mueller

Hörbuch gelesen von Ralf Schmitz
Verlag: cbj audio
veröffentlicht: 2016
Zeit: 1h 30min

Klappentext:

Wer wird Blubberweltmeister?

Heute hat der Postfisch eine ganz besondere Flaschenpost gebracht: Die Einladung zur großen Blubberweltmeisterschaft, die dieses Wellenjahr in Fischhausen stattfindet. Für Kuschel und seine Freunde ist klar: Da müssen sie mitmachen, am besten mit einer einzigartigen Mango-Blubber-Maschine! Ob sie damit eine Chance haben? Immerhin werden auch der Riesenpupsfisch, die bekloppte Blubbermuschel, der böse Blubberkäfer und das Seeblubberballett aus Neuschwanland dabei sein … (cbj audio)

In Kürze:

+ das nächste spannende Abenteuer mit Kuschelflosse und seinen Freunden
+ eine wunderbare Geschichte über Erfindungen, Lösen von Problemen und Freundschaft
+ wieder wunderbar gelesen von Ralf Schmitz

Meinung:

Kuschelflosse und seine Freunde nehmen an der Blubberweltmeisterschaft, die nur sehr selten stattfindet, teil und wollen eine Mango Blubber Maschine bauen. Die muss aber erst einmal erfunden werden. Auf dem Weg zur Maschine müssen die Freunde nicht nur Abenteuer bestehen und Labyrinthen entkommen (ich sage nur grinsende Fischstäbchen), sondern aufpassen, dass Ihnen keiner die Idee klaut.

Wieder hat die Autorin eine schöne und herzliche Geschichte geschrieben. Der Weg bis zur Entstehung der Blubbermaschine ist spannend und mit vielen schönen und sonderbaren Figuren versehen und kleinen Abenteuern bestückt. Besonders das Labyrinth mit dem Fischstäbchen fand ich herrlich – wie die Autorin auf diese tollen Ideen kommt, ist mir ein Rätsel, aber dafür bin ich einfach nicht kreativ genug. Ganz toll.

Die Charaktere waren liebenswert und die neuen Figuren passten wunderbar zu dem bereits bekannten Ensemble dazu. Ralf Schmitz hat wieder fantastisch gelesen und den Figuren eine individuelle und passende Stimme verliehen.
Über das Ende bin ich mir nicht ganz so sicher – es war schön, aber ich bin im allgemeinen nicht der allergrößte Fan der alle-sind Gewinner-Methode. Es ist auch vollkommen okay nicht immer bei allem Erster zu werden. Das macht einen nicht zu einem schlechteren oder unfähigeren Menschen bzw. Fisch. Aber das sieht sicherlich jeder anders.

Vielen Dank an cbj audio für dieses Rezensionsexemplar.

Fazit:

Ein schönes, spannendes und niedliches Abenteuer mit alten Bekannten und neuen Freunden. Lang leben die Fischstäbchen 🙂

In English:

This is the second installment in this children’s books series focusing on the fish Kuddly and his friends. The friends participate in the world championship of creating the most bubbles. For this the friends invent a machine that creates bubbles with a mango flavor (as you do in the underwater world) and in order to finish this machine they encounter quite a few adventures.

It was a wonderful and enchanting story with new and unique characters as well as the old friends I met before. I enjoyed the way it was read and the quirky adventure sequences spread throughout the story.

I am unsure as to the end since I am not the greatest fan of everyone is a winner method but I get it. Still I think it is also okay not to win something as it does not make you a worse or incapable person or fish in this case. But everyone will see it differently and that is probably good, too.

My Reading Month Febuary

I am pretty pleased with this reading month given that I somehow don’t really have the time nor the nerve to sit down quietly anymore. Yet I still manage to listen to my fair share of audiobooks.

  • Books: 3
  • Audiobook: 6
  • Pages (only books): 720
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 3066
  • Minutes listened: 1910 min. (over 31 hours)

Books:

Victoria Aveyard – Red Queen

Red Queen was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. Though I could see some of the twist and turns coming, it was a captivating read. The world creation was interesting (and I can’t wait to get to know more about it), the characters were fascinating and divers (even if I did not connect to all of them), and the protagonist’s dilemma developed from a rather one-dimensional point and perspective to a multidimensional one. A really enjoyable and entertaining fantasy novel.

red queen

Antje Szillat – Tohu Wabohu: Nichts für müde Krieger (#1) & Tohu Wabohu: Nur für echte Cowboys (#2)

This children’s book series is not only a wonderful book for boys (and I would say girls too) but is narrated with and through small comic strips in between longer texts. The comics, however, do not just support the text but actually continued the narration before returning to a piece of text again. The illustrations were charming and the protagonist and his horse were adorable. Each book centers around an adventure in which the protagonist and his horse save the day.

Tohu 2 - Nur für echte Cowboys

Audiobooks:

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson: Diebe im Olymp/ Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief

I have read the Percy Jackson series quite some time ago and I really enjoyed it. Now I have turned to the German audiobooks (because they are available in our library) and I do enjoy them too. Though I do not laugh as much as I did with the English version. Still, they are fun, entertaining, thrilling, and Percy is still very loveable – though I do miss the sarcasm…but that might also be due to the narrator.

Dörte Hansen – Altes Land

This German author has centered her story around two women from different generations each fleeing, each trying to find a home, each struggling with their past. While one protagonist fled their home in WWII and never felt home in a town she has lived in ever since, the other flees her live and family after being left by her husband. The character-driven story was captivating and thought-provoking.

Tohu 1 - Nix für müde Krieger

Lucinda Riley – Das Orchideenhaus/ Hothouse Flower

My very first Lucinda Riley novel was surprisingly entertaining. Not that I did not think I would like the author, since I heard only good things about her. However, I am always a little nervous or reluctant when I dive into a new audiobook genre. The first books always determine whether I want to continue with it. So far I have mostly listened to historical fiction, crime stories and young adult and children’s books.
I really enjoyed the story that was set in two different times. The writing was fluent and effortless, the narration well-paced and intriguing, and the characters vivid and sympathetic. A wonderful start into the genre and the writing of Lucinda Riley.

Kai Meyer – Die Wasserweber (Die Wellenläufer #3)/ Pirate Wars (The Wave Walkers #3)

The final installment of the Wave Walkers trilogy was gripping, surprising, and fun. As per usual the story was fast-paced and action packed. I was happy to meet my friends again and accompany them on their final adventure as well as sad to let them go at the end. It was a wonderful conclusion to a great middle grade series.

Sabine Weigand – Die Silberne Burg

My historical novel this month was centered around a young Jewish woman who tries to escape a horrible past and husband and to make a living for herself in the middle ages. It is amazing how many times she was down on the ground and she picked herself up again. I enjoyed the author’s novels since they entail enough historical data and facts, yet do not overwhelm and bore the readers with those. The information is dispersed and keeps the narrative pace steady (if that makes any sense).

Kuschelflosse 1

Nina Müller – Kuschelflosse und das unheimlich geheime Zauber-Riff

This audiobook is a wonderful children’s book about the fish Kuddly and his friends who are searching for a magical reef and an old turtle who will grant a wish. The friends start on adventure that is exiting, a little dangerous, and that lands them in an urchin population census. A wonderful and fun book with a great message. I loved it.

Nina Müller – Kuschelflosse: Das unheimlich geheime Zauber-Riff (Incl. Short English Review)

This story is written by a German author and not translated into English. For a short English review please see further below.

9783837131406_Cover

Hörbuch gelesen von Ralf Schmitz
Verlag: cbj audio
veröffentlicht: 2015
Zeit: 1h 24min

Klappentext:

Kuschelige Fische, kichernde Schwimmerdbeeren, eklige Quallenrotze – ein fröhlich-durchgedrehter Hörbuchspaß für die ganze Familie!
Willkommen in Fischhausen! Hier leben Kuschelflosse, das Seebrillchen Sebi, Herr Kofferfisch und die Schwimmerdbeere Emmi. Eines Tages hört Kuschelflosse im Unterwasser-Radio von einem geheimnisvollen Riff. Dort soll eine uralte Zauber-Schildkröte wohnen, die Wünsche erfüllen kann. Zusammen mit seinen Freunden macht sich Kuschelflosse auf die abenteuerliche Reise zum Zauber-Riff … (cbj audio)

In Kürze:

+ ein spannendes Abenteuer mit Kuschelflosse und seinen Freunden
+ eine Geschichte über Mut, Freundschaft und Zusammenhalt
+ die Autoren hat eine tolle und hinreißende Unterwasserwelt erschaffen
+ wunderbar erzählt von Ralf Schmitz

Meinung:

Kuschelflosse und das unheimlich geheime Zauber-Riff ist nicht nur ein sehr schönes und zuckersüßes Abenteuer mit einer schönen Botschaft am Ende, sondern wird von Ralf Schmitz einfach fantastisch gelesen.

Zugegeben ich bin sicherlich schon ein wenig alt für Kinderbücher, aber mir macht das Lesen und auch das Hören immer noch ein Riesenspaß.

Kuschelflosse begibt sich auf die Suche nach dem geheimen Zauber-Riff und der darin lebenden Schildkröte, um sich das aller, aller wertvollste auf der Welt zu wünschen. Dabei begleiten ihn seine Freunde Sebi, Herr Kofferfisch und Emmi. Während ihrer Reise müssen die Freunde einige Gefahren meistern, durch Strudel schwimmen, Torte essen und geraten mitten in eine Seeigel-Volkszählung.

Die Geschichte ist spannend erzählt und die Welt unter Wasser ist farbenfroh, lebendig und entzückend. Die Figuren sind liebenswert, vielfältig, mutig, einfallsreich und individuell. Dabei haben alle unterschiedliche Eigenschaften und ergänzen sich wunderbar. Mir sind die Figuren an Herz gewachsen und ich würde Fischhausen auch gerne einmal besuchen und mir eine Hängematte mit Flauschi teilen.

Das Hörbuch ist für Kinder ab 4 Jahren geeignet, dabei denke ich aber es kommt auf das Kind an. Die Geschichte ist zwar spannend aber nicht gruselig, da kann das Hörbuch sicher auch schon früher gehört werden.

Vielen Dank an cbj audio für die Bereitstellung dieses Rezensionsexemplars.

Fazit:

Ein wunderbares Abenteuer über Mut, Freundschaft und Zusammenhalt.

In English:

This wonderful and charming children’s book is not translated into English and though I am not technically a child anymore – I really enjoyed this audiobook. The little fish Kuddly (my rough translation of the German name) is on his way to find a very secret magic reef where an old turtle lives and grants each visitor a wish. Kuddly wants to meet this turtle to wish for the most valuable gift ever. He and his friends than begin their journey and are exposed to many adventures, dangers, and an urchin population census.

The story is wonderful, fun, entertaining, and exiting. The characters are loveable, brave and each with divers characteristics that work well together in this adventure. The world under the sea is beautiful and sweet (I really would like to see it) and the message at the end of the story is a good one: the greatest thing and the most valuable gift are true friends.