I don’t want to grow up – My love for children’s books seems endless.

I enjoy reading children’s books. I am for sure not the intended audience but I love reading them. Not all of course, but the majority.

Funnily enough I enjoyed reading books from authors like Barbara Wood and others when I was about 13 years old – why I have no idea. During my studies in which I read many classics, I turned to fantasy and during the past say 4 to 5 years I discovered or better rediscovered my love for children’s books. Maybe I liked them because (of)

  • the nostalgic factor of my own childhood,
  • the fact that children are mostly straight forward and don’t hide what they feel,
  • they see things differently maybe even clearer.

Whatever the reason, they are fun, entertaining, usually contain a moral and just beautifully written and thought out.

As the international children’s day has been on June 1st, I just want to share some of my favorite children’s books which some might categorize under different or more specific sub-genres but from me they are still books for children – and in the end, I am still a child and will always be my parents kid no matter how old I am.

   

 

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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.

My Reading Month June/July

Since I did not manage to write a monthly summary for June, I have combined both June and July this time and I was surprised how much I read and listened to in these months.

During the past months, I listened to more audiobooks than I read physical ones and I have to admit, that I did start to enjoy to watch an occasional TV series again – I have limited my TV watching due to my project worked which focused on TV series. But now, I spent some time with the good old Star Trek Next Gen – which I loved when I was younger and still love. Oh the good old times. But back to business.

In June, I read two books and I listened to six audiobooks – two of them being children’s stories about an hour long.

Books:

Octavia Butler – Parable of the Talents

This is the second book in a duology and it was a good and interesting read. I really enjoy Butler’s writing. I don’t want to spoil so I will refrain from summarizing and it is quite complicated to do anyway. As I said, the story was good, but I could not relate to either the protagonist nor her daughter.

Rae Carson – The Bitter Kingdom

The last book in the series was as fast-paced and exiting as the ones before. I really enjoyed the story, the characters and their developing relationships and the new characters. I did not see some of it coming and I always waiting for some twists that never came. Great conclusion.

The Bitter KingdomStorm Glass

Audiobooks:

Oliver Pötzsch – Die Hexer und die Henkerstochter

The fourth book (or audiobook) in the series. A historic crime novel centering around murder and is solved by a grumpy executioner. It was interesting, fascinating (I really enjoy all the middle age day-to-day facts), thrilling, sometimes funny, and sometimes a little sad. Great book.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson: Die Schlacht ums Labyrinth

I have read the books several times and I came across this audiobook in German, so I picked it up. I wanted to see if I like the story translated into German and I enjoyed it. I have to say that I like the original a little better (at least the book version) but that is maybe due to my familiarity with it. Translations are always tricky. But it was done really well.

Bibi Blocksberg wird Prinzessin

Bibi is one of my childhood friends, and the audiobooks centering around this characters are the ones that I listened to repeatedly. This time the little witch (the main character Bibi) is suddenly turned into a princess and has to find her way back to her time line. Fun and entertaining.

Sabine Martin – Die Henkerin

Another historical novel: this time a young woman witnesses the murder of her family and in order save herself she hides as a boy living with and learning to be an executioner. But than she meets the person who murdered her family and she has sworn to avenge them. It was a good read, though it was a little jumpy between different perspectives and times, it was still good to follow and interesting.

Die Zeitdetektive – Freiheit für Richard Löwenherz

The story about 3 time traveling friends who visit different times in order to learn more but then get caught up in an adventure. This is always fun and filled with interesting historical facts that I have either learned in school and long forgotten or that I really did not know. Well done and I think really great for kids.

Kai Meyer – Die Wellenläufer

The last audiobook this month is a fantasy adventure about pirates and two children who can walk on water. This is again another wonderful story that is great for children and that was fast-paced and fascinating. Who does not love pirates and who wouldn’t want to walk on water. Really enjoyable.

Master of Crows Radiance

So, after a quite successful June I had an even better July. It took me a little to get into the swing of things. I did not start to read until well into the month and I managed to read most of the books within a little more than a week. A little time off is something really beautiful. Well, in July I managed to read 7 books (two of them novellas) and listened to 4 audiobooks. A great month.

Books:

Grace Draven – Radiance

I have been circling this book for a while as it had great reviews so far. I was in the mood for some fantasy and I really enjoyed the story. Two people of different species were married in order to ensure peace and trade agreements between their two courts and both think the others are extremely strange and hideous to look at. The story was nicely paced, entertaining and the characters were not flat, though not fully developed either. Towards the end it was quite sexually explicit (which surprised me a little since I did not read anything before going into this book) but it was only short and did not dominate nor hinder the stories fluidity.

Maria V. Snyder – Storm Glass

I have loved the Study trilogy with Yelena and Valek. Now this trilogy focuses on Opal a character from the first trilogy. It was a good read, though it was a lot more annoying that Opal just seemed to stumble from one incident and accident into the next. She never saw things coming and her naivety was getting onto my nerves a little. Still, it was interesting and I am curious to see how it continues.

Grace Draven – Master of Crows

After Radiance was an enjoyable read and this e-book was quite a bargain, I started to read this. The story was OK, and the premise interesting. I liked the world creation, though I would have liked some more build up. However, this one was very explicit and centered a little too much around any form of procreation. If you are still under aged: don’t.

the assassin and the pirate lord The Assassin and the Desert

Sarah J. Maas – The Assassin and the Desert

I finally continued to read some Celaena Sardothien stories. Since the stories/novellas build on each other, I will not talk about the content. It was an interesting story with a few more or less surprising twist and turns. You could see them coming, but they were not obvious. It is interesting to see how she develops after what happened with the Pirate Lord and how things slowly change.

Nina Blazon – Laqua: Der Fluch der schwarzen Gondel

I needed some children’s adventure story and I picked up this gem by a German author. Two children have to spend time at their grandmothers in Venice and strange and evil things start to happen. An old force is trying to possess the children’s aunt. Can they stop worse from happening? A fun and entertaining read that made me want to go to Venice and start reading more adventure books set in Venice, yet I did not have any with me at the time.

Richard Stark – The Handle

This is a crime novel that was recommended and gifted to me by one of the members of my committee who attended the defense of my dissertation and since that was about crime series, we started to talk about crime fiction and the Parker novels. It was an interesting read from the perspective of the criminal. It was short, quick, entertaining, a little hard-boiled-esque, and a great in between novel. If you like the hard-boiled writers, give this one a try.

Sarah J. Maas – The Assassin and the Underworld

The next novella in the Throne of Glass series was as entertaining and again build up on the ones before. It was interesting to also see the emotional and personal struggle of Celaena to come to terms with who she has become and who Aborynn really is.

The Handle Nina Blazon - Fluch der schwarzen Gondel

Audiobooks:

Bastian Bielendorfer – Mutter ruft an

This book is somewhat of an experience report about the authors unique and yet sometimes surreal mother. It was a good book, although it took me some time to warm up to him. A nice audiobook for in between.

Marliese Arold – Magic Girls: Gefangen in der Unterwelt

I have read the first books in physical form and now I have come across the third book as audiobook. The story was captivating and thrilling (even more than the previous ones), there was a lot of mystery that is not yet solved, and it is closely connected to the previous book. I only had some issues with the reading – the voices in which some of the characters were read, were quite annoying.

Iny Lorentz – Die Kastellanin

This is also a second book in a series written by a German author or better a duo. It is a historical novel focusing on adventure, political conspiracies and murder. It was beautifully read and thus captivating. Enjoyed it very much.

Sabine Weigand – Die Seelen im Feuer

Another historical novel that centers around the witch burning mania in the middle ages. It was interesting to see how and why they were accused and burned. Sometimes it was a little descriptive for me, but I am very sensitive. So it might not bother someone with a tougher skin or stomach 🙂

So this is or better was my very long monthly summary or summaries in this blog. I am quite happy. I hope the next one will be as successful and I hope that I finally manage to get my blog up to speed again. I am currently also working on another project and it is a lot more complicated to keep track of things.

Top 5 Favorite Series

These are my Top 5 series (e.g. more than three books). Some of them have concluded others are still running and continued. I really enjoyed them all.

1. Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief
Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters
Percy Jackson and the Titan’s Curse
Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth
Percy Jackson and the last Olympian

2. J. K. Rowling – Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Sorcerers Stone
Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Askaban
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

3. George R.R. Martin – The Song of Ice and Fire

A Game of Thrones
A Clash of Kings
A Storm Swords
A Feast of Crows
A Dance with Dragons
tbc

4. Alan Bradley – Flavia de Luce Mysteries

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag
A Red Herring without Mustard
I’m Half-Sick of Shadows
tbc

5. Sarah J. Maas – Throne of Glass Series

Throne of Glass
Crown of Midnight
Heir of Fire (not yet read)
tbc

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades// Deary/Brown – Horrible Histories: Groovy Greeks

percy

paperback
publisher: Puffin
published: this book has been specially written and published for World Book Day 2009
pages: 151

In (Very) Short:

+ short story of Percy Jackson
+ two books in one
+ you turn the book it turns into Horrible Histories: Groovy Greeks
+ funny, entertaining, thrilling, great
+ I just love Percy Jackson

My Opinion:

This little novella, short story, or whatever you want to call it, is lovely and wonderful. I am not sure I am very objective when it comes to Percy Jackson. I love the series. So, for me everything Percy related is always good. And it is.

Here you have two books in one: first Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades and when you turn it over you get Horrible Histories: Groovy Greeks.

The Percy Jackson story is exiting, funny, and wonderful. Percy, Thalia, and Nico are all brought together to the Underworld to help find – you guessed it – the Sword of Hades. The three friends have to battle demons, fight a titan, and stay alive to save the world.

The story is narrated from Percy’s perspective (as are all the novels) and I had to laugh out loud so many times, that people sure though I was more than a little crazy. It was a fun and exiting read and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The second book – the Horrible Histories – was a short history of Ancient Greece. The illustrations throughout this part are funny and loosen up the rather stuffy appearing history bits. The writing alone is wonderfully entertaining as well and again lots of laughs from me and more than one eye brow was raised my way, when I was reading on the train.

Bottom Line:

A wonderful and fantastic read.

Rating:

rating 5

My Reading Month January

My reading year 2014 started pretty good. I think I have left my reading slump behind.  I managed 6 books already, which I think is a good start. Let’s see how it continues.

Marissa Meyer – Scarlet

I started my reading year with Scarlet and it was a very good start. This second installment in the Lunar Chronicles series was even better than the first. I haven’t had many books that were better than the first one, usually they are worse. But not Scarlet. I enjoyed the continuation of the story of Cinder. I thoroughly enjoyed Scarlet’s story line (which wasn’t as predictable as was Cinder’s in the previous novel) and I liked how the story came together. I am very much looking forward to the next book.

flut und fangzähne 2

Marcus Sedgwick – Flut und Fangzähne

This is a lovely, weird and quirky adventure story with a weird and quirky family. Raven Edgar lives in the castle with the family Otherhand and believes to be the only intelligent and not constantly self-involved member of the family. He is the first who notices the danger the castle and the family is in. It’s a fun read with a lovely narrator, a house with an own will, danger, adventure, and a hero raven.

Jennifer E. Smith – Die Statistische Wahrscheinlichkeit für Liebe auf den Ersten Blick

I actually picked this book up because of the title. It intrigued me. Two young people meet on a plane ride across the Atlantic and connect before they are thrown back into their own lives and realities. How much time do you need to impress someone or to feel connected? The book was entertaining and raised some interesting issues when both protagonists faced their problems and fears.

die statistische wahrscheinlichkeit

Agatha Christie – Cat Among The Pigeons

Another interesting, entertaining, and somewhat thrilling crime story, with not enough Poirot in it. Again I wasn’t sure for a very long time who the murderer could be or what the motive is. In the early part of the investigation I though I knew, only the be thrown again. But a good read through and through.

Uschi Flacke – Das Mädchen mit den Seidenraupen

Another historical young adult novel. The story is set in 16th century Lyon and the author described the time and setting so vividly that I felt like I could smell it. The descriptions were beautiful, the story interesting (I learned about silk and silk production in the 16th century), and the protagonist annoying, but she was young. 🙂

das mädchen mit den seidenraupen

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades

This is a lovely short story which is set between The Battle of the Labyrinth (the 4th book) and The Last Olympian (the final book in the series). This is again a wonderful story. I had to laugh so many times. I just love Percy Jackson!
And with this book you get two in one. If you turn the book, you get another – Horrible Histories: Groovy Greeks which is a short and funny telling of ancient Greek history.

December/January Book Haul

Marissa Meyer’s Scarlet and Pauline Francis’ Rabenlady/Raven Queen where the two books I got for Christmas and since I have already read them and the review will be up shortly or is already up, I won’t do a whole blurb-what-I-think-about-it thing on it.

But here are the books I bought in January. I really shouldn’t have gone on Ebay right after Christmas. People really want to get rid of their books. Which is good for me, but bad for my shelves. There is no space on them anymore… Anyway.

Petra Schier – Suche Weihnachtsmann biete Hund

Julia ist das Alleinsein satt. Am Heiligabend möchte sie endlich nicht mehr einsam sein. Also gibt sie eine Anzeige auf: „Vorzeigbarer Weihnachtsmann zwischen fünfundzwanzig und fünfundvierzig gesucht.“ Doch alle Schreiben, die sie erhält, sind an einen Mann gerichtet. Will sie da jemand zum Narren halten? Julia braucht eine Weile, bis sie begreift, dass höhere Mächte im Spiel sind, die ihr bei der Suche nach dem Glück helfen wollen. Zu ihnen gehört auch Nick, ein äußerst eigensinniger Schäferhund.

After I read my first Christmas novel/novella last year, I just bought another for this year. It’s a long time until Christmas, but it was an offer I couldn’t resist.

Das Fest der Elfen – Phantastische Weihnachtsstorys

Elfen, Geister und die Wahrheit über Santa Claus

Vereiste Täler, dunkle Nächte und winterliche Reiche – hier begehen Elfen, Dämonen und Zauberer ihr höchstes Fest. Könige verfallen weihnachtlicher Magie, Feinde werden zu Verbündeten und Santa Claus findet sein Schicksal.

Another Christmas related book this time a fantasy Christmas book. I have never heard of anything like that before when I saw this at a book store. Well, and since Christmas is gonna be here soon enough… 🙂

January Haul

Trudi Canavan – The Last of the Wilds

The war between the Circlians and Pentadrians is over, but the cost has been high and both sides.

Although the architect of the White’s victory, Auraya feels no joy. Her days are spent trying to reconcile the Dreamweavers and the priesthood, while her sleep is filled with nightmares. The dead haunt her and the only one she trusts to help has vanished.

Still struggling to come to terms with the increasingly powerful memories of the long-dead Mirar, the Dreamweaver, Leiard, flees into the mountains with Emerahl, perhaps the last of the Wilds. Emerahl is powerfully gifted, and helps Leiard to make sense of his strange jumble of memories. What they discover will change his life, and the world, forever…

Trudi Canavan – The Traitor Queen

Events are building to a climax in Sachaka as Lorkin returns from his exile with the Traitor rebels.

The Traitor Queen has given Lorkin the task of brokering an alliance between his people and the Traitors, and Lorkin has had to become a feared black magician in order to harness the power of an entirely new kind of gemstone magic. This knowledge could transform the Guild of Magicians – or make Lorkin an outcast for ever.

What can I say about Trudi. I love her. I think her world building is great, I love her writing. These books screamed my name. I want to finish the Traitor Spy Trilogy and the Traitor Queen is the final installment, so I had to get it. And I decided that I will only start the Age of Five trilogy when I have all of them. Waiting a year for the next installment is challenging, because I forget quite a bit over time. We’re all getting older. 🙂 I know the Age of Five trilogy is already complete, but for now I am collecting.

Jessica Fletcher – Murder on the QE2

Jessica Fletcher, Cabot Cove, Maine’s acclaimed mystery writer, finds herself in treacherous waters when a dream voyage in the transatlantic luxury liner Queen Elizabeth 2 becomes a nightmare journey into danger.

Jessica has accepted an offer that seems too good to be true. All she has to do for a fabulous free trip on the QE2 is give a pair of lectures on the art of the mystery and script a play to entertain her fellow passengers. But when a legendary leading lady is slain, the drama turns deadly. Jessica barely has time to champagne and caviar as she sorts through suspects who include a TV mogul and his trophy wife, a famed Italian chef, a dashing mountain climber, the judge in a notorious California murder trial,and a boatload of other beautiful people with ugly secrets. When murder strikes again, Jessica must combine her sleuthing skills with her writing talents to craft the masterpiece of their mystery-solving career – before the world’s premier floating palace sinks in a sea of blood.

I stumbled across this book by accident and what can I say – I love Murder She Wrote. It’s funny, entertaining, and it has Angela Lansbury. I have read one of those novels before and they are quite good. So I couldn’t resist, when I stumbles across this one.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades

Anything Percy Jackson is fantastic!!!! I have nothing more to say. Love him.

Christine & Christopher Russell – The Warrior Sheep Down Under

Tuftella, the Fairest Ewe if All, has been imprisoned in a far and distant land filled with emus, kangaroos…and crocodiles! Only the Warrior Sheep can save her – with a little bit of help their fairy godtingy.
And so the Warrior Sheep head Down Under.
But if their fairy godtingy is supposed to be helping, why does she seem so keen to get rid of them? The Warriors are facing their biggest challenge yet…

This is the third installment in the Warrior Sheep series. I have read the previous ones and when I found this one as a bargain, I had to grab it. It’s gonna be interesting to see how they actually get to Australia. Their way to America in The Warrior Sheep Go West was wonderfully weird already.