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.

   

 

Advertisements

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.

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 October

Well, this was not a great reading month but a good listening month, I suppose. I enjoyed the audiobooks very much. I did enjoy almost all of my books (well only one of the two that I have read).

  • Books: 2
  • Audiobook: 9
  • Pages (only books): 880
  • Pages (incl. Audiobooks): 4144
  • Minutes listened: about 2900 min. (over 48 hours)

Books:

Paula Hawkins – Girl on the Train: Du kennst sie nicht, aber sie kennt dich/ The Girl on the Train

This Thriller was somewhat thrilling but disturbing on so many levels. At least for me. I was intrigued by the premise and the idea, yet the implementation lacked originality and characters that were not filled with clichés to the brim. Sadly disappointing.

Rick Riordan – Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods

A wonderful, funny, and sweet introduction to Greek mythology. Definitely not boring for a history lesson and thoroughly entertaining.

Girl on the Train Percy Jackson and the Greek Gods

Audiobooks:

Rita Falk – Griesnockerlaffäre

A crime story set in a small town in Bavaria. This is the fourth installment of the series about a quirky and sometimes strange provincial police officer who not only stumbles over more murder than anyone else but who has a problem with authority and weapons regulations. Great read as per usual.

Susanne Fröhlich – Wundertüte

A chick lit novel for the older chick (in her late 40s) about finding your way and balance between your old man, your new man, your new man’s family, and sudden changes within your own family. Entertaining and a little heartwarming.

Cordula Stratmann – Sie Da Oben, Er Da Unten

Another fun novel by the author. A husband murders his wife and now both deal with the aftermath of this situation. How can she deal with the aftermath, you might think…well you have to read it, but sadly it is only written in German.

Oliver Pötzsch – Die Henkerstochter und der Teufel von Bamberg

A crime novel set in the in the 17th century in Bavaria. The executioner and his daughter have to solve a murder and unravel a conspiracy. Great read as usual.

Rita Falk – Sauerkrautkoma

The fifth installment about the provincial police officer and his life. This time he is transferred to the police department in Munich. Though I was afraid that I was going to miss his wonderful grandma and the rest of his family, he still returns home often.

Kiera Cass – Selection

I finally started with the Selection trilogy and I really enjoyed it. Though it was not as fast-paced and thrilling but a rather character driven plot, it was entertaining and enjoyable.

Chris Riddell – Ada von Goth und die Geistermaus/ Goth Girl and the Ghost of a Mouse

I needed a little cheering up since it took me a long time to get through my physical book, so I listened up a children’s story. Ada does not only sees the ghost of a mouse but also discovers a conspiracy that could end deadly. Thus, she and her friends take matters into their own hands. Wonderful read.

Sabine Weigand – Die Tore des Himmels

Another rather annoying character was one of the protagonists in this book. Elizabeth of Thuringia wants to become a saint. This not only leads her down an uncommon way for women at that time, but also subdues her to the whims and wills of a christian priest, who want to use her for his own benefit. And then there is the conspiracy against Elizabeth’s oldest son, the heir. A good historical novel, yet quite difficult at times.

Maryrose Wood – Das Geheimnis von Ashton Place/ The Incredible Children of Ashton Place

After finishing the historical novel, I needed another more cheerful story and I turned to Maryrose Wood. This novel is a fun and entertaining read, with lots of references to other literary pieces that the children might not understand but as the person who might have to read it to the child or with the child, this is quite fun. A nice adventure story with a lot more mystery to be solved in future installments.

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.

My Top 5 Most Read Authors

1. Agatha Christie

The Murder at the Vicarage
The Thirteen Problems
The Body in the Library
The Moving Finger
A Murder is Announced
They do it with Mirrors
4.50 from Paddington
The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side
The Caribbean Mystery
At Bertram’s Hotel
Sleeping Murder
Miss Marple’s Final Cases
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd
Murder on the Orient Express
Murder in Mesopotamia
Death on the Nile
After the Funeral
Cat Among the Pigeons
And Then There Were None
Nemesis
Hallowe’en Party

2. J.K. Rowling

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
Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them
Quidditch Through the Ages
The Tales of Beedle the Bard

3. Rick Riordan

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
The Demigod Files
Percy Jackson and the Sword of Hades
The Red Pyramid
The Throne of Fire

4. Trudi Canavan

The Magician’s Guild
The Novice
The High Lord
The Ambassador’s Mission
The Rogue
The Traitor Queen

5. Charlaine Harris

Dead Until Dark
Living Dead in Dallas
Club Dead
Dead to the World
Shakespeare’s Landlord
Real Murders
A Bone to Pick

Rick Riordan – The Throne of Fire (Kane Chronicles #2)

Throne of Fire

paperback
publisher: Puffin
published 2011
pages: 451

Book (English)

Blurb:

One Curse.
Two Heroes.
Five Days to Save the World.
Ever since the gods of ancient Egypt were unleashed on the modern world, Carter Kane and his sister, Sadie, have been in big trouble. As descendants of the magical House of Life, they command certain powers. But now a terrifying enemy – Apophis, the giant snake of Chaos – is rising. If Carter and Sadie don’t destroy him, the world will end in five day’s time. And, in order to battle forces of Chaos, they must revive the sun God Ra – a feat no magician has ever achieved. Because first they must search the world for the three sections of the Book of Ra, then they have to learn how to chant its spell…
Can the Kanes destroy Apophis before he swallows the sun and plunges the earth to darkness … forever?

In (Very) Short:

+ 2nd installment of The Kane Chronicles
+ fast paced and good adventure
+ great world creation and writing
+ wonderful incorporation of Egyptian mythology

My Opinion:

This is the second installment of Riordan’s Kane Chronicles. This time around the Kane siblings and their minions/students try to stop Apophis from rising and plunging the world into chaos, which will happen in about five days time. So, no pressure there…

Just like the first book, the story is made up as a recording from the siblings send out into the world. After Sadie and Carter have recorded and told their 1st story and send it out into the world, many students (though you have to be descendant from an Egyptian pharaoh line to have any power at all) came to learn magic. Thus the story begins, when many students have arrived in Brooklyn and are currently taught by the Kanes. I really enjoyed this narrative frame and the implementation of it.

Riordan has a great gift of using and incorporating Egyptian mythology (with a little twist) and writes a fast paced and thrilling story. I still have my issues with the protagonist, I can’t help it. Though I understand where they are coming from and why they make their individual choices, both Carter and Sadie are still annoying. They follow their own individual desires (5 days till the world ends and Sadie has to get to London to have a birthday celebration with her friends. I get that you should live everyday to the fullest and I would probably agree if there was nothing to be done to stop this, but seriously…) and although they are the heroes, they are the ones that need rescuing all the time. The siblings cause or create a problem and someone else saves them, they cause another problem, the next person saves them. And so it continues…

Though a rant a bit, the world creation is fantastic and the writing fluent. It is a good adventure story and if you don’t want to think too much and just have action and story wash over you – this is great.

Bottom Line:

A good adventure story that has a few weaknesses, but entertains and washes over you like a relaxing read.

Rating:

rating 3