Wednesday, February 4, 2015

{Book Talk #5} Books I spent time with in January.

Hallo meine Lieben,

January is over already. I don't know how that happened. But I got to read a couple of books last month which I want to tell you about. I challenged myself to read at least 60 books this year (if you want to be my friend on Goodreads, click here.). And I think I am doing fine so far. I finished 8 books in January and started some. Just don't know if I can keep up that pace. We will see. 
One of my goals for January was to read something else than crime novels and I did well. Only one of the 8 books I finished was a crime novel. They will still remain my favorites. 



So here we go. These are the books I finished in January. Please let me know if you have any recommendations for me or if you have read any of the books I finished as well. I would love to talk about them. 

The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman



I decided to use the German cover because the original cover is so unbelievably horrible. I would have never picked up the book if I had only known the original cover. I absolutely judge books by the covers which probably causes me to miss some good books but they should really put some more effort into their covers. 
Anyway, this book is kind of chick lit, something I usually never ever read but I picked it up because the main character just lost her mother and I could relate to that. The mother leaves the daughter a list of goals that the daughter wrote down as a teenager and wants er to finish it in order to be happy again and escape from the life she leads which clearly does not satisfy her (stupid job, idiot boyfriend etc.). So yeah, I really liked the message of the book although it did have some flaws and a couple of times I had to shake my head, especially because some characters just did not make any sense to me. But despite the problems I had with the book here and there it was a pretty enjoyable read and I even virtually highlighted some quotes. I am horrible at rating books (and the stupid 5 stars that Goodreads provides do not give me enough room to rate a book) but I would give this book 6,85 stars out of 10. 







Etsy seems to be such an interesting place to share your crafts with others and find some unique stuff that you cannot see in regular stores. So I wanted to find out more about it and after reading reviews of lots of Etsy-related books I ordered this one. It deals with every topic you can imagine and probably gives you all the knowledge that you need to have in order to be a member of the Etsy community. Sometimes even more information than you might need (I need a password to set up an account? Wow.). I give this book 7,1 stars out of 10. 


Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indriðason




Again, the German cover looks better, but this time the American cover does not make me feel sick. I did read the book in German because I like Indriðason in German better than in English. I am trying to learn Icelandic so hopefully I can read the original at some point. 
I was waiting for this book forever (almost as badly as for the new Adler-Olsen book). One of my favorite writers and one of my favorite detectives. I have a weak spot for grumpy detectives. This book is a prequel which made me feel even more excited because I had the chance to learn more about the young Erlendur and why he became the guy he is in the other books. It also gave me the chance to learn more about Iceland, the culture, the people. A homeless man is found dead and the police thinks it was an accident. Erlendur has doubts and starts his own investigation. It's not as bloody as some of the other cases he worked on which does not make it less exciting at all (again, weak spot for bloody murder stories.). The book makes me fall in love with Erlendur and Iceland even more and now I cannot wait for more cases. 9,06 stars out of 10. 






This usually isn't my kind of book AT ALL. I did not even read those kind of books when I was a teenager. And still I picked it up after someone recommended it. Why? I don't know. It would be easy to say that I needed a light read after reading a crime novel but that's definitely not the case because I can never read enough about crime. So yeah, I cannot say why I started the book but I can say that I enjoyed it. Although I do not know why and what exactly I liked about it. I guess this does not make any sense to you. There will be a sequel and I will read that too. Just because. The book is about a girl who is kind of annoying, at least that is how I felt once in a while. Anyway, she wrote a letter to every boy she ever had a crush on and hid them in a box in her closet. Mysteriously they got send out to the boys and then she has to deal with that. Oh no! It's kind of ridiculous but also kind of sweet. Only two of these boys matter anyway because one of them is her sister's ex boyfriend and the other one a jerk (or isn't he?). Of course that gets complicated. The book has some flaws that I still cannot understand but despite of that it was a fun read. Clearly not the best book in the world but something for a Sunday afternoon when you just want to relax and not think too much. I'd say 6,3 out of 10.


All The Bright Places  by Jennifer Niven. 



This book. I love it. I really do. So much. I wish I could read it again for the first time. It clearly is my favorite out of all the books I read in the last weeks. It made me laugh and cry and touched my heart and I felt like I never ever wanted it to end. Also it made me want to travel to a couple of pretty cool and unique places that are mentioned in the book. Like the roller coaster a guy build in his own backyard. And the shoe trees (google it.). But anyway, I am rambling. So the book starts when a boy (Finch) and a girl (Violet) meet on the ledge of the bell tower of their school, both ready to jump. Violet is the popular girl but is grieving the recent death of her sister. Finch however is not popular at all, lots of people think he is a freak because of his fascination with death and because he often acts out. They both get to know each other when they start working on a project together and this leads to a very intense love story. I really do not want to spoil anything because I don't want to ruin it for you so I won't say anything else. But please pick up the book and start reading it. Even if I would like to, I cannot even say more about the book because I feel like my words are not enough to describe the book in all its deepness. I love it dearly. That must be enough. 10 out of 10 stars. 



How to be Vegan by Elizabeth Castoria



The book contains "Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Cruelty-Free Eating, Living, Dating, Travel, Decorating, and More" and I would say it is more for new-vegans but it caught my attention when I saw it on Instagram and a long-term vegan said he enjoyed it very much. And because I love reading about veganism I picked it up. For me it was mostly an entertaining read because it offers lots of tips on how to behave when dealing with people in everyday situations. It also contains lots of lovely graphics that offer you help about nutrition and tells you more about the meat industry and so on. It covers a lot of subjects, not necessarily very deeply but in a very entertaining way. It's clearly a great book for everybody who recently decided to live a cruelty-free lifestyle but also an interesting read for "established" vegans. It also contains lots of recipes which is always a plus. 8,4 out of 10 stars. 


Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang. 



Another YA novel. What is wrong with me? I really cannot tell but it looks like I took the read-something-other-than-crime-novels-pledge very seriously. Liz decides to die and drives her car off the road on a winter day to make it look like an accident. The book deals with the aftermath of that decision and also with the reasons and that made her come to that decision. First of all, I liked reading the book. I like the store but I cannot help myself...the characters did not really touch me. I expected to be more emotionally involved in the book. Especially after reading "All The Bright Places". But the story did not completely satisfy me and the ending left me feeling a bit....I don't even have a word for it. Left alone with a lot of questions? Expecting more? Confused? I cannot describe. I liked the book in general but not as much as I thought. I just did not like any of the characters, except of Liam (the boy who is secretly in love with Liz). So yeah, I don't even know how many stars I want to give the book. Let's say 5,5 for now. 


Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick


It's Leonard Peacock's birthday. And also the day he puts an old gun in his backpack and plans to kill his former best friend Asher. And then himself. 
This book was not what I expected it to be. And that is not a bad thing. Not at all. I really liked the characters. Especially Leonard Peacock. Even though a lot of people disagree (I read the reviews). I could absolutely relate to him. Before he follows through with his plan, he needs to say goodbye to the four people who play an important role in his life. His old next door neighbor, for example, who is obsessed with Humphrey Bogart. I loved the unlikely friendship between those two. His Iranian music genius classmate Baback. Herr Silverman, his history teacher who seems to have secret and appears to be the only person who might understand Leonard. And Lauren, the home-schooled girl who hands out Christian pamphlets at the train station. Each of the characters if very unique and Leonard drops a hint about his plan in their conversations. I really got captured following this day of the life of Leonard Peacock and could not put the book away. Even when it wasn't exactly what I expected. 9,0 out of 10 stars. 


Here are some other books I started but haven't finished yet:
Das Hexenmädchen by Max Bentow (a crime novel!)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (more crime!)
Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham
Das dunkle Haus by Åke Edwardson (another crime novel)

Now I am curious: what have you read recently? Any books you particularly loved? A book that surprised you? A book you really hated? Any recommendations? Which books are you planning to read?

One non-book-related thing I want to mention: The third (and sadly last) season of Moone Boy will start airing next month. I cannot even express how excited I am. 

Have a good rest of the week!


37 comments:

  1. Hello Katrin!! Reykjavic Nights sounds very intriguing! I love a good crime thriller so I may have to give this a go :)

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    1. It is really good, Keith! I definitely recommend the whole series. It's one of the best!

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  2. Hi Katrin!

    Gr8! so many books in a month..way to go!! :)

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    1. Thanks, Ankita! I hope I can read a lot more!

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  3. wow...all good reads...awesome !
    congrats :)

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    1. Thank you! :) I hope I can read a lot more!

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  4. Hmmm, I want to check out that Etsy shop book.. I have toying with the idea of opening an Etsy shop! What are you thinking of selling on Etsy?? - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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  5. Hmmm, I want to check out that Etsy shop book.. I have toying with the idea of opening an Etsy shop! What are you thinking of selling on Etsy?? - www.domesticgeekgirl.com

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    1. It really gives you a lot of information. I definitely recommend it if you are thinking about opening an Etsy shop. I think it is a great idea to sell on Etsy. It is so much easier than setting up your own shop online, plus you are a part of a huge community which makes it easier to sell your items.

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    2. I actually started to open an Etsy shop for costumes and nerdy baby things, but then I just kind of.. stopped. lol. But now that I'm starting to make soap and things from my backyard goats, I'm toying with the idea again!

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    3. That's so cool you started an Etsy shop before! I am sure that was very exciting! I think you should definitely give it another try!

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  6. I've not read a single book that you've listed, though I've have read about them - I might try 'all the bright places' as I read really good reviews on that.

    actually, I'm a slow reader, so I can't really recommend you any recent books, but I do love 'Postcards from a dead girl' by Kirk Farber, which I pretty much recommend to just everybody, it's quite a funny book and an easy read. that's all I can tell you as I really not very good at telling you what I like about it.

    I just finished the 'the orphan's tales' by Catherynne M. Valente - if you like dark fairytales, I would recommend this. each tale is told by a different person, more like a chain of tales that somehow ties together, but you'll have to read for yourself.

    that's all I can remember right now.

    hope you have a lovely day.


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    1. I definitely recommend "All The Bright Places", Lissa. It is such a good book. Please let me know if you read it and what your thoughts are, okay? I am sure you will like it!

      Thank you so much for your recommendation. I will check it out! I put it on my Goodreads list. It sounds like something I would surely enjoy. It says it's a bit macabre. I like that! :)

      I have not heard about "The orphan's tale" yet but it sounds really interesting. Thank you so much for your recommendations, Lissa. It means a lot! I love having lots of books to choose from!

      Hope you are having a good week!

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  7. All the Bright Places is already on my "to read" radar.

    Reykjavic Nights looks interesting. I like crime/mystery/detective series. And, I like to read books set in other countries than America or Australia (the two I've lived in). It makes me feel like I'm learning about another culture or traveling as I'm reading. Bonus. I started reading Jo Nesbo (a Norwegian author) for this reason. I started with his most current book, The Son, set in Norway. His Harry Hole series features a flawed Norwegian detective that is sent to other countries. The first is set in Sydney; the second in Bangkok. Those are the only two I've read so far, but I plan to continue.

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    1. Please read All The Bright Places. :) And then let me know what you think! I want everybody else to read this book. That only happens when I really really like a book! :)

      If you like the Jo Nesbo books then I think you would enjoy the Indridason novels as well. I have read a couple of Jo Nesbo books and I want to read all of them as soon as possible. The one that is set in Sydney was really good. I like the detective a lot. And you are right, I love learning about other countries as well. I am fascinated by Iceland which is why I try to read a lot of Icelandic crime novels. I also like the series by Hakan Nesser. Have you read them?

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  8. Your reading game is so much better than mine! I am still finishing Cryptonimicon (it's a long book!) and starting The Bone Clocks. My goal was to read more books by/about indigenous cultures. One I get out of this work rut I am going to look into that more seriously :)

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    1. I have tried to read as much as possible every night. Which means that I did not watch many shows or movies. :) Which is totally fine. Hope you can finish yours too. Most of the ones I read were not that long, I guess the longest was the Indridason book with 400 pages. I hope you can find more interesting books to read, I always love to read your recommendations!

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  9. I want to read The Life List. The English cover I've seen everywhere is this one though: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17612958-the-life-list

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    1. That definitely looks a lot better than the other one. :) I still like the German cover best but I guess this one is fine. I don't like it when books I like have bad covers. :) Let me know if you read the book!

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  10. I have just started the His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman. I'm about mid-way through The Northern Lights (or The Golden Compass if you're in the US) and I am LOVING this book so far. I've already got the second book on hold at the library b/c I have a feeling I'm going to fly through this one!

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    1. Hehe, glad you already have the second one on hold. I don't like waiting to read a book that I really love. I have not heard about that series before. The series sounds really interesting! I put the first book on my Goodreads list! Thank you for the recommendation. :) I love getting book recommendations!

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  11. Thank you so much for the wonderful reviews on all these books :) The cover of "Morgen kommt ein neuer Himmel" caught my eye several times at the book store, I think I'll have to check it out some time. I want to read more this year than I got to do the past years and I'm already loving it :) The first book I read was Melissa Hill's "A Gift To Remember" It's a book about a book lover with lots of books in it. Loved it! :)
    Ich drücke Dich ganz ganz dolle und hoffe, es geht Dir gut! <3

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    1. You are welcome. :) The Life List is definitely a good read. I probably would not have picked it up on my own but I am making an effort to read all kinds of books this year and not just crime novels. :) Let me know what you think if you read it. A book about a book lover with lots of books in it sounds great. I will check it out! Ich drueck Dich ganz ganz dolle!

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  12. It has been since forever! How are you? Hope all good. I really feel at a loss of 'words' on book blog hops. Okay tell me where to 'rekindle' my book love!

    xoxo
    Z

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    1. Good to hear from you! How are you doing? Hope everything is alright! And of course I hope that you can read lots of good books this year!

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  13. Ooh...a new Arnaldur! Can't wait for the English version to arrive at the library :) And All The Bright Places sounds amazing!!!!

    Leonard Peacock sounds really weird, but in a good way, I guess? I always like books that are a little off-kilter. They're just so much more interesting :)

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    1. Yeah, I was so excited for the new book! I got it as a Christmas gift but waited a bit before I started to read it. Still don't know how I managed that. Hope you can read it soon as well. It's really good! And let me know what you think of All The Bright Places if you rad it.
      Leonard Peacock is weird, but in a good way. :) You should definitely check it out. I think you would like it!

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  14. I really want to read "All the bright Places" - heard so many good critics about it.
    Question: How many books to you read at the same time? Sounds like you read more than one book.
    Happy weekend, sweetie xxx

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    1. It is such a great book! You should definitely read it! And then you should let me know what you think about it. :)
      Hmm, it's really hard to say how many books I read at the same time. I get a new book and then I start reading it but often I get distracted by other books and then come back to the first one a couple of days later etc. Usually I try to only read 2-3 at the same time but that does not always work out. But when I get really obsessed with a book then I only want to finish this one book. Hugs!

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    2. I nominated you with the Liebster Award - come on over and play along if you like!
      Happy Monday xxx
      http://www.thebravewanderer.com/2015/02/liebster-award-thank-you.html

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    3. Oh, what an honor! Thank you so much! It means a lot! I'll go and check it out asap! Hugs!

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  15. Let me know what you think of the Rosie Effect when you finish it... I had mixed feelings

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    1. I will! I think a lot of people had mixed feelings. Not sure when i will finish it.

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  16. Ooooo... I'm going to have to read some of these!

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    1. Let me know what you think if you read any of them, okay? :)

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  17. It’s hard to believe how quickly January flew by - pretty soon winter will be almost over. Congratulations on completing 8 books last month - that’s pretty epic - I would love to read lots of books this year! Have you read Silva’s The English Girl before? I still have it in my iBooks. I really like the German covers, it looks a lot better than the original cover….what is up with ugly English covers?!

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    1. Yeah, the month felt so short, I absolutely agree. It's weird. Thank you so much, Rika. I tried to read as much as possible. No, I have not read the English Girl yet but I just read some reviews and it sounds really good! I put it on my list on Goodreads. Thank you! I often like the German covers better, especially when it comes to crime novels. Don't know what's up with that.

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