Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (5) - Graphic Novels

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Follow the link to know more about the meme and join up!

This week the topic is, well, a freebie. You can find their post here.

I'm not a huge comic or graphic novels fan. Mostly because I'm not a visual person. I don't have a good visual memory, which makes it hard for me to keep characters apart. I love watching anime. I'd love to read some manga, but with mangas being in black and white, I just keep mixing everyone right up.

At least I'm assuming that's the reason I never picked comics up as a child. If anyone has any suggestions for me, please feel free to comment, because I always had the impression, I'm missing out.


Neil Gaiman's Sandman and Brian K. Vaughan's Saga are two graphic novel series that I enjoy a lot. I like most of Neil Gaiman's books so Sandman didn't come as a surprise and Saga is honestly a very enjoyable science fiction read.

And a friend has told me to read the following two:

 

Which already brings me to the end of my, as you can tell, very extensive graphic novel/comic book knowledge. Any recommendations?

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sunday Post (4)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. The Rules can be found here. And this week's post can be found here.
If you participate, don't forget to link up and if you leave me a comment, I will definitely check out your blog. 
A busy week. Lots of coffee. Lots of writing. And lots of running. 
Yesterday, we went for a bike ride and did some geocaching for the first time in 2017. (If you don't know what geocaching is: it's basically looking for Tupperware containers with the help of a GPS device, like your phone. A treasure hunt so to speak. Find out more here. Great fun with children or adults like me.) Haven't been on my bike in a few months, because riding over ice and wet leaves isn't that much fun. Ouch, does my ass hurt today!
We're still running every day. I'm very proud of that. 81 kilometres so far in January, a little over 50 miles. If we continue like this we'll hit a 1'000 kilometres by the end of the year and that would be an achievement for little miss lazy, aka me.

I wasn't very adventurous on the cooking front. My two favourite dishes this week were tasty pork meatballs with a home-made teriyaki sauce and pork fillet with a stroganoff sauce.

I've read/reviewed
  • Ursula Le Guin's The Word for World is Forest. It was only a novella so I didn't review it on my blog. 
  • And I read the second book in the Red Rising trilogy, Golden Sun. You can read my review here (no spoilers for the first book.)
  • The Year of The Flood by Margaret Atwood finally got a review.
I've finally started Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch and a bookclub of mine is reading André Agassi's Open.

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Friday, 27 January 2017

Golden Son by Pierce Brown

Book Title: Golden Son (Red Rising #2)
Author: Pierce Brown
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Amazon, Kindle 
Goodreads, Amazon UK 
Here's my review for the first book.

This review will have no spoilers for the first book in the series. So, I'm pasting the Goodreads Summary for the first book.

Goodreads Summary: Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power.

What did I think? 

HDGLJGHJAARGH! 

That was basically my reaction after reading the last sentence of this book. I promptly proceeded to yell at my pillow, then burst into tears.
I don’t even know where to start. I don’t even know what to say.

I haven’t connected with characters like this in a while. Especially not when they’re this young. The first book was marketed as YA, I don’t think the second still deserves that tag. It’s too dark, too gritty, and too violent.

I got attached. I’m a huge sucker for characters with layered flaws. I love Mustang. I love Darrow. I love Sevro. My heart breaks for them.

This is better than Red Rising. Red Rising was a solid set-up. Golden Son is when all the fireworks go off at once, blinding the audience with spark after spark. The writing and plot are noticeably stronger. The prose tighter. The tension higher, the pacing better.

Heads roll within the first few chapters and don’t stop rolling. We find out more about the politics and the world behind the happenings in Red Rising.

Everything in this book came as a surprise. I couldn’t tell any of the twists or turns. And THAT ENDING. SPEECHLESS.

If you like science fiction, do yourself a favour, give this one a chance!

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (4) - Favourite Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Follow the link to know more about the meme and join up! 
This week the topic is, well, a freebie. You can find their post here
After the women's marches that happened all over the world on Saturday, I decided to go for my favourite heroines. I'm sure that has been done in the past, but I haven't made such a post yet, and I do have a few favourite heroines, I'd like to talk about. Not sure if 10, but definitely more than one.
Look at this gallery showing women's marches around the world on the website of The Guardian. And here an article on the New York Times.
Let's start with my favourite heroines.
  1. Elizabeth Bennet: Definitely my favourite. A bit of a cliché, but oh well. I've loved Pride and Prejudice for a very long time and read it more than twenty-five times in the last twenty years. I also appreciate Emma Woodhouse (Emma) and mostly I adore Anne Elliot from Persuasion, but no other heroine quite has the wit Elizabeth has.
  2. Lisbeth Salander: I've not actually managed to finish the Millenium trilogy. The abuse Lisbeth suffers is almost too much in places. But she kicks ass. And she's a great female character, so I decided to put her onto this list.
  3. Kay Scarpetta: I've just recently started to read the Kay Scarpetta novels again. They're written by Patricia Cornwell and they're about a chief medical examiner in Virginia. Great novels. Great series. But be warned, the first one is from the mid 80's and computers and DNA are a fairly foreign thing to the cast at first. 
  4. Marquise de Merteuil: Cruel Intentions, Dangerous Liaisons, Les Liaisons Dangereuses... whether played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, Glenn Close or Annette Bening, I love this character. Originally the book is by Choderlos de Laclos and it's an epistolary novel (a novel told in a series of letters).
  5. Natasha Rostova: War and Peace. I was first introduced to this character by Audrey Hepburn's performance. Wonderful film. And such a tragic character. The book is very long, but not very difficult to read.
  6. Jane Eyre: One of my favourite books when I was a teenager. I loved Jane Eyre and read the book several times.
  7. Luna Lovegood: I had to include at least one Harry Potter character and whilst I love Hermione I always had a soft spot for Luna.
  8. Claire Beauchamp: Claire. I love Claire. She's almost as witty as Elizabeth Bennet and has a lot of sarcasm on offer. She's the main character in the Outlander novels by Diana Gabaldon. Wonderful series.
I hope everyone is having a good week. Let me know about your posts in the comments and I'll make sure to drop by!

Monday, 23 January 2017

The Year of the Flood by Margaret Atwood

Book Title: The Year of the Flood
Author: Margaret Atwood
Genre: Science Fiction
My Rating: ♥ ♥
Source: Library
Goodreads, Amazon UK 
Goodreads Summary: Adam One, the kindly leader of the God's Gardeners--a religion devoted to the melding of science and religion, as well as the preservation of all plant and animal life--has long predicted a natural disaster that will alter Earth as we know it. Now it has occurred, obliterating most human life. Two women have survived: Ren, a young trapeze dancer locked inside the high-end sex club Scales and Tails, and Toby, a God's Gardener barricaded inside a luxurious spa where many of the treatments are edible.
Have others survived? Ren's bioartist friend Amanda? Zeb, her eco-fighter stepfather? Her onetime lover, Jimmy? Or the murderous Painballers, survivors of the mutual-elimination Painball prison? Not to mention the shadowy, corrupt policing force of the ruling powers...
It doesn't matter if you read Oryx and Crake or this one first. They sort of exist side by side at more or less the same moment in time.

What did I think? Let me start this review by saying, I loved Oryx and Crake. I know you can sense the big but coming... I almost didn't finish this one. The only reason I did finish was because I read it with a book club and the discussion was coming up. I couldn't tell the group, I'd given up, could I? Funnily enough two members of the book club actually didn't finish and the rest didn't particularly like it either and struggled just as much as I did.

Margaret Atwood built a great world in Oryx and Crake and here she wasted it. I couldn't connect with either Toby nor Ren. In fact I kept confusing the two. There is no tension, no goal, no stakes. I was simultaneously bored and lost. It was a chore to read. Unlike Oryx and Crake which I read in almost one sitting, that's how engaging and gripping it was.

The novel does pick up towards the end but it's too late. The language is pretty, Atwood definitely knows how to write and there's a few nice quotes and observations about the state the world is in. But that alone does not make a good book.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sunday Post (3)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. The Rules can be found here. And this week's post can be found here
3 of 52 weeks done and so far so good. I'm busy outlining a new novel that I plan to write, whilst finally writing the first draft of another story I'm working on, not sure yet if it'll be a novel or a novella. I've joined a writing group a few months ago that is really helpful. It's amazing how much constructive feedback can actually help improve. 
I've been moving every day. Had some back pain earlier this week and still went out there and hobbled a very slow mile. At home I sat with a hot water bottle wedged between me and the chair or sofa. 
When it comes to books, I'm doing the usual, I've started too many and now I have to finish them all before I can start any new ones.

I couldn't resist the second novel in the Red Rising trilogy by Pierce Brown. I've started The Goldfinch by Donna Tart, though I'm not sure I'm in the right mood for that one. I've finished Atwood's The Year of the Flood and will review it next week. Sadly, I couldn't connect with it.

On my blog I've talked about underrated book in the Top Ten Tuesday post here. And I've reviewed La La Land, which I've seen at the cinema with my partner earlier this week.

I haven't really cooked anything exciting this week. Tried a mushroom sauce with paprika and sour cream combined with diced pork and a orange carrot ginger soup with coconut cream. Both were delicious.

I hope everyone is having a good week!

Thursday, 19 January 2017

La La Land by Damien Chazelle

Film Title: La La Land
Director: Damien Chazelle
Cast: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone
Writer: Damien Chazelle
Cinematography: Linus Sandgren
Composer: Justin Hurwitz
Genre: Musical
Letterboxd 
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ 
Summary: Mia (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, serves lattes to movie stars in between auditions and Sebastian (Ryan Gosling), a jazz musician, scrapes by playing cocktail party gigs in dingy bars. But as success mounts, they are faced with decisions that begin to fray the fragile fabric of their love affair, and the dreams they worked so hard to maintain in each other threaten to rip them apart.

What did I think?

Well.

By the end of La La Land I was silently curled up in my seat sobbing my heart out. Throughout La La Land I had a gigantic grin plastered all over my face, possibly making me look like a lunatic. Thankfully cinemas are dark.

This movie is a magical experience and the audience was utterly silent throughout most of it, unless... you went with my girlfriend who started fidgeting all over her seat about midway through, and was almost thrown out of the screening and consequently our home, by me.

She was bored. She loves musicals, thought the music was pleasant, Emma Stone an excellent actress, but she was bored. I think this film is for dreamers. La La Land speaks to people who seek love, creativity, and to people who want to find a deeper meaning in life. My girlfriend is a practical person, she has no time for dreams.

I'm not even kidding when I say it touched my soul and broke my heart and made me happy all at the same time.

I can't wait to see this again and sob some more. It's as perfect as a film can get and the on-screen chemistry between Gosling and Stone alone is worth the price of admission.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (3) - Top Ten Underrated Books I Read Last Year

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Follow the link to know more about the meme and join up! 
This week the topic is: Top Ten Underrated/Hidden Gem Books We've Read In The Past Year Or So. You can find this week's post by The Broke and the Bookish here.

This is a tough one, because I don't usually really know what's underrated and what not. I've in the past thought a book was relatively unknown, just to find out that the entirety of the Internet was already talking about it and I was just late to the party.
I've went through the books read last year and looked for those that had a relative small number of reviews on Goodreads.

I found out that I mostly read books that come recommended to me or that I've seen a lot about on Goodreads or in the blogging community. Those are rarely underrated.

Let me start with Tom Toner. Here's his Twitter and here's my review of his book: The Promise of the Child

It's such a good book. Honestly. But before you go and add it to your tbr list, please let me tell you once more: it is for an avid science fiction and fantasy fan, not for the casual reader.
Tom Toner built a world that is fantastic. A world that is our future and Earth is nothing more than a distant memory. Toner drops the reader straight into an unfamiliar world without explanation, its up to the reader to find out how it all connects together.

Here you can find it on Goodreads.
If you're a fan of complex world building and science fiction and fantasy and don't mind putting in some work, do the chap a favour and pick it up, because it was a marvellous read. I thoroughly enjoyed this one, even though it took me a long time to read it and caused a headache or two in the beginning where I was utterly lost. Apparently the 2nd book will be less confusing and more accessible, hopefully that turns out to be true.


  
Annette Marie's Red Winter is a YA fantasy set in a world that is based on Japanese mythology. It's not the best I've read, but it's definitely different. The setting is intriguing and the mythology is gorgeous. My review can be found here.

Meg Elison's Book of the Unnamed Midwife is about survival in a post-apocalyptic world where a virus killed almost all women. As you can imagine a hostile environment. My review can be found here.

Corinne Duyvis' On the Edge of Gone suffers from a few problems. Not enough action. Possibly a lot of diversity just to hammer home the point of 'we need diversity'. But since that point still needs hammering, fair enough. The protagonist is an autistic girl and it's very well written and I enjoyed it despite the lack of action. My review can be found here.

And that's it more or less. The rest of the ones with fever reviews are deep in the fantasy or science fiction genre and have found their readership.

Link me to your lists and I'll make sure to visit!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Sunday Post (2)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. The Rules can be found here. And this week's post can be found here. 
The second week of the year is over and I've been really good with all my goals. Despite snow, ice and rain we went out everyday for a short run. At one point, I think it was Wednesday, a car drove past, soaked me in a wave of ice water and I still kept going. Lola, the dog, was even less pleased than I was. She kept trying to drag me back home. 
I went to the cinema for the first time this year and watched Silence and Collateral Beauty. If anyone cares about films and uses Letterboxd, here's my profile. I might occasionally review a film on here as well. But I wasn't enamoured with either, so they didn't inspire me to write all that much.
This week I've been reading the first book in the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson: The Way of Kings and I've been eyeing the first book in the Expanse series: Leviathan Wakes. I've also got The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt from the library, because I need more books on my tbr list.

I made a chilli with venison. It was the first time I cooked with venison and it came out quite tasty.

My blog posts this week were: The Mystery Blogger Award, Top Ten Tuesday and two book reviews, Red Rising and A Man Called Ove.

The writing is going well, though I have the impression, I am better at coming up with ideas and premises than actual plots and characters. I wish just having ideas was a job, I'd be excellent at that.

Next week, I'd like to read a Margaret Atwood novel called, The Year of the Flood and maybe The Goldfinch. For now, it's late Sunday morning and I need a third coffee.

Feel free to comment with your own Sunday post and I'll drop by and check it out. I hope everyone had a good week.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

The Mystery Blogger Award


Thank you, Luna and Saturn for nominating me for The Mystery Blogger Award. Luna and Saturn blog over at Pendragons!!

Okoto Enigma created this award.

Rules
  • Put the award logo/image on your blog
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  • Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • You have to nominate 10 – 20 people
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice; with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share a link to your best post(s)

Three Things About Me:
  1. I own two dogs and love to train dogs in my free time. At times I've considered becoming a dog trainer.
  2. I speak three languages, German, French and English.
  3. I love to cook. Cooking for me is like meditating. I just stand in the kitchen and create dishes.

I nominate:
  1. Which book or movie character was the first to break your heart?
  2. Which book or movie character was the first to make you irrationally angry?
  3. Which book or movie made your jaw drop the furthest?
  4. Which book or movie would you recommend I watch or read in 2017?
  5. Which book or movie heroine or hero do you think is the most heroic?

Answering Luna and Saturn's questions:
  • What character's name would you give to your future pet/child? I've always liked the idea of Spike as a name for a future dog. I don't plan to have children, but quite like the name Sean and Catherine.
  • What book/movie describes you best? Wow. I honestly do not know? Maybe The Edge of Seventeen? But, I guess every person who was once a teenager will recognise themselves in that. Maybe Trumbo? I feel like we share similar values and writing in the bathtub sounds heavenly.
  • Who would be your book/movie best friend? Miss Elizabeth Bennet.
  • Why did you start book blogging? Because I love books and I love reading and I think it adds to the experience to voice my thoughts afterwards and I love reading other people's blogs and finding new reading inspiration. And it's a good writing exercise. Plus, sharing book love!
  • Random: If you could wish for ANYTHING to come true, what would it be? Publishing contract for a book.
My Best Post: My five favourite books of all time, because it says a lot about me.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Red Rising by Pierce Brown

Book Title: Red Rising (Red Rising #1)
Author: Pierce Brown
Genre: Science Fiction, Young Adult
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Amazon, Kindle
Goodreads, Amazon UK 
Goodreads Summary: Darrow is a Red, a member of the lowest caste in the color-coded society of the future. Like his fellow Reds, he works all day, believing that he and his people are making the surface of Mars livable for future generations.
Yet he spends his life willingly, knowing that his blood and sweat will one day result in a better world for his children.
But Darrow and his kind have been betrayed. Soon he discovers that humanity already reached the surface generations ago. Vast cities and sprawling parks spread across the planet. Darrow—and Reds like him—are nothing more than slaves to a decadent ruling class.
Inspired by a longing for justice, and driven by the memory of lost love, Darrow sacrifices everything to infiltrate the legendary Institute, a proving ground for the dominant Gold caste, where the next generation of humanity's overlords struggle for power.
What did I think? I read the summary with a sort of annoyed eye roll. I immediately pictured Pierce Brown realising that all these dystopian-the-government-is-evil books have already been written and that the market is saturated. Then, one morning, he thought, I KNOW! I'll set mine on Mars. And whilst that might have been what happened, I have to give credit where credit is due.

This book is good.

Not excellent. But good. I hope it'll turn into something much bigger and better (and from what I've heard it will) in the sequels, but for now it's good.

The plot is incredible. It's fast-paced and sets itself apart from everything else on the YA market. It's dark and intense. There's love, friendship, betrayal, intrigues and as a reader you end up really attached to some of these characters. The characters have to make impossible and terrible choices. They have to grow and they have to accept defeat.

The world building is excellent and I think we haven't even seen all of it just yet. The glimpse we got however suggests a complicated and wonderful set up for the rest of the trilogy.

After all this, why didn't I give it a perfect rating?

Because Darrow is too perfect. He feels a bit like a cardboard cutout. He has no flaws, but at the same time he's just your average dude. I did like him, don't get me wrong, but he's not fleshed out. At least not yet. Then there's the second half of the book, and whilst most of the reviews say, that's where it really took off, that's actually where I was somewhat bored. I enjoyed the world building, and the character introduction much more than the actual action scenes later on. But that seems to be just me.

Red Rising is a great book and I highly recommend it to anyone who doesn't mind their YA dark and gritty and set in space.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (2) - 2016 Releases I meant to Read

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Follow the link to know more about the meme and join up! 
This week the topic is: 2016 Releases I meant to Read but somehow missed and still want to get to, eventually. You can find this week's post by The Broke and the Bookish here.
I never usually read new books. As a child my parents had entire shelves filled with books available for me. Mostly literary and classics. I grew up on German authors like Goethe, Hesse and Schiller, Russian authors like Tolstoy and Dostoyevski etc. You get the drift.

As a teenager I discovered genre literature. I discovered fantasy and I started reading LOTR and other books. But always recommendations from friends. And always books that had come out years ago.

I was some sort of patient reader. It wasn't until I discovered Goodreads that I started picking up newer books simply because so many people were talking about them and I saw the covers and got curious.

Then I discovered the book blogging community and suddenly new releases were on my radar. Too many books to read, not enough time. The eternal problem.

Top Ten 2016 Releases I missed so far:


Sarah J. Maas. Well, I'm hopelessly behind. I've only read the first Throne of Glass novel so far. And i have #2 and #3 waiting for me. Hopefully I'll catch up soon.

 
I read the first one in both series last year. I liked both. So, these will be picked up soon.

  
I'm not sure what to think of the "Nutshell" premise. Hamlet. Told from the POV of a foetus in the womb. But, I'm curious. The other two covers I've seen on Goodreads quite a bit, am curious but know nothing about them.

 
I loved her retelling of Cinderella, so I'm curious to see what Marissa Meyer did with Alice. Now, Nevernight, I've only heard of the title and the author but I'm curious because of the cover.


I'm not a fan of graphic novels usually but Saga somehow captured my heart. I'm currently on Volume 3 and trying to catch up.

What releases did you miss in 2016?

Monday, 9 January 2017

A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman

Book Title: A Man Called Ove
Author: Fredrik Backman
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
My Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥
Source: Library
Goodreads, Amazon UK
Goodreads Summary: A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.Meet Ove. He’s a curmudgeon—the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him “the bitter neighbor from hell.” But must Ove be bitter just because he doesn’t walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?
Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove’s mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul.

What did I think? This is one of those heart-warming stories that even moves cynical beings like me. A grumpy old man finds a new purpose in life. It's amusing. Filled with wry humour and funny descriptions and depictions of Ove's life.

I especially loved the way the author portrayed Ove and his relationship with his wife.
"He was a man of black and white. And she was color. All the color he had."
"You don't fool me, darling," she said with a playful little smile and crept into his big arms. "You're dancing on the inside, Ove, when no one's watching. And I'll always love you for that. Whether you like it or not."
After a while I became somewhat disenchanted though, mostly because the plot follows such a predictable path.

Nonetheless it is a compelling story about a transformation and how events within our lives shape us and effect us in ways we (sometimes) can not imagine. 

Ove is a great character. He's grumpy, opinionated and set in his ways. He is a man that loves routine and he is unwilling to adapt. 

This novel was definitely a good way to start 2017, even though I am not gushing as much as most others who've read it. If you haven't yet, and feel like reading a feel-good, pick-me-up kind of story, A Man Called Ove will definitely brighten your day.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Sunday Post (1)

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer. The Rules can be found here. And this week's post can be found here.
This was the first week of 2017. I set myself a few new goals. One is the same as last year: I want to read 104 books in 2017. Two a week. I just finished my second book this afternoon and will hopefully review them both next week.

Red Rising by Pierce Brown was the first and the other is A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. I enjoyed both of them, though not as much as I thought I would.

My other two goals are different. One is writing a thousand words a day. I blogged about it here on the website of my writing group. (We're a friendly bunch of writers who are trying to improve our craft.) The other goal is to run, walk or cycle every day. Basically be active every day. Don't be lazy. Today was the first time I had to really force myself to leave the house. I'm not feeling so well. There's nothing wrong, at least not for the moment. No sniffles, no fever (though, I do feel too warm), but I just feel really wiped. So, we went for a sort of walk, slow jog with the dogs. I've been far too lazy during the last few years and often ended up throwing the ball in the garden while listening to podcasts, instead of actually walking. Hopefully I can change this.

I hope these new habits will help me become happier.

I've borrowed two new books from the library. Sarah J. Maas is the author, and the books are #2 and #3 of her Throne of Glass series.

I bought myself the first book in the Malazan series in German. I've reviewed the first book here after I'd read it in English. English is not my first language. And whenever possible I try and read a book in the original language. But sometimes especially with fantasy I stumble over a problem: strange words. Are they made up? Part of the fantasy world? Or an English word I'd never heard of? I've stopped enjoying fantasy as much as I used to and I think part of the reason is I used to read only in German. Curious to see what happens.

I've also signed up to Uma's Fantastically Diverse Read-A-Thon. Hoping to expose myself to some diverse fantasy. I'm definitely guilty of reading works by middle aged males more often than not.

I hope everyone else is having a fantastic week.

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Fantastically Diverse Read-A-Thon

This challenge is being hosted by Uma who blogs over at Books. Bags. Burgers and you can sign up for it here
The diversity discussion is always ongoing. To sum it up: we've got a lack of diversity. I'm personally not bothered if an author has an all white, all straight cast. I'm more bothered by the fact that the publishing industry is still not publishing enough POC, LGBT and other folks. I hope that at some point in the future, we no longer have to discuss this topic, because literature will be diverse by default. 
This is Uma's first Read-A-Thon and I really hope I'll find the time to participate. I'm being optimistic at the moment and signing up. It'll run from 5th January 2017 to 1st March 2017.

I'll be attempting to read one book in each category.
I feel like maybe I'm pushing it by putting a Neil Gaiman book onto the list, but I've been meaning to read this one forever and it includes diverse mythology, so I'm giving it a try.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Top Ten Tuesday (1) - 2017 Debuts I'm Excited For

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created and hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Follow the link to know more about the meme and join up!
This week the topic is: 2017 debuts I'm excited for. You can find this week's post by The Broke and the Bookish here.

This is my first Top Ten Tuesday post. I've decided to blog a bit more in 2017, because I enjoy writing about the books, I've read and because I like to interact with the community. Not sure I'll manage to get a whole list of 10 together every week. This week sure is a difficult one, because I don't usually read debuts. I'm more of a patient reader and tend to be years behind. It's getting a bit better since I've got involved in the book community, joined Netgalley and my tbr list is growing every day. 
2017 Debuts I'm Excited For:
  1. Caraval by Stephanie Garber (January 2017) 
  2. Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (February 2017)
  3. Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (February 2017)
  4. Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eves (March 2017)
  5. Frostblood by Elly Blake (January 2017)
  6. Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth (January 2017)
  7. The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco (March 2017)
  8. Gilded Cage by Vic James (February 2017)
  9. When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (May 2017)
  10. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (May 2017)





I hope I get to read most of these. I'm aware that some of these aren't debuts, at least the Veronica Roth book isn't. But I love the sound of it.

What are the debuts you're looking forward to? Comment and leave a link to your list and I'll make sure to visit!