Mug Monday & Book Shopping

Hello and welcome back to another Mug Monday special! Today I´ll be touching on a subject that´s as delightful as it is depressing. Book shopping.

Earlier today my youngest came home from school and told me she needed a book. A book they talked about in class. My youngest is in 2nd grade and with the current non existent school system I was more than surprised the teachers even touched books ( yes, my daughter´s elementary school is just a kindergarten for bigger kids. 3 hours effective school hours and the parents do the rest of teaching).

So, Lillian needed a book. Not a problem at all! Mommy is able to buy books. It´s what mommy does. The second best thing mommy´s good at doing.

She gave me the title and told me a little about the story. I knew what book she needed and I knew I wouldn´t need to drive into the city to get it ( as that´s usually the case when I go book shopping for myself ). The neighboring village´s local bookstore would have such a popular children´s book like the one we needed.

The Gruffalo – Julia Donaldson

The gruffalo

For those who haven´t heard of the Gruffalo ( to you childless lot out there: I do not blame you for not knowing. You´re forgiven )… it´s actually a nice story about a mouse who more or less tries to save it´s own ass.

PS- Forgive the piss poor book description. I might have kids but I hardly am the role model mom. I forgive myself, so all´s good.

With the book in hand I decided to seize the moment and check out what bestsellers are missing in the german bookshelves while Lillian was checking out other books.

And what I saw ( or didn´t see ) broke my heart. The bookstore removed the english book section. This means 2 things:

  1. I have to do all my book shopping online
  2. I have to drive to the one place I hate the most: Frankfurt.

While online shopping isn´t much of a problem ( for me, at least ) driving into Germany´s 5th largest city is. It´s an adventurous nightmare. That also includes public transportation. Never on time, always over filled.

I mean- I get that german´s aren´t really into reading foreign language books. I can´t expect everyone to read english books here ( although I would very much appreciate if they did. Would make my life a little easier ). I understand…. somehow. It doesn´t mean I´m happy about it, though.

It´s just one of those things that kept me connected to my roots, if that makes sense. To be able to have easy access to english books.

So, I wasn´t what some would call a happy camper. Not until I was able to hop on Amazon and order some books for myself.

After spending a nice hour scrolling through the latest releases ( there weren´t many ) I decided to load my cart with tons of new releases and older works.. only to delete half of the books in my cart again. I ended up buying 3 books. That´s how I shop for books on Amazon. You´re welcome.

And then I immediately felt bad because I had broken my rather loudly outspoken TBR list rule, again.

Now, what does this all tell us? The bookstore is to blame.

And what did we learn from this? That bookstores shouldn´t remove foreign language bookshelves. And that the Gruffalo is a pretty cool book. And my daughter loves the book. That´s all that matters. ❤

Speaking of TBR lists….

Because I felt so terrible for ignoring my own rule I decided to just grab a book from my I – Bought – The – Book – Ages – Ago – And – Can´t – Remember – Why shelf and make up for my personal faux pas.

mug monay love

And as it´s always the case- I´m wondering why I haven´t read this book directly after I bought it. I´m only 1/3 in the story and am enjoying it so far.

Before We Were Strangers – Renee Carlino

before we were strangers

The cover definitely wasn´t the reason why I bought this book. Maybe the Love Story bit? The pink in the font? If only I could remember. *  sigh *

As for the mug…. A simple flea market purchase from a few years back. Unfortunately, the mug is heavy and because of that, no one wants to use it.

Okay, lovely people. That´s it for today. I hope you enjoyed my random ramblings.

Feel free to share your book shopping experiences! I would love to find out how you shop for your books.

Until next time.

Much love,

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Mug Feature & Book Talk & Private Ramblings

Mug –Ikea

Book – Dangerous To Know & Love by Jane Harvey-Berrick

 

I´m a person who´s mind runs a million miles per hour. I´m not much of a multitasker but I can think of many odd things all at once. I´ve been told it´s an Aquarius trait. Not that I would know. I don´t pay attention to star signs, zodiac readings or whatever else they´re called. I know my mind runs off while I´m doing stuff. A fact I can live with.

Monday and Wednesday´s are my days off. The girls are at my mom´s enjoying their beloved Grandma-time so that leaves me with nothing to do. Literally. With the house clean, laundry done and lunch cooked I have all the time in the world ( 4 hours to myself feel like an endless amount of time) to do the things I enjoy most. 

Call me weird but… I like doing nothing. We live in a fast living world where everyone´s running from A to B all the time. There´s hardly any room during our busy lives to properly relax. Unless we make time. That´s what I do. I make a point out of doing nothing sometimes. Why? It´s important for the mind and body. 

In my case, I like to read and drink hot chocolate during my relax time. I like to aimlessly walk around the house in my hot pink bathrobe and just appreciate the silence. I´ll sometimes look out the kitchen window and watch my neighbors chat on the street, I´ll watch others pass by my house with their dogs.. I swear, there´s nothing better than having enough time to appreciate the little things in life. 

While sipping my hot cocoa I took an extra few minutes to admire the color of the mug. Speaking of mugs- An Ikea purchase ( because I can never walk out of that place without something from the Dining department). Was the color turquoise? Blue? Teal? Then I thought of how great it would be if a book cover had that same color. The search for the matching book cover began.

It took me a full hour of rummaging to find what I was looking for. Voila!

WP Mug Turquoise
Book- Dangerous To Know & Love by Jane Harvey-Berrick

Okay, fine. Black, white and gray dominate the cover but there is a color splash of teal.

One of my all time favorite romances. And it´s an older one, too. Not one of those new romances where the Hero is some rich hot-shot who owns half a city and whisks a middle class 20-year-old off her feet with outrageous sex. 

No. This is a simple, relatable romance. It´s emotional. I love it. `Dangerous To Know & Love` is one of those stories where you feel the character´s pain and just want to do everything to jump right in and help out. I remember I felt like a peeping Tom while reading Lisanne and Daniel´s story.  They had a slow-moving relationship with relatable up´s and down´s.  I didn´t really suffer from any emotional trauma after reading this book but I do remember feeling so utterly satisfied and excited. 

There aren´t many books I cherish. I have a handful of books I call my romance Bible. This book definitely belongs to those. 

Two hot cocoa´s later I realized I was rereading the book. Something I wasn´t planning on doing because I have more than enough books on my oversized TBR list. Books that are anxiously waiting for some attention. 

I guess swooning over Daniel and Lisanne´s lovestory was more important. I have time, right? My TBR list isn´t going anywhere. A quick reread and another hot cocoa can never hurt… Especially not me. 🙂

I hope you enjoyed Mug Monday. Until next week….

Much Love,

Morgana xx

Book Info

Title: Dangerous To Know & Love  Dangerous to Know and Love

Author: Jane Harvey-Berrick

Publication Date: May 17th 2013

Genre: New Adult, Romance

Favorite Quote (s): “I don´t want to be defined by this.”

“I´m so fucking happy you´re here,” he whispered. “It makes it hurt less.”

Purchase Links: Amazon.comAmazon.co.ukAmazon.de

 

Review- Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Book Description

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart .

My Thoughts

A good read, but not something I would go nuts over.

I hate to say this- It´s another bold duplicate of past popular stories I´ve read before.

The only difference was the writing style, which was (in my opinion) rather great.

Victoria Aveyard´s storytelling ability is remarkable and so catchy… I really had no troubles what-so-ever with anything. The complete story was well-balanced.

So what was my problem with the story? Well, for one- I´m not a huge fan of dystopian. I have to be completely convinced before I even go near anything sci-fi-ish / dystopian book. The synopsis sounded great, though, and the hundreds of instagram features convinced me enough. so I thought I´d give it a go. And the story was…okay. But not okay enough for me to give it a full rating.

`Red Queen` ( Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard wasn´t my cup of tea.Red Queen

I liked everything except nothing tickled me senseless. Nothing about the story flashed me nor did I feel the moments that were supposed to be nail-bite-worthy. I didn´t like the story enough.

Maybe the reason for that were the main characters and how they were portrayed. Mare / Mareena ( Heroine ) felt an awful lot like Katniss from The Hunger Games. Not a complete unlikable character but there were definitely moments when I was thinking „Okay Katniss, time to reel it in. Let Mare take over again“ . Mare was strong, foolish and in sometimes even a little annoying.

Mare, the Red, became some sort of a prodigy. Not human nor Silver. Something in between. Something everyone feared because no one understood what Mare was but they knew she was powerful, more than some of the other Silvers who carried special abilities ( and there were quite a few Silvers who had some badass moves ). But then again, the Silvers knew what Mare was. They used her. Tricked her. Played her and everyone else. By „they“ I mean the Royal family and by „everyone else“ I´m referring to the many Silver Houses, Silver folk and Reds.

Yes. The `Red Queen` is political. Lots of mind games, upholding etiquette, keeping secrets, lies, spies and everything else. And in the middle of politics you can even spot a romance. It´s subtle, but it´s there and it´s also good.

The story as a whole is more of a „this is an unfair world and I´m going to play the chosen one and try to make everything better again.“ story. Right the wrongs and create peace.

As I´ve said- It´s a good story but not really what I was hoping for.

`Red Queen` is the first installment in the Red Queen series. I think it´s safe for me to say that I won´t be continuing the series. For me- The story ends with book #1. There isn´t enough interest on my part.

Would I recommend this book? Yes. I would. I can see many YA, dystopian fans gushing over this story. It has a strong Heroine and great Hero(s).

Would I reread this book? Probably not.

The Cover – 5 stars ( Absolutely brilliant. Love the crown & blood and the stark contrast of the white and red. Very eye catchy.)

The Story – 3 stars ( an okay read.)

The Characters – 3 stars ( Practically perfect but a little too similar to other popular fictional figures. Cersei= the Queen, Mare= Katniss, etc. )

My emotional state after finishing this read: Indifferent.

I´m giving `Red Queen` ( Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard 3 out of 5 stars.

stars-16

Purchase Links

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.de

Review: Breaking Gravity ( Fall Back Series #2) by Autumn Grey

Book Description

I’ve always followed my dreams with ruthless determination.
My life was going well. Success was at my fingertips.
Until it wasn’t.
All it took was three seconds to send my world crashing down around me, 
ripping my dreams to shreds.
Then I meet her, with her large hazel eyes that slay me at first glance.
And everything starts to make sense again.
I try to keep my distance.
To remind myself I am her mentor.
That we can’t be more, 
but every time I push away, I’m pulled deeper into her.
The line between student and teacher is blurring. 
One kiss. 
One taste. 
They’re all it would take to cross the line.

My Thoughts

This student / teacher romance definitely earned a place on my sacred bookshelf.

`Breaking Gravity` ( Fall Back Series #2 ) started out in a devastating light and ended with a beautiful warmth.Breaking Gravity

Nathaniel Rowe´s life will never be the same. Once a well-known professional cellist, now a damaged and crippled has-been who suffers from chronic pain and medication abuse. It took one unfortunate event to change his life and make Nathaniel a walking mess. With his career over and the love of his life gone there´s hardly anything left to live for. Until…

Nathaniel takes up a job as a temporary music professor at Rushmore college and becomes fascinated with a red-haired beauty, Elon… who also happens to be one of his students.

Now, I´m not a huge fan of student/teacher romances because they somehow always end the same way. A story about a forbidden by law love is bound to end in a catastrophe. It´s kind of like watching a train wreck happening in slow motion. You know it´s gonna be ugly. You know the outcome.. Everything starts out as a one time thing. A secret. Then the secret turns into an affair. Soon, a best friend finds out and then others become suspicious. The secretive couple gets exposed. One loses a job. The other gets kicked out of school, yada yada yada.

For some reason, `Breaking Gravity` wasn´t entirely like that. So, the student / teacher story wasn´t new…. but the flair the story gave off was refreshing. Both main characters have dealt with unimaginable pain in their pasts and yet both weren´t completely unwilling to move forward, despite knowing about the consequences of their actions. They had something to look forward to: seeing each other.

I was rooting for the main characters. It took me a lot of will power not to get out the pompoms and cheer for Nate and Elon. I actually wanted the characters to get exposed as quick as possible because they fit so beautifully together.

What I loved most about the story was the fact that the author approached different real life issues, such as: death, abuse and addiction. The author´s ability to let her characters suffer from these issues was wild. It made her characters feel more authentic / realist and relatable. And it made them 100% lovable.

Do Nate and Elon live happily ever after? Or will life force them apart?

Read it and find out for yourself. I can say, without a doubt, that this is my favorite student / teacher romance.

`Breaking Gravity` is a warming, beautiful, swoon worthy, hot and full of hope romance that´ll stick to a reader like glue for weeks after reading.

Would I recommend this book? Yes!

Would I reread this book? I already have…* smile *

The Cover – 5 stars ( I have been gushing over this cover weeks before I even bought the book. Such a beautiful and unique image. There was no way I was not going to have this book.)

The Story – 4 stars ( Student / Teacher romances don´t usually float my boat but this story did.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( Nate was the perfect Hero. Ruined, moody, passionate, hot. Every woman needs a Nate in their lives. Elon was an equally perfect character. Loving, clever, guarded, witty. What more can I ask for? Nothing.)

My emotional state after finishing this read? Totally, utterly, 100% happy and satisfied.

I´m giving `Breaking Gravity` by author Autumn Grey 4 out of 5 stars.

Instagram Book Box Feature

This book can be purchased at Amazon.com

TBR Book Lists

You know what a TBR list is. And if not… be prepared to be enlightened.

TBR, in a nutshell, means To Be Read. TBR is often used when discussing books, bookshelves and / or lists.

When people talk about their TBR lists they´re basically talking about an imaginary and /or a physical list that´s 5 miles long with books that they´d either like to buy, or have already purchased but haven´t found the time to read those books.

Personally, I  have a few lists. Some on my phone, some on sticky notes ( which I always manage to lose ), a couple scattered in notebooks and of course, my Amazon wish list. Unlike others… I haven´t bought a book that´s been added to my TBR list. Why? Mainly because I know myself like no other. I´d buy the book and never read it. Because, that´s what usually happens with books that land in a TBR list.

Not that I wouldn´t want to read the books that go on one of my many lists. I just forget about them completely.

When you recommend a book to someone and they say, “I´ll add it to my TBR list.”, you can bet everything you own( house, car, cat, horse) on the fact that that someone already has a 5 mile long list full of untouched books. And the book you recommended will most likely disappear in the sea of book titles for only God knows how long.

Now- an outsider, a person who isn´t madly in love with reading would come up with a simple solution and recommend working off a TBR list before adding more to it. Technically- a brilliant idea. Practically- an impossible mission to accomplish.

In order to sit down and actually read every book on a TBR list a reader would need an enormous amount of discipline. That´s hardly possible when hundreds  thousands of books are out there, waiting to be read! There´s a lot of truth behind the words:

so many books so little time

“So many books, so little time.” If we were realistic for a moment- we´re not going to live forever. It won´t ever be possible to work off a TBR list because readers always add more books to it.  It´s a neverending cycle. It´s evil. It´s unforgiving. Even if we don´t live long enough to read all the books we want to read- our TBR lists will keep on living. ( see how evil a TBR list is?? )

I gave up on my TBR list (s) a long time ago. I saw no point in working them off because of one reason: My brain is like a siev. I can´t help it. I don´t want to want to work the list off because it´s exhausting.

Nowadays, if I see a book that interests me, I´ll buy the paperback and avoid adding to any list in the first place. I still have my lists, though. Somewhere…..  And out of pure habit I´still say “Cool, I´ll add it to my blasted TBR list.” See? Evil.

The best possible solution is to avoid making a list in the first place. I know that. Other readers know that. But can we help ourselves? Can we prevent our greedy selves from adding a book to our neverending lists? Of course, NOT. It´s a disease. We can´t be helped.

The struggle is real. Amazon is not a book lover´s friend. 1-clicking is the devil.

Instagram Book Box Feature