Welcome back to another wonderful Friday. I hope your week wasn´t as tiring as mine was. If it was then do not fear, I´m here ( that rhymes! ). All ready to share my most apocalyptic bookish find for the week. But first- I need to see Frank, the squirrel.
I´m sure I gave him a different name before. But since I can´t remember it I gave him a new one. This is Frank. Frank looks just as relieved as I feel about Friday.
With that out of the way I think I should start with my most exciting bookish experience I went through this week. It all happened on Tuesday…
I was shopping for school supplies when I decided to do a quick pit stop at the bookstore. Well, needless to say: I aimed straight for the English book section, knowing that new releases would be on the shelves, etc.
And to my horror, the whole section looked like it had been attacked!
Books were lying everywhere except on the shelves. Such bookish chaos. I felt a strong urge to place every book neatly back where they belonged. To top it all off I noticed the usual books were missing. WHERE THE HELL WERE MY BELOVED BOOKS?!
After my mini panic attack, I noticed this.
They even included a self-drawn map of the new location! I´m not only shook I´m deceased. Done. Finished. I can´t.
Yes, I WAS looking for my favorite books.
Yes, I WAS they were gone. Judging by the book abuse I figured someone went mental.
So THAT`S WHYthe craft supplies were gone? I honestly wondered why they practically disappeared overnight. I was wondering about that.
( Fun fact: The bookstore had an awesome craft supply corner. Expensive as hell but still fabulous )
And then the “Here´s a fancy map.” OMG. I was close to tears from laughing so hard.
So, my favorite book corner moved. Nearly gave me a heart attack but thanks to the notice and fancy map I was able to make it home alive. After that, I needed a drink and a nap ( not necessarily in that order ).
So, there ya have it. That was this week´s most exciting bookish experience I had.
This goes to show that the little things in life can make a major impact. ❤ I love my go-to bookstore.
All my love goes out to Thalia in Darmstadt. You guys are the best!
Tell me about your week? What did you read? What books did you buy? What are your plans for the weekend? Let me know in the comments below. I´d love to chat. ❤
Have a wonderful weekend, my dear bookish Padawans.
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.
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:
I have to do all my book shopping online
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.
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.
Mug Feature: The return of the Ikea mug, turquoise
Book Topic:Impulse book purchase
Hola and welcome to another wonderful Mug Monday!
October is around the corner, autumn is scratching at our doors… It´s officially time to get all those comfy comforters and fuzzy socks out. For me, it´s that time of year when I can drink my hot chocolate without having people giving me the “isn´t it too hot to drink that?” look.
Leg warmers, oversized sweaters, wool coats and long scarves are a thing now and I´m going to enjoy every minute of my non sweaty life.
And since the weather has improved I decided to take the girls book shopping. Their book wish list already has a decent size so it was time to get a few second installments for my oldest and some new vampire reads for my youngest.
Remember the promise I made to myself a while back about tackling my TBR list before I buy anything new?
I guess that dream didn´t last long.
The girls started collecting their books while mommy decided to just check out the romance section. Worst. Idea. Ever.
I wanted to cry. I wanted to fall on my knees and weep in front of all the beautiful book covers and apologize for making such an idiotic promise ( Oooh, that sounds so dramatic, doesn´t it? Lol )
Anyway- The girls found their treasures. Me? I grabbed a book on the way to the register counter. Just like that. I saw something from the corner of my eye and thought of how convenient it is from the bookstore to torture me on my way out with a great cover.
My eyes did a quick book title scan. `Optimists Die First`. Sounded pretty good to me.
Turns out, I picked a romance! Ha! Who would have thought?!
I´m now the lucky owner of an impulse purchase.
Not my first impulse purchase. The same situation has happened quite often to me.
It´s pretty risky to blindly pick a book and buy it while on the run. There´s a 50 / 50 % chance of the book being completely shitty. But then again, readers have the same chances with books they´ve heard / read about before purchase.
I like the mystery of not exactly knowing what I´ve bought. Having no expectations what – so – ever is more liberating than having read the synopsis and testimonials before purchase.
Fingers crossed that my impulse purchase is also a 5 star read!
How about you guys? Are you victims of impulse book shopping or would you rather go the safe route? Let´s chat.
Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …
Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.
I have two book titles for you.
Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games.
Add a hint of Breaking Dawn and a sprinkle of the Oscar line „ After all, tomorrow is another day.“ and you don´t have to read `A Court of Thorns and Roses`by the #1 NYT bestseller, Sarah J. Maas, anymore.
Now, brace yourselves. This is going to be a long review with minor to major spoilers. Shall you prefer not to be spoiled then I highly advise you to leave and come back after you read the story yourself.
For weeks I´ve had to look at the rather unflattering book cover of `A Court of Thorns and Roses` on Instagram. Every Insta-blogger insisted on getting on my last nerve with this book. With what reason? Because, D´uh…. it´s an awesome book ( so everyone said).
Someone needs to define the word `awesome` to me again because ( and I quote the brilliant comedian Dylan Moran )
`Mountains and rivers and the fact that I´m still breathing is awesome.`
This story? Not so much.
I´ve avoided this book for a very long time and succeeded in ignoring the Instagram features as well until one fine day….
I decided to go book shopping. Mind you- it´s one of my favorite pastime activities, even if I never walk out with a book, I still love to find out what´s new, etc.
I saw this.
This had me thinking.
I read at least one hundred online reviews, all outstanding and love gushing towards the story. I was nearly blinded by the million insta-feeds for this book….NOW I was seeing tiny, short book recommendations for the one book I´ve been avoiding for so long.
I must have looked like a lost, helpless fool because a sales woman walked right up to me and asked if I needed any help. I thought „ why not“ and asked her if the book was really as good as the recommendation stated.
15 minutes later I was exhausted and caved. I bought the book. An hour later I was at home and opened the book.
I, involuntarily, choked on my own gum.
A map…. of Westeros? Oh, for crying out loud. Really?
Isn´t it funny how Prythian looks like Westeros. And Westeros looks like the UK.
But wait….this gets better. The UK lacks of something significant.
A wall. * faint * For anyone who has read or even heard of the great wall of Game of Thrones… it´s up north where there´s constant cold weather. The wall keeps the bad guys out.
Now look at this and tell me the author wasn´t “inspired” by this idea.
Someone was not in a creative mood that day, huh?
Can you imagine how my mood shifted from suspicious to curious and then dropped to being annoyed? I hadn´t even started reading the dang book and already, I wanted to wrap it up in nice paper and gift it to my neighbor.
But I didn´t. Instead, I read the damn thing from start to finish.
And while I read I had quite a few discussions on the side with people who hadn´t read the book but who had read Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games. Screenshots were sent back and forth, comparing the names of the characters from both books, scenes from the books, etc.
A name from A Court of Thorns and Roses: Hyburn
A name from Game of Thrones: Qyburn
That and the map and the wall. I had a feeling the Wildlings from GoT were the humans from ACOTAR. Both parties bothered by what was beyond the wall until both realized there´s a mutual enemy who had to be dealt with. ( I JUST SPOILED THE PLOT)
If I thought my annoyance couldn´t get any worse, I was wrong.
But the story of ACOTAR shifted. My hopes for a unique story reappeared.
A poverty-stricken family, suffering for the next meal was introduced. Two sisters and their father, huddled in a beaten cottage waiting for the youngest family member, Feyre, to come home from hunting so they wouldn´t have to starve to death.
Not bad, right? I thought it was a nice change to read about a poor family struggling to survive.
What wasn´t so nice was- The characters. Although poor, Feyre´s family were spoiled little shits, whining after their long lost wealth and not accepting their future.
The beginning felt cold. It felt clinical. Emotionless.
Meeh. It was weird.
But things changed for the family after Feyre killed and skinned a wolf during her hunt. It was the one event that changed everyone´s lives forever.
Normally, in Game of Thrones, killing someone / something would result in being beheaded but in this one…. Feyre wasn´t executed for killing the wolf / Faerie ( yes, Faeries could shapeshift. Who would have thought, right? I didn´t know Faeries could bite like vampires, either, yet it happens in this one.). Instead, Feyre was given a choice. To go and live with the Faerie in the faerie land beyond the invisible wall or die on the spot.
Tough and easy choice if you ask me. Of course, Feyre walked into a new future. A future with food and probably share a nice fluffy bed with an elf Faerie, to pay for her crime. Without much of a fight Feyre left her hungry family behind and walked into a better future.
Fast forward- Feyre falls for the Faerie who took her and lives for months with him as his guest.
( Insert Disney´s Beauty and the Beast song, Be Our Guest )
She learned to love the lands she once so hated and was sent back due to highly confidential faerie business.
What a buzz kill, right? Fall in love after planning so many escapes and hiding knives and being 80% of the time bitchy… only to be told she needs to go back home. The hateful efforts all for nothing. * snorts *
But wait- before Feyre was sent on her way, the Faerie Lord, Tamlin ( the Hero ) took it upon himself to give her a few last minute shags before he patted her bottom and waved a white laced hanky after the carriage.
( Note: that wasn´t how it exactly happened. The truth- He screwed her for the first time after he announced she had to leave and then immediately sent her back home to the human world. How romantic. Lol) Still a buzz kill, and we´re only halfway through the story. There´s more to come.
Being back home wasn´t as great as Feyre had planned it would be. She loved the elf Faerie, High Fae, Lord of the Spring Court, Tamlin, and wanted to go back and help him face whatever threat was on it´s way to destroy her pretty Lord. Because it wasn´t enough to be the most powerful Fae in the lands of Fae. It wasn´t enough having the ability to turn into a wolfish beast with horns to slaughter the evil. It wasn´t enough to be more beautiful than Prince Charming himself. He was a lost cause when he was taken.
Now, this was the point where I got excited again. Feyre, the former huntress, was going to help her beloved Lord! Back at the faerie mansion she found it empty, shredded and ruined beyond words. Feyre was too late.
Fast forward again- After the old maid from the fluffy mansion gave the „stupid human“ the truth and directions to where Tamlin was being held as prisoner she sprinted off to a place hidden under a mountain where an evil woman ( who´s name WAS NOT TO BE OUTSPOKEN in the first half of the book) held all Fae lords and their folk captive.
This is where the Hunger Games come in. I swear to God…. when the hand was raised in tribute to the fallen I couldn´t help but laugh.
So, Game of Thrones, a spark of Harry P. Now Katniss Everdeen?
The big question is- Will Katniss Feyre be able to save the one she loves and free the people of Prythian? There´s a book #2 and a book #3. You can figure it out for yourselves.
I mentioned Bella Swan above, remember? Yeah, everything became so „clear“ towards the end. * snorts *
The bottom line- The book would have been so much more enjoyable had the author used her own imagination instead of picking the good bits from other successful stories. I know writers can´t really reinvent the wheel ( to always come up with new things to write about) but a little creativity wouldn´t have hurt. There were quite a few fine written scenes I hadn´t recognized from other books that I actually enjoyed. The rest was just eye roll worthy.
The characters were 2 dimensional. Flat. They had less feeling than I have when it´s time for my monthly strawberry week. There was potential, though. I saw all sorts of great things happening for each character when I started reading. They just never progressed. How am I supposed to feel anxious about certain characters when they´re all emotionless? It´s impossible.
And if I ever read another „ she clicked her tongue…“ I´m gonna file a complaint. One that´s longer and more alive and colorful than this review.
Speaking of writing- The writing was… okay. Not what I would expect from a fantasy story. With ease I read through 416 pages of head-scratch-worthy info. Took me 2 solid days and another few hours to process the clutter I read.
Still- I haven´t completely given up hope. Rumor has it that book #2 is so much better. So much sexier ( so they say. Although I didn´t see much sexy schmexy in this one, so… fingers crossed). So full of everything fabulous. I´d like to be the judge of that myself. I want to see if Feyre will time travel through the stones of Craigh na Dun and meet a hot Highlander named Damie. The possibilities are endless.)
Despite my full rant I´m gonna go ahead and recommend this book. Why? Because I can see why so many people would love the story. If you haven´t read the books I´ve mentioned above then you might be able to enjoy the emotionless adventure ( if a reader doesn´t care for such important nonsense.)
I will say that if you ARE a fan of Game of Thrones or The Hunger games….stay away from this read.
I can see the appeal. But I don´t like it. It´s not for me. There are books out there that are more gripping with less obviously copied bits.
Would I reread this book? Probably not. I´ve got Game of Thrones and The Hunger Games on my shelves already.
The Cover – 2 stars ( It´s not my cup of tea. I find it dull.)
The Story – 2 stars( If the author had added more of her own voice instead of others then it might have been a 4 star read. There was a hint of romance but the rest was full of Feyre´s hateful thoughts. )
The Characters – 2 stars( Emotionless. 2D. Although each had alot to offer… nothing came through. A pity, really. But if I had to pick characters I enjoyed most it would be Tamlin and Lucien. I didn´t care much for Tamlin and Feyre as a couple. )
My emotional state after finishing this read- Confused. Worried I won´t get to see a fanfic in the other installment.
I´m giving `A Court of Thorns and Roses` ( A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) by Sarah J. Maas 2 out of 5 stars.
When I talk about “she” then I´m referring to my best friend and book buddy in crime.
Everyone has that one special friend who comes up with different ways to brighten up one´s day. Mine is named Mirjam and she lives down the road.
Today was the day Mirjam and I decided to have a coffee ( in my case, a hot chocolate because I can´t stand coffee ) in our local bookstore ( the only bookstore with actual books inside).
Our brilliant idea was to take some time to relax while being surrounded by the things that bring us immense joy- books.
A small but cozy shop with nooks and corners everywhere…rows and rows with books lovingly stacked for display by the ever so polite staff. I felt at home. I felt even more at home when I held my hot chocolate in my hands and saw books from the corners of my eyes.
Just like magic- time flew by. We spent 3 hours discussing books, admiring covers,…practically combing the whole store!
And what did we get out of the experience? Pure satisfaction. Seriously- if you´re an avid reader you definitely have to make time and relax in a bookstore. I´m not talking about walking in a Starbucks and reading there or going to a Barnes & Noble. THAT is not an experience. I´m referring to the small, local places hardly anyone knows about. Bookstores that have character. You won´t find the intimacy, the flair or anything unique in a chain store. A local bookshop might not have the same book selection as Amazon.com or B&N has but that´s okay. We didn´t need to see everything the world has to offer.
Besides- it´s also good to support the smaller businesses. They bring originality. They´re authentic. They care more than anyone at some large retailer ever will.
( Mirjam )
This isn´t the last time we´ll be going in for a quick, 3 hour, coffee / hot chocolate!