I´m Back!

People, I´m back! Back from where? Ha, London, baby.

Yes, London. I was brave enough to take the family to one of the world´s busiest and crowded cities. Was it worth it? For me, it always is. I love London and could never tire of visiting the place. Everytime I go there I always make sure to see something new. Something I haven´t seen during my last London visit. I´ve been to London many times before but there´s one thing I´ve never done: The whole sightseeing / tourist attraction shibaz. Kind of weird, considering I´m often there. The truth is- I´m not a fan of tourist attractions and try to avoid them. Large crowds and having a death grip on my purse isn´t really my idea of chilling.

Well, this time was different. We not only took the kids with us, we decided to do the full blown tourist trip. You parents out there must be questioning my sanity. Trust me- Husbutt and I did question our sanity. But what can we say? We´re idiots. Because we figured if we can survive Frankfurt a.M. with the kids then we can definitely survive London. ( for those who aren´t familiar with Frankfurt, Germany… You definitely have your death shirt on when you´re in Frankfurt )

I won´t kid you- Our 5 day tourist route was a challenge. Tower Bridge, London Eye, Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park, a boat ride on the river Thames… Eve is 12 years old and Lillian is 8. Challenging ages for parents. One doesn´t want to do jack shit and the other? Well, you have to keep a close eye on the firecracker or else she´ll start a revolution with an army of pigeons.

 

London E
The “no pictures!” emo pre teen

 

London L
Lillian recruiting pigeons

 

My favorite convo from our stay was about the squirrel we saw crawling up a tree.

“That´s so cool. I´ve never seen a squirrel in the wilderness.” ( said my genius 12 yr old )

The look on husbutt´s face said exactly what I was thinking. “She´ll hopefully marry rich one day.”

Aside from the everyday life with kids we had a wonderful time. My highlight? Meeting with my bestie and her family.  I don´t get to see her often but I try as often as I can to fly over and have a few hours with her. That woman is a gem and I´m grateful I have someone like her in my life. If only we lived closer…

 

 

Now, I bet you´re wondering if I got any book shopping done, right? Well, I was given a time limit in the bookstore. Can you imagine?

 

 

Book shopping under that type of pressure is horrible. Three very angry people were giving me death glares from outside the store while I was looking for books. Not cool. I ended up buying two books, though. A small victory yet still not acceptable. That´s okay though. I´m flying over again in September.

So, that´s about it. My girls have seen London. Husbutt swore he won´t do the tourist thing in London again and I think my legs are made of steel now ( from walking SO MUCH ).

Good food. Great people. Meet up with the bestie…. I couldn´t have asked for a better vacation.

With that being said- I´m back and ready to get back to the book blogging mill. It´s been over a week and I have loads of catching up to do.

Oh and, before I forget…. To all a Happy belated Easter! ( I´m so terrible with holidays )

See ya soon, my dear bookish Padawans ❤

Much love,

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Thank The Books It´s Friday

People. PEOPLE! You will not believe what a week I´ve had. More the reason to welcome Mr. Thank Fuck squirrel.

squirrel fuck

It´s friday. A day to sit back and relax. Or in my case- sit back and make plans.

Yes. Aside from the virtual book blog drama that has decided to involve me without me knowing I took it upon myself to book a spontaneous mini vacation. 4 days London, baby! I just have 1 more week to go before Easter break for the kids begins and we´re off. I´m taking the family with me. Hubby, kids…. We´re all going and I am SO looking forward to some much needed time off from my surroundings. And the book shopping! Lord have mercy, I´m gonna be in a financial mess when I get home.

If you happen to see a short blonde american with a loud voice in a Waterstones then feel free to approach me. I might scream because I´m super jumpy and a natural chicken shit but that´ll pass. 🙂 I´ll buy you a coffee and make up for it. 🙂

What I´m looking forward to most is meeting up with my bestie Lindsey also known as the award winning author of Hedoschism. It´ll be so good to see her in person again and give her ( and the family ) a huge hug. ❤

As for the book blogging. I´ve mentioned above that my week has been going fairly well until I heard about what´s being said about my blog posts behind my back.

Something as banal as my previous post has evoked strong feelings from some people. I´m not sure I have enough energy to care ( that´s not true. I have a post about that topic already in the works ). Let´s just say that it´s beyond me why anyone would feel offended by my personal experiences. These people must love me to bits for keeping me on their radars or they hate me and have made me their target. Did I mention I´m going on a vacation? I did? Okay, I´ll just remind you again.

So yes. It´s been an eventful week.

As for the bookish part:

I´ve had an equally successful week. But having a look at some other blogs I feel like I´ve achieved nothing at all. The 3 books I´ve managed to read in April are nothing compared to what others have read. I feel major book envy right now. Still, I´m holding in there.

As of late I´ve managed to start and finish ( yes, I know. It´s weird I managed to do both ) the following:

The Silver Swan ( Elite Kings Club #1 ) – Amo Jones

Sparrow – L.J. Shen

Before We Were Strangers – Renée Carlino

Reviews for these gems will be up and about very soon so keep your eyes open.

Thankfully, the month isn´t over yet and I have more than enough time to read some other long forgotten masterpieces that have been collecting dust on my bookshelves.

Let´s completely ignore the ebook collection that´s growing faster than the tomato seeds I just planted.

That´s about it for this week.

Other than spending time checking my travel check lists there will be loads of Netflix while imitating lazy cats. Drum roll for the cat gif parade!

Me on a Friday
Me on Saturday
Me on Sunday

You´re very welcome. So, as you can see, my life is boring.

What are your plans for the weekend? What books will you be reading / finishing? Let me know in the comments below so I can envy you! ❤ Let me be a part of your glorious, eventful life.

Have a safe weekend, everyone. Feel hugged and loved. Share the book love.

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Non Existent Reading List – June ´18

Morgana´s Book Box

presents

 

The non-existent June 2018 reading list

 

 

It´s true. I, the old and wise book blogger, don´t have any new reads to present. But I have a good reason. Or… let´s just say, reasons, as to why I can´t do new reads this month.

 

Time is my worst enemy.

 

I can´t find time. For once I would like to finally catch up on all the blog posts I´ve missed from fellow book bloggers. I would also like to squeeze in a few minutes to discover some new blogs. The second biggest reason as to why I won´t be reading is due to the 8 drafts I still haven´t finished. I have 8 blog posts waiting to be published. That, alone, is driving me absolutely nuts.

Then there are the reality reasons.

REASON #1: It´s summer. It´s flipping hot out ( around 36 °C ). How does one read when one´s eyelids sweat? A/C isn´t a common european standard so we do the stone age A / C: Wake up before the sun´s out and air out the house then make everything dark again and complain for 10 hours until humidity hits it´s peak and suffer. Repeat. I did manage to surprise the husbutt the other day when I built a swamp air cooler ( because sitting in the dark wasn´t an option anymore )

REASON #2: It´s really close to summer break for the girls so…. Teachers are picking up the teaching pace and shoving everything they´ve missed out on down the kids throats before they´re released into the world of sleeping in for 6 weeks.

REASON #3: And then there´s the bit where I tell you that I´m going on a vacation with the husbutt…. and WITHOUT THE KIDS!


Yes. I´ll be officially offline and childless for 5 days, as we´ll have no reception in the middle of Scotland´s wilderness. Phones off. Hiking gear on. Tent ready. Wool socks packed.

To be honest, I don´t know what the hell I´m doing or why I decided to convince the husbutt that wild camping is good for us but now Imma gonna go hiking and wild camping. Ignore the fact that I don´t like camping… We´re going and it´s probably going to be hell. And then the biggest challenge: Walking up Ben Nevis, Scotland´s highest mountain ( feel free to correct me if I´m wrong about that. Hubby did the fact check. I bought the tent so that means I´m safe.) All this is going to happen on the June 25th. I can´t wait to not burn in the sun and suffer from a 6 week sun allergy.

So you see? I can´t read this month.

Bah. Saying that feels like I´ve commited a bookish crime.

It also feels like I´m going to book hell for even typing this.

But hey, husbutt and I have a death wish ( no climbing or hiking experience, either. WOOP ) and death wishes come before books, apparently.

 

 

So, there ya  have it. Sweat, swamp coolers, tons of homework incl. elementary school graduation and a nice death wish vacay  in cold Scotland.

Fortunately, there will be some pre scheduled posts going up during my time in the wilderness fighting off ticks and whatever else that flies and wants to eat me alive.

I call that a successful month.

What I do hope is to convince my better half on going to a bookstore while we´re on vacation. Let´s keep our fingers crossed that I can manage to lose him for an hour. Lol.

 

What are your plans for the summer? Are you going on vacation or will you enjoy a nice stay – at – home relaxation time?

I would love to read your thoughts! ❤ ❤

 

 

 

 

The Importance Of Reading Breaks

 

As much as Book Bloggers love books, we also need some time away from them.

We need reading breaks.

I know what you´re thinking.

“That´s BLASPHEMY! An avid reader does NOT simply stop reading!”

Oh, but we do. In fact – we need to.

It´s actually important for a book blogger to take a step back after reading 2 – 6 books at an unnatural pace because we can easily become overwhelmed with information. We´re not your average book reading bunch. We don´t do the 4 weeks for 1 book thing.

And what can happen when we go through an information overload within a short period of time? Our brains fry. We start forgetting stuff. Important stuff we should know ( especially 10 minutes AFTER finishing a book). Imagine reading a book and having a conversation about that book with someone.

“That book. Sure! I read it. The Heroes name? Wait a sec… The end? Hold on, didn´t they ride off towards the sunset? Oh, that´s not the book we´re talking about?”

How awkward. And how embarrassing.

Personally, I love reading breaks. They´re my personal creativity breaks from the sometimes exhausting book world. They give me time to think of new ideas and to catch up on life. Because as much as I love diving into a new book… I also enjoy what life has to offer outside the book world.

Some bloggers take a step back from reading to catch up on blog work.

Some bloggers distance themselves from social media but continue to read and write reviews.

And some even use their time off to collect reviews and schedule them ahead so they´re not overwhelmed with blog work and reading.

Me? My reading breaks are linked with blogging breaks. Meaning – I won´t touch a book or check / post on my blog during my time off. What´s the point in taking a break when I keep looking at bookish stuff, right?

So, what is it I do when I´m not blogging or reading?

Well, besides the usual meeting with friends and rediscovering my family ( yes. It´s always a pleasure to realize I belong to them and they belong to me.) I do enjoy watching movies at home and not have to worry about a thing. Or, I just spend endless hours searching the internet until 3 a.m.

jesus

 

That´s me. That´s ALWAYS me. Looking for stupid stuff at the ass crack of dawn. Youtube is also a fab place to get lost for a few hours.

But if I have to pick one thing I love to do during my time off it´s taking naps.

An hour here. And hour there. It´s not like I get to snooze off everyday but once in a while I can sneak in a cat nap and dream of all the books I could read, but never will.

It might not sound interesting but my naps, my movie nights with the husbutt and my daytime girly stuff with the girls help clear my mind from all the words and thoughts I have cluttered in my brain. Doing a Game of Thrones DVD Marathon also does wonders for the mind and soul!

It´s kind of like a brain cleanse.

During my blog / reading – free time I actually come up with good ideas for blog posts and even find the time to write those ideas down. I have time to get inspired by whatever I see on TV or while having chats with friends.

I enjoy every second of not hitting the computer keys until I feel that certain itch again. That´s when I know it´s time to get back on track and work the book blog mill again.

I feel refreshed and have a newly found energy to continue do to what I love. Book blog.

I can fully recommend reading breaks.

It doesn´t matter what you do on your reading / blogging breaks… The important thing is that you take a break once in a while.

Take that time off.

Enjoy the world.

Go outside and watch the flowers grow, smell the coffee your neighbor just made. Watch people pass by or just talk to someone about random stuff. Whatever you do, take your time doing it.

Because if we´re honest- books aren´t going anywhere. The blog isn´t going to rot away overnight. The internet isn´t going to disappear. It´ll all be there when you decide to come back.

 

I hope you all have a wonderful day!

Don´t forget to share the book and book break love!

 

Many hugs,

Morgana ❤

 

 

 

 

Books That Inspired Me To Travel

Books and traveling… Two of my most favorite things in life.

If I´m not reading / book blogging or going after my highly demanding duties as a mom and wife I´m always on tour. And by on tour I don´t mean hopping in the car and visiting surrounding cities. I mean I actually do some serious country hopping.

Some say it´s because I´m an Aquarius ( I fail to see that connection ). Some say I travel a lot because I´m bored out of my wits….

I think it´goes deeper than that. You see, I´m an Army brat. I´ve been to places. I´ve seen my fair share of countries against my will as a kid ( because moving a lot and having to make new friends at a new school ALWAYS sucked ). Years ago, once I settled down and stopped moving, I felt a certain unease. I felt caged by life. It´s funny because, as a kid I wanted nothing more than for my family to settle down. When I became an adult I didn´t want to be settled. I wanted out. And not only out of the house. I wanted out of the country. To be able to see new places, taste new dishes, meet new people and just…. enjoy what the world has to offer.

What I used to hate with a passion became by second greatest passion.

Reading books helped a lot to ease the nerve wrecking itch I felt. I had the power to dive into a story and live wherever the story was set at. But books only helped to a limited extent. I actually WANTED to visit the places I read about. I wanted to be in Paris and sit at a Café and drink hot chocolate while watching tourists and Parisians pass by. I wanted to walk through the Black Forest and feel the Snow White aura.

But reading about those fabulous places and seeing them with your own eyes are two completely different things.

Sure, I could gush over the beautiful details talented authors provide. And I do. I soak up every stinking detail authors give on certain places. Some writers are brilliant at painting a picture for a reader.

But wouldn´t it be even better to visit those places that inspired authors to include in their stories?

My grande idea: Visit the places I loved so much in books.

I´d like to clarify something real quick before I´m shoved into an unloving category.

I live in central Europe. In Germany, to be exact. And, flights are super cheap within Europe. I can be in a lot of places within 1 – 2 hours ( flight!) for a more than affordable price. Of course, taking the car is also cheap. But who wants to sit in a car for 12 hours when they can book a flight to the UK for 14.00 Euros pP. ?

 

Here are the books that inspired me to travel. Cities and countries I highly recommend any book lover ( and non book lover ) to visit soon!

 

Outlander – Diana Gabaldonoutlander

Genre – Time Travel, Historical Fiction, Romance

Set in – Highlands, Scotland

 

Outlander made me visit Scotland and boy, was I ever grateful I decided to do a short trip through the Highlands. The people were amazingly friendly, the weather was perfect ( for me ). The food was exactly the way I like it – Hearty. It didn´t matter where I went I was surrounded by the magic so many authors swoon about in their stories.

Seven Ages Of Paris – Alistair Horneseven ages of paris

Genre – History, Non Fiction

About – Paris, France

 

What can I say? I´m a sucker for knowledge. I love to learn new things. And…I love to know things. Knowing stuff rocks. Paris is my go – to place when I can´t decide where to travel next. The city is actually not the cleanest but it definitely has that special flair that´s been described in many books. You can literally smell and taste the history when you walk the old streets and visit certain areas of the city. The people aren´t as friendly as they are in the UK but since I´m used to rudeness ( yeah. Germans aren´t known to be a friendly bunch, either ) I have no problem with Parisians.

 

Goddess Of Yesterday – Caroline B. Cooney goddess of yesterday

Genre – Fantasy, YA, Mythology

Set in – Greece

I´m some – what of a Greek Mythology geek. For as long as I can remember I´ve loved stories told about the Gods. Hence the reason why I´ll read anything involving Greek Mythology.

 

Sadly enough, I only have 1 picture from my 2009 Greece vacation because my, then 2 yr old daughter, deleted them. All 200 pictures. But I have those great memories to hang on to. Greece is one of those history packed countries where you can also feel it´s ancient aura. The people are great. The food…. GOOD GODS ABOVE! You´ll think you´re in Heaven when you eat a Gyros Pita. It´s truly no wonder many authors choose Greece for their story and / or write about Greek Mythology.

 

Fingersmith – Sarah Waters Fingersmith

Genre – Mystery, Historical Fiction

Set in – London, UK

 

To be honest- this isn´t the book that set off my need to travel to London. Many MANY books before the Fingersmith had accomplished that years before. Still, a great book, though. London belongs to the cities I´ll never grow tired of. The city flair matches no other. It´s a super busy place and I get lost every time I´m there. The people “bless” me all the time ( which can get confusing because I only use the term when someone sneezes ). Plus- I get to see my bestie when I visit.  London is just THE place to be.

 

Zoo Station – Christiane F. Zoo Station

Genre – Non Fiction, Biography

Set in – Berlin, Germany

 

This was the first book I read that was set in Berlin. Of course, the true story of a teenage drug addict didn´t necessarily inspire me to travel to Berlin. The book itself is not for the faint of heart but still worth reading ( even if it´s to cure teenagers from taking drugs. THAT´S how graphic this book is). No. It wasn´t Christiane F´s story that made me want to visit the city with depressing history. I´ve always been some – what of a fan of the Golden 20´s era in Berlin.  I thought some of that magic was still lurking around ( like it does with Paris and London ) but, nope. I´d say Berlin is my LEAST favorite city in all Europe. It´s just…. super modern and super sad. You get an awful lot of reminders of how Berlin ( or Germany, for that matter) had once suffered. I understand the importance of history. But… there´s needs to be a break somewhere. Still, the place is packed with tourists from all over the world.

 

PS, I Love You – Cecelia Ahern PS I love you

Genre – Romance, Chick Lit

Set In – Ireland

 

 

Ireland is the place I want to retire at. I want to spend the rest of my glorious old days on the small Island, preferably out in the country, living in a cozy cottage, surrounded by sheep. I LOVE Ireland. Ever since I read PS, I Love You I wanted to visit. And when I did I refused to leave. What a beautiful place. The weather is definitely something you could argue over but the rest? That´s the place I want to be. I can hear Ireland calling my name.

 

Midnight In Sicily – Peter RobbMidnight in Sicily

Genre – Non Fiction, Cultural

Set In – Sicily, Italy

 

While Sicily isn´t and has never been on my Top 10 list of place I want to travel, Italy was.

This book is a glorious piece of wonderful, but I sort of lost interest in visiting Sicily. IT`S DANGEROUS! People don´t gossip for nothing. And when someone writes a great book on the good and bad of that Island then you´ll think twice before booking a flight. But the rest of Italy is fantabulous! My favorite cities are, without a doubt, Rome, Milan, Venice, Florence and Pisa ( because I tackle all the tourist favorites before getting lost in the middle of nowhere).

And then there´s Pasta. Need I say more?

 

Fairy Tales Of The Brothers Grimm – The Grimm Brothers grimm

Genre – Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Children, Classic

Set In – Germany

 

I really REALLY don´t want to toot my horn, here. Seriously, I don´t. But there is NO WAY I can leave this one out. I live just a handful of miles away from where the Grimm Brothers were born and where they grew up. Yupp. I´ve walked through the forest where they got some of their inspiration for their Fairy Tales. HOW COOL IS THAT?! Yes. My all time favorite Fairy Tale story tellers. Of course, I was unaware of that fact for years ( It took 5 years after moving to Germany for someone to point that little fun fact out. 5 YEARS!), which makes the whole situation more exciting for me. their history is just a short car drive away from my house! It´s a feeling that comes close to winning the lottery.

 

Of course, there are quite a few more places I´ve been to but those countries / cities had nothing to do with books / story settings.

 

Is there a book that inspired you to travel somewhere? Where was the destination? Or have you ever taken a literary – themed vacation? Is there a book place you´d love to travel to?

 

I hope you enjoyed my little travel / book inspiration adventure. Thank you for reading! ❤

 

Much Love,

Morgana ❤ ❤