January 2019 Wrap-Up

For the first time in a long time, this section in the beginning that is always dedicated to books, isn’t completely empty. I’ve gotten a bit of my reading groove back and had a blast with most of the reads I picked. Not gonna lie, I have become even more careful with the selection of stories I actually read, just because I don’t want to end up in the slump that was the previous year again.

A Very Large Expanse of Sea  Dumplin’ Movie Tie-in Edition  Welcome to Lovecraft (Locke & Key, #1)  Echo North

Like in the olden days, click on the titles to get to my reviews and on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads!

January was a challenging month for me. I don’t want to get into the details as most of what happened was very private and took me a long time to come to terms with, so I’d rather not rehash it all. However, all of that made January feel like years and the blink of an eye at the same time. It was a strange one, so much so that I didn’t even hesitate for a second writing the date in the title. I am DEEP into 2019 already.

All that aside, I did actually post a couple new chapters in the Google Doc for the #witchyWIP that still roams my mind just … every single day. I haven’t had the time and energy to write the way I wanted to, but maybe going with the craze and switching to Comic Sans as a font did help a little bit. I have also decided to publish the existing chapters on wattpad in the near future. Any takers for that? (I hope so, because at least some people were interested in a little Twitter poll I did)

So, while I’ve been productive to a certain degree and able to balance some aspects of my life better than others, I am somewhat glad this month is over. It just wasn’t exactly a smooth start into 2019.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

Hands down, it just HAS to be a tie between Halt and Catch Fire and the Roswell reboot on the CW. Both of those shows have completely enthralled me for very different reasons, so don’t make me choose!

Halt and Catch Fire has complex characters that aren’t really likable … at all. They are so very flawed, but as you watch, they grow on you big time and you cannot help but love them regardless. Also, it’s set in the world of computer programming and engineering in the 80s with excellent female badasses. 10/10 would recommend if you are into slow character studies (and a better Mad Men).

Roswell, New Mexico on the other hand is everything CW represents and I am here for it. It has beautiful actors and actresses, most of whom will look very familiar from previous shows on the network. It feels very current, with them not holding back on making political statements and trying their best at integrating LGBTQ+ characters (I say try, because sometimes they are misguided, but I give them A for effort). Most importantly though, I like this reboot so, so, so, so, so much more than the Charmed one (They lost me when they butchered the whole whitelighter storyline). Roswell, NM is nothing like the show from the 90s, but you DEFINITELY have the chemistry between the characters. It works that they are all aged up to adults and I feel like they all got more pressing conflicts than their High School equivalents did. It’s still early days, but I am in love.

MY POSTS

2018 IN REVIEW

TV SHOW/MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

That was a short recap of my month of January! I hope you had a less turbulent start into the new year and I am looking forward to chatting with you!

Top 18 Reads of 2018

Happy New Year everyone! What better way to start 2019 by looking back at some of the best books/shows/movies of the previous year. This is also my 1000th post, so it’s somewhat of a double celebration. Anyway, today I want to talk about my top 18 reads of 2018. Since I “only” read 36 books, that list might include some reads I did not love to the moon and back, but that were still enjoyable. And so I hope you will now enjoy this list (All books were rated between 3.5-5 stars):

18. Final Fall (Lock & Mori #3) by Heather W. Petty

Final Fall (Lock & Mori, #3)The entire Lock and Mori trilogy is a really interesting villain origin story of Moriarty in a contemporary setting. I’ve heard complaints that the drama is too teenager-esque, but the characters are literally teens and it is a YA book, so I had no quarrels with that. It still goes quite dark at times and the end was satisfying to me. Definitely a recommendation for Sherlock fans!

17. The Epic Crush of Genie Lo by F.C. Yee

The Epic Crush of Genie Lo (The Epic Crush of Genie Lo #1)While I laughed a lot during my read of Genie Lo, I also read it pretty early on in the year and have forgotten quite a bit by now, which is probably the reason it’s not higher up on the list. It was fun for sure! I am also really happy that a lot of people saw themselves and their culture represented in the book because that is always a beautiful thing!

16. Beastly Bones (Jackaby #2) by William Ritter

Beastly Bones (Jackaby, #2)This series is going to show up a couple times over the course of this list, because … well, I love it. I had so much fun getting to know the characters and I hope I will finish the fourth book before leaving for Berlin again. Anyway, this book was great, but in terms of the series my least favourite so far. Maybe it’s the second book syndrome or something?

15. Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4)To be honest, there’s a lot I’ve forgotten about the Shatter Me series. I remember loving the style of writing and the characters that Tahereh created, but the details? Blurry at best. At lot of it came back to me while reading Restore Me, but a lot of it also felt very different to the original trilogy. I love Kenji though and am way too curious not to continue with the books, but I am not afire for it the same way I used to be.

14. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

The Song of AchillesEveryone loved this book when they read it and I totally understand why. Personally, it was a bit too slow for me at time and I struggled to really get involved, but by the end I was as emotionally distraught as the rest of TSOA’s readership. One day, when I am less confused about my TBR, I will read Circe too.

13. Save the Date by Morgan Matson

Save the DateSo far, there hasn’t been a Morgan Matson book I haven’t enjoyed! The family-focus of this one was especially endearing. I just like reading about siblings and parents and all of them together with only a tinsy bit of romance sprinkled in. Romantic love isn’t all, you know? And somehow Matson managed to balance the two perfectly in this one.

12. Jackaby by William Ritter

Jackaby (Jackaby, #1)As promised, here it is again! Jackaby is quirky and has a main character that feels a lot like the Doctor (from Doctor Who) paired with supernatural elements such as nixies and vampires and whatnot. Totally loved it! Also, who can resist those beautiful covers?

11. Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby #3) by William Ritter

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)This was my favourite part of the Jackaby series so far! I already told you some about it, so I am going to spare you more rambling.

10. Heart of Gold (Act I) by Eli Baumgartner/Viv Tanner

Heart of Gold Act II am honestly a little surprised that there aren’t more graphic novels on the list, but at least the one that made it is absolutely worthy of it’s place in the ranking. Heart of Gold is one of the most beautiful art out there. It talks about crisis of faith, has LGBT+ representation and is just generally fascinating to divulge.

9. Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman/Jay Kristoff

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files, #3)This series as a whole was really intense. I think they did great in how they tied all the loose ends together, made the books something special with the way they told it and kept the tension going throughout book #1 to #3. I was almost sad that it was over. (And to think I wasn’t even 100% on board when I first read Illuminae.)

8. The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Hate U GiveIf this book isn’t on everyone’s top list, then I don’t even know! I am sad that the movie wasn’t released yet where I live, because I really wanted to watch it (it’s the whole Love, Simon debacle again), but I will patiently wait anyway. THUG was some really powerful and necessary story telling. I am glad it got such a wide readership!

7. Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Dear MartinI have said it before and I will say it again, I am 100% in favour of books like Dear Martin being mandatory reading exercises in schools. Just like THUG, it’s tackling the hard topics in a great way. I am so here for more of Nic Stone’s writing!

6. Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga #4) by Pierce Brown

Iron Gold (Red Rising Saga, #4)You all know me, I was CRAZY into the Red Rising trilogy, which is now a saga. I am always fascinated by the world Pierce Brown has built, by the cruelty and darkness it inhabits, while it also creates some of the most amazing heroes I can imagine. I am worried where everything will go, because it will get worse before it all can get better again, but I still love every minute of it.

5. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)I have absolutely no clue whatsoever why it took me so long to read this book! I will eventually also read the sequels (especially now that Netflix confirmed they will do another movie), but this is about To All the Boys. It was so much fun, I stayed up reading all night and I haven’t pulled an all-nighter for a book in a long time.

4. To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo

To Kill a KingdomSIRENS! Super badass sirens! And wannabe pirates that are really princes and a complex Fantasy world, but packed in a standalone book. This was such a refreshing change of pace, because I don’t know if I can invest in more series at the moment. (And again, sirens!!!)

3. Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer

Annihilation (Southern Reach #1)If you would have told me that a horror-sci-fi book would end up in the top 3 of my favourite books of 2018, I would have laughed at you … loud! But, what can you do? Annihilation was beyond amazing and scientific and creepy. I want to watch the movie but I also want to read the other books. It’s a struggle.

2. Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African ChildhoodLooking at this entire list, I am happy to see so many different genres and styles of books represented. Born a Crime, a non-fiction autobiography by Trevor Noah, was enlightening and funny and educational and intimate and so very smart. Trevor is an amazing guy and I am glad the world gets to find out more about him and his home through this book.

1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer/Annie Barrows

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie SocietySometimes love doesn’t have to make sense. It’s the same with me and this book! Guernsey was neither the perfect read nor the most complex one. I am sure there were books on this list with a much more eloquent style of writing even, but this book touched me and I had a blast reading it. I put a gazillion sticky notes in, because there were so many quotes I wanted to remember and I absolutely fell in love with some of the characters. That’s most important, right?


Did any of my favourites make it onto your Top 2018 Reads list as well? Were there some surprises with the books I mentioned? Let’s chat!

Mini Reviews: Heart of Gold, Venustransit and Ghostly Echoes

Coming home for Christmas, I managed to not only catch up on my reading, but surpass my (adjusted) reading goal for 2018. I’ve definitely read a lot less this year than in the previous ones, but overall I am still not unhappy with the outcome. So, there’s that!

Click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads!

Heart of Gold: Act I by Eli Baumgartner/Viv Tanner

Heart of Gold Act II supported this graphic novel via Kickstarter and I am beyond happy I did. The final product is BEAUTIFUL with golden edges and a gorgeous sketch of one of the characters on one of the first pages for me. I adore it!

All the better that the content inside fits the great exterior. It’s such an interesting take on religion, damnation, love, faith and healing. It shows two entirely different approaches to those topics and keeps a mystery and tension going throughout the entire first act. The imagery is so beautiful and I honestly cannot wait to read more.

Heart of Gold is also available as a web comic here!

Fazit: 5/5 stars! I am 100% intrigued and here for it!

Venustransit by Hamed Eshrat

VenustransitVenustransit is a German comic about a guy who hasn’t quite figured out his life, gets dumped bis his girlfriend and is stuck in a job he hates. It’s set in Berlin and I can almost see the street I am living in on the cover (so close!). I like diving into things I know the setting of and can try and figure out if I walked the same streets. Stuff like that never gets tired to me (except when it’s only historical fiction … like so often with Vienna).

While I wasn’t as in love with the drawing style as I was with other comics I own, the story had a clear line and still took a lot of creative liberties. It was interesting and I am sure relatable to a lot of people out there.

Fazit: 3/5 stars! Gets plus points for the setting.

Ghostly Echoes by William Ritter

Ghostly Echoes (Jackaby, #3)Ghostly Echoes is the third book in the Jackaby series. I only did a mini review for the second book, Beastly Bones, as well, so I feel like I should stick to that format of reviewing for now.

This series legit just keeps getting better and better. The story is becoming more complex, with more dots to connect and still so, so much to discover about the characters. The writing style isn’t really anything over the top and it all seems like light fun in the beginning, but by now there’s a lot more serious stuff happening and you are so emotionally invested in the fate of the characters. And there is a lot to worry about! This book even included a little detour to the underworld!

If you are into Sherlock-esque mysteries with a supernatural twist, have at it with this series. I can only recommend it!

Fazit: 4.5/5 stars! Here’s to hoping the last book will be equally as amazing, if not more so.

Have you read any of the books/comics I mentioned? Are you interested in some of them? Let’s talk!

November 2018 Wrap-Up

Can you believe it? I actually read something last month. It doesn’t really warrant a full round-up of books, as it was one singular novel, but I am still glad that books haven’t left my life entirely. I read Juliet, Naked by Nick Hornby (click on the title to get to my review) but I also got halfway through A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi. I am enjoying it a lot so far, but I was just super busy and didn’t get around to finishing it before the end of the month.

So, what else has been happening in November? It was a time of doing nothing and way too much at the same time. I still haven’t managed to make any friends outside of work. That fact leads to me really looking forward to the weekend and having a little bit of a break, while also dreading it endlessly because I will be all by myself. However, no one can tell me that I haven’t made an effort!

During the past month, I went to a number of events – some related to work, others completely on my own volition! I got to go to the opening of a new cinema, where they showed an exclusive advance screening of Fantastic Beasts 2. Also, the opening screening (with one of our films) of the French Film Week in Berlin, and two concerts. I was especially excited about the Hozier concert, because I’ve seen him live before and it was the best.

The concert turned out to be even better than I expected. I was seated (this was a surprise as the event wasn’t supposed to be seated) right behind the opening act (Saint Sister) and Andrew basically sang while looking our way the entire time. In a way, it felt a little like he was singing it all to me and I still felt free enough to sing my heart out in return.

And then, this week, Saint Sister was back in Berlin playing their own gig and I went to that concert too. Again, I was kind of on my own on this one, but Saint Sister (just like Hozier) and their opening act, Ciaran Lavery, are all from Ireland and there were a lot of Irish people around, I sort of felt at home. I honestly don’t really know what happened, but I was in this crowd of strangers and they were playing beautiful music and … I just started crying and didn’t even care? Afterwards, I had a really nice chat with Ciaran and I wasn’t even the one who approached him. He started talking to me and what has my life become?

I want to do more of those things. Maybe find more Irish acts who perform in Berlin? Because I have a feeling that the same people tend to visit those gigs and maybe that will mean I’ll finally find some likeminded folks and hopefully also friends here? Anyway, it was all a lot of fun and really exciting but at the same time massively exhausting. I am still surprised I didn’t get sick like 80% of my co-workers did.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

It simply has to be the fact that I actually got to meet Andrew (Hozier) after the concert. He is the kindest, tallest bean out there and he even signed my ticket. What a lovely bloke!

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

Again, I was terribly bad at keeping up with your posts, unless you tagged me in them. However, a couple of you took part in NaNoWriMo and I just want to say I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! No matter if you wrote 1 or 50,000+ words, you attempted something brave and deserve recognition for it. So, if you have a round-up on your NaNo experience or any other kind of post you’d like to share with me, don’t hesitate to leave a link in my comments!

MY POSTS

WRITING RELATED

ALL KINDS OF TAGS

TRAILER POSTS

This was my month! How was yours? Do you have any kind of favourite type of event where you like to meet new people? Let’s chat!

July 2018 Wrap-Up

I don’t know where my head was at during July, but it definitely wasn’t with reading. I have struggled for most of the month to be productive and I am just going to blame the heat on it, because … well, because I can. This heat wave is annoying! I am still my now very familiar 4 books behind on my Goodreads challenge, but here’s what I got to this month:

Deadly Class, Vol. 1: Reagan Youth  Deadly Class, Vol. 2: Kids of the Black Hole  Faith, Volume 1: Hollywood & Vine  Magritte : Dies ist keine Biografie  Save the Date

As always, click on the title to get to the review on the blog and on the cover to get re-directed to Goodreads!

Prepare for actual BIG NEWS!!! I’ve already told a few people, but please don’t be offended if I haven’t told you in person. It’s all been happening really fast and I was a bit hesitant to believe it’s all real, but I am going to start a 6-month-long internship with a film distributor IN BERLIN come September. It’s all about deciding when I will move and trying to find an apartment. I am trying to get all things sorted here in Vienna as well (which unfortunately includes a wisdom tooth removal on my birthday this week), but I am really excited for this new adventure. A little panicked, but mostly excited!

With all of that going on, I really haven’t been up to par in terms of blogging, writing and drawing (and I am not sure what that’s going to look like once I am in Berlin either). I definitely haven’t forgotten about Arcadia, but my plan to write more didn’t exactly work during the month of July, which makes me all the more confident that it was the right move not to participate in Camp NaNo. I want to get a couple more chapters out and maybe create another writing tag for you all soon if I can find the time though.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

I was lucky enough to win tickets for a preview of Mamma Mia 2 and seen as I really loved the first one, I was absolutely psyched to go see the movie. From what I saw online, I was kind of alone in being disappointed in the movie, but if you watch the movies in a row THEY MAKE NO SENSE. There’s some serious plot holes that could swallow you whole. Nevertheless, some of the songs stuck with me and Lily James was my personal highlight of the movie. She IS Donna! So, the more time passed after watching the sequel, the more I kept thinking about it and I still love the cast to bits and think it was hilarious in parts. Maybe my expectations just were too high, but that movie had no plot. And yet … I did not not like it? Hope this rambly mess made sense and here have a drawing of Lily/Donna that I made! (Because people said I should include more of my art)

ELSEWHERE ON THE BLOGOSPHERE

I am sorry that I was pretty absent on everyone’s blog posts this past month! I was pretty lazy in all parts of life if it’s any consolation.

MY POSTS

ALL KINDS OF POSTS

MOVIE/TV RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

So, this was my month! How was yours? Are you up to date on Arcadia and waiting for more? Did you have a favourite post (of mine, yourself or other bloggers)? Let’s catch up!

December 2017 Wrap-Up

I hope you all had a great start into the year 2018, whether it was by celebrating with friends and family or keeping it low-key at home. This year should be all about you doing you, at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself. Before I truly dive into 2018 now, there’s still a tiny summary for December necessary. So, let’s start with what I’ve read and how I’ve either mastered the art of picking up stories I love or how I’ve become ridiculously generous with ratings.

  • The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli (4.5 stars)
  • Almost Midnight: Two Short Stories by Rainbow Rowell (5 stars)
    I had already read Kindred Spirits before (as most of you know, but here was my review!), however I absolutely enjoyed the second short story and especially the illustrations. They are my true weakness.
  • Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Vol. 1 (2.5 stars)
    While the art work was amazing, I got utterly lost with the story sometimes. It felt like there were connecting parts missing inbetween and it therefore didn’t always make sense to me.
  • Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab (5 stars)
  • Lumberjanes: A Terrible Plan, Vol. 3 (3 stars)
    I just really missed the old art work for this one.
  • The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 5 (5 stars)
    Forever love this entire storyline, I just wish the wait inbetween volumes wasn’t as long.
  • Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates (5 stars)
    It’s such a powerful read and despite me not always loving the flow of words, they were too strong and important to give it anything other than 5 stars. I just want to emphasize that it is very America-centric.
  • Waking Gods by Sylvain Neuvel (5 stars)
  • Book of Mythicality by Rhett and Link (5 stars)
    This is just an amazing treat for all the Good Mythical Morning fans out there.
  • The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (5 stars)
  • Call Me by Your Name by André Aciman (5 stars)
    MY FAVORITE BOOK OF THE ENTIRE YEAR! I will write a detailed review soon, but I literally finished it at 10 PM.

The Upside of Unrequited  Almost Midnight: Two Short Stories by Rainbow Rowell  Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet, Book 1  Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)  Lumberjanes, Vol. 3: A Terrible Plan  The Wicked + The Divine, Vol. 5: Imperial Phase I  Between the World and Me  Waking Gods (Themis Files, #2)

Book of Mythicality  The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic  Call Me by Your Name

Just like in old times, click on the title to get to the review on the blog (if there is one) and on the cover to get re-directed to Goodreads!

December was alright, I suppose. I did have some really nice times with friends, but mostly I just tried to be done with the Christmas stress and to stop worrying about why December is such a terrible month to apply for jobs. I don’t think anything groundbreaking has happened, and that is okay. 2017 was a weird year in general – I experienced some of the most brilliant moments of my life and learned more about myself than I thought was still possible, but there was also so much bad stuff happening all over the world and it saddens me to think about it. Maybe a little calm is the best for now anyway.

I haven’t talked about Arcadia in a while and I just feel like 2017 was among my worst years in terms of creativity. I honestly really tried to get at least one chapter up before the year ends, but it obviously didn’t happen. However, I did have a couple of epiphanies, which should make the continuation in the new year go more smoothly. I will share new chapters on wattpad as per usual, but am also willing to send out pdf-files if you ask nicely. Just send me an e-mail if you are interested!

ORIGINAL TAGS

BOOKISH STUFF

TV AND MOVIE RELATED

TRAILER POSTS

How was your year? How was your December? How much did you read? Tell me all about it!

September 2016 Wrap-Up

septwu

At the beginning of this month, I was in a massive reading slump. I think I didn’t read a single page for 1-2 weeks, so I am quite happy with the outcome. Ultimately, I ended up reading 5 out of my 6 planned books. So, I am going with a YAY me for that one!

Blue Lily, Lily Blue (The Raven Cycle, #3)   The Raven King (The Raven Cycle, #4)   P.S. I Like You   Unscripted Joss Byrd   Because I Love You

Click on the titles to get read my reviews and on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads! If my buddy-readers have put up a review as well, you can find those by clicking on their names!

InOtherNews

So, last month was weird. I went to Germany for my uncle’s wedding pretty early on in the month, but I have no recollection of what else happened. I did go and see a German/Canadian/Italian/I-don’t-know-what-his-preferred-nationality-is comedian though, so that was fun!

I have started a new feature, called Writing Insights and I am so immensely happy that it was well received. I have already told most of you that I want to continue to share my story (which finally has a title), Arcadia, but am a little paranoid. So, last week I finally uploaded the prologue and the first chapter on wattpad! You can click here to read it. Sharing stuff like that still makes me very anxious, so I would love to get some feedback if you have the time, whether it be on wattpad itself, here, Twitter DM or whatever doesn’t matter!

You may have noticed that I didn’t post any unboxings yet and that has two reasons. Both boxes, Fairyloot and OwlCrate, took forever to get to me. In fact, OwlCrate is still not here, although it arrived in Vienna the other day, it is still in customs. Work was busy as well, so I just decided to post the unboxings once I had a couple days off (early next week probably). It will also be good, because I didn’t order any boxes for October, so that balances it out I guess.

WRITING INSIGHTS

TOP TEN TUESDAY

TOP 5 WEDNESDAY

TRAILERS YOU MIGHT HAVE MISSED

ALL KIND OF TAGS AND OTHER POSTS

How was your month? How many books did you read?