October 2019 Wrap-Up

It’s been a month! (You can interpret that any which way you want.) I am not even trying to compare my Goodreads goal to my actual reading status, but I am proud to say that I have read two books last month.

Both, Dear Evan Hansen and Pan’s Labyrinth, are books that have been written AFTER they’ve become successful as another medium (in this case, musical and film). I tend to like to do read this kind of stuff, just like I am one of the few people who really enjoys book-to-movie adaptations, especially when I am a bit familiar with the casting and may have already seen a trailer. The only thing I am bad at is reading these books if I know too much about the story already. Then it can quickly become boring, even more so if it’s a faithful adaptation. I had a lot of fun with the books last month though and they both rated somewhere in the 4-star-area.

Dear Evan Hansen     Pan's Labyrinth: The Labyrinth of the Faun

As per usual, when you click on the covers, you’ll get re-directed to Goodreads and when you click on the titles, you’ll get to my reviews!

I am currently, at this very moment, not working anymore. I had my last day of work late October and it coincided with a movie premiere my company hosted and it was a really nice farewell. I say that like I haven’t been to the office twice since then again, but now it’s just for lunch dates with former colleagues and to individually say goodbye to everyone. I don’t think it has really sunk in that I am no longer going to work there, it just feels like I am finally on a vacation (which I deserved, let’s be real). After 14 months, it will be so strange to go back to Vienna, stay in my childhood bedroom for a bit, but I have plans! I don’t want to jinx it, but something is in the works and if that works … it will be big!

Another thing we’ve been talking on here for a while, which I was simply too busy for is me doing reaction videos on YouTube. I’ve made a channel, I shot a video but … due to copyright claims I cannot upload it. I want you to know that I freaking TRIED! My original video was 31 minutes and I edited it down to 14 minutes but still had copyright claims. I figured if I cut any more, the video wouldn’t make any sense. So, I am going to try it with different episodes of the same show, but if that doesn’t pan out, I am going to try a new show altogether. If you have anything you’d like me to react to, just let me know!

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

If you didn’t see it coming that my absolute favourite thing of the month was Charmed (once again), then I am not sure you know me at all. I put so much fangirl energy into this show, it’s becoming a little ridiculous, but I have to say that they are doing an AMAZING job with season 2. It’s almost as if they have a whole new set of showrunners (which they do and I have already talked about before … ).

I made two fan edits (and I am really no good at that at all), the latest one you can check out here;

What I am pretty happy to have gotten back into is my art though. I have been back using watercolours and also did some practice with regular pencils, all for my favourite Charmed ship – Hacy. I don’t know what has me so obsessed, but I’ve been known to channel all my energy in TV stuff if I don’t have anything else going on.

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I hope you had a good month! Sorry that I couldn’t post any Halloween pictures, but I didn’t think my costume through very well. Turns out it was too cold to run around in a Scoops Ahoy uniform …

August 2019 Wrap-Up

This post is so long overdue, but I’ve just been super busy and haven’t really been able to do much blogging in the past weeks (which you probably noticed due to the lack of activity on my part). However, I do think that August went a lot better overall. I started strong, but then it just sort of fizzled out again. I am now on one of those very long train rides again and hopefully, if the wifi doesn’t crap out on me, I will be able to do this post … hence, if you’re reading this, all went well.

In August, I read a lot more than in previous months. At least, that’s what it felt like, even if page counts would probably tell you otherwise. First of all, I tried audiobooks for the first time in my blogging career. It could have gone considerably better, but now I know what I am talking about when I say that they aren’t for me.

I also read a lovely novella by Taylor Jenkins Reid, who only just about everyone in the community seems to adore. That felt like a really good palette cleanser and I thought I had gotten back my reading spirits, but alas, life through me another curve ball. Time really wasn’t an easy commodity to come by, so I went for an easy route – comics! Seen as Disney introduced a whole lot of their upcoming content, among them the Eternals, I felt it was my duty to read up on them. There’s some really cool content there, but I also am intrigued by the fact that some characters seem to be gender swapped and that the ages have also been changed quite a bit. The casting is high quality for sure, so I cannot wait to see which story they are going to with.

These are the volumes I have read (so not the Neil Gaiman ones) and you can check them out on Goodreads by clicking on the covers:

Eternals: To Slay A God: v. 1 (Eternals (2008-2009))   Eternals: Manifest Destiny

What else is new? I’ve been working a lot, so I didn’t really put in the necessary time to go looking for a new job. I still want to say thank you to all of you who keep inquiring and sending me job advertisements that reminded them of me. It’s much appreciated and I so very much love the gesture, even if I don’t end up applying for all of them. I wish there was more to tell, but I am not sure where to start?

When I am not at work, I’ve been trying really hard to get out of the house and just DO stuff more often. Sometimes I am successful at that and I have had a great time at several movie premieres and open air concerts and such in the last couple of weeks, but in the end they are never so much about meeting anyone new. That’s still something I don’t really know how to do exactly.

THINGS I LIKED THIS MONTH

I suppose at some point I had to stop talking about The Rook, so I reluctantly did. Instead, I switched to bombarding everyone with tweets about Four Weddings and a Funeral (the TV show), because it is really, really lovely. Mindy Kaling hits home with me about 80% of the time and I enjoy the content she creates for us and she was heavily involved in the making of this show. It’s super sweet, heart-warming but also heart-breaking. It’s square in the old-school RomCom genre but with far more diversity. I just loved it so, so very much, even if it was heavily predictable at times, because it was so reminiscent of all the things I used to love but that don’t get produced the same way these days anymore. It’s proof that you can still make these silly romances but keep them up to date. And for real, the most unrealistic part about the show isn’t that everyone meets their ideal love interest, but rather that these people seem to work and live in different countries on a whim without having to go through mountains of paperwork, visa and work regulations …

Also, if you are a Duffy – hit me up! I’d like 100% date someone like him and I am not really a Maya at all, so no heart breaking from me. Words I have spoken: “That stupid dork is like my ideal guy”

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How was your month? Was summer as busy for you as it was for me? Let’s chat a little bit!

My First Experiences with Audiobooks!

When I was little, I used to love to listen to cassettes of fairy tales and little audioplays (not really something that was just narrated, but rather had an ensemble cast play different characters and such) as I was falling asleep. Those stories were often intentionally short, because I was a child and my attention span probably wasn’t the greatest to begin with, but they were also easy to follow in terms of story. Now, being much older (but not necessarily wiser), I thought it was time to try actual full length audiobooks.

There’s been a lot of discussion online about whether audiobooks should be considered real reading and that’s not even something I ever worried about. Of course, to me, if you have heard the story, it counts just as much as if you have read the words on the page. Also, it’s just a bit ableist if we are being honest, because not everyone can see and read words. So, this is not what this post is about at all.

This post is more about how I personally feel about audiobooks and why I think they do or don’t work for me. I found myself having two credits for free audiobooks on Audible and went with very different options to test my theory – one was a contemporary thriller (I wasn’t quite ready to dive into anything that was removed from reality) and the other was a non-fiction book by a British comedian. Here’s a bit more on those books:

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

Something in the Water Something in the Water is a thriller that starts out with a seemingly regular woman burying a dead body in the first chapter and you subsequently find out how she got herself into that predicament.

If you’ve followed my blog for a while now, you know that I am not huge on thrillers or crime stories. However, I was a bit overwhelmed with the sheer amount of possible audiobooks, I wanted something new and as soon as I saw Catherine Steadman and that she narrated her own book, I just pressed the “buy” button. 

For those of you who don’t know, Catherine Steadman isn’t just an author, she is also an actress (currently starring as Eliza Gestalt in The Rook) and because I knew her and her voice, I was intrigued. With audiobooks, it’s important that you like the voice and intonation of the narrator. With Catherine, I knew that she would be great due to her acting abilities and that she was invested in the story too. Alas, I was not disappointed in her narrating skills. The story is another thing though …

I was so annoyed with the main character sometimes. It’s not that she was a bad person, but she made some really dumb decisions. Also, it’s pretty much a cautionary tale on what greed will get you. Anyway, my main issue though was that I simply couldn’t keep paying attention to the story and kept spacing out even if it was interesting. I learnt that I listened the most while I was walking around outside and didn’t do ANYTHING else, but had troubles as soon as I so much as glanced at my phone screen or attempted an activity that required as much as a single brain cell. So, I figured, maybe I needed something even more rooted in reality and turned towards non-fiction with my next book.

James Acaster’s Classic Scrapes by James Acaster

James Acaster's Classic Scrapes

James Acaster is one of my favourite comedians. This doesn’t necessarily mean much, because that list is pretty long (I like to laugh, okay!?), but it made getting his audiobook an easy choice. He obviously also narrated the book himself, which is probably best, since it’s like him telling short stories that happened in his life. The foreword is by Josh Widdicombe, also a funny dude, so what’s not to like?

Well, I knew some of the stories from James’ stand up program and his various visits on panel shows. Also, I once again just really had trouble not getting distracted. So, if a comedian with a funny accent and funny stories couldn’t hold my attention? What did that say about me?

THE RESULT

I think in the end I just have to accept that maybe audiobooks aren’t for me. I have real troubles focusing on what’s being told to me and I learned that I just prefer having the words in front of me. There is a consideration of maybe reading along AS someone tells me story, but I don’t have the funds of buying an audiobook as well as an ebook or physical copy. I am not that rich! It was worth a shot and I do get people who enjoy audiobooks. It’s so much faster to get through a book, but I can honestly say that I did not retain as much information from what I read this way than I did when I read the actual letters myself.


What’s your take on audiobooks? Do you like them? Do you loathe them? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

6-Year-Blogiversary: I AM STILL DOING THIS!?

I know I keep saying this every year, but I truly can’t believe that it has been 6 years already. On the one hand, blogging has been such a constant part of my life, that I don’t really remember what it was like without it. However, at the same time, I never truly thought that I would stick with this for such a long time. I mean, it’s been literal years, and by now I don’t feel like I will ever really quit doing this, even if there are months that I don’t post a whole lot.

Usually, I try to do something special for these kind of milestones, because I want to give back to the people who made all of this possible – YOU! Even if I keep repeating myself, I insist that it’s necessary to really say this – blogging would be dull without the people. If there had been zero interactions, this would have all ended a long time ago, but instead (even during the tough times) this community has become a refuge and place of friendship. I love talking about all day every day kind of situations, the latest binge-watch or more personal, in depth subjects with some of you. It brings me joy to know that there is someone on the other side of this screen who reads this and maybe agrees with what I had to say or even if they don’t, try to talk to me and have a friendly discussion. It makes this already pretty small world a little smaller and therefore make me feel closer to all of you.

Back to my original point, I am currently not exactly at my most inspired or swimming in money. Last year (check out the post here), I did a giveaway of my own art work in return for Q&A material from you. As I said, I am not at my most creative at the moment and therefore I was wondering if you would be interested in a repeat of that?

Basically, here is how it works:

  • You ask me questions you always wanted to know the answer to in the comments or on Twitter – nothing is off limits!
  • You additionally state that you want to enter the giveaway – the artwork will be a surprise! (ONE winner will be chosen at random)
  • All of this should be done by June 14th, 2019
  • If you are not yet 18+, please have the permission of your parents to enter. I will need personal information should you win the giveaway

If this flops, we will just pretend this never happened and I only did a low-key blogiversary celebration. If it is a success though, then I will post the answers to your questions next weekend and inform the winner separately. Lastly, once again a big fat THANK YOU from me to all of you! 

August 2018 Wrap-Up

So, this Wrap-Up is going to look a little different than the previous posts. For one, I think I haven’t read a single book, which means my usual monthly read section is empty. I actually started three or so different ones, but I just didn’t make it through any of them before leaving for Berlin, which brings me to my second point – I AM IN BERLIN!

As I mentioned in my July wrap-up, I got an internship here for six months and I cannot wait to start working on Monday. I have been abroad several times, mostly for a longer duration and it’s always an adventure, but don’t let that fool you. It’s not easy!

There is always so much to do beforehand and I figure it will be fine, because I have done all of it in some shape or form many times before. Well, that’s just not how this works. The bureaucratic stuff that needs doing is always different and sometimes it is not even clear what exactly it is. Once you’ve figured that out, there’s still various hurdles of when and where you are able to actually do the registration or application or whatever. It’s a very annoying process that will forever frustrate me.

Aside from that, there are still so many other factors. I always feel strange coming into a new place, especially when I know I will stay there for a while. You cannot just make any place your immediate home, or at least I can’t. In this case, I know the language (even if I don’t understand everything. Let’s be real, they might not understand everything I say either) but I still feel like a little alien. Every place has this distinct vibe about it. You see it in the clothing, the way people talk, walk and behave, it’s littler mannerisms that only the locals know how to interpret and react to. Sometimes you click immediately with a place, sometimes it’s a slow burn romance and in worst case scenarios the city and you don’t warm up to each other at all. I can’t say which one Berlin will be just yet, but there’s going to be ups and downs. My flat doesn’t really feel like mine yet, but I am going to make it just that. And I am going to find the people and community that can make any place worthwhile. It all just takes time.

That’s really all I can tell you about Berlin so far. I haven’t blogged as much in the past month and I have no idea how the next month will be, but I am looking forward to finding out. I also haven’t blog-hopped as much, so I am sorry for not having the usual categories where I highlight other people’s posts. I hope to catch up and be more engaged once I have really settled a bit.

FAVOURITE THING OF THE MONTH

It was without a doubt – To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before! I have watched the movie several times by now and it is still so cute. There were quite a couple changes to the book and I am actually more than happy with most of them, to the point where I liked characters better in the movie than I did in the book. I hope the success of the movie (I think most of my bookish friends and everyone who is thirsty for Noah has watched it) will lead to sequels in the near future.

Now I cannot wait to hype Sierra Burgess is a Loser in a week!!!

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How was your month? I did a lot of things to distract me from my worries, like start learning Norwegian and start a new #witchyWIP (hope the ones of you who know how to access it keep enjoying it, more is to come!). Do you also start random things when you don’t want to focus on what’s making you anxious?

Restore Me by Tahereh Mafi (Book Review)

Publisher: Electric Monkey
Page Count
: 448

CW: anxiety, panic attacks, transphobia, recollections of abuse, depression, mention of suicide

Restore Me is the continuation of the Shatter Me series (I once talked about it way, way back in the day and you can read that post here) and I got to read it with my very good friend Marie @Drizzle and Hurricane Books. Definitely stay on the lookout for her review in the near future!

When I first heard the announcement for the new additions to the series, I was both super excited and dreaded their release at the same time. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adored the original Shatter Me trilogy, but they were tied up nice enough for me. Obviously there was room for more to tell, but I was a little worried about whether the things to come were really necessary and afraid that they might change my feelings towards characters I love. I think Tahereh Mafi managed to truly create another plot element that made sense to the history of the characters and at least I wasn’t disappointed in that area.

I wish I could say this book was everything I had dreamed of, but that would be the overstatement of the year. It took me quite a while until I was really back in that world. Something about the writing style has changed and didn’t feel as enchanting and unique as it used to. I think that’s really a shame, because the writing style is what made the original trilogy so special to me and made me want to revisit it time and time again. Also, I felt myself being far more impatient with the characters than I used to be, annoyed at their utter lack of communication. They kept tiptoeing around each other, assuming things that sometimes weren’t even true or just plain exaggerating for … drama? I don’t even know.

As much as I just complained, it was nice to have the old gang back. Obviously, Kenji is still my most favourite person in the entire series (and I honestly don’t think that will ever change). At first, I struggled with Warner’s perspective a little bit, feeling quite detached from his narration style, but by the end, I think I often felt more with him than with Juliette. There are a lot of things that surface from his past and I just think that he was judged unfairly sometimes. Do I condone everything he did and feel like he shouldn’t suffer any repercussions? No. But the way he was brought up and plain had to survive sometimes, I just don’t think most of what he did was really news to anyone (except J apparently).

This book also introduced some new characters and I love, love, love one of them especially and am intrigued, to say the least, about the others. I don’t really want to talk about anyone by name just so you get to meet them all by yourself and can form your own opinion, but I have a weird trust for that person and hope they’ll continue to play an important role.

Overall, Restore Me was mostly an introduction of what these new books would be about. It was an incredibly fast read and interesting to see alternating chapters from Warner and Juliette’s POV. I didn’t find much of the plot surprising, but … maybe that’s just me? There was definitely A LOT happening without much happening at all at the same time. Again, it felt like a set-up for the future the majority of the time. There’s also a cruel cliffhanger, so consider yourself warned!

On a final side rant, I am really sad that the font for the paperback was changed. I do realise that they rereleased the entire series with Electric Monkey and changed the font for all the books, but why wasn’t it also available from the same publisher as the hardcover, that had the previously established font still? I will never understand certain decisions …

Fazit: 4/5 stars! Interesting continuation of one of my favourite series.

Have you read Restore Me? Do you want to? Have you read the original books in the Shatter Me series?

February 2018 Wrap-Up

Where January felt like a lifetime in itself, February was once again gone in the blink of an eye. I don’t even know what I did all month long, I just know that I didn’t read very much … to be fair, I was a bit pre-occupied with other things, but here are the books that I did manage to get to:

  • Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (5 stars)
    I just found out that Lupita Nyong’o read the book, loved it and immediately asked Trevor if she could play his mother in the movie adaptation and IT IS HAPPENING! I am so excited!!
  • Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon (3.5 stars)
    So, I am not going to write a full review for this, which means this kind of mini-review is all you are getting. I thought the book was cute. I loved the format with all the pictures and graphs and e-mails, because they just lighten up a story like this one. I am not too fond of the twist, not just because it is ableist, but also because it felt rushed and never fully resolved. Also, the romance department was vastly disappointing in the end.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood    Everything, Everything

Just like always, 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!

Just a quick update on the job search … well, I still don’t have a job. It’s bothering me quite a bit, but that’s life right now and the unemployment office is making me take classes and workshops which will at least keep me busy during the next month. Maybe I will even learn something really interesting! *trying to tackle this with as much positivity as possible*

As I have mentioned above, I was a little pre-occupied this month with things other than reading. For one, I blogged like crazy again. I think there wasn’t a week where I didn’t knock out at least 5 posts, which I haven’t done in a long time. BUT I also worked on another project – my very own art instagram profile!

Please feel free to add me via katimpossibledraws or simply click here. I am not yet super happy with the quality of the photos that I take of my art work, but I am learning a bit every day. Most of what I do is made with watercolors and colored pencils, but I also threw in some regular pencil sketches. I do want to venture into digital art at some point, but … let’s just say I either have the completely wrong software or I am far from talented with a graphic tablet so far.

michie

Also, low-key not over the fact that Michiel Huisman didn’t just SEE my art for his movie Irreplaceable You, but he also liked it AND commented on it.

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I hope you had a great month? What were you up to? What do you think of my art? Let’s chat!