Top Ten Tuesday: My Most Recent 5 Star Reads

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I haven’t done a Top Ten Tuesday post in what feels like forever, so it was definitely time to get back to it again! TTT is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish, if you want to know more about it, you can just click on the name! And what better topic to come back to, than one where I can gush about all my recent favourite reads. Here’s the official theme for this week:

10 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads (Or Ten Of The Best Books I’ve Read Recently if you don’t 5 star stuff…or you could do 5 of my latest five star reads & five of my most disappointing or 1 star reads)

Just for your info, I am going to go on Goodreads and simply go with the last ten books that received 5 stars. Some of them may have gotten something between 4.5-4.9 though. I am not going to be that harsh about only picking true 5 star books!

1. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

24926015Right the first one is a book that actually got 4.5 stars from me, but that’s totally okay. Simon vs. was an amazing book and such a fun and fuzzy and warm read! NO REGRETS!

2. The entire Red Rising Trilogy

26818907I don’t have to explain that, right? I AM OBSESSED WITH THIS SERIES! I am still not over half of what happened and reading the final book, it just gave me the worst book hangover ever BUT WHILE READING! I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. I didn’t want it to end and I cried and I was angry and just generally had ALL THE FEELS! Enough caps? I think I got my point across. Just read those books already!

3. Ten Thousand Skies Above You

25348875Ten Thousand Skies Above You was definitely a book I loved reading, but looking back, I am not sure it really deserved those full 5 stars. I think I had to give them though, because I gave the first part in the Firebird series 4.5 stars and I definitely liked this one better. So, naturally, I had to give it more stars as well.

4. Lock & Mori

Lock & Mori (Lock & Mori, #1)Having the whole Sherlock universe in a teenage version made me incredibly happy. They weren’t yet as refined and deductive as their grown-up counterparts, but this story was so much fun to read nonetheless! Mori is an amazing character and I loved seeing the beginning of her twisted nature. (rating: 4.5 stars)

5. Carry On

Carry OnSIMON AND BAZ! Oh my heart, it is bound to burst! I just love all (well, most) of the characters in this book to bits! I adore them! Whenever I am singing a song now, I can’t help but wonder if it would work as a spell. (rating: 5 stars)

6. Did I Mention I Love You?

Did I Mention I Love You? (The DIMILY Trilogy, #1)Okay, totally forgot that this book would be on the list! But yay! I liked it so much, probably because it mentioned like a gazillion places I have actually been to or love and that sort of always makes a book special. Don’t you agree? (rating: 4.5 stars)

7. A Court of Thorns and Roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)Fairy tale retellings are my jam! I am so happy this book didn’t have a massive cliffhanger like so many other series do now, but it still managed to make me yearn for the next book in the series. A Court of Mist and Fury can’t come fast enough! (rating: 4.5 stars)

8. The Martian

The MartianRemember how I couldn’t shut up about this book? Well, there is a reason! IT’S JUST THAT GOOD! I laughed and I was at the edge of my seat and I felt like I was reading something really smart and as if I were educating myself … you know, in case I ever got stranded on a planet where nothing grows. (rating: 5 stars)

9. City of Heavenly Fire

City of Heavenly Fire (The Mortal Instruments, #6)Too bad I read this after Clockwork Princess, because then it would have made it’s way onto this list, but what can you do? I love everything Cassandra Clare does and I am so happy she invented the Shadowhunter world. I am beyond giddy, if not a little scared as well, to read Lady Midnight soon. I haven’t read any reviews and I don’t want to know what’s going to happen, but I have a feeling that my heart is going to be broken. (rating: 5 stars)

10. My Heart and Other Black Holes

My Heart and Other Black HolesI remember the sadness and hope that was accompanied with this read. Somehow I have the feeling that My Heart and Other Black Holes doesn’t get nearly enough attention as it should. Either way, it was a great debut and I am expecting great things from Warga in the future! (rating: 5 stars)

In hindsight, I don’t think there were all that many true 5 star books in this list. Weird! Makes me wonder if my standards are too high … Which books are on your list? Don’t be shy and leave a link in the comments below!

Top Ten Tuesday: Favourite Epistolary Novels (Freebie)

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and this week we got a FREEBIE! We were supposed to choose a topic near and dear to our hearts and I thought about it for a really long time. In the end I came up with a list of my Favourite Epistolary Novels! Now, some of you may wonder what that even means, right? Those are stories told through documents, letters, mails, diary or newspaper entries. I find books a lot more intriguing and often easier to get through if they are told like that. It just makes them feel more real! So, here are some of my favourite examples, just remember that this is a list and not a ranking!

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1. Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer

12640615This is a story especially near to my heart, because it is one of the few books set in my hometown, Vienna, that I actually love! It’s about two strangers who accidentally start a correspondence via mail and then fall in love. It’s such a quick and fun read, I loved it and instantly got the second book as well, which I needed for closure but which wasn’t as good as the first one. From what I heard, David Tennant is supposed to read the English audio book, which is awesome news too! (But I’ve met the actor who has played the part in German and I will forever connect those two!)

2. Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern

23289214I generally like Ahern’s books, but I got really excited to read this one when I heard that it got turned into a movie with Lily Collins and Sam Claflin. In the end that was a little disappointing, because it couldn’t hold up with the emotions of P.S. I Love You, but the book was great! It’s told through DM, letters and notes that are passed on over time. It’s just amazing! The US version of it is called Love, Rosie just in case you were wondering.

3. The Beatrice Letters by Lemony Snicket

74720Everyone knows that I was obsessed with the Series of Unfortunate Events when I was little and I even called my laptop Lemony, after the author of the books. Now, The Beatrice Letters is a sort of companion to those books, but in the end it tells you absolutely NOTHING new. It’s still fun, but I thought I should mention that little detail.

4. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

8909152One of my absolute favourite Rainbow Rowell books! It’s not all told in mails but they do feel very authentic and organic. I loved reading that book and just flew through it. Also, it has one of the more satisfying ends considering other Rowell novels.

5. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

4327066I wondered if I should mention this book or Letters to the Dead, seen as they are very similar, but The Perks is a real teen classic, so I went with that one. The main character tells his stories through letters to a nameless friend. Admittedly, this definitely didn’t feel as “real” in terms of letter-writing as some other books, but it still gets a place on this list.

6. Cathy’s Book by Jordan Weisman/Sean Stuart/Cathy Brigg

856969I don’t remember how much I really liked the story itself, I think it got a bit iffy in the middle, however, the effort that was put into this book is freaking amazing and only top by the last one on the list. Written like a diary, Cathy’s Book is actually an interactive story. The phone numbers in the book are all real and if you call them, you’ll get the voice mail of different characters or messages they’ve left behind. Also, there are separate photos and napkins with smooches on them that go with certain scenes. It’s so cool and way more surreal than I thought at the first glimpse of it.

7. Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

46799I had to read Go Ask Alice for school and it was a bit of a tough read. I hadn’t really paid much attention to drug abuse stories beforehand and reading it in form of a diary made it all seem very real and strange. It’s not my favourite school read, but definitely a better pick than what some other teachers bestowed upon us.

8. The Martian by Andy Weir

18007564Yeah, we all knew that I wouldn’t pass up an opportunity to talk about that book, right? Mark Watney is stranded on Mars and keeps these logs to document his progress, so basically it’s a diary, at least that’s how I see it. Watney is one of my all time favourite characters with his strong will and humour. The only thing I am going to add to that is that not the entire book is told in these logs and that’s a good thing too!

9. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

12974171We all know I sometimes have my issues with classics, just because I can’t seem to concentrate on them as I should. Well, because of that I haven’t actually finished Frankenstein yet, but it was a pleasant surprise to find out that it is partially written in letters. I never would have guessed that … then again, why wouldn’t it be written like that? It’s very cool!

10. S. by J.J. Abrams and Doug Dorst

18755048THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING BOOK EVER! I am currently reading it and it will probably take me forever to finish, but this is a piece of art! It looks like a really old library book that people have written in. It’s a gazillion stories in one and you have no idea how to read it and where to look first. Still, it is so much fun and SO. DARN. BEAUTIFUL. on the inside! There are postcards, newspaper clippings, scribbles on the side of the pages in all different sort of colours and there is also a decoder! I don’t even know how to use it, but it feels like a real adventure!

You can click on the covers to get redirected to Goodreads and learn more about these books! Did you like my idea for the freebie? What did you choose for your TTT? Don’t hesitate to leave a link below!

T5W – Self-Published Books

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So, ever since last week, I have joined the band of Wednesdayers and will do Top 5-lists on a weekly basis. If you want to know more about this, you can check out the meme hosted by the booktuber, Lainey aka gingereadslainey, on the Goodreads page here.

This week’s topic is Self-Published books and I have to say it is quite a difficult one for me. It’s not that I don’t generally support people who want to self-publish, but looking at my shelf there isn’t much to be found … So, while I won’t make it to 5, I am only one book short and that’s not so bad either.

The Martian by Andy Weir

Yes! I can mention this book again and I am so happy about it. While it is a global phenomenon and bestseller by now, it truly did start out as a self-published novel. The Martian just rocks that much! I’ve talked about this book so many times, but click here to read my full post on it!

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Amixipi by Safi Nidiaye

This is one of my most beloved books from my childhood that we used to read in a huge group during summer camp. It’s a beautiful and heartbreaking story about a girl who has to choose between a dream world and her real life. Gorgeous! And the book has a CD with songs as well and I even bought that too!

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Reborn City by Rami Ungar

I reviewed this book just last month (click here to read my thoughts on it) and was pleasantly surprised by it. Reborn City was written by a dear friend of mine, who also has a blog of his own. While we have different opinions on a lot of things, we get along great and I am so glad I liked his book too!

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Rikki by Abigail Strom

I read this book last year and it was my first NetGalley approved eArc. I was super excited about it and really enjoyed it too. It was also my first venture into the whole NA genre, which I don’t dislike but haven’t explored much further. You can check out my review here.

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So, what are some self-published books you enjoy? Share your thoughts and also your links to your own T5W posts!

The Zombie Apocalypse Book Tag

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I just saw this tag over at Cristina‘s blog My Tiny Obsessions and it looked incredibly fun. I wasn’t specifically tagged, but she said everyone could do it so here I am!

The rules are simple:

  1. Pick any five books randomly (or not randomly, your choice).
  2. The first name you see when you flip open the book on a random page, will be the person who is the answer to the question.
  3. Each book must answer two questions.

So, I threw some book titles in a hat and the following 5 were chosen to face the Zombie Apocalypse!

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#1: THE FIRST PERSON TO DIE? 

markwatneyThe Martian – Mark Watney

This is the most unlikely outcome ever! Mark Watney freaking survived Mars all by himself and is basically the most resourceful person I have ever read about, so NO!

 

#2: THE PERSON YOU TRIP TO GET AWAY FROM THE ZOMBIES?

quentinThe Magician King – Quentin Coldwater

If it had been the first part of the series (The Magicians) then I might have said yes, but Q has grown on me. I mean I don’t want to trip anyone to be clear, but I guess in an emergency life-or-death-situation … okay. He has magical defense powers,  I bet he’d have better chances in combat with a zombie than I would anyway.

#3: THE FIRST PERSON TO TURN INTO A ZOMBIE?

adam kentUnravel Me – Adam Kent

Well … it’s no secret that Adam wasn’t exactly my favourite person by the end of the Shatter Me series, so … sorry Adam. Hope your life as a zombie is alright.

#4: THE PERSON THAT TRIPS YOU TO GET AWAY FROM THE ZOMBIES?

A Court of Thorns and Roses – Tamlin

Somehow I can’t see him do it. He is a very protective and honorable person and to think that he would let me die in order to save his own life is just highly unlikely. I think Tamlin is better than that.

#5: THE IDIOT OF THE TEAM?

Marco Alisdair character poster. Bigger version [x]

The Night Circus – Marco

Don’t get me wrong, I like Marco, but he can be a bit silly sometimes. I don’t see him as an idiot – he’s quite the brilliant magician, but in other departments he can be a bit clueless sometimes. It’s not a perfect fit, but somehow … distantly I may be able to see it.

#6: THE “BRAINS” OF THE TEAM?

The Martian – Rick Martinez

So the biggest jokster from the Ares 3 mission is supposed to be the brains of the team? He is a spaceship pilot, so I guess he does have the smarts to pull it off though.

#7: THE TEAM’S MEDIC?

The Magician King – Julia

That totally works for me! I mean she has sort of lost her touch with humanity a bit, but I don’t think she would just leave someone stranded if they are hurt. Also, she’s a really good magician, so she should be able to pull it off ability-vise as well.

#8: THE WEAPONS EXPERT?

Unravel Me – Paris Anderson

As much as I hate the man, he knows his weapons. I’ll go with the flow on that one.

#9: THE BRAWLER?

amaranthaA Court of Thorns and Roses – Amarantha

YES! Again someone I really, really don’t like. She is trouble, I would not want to fight her … but that all makes her perfect for the position.

#10: THE TEAM CAPTAIN?

Celia Bowen by lsmyangThe Night Circus – Celia

She’s pretty bossy but she knows what she is doing and she’s a responsible person, I can totally see it.

 

 

 

So, this was all pretty much hit or miss. I am going to go with what Cristina did and say that if you think that was fun, consider yourself tagged! Leave a link to your post in the comments and I’ll take a look at it!

August 2015 Wrap-Up

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It’s the last day of August which means it’s time to see how I did during the month. Here is what my TBR looked like:

  • Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
    I enjoyed reading this, but I don’t love it as much as many other people do. I think it may have been hyped too much for me.
  • Armada by Ernest Cline
    I actually liked this better than RPO and think I am fairly alone with that opinion. Doesn’t matter, I liked it and can’t wait for it to be turned into a movie, because that’s what it felt like while reading.
  • The Martian by Andy Weir
    I LOVE this book!!! It has become an insta-favourite of mine simply because it is so much more hilarious and smart than I thought it would be.
  • The Magicians Trilogy by Lev Grossman (I read the first book, so I see it as an accomplishment)
    The pacing of the first book was a little off and the characters a bit too miserable for my taste but I will still read the other two books.

Additionally to that, I also read:

If you want to know more about my thoughts on the books than just that 1-sentence-review, just click on the titles and you’ll be re-directed to my full reviews. If you click on the covers below, you’ll get to their respective Goodreads pages.

12600138  16278318  18007564  6101718  16096824

So, I’d say it was a fairly average month for reading, because I’ve definitely read more but also less books per month before. All in all I am happy with the outcome.

I’ve posted more than usually though by making sure to write on a daily basis (sometimes even more than one post per day) since August 11. I don’t know what inspired me to do that, but it definitely showed in a surge of followers and we are getting really close to a milestone soon! I want to take this chance to welcome everyone who’s fairly new to the blog and thank those who’ve stuck around! You are the ones that make this blogging experience even more fun!!!

I’ll try to keep this up in September ;)! Read you soon!

The Summer Book Tag

Summer is coming to its end and Cristina @MyTinyObsessions nominated me just in time to do the Summer Book Tag (not to be confused with the Summertime Madness Book Tag!) So, let’s do this before autumn sweeps over the lands!

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  1. LEMONADE: PICK A BOOK THAT STARTED OFF BITTER BUT THEN GOT BETTER

1656001The Host by Stephenie Meyer just about bored me to death in the beginning. I don’t know why I had such high expectations but I read it so slowly because it just was terrible and anti-climactic. I don’t know when exactly, but somehow it picked up and turned out to be a really good book with interesting characters. I guess I just couldn’t stand Wanda all by herself. It only got interesting when there were others around.

  1. GOLDEN SUN: PICK A BOOK THAT MADE YOU SMILE BEYOND COMPARE

8475505Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins! That book is just so funny and I read the whole thing in that Southern Belle accent I imagine Harper having – it cracked me up!

  1. TROPICAL FLOWERS: PICK A BOOK SET IN A DIFFERENT COUNTRY

18775221I have very few books that are set in Austria, so it seems I have free roam here. Let me think about something vacation-y though … The Hundred-Foot Journey by Richard C. Morris. It starts out in India, continues in England and then plays out somewhere in the South of France and Paris. I’d say those are some nice holiday destinations! Also, I love the movie because Manish Dayal is just a dream come true!

  1. TREE SHADE: PICK A BOOK WHERE A MYSTERIOUS OR SHADY CHARACTER IS INTRODUCED

23403402Pretty much every character from A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab seems either mysterious or shady to me.

  1. BEACH SAND: PICK A BOOK THAT WAS GRAINY AND THE PLOT BARELY DEVELOPED

17332969The 100 by Kass Morgan! I still can’t believe I got through all 3 books  … it was torture. It happens rarely, but here the TV show is a 100 times better than the book!

  1. GREEN GRASS: PICK A CHARACTER(S) THAT WAS FULL OF LIFE, MAKING YOU SMILE

18007564Mark Watney from the Martian by Andy Weir! That man has a will to live and the humour to survive anything! He was in such a dire situation, but he managed to crack me up so many times throughout the book. I never thought it would be that funny!

  1. WATERMELON: PICK A BOOK THAT HAD SOME JUICY SECRETS

16143347We Were Liars by E. Lockhart. Such a good book and perfect summer read too! I can’t tell you anything about the plot though, it would ruin all the fun and emotion in the book …

  1. SUN HAT: PICK A BOOK WITH A VAST, BIG UNIVERSE/SETTING

20873804A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin definitely has a huge set-up. I don’t just get confused with all the characters, but also with the kingdoms and borders and cities. I never actually know where anyone is at the moment (except for people at the wall, that’s a pretty good landmark). But I think every book that has a map in it could be considered for this point.

  1. BBQ: PICK A BOOK IN WHICH A CHARACTER WAS PORTRAYED AS A HUNK

16096824SO many people to choose from and even though Cristina picked the same, I just finished the book and want to go with Tamlin from A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas as well! Deal with it!

  1. SUMMER FUN: PASS THE TAG ON

I’ve done a lot (and I really mean a lot) of tags lately and since we’re really close to summer’s end, I have no idea who did this tag and who didn’t. So, if you think this looks fun and want to do it: CONSIDER YOURSELF TAGGED! Also, leave a link in the comments below and I’ll be happy to check it out!

The Martian Book Review & Movie Anticipation

I’m really making progress on my August TBR and The Martian by Andy Weir has easily become one of my favourite books ever! I can’t wait to share my thoughts with you guys, but I promise to keep the review as spoiler-free as possible (can’t necessarily say the same for the comments!)

The Martian

Mark Watney is one of the first people to have set foot on Mars and he will be the first to die there. At least that’s what he thinks when he finds himself stranded on the desert planet with no communication and running out of food. But Mark isn’t ready to give up just yet and uses everything he’s got (including his mad botany skills) to try and survive what Mars throws at him. Will it be enough?

There is not one moment where you’re not rooting for Mark Watney! He is such a great character, insanely smart and he never looses his humour which makes for some moments that will make you laugh out loud no matter where you are (even on public transport – I speak from experience!). The story is so engaging and exciting, I was often at the edge of my seat, wondering with what he would come up next.

Some people didn’t like the different POV’s that much but I really enjoyed Weir‘s style of writing. It starts out with log entries of Watney, but a few chapters in you also get to see what’s happening on earth in the meantime and at some point even the crew’s POV is added.

From what I understand, there are very few inaccuracies (aside from the tragedy’s initiating storm) in the story concerning the science. I am really no science or even technology buff, but everything explained made sense to me and was very understandable too. All the more credit to Weir, since he researched it all himself and didn’t have contact with NASA until after publication.

You may not believe it, but this book started out as a self-published science-fiction serial that the author used to publish for free on his website. Look where it’s now! It’s on top of Bestseller lists all over the world and about to be released in movie theaters! I’m so happy I decided to pick up this story!

Book Fazit: Solid 5/5 stars!

Talking about the movie, I am massively excited about it. I prepared (or rather just took an existing) playlist from YouTube including the Trailer and some prequel web exclusives (introduction of the crew and psych eval) to watch for you at the end of this post.

The cast includes Matt Damon as Mark Watney. Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, Chiwetel Ejiofer, Donald Glover and Mackenzie Davies will be among the ground staff. Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Michael Peña and Aksel Hennie conclude the team by portraying the rest of the Ares crew. I am really happy with the selection of actors and actresses, except maybe for Aksel Hennie as Alex Vogel. Why couldn’t they have picked someone who’s actually German to portray the role? I don’t have anything against him, but Hennie is Norwegian and while his accent does sound sort of German I suppose, he has to say actual German phrases or words and they do not sound right. Also, for some reason they changed Dr. Kapoor’s first name from Venkat to Vincent. Why? I have no idea.

Other than that I think they stayed really close to the book which makes me glad. Re-watching the trailer after reading the book,  I just recognise so many scenes. What are your thoughts? Let’s talk in the comments!