Tag Archives: bibliosmiles

Joanne K. Rowling: Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Today you get a review for one of my childhood favourites for BiblioSmiles Summer Book Challenge. Especially as today I am at the Harry Potter Exhibition in Cologne with Unmei.

What is it about?

4 of 5 stars

The young orphan Harry Potter leads a normal life with the Dursleys: his aunt Petunia, his uncle Vernon and cousin Dudley. That is until a strange letter arrives that is accurately addressed at Harry, regardless of where he currently is.
On his eleventh birthday Rubeus Hagrid finally hands him the letter telling Harry that he is, in fact, a wizard. Confronted with the truth about his parents and himself, he soon learns about his fame as The Boy Who Lived and sets off to his first school year in the Hogwarts School of Wizardry and Witchcraft. There, for the first time, he gains friends (Ron Weasley, Hermoine Granger)- and foes (Draco Malfoy, Severus Snape) alike – and together they uncover a secret hidden within the school.

The reading experience

When I was about the same age as Harry and the others I read this book several times, I do believe at least seven times. Re-reading it after all these years I looked a bit different at the writing itself though.
I still knew what happened in each chapter by simply reading the title, still I didn’t remember the exact words that were used. This kept the whole thing exciting and still captivating whenever it was interesting.
The writing style did, however, feel like it was indeed intended for young people. It didn’t bother me much though (it was a nice and welcome change from the complexity of A Game of Thrones). I do believe the later books are written a bit differently, but as a series continues, so does an author improve and I wouldn’t be surprised if there really is a change. Like always I can only make my assumptions from the German versions of the book(s).

The characters

I grew up with Harry, Ron, Hermoine (though the latter was spelled Hermine) and Neville and have lived through their trials. Even after all this time I think Harry can be quite a brat sometimes, just as Ron can be quite idiotic, Neville was always quite underrated and Hermoine was – and still is – my hero.
As I have mentioned before am I not a fan of „you/I-have-to-do-this-because-you’re/I’m-the-main-character“- story lines and each book pretty much follows the same principle. The highlight is when the others get involved. Here they are still getting to know each other and the exploring-together part is quite left out and instead we see them butt heads. I never liked it when the boys talked down Hermoine or rid themselves of Neville. I like(d) those two and wanted to see more of them. Ron’s sometimes unwanted stupidity still made him likeable.
When I first read the book I think I was as shocked by the twist at the end, as the characters themselves, but when I re-read it with that knowledge, I saw the hints that are already there and that’s what keeps a story interesting.
Some characters feel like stereotypes, many are named, but not explored, but still, no two characters are the same – well, maybe with the exception of the Weasley-twins. 😀 I never understood why anyone would badmouth the Weasley’s, they are an awesome family…
Regardless of that am I just time and again surprised how soon Muggle-born or Halfbloods forget the technological advantages of their home. Sure Computers weren’t nearly as good back in the early 90s as they are nowadays and many things couldn’t be found with the help of the Internet, but still it’s weird that the Magical community does not show any kind of interest in it…

General Opinion

I don’t know what I can say here.
I really liked the book when I grew up, I desperately waited for my letter for Hogwarts and I still enjoy exploring the world after all these years.
The book might not be a masterpiece – some story lines jump quite a bit, some things could have been covered more, stereotypical characters – but it is one of those books that I will probably always enjoy reading. It makes you want to join this magical world, just like Harry – without the whole Boy Who Lived baggage though – who was allowed to part from a mundane life and experience all that.
Every kid should have the chance to read this book while growing up.

Stuff I’d like to add

If some of the things above sounded familiar than that’s because I mentioned some of it already in these Reading Together: #6 and #7
© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner

George R.R. Martin: A Game of Thrones

After so many people have told me to try it and I got more and more curious about it, I finally decided to read it as part of BiblioSmiles Summer Book Challenge 2014 as the book someone else picked for me. And you now get the review as fifth part of this Book-Week.

What is it about?

4 of 5 stars

Life in the North, in Winterfell, is harsh, cold and simple, but when Eddard Stark and his kin are visited by the King of the Seven Kingdoms everything changes.
Ned becomes Hand of the King (most important advisor) and he is to accompany him to Kings Landing, the seat of the king. Taking his daughters Arya and Sansa with him he strives to uncover the truth about his predecessors death; leaving behind his wife Catelyn and their son’s Robb, Rickon and Bran, with the latter heavily injured after a fall from a high tower.
Ned’s bastard son Jon Snow uses his father’s departure and leaves with his uncle to join the Night’s Watch, a fading brotherhood that guards an ice Wall at the northern border of the realm. He is accompanied by the Queens dwarf brother Tyrion Lannister, who simply wants to see the wall for himself, but unlike Jon returns to re-join his family again, when he is accused for a crime and taken prisoner.
Meanwhile across the Narrow Sea the last descendants of the house Targaryen join with the Dothraki (horse riding warriors) to regain their rightful place on the Iron Throne.

The reading experience

I read this book in English and somehow expected it to be more complicated, but I understood it quite well. (Except that in my mind „after a fortnight“ was on the day after tomorrow and not in two weeks…)
With relatively short chapters it was nicely split and I could read at least one during a bus trip.
At first I thought – as many have warned me about this – it would be confusing to read about all these different characters, from all these different angles, but it wasn’t. As written before did I think the book would be written in I-perspective from each character that got a chapter, but I soon learned it wasn’t that easy.
While it is a partly omniscient narrator and it doesn’t feel like a complete personal narrator either, does it mainly focus on what the current character knows and experiences, yet it is no I-perspective, as the character is still referred to in the third person.
It is an interesting perspective to say the least.
For reference‘ sake was the focus of this book on: Eddard, Catelyn, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Jon, Daenarys Targayen and Tyrion.
As I said before was I quite captivated by the story and barely wanted to put the book away and I probably would have finished the book far sooner if I had given into that urge.
The only thing that bugged me about the reading was that there were barely any – if at all – paragraphs and a chapter was a complete block of writing and all this with a rather small font.

The characters

Martin is praised for his portrayal of strong female characters (read actual women) and I agree with this. His cast is that varied that you have all kind of different personalities and amongst them those highly praised strong women, but his men are just as diverse. I really enjoy the portrayal of the characters in the book so far, especially Arya and Daenarys. I really liked how Ned handled the whole thing with Needle (or generally interacted with his family) and I grinned while Dany gave her brother a piece of her mind upon their arrival in Vaes Dothrak (Home of the Horselords).
On the other hand was I just as shocked as Catelyn when she met her sister again. Sansa though is a different leaf altogether. As much as I didn’t like the slapping she got towards the end of the book, as much would I have liked to do it myself a couple of times earlier… I really hope it’s true and she’ll finally grow as a character with the next book.
As for the men, I don’t know what to make of Tyrion.
He’s an interesting character, with good advise and clever lines, but he still seems a bit too superior to me at times. Even with his physical restraints he can do a lot of things with seemingly little effort (- and just to be on the save side: This is not intended to be a pun.). Of course his pain is mentioned, but it still feels a bit too much like “look at this character, he is an imp, but look how awesome he is”. Kind of like one of those imba-characters in games or role plays. I still enjoy the scenes he’s in though.
Jon on the other hand is one of those characters that I don’t want to like, due to a possible death, but still do. It’s great how he changed from lordling to tutor and protector of his Black Brothers.
The others have so far had only little screen time and I don’t really know what to say for them. Some of them surprised me with their actions (the Hound/Sandor Clegane), others were pretty constant in their doings (most Lannisters), again others leave me pretty confused (Tyrion, Varys) and then there are those that are nice to have around in a scene (Bronn, Samwell Tarly, Ser Jorah Mormont).
I know I should not get too attached to the characters, but I already have a couple of favourites. With my luck in these kind of things will pretty much all of them die…
A side note for all interested in translations: From what I read so far are some names very strange and sometimes literally translated. The Lannisters e.g. became the Lennisters, Jon Snow is Jon Schnee (German word for snow) and Theon Greyjoy is Theon Graufreud (grau means grey and freud is an abbreviated form of Freude/joy), Kings Landing is Kings Mouth (Königsmund) and probably some other things as well…

General Opinion

I did not expect to like the book as much as I did, but it became the highlight of the books I read last year. I’m really curious how this story will continue and if those characters that I now know will even make it the the currently last book.
For everyone still considering if starting with this series is worth it, let me tell you: It is.
It is incredibly written, very interesting and captivating and has such a refreshing variety of characters that all those pages the book has are sooner behind you than you think.
I also noticed that the characters have a different view on peoples ages, but when I read Sansa‘s comment on how old someone was, who was closing in on twenty two I certainly had to take a moment to let this sink…
Sure she is eleven and a brat (if you haven’t noticed already, she’s also my least favourite of the Stark-bunch), but people can’t have high life expectancies if mid-thirties are considered close to death and mid-twenties regarded as old, but it does fit the context.

Stuff I’d like to add

I made the mistake of watching most of the episodes directly after I’ve read the portrayed chapters and they aren’t really as according to book as I’d have liked.
There are several things that bugged me quite a bit while watching, but I think the worst was that the females got toned down and males got their lines.
As a writer myself, I would also be quite interested in learning how Martin decides to end his characters (does he create them to be killed or does he decide it along the way?). Does anyone happen to know an interview where he talked about this?
Some of the stuff above was by the way already used/mentioned in these Reading Together: #2, #3 and #4 and in a comment over at Geekritiques Review of the book, just so you know, why it may sound familiar. 😉
On a side note: I think it’s funny how his name shortens to GRR…maybe that was the reason why the first family he introduces have their Direwolves… 😀
On a completely different note: I’m on my way to Cologne to visit the  Harry Potter Exhibition with Unmei tomorrow.
© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner

Lisa J. Smith: The Struggle

When I read the first book of the Vampire Diaries series, I already decided to continue with the it, simply because I already have the books. Besides that had I chosen it as bonus book (book you haven’t read that was adapted to a movie/TV show) for BiblioSmiles Summer Book Challenge.

What is it about?

2 of 5 stars

The story picks up right where it had left off and Elena, now aware of Stefanos secret, confronts his brother Damon in search for the other. With the help of friends Bonny and Meredith she manages to find him.

With Stefano more or less safely returned to her, they now have to face a different trial: Someone has stolen Elenas diary and the entries seem all but to prove that Stefano is the killer that prowled around their little town.

Will they be able to prove his innocence?

The reading experience

I honestly felt embarrassed while I read and more than once I wondered why I was even reading this book.

The book has somewhat around 200 pages and throughout all of them I was looking for the actual plot. When I was finished I wasn’t even sure what the purpose of the book was. Stuff happened, people talked, but nothing of importance.  What you can read above is pretty much the entire story line of the book.

Other than that was it reading wise not much different then the first part.

The characters

I still don’t like Elena and Stefano and so far I doubt this will change much.

Where I found the sinister side of Damon interesting in the first book, was I disappointed that it wasn’t really featured this time. He was still portrayed as the bad guy, but already showed signs (quite large and blinking) of become just another love-struck vampire. Though he is the creepy type that forcefully takes what he wants, which is also why I don’t understand the growing interest Elena has in him….
Interesting contrast to the main characters? Yes. Healthy people skills? Hell no.

Meredith and Bonny get a bit more screen time and they are a nice – read with more common sense – change from Elena, but it is still too little to get an actual feel of them. Though one of them seems quite dumb, but I don’t remember which one…

All in all do the characters feel kind of dull and sketchy and I didn’t really develop any kind of connection to either of them so far.

General Opinion

So far the story is far too cheesy for my taste and the characters aren’t really memorable. The fluent writing makes up a bit for this, but the missing plot is still kind of weird.
I was shortly considering to rate it even lower, but even with all the complaining above it still doesn’t feel like a one star book…

I’ll still continue, even if it is only to see if there will be plot one day. 😀

Stuff I’d like to add

As I said for part one was this books‘ title also changed during the Twilight hype. Originally it was called: Der Kampf (The Fight/Struggle), but was changed to Bei Dämmerung (At Dawn/Twilight – I’m not entirely sure which one they mean, though I suppose the later) in 2008.
This name-change subsequently causes the connection from title to content to be very, very thin and technically not existent.


© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner

Liebster Award

About a month ago DarkFairy nominated me for the Liebster Award, but back then I didn’t really have the time to accept it. Regardless of that: Thank you!

The Award

Now let’s have a look as to what I have to do for this:

  1. Write a Blog post with this award, add the award picture and link to the person who awarded you.
  2. Answer the 10 questions.
  3. Think up 10 new questions.
  4. Nominate 10 Bloggers with less than 200 readers (occasionally it is said below 1000, so you can nominate whomever you like). You are not allowed to nominate your nominator.
  5. Tell the Bloggers that you nominated them.

This sounds pretty similar to the simple tag-thing Fairy gave me last year and it is also used for getting out the word for unknown Blogs. Still, the name of the award, Liebster, turns this into something different.

Liebster is the German word for beloved partner or darling, in the Blogging sense, to me, it means a Blog you hold dear and greatly enjoy reading. So for me it is an honour to be granted this award and be able to give it to other Blogs I like.

Fairys Questions*

*(as translated from her Blog.)

  1.  Have you been at a festival before? If so, which one?
    Those who follow me for some time now know that I have been at several Festivals, including: the Wacken Open Air (5 times), the Metalfest Loreley (twice) and the Wave Gotik Treffen with already some finished reviews and the M’era Luna (twice), Out&Loud and Rockharz where I still have to write them.
  2. What is your worst trait?
    I think my worst trait is my pessimism. My thoughts can get pretty gloomy and dark at times and you can call yourself lucky that I refrain from Blogging when I’m in a digging mood (meaning: I’m already in a dark pit and manage to dig myself even deeper).
  3. And your best?
    I like to believe it is my sense of humour, as I do indeed make people laugh on occasion. If that doesn’t count, maybe my readiness to help others.
  4. Which book is exactly in the middle of your lowest book shelve?
    When I was first nominated I was at home and as there is stuff in front of the book shelf I couldn’t have answered the question. In my flat the lowest shelve doesn’t really contain books, so I move one up and that one is full of Manga.
    The ones in the middle are Nurarihyon No Mago’s volume 3 and 4, with more volumes and some of Ao No Excorcist on top of them. But they are currently blocked by several comics I acquired on Free Comic Book Day, some other Manga (Deathnote and Bleach) and a book I won at the Expedition Grimm. My book shelve is too small…
  5. What is the ring tone of your mobile phone? .oO(I hope not everyone has a standard ring tone..)
    For a couple of years now I’m stuck with a snippet from Edguy’s Speedhoven. When I first heard the song I just knew I wanted it as that, as it has a fast and abrupt start and is therefore quite recognizable. Just so you know: I also have Alestorm’s Heavy Metal Pirates; Happy People from the Bleach soundtrack and a standard called Rogue as alarm tones and the aptly called „message signal 3“ that sounds like someone pulling a few guitar strings, tells me about new messages.
  6. PC-, console- or better yet boardgames?
    As the last consoles I had were N64 and a Gameboy Color and I usually only play short games on the laptop, do I go for boardgames with this one. It’s much more fun to see whom you can blame for losing anyway. 😉
  7. Which movie was the last you’ve seen in the cinema?
    When I got the nomination it was X-Men: Days of Future Past, as I had just re-watched it with Fairy. By now I’ve also seen Wacken 3D, a semi-documentation on the festival that I still have to review.
  8. I had to occupy myself with so much art, now its your turn: Who is your favourite artist and why?
    As I am horrible with names anyway I can’t even think of that many. I just know I prefer art that is more like a picture than a painting, like the way Da Vinci drew. As Whovian do I also have a connection to Van Gogh, but I wouldn’t call him one of my favourites. Well, and as the inspiration for some of his most famous paintings is just a short ride away from were I live/grew up, I have to also name Caspar David Friedrich, but I really don’t have a favourite artist.
  9. Would you choose your job again or if you don’t have one yet, which did you decide to take? For both: Why?
    I have a job/profession I’ve been working in for a couple of years now. I’m not sure if I would make the same decision again to take up this job, I just know I would not partake in a dual-mode course of studying again
    I chose it, because I had similar lessons in grammar school and thought I would have something more substantial with Computer Science and Business Management than by studying English and/or German language and literature studies… Yeah, I know it’s quite a jump from one to the other.
    Still, I enjoy programming, creating algorithms and finding out about different techniques and technologies, so my choice wasn’t that bad. 🙂
  10. What is the answer to Everything? 😉
    42 😀 And it’s only a matter of time until I finally start with The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

My Questions

When you receive the award from me you have to answer to the following questions:

  1. What is the best experience you ever had on a concert/at a festival/convention or an other social gathering?
  2. What is the strangest decoration you have at home?
  3. Are you collecting something? If so: What and why?
  4. What was your favourite plushy when you were a kid and what happened to it?
  5. If you had the choice: Would you start Blogging again and about the same topics you cover/ed?
  6. What do you prefer: A handwritten letter, a long e-mail or a short message on the phone/a social network?
  7. Which of your post/categories you write in is dearest to you?
  8. Which movie/book/series/etc. would you like to read/watch/etc. again for the first time?
  9. What is the place you’ve always wanted to travel to, but so far hadn’t had the chance to do so?
  10. How much time could you spent without using any kind of digital formats/mediums? (Internet, mp3s, e-books, etc.)

My nominees

The Blogs I am nominating have most likely already managed to get their 200 readers, if not even the 1000th, but I still enjoy reading them and want them to know that – and again I didn’t manage to find 10 Blogs, but I might add them later.
In alphabetical order:

#1 BiblioSmiles:
A Blog for book reviews, tips on reading and other interesting essays and posts, like their Summerbook Challenge, that I am participating in.
It’s a really interesting page and I still can’t believe that’s only been online for a couple of months…

#2 Ed Mooney Photography:
You might remember me talking about Ed’s Blog on Halloween or during my Re-Wri-Day’s. His posts are an incredible mix of history, ruin photography (pay attention to the clouds, they are awesome!) and storytelling that even caused me to buy a book.
Warning: If you are as easily suffering from Fernweh as I am, you might start planning a trip to Ireland after reading some of his Blog…(I am still wavering between using my remaining vacation days to get over there for Halloween or doing something different with them…)

#5 Geekritique:
This Blog provides you with reviews on books, movies and series, but also grants you a good overview on what is currently going on in the geek-verse and gives you inspiration on what to tackle next on your list.

#4 Piccadilly 1819:
Stephanie writes really interesting posts about series and movies regarding the portrayal of women in them. We already had quite some interesting discussions on some of her posts and I’m sure there will be more to follow them.

#5 WriteTheWhite:
Sherri tries to help her readers to lose the fear of the white page and she does so in an incredible way. I have participated in one of her activities and another one is already drafted. I currently don’t dare to look into more of her posts as it would probably animate me to write about stuff I am not supposed to write about, instead of the stuff I already need to finish…

Well, that’s it for my nominees and questions.
Try having a look at those Blogs, maybe you find something you like as well. 🙂

As for those five: Thanks for many great posts to enjoy, I hope you don’t mind the questions. 🙂


Melvin Burgess: Tiger Tiger

While reading The Hunter’s Moon I decided that I wanted to read four books before they might be swapped at the Book Hotel this weekend. The first of them was Tiger Tiger, which subsequently also became the „book in a genre I don’t usually read“ in BiblioSmile’s Summer Book Challenge and thus the first one I finished (and now reviewed).

What is it about?

2 of 5 stars

Steve is fascinated by the tigers in the nearby tiger-park, he especially has taken a shine on the tigress Lila that hunts quite differently from her conspecifics. One night a group of people break into the park and cause a massacrer amongst the endangered species. A few tigers manage to flee thanks to Lila’s abilities, but not even Steve suspects anything when the young girl with the amber eyes appears in his home.

The reading experience

As the book is not even 200 pages long did it only take me a couple of bus rides to finish it. The chapter structure is quite unusual as the different narration strands switch within the chapter so that one part can be what Steve experiences, the next the hunters and the last one being the tigers.
And yes there were parts that depicted the doings and some of the thoughts of the tigers, which was in a way pretty cool, but also quite strange as the thought-process was described in a different writing style as the one for humans. Of course animals think differently, but it felt like a break of style whenever Burgess wrote from the tigers perspective.

The characters

I can’t remember ever reading how old Steve is, but my guess would be that he is between 14-16 (still in school but already attracted to girls). He has a strange obsession with the tigers – especially Lila – which makes him an unintentional ally of the fled big cats. In a way is he quite simple minded and that’s what makes reading about him quite difficult for me as I prefer character with a certain spark to them.
Lila on the other hand had at least the abilities aspect with her. Quite soon it was clear that she isn’t a normal tiger, the term „magical“ was even mentioned a couple of times, which was fitting for what she was able to do. Still, she was still an animal that thought in an animal-way and as I wrote before was it hard to fully grasp her thought-process. I don’t think writing this was easy either, therefore this is an interesting choice for the narrative. The other tigers were mostly mentioned through Lila’s eyes, so we didn’t really get any inside look into them. Still, the magical tiger wasn’t that much tiger-like, but that comes with the abilities I suppose.
The description of the girl was sometimes quite weird and mostly manoeuvred between utterly ridiculous and what-the-****.  Especially the where-did-her-clothes-go? part was quite confusing…
The hunters and remaining humans were all only briefly mentioned and described, usually when their plot line was about to connect with the one from Steve or Lila, but manly the latter one. Their – and everyone’s except Steve’s beside wanting to help the tigers – motives were pretty much obvious: They wanted money, so they killed and collected the tigers – at least they tried to do that.  Nothing too special about it.
In short: There wasn’t really a character I connected with. I pitied a few (the park director, the dead tigers) and shook my head at others (the hunters, Steve, Lila), but nothing that made them special.

General Opinion

There are three things that bug me the most about this story:
#1: The term „magical“ tiger is used so often, but it is nether explained what it even means. How can such a tiger exist? How does it come into being? What else can she do? Would her powers be passed on to others (offspring, human)? I would have liked a little more insight on that, but instead I had to just accept the fact that she is a magical tiger, whose abilities include being able to let clothes vanish…
#2: The ending is pretty open. We don’t know what will happen to the tiger park, to the remaining tigers and so forth. As it is not a continued story this is something I consider to be quite annoying – though open ends in a series can be worse…
#3: I know Lila wants to preserve her race, but was THAT (I don’t want to spoiler it, but if you read it I am pretty sure you will know what I mean) really necessary for doing so? And was it necessary to describe it in young adult fiction? That is really something I do not want to read in a book like that, even if I’m way beyond the target audience.
Other than that was it an ok read. Nothing special, but still interesting enough to continue.

Stuff I’d like to add

For some odd reason I really don’t have to add anything this time…hmm…strange…
© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner.

BiblioSmiles' Summer Book Challenge 2014

A couple of days ago the BiblioSmiles literature Blog posted a reading challenge for the summer that really sounded interesting:

When I was little, every summer my town library would have a summer book challenge to keep our young brains from turning to mush from all the sunshine and lack of schooling. Or video games. It might have been video games.
For every book you read, you logged it, and you accumulated points, earning little trinkets like those erasers in the shapes of ice cream cones, or wacky pencils, or puntastic posters. Being the little budding lit nerd I was, I was all over that.[…]
So, for summer 2014, here’s the 10 Book Challenge that I’m going to attempt to accomplish between June and August. Ten books has us at 3.3 books a month, which may be ambitious depending on the sort of books we choose. But that’s why it’s a challenge! Based on what books you pick, this can either be really difficult or fairly whimsical and easy.
From: Summer Book Challenge 2014

In short: The challenge consists of 10 categories to choose a book from (and a bonus category) and to read them in the months from June to August.
As I recently started to properly read again (as in: not starting a book and letting it lie somewhere for years) is this challenge also interesting for me to read some of the books that still wait in my shelve(s).
Even though I am a relatively fast reader (200-400 pages are a short read for me), if I would actually try to read ten books in three (by now two and a half) months I wouldn’t really be able to finish the challenge as this time of the year is also the festival season and I’m also otherwise occupied at times.
The beginning of the month was already covered with my Journey Through a bit of Germany and the Metalfest, for which I will add travel logs and report later.
The next one (Rockharz) will follow mid July and maybe another one in August (M’era Luna), taking away time on the weekend that I would otherwise spent reading.
Therefore I picked a book fitting for the category, but I will read them in my own pace and not within the set time limit and post a review linking back to the challenge afterwards.
This way I’ll do some proper reading and be able to add a few book reviews to my Blog.
But let’s have a look at the

The Categories and the Books

I have chosen.
1. A book you always meant to get around to
As my list of unread books is just as long as BiblioSmiles‘ Gabrieles, this one isn’t really an easy choice. But as I am tired of not properly understanding the movies have I chosen „The Lord of the Rings“ for this one, though I am not sure if I’ll also add „The Hobbit“ and „The Silmarillion“ to get the complete grasp of the story.
2. Reread a childhood favorite
This one is actually easy as I just picked the one that first came to mind when thinking about books I read when I was a child/teenager: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I’m curious already if I’ll like the book as much as I did back then or if I’ll ruin the memory with this. >_<
3. A book someone else picks for you
As many people have recommended it for me I’ll actually start with the „Game of Thrones“ series. The alternative suggestion I got from DarkFairy would be the first book of James Barclay’s „Chronicles of the Raven„, but as I am still missing most of that series this is more difficult to read than the other one.
4. A book in a genre you don’t usually read
I hope young adult fiction counts for this… It still has some Fantasy elements, but it is aimed at a far younger audience. The book I’ve chosen is Melvin Burgess‘ „Tiger, Tiger“ that I’m already reading as it is one of four books I wanted to actually read before they might be swapped in the Book Hotel I’ll be staying at with my mum towards the end of July.
5. Something originally written in another language
Well, so far every book I’ve chosen was originally written in another language (English). We do have a couple of good (fantasy) authors here in Germany, but the majority of books are still translated into German. Nevertheless have I chosen a book that I will also read in English (just like GoT, but that’s mostly because the German versions are all split into two books) and whose special edition I have borrowed from Nazgul: „The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“ (which incidentally was Gabrieles suggestion for 3.)
6. A book in a different format
This one I have also already started reading before knowing about the Challenge. It’s an Anthology (collection of short stories) that was created for the anniversary of The Forum. It’s called „Unter dem Weltenbaum“ (Underneath the World Tree) and contains stories about the roots, trunk and branches of the Arbor Phantastica or Yggdrasil by different authors. I sent two of my stories (Unterwelt and Erde), into the competition as well, but they weren’t chosen.
7. A classic
As I already have mentioned a couple of times, do I really like Goethe’s „Faust“ (see: Mephisto), but as it stands have I never finished Part Two of the tragedy. But this will be changed by the end of the challenge. 🙂 I might even reread Part One as well, if I can find it…
8. A book by your favorite author that you haven’t read yet
This one is tricky as I don’t really have an author I consider my favourite. There are three of whom I at least have more than one unread book: Stephen King, Terry Pratchett and Marcus Heitz. I am still not sure which book I will choose, but it is highly likely that I will finally finish – more likely begin anew – King’s „The Dark Tower V: The Wolves of the Calla“ as like „Kinder des Judas“ this one is still unfinished for quite some time now.
9. A nonfiction book
A couple of years ago we had a secret Santa at work and the present I picked was Stephen Hawking’s „A Brief History of Time“ and I think it’s about time I get around to reading it.
10. A book either published or a bestseller from the year you were born
This one is tricky as the most books I found in the list for my year aren’t that easily available for me – or simply didn’t sound interesting enough. The one I picked is Ray Bradbury’s „A Graveyard for Lunatics“ that is actually available in my local library. (And now you all know my year of birth and subsequently my age >_<)
Bonus book! 11. A book you haven’t read that was adapted to a movie/TV show
As I am already planning on continuing the series I’ll probably continue with the second part of „The Vampire Diaries“ – the review for the first one is still on my to-finish list though.
Now you know which books I have picked and I will give you a review after I finished them (though maybe not for 8. as that would seem odd without the other ones).
Maybe you want to try it too? Just pick a couple of books and make sure to actually read them. 😉
Edit: You can find my current reading (and review) status here: Summer Book Challenge