Tag Archives: reading

Reading Together #18

Another Tuesday, another Reading Together.
You can obviously participate in these questions by either using my translated or the original German version.

As a reminder:

Gemeinsam Lesen” as it is originally called, is a project by German book bloggers Schlunzenbuecher. Each Tuesday you have to answer four questions regarding your current read.

For more information and my old participations take a look at this page: Reading Together.

Without much further ado, let’s take a look at today’s, obviously translated, questions:

1. Which Book are you currently reading and which page are you on?

I’m still reading Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent or Sleepy Hollow: Schaurige Erzählungen (Ghastly Tales) a book that I started reading back in 2014. It’s a collection of different essays and stories by Irving.

After a few days of reading I’m now on page 111.

2. What is the first sentence on your current page?

Alles dieß lasse ich als eine reiche Fundgrube hinter mir, welche spätere Erläuterer bearbeiten mögen; auch zweifele ich nicht, daß die Tabaksdose und der »halbvergoldete Becher,« welche ich jetzt an das Tageslicht gebracht habe, später Gegenstände zu Kupferstichen hergeben, und beinahe eben so viele bändereiche Abhandlungen und Streitschriften erzeugen werden, als der Schild des Achilles, oder die weitberühmte Portland-Vase.

or in English:

All this I leave, as a rich mine, to be worked by future commentators, nor do I despair of seeing the tobacco-box, and the “parcel-gilt goblet” which I have thus brought to light the subject of future engravings, and almost as fruitful of voluminous dissertations and disputes as the shield of Achilles or the far-famed Portland Vase.

Thanks internet for providing online reading material…I really wouldn’t have wanted to type and translate that…

3. What do you desperately need to tell about your current book? (Thoughts, Feelings, a Quote, whatever you want!)

Since last week I’ve come across some very interesting essays, one being English Writers on America, another being The Art of Book-Making and the last one being The Boar’s Head Tavern, Eastcheap. All of them have quite interesting points that even seem valid today.

In the first one he talks about English media relying on unreliable sources telling them about the New World (aka America) and this quote stood out to me in regards to the way modern media portrays certain things:

Knowledge is power, and truth is knowledge; whoever, therefore, knowingly propagates a prejudice, wilfully saps the foundation of his country’s strength.
W. Irving: English Writers on America

In The Art of Book-Making he describes a dream sequence were authors act like beggars and put together their own garments by using the works of those that came before them, essentially implying that no work of fiction – or even non-fiction – is new and just made up off thoughts and writings of authors of previous generations.
It’s a fascinating picture of something every writer came across at some point.

The last one deals with being a fan – in this case of Shakespeare – and what fans are willing to do to re-live what their heroes have written or to explore their writings differently. In Irving’s case he recalls a journey to Eastcheap where he wants to visit the tavern described in Henry IV.  Things like that are still done today and not just for books, but also movies and TV shows. It’s even encouraged through provided tours or guides to explore those places yourself. While we were in Bath, e.g. we followed an audio guide to take us to the places of Jane Austen’s life and books in the town – during my commute days I then listened to Northanger Abbey that partly took place in there. We did the same in London, where we followed – amongst others – a Sherlock Holmes audio tour, even if it was more in regards to the first Robert Downey Jr. movie than the actual books. I believe it can be quite interesting to see where the inspiration for a story or movie was taken from and then see how it was changed through the authors eyes.
And I’m pretty sure I read a post about this the other day, but I can’t remember where it was…

If anyone has a clue, let me know!
It wasn’t this one by the Schreibmeer (Writing Ocean, though probably also a pun on schreib mehr/write more, as it’s a page giving you writing advice), but it’s still an interesting (German) read: From Cosplay to self-research the hard way – When authors slip into the roles of their characters.

Another essay that might be interesting to some might be The Broken Heart, about the very true effect of women actually dying from heartbreak.

Seeing as there is quite a lot of stuff for these four available online, I’m pretty sure a lot of people seem to consider them similarly interesting. And I’m pretty sure I have to re-read the early pages to not miss out on other potentially interesting essays.

I also came across the Rip Van Winkle story, which seems to be rather famous, but I can’t say I ever actually heard about it… It does remind me of Schandmaul’s „Reich der Träume“ (Realm of Dreams) though, which I kind of put into a story here: Back from a Dream.
Though I do believe the story of someone disappearing into a dream land for years and returning to find their old life in ruins is quite a common and old concept. Which probably is the reason, why I didn’t care that much for the story itself…

On a different note: I’m pretty sure I can enjoy the essays about life in England/London more, now that I’ve actually visited it. Just like I appreciated the nods to the Gothic culture in Kinder des Judas more, after being more involved in it.

4. Do you have a booky project of the heart or a favourite book where you don’t waste any chances to make it known, because you think everyone should hear about it? Tell us about it!

Uhm…not really…There are books that I occasionally recommend to people, but I wouldn’t call them projects of the heart…that’s more likely to happen with shows, series and comics these days…
Though I did go to my local library to support/advertise the Märchenspinnerei yesterday…

Additional thoughts

Last weekend I send off a translated and lengthened version of  the first part of the Neubrandenwolf for a writing contest. I also wrote down a story for the latest Bücherstadtkurier contest, the one where my story got chosen a couple of years ago, but I haven’t send it to them yet. I’ll probably read through it a couple more times, before daring to do that.

opefully I’ll get some other writing done for The Queen’s Wish or even some of the old stuff lying around … we’ll see…

PoiSonPaiNter

© For the cover, the quote and the banner belong to their rightful owners.

Friday Filler #1

As I said on Tuesday: I might try another thing on Friday.
Fittingly it already contains the name „Filler“, which has a double meaning in this case, but anyway.

What is the Friday Filler?

The Friday Filler, or Freitags-Füller, is a Blogging activity by Barbara from Scrap-Impulse where she gives you five sentence fragments that you then have to complete, or rather: fill in.
And I’m basically using it as a Filler post, until I can come up with something more interesting again. You know, Filler, as in „episodes that have nothing to do with the actual plot“, those things most people loathe to come across in (mostly) Anime adaptations. 😉
But let’s take a look at today’s fill-in the gap sentences – the bold words are what Barbara gave us. I’ll have the sentences in German first and then add the translation.

1. Ich lese_____ – I read_____/ I’m reading_____

Ich lese noch immer die Essay- und Geschichtensammlung von Washington Irving. Es waren mittlerweile schon ein paar interessante dabei, da erzähle ich aber nächsten Dienstag mehr dazu.
————-
I’m still reading the essay and short story collection by Washington Irving. There have been a couple of interesting ones amongst them, but I’ll talk more about those on Tuesday.

2.  _____Resteverwertung – _____utilization of remains/_____utilizing remains

Ich bin ziemlich gut, was Resteverwertung von Lebensmitteln angeht. Zeug einen Topf oder eine Pfanne zusammenschütten und kochen/braten, das kann ich. 😀
————-
I’m quite good at utilizing remains, at least from groceries. Throwing stuff into a pot or a pan and cooking or roasting it, that I can do. 😀

3. Am Montag_____ – On Monday____

Am Montag kommt hoffenltich mein Arbeitskollege wieder, den ich seit zwei Wochen mal wieder verteten muss.
————-
On Monday my colleague, that I again had to substitute for during the last two weeks,  will hopefully return.

4. _____ein Traum – _____a Dream

Das Leute, dass was ich schreibe gut finden ist ein Traum.
————-
That people like what I’m writing is a Dream.

5. Im übrigen_____ – By the way_____

Im übrigen schreibe ich immer noch am ‚Wunsch der Königin‚, auch wenn ich momentan eher damit beschäftigt bin den ersten Teil des Neubrandenwolfs etwas auszuweiten und zu überarbeiten.
————-
By the way am I still working on ‚The Queens Wish‚ even if I’m currently more occupied with lengthening and editing the first part of the Neubrandenwolf.

6. _____besonders für mich – ______especially for me./_____special for me.

Zu akzeptieren, dass es Leute gibt, die tatsächlich gut finden, was man schreibt ist ziemlich schwer, besonders für mich.
————-
To accept that people actually like, what you write is pretty hard, especially for me.

7. Was das Wochenende angeht, heute Abend freue ich mich auf _____, morgen habe ich geplant, _____ und Sonntag möchte ich ____! – About the weekend, today I’m looking forward to_____, tomorrow I plan to_____and Sunday I want to_____!

Was das Wochenende angeht, heute Abend freue ich mich auf das nach Hause kommen, morgen habe ich geplant, wieder ein bisschen an meinen Texten weiterzuarbeiten und Sonntag möchte ich am liebsten nicht wieder nach Neubrandenburg müssen!
————-
About the weekend, today I’m looking forward to
coming home, tomorrow I plan to work a bit more on my stories and Sunday I want to not have to return to Neubrandenburg!

Additional thoughts

It wasn’t easy to translate the sentences so I decided to keep both versions side by side. I hope that makes sense. I also probably interpreted some of the fragments differently than what was intended.
However, I’m pretty sure the seventh sentence might be the same for almost every weekend – and as it’s already the evening I’m already home so…anyway, there probably wont be much variation as I spent most of my weekends with my dad…
Well, you can obviously participate in these questions by either using my translated or the original German version.
PoiSonPaiNter
© For the the banner belongs to its rightful owners.

Reading Together #17

Remember when I last told you about the stuff I was reading at the time?
Really? Wow, great memory! That was more than two years ago!
Anyway, since I’m not really happy with the post-count recently I decided to start participating in this activity again, so you’d get at least a post on Tuesdays – I might participate in another one on Fridays as well, we’ll see.

As a reminder:

Gemeinsam Lesen” as it is originally called, is a project by German book bloggers Schlunzenbuecher. It was created by Asaviel and later adopted by Schlunzenbuecher.
Each Tuesday you have to answer four questions regarding your current read.

For more information and my old participations take a look at this page: Reading Together.
Without much further ado, let’s take a look at today’s, obviously translated, questions:

1. Which Book are you currently reading and which page are you on?

Today I decided to pick up Washington Irving’s The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent or Sleepy Hollow: Schaurige Erzählungen (Ghastly Tales) a book that I started reading back in 2014.
It’s a collection of different essays and stories by Irving and I basically only bought it originally to read Sleepy Hollow and decided to actually do so after starting with the Sleepy Hollow TV Show. The story itself is located somewhere in the back of the book, so it’s still a long way to go for me, as I’m still on page 46.
 

2. What is the first sentence on your current page?

Mit dem Gefühle tiefen Bedauerns beobachte ich, wie die literarische Animosität zwischen England und Amerika von Tag zu Tag wächst.

or in English:

It is with feelings of deep regret that I observe the literary
animosity daily growing up between England and America.

Technically I cheated with this one, as the page starts with the title (English Writers on America) and a quote from Milton about Freedom of Speech (the „Methinks“ one), but this one seemed more interesting.

3. What do you desperately need to tell about your current book? (Thoughts, Feelings, a Quote, whatever you want!)

Seeing as it took me years to pick up the book again and my relatively slow progress with it, I wouldn’t be surprised if I put it away again after reading a few stories.
It’s not that they’re not interesting, but they’re a bit complicated and long and – what probably bugs me most – in a horribly small font. It’s exhausting to read, so I don’t get far when I actually do.
I can’t quite remember the previous stories, but I don’t feel like starting from the get go again, so maybe I’ll just skim through them to refresh my memory…

4. Are you planning the Reading Together beforehand or are you answering the questions spontaneously on the day?

Well…as I haven’t participated in two years this one was quite spontaneously done…
Still, if I had the chance to know the fourth question beforehand, I’d use it.
I remember preparing the first three questions more or less beforehand, when I knew which book I’d be reading, so that I only had to add the page number and quote when I’ve done the reading on my way back from work.
Though, I do not plan what I’m going to read on a Tuesday so it could be featured on a Reading Together. Even if I had a few books where I hoped they’d last until Tuesday so I could talk about them. 😀

Additional thoughts

I really hope this’ll get me back into Blogging, but I’m still busy with those pesky stories and life-stuff, so we’ll see if it’ll work.
You can obviously participate in these questions by either using my translated or the original German version.
PoiSonPaiNter
© For the cover, the quote and the banner belong to their rightful owners.

Reader, reader, pumpkin-eater

A couple of days ago Aleshanee shared a post on Twitter by Mikka from Mikka liest (Mikka reads) about what it means to be well-read, in addition DarkFairy posted another review that made me look through her reading challenges and all of this made me think (again).
With my affinity to procrastinate I’d like to dwell a bit on these thoughts instead of what I actually should be writing…

Am I well-read?

Mikka’s points about what it means to be well-read can be basically summed up to:

You’re well read if you read more than one book from all kind of genres – even outside your comfort zone – in differing difficulty.

I agree with her sentiment (and hope the summary is correct) and enjoyed her reasoning leading to this, but what does that mean for me?

I don’t want to make my own definition, I’d like to try using the main points of the statement to try figuring out if I would consider myself to be well-read.

#1 Diversity

The majority of books I read are in the fantasy genre, but thanks to school and different interests I also picked up a few classics and non-fiction books, but that still doesn’t make it that widely spread, even if a few of them differ greatly from my usual reads.

Though, that doesn’t mean that I don’t know things about books/topics/stuff I only have on my to-read list or just heard/read about in reviews/articles.

In addition do I read all kinds of (web)comics, manga, short stories(, fanfictions, etc.) ranging from fantasy up to slice of life stuff, so there is a bit more variation there.

#2 Quantity

Okay, this point is probably the one that bugs me the most. With readers like Aleshanee and Mikka, who read between 100-200 books a year or Evanesca, DarkFairy and SaJaehwa, who manage 30-80 books a year, you have quite some competition.
That is, if you view reading as a competition.
Which it technically isn’t, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t feel like it.

When I look through my statistics on Goodreads it’s apparent that my reading habits aren’t really that regular. There are years where I haven’t read anything or just a few measly books and then there are years where the book count rises above 20. In total I seemingly haven’t even managed to read as much books in my entirely life as Aleshanee does in a year.

I do consider myself a fast reader, I manage to finish a ~200 pages book in about a week, only by reading on the bus (~1h total) and I think I manage 60 pages per hour on average, but there are times when I either don’t have the time to read (car-commute) or I just don’t feel like it – which is kind of my main reason for not reading – or I’m using the bus to draft stories instead.

Though this does also mean that keeping up with challenges isn’t really my thing. I started two in 2014 (BiblioSmile’s Summer Book Challenge 2014 and DarkFairy’s Alphabet Reading Challenge), that I still haven’t finished as I keep putting other books between actually reading the ones on those lists … I’m just no good with schedules. 😉

It feels frustrating, when I compare my reading list to others‘, but when I think about the (web)comics, manga, short stories(, fanfictions, etc.) I also read – that I don’t have on my Goodreads list – it evens out a little, but it still doesn’t feel the same. Why not?

#3 Difficulty

Because one could argue about the challenge they pose and if you could even count (web)comics and manga as „books“, as they are „just“ stories with pictures.
Though things like The Sandman are quite difficult to read …

Some of the other books weren’t easy either, but being the stubborn person I am I powered through even if it was exhausting at times. I also don’t shy away from longer reads if I feel like reading the book, I just sometimes don’t feel like starting them, but that’s mostly because of the topic.
I also don’t mind just reading YA or not so challenging stuff, though I stay away from the entirely lovey-dovey stuff as I just can’t stand it … I already make fun of the stuff I linked above (not challenging-link), no need to give my jokes more fuel …

I kind of also increase the difficulty by reading books in English – recently I even read something in Russian! 😀 *proud* – which has me not just reading, but learn new words/phrases in the process.

So at least my difficulty is differing, I guess.

Conclusion

Apart from the fact that I chose a ridiculous title* and spread the same alliterations throughout it, do I feel a bit more comfortable with just reading about 20 books a year.

And looking at all the stuff I wrote above: I do believe I’m well-read.
Even if I’m not actually reading that much. 😉

What do you think about this? Do you consider yourself well-read?

PoiSonPaiNter

P.S. If anyone needs help with the German posts, just let me know.
* I blame that entirely on Halloween approaching and me thinking about travelling to Ireland again … anyone interested in accompanying me? 😉

Weltenwanderer – Reading Night (Lesenacht) #2

Thanks to all the renovation troubles I’m not really able to read properly, so I decided it was time to do so again and what better way to use another Reading Night by Weltenwanderer?

What is a Reading Night and how does it work?

It’s basically different people picking up a book to read during a set amount time.
If the invitation is sent from a Blog that usually involves answering question throughout the session.
In this case Aleshanee invited us to join in a reading from 7pm to 1pm on the 12th August 2016.
I answered the question that night on my Facebook (and subsequently Twitter) Page until 11 am and now you can find the collection of those answers and the missing ones here (All questions are obviously translated from their German version on Weltenwander).
Note: Everything in []-brackets is added/changed after the original posts.

Question 1: As you are participating in the ReadingNight‬ today, I assume you’re not on vacation 😉 Where you away already or is it still planned for this year?
And which book accompanies you through the evening? Are you starting it or are you already in the middle of it and want to finish it?

I had my large vacation in March where [Janzy] and I visited and explored London for nearly two weeks. The other trip that was planned for September surrounding the Connichi was unfortunately postponed, so I don’t have any plans for further travelling (the exploring kind anyway) this year. (Non exploring travellings: Conventions and family trip)
I’m continuing with NeilGaiman‬’s ‪‎The Sandman, so I’m not reading a book, but a comic – or rather comics[ as the Volume I chose consist of several chapters that were published separately].
I’m currently at Chapter 41, which is the beginning of Volume 7 (of 10) of the original run, so I want to finish this series, I guess.

Question 2: In which country or region does your book‬ take place? Would you like to take a vacation‬ there or would like to live there? Where would you most like to have your next vacation?

This Sandman‬ story so far takes place in the different realms of the Endless, right now I’m in the Dreaming and I’m not entirely sure if I wanted to stay there for a prolonged period of time…

I mean what is shown of it is fascinating and there are quite a bunch of interesting people around, but suffering through Dreams mood swings? I’m not so sure that’d make it a good place for vacation…
In the real world there are a lot of places I’d like to visit. Currently I’d like to return to Ireland – especially for Halloween – , but that probably wont work, as I would[n’t] have anyone to take with me and travelling alone isn’t really my thing…

Question 3: By now you’ve gotten to know the characters in your ‪‎book‬ a little bit: Could you imagine to go on vacation with them? Are they likeable, like a buddy to through thick and thin with or would you not get along that well?

As I said before does Dream have a lot of mood swings. He’s fascinating, but he can also be extremely annoying, stubborn and even cruel. His little sister Delirium would probably drive me nuts with her babbling, it’s hard enough to follow her within the story.

So in both cases: Nope. I don’t think I’d like to go on a vacation with either of them – and I pity the poor driver Ruby, who currently is travelling with them, not only because I think she’ll die on one of the next pages (as I think I spoilered myself earlier…)…

Question 4: Where was your best vacation so far? Are there any funny anecdotes you could tell us about it?
If you spontaneously could go on a vacation tomorrow: Which three books would you definitely take to read?

All of my vacations had something special, so I can’t really decide which one of them was the best, but I can give you a look at some funny things that happened during some of my travels: Of Angel Chicken Wings and other oddities

I don’t know which books I’d pick, it usually depends on the vacation and my mood, but I mostly only take short ones with me as I rarely read while I’m travelling anyway.
The last time I went away I took „Am Anfang war die Kuh“ (In the Beginning was the Cow) by Fritz Steinbock – an anthology of short stories and poems about North Mythology – and a book with Russian folk tales in both Russian and German with me, but I didn’t read either.

Question 5: Do you like the ‪‎book‬ so far? Is it exciting, romantic, funny? Is it like you expected it to be?
Describe it with 5 nouns or a great quote, that you found!

I enjoy the tale that is told in the ‪‎Sandman‬ volume „Brief Lives“. It twists and it turns and the journey is interesting to follow. It’s kind of the way I expected, as this is already the seventh volume of the series and I kind of have a feeling of what it might be like to read it, but it’s still different every time around.

There were a few interesting things said by Dream or one of his siblings, but I couldn’t pick one in particular, so I’ll have to figure out five nouns…
Dream, Delirium, Destruction, Search, Siblings would probably be the easiest choices and as my mind is slowly drifting off into sleep-mode I’ll keep it at that. 😀
[Shortly before Question 6 was asked I finished the volume and decided to call it a day, with getting up at around 6am it had been a long one. So everything after this is answered retroactively.]

Question 6: Do you like the cover of your current book? Is the cover important to you or do you not care about it when buying a book?

I’m not quite sure I like any of the covers (chapter covers included) of the Sandman-series. They are strange and weird and I don’t know, chaotic and definitely different to what is usually used. They just don’t go for appealing the audience. At the same time are they fascinating and filled with all the things happening within the Chapter(s).
I don’t think I would have even picked them up if I hadn’t known the series to be by Gaiman and said to be one of his best works.
As for the other part of the question: I’d like to just forward you to my answer from last time with this quote:

It depends.
If I look for a certain book then it doesn’t matter.
If I’m just browsing through the book store my attention occasionally gets caught by a cover. If the blurb then fits what I like to read, it is highly likely that I will take the book with me. If not it’s just put back where I found it.

Finale: Sooo, some of you made it this far, but now I’m quite tired I have to admit… The conclusion of the evening: Did you enjoy the Reading Night, where the questions all right, did you manage to read even a little? Did you reach your goal and would you recommend your book?

As I’ve said, did I not manage to get this far, but I did manage to reach my goal in finishing the Volume.
I’d recommend the whole Sandman series, it might sound like a broken record as everyone is saying this, but it certainly is one of the must reads.
It has some very fascinating and interesting story lines, characters and worlds. The drawings might not be what is generally depicted as beautiful, but they’re certainly unique. The way the characters are shown feels almost like reading a story board that only waits for some director to pick it up and turn it into something amazing. 😉
The questions were interesting and even if the cover-question was a repetition do I think it’s a nice addition on such a night.
A great thank  you to Aleshanee for hosting this one again!

Additional Notes

I’m not sure when I’ll continue with the series – or reading in general, but I certainly will.
As I noticed yesterday did Feuerflügel participate as well, so feel free to check out her post about reading Stephen King’s The Dark Tower (that I still have to get too…  >_<)
Have you ever participated in a Reading Night?
Would you like to?
Let me know, maybe one day I’ll host one myself. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter
© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner.

Kai Meyer: Die Seiten der Welt

Last year I read about Die Seiten der Welt (The Pages of the World) over on Weltenwanderers Blog. It just sounded interesting, so when I saw it on one of the shelves in our local library I picked it up and took it with me.
With the third part of this book published soon and the second one waiting for me to read it, I decided to give you a little look into part one of the trilogy (I won’t mention that I originally wanted to publish this review back when part two was released, no, I’m not going to tell you that…).

What is it about?

4 of 5 stars


The world of the young Bibliomancer (Bibliomant in German) Furia is turned upside down when a book-collecting trip with her father goes awry. Now she has to free her little brother Pip from a dangerous assassin, while also fleeing from her into the hidden refuge Libropolis. In this magical city filled with book stores, Bibliomancers and creatures that fell out of books, the Exlibri, she finds unexpected help from rebels and soon gets involved in their struggle against the Adamitic Academy (Adamitische Akadamie), who control everything concerning  Bibliomancy (Bibliomantik).

The reading experience

Hard cover editions are usually unwieldy and this one is no exception and even the lovely cover art cannot distract from that.
The story is fluently written and even with some explorations into details it was never boring. Though I would have liked some things to be explained a bit more thoroughly than others. The world Meyer creates in this book is just so fascinating that you just want to continue to learn more about it. The fact that there are also some murders, intrigues and dark secrets in it makes it even better.
It has a lot of really interesting concepts. The whole idea of the Bibliomancy is fascinating, but it doesn’t stop there. To even be able to perform Bibliomancy you need a Soulbook (Seelenbuch) to which you have a natural bond, much like Wands in Harry Potter does the book choose you and not the other way round.
(Powerful) Bibliomancers are able to create kind of bubble rooms that they can use as hideouts or refuge and jump from one place to the other through two books of the same edition. This destroys the book you used, but it’s still a great idea. The energy emitted from the usage of Bibliomancy drags characters out of their respective books (Exlibri) and is strong enough to regrow trees from destroyed books, which in turn have bookmark leaves. Then there are the Beakbooks (Schnabelbücher), which are semi-conscious beings usually used similar to roosters that have a whole concept of illegality behind them.
And then there is the Unwriting (Entschreibung) the big threat lurking in the background causing everyone to wonder: Is Bibliomancy possible because someone wrote it existed that way or was that someone able to record the happenings because Bibliomancy was possible?

The characters

Unfortunately the characters were a bit superficial. I never quite connected to any of them, as it felt like a lot of stuff was left out in their stories. This might change in the sequels, but in this one I missed that certain spark that creates a connection to a character.
I usually struggle with main characters and while Furia isn’t one of the bad ones, she is not one of the good ones either. She barely knows her own powers, but is still able to accomplish unimaginable things, that’s always a bit weird to me. Well, she did overcome enough obstacles to make it at least worthwhile, but some of her reactions did seem a bit too calm and collected for a 15-year old girl, given the circumstances.
While you read a lot about Furia’s fear for her family (her brother in particular), you don’t really learn much about them and therefore the impact of their respective fates isn’t as strong as it could have been.
A bit more focus was put on the rebels Cat and Finnian, but their run of the mill relationship undid the liking I had for them a little – even if it was quite cute at times it was annoying in other moments.
For quite a while you never really knew who the bad guys really were: The Exlibri presented by Ariel and Puck (yes, the guys from Shakespear) or the Academy and their assassin? Though there was a stronger impact to the fate of one of them then the others. Whereas the punishment and revelation concerning Siebenstein and the Entschreibung where not that surprising and rather boring.
My favourites and highlights certainly were the sassy Reading Lamp, the cranky Chair and the cheeky Beakbook who made for some great comedic relief in an otherwise quite serious narration

General Opinion

For a Young Adults‘ novel I really like it.
Though which Bibliophile wouldn’t like a book about people being capable of using the magic of words to do sorcery-like things (the aptly called Bibliomanten – Bibliomancer, I’d say, judging from the translation of Nekromant to Necromancer)? Especially if there are such things as living letters and Origami and most of all a cranky arm chair and a sassy reading lamp? 😀
All in all a lot of really interesting concepts that were covered far too little in one book (imagine my relief when I discovered there would be sequels!). The characters might not be that impressive but the overall story still keeps it interesting and worth reading and hard to put down.
I’m curious how it will continue and can’t wait to launch myself into Furia’s world again.

Stuff I’d like to add

Some of the thoughts in this review are re-used from my Reading Together about it.
From what I can see there is no English version(, yet?).
PoiSonPaiNter
© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner.

Weltenwanderer – Reading Night (Lesenacht)

Tuesday is usually the day for the Reading Together, but as I haven’t participated in that for quite some time, I thought I’d simply post this collection from the Reading Night over at Weltenwanderer from the last Christmas night instead.

What is a Reading Night and how does it work?

It’s basically different people picking up a book to read in a set amount time.
If the invitation is sent from a Blog that usually involves answering question throughout the session.
In this case Aleshanee invited us to join in a reading from 8pm to 1am on the 26th December 2015 „To let Christmas wind down with a good book…“.
I answered the question that night on my Facebook (and subsequently Twitter) Account and now you can find them collected here as well (All questions are obviously translated from their German version on Weltenwander).
Note: Everything in []-brackets is added/changed after the original posts.

Question 1:
What are you reading today? Was the book a Christmas Present or did you have any books under the tree? If so, which ones? How many pages do you plan on reading?

Tonight I’m reading „The Ultimate Hitchhiker’s Guide“ (to the Galaxy) [by Douglas Adams] that collects all five novels and an additional one. It wasn’t a Christmas present, it isn’t even my own copy…I borrowed it from [Nazgul] back in 2014 and wanted to finish it back then for [BiblioSmiles‘ Summer Book Challenge – that I haven’t finished yet], but so far didn’t get around to do it.
So here I am trying to read as much as possible! 😀
[As I somehow didn’t answer that: I didn’t get any books for Christmas]

Question 2:
Which protagonists from your book would you have liked to invite for your Christmas celebrations? Or would they have demolished the whole feast? In which place or land are you right now in your book?

 I’m not that far into the book, but from what I remember from the movie would I probably not want any of them [participating in] our Christmas celebrations. They’re either too pessimistic [and that says something, as I am quite the pessimist myself] or too weird… >_<
Demolishing would also be a good point, as they’re currently trying to get rid of planet Earth – which is where I am currently. Somewhere close to London on Earth. 😀

Question 3:
Do you like your book up to now? Describe it with 5 adjectives 😀

Yes, I like the book so far, though in my head I keep comparing it to the movie-version (the one with Martin Freeman as Arthur Dent)… But I guess that can’t be helped if you watch the movie before you read the book >_<
extraterrestrial, confusing, detailed, footnote-y, bureaucratic

Question 4:
Do you like the cover of your current book? Is the cover important to you or do you not care about it at all?

As this book is a special edition the cover is rather simple, but nice, though it does remind me of a bible. Which it probably is to some people, I suppose. >_<
I discussed this before in a Reading Together, so I’ll simply quote the short version and you can read the long answer in the link:

It depends.
If I look for a certain book then it doesn’t matter.
If I’m just browsing through the book store my attention occasionally gets caught by a cover. If the blurb then fits what I like to read, it is highly likely that I will take the book with me. If not it’s just put back where I found it.

Question 5:
You’ve certainly looked through the other Blogs a bit… was there a book for you amongst them? Or do you know one of them that you can recommend? Would you recommend your current book?
And…are you already sleepy? 😀

 To be honest: I haven’t managed to read much at the other Blogs…I’m glad when I [manage to read] a few pages in my own book, as it feels like I simply don’t move forward. Though I’m not sure why that is (distractions, font, language?)
Well, I feel like not recommending the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy would be blasphemy, soo…
And yes: The eyes are practising for sleep-mode…

Finale:
How far did you get with your book? Have you managed to read „enough“ for today? Will you continue to read or are your eyes already closing themselves?

With a little cheating of adding 14 minutes to the 1 o’clock end I managed to at least get to page 100. For five hours of reading this seems like no pages at all – that’s usually my page count or one[-one 1/2] hour – , but I guess as in a different font and format this might be page 150-200, [plus] the fact that I got side tracked a lot and the book being in English I let it slide and simply accept it as such. At least I started at all.
I read enough in a way that I now go to sleep and rest my mind and eyes and finish the last pages of the first part afterwards.

Additional Notes

Regardless of the earlier statement have I not picked up the book again so far, but I will continue and the plan is to finally finish the whole thing before Towel Day, so, maybe that’ll help. I also wouldn’t mind to participate in another of this nights, even though it is exhausting, but at least I got something done. 😉
Have you ever participated in a Reading Night?
Would you like to?
Let me know, maybe one day I’ll host one myself. 🙂
PoiSonPaiNter

Felicia Day: You’re never weird on the Internet (almost)

As second part of the Nerd-Week I want to present to you a review for Felicia Days‘ memoir You’re never weird on the Internet (almost). This book has a little tale of my own attached to it, so bear with me for a moment, before I get to the interesting part. 😉

When I first read that this book existed – or was going to be published at the time – I was curious and excited as it sounded really fun. Then I was frustrated and sad when I realized it would take me ages to even get my hands on it as I generally don’t like buying stuff over the internet in a different currency as that usually includes having access to a credit card that I do not own right now – too lazy to get a new one after mums expired. So I put it on my to-buy list for when I get the chance.

Fast forward to September 25th 2015:

SaJaehwa and I were on a stroll through Old Town Stockholm (Gamla Stan) and we had just decided to visit at least ONE book store when my eyes fell on a dragon, then on the rocket beside it and then finally on the sign „Science Fiction Bokhandeln„. Needless to say we knew what book store we wanted to visit …(I’ll tell you a bit more about this store on Saturday).

Looking through the many, many wonderful shelves I found The Guild Companion and had to ask if they have this book as well and of course they did. So without second thought I took it with me.

But what is it about anyway?

4 of 5 stars

From home-schooled weirdo to successful creator of the web series The Guild and producer of Geek and Sundry, this book tells the story of one Felicia Day and her endeavours to become the person she is today.

The reading experience

As soon as we got back to our Hostel I read the Foreword and the Introduction, if we hadn’t been in the middle of exploring Stockholm I probably would have finished the book way earlier as it was hard to put it down, but Stockholm was the priority that weekend, so the book had to wait.
Exhausted from all the running around we decided to take a break on our last evening and found ourselves in a secluded place beside one of Stockholm’s many river-arms to read. Though as the sun didn’t really reach that place and the wind made us shrink into our sweaters, we soon got back to Hostel.

As I said was I barely able to put the book down, so it’s probably not surprising that I finished the last pages before our ferry even reached the German shore again … (I also wrote the first draft of this post afterwards on a very confusing piece of paper, but that’s a different story).

The format of the book is a bit unusual. It’s quite large with large letters, but it’s still easy to read and full of funny pictures. Though quite often I had to take a pause from reading, laugh and tell SaJaehwa about what I just read – fortunately without having to translate it first.

The read was a bit jumpy at times, as it felt like the narration followed thoughts instead of time line and therefore the tale went from childhood to adulthood and got back to childhood again for another topic.
Still, that seems to be Felicia’s way of telling stuff, at least from what I can gather from what I read here and saw of her in other places.

The characters

Usually I talk about the books characters in this section, but as this is a memoir I’d be judging a real person and I’m not going to do that.

I’ll just say that I can relate to a lot of stuff she talked about.
Like always being the weird one out until I found amazing people that enjoyed similar things as I do with the help of the Internet. Knowing them makes you realize that you’re not alone and reading that a successful (business-)woman like Felicia experienced similar things and rose from them makes you want to overcome your own insecurities and strive to accomplish great things as well.

So basically the „character“ of this book is a very incredible, relateable person.

General Opinion

With the funny, entertaining and witty way Felicia tells her story you soon forget that those are things that actually happened to someone.

I really enjoyed this book for many reasons, some of which I’ve already mentioned, others I feel like I shouldn’t as those would be too personal and you simply have to read the book yourself to figure them out. 😉

This book is not just a memoir, that tells you things about an Internet Celebrity you know and like, it’s also inspiring and motivating if you yourself have projects that you would love to see recognized and loved by others.
While reading this book my perspective for certain things shifted. I knew it wouldn’t be easy to create something others like, but reading about the creation of The Guild made it even more clear to me that I had a bumpy road ahead. But at the same time it showed me that conquering that road is worth it and that giving up along the way might seem like the easy route, but that you shouldn’t take it and instead reward yourself with finishing your projects.
At least that’s what I got out of it. >_<

Long story short: I laughed a lot, could relate to several things, thought about others and took a lot from it for my own projects and endeavours.

Stuff I’d like to add

I’ll probably read it a few more times and recommend it to people who come from a nerdy background as well. Though I probably have to translate the good stuff for the people not so fluent in English, as it so far doesn’t seem like there will be a German version.

If you ever read this, Felicia: Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

See you tomorrow,

PoiSonPaiNter

© For the cover belongs to its rightful owner.

Good riddance, 2015

Finally this awful year is at its end and I don’t really feel like writing more about it then necessary – those who followed this Blog throughout the year, know what I’m talking about – and therefore point you to the WordPress‘ helper monkeys* who prepared their annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,800 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 47 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

Have a save Journey into the new Year, see you in 2016!

PoiSonPaiNter
* The German version has elves, the English one gets monkeys… 🙁

The Seven Deadly Sins concerning Books

I was tagged, by DarkFairy, to think about the Seven Deadly Sins when it comes to books.
Each sin has at least one question and you’ll find my answers (and the translated questions) below.
And I know this is a horrible introduction, but I got lazy, so let’s start with:

Acedia – Sloth

Which book do you ignore to read because of Laziness?
Until recently that was Lord of the Rings, but I’m slowly fighting against my own laziness and reading it one by one for last years Summer Book Challenge by BiblioSmiles. But it still isn’t the thick version we own, but the split English ones I got from the library…and I only just finished Part One…
Aside from that do I believe every book I haven’t read yet falls into this category…
Which book influenced your life?
Somehow I think Faust, as I learned to appreciate literature in a different way through the teacher that gave us additional lessons for this book.
Other than that, I think I’ll go for the usual suspect: Harry Potter that taught me (amongst other things) that being smart/different isn’t that big of a deal.

Superbia – Pride

Which book gives you the feeling to be more literate/knowledgeable than your fellow human beings?
So far none really, unless you count conversations with non-readers were you can smart off about the books you’ve read. Though I think I’m proud of having read some of the German classics (Faust, Nathan the Wise) and went through the more scientific Discworld books (The Science of the Discworld).

Avaritia – Greed

Which one was your cheapest book?
Logically, is every book that I got as a gift my cheapest book, as I did not have to pay any money for them. 😉 (Kinder des Judas was a gift for example)
Which one was your most expensive book?
Several books were quite expensive and I do shy away from paying too much for a book, but I can’t give you any prices as I cannot or do not want to remember them, as that would be depressing…

Invidia – Envy

Which book would you love to get as a present?
For quite some time I wanted to have „Ein überdimensionales Meerschweinchen frisst die Erde auf“ (An oversized guinea pig devours the world) the biography of the German band Die Ärzte (The Doctors), but with a price of about 50€ it was a bit too cheap for my taste and I wouldn’t have minded to get it as a present. By now I read the book thanks to our library and the „Own-Effect“ settled down. Other than that am I happy about every book I get as a present – unless I already have it. 😉

Ira – Wrath

For which book do you feel love and hate at the same time?
Hmm…I do believe the books in the Anita Blake series fall into this category. I like the cases and the side characters are great and stuff, but I absolutely cannot stand her…
Apart from that are most books either Hate-books, where hate is more like utter dislike (The Catcher in the Rye, Kabale und Liebe/Love and Intrigue) or Love (Harry Potter, A Song of Ice and Fire) or a simple lack of care, which kind of falls into the Sloth-category again.
Which book was the hardest to get?
Let’s put it this way: If I can’t find a book through the usual means (store, internet, library) I give up quite soon and stop looking for it. And what I feel in moments like that is more disappointment then wrath. 😉

Gula – Glottony

Which book makes you hungry?
I guess like Fairy and Fissel already wrote: Cookbooks.
Though in general do the descriptions of feasts sound quite tasty and interesting at times. (The cookbook for AsoIaF sound especially interesting…)

Luxuria – Lust

Which book has the most attractive hero?
Richard Zeeman from the Anita Blake series sounds quite nice, but I don’t care about that in general, let alone remember it most of the time…

Your turn!

Well, as far as tags go, you keep spreading them, but as I don’t feel like doing that:
Feel free to use the translated or the original version of the questions to write about this yourself!
And I’m now off to the Reading Stage (Lesebühne) again, let’s see how I’ll cope this time…
PoiSonPaiNter