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Bloggiesta–Rafflecopter challenge

Bloggiesta

I saw the Rafflecopter challenge at The Competitive Bibliomaniac and want to give this Rafflecopter another try. I used it once but for some reason, entering did not work and I never figured out why.

So, here is another go at it. Maybe a few Bloggiesta participants want to help me out and see whether it works or not. Usually I do not require any following and what not, but for the sake of testing I added a few voluntary options to enter.

The prize is only small, but I am sure book lovers will know what to use it for anyway. Thanks for entering and letting me know whether it worked or not.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Article

Bloggiesta update 2

blogiesta

It is Saturday morning, day 2, and I have done quite a lot of stuff already,

  • I changed my header and favicon. Now, of course, my twitter background, gravatar etc. etc. all don’t match anymore. More work!
  • I made some tabs into categories and added some tabs. However, to update all my blog posts will take me a while. I don’t want to spend all weekend only doing that, so this will be a project for the following weeks.
  • I changed my review template.
  • I participated in the WP plugin challenge and will probably write up a post about my favourite plugins and the ones I discovered this weekend.

Still to do:

  • Organizing Goodreads shelves in combination with the GR challenge
  • Visit more participating blogs. I was so busy watching twitter and getting things done that I didn’t focus on that.
  • Join the twitter chat on Sunday.

How is everybody else coming along?

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The Strain #1 by David Lapham, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan

Blurb:

When a Boeing 777 lands at JFK International Airport and goes dark on the runway, the Center for Disease Control, fearing a terrorist attack, calls in Dr. Ephraim Goodweather and his team of expert biological-threat first responders. Only an elderly pawnbroker from Spanish Harlem suspects a darker purpose behind the event-an ancient threat intent on covering mankind in darkness.


In a nutshell:

John read it in: English

He liked it:     Yes

For people who like:


John’s thoughts: 

After a cliched beginning, or as one says, the short hand language of emotional button pushing ‘The Strain’ gets off to an interesting first instalment.

The use of an old folktale created for the story arc is a well heeled technique but it still satisfies on some level especially when dealing with the modern monster archive of vampires, werewolves and zombies. Setting a scene through the retelling of folk yarns adds a certain authenticity but can also be deftly used to fool one into expectations. It does so here.

The scene is a CDC agent at a plane that has landed and then gone silent. When they finally make it inside the aircraft all but 3 passengers and crew are dead. We don’t really know what the villain is, the suggestion is an old world fiend – the folktale suggests either vampire or werewolf but this is an expectation one is placing on the story as we are not told. There are hints – ‘he is here’ for example, a coffin like box is removed from the cargo hold, an old man, the boy of the folktale perhaps- has a wolf headed cane at his side.

Still it is not clear who or what ‘he’ is. Whilst I enjoy vampire stories and werewolves for that matter, I’m hoping this is something else, something not supernatural. This first issue is intriguing and I will be buying the second – if it turns out to be another vampire story I will probably stop at issue 2 unless it is of the calibre of “Salem’s Lot” or Sheridan Le Fanu.

I would recommend those interested in horror stories to look this one up, whether it develops into something special is yet to be seen but it has the seeds of a something worthwhile.


Product info and buy link :

Title The Strain #1
Author David Lapham, Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
Publisher Dark Horse Comics
UPC 7 61568 19174 5 00111
I got this book from Netgalley
Buy link Buy The Strain #1 at Dark Horse Comics

 

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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Bloggiesta update 1–challenges

blogiesta

OK, the mini challenges are up and I went through all of them finally. There are a couple that I am interested in…

I am having plenty to do with my dreadful tags and categories, but those two are too good for me to miss.

 

If you don’t know Windows Live Writer you should check out the mini challenge about Windows Live Writer at The Reading Housewives. If you decide to use it, have a look at my short tutorial about how to use the text template plugin to create templates for either complete posts or only snippets that save an incredible amount of time.

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Book beginnings on Friday

firstman

Today my book beginning is from a book by Colleen McCullough published in 1990, “The first man in Rome”. The story starts in 110B.C.

Having no personal commitment to either of the new consuls, Gaius Julius Caesar and his sons simply tacked themselves onto the procession of the senior consul, Marcus Minucius Rufus.

The story starts with the Caesarian family, even though none of the two main characters is a Julian. Maybe this is because everybody has heard of the Julians, even though this particular Gaius Julius, of course, is not the one everybody is immediately thinking of. Also, Gaius Marius, one of the two protagonists, is/will be Gaius Julius Caesar’s son in law (not sure whether he and Julia are married already at this point).

Anyway, the beginning of a new consular year is always a good time to start a story. Only about 800 pages to go…

What is YOUR book beginning today? To see more book beginnings go to Rose City Reader!

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Charity hopping around the world

Welcome to Charity hopping around the world!

Charity hopping around the world is hosted by I am a reader, not a writer, Reading Away the Days and
Reading a Little Bit of Everything.

charity-hop

Today I want to introduce you to a charity dedicated to promote and support the inclusion of people with Down Syndrome. March 21 was World Down Syndrome Day, so this is the perfect opportunity to talk a little bit about them. One of our boys has Down Syndrome and those charities are close to my heart.

Sean

My local charity

The German charity DS-Infocenter is a charity that has its office close to where we live, so I have been there a couple of times and Sean has been one of their poster boys for the Down Syndrome Day the last two years, so I know the people there and what they do on a personal level. 

They have introduced regular consultation hours for children with Down Syndrome of up to four years at a local pediatric clinic to which people from far and wide are coming. They publish a magazine, organize regular events, like speeches by renowned experts on Down Syndrome, create information flyers for the public and much more. sean2

The photo shooting where these pictures were taken was done at a very discounted price by Conny Wenk, a photographer who also has a child with Down Syndrome (btw, the cutest girl ever). In return we gave permission to use the photos to promote their cause. Imagine my surprise when a few months later I went to the hospital with Sean’s older brother and Sean looked down at us from a huge poster in the waiting area! I was so enthusiastic that I completely forgot about Corin’s broken wrist (for a few seconds).

Links to Down Syndrome charities in other countries

Reading tips

  • Welcome to Holland by Emily Perl Kinglsey (a short essay you can read for free on the net)
  • Aussergewöhnlich by Conny Rapp (now Conny Wenk, the photographer I talked about earlier). A great book about mothers and her children with Down Syndrome. When we had Sean this was the best book to get. Nothing scientific, but heart warming, optimistic and uplifting.
    I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about DS organizations and have a further look around. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+.

 

What am I giving away?

The year my son and I were bornI am giving away a copy of The year my son and I were born by Kathryn Lynard Soper.

This is the blurb:

With six other children at home, Kathryn Lynard Soper was prepared for the challenges another newborn would bring. But after Thomas’s complicated birth, his diagnosis—Down syndrome—forced her to face her deepest fears and weaknesses, her ignorance and prejudice, and her limitations as a mother and as a human being. Her struggle, coupled with the demands of caring for a fragile baby and juggling her family’s needs, sparked the worst episode of depression she’d experienced in decades.
The Year My Son and I Were Born is Soper’s brutally honest yet beautiful account of how she escaped a downward spiral of despair and emerged with newfound peace. Antidepressant therapy restored her equilibrium, and interactions with friends and family brought needed perspective. But the most profound change came through her growing relationship with Thomas. His radiant presence shone through her outer layers of self, where fear and guilt festered, and reached the center of her very being—where love, acceptance, and gratitude blossomed in abundance.

I am ordering the book from The Book Depository for you, so the giveaway is open to all countries The Book Depository delivers to.

Enter the giveaway

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment and tell me why you would like to read this book. Please, don’t forget your name and email address.

The other participants

Don’t forget to hop on to the other participating blogs and have fun!

You can find a full list of participants either at I am a reader, not a writer or at Reading Away the Days and
Reading a Little Bit of Everything.

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Kicking off Bloggiesta

Bloggiesta

I have been looking forward to a new Bloggiesta for a long time. The last one was in January last year and a lot of stuff needs to be done again. Apart from the mini challenges posted on various blogs I have my personal to-do-list – admittedly it is not very long but might be time consuming nonetheless. Bloggiesta officially starts tomorrow, but already blogs are buzzing with bloggiesta activity.

For general updates of the event, links to participants and challenges you can either visit the two Bloggiesta hosts  It’s all about books and There’s a book and/or follow @Bloggiesta on Twitter and/or look for  the hashtag #bloggiesta to see all the chatting that is going on. There is also a twitter list of participants.

My to-do-list:

  • Either create another header or at least change the font a bit or the colors or something. It needs SOME sort of change.
  • Slightly change my review template
  • Re-organize blog tags
  • Re-organize categories
  • Re-organize my Goodreads shelves (not directly blog related, but GR keeps my reading somewhat organized so it is important)
  • Visit new blogs and maybe make a few new blogging friends
    Are you participating in Bloggiesta? What are your plans?
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Week on the web

weekontheweb

Here are my finds for this week…

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Quizzical Monday

quizzical_monday

It’s time for another “Quizzical Monday”!

Question:

Who are the two men that “The first man in Rome” by Colleen McCullough  is about?

Leave a comment with your answer. Then, to see whether you got it right,  click on "Show" below.  As usual, there is nothing to be won, this is just for fun!

Answer SelectShow
Article

The finer points of sausage dogs by Alexander McCall Smith

The finer points of sausage dogsBlurb:

In The Finer Points of Sausage Dogs, Professor Dr. Von Igelfeld is mistaken for a veterinarian and not wanting to call attention to the faux pas, begins practicing veterinary medicine without a license. He ends up operating on a friend’s dachshund to dramatic and unfortunate effect. He also transports relics for a schismatically challenged Coptic prelate, and is pursued by marriage-minded widows on board a Mediterranean cruise ship.

 

 

 


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes

For people who like: smart and humorous stories


My thoughts: 

This is the second book in the series about Prof. Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld and it is not quite as funny as the first one, but that is maybe only down to the fact that I now knew what to expect. The first book Portuguese Irregular Verbs came as a complete surprise and that added to the enjoyment of the book. When I started the second book the bar was set very high.

There are only five chapters (fittingly numbered in German) which are self contained stories again, loosely connected by sausage dogs. He has to lecture on them even though he has no clue about them and, in fact, strongly dislikes them. Subsequently he is forced to disfigure the dog of his colleague Unterholzer. This slightly damages their relationship. unitl later, when they find the perfect use for the sausage dog on wheels.

In another story von Igelfeld is on a cruise (now that I come to think of it, he would probably strongly agree with David Foster Wallace on this) and is hunted by dozens of widows and spinsters in search of a suitable husband. So he manages to extricate himself by fleeing from the ship. Next, this happens:

Von Igelfeld, presumably dead and lost at sea, is coming home from the cruise and his colleague Unterholzer who already settled in von Igelfeld’s office is rather surprised to see him.

“Oh, Moritz-Maria, I am so pleased that you are alive! I cannot tell you how sad I was…” he stopped as he realized his terrible solecism. He had addressed von Igelfeld by his first name, and they had only known one another for, what was it, fifteen years?

Oh, yes, it is not as inconceivable as it sounds… To set your mind at ease let me tell you that the two men decided to say “du” to each other from now on and go and have a drink on their newly found “brotherhood”.

This is another delightful instalment in the series. Now on to number three!


Product info and buy link :

Title The finer points of sausage dogs
Author Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher Anchor
ISBN 9781400095087
I got this book from I swapped it
Buy link Buy The finer points of sausage dogs
More info The Portuguese Irregular Verbs series

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Article

Weekend cooking: Kiss me Cake!

kissmecake

Christine Bergmayer is  German’s unofficial “beste Zuckerbäckerin” (best confectioner). Among other places she worked at Harrod’s in London as a patissiere and brought back a bunch of delicious British recipes that make your mouth water.

The recipes range from cakes to picknick recipes to puddings, from delicacies for the 5 o’clock tea to pub grub to the time after dinner. They are not all sweet, you can also find tuna-cucumber-sandwich, cheese-onion-pie or sausage rolls.

All the recipes are accompanied by very nice photographs of the food, as well as pictures from life in the UK. Interspersed are little anecdotes and musings about England. A very nice combination.

I tried out one recipe already, the Cheese Scones. I love scones, especially with a very large amount of clotted cream, but the ones in this recipe are savoury instead of sweet. But also very nice!

 

Cheese sconesCheese scones

Ingredients:

  • 500g flour
  • 90g butter at room temperature
  • 20g baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tiny bit of pepper
  • 250g grated Cheddar cheese
  • 250ml milk

My scones look rather flat because I rolled out the dough only half as high as I was supposed to. You see, I wanted to get more out of it…that might have led to a firmer consistency, but they were still very nice.

Mix flour, butter, baking soda, salt and pepper in a mxing bowl until you see no more butter flakes. Add grated cheddar and milk and mix with a spatula. Knead the dough and roll out 3cm thick. Cut squares of about 5×5 cm (I did circles instead) and put on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Let them rest for an hour,  covered with  a kitchen towel.

Brush milk on the top of the scones (I forgot that, dozy me) and bake in the in the middle of the preheated oven at 180°C (circulating air at 170°C) for 20 to 25 minutes.

Ms. Bergmayer serves them with a mixture of sour cream, chopped herbs, salt & pepper. Enjoy!

This post is part of

Weekend cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. For the other weekend cooking posts please go there.

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A supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again by David Foster Wallace

A supposedly fun thing I'll never do againSynopsis of the title story:

David Foster Wallace describes his experiences and the excesses on a seven-day-cruise he undertook for Harper’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes, very much, but I have to enjoy David Foster Wallace’s style in small doses

For people who like: Extravagant writing style, very clever authors, excessive use of adjectives and out-of-the-ordinary vocabulary.


My thoughts: 

If you are not a native English speaker (and most likely even if you are) don’t forget to bring your dictionary! God, this guy uses words that I have never heard before and even native speakers that I asked said they had no clue what he meant. Not sure whether this means David Foster Wallace is (was) so very clever that only a handful of people (none of which I know) understand him 100% or whether he just likes to throw around obscure adjectives for the heck of it.

You want an example? The “preterite staff” of a cruise ship. I have found plenty of websites on the net where they quote the passage containing that term, but none of them questiones the meaning, so there must be people to whom it makes sense. I don’t know what “preterite staff” could possibly mean. Maybe someone can enlighten me.

Anyway, this story was extremely funny and people who have been on cruises will probably recognize a lot of their own experiences in it. Mr. Wallace is not the typical cruise vacationer, that’s for sure, and his observations are delivered with a certain air of resignation about the state of humankind. His analyses of hierarchy among the staff and other topics border on the obsessive with so many twists and ifs ands or buts in his thought process that they are interesting and very amusing to follow, but at the same time you go “bloody hell, don’t make it more complicated that it has to be!”

I did notice a certain tendency to go on about Aryans in various contexts, something I don’t overly appreciate, but maybe I am a tiny bit sensitive here.

Oh, and if you are a lover of footnotes, you will have a blast. Sometimes the footnotes are over a page and sometimes even the footnotes have footnotes! This was the first story by David Foster Wallace I ever read, but it won’t be my last. Just, I have to digest him in small doses. 


Movie tip:

The Love Boat (then again, maybe not)

 


Product info and buy link :

Title A supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again
Author David Foster Wallace
Publisher Abacus
ISBN 9780349110011
I got this book from I bought it
Buy link Buy A supposedly fun thing I’ll never do again
More info More about David Foster Wallace and his books

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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Portuguese Irregular Verbs by Alexander McCall Smith

Portuguese Irregular VerbsBlurb:

Welcome to the insane and rarified world of Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld of the Institute of Romance Philology. Von Igelfeld is engaged in a never-ending quest to win the respect he feels certain he is due–a quest which has the tendency to go hilariously astray.

 

 

 

 

 


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     Yes, very much

For people who like: absurd, comical stories that make you laugh really hard


My thoughts: 

I didn’t know what to expect from “Portuguese Irregular Verbs” and I never would have thought that a book with such a boring title (any Portuguese speaking readers may forgive me) could be that entertaining! I was laughing so hard while reading this book; this is one of the funniest books I have read in a long while.

Of course, being German myself, Prof. Dr. Moritz-Maria von Igelfeld was even more enjoyable because I could recognize the German in him. The book has no ongoing plot or story arc, but it consists of self-contained stories from the life of our hero, startting at his time as a student to now (now being sometime in the 1950s).

The ideas Alexander McCall Smith comes up with are hilarious, starting from von Igelfeld’s musings about the names of his friends/foes (you are never quite sure) at the institute to the planned re-naming of his book in order to look better as a decorative furnishing to the tennis match where nobody will ever win. There are so many little, funny moments in this book, there is something to laugh or smile about on every page.

The names of our protagonists alone! Prof- Dr. Moritz Maria von Igelfeld, Detlev Amadeus Unterholzer (no hyphen and no “von”, if you please) and Florianus Prinzel are a troika to be remembered. It is also noteworthy that all the German phrases and words used are spelled properly and grammatically correct.

The book is rather short, but fortunately there are more in the series and I am very much looking forward to reading them. Absolutely recommended!


Product info and buy link :

Title Portuguese Irregular Verbs
Author Alexander McCall Smith
Publisher Anchor Books
ISBN 9781400077083
I got this book from I swapped it
Buy link Buy Portuguese Irregular Verbs
More info The Portuguese Irregular Verbs series

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

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Quizzical Monday

quizzical_monday

It’s time for another “Quizzical Monday”!

Question:

What is the address that Mary Ann Singleton moves into after coming to San Francisco?

Leave a comment with your answer. Then, to see whether you got it right,  click on "Show" below.  As usual, there is nothing to be won, this is just for fun!

Answer SelectShow
Article

In my mailbox


Hosted by The Story Siren

 

Only two books this week…

I swapped

For review

organizedartemisia

 

What was in YOUR mailbox recently? 

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Weekend cooking: Weeknights with Giada by Giada de Laurentiis

Weeknights with GiadaBlurb:

After a full day, Giada, like most parents, wants nothing more than to sit down for a home-cooked dinner with her husband, Todd, and their daughter, Jade. Weeknights with Giada rises to the challenge, delivering soups, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, and meat and fish dishes that come together quickly as stand-alone main courses—most in half an hour or less […] From inventive breakfast-for-dinner dishes and meatless Monday vegetarian recipes—both weekly traditions in Giada’s house—to picnic sandwiches and hearty salad recipes for reinventing leftovers, Weeknights with Giada reveals every secret in her repertoire. Even the desserts are quick to mix and bake, should a craving—or a last-minute school bake sale—strike.


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:     So so

For people who like: cooking, Italian meal ideas that are not run-of-the-mill


My thoughts: 

I like Giada de Laurentiis. We have another Italian cookbook by her about which I talked some time ago, Everyday Italian.  So I thought it might be interesting to have a look at another cookbook about dinner for families during the week.

The subtitle of this book is “Quick and simple recipes to revamp dinner”, but, frankly, I didn’t find the recipes so simple and quick. Filet Mignon with rosemary and mushroom gravy or Grilled fish kebobs with parsley and garlic butter are not really my number one choices for a quick family meal. Also, there are not THAT many vegetarian recipes in the book. OK, it was not classified as veggie book, so I am not complaining about it, but I won’t recreate a lot of those recipes, that is for certain.

There are a few pasta recipes that sound nice, but my sons are rather discerning when it comes to what they eat (in a negative way, I may add. Everything too healthy or elaborate is a no no). Arugula, brown rice and whole wheat penne are no kitchen staples in our house, I am afraid.

One chapter, “Breakfast for dinner” will definitely find the approval of the boys, however. Almond pancakes, peach and cherry frittata or crepes with peanut butter and jam don’t sound like dinner, but will certainly draw them to the table.

Somehow I would have expected easier recipes with less ingredients. But if you love cooking, even during the week after work, you will find lots of inspiration in this book. Then again, if you are a vegetarian, don’t bother!


Product info and buy link :

Title Weeknights with Giada: Quick and simple recipes to revamp dinner
Author Giada de Laurentiis
Publisher Clarkson Potter
ISBN 978-0307451026
I got this book from Netgalley
Buy link Buy Weeknights with Giada (release March 27)
More info Giada de Laurentiis’ website

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Also have a look at Bookchickdi’s review. She liked it better than I did. 

This post is part of

Weekend cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. For the other weekend cooking posts please go there.

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Book beginnings on Friday

verbs

Today’s beginning is from a very fun read by Alexander McCall Smith, “Portuguese Irregular Verbs”.

Professor Dr. Moritz-Maria Von Igelfeld often reflected on how fortunate he was to be exactly who he was, and nobody else. When one paused to think of who one might have been had the accident of birth not happened precisely as it did, then, well, one could be quite franky appalled.

What is YOUR book beginning today? To see more book beginnings go to A few more pages!

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Crafty Tuesday: The photobook

crafty_tuesday

Some time ago I got a coupon from a company producing photo books, calendars and other photo gifts. They are operating in various countries, in Germany and other European countries they are called Cewe Fotobuch, in the US they are Smilebooks. I hadn’t used that company before and was curious to see their product, especially because their rates are quite good and considerably cheaper than some of their competitors’. The coupon was reason enough for me to finally finish my photobook of 2009 (!). The production only took a few days and in Germany you can have it delivered to a retail shop of various partners and so even save postage costs.

I was very pleased with the result, the quality is very good and sturdy (this is the standard kind, not the luxury one), I had it within a few days (upload on the 6th, pick up at shop on the 10th) and the customer service is extremely friendly and speedy. I never use any of the offered designs because I upload complete scrapbook pages, but there are tons of designs, colors and styles to choose from, so there is something for everybody, and creating the book couldn’t be easier.

Here are just a few of the pages: yearbook

If you have photos lying around on your HD and are too lazy to print them and stick them into a photo album, either because of the time commitment, the bulk or the mess, you should consider a photobook!

Have you done anything crafty lately? Let me know, I am always looking for inspiration.

 

Disclaimer:

I got the coupon for a photobook from Cewe in exchange for a link to their services on my scrapbooking website and not for a blog post about the photobook. But I was so pleased with the result that I chose to write about them anyway.

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Quizzical Monday

quizzical_monday

It’s time for another “Quizzical Monday”!

Question:

What is the name of the “hero” in Alexander McCall Smith’s “Portuguese Irregular Verbs” series?

Hint: I mentioned the books in one of my recent IMM posts.

Leave a comment with your answer. Then, to see whether you got it right,  click on "Show" below.  As usual, there is nothing to be won, this is just for fun!

Answer SelectShow
Article

In my mailbox


Hosted by The Story Siren

 

I swapped

  • The first man in Rome by Colleen McCullough. This has been on my wishlist for a long time. The first book in a series, this one is dealing with Marius and Sulla.
  • The way we work by David Macauley. I saw this on Wallace’s Goodreads’ to-read list and immediately wanted to have it.

 

From the library

  •   Kiss me cake with recipes for British delicacies by Christine Bergmayer, a German patissiere.

What was in YOUR mailbox recently?  Check out other In my mailbox participants here.

Article

The book of lost fragrances by M. J. Rose

lost_fragrances

Very short synopsis:

The Book of Lost Fragrances fuses history, passion, and suspense, moving from Cleopatra’s Egypt and the terrors of revolutionary France to Tibet’s battle with China and the glamour of modern-day Paris. Jac’s quest for the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.the ancient perfume someone is willing to kill for becomes the key to understanding her own troubled past.

 

  

 


In a nutshell:

I read it in: English

I liked it:    Not really, it was a DNF

For people who like: Not sure, I didn’t get past page 45. 


My thoughts (remember, it was a DNF for me, so take it with a grain of salt):

I got this book after I received an email specifically about this book from Netgalley and thought it looked and sounded interesting. Ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, a fragrance, what is not to like?

The first chapter is set in Egypt when Napoleon’s men discover an unusual tomb with a mummified couple and a fragrance so powerful, only a glimpse (or rather a tiny sniff) causes the men present to get rapterous and have visions of past love. This turned me off quite a bit, not because I don’t like the idea per se but it seemed extremely similar to Patrick Süskind’s “Perfume”. If we had been told (maybe we are, I will never know) that that fragrance was manufactured with the help of a dozen murdered virgins I wouldn’t be in the least surprised.

Anyway, then there is a chapter about the main character Jac who has always had visions and they are still plaguing her. I am sorry to say that

a. I can’t stand visions in general, I am not for psychic mumbo jumbo, and

b. visions are too easy a way to link otherwise unconnected things and resolve them.

Then there is a chapter about two Chinese discussing the recent problems between China and Tibet concerning the re-incarnation of a lama.

That was when I realized that the blurb above was not exaggerating. Ancient Egypt, the psychological problems of a Franco-American perfumer and all the other topics thrown together were just too big a hodgepodge of ideas and just didn’t do it for me.

However, if you like complicated stories with lots of storylines (that come together at the end, or so I have heard) and haven’t read “Perfume”, this might be the right book for you.


Product info and buy link :

Title The book of lost fragrances
Author M. J. Rose
Publisher Atria Books
ISBN 9781451621303
I got this book from Netgalley
Buy link Buy The book of lost fragrances

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book Depository.co.uk. If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

Read this post on The Book of Lost Fragrances at Beth Fish Reads 

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Lunar love giveaway hop

 

 

 

 

 

 
Welcome to the Lunar Love Giveaway Hop!

The Lunar Love Giveaway Hop is hosted by I am a reader, not a writer and Bookworm Lisa.

I hope you are enjoying your stay at my blog and have a look around. If you would like to know about future giveaways and new posts in general please consider subscribing to my RSS feed or follow me on twitter. You can also add me on Google+.

lunar_love netley

What am I giving away?

I need more room on my shelves and therefore I am giving away a used copy of Jane and the Ghosts of Netley by Stephanie Barron. It is the 7th book in the Jane Austen Mysteries series and this is its blurb:

In her seventh captivating adventure, Jane Austen finds her crime-solving mettle put to the test in a confounding case of intrigue, murder, and high treason. Among the haunted ruins of an ancient abbey, Jane is drawn into a shadow world of dangerous secrets and traitorous hearts where not only her life is at stake–but the fate of England.

Above is a picture of the actual book you will be getting. It is in good condition, but it IS a used book, so please don’t expect it to be pristine!

Oh, and, by the way, this is “One of the season’s twistiest, tautest, most tantalizing tales of sleuthery!” that I asked for under No. 2 in my Quizzical Monday post here.

Enter the giveaway

To enter all you need to do is leave a comment. Please, don’t forget your name and email address.

The other participants

Don’t forget to hop on to the other participating blogs and have fun! You will find a list of participants at  I am a reader, not a writer and  at  Bookworm Lisa.

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Week on the web

weekontheweb

Here are my finds for this week…