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My bookish Christmas gifts

Two bookish gifts for me that I am really looking forward to read and watch:

A cabinet of Roman curiosities

A cabinet of Roman curiosities by J.C. McKeown.

This one has been on my wishlist for a long time. In structure it reminds me a bit of Schott’s Miscellany, in that it is just a number of “strange tales and surprising facts”.

 

Night train to Lisbon

 

The movie “Night train to Lisbon” with Jeremy Irons. I just hope they didn’t butcher the wonderful Nachtzug nach Lissabon by Pascal Mercier. Relying on Bille August here.

Will be watching it tonight. 

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My reading list for July and June recap

readinglist

In June I

I also

This month I am planning to

  • read a couple of book that I got on Netgalley
  • continue Hunting and gathering by Anna Gavalda

I think I am giving up on the Caitlin Moran book for now. I can’t find the right mood to continue it now. Maybe in winter.

How was YOUR reading month?

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My June reading list and May recap

readinglist

In May I

Also I

This month I am planning to

  • finish a couple of Amish cook books
  • continue with How to be a woman by Caitlin Moran, a book I was looking forward to but am not thrilled about.
    I am at chapter 2 and don’t find it very appealing, neither the topics she covers nor the writing style.

How was YOUR reading month?

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My reading list for May and April recap

readinglist

Wow, April went by so quickly. I only noticed it was time for another recap when I saw another one pop up in my RSS feed.

In April I

Also I

This month I am planning to

  • finish The Borgias by G. J. Meyer which is a great non-fiction read
  • read a couple more books on ancient Rome that I got from the library
  • watch another movie for my Baskerville marathon

How was YOUR reading month?

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My reading list for April and March recap

readinglist

I didn’t realize it was such a busy month until I started writing this post. In March I

Also I

 

This month I am planning to

  • go ahead with the new Non-fiction giveaway blog hop that will take place the last weekend in April. You can sign up for it here.
  • read a biography of Sulla by Jörg Fündling

How was YOUR reading month?

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My reading list for March and February recap

readinglist

In February I

Also I

This month I am planning to

  • continue “The Grass Crown” by Colleen McCullough. I got back into it again, I just wish it wasn’t so bloody heavy in weight.
  • finish “August is a wicked month” by Edna O’Brien

 

How was YOUR reading month?

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Weekend cooking: Re-arranging cookbooks

I am taking a break from my NEW52 Foodie project to talk a little about my cookbooks. Until now I had my cookbooks all over the place. Some were in the kitchen (window sill, shelves), some were in the living room, some in the clutter-y spare room with books, DVDs and a messy desk study at the far end on the floor under tons of other books. Now that I want to discover new recipes this was no good anymore and I had to re-arrange them a bit. I collected all of them and put them on a table, sorted out the ones I didn’t need anymore (in fact it was only one book I set aside as it was chicken recipes only), sorted them loosely and put them on one big shelf in the living room.

My cookbooks

I know, the collection is not nearly as big as other participants’ but I still enjoy looking at the books all gathered in one place. And it makes browsing for new recipes so much easier. I discovered a few small books that I never even knew we had and already found new recipes to try.

There is nothing like re-arranging books to boost your creativity!
How are your cookbooks sorted? All in one place? Favourites in the kitchen, the rest banned to a secluded spot?

As for new recipes I made another meal I found through a Weekend Cooking fellow blogger. It is a absolutely delicious Slow Cooker Lentil Cauliflower Stew that I found on The Law Student’s Cookbook. Another family favourite from now on.

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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My reading list for February and January recap

readinglist

In January I

This month I am planning to

  • oh, well, continue The Grass Crown which is so so excellent, but at the same time so heavy (weight wise) that I can’t take it anywhere or even read it in bed comfortably.
  • continue Started early, took my dog by Kate Atkinson
  • MAYBE continue to listen This is how you lose her by Junot Diaz – I realized audio books are not for me. I don’t enjoy being read to. At all.

How was YOUR reading month?

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My reading list for January and December / 2012 recap

readinglist

In December I

  • read and reviewed The lost art of gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith  My review * Goodreads
  • read and reviewed Just one night: The stranger by Kyra Davis  My review * Goodreads
  • Read and reviewed Murder is binding by Lorna Barrett  My review * Goodreads
  • DNF’ed Murder Unleashed by Elaine Viets  Goodreads
  • read and reviewed Chapter and Hearse by Lorna Barrett  My review * Goodreads 
  • read Fix-it and Forget-it Holiday Main Dishes and Sides by Phyllis Pellman Good  Goodreads


Additionally I

This month I am planning to

  • try to finish the Grass Crown which I hope to enter in Birgit’s 2013 chunkster challenge (in reality the challenge has a nicer name than that)
  • finish all my other “currently reading” books which would be really great. I’d love to start the new year all clean and tidy.

As for the challenges I participated in

Mount TBR Challenge:
I didn’t read all of the ten books that I first planned to read (in fact I read two), but nevertheless I reduced my TBR pile considerably. So I call it a success.

Narnia Reading Project:
FAIL! My own project, too. But, after the first book I gave up. I suppose you have to read Narnia for the first time as a kid and not as an adult.

2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge:
My goal was 56 book minimum and I read 62. Success.

Books read in 2012

Venice in February Reading Challenge:
Started one book and DNF’ed it. Fail.

Tea & Books Reading Challenge:
Planned to read two books and finished one. Fail.

If you would like to see what challenges I joined for 2013, go here.

My TBR pile and the book buying ban:
When I started the ban in June I had 65 books waiting to be read that I owned already. Today that number is 43. I haven’t read all of those in the meantime, but I purged the pile a bit more and got rid of some books that I know I won’t read. Apart from some gifted books and a few swapped ones I haven’t acquired a single book since June. I am proud of myself.

I additionally created a “read maybe” shelf on Goodreads which is exclusive, where I put books I might read in the future and don’t want to forget about, but I don’t consider seriously just yet. The to-read books include 22 books on my wishlist.

Goodreads status now:

Goodreads 31.12.12

I am pretty happy with this.

How about you? How did your challenges / buying bans go?

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My reading list for December and November recap

readinglist

In November I only read

I decided to join two reading challenges in 2013

This month I am planning to

Other than that, no idea, it is going to be a busy month with Christmas coming. I’ll read when and what I feel like.

How was YOUR reading month?

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My reading list for November and October recap

readinglist

I thought October was another slow reading month for me, but when I look at my compiled list it wasn’t so bad after all.

  • October also was the month of the Literary Giveaway Blog Hop where I gave away a set of bookmarks.
  • I visited our new library.
  • I gave my blog a new look and got a couple of new features: 
  • My new template has various post types so that I can just slot in a little quote post without a title, which I find rather cool. I haven’t tried out other post types as I find the WordPress interface for writing posts rather clumsy – frankly, I hate it. 
  • At the top menu there is an item called Archives now which lists all blog posts arranged by date. So with one click you can find all posts from, let’s say, a specific month in list format. I quite like that.

In November I really would like to get on with The Grass Crown, especially because I want to have it finished by the end of the year for Birgit’s Tea & Books Reading Challenge.
I want to finish “What matters in Jane Austen” by John Mullan and “All the money in the world” by Laura Vanderkam. I am not sure whether I actually will finish the latter, I think I am not in this book’s target group.

Did you have a good reading month and what is on your reading list now? 

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The Goodreads Choice Awards 2012

OMG, I feel embarrassed.

Today I received an email (like probably 5 million others) asking me to vote for the best books in various categories in the Goodreads Choice Awards 2012.

My short evaluation of the various categories (I am aware that I can nominate books if I wish to, but for now let’s stick to the ones already nominated):

  • Fiction: Haven’t read one of the nominees. Ooops! Did discover one author I want to try out though (Junot Díaz)
  • Myster & Thriller: Not one, BUT I do know Alexander McCall Smith, just that I can’t stand his Mme. Ramotswe series.
  • Historical fiction: Not one, BUT I bought one of them (Hilary Mantel) for John. Does that count?
  • Fantasy: Not one, that was to be expected.
  • Paranormal Fantasy: Not one, but at least I know a couple of the series, even though I have lost interest. Gail Carriger is, well, soso, and I was shocked to discover that by now there is the 21st Anita Blake book out. I would have assumed by now she has died from too much ardeur.
  • Science Fiction: Nah.
  • Romance: Strangely enough, quite a few of them are paranormal as well, does this mean anything. Does regular romance lose its appeal? I also discovered that Fifty Shades sequel or second sequel or whatever it is on the list. Awful! Where is the romance in that one?

All the rest I will cover with a cloak of silence. It seems the Goodreads Choice Awards are not for me. Some book blogger I am!

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Book locations: Our new library

After a three year long renovation our new library opened its doors today. It was an old building that got completely redone inside and out. The new building is only meant for fiction, children’s literature, the musical library and the historical science library. The non-fiction books are still in the old building that is attached to the new one. So our lovely library café is still there for everyone to enjoy.

The new building is VERY modern, with lots of empty space, lots of concrete and stylish furniture. A lot of the books are still gone as patrons were encouraged to check out as many books as possible before the move.

They created a super nice children’s area with lots of seats and a little auditorium for readings etc. The employees were exceptionally helpful and nice today, we will see whether that will last or whether they will go back to their old behaviour. They have even extended their opening hours and – gasp – are now open on Wednesdays. Pure luxury! The most exciting feature is a drop box where we can now return our books after the library closes. I know, this is a standard service in a lot of places, but it is a true novelty here. No more late fees for me – hopefully.

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My first set of calendar bookmarks

crafty_tuesday

My first set of calendar bookmarks for 2013 is finished and I really like the way they turned out after all. Especially considering that it took no time at all to do them.

cal1_web

See the first three months in more detail here. To assemble them I will either just staple them at the top (pretty rough method, I know, but quick) or punch a hole and tie them with a nice and colourful ribbon.

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

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My reading list for October and September recap

readinglist

In September I

This month I am planning to:

oh, I have no idea. September was so busy with various projects that I had hardly any time for reading, so I will just see where October will take me. 

How was YOUR reading month?

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Harry Potter: activities

hpreadalong

I am still reading The Philosopher’s Stone and am getting nowhere with it. The kids haven’t even been sorted into their houses yet, somehow I find the read drags on and on and is rather, um, boring. Maybe, even though I can never remember a thing, I remember still too much to enjoy the re-read.

On the other hand, I am active on the visual front. We have been watching a few Harry potter films (left out the third one as I don’t like those dementors and the whole Azkaban topic) and are now in the middle of the Order of the Phoenix. God, that Umbridge woman! A terrible, terrifying creature! Her rosy cheeks, her giggling, fanatism and pink room make my stomach turn. Imelda Staunton does such a great job playing her! To finish off our HP movie marathon I still need to get the last three films, so it will be a little while before we can conclude the series.

Maybe I should have joined a HP watchalong?! But – there is still some time before the readalong finishes, I might get into it after all.

And, yet on another note, I found this great article at Cracked.com about the 5 most depraved sex scenes implied by Harry Potter. A must-read for Harry Potter fans!

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My lists project

crafty_tuesday

Remember the 30 lists project I mentioned in my last recap post? Well, it is in full swing and I am having a blast. The only downside is that I don’t get anything else done. To create a list every day is quite time consuming if you don’t just scribble it on a piece of paper, let me tell you. Plus, I don’t want to fall behind, I know that one day without making the list will be the end of it, so I am keeping at it.

Want to see my lists so far? Aren’t they pretty? Well, I think they are, :).

My first batch of lists

If you would like to take a closer look you can view them on my flickr set or my Pinterest board (now you know the REAL reason I am so busy, I am uploading all day).

As far as reading is concerned, I am still reading the first Harry Potter, but find it strangely unattractive. Somehow I am not getting into it. And I started to continue The Grass Crown. My only complaint about that one, you can’t take it anywhere, it weighs a whopping 1.2kg. No bathtub read, unfortunately.

What are you all up to, be it crafty or otherwise?

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Top five books on my fall TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday

This is a hard one as I am never planning ahead much, and if I do the plan usually gets thrown over quickly. However, as I have signed up for the Harry Potter readalong, at least a few books will be HP books. I am pretty sure I won’t read all of them before the end of the year, I am no Harry Potter aficionado.

So, my preliminary Top Ten Five Books for fall look like this:

 

 

Top five books on my fall TBR list
  • Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone by J. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets by J. K. Rowling
  • Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban by J. K. Rowling
  • The Grass Crown by Colleen McCullough. About time to get going with this one.
  • Shades of Earl Grey by Laura Childs. This is my second book of that cozy series that I own. I must know whether it gets any better. With the first one I was not 100% convinced.

I can’t plan more than five books, and that is already stretching it. Any more would be pure speculation.

What are your Top Ten/Five/Three Books on your fall tbr list?

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You will find tons of more Top Ten Tuesday participants there.

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My reading list for September and August recap

readinglist

In August I

This month I have so much stuff planned that I don’t know when I am going to read (except for Harry Potter)…

I am going to be busy!

How was YOUR reading month? And what are your plans for September?

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Harry Potter readalong

hpreadalong

My Bookish confessions yesterday caused Chinoiseries to tell me about the Harry Potter read along starting on September 1. How fun! Just what I need to get reacquainted with Harry Potter & friends (at least for a few days until I finish the book).

The read along is hosted by lost generation reader and goes until middle of December. I should be able to read at least a few of the books in that period; seeing that I am a notoriously slow reader I might not make them all. I will stick to the original novels because I am not interested in other J.K. Rowling books or HP secondary literature.

Just in case you have forgotten what the seven Harry Potter books are called, here is a list:

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
  • Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Who else is going to join us, sharing reviews and chatting about Harry Potter?

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Top Ten Bookish Confessions

Top Ten Tuesday

This won’t come as a surprise for some of my visitors, because my deplorable reading habits have already been discussed at length at a Friday Coffee Chat a long time ago.

But I might be able to come up with a few more, so here we go….

 

 

 

Top Ten Six Bookish Confessions

1. I dog ear

2. I break spines

3. I miss the due date at the library by 1 day, then have to pay for the full week

4. I sometimes, only sometimes, read the last page of a book when I am somewhere in the middle. However, that doesn’t tell me much as the last page invariably mentions people I haven’t heard of yet.

5. I almost never buy books new. Instead I swap or buy them used. The last book I bought new was “Girl Reading” and that was only because it wasn’t available as a used book anywhere.

6. The second I finish a Harry Potter book and close it I have forgotten the plot. I am not kidding. I do remember some events, like the Quidditch championship or that contest where that Quidditch talent with the Russian name rescues Hermione (a fact I could never understand, by the way, he only knew her a short time) from whatever threat (see, I have even forgotten that), but basically I have no clue about HP. All I know is that it is good boy vs. Mr. Evil.

Jean Rostand said:

Prerequisite for re-readability in books: that they be forgettable.

With that in mind, for me the Harry Potter books are as re-readable as they can get.

What are your Top Ten Bookish Confessions? I am curious!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. You will find tons of more Top Ten Tuesday participants there.

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Calendar Bookmarks Jan – Mar

Remember the templates I showed you the other day?

I am not at all sure I like my bookmarks. Somehow I think I should go for a more artsy look than for cutesy. This is easy, really quickly done – especially because I used premade wordart so far (being lazy, you see). But is it really worth doing it in that way? Or maybe finish this set and then do another artsy one?

What do you think? If they were a gift for you would you like them?

bookmarks1-3

Credits: Jen Wilson, Summer Simmons, Nina & Ashalee Wall, Angie Hinksman, Meredith Fenwick, Rhonda (DWD CD), Fei Fei