My reading list for January and December / 2012 recap


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?


I need to get my a** in gear

Yes, that is true. You might think that I have been a slacker in regards to reading lately, and you are not completely wrong.


Image from Stock Exchange user nickobec

I am obsessed with finishing “The First Man in Rome”, but as I am mostly reading at night and the book is so gigantic and heavy, after about 15 minutes it gets too much. It’s not a little paperback you can shift around but a monster of a book. I still have about 350 pages to go, so there is not much reading to talk about at the moment.

The non-fiction photography book I am reading “Beyond Snapshots” is really very nice and educational and great to look at but I hate reading books with lots of images (photography unfortunately has a lot to do with images) on the e-reader, and at the same time I hate reading books on the PC. I just downloaded it for the second time – luckily it was still available – but I learned my lesson. No more “picture e-books” for me.

Then “Girl Reading” is waiting for me. I must start on that one soon, it is looking at me expectantly every night from my bedside table.

Right now my book buying ban is in place already and what happens? Awesome books (my go-to book store) have sent me another coupon! I need to persevere. But 20% off is such a good deal… What to do?

Plus, my new German digital scrapbooking blog is coming along nicely and picking up, so I am eager to provide content to keep it going. Two blogs = hard work indeed, especially if both blogs involve a lot of time consuming activity besides blogging.

Is anyone else maintaining two blogs with different subjects? How do you do it?


Goodreads purge and book buying ban

I decided today that my Goodreads lists (i.e. my TBR pile also) needed to be purged. I know many of you will laugh about me when I say that my TBR list contains 140 books, but to me this seems quite a lot and needs some downsizing – and a book buying ban to boot.

I had a closer look at my TBR list and found that I keep adding books that I hear or read about which are unlikely to ever get read by me. I switched a lot of them over to my “read maybe” list, which is a euphemism for “think about it and probably discard the idea”.

I am sad to say that six Narnia books went that way as well. I know, it is my own project and I am not giving it up completely, but the first book so disappointed me that I can’t be bothered to continue at this point.

OK, so where does this leave me? My TBR list is down to 124 books, 44 of which are the “probably never” kind. I should make this hopeless shelf exclusive, shouldn’t I? So 80 books to read, which sounds do-able. 15 of those books I do not own yet, which means I have 65 books at home waiting to be read. Perfect!


Until I have read a significant number of those 65 books I won’t buy another book. What would a significant number be? 20? 20 sounds good to me, that is almost 30%!

Oh, swapping is allowed, btw, simply because sometimes the opportunity comes along to swap a book that I have been searching for and it would be stupid not to to grasp it, wouldn’t it?

OK, the ban has come into effect as of now… Anybody care to join me?


September book buying ban wrap-up

It’s the last day of September so the book buying ban is more or less over. Actually I was good, however, I did order two books a few days ago. BUT, they have not arrived yet, so I will be easy on myself and not count them. I bought the two books for the Steampunk challenge which will start tomorrow and I wanted to be prepared.

Apart from those I only bought two books as gifts for a friend’s birthday (The Gargoyle and the Baking kit) and read a few books for review that I explicitly excluded from the ban.

All in all I am pretty happy with myself.

How about you? Did you persevere or did you break the ban?


Steampunk challenge update

Wow, I am totally overwhelmed by the response to the challenge. I’m still working on the list of participants, but will post it asap. So far 27 people have signed up and a lot of steampunk lovers have given us tons of recommendations.

There are even a few reviews up already even though the challenge hasn’t even begun officially. Isn’t that great? Make sure you go and see what some of us have already read. Seems everybody is quite enthusiastic about it and eager to start. So am I. I ordered two books which should arrive shortly (and broke the book buying ban in the process).

I am going to start with something light and fluffy (according to some), “Soulless” and then will have a look at the “Steampunk” anthology to get a little overview of what is out there.

What are you all going to start with?


The book buying ban and my revised reading list for September

It’s September and the Book buying ban is in effect. And already I am planning what to buy AFTER the ban. You see, Wallace from Unputdownables has bought a Nook. The Nook has nothing to do with me, of course, but Wallace was contemplating what books to buy for it and mentioned one that sounds very interesting. I don’t even read thrillers and in spite of this I want to read I’d Know You Anywhere by Laura Lippman. Guess what, I am going to order it on Oct 1st! As it happens there is the RIP V challenge going on at the time and the book fits perfectly in.

I updated my TBR pile on Goodreads and the actual number of books to read I have right here at my fingertips (not only on a virtual wish list) amounts to a whopping 37. Not too bad at all!

Another thing is my reading list. I know. September has only started and I already have to revise it.

I think I have to make the following changes to the list…

  • “The Gargoyle” is still on. It IS the September read at the Unputdownables Book Club at Goodreads.
  • I will read “The Jane Austen Book Club” simply because I will have to return it soon and I already started reading it.
  • I don’t want to lament again about “The Shipping News” but this book really is not for me. I’ll hang on though.
  • Then I need to put “The Black Dragon” on the back burner. I managed to get “Fugitive” by Cheryl Brooks at my swap site. The Cat Star chronicles are just such fun to read. Fluff, yes, but oh so nice. I’m allergic to cats, but I certainly wouldn’t mind having one of them at home, ;-).
  • Dreamspinner just released “The Outlaw”, a steampunk  m/m romance by Rebecca Leigh. I can’t resist this. I have heard so much about Steampunk, but never read anything, so this opportunity is just too good to pass.

Depending on how quick I am (not too quick I’m afraid, since I also started working again after my vacation) I will read one more of my original list, but this is about it.

image image

Right, so book buying ban. Carin from A little Bookish has put together a list of hints to help us through the month. Hop over to her blog and get a few ideas!


My reading list for September


For our book buying ban in September I went through my TBR pile and decided what books I am going to read in September. I’m planning 7 books, but I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to read them all, since my reading time is limited. 

  • The Gargoyle by Andrew Davidson
    This might be the September read for the Unputdownables book club at Goodreads. I have been wanting to read this book for a long time, I even went to Engelthal last year to have a look at the place. If this will be the September read it would be my first read along of sorts.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
    Seems everybody has read the Millennium trilogy.
  • The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Jay Fowler (from the library)
    Carin already told me she didn’t like it, but I think we have different tastes in books for the most time, so I’m optimistic.
  • The Shipping News by Annie Proulx (I am already reading it but find it hard to get into. I should not have watched the film before reading the book). Not sure whether this won’t turn into a DNF. I’d be very unhappy about it, but I’m not reading something just to be able to say I read it.
  • Girl with a pearl earring by Tracy Chevalier
    I’ve only heard good things about this book.
  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
    So many people recommend it, I just had to get it.
  • And now for something completely different. Super easy reading: The Black Dragon by Allyson James. Paranormal romance, the second instalment in a series. I read and reviewed the first book “Dragon Heat” and was not particularly impressed. However, the second book deals with the characters I very much preferred to read about in the first, so I hope this is going to be better. 

These are the covers I have. Most of the shops here only sell the Canongate issue of The Gargoyle, but I very much prefer the Anchor cover (maybe I’ll show some of its covers in the next comparing covers post), so I waited for a bit until I found it on my book swap site. The same with I capture the castle. This cover below is so much nicer than the one with the castle photograph.

gargoyledragon-tattoo janeaustenclub 

shipping pearlearring castle



September Book Buying Ban

Bella from A Girl Reads Books is hosting a Book Buying Ban in September. When you go over and look at this post about her TBR pile (or rather TBR mountain) you will understand why this is necessary.

I decided to join, not because I desperately need to work my way down a tower that is a mile high but simply because I could do with reading a few books from my stack.

I have adapted Bella’s guidelines a little bit for myself:

(a) No purchasing of new books, regardless of reason, for myself. I can purchase books for other people, as gifts etc;
(b) No entering giveaways or going to the library "to acquire" books;
(c) No borrowing books from any other source, ie. family or friends;
(d) No accepting new review books;  I am not banning review books
(e) My goal is to get down to 2,700 books before I buy a new book. I was thinking of decreasing my pile by about 5 books if that. Actually I am considering giving some of my books in my TBR pile away since I’m not very likely to read them. Still thinking about this. That would be a reduction of sorts, too.

I’m actually already mentally putting a list of books together that I want to read. I want to get through this ban in an efficient way. I’ll post the list shortly.

As a little additional incentive Bella is also organizing a bookish swap where participants are swapping a little bookish item with each other to celebrate the end of the ban.

OK, that’s it for now. Who else is going to join us in September? I’m sure we will need all the cheering on we can get.