The Sunshine Blogger Award

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I was kindly tagged for this by Callum, whose wonderful blog you should all be checking out. Thankfully. Because I am having the work week from hell and I am currently not reading.

Which author that you haven’t read yet are you most excited to try?

The one that comes to mind right now is John Boyne (mostly because Rachel keeps raving about his books).

What’s the best book you read before you started blogging?

Probably Cloud Atlas. I just adore what David Mitchell has achieved with this book – or maybe Ghostwritten which is similar in structure but a lot more accessible (I found the first 70 pages or so of Cloud Atlas nearly impossible to enjoy).

What book do you most want to see as a movie/TV show?

N. K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy. I think, if done correctly as a TV show this could be everything I could ever want. There is so much to explore here and such an interesting cinematography to use, just thinking about it makes me excited.

Which genre do you want to explore more of?

I have actually been thinking about this recently. The last few years I always decided on a genre that I want to try to get into during that year (I started with non-fiction, then did short stories, and this year I am trying to read more novellas and more science fiction) – I loved the process. But if I am totally honest: I think I know now what I like. That does not mean I won’t still be branching out anymore, but I don’t think I will pick any specific genres to read more of during a year. I read fairly widely, with a slant towards fantasy and memoirs and literary fiction, and I think I’d like to keep it that way.

Is the Hogwarts House you’d want to be in the same as the one you think you’d actually be sorted into?

Well. I think I’d be sorted into Ravenclaw (especially with 11 I would have been) – and I think it fits. But the person I aspire to be would be sorted into Hufflepuff. I want to be kind and loyal more than I want to be sharp, if that makes any sense.

(best question ever!)

Do you have any pets?

No. I would love to have a cat but my partner is allergic (it is his worst characteristic).

Are any of your ‘real life’ friends big readers?

I am the biggest reader in my group of friends but they all read some. My partner and me started buddy-reading The Expanse books – I stopped in the middle of the third and he is now eagerly awaiting book 8. I just cannot stick with one series for a long period of time. And that one was so very male.

What read has been your biggest pleasant surprise so far this year?

The Pisces by Melissa Broder! I don’t think anybody is surprised. I requested that on a whim and I am still blown away.

What’s been your most disappointing read of the year so far?

Sick by Porochista Khakpour – not only was I disappointed by the book itself (I was excited for it for months), it is also the review that garners the most difficult comments on Goodreads. I have stopped reading the comments for this altogether because I just don’t want that negativity in my life.

Who’s your favourite music artist?

It’s a tie between Patrick Wolf and The Mountain Goats, but I have to admit that I don’t really listen to music anymore. I listen to the radio when I am driving and some songs every now and then, but I have not listened to a complete album in ages.

If you could live in any country other than the one you live in now, which one would it be and why?

I love Scotland. I did my undergraduate degree there and loved everything about it. Just thinking about it makes me a bit wistful – but I don’t think I will ever move back there for good. Because Brexit is a thing and Germany is in fact a nice place to be. But, I do miss Scotland so.

My questions:

  1. What is the first series you remember binge-reading?
  2. Which do you find easier: naming your favourite book or naming your five favourite books? And why?
  3. Which book would you want to hand your 15-year-old self?
  4. Which is the latest book to make you angry?
  5. If you could only read one genre for the rest of your life, which would it be?
  6. What is the one book in a genre you don’t normally enjoy that you love anyway?
  7. What is the best museum you ever visited?
  8. What activity do you do when live stresses you out?
  9. Is the Hogwarts House you’d want to be in the same as the one you think you’d actually be sorted into? (I lived Callum’s question too much to not steal it)
  10. Do you like to cook? If yes, what is your best dish?
  11. Staying up all night or getting up for sunrise?

I tag: Laura, Kaleena, Ashwini, Teagan & Jess.

Obviously, no pressure but if you do decide to do the tag, please let me know!

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Tag: How I Choose My Books

I was tagged (a while ago, sorry) by Hadeer over @ Cairene Librarian for this absolutely wonderful tag. Thank you so much!

Find a book on your shelves with a blue pink cover. What made you pick up the  book in the first place?

The first book with a pink cover I found on my shelves is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, one of my favourite authors. I bought this because I enjoyed The Bone Clocks enough to feel like he is somebody I want to read more of – and that book I chose because the cover just spoke to me in a book shop (and it sounded JUST like my type of book). I am in general a huge fan of the way Mitchell’s books look. Continue reading “Tag: How I Choose My Books”

This Is My Genre Tag

I was tagged by Rachel for this wonderful tag and even though her favourite genre is one I struggle with (historical fiction), her reviews are always my favourite, so you should all go and check her blog out.

What is your favourite genre?

This is not quite as easy for me to answer as it used to be but it’s definitely fantasy in all its subgenres. I used to read A LOT more fantasy than I do now but it is the one genre I could not live without.

Runner-ups were memoirs and short stories (which, you know, is not really a genre), and I also read a lot of general fiction and literary fiction.

Who is your favourite author from that genre?

This is such a difficult question… But I think I am going with N. K. Jemisin because her writing excites me to no end. I have not quite read all her backlist (I have not yet read her Dreamblood duology) but that is only because I am pacing myself. N. K. Jemisin is on top of her game and for me the most exciting writer today (not just in fantasy but in general actually). I cannot wait for her collection of shorter works coming out later this year and then for everything else she might ever decide to write.

What is it about the genre that keeps pulling you back?

Fantasy, when done right, can be escapist fun while also being so much more. It is super varied, so depending on my mood I can read something slow and whimsical or something fast-paced and heart pounding.

Fantasy can be hard-hitting in a way that is still fun to read – sometimes I need a little escapism in my reading while still being mentally stimulated and fantasy does that for me.

What is the book that started your love for that genre?

I don’t actually remember as I have been reading fantasy since I was a child. And yes, I loved Harry Potter when I was younger but those books occupy a different space than other fantasy books in my mind. I think the first “proper” fantasy book I read and remember was Märchenmond by Wolfgang & Heike Hohlbein (Magic Moon in English apparently). I also needed to read Lord of the Rings after watching the first movie because I could not wait a whole year before knowing what’ll happen next. So, those two probably.

PS: I got the Folio Society edition of Lord of the Rings for Christmas last year and that is THE most beautiful thing I own.

If you had to recommend at least one book from your favourite genre to a non-reader/someone looking to start reading that genre, what book would you choose and why?

I am stealing Rachel’s idea and recommending books based on other genres. Because I could not narrow it down to one book.

25452717If you like mystery novels, you should read Robert Jackson Bennett’s The Divine Cities trilogy. The first book in particular is a murder mystery set in a fantasy world and it was just a wonder to read and more people should pick it up.

If you like fairy tales or historical fiction I would wholeheartedly 33797941recommend Katherine Arden’s The Bear and the Nightingale. Set in the north of Russia with its seemingly never-ending winter, this book is evocative and creative, the spins she puts on familiar fairy tales while adding something original is just something I really adore in fantasy. The fantasy elements are also not too much in your face, which might help people who are not the biggest fans of super technical worldbuilding.

If you are into classics, then Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke might 14201be right up your alley – the book is written in a snarky Austen style, complete with footnotes and non-sequitors, and I found it so very brilliant and clever.

27313170If you like more experimental fiction you should pick up All The Birds In The Sky by Charlie Jane Anders which combines the best of Sci-Fi and Fantasy to something wholly original.

If you are looking for something political and sociological you really should pick up N. K. Jemisin’s The Broken Earth trilogy – to be fair, I do think you should pick those up anyways, because Jemisin is a genius and her work is the best there is (for me at least).

Why do you read?

Because I don’t know how not to.

I am tagging KaleenaNadine and Ashleigh and everybody else who wants to do this! (Please let me know if you decide to do this tag because I want to read everyone’s answers!).

 

Tag: Liebster Award


I was recently nominated for the Liebster Award by Kaleena @ReaderVoracious. Thanks so much Kaleena for the nomination, and you should all go check out her blog!

The Rules:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, provide a link to their blog and display the award.
  • Answer 11 questions they asked you.
  • Come up with your own 11 questions
  • Tag 11 bloggers and don’t forget to tell them.

Maddie’s Questions

  1. What’s your favourite literary trope?
    I LOVE stories told unchronologically. Like, love love. It took me a while to figure that out until I had a “oh, that is what all my favourite books have in common!”-moment a while ago.
  2. If you could write a book, what would it be about?
    Well, I am going to cheat. Because I am actually writing a book – I mean, it’s for my PhD and won’t be a page turner, but it is a book (or hopefully it will be). I am looking at first year students’ subjective experience of the transition into university and their changes in identity construction and how that might be related to social inequality.
  3. What’s your favourite thing to do while reading?
    Drinking tea. Also, my happy place is reading while snuggled to my sleeping boyfriend.
  4. What’s your favourite food combinations?
    I love everything sweet and savoury. I make a Tarte flambee with nectarines, feta cheese, and fresh basil that is just perfect.
  5. What’s the weirdest food combinations you like?
    I don’t think there are any particularly weird combinations that I like.
  6. What is your most prized possession?
    I am not that fond of my stuff in general – I mean, I love looking at my books but I would not die without them. So possibly my passport because not being able to travel would seriously suck.
  7. Do you follow any book-tubers? If so, who’s your favourite? If not, why not?
    Oh, loads. I think my favourites are Mercedes @mercysbookishmusings and Jennifer @insertliterarypunhere. Both have a wonderfully eclectic taste in books and are so very eloquent when talking about them.
  8. Who are your favourite bloggers to follow on twitter?
    Rachel over @paceamoregelato posts about books and cats, which you know rules.
  9. What is your ideal vacation? (No money limits)
    I just want to go everywhere and have more time then I usually have. Then, I want to have a good mix of art museums, hiking, beach, and waterfalls.
  10. What’s something ridiculous that you used to believe when you were younger?
    Okay, so, when I was around 5 or 6, I was SO sure there is no Santa Clause but on Christmas Eve (Germans celebrate on Christmas Eve) we would all have to dress up and then meet in my parents’ room and then after a while, music would start playing in the living room even though my parents weren’t there. So obviously I thought there was a secret button in their room connected to the stereo.
  11. What would be the clickbait title of the last book you read?
    Kate reels after Curran’s shocking betrayal! – Magic Rises (Kate Daniels #6) by Ilona Andrews.

I am going to be an awful person and not tag anyone to do this. But if you do decide to answer Kaleena’s wonderful questions as well, do tell me!

Tag: One Lovely Blog Award

I was nominated for the One Lovely Blog award! Thank you to Wendy @ what the log had to say for nominating me. I really appreciate this (and sorry for taking so long to actually do it) and you guys should all check out her blog if you aren’t already following her.

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  • Acknowledge, link back and thank the blog that nominated you
  • Display the award + rules in your blog
  • Tell your subscribers seven things about you.
  • Re-nominate 10-15 people.
  1. I have tickets to see Hamilton in London in two weeks time and I cannot wait.
  2. I have lived in Scotland for four years and would move back in a heartbeat (if there weren’t such tiny obstacles as Brexit and having a partner studying for a degree that is very Germany-specific).
  3. I cannot parallel park for the life of me.
  4. If I could get away with wearing boots the whole year around, I would (it has already been too warm for that for months).
  5. I love to cook.
  6. My favourite show I have ever been to was a tiny tiny gig on Placebo’s first tour after their hiatus. I don’t think I will ever get over being that close to Brian Molko.
  7. The best country I have visited is Colombia. Beautiful, wonderful, varied, brilliant. Just the best.

I tag:

Kaleena, Amalia, Nadine, and everybody else who wants to do this. If you decide to do the tag, please let me know!

Try A Chapter – May 2018 or books I have been excited about for too long.

I am not really doing all that well on my resolution to read the books that I owned before the start of the year. So I figured, I would pick a few books off my shelves and read the first chapter to see which one I want to read. I have seen this tag around and always wanted to try it.

I chose mostly fiction because I am currently reading a whole lot of genre fiction and need to diversify again. I also picked books that I am in theory super excited about, mostly by authors whose work I have enjoyed before. I am for some reason not that good to actually pick up a favourite author’s other works.

Book 1: number9dream by David Mitchell (on my shelf for 1 1/2 years)

975186Why I own it: Because I love David Mitchell and want to read all his books; this is one of two of his novels I haven’t read.

Thoughts after one chapter: That was a long chapter that should have been annoying: mixing dream sequences with Michtell’s trademark unpleasant young men does not sound appealing. But somehow it is and by the end of these 40 pages I a) want to know more and b) feel really sorry for Eiji.

Book 2: The Clocks In This House All Tell Different Times by Xan Brooks (on my shelf for 6 months)

32869842Why I own it: It was nominated for the Costa First Novel Award and I love that title.

Thoughts after one chapter: I don’t know. I found it clumsy in its foreshadowing and maybe a bit too vague (and I do enjoy vagueness in my fiction). This does not quite grab me yet.

 

Book 3: An Untamed State by Roxane Gay (on my shelf for 1 1/2 years)

26029800Why I own it: It’s Roxane Gay.

Thoughts after one chapter: That book starts with a bang. I am not sure I can deal with this much darkness at the moment but on the other hand I love the way Roxane Gay’s language flows.

 

 

Book 4: Arcadia by Lauren Groff (on my shelf for over 1 1/2 years)

30621334Why I own it: I loved Fates and Furies when I read it a few years ago and bought this one and then never got around to reading it. Story of my life. I did recently read her new short story collection Florida and enjoyed that as well, so now I really want to read everything Lauren Groff has written.

Thoughts after one chapter: Very interesting. I love Lauren Groff’s straightforward prose and I do want to see where this goes. (This does not have chapters, so I read 15 pages.)

Book 5: The Book Of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch (on my shelf for 6 months)

30653706Why I own it: I am a huge fan of Lidia Yukanvitch’s writing (her memoir was by far my favourite book of last year) and want to read everything she has ever written. And then I don’t read her books.

Thoughts after one chapter: I love this. Lidia Yuknavitch is a hero. This first chapter gives a dizzying insight into the book to come and I am so here for this weird dystopian tale.

 

So, yes, this was a success. I am excited for all these books (except maybe the Xan Brooks which is just straight up weird and somehow not hooking me at all). I will be reading the David Mitchell first and then Lidia Yuknavitch’s book (second only because I am currently already reading a few sci-fi-ish books).

Have your read any of these books? What were your thoughts? Which one would you have chosen?

The Mystery Blogger Award

 Thank you so much to The Opinionating Blog for nominating me for this award.

What is Mystery Blogger Award?

“This is an award for amazing bloggers with indigenous posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging and they do it with so much love and passion.” – Okoto Enigma

Rules

  • Thank whoever nominated you and include link to their blog
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself
  • Nominate 10-20 bloggers you feel deserve the award
  • Answer the questions from the person who nominated you
  • Ask your nominees 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog

3 Things about me

  1. I have seven siblings (one brother and one sister and then five step-sisters).
  2. I am currently doing my PhD in Sociology.
  3. I learned reading playing Secret Of Mana on the SNES with my dad.

My answers to the questions:

What is your goal for 2018?

That is a bit difficult – I don’t tend to have one specific goal for a year. I had a few reading related resolutions which I am mostly doing ok on (I will do a mid-year check-up on those in a month’s time). I also wanted to finish my interviews for my PhD, which I have done as of last month.

If you could have coffee with one book character, who would it be?

That has to be Kassandra. She sounds like the most interesting person ever. I don’t even care whose interpretation. (Also, if anybody has recommendations for retellings of Kassandra’s story, I am always interested in those.)

Where are you planning to travel to next? 

I am going to London at the beginning of July. My partner has never been (weird, right?) and we have tickets for Hamilton (yes!). I am trying to go to the UK every second year or so, because I love it there.

What is your favourite thing about yourself?

I like to think that I am a good listener who is interested in what other people have to say.

What would be one piece of advice you would want to give your younger self? 

General advice: stop being mean to impress mean people who you’ll (thankfully) not be friends with a few years time.

One specific thing: Do not take the post-grad place at University of Birmingham – because your dream uni (London School of Economics) will accept you the moment you have paid your tuition fees and three months rent making it impossible to back out of a course that will turn out to be not so great.

My Nominees

Rachel @ pace amore libri

Wendy @ what the log had to say

Rita @ BookishR

Amalia @ opinionated reader blog

Steph @ lost purple quill

Sarah @ samesfoley

Lo @ TheTenthReader

Paula @ Book Jotter

Lisa @ Tenacious Reader

My questions:

1. What did you study at university or what trade did you learn?

2. What was your favourite book growing up? And why?

3. If you could live anywhere, where would you?

4. What is the greatest place you have ever been?

5. Which book has recently surprised you? (Either in a good or in a bad way)

Continue reading “The Mystery Blogger Award”