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message 1: by bookishbat (last edited Sep 03, 2012 03:19AM) (new)

bookishbat (morgaine_cat) | 90 comments here goes another long a rambly post by me:
so I've been a member of the Vienna Public Library (again) since March 1st, which incidentally was world book day as I found out after I got home with my lovely brandspanking new library card and a pile of books.
so far I've loaned 18 books, some of them because I was looking for a specific title and others because I was browsing and just thought: hey, this looks nice.

I thought I'd start a little general diary-type thing, it's been a bit hit and miss with the library books, some were a little disappointing, but a few were real gems.
I'll post about other reads as well, so this will be just somewhere to jabber away, though of course any comments, recommendations or general input are very welcome.

so far I've borrowed:

The Remedy by Michelle Lovric this was okay, I borrowed it because I thought it looked interesting, never having heard of the title or the author's name before. parts of it I really liked, but all in all it wasn't something I would pick up again.

The Invention of Dr. Cake by Andrew Motion this was again something I picked up while just browsing through the shelves at random. very interesting idea, but it was an odd mix of supposed facts and/or maybe fiction and really it was just the fragments of a story. might have been great if it was more fleshed out, this way it was just okay, but well-written and everything.

C by Tom McCarthy another one which I picked up because I liked the look of it, (basically the first three books I borrowed were all just a kind of trolley-dash because I didn't have much time, but my mind had gone totally blank, I couldn't think of a single title or author I was interested it, and the ones I mananged to dredge up out of the depths of my brain weren't available) but this one was so frustrating to me. the story on the blurb sounded really interesting, but the actual book was just...argh!
all the characters are completely unaffected by the things that happen to them, and everything that does happen leads to nothing, so in the end it all just felt so very pointless.
I'm glad I didn't spend any money on this, but I would have liked to throw this volume against the wall after I was done.
it's supposed to be outstandigly original and some sort of avant-garde epic and it was on the short-list for the man booker prize and maybe it's just that I was too dense and didn't get it, but I would recommend to stay well away from this.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood this I wanted to read and I really liked it, even though the kind of society it describes terrifies me to my very core.
but it was extra interesting because I like reading YA and there seem to be so many dystopian YA books out now which go in a similar direction but most of the time can't quite live up to this classic.

The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan another one I deliberatly sought out, it was good but not quite as great as I wanted it to be.

Alle Kinder nach Kinderstadt by Renate Welsh (this title is not on goodreads) is a children's book by an austrian author which I suddenly remembered and I was glad to find a copy at one of the library branches. I liked reading it again, it was short and sweet.

Lament (Books of Faerie, #1) by Maggie Stiefvater I devoured the Shiver trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater, so I was interested in this, too. I'm glad I read it, but it didn't grab me nearly as much as Shiver.

Everything is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer I'd been wanting to read this for I while, because I'd heard so many good things about it and J.S. Foer, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I hoped I would. I think the style of writing just wasn't for me.

Lebenslauf by Alice Schwarzer this is the autobiography of a german feminist icon, Alice Schwarzer. I had heard it was out and was looking at the new releases in the main library branch when I saw it and just thought:" yes, I really want to read this."
it was so good, she is an absolutely fascinating woman and writes so beautifully. this just covers about half her life, up to 1977, so I'm keeping my fingers firmly crossed for a second volume.

Hero by Perry Moore this one was such a lucky find. once again I was browsing and I thought the cover looked cool and the blurb sounded funny and then I took it home and read it and omg! this is pure awesome and everyone should read it.

Das Fabelhafte Album Der Amelie by Melanie Fabel-Lamla very pretty book with lots of photos and fun stuff from the film Amelie. I have my own copy now.

Ballad A Gathering of Faerie (Books of Faerie, #2) by Maggie Stiefvater the second part to Lament. I liked this a little better, but still it was only good and not very good. (I'm strict like that)

The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick I wanted to read something by Philip K. Dick and this alternate reality was a very interesting premise I thought. the actual story seemed a bit too fragmented for me, like he hadn't really finished it. but maybe that was the point and I just didn't understand it? I didn't dislike it but in the end it just seemed a bit disjointed to me.

Krabat by Otfried Preußler a children's/YA (before that term was invented) book by a very well known german/czech children's author, based on an old sorbic folk tale. this was very good, a quick read and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith oh wow, such a fun read. there is a movie based on this coming out this summer, after watching the trailer I thought I'd give the book a go, and I'm so glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed it and this is definitely one I'll be buying my own copy of.

Paper Towns by John Green I absolutely loved this! it was funny and witty and unusual and just a really great read. I want to read all of John Green's books now, especially since I've recently discovered the vlog he does together with his brother Hank on youtube.
I can sincerely recommend both this book and the vlogbrothers!

Makers by Cory Doctorow I didn't expect to enjoy this as much as I did. it sounded interesting, but when I started it, I thought it would be very serious and econimically-technical.
so I thought: 'I'll give it 50 pages and if i don't like it, I'll just stop reading.'
and before I knew it I was so wrapped up in the story that I finished it in about two days. another one I'd recommend.

The Monstrumologist (The Monstrumologist, #1) by Rick Yancey this was a bit of a disappointment. I was really excited to start it, I'd read good things about it and thought I would love it.
it was really well written and a great, very different monster-story. but even though I tried I just couldn't get into it, it was exciting and gripping, but somehow it just didn't click for me. maybe it was just too icky and disgusting in places, I seem to have a low threshold for the ick-factor.
it's such a shame, I still would recommend it though, as I think in theory it's a great read, it just wasn't for me.

message 2: by bookishbat (new)

bookishbat (morgaine_cat) | 90 comments I've been reading a bit less during july and I'm off to copenhagen for a few days tomorrow morning. but I have been enjoying (also from my lovely library) the night huntress series by jeaniene frost. I've read the first two, and have nr. 3 and 4 waiting for my when I come back. they're not the worlds greatest books, but I found them fun, sexy, quick reads.

Sam (VanillaFountain) | 577 comments Mod
Hope you have a lovely time in Copenhagen :)

message 4: by bookishbat (last edited Sep 04, 2012 03:15AM) (new)

bookishbat (morgaine_cat) | 90 comments more library books!

(everything except for the first five books I got today. I had a bit of a spree because I just couldn't make up my mind and found a few more interesting books than I'd originally set out to get. I love the library, can you tell? it's like book shopping, but completely guilt-free!)

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, #1) by Jeaniene Frost I'd heard and read quite a bit about the night huntress series and to my delight I found that my library has them in english, yay!
for me they were fun, quick, sexy reads, a bit like the southern vampire/sookie stackhouse mysteries.

One Foot in the Grave (Night Huntress, #2) by Jeaniene Frost I enjoyed book two just as much as the first one. they are not the greatest works of literature ever written, but they are perfect summer-hammock-reading for me.

At Grave's End (Night Huntress, #3) by Jeaniene Frost tbr

Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, #4) by Jeaniene Frost tbr

Liquor by Poppy Z. Brite tbr

Feed by M.T. Anderson tbr

Going Bovine by Libba Bray tbr

Looking for Alaska by John Green tbr

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green tbr

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green tbr

White Cat (Curse Workers, #1) by Holly Black tbr

Uglies (Uglies, #1) by Scott Westerfeld tbr

message 5: by bookishbat (last edited Sep 04, 2012 03:19AM) (new)

bookishbat (morgaine_cat) | 90 comments I re-read Ronja Räubertochter by Astrid Lindgren (Ronia, the Robber's Daughter in english), one of my very favourite childrens books, and I adored it just as much as I remember. it's a beautiful story and I don't think I'll ever stop loving it.

I also read Masque of the Red Death (Masque of the Red Death, #1) by Bethany Griffin which I got in Copenhagen because I finished the book I had brought with me and just couldn't face being without something to read.
I had heard good things about it before, so when I spotted it in the bookshop there I just knew I had to get it. (it's Steampunk-ish, for crying out loud!)
the cover is gorgeous and the pages are not cut evenly which gives a beautiful effect. I'm such a sucker for pretty packaging.
luckily it wasn't just nice on the outside, and while it wasn't perfect by any means I did like it and I will certainly be looking for the sequel when it comes out.

and then I finally read Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor which I very much enjoyed.
I didn't love it quite as much as I thought I would, but I don't even know why that could have been, because I can't really find anything negative to say about the book:
it's well-written, I liked the characters a lot, the heroine actually deserved that title, it had some really great ideas which I haven't seen anywhere else in that form before, it was like a modern fairy tale (but with a slightly darker twist) and set in Prague which is a great background and a nice change to the perpetual generic american highschools you so often have as settings in ya.
I'm definitely looking forward to the sequel which should be out this winter, according to amazon.

but I am starting to get fed up with the many trilogies and more-than-one-part-series, especially in ya. so many interesting books you hear about, stumble across or just pick up are not stand-alone volumes. and I really don't mind a good series, a large chunk of my favourite books ever are series.
but what I do mind are massive cliffhangers or books that are obviously just half (or a third) of the story and then, even worse, you sometimes get a part two which is just filler and set up for the grand finale in the third and final installment.
it annoys me and it smacks of greedy people in the background who don't have the story's best interest at heart but only filling the pockets of publishing houses or whoever it is that really profits from that sort of thing.
if the story and everything is great I love reading more books set in the same world. I've devoured many books from Piers Anthony's Xanth series, Terry Pratchett's Discworld, Raymond Feist's Riftwar, of course all of the Harry Potters, His Dark Materials, the Abhorsen Trilogy, Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next series, not to mention the Sevenwaters , the Light Isles, the Wildwood series and the Bridei Chronicles, all by Juliet Marillier.
and not once during any of those about 50 books (and that's a conservative estimate because I can't remember exactly how many Xanth and Discworld books I've read) did I think: 'gee, if only that author had written fewer books'
on the contrary! I've always wanted more.
but all of those books were stories that didn't need the help of prequels and sequels to prop them up and make them better and more believable, but they were a joy to read all by themselves, every single one of them.

I'll stop ranting now, because I think as long as people are hoping for a book to be 'the next Harry Potter' (or whatever the popular, big thing that lets them rake in lots of money, is at the time) there will be trilogies and octalogies and as-many-books-as-we-can-get-out-of-this-damn-story-logies.
and I can't help myself anyway, when a story sounds good or unusual or interesting to me I will read it in hope of finding another book I love.

message 6: by bookishbat (new)

bookishbat (morgaine_cat) | 90 comments so my 2015 was not a great year, we suffered a severe loss in my family in march, and things were just pretty difficult in general, all in all I'm pretty glad it's over and hoping that this year will be a much better one.

at the beginning of the year I was in a reading slump which I had sort of carried over from 2014 and then with one thing and another I didn't read anything at all for four whole months. not a single book in all of february, march, april and may of 2015.

I was a quite frustrated over that, but I managed to get back into it and it turned out to be a pretty good reading year, one of my best ones since I started keeping a list of what I've read.

I used my library card a lot again, which I love, because I get to read all sorts of books and try stuff out without spending money, which is extra good when it turns out I don't like the book I picked that time.
and the public libraries in Vienna are so well stocked, not just with german books, but also in other languages, so it's no problem to find lots of the stuff I want to read in english, which is my preference.

I've also been reading lots more comics and graphic novels in the past year, and I've found such great books and stories there, not to mention wonderful art.

I am currently getting two bookish subscription boxes, which I adore, one is called Landfall Freight, I've been with them since July, which was the very first box and they have graphic novels, single issue comics and zines in their boxes, with a special focus on female characters and creators, and they are great. my december box should arrive next week, and I'm really excited to get it.
my favourite book from them so far has been Bright-Eyed at Midnight Bright-eyed at Midnight by Leslie Stein by Leslie Stein, a gorgeous visual diary.
the other one is Owlcrate, which is quite well known by now, and I started subscribing to them in October and again I completely love it and always look forward to the next box with bated breath.
my favourite book from them so far was last months one, Da Vinci's Tiger Da Vinci's Tiger by L.M. Elliott by L.M. Elliott which I really enjoyed.

I also started using instagram and post books I read on there sometimes and a books I've read this month pic at the end of every month since july, which I like looking back on. but it's not just a bookstagram, I post all kind of things I see and find interesting or pretty or funny, food, when I travel somewhere. sort of my own visual diary.

to conclude this: 2015 was tough, but I survived it, somehow.
I've read lots of books last year, a few duds, but mostly good stuff, with some absolute gems amongst them, too.
my complete standout favourite of 2015 though, this year it was really easy to pick, was Vicious Vicious by V.E. Schwab by V.E. Schwab, which just bowled me over with how good it was. I would recommend this to anyone, in fact I feel almost compelled to push it on people so they can experience for themselves the awesomeness that is this book.

Happy 2016!

message 7: by Jo (new)

Jo | 592 comments Mod
I'm sorry you had such a tough year, hope 2016 is a much better year for you.
What's your name on Instagram? I hadn't thought to put books I'm reading on there, that's a good idea and I shall have a look at your recommendations x

message 8: by bookishbat (new)

bookishbat (morgaine_cat) | 90 comments hi Jo, sorry, I only saw this now.

I'm @squishiestbat on instagram, what's your name on there?

message 9: by Jo (new)

Jo | 592 comments Mod
I'm jot851, I've just sent you a follow request.

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