Montag, 31. Januar 2011

It's Monday - What are you reading?

This is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

First of all: Thanks to everyone who wished me well - the cold is not gone yet, but I am able to read (and think) again. ;")

So, here we go:

For my reading group I am still with


We are now at chapter 20 - and I still think that Fanny is a quite invisible heroine - which I find somewhat interesting..

Last week I read:

the January columns of


- an arrangement of her Garden columns which were edited as books in the 1950ies as IN YOUR GARDEN (1951), IN YOUR GARDEN AGAIN (1953), MORE FOR YOUR GARDEN (1955) and EVEN MORE FOR YOUR GARDEN (1958). This is a German edition arranged by Julia Bachstein.

and I also read

This week I re-read:

Next week or sooner I'll read:

LOOK WHO IT IS! by Alan Carr

So - what are your picks? I hope you'll have a great week and tons of fun with your reads!

Samstag, 29. Januar 2011

Julia Blackburn: With Billie

WITH BILLIE by Julia Blackburn (2005) is an arrangement of interviews which Linda Kuehl did in the early 1970ies – shortly before she committed suicide. These interviews are from several persons who knew Billie Holiday, the fantastic jazz singer also known as Lady Day who died at the age of 44. These interviews were used several times since then when anyone started to work on anything about Lady – as her friends called her.

I believe that you can’t know a person thoroughly – and I do believe that there is nothing existing like "the one and only truth" when it comes to people and their life. It is like looking trough a kaleidoscope: Everyone has another angle on looking on another one. No one sees exactly the same thing another does.

So this book is partly contradictory. It is like an arrangement of mini biographies about this people with anecdotes of Billie in it – but it is a great read about the jazz scene and of course Billie Holiday!

When I am reading (auto-) biographies I am immediately becoming the friend of the person, who is the certain character. This makes my circle of friends very glamorous. ;”)

Back to the book: I would not recommend this book to you if you are a complete Billie Holiday beginner: Because of these several persons who are all telling their story, it is not always in chronological order. So in the end, you could have trouble to remember how often Billie Holiday was arrested and when she was where. This is really a confusing book if you do not know anything about Billie Holiday or the "jazz people" from that era.

Another thing that is not like I hoped for: There is only one picture of Lady in it. (At least in the German edition -which has the same cover as seen here - with the chihuahua in it. - She had several - and a boxer named Mister.) and with this entire people in the book I think that some pictures would have helped to get the dramatis personae clear. Besides that: I love pictures.. :")

Even if you have never heard before of Billie Holiday or simply dislike her and her music and intend to stay uninterested: You should know this song – so please: Spare a little time with this amazing piece of music and social criticism:

  • Living literally: Wear a white gardenia, red nail polish and use Maybelline cosmetics if you like to. And of course: Listen to one of the greatest voices of Jazz: Billie Holiday!!

I am a huge fan of Billie Holiday and I am going to read several other books about her - so, if you are interested: Please visited this blog now and then.. To everyone who can’t stand her: There will be some time between the Billie posts.. ;”)

WITH BILLIE fits in one of my challenges: The LGBT challenge – because there are several indications of Billie’s lesbian affaires.

Montag, 24. Januar 2011

It's Monday - What are you reading?

This is a meme hosted by Sheila at Book Journey.

Last week I predicted that I had a cold coming. Well.. It arrived. ;") For that I did only a very little reading.

So my entry is very similar to my last entry to this meme. Hopefully I am back again soon with very astonishing choices.. ;")

For my reading group I read presumably till the end of February:


for I know I am the fastest reader in our group - well, we're a small group.. - I read only a few pages and thought: I am going to read the rest of the aimed pages on the weekend. Uhm.. WRONG! I laid flat on my couch an cats were running over my almost death body. (I think, I fed them - otherwise they would have started nibling my fingers, I guess..) well, now I have to catch up a good deal. But: Hey! It's Jane Austen!! There could indeed be worse things to do. :")
This week I read
WITH BILLIE by Julia Blackburn

Next week or sooner I am going to read:

ALL-NIGHT PARTY : THE WOMEN OF BOHEMIAN GREENWICH VILLAGE AND HARLEM, 1913- 1930 by Andrea Barnet (this is the German cover with the very truthfull translated German title: CRAZY NEW YORK - don't ask me.. - but don't you love the cover?? I would love this as a poster!!)

This will actually be a re-read. This book is soooo amazing! :")

Dienstag, 18. Januar 2011

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Most Inspiriational Characters

This is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.

Like every other Top Ten List I make this is no static list - ask me again in five minutes and there will be some other names on the list.. ;") So - like always in random order - here're the result of the Palfy-vote :


1. Sherlock Homes - brilliant man. 'Nough said.

2. Atticus Finch from TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD by Harper Lee - any questions left? ;")

3. Scout Finch from TO KILL A MOCKING BIRD by Harper Lee - this girl was - No: IS - so awesome! What a brave young lady - and what an honest character!

4. Tigger from THE HOUSE AT POOH CORNER by A.A. Milne - so carefree!

5. Miss Bates - the spinster from EMMA by Jane Austen

6. Luna Lovegood from HARRY POTTER by J.K.Rowlings - not afraid to be a "freak". ;")

Films/TV series:

7. Thelma from HEX - lesbian ghost - I love her and her style.

8. Sheldon, Leonard, Howard and Raj from THE BIG BANG THEORY - because it's cool to know Schrödinger's cat! ;")

The "real" world:

9. Jane Austen

10. Janis Joplin - my alltime inspiration.

And this is a bonus:

Mina & Lucy. My cats - because they show me every day that there are many small things I can enjoy - even if the day outside my flat was horrid. I love you, girls! - I am going to read this out loud for them - they have troubles spelling - well, I have this problem, too.. ;")

(yes - this is a washing baisin.)

Montag, 17. Januar 2011

It's Monday - What are you reading?

This meme is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey.

Last week I read:

THE WAR AGAINST MISS WINTER by Kathryn Miller Haines (Review will be up soon!)

This week I read:

MANSFIELD PARK by Jane Austen (I read this with my reading group - we're a bunch of hard working girls and some of us aren't sooo avid in reading.. ;") So this will take us some weeks.. Presumably till the end of february.. *sigh*

WITH BILLIE by Julia Blackburn (I adore the Lady Day!!!)

Next week (or sooner) I'll read:

I haven't got the faintest idea! I am coming down with a cold - so I can't really think of anything. Seems like I can't remember any book title! Horrid!!

Freitag, 14. Januar 2011

Malinda Lo: Ash

ASH by Malinda Lo (2009) is the first book, which I read to come out of my comfort zone and which also fits into the LGBT Book Challenge.

In a nutshell: Aisling’s father dies shortly after he had married again. Aisling, called Ash, now has to live with her stepmother and stepsisters who treat her like a slave. Than the prince gives a ball…

- Wait! Does this remind you of something? Well, you’re right: This is kind of a Cinderella story. But - :

Ash knows from old fairytales that fairies are used to take human beings with them – without a possibility return. From Ash’s point of view this sounds very alluring. She finally finds Sidhean, a male fairy, who is interested. But then Ash meets Kaisa, the royal huntress, who is quite fascinating…

Fans of fairytales may be enchanted to hear that there are some fairytales told in this book – I had some trouble with it, because it slowed the tempo of the novel down.

What I liked best was that in this book lesbian relationships are nothing irregular. Most books about women who fell for other women focus on the problems with the persons around them. In this case it is completely different: It’s a full acceptance of their sexuality – though there is not much sexuality in this book. ;”) But: Imagine how relaxed the world would be if this part of difficulties would vanish. Yes, a drop in the ocean, I know - but we got to start somewhere when we want universal peace, haven't we? ;")

Malinda Lo (<- here is the link to her webside) lives with her partner in Northern California. This is her debut novel.

Talking of Cinderella: Every Christmas Season German television stations broadcast the Czech movie of 1973: Tři oříšky pro Popelku (=Three nuts for Cinderella - UK title: Three wishes for Cinderella) – which I LOVE. I fell madly for Libuše Šafránková who played Cinderella and I still love this melody:

Dienstag, 11. Januar 2011

Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge 2011

The Vintage Mystery Reading Challenge 2011 is hosted by Bev @ MY READER'S BLOCK

The rules:

*All books must have been written before 1960 and be from the mystery category.

*Some suggested authors include: Agatha Christie, Margery Allingham, Dorothy L Sayers, Earl Derr Biggers, Georgette Heyer, Edmund Crispin, Cyril Hare, Ellery Queen, Elizabeth Daly, Cyril Hare, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Ngaio Marsh, S. S. Van Dine, Philip MacDonald, Rex Stout, Phoebe Atwood Taylor, Josephine Bell, Josephine Tey, Frances & Richard Lockridge, Michael Innes and Stuart Palmer. (Please remember that some of these authors published after 1960 as well--so keep an eye on the original copyright date.)

*You are welcome to count these books towards any other challenges as well.

*Challenge runs from January 1, 2011 to December 31, 2011. Sign up any time between now and November 30, 2011

*I would love to see reviews of your challenge books, but it is not necessary to participate. If you do not have a blog, post to the comments what your challenge level will be and then post again at the progess site (see below) when you have completed your challenge (include a list of books read).

*No matter what level you choose, please try at least two different vintage authors.

*The best part? A prize for everyone who completes their challenge. Once you declare your challenge are locked in for that number of books. But you may change your list of books at any time. Let me know when you have met your challenge goal and I will send you a list of prizes (books) to choose from. Of course, the earlier you finish, the longer the list of books will be.

*Please post about the challenge on your blog (feel free to grab the image) with your declared challenge level.

Challenge Levels:

In a Murderous Mood: 4-6 Books
Get a Clue: 7-9 Books
Hot on the Trail: 10-12 Books
Capture the Criminal: 13-15 Books
Take 'Em to Trial: 16+ Books


The Golden Age Girls*: Read 5-7 books from female authors from the vintage years
Cherchez Le Homme: Read 5-7 books from male authors from the vintage years

So, I am heading for:

The Golden Age Girls!!!

I have some Georgette Heyer - my Mom gave me hers, which where a present from her twin sister who actually met Georgette Heyer once. Which of course means that Ms. Heyer is quasi a family member.. ;") - and Agatha Christie books waiting for me. And who know's what lingers in the dark corners of my to read book shelfes...


Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Resolutions for 2011

This is a meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

First of all: I usually don't do New Year's Resolutions. I resolve to do things, yes. But I don't say: This year I am going to do this or that. I am always full of things I want to do or think I should do - but I don't like to browbeat me. (There're enough people out there who do that to me. Nothing serious just the normal ones: Family, job etc.) And besides:

Well, I think my good friend Groucho putted it in immortal words:


So, now that I made clear that I am completely AGAINST resolutions.. ..I think I am going to post some. Since last tuesday I was running around in my flat, tearing my hear and mumbling: "I want to join next TTT - what am I going to do THIS year??" Then I decided to pick some of my decisions I made the last weeks. Which of course were NO resolutions.. ;")

So here they are - the Top Ten resolutions for 2011:

1. Catch up with my reviews - there are so many books waiting to be reviewed..

2. Join challenges! - checked.

3. Do more memes! - checked.

4. Step out of my comfort zone: Read more Fantasy!

5. Read more YA! (yes, this is related to No.4)

6. Read more NEW books! (again, related to No.4)

7. Write far more film reviews for my film blog And then they start to sparkle! (I am lazy, I know - and I am so sorry!)

8. Read the books, which I check out from the library! - I am foraging the library just to bring half of the books back without reading them. (I bring back the other half too - but I have read them.)

9. Gain my challenge goals - and maybe a bit more!

10. Well, what else? Oh - I know: Don't make "funny" posts, which only I find funny and : Be more serious at memes.

To all of you who made resolutions: Good luck with it!

Montag, 10. Januar 2011

Yay! I am going Brontë!!!

Whitney @ She is Too fond of Books (Louisa May Alcott quotet in a blog title? Has to be good? It is!!) comes up with an awesome challenge (and guess who is joining it..):

The Brontë Sisters Reading Challenge 2011


The challenge runs from March 1 - August 31
In that time read/watch three Bronte related items (I was thinking one for each sister but it is completely up to you)
Cross-overs for other challenges are fine
You do not need a blog to participate
Please sign up in the comments"

Read all about it here!

Let me give a résumé:


It's Monday - What are you reading (2)

This is a meme hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey.

Last week I read:

ANGELICA by Arthur Phillips

ASH by Malinda Lo

it was my "booktitle has to be a girl's name"-week I guess.. ;")

This week I read:

THE WAR AGAINST MISS WINTER by Kathryn Miller Haines

Next week (or sooner) I'll read:


Samstag, 8. Januar 2011

Not only reading - Jane Eyre

I am just full of pleasant anticipation:

This year (in April for Germany -and as far as I could find outi n March in US) JANE EYRE will be released in cinema!! I love that story!!!

And it will come out with so many great actors:

Michael Fassbender - who I loved in so many films - e.g. Angel - and tv series ( I loved HEX)

Mia Wasikowska - who was great as Alice in Tim Burton's ALICE IN WONDERLAND (I am a huge afficionada - Tim Burton is one of my heroes..) and -that's a bit creepy: she looks similar to my mother at that age.. ;")

Jamie Bell - who is gifted as an actor and dancer. No dancing in NICKOLAS NICKLEBY - but have you seen him there??

Judi Dench - I love that Dame! (hihi, pardon the pun!)

Sally Hawkins - who is one of my favourited actrices of nowadays!

So - excuse me: I am going to dance along till April.. ;")

Read Me Baby, 1 More Time 2011

Yes, this year I am going to participate in challenges - and here's another one I am signing in:

Read Me Baby, 1 More Time 2011 hosted by Kate at Midnight Book Girl.

"Read Me Baby, 1 More Time is for those of you who love to re-read your favorite books or those of you who want to re-visit a book from your past.

The rules are simple, for a book to qualify you simply have to have read it at least once before, and the re-read has to be complete. For instance, there are some books I re-read from cover to cover, and there are other books that I just read certain scenes from when I need a little comfort-before-bed reading. Just reading a few scenes doesn't count for this challenge.

Here's the tiers for you to choose from:

Trip Down Memory Lane: 1-3 re-reads
Reliving the Past: 4-8 re-reads
Back To The Future: 9-12 re-reads
Groundhog Day Reader: 13-20 re-reads"

I am heading for 5 books which would made me a "Reliving the Past"-Reader - but who knows.. Maybe it's going to be more re-reads.. (To be honest, my purse is somewhat weak in the knees lately..) ;")

Here's my progress:

1. ALL-NIGHT PARTY by Andrea Barnet


Is this blog stylish? ;")

Universe in Words and retroredux said: Yes! - and awarded this blog with the

Thank you sooo much! :")

As always in blogland there are some rules which go with the award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award. (which is in my opinion self-evident.)
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

I am going to post these lists on my film blog too - because it was also awarded!! *Yay* Seven things about me.. Let's see:

1. I love silly old songs - and when I am happy I am going to sing them allday long! :")

2. I don't like cut flowers - they made me sad: standig on the table and dying.. *sniff*

3. I am highly anglophile.

4. I love forests - when I was a child I used to spend my days in a nearby forest. On the trees, under the bushes - it was magical and pure peace. I am feeling like that when I am in forests now. :") So: when I die my body is going to be burried in a forest cemetery.

5. I am fascinated by Jack the Ripper.

6. Last year I had two (!) dead birds on my balcony. One in summer and one not even two weeks ago - it died right before my eyes - that made me freak out because I wasn't able to help.

7. My favourite animals are: cats (no surprise in that..), sharks, sloths, wombats, all kind of corvid and butterflies. The German word for butterfly is Schmetterling - when I was a child I had problems spelling that and was used to say: Minkaminks. Well, it's almost the same word isn't it? ;")

This is the toughest part and the reason why it took me so long to accept the award, because I won't give this award to anyone just to come up with ten fellow bloggers.

10 recently discovered great bloggers :

1. A Polar Bear's Tale - great pictures and Aputsiaq is one of the nicest bloggers I know! (Oh - and she loves snow - like I do..) So: If you like art and every thing connected with snow: Please, visit her blog!

2. Book rat - this lady is amazingly creative - give her blog a try! It's great!

3. Stirred, straight up, with a twist - actually the most stylish blog I know!

4. For the vintage fashionista - it's all in the name, folks! :")

5. Doo Wop Dolly - just sooo cute!

6. I Pursuit Of My Inner Pin-Up - because Rapunzel is one of the most amiable ladies I know. :")

7. 50s time - because I love the "Apron Rrevolution" and this is an awesome project! ;")

8. The Vintage Housewife & her closet - yes, I like the 1950ies.. ;")

9. Vintage In A Modern World - this blog isn't a recent find - but I LOVE it! So, please visit Kate's lovely blog!

10. And a blogging - well, may I say- friend (??) is doing a brand new blog: These secrets are for you, dear..... - and it's - like her old blog - : Fabulous!

So, thanks again! I am feeling honoured! And now I am going to sing a happy song allday long:

Freitag, 7. Januar 2011

LGBT Book Challenge 2011


So - yes, another challenge.. Makes three. :")
This one is hosted by Brighton Blogger whose blog is Book after Book. The name of the challenge is LGBT Book Challenge 2011 - and I got to confess that I stumbled over LGBT because I did not know what this means. :") Well, now I know - and I am signing in. Here're the rules (I copied them from Brighton Blogger's Blog.):

  • The challenge will run from January, 1st 2011 to December, 31st 2011

  • Because I’m also completing another challenge, I’m not setting a goal. You can decide how many books you want to read during the year. Obviously: the more you read, the more prize draws you’ll be able to enter! See the section “Resources” below for some suggestions.

  • What qualifies as LGBT reading? I will accept reviews of books whose author is LBGT, whose topic is LGBT and/or whose characters (even minor ones) are LGBT. Fiction and non-fiction titles are equally accepted.

  • The challenge is open to bloggers and non bloggers alike.

  • There will be monthly prizes for participants.

Brighton Blogger did not set a goal but I think I will be heading for at least 5 books - and hope that I'll be able to connect them with the other two challenges I am participating in.. :")

1. ASH by Malinda Lo (2009)

2. WITH BILLIE by Julia Blackburn (2005)

3. THE WAR AGAINST MISS WINTER by Kathryn Miller Haines (2007)

4. VALLEY OF THE DOLLS by Jacqueline Susann (1966)

5. HEX HALL by Rachel Hawkins (2010)

Uhm, now it's February and I have already five books? Well, I think I will go on - let's see what this year will bring ;"):

6. DEMONGLASS (HEX HALL ; 2) by Rachel Hawkins (2011)

7. ALL-NIGHT PARTY by Andrea Barnet (2001)

Yay, this is going to be a great year!!! :")

Arthur Phillips: Angelica

ANGELICA is the third book by Arthur Phillips (2007) - and the first one I've ever read by him.

In a nutshell:

Victorian London. When Angelica is four years old her father Joseph Barton billets her out of the parental sleeping room and claims the fulfilment of marital duty by his wife Constance - who was (after several miscarriages ) told that she could die when she becomes pregnant again.
Than strange things happen: A blue ghost who comes up to Angelica is seen by Constance - and his intentions are not innocent. Can Anne Montague - a specialist in occultism - help? Has Joseph anything to do with this? Or is Constance going mental?

This was a very fast read - because it was extremely captivating: The story is first told like Constance is seeing it, than Anne's view follows. After that you read how Joseph experiences these events - and at least you'll read Angelica's view. The whole novel is written like a statement given to a doctor - but you'll find out pretty late, who is talking.

There are some - in the truest sense of the word - victorian views - some things we would nowadays find sexist and racist.

Like: Every woman is latently crazy - and only a man can stem that. And you're crazy when you're talking to cats. (I discussed that with my two cats - and they find that this is silly, too.)

This book is not as spine-chilling as I have thought that it would be - but it's really tragic in some parts. I got to confess when my lights suddenly started to flutter (loose contact) and the wind started to sough at the same time.. - well, it was a pretty good timing!

It's a surprising plot - every time the view changes the story will get a perfect new meaning. I loved that. In the end you should not expect to get a straight conclusion - and that's fine with me.

I could count this book to my first book of the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge - but I started to read it before I joined that challenge - so this will count as a warm up book. :")

Here are the German covers:

(this is for the hardcover edition)

(this is for the paperback)

This time I like the German covers very much.

Mittwoch, 5. Januar 2011

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2011

So -another challenge I am going to participate in: The Historical Fiction Reading Challenge 2011which is hosted by Historical Tapestry.

"To participate, you only have to follow the rules:

  • everyone can participate, even those who don't have a blog (you can add your book title and thoughts in the comment section if you wish)
  • add the link(s) of your review(s) including your name and book title to the Mister Linky we’ll be adding to our monthly post (please, do not add your blog link, but the correct address that will guide us directly to your review)

  • any kind of historical fiction is accepted (HF fantasy, HF young adult,...)
  • you can overlap this challenge with others kind of challenges
  • During these following 12 months you can choose one of the different reading levels:

    Severe Bookaholism: 20 books
    Undoubtedly Obsessed: 15 books
    Struggling the Addiction: 10 books
    Daring & Curious: 5 books
    Out of My Comfort Zone: 2 books

The challenge will run from 1 January 2011 to 31 December 2011."

So - I am heading for Struggling the Addiction which means I am going to read 10 historical fiction novels. And I will count every book which is setted prior 1976 as historical.

This is my progress list - every review will be linked:

Struggling the Addiction

0. (warm-up) : ANGELICA by Arthur Phillips







Every book I review for this challenge will have this button:

So - another try on challenges.. ;") Good luck to all of you who do challenges too!! This is going to be great!