3 Nov 2011

before i go to sleep by (2010)

christina wakes up every day with no memories. she has amnesia because of an accident many years ago. she learns that she secretly meets a doctor who gave her the advise to write a diary, but when she reads it, a lot of questions occur. do the people around her really tell her the truth?

a fantastic thriller about the loss of the own personality. what are we without our memories?

this is a really cool debut novel.

* * * *

ubik by philip k. dick (1969)

this is my first novel by dick, after i read several short stories.

* * * *

11 Aug 2011

homo faber by max frisch (1977)

walter faber doesn't believe in faith, he's an engineer, he believes in mathematics. after an unplanned adventure in south-america and the break-up with his girlfriend afterwards back in new york, he travels to europe on board of a ship. there he meets his daughter (who he didn't know existed at the time being) and they begin a relationship.

this book is a report, written by faber himself, the style is quite unique.

max frisch is one of the most famous swiss writers. i already read his play andorra and i'm very curious about the novels stiller and my name be gantenbein.

* * *

10 Aug 2011

the nose by nikolaj gogol (1830)

one day major kowaljow's nose is missing, and he goes searching for it. apparently it's got a passport and is trying to escape but fortunately the policeman can catch it in time and brings it to its owner.

a weird short story about the loss of a nose and what this means for a man in a good position...

the nose is one of nikolaj gogol's favourite themes, as i learned in the appendix of this small booklet.

* *

agnes by peter stamm (1998)

the narrator meets agnes, a young woman, in the library and they fall in love and begin a relationship.he's a writer andshe asks him to write a story about their life, but soon the story is causing problems in their relationship.

peter stamm is a swiss author and agnes is his debut-novel.

a nice small book, good writing and an interesting story.

* * * 

25 Jul 2011

the dying animal by philip roth (2001)

i wanted to read philip roth because of an interview that i read in a magazine which really impressed me. i heard about the books of course but never was drawn to read one, but i thought ok now i give it a try and my mother gave me this one, which she had at home.

david kepesh is a professor with a love for young women, mostly students of him. one day he gets to know consuela, also a student, and after the semester, they begin an affair. but this affair is not like the ones he had, he becomes obsessed with consuela and always fears to loose her to a younger man.

a great character-study. roth lets us see inside the mind of david kepesh, lets ud see and understand his thoughts and reasons, even if they are a little strange sometimes, you get to understand this man.

the title of the book is from w.b. yeats poem sailing to byzantium:

"consume my heart away; sick with desire
and fastened to a dying animal"

* * * *

20 Jul 2011

on the hillside by markus werner (2004)

thomas clarin goes to his weekend-apartment in agra, to write an article about divorce-law. on the first evening he eats dinner in the hotel bellevue, where he takes place at the table of an older single man. he begins a conversation and soon is fascinated by this man, loos. what is it about this man?

this book is mainly a dialogue between the two men, but what a dialogue, full of interesting thoughts, visions and ideas. it's really stimulating to read. and the ending of the book is very cool, even though i have to admit that i knew how it would end, because someone once told me, and that was exactly the reason why i wanted to read the book in the first place.

markus werner is a swiss author by the way. i don't think the book was translated in english, i didn't find it anyway. will definitively check out his other works.

* * * * *

1 Jul 2011

against the grain by karl-joris huysman (1884)

jean des essaintes is the last of a dynasty. after an extreme and unconventional life he's now a lonely, eccentric and nerves-sick man, who tries to replace reality with an artificial reality, a dream of reality, which thus becomes reality for him.

really this is novel without a plot, it was the intention of huysman to write about his thoughts, about history and art and poetry and science and not to tell a story. that's sometimes very interesting and other times annoying.

the reason that i wanted to read this book in the first place was because it's said to be the one that inspired dorian gray in oscar wilde's masterpiece the picture of dorian gray, which is one of my favourite books.

nowadays it's not such a shocker anymore but i guess it was at the time.

* *

hamlet by william shakespeare (1603)

hamlet's father, the king of denmark is insidiously murdered by his brother, who then becomes king and marries hamlet's mother. the old king's ghost seeks hamlet, who swears to take revenge. as he is acting very strange, everyone thinks he's gone mad over his father's dead. but he wants to know first if the ghost has only been a temptation of the devil who whants him to go bad. he therefore creates a play which reflects the deed and exposes the guilty king.

to be honest i was not that impressed by this piece, not like i was with a midsummernight's dream, the merchant of venice and macbeth, but yeah it's good of course.

ma favourite line (from ophelia's monologue o what a noble ming is here o'erthrown):

"o, woe is me
t' have seen what i have seen, see what i see!"

* * *

26 May 2011

steampunk chronicles - the girl in the steel corset by kady cross (2011)

this is the first book of kady cross' new series, the steampunk chronicles. this is my first (knowingly) steampunk-book, so i was really curious whether i would like it or not...

finley jane has two personalities insider her, her own self and a dark one, and the dark one has nearly killed her employee, a rich but abusive lord. when she flights from the scene, she bumps into the carriage of a young duke, who takes her to his home to cure her injuries. there she meets other people that have special talents, like her.

attention: there are two love-triangles!

the book is a cross of the strange case of dr. jekyll and mr. hyde, x-men and some jane austen... the writing is good but the story was slightly predictable but entertaining.

there is a prequel, the strange case of finley jane, i will definitively read that and look out for the sequel.

* * *

the book will be released in may 2011.

arc provided by publisher

17 May 2011

anansi boys by neil gaiman (2005)

neil gaiman is one of my favourite authors. i loved american gods, and was really excited to read this book.

fat charlie has always been embarrassed by his father. they didn't have any contact until he hears that the old man died. after the funeral he learns, that he has a brother. when chalie invites his brother into his life, everythnig goes out of control...

i was a little bit dissapointed because i think it cannot live up with american gods... but it was good of course, and sometimes i really had to laugh out loud! =)

* * *

16 May 2011

godess test - the godess test by aimee carter (2011)

this is aimee carter's debut novel, the first book of a greek-mythology-trilogy. i absolutely loved the percy-jackson-series, and was really cusious about the greek legend of persephone.

kate's mom is dying from cancer and wishes to stay in her childhood-village eden for her last days. there strange encounters begin at school. kate promises henry, a boy she just met, to do anything if he brings back to life ava, a girl that has died while playing a horrible prank on kate. henry does his duty and tells kate to wait for the winter. when she asks him what he wants he tells her to read the story of persephone.

the story was ok, but i think the plot was not realy fantastic, i did expect something a little bit deeper... what really annoyed me is the whole dying and ressurrection-thing, what are you supposed to learn from that? well, i wont say anything else about that, i don't want to spoil it... anyway the writing was really good and i will read the next book, because i'm curious what will happen in summer.

the book has been released in april 2011.

* * * 
arc provided by publisher

5 May 2011

movie adaptions

thor, based upon the marvel-comic-series. (i think there will be a sequel)

thor is being exiled by his father odin, after he reaks the truce between asgard and the ice-giants. odin takes his hammer mjölnir and sends thor to earth. meanwhile thor's brother loki (the god of chaos, yay!) takes over the kingdom, when their father falls into a coma. thor meets jane, a scientist, who thinks thor flying to earth to be some kind of storm, a bridge into a wormhole...

a fantastic sci-fi-mythology-mix with a superhot hammer-wielding hero... and funny =)

comic ?
movie  * * * *

water for elephants, a circus-tale based upon the bestseller by sara gruen.

jacob is in the middle of his vet-exam, when he learns that his parents have died. he's lost everything and leaves his home to find work in a larger city. he stows away on a circus-train, but soon is discovered and almost thrown off the traveling train. but then he gets a job as vet and befriends ringmaster august and his wife marlena...

a stuning, visual masterpiece starring robert pattinson, reese witherspoon and christopher waltz.

book   ?
movie  * * * * *

4 May 2011

city of bones movie

lily collins (the blind side - great movie by the way) has been casted to play clary in the city of bones-movie and alex pettyfer (beastly, i am number four) is romoured to be casted as jace...

i can't wait for that movie...

should be released in 2012.

the mortal instruments - jocelyn's story by cassandra clare (2011)

jocelyn's story should have been a part of city of fallen angels, but didn't make it to the actual book.

read it online here...

* * * *

the mortal instruments - jace's letter to clary by cassandra clare (2011)

here a goody to all mortal instruments-fans - ha ha, who isn't?!?

read jace's letter to clary (belongs to city of glass): 

* * * * 

3 May 2011

the hunger games movie

great news, the hunger games-movie will be released in 2012:

katniss will be played by jennifer lawrence (winter's bone), peeta by josh hutcherson (bridge to terabithia, cirque du freak) and gale by liam hemsworth (the last song, ha ha this is the brother of chris hemsworth, the hot guy from thor - see my next post). i think those two should have been casted the other way round, but we'll see...

i'm sooooo excited, i love the books!

p.s. you'll find more of the cast on this great blog: everything and nothing

29 Apr 2011

the storm king - glowing sand by kai meyer (2009)

kai meyer is an established german ya-fantasy-writer. i have already read the two first books from his 1001-night-trilogy the storm king (die sturmkönige in german) and was really excited to read book 3, the hardcovers are very expensive, so i waited for the paperback, which was released this april 2011.

it's the 52th year of the war between jinns and humans. with their magic carpet, tarik and sabatea have gone into the desert again to find the legendary city of skarabapur. they are guided by an ivory-horse and acompagnied by the magician khalis, his bodygueard almarik and the thief-sieblings nightface and ifranji. at the same time tarik's brother junis is trying to rescue the strange boy jibril from the jinns, while they're attacking bagdad. he might be the only chance to win the war.

i know that sounds very complicated... but it's really, really great!

i'm sorry but i don't know when the books will appear in english, but i'm sure they will...
keep looking for them!

by the way, i really like the hardcover art:

* * * *

28 Apr 2011

darkest powers - dangerous by kelley armstrong (2010)

this is like a little prequel for the darkest powers-trilogy by kelley armstrong. 100 pages about derek and simon before they moved into the lyle-house.

when derek is five, the incident happens. his three brothers kill a nurse at the institute. even if he didn't do anything, he's a threat now and they seem to want to get rid of him, like of his brothers. but then simon's dad comes and is offering him to stay with them and derek accepts. everything is pretty normal (if you ignore the fact that they're constantly on the run) until simon is attacked by a bully and derek is overwhelmed by his own strength. 

i really liked derek in the darkest powers and was so happy to get more of him here... he's so sarcastic and strong, but has such a soft heart =) 

you can download the pdf-file here...

* * * *
the darkest powers-trilogy:

* * * * *

27 Apr 2011

movie adaptions

true grit, based on the novel with the same name by charles portis, starring matt damon and geoffrey rush.

14-year-old mattie ross comes to forth smith to hire a bounty-hunter to take revenge on ther father's murderer, tom chaney. with great wit she's able to convince the bibulous marshall reuben cegburn. but at the same time also the texan ranger la boeuf is hunting chaney.

a serious western, really special and therefore typically coen!

book  ?
movie * * *

limitless, based on the novel the dark fields by alan glynn, starring bradley cooper.

eddie morra is a writer, but he doesn't write and can't get anything going at all. untill he takes a little pill, that allows him to use 100% of his brain. soon is a star and everyone wants to have him for themselfs. but soon the side-effects of the drug begin to show...

a great story, fast and entertaining. i have to read the book!!!!

book  ?
movie * * * * *

red riding hood, a mix between the fairytale and a horror-movie by twilight-regisseur catherine hardwicke.

valerie's (amanda seyfried) village is after 20 years of peace again hunted by a werewolf. they ask the experienced hunter pater salomon for help. but what he suggests doesn't comfort: one of the villagers has to be the werewolf. a terrible witch-hunt begins.

after the great trailer, the actual movie was a little dissapointing...

book  ?
movie * *

26 Apr 2011

the caster chronicles - beautiful darkness by kami garcia and margaret stohl (2010)

this is the 2nd book of the caster chronicles, by author-duo kami garcia and margaret stohl.

lena has another year to decide if she wants to be a dark or a light caster. she is devastated by the tragic event that happened on her birthday and draws back from ethan more and more.

i think this book was better than the first one (beautiful creatures), because there are more characters and also more action... i really like ethan and liv, and i grew warm to link too. but lena is annoying at times.

i'm very curious about the next book: beautiful chaos, to be released in october 2011. can't wait to see what happens to ridley, john breed and link.

* * * *

the five people you meet in heaven by mitch albom (2003)

i got this book as a present, and had it standing on my shelf for a while... i decided to give it a try over easter-holiday.

eddie dies in an accident at his workplace, the amusement park ruby, trying to save a little girl. when he's in heaven he meets five people, who teach him the reason of his life and death.

we read what happens in heaven, about life on earth after his death and we even get some flashbacks from eddie's life. we hate with eddie, we mourn and don't understand... but then we learn to accept and to forgive and to accept forgiveness... to be honest i wasn't that touched at first, but the end has really gotten to me, i even had to cry a little bit, so therefore the whole book was worth reading...

* * *

21 Apr 2011

the mortal instruments - city of fallen angels by cassandra clare (2011)

i think this is my most anticipated book this year, or at least this spring! and cassandra clare did not let me down. fantastic as ever! the story is set six weeks after the life-altering events in idris from city of glass, written from various points of view.

clary and jace are finally a couple and enjoying their time together, but soon jace is acting weird and becomes reserved more and more. but that's not all, someone is murdering shadowhunters. at the same time, simon is having troubles with his two girlfriends and the fact that he's a vampire and doomed for the rest of his eternal life.

i can't wait for the next book of the mortal instruments, city of lost souls, to be released in april 2012. damn, such a long time... but meanwhile i will enjoy the sequel of clockwork angel, clockwork princess, of the infernal devices-series.

* * * * *

the mortal instrumets 1-3:

 book 1-3  * * * * *

18 Apr 2011

the water wars by cameron stracher (2011)

over 2/3 of earth are water, but only 10% are drinkable. what if those 10% are being controlled by a few people who just want to get rich?

vera and her brother will are living in a mostly deserted town in the state of illinowa, one of the 5 states, that exist instead of the former usa. water is rare and very precious, ans as their parents are not wealthy, they are thirsty most of the time. one day vera meets a boy, kai, who tells her he knows a river with plenty of water, and someday he's going to show it to her. vera, will and kai become friends, but then kai gets kidnapped and vera and will decide to rescue him, even if they just met him.

the book was quite good, but i think the love-story should have been either left out completly or worked out more, because it felt a little unreal and unnecessary.

anyway, i liked cameron stracher's ya-debut and i definitively liked vera and ulysses!

* * *

14 Apr 2011

the windup girl by paolo baciagalupi (2010)

this book has won the hugo- and nebula award for best novel 2010. it's written form various points of view.

lake anderson is a calorie-man, he searches for extinct fruit and vegetables in a world marked from biological war, gene-hacking and global warming. in bangkok, he finds a fruit, which no one seems to know where it's from. and he meets emiko, a windup girl, made as a servant for rich humans, despised now that she is worthless.

what at first seems like some loosely linked stories about life in future bangkok, soon is recognized as not so much accidently chosen and becomes connected more and more until in the last chapters it concludes in an excellently woven final.

i'm desperately waiting for paolo baciagalupi's ya-novel ship breaker (pb due to be released in may 2011).

* * * *

7 Apr 2011

the last airbender - prequel: zuko's story by dave roman, alison wilqus and nina matsumoto (2010)

i loooveeee this tv-series!!! first i watched the movie, the last airbender, in cinema and after that i watched every single episode of all 3 books (water, earth and fire). and zuko is my favourite. i was really excited about this manga-prequel, because it's his story:

after being defeated in an agni kai-duell by his own father firelord ozai, prince zuko has to leave his hime, the fire-nation and find the avatar, the last airbender, to regain his honour. his annoying uncle, the dragon of the west and his loyal crew are coming with him.

it's quite a thin little booklet and therefore a little too fast forward. in the tv-series everything is slowly developing but here you have whole story within a few pages. also, you don't really learn anything new. but i liked it anyway, bacause of zuko and his uncle. the art by nina matsumoto is very nice.

the story continues in the last airbender by the same authors but with another illustator.

comic  * * *
movie  * * * *
tv-series * * * * *

30 Mar 2011

evernight - afterlife by claudia gray (2011)

this is the last book of claudia gray's evernight-series (evernight, stargazer, hourglass).

bianca and lucas' love has just gotten even more complicated than when she was a vampire and he an ex-vampire-hunter. now that they both died, she is a wrath and he is a vampire... at the same time the ancient war between those two species has reached a new level. will bianca and lucas once again overcome their differences and end this war?

book 1-3 were quite good, but i didn't like this one. i'm not into  ghost-stories and therefore the newest events were a bit annoying for me. but as i kind of had to force myself to read the book till the end, i guess that was not the only problem... i'm not too sad, that it's over now.

there will be a spin-off novel/prequel about balthazar (my favourite). and 'm really, really looking forward to the new novel she's writing about a girl and a werewolf set on board of the titanic... well, that sounds great! =)

book 1-3 * * * 
book 4   * *

29 Mar 2011

timeless - timeless by alexandra monir (2011)

alexandra monir is a singer/songwriter and now debut-author of timeless. being multi-talented like that, she has written songs for the novel, to be heard on her website. it's not my kind of music, but they are not bad. the idea is very interesting.

michele grew up in l.a. with her mother. her grandparents are the fortunate windsors, one of the most important families in new york. when she is forced to live with them, she finds an old diary which brings her back in time, to new york, 1910.

for me, the love-story was not quite convincing, but the mother-daughter-relationship was really sweet and also the relationship between michele and her grandpartens was nicely developed. what i liked the most, were the descriptions of old new york, the society and the people.

p.s. there will be at least one sequel, as the last words are: "to be continued..."

* * *

25 Mar 2011

we can remember it for you wholesale by philip k. dick (1966)

again i'm reading a pkd short story, which has been turned into the movie total recall, starring arnold schwarzenegger.

douglas quail's biggest dream is to visit mars someday. but he's just a clerk and knows that he'll never be able to go and therefore decides to go to a company called rekall incorporation, which implants memories. he buys memory for a trip to mars, some souvenirs and pictures and film-material, so he will be convinced he'd gone. but during the operation something seems to go wrong...

damn, this man was a genius, the stories are sooooo great! i can't believe i've never read one before... were i a writer, pkd would be my idol!

book   * * * *
movie  ?

23 Mar 2011

second variety by philip k. dick (1953)

another short-story ba philip k. dick. also second variety has been made into a movie some years ago: screamers (haven't seen that onethough... not yet).

in the war between the u.s. and the sovjets, it seemed like the latter would surely win it. but then the u.s. had developed tiny battle-robots that easily turned the whole situation to their favour. now russia urgently requested a parley at their headquarter. one single soldier was to go and represent the country. major hendricks went and foud someting along the way...
a little boy.

well i had my suspicions right from the beginning, and i think that's exactly what the author had intended... i was wrong. let's see if you are right =)

get the pdf-file here (not so many mistakes and no pages missing).

book  * * * *
movie ?
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