August To-Be-Read

Reading List for August

North Korea: Undercover by John Sweeny
The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake
Das geheime Vermächtnis des Pan by Sandra Regnier
Electra and other Plays by Sophocles
Top 10 Tokyo by DK Eyewitness Travel
Japan by Lonely Planet

Initial thoughts

Four of these are from the library, two of which are in preparation for my Japan trip in September. I know I can do a lot of research online, but sometimes it’s still nice to flick through a book. These also come with pull out maps, and I always enjoy looking at pull out maps.

I’ve already started reading The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake, and so far I’m loving it a lot. I’m really enjoying the way it is written, and can’t wait to finish it. This is the first book I hope to finish really.

I also started reading Das geheime Vermächtnis des Pan by Sandra Regnier. I remember buying this years ago, and constantly trying to pick it up and read it, and every time I do pick it up to read it, I remember why I struggle to get into it. Naturally, it’s not aimed at my age group, but that usually doesn’t stop me from enjoying a book. The reason I picked this up, was because of elves and that kind of fantasy kind of theme. Even with the simple writing, I’d enjoy this book, and could be at least entertained by it. However, the main character never lets you forget how hot this one guy is, ever. Even when advertising the other two books in the series, there is this constant reminder that this guy is the hottest guy in London. It feels like Felicity reminds you of this every other sentence, just to reach a certain word count, and it just gets really boring.

Photo of the Day

New York City
Joerg Schubert

Video of the Day

Typical British Summer: Rainy Days

Rainy Days: Read a book (or a few)

When the weather fails you, and you’re by yourself: pick up a few books, read and binge  watch Netflix shows, movies and youtube videos.

The Agricola and The GermaniaThe Agricola and The Germania by Tacitus

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I saw this in a second hand book shop, I was immediately interested in it. The introduction itself is lengthy and interesting. Having lived in Germany and England, and having a huge interest in historic aspects of both countries, this was an absolutely amazing find and an amazing read.

Britain and Germany are always compared to “contemporary Rome”, which allowed me to learn a bit more about historic Rome, as well. The character of Tacitus, despite the text having been translated into modern English, still comes through -for me anyway. The introduction does say, that there had been huge difficulties in translating his texts, since his personality is very dominant in his writing. Personally, I think they did as well as they could, without knowing the original texts, sources, etc.

Purely because of his personality, and the way the book is written, I’d recommend this book to a lot of people. For the writing alone is worth picking up this book. And it’s very short, but manages to convey quite a decent amount of information.

This book not only talks about the differing warfare of Britain and Germany, but also different germanic tribes and characteristics. I’m personally not one to enjoy reading much about warfare or anything like that, but I found it still very interesting.

View all my reviews

Photo of the Day

City Pink Nights


John Herbert

Video of the Day

Back into Reading & Book Reviews

Now, post holiday and post house move, I’m finally getting back into reading I’m finishing off some lose ends by finishing two books I started on holiday. Surprisingly, I had problems reading a lot while on holiday, without any clear reason really.

Books I have read

WeWe by Yevgeny Zamyatin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I read this on my kindle and was immediately fascinated by the storyline. But the book didn’t captivate me at any point and struggled to keep up the momentum somewhat. I was interested by what would happen. At the same time, I wasn’t surprised by how it turned out.

I read this on holiday and I feel a bit off having had this as my holiday read. In hindsight I’m regretting having this as my holiday read, despite being glad that I read it.

Midnight MonologuesMidnight Monologues by Charissa Ong Ty

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I thoroughly enjoyed her poems and short stories. Many of the poems I found very relatable and spoke to me on a very personal level. At times, I even teared up. I picked this up on my way back home from holiday at an Airport, and I am so glad that I did.

So many of the poems, if not all of them, made me think a lot about myself. There’s some really deep stuff and it amazed me several times as to how deep some of the poetry actually was.

IntrusionIntrusion by Ken MacLeod

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I really wanted to like this book, but alas. The female characters are flat and boring as heck. The whole novel could easily be summarised into one paragraph. Not even half way through the book I disliked all of the female characters. Personally I think that a cis man writing a book with a pregnant woman and this “fix” explains why the female characters are so boring and not even vaguely stereotypical.

I just feel really frustrated and somewhat disappointed by this book.

View all my reviews

Photo of the Day

City Pride
John Herbert

Video of the Day

Bookmarks

I have a few bookmarks that are currently not in books. They’re not special (well, to me they are).

Some are, obviously, from Book depository. Others I have gathered on Holiday. Ashdown Forest is a Forest a drive away from where I live and is really beautiful.

Some other bookmarks are currently sitting in books. At some point, I’ll gather them all and see how many I actually have. I can’t remember when I last actually bought a bookmark. The only one I can see that I actually bought is the one from Ashdown Forest last summer.

Photo of the Day

The Peaks 20/05/2017
Matthew Dartford

 

Video of the Day

Chill Friday + Book Reviews

I think I have managed to drag myself out of a reading slump for now. In the next few days, I will probably binge read a bunch of books, and then fall back into a slump again, no matter what. To celebrate this brief period of reading again, I may have written a few lines on the books I have finished. I’m no good at writing reviews, nor am I very good at writing anything to be honest. If I don’t practice, however, nothing will change.

I honestly struggled for so long to finish any of these, even the poetry books. So I am so glad I finally finished reading these.

I decided not to go to the cinema today, purely because of the logistics of leaving the dogs home alone. I’m thinking about going tomorrow, but I’m worrying about the dogs again. Hence, I may change my mind tomorrow and just go another day. Perhaps tuesday.

Book Reviews

Hollow City (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children, #2)Hollow City by Ransom Riggs

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

At first, I really struggled to get into this. It felt like it had a really slow start, unless it was just personal stuff that held me back from reading in general.

But I did quite enjoy reading this, and I’m still really glad I picked up this series. I only wanted to read it, after seeing the movie and noticing massive loop holes (then overhearing somebody saying they tried squeezing three books into one movie -and, quite frankly, failed). Before the movie, I had seen the books, but never seemed very interested. Now, I can’t wait to read the last book, to see how the characters get on. I know I’m way above the age it is aimed at, but I do enjoy the characters, and the story line quite a bit. A very enjoyable read.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel SketchesThe Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches by Bashō Matsuo

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this, and the haiku. This really helped me focus on small details in life, that I don’t have to wait for something grand to happen, but that I can simply enjoy the simple things in life. View all my reviews

The Poems of Phillis Wheatley: With Letters and a MemoirThe Poems of Phillis Wheatley: With Letters and a Memoir by Phillis Wheatley

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

To be fair, I every other poem at some point. I picked this poetry book, to have some diversity in what I read, the same reason as to why I read The Narrow Road to the Deep North and Other Travel Sketches by Bashō Matsuo. As expected, this gave me a new and different insight to poetry, a different kind of style and topic area to find something to write about. Similar to Matsuo, Wheatley writes about events I had not really considered writing about.

Catching the CascadeCatching the Cascade by Paul Lyalls

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I love Lyalls’ poetry heck of a lot. It’s very relatable to me, entertaining in a way and I just really loved reading the poems. They’re the kind of poetry I aim to write, and a lovely contrast to the poetry I have read earlier today.

Reading this, after reading the other poetry books, has been a lovely conclusion to my poetry readings for today. It was also very short, similar to the poems themselves, which was really quite nice. The style is very different, and so are the topics. So it was a very delightful change to the previous stuff I have read today. I’m starting to repeat myself now, oops!

Anyway, I think I picked this up at University, at a free book sharing kind of thing hoping to read more poetry. So far, finally, I have succeed in achieving that goal of 2017. It’s only been three poetry books so far, but it’s only April. Furthermore, its three more poetry books than before!

View all my reviews

Poem of the day: First Winter without my father

Each and every week and day
of the winter,
me and my mother knew you were gone
because each and every
hour and minute
of that winter,
we had the central heating full on
– by Paul Lyalls

Photos of the day

Spring in the Woods
C D
Tokyo 4212
Tokyoform
Wind Direction | Kaunas Aerial
Andrius
東京 - 汐留
Andre

Videos of the day

End of 2016 stuff

This is mostly bookish stuff. But there is some general stuff at the bottom.

Bookish things

I have not read as much as I had planned, and I hope to read a lot in the new year. This is something that happens every year, but I have stopped beating myself up about it. At the beginning of 2016, I took a deep breath and realised that I will just read as I want. I promised myself to just read for enjoyment and, as soon as this enjoyment goes, that I should take a step back and take a break.

Personally my favourite book this year has probably been Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I love her writing, the story she tells through the characters, the characters are very intriguing and I cannot wait to read the rest of the series. Everything just fits together very well, and I am so glad I finally got into this series.

The tale of the Body Thief by Anne Rice is also one of my favourite books this year. In general, I love her writing. I do find it quite tiring to get through all of the nitty gritty. At the same time, I do enjoy the pictures she paints with her words.

I haven’t really done a very good job at keeping track of the books I have read this year, as much as I meant to do so. I have started a few books over summer (and recently), that I still need to finish.
One of these three books is Assassins Creed (AC): Forsaken by Oliver Bowden. Nothing like the games, as expected, but they are a very, very easy read. I fall back onto books like these, if not Harry Potter, if I am in a reading slump. For some reason, I started this book recently, but then got distracted by another book and finished that instead. Now I got caught up with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs instead, so the AC book will have to wait until 2017.
The second one is Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. This is purely taking so long because of it’s thickness to be honest. I am not a huge fan of Cassandra Clare herself, but I did enjoy The Mortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices a lot and felt somewhat obliged to try out this series as well. I don’t feel like I have favourite characters in this series yet, so I am finding it a bit difficult to really get into the series. I do hope that this will change the more I read. The plot is the main reason I want to carry on reading it. While we’re talking about Cassandra Clare, I still want to read The Bane Chronicles. Magnus Bane is one of my favourite characters so I really do not know why it is taking me so long to read this.

In the next year, I really want to read Stranger in a strange land by Robert A. Henlein and the books I got for christmas. These include Broken Crowns by Lauren Destefano, Captive Prince by C.S. Pascat and Fantastic Beasts: The Original Screenplay by JK Rowling. If I don’t read anything else, but these books (apart from academic reading), I will do well.

I still have to finish Harry Potter and the cursed child by J.K. Rowling. Before I got this book, I would’ve said, that this would be my favourite book, but the fact that I still have to finish it, is clearly a sign that it is not.

Bookish Videos of the day

Non-bookish End of the Year things

I don’t really know how I feel about the past year. I’ve definitely had some ups, but also a lot of downs. The most important thing I think I learnt in the past year is to take things into my own hands, to take control and not to wait around for great things to happen. I think I have grown quite a bit personality wise. Because 2016 has been a so-so kind of year, with more downs than ups, I really want to change my attitude in 2017 and really do some more memorable things, and live more.

To achieve some of my goals, which is to live more (I know it’s really broad but I know what I mean haha), I am going to take some steps away from social media, and Netflix and Amazon Prime and technology in general.

As always, this NYE I spend in my room. Alone, in my room, with family at home. Nevertheless, NYE has become something that isn’t memorable, or special. I hope to Hera that 2017 will be nothing like today. Dull and boring, not at all special. Hopefully, I will not be lonely, and have more memories to cherish and hold dear this time next year. I guess I can add that to my goals: be more open minded, get out there more, spend less on materialistic things, create more memories. The important stuff, because those are the things that really matter in life. The things that last longer than materialistic things. The things that actually put me in a better place, mentally.

Question of today: Top three favourite Movies you have seen this year?

I cant really pick one specific one, or three specific ones, because I can’t actually remember all of them. The ones I remember most  clearly are the ones I enjoyed most. I have enjoyed a lot of movies this year.

The ones that have done more than just entertain me are:

  1. Room
  2. The Danish Girl
  3. Star Trek: Beyond & Rogue one: A Star Wars Story

The 3 most entertaining movies, among others:

  1. Now you see me
  2. Zootropolis
  3. Kubo and the two strings

The things I have learned most notably this year are somewhat personal. Including the fact that I am, actually, boring. But also likeable. And that things are going to be ok.

Anyway. Off I go to drink my loneliness away. Happy New Year.

Photos of the day

FUJI3434.jpg
Ryo Mukae

Videos of the day

Harry Potter Book Collection

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Obviously, this is not a book, but look how cute he looks!
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This is obviously not a book either, but he’s part of Harry Potter. Just look at the details!
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My German Hardcover Harry Potter series.
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One of my English Harry potter collections, given to me by a good friend of mine.
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My complete english paperback edition of Harry Potter.
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Beedle the Bard in English and in German. I really love both editions.

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Neither of these I own in German, both editions I owned twice at some point because I forgot I already had them…

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One Wizards dictionary, a Harry Potter book calendar and a Friendship-book
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One of my uncompleted series editions of Harry Potter, also given to me by a friend.
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This is my favourite cover of them all, but the only one I have of this series. I want them all in hardcover, which aren’t cheap.

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All of the Philosopher stone editions I own, including the illustrated version

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#2 in the series.
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#3, and personal favourite of the series, because of Remus and Sirius.
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#4. When rereading this series, this is as far as I can get, then I keep putting off rereading the others.
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#5. The one that took me forever to finally get through. I literally spent a whole summer reading this one.
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#6. Not gonna lie, pretty sure I cried.
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#7. I cried. A lot. I have reread this book the least. In fact, I have only ever read it once. Time to reread it again.

So these are all my Harry Potter books at the moment. I am 100% sure I am going to add books to this collection this year.

~Ciaran~

Favourite Movies: Zootropolis

Zootropolis is my favourite movie at the moment. I’ve watched it four times already, and I bought the book. I can’t put it into words why I love it.

 

The book is so adorable and I love the characters and what the movie is about. I would very much recommend watching this movie.

These are the UK trailers:

Some facts on Zootropolis are here:

Ah, I want to go and see it again. Oh dear.

It’s not in my local cinema any more, and I cannot wait for it to be released on DVD so I can buy it and watch it every day.

~ Ciaran ~

List 10 books that have stayed with you in some way

So I was tagged by the-girl-with-the-books on tumblr to do this tag.
In no particular order, these are the books that have stayed with me in some way:

1. Harry Potter and the philosophers stone by J.K. Rowling
2. Interview with a Vampire by Anne Rice
3. Howl, Kaddish, and other Poems by Allen Ginsberg
4. Katie Cat by Thomas Brezina
5. Das Unendliche Licht by Thomas Finn
6. Eragon by Christopher Paolini
7. Nothing but Envy by Barbara Demick
8. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
9. Fliegender Stern by Ursula Wölfel
10. The Giver by Lois Lowry

A short and sweet post for today!

See you soon,

Ciarán

Wrap Up!

I had high hopes of reading books in April, but alas, I have not finished one.

Not a wrap up, but I enjoy his videos. They’re so energetic.

The first wrap up that popped up from people I’m subscribed to.

Some hauls I enjoyed watching

Now, to my books!

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I keep jumping from book to book to book without finishing any one of them.

I read the books by Justin Somper when I was around 14 and I read them in German. I remember absolutely loving them. I loved the German cover, the story, the characters and the fast pace of the story, I’m not too sure about this cover though.
Its easy to follow, but also kept me really hooked. I still love the story, but I really do not like the cover. The cover of the Narnia collections is my favourite out of the four, even though I love the blue of the Companion book.

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I found this book on the way home. It would be the book I’d be reading right now, if I wouldn’t have to focus on essays…

This weekend is a long weekend, with Monday being a bank holiday in the UK. Monday also so happens to be my birthday. So yay.

~ Ciaran ~