Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Goodbye 2014, hello 2015!

Wow, the year is almost over again and this one went quick if you ask me :) I had a really good year so that is probably the reason why. 

I also read a lot more books than in the previous year, thanks to no uni any more. 

So this year I finished 35 books, lots of them had more than 500 pages and some even around 1000. This number doesn't sound too high if compared to other blogs but I am really happy with it. I also enjoyed many books this year and was very lucky with my choices :)

26 of the books belong to the fantasy genre
3 are dystopian / postapocalyptic tales
1 is a thriller
1 a horror / mystery book
1 a cassic
3 are contemporary young adult books

I reviewed 27 of those so far.

There are 6 books I started but didn't like and didn't finish.

Most read authors 2014 were:

Brandon Sanderson with 9 books
Stephen King with 4 books

It is really hard to pick the best book or a Top 3 because I just read soo many good ones this year :)

If I had to I would probably pick the Stormlight Archives as well as the last Mistborn book, The Hero of Ages, as they just blew me away!
I would name Erika Johansen's Queen of the Tearling as well as Charlie N. Holmberg's Paper Magician books as the biggest surprises for me this year. 
A book I have been waiting for for a long time was Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb and I loved it as well!

I finished 2 book series this year:
The Dark Tower by Stephen King (7 books in total)
Mistborn Trilogy by Brandon Sanderson (3 ;-) )

On the other hand I started quite a few new ones - 8!! And that is only counting the ones I want to continue. There are a few that are not worth it or where the story is over for me.
The funny thing is that I could only continue with 2 of them right now as the other ones are not published yet..

I took part in 2 challenges that are not over yet
1. Lisas (Books & Senses) Let's read it in English Challenge --> I read 33 books for this challenge so far and there is still time to read some more until the 17th of January 2015.
2. Crinis and Elenas Brandon Sanderson Challenge --> From the 1st of August 2013 to the 31st of July 2015. Since the beginning of August I read & reviewed 4 books by Brandon Sanderson and now there is not much left! :D

I am currently reading 3 books at the same time. 
Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas (17%)
The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson (50%)
The Stand by Stephen King (16%)

I finish 2014 with 3 books TBR:
Dark Divide by Jennifer Fallon (probably on my pile of books for 2 years so this will be next)
Sixth of the Dusk by Brandon Sanderson (recently purchased, only a short story)
Kushiel's Chosen by Jacqueline Carey (bought this year, will read it after the Fallon book)

I blame Australian book prices - I always think twice before I decide to buy a book. And mostly read ebooks as they are a lot cheaper. 

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Best books I read in 2014

One author is definitely dominating ;-) I couldn't say which of those 10 books I liked best though, they have all been pretty awesome!

1. The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen --> One of the surprises this year. I never heard of the author before and thought I'd give it a try. Wouldn't have thought that it's that good and gripping!
2. The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson --> One of many Sanderson's on this list, a lovely well-written crime/fantasy novel for all ages!
3. The Fool's Assassin by Robin Hobb --> I have been waiting a looong time for this one and wasn't disappointed! All the feels, when I read about Fitz, Fool, Chade, Kettricken and so on.. I love them all!
4. The Innocent by David Baldacci --> A great page turner! Exciting until the end, and I loved the 2 main characters.
5. Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson --> What can I say? I love, love, love how epic this one is and how many scenes are just too awesome too be true! And by the way, KALADIIIIIN!!!!!
6. The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson --> see Words of Radiance :D
7. The Hero of Ages by Brandon Sanderson --> The TWISTS! Oh my god, I am still freaking out when I think about this awesome, emotional ending!
8. The Dark Tower by Stephen King --> Stands for the whole series I read within the last 3/4 years. Great books with memorable characters and a little bit of everything. Will surely read them all again one day! (and please no movie...)
9. The Paper Magician by Charlie N. Holmberg --> Also a surprise, wouldn't have thought that the book kept me entertained the whole time.
10. The Twelve by Justin Cronin --> Great second part! Apart from the ending :D But I still loved reading it and can't wait for the conclusion of the trilogy next year!


Saturday, 13 December 2014

3. Vorweihnachts-Lesewochenende: Samstag

I could just go to bed now and sleep for days. Had the most horrible shift at one of my work places this morning. I didn't have to go because I started another job and only occasionally help out.. I think I am just too nice :D Busy as hell, we didn't get anything done, I was stuck at the coffee machine all morning and no other worker showed up until 11..

Later today I will go to a Christmas dinner with colleagues from my new job but can't stay long because tomorrow at 7 it's picking time. And we have over 30 degrees, I need a break :D

Okay, that is enough whining. I still had enough time this week to read a fair bit and to bake some German Christmas cookies!

Especially the Zimtsterne turned out really well this year! I will bake some more next week though as I will probably have 1 or 2 days off.

I also started 2 more books because I suddenly felt like reading Fantasy again.. I am 8% into Flammenwueste by Akram El-Bahay (yay, a german book for a change!) and think it is very awful. There is no atmosphere, the style of writing is not very good and no character has any characteristics xD I hope it will get better or I won't continue reading. There are too many awesome books out there..

I also started reading Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas. The style of writing is definitely better and it's pretty good until now. I just hope that the heroine isn't too much of a Mary Sue and that there will be no romance between her and the prince! Or even worse, a love triangle between her, the prince and the captain of the guard! If that happens I won't read on - I can't stand love triangles! :D

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: New-to-me authors I read in 2014

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Unfortunately not quite 10.

1. Neil Gaiman --> I read one of his short stories in an anthology but decided that it doesn't count ;-) I was curious about Gaiman's novels and next to The Ocean at the End of the Lane I also read American Gods this year. I enjoy Gaiman's style of writing and will definitely read more of his works.

2. John Green --> It was impossible this year to not hear about John Green. I was not particularly interested in his works but read some good reviews on Will Grayson, Will Grayson and one of my best friends told me that it was one of her favourite books. It was alright but I am not sure if I will ever read John Green again. Only if the topic sounds interesting probably..

3. David Baldacci --> The Innocent sounded like something I would like and I was right. It was a well written, gripping thriller with interesting characters and a good solution. All of his other works don't sound too interesting to me though. I picked this particular book because the story reminded me a bit of Leon - The Professional. I like the combination tough, too-cool-to-be-true assassin/police cop and strong-willed, clever teenage girl.

4. Anthony Ryan --> Because his epic fantasy debut was much talked about and high praised. I really enjoyed it but for me the story ends with this. Right now I don't want to read the sequel as it doesn't sound as interesting as the first book.

5. Charlie N. Holmberg --> found her book The Paper Magician while I was browsing and decided to buy it, which was a very good decision! I already read the second part, The Glass Magician and am now waiting for the third and last part. It's a fantasy tale with interesting magic and a love-story that is just awwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!

6. Jennifer L. Armentrout --> I was looking for high fantasy books that had a teacher-student romance :D Half-Blood came up, I read it, was very disappointed and annoyed and didn't even finish it. What a pile of clichés. No more Armentrout books for me.

7. Erika Johansen --> Came to my attention while I was looking for new books 2014. Queen of the Tearling sounded like a nice standard fantasy tale but in the end it was so much more and really good! I'll read more of Johansen's books!

8. Christopher Nuttall --> Saw The Bookworm on another blog and thought it sounded promising. In the end it wasn't as entertaining as I thought and some things just didn't make sense. The author published some more books that sound interesting to me but I am not sure if I should give him another try.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

1. Vorweihnachts-Lesewoche: Wrap Up

So the first week of December is almost over, time goes by so quickly! Last week was a good one, I went to town on Thursday and got two Christmas presents as well as Christmas cards I am going to send to Germany. Normally I enjoy shopping in Melbourne but before Christmas it is twice as busy as it normally is! I almost got lost at H&M!! Was glad to be back home ;-) I have to go back on Monday after work though as I ordered a camera and have to pick it up. Yayy, can't wait to finally take some GOOD pictures!
I also started a second job this week and went back to the farm I worked at last season. Great to be picking again and see everyone! No big spiders or snakes on the first day, only a few funny looking bugs ;-)

After last weekend I started reading a fantasy book I found on Soleil's blog.
It is called Bookworm and was written by Christopher Nuttall. Although there is a second part the story itself is concluded and it is not necessary to read it.
Here is the blurb:

Elaine is an orphan girl who has grown up in a world where magical ability brings power. Her limited talent was enough to ensure a magical training but she’s very inexperienced and was lucky to get a position working in the Great Library. Now, the Grand Sorcerer – the most powerful magician of them all – is dying, although initially that makes little difference to Elaine; she certainly doesn’t have the power to compete for higher status in the Golden City. But all that changes when she triggers a magical trap and ends up with all the knowledge from the Great Library – including forbidden magic that no one is supposed to know – stuffed inside her head. This unwanted gift doesn’t give her greater power, but it does give her a better understanding of magic, allowing her to accomplish far more than ever before. 

It’s also terribly dangerous. If the senior wizards find out what has happened to her, they will almost certainly have her killed. The knowledge locked away in the Great Library was meant to remain permanently sealed and letting it out could mean a repeat of the catastrophic Necromantic Wars of five hundred years earlier. Elaine is forced to struggle with the terrors and temptations represented by her newfound knowledge, all the while trying to stay out of sight of those she fears, embodied by the sinister Inquisitor Dread.

But a darkly powerful figure has been drawing up a plan to take the power of the Grand Sorcerer for himself; and Elaine, unknowingly, is vital to his scheme. Unless she can unlock the mysteries behind her new knowledge, divine the unfolding plan, and discover the truth about her own origins, there is no hope for those she loves, the Golden City or her entire world.

It was a short and easy read and I finished it within days. I am not that happy with the story though and even lost interest at some point close to the end. I will try to find some time on Monday and review it then.

Also I read some more post-apocalyptic short stories and they were all surprisingly good and very moving!

For next week I want to read more of The Stand and bake some Christmas cookies ;-)

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I am looking forward to in 2015

hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Books I am looking forward to in 2015:

1. The Fool's Quest (Fitz and the Fool Trilogy #2) by Robin Hobb --> Fitz & Fool are two of my all-time favourite characters! Can't wait for this sequel especially since the first book seemed more like an (awesome) introduction and there is so much more to come.

2. The Master Magician (The Paper Magician #3) by Charlie N. Holmberg --> I finished the first two books recently and enjoyed them a lot. Mainly because of the very cute lovestory :D I have high hopes for the conclusion.

3. The Orphan Queen (The Orphan Queen #1) by Jodi Meadows --> This debut sounds very promising. There are a lot of interesting new stories about queens in exile and I really like the setting. If it's as good as Queen of the Tearling I will be very happy!

4. The City of Mirrors (Passage Trilogy 3#) by Justin Cronin --> SOOOO EXCITED!! AMYYY!! I just googled and found out that the last part of the trilogy will be published next year. I love love love these books despite their overly dramatic and over-the-top endings :D

5. Shadows of Self (Wax and Wayne Trilogy #2) by Brandon Sanderson --> I didn't even read The Alloy of Law yet but will do so pretty soon. And everything Sanderson writes would be on the list. Apart from Firefight ;-)

6. The Invasion of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling #2) by Erika Johansen --> I need to know how this story goes on! The debut was almost perfect and I love the characters. can't wait to read about all of them again.

7. Fall of Light (Kharkanas Trilogy #2) by Steven Erikson --> Sure thing, I loved Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen and will definitely also read this trilogy. I am waiting for all of the books to be published before I start though. If there's too much time between them I get confused and probably forget half of the characters :D 
Am rereading Gardens of the Moon at the moment when I feel like it and plan on doing so with the whole series! But oh.. all the characters I forgot... :D

The next 3 books.. I am pretty sure that they will not be published next year but as there is no set date yet I have my hopes up anyways

8. The Thorn of Emberlain (Gentleman Bastards #4) by Scott Lynch --> probably the most likely to get published in 2015.The last update I read said that Lynch will hand the book in in the end of this year.. So about now :D I hope he did ;-) I need more Locke Lamora/Jean Tannen bromance in my life ;-)

9. The Doors of Stone (Kingkiller Chronicle #3) by Patrick Rothfuss --> I can't describe how much I LOVED the first two books! But I will be waiting patiently for the last one of the trilogy - if it's as good as the first 2.

10. The Winds of Winter by George R. R. Martin --> Ahahaha.. haha.. ha... I think late 2016 is more likely but you never know.