December 29, 2013

THIS ISN'T FICTION and TEA & BOOKS Reading Challenges

So, this is it. The end. Of course, technically speaking, you've still got two days left to finish that very last book for both of the reading challenges I hosted this year. I know that some of you even signed up for both, so needless to say (but I shall do so anyway) I am especially proud of you. Didn't quite reach your chosen level? Don't be sad, even if you only made it to a lower level than the one you had initially planned on, heck, even if you only read one chunkster or three non-fiction books, that is still an accomplishment. Granted, it's a smaller one than you might initially have had in mind, but nevertheless it is something. Didn't even read one single book? That's a different story. Go away and read. Fast. There's no other way to save face now.

Now it's your turn to share with me and all the other participants how you fared in the reading challenge you chose - was it fun, or more of a trudge? Are you glad you managed to polish off a few neglected books or tomes from your bookshelves? Maybe I even managed to turn you into a new fan of non-fiction and/or books with a measly *chuckles* 1.000 pages? 

Last but not least, some of you may wonder if there's going to be a repeat of these challenges in 2014 and I'm sorry to say that with my ongoing hiatus the answer is no, but I certainly hope I've managed to wet your appetite for non-fiction and/or heavy chunksters so you will start into the new year with the same reading enthusiasm as this year and won't need me to remind you all the time to pick up that book and read. That being said, I'm wishing you all a bookishly good start into the new year and may the odds of picking up big books and/or those that aren't fiction, be ever in your favor!

December 1, 2013

TEA & BOOKS Reading Challenge


Time's running out, but you're (hopefully) not running out of reading material so close to the end (of the year and this challenge). Did you polish off plenty of heavy tomes? Good for you. Is there still an unfinished chunkster on your bedside table? You're excused then - so go on and read!

After reaching my chosen level already by mid-year, and successfully upgrading to the next level, a fact I never grow tired of mentioning, I hope that many of you enjoyed to plow through those big books as much as I did. Obviously I hope that everyone will have reached (or soonish, anyway) their personal goal and even if you never quite made it past the first level this is still an achievement worthy of, let me think, going on a book buying splurge! Still struggling with book one? That's tough, but don't give up and keep in mind you've still got all of December to stick your nose between those (many) pages.

Curious about who is participating in the challenge? Go here.

This has been the last update in this challenge, but there will be a final post on December 29th.

Time to share your thoughts, struggles, and great readerly moments in this challenge with all of us! Comment away. 

THIS ISN'T FICTION Reading Challenge


Let's right cut to the chase. One more month. Four more weeks. Did this just get your heart-rate up? Well then go away and read. Are you sitting back, quite relaxes? Good job on reaching your chosen level in this year's This isn't Fiction Reading Challenge!

I'm not going to repeat myself, making a point of how I already reached the highest level after only six months, but *oops* it looks as though I just did. Joking aside, some of you already commented previously about reaching their personal goal, so a big round of applause for those readers among us, please. Everyone who's still struggling, maybe getting to one level, but not quite to the next one, don't fret (too much), because this is still a great achievement. Plus, as mentioned before - one more month to go, so you might just make it over the finish lines too!

Curious about who is participating in the challenge? Go here.

This has been the last update in this challenge, but there will be a final post on December 29th.

Time to share your thoughts, struggles, and great readerly moments in this challenge with everyone! Comment away.

The Sunday Book Branch


the reading nook
And before you start rolling your eyes let me assure you that this is the last time of getting cozy with murders this month. All right, let's say the last for the rest of the year. Better? As I still had a number of single books from various series sitting on the shelf I put together a tasty reading menu. Overall the cozies were of the average sort (which is good) yet none made me feel like picking up more books from the series (which is a shame).
P.S.: If I had to pick a fav among the three I'd go for the cookies!

One Bad Apple (Sheila Connolly) / Crops And Robbers (Paige Shelton) / The Christmas Cookie Killer (Livia J. Washburn)
the writing desk
So I though about how much I used to write on my blog and now that everything has been reduced to these Sunday shorties, you're probably shocked/disappointed/surprised/etc to hear that I'm considering to go into full hiatus mode for a little while. No plan to completely stop writing (or reading, mind you), but somehow blogging has lost its allure in recent months, so a break will do both of us (me and my blog) good. Not filing for divorce yet, which is good, right?

Goodreads
the wishing tree
I confess, it was the cover that first pulled me in. Contrary to what some might think, Shaping Humanity isn't about pretty pics of hairy apes, but showcases our ancient human ancestors offering a fascinating journey down the path of human evolution with a visual focus on what earlier humans really looked like. Think paleontology meets forensics!



the book hoarder
No books for me this week, then again, after my recent haul (see last week's post) that's better anyway. Maybe I'll even celebrate the four-weeks-of-not-buying-books *insert Twelve-Days-of-Christmas tune*. Or maybe not. There's no sense in playing hard to get when it comes to chocolate-covered gingerbread and acquiring new books. Not in December, anyway.

the literary mind
Now that December has come around I can't help but dream of A) a white Christmas and b) a bookish Advent-calendar. Seriously, wouldn't that be neat, in fact, more than neat, it'd be totally awesome! Every day a book or maybe a journal or a bookmark or anything that makes the book-lover's heart beat faster. Who needs one of those old-fashioned chocolate filled calendars anyway? Well, all right, they are yummy, obviously, but books beat sweets every time. What bookish surprises would you like to find in an Advent-calendar?

November 24, 2013

The Sunday Book Branch


the reading nook
And I got cozy again with some mysteries. Again I picked a series of which I've thoroughly enjoyed the first book with its organizationally challenged heroine. In fact, I think I will now officially declare this to be one of my favorite cozy mystery series! I love the theme and the chemistry between the main cast, plus the mysteries are quite decent too (if you read as much in this genre as I do, you rarely get surprised anymore). Granted, the last one was a bit overdone, but what the heck.

The Cluttered Corpse / Death Loves a Messy Desk / The Busy Woman's Guide to Murder (Mary Jane Maffini)
the writing desk
Writing is something that you don't know how to do. You sit down and it's something that happens, or it may not happen. So, how can you teach anybody how to write? It's beyond me, because you yourself don't even know if you're going to be able to. I'm always worried, well, you know, every time I go upstairs with my wine bottle. Sometimes I'll sit at that typewriter for fifteen minutes, you know. I don't go up there to write. The typewriter's up there. If it doesn't start moving, I say, well this could be the night that I hit the dust.
Charles Bukowski

Goodreads
the wishing tree
Songs have been written about my non-existent culinary skills, well, actually that's not quite true though it wouldn't be surprising. Despite all that I really like cookbooks, mostly for their pretty pictures. The Great British Bake Off with its breads and cakes, chutney and jams, sounds deliciously yummy to me. In fact it sounds good enough to maybe even try out some of the recipes! And when all else fails ... Mom's the word!

the book hoarder
You know what they say. Show, don't tell. So, showing it is ... I present to you my (finally) completed AwesomeBooks haul!
Neat, huh?

the literary mind
Don't you sometimes wish you could guide a story you're reading into a different direction? I fondly remember those interactive novels I read as a teen where you could choose your own path along the way. Of course I usually ended up making wrong decisions and ended up dead, but then I'd just start it all over and heck, it was fun every time. Have you ever read one of those Choose Your Own Adventure novels? If so, how'd you like them? If not, tempted to try them out?

November 17, 2013

The Sunday Book Branch


the reading nook
After deciding to polish off some more cozy mysteries this month I went for some knittingly unexciting fluff this week. This doesn't mean the books are the literary version of sleeping pills, they are simply of the variety that won't get your heartrate up (much). Admittedly they didn't quite live up to my expectations after reading the first book of The Knitting Mysteries some time ago, but sometimes brain candy like that is just what the doctor ordered.

A Deadly Yarn / A Killer Stitch / Fleece Navidad (Maggie Sefton)
the writing desk
Writers Write. Or so they should. Unless they are wading knee-deep through the swampy pool of procrastination. But let's not digress. Being one of my favorite writerly websites out there, I thought I need to share it with you. It's fun, it's inspirational, it's helpful, and it's definitely one of my main sources for filling up my Writing Thingys board on Pinterest.
Reading tip: Do you ever feel like the author of the book you are reading is trying to kill you?

Goodreads
the wishing tree
Before you start wondering who's taken over my blog (or worse, my mind) rest assured that it's still same ol' me. I've always loved to read up on the history of things and that includes *gulp* venturing out of veggie-land into the realm of carnivores. In Meat We Trust showcases North America as meat-eater's paradise while back in good old Europe folks had to mostly resort to potatoes and turnips. Interesting vantage point, for sure!


the book hoarder
Still waiting for two more books to arrive. Don't I hate that. Instant gratification denied. Hear me grumble. That being said (or rather, grumbled) I already have two nicely stacked, well, book stacks sitting next to my computer desk just waiting to be completed by their still lost brothers (I'm referring to them as boys as their authors are male, just in case you were wondering). When that moment arrives I will get out my camera and show 'em all off. Finally.

the literary mind
Apropos of nothing I've been wondering about the biggest amount of books I ever bought in one go. Strangely, and after some serious contemplation of the matter, I came to the surprising conclusion that despite mostly resorting to online book buying these days (which makes the whole book splurging a lot easier as it isn't me who needs to carry them all the way to my door step), my grand days of hauling home multiple bags filled with books are long gone, namely when I was still at Uni, often using breaks to browse through sales-bins in bookshops. A rough estimate? I'm fairly sure I managed to buy more than twenty books on a good day. How many books have you ever purchased at once? Anyone hitting triple digits maybe?

November 10, 2013

The Sunday Book Branch


the reading nook
It's back to the roots or rather back to my go-to genre of choice as of lately. Let's blame the season, because it's perfect cozy mystery weather which means I'm all for delving into murderous activities in small town settings. This one, as it so happens, takes place in Booktown, a place where everyone seems to own a bookstore and one particular shop owner always ends up stumbling over dead bodies. All in all your average mysteries with the bonus of a bookish setting.

Bookmarked for Death / Bookplate Special / Sentenced to Death (Lorna Barrett)
the writing desk
Good thing I only signed up to NaNoWriMo in my mind (yep, completely forgot to actually sign up for it), because I'm currently slightly writing-impaired (yeah, I can still type ... a bit) thus mostly plotting in my mind now too. Now why's that? First I accidentally hit my wrist against a sharp edge of the faucet while cleaning the bath, then I had a slight disagreement with the garage door and pulled a tendon in the same hand, and to round things up, one wrong move later my right shoulder was making a funny grinding sound accompanied by another dose of pain. I'm not sure whether to blame the universe for this or whether I'm simply a klutz. I'd rather do some accusing finger pointing toward the great heavens. Here's to healing and more actual writing next week.

Goodreads
the wishing tree
This one isn't about etymology. Or strange words. It's about the figures of rhetoric. To read or not to read should not be the question when it comes to The Elements of Eloquence. One might not end up like Shakespeare, but one might learn a thing or two. About diacopes, for example. Have got nothing to say? Never mind, from here on out you can at least say it well.


the book hoarder
Still waiting for most of my AwesomeBooks haul which kinda puts me on edge. Yep, I'm always getting nervous when one part of an order only takes a few days and the rest doesn't show up for another couple of weeks. Not as though I wouldn't have experienced this phenomenon before. Oh ye Bookshop-Gods, let me have all my books, pretty please!

the literary mind
The little pink slip said, "Reminder: Please claim this bag at planeside." I do wonder whether the former owner of the book, which held this small piece of paper, has been so lost in thought while solving fictitious crimes that they never claimed their bag? Former book owner and former bag owner? Who knows? And my inner cozy mystery crime solver can't help but wonder whether that bag went unclaimed because of the body parts hidden inside. Vivid imagination? Me? I guess so. What are the strangest things you've ever found in used books?