Tuesday, 29 April 2014

"Under the Dome" by Stephen King


Title: Under the Dome
Author: Stephen King
First Published: 2003
Publisher: Scribner
Pages: 1092
Genre: Science Fiction
Format/Source: Kindle/Amazon

"[He] looked up and saw [her] brains drying high on one wall. What she used to think with now looked like a clot of oatmeal. He burst into tears."
 
On the morning of October 21, out of the blue, an invisible barrier appears all around Chester's Mill, Maine. The first two victims of the "Dome Day" are the two passengers of a little plane that crashes into the "Dome", the hand of a gardener who happened to be reaching over the town limits the exact moment is cut off by the force field, it's owner dies of blood loss.
Aside from killing another half-a-dozen or so people and one woodchuck, the Dome also prevents Dale Barbara, nicknamed Barbie, a cook and Ex-Iraq solider from leaving the town after a physical conflict with the son of the town's second selectman.
As the town scrambles to adapt with this situation, this selectman, Big Jim Rennie, is quick to hatch a plan and try to take on control over Chester's Mill, whatever the price is.
But Barbie and Julia Shumway - the publisher of the local paper - see through this plan and suspect there's a little more to Big Jim than the dutiful selectman and used car dealer than it seems.

Thursday, 24 April 2014

Write On Review-a-Thon (2)

The Write On review-a-thon is a monthly event created and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. It’s 2 days dedicated to getting reviews done, whether you have one review to write or 30+. This edition of the review-a-thon takes place all day Friday, April 25th and Saturday, April 26th. Let’s get those reviews done!
I've already participated at the review-a-thon once and thought I should do it again to fiiiiiinally get some reviews done.

I'd like to write reviews for these books:
  • "Under the Dome" by Stephen King (please dear god let me finally finish this)
  • "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown
  • "The Castle" by Franz Kafka

I'm gonna set a realistic goal and try to get these done!

Edit:
 Wrap up time!
  • "Under the Dome" by Stephen King FINISHED AND POSTED HERE
  • "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown FINISHED - GONNA POST IT NEXT WEEK
  • "The Castle" by Franz Kafka HALF THROUGH 
Yup, I managed 5/6 of my list and I'm quite satisfied! I'll definately join again next month!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Tune in Tuesday (1)


Tune in Thursday is a meme created by Ginger from GReads and now hosted over at Kate's Tales of Books and Bands to showcase the music you love. Since I permanently find new beautiful songs to obsess over, I want to share them and give others a chance to maybe discover a new favourite.


So I've been in love with Rufus Wainwright for about four or five months but I still keep falling for other great songs that I didn't pay much attention before.

One of those is "Memphis Skyline", I pressed on shuffle, this came up and I just.
Wow. 
It's just vocal and piano but it blew me away. And the lyrics are just so strange I can't even really make sense of them. 


Under the Memphis skyline
always hated him for the way he looked
In the gaslight of the morning


The second one is "Dinner at Eight". It's so wonderfully melancholic even thinking about it makes me sad - For the record, yes I really love sad stuff. Actually very many of Rufus Wanwright's songs are this whistful, maybe that's why I like him so much.

Why is it so
That I've always been the one who must go
That I've always been the one told to flee
When it fact you were the one long ago
Actually in the drifting white snow
You left me

So I hope you enjoyed these songs! If you're currently in love with any, pleeease recommend them to me :) 

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Friday, 11 April 2014

"The Da Vinci Code" by Dan Brown - Review

Title: The Da Vinci Code
Author: Dan Brown
First Published: 2003
Publisher: Anchor
Pages: 490
Genere: Thriller
Format/Source: Paperback - Lent from my dad
"Men go to far greater lengths to avoid what they fear than to obtain what they desire."
- Leigh Teabing 

After holding a lecture in Paris, Robert Langdon and the curator of the Louvre have arranged to meet for drinks. Jaques Sauniére never shows up for this appointment, but, as Langdon finds out when french agents wake him and bring him to the Louvre, Sauniére has a good excuse: He has been murdered. While dying, he abviously drew a pentagramm on his belly and, in addition to a cryptic message he also wrote Langdon's name on the floor, which led the agents to believe Langdon is the murderer.

Langdon manages to flee with cryptologist and granddaughter of the deceased and now tries to decrypt the message left by the curator, who, as a member of the secret society of the Priory de Sion, tried to lead his granddaughter to an ancient truth in his final minutes of life, a truth that otherwise would be lost forever. But the French police aren't the only ones chasing those two...

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

About Me


So Alysia from littlepocketbooks asked her readers this question and I thought it would be fun to answer! I thought this was quite interesting so if you are reading this and want to do this too, by all means, please! I'd really like to read your answers too!

1. Name please. If you have a nickname tell me what it is and where did you get it from.
Theoretically my Name is Stella-Marie, but usually I only go with Stella and I sign with Stella-M. The only ones how call me Stella-Marie are family members. I just think it's too long... But when translated from Latin into German you get starfish which, I think, is rather funny :)



2. Which city, state, county are you in right now?
I'm in Munich, Germany

3. Name three things on your left.
My half finished drawing of Jane Eyre, a purple pencil and my cellphone.

4. How many books do you read a month on average? 
 Maybe about 3-4? But I was so stressed out the last two weeks so it's only going to be maybe 2 this month.

5. If you could change one thing about the last book you read, what would it be? Tell us the name of the book too.
The last book I read was "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown and I'd change very many things, but I wish Dan Brown had at least said what happened to Sophie after the last book. All in all it was a bit cliché and sometimes predictable. I hope the next one, "Inferno", will be better.
  
6. Do the books you read influence your dreams at night? 
I don't know, honestly. Especially during school time I can never remember them, but I think I dreamt about Sherlock Holmes a few times, but rather the Benedict Cumberbatch Sherlock...

7. How are you doing on your reading challenges? How many did you sign up for? 
None! I should probably look into that though. Which ones do you recommend?

8.  If you have 2 extra hours a day that no one else could get, what would you do?

Well, I'd read, I'd draw, that sort of thing. I'd definitely catch up with my TV-Shows and maybe start a few new ones. And actually, a few hours more a day are a wishful dream of mine, I'd get so muh more done.

9.  Is there a book on your bookshelf not getting any love at all from you and the book blogging community?  If so, shout it out.
I've had "Nanjing Requiem" by Ha Jin on my bookshelf for a year or so without reading and a things doesn't seem to get much love from the blogging community are travel journals. I really enjoy those! One I've recently read and liked would be "On the Noodle Road - from Beijing to Rome with Love and Pasta" from Jen Lin-Liu, it's an interesting journey about food and cultures from Asia, the middle East, eastern Europe and finally southern Europe.

10.  Each one teach one moment.  Tell us about an app, software, program you have just found out about and love.   
I don't know? I'm a purist when it comes to organising etc, I write in physical planner and make my weekly plans in Excel, I'm not really one for gimmicks or something and aside from social networks the only thing I use is Feedly, to keep track on the blogs I follow.

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Friday, 21 March 2014

My Bookish Life (2) - The Best Day of the Year - so far


YEEES yesterday really was the best day of my year so far! Unfortunately I couldn't write about it right then, you know, it was late and all but now I can tell you all about it!

School

Yes that was how my day started out. School until 1 pm and after that, we all drove into the city and listened to a lecture about HIV and STDs. Sounds fun right. Well. It wasn't *too* bad but at least I had time to read during the lecture. And after that, I already was in the city so that was a good thing.

So, after that lecture, I went to the Item Shop for the first time. I've linked their FB page, I really loved it. It's disguised as a cute little shop but actually it's a nerd's paradise! They had so many stuff! Minecraft pickaxes, Breaking Bad  dolls, Sherlock Cluedo, Pokémon costumes, T-Shirts of all kind, Star Wars chopsticks, you name it!
And they had such, -such a huge Doctor Who selection! Doctor Who mugs, standees, earrings, key chains AND THEY HAD THIS TARDIS FITTING ROOM! I WAS IN A TARDIS! 
I ended up buying eleven's sonic screwdriver and suspenders. And check out my picture of myself, Ten, and the TARDIS. One of the three women who run the shop took it, she was really sweet! I love this shop already.

In Between
So after that visit, I went to the Irish Pub with my mom and her colleague. I had fish and chips and got a little tipsy on cider. Then we went to Muji and I got two pairs of stockings which is a great deal since I love stockings and wear them like... Everyday.

Donna Tartt
So now, for the event of the evening, I saw Donna Tartt, the author of one of my recent favourites, "The Goldfinch"! Heio von Stetten read two chapters of the book in German and ... he was great! He has a nice voice and he read all the characters so well! Then, in between the moderator asked Donna a few questions about the book, they discussed about it a little and in the end she read one part. 

Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take pictures, but I recorded everything. Donna has such a young voice, it's weird. She looks like about mid thirty, her voice sounds early twenties and I just looked it up - She's fifty years old! How weird. And she's really short too. That was really interesting, from reading the book I would have imagined her differently. 

She talked about that her books always have something dreamlike about them. And she talked about memories. She used this metaphor that your mind is a suitcase and you pack memories in there like clothes and every time you take one item of clothing, look at it and put it back in, it always goes back into the suitcase a little differently. And that's how memories change in your mind, depending on what yo put emphasis on the memory morphs into something someone else would remember completely differently.

In the end, she signed my copy of "The Goldfinch" and I bought a copy of "The Secret History" and she signed that too, that was really nice. I could even thank her and tell her how much I loved the book. So, I went to my first reading and I've got two signed copies so yay, I guess I qualify as collector now.

Thor Loki - The Dark Kingdom
Obviously I got home late but still, Loki was waiting for me! Well, sadly not Loki himself, but the DVD of his recent adventure with his brother Thor. I already watched it in the cinema and loved it, I'm actually watching it right now. 
I love all the Marvel superhero movies but the Thor movies got to be my favourites because there's so much of Loki I just... 
God I'd keel to Tom Hiddleston anytime. And with Loki's black hair and this mad villain attitude he gets even better. 
But really Thor isn't half bad either. Chris Hemsworth is massive though, I mean his biceps are probably as broad as my whole frame. I saw him naked in "The Rush" and I'd probably prefer that, there he's ripped but not so bodybuilderish. 
Okay yeah back to Loki. I sort of miss his youth and innocence on the first Thor movie, he's just so mad now but he has also evolved so much. And in the deleted scenes you can see Tom Hiddleston in the tight Captain America suit.
 Have you ever read something by Donna Tartt? Do you love Doctor Who? Are you as obsessed with Loki as I am? Just talk to me pleease.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Favourite Books


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. It looks really fun so I thought why not give it a go. This week is Top Ten Tuesday was "favourite books in X genere" but since I'm not really a genere reader I just modified it into "Favourite Books". So, here you go, in no particular order:

1. "The Goldfinch" by Donna Tartt
I'm going to see Donna Tartt next week wheeee!! I'm so excited! This book is ~800 pages thick and spans about 15? years of Theo Deckers life which is filled with tragedy that returns back to Theo every few years.


2. "The Time Traveller's Wife" by Audrey Niffenegger
Another pretty thick one. It's alternatingly written from the standpoint of Claire and Henry DeTamble so that you can get two points of view of one event. Anyway, when I finished I started crying outrageously in the middle of the classroom and my teacher even came to ask me if everything is alright.

They named an actual street after that book
3. The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman
 This one is pretty thin but nonetheless filled with magic and wonder. I loved "Neverwhere" too but I wanted to limit it to one book per author.


4. "A Study in Scarlet" by Arthur Conan Doyle
Who doesn't love the brilliant genius Sherlock Holmes who solves seemingly inexplicable crimes? And in this book, everything is still fresh, and you can feel the beautiful feeling of starting a great series. 

5. "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell
If you've read this epic novel spanning from the 1800s to a far, far away future and telling the stories of 5 heroes still entagled despite of time and the distance between them you know what I'm talking about.

6. "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Brontë
No I don't love this book because it's Bella's favourite. The setting is nice, the moors of England, and it's so well written that you can actually see the landscape before you, smell the grass in the spring. I generally like books set in the 1700-1800s in England and this book has just the right faint air of mystery about it.

7. "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown
Fat, fast paced and incredibly excited, a great mix of science and religion that is so suspensefull that I sometimes just wanted to throw the book away but couldn't even cose it.

8. "The Garden of Evening Mists" by Tan Twan Eng
This book is set in the Malayan highland, partly during the Japanese occupation of Malaya and in independant Malaysia. It's a great story in a great setting, it tells about gardening and stories of the war. I don't know, I somehow like reading war stories, they're really thrilling.

9. "The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle" by Haruki Murakami
Strangely surreal and yet enchanting. I just can't figure this book out. It's really really weird but it has something to it. Especially the 3rd part is written in more unconventional style (newspaper, storytelling, chats, letters...) I should read it again. And it also has a part war story (a really grusome one too) so yeah.


Also, there's a beautiful JE movie with Michael Fassbender
10. "Jane Eyre" by Charlotte Brontë
 I said no particular order but I left the best for last. I love this book, I've read it multiple times in multiple languages and it just doesn't get boring for me. I love how Jane is a strong, independent woman who thinks about what is best for her and what she wants rather than what people want of her. I just love everything about it.


I really love fat books.
What's your favourite book of all time?

Sunday, 9 March 2014

My Bookish Life (1) - Doctor Who, Donna, Emma and Rufus


Over the course of the week a few little things happened that I just wanted to share here so now and in the future, when a few things accumulate I'll just make a post like this.


Doctor Who
Yes I guess I just outed myself here as a huge Whovian.
Finally my instagram is put to use!
My mum came home from the US and she brought me a Doctor Who bookmark with the eleven Doctors on it (sorry War Doctor and twelve), which is pretty cool since I don’t really have one (my last one ripped) so I used the tag that was on my Jeans. 
But no more! Behold of my new great bookmark!

Donna Tartt
I’m going to see the author of one of my recent favourite books - Donna Tartt! On March 20 she’s going to hold a reading of “The Goldfinch” in the Hugendubel at the Fünf Höfe here in Munich! She’s going to sign books, too, so I’ll just bring my copy. And I was really lucky and got one of the last two tickets.

"Emma" by Jane Austen and "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown
I finished "Under the Dome" and after all the people who died in there I wanted something happy so I thought what's better than a classic romance. But... I find it absolutely boring and   family friend lent me "The Lost Symbol" and "Inferno". Those are easy to read and I have to give them back so I already started.

Rufus Wainwright!
My current favourite singer, Rufus Wainwright, brought out two new albums -  "Live from the artists den", a live recording, and "Vibrate", a Best Of. I highly recommend you to listen to "Vibrate". Just listen to "Go or Go Ahead" and you'll hear what a genius he is. I also recommend you "Do I Disappoint You" or, if you prefer something smoother, "World War III".
Elton John said Rufus is the best songwriter of our time but unfortunately he just isn't popular! It's probably because his music is rather complex and a little demanding rather than the simple stuff that's mainstream right now.
He's also touring right now but unfortunately he isn't coming to Munich and I can't make it to the other locations :(

Books /O.o/
As I already said, I've lent "The lost Symbol" and "Inferno" by Dan Brown and for my birthday I got a illustrated book by my aunt. It's called "London" and was written by M. Sasek. The Illustrations are just so beautiful. Plus, I got money for my birthday so that just calls for a trip to the bookstore!

Other
I'm just really stressed out at the moment with school, tutoring and driving lessons so I had really little time for reading and drawing and watching my TV-Shows and sometimes I just want to curl myself into a ball and lie on the floor

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Monday, 3 March 2014

"Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman - review

Title: Neverwhere
Author: Neil Gaiman
First Published: 1996
Publisher: Harper Torch Fiction
Pages: 383
Genere: Fantasy/Adventure
Format/Source: Paperback - Christmas Gift
"Richard had noticed that events were cowards: they didn't occur singly, but instead they would run in packs and leap out at him all at once."

It all starts when Londoner Richard Mayhew helps a mysterious girl he finds injured pavement and takes her home. Twentyfour hours later the girl has left and he finds that his life was practically erased: His desk at his work was put away, his apartment is for rent and his fiancée doesn't recognise him. Even weirder, nobody even notices him anymore. The only alternative he sees is to look for the girl he found on the sidewalk and so he tumbles into London Below - a strange world of mysterious creatures, baronies and a little magic. Where there is an earl in Earl's Court (an London Underground car) and black friars at Blackfriars. The girl Richard helped turns out to be, in fact, a lady, the lady Door.

As Richard finds out, the Lady's family has been murdered not long ago and she is pursued by the two most feared cutthroats in London Below - Mr. Croup and Mr. Vandemar. To find out why her family was killed, Door sets out to find the angel Islington - together with the strange, cunning and deceiving Marquis de Carabas who still owed Door a favour; the bodyguard Hunter, a fierce hunter whose aspiration it is to kill the Great Beast of London; and the upworlder Richard who has no idea what he got himself into and who just wants his life back.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Top Ten Tuesday- Fictional Crushes




Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. It looks really fun so I thought why not give it a go. This week is Top Ten Tuesday REWIND and you can pick any previous topic you wanted - Perfect for me to start with!

I chose "Fictional Crushes" because I'm just really a sucker for fictional characters and probably have/had dozens of book crushes over the last few years. So, here are the ten I picked out (in no particular order):


1. Harry Potter from the "Harry Potter" series by J.K. Rowling 
Admit it. You had a little crush on him too when you were a kid. 

2. Peeta Mellark from the "Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins 
Yes I am team Peeta. He's nice and considerate and trusting and he can bake. I like Gale too but Peeta just does it for me. True. 

3. Jacob Black from the "Twilight" series by Stephenie Meyer 
I hope I don't get hated on because I read Twilight or because I like Jacob more. I read it because everyone read it and I fairly liked it. It wasn't great, it was okay.
And I'd just rather live a normal live with a hot guy than live forever with a stone. Okay that's exaggerating. Edward is pretty and sophisticated and everything but I don't want someone with whom I couldn't get old with.

Okay now that I'm through with those three obligatory statements for a 16 year old girl I can continue with the fun stuff:
(Edit: As of 24th of February I'm actually 17. Damn. But I was 16 when I wrote this.)

4. Edward Rochester from "Jane Eyre" 
Michael Fassbender as hottie Mr. Rochester
 Mr. Rochester is a sort of mixed character. Sometimes he's rude, sometimes he ignores Jane, he played games with her and that whole story with Bertha...
But he's good at heart and really lovely when he wants to be. Also, my favourite heroine chose him so how could I resist?
Even though he is desribed as ugly in the books, I first saw the movie and he's played by Michael Fassbender who -in my opinion- is quite the opposite of bad looking. 

5. Henry DeTamble from "The Time Traveller's Wife" 
Henry is romantic, loves reading and -I bet- sexy from runnig everyday. Also, he can travel through time so Clare, his wife, already knew adult him since she was six. Isn't that sweet? 

6. Sherlock Holmes from "Sherlock Holmes" 
Benedict Cumberbatch as cutie Mr. Holmes
I'm going to quote Irene Adler from BBC Sherlock on this: "Brainy is the new sexy." Who coudn't resist a hunky genius who hasn't only an IQ of about 180 but also knows how to knock another man unconscious? I love him even though he's a weird sociopath. I'm a huge Sherlock Holmes fan and I annoy my friends with amateur deductions and Sherlock Holmes references. Actually Sherlock is the reason for my blog title. And as if his intelligence wasn't enough, look at Benedict Cumberbatch as BBC's Sherlock.

7. Shinichi Kudo from "Case Closed / Detective Conan"
He's a character from a manga and pretty much the same as Sherlock Holmes only 17 years old and from Japan. And with more murder. He temporarily got turned into a kid and then goes with the name Conan but Shinichi holds a part of my heart.

8. Richard Mayhew from "Neverwhere"
Richard is just completely clueless and clumsy throughout the whole book - understandable since he got thrown into a whole new world. And that's what makes him amiable. But being so lloyal and nice to a girl he barely knows and being brave when he had to just did it for me.

9. Dale Barbara from "Under the Dome"
I haven't completely finished "Under the Dome" yet but Barbie is my current literary crush. Clever, brave, knows how to fight, how to cook, has medical skills etc. etc. etc. He's a great allrounder and a pretty much perfect guy who just had a lot of bad luck.

10. Castiel from "Supernatural" 
Look at Mr. Squinty Eyes oh god
I knooooow this should be about book crushes but Cas is my number one fictional crush and... you know since Carver Edlund wrote about the Winchesters and -later on- Cas, so thoretically in the SPNverse he also is a book character. He's just beautiful, clueless, clever, manipulative, amiable, weird.... And he's an angel. A litteral angel. 

Good that's it for this tuesday, till next week!

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Write On Review-A-Thon!

The Write On review-a-thon is a monthly event created and hosted by Brianna at The Book Vixen. It’s 2 days dedicated to getting reviews done, whether you have one review to write or 30+. This edition of the review-a-thon takes place all day Friday, February 28th and Saturday, March 1st. Let’s get those reviews done!

I have a few reviews to wrap up or start to write and this seems like something that could keep me motivated  so, here's my list for this weekend:


  • "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman
  • "Under the Dome" by Stephen King
  • "The DaVinci Code" by Dan Brown

That's it for the time! Start small and work your way up, you know. I'm almost finished with "Neverwhere" but "Under the Dome" is such a big book it could take a while.

Then: Good Luck to me and my fellow participants!

Wrap Up

Reviews I got done:
  • "Neverwhere" by Neil Gaiman: Yup, got this finished and queued up
 Reviews I started:
  • "The DaVici Code" by Dan Brown: At least got the synopsis and half of my opinion down
  • "Under the Dome" by Stephen King: Got the synopsis but that's all... And I'm pretty sure this will take some time it's so epic
Summary:
Well. This didn't go all too good, what should I say, bad time management. At least I got some things done. Will definately try again next time!

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Monday, 24 February 2014

"The Alchemist" by Paul Coelho - Review

Title: The Alchemist
Author: Paul Coelho
First Published: 1988
Original Language: Portugese

Publisher: Harper San Francisco
Pages: 197 (including bookclub guide, interview etc.)   
Genere: Adventure/Bildungsroman

"The secret is here in the present. If you pay attention to the present, you can improve upon it. And, if you improve on the present, what comes later will also be better." - The Seer

The Andalusian sheperd boy Satiago dreams of a treasure that lies under the great pyramids. A man who claims to be the king of Salomon gives him two stones that should tell his faith and advises him to follow his personal legend, his destiny. The next day the boy sells all his sheep and sets out from Spain to Egypt to find his treasure. On his way he encounters an Englishman, his true love, a few thieves and an alchemist who teaches him that everything on this world is the same and everyhing speaks one language, the "language of the world".

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