Those Books I’ve Listened To!

Pic by Franzi (Audible screenshots from my mobile).

During the last four weeks life was busy. Thus, I only re-read one favorite book of mine and listened to two audio books…

Sophie KinsellaMy Not So Perfect Life (Read by Fiona Hardingham)

I love all novels by Sophie Kinsella. Only the Shopaholic series is not my cup of tea. But she simply is a genius in the field of writing romance novel plots! This is her last book:

Katie Brenner has the perfect life – at least on her Instagram account. In reality she lives in a tiny flat in London, has a stupefying commute every day, isn’t worshiped in her job and she hates her boss Demeter, who seems to have it all (the perfect job, man, family, house and look). But then the worst happens: Katie loses her job and goes back to her hometown, where she pretends to be only on a sabbatical to help her dad in starting a glamping (glamorous & camping) side. Everything works out well… until Demeter arrives for vacation with her family.

The plot was easy to follow, the heroine likable and there was – of course – some romance in the air. A book like a cup of hot chocolate on a rainy March Day ;).

*** (out of five)

Hendrik GroenEierlikörtage (Read by Felix von Manteuffel)

This book is based on the “secret diaries” of Hendrik Groen, 83 years old, living in a retirement home in Amsterdam.

Since my own grandpa is living in a retirement home (in Berlin) since a year now, I was immediately hooked by the idea to get an insight into the life of such an environment.

Hendrik Groen describes all those funny and not-so-funny everyday situations in his retirement home. Sometimes you have to laugh out loud and sometimes you are nearly crying.

I big must-read for everyone with relatives in retirement homes (and everyone else)!

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I wish you a wonderful week! Have a remarkable one :)!

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Those Books I’ve Read!

Pic by Franzi.

During the last four weeks I read a bunch of books I would like to tell you about. Moreover, there was one more audio book and I  finally finished two books I started reading a long time ago and never made it to the end.

Edgar WallaceThe Green Pack (Lotterie des Todes)

I started this book because I wanted to read a crime novel by the famous Edgar Wallace. Moreover, I was in love with its retro look. It tells the story of Jacqueline, a doctor’s daughter who looses a vast amount of money in a card game. Because she isn’t able to pay, she makes an unmoral deal with Louis Creet, a rich ‘friend’ of the family. But this only leads to more conflicts… An easy read and a classic crime play.

*** (out of five)

Emma StraubModern Lovers

This was an impulsive book buy: The bookseller was recommending it enthusiastically with the words: “You will fall in love with the characters and their different developments during the story.” She was absolutely right. You get to know the life of two middle-class families, living in Brooklyn. The parents are old friends and had a college band together. Now they have kids and deal with their midlife-crisis(es). On the other hand, their teenage kids have their very own adolescence/coming-of-age problems. A great and entertaining read.

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Jessamyn WestLove Is Not What You Think (Solange es die Liebe gibt)

This is a short non-fiction book about love, written in the 1950s out of a woman’s perspective. Jessamyn West’s views on love, falling in love, relationships and marriage are somehow old-fashioned, but also pretty amazing for a girl in the 1950s living in her parent’s house.

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Paula McLainThe Paris Wife

A book I planned to read for quite some time: It’s the story of Ernest Hemingway’s first wife Hadley. The novel tells how they fell in love with each other, followed by their marriage, their time in Paris, the birth of their son, but also about the end of their marriage and the developments leading to divorce. I had to think a lot about this book – it really triggered something inside me. I even dreamed about Hemingway. Since the book oriented a lot on the real events, I also learned a lot about Hemingway and life the 1920s.

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The books I finally finished:

Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer:

A long time ago, together with my literature club (in Osnabrück), I started this non-fiction book about eating animals and the effect animal farming has on our environment, the animals and consequently also on us. Somehow I never found the time to make it through the last two chapters. Now I finished it and was reminded on a lot of discussions we had back then. A book really everyone should read.

*****

Making Ideas Happen by Scott Belsky:

This one I started reading when I was thinking about starting a business club for scientists. Since then my life was tuned in a completely other direction and I never made it through the book (or founded the business club). Now I finally finished it. It contains a lot of insights into team building and bringing ideas to life.

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One audiobook I listened to:

Erbarmen (Mercy) by Jussi Adler-Olsen: I wanted to start this famous crime series about inspector Carl Mørck and his Department Q for investigating the unsolved cases for quite some time. Now I listened to the first book and have to say that I am not disappointed: Part two is already on my list.

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I wish you a wonderful week! Have a fantastic one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

New Year’s Resolution V: Visit more Museums!

Pic by Franzi. Instagram @luckmysocalled.

My fifth resolution: Visit more museums (and exhibitions)! I realized that this important part of my life didn’t play the same role last year as in the past.

I maybe was only five times in a museum during the last twelve months. Last week I visited THIS fantastic exhibition and learned a lot about my own country. So, next year I resolve to spent more time with cultural events, museums and exhibitions.

Have a beautiful day :)!

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Happy Holiday!

No Arts and Books today, but a song: Happy Holiday by the fantastic She & Him (aka Zooey Deschanel and M. Ward) from their latest album Christmas Party.

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Merry X-Mas :)!

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A New Podcast Addiction: Seriendialoge//Dialogs about Series!

Podcast screenshot. Made by Franzi.

I am in the mid of the pre-X-Mas craziness! So, today only a very short introduction into my newest (German) podcast addiction: Seriendialoge by journalist Ulrike Klode.

For every episode, she invites a guest to speak about his or her favorite series. Listening to those dialogs, I already learned a lot of background stuff about some of my favorite series – like Grey’s Anatomy, Transparent or Doctor’s Diaries. …One also gets recommendations for new series (I have to watch Episodes – it sounds great!).

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a fantastic one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

The Books I’m Reading Right Now: Veilchen im Winter // Violets in Winter by Amei-Angelika Müller!

Pic by Franzi.

A few weeks ago I sat on  sofa in Osnabrück and had a relaxing break. Suddenly I found the novel Veilchen im Winter (translation: Violets in Winter) by Amei-Angelika Müller, published in 1990, in my hands and started reading:

Julia spends her first winter vacations with her skiing-obsessed husband in a sports hotel, somewhere in the snowy mountains. Very soon, she realizes that she is not quite a skiing talent (I sympathize with her!). So, she spends her days stumping through the snow, accidentally crashing with other skiers on a slope and waiting for her husband – who is too exhausted in the evenings to be any fun at all.

Until… she meets Friedel, a little boy who is – to his dad’s big disappointment –  also not very fond of skiing. The two of them are spending their days together, Julia tells Friedel stories about dragons and they are enjoying each other’s company. But then… they are standing in front of a real dragon.

A novel full of nice surprises that doesn’t take itself too serious. A nice and entertaining winter read!

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a fantastic one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

A New Podcast Addiction: My Dad Wrote a Porno

podcastPodcast screenshot. Made by Franzi.

Let me present you my latest podcast addiction: My Dad Wrote a Porno! Jamie Morton’s father wrote a book – erotic literature (with the wild title Belinda Blinked). After reading the first chapters he decided that it was simply too hilarious to read it alone and feel awkward about it. Instead, he reads it to the world in the incredibly funny podcast My Dad Wrote a Porno. Supported by his friends, James Cooper and BBC Radio 1’s Alice Levine, Jamie reads one chapter a week:

We get to know the main character Belinda Blumenthal, who got a new job as a sales manager at Steeles Pots and Pans, where she experiences a lot more than only kitchenware…

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a hilarious one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

The Books I’ve Read: The Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling!

bookPic by Franzi.

I am a fan of the writing of J. K. Rowling from the first Harry Potter book on (1997 – nearly twenty years ago!!). I love her development of real characters and a big storyline with many turns and twists. Finally, I found the time to read her first novel for adults The Casual Vacancy (published in 2012 – I know, it took some years until I started reading it). What shall I say? I needed some pages to find my way into the story but then I imagined the single characters like persons I actually know and was totally hooked. Perfection!

The novel’s major topics are politics, social issues and family dynamics – all topics that are very rough and real-life based. The story is set in a suburban town called Pagford. Everything begins with the death of the Parish Councillor Barry Fairbrother. As a consequence, a seat on the council is vacant, which leads to a big small town conflict of who should take this place. There are two factions with opposing opinions regarding the debate on whether or not to dissociate with a local council estate – “the Fields” – with which Barry supported an alliance. Within the election campaign dark secrets from the different candidates come to light and every character has to deal with his or her very own set of problems.

A book that needs some time to read, but when it finally is over one keeps on thinking about its different characters and their fates.

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a thrilling one :)!

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The Books I’m Listening To: Ach, diese Lücke diese entsetzliche Lücke // Oh, This Gap, This Horrible Gap by Joachim Meyerhoff.

meyerhoffAudible screenshot. Made by Franzi.

Joachim Meyerhoff’s memoirs about his childhood, his teenage year in the US and now also his recent book about his time as student on the drama school are always great! I read the first  book together with my literature club. The second one I listened to as an audio book. For his third book Ach, diese Lücke diese entsetzliche Lücke (Translation: Oh, This Gap, This Horrible Gap), the author read live at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg. I went there in February together with my literature ladies. Now, the live reading of the whole book is available and I am totally into it.

This book comprises  Joachim Meyerhoff’s time at the drama school in Munich, during which he lived in his grandparents house. The story narrates his life between two worlds – at the drama school where he has to learn to play a hippo as a figure out of Effi Briest and in his grandparents antique surroundings where everything stays as it is. A funny, sad and entertaining book that makes me often laugh out loud and pensive at the same time.

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a playful one :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

Two More Books I found on the Frankfurt Book Fair! #fbm16

book1Die Männer meines Lebens // Dear Mr. You by Marie-Louise Parker. The famous American actress and writer writes a letter to all the important men in her life: Her belated father, her son, her friends and affairs… Pics made by Franzi on the #fbm16.

Here are the last two books I would like to present you that I found on the Frankfurt book fair 2016: Die Männer meines Lebens (Dear Mr. You) by Mary-Louise Parker – something like a memoir in letters to all the men that had an impact on her – and Töchter einer neuen Zeit (Daughters of a New Age, only in German available) by Carmen Korn, a book about German History and the lives of four different women starting 1919 their midwive training in Hamburg (!).

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a comfy one :)!

book2Töchter einer neuen Zeit (Daughter of a New Age) by Carmen Korn: Four women start their midwife training in 1919 in Germany. A book about German history and the impact on four different lives.

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.