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)!

****

I wish you a wonderful week! Have a remarkable 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: 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.

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 :)!

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 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.

The Books I’m Listening To: Wild – A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed!

wildAudible screenshot. Made by Franzi.

Another book I am listening to instead of reading it: Wild – A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed, the wonderful presenter of my favorite podcast Dear Sugar Radio. Wild is her second book and actually a memoir about her trip on the Pacific Crest Trail when she was 26 years old.

After her mother’s rapid death from cancer, Cheryl’s life and marriage crumbled apart. When she got her hands on a guide about the Pacific Crest Trail she made the impulsive decision to walk eleven-hundred miles of the west coast of America – alone. Without any hiking experience the journey was mentally and physically extremely demanding, but nothing but incredible. The book gives insights into her thoughts on the trip and her adventures on the trail, but it also narrates the story that led to it. A fantastic and inspiring memoir!

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have an adventurous 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: Bretonische Flut // Breton Flood by Jean-Luc Bannalec!

dupinAudible screenshot. Made by Franzi.

Actually, the title of today’s post should be changed into “The Books I’ve Listened to….”. Bretonische Flut (Breton Flood) by Jean-Luc Bannalec is the fifth book of the “Commissaire Dupin” series. I only read the very first book and then switched to the audio versions read by Gerd Wameling, who is a fantastic reader and it’s a real treat to listen to his narration.

This time, “Commissaire Dupin” has to investigate the death of two young women: One was making her money with fishing, the other one was a marine scientist. The “Commissaire” has to switch between three different islands during his investigation (he’s easily getting seasick) and there are also real Breton pirates! An easy but thrilling read (or better listening), that’s as excellent as the other Dupin books.

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a thrillingly good 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.

Those Books I’ve Read: Ein Araber und ein Deutscher müssen reden // An Arab and a German have to speak by Hamed Abdel-Samad and Hans Rath!

buchPic by Franzi.

Ein Araber und ein Deutscher müssen reden is the current book we are reading in my literature club. The last book we were reading was about Muslims in Germany. This was extremely intresting but also not always easy to follow. That’s why we decided to read more about the topic Arabs/Muslims/Christians/Germany. Ein Araber und ein Deutscher müssen reden discusses the apparent problems and controversies in a much lighter way:

Hamed Abdel-Samad, an Egyptian political scientist and author living in Germany, and German author Hans Rath originally decided to write a book about the current situation in Germany and the relationship of Arabs and Germans. Via mailing each other questions and answers around this topic they tried to find a common base for their book. Since this never really happened, they finally decided to publish this mail communication. Their way to discuss with each other is respectful but full of humor. They take each other’s point of view serious but are also convinced by their own opinions. A fascinating and easy (!) read that gives a lot to think about!

I wish you a fun weekend! Have a wonderful 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: Cézanne gesucht! // Chasing Cézanne by Peter Mayle!

cezannePic by Franzi.

I found the book Cézanne gesucht! (Chasing Cézanne) by Peter Mayle on the street – near my favorite ice-cream shop here in Hamburg. So, the book found me in this case :). Because of its sunny Provence cover I decided to take it with me on my summer vacations. It was one of the easiest and fastest reads I ever had.

The crime novel plays in the international art scene. New York-based photojournalist Andre is working in the south of France, when he observes something strange happening: A famous Cézanne painting is transported out of the residence of its rich owner and loaded into a suspicious looking van. That’s the starting point of a wild chase. Andre, his boss Camilla, booking agent Lucy and art dealer Cyrus are in the center of it. A light and entertaining book that was great fun to read!

I wish you a fun weekend! Have a relaxed 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 No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency<< Novels by Alexander McCall Smith!

booksPic by Franzi.

During our summer vacations I read a lot of books – since my stack of unread books is steadily growing, I chose some books that were waiting there forever. The  Botswana-based crime novels about the ‘No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency‘ owner Mma Ramotswe by author Alexander McCall Smith were among them. I read the first and the second book of the series about “Africa’s Miss Marple” – like Mma Ramotswe is often called in reviews.

Those were typical books for summer: Based in Botswana with its distinct nature and the burning sun, they give an insight into Africa’s life and history. The plot is light but entertaining and easy to read. I love the simple way that the great lady detective uses to solve her cases. Like Miss Marple she uses her brain to combine the facts and chooses simple tactics to analyze the situation. Great reads!

I wish you a fun weekend! Have a hot 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.