"A half finished book is, after all, a half finished love affair"
                 - Robert Frobischer (Cloud Atlas)

24 Tasks of the Festive Season - Day 1/ Task 1 - Día de los muertos

Task 1:  Write a silly poem or limerick poking fun at the fiction character of your choice


I just came up with my silly poem and even though I have to write this on my Ipad (it’s so uncomfortable), I have to get it off my chest.

I‘m back home again tonight and as soon as I have my laptop before me again, I will catch up on all your post and the 24 tasks.


Anyhow, my poem:


Victor Van Allen, David Kelsey and Tom Ripley

three men completely sociopathic, oh .... yeah(?)

Highsmiths brainchildren, without a doubt,

if they enter a room I hope everyone else is getting out ..... fast!


I apologize for the bad rhymes.


Amsterdam: Day 3

I‘m tired and my feet hurt, so I will keep it short today and only post the pictures.


First stop of the day: Artis Royal Zoo (such a wonderful place)








After that we went to the crowded Van Gogh Museum.



There were just too many people for my liking, but I got at least a glimpse of Van Goghs Sunflowers. The Museumsplein, however, is impressive with the Van Gogh Museum, the Stedelijk Museum and the Rijksmuseum.



Amsterday: Day 2

On our first full day in Amsterdam we went to the Anne Frank house and along the way we got a first glimpse of the city, which is really beautiful with its canals and old buildings:




(Anne Frank house. Being in the secret annex was a harrowing and deeply moving experience)


And in the afternoon we went to the microbe museum Micropia and oh my, what a great great place this is:


(In this lab they cultivate the microbes for the exhibition)


(Bioluminescent bacteria)


(Tongue bacteria)


(Petri dishes - these remind me of my own student days. We swapped a toilet and a coffee mug in the microbiological departement and take a guess, which item contained more bacteria?)




(Adenovirus, which causes the common cold).


These glass sculptures by an artist named Luke Jerram were stunningly beautiful. I really want to own one of these.


And I bought quite a few things for myself today and I‘m doing a huge „what I bought“ post when I‘m back home again. The only thing I will tell you is that I bought Stephen Fry‘s „Heroes“ and I want to read it right now. So I‘m putting Josephine Tey‘s „Brat Farrar“  on the backburner for now.



Amsterdam: Day 1

I thought I would keep you updated about my adventures in Amsterdam over the next couple of evenings. Not so much with words, but with photographies. At least from tomorrow onward.

Well, today we spent travelling and we arrived late in the day. After getting to our lovely appartement and eating some Ethiopian food (oh my gosh, so delicious), I’m about to read a little bit and then I will go to bed.



Have a lovely evening everyone :)

Halloween Bingo 2018: My Tracking Post - Blackout

I won´t be able to post this later in the day, so here we go. With todays call, Baker Street Irregulars, I´m getting my blackout.


The owls are already having a little party, btw. You might hear Kool & The Gangs "Celebration" in the background ;).



My digital card:




And my physical card:



My Markers: Squares I have read are getting an owl. Lollipops, spiders, a sky and the grim garland are for the squares called.


I´m borrowing Themis´ layout to track my progress. I hope that is okay :)



Dead Lands: My Life as a White Trash Zombie by Diana Rowland (12.10.2018)

Modern Noir: The White Road by John Connolly (30.09.2018)

Darkest London: Silent In The Grave by Deanne Raybourn (04.09.2018)

Diverse Voices: The Tattoo Murder Case by Akimitsu Takagi (06.10.2018)

Romantic Suspense: Nine Coaches Waiting by Mary Stewart (19.09.2018)



Baker Street Irregulars: A Murder Is Announced by Agatha Christie - Wildcard (20.09.2018)

Southern Gothic: Cold Moon Over Babylon by Michael McDowell (01.09.2018)

Terrifying Women: Unnatural Death by Dorothy L. Sayers (22.09.2018)

Modern Masters of Horror: Hex by Thomas Olde Heuvelt (26.09.2018)

Classic Horror: The Willows by Algernon Blackwood (02.09.2018)




Shifters: Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett (24.09.2018)

Doomsday: The Running Man by Stephen King a.k.a Richard Bachmann (06.09.2018)

Free Square: Wyrd Sisters by Terry Pratchett (03.10.2018)

Terror in a Small Town: Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith (13.10.2018)

Cozy Mystery: Clouds of Witness by Dorothy L. Sayers (11.09.2018)




Slasher Stories: Murder in Mesopotamia by Agatha Cristie - Wildcard (18.10.2018)

New Release: The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton (07.10.2018)

Murder Most Foul: One Corpse Too Many by Ellis Peters (10.10.2018)

13: The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware (08.09.2018)

Supernatural: Discount Armageddon by Seanan McGuire (30.08.2018)





Spellbound: The Colour of Magic by Terry Pratchett (16.09.2018)

Genre: Suspense: Death of an Airman by Christoper St. John Sprigg (17.10.2018)

Amateur Sleuth: The Case of the Constant Suicides by John Dickson Carr (27.09.2018)

Fear the Drowning Deep: The Meg by Steve Alten (14.10.2018)

Genre: Horror: Rosemary´s Baby by Ira Levin (13.09.2018)


Reading progress update: I've read 456 out of 456 pages.
The Black Echo - Michael Connelly

This was really good. But knowing the series, I didn´t see that ending coming.

Well, here is one book...
Heroes - Stephen Fry

... that I´m going to buy in a heartbeat should I come across it in an Amsterdam bookstore. I didn´t even know that this one was coming out on November 1th (I hope the release date doesn´t get postponed).


I was waiting for some stories about the Greek heroes in Mythos. And now a whole book has been dedicated to them. I´m so thrilled.

Reading progress update: I've listened 60 out of 452 minutes.
A Room with a View - E.M. Forster

I like to reread books on audio and I really felt like listening to something light and uplifting. A Room with a View fits this criteria. I haven´t been over the moon by this book the first time I read it, so let´s see how I´m getting along with it this time around.


I´m listening to the narration by Rebecca Hall and she does a really great job. Her Miss Bartlett is amazing.

Reading progress update: I've read 225 out of 410 pages.
Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold - Stephen Fry

The footnotes in this book are brilliant:


Aprodite lent Harmonia her girdle, a magical item of lingerie that had the power to provoke the most dizzying and rapturous desire.*


*i´m damned if I can find a convincing definition of "girdle". Some thinks it´s a belt, others a device more like a Playtex panelled support or corset - others yet have described it as a "mythical Wonderbra", Calasso calls it "a soft deceiving sash".

Reading progress update: I've read 106 out of 410 pages.
Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold - Stephen Fry

Hermes eyed him quizzically. "You must be, let me see ... don´t tell me... Apollo, right?"

Not to be recognized was a new experience for Apollo and one that he found he didn´t quite like. Being spoken to in superior tones by a day-old baby was another on his list of least favorite experiences. He was about to crush this cocky little squirt with a cutting remark and possibly a swift right hook to the chin when he found himself facing a dimpled outstretched hand.

"Put it there, Pol. Delighted to meet you. Hermes, latest addition to the devine roster. You´ll be my half-brother. I think? Mother Maia here took me through the family tree last night. What a nutty bunch we are, eh? Eh?"




4 Stars
Death of an Airman
Death of an Airman - Christopher St. John Sprigg

This was a confusing little mystery.


As the title of the book says, an airman dies in a plane crash. At first everyone thinks it has been an accident, then everyone thinks it has been murder and then everyone thinks it has been a suicide. Essentially, no one knows what has happened.

And until the death of said airman gets untangled, another mystery surrounding the airfield at which the death has occured has to be solved.


Yep, I was confused a lot of the time. And yet I really liked this mystery and it kept me glued to the pages. And the ending was adorable.



3.5 Stars
Murder in Mesopotamia
Murder in Mesopotamia - Agatha Christie

Murder in Mesopotamia isn´t one of my favorite Christie´s. And it isn´t because the crime plot was a bad one, quite the contrary. I found the crime and the solution to be as equally as good as some of her other books.


It´s because the characters are incredibly bland and boring and the narrator of the story, Amy Leatheran, is the worst of them all. I got so annoyed by her mentioning that Richard Carey is beautiful, even though he apparently looks like the grim reaper based on her description of him. And Poirot hasn´t been as charming as he usually is.


Hastings can be a bit dense sometimes, but I really missed him this time around.



Reading progress update: I've read 74 out of 410 pages.
Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold - Stephen Fry

He might not be my favorite Olympian, but I have a soft spot for Hephaestus.

Reducing my TBR: Try a Chapter #1

After having bought some more books today, I have to face the facts: my TBR is getting out of hand.


So I have come up with a plan. Every now and then I´m going to pick three books off of my fiction TBR and I will be reading the first chapter / the first couple of pages, deciding which book to read next based on these very first glimpses into the books. That way I can decide as well, if the book is worth bothering at all or if I should give it away to charity (if it doesn´t hold my interest, I´m going to do that).

However, I will exlude the Terry Pratchett books and my entire golden age mystery book collection from this endeavor, since I want to read them anyway at some point.


For the first round I have read the first 14 pages of the following books:


Frederica - Georgette Heyer  The Black Echo - Michael Connelly  Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold - Stephen Fry  




The books starts off with a meeting between the Marquis of Alverstoke and his sister, who demands of her brother that he has to throw a party in honour of her daughter Jane. There isn´t a whole lot of love between the siblings and the Marquis not so politely refuses to throw said party.


The first chapter was quite fun and I´m intrigued by the characters. Definitely not a book that is going to charity, even though I´m a bit apprehensive about it. I have yet to find a romance book that convinces me to try out this genre in earnest. I hope this is going to be it.


The Black Echo:


So far Bosch has smoked 20 cigarettes and a body has turned up in a pipe at the Mulholland Dam. How did the body get into the pipe? Who is it? How has this person died? I really want to know.




Rhea [...] suggested that her brother Kronos, the last of these strong beautiful children, might very well like the idea of deposing his father. She, Rhea, had heard him many times cursing Ouranos and his power.

"Really?" cried Gaia. "You say so? Well, where is he?"

"He´s probably mooching around down by the caves of Tartarus. He and Tartarus get on so well. They´re both dark. Moody. Mean. Magnificient. Cruel."

"Oh god, don´t tell me you´re in love with Kronos..."

"Put in a good word for me, mummy, please! He´s just so dreamy. Those black flashing eyes. The thunderous brows. The long silences."


Remember Tartarus was a primordial being too, who was born out of Chaos at the same time as Gaia. So when she approached him, they greeted each other as family members will.

"Gaia, you put on weight."

"You look a mess, Tartarus."

"What the hell do you want down here?"

"Shut up for once and I´ll tell you..."


Oh, the family drama. LoL!



So, which book to read next? I´m sure I want to read these three books very soon, because I was intrigued by all of them.


But ....... I think I will pick this one up first, because it already made me laugh quite a bit:


Mythos: The Greek Myths Retold - Stephen Fry 

Reading progress update: I've read 150 out of 304 pages.
The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine - Lindsey Fitzharris

This is a most excellent non-fiction. Fascinating, entertaining, gripping and not as gory as I would have expected it to be after the prologue.


There has been a tiny section about the dissection of living animals, though, which was awful. Definitely something I should have skipped reading. 

What to read next?
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll The Butchering Art: Joseph Lister's Quest to Transform the Grisly World of Victorian Medicine - Lindsey Fitzharris

I got my flu shot today and I´m a bit tired tonight because of it. I have finished my Halloween bingo reads, though, so I have to line up my next reads (I don´t want to fall into the reading slump trap). I´m not too tired for that. After perusing my shelves, I went for two books:


  1. I´m in the mood for a classic and I picked a short one with Alice in Wonderland.
  2. The Butchering Art is a new addition to my TBR and the subject matter is right up my alley. I cannot wait to read it. So off it goes onto my currently reading list.


And maybe Michael Connelly´s The Black Echo will arrive in the mail tomorrow, so this might be jumping on my reading list as well. I think that´s a pretty neat line up for the weekend.








currently reading

Progress: 229/480pages
Progress: 16/309pages
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix  - J.K. Rowling, Stephen Fry