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

4 Stars
A Morbid Taste for Bones
A Morbid Taste for Bones  - Ellis Peters

This was a fun read. And I might just have found my favorite literary monk in Brother Cadfael.




He is a man of the world, who turned to priesthood in his later years, he isn´t the most pious monk, he is keenly aware when one of his brethren is full of BS, he is a topnotch matchmaker, he is an amateur sleuth and on top of it all he is Welsh (don´t ask me why, I really like that about his character).


So in this novel there is a small town in Wales, a murder, a lot of monks and relationsships are at stake or are formed and Cadfael is in the midst of it all, trying to untangle all the mysteries and problems that arise on this journey. And I enjoyed every second of this book and I can´t wait to read the second novel in the series.



16 Task of the Festive Season: Penance Day (Square 4):  Read a book that has a monk, nun, pastor / preacher, priest or other representative of the organized church as a protagonist, or where someone is struggling with feelings of guilt or with their conscience (regardless over what).


Reading update
Everland - Rebecca Hunt

Sorry for being absent the last couple of days. I´ve been super busy since friday and now I´m sick and I´m stuck at work because of a night shift and overall I´m feeling a bit under the weather at the moment.


Anyhow, I decided to give you an update on my reading. I finished two books over the last week:


Equal Rites - Terry Pratchett  The Mysterious Affair at Styles - Agatha Christie,Hugh Fraser  


The Mysterious Affair at Styles has been a reread for me and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time I read it. And I can´t help it, I love Hastings.


I´m still trying to fall in love with Terry Pratchett´s books. Equal Rites has been a solid three star book for me. I loved Granny Weatherwax (her scenes with the wizard Cutangle were so much fun), but Esk annoyed me.


I´m not sure for which task I have read the Pratchett, but it will fit several I think. I´m not sure if I can make the Christie work for one of the tasks, though. I have to look at that tomorrow.


As for the books I´m currently reading:


Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin #1) - Patrick O'Brian  Wolf Winter - Cecilia Ekbäck  Into Thin Air: A personal account of the Everest disaster - Jon Krakauer  


All three books that fit at least one task.


And yes, I´m still reading Master and Commander. I managed to read to page 112. Definitely not an easy read when you don´t have a lot of time to sit down with it.




One reason for the bustle was that over large parts of the continent other people preferred to make money without working at all, and since the Disc had yet to develop a music recording industry they were forced to fall back on older, more traditional forms of banditry.
Equal Rites  - Terry Pratchett

Terry Pratchett: Equal Rites, page 135

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Update #1

Total points: 5 ( + 3 for the Melbourne Cup challenge)



My marker (I simply had to use a Danish julenisse):


One book or task accomplished


Two (or more) books and / or tasks accomplished


Books / tasks fullfilled:


Square 1: All Saints Day / Día de los Muertos / Calan Gaeaf


Task: Epitaph for my most hated book ever


Square 3: St. Martin’s Day (5th) / Veterans’ Day / Armistice Day (11th)


Task: A quote about the ravages of war


Square 4: Thanksgiving Day


Task: Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book - post a picture of it.


Square 2: Bon Om Touk


Task: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle


Square 10: Pancha Ganapati


Book: Read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow




16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Pancha Ganapati
Murder Underground - Mavis Doriel Hay

Task: Read a book whose cover has one of the 5 colors of the holiday: red, blue, green, orange, or yellow 


This book, people...




The Queen and I are not amused (and definitely not impressed). This has to be the most unmysterious mystery that has ever been written. The Inspector appears on the scene on page 210 or thereabouts. I loved the very last page, though. It´s so sweet.


The good thing is that the stunning cover of the British Library edition has all the colours of the Pancha Ganapati holiday in it.



My first attempt...

... at making Danish paper hearts with a more intricate pattern.


The very first specimen:



*sigh* Ok, let´s try again (with another pattern):



Mmh, not to bad.


It´s not my final post for the 16 tasks. For this I have to make another 5 hearts and I haven´t made them for ages. I forgot what a pain in the ass it is to make these.



Reading progress update: I've read 193 out of 288 pages.
Murder Underground - Mavis Doriel Hay

Don´t ask me who the main character in this book is. To put it mildly, this book is weird. It´s supposed to be a golden age mystery, but there isn´t a lot of mystery in it. Sure, a woman has been strangled with her dogs leash on page one. But after that not much of sleuthing is going on and I have no clue who of the characters is supposed to be the amateur sleuth.


Anyhow, I claim the character we hear most about and feels like the MC (and who is a freaking idiot) as the main character and he has a paid servant. Which means I can count it for the 16 tasks (I started it October 31th and read about 20 pages, so the 20% rule counts for this book).


Task: Read anything where the main character has servants (paid servants count, NOT unpaid) or is working as a servant him-/ herself.


16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Bon Om Touk

Task: Post a picture from your most recent or favorite vacation on the sea (or a lake, river, or any other body of water larger than a puddle)


First thing first: A picture of the river Thames



We had a wonderful time in London and besides buying books we did manage to see a lot.


On the day of our arrival we went into town to Green Park and Buckingham Palace




before taking a stroll down Picadilly. Our host recommended a visit to Fortnum & Mason, a store that sells the finest food, tea pots and stationary among other things. I was so in awe of this store I only dared to take a picture of the macaron display.



The next day we went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, which is an impressive buildung. And I would like to own the art in the entrance hall. Simply stunning.



The afternoon took us to Covent Garden, with its great stores (I especially adored the Moomins shop), places to eat and fabulous live music.



In the evening we went to see the Mousetrap, Agatha Christies famous play and the longest running play of the world. It was amazing.


Wednesday we did our Southbank walk alongside the Thames. Starting point was Westminster.





We visited the Tate Modern and this place was awesome. I definitely have to visit this gallery again. My favorite art works (of the ones I have seen) were the "Bakelit Robot" by Nam June Paik



and "Babel 2001" by Cildo Meireles.



At last our walk took us the Southwark Cathedral and the Borough Market (with all its delicious food). My mother was lucky, she spotted Doorkins the Cathedral Cat.



Thursday we visited the National Gallery, experiencing wonderful paintings by William Turner (my favorite painter of them all), Monet and Van Gogh.



In the afternoon we went to the odd museum of the excentric John Soanes. This place was weird and I can hardly describe it with words. One has to see it for oneself.


In the evening we watched Les Miserable at the West End. I absolutely loved this musical (and I can´t wait to read the book).



The perfect end to our vacation.


(I have taken all the pictures myself).







Murder by Deaths giveaway prize has arrived!

And both books are absolutely stunning. Thank you so much for your generous gift, MbD.


I have choosen two books from the Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition series:





And they have gorgeous french flaps:




At the moment I am one happy reader :D.

I love London because...

... you can find something like this on the tube. The Lateness Excuse Generator:



This one is for you, BrokenTune:


"Sorry I´m late, there were thousands of giant slugs in my trousers"


This might actually be an excuse that Patricia HIghsmith might have used every once in a while ;D.

16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Veteran´s day / Armistice day

Task: Post a quote or a piece of poetry about the ravages of war. 


In the summer I went to a reading of Etty Hillesum´s diary at the Ladelund Concentration Camp Memorial. I don´t know if you are familiar with this concentration camp. During the last days of WWII prisoners, especially prisoners from Holland, were interred in this camp. They were forced to dig a trench during the winter, standing in freezing cold water, without getting proper nutrition or medical care. Over the course of 6 weeks about 300 prisoners has died (the highest death toll over the shortest amount of time during the whole war) and the memorial in Ladelund stands as a reminder for the atrocities that has happened there.


Etty Hillesum was a 29 year old teacher, who died in the concentration camp Auschwitz-Birkenau and who has written a diary during her time in the camp up until her death. The reading was inspiring and harrowing at the same time.




16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Dia de Muertos

I have just gotten back from London and during my flight I came up with my epitaph for my most hated book ever.


Square 1: Dia de Muertos or All Saints Day


Task: Create a short poem, or an epitaph for your most hated book ever.


The story of Jenny and Oliver,

it was love at first sight,

their life should have been full of blissful delight.

Instead there´s sappy romance, sickness, despair and dread,

luckily on page 120 Jenny is dead.


Seriously, trees had to die for this piece of garbage.


Love Story - Erich Segal 


16 Tasks of the Festive Season: Thanksgiving

I have one more day in London, but I‘m pretty sure I won‘t be buying any more books tomorrow. So here is the stack of books I bought (and unintentionally I fulfilled one of the task):


Task: Be thankful for yourself and treat yourself to a new book - post a picture of it



Some of these might work fot the 16 tasks of the festive season. 



The Mousetrap


This play was such a joy to watch. I had a hunch who the killer was and I was right. We had to swear an oath, though, that we‘ll never tell anyone about the identity of the killer.

Bingo Blackout!




Finished books: 


1. Monsters: Relic by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child 

2. American Horror Story: Salem´s Lot by Stephen King

3. In the Dark, Dark Woods: Endless Night by Agatha Christie

4. Classic Horror: The Island of Dr. Moreau by H.G. Wells

5. Classic Noir: Farewell, My Lovely by Raymond Chandler

6. Chilling Children: The Bad Seed by William March

7. Aliens: Aliens 30th Anniversary: The Original Comic Series by Mark Verheiden

8. Magical Realism: The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett (buddy read - free square)

9. Genre Horror: The Moorstone Sickness by Bernard Taylor

10. Country House Mystery: The Crime at Black Dudley by Margery Allingham

11. Ghosts: Thin Air by Michelle Paver

12. Locked Room Mystery: The Tokyo Zodiay Murders by Soji Shimada

13. Romantic Suspence: The Moonspinners by Mary Stewart

14. Terror in a Small Town: The Moving Finger by Agatha Christie

15. Haunted House: The Seance by John Harwood

16. Serial / Spree Killer: The Alienist by Caleb Carr

17. Terrifying Women: The Cry of the Owl by Patricia Highsmith

18. Free square: Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

19. Modern Masters of Horror: Dark Matter by Michelle Paver

20. Murder Most Foul: Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

21. 80s Horror: Gilded Needles by Michael McDowell

22. Darkest London: The Secret Adversary by Agatha Christie

23. Gothic: Carmilla by J. Sheridan Le Fanu

24. Amateur Sleuth: Peril at End House by Agatha Christie

25. Diverse Voices: Bloodchild and Other Stories by Octavia Butler

Reading progress update: I've read 64 out of 448 pages.
Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin #1) - Patrick O'Brian

I´m enjoying this book so far, but the naval vernacular makes this a challenging read.


What / Who is a Master and Commander, a Master, a Bosun? When is a ship a sloop and when is a ship a ship? How many cannons of a certain size fit on a ship of a certain size? Mathematical equations how a sail should be raised. The names of the different sails. And so on and so on.




I googled the term Master and Commander. He´s above the rank of a lieutenant and below the rank of a captain. He is allowed to take command of a small vessel, which is then called a sloop. Not a ship, because it isn´t big enough and it doesn´t qualify for very specific criterias (the six rates). Does a vessel fulfill one of these criterias, then the ship is a ship and the commanding officer becomes a post captain (or at least I think so).


I hope I´m not the only one who is confused by the whole sloop/ship thing. I wish this book would have a glossary or a short explanation of the naval ranking system. Especially for someone like me, who is just as clueless in the matter of the military / navy as this guy is in general:




(I couldn´t resist. I love this movie.)





currently reading

Progress: 30/235pages
Progress: 72/319pages
Progress: 112/448pages
Progress: 1870/4318minutes