T5T: Top 5 reasons I love reading

Hello, lovely readers and welcome to Top 5 Tuesday!
It’s hosted by Bionic Book Worm and is quite simple: check out the topic and write a post with your picks.
So here we go with my Top 5 reasons I love reading!

#1 – The Dark and Quiet:

I love to read at night. When everything around me is utterly quiet. Since I bought an e-reader, that has a built-in light, I usually sit in the dark and read. It’s the most wonderful feeling to be wrapped in blankets, nothing but darkness and silence swirling around me, only a book to keep me company. It’s a feeling only reading can give me.

#2 – The Focus:

When reading, I can’t have anything else disturb me. I don’t have any music on or the TV. When I pick up a book I have to focus solely on the piece of writing in front of me. I usually have a tendency to do ten things at once, but reading forces me to sit down, to quiet down and choose to do this one thing. But not just physically do it. You can’t have your mind wandering around, going through to-do-list and worrying. Unless you really focus on what you are reading, you’ll have to go over the same passage multiple times.
I guess, when I am reading is the only time I am utterly at peace with myself and the world.

#3 – Foreign Worlds:

“Books are for people who wish they were somewhere else.” That’s a quote attributed to Mark Twain.
When you read, you can venture into new worlds. Leave the shackles of this one behind. You are not bound to a single place. Words can take you anywhere – everywhere imagination leads.
Twain is right. Sometimes it’s an escape. The only form of escape you can get. The easiest form of escape you can get.
It’s beyond beautiful to discover a new world, full of magic, full of wonders, full of beauty. Somewhere far away.

Continue reading
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Book Talk: Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Hey guys!
Some of you might have read my review on The Rules of Magic, which is the prequel to Practical Magic. So, after I was over the moon with the prequel, I naturally had to check out the original book. So let’s talk about it!

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (Cover from Goodreads)
The Plot:

The Owens sisters Gillian and Sally couldn’t be more different. Whereas Gillian has always been a wanderer, Sally craved steadiness.
However, due to their family history both were bound to encounter troublesome lives. Maria Owens, their ancestor, and a witch cursed those the Owens women fall in love with.
It soon turns out, this will be the least of their problems…

The Rating:

As I mentioned before, the first thing I read was the prequel The Rules of Magic which I really enjoyed. I would have started with Practical Magic but it was not available at the library at the time and now I’m glad I started with the other book. 
Practical Magic was rather disappointing for me and had I read this one first, I wouldn’t even have bothered with the prequel.

The book was turned into a movie in 1995, so I thought I knew what to expect. However, those two are quite different and I’m not sure I like it. (But more on that matter in a book vs. movie post.)

The first third of Alice Hoffman’s novel was lovely and fascinating. I liked the characters and was excited to follow them on their journey. But at some point it all went downhill. 

Why?

Well, first of all, the book is titled Practical Magic, so you’d expect some magic in there, wouldn’t you? Some stuff the aunts do is described at the beginning, but after a while, the whole magical topic kind of dies and is never to be seen again. This annoyed me a great deal!

Furthermore, there is so much whining and self-pity going on, I just want to slap the characters in the face. Everybody is so beautiful but oh so unsure about themselves. The sisters (and Sally’s daughters) constantly complain about everything. And Alice Hoffman seems to be a huge fan of lists, so we get endless lamentations of all the things that might not be rainbows and butterflies. To be honest, I couldn’t bring myself to care for any of the characters – they only managed to get me to roll my eyes constantly.

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Book Review: The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman

Hello my lovely readers!
Today I want to share my thoughts on the most recent book I read. The Rules of Magic is a prequel to Alice Hoffman’s famous novel Practical Magic (review for that one is coming soon!). So let’s see what it is about!

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (Cover from Goodreads)

The Rules of Magic by Alice Hoffman (Cover from Goodreads)

 

The Plot: 
Set in the 1960’s in New York, the members of the Owens family battle with love. An ancient curse casted by an ancestors dooms those they fall in love with. Can the Owens children Jet, Franny and Vincent escape the curse? At what cost?
Even being born into a magical family can’t save you from heartbreak…

 

The Rating:
Oh boy, I am in love with this novel. It’s just about everything I had hoped for.
First of all, I love that it’s set in the 60’s. It’s such a fascinating time and it works extremely well with the whole vibe of the book. The characters are all to die for. There’s not a single one in there that I don’t care about. Hoffman managed to evade warming up stereotypes. Whenever you think you know where it’s going and just what that characters is like, you are surprised. The story itself is crafted wonderfully. The magic seeps out of every page without being too much in your face. Continue reading

Book Review: The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Hey guys!
It’s book review time. I saw today’s novel in the Goodreads list of a friend and it sounded so fascinating, I just had to check it out! So let’s talk about The Road by Cormac McCarthy…

The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Cover from Goodreads)

The Road by Cormac McCarthy (Cover from Goodreads)

 

The Plot:
In a post-apocalyptic America a man and son keep walking. There’s nothing but ash and desolation surrounding them. No animals, no food, no shelter. They are heading for the coast, not even knowing what they will find there…

 

The Rating:
The only word that adequately describes this novel is haunting. There’s not much of an explanation what caused the terrible circumstances the father and son are now facing which makes the story even darker. While reading I had an uneasy feeling that I could never quite shake. The plot is somewhat repetitive with actually works perfectly with the overall theme of depression and no hope. It took me a bit to get used to McCarthy’s writing style and to get into the story in general. But then I was hooked. I am still not the biggest fan of this writer’s style, but the story is captivating. It’s a rather short book, so nothing is lost in case you really don’t enjoy the story.  Continue reading

Book Talk: Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Hello my lovely readers!
I finally got around to reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s famous and iconic account of her journey to finding herself. Let’s see what it’s all about and whether it’s worth the fuss!

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Cover from Goodreads)

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert (Cover from Goodreads)

 

The Plot:
Liz is in a very bad place. Going through a terrible divorce which is followed by a tough break up she’s battling depression. That’s when Liz decides to make a change. She packs her bags and embarks on a journey. Over the course of a year she spends time in Italy, India and Bali, learning about the countries, the people but most importantly about herself.

 

The Rating:
I have to say, I was extremely surprised by this book. My hopes weren’t too high and I was expecting something a bit cheesy. However, what I got was an inspiring novel that provided lots of food for thought.
Liz Gilbert tells the story from a very relatable place. Her heartache, her problems, it’s all something you’ve felt in some way. She also seems like a lovely person so for a large part of the book I just wanted to give her a hug and tell her everything’s going to be alright.
But the thing is, Liz teaches us an important lesson: it will be alright in the end but you have to make it work. Nothing will ever change if you don’t make it change. Continue reading

Book Talk: And the Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave

Hey guys!
Today’s book review focuses on a novel recommended to me by a friend: And the Ass Saw the Angel. It was multi-talent Nick Cave’s first novel. So let’s see what he came up with!

And The Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave (Cover from Goodreads)

And The Ass Saw the Angel by Nick Cave (Cover from Goodreads)

 

The Plot:
And The Ass Saw the Angel tells the story of Euchrid Eucrow. Born to an alcoholic and abusive mother and a demented father, the mute boy has a tough start. He spends his whole life as an outcast, but the older he gets, the stronger his angelic visions become…

 

The Rating:
I plunged head first into this book without even reading the blurb.
What I found is a unique and intense novel that won’t let you go. At first I had my troubles getting acquainted with Cave’s writing style and language. But as soon as that barrier was down, I developed a love-hate-relationship with the book. On the one hand I wanted to know more but on the other hand I dreaded what was on the next page.
And the Ass Saw the Angel is a weird and irritating story. You will end up hating most of the characters as Cave manages to depict the cruelty of humankind extremely well. Continue reading