Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books from my Childhood and Teens I'd love to revisit

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

This week is about some of our childhood/teen favorites we'd love to pick back up at some point

Quite a few of the books on this list will be German, though I think some of them have been translated into English. It's pretty much unavoidable since I'm Swiss and didn't start reading books in English until I was about 16.

Michael Ende - Die unendliche Geschichte (The Never-ending Story)
I borrowed a very old edition of this one from the library when I was 12 or 13. The pages were all worn, and it still had the original illustrations at the beginning of each chapter (I have since wanted to buy the book for myself, but the illustrations were missing. What's up with that?!) and was written all in green and red ink. I just fell into this story and loved it so much! (I have never seen the movie.)

Wolfgang Hohlbein - Der Greif (The Gryphon) / Schattenjagd (Shadowhunt) / Spiegelzeit (Mirror Time)
Hohlbein was the YA fantasy god of German literature in the 80s and 90s (since he's so prolific, at least some of these must have been translated). I must own like 20 of his books and I've borrowed even more of them from the library (they are all really big and I just stacked them up to my chin, then read them all in a week and borrowed the next stack). All of the ones mentioned above are portal fantasy, with protagonists moving between two worlds. In the Gryphon, the protagonist enters another realm whenever he climbs and runs over rooftops. Which sounds like fun, until he's being hunted and terrifying creatures start intruding into the real world. Shadowhunt's protagonist is in a wheelchair and only experiences full mobility when playing immersive video games... until suddenly, he can't leave the game anymore. In Spiegelzeit, the protagonist can step through mirrors into a world his varieté-magician father created (and then screwed over). It also has one of my favorite endings ever. I really need to re-read some of these!

Philipp Pullmann - His Dark Materials trilogy
I came across these when I was about 14, 15. I think that I'd get more out of them if I re-read them now, especially Amber Spyglass. It's full of Milton quotes, but I only realized that almost ten years later when I read Paradise Lost at university. I loved the world of Lyra's Oxford so much, the idea of daemons, the adventures, the alethiometer, the witches, the northern lights...

Stephen King - Dark Tower series
I had an extreme King phase in my teens, and this trilogy is my favorite of his works, and one of my favorite series ever. It's just so epic and multilayered and tied into literary history / working with intertextuality and metafiction. Roland Deschain and I didn't have an easy start but I really grew to love him and the Ka-tet (sorry if I misspell anything, I read these in German). Also, I've only begun to realize in recent years how unusual the cast of protagonists really is: a gunslinger who's lost some most of the fingers of his right hand, a black woman with multiple personality disorder, an ex-junkie, a little boy who had to grow up way too fast. I think this was one of the first time I'd been confronted with addiction and disability in such a direct way via literature.

Neil Gaiman - Neverwhere
I read this when I was 19, so in my very, very late teens. It was a couple months before I first went to London, and I can honestly say that I could never look at London in a 'normal' way. It was always colored by what Gaiman wrote about it, and it will always be magic to me.

Enid Blyton - The Twins at St. Clare's
I must say I feel cheated. In German, the twins are called Hanni and Nanni, but apparently their real names in the English version are Isabel and Pat?! What's up with that? o.O Anyhow, I think I've read pretty much the whole series, or at least what was available of it in German. I loved reading about boarding school, the teachers, the other students, the midnight parties, and all the shenanigans the twins got up to.

Holly Black - Tithe
I borrowed it from the library (in German) when I was 15 or 16, read it twice, then borrowed it again a couple months later. When I found out that there are sequels which had never been translated, I bought the whole trilogy in English. I still love Holly Black, I still love reading (and writing) about faeries. This book had a big impact on me and the way I look at the world.

Anne Rice - The Vampire Lestat
Back in the days, there weren't that many vampire books (or at least I couldn't find them, since the internet was less awesome and many were never translated). While Interview with the Vampire really bored me most of the time (Louis is so whiny!) I loved Lestat as a narrator. He made me feel like I was right there, whether it was Paris in the 18th century or the 1980s.

I think I'll leave it at this. Everything else I'd add is by German or Swiss authors that I doubt anyone has heard of. I think I kind of missed out on a lot of English / American children's books. I've never read The Wizard of Oz or anything by Roald Dahl (I've seen the Matilda movie a gazillion times though). Maybe I'll have time to remedy that at some point. Please link me up to your own posts, I'd love to see what you guys read as children / teens :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: books on my spring TBR list

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every week they post a new topic that the participants come up with a top ten list for.

Hello there, to those that still follow. This time around, I will not say that I'm back because I did that in January and things didn't turn out that way. I've been in a bit of a funk, but I'm not ready to give up on blogging yet. So hopefully now that spring has arrived and the flowers are starting to bloom (at least where I live), my urge to post new content and engage with other readers and bloggers will return as well.

It's been a long while since I've done a TTT post and I don't have a clear idea of what books are coming out in the next few months, but my Spring TBR was a list that I felt I could post anyway, even if it's not only filled with upcoming releases ;)

The books are in no particular order.

Crimson Bound, by Rosamund Hodge
I really enjoyed Cruel Beauty, Hodge's debut. Rachelle sounds like an equally fierce heroine and I hope I'll enjoy this fairytale rewriting as much as the last one!

The Novice, by Taran Matharu
Demon summoning. Magic battle. A badass cover. Alliances and betrayals. I have high hopes for this one and was lucky enough to get an ARC, so I'll probably be reading it some time next month :)

The Winner's Curse, by Marie Rutkoski
I loved Rutkoski's writing style in The Shadow Society (my review is here) and I've wanted to buy this book for so long. I finally caved a few weeks ago and will definitely read it this spring, especially with the sequel having just released :)

Between the Spark and the Burn, by April Genevieve Tucholke
I really enjoyed Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea and I've had this book on my shelf since late summer. I've been putting it off because I need to re-read Deep Blue Sea first (or at least skim over the second half) and I've been more focused on reading books I hadn't read before. I'm tackling sequels and the moment though, so I will get to it! Also, I just realized that there won't be a third book, which means I can binge-read the whole story :D

Ensnared, by A.G. Howard
I got this conclusion to the Splintered trilogy a week or two ago but haven't gotten to it yet. I admit I'm sad (and a little scared) to see this series end. Also, I think my preferred 'ship' (Alyssa + Morpheus) is not going to make it... and let's face it, that always hurts to read, no?

Unbound, by Victoria Schwab
I read A Darker Shade of Magic and it reminded me of how much I love her writing style! I think I need to re-read The Archived first though because it's been a while...

Stormdancer, by Jay Kristoff
Because it's about time and I have it on my kindle.

The Night Itself, by Zoë Marriott
Same reason as above (on my shelf since summer 2013). Also, I think the trilogy is complete by now or at least the second books is out and the third upcoming later this year.

Storm Glass, by Maria V. Snyder
I'm on a roll with her books. They are sooo good! I admit that I'm anxious to return to Yelena and Valek but I'm interested in Opal's story too and it's all in the same fictional universe.

The Thief, by Megan Whalen Turner
Because this series seems to have become a classic of sorts and sometimes, I am in need of some high fantasy with thieves taken from prisons to fulfill a particular task and have adventures. Also, Sarah Rees Brennan recommended it.

Do we have any spring reads in common? Or have you read them earlier and can recommend them? Also, please link me up to your own TTT posts, I'd like to discover some new books :)