Wrap-Up June 2020

29th September 2020

What I Was Up To

Readingwise, I managed to read a lot of pages in June. Apart from that, the month wasn’t that great. As of right now, I don’t have a horse to ride anymore. Cadie is still sick and to be honest, no one knows whether she will recover or not. I had to say goodbye to her that one weekend and I’m not even sure I’ll ever see her again. As for Allegra, my friend has now moved her away to her place. She’s not that far away from me, but it’s the other direction and also rather difficult to reach without a car. I want to visit them sometime, I’m just not sure when it will work out. Pretty heartbroken about the whole situation. Wish I could turn back time to two years ago …

SuBsalabim

Oh, hey, I actually managed to read one of those in the month I’m supposed to read it and also finished an older one:

  1. The White Fox by Chen Jiatong, Viola Wang (Ill.) & Jennifer Feeley (Transl.) • 3/5

    I discovered this one at the book fair and just had to have it because a) I love the cover art and b) it’s originally Chinese. However, this was not at all what I expected and yet it managed to win me over after a rather rough start. I thought this would be a light and fluffy tale but it’s more like Watership Down. I really liked the episodic nature of Dilah’s journey, though some of the chapters were surprisingly brutal for a middle grade novel (people getting shot, cruelty among the animals). I would really like to know how his journey continues, but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like there will be a translation of the sequel(s?) anytime soon.

  2. The Calculating Stars (Lady Astronaut, #1) by Mary Robinette Kowal  • 5/5

    Hot damn, what a book! No idea what I expected but most certainly not this work of utter genius! I absolutely loved it! The alternate history, the science, the female characters, the relationships, addressing racism and sexism, minorities and anxiety rep, … I was blown away by it all and rooting so hard for these women. If you like Hidden Figures, you might want to take a look at this book. Can’t recommend it highly enough!

What I’ve Also Read

  1. Sprachkurs Pferd: Pferdesprache lernen in 12 Schritten
    by Sharon Wilsie & Gretchen Vogel • 5/5
    [Horse Speak: An Equine-Human Translation Guide]

    It was really sad finishing this one while not knowing if I will ever be able to use what I learned in here. It’s a great book, though! A whole new way of looking at human-horse-interaction with lots of step by step instructions. Even though I didn’t have much opportunity to test things, it did shine a light on certain aspects that were regular occurrences in our interactions. If I manage to get a horse to work with again, I’ll certainly come back to this book.

  2. The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe & Lilit Thwaites (Transl.) • 2/5

    Oh, how I wanted to like this one! I mean, WWII history and books are both things I’m really interested in and love to read about. However, it fell flat for me, even though the opening was promising. This book just didn’t know what it wanted to be: fiction, or non-fiction, or a biography; character or plot driven? Only a small part was about the librarian and there were numerous characters appearing and disappearing throughout the story, there was next to no plot, and it didn’t quite feel like fiction with all the facts and biographical information peppered in between, but it was too fiction-y to be non-fiction or a biography. Plus, the non-chronological narrative of jumping around in people’s lifetimes was really confusing. It bored and annoyed me. But hey, the cover is beyond stunning.

  3. Der Junge, der Maulwurf, der Fuchs und das Pferd
    by Charlie Mackesy & Susanne Goga-Klinkenberg (Transl.) • 5/5
    [The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse]

    From the moment I first saw this book online, I knew I had to have it. There’s a horse! I didn’t quite know what to expect but found a stunningly beautiful book both in prose and illustration. I inhaled it. The illustrations are incredible and there are so many wonderful messages in this one. I had tears in my eyes throughout. This is going to be my feel-good-cheer-me-up book whenever I fell down.

What I’ve Read for Work

I made it my number one priority for the coming months to tackle all the books that I haven’t read yet. Some of them are rather old and I don’t have to read them, but I can’t help myself. It’s a bit annoying, but it’s a kind of compulsive behaviour on my part. I just can’t let it be. I have to read them all.

  1. Stinker und Matschbacke und die Doofheit der Dachse (Stinker & Matschbacke, #1)
    by John Dougherty, David Tazzyman (Ill.) & Cornelia Panzacchi (Transl.)

    [Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face and the Badness of Badgers (Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face, #1)]
  2. Stinker und Matschbacke und das Stachelschwein aus Vollblödberg (Stinker & Matschbacke, #2) by John Dougherty, David Tazzyman (Ill.) & Cornelia Panzacchi (Transl.)
    [Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face and the Quest for the Magic Porcupine (Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face, #2)]
  3. Stinker und Matschbacke und die abschauderlichen Pizza-Schurken (Stinker & Matschbacke, #3) by John Dougherty, David Tazzyman (Ill.) & Cornelia Panzacchi (Transl.)
    [Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face and the Evilness of Pizza (Stinkbomb & Ketchup-Face, #3)]

    The covers of these books just aren’t my style and based on them I expected something totally different. What can I say, I fell in love. These books are so meta and funny, I had a great time reading them.

  4. Sunny Spyce, die grandios-geniale Geheimnis-Aufdeckerin (Sunny Spyce, #1)
    by Clémentine Beauvais, Sarah Horne (Ill.) & Anke Knefel (Transl.)

    [Sleuth on Skates (Sesame Seade Mysteries #1)]
  5. Sunny Spyce, die ausgebuffte Allem-auf-die-Spur-Kommerin (Sunny Spyce, #2)
    by Clémentine Beauvais, Sarah Horne (Ill.) & Anke Knefel (Transl.)

    [Gargoyles Gone AWOL (Sesame Seade Mysteries #2)]
  6. Sunny Spyce, die kolossal kluge Rätsel-Knackerin (Sunny Spyce, #3)
    by Clémentine Beauvais, Sarah Horne (Ill.) & Anke Knefel (Transl.)

    [Scam on the Cam (Sesame Seade Mysteries #3)]

    These are funny crime novels for younger readers. They are a little over the top, which works well for them, and Sunny is a really crafty and bright sly dog. The third one was my favourite.

  7. Ein Kürbis hat es in sich (Flora Botterblom, #4) by Astrid Göpfrich & Pe Grigo (Ill.)
    [A Pumpkin to Pack a Punch (Flora Botterblom, #4)]

    Fourth adventure of Flora, her talking armadillo sidekick Gisbert and their vegetables with hidden powers. This time, it’s all about a pumpkin and a granny that wants to win a baking contest at all costs. As always, a fun read!

  8. Als Opapi das Denken vergaß by Uticha Marmon
    [When Grandpa Forgot to Think]

    A lovely story about a girl finding out and dealing with her grandpa’s onsetting Alzheimer. A great book sensitising for this subject.

  9. Du oder sie oder beide by Maike Stein
    [You or Her or Both]

    This one was a bit weird because it had lots of different aspects: twins, competitive swimming, a boarding school, first love – and a deadly curse from the middle ages. Yep, that’s an interesting mixture. For me, it was a bit too much – and a bit too long.

  10. Ein wunderbares Weihnachtslied by Annette Amrhein & Sabine Straub (Ill.)
    [A Marvellous Christmas Song]

    A cute Christmas picture book with some familiar faces.

Also: five books from our spring or autumn 21 programme (meaning I can’t really talk about them yet): two adorable board books in rhyme with funny illustrations, a picture book about a grumpy animal, a picture book about birds, and a picture book about eggs.

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