30 Books in 30 Days – November 2018

24th November 2020

And another throwback to two years ago: Since this one worked rather well for me in May, I decided to challenge myself once again to read in 30 books in 30 days. Let’s call it the the-end-of-2018-is-near-I-need-to-get-more-reading-done reading frenzy. At the beginning of November, there were once again way too many books on my currently reading pile (CRP) and on my you-should-have-read-most-of-these-books-ages-ago reading list. Naturally, I won’t manage to read all of those but I’d like to make at least a dent. It would be nice if I managed to start 2019 with a clean slate – a CRP of 1-2 books – but let’s be realistic.

So here we go, let’s see how it turned out:

  1. (Don’t) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health
    by Kelly Jensen (Ed.)

    Days spent reading: 4
    Pages read: 149
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: This one is really hard to rate since the accounts are very personal. I admire those authors for speaking out, for sharing their experiences with mental illness. Some stories are heartwrenching, some make you thoughtful, others lift you up. However, while I got very emotional over some, I couldn’t connect to others at all – and I don’t mean that on a “I have never experienced something like that so this is weird” level. It was more like the writing style didn’t do it for me. All in all, it made me ponder my own brand of crazy – and made me realise it could be so much worse.

  2. Silber: Das erste Buch der Träume (Silber, #1) by Kerstin Gier
    [Dream a Little Dream (The Silver Trilogy, #1)]

    Days spent listening: 4
    Minutes listened to: 383
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: I’ve read this one twice before and each time it lost a star. This time was no different. I loved her first trilogy very much, but this one just doesn’t do it for me. It’s fun, it’s fluff, but it doesn’t have much depth. Plus – though I’m not sure whether that’s due to the audio book – it seemed awfully young. Liv is almost 16 but she read more like 13. It was kind of weird having her chat rather childishly with her little sister or the girls at school and then switching to talking about parties, alcohol and sex. Anyways, onto the next one! I finally want to finish this trilogy this year!

  3. Fionas Fohlen (Pferdeheimat im Hochland, #3) by Ursula Isbel
    [Fiona’s Foal (A Home for Horses in the Highlands, #3)]

    Days spent reading: 2
    Pages read: 158
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: I still very much enjoy rereading this series! The atmosphere is epic and I like following the protagonist around the Highlands. There are a couple of slightly annoying things (Allen’s character development, the extend of the starcrossed romance, especially her uncle’s behaviour) but the good outweighs the weird.

  4. Paule Pinguin allein am Pool by Jory John & Lane Smith
    [Penguin Problems]

    Days spent reading: 1
    Pages read: 32
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: Ever since I first saw this picture book, I loved it! However, I wasn’t inclined to buy it. Saskia, however, directed me to the mini edition and I just had to have it. It’s so superdupercute! However, I really don’t get the German title. The English one’s just perfect!

  5. Art Matters: Because Your Imagination Can Change the World
    by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Chris Riddell

    Days spent reading: 1
    Pages read: 101
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: I’m a sucker for Chris Riddell and him collaborating with Neil Gaiman is always a special treat. This wasn’t what I expected (it being three essays), but I did enjoy it a lot! Plus, it was a really quick read and beautiful to look at and I even got it cheaper in an actual German bookshop than from my trusted online English book dealer.

  1. Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1) by Gail Carriger

    Days spent reading: 3
    Pages read: 244
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: It’s a little weird rereading it now, having forgotten so much about the Parasol Protectorate already – meaning, I no longer get all the references. I still liked it a lot, but not as much as the first time around (didn’t change the rating, though). This is one of my alltime favourite universes from one of my favourite authors and I love that there’s a YA, NA, and an A series.

  2. Silber: Das zweite Buch der Träume (Silber, #2) by Kerstin Gier
    [Dream On (The Silver Trilogy, #2)]

    Days spent listening: 6
    Minutes listened to: 578
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: Meh. And once again it’s been a couple of days since finishing it and I have already forgotten all about it. I think it’s even worse this second time, which should be impossible. The plot is lacking severely (it’s mostly relationship drama on all kinds of levels and by far not enough dream and/or horror) and it’s not as funny as the first one. It’s not bad if you are into that kind of irrelevant fluff, but if you’re looking for something a little deeper, this series definitely won’t do it for you. Now I just need to pick up the third book and hope for the best. The bar’s pretty low, so maybe it’ll surprise me? 

  3. Far from You by Tess Sharpe

    Days spent reading: 4
    Pages read: 308
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: I’m a little conflicted about this one. About how to rate it, to be precice. I did enjoy it. I loved that it both features diversity and deals with drug abuse/addiction – and has a crime story on top. I’m really getting into those unusual contemporary crime stories (see Amelia Anne Is Dead and Gone and The Female of the Species). However, it didn’t have the amazing atmosphere of the former and couldn’t grab me as much as the latter. And what irritated me a lot were the flashbacks. I like flashbacks, I just found the jumping in time pretty confusing in this one.

  4. Glücksdrachenzeit by Katrin Zipse
    [Time of the Lucky Dragon]

    Days spent reading: 5
    Pages read: 270
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: I don’t know what I expected, but not at all what it turned out to be. It’s very poetic. It’s very melancholic. It’s quite dark. It’s an unusual road trip with some surprising elements. (And I won’t say more about it, because it’s a work book and I seldom comment on them).

  5. Ein Schimmer von Glück by Bettina Belitz
    [A Shimmer of Luck]

    Days spent reading: 2
    Pages read: 239
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: What. the. hell. I knew we were off to a rough start when the whole plot hinges on a plot hole: the police and official veterinarian clearing out a farm and overseeing a horse lying in a shack that must smell quite awful at this point. Additionally, the protagonist simply drove me crazy and that dive into Native American horsemanship felt a little cultural appropriation-y. There were some little things I liked, though: Slawa, the love triangle situation, and that it was made pretty clear that it would be more humane to put the horse down than condemning her to an unnatural life in close captivity.

  1. P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, #2) by Jenny Han

    Days spent reading: 2
    Pages read: 56
    Status: 17% read
    Thoughts: I was a little irritated at first because the first book and the film had already blurred in my mind so I thought the beginning of the second book had already been at the end of the first when in fact the film just used it in advance. So let’s see what’s going to happen now …

  2. The Complete Novels of Jane Austen by Jane Austen

    Days spent reading: 3
    Pages read: 260
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: And it’s a wrap – five years in the making! I originally only wanted to finish Northanger Abbey, but then I thought I could try to finish the entire book this year and then I read Persuasion pretty much in one sitting and then there were only 50 pages left so I got competitive. And there’s that. I can’t quite believe I made it.

  3. Space Opera by Catherynne M. Valente

    Days spent reading: 5
    Pages read: 215
    Status: Finished!
    Thoughts: I’m a huge Eurovision fan so I wish I could say that it blew me away. Alas, it didn’t. It reminds of Douglas Adams’ Hitchhiker’s Guide in all it’s wonderfully silly and flimsy fantabulousness. However, I just couldn’t get into it and I wish it had more focused on the actual event in the present instad of giving a crazy history of Galaxyvision.

  4. The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe

    Days spent reading: 2
    Pages read: 83
    Status: 29% read
    Thoughts: This one is rather slow going both plotwise and readingwise and I wish I could say I like it but after a rather strong start I’m no longer sure. Or maybe I’m just not in the mood for such a heartwrenching topic at the moment.

  5. And I Darken (The Conqueror’s Saga, #1) by Kiersten White

    Days spent reading: 1
    Pages read: 17
    Status: 31% read
    Thoughts: This is also a slow one, although I do enjoy it. I first thought this was a fantasy novel when in fact it’s a slightly twisted version of history – a part of history I’m not familiar with, so I’m intrigued. I’ve already read up on this quite a bit on the Internet.

  1. Meine Checkliste zum Verlieben by Anja Janotta

    Days spent reading: 3
    Pages read: 224 pages
    Status: 77% read
    Thoughts: This one’s a cutie! It’s really funny and it has Asperger’s rep which is rather rare in MG fiction!

And that’s it. All in all, it was a rather meh 30 books in 30 days month – I barely made it to the halfway point – but I nevertheless managed to read 2,356 pages and listened to 16 hours, so it wasn’t bad at all (last time I managed 2,688 pages, no audio books).

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