My 10 dearest Books(eries)

Snowhoney tagged me on facebook to list my 10 favorite books, the ones that stuck in my head and touched me, so here we go:

1. All Souls Trilogy-Deborah Harkness
Diana Bishop is the kind of woman I want to be when I grow up and her relationship to Matthew is the kind of relationship I want to have one day. Plus Deborah Harkness manages to create beautiful locations and atmosphere simply by finding the right words. This may as well be my holy grail book series.

2. Harry Potter-Series-J. K. Rowling
I grew up with Harry, almost literally. I read the first book when I was 12 and the last the summer I graduated high school. I spent the better part of my life waiting for either a new Harry Potter book or movie to come out and I am currently re-reading the series and it still holds the same magic (pun intended) as it did growing up, these books just don’t seem to age.

3. Lord of the Rings- J.R.R. Tolkien
Another one of those that played a significant role for me growing up. I’m glad that Lothlorien will always be there to welcome me home when I need it.

4. A Song of Ice and Fire- George R. R. Martin
I have no words to make comprehensible what this series means to me. Westeros is my home and the characters are my family. It is escapism in its purest form but you will find a lot of that on this list. I am currently reading the fifth book after holding back to wait for a release date for the sixth book but after over a year I couldn’t hold out any longer. It feels good to spend some time with Tyrion et. al. after a day of studying.

5. Immortals- Series- Alyson Noel
The only YA-series on this list. It speaks volumes that I didn’t think of TMI even though I have City of Heavenly Fire on my ‘Currently Reading’-list. The Immortals- series has one of the best endings I ever read and no, I will not give it away. I also love how Alyson Noel manages to weave an important message into the book without being overly preach-y about it. I miss Ever and Damon to this day and especially when I see red tulips. (On top of it all I also got to meet Alyson once she is such a lovely human being, she featured me on her blog here. Can’t believe it’s already been 4 years)

6. Pillars of the Earth- Ken Follett
After High Fantasy Historical used to be my second favorite genre. The Pillars of the Earth really struck a nerve with me and not only because my favorite band made a song based on the book. I love to get lost in medieval times (goodness knows why) and this book provides a good place to get lost. We will never truly know how accurate a description of medieval times can be since most sources are not exactly trustworthy and this may be a little ‘cliché-medieval’ but it is still a beautiful book, with a beautiful, at times  very dramatic, story about family ties, love and justice.

7. Memory, Sorrow and Thorn- Series-Tad Williams
High fantasy series number 3 on the list. I haven’t actually finished this one but this series sits in my opinion squarely between Lord of the Rings and a Song of Ice and Fire. Great swords, dragons, an unlikely hero saving the world, a fellowship it is all there and one of these days I will have the time to get back into it.

8. Avalon-series- Marion Zimmer Bradley
Another one of these books that just feel like home. And another series that I grew up with. Another series about pagan mythology and a matriarchal society which both seem to offer so many more answers and so much less bloodshed than christianity ever will. I have always been drawn to pagan and nature religions and the mythology created around Avalon is so beautiful. As I am in the process of turning my back on christianity I really have to pick those books up again.

9. Wolf Hall- Hilary Mantel
Man Booker Prize winner and with every right. One of the best I ever read. This plays right into my Tudors obsession. I am so glad there is a second part already out and a third part in the making. Wolf Hall is Tudor history from the perspective of Cromwell (who is quite likeable all of a sudden). It is a great book with a fantastic if unique writing style. Can’t wait to get back into this.

10. Century – Trilogy – Ken Follett
Last but not least Ken Follett numer two. I was drawn to this from the beginning (I generally seem to have a good ‘gut feeling about books, I was inexplicably drawn to the All Souls- trilogy as well) and when I finally got my hands on it I knew why. The way the book is arranged is a little bit reminiscent of A Song of Ice and Fire as it switches between four or five character perspectives and it retells our current recent history from world war I until today. I don’t know how accurate it is exactly but the different perspectives (Russian, British, German, American) create a uniquely complete picture. I was especially impressed by how fairly Follett treats the Germans in his books. It would have been so easy to dump all the hate on us, yet he decides not to. The third book of the trilogy drops in a couple of weeks and I can’t wait to get my hands on it.

There you have it. Ten of my fave books/bookseries. There are more. So many books have touched me, guided me and helped me to close my eyes to the harsh reality at times. It has its reasons why I am studying literature.

I thought this little list was a good way to get back into blogging after I’ve been so silent on here.

Have you read any of those books? Below you can find the link to all of my friends who wrote a list like the one above.

Initial facebook post

The Bookbeauty

If you want to write a list of your 10 favorites feel free to leave a link to it in the comments below and I will add it to the link list above!

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Media Update: Amazon Haul and a Rant

October was a good month for me in terms of releases of long awaited books and dvds but when my payday rolled around I went a little crazy amazon.co.uk in addition of what I already had pre-ordered months ago, so here is what I bought:

 

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Amazon Haul Part 1

The Borgias Season 3
If you’ve been following this blog you may know how obsessed I am with The Tudors, now, after Tudors ended SHO greenlit The Borgias. The Borgias like the title suggests centers around the Borgia family, the illegitimate family of Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia (Jeremy Irons) who in the course of the first season becomes Pope Alexander VI. With him to the Vatican he brings his sons Cesare (Francois Arnaud), a bishop and cardinal who later will become the first and last cardinal to this date who returned the crimson robes to become a secular lord, Juan (David Oakes), who is supposed to lead the papal armies and the youngest Gioffre (Aidan Alexander), who after he was married off in the first season never played a role again (as far as I know). Probably the best known member of the Borgia family is Lucrezia (Holliday Grainger), Rodrigo’s daughter whom he uses as a pawn in his game of power. Rodrigo also brings with him the mother of his four children Vanozza Cattaneo (Joanne Whalley) and his new mistress Giulia Farnese (Lotte Verbeek). This patch work family setting plus a devious college of cardinals and the ongoing political struggles in a not yet united Italy create the somewhat explosive backdrop to this family saga. I just love period pieces, LUUURVE them! The costumes, the sets, the music, that along with a great cast and great writing makes for something I keep on re-watching. I’m so glad the dvds finally came out here.

Blood Creek
My horror movie of choice for Halloween. Henry Cavill starrs as paramedic Evan in an American smalltown whose veteran brother Victor (Dominic Purcell) has gone missing two years ago but magically arrives on his doorstep demanding that they load the guns in the pick up truck and go on to hunt down the people who held him captive. Once on the conveniently creepy farm they discover that they are dealing with a Nazi freak (Michael Fassbender) whose dabbling into the occult has turned him into an immortal, to the core evil creature that can also call other dead creatures back from the dead. Blood, gore, strong language, creepy zombies. I liked it. (Yeah, I’m weird)

Immortals
Shirtless, Greek demi-god Henry Cavill. Need I say more? I know a lot of people thought the movie was horrible. I believe, if you move away from seeing this a repropduction of the Theseus myth and look at it as an artsy compilation of different styles, different ways of storytelling it becomes quite interesting. Visually the movie is fascinating, the sets look like fancy theater sets most of the time actually that is what I settled for I see this as kind of a fancy theater production. The one thing I know for sure is that I need to watch this again, maybe one day I can make sense of what Tarsem Singh was trying to tell us with this.
Storywise this is loosely based on the Theseus myth in which Theseus (Henry Cavill) has to kill the evil king Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) who is on the hunt for a magic weapon that would allow him to set free the Titans and control the world. Sprinkle in a group of Greek gods, a not so virgin oracle and you’re good.

Cold Light of Day
Henry Cavill’s Will has to save his family from a government plot and barely succeeds. Man, this story has plot holes so big you can hide an SUV in there. But it has car chases, a running Henry, Sigourney Weaver and Bruce Willis. So there.

Allegiant by Veronica Roth
All good things come to an end. And so did the Divergent Trilogy with Allegiant. In the last installment Tris and Four have to face new fears and challenges to overcome their dystopian world to make it a better one. I loved the series from the beginning. Tris is the strongest female character I have ever read in a YA book. She errs, admits errors and grows with them. With every book we peel back more of the layers that make her so special. Four is the ink and paper incarnation of my perfect man, not too soft not too tough and always finds the right words. Yes, I am being evasive on the story just because I don’t want to ruin it for anybody who still wants to read it. I cannot recommend it enough. If you like YA in dystopian settings this is for you.

Man of Steel
After Greek demi-god here goes Kryptonian god in a bloody suit I can’t bloody stop staring at. -.- Do you sense a pattern by now? I enjoyed this movie. The story of the little boy who can’t help but use his unusual strength to help people, who later as an adult has to run and hide after he was a discovered again and again. Who has to come to terms with who he is and what he wants after General Zod threatens to take away everything he loves and more. It is another Superman adaptation after all and admittedly I only watched because of Henry Cavill but I was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. Visually it was beautiful, it was beautifully told and had good performances of everyone involved. This is definitely a movie I will come back to time and time again. Though I am not particularly psyched for Batfleck I can’t wait to see Henry’s Clark Kent again.

 

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Amazon Hail Part 2

Sidenote: While amazon.co.uk worked flawlessly and got all my items to me even before the estimated delivery date amazon.de effed things up real good. I am a prime customer on amazon.de which means I pay extra money for express delivery, plus they guarantee that pre-ordered items will arrive on the release date. Um yeah. They didn’t. Allegiant was two days late, Man of Steel was 4 days late and it was shipped via snail mail. At this point I don’t even know what I am a prime customer for, they take my money and ship things the cheapest way possible. I have the Pacific Rim dvd preordered and I am fairly certain I will go through the same sh*t with that again. I am actually pondering to just withdraw the order and buy it instore on the release date. Rant over.