Posts Categorized: books

So Many Awards I Can Start a Grammy Chessboard

August 5, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 8

Okay, it’s just two, so it would be a very small chessboard. Also, neither of them is a Grammy, which frankly surprises me, considering my immense musical talent. Yes, it’s going to be one of those posts.

Will Smith references aside, I really was nominated for the Liebster Award and the Creative Blogger Award a while ago. Mallory and Verena nominated me for the Liebster Award, Rachael nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award, and Alyssa kindly nominated me for both at once. All of these date back to April or May, and I actually had to Google to find the posts again. In my defense, I’m lazy.

A huge THANK YOU to all of you; I really appreciate that you apparently find something you like in between all this rambling. <3 Alright, let’s do this!
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Free Books (Just For Me, Don’t Get Too Excited)

August 1, 2015 books, miscellaneous 28

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What’s New?

This week I…

  • caught up on Teen Wolf and Suits (both awesomesauce)
  • had a veeery minor skin surgery on my head that led to some stitches and self-indulgent reading time
  • recorded but didn’t edit a new video
  • talked to my teacher about a term paper subject and
  • read The Rosie Project and a play for uni

I’m starting an internship at a small local radio station on Monday, so wish me luck! I’m going out with some friends later on, and then I’ll try to actually get term paper related stuff done tomorrow. I probably need more luck for that than for the internship. There’s just always something better to do, isn’t there? Also, my first blogoversary is coming up! I can’t believe it’s already been a year! I’m not sure whether I’ll do anything for it yet, but if you have any suggestions, let me know. :)
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Gendered Books

July 31, 2015 books, discussion 20

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

I went to the bookstore yesterday. Now usually this would be a celebratory experience. And it still was (yay, new books!), but while I was there I found something that irked me. Irked me quite a lot that is. So naturally I had to share it with you.

Standing before the English section (because obviously I can’t be bothered to read books in my first language, that would be ridiculous), I saw a book that sparked my interest. It was called “End of Time” and – thinking it might somehow be related to Doctor Who – I pulled it out to take a closer look. It turned out not to be Doctor Who related at all, but a German/English mixed-language book for English learners. Which is an awesome concept. EXCEPT. Right there on the cover it said “Boy Zone”. Apparently it was mainly targeted at teenage boys. I remember similar marketing concepts from my childhood, books mainly targeted at girls that were mostly about first love and growing up.

My Opinion

Now I know a lot of products are randomly and unnecessarily gendered. But given the role books have played in my life, gendering books just seems like a bit of a personal insult to me. I understand that marketing theory can’t stress the role of defining target groups enough, but for fuck’s sake people. I don’t believe in binary genders, and I’m of the opinion that gender is mainly socially constructed (of which this is a prime example really), but let’s just for a moment neglect that debate. Why the fuck is scifi only for boys? Why is there a “chick lit” genre? Why the hell can’t we all just accept that stories are stories and can be enjoyed by all genders alike? Yes, I’m aware that you can just buy the book anyway, but I’m operating under the assumption that a lot of people wouldn’t, especially teenagers who tend to be more insecure of their identity and self-worth and would often be sujected to bullying.

In the case of this book, there is a clear label on the cover defining it as a book for boys, but often the label is in our minds. If you show someone The Princess Diaries and Maze Runner, there’s no doubt which one would be considered more of a girl’s and which one would be considered more of a boy’s book. It’s just absurd to me that we’d limit good stories this way. It’s like saying Harry Potter can only be enjoyed by children or YA literature holds no worth for people who are older than the target group. A great story is a great story and a shitty story is a shitty story. C.S. Lewis said “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Similarly, a story that can only be enjoyed by one gender is not a good story. It also doesn’t exist, because the problem doesn’t lie with the story, it lies with society’s understanding of for whom it is acceptable to read it.

I know that this is a well-known and frequently discussed problem, but evidently it’s still a problem. It extends far beyond books – I’m often perplexed when I watch a movie and someone comments it’s a movie for men rather than women, because there’s action in it or it doesn’t primarily focus on romance. A lot of the time the thought never even occured to me. I feel inadequate when I’m more interested in a game night than watching Sex and the City. And I’m not saying I don’t enjoy things targeted at women. I absolutely do. I just don’t exclusively enjoy them, and I think that is true for everyone. “Educating” people that it’s more acceptable for one gender than another to like certain kinds of stories or do certain kinds of things makes me incredibly sad, because a lot of people will miss out on great books and experiences or feel ashamed that they’re enjoying them. It also simply just pissed me off, and writing is my tool to deal with my emotions, so there ya go.

Your Turn!

What’s your take on this? Do you think it’s okay to gender products in the interest of marketing and sales, or do you think it’s unnecessary? Have you come across gendered books before?

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I got a camera!

July 26, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 20

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What’s New?

The semester ended! Well, technically it’s still the summer semester until September, and as always I have to write approximately ten thousand term papers (okay 2 or 3, but they’re LONG), but at least classes are over. I had an oral exam yesterday, which went well (not thanks due to my diligent studying).

Other random things that happened the last three weeks:

  • I finally watched Birdman, and it was slightly confusing, but good (even though it made fun of superhero movies)
  • I went to my old school’s summmer fest and decided I don’t understand other people’s nostalgia (except for arts, which I miss)
  • My laptop broke, so I stole my grandma’s new one until I get mine back. She hasn’t even used it yet. Yes, I’m a horrible person, you can’t be surprised? I literally just got my laptop, so it was sliiightly frustrating, but at least I could rescue some of my data, so I’ll live.
  • I continued to make videos every week, so please check them out if you want to be my new favorite person forever (#shameless)

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Starships Are Meant to Fly (So It Sucks When They Come Crashing Down)

June 24, 2015 books, reviews 14

These Broken Stars cover on Reviews and Cake

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive — alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

Okay, confession time: I know everyone loves this cover – and I like it too – BUT it does look slightly cheesy. I don’t remember why I bought this book initially, but despite the good ratings I expected it to be a lot soppier than it was. There IS a lot of romance, but it develops slowly and there’s bickering and banter, and it’s basically perfect. That’s not all though! I wanted sci-fi, and I was not disappointed. I don’t think the book is very heavy on technical explanations and – due to the fact that most of the book is set on an abandoned planet – there isn’t TONS of worldbuilding, but the stuff there was I liked. I do think that people who aren’t really into sci-fi would enjoy it too.
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Vicious Things and Procrastination

June 20, 2015 books, miscellaneous 20

Heeello people of the internet,

hang on, I feel like that’s someone else’s signature greeting.

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What’s New?

I don’t know! It’s been weeks. Lemme see… I’m “busy” “doing” university stuff. By the quotation marks you can see that means I’m busy reading, catching up on my favorite TV shows (heeeello Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black and Community, I am deeply ashamed I haven’t watched all of your new episodes yet), and doing all sorts of random stuff.
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Legitimate Reasons Not to Write

June 9, 2015 books, discussion, fun, miscellaneous 28

No Time

You would be writing if you could. Really. It’s just… there’s no time. In between work, education, your family, and your social obligations there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But don’t worry. If you had the time, you’d already have written at least three bestsellers. You’re going to have time someday. And the world better prepare for when you’re a millionaire.

No Muse

You specifically took this time to write. You cleared your schedule, cleaned your home and organized your stationery. There are even some motivational quotes pinned to the side of your desktop. Unfortunately for your future writing career, you’re just not feeling it today. The blinking cursor on a backdrop of white, blank page might as well be your best friend with how much time you’ve been spending together. Ah well, maybe some other day. There’s no need to torture yourself with putting down words you know aren’t going to be up to your standard anyway. You’ll just make up for it when your muse returns.

Bad Environment

Your fingers would already be flying across the keyboard; it’s just… your writing space sucks. Your office is too dark, the coffee shop is too loud and the library is too quiet. Besides, the laptop is cramping your style anyway. You could see yourself with a notepad, somewhere on the windswept cliffs of Cornwall, writing poetry. Or maybe on a summer meadow, leaning against the trunk of a tree as you come up with the outline for your next seven books. This just won’t do.

Shiny New Ideas

You’re well into your new book. You’ve already written five chapters and the genius twist you’re planning to implement in chapter 14 fills you with a sense of evil joy pride. But… there’s this other idea you had, and it was even better than this one. You should really write it down before you forget everything. In fact, was the old one even that good? Maybe you should try to write a couple of chapters of the new book first, see how it feels… Of course you’ll return and finish this one though, no question about it. If you had run with another idea every time something shinier came along, you’d never have completed an enti- oh, right.

NaNoWriMo Limits Your Creativity

You decided to finally participate in NaNoWriMo, because you’re sure it will give you that extra surge of motivation you need to finish your book. Less than 2000 words a day – piece of cake, right? Definitely doable – after all, you’ve written more than that on several occasions. It should take you what, an hour a day? Please, you can write for an hour in your sleep. The first week goes well. You miss a couple of days during the second week, but there’s still plenty of time to make up for it, right? By the middle of the third week you’re 15 000 words behind and finishing your book in the next one and a half weeks doesn’t seem very likely. You’re not sure where you went wrong. You’ve been thinking about writing so much, surely there should be something to show for it?? It’s okay, you’ll just put in some extra time during the weekend. You spend the entire weekend catching up on Game of Thrones, because otherwise people would spoil all the new episodes. You give up by the beginning of week 4, because this was a stupid idea to begin with. Writing is a creative endeavor. Creativity can’t be contained to a schedule.

You Have to Do More Research

See, the thing is you don’t want to just write a book. You want to write a good book. What if you mention those windswept Cornwall cliffs you’ve been imagining as your perfect writing space and then find out that you’ve been wrong all your life and there’s no wind in Cornwall? What if you set your murder mystery in Brussels and refer to it as the capital of Germany before you realize it’s actually in Belgium? You don’t want go making a fool of yourself, so you should do some more research. Yes, you’ve already spent weeks researching that one scene, but… there is no such thing as thorough enough. Definitely spend some more time Googling, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re procrastinating. They’ll all be jealous of the believable atmosphere in your book once it’s published. Which it will be. Soon.

I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of absolutely everything on this list. Hell, I didn’t even start NaNoWriMo to begin with. What are YOUR best writing excuses?

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This Book Will Make You Smile

May 29, 2015 books, reviews 14

Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda cover by Becky Albertalli

Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being thrust into the spotlight. Now Simon is actually being blackmailed: if he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual identity will become everyone’s business. Worse, the privacy of Blue, the pen name of the boy he’s been emailing, will be compromised.

With some messy dynamics emerging in his once tight-knit group of friends, and his email correspondence with Blue growing more flirtatious every day, Simon’s junior year has suddenly gotten all kinds of complicated. Now, change-averse Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.

Contemporary books are always a little hit or miss for me. There’s no magic, there are no ancient castles, fiery dragons, nor even some good old throne usurpation by an evil uncle who has to be defeated. It’s all quite dreadful really. EXCEPT. Except there are some books that hit home precisely because they’re set in our world. With contemporary books, it’s all about the characters for me. If I love the characters, I love the book. And Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda had some GREAT characters.
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Change of Plans, Audiobooks and Internships

May 16, 2015 books, miscellaneous 18

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What’s New?

Remember when I said I probably got a job? It all worked out and I’m going there 1-2 times a week now. It’s pretty monotonous at the moment, but that might still change, and I could use the extra money, so I’m not going to complain a lot. University is taking over my life right now, but I have a week off soon, so it’s all good. I also have a job interview for a radio internship coming up next week, so fingers crossed!

I spent the last three weeks running around, looking at apartments/rooms (not actually running though – don’t be ridiculous), but everything was either too expensive or not good enough or I didn’t get it, so I decided to eff it and stay here, because the search is taking away too much time from everything else. Probably. I’ll finish my bachelor’s, and then I might have to move for my Master’s anyway, so I’ll just deal with the roommate situation until then. If it annoys me too much, I can still start looking again.

The Shiny

I forbade myself to read any of my other books until I’ve read my university books, which is taking ages, because I don’t like them, so obviously this was the right time to get into audiobooks after all. Because that is totally different. And not cheating at all.

We All Looked Up Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda
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We All Looked Up

May 15, 2015 books, reviews 12

We All Looked Up by Tommy Wallach on Reviews and Cake


We All Looked Up is overdramatic and beautiful and frustrating and poignant. It’s about growing up and finding yourself and your purpose in life. It’s also about the apocalypse, but let’s not get caught up in little things like that.

Before the asteroid we let ourselves be defined by labels:
The athlete, the outcast, the slacker, the overachiever.

But then we all looked up and everything changed.

They said it would be here in two months. That gave us two months to leave our labels behind. Two months to become something bigger than what we’d been, something that would last even after the end.

Two months to really live

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Do You Wanna Play a Game?

May 5, 2015 books, reviews 9

Ready Player One book cover on Reviews and Cake


Imagine the WORLD AT STAKE.

An EPIC STRUGGLE between good and evil.

The GREATEST QUEST in history.

The FATE OF HUMANITY resting in your hands.

ARE YOU READY?



Ready Player One REALLY wasn’t what I expected. I was under the impression it’s a scifi adventure kind of story, but to me it felt more like a bleak dystopia for 3/4 of the book. I loved all of the 80s references (even though I probably only got about 3% of them), and the premise is awesome, but it took some time before the book grew on me. One of my main problems was the long, LONG passages of nothing but exposition. The world did need some explaining, but I felt like 50% of the book were expository text. In the book, what we as the readers read is actually supposed to be written by Wade, the protagonist, so I didn’t understand why he felt the need to explain things that are completely common in his time and age, like how the OASIS (a mix of the internet and a massive multiplayer online game) works. I mean obviously we need the information, but the way it was delivered didn’t necessarily make sense to me.
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The 90s Assemble

April 25, 2015 books, miscellaneous, movies 22

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The Week

As you may or may not have noticed, I’ve been blogging less since the semester started, so I really like these weekly wrap-up posts to tell you what’s happening. I’ve been in a bit of a funk today for no particular reason, but tuning in to my favorite Indie station (which is running a Ramones mixtape right now – I approve), blogging and, oddly enough, cleaning seem to have done the trick, so now I’m feeling more like myself again. Moving on! This week I…

  1. went to the university cinema (namely a lecture hall) and watched Guardians of the Galaxy again. I didn’t love it the first time round, but I actually fell in love with it this time! I still think the villain sucks, but it’s hilarious and awesome and all the good things.
  2. went to a housewarming party and danced to 90s music, which is clearly the best music
  3. watched Disney’s Anastasia with my roommate, which is creepy and beautiful and another good 90s thing
  4. only ate out, like, twice, so clearly I have impeccable self-discipline
  5. decided that sentimental literature REALLY isn’t my thing. Unfortunately, I still have to take a seminar on it
  6. decided it’s time for my yearly move to another apartment, so I’m looking for places to live (I don’t actually plan to make this an annual event, but who knows – everyone has a thing. Ellen DeGeneres and her wife move around every six months, so… Actually that’s totally stupid; they can afford beautiful houses, why would they move? Moving is stressful. Someone tell them)
  7. FINALLY watched Avengers: Age of Ultron and I even got to watch it in English

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Hey, teacher!

April 18, 2015 books, miscellaneous 38

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The Week

University started again! Mostly I’m happy about all of my friends returning (almost everyone leaves for the semester holidays, and I hate it), but I got into some cool classes as well. I’m taking two Media Studies classes, which is great, because I’ve decided I want to do my Master’s in Media Studies if I get in. I’m also taking a lecture about classic Hollywood with my own department, which I’m loving so far. I have some peskier classes as well, but overall I’m happy with my schedule. Plus, no early mornings, so that’s a win. I’m also looking into getting a job again, so I’m hoping that works out soon!

Photo of the week:

Gettin’ cozy outside


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How to Lead a Life of Crime (One Shocking Plot Twist At a Time)

April 12, 2015 books, reviews 6

How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller book


A meth dealer. A prostitute. A serial killer.

Anywhere else, they’d be vermin. At the Mandel Academy, they’re called prodigies. The most exclusive school in New York City has been training young criminals for over a century. Only the most ruthless students are allowed to graduate. The rest disappear.



This books is EXCELLENT. I can’t fathom why I never heard about it before I read Cait’s con artist post. I’m not usually a crime reader, but, despite its title, this isn’t exactly a traditional crime novel and I love a good con as much as the next person. I can only assume it didn’t have a high marketing budget, because once you’ve read it you’re going to talk about it. So let’s do that!
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Game Time!

April 5, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 23

I don’t have a lot of time to write a post today, so I figured I’d let YOU do all the work, little genius that I am. I love all the games I’ve been seeing on other blogs lately, so I figured I’d make one of my own. My game is mostly inspired by this Author Memory Test, but it’s more about the books than the authors and some of the questions require you to get creative. It seems I actually like taking tests when there’s a chance I’ll know the answers, so I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

books checklist on Reviews and Cake
The right answer to any question.


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Spring Is Coming

March 28, 2015 books, miscellaneous 28

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The Week

I’ll keep it short this week, because I have essays to write, chocolate cakes to bake and places to be. My week was good, but I have a deadline on Monday and then Tuesday the week after, so most of my time when I’m not procrastinating is going into finishing my essays and going to family birthday parties. I hope you’re having a great week!

Photo of the week (because I just decided to do these): Spring is finally here!



Edit: I almost forgot – Reviews and Cake reached 50 followers on bloglovin’ this week! Thank you guys so much; I genuinely appreciate it, and basically YOU ROCK. Next Stop: 100!
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All About That Bass

March 24, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 9

Sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Today’s post is all about music and books! I love music; I love books; what could go wrong? This is for the Fantasy Favorites Read-A-Thon prompt, and one of the books I chose is even fantasy. I hope you’re all proud of me.

fantasy favorites read-a-thon on reviews and cake

The Playlist


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Cake Conversations: Books, Bunnies and Failures of Astronomical Proportions

March 21, 2015 books, miscellaneous 34

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The Week

fishing bunny on reviews and cake


Lots of stuff happened this week! I was basically driving around, visiting people and doing stuff all week long. I finally found some decent clothes when I went to Heilbronn, then I visited a uni friend, and had a movie night with another friend. This week registration for next semester’s uni seminars ended, and I didn’t get into any at first (our system kind of sucks), but I have all the classes I need now. Unfortunately, I didn’t get into all the courses that actually interest me (did I mention our system sucks?), so I’ll have to take some stuff I’m not all that crazy about, but all in all it’s an okay schedule. Plus, I’ll probably only have to be present 2-3 days a week, so you now… I’ll live. In astronomical news (when can you ever start a sentence that way?), there was an eclipse where I live yesterday, and I… slept in and missed it. Guess I’ll catch the next one. When’s that again? OH RIGHT IN 24 YEARS. It’s okay though, it was only a partial eclipse. I’ve seen a TOTAL eclipse as a child, so take THAT suckers. Hmph. Pictures above and below are from my visit to Heilbronn, a nearby city where I went on Monday.

Heilbronn on Reviews and Cake

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I Talk About Myself Again

March 18, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 17

…and about fantasy, because it’s time for the…

Bookshelfreflections on Reviews and Cake


…that’s right, the Fantasy Favorites Read-A-Thon! If you’re just now checking out this blog for the first time, because of the link up – welcome! Get comfortable while I tell you a little something about me.

1. Introduce yourself!

So this is where I get to talk about myself again, hence the title. I did a post with 21 Random Facts About Me two months ago (you will quickly notice I’m one of my favorite subjects), but here’s the short version: student, rebel (I always wear two different kinds of socks, so I kind of feel like I have a rightful claim to that title), tv show addict, Queen of procrastination (gotta be queen of something, right?), overuser of brackets. I still feel like this gif describes me best as a person:


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