Our month started off with a short but sweet visit from Celine. Despite two trains being canceled on her, she did eventually make it, and we spent a relaxing day and a half binging Criminal Minds, taking walks in between all the rain, and starting an extremely challenging 2000-piece puzzle. (A puzzle that still isn’t finished, despite the fact that we’ve worked on it nearly every day since then. :P)
On the last Saturday of the month, we met Sandy and Anja in Düsseldorf for the Büchermeile, which was a ton of fun! We hadn’t planned on buying any books, but somehow we ended up with three by the end of the day (which is mostly to blame on Sebastian). 😀 We also walked around the city and finished our day with a delicious meal at Sattgrün.
Books & Audiobooks
An Evil Mind – Chris Carter
It’s really impressive how even the weaker books of the Robert Hunter series are still better than most of the rest of thriller genre. The title of the book was definitely appropriate and even though we kinda missed an actual investigation in the first half of the book it was still super addictive and the author definitely knows how to shock his readers – we already can’t wait to read the next book of the series!
Bruderlüge – Kristina Ohlsson
When we started the second book of the Martin Benner duology we weren’t really sure how Kristina Ohlsson would be able to stretch this story over the length of another novel but Bruderlüge was maybe even better than the first book and had us hooked from the first minute until the final showdown. We were pretty sure we saw the ending coming for a long time but were still surprised by Ohlsson’s conclusion.
The Wolf Road – Beth Lewis
This got off to a rough start but ended up being one of our favorite books of the month! It’s told in first person with a heavy dialect, so it was slow going at first, and it reminded us a lot of True Grit. Fortunately, our persistence paid off, and the ending was both surprising and disturbing. We also grew to love the narrator, Elka, who is fierce and resourceful, as well as kinder than she pretends, despite her young age and rough upbringing.
The Gunslinger – Stephen King
We knew this book wouldn’t make much sense and would be quite boring (especially since Sebastian had already had some bad experiences with the German audiobook), but it was still a bit surprising to what extent both of these expectations came true. If it weren’t for the promise that the rest of the series is drastically better, we wouldn’t see much point in continuing.
Die Moortochter – Karen Dionne
This ended up to be less of a thriller than we expected, and very little actually happened in the book, and yet somehow it managed to be both interesting and addictive. The setting in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (and the author’s obvious familiarity with the area) is one of the book’s strongest points, as is the disturbing and fascinating relationship between the main character and her kidnapper-rapist father.
The Fourth Monkey – J.D. Barker
We officially have a new favorite thriller of the year! This book hooked us from the very first page, and it didn’t let up for a second. The characters are great, there’s a surprising amount of humor for such a dark book, and it’s every bit as messed up as promised. We can’t wait to read more!
The Snowman – Jo Nesbø
Each book in the Harry Hole series has been better than the last, and The Snowman is no exception. The murder mystery was creepy and the resolution surprising. We watched the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation as soon as we’d finished the book, before we’d had a chance to forget the details, and it’s obvious that they’ve changed quite a bit. Hopefully it will still be as addictive as the book!
Killgame – Andreas Winkelmann
This book was so mediocre that we’ve already forgotten most of the plot – and if we remember something it’s probably only the dumb characters who either acted like complete jerks or were so stupid that they absolutely deserved to die. However we always enjoy Simon Jäger’s narration (although Maraia always cringed when he pronounced „Nova Scotia“) and Canada always makes for a great setting, so at least there’s that.
Three Times A Lady – Jon Osborne
Book 1 of the Dana Whitestone series is still one of my all-time favorite thrillers – unfortunately book 2 was such a disaster that the author apparently had to self-publish the next sequels which kept me from picking the series up again for years. I eventually decided to give these books one final try and am glad that I did – Three Times a Lady is far away from being a masterpiece and it was obvious that the novel didn’t get a professional editing but I still find the protagonist interesting and the story was interesting enough to make me want to continue the series.
Nil Remembered – Lynne Matson
This novella was the final step of our Nil binge-read and while Maraia decided to pass on it my inner Monk just had to completely finish the series. I’m glad the book only took me about an hour to read since it was mostly a repetition of what was already mentioned in the main trilogy but I appreciated the little drawings – overall it was a nice bonus for hardcore Nil fans but you definitely don’t miss anything if you just skip this book.
Blutiges Eis („The Delicate Storm“) – Giles Blunt
While Maraia gave up on the book halfway I decided to fight through this book until the end and looking back on the novel I’m not so sure that was a smart decision. Half the time I had no idea what was going on since I don’t know anything about Canadian politics of the 1970s and 1980s and since the conclusion also wasn’t very satisfying I decided to not continue the John Cardinal and Lise Delorme series.
Schweigepflicht – Markus Heitz
I was attracted to this short story by the elevator setting and got a weird horror story that I found definitely interesting – I was just disappointed that it ended way too early and left me with too many unanswered questions.
Here Lies Daniel Tate – Cristin Terrill
I loved Cristin Terrill’s debut novel, and I’d just about given up hope of her ever publishing another one when I heard the news about Here Lies Daniel Tate. It’s a thriller instead of a time-travel sci-fi, but it’s just as good. It kept me guessing until the very end. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!
The Tiger’s Daughter – K. Arsenault Rivera
I was expecting this to be a favorite of the year, but I was sorely disappointed. I loved the setting, the diversity, and the girl power, but the second person narration was too jarring for me to truly enjoy the story. I also wasn’t clear what the plot was heading towards the entire time, so the end felt anti-climactic when nothing actually happened.
Zoe’s Tale – John Scalzi
I’m not sure why John Scalzi decided to write this novel. It follows the same story as the previous book in the series (which I did enjoy), but told from another character’s perspective. That combined with the narrator’s young age made Zoe’s Tale feel as if Scalzi were writing fanfic of his own book.
Saints and Misfits – S.K. Ali
I didn’t read the blurb ahead of time, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that Saints and Misfits isn’t your average fluffy contemporary but a story with real substance. It’s a fantastic #ownvoices debut novel told from a perspective we don’t see enough of in YA, and I highly recommend it. My only complaint is that the end felt rushed and anti-climactic.
The Last Mortal Bond – Brian Staveley
I can’t believe this series is over! The story is amazing, the narration is amazing, and I will miss the characters. Fortunately my favorite character has her own series coming up, or so I’ve heard. This is a long book, especially on audio, but I wasn’t bored at any point. Highly recommended!
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day – Seanan McGuire
Novellas are hit-or-miss for me, but Seanan McGuire seems to be one author I can rely on to write fantastic novellas that I love. This one is totally bizarre, as I’ve come to expect from McGuire, and I really enjoyed it. It’s a story with both ghosts and witches, but it’s different from anything else I’ve read.
River of Teeth – Sarah Gailey
River of Teeth is an alternative history in which the US government released savage hippos into the Louisiana bayou. It’s about a crew of mercenary hippo wranglers, and based on the premise, I was sure I was going to love it. Unfortunately, it has nearly an identical plot to the novella I read last month, The Builders, and that took away half the fun. I think I’ll still read the sequel, though.
- WONDER WOMAN: THIS MOVIE. It was definitely worth seeing it in theaters, and in English. It was impossible not to leave the theater without feeling empowered after seeing all those fierce women kicking ass. Also the soundtrack was pretty epic.
- DESPICABLE ME: While Sebastian watched this movie for the third or fourth time already it was Maraia’s first encounter with Gru and his Minions and fortunately we both (still) enjoyed it!
- DESPICABLE ME 2: We also managed to watch this sequel before the third movie came out and while it was a bit weaker than the first one it was still funny and entertaining.
- DESPICABLE ME 3: We ended our „Despicable Me“ marathon by seeing part 3 in the movie theater and eventually agreed that it was our least favorite movie of the three (especially because Gru’s brother was a pain in the ass with his high-pitched voice and by being completely over the edge all the time) but we probably won’t ever get enough of Agnes‘ cuteness 😀
- CRIMINAL MINDS: Once we started watching season 4, we couldn’t stop. This show is just so good.
- DEAR WHITE PEOPLE: This show is often uncomfortable to watch, and many of the characters are hard to like, but the truth is often uncomfortable, and this show shares an important truth.
- THE KILLING: We finally finished this show, which started with two excellent seasons and then got increasingly boring and irritating. By the end, I don’t think we liked any of the characters anymore.
- STROMBERG: We’re making very slow progress on this show (mostly because it’s too painful for Maraia to watch) but we haven’t given up yet! 😀
- FRESH OFF THE BOAT: This comedy series came highly recommended by Sana, and we’re happy to report that it delivered. This show is hilarious, and we definitely recommend it. The only thing we don’t like is that the episodes are only 20 minutes long, we need more!
- HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER: We finally watched season 3, and maybe our expectations were too high, but the first half of the season was a struggle to watch. Fortunately, it did pick up eventually, but then the end was disappointing. Still, we’re looking forward to the next season (How can this mess get even worse?).
- MARCELLA: Thank god this show was only 8 episodes long, because it was a huge disappointment. The last couple episodes were admittedly more interesting, but we’re not in a rush to watch a potential second season.
Hi you guys,
I loved our bookish meet-up, too! It was a lot of fun and I am really looking forward to the next time (hopefully!)! 🙂
@Maraia: I saw „Here lies Daniel Tate“ somewhere before, but I wouldn’t know it s actually Cristin Terrill’s new book. I loved her debut as well! Maybe I should give her new novel a try, if you enjoyed it so much.
Also, I still haven’t got to the Point to watch „Dear White People“. But I heard there is an older movie about it as well?! Should I watch that first? Did you see that?
We definitely need to have another meet-up. It’s nice to have friends here. ?
If you enjoy thrillers at all, I think you’ll like Daniel Tate. It was so hard to put down!
We actually didn’t even think about the movie. /o\ Let us know if you watch it!
I only found out about the movie because it showed up when I searched for the show on Trakt and since we haven’t watched it either we can say that it’s definitely not necessary if you want to understand the show. Just be prepared not to like any of the characters until maybe episodes 7 or 8, they all tend to behave like jerks 😀
I really hope we can do such meet-ups more regularly, Saturday was indeed a lot of fun! 🙂
Eeep, I’m pleased you liked Daniel Tate, Maraia!! 😀 THAT ENDING THOUGH. I have questions and they will never be answered. ?Also huge reminder I need to stop being a smol scared child and actually read The Last Mortal Bond. (And now annoyed at myself for skipping Saints & Misfits because it sounds good! But I was trying not to request so many books.?)
Seems like you both had a productive reading and watching month!! 😀 I seriously need to see Wonder Woman…
Wonder Woman was fantastic! We had high expectations after everyone already seemed to love it before we went to see it but the movie definitely didn’t disappoint and was pretty epic! To me it sometimes felt like a female version of Captain America and boy, did Diana kick Steve Roger’s ass 😀
THE TITLE, THOUGH. It’s so perfect. I love the double meaning.
I seriously can’t believe you haven’t read The Last Mortal Bond yet. It won’t be disappointing, I promise! It didn’t even feel that long. And Gwenna reaches yet another level of awesome.
You do need to see it! As soon as it’s out on DVD, yeah? 😉
What a good month you two had!! 😀
Ohh Zoe’s Tale sounds like a cool idea to me, this makes me want to start this series even more actually ahah! Sorry it didn’t worked for you, but it makes me curious ^^
I can’t wait to read The Last Mortal Bond! I was waiting for the paperback release of the US edition but then I didn’t bought it right away and.. still haven’t. I might wait til Christmas!
I need to read Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day too 😮 It sounds really great!
Despite the two 2-star books, it really was a good month!
Hahaha, I’m glad it inspired you to read the series. I think you’ll like it, and I’m curious to know what you end up thinking about Zoe’s Tale. Have you already read both The Emperor’s Blades and The Providence of Fire? I love that series so much, and I’m almost sorry I binged it so quickly!
You’ll love it! I can’t wait to hear what you think. ?
I might not start the series just yet, but I’ll sure do in the following months!
Yes I have! Looooooved them! I was glad that there were more attention given to the female characters in the second book! And the cover of the third is my favourite *___* Also SO excited to read Silksworn!
I’ll get the kindle edition soon 😀
Yes!! That was the one big problem with the first book. If I’m remembering correctly, Brian Staveley listened to reader criticisms about that and changed things for his next books. Gwenna is such an amazing character, so I’m glad she got her own POV!
2000 pieces?! I’m not sure I have enough patience for that lol. What do you guys do once you’re done? I used to glue my puzzles together afterwards, but then realized I had no purpose for them that way 😛
I’m impressed by how much reading you both get done within a month. This year hasn’t been the best reading year for me. I lowered my Goodreads goal a few weeks ago, and now it says I’m 10 books ahead, which does make me feel a little better 🙂
I love Despicable Me! I couldn’t get into the second one, so I’m hesitant to watch the third. Isn’t there a spin-off movie about the minions? Have you watched it? I love animated movies. Matt and I try to keep up with them as much as we can. I love, love, love Sing. And also Hotel Transylvania. I recommend those, if you haven’t seen them 😀
Ha, yeah, we get so frustrated when we work for an hour and find maybe 5 pieces. It’s even more challenging because a) the pieces often look like they fit together, and later we find out they don’t after we’ve literally tried every single piece (I can’t even tell you how many times we’ve already had to rearrange the edge), and b) the bottom and top sections are essentially all one color, and any differences are almost impossible to see. I’ll send you a picture when (if) we finally finish it! LOL, I’ve thought about doing that, because some of them are really gorgeous! But yeah, there’s really no point.
You’ve had a lot going on! We’re both shocked that we actually manage to read, but I think it’s fun when we can read the same books together on the couch. It helps to motivate us. Yay for being ahead! ? Maybe you and Matt need to buddy read another book. Or we do!
I felt the same about the second. Sebastian wrote the paragraph about the 3rd movie, but I actually thought it was better than the second, even with the annoying voices. xD (And who knows what they sound like in English!) Ooh, I haven’t heard of that! I’ll have to look it up. I really need to see Sing! I’ve wanted to see it since you and Matt first went to see it. I’Ll add Hotel Transylvania to the list, too, if Sebastian will watch with me, lol.
Matt and I were actually buddy reading a book, but we haven’t picked it up since probably April. Oops. It’s not even that it’s a bad book, we both really like it, but we get side tracked so easily lol. We should definitely buddy read something together. It might be good motivation for me!
Hahaha. Which one was it?
Let me know if you think of one! ?
I’ve been trying to avoid the Minions movie so far because to be honest I’ve grown a bit tired of them since in my opinion they often don’t add anything to the plot and are just there for random gags (which also can be a bit repetitive after two movies…^^)
„Sing“ is definitely on my (our) list and I’ve also heard about „Hotel Transylvania“ before! I used to watch a lot of animated movies when my brother (who is 11 years younger than me) was still a child and I always had a good excuse to go to the movie theaters to watch them but sadly I’ve missed quite a few in the past years. I definitely need to catch up on animated movies again!
I’m also a fan of Cristin Terrill’s debut, so glad to hear she has another book. Saints and Misfits is high on my TBR. I’m currently reading books for a summer challenge, but when I finish, this is one I’m going to reach for almost immediately. Enjoy your August!
I hope you like both! And your summer challenge books. ?
Man you guys are READING MACHINES! So many books read, I definitely added some to my TBR. I want to get more into mystery/thriller – I hardly ever read them! I have heard ppl talking about Here Lies Daniel Tate, but now I’m SUPER excited to read that one. I really love the way this post is set up – good job guys!!
Haha, I don’t really feel like a reading machine next to Maraia XD
Woohoo, I’m excited that you want to read more mysteries and thrillers, let me/us know if you need some recommendations! 😉
Lol, being able to read together is great motivation! Do you and J. read together ever? I can’t remember.
Like Sebastian said, let us know if you want recs! I definitely think you’ll like Daniel Tate.
Thanks, Jade. ?
Haha, no we haven’t. He’s not really a reader, although I did get him to read The Hunger Games and Game of Thrones about 6 years ago. But he hasn’t read a single thing since then! I’m not giving up hope – I’ll keep shoving books in his face until something sticks.
Good luck! 😛
The Buchermeile looks like a lot of fun.
Oh The Tiger’s Daughter has second person narration? I was curious about it but now I’m not. I don’t think I could handle that very well, haha.
Will you be watching The Minions soon too?
The Büchermeile was indeed a lot of fun and I’m glad that the majority was old and used books so that I didn’t get too tempted to buy a ton of books 😀
I’m not sure if we’ll watch the Minions movie soon, I feel like needing a little break from them after three movies in a row 😀
The second person POV? It’s really rare that it works for me!