February 08, 2008

A Tale Of Two Cities

So, yesterday I finally finished "A Tale Of Two Cities". The book took its time to convince me that it's a great read but it managed to do that after about 1/3 of it. I really got hooked up at the third part when Charles went to Paris. The whole Paris arc is just extremely thrilling. And Sydney's sacrifice in the end ... omg!!! Though I could already guess what his intentions were when he first appeared in the Paris arc. In secondary school we spent almost a whole year on the history of the French Revolution and though I knew how violent those times were it was quite scaring to read Dickens account of the Jacobiner dictatorship... La Sainte Guillotine eww.

On the back of the book it is claimed to be a "wonderful love story" and though that is true for the 3rd part of the book I was wondering while reading the first two parts when the story will be a love story because it wasn't then. All in all I enjoyed the book but it won't be my most favourite Dickens. However I recommend reading it.

After having put "A Tale Of Two Cities" aside I immediately started on "Wuthering Heights" by Emily Bronte which was recommended to me by my flatmate Rachel who's studying English Literature. So far it's, well, interesting though I have my problems with her style of writing. I'm not a native English speaker so the parts of Josephs' speech are mainly beyond me. More about that book next time. :D

January 23, 2008

All time favourite book

I just went through my old entries and came across my list of favourite books. I have to make an addition to that list:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

It definetely is one of my all time favourites. I like all her books and books from that time (beginning of the 19th century) e.g. Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray or books that capture the same romance like Jane Austen's stories e.g. Atonement by Ian McEwan.

Great Expectations

Last Saturday I finished reading "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens. At the beginning I wasn't really convinced that it'd be a good read but it actually turned out to be a great read!!! And it really got me thinking. Pip's whole life stands and falls with his expectations. Though that might seem a little bit exaggerated as to be applicable in reality it is not! when I get up in the morning I have certain expectations as to what will happen that day. Not so much as in what events will take place but rather what I will feel when these events are happening. Say e.g. there's a social planned for the evening. Then I have specific expectations as to who will come, how the mood will be and whether it will be a good evening or not. I base my expectations mainly on my own mood. So when I get up cranky and tired I don't expect the day to turn out that great. Just before I'll have to leave then for the social I'll have the feeling that it might probably better not to go at all. I don't feel like going. But as I already promised to come I'll go. And tadahhh: the evening usually turns out to be a great one. My expectations weren't met. And that happens again and again. Usually when my expectations are rather great for an evening they aren't met as well, i.e. the evening turns out quite disappointing, not necessarily bad but just not as good as I'd have thought it'd be. It's so interesting to investigate how my life is influenced by my expectations about certain things. It'd definitely be more easy if I wouldn't constantly expect things to turn out in this or that way. It'd have saved me quite a bit of disappointment in life so far. Especially when it comes to guys. I guess my expectations on guys are extremly high and it'll be a small wonder if there'll ever be a guy who'll me at least part of them. However I definetely recommend reading "Great Expectations" by Charles Dickens. At the moment I'm reading "A Tale of Two Cities", another Dickens. I've only read about 50 pages so far and I can already say that after "Great Expectations" this book is (so far) not meeting my high expectations on a book by Dickens. Well there are some 310ish pages left so that judgement might be subject to change.

September 30, 2007

Final Year started

So here it is the final year at uni. I can't believe that two years are already gone. Hell! Fortunately I can live on campus this year and don't have to rely on the never punctual busses. This year will be full of challenges. Finding a job (hopefully @ my No. 1 employer), being in the Exec of Kempo, getting my degree with the desirable marks and - last but not least - becoming a little more self-confident and less shy + unsecure. Though a good degree is indeed necessary I personally think the last point - becoming more confident - is much more important to me. I hate being unsecure, shy and quiet. But it's so hard to overcome these characteristics. Any advice on how to do it is gladly accepted!

April 27, 2007


At the moment I'm obsessed with the TV show "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (and as it is part of the Buffyverse "Angel" as well). Though the last episode was aired some 2 years ago in Germany I still can't get enough of it. Fortunately all seasons are available on DVD. I spent the whole easter holidays just watching Buffy. That's crazy! my favourite seasons are 5-7. "Once more with feeling" is amazing, great, hilarious ... ;-) didn't expect the cast to be able to sing that well. It's a pity that there's no 8th season. The comics are great as in that you know what happens after the destruction of Sunnydale but it's just not the same as a TV show. Same goes for "Angel". The last episode of the 5th season "Not fade away" just can't be the end! Hey I want to know if they survive. There are a lot of good ideas going round the web as to how the story continues. One of the best I read so far is by Josephine Martin "The Rest of My Life" on fanfiction.net. Check it out :


Some of the Angel episodes I could watch again and again ( actually that's what I'm doing...). Angel and Spike bickering ... just can't get enough of it! My favourite is "The Girl In Question" .... the damned Immortal......  and of course the question here is not whether to be or not to be but: Astronauts or Cavemen ????  

March 08, 2007

I can't live without …. part II

.... manga! Well, seeing as manga actually are a special type of books I could have talked about them in the last entry but I not only can't live without manga they're an obsession, an addiction for me, that's why I list them separately. Manga are Japanese black-white comics, to make it short (I'm sure there are much better definitions out there, just "google" manga and you'll see). I first came in touch with them in 1997. This whole mess actually started with a TV show named "Sailormoon" ( the correct term to be used would be "anime"; if a manga is succesful it is adapted for TV and that's called anime, again that's the short version, for more detailed info google it). It was first shown on German TV somewhere around 1995/1996 or even earlier, sorry can't remember when exactly I saw it first. I really liked the series and when I learned that it was based on a comic series and my mom (she's working in a bookstore) told me that it was to be published in Germany at the end of 1997 I wanted to give the books a try. On december the 6th 1997 I got the first two volumes (there were a present for St. Nicolas Day [which is celebrated in Germany on the 6th december by putting sweets and small presents into the boots of children]) and that was the start of a new obsession for me, though I'm quite surprised that it lasted that long (almost ten years by now...). At last count (last weekend) me and my sister ( which got infected with the "manga-virus" as well) own 806 manga. And there is still no end to it. Recently I discovered Online Manga. Though they are a cheap alternative and you can read series that are yet to be published in europe, I still prefer to read the "real" books instead of staring for hours on a computer screen. I could go on and on about manga for hours :-) ... Here are some of my favorites (though the same applies as with books: there is not one favorite but a list of favorites which is constantly changing):

- ONE PIECE by Eiichiro Oda , definitely one of my all time favorites. It's funny, full of adventures and I like the style of drawing. So far there are 42 German volumes (and I think 45 Japanese ones, but I'm not that sure about that figure) and fortunately it seems as if there won't be an end to that series in the near future. It's even harder to name a favorite character from the One Piece Universe. So far Zoro is my favorite but that might change.

- SEIMADEN/ZEUS/CANTARELLA by You Higuri, I like everything from You Higuri. Her drawings are my absolute most favorite ones. Just have a look at her artbook "Poison" and you'll see what I mean.

- NANA/PARADISE KISS by Ai Yazawa , just discovered recently but I'm already in love with her stories especially Nana. The Artwork is just amazing! Same goes for the (1st) ending song of the Nana anime.

- ANGEL SANCTUARY by Kaori Yuki, complicated but interesting plot and stunning artwork! There are so many turns in that story that it is captivating (is this the right word????) till the very last volume (which is 20). A must-read!!! Same goes for GOD CHILD.

- TSUBASA RESERVOIR CHRONICLE/XXXHOLIC/X-1999/RG VEDA/CARD CAPTOR SAKURA/WISH/MAGIC KNIGHT RAYEARTH/'CAUSE I LOVE YOU/TOKYO BABYLON/JUSTICE GUARDS DUKLYON/CLAMP SCHOOL DETECTIVES by CLAMP, if you love manga there is almost no way past Clamp. Their stories (mainly) have a deeper meaning and the artwork is first-class. They're legends already.

- FUSHIGI YUUGI/AYASHI NO CERES/ALICE 19TH/IMADOKI/ZETTAI KARESHI by Yuu Watase, sweet and romantic stories with the right amount of fantasy and adventure.

Other favorites include:

















... and many more ;-). Since 1997 the market for manga has changed a lot in Germany. While ten years ago there was only a handful of series available, nowadays there are so many series available (and the no. is still increasing at an amazing pace..) it's hard to decide what to read and to buy. I rather don't want to know how much money me and my sister already have spent on manga (one volume costs between 5 € and 6.50 €, it depends on the publisher and on the series) though our friends and family always know what to give as presents ;-). Although my parents are very supportive concerning this hobby ( better than spending my money on cigarettes or drugs...) my father is always saying that manga are rubbish and the stories stupid and not intelligent at all. Yet I learned a lot about Japan and the Japanese culture, way of living, history and legends and traditions. I even started to learn Japanese just because I really like to be able to speak another language and because Japnese is a really interesting language. So all in all manga have a certain educational value no matter what my father is saying. And though they are comics it still is reading, isn't it??? Better than watching the rubbish they show on TV. I certainly can't live without manga and that definitely won't be the last entry on that topic nor will this change in the near future!

February 23, 2007

I can't live without …. part I

.... books! I'm definitely a bookworm. I can't even decide on one favorite book. I have a favorites list including among others:

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien (of course; I read them before I heard of the movies!!!)

Die Abenteuer des Werner Holt (transl: The adventures of Werner Holt) by Dieter Noll - but only part one, part two is too boring. Part one is about a 15 year old guy and how he survived and experienced Second World War. It's really interesting and well written. His struggle with the orders he get (he gets recruited into the army at the end of the war) and with his mind telling him that's wrong what he and his friends are doing - quite impressive book! I'm not sure that it ever got published in English. 

Mord ist mein Beruf (transl: Killing/Murder is my profession) by Robert Merle - another book about WWII, this time it's about a Nazi working in a KZ. His job is to kill jews with gas. The book is written from his perspective, so the reader gets an insight into his thoughts. I was shocked when I first read it because that's not fiction, there really were individuals like that man. The way that man thinks about other human beings is disgusting. In my opinion this book is a must-read for everybody (at least for Germans- so that they never forget that dark chapter of our history). Actually there is another book by Robert Merle I really liked:

Die geschützten Männer (transl: that one is hard to translate but it would be somewhat like: The protected men) - it takes place in the future (but not that far away). There's a disease which only men can get and which is fatal. So the male poulation starts to die out and women start to take over important politic and other roles. In the end only a handful men survive though they don't know exactly why. It is interesting to see how women cope with the sudden power they got. Though it is of course only fiction.

The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett - I read that one in German but half of my Ken Follett collection consists of the English publications. There are only 4-5 books of Ken Follett I haven't read so far. He is definitely one of my most favorite authors. As I love books about espionage and thrillers in general I can't get enough of his stories. Though Pillars of the Earth is a medieval tale about a guy - Jack Jackson - who builds a cathedral. That doesn't sound that interesting but it is as he falls in love with a rich girl who is to be married to a complete idiot etc. This book has more than 1000 pages and there are a lot of plot twists so it's intersting till the very end. 

The Harry Potter series by J.K.Rowling (....)

It (and diverse other books e.g. Duddits) by Stephen King

The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris

Enigma (sorry can't remember the author)

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini

Die neuen Leiden des jungen W. (transl: The new sufferings of the young W.) by Siegfried Lenz

The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown (Illuminati is pretty good as well)

Eragon + Eldest by Christopher Paolini

Fackeln im Sturm (tranl: Torches in the storm) by John Jakes


A long way down by Nick Hornby

Die Kinder von Bullerbü (tranl: the children of Bullerbü) by Astrid Lindgren - I love all her books

You see what I mean? There never is an end to that list as there are only few books which turned out to be really disappointing ( I choose the books I read carefully...) and I'm constantly adding new ones that I just read and really liked. I can't even say which genre I like most as I like thrillers, crime stories, mystery as well as historic novels, classics, fantasy or even romance. To put it into a nutshell I like books that are fascinating. If I'm not interested after reading the first page I put aside as it would only disappoint me. When my sister recommended Harry Porter and the Philosophers Stone I thought it to be a joke. Everybody was reading Harry Potter at that time and I thought it would be just another hype but not necessarily a good book. However I started to read it the evening she gave the book to me - and I only put the book away the next morning when I had finished reading it. I just couldn't stop. And that's how a book must be like.  


At the moment I'm feeling like a huge truck has run over me. My head fells like it's going to explode. I hate colds. They make me feel so helpless and vulnerable and they always catch me at the worst possible times. I'm doing Kempo at uni and want to grade in two weeks. In order to perform good at grading I have to practice - logically - but in this state practice is as good as impossible. Till yesterday evening I was fine. There wasn't even the slightest sign of a cold; and then this morning I was knocked out completely. I had to spend the whole day in my bed (due to some stress recently I once in a while had imagined that to be a very nice way to spend a day ... however now that my wish was granted it wasn't that nice at all -->) and was bored like hell. Even now my housemates probably have a wonderful time at a mexican dinner and I'm all alone. That's so depressing, though I have to say that they took good care of me as long as they've been here. While lying in bed a kind of poem popped in my mind:

It's silent. It's been silent for a while.

Our eyes meet.

A smile blossoms on your face. It mirrors mine.

And the silence is gone.

Well what do you think? That's my first try ever at something like that (okay @ least in English - which is not my mother tongue!!! - when I was 12 I wrote some poems that actually rhymed [is that even a word???] they dealt with friends and class tests ;-) and all that "important" stuff. My mum liked them so much she sent them to a local newspaper and got them published. I was so proud back then. When I read them a couple of months ago it was so embarassing!They were really bad and childish.) . Constructive criticism is welcome!

February 18, 2007

First entry … (das nenn ich mal einen einfallsreichen Titel _;)

Uhm. Okay. Keine Ahnung wie ich am besten anfangen soll. Geht das eigentlich noch jemanden so? Der Kopf ist voll mit Ideen, Theorien etc. , die darauf drängen endlich mal zu Papier gebracht zu werden ( na ja in diesem Fall nicht wirklich Papier, da es ja ein Computer ist ...) und wenn man sich dann hinsetzt um genau das zu tun hat man plötzlich keine Ahnung wie man eben das anstellen soll? Mir geht es ständig so. Die Zeit ist längst reif für ein Gerät das Gedanken lesen und direkt in geschriebene Worte umsetzen kann, ohne lästiges selber schreiben oder tippen. Warum schreibe ich eigentlich auf deutsch und nicht auf englisch??? Gute Frage, nächste Frage. Keine Ahnung. Wahrscheinlich weil es Sonntag morgen ist, ich gerade erst aufgestanden bin und mein Hirn noch nicht den Schalter auf englisch umgelegt hat. Es ist echt verrückt. Als ich vor etwa 1 1/2 Jahren nach Warwick gekommen bin, dachte ich ich werde nie wirklich in englisch denken und im Kopf erst auf deutsch übersetzen etc, aber genau das Gegenteil ist der Fall: Wenn ich mit meiner Mum telefoniere hab ich enorme Schwierigkeiten einen vernünftigen Satz auf deutsch raus zu bekommen, weil ich auf englisch denke und mir die einfachsten Worte auf deutsch nicht mehr einfallen. Ich weiß sie auf englisch aber deutsch??? Genau das wurde mir auch bei meinem Vorstellungsgespräch im Januar bei Goldman Sachs zum Verhängnis. Doch darüber mehr zu einem anderen Zeitpunkt und dann in englisch!!! Liest das hier überhaupt jemand??? Kann ich mir im Moment irgendwie noch nicht vorstellen. Hat irgendjemand "The World is flat" by Thomas L. Friedman gelesen????     

(P.S. Diese blöden nationalen Unterschiede in der Anordnung der Buchstaben und Zeichen auf einer Computertastatur regen mich tierisch auf. Ich schreibe hier mit einer deutschen Tastatur (offentsichtlich --> ä ö ü) aber der Titel meines ersten Eintrags erscheint nicht so wie ich ihn eingetippt habe, gibt es diese Zeichen nicht auf einer englischen Tastatur? Wahrscheinlich sind sie an einer anderen Stelle und die Tasten die ich benutzt habe sind bei der englichen Tastatur frei oder weiß der Geier was..) 

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