And then everything changed

Donnerstag, 21. Dezember 2017

#Readmyowndamnbookschallenge End of the Year Update

I'm proud to say that I only bought one book since the last update and the author signed it, so I think that's allowed. But the pile of unread books in my room is still pretty big. In the last months I managed to read three books. Here they are:

Peter Kurth - Isadora Duncan

This is a huge biography of the dancer Isadora Duncan and I have to admit, I didn't read the entire thing, yet - that's pretty much impossible. But I did read quite a bit and it was interesting. Isadora Duncan definitely had a spectacular life. She's only in her early adult years at the point of the book I'm at, but she already lived in San Fancisca, Chicago, New York, London, Munic, St. Petersburg, somewhere in Italy and several other places I forgot. Isadora and her family came from nothing, literally almost starving to death and it was just her incredible talend which kept them alive. First she struggled to get jobs or got some which weren't paid. It's sad to think that in the creative field when you're starting out, it's still the same after all these centuries. You still don't get paid often times, just with "exposure" which is ridicolous. But soon she swept everyone away with her extraordinary dancing and became famous.

Biographies are often very technical about the famous person's profession. Like biographies about musicians will include a lot of detailed musical description which is always a bit hard to understand and also boring for me. With dancing it's different. I know a lot more about dancing than about music, as I've been dancing on and off since I was six years old and have consumed numerous dance movies etc. So I actually found the technical stuff in this book fascinating. Also I totally agree with Isadora's opinion that classical ballet is unnatural because the body is not designed to do the things ballet requires. She broke free from these restrictions and created her own dance which was based on the old Greeks. Her whole family was obsessed with Ancient Greece and I love that this is also a big part of the book. For dance fans this biography is a great read!

Marian Keyes - Sushi for Beginners

This is a rather untypical book for me to read. I'm not so much into contemporary stuff, but as I've been having a really tough time with Fantasy lately (I just couldn't get into it at all) I chose to read this book, which was waiting to be read on my booksshelf anyway. It's about a group of (mostly) women who start a new women's magazine in Dublin. They try to create something fabolous in a not so fabolous place. As journalism is a passion of mine and women's magazines have been in my thoughts a lot this year (while thinking about my own future) this was right up my sleeve. I was a bit disappointed though that the magazine itself is rather a plot device and the novel actually tells private the stories of the women working on it and their friends. I'm still not sure what the main story of this book was, which is never a good thing.

With that said, it was still an entertaining and very pleasant read. It felt good to finally read something I can find myself in. Of the three main characters, I really liked the editor in chief, Lisa. First she's introduced as this heartless career person but the author did a nice job in showing that she's just human and has her own vulnerabilities. Her strength in difficult times was truly inspiring and something to look up to.

Teri Terry - Mind Games

I've been a fan of Teri Terry since her Slated trilogy, which are still the best dystopia YA books you can find. When I saw that Teri Terry will be coming to the bookfair, of course I had to meet her, buy a book and have it signed. The lady selling the books recommended this own to me (though there are still many more books by Teri Terry I haven't read) and because it's a standalone I took it. It did not disappoint. Mind Games is set in a future where society mostly takes place in virtual worlds. The protagonist refuses first to take part in this even if it makes her a social outcast with no future, until she's sucked into the evil plans and problems of several evil groups.

This book was very well plotted. Just like in Slated Teri Terry managed to show that neither side of a fight (neither the government nor the rebels) are per se the good ones. It was thrilling and all the plotlines actually came together in the end. When I first started reading it, I had trouble sleeping and had nightmares, so I paused it for a while. Don't get me wrong. Mind Games is not horror, not at all! It's not scary but I was alone at home and the whole not-knowing-what's-real thing freaks me out anyway. Once my boyfriend was back from vacation I continued it and had no problems with it anymore. It's not Fantasy at all, but rather Sci Fi but it helped me to get into the genres again.

What I'm reading now: Marc Elsberg - Zero

After Mind Games I really wanted to use the Sci Fi momentum and go further in this direction. My Mum gave me this book months ago, so I decided why not give it a try. And it's fantastic! It's not Sci Fi but a thriller about technology and not only touches it many important topics and trends of our time and makes you think but also is it extremly well built! As I'm not through with it, yet, I'm not gonna say any more right now, but I can't stop reading it.

Montag, 11. Dezember 2017

Why can't we behave like people on vacation all the time?

I've had wonderful four weeks of vacation full of fun, love, family, adventures, new experiences, and living worryfree for once. Isn't that the best thing about vacations? That we can - far away from all our every struggles and tasks - finally be our very best, easy going, fun self? That's why we meet new people on vacation, because that's the time we are peoples' persons. While in everyday life we're so annoyed and stressed, always running towards the next appointment, deadline or goal, that we don't even notice the people around us most of the time.

Now that I'm back home, I miss that vacation feeling. I miss talking about everything and nothing, about philosophy and the future and at the same time about cake and clothes. I miss going out to eat or to see a movie. I miss trying out new things because there's the oppurtunity and hey, we're on vacation! I understand that the way our society is built, people have to work in order earn money in order to save money in order to spend money (for example on a vacation). In everyday life there are always a million things to do, no matter if for you this includes working, studying or taking care of the kids. There's never enough time or money. On vacation we eat out all the time, while in everyday life this habit would just be too expensive and also: do you really wanna go out into the cold, dark night to eat or rather fix something up in your kitchen, then cuddle on the couch and watch The Walking Dead? Don't get me wrong, I'm a sucker of cuddling + food + a good (or bad but enjoyable) tv show. But once in a while, I'd like to have a nice dinner in a restaurant, to really talk, to watch the stars. Not only on vacation.

So, even if we can't live each and every day as carelessly as our vacation-alter-egos do, I think we can still try to include some of the vacation feeling into our everyday life. Even if it's something small like taking your time to sip your first cup of coffee and read the newspaper in the morning or taking a long walk (preferably through a beautiful snow landscape). Life's so much more than work. It's so much more than checking of an endless To Do List and waiting for the next vacation to arrive. All that stuff is pointless, if we don't enjoy ourself - not only once in a while but on a regular basis. If we can find a way to incorperate the vacation spirit into our everyday lives, not only will we become better, less grumpy versions of ourselves, but we will also find something that in the long run makes all the difference: not extatic joy - but contentment.

Dienstag, 7. November 2017

Life never follows your plan

When I was 15 or 16 I did an internship at a magazine which is why I was away from home for a whole month. I spent my nights talking to the girl I shared a room with and telling her about all my fabulous plans I had for my life. At some point she said: You know, sometimes plans don't work out like that. Obviously back then I was too ignorant to believe her because what did she know? She was a teen just like me. I thought that I had it all figured out. Turns out, she was absolutely right. Except you can replace the "sometimes" with "never": Plans never work out like that. Because life doesn't give a shit about your plans.

I don't even remember what my Master Plan as a teen exactly consisted of but I'm pretty sure it included studying journalism in Munich and coming home only for Christmas via an adventurous mini-road-trip with cool new friends, listening to Driving Home for Christmas. Well, that didn't work out. I didn't study in Munich and dindn't study journalism but European Studies, then Sociology and Politcs, then Creative Writing, then Literature. I'm trained to work in a publishing house, not a newspaper. I'm light years away from where I thought I'd be when I was 16.

And here's the secret: I'm kind of okay with that. So, my dreams didn't come true but instead I did and experienced and discovered so many other, exiting things I never even thought about before. I became a better version of myself. I tried out so many jobs and hobbies, I lost count. I fell in love. I got engaged. I traveled a lot. I work in a hairsalon at the moment and I love it.

I still like planing but ever since I graduated High School I've given up on pretending that I know where my life will lead me. Because I was wrong so many times, it would be crazy to still believe in it. Instead I follow the path that unfolds in front of me, even though I have no clue where it's leading. I don't think that I have it all figured out anymore because on most days I feel utterly lost. And that's absolutely acceptable. So when life doesn't follow your plan (again), put on a smile and your big girl boots and then put one foot in front of the other until you find something new to walk towards. It'll be fine. I promise.

Here's a beautiful song which really nails my philosophy:

And also, just because it's November and I mentioned it:

PS: I'll be on vacation till December, so I won't be posting for the next few weeks. Have a wonderful November!

Mittwoch, 1. November 2017

Carrie Bradshaw's Boyfriends from Best to Worst

I've been re-watching Sex and the City and was reminded of all the guys Carrie went out with, out of which she had serious relationships with very few (only four to be specific). Carrie definitely had some shitty partners but she also had some great ones. So here is my ranking of Carrie Bradshaw's Boyfriends from Best to Worst.

1. Aleksandr Petrovsky

Alexandr was the only one of Carrie's boyfriends and dates who I envied her for a bit. Let's be honest mostly the girls' guys weren't that impressive (many of them were garbage in fact) but Alexandr was one of the very few men on the show who I admired. He was just so sexy, romantic, creative. He was an artist without being too neurotic. He was fun to watch and so passionate. And he really gave Carrie everything. He gave her the world. The only thing he denied her were children (because of his age) but he made up for it by showering her in love and romantic gestures and offering her a glamorous life. To this day, I haven't watched the last two episodes of the show because I cannot bear watching Carrie leave Alexandr for Big.

2. Aidan Shaw

Aidan wasn't so shabby either, in fact he was pretty perfect. He was handsome and kind and sexy. He had a dog and he wasn't afraid of commitment. His only problem was that he fell in love with the wrong women because he was far too good for Carrie. She hurt him and really messed him up (twice!) and she proved again and again that she doesn't deserve him. I like that they show Aidan going on to fall in love with another women, marry and have a kid because he really deserved to be happy.

3. Jack Burger

Oh, Jack Burger was terrible. At first he was kind of intriguing, cute, funny and interesting but then he turned out to have so, so many problems. Burger was the worst version of a writer, the very cliché of a neurotic artist who will never find happyness because he sabotages himself. He just couldn't stand that Carrie was more successful than him. He felt like such a poor, tragic, misunderstood writer, that he forgot to notice that his self-pity was freaking everyone out (including himself). He really did Carrie a favor, when he dumped her.

4. Mr. Big

But not even Burger was as aweful as Big. I know, he's supposed to be Carries one true love, but come on! Those two were never meant for each other because all they did was destroy each other, while in this case Carrie was truly the victim. But she kept running back to him again and again. Big was Carrie's drug which will one day kill her. He was arrogant and condescending and at many, many times a downright asshole. More importantly, he was not willing to commit to the smallest things. He was obsessed with his freedom though he was already in his 40s. He was like a small kid, never willing to grow up and it annoyed me so much. Plus, he wasn't even that good looking.

It really upsets me that women watch this show dreaming of meeting someone like him, when this is actually the worst that could happen to them. If they want stability they should look for Aidan-types and if the want adventure they should look for Alexandr-types and if they want a whiny writer they can give Burger a try. But if they see a Big-type they should run the other way as fast as they can. I realize that this is an unpopular opinion but for me Big was really the worst. Carrie ended up with him because she's addicted to misery, not because he's her Happy End.

Dienstag, 24. Oktober 2017

Six Songs By Female Musicians To Feel Like A Badass

Usually I'm no fan of female musicians. I prefer hard guitars and sexy male voices. However this wasn't always the case. When I was 14 I was a huge fan of Britney Spears and (to a lesser dregree) Christina Aguilera. My Dad used to ask me why there was always a woman crying in my room, but it was just Xtina. Then something happened: pop was replaced by monotonous electronic beats and a sweet and weak female voice which always sounded the same. But I am happy to say that pop is back, real pop, ballads, happy melodies, great feelings, all the good stuff. Luckily musicians like Beyoncé, Demi Lovato and Kesha are leaving the boring stuff of the past decade behind and are releasing beautiful pop songs again. Here are my Top Six Songs By Strong Women which you should listen to when you want to feel like a badass and celebrate that you're a women.

1. Kesha - Rainbow

Apparantly this was the song that got Kesha through all the shit she had to go through. She wrote it in rehab and played and sang it every day. It gave her strength and it has the same effect on me. Just listen to it, it's gorgeous!

2. Demi Lovato - Sorry Not Sorry

Okay, well this is not the most sophisticated song out there but it's so much fun! Women shouldn't be ashamed of having fun and living their best lives. I listen to this often in the morning to pump me up and put me in a good mood for the day.

3. Beyonce - Run The World (Girls)

I know that this song is rather old, but I just discovered it for me some days ago. Before I always thought it to be a bit too hectic and I wasn't a big Beyonce fan anyway but the latter has changed since Lemonade (the visual album is still the best thing out there!). Now I've watched two documentaries about Beyonce's Four and I'm impressed by how much work and dedication went into this song and video. Also, obviously it's really time for girls to rule. She's seriously the queen of R'n'B.

4. Kesha - Bastards

Another song from Kesha's new album which I love. The message is simple but true: Don't let the bastards bring you down.

5. Kesha - Praying

I promise, this is going to be the last Kesha song! I just think her new album is such an incredible piece of art and I love how she left her fake persona behind her and finds back to her spirituality in this song. I didn't care for it the first time I listened to it, but now it has grown on me.

6. Demi Lovato - Confident

This is probably also a bit older but still perfect. It's ridicolous that there's still this expectation of women to be timid and humble. We've been humble for centuries, now it's time to shine! As a pretty confident person (most of the time) I know that confidence is often mistaken for arrogance. Demi sings about how there's abolutely nothing wrong with being confident.

Dienstag, 17. Oktober 2017

My Bookfair Adventures (Frankfurter Buchmesse 2017)

Last week I spent four days at Germany's biggest bookfair and it was such an amazing experience! In the past I have either only visited for one totally stressful day or have worked at the fair as a representative of the publishing house I worked for. This year I was lucky enough to have four free days and a blogger pass to enter the fair for free.

Bookfairs are seriously one of my favorite things on Earth. They are like the world's largest book shop but with authors walking around, millions of like-minded booklovers waiting to meet you and fun and educational events. It's every reader's and writer's magic place. And as I am both (plus having worked and planning to work again in the publishing industry) I enjoyed it a lot.

Because I experienced so much during these four amazing days, I'm going to divide my adventures into themes to not overwhelm you too much (though I still feel utterly overwhelmed in a good way).


I only have one semester left before I get my Master's degree and will finish my studies once and for all. Then what? So many people ask me that and I have no clue. What I do have are several vague ideas and as many of them revolve around books, I set out to check out the industry and what's in it for me. And let me tell you, there are so many possibilities!

I went to two networking events, getting to know many people from the industry (both people just starting out like me as well as top notch employees, CEOs and other important people). I collected their contact info and will definitely connect with them. It wasn't all rainbows and butterflies though. The book industry is a tough business, especially if you want to be an editor (in that case good luck - you're gonna need it!). Luckily I'm more interested in marketing and that's an easier career to get in. It's still tough but I'll find my way, wherever it may lead me.


As you may know, I'm not only a passionate reader but also a writer, working on a youth novel at the moment. I'm unpublished so far (well except a short story I won a contest with), so I'm one of the millions of writers who are looking to be published. I went to lectures on writing (which were amazing!) and also on marketing yourself or your book through social media.

The problem is that everyone is a writer nowadays. Classical publishing houses take almost no new authors at all. The chances to be published the traditional way are really, really bad, which I was told again and again at the bookfair. However there are other ways. Many say that traditional publishing is a dying breed anyway and the way to go is to self-publish. Obviously there are many disadventages to taking this route: having to market entirely on your own and being overlooked in the massive amount of self-published books out there are the most important ones. Which is why I will still try to find a publishing house to take on my novel. In the end, I believe that the best thing you can do to get published is to write the very best book you could possibly write. That's what I'm focusing on right now. Improving my writing, making my novel better, finishing it. We'll see how it'll progress after that.


I also attended a blogger event which was really interesting because they discussed many exciting topics and trends in the blogging world and also I met like-minded bloggers and You Tubers. I think it's amazing that everyone can start a blog or a You Tube channel. My goal is to start and establish a German blog solely about writing and reading and after the bookfair I am so motivated!

Fun Stuff

Of course it wasn't all networking and attending lectures at the bookfair, I also did some things purely because they're fun (but the other stuff was fun, too). Most notably I met my favorite YA author Teri Terry! Her trilogy "Slated" is the best thing out there. Seriously, forget about "The Hunger Games", "Slated" is the best YA distopia I have ever read. I bought another book by her ("Mind Games") and so far it's also amazing. She really knows how to write YA literature.

Also I attended a reading of my favourite German adult Sci Fi author, Andreas Brandhorst. I've only read one book by him so far but it's one of the best books I've ever read, particularily in the Sci Fi genre. His other books were too hard Sci Fi for me, but his new one is right up my alley, so I'm definitely gonna give it a try. He was reading and being interviewed together with Germany's most succesful fantasy author, Wolfgang Hohlbein, who I haven't read anything by yet but my Mum likes his work and she doesn't even like fantasy, so it sounds like it might be up my sleeve. His new book sounds great, too.

Also I met some old and new friends, as well as a famous German You Tuber and of course I spent numerous hours browsing books and being amazed by literature. It's truly magical what a good book can do to you and I'm so grateful for books, reading them as well as writing them. I brought home from the bookfair new contacts, wisdom, lots of inspiration and motivation and so much reading material in form of magazines, extracts and more.

Dienstag, 10. Oktober 2017

Love is Easy - Relationships are Hard

You know those people who give up when there's the slightest difficulty in their relationship with the argument that love is supposed to be easy? Well, they're mixing two different things. Yes, love is easy. Falling and staying in love pretty much happens all by itself. Love is still one of the greatest mysteries out there but we do know that being in love requires zero effort on our part. In fact, your consious mind might not even have a say in who you love.

Being in a relationship on the other hand is an entirely different story. Just because you love someone and that person loves you back, it doesn't mean that you're going to live happily ever after. Because you're still two different people, each one bringing their own problems, traumas, opinions and ways of living into the relationship and they are going to clash. You're going to spend a lot of time with each other and there will be problems. To date I don't know of a single relationship without any problems. That's just a myth.

So if your're running into some difficulties in your relationship, it doesn't nessecarily mean that you're not loving each other or that he's not the one. That's no reason to thrown in the towel. I see and hear of so many people who give up a relationship because of minor stuff and it's so sad because they're giving up their chance at a great partnership for their idea of what a relationship is supposed to look like. I say, screw what it's supposed to look like. If you're in love with each other (and if you're not consistently treating each other like shit), you have a good chance of making it. It won't be easy but it will be worth it. It may still not work out in the end but it just as well could be the very thing that makes your life magical.