Dienstag, 29. April 2014

Das Uni-Dilemma

Ich habe meinen Blog in der letzten Woche schändlich vernachlässigt und muss leider ankündigen, dass so bald keine Besserung in Sicht ist.
Denn die Uni hat mich fest im Griff: Ich habe noch drei Wochen, um eine Hausarbeit zu schreiben und habe bis jetzt keine wirklichen Fortschritte vorzuweisen, da die anderen Vorlesungen sehr aufwendig vorzubereiten sind.

Das heißt, dass es hier leider auch die nächsten Wochen mau aussehen wird.

Aber danach kann ich hoffentlich wieder mit neuer Energie loslegen!

Dienstag, 15. April 2014

Reading in English - torment or joy?

I started reading English books when I was about 14 or 15 years old and the first book was.... 'Twilight'. Yes, I know.
At that time I was rather obsessed with the first three books that had come out until then but to defend myself I have to mention that the hype hasn't started until then. It was before all those girls began to adore Robert Pattinson as there haven't been any films yet.

The reason for choosing that book is that I already knew the story in German so even if I hadn't understood half of the words I would have known what it was all about.

And that I definitely recommend. Pick out a book that you already know if you want to start reading in a different language that you don't understand 100 per cent.

Also don't make the mistake to have a dictionary beside you as looking up every second word will spoil everything for you. My experience was that it gets a lot easier once you have got through one or two chapters, just don't give up when you find it hard to get into the book.
Now I prefer reading books in their original language when they have been written in English as it adds a lot to the experience. (English copies are often a lot cheaper than German ones and also more beautiful in my opinion.)

Reading in English has helped me a lot in school and also afterwards as you tend to forget the language when you don't speak it regularly.
I have to admit that I still have to gather ambitions to start reading in French which will probably be a project of some more years.

(I can see 'Le petit prince' waiting for me on my shelf right now!)

Donnerstag, 10. April 2014

Ein kleines historisches Schmankerl - Die Geo Epoche

Eigentlich sind historische Bücher und Geschichten nicht so wirklich mein Ding, obwohl ich nie eine Abneigung gegen Geschichte in der Schule hatte.

Von vielen habe ich immer wieder gehört dass sie Geschichte interessant finden, aber mal ehrlich, wer liest schon ein gesamtes Sachbuch über eine Epoche, um seine Neugier zu befriedigen?

Für die kleinen Hobby-Historiker unter uns ist das wahrscheinlich nichts Neues, denn die "Geo Epoche" gibt es schon seit gestandenen 15 Jahren.

Allerdings finde ich, dass sie mehr Aufmerksamkeit verdient, denn keine Ausgabe, die ich mir zugelegt habe, hat mich bis jetzt enttäuscht. Die Abschnitte sind gut portioniert und abwechslungsreich gestaltet, wobei man auch Stunden damit zubringen könnte, sich nur die Fotos anzuschauen.

Dieser Post soll nur ein kurzer Aufruf sein an alle, die bis jetzt vielleicht gezögert haben, denn die Jubiläumsausgabe hat bestimmt einiges zu bieten.

Mittwoch, 2. April 2014

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo - Stieg Larsson (Millenium I)

I'm probably the last one who read these famous books that everyone has already talked about ages ago. But still I want to give my opinion on it.

The main characters are Mikael Blomkvist, editor of the 'Millenium' magazine, Lisbeth Salander, investigator for a security company and Henrik Vanger, retired head of the 'Vanger cooperation'.
It's not until quite far into the book that we find out about how these three are connected and I think the main reason for that is that Larsson took his time to build the story carefully. That slowed it down in the beginning but when the story really started I couldn't put the book down.

The plot is amazingly complex and it seems to me that the author tried to include as many details as possible which created a surprisingly convincing thriller.
Some aspects about the storyline rather surprised me for example when there was a really violent scene included and I noticed that that part of the story could easily have been left out. But on the other hand it makes me think that I wouldn't have got to know one of the characters as well if that scene hadn't been in this book.
Additionally it helps build the atmosphere which by the way I would have liked a bit more dark than it was. What I mean is that a crime taking place in the Swedish winter would be far more impressive than one committed on a sunny summer day.

Still there were times when I sat there with my eyes wide so the events deinitely got to me.

The only part that I absolutely disliked was the epilogue. It felt a bit like when you're watching Romeo and Juliet and you know that there are 4 acts. But Romeo and Juliet both already die in the middle of act three so that makes you wonder what will happen for the rest of the play.
To me the story felt finished about 50 pages before the ending and I almost completely skipped the epilogue. Larsson just explained the outcome of an aspect in this book that I wasn't interested in that much and that is a kind of financial crime.
For someone who is into this topic the last bit of the book will be very pleasant but it was rather boring for me.

Apart from this I really very much enjoyed the book although I think that it will take a while until I can get myself to read the sequel.
I guess I will just have to wait until I have forgotten what I didn't like.