Allgemein, Bookish Fox Knowledge

December Wrap-Up

Wrap Up

Who am I? And how did I manage to read 8 books in December? O_o They weren’t even short ones because most of them had between 280 and 480 pages! I guess the holidays might have given me time to finish some of the books I already started in November. Well, at least that’s the only explanation I can come up with. *lol*

December wasn’t just a great month when it came to books though. All those family gatherings left us with a full stomach and after some of them it would have been great if we could have just „rolled“ back home. XD My family is fun like that! Haha!

Last month might have been a busy one regarding work but since I was lucky enough to get two weeks off during the holidays I actually managed to recover from the stress. So there’s that! And now, without further ado, let’s head to my statistic! 😉

Books read: 8

Pages read:  2.680 (Woah, I was quite on a roll in December, wasn’t I? O_o I think I didn’t read that many pages in any of the other months.)

Average rating: 3,88 (So many 4 star reads! XD)

Books that were on my reading list:  4 (2 from 2018 andfrom 2019. And here I read so many books in December but still not even half of those that were on my lists… somethings gotta change in 2020! *lol*)

December Reads: 

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They Both Die at the End: 4 Pfoten

This book broke my heart! Rufus and Mateo were so perfect for each other but urgh Adam Silvera had no mercy with my poor soul! >_< I loved the promise of the book and the idea of a world in which everyone knows the day on which they die caused me to have some serious thoughts. Amazing read and highly recommended! Keep your tissues at hand though!

Flame in the Mist: 4 Pfoten

2019 officially turned out to be the year of retellings and I’m glad I read so many of them. „Flame in the Mist“ definitely was a great one and I enjoyed it immensely! I was so intrigued by Ranmaru and Okami that I couldn’t help but be totally engrossed in the story! Plus the ending! ARGH! I need to read book two soon!

Essenz der Götter: 3 Pfoten

Now that was a book from an unknown Austrian author that lives close to my town. *lol* I didn’t read a German book for ages so it took me quite a while to get into it and to be entirely honest I had issues with the genre. I expected a young adult fantasy book and in the end it turned out to be a romance. So if you read it as the romance it’s supposed to be this was actually a good read. Just don’t go into it thinking it’s fantasy! 😉

Circe:4 Pfoten

I absolutely adored this! I always was a huge fan of the Odyssey and Odysseus himself so I already knew about „Circe“ when I started to read the book. Still, this was an amazing read and Madeline Miller once again nailed it! I swear when it comes to Greek mythology she’s my go to person! (or author in that case! *lol*) If you want to read my full review you can do it here!

Death Masks: 4 Pfoten

Book five of the Harry Dresden Files and I’m still not tired of our awesome wizard! 😉 This time around our hero has to face not only a Red Court member but also his ex-gf and a handful of demons that want to get a grip on „The Shroud“. Yes, the one and only! So there’s a lot of trouble brewing in Chicago and of course Harry’s once again right smack in the middle of it! 😛

Into the Between: 4 Pfoten

Now this book was a total surprise! Anna Webb offered it to me as a review copy and since it’s been on my goodreads TBR for two years I couldn’t say „no“ to such an offer! When I started to read „Into the Between“ I never thought that I’d end up loving it so much, but the longer I read the more questions I had and the mystery of it all kept me reading until the very last page. I even bought a copy of the second book now because seriously, I NEED ANSWERS!!! Yep, that’s how much I loved it! ❤ If you’re interested you can read my goodreads review here!

Cinder: 4 Pfoten

Definitely one of the best books I read this month! ❤ I loved everything about it! The Star Wars vibes, the fairy tale atmosphere! It was just great and I couldn’t get enough of it! Prince Kai was an adorable love interest and Cinder one of the coolest, down-to-earth heroines ever! I still don’t get how she managed to keep her hands off of him because let’s face it, I would have been all over him in a heartbeat! *lol*

Glitches: 4 Pfoten

After finishing „Cinder“ I just wanted to know a little bit more about her time before she came to Adri and her family. So I decided to read this short story and it kind of helped me to understand her relationship with Peony and Garan. If you’re looking for a short addition to the main story this is a really nice and fast read. 🙂

Rankenzeile

This said: How was your December? Did you get a lot of reading done? Were you busy with family gatherins as well? Did you eat too much and what’s your typical holiday meal? XD What was your favourite book in December?

Talk to me and let me know!

*hugs’n’kisses*

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The Sassy Library Fox

A - E, Allgemein, C, Reviews

Review: Circe (Madeline Miller)

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Rating: 4 Pfoten

Book 27 on My Book List 2019

”Of all the mortals on the earth, there are only a few the gods will ever hear of. Consider the practicalities. By the time we learn their names, they are dead. They must be meteors indeed to catch our attention. The merely good: you are dust to us.“

I thought long and hard what to write about “Circe” but when it comes down to it the first words that always pop into my mind are: “I loved this so damn much!!!” *lol* Which is neither especially eloquent nor particularly significant. So what to do? How to describe my love for this book in words that would do this masterpiece (and yes, in my opinion it truly is a masterpiece) justice?

”I felt myself tremble, but I would not let him see it. Great gods smell fear like sharks smell blood, and they will devour you for it just the same.”

I guess I might start with what it is not. “Circe” is definitely not like “The Song of Achilles”! To be honest those books couldn’t have been any more different even if they tried. Whilst the main topics of “The Song of Achilles” were the Trojan War and the undying love *weeps* between Patroclus and Achilles the major themes in “Circe” were her solitary life in exile and her encounter with Odysseus. This setting alone makes for an entirely different story and sets a completely different pace. The tale of Circe is slow and unfolds over time, the many centuries that pass away giving the reader not only a good sense of the change of the world but also an insight to our heroine’s lonely life. Just like the love between Patroclus and Achilles was almost tangible in every single page from “The Song of Achilles” Circe’s solitude is palpable in every written line.

”I had no right to claim him, I knew it. But in a solitary life, there are rare moments when another soul dips near yours, as stars once a year brush the earth. Such a constellation was he to me.”

The remarkable thing about her is that she didn’t let it get her down. She might have been in exile and shunned by her family but she never got bitter because of it. Quite the contrary. She took what she had and changed it according to her needs and she adapted to her new life and made the best out of it. And even more important, she defied the gods by doing so. It might have been small gestures and little actions but with every breath she took she refused to give them any satisfaction. Circe was a strong-willed, skilled and formidable woman and I couldn’t help but love her for it!

”We lit no tapers. The room was dark and warm from the day’s heat. Shadows draped the bed. No frogs sounded, no birds called. It was as if we had found the still heart of the universe. Nothing moved except for us.“

Despite her bravery and strong will it’s undeniable that she was a very lonely woman though. This however doesn’t mean that she didn’t know love. There were quite a few lovers and mortals she didn’t only take to her bed but also into her heart and whenever she did it; it left a mark on her soul. Circe loved deeply and gently and she always felt compassion for those men that came to her island and crossed her path. Well, at least until one day that changed everything.

”They moaned and squealed, and pressed their snouts to the earth. We are sorry, we are sorry.
Sorry you were caught, I said. Sorry that you thought I was weak, but you were wrong.”

And tell you what? I could understand her anger and wrath, because I think this was the first time she truly realized what had been done to her. The gods didn’t intervene on her behalf and left her to her own devices instead and the trust she had given to those who had needed her help was betrayed in the worst possible way. Add to that her acute loneliness and you get a goddess that becomes embittered and vindictive.

”And so,” he said, “which do you change, and which do you let go?”
“I change them all,” I said. “They have come to my house. Why should I care what is in their hearts?”
He had smiled and lifted his cup to me. “Lady, you and I are in accord.”

Who knows what would have happened if Odysseus would have never come to her island? Which kind of person would she have become? I guess we’ll never find out and I’m pretty sure that’s good the way it is. And here comes another scene that brought me immense joy, the moment Circe and Odysseus meet for the very first time. XD Gods, I loved their conversation so much! The tension and the way they tried to gauge each other’s reactions by talking about seemingly simple things! This was so masterfully done, I can’t even! One of the best book moments ever, I swear! <333

”I confess I’m in awe,“ he said, „they’re never so quiet for me. You must have had quite an effect on them.“
I heard a humming, like before a spell is cast. His gaze was a honed blade. All this had been prologue. As if we were in a play, we stood.

I’ve always loved Odysseus and I’ve been a huge fan of him ever since I read the Odyssey. I know he is a hero with many flaws and more morally grey than anything else, but this was always the reason why I loved him so much. He’s human, he’s intelligent, skilled, sly, he’s honourable (most of the time) and he knows how to manipulate people in order to get what the wants. Some might say he’s a dangerous man and they’d be completely right with it. So what’s not to love? *lol*

”The world was made of mysteries, and I was only another riddle among the millions. I did not answer him, and though he pretended frustration, yet I began to see that it pleased him in some strange way. A door that did not open at his knock was a novelty in its own right, and a kind of relief as well. All the world confessed to him. He confessed to me.”

Well, anyway! Those two meet and they clash! And yes, I savoured every single moment of it. Their conversations were really intriguing and it’s obvious Odysseus had a notable impact on Circe’s life. In more ways than one, I might add. ;-P Considering the circumstances this actually sounded kind of dirty now. *lol* Never mind my particular choice of words. XD

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It’s undeniable that Madeline Miller has a way with words and no matter which kind of story she tells, she always seems to be able to turn it into gold. I loved how she managed to weave so many different parts of Greek mythology into “Circe’s” tale and I adored that our heroine was a constant part of it all. The pacing of the book might have been very slow, but this didn’t take away any of my enjoyment. Whilst the ending of “The Song of Achilles” made me ugly cry, “Circe’s” ending had an entirely different effect and gave me a sense of contentment and peace. This was definitely another one of Madeline Miller’s masterpieces and all that’s left to say is that I can really recommend it! 😉