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Bookworm (Germany)

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by Meg Cabot
Edition: Hardcover

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny, charming ... and different!, 11 Mar. 2011
This review is from: Insatiable (Hardcover)
I listened to "Insatiable" on my iPod, and must say that I really liked it! Meena is a great heroine, both witty and charming. Vampire Lucien was suitably brooding, vampire hunter Alaric was to-die-for (pun intended) and the supporting characters are also likable.

"Insatiable" is a humorous look at the current obsession with vampires --- whether it's in books, on television or in movies. Despite that, though, I wouldn't classify this book as your typical "Paranormal Romance" book. Both the story idea and execution are different from most books in that genre, and I actually found that very refreshing.

The book has a "real" ending (no cliffhanger) and yet it does a good job at setting up the sequel (which will be released in summer 2011). The love triangle isn't resolved in this book, and I'm looking forward to finding out how Meena will deal with her two very different suitors.

Another reviewer here called the book "Twilight for Adults", but I don't agree with that. The only similarity between "Insatiable" and "Twilight" is that there are vampires in both books --- that's it.

One note regarding the audio book --- I don't remember the name of the woman who read it, but she did a really great job! Her voice kinda sounds like that of the actress Anne Hathaway, and I'm pretty sure that is to blame for me seeing Ms. Hathaway as Meena in my mind (she'd actually be really great for the role if they ever make a movie out of the book) ... ;o)

Lion Country [DVD]
Lion Country [DVD]
Dvd ~ David Youldon
Price: £3.81

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and beautifully shot, 27 Feb. 2011
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lion Country [DVD] (DVD)
Over here in Germany this documentary series hasn't aired yet so I didn't know much about it when I ordered the dvd from Amazon. I love documentaries about African wildlife and particularly the big cats, so I figured I couldn't go wrong. Thankfully, I was right ... :o)

"Lion Country" follows British conservationist David Youldon and his team in their quest to teach young lions which were reared by people the skills they need to survive in the wild. Once they're about two years old they are brought in groups (= prides) to a release site within a 10,000 acre enclosure. The ultimate goal is to release their cubs into the wild when they are grown.

I found the six episodes episodes very interesting if somewhat short (each one is about 22 minutes long). David Youldon is a likable presenter who has an obvious bond with and passion for these lions. Seeing him (and the other handlers) play and interact with them almost makes you believe they are just overgrown domestic cats. But, as Youldon points out again and again, you can never forget that these are wild animals which are potentially dangerous and can only be approached like this as long as they recognize him as the leader of their pride.

The footage of daily work with the lions is interspersed with beautiful shots of the African landscape. Overall, I didn't like "Lion Country" quite as much as the "Big Cat Week" dvds, but it's still a very good documentary series. I've heard that a second series with 12 episodes is currently being shot, and I will certainly buy it once it is released on dvd.

P.S.: Amazon states the runtime of this dvd as 180 minutes --- this is not correct. The actual runtime is only 132 minutes (as stated on the dvd itself)!

From Notting Hill with Love... Actually
From Notting Hill with Love... Actually
by Ali McNamara
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting premise, poor execution ..., 26 Dec. 2010
In the beginning this book was really cute and funny, even though Scarlett's obsession with movies and re-creating movie moments in real life could be a tad annoying. However, as the story progressed I liked the book less and less, until I got to the point where it really made me angry!

I liked the whole idea of the book, and the writing was not all bad. Basically, there were good parts, and there were bad parts, but the further the story got the worse the plot (and the writing) became.

Scarlett was likable at first, but sometimes I found her to be too immature and out of touch with reality. Her fiancé, David, is painted as an impatient, self-absorbed control freak, and I wondered from the start why she would be engaged to him.

Sean, now him I actually liked. However, considering the fact that we learn pretty early on that he owns a successful company I was actually a bit surprised that he never really seemed to be working. He was certainly able to jet off with Scarlett anywhere and everywhere at all hours of the day.

Fair warning --- there are spoilers ahead!!!

There were parts in the story that were just completely implausible and unbelievable. For example, when Scarlett goes to Paris for her best friend's wedding she spontaneously invites Sean along --- even though she knows that her fiancé will be there. Now, how would you explain to your fiancé that you invited your temporary neighbor - whom you have known for maybe two weeks, and who is really handsome - to go to Paris with you to attend the wedding of someone he has never met?

And that's another thing --- Scarlett keeps dreading meeting David at the wedding, yet while she is there she promises David that she has no feelings for Sean, and that she is still looking forward to marrying him (David) a few weeks later. But she has no qualms about spending the next day - which happens to be Valentine's Day - with Sean in Paris instead of going back to England with David. Also, it is already clear at this point that Scarlett is in love with Sean, and he with her.

What really made me roll my eyes in disgust and quit reading was this:

There is a scene after about 270 pages in which Sean and Scarlett are together in his hotel room in Paris, and are talking about her upcoming marriage to David. Sean is trying to figure out why she is so set upon marrying David even though they are not really compatible.

Suddenly Sean asks her if the reason why she wants to marry David could possibly be to merge his family's chain of cinemas with her father's popcorn machine business, and after hesitating a moment she tells him that yes, that is a big part of it.

So, the author actually expects her readers to believe that a 23-year-old woman who is completely obsessed with romantic movies would get married for a business opportunity????

I'm sorry, but for me that was just the last straw, and I quit reading at that point.

Offered by DVD Overstocks
Price: £4.95

8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Truly disappointing!, 23 Nov. 2010
This review is from: Illuminations (Audio CD)
This is it? This is the album all of us Josh Groban fans have been waiting for for such a long time? There is no other way to say it --- it's a major disappointment.

When I started out listening to this new album I was really excited in anticipation of Josh's great voice and lots of beautiful new songs. Well, that excitement and anticipation didn't last very long. It became clear after listening to just the first few songs that this album would be very, very different from his previous albums "Closer" and "Awake". Now, change doesn't necessarily have to be bad, but in this case it really is!

Half the songs sound like they were taken from a bad Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, the other half sounds ... I'm not even sure how best to put it --- too classical, maybe? Not classical in the same sense as some of the songs on "Closer" or "Awake" were (those albums boasted some really wonderful classical-sounding songs), but classical in the sense of "so boring I'm about too fall asleep". There is nothing that stands out about any of the songs on this album --- they are completely bland and interchangeable!

By now I have listened to this entire album several times, for the simple reason that I know that sometimes you have to hear a song (or album) more than once before you start liking it. In this case, however, I'm sorry to say that the songs do not improve with age, so to speak. In fact, there is not a single song on the entire CD that I really like, and that is something I never thought I would EVER say about a Josh Groban CD!!!

I love, love, LOVE all of Josh's previous CDs, but where "Illuminations" is concerned I simply can't believe I actually paid money for this album ... :o(

Two stars for Josh's still-fantastic voice and the few halfway decent songs on the album, but that's all I can give here ...

True Blood Season 1 and 2 (HBO) [DVD]
True Blood Season 1 and 2 (HBO) [DVD]
Dvd ~ Anna Paquin
Price: £59.99

54 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic show! Bloody, sexy and funny!, 8 April 2010
First off --- ignore the really negative review done by "C. Pusey"! By her/his own admittance she/he has only ever seen the first 3 (!) episodes of the show, and apparently from that she could tell that the entire show - all episodes, all seasons - is bad. Yeah, right.

"True Blood" has got to be among the best vampire shows ever made. It's funny, witty, sometimes violent and bloody, and very sexy. And yes, the "18" rating is deserved due to a few very explicit scenes. This is no "Twilight" --- it's for adults ... ;o)

The acting is very good, and the same goes for the writing and directing. The first two seasons of "True Blood" loosely follow the story from the first 2 books in Charlaine Harris's "Sookie Stackhouse" series. Some changes have been made, but I personally didn't mind. I've read all the books, and I have enjoyed the first two seasons of the show as well (and am looking forward to season 3).

Every season follows one major storyline with many smaller ones thrown in. The characters are likable and original, and the show is just as likely to scare you as make you laugh out loud. There is lots of drama, and some of it is a little outrageous, but hey --- at least the show never gets boring ... :o)

Over the past few years "True Blood" has not only achieved cult status, but has also won several awards (such as a Golden Globe for "Best Actress in a Drama Series" for Anna Paquin), and has been nominated for even more --- including a Golden Globe as "Best Drama Series" (which no other show of this genre has ever managed to achieve).

In the end, you're gonna have to make up your own mind as to whether or not you like "True Blood" --- all I can tell you is that it's definitely worth watching! For me, this is one of my favorite-ever tv-shows, and I'm not even such a huge fan of supernatural television shows ... ;o)
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jul 1, 2010 8:30 PM BST

Pride and Prejudice (Special Edition) [DVD] [1995]
Pride and Prejudice (Special Edition) [DVD] [1995]
Dvd ~ Colin Firth
Price: £4.00

12 of 75 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Totally overrated!, 27 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Let me start off by saying that yes, I have read the book, and yes, I do normally enjoy period dramas and movie adaptations of classic novels. There are many BBC-Mini-Series that I've really enjoyed --- "Dr. Zhivago", "North and South", and - most recently - "Emma" (to name just a few).

I also loved the big screen adaptation of "Pride and Prejudice" (starring Keira Knightley and Matthew MacFadyen). Because of all the great reviews here I decided to order this tv mini series starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle to see if it is as good as people seem to think.

Well, it's not. In fact, I just can't believe that so many people enjoyed this BBC version of "Pride and Prejudice". Yes, at almost 6 hours running time it might be truer to the book, but in terms of casting and acting, directing, cinematography, music and just about everything else, the Keira Knightley version is far superior!

Jennifer Ehle looks much too old and world-wise to be playing Elizabeth Bennett. She's a good actress, but she just wasn't right for this part. Again, I have to think of Keira Knightley here, whose portrayal of the same character was just magical.

Colin Firth, too, is what I would consider to be a good actor. But he doesn't come close to the kind of depth that Matthew MacFadyen gave to the character of Mr. Darcy.

The actresses who play Mrs. Bennett, Lydia, Kitty and Mary just grated on my nerves. As for Wickham --- well, the guy who plays him in this BBC version is just bland and absolutely non-remarkable. You see him, and then the next second you've forgotten that he was in the last scene. Rupert Friend (again, the big screen version) did a much better job here.

Me personally, I can only recommend for you to watch the Keira Knightley version of "Pride and Prejudice" - that one is just brilliant and beautifully shot, while the BBC version is boring and does not exactly boast great acting.
Comment Comments (13) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Feb 3, 2014 2:11 PM GMT

Black Hills
Black Hills
by Nora Roberts
Edition: Paperback

20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful book!!!, 26 July 2009
This review is from: Black Hills (Paperback)
Gosh, I don't know how Nora Roberts does it, but she still manages to write one great book after the next ...

Out of the 20 or so books I have read by her yet (I only discovered her books a year ago) this is possibly the best --- I absolutely loved it, and finished it in 3 days!

The characters are great - both the lead and supporting characters. The story is set mostly in a wildlife refuge in the Black Hills of South Dakota --- not your usual setting for a book, and definitely very interesting. That's something I really like about Mrs. Roberts's books --- she always makes sure to use different geographical settings (Alaska, Wyoming, Tennessee, South Dakota and many more) and themes (from the repercussions of traumatic events or family secrets to such things as house-flipping or now wildlife conservation).

"Black Hills" is superbly written and engaging ... there's a beautiful romance (actually, more than one), there's suspense right until the end ... a definite winner ... :o)

If you liked "Angels Fall" or "Northern Lights" then you're going to love "Black Hills"!!!

by Cristiano Ronaldo
Edition: Paperback

10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Definetely worth its money!!!, 25 Oct. 2007
This review is from: Moments (Paperback)
Yesterday I received "Moments", and I must say that it is a great book!!!

I guess the first thing you notice is that it's a big book with all the pages printed on high quality glossy paper, and it's full of fantastic photos.

Ronaldo himself has said that he is too young yet to write a real autobiography, and therefore "Moments" is not just the usual write-up of dates, facts and numbers that many footballers sell as books these days. Instead, he decided to share some of the events that happened in his life so far by writing short stories and adding numerous pictures.

From his early years playing for Sporting Lissabon to winning the Premier Leage with Manchester United, from childhood dreams to his father's death, from being named captain of the Portuguese National Team to everyday routine ... this book provides a very nice glimpse into the life and mind of one of the best footballers in the world today. He certainly seems to have his head (and heart) in the right place!

All of Cristianos fans will also love this book for the countless great (and previously unpublished) photos!!!

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