Lovelybooks Leserpreis Awards

Hey you,

I have great news for you, you’ll get an interview real soon 🙂 YAY! But now back to business 😉

You probably all know Goodreads Choice Awards (winners of 2013 will be announced on December 3rd) but do you know Lovelybooks Leserpreis awards? Well it’s basically the same concept. Readers vote for their favorite reads of the past year in different categories. BUT: There are no restrictions whatsoever concerning the country of publication. The books contain German-language publications as well as numerous translations. You can even nominate foreign language publications in the nomination round. The only restriction is that the books must be first-time publications in either hardcover, paperback or e-book format that have been published between December 1, 2012 and November 30, 2013.

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The nomination round ended last week. The final round is on right now and voting is open until November 28 11:59 p.m. German time (23:59 for our German readers). There is a countdown on the homepage.

I think we’ll just have a look at the categories on offer:

Romane / Novels

I guess this one is pretty self-explanatory. Everything that doesn’t fall into one of the other categories, or is a mix, or is so good that you want it here as well :D. At least that is what I think. In the nomination round, I voted for my favorite, Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (It’s called Die Unvollendete in German). Unfortunately, and I don’t really get why, it wasn’t among the 35 nominees for the final round. So in the final round, I voted for another favorite this year: The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (Das Licht Zwischen den Meeren in German).

Krimis und Thriller / Crime Novels & Thrillers

As I’m not into crime novels or thrillers, I didn’t vote in this category.

Fantasy

I can’t remember if I nominated an English-language novel in the first round. The fantasy books I’ve read this year either haven’t been translated to German yet, or they haven’t been that good. Nooo, you know what I did? I just remembered. I nominated Life After Life AGAIN 😀 Because it’s also fantasy. Kind of. lol I didn’t vote in the final round though. Nothing there to vote for me. Though I wish I had finally time to start reading Ben Aaronovitch!

Science Fiction

I nominated The Humans by Matt Haig. Unfortunately, he didn’t make it to the final round. The book wasn’t released in German yet, so nobody read it. Poop. Nothing to vote for me in the final round 😉

Jugendbücher / Young Adult

Booming YA genre. I left this one to the experts 🙂

Kinderbücher / Children’s Books

I love children’s books. But I mostly read the backlist. And I haven’t read Fortunately The Milk (Neil Gaiman) yet. Not that it would matter, as it hasn’t been translated to German and it probably wouldn’t have made it to the final round. BUT: I promise, I’ll vote for it next year if I think it worthy 🙂

Liebesromane / Romance

Aaaah l’amour. This time, I nominated Jojo Moyes’ Me Before You (G: Ein Ganzes Halbes Jahr) and guess what? Something weird happened. It didn’t make it to the final round in the romance category but it made it to the final round in the novel category. And just so you know, Jojo Moyes is nominated twice in that category in the final round! Jup. The second novel being The Girl You Left Behind (G: Eine Handvoll Worte). So I couldn’t vote for her in that final round anymore. Sorry. And I had nothing left to vote for in romance either.

Erotik / Erotic Novels

Left that one to the experts. 😉

Historische Romane / Historical Fiction

Aaah I did it again 😉 ‘Cause you know, Life After Life is historical fiction. But, as nobody seems to like Kate Atkinson (these people really don’t know what the good stuff is), I voted for Liz Gilbert’s The Signature of All Things (G: Das Wesen der Dinge und der Liebe) in the final round.

Humor

I’m quite shocked but it seems like I don’t read much funny stuff.

Sachbuch und Ratgeber / Nonfiction

I can’t remember what book I nominated. It didn’t make it to the final round. 😦 I haven’t read any of the nominated books.

Bestes Hörbuch / Best Audio Book

I haven’t listened to an eligible audio book. But you have to go and listen to Miranda Hart’s Is It Just Me? It’s hilarious!

Bester Buchtitel / Best Book Title

I enjoyed this category. I didn’t need to know the books, I had something to think about and I chose a title that made it to the final round. Die Inneren Werte von Tanjas BH by Alex Haas. The title roughly translates to The Inner Values of Tanja’s Bra. I love it 😀

Bestes Buchcover / Best Book Cover

This one is tough but great. As I was already in a wintry mood, I originally nominated the cover of Alexi Zentner’s Touch. Unfortunately it isn’t there anymore so I had to find something else in the final round. I decided on Titus Müller’s Der Schneekristallforscher.

Beliebtester LovelyBooks Autor / Most Popular LovelyBooks Author

A very nice category but I don’t feel qualified to vote here. 🙂

As you can see, there is a lot to vote for. If you don’t speak German this might have been a quick glimpse at German/Austrian voting culture, or at what I voted for in particular :D. I tried to make it as entertaining as possible.

If you found one or more of your favorites in the above categories, go vote for them and maybe you’re lucky and they win. Just click the picture below or click on the categories above.

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On Friday, November 29 Lovelybooks will announce the winners of this year’s Lovelybooks Leserpreis awards! Who will they be?

Review – The Signature Of All Things

Hi!

First I’d like to thank you all for your patience and that you didn’t run away. 🙂 You are great! Things are looking up and I’m getting back on track. I hope to post my first Frankfurt Book Fair interview in the upcoming weeks. I finally managed to transcribe the interviews, but of course I won’t publish them without giving my interviewees a look at the transcriptions first. 😉

Meanwhile, I have another book review for you. I wanted to read Elizabeth Gilbert‘s The Signature of All Things since I first laid eyes on the UK edition and its synopsis. That was about a month before the publication in October. So I had to wait patiently. I told myself that I’d see how much money I’d need in Frankfurt and that I’d buy the book afterwards. But I didn’t need to. At my interview with Thérèse Coen from Bloomsbury we also talked about The Signature of All Things. And after our interview, she asked me if I already had a copy. Well, I didn’t have one, so she gave one to me! I was the happiest girl ever. That totally made my day! The surprise came about three hours later on the bus ride home. I had time to leaf through the book and only then noticed that the book was signed! You can probably imagine my face! 😀 Thank you so much Thérèse!

Well, even without the signature, this book would be a gem. This edition is so beautiful. I’m in love with it.

thesignatureofallthings
Image provided by Bloomsbury¹
Summary quoted from Bloomsbury¹:

At the beginning of a new century, Alma Whittaker is born into a perfect Philadelphia winter. Her father, Henry Whittaker, is a bold and charismatic botanical explorer whose vast fortune belies his lowly beginnings as a vagrant in Sir Joseph Banks’s Kew Gardens and as a deck hand on Captain Cook’s HMS Resolution. Alma’s mother, a strict woman from an esteemed Dutch family, has a knowledge of botany equal to any man’s.
It is not long before Alma, an independent girl with a thirst for knowledge, comes into her own within the world of plants and science. But as her careful studies of moss take her deeper into the mysteries of evolution, the man she comes to love draws her in the opposite direction.
The Signature of All Things is a big novel, about a big century. It soars across the globe from London, to Peru, to Philadelphia, to Tahiti, to Amsterdam. Peopled with extraordinary characters – missionaries, abolitionists, adventurers, astronomers, sea captains, geniuses and the quite mad –above all it has an unforgettable heroine in Alma Whittaker, a woman of the Enlightened Age who stands defiantly on the cusp of the modern.

My Thoughts:

The Signature of All Things is mainly set in the 19th century. Its numerous settings include places in Europe, North America and French Polynesia. Even though I have never visited most of the book’s settings, I was able to visualize all of them and Ms. Gilbert’s descriptions are great because when I googled one of the settings, it looked exactly like I imagined it.

The main character, Alma Whittaker, grows up to be a reasonable, intelligent, extremely well-read and well-taught woman. It is remarkable to see the world through her eyes. Alma grows up in a wealthy household and still lives a life so different to other wealthy young women. I felt how uncomfortable she felt in regard to having friends and doing things that didn’t fulfil any purpose. I also relaxed when Alma relaxed, sitting at the table, being surrounded by scholars and scientists. The secondary characters in The Signature of All Things are beautifully crafted. Each has their own story to tell and would be interesting enough to write a novel about.

The book’s plot spans Alma’s, plus a quick version of her father’s life. It is very detailed. You will learn much about botany (but I guess you figured that by reading the synopsis) but there are also long conversations about spirituality. Even though I really liked the overall story, The Signature of All Things has many passages that felt drawn-out. It was as if everything written had to stay in the book. My reading pace was an interplay of quick and slow. Nevertheless, I think you should read this book if you like the synopsis. The Signature of All Things might be drawn-out at times, but it is also absorbing, surprising, adventurous and different.

4 Star Rating: Recommended

¹http://www.bloomsbury.com/uk/the-signature-of-all-things-9781408841891/