Monthly Recap – February 2015

monthly recap february

Another month gone! A short one this time, though. Looking back, it appears that I have read very little in February. Oops! I guess that’s what you get for reading two books at the same time — neither one gets finished quickly. Oh well, better luck in March, I guess.

I did read quite a lot of literary criticism, since I have started the course for my bachelor thesis. I’ll be writing about Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy, and I’m quite excited about it, actually! I’m also quite nervous and stressed out about all of it, though, but I’m sure everything will be all right. I just hope I’ll have enough time to catch up on my TBR! Participating in this Read-a-Thon at the Caffeinated Book Reviewer might be a good idea…

Anyway, let’s get on with the recap!

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Cinder by Marissa Meyer

P1020020Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl…

Sixteen-year-old Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past and is reviled by her stepmother. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future. Because there is something unusual about Cinder, something that others would kill for.

First published: 2012

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Top Ten Favourite Fictional Heroines


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week’s topic is a good one, guys! It’s your top ten favourite fictional heroines, from books, TV or film — whatever you want. *rubs hands* I can work with that.

I decided to only choose heroines from books, but there was one TV character I just couldn’t leave out… Anyway, here we go! (As always, these are in no particular order)

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Banana Chocolate Brownies

The very first thing I ever posted on Books Baking and Blogging was my brownie recipe. I’ve made it tons of times since (it’s still a favourite — both with me and my friends), but the other day I decided to give it a new little twist. I had some overripe bananas lying around, and what better way to use these than to bake something delicious with them?

I was having a bit of a bad day that day, so I decided fairly quickly that there would have to be a large amount of chocolate involved with this baked goodie. I also didn’t have that much time, since a friend of mine was coming over — so it needed to be something quick. Solution? Brownies!

My friend Emmie (who blogs!) and I devoured some of these while watching an episode of Friends, and I gave her a couple to take home as well. The next day, I’d just decided that they tasted even better than the previous day when Emmie texted me to tell me the exact same thing! So, if you decide to make these: make them a day in advance! It really does make a difference. On the first day we both felt that a little something might be missing, but that feeling was gone completely on day two.


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The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

P1020023When novelist Owen Quine goes missing, his wife calls in private detective Cormoran Strike. At first, she just thinks he has gone off by himself for a few days — as he has done before — and she wants Strike to find him and bring him home.

But as Strike investigates, it becomes clear that there is more to Quine’s disappearance than his wife realises. The novelist has just completed a manuscript featuring poisonous pen-portraits of almost everyone he knows. If the novel is published it will ruin lives — so there are a lot of people who might want to silence him.

And when Quine is found brutally murdered in bizarre circumstances, it becomes a race against time to understand the motivation of a ruthless killer, a killer unlike any Strike has encountered before…

First published: 2014

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Judging a Genre by its Cover

Many people have written posts about judging books by their covers, a lot of them saying that they do actually sometimes judge a book by its cover. I’ll admit that I do so too, occasionally. A while back, however, I realised that I don’t just judge books by their covers, I also judge entire genres by book covers.

Whoops. That seems a bit excessive, doesn’t it?

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

P1020037Cath and Wren are identical twins and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they’re off to university and Wren’s decided she doesn’t want to be one half of a pair anymore — she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It’s not so easy for Cath. She would rather bury herself in the fanfiction she writes where there’s romance far more intense than anything she’s experiences in real life.

Now Cath has to decide whether she’s ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she’s realising that there’s more to learn about love she ever thought possible…

First published: 2013

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Victoria Sponge Cake

Remember when I baked this mango tart for my father’s birthday a few weeks ago? That wasn’t enough to feed my entire family, so I had to think of a second cake to bake. The decision was easily made — I had never made a Victoria sponge cake, and figured it was high time I did so. Every baker should have a Victoria sponge in repertoire, I think. Now I finally do!

A classic Victoria sponge seems to use buttercream for the filling, but I’m not very fond of buttercream (way too buttery and creamy — the name kind of gives it away), so I decided to just use whipped cream instead. It worked perfectly! It does mean you shouldn’t make this cake too far in advance. I also added an extra little touch to the usual cream-jam combination, namely some fresh strawberries. The cake does fine without them too, but strawberries make everything better, so why not add them?

I used this recipe from BBC Good Food as the base for my recipe, but made some changes to make it my own (especially to the filling).


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The Dog by Joseph O’Neill

the dogIn 2007, a New York attorney bumps into an old college buddy – and accepts his friend’s offer of a job in Dubai, as the overseer of an enormous family fortune. Haunted by the collapse of his relationship and hoping for a fresh start, our strange hero begins to suspect that he has exchanged one inferno for another.

First published: 2014

Disclaimer: I read the Dutch translation of this novel

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