"Zwischen den Jahren" - The must-sees for your holidays

Hello there. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. I surprisingly did.

I know, I know. I already said my goodbye for this year, but I couldn't resist writing another post - a post full of things to fill your days until the new year begins.

In German there's even a saying for these days between Christmas and New Year: "Zwischen den Jahren" (literally translated to "between the years"). This goes back to ancient Egypt and the "invention" of the modern calendar. They had twelve months with 30 days, but already a year of 365 days. So they put the remaining days at the end of their last month and therefore it are the days between the years.

Anyway, enough about that. Maybe you're one of the lucky people who haven't got to work until next year and hence have a lot of time to spend with family or friends going out or staying in. And in that case you might search for something to watch and here's where I come in.

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Songs of the Week [Christmas Special]


Ho! Ho! Ho!

It's the week of Christmas.

Time to belt out your favourite Christmas tunes. I've picked my favourite ten song for today's Songs of the Week Christmas Special.

I bet your all busy decorating and wrapping presents, so let's just dive straight into the music - just click play on the playlist and read why I choose these particular songs.


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Christmas Countdown: Festive Films

And the Christmas Countdown continues. Only 8 sleeps until Christmas Day. I know I sound like a little child with this, but I am actually excited about Christmas every year. I love everything about it. The decorations, the food, the music, getting together with friends and family and just having a great time.

And I love all the Christmas films out there of course and that's what this post is about: The films that make the excitement about the holidays even bigger. I feel like it's the ones you can watch every year and don't ever get tired of.


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Songs of the Week [51]

Hello fellow music lovers!

It's time for some more great songs to listen to, isn't it?

I've got another six special ones for you this week, that are all good enough to have made it to my Playlist of 2015.

I really hope you enjoy this week's songs, here we go:





Under The Stars - John Legend



The first one is one of these typical festive season songs created by John Legend. But it is one with something really really really special. And yes, it was necessary to put the word "very" three times into that last sentence.
 The song features the sound of real stars. I repeat, real stars - these bright things burning in the sky. The sounds were recorded by scientists at NASA, who transform the light curves of stars into sounds that humans can hear. It's beautiful. If you want to know more about it, check out this article about it on EarthSky and to listen to the sounds the stars make go to NASA's Kepler project page.


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Christmas Countdown: Festive Books

Only 15 sleeps till Christmas day. Are you already feeling festive?

I am. We've finally put up all our decorations and I like how cosy and christmassy our house looks now. I can't wait for the 24th, when we put up our tree.

To get you into the mood for Christmas, today marks the start of my Christmas countdown on this blog. Therefore I'll bring you three posts in the next weeks until Christmas, with the best books, films and music for the Advent/Christmas time.

And the first one today is a very special one - a guest post by Laura from Lozza's Book Corner. I asked her to pick her favourite Christmas books for you, so you can have a wonderful time reading "under" your Christmas tree. What's nicer than getting cozy with a blanket, a lot of candles and reading a cute book.

So here are Laura's suggestions for a good Christmas read. Click the titles to go to Laura's reviews of the books.


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Songs of the Week [50]

Hello, hello! How are you all? Gotten all your Christmas presents yet?

If you haven't switched to your Christmas playlists yet, I've got some new songs for you again.

After that slightly depressive but beautiful list last week, I tried to make it a bit happier this week with all the Christmas partys coming up now.

I might have failed with the first two songs, but they were just to great to not be put on this weeks list. And the remaining four are the ones for your happy list.

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My 5 Favourite Podcasts

Some of you might know that I'm an avid podcast listener and actually somehow kind of working on one. The others know it now.

I am one of these people who get quite bored doing stuff around the house like washing the dishes or doing the hoovering. That's why I need a second thing to do.

Listening to podcasts is a great alternative to listening to music or the radio. Don't get me wrong I love my music, you know that. I've got music playing in the background whilst working, reading and other stuff. Sometimes you need something else...

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Songs of the Week [49]

Hello everyone!

Hope you're all well and enjoying the run-up to Christmas.

This week's playlist is a quieter one again. I reckon these grey and cold November days are just the right setting for some quiet, somehow mysterious and beautiful music.

So without further ado, here are this week's Songs of the week.



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alt-J // Autumn Tour 2015

So this was the last gig for this year then. And my "concert season" ended on a high.

I have already told you about Alt-j and their music here last year and also about how great it was seeing them at Southside Festival 2015.

Hence, I don't think I have to say a lot. It was even better seeing them on a proper concert of theirs comparing it to their festival set.

Musically they really are geniuses, it's very different from everything else I've heard so far and very, very cool. And the light show is stunning. If you're not totally amazed by how it works with the music and rounds up the show just perfectly, you probably won't be happy about any gig...

Here's some more pictures, that don't even show properly how great it looked in reality.

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Songs of the Week [48]

It's Monday!

No, I'm not as excited as it sounds about that fact, but I actually am excited about this week's songs.

I've found some quite new artists for you this week on a little hunt on Soundcloud. I enjoy listening to the suggestions I get due to artists I already like.

Most of the time I've got the music playing in the background and once in a while there's this one song that makes me stop and listen keenly. And it's exactly these songs then make it onto lists like this one. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

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15 Questions About SPECTRE

I've been to the cinema to watch Spectre yesterday. It's been fun, I really liked watching it.

I'm not going to write a proper review. I'm quite sure all of you, who are interested in the James Bond films, have read loads of opinions already and/or seen the film.

But whilst watching it and afterwards I asked myself some (partly strange) questions... And I couldn't resist writing them down for you, so here we go:
  1. Is this 007's Happy End now?
  2. When did I start liking Daniel Craig as Bond?
  3. Why wasn't Andrew Scott more of a psycho and why couldn't I stop thinking about him as Moriarty?
  4. Why did Daniel Craig get the line "Did you miss me?"? Isn't that Moriarty's question?
  5. Is the punctuation in the question above right?
  6. Why is it bothering me that Christoph Waltz is dubbing himself?
  7. Is he really evil or why is he never playing a nice guy?
  8. How did Madeleine get undressed whilst sleeping when they were at L'Américain?
  9. Was the rat a real rat or a drone?
  10. Was Q really surprised that Bond stole the car?
  11. When did Ben Whishaw get so cute?
  12. Why was I not able to stop thinking about him murdering all those women for his perfume?
  13. Why did it take me till the end of the film to realise that I really don't like Ralph Fiennes' German voice?
  14. What happened to Monica Bellucci's character? Was she really picked up by someone?
  15. And above all: Is James Bond a Timelord? And if so, when will he finally meet the Doctor?

Alright, that's it. An insight into my weird mind. I hope you enjoyed that. I'm off to watch last night's Doctor Who now, maybe Bond's already in it...

If you've got any questions to add to the list, let me know.

Love
Julia x



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Artist Rendezvous: Some Kind Of Illness

Today it's your chance to discover a new band: Some Kind Of Illness.

They are an Indie band from the North of England consisting of the brothers Paul and Mark Hinks.

The sound of their self-titled album is ambient, relaxing and calm. Some parts remind me of meditation music whilst some others are a bit more uptempo (really just a bit) with more guitar sounds and rhythm, but still unwinding. The long instrumental parts during the songs are calming and the mystic vocals give the songs a special touch.


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Songs of the Week [47]

Another week, another playlist. I really enjoy going through the new releases and the radio playlists on the search for fresh music.

Hit play on this one and have a read about why I picked exactly these five songs.


Eyes Shut - Years & Years



This is the newest single release of the British electronica/pop band from their album Communion, that made it into my Top 3 albums of July. I'm so glad they choose this song, because it's one of my favourites. I love the piano and especially all the emotions that are put into this song. Also the voice of singer Olly sounds brilliant in this one and I can relate to the lyrics a lot.


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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Initially I wanted to write about something else today, but then I saw this wonderful film last night and I've just got to tell you about it now.
Some of you might have seen The Perks of Being a Wallflower already or read the book, but if you haven't, read what I've got to say about it.

The film is a tale ofsome teenagers and their struggles when growing up. The story is told by Charly (Logan Lerman), who's struggeling a lot with his start at a new school. He's gone through a lot already in his life and is very shy and introvert due to that. Therefore it's not easy for him to find new friends. But eventually, he connects with a group of other students, who all have problems fitting in. But amongst themselves they feel comfortable and have fun together. However nnot everything works out well and Charly keeps getting haunted by his dark memories.

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Song Advice of the Week [46]

I hope you have enjoyed the premiere of this new feature last week, because here comes another one.

I really enjoy doing this little playlist of the week. I listen to a lot of radio during the week and of course to my own albums and playlists and now I've got something to do whilst listening - searching for the songs that stick out.

I've also put all the songs on a Spotify playlist, so you can listen to all of them easily, just click here. And there's a playlist where I'll add all the songs of this years Song Advice posts, so you can follow that one to keep up to date with my recommendations.

That's enough wittering, here are this weeks songs:

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The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

I'll be honest with you: I have bought this book simply because I fell in love with the cover. It was different to all the others in the crime section of my local book store. And therefore I hoped for a likewise different crime novel. Also the blurb emphasised this first impression. Have a read:

"For very nearly eleven-year-old Flavia de Luce, the discovery of a dead snipe on the doorstep of Buckshaw, the crumbling de Luce country seat, was a marvellous mystery - especially since this particular snipe had a rather rare stamp neatly impaled on its beak. Even more astonishing was the effect of the dead bird on her stamp-collector father, who appeared to be genuinely frightened.

Soon Flavia discovers something even more shocking in the cucumber patch, and it's clear that the snipe was a bird of very ill omen indeed. As the police descend on Buckshaw, Flavia decides it is up to her to piece together the clues and solve the puzzle. Who was the man she heard her father arguing with? What was the snipe doing in England at all? Who or what is the Ulster Avenger? And, most peculiar of all, who took a slice of Mrs Mullet's unspeakable custard pie that had been cooling by the window...?"



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Song Advice of the Week [45]

I thought it's about time to get a new feature. As you might have noticed I'm talking more about music lately. This is happening due to too little time for reading and watching films because of me working on my final paper for uni...
But I hope you like hearing about music and from today on every Monday will be Song Advice of the Week day.

I'll try to come up with those five recently released songs you shouldn't miss. And maybe now and then add some good "oldies", that are worth a little time travel to former days.

So here's this week's five songs you shouldn't miss:


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October Roundup

Guess what - It's roundup time again!

I'll start right away without babbling, but please read the question at the end, I really need your help....

October is over - here we go:




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Oh Wonder - Oh Wonder

It's time for another brand new debut album: Oh Wonder by - guess who - Oh Wonder.

What is it with these self-titled albums lately? It seems like every band can't decide on a name for their album and then go "Well, at least we were able to decide for a band name, so let's just use that".

Anyway. The name isn't too important, what counts is the music.

Oh Wonder are a duo from London, consisting of Josephine Vander Gucht and Anthony West. They both are very talented as they not only write all these beautiful songs but also play lots of instruments and sing. Watch them perform one of their songs called Drive below.

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Inside Out

I should stop telling people that I'm not a fan of animated films as they seem to be the only ones I've been to see in the cinema lately. The last visit to the cinema was me watching the Minions and this time it was Disney's and Pixars' newest adventure Inside Out.

In the film we get to know young Riley and her emotions Joy, Sadness, Fear, Anger and Disgust. Riley's family moves to San Francisco and so Riley and therefore the emotions who are operating in the control centre of Riley's head have to face all the troubles that come with moving to a foreign place: new city, different house, new school and new people. Joy tries to rescue the happiness of Riley but there's a lot of struggles the little creatures in Riley's head have to go through on the way.

The trailer of the film was very funny and the emotions are so cute, I thought it would be a great idea to see the film. But seeing the whole film, I was a bit bored from time to time...

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Nothing But Thieves - Nothing But Thieves

It's a confusing blog title today, isn't it? That's the thing when bands do self-titled albums...

Nothing But Thieves are an English alternative rock band, who just released their debut album with the same name. And this is the record I want to tell you a bit about today.

Nothing But Thieves was released last Friday (16.10.2015) and stormed the UK charts instantly with reaching Number 4 on the chart update last Monday. Very deserved if you ask me.

The songs of the album show the musical range of the band. All of them are full of emotions, well written lyrics and a brilliant use of guitars.


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My Top 5 romantic films for autumn evenings

It's this time of the year again. The days are getting shorter and colder and greyer. All you want to do now is sit on your couch, drink tea, eat chocolate and watch a good romantic film to cuddle with your blanket (or another person ;) )?

I think I've got just the right ones to watch for you. I've been looking through my DVDs and picked my top 5 cute, entertaining and moving films about love.

And here they are:


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Imagine Dragons - Smoke + Mirrors Tour 2015 (Mannheim)

The confetti was so cool, I had to take some with me.
It finally was concert day again! Imagine Dragons time.

Monday has been a bad day and I wasn't even excited about the gig, but the moment the band entered the stage I forgot about everything and just enjoyed the music.

And this is exactly why I love going to concerts so much. It's already great to turn up your music in your headphones or on your stereo and shut off the world for a while. But seeing the band perform, have fun on stage and all the people around you enjoying the music as much as you do is just brilliant.


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Dream a Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher

Sarah's doing just fine... Sure, she's been single for the last two years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend, his perfect new girlfriend and all their mutual friends. And yes, her job as a PA to one of the most disgusting men in London is mind-numbingly tedious and her career is a constant disappointment to her mother. But it's really okay. She's happy(ish).

So it's not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins to look forward to falling asleep every night. Reality isn't nearly as exciting.

Or is it?

I've got to stop writing down the blurb right there, if you haven't got the book yet, try to not read the blurb to the end. I regretted it, because it takes a bit of the surprise out of the book. I hate spoilers in the summary... But I didn't hate the book at all.


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The 5 earworms of the last weeks

Whilst I've been on holiday there were five songs that I just couldn't get out of my mind. I'm still working on some reviews and am a bit short on time at the moment, so I thought I might as well present you a little part of my weird mind. Especially because most of the songs are surely worth a listen. At least said weird mind thinks that.

There's also some good reasons why it's been exactly these five songs:



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Panorama City by Antoine Wilson

Today it's all about one of the books I've read whilst on holiday in Italy for the last 10 days.

This book is one of the most wonderful and inspiring books I've read in quite a while. Seriously. Actually I can't even remember when I was amazed by a book so much.

I received the book by the publisher (Suhrkamp/Insel) in exchange for an honest review and I couldn't have wished for a better one. So thank you for this opportunity!

Panorama City (German title: Ein Mann von Welt) is the story of Oppen Porter - told by himself. Literally. It's a transcript of tapes he's recorded for his son, because he's going to die. You can find more information on the book and the author here or on Goodreads.

Oppen Porter is a simple man who has gone to the big city to become a man of the world. He has to change is lifestyle to live there, he gets a job and he meets new people. He learns a lot. Not just about himself, also about life. And I reckon that's why he wants to pass everything on to his son, so that he doesn't have to struggle to find that knowledge as well. 

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September Roundup

Time flies! September is over and summer as well. Bring on those sunny autumn days with it's light breezes and colourful leaves. Welcome October!

But first let's relive my September in things I've heard, watched or read. It's less films, series and books this month, because I had to write a seminar paper for uni and was quite busydue to that and now I'm on holiday. Nevertheless I discovered a lot of new music which was entertaining and making work easier.

And it has been a month of firsts. I received my first reading copy from a publishing company, which is my current read, which you'll hear about in October. And you might have read my review of the Brass Phantoms single, which was a first as well as I never got asked by a band to review their music before.


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BADLANDS - Halsey

Halsey might be the newcomer of 2015. I downloaded her album a few weeks ago and I'm in love.

Halsey is a 20-year-old, American singer songwriter and BADLANDS is her brilliant debut album, that came out this August. She made her way into the music business by uploading covers on YouTube, which were that good that they got signed to a record label.

After touring the US  in 2014/2015 with lots of different artists, including The Kooks and Imagine Dragons, it was about time for her record to hit the stores and streaming services.

The first song of BADLANDS - Castle - could as well be a Lorde song soundwise, and I think that's one of the reason I instantly adored Halsey's sound. It gets different throughout the record, more individual, simple but effective. I love that. Roman Holiday sounds a little like it could be one of the newest Taylor Swift songs, which isn't a bad thing either. There could be a lot of hits beneath the songs of this album, nearly every one of them has got something special.

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Kaleidoscope // Summer Song - Brass Phantoms

Last week I got my first ever artist request for a review of their music. I was so excited when I read Ryan's email. Fun fact: I nearly deleted it before reading though, because I thought it was Spam, but then I realised it was actually written to me.

Ryan from Brass Phantoms asked me to listen to their new single and give them an opinion of what I think about it. So here's a little something about them and their new songs.

Brass Phantoms (Facebook // Twitter // Bandcamp) are an Irish indie rock band consisting of Ryan, James, Adam and Greg. They released they debut EP in 2014 and on 20th September this year they've now released their new double sided single with the songs Kaleidoscope and Summer Song and this is what they're like:


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Therapy by Sebastian Fitzek

This is the first time I'm reviewing book by a German author for you. But don't be afraid it's available in English as well!

No witnesses.
Twelve-year-old Josy has an inexplicable illness. She vanishes without a trace from her doctor's office during treatment. Four years later, Josy's father, psychiatrist Viktor Larenz, has withdrawn himself to an isolated North Sea island in order to deal with the tragedy.
No body.
Then he's paid a surprise visit by a beautiful stranger. Anna Glass is a novelist who suffers from an unusual form of schizophrenia: all the characters she creates for her books become real to her. In her last novel she has written about a young girl with an unknown illness who has disappeared without a trace.
Where is his daughter?
Can Anna's delusions describe Josy's last days? Reluctantly, Viktor agrees to take on her therapy in a final attempt to uncover the truth behind his daughter's disappearance. But very soon these sessions take a dramatic turn as the past is dragged back into the light - with terrifying consequences.



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Kodaline - SWR3 New Pop Festival 2015

On Monday I already told you about the SWR3 New Pop Festival this year and the show of Ella Henderson. Today it's time for Kodaline, my - sorry guys - second favourite band.

For the discovery of this band I've got to thank Grey's Anatomy, Shazam and Google. Seriously. In 2012 All I Want by Kodaline featured in an episode of Grey's Anatomy (one after that horrible plane crash - spoiler alert, hehe). I loved that song instantly and thanks to Shazam I found out which one it is. And apparently I wasn't the only one who loved it: Google used the song in their Zeitgeist 2012: Year In Review video and I reckon that was a huge boost for the guys' career.


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Ella Henderson - SWR3 New Pop Festival 2015

It's been a weekend full of music and therefore this week will be a concert posts week special kind of thing.

I've been to the SWR3 New Pop Festival in Baden-Baden, which was brilliant this year. When I found out about who would be there this year, I knew I had to go.

Ella Henderson and Kodaline were some of the first artists to be announced and they're both (well all five as Kodaline is a band) artists I've admired for years now, thinking about it both since 2012. So having both of them in one place would have been enough. And when the line up was completed it sounded even more brilliant with James Bay and Years&Years being added to the list.

I didn't get tickets to all the shows, but have seen a lot of artists play on the free open air stage and I've also been to two of the "real" concerts: Kodaline and Ella Henderson, who would have guessed? And today I want to tell you about Ella's.


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Letters to Juliet

I'm going to Italy in a few weeks and what's a better way to get into the mood for it than watching a film set there? Right. Nothing.

That and because a friend and I were searching for a cute film to watch is why I've been watching it again recently. I've seen it before and apparently I remembered it as cute and Italian...

But first , here's what it's all about: letters to Juliet tells a story about finding love and that it's never too late. It was inspired by the non-fiction book Letters to Juliet by Lise and Ceil Friedman, which is about people writing to Shakespeare's Juliet.
When the New Yorker journalist Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) visits Verona she discovers this place where lots of women put their letters to Juliet. When she finds an old letter which has been hidden for quite a while and answers to it, she meets Claire who decides to go on a journey to find Lorenzo, the man she was writing about in her letter all these years ago. Sophie accompanies her on the trip and the outcome is a beautiful story taking the viewer to all these stunning places around Tuskany, Italy.


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