“Conversations with Friends” – Sally Rooney

If you have some holidays planned this year and don’t know which book(s) to bring along with you yet, I’d strongly suggest you to pack a copy of “Conversations with Friends”! This is the author’s second book that I’ve read after having been a bit disappointed by her “Normal People“, which I rated with 3/5…

“To Paradise” – Hanya Yanagihara

For the fans of the author’s “A Little Life” (I sure was one of them 🙋🏻‍♀️) the waiting finally had an end on the 11th of January 2022, when a new long awaited book of hers was released – “To Paradise”. I instantly started reading it once I picked up a copy at my local…

“My Body” – Emily Ratajkowski

This book has taken me by surprise. I somehow ended up pre-ordering it without planning to, simply because I was curious about Emily’s writing after having read her article “Buying Myself Back” (Ratajkowski, 2020) on The Cut website. And luckily, I wasn’t disappointed! 239 pages long, comprised of 12 essays, this was quite a short…

“Der Klang der Wälder” – Natsu Miyashita

Natsu Miyashitas Buch schafft vor allem eines hervorragend – eine besondere Stimmung zu zaubern. Im Vergleich zum raschen und gestressten Alltag bietet einem die Geschichte in “Der Klang der Wälder” eine Oasis der Ruhe und des Rückzugs. Ich habe mich jedes Mal aufs Neue darauf gefreut, in das Buch einzutauchen, was auch durch die wunderschöne…

“Bonjour Tristesse” – Françoise Sagan

Upon finishing reading this book, I felt quite conflicted… The main character was extremely vain, superficial, privileged and spoilt. The voice it was written in took the mindless state of existence during teenagerhood to its perfection. It was full of sexist remarks, uttered by both men and women. If you take it as a snapshot…

“Schreibtisch mit Aussicht” – Ilka Piepgras

Dieses Buch, das zu meinem zuerst gelesenen im Jahr 2021 wurde, ist vor allem eines – wahnsinnig vielseitig! Die größten Unterschiede bestehen in der Länge der insgesamt 23 Essays, die zwischen drei und dreißig Seiten lang sind, und deren Qualität. Man liest sowohl originale, für dieses Sammelwerk erstellte Erzählungen auf deutsch, als auch Übersetzungen von…

“The Book Collectors of Daraya” – Delphine Minoui

Within this book, the reporter Delphine Minoui tells the story of an underground library that has been created within the Syrian town of Daraya, despite the constant bombings and a state of terror the inhabitants were surrounded by, day in, day out. The focus is placed upon both the founders of this library, as well…

“If I Had Your Face” – Frances Cha

This book was the first one that I read that gave an insight into South Korean life and its culture. By the time I was done with it though, it has left me longing for more. More depth, to be more stylistically impressive and to be able to see more development of the characters. It…

“Intimations” – Zadie Smith

I was completely disappointed by this tiny piece of writing made up of 6 essays by Zadie Smith. Maybe it was because I’ve been meaning and wanting to read something by the author for such a long time, having built up too high expectations. Maybe because this isn’t the right book to start with if…

“The God of Small Things” – Arundhati Roy

It’s quite difficult to put the reading experience of “The God of Small Things” in words because it was marked by so many ups & downs for me. To start with the positive parts first, I would describe reading “The God of Small Things” with the sensation of stepping into a mystic maze. A place…

“Know My Name” – Chanel Miller

Going into this book I wasn’t expecting too much besides that the personal story that the author would tell to be really impactful. A story that got a lot of media attention in the US about how a young girl got assaulted by a Stanford student on campus grounds. What I wasn’t prepared for, was…

“Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” – Lori Gottlieb

This book was everything I was hoping for and so much more! Just as its subtitle says – “A therapist, her therapist, and our lives revealed”, this book will give you an insight into the world of therapy while most importantly diving into the topic of therapists having their own therapists too. It’s extremely satisfying…

“Dependency” – Tove Ditlevsen

The third and final part of Tove Ditlevsen’s autobiography almost draws you into a dependency to it until you turn the very last page. After a less engaging middle part, “Youth”, this one has definitely left me under an impactful impression. Just as the title suggests it, this part of the story deals with the…

“Youth” – Tove Ditlevsen

As much as I have absolutely fallen in love with “Childhood”, Tove Ditlevsen’s first part of her autobiographical trilogy, “Youth” simply didn’t manage to measure up to its standards. The second part of her memoir circles around the author’s teenager into early adulthood years, which are narrated in a much less introspective and reflected kind…

“Childhood” – Tove Ditlevsen

Here is a case where judging a book by its cover has gone well for me 😉 Never having heard of the author Tove Ditlevsen before, I have discovered this trilogy, Childhood making up the first book of it, on…. Bookstagram! (aka some accounts posting book content on instagram) I was tempted to purchase this…

“The Discomfort of Evening” – Marieke Lucas Rijneveld

I have recently been quite spoiled by 5/5 ★ books and “The Discomfort of Evening” was a very welcome addition into that category! It was a well deserved winner of the International Booker Prize in 2020, in my point of view, and I was really glad to have come across it thanks to that award….

“Was Man Von Hier Aus Sehen Kann” – Mariana Leky

Wäre es nicht für “Bookstagram” (= Buchempfehlungen auf Instagram), hätte ich wahrscheinlich “Was Man Von Hier Aus Sehen Kann” niemals gelesen! Die Inhaltsangabe an sich sprach mich nicht besonders an, aber umso glücklicher war ich darüber, dank dem Hype um das Buch herum es entdeckt zu haben. Die Autorin nimmt einen auf eine emotionale Achterbahn…

“Small Fry” – Lisa Brennan-Jobs

Picking up this memoir that I bought almost a year ago during an event with the author at the Shakespeare & Co shop in Paris, I’ve got to say that I was a bit disappointed… I have picked up the book on 8 different days to get through it, which was proof that it simply…

“Kindred” – Octavia E. Butler

Going into a novel identified within the sci-fi genre written in the 1970s, I didn’t have any expectations since it’s not my typical kind of read. The last sci-fi I had to struggle my way through was Philip K. Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” and I still feel traumatised by it to this…

“Everything I Never Told You” – Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng’s novel “Little Fires Everywhere” was the book I rated the highest during the month of June 2020, so that’s why I was curious to tackle her debut novel. With “Everything I Never Told You”, I wasn’t disappointed either and settled on a 4/5 ★ rating, just like for the other book. The first…

“Where the Crawdads Sing” – Delia Owens

4 reasons why “Where the Crawdads Sing” isn’t as amazing as the huge hype around it is suggesting. 1. First things first, why the 2/5 ★ rating? I didn’t necessarily hate the book but all in all, I didn’t particularly enjoy it either. It took me two full weeks to finish it & even though…

“All We Leave Behind” – Carol Off

This book has been standing around on my “to read” bookshelf at home for 9 months until I finally got to it. I’ve picked it up at the airport in Montreal but I guess the topic finally sounded a bit too intimidating to jump on reading it earlier. The story circles around the conflict in…

“Little Fires Everywhere” – Celeste Ng

Diving into my first Celeste Ng book, I luckily wasn’t disappointed! I devoured up “Little Fires Everywhere” in just about a day & a half & I now completely understand why Reese Witherspoon jumped on the opportunity of getting the rights to film a series based on this book. It’s all you could wish for…

“Behind Closed Doors” – Natalie Fiennes

This super short book of just about 150 pages really has the potential to make you question well anchored thoughts & ideas in your mind. Starting from how “virginity” is a purely heteronormative & invented term, which is still being used too often in our society, to how we’re not taught about the diversity of…

“Trick Mirror” – Jia Tolentino

My first reaction upon finishing the book was – what the hell did I just read??!! The 9 chapters that make up the book felt so much all over the place that it felt like I’ve read 9 short different books. The topics ranged from the author’s personal stories about her disinterest towards marriage, her…

“The Enlightenment of the Greengage Tree” – Shokoofeh Azar

The choice in order to purchase this book & to suggest it to my local book club was a personal one. Ever since having traveled to Iran & having heard about people’s experiences living there after the Revolution, I was curious to read more about it. What I’ve been repeatedly confronted with, were the views…

“Three Women” – Lisa Taddeo

After reading “Normal People“, I decided to move on to the next hyped book I constantly kept hearing about – “Three Women”. Unfortunately, in this case, it didn’t turn out that well… The lesson I have learned here is to mind the upvoted ratings about the book on goodreads. Even though this book doesn’t have…

“Normal People” – Sally Rooney

The moment has come when I have finally given in to the hype around the book of “Normal People”, simply because I couldn’t help my curiosity anymore (& because I wanted to have a direct comparison between the book & the series). From my perception, this book is made for a target group of readers…

“Unorthodox” – Deborah Feldman

Having been too impatient & having watched the Netflix series of “Unorthodox” first, I was definitely in for a positive surprise with this book. After overcoming the annoying fact that I wouldn’t be able to get a copy with a different cover than the one with the actress Shira Haas on it, I finally gave…

“Educated” – Tara Westover

“The past is beautiful because one never realises an emotion at the time. It expands later, & thus we don’t have to complete emotions about the present, only about the past.” – Virginia Woolf That’s the quote the book starts with & it’s definitely my favourite one out of the entire reading experience. I came…

“After the End” – Clare Mackintosh

“After the End” isn’t a book I would normally reach out to myself. Somehow the name & the cover of the book screamed out kitsch, cliché & chick flick to me. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a chance, having stumbled across it through a friend of a friend on instagram, saying that it was…

“How To Do Nothing” – Jenny Odell

Ever since reading “Talking to Strangers” by Malcolm Gladwell, I have learned to not expect anything from a book by its title. This has proven to be helpful in the case of “How To Do Nothing” since the content of the book is not based on the literal meaning of the title. It’s catchy, it…

“Vox” – Christina Dalcher

This novel can unfortunately be shoved off to an imaginary list of disappointing bestsellers which apparently appeal to the masses. If you don’t want to fall into that trap, I’d suggest you to skip this book & rather read Margaret Atwood’s “Handmaid’s Tale”, if you’re looking for a dystopian feminist story. I accidentally bought the…

“A Good Wife” – Samra Zafar

This book & Samra’s story is such an important one portraying abusive relationships, as well as the dangers of strict (religious) traditions, such as arranged marriages. While reading it, you manage to live through that suffocating feeling of being trapped & at times, it even sounds like something out of a horror movie. The most…

“The Testaments” – Margaret Atwood

I was incredibly disappointed by the “The Testaments”…It didn’t read like a Margaret Atwood book at all, it felt like it has been reduced to the genre of young adult fiction in order to reach a broader public & it didn’t do the “Handmaid’s Tale” justice as a continuation of the story.Having re-read “The Handmaid’s…

“The Handmaid’s Tale” – Margaret Atwood

Re-reading this book 2 years later, in preparation for starting “The Testaments”, I still agree with the rating of 4 out of 5 stars I gave back then!  Brilliantly written, with a style that goes down as smoothly as butter, “The Handmaid’s Tale” was an absolute delight to read. It’s so refreshing to finally have…

“American Dirt” – Jeanine Cummins

This book was selected for a book club I’ll be attending & I now completely understand all the polarising opinions about it. Even to simply support the critical voices, I would’ve liked to give it 1/5 stars, but it did have 2 positive points to it, so I decided to settle on the total of…

“Flights” – Olga Tokarczuk

Having picked up the book for an upcoming book club but most of all having been curious about it because of Olga Tokarczuk having received the Nobel Prize for Literature, I’ve got to say that I was underwhelmed to say the least. Personally, getting through this book was a pain… I didn’t feel motivated to…

“Delta of Venus” – Anaïs Nin

Finishing up this book, I’ve had a bit of mixed feelings about it. All in a all, I think I’m just generally not really into reading erotica. I’d rather do it myself than read about it 🤷🏻‍♀️🤭 Nevertheless, it can be said that it is written in such a way that it would be appealing…

“Talking as Fast as I Can” – Lauren Graham

If you have picked this book up because you are or used to be a fan of the Gilmore Girls, I’ve got 2 suggestions for you: Just toss it right now. Unless you’re a notorious “book-finisher” like I am, who gets through any & every book that they start, at all costs, simply in order…

“Closer” – Sarah Barmak

This book ended up being one of my favourites for the entire year of 2019. I wish I would’ve come across it earlier in my life & wish that literature like this would be part of sexual education rather than the outdated program that is currently still being taught to teenagers all over the world….

“Lullaby” – Leïla Slimani

The story instantly whips you up into hyper awareness with the way that it starts, announcing the tragic ending on the first couple of pages. The fact that it still makes you want to read on and understand the whole story, is definitely a sign of great writing! The style was simply impeccable, simple, yet…

“Bluebeard’s Egg & Other Stories” – Margaret Atwood

Even though I wouldn’t have normally picked up a book of short stories, I was glad that I came across “Bluebeard’s Egg & Other Stories” for a book club. All in all, I’d straight ahead say that it was an enjoyable read, but for me it stays within the frame of a bit above an…

“Suicide Club” – Rachel Heng

I did want to give the book 3 out of 5 stars, just for the topic that it’s centred around, but I just couldn’t manage to warm up to like it more. There’s something very “pop-culture-like” about its style & writing, whereas nowhere as bad as 50 Shades of Grey, it somehow falls into a…

“The Bookseller of Kabul” – Åsne Seierstad

Having by chance stumbled across this book in a bookshop in Cuba, I couldn’t have been more glad to have come across it!! This narrative of a “not so usual” Afghan family is so eye-opening on so many levels. It was specifically for me, since I’ve never dived into the topic about the country or…

“Starkes Weiches Herz” – Madeleine Alizadeh

An Madeleine’s Buch habe ich mich mit einer Prise Skepsis rangemacht. Sowohl das Buchcover, als auch den Buchtitel fand ich zu kitschig und war sogar richtig enttäuscht darüber, dass diese die Endwahl für das fertige Produkt wurden. Ich schämte mich sogar ein wenig dafür, mit dem Buch in der U-Bahn gesehen zu werden, das einem…

“Hot Milk” – Deborah Levy

Hot Milk is one of those books that you pick up & can’t stop reading. I’ve never experienced that the reviews (which are actually just short phrases) on the cover of the book corresponded so much with the story & the way it’s narrated. Just as it is described by previous readers/raters, it does pull…

“M Train” – Patti Smith

Finishing up “M Train”, I still feel enveloped in a trance & dream-like state. The reading experience has been like taking a seat on Patti Smith’s train of thought, a comfortable window seat, watching passing by landscapes, cities, people. Like gently floating on waves from one image to the next, I felt transported to a…

“Reading Lolita in Tehran” – Azar Nafisi

This book isn’t captivating, it has to fight for your attention. It’s not a page-turner and yes, its structure is quite chaotic (what I already expected from it, by skimming through other readers’ reviews). You have to create time for it, give it air to breathe, allow it to take space in your day, to…

“To Kill a Mockingbird” – Harper Lee

As much as I’ve always heard about “To Kill a Mockingbird” as an absolute must-read, I haven’t been convinced into loving it. Writing the review 2 months after finishing the book, I can’t go into as many details anymore, but I do know that I’ve waited a while, hoping that I might find some better…

“The Giver” – Lois Lowry

I have stumbled across this book through a list of “highly rated books” here on goodreads, but I’ve got to say, that its target audience is & stays young adults (if not even kids & young teenagers). The story has an interesting idea, though it lacks in execution. It reminds a bit of “Brave New…

“Don’t Be a Tourist in Paris” – Vanessa Grall

This book is an absolute must-have for any kind of Paris-fanatic: Whether you’ve been living in the city for years & want to have a new & fresh view onto it or you’re coming to visit for the very 1st time – there’s something within it for both types of readers! It motivates you to…

“The Help” – Kathryn Stockett

“The Help” is an incredibly touching, deep kind of story, for which I found that it’s even more of a pity that it ended up being one of those books that you’d need to read in as close to 1 sitting as possible. The way it is written is bustling with character, each chapter written…

“The Blind Assassin” – Margaret Atwood

After having read “The Handmaid’s Tale” & having absolutely adored it, I was curious to dive into another work by Margaret Atwood. Unfortunately, I can’t give as much praise for “The Blind Asassin” I found the story extremely slow-paced (whereas that’s something that never disturbs me in other books), so that it would take you…

“A Little Life” – Hanya Yanagihara

This is one of the best books I’ve read in the last couple of years & it has definitely made it onto my favourites list!!! Yanagihara’s style seems to be absolutely effortless, the story flowing so easily from chapter to chapter that you don’t even notice yourself flipping over the pages. To sum it up,…

“Wonder” – R. J. Palacio

There are few words that can describe the impression “Wonder” leaves after reading it & I think you would see best by making your own opinion of it. It’s sweet, enchanting, heart warming, extremely emotionally touching (leaving you laughing out loud or even getting teary-eyed at times) & besides all that, so so well written….

“Chernobyl Prayer” – Svetlana Alexievich

Chernobyl Prayer is one of those books that simply takes you on an emotional roller-coaster ride while reading it. The collected stories are probably the most authentic ones you’ll get to read when trying to find the real background stories of people affected by Chernobyl. With tears of sadness, feeling touched by the stories of…

“Confessions of a Sociopath” – M. E. Thomas

I would have given the book a 4 out of 5 rating, but unfortunately it is too noticeable that the author absolutely isn’t a professional writer. I just started with “Eating Animals” by Jonathan Safran Foer & the difference couldn’t have been bigger, the 2 books seem like 2 absolutely different worlds judging by the…

“The Dark Road” – Ma Jian

Ma Jian’s story definitely gives an absolutely different perspective on China’s “one child policy” than what you would expect. The narrative proceeds in a way that feels a bit like a roller-coaster ride, which can be perceived from both a positive & a negative side. It doesn’t manage to captivate your attention completely but nevertheless…

“The Girl on the Train” – Paula Hawkins

I started with “The Girl on the Train” longing for a similar read to “Gone Girl” but it simply ended up being too similar. I even checked the publication years, if Hawkins might have gotten some inspiration from Flynn, which might very well be possible. The way both stories developed were very much alike, the…

“The Vegetarian” – Han Kang

“The Vegetarian” was a short, yet an impactful read, which manages to grasp you emotionally if you open up to the story. Regardless the name, the topic of vegetarianism, though playing a decisive role in the development of the story, is only a marginal one. It’s much more of a tale of the freedom of…

“Influence” – Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen

As far as the format of this book goes – it’s much better than what I’ve expected it to be. What I’ve thought would just be a narrative about the lives of the Olsen twins, led on by their portraits embellishing the cover, turned out to be something completely different. A gorgeous book full of…

“Sharp Objects” – Gillian Flynn

After reading Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl” I couldn’t wait to get my hands on another book of hers. Unfortunately the expectations couldn’t measure up to “Sharp Objects”. Though you did finally feel a bit entertained and enveloped in the events of the book upon arriving somewhere towards the middle of the story, there were too…