“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…

“Shuggie Bain” – Douglas Stuart

I believe that this novel will probably either be a hit or a miss for readers, you’ll either hate it or love it. I ended up landing somewhere right in between. So let’s directly get to the breakdown and the explanation of the reasoning behind my 3/5 ★ rating: +1 ★ for the beautiful writing:…

“Das Licht” – T. C. Boyle

Es scheint so, als ob mir dieses Buch über den Weg gelaufen ist, um mir eine Lektion zu erteilen… Dass ich endlich aufhören sollte, in Airbnbs hinterlassene Bücher zu lesen, mit der Hoffnung dadurch über einen verborgenen 5/5 ★ Schatz zu stolpern. Es ist das zweite Buch, das ich von T. C. Boyle gelesen habe…

“Strangers” – Taichi Yamada

“Strangers” was one of those books that has been left behind by another traveler on the shelf of an Airbnb apartment. Me, always being curious about what kind of reads others bring along on their vacations, decided to take it along for a couple of days at the beach. As it says in the reviews…

“Just Like You” – Nick Hornby

Having previously read Nick Hornby’s books “A Long Way Down“, “About a Boy” and “High Fidelity”, I didn’t really have high expectations towards “Just Like You”. I have never rated any of the author’s books with more than 3 out of 5 ★ and his newest release can be classified within the same category. This…

“The One Thing Worth Doing” – John Pope

Having come across John Pope’s novel thanks to the Paris Anglophone Book Club, it was an extremely interesting insight into the finished product of a self-published book. Even though there were little bits & pieces of the narrative that were a bit less appealing to me, in general it was a pleasant read. There was…

“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…

“The Midnight Library” – Matt Haig

“The Midnight Library” was the first one of Matt Haig’s books that I have picked up after having heard tons about his other publications and this one just having been released in 2020. It has been chosen by one of my book clubs to be read in January 2021 and I decided to join in…

“Geschichten mit Marianne” – Xaver Bayer

Ich bin auf Xaver Bayer’s neues Buch dank dem österreichischen Buchpreis 2020 aufmerksam geworden und auch wenn es für mich bei einer Bewertung von “nur” 3/5 ★ bleibt, war es dennoch eine sehr unterhaltsame Leseerfahrung! Das Buch ist so kurz, dass man es innerhalb eines Tages auslesen kann und es sich ideal dafür eignet, wenn…

“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…

“The Queen’s Gambit” – Walter Tevis

Having decided to read this book before watching the Netflix series, I was more than positively surprised by it! I would even say that it ended up being one of the favourite discoveries of the year for me. My biggest hesitation (as I can imagine it being for a lot of other readers), was the…

“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…

“Une simple lettre d’amour” – Yann Moix

This has definitely got to be the worst book I have read this year so far… It really reminded me of my worst book of 2019, “Submission” by Michel Houellebecq. The style of the two of them really resembled, the story being told from the point of view of a despicable, misogynist and racist guy….

“Night Boat to Tangier” – Kevin Barry

This is one of those books where I actually really feel sorry about giving it a low rating… There were some parts that I found really enjoyable, the language was absolutely beautiful at times, the descriptions were almost tangible, but… It just wasn’t a story for my taste. If it wouldn’t have been for my…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“Qualityland” – Marc-Uwe Kling

This book had quite a unique balance to it. It was light & fun, as well as deep & meaningful, when touching on an analysis of our current world and the future we’re heading towards. I believe that your opinion on “Qualityland” will depend on how you read it & what you decide to take…

“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” – Ocean Vuong

“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” by Ocean Vuong has instantly become my favourite book of the year out of all the 16 I have read so far in 2020. If you were wondering, that is the author’s actual name, it was changed into Ocean by his mother after she has separated from her husband, who…

“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…

“Mr. Gwyn” – Alessandro Baricco

I read the German translation of “Mr. Gwyn” by Annette Kopetzki & I’ve got to say that after this first book as an intro to the author, I’m very curious about discovering other novels by Alessandro Baricco! I got through “Mr. Gwyn” in almost just a single day, one reason being that I was stuck…

“Tyll” – Daniel Kehlmann

Life is too short to be reading books that you don’t enjoy. If I’d actually be living by that mantra, I wouldn’t have finished this book. My opinion is highly subjective though, since I actually really liked one of Daniel Kehlmann’s previous books, “Ruhm“. Nevertheless, I literally had to force myself to get through “Tyll”,…

“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…

“Life for Sale” – Yukio Mishima

I thought that this book was absolutely beautiful. Swaying back & forth between 4 & 5 out of 5 stars, I finally settled for the highest grade. It’s an extremely short & easy read, but nevertheless executed perfectly by the author. I loved the way it was structured with short chapters that made you want…

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” – Philip K. Dick

This book probably wasn’t as bad as some other 1/5 star rated ones that I have read, I still found zero enjoyment in it, so I couldn’t rate it any higher (another reasoning for the grade was that it surely didn’t measure up to Olga Tokarczuk’s “Flights”, which I read a couple of weeks ago,…

“Machines Like Me” – Ian McEwan

This is the first book I have read by Ian McEwan & it has definitely sparked my curiosity to discover more books by the author. I really wanted to like this one, since I’m generally a fan of AI & I have also initially given it 4/5 stars, but while going through the review, it…

“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…

“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…

“Submission” – Michel Houellebecq

This is definitely the worst book I have read this year (and it also comes close to probably being one of the worst books I’ve ever read in my entire life). To start off, I absolutely don’t understand the hype & the buzz around Michel Houellebecq. To me, he comes off as a completely arrogant…

“The White Tiger” – Aravind Adiga

From the very beginning of the book, I simply wasn’t a fan of the main character. More than that, 118 pages in, I’ve noted down that I couldn’t care less about what would happen to him. There’s no connection I’ve felt towards him whatsoever & no matter how well the story would’ve been written, it…

“Stoner” – John Williams

This book left a really strong impression on me, even though it is once again one of those that I wouldn’t have picked up myself. I stayed awake until 2am finishing the last 100 pages & that’s a sure sign of a well written book for me. One of the most striking things to me…

“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…

“Sadness is a White Bird” – Moriel Rothman-Zecher

I couldn’t have been happier to come across “Sadness is a White Bird” by chance, the book having been selected for a book club that I attended. I have devoured it up in no time, staying up late until the middle of the night. The language flows beautifully and I loved the way the narrative…

“The Catcher in the Rye” – J. D. Salinger

There was something very Woody Allen-like about the book. So if you enjoy his movies & the way the dialogues flow, you’ll surely like this story. It simply reads like the screenplay of the movie “Wonder Wheel”. Nevertheless, the main character is hardly able to build up relateability & there’s not much happening throughout the…

“The Picture of Dorian Gray” – Oscar Wilde

Unfortunately after finishing this book, I simply thought that it’s way too over-hyped. Yes, the idea of the story is an interesting one, the way it’s executed on paper though, leaves a lot to be desired. Another issue I had with the printed edition, was the fact that the ending was completely spoiled within the…

“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…

“Slaughterhouse-Five” – Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Having read this book during a beach vacation, “Slaughterhouse Five” has been a perfectly short, yet impactful read. The writing style is one of a kind, which leaves you perplexed in the beginning & wondering what kind of a book you have stumbled across & whether it’s worth getting through it or not… As the…

“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…

“In Cold Blood” – Truman Capote

Having had this book suggested by a friend, I had high expectations for it, which unfortunately haven’t been met. My biggest issue with the book was the fact that it only picked up pace & became more or less captivating 150-170 pages into the story. Compared with the total length of the book, being about…

“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 End of Eddy” – Édouard Louis

I would give “The End of Eddy” at most a rating of 2,5 stars out of 5.The book simply wasn’t long enough to get attached to it or to understand the characters. Somehow the story felt like it was being suffocated, that it didn’t have enough space & enough pages to unfold itself onto. I…

“Killing Commendatore” – Haruki Murakami

After having put 2 unenjoyable books behind me, I do have to say that as usual to Murakami’s style, this story simply flowed with ease. When you sit down with the book, you’re softly enveloped into a different world, the storyline unfolding with ease. Nevertheless, I do have to say that “Killing Commendatore” has not…

“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…

“S” – J. J. Abrams

Even a couple of weeks after having finished this book, I’m still at a loss for words to describe it… And not in a positive sense…I wish I could give it a higher rating, but it’s absolutely impossible, after having struggled through this “thing” for almost 2 months, dragging its weight along everywhere that I…

“Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World” – Haruki Murakami

I have recently found out how I can explain Murakami’s style to people not known to him – you could compare him to Dali or Magritte in the world of artists. He’s the surrealist of the writers, constructing unbelievable worlds, at times disturbing, at others completely mesmerising. This book is no exception to it. Deep…

“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,…

“Call Me by Your Name” – André Aciman

Having just finished the book & ending it off by watching the movie to it, I’d say that the 2 of them compliment each other. Having read the book just before puts a bit more meaning into the movie. Nevertheless, I can’t say that I have enjoyed the book. Yes, there were some parts which…

“God Save la France” – Stephen Clarke

Picking up “God Save la France” for the 2nd time but in the version of the French translation to practice my language skills has only left me disappointed. I remember rating “A Year in the Merde” as one of my favourite books after finishing it, laughing out loud while going through it & finishing it…

“House of Leaves” – Mark Z. Danielewski

Even weeks after I’ve finished this book, I haven’t gotten around to the review, since I couldn’t really manage to phrase what I thought about it. What I can definitely confirm now – after getting the book suggested, I was warned that it would be “an experience” rather than a simple read & I can…

“Le K” – Dino Buzzati

This being the first encounter with Dino Buzzati’s work, I was definitely positively surprised, judging by the fact of how I chose to buy the book (having stood around on my bookshelf for at least 5-6 years, having picked it up in a little French town from a shelf outside on the street, being drawn…

“Le Livre des Étreintes” – Eduardo Galeano

Reading this one in French has definitely been a challenge, so I would suggest you to read it in a language you feel at ease with. I feel a bit conflicted with my general opinion about the book: It has helped me in moments I have been feeling completely & absolutely down. I was literally…

“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….

“À propos d’un gamin” (About a Boy) – Nick Hornby

Out of the 3 Nick Hornby books that I’ve read, this is definitely the one that I hated the least 😁 The characters were better developed, in my opinion, than the ones in “A Long Way Down” & “High Fidelity”. Nevertheless, what seems to have saved the rating of the book, was the fact of…

“Vous descendez? (A Long Way Down)” – Nick Hornby

The only reason why I keep on reaching out to Nick Hornby’s books is the fact that I’ve got them standing around in French on my bookshelf. In my opinion, that’s also the only plausible reason to read them – translated in other languages to learn a foreign language, since the style & the vocabulary…

“Read Bottom Up” – Neel Shah, Skye Chatham

A super quick read (just about 1 & a half hours) which I have become suspicious about while skimming through a couple of reviews here on goodreads before starting the book. It just seemed to have potential to be in the style of one of those cheesy rom-coms – a typical & predictable boy-meets-girl story….

“A Strangeness in My Mind” – Orhan Pamuk

Going through my 2nd Orhan Pamuk book, it once again had the effect of pulling you into a completely different world & making you feel as if you’ve known the characters for years. The way its written is absolutely effortless & the transitions of seeing the story from different people’s perspectives gave it even more…

“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…

“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…

“Scenes from Village Life” – Amos Oz

Having previously read “My Michael” by Amos Oz & having immensely enjoyed it, I was excited about indulging in “Scenes from Village Life”. Even though a certain atmosphere was established through a particular warmness in the author’s style, it was a generally a disappointing read. This is a typical book which needs to be read…

“The Prisoner of Heaven” – Carlos Ruiz Zafón

I’ve heard a lot of praise for the works of Carlos Ruiz Zafón from friends who have read his books. “The Prisoner of Heaven” was picked up by chance at an airport, mostly because I was intrigued by the description on the back. The secret World of the Cemetery of Forgotten books, hidden in the…

“1Q84” – Haruki Murakami

This book leaves you off wanting more. It’s special. Just as so many of Haruki Murakami’s books, this one envelops you in an extraordinary atmosphere, where you feel so close to the characters. It’s a touching, but at the same time an exciting story. Once you start reading it, you simply don’t want to put…