“Stop Reading the News” – Rolf Dobelli

The title of the book drew me in while I was caught up in a stream of endless reading of the news on the war in Ukraine for almost a month. I knew that this behavior was having a mentally deteriorating effect on me but I simply couldn’t and didn’t want to stop. This event…

“Родина-тётя” – Андрей Алехин

Находясь в Украине и отправляясь в поиски нескольких новых книжек, чтобы привезти их обратно домой во Францию, я оказалась перед данной реальностью – в Киеве почти во всех книжных магазинах теперь продаются только книги на украинском… Хотя я без проблем всё понимаю, если со мной кто-то общается на украинском, то читать книги на нём я…

“A History of Ukraine” – Oleksandr Palii

This book is a great starting point for someone who would like to get a better understanding about the country of Ukraine, its history, culture and traditions. Or in my case, it was a good refresher on the history of the country, after countless years have passed since my Ukrainian school education. I read it…

“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…

“A New Earth” – Eckhart Tolle

The review of this book could start off with a game of “never have I ever”… Never have I ever taken along so much valuable knowledge after finishing a book. Never have I ever highlighted as many passages within a book. Never have I ever come across a book that would feel so life-changing. Never…

“What I Know About Running Coffee Shops” – Colin Harmon

This book is THE ultimate bible if you have ever thought of or dreamt about opening up your own coffee shop (which was the case for me)! I started reading it while being in the middle of a 2 week long, intense, all-day training, teaching you all the aspects of becoming a creator of a…

“The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat” – Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks has been on my “to-read” list as an author for quite some time and I was especially excited when it was picked as the book of the month within one of my book clubs. It ended up being such a fascinating read and I can’t wait to discover more of the author’s works!!!…

“Couchsurfing in Saudi Arabien” – Stephan Orth

Jedes Mal wenn die Nachricht erscheint, dass bald ein neues Buch von Stephan Orth veröffentlicht wird, mache ich wortwörtlich einen Freudentanz! Ich habe in der Zwischenzeit vier seiner Bücher gelesen und habe mich in jedes davon Hals über Kopf verliebt!!! Zu “Couchsurfing im Iran“, “Couchsurfing in Russland” und “Couchsurfing in China” kommt jetzt das vierte…

“Eine Formalie in Kiew” – Dmitrij Kapitelman

Das neueste Buch von Dmitrij Kapitelman war einfach nur wie Balsam für meine ukrainische Seele. Für diejenigen, die mit dem Land und dessen Traditionen nicht so vertraut sind, kann es zu einer spannenden Entdeckungstour an Leseerfahrung werden. Von den ersten Zeilen an wurde ich von nostalgischen Gefühlen überflutet, als man den Autor auf der Reise…

“Syria’s Secret Library” – Mike Thomson

Prior to reading “Syria’s Secret Library“, I have just finished “The Book Collectors of Daraya” by Delphine Minoui. Both books were written about the hidden library within the Syrian town of Daraya but my curiosity simply hasn’t been satisfied after Delphine Minoui’s book, which was originally published in French in 2018. Upon doing some additional…

“21 Lessons for the 21st Century” – Yuval Noah Harari

This was my third Harari book that I immersed myself in, after having read “Sapiens” in 2016 and “Homo Deus” in 2018. I find myself recommending these books to people because I did find them incredibly valuable and informative (especially Sapiens!) but I still end up only giving ratings of 3/5 ★ to them. It…

“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…

“Essentialism” – Greg McKeown

The most important take-away from this book for me was – if you’re not feeling completely overworked, chaotic and goal-less with the things you’re currently doing on a daily basis (whether that’s in your personal or your professional life), put this book aside until you feel that way one day and only then reach out…

“Greenlights” – Matthew McConaughey

Reading Matthew McConaughey’s memoir is comparable with the experience of sitting down with a good friend and simply having a chat about life. Having a laugh with each other, shedding some tears and sharing some little life lessons. It’s especially ideal as an end of start of the year read, as it manages to round…

“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 Diary of a Bookseller” – Shaun Bythell

Having had this book on my virtual “to read” list for a while, I have finally come across it by chance in a book shop in Lisbon the other day. What it ended up being was a light and quick little read, sparkled with a bit of humour here & there, while telling the story…

“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…

“Lifespan” – David A. Sinclair

“Lifespan” was definitely one the most challenging books I have read this year and if it wasn’t for a book club I’ve attended, I would have never come across it! As I noted down 25 pages in, I straight away understood that it would be a bumpy ride. It’s demanding of your entire attention and…

“Future Crimes” – Marc Goodman

Did you know that the technology to simply control gadgets (like your Google Glass) with your thoughts already exists? Did you hear about the 2013 story of electronic teakettles and irons manufactured in China that spread a virus to all your electronic devices through WiFi? 😀 Or that we’ll be able to literally “bring back…

“Couchsurfing in China” – Stephan Orth

Nachdem ich ein riesiger Fan von Stephan Orth’s beiden anderen Couchsurfing Büchern war (Couchsurfing im Iran und Couchsurfing in Russland), war ich wahnsinnig gespannt über seine neuen Abenteuer in China. Ihr habt wahrscheinlich die Bewertung im Titel schon bemerkt und ich kann mit voller Überzeugung sagen, dass es absolut lesenswert ist! Ich bin immer noch…

“Selfish, Shallow and Self-Absorbed” – Meghan Daum

This book was an incredibly impactful one for me and that’s surely because its topic is of immense interest at this certain time in my life. I’ve never liked kids and have never felt any longing to give birth to some of my own ones. There was a moment in my life when I felt…

“The Fire Next Time” – James Baldwin

Diving into my first James Baldwin book, I was simply blown away by how elegant and impactful his writing was. I was glad to have an introduction to his works with “The Fire Next Time” since it’s such a personal account, allowing you to get to know the author better. The way he tackles the…

“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…

“Born a Crime” – Trevor Noah

This book… Was simply unforgettable… I laughed and I cried while reading it, both thanks to dozens of hilarious moments but also to a tragic one towards the end. This book simply hooks you from the first sentences on (which you can see yourself within the first quote) and I applaud either Trevor Noah’s writing…

“The Honeymoon Effect” – Bruce Lipton

This book is a prime example of the category of books “I would never have bought myself”. It has presented itself as a lesson of the saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, throwing in an additional one on “Don’t judge a book by its title”. It looks cheesy, it sounds cheesy, which it…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“The Hidden Life of Trees” – Peter Wohlleben

What started off as an incredibly interesting book filled with completely new information for me, didn’t quite manage to hold that level until the very end. Nevertheless, I still considered it to be a more or less enjoyable read. I really appreciated the sense of humour of the author throughout the writing & the short…

“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…

“Why We Sleep” – Matthew Walker

If I was given the restriction to only read 1 single book this year, then I would without a doubt choose Matthew Walker’s “Why We Sleep”!!! I don’t remember the last time I read a book that was so densely packed with valuable information & on top of that “packaged” in such an approachable way…

“Talking to Strangers” – Malcolm Gladwell

I have been tempted to pick up the “Talking to Strangers” book having previously liked Gladwell’s “Outliers“ (read it in 2015 & gave it a 4 out of 5 star rating back then) & also because of its title, which ended up being completely misleading. I was expecting something more psychological or something that would…

“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…

“What My Mother and I Don’t Talk About” – Michele Filgate

This is the perfect example of a book to prove why I love reading so much over watching series or movies. Just like one of the authors mentions, “As a child I dipped into books, and everything around me, including my body, faded away. It was a very conscious act. I am very lucky that early…

“The Universe in Your Hand” – Christophe Galfard

I’ll start off with the mention that this is an amazing book & that I’d suggest each & everyone to read it! (don’t mind the 3 stars!!) It opens up your understanding of our planet, our universe & simply how bizarre our existence is, living on a ball of matter floating through space. I’ll also…

“The Art of Making Memories” – Meik Wiking

“The Universe is made up of stories. Not atoms” – Muriel Rukeyser I picked this book up at an airport shop after a birthday trip to Canada, which I would now describe as one of the best trips of my life. Already then I was afraid of the memories fading away or of losing them…

“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….

“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…

“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…

“Cuba” – Alan West-Duran

The book starts off in a way you would expect from a university paper or a thesis on the topic of Cuba (not a good one though & which is not. a great. sign). The author dives directly into the deepest details while not giving you enough background on any of the subjects approached: Minute…

“Havana” – Mark Kurlansky

I absolutely adored this book & couldn’t have wished to stumble upon a better intro to Cuba before my upcoming trip! The biggest tip I could give, is to read it with Cuban music in the background & you’ll feel directly immersed into the story & the country. What others criticised, I actually enjoyed 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…

“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…

“Speed Reading with the Right Brain” – David Butler

I’d give the book 3 out of 5 stars for its idea, whereas purely based on the content of it, it would barely measure up to 1-2 stars. What the author does manage, is to give you a proper understanding of what “speed reading” is supposed to be about, with a focus on comprehension rather…

“Who Moved My Cheese?” – Spencer Johnson

You can’t even call this a book, a simple story bound in a soft cover.It’s short, it’s foolproof, it’s understandable to each & everybody. Is there any literary effort given to it? Wouldn’t say so.Yes, it’s a brief & fun story to read through in probably less than 2 hours.Might it help you to perceive…

“Factfulness” – Hans Rosling

When I started “Factfulness”, I had quite mixed opinions about it. One of the first things that I noticed, was that you could literally hear the frustration in the author’s voice about people’s perception of the current world. Getting deeper into the book, I did understand the roots of this feeling better though. What I…

“Un Thé à Shanghai” – Jamel Balhi

What started out as a promising read, ended up as quite a disappointment… Having shared a BlaBlaCar trip from Zurich to Paris with the author Jamel was how I first found out about his existence & a quick Google search afterwards showed up the couple of books he has written about his trips around the…

“The Art of Thinking Clearly” – Rolf Dobelli

Having gone through the book, I strongly agree with some bits in the previous reviews I have skimmed through before starting. While “The Art of Thinking Clearly” succeeds at presenting something of an easier breakdown of “Thinking, Fast and Slow”, it feels highly repetitive (some ideas being too similar & being presented too often), the…

“Homo Deus” – Yuval Noah Harari

Finally! After 3 months (which is the longest it has taken me to finish a book in a while!) I’ve finally gotten through this one! It was an incredibly interesting read, but the time that it has taken to finish it, speaks quite a bit about it. I was a bit disappointed by it in…

“Couchsurfing in Russland” – Stephan Orth

Ein Buch das ich jedem weiterempfehlen würde, der Lust hat, einen Einblick in die echte russische Kultur zu bekommen. Ohne Vorurteile, abseits der Klischees & der Stereotypen, unbeeinflusst von den aktuellsten politischen Ereignissen. Für jemanden der mit der Art der russischen Menschen vertraut ist, kann ich mit Sicherheit sagen, dass mit dem Buch ein absolut…

“Underground” – Haruki Murakami

Murakami’s “Underground” has definitely nothing to do with the author’s other works of fiction. Nevertheless I mostly reached out for the book because of Murakami – I didn’t end up being completely disappointed but it also wasn’t a groundbreaking book in my opinion, therefore the 3 out of 5 stars rating. What I read out…

“Couchsurfing im Iran” – Stephan Orth

Nach dem fertiglesen des “Couchsurfing in Russland” Buches, bin ich von der iranischen Version sogar mehr begeistert! Der Unterschied zwischen den beiden ist, dass in der Iran-Ausführung mehr Zeit genommen wurde, über die Personen und die Interaktionen mit den Leuten zu schildern, anstatt eher nur über das Land im Allgemeinen. Der angenehme & die Spannung…

“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…

“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…

“Paris Revealed” – Stephen Clarke

Having read two books by Stephen Clarke about the Parisian adventures of a fictitious character, “Paris Revealed” sounded like a light & fun read, while I didn’t have any expectations towards it at all. Though it did have a few entertaining passages and it is successful at introducing the Parisian way of life, starting from…