“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 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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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,…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…

“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…