“Strangers” – Taichi Yamada (3/5 ★)

“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…

“The One Thing Worth Doing” – John Pope (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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…

“21 Lessons for the 21st Century” – Yuval Noah Harari (3/5 ★)

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…

“Geschichten mit Marianne” – Xaver Bayer (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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 Diary of a Bookseller” – Shaun Bythell (3/5 ★)

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…

“The God of Small Things” – Arundhati Roy (3/5 ★)

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…

“Youth” – Tove Ditlevsen (3/5 ★)

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…

“Lifespan” – David A. Sinclair (3/5 ★)

“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…

“Kindred” – Octavia E. Butler (3/5 ★)

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…

“All We Leave Behind” – Carol Off (3/5 ★)

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…

“Trick Mirror” – Jia Tolentino (3/5 ★)

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…

“Normal People” – Sally Rooney (3/5 ★)

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…

“Educated” – Tara Westover (3/5 ★)

“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 (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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…

“The Universe in Your Hand” – Christophe Galfard (3/5 ★)

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…

“Machines Like Me” – Ian McEwan (3/5 ★)

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…

“Delta of Venus” – Anaïs Nin (3/5 ★)

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…

“The Catcher in the Rye” – J. D. Salinger (3/5 ★)

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…

“M Train” – Patti Smith (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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…

“In Cold Blood” – Truman Capote (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

“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…

“Killing Commendatore” – Haruki Murakami (3/5 ★)

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…

“Le K” – Dino Buzzati (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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…

“Underground” – Haruki Murakami (3/5 ★)

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…

“Confessions of a Sociopath” – M. E. Thomas (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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 (3/5 ★)

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…