“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…

“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…

“The Book Collectors of Daraya” – Delphine Minoui (2/5 ★)

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…

“Intimations” – Zadie Smith (2/5 ★)

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 (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…

“Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” – Lori Gottlieb (5/5 ★)

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…

“Night Boat to Tangier” – Kevin Barry (2/5 ★)

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…

“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…

“The Fire Next Time” – James Baldwin (5/5 ★)

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…

“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…

“Behind Closed Doors” – Natalie Fiennes (2/5 ★)

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 (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…

“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…

“On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous” – Ocean Vuong (5/5 ★)

“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 (1/5 ★)

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…

“Talking to Strangers” – Malcolm Gladwell (2/5 ★)

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…

“Mr. Gwyn” – Alessandro Baricco (5/5 ★)

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…

“The Testaments” – Margaret Atwood (1/5 ★)

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…

“American Dirt” – Jeanine Cummins (2/5 ★)

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 (5/5 ★)

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…

“Flights” – Olga Tokarczuk (2/5 ★)

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…

“Submission” – Michel Houellebecq (1/5 ★)

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 (2/5 ★)

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 (4/5 ★)

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…

“Suicide Club” – Rachel Heng (2/5 ★)

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 (5/5 ★)

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…