Reading this year doesn’t flow as effortlessly as previous years. That has mainly to do with all the things that occupy my mind or need my attention. When I am finally picking up a book my concentration is not on the book at many times after a few pages (if I am lucky) or even a few sentences I take my phone, write godown that thing for the grocery list, google another and fall down the habit hole of Social media. Or I am just too tired to read when I am finally in bed. However I don’t want to complain. I know I am still reading a lot compared to other people. It is just an observation I have in my own reading habit. But I did read and so I can share my Book Talk August.
Luckely I did have a few good picks and maybe I can inspire you to pick up one or the other from this list.
Daughters of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan | ★★★★★
What it is about: Fantasy novel around the Moon Goddess Chang’e and her daughter Xingyin. Imprisioned on the moon by the immortal celestials Chang’e is only trying to protect her daughter. But then Xingyin has to flee the moon to survive. Thrown into the affairs of the celestials she news to find her place and plans on freeing her mother from her imprisonment.
What I thought: I loved loved loved this. It is a different (to me) world set in the Chinese folklore and myths and I really did enjoy. I also enjoyed the characters – they were strong, heroic but relatable and weak at times with their own troubles. I am very much looking forward to reading the sequel that comes out later this year.
Original Language and Title: English hardcover, paperback, ebook
Publications: As of now only translated into Spanish
Recommend to: Everyone loving a good fantasy and/or is interested in Asian culture and who enjoys strong female characters.
Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline | ★★★★☆
What it is about: Vivian and her family come to America from poverty in Ireland hoping for a better life. Soon she ends up being an orphan and fending for herself. Send on an orphan train to the midwest she finds. herself among other train riders. As an old woman she connects with Molly an. orphan girl who needs to spend some community service in order to remain out of juvie. Their friendship grows and parallels reveal.
What I thought: I enjoyed this novel based on historic events. Told within two time strings we follow Vivians story as well as Mollys. I enjoyed that the stories actually wove into each other. When Molly discovered something Vivian story would. pick it up. This way both time strings had their own beauty and not one was the stronger one – as it often happens. I would definitely read another book from this author. Thank you San for recommending.
Original Language and Title: hardcover, paperback, ebook
Publications: German “Der Zug der Waisen” hardcover, paperback, ebook
Recommend to: Everyone loving historic fiction and what’s to learn about American settlers.
Daughter of Fortuna by Isabel Allende | ★★★★☆
What it is about: Orphaned at birth, Eliza Sommers is raised in the British colony of Valparaíso, Chile, by the well-intentioned Victorian spinster Miss Rose and her more rigid brother Jeremy. Just as she meets and falls in love with the wildly inappropriate Joaquín Andieta, a lowly clerk who works for Jeremy, gold is discovered in the hills of northern California. By 1849, Chileans of every stripe have fallen prey to feverish dreams of wealth. Joaquín takes off for San Francisco to seek his fortune, and Eliza, pregnant with his child, decides to follow him.
What I thought: My first Allende book and I am wondering what took me so long. I enjoyed it even though it was not a book I flew through. It did take some time. Strong female characters. I especially enjoyed the friendship between Eliza and Tao Chin. Luckily it was the first of a trilogy and I picked it first even through I had the house of spirit in mind for my first Allende book. But apparently its the third in this trilogy. I also learned this book is written in the genre of magical realism.
Original Language and Title: Spanish “Hija de la Fortuna” hardcover, paperback, ebook
Publications: a lot of translations in almost all possible languages
English “Daughter of Fortuna” hardcover, paperback, ebook || German “Fortunas Tochter” hardcover, paperback, ebook
Recommend to: Lovers of classic literature and historic fiction, female characters and struggles to prevail.
Nora goes off Script by Annabel Monaghan | ★★★★☆
What it is about: Nora Hamilton knows the formula for love better than anyone. As a romance channel screenwriter, it’s her job. But when her too-good-to work husband leaves her and their two kids, Nora turns her marriage’s collapse into cash and writes the best script of her life. No one is more surprised than her when it’s picked up for the big screen and set to film on location at her 100-year-old-home. When former Sexiest Man Alive, Leo Vance, is cast as her ne’er do well husband Nora’s life will never be the same.
What I thought: Good book for a quick read and happy atmosphere. I enjoyed that it was a bit more mature compared to other romance novels and that it didn’t have the scripted happy end with marriage. However I am not a fan of the celebrity trope. Thank you heybooklovers for recommending.
Original Language and Title: hardcover, paperback, ebook
Publications: German “Immer wenn die Sonne aufgeht” paperback, ebook
Recommend to: If you are looking for a great summer read.
Der Geschichtenbäcker by Carsten Henn | ★★★★☆
What it is about: Baking bread is almost like a dance. Dough is kneaded rhythmically, the rotation of the hands, the swing of the hips give it suppleness. Sofie, a former dancer, is fascinated to watch the Italian baker Giacomo at work. Actually, she wanted to quit her temporary job in the village bakery right away. The end of her career has thrown her life off track too much. Who is she if she doesn’t dance? Who will love her if she no longer shines on stage? But surprisingly, Sofie finds much more than employment in the little bakery: the wisdom of a simple man, the happiness of small things, and the courage to change.
What I thought: Another audio book. Again nice entertainment while doing chores or when I was just too tired to read. I enjoyed the characters and their different life situations and how the baker was catering to that. But also the main characters struggle of finding her place was well crafted. However I enjoyed the first one more.
Original Language and Title: German hardcover, ebook
Publications: I have only yet seen a Russian translation.
Recommend to: Everyone that needs to read a feel good book based in a bakery but is not all pink sugarcoated.
Erklärs mir als wär ich 5 by Petra Cnyrim | ★★★★☆
What it is about: “Diffusion is the self-mixing of two or more substances by the proper motion of their particles.” – Huh? Everyone knows the feeling: you get an answer to a question that is formulated in such a complicated way that you are no smarter than before. This book explains it so you actually understand.
What I thought: Listened to it as an audiobook and it was a great why to learn and re-learn certain things while doing chores. Some things I knew, some things I was vaguely familiar, some things were finally explained so I understand. Overall fun experience.
Original Language and Title: German paperback, ebook
Publications: currently not translated.
Recommend to: Every curious person that needs a knowledge boost.
New books on the shelves
I decided in 2022 I will also share how many books make it to my TBR list (only books I own otherwise we would sit here in years) and occupy my shelves right above the reading chair and also on my digital home on the kindle. Feel free to ask me in a few weeks if I have read it yet. HA
- Nora Goes Of Script by Annabel Monaghan – a 0,99€ kindle steel
- Daughters of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan – a 0,99€ kindle steel
- Ariadne by Jennifer Saint – a 0,99€ kindle steel
This was a very successful month of reading. All books are 4 or 5 stars. I think that is a first. What’s been your latest 5 star rated book? Happy to add it to my list.