BOOKS I READ IN AUGUST

books I read in August Ahron Appelfeld craftaliciousme seeking creative life

This was the second month of the #dickebüchercamp where I tried to read only books over 500 pages. Well, I read a few books but not the long ones. That has mainly to do with the last book on the list. It was not up my alley so I sought procrastination in smaller stories and more engaging books. And so the books I read in August are higher in number than anticipated.

Ein Mädchen nicht von dieser Welt by Aharon Appelfeld | ★★★★

What’s it about: It’s a story about two Jewish boys and their suffering and survival in Eastern European woods after they have been left by their mothers to escape the ghetto. It’s about forming a friendship and keeping your humanity even in the worst lights of day.
What I thought: I really enjoyed this little book. The writing had a fairy tale vibe to it that made the story much different from what Ive read about Jewish survival during the holocaust. As it is a partly biographic recollection of the author I found it even more interesting. Only the title I could not really place. And I wished the story was a bit longer.
Original Language: Hebrew
Published Languages: German, French, Englisch (title Adam and Thomas)
Recommend to: If you like to read stories about survival, friendship and hope set in the WWII area but also if you are drawn to poetic and fairytale like writings.

Dominicana by Angie Cruz | ★★★⋆⭐︎

What’s it about: Fifteen-year-old Ana Cancion never dreamed of moving to America, the way the girls she grew up with in the Dominican countryside did. But when Juan Ruiz proposes and promises to take her to New York City, she has to say yes. It doesn’t matter that he is twice her age, that there is no love between them. Their marriage is an opportunity for her entire close-knit family to eventually immigrate. So on New Year’s Day, 1965, Ana leaves behind everything she knows and becomes Ana Ruiz, a wife confined to a cold six-floor walk-up in Washington Heights. Lonely and miserable, Ana hatches a reckless plan to escape. But at the bus terminal, she is stopped by Cesar, Juan’s free-spirited younger brother, who convinces her to stay. (Goodreads summery)
What I thought: I liked the overall setting. I think it is one of the first books I read from/with South America in its focus. I was specially drawn and interested as part of Mr. ♡ family is living there and he has spent his youth there as well. Peppered in were a few Spanish words which I often understood which made me happy. Overall this is why I loved the book – it made me understand a few things better and also gave me a feeling of I’ve seen that. If not the story might has not been too capturing in itself. But don’t get me wrong it is a wonderfully written book and something to enjoy.
Original Language: English
Published Languages: I think currently only English
Recommend to: Everyone wanting to read some story set in the 60s in New York from an immigrants point of view featuring female characters.

books I read in August Angie Cruzcraftaliciousme seeking creative life

Träume in Meeresgrün by Miriam Covi | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Amelie Ludwig is looking forward spending a family vacation in Nova Scotia. The perfect place to nurture a broken heart. But the little town of Luneburg is having a few surprises ready for Amelie. Life gets turned upside down again.
What I thought: I found this book in a little swapping library when I strolled through HH. My current book was so boring that I was drawn to some easy entertaining read. This one caught my eye and I took it without knowing what it’s about. I was not disappointed. It was a sweet little summer beach read. And then set in Nova Scotia what else could I ask for. I only disked the traces of unnecessary helplessness the main character displayed and some annoying repetitions. But it was easily acceptable and still enjoyable.
Original Language: German
Published Languages: Looks like only German currently
Recommend to: Everyone looking for a quick easy feel good book.

Ramen Otaku by Sarah Gavigan | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: A cookbook and guideline to create the perfect bowl of Ramen at home. Sarah a former music manager from Nashville de-mystifies the secret to make ramen, how to get creative ones you have the ground rules down and sharing how she got in the ramen business in the first place.
What I thought: I enjoyed learning about the tradition of ramen, the immense knowledge Sarah is sharing and many times I wanted to slurp some ramen while reading. The book explains for the first 140 pages what ramen is and sheds a light on all necessary ingredients and how to prepare them. Only the last couple pages are actually the Ramen recipes. Very interesting. However I have realized that I will most likely never cook a bowl of ramen myself. I can just not justify the amount of time spent on one meal. I am not willing to stir my stock for 12 hours. The immense supply of ingredients that go into one pot I will not store. So instead I will hunt the perfect Ramen shop here in Berlin. Because it really is for nerds and food addicts. That is why it has only gotten 4 stars from me. One star I reduce because I found the translation bit halting and the spelling needs to be checked.
Original Language: English
Published Languages: German
Recommend to: Every Japan lover, Ramen addicts and people who will spent 12+h to make a bowl of soup.
This book was sent to me by the publisher. The review and my opinion remains my own.

books I read in August Sarah Gavigan craftaliciousme seeking creative life

Der Richter und sein Henker by Friedrich Dürrenmatt | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: A little detective story set in the Swiss countryside. It’s about good and evil and what is right or wrong.
What I thought: This book was sitting in my shelf for the last 15+ ears and I finally picked it up. It was a quick read and perfect for squeezing in-between errands. I am always fascinated how different the writing has been a few years back. The pace is much slower but its a nice change. Also how interesting that cars were so new that the characters are having ambivalent feelings.
Original Language: German
Published Languages: very many I believe, definitely English
Recommend to: Liking classic detective stories and some slower reading.

Alles bestens by Yael Hedaya | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: A modern love story set in Israel and the struggles of life. Of being single or in a relationship, dealing with family drama while being supportive of your family.
What I thought: I picked up this book in a bookstore on a sales table. I wasn’t quite sure what hooked me. It was nice to branch out a bit to an unknown author to a country I haven’t read much about. It was an ok story for me. I could not identify with any character. One could say it was a bit trivial but I want to believe that it was the intention of the author to paint the bleakness of every day life.
Original Language: Hebrew
Published Languages: German
Recommend to: Everyone liking a more contemporary read skipping the trashy love romance idea.

Gustav Klimt by Patrick Karez | ★⋆⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Famous artist Gustav Klimt life told in a novel form.
What I thought: What a waste of time. And yet I didn’t stop reading and did learn a few things. Unfortunately this book as not shed a very good light on one of my favorite artists and I am a bit mad about it. However there is a lot of info about the time area and the pieces of art in here. I just wished the attempted of wrapping it in a novel would have been dropped. A terrible writing style (most likely the worst I ever encountered), uncountable repetitions, I often thought endless synonyms of words were added one after another to make it an especially long novel. All the info could have easily be told half (or less) pages. I ended up skimming through half of the book. And the story of Klimt in todays New York was the biggest piece of crap. Sorry.
Original Language: German
Published Languages: Hopefully none other…
Recommend to: I can’t really… I believe there are better books about Klimt out there…

Now I need to have a look into my shelf and figure out what I’ll be reading in September. I usually decide based on my current mood but I do have a few books I had on my reading goal list for this year. Now that I have accomplished the number of book I might want to read the ones that I haven’t crossed off yet. How is your reading going? Are you happy with the amount and the stories so far?

Happy book browsing

Tobia

2 thoughts on “BOOKS I READ IN AUGUST

  1. I read Dominicana a few months back, and while I usually tend to love these kind of books, somehow I couldn’t freely love this one. It’s a nice enough story – richly detailed about the immigrant experience, but it failed to warm me up.

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