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Can you believe we have already crossed 31 days off in our calendars of 2021? It was a better reading month than I have expected and so I flew through my stacks of books rather quickly. Over all six books have been read and two more one my nightstand which I will finish soon enough. Here are the January books.
House of Tales by Jostein Gaarder | ★★★★☆
What it is about: Receiving a message from his doctor and being thrown off Albert is seeking refuge in is lake house. In one night he wants to decide how to proceed. While being at the house he tells his story, his thoughts and all life has given him.
What I thought: I love Jostein Gaarder and he is easily within the top 3 of my favorite authors. It is not his strongest book but it is still a good one. I even had some tears towards the end. He has a way with words that give wisdom without being educational.
Original Language and Title: Norwegian (Akkurat passe)
Publications: German title “Genau Richtig” Hardcover, eBook, English title The House of Tales
Recommend to: Everyone loving a slow paced story with food for thought.
A darker shade of magic by V.E. Schwab | ★★★★☆
What it is about: Kell from Red London is one of a kind – an Antari, the only magician being able to travel to the parallel Londons. In Grey London he meets Lila Bard, thief and trickster. Fate puts them on a journey togethers through all the worlds.
What I thought: I enjoyed reading this book after hearing about it so much. I like the setting of parallel worlds that have one city (London) in common. I enjoyed the two characters and found them very likable with all their flaws. I look forward continuing the series.
Original Language and Title: English hardcover, paperback, eBook
Publications: German paperback, eBook
Recommend to: Loving fantasy, parallel worlds, female heroin, mysterious things
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett | ★★★☆☆
What it is about: Two twin sister growing up in a small black community. However they are so light that they could pass as white. After running away at age 16 their lives take separate routes – one white one black. This is their and their daughters story.
What I thought: The story didn’t quite catch me. It took me almost 2 months to get through. It was written well but I had no connection to the characters and I found them not very likable. Also I am not sure if it is entirely fictions or if something like that is possible and happening. I could do research but it didn’t catch my interest enough. Another book I can’t get quiet behind the hype.
Original Language: English (hardcover, paperback, ebook)
Publications: German (Hardcover, eBook)
I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai | ★★★☆☆
What it is about: Youngest nobel prize winner Malala Yousafizai remembers her time back in Pakistan, the early days of her fight for woman’s and girls education under the Taliban.
What I thought: It was a very quick read as the book is much smaller than anticipated. It is very easy English and a quick read. I found it at times too superficial as it was basically just a retelling of events with no reflections on thoughts and motivation. At times it was very detailed on all the names and positions certain people hold.
Original Language: English Paperback, eBook
Published Languages: German paperback, Hardcover, eBook
Recommend to: Everyone wanting to know the story behind the girl, looking to educate on life in Pakistan
Read around the world: Pakistan
Red White Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston | ★★★☆☆
What it is about: A modern Romeo and Julia version with Alex and Henry. Alex the First son and Henry the prince of England. Things will get complicated.
What I thought: Why is this so hyped? It was an easy enough and at times cute story but I am far from rating it 4 or 5 stars. I personally am not a fan of the elite/billionaire/princes romance stories as I find it very un-relatable. Maybe that was my main issue here. Also I find it a bit “strange” how much the 19/20 year olds are wrapped into political issues and maybe even manipulated into. It didn’t portrait healthy family dynamics. However it was a good enough book.
Original Language: English Paperback, eBook
Published Languages: German Paperback, eBook
Recommend to: Loving a love story, likes to read LGBTQ litrature
The Unwinding of the Miracle by Julie Yip-Williams | ★★⋆☆☆
What it is about: We follow along Julie in her five year journey and struggle in fighting cancer, handling life as a mom of two very young girls and accepting that at a certain time you make your peace.
What I thought: Ahhh this is difficult. I once said I won’t really rate a memoir because how could I as I wasn’t it the authors shoes. However this one I was glad when I turned the last page. Julie is – in my opinion – not a very likable person. She came across demanding and manipulative in my eyes. Writing lists and instructions on how everything needs to operate once she is gone. Telling her sister to be the mom to their kids. To not really trusting her husband in handling everything after her death. I am sure all her intentions were to make it easier on her loved ones but it was patronizing. Also I didn’t care too much about the detailed descriptions on how and when and what medication was going on. And I think I expected a more upbeat tone and not so many bitter words.
Original Language: English Hardcover, eBook
Published Languages: German Hardcover, eBook
Recommend to: If you like memoirs, can stomach reading about cancer and don’t need to like the character.
Read around the world: Vietnam
This book was sent to me by the publisher. The review and my opinion remain my own.
Those were my January books. I also started a new project. I want to read around the world. Meaning I will read a book from every country. Two of those books here go to achieving that goal. If you want to read more check out the project page for “Read Around the World“.
How was your January reading wise? Did you start out strong or did you take some time to settle into the new year? Looking forward to hearing about your favorite January book.