This month has all been about reading books with more than 500+ pages as I was participating in the #dickebüchercamp by Nordbreze. Do you like to read longer books or do you tend to pick up the smaller ones with 250+ pages? Of course the actually book count this month is not that high but I have read over 3000 pages. Here are my picks and the books I read in July:
Summer has started and so the reading begins. Or something like that. There were ten books I read in June and most of them have been fun entertainment or something educational I enjoyed learning about. As every month I share with you my thoughts:➢ Keep on Reading
Another months staying home – another month reading lots. Or did you spent lots of time walking outside? Have you been too unfocused to read and dive into other worlds and listen to new stories? I had some days where I really couldn’t focus and reading was a chore. But In the end it was another very successful month and I want to share my finds and the books I read in May. Let’s go:
Eisiger Kerker by Bernadette Calonego | ★★★★⭐︎
What’s it about: Calista Gates, Detective from Vancouver is transferred to the deepest end of Labrador after an assault to her life and to give her a chance to fight her way back to the force. For er it feels a bit like being shipped to the end of the world. But an old case is re-opend when body shows up. Another one soon follows and investigation starts.
What I thought: I am not usually drawn to crime books but this is the third one by this author and all of them had me hooked from the beginning. I could not tell who the murder was until the last few pages and not a real suspicion could be formed as more and more was revealed. Still it was not too farfetched and believable while shedding a light on the live in the outback of Labrador.
Language: German also available in English
Recommend to: Everyone liking a good crime book, loving the Canadian outback and isn’t afraid of snow and tough people.
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich | ★★★★⭐︎
What’s it about: A family in rural Idaho. Or rather the rest of a family that was ripped apart by a tragic event. The struggle to keep on living and trying to fit in. To live with the shadow and find some humanity in all of it.
What I thought: All the thoughts and then none… this book left me speechless… no wordless. It is beautifully written and has an own flow almost like a song. And it is a book your really can’t read fast. Not sure why that is but it simply doesn’t work. I caught myself multiple times forming the words completely while reading. The story itself is interesting and kept me reading trying to understand the family. I struggled a bit with the immense number of POVs and the many time jumps. Despite many other reviews I believe the end is fitting this book perfectly. It underlines what this book tried to do.
Recommend to: Everyone loving poetic literature, likes reading family portraits and lifes that are intertwined and has a love for the Idahoan landscape.
Resilienz: Seelische Widerstandskräfte stärken by Brigitte Dorst | ★★★★⭐︎
What’s it about: Stress, anxiety, quarrels – some burdens throw you off course entirly. But others handle it surprisingly well. Is there a secret to it? In psychology there is the term resilience meaning mental resistance. A strength to balancing tough life situations. This book explores it’s scientific meaning and offers some hands on exercises to find inner balance and strengthening your resilience.
What I thought: The first half of the book gives an overview of what resilience is from a scientific point of view. Also some historic aspects and different point of views. It then explores the possible life situations where people might reach the end of their mental strengths aka resilience. The second half of the book is focused on how images and symbols can help overcome a tough situation. This part has a lot of different exercises to work through. The varariety caters to all kinds of perosnalties – from meditation to a more hands on approach with list making. Throughout the book you find references, quotes and poems.
Recommend to: Wanting to learn about the human mind, who is into personal development and who is struggling with heartaches in life.
This book was sent to me by the publisher. The review and my opinion remains my own.
Sterne sieht man nur im Dunkeln by Maike Werkmeister | ★★★★⭐︎
What’s it about: A grieving husband is handed a box of tapes from his late wife which he listens to every Sunday night for 29 weeks.
What I thought: while the concept itself is nothing new it was a story I didn’t quiet except to develop like it. It was not the fast paced telling. It was not overly melancholy and sad. It just peeled back layer upon layer of a 30+ marriage with ups and downs. There were moments where I wondered if I was a bit too young for this kind of book but I still enjoyed it.
Language: English – also translated to German
Recommend to: everyone you likes to read a solid novel without teenage drama and realistic takes on life.
Spirit Woman & Fire Woman by Zara Quentin | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎ & ★★★★⭐︎
What’s it about: Family feuds, epic quests and the search for the stolen Dragon God to save the hurting people on planet Prymeth. In Fire Women and the final part of the trilogy we take the fight back to Taraq and Uncle Z.
What I thought: It was a lovely adventure to dive into and kept me well entertained. I was looking forward to seeing more of the planets and meeting more creatures. However it did not engage me as much as the first book. The third one was a bit stronger again, introduced yet another new world and shed some light on old characters. Overall a good series and fun to read.
Recommend to: Fantasy lovers looking for a new universe of worlds to dive in inhibited by creatures between fairies and dragons.
Die Stille meiner Worte by Ava Reed | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: Hannah lost her words after her twin sister lost her life. But she still has many thoughts. She is writing them down and sends them to her sister. But silence is still all around her and she can not escape. Or can she?
What I thought: I was hooked by the topic of a non-speaking girl because of a trauma she experienced. The overall story was easy to read and entertaining. The beginning didnt really flow for me and I had the feeling certain thoughts were overly repeated which was almost annoying me. The final threads of the story felt rushed to me and a bit unrealistic. I think the whole idea could have been better executed. However I enjoyed it.
Recommend to: Everyone wanting a quick YA novel that goes beyond the classic girl meets boy story and has some depth to it.
Things we never said by Nick Alexander| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: When suddenly a lot of new opportunities present itself to Anni she feels overwhelmed. And trapped in her life. She needs a break from her everyday time routine. The postcard from an old friend running a café on a island is the perfect opportunity to spend a few weeks on the coast and clear her head. But past is catching up, old wounds are re-opened and life put into perspective.
What I thought: Now when you read the synopsis you might think “read it a few times before, nothing new”. I tint expect much when picking up this novel but was pleasantly surprised. It is not the standard romance – it is more grown up. More real. More true-to-life. It was a quick and enjoyable read with an ending you might not expect.
Recommend to: Everyone loving a good beach read, some romance and friendship without being cheesy.
Boarderline by Andreas Brendt | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: Young student Andi needs a break and decides to spent all his savings to a trip to Bali. Here he is introduced to surfing. A passion he can not leave behind. Life goals are shifting and the next surfing trip becomes the thing to strive for. It takes him all over the world, lets him make friends and meet shady people. Only to realize it can get quiet lonely and there might me more to life than surfing.
What I thought: It took me two tries to read this book. I was definitely not the target group for this book. I found the main character not very likable. It focuses a lot on surfing, drugs and living in the moment. But really more in an egoistic kind of way? It painted a lifestyle I am not very interested in. However I wanted to learn more about surfing and the book delivered that. It is very focused on that. Talks about waves, ocean and the different spots. I also liked that with all the easy peasy surfer lifestyle there were some deeper thoughts peppered in about finding your self and questioning a few things in life.
Recommend to: Everyone loving the surfer lifestyle, trying to break out of “normality” and looking for a fun way to dive into this lifestyle.
This book was sent to me by the author. The review and my opinion remains my own.
Now let me hear about your favorite book of may in the comments. Always looking for stacking more books to my TBR. Also let’s be friends on Goodreads if you like.
April has been a good reading month. And it’s for two reasons: for one I was able to score a free month of kindle unlimited and so I always try to read as many books as possible. And the second reason is I have discovered audio books. Some of the unlimited books came with an audiobook so I was able to switch when from reading and listening. Amazing when you spent hours on the sewing machine with face masks. Ok, I stop my rambling as you probably want to know what I have been reading. Here are the books I read in April:
The Spirit of the Dragon by William Andrews | ★★★★★
What’s it about: A love story that spans decades and wars survives misunderstandings and intrigues and is build on trust. Korean history is again woven into the story and so we fight alongside Kim il Sung and experience the heartaches of time from 1937 to today when we follow the work of a human rights activist.
What I thought: I just love the way William Andrews is weaving his stories. We meet characters we’ve heard about in the two previous books and see their side of the story. But if it is your first you can still easily follow and don’t miss out. The story itself is always interesting, at times heartbreaking and gives a good picture of life in Korea. I found it very entertaining (not sure this is the right word) and could not stop turning the pages.
Language: English – already translated to German
Recommend to: everyone. Seriously I think this is a book or better the last one in the trilogy every one should read.
Der Rabbi by Noah Gordon | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: A rabbi and his life, his struggles in the first half of the 20th century in America. He lives with a wife who is a Catholic convert and the struggles they face when trying to build a community and a synagogue.
What I thought: I was a bit disappointed to be quite honest. I believe I’ve read a book by this author in my youth and found it very exciting. This one not so much. Very slow, not much has happened. It wasn’t that you learnt much about Judaism. Not much about the life of a rabbi and yet at the same time there were words used you could often not understand without knowledge of the specific faith. It was a bit weird.
Language: German originally written in English
Recommend to: not sure you would like it so I’d say everyone if you have time
Valkyria Trilogy by Clannon Miller| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: Lilli and her sisters had to flee their own world (Asgard) and are now hiding on Earth. Until one of them is abducted. When they try to rescue the missing sister they start getting involved in century old wars, involved with gods, elves and demons while finding love and life.
What I thought: I enjoyed the world of Valkyria, the different dimensions we jump in between, the fierceness and power that comes along with the strong female characters. However I could have done without the permanente sexual references that gave me more than one eye roll which reduces this rating by 1,5*.
Recommend to: everyone loving a good urban fantasy and isn’t afraid of explicit scenes
Hansen Saga 2-5 by Ellin Carsta| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: The story of a merchants family in Hamburg being in business for coffee and cocoa in the 19th century. We jump between the family in Hamburg – where the run a trading station, Vienna – were they have an outlet and coffee houses , and Cameron – where they own a plantation. Every family member has their own story and we follow them through their lives.
What I thought: I listened to it while seeing and it was perfect for that. Good entertainment, engaging stories and I had my favorite characters while I disliked others. It is probably not the very best historical fiction I’ve read/listend to but it is a good story.
Language: German but available in English too
Recommend to: everyone loving historic fiction wanting to know about colonial Cameron and Germany’s Hanse trades.
Zum Kaffee mit Mr. Dalton: Vollkommen verhext (Die Aseptischen Magier III) by Lilly Labord| ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: Third book in a series of a secret magician circle that is trying to save the world from the mean council.
What I thought: I was so looking forward to finally continue this series but somehow this book couldn’t deliver. It felt like the first draft. The characters had no development specially the main character seemed to dwindle to shadow. The whole story felt dreaded out – sitting in a coffee house while plotting the next big coup that isn’t coming. Boring. Also I felt like the whole world is really not original.
Recommend to: if you like fantasy and sorcery and enjoyed the first two books give it a try
Overall this was a good reading months with 10 books in total. I abandoned one ( All the birds in the sky). Did you read anything good you want to recommend? Let’s hear it in the comments
The first quarter of this year is over. It feels like we have already lived through a decade again. When looking back at all the goals and plans for 2020 it’s almost comedic. Life can change within a couple of days. Good thing books are a constant. After struggling through a couple tough ones reading picked up again. However I didn’t find any hidden gems lately. I finished 3 books and one I missed telling you about in February.
Abalone und das Tigergesicht by Christine Li | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: A young sorceress is supposed to be married off. She’d rather learn fire magic. Disguised as a tiger she is embarking on an adventure during the night where evil spirits are roaming free. A book about growing up and realizing your parents aren’t quiet what you thought them to be.
What I thought: A book so very different from anything I have read. It is an asian fairy tale with magic and and dragons and mystic tales, hope and shadows and all things in between. It did take me a bit to find my footing in this new adventure. And even though I only gave three stars it is a series I look forward continuing to read. I believe it will become stronger in the following books. This was only ground work.
Language: German, not translated yet
Recommend to: If you like fantasy, fairy tales and strong female characters, other cultures and a different approach.
Uncle Toms Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: The story of Tom a slave in Kentucky who is sold off. Having to leave his family he ends up at a very brutal place. His faiths keeps him going even forgiving his tormentors. A story of slavery and religion. The book that started the Cicil War.
What I thought: This book has been on my reading list for a while. When my mom mentioned it was one of the books that stayed with her it moved up on my list. Oh man did I struggle with this one… I started reading in English. I had to switch to German because I had no f*** clue what was going on. It got mildly better in German. However I didn’t really liked the story. The writing is just horrible to be honest. The story itself is all over the place jumping from one character to the next with no real reason or intention. This way you can hardly like any of the characters. Why did I rate it with three stars you might wonder. Mainly due to the epilogue. This was gold. Placing the story in historic context, giving reason behind by the author herself and seeing the goal she pursued. And this is really something you have to bow to. Considering the time, the place and that the author was female. I am glad I’ve read it. However it was no pleasure.
Language: English and German
Recommend to: Everyone who can manage to get through this writing. It puts things in perspective and I believe knowledge is key to become better humans.
Wir sind Eure Töchter, Nicht eure Ehre by Serap Cilli | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: The autobiography of Turkish suffragette and her long way to happiness. Forced to marry at the age of 15 after avoiding a previous engagement only through a suicid attempt. After seven years of living in rural Turkey she finally had her parents agree to divorce only to have the next husband lined up in Germany. By breaking with her family and fleeing to a women shelter with her kids she finally managed to start her life.
What I thought: It was very interesting for me to read and get a peek into a totally different culture and lifestyle. Some scenes were really horrible and hard to believe. I always feel like it is not fair to judge an autobiography. The writing wasn’t really good and you could tell that it was often tainted by hurt feelings and wrath. Which is understandable. However it left a sour taste in my mouth specially towards the end when complaining was added.
Language: German, currently no translation
Recommend to: Everyone interested in learning about the struggles of Turkish women and the reality of forced marriage.
She belongs to me by Carmen de Sousa | ★★⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎
What’s it about: Charlotte police officer Jordan Monroe is used to being in control. On a business trip, however, he meets the one person who throws his life into a whirlwind–Jaynee. Five years later, Jordan finds Jaynee on their back porch with a gunshot wound to the head. While Jaynee lies in a coma, Jordan has to go back to their beginning and figure out what went wrong. Did he push his wife to the edge, or has her past come back to haunt them?
What I thought: A very cliché and rather mediocre story. A bit of a waste of time as I was hoping it is more of a suspense novel with a pinch of romance (instead the other way around). Fortunately it got me back into a reading routine.
Recommend to: If you like mindless chick-flicks go for it.
It was an ok reading month I guess. Often I was not able to concentrate on the story, my mind wandered and so I had to re-read passages. It’s ok. It will be different.
Now let me know about a good book you can recommend. I have finished up my no-spent-months and I could purchase books again. HA.