BOOKS I READ IN MAY

Books I read in May craftaliciousme seeking creatinve life

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.
Language: English
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.
Language: German
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.
Language: English
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.
Language: German
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.
Language: German
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.
Language: German
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.

Happy reading

Tobia

BOOKS I READ IN APRIL

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.

craftaliciousme seeking creative life book review April spirit of the dragon Andrew Williams

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*.
Language: German
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.
Language: German
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

Happy reading

Tobia

BOOKS I READ IN MARCH

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.

kindle book with cherry blossom books I read in march craftaliciousme seeking creative life abalone und das tiegergesicht

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.
Language: English
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.

Happy reading

Tobia

Becoming a better listener and how I am working towards this goal

Advertising | The copy of this book was provided by the publisher – my thoughts and opinions you read here remain my own.

I’m struggling with not being patient enough to listening closely what people have to tell me for a long time. And it’s been on my resolution lists not once but a few times to become a better listener. I know it’s important to hear other peoples voices, don’t interrupt them and hear what is said. So it’s no wonder it made it on my 101 goals list as well. I was more than happy when I saw this book “Die Macht des Zuhörens” by Dr. Michael P. Nichols hoping to give more insights on how to actually achieve it. Even more happy when I received it as a copy by the publisher for review.

The Lost Art of Listening – What this book is about

Goodreads summery: Why do we often feel cut off when speaking to the people closest to us family members, friends, or colleagues? What is it that keeps so many of us from really listening? Michael P. Nichols answers these questions and more in this thoughtful, witty, and helpful look at the reasons people don’t hear one another. His book, a guide to the secrets of listening and being listened to, is filled with vivid examples that clearly demonstrate easy-to-learn techniques for becoming a better listener. He also illustrates how empathic listening enables us to break through misunderstandings and conflict and to transform our personal and professional relationships. 

The book is structured in four main parts:

  1. Yearning to be Understood → Der Wunsch, verstanden zu werden
  2. The Real Reason People Don’t Listen → Die wahren Gründe für das Nicht-Zuhören
  3. Getting Through To Each Other → Zueinander Durchdringen
  4. Listening in Context → Zuhören im Kontext

Dr. Michael P. Nichols includes a lot of examples from is work as a therapist in this book. This often helps making a point or illustrating a situation. Every once in a while he plays out the same situation from both perspectives giving the reader an example of what it means to “put yourself in the other person s shoes”. I found this concept very helpful. Throughout the whole book it is never to promote his own (perfect) handling of certain situations. (And I have come across other books where the same concept had exactly that feel.) Instead he induces here and there some charm and wit to his writing maybe even some sarcasm when he writes “of course I never fell into that trap, I am a therapist after all”.

A beautiful inside helps on the way to becoming a better listener

Even though this book is a scientific textbook it reads easy enough but not superficial. I read comparable books and they seemed to not getting it right in explaining complex ideas or situations without loosing some of the authority. They somehow tried too much to be easy to read and hence seemed to me superficial. Does that make sense? Not this one fortunately.

Each chapter was about 20-30 pages long. I read approximately one in a sitting and I recommend that. At the end of every chapter there were really approachable and doable exercises. I have only read through them as I didn’t have the patience to wait until I finished them (sometimes it says within the next week…, over the course of the next interaction with family members, etc.). However I think now that I have read the book cover to cover I will take another approach and look at it more as a work-book and do those exercises.

A thing I really enjoyed is the layout of the book. I recently read that the old style of textbooks where you only have chapters divided by paragraphs do not work in our low-attention-spanned society anymore. Books need to read more like social media snippets. And this book really gives you all this. It has a ton of really cool (tweetable) quotes and short summaries braking up the texts. Best about it: the author didn’t just pick a sentences from the previous text and have it set in a different type and font. No it is actually a condensed sentence of the idea or thought previously discussed. Additionally there are text passage with grey background for in depths info making the book even less monotonous.

Becoming a better listener is hard work

Now you might wonder if it is worth reading 300+ pages in a textbook to work on yourself. I’d say yes. This book has given me a better understanding and guideline as “Nonviolent Communications” even though a lot of principals are similar. Michael P Nichols never says it is an easy task to become a good listener though. It is hard work that in the end pays off – in all of life relationships. To convince you to have a look at this book I share some of the underlined text snippets in my copy with you:

  • Most problems of understanding don’t correlate with egoism or bad intentions but the need to say something. We concentrate on what we will reply instead of listening what is said.
  • It needs two people to share a feeling– one who is speaking, one who is listening.
  • When we detect sadness or depression in a person we often assume that something is wrong, something has happened. Maybe the “something” is that no-one is listening to that person.
  • When people don’t listen to us we we automatically look to blame them: They are egoistic and disrespectful. (When we are not listening it is because we are tired or bored or the other person was disrespectful with us.)
  • To show real interest in other people we need to set aside our interest.
  • Real listening is a strenuous and silent process.
  • Our own prejudices are functioning as a filter of what we are hearing and how we react to it.
  • People who have learnt in their childhood to show themself dignity are better listeners.

This is just a few snippets of wisdom. I am sure onces I read through the book again I will mark different passages.

The book in German translation “Die Macht des Zuhörens – Wie man richtiges Zuhören lernt und Beziehungen stärkt” has been published through Narayana Verlag. The original titel is “The Lost Art of Listening – How Learning to Listen Can Improve Relationships” written by Michael P. Nichols.

Books I read in January

One of my most favorite way to spent time is reading. Lucky me has quite a lot of time pockets to fit in a good book too. And as mentioned many times before the ebook reader is my best friend because I always have a library available at my finger tip. While one day I spent fighting of shadows, dragons and dance with magic the next I learn about goal setting or such. But honestly it all keeps blending together and I think that is sad. Often people ask me about the best recent book or what happened where and I have a hard time recollecting. So I will introduce a new monthly topic here and let you in on my monthly book reads. Hope you find some interesting ones to reach for next time you look for a good read. For more book talk you may also come and join me on goodreads.

January started off as a pretty good reading months for me. Honestly the best I ever had as I finished up 11 books in total.

Smoke & Bone Trilogy by Laini Taylor | ★★★★★

What’s it about: An art student being raised by monsters living in Prague and getting a glimpse of the world beyond. Later on the adventure takes of and takes her places she could have never imagined but always had an inkling.
What I thought: This is a wonderful world you will dive in. It’s not black and white and monsters might not be the evil nemesis while angels are not so innocent. Love that crosses lifetimes, friendship that spans universes and humor crossing races. Its a wild ride and oh so fun. It’s a modern story with fresh aspects and peppered with wit and strong characters.
Language: English (also available in German)
Recommend to: Everyone loving a good fantasy epos.

Big Dreams, Daily Joys by Elise Blaha Cripe | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: A lot of compact information on goal setting, prioritizing and list making. It’s structured in five chapters with different focus on the project and goal setting stages. It contains quick exercises and hands-on approaches to get started right away for people with to many ideas or people who need to find the one idea first.
What I thought: It’s a handy guide if you need a kick in the butt, if you never tackled a big project or if you just need to fresh up on a few skills. I loved every advice, it was well written, fun to read and very authentic when you follow Elise online. I was waiting for the big epiphany to hit me. I consider myself pretty good in project management so it wasn’t all new to me however there is a ton of value here. And sometimes you just gotta hear things you already know.
Language: English (also available in Russian soon)
Recommend to: Everyone needing to pick up on some goal setting skills.

Die schönsten Wintermärchen by Gesine Damell | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: A beautiful collection of known and less known fairy tales and short stories. All center around winter, snow, ice and darker season. Feelings and traditions that occur this time of year.
What I thought: When I bought this book I thought it was a bit more christmassy but it was actually not at all. In hindsight I like it this way. I am especially in love with the cover.
Language: German
Recommend to: everyone loving the winter season, liking to sit by the fire reading a nice story maybe reading it to loved ones

Nonviolent Communication by Marshall B Rosenberg | ★★★★⭐︎

What’s it about: It’s THE book about how to communicate in a peaceful and respective way. Rosenberg developed a concept to engage conflicted parties and tested it in diplomatic crises, in gang related fights, in prison, schools and personal relationships. It contains a lot of helpful insight in his yearlong studies and expertise. The chapters are easy enough to read even though scientific based and are lined with examples from his practice. At the end of a chapter you will find a summery and exercises to review the learnings.
What I thought: I see the value of the theory and can see why it had a ripple effect in the academia. However there were a few times where I was left with an uneasy feeling when reading. If I would follow my conversations exactly as described it would leave me rather frustrated and too questioned. It sometimes had a bit of an esoteric feel to it. I am not sure if it was the way it was written, the way and state I read it in or just the way it was supposed to be. Would be curious how you see that. Nevertheless I took a lot of thought and value from it hence my 4 stars.
Language: English (also available in German)
Recommend to: Everyone interested in learning more about communication, interacting with one another, living in a peaceful and more harmonic world.

Die ferne Hoffnung by Ellin Carsta | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Historic fiction about a family in Hamburg trading with coffee. After bad investment of the father and his sudden death the three sons have to take over and struggle to bring it back out of bankruptcy. The new colonies in Africa bring hope by branding out and so part of the family is embracing an adventure.
What I thought: It was a quick and joyful read with a few interesting details about German colonialism and Africa around the 19th century. At times I thought it was a bit predictable where the particular storylines were heading but it was still enjoyable. I will probably read the following books.
Language: German (also available in English)
Recommend to: Everyone loving some historic fiction, a good family drama and doesn’t mind reading lots about coffee, cocoa, trade and Vienna coffee culture.

Lucia im Netz der Lügen by Carola Schierz | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Fairy tale about a father and daughter who struggle to do the right thing in a time when all around them people choose the easy and financial lucrative way.
What I thought: Compared to other tales written by this author I thought it fell a bit flat. However it might have been because I am not so fond of this whole upper class and downtown abbey kinda setting. And I didn’t feel much connection and fondness towards the main character. Other than that it was well written and easy read.
Language: German
Recommend to: Everyone liking a fairy tale set in a noble household and people who fight for righteousness.

Zitronenhimmel by Monika Detering | ★★★⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: A 67 year old widow that decided to move to the Baltic Sea in her camper and start over in life. Her family is not too happy about it. She starts a penpal-ship with her grandchild having deep conversations about death and afterlife while she experiences freedom and new adventures in her new place.
What I thought: I have a tendency to pick up books that don’t shy away from talking about death and sickness and this was a very interesting pick. It was interestingly written and opened my mind to the view of the older generations it was from the point of view of a retired person and the worries and hopes this generation has for their life. It made me think twice about interacting and maybe not dismissing certain things as fast.
Language: German
Recommend to: Everyone wanting to hear another point of view, loving to read about books in books and not afraid to approach the topic of death.

Parrotfish by Ellen Wittlinger | ★★⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: Angela is born in a girls body but it never felt quite right. Inside she always knew she was a boy and was more interested in boys things too. Gradually she changes her looks in a more masculine way until she declares she will go by the name “Grady” now. That is were we start the story approximately and we will follow along how family, friends, society and system is reacting to that.
What I thought: I was looking forward reading something I have no points of contact with and learn more about thoughts and struggles about life as a transgender person. Unfortunately I think this is the wrong book for that. While the book it self was written well and easy enough to read I thought the whole story fell rather flat. The emotions certain reactions provoked could have been more explored. I hated that it was rather stereotypical most times. I am sorry to say but it felt like the author picked a trend topic to sell books but had no genuine interest in it and did just enough research to get by.
Language: English
Recommend to: I am not sure I would. There are probably better out there to get acquainted with this topic.

Tangled in Blue by Marion Castella | ★★⭐︎⭐︎⭐︎

What’s it about: A teenage boy and his first love. Discovering how it feels to fall in love, be disappointed and hurt. And coming out as a gay.
What I thought: It could have been a really sweet story about falling in love and meeting your first love. Unfortunately the author ruined it by adding a crime story, a celebrity story, Atome addiction and divorce issue. It was all over the place and hence terrible. The positive thing (for me) is that I never really realized it’s a story about a gay couple. Either the author perfectly described that without any weirdness or I just don’t have an issue with it.
Language: English
Recommend to: If you need a quick mindless beach read and there is nothing else it might do.

Now that the year started of this great and I was able to check of a few of books of my reading goals this year already I might up my total a little bit. What books should I add to my list? Let me know in the comments what you favorite read was.

Happy reading

Tobia