Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid My rating: 3 of 5 stars Well, this was a light read, indeed. The pages flew by and I felt entertained but, sadly, on a very, very shallow level despite the topics of racism, privilege and “class” differences. After a rushed ending, it feels like the author simply bit off too much for her debut novel. Emira, our black protagonist, came across as devoid of any ambition, drifting mostly with the flow. She works for w...

Oystercatcher by Martin Walker My rating: 1 of 5 stars This completely forgettable shortstory has Bruno in it but he’s not even near his beloved Perigord. He’s out to catch oyster thieves and for some bizarre reason Isabelle actively engages in this tiniest possible case as well. Just skip this. I only read it for completeness’ sake. One star because there are words in this. View all my reviews...

The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah My rating: 5 of 5 stars I had finished a nice-enough book and was looking for the next good read. My wife chose from my list for me and picked this one. She chose well. »Books had always been her solace; novels gave her the space to be bold, brave, beautiful, if only in her own imagination.« This book drew me in, chewed me up and spit me out. If a book really “speaks” to me, I step into it. I stop being a re...

The Coldest Case by Martin Walker My rating: 4 of 5 stars It was with great hesitation that I started reading this fourteenth Bruno novel. Instalments twelve and thirteen weren’t very interesting to read – both books felt like Walker was trying to press the most absurd political issues into a nice mystery series. Bruno also acted often pretty much out of character, making severe mistakes, mistreating people – it read like Bruno wasn...

The Atlas of Middle-Earth by Karen Wynn Fonstad My rating: 5 of 5 stars During my recent re-read of “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again” I remembered that years ago I had bought this “atlas” in order to immerse myself even more fully into Tolkien’s world and to provide my children with maps to the adventures I was reading to them at the time. In this atlas, you’ll find brilliant maps in two colours that are in all aspects very fittin...

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien My rating: 5 of 5 stars What’s left to be written about “The Hobbit, or There and Back Again”, one of the great masterpieces of classic fantasy, written by the “founding father” of high fantasy, J.R.R. Tolkien? “The Hobbit” was lauded by Tolkien’s friend and fellow author C. S. Lewis, by poet W. H. Auden, celebrated for its influence on the entire fantasy genre. To me, it was the metaphorical door to n...

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry My rating: 5 of 5 stars »“Um.” I try to think of how to explain it. Years of undying love, occasional jealousy, missed opportunities, bad timing, other relationships, building sexual tension, a fight and the silence afterward, and the pain of living life without him. “Our Airbnb’s air-conditioning broke.”« Now, this was interesting. I had deliberately aimed low – I’m on holidays; in, a...

Piranesi by Susanna Clarke My rating: 1 of 5 stars Reading “Piranesi”, I mostly felt unbelievably bored: Piranesi lives in a house with infinite halls; some of them submerged, in some there is an ocean and all feature statues depicting people of all kinds. Piranesi has developed a kind of faith based upon the house and how he feels it cares for him; even going as far as considering himself the child of the house. We witness Piranesi as he wan...

by Daniel Jones Modern Love, Revised and Updated: True Stories of Love, Loss, and Redemption by Daniel Jones My rating: 5 of 5 stars »Because real love, once blossomed, never disappears. It may get lost with a piece of paper, or transform into art, books, or children, or trigger another couple’s union while failing to cement your own.But it’s always there, lying in wait for a ray of sun, pushing through thawing soil, insisting upon its ...

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is a tricky one… I loved the premise: Nora Seed is seriously depressed – at the age of 15 she quit professional swimming, severely disappointing her father. Her mother died. Her brother, she feels, is in a rough spot because she quit his band.Even her elderly neighbour doesn’t need her anymore and now her cat has died. She just doesn’t want to go on. »She imagined being a...

Romancing Mister Bridgerton (Bridgertons #4), by Julia Quinn
Book Review / July 29, 2021

Romancing Mister Bridgerton by Julia Quinn My rating: 2 of 5 stars So far, this was definitely the weakest instalment in the otherwise amusing Bridgertons series. The story isn’t really that interesting and the narrative dragged on rather uninspired so that I was actually bored at times which isn’t exactly my intention when reading a fluffy easy-to-read romance. What annoyed me the most, though, and made me almost quit this book was...

The Witness for the Dead (The Goblin Emperor #2), by Katherine Addison
Book Review / July 26, 2021

The Witness for the Dead by Katherine Addison My rating: 3 of 5 stars I very much liked “The Goblin Emperor”, the first book in this unusual series. Unfortunately, this successor fell clearly short of greatness. The book’s eponymous “Witness for the dead”, Thara Celehar, is a humble, demure and thoroughly traumatized prelate who has – more or less – been exiled because he had an affair with a married man who pr...

An Offer From a Gentleman (Bridgertons #3), by Julia Quinn
Book Review / July 23, 2021

An Offer From a Gentleman by Julia Quinn My rating: 4 of 5 stars It’s summer, the weather is fine, the water in my pool has 34°C (roughly 93F) and I’m exhausted from work. Nevertheless, my holidays are nearing (two weeks from now!) and I’m slowly getting into “Summer Reading Mode”. That means that I prefer easy, quick-to-read novels that simply amuse me and, thus, I was only too happy to take up on “An Offer From a Gentlema...

Bretonische Idylle (Kommissar Dupin #10), von Jean-Luc Bannalec
Book Review / July 13, 2021

Bretonische Idylle: Kommissar Dupins zehnter Fall by Jean-Luc Bannalec My rating: 3 of 5 stars »Himmlische Dämpfe erfüllten den Raum. »Wussten Sie, dass sich das Kaffeearoma aus rund tausend verschiedenen Einzelaromen zusammensetzt? Wein bringt es gerade einmal auf vierhundert.« Dupin hatte es nicht gewusst oder, genauer: Er hatte es immer schon gewusst. Schließlich war er aus gutem Grund süchtig.« Selten ist mir eine Rezension ...

Survive the Night, by Riley Sager
Book Review / July 7, 2021

Survive the Night by Riley Sager My rating: 1 of 5 stars Well, I’m flabbergasted – and not in a good way. “Survive the Night” was supposed to be a quick mystery/thriller diversion which quickly turned out to be a roll-your-eyes and hit your head against some hard surface to distract yourself from the intellectual pain this book evokes. In Sager’s newest work – and I mostly enjoyed his earlier ones – we meet Cha...

Eine drollige Gesellschaft (Mumintrollen #3), von Tove Jansson
Book Review / July 3, 2021

Eine drollige Gesellschaft by Tove Jansson My rating: 5 of 5 stars Die Mumins kennen wohl die meisten von uns – eine Familie von Mumintrollen, die in einem kleinen Tal leben und diverse Abenteuer erleben. Geradezu ständig wächst die erweiterte Familie – da kommt mal ein Hemul dazu oder die kleine Mü – und die Reaktion der Mumineltern ist schlicht und liebenswert: »Der Muminvater und die Muminmutter hießen alle Neu...

House of Earth and Blood (Crescent City #1), by Sarah J. Maas
Book Review / June 29, 2021

House of Earth and Blood by Sarah J. Maas My rating: 1 of 5 stars Phew… 816 pages, 10 days and I feel like I aged 10 years because this was such a tiresome read. We find ourselves in the most fanciful and easiest fantasy world to write: A (probably) dystopian future on planet Midgard (yes… the subtlety is killing me…) in which humans are in a constant state of rebellion against their angel/fae/werewolf/ overlords who enslaved and/...

Bonjour tristesse, von Françoise Sagan
Book Review / June 19, 2021

Bonjour tristesse: Roman by Françoise Sagan My rating: 2 of 5 stars Wir befinden uns im Jahr 1954 und treffen auf Cécile, ihren Playboy-Vater Raymond, seine junge Geliebte Elsa sowie Anne, die Raymond heiraten möchte. Last and least, gibt es noch Cyril, einen jungen naiven Mann, der zu Céciles Geliebtem wird. Klar, angesichts der relativen Freizügigkeit dieser Novelle kann ich mir einerseits den moralischen Aufschrei der ehrenwerte...

Beneath Devil’s Bridge, by Loreth Anne White
Book Review / June 17, 2021

Beneath Devil’s Bridge by Loreth Anne White My rating: 4 of 5 stars I haven’t read much by Loreth Anne White yet: I have read two books of her “A Dark Lure” series and liked those well enough to keep an eye on White.Consequently, this book came as a bit of a “shock” because it’s a complete departure from the narational lines established by those previous books. In “Beneath Devil’s Bridge” we read about an old...

The Viscount Who Loved Me (Bridgertons #2), by Julia Quinn
Book Review / June 8, 2021

The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is the kind of book most of my fellow males will avoid like the plague. All the more so if they ever – by accident, of course! – happen to come across the “Author’s Note” in this book which explicitly states “Since my readers are almost exclusively women”… Well, here I am, and I profess: I greatly enjoyed this book despite knowing that it most ...