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...

Girl, Woman, Other, by Bernardine Evaristo
Book Review / March 11, 2021

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo My rating: 5 of 5 stars It must have been around 2014 when I was at Mannheim’s (south-western Germany) Paradeplatz (the former parade grounds near Mannheim Palace). I was smoking and watching people when a young woman approached another nearby male smoker – only to be shouted at aggressively. I, in turn, shouted at the guy, went there and he left whereas I proceeded to offer the woman a ...

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, by Kristin Newman
Book Review / March 1, 2021

What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding by Kristin Newman My rating: 2 of 5 stars This review is going to be quite a bit different from what I expected after eleven of the thirteen chapters this book comprises… Let’s start at another angle, though: I like to read what one of the greatest of the genre, Tony James Slater, likes to call “travel memoirs”. If written by the right person, they’re often funny, interesting and, at ti...

Der Massai, der in Schweden noch eine Rechnung offen hatte, von Jonas Jonasson
Book Review / February 24, 2021

My rating: 0 von 5 Sternen Ich fühle mich angewidert und beschmutzt von diesem Buch. Der Autor, der offenbar das letzte Quäntchen Geld aus seinem Namen machen möchte, ist sich für kein rassistisches Klischee zu schade. Gleich zu Beginn lesen wir über Hitler, den der Autor verharmlosend-kumpelhaft als “Adolf” tituliert: »Was zum bis dato größten Krieg der Menschheitsgeschichte führte. Adolf verlor ihn und starb.« Eine der k...

Troubled Blood (Cormoran Strike #5), by Robert Galbraith
Book Review / February 24, 2021

Troubled Blood by Robert Galbraith My rating: 5 of 5 stars To get one thing out of the way right at the beginning: It’s just a disguise. Creed himself says so. Nevertheless, I’ve been informed by my daughter – who tends to be right (woe be me!) – the author proudly presents views the Dark Ages are rightly about to reclaim. Those views of the author are deeply offensive to many – me as well. And, yet, they do not di...

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor, by Adam Kay
Book Review / February 13, 2021

This is Going to Hurt: Secret Diaries of a Junior Doctor by Adam Kay My rating: 5 of 5 stars »This morning I delivered little baby Sayton – pronounced Satan, as in King of the Underworld.« Wow, what a ride! Adam Kay, doctor gone writer, describes what he experienced in six years of medical practice in the United Kingdom. In about 10 chapters, Adam first introduces us to the new position or posting he’s in now. He then proceeds to ...

A Dead Djinn in Cairo (Fatma el-Sha’arawi #1), by P. Djèlí Clark
Book Review / February 9, 2021

A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark My rating: 1 of 5 stars An investigator in an alternative Egypt with ghuls, djinn, angels, other-worldly foes, a plethora of faiths and all set in a steampunk world. The writing is nothing special, the plot still mostly to-be-found at the end of this mercyfully very short novella – this is pretty much the most boring novella I’ve read in years. The most redeeming feature of the simplisti...

It Only Happens in the Movies, by Holly Bourne
Book Review / February 4, 2021

My rating: 2 of 5 stars This was very different from what I expected. I expected a regular trashy romance but what I actually got was some kind of teeny romance… I wrote quite a bit more, originally, but decided not to elaborate because I’d very likely do this book an injustice. 14-year-old me probably would have liked this. Thirty-one years later, I simply found a book I’m too old for. View all my reviews...

The Egg (ebook), by Andy Weir
Book Review / January 30, 2021

The Egg by Andy Weir My rating: 1 of 5 stars I’m not exactly into faith and even less into “intelligent design” which is pretty much the premise of this short story. Moreover, the idea of humanity (and the universe) being “created” to mature a new “god” is, in fact, abhorrent to me: The protagonist is supposed to be both Hitler and the millions he murdered? Maybe I’m overly critical but using ...

The Guest List, by Lucy Foley
Book Review / January 29, 2021

The Guest List by Lucy Foley My rating: 4 of 5 stars »The lights go out. In an instant, everything is in darkness. The band stop their playing. Inside the marquee the wedding guests squeal and clutch at one another.« These are the strong, foreshadowing first words of this guilty pleasure of a book… There’s a wedding on a deserted island, several dark (slightly convoluted) mysteries from the past and on this brightest of days, a se...

The Vanishing Half, by Brit Bennett
Book Review / January 23, 2021

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett My rating: 5 of 5 stars I didn’t have the slightest idea about how to write this review. The story still resonates within me; simple, and yet hauntingly beautiful. Soul-devouring and yet hopeful. I still have no idea how to write this review so I’ll start with the characters since those will be who make or break this book for you. Desiree and Stella Vignes, twins, grow up in Mallard; a small town n...