Sunday, 29 November 2015

Review: Lauren Graham's Someday, Someday, Maybe

Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham published by Ballantine Books in 2014

Lauren Graham’s debut novel Someday, Someday, Maybe is – unlike most other books – exactly what it promises to be. “A winning, entertaining read”, it says on the cover, and the Washington Post got it right, it is just that: Winning and entertaining. No more, but also no less.

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

10 Books to Read in Autumn

Back in June I wrote a post entitled “10 Books to read in the summer” so it seems fitting to follow up with an entry about 10 books to read in autumn — which is my favourite season.
 I love everything about the autumn months, starting with September (the best month of them all, in my opinion), the month of sunlight and warmth with all the thrill of anticipation for the chillier season to come, golden October, grey November, gleaming December, and the big finale — Christmas! I love the crisp air, the foliage, the sound the leaves make when you walk through them, the foggy days, even the rain. Where I live, autumn is the most colourful season of them all, with the miscellaneous hues of yellow, orange red, brown and green, that makes the lush green, and daisy white of summer pale in comparison. There could not be a better time to sit inside with a book, a hot beverage and a candle, than when it is already getting dark outside in the afternoon, and let’s face it: There is no point in going outside.

Sunday, 25 October 2015

Review: Karl Ove Knausgård's Sterben

Original Norwegian titel: Min kamp. Translated into German by Paul Berf and published by btb (Random House) in 2013 (9th edition).
I first read about Karl Ove Knausgård in „The Paris Review“  about a year ago. Back then I had never heard about the praised Norwegian writer. Now Knausgård is treated like a celebrity in the German literary scene. Hundreds of people went to his book events in September, and his new book “Träumen” was reviewed in about every major newspaper. Zadie Smith and Jeffrey Eugenides are among his admirers; he is being compared to Proust, and cited as one of the most important contemporary writers – so obviously I had to see for myself whether the hype is justified. After reading the 600 page long first installment of his autobiographical project “My Struggle”, I am still unsure.

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Dewey's Readathon October 2015

14:00 Right now I am at the Frankfurt Bookfair counting the hours until I can continue reading my book. I chose "Kafka on the shore". What are you reading?

20:54 I just got home from the Bookfair and am ready to properly begin the readathon...until my alarm clock will ring at 6:30 in the morning and I have to get going again. I am starting off with a picture book by Levi Pinfold and some strong black tea to warm up. How are you doing?

21:29 I finished my first book and my first cup of tea. I will continue with Murakami now until I get tired, which is when I will switch to a graphic novel for a while.

22:24 This will be quite an unsuccessful readathon for me, since I am very tired from my ten-hour work day. If I do not update again in the next couple of hours that means I fell asleep with a book on my  face.

7:48 I am on the go again with a thermos filled with very strong coffee and "Kafka on the shore". What are you doing to keep yourself awake?

Friday, 9 October 2015

My Favourite Author: Astrid Lindgren Blogparade

This year — thirteen years after her death —Astrid Lindgren’s war diaries are being published for the first time. To honour this occasion, Ramona from started a blogparade, asking people to write about their personal connection to the most famous Swedish author of all time.
Astrid Lindgren is both my first, and my favourite author. When I was little I loved her books, and when I grew up, I learned to admire her as a person as well: Astrid Lindgren is, and always has been, my idol.

Thursday, 1 October 2015

Review: Andy Weir's The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir published by Broadway Books in 2014
The Martian is Andy Weir’s first book. This makes it even more astounding, that he allegedly signed a book and a movie deal in the same week, after the book had been available online free of charge for three years. Now, only a year after the book was first released by Crown Publishing, the film adaptation starring Matt Damon is coming to theatres worldwide.

Although I am not a huge science fiction fan, I was intrigued by the interesting publishing history, the premise of a real-sci-fi debut novel about a man on Mars that turned into an instant bestseller and is universally well-received in the online-book community.

 The plot of The Martian is quite simple: NASA astronaut Mark Watney, botanist and mechanical engineer, is stranded on Mars, and is fighting for survival using the limited means at his disposal: the Hab, his sunny outlook on life and a few potatoes, with no way of contacting Earth or his crew — a modern- day Robinson Crusoe.
 It is difficult to describe the plot without giving anything away but suffice it to say, that the story is told from more than one perspective, and that the scenes at NASA make the story especially hilarious. Everybody who saw “The Right Stuff”, “Apollo 13” or a similar movie, knows that all astronauts seem to share a delightful sense of humour (maybe it is in the job description?), and Mark Watney might be the funniest of them all. He does not mince matters and the language is very colloquial, which is probably appropriate for the book, but I could imagine that this could be irksome to some people. 

The Martian is not a literary accomplishment in terms of style, but that is no reason to dismiss it out of hand. What the book lacks in eloquence it makes up for in charm and entertainment value. Andy Weir is obviously a space nerd. The book is peppered with references, and (as I am told) all the technical details described are correct.
 I would recommend the book to anybody looking for light but well-crafted entertainment. I might even re-read it at some point to pay closer attention to the science aspects, which I skimmed over the first time, trying to find out what happens next.

I am also very much looking forward to the movie. I think the book is probably going to work very well as a film, and Matt Damon is the perfect choice for Mark Watney. Funny side note: It is almost too good to be true that NASA related some game-changing Mars news only this week, just in time for the film release!

Sunday, 16 August 2015

August 2015 Reading List

I cannot believe it is already August. July flew right by, and amidst all the stress I did not even notice, that I was neglecting this blog, and by extension you, dear reader! I am not at home (or rather: I am not where my books are) right now, so the content will look a little bit different for the next couple of month. However I have an exciting new series planned that will hopefully start in about two week’s time.  I don’t know how much I will get to read this month, since I still have a paper to write, but that doesn’t stop me from putting together a pile of books that I am looking forward to reading. If you have seen my last reading pile a lot of these will look familiar to you, but I will not give up trying –August might be the month for these books!