MY BOOK LIST for Summer 2020
MY BOOK LIST
Books I've enjoyed (or not) during Summer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
My first Pulitzer Price book, but to be honest, the brilliance of this book cannot be measured by any prestigious award in the world. This book is just extraordinary in any way and I already ordered the other books by Colson Whitehead.
The History of the Underground Railroad during all these years of slavery is simply mind blowing and I couldn‘t put this book down. I actually still can‘t put my head around it. With the perfect mix of important knowledge and Storytelling, this book made it straight up into my all time favorite books list.
Cora is a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia, an existence made even more hellish by her status as an outcast among her fellow Africans. And she is approaching womanhood, where greater pain and danger awaits. So when Caesar, a slave recently arrived from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, Cora takes the momentous decision to accompany him on his escape to the North.
In this razor-sharp novel, the Underground Railroad has assumed a physical form, a dilapidated box-car pulled by a steam locomotive, picking up fugitives wherever it can. Thus begins Cora’s perilous journey, as she is pursued by a ruthless slave-catcher named Ridgeway, obsessed both with Cora and her mother, who eluded him years before.
The Underground Railroad is at once the story of one woman’s ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage, and a shatteringly powerful meditation on both history and the unfulfilled promises of the present day.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I tried to explain this book a lot of times and I just couldn‘t put it into words, the writing and storytelling and especially how the description of the characters is so unique and astonishing. The general (love) story is usually not something I would pick up, but it‘s so much more than that, I caught myself thinking about this book a lot even after I finished it.
It‘s also such an insightful read to learn a lot about Black culture, especially the important differences between the African and American cultures. The description of the (white) American culture and politics makes you laugh out loud, because (unfortunately) it’s so spot on.
This book makes you happy, it makes you angry. It just makes you feel all the feelings. ALL. THE. FEELINGS.
Ifemelu and Obinze are young and in love when they depart military-ruled Nigeria for the West. Beautiful, self-assured Ifemelu heads for America, where despite her academic success, she is forced to grapple with what it means to be black for the first time. Quiet, thoughtful Obinze had hoped to join her, but with post-9/11 America closed to him, he instead plunges into a dangerous, undocumented life in London.
Fifteen years later, they reunite in a newly democratic Nigeria, and reignite their passion—for each other and for their homeland.
The Spy who came in from the cold
★ ★ ★
I’ve read in a lot of reviews, that readers had the feeling of missing something really important and yes, even though I paid extra attention because of these reviews, I absolutely feel the same.
Still it was a really good read, especially when you’re from Germany, it was so interesting to read about the History and work of Spions during the cold war.
In the shadow of the newly erected Berlin Wall, Alec Leamas watches as his last agent is shot dead by East German sentries. For Leamas, the head of Berlin Station, the Cold War is over. As he faces the prospect of retirement or worse—a desk job—Control offers him a unique opportunity for revenge.
Assuming the guise of an embittered and dissolute ex-agent, Leamas is set up to trap Mundt, the deputy director of the East German Intelligence Service—with himself as the bait. In the background is George Smiley, ready to make the game play out just as Control wants.
The Hate you give
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
A book that I wish had already been published when I was a teenager myself, but the stunning Angie Thomas is only 31 herself. It‘s such an important read (for every age) and the perfect start to inform yourself about police brutality and injustice against Black people in America.
The writing style also reminded me a lot of the books I loved to read when I was in my teenage years, so it was really nice to get all nostalgic.
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.
But what Starr does—or does not—say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.
Baptism of fire
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
It‘s not a big secret that I‘m a slightly (a lot) obsessed with Geralt from Riva, even way before the Netflix series. Ok so basically I‘m about to admit that I‘m obsessed with a video game character, oh well.
But then I got into the bloody brilliant books the game is based on and the writing of Sapkowski catapults you directly onto a horse surrounded by your dwarf comrades (who make you laugh out loud a lot) with ridiculous songs of Dandelion in your ear. There you go. Currently on my forth book of the series and I’m not planning to stop.
The Wizards Guild has been shattered by a coup and, in the uproar, Geralt was seriously injured. The Witcher is supposed to be a guardian of the innocent, a protector of those in need, a defender against powerful and dangerous monsters that prey on men in dark times.
But now that dark times have fallen upon the world, Geralt is helpless until he has recovered from his injuries.
While war rages across all of the lands, the future of magic is under threat and those sorcerers who survive are determined to protect it. It's an impossible situation in which to find one girl - Ciri, the heiress to the throne of Cintra, has vanished - until a rumour places her in the Niflgaard court, preparing to marry the Emperor.
Injured or not, Geralt has a rescue mission on his hands.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
How could I not have read this book after being obsessed with Hunger Games books 10 years ago (we're getting old, people)? Long before the movies came out, by the way.
Usually I’m really sceptical with prequels, but I really really liked this one about the history and unexpected background of Snow. And I loved the fact, that book makes you big time raging at the end. Well I still am! RAGING!
So if you want a really light but thrilling summer read, this is for you.
A Hunger Games Novel.
Ambition will fuel him. Competition will drive him. But power has its price.
It is the morning of the reaping that will kick off the tenth annual Hunger Games. In the Capitol, eighteen-year-old Coriolanus Snow is preparing for his one shot at glory as a mentor in the Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuvre his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute.
The odds are against him. He's been given the humiliating assignment of mentoring the female tribute from District 12, the lowest of the low. Their fates are now completely intertwined, every choice Coriolanus makes could lead to favour or failure, triumph or ruin. Inside the arena, it will be a fight to the death. Outside the arena, Coriolanus starts to feel for his doomed tribute... and must weigh his need to follow the rules against his desire to survive no matter what it takes.