stack of the five books listed below on a pillow

The Happy Place Five #1: Books That Kept Us Afloat in 2020

Take a Discord chat, throw a bunch of bookish people in there together to keep each other sane over the course of a pandemic, and voilà: a new monthly feature is born. 2020 certainly wasn’t an easy year. However, there are a couple of books that really impacted me one way or another, because they gave me a way to escape or something to link memories to. It was really hard to pick just five out of the seven or eight contenders I had for this list. But here we go …

End of Year Survey 2019

Better suuuper late than never! I’m happy I did manage to squeeze in my 2019 survey into 2020, even though it barely worked out. Anyway, here are some of the books that accompanied me through 2019 plus what I thought about them …

Review: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games, #0)

I’m not quite sure what the point of this book is apart from milking the Hunger Games cash cow. I must admit that I was a mite interested when it was first announced – not because I wanted any kind of additional book, but I have a very tight knit bond with this series. After all, I kind of owe it my bachelor’s degree. When I found out it was about Snow, however, that mite almost died down entirely and I became extremely wary. Well, I wasn’t wrong …

Review: What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours

Wow, this was a wild ride. I feel like I only understood about 10% of what I read. Still, I enjoyed reading this collection a lot – at least in the beginning. The last couple of stories unfortunately didn’t connect with me quite as well as some of the previous. But the writing is very beautiful, incredibly intricate and complex and there’s more happening between the lines then what’s on the page …

30 Books in 30 Days – November 2018

And another throwback to two years ago: Since this one worked rather well for me in May, I decided to challenge myself once again to read in 30 books in 30 days. Let’s call it the the-end-of-2018-is-near-I-need-to-get-more-reading-done reading frenzy. At the beginning of November, there were once again way too many books on my currently reading pile (CRP) and on my you-should-have-read-most-of-these-books-ages-ago reading list. Naturally, I won’t manage to read all of those but I’d like to make at least a dent. It would be nice if I managed to start 2019 with a clean slate – a CRP of 1-2 books – but let’s be realistic …

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury

Where do I even begin? To quote one of our great poets (never thought I would draw Goethe into this): “Two souls alas! are dwelling in my breast.” So what’s the deal? Well, I know for a fact that naive 16-year-old me would have loved this series. Not-quite-as-naive-and-a-lot-more-sensitised 28-year-old me not so much. There’s common ground though: it’s just my kind of fantasy world. But while 16 is swooning about just her type of (male) characters, 28 is screeching at her that these characters, their relationships, and some of the concepts are totally fucked up and toxically romanticised, and 16 should just get lost in the past where she belongs (you see, it’s always fun living in my head). Wondering what has them so worked up?

Review: A Thousand Sisters

World War II is a piece of history that interests me a lot. I have watched numerous documentaries and like finding out more about stuff that went down back then. Being from Germany, my point of view courtesy of history lessons in school, documentaries, and the media has mostly been German-centric, so I really like taking on different points of view and exploring what happened in other countries. This book is one of those that provide insight into something I had never heard of thus far: I had no idea that Russia was the only country that allowed women to fly and become fighter pilots in the war. And what an incredible story they shared!

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