This year started off really good when it comes to my reading habits. As I had to read quite a few books – 75 to be precise – for my exam at university, I was totally in tune with my reading. After that, however, the pace slowed down more and more with each week until I realized I have been reading the exact same book for about one and a half months. I have, nevertheless, managed to read five additional books this spring and I wanted to share them in a little “what I’ve been reading lately” reading list post with you. All of these books have been really good and I hope I can inspire one or two of you with this spring reading list.
What I’ve been reading lately
Greer Kadetsky is a shy college student when she meets the woman who will shape her life. Faith Frank, dazzlingly persuasive and elegant, has been a pillar of the women’s movement for decades, a figure who inspires others. Hearing Faith speak for the first time, in a crowded campus chapel, Greer feels herself changed. And then, astonishingly, Faith invites her to make something out of this new sense of purpose, with a career opportunity that leads her down the most exciting and rewarding path as it winds towards and away from her meant-to-be love story with high school sweetheart Cory and the future she had always imagined.
The first half of the book was absolutely amazing. I loved how it started and how Faith sparked a fire in Greer. There certainly is a resemblance to the storyline in The Bold Type and if you like that show you’ll certainly enjoy reading this as well. It got a bit watered down and tedious towards the end but I still enjoyed reading this novel about a young woman’s coming of age.
Richard has spent his life as a university professor, immersed in the world of books and ideas, but now he is retired, his books remain in their packing boxes and he steps into the streets of his city, Berlin. Here, on Oranienplatz, he discovers a new community — a tent city, established by African asylum seekers. Hesitantly, getting to know the new arrivals, Richard finds his life-changing, as he begins to question his own sense of belonging in a city that once divided its citizens into them and us. At once a passionate contribution to the debate on race, privilege, and nationality and a beautifully written examination of an aging man’s quest to find meaning in his life.
I picked up this book because of its contemporary topic and bold tackling of questions that are prevalent in so many people’s minds after the refugee crisis in 2015 in Europe. The author writes with a great deal of compassion towards the displaced African refugees and is highly critical of their treatment in their new country. It did feel a bit slow at times, however, I absolutely loved the combination of the stories of the refugees and Richard settling into retirement.
Everyone’s seen the compromising photo of Lyla, a scholarship kid in a prestigious private school. Everyone knows that Nina’s son, expensively prepared for success since childhood, took the photo. And everyone thinks they know who to blame. As events spiral out of control, Nina and Lyla – both outsiders in the elite social circle they inhabit – are drawn together in an unlikely bond of friendship. Because this photograph is forcing them to question who they really are – and who they are becoming.
This is probably one of the best books I have read in a long time. It drew me in, it touched me and left me in tears. I adored how the author was able to switch perspectives and how great each and every character was composed and written into the story. Would highly recommend!
Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all–a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story. Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets, secrets they’ve kept for years. What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family–a chilling tale of deception, duplicity, and unfaithfulness that will keep you breathless until the final shocking twist.
Oh wow – what a wild ride this one was. I’m not always the biggest fan of thrillers. This one, however, had me hooked. I did not see the ending coming at all and that always is a big plus in my book. Do pick it up if you haven’t already and are in need of a big mystery.
In bringing his focus to the here and now, Harari will help us to grapple with a world that is increasingly hard to comprehend, encouraging us to focus our minds on the essential questions we should be asking ourselves today. Employing his trademark entertaining and lucid style, Harari will examine some of the world’s most urgent issues, including terrorism, fake news, and immigration, as well as turning to more individual concerns, from resilience and humility to meditation.
I really like Harari’s books and his way of speaking about and interpreting the world. If you are interested in contemporary issues and politics, this one certainly is a must read for you as it tackles questions about religion, fake news and the future of our planet and civilization in such a unique and understandable way.