If you read my last Currently Reading, you might recall me defeatedly admitting that my yearly goal for 2019 was “just not going to happen”. It was the middle of October and I was at 16/24 books read in 2019… but the tables may have turned.
As of today, 25th of November I am on book #21 (only just started, but still). So… maybe there is hope after all? My mum will visit me in Munich next weekend and bring me her copy of A woman in the Window which I assume will be a rather quick read, since it’s supposed to be really thrilling, and I also really want to read Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas in December, since I enjoyed Adam Kay’s first book so much. So I think maybe I can do it??? I would be great if I managed it considering the state of my other 2019 resolutions… which I’d rather not talk about.
So, in order to avoid that very painful subject, let’s talk about some books shall we?
The Handmaid’s Tale
Yeah, yeah… I am a bit late to the party. But better late than never, right? I picked up this book in my last trip to the library, knowing that the TV show had been such a hit, but having never watched it. I was hoping for something that would take me out of my reading slump, and although this read didn’t turn out to be as thrilling as I had assumed based on the Show’s trailer, it did the trick. More than being a fast paced, cannotturnthepagefastenough read, it was one where the tension was slowly building up, leaving the reader with a feeling of discomfort, that mirrored what the main character was feeling quite well. I enjoyed the thoughts it provokes, and give it even more credit considering that it was written 35 years ago. I am excited to dig into the second part, and after that (and only after that) watching the show.
So… fun fact about this one: Until half-way through the book I was convinced I was actually reading Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney. Honestly I don’t really know why. Maybe because they both have yellow covers, or because in Ordinary People there’s also, well… a lot of conversations between friends (??). But I wasn’t, obviously, and despite my confusion I did quite enjoy it.
Ordinary People tells the story of two marriages in their 30’s, their relationships with one another, their families, and (you guessed it) their friends. It didn’t hook me, and at points I did have to push myself to pick it up and keep reading it, but I found its characters very real and easy to relate to. There’s also a dark, supernatural sub-plot where one of the characters thinks there’s some kind of ghost in their home, that I wish had more relevance in the story, since I found it truly fascinating. Overall it was a pleasant read, and I would recommend giving it a go.
Breve historial del Mundo (Brief history of the World)
I got this book as a present from my dad a while ago, and was always too afraid to start it. I worried it would be too heavy, full of dates and complicated King’s names that I would never remember. I guess I was worried it would feel like a history class, and leave me feeling like I am not smart enough to get it. But quite the opposite! The book feels like a dad telling a story to his kid, and it’s written in a way that anyone could understand and enjoy it. It covers everything from prehistoric times to 1935 (when it was published) and it’s filled with fun facts that will make you sound super cultured at any diner party.
Crazy Rich Asians
★★★☆☆ (maybe closer to 2.5)
Another one where I might be a bit late to the party (hey, at least here I am not 30 years late), Crazy Rich Asians was everything I expected it to be. A rather cheesy love story where the guy comes from a very very VERY rich family in Singapore and the goal of every second paragraph is describing just how rich these people truly are, which is quite entertaining at first, but gets old rather quickly.
Expect a lot of talk about cars, mansions, designer clothing and jewellery, and more luxurious things that you won’t be able to relate to. The fact that made it more enjoyable for me were the descriptions of Asia and it’s costumes, and every character but the main couple, which were just too perfectly sweet and in love to be believable. Pick it up only if you are not in the mood for thinking much, and want something easy and entertaining.
I have recently discovered a comunal library close to my home, which is basically a set of shelves in the middle of a park, where people can drop off the books they don’t want anymore, and anyone else can take them for free. Given that I live in Munich, most of them are in German, but sometimes I get lucky and a fellow immigrant drops off a book in English. Between Sisters happens to be one of them.
I am only around page 100 right now, so I cannot judge it fully just yet, but I am enjoying it so far. It tells the story of two sisters (duh) whose mum disappeared when they were kids: how this affected them, and how they are still coping with it 20something years later. It is a bit on the soapy side, bringing tears to my eyes every second page (it really doesn’t take much), and it wouldn’t have been something that I bought for myself, but I am happy to be reading something outside of my usual style
And there you have it, that’s what I have been reading the past month and a half, and even though none of them has deeply changed me as a human being, they were all fairly enjoyable reads (I do think the Crazy Rich Asians review turned out a bit harsher than I meant it haha) that I would recommend for you if you are in the hunt for some books.
Do you enjoy any particular books during the Christmas Season? I always get this need to re-read Harry Potter, but I will do my best to resist it this time around.