An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green My rating: 2 of 5 stars “I don’t think I actually felt any of those ways, but it seemed on-brand.” This book actually is a remarkable thing. Remarkably horrible, in fact. Or maybe it’s the generation gap – at least if we’re not talking about biological age because Green is just about four years younger than me. This “Thing” deals with the appearance of aliens in every major city on eart...

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman My rating: 5 of 5 stars “I was fine, perfectly fine on my own, but I needed to keep Mummy happy, keep her calm so she would leave me in peace. A boyfriend—a husband?—might just do the trick. It wasn’t that I needed anyone. I was, as I previously stated, perfectly fine.“ Eleanor Oliphant most certainly is not fine. Unless, maybe, Honeyman has read Louise Penny’s brilliant mys...

Kaffee und Zigaretten by Ferdinand von Schirach My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Die Würde des Menschen ist die strahlende Idee der Aufklärung, sie kann den Hass und die Dummheit lösen, sie ist lebensfreundlich, weil sie von unserer Endlichkeit weiß, und erst durch sie werden wir in einem tiefen und wahren Sinn zu Menschen.” Zu Ferdinand von Schirach kam ich über sein Buch “Verbrechen”. Irgendwo stolperte ich über den Namen dieses Buches un...

Repentance by Andrew Lam My rating: 3 of 5 stars “The fact that they had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor didn’t matter. They were guilty by association, by the color of their skin and the slant of their eyes. It didn’t matter that they didn’t speak Japanese, or that they were American citizens. The bottom line was that their kind had perpetrated a horrid crime that came from the land of their ancestors. The shame was a burden that all ...

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro My rating: 2 of 5 stars “That’s true, good lady, but then we boatmen have seen so many over the years it doesn’t take us long to see beyond deceptions. Besides, when travellers speak of their most cherished memories, it’s impossible for them to disguise the truth. A couple may claim to be bonded by love, but we boatmen may see instead resentment, anger, even hatred. Or a great barrenness. Sometimes a ...

Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child My rating: 4 of 5 stars “Every sixty to seventy million years or so, life starts getting very well adapted to its environment. Too well adapted, perhaps. There is a population explosion of the successful life forms. Then, suddenly, a new species appears out of the blue. It is almost always a predatory creature, a killing machine. It tears through the host population, killing, feeding, multiplying. Sl...

No Exit by Taylor Adams My rating: 3 of 5 stars Thrilling, suspenseful – and completely over the top No great quotation comes to the rescue in this case which could actually be good because “No Exit” promised to be a fast-paced thriller with a highly interesting premise: Darby, a college student takes refuge in a rest/service area during a blizzard. There she meets four other travellers who are stranded. When she finds a girl, Jay, in a van...

Die Geschichte der Bienen by Maja Lunde My rating: 3 of 5 stars “Sie findet den Weg hinaus aus dem Flugloch, dreht eine Runde vor dem Bienenkorb, ehe sie allmählich den Abstand zu ihrem Zuhause vergrößert. Aber noch ist sie nicht bereit.” Ein weiteres Mal läßt mich ein Buch recht ratlos zurück: “Die Geschichte der Bienen” von Maja Lunde ist zweifellos intelligent, kritisch und zutreffend. Am Ende – und immer, wenn es auch zwischen...

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller My rating: 2 of 5 stars “IN THE DARKNESS, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.” (The last sentence of the book, almost the only good one.) I was expecting to re-learn my Greek classics, told with a modern voice in modern language. I expected tales of heroism, of the great Greek heroes like...

Age of Legend by Michael J. Sullivan My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Time had sneaked in and stolen her recklessness.” Michael J. Sullivan has done it again: He has written a book that doesn’t need to hide behind any other work in contemporary fantasy. His latest masterpiece, Age of Legend, the Kickstarter of which I had the honour to participate in, begins after the Battle of Grandford at the end of the previous book, Age of War. This makes “Ag...

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, by Hank Green
Book Review / May 23, 2019

An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green My rating: 2 of 5 stars “I don’t think I actually felt any of those ways, but it seemed on-brand.” This book actually is a remarkable thing. Remarkably horrible, in fact. Or maybe it’s the generation gap – at least if we’re not talking about biological age because Green is just about four years younger than me. This “Thing” deals with the appearance of aliens in every major ci...

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman
Book Review / May 16, 2019

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman My rating: 5 of 5 stars “I was fine, perfectly fine on my own, but I needed to keep Mummy happy, keep her calm so she would leave me in peace. A boyfriend—a husband?—might just do the trick. It wasn’t that I needed anyone. I was, as I previously stated, perfectly fine.“ Eleanor Oliphant most certainly is not fine. Unless, maybe, Honeyman has read Louise Penny’s bri...

Kaffee und Zigaretten, von Ferdinand von Schirach
Book Review / May 11, 2019

Kaffee und Zigaretten by Ferdinand von Schirach My rating: 5 of 5 stars “Die Würde des Menschen ist die strahlende Idee der Aufklärung, sie kann den Hass und die Dummheit lösen, sie ist lebensfreundlich, weil sie von unserer Endlichkeit weiß, und erst durch sie werden wir in einem tiefen und wahren Sinn zu Menschen.” Zu Ferdinand von Schirach kam ich über sein Buch “Verbrechen”. Irgendwo stolperte ich über den Namen dieses...

Repentance, by Andrew Lam

Repentance by Andrew Lam My rating: 3 of 5 stars “The fact that they had nothing to do with Pearl Harbor didn’t matter. They were guilty by association, by the color of their skin and the slant of their eyes. It didn’t matter that they didn’t speak Japanese, or that they were American citizens. The bottom line was that their kind had perpetrated a horrid crime that came from the land of their ancestors. The shame was a burden...

The Buried Giant, by Kazuo Ishiguro
Book Review / May 3, 2019

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro My rating: 2 of 5 stars “That’s true, good lady, but then we boatmen have seen so many over the years it doesn’t take us long to see beyond deceptions. Besides, when travellers speak of their most cherished memories, it’s impossible for them to disguise the truth. A couple may claim to be bonded by love, but we boatmen may see instead resentment, anger, even hatred. Or a great barrenness. So...

Relic, by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child
Book Review / April 29, 2019

Relic by Douglas Preston & Lincoln Child My rating: 4 of 5 stars “Every sixty to seventy million years or so, life starts getting very well adapted to its environment. Too well adapted, perhaps. There is a population explosion of the successful life forms. Then, suddenly, a new species appears out of the blue. It is almost always a predatory creature, a killing machine. It tears through the host population, killing, feeding, multi...

No Exit, by Taylor Adams
Book Review / April 24, 2019

No Exit by Taylor Adams My rating: 3 of 5 stars Thrilling, suspenseful – and completely over the top No great quotation comes to the rescue in this case which could actually be good because “No Exit” promised to be a fast-paced thriller with a highly interesting premise: Darby, a college student takes refuge in a rest/service area during a blizzard. There she meets four other travellers who are stranded. When she finds a girl, Jay...

Die Geschichte der Bienen, by Maja Lunde
Book Review / April 24, 2019

Die Geschichte der Bienen by Maja Lunde My rating: 3 of 5 stars “Sie findet den Weg hinaus aus dem Flugloch, dreht eine Runde vor dem Bienenkorb, ehe sie allmählich den Abstand zu ihrem Zuhause vergrößert. Aber noch ist sie nicht bereit.” Ein weiteres Mal läßt mich ein Buch recht ratlos zurück: “Die Geschichte der Bienen” von Maja Lunde ist zweifellos intelligent, kritisch und zutreffend. Am Ende – und immer, wenn es auc...

The Song of Achilles, by Madeline Miller
Book Review / April 21, 2019

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller My rating: 2 of 5 stars “IN THE DARKNESS, two shadows, reaching through the hopeless, heavy dusk. Their hands meet, and light spills in a flood like a hundred golden urns pouring out of the sun.” (The last sentence of the book, almost the only good one.) I was expecting to re-learn my Greek classics, told with a modern voice in modern language. I expected tales of heroism, of the great Greek h...