November 2016 | Reading Wrap Up

2017 is already here but I have been really lazy in the last couple of months and that’s why my November reading wrap up is still missing. I hope I can remember everything. 😀 (Oh and this reading wrap up is a blog post because I accidentally deleted the video files. oopsy-daisy.)

In November I read 6 books with 2.195 pages.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez // This modern classic follows the Buendía family in Colombia throughout several generations. Although they are smart and fierce, sadness and insanity follow the men of the family and will claim their lives in the end. There are themes that repeat throughout the novel such as names, obsession and love. I especially liked the elements of magical realism but couldn’t fully enjoy the writing style. If you want to start reading South American literature, I would suggest reading The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende instead.

The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers // A novel I had solely picked out for the lovely cover. It’s a science fiction novel introducing the multi-species crew of a tunneling ship (space parcel service you might say). The story was lacking in my eyes. A big part of the novel was really slow and took it’s time to introduce the characters with one big event happening at the end that ultimately had only little impact. But I enjoyed the genre-specific topics such as Artifical Intelligence and whether or not they should be treated as „real“ people and the different cultures that alien species have and what impact those differences have on communication and relationships. Enjoyable but not good enough for me to pick up the second book.

Not That Kind of Girl by Lena Dunham // A memoir by the producer and main actress of Girls. Lena Dunham is supposedly some kind of idol or role model for young girls but after reading her memoir I hope no person ever aspires to be like her. She’s the epitome of a priviliged middle class white girl with 1st world problems. Her relationships could essentially be the basis for a „How you know you’re in an abusive relationship“- Guide. And she’s proud of it and tries to shock her readers with ever more weird and absolutely revolting peeks into her sex life. If I wanted to have that, I would have watched her show. If you’re looking for a strong role model, please don’t pick this up. Better read this:

Ctrl, Alt, Delete. How I grew up online by Emma Gannon // In her memoir, Emma Gannon talks about her youth and the impact the „beginning“ of the Internet had on it. She talks about her first attempts to flirt on MSN, photoshop and blogging. It’s all so relatable and made me really nostalgic. But she doesn’t cover up the bad parts neither. Of douchy boys who take advantage of shy girls and make them send nudes or of the warped body image we develop when using a photoshop tool here and there turns into making you look like a completely different person on the screen. It’s a funny, insightful book that will make you laugh out loud and nod in agreement. One of my favourites of 2016!

Between Shades of Grey by Ruta Sepetys // Originally, I wanted to read Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys but this was the only book my library had by her. The story follows Lina and her family who are deported by the Russians from their home in Lithuania to Siberia. The fate of so many at the beginning of the 20th century and still something that nobody is really allowed to talk about. They have to face hunger, hard work – and worst – uncertainty about their loved ones and their future. It’s a horrendeous topic that Sepetys managed to talk about calmly and in a way that’s great for the Young Adult Genre. For me, it’s still too nice, too smooth – I am sure worse things happened to young girls in those places than Lina has to go through.

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson // Taylor’s dad is terminally ill so the whole family decides to spend one last summer in their lake house. But Taylor not only has to deal with her dad’s cancer but with something that happened here summers ago and which kept her from coming back. For the end of November I really needed something light and summery to get me through the dark afternoons. Matson’s novels are perfect for that but this one is my least favourite so far. The „thing that happened in the past“ is blown to epic proportions but turns out to be a weird misunderstanding that Taylor – as she normally does – just ran way from. Taylor supposedly grows up throughout the novel but in trying to deal with her dad’s illness she makes the same mistakes over and over without ever actually developing. No recommendation on my side but if you’re looking for cute, contemorary romance, her other novels Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour and Since you’ve been gone should definitely be on your list.

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