It’s already June – How could time pass so fast? I am more than halfway through my Goodreads Reading Challenge so at least one thing is going well this year. But looking at my sparse 2017-Favourites Shelf I am hoping for some better reads in the second half of this year.
Which books were your favourites in the first half of 2017?
Donna Tartt – The Goldfinch // Theo Decker’s life is disrupted in his early teens when his mother suddenly dies. While he tries to deal with his loss and the uncertainty of his new life, his estranged father turns up and takes him away to Las Vegas. While Theo staggers through life he holds on to the one thing that connects him to his mother: A painting he stole from the museum where his mother died. The Goldfinch is a really thick book and certainly drags along in some chapters but never enough to make me put it down. Theo’s obsession with the painting shows that he just can’t let go of the past. The novel is tragic in so many places but so over the top unrealistic in others that you don’t quite know sometimes whether to laugh or to cry. It seems to be the last favourite of Donna Tartt’s novels so I am excited for her other ones.
Lauren Weisberger – Revenge Wears Prada // Five years after Andy left Runway in a big bang, she and her frenemy Emily are the owners of a wedding magazine. But soon Miranda focuses her attention on them again and poor Andy seems to be the only one mistrusting her from the start. A novel I would have probably never picked up by myself but it got left in our house by a friend and since I really like the The Devil Wears Prada movie I thought I’d give it a try. Don’t. Please save your time for something better.
Ira Levin – A Kiss before Dying // Left by the same person and in such a devastating state that I can only throw it away now. How can somebody do this to a book? Well, it’s no loss anyway. I certainly enjoyed parts of the book and the mystery behind the murderer’s identity kept my interested. But as soon as that was solved the novel seemed repetetive and not really like a crime or thriller anymore as much of the suspense suddenly disappeared.
Simon Beckett – The Restless Dead // After being nearly killed by Grace Strachnan, David Hunter is not on the best of terms with the police. So when he is called to help in the case of a drowned body he’s overly eager. As always, he gets much to involved when he falls in love with someone close to the investigation. Hunter’s character didn’t evolve much after the events of the last book and you just want to shout at him to keep it in his pants for once. It never goes well and he’s becoming such a whiny idiot. And I’m not sure if the writing style is so much worse compared to the other novels or if I just didn’t notice before. He’s repeating himself so much and states the most obvious things that the ending was surprising only because it seemed so farfetched. Anybody got the same problems with this new installment? Not worth the wait.
Susan Sontag – On Photography // Six essays about the topic of photography that were interesting but who would make a book about this topic and not include one photo? I don’t want to look up the images she talks about on my phone all the time. She’s repetetive quite often, doesn’t really go into depth with some of the topics and seems to have a slight resentment against cameras as a whole. I think she changed some of her opinions on this topic later in life and it would have been interesting to read about that as well. Additionally, it would have been great to see what she would have thought about our modern relationship to pictures with Instagram and such media since the essays were written in the 70ies. After reading this and her Rolling Stones Interviews I am not sure that we will ever get along. Is there anything else by her that you would recommend?
Anuschka Rees – The Curated Closet // In a step to step „programme“, Anuschka Rees helps the reader to pinpoint which aspects of their closet makes them unhappy and what they could change about it. In her eyes, there are no „10 items every woman should own“ and labels such as grunge, hipster or hippie should never restrict your own way to dress. Rather, find the aspects that you like and try to combine them into something that is both inspiring and realistic to wear. I only started on the process of overhauling my closet and sense of style so I can’t tell how well her ideas can be translated into everyday life but the book itself was well written, never condescending or strict and the tips are already helpful when it comes to shopping.