January is over already. I don't know how that happened. But I got to read a couple of books last month which I want to tell you about. I challenged myself to read at least 60 books this year (if you want to be my friend on Goodreads, click here.). And I think I am doing fine so far. I finished 8 books in January and started some. Just don't know if I can keep up that pace. We will see.
One of my goals for January was to read something else than crime novels and I did well. Only one of the 8 books I finished was a crime novel. They will still remain my favorites.
So here we go. These are the books I finished in January. Please let me know if you have any recommendations for me or if you have read any of the books I finished as well. I would love to talk about them.
The Life List by Lori Nelson Spielman
I decided to use the German cover because the original cover is so unbelievably horrible. I would have never picked up the book if I had only known the original cover. I absolutely judge books by the covers which probably causes me to miss some good books but they should really put some more effort into their covers.
Anyway, this book is kind of chick lit, something I usually never ever read but I picked it up because the main character just lost her mother and I could relate to that. The mother leaves the daughter a list of goals that the daughter wrote down as a teenager and wants er to finish it in order to be happy again and escape from the life she leads which clearly does not satisfy her (stupid job, idiot boyfriend etc.). So yeah, I really liked the message of the book although it did have some flaws and a couple of times I had to shake my head, especially because some characters just did not make any sense to me. But despite the problems I had with the book here and there it was a pretty enjoyable read and I even virtually highlighted some quotes. I am horrible at rating books (and the stupid 5 stars that Goodreads provides do not give me enough room to rate a book) but I would give this book 6,85 stars out of 10.
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Selling Your Crafts on Etsy by Marcia Layton Turner
Etsy seems to be such an interesting place to share your crafts with others and find some unique stuff that you cannot see in regular stores. So I wanted to find out more about it and after reading reviews of lots of Etsy-related books I ordered this one. It deals with every topic you can imagine and probably gives you all the knowledge that you need to have in order to be a member of the Etsy community. Sometimes even more information than you might need (I need a password to set up an account? Wow.). I give this book 7,1 stars out of 10.
Reykjavik Nights by Arnaldur Indriðason
Again, the German cover looks better, but this time the American cover does not make me feel sick. I did read the book in German because I like Indriðason in German better than in English. I am trying to learn Icelandic so hopefully I can read the original at some point.
I was waiting for this book forever (almost as badly as for the new Adler-Olsen book). One of my favorite writers and one of my favorite detectives. I have a weak spot for grumpy detectives. This book is a prequel which made me feel even more excited because I had the chance to learn more about the young Erlendur and why he became the guy he is in the other books. It also gave me the chance to learn more about Iceland, the culture, the people. A homeless man is found dead and the police thinks it was an accident. Erlendur has doubts and starts his own investigation. It's not as bloody as some of the other cases he worked on which does not make it less exciting at all (again, weak spot for bloody murder stories.). The book makes me fall in love with Erlendur and Iceland even more and now I cannot wait for more cases. 9,06 stars out of 10.
To all the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han.
This usually isn't my kind of book AT ALL. I did not even read those kind of books when I was a teenager. And still I picked it up after someone recommended it. Why? I don't know. It would be easy to say that I needed a light read after reading a crime novel but that's definitely not the case because I can never read enough about crime. So yeah, I cannot say why I started the book but I can say that I enjoyed it. Although I do not know why and what exactly I liked about it. I guess this does not make any sense to you. There will be a sequel and I will read that too. Just because. The book is about a girl who is kind of annoying, at least that is how I felt once in a while. Anyway, she wrote a letter to every boy she ever had a crush on and hid them in a box in her closet. Mysteriously they got send out to the boys and then she has to deal with that. Oh no! It's kind of ridiculous but also kind of sweet. Only two of these boys matter anyway because one of them is her sister's ex boyfriend and the other one a jerk (or isn't he?). Of course that gets complicated. The book has some flaws that I still cannot understand but despite of that it was a fun read. Clearly not the best book in the world but something for a Sunday afternoon when you just want to relax and not think too much. I'd say 6,3 out of 10.
All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven.
This book. I love it. I really do. So much. I wish I could read it again for the first time. It clearly is my favorite out of all the books I read in the last weeks. It made me laugh and cry and touched my heart and I felt like I never ever wanted it to end. Also it made me want to travel to a couple of pretty cool and unique places that are mentioned in the book. Like the roller coaster a guy build in his own backyard. And the shoe trees (google it.). But anyway, I am rambling. So the book starts when a boy (Finch) and a girl (Violet) meet on the ledge of the bell tower of their school, both ready to jump. Violet is the popular girl but is grieving the recent death of her sister. Finch however is not popular at all, lots of people think he is a freak because of his fascination with death and because he often acts out. They both get to know each other when they start working on a project together and this leads to a very intense love story. I really do not want to spoil anything because I don't want to ruin it for you so I won't say anything else. But please pick up the book and start reading it. Even if I would like to, I cannot even say more about the book because I feel like my words are not enough to describe the book in all its deepness. I love it dearly. That must be enough. 10 out of 10 stars.
How to be Vegan by Elizabeth Castoria
The book contains "Tips, Tricks, and Strategies for Cruelty-Free Eating, Living, Dating, Travel, Decorating, and More" and I would say it is more for new-vegans but it caught my attention when I saw it on Instagram and a long-term vegan said he enjoyed it very much. And because I love reading about veganism I picked it up. For me it was mostly an entertaining read because it offers lots of tips on how to behave when dealing with people in everyday situations. It also contains lots of lovely graphics that offer you help about nutrition and tells you more about the meat industry and so on. It covers a lot of subjects, not necessarily very deeply but in a very entertaining way. It's clearly a great book for everybody who recently decided to live a cruelty-free lifestyle but also an interesting read for "established" vegans. It also contains lots of recipes which is always a plus. 8,4 out of 10 stars.
Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang.
Another YA novel. What is wrong with me? I really cannot tell but it looks like I took the read-something-other-than-crime-novels-pledge very seriously. Liz decides to die and drives her car off the road on a winter day to make it look like an accident. The book deals with the aftermath of that decision and also with the reasons and that made her come to that decision. First of all, I liked reading the book. I like the store but I cannot help myself...the characters did not really touch me. I expected to be more emotionally involved in the book. Especially after reading "All The Bright Places". But the story did not completely satisfy me and the ending left me feeling a bit....I don't even have a word for it. Left alone with a lot of questions? Expecting more? Confused? I cannot describe. I liked the book in general but not as much as I thought. I just did not like any of the characters, except of Liam (the boy who is secretly in love with Liz). So yeah, I don't even know how many stars I want to give the book. Let's say 5,5 for now.
Forgive me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick
It's Leonard Peacock's birthday. And also the day he puts an old gun in his backpack and plans to kill his former best friend Asher. And then himself.
This book was not what I expected it to be. And that is not a bad thing. Not at all. I really liked the characters. Especially Leonard Peacock. Even though a lot of people disagree (I read the reviews). I could absolutely relate to him. Before he follows through with his plan, he needs to say goodbye to the four people who play an important role in his life. His old next door neighbor, for example, who is obsessed with Humphrey Bogart. I loved the unlikely friendship between those two. His Iranian music genius classmate Baback. Herr Silverman, his history teacher who seems to have secret and appears to be the only person who might understand Leonard. And Lauren, the home-schooled girl who hands out Christian pamphlets at the train station. Each of the characters if very unique and Leonard drops a hint about his plan in their conversations. I really got captured following this day of the life of Leonard Peacock and could not put the book away. Even when it wasn't exactly what I expected. 9,0 out of 10 stars.
Here are some other books I started but haven't finished yet:
Das Hexenmädchen by Max Bentow (a crime novel!)
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion
The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (more crime!)
Not That Kind Of Girl by Lena Dunham
Das dunkle Haus by Åke Edwardson (another crime novel)
Now I am curious: what have you read recently? Any books you particularly loved? A book that surprised you? A book you really hated? Any recommendations? Which books are you planning to read?
One non-book-related thing I want to mention: The third (and sadly last) season of Moone Boy will start airing next month. I cannot even express how excited I am.
Have a good rest of the week!