I read quite a few books in March – thanks to one visit I paid to my local public library at the start of the month. I really picked novels I liked. I still have a few books from that visit at home, but might have to return them next week. For when I go on vacation, I prefer to download ebooks on my (old, but awesome) Galaxy Tab and save the extra weight for other luggage. My public library has a huge choice of thousands of ebooks. I can’t wait to lie on the beach and read one book after another.
You can also follow my reading adventures on my Goodreads account: here.
Lisa Anselmo: “My (Part-Time) Paris Life: How Running Away Brought Me Home”, EUR 19,21 – Lisa has always looked after her mother. But when she dies from cancer, Lisa realizes that she needs a life of her own. Although she lived in the U.S. for all her life, she has always liked traveling to Paris. So she suddenly buys an apartment there and starts exploring the city as an expat. She vividly describes the French food, parties with her French friends, but also disasters like a leak in the apartment above hers which leads to soaked walls, mold, and an appointment with a French lawyer. Since I have left my home country as well, I can relate to Lisa’s experience. I enjoyed reading her stories and felt like I really should visit Paris again soon.
Alice Adams: “Invincible Summer”, EUR 14,99 – The book starts when four friends graduate from college in 1997. Eva, who has been utterly in love with Lucien, starts working for a bank while Benedict, who has always liked Eva, stays to complete his PhD in physics. Lucien and his sister Sylvie first travel and then try to establish their lives in London as an artist and a club promoter. The story is about these four best friends, who struggle to find their ways through their 20s and eventually 30s of their lives. Some more, some less successful in their jobs and their relationships. I liked this novel very much because the plot was not predictable, but it made totally sense. Also all four characters are round and have their own motives.
Marie Benedict: “The Other Einstein”, EUR 21,99
– Gifted Mileva Marić arrives in Zürich to study physics as the only woman. For the first time in her life she makes friends with other young women. They live in the same boardinghouse and also study at universities. While Mileva’s professor dislikes her, her fellow students mostly ignore her. Except for one: Albert Einstein. He is so bohemian that he violates all rules of society and even invites himself to make music with the women. Eventually, Mileva falls for him. But the more famous he becomes the more she is worried that she will always stay in his shadow. This novel picks up on the theory that Mileva Marić contributed much to Albert Einstein’s physical theories. How big her influence really was will probably always remain guesswork, but I liked this fictionalization. Also, there are so many novels about men at the fin de siècle, but this one presents the time from a female perspective, which is refreshing in my opinion.
Ramona Ausubel: “Sons and Daughters of Ease and Plenty”, EUR 22,99 – On Labor Day in 1976, Edward, Fern and their three children learn that suddenly there isn’t any money anymore. So far they have had a comfortable life, living from the money Fern inherited from her parents. Edward thinks that his wife will force him to work for his father’s company so he goes out and sleeps with another woman. A few days later he just sails away with that woman to the Caribbean. At the same time, Fern spontaneously takes off with a stranger on a road trip from the East to the West Coast. The three children end up home alone. Although it is surely debatable that both parents vanish at once, I liked the novel for its style and esp. its orientation to historic events like the Vietnam War. There are many flashbacks telling how Fern and Edward met and how their relationship then developed. The reader gains an interesting insight into life in the 1960s and 70s in the U.S.
Lauren Myracle: “Peace, Love, and Baby Ducks”, EUR 8,99 – This is a teenage novel about sisterhood and friendship. Carly wants to be real and different to all the other kids in her conservative Christian high school. She also wants to protect her younger sister Anna, although she is getting more and more jealous now that Anna has turned into a “hot” girl. The plot is a little shallow. The book reads more like a teenager’s stream of consciousness. I’d recommend it as an easy read on the side.
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