Whenever I go on vacation, I have a big fat problem.
I always have trouble making room for the books.
When I was a kid, my mother would take my sister and me to the library before we went on holiday. She had a blue-and-white checkered plastic bag and we were allowed to fill it up to the brim with the books we wanted to take with us (later, that amound expanded to our backpacks). After we came home, my mum put all the books away and we were not allowed to touch them until we got into the car and were ready to go! The blue-and-white bag would be placed between my sister and me, and we could start getting through the books, thus not being so much of a pain in my parents’ behinds during the journey (we still managed, though). Although it has never happened in one single holiday, I am always frightened by the idea of running our of reading material. Especially when there is no Internet and lots of free time. So this is what I took with me. All of these books were – you guessed it – from the library (except for the ones on the right; these are mine).
Due to the lack of Internet access and lots of free time, I managed to read quite a lot of them:
Because this blog posting will be long enough as it is, I will only give shorter opinions on these books and no plot summaries (we’ve got amazon for that, let’s be honest). If you’re interested and want more details (or a translation; for ease, I’ll write about the books in English), hit the “Comment” box below. 🙂 Let’s go!
Andrzej Sapwkowski – Das Erbe der Elfen (Blood of Elves)
Literally, I started this one before our holiday, but didn’t manage to finish it. This book is the first novel about the Witcher Geralt of Rivia (there are two books before this one, but they are anthologies about him). In “Blood of Elves”, the story focuses mostly on Ciri (short for Cirilla), Geralt’s ward, and her education. I really enjoyed this book! Read the anthologies before you get to this book (the order doesn’t matter much; I read the second book before the first and was completely fine), but this is really well-written fantasy, sometimes funny, sometimes sexy, sometimes gory (though not G.R.R. Martin-gory) … and overall, simply fantastic. I finished the fourth book (second novel) today, and this series keeps being amazing! I’m gonna get ’em all.
John Green – Looking for Alaska
After having seen this book on what feels like a thousand tumblr-blogs, I had to read it, too. And I can say one thing for certain: If I had had to read this in school, I would have hated it. Passionately. Luckily, my school days are long gone and I could read it just for pleasure … 😉
Although I cannot join some enthusiasts’ opinion that his is among the best books ever written, I have to say that I really enjoyed this book. It’s occasionally funny, the characters are interesting (I’m glad that I didn’t have to analyse them, though), the structure is really clever, the language is beautiful (it really is) and though I did not cry, the book moved me. I definitely want to read more of John Green! 🙂
Bettina Belitz – Scherbenmond
After finishing Looking for Alaska, I grabbed one of the German books, which turned out to be also the biggest book I brought. Bettina Belitz’ “Scherbenmond” is the second book of the “Splitterherz” (“Splinterheart”) trilogy – I am definitely writing about the first book later on, sorry that this is jumbled! Just as the first book, the second one was a really good page turner, although the plot was more obvious this time. The protagonist got on quite some people’s nerves, but so far, I could deal with her fine. Typical “Girl-meets-Boy, Boy-turns-out-to-be-a-fantasy-creature, Girl-falls-for-Boy, Boy-falls-for-Girl, Really-dramatic-scenario-testing-their-love, separation” novel, but not quite as kitschy as “Twilight”. 😉 I’m not gonna buy the books, but read the third part as well for sure! I had three really delightful afertnoons disappearing between the pages of this one. 🙂
Ernest Cline – Ready Player One (my personal favourite)
I have to admit, I was a bit sceptical at first. Reading the blurb, I was convinced that this was either brilliant or absolutely horrible. Then I read it. And Oh. My. God. If I buy ONE book during the next months, this will be it. Absolutely. Do you have anybody in your family or among your friends who loves gaming and pop culture and especially the 80’s? Go and get. Them. This. Book. They will be forever grateful. I loved this so much. This book is really well written, full of great side blows to pop culture and gaming, and … do you know this scene in STAR WARS, when Luke is flying that rebel jet through the death star? Yes? That is exactly how reading the finale of this book feels like. It’s brilliant.
David Guterson – Our Lady of the Forest
This was a total random read for me! This book was one of my recommendations from Goodreads (I can’t remember why I got it, to be honest), and when I read the plot summary, I thought that this could be interesting. After having finished Our Lady of the Forest, I can say: It was! I love Guterson’s language, it’s beautiful, he paints great pictures with words and his way of storytelling reminded me a bit of … T.C. Boyle’s “The Tortilla Curtain”, just without the biting sarcasm. There IS irony in this book. But Guterson lets it sit. He simply states facts and doesn’t comment on it, and this is enough. I didn’t gobble this novel up like other books on vacation (I finished this one at home), but it was a really good book, one I think I could buy for myself, and I definitely want to read more of his books – at least Snow Falling on Cedars!
Well – that’s all for now! I hope you liked this and if you want to see more blog entries like these, give me a short! Also, if you’ve got comments or questions …I’m open to suggestions. 🙂
I am sorry that I have been quiet during the last week – on Thursday, I got a letter informing me that my application for the scholarship I’ve told you about was rejected (this is the third one …) and I was feeling pretty low. More knitting content will follow soon! I’ve got a bit of stuff going …
Have a great week, my friends. Take care!