Carlos Eire "Warten auf Schnee in Havanna" (Waiting for Snow in Havana)
This is the true story of Carlos Eire. In 1962, at the age of eleven, he was one of 14,000 children that were airlifted out of Cuba. Leaving his parents behind, he believes he will arrive in paradise, as he only know the US from several tv shows, and he believes he will see his parents again soon. Only later he will realise that through his plane journey to the US he was not actually reaching but leaving paradise. Because he does not only lose the privileged life he had in Cuba, but his father also refuses to come to America with his mother. Although Carlos will meet his mother again a few years later he will never see his father again. The book tells Carlos' story in a new and foreign world and his struggles to forgive his father.
I wanted to read this book for a long time, so when I saw it in my library, on sale for 1 Euro, I couldn't not buy it. I am very excited to read it, although I've heard that it can be hard to get through at times.
Monica Ali "Brick Lane" (Brick Lane)
Nazneen grew up in poor conditions in Bangladesh and is married away at the age of 19 to a man she doesn't even know. Her new husband lives in London, so she has to move there and starts her new life in Brick Lane, the "little India" of London. There she struggles with the new life and simple questions as, how can she cross a road without being hit by a car? As a good Muslim girl, Nazneen struggles to not question why things happen and she submits, as she must, to Fate and devotes herself to her 20 years older husband and daughters. Slowly, with the help of her daughters and through the affair with a young radical, Nazneen starts to leave the predetermined way.
Yet another one I wanted to read for a long time. I remember when it was released and I read some good reviews about it, so I have high hopes for this one.
Helen Fielding "Bridget Jones - Schokolade zum Frühstück" (Bridget Jones's Diary)
This is the devastatingly self-aware, laugh-out-loud daily chronicle of Bridget's permanent, doomed quest for self-improvement — a year in which she resolves to: reduce the circumference of each thigh by 1.5 inches, visit the gym three times a week not just to buy a sandwich, form a functional relationship with a responsible adult, and learn to program the VCR.
I think everyone know this book and the films, so there is nothing I can really say about it. I've seen the movies so often that I finally wanted to read the books as well. I actually wanted to read them in English but as I've found them for 1 Euro each at my library, I changed my mind. :)
Helen Fielding "Bridget Jones - Am Rande des Wahnsinns" (Bridget Jones - The Edge of Reason)
The Wilderness Years are over! But not for long. At the end of Bridget Jones's Diary, Bridget hiccuped off into the sunset with man-of-her-dreams Mark Darcy. Now, in The Edge of Reason, she discovers what it is like when you have the man of your dreams actually in your flat and he hasn't done the washing-up, not just the whole of this week, but ever.
This is the second Bridget Jones book and of course I have to read that one as well.
Henning Mankell "Chronicler of the Winds"
One night José hears gunfire from the deserted theatre next door to his bakery. He races to the theatre's uppermost gallery, and there beneath him on a spotlit stage lies the wounded body of Nelio, a street urchin renowned for living on his wits. Gasping, the wounded boy asks to be taken to the roof to breathe the beautiful air fresh of the Indian Ocean. On that theatre roof, his life ebbing away, Nelio begins to tell José his extraordinary story...
I've read a lot of Mankell's crime stories about Kurt Wallander over the years and they are still some of my favourite crime novels. However, I always wanted to read something else by him, also seeing as he was really engaged in projects in Africa. I really like the sound of this one and it's quite small so I can get through it quickly.
Elizabeth George "Auf Ehre und Gewissen" (Well-Schooled in Murder)
The quiet, confident atmosphere of Bredgar Chambers School is shattered by the discovery of the body of one of its pupils in a country churchyard. Who murdered the brilliant boy and why? How did his body get from the school to the distant churchyard? Why had he lied about his exeat destination? Inspector Thomas Lynley and his partner, Barbara Havers, find their investigations hampered by the code of honour and loyalty that prevail in the old and distinguished public school. But they discover within the confines of that privileged community a culture of cruelty that stretches back across the generations.
A few years ago, I have already read an Inspector Lynley novel by Elizabeth George and I remember liking it a lot. This one sounds very good and I like the critical view of the elite system and the human abyss in society.
Anthony Doerr "All the Light We Cannot See"
Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel. In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.
I heard a lot of good things about this book and it's been on top of my "to read" list for a while now. I am very excited to read this, also because I love novels that are set in or between the wars.
M. L. Stedman "The Light Between Oceans"
After four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia and takes a job as the lighthouse keeper on Janus Rock, nearly half a day’s journey from the coast. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes once a season, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel. Years later, after two miscarriages and one stillbirth, the grieving Isabel hears a baby’s cries on the wind. A boat has washed up onshore carrying a dead man and a living baby. Tom, who keeps meticulous records and whose moral principles have withstood a horrific war, wants to report the man and infant immediately. But Isabel insists the baby is a “gift from God,” and against Tom’s judgment, they claim her as their own and name her Lucy. When she is two, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded that there are other people in the world. Their choice has devastated one of them.
This book has only been made into a film and it will be released soon. So I want to make sure to read the book first before I might go and see the movie in cinema.
Fredrik Backman "Oma lässt grüßen und sagt, es tut ihr Leid" (My Grandmother sends her Regards and Apologises)
Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy as in standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-strangers crazy. She is also Elsa s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother s stories, in the Land-of-Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas, where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.
When Elsa s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother's instructions lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and old crones but also to the truth about fairy tales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.
I already enjoyed A Man Called Ove so much, so I had to buy Fredrik Backman's second novel as well. I already started reading it, but it's still too early to say much about it.
I will try and post reviews about all the books as soon as I've read them but it can take me a while I guess.
Have you ever read any of the books mentioned?