books I read 2019
Once when I picked up a book from the local library, the librarian asked to tell her what I thought about the book when I would bring it back. Well, why not write a few lines about all the books I read so everybody could see what I thought about it? I'm often also happy to have friends recommend a certain book or tell me this and that is not really worth reading. I won't comment about the tons of books I have read so far, but about books I read from now on.
Bitterblue is the third book in the Graceling Realm series and builds on the first (Graceling) and second (Fire) one. It is possible to follow the story without having read the previous books, but having read the other two will make it much easier to understand a lot of things, such as who Katsa is, what gracelings are, who Lech was and how he became what he was, etc.
Bitterblue is the young queen of the kingdom Monsea, daughter of Ashen and Leck, both deceased. Her kingdom is not in the best of states, due to her fathers' reign. However, she does not really know the poor state of her empire because her main advisors, which all have served under king Lech, keep her too busy to find out and shield her from the truth. Until, frustrated, Bitterblue decides to venture into the city by herself at night. Eventually she realizes that she's being much lied to and her people still suffer a lot from the terrible time under king Lech. She truly wants to improve things, be a good queen to her people, give them hope for the future, but that is not a simple task when you don't know who of your staff you can trust.
The whole book is about Bitterblue and her struggle to become a worthy queen and be fair and good to her people. Even though it is a good book, reading it feels a little bit like you are locked in the castle and now allowed to go outside, take much part in what Po or Katsa are doing. But then, that's exactly the way Bitterblue herself feels.
This is book 2 of the Iron Fey series. If you have not read the first one, I do recommend to read The Iron King first, as there are lots of situations and things happening which are based on what went on in the first book.
Meghan Chase has come to the Winter Court willingly, but she does not really want to stay there; the winter queen does not really believe here story of the iron fey, Rowan, Ash's brother, is mocking her, Ash himself is ignoring her, etc.
Somehow, even though Machina is dead, the iron fey are still out there and they do find a way to infiltrate the courts and cause winter and summer to go to war against each other. Meghan is caught in the middle of all this and it is up to her and the very few fey who believe her more or less, to stop this war and the big betrayal behind it.
As already the first book: an interesting story told from the view of Meghan, well written and entertaining. This is a worthy continuation of the first book in the series, about as good as the first one.
As with the other books in this series, do yourself a favour and read them in the correct sequence. This is the seventh book in he Hollows series.
Rachel and Ivy are still trying to find out who had murdered Kisten, but not making much progress. At times, tough, small bits and pieces of Rachel's memory of that disastrous night are coming back to her. (And, how could it be different with Rachel, things are usually not straight forward.)
The hunt for the truth about the night of Kisten's murder, however, is a sideline in this book. The main part concerns Edden's request for Rachel to help with bringing in the person responsible for almost killing Edden's son Glenn. That someone turns out to be a very old and powerful Inderlander, much too powerful for a witch to deal with. But as we already got to know in the previous books, the more impossible a task looks like, the more Rachel gets involved.
The relationship with Al takes a slight turn too, after a long time Rachel meets her brother again and a new character, Pierce, enters the story. I think Pierce will turn into a main character in one of the next books...
Born in Japan to a japanese mother and a north korean father, Masaji's family moved to North Korea in 1960 because they were promised a better life there. One thing in Masaji's life indeed did improve in the homeland of his father, but it definitely was not the promised "paradise on earth", "hell on earth" definitely is more to the point. After more than 30 years, Masaji succeeded to flee and go back to Japan. Definitely Japan is paradise compared to North Korea, but for him it's more like "purgatory on earth".
Even though it does not seem like Mr. Ishikawa has mercy with the reader when describing his life in North Korea, I am pretty sure the reality was even worse and he spares us a lot. Spares us things also, which probably would be beyond our understanding. But he also let's the reader understand that not everyone is suffering there, that some people are doing well enough.
For people living in the developed western world, like Western Europe or the US and similarly rich and prosperous countries, this should be mandatory reading. But not only reading, also thinking. We live in such abundance, we are wailing about the smallest non-issues, most of us actually do live in paradise but think that we have a tough time or are treated unfair. Think again, after letting sink in the contents of this book.
The text on the book cover is pretty misleading. Yes, for sure there is the story of Anna Carlson, but it is only used as a very thin wrapping for the main story of the book. The main story is the one of Hong Jae-Hee, from teenage girl to elderly lady. Jae-Hee did not have an easy life, mainly because at the age of fourteen she was forced by the Japanese occupants to become one of thousands of comfort women, which marked her for life.
Anna is US-raised. And she talks in short sentences. Very appropriate. Jae-Hee is older, Korean, marked and uses somewhat longer sentences. So the writing style of Andrews is good and it is easy to understand. However, some of the contents are quite tough, especially when Jae-Hee talks about her time as a comfort woman for the Japanese. There are lots of things you probably wouldn't want to know in so much detail, even though I think it could be much worse and Andrews actually has spared the reader a lot.
If you want to know about comfort women in Korea during the war and how they might have fared after the war, then this book probably does a good job. But you'll need to be able to stomach some ugly details. If you are looking for some entertainment or thought this might be an interesting mystery because of what you read on the book cover, then better put it back on the shelve.
Im ersten Teil des Buches beschreibt Hilmar Gerner das Wirken von Johann Evangelist Traber, vor allem seine Rolle als Begründer der Schweizer Raiffeisenbanken. Der zweite, kürzere Teil stammt von Michael Klein und ist quasi eine Kurzbiographie über Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, dem ursprünglichen Erfinder der Raiffeisenbanken.
Der zweite Teil liest sich recht flüssig und gibt die wichtigsten Stationen in Raiffeisen's Leben wieder. Hier und dort werden ein paar Auszüge aus anderen Quellen zitiert.
Der erste Teil ist mühsam zu lesen. Er mutet an wie eine wissenschaftliche Arbeit, welche vor allem aus Zitaten und Auszügen aus vielen verschiedenen Quellen besteht. In der Tat reihen sich in diesem Teil oft Auszug (Quellenangabe) an Auszug (Quellenangabe) an Auszug (Quellenangabe).
Is this really already the eighth book in the Hollows series? Yes it is. And it's not getting boring at all. Fast paced, thrilling, entertaining, captivating. If you haven't read the previous seven books of the series yet, please do yourself a favour and read them first. I think you'd be utterly lost if you started out with this book, because it very much builds on what has happened up to now.
Rachel Morgan would not be Rachel Morgan if she didn't get into any kind of trouble. Anyways, trouble is like her second name and she thrives on it. Getting out of it, often in spectacular ways, being her unintended speciality. This time she gets into crossfire with her own kind: witches. Powerful witches. Influential witches. White witches. And Rachel has to learn that white magic is not always good, just as black magic does not necessarily mean it is bad. It is more what you do with your magic that makes a spell or curse good or bad.