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Mittwoch, 3. Juni 2015

The Year in Books: May

Oh boy, another month has passed? How did that happen? Where did May go? What did I do in the past 30 days? 
I read a lot, that's for sure. Though this time I have "only" three books to show you. "Only" because two of these three books are more about thousand pages thick. Each. So page-wise I read a lot. Book wise...well let's get started:

(As always, linking up with Laure from Circle of Pine Trees and her wonderful idea of The Year in Books)

Ken Follet - Sturz der Titanen (Fall of the Titans)

I read this book once before I went on my big journey around the world. I always had a big interest in history. As some of you might know I studied German literature some years ago. And literature is always deeply connected with history. So whenever I learned about an epoche, a time, a genre, I also learned about the historical circumstances regarding that certain period. 
Ken Follet manages to combine fiction with historical facts. I love that kind of writing! You have these stories about people that are fictional - but you know that stories like these might have happened in the past. And while you read this page turning story about a small number of people, Follet provides you with the historical facts about the first World War. 

If you haven't heard about Ken Follet and his century trilogy here are some words about it:
Fall of the Titans tells the reader about the circumstances and the historical and political events that eventually lead to the outbreak of World War 1. The story is told via several positions: Families and protagonists in England, Germany and Russia have to deal with the oncoming crisis that eventually draaws in the whole world in one cruel and bloody war. The protagnoists always cross each other during the 1000 pages that seem to fly by rather quickly. While the people in the book are fictional, the historical circumstances are real and so you learn about history while reading an interesting novel full of love and hate and life and death.

Vea Kaiser - Makarionissi oder Die Insel der Seligen

Vea Kaiser is an Austrian author. She's my age and she also studied German in Vienna. I don't personally know her but I'm sure that we had to come across each other at the University. Anyway, Makarionissi is Vea's second book. I talked about her first one, Blasmusikpop here. I loved her first novel and so of course I was really curios about her second one!
Makarionissi tells the tale of a Greek family throughout several generations. Kaiser writes beautifully and funny about the mistake a grandmother made and how here grandchildren had to live with the consequences. I won't tell you more about it as it's a complex story which starts in Greece, switches over to Austria only to come back to Greece in the end.
It wasn't quite as good as her first one but then it's said that the second book for an author is the hardest. Blasmusikpop was such a huge success here in Austria, that Makarionissi is a really, really, really good book as it has to live up such high expectations. If I know about translations, I let you know!

Ken Follet - Winter der Welt (Winter of the World)

This is the second book of the Trilogy and it deals now with the Second World War. The main protagonists from the first book now make place for their children. Still, the maintaining connections between the countries remain and so a lot of familiar people appear here.

Now you can guess which book I'm reading right now! ;)

What did you read in the last month? Do you have any good summer book recommendations? I really need a vacation novel! :)

4 Kommentare:

  1. Here in Britain The Girl on the Train is doing the rounds and it has had great reviews by all who have read it. I really enjoyed it. It's out on hardback at the moment but is available on Kindle too.

    1. thanks for the tip, I already wrote it down and will buy it on my next shoppings spree! ;) I don't own a kindle - I prefer the old school paper book! ;)

  2. I haven't tried any Ken Follett I'll have to give him a go :) I like the sound of Vea Kaiser, I need to read more German for leisure I'll have a look on amazon!

    1. It's a liiiiiittle bit tedious to read three 1000 pages books in a row, but it was worth it in the end. And if you buy the Vea Kaiser, try to buy the second book. The first one has a lot of Austrian dialect in it which you probably wouldn't understand. It's easier with the second! ;) If you read it - please let me know how you liked it!