Bookshelf: 2015

Before 2017 ends, I present you the books I read in 2015. lol
Some were good. Some were less good. Some were horrible.
And I will try to recall as much of each of it as I can. Shall we?

Source: Goodreads
Digital Fortress by Dan Brown
"Before the multi-million, runaway bestseller The Da Vinci Code, Dan Brown set his razor-sharp research and storytelling skills on the most powerful intelligence organization on earth--the National Security Agency (NSA), an ultra-secret, multibillion-dollar agency many times more powerful than the CIA.
When the NSA's invincible code-breaking machine encounters a mysterious code it cannot break, the agency calls its head cryptographer, Susan Fletcher, a brilliant and beautiful mathematician. What she uncovers sends shock waves through the corridors of power. The NSA is being held hostage...not by guns or bombs, but by a code so ingeniously complex that if released it would cripple U.S. intelligence.
Caught in an accelerating tempest of secrecy and lies, Susan Fletcher battles to save the agency she believes in. Betrayed on all sides, she finds herself fighting not only for her country but for her life, and in the end, for the life of the man she loves.
From the underground hallways of power to the skyscrapers of Tokyo to the towering cathedrals of Spain, a desperate race unfolds. It is a battle for survival--a crucial bid to destroy a creation of inconceivable impregnable code-writing formula that threatens to obliterate the post-cold war balance of power. Forever." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★✰✰✰

Let's dive right into less good. While the story got quite thrilling after just a short time, I was annoyed by the portrayed couple. Being all perfect, intelligent, beautiful, funny and having all these traits underlined and introduced by boring little scenes, conversations and encouters with other people dropped here and there. And "uuuuh, women can be intelligent". Wegch.
(Spoilers ahead.) The story ends very happy but I wasn't. The chase and the end dragged on for too long, the plot twist and the happy end was foreseeable and I cracked the riddles before the fucking characters did. But maybe it's just me being a Sherlockian and having a big heart for a German detective audio drama called Die Drei Fragezeichen. Is every Dan Brown book like that? Not kink-shaming anyone her but... you call that thrilling?

Source: Goodreads
Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith, Jane Austen
“It is a truth universally acknowledged that a zombie in possession of brains must be in want of more brains.”
So begins Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, an expanded edition of the beloved Jane Austen novel featuring all-new scenes of bone-crunching zombie mayhem. As our story opens, a mysterious plague has fallen upon the quiet English village of Meryton—and the dead are returning to life! Feisty heroine Elizabeth Bennet is determined to wipe out the zombie menace, but she’s soon distracted by the arrival of the haughty and arrogant Mr. Darcy. What ensues is a delightful comedy of manners with plenty of civilized sparring between the two young lovers—and even more violent sparring on the blood-soaked battlefield. Can Elizabeth vanquish the spawn of Satan? And overcome the social prejudices of the class-conscious landed gentry? Complete with romance, heartbreak, swordfights, cannibalism, and thousands of rotting corpses, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies transforms a masterpiece of world literature into something you’d actually want to read. [Source: Goodreads]
Score: ★★★✰✰

I don't get why everyone is praising this book so much. It basically is like the original with a bit of violence and zombies sprinkled every now and then. That can not have been a lot of work for the author. Honestly I expected a lot more. This might really work as a movie though, which I am looking forward to watch.

Source: Google
Sun and Shadow (Inspector Winter #3) by Åke Edwardson
"A couple are found murdered in their flat in Gothenburg, their bodies symbolically arranged in a mysterious and grotesque fashion. As Winter follows the trail of clues into the cult world of the gothic, he becomes enmeshed in a riddle of nightmares, where he must untangle good from evil and sun from shadow." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★✰✰

The summary is probably as much as I remember. I did take a few notes on the story. "Story needs a long time to build up", "Trains of thoughts of the investigators are very interesting" and "one has the feeling what you get to know the least about in this book, is the actual crime". Sounds thrilling. (Sometimes I do ask myself why I still gave it three stars then? Maybe the writing?)

Source: Goodreads
Crimson Rivers by Jean-Christophe Grangé
"A horrifically mutilated corpse is discovered wedged in an isolated crevice. The highly-regarded but unpredictable ex-commando Pierre Niémans is sent from Paris to the French Alps to investigate. Meanwhile, Karim Abdouf, a young Arab policeman, is trying to find out why the tomb of a young child has been desecrated. When a second body is found, high up in a glacier, the paths of the two policemen are joined in their search for the killers, a trail that embroils them with the mysterioius cult of the Crimson Rivers." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★✰✰

Wow, I did write a lot more down about this book than the others. Probably because I like the movie. And I like Jean Reno. Not as in "I have watched every movie with this dude" but one of my favourite childhood movies was The Professional with Natalie Portman and genius Gary Oldman who plays the love of my life, Sirius Black. Jeah, that's another movie shhhhhh- say no more. So I am feeling a bit of attachment to Reno's stubbly face with the big crocked nose. And then there is Vincent Cassel, good actor. Loved him in La haine and Le pacts de loups. (If you every got the time, please watch the first one at least.)
Back to the book. Is it me, Jean Reno's face or the script that made Niémans seem a lot softer than he's portrayed in the book. This guy should see a group for anger managment, is very military, likes to boss others around and taking the lead. He even has a lot more weaknesses, his eye-sight isn't very good and as seen in the movie, Niémans is afraid of dogs.
While I was disappointed by the original Pierre Niémans, I was surprised by Karim Abdouf. You don't know who that is? No wonder, since he was written out of the script and replaced by the character Max Kerkerian, a white cheeky police man. Karim on the other hand is a logic, calculating guy, who immigrated to France, he is a virtuose in martial arts, comes from the milieu himself, wears rastas and who basically is a cool dude. I would have loved to see him on film. Well.
It did not take me long to read this book, the writing was nicely done and the structure intriguing. Both characters find their own ways through the story until they end up meeting each other, working together.
(And spoiler alert: Niémans dies. So no second book here.)

Source: Goodreads
The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan
"Percy Jackson is about to be kicked out of boarding school...again. And that's the least of his troubles. Lately, mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking straight out of the pages of Percy's Greek mythology textbook and into his life. And worse, he's angered a few of them. Zeus's master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect.
Now Percy and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus's stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus. But to succeed on his quest, Percy will have to do more than catch the true thief: he must come to terms with the father who abandoned him; solve the riddle of the Oracle, which warns him of betrayal by a friend; and unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★✰

Weeeeeeeell. I do not remember much but I am a fucking sucker for myths, lores, greek/roman/egyptian gods. I do remember being bumed out by the movie. It starres a lot of good and widely known actors and I guess they wanted to try and push it as the new and American pendant to Harry Potter. Yeah, nah. That just sounds like I did not like it at all. I did... the movie was shit though. And I still need to read the other books of this series!
I recently found this post on tumblr that made the books extra cool:

Just found a few notes I took, saying some sentences weren't that cool in the books. I have no fucking idea what I was refering to. Probably something problematic? On the other hand I wrote that domestic violence gets thematised. So that's good. Especially since it's a book for children/youngsters.

Source: Goodreads
In The Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami
"From postmodern Renaissance man Ryu Murakami, master of the psychothriller and director of Tokyo Decadence, comes this hair-raising roller-coaster ride through the nefarious neon-lit world of Tokyo's sex industry. In the Miso Soup tells of Frank, an overweight American tourist who has hired Kenji to take him on a guided tour of Tokyo's sleazy nightlife. But Frank's behavior is so strange that Kenji begins to entertain a horrible suspicion—that his new client is in fact the serial killer currently terrorizing the city. It is not until later, however, that Kenji learns exactly how much he has to fear and how irrevocably his encounter with this great white whale of an American will change his life." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★✰

Fml, I can't find much about this book in the depths of the gyri of my brain. It was quite entertaining and I got through it pretty quickly, I remember and it wasn't what I expected and... at the same time it was? I don't know. I always seem to have this sort of feeling with Japanese authors, hahaha.

 Tales of Narnia by C.S. Lewis
"The Magician's Nephew opens the doorway to themagical land of Narnia for the first time...
In The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Peter,
Edmund, Susan and Lucy stumble upon the world of
Narnia. Here, Winter and the White Witch are the
greatest threats and the children must join forces with the
great lion, Aslan, to battle against the evil enchantment.
In The Horse and His Boy, Shasta, the slave boy,
meets Bree, a talking horse, and together they flee on a
wild and dangerous journey through strange cities,
eerie tombs and harsh deserts - in search of Narnia,
where there is freedom and safety." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★✰

The stories are full of fantasy and magic but the language did annoy me at times. For some reason I just can't handle the style of writing of some periods of time occasionally. I did like the stories though. As far as I remember (correct me if I am wrong) due to the "old" language, you will find a few words that are concidered offensive today.

Source: Goodreads
Axolotl Roadkill by Helene Hegemann
"An extraordinary and controversial bestseller in Germany from a teenage literary prodigy - a cynical Catcher in the Rye of the noughties..
‘Horrible lives are a godsend,’ writes 16-year-old Mifti in her diary. Since the death of her mother, she has been living in Berlin in an increasingly dire state of disarray. Diagnosed as a ‘pseudo stress-debilitated’ problem child, she becomes enmeshed in the Berlin party scene, surviving her so called life through a haze of sex, drugs and club culture.
What sets Mifti apart is her hypersensitivity and her open, questioning curiosity about an older generation that doesn’t seem to be able to care for its children. Torn between genius and madness, she delves into the language of adults, their conventions and toys with what she calls, ‘the general decay of their worlds, where the pursuit of prosperity has led to neglect’." [Source: Goodreads]
Score: ★★★✰✰

Wow, sometimes my mind is so utterly wiped clean... I wish I could take control of that power. Again entertaining... probably. What I remember about the book is, that it was controversial indeed. For plagiarizing. Hegemann took lots of ideas and exact scenes from a blog, molding them itzy-bitzy bits. I guess it would not have been a problem, if she'd noted that blogger in her sources or whatever. The later version do include some additional pages though.
Stuff like that pisses me off. And I don't care how old she was. If you're intelligent enough to write a book like this, then you're intelligent enough to understand the concept of listing sources and acknowledgement of copyright.

Source: Goodreads
Asoziales Wohnen von Dirk Bernemann
"Wie wohnt man eigentlich richtig? Warum sind manche Tage depressive Kinder, die heute nicht mehr zum Spielen rauskommen? Was verbirgt sich hinter den Türen, hinter denen Menschen leben, die nie die Tür öffnen? Haben Autoren jeden Tag Sex? Warum nicht? Asoziales Wohnen beschäftigt sich mit dem Zusammenleben von Menschen, die Nutznießer und Opfer von räumlicher und zeitlicher Enge werden. Und je enger und später es wird, desto mehr wird der Mensch zur Marionette der Verhältnisse. Hinter jeder Tür eine eigene Vorstellung von Leben. Mitten in deutscher Mittelmäßigkeit, denn die Gegend hier ist eher so mittelgut, nicht wirklich asozial, aber auch nicht einbruchswürdig. Parkbuchten, Fahrradständer, Kinderspielplätze. Alles da. Aber eben auch nicht mehr. Wer mehr will, wohnt woanders." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★✰

Stars said I liked it. Only things I remember: I liked the concept and I read the book in less than a day at my best friend's place when I was staying for a few days because I felt like losing my goddamn mind and needed someone trustworthy around to keep me in check.
(No edition and English and I don't fucking know, why I did not write this in German. Now it's there. Not gonna change it. Put too much effort in it.)

Quelle: Goodreads
Schmitz' Katze von Ralf Schmitz
"Hunde haben Herrchen, Katzen haben Personal, so der treffende Untertitel des Buches. Und jeder Katzenbesitzer weiß genau, wovon die Rede ist. Ralf Schmitz, der als Comedian mit der preisgekrönten "Schillerstraße" deutschlandweit populär wurde, hat mit Schmitz' Katze seinen WG-Alltag mit Katze Minka dokumentiert. Länger als so manche Ehe hält diese Beziehung inzwischen und gab bzw. gibt offensichtlich haufenweise Anlass für Anekdoten und Geschichten rund um die Katz'. Wenn das interessiert? Katzenfans und Schmitz-Fans, und davon gibt es ziemlich viele.
Erfreulicherweise wird das Buch auch beiden Fangemeinden mehr als gerecht. Auch auf dem Papier entfaltet Autor Schmitz' Wort und Witz, dass einem die Tränen kommen vor Gelächter und Katze Minka ist in ihrer Rolle als Hauptdarstellerin oskarverdächtig. Bei Ralf Schmitz lebt eine Katze, die nicht nur jedem Katzenklischee entspricht, sondern auch jede Gelegenheit für absurde Situationen und unerklärliches Verhalten sofort zu nutzen weiß. Der Leser wird darüber informiert, was zu tun ist, wen die Katze auf's Klo muss, sich den Magen verrenkt hat, in die Pubertät kommt oder das eigene Liebesleben empfindlich stört. Weil das Thema Katze allein textlich aufbereitet zu viel Potenzial verschenkt, läuft Minka dem Leser immer wieder in Illustration oder Foto über den Weg. Manchmal sagen Bilder einfach mehr als tausend Worte... Daneben unterhalten Fakten, die niemand wirklich braucht: Z.B., dass sich die Lebenserwartung von Katzen seit 1930 von acht auf sechzehn Jahre verdoppelt hat. Oder dass es in England Kontaktlinsen für Katzen gibt. Oder dass eine Katze ein Drittel ihrer aktiven Zeit mit Putzen verbringt. Aha. Katzenbesitzer, Katzenfreunde und Katzenmenschen jeglicher Couleur werden es trotzdem lieben, das Katzenbuch von Ralf Schmitz und es sei ihnen und ihren Katzen wärmstens empfohlen." [Quelle: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★✰

Während ich begann den Eintrag für dieses Buch zu machen, hüpfte mein Kater (ja, ich habe wieder eine Katze) auf den Schreibtisch und legte sich gemütlich zwischen all den Kram. Ein bisschen creepy.
Und vielleicht hat das Buch deswegen auch vier Sterne. Weil ich mich beim Lesen so oft wiedergefunden habe. Neben der ein oder anderen persönlichen Geschichte, die Ralf Schmitz über seine Mietze erzählt, findet sich eine Anleitung/Handhabung für den Stubentiger für alle, die vielleicht einmal vorhaben, sich solch ein Fellknäuel zuzulegen. Vor allem mit einer großen Portion Realismus, dass ein Haustier zu haben auch nicht immer nur Freude bringen kann. Sondern auch seine anstrengenden Seiten hat. Aber was tut man nicht alles für Familie.

The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Other Stories by Robert Louis Stevenson
"The structure of ['Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde'] follows a path as indirect and elusive as its multiple narrative voices. With its obliquely recorded incidents, its eyewitness accounts and sealed confessions, it resembles...a [police detective's] casebook--a collection of gathered clues, fragments, through which the clever detective may be able to...project a complete narrative. Perhaps one of the most compelling aspects of this novel [of ten chapters] is that, in fact, there's so much left here for [the reader] to fill in, so many scenes that [the reader] can only imagine. Such a structure creates fertile ground for allegory [a story with symbolic meaning] hunters, and there are indeed many convincing interpretations of this novel."
Score: ★★★✰✰

Honestly, less thrilling than I thought. Since Penny Dreadful I try to read all the stories connected to that show (though I do have already read some of them) and I have always been interested in these kind of tales.

Quelle: Goodreads
Ich darf das, ich bin Jude von Oliver Polak
"Mein Name ist Oliver Polak, ich bin dreißig Jahre alt – und ich bin Jude. Sie müssen trotzdem nur lachen, wenn es Ihnen gefällt.Aufgewachsen in der einzigen jüdischen Familie in Papenburg im Emsland, ist Oliver Polak nichts Komisches fremd. Jetzt ist er dreißig und blickt zum ersten Mal zurück: auf seine Jugend als Generation Eins nach der Stunde Null – irgendwo zwischen Thora und VIVA. Es geht um die beiden Freistunden während des Religionsunterrichts, die er mit den »beiden anderen Losern« (ein Moslem, ein Zeuge Jehovas) verbringt, um die gestrenge jüdische Lehre seiner herrischen Mutter und die daraus folgende Psychotherapie, seine doppelte Beschneidung, seine Jahre in einem orthodoxen jüdischen Internat in England, seinen überstandenen Hodentumor und darum, dass Juden und Jamaikaner eigentlich dasselbe sind.Oliver Polak erklärt, was er mit dem Papst und Alf gemeinsam hat, warum der Papenburger der Lachs unter den Emsländern ist, und ärgert sich, dass Hitler ausgerechnet nach Osnabrück keine Autobahn gebaut hat. Manchmal geht er dabei ein bisschen zu weit. Aber: Er darf das – er ist Jude!Der Autor hat übrigens eine Bitte: Lesen Sie dieses Buch nicht aus schlechtem Gewissen oder politischer Korrektheit. Kaufen Sie sich für diesen Zweck lieber ein zweites Exemplar.Darf man über so etwas lachen? Man muss! Denn Oliver Polak erzählt mit so viel Charme und Chuzpe von seinen ersten dreißig Jahren, dass man erfreut verkünden darf: Der jüdische Humor ist zurück in Deutschland." [Quelle: Amazon]

Score: ★★★★✰

Ich bin ehrlich. Ich weiß nicht, ob ich das Buch jetzt immer noch so bewerten würde.

Quelle: Goodreads
Nachlass eines Massenmörders: Auf Lesereise mit "Mein Kampf" von Serdar Somuncu
"Mehr als acht Jahre lang war er mit einem der ungelesensten Bestseller der deutschen Geschichte - Adolf Hitlers „Mein Kampf“- und mit „Wollt ihr den totalen Krieg?“, seiner Darstellung der berüchtigten Sportpalastrede des Dr. Joseph Goebbels auf Lesereise quer durch ganz Europa, durch Talkshows, Nachrichtenmagazine und Feuilletons, und nun ist es an der Zeit ein Fazit zu ziehen.
Dabei hat für den türkischen Schauspieler Serdar Somuncu zunächst alles ganz spontan angefangen.
Ein Zuschauer empfahl ihm die Aufzeichnung der Lesung Helmut Qualtingers, der in den Siebzigern mit seiner Performance aus Hitlers Pamphlet für Furore sorgte und weckte sogleich Somuncus Interesse für Hitlers "ungeahnte kabarettistische Qualitäten".
Seitdem ist viel passiert. Mit über 2500 Lesungen vor mehr als einer halben Million Zuschauern avancierten Somuncus Projekte zu einem bisher beispiellosen schauspielerischen Parforceritt durch die dunklen Seiten der deutschen Seele in Gegenwart und Vergangenheit. Stets gab es Lob und Anerkennung für die außergewöhnliche Auseinandersetzung mit der deutschen Geschichte.
Lesungen vor ehemaligen KZ-Häftlingen standen dabei genauso auf der Tagesordnung wie Auseinandersetzungen mit pöbelnden Skinheads, deren Drohungen und Beschimpfungen aber letztendlich den Führer und seine Helfer nicht vor den Lachsalven der ob der Banalität der Werke erstaunten Zuschauer bewahren konnten. Eine Menge also, die es für Somuncu zu Erleben gab.
Somuncu gibt dabei nicht nur pikante Einblicke in die haarsträubend-undurchsichtige Rechtslage zum Umgang mit Nazi-Reliquien, so z.B. mit dem Buch des Führers, „Die Urheberrechte liegen bei der bayerischen Landesregierung. Ist Edmund Stoiber dann der Nachlassverwalter Hitlers?“, es sind vor allem auch die Gedanken eines Schauspielers, der sich an die monströsen Rollenwerke "Adolf Hitler" und „Joseph Goebbels“ herangemacht und dabei die dunklen Seiten seiner eigenen Haltung entdeckt hat.
Gibt es Hitler und Goebbels noch? Wo leben sie heute? Wer sind ihre Anwälte und wer führt ihre Kriege fort?" [Quelle:]

Score: ★★★★★

Der obige Text sagt eigentlich schon alles über das Buch. Vor allem interessant fand ich seine direkten Konfrontationen mit Neo-Nazis auf Veranstaltungen, aber auch die Somuncus eigene gedankliche Auseinandersetzung mit dem Thema.

Source: Google
Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee by Dee Brown
"Dee Brown’s powerful and unforgettable classic that awakened the world to the nineteenth-century decimation of American Indian tribes
First published in 1970, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee generated shockwaves with its frank and heartbreaking depiction of the systematic annihilation of American Indian tribes across the western frontier. In this nonfiction account, Dee Brown focuses on the betrayals, battles, and massacres suffered by American Indians between 1860 and 1890. He tells of the many tribes and their renowned chiefs—from Geronimo to Red Cloud, Sitting Bull to Crazy Horse—who struggled to combat the destruction of their people and culture." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★★

Good lord. This book was hard to read at times. Not because of all the dates etc. you come across but the explicit description of the very systematic extinction of people. It reminded me a lot of WW2 and I remember reading something about Hitler being "inspired" by the reservation system and camps white people had set up for Native tribes.
While we all wish racism was a thing of the past, it is alive and well. POC still have to deal with it everyday. And Native Americans, though said to get reperations and their own land, the Dakota pipeline shows, they still get screwed over by the state.

Source: Goodreads
The Sherlockian by Graham Moore
"In December 1893, Sherlock Holmes-adoring Londoners eagerly opened their Strand magazines, anticipating the detective's next adventure, only to find the unthinkable: his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, had killed their hero off. London spiraled into mourning -- crowds sported black armbands in grief -- and railed against Conan Doyle as his assassin.
Then in 1901, just as abruptly as Conan Doyle had "murdered" Holmes in "The Final Problem," he resurrected him. Though the writer kept detailed diaries of his days and work, Conan Doyle never explained this sudden change of heart. After his death, one of his journals from the interim period was discovered to be missing, and in the decades since, has never been found.
Or has it?
When literary researcher Harold White is inducted into the preeminent Sherlock Holmes enthusiast society, The Baker Street Irregulars, he never imagines he's about to be thrust onto the hunt for the holy grail of Holmes-ophiles: the missing diary. But when the world's leading Doylean scholar is found murdered in his hotel room, it is Harold - using wisdom and methods gleaned from countless detective stories - who takes up the search, both for the diary and for the killer." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★✰

Quite good though I found it to be highly annoying that the main character was a dude. Again. As far as I remember a clever female role is intruduced somewhat later in the book but still. Other than that, an enthralling book jumping between today (Harold White) and the past (Sir Arthur Conan Doyle), both sleuthing their way through the story.

The Last Wish (The Witcher Saga #1) by Andrzej Sapkowski
"Geralt of Rivia is a witcher. A cunning sorcerer. A merciless assassin.
And a cold-blooded killer.
His sole purpose: to destroy the monsters that plague the world.
But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good. . . and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.
The international hit that inspired the video game: The Witcher."
[Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★★

I loved it. That's the kind of fantasy I am really into. At times there is mild misogynic shit you find in almost every book set in an era like this (not to tone it down or anything but sadly dark age stories contain a lot of it).
After watching a let's play on Gronkh's YT channel, I really wanted to read the books and they really did a good job with taking Sapkowski's world, as well as the humour, and making it into games.
Plus, I might have a slight small crush on Geralt of Rivia.

Source: Goodreads
Look Who's Back by Timur Vermes
"Berlin, Summer 2011. Adolf Hitler wakes up on a patch of open ground, alive and well. Things have changed – no Eva Braun, no Nazi party, no war. Hitler barely recognises his beloved Fatherland, filled with immigrants and run by a woman.People certainly recognise him, albeit as a flawless impersonator who refuses to break character. The unthinkable, the inevitable happens, and the ranting Hitler goes viral, becomes a YouTube star, gets his own T.V. show, and people begin to listen. But the Führer has another programme with even greater ambition – to set the country he finds a shambles back to rights.
Look Who’s Back stunned and then thrilled 1.5 million German readers with its fearless approach to the most taboo of subjects. Naive yet insightful, repellent yet strangely sympathetic, the revived Hitler unquestionably has a spring in his step." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★✰

I do know for a fact that some people thought this book was funny. While I it is weirdly absurd at times, it reminded me of the novel "The Wave". What I found rather fascinating was how people reacted to him. Sure, they thought he was playing a role, a character for some sort of comedy program, but it was concerning how quickly people adapted to his "jokes" and he was pushed on television. Like in the book by Morton Rhue we are able to watch some kind of "experiment" unfold, Hitler having a large fanbase, being influencal, while we ask ourselves in real life: how did he make it it back in the 30s? Well.

Source: Goodreads
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
"At the dawn of the nineteenth century, two very different magicians emerge to change England's history. In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging on land and sea, most people believe magic to be long dead in England--until the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight.
Soon, another practicing magician comes forth: the young, handsome, and daring Jonathan Strange. He becomes Norrell's student, and they join forces in the war against France. But Strange is increasingly drawn to the wildest, most perilous forms of magic, straining his partnership with Norrell, and putting at risk everything else he holds dear." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★✰

At times way too long-winded for my taste, the story needs a while to really uncover itself completely. On the other hand I liked the style of writing, the humour and the some what more "realistic" approach of magic, instead of all the wand waving. (Potterhead writing right here!)
I still have to watch the series and I hope they did not white-wash Stephen Black because he does play a big role imho.

Source: Goodreads
The Panopticon by Jenni Fagan
"Pa`nop´ti`con ( noun). A circular prison with cells so constructed that the prisoners can be observed at all times. [Greek panoptos 'seen by all'] Anais Hendricks, fifteen, is in the back of a police car, headed for the Panopticon, a home for chronic young offenders. She can't remember the events that led her here, but across town a policewoman lies in a coma and there is blood on Anais's school uniform. Smart, funny and fierce, Anais is a counter-culture outlaw, a bohemian philosopher in sailor shorts and a pillbox hat. She is also a child who has been let down, or worse, by just about every adult she has ever met. The residents of the Panopticon form intense bonds, heightened by their place on the periphery, and Anais finds herself part of an ad hoc family there. Much more suspicious are the social workers, especially Helen, who is about to leave her job for an elephant sanctuary in India but is determined to force Anais to confront the circumstances of her birth before she goes. Looking up at the watchtower that looms over the residents, Anais knows her fate: she is part of an experiment, she always was, it's a given, a liberty - a fact. And the experiment is closing in. In language dazzling, energetic and pure, The Panopticon introduces us to a heartbreaking young heroine and an incredibly assured and outstanding new voice in fiction." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★★✰

Some kind of a lucky purchase. Found this in one of my favourite book stores and bought it because I found the cover pretty intriguing. Unfortunately my mind is very blank on this one again. Still remember bits and bobs and a strong young female lead character with loads of problems on hand.

Source: Google
Mostly Harmless (The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy #5) by Douglas Adams
"It’s easy to get disheartened when your planet has been blown up, the woman you love has vanished in a misunderstanding about space/time, the spaceship you are on crashes on a remote and Bob-fearing planet, and all you have to fall back on is a few simple sandwich-making skills. However, instead of being disheartened, Arthur Dent makes the terrible mistake of starting to enjoy life a bit and, immediately, all hell breaks loose.
Hell takes a number of forms: there’s the usual Ford Prefect form of hell, fresh hell in the form of an all-new version of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, and a totally unexpected hell in the form of a teenage girl who startles Arthur Dent by being his daughter when he didn’t even know he had one.
Can Arthur save the Earth from total multidimensional obliteration? Can he save the Guide from a hostile alien takeover? Can he save his daughter, Random, from herself?
Of course not. He never works out what is going on, exactly. Will you?" [Source: Goodreads]
Score: ★★★★✰

Really no memory at all on this one? But generally I enjoy reading Douglas Adams an awful lot. And if you have watched the movie with Martin Freeman, Zooey Deschanel and Alan Rickman ('s voice), you only experienced 1/5 of the story, the wonderful humour and absurdity that is this series.

Source: Goodreads
The Hours by Michael Cunningham
"Passionate, profound, and deeply moving, "The Hours" is the story of three women: Clarissa Vaughan, who one New York morning goes about planning a party in honor of a beloved friend; Laura Brown, who in a 1950s Los Angeles suburb slowly begins to feel the constraints of a perfect family and home; and Virginia Woolf, recuperating with her husband in a London suburb, and beginning to write "Mrs. Dalloway." By the end of the novel, the stories have intertwined, and finally come together in an act of subtle and haunting grace, demonstrating Michael Cunnningham's deep empathy for his characters as well as the extraordinary resonance of his prose." [Source: Goodreads]

Score: ★★★✰✰

I wanted to read this book for many years, since we have watched some of the movie back in school more that ten years ago and I started to get interested in Virginia Woolf. Unfortunately, I liked the book a lot less than the movie. I found Clarissa Vaughan to be really annyoing. Unlike the novel, the movie left me crying for hours.

Well, that's it for 2015. Last year is already in the making, only need to add my opinions on them, then I'm done!

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