I know we’re halfway through April already. The reason I’m only uploading this now is because I tried making a video wrap-up for YouTube and I kept being interrupted by my two little ones. The last two weeks were Easter holiday here in Belgium and especially my daughter was not amused when I stopped entertaining her. She’s three, she needs a lot of attention… which meant not a lot of alone-time for this mom.
School started again on Monday so the house is quiet now but my life has been really busy the last couple of days. As you may or may not know, I’ve been unemployed for quite a while now and I’ve been applying for jobs since my little boy was born in January. (Because then I know when I would be able to start working again..).
Yesterday, I had a job interview and I had spend the days leading up to it, preparing myself. The interview went great, by the way.. or at least that’s how I felt. Now I’m waiting for a definitive answer. Fingers crossed!
Let’s get into the books I’ve been reading.
The first two that I want to include here are actually cheats. I read both of them in February but they fit in with my WW II project so I want to mention them as well.
Between Shades of Gray – Ruta Sepetys ****
I enjoyed Between Shades of Gray. The story was solid, the writing raw and beautiful. This book made me tear up multiple times. Some scene threatened to rip out my heart as I was reading them. The subject was one that I didn’t know anything about so I felt like I learned something, which I always nice. (Full review: here)
Salt to the Sea – Ruta Sepetys ****
Like in BSoG, the writing was very good although I found it a bit slow at some points. The story line was great and so were the characters. I thought the romance was unnecessary, a strong friendship would have been more significant even if they still got together after the story ended. It almost seems like most YA novels think they NEED a romance.(nothing against YA, I enjoy reading it myself 😉 ).
Both books had very compelling mother figures. Those were the characters that made the story great for me. BSoG had Lina’s mother and Ona (who made me cry, seriously…my heart ached!) and SttS had the women in the harbor (if you read the book, you’ll understand what I’m talking about). I’m trying not to give anything away here so stick with me.. Ruta Sepetys writes women in despair. They would do anything to protect their children and since becoming a mother myself, that’s something I identify with completely.
You can find my full review for Salt to the Sea here.
The first book I picked up in March was The Nightingale by Kirstin Hannah. I had heard so many positive things about this book and my library had the Dutch version, so I picked it up. Unfortunately, I could not get into the Dutch version… The story was intriguing and I want to know how it ends, but after 150 pages of being annoyed at the language, I put it down. It just wasn’t working for me. I’ll look for the English edition and try again because I’m sure I’ll like it. I just want to give it every chance of being an amazing read.
After that disappointment, I read City of Thieves by David Benioff ****
This book was so much fun to read! It held that fine balance humorous and serious writing. It gave me an impressive overview of the situation in Leningrad during the siege. It wasn’t pretty. People were starving and were going to great lengths to stay alive. Some made candy out of library books, others… well let’s say they got their food elsewhere.
I would definitely recommend this book. Do take into account that they mention sex quite a lot and that there are some gruesome scenes as well. Just saying.
(Full review: here)
I then started reading All the Light we Cannot see by Anthony Doerr but I wasn’t enjoying myself as much as I could be. You see, I was reading the ebook version and for some strange reason, all I wanted was to have the physical copy. I put it down and will continue on with the paper version as soon as possible because I was liking the story and the writing a lot!
And last but not least, I read HHhH by Laurent Binet and this book is INCREDIBLE!!
It took me a while to read because there is so much information. It doesn’t only tell you about the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich but also about everything that has something to do with it. How and where he grew up, how he met his wife, how the second world war actually started (Do you know? Because I didn’t apparently..). It show’s you the history of Czechoslovakia and more specifically Prague. It gives you all these little details that contributed to a chain reaction which led to Hitler’s victories. It’s astonishing. The amount of research that went into this book meant that I couldn’t possibly give it anything other that five stars.
What I liked about it most, was that this book is also a story of a writer, desperately trying to stick to the facts. His struggle to write this book and make it as ‘true’ as possible was so enjoyable to read about. If you want to read something completely different, read this..
(Full review: here)
And those were the books I read in March.
I hope that this type of post works in this written format. Making videos just isn’t my cup of tea, so I decided to quit BookTube. I’m much more of a writer so I will be posting more and more on this blog.
I’ve been thinking about writing a blogpost on translated fiction and why I think I struggle so much when reading a translation into Dutch. Is that something you would be interested in?
Also, I’ve caved and fell into the dark hole otherwise known as Tumblr. You can find my page here.
I hope you’re all having a great day!
See you again soon.