The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake!

Pic by Franzi.

Merry X-Mas everyone :)! Those days are stuffed with visits of family and friends, big and small dinners and a lot of fun. In case you still have some time for a holiday read – here is this year’s favorite of mine: The Hygge Holiday by Rosie Blake.

A Danish girl, Clara Kristensen, arrives in autumn in Yulethorpe and everyone is gloomy. It’s cold, drizzly and the skies are grey. The last shop on the high street – an adorable little toy shop – is just shutting its doors. Clara rolls up her sleeves and sets to work. Things are looking up until Joe, the son of the owner, comes to Yulethorpe. Joe is very busy with his job in London. Can a man who answers emails at 3 a. m. learn to appreciate the slower, happier, hygge things in life – naps, candles, good friends and maybe even falling in love?

This book is not only heartwarming, but also funny and insightful: A little more hygge is welcome everywhere, isn’t it?

Have a wonderful (X-Mas) week!

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The Books I’m Reading Right Now: Veilchen im Winter // Violets in Winter by Amei-Angelika Müller!

Pic by Franzi.

A few weeks ago I sat on  sofa in Osnabrück and had a relaxing break. Suddenly I found the novel Veilchen im Winter (translation: Violets in Winter) by Amei-Angelika Müller, published in 1990, in my hands and started reading:

Julia spends her first winter vacations with her skiing-obsessed husband in a sports hotel, somewhere in the snowy mountains. Very soon, she realizes that she is not quite a skiing talent (I sympathize with her!). So, she spends her days stumping through the snow, accidentally crashing with other skiers on a slope and waiting for her husband – who is too exhausted in the evenings to be any fun at all.

Until… she meets Friedel, a little boy who is – to his dad’s big disappointment –  also not very fond of skiing. The two of them are spending their days together, Julia tells Friedel stories about dragons and they are enjoying each other’s company. But then… they are standing in front of a real dragon.

A novel full of nice surprises that doesn’t take itself too serious. A nice and entertaining winter read!

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a fantastic one :)!

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The Books I’ve Read: Bretonische Flut // Breton Flood by Jean-Luc Bannalec!

dupinAudible screenshot. Made by Franzi.

Actually, the title of today’s post should be changed into “The Books I’ve Listened to….”. Bretonische Flut (Breton Flood) by Jean-Luc Bannalec is the fifth book of the “Commissaire Dupin” series. I only read the very first book and then switched to the audio versions read by Gerd Wameling, who is a fantastic reader and it’s a real treat to listen to his narration.

This time, “Commissaire Dupin” has to investigate the death of two young women: One was making her money with fishing, the other one was a marine scientist. The “Commissaire” has to switch between three different islands during his investigation (he’s easily getting seasick) and there are also real Breton pirates! An easy but thrilling read (or better listening), that’s as excellent as the other Dupin books.

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Have a thrillingly good one :)!

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The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert!

Gilbert Audible screenshot. Made by Franzi.

The Signature of All Things is a book I wanted to read for quite some time. First, because it is written by the wonderful Elizabeth Gilbert, whose name is reoccurring regularly on this blog (read my reviews about her book Eat, Pray, Love or about her podcast Magic Lessons, if you like). Then – as a Biologist myself – I was intrigued by the novel’s story:

The life of Alma Whittaker, the daughter of a bold and charismatic botanical explorer, who studies the world of plants and science in the 19th century.

Finally, the novel was the last book I bought for my Grandma before she passed away. She loved reading and I thought she would like the plot of a woman’s life more than a century ago. I don’t know if she ever had the time to read it – but I hope she did because it’s a wonderful book that gives insights into the history of science, the U.S., Europe, the Tropics and a lot more.

I actually listened to the audio book version in German – read by one of my favorite actors, Suzanne von Borsody, who made a great job! Conclusion: A must-read (or -listen to)!

I wish you a wonderful late-summer weekend! Have a remarkable time :)!

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The Books I’ve Read: Unter dem Moskitonetz // Under the Mosquito Net by Elizabeth Dunkel!

BookPic by Franzi.

Since Elizabeth Dunkel’s 1980s novel Every Women Loves a Russian Poet is one of my favorite books, I had to read her second novel Under the Mosquito Net as well.

Again, the story is about a single woman: Maia Rose is a successful beauty editor living in New York. She seems to have it all but she yearns for more and starts a trip to Mexico where she meets other ‘gringas‘, a grumpy men, a Don Juan, new friends and a totally other lifestyle. But does she really belong there?

Despite the fact that I love Elizabeth Dunkel’s style of writing I was a bit disappointed by the story – it plays with to many stereotypes. Thus, I would rate the book with only *** (out of ***** possible).

I wish you a fun weekend! Have a happy time :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me.

The Books I’ve Read: Reykjavík Café // Ganze Tage im Café by Sólveig Jónsdóttir!

BookPic by Franzi.

At this point everyone reading this blog might possibly know that I am totally into novels about women finding their own way of life. The book Reykjavík Café (German title Ganze Tage im Café) from the Icelandic author Sólveig Jónsdóttir falls just into this category and was a real treat to read.

It narrates the life of four women living in Reykjavík – everyone of them struggling with her own problems: A fresh breakup, the infidelity of a husband, the lover who refuses commitment, or dealing with the loss of a beloved person. The four couldn’t be more difficult – still it’s easy to bond with every one of them. A novel that will stay in my mind for quite some time.

I wish you a fun weekend – maybe there’s even time to met a friend in a café :)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

The Books I’ve Read: James Miranda Barry by Patricia Duncker!

bookPic by Franzi.

Currently I’m reading lots of books about tough women finding their own way. That’s why a colleague of mine lent me her copy of James Miranda Barry by Patricia Duncker. To be honest, I was quite sceptical if I would like it: It deals with the historical figure James Miranda Barry, a surgeon who lived during the 19th century. He was a successful doctor, serving in the army and was stationed amongst others in the tropics (where he experienced the last days of slavery among the negroes). And most important: It is wildly assumed that he was actually a women, who was raised as a boy since childhood to permit him to study medicine.

I am always a bit sceptical if I read historical stuff (BUT I love Ken Follett’s The Pillars of the Earth and Noah Gordon’s The Physician). Unfortunately, I really had to force myself through the 400 pages of the book. Nevertheless, I liked the figure of James Miranda Barry her/himself and learned a lot about the historical developments of his/her time. So, I conclude that it was maybe not my cup of book but the story itself is interesting and will stay into my mind for quite some time.

I wish you a wonderful weekend (with enough time for reading)!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.

Bittersüße Schokolade/Like Water For Chocolate/Como Agua Para Chocolate by Laura Esquivel!

BuchPic by Franzi.

This book by Mexican author Laura Esquivel is both, a novel in the style of magical realism and a cookbook. It’s divided into twelve chapters, each one describing one Mexican dish. The main character Tita is cooking it and while this happens her story is told: As the youngest daughter she has to serve her mother until the mother dies and is forbidden to marry the love of her love, Pedro. That’s how Pedro ended up with Tita’s sister and no one is really happy… nor Tita, Pedro or her sister. The story is about love, live, emancipation, the changing times during the last century and also about sex and food. A hot mix, I found rather refreshing and unexpected!

I wish you a wonderful weekend. Have a delicious one :)!

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What I’m Reading Right Now: Capital by John Lanchester!

CapitalPic by Franzi.

A colleague of mine gave me this book: Capital by John Lanchester. Since I follow the good-old book-nerd-rule to always give orange/yellow books a chance, I started to read it. This is what it’s about:

The residents of London’s Pepys Road regularly receive postcards with pictures of their own front doors and the line “We want what you have.” … But that’s not what’s the book is actually about. It tells the stories of different suburban lifes: Of an old lady, born a long time ago in the same house she still lives in. Of a polish craft man who wants to save enough money to go back home and offer his parents a better life. Of a rich couple, who has lost the focus on what ordinary people can afford and what things – besides money – really count. There’s even an incognito street artist (with huge Bansky references). Taken all stories together the book gives a perfect picture of the different but still stereotypical lifes in a big global city … like London.

I wish you a wonderful weekend! Which book will you start to read next?

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The Books I’ve Read: “Wann wird es endlich wieder so, wie es nie war” by Joachim Meyerhoff!

Meyerhoff JoachimPic by Franzi.

Joachim Meyerhoff’s book Wann wird es endlich wieder so, wie es nie war was the first book I’ve read with my NEW book club in Hamburg. Since my old book club back in Osnabrück read only nonfiction, it was an experiment to start with a novel.

It’s the story of Joachim Meyerhoff’s childhood: His father was the head of a child psychiatrie in Schleswig, a small town in the north of Germany. Growing up there, he had to deal with the common problems of kids (like not to be allowed to watch TV in the night), not so common problems (like having fits of raving madness) or strange friends (from the psychiatrie) and his family with two older brothers and parents, who had their very own troubles. It’s the story of becoming an adult, of dealing with the big and small problems of life and – foremost – it’s a story about the relationship between Joachim and his father.

I adored Joachim Meyerhoff’s writing style: He creates his very own visualizing words – “Besserwisserbruder”, “das grüne Mädcheninsekt” or “die Sackgasse Jähzorn”. It was a wonderful read with a lot of discussion potential. So, the experiment worked!

I wish you a wonderful weekend – with many lazy reading hours!

Like always: All credits appear after clicking the links. If you are interested in putting ads on My so-called Luck feel free to email me for details.