Life of Pi – Yann Mantel**
Until the last, let’s say 10 pages, I was wondering why the hell I was reading this book. If it were not for the 300 pages before, it would have been absolutely great. Unfortunately, you need them for the understanding. Great reading but a 100 pages less would have improved the story line.
Stefan Zweig – 24 hours in the life of a woman*
Not a bad reading. I like Stefan Zweig but the image of women have changed quite a while since and all this talking about what a woman should not do because of social standards, family, etc. is too far from my reality.
Neil Gaiman: Sternwanderer
Worst book 2008 though the movie was nice. The book is a crude mix of fairy-tale, fantasy and porn. One of them would have been enough.
Nick Hornby: Fever Pitch**
The perfect book to prepare yourself for an important football competition. Alternatively, a good attempt to describe what football is about; even for people who haven’t a clue about it.
Anna Gavalda: Ensemble c’est tout***
Read the second time because I liked it so much the first. A romantic, slightly kitsch love comedy. Nothing I would ever watch as movie but the book is great.
Traudl Jung/Melissa Müller: Bis zur letzten Stunde***
The memories of one of Hitler’s secretaries contributed many years later to the movie “The Downfall”. A fascinating book from a fascinating woman showing again that the devil can have more than one human face.
Dan Simmons: Endymion I & Endymion II*
Following the great Hyperion novels, biggest disappointment 2008. For all those who enjoyed Hyperion: Don’t read it.
Sébastian Japrisot: La dame dans l’auto avec des lunettes et un fusil***
French polar with all elements a polar should have. An interesting main character, a slow revealing of a thrilling story, a powerful ennemi and an unexpected ending.
Jean Ray: Malpertuis*
Weird book about ancient gods who, captured by a sailor, live in an old house. I don’t think I fully understood the story. Not sure though if it was me or if there was nothing to understand.
Friedrich Dürrenmatt: Besuch der alten Dame***
A good, quick reading about how much power money has and that vengance, especially served cold, is the sweetest dish.
Eric Duchatel, Jean-Philippe Postel: Pandorre et l’ouvre-boite**
A book I only bought for the Wortwitz in the title and the idea behind. Two authors write the same polar but from a different point of view and with a different main character. Two books in one, so to say.
Phillipe Claudel: Les ames grises**
The title sets the tone: grey. Not a book with much jokes though well written. The murder of a young girl shows the limits of humanity in a small French town during the first World War. Others are more fund of it than I was.
Gothold Ephraim Lessing: Nathan der Weise**
One of those classics I wanted to read since long because we didn’t read it at school. The Ring Parable is one of the best examples of regligious tolerance and the best part of the book. The rest is too many emotional for my liking.
Eric Emmanuel Schmitt: Odette Toutlemonde**
Collection of short stories about love. Well written, good to read and feel well fast food for the soul.
Athol Fugard: Tsotsi***
One of those books I should have read before going to South Africa. Or at least while being in South Africa as it gives a good insight into what life was for black South Africans in the townships during the Appartheid. A young gangster “tsotsi” decides to take care of a newborn he kind of stumbles over. The tone, the story, the characters – undescriptible.
Gregory Maguire: Wicked*
Very good start and very week ending. Though, that’s not fair to say as the ending of the Wicked Witch of the West is known but the story in between could have got some more… punch.
Tad Williams: Otherland*
The first out of four novels. Five or more main characters are presented in their storylines and it took almost 80% of the book until I got into it. There are many good ideas and some characters I really liked (Paul!) but it was not enough to make me buy the second.
Kenneth Cain, Heidi Postlwait, Andrew Thomson: Emergency Sex and Other Desperate Measures***A book to read in the metro or tramway just for having the fun of seeing peoples faces when they read the title. The authors, all working for the UN, meet for the first time in Cambodia and stay in touch though they find each other in very different zones of conflicts over the following years – Liberia, Haiti, Congo, Yugoslavia, etc. An excellent book for all idealists who still believe that humankind will eventually evolve towards something better. And an excellent book for everybody else.
Philippe Janeada: Le chameau sauvage*
Loooong story for a moral worth five cent. Well written but I was truly asking myself at the end if this was really it. Somehow the contrary of the very first book in this list.
Danniel Pennac: Messieur les enfants**
Easy reading for a busy end of the year. A few good laughs and a happy ending. What else do you want?