4 books from March

So, it’s time to look at the books that I read in March. A bit of a mixture again!

As always, I’ll try to provide links to audio books as well, as that’s how I read most of my books. If I read a book in German, I’ll look for the English version too! 3 out of the 4 books were in German this time, but they’re all available in English as well!

Der Krieg der Zwerge – the war of the dwarves

By: Markus Heitz
I read it from the library, but you can also get it in hard copy, ebook, and audible formats from Amazon.

This is the second book in the fantasy series that I started earlier in the year, following the life of Tungdil Goldhand and his friends. Will they be able to protect their land from the creature that is trying to drive out evil, but which also is hungry for power and not bothered about who gets hurt in the process? Is it possible to work with your enemies if you both want the same thing? Whom can you trust when nobody knows what’s going on? Yes, there are scenes of fighting, but there is also a lot about friendship, love, what motivates us to do the things we do, and the need for different races to work together.

For someone who until recently never picked up a fantasy book, I’ve found that I enjoy this genre!

Altered carbon

By: Richard Morgan
This was our March book from Audible. I’ve posted the direct link to the book and if you haven’t tried Audible before, you can get your first book free – details are at the bottom of the post with links for readers in the UK and Germany.

We watched the TV series about this first on Netflix. I think this is possibly one of the few cases in which I actually preferred the series. I’m usually the “book was better” kind of girl. But that’s not because I didn’t enjoy the book – more because I really liked the female police officer’s character in the TV series and she didn’t stand out for me as much in the book.

Anyway – it took me a while to get my head round how things work in this civilisation set in the future, where, as long as their chip is intact, people can be put into different bodies, make clones of themselves, and be put into storage if they commit crimes. So people aren’t always who you think they are and you need to keep track of them. Life takes on a whole new meaning. Physical bodies are disposable, as long as you have the money to buy a new one, and there are some quite disturbing scenes.

Basically it’s about a guy who was contracted by a billionaire to find out who murdered his last body, even though all the evidence points to it being a suicide attempt.

I thought this was a stand-alone book, but on looking up the link found it was the first part of a trilogy. Probably not something I would have picked up if I hadn’t seen the TV series, but if something I’ve watched was based on a book, I like to read the book as well. It goes to show that whatever changes in terms of technology, basic human nature doesn’t change much!

Der Nachtzirkus – The night circus

By: Erin Morgenstern

This was our March book in my book club. I got it from the library, but it’s also available in a range of formats from Amazon.

Where do I start with this book? Basically it’s about two wizards who embark on a horrible contest to see which of their students is the most powerful. The students have no idea what the rules of the contest are, or who their opponent is. They eventually fall in love, which is a problem, because at the end of the contest, only one of the competitors can live.

Only a small number of characters know about the competition. Everyone else just sees the circus of dreams, which appears suddenly and only opens its doors in the nighttime. Then it disappears as mysteriously as it arrives, after people have been captivated by the many unusual and magical tents. For most people it’s a wonderful experience and they are completely unaware that the circus is the stage for something more sinister.

The story is written from different perspectives and jumps around quite a lot, moving backwards and forwards in time. The time shifts did confuse me a bit, but they fit with the general idea of nobody being quite sure what’s going on.

There is a lot of descriptive writing in this book. I think this works, because it really helps you to imagine what everything looks like – but if you just want action or dialogue, this probably isn’t the book for you!

Kein Kuss unter dieser Nummer – I’ve got your number

By: Sophie Kinsella

This was my chick lit for the month – kind of predictable, but still amusing and a light-hearted read! I got it from the library, but it’s also available on Amazon.

Poppy is about to get married, when she loses her engagement ring and shortly afterwards her phone as well. She then sees a phone that someone chucked in a hotel bin, and she decides to “borrow” it for a while. The owner of the phone isn’t happy about that, but rather than calling the police, agrees to let her keep it for a few days in exchange for doing some PA tasks. The old PA had just disappeared without giving notice. After that follows an unlikely but funny series of events involving the two main characters, but also the spoiled fiancé, the in-laws who aren’t what they seem, the evil ex, the crazy wedding planner, and various business associates.

I’m not sure whether we’re supposed to relate to Sophie Kinsella’s chaotic, good-hearted but far-too-open-for-their-own-good female characters! I have to say I related more to Sam, who thinks that not every email needs to be answered and just because someone wants something from you, it doesn’t mean you have to drop everything immediately to go and do it! Anyway, I could see that opposites attract and the characters were good for each other as they tried to help each other get their lives sorted out.

The end was a bit predictable, but who doesn’t love a happy ending?

How about you?

So, have you read any of these books? What have you been reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

Your chance to get a free audio book from Audible

If you’re in the UK or Germany, you can get a free ebook if you sign up for an Audible subscription. Whether or not you continue with the monthly subscription, you get to keep your audio book, and you can choose from 200,000 titles on a wide range of subjects. You can then download the Audible app on your phone and take your book with you wherever you go! (Books have to be purchased on the website – you can’t do it on the app).

Link for the UK
Link for Germany

1. This offer is open to people in Germany and the UK. Remember to use the correct link for your country.
2. You are eligible if you haven’t had a free audio book from Audible in the last year.
3. If you don’t want to pay, you must remember to cancel your subscription within the first month. You will still be able to keep your free book.
4. If you like the service, you will continue to receive a credit each month, which can be used to buy a book. Buying books on subscription is often cheaper than buying them individually.

Never miss another post!

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping deals or discounts that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links. All views are my own honest opinions.

The five books that I read in February

So, it’s time to look at the books that I read in February. A bit of a mixture again!

As always, I’ll try to provide links to audio books as well, as that’s how I read most of my books. If I read a book in German, I’ll look for the English version too!

1. Still me

Author: Jojo Moyes
Available in various formats on Amazon.

This is the third book in the series that started with “Me before you”. I wanted to see what happened, but I began to lose patience with the main character. She finally finds love for a second time, walks away to pursue happiness in another country and wonders why things don’t go well with that?! And even when things finally look as though they’ll turn around, she still doesn’t learn! Is there any hope?

I’m still interested in other books by this author because I like the characters that she creates and the issues addressed in the books (exploitation of staff and coming to grips with a new culture feature in this one), but it’s hard to be invested in a character if you don’t like them very much!

2. 19 Minuten (19 minutes)

By: Jodi Picoult
I got this from the German library, but it’s also available on Amazon.

In contrast to my first easy read of the month, this is a gripping and thought-provoking book that explores gun violence in schools. The reference to 19 minutes is the amount of time it took for a high school student to shoot a number of his classmates and a teacher.

I wanted to read the book because I had read “my sister’s keeper” by the same author and I wanted to find out what else she’d written.

It’s not a detective novel. The suspect is taken into custody afterwards and there is no question that he did it. This book didn’t change my views on ownership of and access to weapons, although recent events have brought this topic to the forefront of discussion again in the US. For me it was more about the relationships between the characters. The pressure to belong and not be seen as different. The consequences that being different can have. How everything spiralled out of control. The people left behind and how they came to terms with the situation. The history from a number of perspectives.

I don’t ever remember peer pressure being so strong in my school. Maybe I missed it. Maybe I just didn’t care enough about what people thought to be affected by it. But as well as the obvious issues around guns, there are other topics here such as bullying in schools, and those who can only feel good about themselves when they are making others feel bad.

3. (The husband’s secret)

By: Liane Moriarty
I read this as “Geheimnis meines Mannes” from the German library, but it’s also available in a number of formats from Amazon.

This was the February book for the online book club that I joined recently. The idea is that we all read the book and then discuss it in the Facebook group at the end of the month.

I hadn’t read anything by this author before. It starts off by being a bit confusing because it keeps switching between the three main characters, but it soon becomes clear how their stories fit together. It portrays small-town life in a way that I would find rather stifling – everyone seems to know each other and have kids or want to be looking after kids, which made me ask the question “is there nobody like me in this community?”

But that’s not the focus of the book. Instead, we follow what happens when a happily married mother of three finds a note from her husband that should only be opened after he has died. He reacts badly to the news that it’s been found – so should she open it? What secrets will come out if she does? Will her marriage survive?

I found parts of the narrative a bit far-fetched, but again I thought it was good to see a book from different perspectives so that we had a better insight into all the characters and how their decisions and actions have an impact on those around them.

4. Oath of gold

By: Elizabeth Moon

I was given this as a Christmas present and read it on iBooks and it’s also available on Amazon.

According to the website: “Paksenarrion – Paks for short – was somebody special. Never could she have followed her father’s orders and married the pigfarmer down the road. Better a soldier’s life than a pigfarmer’s wife, and so though she knew that she could never go home again, Paks ran away to be a soldier. And so began an adventure destined to transform a simple Sheepfarmer’s Daughter into a hero fit to be chosen by the gods.”

I don’t want to give too much away in case you haven’t read the first two books, but this is the most dramatic of the three books in this fantasy series. After everything falls apart towards the end of the second book, Paks has to put her life back together and whilst doing so, discovers some important secrets that could change the history of the world as she knows it.

Introducing new characters and bringing back familiar faces, the book comes to a dramatic and rather violent climax. There are scenes of torture, which some may prefer not to read. I did read on till the end and would like to know what happened next – but although there are other books set in this world, this was the final book in the series about Paks.

5. Sheltering rain

By: Jojo Moyes

Available in multiple formats on Amazon.

I am an Audible member and as well as getting one credit each month, there is a daily deal, which means a book is chosen by Audible and it’s sold for £2 or £3, which is much cheaper than the normal price.

As I’d read some other books by this author, and as this one featured horses, I decided to get it.

It’s a family novel – about broken relationships, generational conflict, learning to understand people whose world is completely different from your own. It’s about how even the perfect love story isn’t perfect, and how you need to work at relationships if you want them to work out. Plus there are dogs and horses!

How about you?

So, have you read any of these books? What have you been reading this month? Let me know in the comments!

Your chance to get a free audio book from Audible

If you’re in the UK or Germany, you can get a free ebook if you sign up for an Audible subscription. Whether or not you continue with the monthly subscription, you get to keep your audio book, and you can choose from 200,000 titles on a wide range of subjects. You can then download the Audible app on your phone and take your book with you wherever you go! (Books have to be purchased on the website – you can’t do it on the app).

Link for the UK
Link for Germany

1. This offer is open to people in Germany and the UK. Remember to use the correct link for your country.
2. You are eligible if you haven’t had a free audio book from Audible in the last year.
3. If you don’t want to pay, you must remember to cancel your subscription within the first month. You will still be able to keep your free book.
4. If you like the service, you will continue to receive a credit each month, which can be used to buy a book. Buying books on subscription is often cheaper than buying them individually.

Never miss another post!

If you’d like to get my catch-up emails, usually twice a week, you can sign up using this form.

The emails contain news of my new posts, other things that I’ve enjoyed (podcasts, posts from other bloggers, interesting articles etc), and any UK shopping deals or discounts that I think my readers might like.

This post contains some affiliate links. All views are my own honest opinions.