Buchtipps - English Books

Greek Mythology retold by Stephen Fry, with a witty commentary and etymological facts. The book is a great introduction to Greek Mythology, with lots of entertaining remarks, yet very informative. For all of us from 14 years upwards.

This is the story of 2 sisters from Ghana who never meet and the fate of their families over several generations. While Esi is sold into slavery and her descendents fight for survival as slaves in the South, during the Civil War and in today’s racist America, Effia’s family stays in Ghana and is affected and in parts complicit in the slave trade on the other side of the Atlantic. Particularly interesting due to the changing perspectives.

In the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, young Count Alexander Rostov is condemned to spend an indefinite period under “house arrest” at the Hotel Metropol. While outside the hotel the political and social order is in turmoil, the amiable Count tries to find meaningful ways to spend his time. A funny, intelligent and charming tale elegantly told.

In a tragic hunting accident on an Ojibwa reservation, the young boy Dusty is killed. Following old tribal traditions, Landreaux Iron, who fired the shot, sends his own son LaRose to live with Dusty’s family as compensation. In her 15th novel, Erdrich takes us once again to the realm of Native American life today, telling a moving tale of love, guilt and forgiveness.  

After decades of exile, the author returns to his homeland Libya and takes the reader on a journey through his family’s and his country’s history. His memoir is a loving testimony to his father and at the same time an intense account of the conflict in Libya and the whole region from Gaddafi’s takeover to the Arab Spring.

A story of two orphaned boys, who find each other and grow up as soldiers in the middle of the brutal violence of the Indian Wars and the Civil War in the 19th century North America. Barry tells this story, which is at the same time beautiful and gruesome, in exceptional language, creating a very vivid atmosphere. It’s a novel about friendship and love, advocating alternative lifestyles and tolerance.

It’s always interesting to read a biography of an important historical figure by a non-native scholar, particularly when it’s as masterly as this. Well-researched and written, its most distinguishing aspect is Blanning’s treatment of the influence of and evidence for Frederick’s homosexuality, which has usually been ignored or glossed over.

Whoever can read le Carré’s fascinating reminiscences in the original should definitely do so. His prose is exquisite and vivid. He writes of famous people he has met, the political backgrounds and cinematic “makings” of his bestsellers. Most moving and humorous of all are the incidents concerning his upper-class criminal charmeur of a father, Reggie!

A beautiful and witty novel on the subjective experience of time. Set in post-Brexit England, the narrative revolves around the unusual friendship between the young girl Elisabeth and her elderly neighbor Mr. Gluck. Smith’s playful and moving prose makes for an interesting and entertaining read.

1937 in Leningrad; a man is standing with his suitcase by the elevator in the middle of the night, waiting to be taken away. Barnes’ novel is a fictionalized account of the tragic life of soviet composer Dmitri Shostakovich under Stalin. It’s about art under an oppressive system, about power and human compromise. Intriguing and well-written as always.