April & May’s Reading Recap: For Expats & Fans of Germany

by farrah on June 1, 2015 · 2 comments

Apparently April snuck by me so quickly I didn’t even notice it ended. That, or perhaps my list of ‘books read’ for the month was pretty pitiful. Well, it was, BUT the redeeming quality April offered me was discovering a series I fell in love with and devoured in the past few weeks.

the hangman's daughterThe latest winner in ‘What I can’t shut up about…’

This time I have a series set in medieval Germany (with tips for travelers to the area) and a fabulous expat guide for those of us trotting the globe. As always, I love hearing your recommendations and you never know, I might just splurge on something besides my Kindle Unlimited selections. Since yes, I still haven’t cancelled it yet! I guess for me it really was worth it.

April

Maude– A book in the Unlimited program, I picked it because I didn’t have anything else in the fire and the reviews were decent. Well, that’s the last time I use the reviews as my decision factor. This book depressed me as nothing comes to anything good and there’s no redemption at the end. I kept thinking I read the ending wrong. Historical fiction.

Wreckage– I pushed my way through this mystery. I figured out the secret and was disappointed. The story itself was far-fetched (three people stranded on a desert island rescued after two years) and I didn’t buy the characters as believable (any of them). I’m glad it was free since meh. I wouldn’t have wanted to waste even $2. Modern fiction, teetering on the chick-lit genre.

The Hangman’s Daughter– Ok, so this book started my obsession with Oliver Pötzsch. The overall gist of the books written by Mr. Pötzsch is about a hangman named Jakon Kuisl and his family. They live in 1600s Bavaria, and the author has deep knowledge about the life being in a ‘dishonourable’ hangman’s family (he says he is a descendant of one himself) AND the Bavarian area. Any idea how fun it is to read historical fiction that’s set in my backyard and places I have been??? And to top it off not only is the mystery of each story exciting and well told- at the end of the books he offers travelers’ tips to visit the places he names in his books. We’re already planning to make a pit stop in Schongau on our way to Austria this summer. (Ann & Elizabeth this is for you!). Historical fiction, mystery- totally ok for a mature reader in high school, although there are some references to crimes of war and possible rape (as are the rest in the series).

May

The Dark Monk– Book 2 in the Hangman’s Daughter series, I am still really enjoying the setting, language, and characters. I am happy that there’s more to come!

The Beggar King– Overall I liked this book the least, since I don’t like it when the main character is in the most trouble. I know, that’s silly of me, right? But it’s true and the fact that Jakob was not able to be the center of attention took away some of the fun for me. Book three in the Hangman’s Daughter series, it kept me invested.

The Poisioned PilgrimLast in the Hangman’s Daughter series (so far), I found that I had grown a little weary of the storyline. I am guessing that’s as much to do with the fact that I read them all back to back and I’ve figured out the author’s formula. Now, however, I am ready to read more about this little family in Schongau and will be twiddling my thumbs until The Werewolf of Bamberg comes out at the end of the year.

The Expat Partner’s Survival Guide– I actually paid for this since I was so excited to get a copy. I’ve bumped into Clara a few times here and there online, and was flattered when she asked for some of my input to contribute to her book. It’s a wealth of information and if you’re getting ready to expat- check it out. Additionally her website is great (see link) and she provides more resources for the reader.

Currently reading:

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone-I’ve read this twice I believe, and now it’s time for me to read it with my kids. Brody loves it- it’s his first real chapter book, and he’s very, very into it. Well, as much as a 6-year-old can be- and asks all of the questions you can possibly imagine and then some. I ordered an English version paperback copy from our local bookstore- with the added perk that it’s in large print. Really nice since my son likes me to keep my finger under the words as we go along.

The Crossing Places– I just started it, but so far find it enjoyable. It is a series (shocking) and in the Unlimited program, so that’s pretty much all I need in life to be happy I suppose. A mystery with 6 books in the series, let’s see if I can commit. So far I really like the main character. Seems to be written with some British colloquialisms but nothing that impacts the story.

Lastly

So now as of June 1st I have completed 23 books on my goal to 50. Seems about right since I am at the halfway point of the year. If you’re looking for something to read, I give you a blurb and mention some of my other favorite series in my previous posts: January, February & March’s Reading Recaps. It goes without saying that I, along with millions of other poor souls, are also waiting GRR to get things together and give us what we want.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ann June 1, 2015 at 4:24 pm

I wondered how this was – by this I mean the hangman’s daughter. I may try it in the next few months.

There really is something cool reading about places you are somewhat familiar with. Read Tulip Fever. Takes place in the height of Tulips-as-currency in Amsterdam.

I recently read station eleven and really liked it.

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2 Clara June 8, 2015 at 11:53 am

Awww just seen this – thank you! You might have felt flattered to be asked to contribute to the book – but I was equally flattered that you agreed 🙂 Your contributions were fab.

I have been away on hols for a couple of weeks so just trying to catch up but will be doing a round-up blog post in the next few days so will include a link to your site. And will check out some of your book recommendations too!

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