The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott: There is a recent movie called ‘The Dressmaker’ with Kate Winslet which Sylvia saw on our way to China. Seeing her with tears in her eyes (probably because the pretty boy died) made me pick up this book which in the end was a totally different book and has nothing to do with the film whatsoever. The book weaves a story about the Titanic and the aftermath of its sinking. I have read quite a few books on this topic but not none which covers the commission dealing with the inquiry into what went wrong. Great story but a very simple telling of it. Also I couldn’t empathize with the main character, the love triangle was weird and although her choice in the end was great it was unbelievable. Too bad, this could have been so much better. Still, it’s a fast and enjoyable read if you are into the Titanic.
Vanishing Girls by Lauren Oliver: Thank God for a YA book that doesn’t come as trilogy. The story is actually over with this book. Also I find Lauren Oliver is not your average storyteller but one that keeps you engaged and invested in a story. The book is about two teenage sisters who got in an accident. One of them gets hurt and scarred for life. It is about how the two sisters deal with life thereafter and their total estrangement when before they were best friends. Then one of them vanishes on her birthday and the other one has to finally deal with what really happened on the night of the accident. As usual Lauren Oliver is a surety when it comes to delivering a story you want to keep on reading. Entertaining and thoughtful with an unexpected twist in the end.
I Am Zlatan by Zlatan Ibrahimovic: I wasn’t sure what to expect from a book written by a football player (okay, of course there is a ghost writer) but was pleasantly surprised. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is a well-known figure in football. He doesn’t whitewash his behavior in his youth or on the field. What he does though is giving great insight in what goes on behind those closed doors (at least for me). I liked the descriptions of the coaches, people who are still around and suddenly I see them with different eyes when I watch a game. Also I found a review online where most of the described goals are linked to YouTube. That made the book even better. I might even have become a little obsessed with him and started to google him quite often while reading the book. He is definitely not a boring read!
Unterwerfung by Michel Houellebecq: OMG this was depressing. The story is set sometime in the near future in France. A muslim government gets elected with the help of a left-wing party. That’s the scenario and within this structure our protagonist adjusts to his new life. It’s the end of Western culture and not even slow but quite abrupt. All of a sudden unemployment is not existing because women stay home and men take over. What made me angry was how the leading character was accepting everything. He never really questioned anything and if he did, then he stopped thinking about it really soon. And it is not just him, it’s society overall that didn’t do anything but just accepts its fate. How can that ever happen? And what kind of life is this when we put ourselves back to stone age. But you know what, the current discussions in Poland about women’s right to abortion is going in the same direction. And this is coming from a right-wing government backed by the Catholic Church. That’s what is frightening me. Left or right, men only ever care about themselves.