11 February 2015

January 2015 Wrap Up

In January 2015 I read two books:

The Humans
by Matt Haig
Germany: Memories of a Nation
by Neil MacGregor

These were both absolutely great books! I got Germany: Memories of a Nation for Christmas, and bought The Humans shortly after from my closest bookshop at home, but didn't start either of them until January.

Although I started reading it second, I finished The Humans first, maybe because it was a good 300 pages shorter than Germany, or maybe because it was so ridiculously engrossing I swallowed it up in only a few days. It tells the story of an alien sent to earth in the place of a Mathematics Professor, whose solution of a famous maths problem this alien is tasked with destroying, as with is, the Earth will be able to advance further than what the aliens deem correct. Even though its main character is an alien, it's called The Humans because it is all about human nature, and how confusing and bizarre and frightening and wonderful it can be, and how it is viewed through the eyes of this alien who has never encountered humans before, and is thoroughly baffled by all of them. It was emotional and funny and exciting, and I loved the characters. It also really made me think about human nature and how we live our lives, and I don't know if anything will come from that, but it was certainly fascinating to think about. I gave this book 5 stars, and would definitely recommend it to anyone (except probably kids).

Germany: Memories of a Nation is an amazing, quite intimidating book, but luckily the writing isn't tiny, and there are more pictures than you'd expect, plus the chapters are quite short and self-contained, so it's quite an easy (but certainly a long) read. It ties in with the exhibition of the same name which was held at the British Museum in London, and celebrates 600 years of German history through different objects. The books overlaps with the exhibit a lot, but having visited it myself I can say that the book is a lot more interesting, and even though it's more expensive, you really get what you pay for. It goes all the way through German history, from the Holy Roman Empire to the Fall of the Berlin Wall, and is really well-written and thought out. I gave it 4 stars, and would recommend it to anyone with any interest in Germany and its history, as it's so easily accessible to even people with no prior knowledge of the subject matter, and I feel I learnt a lot from it.

As of February 2015 I am currently reading 2 books:

Lizzie Siddal 
by Lucinda Hawksley


Through The Language Glass: Why 
The World Looks Different In Other Languages

by Guy Deutscher

Also on my To Be Read list is:

by Marissa Meyer

Abschied von Sidonie
(Farwell Sidonia)
Erich Hackl

Dantons Tod
(Death of Danton)
Georg B├╝chner

Cinder is the only one I'm really excited for here, the other two are set texts for some of my university modules. I've heard that Dantons Tod is incredibly dull (but I'm not sure how much of that negativity is due to tired students being forced to read something they have absolutely no desire to), but it's an incredibly thin play, so hopefully won't be too strenuous.

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