10 novels that will change your perspective

10 books to read to change your perspective on the world
If you’ve been reading this blog for a while (or if you’re following me over on Instagram) you probably know that one of my biggest hobbies is to read. My favourite kind of novels are the ones that teach you something at the same time as keeping you invested in a gripping story. In this post, I have put together a list of my favourite novels that will truly change your perspective and how you see the world.

“We read to know we’re not alone.”

Americanah: This is probably one of my favourite novels ever. And I read A LOT of great books. Americanah tells the story of  lovers Ifemelu and Obinze. As they leave Nigeria for the West, they get separated. Ifemelu tries to find her way in the US while Obinze goes to England. 15 years later they meet again, as both once again return to their homeland. It’s a fascinating and true story about being an immigrant, an outsider, as well as finding your way back once you’ve left your home.

Homegoing: Homegoing isn’t a typical read for me since the story picks of in the 18th century (and I’m NOT a fan of historical fiction). The story is worth reading it though. It deals with the sisters Effia and Esi, two sisters with two very different destinies. While Esi is sold into slavery in America, while Effia stays in Ghana and marries a British slave trader. The novel tells the story of their families – each generation up until this day. It’s a fantastic tale and it will really change your perspective on American history as well.

When the Moon is Low: I only just finished this book and now I want to get everyone I know to read it. It tells the story of Fereiba who flees from Afghanistan with her three children after her husband gets killed. In the course of the journey (spoiler alert) Fereiba and her 16-year old son Saleem get separated, each trying to find their own way to London. I’ve never read a refugee story that tells the individual details of the different stops of the journey (Turkey, Greece, Italy and so on) in such detail. This book isn’t an easy read, but it definitely changes your perspective as well.

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

The Kite Runner: I love all of Khaled Hosseini’s novels, The Kite Runner as well as “And the Mountain Echoed” and “A Thousand Splendid Suns”. If you still haven’t read any of them, you need to change that immediately. This is his first one, so I’d start with it. His prose is absolutely beautul and you will learn a lot about Afghanistan and it’s history along the way.

Exit West: This novel is quite new and well worth the buzz it received lately. It tells the story of Nadia and Saeed, two very different people who fall in love in the middle of a civil war. Together, they decide to flee. Will they make it? And will their love make it as well? A very wise observation of a book.

Half of a Yellow Sun: My second book from Adichi for this post, but she’s just so good. This book is really informative as well, this time on the civil war in Nigeria in the 1960s, how the world reacted and what it did to Nigerian citizens. But it’s not just a history book – there are three intermingled family stories that are really fascinating as well.

The Lowland: Another family story (can you tell that I like those?), this time set in India in the 1960s. Brothers Sudash and Udayan are inseparable, but also absolutely different. Udayan wants to change Indian politics, while Sudash leaves for America to make a name for himself. Then tragedy happens and the family is shook upside down. This is another book I absolutely love and it will keep you glued to the pages till the end.

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.”

Behold the Dreamers: Jende and Neni are immigrants in New York, fresh from Nigeria. The year is 2007 and it’s looking good – Jende has a job with a Clark Edwards, a high manager at Lehman Brothers. The family is moving up in the world. Then the financial world crashes down – and for Jende and Neni everything changes too.

Zeitoun: This is the (real!) story of Abdulrahman Zeitoun, a prosperous Syrian-American and father of four children. When Hurricane Katrina hits New Orleans, he decides to stay in the city to take care of his properties. What happens to people once order is lost, is truly scary. This shows how prejudices affect all of us and how they can have truly horrible repercussions. Not an easy read, but definitely worth it.

What is the What: I read this book ages ago and it still has an impact on me. It’s from 2006, written way before the ‘refugee crisis’, but it’s still surprisingly relevant. It tells the story Valentino Achak Deng, a refugee from Sudan, and what he has experienced on his way out of his country. This book will haunt you.

What books did you read lately that changed your perspective?

Kleiderrebell in Berlin

Kleiderrebell in Berlin

Have you guys heard of Kleiderrebell yet? It’s pretty cool: Instead of buying new clothes, you can borrow them on the Kleiderrebell homepage. You can keep them as long as you want and only have to pay a monthly fee for every item. I’ve wanted to try Kleiderrebell for ages and a few weeks ago, I finally grabbed the chance!

Shortly before the seasons change, I often get really bored with my closet. I feel like I’ve been wearing the same five outfits for weeks on end and just crave a change. Also, I really wanted to have something nice to wear on my weekend in Berlin. So this time, instead of investing in new fair fashion pieces, I borrowed a few from the Kleiderrebell page.

Kleiderrebell in Berlin

Kleiderrebell in Berlin

I especially fell in love with the coat: It’s a vintage piece (I think) and it makes every outfit instantly feel cool. I definitely didn’t feel out of place surrounded by Berlin hipsters ;) In this outfit, I paired it with one of my favourite JAN ‘N JUNE sweaters and some old Asos jeans. The blouse and the necklace are also Kleiderrebell pieces – outfit complete.

I’m a big fan of all black outfits (also something that fit quite in Berlin). I try to mix it up with some pops of colours though and colourful socks are my weapon of choice there. Do you prefer wearing colour or black on black? No matter what, you’ll probably find something on Kleiderrebell. Let me know if you tried it!

Kleiderrebell in Berlin

Kleiderrebell in Berlin

Coat, Blouse, Tote, Necklace: Kleiderrebell + Sweater: JAN ‘N JUNE (old collection) + Sneakers: Veja + Socks: Jollie Socks + Jeans: Asos (old)

Brand Info

+ Kleiderrebell: Kleiderrebell is an online platform from Germany, where you can borrow clothes for a monthly fee. Perfect if your wardrobe is already bursting at the seams or you’re looking for something special you won’t wear that often (for a wedding for example)

+ JAN ‘N JUNE: Fair fashion label from Germany. You can read an interview I did with them over here.

+ Veja: Fair sneaker label from France, made in Brasil.

+ Jollie Socks: Sock company that supports homeless charities with every sale.

+ Asos: High street label, probably not produced in a fair way.

Kleiderrebell in Berlin

 

Eco fashion on a budget

How to buy eco fashion on a budget

One of the things I hear most often when I tell people I only buy fair fashion is: “But it’s so expensive!” And of course, that’s true. Fair fashion is more expensive than the high street. With good reason also: Clothes on the high street are only cheap because people get exploited producing them. Still, it’s not impossible to only buy fair fashion and still look fashionable. Even if you’re on a small budget.

How to buy eco fashion on a budget

+ Keep a Pinterest board: Keeping a style board on Pinterest has been one of the methods that helped me most in figuring out what to shop for in the past years. Every time I see an outfit I like, I pin it to my board. Then, if I feel like I need new clothes, I look for pieces I’ve pinned over and over again. This way, I only buy items I’ve liked for some time and don’t spend money on clothes that aren’t even my style.

+ Get the newsletter: Most (fair fashion) brands have a weekly newsletter these days. They often put in amazing sales and coupon codes, so you can save money if you just wait for the right newsletter. Also, most brands offer a discount just for signing up for the newsletter, such an easy way to find some eco fashion on a budget.

+ Keep a list of items to get: At the beginning of each season I look at my closet and my Pinterest board and write down what I would like to add to my closet. Then I shop for these items only (and save on unnecessary purchases once again).

+ Use Kleiderkreisel & ebay efficiently: If you start out with fair fashion, online secondhand shops are your best friend. They might seem a little overwhelming at first, but with a few tricks navigating them gets a lot easier. First of all, only look for very stylish brands that are a little out of your normal price range. For example, I really miss shopping at Zara but looking for Zara on Kleiderkreisel drives me insane. There are just too many pieces that aren’t great anymore (and too many pieces in general). Instead, looking for COS, &otherstories, Edited or fair fashion favourites like Filippa K are way more fun! Once you’ve found a piece you really like, look at what other pieces the seller has in store – it’s very likely there’s more beautiful pieces to find.

Look fashionable without spending money

+ Shop your own closet: This is a simple method that doesn’t cost any money. Every couple of month, take out everything that’s in your closet. Fall in love with the pieces that you’ve forgotten about, waiting in the back of your closet. This way, you will find ‘new’ pieces for the season ahead without spending a penny!

+ Host a clothing swap: Another fun way to get rid of old clothes and find new favourites is to host a clothing swap. Invite a few good friends, tell them to bring some friends as well and start swapping! Everyone can bring a snack and the clothes they don’t like anymore. Hopefully, you’ll all find some new favourites and also just have a great time with your best friends.

These are the steps that made it easier for me to shop eco fashion on a budget without missing out on style. Do you have tips and tricks as well? Tell me in the comments!

 

4 Berlin coffee shops you need to visit

4 Berlin coffee shops you need to visit

A few weeks ago, I went to Berlin to visit some friends. It’s such a cool city. We had the best time walking around, catching up and of course: Drinking coffee! Since I’ve been to Berlin a couple of times already (and my friends live there), we didn’t actually visit a lot of the sights. More time to visit the best Berlin coffee shops! We only had three days, so there are probably way more Berlin coffee shops that we didn’t get around to visit. After my Paris coffee round up, here’s my coffee guide for Berlin. If you have a favourite that’s missing from this list, let me know in the comments!

Roamers

4 Berlin coffee shops you need to visitRoamers in Neukölln is every plant lovers dream! It’s really pretty in there and both the food and the place are very Instagram-friendly ;) The coffee was really good too!

One thing to consider though: Roamers is definitely not a chill place. It’s a tiny coffee shop and we waited about half an hour for a table. We got to sit in the sun, so we didn’t care. Just remember: This isn’t a place to slowly enjoy your coffee and read a book on a Saturday afternoon.

Address + opening times

Pannierstrasse 64, 12043 Berlin
Tue – Fri: 9:30 – 19:00
Sat – Sun: 10:00 – 19:00

Betty’n Caty

Berlin coffee shops you need to visitBetty’n Caty is a wonderful lunchplace/coffee shop in Prenzlauer Berg. I bet you could have a wonderful brunch over here and the cheese cake was wonderful and fluffy.

We sat upstairs, so we were able to people watch while sipping our coffee. The staff was really nice and welcoming as well, always a plus in my book! The food is a little pricy, but looks really tasty if you want to treat yourself!

Address + opening times

Knaackstraße 26, 10405 Berlin
Mon – Fri: 08:00 – 22:00
Sat – Sun: 09:00 – 22:00

Brammibal’s Donuts

Berlin coffee shops you need to visitThis isn’t only a coffee shop, it’s a donut place. What’s more, it’s a vegan donut place with flavours like espresso, pumpkin cream cheese and raspberry almond (!). If this doesn’t make you curious, what’s wrong with you? ;)

Sadly, I was really full when we visited, but my friends claim that the donuts taste great. They definitely look great and you can go for a lovely walk along the Maybach Ufer if you’re visiting.

Address + opening times

Maybachufer 8, 12047 Berlin
Tue-Sun: 10:00 – 18:00

Zeit für Brot

Man, I love Zeit für Brot. They aren’t famous for their coffee (although it tastes great too!) but for their absolutely heavenly, massive cinnamon rolls. I wish I lived closer to eat one every single day, they are so good!

There’s a Zeit für Brot in Cologne (yes!), Frankfurt and Hamburg as well, so you should try to visit at least one of them. You won’t regret it.

Address + opening times

Alte Schönhauser Straße 4, 10119 Berlin
Mon-Fri: 7:30 – 20:00
Sat: 8:00 – 20:00
Sun: 8:00 – 18:00 Uhr

These are the Berlin coffee shops we visited. I can’t wait to go back and try even more!

Everlasting Apparel – at least

Lisa from at least for Everlasting Apparel - Hanna's Places

Today I’m happy to share a new post of my favourite feature on this blog again: An Everlasting Apparel post! The wonderful Lisa from fair fashion blog ‘at least’ talks about her everlasting piece and why she wants to keep it for years and years. If you’re new to this blog: Everlasting Apparel is a column where I ask my favourite fashion bloggers and creatives to share their most beloved pieces with us. Not new items, but clothes that have a story connected with them from years of wearing them. Because isn’t that so much better than new anyway?

Tell us something about yourself & at least!

I am Lisa, a fair fashion blogger from Berlin. Next to writing about ethically made clothing, I also enjoy sewing a lot and have recently started to get into coding too. I care a lot for environmental issues and think that there needs to be more action taken. At some point I felt that there wasn’t enough done so I just figured that instead of complaining I could start something myself.

Lisa from at least for Everlasting Apparel - Hanna's Places

If you could sum up your life in one sentence at the moment, what would it be?

Although I’m at the end of my twenties, I’m still looking for my dream career – probably like most of us ;) It can be a little tough sometimes but I also love that I get to try out lots of new things. (more…)

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