5 novels to get through the cold season

Five books to read to get through the cold season

It’s the end of January and there is a feeling of unrest in the air. No matter who you talk to, everyone has enough of winter and the cold, dark days. We are ready for Spring.

Still, I’m trying to embrace this, mostly unloved season of the year. I’m trying to take it slow, rest a lot and spend my evenings reading instead of out in the cold. From time to time, I challenge myself to go on a weekday Netflix fast (so I only watch on the weekends) and I started again this January. This way, I have freed up a few of my evenings for some great books that have been waiting on my nightstand. Extra bonus: Reading in the evenings is so much more fun and relaxing than any Netflix show could ever be.

Dogs at the Perimeter – Madeleine Thien

I just finished this novel and it’s a great, engaging weekend read. You might like it, if you’re looking for an interesting story and some lessons about Cambodian history. I have read another novel by the same author last fall and it quickly became one of my favourite books („Do not say we have nothing“, in case you’re curious).

Dogs at the Perimeter tells the story of Janie, who as a child experiences the terrible violence of the Khmer regime in Cambodia. This is a point in history that has completely escaped me so far, so it was really interesting – yet grueling – to learn more about it. Thien has a wonderful way of making her characters and their pain seem real and it’s just a pleasure to read her books. This one will leave you with a lump in your throat, but I highly recommend it.

The Invention of Wings – Sue Monk Kidd

I read „The Invention of Wings“ while in Mexico last year and never got around to recommending it to you! It tells the story of two girls, Handful and Sarah, as they grow up together in early nineteenth century Charleston. Despite being the same age, their prospects of life couldn’t be more different. Handful is an urban slave, and Sarah gets ownership over her for her 11th birthday. As the years go by, both of them fight against slavery in their own way. It’s a great portrait of a devastating time in history, so I would recommend it to everyone – and I normally don’t even like reading historical fiction. Extra-bonus: Sarah’s character is actually based on a real woman, one of the first feminists speaking up in the anti-slavery movement.

The Group – Mary McCarthy

Now for a novel that is purely entertaining! The Group focuses on a group of women and follows them as they make their way in life after college. It’s set in New York in the Thirties, so the atmosphere made me long to go to Manhattan – and maybe travel in time. I was a bit surprised by how modern the characters acted, so it might not be completely historically correct. The Group is fun to read though, if you’re looking for something light and easy. Plus, it was really interesting to see the characters find their place in a world that didn’t regard women very highly.

Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Yes, this is a children’s book told from the perspective of a small pig. Hear me out. It is also a story that is beautifully written, sets an example for the importance of friendship and sticking up for others and it makes you long for a slow life in the country. All factors that make a great winter read, in my opinion. And as the prologue says: Everyone who ever wants to be a writer, needs to read this book. I definitely second that and urge you to pick it up as well.

Anne of Green Gables – L.M. Montgomery

Another children’s book, another favourite of mine. You probably know the story of Anne of Green Gables already, but if you haven’t yet read it or if it’s been long ago, you should definitely pick it up (again). Anne is an orphan girl, who gets adopted by chance and slowly but surely enchants the lives of everyone around her. She has a highly active imagination and oftentimes changes her circumstances for the better just by imagining. In my opinion, making the most of this time of year definitely requires some imagination! So, we can all learn from Anne in this aspect.

These are a few of the books I recently finished. It’s such a good time of year to read, so it won’t be long till the next roundup post! Did you read anything great lately, that I need to add to my reading list? Do tell!

My autumn reading list for cosy evenings

My autumn reading list for cosy evenings

For me, autumn is the perfect time to cosy up inside with a fresh, new book and read. My favourite evenings are those without any commitments, some hot tea and a book I can get lost in. Preferably with the rain pouring down outside. Those evenings don’t happen too often, but when they do, I always cherish them.

Now that the colder part of autumn and the rest of the year is coming around, there’s no better time to stock up on some new books. After reading much non-fiction this summer, I’ve included some more fiction on my autumn reading list.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah (Blessing Verlag)

Some of you might know Trevor Noah as the really funny stand-up comedian who hosts the Daily Show. You probably don’t know (at least I didn’t) that he had a pretty rough childhood in South Africa before becoming a famous comedian. He grew up in the townships of Johannesburg to a white father and a black mother – at a time, when such a union was punishable by a couple of years in prison.

Trevor Noah tells the stories of being born a crime, living with a violent stepfather and actually going to prison one time. Between all the horrors and hardships, it is still a light-hearted book. I cannot recommend it enough, as it is such an enjoyable read and you actually learn more about the absurdities of the apartheid regime.
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5 books on society I’ve read this summer

5 books about society for your reading list

With all that is happening in the world lately, I have decided to read up. Not just consume the news everyday, but try to understand more about what’s actually going on. I feel like it’s easy to sit back helplessly. Of course, reading books won’t change the world as well, but actually knowing (a bit better) what’s going on in politics and why, seemed like a good place to start.

Thus, I put together a little reading list for myself. Politics, social sciences, history, you name it. Of course, I have realised that I have merely scratched the surface so far, but these books have made me hungry to learn more.

Exodus by Paul Collier

This book has made me think A LOT. I have read one work by Paul Collier before (The Bottom Billion) that I really liked and Exodus should be on everyone’s reading list as well. Collier shows in which places our migration policies aren’t working anymore. He shows how they are based on Western society after the Second Warld War and doesn’t fit today’s challenges anymore.

Furthermore, Collier describes what exactly lead to the refugee crisis in 2015 and how it could have actually been prevented. He also names new policies that might help struggling states today to prevent another crisis happening again.
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Three (more) ethical style books I love

3 (more) slow fashion books you should add to your reading list

A few months ago, I shared some of my favourite slow and ethical style books with all of you. Well, I’ve been a busy reader over the summer! A few fashion and style books made it onto my reading list as well and today I want to share some new favourites with you.

Einfach Leben by Lina Jachmann (Knesebeck Verlag)

Einfach Leben - more slow style books to add to your reading list

This book is more than a fashion book. Instead, it’s a beautiful collection of tips and interviews on minimalism and simple living. Lina Jachmann covers interiors, fashion (of course), health + well-being, work and food.

I’ve really enjoyed reading the interviews in the morning and getting new ideas for a simple, beautiful life. If you’re just starting out with a more minimalistic approach to life and your wardrobe, I would recommend this beautiful book. It feels a bit like a big magazine and it’s made me finally give capsule wardrobes a try (well, maybe ;).
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My 5 favourite slow fashion books

5 (unexpected) slow fashion books you should read now

Two relaxing things I really love: Fashion and books. So, especially in the summer time, what better way to wind down than reading about fashion and style? Summer has only just begun, but I am definitely planning on spending quite a few afternoons on a blanket in the park, reading my favourite slow fashion books. If you’re curious, I put together some of my all-time favourites. Some might surprise you on a list about slow fashion, but for me, learning more about your style is a vital part of slow fashion as well. Happy reading!

Slow fashion books to add to your reading list

+ Love x Style x Life: I have just finished Garance Doré’s lovely book (it actually prompted this post) and I loved it! I am aware that Doré doesn’t concern herself with ethical fashion, at least not to my knowledge. Nevertheless, she talks about a few of the most important principles of slow fashion: Buy the clothes you feel great in, not all the newest trends. Buy good quality. Know your colours and your style and you won’t need to buy new all the time. Fashion can’t help you if you don’t feel great in your own skin. These are just a few examples, but there’s so much more wisdom in Love x Style x Life.

On top of all her style advice, as a blogger, I loved reading about Doré’s journey to where she is now. She tells us more about her life between Paris and New York, body image issues, Fashion Week…as a fashion lover, it’s delightful. And also just a really beautiful book – don’t you dare and read the e-book! It’s light reading, so perfect for an afternoon on the balcony, with an iced tea on hand.
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Hanna's Places - a green lifestyle blog

Hanna’s Places is a green lifestyle magazine written by Hanna Ulatowski. It’s all about slowing down in a fast-paced society and finding ways to live a more sustainable, simple lifestyle.

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