Blabbing every book I’ve read in 2023 – Part II

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I’m still on track to read 45 books in 2023, and in these posts I am sharing what they were and how I liked them.

I posted about the first 15 books I’ve read this year in this post. At the time of publishing this one after Christmas, I am one and two half books (yes, two halves) closer to achieving my goal. But again, my initial goal was 35, so I’m already over achieved. Since I was studying at a post-graduate course in the first half of the year, I read significantly less during that time, that means I’ve read 2/3 of all of my 2023 reading (everything from this post) after June. Let’s see what they were.

  1. Taylor Jenkins Reid: The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

I just love Taylor Jenkins Reid’s style so much! I’ve read Daisy Jones and The Six when it was a book club pick by Reese Witherspoon (still haven’t seen the series, though), and love her ever since. I didn’t realize beforehand that this one was an LGBTQ book, but it couldn’t bother me the least bit. She writes so realistically about relationships, whatever kind, with such a psychological depth, that you can’t help but sympathize with the characters. For me this was a page-turner.

  1. Carley Fortune: Every Summer After

This was actually a summer book club pick, but this time unknowingly I’ve read it a few weeks before. I loved the whole vacation town vibe of this book so much! Such a great summer read with plenty of food for thought about relationships.

  1. Elif Shafak: A szerelem 40 szabálya

This was the second book I’ve read from Elif Shafak. I loved The Island of Missing Trees last year so much that I guess I’ve had too big expectations about this one. I am not saying it wasn’t as good, just this topic, the age it was set in (it is about the life of 13th century poet Rumi) didn’t resonate with me the same way. I liked it, but not loved it.

  1. Szabó Magda: Hullámok kergetése

Magda Szabó is one of my favorite Hungarian authors, I just love everything from her. This one is an essay collection about her travels in the 1970s and 80s. She was traveling as an internationally published author along with her husband (who was also an author, but less famous), always with a travel guide book, meticulously visiting all the historical and literary places. She writes about Italy, France, Germany, Russia among other destinations with her signature style and humor.

  1. Jasmine Guillory: The Wedding Party

This was another summer reading one weekend, during a train ride. One part of this sort of sequel was a Reese’s Book Club pick, that’s when I first read anything from Jasmine Guillory, and I guess it wasn’t even the first one, but they are totally fine separately. It’s a really simple American romance that usually serves as kind of a brain rest for me.

  1. Tisza Kata: Most.

I haven’t read much non-fiction in the first half of this year, since I was still studying for university, so that was enough reading serious stuff, I stuck with fiction in my free time. So I finished this sometime during the summer, and actually I’ve read this for a very long time. I started it last year, but after reading a few chapters I always had to put it down for a few weeks. It is almost like a textbook about all kinds of abuse, physical and emotional, its psychological explanations in terms of both the abuser and the abused person, how we get to these situations, why is it so hard to leave. It was a difficult, but very important read. My copy is full of underlined parts I will keep revisiting later.

  1. Fekete István: Tüskevár

The favorite book of my childhood! Perhaps one of the first books I’ve ever read and then read over again. I’ve reread it for the first time this summer as an adult though, and it brought back memories and added new discoveries as well. It is about the summer adventures of a young kid from the city and how he gets to recognize nature’s most beautiful things around himself. I actually decided then to reread its winter counterpart during wintertime.

  1. Lily King: Írók és szerelmek

Another one that I had great expectations about, because of all the hype around it and I was a bit disappointed. It was not bad at all, I remember I loved the ‘real-lifeness’ about the story itself and the conversations. But I was expecting something else I guess. Also, I find it hard now to recall the details of what it was about, which means it didn’t affect me that much.

  1. Tim Marshall: A földrajz hatalma

Another non-fiction I read last summer, one of Tim Marshall’s great geopolitics books. I wrote about it in detail here. I love everything he writes, geopolitics is one of my favorite topics, so I can’t wait to continue with his next book.

  1. Jennifer E. Smith: The Unsinkable Greta James

Based on the protagonist being a rockstar, I expected a Daisy Jones kind of story, but this was something different. Again, I loved the realness of the story and the characters, and realness means very often there is no happy ending. It was a good one though.

  1. Sara Nisha Adams: A lélekkert

Another book club pick, set in my favorite city, London. I view those mysterious communal gardens in London differently, ever since. This is a very lovely story about how very different people can be brought together by a common goal.

  1. Krusovszky Dénes: Akik már nem leszünk sosem

This one is a very Hungarian contemporary story that’s been on my reading list almost since it came out five years ago. I loved the familiarity of the setting, how it reminded me of places and people I knew growing up. The story is a difficult one in many ways, the writing is great, I’m looking forward to reading the next book by this author that came out this year.

  1. Emily Henry: Book Lovers

This is the third book I’ve read from Emily Henry, and what I love about them is that they all contained something about the writing business. There’s always one or two characters who are writers, editors, bloggers, or creative people of some kind. This one is also a great peek behind the scenes of publishing. As well as a great light chick lit. I enjoyed it very much.

  1. Náray Tamás: A végzet

This was a tricky one. Tamás Náray is a popular Hungarian designer, author and painter. I actually like his personality. That’s why I should be careful with my opinion about this book, because he thinks no-one (not even readers) have the right to criticize his work. I loved the grandiosity of the story, I do think it takes talent to construct a story of this scale, but I am not sure I always enjoy his writing style, in particular, when he creates context with very unrealistic conversations (like people telling past stories just so the reader knows about them). Nevertheless, I did like the story, and I’m sure I will continue reading from him.

  1. Jakobovits Kitti: Irodalomterápia

Bibliotherapy is such a great interest of mine that from time to time I’m even thinking about doing a bibliotherapy course or training. I feel very strongly about reading as therapy, I think every reading is therapeutic reading in some way. This book is mainly about the methods of therapists who work with literature. I found it very interesting and useful indeed.

Check back a few days later for the last third of my 2023 reading!

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