Eventually, I have read 45 books in 2023, here’s the third part of the list.
You can find the first part of this review here and the second part here. I am a bit late with the third part of my 2023 book review, because I got a bit busy during the last days of last year, but most of it was already done, I just had to finish the post.
I hope you can find something among the titles that you find interesting, generally, I liked everything I’ve read in 2023.
Another non-fiction in the second half of the year. I am a huge fan of this Hungarian public policy blog (English version here) and try to read everything they write. I loved the books of both of their authors, the first one slightly more, but only because its topic in general interested me more. I learned a lot from this one too, economics in layman terms and the role it plays in our world, in today’s politics. I definitely recommend this one too.
This was a book club pick, and an interesting one, because I don’t really read sci-fi. Like ever. Although I haven’t become a fan of this genre, I did enjoy this one a lot, and I’m actually considering reading the rest of this sequel, which would be a huge undertaking, considering it’s six parts.
Now Albert Wass was a popular Hungarian 20. century author, who became kind of controversial because of his alleged anti-semite views. Fortunately it doesn’t leave any mark on his writing, because he wrote some very great novels (I know it’s debatable whether we should cancel him anyway). This is a very simple, but beautiful and educational story about a guy who worked hard and made an enviable (even envied) living for himself and his family. The author emigrated to the US, lived there most of his life, and interestingly this novel was published in English sooner than it came out in Hungarian.
Miklós Vámos is another one of my favorite Hungarian authors. This one is a collection of his publications that came out in a popular Hungarian magazine during the 1980s. He added commentary to the old texts, but most was absolutely understandable and enjoyable 40+ years later.
I guess this was a very unrealistic romance set in New York. I was looking for something light to read for a weekend, and I’m not saying I was disappointed, but for me it was lacking the “realness” I always value even in these types of books.
This Norwegian contemporary novel was a book club pick about a very current topic, childlessness and the decisions around it. I loved the whole concept, how the narrator of the story was thinking and talking about it. I think this is an important read and food for thought in many ways.
I wasn’t planning to read another one from Vámos this soon, but both of them were a quick read, and I wanted to pass this copy on to someone else. This is a short novel about two Hungarian brothers, one of whom migrated to the UK and made a fortune, and how he lost contact with his family. It is based on the story of the author’s family and quite an interesting one.
I was anticipating this one for years now. Tamás Frei is a Hungarian businessman, used to be TV reporter and of course a novelist His fiction novels about contemporary politics are like action movies filled with real characters (politicians and people around them) and very life-like stories. This one is about a fictional future where some heads of state make a pact to decapacitate Russian president Putin in order to finally end the war in Europe.
I didn’t immediately like this book as a book club pick, but then it grew on me. The author is a psychologist and the only aspect I didn’t like was how emotionally developed all the characters are. I loved learning from their ways of coping, but I just found them unrealistic. I loved the book nevertheless.
I’ve read this one through a weekend getaway in London on the first weekend of December. I was looking for a Christmas story set in London, I’ve read a few of those over the years. This one brought the London winter vibe all right, but the story was lacking on many fronts. I’ve come across a few inconsistencies, the characters weren’t very well drawn, and I didn’t like the resolution, it was too easy. Sorry, I know many people read these stuff to get away from real life, but I even expect fairy tales to be realistic. I don’t regret reading it, but apparently it’s the first one of a series, and I’m not quite sure I’m interested in the rest.
This one was mentioned in a blog post on my favorite blog, mentioned earlier. This is a story set in1960s Israel, when the UK is still in charge of most of the territory as peacekeepers, and it really helps putting later conflicts in the area in context. This one also have follow-ups, and I’m interested on those too.
This was a holiday season book club pick, and a great one at that. It consists of stories of different people connected to each other in different ways and how they decide what to give one another for Christmas. It was a great read leading up to Christmas.
Katalin Karikó’s book Breaking through came out just after her Nobel prize was announced, the Hungarian edition was actually published a week earlier than the English one. I just loved every last word in it, it is a wonderful life story that communicates its author’s very positive and inspiring outlook on life through and through. I highly recommend it.
When I read my childhood favorite from István Fekete last summer, I decided to read this one during wintertime. It’s set in the same scene with the same characters during the winter holidays. It was a fantastic Christmas read, I almost loved it more than the other one.
I’ve read Michelle Obama’s first book Becoming in a weekend right after it came out. I bought this one very early on with the same intention, but it just didn’t come up in the order of my reading. I guess its topic didn’t catch me at this time of my life, so even when I finally started it, it took me a long time to finish, because I’ve read lots of other stuff in the meantime. I didn’t not like it though, it’s just not my favorite read of the year. Also I count it to 2023, but I actually finished the last pages on January 1.
So, that’s all about my 2023 reading. Let me know if you found something you’ve read too or now want to read.
Happy reading for 2024 to all of us!