Interview with Anthony Doerr

Hi there! About a month ago I posted my review of All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr, which I really loved. Anthony happened to be in The Netherlands a few weeks ago for promotion of this book and I got a chance to interview him, yay! I cannot post the full interview here, because it’s written for CLEEFT, a Dutch website, but I wrote an English translation for the original interview. You can read the interview in both Dutch and English here (scroll down for the English version). Let me know what you think! :)

Review: All the light we cannot see by Anthony Doerr

Author: Anthony Doerr
Title: All the light we cannot see
Genre: Historical fiction
Publishing Date: May 2014
Pages: 531
Source: Dutch publisher

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When Marie-Laure is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

I’ve read this book in January and still hadn’t written a review, oops… So, here it is eventually! I’ve heard so many good things about this one before I started reading it, but I didn’t really know what it was about, except that it is comparable to The Book Thief, which I’ve also read.

This book pleasantly surprised me. It took a while for me to really get into it, but when I did, it was wonderful. The characters are so relateable: Doerr describes every thought and idea into detail, so you’re able to follow the lines of thinking. On the other hand there are not too much details. Marie-Laure and Werner are both just children when the story begins and they’re both genius, but I never felt like they were too mature for their age. The descriptions of their thoughts are realistic and their traits are just perfect.

What I loved about this book was the structure. Doerr jumps from present to past in a natural way. The story never becomes dull and the jumps in time are perfectly timed. Because of that the story unfolds slowly, but surely and I loved how everything was connected in the end. While Marie-Laure is on the ‘good’ and Werner on the ‘bad’ side during the second WorldWar, I appreciated the way Doerr shows everything is not black and white. These characters are not necessarily good or bad. And they are not necessarily happy or unhappy according to their situations. I think this is the way everyone should look at the world, but unfortunately not everyone does, which makes this book refreshing. What’s not to love?

It’s Monday March 30th. What are you reading?

Hi bookworms! I’m sorry for not posting a What are you reading? update last week, but I didn’t really read anything in the week before, so I didn’t have a lot to tell you. ;) Last week was still a week of reading a few pages a day, as much as I could manage during this busy time, but I still wanted to show you. Plus I think there’s going to be a lot of reading during the next few weeks, so I wanted to tell you what’s on my to-read-list.

I’m still reading The Shining by Stephen King and I’m more than halfway through. I’m hoping I can finish this by tomorrow, so it’s still in time for the King’s March event. ;) Next to that I’m slowly making progress with the Dutch edition of How to build a girl by Caitlin Moran. I must say I’m not liking it as much as I thought I would, because it’s so over the top. But I won’t judge until I’ve truly finished reading.

When I’ve finished reading these, I’m going to start reading Cloud Atlas for the readalong, hosted by April from The Steadfast Reader and Katie from Bookish Tendencies. It’s been on my reading list since forever, so I’m really happy to finally delve into it. The first discussion is happening on Thursday. I’m not going to be in time for that one I guess, but I’m going to catch up!

It’s Monday. What are you reading?

King’s March 2015: Link-Up #4

Hi everyone! It’s time for the final link-up for King’s March, hosted by Rory from Fourth Street Review and myself. So this is your last chance to enter and win a King book of choice. What King stuff did you do this week?

This week I finished writing the first version of my masterthesis, so I didn’t have that much time to read or write. That means I’m still reading The Shining, but I’m hoping to finish that before April starts.

Brona from Bride of the Book God talks about reading Carrie when she was younger and re-reading it now and about two short stories by King she’s read: Mile 81 and In the tall grass. I totally agree with her view on Carrie, which is such an amazing, thrilling read.

Celine from NYX Books Reviews has read Dreamcatcher and written a review about it and she rates it 3,5 stars. I haven’t read the book, but from the review I can tell she feels somewhat the same about it as I did with Cell. The characters and character development are great, but the story itself is a bit meh.

Nishita from Nishita’s Rants and Raves rated King’s newest novel Revival with an 8, which is awesome. She says: “This book was worth the slow beginning and middle-section” and I can only agree with that.

Finally, Amy from Read a Latte wrote a review about Pet Sematary. Even her review gives me the chills, so I’m not sure if this one is for me, but as a King die hard I think I’ll have to eventually. ;)

So these were the link-ups from last week. Now it’s time to link up (for the last time!) your King posts.