It’s TTT time! As usual, if you’re curious about this, Jana over at That Artsy Reader Girl hosts these weekly challenges (so, see her blog for more info). Today’s prompt is actually quite difficult. While I often read books with few ratings on Goodreads, finding some below 2000 is not easy. As you’ll see, several of the books I am featuring here are either in German or fairly new releases (published before Jan 2019). And as you’ll also notice many of them somehow deal with WWII societies across different countries.
Heinrich Böll is one of my favorite authors and I am slowly but surely making my way through his collection. I loved both, Der Engel schwieg and Der Zug war pünktlich, for their bleakness and misery – made worse by the fact that both stories could’ve easily been real in wartime Germany. I tend to not like autobiographies and I often avoid reading WWII based books, but Reich-Ranicki was one of the most revered literary critics in Germany and was also a Warsaw Ghetto survivor. His writing is excellent, he is a wizard with words, and his anecdotes and life events are gripping and often sad or depressing, but always thought-provoking. I encourage everyone to pick up his book.
I am surprising myself that I have yet another WWII story on this list. If I didn’t make this clear before, I definitely have survivor’s guilt, and I wasn’t even born during that time. I am sure almost everyone has read the graphic novels, Maus I and II. We Are On Our Own is another impactful tale of war refugees and their journey of survival. The illustrations match the haunting mood of the book perfectly.
The aforementioned books I recommended so far are all kind of niche books – Germany or WWII themed, so I understand why they are not that popular, but I am actually flabbergasted that Supernatural Tales doesn’t have more than 2000 ratings. This is a book of Gothic excellence. It is written by Violet Page under a male pseudonym who is the goddess of supernatural fiction. Her talent jumps off the page in this collection of short stories and I really hope more people will read her work. Quickly looking through Goodreads shows all of her books are far below 2000 reviews, we need to change that.
Receiving ARCs is one of my favorite ways to discover new books. The three I have featured here still have few ratings on Goodreads but are each wonderful in their own way and deserve more attention. The Trees is a heavy read – heavy because it makes us think about what we are doing to nature. Imagine, mother nature, one day gets mad and takes back her earth. How will humanity cope? Who will survive? Who deserves to live on? The Song of the Orphans is the second book in a sci-fi/fantasy series called Silvers. While the first installment has more than 2000 ratings, this one does not, and I really want to drum up readership in anticipation of book #3, which I am hoping will be released later this year. I definitely liked book 2 better than book 1 since the main characters started to come into their own and since the plot just picked up tremendously. This series seems to be a good balance of sci-fi and fantasy elements thus making it a very decent entry-level sci-fi trilogy. Everyone should know that I love Edgar Allen Poe – seeing his work in manga form is sheer perfection as that genre just works so damn well for his stories. I loved the illustrations and the weirdness in this book. It’s a quick read and perfect for anyone who wants to explore Poe a bit more.
I have been expanding my ARCs to middle-grade books as I believe I’ve been missing some very impactful stories. The two here proved my suspicion. Both have significant messages beyond middle-grade ages and deal with issues that apply to anyone really. Beyond the Green is a heartful novel about kinship and how it crosses invisible borders. It is a middle-grade read that I am hoping will find its way into many school libraries. The Orphan Band of Springdale is a complex story of fitting in, making friends, and dealing with prejudice all the while the US is at the eve of its involvement in WWII.
I hope this post will inspire some of you to pick up one of these books as they deserve all the love they can get. I am looking forward to checking out other TTTs which I am sure will lead to an inevitable increase of my TBR.