Still searching for books to read in 2019?

Well, at least I do, so I will share some book recommendations for those out there with the same luxurious problem.
This list has no order. Nearly every book on this list is equal.

#1 Call Me By Your Name by André Aciman

1980s: Ever since, Elio's father had invited guests to spend an Italian summer in their mansion. But this one is different: twentysomething Oliver causes feelings in Elio's 17-year-old heart he will never feel and forget again: love, lust, shame, desire, initmacy and loss.
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''There is a law somewhere that says that when one person is thoroughly smitten with the other, the other must unavoidably be smitten as well. [...] Just wait and be hopeful. I was hopeful, though perhaps this was what I had wanted all along. To wait forever.''

This wonderful piece of literature is my absolute favourite of 2018. I became aware of the book because of the movie with Armie Hammer and Timotheé Chalamet (two enchanting men whose appearance where a little incentive to read the book, to be honest) and read it before seeing the adaption. The book feels like the idyllic place it is set in: pure, honest, a small paradise of youth & love and bittersweet parting. I think I will never read a book equal to this. I have to say that in my opinion it weakens in the last quarter, but if the last pages were poetry, the rest would be a masterpiece.

#2 The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

In a dystopian version of the USA, society has strict rules which are punished with forced labour or death in case of disobedience. Especially women do suffer from this religious dictatorship and are divided into certain functions. One of these women is Desfred, a Handmaid. Handmaids live with married couples to give birth to them by being raped once a month in a so-called 'ceremony'. But once she finds out of a underground resistance movement, events come to a unexpected twist.
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''Nolite te bastardes carborundorum.''

Atwood succeds in creating a horrifiying dystopia that sometimes does not feel that unrealistic: which is alarmingly. The flashbacks of the protagonist and her former normal life build up a connection to the reader's life which made me shiver again and again. Certainly a must read for next year if you have not read it yet.

#3 Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Saving a hostage out of a high security prison, more precisely: the safest place in whole Fjerdan. This is the mission that criminal Kaz 'Dirtyhands' Brekker has to accomplish to get a very huge amount of money. But even he knows that he cannot do this impossible mission alone, so he hires five (more or less voluntary) persons with different morals and goals to get the prisoner. Seeing the combination of the crew, it is obvious that the heist is definitely not the sole problem during their mission.
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“Kaz leaned back. "What's the easiest way to steal a man's wallet?"
"Knife to the throat?" asked Inej.
"Gun to the back?" said Jesper.
"Poison in his cup?" suggested Nina.
"You're all horrible," said Matthias.”

Finally! A book with well-written characters which do not fight for the world's sake and are not almighty, but do the mission for themselves, out of multiple reasons! After reading tons of monotonous stereotyped YA novels, this was really refreshing. Combined with a very playful and amusing writing style with nice dialogues, Six of Crows is one of my favourite YA books ever.

#4 Dracula by Bram Stoker

Notorious Count Dracula invites the real estate agent Mr. Harker to his castle in Transsilvania to prepare the Count's immigration to Great Britain. But Mr. Harker yet does not know that Dracula isn't planning to let him return to his loved ones...
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''Listen to them, the children of the night. What music they make!''

Everyone knows Dracula created by Bram Stoker, who influenced a whole genre of mystery and supernatural. But I guess not much have read the book and therefore the roots of this monstruos beast.
I read the whole book and have to say that I really loved the first part in the castle as much as I was disappointed of the rest. Especially the second half of the book is actually re-repeating itself and completely loses the enchanting thrill of the first part. Nonetheless, Dracula is a great victorian age-styled novel you should read.

#5 Das kunstseidene Mädchen (The Rayon Girl) by Irmgard Keun

Doris is a young woman from the 1920s dreaming of her reverie of being a film star. Or at least famous. Being famous has so many advantages: buying everything you want (especially a telephone), everybody knows and loves you (especially young men) and nobody cares about your flaws (especially lacking education). So she decides to move to the roaring capital Berlin: alone, with no penny in her pocket. To survive the cold winter in the great city, she has to sacrifice a lot: first her living standards, then her dignity... and even her dream of being famous?
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''Ja, es scheinen Sterne'', lüge ich ihm und schenke ich ihm es sind gar keine Sterne. (''Yes, stars are shining'', I lied to him and gave to him there are no stars at all.)

This is for the German-speaking readers, since there is no translation of the novel (at least I haven't found any). This rather short book is truly an interesting perspective of the 1920s: an insight into the dreams of young girls and so-called flappers, the political sentiment of a city and a genre picture of both city and inhabitants. Especially the naive, honest language of the first-person narrator was very interesting since it resembles both her educational status and her true feelings.

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Happy reading!
Lea