5 Must-Read Books // Spring 2016

The Oscars gave us much this year. For one, instead of Leonardo NoOscario memes, the Internet is now flooded with photos, videos and animations of the actor finally winning his desired prize. But that’s not all: the Oscars also gave me new book titles to put on my must-read list. Scroll down to find out what other novels are on my desk this Spring!

// “Far From The Madding Crowd” – Thomas Hardy


far from the madding crowd

Considered as one of the most famous love stories, “Far From The Madding Crowd” focuses on the free-spirited Bathsheba Everdene, as she falls in love with three very different suitors, poor shepherd Gabriel Oak, the mysterious and attractive Frank Troy and the rich, caring William Hardwood.


I stumbled upon Hardy’s classic “Far From The Madding Crowd” via last year’s film adaptation, starring Carey Mulligan as Bathsheba Everdene, Matthias Schoenaerts as Gabriel Oak and Michael Sheen as William Hardwood. As both a student and devoted reader of English literature, this novel has been on my to-read list for quite some time.

// “Brooklyn” – Colm Tóibín


“Brooklyn” takes us back to 1950’s America, as Irish immigrant Eilis Lacey takes up residence in Brooklyn. At first, she struggles with home-sickness and fitting into this new, foreign culture. A whirl-wind romance with local boy Tony makes her feel at home in Brooklyn, but a family tragedy pulls her back to her home country, Ireland. Here, Eilis has to decide between her new life in America and her old life in Ireland.

The Oscar buzz put Colm Tóibín’s novel on the map: the film adaptation has been nominated for three Academy Awards, including for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Actress and Best Writing. After seeing the film (you can check out my review right here) I wanted to know more about Eilis’ story and this novel should do just the trick.

// “The Danish Girl” – David Ebershoff

the danish girl

David Ebershoff based his novel on the real-life story of Danish artists Lili Elbe and Gerda Wegener. Based in the 1920s, their marriage revolves around their art and their love – but Lili does not feel comfortable in her own skin. Over the course of years, she becomes one of the first transgender pioneers.

“The Danish Girl” is another title I discovered because of the Oscar buzz, as its film adaptation was nominated for four Academy Awards and Alicia Vikander won the prize for Best Actress. I was so impressed by the film and the story told through the visuals, that I wanted to know more about it. The novel has been very positively critically acclaimed, so one way or another, it promises to be a fascinating read this Spring.

// “The Dressmaker” – Rosalie Ham

the dressmaker

Set in 1950’s Australia, Tilly Dunnage returns to her hometown to support her ill mother. Here, Tilly is everything but welcomed with open arms. On the contrary, the townsfolk are dead set on making Tilly’s return miserable and keep memories of her disastrous childhood alive. But Tilly, who is now a couturier for the French fashion houses, is not a little girl anymore and she has an appetite for revenge.

“The Dressmaker” has been translated into a film only last year, starring Kate Winslet as Tilly Dunnage, and looks like a darkly comical picture. I already started reading the novel, and the text promises to be of the same sentiment: “an unforgettable tale of love, hate and haute couture”.

// “The Buried Giant” – Kazuo Ishiguro

the buried giant

Award-winning author Kazuo Ishiguro has a published his seventh novel early last year, which promises to take its readers on a journey through time. Set in the time-period of King Arthur, the story focuses on couple Axl and Beatrice, who undertake a journey to find their son. Instead, they find Saxon warriors who are set out to kill a dragon, who is thought to have put a spell on the land. Although the synopsis reads like a fantasy novel, the story really focuses on the relationship between Axl and Beatrice, and the search for their long-lost son.

I have always loved Ishiguro’s perhaps better-known novels, “The Remains of the Day” and “Never Let Me Go”, and thus I’m very excited to read his last work. The plot synopsis seems very different from his earlier works, which sparks my curiosity to discover other sides of this amazing author.




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