Cheyenne La Marr: A 2015 Reading List

Bookshelf La Marr 1

This post is part of a series of posts in which students of the English Seminar present their favourite books they have read in 2015. The lists are not restricted to books that were published this year. If you want to participate as well, send your list to

Today’s list comes to you from Cheyenne La Marr.

So I’ve set myself the goal of reading 50 books in 2015. Now, shortly before Christmas, I’ve read 68. Some for my English studies, some for my Scandinavian studies, some for fun and some for my job (at a bookstore). Some were amazing and made me recommend them to all of my friends and family (The Secret History, The Martian), some were really difficult to get through (Tristram Shandy), and some were just… blah. But here are the best of the best:

The Secret History

The Secret History by Donna Tartt

This book is amazing. Just brilliant. It’s about six classics students at a college in Vermont – one of whom is murdered (this is not a spoiler since that’s revealed on the very first page of the novel). The novel has everyting you need – sex, drugs, murder and lessons on Ancient Greek. Superbly written, it’s a must-read book for any student. If you have already read (and enjoyed) this book, check out Donna Tartt’s newest book, The Goldfinch.


We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

I’ve read this novel for a literature class on Orwell. We is a forerunner of Orwell’s 1984 and clearly influenced 1984 (Orwell would not have been allowed to sign a Selbständigkeitserklärung, that’s for sure). If you liked 1984, go and read Zamyatin’s earlier book that deals with similar themes.

City of Thieves by David Benioff

If you think this name sounds familiar, well… Benioff is the showrunner of HBO’s Game of Thrones. But apparently, he is a very good writer as well. City of Thieves takes place during the Nazi siege of Leningrad. It revolves around two boys, their quest to find a dozen eggs in a starving city, life, death, and friendship. Not only an exciting read but also funny (Wikipedia calls it a “black comedy”).

The Martian

The Martian by Andy Weir

Recently adapted in to a pretty good movie, the book is even better. Astronaut Mark Watney is left behind by his crew on mars. The Martian is a thrilling and exciting story that documents his fight for survival on a lonely planet until NASA can save him. In like 4 years. With no food to last that long. It’s not only really exciting but also funny. As in laugh-out-loud funny.

Bookshelf La Marr 2

More recommendations:

  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov – creepy yet beautifully written
  • Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith – super exciting
  • Nora oder Ein Puppenheim / A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen
  • Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi – an awesome comic book
  • Die Känguru-Chroniken by Marc-Uwe Kling – it’s about a communist kangaroo living with a comedian. What’s not to like.
  • Kastelau by Charles Lewinsky – if anyone is looking for a good book written by a Swiss author for a change
  • Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides
  • Burial Rites by Hannah Kent – tells the story of the last public execution in Iceland

2 responses to “Cheyenne La Marr: A 2015 Reading List

  1. secret history is great, should reread that. her newesr one is supposed to be great too but the one inbetween (the title has a bird in it i think) i didn’t like so much. Very interesting about the precursor to 1984, I’ll have to check that out.
    and by the way 68?? respec’… how do you find time to function as a human being…?

  2. Hi Cheyenne, Like your list. I’ll check out The Secret History and City of Thieves. I read The Martian – it was a rare un-put-down-able one for me, loved it.

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