24.4. World Book Day. A good day to ask our fellow employees about their favourite books.
Sabine Straßer, CEO home4students Fave book: The World According to Garp by John Irving
What makes this book your favourite? I love reading stories and John Irving is a grand story teller. He creates weird, surrealistic but possibly true stories and has been my favorite author for 30 years. I really like most of his books very much, but The World according to Garp is especially important to me because of 3 reasons: 1. It was my first Irving. 2. I got my first edition at a second hand bookstore on Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco. 3. There are references to various other John Irving novels throughout the book and thus it is a little ramble thru Irving’s oeuvre so far. In his typically detailed and vivid way Irving tells a family tale that is realistic and bizarre at the same time. What is it all about? The story begins with Jenny Field, a nurse during world war II, who is longing for a child but not a man and absurdly manages to accomplish that. Once her son, T.S. Garp is grown up, she writes a book about her life and thus achieves iconic status in women’s lib. All this also affects the life of her son and his family – Garp becomes a writer in order for Helen (the daughter of the wrestling coach of the all-boys school he grew up in) to marry him, they have three kids. The novel portrays conception, birth, life and death of T.S. Garp – in his role as a son, husband, father, author, wrestler/coach as well as homemaker and feminist. The story contains lots of the typical Irving topics such as New England, Vienna, Wrestling, bears; also death and sex are reliable parts of his books – sometimes rather explicitly, but at the same time unagitated and grotesque as well as promiscuous. Irving’s characters are full of sociopolitical issues and he playfully and without moralizing shines a light on American prudery. E.g. a very good friend of the Field/Garp familiy is a transgender football player/nurse - the book is from the 70ies and still up-to-date. And for all the Garp fans a last remark that has become a familiar quotation: beware of the under toad and for everybody else: have fun immersing in Garp’s World! Any other books you can suggest? I am reading a lot of different things and enjoy most of it, but once in a while there is a book that fascinates me, e.g. Otherland by Tad Williams mesmerized me (it’s about VR-life on thousands of pages with many storylines which astonishingly logically add up in the end); as for crime novels I found Stieg Larsson's Millenium trilogy to be incredibly thrilling; Still Alice by Lisa Genova moved me to tears. A few years ago I discovered audiobooks and I especially like well-narrated English versions – my highlights and companions for many, many hours: Game of Thrones and the Outlander series.
Bettina Erlmoser, Administration & room allocation & dormitory administrator PopUp dorms Seestadt Aspern Fave book: Maybe Someday by Coleen Hoover
What makes this book your favourite? Colleen Hoover is one of my favourite writers. Each book of her is unique. Reading her books is fascinating and at the same time simple like breathing. Maybe Someday is my favourite book because it surprised me over and over again. There was no right or wrong, no good or bad (as in the most romance novels) and while reading it, I tried to decide for one of the characters and say “You are the problem!” or “So this is your fault!”, but that was simply impossible. But that’s how it is in real life too, no one is just good or bad: it’s all about the decisions we make every day. They shape our characters, form our lives and show who we really are. What is it all about? Sidney is a dedicated student, lives in a shared flat with her best friend, has a great boyfriend and likes listening her neighbour playing the guitar. Her life is perfect until she finds out, her boyfriend is cheating on her. The man behind the guitar gives Sydney hope that she can move on, but moving on is harder than she expects. Any other books you can suggest? Everything by Colleen Hoover :)
Rebecca Stern, dormitory administrator Sensengasse Fave book: November 9 by Colleen Hoover
What makes this book your favourite? Because it's not a typical love story. The 9th of November is more then just the meeting of the two main characters. I could hardly put the book aside. This is how a book's supposed to be: you simply can't stop reading. After finishing it, I'd loved to read more - but unfortunately there is no sequel... What is it all about? Ben, a writer-to-be, and Fallon, an actress, will meet for five years on November 9th. No telephone numbers are exchanged, they've blocked each other on various social media platforms - only a meeting place for next year on 9th November is agreed on. Fallon and Ben give each other tasks that they have to cope with until the next meeting. Of course there is more to this special day - but you'll have to find out for yourself :) The book is almost like a children's surprise egg: fun and exciting! Any other books you can suggest? Books by Colleen Hoover: Maybe someday, Hopeless, Confess, Ugly love, Too Late, Slammed Anna Todd: After Courtney Cole: If you stay
Gabi Mihats, Assistentin Geschäftsführung & Marketing Grandma in the Apple Tree by Mira Lobe
What makes this book your favourite? One of the first books I remember from my childhood. Ever since I wanted to become as cool, adventurous and fabulous as Mira Lobe’s Grandma in the Apple Tree. Always wanted to be like her when I am old. What is it all about? A little boy would love to have a grandmother and suddendly he has even 2 grandma`s. One is crazy and adventurous, one is baking the best plumcake ever, ever, ever. One is fantasy, one is real. But both become really important in this boy’s life in their own rights. Any other books you can suggest? Life by Keith Richards. He is beyond 70, Rolling Stones guitar player and a living legend in the fast-changing music industry. His autobiography is a proof how wild and crazy the time was, when pop and rock was born. A masterpiece of contemporary history. Bad Karma by David Safier. Wanna know what happens if you collect too much bad karma? Kim Karlsen tells us all about it. Being sent back to earth after a killing accident is one good thing. Being sent back as an ant is the result of too much bad karma. She can improve her situation by collection good karma. Very amusing.
Sabine Özen-Keinprecht, HR Fave book: Eternal Youth - Commissario Brunetti's 25th case by Donna Leon
What makes this book your favourite? As it's the last book from the Comissario Brunetti series, I have chosen the book Eternal Youth - Commissario Brunetti's 25th Case by Donna Leon. The Brunetti books are my absolute favourite books and I couldn't decide for any of them as "the" favourite book. Venice is one of my favourite places and I know a lot of places where the action takes place - I literally feel "beamed" to Venice while reading. What is it all about? The main character in all Brunetti books is Commissario Guido Brunetti, who solves various criminal cases in his home town and surroundings. You will also get an insight into Brunetti's family life with his wife Paola and his teenage children Chiara and Raffi. In the 25th case, Brunetti is asked by a friend of his aristocratic mother-in-law to bring light into the tragic accident of her granddaughter many years ago. Any other books you can suggest? I can also recommend the book The Summer where it started snowing from Lucy Clarke. I also really like the Salzkammergut-crime-series by Herbert Dutzler. I got I am off then (from Hape Kerkeling) as a Christmas present and it really touched me.
Sonja Braunstein, Marketing Director Fave book: Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer
What makes this book your favourite? In search of my favourite book I haven't found anything, there are way too many good books. However, there are some books that have really fascinated, touched and fascinated me - some of them even made me laugh. One of them is Love Virtually by Daniel Glattauer. What is it all about? The book tells the story of Emmi and Leo, who get to know each other by email (and by chance) . A friendship develops rapidly and seems to lead to love. Soon, an e-mail from the other one will be the highlight of the day. But do they have a future in "real life"? A modern love story, which will give you amusing hours. Any other books you can suggest? Me before you by Jojo Moyes is a special love story, which was made into a movie. The wall by Marlen Haushofer. A great book that captivated me completely. Bad karma by David Safier. The right book if you want to laugh, it's light and funny