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More than just stories under the tree | Hype&Hyper book reviews

With very little time left of the end-of-year rush, we can soon slow down a bit and make time for things we’ve been putting off all year. This could be reading an exciting or enlightening, entertaining or even life-changing story, so the team at Hype&Hyper are now recommending books that can keep you company between the holidays or even can be good last-minute Christmas gifts!


János Térey: Káli holtak

By this choice, I’m taking the opportunity to recommend two things at once: János Térey’s Káli holtak (the title has such a beautiful ring to it!) is the type of book that draws you in, and I think it’s the perfect way to relax over the Christmas break. And the same is also true of the play that’s based on it, which can be seen in the Katona Kamra. As for the story, I think that anyone connected to the art scene in Hungary today will be able to find points of identification. But there will also be familiar characters and problems for anyone who has simply tried (and failed) to find an empty towel spot on any beach in the Balaton Uplands in recent years. The dilemma of the starring-superstar, Alex Csáky, notably the compulsion for conformity vs. remaining self-identical is not something that needs much explanation for colleagues in their late 20s and early 30s, so they will probably enjoy the self-reflection.

Orsi Gyöngy, Editor-in-chief


Olivér Csepella: Nyugat + zombik (West+Zombies)

I’m not a big comic book reader, but it was clear that this book was a “must-have” piece, so I grabbed it at the Írók Boltja, and later had it signed by Oliver during a roundtable discussion (he even drew me a Karinthy head). I love that it’s so wacky and funny! This is the book that makes you laugh out loud! As I always say: full-on UFO! And I love these kinds of stuff.

Kitti Mayer, Editor, Project Manager


Design and Digital Interfaces: Designing with Aesthetic and Ethical Awareness
Ben Stopher, John Fass, Eva Verhoeven, Tobias Revell

From Siri through Facebook to Google, so many digital interfaces influence how we feel, think, and behave. The authors of Design and Digital Interfaces, published this summer, argue that what designers create when they undertake to design interfaces is a social, ethical, political and aesthetic responsibility. This little yellow book is a must-read for graphic designers and UI/UX designers, but it won’t be boring for those who want to learn more about the social and cultural impact of the most frequently scrolled user interfaces.

Noémi Viski, Author, Trainee Coordinator


Szerhij Zsadan: Depeche Mode

Our story takes place in the summer of 1993 in Harkov, in eastern Ukraine, between two worlds and two eras. A group of Ukrainian teenagers is trying to save the day in the post-Soviet madness, and their adventurous lives reveal the Eastern European Zen that lives in all of us. The “elektricska” (the tram between the villages of Tatra Valley—translator’s note) takes us from the factory in Harkov to the woodshed in the countryside, presenting the process of growing up and the sense of honor in absurd situations. Serhiy Zhadan, one of the greatest Ukrainian authors of our time, guides us to the “no man’s land”.

Barnabás Heincz, Author


Stephen Le: 100 Million Years of Food & Evelyn Tribole, Elyse Resch: Intuitive Eating

I would like to recommend two books. As an anthropologist, Stephen Le travels through different cultures to explore our culinary traditions with the locals, all of this captured in a readable, entertaining way. I would recommend Intuitive Eating (which is currently being translated into Hungarian) because by learning this revolutionary approach, one learns how to overcome the stress around food, which is particularly useful in the Christmas period.

Bianka Geiger, Author


Paul Auster: 4321

I finished Paul Auster’s almost a thousand-page long, interwoven stream of four stories around the holidays two years ago, but now I’m in the mood to read it again. In many ways eerily similar to the author, but supposedly not autobiographically inspired, Archie Ferguson is born in 1940s America. Starting from his childhood, we can then follow no less than four different life scenarios, which often slip past each other by tiny coincidences. The what-if-inspired parallel stories are not only about the protagonist’s multi-directional personality development and human connections but also about his special relationship with writing, which is reflected in some form in each of his life’s journeys. It also gives us a glimpse into 20th-century America, including the civil rights and student movements. The faster one reads, the more the plot becomes a coherent whole.

Lilla Gollob, Editor, Author


James Nestor: Breath

It provides convincing arguments to support what the health care system fails to perceive and uses simple techniques and concrete facts to demonstrate the positive health and psychological effects of correct breathing.

Weöres Sándor: A teljesség felé

Since high school, it’s been a defining reading for me, and I keep it by my bedside all year round. Sometimes I just tune in and open it somewhere, then re-read the lines carefully, and I’m always surprised at how incredibly good it is.

Nicolett Kovács, Project Manager


Sándor Márai: Embers

It is one of Sándor Márai’s masterpieces that sheds a sharp light on friendship, loyalty and betrayal. The crisis and shattering of the worldview associated with traditional moral values unfold before our eyes.

Ingmar Bergman: Scenes from a marriage

It shows up close the highs and lows of a relationship, the struggle with each other. The shadows of the past, the problems of the present and the questions of the future pull the reader in like a vortex. The emotional dynamics are compelling but also painful and realistic.

Eszter Horávth, Account Director


Mihail Bulgakov: The Master and Margarita

I would recommend a book that is a landmark for me, which paints a somewhat grotesque but fascinating picture of Russia in the ’20s and ’30s. It gives us a unique way of telling the story of Jesus and the appearance of Satan. It is a fairy tale and magic at once.

Vera Gáspár, Editorial Assistant

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