„To Kill a Mockingbird”, Harper Lee

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It’s a strange book. I had no idea what it was about, I didn’t read any reviews or summaries, I just started to read it because it was such a „popular” book. Firstly, I thought it was a thriller book, because of the Radley House and the story of that family. The book was creepy and I could have sworn the plot would have been about the misterious family and about the kids being related to it. Then it escalated quickly and it was about a trial, Negroes, justice and, of course, mockingbirds (figuratively, of course). I didn’t expect such a turn in the plot. But I managed to finish it.

And now about the feeling that I had while reading the book. Ok, it was a fine reading. It was pure, innocent, childlike and interesting (here and there). But nothing important happened till page 200 (or something like that). There were just ordinary events that didn’t exactly have an impact on me. Then started the trial and, of course, I was curious about how it would end and it was the climax of the book.

Then that feeling went away and again started the daily routine. I didn’t even manage to read every single word, because I was so bored. Then again, the author got it right with the ending, as I hadn’t at all expected that.

And I was actually crying while finishing the book. I do not know why, but I was crying, it gave me a strange feeling. It felt like that poor little girl was too young to experience such terrible things and it just hit me. And I couldn’t stop it. It was a feeling of loneliness, of wilderness, of nothingness. It felt like they were alone in that world.

So, it was hard to decide how many stars it deserved on Goodreads. I didn’t like it, but actually did. But I gave it 4 stars as it was much better than other books that had 3 stars.

Harry Potter, somehow

A hot summer day had brought me to a library that never let me go without a book in my hands.

The first book was Harry Potter.

Harry Potter.

If I had to choose just a book to keep, I would definitely choose Harry Potter. People told me that I was childlike and this idea was absurd. Some people actually laughed.
This is not absolutely not absurd. I grew up with Harry Potter. It won my attention from the very first moment I took it in my hands.

I periodically reread some excerpts because only they can help me get up when I just can’t move forward. It’s not just a book. It is a good friend that’s always ready to support and show my way to the Sun, to the light, to happiness. It is a dear soul which I would never let too far away from me. It is a life, a heart that beats together with mine.

It was magic. From the very first moment I took it in my hands and till now – it is magic. And it wouldn’t have been if I hadn’t read it.

It’s pure magic. Literally and in the every real sense of this word.

I read and reread the books in different phases of my life and I discovered a lot of things that hadn’t while reading as a kid. And believe me, there were so many such moments…

I have always tried to realize what Harry Potter taught me and I understood that there were too many things to be listet. However, the most important thing was that for the first time in my life I noticed what sacrifice meant. I learnt how to be a good friend, what sincerity, fidelity, harmony, justice and help meant and… and I learnt how to love unconditionally because, as Marin Preda said, if love isn’t, nothing is…

A month ago I received the most beautiful gifts in my entire life. First of all, they were the most beautiful because they were from two most beautiful and dearest persons in the whole world and, secondly, because there isn’t a better gift than that imaginary hand towards the sun.

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I missed that united „gang” of friends, that unshakeable friendship, those emotional and physical bounds. I missed it so much. And I will always miss it. Maybe that’s why I will daily put one of the books on my nightstand. And it doesn’t even matter how old I will be. Harry Potter doesn’t have an age, it has a character.

P.S. In case you do not understand what is in the second photo: it is a box with Hogwarts painted on it by my lovely best friend.

„On the Road”, Jack Kerouac

I have never like this book. Till now.

I started it, because I expected something grand from it. I was in a period when I needed something like a getaway, to gather all my thoughts together. I was reading it and waiting for something interesting to happen. I didn’t try to understand its message, because I was reading it just to relax, just for the pleasure of reading. Then, when I discovered its beauty, I promised myself to never read again a book without following its central idea.

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When I discovered it, every single word got another meaning. The whole book meant something else. I realized that I had read a priceless masterpiece and I didn’t even know about this. Because it’s one of the most significant books of America during 1950-1960. It’s the book that „defines” the Beat Generation (The Beat Generation, you should read this post if you want to understand why the book is written in such a way) and that „wears” a grand value. This is the grandiosity I was looking for. It was there.

I can assure you that this is a book that you surely have to read in your life. Do not repeat my mistake. Do not let it go. Do not let it for tomorrow. Read it now, because it can change your life. And read it briefly, try to understand why the words are arranged in the way they are, because there is always a reason. Sometimes we tend to neglect the books that can become the most important ones for us. „On the Road” can be exactly one of these books.

As always, here are some quotes:

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

“because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars…”

“I liked him; not because he was a good sort, as he later proved to be, but because he was enthusiastic about things.”

“A feeling of sadness that only bus stations have.”

 

 

Top 10 Books that have changed my Life

I remember there was a challenge on Facebook that sounded like „Top 10 books that have changed your life”. Well, I think this is one of the best things I took from Facebook.

To choose 10 books from all those that you’ve read so far! That seems impossible! It can take an eternity and I think this wouldn’t be enough. But I will surely try to choose 10. 🙂

Note: Some of the books on my list are written by Romanian authors, so if I don’t find the titles in English, I will write them in Romanian.

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This is my collection of books and I’m so proud of owning it ^.^

1. „Harry Potter”, J. K. Rowling. Because forever. Because it taught me more than any other book existing on this planet.

2. „Living to tell the Tale”, G. G. Marquez. Because it taught me how to fight.

3. „La Medeleni”, Ionel Teodoreanu. It showed me how beauty and tenderness looked like. Fight and ambition. It taught me that our lives exist as long as we want it to exist. If we choose to die, we do it before death comes.

4. „Alone in the World”, Hector Malot. I was a kid when I read it. And it changed me a lot. It is a book of a beautiful, pure and unique innocence.

5. „Pe firul de păianjen al memoriei”, Cella Serghi. It is kinda translated like: „On the memory’s spider spread”. It was near me during hard periods and whispered a lot of things. I’m still thinking and analizing them, as they are of a rare depth.

6. „Norwegian Wood”, Haruki Murakami. Because of reasons. Personality.

7. „1984”, George Orwell. Well. This book should be on most of the tops, because it represents a fear of the humanity. An obedience people don’t talk about. It is one of the bravest books I’ve ever read.

8. „Life on a Station Platform”, Octavian Paler. I used to be afraid of loneliness, but Paler taught me not to be afraid of anything.

9. „Lorelei”, Ionel Teodoreanu. Here I learnt how to love and appreciate.

10. „On the Road”, Jack Kerouac. Sincerely, I hated the book from the first 50 pages, but I read it, because I don’t like to start a book and leave it like this. I hated it a whole year till I discovered its true value. I will tell you someday about it.

I’m pretty sure that, in some month, my list will change, because there are so many books and I never stop reading.

Ţi-aş propune şi ţie, drag cititor, să încerci să întocmeşti o listă cu cele 10 cărţi care te-au marcat şi să ne spui şi de ce.

I suggest you to try and make your own list. It is very interesting for you and I will read it with pleasure.

I’ve chosen some of you to do it, if you like it:

feralpoetess

Hookup Cultures

emotionsoflife2016

Iamyllama

A Reading Writer

Still Another Writer’s Blog

Simply Fernanda

Pranavya

My Goodreads Blog

Curly Girl Abroad

The Learnify

Roberta Pimentel

The Wounded Healer

I can’t wait to see if we have a book in common! Tell me if you decide to do it 🙂

I wish you a great evening and don’t forget to fall in love with the book you are reading!

 

 

„Gog” by Giovanni Papini

I read this book a year ago and it’s still haunting me.

It isn’t a narrative story. It isn’t a book that you would read breathlessly. It isn’t a book that you would talk about with your friends, because it is a book that provokes you to think deeply and to remain you, just you, in your essence.

It’s about a very rich man who travels and collects stories, very strange stories. You would say they are crazy and disgusting. But it is a book based on contrasts. You move from one world to another according to the chapters. You would say you could travel in space while reading it.

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It’s, actually, a collection of stories, each representing a characteristic of human being. Cowardice. Wisdom. Love. Loss. Everything. I haven’t ever read a book like this. Of course there are novels that embody a lot of human values, but this is not a novel. It’s a simple collection of stories, which even creates the impression that they have nothing in common, even if there exists a „main” character.

The titles of the chapters are very attractive. So is the chapter of the book, of course, Gog. It is surely a proper name. I really think it’s a paradox here, as the book’s title is the name of the „main” character and this book has, more or less, nothing to do with Gog. He’s just collecting the stories, the book is NOT about him, but about those who tell the stories. The author doesn’t analize Gog from different points of view, he doesn’t even properly describe him. I think this is the most interesting thing about Gog.

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of course, I can’t read without a pencil

Here are some quotes:

„… religions are nothing but remnant of the old wild taboos, prohibition systems with varying ideological superstructure.”

„But people destroy themselves with iron and buy themselves with gold.”

I hope you will like it, so enjoy the reading and I’m waiting for your opinions!

What does Goodreads offer?

I’m a „hardcore” reader (I know it sounds weird, but I just couldn’t find any other word :D). If I invite you for a coffee some day, you can be sure that, at some point, I will start talking about a book. I used to search information about the books that I’ve read and how to organize my time to succeed in reading all that I wanted to read. Well, in result, I found this amazing site.

The best discovery was, of course, Goodreads. I spend hours on this site. And I found extraordinary things here.

1. Reading Challenge. Of course we can set a goal by ourselves. But it is easier to utilize what Goodreads offers to us. You can establish a number of books you want to read this year. It shows your progress, how many books you’ve read so far and how many books are left.

2. Shelves.  You can arrange your books on shelves. In this way, you can create a virtual library. You can create as many shelves as you want and add as many books as you want. This offers you the possibility to be more organized.

3. Recommendations. According to your shelves, Goodreads makes a statistic and shows you books that you would like to read. Therefore, if you are bored and have nothing to read, you can visit the Recommendation page and you will surely find your next book.

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4. Quotes. I don’t know if there is another site that has more quotes thatn Goodreads. If you need a quote, you just search on Goodreads and you find thousands of them! 

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5. Ask the Author.  There is a list with authors that can answer your question every week. I ddn’t use this tool, but I think this is very interesting. So if you want to ask something or you’ve read a book written by one of the writers from that list, you can ask him/her anything about the book.

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6. Quizzes. You can find thousands of quizzes upon a lot of literature topics and books. I usually answer all the quizzes about Harry Potter. It makes me feel like I’m reading the books again 😀

7. The progress. You can set the date you start a book, the page you’ve reached so far and the date you’ve ended the book. According to these dates, Goodreads offers you some stats.

8. „To-read” list. This is a very useful thing for those that like to search for good books and to save them somewhere. I tried to use this tool, but I always found other books to read than those that were on the list. Because reading isn’t something that should be done upon a schedule. You read what you want, not what’s on the list for today. But everyone has his/her own opinion.Maybe you will find this very useful. 

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As you’ve observed, I haven’t read any of the books on the list.

9. Reviews. I think they are the best on Goodreads. Almost every book has hundreds of reviews, that help you understand the book, analize it and its characters. I’ve used the reviews a lot in high school, because there were a lot of books that I couldn’t understand. This is oen of my reviews. 

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Of course there are more interesting things, but I let you discover them. I hope I was useful and I’m waiting for you adding me on Goodreads to exchange opinions and recommendations.

What do you think about Goodreads?

„Lolita” by Vladimir Nabokov

I think you’ve noticed from my recommendations that I use to read everything that’s peppery, flashy, unusual, forbidden, banned. This weekend I suggest you a book that once was banned by the government in many countries. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov.

I warn you, it seems boring. Sometimes nothing happens. But just SOMETIMES. Other times you just can’t follow the action. It’s a story, more or less, about love. You’ll make your own opinion and you’ll decide for yourself how much love is there in the book.

It’s a controversial book, that forces you to make faces and big eyes. While reading it, a lot of thoughts, opinions and ideas will cross your mind. Sometimes you can find yourself contradicting your own opinions. You’ll say it’s beautiful. Then you’ll say it’s disgusting. Sometimes you’ll say you can’t read it anymore, but then you’ll want to find out the ending. It can be a long reading, mine lasted a whole month. But still. Nothing compares to it. Why? Because, in my opinion, a good book is a book that says more than the others. A good book is a book that has the courage to underline things that people don’t talk about. Good books are those books that risk to be banned, because people don’t like writings that talk about shameful things. And Lolita is exactly one of these books.

Shortly, Humbert Humbert is the main character who falls in love with Lolita, the 12 years old girl. I won’t tell you more. (I will keep reminding you that I do not describe the action or the characters. I decribe the way I felt while reading it.)

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And here are some quotes:

“It was love at first sight, at last sight, at ever and ever sight.”

“Human life is but a series of footnotes to a vast obscure unfinished masterpiece”

“I loved you. I was a pentapod monster, but I loved you. I was despicable and brutal, and turpid, and everything, mais je t’aimais, je t’aimais! And there were times when I knew how you felt, and it was hell to know it, my little one. Lolita girl, brave Dolly Schiller.”

“We live not only in a world of thoughts, but also in a world of things. Words without experience are meaningless.”

I also found some quotes by Vladimir Nabokov upon the book, but they are in Romanian and I’m not a professional translator. Although, if you want to, you can check them here, they are the last two quotes and you can try to translate them in Google. “Lolita”, Vladimir Nabokov.

P.S. There are two movies made upon the book, the first one appeared in 1962 and the second one in 1992. I think you can find them online.

„Junky” by William S. Burroughs

If you are looking for a very special book, for a different book, you are exactly where you need to be.

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Firstly, you need to meet the author, because otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy and understand his book. William S. Burroughs was an American author, who „created” the Beat Generation with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. For more detalis about the Beat Generation, click here.

If you are familiar with the life of this personality, the book will seem relevant, because it is inspired from the author’s life, containing a lot of real elements.

Junky is Burroughs’ first novel. It contains a lot of events and descriptions of post-war life. The author wasn’t afraid to combine general elements of the situation in which American society was, with elements from his personal life, elements which were totally different from the values and the perspectives that existed after ther war: the author was homosexual and drug addict. The action took place in New York, New Orleans and Mexico City.

This book is exceptional because the novel is based on facts, not illusions or stories, because it is kind of a semi-autobiographical book. The action in described exactly as it is, without exaggerations and a lot of comments. You just feel like it runs away from your hands, because it wants to take you to another world. To the world of drug addicts.

I think this is one of the best books I’ve recently read. It perfectly reflects the post-war life, but I think it also reflects the nowaday reality. The author describes impeccable everything, outlining all the characters, so that you are able to create an imaginary picture of the book.

I’m sure a lot of readers didn’t like the novel. It contains a lot of disgusting and realistic elements. But I think Burroughs is one of the few authors that had the courage to tell the world things that couldn’t be said then: all aspects of a drug addict’s life. And Burroughs deserves to be applauded for this.

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Here are some quotes from the book:

„I think the use of junk causes permanent cellular alteration. Once a junkie, alwazs a junkie. You can stop using it, but you are never off after the first habit.”

„He asked the question they all ask.
<<Why do you feel that you need narcotics, Mr. Lee?>>
When you hear this question you can be sure that the man who asks it knows nothing about junk.”

„Whe one personality meets another for the first time, there is a period of mutual examination on the inuitive lever of empathy and identification.”

„The point of junk to a user is that it forms the habit. No one knows what junk is until he is junk sick.”

It is not a novel for those that are searching for books to read before sleep, because it underlines cruel truths and I don’t really think you will be able to fall asleep after reading it 🙂 . Although, I wish you to enjoy the reading and I’m waiting for your reviews and opinions!

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The Beat Generation

I’ve recently studied at the university this socio-literary movement, that has changed me a lot. And I think it changed the whole American society during 1950-1960.

You are probably asking yourself what kind of movement was it,isn’t it? Well, I will try to explain as clear as I can, to show you its beauty and its importance.

As a short introduction, The Beat Generation is a socio-literary movement that appeared in America during its ’50s. The three most important personalities of this generation were Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.

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Jack Kerouac #2

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After World War II, some societies were under a system of rules that had to be respected. So was American society. Although it was under democracy, there were things that were considered to be taboos, like the liberty of human condition, of religion, sexual liberty and the liberty of experimenting. The Beat Generation contributed to the denying of these taboos

Well, those three great personalities of this generation wanted to reject the values that had been established after the war, they wanted to reject the materialism, they were interested in the discovery of the soul, exploration of religions and human conditions, experimenting drugs and sexual liberty. These things are well described in the three prominent work of these authors: „On the Road”, „Naked Lunch” and „Howl” (I will also talk about them in other posts).

I spent days and nights investigating and searching in google for more information about this generation. I did it because I had to write an academic essay on the theme, but I also did it because the authors captivated me. They captivated me through their way of thinking and living, through their visions upon life and human condition. They helped me understand that things that they had tried to deny, to repeal, to destroy then, are still valid today.

Even if World War II ended years ago, people are still following the rules of those times. Democracy? Of course democracy! Liberty? Nothing! People keep their thoughts beside them. Few of us have the courage to accept and use their „democratic” liberty. The majority of us ACCEPTED the materialism installed after the war. Less and less realize that THEY matter, not the society. THEY have to be the center of their universes, not the society. They have to learn how to live their life as they want to, they do not have to work for the society till their last breath.

No! I’m not saying that we need no money and no job. All of us need it. But we have to mark a limit. We do not have to forget ourselves somewhere there, far away, behind the scene. We do not have to hide and be ashamed of our desires, opinions and ideas. We have to learn how to put OURSELVES on the first place, because exactly this attitude generates a strong character. Exactly this attitude outlines our personalities. This attitude will help us enjoy our lives as we want to. We don’t want to be old and regret that we had no life, do we?

No, I do not suggest you to resign your job and to go buy drugs. I suggest you to contribute to destroy the laws, or, better said, to destroy the expired mentality. I suggest you to try to live your life as YOU want to live it. Without listening to the opinions of other people, without rejecting the things that make you happy. Try to do things for you, not for others. You have a life. Do not give it to others. Fight for your personality. Fight for your ideas. Do not let yourself influenced. Do not refuse your pleasures. Buy yourself a beer or a cupcake after work, even if you have little money. Do not let it in the wallet because you have to get to work somehow tomorrow. Tomorrow may never come. But if it though comes… IMPROVISE! You’ll manage somehow.

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Do not forget about yourself in behalf of others.

 

„One Hundred Years of Solitude”, Gabriel Garcia Marquez

„One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Marquez… What should I start with? This book is so known in all the world, that it seems impossible to make a good description of it. I don’t even why I have chosen it for this weekend. But I’m going to take advantage of this surprise-desire of mine and I will try to convince you that this is one of those books that you HAVE TO read at least once in your life.

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Before reading it, I thought it was boring and with a stupid theme. I was avoiding it, because I thought I would be bored even before ending the first page. Well, I wasn’t right. From the first time I had it in my hands I couldn’t let it far away from me for more than 30 minutes. I „ate” it rapidly! Like I eat cherries in summer, without even feeling that it had so many pages. It is an EXTRAORDINARY story! With ups, downs, history, love, loss, waitings, hopes, power and everything you want. It creates the impression that you’re living there. You will think that you can travel through time, you live one hundred years in some days… And it’s not that kind of book that generates dissatisfactions and questions concerning what had happened in those 8 years that weren’t described. It just flows. You read it and you just can’t stop.

The characters are amazing and so is the plot and the theme. Of course, it is also very sombre because it underlines painful truths about the world we’re living in. But it’s not okay to read only books with happy endings. Sometimes we need books that provoke a meditation upon things, that help us understand the world…

I wish you a good end of the weekend and I hope you’ve written somewhere there in your room to read this book someday. (I am sure you’ll like Marquez! 🙂 )