Jun 14, 2007

Without Blood by Alessandro Baricco

Alessandro Baricco is famous Italian writer and "Without Blood" (2002.) is one of his famous novels.
It`s short, but tells more than some three times longer novels. For me this novel was like a good and strong wine.
Baricco tells an almost real story (it could happen), divided in two parts separated by time. First part tells about little girl`s family murder at the end of war. In second part this girl Nina (already old woman then) meets with last surviving murderer Tito, who secretly spared her life. She had taken her time, prepared and fulfilled her revenge...almost... They sit down and share the memories. Tito thinks that Nina will kill him, but Nina isn`t so sure anymore... The war is over for them.
I liked Baricco`s writing style: clear and poetic, almost stingy in words, yet making each character psychologically deep. I could almost hear them speaking, so well written the dialogues are.
"Without Blood" is first novel I have read from A. Baricco and I`m impressed. Must search for his best known novel "Silk"...

Jun 4, 2007

Blogroll game

You can see little pink button on the right. It means that I`m participating in Blogroll game made up by Dewey. She has really nice blog and through this game I`ve found two (new)other interesting blogs:

I visited Imani`s blog The Books of My Numberless Dreams. She has read 70 books last year. That`s a lot.2nd blog I visited is Arukiyomi. Author lived in Japan and he likes to read old novels. I liked his idea about showing on map locations mentioned “Journey to the Interior of the Earth” I`ll definitely visit his blog again to see what he has read next.3rd blog I visited (actually it`s on my blogroll for some time already) is Booktraveller`s blog. I like her idea about reading books from different countries. It`s great ability for her blog readers to find out new books and new authors.

I shall say that I visited more than 3 blogs, but these where the ones I wanted to wrote about. Go on and participate!

Jun 2, 2007

President of Latvia

After some unexpected moments, rumours, discussions on mass media, protests and supporting ads, Latvia has new president Valdis Zatlers.

No one denies that he is really good doctor and he has done a lot in his position, but many people have doubts whether he will be good president. Because some politicians stand behind him, because he doesn`t understand politics so well, because he had taken gifts (money?) from patients....It all doesn`t look nice. Especially if we compare V. Zatlers with previous president Vaira Vike-Freiberga.

People love her, she is smart, she is good looking, she does what`s best for Latvia, she isn`t a marionette after all, she understands politics and foreign affairs well.
Many people, especially young ones, expected that Zatlers won`t get enough votes and politicians will choose some third person, like it happened when Freiberga was first elected. What can expect a president whom one part of Latvia`s inhabitants don`t support? Nothing much, I think. Let`s only hope that he will exceed our best expectations.

May 23, 2007

Apple blossoms

Most beautiful time of the year. This May is only about blooming. It`s hardly to see houses, all trees are like white and pink clouds.

Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonneguth

I read my fourth TBR book in one evening at the beginning of May, but couldn`t push myself to write a post about it.

"Breakfast of Champions" is my first ever read book from Vonneguth`s writings. I wasn`t sure if I`ll like it, because I have heard that whether you love or hate Vonneguth, there is no middle way. I think I`ll be the one who love :)

I suppose anyone knows this book, so I won`t repeat the plot. I liked the way Vonneguth tells stories, also in some places I got little but unsatisfied by his sudden change of story - his is swiftly switching between different subjects. One thing I liked the most, is his laughing about things other people take seriously:

There were one quadrillion nations in the Universe, but the nation Dwayne Hoover and Kilgore Trout belonged to was the only one with a national anthem which was gibberish sprinkled with question marks.
Some Vonneguth audio books are waiting for me, so I`m going to dig deeper into Vonneguth world.

May 15, 2007


Today I`m going to through out a lot of old books. They were left by old flat owner when she died. Too bad that she didn`t read good literature. There were mostly silly novels and books written in Soviet time about Soviet soldiers and comunism. Still I got few good books too: colection of Anthon Checkov works, F. Kafta, J.Vernes and some other authors` books. It`s not easy to through out books, but no one needs them, they are worth nothing.

Lately there is cleaning going on in Latvian libraries. Similar books like mines are thrown out. It`s normal. What seems little bit strange to me is that they through out also good classics if no one had read those books for some time. It`s possible to pick them up for no fee if someone wants, before books are sent to recicling.

Apr 29, 2007

The Art of War by Sun Tzu

The Art of War basically is old old book of Chinese advices how to fight, lead army and overcome enemy. I read two copies of it - one with only Sun Tzu`s thesis, second with other authors commentaries and explanations. Why I read it? Because I read one magazine article, where it was said, that Art of War was used by Cesar, Napoleon and others, as well as it is used in nowadays in USA army and some big companies trying to be the best in market.
Hmm, this book can really be used in company`s management, because some war strategies are quite similar to organization management. For example, need for clear and not doubtful commands, advice to put best soldiers (workers) on first line, importance of understanding ones own weaknesses and strengths etc.
Overall, it`s boring literature if one don`t think how to use those advices in life.

Apr 27, 2007

Free audio-books

Simply Audiobooks usually sells audio-books, but now they offer some books for free. I downloaded:

  • The Stolen White Elephant by Mark Twain
  • The Madonna of the Future by Henry James
  • The Waste Land by T.S. Elliott
  • Famous Missions of California by W.H. Hudson
  • The Camel`s Back by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I don`t know anything about those books, but I hope I`ll like at least 2 of them. Lately I`ve been working on computer much and my eyes get tired soon so I`m not able to read much in the evenings, so the audio-books are great choice for me now.

Apr 25, 2007

Even trash bins can be art

We all get used to sculptures, graffitis (art?), fountains and other art object, but lately I saw that also trash bins can be made like art objects.

Trashbins from Ventspils, Port promenade. First one I had to take a look inside to guess that its trash bin, `cause there are art object all over the promenade. Thanks God, second one has sign on it...

Apr 20, 2007

Detective story lovers drink champagne today

Today, 20th April in 1841 Edgar Allen Poe`s story the Murders in the Rue Morgue was published. This tale is considered to be the first detective story.

Following the publication of Poe's story, detective stories began to grow into novels and English novelist Wilkie Collins published a detective novel, The Moonstone, in 1868. In Collins' story, the methodical Sergeant Cuff searches for the criminal who stole a sacred Indian moonstone. The novel includes several features of the typical modern mystery, including red herrings, false alibis, and climactic scenes.
The greatest fictional detective, Sherlock Holmes, first appeared in 1887, in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novel A Study in Scarlet. The cozy English mystery novel became popularized with Agatha Christie's Miss Marple series in the 1920s, when other detectives like Lord Peter Wimsey and Ellery Queen were also becoming popular. In the 1930s, sometimes called the golden age of detective stories, the noir detective novel became the mainstay of writers like Dashiell Hammet, Raymond Chandler, and Mickey Spillane. Tough female detectives such as Kinsey Millhone and V.I. Warshawski became popular in the 1980s. [via History.com]

I have to admit, I haven`t read any of Poe`s stories, but I have read almost all Doyle`s and Christie`s stories. I loved Sherlock Holmes, but I can`t say the same about Miss Marple, Erquile Puaro I liked much more. Although these are old stories I still think that those writers are one of the best detective writers ever. In modern detective stories I can usually guess the guilty person in first 50-100 pages, but in these old stories I`m kept in obscurity till the end pages.

Apr 18, 2007

Unce upon a time....there was no electricity.

Such lanterns are used by tourists in Cesis castle museum.

Can you imagine life without electricity now? It`s hard... but sometimes it`s nice to forget about electricity: suddenly there are things you can`t do and there are new things you can do, working and living conditions change, different thoughts come to your mind. In winter 2005/2006 we had a big storm in Latvia and almost all households, shops etc. were without electricity for a day and even more. We were sitting in dark at candle lights, drinking strong tea and talking, talking, talking... Suddenly we got so much time to spend just on one another, no TV, no books, no computer. Great!

Apr 12, 2007

Goodbye Mr. Vonnegut

I suppose everyone already knows that Kurt Vonnegut has passed away, but I have to mention it, because of great article in NYT and because this year I`m finally going to read at least one of his books. I don`t know why I haven`t read any of his books so far, it`s big mistake I suppose.

It`s always sad when great personality leaves this world....

Apr 11, 2007

What`s wrong with the law&order?.....

Some people can brake your property, threaten your employees, but police just laugh and say that they don`t want to get into it, tell them to calm down and drive away. Next few days you get misleading information from police - one says that there is nothing they can do, other says that those people will get sued. It`s like I have to know how police should work, otherwise I`ll get fooled....There is definitely something wrong with the law&order. Seems, that the ones who brake law have more rights. It`s miserable if people can`t trust the police!

Apr 10, 2007

All quiet on the Western Front by Erich M. Remarque

My fourth TBR Challenge book. I`m not sure why I choose it. Maybe because I have read some other books by Remarque and loved Black Obelisk. I have always loved Remarque`s humour and his ability to make reader laugh even in sad moments.

All quiet on the Western Front shows World War I through the eyes of young soldier Paul who dies almost at the end of war. It`s so realistic that it may even get you sick in some parts of novel and make you laugh at others. I have read some other war novels, but this is the most realistic one. It tells what really happens to men who becomes soldiers and what the life is for them.
It`s hard to tell more, You have to read yourself....

Mar 30, 2007

From Past to Future

Read: Life of Charlotte Bronte by Elizabeth Gaskell
It`s said to be the best biography of Charlotte Bronte and her family written by her friend. Maybe it`s true, but it`s definitely not the best of biographies. Book seemed flat. I suppose its advantage is disadvantage at the same time. Elizabeth knew Charlotte and was able to get letters from other Charlotte`s friends and talk with people who had met her, but at the same time Elizabeth couldn`t or didn`t want to tell more things about Bronte family`s life `cause many people where still alive and couldn`t like what she could write.
You can get eBook from Gutenberg: Volume 1 and Volume 2

Start reading: The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman
It`s said to be very good non-fiction book.

Mar 27, 2007

Blogger`s list of 10 childhood books I can`t forget

Inspired by Stephanie`s "Blogger`s list of 10 books I can`t live without" I have created list of 10 of my favourite childhood books I can`t forget.

1. Winnie the Pooh by A.A. Milne - simply love that little bear and his friends
2. Blue castle by L.M. Montgomery - taught me something about love...
3. The Count of Monte Cristo by A. Dumas - it is NOT a children`s book, I know, but I read first it at age 10 and fell in love with it
4. Anne of Green Gables (all books) by L.M. Montgomery - liked these books more than about other girls :)
5. The Wonderful adventures of Nils by S. Lagerlof - Swedish writer`s most popular children`s book, I liked its story.
6. The Mysterious Island by J. Verne - Oh, I was so excited about this book!
7. Captain Grant`s Children or In Search of the Castaways by J. Verne
8. Karlsson on the roof (and other books about this nasty guy) by A. Lindgren
9. Forest Newspaper by V.V. Bianki - great Russian children`s writer tells about life in forest, great source of information.
10. The Sherlock Holmes stories by A.K. Doyle - I started my journey into detectives with Holmes...

Of course, there are many more books, but these ones are best kept in my memory and I`m even willing to re-read them.

Mar 26, 2007

Peter the First by Aleksey Tolstoy

Great novel! I enjoyed every single page of it. It`s so sad that Tolstoy died before finishing it. Anyway it`s very good source of information of 17th -18th Century Russia and its Tsar.
People read about Hitler and Stalin, but they are just egoistic sick men compared with Peter the First. Some politicians could learn a lot from him - how to boost countries` economy and how to make an empire out of sleepy villages:
The boyars and landed nobles, the clergy and the streltsi feared changes which meant new undertakings and new people; they hated the rapidity and harshness of the innovations. "It's no longer a decent world, it's a tavern; they smash everything, they disturb every- one. Low-born little merchants snatch at power. They don't live; they just hurry. The Tsar has delivered the country into the hands of corrupt lechers who have lost the fear of God. We are heading for the abyss."
But those others -- the low-born, efficient men who wanted change, who stretched out their hands, entranced, towards Europe, to grasp even a grain of the golden dust that shrouded the lands of the Occident -- those said that
they had not been mistaken in the young Tsar: he had proved himself just the man they had expected. The disaster and humiliation of Azov had, at one stroke, made
a man of the reveller of the Foreign Quarter; failure had curbed him with a violent bridle. Even his relatives did not recognise him; he was a changed man: fierce, obstinate and businesslike [chapter 7, book 1].
Here what`s said about Tolstoy and his last novel:

Peter the First (1929-45, book 1-2) was a historical novel, which made a strong comeback in the 1930s. It followed the myth of Peter the Great as a progressive ruler who made Russia strong, while also having a heart for the people. Tolstoi did not try to interpret history in a new way but used traditional material. Among his sources were works by the novelist Dmitry Merezhkovasky (1865-1941) and Daniil Mordovtsev, and the historians Vasily Klyuchevsky and Vladimir Solovyov (1853-1900). Peter the First was hailed as the best Soviet historical novel ever written - also in West perhaps due to its apolitical views. However, Tolstoi never managed to finish the third part of the book before his death.

It`s hard to tell where is historical facts and where starts author`s imaginery, so if You want to know more about great Tsar, I advice You to read some other books about him as well:

Massie, Robert K. Peter the Great: His Life and World. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1980 (hardcover, ISBN 0-394-50032-6); New York: Ballantine Books, 1981 (paperback, ISBN 0-345-29806-3); 1986 (paperback, ISBN 0-345-33619-4); New York: Wings Books, 1991 (hardcover, ISBN 0-517-06483-9); London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2001 (paperback, ISBN 1-84212-116-2). Pulitzer Prize-winning biography of Peter I.

Hughes, Lindsey. Russia in the Age of Peter the Great. New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 1998 (hardcover, ISBN 0-300-07539-1; paperback, ISBN 0-300-08266-5)

Hughes, Lindsey. Peter the Great: A Biography. New Haven, CT; London: Yale University Press, 2002 (hardcover, ISBN 0-300-09426-4); 2004 (paperback, ISBN 0-300-10300-X).

Peter the Great and the West: New Perspectives (Studies in Russian and Eastern European History), edited by Lindsey Hughes. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2001 (hardcover, ISBN 0-333-92009-0).

Troyat, Henri. Peter the Great. New York: E.P. Dutton, 1987 (hardcover, ISBN 0-525-24547-2).

There are more books in Russian.
This was my third book from TBR challenge list.

Mar 23, 2007

Present to the Millennium

Present to the Millennium (2000.)

This sculpture was Valmiera`s (city in Northern Latvia) symbol for almost 7 years. Not everyone likes this sculpture, some call it "Helicopter lady". Sculpture can be seen driving to the city centre by main street in little square. Interesting for photographers, `cause it changes as light changes.

Mar 21, 2007

Joy of flowers

Flowers have always given me much pleasure. Especially if they are from someone special, like these tulips... In summers I buy field flowers in market from old ladies. These flowers aren`t as beautiful as selected flowers, but they remind me my childhood and it gives them added value.
I read somewhere that Latvians and some other ex-Soviet nationalities are the ones that buy flowers most often and not only on weddings or birthdays. Of course, Valentine`s Day, International Women`s Day, 1st September are the best days for flower magazines, but Latvians also buy flowers just because they like them.
I do love roses (which girl doesn`t?). Dark red, white, yellow, almost every colour. But now I think tulips (in dark red roses colour!) will be my second favourite flowers.
I like other flowers too, but, please, don`t give me pinks (carnations)! I hate pinks. Why? In Soviet times pinks were very popular, they were given by everyone on every occasion. Pinks were cheap and there wasn`t big variety of other flowers. That`s why I think if person gives me pinks, he/she simply haven`t thought about me, just brought cheap flowers, that`s all.

Mar 20, 2007

Third book finished!

I finished Peter the First by Aleksey Tolstoy. Review will follow soon. Great book, great man! I`m going to search for more books about Peter the First.

P.S. Picked up one additional book (unplaned): "The Life of Charlotte Bronte" by Elizabeth Gaskell. It`s said to be the best biography of this great writter and her family.

Mar 14, 2007

Investigation of old postcard

I found this lovely postcard while reading "Peter the First". It`s postcard for International Women`s Day from 1976. As I got the book in library`s give away book shelf, I have no idea about the people postcard was addressed to.

Sender is a man and receiver is two women. It means that those women were living together. Maybe mother and daughter, maybe two sisters? There isn`t an address in address field. Maybe postcard was put in an envelope?

I know that in those years it was common to give a postcard (or greeting card) with a present. So it could be possible that postcard was attached to "Peter the First" and this book was a present in International Women`s Day. Oh, people gave books as presents those days more often than now... But! Man and women weren`t living together, because sender has written: "I`m waiting for your letter". So my presumption is less possible, if only he sent a parcel.

What else is written on the postcard:

Z. and D.! Greetings in lady`s most splendid Day! Be always beautiful and joyful! A.L.

(Didn`t wrote the names, because it doesn`t matter.) Nice. He definitely kept warm feelings in his heart about them.

Such finding make me think about love and relationship and past as well.

Mar 12, 2007


I`m searching for time to read books. I`m searching for more interesting books. I`m searching for right way of living a life.... Too many interesting things I want to do and only 24 h per day is what has always disturbed me. How to find more time?
7:00 wake up
8:00 start my job
17:00 go home and walk my dog
18:00 what to eat for dinner?
19:00 either I`m eating or have already eaten and sit at computer, listen to music, do some housework or read
21:00 go to bed and read or watch TV
23:00 sleep
Computer is definitely what steals my time too much, I think.
And what about my loved ones. They wait for some loving touch and conversation too.
In such thoughtful mood I was watching TV and reading magazine at the same time one evening and dog came to me for evening caress (if dogs would have massage saloon, he would be most frequent client there :D). At first I wanted to ignore him, because I was busy with TV and reading, but then a thought came to my mind. We are so much into small, unimportant things, that don`t have time for things (like love, friendship, being together) that really matter until it`s too late. When Your loved one has passed away you wish you had spent more time with him/her, said "I love you" more often and so on. So I put my reading aside and gave my dog nice massage :) And I`m not sorry for that time I lost for reading.

Mar 7, 2007

How many of these books have You read?

100 books You should read goes around the blogosphere :) Apparently if you read this meme, you are automatically tagged! So, I guess that means if you are reading MY list, then you are tagged as well! (I was "tagged" by reading this over at Literary Cache blog who got it at Stephanie's Blog!)

Look at the list of books below: * Bold the ones you’ve read * Italicize the ones you want to read * Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in. If you are reading this (and haven't participated yet), tag, you’re it!

1. The DaVinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen) - TBR 2007
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel) - read half of it, didn`t like
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams) - TBR 2007
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte) - love it
28. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell) - TBR 2007
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. The Bible - have read Old Testament
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas) - read some 5 or 6 times, love it
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According to Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte's Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

16 read till now.
Tell me if you suggest me reading a book from this list I haven`t Italicized (simply don`t know some of them).

Comfort of Strangers by Ian Mcewan

It`s Ian Mcewan`s second novel, written in 1981. Read this book in February as additional book to my TBR list. In one word - disgusting. It`s the first feeling after I closed this book. BUT! It doesn`t mean that I didn`t like Comfort of Strangers. There is something tempting in it. Maybe it`s slow and gentle atmosphere of Venice, maybe it`s that scary feeling (it`s too good to be true...) in the air almost till the end of the book, when Robert and his wife shows their real faces.

What I couldn`t understand in Mcewan`s novel, was those two families: two Americans, Colin and Mary, tired of themselves, searching for something and two Italians, Robert and Caroline, sadistic and sick persons. I coudn`t understand and still can`t, why Americans went to visit Robert and his wife for second time, if they knew, that there is something wrong with them. I woudn`t go. Robert and his wife I simply despise, but I can understand how they grew to become brutal, sadistic and masochistic.

Anyway, I told here only the surface of the novel. One needs to dig deeper to understand it clearly. For example, Colin and Mary are too close to each other as well as they become childish and it makes them more open to strangers who would interupt their intimacy, Colin is quite feminine and it makes him more suitable for a "victim" role.

5 points to Mcewan for showing dark side of normal everyday life. Not sure if I`ll read another novel of him. I`m afraid, I can imagine how his other novels end......

Feb 27, 2007

Quote of the Day

"Where is human nature so weak as in the bookstore?" /Henry Ward Beecher/

Feb 21, 2007

Fatu-Hiva: Back to Nature - Thor Heyerdahl

Finished reading my 2nd TBR book already last week and managed to read one additional book in the same evening "Comfort of Strangers" by Ian Mcewan, but about that in next post.

Fatu-Hiva: Back to Nature is great Norwegian traveler and scientist`s Thor Heyerdahl first book. After the wedding, he and his wife Liva travel to Fatu-Hiva, small island from Madagascara island group in Oceania. They hope to find the paradise here. Theoretically it`s possible: almost no civilization, only local indians, lots of fruits, fish and meat, warm climate. In reality paradise is spoiled by people themselves. Europeans have brought ilnesses and vision about consumption. Local people just want to exploit Thor and his wife in terms of money and presents.

From talks with other Europeans in Tahiti and life on Fatu-Hiva there is one conclusion - paradise is where you aren`t :).

Quite short, nice written novel, also not as professional as Ra and other books. Got the feelling like I was travelling with Thor and Liva.

Feb 15, 2007

Bookstore - paradise or hell?

I went into a bookstore yesterday in search for a present. I love and hate bookstores at the same time. Love because of books. Hate because there are so many new books I want to read, but I can`t afford to by them all... So - paradise or hell?

Feb 14, 2007

Into my 2nd TBR book

After some days off and some days reading magazines I have begun reading my 2nd TBR book - Fatu-Hiva: back to Nature. It is entertaining and educating book at the same time. I enjoy it very much, too bad that I don`t have much time in the evenings, so it goes only 20-30 pages per evening.

Jan 31, 2007

Das Glasperlenspiel - Hermann Hesse (Updated)

Just finished this book :) Review will follow tomorrow hopefully.


Ok, here comes my review.

I read this book for quite a long time and with pleasure, but still got a feeling of not understanding it completely. So I made a little research about the author and his novel The Glass Bead Game (Das Glasperlenspiel).

Hermann Hesse (1877 - 1962) is German poet, writter and painter. He got Nobel prize in Literature in 1946. The Glass Bead Game is on of his most well known writtings. H. Hesse was interested in theological writtings, Greek mythology, got inspired by Shopenhauer and budhism. He was stronply against nazis and war.

He started The Glass Bead Game already in 1931, first published in 1943, Swiss. When nazis banned his writtings, this novel served as spiritual haven from political conflicts and war. It is his last novel as well.

The Glass Bead Game tells about intelectuals living in fictional province in 23rd Century called Castalia. Do mind, that novel isn`t science fiction! Intelectuals live in monastic order, mainly care only about different arts - music, philosophy, mathematics etc. Glass bead game - the greatest art of them all - is about connection different usually not connected disciplines in reality, for example music with arhitecture. The best of Game players becomes Magister Ludi. Main character Joseph Knecht is very talanted student and Castalia`s citizen. He becomes Magister Ludi and is brilliant at his work, but with time he understands, that he needs to do more, do something else to help the real world understand and love Castalia (if real world will lost it`s need in those spiritual workers, it wil be end of Castalia. So he resignes from his position and leaves Castalia to teach his friend Designori son. Tragedy lies in the obstacle that Castalia has made him unsuitable for his longed real life...

To what conclusion I came? The Game symbolize the ways how humans construct realities; to understand the reality one needs to understand many things, questings, sciences etc. and has to be able to connect cause with results. Besides, this book is much about following one`s destiny and fulfilling it.

As I said previously, this book is like real chokolate. To really get the taste, one needs to read slowly. H. Hesse uses long sentences, references to other musical works and writtings as well as rich language. I read this book in my native language (so I`m not able to write down some quotations, sorry for that) and I shall say that I didn`t know many words :D

Not everyone will like this book. Some will put it back in shelf not getting through first fifty pages about what is Castalia and glass bead game (these ones were boring for me....).

Jan 26, 2007

TBR Challenge

Joined this challenge a minute ago. Hope to stick to the reading list 2007 (on the left) and read one book per month. It would be great to read more, but I doubt it, `cause there`s only 24 hours per day :) I used to be real book worm once, but high school and job made their corrections....
Right now I`m approximately in the middle of "Das Glasperlenspiel". This book is like good music or chokolate cake - I can`t eat much of it in one time.

Jan 15, 2007

Took a quiz - Career Inventory Test

You are a Planner, possible professions include - management consultant, economist, scientist, computer programmer, environmental planner, new business developer, curriculum designer, administrator, mathematician, psychologist, neurologist, biomedical researcher, strategic planner, civil engineer, intellectual properties attorney, designer, editor/art director, inventor, informational-graphics designer, financial planner, judge.

Have to think about it....

Jan 14, 2007

First impression

Not bad. Not bad at all. Easy to use and nice looking. Hope it will inspire me to write interesting posts here.
What I want to write about:
  • society (different people, different thoughts...)
  • tourism business, marketing, human resources
  • issues that worries me on this planet
  • thoughts about life

Why I don`t write in my mother`s tongue? One needs to use foreign language constantly not to forget it. That`s what I`m trying to do.