The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

downloadBook #30.

Some books leave you satisfied. Some books leave you confused. Some books leave you content. Some books leave you happy while some leave you sad. The Boy in the Striped Pajamas left me heartbroken.

This is the story of a nine-year old boy named Bruno whose father is a Nazi commander during World War 2. After a visit from a man who Bruno calls as The Fury, his family has to move to Out-With where life is much different compared to Berlin.

Bruno likes exploring so he decided to explore the new place. He reached a fence where he meets Shmuel, also a nine-year old and wearing the striped pajamas. And so an unlikely but special friendship begins.

This is a fast, easy and unforgettable read but the tragic ending broke my heart…

Quotable Quotes :

“It reminds me of how grandmother always had the right costume for me to wear. You wear the right outfit and you feel like the person you’re pretending to be.”

“Sitting around miserable all day won’t make you any happier.”

“Don’t make it worse by thinking it’s more painful than it actually is.”

Rating : 4/5 stars

Free Will by Sam Harris

freewillBook #29.

Free Will by Sam Harris is an intense short read leaving us thinking why we do the things we do. I think that as humans, we feel like we are in control of ourselves, we make decisions and our lives are shaped according to the decisions we make. However, as startling as it may sound, I personally think and feel that we don’t have as much free will as we think we do. So I definitely agree with what Harris pointed out: free will is an illusion.

I advise you not to read this book if you’re not ready to entertain new thoughts. 🙂

World War 2: Waffen SS Soldier Stories: Eyewitness Accounts of Hitler’s Elite Troops

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Book #28.

I was distracted by grammatical errors in this book, however, anything that has to do with the war attracts me so I continued reading and I wasn’t disappointed.

This book offers a lot of very interesting information about World War 2 and the SS soldiers. I have always been interested of the SS soldiers so reading their side of the story during the war is a delight to me. Discovering a lot of things about them and what happened during these times made me even want for more.

The title may be a bit inaccurate but I don’t mind at all since the content was okay for me.

Rating : 4/5 stars

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

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Book #27.

Water for Elephants is a book by Jacob Jankowski, a ninety-three year old man in a nursing home reminiscing about his life when he was younger when he got himself into a circus train that belongs to the Benzini Brothers. His life changed when he fell in love with Marlena, a talented performer who happens to be the wife of his paranoid schizophrenic boss, August.

I think what captivated me most in this book is the picture of how circus life was at that time. How circus workers were red-lighted as punishment then in order for the circus owners not to pay their wages. Also, performers always get paid even in times when revenue is low, there’s a possibility for the workmen to get paid but for the black minority, it seems to be a normal practice to not get paid. And these minorities can’t do anything but to accept it as it is.

Animal cruelty was also a theme that saddened me while reading this. More so that Ms. Gruen mentioned these cruelties as facts.

I’d suggest to anyone who hasn’t read this yet to consider reading it and get fascinated in the world of circus in the 1930s.

Quotable Quotes :

“With a secret like that, at some point the secret itself becomes irrelevant. The fact that you kept it does not.”

“I want her to melt into me, like butter on toast. I want to absorb her and walk around for the rest of my days with her encased in my skin. I want.”

“Life is the most spectacular show on earth.”

“When will people learn that just because you can make something doesn’t mean you should?”

“I stare at her for a long moment. I want to kiss her. I want to kiss her more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.”

Rating : 4/5 stars

Quote of the Week

Have you ever lost someone you love and wanted one more conversation, one more chance to make up for the time when you thought they would be here forever? If so, then you know you can go your whole life collecting days, and none will outweigh the one you wish you had back.

-Mitch Albom

Merry Christmas!

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Merry Christmas, homo sapiens! I hope everyone’s celebrating this season keeping in mind its true meaning!

The Temple of Hercules

temple-of-hercules

This is the Roman temple located in the Amman Citadel. It is more popularly known as the Temple of Hercules. It’s said to have been built in the same period when the Roman Theater was built between 162-166 AD.

Quote of the Week

I think it happens to everyone when they grow up. You find out who you are and what you want, and then you realize that people you’ve known forever don’t see things the way you do. And so you keep the wonderful memories, but find yourself moving on.

-Nicholas Sparks

The End of Faith by Sam Harris

the-end-of-faith Book #26.

My acquaintance with Sam Harris just started I think last month when he was introduced to me by a dear friend. I first watched one of his videos on Youtube and then tried reading one of his works, Letter to a Christian Nation. I think it was a good start because it led me to this other work of his, The End of Faith.

The book, the way I understand it, is basically telling us that beliefs with proof must triumph over beliefs based on our religious faith. Sam Harris made some very important points here and it does rather hit hard on the core of religion but definitely worth your time reading.

Quotable Quotes :

“Reason is nothing less than the guardian of love.”

“Nothing is more sacred than the facts.”

“As a man believes, so he will act.”

“Religious faith is the one species of human ignorance that will not admit of even the possibility of correction.”

Rating : 4/5 stars

The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Because I am a huge fan of The Shadow of the Wind… Book #25.

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This is a story set in 1920’s Barcelona about David Martin, a gifted writer but has a very unfortunate past and is struggling to make a name for himself. He eventually met a mysterious French publisher who holds the key to his great expectations.

Just like The Shadow of the Wind, the plot includes mysterious characters, broken hearts and of course, books. The Cemetery of Forgotten Books also made its appearance again. It has a slower pace though compared to TSOTW.

With regards to characters, I enjoyed Isabella a lot. I love the banterings between her and David. What happened to her in the epilogue saddened me a lot. I am a little bothered though what happened to Christina in the end.

I actually still do not fully understand the book and the ending was nothing I expected which left me rather perplexed which means I will be thinking about this for the next few days.

I won’t discourage you from reading it but just lower your expectations.

Quotable Quotes :

“Don’t be afraid of being scared. To be afraid is a sign of common sense. Only complete idiots are not afraid of anything.”

“Every book has a soul, the soul of the person who wrote it and the soul of those who read it and dream about it.”

“I don’t suppose you have many friends. Neither do I. I don’t trust people who say they have a lot of friends. It’s a sure sign that they don’t really know anyone.”

“Do you know the best thing about broken hearts? They can only really break once the rest is just scratches.”

“Human beings believe just as they breathe – in order to survive.”

Rating : 3.5/5 stars

Quote of the Week

Respect other people’s feelings. It might mean nothing to you, but it could mean everything to them.

-Roy T. Bennett

Quote of the Week

Ultimately, the worst kinds of pain do not come from your enemies,

but the people you trust and love.

-Beau Taplin