WWW Wednesday 11-Dec-2019

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Hello there! Welcome to WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words. I didn’t really have the time to read as much as I usually could the past couple of weeks but I’m somehow back to it now so here we go. Just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

The Princess and the Penis was a hilarious read. I’ve read it while on lunch break alone. This was a cute and silly read that made me giggle and smile like an idiot for a good half an hour!

I’ve completely forgotten that I have a copy of Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes if not for a friend’s reading update on Goodreads. So I’ve decided to start on it a few days ago. I tried to read a few pages in between my work and glad to be able to finish it. It was captivating but heartbreaking as well.

I was also able to finish Cream, a short story by Haruki Murakami. A beautiful and refreshing story.

Currently Reading:

I haven’t gotten far from A Dance with Dragons and I don’t think I still have enough time to finish it before the year ends because I’ve just started with The Russian Concubine and A Christmas Carol. I have both on my Kindle so I can possibly read in between my work again or while commuting.

Up Next:

Not sure what to read next as I am having a really busy time at work (and even after work) these days so it’s not very easy to find time to read but my eyes are on Out by Natsuo Kirino and The Driver’s Seat by Muriel Spark. I’d be glad to hear some suggestions, though, so feel free!

Some book reviews I’ve managed the previous weeks:

Thousand Cranes by Yasunari Kawabata

The Princess and the Penis by R.J. Silver

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

I’d be glad to know what you’re reading, what you’ve just finished and what you plan to read next so drop a link so I can check them out or share them on the comments section.

Until next time, homo sapiens!

The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

history of loveThe book is about Leo Gursky, a very interesting character, a Holocaust survivor from Poland, now in his eighties and living by himself, already had a serious heart attack and only wants not to die on a day he went unseen and so he attracts attention to himself in public while waiting for death to take him.

I enjoyed this book so much, the characters — Leo Gursky most of all, the story — hilarious and sad at the same time, the very beautiful writing of Nicole Krauss. Like the A Song of Ice and Fire series, I liked that the story was told by alternating narrators. The only difference is that in this book, I adored all the voices, there wasn’t any narrator/chapter I found anxious to get through. Every one was engaging.

The History of Love is one great example of a book about life and love. Amazing read. Highly recommended.

Quotable Quotes:
“Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.”
“What about you? Are you happiest and saddest right now that you’ve ever been?” “Of course I am.” “Why?” “Because nothing makes me happier and nothing makes me sadder than you.”
“I want to say somewhere: I’ve tried to be forgiving. And yet. There were times in my life, whole years, when anger got the better of me. Ugliness turned me inside out. There was a certain satisfaction in bitterness. I courted it. It was standing outside, and I invited it in.”
“The truth is the thing I invented so I could live.”
“There are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone.”

Rating: 5/5 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

The Princess & the Penis by R.J. Silver

973c3d86acb049a7742a95af9751901a5c4fcc19The Princess & the Penis is about Princess Amalia, the very innocent daughter of King Norwood who wants to keep her pure until he finds a suitable and worthy husband for her.

One day, the princess woke up looking like she didn’t sleep well because of the “lump under her rump” the whole night. The story got funnier and sillier from there and oh, The Phantom Phallus was even more.

This was a cute and silly read that made me giggle and smile like an idiot for a good half an hour! A story with a naughty twist of your childhood fairy tale.

Take this for what it’s worth and it’d give you a good laugh. The two cool aunts are freaking awesome, too!

Rating: 4/5 stars

 

WWW Wednesday (20-Nov-2019)

img_1384-0Hello there! Welcome to WWW Wednesday, hosted by Sam from Taking On A World of Words. I didn’t really have the time to read as much as I usually could the past couple of weeks but I’m somehow back to it now so here we go. Just answer the three W questions:

  1. What did you recently finish reading?
  2. What are you currently reading?
  3. What do you think you’ll read next?

Recently Finished:

amonstercalls

A Monster Calls is a very emotional story and so vivid in pain and suffering that will break your heart. It just broke mine a thousand times.

Currently Reading:

 

I haven’t gone far with A Dance with Dragons but I’m delighted to read the first few chapters that featured Tyrion, Daenerys and Jon Snow.

I’ve also started The Forgotten Highlander by Alistair Urquhart, a 19-year-old soldier in the Gordon Highlanders who was captured by the Japanese in Singapore. This sparks a great interest on my part quite a lot so I hope it won’t disappoint.

Up Next:

russian concubine

I’m still very inclined to read this next so I won’t be checking other books for the meantime.

Also, I was able to write a few reviews about the books I’ve finished reading a few months back and you can check them here:

 

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin 

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

Therese Raquin by Emile Zola

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

I’d be glad to know what you’re reading, what you’ve just finished and what you plan to read next so drop a link so I can check them out or share them on the comments section.

Until next time, homo sapiens!

The Sorrows of Young Werther by Johann Wolfgang van Goethe

wertherThe Sorrows of Young Werther is an epistolary novel said to be semi-autobiographical that earned Johann Wolfgang van Goethe great success.

The main theme is love. Young Werther can’t help falling in love with Lotte. The story itself was simple but the pangs of unrequited love came in varying degrees and was expressed well. Loving someone but knowing that you have to keep it to yourself and pull away from that person was just unbearable for Werther. Many people say that a person’s heart has more control over someone than their mind and this book is just the perfect example for that. And that is what probably made this book popular, important and admired by many.

Apart from love, mental health or depression is also a theme to consider from this novel. There was probably a deeper issue with Werther aside from the pain his suffering from unrequited love. Bipolar depression maybe wasn’t known then but Werther spends his days feeling everything in extremes. Charlotte was the core of his happiness and sorrows. Every encounter with her is damaging his fragile mind until he finally reached his limits.

To be quite honest, I personally find this overly dramatic but then, I guess we can’t help it sometimes specially when it comes to our heart’s strongest desires.

Book Quotes:

“I have so much in me, and the feeling for her absorbs it all; I have so much, and without her it all comes to nothing.”

“It’s true that nothing in this world makes us so necessary to others as the affection we have for them.”

“I treat my heart like a sick child and gratify its every fancy.”

“He values my understanding and talents more highly than my heart, but I am proud of the latter only. It is the sole source of everything of our strength, happiness, and misery. All the knowledge I possess every one else can acquire, but my heart is exclusively my own.”

“I examine my own being, and find there a world, but a world rather of imagination and dim desires, than of distinctness and living power. Then everything swims before my senses, and I smile and dream while pursuing my way through the world.”

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola

thereseTherese Raquin is a dark tale of an illegitimate-born woman and was left by her father in the care of his sister. She lived in her aunt’s home with his son, Camille. They grew up together and was later married to each other.

This is my first taste of Emile Zola’s works and the first few pages captivated me right away though it was short-lived. It started quite great but then it just dragged on and on. The author was saying the same thing over and over in different ways and the constant narration got a bit boring.

I didn’t like any of the characters in particular except for the cat which got jacked up to hell somewhere through the story.

I liked how the darkness was exhibited in depth, though, as well as how guilt tormented the two murderers. And though the author got very repetitive, I liked that I’ve guessed the ending correctly. I guess, I was just too in a hurry for them to kill each other and die of guilt.

Book Quotes:

“When there is no hope in the future, the present appears atrociously bitter.”

“Nature and circumstances seemed to have made this man for this woman, and to have driven them towards one another. Together, the woman, nervous and dissembling, and the man, lustful, living like an animal, they made a strongly united couple. They completed one another, they protected one another.”

“The thought of suicide began to weigh on her when she suddenly considered the unknowns that she would take into the tomb: there, amid the cold and silence of the earth she would sleep, eternally racked by doubts about the punishment of her tormentors. To sleep properly the sleep of death, she had to lapse into insensibility feeling the sharp joy of revenge; she had to take with her a dream of hatred satisfied, one that she would dream throughout eternity.”

Rating: 3/5 stars

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

vegetarianYeong-hye wakes up from a nightmare one morning and decided to stop eating meat and without hesitation, throws away every meat in their house. And so we follow her story as she loses control of herself little by little. It started firstly with her refusing meat. Secondly, her not being comfortable with her body and lastly, with her physical and mental state drift somewhere out of this world.

The Vegetarian comes in three parts in chronological order from Yeong-hye’s husband, brother-in-law and her sister’s perspectives. I personally would have loved to know Yeong-hye’s thoughts specially about the dream she had that changed everything for her.

This is a short (but not really quick) and compelling read, beautiful at the same time brutal. In it is a depth that demands attention.

Quotable Quotes:

“Why, is it such a bad thing to die?”

“The feeling that she had never really lived in this world caught her by surprise. It was a fact. She had never lived. Even as a child, as far back as she could remember, she had done nothing but endure.”

“The pain feels like a hole swallowing her up, a source of intense fear and yet, at the same time, a strange, quiet peace.”

“Her life was no more than a ghostly pageant of exhausted endurance, no more real than a television drama. Death, who now stood by her side, was as familiar to her as a family member, missing for a long time but now returned.”

“Time was a wave, almost cruel in its relentlessness.”

Rating: 4/5 stars