Book Review: French Lessons by Alice Kaplan

Book Review: French Lessons by Alice Kaplan

 “I have been willing to overlook in French culture what I would not accept in my own for the privilege of living in translation”.

French Lessons by Alice Kaplan is an interesting book. The author elaborates on such themes as living life through an acquired language and its impact on one’s course of life; the reasons as to why people want to adopt a different culture, the question of acceptance by so-called ‘native speakers’ but also there is a question as to who defines who is a ‘real’ native [speaker]. The book also discusses the reasons related to French intellectuals being attracted by fascism during the 1930s and 1940s and it explores the idea of freedom of speech and ethics related to it.

Read more

Book Review: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

Book Review: The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov

The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov is one of my favourite books I have ever read. This book holds a special place in my heart as it depicts beautifully with all the necessary nuances the most important characteristics related to Russia and Eastern Europe during the course of the tragic 20th century. Having an Eastern European heritage, Bulgakov’s book has always resonated with me at a personal level as no other book ever had.

read more

Winter in Paris – Night

Winter in Paris – Night

A few photos from Paris that I took during December 2019 while visiting the city with my mum. We walked a lot, we visited many bookshops and spent a great time wandering streets of Montmarte! My favourite treat was a visit to Angelina and drinking their hot chocolate!

READ MORE

Book Review: Honeymoon by Patrick Modiano

Book Review: Honeymoon by Patrick Modiano

‘Honeymoon’ by Patrick Modiano is an evocative, melancholic tale, and, at times, it resembles a frame from “film noir” of the 1950s. Modiano presents the lives of the protagonists from the point of an observer, never depicting the reality in a straightforward manner, but rather showing different angles, playing with the memory, the passage of time and changeability of place we used know. The reader must remain focused and to reflect on the past, presence and future to appreciate the full artistry and emotional sensitivity of Modiano’s writing.

READ MORE

Edinburgh: The Healing Power of this Magical City

Edinburgh: The Healing Power of this Magical City

A few pictures from my favourite place on Earth: Edinburgh…..

Edinburgh is a place that I hope to call “home” one day.

Every time I am in Edinburgh, I get this strange feeling of coming back home.

Edinburgh heals my soul – all my worries, all my sadness seem to disappear every time I come here.

READ MORE

Book Review: Melmoth by Sarah Perry

Book Review: Melmoth by Sarah Perry

Melmoth by Sarah Perry is a tale of moral complexity related to the human condition. Perry’s book draws upon Melmoth the Wanderer by Charles Robert Maturin written in 1820 which once was a well-read book with a greater significance.

Perry retells the legend of Melmoth, the loneliest being in this world who wanders across the times and places to lure away the ones who committed the acts of an unconceivable cruelty to wander alongside her for eternity. The guilty who are followed by Melmoth must make a choice between being led into the darkness or living with what they have done or what their actions led to.

READ MORE

Mexico City: Yearning for a place called ‘home’…

Mexico City: Yearning for a place called ‘home’…

In October 2019 I visited Mexico City – Ciudad de Mexico. It is a magical city, full of colour, vibrant atmosphere where the old meets the new at every corner. It is a beautiful place in all its diversity but also sadly with many inequalities being apparent every step you take.

READ MORE

Book Review: An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

Book Review: An Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine

“I would be reading at my desk, something she deemed part and parcel of my job, and considerate as she was, she kept me company but left me undisturbed. We were two solitudes benefiting from a grace that was continuously reinvigorated in each other’s presence, two solitudes who nourished each other.”

“I identify with outsiders, with the alienated or dispossessed. (…) I like men and women who don’t fit well in the dominant culture, or, as Alvaro de Campos calls them, strangers in this place as in every other, accidental in life as in the soul.”

read more

Book Review: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak

Book Review: 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World by Elif Shafak

“The possibility of an immediate and wholesale decimation of civilization was not half as frightening as the simple realization that our individual passing had no impact on the order of things, and life would go on just the same with or without us.”

“We must do what we can to mend our lives, we owe that to ourselves – but we need to be careful not to break others while achieving that.”

read more

Reflections: On Empathy – Carl Rogers

Reflections: On Empathy – Carl Rogers

“When the other person is hurting, confused, troubled, anxious, alienated, terrified: Or when he or she is doubtful of self-worth, uncertain as to identity, then understanding is called for. The gentle and sensitive companionship of an empathic stance . . . provides illumination and healing. In such situations, deep understanding is, I believe, the most precious gift, one can give to another.”

Carl Rogers
read more

Book Review: Reunion by Fred Uhlman

Book Review: Reunion by Fred Uhlman

Reunion by Fred Uhlman is such a little book, and depending on the edition, over ninety pages long. It is a story about friendship between two young boys, Konrad and Hans, growing up in Germany of the 1930, where a political landscape was changing drastically. Hans was born into an assimilated Jewish family.

read more