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Why I Love “The Book Thief”

23 Feb

Finally! Finally I found the time to take this book and read it from the beginning till the end. And I managed to do so almost with no breaks. Once you open this book, it is hardly possible that you will be able to put it down. This book is everything what you want the perfect book to be.  It contains everything. The beautiful story, humor (yes, it is possible to find a little piece of humor in very small parts of this book), Death as a storyteller…I mean, this is so clever. Who else should tell all those horrific stories if not Death itself? 

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Death is telling us a story about a girl who lost her brother, mother and basically everything and everybody she loved. Liesel is a brave young girl who is fighting the war with words and stories that she finds in the books she steels. At the beginning of the story she was just a girl who came to adoptive family with fear in her eyes and with no education. She could not read. With help of her loving father step by step she learned how to read every word with passion. In those horrific time of war Liesel used her books as best as she could, reading other people who needed it the most. She was reading to people who lost their will to live, to children who were terrified from the raids and to people who were on the edge of life and death. Her reading saved many of them.

This story is so beautiful in many aspects. Here we have the WWII with all it’s monstrosity and then we have an innocent child right at its center.

This book brought back the memory of my grandmother telling me stories from her younger years, from war times. When I listened to those stories I felt as I have been there too. Every detail from her stories seemed so real to me and I imagined myself being there with her. I imagined myself seeing all those people fearing for their lives.

This post is not a review of The Book Thief. I didn’t want to write another review because I am sure there are a lot of beautiful praises on this novel. I just wanted recommend this great book to all passionate readers who haven’t read it yet. It truly is worth it. There are so many beautiful passages that will make you smile, others will make you cry. This book will stay with you long time after you close it’s last page.

Running challenge

13 Feb

Last month I was looking for some new books to read. By browsing a few websites where I use to purchase my books, I found Murakami’s What I Talk About When I Talk About Running. I haven’t read any of Murakami’s books yet and I thought that now it is the time.

Since I started to practice running again, this book imediately got my attention. A novelist who describes his passion for running and training for marathon would be great inspiration for me. So I am now reading every page with curiosity how does he do this. How in the world is it possible to run every day such a long distances and keep it going for so many years.  FullSizeRender

Seriously I admire all of you out there who run marathons. I am trying to keep practising my running routine in order to become serious runner.It just hurts so much.

It hurts me when have to wake up that much early in the mornings. It hurts me when I realize that I have still a few kilometers in front of me. It hurts me when I breath and it hurts me when I don’t breath…OK, I am exaggerating little bit here. I don’t want to sound as a lamenting child. I am just at the beginning of my road towards becoming a devoted runner.

With this post I wanted to take a bow to all of you who get up at 05:00 a.m., run for about 1.5 hour and get million stuff done by the end of the day without crying from exhaustion.

I hope one day I will find courage to run marathon myself. Till that time I will keep practising and try not to skip the training every time when my alarm rings in the morning.

P.S.: I recommend Mr. Murakami’s book as well.

Creativity and Fear

9 Jan
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I admire artists. I have always admired them. Their independent spirit, incredible imagination, their lust for creation of something new and unknown… I used to tell myself that I could never be one of them. I could never create something that would be called ART. I considered myself a normal regular person with no talent. Art is not for me, I don’t know how to write or draw, nor do I know how to sing or dance, I told myself. But of course this was back when I was a kid and I knew little about life and its obstacles. It was many years later that I found my inner voice that wanted to say something.  And it was that time when I started to fight my fear of writing.

During my school years I hated writing. I hated all the assignments concerning writing some words on my own. To create some short story or an essay one page long? No way. It scared me. I would just sit in my room for hours with blank page in front of me, not knowing how to begin. I was stuck and everything that I created sounded pathetic, boring or rather basic. I had this big fear inside telling me how awkward I am. But it wasn’t that. I was not awkward or pathetic. It was the inner block that was making me crazy. All those words I wanted to say, the freedom I wanted to get by writing were lost in me. I didn’t realize it until last year. All this time I was only afraid of being criticized by teachers or other people. But who cares! Yes! This was what I should tell myself that time. Who cares? Well I don’t. Not anymore.

I am currently reading Elisabeth Gilbert’s book “Big Magic”. I love her books. I love her writing style and her devotion for literature. She encourages her readers not to give up their passion for art of any kind. If you love writing, write. If you love painting, paint. If you love dancing, dance and never give up your devotion for something that fulfills you with joy and happiness. You can start at any age. It is never too late.

My mother had stable job for 32 years and she never spent her free time doing something that you can call art or creating. She spent all her free time with family. Not that I was complaining. After 32 years she quit her job and started to sell photo albums which she created herself. She opened her own travel agency and she is finally doing something that makes her happy.

I don’t want to quit my job and I know that I will not become famous writer or anything, but I want to write for the pure joy of it. The feeling when you create a story and give life to characters that gives me energy.

Mrs. Gilbert’s book motivated me to not give up and to continue to work on my writing. It really doesn’t matter that my first essays were not that good. Actually they were pretty bad. But we can never get better and stronger without some falls. Believe me. I have been there. Hundreds and hundreds of essays that I cried over. Thousands of school assignments got me to the floor.

Where am I coming with all this? Writers are able to create something which can be real or unreal. They can create whole new world with no borders. They can create pure characters which are hardly possible to find nowadays. To be a writer with this kind of power, that’s a dream come true.

To Kill A Mockingbird

5 Sep

There has been a lot of reviews, praises, comments or analysis on this book. The main reason is that this novel is a classic one. Students are reading this book in school (or at least they should 🙂 ). Teachers are spending a lot of time to show students how great and powerfull the story is. I know that at the age of 16 you are not interested in reading novels like this, but please find the time when you get older. It will really make you stop and think. 

As I am living outside of United States. We don’t hear about this story in schools often. Of course we learn about Dostojevski, Nabokov, Kafka or other writers. But about Harper Lee, not that much. I was always more interested in american literature than in ours. As soon as I started to read To Kill A Mockingbird I fell in love with it. Unfortunately I did not finish to read that book and I lost it. I know, I know…how could I loose a book, you would think. Believe me I really don’t know. I was mourning that book for weeks. Few years later I found the biography of Harper Lee named I Am Scout. The more pages I read, the more I started to realise that I knew that person from the book. I know Harper Lee, I know Scout. And how I know them? I have lived with that stubborness and that attitude my whole life. I am not going to write a review on this book here. I just want to emphasize on the importance of the values pointed out in this story. We don‘t see these values in our daily lifes anymore.

I love the freedom of Scout’s character. The inocence of an eight year old child…I am sure many of us misses that period of life. We could run there and back, jum up and down all day and we would never get tired. We would enjoy every sunny day outside with friends, exploring the world, searching secrets in the woods, imaginning that we were princesses or astronauts. And this fantasy world was so much enough for us. We were happy.

Scout is not a typical girl. She is playing with boys. Mostly she accompanies her brother Jem and her best friend Dill. Which was rather unusual during those times. She is not affraid to tell honestly everything what is on her mind. And she always means well. The innocence of a child sometimes does not allow him to see the real face of the cruel world. And Scout is slowly learning how cruel the real world can be.

I think that the world nowadays misses this innocence of an eight year old. We are moving fast into the future without looking out of he window. We think how liberal and modern we are. How developed our countries are and how peacefully we can live. But we never stop and look back. We never think how great it would be not to spend our weekend just behind the computer or infront of the TV. Wouldn’t it be great to go back to the times when we visited each other instead of texting? Or just to spend all day outside enjoying the freshness of a new day? This is what I like about the stories like To Kill A Mockingbird. This story gives you the opportunity to look back to your own childhood, when you were wild and free.

And then there is Atticus. Loving father who has his own methods of raising his children. He encourages their curiosity, teaches them how to be good people. Harper Lee created perfect prototype of a strong man, who stands for the rights of innocent people and leads his family to become independent and self-confident people.

To Kill A Mockingbird is an honest book. This was the first impression this nove lhas made on me. And that sums it up I guess. Honesty is what this world misses. Honesty helps us to be better and stronger. It makes us happier in a way.

And for those of you who did not read the biography of Harper Lee, I highly recommend it 🙂

All You Can Read

22 Aug

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Sometimes I feel like my hunger for the books will never end. I am reading one book, sometimes two in the same time and before I come to the last pages of these novels, I am searching for new ones. You know the feeling when soemthing new catches your mind, it hits you like a thunderstorm and you just can not resist anymore? Well that’s kind of my feeling everytime I find a new book.

My appartment is rather small. So small that I can open the window with one arm and close the door with the other, as I used to say 🙂 However this doesn’t stop me from filling the place with biographies, thrillers, fantasy novels, mysteries, you name it. Everything that distracts my mind from the stressfull reality which we live in. It is like an ice cream which makes your stomach happy, the best meditation, the furry road to the fantasy world of the greatest stories.

And so I wish I can read all there is to read. There are so many beautiful stories that inspire us every day, so many beautiful books that allow us to dream.