I was in Dublin not too long ago, in an independent book shop that someone had recommended to us, having the inner struggle I always have in book shops, where I want to buy everything and also I don’t want to spend my whole budget on books. I had already chosen a few books by Irish authors and decided that that’s enough, when I saw this gorgeous book cover on the shelf – Pine by Francine Toon. Reading the back cover told me that this is an eerie story set in a small village in the Scottish Highlands, surrounded by a pine forest. It took everything I had to step away from the shelf, telling myself that I have already gotten enough books and I wasn’t prepared to leave any of them, especially because I wanted to focus on Irish authors this time. Two days later I ended up at this book shop again and my will wasn’t strong enough, so I bought the book. And I am very happy I did.Continue reading “Pine”
If you are anything like me and have ever searched for pictures of libraries to use as a desktop background, because libraries are the best, then you have seen the old Trinity College Library, even if you’ve never known about it. The long room with curved wooden ceiling and two floors packed with books is one of the most famous libraries in the world. I got the chance to visit it during my trip to Dublin and I have to tell you, it smells just as you can imagine from the pictures. Wood and old books, enough to get you high from breathing it in too deep. The library is actually marketed as the place to see the Book of Kells – a 9th century Christian manuscript and the number one popular attraction in Dublin. The book on display during my visit was a replica, but to tell you the truth, I wasn’t there to see one book, however old and impressive. I was there to see all the books.
Wow, this is a lot darker than I expected it to be, my boyfriend said while we were watching the new mini series Catch-22. I thought it’s going to be a funny comedy like the book.
I told him the book is dark. If you don’t think the book is dark you haven’t really glanced through its humour to see its bloody, depressed, traumatised guts.
It turned out he hasn’t read the whole book and stopped somewhere past the first fifty pages. I shook my head and threw him judging glances as we continued to watch. The series is so short, we watched it over the course of a weekend. And while it is good and funny and brutal, it is very hard to adapt such a book for TV (or whatever streaming sites are calling their shows). It still did a fine job even if it leaned a bit towards the darkness, especially in the second half.
I must admit, I don’t often buy books by authors I don’t know. Going to the book store is always a struggle anyway, so I have to prioritise in order to not give all my money away. And so, more often than not, I rely on knowing that I like the authors I like and that there is so much trash out there that I can’t trust that I’ll like something I’ve never heard of before. But every rule has its exceptions and sometimes I read a back cover that instantly wins me over and I can’t resist giving the book a shot. This happened on my last trip to the book store when I laid eyes on this book – The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle. Continue reading “The Seven Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle”
I was about 16 or 17 when I picked up the first Dark Tower book. I was already a fan of Stephen King Now I’ve read all the books and it’s been a couple of years since the last, so there are a lot of thing I have forgotten about the series. Despite that it is still very special to me.
So of course I was excited about the film and I went to see it, despite the negative reviews. Continue reading “The Dark Tower”
I can’t remember the last time I read a book written by an author I’ve never heard of. With so many books being published every year and so many books that have been published in the past which I haven’t read, I can’t afford to pick a book at random. A couple of weeks ago though I stumbled upon a review of this freshly published novel – I’m thinking of ending things by Iain Reid – and I couldn’t resist buying it. The title was the first thing that grabbed my attention. For me, it was obviously about suicide. It then becomes clear from the first couple of sentences of the book that it’s about breaking up. The nameless narrator of the book is driving in a car with her new boyfriend. They are on the way to meet his parents in their farm. All the while she is thinking of breaking up with him, but she isn’t sure yet and can’t bring herself to do it. They talk a bit, about philosophical questions and things that have happened to them in the past, but mostly, the book is made out of the woman’s thoughts and her memories. You experience everything from her perspective and very soon you start to notice that something is very wrong. It’s not one particular thing, even though the fact that someone has been calling her from her own number and leaving her strange messages is the most obvious problem at first. But it’s not just that. It’s little things that you may notice or may miss, that, page after page, fill you with a sense of dread and unsettle you. Continue reading “I’m thinking of ending things”
It was the summer of 2012… I think. A friend of mine was doing summer school in Bratislava and I visited her on her last day there. I had been to Bratislava once before, that previous winter, doing the general touristy things – walking around in the cold, searching on the map for the things I want to see and convincing the other people of my group that it’s in this direction, guys, I am sure of it, come on, it’s not thaat cold. Taking unnecessarily long routes, drinking mead for the first time on the Christmas markets, having arguments defending gay marriage, taking pictures of buildings I knew nothing about and sitting in obvious coffee shops. You know, things like that. The second time was very different because I explored the city with people who have actually…explored the city before – the summer school friends of my friend. Continue reading “This is the gallery you need to see in Bratislava”
As I was lying on that beach in Greece, under the still hot September sun and being very exhausted and very anxious, which seemed like my natural state for the last couple of months, I decided I need some help to get away from my thoughts. Luckily, I had my Kindle with me. Clicking through its pages of content, I didn’t know what I was looking for, but I knew I wanted something that is going to inspire me and get me out of this hole and into a less bleak world. Perhaps one where I can finally enjoy these crystal sea waters and endless blue skies around me. In between pages and pages of Stephen King novels that had to be ignored for the time being, I stumbled upon Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing. Reading it managed not only to provide me with peace of mind, but it also gave me much needed forgotten advice about how to stop feeling so bad. Continue reading “Zen in the Art of Writing”
Aimlessly scrolling down my facebook newsfeed I stumbled upon an article about the Albena beach library and I thought wait…this is in Bulgaria? And it turns out that yes, it fucking is! A German architect had the wonderful idea of making a library on the sea side of my home country. There are around 2500 books in a number of different languages and they are all completely free to borrow. Continue reading “A beach library in Bulgaria”
A lot of people have old photographs, hidden away somewhere in their homes – of their family, their friends, their childhood. Well, the writer of this book does too. The difference is that his photographs are not of people he knows or anyone in his family knows. They are of strangers. He buys them at flea markets, which I never knew was a possibility that someone might be interested in until I saw this Youtube video a couple of years ago. Continue reading “Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children”