Siddhartha by Herman Hesse

Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book fell in my hands as a simple coincidence. It was a gift. I’ve heard about Siddhartha, of course, but never expected a book to be so deeply grounded  and at the same time so ethereal.  Paulo Coelho, one of my favourite authors and who made introductions for this book, explains the troubles Herman Hesse —the German born author— had to go through in order to complete this book. When reading it, one can decipher why: This is a book about illumination, of looking for the One and Only, and finding It through the inner self. Of acknowledging the internal divinity, the infinite possibilities that connect the Universe with every human being. Hesse had discussed with acquaintances about his lack of guidance on how to finish the book. The task he had on his hands was too great and proved of enormous challenges.

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Women who run with the Wolves —By Clarissa Pinkola Estes

Book Review

Clarissa Pinkola Estes. This woman is the first that comes to my mind when I think about this book. She is prismatic, multifaceted, a whole, complete, intellectual, emotional and spiritual woman. Wherever side you look of her, it has been worked, it is full with experiences and memories, and specially with wonderful teachings in which every single woman can benefit from.

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The Golden Notebook —By Doris Lessing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Review

This novel incarnates an amazing power and a vast relevance to these days. It is easy to forget that it was written in the 50s, as we are still discussing the subjects of the book, which are all different, although they make part of the same woman’s life. These woman’s thoughts are full of contradictions between being a communist and racist, between being a feminist and a homophobic, between being a good partner to her men and a lousy mother to her daughter.

The book narrates the life of Anna Wulf, an independent writer, communist and in a certain way a feminist. She has a dear friend, Molly. I found this friendship to be dysfunctional, or at least to accentuate the dysfunctional personalities of both women individually, which causes great damage to them and their children. The entire book is narrated by Anna. It is not divided in titles or chapters, which made the reading difficult. However, it is interesting how the author changes subjects, dividing the book in notebooks, black, red, yellow and blue. It is still disorganised, as she changes subjects and colours as she writes, but one can follow the sequence of the changes when getting used to what she is talking about.

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A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women —By Siri Hustvedt

Politics and Feminism

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There is an unbalance between the scientific field and the literary field. The literary world has always been considered inferior. Maybe it is because its association with the feminine. But why are the sciences regarded as hard and masculine and the arts and the humanities regarded as soft and feminine? And within both the scientific world and the literary word, why are male scientist and writers preferred, more trusted, over women? And why if the literary world is considered a female science, writer women are always discriminated as less intelligent and less articulated than male writers? This is what Siri Hustvedt is good for. To spot the biases that go unnoticed to some of us. Hustvedt has accurately pointed to several misogynist aspects in the arts and the sciences.

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Wuthering Heights—By Emily Brontë

Book Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Only when I read this book I encountered the story of Emily Brontë and her sisters Anne and Charlotte. It is an inspiring story to say the least. Because despite being limited to the town of Yorkshire where they lived, Emily’s imagination was overwhelmingly rich since she was a young girl. That is so, that she would prefer to stay in her own imaginative world rather than to explore what was happening in her surroundings. Her biography states that the periods for when she left home to study in a boarding school in Cowan Bridge and later to become an assistant teacher at a school where very unhappy moments. Emily loved her home, her family, and the attachment to her two sisters is also seen in the writings before Wuthering Heights.

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All The Light We Cannot See -By Anthony Doerr

Book Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Let me talk today about one of my most precious treasures. As a good treasured it fell into my hands by a simple coincidence. I was in Sydney, where I used to live, and as it always happens —it is still happening to me here in France—, when I cannot find books in Spanish I don’t know what to choose. I was randomly looking inside Harry Hartog, my favourite bookstore in Bondi, when I found it. Strange title, I thought. I then saw a note of recommendation classifying it as one of the best books in fiction. I bought it and left it in my own little library for two months. And when I finally took it  I regret of having lost two months in which I should had known everything about this book.

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Mothers and Winter are Not Compatible

My Stories

8:30 am today, I had only five minutes to get to school that is only a few meters away. They are insuperable meters when you have to feed, bath and dress three young children. Then the counting starts before putting them on, six gloves, three wool hats, three scarves, six socks. Each of them tiny and elusive, always forgotten in every corner of the house.

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Paris d’Amour

My Stories

It was him who gave me this book. Paris. He knows how I feel about Her. Looking at his eyes I sadly understood that this gift was only a gentle gesture towards that love that he will never support. I understood that eventually I would have to choose between him and Her. Irreconcilable differences keep them apart from one another. He thinks She is dirty, dangerous and without great beauty. Overrated and a thief, She abuses the innocents who come to Her looking to fulfil a dream and She pays them back with a treason. So unpleasant She is, that not even the ocean would like to be next to Her.

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Novel by Milan Kundera

Book Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The absolute absence of weight makes the man to become lighter in the air, to fly higher, distance from the Earth, from his earthy being, that is real only in half and his movements are as free as they are insignificant’ [my own translation]

Milan Kundera loves Nietzsche. He loves his country, Czech Republic, he loves Prague. He speaks with great sadness of the communists times that swelled the ‘before’ of his country to turn it into a group of people with fear. But it also rescues the long-lasting and stubborn braveness of his fellow countrymen who didn’t get drown by the regime despite the consequences. Tomas, the protagonist of this story, was one of them. Tomas scaped to Europe but returned because he could not stand the solitude without Tereza, who went back to Prague tired of his infidelities. Others were more strategic. They migrated for good to Europe, right in the moment they could have done it, leaving the ‘Kitsch’, the communist dream, behind. In Czech Republic the citizens only ambition mundane things. Be born, grow up, fall in love, have children and die. There is no more aspiration that living in this utopia.

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List of Books I Read on 2020 -Many More to Come!

Book Reviews

In English:

  • Big Magic -Elizabeth Gilbert
  • The Moons of Jupiter -Alice Munro
  • What I loved -Siri Hustvedt
  • A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women -Siri Hustvedt
  • To Kill a Mockingbird -Harper Lee
  • When We Were Orphans -Kasuo Ishiguro
  • A Gentleman in Moscou -Amor Towles
  • Little Fires Everywhere -Celeste Ng
  • The Happiness Project -Gretchen Rubin
  • The Great Gatsby -F. Scott Fitzgerald
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