Tirza – #currentlyreading

Bildergebnis für tirza arnon grunberg

#currentlyreading – I’m about 100 pages into this book and still have no idea where it’s going- There’s just something so messed up about the interactions in the book though, that I’m almost sure it’s going to be awesome! (or a huge disappointment). Yes, it feels like one of those books. So far, I’m dying to continue reading.

Lost in a Book – #currentlyreading

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#currentlyreading – not a retelling; a story within a story (so far).

I’m not halfway through yet. It’s very obvious Beauty and the Beast. This knowledge is also assumed in the book. That actually bothers me a little bit, because I had hoped for a retelling of some sort. So far though, there’s a story within (and outside of) the original story. Further into the book I can imagine it being quite interesting as everything comes together. So far though, not that much.

Feminist Review: Running like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley

 Book review | Running Like a Girl by Alexandra Heminsley | 5 stars

Running Like a Girl
 by 
Alexandra Heminsley

Cover design: Richard Ogle
Cover photography: Colin Thomas
Windmill Books 2014
ISBN 978 0 09 955895 8

Synopsis

Alexandra Heminsley had high hopes: the arse of an athlete, the waist of a supermodel, the speed of a gazelle. Defeated by gyms and bored of yoga, she decided to run.

Her first attempt did not end well. But years later and with several marathons under her belt she agrees with her dad: you run with your head as much as your legs.

So, while this book is about running, it’s about much more – ambition, relationships, and willful boobs. But it’s also about realising what you can do if you want to.

Whether you’re in serious training or thinking about running for the bus, this is a book for anyone who thinks they might … just might … like to run like a girl.


Bullet-point review

★★★★★

+ emotional
+ realistic
+ practical tips
+ history of women and marathons
+ inspirational
+ even boyfriend wants to read


Full Review

„Running is awful. It feels unnatural, unnecessary, painful. It can hijack you with breathlessness, cripple you with panic and overwhelm you with self-consciousness. … But it is also the pleasure of being outside on a sunny day …“

This is exactly what I love about this book. It doesn’t start off saying everything about running is amazing, from the beginning to the end. It describes, in detail, how it’s terrible. How it can be terrible and scary in the beginning. It informs you furthermore how eventually, step by step, you might start to enjoy it. It doesn’t pretend that it’s all lovely from the very beginning, because, it’s not. And that’s okay.

Another point I loved, were the practical tips in the end. Everyone who starts of doing anything, has a lot of questions and is scared of doing it wrong, whatever it is. So, this little guide is very much appreciated.

I also enjoyed reading about the progression of women in running. How, for example, a couple of decades ago women were still not allowed to run marathons. And how those barriers were broken down. This really inspired me. Which is why I immediately made my boyfriend go running with my after I finished reading the book. Sure, I suck, but I did it!


Series review: Newsflesh trilogy

 Series review | Review of the Newsflesh trilogy by Mira Grant | 4 stars

Newsflesh by Mira Grant

Cover design: Lauren Panepinto
Images: Shutterstock
Orbit Books 2010
ISBN: 978 0 356 50056 0

Synopsis

The year was 2014. We had cured cancer. We had beaten the common cold. But in doing so we created something new, something terrible that no one could stop.

The infection spread, virus blocks taking over bodies and minds with one, unstoppable command: FEED. Now, twenty years after the Rising, bloggers Georgia and Shaun Mason are on the trail of the biggest story of their lives—the dark conspiracy behind the infected.

The truth will get out, even if it kills them.


Bullet-point review

★★★★☆

+ zombies
+ social media
+ political intrigue
+ bloggers
+ 20th century references
+ sci-fi

 – So many side characters, I sometimes got them confused


Full Review

There are so many things I love about these books. For starters, I’m going through a bit of an (after-) apocalypse phase, so the zombies in this book totally do that. On top of that, there are often references to what people did in zombie movies and how they should or shouldn’t do this as well.

However, zombies are the main focus of this book, at least not quite. They just happen to inhabit the world this book is set in. It’s the political events that are the real story; often of course related to the zombies.

Bloggers are the only still remaining trust-worthy news source, as the regular media didn’t pick up on the zombie outbreak until it was too late. Our bloggers, who are the main characters, get to follow a political campaign and this way get involved into this whole new world.

Throughout the series, we find out more and more about this strange new world, where fear is overwhelmingly present and decides peoples’ actions. This is just about the single most important thing I took away from this book: you cannot let fear decide how to live your life.

Plus, a bunch more cool stuff happens, but I don’t want to spoil any of it. Some of it sci-fi and relatively far-fetched, but not so much as to make it unbelievable. There were a lot of side characters in the books and sometimes I got a little mixed up trying to figure out who was who again. Apart from that, it was easy to read.


Review: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

 Book review | Review of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey | 4 stars

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest  by Ken Kesey

Cover design: Neil Stuart
Penguin 1981
ISBN: 0 1400 4312 8

Synopsis

A classic novel of the 1960s, this powerful story about life in a mental hospital is told by a half-Indian patient called Chief Bromden. The Chief will not talk, and he has deceived the staff into thinking him deaf and dumb; but through his self-imposed protective fog he is an acute observer. To him the head of the ward, known as Big Nurse, is the very source of evil, destroying men’s wills and reducing them to mindless obedience.

Soon a lustful, brawling, life-loving new inmate, Randle Patrick McMurphy, alights in this cuckoo’s nest. Horrified by the rule of Big Nurse, McMurphy resolves to oppose her. What happens when she is forced to use her ultimate weapon against him provides the story’s shocking climax.


Bullet-point review

★★★★☆

+ representation of mental illness
+ description of mental illness
+visualization of mental illness

 – at times: long-winded


Full Review

What impressed me about this book, is the references to mental illness in a way that makes it clear what it really feels like. Obviously it differs per person, but this book has a great way of visualizing it. Other people to represent the evils and fog that he cannot see through to show the disconnect to the rest of the world.

The story itself isn’t always too interesting. It gets long-winded and repetitive at times, but the message is so great that it’s easy to look past the very few parts that made me feel that way.

The ending of the novel clearly showed that in the end, we are all people: mental illness or not, people are people.


Review: Symbolism in Fairy Tales

 Book review | Symboliek van sprookjes by J. F .Croes-van Delden | 3 stars

Symboliek van sprookjes by J. F. Croes-van Delden

Illustrations: Ap Boerma
Uitgeverij Ankh-Hermes BV 1977
ISBN: 90 202 0590 0

Synopsis

Het feit dat sprookjes een eeuwenlang leven beschoren is, bewijst hun grote waarde. Net als in vele mythen ligt in de sprookjes een diepe symboliek verborgen. Het is fascinerend om deze symboliek te ontdekken. Bekende en onbekende sprookjes krijgen opeen een heel andere betekenis. Wij herkennen de psychologische structuur van de mens, zijn ontwikkelingsgang en inwijdingen door het leven.


Bullet-point review

★★★☆☆

+ meaning of numbers
+ meaning of characters
+ symbolism
+ fascinating

– objects were not discussed


Full Review

It was so interesting reading the different interpretations of the fairy tales. I’ll probably have a completely different view on them from now on. Several different fairy tales were discussed and when I do read those fairy tales (again), I’ll whip out this book to refresh my memory concerning the symbolism.

I did miss the discussion of symbols in this book however. A lot of different characters were discussed and their representation in the story. Objects or symbols were not discussed, which was a shame. Numbers however were included and seemed to always have a certain meaning, no matter the story.

If you like fairy tales, I would recommend reading a book like this. It gives you a great (renewed) insight into fairy tales.


Review: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

 Book review | The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho | 4 stars

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Cover photograph: J. Sims/Telegraph Colour Library
HarperCollinsPublishers 1999
ISBN: 978 0 7225 3293 5

Synopsis

This is the story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who dreams of travelling the world in search of a treasure as extravagant as any ever found. From his home in Spain he journeys to the exotic markets of Tangiers and then into the Egyptian desert, where a fateful encounter with the alchemist awaits him

The Alchemist is a transforming novel about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path and above all following our dreams.


Bullet-point review

★★★★☆

+ reminiscent of fairy tales (parables)
+ follow your heart doesn’t mean ‘get the girl’
+ symbolism

– simple story


Full Review

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. After I had seen some of the reviews on Goodreads, I was a little afraid that it might be terrible, after all, about half the reviews say it is. I’m on the other side of that. I thought it was great!

Yes, it immediately reminded me of fairy tales: following omens, following your heart, going through several trials before finding what your heart truly wants, proving your courage. I loved reading a spiritual/mystical/magical realism story about a boy who follows his hearts. No matter the heartache he experiences, and his wavering willingness, he eventually follows his heart.

To me, the story reads as a (more modern, though definitely not modern) fairy tale. I’d love to read it again and discover all the symbolism in the story. I probably helps that right before this book I read a book about symbolism in fairy tales.

Recommend to anyone who likes fairy tales