Three toughest books I’ve ever read

1. The Name of the Rose – Umberto Eco

This novel was meant to look like a medieval document, and I must say the author, Umberto Eco, succeeded. Like, very well. That’s really impressive, but it does make this book at times hard to read. Eternal descriptions of a church, or endless discussions on ‘did Jesus laugh or not?’ are a great part of this book. Plus: people are killed, and you’d better be not too sensitive for the vivid descriptions of the corpses. But overall the story is interesting, a decent thriller. You would never guess the ending! And that’s what keeps you going. So if you know how to skip or read quickly over certain parts in a book and you like thrillers, then go for it. I never regretted reading this, not at all. And when you say you have read this, you will immediately gain the respect of those who know this book. It’s like becoming a part of the Elite That’s Read This Book. All you need is some stamina. Good luck!

2. Crime and Punishment – Dostoyevsky

As someone studying Russian, this is real blasphemy. This semester (but actually that means three months) I had to read ten Russian books. Translated, yes. But still. I started with this one, and set a deadline for when I had to finish it. But it was a struggle to finish these 600 pages… The perseverance was gone after this. The initial idea of this book is very interesting though: a student kills a woman, a pawnbroker, so that he can continue his studies and his mother and sister will have a better life. But he starts to feel guilty… Very interesting, but to fill such a giant book with just this? It ends up being like this: guy kills two women, gets away, fever, fever, talking about God, fever, God, God, guilt, sister, fever, punishment.
I was so glad when I finished this book… If you are more like me and like stories that are to the point, I’d suggest you read Father and Sons. That was a good Russian book, one of my favourites so far.

3. We didn’t mean to go to sea – Someone who should be forbidden to write

I had to read this book for my English class, and after that I had to resume it in three minutes. The point is, how are you going to resume a book in which nothing happens? Here’s what happens: a few children, overly attached to their parents, end up on a boat, and o lord, there are no adults around when the boat leaves, and o god, they’re heading for the sea… But they promised not to go there! O my! So they sail on… And on… And on… O look, a cat, floating on the sea! And they sail on… And on… And on… Until someone they knows enters the boat and brings them home.
Such a happy end.
So little happens that I was totally focusing on talking for three minutes, and then I even forgot about the cat… I never found out what grade I got for this assignment, but I hope it was a good one ’cause I read this damn dull book ’till the end.

Luckily there are still good books as well, and what gift is better for a poor, bored student than a free book? So thanks again to Michael Cargill for helping me retaining my sanity. Though I had read these stories before, I was still pleasantly surprised by how good they are. Recommend much!

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What tough books have you read? Were they worth it?

Another rainy day

Rain.
Everything is rain.
There is no point in realising it’s spring, because everything is dark anyway.
And life slowly ends.
Our cafe is closed because the people who run it should be studying.
Everytime I walk past our very own closed cafe, I think of how depressing it looks.
Just chairs on tables and darkness.
No people.
And the puddles.
The lack of sun.
The cold.
It’s so cold.

It’s winter.

There aren’t many ways to survive this endless winter, but if I may suggest something, go watch The Great Gatsby. It’s a wonderful movie. Those parties look awesome, the clothes are fantastic, and that entire world is intruiging. I didn’t know the story in advance, but it was easy to follow. The looks on teh faces of the characters is sometimes enough. Powerful. Great.

Meanwhile, we will all have to try to survive this. Let’s support each other in these hard times, that aren’t elegant and vivacious as in The Great Gatsby. I’d seriously like to be at one of those parties, just drinking and making fun and looking fabulous. Life should be that careless.