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The Amulet of Samarkand by Jonathan Strout (book review and recommendation)

I already reviewed the sequel to this novel on my other blog (here) and I even mentioned The Amulet of Samarkand on my blog a while back (and I published my review on goodreads here), but today it  is time to publish my more complete review of this novel here as well. Getting straight to the point. I absolutely loved The Amulet of Samarkand. This was actually my first novel by Johnathan Strout and I loved it! I must say that the fact this novel is considered a children's book surprised me because it is quite dark and gloomy in its atmosphere. It is more YA than book for kids. Power struggles and Machiavellian government are described in detail. Hence I would say that it is more appropriate for adolescents, young adults and adults. I know I said the same for the The Golden Compass / Norther Lights but such is my impression.
 There are no explicit descriptions of violence, but there is much violence and death. Better not to give it to some sensitive ten-year-old. Apart from that, I w…

Time for classics.....Ivan Turgenev: Fathers and Sons (book review and recommendation)

Fathers and Sons (sometimes translated as Fathers and Children) is widely regarded as Turgenev's best work. Not without a reason, for it is masterfully written. It is certainly a very successful novel. It was first published in 1868. Supposedly, upon publication it caused quite a sensation. It was the first Russian modern work of literature to be highly praised in the West. Among the authors who praised it were Henry James, Gustav Flaubert and Guy de Maupassant.  Turgenev wrote this novel as a response to the growing popularity of the nihilist movement. The novel itself can be read as a critique of it, but not a harsh one. Despite the fact that the novel focuses on certain historical place and time, it is not dated because its theme of generation gap is something that is still very relevant.



This novel’s plot unfolds with a son returning to his father, perhaps to draw a biblical connotation. The son in question is newly graduate Arkady Kirsanov, who r…

The Diamond As Big As The Ritz and Other stories by F.Scott Fitzgerald ( book review and recommendation)

F. Scott Fitzegerald (1896- 1940) is an American writer, probably best known for his novel The Great Gatsby. He wrote mainly novels and shorts stories, many of whom are critically acclaimed. Today as the title would imply, I will talk about The Diamond As Big As the Ritz And Other Stories. Well, I read this one online (so can you, his works are free to copy and read), but I believe it is the same edition as Peguin one (with green cover). Anyhow, the edition  I read consists of five short stories (the first one is more a novella than a short story but we’ll discuss that later): The Diamond As Big As The Ritz, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, The Ice Palace, May Day and The Bowl
Two of these I liked rather than loved (May Day and The Bowl), but the rest ( The Diamond as Big as Ritz, Bernice Bobs Her Hair, The Ice Palace ) were simply amazing! I can honestly say that I absolutely loved them. I must say that I like Fitzgerald just as much as a short story writer as I do as a novelist. The Great Ga…

Coming Home by Rosalind Pilcher (book recommendation and review)

I must warn you that I already blogged about this book. In fact, I dedicated a whole post to it on my other blog.  That post was written while I was still reading it, so it wasn't a review but more of a comment on a book I'm currently reading. Now, that I have finished this book (and returned) it to library, I'm ready to write my review of it. I must admit that I'm a bit torn about this one. There were parts of it that I quite loved but there were also parts that I didn't. It is not an ambitious novel and it is better than most things written in this genre (historical romance). This was my first novel by Rosalind Pilcher and it will probably be my last. That doesn't mean I didn't like this book, I'm just not interested in reading anything else by this author. With so many amazing authors out there, I would feel like I'm settling, but I don't regret reading this one. I gave it 3 starts on goodreads, so I obviously liked it. 
What I probably  loved…

Why is a Shangai Baby by Wei Hung a failed novel? (book review)

I read this novel a long time ago, but as my memory is pretty good (alas only when it comes to books), it shouldn't keep me from writing an objective review. What is my personal story with Shangai Baby? I remember that back then I kept seeing this novel everywhere and its cover being insanely beautiful, naturally made me want it even more. I felt a great sense of satisfaction when I got it in my hands. The opening to this novel looked promising and the prose seemed lyrical. I was all set and ready to go. I divided into story, but very soon I found myself weary of certain things and concepts. As the novel progressed, my feelings became increasingly mixed. Some elements of it seemed like it was written by a sexists to me ( I know that author is a she and that only makes it worse). There were moments when I hated the narrator/protagonist  (Coco is not very likable at all, feels like the author created her only to celebrate herself) and couldn't have cared less for what happens to…

Book recommedation and review: The Importance of Being Earnest, a play by Oscar Wilde

Tonight I'll be reviewing one of Oscar Wilde's plays. Its full title is The Importance of Being Earnest: A Trivial Play For Serious People.  It was first performed on 14th of Februrary 1895 at Saint James Theatre in London. The play as famous for its satire of the Victorian society as it is by its clever word play. It was always my opinion that Wilde deserves his praises; he really is an exceptional playwright. He has a natural instinct for building drama. I regret not ever having had the chance to see any of his works on stage (and this one in particular) but all of her plays are so well adapted to the classical reading experiences, that I can’t say that I mind too much. I believe his plays are as suitable to be read as they are to be performed on the stage. Some writers are good either at one or the other, their plays are either meant to be seen or to read, but Wilde’s plays seem to work perfectly both ways. 


“I really don't see anything romantic in proposing. It is very …

The Rose Tattoo by Tennessee Williams, book recommendation and review

Some people find God in each other. That sentence found its way into my heart and it has inspired this illustration you see here. It is the first thing that comes to my head when I think of this beautiful play. In The Rose Tattoo this line appears in a very significant place. A catholic priest fails to understand a grieving widow. One of the characters says this to him: ‘You love your people but you don’t understand them. They find God in each other. When they lose each other, they lose God and they’re lost. And it is hard to help them.’ These simple words speak volumes about love and about the grieving process. We do search for God in each other and perhaps we’re not wrong to do so. Doesn’t it make sense, searching for the best in each other? To truly love is a serious business. The loss of love is, probably, the most tragic thing that can happen to anyone.
I’m recommending this play tonight and I'm putting my heart into it . I will speak about why I love it so. I’m not trying to …

Ogled i preporuka knjige : Pričaj mi o njoj, Renato Baretić

Roman o kojem danas pišem (napisala sam kreći ogled već na goodreads-u dvadeset dana) je zapravo prvi moj roman Renata Baretića. Kada sam ga vidjela na kiosku, odmah sam ga odlučila kupiti jer ako želimo da domaća knjiga živi, moramo je poduprijeti. Osim što vjerujem da trebamo kupovati domaće autore zbog tih nekih književnih i kulturnih razloga, ja ih kupujem i zato jer iskreno volim hrvatsku književnost. Zapravo često se čudim kako je moguće da ijedna zemlja ima toliko pisaca. Kada o tome razmišljam, sjetim se kako sam znala lutati knjižnicom, spremajući se za ispite iz hrvatske moderne književnosti, pitajući se kako ću ikada uspjeti pročitati toliko knjiga. Ono što me tada fasciniralo, a i sada me nastavlja fascinirati je ne samo broj već i kvaliteta objavljenih knjiga. U školama se podučava tek neznatan dio hrvatske moderne književnosti, a zapravo i nije lako uklopiti toliko broj pisaca u školski plan i program. No, vratimo se ovom romanu. Renato Baretić je javnosti najviše pozna…