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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…