Tag: books

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage

source: haruki-murakami.com
source: haruki-murakami.com

Ok, the good news is that, by the end of this year, I will be reading new Murakami’s novel. And no, it is not going to be an English translation

“The English translation of Japanese writer Haruki Murakami’s newest book (the title literally translates to Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and the Year of His Pilgrimage) won’t be out until 2014, Knopf Doubleday publicity director Paul Bogaards tells GalleyCat. The novel has inspired frenzied coverage in Japan, where it became the “fastest-selling book ever on Amazon Japan” (The Daily Beast)

Sometimes, it is good to speak/being able to read more than one language. By the end of this year, I will be happy owner of the new Murakami’s novel. I will be enjoyed the new book hopefully by the end of November or by the early December this year. Just like with the rest of the books by Murakami, I will try to read the new one in 2 languages as I have realized that different translations help me to look at his novels from different angles. I promise myself that, whenever I will have more spare time I will come back to learning Japanese, and one day, perhaps, I will be able to try to read Murakami’s books in original.

For those of you, who are interested in particular translations publishing dated (approx.) here is the list, which you way find useful!

English: 2014
Korean: Released!
German: January 2014
Spanish: 15th October 2013
Dutch:
 12th January 2014
Hungarian: Fall 2013
Catalan: 1st October 2013
French: September 2014
Polish: 2013
Serbian: December 2013 –
(source: http://www.haruki-murakami.com/)

Couple of thoughts about history

I haven’t read a single book in about 4 months. I think this is the first time in many years, that I got through such a long time without turning a single page of a book. But yeah, sometimes life goes in the way stopping your from doing what you really love. What made me even more upset is that I haven’t been reading history books for about a year now. Since I stopped at Antony Beever’s The Second World War summary, I haven’t touched a history book.

I’ve studied history at university for about 8 moths before changing my major finally to law. I have more than enjoyed those months. Up to now, I wonder whether my choices that I made were the right ones. When I was leaving my local university before coming to London, I have promised myself, that no matter what, no matter how old I will be by that time, I will, eventually finish my history degree. It may have been influenced by many factors. My family is deeply involved with modern polish history ( a great story which I may explain in details eventually, but it deserves to be told in details). It may have been because of my father, who love history as much as I do, or even more. Regardless of the reason, through muy whole education I was always interested in history as my favorite subject.

1_norman_davis_130123
Norman Davis

There are couple of books which I consider as my main sources of influences when it comes to history. As someone who haven’t’ got any academic background and, at the moment treat history simply as a passion, I had to make my choices, and establish my views based on books, rather than academic discussion which usually takes place at universities’ classrooms. Year after year it started to become more clear to me, that as with everything, there is no straight answer, there is no black and white situations, and just like with almost everything, politics is involved. History views that have been introduced to me once I was 8 years old, are completely different to the ones that I have now, as 22 years old. I do understand that even though history is based on facts, logical connections between them. During months that I spend on studying history at university I have only managed to get through ancient history. And even though, I try to approach history from “wide angle” my main interest remain focused on modern history, eastern front of second world war. Numbers of books have been written on that topic. It is hard for me to point to the one which is my favorite, but it is very easy for me to choose the one which was most influential to me. It is now about 5 years since the first time I was holding Rising ’44  by Norman Davis in my hands. The book which made me cry and gave me goose bumps more that any other book. The book which, for me was the beginning in my long journey in creating and establishing my very own views on the topic of Warsaw Uprising in 1944.

ZJAZD ZALOZYCIELSKI ROADU jan nowak jezioranski we wroclawiu
Jan Nowak-Jeziorański

It was a long journey in which i have lost my faith in validity of the decisions made by Polish Home Army. Decision which lead to total destruction of one of the main European capitals. Decision which have lead to death of hundred of thousands.  Decision which have influenced the world, and showed everyone around the globe that Polish Patriotic Spirit is simply unbreakable. For people whose nation have never experience the fear of biological destruction of its nation, it is hard to imagine the risk of the decision. It is so controversial that it still remains as the issue which is splitting the nation in half and leads to stormy discussions even after almost 70 years.

I have been always trying to justify my views based on sometimes more, sometimes less biased opinions of numerous authors of books through their own political analysis of the circumstances of the uprising as well as methodical analysis of a division political powers back then. I tried my best to find the best arguments to justify my views, I have realized that during my long discussion with my father. He, as my mentor when it comes to II world war history, have similar views as I do,  bases his views on logical reasoning. Many times we have exchanged different theories, tried to find a that one, rock-solid argument which could have been a closing-case argument behind full legitimacy of the decision. Sadly, given the number of factors behind the decision it will remain impossible to give a straightforward answer. Political reasoning was my main field of interest, until very recently, when I received a very unusual present from a very special person. I dont usually get history books as a present, as people know how fussy I am with my choices. The book which I have received somehow opened my eyes and helped ralised something very important which I have been failing to see during those 5 years.

milosc-w-powstaniu-warszawskim-b-iext23019642The book “Love and Warsaw Uprising 1944” (Miłość podczas Powstania warszawskiego)  takes competently different approach regarding main issue of Warsaw Uprising. Instead of describing in details political decisions which have lead and have been made before, during and after the fail of The Uprising, it focuses on stories of a people who have taken part, fought and died. It forgets about people making decision behind strong walls, miles miles away from actual front line, instead trying to define the faith of polish nation during 63 days of glory. It shows the daily routines, the daily struggles, and most importantly, the normal side of life – which, even at the eve of total death remains as much powerful as usual – falling in love. The writer- Sławomir Koper describes the faith of people, couples. Stories which includes people well know to all more or less interested in modern history of eastern Europe (like Jan-Nowak Jezioranski), or one of the most talented polish writers Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński, as well as people who remain anonymous to a common reader. For the first time, while reading a book which is based on the Uprising I have found myself in the situation of total forgetfulness about the betrayal of soviet army, about betrayal of  British Empire. I have been focused on wonderful stories, wonderful people who during the impossible – for us, people born decades after the war to imagine – times, while facing incomprehensible evil remained human, and were able to love, smile and be happy even for a split of a second.

I want to thank everyone of you who managed to get through those long and boring thoughts of mine. I hope that at least one of you, who is not familiar with fate of polish nation during WWII, will google Warsaw Uprsing 1944 and learn something new about how strong and unbreakable human spirit truly is.

I’m still alive!

It has been so long since the last time I have written anything in here. I guess, too much has been going on lately. Changes in personal life, changes at work, at uni, to put in simpler: too many changes. Due to so many things happening recently, I didnt have enough time to catch up with reading, to be honest the last book that I have actually managed to finish was Cloud Atlas ( it still deserves a proper review – it was just toooo good!). I have tried to Finnish Pelican Brief during my flights home last month. Still home like a half of the book left.

I have finished my 2nd year, hopefully, I will be able to take intellectual property law as my additional subject starting from 3rd year. Finally, I would be able to concentrate more on what exactly I want to do with my degree in the future.

I have so much to tell about my recent trips, however during past few months it was so hard for me to find  enough time to get to it properly. I hope, that with October, I will finally find time to explain all the big changes that have been going on for a while now. Before that, let me share one of the best photos I managed to take this summer (and yes, SURPRISINGLY, this is from Paris, France!)

DSC_0255

Life of Pi Yann Martel

Life of Pi Yann Martel

Can there be any happiness greater than the happiness of salvation?Yann Martel, Life of Pi.

Booker-prize-winning-nove-006

As my second fiction book this year, I tackled Life of Pi by Yann Martel. I gotta say, i spent some time reading the reviews before, and after finish the book. Wanted to find out how the opinions and reviews are comparing to my thoughts after reading the book I realized that the book is highly underrated.

I am not a religious person. I never was. And since the idea for setting up this blog crossed my mind, I decided that I am going to write about number of things. Anything to be honest, which is interesting to me, or somehow connected to my life. But I have decided that I will never publish a post which has anything to do with my views about the religion, religion and science relations, my criticism of creationism, and just simply me being an atheist  But then, Life of Pi is nothing more, that the book about God and Nature.

cover lifeofpiYann Martel is telling a story of 16 years old boy from India  who’s family in order to escape the upcoming political and financial storm decides to leave their home land in order to try their luck in Canada  After selling their possessions as well as livestock, the family’s zoo is being partially transported to Canada with the whole Pi’s family on board. However, during the storm, after short stay in Manila, Philippines, the ship suddenly wrecked. Pi find himself on the small rescue boat, in the middle of the ocean, however, he is not alone in the boat.

I decided to wait couple of days after finishing the book, to get my thought settle, before turning them in any kind of review, or subjective opinion  Books like Life of Pi can be taken by the reader variously. 1) It is a great book in which the author is exploring the kingdom of animals. I cant even explain how real the descriptions of the animals seemed real to me while reading the book. The way in which Yann Martel has approached this extremely difficult task in bringing all of those animals to life with such a simple words is one of its kind.  2) It is a book describing the search for a good, divine element or any kind of power which holds this world together.

I would like to come back to the book in couple of years time. It is a definitely book which is worth re-reading. I may find something that I have missed or have been hidden from me between the line.

Great Read!

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

I always have issues with reading classics. And yes, the only reason why i had even considered reading The Great Gatsby was upcoming premiere of newest Baz Luhrmann‘s movie. Despite the first impressions, I did enjoy the book.

great gatsby the movie - 1974
The Great Gatsby   The Movie (1974) starring Robert Redford

This is my first read of the 2013. I have chosen that book to the the first, cause of its  small number of pages. I decided to get through the book while writing my last essay for commercial law.

Book Cover
Book Cover

The store is told by the eyes of Nick Carraway-Yale graduate and solider in I World War, who comes to New York in order to peruse his career as a broker. By his friends who moved to NY before him – Tom and Daisy Buchanan he meets Jordan Baker. During One of his visits in Tom and Daisy’s mansions, Jordan mentions of Gatsby – mysterious millionaire man who lives close to Nick. Gatsby is known for his enormous mansions and parties that he hosts. Nick’s suspicions about his mysterious neighbor became even more serious once Gatsby gets in touch with Nick, asking him for very unusual favor.

The book shows the spirit, mentality and mood of jazz age in the early XX century. It is a easy read which captures most of the story and idea of american dreams – how one lead by a simple luck can become unimaginably rich. It is a fine example of how elite treats each other once the big party suddenly stops. The storyteller- Nick on the background of the other characters remains relatively plain, however still fits perfectly as a keen observer of surrounding events.

The thing that I liked the most in the book must have been the characters.  I did enjoy the way the author has shown the true story of Joy Gatsby. The book definitely has its weak, and to me, even boring moments, which is quite unusual for the the book its size.  However, in the end I would recommend The Great Gatsby, as a book worth reading.

Continue reading “The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald”