RSS

Tag Archives: Reading

Four Days in January: A Letter to Jillsan – Nils-Johan Jørgensen

letteringThis is a modern tale, a journey of the heart, a road back, revisiting many cities and enduring Eastern and Western sentiments to light and lighten our understanding of life’s fleeting appearance.

It is a way of honouring the life of a loved one, to tell a personal story that reflects the shared, universal truth of the silence of loss from Kakimoto to Goethe and beyond.

Four Days in January is a beautifully told, deeply moving and poignant letter of loss, yet also the celebration of the life of a loved one through allegory, music, poetry and personal records.

Told in letter-form, Four Days in January records the story of two lovers and their lives through marriage and parenthood following his diplomatic career spent in different parts of the world, and the role and dedication of the diplomat’s wife.

Here is a very open volume that offers an array of inspirational thoughts for anyone facing loss and bereavement.

Having read most of Mr Jørgensen’s other books this one, whilst no less readable was an altogether different beast. It is a meditation on life as well as loss.  A union of two coming together to live as one, of a love that really shines through, a life lived fully but also a statement on the cruelty of having it cut short.

The beginning takes us through the unfolding tragedy of a life suddenly declining. It is told in an unflinching way and it moved this reader immensely.  Despite reading this book in January, I know that the opening will be the best one I read all year, which is saying something as I continue to amass great literature.

This personal final letter to his love is an intimate portrait, delicately penned, a chronicle of a shared existence, told through a number of key vignettes.  What makes this an intensely moving piece of work is that it is real life, good and bad things happen but it is a reminder to appreciate it every day for what it is.  Even the most mundane of times can become something beautiful when viewed the right way. Read the rest of this entry »

 
17 Comments

Posted by on 23/02/2017 in Autobiography, Life, Memoir

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Kids

For today’s second reblog, or ‘press this’ as I thought I would attempt one of those instead is a belated call for attention to Resa’s upcoming kid’s month in March.  I myself will be participating and submitting my entry soon.  Whilst you’re at it check out Resa’s stunning art gown created for her post with Aquileana on Artemis as well at https://aquileana.wordpress.com/2017/02/20/%e2%96%bagreek-mythology-artemis-dual-archetype-collaboration-with-resa-mcconaghy-and-mirjana-m-inalman%f0%9f%8c%9b%f0%9f%8f%b9/

Also don’t forget to check out my first reblog, of the day too, great content abounds through WordPress all the time and it is good to spread it.

**************************************************************************************

Here are some youth friendly street art pieces I’ve taken photos of & saved for Kids’ Month.

There are single shots and  selections of 2 or 3 shots. Perhaps you’ll feel inspired to do a poem or short story.

You can post it on your blog, and I will reblog it, or send me the poem or story & I will post it with your chosen pic as a guest post.

There is a row of stars between the possible posts. Leave a comment to let me know your choice. I’ll reserve the pics, pronto! The name of the artist, if known is above the shot.

Source: Kids

Save

Save

 
Comments Off on Kids

Posted by on 22/02/2017 in Art, Blogging

 

Tags: , , , ,

Chernobyl Prayer – Svetlana Alexievich

chernobylprayerThere is no blurb for this one, partly because this copy didn’t come with one – just excerpts from newspaper reviews – and partly because it needs no blurb.  The book speaks for itself and with Alexievich’s Nobel Prize in Literature award, it means it will thankfully never be forgotten.

After a short historical background on the explosion of reactor no. 4 (whose radioactive particles reached as far as China and Africa), the reader is introduced to A lone human voice. This  truly shocking and saddening account sets the scene for this outstanding and powerful chronicle of eyewitness recollections  from those that were involved with the Chernobyl catastrophe.

Often forgotten in the face of overwhelming statistics are the real human lives who have suffered, those forgotten get a voice here.  The cost is not just in lives lost but dreams and hopes shattered, health ruined and families torn apart.  This book focuses on the Belarusians who bore the brunt of the disaster and of those who helped try to contain it and the risks they took.

The beauty of this series of monologues is that Alexievich didn’t ask questions, instead she did the one thing that the people had been wanting for years, she listened. Apart from an essay of her own the author merely adds only the briefest additions to the text such as ‘he looks pensive’, ‘she cries’ and so on.

This allows the people to talk about whatever they need to and follow the direction of their thoughts and there is a surprising amount of philosophical views that come out.  Especially as many still don’t accept the subtle devastation that hit their lands and destroyed them,  who were then shunned by an uneducated public.  What shines through is that they loved their land and animals, most of those living there knew little else and the passion for their lost place is ever present.
Read the rest of this entry »

 
50 Comments

Posted by on 13/02/2017 in History, Modern Classics, Politics

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Booked Up for a While

It’s been a while and although this is sadly not the review I mentioned in the last post, it is nonetheless a post.  Recently I have been distracted by even more good literature (fiction and non fiction) and I’m really excited to be in the process reviewing.  I will do that as soon as I can but first, here is a bunch of new books that cost less than a tenner.

wp_20170207_004

There is a sensible reason for these purchases, wanting to downsize my books somewhat this year, It makes sense to buy more books so I can feel inspired to start clearing the ones I don’t want anymore as I read/review them.This is logical as otherwise I would be drowned by paper through my own laziness and/or hoarding tendencies.

these purchases also represent a pile of firsts, which just occurred to me as I was casting around for more to say about them… Read the rest of this entry »

 
45 Comments

Posted by on 09/02/2017 in Blogging, Lists/Ephemera

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Bargain Books

Writing this is akin to those moments when having just finished a book you turn those last few blank pages and have a chance to reflect, I love those pages, purely for that reason alone.  The pristine whiteness that allows you to project an image derived from the last sentence of a book, it is a truly pleasurable moment before closing the cover with an air of finality as all the other books start vying for attention.

SAM_2733

Brattle Book Shop, Boston MA

At the moment I am reading a wonderful book, one I know I am going to highly recommend when finished as it as it deserves plenty of love and to be shared around as an admirable piece of work, in fact it will be my next review.  Considering the content and how it is written made me think of the absolute bargain we readers are taking advantage of.

The cheapness of amassing even a small library of the greatest works of literature is quite obscene really, I go to the local second-hand bookshop and pick up one of the most important books in history for one pound. All the while knowing that whilst the currency will rise and fall in price, these words will be read and reread and new thoughts will be brought forth with each reading.  It really a the most inexpensive pursuit and almost feels like taking advantage of someone, somewhere because it is such a ludicrously beneficial arrangement. Read the rest of this entry »

 
43 Comments

Posted by on 01/02/2017 in Blogging

 

Tags: , , ,

The Sacrifice – Indrajit Garai

sacrificeIn this collection meet:  Guillame, who gives up everything to protect his child; Mathew, who stakes his life to save his home; and, François, who makes the biggest sacrifice to rescue his grandson.

Having previously had to decline  this offering due to a mountain of other books needing their reviews done for their respective deadlines, I am appreciative of Estelle for offering me another opportunity to read and talk about these short stories, which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Each of the three stories contained in volume 1 have plenty of themes both on the human and natural side.  The reader will see the price of ‘progress’ and the loss it entails with the destruction of nature – which is neatly countered with the positive effects it has on the characters actions – and the uncertain legacy of what will be left of it for the next generation.

The human consequences on nature run in tandem with the heartache of families struggling; parents aren’t there, money is tight and life grinds away at the soul but there is always hope in each other and what they do have.

It is precisely this humanity that kept me reading, seeing these people going through life, trying to do the right thing.  That’s not to say that the book is preachy in any way, it isn’t, it allows the characters and their circumstances to unfold in an organic way and clearly shows us their thoughts and feelings in a given situation.

Each of the participants are just ordinary folk and that is the beauty of the storytelling,  the reader can instantly connect with them and just go with the story – regardless of setting and circumstance – what they do and who they are doesn’t matter because they are in existing in all their flawed glory.  The titular sacrifice therefore feels more powerful because it is something truly costly to the individual which the reader can appreciate and in terms of seismic impact.  The book excels at showing the ripples made by decisions, whether large or of a more subtle variety. Read the rest of this entry »

 
9 Comments

Posted by on 30/01/2017 in Fiction

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Eye Believe That!

I saw this in the newsagents…and this in no way a filler post until I get around to writing another review.

finest

Save

 
34 Comments

Posted by on 27/01/2017 in Journalism

 

Tags: , , , , ,

 
%d bloggers like this: