Categories
Book Reviews

If my father loved me * Rosie Thomas

Rosie Thomas brings forward an interesting novel of the complexities of family and the sacrifices we make for the ones we love. Sadie’s life is calm and complete. She is a mother, a good friend, and the robust survivor of a marriage she deliberately left behind. She has come to believe that she has everything she wants and deserves. But now her father is dying—the elusive man who spent his life creating exquisite perfumes for other women is slipping away from her, and Sadie must try to make her peace with him before it’s too late.

As Sadie confronts the truth about her father, who often ignored her as he pursued his separate life, her relationship with her son Jack also appears to be breaking down. Intent on salvaging her relationships with both son and father, her seemingly perfect life unravels from both ends. Then the arrival of an ephemeral woman from her father’s past sets off a chain reaction of events that even Sadie cannot control.

Categories
Book Reviews

A man called OVE by Fredrik Backman

“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Others become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone.”

I picked up this book due to a Twitter thread of GoodReads asking readers what their favourite book for 2018 was and A Man called OVE appearing in most of the comments. Yeah, I know, majority rules! And I can say with my hand on my heart that this book has made me cry, made me laugh, and made me feel wholesome again.

OVE is your typical grumpy old man but underneath the surface, he is kind, determined and has a big heart (literally). His thoughts are that actions weigh more than words and he is true to his thoughts – doing more than talking.

“Men are what they are because of what they do. Not what they say.”

And when his thoughts drift towards suicide, it’s a question of principle.

Categories
Poetry

A Child Of Mine By Edgar Guest

I will lend you, for a little time,
A child of mine, He said.
For you to love the while he lives,
And mourn for when he’s dead.

Categories
Poetry

Antonia Pozzi – Sublime voice of the twentieth century – Restless soul, vibrant with poetry

Who’ll sell me a flower today?
I have so many in my heart:
but all clasped
in heavy bunches –
trampled –
done in.

Antonia Pozzi a.jpg

Categories
Poetry

Death Is Nothing At All By Henry Scott-Holland

Death is nothing at all.
It does not count.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
Nothing has happened.

Categories
Poetry

Surprised by Joy BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH

Surprised by joy—impatient as the Wind
I turned to share the transport—Oh! with whom
But Thee, long buried in the silent Tomb,
That spot which no vicissitude can find?
Love, faithful love, recalled thee to my mind—
But how could I forget thee?—Through what power,
Even for the least division of an hour,
Have I been so beguiled as to be blind
To my most grievous loss!—That thought’s return
Was the worst pang that sorrow ever bore,
Save one, one only, when I stood forlorn,
Knowing my heart’s best treasure was no more;
That neither present time, nor years unborn
Could to my sight that heavenly face restore.

Categories
Poetry

When Great Trees Fall By Maya Angelou

When great trees fall,
rocks on distant hills shudder,
lions hunker down
in tall grasses,
and even elephants
lumber after safety.

Categories
Book Reviews

Death and the Afterlife – Clifford A. Pickover

https___wordery.com_jackets_4eec2768_m_9781454914341.jpgThroughout history, the nature and mystery of death has captivated artists, scientists, philosophers, physicians, and theologians. This eerie chronology ventures right to the borderlines of science and sheds light into the darkness. Here, topics as wide ranging as the Maya death gods, golems, and séances sit side by side with entries on zombies and quantum immortality. With the turn of every page, readers will encounter beautiful artwork, along with unexpected insights about death and what may lie beyond.

Categories
Excerpts

Hamlet * To be or not to be?

Fear of the unknown is possibly the only thing keeping a man from killing himself to end his troubles. And the sleep might still take over!

“To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them?

To die: to sleep;
No more; and by a sleep to say we end
The heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks
That flesh is heir to, ’tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wish’d.

Categories
Book Reviews

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green Book Review

I wonder if there is anyone left in the world that can be objective about John Green. And if there is, can they be objective about a John Green book about teens dying of cancer?

“Sometimes, you read a book and it fills you with this weird evangelical zeal, and you become convinced that the shattered world will never be put back together unless and until all living humans read the book.”

I didn’t want to read it as I’m not usually into sob-stories and this one was a sob-fest (I knew it after watching the movie). I’m not going to lie to you, the book is terribly sad. I suggest you don’t read it if you are unwell or depressed, but it raises some very deep philosophical issues about life, death, the universe and everything. It gives me a bit of hope that our young adults might not be scrambling their brains with screens all the time, but engaging with a beautifully written story with some challenging themes