Categories
Book Reviews

The Pretty Ones – Ania Ahlborn Book Review

I don’t think I’ve read such a lovely and creepy story about a woman and her brother since The Visitors – Catherine Burns.

Categories
Book Reviews

Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane Book Review

I’ve seen the DiCaprio movie ages ago and when I saw the book that inspired the movie during my charity shop runs, I decided to give it a go.

While I vaguely remembered the plot, I thought the book had a good premise and interesting characters, enough to keep me entertained for a few hours.

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Unfortunately, these is one of those rare occasions where the movie was actually better than the book and I could not wait to put it down and start another read.

Categories
Book Reviews

Twisted – Andrew E. Kaufman Book Review

What a thrill this book has been! I started reading and I couldn’t put it down. It was like a book on anti-gravity. All jokes aside, this book is a hell of a roller-coaster. What is worse than losing your mind? Is knowing it’s happened before to one member of your family and knowing it’s now happening to you and now you are the one who presents a danger to others.

The plains of human suffering are slippery slopes. Every traveller is so frail and unsteady, vulnerable to even the slightest threat of doubt or uncertainty. The goal here is to change his emotional climate. To normalise the feelings he has about his past trauma so that he’s able to talk about them.

Categories
Book Reviews

Leave Me Novel by Gayle Forman * Book Review

So this was how it was. People entered your life. Some would stay. Some would not. Some would drift but would return to you

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I started picking up some books from my ever-expanding bookshelf and I had the pleasure of hitting one of my favourite authors: Gayle Forman – who wrote If I Stay (Gayle Forman)

Meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

Afterwards, surprised to discover that her recuperation seems to be an imposition on those who rely on her, Maribeth does the unthinkable: She packs a bag and leaves. But, as is so often the case, once we get to where we’re going, we see our lives from a different perspective. Far from the demands of family and career and with the help of liberating new friendships, Maribeth is finally able to own up to secrets she has been keeping from those she loves and from herself.

Categories
Book Reviews

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

After having read some really bad books recently, I decided to pick up a classic. Ken Kesey. The book which inspired so many movies and my favourite play in Cluj-Napoca (sorry Shakespeare).

“But like always when I try to place my thoughts in the past and hide there, the fear close at hand seeps in through the memory.” 

Having re-read it, I noticed loads and loads of racist terms (especially about the three black attendants) and some misogynistic undertones which escaped me on my first read (about 10 years ago). I must say I still like it. It’s a product of its time and if it means it has to be racist, so be it.

“Man, when you lose your laugh you lose your footing.”

50f66698d703f38e4347241ca50dec13“Cuckoo’s Nest” tells the same story as the most popular novels of the last century,” it focuses on the modern paradox of trying to be human in the well-oiled machine of a capitalist democracy, where you must be either a savior or a slave. There is also a third option:

“You can create and live in a new system…not rebelling against or carving into your culture, but creating a vision of your own and working to make that option real.” (Chuck Palahniuk)

Categories
Book Reviews

The Book of Madness and Cures by Regina O’Melveny * Review

This book was not great but it was not bad either. So a solid 3.22 out of 5. The premise was wonderful, everything was ticking my biblio boxes – the gorgeous cover, the Renaissance setting, a strong female character in a man’s world, comparisons with Sarah Dunant and Tracy Chevalier – so where did it all go wrong? Well, the main problem for me was the extremely stilted prose.

“I’ve since come to believe that the world is populated by multitudes of women sitting at windows, inseparable from their surroundings. I myself spent many hours at a window on the Zattere, waiting for my father’s return, waiting for my life to appear like one of those great ships that came into the harbor, broad sails filled with the wind of providence…I’d grown transparent as the glass through which I peered, dangerously invisible even to myself. It was then I knew I must set my life in motion or I would disappear.”

I love historical novels and, if you toss in a bit of medicinal lore sprinkled with early treatments for madness, you’ve got this clinician drooling! I couldn’t wait to read about the adventures of Gabriella Mondini: a 16th century Venetian physician determined to practice medicine during the Renaissance, when doing so could be construed as heretical.

Categories
Book Reviews

The Room by Jonas Karlsson * Book Review

I don’t think I have been so intrigued about a book in a long time. Following You – Caroline Kepnes Book Review and Hidden Bodies, I think I developed a sort of a taste for the life adventures of a psychopath. Or in this specific case, a person with so few social skills it makes the recluse Loch Ness Monster look like a Miami socialite 🙂

The best way to prove this is from this lovely conversation started with the receptionist:

“My name’s Margareta, by the way.” “Oh,” I said, then thought that I ought to say something more. She looked as if she were expecting a reply, but what could I say? What could I possibly have to say about her name? Her name was Margareta. Okay. Good. Nice name.”

It’s the story of an office clerk working in Sweeden. He’s self-obsessed, slightly narcisistic, can’t take any form of disagreement and is compulsive about order (be it how his colleague’s papers keep creeping on his desk or how people’s jackets don’t seem to be as neat and tidy as his).

“Her skirt was nice, but she was wearing a dull-colored blouse that wasn’t at all attractive. I’d have to remember to tell her not to wear it when she was with me if the two of us were going to get together, I thought”

Bjorn devised an image in his own mind of how he wants to be portrayed.

It probably didn’t sit well with the accepted image of a newcomer, but it fit with the reputation for ambition and tough tactics that I was happy to help spread about myself.

Categories
Psychology

How to find happiness in nature (Mental Health Awareness Week 2017)

As we are currently towards the end of the 2017 Mental Health Awareness Week, I will tackle suicide and depression.

Last year in Japan, more than 25,000 people took their own lives. That’s 70 every day. The vast majority were men.
Those figures do not make Japan’s the highest suicide rate in the world in a developed nation.
That dubious title belongs to South Korea. But it is still far, far higher than virtually all other wealthy countries.
It is three times the suicide rate in the United Kingdom.

“Isolation is the number one precursor for depression and suicide,” says Wataru Nishida, a psychologist at Tokyo’s Temple University.

Talk therapy (psychotherapy), antidepressant medication, and lifestyle changes are often essential tools for managing major depression. But sometimes just soaking up some sunshine, breathing a little fresh air, and feeling your toes in the grass can provide relief from depression symptoms too.

Categories
Poetry

Thinking with both minds * M Clement

I think I’m bi-polar
Maybe not emotionally,
Scratch that
But I feel like I’ve got split-personality disorder
There’s part that wants to let go
And the other part so desperately holding on

I want to look you in the eyes
and ask you what you’re doing here
I want to ask you what we are
I want to ask you if we’re just using each other
If, really, we’re just both getting a physicality that we’d otherwise be missing
Part of me wants to just let it be
And the other part so desperately wants to ask

I wonder if you think this is going to last
I wonder if we’re fooling ourselves
I wonder if what we’re doing is what should be happening
I wonder why you make me think so much

I hope you’re happy
You’re making me think
That was your goal, wasn’t it?
I hope you’re happy

I hope you’re happy
Because I wonder
if this house
is built to last
Or
At the sign of storm
Or tidal wave
It’ll come crashing down
Should we start looking at insurance?

Categories
Astrology

Practical Approach towards Heart Diseases

by Mridula Trivedi
The human heart lies in the fourth part of the body and hence it is represented by the fourth house of the horoscope. The Sun is the main significator of heart. In other words the Sun is the heart of Kaala Purusha. Sun is the source of energy and indicates oxygen too. The heart energizes the impure blood after pouring oxygen into it. So affliction of Sun plays main role in the disease of heart. Affliction of the fourth house also causes diseases of chest. A proper and careful judgment can reveal whether it is a heart disease provided biological knowledge of human body is in the mind of the astrologer at the time of judgment of the horoscope.
The general rule of Astrology that a planet, who is a Karaka or significator of a certain house if located in that house, becomes very dangerous, particularly in case of affliction, association or aspects of malefic planets.
Cancer is a watery sign and also indicates fluid in which the heart is enclosed. Cancer indicates veins too. So afflictions of Cancer sign, fourth house and Sun indicate heart troubles.