Thursday, 22 January 2015

Stoner by John Williams

I would like to tell you something it was not already said about this book.Well, you will find all about the fact that it is a book where nothing happens, the simple story of a man who slowly become a professor. The average story of a man that lives his life without too many emotions and shaking events, but that for an unknown reason you would still love this book and would not be able to close it.
Hold on a second...Really? No 'cause I think in this books there are lots of things happening: there is a man that changes his designed destiny of farmer first and agrarian then by simply listening to a class on literature. I saw a man that fishes for love and even if he has been really unlucky, and yes, also at time very lazy, still accepts happiness when it crosses his way.
Many describe Stoner as a "stone", listless, indifferent, apathetic, a man that accepts everything that happens in his life without fighting. I saw, instead, a man that just saves energies for things he likes, that understood which are the flights worth fighting for, that looks for answers in his books rather than in people, that is able of very strong lasting feelings. Yes, mostly an unhappy, melancholic man, but able to find delight in small things.
A slow, introspective book for misanthropic minds.

           "The True, the Good, and the Beautiful. They’re just around the corner, in the next corridor; they’re in the next book, the one you haven’t read or in the next stack, the one you haven’t got to. But you’ll get there someday. And when you do—when you do"

P.S. It was years I wanted to read this book and finally I got it gifted from a person in a reading group on Anobii (btw feel free to add me here). A person that I don't know in the real life but that got the right book for me. I love the connection that can be created through books.

Sunday, 18 January 2015

Barney's Version by Mordecai Richler

The first book read in this 2015 and I think my year couldn't have started better on the reading side. Thanks mum for this precious book! But let's start from the beginning (or at least let's try)...

This is the story of Barney Panofsky, or better, his autobiography. Did you say autobiography? But the author has a different name! Yes, you are right, this is indeed a story in a story. Some say that Barney is the alter ego of Richler, but the author has never confirmed this theory. So here starts already the brilliancy of the book!

The book is structured in three parts, one for each wife of Barney: Clara, the artistic wife; the second Panofsky's wife, whose name will never be declared; and Miriam, the only true love of Barney.
Between a glass of whisky and one of cognac Barney would try to describe his life in chronological order, but the intent is very soon lost with the many digressions and memories that are brought continuously in the book.
After few pages it would be already clear that Barney is selfish, drunken, misogynist, chauvinist, social climber and more...
But still I could not avoid to love him (and neither would you) and to want to have a whisky with him, talking about love and life.
Yes love, not the right person to discuss with, you say? Oh well, how to tell that you are wrong: his first wife killed herself in depression and he doesn't even dare to give the identity of his second wife, but Miriam, oh Miriam, I want to be loved as she was (and I am by the way). Barney is simply drunk in love, and yes also of lots of alcohol, and this part in the love matter would obviously create him a lot of problems.
The leitmotif of the book is the presumable killing of his best friend Boogie. The first intent of the book is indeed to defend himself for the murder accuse. Between digressions and memories Barney will eventually give his version of the fact. Will the society believe him? And would you?  The reading will tell...and trust me you will laugh, a lot, but don't get surprised if all of a sudden you would just like to cry.

Thanks Richler, I really needed this!

I read a lot of crazy, brilliant reviews on this book, and please do as well.
Next on the list is to watch the movie, I might get highly disappointed, but I want to take the risk.

Sorry for this confusing, crazy review, but I wouldn't know how to describe better this book.

I would suggest to read the book with this soundtrack , from an Italian musician, who recently passed away.

At the next book...

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Post-Christmas' collection

How many books did you get for Xmas? Here is my collection: books I received, bought, brought back to read again and stole from my mum.
One I have still to open, some I got in a "secret box". Not bad!
In the hope that they would bring a bit of happiness in this 2015 that definitely started on the wrong foot.

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Pen not guns!!!

"The response to violence is more democracy, more openness and greater political participation."
The Norwegian prime minister, Jens Stoltenberg

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Happy 2015!!!

Happy new year! May it be full of emotions, joy, happiness, satisfactions and many many inspirational books!!!!

A Man's Place by Annie Ernaux

One of the book I got for Xmas from a dear friend, and the last book read in 2014.
It describe the life of Annie Ernaux's father in a attempt to understand their relationship and their many silences over the years.
It is generally described as a very "rational" book, in contrast I found it very poetic and imaginative, even though, I must confess, it didn't captivate me that much.