Coming back?

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I’ve just changed my blog’s theme for a fresher look.

Even though I’m extremely busy these days, I feel like coming back on wordpress to post at least once a week. Because I do miss life here. I never felt left out – on the contrary, I met lots of people sharing the same passion for books. My days had a purpose – I’d read something amazing to share on the blog later. And I was always looking forward to my favourite bloggers’ next post.

Oddly enough my blog has been doing quite well without me – statistically speaking. I very rarely get less than 50 views and my number of views per day regularly peaks around 90. Today itself I got 97 views, which is quite crazy. All in all, that’s 62,241 in total. I wonder when it will hit 100,000!

Anyway, I hope people will react to this post. I can’t wait to interact with you guys, again! ūüôā

 

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Some Bookshops in London

I was in London last Thursday and got the opportunity to pop in some bookshops I found on Buzzfeed.

But it was pouring for the better part of the day¬†and my phone’s battery was dying, so I only managed to go to three bookshops. That’s why I’m planning to go to the remaining bookshops next time and update this post when I do. For the time being, I have the following¬†pictures, which look a bit like crap due to WordPress’s compression.

– It was not until I took my first shot that I realized how awkward it was to take pictures in a bookshop; my camera’s slow shutter would cause everybody to turn around and I would feel a bit creepy pointing my camera in¬†people’s direction, so I waited for moments when I was alone to actually shoot anything. I also had to be pretty quick, so my pictures were not that crisp.

1.Lyuten and Rubinstein
It was the first bookshop I went to, because I thought it would be the most amazing. To be honest, I was a bit underwhelmed upon coming in, as the place was smaller and the staff was rather cold and a far cry from what I imagined. Still, it was a nice bookshop. You can check the entrance in the article I linked above. I went downstairs, where most of the books were found. I loved the setting there, as the dimness gave it a cosy feeling.

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2.Daunts

I visited the one in Marylebone. I got drenched whilst finding my way to get there, but it was worth it. The setting is superb and it is immense. I spent some time on the first floor before going downstairs where there were the South American books. The nice thing about Daunts is that books are shelved¬†under¬†the country they’re related to. For instance, Colm Tobin and George Orwell’s respective works, Homage to Barcelona and Homage to Catalonia, are both to be found on the shelf for Spanish books. I think that is great, because if you’re looking for some books belonging to a particular kind of literature (South American, Indian, English, etc), then you will inevitably come upon some very interesting books. I’m definitely going back!

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Downstairs
Downstairs

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3.Folio Society
The bookshop turned out to be smaller than I imagined, but the books were still a delight to the eyes. My pictures don’t really do them any justice. While checking the new releases, I saw a¬†girl, her mum and her colleague come in the bookshop. She is a familiar face at¬†the bookshop, as she exulted upon coming in: ”Three times a week! I can’t stop staring at these beauties.” I was curious to see¬†what books she found particularly nice, and I wasn’t surprised when she ”wowed” at Lord of the Flies. I couldn’t take pictures of the other side, as they were standing right there.

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Goodbye Harper Lee

A rare picture of Harper Lee and Truman Capote together.

Time goes by really quickly. In two and a half months I will complete my second year at university. I still remember when I was in my gap year and wondering how I would fare all alone in a foreign country…

After graduating from high school in February 2013, I decided to take a gap year in order to grow more as a person. Whilst I was always reading the news and learning some things here and there, I wanted to reach another level. That’s how I set myself the challenge to read the best books of all time. Around July I had read some 10 classics¬†before I discovered the Folio Society, which marked the beginning of a great love affair. At that time joining members had to buy four full-priced books. The four I chose were: Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, The Picture of Dorian Gray and To Kill a Mockingbird.

In September 2013, when I was supposed to be in university if I had not taken a gap year, I read To Kill a Mockingbird after finishing Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. Given how tedious reading the latter book was, To Kill a Mockingbird was a breath of fresh air. It was an absolute pleasure to read this little gem.¬†Harper Lee’s death made me reminisce a lot about the book. It reminds me of how I wondered if Boo Radley did exist, of Scout being innocence personified, of how she witnessed the hatred adults can breed, of her shenanigans together with Jem and Dil, and of the righteous Atticus Finch. Whilst reading the book I was also unaware of all the novels¬†awaiting me in the coming years; I was young in the mind back then.

I must confess one thing though. In 2014 and 2015 I read a lot of unforgettable¬†novels: One Hundred Years of Solitude, Anna Karenina, Labyrinths, Disgrace, and Inheritance of Loss, among many others. I ended up thinking that To Kill a Mockingbird was not that great of a book; it lacked the allegories of Lord of the Flies, the magic realism in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’ book, the horrors of Disgrace or the idiosyncrasies of God of Small Things, and I dismissed it as a little simple book meant to convey a message. The two years that elapsed, I guess, blurred my memories of it.

With Harper Lee’s death yesterday, I somehow felt that To Kill a Mockingbird died (I know it hasn’t,but…). I may be overdoing it, but it is the first time an author whose book I have read has passed away; the books I read are either by people who are already dead or by others who are, touch wood, no close to dying anytime soon. As stated above, her death reminded of many things and ,most importantly, of how I felt when I¬†opened and closed the book every time I would pick it to read. I also realised that the best books oughtn’t be the most complex or multi-layered ones. That’s pretty much what I wanted to say, besides the fact that I am grateful to Harper Lee for having written one of the warmest books I have ever read. To Kill a Mockingbird was a shimmer of light at a time when I was starting to pave my way through some of the greatest and intimidating¬†works¬†in literature.

What I’m Currently Reading

After finishing Charles Bukowsky’s Post Office last week,I’m now set on The House of the Spirits.

During the summer holidays I asked a friend who’s a literature freak if there was a book at least remotely close to One Hundred Years of Solitude‘s style,and it was then that he suggested Isabel Allende’s novel.I googled it and learned that it is regarded as one of the most important and beautiful works in Latin American literature.I bought it a few¬†weeks ago,and,just as it was with Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s masterpiece,the book is slowly winning me over.I don’t know what it is with Latin American authors,but they just have this knack of writing absolutely anything with¬†sheer lyricism.

Hmm,I think it’d be better if Post Office had its own separate post,because there are quite a few things I wish to say about this book.It was my first time reading Charles Bukowsky.

 

Just Finished: One Hundred Years of Solitude

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Click on the pic for better resolution.Wordpress messed up the details.

I finished reading this wonderful novel two days ago,but was too lazy to take a pic of the book and write a post,hence why I’m doing it only now.

Continue reading “Just Finished: One Hundred Years of Solitude”