Review: Lion by Saroo Brierley or The Search for Self

Lion is the true story of a five-year old Indian boy who gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, is adopted by an Australian family and retraces his Indian family and roots 25 years after the incident. It depicts the poverty of the Indian People back in the 80’s and it is obviously spiced with the culture shock that a five year old would suffer when moving from India to Australia. But beyond all that, Lion is about the search for self. Saroo gets lost at a train-station and tries in vain to go back home. He lives in the streets, begs, is finally taken to an orphanage and then adopted. He is no longer a poor Indian boy, but a middle-class Aussie.

Review: We Should Hang Out Sometime

Josh Sundquist is a motivational speaker. And a vlogger. And a paralympic skier. And author of We Should Hang Out Sometime. In case you are not familiar with him, which I wasn’t, myself, until roughly two months ago, you would probably still have guessed by now, that being a paralympic skier entails him having some sort of disability. Well, yes, he is an amputee.

Review: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time

Most people define a murder as the act of someone taking another person’s life. But does this apply exclusively to people? Not if your name is Christopher, you’re 15 and you’re suffering from Asperger’s syndrome. If this is the case, killing a dog called Wellington by using a garden fork still qualifies as murder. And Christopher has to find out who did it. He doesn’t like novels, because they are not true, but he likes detective stories, because they use logic. So he is going to write a detective story while working out who killed Wellington, the dog.

Recenzie: Curajul de a reuși de Ruben Gonzalez

Visează… luptă… câştigă! Trei cuvinte care arată bine pe hârtie, dar care, atunci când le aplici la viaţa de zi cu zi au un efect însutit. Sunt cuvintele care îl însoţesc tot timpul pe Ruben Gonzalez, argentinianul care a avut un vis extraordinar, acela de a deveni medaliat olimpic, vis pe care a reuşit sa îl împlinească. A participat la Olimpiadă nu o dată, ci de patru ori în patru decenii diferite, toate acestea în pofida sorţilor potrivnici şi a tuturor obstacolelor care s-au ivit pe drumul către împlinirea ţelului personal.

Campion naţional la sanie şi de patru ori medaliat olimpic, Ruben Gonzalez a început să se antreneze pentru prima dată la acest sport la vârsta de 21 de ani. Patru ani mai târziu participa la Jocurile Olimpice de Iarnă de la Calgary. La 39 de ani, concura alături de sportivi de 20 de ani la Olimpiada din Salt Lake City, iar la 47 de ani concura la competiţia olimpică de la Vancouver.

Review: The Girl on the Train

A train that always stops in the same spot. And an alcoholic: Rachel. Whose life also got stuck in the same spot. Five years ago. When she was happy with her husband, Tom. When they were trying to have a baby.

Now, there’s not much left of that. Except the train that stops in front of a house neighboring her old one. And a happy couple that she sees daily, while riding the train to her imaginary workplace. Rachel lost her job about three months ago. Too drunk to work. Too drunk to even live decently. Drunk enough to become… our unreliable narrator.

Review Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (by Someone Who Never Read the Harry Potter Books!)

I will begin this review with a horrifying testimony: I have not read any of the Harry Potter books. I was never a fan of the wizarding world. I did not know anything about Hogwarts or Griffindor. I decided to read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child mainly because I am a fan of drama, and I was attracted to the idea that this was a play and not a novel.

Before getting my hands on Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, I did ask some of my Potterhead friends if the play would stand on its own, if it made any sense without having read the books. The answer was yes.

Recenzie The Vegetarian, de Han Kang

The Vegetarian is a cry for help. A cry that nobody is willing to hear. It is a story of prejudice, a rebellion against social norms, a fight that Yeong-Hye takes on her own. It is the story of a patriarchal society and of gender inequality. When her family finds out that Yeong-Hye decided to become a vegetarian, they react according to authority norms and social boundaries. Her father and her husband both believe that this choice is an awkward one for the society they live in, her husband seems to silently accept all the changes that his wife is going through, not inquiring about her inner feelings, even when the choice to become a vegetarian transforms itself into a condition named anorexia. Her father, on the other hand, reacts violently and almost forces his daughter to eat meat, bringing forward the argument of authority. She must obey him because he is her father.

Cărți YA: Trial By Fire de Josephine Angelini

Primul volum din trilogia The Worldwalker, Trial by Fire prezintă povestea unei adolescente, Lily Proctor. Viața ei în orașul Salem (da, acel Salem, dar în timpurile noastre) este destul de grea, având în vedere că mama ei este bolnavă mintal, ea este îndrăgostită de cel mai bun prieten și este alergică la aproape totul. Toate acestea se schimbă în momentul în care Lily este transportată într-un alt Salem, un univers paralel, de către Lilian – cea mai puternică vrăjitoare din ținut și versiunea aparent malefică a lui Lily.

The Book Thief, A Life-changing Experience

There are so many things to write about The Book Thief that even words seem poor. Markus Zusak managed to describe the events of Nazi Germany, which are common knowledge to most people, in such a way as to shed a new light on everything. Of course there is Hitler. And the Holocaust. And ‘Mein Kampf’, and the dream of the Third Reich. But above all that, there is the emotion that all of this triggered. There is tragedy and despair. But there is also hope, and innocence, and love. Because of Liesel. Because of Rudy. Because of Papa. Because of Max. Because of everything that happens on Himmel Street.

Recenzie David & Goliath de Malcolm Gladwell

De multe ori, la o analiză obiectivă, constatăm cu surprindere că ceea ce iniţial pare a fi un avantaj lucrează de fapt împotriva noastră. Dar şi invers – un dezavantaj poate ascunde o mare oportunitate. Totul este să știm cum s-o identificăm și apoi s-o folosim în interesul nostru. Te-ai gândit vreodată la aceasta? Eu nu!

Totul a început atunci când am citit cartea lui Malcolm Gladwell, David & Goliath. Deşi puteam alege şi alte titluri ale aceluiaşi autor, precum Outliers, Blink sau What the Dog Saw (toate best sellers, de altfel), acesta a fost cel care mi-a atras atenţia. Gladwell este unul dintre cei mai influenți sociologi contemporani și jurnalist cu ștate vechi care scrie pentru The New Yorker. În această carte el demonstrează cum orice situație, cu ceva imaginație, perseverență și atitudine pozitivă poate fi înclinată în favoarea noastră, în ciuda unor premise cel puțin pesimiste. Gladwell aduce în prim plan lupta epică dintre David, tânărul evreu chemat de către Dumnezeu să conducă poporul ales, şi Goliat, maşinăria de război a filistenilor. Plecând de la acest eveniment biblic, pe care îl tratează metaforic, şi continuând cu exemple din viaţa de zi cu zi, Gladwell dovedeşte că uriaşii din cotidianul nostru pot fi învinşi mult mai uşor decât ne-am aştepta (sau îndoi).