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Challenging

A Wartime Memoir: Hungary 1944-1945 (by Alaine Polcz)

This is an autobiographical and historical account of the terrible experiences that the author went through during the Second World War in Hungary. It’s narrated in retrospective which I particularly appreciated as I could get to know the author’s thoughts from a point of view after the fact as well. It’s a raw, sad and often overwhelming read. It was difficult not to pause every few pages to take a break, breath and reflect on how horrifying war is. At a certain point, when I… Read More »A Wartime Memoir: Hungary 1944-1945 (by Alaine Polcz)

Opium – Selected Stories (by Géza Csáth)

This collection of stories was written between 1905 and 1912 and explores some of the darkest sides of human life. The author, Géza Csáth, was born in Hungary at the end of the 19th century. Amongst other things, he was a short-story writer with a short life – he died when he was just 31 years old, shortly after the end of the Austro-Hungarian empire and after escaping from a psychiatric hospital. I’ve read that he had developed an addiction to morphine to deal with… Read More »Opium – Selected Stories (by Géza Csáth)

The Feeling of What Happens

The Feeling of What Happens

This book was, for me, revolutionary and revelatory as it significantly contributed to helping my quest for something I had been keeping asking myself for a very long period of time – who are we? Many self-help books out there say that we are our awareness – the ability to observe our body and what happens within it, including our thoughts and emotions. Thoughts and emotions are just products of our minds. Let’s explain this concept by adopting the opposite approach as these books do:… Read More »The Feeling of What Happens

A short history of nearly everything

A Short History of Nearly Everything

What a journey I’ve been on! In less than 600 pages, I’ve fast-forwarded through the history of the world and of the human species, from the Big Bang to our recent days through most areas of science. This ambitious masterpiece was very informative and written in a conversational style. In fact, I felt like I was sitting in an armchair, by the crackling fire, with a glass of red wine in hand, in the company of a very knowledgeable friend who was explaining to me… Read More »A Short History of Nearly Everything

Humand Kind

Humankind

Do you think humans are selfish, untrustworthy and dangerous creatures? If so, do yourself a favour and read this book. The core message in this book is that most people, deep down, are good-hearted. A perfect read in the current times. The author, Rutger Bregman, is a historian whose optimism is energising. He tells lots of effective stories and provides evidence from psychology, sociology, anthropology and archaeology. He starts developing his theory with a view on the “philosophical boxing ring” that sees two opposite opinions… Read More »Humankind

The Book of Human Emotions

The Book of Human Emotions

Stop and think about two facts: To not let your emotions control you, you can learn how to identify and manage them. Emotional manipulation happens daily in our lives, both consciously and subconsciously. This goes to show how important it is to start developing an awareness of our emotional life and to that end, this book is a must-read. Informative and witty, it can also be read “on-demand”, given that it is what it says on the cover: an encyclopedia. I found the cultural stories… Read More »The Book of Human Emotions