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Reflective

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

I Think Therefore I Am

I found this book in the bookshop of the British Museum. I read the first two lines and I was hooked. It’s about the history and the thoughts of the most well-known philosophers. It does this following a chronological timeline, from the Presocratics, and specifically from Thales of Miletus (c. 624 – c. 545 BC) who, according to Aristotele, was the first real philosopher, right up until those of recent days. The very fact that this book ranges over some two and a half thousand… Read More »I Think Therefore I Am

Don't Sweat the Small Stuff

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

This book sets out to tell you how to relate to life’s adversities, especially to those little things that we let grow inside us until they become a big deal. For a good part of it, I was unsure whether I was going to give it three or four stars, the reason being that I mainly liked it, because I believe the advice is very effective and practical, but, at the same time I felt it was lacking something. In fact, this book helps you… Read More »Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

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 Wisdom of No Escape

The Wisdom of No Escape

Peaceful and calm. This is what I felt while I was reading this book. It was easy to read and it came at just the right time. It’s a good reminder to compassionately accept who we are, that we are all interconnected, that suffering is part of life and that it’s not by pushing away painful things that we can be happy. An encouragement to see who we truly are and to observe how we react to our emotions and thoughts. I loved it when… Read More »The Wisdom of No Escape

Mudlarking

Mudlarking

I loved this book even before I bought it. I fell in love with the cover, to start with. It’s so attractive I’m thinking of framing it and hanging it on the wall. It’s the choice of the colours, their combination, the font used and how the text is distributed that is just smart. When I started reading it, I was immediately hooked. The writing is clever and passionate. The author says she’s a daydreamer and manages to pull you into her daydreams. It felt… Read More »Mudlarking

Everything I Know About Love

Everything I Know About Love

I confess. I judged this book by its cover. It was early on a rainy Sunday morning and I was wandering in an empty shop when I saw some books stacked on a table. I went closer and was attracted by this cover, indeed, I liked it so much that I wanted to read the book regardless of what it was about. However, upon reading it, I didn’t relate to the author at all, so I immediately started to feel bored and remained as such… Read More »Everything I Know About Love