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1982-2022 Book Challenge: Complete!

As I was turning 40 this year, I decided to mark the occasion with a special reading challenge: to read a book published in each year of my life, between 1982 and 2022. As someone who loves to read and the freedom it provides for my mind to explore new ideas and places, I was super excited to see what this challenge would bring. As I embarked on my reading journey, I discovered a lot about my own tastes and preferences. I read a mix… Read More »1982-2022 Book Challenge: Complete!

The Alchemist

The Alchemist (by Paulo Coelho)

This is a story about a journey that conveys the message that if you really want something, the universe will help you to achieve it. The encouragement of following your dreams is very much in your face – there’s superficial philosophy that triggers some thoughts, but not deep ones, so I haven’t gained much from this book. Even though the story wasn’t intellectually challenging or inspiring, it was easy to read and very well-written. Overall, it was okay; however, I expected much more from this… Read More »The Alchemist (by Paulo Coelho)

The Unbearable Lightness of Being (by Milan Kundera)

This is a toughie. While I definitely loved the poetic title and the style of alternating fiction with non-fiction, I found the plot challenging to follow. It’s not a typical plotline, it’s non-chronological and non-linear. You need to be fully immersed in the book to understand its structure, otherwise you easily get lost. At some point, I even felt overwhelmed and almost guilty that I was not dedicating to it the right amount of effort. There’s lots of deep philosophy in it that triggered many… Read More »The Unbearable Lightness of Being (by Milan Kundera)

The Queen’s Gambit (by Walter Tevis)

I made a mistake. I made a beginner’s mistake. I watched the Netflix series first and a few days later I read the book. I will never do this again. I’ll always read the book first and watch the screen adaption after. The reason is that I couldn’t develop any imagination while I was reading, because I already knew the details of the whole story and how this was going to end. I missed a lot the making up in my mind of the visual… Read More »The Queen’s Gambit (by Walter Tevis)

Birdsong (by Sebastian Faulks)

Sebastian Faulks is a British best-selling novelist here in the UK and this is the first book, written by him, that I read. It’s a powerful story of love and war. The part about love was very sensual and intense. The part about war showed the horrors in detail and in a realistic manner, so much so that I could identify with the human despair. The writing style was so descriptive that I felt like I was watching a film. It triggered many strong emotions… Read More »Birdsong (by Sebastian Faulks)

Journey by Moonlight

Journey by Moonlight (by Antal Szerb)

This book is special to me, just knowing that I was going to read it at the end of my day made my day happy. A classic of Hungarian literature (Utas és Holdvilág), it was written by Antal Szerb, one of the major Hungarian writers of the 20th century. His works have been translated into many languages. Because of his Jewish background, he faced strong hostility and persecution, until he was atrociously beaten to death by the guards of a concentration camp in 1945, at… Read More »Journey by Moonlight (by Antal Szerb)

The Women of Brewster Place

The Women of Brewster Place (by Gloria Naylor)

I wish I had read the content warnings first: rape, homophobia (strong graphic content), child death, alcoholism, physical abuse and some other bad and heavy stuff that I don’t like to read. I was tempted to not finish it on many occasions, and I did find myself skimming a bit because the writing wasn’t capturing my attention. I could follow it, but I just couldn’t connect to the story. I know this book is considered a classic but unfortunately it didn’t work for me. I’m… Read More »The Women of Brewster Place (by Gloria Naylor)

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 food of love

The Food of Love

I feel uncomfortable writing a bad review as I don’t want to disrespect all of the effort the author put in, especially if it’s their debut novel. So, after reading the first few pages, when I was already feeling a bit suspicious that this wasn’t going to be a good read, I remained hopeful and kept reading. However, it turned out that my initial instinct was correct. The story itself was not that bad and it had potential, had it been written differently. Here are… Read More »The Food of Love

The Man Who Died Twice

The Man Who Died Twice

The thing that I kept thinking when reading this book was “genial“. I loved it even more than the first one of the series. The characters were well revealed and their relationships felt realistic. The plot wasn’t quite as believable as the previous one, I think because there are higher risks involved, but still, it was put together cleverly. The English humour is just brilliant, I found myself laughing out loud many times while reading it. In the previous book, I wasn’t particularly impressed by… Read More »The Man Who Died Twice