Skip to content

history

Maria Montessori (by Grazia Honegger Fresco)

Maria Montessori is more well-known and appreciated abroad than in Italy. There are many books about her biography written in English that seem to be very well read and reviewed. In fact, her teaching method, which focuses on the individuality and autonomy of the child, is still incredibly popular today all over the world. This book, full of references to facts and events, covers Maria Montessori’s entire life: her years of training in which she was one of the first female doctors in Italy, the… Read More »Maria Montessori (by Grazia Honegger Fresco)

Love Letters of the Great War (edited by Mandy Kirkby)

With this book, I took a glimpse at some private correspondence that was exchanged during the WW1. Lots of different strong emotions were given voice by these letters, so sometimes I felt like I was intruding on the privacy of those who wrote and received them. My favourite one was written by the primary school teacher Marin to his wife Marguerite. A few months after Marin had joined the army in 1914, Marguerite gave birth to their first child, a daughter. His letter is just… Read More »Love Letters of the Great War (edited by Mandy Kirkby)

The Mind in the Cave (by David Lewis-Williams)

What is art? The word art is used today to describe a wide variety of things from prehistoric cave paintings to those apparently nonsensical installations you find in modern galleries. Music and literature are also art but here we’re going to consider visual art only. Is visual art made to be looked at? Is it made for spiritual purposes? Is it made just as a creative outlet? Does art have as many meanings as the artists who make it? Should art be beautiful or just… Read More »The Mind in the Cave (by David Lewis-Williams)

Sapiens

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (by Yuval Noah Harari)

I was really looking forward to reading this book and I had high expectations given that there had been a lot of hype around it. Not only did it not disappoint, but it also even exceeded my expectations. The author, Yuval Noah Harari, is simply a genius. He’s a university professor of history in Israel, so the book is written by somebody who has qualified knowledge. He has made an entire course about the history of humankind too which is available for free on YouTube.… Read More »Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind (by Yuval Noah Harari)

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)

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

This Book Will Make You Think

This Book Will Make You Think

While I was visiting the bookshop at the British Museum, I came across this book with such an intriguing and promising title. One of the things that makes me consider a book a good one is that it makes me think, so boom! I wanted it. It’s a very brief introduction to some philosophical thoughts. Each chapter starts with a famous quote, which is then followed by a short section that covers historical information and the background of the philosopher who came out with that… Read More »This Book Will Make You Think

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

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