These 3 Books Will Steal Your Innocence

When I first started reading at the age of fourteen, I kind of lacked a proper selective criteria when it came to books. I read what was popular, when I found a certain title appealing, what my parents kept in their bookshelf. I read certain books because everyone was reading them, because I thought it would make me smarter, a better writer, or a better person. I read books because their covers were beautiful.

And somehow I stumbled upon the kind of books that are not everyone’s cup of tea. They’re rather like a shot of whiskey. Erotic, controversial, the kind of books that you can’t read in public. But you can’t help it, so you must find a quiet place and read. Continue reading These 3 Books Will Steal Your Innocence


Book Review: The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares

I am a big fan of Latin American writers, especially G.G. Marquez and Julio Cortazar, but I have to admit to the fact that Adolfo Bioy Casares exerts a special influence on me. He lived his life under the shadow of Borges’ immense genius and was often overshadowed by the brilliant prose of a writer who can, with ease, be considered as the best writer never to have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature.

But Casares, even though not as famous as his best friend, and most certainly not as brilliant, managed to grow in a different direction and forge a different style. He did all that, but he managed one more thing, for which I commend him greatly. He wrote this short novel.
Continue reading Book Review: The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares

[Book Review] Whisper to me: Sweet breath of Life Divine by Randal Cobleigh


The “WHISPERS’ in my case came from my guardian angel. Not only did this angel whisper beautiful poems to me that I have documented in my book. This angel stood next to my death bed in the hospital and administered a healing to me that doctor’s could not fathom. I was supposed to have been “Dead by Dawn” but the kidneys and liver were now somehow functioning normally. This was the second and last time I was to see this angel. But Divine forces have continued to hover around me. Many times people feel the influence of spirit when they come near me. Some find it to be refreshing and enjoy the sensation. Others sense an overload of anger and might be in great despair without truly knowing the reason. One relative in particular has become vehemently hostile towards me and I feel love and sorrow for this individual, but it never seems to help. Many find the experience very awkward and feel as if they are very hot and prefer to leave. Your Guardian Angel can help you find and enter “THE RIVER OF LOVE AND KNOWLEDGE”. If you are in harmony with life, such an experience should help you to realize your talents and gather tools to produce preciously talented creations of your own design. You don’t need to connect with any religion to feel the great love of God’s spirit. God will give it to you for free. Just ask for His grace and Love. When I enter “The River of Love and Knowledge” I find my “Voice in the Wilderness”. Creativity flows like a mighty river and my spirit quivers with love of the creator. If one thing is possible, what then is impossible?

First of, a disclaimer: This book is a bit rough around the edges. There are some errors and typos, and some formatting issues.  They do distract from the writing itself from time to time. Grammar Nazis have been warned!

That being said, this is a very niche book, which is why I included the description from Amazon. If books that revolve heavily around religion are not a thing, this is surely not going to be your cup of tea.

I do not shy away from reading a book, especially since there’s something to learn from everything, and to be honest, Randal’s life story is quite inspirational.

All I can say is that there are good bits, there are bad bits, and since I am not exactly in the target audience of this book, I am sure that those who are interested will find it a much better read than I did.

Whisper to Me: Sweet Breath of Life Divine is available both as a paperback and an e-book on Amazon.

Book Review: The Pearl by John Steinbeck


Like his father and grandfather before him, Kino is a poor diver, gathering pearls from the gulf beds that once brought great wealth to the Kings of Spain and now provide Kino, Juana, and their infant son with meager subsistence. Then, on a day like any other, Kino emerges from the sea with a pearl as large as a sea gull’s egg, as “perfect as the moon.” With the pearl comes hope, the promise of comfort and of security….

A story of classic simplicity, based on a Mexican folk tale, The Pearl explores the secrets of man’s nature, the darkest depths of evil, and the luminous possibilities of love.

John Steinbeck was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1962. You’d expect some hefty volumes with his signature on them, but the truth is that his most memorable works are quite short. Continue reading Book Review: The Pearl by John Steinbeck

Book Review: The Order of the Day by Eric Vuillard


Winner of the 2017 Prix Goncourt, this behind-the-scenes account of the manipulation, hubris, and greed that together led to Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria brilliantly dismantles the myth of an effortless victory and offers a dire warning for our current political crisis. 

“The sun is a cold star.”

The words used to introduce us to a world we wish never even existed in literature, let alone in real life. Imagine a single day in history. One day. 24 hours. Now, imagine that God chose to abandon us for that day.

The players that Vuillard writes about are all well known: Siemens, Opel, Reuter, Krupp. The folks who run businesses such as Bayern, Agfa, Farben, Allianz, Varta. They are the titans of industry, the owners of mass-media, and they are all there, on the marbled steps of the Reichstag, in the presence of Hermann Göring. All of them waiting for Hitler. Continue reading Book Review: The Order of the Day by Eric Vuillard

Book Review: The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway


The Old Man and the Sea is one of Hemingway’s most enduring works. Told in language of great simplicity and power, it is the story of an old Cuban fisherman, down on his luck, and his supreme ordeal — a relentless, agonizing battle with a giant marlin far out in the Gulf Stream.

Here Hemingway recasts, in strikingly contemporary style, the classic theme of courage in the face of defeat, of personal triumph won from loss. Written in 1952, this hugely successful novella confirmed his power and presence in the literary world and played a large part in his winning the 1954 Nobel Prize for Literature.

If this would have been Hemingway’s only published book, it would would still have been enough to earn him the Nobel prize.

“It’s silly not to hope. It’s a sin he thought.”

Hope. That double-edged sword, the source of our power, the reason behind so many of our sorrows. Hope. It is truly silly not to hope, not to dream of Heaven even when walking through Hell. Continue reading Book Review: The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Book Review: The Woman with the Bouquet by Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt

In his new collection of stories, Eric-Emmanuel Schmitt, author of The Most Beautiful Book in the World, probes the paradox that the events that shape our lives are often the stuff of dreams, yet nonetheless true. Humor, tenderness, irony, and exquisite writing have always been the hallmarks of Schmitt’s work. Here, he adds a pinch of philosophy.

In one story, a lovelorn writer seeks refuge in Ostende, a remote and charming town on the North Sea. His host is a solitary and eccentric octogenarian. The fairy-tale setting starts to work its magic and the old woman begins to tell her tale—an extraordinary story of passion. Bewitched by what he hears, the writer can no longer distinguish what is real from what is not, and in the woman’s account he will finally find a response to his own deep-seated grief. Here, as in the other stories in this collection, Schmitt displays the combination of stylishness and insight into the human condition that prompted Kirkus Reviews to write of his tales that they “echo Maupassant’s with their lean narratives, surprise endings, mordant humor and psychological acuity.”

It is said that there’s no creature that does not try to escape reality. There isn’t a living thing endowed with a central nervous system that does not dream. The brain is what is called an exclusion system: its purpose is to decide what information is important and what is not. There is so much information in the world that we’d go mad if we tried to understand it all.

What does this have to do with this collection of short stories?

Well, because the characters in each of the stories have this in common: they want to escape reality, they are looking for a shelter against it. If you ever felt this gnawing sense of fear at the thought that you are simply waiting for life to happen to you, if you daydreamed to the point of it becoming an obsession, then this is the book for you.

Reality cannot be negotiated with, but our imagination can be bargained with; our dreams can show us a world that will never come true.

But that never stopped us from dreaming and wishing our dreams would, somehow, come true.

The Woman with the Bouquet is one of the most intriguing compilations of short stories I have ever read.