If you are (or ever have been) a university student, you know that the busiest time of the semester is always before the holidays. You have essays to hand in and tests to write – and that means that you have less time to read for your own amusement. Yet, with the winter coming, there’s no other time when you would wish it more that you could just snuggle up in your bed with your kitty, a blanket, a cup of warm tea, and a good book.
So, until I get the chance to be in that ideal, heavenly and privileged situtation to say “frankly, I don’t give a damn, I’ll just read all day,” I can only fill my spare moments with books. Here are the ones that brighten my days now.
Susanna Clarke: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell (in English)
I’d come across a quote from this book by a meaningful coincidence. That hooked me, so I googled the novel and found that it’s set in the Napoleonic era, which is my favourite historical period ever; and the cover was also to my taste. Therefore it was inevitable that I should get and read it.
I’m about 300 pages into the story – and I love it! You come across cynical remarks when you the least expect them, and the vocabulary and the dialogues evoke the style of the old masters, like Dickens.
“The country gentlemen had a strong suspicion that cleverness was somehow unBritish. That sort of restless, unpredictable brilliance belonged most of all to Britain’s arch-enemy, the Emperor Napoleon Buonaparte; the country gentlemen could not approve it.”
Barash & Lipton: The Myth of Monogamy (in English)
Judging by the title, you might suppose that this book is the perfect reading for cheaters, it is not.
I’m not too far into it but it approaches the question of monogamy from a scientific point of view, and the authors support their arguments with biological evidence, and they compare the behaviour of animals and humans. The text maintains a steady balance between being informative and occasionally entertaining.
“Parental investment is simply anything costly – time, energy, risk – that a parent spends or endures on behalf of its offspring and that increases the chances of the offspring’s being successful, at the cost of the parent’s being unable to invest in other offspring at some other time. Feeding one’s offspring is parental investment. So is defending, educating, cleaning, or scratching when and where it itches. And so, also, is producing the big, fat, energy-rich mother lode of nutrients called an egg. A sperm, by contrast, is a pitiful excuse for parental investment, consisting merely of some DNA with a tail at the other end.”
And last but not least (although it’d fit more into the “currently analysing” category):
Marga Minco: The Glass Bridge (in Hungarian)
I don’t think it would be quite proper to say that I “enjoy” a book about WWII but The Glass Bridge is undoubtedly thought-provoking, and if you read it for a second and third time, you begin to notice the subtle connection between the theme and every little detail.
My (Non-Exhaustive) TBR List
(in no special order)
What are you currently reading? What is on you TBR list?
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