Blog

Blog Entry No. 13 – Burning Books?

Dear readers,

as I posted a book review last Sunday, I won’t do one today. Instead, I wanna talk about the burning of books. In history lessons, we currently talk about the 1930s in Germany, no pleasant topic. While talking about the 10th of May in 1933, the day that one of the biggest burnings occurred, I thought at first that I could never burn any book no matter what it is about. I love books with whole my heart, I love the entire idea of writing down one’s thoughts in a thought-out way. Every author put work and effort into his or her writing, every author had something to tell. In my opinion ideas and thoughts are one of the most important, most powerful and holiest things existing. Therefore I thought it would be wrong to ever burn any book, no matter what circumstances. But life is complex…

What if there are still a million copies left after one burned a book?
What if it contains thoughts arguing strongly against human rights?
What if the mind of children are endangered by conscious manipulation? (Like it was done in the 1930 with books written for children but preaching extreme antisemitism)
What if the own life depends on burning the book, for example, to escape being frozen to death?
What if you need to save loved ones by burning it?
There are so many what-if-situations that it is nearly impossible to say if one would never burn a book even if loving them strongly.

Personally, I probably would never burn books just because of some certain ideology, especially if there wouldn’t be any copies left afterwards. Also, I wouldn’t destroy books that are endangering physical or mental health, I guess I would lock them up. But if I would be sitting somewhere with only a book, nearly frozen death, I would decide depending on the book I’m carrying with me (considering the doubtless egoistic nature of human being I would burn a book under some circumstances to save my life). If I like the book, the ideas it is bearing, I would rather read it to escape reality and die like the girl in Helmut Lachenmann’s opera Das Mädchen mit den Schwefelhölzern. If it was a book like Hitler’s Mein Kampf I would burn it because I wouldn’t want to have bad thoughts as them being the last ones I ever read.

What do you think about it? Would you burn books? Under which circumstances?

Yours,
Aly

Blog, Reviews

Blog Entry No. 9 – Strange Deaths of the Last Romantic

Dear Readers,

this tuesday I’m gonna talk about a book I found on NetGalley (there I got “Lost Girls go Everywhere” too). “Strange Deaths of the Last Romantic” was written and will get published on 17th of November 2020 by Moses Yuriyvich Mikheyev, he is a Russian-American novelist, who first studied at Whitworth University and got his graduate degree in theological studies from Emory University. Currently, he lives in Los Angeles.

Talking about the book, I’ll start with the cover because it’s always the first part of a book you see, so automatically the first impression is made at this point.
I think the cover is quite interesting; it seems to have some flair of native American folks but at the same time, it’s designed very modern. It’s like a collage of paper, pictures and between those pieces, you see the glimpse of a girl, which stares far away. After reading the book, the girl could portray the idea of Lilyanne, a seemingly perfect girl.

The story is about Adam Micah, who discovers at the age of ten years that he cannot die. After dying, he reawakens naked somewhere, without any control about where he lands. Every time he dies, he loses more and more memoriesfrom his previous lives. As he meets the love of his life, his life seems normal again, though he knows barely who he is. Adam, who gave himself a new name: Aristotle, enjoys life again, but soon he realises again that there are people who want to use and examine his gift/curse.

The main parts are narrated from Adams view in first-person-narrator, but there are parts about other characters too, which get told by a personal narrator. Those different perspectives confused me firstly, because I didn’t know the characters and why they’re relevant, but soon it brought spice into the whole storyline because it showed different connections and led to own thoughts about what could happen next.

Mikheyev’s writing style was very figurative, for me, it was like being there and live this life full of chaos together with the main character. That caused a very uncomfortable feeling while reading the bloody parts, which fit perfectly well in the Thriller genre. But the writing style also made me get lost in the romantic parts. The poems transported so many emotions but even more so did the prose describing the surrounding scene. Considering how it was written stylistically, it is definitely worth reading.

But to be honest, I cannot say the same thing about the storyline, especially about the end. As I finished the book, I was heartbroken and a bit disappointed. It always seemed, like there was a lot potential for an interesting, good end but it didn’t happen, it was suddenly all over and brought no sense to anyone. In the author’s comment at the end of the book, Mikheyev told the reader about the process of creating this novel. He explained how it started, why he created Lilyanne without character development, how he struggled to finish the novel, how he published it and that he thinks it’s an awful book. Reading the final statement helped me a lot to understand why the end is how it is, but that does not make it any better. Some might consider endings of such kind romantic, I think it’s just sad. The story had such an interesting, thought-out start and developed in a good way, but the end was weak. The book started dramatically and exiting but ended sadly. Additionally, I recognised more mistakes in logic or rather in continuity at the last pages, for example, said Adam at the beginning that he lost his mother when he was ten years old, but at the end, he said he was seven as she died. This could be interpreted as a sign of his lost memories, but why should he be mistaken just in the age, when he lost other disturbing memories completely and not just partly? Why place such a small, single hint? Also, it is said that it’s about the year 2025 when Adam reawakens in a field, but that would make no sense because he died in 2010 and it’s said in the second part of the chapter that it was fifteen years ago when he woke up in this field, so why not say it’s about the year 2025 at the beginning of the second part, like it was done before?

As this is the first published version, I assume mistakes like these get corrected, so that’s no reason to say the book would be no good. To judge a book, I always ask myself, if I would read it again. Well, for this one I can say, by all means, I’m gonna read some parts again. I’m sensible to bloody and cruel scenes and love romantic, so the parts I’m gonna reread are probably the good times between Aristotle and Lilyanne. As said before, I really like the style of Mikheyev’s writing, but the story wasn’t that good. So, I’ll do what one can do only with literature and movies: I’ll pick the good parts and live them over and over again.

Hope you’re having a good time,
Aly

PS: If you are interested now in the book, you can buy it for example on amazon, here is the link to Strange Deaths of the Last Romantic: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08KPMR2LS

Blog

Blog Enry No. 5

Dear readers,

it was quite a while since I wrote or updated something on this blog and I feel very sorry about it, even more, because I had no real reason, I didn’t have much work to do or no content to write about. I just found no motivation to take a minute (or more some hours) and to care a bit more about this blog. I’m sorry. But I read indeed extreme nice books over the summer, so I try to formulate some reviews about them as soon as possible.

Today it’s the first day of October and though I know September is the first month in autumn, I usually don’t start feeling those cosy vibes when it’s still warm, sunny and green outside like it is in September. That’s why I love October; it’s still sunny sometimes, but finally, it’s getting colder, so you can wear hoodies, snuggle up in a blanket, drink a tea and read a good book. Well, to be honest, you can always read a good book, but I really like this comfy, warm feeling you get, sitting inside while it’s dark and stormy outside

However, I’ll try to find time – between school work, real work and the small scientific paper I’m currently writing – to upload more book reviews, essays and recommendations.

Hope you’re having a good time,
Aly

PS: I discovered poetry slam as a very marvellous way of passing the time, so I’m gonna report more about it and maybe create some on my own.

Blog

Blog Entry No. 1 – About me and why I started

Dear readers,

this is my first post on my blog, it is very exciting and I wonder what the future might bring for this project.
For now, I will work under the pseudonym Alyrene, because I want to write independently from my real identity and my real life. This way I can still put all my thoughts and experiences into it, but can handle it separately and decide for myself how much of my real life and feelings will end up public.

For better understanding, you should know that my native language is German, so please excuse grammatical or spelling mistakes and tell me if you find any. Also, you may discover some posts I wrote completely in German. If you are not able to read them because of the language, but you would like to, please tell me and I will try to upload a translation as soon as possible.

We are going through strange times and even without the pandemic there is so much to talk about. The psychology of the human brain is so interesting and I really love to think about how the little things are effecting everything else like our childhood affects how we can love our partner when we are adults. I am not just interested in phenomena of the real-life, but also in those of books, it is so interesting to analyse how the characters develop, what the author could have meant with some symbols or how he or she spread signs how the story will develop in the end already in the beginning.
It is not just about books and stories, but about philosophical questions which are in such a way paradox and impossible to solve, that it is pure joy to discuss them, too. Further topics to think or talk about could be random situations of everyday life that raise questions no one thought about before or behavior patterns that might seem unusual but are actually known by many people. But this is just a very small part of what I think is worth reflecting on; to give you some keywords of what I like to think about: extraterrestrial life, the butterfly effect, political systems, the 18th and 19th century, literature and art, physics, biology and medicine, life in nature without civilisation, how to solve big issues in our world, like the climate crisis, famine or the poverty-wealth gap ….and so on. I love to think about things and I would like to share my thoughts with you and get inspired by your comments.
Well, I do not just like to discuss big issues, I like to write poems or prose texts about little situations of the daily life and the emotional problems that it brings with it sometimes as well. I think to write about emotions can cause a lot, positive as well as negative, but it is important to talk about it. I learned that some people are not good at handling or perceiving emotions, even their own and that I am a highly empathetic person who still cannot handle a crying person. We are all different and that makes it so wonderful, but we all still can learn to care better about ourselves and others. It is like in every life situation: you live and learn.

So, I hope that my blog can inspire you and maybe you learn something new.
A day that taught you something, even a very small thing, is worth it.

Lot’s of love to all of you,
Alyrene