|Shakespeare and Company in Paris|
In 2012 I visited Paris and did not really fall in love with the city. But, I did fall in love with this small shop behind me…
As a book lover, a visit to the famous Shakespeare and Company was a must. It opened in the 1920ies and used to be the gathering place for writers such as Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce or F. Scott Fitzgerald. And me. Well not so much in the 1920ies, but during my visit in Paris.
Picking up a book and reading it. Such a rare act in today’s world. Why is that? Simply because we live fast, we work, time flies and when we do have a few minutes, we waste it on social media or computer games. It’s a shame because reading is an adventure, and by reading we improve not only our imagination but our vocabulary too. We become intellectuals. If you’re a reader, you have a broader knowledge which gives you the opportunity to discuss all kinds of things. It’s basically free knowledge. Well, you do pay the price of the book, but what you get has a much bigger value. Sometimes it happens that a book is simply crappy. Finish it anyway. You can NEVER read too many books.
I personally love to visit flea markets and buy books there – much cheaper and very unique.
This year I set a goal to read 20-50 books. That means one book per week or per two weeks. I’m sure we all can find time to read a couple of pages a day. You should too. Start today.
Here I’d like to recommend you some books I’ve read (in no particular order):
(note: Some of the books I’ve read in English, some in German and some in Serbian. I always recommend to read in the original language if possible.)
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Classic Russian literature as its best. The main character, Raskolnikov, murders an old woman in a desperate attempt to free himself from poverty. Crime and guilt are the central themes running through the novel and the notions of “justifiable” murder.
Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
A tragic story of the complex bond between two migrant laborers in California.
The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald
Brilliantly captures both the disillusionment of post-war (WW I) America and the moral failure of a society obsessed with wealth and status.
Emotional Intelligence – Daniel Goleman
Brilliant book from the frontiers of psychology and neuroscience, offers new insight into our “two minds” – the rational and the emotional – and how they together shape our destiny.
The Stranger – Albert Camus
A bachelors involvement in a violent incident calls into question the fundamental values of society.
Animal Farm – George Orwell
A group of farm animals revolt against humans and establish their own society. It addresses the socialist / communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
An Andalusian shepherd boy, Santiago, travels from his homeland in Spain to the Egyptian desert in search of a treasure buried in the Pyramids. The story of Santiago is an eternal testament to the transforming power of our dreams and the importance of listening to our hearts.
The Encyclopedia of the Dead – Danilo Kis
A shadow of death darkens this book, but it is a beautiful and a luminescent darkness. A Serbian classic, which I highly recommend.
Seriously… I’m Kidding – Ellen Degeneres
For anyone who likes Ellen’s humor, this book will definitely make you laugh. It covers many everyday subjects.
The Fault In Our Stars – John Green
While reading this, I was hoping it would never end. A story about a girl diagnosed with cancer, her struggle, dreams and wishes. It’s sad, tragic, funny – all at once.