Wednesday 27 March 2019

The House of Paper by Carlos Maria Dominguez - A Review

Today's review is for a book that I really really liked and which I wanted it to be bigger. You see it's only 112 pages. The book in question is The House of Paper (La casa de papel) by Carlos Maria Dominguez which I read in it's Greek translation by Lena Fragopoulou and Patakis Publications. 

The book is about Bluma Lennon, distinguished professor of Latin American literature at Cambridge,  who is hit by a car while crossing the street, immersed in a volume of Emily Dickinson's poems. Several months after her untimely demise, a package arrives for her from Argentina-a copy of a Conrad novel, encrusted in cement and inscribed with a mysterious dedication. Bluma's successor in the department (and a former lover) travels to Buenos Aires to track down the sender, one Carlos Brauer, who turns out to have disappeared.
The last thing known is that he moved to a remote stretch of the Uruguayan coastline and built himself a house out of his enormous and valuable library. How he got there, and why, is the subject of this seductive novel-part mystery, part social comedy, and part examination of all the many forms of bibliomania.

This is a very sweet little book about our love for books which can sometimes leads us to strange situations. The book is about books and those who love books. Those who love to read them, to collect them , to smell them and even sleep with them... 
It is a very original story, in my opinion. The House of Paper is a tribute to the strange and passionate relationship between people and their books.

It's a book that I will recommend to everyone who  loves books.


Wednesday 20 March 2019

Μιλώντας στην Αθηνά για το Χάος και την Πολυπλοκότητα - Τεύκρος Μιχαηλίδης & Τάσος Μπούντης (A Review)

Σήμερα μιλάμε για το βιβλίο Μιλώντας στην Αθηνά για το Χάος και την Πολυπλοκότητα, το οποίο προέκυψε από τη συνεργασία του Τεύκρου Μιχαηλίδη και του Τάσου Μπούντη και κυκλοφορεί από τις Εκδόσεις Πατάκης στη σειρά "Μιλώντας για...".

Στο βιβλίο βλέπουμε τον κύριο Αρχιμήδη, γείτονας της Αθηνάς, καθηγητής μαθηματικών στο πανεπιστήμιο, που αναλαμβάνει να της εξηγήσει τις δυσκολίες στην πρόγνωση του καιρού εντάσσοντας το κλίμα σε μια γενικότερη κατηγορία φαινομένων που χαρακτηρίζονται ως χαοτικά. 
Εγκαινιάζεται έτσι μια σειρά συναντήσεων στη διάρκεια των οποίων η νεαρή μαθήτρια μυείται στα μυστικά της πολυπλοκότητας, ενός σχετικά νέου γνωστικού αντικειμένου που συνδυάζει τα μαθηματικά µε τις φυσικές και κοινωνικές επιστήμες σε μια προσπάθεια να ερμηνεύσει φαινόμενα που η παραδοσιακή σοφία δυσκολεύεται να διερευνήσει.
Κουβεντιάζοντας µε τον ηλικιωµένο καθηγητή, η Αθηνά και οι φίλες της θα έρθουν σε επαφή µε έννοιες όπως η αυτοοµοιότητα, τα φράκταλ, οι κλασµατικές διαστάσεις, οι παράξενοι ελκυστές και θα καταλάβουν πώς όλα αυτά εµπλέκονται στη λειτουργία του σώµατός µας, στην ανάπτυξη των φυτών, στον σχηµατισµό των ακτογραµµών, στη µορφή των νεφών. 

Αυτό το βιβλίο το αγόρασα, εκτός από το ενδιαφέρον θέμα του και για δύο άλλους προφανείς λόγους. Πρώτον είναι γραμμένο από τον Τεύκρο Μιχαηλίδη του οποίου τα βιβλία είναι από τα αγαπημένα μου και τα αγοράζω χωρίς δεύτερη σκέψη και δεύτερο περιέχει στον τίτλο το όνομά μου οπότε δεν μπορούσα να το προσπεράσω. 

Διαβάζοντάς το λοιπόν μου άρεσε πάρα πολύ. Με τον υπέροχο τρόπο που γράφει ο Τεύκρος Μιχαηλίδης μας μαθαίνει μέσα από την ιστορίας της Αθηνάς και του κ. Αρχιμήδη ότι χρειαζόμαστε να ξέρουμε για το χάος και την πολυπλοκότητα. Ότι έχει να κάνει με αυτες τις έννοιες είναι γραμμένο κατανοητά και με πολλά παραδείγματα και εικόνες με αποτέλεσμα ο αναγνώστης να μαθαίνει χωρίς να κουράζεται. 

Έχω διαβάσει και άλλα βιβλία από τη σειρά "Μιλώντας για..." των Εκδόσεων Πατάκης και θεωρώ πως αποτελούν μια πολύ καλή εισαγωγή σε πολλά ενδιαφέροντα θέματα όπως τα μαθηματικά, η φυσική , οικονομία και πολλά άλλα.


Wednesday 13 March 2019

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley - A Review

Today's review is about a book that we all know, even if we have read it or not. I am talking about Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It was written in 1818 and it was the first science fiction book of its time. 

If you happen to not know the premise of the book, let me tell you something about it. It's about the story of Victor Frankenstein and the monstrous creature that he created, and yes the doctor is Frankenstein not the monster as a lot of people believe. 

On the surface, it is a novel of tense and steadily mounting horror, but on a more profound level, it offers searching illumination of the human condition in its portrayal of a scientist who oversteps the bounds of conscience, and of a monster brought to life in an alien world, ever more desperately attempting to escape the torture of his solitude. A novel of hallucinatory intensity, Frankenstein represents one of the most striking flowerings of the Romantic imagination.

I read Frankenstein for the first time this autumn and I really liked it mainly because it was different from what I was expecting. It is a very beautiful but sad story and not at all scary as some people think. 

Frankenstein's creation was not as bad as it seems. In fact it had a good character but the circumstances, his appearance and the way people and his creator Victor treated him, made him act like this. The only thing he wanted was to be accepted and not to be alone. 
Victor on the other hand, wasn't a good character and I think it was very selfish and arrogant. 
Reading this book you can find out who the real monster is in the story. 

You can buy this book from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)


Tuesday 12 March 2019

The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson - A Review

Today we are going to talk about the book The Bird King by G. Willow Wilson that comes out today (12th January 2019). You find the name of the author familiar to you and that is because she is the author of the comic Ms Marvel.

I read The Bird King in an ARC form courtesy of Netgalley and the publisher Grove Press. 

It is set in 1491 during the reign of the last sultanate in the Iberian peninsula, and it is the story of Fatima, the only remaining Circassian concubine to the sultan, and her dearest friend Hassan, the palace mapmaker. Hassan has a secret. He can draw maps of places he's never seen and bend the shape of reality. 
When representatives of the newly formed Spanish monarchy arrive to negotiate the sultan's surrender, Fatima befriends one of the women, not realizing that she will see Hassan's gift as sorcery and a threat to Christian Spanish rule. With their freedoms at stake, Fatima will risk a lot to save Hassan and escape the palace walls.
As Fatima and Hassan traverse Spain with the help of a clever jinn to find safety, the book asks us to consider what love is and the price of freedom at a time when the West and the Muslim world were not yet separate.

I really liked this book and I am glad I read it. I like the story and how it progresses and also the way the author combines some historical facts and mythology with fantasy elements and makes it look natural. The characters and the world - building are  also very good. 
I really liked the friendship that is developed between our main characters. The writing is magical and beautiful. 

One negative thing I can  say is that the book is really slow paced, especially at some points. Despite that is a very good book with a well structured story that I recommend you should read. 

You can buy this book from Book Depository using this link (affiliate link)


Wednesday 6 March 2019

February 2019 Wrap up

Another month came to its end and I think it is only appropriate to talk about the books I read in February of 2019.  It was a slow month for me regarding reading but I managed to read some books that I really liked.

So, let's start...

Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1) - Laini Taylor

I finally read Strange the Dreamer and I loved it! The writing, the story, the world building... Everything was amazing!
I can't wait to continue the series.

The Red Address Book - Sofia Lundberg

I read this as an ebook because I had an arc from Netgalley. 
It is a very beautiful and heartwarming novel that I really liked and recommend. It can be described as a historical fiction.

You can check my review of it here

Last Descendants (Assassin's Creed : Last Descendants #1) - Matthew J. Kirby

By now you should probably know how much I like the Assassin's Creed books. 
Unfortunately this one was not one of my favorites. I liked it but I would prefer it if it took place only in the past and not at all in the present day.

Northern Lights (His Dark Materials #1) - Philip Pullman

I should have read this book earlier. I would have loved it as a child, ut I still loved it now. Philip Pullman is an incredible storyteller and everything about this book was amazing.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl

Another book by an amazing storyteller. Roald Dahl knows how to tell you a story and he does it very well.

Saga vol. 3 - Brian K. Vaughan & Fiona Staples

I read another volume of the Saga graphic novel and I really really liked it as I did with the previous ones. On to the next one now...

The Bird King - G. Willow Wilson

I read this book as an ARC from Netgalley and the only thing I can say is that  it is very good. I enjoyed the story and the world-bulding and everything between.

It comes out on the 12th January.

That's all from me for February. I managed to read 7 books , 3 of them were ebooks and I can say that the majority of them were 4 and 5 stars.

Let's see what March will bring...