Some short reviews, wrapped up in a Book Bingo update.

bingo-challenge-2014-02Since I started this challenge, I read one classic (The Bell Jar), one non-fiction (Praktisch Idealisme), one book from a series (Mossflower), one book from my TBR (The Worst Journey in the World), and one book that did not fit anywhere at all (Een Goddeloze Gelovige).

What I thought of this last book about Scott’s trip to the south pole, you can read in my review.

I decided to put The Bell Jar into the square for “classic”, because it is very much one. It’s a book that’s often referenced in popular media, many people have read it, and it ends up on many “popular” list. Not to mention it deals with relatively universal struggles of finding your identity and feelings of depression. I really loved this book because of the accurate descriptions of how depression can take hold of your mind, and wish I would’ve read it sooner. Classics often scare me, and I look up to them and don’t read them. Which is silly.

Praktisch Idealisme (practical idealism) was a book that I read while on a “weekend of silence”. It was not on my TBR, and could therefore not go towards that square. And it was non-fiction, so there it went, on the non-fiction square. It talked about relatively simple, practical things you can do to make the world a better place. Not brush your teeth under the shower, turn the heating and light off when you’re not in a room, pay attention where your clothes (and other items) are coming from. And more generally: take an interest in the world around you, and learn about it, so you can make an informed choice. The only downside to this book, is that they claimed stuff, but did not mention sources. Even when I agreed with most of their points, they would have made their case stronger if the sources would have been provided.

One of the hardest rows to fill, next to “new releases” will be “series” because of the amount of books that need to be read for it. So that’s why I put Mossflower there, instead of the reread-square, where it could have been as well (or the re-re-re-re-re-re-re-reread square, if there would’ve been one, since I read that book so very often when I was a kid). I loved the story and the characters, not so much the writing. At the moment I am reading another book of the same author, and I find it difficult to get through, because the story is less gripping, and the writing is still meh.

Een Goddeloze Gelovige (A godless believer) I also read in the “weekend of silence” I mentioned before. This book is written by a former monk, who was ordained as a priest, but didn’t agree with many things the Catholic Church did. I am an atheist myself, but do get fascinated by religious rituals. He talks about what he loved about the life in a monastery (the rituals, the meditation, the life of silence), the struggle he had when he tried following his own path within the church (helping others, in ways that were not often done, and towards people and groups that not everyone agreed on the church should help), and in the end how he was forced to leave the church. It was written in a style I love: writing about the somplicated large things in life in a simple way. What I also realised from reading this book, is that I should make some time in my life to do some volunteering. I’d love to help elderly people to learn to work with computers, for example. Or coach youths who need some extra help on their way in/to highschool.

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