Loved this much more than I expected. Once I got properly started it I devoured it within a day. Rowell really manages to catch the fleeting love of y...moreLoved this much more than I expected. Once I got properly started it I devoured it within a day. Rowell really manages to catch the fleeting love of youth. (less)
One of the main things I took away from The Ethical Slut is that I have, at least emotionally, been stuck thinking about life in terms of so-called "starvation economies", i.e., the idea that life is a zero-sum game and that if someone else has something that means there is less for you. While there are a few things in your life, e.g., time and resources, that are indeed limited, most things are not. There is no set limit of beauty, intelligence, sexiness or love.
Another important point is learning to trust yourself, that you do have the skills to look after yourself and that you don't need to (and in my opinion shouldn't) rely on another person to take care of you. Learning to ask for what you need (but also knowing and respecting that that doesn't necessarily mean getting it, or getting it when you want it), daring to be brave and vulnerable by opening up to people, setting and respecting boundaries, knowing yourself and owning your own feelings.
When you respect your own limits, others will learn to respect them too. People tend to live up to your standards when you are not afraid to set them.
To truly know yourself is to live on a constant journey of self-exploration, to learn about yourself from reading, therapy, and, best of all, talking incessantly with others who are traveling on similar paths. This hard work is well worth it because it is the way you become free to choose how you want to live and love, own your life, and become truly the author of your experience.
A basic precept of intimate communication is that each person owns her own feelings. No one "makes" you feel jealous or insecure - the person who makes you feel that way is you. No matter what the other person is doing, what you feel in response is determined inside you. ... The problem is that when you blame someone else for how you feel, you disempower yourself from finding solutions. If this is someone else's fault, only that person can fix it, right? So poor you can't do anything but sit there and moan. On the other hand, when you own your feelings you have lots of choices. You can talk about how you feel, you can choose whether or not you want to act on those feelings (no more "the devil made me do it"), you can learn how to understand yourself better, you can comfort yourself or ask for comfort. Owning your feelings is basic to understanding the boundaries of where you end and the next person begins and the perfect first step towards self-acceptance and self-love.
Perhaps the most important step in dealing with problems is to recognize that they will happen and that it's okay that they do. You'll make mistakes. You'll encounter beliefs, myths, and "buttons" you never knew you had. There will be times when you'll feel pretty awful.
Knowing, loving, and respecting yourself is an absolute prerequisite to knowing, loving, and respecting someone else. Cut yourself some slack.
Everybody feels bad sometimes, so you are in excellent company. And when you have the courage to be open about a vulnerable feeling, everyone around you gets permission to be open with theirs.
Actually this book is so quotable, my copy has many many yellow highlights. In this review I have chosen to focus on the parts that I believe are applicable to everyone (and I honestly do feel like everyone could gain something from reading it), it does also have plenty of information on ethical/consensual non-monogamy (in all its variations), as well as safe and safer sex practices.(less)
The History of Loveby Nicole Krauss might at first glance sound like a romance novel. It's not. It is true, however, that it deals with love, and also...moreThe History of Love by Nicole Krauss might at first glance sound like a romance novel. It's not. It is true, however, that it deals with love, and also love in a romantic fashion.
The History of Love is the story of an old man who taps on the radiator to make sure his buddy is still alive - and vice versa. It is also the story of this old man in his youth, and the book he wrote about and for the woman he loved. It is the story of a young girl named after the woman in the book, and her quest to find her namesake.
I love the way The History of Love is written. The language is incredibly beautiful, yet also very simple. It is similar in style and tone to Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer, which is another favourite book of mine. Quotes
There are passages of my book I know by heart. By heart, this is not an expression I use lightly. My heart is weak and unreliable. When I go it will be my heart. I try to burden it as little as possible. If something is going to have an impact, I direct it elsewhere. My gut for example, or my lungs, which might seize up for a moment but have never yet failed to take another breath. When I pass a mirror and catch a glimpse of myself, or I’m at the bus stop and some kids come up behind me and say, Who smells shit?— small daily humiliations— these I take, generally speaking, in my liver. Other damages I take in other places. The pancreas I reserve for being struck by all that’s been lost. It’s true that there’s so much, and the organ is so small. But. You would be surprised how much it can take, all I feel is a quick sharp pain and then it’s over. Sometimes I imagine my own autopsy. Disappointment in myself: right kidney. Disappointment of others in me: left kidney. Personal failures: kishkes. I don’t mean to make it sound like I’ve made a science of it. It’s not that well thought out. I take it where it comes. It’s just that I notice certain patterns. When the clocks are turned back and the dark falls before I’m ready, this, for reasons I can’t explain, I feel in my wrists. And when I wake up and my fingers are stiff, almost certainly I was dreaming of my childhood. The field where we used to play, the field in which everything was discovered and everything was possible. (We ran so hard we thought we would spit blood: to me that is the sound of childhood, heavy breathing and shoes scraping the hard earth.) Stiffness of the fingers is the dream of childhood as it’s been returned to me at the end of my life. I have to run them under the hot water, steam clouding the mirror, outside the rustle of pigeons. Yesterday I saw a man kicking a dog and I felt it behind my eyes. I don’t know what to call this, a place before tears. The pain of forgetting: spine. The pain of remembering: spine. All the times I have suddenly realized that my parents are dead, even now, it still surprises me, to exist in the world while that which made me has ceased to exist: my knees, it takes half a tube of Ben-Gay and a big production just to bend them. To everything a season, to every time I’ve woken only to make the mistake of believing for a moment that someone was sleeping beside me: a hemorrhoid. Loneliness: there is no organ that can take it all.
Once upon a time there was a boy who loved a girl, and her laughter was a question he wanted to spend his whole life answering.
And if the man who once upon a time had been a boy who promised he’d never fall in love with another girl as long as he lived kept his promise, it wasn’t because he was stubborn or even loyal. He couldn’t help it. And having hidden for three and a half years, hiding his love for a son who didn’t know he existed didn’t seem unthinkable. Not if it was what the only woman he would ever love needed him to do. After all, what does it mean for a man to hide one more thing when he has vanished completely?
It might seem like you’re limiting yourself at first, but after a while you realize that having a quarter-of-an-inch of something you have a better chance of holding on to a certain feeling of the universe than if you pretended to be doing the whole sky. My mother did not choose a leaf or a head. She chose my father, and to hold on to a certain feeling, she sacrificed the world.
Holding hands, for example, is a way to remember how it feels to say nothing together. And at night, when it’s too dark to see, we find it necessary to gesture on each other’s bodies to make ourselves understood.
So many words get lost. They leave the mouth and lose their courage, wandering aimlessly until they are swept into the gutter like dead leaves.
I filled the sink with soapy water and washed the dirty pots. And with each pot and pan and spoon I put away, I also put away a thought I couldn’t bear, until my kitchen and my mind returned to a state of mutual organization. And yet.
there are two types of people in the world: those who prefer to be sad among others, and those who prefer to be sad alone.
He learned to live with the truth. Not to accept it, but to live with it. It was like living with an elephant. His room was tiny, and every morning he had to squeeze around the truth just to get to the bathroom. To reach the armoire to get a pair of underpants he had to crawl under the truth, praying it wouldn’t choose that moment to sit on his face. At night, when he closed his eyes, he felt it looming above him.
And then I thought: Perhaps that is what it means to be a father— to teach your child to live without you. If so, no one was a greater father than I.
At the end, all that’s left of you are your possessions. Perhaps that’s why I’ve never been able to throw anything away. Perhaps that’s why I hoarded the world: with the hope that when I died, the sum total of my things would suggest a life larger than the one I lived.
That was the end of my search to find someone that would make my mother happy again. I finally understood that no matter what I did, or who I found, I— he— none of us— would ever be able to win over the memories she had of Dad, memories that soothed her even while they made her sad, because she’d built a world out of them she knew how to survive in, even if no one else could.
Ellis Island by Kate Kerrigan is a cute, sweet yet thought-provoking story. Taking place at the beginning of the 20th century, we follow the young wom...moreEllis Island by Kate Kerrigan is a cute, sweet yet thought-provoking story. Taking place at the beginning of the 20th century, we follow the young woman Ellie, from the time she first falls in love with John, through her move to New York to pay for his medical treatment, and her return back to Denmark.
My only complaint is that the ending is a little too sugar-coated for my liking.(less)
It is the story of Lucy Silchester, who returns from work one da...more So this week I read The Time of My Life, the latest novel published by Cecelia Ahern.
It is the story of Lucy Silchester, who returns from work one day to find an invitation to a meeting with her Life. From the back:
It sounds peculiar, but Lucy's read about this in a magazine. Anyway, she can't make the date: she's much too busy despising her job, skipping out on her friends and avoiding her family.
But Lucy's life isn't what it seems. Some of the choices she's made - and stories she's told - aren't what they seem either. From the moment she meets the man who introduces himself as her life, her stubborn half-truths are going to be revealed in all their glory - unless she learns to tell the truth about what really matters to her.
How are you treating your life? What I loved so much about The Time of My Life is the unique idea of your Life being represented by another human being. Your Life won't interrupt you - unless you need a bit of an intervention. Whatever is going on with you will show up on your Life - if you aren't treating yourself right, your Life will look sickly, smell and wear crumpled clothes, and similarly once you begin to take care of yourself your Life will begin to look better as well.
How are you treating your life? Your hopes and dreams? Yourself? What "little lies" are you telling? A huge part of Lucy's story is that she told one lie, which let to another and yet another, until her life is tied up in one big knot and she's shut herself off from her friends and family.
What white lies are you telling others? Yourself? Be the best you can be The Time of My Life is a call to make the most of every day, figuring out what you really want to do with your life and to stop doing things just because it has become a habit. And that's a reminder we all need every now and then.
As long as you're around, your life is too. So just as you shower lover and affection and attention on the husbands, wives, parents, children and forever friends who surround you, you have to do so equally with your life, because it's yours, it's you, and it's always there rooting for you, cheering you on, even when you feel like you can't do it. I gave up on my life for a while, but what I've learned is that even when that happens and especially when that happens, life never ever gives up on you. Mine didn't. And we'll be there for each other until those final moments when we will look at each other and say, 'Thanks for staying until the end.'
And that's the truth.
How are you treating your life and yourself? Do you read chick-lit, or what kind of books do you prefer?(less)
'Se på mig' (Look At Me) by Kirsten Hammann is the enjoyable and realistic story of two young people in their mid-thirties, who both struggle with com...more'Se på mig' (Look At Me) by Kirsten Hammann is the enjoyable and realistic story of two young people in their mid-thirties, who both struggle with coming to terms with the realities of life.
Julie thinks she is going to get married to the love of her life, but he leaves her out of the blue to go to Goa in India and figure out what he wants. Rather than move on, she continues to tell people about 'her fiancé', talks about their wedding, looks at houses and desperately hope she's pregnant.
Sune thinks he is supposed to be a famous author, but instead he's working at a gas station. He decides to take half a year off to focus on his writing and moves in with Julie, who needs to rent out a room in her apartment to be able to pay her rent, while she waits for her fiancé. Sune keeps changing the plot line of his big novel, orders miscellaneous spy equipment as research and keeps daydreaming about his big breakthrough.
I loved the story about these self-absorbed people who take problems that most of us can relate to, and just amplify them.
So far the novel has only been released in Danish, but should it be released in English I greatly recommend it (and of course I still recommend it to those who do read Danish).(less)
'The Girl in the Mirror' by Cecelia Ahern is two short stories. I didn't find the first story (Girl in the Mirror, about a strange mirror) too interes...more'The Girl in the Mirror' by Cecelia Ahern is two short stories. I didn't find the first story (Girl in the Mirror, about a strange mirror) too interesting or compelling, but I really liked the second (The Memory Maker).
The Memory maker is about our memories, and the moments we would like to change.
My favourite quote: "It's about fixing a moment back to the way it should have been, had you not got distracted, or if you weren't such a coward or if you had known that that lost moment was the only moment you had to say or do what you wanted."(less)
I really enjoyed the book. The author is most famous for her breakthrough Eat, Pray, Love, which was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts. I did...more I really enjoyed the book. The author is most famous for her breakthrough Eat, Pray, Love, which was made into a movie starring Julia Roberts. I did enjoy Eat, Pray, Love, which is why I wanted to read Committed as well, but I must say I actually enjoyed Committed more.
At the end of Eat, Pray, Love the author falls in love with a Brazilian man. At the beginning of Committed, he is denied entry into the US and they're told they must get married. Neither of them wanted to get married, despite having promised each other fidelity and to stay together, but they'd both gone through bad divorces, and didn't want to every marry again.
But since they do want to be able to live together in the US, they decide to get married, but must wait for the US authorities to grant Felipe permission to re-enter the US again so they can get married. During this wait they travel around South East Asia, and try to come to terms with the idea of marriage.
The author takes a look of marriage, historically and culturally speaking, and it's a pretty interesting read. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it to any who's ever been, or would like to one day be in a serious, committed relationship (whether that involves marriage or not). I especially enjoyed the parts on how the 'holy matrimony' actually isn't an original party of the church/Christian teachings, and that for the first thousand years of Christianity, marriage was barely tolerated!(less)
I got to see a preview of the movie based on this book, and it made me want to read the book. The movie is very different to the book, but I love them...moreI got to see a preview of the movie based on this book, and it made me want to read the book. The movie is very different to the book, but I love them both in different ways. The book is funny, sweet, sad and inspiring.(less)
Beautiful, thought provoking story about finding your soul mate, through discovering your own true nature and being true to yourself. Paulo Coelho rev...moreBeautiful, thought provoking story about finding your soul mate, through discovering your own true nature and being true to yourself. Paulo Coelho reveals a bitter sweet story about love, soul mates and our destiny in Brida. This story will provoke you, but also give you strength to stay true to yourself and your destiny - even when it hurts. It is most definitely a book that I will read again. Unlike many other readers I much prefer Brider over The Alchemist, but then again, I was rather disappointed when I read the Alchemist, and did not feel that it lived up to my expectations. I would chose books like Veronica Decides to Die, The Devil and Miss Prym and The Pilgrimage any day over The Alchemist, whereas I would put Brida in the same league as the before mentioned books. Would definitely recommend it to anyone who enjoys Paulo Coelho's powerful writing.(less)
The novel is about 3 young people who grew up in New York, Deborah and Daniel who are children of a famous Rabbi, and Tim who's an orphaned Catholic....moreThe novel is about 3 young people who grew up in New York, Deborah and Daniel who are children of a famous Rabbi, and Tim who's an orphaned Catholic. Daniel is under a lot of pressure to take over as the Rabbi after his father, whereas his sister Deborah would love to study Jewish law, but isn't allowed to because she's a girl. Tim is on the track for priesthood, but Deborah and he fall in love. They can't be together though, as she's Jewish and he's supposed to live in celibacy. I won't give more of the story line away.
It does read as fairly predictable and in a "tell you what to think kind of way", but I do think it raised some very interesting questions. How we place expectations on how our children's lives should be, gender inequality, celibacy in Catholic priesthood and more.(less)
As other reviewers have already mentioned Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve is definitely a novel full of passion and beauty. It is haunting and the ind...moreAs other reviewers have already mentioned Fortune's Rocks by Anita Shreve is definitely a novel full of passion and beauty. It is haunting and the individual characters, their traits and unique personalities and ultimately their fates, will stay with you for a long time after putting the book down. I too found the entire theme of the novel slightly disturbing, but also very important. At the beginning I found it slightly difficult to get into the book, but once I was one third through the book, I found myself hardly unable to put it down again. Anita Shreve is able to accurately describe the all-consuming passion and power that is love. Love in all its beauty, but also love that despairs and is so fierce that it burns everything that surrounds it.
I would recommend this book, mostly to other girls and women, and only if you do enjoy reading about powerful and forceful emotions.(less)
I was not very impressed by "All He Ever Wanted" by Anita Shreve. The protagonist Nicholas Van Tassel is completely obsessed with his wife Etna, deludi...moreI was not very impressed by "All He Ever Wanted" by Anita Shreve. The protagonist Nicholas Van Tassel is completely obsessed with his wife Etna, deluding himself into thinking that what he feels is love. It is not only Etna, that Nicholas Van Tassel obsesses over, but also the particular job he wants, both, at all costs. His view of himself, of his morals and intentions is completely warped. Though you at first feel sympathy for him, you very quickly grow to despise him, and instead feel sorry for Etna, who, as a typical woman of the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, cannot choose to live independently, and instead ends up marrying a guy she never had feelings for. I felt rather depressed when I finished reading Shreve's novel, depressed and disappointed, and confused. Cause what does love really boil down to, at the end of the day?(less)