If you like long dusks and musky nights,
The world as a smoldering paradise

my second shitty poem! Even shittier than last time, mainly because I’m a very shitty poem-writer, but also because I’ve been sick for most of this month. So much fun. But this was fun

My first Russian masterpiece! Or at least the first I finish, once upon a time I started reading ‘Lolita’ but I never managed to get through it. The spectre of Alexander Wolf is not typical ‘Russian’ as I always hear people talk about: long, loads of characters with many names and very intense. I’m still gathering the courage to start ‘Anna Karenina’.

However, my boyfriend got this book as a present, read it and gave it to me to read it. He specifically mentioned it’s not like Lolita, or other Russian literature so ‘I would probably like it’. He was right. The story starts in the Russian Civil War with an incident, which haunts the protagonist for the rest of his life. He moves to Paris, but can’t escape his past, especially when he reads a story detailing exactly what happened to him in the civil war, but written from the perspective of his victim.

I don’t know how I found this book. Besides from seeing it on the shelves of the bookstore, of course. I saw the announcement for the movie, but it struck me more like a teen story, something more like Lizzy Mcguire or the fault in our Stars. So I didn’t pay it much attention but was somehow intrigued by it. So when I saw it in the bookstore and had a massive coupon, I bought it. And yes, that was an amazing idea.

The book thief is about Liesel, who lives in the fictional town of
Molching, near Munich, Germany. With her foster parents and her neighbors, she’s living an ordinary life during the second world war.

I wanted to do a little overview of the last year and which books really made an impact. I chose five of my favorite books I read last year, which all have different reasons and ways in which they affected me. Some because the writing was just amazing, some because it made me think. It’s a bit late to post an overview, I somehow lost December and didn’t have time to write at all.

So a little late, but HAPPY NEW YEAR. May it bring nothing but good times.

Where I live (the Netherlands) we have a holiday tradition called Sinterklaas. Nowadays mostly known for the inability of some fanatics to change the racist part of it (black Pete), but when one removes/replaces ‘black’ Pete with just normal Pete or no Pete, Sinterklaas is an actual fun tradition. The story goes like this: Saint Nicholas is a saint from Turkey who lives in Spain. Each year a month before his birthday (the 6th of December) he gathers his helpers, his horse, and his steamboat and floats over to the Netherlands. Here he gives the nice children some  ‘strooigoed‘, chocolate letters and small presents, until the 5th of December when he sent his helper to bring the kids a sack full of presents and they sing songs etc.  Traditionally, the ‘naughty’ kids go with him in a sack to Spain.

When you’re a bit older, and (spoiler alert) you find out Sinterklaas isn’t real, people draw names and make ‘surprises’ for each other. This normally consists of a funny poem makes fun of something you did in the last year, and a gift. Some go all out and make something to emphases the poem as well. This year we celebrated Sinterklaas and my brother got me a book, because I read a lot and because this book is about a world without cats. So the ideal book for me!