Bookworms: Monthly Readings, March

John Fowles, Ernest Hemingway, Tove Jansson, Ray Bradbury

I would like to devote the new series of posts called BOOKWORMS to BOOKS. 

Books, you are exhilarating and intriguing, wise and silly, disheartening and inspiring, touching and revolting, funny and ironic – you are so AWESOME!

For the love of books! Amen! J

Books I read in March and my humble remarks:

Tove Jansson

Comet in Moominland

Country – Finland
Year – 1946
Language – Swedish
Genre – Children's novel

Tove Jansson Comet in Moominland Book Review

I am obsessed with Tove Jansson's series of Moomin books! I did’t actually read them but have been listening to audio books while driving. If you haven’t heard of Moomins – they are white rounding characters brought to life by the author’s imagination and settled in Moominvalley. They are like any regular family with their daily cares only much cuter and with one exception – any routine boring affair in Moominvalley becomes an adventure! 

I particularly like Tove Jansson’s witty sense of humor, the adventurous spirit of her characters and how well she incorporates philosophical thoughts into fun children’s stories. Read them all!! Or better listen to audio books cause they are just soo amusing!

Ok, I am not done yet.
Here’s Tove Jansson’s letter to the reader:

Tove Jansson Author
© Moomin Characters ™.
My dear reader,

One of the happiest moments in a writer’s life is when the publisher
decides to print new editions of her work, trusting that new generations
of readers will keep on coming.

It is not always a given that all new fairy-tale readers are children.
I’m sure there is a growing number of adults eager to venture the
land of imagination, a place where rules and disappointments
of everyday reality do not haunt, where reality is defined by the
author’s honesty and sense of justice. Without them, there would
be no limit to the terrible and scary stories the author might
concoct for the reader.

However, the author of the adventures presented here wished to
offer excitement – and comfort – not only for her reader,
but obviously for herself as well!

Tove Jansson, 1987

Isn’t she amazing? J

John Fowles The Magus

Country – United Kingdom
Year – 1965
Language – English
Genre – Postmodern novel, metafiction

John Fowles The Magus book review

The Magnus is not an easy reading you would take to read at the beach… or maybe you would, who am I to make such assumptions? Anyways, I am not going to go over the plot (that’s what Wikipedia is for) but just share own my impression of the book. I read it, or actually listened to it, in one sitting and the intrigue never let go until the very end. The book is interesting, appalling at times, very controversial and nothing is obvious about it. What is the author's point of view? Does he approve of certain concepts or condemn them? I think the reader should decide for himself. Below is the most famous quote from the Magnus and I can’t help but sharing it because I could not agree more:
"The human race is unimportant. It is the self that must not be betrayed."
"I suppose one could say that Hitler didn't betray his self."
"You are right. He did not. But millions of Germans did betray their selves. That was the tragedy. Not that one man had the courage to be evil. But that millions had not the courage to be good."

Ray Bradbury

The Martian Chronicles

Country – United States
Year – 1950
Language – English
Genre – Science fiction short story collection

Ray Bradbury The Martian Chronicles book review

I enjoy reading science fiction books written a while ago and narrating about wonders of the future, which happen somewhere in the year 2000 J. It’s interesting how those authors wrote about imaginative things which now became a reality.  Well, not all of them, of course. But who knows, maybe some time in the near future we’ll start exchanging bodies and stuff...

I liked Martial Chronicles. The book is the collection of short stories which narrate about the colonization of Mars and are arranged in a chronological order. It reads like a novel rather than random stories. The author's imagination is very intriguing and creates many possible scenarios of the future.

What I loved the most about the book though is Ray Bradbury’s discourses on the human nature and his projection of a better civilization in noble Martians. I think his disgust with certain human behavior is well grounded and his fantasized world of “graceful, beautiful, and philosophical” Martians reveals his hopes for the improved and refined man. In a few words, it’s an entertaining book which at the same time makes you think and wish to become a better person. Read it!
"We won't ruin Mars," said the captain. "It's too big and too good."
"You think not? We Earth Men have a talent for ruining big, beautiful things. The only reason we didn't set up hot-dog stands in the midst of the Egyptian temple of Karnak is because it was out of the way and served no large commercial purpose…"

Ernest Hemingway 

For Whom the Bell Tolls

Country – United States
Year – 1940
Language – English
Genre – War novel

Ernest Hemingway For Whom the Bell Tolls Book Review

I am not a fan of Hemingway. That being said, my reverence to any writer in general and to Hemingway in particular makes me keep reading his novels. For Whom the Bell Tolls actually appealed to me by the endless main character’s talks to himself. I find it absolutely brilliant how well Hemingway managed to depict those ramblings people go through in their minds. It is difficult enough to come up with a realistic and not bookish dialogue, but to recreate a person’s self-talk is simply genius. Or that’s what I think. 

And another thing. Don’t ever kid yourself about loving some one. It is just that most people are not lucky enough ever to have it. You never had it before and now you have it. What you have with Maria, whether it lasts just through today and a part of tomorrow, or whether it lasts for a long life is the most important thing that can happen to a human being. There will always be people who say it does not exist because they cannot have it. But I tell you it is true and that you have it and that you are lucky even if you die tomorrow.

Did you read any of these books/authors?

What did you think?

What would you suggest for me to read in April? 

Thank you for your visit! J

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    1. The Magnus looks like an interesting read - very highbrow.

      I'm always on the lookout for new books to read so thanks for sharing.

    2. Oh yeah, Tara, it absolutely is highbrow! I am happy to spread the word, so stop by more often! :))

    3. Great post, thank you for sharing as I need to find new books to read!

      Camille xo

      1. Thank you for reading, Camille! :)