Sunday, September 28, 2014

“Adultery” by Paulo Coelho – The Nature of Fulfillment

Adultery by Paulo Coelho – Front book cover
Though most of Coelho's novels are rather well-appreciated by most people, Adultery is one of his more controversial ones, where it seems that people either love or hate it. The novel tells the story of Linda, an upper class housewife who seems to have it all: a promising career, a loving husband and wonderful children.

However, she can never find true satisfaction in her idyllic life, and chooses to propel herself onto a rather daring adventure that may compromise the life she was already worked so hard to achieve. Stranded between the fears that everything may suddenly change and that, on the other hand, everything may remain the same until the end of her days, Linda comes to learn a lot more about herself than she bargained for.

Friday, September 26, 2014

“The Rembrandt Affair” by Daniel Silva – Bloodshed in the Name of Art

The Rembrandt Affair by Daniel Silva
It would seem that the world never ceases to find occupations with which to prevent master spies (and as it happens, art restorers) from resting on idyllic vacations, or at least, such is the case with Gabriel Allon in Daniel Silva's The Rembrandt Affair.

Once again we followed the (at this point) legendary Mossad agent as he is taken on a trek across the world in search for the perpetrators of a heinous and rather mysterious crime in Glastonbury: the murder of an art restorer and the theft of Rembrandt painting.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

“The Lucky One” by Nicholas Sparks – Seeping Secrets

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks – Front book cover
Let's face it, most pictures of people we don't know, even if taken professionally, have only the briefest of effects on us, being generally unmemorable, partly due to our inability to relate with them. However, there are some photographs which cannot fall into the category of the forgettable; there are some pictures where the depicted people end up touching us inexplicably. It is not unheard of for people to be drawn to complete strangers based on nothing more than their photographs and undertaking journeys to find them.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

“Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight” by Jay Barbree – A Cosmic Conqueror

Neil Armstrong: A Life of Flight by Jay Barbree – book cover
At this stage the life of Neil Armstrong has already been rather well documented, but the fact of the matter remains that his more introverted personality still left many blanks, questions to be answered, and room for who-knows how many more interesting facts.

Thankfully, the man who is perhaps the most successful space journalist in history and close friend of Neil Armstrong for more than fifty years, Jay Barbree, has stepped up to the challenge of re-telling the story of the first man to walk on the moon in as much detail and accuracy as possible.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

“The Confabulist” by Steven Galloway – Illusions of Memories

The Confabulist by Steven Galloway (Book cover)
As we get older, with the help of our ever-degenerating brains, memories start to become fuzzier and fuzzier, in the sense that it becomes harder and harder to tell where blanks were filled in with the power of imagination. Some would argue that this state of affairs places countless people in a terrible predicament, and they certainly wouldn't be wrong. However, as we can see in The Confabulist by Steven Galloway, blurring the line between real and false memories can end up making life much more exciting than it has any right to be.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

“Eichmann Before Jerusalem” by Bettina Stangneth – The Biggest Cog

Eichmann Before Jerusalem by Bettina Stangneth – Book cover
There is certainly no denying that Adolf Eichmann, otherwise known as the “Manager of the Holocaust” was a despicable human being responsible for the suffering and demise of countless people, and crimes for which there is no atonement. Nevertheless, he remains in himself a rather interesting figure, and the study of his “work” and the influence he had on people's minds both during and after the war (after he escaped in exile) can certainly yield some curious findings, both on the Holocaust and the human mind itself.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Gliding Over the World of Literature – Issue 61

Greetings to you all and welcome back for another issue of Gliding Over the World of Literature, with this one marking our 61st entry into our endless journal.

This time around, we are going to launch things off by checking out ten biographies revolving around fictional characters, but written with the intent of making them read as much as possible as if they were real people.

Following that, we will take a short detour towards the macabre and find out how, in the worst of cases, books can end up influencing people negatively.

Finally, we will take a look at a rather humorous and yet sadly-accurate list from Cracked which lays out the four principal reasons as to why high schools breed hatred and disdain in children towards books.

“Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty – The Liar's Butterfly Effect

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty – Front cover
Deception is a rather interesting concept, observed even in various species of animals, at least the smarter ones. However, none except for humans have taken it to such a grandiose level, to the point where for many people, it is an essential part of daily life. What's more, the methods of deception have grown increasingly elaborate, though at the heart of it all remains the same principle: the need to lie.

We even make the distinction between good and bad lies, to the point where people consider it an acceptable part of living in society. However, as the novel Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty exemplifies it, even the smallest of lies can have the most tragic of consequences, and our seemingly natural need for deception can drag us deeper into the darkness than we ever imagined.

Friday, September 12, 2014

“Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” by Philip K. Dick – A Matter of Defining Humanity

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick (book cover)
At this point most of you have no doubt heard of the classic movie Blade Runner starring Harrison Ford, about a bounty hunter named Rick Deckard who is tasked with the “retirement” (AKA destruction, killing, murder, whichever suits your fancy) of numerous androids, robots made to be as human as possible in every way, allowing them to blend in with them.

However, the novel on which the movie is based on, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick seems to get considerably less attention, which is somewhat understandable when taking into account its philosophical approach to the storyline, rather than something in line with the movie.

Friday, September 05, 2014

“Graduates in Wonderland” by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale – School's Out Forever

“Graduates in Wonderland by Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale – book cover
The step from the pre to the post-graduate world is a big one to take, one virtually nobody forgets, no matter if that final graduation was in high-school or university; being thrust into the big unknown full of expectations from it is an unparalleled, once-in-a-lifetime experience, the one during which we actually do some of our most crucial learning and adapting. Though the experience is, in itself, similar for most people, we all go through our own unique trials and tribulations, and in Graduates in Wonderland best friends (and authors of the book) Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale chronicle their post-graduation lives in as much detail as possible.

Tuesday, September 02, 2014

“The Cellist of Sarajevo” by Steven Galloway – Four Fates Into One

The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway – Book cover
The loss of humanity is perhaps one of the greatest afflictions that comes for those who get embroiled in the immortal and restless spirit of war. Decisions must often be made between preserving one's humanity, or one's safety and well-being.

In The Cellist of Sarajevo by Steven Galloway we are presented with a rather grandiose and powerful exploration of how individuals preserve their humanity and redeem it in the most harrowing of times. The story touches on the lives of four characters, eventually intertwining with each other.

Monday, September 01, 2014

“Artemis Awakening” by Jane Lindskold – Atlantis in Space

Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold – Book cover
The idea that somewhere out there exists an idyllic place, one that fulfills all of our desires and fantasies, one where life goes by effortlessly and in pure pleasure, is an idea that keeps many people going, one that gives them an outlet to escape through. Though most people go to that place in their minds, very few and far in between are those who actually set out to find it physically, which is exactly what Griffin Dane does in Artemis Awakening by Jane Lindskold.