the hours by Michael Cunningham

{after i have successfully missed the one-year-anniversary of my blog, i am finally back with a review of a rather unknown book back from the year i was born in, 1999, which had a great impact on me, will forever be remembered and re-read a over and over again. this book is named the hours and was written by Michael Cunningham}

what it is about- the book follows three women through a day in each of their ordinary, plain lives. It is 1920, London, and there is someone or something who or that links these three, completely different women together. Virginia Woolf and her still unfinished book “Mrs Dalloway”. the hours follows Virginia herself in the process of writing it,

“She may pick up her pen and follow it with her hand as it moves across; she may pick up her pen and find that she’s merely herself, a women in a housecoat holding a pen, afraid and uncertain, only mildly competent, with no idea where to begin or what to write. She picks up her pen. Mrs. Dalloway said she would buy the flowers herself.”

then Clarissa Vaughan, Mrs Dalloway, in New York, who is preparing to surprise a recovering friend

“‘Who is it?’

‘Just me.’

‘Who?’

‘Clarissa.’

‘Oh, Mrs. D. Oh, come in.’

Isn’t it time, she thinks, to dispense with the old nickname? If he’s having a good enough day, she’ll bring it up: Richard, don’t you think it’s time to just call me Clarissa?”

and finally Laura Brown,a young women from Los Angeles, yearns to get away from her responsibilities and mother and wife to read Virginia Woolf’s book Mrs Dalloway.

“She lays the book face down on her chest. Already her bedroom (no, their bedroom) feels more densely inhabited, more actual, because a character named Mrs. Dalloway is on her way to buy flowers.”

Why I picked this book up- I randomly found this book at my local library and since I was going to lend another book anyways all I thought was, well why not take a second one and if you don’t end up reading it, what bad did it do? Also, it’s pretty and you like pretty books. I ended up taking and reading it as you might have noticed. On another note, I have not yet read anything by or about Virginia Woolf so that wasn’t a reason either. It was just plain interest, a good cover and well written synopsis. Thank you to my local library for having it on their shelfs and thank you to myself for not dumping it, because it is one of the best books I have yet read.

How I liked it- Before I get all caught up talking about how much I loved this book, here are some things you should know about it: It would be good if you read Virginia’s Mrs Dalloway before reading this, at least I have heard it would, because it refers to it in a way, but if you just want to enjoy good writing, then you totally don’t have to do this. I didn’t do it because I picked it up without knowing anything, but I bet you’d get into this book faster if you would have read it. I recommend not to pick up this book if you want a fast paced, plot packed novel, because this is something totally different. This book is poetic and about life and the characters way more than about an actual story. It is a novel you take yourself some time for, in which you appreciate the writing, all it’s words and maxims. It takes some time getting into it or better to be said, getting the hang of how it works, but as soon as you have read the first three chapters (a chapter from each of the characters) you will be just fine. It’s time to get on to my encomium now. Michael Cunningham is a true artist of words. His writing style is almost poetic and I would love to quote every single line of him from this book for the rest of my life. If I was to read only one book for the rest of my life, I would be close to pick this one. I have never before read a story that was written this way, meaning the close connection of the three women, which are so much unlike each other at the same time and then again so similar. How they are all three linked by that book Mrs Dalloway is remarkably made. It is easy to follow the plot, once into it and it is the usualness that actually makes it special. The way each character sees the world, the people around them and life in general. I recommend it to all of those, who are open for three stories about life written in a very poetic way. If you are into poetry and quotes, you can’t quite end up not liking this book {just like me}.

Playlist for a New Start

“[…] and now we welcome the new year, full of things that have not ever been.” -Rainer Maria Rilke

In the honor of this one and only chance of a change I have put together a new playlist with mostly fast and motivational songs, which will hopefully help you bring out the best in you on each day of this happy new year.

  1. Back to the beginning again by Switchfoot
  2. Crazy = Genius by Panic! At the disco
  3. Hallelujah by Panic! At the disco
  4. I lived by OneRepublic
  5. Impossible Year by Panic! At the disco
  6. The Judge by twenty one pilots
  7. LA Devotee by Panic! At the disco
  8. Let it out by Switchfoot
  9. Ride by twenty one pilots
  10. Something I need by OneRepublic
  11. Tear in my heart by twenty one pilots
  12. We don’t believe what’s on tv by twenty one pilots
  13. The world you want by Switchfoot
  14. All alright by Fun.
  15. Great big storm by Nate Ruess
  16. Some nights by Fun.

Don’t let anything get you down this year. Wear that trousers you love, which you heard someone else say looked like shit on you. Wear them because they make you feel beautiful. Be bold. Don’t content yourself with everything all the time. Start telling people how you feel about them making decisions for you. Learn to cook. Write a book. You name it. Be an artist. Or an author. A musician, an athletic- anything. It’s not about officially becoming that, as in doing it as a job. It’s about being it. No matter how old you are, how tall or small, where you are from and how well educated you are. This is a new start. You can do whatever you want whenever you want it, because you all have a choice. There are consequences that you have to live with for like quitting your job or skipping school, but you have a choice and your choice matters. You go or you don’t go. You do it or you don’t. Make this year yours. Be who you are, who you want to be. If you want it you can  do it. You can’t win if you do not try. So try. Try a thousand times and then one more and another time an hour later. Learn to eat healthy, work out, go outside more often, watch the rain fall. Look around. Look and see, with your eyes wide open and you will realize that there are so many possibilities. Some that have never been there before and you should take them because who knows? Next year you might not have the chance to be a barista at that café you have always loved. You might never see that person on the train from last Thursday again. There are so many What Ifs. Don’t make yourself regret the ones you you left aside. Take them. Today, because, and I don’t want to sound pessimistic at that but, there is always the slightest chance that there will be no tomorrow. Take the risk or lose the chance. It’s that simple.

Quote

sundown with him by a. l. k.

the sun has gone down minutes ago,

but it’s only now that heaven is reacting,

the clouds are turning a slight shade of pink at first,

barely noticeable just like the color your cheeks turns,

below your freckles, when people compliment you,

you know?

after the sun has taken over the clouds,

it claims the sky around itself,

turning it a thousand shades of yellow,

just like your eyes, shining so golden,

it almost makes me believe into a greater god,

you know?

Heaven is burning now, every bit is red

the sky is on fire, looking just like the shade of your hair,

red, tangeling in the last sunbeams, licking flames,

you know?

and then, suddenly, it’s over,

the sky has gone dark within seconds,

pitch-black, and just like that your are gone,

but unlike the sun, your won’t just

raise again in a few hours.

Quote

coffee, a declaration of love by a. l. k.

the coffee has the color of fresh cut wood,

smelling bitter and sweet all at once,

it’s so precious, so special somehow,

something you don’t want to miss when you had your first sip,

i get that about it being a joy-drug,

how it keeps you awake at night,

makes you think about things you can’t thinks about in daylight,

like your can’t stop staring out of your window,

though it’s pitch-black darkness outside,

the behind the glass and you don’t have no point in staring,

but you do anyway,

thinking about all those things,

while the world and everyone holds their breath,

and you still sit there,

the mug in your hand steaming,

fresh-cut-wood-colored liquid inside it.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

a spoiler-free review of The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller follows…

What it is about- Everyone knows him, the hero of the greek, the fallen one. And with his Name they know his tale, the one of Young Achilles, half-god and half-human, Born to be a hero, died as one. But there is another Boy, one only few know, one just as much of a hero as his companion. A Young Boy who bad things have happened to, banned from home by his father, sad and rather lonely.

I would have no parents, no family name, no inheritance. […] This was how I came to be ten, and an orphan. This is how I came to Phthia.

Until the lifes of both collide and for them both nothing will ever be what is was again.

He yawned, his eyes heavy-lidded. “What’s your name?” […] “Patroclus.” It was the name my father had given me, hopefully but injudiciously, at my birth, and it tasted of bitterness on my tongue. “Honor of the father,” it meant. […] He rolled onto his side to face me. A stray lock of Gold fell half into his eyes; he blew it away. “My name is Achilles.” I jerked my chin up, an inch, in bare acknowledgement. We regarded each other for a moment. Then he blinked and yawned again, his mouth cracked wide as a cat’s. “Welcome to Phthia.”

The Song of Achilles is a Tale of Gods and Godesses, Kings and  Queens, Immortal fame…


“Name one hero who was happy.” I considered. Heracles went mad and killed his family; Theseus lost his bride and father; Jason’s children and new wife were murdered by his old; Bellerophon killed the Chimera but was crippled by the fall from Pegasus’ back. “You can’t.” He was sitting up now, leaning forward. “I can’t.” “I know. They never let you be famous AND happy.” He lifted an eyebrow. “I’ll tell you a secret.” “Tell me.” I loved it when he was like this. “I’m going to be the first.” He took my palm and held it to his. “Swear it.”
“Why me?” “Because you’re the reason. Swear it.” “I swear it,” I said, lost in the high color of his cheeks, the flame in his eyes. “I swear it,” he echoed. We sat like that a moment, hands touching. He grinned.

…and the human heart…

“He is mortal,” she says. “And mortals die.” “I am mortal!” he screams. “What good is godhead, if it cannot do this? What good are YOU?” “I know you are mortal,” she says. She places each cold word as a tile in a mosaic. “I know it better than anyone. I left you too Long on Pelion. It has ruined you.” She gestures, a flick, at his torn clothing, his tear-stained face. “This is not my son.” His chest heaves. “Then who is it mother? Am I not famous enough? […] And who else? Send them before me. I will kill them all!”.

It tells the story of the rise and fall of two heros, one known for it, famous, the  other one not. But above all it tells the tale of two lovers, who fought to be together until their last breath and after. After all it is a tale of love and what we are willing to sacrifice for it.

Why I picked up this book- The Song of Achilles was recommended to me by two of my dear book-companions Tringa and Morgaine. And then, because I fully trust them and because it was said to be an emotional Story, I ordered it this summer, took it to London with me and read it.

How I liked it- This will be the messed up part. I finished this book over a week ago but it’s still hurting me and when I see it lying around in my room, I pick it up and hug it to my chest. I like to Keep it Close These days though I have finished it, i always have it around. I would have never picked up this book myself. I don’d usually read a lot of historical fiction and I’m not a huge fan of it but.. this BOOK! Everything about it is just precious: 1) It actually makes you learn something. 2) Every Character is absolutely amazing. 3) The writing style. The writing is one of the most beautiful things in this book. It is so poetic. I just died every second sentence.Okay, so yes, I liked this book. I liked it so so much I’ll never let it leave my heart and my copy of it is already so worn out. I underlined in it and it had a dog-eared page and honestly, I just don’t care. For me it gets even more beautiful with every single crack in the spine, every dog-eared page. So, whoever you are and whatever book-genre you like, read this one because it’ll make you grow mentally, it’ll do something to you and that’s why it’s so prechious and everyone should read it. Okay, so my Job is done now, I’ll go hug my book again now. Writing this review made me cry and while I’m being emotional you go run and to the next bookstore and get this book. We’ll talk again when you’ve finished reading it and are emotional unstable, just like me. GO GET IT!