scared af

We humans have so many bugs we could be a Bethesda game.
Seriously.
Let’s put the physical ones aside, because they’re so many and I probably don’t know them all. The mental ones are 100 times more fascinating to me, anyway.

For example, I’ll never understand why our brains prefer to revel in shit than master the courage to do something. Anything.
I’ve repeated this something like a million time this year already, but our brains hate the unknown. Fucking scared. Sometimes, successfully leaving a stressful situation behind you is a thousand times worse because your brain is set on “hey, we already know how to feel bad,  let’s keep it this way”
Going out of your way, even if you need to do it to feel better and be better, is scary. You never know what’s going to happen.

I personally am scared as fuck right now. I’ve been pretty ok for a while, but for some reason anxiety started kicking back in the other day. Note: I’m not diagnosed with any mental illness. Nor I’m pretending to have any mental issue, except for the huge fucks up and poor life choices that are part of existence. Right back to what I was saying. Hell if I know why, however I do feel pretty badly.
There are many issues in my life I’m scared to work out. That’s why I’m bothered right now. That’s why I’m anxious: my brain doesn’t want to go on solving problems it needs to solve because it knows it’ll be a huge, fucking mess.
Have you ever felt like you could be better, but you don’t know where to start or – worse – that you can’t do that thing, for all thing in the world? Yeah. Except that I absolutely understand why and how I need to go deep into things this time.

I’ve gone on saying “not now, I couldn’t resist such thing” – and that was true. Going into issues last year or two years ago, or even three, might have resulted into complete havoc. But now? Now is the time to face it all.
Yeah, this scares the shit out of me.

But what if you fly?

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#TBRTAKEDOWN 4.0 wrap-up

The readathon’s week is finished and is now time to look at what I was able to read!

I always put a lot of books in my TBRs for readathons because I need different titles and different genres to choose from, but I know that I won’t be able to finish them all (or start them all).
I’m quite happy with what I read, however, because I finally finished The Human Stain by Philip Roth. It was a compulsory reading for my English course so I had to read it, but I haven’t liked it. Not a bit. It’s not the kind of story I usually enjoy, but the point is the writing style was too dense for me and it took forever to go through the book. Not even Dickens slowed me down so much.
I also managed to read The Caste of Otranto by Horace Walpole. It’s a hundred paage long, so I finished it in a couple of ours, and I can say now that it’s slightly insignificant. I understand how it is the novella writers of gothic novels looked at as inspiration, so I’m not discounting its importance in the history of literature, but guys was it boring!
Finally, I managed to read 111 pages from A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Brison. It’s one of the books that stayed in my TBR the longest and, having bought it, I really wanted to go through it. I’m happy that I managed to read so much of it, because although incredibly interesting it uses a lot of technical terms and scientific language. I’m not well-versed in science even in my own language, so it takes a bit to translate terms and understand everything. However it is a funny reading, I’m discovering a lot of quirky things about the scientific world!
Plus I read a huge chunk of Celtic Myth by Miranda Green yesterday evening before going to bed and I finished it this morning, so that’s another book to add to the list! 😀

Overall, I finished between 250-300 pages last week. It’s more than my usual count so I’m proud of myself!

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TBR Takedown Readathon

Apparently, joining readathons on the second day is my thing.
The TBR Takedown 4.0 was created by leaninglights (you can find her on twitter and YouTube) and is taking place this week, from June 20 to 26.
I had fun with the last readathon I participated in and as I have a long TBR to work on, I thought “why not joining the fun?”

Without further due, may I present you my reading list?

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I didn’t want big numbers because I know I won’t have much time to read this week, so I took three big books (one I’ve already started) and also three smaller books, to serve as a break between a long read and the other.

  • The Human Stain by Philip Roth is the first book, and the one I’ve already started. I’m toward the end actually, there are a hundred pages left, but it seem to be infinite! I can’t wait to finish this, it’s a torture I swear.
  • A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Brison.
    One of the challenges is to read a book that has been in your TBR for more than a year and this poor book was bought in December 2014 and never read. I was so excited to have it, but I never found the right moment to do it. I’ll take this readathon as a sign that that moment has come.
  • Dragons of Spring Dawning by M. Weis and T. Hickman
    One of the challenges is to read a sequel and this is the third and last book in the Chronicle Trilogy, settled in the Dragonlance universe. I wanted to wait a while before starting this, because it ain’t no light read. Unfortunately, the end of the previous book left me sad and with a huge need to know what is going on (and to hit Tanis in every manly part of his body).

Now with the smaller books, we have:

  • The Castle of Otranto by Thomas Walpole, in a very old and very cheap Italian edition. I bought this at the flea market when I was taking a course in English literature of 17th and 18th century. It wasn’t part of the course syllabus, which is why I never read it.
  • The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells, I bought this when I started being interested in science fiction. I’m not that into sci-fi, though, so it never was a priority in my reading lists.
  • La Sabbia e la Luna by Antonio Colombo
    As you can see, this is an Italian book. I haven’t checked if there’s an English edition, the (literal) translation of the title is The sand and the moon. Someone, probably my sister, left this in the bookshelf and I casually found it when we moved house last year. I never heard about it, but it’s so tiny and it has this old-school, romantic cover. It catched my eyes and I kept it, but I completely forgot I had it.

And now the fun begins! Let me know if you participate and what you’re reading and join the fun on the twitter tbrtakedown account and tag!

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The never-ending process of Knowledge

What I knew, I’ve un-learned in the past two years. What I know now is that I know nothing at all.

I’m not a studend of psychology or medicine, so I couldn’t begin to tell you the physical or mental mechanisms behind the acquisition of notions in human beings. However, what I observed in my life lead me to the idea that to know is the result of a process. A very long and deep one, actually.

The premises of knowledge are learning and understanding, but in itself they too have different stages and require work. One’s body and mind interplay with one another and with the world that surrounds us and it is what comes from this interaction that leaves us with the first step on which we can build our ideas: experience. Such experience can be more or less physical (i.e. hurting yourself compared to reading a book), but it is the first brick with which we can build our reflections.

You touched the fire and now know that it can hurt, but you also learned that it is sacred.

Some people rely more on their brains, when processing information, other make much more use of their feelings (MBTI typing relies on this concept). I’m among the latter: to me things sometimes aren’t right just because they feel wrong, or make me feel badly for some reason and I can’t bear it.
However your brain makes sense of things,  you’ll end up understanding something. You’ll end up with a new concept, a new idea, a sudden realization or a new belief. Or you won’t understand at all – and that’s part of the process.

There many things you can use to build the house of your knowledge: books, for example, are good material. The experiences of other people. New perspective gained through dialogue and discussion. Sometimes nature itself gives me an impression on which to build my own thoughts.
Let yourself be inspired by the world, but don’t be fooled: to know is not to have ideas engraved in your head, repeated at heart everytime you need to be reassured that they are true. You change, the world changes and in the end what you know will change too.
So build the house of your knowledge and use you experiences as foundation, but be ready to demolish its walls when you’ll need to.

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summer reading list

It’s June and although I still am studying for my exams (and will do so for a while) I made a list of books I want to get through during the summer. It’s a long list, you’ve been warned!

summer

  • When Gods Was a Rabbit by Sarah Winman – I read an extract of this one on my kindle and was amazed by the plot and writing style. Instead of a Kindle edition I bought the paperback BookDepository sent me the wrong cover and I was just a little bit annoyed, but oh well…
  • A Year of Marvelous Ways by Sarah Winman – Did I say that the writing style of this woman hooked me up? Because I absolutely bought her second book without even thinking about it.
  • All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie J. Anders – The sinopsys said something like “young witch who can talk to animals meets the inventor of the two-seconds time machine” and I don’t know the rest of it, because my mind was already going INEEDTHISINMYLIFENOW.
  • The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers– I’m 50 pages into this book and I paused because I want to read it in the right moment. A moment when I can dive into it completely.
  • In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri – I don’t really know what the book is about, except that the author is a native speaker of English who fell in love with Italian so much she ended up writing a book in it. And probably about it. Thinking about it, it makes sense that a native Italian speaker who fell in love with English wants to read this book so bad.
  • The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch – because I don’t have enough series I want to start, I have to add to the pile.
  • Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka BruntThere is no real reason for this one except “it looks nice”.
  • Solstice Wood by Patricia A. McKillip – When bookstore owner Sylvia Lynn returns to her childhood home in upstate New York, she meets the Fiber Guild-a group of local women who meet to knit, embroider, and sew-and learns why her grandmother watches her so closely. A primitive power exists in the forest, a force the Fiber Guild seeks to bind in its stitches and weavings. And Sylvia is no stranger to the woods. This speaks to the part of me who loves fairytales. I now need to read this.

I warned you the list was long!  Plus, I may have a long list of non fiction, too. Sorry not sorry.

rain

It’s unusual to have this much rain at this time of the year, especially after having such a sunny March and April. But the weather doesn’t seem to care and so every two or three days we have rain.

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Joy Stamp @unsplash

I’ve always found the idea of rain being “bad” weather a bit strange. I mean, it surely is a bother if you ned to squeeze yourself in a train wagon on the way to work, but when you can observe it quietly from your window, it becomes something special. Something else, entirely. Rain always seems a gateway to other dimensions, other realities.

The cloud are the houses of those realities. When I look up at the stormy sky, I always find the most incredible ensemble of figures and shapes. Some of them even have a character of their own. The grey clouds sometime are wild horses, running across the horizon in an endless chase. At times, in a white spot, you can see a tree and then you wonder if there’s a garden up there, somwehere. Sometimes you see dragons, flying around and looking down and laughing.

Rain stops time. When it rains, it seems that everything slows down. Storms starts abruptly, but they’re over before you can even notice. Thunders and bolts give way to quieter drops of water and you ask yourself when it did it all start? But everything is being washed away by the rain itself. Because of all the thing it is, rain is water. And water cleanse.

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T5W – Favourite character names

It was fun to write this top 5 because I never really thought about characters’ names. But here, let me show you my list of nice names!

 

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©freepik

Elizabet Bennet & Jane Bennet, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Elizabeth and Jane are two of my favourite names ever. Plus I read this book so many times, their names give me the feeling of hearing from old-time friends.

Aristotle & Dante, Aristotle and Dante discover the Secrets of the Universe by B. A. Saénz – Another couple of names that are aesthetically pleasing together. It must be the fact that they bare the name of a philosopher and a poet, I guess.

Visenya, Daenerys and pretty much any other Targaryen name in ASOIAF by G.R.R. Martin. Old Valiryan sounds…old, strange and epic.

Meriadoc Brandybuck, Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien – the Rs in his name alliterates just right and his nickname is Merry. And that’s awesome!

Hiccup Horrendous Haddock IIITalking about allitteration. I haven’t enjoyed the (audio)book as much as I thought I would, but the kid’s got a pretty awesome name himself.

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