Longest Books I’ve Ever Read

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. This week’s topic is ‘ Longest Books You’ve Read’

So…

1. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo ~ 1400 pages

2.War and Peace by Lev Tolstoy ~1220 pages

3. Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell ~ 1020 pages

4. Anna Karenina by Lev Tolstoy ~ 860 pages

5. Assassin’s Quest by Robin Hobb ~ 742 pages

6. Ulysses by James Joyce ~ 730 pages

7. A Dance with Dragons by George R R Martin ~ 1040 pages

8. The Fiery Cross by Diana Gabaldon ~ 992 pages

9. The Stand by Stephen King ~ 823 pages

10. The Wise Man’s Fear by Patrick Rothfuss ~994 pages

What bricks have you managed? Happy TTT!

Your Guide to Literary Road Trips Across America ~ Infographic

“Road trips are at the heart of American culture. From the pioneers who chased the Gold Rush out west, to college students who trade their academic obligations for the freedom of the summer, thousands of like-minded Americans hit the open road for a similar reason — the adventure.”

Road trip this summer? Here are some great literary ideas

Graph via CarRentals.com

Breaking Night

“Many nights, I longed for home. But it occurred to me as I struggled for a feeling of comfort and safety: I have no idea where home is.” — Liz Murray, Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

Breaking Night is a memoir of Liz Murray that describes her journey from living on the streets to making it into Harvard. The title Breaking Night means staying up through the night until the sun rises. Liz was born to drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. At age fifteen, when she lost her mother, she found herself on the streets.

Eventually, Liz went back to school and then was awarded with New York Times scholarship which enabled her to go to Harvard.

I listened to Murray’s book on Audible where the author had narrated the book. It was really touching and saddening. When Liz and her sister Lisa were growing up, their parents would use all the money received from welfare on drugs so after burning through that money in two weeks, there was no money left for food or anything else. Liz occasionally went to school and she was somehow passed up in grades every year. When she was twelve, she tried to get a job to buy stuff but no one would hire her as she was too young. And then, one day her mother sat her down saying “I’ve got it, baby I’ve got it. I’m sick. I have Aids”..

“Life has a way of doing that; one minute everything makes sense, the next, things change. People get sick. Families break apart, your friends could close the door on you”. — Liz Murray, Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

I don’t know. It’s really hard even to start to process all the hardships described in this book. I was often walking around in a daze because I was so impressed and bothered by the book. The childhood spent figuring out why your parents are acting like this and what they do behind closed doors or living in an apartment where shower was flooding so badly you had to stand on a bucket.

And then the AIDS, the abusive boyfriend, having no place to live while figuring out the studies and where to keep the books and making through it all. It was really something special. I very much enjoyed reading this and would rate the book 4/5 stars

“But avoidance allows you to believe that you’re making all kinds of strides when you’re not.” — Liz Murray, Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

How-To Read Breaking Night

1. It’s very inspirational and will help you realize that sometimes your dreams are closer than you think. And that sometimes you have to make choices like Liz made between pizza and a bus ticket.

2. It’s not one of those annoying self-help books. If you know what I mean. Okay Murray does say “It took everything I got” a lot but other than that it’s just facts and how she kept trying. There are no senseless life advices to be found here.

3. Audible and the audiobook edition is wonderful because author has narrated the work herself. I warmly recommend it.

Have you read this? Would you be able to make it if you were homeless?

The Sunday Post 16: Breaking Night

Hey peeps, how was your week?

Mine was good, I finished two books: 21 Lessons for the 21 Century by Yuval Noah Harari and Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Review of the first book is up and the second one is hopefully coming out soon.

I’ve also been listening to Breaking Night on Audible. It’s inspiring and heartbreaking biography about a young woman who at age fifteen was living on the streets, and who eventually made it into Harvard. Breaking Night is urban slang for staying up through the night, until the sun rises

The book saddens me because kids shouldn’t suffer. The innocence of handful of years should be protected at whatever cost.

Other than that, I haven’t been up to much. I think I’m feeling a bit melancholic… Sometimes I’m out with friends having a good time and I go back sone years and think oh this is what it should’ve felt like. It’s as if before I didn’t live the happy moments as deeply as now and also it’s like oh this is what people do. Anyway… September is here. How did it creep up on us so slowly … And ah we finally get Pumpkin Spice Latte at Starbucks 😍

I’ve been writing sad poems on Wattpad if you want to follow me.

Finished watching La Casa de Papel on Netflix. So good… recommend me something new? Also watched Destination Wedding, very cute in a way.

What have you done? Read? Bought? Watched?

//Anastasia

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Sunday Post

21 Lessons for the 21 Century

“Humans think in stories rather than in facts, numbers, or equations, and the simpler the story, the better.” — Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21 Century

21 Lessons for the 21 Century is the newest work of best-selling author Yuval Noah Harari, first published just few weeks ago. We learned about the past from Sapiens. We learned about the future from Homo Deus. And in 21 Lessons for the 21 Century we embrace the NOW.

It’s hard to form words to describe my excitement and adoration for this book. As previous books, it certainly doesn’t let you down. 21 lessons cover many interesting topics about truth and how we are post-truth species and how some fake news only lasted for 700 years… So what you’re getting now is nothing.

Book is divided in five parts. First part explores the technological challenges: you might not have a job when you grow up because the world is changing so fast and because many jobs will be lost and it is still uncertain whether new jobs would come in their place. How big data is always watching and what would happen in case of a digital dictatorship. We are not equal now and we’ll be less so in the future because who will own all the data?

Second part explores political challenges of 21 Century. Humans have bodies…or do we, as separation of online and offline world is decreasing. And the immigration. No one seems keen to emigrate to Russia. Third part of the book is called ‘Despair and Hope’ and it is more philosophical and already offers some answers on big global questions like terrorism, wars and religion.

“Truth and power can travel together only so far. Sooner or later they go their separate ways. If you want power, at some point you will have to spread fictions. If you want to know the truth about the world, at some point you will have to renounce power.”— Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21 Century

Fourth part is exciting because it combines truth and science fiction (just kidding…or not). We do not only groupthink, we are also post-truth species. If you think propaganda spread out by Putin or Trump is bad, just imagine how some fake news lasted for centuries. Or forever. And we get to science fiction. You love movies and series like The Matrix, Westworld and Black Mirror. I know I do. But all of them seem to imply that machines would take over or that our authentic selves are trapped somewhere.

Last part, funnily, because I always tend to think that Harari is a hopeless pessimist, gives some hope and advise. By learning to adapt fastly, you might survive as change is now the only variable you can trust. And also a lot can be learned by just observing the world.

Perhaps, unlike Sapiens and Homo Deus, this book did not shock me and completely alter how I see the world (Homo Deus made me love evolution theory and turned me into atheist from agnostic). 21 Lessons for the 21 Century is deeply thoughtful and it mainly questions big global trends, not as much giving direct answers. This was also much more personal as Harari questions Judaism and openly discusses him being married to a man as well and his personal journey on how he came to understand reality through meditation for example. It’s a bit repetitive on fictional stories we love to weave though I guess that’s essential here. I loved this and would give it 5/5 stars

“To run fast, don’t take much luggage with you. Leave all your illusions behind. They are very heavy.”— Yuval Noah Harari, 21 Lessons for the 21 Century

How-To Read 21 Lessons for the 21 Century

1. Read, digest, think. And then think more. Maybe start meditation?

2. You should read Sapiens and Homo Deus before tackling this one although it’s great independently as well.

3. Not a book that will revolutionize your thinking, though definitely great tool for deeper reflection on the world.

Have you read it? Would you want to read it? Thoughts?