For Whom the Bell Tolls

For Whom the Bell Tolls is a novel by Ernest Hemingway published in 1940. It tells the story of Robert Jordan, a young American in the International Brigades attached to a republican guerrilla unit during the Spanish Civil War. As a dynamiter, he is assigned to blow up a bridge during an attack on the city of Segovia.He falls in love with Maria , a young Spanish girl.

The book’s title is taken from the metaphysical poet John Donne’s series of meditations and prayers on health, pain, and sickness.

“No man is an Iland, intire of it selfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine; if a Clod bee washed away by the Sea, Europe is the lesse, as well as if a Promontorie were, as well as if a Mannor of thy friends or of thineowne were; any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde; And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; It tolls for thee.”

The Beautiful and Damned

The Beautiful and Damned explores and portrays New York café society and the American Eastern elite during the Jazz Age before and after “the Great War” and in the early 1920s.As in his other novels, Fitzgerald’s characters in this novel are complex, especially with respect to marriage and intimacy. The work is generally considered to have drawn upon and be based on Fitzgerald’s relationship and marriage with his wife Zelda Fitzgerald.The Beautiful and Damned tells the story of Anthony Patch, a 1910s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon’s fortune, and his courtship and relationship with his wife Gloria Gilbert. It describes his brief service in the Army during World War I,his short affair that led to his mental illness, and the couple’s post-war partying life in New York, and his later alcoholism.Gloria and Anthony’s love story is much more than just a couple falling in love. Their story deals with the hardships of a relationship, especially when each character has a tendency to be selfish. Joanna Stolarek suggests, Fitzgerald draws on “Zelda, the object of the writer’s literary passion”.

A hundred years of Solitude

One Hundred Years of Solitude is the story of seven generations of the Buendía Family in the town of Macondo. The founding patriarch of Macondo, José Arcadio Buendía, and Úrsula Iguarán, his wife (and first cousin), leave Riohacha, Colombia, to find a better life and a new home. One night of their emigration journey, while camping on a riverbank, José Arcadio Buendía dreams of “Macondo”, a city of mirrors that reflected the world in and about it. Upon awakening, he decides to establish Macondo at the river side; after days of wandering the jungle, José Arcadio Buendía’s founding of Macondo is utopic.[3]

Founding patriarch José Arcadio Buendía believes Macondo to be surrounded by water, and from that island, he invents the world according to his perceptions.[3] Soon after its foundation, Macondo becomes a town frequented by unusual and extraordinary events that involve the generations of the Buendía family, who are unable or unwilling to escape their periodic (mostly self-inflicted) misfortunes. Ultimately, a hurricane destroys Macondo, the city of mirrors; just the cyclical turmoil inherent to Macondo. At the end of the story, a Buendía man deciphers an encryption that generations of Buendía family men had failed to decode. The secret message informed the recipient of every fortune and misfortune lived by the Buendía Family generations.[8]

The Picture of Dorian Gray

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde is about a handsome fellow who captures the interest of a painter called Basil Hallward. Through Basil,he meets Lord Henry Wotton who introduces Dorian into a hedonistic point of view:that fulfilling your deepest desires are the only things worth living for.

The paint that Basil paints of Dorian ages and records his sins rather than he himself.So he lives a life only seeking pleasures while never aging.

He meets Sybil Vane and engages in a romantic relationship with her.This is the beginning of his downfall.

This book will be an interesting read for anyone who is up for good discussions. It is a good book to reflect upon. How far should we go to fulfill our carnal desires?Should we live /establish a moral life?How much can art really talk? Whose point of view is it?The artist’s or the subject being painted?

American Gods

American Gods by Neil Gaiman is definitely a must read,specially for those that are into Eastern Europe mythology.The plot revolves around the main character Shadow that when he was released from prison discovered his wife cheated on him with his best friend and that she got into an accident and died. He starts working for Mr.Wednesday and shortly after, he discovered a world of gods living among humans. These gods were brought with people from different cultures and as their gods/things they worship such as alcohol,technology,drugs their powers diminish.

Shadow eventually finds out the men he was working for,Mr.Wednesday is a god himself and is his father.

American Gods describes the ancestry and beliefs of those that have migrated to America and describes how our culture and beliefs have changed.It is the story of America,the story of us.

 

 

Siddhartha

Siddhartha is a 1922 novel by Herman Hesse who was a German born Swiss poet, novelist and painter. Siddhartha is man from the time of the Gautama Buddha, who embarks on a spiritual journey to find himself. Siddhartha means “he who has found meaning in existence” or “he who has attained his goals.” In the Sanskrit language Siddha means achieved and artha means what was searched for.

Siddhartha  grows up in a prosperous Brahman family. He’s well-loved, but unhappy despite his popularity. He is spiritually dissatisfied and believes the elders in his community have nothing more to teach him. Siddhartha decides to join the Samanas, who are a group of wandering ascetics. His best friend, Govinda, accompanies him, and the two men spend three years with the Samanas learning how to withstand pain and hunger in an effort to flee the body’s limitations.

Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov

Some people might feel that American novels are censored;they usually have a happy ending, problems are resolved and it is hardly provocative with the exception of a few. Lolita by Vladmir Nabokov is anything but. It entices the reader from the beginning and it keeps you until the end.

Lolita is about a middle aged man that has fantasies about a 12 year old girl.He calls her a nymph ( she is innocent and yet playful). He becomes sexually involved with her after he becomes her stepfather. Lolita is the nickname for her name Dolores.He writes on a journal about how he comes to know her and how his obsession with her drives him to insanity.

Vladmir Nabokov does a good job of staying neutral to the subject. He does not side with the narrator nor disagrees with him.The author’s views are not aligned with his writing which allows him to cross any lines without many concerns. It is an extremely controversial book and it takes an unbiased reader to get through it.

Why am i suggesting it? Well, because it is no doubt one of the best books i have ever read or anyone has ever read.It is ranked among the best books ever written along with 1984 and The Alchemist.

 

Coiling Dragon (Recommended To People That Are New To Web Novels)

Coiling Dragon is a web novel.A web novel is a novel made by online users(like it wasn’t in the title).Web novels have many types of genres such as horror,sci-fi, xua novels, and many more!The author of Coiling Dragon is IEATTOMATOES(yes,really).Author IEATTOMATOES(a mouthful isn’t it) has made many other novels such as Stellar Transformations, Desolate Era. Coiling Dragon is the story of Linley. Linley is a member of the Dragon Blood Warriors , a clan that their fame shook the world , but the clan is so  poor that it has to sell their family heirlooms in order to survive.Linley is tasked to go through countless trials and tribulations ,making powerful friends but also deadly enemies.

Colling Dragon is a very long novel(it has over 800 chapters!).But each chapter makes you want to read on.The characters are so interesting that even though you see them a lot, they make the story lively.There is not a character that is extremely similar to another character.Each character has his or her own set of personalities they bring to the stories.One of the characters in the story has the character of a kid, but when he gets serious he becomes deadly.The setting of Coling Dragon is really unique. It has a different ranking from typical xianxia novels. In typical xianxua novels they use Daoism (ancient Chinese tradition about living in harmony with the Dao).

The people can be either a warrior or a mangi. A warrior is physically stronger, but mangi are stronger in the sense of magic.

In conclusion, Coiling Dragon is the type of novel that if you have time for it, you’ll really enjoy.