I love to read. It is so natural for me as to breath. Books always were my friends, and never had hard feelings if I cheated them with other books. They always were in the charge of my life. After in 6 years old I’ve read The Wren by Turkish writer Reşat Nuri Güntekin I’ve decided that I will become a teacher one day. I was so amazed by the story of this beautiful, smart and self-complete person, Feride, that I wanted to copy her with my own students. When I was elder, I decided that I must go to learn philosophy in the University, after I’ve read The Catcher in The Rye by J.D. Salinger. And of course, to before I enter historical specialty I’ve dozens of interesting books in history.
It is almost the end of the year and I want to share with you my special list of favorite books. To make the task harder for me, I will tell you about the novels with an atmosphere of different countries that made me want to travel a lot.
I will start with my own country – it is easy. You can read our famous writers like Yuri Andrukhovych, Oksana Zabuzhko or me one day… You will feel this interesting atmosphere of Ukraine, even if there is nothing about my country at all. It is all about the music in the air:))) or something from Chernobyl maybe:))) If you like poetry try our best guys Taras Shevchenko, Ivan Franko, Lesya Ukrainka – I still remember lots of their poems from my early years in school:) All of them were fighters and wanted to see our Motherland free. If you want to receive some impressions about Ukraine from foreigners my advice for you is Herta Müller with her The Hunger Angel – I know, it is more about an innocent soul in the war, who happened to born in the wrong country and now must suffer for this, but still he is in prison in Ukraine, in the same city that I’m sitting now.
Another example of foreigner’s thought about my country can be heard in Donna Tartt’s bestseller The Goldfinch… People, just don’t believe in everything she said… we drink vodka only for breakfast:))) I’m kidding, as for me I prefer bourbon or whiskey. But… It was very sad for me to read her masterpiece and know that a lot of words about Ukraine insists just in her mind. Bad homework, Donna.
From the Czech Republic there is two, very different but my favorite writers – melancholic Franz Kafka with his The Metamorphosis, The Castle and The Trial and always optimistic and romantic Milan Kundera. After you will read few books, written by them you will notice this slight nostalgia, maybe you will be able to see the red roofs of Czech Republic, to hear the ghosts of their Kings, Saints and heroes. If you will come to Prague, go to the Karl’s Bridge, and you will understand everything, in this country full with ghost stories, unhappy
If you will come to Prague, go to the Karl’s Bridge, and you will understand everything, in this country full with ghost stories, unhappy love and eternal hope.
I have never been to Germany, but I imagine it with the stories about mysterious Faust, by Goethe, Kant and Nietzsche. I know, I know… I don’t really read a lot of German writers – my bad. Muller lives in Germany right now:)
I think that nobody loves France more than Jean-Paul Sartre… If you will say he is boring, I will punch you in the face. He is a cutie, and definitely, he has his little French man inside his heart. Try his Nausea and feel this french romance.
Oh… if you prefer more elegant old-fashioned France with walking in the parks, fashion, lots of flowers and shows – come on, read Marcel Proust, for Pete’ sake. His In Search of Lost Time is worse every minute that you will lost with him:) For the sad realistic truth Gustave Flaubert is the perfect fit. And don’t forget about Anna Gavalda – she is amazing writer with optimistic point of view on almost everything. She is easy to read and hard to forget.
My favorite country to travel is United Kingdom. I love to be there. I love to walk in the rain, to see all these ancient gray houses. Unfortunately, I saw the rain only once in London, there was always sunshine for me, with lots of green parks and fat squirrels. Still, London is my perfect gentleman with habits of Charles Dickens in every his book, from Charles Dickens till, Bleak House. He is a extremely smart detective Arthur Conan Doyle, and beautiful feminist woman Caitlin Moran with her hilarious, How to be a Woman.
Joanne Rowling made me go searching to King’s Cross station:))) I have found my own platform of happiness. Thank you for my childhood and adulthood, by the way, still looking for my ticket to Hogwarts!
When I went to Edinburgh I didn’t expect to see my favorite Scottish writer Walter Scott in everything. Well, he is the legend. So before you will go to Scotland, sit and read his Quentin Durward. And don’t forget about Lord Byron, his heart will forever be in the highland! As for the Ireland… I dream to go there, not just because I still don’t have a Claddagh ring, and it seems like everyone else does, and not because I do believe in Celtic magic… but because of one guy – the guy who rocked my World once… and I know he is the one – James Joyce… yeah, yeah… he is hard and complicated… so who doesn’t? Don’t try his short stories… Start with Ulysses… Be brave, you will love it!
And of course, my sweet USA. God, I wish to see it one day! I think I love this country forever. From the very beginning… I don’t know where to start here, ok… Nathaniel Hawthorne – yep, I’m strange. Washington Irving reminds me of autumn and Halloween. And I read much more than just main-stream Sleepy Hollow – pfff. I love Walt Whitman – he is the soul of America – free and cozy, with the sunny dreams and ideals. When I think about travel to America, I think about loads of beautiful roads with Jack Kerouac and even John Steinbeck. With the romantic America I like, it’s tough industrial side of Ayn Rand and her Atlas Shrugged, Theodore Dreiser and his An American Tragedy. Of course, as every adventurer in my heart Mark Twain‘s books are always on my desk.
My list is not complete even by a quarter. And I wonder what you will suggest for me to read. I need to make a plan for the next year!
Philosopher, writer, hitchhicker