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A World Without Color

Look for Me Under the Rainbow

January River

Cruel Summer

Postcards From Beyond Reality: The Selected Poems of Michael Daniels

  • Writer's pictureBernard Jan

My Goodreads Reviews Part 49

It’s Pride month and here are My Goodreads Reviews Part 49! As always, I’m staying true to myself with a variety of genres and topics. Drama, thriller, short stories, dystopia, LGBTQ romance, religion. Let’s celebrate the diversity of authors and their books!

When I Killed My Father: An Assisted-Suicide Family Thriller, A Step Into Reality: A Short Story Collection, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Hunger Games #0), Straight Boy, The Himalayan Masters: A Living Tradition

Death befalls us all. There is no escape or other outcome. The only difference is how we make a transition from life to death. With dignity, quickly, painless, or degrading with no dignity left, slowly, painfully. When I die, I want to keep as much dignity as I can, and I want that for everyone. Saying that I also want to say that I support any act that eases our dying, that is, mercy killing or euthanasia. And that act should be legalized in all countries if we want to call ourselves humane and civilized society. I mean, we can show kindness to our pets and make the end of life easier for them and we are not allowed to do that to our fellow humans? What kind of nonsense is that?

I was afraid that When I killed My Father would water down too much when at one point the author lost my focus, but luckily it didn’t last long, and the story reset itself and had my attention until the end.

Short stories as glimpses of reality, snapshots as intrusion into someone’s intimacy, happiness, sadness. One, two, three . . . twenty-six altogether. Which ones do I like best? I won’t tell you, but I will give you a hint: emotion, passion, melancholy. Now go ahead and read it. It’s not a long collection. And if you don’t like unhappy endings, fear not. “I shall overcome” is common to more than a few of them.

I have received an advance review copy from the author at no cost and with no obligations toward the author.

Ugh. This is a tough one to rate and review. When I started reading this book, I liked it. And I liked it when I continued reading it. But I always had that gnawing feeling at the back of my mind about why this book is written. After basking in the spotlight of the mega success of The Hunger Games books and movies, I had and still have a feeling that writing and releasing this book was motivated by profit only. One thing I want and need to clarify: I have nothing against us authors making money, big money, even better. It is a normal thing since we also must live from something if we don’t do side jobs or, even worse, make writing and our passion our side job. But still. There must be something else, something more to it than pure profit. Because, as I continued reading The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, I felt some, well, empty spaces in it? There were moments later in the book I didn’t like as much as when I started reading it, and Coriolanus Snow was getting increasingly irritating toward the end (not that I expected him to be my darling in the first place). In general, I liked the book, but I also didn’t like the most important parts of it—too mysterious ending of the relationship between Coriolanus and Lucy Gray and the ending of the book which doesn’t feel like an ending because it calls for another sequel to the prequel. This way, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes looks unfinished to me, and it provokes me to ask myself again: Do we need this book in the first place? Wouldn’t it be better to have The Hunger Games as The Hunger Games we knew and loved, and just leave things at that? Hm.

He did it again! He wrote a 3AS: an adorable, amazing, and admirable story! The characters are SO real they leap off the page the moment you visualize them, straight into your heat. I instantly fell in love with them! An honest story aches your heart but also feels it with unusual warmth and a totally good feeling. Brilliant is all I can say and then shout out, “BUY this book!” If all Bell’s books are superb like this one, I may be in a huuuuge trouble.

The Himalayan Masters: A Living Tradition is the second book I am translating for the Croatian publisher, Planetopija. While editing of my translation is still an undergoing process, I have enjoyed reading this book beyond expectations. Although I am not a fan of a continuous circle of birth and death theory until we’ve reached the highest level of (self)realization, I was very much intrigued by the possibility of casting off our body voluntarily by various yogic techniques.

If we disregard its spiritual aspect, this book is an interesting and valuable historical read about the lives of Himalayan sages and their wisdom.

Happy reading!


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