Simply… Thankful

The essence of life.
Anyone could wonder why I’ve chosen this photo among so many to represent with an image the world Thankful.

The answer comes from a deep feeling of completion that I got while standing on this amazing place, over there at the North of Ireland, when I had the chance the walk for about 3 km along the shore of the tip of the island only to see the magnificence of this rock formations that have become the meeting point between the earth with the sea waters for hundreds of years.

So, now, with this image, I have the chance to put together in this post three of my strongest passions in life: traveling, writing and reading.

Although I didn’t physically have a book with me that day on the shore, books are always with me, both in paper and in my head. So, now that I’m thinking about how thankful I’m for all the wonderful things that these three passions have given to my life, I thought I’d also add to this post the titles of some of the books I’ve year and for which I’m absolutely thankful for.

So, from the list of my dearest books, I have to start with two stories that marked my childhood: One and Thousand One Nights, The Travels of Marco Polo and The Miser by Moliere.

While growing up, I added some other titles to my top list, such as the works of Oscar Wilde; Around the World in 80 days by Jules Verne; Love in the Time of Colera, by Gabriel Garcia Marquez; The Name of the Rose, by Umberto Eco; The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Conan Doyle, and the works of Charles Dickens.

Recently I’ve increased my list of dearest books with The End of Eternity by Isaac Asimov; The last Dickens by Matthew Pearl; Final Theory by Mark Alpert; The Broker by John Grisham, and the collection of books written by Debbie Macomber around Blossom Street.

It’s hard to keep me from prolonging this list, but the books that I’ve mentioned have giving me so many moments of reflexion and enjoyment, that it’s something to be thankful for.

As for my trips, I have to say that there’s not a single one for which I’m not absolutely thankful and amazed for.

Cheers!

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Halloween reads

Let the Mystery capture your mind.
With the Halloween day getting closer I started to think about what reads would be good to get in the scary and mysterious mood required for the occasion. It was so that I came up with an interesting list of books that I like.

One of my favorite stories ever is the Strange case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by the Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson. This story in which Dr Jekyll is the victim of his own experiment and goes wild acting as a complete different person while assuming the personality of Mr. Hyde is one of the most fascinating books I’ve ever read. It also has being the base of several TV representations from movies to cartoons, all of them capturing the very essence of the transformation of this dark character that literary suffers of “split personality”.

Another book that’s among my favorites is The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. With its always gracious writing, the Irish Author presents an extraordinary story of a man who never gets older, what nobody suspects is that somewhere hidden in his house there’s a portrait that gets older and uglier by the day. The end of the story is full of intense feelings that remain for a long while after the book is finished.

Also by Oscar Wilde, The Canterville Ghost presents a very humane picture of a suffering spirit that haunts an old chase in England, wishing only one thing, to finally die.

And talking about ghost stories, one that is perfect for the occasion is The Phantom of the Opera by the French author Gaston Leroux. In this story, a man in pain haunts the Opera House in Paris, wishing for one of singers to fall in love with him, taking extreme measures to make her realize how much he loves her. It’s this love, though, what at the end, makes him set her free of the horrors of his obsession.

An author that of course has to be in this list, is the American writer Edgar Allan Poe due to his amazing capacity to describe through his words the deepest fears of the human beings. Although he has several short stories, the one that has remain stuck in my mind is The Pit and Pendulum.

A different kind of style is offered by Agatha Christie, the British writer who developed the fine art of Mystery writing. In her novels like The man in the brown suit, Christie develops the story in a unique way similar to those presents that are kept in a box that is within another box, and this box is set inside of another box, an so on. So, without even noticing it, the story suddenly offers the reader a variety of characters and situations, each one with a life of its own, but that in the end they manage to relate to each other surprisingly well.

And now that the mood is set, the only thing that’s to say is: Happy Halloween!

The importance of Oscar Wilde

Although it might seem a bit strange, my first memories of Oscar Wilde’s work come from the time when I was a little girl and had the chance to watch The Happy Prince at a theater. Back then I got amazed by all the fantasy that the story contained, and I found this really enjoyable.
Later on more plays and stories by Wilde came to my life, such as Lady Windermere’s Fan, and Lord Arthur Savile’s Crime. Up to that point I wasn’t really aware of the importance of Oscar Wilde in the literary world, but his way of presenting ideas in such a singular manner was something I really liked, so, some time later, I got a collection of his works.
The very first one I read then was The Canterville Ghost, but the one that really made me a huge fan of Wilde’s work was The Picture of Dorian Gray.
Ever since, I’ve enjoyed a lot reading these stories again every now and then, and not so much time ago I came across The Complete Letters of Oscar Wilde.
In this book I found a very humane Wilde, someone who used to enjoy the simple things in life, who liked traveling and sharing his experiences with his family and friends. I also found a really desperate man who lost all hope when the times were really difficult, and at the end, someone who begged his friends for help during his last years.
While reading his letters it was difficult not to feel completely moved, but at the same time, I got even more amazed by the way he managed to present his stories in a really amusing and enjoyable way.