10 of the World’s Most Beautiful Libraries

As a book lover, few things can compare to the pleasure of enjoying your book in a nice library.

And reading in one of the world’s most beautiful libraries is without doubt a very special experience.

You step in a large hall with walls and walls of books in the surrounding.

You look up the ceiling and see stunning paintings and frescos that remind you of people from generations before, people who built those shelves, who made those paintings, and who also came to read before you.

You sit at a table next to dozens of other people who are totally absorbed into their bookish world, but something in the way they quietly turn the pages that tell you they are all connected to you and to each other.

A beautiful library is like a different world. The world where knowledge, art, cultures, and peoples are in perfect harmony and tranquility. The world that while very different from your normal one, you feel completely belonged.

Let’s, together, explore the 10 most beautiful libraries in the world. Feel free to add all of them into your bucket list – I did.

1. Clementinum National Library, Czech Republic

Image courtesy of The Clementinum

The Clementinum (Klementinum in Czech), first founded in 1556, is a large building complex in Prague. It was the brainchild of some of the most prominent architects in Europe during the XVI – XVII century, including Carlo Lurago, Franz Maximilian Kanka, and Kilian Ignaz Dientzenhofer.

A library, the Baroque Library Hall, among other functional houses, was opened in the complex since the early time, together with a university. However, it was not until 1930 that the Clementinum became house to the National Library. Nowaday, it houses over 20,000 volumes of theological literature accumulated from the 17th century.

You can take a guided tour around the library and visit the Astronomical Tower, the Meridian Hall, and the Baroque Library Hall.

Continue reading

The New Oasis 2017: Finally a Waterproof Kindle

Bathtub and beach reader friends: there’s at last a Kindle that can accompany us in our favorite water time!

Check it out on Amazon. In place of the 2016 Kindle Oasis is now an “All New Kindle Oasis”, next to it, “waterproof”.

IPX8. Safe in 2m deep water in 60 minutes.

That’s some serious **** there my friends.

It means you can now enjoy Gone with the Wind while relaxing in a bathtub full of soap bubbles and warm water. Drop it into the tub? Take it out, rinse it, and continue your trip with Scarlett to Atlanta. Continue reading

My biggest reading – related pet peeves

1. When my purse is too small for books

I’m no fashionista, but sometimes I want to feel girly and go out in high heels, a nice dress and a cute little purse instead of a huge backpack. Buuut I still want to bring a book, you know, just in case.

Not only because someone said it’s an effective tip to read more. I actually don’t even read that much! I just need to have a book everywhere I go, for the pure sake of feeling I’m not missing out on something. It’s the same way as people who have to check their phone constantly. (Except having a book in your hands make you appear somewhat more intelligent :P)

Every time I go out without a book, a part of me just dies. Sometimes I’d even go back to change to a bigger bag! Purses, they’re so cute, and yet they’re such a pain.

2. When I don’t understand why a book is so popular

You know The Faults in Our Stars? While I do think it’s a good read, I honestly don’t see the quality that’s supposed to be in such a popular, “highly-recommended” book.

Oh and The Goldfinch. It won a Pulitzer Prize and a ton of other rewards. And I don’t get it at all! I’m sure I’m no book expert. Also, sometimes people don’t understand a book because they have comprehension problem. But seriously, there was NOTHING about the book that suggests to me it is the best in the world to read. It’s way too long, and the last 100 pages, as a few other readers have suggested, could really really be more brief. Continue reading

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock Book Review

Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock by Matthew Quick

Published: August 13th, 2013

Publisher: Little, Brown

Pages: 288

Synopsis:

Today is Leonard Peacock’s birthday. It is also the day he hides a gun in his backpack. Because today is the day he will kill his former best friend, and then himself, with his grandfather’s P-38 pistol.

But first he must say good-bye to the four people who matter most to him: his Humphrey Bogart-obsessed next-door neighbor, Walt; his classmate, Baback, a violin virtuoso; Lauren, the Christian homeschooler he has a crush on; and Herr Silverman, who teaches the high school’s class on the Holocaust. Speaking to each in turn, Leonard slowly reveals his secrets as the hours tick by and the moment of truth approaches.

In this riveting look at a day in the life of a disturbed teenage boy, acclaimed author Matthew Quick unflinchingly examines the impossible choices that must be made—and the light in us all that never goes out.

My Thoughts:

This was such an emotional read that I enjoyed every second of.

This was my first book by Mathew Quick, and I will definitely be reading more from him soon. He writes about mental illness in such a realistic way and because of that, I think that everybody needs to read this book. Continue reading

Carry On Book Review

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Published: October 6th, 2015

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffith

Pages: 522

Synopsis:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

My Thoughts:

Carry On was such a big disappointment for me.

I read Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl when it first came out and absolutely loved it, so I was very excited to read more of her work, but this ultimately fell flat for me. I love Rainbow Rowell as a contemporary author, but her take on fantasy was just not for me. Although I loved the world in the book and how Rowell incorporated different popular fandoms in the book, I could not get into the story. Continue reading

Read Bottom Up Book Review

Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham

Publisher: Dey Street Books

Published: April 7th, 2015

Pages: 256

Synopsis:

A charming novel about falling in love (or like) in the digital age—the never-before-seen full story

Madeline and Elliot meet at a New York City restaurant opening. Flirtation—online—ensues. A romance, potentially eternal, possibly doomed, begins.

And, like most things in life today, their early exchanges are available to be scrutinized and interpreted by well-intentioned friends who are a mere click away.

Madeline and Elliot’s relationship unfolds through a series of thrilling, confounding, and funny exchanges with each other, and, of course, with their best friends and dubious confidants (Emily and David). The result is a brand-new kind of modern romantic comedy, in format, in content, and even in creation—the authors exchanged e-mails in real time, blind to each other’s side conversations. You will nod in appreciation and roll your eyes in recognition; you’ll learn a thing or two about how the other half approaches a new relationship . . . and you will cheer for an unexpected ending that just might restore your faith in falling in love, twenty-first-century style.

My Thoughts:

This book was so much fun to read! When I picked this book up it was on a whim, and I did not realize until I started reading it that the book is told completely through texts and emails. I haven’t ever read a book like that before, so it was a fun and new experience for me. Even though it is told just through the texts and emails, the writing is amazing. Continue reading

Animal Farm Book Review

Animal Farm by George Orwell

Publisher: NAL

Published: August 17th, 1945

Pages: 102

Synopsis:

Tired of their servitude to man, a group of farm animals revolt and establish their own society, only to be betrayed into worse servitude by their leaders, the pigs, whose slogan becomes: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” This 1945 satire addresses the socialist/communist philosophy of Stalin in the Soviet Union.

My Thoughts:

I decided to pick up this book since I had heard really great things about it, but had never read it. I know that many people are assigned this in high school, but I never was. I am so happy I picked this up, though. Continue reading

The Distance from A to Z Book Review

The Distance from A to Z by Natalie Blitt

Publisher: HarperCollins

Published: January 12th, 2016

Pages: 352

Synopsis:

Seventeen-year old Abby has only one goal for her summer: to make sure she is fluent in French—well, that, and to get as far away from baseball and her Cubs-obsessed family as possible. A summer of culture and language, with no sports in sight.

That turns out to be impossible, though, because her French partner is the exact kind of boy she was hoping to avoid. Eight weeks. 120 hours of class. 80 hours of conversation practice with someone who seems to exclusively wear baseball caps and jerseys.

But Zeke in French is a different person than Zeke in English. And Abby can’t help but fall for him, hard. As Abby begins to suspect that Zeke is hiding something, she has to decide if bridging the gap between the distance between who she is and who he is, is worth the risk.

My Thoughts:

This book has such a great premise that just sounds fun and entertaining, which is why I decided to pick it up. The story does start off well, but I just found way too many flaws with it. Continue reading

Just One Day Book Review

Just One Day by Gayle Foreman

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Published: January 8th, 2013

Pages: 320

Synopsis:

Allyson Healey’s life is exactly like her suitcase—packed, planned, ordered. Then on the last day of her three-week post-graduation European tour, she meets Willem. A free-spirited, roving actor, Willem is everything she’s not, and when he invites her to abandon her plans and come to Paris with him, Allyson says yes. This uncharacteristic decision leads to a day of risk and romance, liberation and intimacy: 24 hours that will transform Allyson’s life.

A book about love, heartbreak, travel, identity, and the “accidents” of fate, Just One Day shows us how sometimes in order to get found, you first have to get lost. . . and how often the people we are seeking are much closer than we know.
The first in a sweepingly romantic duet of novels. Willem’s story—Just One Year—is coming soon!

My Thoughts:

Gayle Foreman’s writing and story telling is absolutely beautiful. I found the characters, settings, and plot to be very real, amazing, and I couldn’t get enough of them. Continue reading

The Different Girl Book Review

The Different Girl by Gordon Dahliquist

Pages: 240

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

Published: February 21, 2013

Synopsis:

Veronika. Caroline. Isobel. Eleanor. One blond, one brunette, one redhead, one with hair black as tar. Four otherwise identical girls who spend their days in sync, tasked to learn. But when May, a very different kind of girl—the lone survivor of a recent shipwreck—suddenly and mysteriously arrives on the island, an unsettling mirror is about to be held up to the life the girls have never before questioned.

Sly and unsettling, Gordon Dahlquist’s timeless and evocative storytelling blurs the lines between contemporary and sci-fi with a story that is sure to linger in readers’ minds long after the final page has been turned.

My Thoughts:

The Different Girl was a very interesting read, but ultimately left me wanting more. Continue reading