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Favorite Lines from Cress by Marissa Meyer

“Never underestimate the stealth of a criminal mastermind.”
“Yet Carswell Thorne, when given a chance to explain, always had a reason. A good reason. A heart-stopping, pulse-racing, awe-inspiring reason.”

“I don’t mind the scars.” He shrugged, his eyes taking on a mischievous spark. “They hold better memories now than they used to.”

“A couple years ago, upon realizing that her living accommodations offered few opportunities to be active, Cress had gone on a fitness kick. She’d installed all the games with a program that chose from a variety of fitness activities, which she would be required to perform from every time she lost.”

“Soften her up with flattery. Good strategy.”

“She would have freedom, and friendships, and purpose. And she would be with him.”

“BLOOD PRESSURE TOO HIGH; HEART RATE TOO FAST; SYSTEMS OVERHEATING, INITIALIZING AUTO-COOL RESPONSE.”

“I am an explorer,” she whispered, “setting courageously off into the wild unknown.”

“My life is an adventure,” she said, growing confident as she opened her eyes again. “I will not be shackled to this satellite anymore.”


“Her thoughts hummed as she tried to pull together every minute detail, to store this moment safely away in a place where she would never, ever forget.”

“If you had even one small thing that brought you happiness, or hope that things could someday be better, then maybe that would be enough to sustain you.”

“It may have been a fragile hope, but right now, it was the best hope he had.”

“You made the best decision you could at that time.”

“Courage comes in different forms.”

“He’d rather fight, and lose, than become another one of her pawns. We all would.”

“You’re awfully sweet, Cress. I don’t want to hurt you.” Never had she thought that such kind words could sting, but she couldn’t help feeling that his compliment didn’t mean what she wanted it to mean.

“She would go on like her heart wasn’t shattered.”

“I guess you could say I enjoy a challenge.”

“She was a girl. A living girl, smart and sweet and awkward and unusual, and she was worth far more than they could ever realize.”

“She found herself staring into a face that was both handsome and murderous.”

“I like to maintain an air of mystery.”

Paperback:



Hardback:

The Lunar Chornicles Boxed Set:

If you like this post, please give it a thumbs up to let me know and comment down your favorite lines from Cress if you have any. 😊

Have a nice day! 😄
Love,

Flexi

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Book Review: A Short Border Handbook by Gazmend Kapllani


“Before being built on the ground, borders and walls are erected in our minds and souls.”


Synopsis:


After spending his childhood and school years in Albania, imagining that the miniskirts and game shows of Italian state TV were the reality of life in the West, and fantasizing accordingly about living on the other side of the border, the 1985 death of Albanian Communist leader Hoxha at last enables Gazmend Kapllani to make his escape. However, on arriving in the promised land, he finds neither lots of willing leggy lovelies nor a warm welcome from his long-lost Greek cousins. Instead, he gets banged up in a detention center in a small border town. As Gazi and his fellow immigrants try to find jobs, they begin to plan their future lives in Greece, imagining riches and successes which always remain just beyond their grasp. The sheer absurdity of their plans and their new lives is overwhelming. Both detached and involved, ironic and emotional, Kapllani interweaves the story of his experience with meditations upon border syndrome—a mental state, as much as a geographical experience—to create a brilliantly observed, amusing, and perceptive debut.

My Thoughts on A Short Border Handbook:


Deeply moving and heartbreakingly beautiful. This book is an eye opener to those who are in the dark of what it’s like to be ruled under totalitarianism, the challenges of being an immigrant after escaping from tyranny, and the border syndrome that comes with it.

While reading, my heart cried out to those who became victims of totalitarianism and it made me realize that I shouldn’t take my life for granted.


I highly recommend this to those who have lost life’s meaning and to those who are seeking for freedom be it from an unhealthy relationship or even freedom from the negative thoughts within. I also recomend this book to those who are working overseas.



Quotes from A Short Border Handbook:

“Leaving is a choice, a choice to break with the country of his birth. This break follows him for the rest of his life. It will be the source of his sense of guilt and of freedom, rejection and denial, daydreaming and nostalgia, forgetting and melancholy, mood swings and schizophrenia. Only if he makes a success of life abroad, only then can he make peace with his country again. If he doesn’t make it, he will be left hanging, at odds with the world and with the universe.”

“You have to get a job. Any job. You have to survive. You have to find somewhere to live – doesn’t matter what it’s like as long as it looks vaguely like home. You have to learn the language, even if you can’t understand a single word of it and you get your ‘good nights’ and your ‘good evenings’ all mixed up. You have to learn to speak more softly, and not shout, because it scares people.”

“There is something heroic about the way a migrant abandons his native land. Nevertheless, in his everyday life, he is fragile, confused, and at times ridiculous, like a card player who dreams of that one amazing trick but lacks essential knowledge of the rules of the game.”

“He thought that he had arrived in a place where everything would be easy, where help would be at hand, where people would explain the rules for him, and not only that, would praise him if he managed to to beat them. Now he discovers that his idols don’t give a damn about him; he discovers something worse, that no one asked him to come, that he is there uninvited, and nobody notices him. An invisible creature, which, on the rare occasions it is noticed, inspires either momentary pity or lasting disgust.”

“The fact that you arrived uninvited makes you feel uncomfortable, and deeply guilty, and you may never get over that feeling. Because apart from everything else, they keep reminding you of the fact. This is your original sin. Each time you try to break out of this obscurity, they’ll be there to remind you that you’re an unwanted guest.”

“Those who cross borders illegally develop strange habits. Laughing too much is one of them. They are overcome by a mood for fun and jokes, as though they have just emerged from side-splitting revenue when in fact danger and the threat of death is all around them. Perhaps it’s the imminence of death and the fear of it that provoke this laughter. It’s as though they want to cajole and seduce death. Human laughter is the perfect cover, it’s like telling death, “There’s no way you’re getting us. Look at us – we’re laughing, we’re not even thinking about you. We love life. We want to live. We want to survive. You’ll have to look elsewhere for customers. You won’t find any here.”

“Being a migrant can mean a lot of things, but most of all it means work. You don’t emigrate so you can play the tough guy, but to save up money. You will do anything to succeed in this. You take on two or maybe three jobs in a day.”

“From within the madness of totalitarianism, I had imagined that as soon as I crossed the borders, a completely different life would start, a whole new world. And it was. The world I saw around me was completely different. At least very differnet from the one  I’d been living in until yesterday. I was free in the world beyond the borders. A strange feeling had taken over me, one I couldn’t describe. I felt like an orphaned child – completely free but at the same time completely lost.”

“It’s a tough life because there are so many opportunities for becoming neurotic, miserable, and for being consumed by loneliness every single day. Loneliness, as a poet once said, is not missing other people, but finding yourself in a big crowd, talking, and not being understood. There are so many opportunities for being suspicious and aggressive toward those you have become convinced don’t want you. In this way you slide into the underbelly of society, where there is more than enough darkness, and where the greatest danger of all lurks: that you will give in to darkness.”


“Before being built on the ground, borders and walls are erected in our minds and souls.”

“He imagined that this city would resemble one enormous supermarket where he could get anything he wanted: dreams, happiness, prosperity, even love. That’s what it looked like from a distance anyway, but now, standing in the center, he’s feeling dizzy and  scared. Because everything around him looks so cold, so fast, so soulless, so indifferent.”

“The language: behold the first invisible border.”

“We are all migrants, armed with a temporary residence permit for this earth, each and everyone of us incurably transient.”

“That messy, confused, exciting, painful, and comical experience of crossing borders, of encountering a foreign sky, a foreign language, a foriegn culture. As a refugee and an immigrant.”

“What I wanted to tell you about was my illness, border syndrome, a condition you won’t find documented in any manual of recognized psychological disorders. It’s not like agoraphobia, vertigo, depression. And it’s not like any physical disease spread by a virus, but that doesn’t make me any less of a carrier – maybe just a carrier with low levels, as the doctors are fond of describing carriers of hepatitis whose organs have developed enough antibodies to keep the deadly march of the virus in check. Nevertheless, border syndrome is just as pernicious as the hepatitis virus because you can never truly get rid of it. It just sits there, in a latent state, wedged between time and space, wedged between your body and the gaze of others, ready to strike at any moment to take possession of your memories, your silence, the expression in your eyes, your spleen, your smile, your passion and your life. It’s then that you start to experience your body and your face and your origins as a burden. You long to be free of it all, if only for just a second, for as long as it takes to cross the borders – if only for that long.”


“In the final analysis, it takes guts; it takes guts to go head to head with borders and start your life again from scratch: with language; street names; people’s names – to make this foreign city your own. Being a thorough bred migrant means acknowledging the power of the will, and coming to terms with the outrageous tricks of fate and to understand that the greatest human virtue is the ability to adapt and change and has nothing to do with who you are descended from, and to realize that the secret of success is at once simple and complicated: never to tire of life.”


About the Author:


Gazmend Kapllani was born in 1967 in Lushnjë, Albania. In January 1991 he crossed the border into Greece on foot to escape persecution by the communist secret services. In Greece he worked as a builder, a cook and a kiosk attendant, while also studying at Athens University and completing a doctorate on the image of Albanians in the Greek press and of Greeks in the Albanian press. He is now a successful writer, playwright, broadcaster and journalist with a twice-weekly column in Ta Nea, Greece’s biggest daily newspaper.


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Book Jokes 📚😂📖


Hello readers! I’ve been feeling a bit low lately and thought of ways to cheer myself up so I searched for book jokes that can give me a good laugh. Here are a couple of jokes I like and that you might like as well. I hope it’ll make your day!

What did the comedian say to Harry Potter?
A: Why so Sirius?

What do you call Tom Sawyer’s friend after he lost a lot of weight?
A: Huckleberry Thin

Man: CAN I HAVE BURGER AND CHIPS?
Librarian: This is a library!
Man: (whispers) Can I have burger and chips?

Teacher: How many books did you finish over the summer?
Student: None. My brother stole my box of crayons.

What did one book say to the other one?
A: I just wanted to see if we are on the same page.

Teacher: Why are you holding your textbook up to the window?
Pupil: You told me to open it up to the Middle East.

Why did the vampire check out a drawing book?
A: He wanted to learn how to draw blood.

What reference book should you use when you forget your shovel?
A: The dig-tionary

What happened when the bomb-sniffing dog wrote his autobiography?
A: It got on the best smeller list.

What did one arithmetic book say to the other?
A: I’ve got a big problem.

What is a flea’s favorite book?
A: The itch-hikers guide to the galaxy.

Pupil: Do you have Moby Dick?
Librarian: Yes, we do.
Pupil: I thought something smelled fishy in there.

Librarian: Did you enjoy reading Moby Dick?
Pupil: I couldn’t finish it. I got seasick.

What would you get if you crossed a locomotive with the author of Tom Sawyer?
A: A choo-choo Twain

https://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=joke+books&search=Find+bookgrant3

Do you have other book jokes that you want to share? Comment it down to let me know! 😊

And of course, if you enjoyed this post, please give it a thumbs up so I’ll know if I should make another. Thanks for reading. Have a nice day! 😄

Love,

Flexi

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Why I Love Books 😄❤📚

What’s up book lovers? It’s been almost a week since I last posted because well, life happened. As you have read from the title,  I’m going to share to you the reasons why I love books. So without further ado, let’s jump right into the post.


1. Books take me to places I’ve never been to. 

I love travelling and books help me do that without having to spend hundreds of dollars on a plane ticket. Books take me to places that are imaginary, even. They transport me to places I can’t literally set foot on. 


2. Books make me see a whole new perspective. 

Have you ever experienced seeing the world in a whole new light after reading a book? This happens to me every single time I finish a book. Books help me understand more about how people feel and how people perceive things. There’s just something about books that make me connect more about the character than watching movies. Maybe it’s because the thoughts of the character are written and he seems to be talking to me like a friend letting in on a secret he doesn’t want to share with anyone else. I like how I can relate to some of the characters which gets me thinking that there are other people who have experienced or are currently experiencing what I’ve been through. 





3. Books make real life more exciting.

Books make real life more exciting in a way that they make the fairies in my grandma’s garden real and make the ocean like a massive mysterious abyss. 



4. Books are my safe haven. 

They are my go-to-place when life gets too stressful to handle so I just jump into the rabbit hole and escape reality for a while. Especially when anxiety strikes causing my heart to palpitate and when deep breathing doesn’t seem to be enough, I read. Books take me to a whole different dimension and help me forget my problems for a while. After reading, I usually feel less stressed thus, making my brain creatively think of solutions to whatever problem I have.



5. And most importantly, books are friends. 

How about you, do you love books? Comment down why you love them. 👇😄📚❤

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Book Review and Quotes Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami translated by Philip Gabriel


Synopsis:

Kafka on the Shore is powered by two remarkable characters: a teenage boy, Kafka Tamura, who runs away from home either to escape a gruesome oedipal prophecy or to search for his long-missing mother and sister; and an aging simpleton called Nakata, who never recovered from a wartime affliction and now is drawn toward Kafka for reasons that, like the most basic activities of daily life, he cannot fathom.


As their paths converge, and the reasons for that convergence become clear, Haruki Murakami enfolds readers in a world where cats talk, fish fall from the sky, and spirits slip out of their bodies to make love or commit murder. Kafka on the Shore displays one of the world’s great storytellers at the peak of his powers.


My Thoughts on Kafka on the Shore:

I picked this book up because I’m studying Japanese language and thought that it would be nice if I would be able to read a Japanese novel translated to English since I can’t read Japanese novels yet, only Japanese children’s story books. I contemplated for a while on reading a Haruki Murakami book because there have been many people who loved his books and there are also many who didn’t like them at all but I gave it a try anyway.

First few pages in, I had a difficulty getting used to the writing style of the translation – I know it’s very difficult to translate one language to another especially when translating literary works – but eventually I got used to it so it wasn’t much of a problem.

Despite having to get used to the writing style, Kafka on the Shore is fast-paced and a really great read.

There’s so much going on in this book that it intrigues me a lot and also there are a lot of life lessons and philosophical ideas which gets you thinking more about the world and just life in general.

I like how a library is one of the settings in this book and how Murakami weaves a series of weird events after another. What I didn’t enjoy about this book though is that the prophecy is too dark – immoral – and also how it was slow-paced for the last 3rd part of the book.

I may have enjoyed this book but I don’t think this book is for everyone. As I’ve mentioned earlier, many people love Kafka on the Shore but many didn’t enjoy it too. If you like books that explain everything in the end, then I don’t think you will enjoy Kafka on the Shore that much, but if you prefer books that get you thinking long after the last page has been turned, I think you will enjoy Kafka on the Shore.

I’m looking forward to reading Kafka on the Shore in Japanese. 😄

https://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=kafka%20on%20the%20shore%20haruki%20murakami&search=Find+bookgrant3

Favorite Lines:

“Mr. Nakata, this world is a terribly violent place. And nobody can escape the voilence. Please keep that in mind. You can’t be too cautious. The same holds true for cats as for human beings.”

“In this whole wide world the only person you can depend on is you.”

“Things never work out like you think they will, but that’s what makes life interesting.”

“Memories warm you up from the inside. But they also tear you apart.”

“I needed someone like her to fill the void inside me. But I was unable to fill the void inside her.”

“It all really happened, so you can’t undo it. Things in the last are like a plate that’s shattered to pieces. You can never put it back as it was.”

“Maybe she forgot something she wanted to say and will come back. But she never does.  All that’s left is an absence that’s like a hollow space.”

“In everybody’s life, there’s a point of no return. And in a very few cases, a point where you can’t go forward anymore. And when we realize that point, all we can do is quietly accept the fact. That’s how we survive.”

“Each person feels the pain in his own way, each has its own scars.”

https://www.bookdepository.com/search?searchTerm=kafka%20on%20the%20shore%20haruki%20murakami&search=Find+bookgrant3
“Having your own opinion and not being very bright are two different things.”

“No matter who or what you’re dealing with, people build up meaning between themselves and the things around them. The important thing is whether this comes about naturally or not. Being bright has nothing to do with it. What matters is that you see things with your own eyes.”

“Things change everyday. With each new dawn it’s not the same world as the day before. And you’re not the same person you were, either.”

“I no longer had any idea what was right and what was wrong. Was I really seeing the real world? Was the sound of birds I was seeing real?”

“I was hoping for an opportunity to repair the harm I’d caused, but circumstances dictated otherwise.”

“It is possible. Or not impossible, I should say.”

“I might have the leisure to get bored, but not to grow tired of something.”

“Solitude comes in different varieties.”

“School and I had a mutual hate relationship.”

“I never ask for the impossible, that’s a collosal waste of time.”

“I close my eyes, but I can’t fall asleep, my body dying for rest while my mind’s wide awake.”

“Silence, I discover, is something you can actually hear.”

“You need to make a choice right here and now. This might seem an outrageous choice, but consider this: most choices we make in life are equally outrageous.”

“The hands of the clock buried inside her soul ground to a halt.”

“Every one of us is losing something precious to us. Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feeling we can never get back again. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads – at least that’s where I imagine it – there’s a little room where we store memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in a while , let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you’ll live forever in your own private library.”


About the Author:

Murakami Haruki (Japanese: 村上 春樹) is a popular contemporary Japanese writer and translator. His work has been described as ‘easily accessible, yet profoundly complex’.