czwartek, 30 stycznia 2014

The fault in our stars

            I am too old to read books for young adults I guess, but there are books which do not have the age limit after all. They are interesting for any age people - and one of such books is "The fault in our stars" by John Green

         The book has a lot of teenagers in it. There is Hazel Grace Lancaster, Augustus Waters, Isaac, Monika and many more (whose names we encounter through the book). However, it is not an ordinary book about their lives. They all battle different kinds of cancer.

           We start of with Hazel who is the narrator of the story. She has been diagnosed with thyroid cancer which in later stage spread into her lungs. She has to carry an oxygen tank everywhere with her. Hazel's mother makes her attend a support group because she thinks that Hazel may be depressed. During one of the meetings she meets Augustus. Gus is a cancer survivor and because of that he had his leg amputated, which effectively ended his basketball career. Augustus takes to Hazel the second he sees her and right after the meeting he starts a conversation with her. It turns out that they have quite a lot in common and very soon they become friends. And I will write no more here.

           I really loved the story. I listened to my audiobook a few times already and I am sure it is not the end. It made me laugh numerous times, and it made me cry even more. It made me think about time and its passage and the things I do with the years I have been given in this world. Do I make my best of it? Do I try to use every minute?

          The book made a great impression on me. I should look up more works by John Green for sure :) And I cannot wait to see the movie.

Some of the more beautiful quotes from the book.

czwartek, 23 stycznia 2014

Books to read

         A list of books (taken from the Internet with some additions from me) which I want to read :)

1.    Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2.    The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien
3.    Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4.    Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5.    To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6.    The Bible - Council of Nicea
7.    Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8.    Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9.    His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman
10.  Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11.  Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12.  Tess of the D’Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13.  Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14.  Complete Works of Shakespeare
15.  Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16.  The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien
17.  Birdsong - Sebastian Faulk
18.  Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19.  The Time Traveller’s Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20.  Middlemarch - George Eliot
21.  Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22.  The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23.  Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24.  War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25.  The Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26.  Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27.  Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28.  Bracia Karamazow - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
29.  Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
30.  Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
31.  The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
32.  Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
33.  David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
34.  Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
35.  Emma - Jane Austen
36.  Persuasion - Jane Austen
37.  The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis
38.  The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
39.  Captain Corelli’s Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
40.  Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
41.  Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
42.  Animal Farm - George Orwell
43.  The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
44.  One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
45.  A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
46.  The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
47.  Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
48.  Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
49.  The Handmaid’s Tale - Margaret Atwood
50.  Lord of the Flies - William Golding
51.  Atonement - Ian McEwan
52.  Life of Pi - Yann Martel
53.  Dune - Frank Herbert
54.  Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
55.  Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
56.  A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
57.  The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
58.  A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
59.  Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
60.  The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
61.  Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
62.  Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
63.  Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
64.  The Secret History - Donna Tartt
65.  The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold 
66.  Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
67.  On The Road – w drodze - Jack Kerouac
68.  Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
69.  Bridget Jones’s Diary - Helen Fielding
70.  Midnight’s Children - Salman Rushdie 
71.  Moby Dick - Herman Melville
72.  Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
73.  Dracula - Bram Stoker
74.  The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
75.  Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
76.  Ulysses - James Joyce 
77.  The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
78.  The Inferno - Dante
79.  Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
80.  Germinal - Emile Zola
81.  Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
82.  Possession - AS Byatt
83.  A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
84.  Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
85.  The Color Purple - Alice Walker
86.  The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
87.  Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert
88.  A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
89.  Charlotte’s Web - EB White
90.  The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
91.  Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
92.  The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
93.  Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
94.  The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery
95.  The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
96.  Watership Down – Richard Adams
97.  In my Father’s House – Ann Rinaldi
98.  The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton
99.  Lucky Santangelo Series – Jackie Collins
100.    Vampire Academy Series – Richelle Mead
101. Black Dagger Brotherhood – J.R. Ward
102.     Tuesdays with Morrie -
103.    Angela’s Ashes -
104.     A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
105.    A diary of a young girl – Anne Frank
106.    The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
107.   Hamlet - William Shakespeare
108.   Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
109.    Les Miserables - Victor Hugo
110.    All quiet on the Wesern Front
111. The call of the wild
112.   Don Quixote - Cervantes
113.   Their eyes were watching God -
114.  The time machine – H G Wells
115.   Ray Bradbury - Fahrenheit 45
116.   H.G. Wells - The invisible man
117.    The perks of being a wallflower - Shephen Dibosky
118.    Shades of Gray - Jasper Fforde
119.     2001, a space odyssey – Arthur C Clarke
120.    War of the worlds – H G Wells

czwartek, 16 stycznia 2014

The Big Bang Theory

          I don't watch sitcoms very often because I prefere movies. However, once in a while I get sucked into one and I get curious about how the story develops. And so it was with "The Big Bang Theory".

        The story revolves around four guys: Leonard, Sheldon, Howard and Raj and a girl Penny

       Leonard and Sheldon are roomates, who one day meet their new neighbour Penny. Leonard takes to her immediately. Later Penny is introduced to Howard (a sex maniac) and Raj (a very shy guy who cannot talk to women). All the guys are very smart scientists, who do research in various fields and work at the university.

       Penny becomes a friend of the boys and teaches them quite a lot about real life. They teach her about comic books,computer games and movies. In later episodes we meet Amy (who starts going out with Sheldon) and Bernadette (Howard's girlfriend and later wife).

       The sitcom is very funny and the subject (the scientists) is quite different from all other sitcoms there are.

The cast

czwartek, 9 stycznia 2014

Indian chai

               Tea is drunk in many countries. But nowhere in the world it is drunk like in India.

Let’s first say that Indians drink tea a few times a day. Especially when someone visits them or when they meet somebody new. "Before we drink it we may be strangers, but after drinking chai we become friends" one friend told me.

Making chai is quite simple. You take tea (usually leaf tea), water and milk. To make a glass of chai we take half glass of water, half glass of milk and for example two spoons of tea. You put all of this in a pot and boil it. After it boils we turn the gas of and let the tea stand and cool of a bit for around three minutes (an advice from my friend’s mother). During the cooking Indians usually add sugar. But if you don’t like sweet tea and you make chai at home you can omit that part. Or add sugar later.

Chai should be drunk hot. It always puzzled me since India is a very hot place even without drinking hot drinks. However, drinking it hot goes together well with the philosophy: we eat and drink according to our climate. When you drink something hot the temperature of your body rises and to cool it of you start to sweat. Thus, when you drink something hot – you get cooler. I have to admit that it makes sense to me now J

You can buy chai anywhere. In restaurants, tea shops, on street stands, bus or train stations or trains themselves. Drinking tea in a train is a great experience and I recommend it to everyone ;). You can have it in china cups, metal containers, tiny plastic cups or glasses.

There is something unique and beautiful in the way the tea is treated in India. It's such a special beverage drunk in a special way. If you ever travel to India try it or let someone invite you to it.

A metal cup with a saucer. Tea can be poured into the saucer to make it cooler

Tea in a usual, small glass

Homemade tea in a stylish cup

Tibetan chai with butter

Chai stand in Surat

Pictures by me :)

czwartek, 2 stycznia 2014

New Year again

          The New Year is comming again. Time flies like crazy lately. I am sure that it will be the same in 2014. Probably I will not even know when and it will be the middle of the year already.

          I decided not to make New Year's resolutions. I guess you can make a fresh start anytime you wants. New Year or Monday is not neccessary to do it.

         I only hope I will not waste my time :)