Laureaţii Nobel pentru literatură-Sully Prudhomme

Sfârșitul de an aduce pe blogul Books Express o splendidă serie a laureaților Nobel pentru literatură, cei 109 care au primit acest premiu respectabil datorită contribuției lor aduse literaturii. Premiul Nobel  a spart frontierele și i-a apreciat pe toţi scriitorii în mod egal pentru operele care au încântat întreaga lume. Continue reading “Laureaţii Nobel pentru literatură-Sully Prudhomme”

Winter festivals

Mai durează ceva până când iarna își va intra în drepturi depline. Fără zăpadă parcă nu e același lucru. E doar extrem de frig, blocurile sunt reci și înghețate, amorțite și sumbre. Câteva luminițe ici, colo, încercând să aducă spiritul Crăciunului care se cam lasă așteptat. Italy’s EpiphanyCelebrated on Jan. 6, the Epiphany honors the story in Christianity of the three wise men who came bearing gifts for the baby Jesus. In the same spirit of gift-giving, children who have been good all year receive treats from La Befana, which translates to “Christmas Witch,” according to Maria Liberati, author of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking: Holidays & Special Occasions. Italy’s version of Santa Claus, La Befana is a good witch who spreads happiness. Dressed in peasant clothing, La Befana would give gifts of fruit, nuts and candy. The tradition comes from a time when there was a lot of poverty in Italy.“This also relates to the Italian culture of not celebrating a commercial Christmas, but one that is filled with family, friends and special sentiments,” Liberati says.Hanukkah Called the “Festival of Lights,” Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days starting on the 25th day of the Hebrew month Kislev, which usually falls in November or December.This Jewish holiday honors the story of the Maccabee people who defeated their Syrian overlords to enter their Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Defiled by the Syrians, the Temple was to be rededicated by the Maccabees, but they only had enough oil to light the lamps for one day. Miraculously the small amount kept the Temple lights burning for eight nights.The celebration of Hanukkah today honors its history by lighting a special candelabrum, called a menorah, that has nine candlesticks: one to honor each night of Hanukkah, and one that is lit for the purpose of lighting the other candles. United States’ KwanzaaA non-religious holiday, Kwanzaa is celebrated to honor African-American heritage, culture and community. It lasts seven days, beginning the day after Christmas and ending on New Year’s Day.Inspired by the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1960s, Kwanzaa was founded by African-American scholar and activist Maulana Karenga in 1966. Its roots come from African first-fruit harvest celebrations; Kwanzaa is derived from the Swahili phrase “matunda ya kwanza” meaning “first fruits.” The young holiday has multiple activities common to other African first-fruit celebrations, such as gatherings of family and friends and showing reverence for the creator and creation.Yukon QuestLooking for a fun sporting event? In February, head to Alaska to cheer on mushers and their sled dog teams, as they make their 1,000-mile, 10- to 16-day trek, from Fairbanks, Alaska to Whitehorse, Yukon in Canada. The Yukon Quest Trail follows historical Gold Rush and Mail Delivery dog sled routes from the turn of the 20th Century. The champion wins a $35,000 purse.Ottawa’s WinterludeIn Ottawa, Ontario and Gatineau, Quebec, they celebrate Winterlude or in French, Bal de Neige. Canada’s National Capital Commission runs the 3-week winter festival in February, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors each year. There’s no shortage of things to keep people busy. Some activities and entertainment include musical concerts, an ice sculpture competition, ice skating in the largest ice playground, or relax and chill out in the ice lounge.

 Hwacheaon Sancheoneo Ice FestivalThis annual festival takes place in Hwacheon, located in South Korea’s Gangwon province. This virtually untouched region is known as the first area in Korea that freezes over in the winter, and the river is covered with a thick layer of ice. Visitors can try ice fishing with their bare hands; view an exhibition of ice sculptures that take over 20 weeks to prepare; and sample raw and grilled mountain trout. The winter festival runs for almost the entire month of January.
Sapporo Snow FestivalThis famous festival is held in Sapporo, Japan, over a 7- day period in February. It is 1 of Japan’s largest and most distinctive events. Millions of people visit Sapporo for the International Snow Sculpture Contest, to view the impeccable, frozen art in Odori Park and Susukino. And much like any major winter festival, an annual beauty contest is held to crown a new Susukino Queen of Ice.
Quebec City’s Winter CarnivalQuebec City’s Winter Carnival is the largest and most popular winter celebration in the world. Visitors spend more than $42 million per winter in this city of winter wonder. The festival starts during the last week in January and ends in mid-February. Some of the fun festivities include the Uniprix 400-feet ice slide, dog sled racing, snow rafting, the Arctic Spas Village, outdoor dance parties, night parades, winter camping, and much more.

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25 de carti pe care trebuie sa le citesti de la 20 de ani in sus

Suntem tineri și ne place să experimentăm, să aflăm cât mai multe lucruri. Suntem curioși și nerăbdători, vrem să vedem tot, să cunoaștem tot și căutăm aventura.

3. The Deptford Trilogy, by Robertson Davies

A wondrously insane and magical (in that it is actually about a magician) three-book series.

4. The Secret History, by Donna Tartt

The best time to read The Secret History is probably while you’re still in college, because it is about a secret society at a small liberal arts college gone horribly awry, but it is also worth picking up a few years later to be reminded about the intensity of college friendships, and also Ancient Greek.

6. A Visit from the Goon Squad, by Jennifer Egan

These interwoven narratives (some of which were published as stand-alone stories in magazines such as the New Yorker) are brilliantly crafted, wryly tender portraits of life and love and the small tragedies of everyday modern life.

7. The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Díaz

A book about the search for meaning even when life might be meaningless. (Also, my colleague Ariane says: “Yunior is also the dopest narrator you will ever encounter.”)

8. Lucy, by Jamaica Kincaid

A powerful coming-of-age story of an introspective 19-year-old girl from the West Indies who becomes an au pair in the U.S.

9. The Moviegoer, by Walker Percy

The story of Binx Bolling is kind of like what might have happened if Dick Whitman never became Don Draper, and instead started wandering around first New Orleans, and then the country, on a neverending spiritual and existential quest.

10. White Teeth, by Zadie Smith

In addition to White Teeth being perhaps the ultimate 20th century British immigrant novel, it will also, possibly, inspire you to greatness: Smith finished it during her final year at Cambridge and was 24 (!!!) when it was published.

12. Infinite Jest, by David Foster Wallace

Because you’ll never have time to read it later.

14. The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri

A beautifully told coming-of-age story that is also about how to reconcile in-betweenness: of culture, of place, of time.

16. The Rachel Papers, by Martin Amis

The Rachel Papers is “a fairly essential ‘leaving adolescence and discovering that everything is still confusing and awful’ kind of novel,” says my colleague Jack, which seems like a pretty decent recommendation.

17. Song of Solomon, by Toni Morrison

You almost definitely read this in high school English class, but you will almost definitely also have a much different perspective on Milkman and his family and their struggles a few years later.

18. The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway

Another English syllabus special, Hemingway’s tight prose and peerless storytelling are somehow more resonant when you are reading it on your own. Or as my colleague Matt put it: “I couldn’t keep my eyes open for more than five pages of Hemingway growing up, but for some reason I picked this up in my post-graduation haze and was mesmerized.”

19. Never Let Me Go, by Kazuo Ishiguro

The ultimate dystopian love story. If it doesn’t make you cry, your heart may be made of stone.

20. A Home at the End of the World, by Michael Cunningham

A classic “queer Bildungsroman,” as my colleague Kevin says.

21. The Sandman Series, by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman’s dark, tragic comic series originally ran as a 10-book series from 1989 to 1996 but has now entered the graphic-novel pantheon.

27. The Bell Jar, by Sylvia Plath

My friend Julia puts it well: “What the protagonist Esther Greenwood goes through pretty much speaks to my whole generation and the next. College graduates who don’t know what they want to do as a career, are not excited about things their parents say they should be, want to have sex but not babies… all of it. It also encourages young people to be unafraid to voice their feelings and opinions. Makes me wish Sylvia Plath could have read her own book without prejudice — it might have helped.”

29. His Dark Materials trilogy, by Philip Pullman

The classic fantasy series — if you’ve only seen The Golden Compass, the film based on the first book in the series, you owe it to yourself to read the books (which are so much better).

33. I Love Dick, by Chris Kraus

I’ll let my friend Emily handle this one: “Readers will be rewarded with most psychologically astute sex scene ever written, plus a thorough, impassioned and wholly unique analysis of the power dynamics of heterosexual sex and love, how heterosexuality works to keep women unrepresented and unable to fully represent themselves, and how that affects the world.” Whew! (Also, sorta fun to read this one on the subway, IYKWIM.)

34. On the Road, by Jack Kerouac

So that you’ll realize the way you felt about this book in high school has totally changed.

36. Hard-Boiled Wonderland and the End of the World, by Haruki Murakami

Two complicated, brilliant, and intertwined yet distinct narratives (Hard-Boiled Wonderland and The End of the World) about a surreal dystopia.


37. Bossypants, by Tina Fey

This whole book is filled with brilliance — about work, about being a woman, about being a mom, about being a boss — but one of my favorites is what Fey writes about Amy Poehler: “Amy made it clear that she wasn’t there to be cute. She wasn’t there to play wives and girlfriends in the boys’ scenes. She was there to do what she wanted to do and she did not fucking care if you like it.”

39. How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, by Toby Young

Young’s memoir about his (mis)adventures in the New York media scene can seem a bit petulant, but he does manage to capture pretty perfectly that world’s bizarre rituals and petty status obsessions.

41. Lunar Park, by Bret Easton Ellis

Technically a novel, but more of a fictionalized memoir: “It’s about what happens when you reach your career goals yet you still find yourself haunted by ghosts,” says my colleague Michael. Also, it’s important to read Bret Easton Ellis before you get too old.

42. Just Kids, by Patti Smith

One of my favorite books of the last few years, maybe ever. Smith’s memoir is about falling in love — with a man, with New York, with her adult self — and will make you long for a New York that you never knew.

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25 de cărți pentru oameni cool

Cititul este cool, la modă și extrem de sexy, mai ales dacă avem în mână niște opere inteligente ale autorilor care au știut ce să scrie. Este una dintre activitățile cele mai relaxante, mai educative și extrem de apreciate. Ceea ce citim ne definește, ne transformă, contribuie la dezvoltarea și maturizarea noastră. Dacă știm ce să citim e foarte ușor să dobândim niște cunoștințe care ne vor fi de ajutor în viață. Și de ce să nu recunoaștem, așa vom atrage și niște priviri inteligente.

Mai jos sunt 25 de cărți „cool” pe care merită, trebuie, să le citiți dacă deja nu le-ați parcurs. Noi vi le recomandăm cu cea mai mare căldură. Continue reading “25 de cărți pentru oameni cool”

Power Relationships – 26 Legi pentru relaţii extraordinare

Power Relationships: 26 Irrefutable Laws for Building Extraordinary Relationships
Există legi puternice, dar invizibile, ce decid dacă relaţiile pe care le avem cu prietenii, colegii sau clienţii vor progresa sau se vor deteriora. Rareori ne dăm seama de prezenţa acestor legi, iar atunci când le acordăm atenţie, rezultatele în plan social sunt incredibile. Dacă ţinem cont de ele vom observa o îmbunătăţire a relaţiilor cu cei din jurul nostru.

Este destul de dificil să construim raporturi sociale şi este şi mai greu să le păstrăm. Soluţia construirii relaţiilor stabile şi a menţinerii acestora o găsim în cartea Power Relationships. O putem privi ca pe un ghid în obţinerea succesului în viaţa personală şi în cea profesională, doar dacă respectăm paşii indicaţi şi nu sărim etape importante. O influenţă mare asupra reuşitei noastre o exercită relaţiile pe care le avem cu oamenii din mediul nostru, de aceea trebuie să ştim cum să-i abordăm şi cum să le câştigăm încrederea.  Continue reading “Power Relationships – 26 Legi pentru relaţii extraordinare”