Life at Full Throttle
Author: Jan Kaczkowski
My rating: 7.5/10
The book is a fantastic read. It’s an open conversation with Priest Jan Kaczkowski, who is sadly no longer with us. He does not shy away from addressing challenging and often controversial topics.
Priests who are a bit unconventional fascinate me. On one hand, I admire his spirituality and authentic devotion to the Eucharist – it takes a strong and genuine faith for that. On the other hand, I value his nonconformism and the courage he displays in advocating views that aren’t always entirely in line with Church doctrine, particularly his common-sense approach to certain issues.
Undeniably, his service among the sick in the hospice he initiated and managed effectively is commendable. He serves as a role model for many sick people, not just cancer patients, through his faithful trust and fierce battle against disease.
Priest Kaczkowski is a unique phenomenon within the Polish church, describing himself as an ‘onco-celebrity’. Some of his views might be debatable, but I wish for more such open and service-ready priests. I recommend this book to everyone.
Author: Franz Kafka
My rating: 8.5/10
The Trial by Franz Kafka is a fascinating and unnerving exploration of bureaucracy, personal freedom, and the often senseless nature of the systems that govern us. Here’s a short review of the novel:
Franz Kafka’s “The Trial” is a masterwork of existential literature. Kafka spins an eerie and profound narrative about a man named Josef K. who finds himself entangled in a faceless and impenetrable bureaucratic system after being arrested for a crime that is never explicitly stated. Kafka’s intricate portrayal of Josef’s struggles with this bewildering and nightmarish reality is both disquieting and compelling.
The novel’s ending, typical of Kafka’s style, leaves more questions than answers, highlighting the intricate complexities of our societal structures and the individual’s place within them. As such, “The Trial” serves as a haunting mirror to our own world, reflecting societal absurdities we often choose to ignore.
The Old Man and the Sea
Author: Ernest Hemingway
My rating: 8/10
Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” is a profound, beautifully written novella that tells a timeless tale of man versus nature. Hemingway’s poignant depiction of the old fisherman’s endurance against the relentless sea is a testament to the human spirit. The author’s terse style and deep introspection invites the reader to reflect on themes of determination, resilience, and the respect owed to the natural world. This classic is a brief yet intense read that remains deeply impactful.
“But a man is not made for defeat. A man can be destroyed but not defeated.”
The Art of Love (Ars Amatoria)
My rating: 6 /10
“The Art of Love” or “Ars Amatoria” by Ovid is a delightfully tongue-in-cheek guide to romance in ancient Rome. Its playful, witty, and insightful tone shows Ovid’s remarkable ability to observe human behavior. He provides a detailed manual on finding, winning, and keeping love while peppering his narrative with humorous insights into human nature and love. Here is a short review with a few funny quotes:
Ovid’s “The Art of Love” is a charmingly audacious and surprisingly humorous guide to the game of love in ancient Rome. The poet’s candid advice, astute observations, and cheeky humor make it an entertaining read even today. It’s a fascinating glimpse into the romantic customs of a bygone era, yet the playful exploration of human relationships feels timeless. This book is a treasure for anyone interested in the intersection of history, humor, and love.
- “We are all fools in love”
- “In our play we reveal what kind of people we are.”
- “Less beauty is more charm.”
- “Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish.”
- “If you want to be loved, be lovable.”
How to Raise a Child to Be a Cool Human Being
Author: Kaija Puura
My rating: 6.8/10
For a child to develop into a wonderful adult, they require love, validation, clear boundaries, and a sense of respect. Recognizing that life doesn’t stick to a script, the author shares insights on fostering our child’s emotional skills and how to cultivate teamwork within the family, all illustrated with real-world examples.
Rather than criticizing, the author presents parents with practical tools for dealing with challenging situations such as tantrums, habitual negativity, mealtimes, setting up daily routines, and difficult playground departures. She also highlights the importance of maintaining a relaxed attitude and healthy detachment amidst these challenges.
Kaija Puura, a professor of child psychiatry at the University of Tampere and practitioner at Tampere University Hospital, is a dedicated activist in child mental health support organizations. Her research emphasizes the mental well-being of young children, the influencing factors, and ways public health services can assist new parents.
Prostitution. An Extraordinary History. Part I. Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Israel
Author: Józef Lubecki
My rating: 6.5/10
An interesting book about the oldest profession in the world. It turns out that initially, the cause of prostitution was for religious reasons. Subsequently, it was about earning and profit.
“It’s very interesting that the introduction specifies when the author lived and when he wrote, and that the book did not go through ‘cultural censorship’.”
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For years I've been working as an IT Consultant in countries like Netherlands, Belgium, Poland or India developing enterprise class systems for the biggest companies within domain.
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