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It’s almost a new year!
You may not know, but Amy & I have a New Year’s tradition. 2016 will mark the third year that she & I spend reading a book together on New Year’s Day.
The past 2 years were both fantastic in their own way.
2014 – The Bronze Horseman
2015 – Fight Club
The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons
Poetic. Glorious. Phenominal. Enchanting. Poignant.
*An Entire Universe of Stars*
Why did I wait so long to read this … WHY? Words alone are not enough to convey the feelings I have for this story & the genius that is Paullina Simons. My new all-time favorite book.
Once when they were in love and young…
This is the story of Tatiana and Alexander. Theirs is an enduring love. So true, so strong, so unbreakable …
It will open your heart and soul to all possibilities of life.
Tatiana felt herself floating on the cloud of fate that laced her afternoon with improbability and desire. Desire for life.
Set in WWII Russia. Hunger, pain and suffering abounds. There are points of utter desperation and despair. It is uncomfortable to read. It is agonizing to empathize. Yet through this adversity, our characters shine.
Tatiana (Tatia) is without doubt, the strongest female lead I have ever read. Her unwavering belief in doing right by others and her utter devotion to her family put her in the league of saints. Underestimated by everyone, paralleled by none. I was left in awe of her quiet fortitude.
Alexander (Shura) has an absolutely fascinating and devastating backstory. He believes that a promise made is a promise kept, regardless of consequence to his own well-being. He is a soldier, a knight in shining armour, a god among men.
Together they are the epitome of perfection (even in all their imperfections). And their love truly is the stuff of legend.
“I found my love on Ulitsa Saltykov-Schedrin, while I sat on a bench eating ice cream.”
“You didn’t find me. You weren’t even looking for me. I found you.”
Long pause. “Alexander, were you … looking for me?”
“All my lilfe.”
“Shura, how can we have such a closeness? How can we have such a connection? Right from the start?”
“We don’t have a closeness.”
“No. We don’t have a connection.”
“No. We have a communion.”
If you have not read this book … don’t wait any longer. All the tears, all the heartache, all the hunger and pain. So. Worth. It.
Every once in awhile a book enters our life that changes the way we think and feel.
Reading this book but felt like watching a WW2 documentary that included a love story. The Bronze Horseman could be categorized as a realistic historical fiction. The whole scenario felt real. When the characters suffered I suffered along with them in my everyday life. Watching this family struggle to survive in Russia during the winter while a war has taken over their city and one soldier making it his mission to save them had me inconstant emotional turmoil. Being able to see the war through the eyes of a soldier and the citizens made the story come alive right before my very eyes.
The beauty of the Bronze Horseman is it leaves you realizing to never take important things in your life for granted. It’s rare when a book can make you reevaluate your life and makes you want to change for the better.
One word is so powerful that I get chills thinking about it now – Orbeli. I won’t say anymore as not to ruin the power behind this word. After you’re done with this book and realize what it means and you’ll be awestruck.
Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk
MORAL OF THE STORY -> NOT EVERYTHING’S A ROMANCE!
THE RULES OF FIGHT CLUB
1st Rule: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB.
2nd Rule: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB.
There are actually 8 rules to FIGHT CLUB … BUT really it’s the first 2 that count 😉
If you’ve seen the movie, or read this book, then you know how gritty, violent and borderline psychotic it is ….
But after my audio book buddy read with Foxy I’m convinced it really could be the LOVE STORY she was wishing for.
So here is my homage to Foxy & her ROMANTIC VERSION of FIGHT CLUB …
Awe … Now isn’t that sweet!
This was an amazing way to start a New Year … And since I practically forced Amy into this *wink wink … I’ll be watching the movie again real soon … Only this time with a new perspective.
MORAL OF THE STORY -> GET SOME SLEEP!
THE RULES OF FIGHT CLUB:
1st RULE: You do not talk about FIGHT CLUB.
2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about FIGHT CLUB.
3rd RULE: If someone says “stop” or goes limp, taps out the fight is over.
4th RULE: Only two guys to a fight.
5th RULE: One fight at a time.
6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes.
7th RULE: Fights will go on as long as they have to.
8th RULE: If this is your first night at FIGHT CLUB, you HAVE to fight.
In the summer of 2014 Kim and I were discussing movies and she mentioned- Fight Club. Since I had never seen it she told me that I needed to see it to stay her friend. I searched for months trying to find it but not until the other day did I notice that HBO was showing it. I watched it right away.
WHOA!!! I knew nothing about this movie except for the title and the first two rules (who hasn’t heard that thrown around since the ’90’s). I just assumed it would be like Beautiful Disaster with fighting and romance. How naive of me to go into the movie thinking that because by the end of this one it BLEW MY MIND. I was so upset when I was done watching it because it was NOT like Beautiful Disaster and I was filled with questions. After bombarding Kim with all my questions I began searching online for answers and I learned that this was actually a book first and the ending in the book differs from the movie (but had the same general gist of the story).
For New Year’s 2014 Kim and I read The Bronze Horseman and we decided for New Year’s 2015 we would read Fight Club. I began searching the used bookstores around my area for a copy. I had envisioned finding a used SIGNED copy and mailing it to Kim. After searching three book stores my dreams were dwindling but on my fourth try I found one with used copies. They only had SIGNED copies which was exactly what I wanted. Unfortunately, they ranged from $200 to $400. Sorry, Kim, but I wasn’t able to get you a signed copy.
On New Year’s Eve my family and I headed to the coast for a seafood ‘linner’ (lunch and dinner). We swung by a used bookstore and came across the cassette tapes. YAY!!! Kim and I listened to this one and the audio was great.
Here is the thing about this book/movie… it was the author’s debut novel and became a cult favorite. The movie made it even more popular. There are some differences between the two but overall it’s a very close adaption of the book.
BECAUSE I REALLY WANTED THIS TO BE A LOVE STORY I’M GOING TO WRITE ABOUT “HOW IT IS A LOVE STORY.”
Fight Club is a Disturbing Love Story… One where the reader questions the sanity of the characters. Our nameless narrator meets a woman named Marla. She will change his life. They meet at one of the many support groups that they attend (which neither of them have a legit reason to attend). “Marla doesn’t have testicular cancer. Marla doesn’t have tuberculosis. She isn’t dying. Okay in that brain brain-food philosophy way, we’re all dying, but Marla isn’t dying the way Chloe was dying.”
Through the narrator’s pursuit of Marla he begins to unravel. “I knew this would happen,” Marla says. “You’re such a flake. You love me. You ignore me. You save my life, then you cook my mother into soap.”
Okay, I know it’s a far stretch for me to say that there is a love story within this disturbing book but even people with mental health issues can love someone. I know this book is more about anarchy and the working class wanting to be treated with respect. But since I’m a romance reader I’m sticking to the “love story” part of this book.
After watching the movie and reading the book I’m pretty grossed out about eating soup in a restaurant and using soap. If you’ve read the book or seen the movie you’ll get it.
The author graduated from my alma mater, University of Oregon (before I attended). He also lives in Portland, Oregon and the house from the movie was inspired from a house in Portland. For those who will watch the movie there are several famous people in the movie: Brad Pitt (Tyler Durden) | Edward Norton (narrator) | Meat Loaf (Bob Paulson) | Jared Leto (Angel Face).