What's your favorite book, and why?
I Have a lot of favorites books. Some of them are: Classics like Pride and Prejudice, One hundred years of solitude, Fantasy like The Mortal Instruments Series... and a lot more. What's Yours?
Mine is probably The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoyevsky. Or maybe The Brothers Karamazov. I think Dostoyevsky is the best writer in the history of our civilization. He has a way of stripping away all the surface silliness and seeing straight to the heart of what it means to be human. Sometimes when reading him I feel as though he knows me completely, through some sort of time-travel-telepathy process, and is laying bare my secret heart that not even I recognized (or allowed myself to admit) until that point. He sees all the baseness that's there, and also the divinity. He has a genius that has you instantly caring about his characters, and identifying with them. And the stories are so powerful and compelling that you can't stop thinking about them for days and weeks afterward. I remember my actual life seeming so paltry and unimportant compared to what was happening in the books, when I first read them. And I get more and more out of the novels each time I read them, as my life experiences deepen my understanding of the situation, and of the people involved. He told the truth. That's all I can say.
For anyone who thinks they might like to read Dostoyevsky, try the novella White Nights. It is fairly short and very characteristic of him. If you like it, you will like Dostoyevsky, I think. Another short story of his that I love is called The Little Hero. It is very hard to find, though, having been out of print for a while.
One huge reason I will study Russian is to read Dostoyevsky in the original.
Wow. What a beautiful and profound comment. I'm currently reading The Brothers Karamazov. I felt completely identified with everything you wrote. I feel reflected in several of the characters in both their lights and their darkest aspects. Bravo, Tatiana! Excellent as always.
Thank you! I would love to hear what you think of it when you're done! And if you've read any of the others yet, and whether you like them.
Seguro. Te escribiré cuando termine de leerlo para contarte que me pareció. Hasta ahora me ha parecido genial. Tengo ganas de leer más libros de Dostoyevsky. Hace años leí "Crimen y castigo" pero creo que estaba muy chamo (joven) y no lo entendí bien. Me pareció difícil y aburrido entonces. Lo quiero volver a leer porque creo que ahora sí lo entendería y apreciaría mejor. Me ha pasado ya con varios libros. Por ejemplo, hace muchos años leí "Cien años de soledad" y no me gustó; dije que era aburrida. Hace poco la volví a leer y me encantó. Quizá me pase lo mismo con "Crimen y castigo". ¿Qué crees tú?
Lo mismo me pasó con Orgullo y Prejuicio, jaja. No es un libro muy dificil, pero cuando lo leí en el colegio, me resultó muyyy aburrido. Me gustó el argumento, pero el estilo me era tan árido que me rendí y me conformé con ver la película. Pero cuando volví a tratar de leerlo hace unos años, me resultó divertidísimo - me encantó ese humor seco que no había comprendido antes. Tendré que leer más de sus libros cuando tenga tiempo (o mejor decir, cuando vuelva a leer en inglés, jaja).
Cada vez que te leo, me cuesta cree que no eres hispano-parlante nativo. ¡Impresionante! Solo una pequeñísima corrección, en vez de "mejor decir" usa "mejor dicho" (al final de tu comentario); aunque es un detalle que, para ser sincero, casi ni se nota. Ojalá yo pudiera escribir y hablar el inglés así de bien. Y respecto a los libros, creo que hay algunos que piden que uno tenga un poquito de madurez, sensibilidad o experiencia de vida que no se ha logrado aún cuando uno está muy chamo ("joven", en español venezolano). Me ha pasado con varios libros que he vuelto a leer ahora de adulto. Es por eso que estoy volviendo a leer clásicos que antes no me gustaron para ver si esta vez los puedo disfrutar más.
The first 150 pages of Crime and Punishment were slow and hard to get through for me. After that, the story pulled me in and I enjoyed the book altogether very much. I pull out my hair and bite my fingernails over Rodion's actions, and yet, I so understand him!
Probably my favorite scene is when Dunia's fiance tucked a hundred ruble note in Sonia's pocket secretly, and his friend saw him and thought it was a kindly deed. Later the fiance accused Sonia of stealing the note, and "found" it in her pocket, trying to discredit Rodion in his sister's eyes, for helping Sonia's family. But his friend tells what he saw and the fiance goes off in a huff. Poor Sonia is terrified and realizes how fragile her existence is, and is afraid of what would happen to her family if she's ever thrown in prison through no fault of her own. Dunia realizes what a creep her fiance is, and calls off the wedding, and it's just the most powerful scene ever.
The feelings in Dostoyevsky are so powerful that they can almost be overwhelming at times. So much darkness and then the light breaks through and we are blasted by the light.
Knowing about his life story, and how many of the things that happen in his books actually happened to him in his life, too, makes it even more interesting. He was a passionate and yet quite a gentle and loving soul. He was an intellectual and activist in his youth, then was convicted of sedition against the Tzarist government for his writings, and sentenced to death by firing squad. He was led out along with other prisoners to be shot, his sentence being commuted to 10 years hard labor at the very last moment. Then he served in Siberia and after being released came back and wrote his greatest works. His father was a dissolute and profligate man, who was murdered by his own serfs. Dostoyevsky himself had epilepsy and was addicted to gambling, and often desperate for money, writing at the very last moment to make deadlines. Some of his work is of dubious quality, I think, because of this. He married Anna Snitkina and she was a huge boon in his life, helping him by taking dictation and typing up the manuscripts, keeping the creditors and importunate relatives off his back, and making it possible for him to have a quiet life so that he could write.
I love Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, and The Brothers Karamazov which are his major novels. I also love many of his shorter works, including White Nights and The Little Hero which I mentioned earlier. Some of his novels I haven't managed to get through yet, including The Devils and The Adolescent. I'll have to tackle them again soon.
No recuerdo mucho de "Crimen y Castigo". Por eso es necesario que lo vuelva a leer. Cuando lo haga te contaré que tal me fue. Ya estoy terminando "Los hermanos Karamazov". Voy por la parte del juicio. Casi que no puedo parar de leerlo. En un par de días debo terminarlo. Y sí, la vida de Dostoyevsky es una novela en sí misma. Creo que tantas experiencias tan extremas lo ayudaron a escribir como lo hizo. Se nota que escribe no solo desde la mente sino también desde el corazón y desde la experiencia de lo vivido. Eso hace que lo valore y respete más.
Brothers Karamazov is one of my favorites ever! We read one chapter of it in an existentialism class back in college, and the next semester, when there was a class offered on the book, I jumped on it because I knew I'd never be able to get through it on my own.
I have a lot of respect for Dostoevsky, though, because usually when you're trying to push a very religious point, you don't make the opposing viewpoint as strong as he did with Ivan. Such compelling writing there, I really need to reread it some day (preferably in the original if I ever get anywhere with Russian).
Dostoyevsky was an atheist and intellectual in his youth, similar to Ivan Karamazov. It was much later when he became Christian, so he's arguing on both sides of the question at once, I think. I love that he doesn't try to advocate any viewpoint or grind any axes but does the readers the respect of showing us life writ large, and letting us come to our own conclusions about it all. For much of my life, Ivan's argument convinced me. His collection of newspaper clippings of the most horrible things that humans were capable of, the most unjust crimes happening to the most innocent of children, made him decide that if there were a God, He was not worthy of worship, and if there was a Grand Plan, it was one he wanted no part of. I find that point of view quite defensible.
Oddly, I later became Christian myself, just as Dostoyevsky did, maybe from a deepening of understanding that came from more lived experience, or so it seems to me. But I see both sides, and still can totally get Ivan's point of view.
Yeah, I know his history (or at least some of it), though... to be honest, I think that still arguing both sides is pretty admirable. The sincerity and compassion involved is really heartening. When C.S. Lewis converted, for example... well, I'm not too thrilled with everything he wrote, heh.
What I love most about the way he argued both sides is that they were always kind of arguing past each other. Alyosha never really gave a direct counterargument to what Ivan had to say - his chapters always seemed to be operating on a different spiritual level entirely. "All this may be true, but there is still beauty in the world," and so forth.
Have you ever read Kierkegaard or any of the other Christian existentialists? I remember my professor spent the whole semester insisting that Dostoevsky shouldn't be associated with existentialism because it wasn't what he was really going for, and for my final project, I argued that there was an entire brand of religious existentialism that was entirely in line with what he was saying. So you might find some of those authors interesting if you're not already familiar with them. =)
Haven't read Kierkegaard yet. So many good books, so little time!
I have started with Brothers Karamazov. It's my fisrt Dostoyevsky book I hope to enjoy it!
La primera mitad es un poco más árida. La segunda mitad del libro es lo máximo, en mi humilde opinión. Quizá la primera parte se me hizo más difícil de llevar porque no conocía bien la trama y los personajes y se vuelve muy profunda y filosófica. Tendré que leerlo otra vez algún día. Seguro lo aprovecharé aún más.
Thanks! I started to read it in english but I think it was a very bad idea because its very philosofical and hard to read in a foreing language. I think I will start again in spanish and I will start other easy novel in English to improve my vocabulary.
Si no tienes un dominio avanzado del inglés, mejor la lees en español primero. Te recomiendo leer libros más fáciles en inglés para que le vayas agarrando el gusto y el ritmo. Los cuentos o libros para niños son buenos. Intenta con Harry Potter o algo así. También puedes probar con algún libro que hayas leído en español y te haya gustado y ahora lo puedes leer en inglés.
You are right! I have read Harry Potter. It is interesting and I enjoyed with it. But I would like read other to adults but not hard to understand.
Yes, i do. I Started with Young Adult books, they have an easier vocabulary. At least the contemporany ones. I haven't read Harry Potter because it have some terms invented by the author and that could be a little confused for the ones who wanted to learn English.
I'm agree dostoyevski is the best writer. You know he wrote his novels in the jail. For me a master piece is crime and punishment.
s a very dificult reading, congratulations! I was started Les Miserables (Victor Hugo), but there are a lot of pages, i cant finish it.
"Los miserables" es un poquito más fácil de leer que los Hermanos Karamazov, creo yo. Pero, ambos son tremendos libros. Recomendados.
El libro de literatura que más me ha gustado es el amor en los tiempos del Cólera de GabrieI García Márquez, es una excelente obra literaria. La película, aunque buena, no "cabe" en el libro y finaliza con una gran canción interpretada de manera excelente por Shakira....(Hay amores que se vuelven resistentes a los daños,como el vino que mejora con los años, asi crece lo que siento yo por ti) ...etc. Es un libro muy recomendable, lo he leido dos veces.
Siempre me ha llamado la atención pero aun no lo he leído. Este año lo leeré, si Dios quiere :)
Pride an Prejudice is one of my favorite books too!!! and the movie is really beautiful I recommended you! Anyway, the books are very special to me, because when you read you can go to different worlds and is magic!
I like Mortal Instruments, too. But my favorite book is definitely A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.
Hello Michellepolom my favorite book are One hundred years of solitude because speaks about the customs of my region caribbean and is very funny. My favorite movie is Pride an Prejudice, I have seen more than twenty times ¿can you believe it?
Do you live in the caribbean? Because i do!! Hahah Actually, i do believe it!! I have seen Prinde and Prejudice three times, and that's because i just saw it last month!!
Do you have seen the movie "Emma"? It is based in the Jane Austen's Book, it is fantastic. Another book I like is "Gone with the Wind" of Margaret Mitchell, I recommend you.
No, I haven't. I want to read the book first. Thanks for the recommendation!
I love the book thief, Justine by marquis of sade and others... :) My favourite author is a Mexican Juan Rulfo, he wrote books in times after revolution in mexico. Him books are little tales about people that live in little villages and he describe the lifestile in the period of revolution in mexico.
I hope that you understand me, English in process.
Well, my favourite book right now is: "The Hunger Games". It's so addicting! Thanks for asking! :*
Have you already read the whole trilogy or just the first? I would loved to talk to you about the books.
i have only seen the first movie because I prefered to continue reading the books. I think the movie has some parts missing
An please, Michelle could you watch this? Help me to get suscribers, my friends don't believe I can get famous on Youtube some day... Please suscribe! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqbDqK4NNri6ojO95eby9Ig
My ultimate favorite is definitely: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I can also add The Dangerous Liaisons by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos and Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.
I like The Mortal Instruments Series as well, The Hunger Games are also amazing but my favorite fantasy author is definitely Trudi Canavan. I love all of her books.
 I'd also like to add some Polish books I really like, The Career of Nicodemus Dyzma by Tadeusz Dołęga-Mostowicz, Nights and Days by Maria Dąbrowska, Dziady by Adam Mickiewicz, and from the recent years: Entanglement by Zygmunt Miłoszewski
My favorite book is time flies Diana Briones is a very good book to kids love it! Mix things everyday with impossible things like that all the people of your city disappear and just stay your partner and denser your course ...
That's great..!! reading is a good habit...! When I read just for pleasure, I like to much classic literature, like: Sherlok Holmes of Arthur Conan Doile, David Copperfield of Charles Dickens, Ana Karemina of Lev Tolstoi, and others
well it is a difficult questio cuz i have a lot, everithing of Gabriel García marquéz is great for me and Julio Cortazar is the must talent and smarter writer for me.
I Want to read Julio cortazar's books, which one do you recommend me for start?
historia de cronopios y de famas. it is great, excuse me i am new in duolingo and i wanna traslate more and read more what can i do?
Hi Michelle, my favorite book is Tokyo Blues from Haruki Murakami because is a history full emotions and a character i like me.
I have that book for to-be-read. I am going to start it soon. I really hope me to like it.
Hi, my favorite book is kingkiller chronicle of Patrick Rothfuss, is one trilogy but the tree book it's not publish :( is a amazing story, you need read that book ;)