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Four books that shaped me

“However difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.”

– Stephen Hawking

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For some reason I have never been able to finish a Dutch book. I have always been attracted to the English language and have always preferred English books. By now my Dutch grammar has deteriorated so much that I got two one’s for my grammar test during my bachelor degree. Luckily, my degree was taught in English, so it was never that big of an issue.

Whenever I fall in love with a book, I also quickly fall in love with the author and all his other works. Therefore, this post will not only be about my four favorite books but also give an ode to the authors of these books.

If you ever thought: what book should I read? Definitely scroll down.

#1.) And the Mountains Echoed Khaled Hosseini

Summary:

So, then. You want a story and I will tell you one…Afghanistan, 1952. Abdullah and his sister Pari live in the small village of Shadbagh. To Abdullah, Pari, as beautiful and sweet-natured as the fairy for which she was named, is everything. More like a parent than a brother, Abdullah will do anything for her, even trading his only pair of shoes for a feather for her treasured collection. Each night they sleep together in their cot, their skulls touching, their limbs tangled. One day the siblings journey across the desert to Kabul with their father. Pari and Abdullah have no sense of the fate that awaits them there, for the event which unfolds will tear their lives apart; sometimes a finger must be cut to save the hand.

Opinion:

This was the first book I read from Khaled Hosseini and definitely also my favorite. It is a very raw and emotional story about the lifes of a brother and sister, forced apart, and reunited in the end. The way that Khaled Hosseini writes is amazing and very immersive. He writes in a way that it is very easy for the reader to see the story happening before their eyes. I can also say that this is my favorite book I have ever read so I thought it would be good to start the list with this one. I am also sorry for all the friends who have gotten this book from me as a gift BUT you are just legally obliged to read this book as my friend.

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#2.) Inferno – Dan Brown

Summary:

Florence: Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon awakes in a hospital bed with no recollection of where he is or how he got there. Nor can he explain the origin of the macabre object that is found hidden in his belongings. A threat to his life will propel him and a young doctor, Sienna Brooks, into a breakneck chase across the city. Only Langdon’s knowledge of the hidden passageways and ancient secrets that lie behind its historic facade can save them from the clutches of their unknown pursuers. With only a few lines from Dante’s Inferno to guide them, they must decipher a sequence of codes buried deep within some of the Renaissance’s most celebrated artworks to find the answers to a puzzle which may, or may not, help them save the world from a terrifying threat…

Opinion:

Again, I read almost every book of Dan Brown and the stories are all pretty similar. The only thing different in each story is the historical facts that the books are based upon. That is also the thing that makes these books such page-turners. The story might be fictional but the historical artifacts that are used for the story are definitely not. Dan Brown takes their reader into the world of art and the mysteries surrounding them.

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#3.) A Brief History of Time – Stephen Hawking

Summary:

Was there a beginning of time? Could time run backwards? Is the universe infinite or does it have boundaries? These are just some of the questions considered in an internationally acclaimed masterpiece by one of the world’s greatest thinkers. It begins by reviewing the great theories of the cosmos from Newton to Einstein, before delving into the secrets which still lie at the heart of space and time, from the Big Bang to black holes, via spiral galaxies and strong theory. To this day A Brief History of Time remains a staple of the scientific canon, and its succinct and clear language continues to introduce millions to the universe and its wonders.

Opinion:

This is the first book that I have ever read of Stephen Hawking. I purchased it shortly after his passing because I have always been fascinated by his life story and now I wanted to know more about his work. It is a pretty technical book but Stephen Hawking made it exceptionally easy for astro-dummies (like I was) to understand his work and the implications of it. Not only is he a very good writer but he is also extremely funny. It amazes me how many times he managed to make me laughing out loud. The book does not only cover his work but also parts of his life and career path. I totally recommend reading this book.

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#4.) My Not So Perfect Life – Sophie Kinsella

Summary:

A new, standalone novel from the author of the bestselling ”Shopaholic” series. Katie Brenner’s life is not really as perfect as her Instagram feed suggests, and when she’s fired from her job she finds herself moving back home to Somerset. Can she get revenge on the woman who ruined her dreams, or at least get her job back?

Opinion:

This book was just extremely relatable for me. I have also lived in London and Sophie Kinsella manages to describe living in London in the funniest ways. Definitely a book about girl power in the modern age! And let’s be honest: are any of our life’s as perfect as our Instagram feeds? I know mine is not!


Thanks for sticking with me until the end! Sorry if it read more like a school essay because that’s what it reminded me of while I was typing. I hope I was able to give you some inspiration for your next epic read!

Let me know which book you would recommend to every friend!

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