reading list update

The reading list is coming along nicely so far.  Nothing has been struck of the list (as yet) but it has gained quite a few new additions. 

I finished reading Cannery Row (brilliant) and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest (disappointing but happy to finally finish the trilogy) and  I am half way through One Hundred Year of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (which I am loving). 

Added to the list are the following: Wuthering Heights, Emily Bronte (care of the Book Club Christmas Book Swap) and Lolita, Vladimir Nabokov (I have read this but it is our next pick for Book Club (that will be an interesting discussion!)).  Also added are The Garden Party and Summer Meditations both by Vaclav Havel. 

Havel has become a recent obsession of mine since watching a documentary (The Power of the Powerless) about the Czechoslovakian ‘Velvet Revolution’ (or Bloodless Revolution) in 1989.  The documentary focused on the individuals whose commitment and untiring belief in freedom brought about a mass demonstration on the streets of Prague in resistance to the communist regime.  Havel was a playwright whose work began to focus on the politics of Czechoslovakia and the communist oppression it was suffering under in the 1960’s.  His opposition and involvement in the human rights manifesto Charter 77 led to his imprisonment.  After the peaceful and extraordinary Revolution of 1989, Havel became the last President of Czechoslovakia (1989-92) and the first President of the Czech Republic (1993-2003).  

There were many things that impressed me about Havel, including his perseverance and his demonstration of grace to his oppressors which was humbling and challenging.  He spoke with intelligence and wisdom, stating simple but life changing truths. 

I am very much looking forward to reading some of this works over the next month or two.

 ‘You have to begin with the imperative that you are responsible for the whole world’. Vaclav Havel

‘I think cultivating some sort of civic courage is possible, anytime, anywhere, but it has to be done with care and sensitivity and we have to start with ourselves, and not just go around preaching’. Vaclav Havel

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