Category Archives: Non-Fiction

I Lick My Cheese And Other Notes: From The Frontline Of Flatsharing by Oonagh O’Hagan


i lick my cheese


Summary: The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo by In A Nutshell Publishing


This is a very well put together book summary of Marie Kondo’s The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing.

I have the original book and have even started to read it. But I haven’t finished reading it yet, let alone putting the techniques into practice. When this summary caught my eye, I grabbed it.

It doesn’t take long to read the summary and the ebook version is cheap, like really cheap. On top of that, it gives you the main points or key takeaways in a very compact format.

Highly recommended…


summary the life changing magic of tidying up

Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr



Sadako and The Thousand Paper Cranes was recommended by an author friend of mine whose recommendations are incredibly valuable for me. It’s such a sad story of a little girl, Sadako, who died of leukaemia in Japan years after the bombing of Hiroshima.

My highlights from the book:
At breakfast Sadako noisily gulped down her soup and rice. Masahiro began to talk about girls who ate like hungry dragons.

The two had been friends since kindergarten. Sadako was sure that they would always be as close as two pine needles on the same twig.

After speeches by Buddhist priests and the mayor, hundreds of white doves were freed from their cages. They circled the twisted, scarred Atomic Dome. Sadako thought the doves looked like spirits of the dead flying into the freedom of the sky.

When the candles were burning brightly, the lanterns were launched on the Ohta River. They floated out to sea like a swarm of fireflies against the dark water.

At midnight she was in her cosy bed quilts when the temple bells began to chime. They were ringing out all the evils of the old year so that the new one would have a fine beginning.

It’s supposed to live for a thousand years. If a sick person folds one thousand paper cranes, the gods will grant her wish and make her healthy again.

Saf ve Düşünceli Romancı – Orhan Pamuk


Pamuk, yazı yazmanın ve romancılığın otuz beş yıllık meslek sırlarını, Harvard Üniversitesi’nde verdiği Norton derslerinde açıklıyor. Daha önce T.S. Eliot, Borges, Calvino ve Umberto Eco gibi yazarların da verdiği bu derslerde, Pamuk edebiyat ve sanat anlayışını bir bütün olarak sunuyor.

Bir romanı okurken kafamızda ne gibi işlemler yaparız? Roman kahramanlarıyla gerçek insanlar arasında ilişki nedir? Roman sanatı ile şiirin, resmin ve siyasetin ilişkisi nedir? Yazarın kendi sesi, imzası, özel dünyası nasıl oluşur? Romancı nerede kendisini, nerede başkalarını anlattır? Romanı gerçek yapan ”gizli merkez” nedir ve nasıl kurulur? Pamuk bütün hayatı boyunca meşgul olduğu bu soruları Türk ve dünya edebiyatından örneklerle cevaplıyor.

Pamuk, bu kitapta roman okurken ve yazarken karşılaştığı harikaları, kendi kişisel deneyimleri ve hatıralarından aldığı güçle, herkesin anlayacağı bir konuşma dili ve rahatlığıyla hikaye ediyor.


Lion by Saroo Brierley


My memories were all I had of my past, and privately I thought about them over and over, trying to ensure I didn’t ‘beget’.

Some of these memories were good, and some of them bad – but I couldn’t have one without the other, and I couldn’t let them go.

The people in the station weren’t people at all, but a great solid mass I couldn’t make any impact on, like a river or the sky.

Sometimes I wonder what would have happened to me had he not taken me in, or had I refused to trust him.

Today, there are perhaps a hundred thousand homeless kids in Kolkata, and a good many of them die before they reach adulthood.

It was only a couple of years after my period on the streets that the notorious ‘Stoneman’ murders began in Calcutta, following the same phenomenon in Bombay. Somebody started murdering homeless people bedding down at night, especially around the city’s major station, by dropping a large rock or slab of concrete onto their heads as they slept. Thirteen people died over a six-month period and no-one was ever charged (though the killings stopped after the police detained a psychologically disturbed suspect). Had I stayed on the street, there’s every chance I wouldn’t be alive today, and certainly not writing this book.

I later learnt that Ganesh is often called the Remover of Obstacles, and Lord of Beginnings. I wonder whether that was why the girl chose to give it to me. (Ganesh is also Patron of Letters, and so, in a way, is the patron of this book.)

That initial disbelieving desperation to get home – that feeling that, unless the world was immediately put back the way it had been, I couldn’t survive, couldn’t exist – had long faded. The world was now what I saw around me, the situation I was in.

Instinct, memory, doubt and excitement were all coursing through me at once.

Even at this first meeting, though, she told me she was grateful to my parents who had raised me in Australia, and that they had the right to call me their son because they had raised me from a child and made me the man I was today.

‘Everything is written’: destiny takes its inevitable path.

I would never have imagined when I left here that I would one day willingly return, yet here I was now, looking over the place, a tourist of my old terrors.


Zlata’s Diary by Zlata Filipovic


zlata's diary

“War has crossed out the say and replaced it with horror, and now horrors are unfolding instead of days. It looks to me as though these politics mean Serbs, Croats and Muslims. But they are all people. They are all the same. They all look like people, there’s no difference. They all have arms, legs and heads, they walk and talk, but now there’s “something” that wants to make them different.

Among my girlfriends, among our friends, in our family, there are Serbs and Croats and Muslims. It’s a mixed group and I never knew who was a Serb, a Croat or a Muslim. Now politics has started meddling around. It has put an ‘S’ on Serbs, an ‘M’ on Muslims and a ‘C’ on Croats, it wants to separate them. And to do so, it has chosen the worst, blackest pencil of all—the pencil of war which spells only misery and death.”

War is no joke, it seems. It destroys, kills, burns, separates, brings unhappiness.

How you can come to love an animal! She doesn’t talk, but she speaks with her eyes, her paws, her meows, and I understand her.

…young people without arms and legs. They’re the ones who had the fortune or perhaps the misfortune to survive.

It’s as if Sarajevo is slowly dying, disappearing. Life is disappearing. So how can I feel spring, when spring is something that awakens life, and here there is no life, here everything seems to have died.

Suddenly, unexpectedly, someone is using the ugly powers of war, which horrify me, to try to pull and drag me away from the shores of peace, from the happiness of wonderful friendships, playing and love. I feel like a swimmer who was made to enter the cold war, against her will. I feel shocked, sad, unhappy and frightened and I wonder where they are forcing me to go, I wonder why they have taken away the peaceful and lovely shores of my childhood. I used to rejoice at each new day, because each was beautiful in its own way. I used to rejoice at the sun, at playing, at songs. In short, I enjoyed my childhood. I had no need of a better one. I have less and less strength to keep swimming in these cold waters. So take me back to the shores of my childhood, where I was warm, happy and content, like all the children whose childhood and the right to enjoy it are now being destroyed.

I keep thinking about the march I joined today. It’s bigger and stronger than war. That’s why it will win. The people must be the ones to win, not the war, because war has nothing to do with humanity. War is something inhuman.

Why is politics making us unhappy, separating us, when we ourselves know who is good and who isn’t? We mix with the good, not with the bad. And among the good there are Serbs and Croats and Muslims, just as there are among the bad. I simply don’t understand it. Of course, I’m “young,” and politics are conducted by “grown-ups.” But I think we “young” would do it better. We certainly wouldn’t have chosen war.

It’s freezing. Winter has definitely come to town. I used to love and enjoy it so much, but now it’s a very disagreeable guest in Sarajevo.

There are lots of beautiful pedigree dogs roaming the streets. Their owners probably had to let them go because they couldn’t feed them anymore. Sad. Yesterday I watched a cocker spaniel cross the bridge, not knowing which way to go. He was lost. He wanted to go forward, but then he stopped, turned around and looked back. He was probably looking for his master. Who knows whether his master is still alive? Even animals suffer here. Even they aren’t spared by the war.

Some people compare me with Anne Frank. That frightens me, Mimmy. I don’t want to suffer her fate.

I sincerely hope we won’t have to. But hoping doesn’t mean a thing here.

Again and again they keep sinking all our boats, taking and dashing all our hopes.