Tag: HarperCollins (page 1 of 2)

Wanneer Bloed en Beenderen in het spel zijn, gaat het iedereen wat aan

Ik ben in de afgelopen jaren wat huiverig geworden als het gaat om het lezen van series. Er zit een verplichting aan verder te gaan, en wat als het laatste (of het middelste) boek nou enorm tegenvalt? Maar nu ben ik weer voor de bijl gegaan: Bloed en Beenderen van Tomi Adeyemi was niet alleen in twee dagen uitgelezen, ik baal ook als een stekker dat ik nog zo lang moet wachten op het tweede deel.

Young Adult is een lastig fenomeen in de boekenwereld. Wat de een te eng vindt, vindt iemand van dezelfde leeftijd alweer te kinderachtig. Daarnaast zijn veel YA-verhalen grotendeels voorspelbaar op het gebied van thema’s, karakterontwikkelingen, zelfs in de verloop van het verhaal. Bloed en Beenderen is in dat opzicht misschien niet het meest vernieuwende concept: jongeren moeten de wereld redden en worden daarin tegengewerkt, het is een eerder gebruikt concept. Waarin het eerste deel van deze gloednieuwe trilogie echter wel anders is dan alle anderen, is dat het verhaal gebaseerd is op de mythologie van West Afrika. En dat de “mythische taal” echt bestaat. Ik las nog niet eerder een boek waarin Yoruba gesproken wordt.

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The true believer from then, is the same one as now

What makes a fanatic, a fanatic? And why do mass movements have so much power? Important questions, and The true believer explains all while also giving an insight into the human mind.

The appeal and mindset of mass movements has not changed in the last 500 years.

That might sound strange as the world has changed drastically in the last centuries, but after you finish The true believer you’ll realise that human psychology has changed very little. This book puts the start of Christianity, the French Revolution, and Soviet Russia in one line and it is completely and utterly correct. The base of these three movements, and so many others, is completely similar!

Modern times
Hoffer wrote The true believer during the peak of Stalin’s regime, in the ’50’s. And yet his work can be adapted to modern times quite easily. For those who do not understand why extreme-right seems to be on the rise in Europe or why people would ever join IS, this work is compulsory. The true believer dives deep into the human minds, and defines those who are most likely to join a mass movement. Therefore, it gives great insight to the people around us, and the way they think. By doing so, it can teach us how to prevent movements that threaten modern society, but also teach us how to inflict change in a world that has become stagnant on many subjects.

The true believer is a tough read, only 160 pages thick and it might take you a while to take everything in. It is confronting on who we are as humans, and comforting when you realize that everything can be explained and the tension can be defused. A must read for every student who’s trying to make sense of the world around him/her.

The true believer
A stevedore on the San Francisco docks in the 1940s, Hoffer wrote philosophical treatises examining mass movements–from Christianity in its infancy to the national uprisings of modern times. His analysis of the psychology of mass movements is a brilliant and frightening study of the mind of the fanatic.

Eric Hoffer. The true believer / HarperCollins / 9780060505912 

The City of the Beasts is Olympus and El Dorado in one

Isabel Allende is a well-established writer, with many highly regarded novels in her reportoire. However, City of the Beasts is not written for the crowd of usual literature-lovers, it is a tale of adventure for the young adult readers.

There are many legends about gods, and there are many legends about mythical words hidden in either the Himalayas or in the Amazon rainforest. Allende combines all these myths into athrilling story, that is also mostly written for younger readers.

Mysticism
City of the Beasts has three major pulls towards the book. 1. Adventure. 2. A relatable main character. And 2. Mysticism. The concept of mysticism is mostly fitted in the location, because the Amazon rainforest is an endless maze of possibilities. Unknown tribes, unknown animals, unknown dangers. All are used by Allende in a way that is completely believable, and makes you dream of adventures of your own. Travelling down the Amazon river and seeing meters long anacondas as well as swimming with dolphins is only something you can dream off.

Thrilling
And which child doesn’t dream at least once of going on a lifechanging adventure, finding ancient civilizations, and mastering magic? Well, the main character of City of the Beasts might seem a bit different in the beginning, but he will turn around pretty quickly. He’s just like everyone else, scared, cautious, but also really curious as he accepts that his whole life is turned upside down. His unwillingness to change in the beginning, and his perseverance in the end make him loveable and relatable. Both of which are important to a younger audience.

However, you don’t really read City of the Beasts for Alex, you read it for the pure fantasy and mysticism of an unknown world that is located right besides ours. And of course, for the monkey…
Those who enjoy Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and all other magical realism will finish this book within a day or two.

City of the Beasts
An ecological romance with a pulsing heart, equal parts Rider Haggard and Chico Buarque – one of the world’s greatest and most beloved storytellers broadens her style and reach with a Amazonian adventure story that will appeal to all ages.Fifteen-year-old Alexander Cold has the chance to take the trip of a lifetime.With his mother in hospital, too ill to look after him, Alex is sent out to his grandmother Kate – a fearless reporter with blue eyes as sharp as daggers’ points’. Kate is about to embark on an expedition to the dangerous, remote world of the Amazon rainforest, but rather than change her plans, she simply takes Alex along with her.

Isabel Allende. City of the Beasts / HarperCollins / 9780007146376 

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