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  • Circe by Madeline Miller. Book club discussion questions

    What do we remember about Circe from the Myths of Ancient Greece? Almost nothing. We remember that she was praised by Homer in his Odyssey, that she turned Odysseus' companions into pigs, and that she loved Odysseus. A great but lonely sorceress. That's it. The rest has been erased from my memory. The first thing I would like to say is: “Don't believe the cover”. It looks completely unattractive and at first sight promises nothing interesting inside. Meanwhile, “Circe” has millions of copies, and the adaptation on HBO. Madeline Miller reworked the story in a new modern way. An intellectual Maliphisent. When we learn about the premise and motivations of the classic villain. Circe was born into the family of Helios, the sun god and mightiest of the titans. But she is a strange child: not strong like her father, nor maliciously attractive like her mother. When she turns to the mortal world for help, she discovers that she does have powers - powers of sorcery that can turn rivals into monsters and threaten the gods themselves. Zeus banishes her to a desert island, where she hones her occult skills, tames wild beasts, and crosses paths with many famous figures from mythology. Circea unwittingly incurs the wrath of both men and gods. To protect what she loves most, Circe must summon all her strength and decide once and for all who she is: underdog or superhuman? “Circea,” with unforgettably vivid characters, mesmerizing language, and a gripping plot, is an epic of family rivalry, palace intrigue, love and loss, and a celebration of indomitable female strength in a man's world. “Circea” has been translated into 30 languages, selling 1.1 million copies in the U.S. in 2019. A 2018 The New York Times bestseller, the most anticipated book of 2018 by Esquire and Cosmopolitan (USA) and Guardian (UK). An HBO adaptation is coming out this year. Book Club Questions 1) Circe struggles to find her place as a woman in a man's world. What parts of her experience resonate with contemporary issues facing women? 2) Throughout the story, we see many powerful characters abusing their position. Are power and abuse necessarily linked? Are there models of power without violence in the novel? 3) Circe's gift is transformation. How does she transform from the beginning of the novel to the end? Why does she ultimately choose the path she follows? 4) The central theme of Homer's Odyssey is the longing for nostos-the return home. How does this theme resonate with Circe's story? 5) How did Circe's encounter with Prometheus change her? How does it continue to influence her actions? 6) Throughout the novel, Circe makes a distinction between gods and mortals. How does Glaucus change when he becomes a god? 7) Circe wonders if parents will ever be able to see their children clearly. She notes that very often when we look at our children, “we see only a mirror of our own shortcomings.” What parts of herself does she see when she looks at Telegon? What are her strengths and weaknesses as a parent to him? 8) How did Odysseus influence Circe? What can you say about his character and psycho-emotional state on the island and when he returns home? 9) Circe meets several famous characters from Greek myth. Were any of their portrayals surprising?

  • ChatGPT for book readers?

    I really love new technologies and enjoy using them in my life. AI will change our future - that's for sure. But how we can use this tool today, I will try to tell you from the reader's point of view. ChatGPT uses information already available on the Internet to generate answers to questions. Sure, it sometimes gives weird answers, but given how new this technology is, we realize that the algorithm will only get better over time. What is the advantage of ChatGPT over Google? It accumulates all the information and gives more specific answers, and you don't have to go to a lot of different sites looking for the right information. Besides, you can actually have a dialog with it and clarify some points. Always take into account the fact that regardless of the level of accuracy that ChatGPT gives, it can never replace a review written by a human being and you should always doubt their answers (basically, this applies to any information😎). So, what is the usefulness of ChatGPT for a book lover and how to use it wisely? 1. Get book recommendations based on personal preferences. Sometimes it is very difficult to find a novel of your liking. While there are many options to get book recommendations , ChatGPT can be quite helpful. Just ask the bot to give some tips based on the book you liked. Use prompts like: If I liked reading , what other books would I like? My favorite book is , what other similar books should I read? 2. Make an annotation of the book. You can find out what the book is about before you buy it. And also use annotations in case you don't have time to read the whole book, for example, before a lecture, or just for interest. It's important to remember that ChatGPT can probably give away some spoilers. Write something like: Please tell me what the book Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is about without spoilers. 3. Find out specific information about books. If you are looking for some specific details about a book, ChatGPT can help you a lot. In doing so, you can ask literally anything. For example: When was The Great Gatsby published? How many pages are in the book? How long would it take the average person to read this book? What genre does it belong to? Write the key points of the book. 4. Ask for an explanation of anything you don't understand. Another great way to use ChatGPT to make it easier to read is to simply ask anything that is unclear. For example: What is transcendent experience? Or if you don't quite understand the meaning of the novel, you can ask for clarification. Can you explain to me the meaning of the plot of the book Foucault's Pendulum by Umberto Eco? 5. Make personalized reading strategies. ChatGPT can make recommendations for you to improve your reading habit. Email it what your current habits are and the specific goals you want to achieve, and it will collect the data and provide you with a personalized strategy. After the initial response, you can continue the "dialog" and ask clarifying questions. For example: I want to read more and diversify my book choices. At the moment I only read 1 hour every other day and I usually read science fiction. Make a personalized plan for me. 6. Create lists of books on specific topics. What ChatGPT is really good at is creating lists in seconds. Whether you want to know which books by a particular author are the best, or books on a particular topic, ChatGPT will create them for you. Let's say you're planning a trip to Italy and want to read atmospheric novels on the topic. Write: What are the top 5 novels set in Italy? Or perhaps you want to read science pop on the subject of the brain - so write that. One thing to always keep in mind is that artificial intelligence is artificial. It can't replace human communication and it can't take into account your personal preferences and tastes the way a friend would. At least for now, every piece of information provided by ChatGPT should be treated with mistrust.

  • How to listen to audiobooks and enjoy them

    Recently in one of the podcasts I came across the phrase "Listening is the new reading". I can say from my book club experience that most of the participants prefer listening to books, and already in second place is reading in hard copy. I didn't immediately embrace this format. I didn't like the mental distraction, skipping and having to listen again. It was mostly because of the monotonous voiceover. Then I realized I was just not listening correctly! Now I have 5 simple rules: 1. Listen to fiction. With a good voiceover, it's like a radio play. With nonfiction it is a bit more difficult, because there you still need to mark important thoughts and quotes, and in audio you need to interrupt for this, which is not very convenient. 2. The second point follows from this: before you buy an audiobook, listen to a few minutes of the trial version. You should like the voice and manner of the voice actor. 3. Increase the speed of listening. I'm so used to getting information quickly that at speed 1.0 I get distracted, fly away with my thoughts and get bored (to be honest, I even speed up interviews on Youtube). I usually listen to books at speed 1.5 at the beginning, and then, when I get used to the voice and get into the story, I increase it by 2. It's comfortable for me, I don't miss anything and I don't get distracted from listening. The length of each book is different: from 10 hours to 30. Accordingly, in accelerated mode you will listen faster. 4. Listening while doing housework or on a walk. Since I have a dog with whom I walk twice a day for an hour, I get to listen to quite a lot. I combine pleasant with useful (or useful with useful). 5. Listen in applications where audio and text are synchronized. I won't recommend anyone in particular, but the point is the same everywhere: you listen to a book, pause it - and in the printed digital version you automatically find yourself on the same piece of text. It's very convenient. What are the benefits of audiobooks? they definitely save time (listen in a car, on a walk and while doing the dishes) no eye strain If a person has ADHD or dyslexia – that is a solution to the problem. audiobooks on good services are read by actors, professional speakers, sometimes even the authors themselves. The recordings resemble a real audio play. Audiobooks I enjoyed: "Cutting for Stone" by Abraham Verghese "Two Brothers" by Ben Elton. "The Guest Book" by Sarah Blake. "The Secret History" by Donna Tartt. "Judas" by Amos Oz "Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine" by Gail Honeyman. "Stoner" by John Williams

  • The Book Club's Choice of December – "Judas" by Amos Oz.

    "Judas" is a novel of ideas, a discourse on betrayal and its essence, a debate about the dark side of Jewish-Christian relations and a reflection on modern Israeli history. Amos Oz is an Israeli modern classicist, university professor, and journalist. His works have been translated into 42 languages, including Arabic. He has been nominated three times for the Nobel Prize. In the novel "Judah" the author organically weaves into the chamber story of the relationship between three completely dissimilar people in the Jerusalem winter of 1959. Good-natured and impulsive student Shmuel Ash is disillusioned with his life - his fiancée has left him for someone else, his academic endeavours are failing, his father has gone bankrupt and can no longer pay for his university studies. On a notice board, Shmuel sees a strange ad for an uncomplicated job for a humanities student. Gershom Vald, an elderly intellectual, is looking for someone with whom he can have conversations and arguments in exchange for a desk, shelter and a modest allowance. Thus Shmuel becomes the occupant of an old house in one of Jerusalem's ancient neighbourhoods. In addition to Gershom Vald, the house is inhabited by the mysterious beauty Atalia, daughter of the Zionist Shaltiel Abrabanel, who attracts and frightens Shmuel with her cold detachment. And while Shmuel Ash talks to the old man for hours, becoming increasingly fascinated by the theme of betrayal, which somehow ends their philosophical arguments, Amos Oz writes for the reader a melodious Jerusalem nocturne, and in the cold air of a clear winter night, the lonely violin of love sounds shrilly. Quotes The fundamentalist lives with an exclamation mark. I prefer to live with a question mark. Fanaticism is the plague of the twenty-first century. Just as the previous century was ravaged by world reformers and redeemers, ideological movements with magical formulas, this century is dominated by different types of fanatics. We have completely forgotten that there is a place for charity in the world besides principles and ideals. Without Judas, there might not have been a Crucifixion, and without the Crucifixion, there might not have been Christianity. German officers who attempted to assassinate Hitler were executed as traitors. There are plenty of courageous people in the history of mankind who were ahead of their time and were therefore known as traitors or cranks. The truth is that no power in the world can turn a hater into a lover. You can turn a hater into an enslaved person, but not into a loving person. With all the power in the world you cannot turn a bigoted person into a tolerant person. And with all the power in the world, you cannot turn a man who wants revenge into a friend. Judaism, Christianity, Islam - all of them are not stingy in their mellifluous speeches, full of love, benevolence and mercy, only as long as they do not have handcuffs, bars, power, torture cellars and scaffolds in their hands. All these beliefs, including those that originated in recent generations and continue to enchant many hearts to this day, all appeared to save us, but very soon began to shed our blood. Man, as Kant once said, is by nature like a crooked, rough log. And we cannot try to cut it without drowning in blood. Discussion Questions. 1. What is this book about for you? 2. Amos Oz has a mixed attitude in Israel itself. Do you think he associates himself with Judah? And is this book not written as an excuse? 3. Which quotes from the book have you retained, emphasised? Which ones do you agree with and which ones do you disagree with? 4. Why do you think the author placed a failed student writing a thesis on Judah's role in Judaism in a house where people with opposing viewpoints about Israel lived, befriended, and died? 5. Which of the characters in Judah would you yourself like to debate with about the nature of things? Who would be a more desirable interlocutor for you: Gershom Wald or Shaltiel Abrabanel? 6. What do you think of these words, "For without Judas, there might not have been a Crucifixion, and without the Crucifixion, there might not have been Christianity"? 7. Athaliah is a complex and mysterious character, she attracts and repels at the same time. How do you feel about her: do you sympathise, admire, condemn? 8. How appropriate do you think this book would be now, during Israel's war with Hamas?

  • The Incorrigible Optimists Club: Guenassia, Jean-Michel. Discussion Questions.

    - What is the book about? And why is it a good fit for a book club? - Questions for book club discussion - Quotes Jean-Michel Genasse is a writer who has rapidly gained popularity in recent years. French critics have called his book The Club of Incorrigible Optimists a great book, and French lycéeists have awarded the author the Prix Goncourt. The incorrigible optimists club introduces us to Michel Marini, a 12-year-old boy with a passion for reading and amateur photography. The year 1959 is a turbulent time in Paris, as the Algerian War of Independence gathers momentum and Europe is concerned about the East-West divide. Paris becomes a melting pot for freethinkers, immigrants, existentialists, philosophers and artists, but also a refuge for many who have fled their homes in the East, leaving everyone and everything behind. Michel is a genius at table football, or "baby-foot" as they call it in Paris. He plays it with his friends in many venues, but Michel spends most of his time at his local bistro, Balto. "At the far end of the restaurant, across from me, behind the benches, was a door with green curtains... An unshaven man in a stained, shabby mackintosh disappeared behind the curtain. What was he doing in such clothes at this time of year? It hadn't rained for weeks. Driven by curiosity, I pulled back the curtain. On the door, someone had written in large handwriting, "The incorrigible optimists' club." My heart pounding, I moved cautiously forward. I had received the greatest surprise of my life. I walked into the chess club... It wasn't the chess club that was the surprise. I saw Jean-Paul Sartre and Joseph Kessel playing together in the smoky back room of a workingman's bistro..." Can you imagine being in that room? Can you imagine a 12-year-old boy witnessing such a scene? For Michel, this was to have a very significant impact on him, for the men in this room, this almost secret club, were to become his lifeline, his confidants, his friends. The incorrigible optimists club was a motley group of immigrants, people who had left their lives in the communist East for various reasons. With differing beliefs and ideas, these people leave their personal politics at the door and gather over drinks and a chess board. The reader learns the story of a pilot (twice a hero of the USSR), a Hungarian actor, a talented surgeon, and others, but only learns the ending of one story at the end of the book. The stories are written from real Soviet people who had to emigrate The members of this club are a truly fascinating bunch whose stories penetrate to the very heart. The vivid portrayal of their lives before Paris touches the heart with wonderful descriptions and eloquent stories. The references to life in Eastern Europe and the Algerian War are simply mesmerising, compelling the reader to explore and learn more about these dark years of history. Book club discussion questions Please list the historical, social, and psychological problems you see in the novel. Why do you think the author begins his novel with the scene of Jean-Paul Sartre's funeral? How did his thoughts influence some of the characters in the novel? Do you agree with the words of one of the characters: "If a person reads and likes a novel written by a scoundrel, it does not mean that he has agreed with his beliefs or become his accomplice. To recognise talent is not to accept another person's moral principles or ideal of life" How did the war in Algeria affect the fates of some of the characters in the novel: Michel and Cécile, their brothers, Michel's parents, etc. According to the author, he wrote the biographies of the characters - immigrants from Eastern Europe - from real people. What do you think of the emigrant community of Paris in the 60s, and how their problems echo today's wave of emigration. What is your opinion of each of the club members: Leonid, Igor, Pavel, Imre and Tibor? What do you know about the "doctors' case"? What do you think about Sasha? What are your impressions after reading the novel? Quotes "What could be more terrible than to do evil while wishing to do good?" "The cause of all our misfortunes is rooted in one thing: everyone believes that their beliefs are infallible. Those who refuse to change their minds are idiots, as are those who allow themselves to be changed." "I've just learnt that Jules Verne was a rabid anti-communist and an obsessive anti-Semite. Enzo shrugged and nodded at the paintings surrounding us. What do I know about artists whose work is awe-inspiring? If I knew in detail the lives of Botticelli, El Greco, Engra or Degas, would I close my eyes to avoid seeing their paintings? Should I close my ears not to hear the music of the majority?" "If a person reads and likes a novel written by a scoundrel, it does not mean that he has agreed with his beliefs or become his accomplice. Recognising talent does not mean accepting another person's moral principles or ideal of life." "There are impossible tasks. For example, looking at life soberly, telling the truth, or admitting one's mistakes." "Memory is the source of our woes, man's happiness lies in the ability to forget. Memory is the worst enemy of happiness. Happy people forget." "I divided writers into two categories: those who allowed me to get to the lyceum on time, and those who made me late. For Russian authors I was left behind after lessons time and time again. In the rain I would take shelter under the visor and continue reading. "Tolstoy's" period turned out to be a black month. The Battle of Borodino was worth three hours after school. When I explained to the dissertation tutor that I was late because of Anna Karenina's suicide, he took it as a sneer" "There is nothing unimaginable about the gulag, genocide, concentration camps and the atomic bomb. They are the product of human consciousness, they are rooted within us, their monstrosity overwhelms us. They are beyond our comprehension, they destroy our desire to believe in man and bring us face to face with our dark side. In fact, they are the most complete forms of our inability to persuade." "God himself has brought you to our establishment, Mr Tibor," she said in a reverent tone. - Please, Madeleine, leave God alone," Igor interrupted her. - You should thank Nikita Khrushchev for meeting Tibor and Imre, who hardly consults the Almighty when making these or those decisions." "When a person realises a dream, he thinks neither of failure, nor of victory, nor of consequences. The most important thing in the promised land is not the land, but the promise of happiness." "True love is intellectual. It lives in the brain."

  • Israel Bookshop Guide

    The idea for this post came from a small newspaper article. It was about a funny incident in Jerusalem: a thief broke into the literary cafe "Tmol-Shilshhom" sat down to read books. And he was so carried away that he did not even notice how the owner entered the institution, awakened by the alarm. You can understand this guy. Bookstores create a very comfortable atmosphere. In Israel, the culture of reading is well developed. There are large book chains and small shops, old second-hand bookshops and modern multistores at museums. Often bookstores are combined with coffee houses, and they host meetings of interest, lectures, exhibitions. I have highlighted bookstores in Israel that may be of interest to English-speaking and Russian-speaking readers. Babel, Allenby 19, Tel Aviv A chamber store with a wonderful selection of books in Russian, founded by Lena and Evgeny Kogan. They already had a solid background in the book business. The choice of publications is unique: definitely not a mass market, it meets the tastes of the audience that comes here. The owners of Babel were able to create a space that hosts interesting lectures with writers, poets, photographers, journalists, book club meetings. Halper's Bookstore, Allenby 87, Tel Aviv Like many other great places in Israel, you may not immediately realize from the entrance design that something unique awaits you inside. One of the legendary bookstores located on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv was opened in 1991 by Yosef Halper, originally from New Jersey. You can meet him behind the counter. He recently published his book Tales from a Tel Aviv Bookseller. The store offers a huge selection of used books in English as well as Russian and other languages. Genres include art, history and fiction, science fiction, and comics. Thousands of books, narrow aisles, low light and witty posters on the walls will immerse you in the cozy atmosphere of an old second-hand bookshop. Bookshop chain Isradon This is the largest Russian-language bookstore chain in Israel. The company cooperates with major Russian publishing houses, so the range of books is quite large. In general, the atmosphere in Isradon stores is very familiar and understandable for Russian-speaking readers. I would especially like to say about the branch on Allenby Street in Tel Aviv. Be sure to get acquainted with the sellers, they will advise you on a book to your liking. But first, go to their page Instagram. You will be surprised, but they shoot cool Reels about books. The Little Prince - bookstore and cafe, King George 19, Tel Aviv and Jaffa St 31, Jerusalem The perfect literary haven for bookworms. Home atmosphere created by old armchairs, tables between bookshelves, wooden floors. At the back of the store is a shady courtyard. All this has turned Little Prince into a second home for students, teachers, artists and writers. The store offers a wide selection of books in English, Russian, Hebrew. The Little Prince, with its many eclectic, rare books, is great for those who want to find something unique, not typical. Prices are very affordable. I bought an interior design book in excellent condition for only 40 shekels. A very pleasant place to get comfortable with a cup of coffee or a glass of cold beer while reading a book or working at the computer. Toward evening, the cafe becomes a bar with a selection of alcoholic cocktails. Hamigdalor, Mikve Israel 18, Tel Aviv< /strong> Migdalor in Hebrew means lighthouse. And if I decided to open a bookstore, it would be just like that. Huge panoramic windows, two floors, an incredibly stylish interior - and you seem to be in a bookstore somewhere in Copenhagen or Stockholm. The lighthouse is a place for lovers of books and aesthetics, as well as meetings where you can sit, read, take part in literary events (although most of them are in Hebrew, and sometimes in English). The store works with various independent publishers from Israel, Europe and the USA. Here you will find the most beautiful books that each of us would be happy to receive or give to our best friends. From the so-called “coffee table books”, Kinfolk design magazines, to books by Annie Leibovitz or Gordon Ramsay's cookbook. Babel, Shatz 4, Jerusalem The second time on our list is the name Babel, and it's not just that. As the owner of the store, Yana Bukchina, wrote in the headline of social networks: “Babel Jerusalem opened, the Babel TA franchise. Not a feat, of course, but there is something heroic in it. I highly recommend subscribing to their page to keep track of new book releases and event announcements. The way they write book summaries is a separate art form. Although the store is compact, the energy in it boils, like that of a large cultural center. In Babel you will find a unique selection of books for adults and children. To prevent this note from becoming a long-read, I mentioned those books that I know personally. Perhaps you know and love some other stores. Text @kravtsovanastasiya

  • 5 Tips How To Choose Books For a Book Club

    The Ruah Book Club has been around for over 2 years now, and the membership has not changed much, only increased. Without false modesty, I can say that one of the reasons for its success is the choice of books that I, as a moderator, put up for voting. For the whole history I can remember only a few "failed" books. Most of the time the books cause a heated discussion in the private chat room even before the meeting itself. Therefore, based solely on my experience, I will allow myself to give a few recommendations. I hope they will be useful to you. 1. Democratic choice, but limited. How it works. The moderator proposes 3-4 books on similar topics for voting (more on this below). Conducts an election campaign for each of the books: briefly and as attractively as possible tells what awaits the readers, puts out a photo of the cover and quotes. Participants (voters) can vote for only one of the books. After a few days, a winner is announced by a simple vote count. Why it's the right thing to do. I've met a few book clubs where the moderator nominates the book in an authoritarian manner. As in any autocracy it works, but not always and not for long. People will come for one book and not another. Besides, most still want to be part of the election process. Unless the moderator himself is an Influencer and a very charismatic personality like Oprah, Reese Witherspoon, Natalie Portman, etc. Then by all means, go! – command and appoint:) 2. How to choose books to vote. There are several ways to do this: The first is to ask club members to send their recommendations. They should be analysed and a few of the most interesting ones should be chosen. The moderator must carefully approach the selection, so that in the end the books that will be liked by the majority will be voted on. The second is to make a selection on a particular topic. For example: - books that have been screen adapted - winners of the Booker, Nobel, Goncourt, etc. prizes. - authors of a certain country (Japan, France, Italy, etc.) - women's prose - psychological novels - travel books - books by one particular author - classics - non-fiction - autofiction - dystopias - etc. 3. Constant monitoring of books. I believe that a book club moderator is a calling. It should be someone who is passionate about books. I am subscribed to all possible book clubs, a community of book clubs moderators, interesting bookstores, publishers, influencers and book bloggers, media who write about books and make selections. Sometimes I go to to see what Sofia Coppola, Sarah Jessica Parker or Bill Gates, for example, is reading. 4. Choose books that are affordable. I often hear requests from book club members: "The main thing is to have an audio format" or "To be able to buy a paper version translated into your native language". It seems that in this age of e-books and Amazon, this shouldn't be a problem, but it's better to consider this point so that the book is available in different formats. Also, if your club, as well as ours, is located in another country that is not native-speaking, it is possible to arrange in advance with a local bookstore for book delivery. 5. Choose books that meet the challenges of the time. I think you will agree that a book found in time can often be therapeutic, can help to understand a difficult situation, explain some phenomena and processes. And it does not necessarily have to be non-fiction literature. Novels about war, about the inner world of a person, about survivors of terrible events and survived, for example, in the Holocaust, about overcoming, about loneliness, about friendship, about noble or vice versa low human actions, about relationships between parents and children, partners. As a moderator, try to be a bit of a psychologist in order to suggest exactly those books that will resonate in the souls of your participants. Photo from Allure Magazine June 1998/Photography Tim Walker

  • Reading playlist

    A playlist for leisurely pleasant reading. The sounds of rain, forest, light jazz, old vinyl record will immerse you in the atmosphere of a country house, where you can forget about everything, wrap yourself in a plaid and read. Photo by @jade.lifestories

  • Autumn Playlist

    A new playlist for autumn romantic mood. It includes 12 tracks from the most favourite movies and TV series about love: "Big Little Lies", "Notting Hill", "My Blueberry Nights" and others. I wish you a pleasant listening experience.

  • Recommendations of the week: book, film, TV series, app and quote

    Hi, I've decided to share with you short selections of what I've read, watched, listened to lately. I plan to do this once a week. I hope you will find it interesting and even useful. It just so happens that the books and films I recommended in this selection are about overcoming, strong-spirited people, those who are not afraid to change the world. Book Shimon Peres «No Room for Small Dreams: Courage, Imagination, and the Making of Modern Israel» The story of Shimon Peres is the story of the State of Israel. Israel's ninth president, prime minister, defence minister, foreign minister - a partial list of all the positions Peres held during his more than 70-year political career. He was one of those outstanding people who, in his lifetime, could see for themselves that what they had created was the new history of their people, their country, their region. A statesman, a fighter for peace, he did everything possible so that the turbulent Middle East could find stability, good-neighbourly relations and prosperity. Willingness to take risks, make unpopular decisions, admit mistakes - these and many other qualities of the leader repeatedly confirmed Peres' sincere desire to do everything possible for the benefit of the State of Israel and his fellow citizens.Nobel Peace Prize laureate, along with the political settlement of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, he considered it necessary to develop relations between Israel and Arab countries in the region and in the world. Moovie "NYAD", 2023 is a stunning biopic and a sports drama about overcoming, fortitude and perseverance. This is the true story of Diana Nayad, a 64-year-old American swimmer who decided to do what no one had ever done before – to swim 170 kilometres from the coast of Cuba to Key West, USA. A little spoiler: she managed to do it after 6! attempts. She was supported by a large team of dedicated professionals. The film touches on a lot of psychological moments, and one of them is overcoming the own ego and being grateful to people who are ready to go with you to the end. Documentary "Beckham", Netflix - even if you're not a football fan, it's worth watching this film for the story of a guy from a London suburb's who became a prominent football player, from making his debut for Manchester United and meeting his future wife Victoria Adams to establishing his own club in the United States. The series also shows how the Beckham family was mistreated by the tabloids. The film includes funny scenes where David and Victoria joke about each other. After the premiere, the funniest moment of the show went viral on social media: in it, Victoria tries to reveal that she grew up in a "simple working family". At that moment, David bursts into the room and demands that his wife tell the camera what car she was driven to school in: "Be honest." After several attempts at denial, Victoria admits: "Rolls-Royce". AI application Whisper Memos is an app that records your voice and sends you an email with a transcript in a few minutes. Use it to record quick thoughts, reminders and daily diary entries. Web site is a useful site to help you find a film or a book that match your taste. Click on Ask Pix at the top, enter your query, such as "A book whose events take place in a bookshop", and the algorithm will pick a few options for you. Thought of the Day A diet isn't just about what you eat. It's what you watch. What you listen to. What you read. The people you talk to. Consciously choose the things you let into your body emotionally, physically and spiritually.

  • Never again. 5 books about the Holocaust

    April 18 is World Holocaust Remembrance Day. A siren sounds in Israel, and for two minutes the whole country stands in silence, remembering the victims of the Holocaust (Shoah in Hebrew) and reminding themselves and others - "Never again. Never again." When the siren subsides, the country returns to life, only with even greater gratitude for its present. The memories of those who survived the nightmare of the 20th century help to keep the memory of the victims of Nazism and other totalitarian regimes. We invite you to read five books about the Holocaust written by former prisoners of concentration camps. 1. "The Choice. About the freedom and inner strength of man" Edit Eva Eger One of the most powerful books about war and the inner strength of a person. In 1944, sixteen-year-old ballerina Edith Eger was sent with her family to Auschwitz. Just hours after the death of her parents, Nazi doctor Josef Mengele forced Edith to dance for his own amusement and her survival. Edith and her sister survived all the horrors of Auschwitz, Mauthausen and Gunskirchen - death camps. On May 4, 1945, Edith, barely alive, was taken out of a pile of corpses. Torture, hunger and the constant threat of death did not break Edith, and her inner world helped to gain life-affirming strength and spiritual freedom. 35 years after the end of the war, having become a famous psychologist, Edith returned to Auschwitz to get rid of the memories of the past and the guilt of the survivor. Edith alternates the events of her personal journey with the touching stories of those whom she herself helped to heal. This book is an unforgettable story of survival and healing, a story of liberation and the strength of the human spirit. It shows that we can always choose what life teaches us and how to relate to what is happening. This is a book that will change lives and give generations of readers support. 2. "Yes to life in spite of everything" Viktor Frankl This amazing book made its author one of the greatest spiritual teachers of mankind in the 20th century. In it, the philosopher and psychologist Viktor Frankl, who went through the Nazi death camps, opened the way for millions of people around the world to comprehend the meaning of life. In the terrible, murderous conditions of concentration camps, he showed the extraordinary strength of the human spirit. The spirit is stubborn, despite the weakness of the body and the disorder of the soul. A person has something to live for! Viktor Frankl (1905-1997) - famous Austrian psychotherapist, psychologist and philosopher. During the Second World War, he had a terrible opportunity to test his own concept. After going through the Nazi death camps, he saw that the greatest chance to survive in inhumane conditions had not a strong body, but a strong spirit. Those who knew what they live for. Frankl himself had something to live for: he took the manuscript with him to the concentration camp, which was to become a large book. For those who explore themselves and their inner world. Who knows the meaning and who lost it. For those who are doing well, and for those who are tired of life. This comprehensive book will teach you the ability to find meaning in any situation. 3. "Maus". Art Spiegelman Maus by Art Spiegelman is the only graphic novel to win the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. The author succeeded in the seemingly impossible - to tell the story of the Holocaust in the form of a comic book. Wladek Spiegelman, Art's father, tells his son how he got through the ghetto, Auschwitz and the "death march" to Dachau. But "Maus" is also a deeply personal story of the author, his attempt to understand his difficult relationship with his family. At the junction of these stories, a unique text is born, which, without simplification or pathos, tells about one of the most monstrous tragedies of the 20th century. 4. "The Book of Lost Names". Christine Harmel 1942, France. In German-occupied Paris, persecution of Jews begins. Not wanting to end up in the Drancy deportation camp, from where there is only one way - to Auschwitz, Eva Traube flees to the small town of Orignon, located in the free zone. She hopes to move to neutral Switzerland, but by chance she joins the resistance movement. Using her talent as an artist, Eva creates fake documents to help hundreds of Jewish children flee the country. Using a secret cipher, she writes down their real names in an old gospel, calling it the "Book of Lost Names". 2005, New York. Eva learns that the book she thought was missing for so many years is in the Berlin Library. Only Eve has the key to the cipher, only she can return real names to people who have lived under fictitious ones for more than half a century, and help reunite those separated by the war. 5. "Spark of Life" Erich Maria Remarque Remarque is called a representative of the lost generation - the generation of those who went to war young, learned to kill, and when they returned, they could not find themselves in a peaceful life. The novel Spark of Life was published in 1952. This is a book about a war that affected everyone. It shows the life of a concentration camp - terrible, ruthless and truthful. During the reign of the Nazis, 42,000 concentration camps were built. More than a million people were killed in Auschwitz alone. The protagonist of the novel is not a person, instead of a name he has a number - 509. The author calls him "a skeleton at number 509." He and those around him were sentenced to death. Is it possible to go through fear, horror, hunger and torture, retaining the spark of life? Remarque is trying to find the answer to this question in his novel.

  • About book "The Body Keeps the Score", psychosomatics and yoga

    I want to share an amazing book with you. I am still in the process of reading it, but I am ready to give some of my thoughts. The book is called "The Body Keeps the Score" by Bessel van der Kolk. The author is a psychiatrist who has been researching PTSD for almost 50 years and is the head of the Trauma Research Foundation in Massachusetts. It is interesting that it was recommended to me almost simultaneously by a psychologist I know and a friend who is a yoga and meditation teacher. I have long noticed that the methods used by psychotherapy and yoga to solve different psychosomatic problems often overlap. So, my friend, a yoga teacher, Alyona recently in a conversation touched upon an interesting topic: how sometimes it turns out that some foods or dishes we have pleasant memories and we eat them with pleasure, and some on the contrary - disgust or even allergies and intolerance. I, by the way, have this with porridge, milk and pea soup, because they are associated with the food in kindergarten, where we were forced to eat them all by force. Alyona: Try to remember something pleasant from your childhood that plunges you into a state of calm and safety. For example, the smell of your mother's perfume or carpenter's glue after your father's hobby, or the taste of pies made by your favourite grandmother. Our brain does not remember one thing, it always records the whole picture: a place, its characteristics, colours, sounds, smells, tastes. The brain connects all the elements by neural circuits. Faced with one of the puzzles of that picture, our brain picks up the emotional reaction we were experiencing at that moment. But just as this happens with pleasant moments, in the same way it happens with unpleasant ones. A kindergarten teacher scolded you while you were eating soup - congratulations: soup will forever evoke the same feeling in your nervous system as the attitude of this teacher. You ate fish, and at the same time witnessed a conflict between parents - every time you eat fish, your nervous system will react to it as to a conflict between parents And the greater the impact of the psychotrauma, the more all the elements of this recorded picture will have a negative impact on the organism. Sometimes the negative situation itself is not too traumatic, but it occurs regularly, such as stress at work. In this case, each impact is insignificant, but these impacts accumulate layer by layer in our nervous system, eventually leading to the accumulation of a sufficiently strong level of irritant signal. And this, among other things, is one of the mechanisms that cause food allergies and intolerance to certain foods. Yes, you can avoid these foods, you can take food supplements to compensate for the negative reaction, but, nevertheless, this reaction always sits in our brain. It impairs the nervous system, the digestive system, leads to nutrient deficiencies and through inflammatory processes in the digestive system and deficiencies can lead to more complex systemic diseases. Me: What can be done about it? Alyona: Neurobiologists are conducting studies on mice, but these studies are very complex, very precise, when each neuron is marked, each impact is carried out by electrical impulses, and through this information is overwritten. It is clear that so far this method cannot be applied not only on a mass scale, but even on an individual human being with his complex system of forming reactions to the environment. Nevertheless, both Buddhism and yoga have been using meditative practices that can solve these problems for thousands of years. Now what Bessel van der Kolk says about it in his book: "Yoga, which combines breathing exercises, changing postures (asanas) and meditation, helps with the main difficulty in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) - teaching the body to relax. The person focuses on what is happening inside him when doing a particular asana, as well as deep breathing. He begins to experiment with his sensations. Will the tension in the shoulder go away if you take a deep breath? Will one get a sense of peace by concentrating on the exhalation? The point of yoga is to look inside yourself. In essence, yoga teaches that even the most unpleasant sensation sooner or later reaches a peak and then subsides. This understanding helps treat the emotional pain associated with trauma in the same way. And ultimately gets rid of it." I would like to point out that there are a few chapters devoted to yoga in the book. After all, the author is a psychiatrist who studies PTSD and uses various methods to treat people with post-trauma. His patients are people who have suffered from domestic violence, the horrors of war, other people's cruelty and indifference. Through their stories, Dr Bessel shows how many different healing practices are available to overcome the condition, from meditation, yoga and sports to theatre classes.

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