I open at the close

There is the last time for everything. So this is the time for my final post.

Through this semester I’ve learned a lot about people and their book characters. Now I can tell that I know some of my friends a little bit better, and that my to-be-read pile of books have some additions to it. My friends taught me a lot of useful things, like Anna, who taught me that it’s the author who stands behind any great character, and they told me about things that fictional (NOT REAL!!) people can teach you, like Evgeniya whom Scarlett O’Hara taught that people can be strong when they need to.

I developed a lot in technological aspect: Twitter, WordPress, Thinglink, video editing and whole bunch of useful stuff that will certainly help me further.

All this weeks I was asking one simple and logical question: Who is your favorite book character? And I never answered that question myself. Well, considering that this is my last post I will do it.

I was thinking very hard about it this several month, and I realized that for me it is not one character, but many. They all have something I like in them, sometimes things that contradict each other, which makes it even harder to choose. Nut I finally stopped on one: Lisbeth Salander, one of the main characters of Stieg Larsson’s The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.


The book is the first one in the series, which consists of three books. Many people find this books disturbing and harsh. However, the plot is so complicated that it’s pointless to try to explain it. So let’s talk about the character herself.

Lisbeth is a very talented world-class hacker with a photographic memory, and her work is to gather information for one of the security agencies. She is one of those characters whose past is very important, as it influenced her current state in life. As a teenager Lisbeth  has overcome some problems that left her under a supervision of the mental institution. However, it is very complicated to conclude about her mental state: it is clear that she is not insane and she does not have any problems in part of education, but she can be violent, and most of the time acts like a sociopath. She is constantly being claimed violent and insane in the books, while readers know that she is not, and all her acts of violence have some justification.


“Don’t ever fight with Lisbeth Salander. Her attitude towards the rest of the world is that if someone threatens her with a gun, she’ll get a bigger gun.” – says one of the characters about Salander.

Lisbeth Salander is a very strong character in a way that is hard to explain. After all the things she lived through during her childhood, she still manages to function as a normal human being. Also, her way of thinking leaves me absolutely fascinated. She is independent and outstanding. Of all the books I have read I have never read about someone like Salander. I admire her strength, will, and the way she never gives up.

Now I finally know who is my favorite book character, though this character is really hard to explain. I don’t know if Lisbeth Salander will tell my readers something about my personality, but I am proud of loving her. So off I go to revisit amazing miss Salander, as now I feel some kind of nostalgia, and I will leave you on this note. Read and be happy 🙂

And have a look at the books once again 😀

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Books and Coffee

Well this week was very exciting for me, and it brought me to this post. I don’t have anyone this week, due to traveling to Poland. However, I managed to visit the most magical place on Earth, which is Massolit bookshop in Krakow, Poland.DSC_0938

Massolit books & cafe is a place not far away from the center of Krakow. Cozily tucked in one of the neighborhoods, this bookplace has used and new books in English. The cafe is a one big room, filled with bookshelves from bottom to ceiling. You can find every genre, from classics to poetry.

One special thing about this place is the second part of the shop. There is a sign above the door, which directs you to another part of the building, the separate apartment filled with books.


Books there are more classified, and one can find books on media studies, children literature, women studies, Russian studies, Polish studies, Jewish studies and more and more and more.

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We spent two hours exploring that fascinating place. After buying stack of books, we settled on one of the small tables with coffee and cookies. This place is pure magic for someone who is into books. I wish I could stay there forever, in this atmosphere of books, coffee and sweets.

Gone with the Wind

This week’s victim is my good friend Evgeniya Samsonova. I’ve been preparing to interview her for couple of weeks, so today after a cup of good coffee she told me who is her favorite character.

Evgeniya’s favorite book character turned out to be one very known lady – Scarlett O’hara from Gone with the Wind. The book was published in 1936, and it takes place in the period of American Civil War. This book is one of the classic ones, that everybody knows by name (but not everyone read). Scralett O’hara is the main character of this famous novel by Margaret Mitchell and the plot follows her life.

Scarlett is one of the characters who change through the book. In the beginning we see her as rich and spoilt girl she may seem. Scarlett is beautiful, and she knows and uses it. She thinks only about herself and doesn’t know how to do something by herself. at some point her life goes not the way she expected to and she has to adapt. As book goes Scarlett changes. She becomes capable of doing things herself, starts thinking not only about herself, but about people around her. She turns into a responsible and kind person, who helps those who need help.

Evgeniya told that this change is exactly what she likes the most about Scarlett.

     “ On her example we can see, that people can change. They can strong when they need to.”

Evgeniya likes Scarlett because she was capable of anything, as she knew that she can do anything. And that’s what she loves about her favorite book character.

Now take a look at Evgeniya’s cozy room and, of course at her desk with books:

And if interested take a look at Thinglink:

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My first Storify and Thinglink

Today during our class we learned how to create a story on Storify. This creation helps to visualize story using tweets, facebook, and other websites. So here is my very first Storify story.

The Goodreads Choice Awards is in process now, and it is escalating really quickly. Do you have any prediction on who is going to win? I hope my favorite books are going to win 🙂

Click here to see the whole Storify!
The second thing we learned today is called Thinglink. This is the thing that helps you to create interactive images, in order to give your readers and followers a way to find out more about things on the photo.
Here is my first Thinglink! You can see it here 🙂

It is the author who creates the character

The first post after the break is going to be something new. This week my friend Anna Bashuk opened a new side of book characters to me. And that’s what I’m going to share with my readers today.

When I asked Anna about her favorite character, she told me she doesn’t really have one. (Actually a lot of people have favorite books, but it is hard to them to decide on the character.) However, Anna is a different case. She told me that she doesn’t really have a favorite characters, as she never perceives characters in books as real people. Characters are created by real people, and they are the way they are only because author wanted to create them this way.

“The person who is inside the book is mainly the fantasy of the author.”

So, all incredible qualities of our favorite characters are a work of real person’s mind. And, as Anna says, it all depends on the way author wants to show them.

Of course, Anna likes some book characters, but she doesn’t have a favorite one.

“I like people, who stand out in the books,” she says.

Sometimes, this characters are negative, which don’t say us anything about Anna’s own character. For her, it is just the mastery of an author, who managed to make the character interesting and outstanding.


“The way I like them is not because of their personal features, but because of the way they are portrayed. If they are strong characters I will like them.”

You can check the Storify here 🙂

Midterm post is coming

Time flies too fast! It is already the middle of the semester, which means that it’s time for a midterm post 🙂

Well, after month and a half of this hard work of finding people with interesting favorite book characters, I can tell that I am pretty much satisfied. This time helped me to learn a lot of new about people I thought I know pretty well. Knowing favorite characters helped me to better understand these people.

From Ivaylo I learned that maybe we like characters who depict something that we need in our lives.

“Well, I think that everyone needs a Tyler Durden of their own,” he told me.

For Masha and her character, Tatiana, I discovered that they actually have something alike, though some things are absolutely different.

For Kaja and Onegin, I learned that sometimes we can love characters despite their flaws.

“I still find him likable in his own fault and selfishness,” said Kaja back then.

From Gaukhar I heard about Holden Caulfield from “Catcher in the Rye”. And after having a talk with her I realized that we can love characters we would never like if they were real people close to us.


With Maria and the main character of “Shantaram”, Lin, I found out that we tend to like book characters we understand and can relate to.

But, honestly, it differs from person to person. And the main thing I achieved is that now I understand that we love characters who help us in some way. The ones, who push us forward, help us to discover new places (inside our heads, as well as on the maps), change our worldview, and just teach us something people around us never taught us.

Read books. People there may not be real, but they may help you to develop as a person and give you something valuable. People always say: ” I feel like characters in this book are real.” I will tell you a secret: they are, as long as you discover something new with their help. That’s what I learned in the first half of this semester.

Here are my wonderful books 🙂


And nooow the video with my books 🙂

Magic Returns

As my miidterm exam , I had to make a post about recent books related news. I immediately thought about J.K. Rowling’s tweeter riddle, which she used as a trigger to announce the upcoming movie based on the book “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them.” 


Potterheads(Harry Potter fans) all over the world got overly excited about coming back to the magical world. Even more exciting for people is a chance to see the beasts we all read about, but have never seen in the movies. the book basically tells us a story about Newt Scamander, who dedicated his life after graduation from Hogwarts (Hufflepuff) to discovering magical creatures all over the world.

Here at AUBG we have a collection of Harry Potter books (which include “The Fantastic Beasts”) and a lot of fans of this book series. One of my former interviewees Ivaylo Stefkov agreed to share his opinion on the production of the new magic movie. He heard about book long time ago, and is looking forward to seeing the movie.

“When I learned that there will be another movie adaptation, I was thrilled,” says Ivaylo.

However, some people are frustrated that the movie did not involve Harry Potter or his friends(or anyone closely related to him). Though, everyone is still pretty excited about seeing Hogwarts and magical Scotland again.

“It is still going to be set in the Harry Potter universe, so I\m happy about that,” says Ivaylo.

So, if you are Harry Potter fan(which I hope you are), raise your wands and grab your cloaks – magic is going to come back on big screens!

Here’s a news package about the coming movie ! And follow me on Facebook and Twitter!


Hello again 🙂 This week we are going to visit India with Maria Altergot and her favorite character.

Maria(who is my loved and very helpful roommate) is a sophomore from Russia. Though I know her for a year, I’d never asked her, who is her favorite book character before today. Maria found that such decision is a hard one to make, but after couple of days of thinking about it she chose Lin, the main hero of the novel by Gregory David Roberts “Shantaram”, which she is currently reading.


In couple of words the novel is about escaped convict from Australia who fled maximum security prison. And where do you think he decides go with his false passport? Bombay, India!

One of the features of the book is that Lin comes to Bombay with absolutely no knowledge about Indian culture. He has to adapt and merge with this new surrounding. Maria says that she can understand Lin throughout the book, imagining the way Western person would feel after suddenly finding himself in India.

“I can quite understand the way he thinks, and the problems that he experiences, and that misunderstandings.” 

This book takes us to exotic and unknown(at least to Lin) India. Together with Lin reader meets new people, learns about new culture, explores new places, and discovers Indian traditions. Lin helps you see India in the way only  person from the outside can describe it, and we all know that the point of view of native people and people from abroad visiting a country usually vary.

So this way Lin helps you understand Indian people better, and therefore you start understanding their views on life.

Maria says that this book really gives her a feeling of Indian culture. This book with a charismatic main character takes away your sleep and makes you eager to pack your things and leave to India even in the middle of hard semester.

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The Catcher in the Rye

In the last two posts I was mostly interacting with Russian literature. This week I was talking with Gaukhar Murzagalieva (who btw also has a blog) about her favorite character. Gaukhar’s favorite bookish person is Holden Caulfield from J.D. Salinger’s “The Catcher in the Rye”.


This book is perceived as a classical novel, which vividly illustrates life of teenagers. Holden Caulfield is a main character and the narrator of this novel.

Holden describes a few days of his sixteen-year-old life just after he was expelled from boarding school. The way Holden behaves and the slang he uses even now keeps “The Cather in the Rye” in the banned books list.

People usually fall into two categories after reading this book: the ones who like Holden, and(obviously) the ones who hate him. Holden has an extraordinary for that time view on life. His cynicism, criticism of the society and people, and intelligence make him different, someone who doesn’t want to  follow the flow and accept all of the ideas of the society of that time period.

Holden is a child from “elite”. However, he never thought about himself as about someone from high society.

“He just goes against all the rules, norms, and traditions of this society,” explained Gaukhar. “ He sees these people as hypocrites hiding behind the masks.”

  Holden enjoys himself in the way he is not the same as these people around him. And he tries not to behave like them.

Holden never plans anything (ANYTHING) ahead (for example unexpected trip to New York). He decides everything on spot, follows impulse and never thinks about consequences.

When asked about what she likes the most in Holden, Gaukhar smiled at me and said:

“The thing I like in him is that he is realistic about life.He just lives in the moment. I like attitude to life. He is spontaneous and unpredictable.”


Gaukhar said that Holden’s cynicism passed over to her. She told me that after reading that book she could not trust people as much as she did before, she was no more so naive.

 “Now I understand that the world is not that simple. It’s not so kind.” Gaukhar said.

However, she confessed that she would not like to be friends with such person in real life. On pages of the books it is amazing and exciting. Gaukhar likes to read about people who are not like her in some way. She can’t really relate to Holden, as she says that she is not that fearless, but she likes his character, his life values, and the way he lives.

This week I learned that not all of us choose characters to whom we relate somehow. But maybe the ones who have something we would like to develop in us one day.


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