Hi! I am Diana – originally from Russia, but now reside in the UK. I am a law graduate (LLB (LSE)/LLM (UCL) and an aspiring author with a passion for books, travel and different cultures exploration. I am also interested in the human mind (studies on dreaming and consciousness), philosophy (existentialism/Buddhism), history, art, ballet, cinema (esp. French classics, and films of Andrei Tarkovsky, David Lynch and Alfred Hitchcock), music (everything from classical music to hard rock), yoga, anthropology, and mysticism (alchemy); and, apart from English and Russian, I also speak Spanish (my passion), French and a little bit of Italian, since I previously lived in Belgium, Spain and Italy. I am now studying Latin and Japanese languages, and have a dream to go to Kyoto, Japan, Pompeii, Italy, and to Cuzco, Peru. I set up this blog mainly to share my reviews on books and ideas about the world, and would love to connect with like-minded people.
I believe reading is important, and it is essential to appreciate that literature is diverse and life-changing (I want everyone to read!). I was brought up to believe that a book is one of the most precious things in the world, and I still believe that. I started reading at an early age in Russia, and my childhood was all about reading since my grandmother had an extensive library. As a child, I started with Alexander Pushkin’s fairly-tales, but was soon reading stories by Jules Verne, Alexandre Dumas, Victor Hugo, Charles Dickens, Arthur Conan Doyle, Agatha Christie, Robert Louis Stevenson, Jack London, Mark Twain, Mayne Reid, and later also the works of Ivan Turgenev, Anton Chekhov, Mikhail Lermontov, Brontë Sisters, Jane Austen and Miguel de Cervantes, to name just a few authors.
My favourite authors now include Leo Tolstoy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Honoré de Balzac, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, José Saramago, Kōbō Abe and Philip K. Dick. From contemporaries, I appreciate Orhan Pamuk, Kazuo Ishiguro, Donna Tartt and Hanya Yanagihara, and my favourite book is Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates. When it comes to book reviews, I believe it is all about honesty and truthful opinions, because, otherwise, what is the point and why we are even here? In my book reviews, I like exploring issues and character studies in depth, and I generally read classics, contemporary literary fiction, philosophical (existentialist) fiction, historical fiction, science-fiction, thriller, detective stories, horror and non-fiction. One of the goals of this blog is also to draw attention to those books which I believe are great, but remain little known or under-read (for example, when their cinematic counterparts are better known or when they were written in a language other than English).