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 (and “existential” literature)/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, 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, Charles Dickens, Henry James, Thomas Hardy, Honoré de Balzac, Daphne du Maurier, Edith Wharton, Franz Kafka, Albert Camus, Hermann Hesse, José Saramago 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. I am an avid promoter and supporter of “foreign-language” authors and translated literature, and particularly love Japanese and French literature. My favourite Japanese authors are Yasunari Kawabata, Kōbō Abe, Kenzaburo Oe, Osamu Dazai, Fumiko Enchi, Shusaku Endo and Yoko Ogawa. My favourite French authors are Victor Hugo, Honore de Balzac, Albert Camus, Marguerite Yourcenar and Marguerite Duras. 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.