There are books which we remember our whole life, the most amazing of which join the canon and we want to pass them on. Even if they aren't books like "The Little Prince" and only books which are important for us, it is worth remembering and reading them again, because they can reveal something new. Everyone knows the adventures of Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland and some day we will give them to our children. I have a special liking for "Grandma in the apple tree", "The Book thief", and "Matilda".

Today I would like to tell you about another amazing book. "The Girl Who Drank the Moon" is a beautiful and unusual book which can appeal to everyone: cChildren get magic and adventures, and adults receive timeless wisdom. Obviously, I bought the book for my daughter, but the first pages caused me to read it first.

The beginning of the book will frighten every mother. The people in Protektorat live in dread and sadness. The legend says that an awful witch lives in the forest, and every year the townspeople have to give her the youngest child as a tribute. The tragedy of the families, the grief of the mothers who every year have to leave their children, the sadness which hangs over the town and the strange, devious old men make this a bleak book. Quickly it turns out that the witch Xan isn't bad. She lives in a wooden house with a small dragon called Fyrian and a smart mud monster called Glerk. Every year, Xan takes the children out of the forest, wondering why the people leave them alone on the glade. She tends to the babies and gives them a new and happy life.


Everyday life is sometimes difficult, dull, and busy. In the evening I feel like I've thrown a tonne of coal into the cellar, so from the cinema, theatre or literature I expect relaxation, escape from everyday work and the chance to recharge my batteries. It doesn't mean that I watch only comedies and read only crime stories (even though I value both). I have to psych myself up for a difficult book and be aware that I will be watching a tough movie. Often I wait until I can watch especially difficult movies at home. I can then take a break, rest, cool down and go back to watching.

Today we decided to go to the cinema to watch a more difficult movie. Enticed by friends' recommendations, we didn't wait, and we watched „Zimna wojna" by Paweł Pawlikowski on the big screen. I have to say it was a good decision and the excellent reviews really weren't over the top.

The beginning of the movie: fragments of folk music and an audition for a folk band serve as an excellent introduction to 50s and 60s war-torn Poland. We also meet the main characters of the movie: Lech Kaczmarek (Borys Szyc), Irena Bielecka (Agata Kulesza), Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) and Zula (Joanna Kulig). Zula – an interesting girl with a shady past – draws Wiktor's attention from the beginning. The forthcoming affair between Wiktor and Zula is in fact as obvious as his stormy life history is surprising, poignant and disappointing.


Holidays usually involve travelling. It doesn't matter if we travel by car, train or plane, our children have to stay in one place for a long time. For many children and their parents it is a very difficult time. I remember when a few years ago I had to sing to my one-year-old daughter for almost 11 hours of traveling on our summer holiday. To this day I don't know why she only stopped crying then and how my husband managed to endure my singing. I'm happy these hardcore journeys are over. Because of travel sickness my children can't read or watch movies in the car. Therefore, we usually listen to audiobooks. If we find something for everybody, we listen together; if not, our children have their own headphones and we enjoy the silence.

Before our last trip I wanted to prepare some audiobooks for my seven-year-old son. We couldn't find anything interesting for him. My daughter found a forgotten and dusty audiobook called "Cat stories" by Tomasz Trojanowski. The recommendation of his older sister was sufficient, and my son had almost 10 hours of meeting with nice characters to look forward to. The audiobook was read with bravura by Jarosław Boberek.

Zofia, Herman and Gienek are cats who live in Big Man's House. Big Man is a nice cool customer who with boundless patience tolerates the creative and crazy ideas of his cats. The book describes the adventures of the cats, who sometimes seem more similar to small, impish children. They are extremely perceptive and curious about the world – they play with unfettered imagination, they hide, watch TV, take part in competitions and parties and play ball games. Just like lot of parents the Big Man has to listen to endless questions and monologues. Fortunately, the cats answer many of the questions on their own. Above all the cats talk to each other, to friends and to Big Man. They talk about important subjects, but they are also interested in more mundane things. They are interested in the weather, the smelly contents of the fridge, the best way to celebrate birthdays, but also appropriate behaviour in the forest, the value of friendship, tolerance and family relationships.


I have never done bean shelling, but I know that there are activities which do not bother me too much, and while doing them my hands work automatically and my thoughts can drift away where they want. For me, such activities are dishwashing and... running. They perfectly help me to prepare a work plan, set my impressions in order and digest everything that happened lately.

When my kids saw the book I was reading recently, they asked – "Really? A guy sits, shells beans and tells his life story and... nothing happens?" Yes .... exactly. "A treatise on Shelling Beans" is only a life story, but it is written in such a way that you cannot put the book down. I read it in small doses so as not to finish it too early.

There are some people who can talk nicely. They can talk equally entertainingly about chilling adventures and funny everyday stories. Wiesław Myśliwski can do it like nobody else. The words create the story on their own, one thread follows another, digression follows digression and they complement each other. Such people you listen to with pleasure, and you never have uncomfortable silence.

After reading many spooky crime stories I needed a break, something fresh and new. I found it reading "A treatise on Shelling Beans". It is a calm story about life, a summary of days gone by, a reflection on whether we influence our life or it is simply a combination of coincidences and different conceptions of destiny. You will not find adventure or surprising twists in the plot, but only a heart wrenching life story. There is something of memories from hot summer afternoons, grandparents' stories by the fireplace and family anecdotes passed through the generations. Everyone will find something from their own life. The man in the story is always a man with strengths and weaknesses, with feelings, thoughts and choices.


Children can be cruel. They can wound with words better than anybody, and only those who have felt this can say how deep the gashes are and how long they affect our life. Sometimes I think that children and teenagers are worse than adults, who have the good sense to hold back their words. Some people can deal with cruel words; they don't pay them any mind. Sometimes, words only ruin one's mood, but they can also motivate us and lead to life changes. Sometimes, the light scars stay for a long time and are opened up again with any scrape and don't let you function normally.

Santa Claus got my daughter the book "Pasztety do boju" ("Piglettes") by Clementine Beauvais. In a light-hearted way, this book shows the problems of modern teenagers. Three teenage girls are the main characters. They are the winners of an internet competition to find the ugliest girl. Each of them tries to deal with the stigma in their own way. Initially, they treat the final result of the competition as a disaster. Fortunately, only at the beginning, because the combined efforts of the Piglettes ends with success. With the whole world against them, the girls go on a bike trip to Paris. Together they beat the odds, arrange, prepare and realize their plan, but above all they become friends and support each other.

The blurb says that it is a funny story about adolescence and accepting yourself. I agree with what the book is about, but I have doubts about its comic value. I understood it somewhat differently. After all, it is book for teenagers. But for me it was laughter mixed with tears.

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