Almost every woman likes girl talk. We have our kindred spirits who we can speak to for hours about any subject over coffee, tea, or good wine. Even little girls whisper their biggest secrets into each other's ears. Sometimes a friendship which is put to the test breaks up and life throws somebody else in our way. Sometimes neither time nor distance changes our relationships. This kind of sworn friendship is beautiful and worth caring for.

Such girl talk held by two clever and close women was recorded in "Darling. Conversation across the ocean" a book by Małgorzata Kalicińska and Basia Grabowska. They are separated by an ocean, time difference and a whole generation, but they are joined together by love, trust, intelligence and a similar sense of humour. Two loving woman – mother and daughter – use their computer keyboards to chat about daily life and important and trivial matters. We can read about memories from their family home, their favourite dishes, affections and the most final of things.

Every conversation lets us see things from two different viewpoints: from the mature mother's and the younger daughter's point of view. Each chapter gives us food for thought and allows us to compare their points of view with our own take on the problem. They also make a lot of interesting references to literature and culture. You may or may not agree with the views of the authors, but for sure you cannot accuse this book of a lack of sensitivity, tolerance or feelings or say that the authors are unwilling to discuss every subject.


I don't really like biographical books. It isn't my favourite type of literature, so when my friend persuaded me to read the book "Nothing usual" I was sceptical. However, after only a few pages I knew how much I had erred this time in my judgment. It isn't a typical biography. It contains fantastic memories and anecdotes from the life of a woman who was both ordinary and unusual, who maintained her self distance and distance from the world, and who smiles at the reader from every line of the book.

The author of the memories is Michał Rusinek, a master of Polish philology, employed by the Nobel laureate "for a while" to sort out the mess in her life after she was awarded the Nobel Prize. She received piles of letters, which made it impossible to open the door, and invitations which could not be refused. Szymborska thought that it was temporary chaos. A daring way to solve the problem of the constantly ringing telephone led to Michał Rusinek – who was employed only for a couple months – staying for 15 years.

"Nothing usual" is a very subjective portrait of the poetess. The author allows us to get to know the private side of the Nobel laureate: cheerful, sometimes frivolous, with a sense of humour that enabled her to survive the Nobel confusion. She acutely observed reality and she appreciated meeting ordinary people more than living in the world of famous people. She had her own weaknesses: she used to like Kentucky Fried Chicken and cigarettes, which she did not abandon until the last day of her life. Anecdotes were a way for her to deal with many things; she used to write ad-hoc limericks; to maintain contact with materiality she used to wash her dishes on her own after meeting friends; and she used to bestow her closest relatives and friends with cut-outs and collages.


Do you wonder what the consequences could be of bringing about such a change of time? Our life is a course of straight events, one leading into the next, and changing even the smallest thing could cause our world to change completely. But would it be a change for the better?

A few wizards find this out to their cost in the book "Harry Potter and the cursed child", by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, when they use a strange object to change time. The good intentions of Albus Potter (Harry's son) and Scorpius Malfoy (Draco's son) in using the unusual device don't save the wizards' world from changes which up to that moment have been only nightmares. Just like in our modern world, unusual inventions used by misguided, blind, fanatics could lead to tragedy.


Only those who have had to say farewell to their bundles from heaven too early know how to deal with the loss of their own child. It is difficult for me even to think about it. For me, a mother of two wonderful rascals, books in which children are harmed are particularly difficult. Especially when I realize that the book is based on a true story.

This difficult subject is put forward by Katarzyna Bonda in her third story about the profiler Hubert Meyer entitled "Flower Girl". We find the police psychologist in a very difficult time of his life. He has said goodbye forever to his parents and made a professional mistake, after which he honorably withdraws from his work in the police. His own company, which was supposed to be the base for his professional career, appears to be a failure. He has become a bored, unemployed divorcee without any goals or livelihood.

He happens to meet two people who change his life. The first is an ambitious young woman called Lena who tries to talk him into cooperation, and the second is his old friend who asks for help in solving the mysterious disappearance and murder of 9-year-old Zosia. It turns out that the girl's disappearance causes a lot of people's tragedies to come to light. This case is reminiscent of another occurrence which took place a few years before. At that time a young boy called Amadeus was murdered. In fact, the culprit was caught and imprisoned, but this doesn't help to clarify the situation. We could say it makes it less clear. It calls into question the quality of the police's work, its loyalty and credibility. The mental status of Amadeus' mother, the flower girl Olga, causes her to be perceived as one of the main suspects.


Every Pole knows Wisława Szymborska. We know that she was a poetess, essayist, literary critic, translator, columnist and Nobel laureate in literature in 1996. In 1989 she created the Polish Writer's Association, and in 2011 she was decorated with the Order of the White Eagle.

We can of course read this information in a reference book or biographical notes, but recently, thanks to an amazing book with the unpublished letters of Wisława and the man of her life, we can get to know her from another perspective. She was a typical woman - loving, flirtatious, jealous - who found love at a mature age. Her chosen one was Kornel Filipowicz, a novelist, short-story writer, screenwriter and poet. An author of 37 books, he was known mainly as a master of short literary forms.

Though their relationship wasn't typical and they never got married and never lived together, their love was intense and mature. At the time of their separation they wrote letters that were equally as special as their affection. The letters gathered in the book "Your cat has it best in life. The letters..." are funny, moody, romantic and loving. As in every correspondence between a typical couple, we can find both declarations of love and promises about the persistence of affection, stories about friends and family and more mundane information about daily life. Along with the author, we go through the various phases of their relationship. The letters evolve just like their love: from formal and a bit shy to more tender and intimate.

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