Ultimate thing

I know that books seem like the ultimate thing that’s made by one person, but that’s not true. Every reading of a book is a collaboration between the reader and the writer who are making the story up together.

John Green

Not long ago I read a book “Change of Pace” written by Fia Essen. I follow her blog (https://essenfia.wordpress.com/) from moment of its discovery by me and I enjoy her style of writing.

The book led me from New York where I live last 40 years to an island that I’ve never visited. It showed me people of several generations with all their ups and downs, with tremendous capacity for love and friendship.

These people were real for me. They learned how to overcome all difficulties, how to build their happiness.

I am a speed reader from childhood but I often read books slowly to enjoy them fully. I read the book and lived with people in it.

Surely, I recommend you to read “Change of Pace”.

Today Fia notified me that her new book “Ariel” is already on Amazon.

Here are links to it:

Amazon – http://www.amazon.com/Ariel-Fia-Essen-ebook/dp/B00VGVZGCO

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25264738-ariel

I will start reading “Ariel” tonight. Hope you’ll read both books too.




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Dear friends, I have a big problem!

Often I think that we are from different worlds.

It is not because I lived 40 years in the USSR or I am a bit older than many of you.

I know that all of you love reading. I am sure that you met at some time quotes below:

Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.

Joseph Addison

The reading of all good books is like a conversation with the finest minds of past centuries.

Rene Descartes

He that loves reading has everything within his reach.

William Godwin

Who I am, what I am, is the culmination of a lifetime of reading, a lifetime of stories. And there are still so many more books to read. I’m a work in progress.

Sarah Addison Allen

So what is the problem?

I think it is in our ways of reading.

Let me explain.

When I was 8 years old I went in the library in Tashkent and a librarian told me: “I see that you love to read. Let’s do it in a right way! First read all books of fairy tales, then I’ll give you books about myths, then we’ll go through classics, then you can read books of philosophers, then some science fiction. After it you are on your own.”

This is exactly what we did. Nine years later I graduated from the high school and at that time I read many, many books written in Russian or translated from different languages into Russian. Since 1975 I also read thousands of books written in English or translated into English.

Today I don’t know how much you read or what you read. But it is very important to know!

Why? Because you can understand and accept my thoughts or posts only if you are ready for it.

Blogs are a new way of conversation. Writing and reading blogs is exercise of minds. And all of us are “work in progress”.

If we believe that we know everything, if our opinions are fixed and we are unable or not willing to follow and consider thoughts of others we stopped our growth. It means that we are mentally dying.

Several followers of this blog asked me who is my favorite author. I could not answer this question because I have favorite authors from many countries.

Today I want to mention one of them. He was born In Germany. His name is Erich Maria Remarque.

Please let me know if you read his books. If yes what his books you liked most.

Thank you!

Painting by JF

Painting by JF

Two simple pictures


I shot pictures below in our friends’ apartment.

Can they qualify as odd ball photos? I am not sure.

But … I want to share them with you.

Hope that you’ll like them.

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Why do I love Pocono Manor?

You already saw many photos of Pocono Manor’s houses, views and animals here.

Is it possible to love a place so much to return to it for many years?

Believe me it is.

It is possible if you can walk to the Pocono Manor Inn every morning and see a view like this one:


A MORNING VIEW                                                                                                             by JF

It is possible if you can enter the Pocono Manor Inn and take the photo below (it is my hat on the chair).


INSIDE THE INN                                                                                                         by JF

It is possible if you enjoy two paintings below:


PAINTING IN THE INN                                                                                                 by JF



PAINTING IN THE INN                                                                                             by JF

It is possible if you can go in the library (usually there is nobody there) and find many precious books of long forgotten wonderful authors.

Add to all these reasons sweet memories of wonderful times here with family and friends.

I am sure that you understand that my love to this place grows with each year.

Nassim Nicholas Taleb – a man hated by many experts.

In November of 2013 I wrote the post below after I read two Taleb’s books. His book “The Black Swan” is brilliant! Everyone must read it or at least to look it up HERE and choose what particular parts (chapters) of the book to read now. I am sure that everyone will find a lot of interesting in the book.

I reblogged this post because it is essential today to understand Taleb’s explanations of the last financial crisis, of the ways government policies influence our way of life and predictability of the future.

I also recommend to read an article at the end of the post about Taleb’s tweets.


America has more Nobel laureates in economics than any other country. There are thousands of experts in universities, banks, brokerage companies, insurance companies, etc.

Thousands of people work for the government and tell our presidents and the Congress what to do to keep economy growing and to keep people employed.

There is also a mighty Federal Reserve System. It is the central banking system of the United States. “It was created on December 23, 1913, with the enactment of the Federal Reserve Act, largely in response to a series of financial panics, particularly a severe panic in 1907

The U.S. Congress established three key objectives for monetary policy in the Federal Reserve Act: Maximum employment, stable prices, and moderate long-term interest rates… The first two objectives are sometimes referred to as the Federal Reserve’s dual mandate… Its duties have expanded over the years, and today, according to official Federal Reserve…

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Many years ago I read a small book “A Town Like Alice” written by Nevil Shute Norway. 

I did not know anything about him at that time and nobody told me anything about  the book. I started to read it and finished it in several hours. The book was terrific!

I instantly came to conclusion that the author was a brilliant writer who loved people very much.

Nevil Shute Norway  (1899 – 1960) was a popular British and then Australian novelist and a successful aeronautical engineer. He emigrated to Australia in 1950 and settled with his wife and two daughters on farmland at LangwarrinShute died in Melbourne in 1960.

I liked  “A Town Like Alice” so much that immediately started search for other Shute’s novels. I found many of them and enjoyed reading all of them.

However, the strongest impressions I got from Pied Piper”, “Requiem for a Wren”, “On the Beach”. 

Each of this books examines human nature, what is the meaning of life, what is love, and what is duty. They are very warm uplifting books despite the fact that they describe tragedies of war.

“On the Beach” is  the Shute’s best-known novel. It depicts Melbourne, whose population is awaiting death from the effects of an atomic war.

Here is an excerpt from the introduction to the book:

“Nevil Shute’s ‘On The Beach’ is a classic for good reason. Shute takes the most horrific event one can imagine – a worldwide nuclear event – and then turns the microscope on it, focusing in on just a few ordinary people who must wait for death as it drifts over to their hemisphere. We see military personnel, housewives, businessmen, and more. They come alive because they are just like you and me and the people next door.

Shute’s very great accomplishment here is to examine how each of the characters deals with their certain death. Everyone knows they’ll die eventually; these characters have the difficulty of knowing that death will arrive soon, and that it will be slow and agonizing. What do they do? Each reacts differently and the humanity and humility with which some of the characters make their choices is startlingly powerful. Especially in a time when the world seems so uncertain, so cruel, this is an important book to read-or re-read if you picked it up years ago. Prepare yourself for a powerfully moving experience.”

“On the Beach” published in 1957 and became an international bestseller.

I wonder why the author who created many anti-war books and warned people about danger of atomic war and nuclear proliferation did not get a Nobel prize in literature or a Nobel Peace prize. I also wonder why Shute’s books were not reprinted for a very long time. It seems to me that the main reason is that for many years we lived in the atmosphere of denials.

It is time to face realities and to do something about them!

Please read “On the Beach”. It’s a must reading today!