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The Book Vortex

“Push yourself. Don't Settle. Just live well. Just LIVE.”

In reverse

The Stranger - Albert Camus, Matthew    Ward The Virgin Suicides: A Novel - Jeffrey Eugenides

The world is moving so fast that the man who says it can't be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it. - Elbert Hubbard


It has been a long time since I posted something here. Also, it looks like I'm almost always starting my posts with this exact statement. So instead of writing about my excuses and why I can't be bothered with reading nowadays, I thought I'll write about two sad books that I relate to 'cause it fits my mood. 


I remember first reading The Stranger by Albert Camus, I was only about 15 or 16 years old and it was a rather difficult reading but still I loved it, some of the more significant quotes are still stuck in mind. I grew up being a rather depressed child so whenever I found a book that I could honestly relate to, I would read it over and over again - it got to a point where I would read as a form of procrastination. 

I could really distance myself from everything that was going on in my life and I would not care about my future or about my family and friends. So when I got to this particular quote:

“If something is going to happen to me, I want to be there.” 

Of course it had a huge impact on me. Just let it sink in for a moment. I thought to myself: If you can't control the things that happen to you, at least be aware of the fact that they do. 


I was also around that age when I started questioning the existence of a god, so naturally this next quote made a lot of sense:

“I had only a little time left and I didn't want to waste it on God.” 

I still believe that most of us waste their whole life thinking about how the next life will be. So I thought to myself: The existence of a god is irrelevant. What can you do now to better your life? What can you do to be a better person? Stop expecting rewards for being a decent human being.

“Since we're all going to die, it's obvious that when and how don't matter.” 


Those of you who read this book or anything written by Albert Camus know that there is so hard to find something as good and powerful as this book is. 


“My dear,
In the midst of hate, I found there was, within me, an invincible love.
In the midst of tears, I found there was, within me, an invincible smile.
In the midst of chaos, I found there was, within me, an invincible calm.
I realized, through it all, that…
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.

Truly yours,
Albert Camus”


The second book I wanted to write about is a rather different story, The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides. You might've seen the movie, if not then please do or just read the book. This one is also close to my heart for obvious reasons. One of my favourite quote is:

“In the end, the tortures tearing the Lisbon girls pointed to a simple reasoned refusal to accept the world as it was handed down to them, so full of flaws.” 

It's a coming of age book so obviously I loved it. It spoke to my heart and inflamed my curiosity to such a degree that even now, after almost 7 years, I still remember exactly what I felt going through each page of this book. I just wanted to know why, I always thought about what it would be like to end my only life, but I never once ran out of excuses for not to do it (obviously since I'm still here, writing this). 

“What are you doing here, honey? You're not even old enough to know how bad life gets."
And it was then Cecelia gave orally what was to be her only form of suicide note, and a useless one at that, because she was going to live:

"Obviously, Doctor," she said, "you've never been a thirteen-year-old girl.”

How can one be so sure? I guess I'm a coward that way or I just really care about how other people will feel about it. Or both. 

“We felt the imprisonment of being a girl, the way it made your mind active and dreamy, and how you ended up knowing which colours went together.”


That's it, I guess. If you already read these books I'll have you know that you're a special kind of awesome.