☆ books i find to be interesting and/or thought-provoking ☆

oh, "the death of ivan ilyich" is most definitely quite an interesting read by leo tolstoy. it takes place during the times of imperial russia (19th century) and it is about a highly regarded official of the court of justice named ivan ilyich golovin. he spent his whole lifetime caring and maintaining his reputation and status on the social hierarchy. it's quite sad, in my opinion. he even married a woman (and had children with her) he didn't truly love simply because everyone else was going off and getting married at that age. so he did the same. he followed those around him and he finally experienced an epiphany during his own death.... this novella taught me some good lessons and i will always admire it. (i even made my mother read it! ha!)

lolita is a novel written by vladimir nabokov about a middle-aged man, humbert humbert, and his obsession with a 12-year-old girl named dolores haze. it's really interesting and one can definitely immerse themselves in this book! “lolita” is humbert’s private nickname for her. the story also follows his sexual involvement with her after he becomes her stepfather. the novel is told from humbert’s perspective. this book really sparks up a lot of controversy and almost everyone who has read it has a strong opinion on it and i can clearly see why.... that's what made me excited to read this: i wanted to see what all the hype was about (and i also just really wanted to read some of nabokov's works)! in my humble opinion, i believe that it cannot be said that humbert “loved” lolita - he does not really consider her a being outside of his own imagination (he only sees her as a non-human “nymphet”), and the reader has the potential to see lolita in ways that humbert cannot. humbert cannot be said to “love” lolita truly. it was an obsession; it wasn’t love. humbert’s pedophilia promotes the idea (his own idea) that he truly loved dolores haze and would give her anything to make her happy. that wasn’t the case, however, he wasn’t doing these things (the long road trips, the money-spending, etc.) to make lolita happy--he was doing it to make himself happy and to feel better about himself.