I’ve finished Supper Club this week, which brings me to 13/16 books read for Women’s Prize for Fiction SQUAD Longlist! It took me actually quite long to read it – I found it challenging and had to take several breaks during certain scenes. But it was absolutely rewarding and I think for a certain type of reader it will be a perfect read!
I’ve also finally picked up a few more Latinx books, namely Este é o Mar by Mariana Enríquez (from Argentina) and In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez. As you know, I’ve been attempting to pick up more books by Latinx authors, and to help me with that, my friend Chelle is hand-picking books for me – I will write a full post about it, but she’s offering this Custom-Made TBR service now and I am THRILLED with the books she chose for me (In the Time of the Butterflies was her pick!).
I also went a bit crazy at a Brazilian bookstore website and got a few eBooks:
I was biased and got 3 from Brazilian authors, but considering my last two Latinx reads are from Argentina and Dominican Republic, I don’t feel particularly guilty. Noite em Caracas (It Would be Night in Caracas) and A Chave de Casa (The House in Smyrna) are both recommendations from Michelle! I’m so excited for them (and the cover for A Chave de Casa is just so good???). Pequeno Manual Antirracista is by a Brazilian author who writes wonderful essays on racism in Brazil – I’ve read another book by her and she’s fantastic.
A Vida Invisível de Eurídice Gusmão (The Invisible Life of Euridice Gusmao) is a book set in 1940s Rio de Janeiro about two sisters who take very different paths in life – Eurídice becomes a housewife and is unhappy with her choice, and her sister disappears. I keep thinking this reminds me of another book but I can’t pinpoint which one exactly.
Weekly Wrap Up
This was a challenging read for me, but so worth it – it tells the story of a few women who get together for Supper Club, where they allow themselves to do all the things society does not think they should: misbehave, eat as much as they want, invade properties and let themselves take up space. It’s an intense book and a wonderful pick for the Squad longlist!
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics by Olivia Waite / Goodread 5 stars
Possibly one of the best feelgood books ever! I loved Catherine and Lucy’s relationship, the discussions about what is art and how typical women’s artwork (embroidery, for example) is not considered art for being too “domestic”. I particularly loved Lucy – I’m incredibly biased towards women of science. Such a lovely book! It wasn’t a perfect read but there were just too many great things about it for me to not give it 5 stars.
Este é o Mar by Mariana Enríquez / Goodreads 2 stars
I’m actually quite sad to not have enjoyed this more! The writing did not agree with me at all – reading this felt like watching the story happen from far away, with binoculars, instead of the immersive, lush experience I hoped it to be. Could be due to translation issues, but I suspect not – translating from Spanish to Portuguese should not have that much of a gap. The idea of the story was so good – a mythical being who turns rock stars into Legends and kills them? Hm, super cool? I was also attracted by the gorgeous cover and title. I’m still willing to give her another chance, I feel like her other book Things We Lost in the Fire might be something I enjoy more.
In the Time of the Butterflies by Julia Alvarez / Goodreads Ongoing
This book was somehow NOT on my radar before Chelle suggested it. From my experience with Este é o Mar vs how my experience with this is going, I should only let her choose my books from now on. This is so interesting! A fictionalized story about the real-life sisters Mirabal, in the 19602 Dominican Republic, from their younger years until the day all of them except one get assassinated. It’s a look on what the Dominican Republic under Trujillo was, and it’s going to break my heart, I just know it.
Space Race: The Battle to Rule the Heavens by Deborah Cadbury / Goodreads Ongoing
I’m only a few pages into this one and I’m so thrilled to pick it up, as the history of space technology is something I’m passionate about and read far too little of. Such an interesting history, deeply rooted in post-WWII tensions between US & Soviet Union and their show of political & military power.