Most of the Series I Follow Finish This Year and I’m-

Hello readers!

So, in a desperate attempt to post something still today and not have another week of terrible scheduling for my blog, I am writing this rather random post! It came to my attention rather belatedly (we’re in mid-April… omg) that MOST of the series I follow are going to be DONE this year and I’m at a loss.

The realization came to me yesterday:

After posting this on Twitter, I realized there were a few more series ending this year! So, we have:

the burning god r f kuang the king of crows libba bray the mirror and the light hilary mantel Continue reading

Conspiracy Theories about the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020

Hello readers!

Once you get invested in something so niche like a book prize, it’s inevitable to start using your imagination too much, especially during these times of mental idleness, which is why I’m writing this post! Yay! As a warning, I’m under the delusion that I’m funny, so I apologize for that. Last year, I talked a bit about some strange coincidences on the 2019 longlist (Rachel also wrote an excellent post about that, which went a bit deeper into the comparisons!), so clearly that is something suspicious going on every year. This year I’m bringing to you conspiracy theories!

This is obvious, but just to be sure: I am clearly joking this entire post. I don’t hate any of the books (yet!!), and have enjoyed several of them so far! I admire the WP very much and will continue to read from their recommendations for years to come 🙂 so please don’t get mad!

the mirror and the light hilary mantel

The books suck this year so the Mantel will win

Obviously. With the exception of my perfect-can-do-no-wrong baby Woman, Girl, Other. Which leads me to the next one…

Since they had no idea how Brexit would go, they made sure that a UK author would win, just in case

Theory concocted by Hannah! Since our bets are on either Evaristo or Mantel, this seems like a rather obvious conclusion. They didn’t even try to be subtle. Continue reading

Thoughts on the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 Longlist

Hello readers!

The longlist for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2020 came out! (crowd cheers)

My TBR cries as I add 13 books to it, but that’s okay because I’m pretty excited to read those. I am surprised that Ducks, Newburyport didn’t make it and honestly disappointed to not see it there. I’m less surprised that The Man Who Saw Everything and My Dark Vanessa didn’t make it either, but I really wish they had! The Testaments isn’t there either, which actually pleases me, as I really didn’t want to pick it up.

My thoughts on the books for this year: Continue reading

The Book that Inspired me to Start Running

Hello readers!

Running is a hobby I never expected to pick up in my lifetime – I am short, with the kind of body that builds muscle more easily than it does aerobics, and I’m famously terrible at breathing (I have asthma) and at not fainting (I have vasovagal syndrome). However, I’ve been running for about a year now, and it’s for sure because I picked up this book:

It’s Not Like It’s a Secret, by Misa Sugiura

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Reaction to 2019 Women’s Prize for Fiction Winner & Thoughts on the Longlist

Hello readers,

The winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction has just been announced!

An American Marriage is a really good book, an easy read and the first third of the book was so amazing – to add to that, the topics An American Marriage deals with are really relevant: racism, the judicial system, loyalty, family and marriage, which I think are the reasons why it was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club. It’s a good book for creating discussion, for sure. But it’s not, in my opinion, the greatest book written by a woman in 2018, the most innovative and unique, the most creative. Tayari Jones is an amazing writer, there is no doubt about that. But the Women’s Prize for Fiction is about more than just a good book people will like – it’s about giving a voice to a group of writers who used to be (and still are) constantly silenced and dismissed as “serious” authors. I don’t mind if the main character is unlikable and if the book is not one I loved and will die for – but it needs to have something more, a challenge perhaps on the way it’s written, on the way the main character is, on the plot, anything really. The themes are important and definitely need to be talked about and represented more in fiction, but that does not change the fact that An American Marriage is a conventional contemporary, even if a very good one, and does not bring anything new. So it’s disappointing.

I would have been happy with most of the books that never made it to the shortlist winning the prize, but I’m not surprised by this result at all. The entire prize has been, so far, giving off a vibe of trying to please the crowd instead of challenging it. An American Marriage is the safest book of the entire longlist. It would have been a truly satisfying ending to see The Pisces or Ghost Wall win, they both felt like they had that extra oomph that a lot of the other books don’t. Continue reading

Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019 Shortlist Reaction – Bland & Boring??

For those who didn’t know, I’ve been making my way through the Women’s Prize Longlist for 2019, together with Rachel, Callum, Sarah, Hannah and Steph! I’ve finished by now 9 and half books, having left some that I expect to be new favorites for last! Today we got the much awaited shortlist, and if you didn’t see it yet, here are the ones that made it:

It’s been a shock to everyone not seeing Ghost Wall & Normal People make the shortlist. I haven’t read those two yet, but from the blurb I’ve been hearing, they were such favorites. That The Pisces didn’t make it isn’t entirely a surprise, but a huge disappointment! This was such a strange, daring book and I hoped it would win the Women’s Prize. The Pisces spoke to me in such a deep level and brought to surfice all kinds of uncomfortable feelings, plus it was quirky and unique and quite brilliant. I’m saddened that the list is immediately less ambitious and original by the simple fact that The Pisces didn’t make it. Continue reading

Giving Star Rating to Books: An Experiment

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Let’s try an experiment.

I am doubtful of star ratings of books. Unlike your average Amazon purchase of household items (“The shelf works well, goes with my furniture! 5 stars”, “This goddamn pair of shoes ruined my life. 1 star”), books are a very personal experience. Ratings are normally done in one of the following ways:

  1. Via emotional response. I LOVED THIS BOOK, 5 stars. THIS MADE ME SOB SO MUCH, 5 stars. It was okay, 3 stars. Wow, the only emotions this provoked on me where utter cringe-y ones, 1 star.
  2. Via categories. Great writing, 5 stars. Terrible plot, 1 star. Final rating: 3 stars.
  3. Via comparison. I actually loved this book, but I can’t give it 5 stars, I gave this other book 5 stars and it was so much better. 4 stars it is.

As for me, I’m a mix of the three. I normally follow my gut response and then, when writing reviews, list as thoroughly the good things and the bad things as I can (without overwhelming the poor reader). This sometimes makes me realize that my gut reaction to the end of the book does not correspond to my overall experience, and I change the rating – I’ve never had that happen for more than 1 star of difference, though. So, in average, I am an emotional rater.

(which are you, by the way? Tell me in the comments)

Continue reading

1 Year of Romance Books (Update on my 2018 Valentine’s Day Post)

Hello readers!

If you remember, on Valentine’s Day I posted that I would try more books of the genre, since this is indisputably the least read genre in fiction for me. So today I am showing what I have read since, what I thought of those books and if they helped change my mind!

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What I read since February 2018

The Wedding Date Jasmne Guillory Wintersong S Jae-Jones Hollywood Dirt Alessandra Torre

The Wedding Date by Jasmine Guillory
Hummm, I didn’t love neither hate this book. While it was entertaining, I didn’t buy the romance at all. It was just not for me, which was disappointing, being one of the few contemporary romances I’ve ever read. Also I found out that ~sexy scenes on Audiobooks just aren’t for me.
Rating: ★★★☆☆

Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
I am so in love with this book. It’s got a lush, dark world building, a mysterious Goblin king, a talented main character, there’s lots of music and pain and love. It broke my heart.
Rating: ★★★★★

Hollywood Dirt by Alessandra Torre
This was okay. I gave it 4 instead of 3 stars because the steamy scenes were SO sexy and because the main character had a no-nonsense personality, which I really appreciated.
Rating: ★★★★☆

Continue reading

Dear gringos, the Portuguese word “Saudade” doesn’t mean what you make it sound like

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Hello readers,

It’s national day of saudade in Brazil! Feliz dia da saudade! 🙂

As you know, I am from Brazil, and my native tongue is Portuguese. It’s one of the so-called romance languages, and it sounds, as I’ve been told, like a French person trying to speak Spanish. While I am not sure of the accuracy of this statement (I hardly think I sound French), one thing is for sure: I have seen quite a few articles and books mentioning a particular word from my language that seems to be driving gringos to swoon: saudade.

From Michaelis Dictionary, here is what the word means:

saudade
sau·da·de

sf
1 Sentimento nostálgico e melancólico associado à recordação de pessoa ou coisa ausente, distante ou extinta, ou à ausência de coisas, prazeres e emoções experimentadas e já passadas, consideradas bens positivos e desejáveis; sodade, soidade.

Translation:

Nostalgic and melancholic feeling associated to the remembrance of the person or thing absent, distant or extinct, or the absence of things, pleasures and emotions experimented and already past, considered positive and desirable goods. Continue reading

Scribd: Is it worth it?

Hello readers!

So I have gotten Scribd for a free month trial after reading about it in Misty’s post Apps I Use For All Things Bookish, and decided to write this post about how it went, what I read and how it compares to Kindle Unlimited and Audible! If you’re anything like me, the words “Netflix for books” is sure to catch your attention. So – is Scribd your long-dreamed-of Netflix for books??

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So, starting from the beginning, here is what the app looks like on my phone:

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(yes, I only had 72% of battery at 10:18 AM… but not to worry, I always carry a charger with me)

You have an overview page, where basically shows the books you’ve saved (which works like a wishlist, or a TBR), and you can see recommendations there. You can also go to the other tabs to select recommendations filtered by the format you want: audiobooks, ebooks, magazines…

I do recommend that if you want to try it out, download it on your phone if you can! It’s far more practical to listen to books on the go. Continue reading