March Wrap Up | IcthusBookCorner

Another month has passed, and I started feeling sad for only having read two books, even though I had read seven books the month before. Uni started again, and this time I really had a lot to do because of my thesis. March was a difficult month for me…

This feeling of failure was starting to haunt me a bit, then I realized there was no reason for me to feel like that. I read two AMAZING books that I loved, and if you ask me, that is much better than reading a large number of mediocre books.

Both books were read in physical format: one is mine, and the other was borrowed from my local library. Both books were fiction, one written in the late 70s and the other written in 2014.

I read All The Light We Cannot See and If On a Winters Night a Traveler. If I remember correctly, I gave both these books 4 stars. The first book is historical fiction set during WWII and was part of a buddy read I did on Instagram. The second and last book is an Italian classic which is seen as one of the most important postmodernist novels.

I won’t go into more details because even though I haven’t been posting that much, I intend to write reviews for both of them. Please, hold me accountable for that.

So, I have a few questions for you! How was your reading month in March? What was your best read? What are you currently reading? What books are you excited for in this coming month? Let me know in the comments!

I hope you enjoyed your march readings.
Bye, keep on reading.


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I know I didn’t post anything last week, don’t come for me! |IcthusBookCorner

Hey there people! I hope everyone is staying safe and healthy. Today I’m here to ramble on with you, nothing bookish.

Probably no one cares, but I haven’t posted anything since my birthday, and that was a scheduled post. To be honest, I got a bit tired of posting two times a week, and it got to a point when I had no idea what to post. I didn’t feel like writing reviews, and I was, overall, burned out.

I’ve always enjoyed talking about books and films, and it’s something that brings me joy. That is why I created this blog: to express myself and find people who love books as much as I do.

At the end of 2020, I decided to create a regular posting schedule again, and it was fine. (Mind you that I’ve had this blog since 2016, which is a long time.) In the beginning, this new attempt at organized content was amazing. It was so good that I had the idea to monetize the blog. I was excited by the interactions and visitors I had for my review of Death at Intervals and took it as a good sign. It was a stupid idea! I now felt forced to post even if I had nothing to say, and I felt like people weren’t interacting with me as much as they once did, which lead to me feeling like I was talking into the vacuum. (And by the way, I made no money so far, it was a stupid idea.)

Now, I feel like I’m now back on track, but I’ll probably only post once a week (two if I feel like it). I want to write a sort of essay on “The Shawshank Redemption” and “A Pocket History of Human Evolution”, and I also really want to write my reviews for “All The Light We Cannot See”, “If on a winter’s night a traveller” and “Notes from Underground”. As well as other things that I don’t want to reveal because I think they are better as a surprise. (I’ll post my March Wrap Up as soon as I can.)

Once again, I hope you are all doing well and living a Covid-19 free life. It was nice to talk to you all.
Bye, keep on reading.


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Birthday Book Tag | IcthusBookCorner

Hey there, everyone! It’s my birthday today, and I’m officially an old lady. Mentally and emotionally, I’ve been an old lady for a long time now. Well, this means I can finally bring you this super fun tag I saw over at Jawahir the Bookworm. They told me the original creator is Antonia @ Always books. Go check out their blogs if you feel like it. Let’s get into it!


BIRTHDAY CAKE — a book with a plot that seems cliché but you adore it anyway.

I don’t know! This question is quite hard. As you can probably tell from the reviews I post, I don’t usually read “cliché” type books. I tend to read a lot of non-fiction and poetry which obviously don’t contain clichés. (And I’m not saying this to be “#different”, please don’t hate me.)
I got it! I have to choose Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell. This book was quite a wild card for me. I was looking for something different from what I usually read; I need fluff, cuteness and lightness. That was precisely what Pumpkinheads gave me. It’s far from the best book I ever read or anything, but it was a fun read. I did adore it, but it was very much cliché.

PARTY GUESTS — your most anticipated book release for this year

If I’m being honest, I have no idea what books will be released this year. I really what to read Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender and The Once and Future Witches by Alix E. Harrow, but I’m pretty sure these are both books from last year. Can I just say those, please?
Wait, I know one! It’s The Final Revival of Opal & Nev by Dawnie Walton(yes yes yes yes I remembered one) Do I need to explain my anticipation? The Final Revival of Opal & Nev is set in the ’70s, and it’s about and afro-punk duo. AMAZING

BIRTHDAY PRESENTS — a book that surprised you with how much you loved it.

This one is obvious, A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway. I had no idea what this book was about when I bought it. It had an interesting title and was on sale, so I wasn’t expecting much. It ended up being one of y favourite books of 2020. I loved learning about Hemingway’s life in Paris and his life as a young author. Truly magnificent.

“HAPPY BIRTHDAY” SONG — a book that certainly deserves all the hype it got.

I don’t know if I’ve recently read a book that had a lot of hype surrounding it. Maybe, Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly! Was there hype? I feel like it had because of the film. Honestly, it was an interesting book. I was expecting a bit more, but it’s a good book for what it is.
It talked about the civil rights movement, NASA and women of colour working at NASA and kicking ass.

HAPPY MUSIC — a book with some very beautiful and truly meaningful quotes.

I don’t know if their beautiful, but they are meaningful and relevant, Women, Race & Class by Angela Y. Davis. This book is a must for anyone looking for insight into the connection between different forms of oppression. This book was objective, concise and exactly what I was hoping for.

GETTING OLDER — a book that you read a long time ago but you think would appreciate more if y ou read it as a more mature reader.

For this one, I’m choosing The Appointment by Herta Müller. I read this book way too young the got nothing from it. I think I was 13 when I read it, and it was overall a boring experience. The book is about a young clothing-factory worker living during a totalitarian regime if I remember correctly, I really need to reread it.

SWEET BIRTHDAY MEMORIES — a book that kept you incredibly happy during a sad or demanding period of your life.

Well, here I have to mention Blindness by José Saramago. I read this book at a difficult time during my mid-late teens. This was actually the book that made me fall in love with books again. It made me realize I needed book and literature to escape what I was going through.
If you haven’t, I highly recommend you read this book, it’s perfect. The man got a noble for a reason.


I hope you enjoyed this tag. It was super fun for me to think about these questions/topics. Please, let me know if you have ever read any of these books and what books you would choose for these topics.
Keep on reading.

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Exploring Bookstagram’s Habits |IcthusBookCorner

Hello, hello, everyone! Today I decided to bring you something different.

I recently joined bookstagram (@icthus_book) and was interested in people’s habits regarding their book consumption inside the bookstagram space. So I did some polls, questions and quizzes to see what was going on. This post will show us what is up with the bookstagram community.

The questions I asked include:

  1. Do you use a reading tracker?
  2. Which reading tracker do you use?
  3. If you don’t use one, why not?
  4. How long have you been using a reading tracker?
  5. Do you buy used or new books, or do you read library books?
  6. Do you use audiobooks?

As someone how has been using Goodreads for years and is now changing to StoryGraph, I was interested to see how people track what they read. Or if they track at all. From my research, 21% of people don’t track what they read at all, and 79% of people do track their readings.

When it comes to what people use to track their readings: 78% of people use Goodreads, 15% of people use StoryGraph, and 7% of people use a notebook or a planner. 

I asked people who said they don’t track their readings why they don’t do so. One of them said they were, quite literally, assaulted in the message section of one of the online trackers. Some people said they don’t read enough to feel the need to track the books they read. Lastly, some people just said they had never thought of tracking the book they read.

The second part of the “research” was about the type of books the people of bookstagram consume. As someone who buys most books second-hand, I was intrigued by the results of the inquiry. I found out that 73% of the people that follow me mostly buy new books, rather than used books. Which is okay, like the planet doesn’t thank you (nor does your wallet if we are being honest, but who am I to judge?). I also found out that only 27% of the people that follow me buy used books, rather than new ones. Lastly, no one chose the option of mostly using library books, which is mind-blowing.

The last thing I wanted to know was if people used audiobooks a lot or not. I personally don’t use them that much. I read/listen in maxim to 2 audiobooks a year, and I do it together with reading the physical book (most of the time). 

The results were that 65% of people don’t use audiobooks, while 35% of people use them. I guess this is pretty normal, but I was expecting more people to listen to audiobooks for some reason.

Well, I hope you found this interesting. If not, at least I had fun. I love stats and inquiries and other things like this, so if you have any ideas please let me know. Please, let me know what you would answer these questions.

Bye, keep on reading. 


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Book Adaptation Tag |IcthusBookCorner

Hello everyone, hope you are having a great week!

It is time for another tag. Today I am doing the Book Adaptation Tag because I was tagged by the amazing Eleanor Sophie. I’m super excited, this looks so much fun. Let us get into it!


What is the last book adaptation movie you saw?

I think it was the Portuguese film The Mystery of Sintra, an adaptation of the book The Mystery of the Sintra Road, written by Eça de Queirós and Ramalho Ortigão. I never read the book, so I have nothing to compare it to. 

What book movie are you most excited about?

Uuuuuuh, maybe Nomadland??It is based on a non-fiction book, and I feel like it is really up my alley.

Which upcoming book movie will you definitely not see?

I cannot think of any! Probably any of which I wouldn’t be interested in reading the book either. 

Which book movie would you NEVER watch again?

EASY! Alice Through the Looking Glass, this film was really just a waste of time and money. TERRIBLE!!

Is there a movie you saw that made you want to read the book if you had not yet?

Yes, yes, yes! If Beale Street Could Talk, this film was just perfect. PERFECT, I tell you. Now I really want to read the book by James Baldwin.

Conversely, is there a movie that made you never want to read the book?

Not that I can remember! That would only happen if it was a film that is really not my thing, and I went into it knowing it is not my thing. Am I making any sense?

Name an adaptation that has almost nothing to do with the book it is supposedly based on.

Honestly, I cannot think of any film I have seen that have been that different from the book. It might come to me later, but right I have no answer for this.

Have you ever left the theatre during a movie adaptation because it was so bad?

No! If I paid for it, I’ll be there till the end. I would also prefer, in that situation, to watch the entire film just to have good points to trash it later on. 

Do you prefer to watch the movie first, or read the book first?

Book first for sure! I almost always read the book first. I love both cinema and literature a lot. But it is easier to have a good book rather than a good adaptation. A film adaptation is like an interpretation of an interpretation so it’s easier for things to get lost. So reading the book first is always a good idea. While watching the film first might put you off of reading the book.

How do you feel about movie adaptations that age characters up? (ex. Characters that are in middle school, but in the movies, they’re all 18+)

On the one hand, most of the time, teenagers in books do not act like teenagers in real life, which annoys me. On the other hand, having 20-year olds and 30-year-olds playing highschoolers is just as annoying.

So, I guess I’m with Eleanor on this one. 

Do you get angry when the actors don’t look like you thought the characters would?

I mean, if a character is a person of colour and the actor chosen to play them is white… that irritates me. Otherwise, I’m okay with it, I guess. 

Is there a movie you liked better than its book?

It is rare for me like a film better than a book, but it has probably happened before. The only thing I can think of now is the TV series adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend series.

Name a book that you would love to see as a movie.

Let me think about this! Death at Intervals by José Saramago would make an amazing adaptation. I can feel it. Honestly, just fund me so I can do it myself. 

I’m going to tag:


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February Wrap Up | IcthusBookCorner

I’ve had two whole months of reading time this year, and I cannot believe how much I’ve actually read in February. It’s been a great reading month with loads of books that I loved. I want to talk about the last seven books I read with all of you!

WHAT I READ

This February, I read seven books, and I know it might not be a lot for some, but for me it sure is. I’m so happy to see that I can read more than five books in one month! If I’m being honest, what helped was me not doing the work I had to do for my thesis…But we are not going to talk about that! Reading this much made me think of how much I actually love books and reading.

When it comes to statistics, I read 1 325 pages, which is way more than what I read in January. I read three books by Russian authors, two non-fiction books, one play, one poetry collection, one fantasy and four classics. I am surprised to see that I still read mostly classics and that all the books were written before 1950. No surprise, I read mostly physical books (6) and only one ebook, one of the physical books I borrowed from my local library. I gave five stars rating to four books, four stars rating to one book and three stars rating to one book, leaving one of the books I read with no rating. This month I read no ARCs because I wanted to focus on books I have wanted to read for a long time.

Overall, it was a great month, and I discovered amazing titles. However, I could read other things, for example, I have been in the mood for sci-fi and some historical fiction (so I need to pick those up).

TITLES/BOOKS

  1. The Lower Depths, by Maxim Gorky – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review coming soon)
  2. Notes from Underground, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review coming soon)
  3. Three Guineas, by Virginia Woolf – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
  4. Letters to a Young Poet, by Rainer Maria Rilke – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review here)
  5. The Magic Shop, by H.G. Wells – ⭐⭐⭐
  6. Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity, by Judith Butler – no rating 
  7. Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov – ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ (review coming soon)

I haven’t done one of these posts in such a long while I don’t even know how to finish it. 🤦

So, I have a few questions for you! How was your reading month in February? What was your best read? What are you currently reading? What books are you excited for this coming month? Let me know in the comments!

All I can say now is: Bye, keep on reading.


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Books that Made Me Cry | IcthusBookCorner

Hello hello, people of the internet. As you can probably tell from the title, today I’m going to talk about books that made me cry. Overall, I’m not someone who usually cries with books. For a book or film to make me cry, I have to really believe in the characters or be emotionally attached to them, which is something that does not happen often. I’m not easy to impress, what can I say?


So, I only have two books and two honourable mentions (for book with which I on the verge of crying). I know it’s not much, but you know it’s what we have got to work with.

Let’s start with the ugly cry:

First, we have My Sweet Orange Tree by José Mauro de Vasconcelos. This book is about Zezé, a five-year-old who lives in Rio de Janeiro, in a forgotten slump in great poverty. I’m pretty sure this is a Brazilian classic, and if it isn’t, it should be. There is a lot to say about this book, and I should probably reread it someday. It’s a sad book due to what it is about, but there are some happy moments, and the Orange Tree is a whole character (obviously). Just read it, please, so I don’t have to be sad alone. (Keep in mind, I read My Sweet Orange Tree when I was around 10 or 11, so it might not be that aggressively sad for an adult mind. Who knows?)

The second book is Guardian of the Dawn by Richard Zimler. The main purpose of Guardian of the Dawn is to bring light to the terror brought by the Portuguese Inquisition to Goa. It follows Tiago Zarco, his sister Sofia, his father and their housemaid Nupi, as they live in Goa during the end of the 16th century. The book is heartbreaking, not only that but a very much real one given the historical context.

Now, the honourable mentions (two Russian classics, who’s shocked?): 

Let’s start with Mother by Maxim Gorky. This book has a lot of meaning to me, not only because of the story but also history and family history. My copy of this book is probably one of the most valuable things I have and I can’t believe I almost lost it trying to send it home from Barcelona. If you want to read about the non-story part, I wrote about it in my review, which is here. The book itself is about the radicalization of an uneducated woman and mother as she witnesses her son taking part in the revolution. The message behind this book is just so powerful and relevant. I highly recommend it to everyone who cares about revolutions or politics.

The last book I’m mentioning today is Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy. Honestly, I don’t know what to say except that if someone hadn’t spoiled the end for me I would have cried my eyes out. We get invested in all the characters, there’s this tragic atmosphere, and then the end hits you like a slap on the face. WHY? WHY? Tolstoy was like: “I’m a literary genius so let me just play with their feeling for a while.”

Well, I hope you found this entertaining. It was interesting for me to look back at these books and try remembering what about them made me cry or sob. What books have made you cry? Please let me know because, as you can see, I need recommendations.
Bye, keep on reading.


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Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke – Book Review | IcthusBookCorner

Hello hello, everyone! The book I’m reviewing today is Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke. This book is a collection of ten letters written by the Austrian poet Rilke to the young Franz Kappus while he was an officer cadet in Wiener Neustadt.

I first time I ever heard of Rilke was while watching one of * e m m i e *’s older videos. The way she talked about his work reminded me a bit of how I speak about Saramago’s books, so I knew I had to give it a try. Before reading this book, I had the chance of reviewing an arc for the English translation of his Poems to Night, but I knew Letters to a Young Poet would be an entirely different experience.

This book is both exceptional and profound, even somewhat philosophical when pointing out how life can influence our art. It’s easy for the readers to put themselves in Kappus’ shoes and read Rilke’s bits of advice as if they were for them. 

It’s also quite interesting to get to know the author’s considerations on love, disease and solitude and how he believed all three of these were of extreme importance for the human experience and therefore for the art we create. Rilke does this with humility and solidarity rather than putting himself in a somewhat superior position, which brings out sheer intimacy in his words. 

All I can put into words about this letter collection is that Rilke’s writing is graceful and fascinating, making us feel like he’s speaking directly to us. I evidently gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading. 


Link to the book: https://blackwells.co.uk/bookshop/product/Letters-to-a-Young-Poet-by-Rainer-Maria-Rilke-Charlie-Louth-translator/9780241252055

Death at Intervals by José Saramago – Book Review

“The following day, no one died.” This is the first sentence and the overall premise of Death at Intervals (published in the US as Death with Interruptions), a novel by the Portuguese nobel winner José Saramago whos magical realism is already known, first released in 2005 in Portugal.

With his bold and courageous originality, Saramago uses diverse fantasy elements as a mean to convey his message. José Saramago does this brilliantly creating a story that is impossible to forget. Much like his other books, Death at Intervals manages to get the readers to think about their deeper selves. His rather controversial writing style is, in my opinion, brilliant and showcases how comfortable the author is with his own mind, creating something fairly similar to someone speaking their mind most fluently.

This work is informally divided into two parts when it comes to motifs/themes. The first is the most satirical and politicized, dealing with the practical aspects of the issue of the end of mortality: in this one, Saramago explores the hypocrisy and demagogy from booth the government and the church, the smugness of the king, the interests of entities in whose activity have practical implications, such as nursing homes, insurance companies and funeral homes.

The second part of the book details the particular, the sentimental, being Death the main protagonist (in this book death is female). It’s an interesting study of human love in its varied circumstances and consequences, managing to make important reflections on the concept of death on a more personalized level and contributing to the fantastic characterization of human nature. This characterization is always one of Saramago’s main goal, which always splendidly fulfilled.

Overall, and as you can probably tell, I really loved this book. I liked the way the author approached the subject: real, inevitable and natural; especially in the first part. It is so smoothly and effortlessly done that we can only stand back and appreciate the perfect fusion of what is said and the way it is said. In my opinion, no one writes quite like Saramago.

I gave it 5 out of 5 stars.
Bye, keep on reading.


Links to the book:
https://www.wook.pt/livro/death-at-intervals-jose-saramago/19943326
https://www.bookdepository.com/Death-at-Intervals-Jose-Saramago/9781784871789?ref=grid-view&qid=1612468086302&sr=1-1

The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House by Audre Lorde – Book Review

This book is a collection of essays on the power of women by the self-described black, lesbian, mother, warrior and poet, Audre Lorde.

The collection has four essays: Poetry is Not A Luxury, Use of Erotic, The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House, and Uses of Anger. Every single one of these essays touches on different topics that concern women, and black women in specific; focussing on issues of womanhood, black identity, the LGBTQ community, and the vital roles that art and community must play in overthrowing the patriarchy.

This little book is loaded with heavy, theoretical ideas but Lorde’s writing is amazing enough to draw most of us in, and I found myself nodding along to must of it. These essays remain true to this day and her judgement and criticisms are as sharp and insightful now as they were when she first wrote them.

My favourite essay was, without doubt, the Uses of Anger. I found it to be as important as fitting with the times, while also being unapologetic and brilliant.

Her urge to unity and intersectionality is flawless due to the assurance that these do not mean conformity but accepting everyone’s individual traits.

Overall, I would highly recommend this essay collection about feminism and intersectionality to everyone, but especially if you’re looking for intersectional texts.

I gave this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.