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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Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy – Book Review

I have two words to describe this book: MEANINGFUL DRAMA.

I’ve always been afraid of picking up Anna Karenina, I have a problem with big books, I’m always afraid I won’t like them and afraid to end up forcing myself to read them, as I do with all the books I end up not liking (I just can’t dnf a book). When books over 800 pages came along, I became truly afraid. As you can easily understand, forcing myself to read 800+ pages of something that doesn’t bring me joy is quite more dreadful than 300 unfulfilling pages.IMG_20190711_223955_408

Anna Karenina by Tolstoy is a Russian classic written in the nineteenth century. To me, the book serves to show us how difficult life can be and that all families have their own problems. It’s, in essence, a story about life at its core.

The writing is magnificent, the author manages to talk about farming methods, political policies, or philosophical discussions without making you feel bored. He’s also able to betray every single character in a flawless manner, you truly get to know and understand everyone’s perspective on life and on what is going on in the story.

If there is one problem if the story it’s the amount of drama, which might as well be a “me” problem. From time to time I had to stop and read other things in order to reflect on everything that was going on. There are so many subplots I just couldn’t keep up without before taking a step back.

Tolstoy has this incredible power of being capable to show how one person can change their mind, how a person, can become so infatuated with something or someone and then with the blink of an eye, the feeling can change (this made me think a lot about relationships and so on).

Anna is the heroine and the villain, you love her and you hate her, you want her to be okay and then at times you just want to shout “don’t be so stupid and start accepting the consequences of your actions!” HOW DID TOLSTOY MANAGE TO DO THIS??????

This book portrays an impulsive affair, a man questioning his beliefs, an unpleasant divorce and a woman questioning her mental health. All these are still incredibly relevant nowadays, ergo its timeless appeal.

Instead of listening to me, I recommend that you read it for yourself.

I gave this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.

Mother by Máximo Gorki – Book Review

There is a story behind this book and I feel like I need to tell it before I review it. If you want to go straight to the review go ahead, I’ll use a line to separate this from the review.

The first time I ever saw this book I was probably around 12. It was on a living room cabinet, which meant it wasn’t my mother’s since her books have always been kept at our home office bookshelf. I remember asking my father what book it was and remember him saying it belonged to my grandmother. For 12 year old me this was meaningless and I just went on with my life.

I came across this book again about a month and a half ago (on my twenties). I once again asked my father about the book. This time the story was more detailed. You might not know but Portugal had a dictatorship that lasted about 41 years, which ended in 1974. My grandmother only ever lived inside this dictatorship, but I’d say she was pretty different from the women of her time.

This book was basically forbidden due to its socialist message, which means that if she had been caught with it she would have ended up as a political prisoner and most likely tortured to death. According to my father, she always kept the book under her bedside table just in case there was a swoop.

Even though I never met my grandmother I can for sure say that all my rebellion comes from her. Not mention that from the stories my dad tells me, she was probably an extraordinary lady who valued both education and culture, which is something I look for in every person I ever encounter.


REVIEW:

Mother follows the life of Pelágia (Pelagueya for the English edition), Pavel’s mother as she enters her son’s world when he embraces socialism and starts bringing home forbidden books. The author describes a group of factory workers in the small Russian community at the beginning of the Russian revolution.img_20190124_164321_107

It’s mainly a story about a woman, from the beginning of the last century, overcoming her political ignorance to become involved in the revolution, and for me, she is the true protagonist of this novel.

It was slow at times but the reality brought out by the author was outstanding. The way the author described the struggle of the working class from the perspective of a mother, was honestly outstanding. I really liked his style of writing: having lines spoken anonymously by anyone in the scene, it’s like we are inside the characters minds. Given its revolutionary intentions nowhere does the book become preachy.

This book was an emotional rollercoaster but it is for sure not just another book to pass the time, you need to take time to connect with the characters. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to anyone that likes history or is at all interested in this “revolutionary” type of book.

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.

Frankenstein by Mary Shelly – Review

This story follows our main protagonist, Victor Frankenstein. He’s fascinated by science and decides to apply his knowledge in the creation of life. Creating the incredibly famous Frankenstein’s monster, later regretting his decision and spending a small amount of the story running away from him/it.

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Overall I enjoyed this book, I really fancied Mary Shelly’s writing style and I also liked the mix between letter as well as actual prose. The plot was very well developed and I think she really made clear what her point was. As I see it, she used this book to examine human nature as well as trying to define what human life actually is along with trying to show us we need to evaluate our own actions and not put how we act on other people.

All in all, I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars just because I’m not really into horror.
I deftly recommend you to read it, you know I love the classics.

 

Hamlet by William Shakespeare – Review

I really shouldn’t be reviewing the work of Shakespeare, I’m for sure not an expert but here it goes!

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Hamlet is a story of how the ghost of an assassinated king comes to haunt the living with devastating repercussions and it starts with the encounter of young Hamlet with his father’s ghost.

Revolving around revenge, betrayal, and madness, Hamlet is dramatic, entertaining and unlike what I was expecting an easy read but with a lot to take in. In this play Hamlet’s feigned madness is contrasted with Ophelia’s genuine madness.

This play was a joy to read, in the sense of inner satisfaction at the writing, the complexity of characters and the richness of the thought induced in the reader  by Shakespeare in this breathtaking drama.

I really liked this play, the only thing about it was the fact that it was a play (something I’m not used to reading).

I give this book 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.