Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard – Book Review

Women & Power: A Manifesto by Mary Beard is an adaptation from two speeches she made in 2014 and 2017 where she tracks what women’s relationship with power has been, from ancient myths to current online discourse.36525023._sy475_

The book starts with Beard stating “Women in the west have a lot to celebrate; let’s not forget.”, reflecting on how times have changed since her own mother was born, a time when women did not have the right to vote. At the end of the text reflects on what can be done and ventures that power needs to be redefined, not womanhood.

Beard draws connections I had never before thought about, between classical imagery and modern politics, the cultural precedents for the oppression of women in the oldest literature, managing to completely blow my mind. Though in contemporary times women have achieved much more “power” as traditionally defined, such as political power,  she notes that women’s political is rather curtailed.

Overall, I really enjoyed it, I underlined so many passages from it, and I really liked thinking more about our understanding of power as a society. I can not recommend it enough!

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.

Cadernos de Lanzarote: Diário I de José Saramago – Book Review

Alo alo, habitantes da Internet!

Acho que é a primeira critica que aqui escrevo em português, mas como as únicas cópias que encontrei deste livro foram em português e castelhano não pensei que fosse útil para ninguém fazer isto em inglês. No entanto, tenho muito mais receio de escrever em português, talvez por ser estranhamente mais intimo, por favor não julguem. Bora nessa!

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Este primeiro volume de Cadernos de Lanzarote trata-se do diário mantido por Saramago no ano de 1993 (ou 94 ainda não percebi bem), enquanto morou na ilha em causa juntamente com Pilar. Neste diário o autor foca-se maioritariamente em episódios quotidianos, algumas reflexões filosóficas e claro na sua opinião implacável sobre inúmeros tópicos.

Sendo Saramago um dos meus escritores preferidos, era inevitável ler estes pequenos diários. Para falar verdade, não esperava adorar este livro, afinal de contas é um diário (um exercício que pode ser visto como narcísico, tendo em conta que o autor sabia que ia ser publicado). Foi uma leitura rápida que me deixou ainda mais apaixonada pela escrita deste autor maravilhoso. Saramago salta-nos das paginas dos livros e ficamos perante aquilo que parece ser uma verdadeira modéstia que seriamos capazes de esperara de um autor como ele.

A simples descrição do seu dia a dia deixa-me maravilhada e as conversas que conta ter com pessoas que fazem parte da nossa memoria e cultura coletiva criam em mim um quê de inveja e simultaneamente de respeito.

Foi uma leitura leve e divertida que me levou para dentro da mente de um dos meus escritores preferidos. Recomendo o livro a todos os que apreciam a escrita de Saramago e claro para aqueles que tencionam entender melhor a vida do artista.

Dou ao livro 4 em 5 estrelas.

Adeus e não se cansem de ler!

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.

10 Things To Do Before You Leave School by Bernard O’Keeffe – Book Review (Blog Tour)

This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review for this blog tour organized by Random Things Tours, thank you so much for the opportunity. unnamed

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Acorn Independent Press
  • Publishing Date: 5 Mar. 2019

Favourite quote: “So the thing about Hamlet’s madness is he puts it on, he assumes it, as some kind of defence, some kind of protection.”

This book follows Ruby whom dad has died a year ago. She missed a lot of school days and we get to get to experience what she deals with when going back. One day she finds something extremely daunting: an envelope addressed to her and it is in her father’s handwriting. Inside the envelope, there is a list saying ‘Ten Things I Hope You Do Before You Leave School’.44532426

What can I say about this book? It was sent to me at the right time. I read it while being terribly sad, almost depressed and in need of a book that made me feel every emotion. This book made me laugh and cry, which rarely happens to me while reading. I wasn’t able to put it down, everything happened to Ruby and once you get started with the list this story becomes a rollercoaster.

I loved the character development in this book, we can see Ruby as well as Josh and their mother growing up and becoming themselves again at the same time. A great thing about this book is that it manages to bring to light a multitude of important topics, such as self-harm, suicide, bullying, among others without making it feel forced. Another thing I really enjoyed was the fact that you never know if Ruby is doing something because of the list or because she feels like it since she only mentions the topic of the list once she has completed it.

I don’t have anything negative to say about this book, it’s a really good story, with credible characters and a great plot. It didn’t blow my mind but not every book has to blow your mind, right?

I give this book 4.5/5 stars.

I recommend it to everyone going through a rough time but remember this is a book that talks openly about topics that might be triggering to some people.

Bye, keep on reading.

 

 

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie – Mini Review

I see this book as a short introduction to feminism, a topic I am incredibly passionate about. The author talks about her own experiences as a native Nigerian and now an American.

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She used real-life events from her life and those whom she shares her life with in order to present her viewpoints and that really stepped up the game and she also makes many good points. I only had a few issues with heteronormative language, but I don’t believe she was being intentionally exclusionary.

There’s not much else I can say about this book (because it is the tiniest thing on earth) other than it reminds me of the reasons why I believe we still need to fight for gender equality. AND THAT IS EXTREMELY  IMPORTANT

I think this essay is a good starting point for people wanting to learn more about feminism. It is a must read if you are into the topic.

Bye, keep on reading.

Is This a TBR list for 2019?

Hey there, people of the interweb!giphy

I was recently going through the reader tab on WordPress and came across a blog post by Tomes with Tea named How I Pick My TBR 2019 and thought the way she organized her TBR was just amazing. For someone like me, that’s a complete mood reader it’s perfect because I’m still able to pick which book you’d like to read, within a topic, rather than having one already picked out. Amy-Louise said she originally saw this on Codie’s Booktube Channel, be sure to check out both Tomes with Tea as well as Codies’s Book Corner.

I’ve taken most of the genres that Amy-Louise used but not all of them, as well as adding others, here they are:

  1. Author love – A book by an author that I love but haven’t read yet. (probably Zimler or Saramago, let’s be honest for a minute)
  2. Highest rated – The highest rated book that I own. (from my Goodreads)
  3. Lowest rated – The lowest rated book that I own. (from my Goodreads)
  4. Classic – I own loads of unread classics and I love classics, so I have to read them.
  5. Recent purchase – I will pick from the list of books that I have bought in the last 2 months.
  6. Sci-fi – Need I say more?
  7. Treat yo shelf – Buy a new book!!! (it’s happening more than once, let’s be real here)
  8. Short book – A book with less than 200 pages.
  9. Historical fiction – I love it and have tons of Historical fiction books unread waiting to be loved.
  10. 5-star prediction – A book I believe I’ll love.
  11. Poetry – Love it, but haven’t read any in a while.
  12. Non-fiction – I have to catch up on those.
  13. Big book – A book over 500 pages.
  14. TBR vet – A book that has been on my TBR for longer than two years.
  15. Portuguese author– I have got to support the authors from my own country.
  16. eBook – I’m really behind on those.

I’ll write every topic twice on a piece of paper and every month I’ll be picking between 3 and 4 of the cards and then choosing books on my shelves that match with the corresponding categories.

If you liked this idea thank Amy-Louise, thanks to her I found this different way of doing TBR lists. If there is any book within a certain category that you want to recommend go ahead.

Bye, keep on reading!

The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller- Book Review

9781455554287_p0_v1_s550x406This book is one of those sensitive tragic but yet simple love stories. It’s the story about Francesca and Robert as they meet each other.

As the story unfolds we learn that Francesca is lonely and feeling a little neglected by her family, being reduced to the “function” of housewife, and that is where Robert is important, he is the one who lights up her passion for life in again.

I really liked the fact that this book didn’t make any type of moral presumptions, it just tells you what is happening and lets us make up our minds. However, the writing wasn’t really my cup of tea, the dialogs seemed a bit too wooden for my liking.

The Bridges of Madison County is a nice story if you are into romance and all. But since it is not really my type of book I can’t say I enjoyed it that much. I understand why the book is popular, it gives voice to our cravings/urges in a way and it reminds us what falling in love is like.

I neither hated nor loved the book, it was an okay read for me. It has its strengths but it also has its weaknesses. If you are into the all love story kind of book and don’t get triggered by adultery, I’d say give this book a shot.

I give this book 3 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.

Little update!

Hello, people of the interweb!

Probably nobody cares but I feel like I have to explain the reason why I went so many months without posting.

First of all, last semester I attended a seminar on Superconductivity, which led to me being able to get an internship at an amazing investigation center in Barcelona. It was all fun and games until I realized I wasn’t going to be able to attend the exam season my uni has for anyone who fails any class during the semester or decides to improve his/her grades. This had I huge impact on my overall stability during this semester since I had never had a semester when I didn’t attend said exam season.

I had to achieve reasonable grades in all subjects in order to do this internship. I was under a crazy amount of pressure and stress, I mean I don’t consider myself dumb but I’m not the most intelligent person you’ll ever meet, in addition to my horrible study habits. It got to a point when I hardly got out of the house except for classes and tests, I hardly spoke to anyone, I decided to clean my phone of all type of social media I had and I only really used my computer to uni-related stuff.

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Me being happy and not carrying about uni for 10min straight!

Everything is okay now, I’m currently doing my internship, sightseeing on the weekends and I even went to a karaoke bar for the first time in my life. I can honestly say that IT’S ALL GOOD IN THE HOOD.

I really just wanted to say sorry for not posting for so long and to all the authors who were kind enough to send me a copy of their books, if I haven’t reviewed them yet, I’m extremely sorry, I’m doing my best to catch up on my reading.

Bye, and don’t forget to keep on reading!