Letters to Jupiter by Lotté Jean – ARC Review | IcthusBookCorner

Letters To Jupiter is Lotté Jeans debut, a collection of poetry that delves into what comes with the fragility of the mind and soul.

This poetry collection is both easy to read and to interpret. With this, I don’t mean it is lesser poetry or that it does not covey any meaning or emotion. There are plenty of zingers throughout the book and hidden connotation and messages too. The prevailing motif through the collection is mostly self-love, while still exploring other related topics such as toxic relationships, family dynamics and quite a bit of introspectiveness.

The poems I enjoyed the most were the ones which explored family dynamics and the effects these have on oneself. I also appreciated the poems that sounded, for me, a bit more intimate, almost like confessions, where the author had a more introspective voice. 

From what I saw, the poetry had no pattern nor fixed metre and was in what I believe in English is called freestyle. I believe this collection is likely to be labelled insta-poetry due to both the theme and how short most of the poems are. I mean no harm when saying this, I think people are starting to lose the stigma around this new style of poetry which can only be a good thing. I was genuinely surprised by the writing and balance of almost every poems. Given the shortness of poems, the reader can tell each word served a purpose which I personally appreciate. Not to mention, the fact that each poem is written by an anonymous narraror somehow helps people reading to put themselves in the situation presented.

All in all, Letter to Jupiter is a light easy to read collection. I recommend it for anyone who loves both this type of poetry and looking into themes of youth, self-discovery, self-love. I’ll be giving this book 4 out of 5 stars because after a while it got a bit repetitive and the themes explored were something I was not in the mood for at the time.

Bye, keep on reading. And don’t forget the book is out today.

(I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All of the opinions are my own and this did not affect my review in any way.)


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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. 

Small Gods by Terry Pratchett – Book Review

First of all, I want to thank my lovely friend Mónica for lending me her copy of this book. Terry Pratchett is her favourite author, so I asked her which of his books I should read from him, this was her recommendation. It’s all on her.

Small Gods is the 13th book in the Discworld series and it was published in 1992. It’s about Brutha, a novice priest of the God Om, who possesses a perfect memory. Brutha can’t read, he’s regarded as a bit dumb and it’s known that he will be a novice priest forever. However, unlike everyone else in the book, he is the only one that believes in Om. Everything in this book happens because of Brutha, who truly believes while still being a good and noble person.

Pratchett is an excellent writer, I found his style to be funny, touching, not to mention how great he was at making references to religions in our world and criticizing them as part of the book’s world.
The only negative aspect for me was the repetitiveness: Om’s lack of power and constant fretting about it, Brutha’s earnest but naive loyalty, and Vorbis’s malevolent determination are repeatedly pointed out and it gets quite annoying after a while.

As you can probably tell, the cons weren’t enough to make me dislike it and I found the book to be really well executed. The author brought light to problems in organized religion that need to be discussed and did so while making me laugh.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars.
Bye, keep on reading.


Links to the book: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15798103-small-gods
https://www.wook.pt/livro/small-gods-terry-pratchett/1500093

Poems to Night by Rainer Maria Rilke – Book Review

Poems to Night is a poetry collection of twenty-two poems by the Austrian poet Rainer Maria Rilke.

To be honest, I don’t think this was the best to start with Rilke’s work, but since it was sent to by Pushkin Press in exchange for a review, I went with the flow.

I truly loved most the poems however, there were a few which I found difficult to connect with a bit. All things considered, I can’t know if this is because of Rilke’s writing or due to the translation, we all know poetry is something hard to get right when translating. 

Rilke does not bother us with useless long verses which the only use is to fill pages, or with unnecessarily complicated rhymes. He gives the reader an insight into the connection one has with the world around themself and one’s mind. As you can see in the following verse:

“Is pain – as soon as the ploughshare,
labouring, naturally reaches a new layer –
is pain not good? And what can it mean, the last
interrupting us in the depths of such affliction?”

I think that given the year we have had; there are certain feelings brought out in these poems that we can relate to today, those of isolation and loneliness, which we can track to the author’s time during WW2. These are the things many of us have to deal with at night before we drift off to sleep.

All in all, this is a beautifully written book collection with a good translation, as fas as my translation knowledge goes. I recommend it to anyone who likes poetry as well as to anyone in search of a book to get in tune with their feelings and emotions.

I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

Bye, keep on reading.  

Paris, Texas (1984), by Wim Wenders – Film Review

Paris, Texas by Wim Wenders is the story about family and loss. The director uses themes of both brotherly relationships and fatherhood as a metaphor for man’s quest for personal identity, and he does it magically.

The fi out rst time we see Travis he is walking in Terlingua, a barren and dusty region of Texas. He isfilm-paris-texas-263 wearing a filthy suit along with a ragged red baseball cap. A bit into the film Travis reunites with his brother Walt Henderson, we know four years have passed since Walt and his wife Anne took responsibility for raising Travis’s young son Hunter. The story takes on from there.

The cinematography is poetic and there is a visual sense that contextualizes the characters’ feel of looming, present and past loss. Wenders shows us that his storytelling finds truth and poetry in the mundane. The film doesn’t need gimmicks or cliches to escalate emotional reaction from the viewer or create interest. This result is obtained simply by making the characters feel human.

All I can say is after I finished watching this masterpiece I was feeling everything and nothing at the same time. I don’t exactly look for this in a film, but once this feeling comes along, it’s hard to look at the art form in the same way ever again.

It’s a 9 out of 10. Please go and watch it now!

Me and White Supremacy Workbook by Layla F. Saad – Book Review

“I think whites are carefully taught not to recognize white privilege, as males are taught not to recognize male privilege.” – Peggy McIntosh

Me And White Supremacy Workbook by Layla F. Saad is a pioneer, anti-racism book for people holding white privilege to begin examining and dismantling their complicity in the oppressive system of white supremacy.

Far too often, I see white people blaming other white people and declaring them as the problem that causes racism, to distance themselves from the problem. I was happy to see that being addressed in the book.

If like me, you were always taught that racism is bad and that people should all have the same rights and opportunities, this book still serves as an excellent tool for digging out internalized messages regarding race that you might not have been aware of.

The only negative aspect I have to point out is that the book starts with multiple separate chapters about the author when the intent of the book is not to get to know the author but to critically analyse your privilege, which to me felt slightly off.

Needless to say, I have learned a lot. The questions didn’t allow for any hesitation, and I know that, though I have a lot of work to do, I now have basic knowledge on how to continue the work.

I recommend it as a tool for anyone who is or wants to be anti-racism. (and if you don’t want to what are you doing reading this)

I gave this book 4 out of 5 starts.

Given the current social climate, instead of telling you to keep on reading, I’ll provide you with a website which has both petitions and donations for you to take part in. Remember that what is happing right now in the US is not a US problem, there is racism in every country and our responsibility is to take action.

Stay safe and resist the oppression!

Link: https://biglink.to/forBLM

She Represents: 44 Women Who Are Changing Politics . . . and the World, by Caitlin Donohue – Book Review

She represents is a non-fiction title written by Caitlin Donohue. It brings light to 44 powerhouse women around the world.

First of all, I’m glad African and South American women were mentioned, however, in my opinion, the book would have had more impact if the approach had been even more global (more Asian and European women) since it focused mainly on women in the United States. The author gives us a summary of these diverse and interesting women in less than 3 pages per person. Not to mention, I was extremely happy to see a wide range of political ideologies represented.

The background stories come to life as a result of the references to their personalities or personal anecdotes. Those make the woman in power feel more relatable. I found the artwork to be both inviting and full of life (and I believe there might be more artwork to come, given it was only an arc).

I reckon this book would be nice for those seeking to learn more about women in politics, current political circumstances.

Thank you to Caitlin Donohue, Zest Books, and Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. Don’t forget that She Represents releases on September 1, 2020.

I give this book 3.5 out of 5 stars.

The Farewell, by Lulu Wang – Film Review

I’ll start by explaining what this film is about without any spoilers because this film is just too precious. The Farewell was directed by Lulu Wang and follows Billi a young woman who learns that her grandmother is sick and has a very short time left to live. To her surprise, the family decides not to tell her grandmother that she is dying. Instead, they arrange a wedding as an excuse for everyone to go back to China and see her one last time before she passes, almost like saying goodbye without being able to say it!the_farewell_poster

The film is able to approach the subject from both the western and eastern mindsets without diminishing neither of them, which for me was one of the greatest qualities of the story.  The Farewell is packed with complex characters who feel like real people, who have real conversations about topics that really matter. The film maneges to be funny between the sad moments giving it the levity that it needs, not the mention the amazing way in which the family bonds are portrayed.

(SPOILERS AHEAD)

I cried about 5 times during the entire film and one extra time once it ended. I’ll list the scenes that made me cry the most:

  1. When Billi speaks about how hard it was for her to leave China, the impact it had on her to not be able to be around her grandma as much and how painful it was to never be able to see her grandpa again given that her parents never really explained his death to her.
  2. I cried during the wedding part when Billi’s cousin starts to cry and we realize the all “thing” is really taking a toll on him too, even if for him the situation is sposed to be normal.
  3. The one that made me cry the most was when “Nai Nai” is talking to Billi and tells her that when the time comes for her (Billi’s) wedding she will give an even bigger party just because it was for Billi.

I can not end this without mentioning the shot of Billi running as fast as she can in order to get her “Nai Nai” medical results in order to get them before her, I truly loved it and the music for that shot was incredibly used (and in the entire film, overall).

(END OF SPOILERS)

Exactly as I wrote in my notebook after watching The Farewell: “I’m in love with this film, the soundtrack is 100% amazing and exactly what it had to be elevating the film to a whole other level. THANK YOU LULU WANG! This is excellent.”

I gave this film 9 out of 10!

Bye! Gotta watch ’em all!

The Sun and Her Flowers by Rupi Kaur – Book Review

More than its predecessor, The Sun and Her Flowers discusses an even wider range of topics. This poetry collection discusses sexual assault, gender inequality, racism, feminism and family.35606560._sy475_

With this new collection, Kaur opens up the dialogue to even more important topics, giving emphasis to friendship, to how we treat our planet, greater attention to social stigmas of beauty while giving focus to bonds between mothers and daughters, which made me enjoy this second book by Kaur a lot more. By expanding her topic range, she allowed more people to feel connected not only her work but to other individuals as well. Which means, so many more people can find comfort through the words printed on these pages.

I read The Sun and Her Flowers in one sitting, and while I enjoyed it for the most part, there was a good chunk of poems I just couldn’t connect to. I don’t blame the author, it’s normal given that not everyone feels connected to the same topics.

Just like I stated in my review of Milk and Honey, Kaur writes in an emotive way, not to mention that the metaphors she uses are exceptionally powerful and have the capacity linger on your mind.

I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. And I truly recommend it if you are into contemporary poetry.

Bye, keep on reading.

 

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.