domingo, maio 10, 2015

Le Côté de Guermantes, de Marcel Proust

What a pleasure to read Proust. Le Côté de Guermantes is huge, in form and content. The long scenes of the soirée chez Madame de Villeparisis and the dinner at the Guermantes' are masterpieces, and the description of the Grandmother's illness and death realistic and touching. I never get tired of reading Proust, and I'm looking forward for Sodome et Gomorrhe to arrive so I can go on.

quarta-feira, abril 29, 2015

Les Rois Maudits - Le Roi de Fer, La Reine Étranglée, Les Poisons de la Couronne - de Maurice Druon

I always liked historical novels, it's such a pleasant way to learn about the past, especially when they're serious and well researched and are also enjoyable to read. The novels in this cycle of Les Rois Maudits are all this, so they were a most fortunate find. And one can see, reading these accounts of real events, that series like A Game of Thrones are not that far fetched... Already ordered the other 4 books of the series!

domingo, abril 12, 2015

You Can't Read This Book, by Nick Cohen

I like to read Nick Cohen's newspaper column, and I likde very much his book What's Left?. I think his is a sensible voice in a not usually sensible press in not that much sensible times. I totally agree with his views about the loony left and the present day censure, which he exposes so well in the cases of religion, the workplace and the state. A very good read.

domingo, março 29, 2015

Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein, de Marguerite Duras

I hadn't read anything by Marguerite Duras in many years; lately I read an article about her, I think it was in the Times Literary Supplement, and I felt like reading her again, so I ordered this book from Amazon. I liked several of her books, especially Le Vice-Consul, and also Un Barrage contre le Pacifique and Le Marin de Gibraltar. Le Ravissement de Lol V. Stein is a beautiful book, beautifully written, dreamy, an evocation of nostalgia and longing. Marguerite Duras is always at her best when she writes about feelings and emotions, and her writing is austere and just beautiful.

segunda-feira, março 23, 2015

Strange Days Indeed, by Francis Wheen

A very good book about the '70s, that "golden age of paranoia". An easy read, very funny, and sometimes scary when you stop to consider how all this really happened and how very much of the paranoid spirit has endured and still influences politics today. I remember a lot of this - I was a child then, but never forgot the mood of impending catastrophes (there would be no natural resources in a few years! the bomb would blow up!), the catastrophe movies, the alien and paranormal furore. Remembering it left me vaccinated against alarmist predictions, since none of those became true, which was in itself a good thing, I guess.

terça-feira, março 10, 2015

Generations of Love, de Matteo B. Bianchi

A nice coming of age book, funny and sometimes moving, very evocative of the '80s. I heard about it through a friend, and read it in a Spanish translation, not being able to read Italian and not finding any other translation.

terça-feira, março 03, 2015

Waiting for an Angel, by Helon Habila

A good book about what the life under a dictatorship is like, in this case in Nigeria. Harsh and nevertheless hopeful, trusting in the basic humanity of people, it's a good reminder of the fragility of the rights we take for granted in Western democracies. And it made me, as usual, mad at the people who neglect to vote and say that everything is the same everywhere - they should spend some time in these countries to see how it isn't.