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.

sábado, fevereiro 21, 2015

Monsieur Ibrahim et les Fleurs du Coran, de Éric-Emmanuel Schmitt

A little jewel of a book I found thanks to the suggestion of a friend. Short and simple like a Sufi or Zen tale, expressing the view that it's our humanity that counts, more than race or religion. And it's a good thing to remind people, in this time of Islamic fundamentalism, that not all Muslim tradition is of intolerance.

quinta-feira, fevereiro 19, 2015

Deux Jours, Une Nuit, de Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne

A very good movie, austere and humane, the proof that you can make an excellent film with a good script, good direction and a few actors. The portrait of a very real Europe, a good example of the present trend in working conditions and the state we're in concerning solidarity and work security; also, in a way a picture of an ethnic mix that is optimistic for a change. Marion Cotillard is superb as always, one of the great actresses of today.