All The Light We Cannot See -By Anthony Doerr

Book Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Let me talk today about one of my most precious treasures. As a good treasured it fell into my hands by a simple coincidence. I was in Sydney, where I used to live, and as it always happens —it is still happening to me here in France—, when I cannot find books in Spanish I don’t know what to choose. I was randomly looking inside Harry Hartog, my favourite bookstore in Bondi, when I found it. Strange title, I thought. I then saw a note of recommendation classifying it as one of the best books in fiction. I bought it and left it in my own little library for two months. And when I finally took it  I regret of having lost two months in which I should had known everything about this book.

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Mothers and Winter are Not Compatible

My Stories

8:30 am today, I had only five minutes to get to school that is only a few meters away. They are insuperable meters when you have to feed, bathe and dress three young children. Then the counting starts before putting them on, six gloves, three wool hats, three scarves, six socks. Each of them tiny and elusive, always forgotten in every corner of the house.

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Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Reviews

Being creative is like playing hide-and-seek. She runs in every direction, I chase her, with all my speed and my strength. She stops, looks at me an laughs. She disappears. I run again, this time determined to catch her, I find her, and I touch her, yes, I think I just touched her, but when I try to grab her from her muscular arm she scapes and runs again, laughing at me, once again.

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Flaws

My Stories

I try to control my mind. Because let’s not lie to each other, it dominates me, with her steel chains, with those thick links that cannot be separated. Living in the past is my addiction, I like to walk in those memories that revive with all the nostalgia my childhood, school, university, family, friends.

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The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Book Reviews

It might seem strange to read this book later in life, considering that it is an American classic and it is practically mandatory for a high-schooler in that country to read. It never got my attention, not only because I was not born nor raised in United States, but the previews or an extremely rich party boy were not very attractive.  I am also a big fan of Ernest Hemingway. In his book ‘A Moveable Fist’ he documents some encounters with F. Scott Fitzgerald. He was not impressed. He described him as invasive and difficult to be with. They took a trip together to Lyon (France) that was a disaster. Fitzgerald had alcohol related problems and Hemingway used to say that his texts lacked some strength. However, the same Hemingway loved The Great Gatsby and confirmed him that it was the manuscript that was going to make him famous. It was published in 1925.

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Romance Languages

My Stories

Why is it that the romance languages are so agreeable? Because they sound like a singing melody compared with other languages that could sound dry as an autumn leaf. It is the vocals, the ones we found so abundantly in romance tongues, as if they were fruits swimming in a colourful salad. They fill every word up to the top, by softening the rudeness and aggressiveness of the consonants. Romance languages have dignity. They would never allow two consonants in a word without a vocal guiding them, telling them what to do. And this is how all the brutal force gets to be mitigated by this syrup that intoxicate of those who listen to it. 

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The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin

Book Reviews

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Gretchen Rubin has been famous for some years now. Not to me. I ran into her book by only a coincidence, looking for those books that are chicken soup for the soul. It was the word happiness that got my attention because, Are we not all looking to find it? Is it not the last end of life that all the philosophers talk about? The aim of all religions and theories in this world? She said she could find it and I was up for it.

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Paris d’Amour

My Stories

It was him who gave me this book. Paris. He knows how I feel about Her. Looking at his eyes I sadly understood that this gift was only a gentle gesture towards that love that he will never support. I understood that eventually I would have to choose between him and Her. Irreconcilable differences keep them apart from one another. He thinks She is dirty, dangerous and without great beauty. Overrated and a thief, She abuses the innocents who come to Her looking to fulfil a dream and She pays them back with a treason. So unpleasant She is, that not even the ocean would like to be next to Her.

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The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Novel by Milan Kundera

Book Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The absolute absence of weight makes the man to become lighter in the air, to fly higher, distance from the Earth, from his earthy being, that is real only in half and his movements are as free as they are insignificant’ [my own translation]

Milan Kundera loves Nietzsche. He loves his country, Czech Republic, he loves Prague. He speaks with great sadness of the communists times that swelled the ‘before’ of his country to turn it into a group of people with fear. But it also rescues the long-lasting and stubborn braveness of his fellow countrymen who didn’t get drown by the regime despite the consequences. Tomas, the protagonist of this story, was one of them. Tomas scaped to Europe but returned because he could not stand the solitude without Tereza, who went back to Prague tired of his infidelities. Others were more strategic. They migrated for good to Europe, right in the moment they could have done it, leaving the ‘Kitsch’, the communist dream, behind. In Czech Republic the citizens only ambition mundane things. Be born, grow up, fall in love, have children and die. There is no more aspiration that living in this utopia.

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Balls of Ego and Paper

My Stories

And the year went by. And it left us with our hair electrified from so much lockdown, economic fatality and fear of dying. And it told us, that we are not the gods we thought we were, but only balls made of ego and paper, that at the slightest wind may fall out. And before it left, it combed us, very smoothly, with a  brush of eclipses, solstices and planetary marriages. And it told us all, stop crying, that nothing will end, that it all begins again. A new year, new life, new hope, will arrive. And  yet here we have, a new crystal ball in our hands, waiting to see what you wish to ask, waiting perhaps that you think about Her, a little bit more than those odd time of the past.