The Golden Notebook —By Doris Lessing

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Book Review

This novel incarnates an amazing power and a vast relevance to these days. It is easy to forget that it was written in the 50s, as we are still discussing the subjects of the book, which are all different, although they make part of the same woman’s life. These woman’s thoughts are full of contradictions between being a communist and racist, between being a feminist and a homophobic, between being a good partner to her men and a lousy mother to her daughter.

The book narrates the life of Anna Wulf, an independent writer, communist and in a certain way a feminist. She has a dear friend, Molly. I found this friendship to be dysfunctional, or at least to accentuate the dysfunctional personalities of both women individually, which causes great damage to them and their children. The entire book is narrated by Anna. It is not divided in titles or chapters, which made the reading difficult. However, it is interesting how the author changes subjects, dividing the book in notebooks, black, red, yellow and blue. It is still disorganised, as she changes subjects and colours as she writes, but one can follow the sequence of the changes when getting used to what she is talking about.

Read More

City of girls —By Elizabeth Gilbert

Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The book starts with the protagonist, Vivian Morris, writing a letter to Angela, a secondary character. I have always cherished whoever can write a letter, as I do not know many people who can actually do it. At this point of the book Vivian has aged and she is planning to recall her own story only to answer one single question from Angela. “Vivian, Angela wrote, “given that my mother has passed away, I wonder if you might now feel comfortable telling me what you were to my father?”

Read More

Crime and Punishment ­-By Fyodor M. Dostoyevsky

Book Review

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

‘To find the sense of life one has to read Dostoyevsky’, someone has said once, so I put myself to work. I have been on a mission to read as many classics as I can, and the Russians, especially Tolstoy and Dostoyevsky, are mandatory when climbing the ladder in the pursue of learning how to read. Because knowing how to read is not to scroll across a bunch of letters with no sense or sentiment, but to taste the flavour of every sentence, it is to stop and enjoy the smell of every quote, conversation and emotion, and to get to know the characters to the point in which you can feel them at every breath.

Read More

Approaching Eye Level ­­­–By Vivian Gornick

Politics and Feminism

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I wanted to read this book for a long time. I considered it an ovation to feminism. It really is. Vivian Gornick’s feminists statements are the mix of a self-portrait of a woman who decided to live alone, and another who is looking for meaningful company. She has devoted to the type of feminism that was on furore on the 70s, the one that is not into marriage. This type of feminism that interlocks with spinsterhood is the life she has been living since then.  Gornick loved to find sisterhood groups, full with intellectual-type ladies, dedicated to solve the problems of the everyday life for women. However, those groups always lost their momentum, and ended up melting again into the same cultural patterns they were fighting, alienating her all over again.

Read More

The Problems of Making War

Politics and Feminism

Picture taken from Dreamstime.com

A lot of academics argue that if someone doesn’t know anything about a subject, the best thing to do is to keep quiet and let the experts handle the matter. I cannot disagree more. In cases that involve human rights violations the importance is not about the knowledge of the conflict, or even the politics, but the empathy towards the victims. I say this now because I was also part of that academic world, the political analysis, where a lot of arguments and conversations flew around, directed only to intellectuals, and not to the public, that was ultimately the one with the power to implement changes.

Read More

A Woman Looking at Men Looking at Women —By Siri Hustvedt

Politics and Feminism

Rating: 5 out of 5.

There is an unbalance between the scientific field and the literary field. The literary world has always been considered inferior. Maybe it is because its association with the feminine. But why are the sciences regarded as hard and masculine and the arts and the humanities regarded as soft and feminine? And within both the scientific world and the literary word, why are male scientist and writers preferred, more trusted, over women? And why if the literary world is considered a female science, writer women are always discriminated as less intelligent and less articulated than male writers? This is what Siri Hustvedt is good for. To spot the biases that go unnoticed to some of us. Hustvedt has accurately pointed to several misogynist aspects in the arts and the sciences.

Read More

What I loved- By Siri Hustvedt

Book Reviews

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Siri Hustvedt shows how multifaceted she is in this book. This not come as a surprise, as she has always said that she has made several working papers and studies in psychology and psychiatry. And she demonstrates her knowledge in this field in What I love. This is a wonderful book, where a fine writing gets mixed with an unbelievable story. A story that goes deep down into the characters, exploring love, divorce, art, mental health and grief.

Read More

The Goldfinch —By Donna Tartt

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Book Reviews

It is the story of Theodore Decker, a boy from New York. His life was full of obstacles since the very beginning. A good boy that had to shape himself into the different circumstances that were occurring in his life. He had a loving mother and this was the refreshing part of his beginnings. But this love had to mix with an alcoholic and indifferent father, who fortunately abandoned them when Theo was in his teenage years. However, life fell apart when his mother died during an explosion in the Metropolitan Museum, where they were looking for his mother’s favourite Dutch exposition that included the Goldfinch. Theo, injured but conscious, stole the painting from the museum, under the advice of a dying man who was also visiting the exposition with his niece.

Read More

The Lying Life of Adults — By Elena Ferrante

Book Review

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I am fascinated by this book. Because Elena Ferrante does not disappoint when digging into the physic of her characters. They are normal people, like any neighbour we could have, to whom we say hello in the morning, without really thinking about their lives. That is only the beginning, as the stories start recounting their apparent normal lives. In this case, it was from Giovanna’s perspective, an only child, who lived with her likely normal parents, attending a normal school, with her normal friends, in a normal neighbourhood.

Read More

The Enigma of Room 622- By Joël Dicker

Book Reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Joël Dicker new novel follows the same style of his previous books, The Truth about the Harry Quebert Affair and The Disappearance of Stephany Miller. This time, oddly and genially mixing the thriller gender along with a bit of comedy and even reality, as the author himself gets inside the story.

Read More