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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Agent Running in the Field- By John LeCarré

Book Reviews

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

I must say I love spy novels, those that are really classic style, where the incumbents communicate leaving special bags in shopping malls, or a red x on a rubbish bin in the middle of the street, or use braille on a paper that has been ironed against a piece of cloth. And John LeCarré was the special guy for these type of novels. I read this book because I saw his interview in the Spanish Newspaper El Pais —his real name is David John Moore Cornwell—. He was brilliant. I loved his political audacity, the way he critized his government, nothing politically-correct-out-of-the-sort. Being part of the MI6 in the 1950s and 1960s, he had great material to outsmart his critics and better yet to fed his novels.

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English Breakfast

My Stories

‘The tea bags are not for those who truly like to drink tea’, —only the smelly, fresh leaves is what gives the flavour to the tea. —She used to say—. ‘Once the tea leaves are secured in the cup, add the boiling water. Be careful! The water must not surpass the middle of the cup. Wait until the transparent liquid gets impregnated with the dark colours of the leaves and you feel the soft smells of the tea, then add the exact quantity of milk, not more, not less. Serve immediately and take it to where I am’.

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The Soul of a Woman —By Isabel Allende

Politics and Feminism

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Isabel Allende recounts her personal story. I felt like talking with a very good friend, having a pleasant conversation, those in which you put your heart and soul right there in the middle of the table for everyone to see. This is how Isabel Allende strings together all the facts and people that influenced her life, where her thoughts and feelings contradicted her way of life, and created great concern and anger between her parents and grandparents, because at that time, nobody dared to question the inequalities in Chile and much less the place of women in society. This did not sooth her, it did not silence her internal voice, on the contrary, with time everything fell on the right place until finally she found herself as a writer, a feminist and an activist. She reached a maturity in which she is now comfortable and happy. The author also takes a look at the new generations and their role in feminism and pays tribute to people who opened the door to the actual feminist movements.

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