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Birthday Book Haul

What better way to come back to the blog than with a bookhaul? My family and friends really outdid themselves this year and I ended up with this amazing haul for my birthday. I am very excited to read them all but considering how many there are and how lenghty (looking at you War and Peace & Fortunata y Jacinta), it is more than likely I won't be able to get through them before the year ends. Last year I gave myself the challenge and did it but I am not sure about this year. Will try though. Guerra y Paz by Leo Tolstoy. Fortunata y Jacinta by Benito Pérez Galdós. La escritura indómita by Mary Oliver. El palacio de hielo by Tarjei Vesaas. Todo el mundo puede ser ANTIFA by Pol Andiñach. El legado de las diosas by Katerina Tucková. Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls by T Kira Madden. The Covent Garden Ladies by Hallie Rubenhold. By Ash, Oak and Thorn by Melissa Harrison. Wake, Siren: Ovid Resung by Nina MacLaughlin. Have you read any of these?  Happy reading! Follow
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On the Come Up by Angie Thomas | 2021 Reads

  I enjoyed this because Thomas focuses mostly on the internal conflicts of the main character and how her decisions affect her and everybody around her and still deals with a lot of racial issues that Black (and Brown) young people have to deal with in the US, especially in poor neighbourhoods. Bri is a teen going through a difficult time. She can seem hot-headed, opinionated and, at times, selfish, but she is just trying to be herself, help those she loves and pursue her dreams of becoming a rapper. I was reminded though of why I rarely read YA contemporary fiction these days: one, dramatic teens (don't get me wrong, I get where they are coming from but still makes my eyes roll) and two, intentional lack of communication between adults and kids which drives me up the wall. Follow

The Duke and I by Julia Quinn | 2021 Reads

  I picked up The Duke and I because I wanted to watch the tv show and I can only say: what a disappointment. Went into it obviously not expecting a literary masterpiece but an entertaining, easy to read book set in the Regency era. I knew I was going to encounter sexist remarks (coming from both male and female characters) and was fully prepared to not get super mad at them. And although the first half of the novel was enjoyable: I thought the family dynamic is probably the best thing about this book; the second half was an absolute disaster. Not only the writing gets absolutely horrendous but there is also sexual assault (tw for rape) and the character who does it faces no consequences whatsoever. Reading that scene completely destroyed my enjoyment of the novel and I am pretty sure I won't be continuing with the rest of the books. Follow

Encuentros con libros by Stefan Zweig | 2021 Reads

  Encuentros con libros  by Stefan Zweig is an essay collection and it was my very first time reading him and I have to say it won't be my last. I really enjoyed his writing style and you can tell how much he loved books and reading. However, I would point out that there is not a single essay here dedicated to a female writer although I am unsure if it is because the editor of the collection didn't include one or Zweig simply didn't write any. And you can also tell from the very beginning that the author comes from a very privilege background - in one of the essays he is surprised by the fact that an Italian man he has met during his travels can't read nor write... as if he couldn't fathom that illiterate people were a reality. As I said above though, what I take from this collection is Zweig's passion for books and literature. Follow

The Burning God by R.F. Kuang | 2021 Reads

The Burning God is the last book in the trilogy so not going to talk much about plot and there won't be any spoilers. I just want to give my general thoughts. I think this was a fitting conclusion. Heartbreaking but fitting... and dare I say, unavoidable. It is not an easy journey to go through. There is not a moment to breathe. It is all relentless destruction with this one. And page by page, Rin unravels. The trauma, devastation and betrayal she has suffered throughout is impossible to escape. One complain I have is that it felt like Kuang sacrificed character-driven moments (which were more present in the previous two books) for the sake of the plot. All in all though, an impressive trilogy but not for the faint-hearted. Follow

All Boys Aren't Blue by George M. Johnson | 2021 Reads

  In All Boys Aren't Blue, George M. Johnson explores their identity as a Black Queer man while sharing their experiences growing up. Some chapters, I felt, were better thought-out than others and in general the writing was simple and easy to get through. I would have preferred a more mature writing style but since this is targeted towards teens/young people - which I have to say I didn't know prior - I kinda understand. Some things though felt repetitive. All in all, I enjoyed it as a whole and as the author said if one person in helped by them sharing their story then all will be worth it.  Follow

Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp | 2021 Reads

Cluny Brown by Margery Sharp is a fresh and light comedy with a deep critique of English social conventions of the 1930s. We follow Cluny, a girl who, according to the people around her, doesn't know what her place in the world is. However, she is not about to let others tell her what that place should be. She does what she wants even when her actions might be seen as outrageous and of course she always gets in trouble.  I found the story to be very endearing and I enjoyed the tone and rhythm throughout. The final chapters, in which we get both the peak of the tension and the resolution of the story, are absolutely fantastic.