Showing posts from November, 2014

Circe by Madeline Miller (♦♦♦♦)

Granddaughter of Oceanus, daughter of Titan Helios and sea nymph Perseid, Circe was different from the start. While her siblings discovered their unique gifts very early on and gained their independence—either by claiming their inheritance, like Perses and Aëstes, or by marriage to a wealthy demigod, like Pasiphäe—, Circe remained among her family in the halls of the gods. Her love for young fisherman Glaucus changed everything. Circe used a potion to transform Glaucus into a worthy suitor. Glaucus, seeing his station changed, fell in love with one Circe’s cousins, a sea nymph named Scylla. Out of jealousy, Circe put a potion on Scylla’s bath and, unintendedly, transformed her into a monster. Circe’s confession forced Helios to go to see Zeus, for witchcraft is something that gods fear can tip the balance of power. Zeus declared an eternal banishment for Circe from the halls of the gods to the island of Aiaia.

Exile was not easy but, as Circe learned, it had its advantages; being away f…

The Bookman’s Tale by Charlie Lovett (♦♦♦)

A Novel of Obsession

Peter Byerly lost his wife Amanda to cancer nine months ago. Reeling with grief, he decided to escape North Carolina and move to a cottage in the English countryside with the prospect of restarting his career as an antiquarian bookseller.
On one of his book hunting expeditions, Peter finds a portrait by an unknown Victorian painter with the image of Amanda. Obsessed, Peter starts tracking down the elusive painter, which leads him to a manuscript that might revolutionize the literary world if it is real, for it reveals the true identity of Shakespeare.
Running against the clock, Peter finds himself in the midst of a family feud going back for at least two centuries, and he may very well lose his own life for a killer is intent on keeping a secret from being revealed.
I bought The Bookman’s Tale because it promised a story resembling The Shadow of the Wind and Mr.Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore, both of which I loved. While The Shadow of the Wind was about a book within a …

The Light Between Oceans by M.L. Stedman (♦♦♦♦♦)

It’s 1926…
Tom and Isabel Sherbourne are a married young couple living on Janus Island, the farthest lighthouse post in the Commonwealth of Australia, surrounded by two oceans. Life on Janus is hard and primal. They only get home leave after three years of service. Isabel has suffered three miscarriages along the years, but a mysterious boat, carrying a dead man and a baby girl, arrives on the shore bringing with it the possibility of realizing their dreams of parenthood.
You have no idea how many books from my TBR list I've started to read then put aside for whatever reason; The Light Between Oceans is no exception, but when I kept reading this time around and itbecame so hard to put down, that's when I regretted not having read it sooner.
When I read The Red Tent, I had the opportunity of thinking more deeply about something I've thought for several years; I know it might sound pretentious, even grandiose, but when God gave women the power of conception, I believe that was …

Poesía Completa, Jorge Luis Borges- parte 4 (♦♦♦♦♦)

Para las Seis Cuerdas (1965)
En la colección Para las Seis Cuerdas, Borges dedica milongas (poemas rimados que se hacen acompañar por los rasguidos de una guitarra) a forajidos que se hicieron famosos allá por 1890. En estas milongas los temas recurrentes son las peleas a cuchillos y la muerte.
Entre éstos mi favorito es Milonga de Manuel Flores.
Manuel Flores va a morir,
eso es moneda corriente;
morir es una costumbre
que sabe tener la gente.

Y sin embargo me duele
decirle adiós a la vida,
esa cosa tan de siempre,
tan dulce y tan conocida.

Miro en el alba mis manos,
miro en las manos las venas;
con estrañeza las miro
como si fueran ajenas.

Vendrán los cuatro balazos
y con los cuatro el olvido;
lo dijo el sabio Merlín:
morir es haber nacido.

¡Cuánto cosa en su camino
estos ojos habrán visto!
Quién sabe lo que verán
después que me juzgue Cristo.

Manuel Flores va a morir,
eso es moneda corriente:
morir es una costumbre
que sabe tener la gente.
Elogio de la Sombra (1969)
Borges expresa en el …

La Casa de los Espíritus (House of Spirits) by Isabel Allende (♦♦♦♦♦)

Three generations of the family Trueba-Del Valle converge in this sweeping saga spanning most of the twentieth century in Chile. Esteban, the stubborn patriarch, and his granddaughter Alba, tell the unfolding story of the family amidst convulse political changes sweeping their country and the world.
In Eva Luna, I felt that the story was forced and uneven, though it was compelling and funny at times. I liked City of the Beasts more than I did Eva Luna. The description of the expedition by boat through the Amazon jungle was atmospheric, simply transporting. However, in House of the Spirits, Allende achieved something quite remarkable and unique: it is effortless storytelling--not deprived of literary recourses but a fascinating story nonetheless--in which time isn't needed to orient the reader because the plot unfolds of its own accord; the result is a modern classic of Latin American literature.
House of Spirits is an enthralling narrative in which oracles and the paranormal coexist…

La Casa de los Espíritus por Isabel Allende (♦♦♦♦♦)

Tres generaciones de la familia Trueba-Del Valle convergen en esta saga que abarca la mayoría del siglo XX en Chile. Esteban, el patriarca de la familia, y Alba, su nieta, cuentan la historia de la familia entre los convulsos cambios políticos que arrasan al país y al mundo.
En Eva Luna, yo sentí que la historia estaba forzada, aún cuando fue absorbente y simpática en ocasiones. Me gustó La Ciudad de las Bestias más que Eva Luna. La descripción de la expedición en bote a través de la selva Amazónica fue atmosférica y evocadora. Sin embargo, en La Casa de los Espíritus, Allende logró algo mágico y único: es una novela fluída, cuya escritura aparenta ser fácil, no privada sin embargo de recursos literarios, sino una historia fascinante en la cual el tiempo no es necesario para orientar al lector puesto que la historia se desenvuelve a su propio ritmo; el resultado es un clásico moderno de la literatura latinoamericana.
La Casa de los Espíritus es una narrativa hechizante en la cual coexis…

Poesía Completa, Jorge Luis Borges- parte 3 (♦♦♦♦♦)

El Otro, El Mismo (1964)
Esta compilación de poemas, que abarca tres décadas, es erudita por naturaleza. En ésta, Borges le rinde culto a novelistas como Cervantes (Un Soldado de Urbina), al filósofo y prosista barroco Baltasar Gracián (en un poema homónimo), y a poetas del calibre de John Milton (Una rosa y Milton), Homero (El otro), Dante, Whitman (Camden, 1892), Emerson, Edgar Allan Poe y Rafael Cansinos-Asséns (en poemas homónimos). Además Borges rinde homenaje a poetas menores que no trascendieron su tiempo (A un poeta menor de la antología; Un poeta del siglo XIII; A un poeta menor de 1899).
También Borges rinde tributo a héroes (Poema Conjetural; Un soldado de Lee (1862)), de su extirpe (Junín; Página para recordar al coronel Suárez, vencedor en Junín), y de gestas, como Ulises (Odisea, Libro Vigésimo Tercero) y Beowulf (Fragmento), y a los sajones cuyas espadas forjaron a Inglaterra (Un sajón (449 A.D.)).
No sólo de héroes literarios o de gestas escribe Borges en El Otro, El Mism…