Book Review: Meet Yasmin! By Saadia Faruqi.

Book Synopsis

Meet Yasmin! Yasmin Ahmad is a spirited second-grader who’s always on the lookout for those “aha” moments to help her solve life’s little problems. Taking inspiration from her surroundings and her big imagination, she boldly faces any situation, assuming her imagination doesn’t get too big, of course! A creative thinker and curious explorer, Yasmin and her multi-generational Pakistani American family will delight and inspire readers.

Book Review

This book is about Yasmin, she’s a creative Pakistani American girl with a natural curiosity and an amazing family who loves her and supports her.

It was great to read a story that shows diversity in their characters and I love the fact that includes some words in Urdu (a language from Pakistan) with their English translation and also some interesting facts about that Country (it’s a good way to learn more about other cultures).

This book tells a story that is fresh and fun to read, in addition it has beautiful illustrations that make it even more engaging for younger readers.

As an adult I loved this book, will definitely recommend it and look forward to read more books from Saadia Faruqi in the future.

 

* I received an ARC of this book trough NetGalley*

Book mail and favorite quotes from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.

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This arrived today in the mail and I’m so happy!!

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books (I also love the movies) and for that reason I decided to share some of my favorite quotes from this book:

“It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”

“I could easily forgive his pride, if he had not mortified mine.”

“How pleasant it is to spend an evening in this way! I declare after all there is no enjoyment like reading! How much sooner one tires of anything than of a book! When I have a house of my own, I shall be miserable if I have not an excellent library.”

“You mistake me, my dear. I have a high respect for your nerves. They are my old friends. I have heard you mention them with consideration these last twenty years at least.”

“Pride is a very common failing, I believe. By all that I have ever read, I am convinced that it is very common indeed, that human nature is particularly prone to it, and that there are very few of us who do not cherish a feeling of self-complacency on the score of some quality or other, real or imaginary. Vanity and pride are different things, though the words are often used synonymously. A person may be proud without being vain. Pride relates to our opinion of ourselves, vanity to what would have others think of us.”

“In vain I have struggled. It will not do. My feelings will no longer be repressed. You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you.”

“You are too generous to trifle with me. If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once. My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on this subject for ever.”

 

What are your favorite quotes from a book?

Audiobook recommendation: The Art of War narrated by Aidan Gillen.

To me The Art of War is a must in any library, I have several E-book versions and three Audiobooks (narrated by different people, two in English and one in Spanish).

This month I went out to walk by the city and decided to listen to the version narrated by Aidan Gillen and it didn’t disappointed me.

The length of this audiobook is just over an hour, which makes if perfect to listen during commute or while at the gym.

Aidan Gillen’s voice is perfect for this kind of book and, while I was listening I could see him in my mind  as “Littlefinger” from Game of Thrones while imparting this pearls of wisdom (I’m a Game of Thrones fan and I loved it).

I haven’t listen to the other audiobook versions yet, but I think it will me hard to top this one.

Book Review: Understanding the Alacran by Jonathan LaPoma

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Synopsis:

-Silver Medal Winner of the 2017 FAPA President’s Awards (Contemporary/Literary category)

Trying to escape the oppression leading him to drinking, drugs, and despair, 22-year-old William James rejects a teaching position offer at a prestigious Buffalo high school and moves to Mexico to find freedom in its beaches, mountains, and culture.

But soon, this freedom becomes oppressive as well as William finds himself unable to avoid the pull of the wild party scene in the small town of Lila where he lives. He continues a downward spiral until he meets a complex and compassionate Mexican woman whose love inspires him to face the question he’s been avoiding: Is this trip a desperate search for life or a slow death?

A dark but humorous coming-of-age novel, UNDERSTANDING THE ALACRÁN explores many of the questions that haunt young people searching for love and their place in this world, and offers a poetic look at the raw beauty and healing power of Mexico.

My Review:

Will moves from Buffalo to Mexico to try to find some freedom while living with his friend Sal in a place called Lila. In Lila, besides the locals, he meets some people that like him are just looking for an escape and to explore Mexico.

Things are not easy for Will, yes there’s a lot of partying, drinking and meeting women but the cultural differences and the language barrier proves to be a struggle, especially at the beginning.

This book and Will’s experience while in Mexico shows how living on a budget in a different country can be a hardship, how prejudices can go both ways and the real weight of dealing with insecurities and society expectations.

The descriptions of the places Will visited during his stay in Mexico are good and it was a nice surprise to find out that I’d been to some of the cities mentioned in the book and, reading, made me go back to the times I visited some of them (like San Cristobal de las Casas, Guadalajara, Mexico City, Vallarta, Guanajuato and Puebla).

The writing is engaging, with the right flow and a dose of dark humor to make it an enjoyable read that I would recommend.

I found myself highlighting many parts of this book and next are some of my favorite quotes:

“And it was that very face that drew me – a beauty that could cut through any chaos without losing a hint of resolution”.

“It’s ok, Will. Keep writing. Maybe someday you’ll realize your ‘nothing’ is really something beautiful”

“The darkness had made its way back in full force. It was crippling and consumed me whole. I’d gotten away for a short time, but when it caught up again, it hit me with an extra viciousness – perhaps to punish me for running. Nobody truly gets away”.

“It was soft, and organic, and visceral. I felt alive in the darkness – alive and not alone. This was the Mexico I’d fled to see. The Mexico I’d invited to  sweep me away”.

Rating:  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

* I received a free copy from the author through a Goodreads Group.

Book Review: Poets, Artists, Lovers by Mira Tudor.

Poets, artists, lovers

 

Book Synopsis:

PAL is a fast-paced yet poignant character-driven novel riding waves of romance, drama, and wit in a manner reminiscent of David Nicholls’s books (One Day)—and set in the exciting world of several vibrant Romanian artists and musicians.

Henriette, an accomplished sculptor, seems to find more joy in her feminist-inspired work and her piano playing than in the people who care about her. Ela, a piano teacher turned book reviewer, hopes to discover the key to happiness and a more meaningful life through studying the workings of the mind and crafting poems about emotions she trusts will lead her to a better place. Joining them in beauty and blindness is Pamfil, a violinist who dabbles as a singer and lives mostly for the moment and his monthly parties. As they follow their passions, they find themselves on treacherous journeys to love and happiness, and are slow to figure out how to best tackle their predicaments. Fortunately, their lovers and friends are there to help . . . but then a newcomer complicates things.

 

Book Review:

When Mira Tudor contacted me through this Blog to see if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her book I accepted because I enjoy reading books from different genres (even if YA books are my favorites), also because I was intrigued about the way she described me the book “Contemporary women’s lit, looking for a balance somewhere between commercial and literary” and because I have an appreciation for Arts in its different expressions.

The story follows the lives of a group of Romanian artists and jumps between present and past in a way were you can learn about how the different characters met.

The writing style itself is good and I liked the references to different arts expressions (music, poetry, sculpture) and to some artists and writers that you can find through the book.

I highlighted many quotes while reading this book, among them the following by a character named Anca:

“ De gustibus”, Anca said: “We sometimes need sadness in order to tease away sadness”. 

In this book some of the characters struggle with the realities of adult life, intricate relationships and finding a balance and at times they seem to be experiencing some kind of existential crisis (also they seem to enjoy having a lot of intellectual and kind of philosophical discussions).

I finished the book, but I feel like I didn’t really “connect” with the main characters, also there is one male character whose appeal I just “didn’t get” and I would have liked to have a little more background story of characters like George and Haralambie.
Maybe this book could appeal more to people interested in Literary Fiction or as an exercise in analysis behind the motivations and psychology of the characters.

 

“I received from the author a gift card to purchase the ebook via Amazon in exchange for an honest review”.