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”.

Some of the books released today and about my next book review.

Today Apr. 24 was release day for some books and among them are two books already included in my TBR List, Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young (I really love the beautiful cover of this book)

Sky in the Deep

and Love, Songs & Other Lies by Jessica Pennington (both books were already part of my 2018 TBR List).

Love, song and other lies

 

Also today, I’ll be posting my latest book review and it will be of Poets, Artists, Lovers by Mira Tudor, a story about the lives of a group of Romanian artists and musicians.

Which of the books that were released today are you looking forward to read?

Book Review: Enginerds by Jarrett Lerner.

Book Review:

Ever since I saw the cover of this book I knew I needed to read it and when I won a personalized signed copy in a Twitter Giveaway organized by the author I was really excited.

Not being someone to limit myself to the “adults” genres, I enjoy reading all kind of books (from Children’s books, to YA, Fiction, New Adult, Fantasy, etc.) and this one proved to be really a great choice.

Greeeg is a robot that Kennedy (a kid part of a school group called Enginerds) receives in a box that someone left in his doorstep, Greeeg eats everything (except radishes for some reason) and he has an “interesting” way to dispose of food.

love learning and tech and I guess that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed this book so much and why I could relate easily to the wonderful characters created by Jarrett Lerner.

Nerdy and with geeky heart is a way to describe the members of Enginerds, kids that pursue knowledge, learning science and tech while having fun.

Every character has something interesting, but for some reason I liked John Henry the most, with his predilection for “scientifically sound” statements (even if Kennedy is not a fan of him).

Robots, science, tech, friendship, action and teamwork, this book has a lot of elements that

Definitely make it worth to read, share with someone, gift to kids and add to a library collection.

Surprises and twists are present in this fun book that will keep you really entertained and hopefully by the end, also excited about the sequel (the author told me it will be release next year).