It was her idea to tie up the nun.Infinite Country, Patricia Engel, Simon & Schuster 2021
Less than 160 pages and I still walk around with it a couple days after finishing it. I don’t know if I consciously gravitate towards migrant stories and the generations after, but once again it doesn’t disappoint.
What Infinite Country adds is the clear question of “What’s so great about the USA anyway?”. It’s not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow for anyone involved, and the place the family comes from (Colombia) isn’t viewed as a crap shoot essential to escape from.
Combine this with a family literally ripped apart based on their place of birth and there’s something fresh and uncanny about this short story.
That after less than thirty minutes gone I felt like this film was rounding things up probably was a sign that I wasn’t going to particularly enjoy this film.
This film was much too long. I don’t know if the length is for the adults watching, but with it starting uptempo only to crash into a subplot to introduce the villain.. no child will manage to continue. Source: me in the theater surrounded by children running in all directions after forty minutes.
You don’t notice how long a film is if it’s good, but Lightyear is dull. The Life Lessons are laid on thick, the laughs are few. Who is this for, and what is it about?
Even though I didn’t pay for the ticket, it still feels like a waste of money.
For most urban dwellers, Sundays were a day of rest and relaxation.Accidentally Engaged, Farah Heron, Hachette Book Group 2021
First of all: where was the editor? Within two pages letters missing, names being spelled differently? Oof.
Anyway, the best part these days about romantic novels is the build-up and characterisation. After the two get together, especially when it’s a heterosexual couple – my interest fades.
In this case it’s (surprise) food. Reena stress-bakes and cooks, and the descriptions are good albeit overly detailed after a certain amount of pages. Faking an engagement is a fun trope as well, but because we’re only told what Reena isn’t, there’s very little investment or even emotion when things implode (because of course they do).
Maybe I should just stop trying reading romance with the aim of being satisfied.
Once upon a memory, at the far end of the Mediterranean Sea, there lay an island so beautiful and blue that the many travelers, pilgrims, crusaders and merchants who fell in love with it either wanted never to leave or tried to tow it with hemp ropes all the way back to their own countries.The Island of Missing Trees, Elif Shafak, Penguin Random House 2021
There’s just something about Shafak’s writing that turns the big into small and the small into world-impacting. I liked her previous one better – or well, was more stunned and impressed by it, but this one also makes you think and makes you feel.
Because Ada isn’t the first child to lose a parent and having to deal with feeling alienated by the living one, but add Cyprus and suddenly it’s the first story ever told.
I want the best for Ada, eat fresh figs and I want to visit the island.
Irene passed the mop across the stone floor in smooth, careful strokes, idly admiring the gleam of wet flagstones in the lantern-light.The Invisible Library, Genevieve Cogman, Penguin Random House 2016
Sometimes I wish authors would pass their ideas to better authors or just admit that they wanted to write a TV or film script.
Because The Invisible Library has a nice ideas (book guardians that hop dimensions to collect special books, seemingly all during steampunkish/victorian times), but the landing doesn’t stick. It’s a collection of descriptions with cardboard characters.
I’d watch the series if someone else did the writing, all I’m saying.
Zhongli village lay flattened under the sun like a defeated dog that has given up on finding shade.She Who Became the Sun, Shelley Parker-Chan, Tor 2021
Mulan but not exactly (there is cross-dressing to survive, but it goes much further and Zhu doesn’t need any man/romance, thank you very much). She takes her brother’s fate and decides to do whatever necessary to get to what he’s promised: greatness.
The language used is a bit purple and blown up from time to time, adding the feeling that we’re really deep into ancient texts instead of one just a year old. It means that you might have to invest a little, but if you want a whole different (Asian) myth, it’ll be worth it.
The day was flat.Shuggie Bain, Douglas Stuart Grove Atlantic 2020
Been a while since I read someone writing so vividly. This is an appealing story because of its style and imagery, and also severely depressing because of its images and stories.
The depictions of addiction, recovery and sabotage (intentionally and unknowing) is rough and tough, a trainwreck that just refuses to stop.
Mysterieuze groepen mannen te paard trekken over de wegen van Griekenland.Papyrus: Een geschiedenis van de wereld in boeken, Irene Vallejo, Meulenhoff 2021
De geschiedenis van boeken, de geschiedenis van de wereld aan de hand van boeken. Irene Vallejo heeft een lijvig boek geschreven en het merendeel ervan heeft niet eens de Middeleeuwen bereikt: moet je nagaan hoeveel er te vertellen is en hoe diep Vallejo is gegaan.
Omdat ze dit doet op een fijne, lichte toon waarin haar interesse en devotie hoorbaar is (complimenten voor de vertaler, aangezien het origineel in het Spaans is), wordt het geen moment een naslagwerk waar je doorheen moet ploegen. De auteur is duidelijk ‘van de taal’ en kan bij andere taligen het enthousiasme vergroten maar zaait zeker ook bij beginners het zaadje.
3 x 50 min.
Enigszins arrogant dacht ik wel alles te weten over dit onderwerp. Hormonen, seksuele vrijheid, hokjesdenken etc. Je hersenen zijn je grootste seksuele orgaan en zo hebben we alles gehad.
Een deel was dan ook geen nieuws, maar hoe het werd gebracht was fris. Vrouw-gefocust, af en toe de giechels, veel informatie zonder het huiswerkgevoel te krijgen.
In drie afleveringen worden lichaam, geest en relaties behandeld. En seksspeeltjes zijn daar onderdeel van, mocht je van plan zijn dit samen met anderen te bekijken.
Essential viewing: voor vrouwen én mannen.
20 x 25 min.
Very American, but short and charming enough to ignore that most of the time. Jules is the dollface who realises when her relationship ends (without her agreement) that she’s been neglecting all of her female friends. Her way back to them is a large part of the show. The rest of it is about life as a twenty-something, finding your way, feminism, sexuality, goals — a friendlier and less brazen Sex and the City.
What was cute in the first season – Jules has a fairy godmother in the shape of a snarky cat lady (literally a woman with a cat head), sees visions of all the ways in which she is a bad female friend – sometimes goes on for too long in the second season. In the second season her friends get a bit more room for development, and it definitely shows that Jules ..doesn’t have much of that.
Maybe the third season, which I’m sure will happen because Americans can just never leave a (good) thing alone.