I've wanted to read this book for the longest time now, and I'm finally doing it. I'm so glad – I must have been 9? 10? the first time my sister told me to read it. It was (and still is, to this day) her favorite book, and a universal classic. She loves Gabriel García Márquez, and I still remember vividly how sad she was the day he died. Staring at her books, knowing there wouldn't be others.
Now I've finally begun this journey – and so far I'm loving it. The beautifully built magical realism and strange –but profound– characters have pulled me into the book in a way I didn't expect. I lived in Colombia for a while and I have Colombian family, so it's also a lot of fun reading about the jungle-town environment and the historical changes throughout the novel. I expected this book to be slow, since at least in my school, it's a mandatory read and some people complain about it, but I was positively surprised to find that I can read several dozens of pages and barely notice it. It's different to what I usually read, and I love it.
Well, I still got a long way to go. So far, I'm happy with what I have found!
I finished this book earlier this year, and I've thought about it quite a lot. I must confess it did take me a long time to finish it, maybe a couple of months, but I wouldn't say that was a bad thing – it was more the kind of book you pick up once in a while, read a chapter, and put down satisfied.
Chris Hadfield, the well-known Canadian astronaut, has had an amazing life to read about. I'm a bit biased –I love space stuff– but I think most people would enjoy reading the crazy training astronauts have to go through and the unbelievable routine of life in space. From his beginning as a pilot to how he became an internet sensation in space, Chris Hadfield narrates his journey of hard work and big dreaming.
Some of the reviews I've read complain that he is too proud or has "too big an ego", but I don't really agree with this view. Yeah, the guy describes how he won awards, did great, and got important jobs – but it's true! It must be pretty hard to sound humble when you've got to narrate all your big achievements, and this is a man who has many.
Still, I won't go around saying it's perfect. As you can see, I rated it three and a half stars. As much as I enjoy reading on how people brush their teeth in space, or the life-like simulations of space travel at NASA, there's a lot of the book spent on giving life advice. And it may be a bit too much.
I don't know how to fully explain it, but many times I just felt the advice was not relatable. I just didn't feel like it could apply to me. Or, on the other hand, it felt like some random quote you read on Pinterest – a bit cheesy or overused. I'm not trying to say Chris Hadfield is not a genius or that I didn't learn anything from his book, not at all, but sometimes his constant advice or metaphors made the reading slow down.
Still, pretty awesome book! I always enjoy reading about space, and NASA must be one of the coolest organizations ever.
It's been a year since I started this blog, and I've read a lot of books since. But as you may notice, I've only posted about... 3, maybe 4, blog entries? And I pretty much abandoned it last September.
But now I'm back.
I started reflecting on what had happened, why I had left it behind. Why, when I read a book, I thought of the post I could write of it, but never actually did. I know it's normal to start a project and forget about it –it happens to us all– but I felt this was something more, something different, keeping me from coming back here.
And I realized it was fear of writing.
Just like every time I have to write an essay, I freeze before a blank screen. And when I do write something, I read it and reread it, questioning it a thousand times. Is it good enough? Is it just rubbish? Writing for English or Spanish class is bad enough, knowing a grade depends on it, but making a blog entry was something else entirely. There was a chance people would read it, and that made me even more self-conscious of anything I put out there. What if I'm saying something stupid? What if I'll cringe later when I read it? What if people disagree with my opinion of a book, or I got it all wrong? What if my writing style is incomprehensible?
But no more! I've been reflecting lately and got to the conclusion that the only way of improving, or at least feeling more comfortable, is just going ahead and doing it. Practice makes progress. I've got to face my fear of writing, and if it's mostly rubbish, then so be it. I recently read a quote that was what made me decide this:
"Write like nobody is watching, cause no one is"
This is meant to apply to writing a novel, a story, or poetry for oneself. I know it's not exactly the same as writing for a small book blog in a corner of the internet. But nevertheless, it's the perspective I want to take from now on to actually get me to write. Even now, as I'm writing this, my finger hovers over the publish button, unsure. But I will do this!
If any of you out there face the same problem, tell me if you got any tips! And I hope you can overcome your fears too.
I recently finished listening to "The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck" in audible. I used to listen to a little while of it whenever I walked my dog, and it took me quite a long time to get to the end.
I found this book to be very fun to hear. It has many interesting ideas and views that actually make you reflect for a while on how you see the world, in a hilarious but honest way. Some of the main focuses are how you choose your values (how you measure yourself and your success) and, well, how you choose what to give a f*ck about. Mark Manson's narrative voice kept me engaged at all times, as he did not leave his ideas in just theory, but used anecdotes (many times funny, many times painfully honest) and examples to help explain his point. I personally loved all the historic figures and various people he mentioned to illustrate his ideas. Reading or listening to a narrator who was not afraid to curse or to laugh at himself was very refreshing, and in my opinion this was a great companion for my walks.
Welcome to Night Vale
...and the TV shows and movies we watch.
I found this a very interesting article! It discusses why we forget a great part of what we read, and what is it that we remember.
A few weeks after reading a book, we already remember just a very general idea of it, probably the main plot or the main focus. As time passes, we loose more and more details. The same thing happens with shows and movies – it is very interesting to see what this article says about memory in modern times and the amount of information we consume.
I love the topic of memory, specially when mixed with books!
Another cool link on the topic: https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/the-curse-of-reading-and-forgetting
If it wasn't because my friend recommended me the book (or rather, forced me to read it) I probably wouldn't have picked it up myself. I'd just think "it's not my kind of book".
To All The Boys I've Loved Before surprised me. It has a kind, funny story that develops the characters beyond the main romance arc, and I found many aspects of Lara Jean's life (the protagonist) relatable. I guess I don't see it as a literary "masterpiece" or anything, but I really did enjoyed reading it. It was fun, and quite fast to read. I'd say that in general it's a light read, but I must confess some parts had me burying my face in the book, putting it down to breathe, or tempting me to turn to the end of the chapter to see how things turn out.
My friend's goal all along was for me to finish it before the movie came out (last Friday on Netflix) and I did, just in time. Of course, as always, I have to say it... The book was better! But the movie is still very good to watch if you are in a rom-com kind of mood. Books always have more space for character development and exploration, so that's probably why I prefer them.
Now, my friend lend me the second. Lets see how it goes!
Photo cred: http://www.whatsfilming.ca
I've been reading for a long time, and I love it.
I love keeping track of the books I read, and for a few years now, I've been keeping a "Book Jar": every time I finish a book, I add it to the jar. Usually, it's around 50 books a year. But recently I decided that I should do more than that –more than just writing the title in a piece of paper and storing it away– if I have the opportunity of sharing this experience, why don't I?
Thus, the creation of this blog.
My goal is to read as much as I can in my lifetime, and hopefully my bookshelf ends up being as varied as possible. I know so far my reads have been mainly in English and of occidental origin (mainly classics, YA Lit, and some Latin American books sprinkled here and there) but I want to change that soon enough. Fiction has always been my first choice, but this year I have begun to read more science and not-fiction books too.
This blog is kind of a test drive, so I don't know if anyone will see or read this. Anyway, if you do, I hope you enjoy this journey too!